Candidate Questionnaire for the 2016 GPUS Presidential Nomination – Elijah Manley

Outreach and Exploratory Candidate questionnaire for the 2016 GPUS presidential nomination

Submitted by Elijah Manley on 4/5/2016 to the the GPUS Presidential Campaign Support Committee

1. Are you interested in seeking the Green Party 2016 presidential nomination? Are you considering seeking the nomination, but have not yet made up your mind? What factors are you taking into consideration?

I am interested in seeking The Green Party’s Presidential Nomination. I understand that I am young, but it’s time for a change. I’ve decided that the only way to make change is running in the cleanest and most progressive political party there is. The Green Party, I enjoy, because it is uncensored to speaking the truth. I was told that I was too young to successfully file for the Presidency. Well I did it. I was told that the Socialist Party or no party will nominate me, I took a shot at it. Now I’m running for the Green Party’s nomination, and I hope to be your nominee. Let’s take back our country for all Americans, not just those that have reached a specific age.

2. What do you believe the goals should be of the 2016 GPUS presidential campaign? If you were the GPUS presidential nominees, how would your campaign work to achieve them? (Will your campaign succeed?)

The Green Party should focus a lot more on young people. Age discrimination and adultism exists in our society; young people are the least represented group in this country. It’s time to change that. The Green Party should support the lowering of the voting age to sixteen nationwide. This is very important to the youth rights community. Older age groups attempt so hard at making sure the young-progressive age group don’t participate. The Green Party should also focus on climate change, educational reform, and monetary reform.

 3. Please list five issue areas that you feel are most important and what would you do about them. (Who are you?)

Well of the course, the first is youth rights (or aka youth liberation). Young people are unrepresented in Washington, we’re told that we’re too young to do anything, and that we don’t need to participate in politics because we ‘lack maturity’. I want to change that by being the first ‘minor’ to be nominated by a political party for President of the United States. I want to change that by making my ineligible and unqualified friends run for every office in this country, and fight to lower the voting age. If you can work and be taxed at sixteen, you should be able to vote.

4. What parts of the GPUS platform do you feel most closely aligned with? What parts do you disagree with, if any? Are there parts you would improve upon and how? (Who are we?)

I align with everything on the platform; with that being said I don’t disagree with anything at all on the Green Party’s platform, although I ask that the national party follow The Green Party of California in endorsing youth rights and the lowering of the voting age.

4a. The GPUS platform contains specific planks that address how presidential elections are conducted and financed (  Do you support or oppose these planks and if you support them, how would you include them in your campaign, if at all?

       f. Abolish the Electoral College and provide for the direct national election of the president by Instant Runoff Voting. As a step in that direction, support National Popular Vote legislation which would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia), which would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes — that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538).

       g. Create a new publicly-funded People’s Commission on Presidential Debates, and open its presidential debates to all candidates who appear on at least as many ballots as would represent a majority of the Electoral College and who raise enough funds to otherwise qualify for general election public financing. Any candidate who refuses to participate in such debates would lose general election public financing for their candidacy. Amend federal law to remove the non-profit tax exemption status that allows corporations to fund the existing Commission on Presidential Debates and other such exclusive privately controlled debate entities.

      h. Amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to change the percentage of the presidential popular vote required for a new party’s candidate to receive first time General Election public funding from 5% in the previous General Election to 1%; and change the percentage of the presidential popular vote required for a new party to receive public presidential convention funding from 5% for its candidate in the previous general election to 1%.

I completely support these planks. On my campaign trail, I will use these to get at the duopoly-party machine. I’m not sure if I spelled duopoly right, but that’s the result of an failing edcation system. This country spends billions on elections, but nowhere near enough on starving children, and quality education. It’s time to change that. Change does not come with winning The White House, it comes when Americans rise up. We must demand a democratic society.

5. What in your background qualifies you to be a credible presidential candidate? What assets would you bring to your campaign in addition to those already existing within the Green Party? (What do you have to offer?)

I’ve worked on several campaigns, some of which I am not happy with. I also have a lot of political connections. My candidacy directly challenges the US Constitution, and Greens love challenges, so my candidacy will receive plenty of media attention. Credibility? I am proud to say that I happily represent the young people of this country. That’s credible enough right there. Their interests are mine, and majority of them [young people], believe that climate change is an important issue. Majority of young Americans believes that our country is engaging in deadly foreign policy.

6. Presidential campaigns are legally independent entities from the political party whose nomination they received. Yet most successful political campaigns meld candidate and party synergistically. If you were the GPUS nominee, how would you envision that working relationship? (How can we work together?)

Money corrupts campaigns. I will allow, if nominated, all funds collected by my campaign to be spent and used by The Green Party of the United States. My campaign’s focus should be the people. The party’s focus should be the logistics. But if the Green Party can offer an opportunity for young greens to volunteer, we will succeed.

6a. The Green Party both supports transparency in campaign finances and privacy rights for donors guaranteed under local, state and federal law.  Given that according to federal law, it is public information that all donors of $200 or more are listed on each presidential candidate’s campaign finance report, Given that such information can only be legally used for fundraising by a political party, if the list is donated to the party by the candidate as an in-kind donation; and given that candidates may donate such lists to political parties as in-kind contributions, without any limit as per the reported in-kind value of such a list; would you donate your list of all donors of $200 or more to the GPUS after the election, and if you planned on doing so, would you give your donors an opt-in/opt-out option to have their information shared with the Green Party after the donation to your campaign is made?

Of course. If the donors are okay with sharing their information with ‘third party groups’ then I will not hesitate giving the Party the lists.

7. Do you believe that an independent party like the Greens can succeed in the US? How would you define such success? How can it happen? (Will we succeed?)

The Green Party can succeed. There is no failing here. This country is constantly changing, and a lot can happen in time. ‘Success comes when we all work together’, [a quote from my Presidential Announcement]. The only way we can succeed is by working together to achieve. Campaigns can’t succeed, neither can parties. Success is when everyone, including the people put in the hard work, the dedication, and the commitment. The Green Party will succeed in 2016 with the power of the people. Succeeding isn’t winning The White House. It is leading a great Presidential Campaign that is not for profit. A campaign where people is put first, and profit doesn’t exist.

7a. How would you respond as a candidate to the accusations of ‘spoiler’ that are often leveled at Green candidates, especially for president (optional to answer this one)

Spolier? I would tell them this, and I will say it loud: We’re making a statement. The statement will be loud. Many of our supporters aren’t going to support any of the duopoly corporate candidates in the general election anyways, so ‘what difference does it make?’ No difference. Whether or not I actually pull enough votes from a candidate and ‘spoil’ the election, that statement is going to be made.

8. There is some interest within the Green Party of having the party’s nominee run together with a Green Cabinet, that would feature prospective cabinet members and federal agency heads that would serve in your government, should you be elected president. Such an approach could demonstrate what a Green government might be like and would do so during the election, promoting transparency. It could expand the number of people campaigning, with Cabinet members on the road and in the press in addition to the nominees. What do you think of this approach? Who might hold positions in a Green Cabinet? How would you see your candidacy interacting with those individuals during the campaign? (How might we connect the dots?)

I think that is a good idea. I already have a shadow cabinet, but I would take any ideas from greens. The cabinet would align with green views, and standard PRO-Youth views. I will not allow anyone on my cabinet that disagrees with the fundamental principles of youth equality, and youth voice. I must stay true and consistent with my campaign promises.

9. Can we publish your reply on the GPUS website in a public section reserved for such responses?

Surely. Yes. I think that all greens should afford the opportunity to see where I stand.