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.
Benjamin Weigel was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. He is a graduate of Bakersfield High School, from which he counts several notable athletes and politicians as fellow alumni. After graduation, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps, where he served for thirteen years. He was both stationed domestically and deployed overseas numerous times, including to Ramadi, Iraq, where he saw combat. He spent two years in the Air Force Reserve following his time in the Marines, then chose to end his military career entirely due to injuries sustained during his service. He is presently pursuing a bachelors' degree while working full time as a bus driver.
As a candidate, Weigel comes down slightly right of center, but he is not firmly bound to any particular ideology. He is extremely pro-military, arguing that the United States cannot afford to reduce its armed forces in light of threats from terrorists and hostile nations, and he criticizes elected leaders for comprising, in their majority, people who have never served. He also values the role which veterans play in civilian industry and praises efforts such as the Wounded Warrior project, while calling for further initiatives and denouncing the ignorance of businesses who do not understand what former military people have to offer. He calls for a balanced budget, saying this can be easily achieved and blaming the deficit on the government's improper allocation of existing tax revenues. While he considers illegal immigration to be a border security issue, he opposes existing proposals such as the construction of border walls, and he does not support amnesty.
Weigel advocates for strong civilian oversight of law enforcement agencies, as a check against incidents of police brutality and racism. He specifically rejects internal and intra-agency investigations, as he says that law enforcement share a common culture of mutual protection, and thus their efforts to police themselves are not reliable.
Running as an Independent, Weigel avoids taking strong positions on controversial issues, but where he does commit, he is more right-leaning than not – particularly in his support of the military. Still, it is the centrist who will most agree with his platform, with those strongly right or left likely feeling the depth of his positions to be lacking.