Rocky Anderson, co-founder and presidential candidate of the newly formed Justice Party, TV appearances

Rocky Anderson is the former mayor of Salt Lake City.  In August, he denounced and left the Democratic Party.  Earlier this month he announced the formation of a new party, the Justice Party, the nomination of which he’ll be running for.  The party is starting its organizing by recruiting interested volunteers online and attempting to register about 103,000 voters in California by the ballot access deadline of January 2.  Below are several television appearances he has made in the past week.  From top to bottom, they are The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur on Current TV, The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT, The Alyona Show on RT, Democracy Now!, a morning show on CNN, and on MSNBC.

And, although it wasn’t on TV, the following is an appeal from Rocky Anderson regarding the Justice Party’s current effort in California to get on the ballot for 2012 by registering about 103,000 “Justice Party” voters:

34 thoughts on “Rocky Anderson, co-founder and presidential candidate of the newly formed Justice Party, TV appearances

  1. Ross Levin Post author

    They’re billing themselves as non-left/non-right. I’m inclined to agree with them and I’m inclined to think that left and right are just kind of made up and used to reinforce the two party system in this country, so I went with non-left/non-right.

  2. Tom Blanton

    They’re billing themselves as non-left/non-right.

    Their website’s title banner features the image of Lincoln. That is pretty scary.

    Their agenda matches the general progressive agenda, so it would seem they are unlikely to receive much support from conservatives or libertarians. It would appear that they favor very big and very powerful government run by non-corrupt and enlightened individuals. Like Lincoln?

  3. Wayne Root

    I have owed a second home in Park City, Utah for many years. So I am familiar with Rocky Anderson, the former ultra-progresssive mayor of Salt Lake.

    “Non-left/non-right” is a total misnomer. Rocky Anderson is an ultra-left progressive politician. He supports H-U-G-E government and a gigantic entitlement system…and of course huge taxes to pay for it all.

    I’m making an ediucated guess that the reason he left the Democratic Party is because they were not for big enough government for him. LOL

    They should call it “the left of left party.” I guarantee you that they are misleading voters with their catch-phrase hinting at how moderate and non-partisan they are.

  4. Green Party Invite to Rocky

    Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate, has said the Greens have a “friendly, collaborative, intelligent” working relationship over the “short, and long term” with Rocky.

    Rocky and the 30 friends and family who came to their new groups party launch have little experience about ballot access outside the two larger parties.

    Greens welcome their optimism and energy.

    Greens wish Rocky well, and hope his group will work together to get on the ballot in states where Greens do not have ballot access.

    With the Green Party already having won ballot access in most of the U.S. that is the most practical, and likely path for Rocky to be on the ballot.

    An alliance with Dr. Jill Stein, and the Green Party makes sense for Rocky.

    That RT-TV, Current-TV, MSNBC-TV had Rocky on is a good thing.

    It would be smart for them to have Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party on as well. Dr. Stein and Greens are guaranteed to be on the ballot in most of the United states.

  5. Green Party Voter

    The Green Party – with a significant history of well known conservatives – started with founder Petra Kelly’s phrase, “Not Left, Not Right, But out in Front”.

  6. Rob Banks

    @5 According to Ballot Access News the Greens are now on the ballot in 16 US states.

    @6 Reminds me of MSNBC claiming to “lean forward.”

  7. Ross

    “The general progressive agenda?” What would that be? I think his presidential campaign platform is much closer to Occupy Wall St. And if we’re being honest here (and not just using broad, vindictive generalizations to be spiteful against anything that isn’t our specific brand of libertarianism), that is not so much a “progressive” agenda (which would be very tied to Democrats these days), but a populist agenda.

    The major non/left-right factor of Rocky’s campaign is the anti-corruption aspect of it, again similar to OWS. It’s the reason why things like OWS and Ron Paul’s campaign garner cross-partisan support, because they show a degree of honesty and integrity and support for anti-corruption measures that confronts the established powers in this country in a way that people recognize as meaningful.

    Wayne, there’s no need to make an “educated guess” on this (and if you really think that having a house in a resort town near the city Rocky governed truly informs you on who he is as a person and politician, that’s absurd). Here is what Anderson said in August:

    “How dare you send an email with the subject line ‘Standing strong,'” he wrote. “You didn’t do it on Iraq; you didn’t do it on torture; you didn’t do it on signing statements; you haven’t done it on Afghanistan; you haven’t done it on defense spending; you haven’t done it on real health care reform; you haven’t done it on energy policy and the climate crisis; you haven’t done it on the evisceration of our system of checks and balances through the invocation of the state secrets doctrine; and you haven’t done it on the debt ceiling fiasco”…

    …”The Constitution has been eviscerated while Democrats have stood by with nary a whimper,” he wrote. “It is a gutless, unprincipled party, bought and paid for by the same interests that buy and pay for the Republican Party.”

