With his experience as the managing director of a data collection center, Ed Baker understands how to conduct quality opinion research. He hopes this experience will give him additional insight into the expectations of the electorate while seeking the presidency in 2016 as an independent. A lifelong Oregon resident, Baker started working in market research call centers at the age of fifteen.
His gambling addiction early in life resulted in Baker running afoul of the law. With the help of a gambling counselor, Baker turned his life around. However, his conviction prevented many job opportunities which led to a year of homelessness. He believes his inside knowledge of the criminal justice system will be relatable to many voters with similar experiences.
On the issues, Ed Baker wants to secure the border and American jobs by deporting all illegal aliens. Those who leave voluntarily can apply for re-entry. Baker also supports capital punishment for any who enter illegally.
Dissatisfied with the official reports, Baker wants to reopen the investigation into the September 11 terrorist attacks. He supports capital punishment for anyone involved – including Americans who held or currently hold positions of power. As a proud supporter of America’s military, Baker intends to overhaul the Veterans Administration and provide more resources for veterans and their families.
Baker has called for a reduction of the federal debt by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse while streamlining programs to be more cost-effective. Foreign-aid would be reduced or eliminated to free up money to for domestic purposes.
With his “tough on crime” positions, the independent presidential candidate thinks strong punishment is key to reducing criminal activity and advocates the death penalty for murderers, sexual predators and hardcore drug traffickers. In addition, he supports building more prisons to hold dangerous felons longer. He also supports an overhaul of the CIA due to their “apparent involvement in drug trafficking.”
Ed Baker hopes his lack of political experience will be a positive as poll after poll demonstrates America’s disapproval with the direction of the country currently ran by entrenched politicians. However, a lack of resources and media attention may be too tough for his campaign to overcome.
In politics, compromises are frequently seen as a sign of selflessness which places the greater good of the country ahead of principled, yet divisive stances. Some would even venture to suggest that partisanships are shortsighted and the surest way to hinder progress, and represents the greatest challenge to national unity.
And yet, between 1995 and 2003, during his tenure as governor of New Mexico, Gary Earl Johnson vetoed almost 800 bills (including line items) sent by the state legislature which led to arguably the state’s worst ever legislative gridlock. But his principled stand also massively reduced government spending, decelerated spending growth and wiped off the state’s budget deficit. By the end of his term, the treasury even reported a $1 billion surplus – all achieved without raising any taxes!
The son of a public school teacher and a government servant has always been viewed as too principled for politics. But as he had demonstrated during his two terms as governor, his methods work. Not all the time mind, as evidenced by his failed school voucher proposal and calls to decriminalize marijuana and reform drug laws, but the results speak for themselves.
However, while Gov. Johnson has intimated to friends of his desire to run for office from a very young age, he was very practical about the path he would take. While studying at the University of New Mexico, Gov. Johnson started a handyman business as means to achieve financial independence. After graduating with a degree in political science in 1975, his company, Big J Enterprises, expanded into remodeling and renovation, and eventually, construction.
His company grew rapidly and quickly, but managing it proved to be increasingly more difficult for the hands-on business owner. Ever the problem solver, Gov. Johnson took night classes on time management in 1987 to better equip himself to handle the challenges of managing a multimillion dollar company. It proved to be a catalyst for Gov. Johnson, and forced him to reassess his life, both professionally and personally. He became more goal-oriented, leading to some calling him the most disciplined individual they've ever known.
This probably explains why after being rebuked by the state Republican leadership in 1993, the young upstart still went on to contest the GOP primaries the following year; or his decision to leave the Republican Party in 2011 to seek a presidential nomination under the Libertarian Party ticket; or why he is so confident that a third party candidate (himself) will finally achieve the 15% national polling threshold in 2016 and qualify for the presidential debates for the first time since 1992.
Gov. Johnson is an ardent believer of liberty, individual rights and small government. He is against military intervention and high taxation. He is convinced that existing drug laws and policies are doomed to failure. Gov. Johnson is also a strong proponent of personal responsibility. He believes that anyone in the country can make their own fortune with hard work. In a 2000 interview, Gov. Johnson stated that “anybody that wants to be an entrepreneur in this country can make an absolute fortune. Even somebody who cleans houses… If I started a business tomorrow just cleaning houses by myself […] I think I could make $100,000 a year. You clean four houses at $100 a day. I know what these people do when they come in and clean. In three hours I could do what they do. I just don't buy into the notion that anybody can't still make it today if they are willing to work hard.”
One thing is for certain though. If Gary Johnson were to somehow be elected president, the triathlete will be the fittest president in American history.
CNN Libertarian Presidential Town Hall
June 22, 2016