Declared 2016 



Entrepreneur


Jeremiah Pent was born in Arlington, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth. After graduating from high school and marriage, he and his family moved several times around the country, and currently reside in Pennsylvania. He briefly studied at Texas Christian University, but would eventually earn his Masters Degree (in Divinity) from the Westminster Theological Seminary. Professionally, he is an entrepreneur, having founded and run several businesses in a number of industries including agriculture and toy manufacturing.

Pent speaks in broad terms of the need to address the social and economic issues facing the US. He believes the biggest problem currently plaguing the nation is its own lack of unity, and that all other challenges can more easily be overcome if the divisions between religious and ethnic groups can be ameliorated. Other than admitting that this will be a difficult (but achievable) task, however, he offers few specifics on how it might be accomplished. Economically, he favors a balanced budget, advocating the maintenance of a federal government that operates within its means just as, he says, average American families must do. He believes this goal can be reached through middle class tax cuts and a careful restructuring and streamlining of the government's operations.

Pent is particularly preoccupied with the American educational system and its importance to the nation's children, and speaks at length of ensuring that schools are staffed by competent teachers able to properly guide and instruct their students. Once again, however, he is sparse on describing any specific changes which he feels should be made to or by the schools.

An independent candidate, Pent worries over the stark dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats, and claims that these two parties collectively represent only about a third of the American population. He points out the fact that George Washington, the nation's first President, was himself an independent, and that many Presidents immediately following him also did not formally belong to any political party. Concerned about the influence wielded over politicians by wealthy donors, Pent has pledged to accept campaign contributions only from individuals, not rich supporters who act through Political Action Committees and super PACs.

Due to Pent's reluctance to discuss his specific policy ideas, it is difficult to evaluate which voting demographics would be most likely to support and oppose him.
 
 
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2016 



Businessman and former Governor of Massachusetts
Born: July 31st, 1945  (age 71)


William Floyd Weld is a man with a long and storied heritage. An ancestor was a Sheriff of London in the 14th century, three more were among the Pilgrims on board the Mayflower during its voyage to the New World, one was a founding donor of Harvard, another signed the Declaration of Independence, one more fought valorously in the Civil War – we could literally fill an entire page with the exploits of the Welds. If New England had a royal family, then the Welds must be sitting pretty close to the throne. In fact, the clan is one of the most influential among the Boston Brahmin.

It would’ve been so easy for Gov. Weld to simply coast along on his family name and wealth. But Gov. Weld was a man of principles, and for better or worse, he was also a political maverick. He was probably born a card-carrying Republican, but he never quite fit in with the party.

A couple of years after graduating from Harvard Law School (where else?) with a law degree in 1970, he served as a counsel with the House Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C. in preparation for impeachment proceeding against his own party leader, President Richard Nixon.

He returned to Massachusetts after that, and was very quickly promoted to District Attorney. He went on a rampage against corruption in the city, and even took down the Mayor of Boston. He was also a scourge of the banking industry. Gov. Weld’s record of 109 convictions out of 111 cases might have been a record of sorts - if only someone was keeping score.

The Reagan administration took notice of the hotshot lawyer, and President Ronald Reagan appointed him to head the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. For two years, Gov. Weld supervised all federal government investigations and prosecutions, in an out of the country. But he abruptly resigned in March 1988, and a few months later, testified in Congress against his boss, U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, who was facing corruption charges.

Less than two years later, Weld ran for Governor of Massachusetts. The state GOP was slightly uncomfortable with the pro-marijuana decriminalization, pro-LGBT and pro-choice upstart (there were even reports that he was a member of the ACLU), but his socially liberal views proved popular with the Democratic base – so they threw their support behind him. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Gov. Weld remarked "On crime issues, I'm Attila the Hun […] There's no room to my right." It certainly helped that his competitor, John R. Silber, president of Boston University, infuriated his base with offensive comments about women and the LGBT community.

It wasn’t really a surprise when Weld won the election and became the first Republican Governor of Massachusetts in 25 years. Four years later, Gov. Weld won reelection by securing an incredible 71% of the vote – almost unheard of in modern top-level politics – especially in a state where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by four to one.

His new found confidence even saw him trying to remove the pro-life stance from the Republican platform during the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego. He failed, and his star dimmed a little. In 1996, Gov. Weld ran against heavyweight John Kerry for a seat in the U.S Senate, but that proved to be a bridge just a little too far.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Gov. Weld as U.S Ambassador to Mexico. But there were strong resistance from the Senate against his appointment. There were loud rumors that former Attorney General Ed Meese had a hand in it. Regardless, Gov. Weld didn’t even receive a hearing.

Gov. Weld then disappeared from the limelight, and aside from a failed run for Governor of New York in 2005, he only reappeared briefly in 2008 to endorse the then-Senator Barack Obama for president.

But he’s back now, as the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice-president no less, and one suspects that this has always been the party of his heart.
 
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