Declared 2016 



Veteran and Electrical Servicing Business Owner


Arthur Drew was born in the state of Pennsylvania, in a rural farming and industrial community. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the US Air Force, where he attended college while stationed in Washington state. He was also deployed for about a year to Vietnam. When his service was finished, he entered the private sector, initially focusing on aviation but eventually settling into the electrical servicing and manufacturing industry, in which he owned his own business.

Running as an Independent, Drew is critical of both Republican and Democratic policies, and he frequently speaks against President Obama's initiatives. He challenges the President's assertion that unemployment has dropped by nearly half since 2009, saying that their calculations flagrantly ignore those who have given up finding a job, and were made entirely for political gain. He also accuses the administration, and for that matter every administration and Congress in recent memory, of having service to corporate sector profits as their one and only goal.

Drew blames the phenomenon of outsourcing for the decline in American employment and the stagnation of domestic wages. He proposes the imposition of penalties on businesses that outsource labor overseas, with an emphasis on ensuring that these penalties cost more than a firm stands to save by shipping the jobs away. He also suggests using lower taxes, reduced interest loans, and other incentives to encourage companies to do business in the United States.

While he is sympathetic to environmental concerns and supports the Environmental Protection Agency's overall mission, Drew criticizes that agency's overly complex regulations, calling them confusing and saying they could leave private land owners unaware of whether they need to seek permits to modify their property. He calls for stronger oversight of the EPA to reduce its bureaucracy and provide clear, simple guidelines.

Drew is cautious on foreign policy, questioning American involvement in the Middle East and specifically against the terrorist group ISIS. He says that President Obama's commitment to help fight that organization will be felt well into his successor's administration, and he cautions that America's military should instead be used to secure the border at home.

Drew's strategy of using tax incentives to stimulate domestic business and industry is a conservative trait, while his support for government agencies like the EPA and his careful approach toward foreign policy are more leftist. As a result, most of his support is likely to be found among those in the center, who avoid politically veering far onto either side of the spectrum.
 
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2016 



Humans Right Activist


Ajamu Baraka is an internationally well-regarded human rights activist and a far-left social justice advocate with experience stretching over three decades. He first came into international attention in 1998 after being invited by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Paris to attend an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Domestically, Mr. Baraka played a role in initial establishment of the Southern Human Rights Organizers’ conferences (SHROC) in 1996. SHROC provides a platform for human rights advocates and organizers to discuss strategies and issues involving human rights initiatives in the Deep South, as well as training grassroots activists.

In 1998, Mr. Baraka was appointed Amnesty International’s Southern Regional Director, which allowed him to play an important role in exposing human rights violations in the country. He also served as acting director of Amnesty International USA's National Program to Abolish the Death Penalty. He was subsequently named the 2001 Abolitionist of the Year, conferred by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, in recognition of his service toward the abolishment of capital punishment in the United States.

Between 2004 and 2011, Mr. Baraka served as the Founding Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN), the first U.S. domestic human rights organization to use and apply international human rights standards to the country. During his tenure, USHRN’s core base of human rights-related organizations grew five-fold from 60 to over 300.

Since then, Mr. Baraka has been involved with numerous domestic and international human rights organizations such as Black Left Unity Network, National Center for Human Rights Education, Center for Constitutional Rights, Latin American Caribbean Community Center, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights and Diaspora Afrique. He is presently an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch magazine and several other digital publications.

Mr. Baraka is a fierce opponent of capital punishment. He argues that it is a “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of inmates, regardless of their guilt or innocence, and advocates the abolition of the death penalty.

Mr. Baraka also believes that the United States is a “capitalist-imperialist settler state” and a “corrupt, degenerate, white supremacist monstrosity,” and that there are efforts by the government to “brainwash black people.” He considers President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among others, as “living embodiments of the partial success” of the country’s “attempt to colonize the consciousness of Africans/black people.”
 
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