The following letter to NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), President Benjamin Todd Jealous, was released by the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign earlier today.
June 27, 2012
Mr. Benjamin Todd Jealous
4805 Mt. Hope Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215
Dear Mr. Jealous:
The NAACPs tradition of inviting presidential candidates to address your annual conventions every four years is a proud one and one that has come to be a key opportunity for candidates to outline their positions, their credentials, and their hopes regarding the issues of the day.
Your upcoming convention in Houston, TX, is no exception. However, as the Libertarian Party nominee for President, I would respectfully suggest that inviting only President Obama and Governor Romney to your upcoming convention leaves not only a significant voice, but also a significant portion of the electorate unrepresented in terms of 2012 election choices.
I am the only third party candidate likely to be on the ballot in all 50 states along with President Obama and Governor Romney. Our campaign has already demonstrated sufficiently broad support to qualify for federal election matching funds. And, voters who identify themselves as neither Democrats nor Republicans represent fully one-third of American voters.
Most importantly, I will bring to the convention dialogue a differing point of view from the other candidates on several issues of importance to NAACP members and the credibility of having served two successful terms as governor of one of the nations four majority-minority states.
I am the only candidate who has pledged to bring our troops home from Afghanistan immediately, and who opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. While President Obama has recently expressed support for gay marriage equality while deferring to the states, I am the only candidate who has unequivocally stated that marriage equality is a fundamental right that must not be infringed upon by government.
While the Democrat and Republican candidates support continuing the failed War on Drugs, I have long advocated the legalization of marijuana and the treatment of drug use as a health issue rather than as a crime. As the California NAACP and others in your organization have made clear, the consequences of current drug law and policies fall disproportionately upon minorities all across America. Does that issue not merit a balanced discussion at your convention?
Likewise, I am the only presidential candidate to publicly challenge New Yorks stop and frisk policy, which has been widely and appropriately criticized as inherently discriminatory to minorities. Unlike the other candidates, I advocate the repeal of the Patriot Act and other laws that are threatening the fundamental civil liberties of all Americans.
Based upon my positions on these and other issues, the ACLU has rated me the highest of all presidential candidates, including President Obama, on civil liberties.
If the NAACP is truly interested in presenting its membership and the nation an opportunity to better understand their options in the November election, it would seem that there is room on your program to hear from a successful two-term governor who will be on the ballot nation-wide, and who credibly offers real alternatives to the two major party candidates on a wide range of issues.
With voters who identify themselves as neither Republican nor Democrat constituting more than 30% of the electorate, with as many as 80% of voters expressing an interest in considering a third party candidate, and more than 60% of voters, according to a recent Rasmussen survey, believing that the system is stacked against third party candidates, the NAACP has an opportunity in Houston to demonstrate that this years election dialogue does not have to be limited to a two-party duopoly.
I would be honored to join you in Houston and to present to the NAACP a vision of an America in which freedom and opportunity are truly protected by our government, rather than diminished. I respectfully ask that you consider allowing me to participate.
Governor Gary Johnson
IPR readers who wish to support this request of Governor Johnson’s may do so, in part, by contacting the NAACP at:
The NAACP national convention will be held July 7-12 in Houston Texas.