Peace activist Cindy Sheehan, who recently announced her intention to run as the Peace and Freedom Party‘s nominee for governor of California in 2014, took some time to answer five questions from William Saturn of Saturn’s Repository, which were published on Wikinews.
William S. Saturn: Understanding that third party candidates do not often win, what do you hope to achieve by running for governor of California?
Cindy Sheehan: First of all, unfortunately third party candidates NEVER win for high level state or federal offices, and now since Prop 14 passed, it is even harder. Having said that, in 2008, I ran as an independent against Nancy Pelosi and I came in second. In California, I think I may have a good chance to advance to the general election and hopefully force the other candidate, (Brown, ?) to debate me and bring up the issues and solutions to more people.
WSSHow do you plan to spread your message throughout the state?
Sheehan: We already have many Californians who have volunteered to host the campaign with fundraisers and town hall meetings. I am going to ride my bike as much as possible to highlight the need to drastically cut our dependence on fossil fuels and to transition to clean, renewable, and sustainable forms of energy — also to highlight the need for cheap and comprehensive public transportation and infrastructure improvement.
WSSHow would you rate Jerry Brown’s performance as governor? What would you do differently than him?
Sheehan: Well, since I am challenging him, I would rate his performance as poor. He is in the pockets of so many special interests, like oil and privatized prisons, that he is not looking out for the interests of everyone in this state. I would hold dozens of town hall meetings to talk to the people of this state about their struggles and community-based solutions and work with the people to put their needs first and foremost. Instead of destroying education, I would put a revival of our public school system as one of the most urgent things we need to do.
WSSIf elected, how would you work with a legislature hostile to your agenda?
Sheehan: By getting the people involved in the process. It’s the only way we can do it.
WSS Which past California governor do you most admire?
Sheehan: I majored in US History at UCLA and was focusing on California history, so I admire someone who ran for governor, Upton Sinclair, more than anyone who actually was elected. Our EPIC campaign is modeled off of his. But if I had to pick one that was actually governor, I would say, populist-progressive Hiram Johnson. May I also say that it’s way past time that California elected a female?
Reality Watch: Would you be better suited as a Senator than a governor?
Cindy Sheehan: I now believe that for real change, we should focus on state and local elections.
Thane Eichenauer: Do you support secession of California from the United States?”
Sheehan: If it is the will of the people.
Thane Eichenauer: What California prison inmates do you believe are deserving of commutation or immediate pardon?
Sheehan: Everyone there on marijuana or other non-violent drug busts, or on 3rd strike sentences that were non-violent. Jerry Brown has raised the cost of keeping one inmate incarcerated five-fold to 60k/year while per-student spending is less than 9k per elementary student. Brown’s priorities do not match the priorities of the people of the state of California. Everyone there on marijuana or other non-violent drug busts, or on 3rd strike sentences that were non-violent. Jerry Brown has raised the cost of keeping one inmate incarcerated five-fold to 60k/year while per-student spending is less than 9k per elementary student. Brown’s priorities do not match the priorities of the people of the state of California.
NewFederalist: How do you plan to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis?
Sheehan: The fiscal crisis in California is dire and is tied with the global crisis of Capitalism. Corporate greed triumphs over human need and this paradigm can be shifted state-by-state; country-by-country. California has vast resources of wind, solar, geo-thermal, and hydro energy and tax breaks and other incentives for toxic oil companies need to stop so we can have a “green” economy, not a filthy dirty situation where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Raising taxes on the corporations and over 700,000 plus millionaire or above households in California would be a good start, but we need to take a hard look at Prop 13 and the damage that it did to the state. Corporations have been sucking this state dry and not giving much back, we need to democratize corporations and the economy.
I am also in agreement that California needs a state bank which has worked for state debt relief in two other states in the US.
Krzysztof Lesiak: Why did you chose to join the openly socialist PFP over the more sensible Greens?
Sheehan: Because I am openly socialist (you act like socialism should be hidden in a cave—capitalism hasn’t worked, how about trying democracy for once inherent in the system of socialism?) and I while I agree with the platform of the Green Party, the platform of the Peace and Freedom Party is more humane and comprehensive in scope.