    Tom, I think that one of the key differences, if I understand them correctly, between the Justice Party and individual activists within the major parties is that the Justice Party recognizes the need for systematic change. Anderson, for instance, has been using the example of the Arab Spring for how a grassroots third party could unexpectedly win the presidency.

  8. Ross

    *a populist agenda, if we even feel the need to apply these loaded terms to these things that we can much better understand without those terms.

  9. Common Tater

    Mind you, I generally agree with the quote, although I’m quite sure that on health care reform, energy policy and the debt ceiling he intends big government solutions that I would not agree with.

    His objection to the Democrats is that they are too conservative or centrist for him.

  10. Ross

    No, his objection to the Democrats is that they are corrupt and corrupt for the same reasons as Republicans. I can’t disagree that his positions on health care and a few other issues are typically left-wing (again, that actually means close to nothing). But the overarching theme of his presidential run is entirely non-left/right. Just as Ron Paul has several large issues, like the drug war and being antiwar and being anticorruption in government, that are not left or right or whatever, so does Rocky Anderson (money in politics being the biggest one, which is connected to all other issues).

    Not to mention, there are many, many people out there who don’t care whether he’s left, right, center, whatever…they want to see that he has integrity and cares about people rather than his own power and the power/money of corporate donors. And that is why the campaign can be seen as transcending the shallow left/right spectrum.

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  12. Michael Cavlan RN

    Rock On Rocky

    He is my guy

    Michael Cavlan
    Candidate US Senate 2012
    Minnesota Open Progressives

  13. Curt Boyd

    Anyone know how they are doing in California, as far as getting voter registrations to get on the ballot?

  14. Humongous Fungus

    Money in politics is a left issue, something progressives are generally against.

    The quote @8 is about how Obama is not standing strong enough, IE on the left enough, against the Republicans on behalf of the progressive agenda.

    None of the beefs with Obama were about him being too far left on anything.

    It is true that some progressives still support Obama. However, that is mainly because they see him as the lesser evil.

    As for populists, there are left populists like Nader and right populists like Buchanan and George Wallace at the time he ran for president. Clearly Anderson is like Nader, nothing like Buchanan or Wallace circa 1968.

  15. Humongous Fungus

    Anyone know how they are doing in California, as far as getting voter registrations to get on the ballot?

    I doubt that they are anywhere close, I think I would have heard of people working on it.

  16. Ross

    Humongous Fungus – part of the problem is that you’re viewing this entirely as whether he’s on the left or right or whether Obama is “too far left” or whether his positions are “leftist” (which has an entirely different meaning than what you seem to be implying).

    If only “leftists” are concerned with money in politics, why were there so many Ron Paul people at Occupy Wall Street? Why were there so many people who refused to be described by “left” or “right?” It’s because left and right are outdated terms that don’t really make sense, and are just used to reinforce that there are two choices – left for Democrats and right for Republicans, which isn’t even true if you do believe in left vs right.

    The Justice Party is one in a long line of populist political efforts that deals with issues much more transcendent than the few wedge issues which left/right somewhat accurately (while still distorting reality) describes. That is both inevitable, given their focus on such issues, and deliberate on the part of the Justice Party, I think.

  17. Deran

    This neither Right nor left rubric seems another sign of US political ignorance.

    Anderson’s campaign is progressive populaist at elast. And that’s pretty left, you would never catch the “tea party” worrying abt social justice or corruption.

    The Justice Party is not another Reform Party or Americans Elect. It is solidly Left of Center. And with good reason. The Justice Party seems very influenced by the concerns of Occupy Wall Street.

    Mr. Root is correct (for once) in that OWS and the Justice Party are not interested in the “gimme gimme gimme”, legalized theft of working peoples labor Mr. Root champions.

    All that said, I don’t see the Justice Party creating a new party in California, and I don’t see the P&FP nominating him. Anderson really needed to get this project rolling last summer. But I wish him luch, and hope he will be on WA State ballot so I can vote for him.

  18. Michael Cavlan RN

    Wayne Root is angry. Because there is a story here that is not about Wayne Root. This is pretty obvious mind you. Not to mention irrelevant.

    I have heard people talk about the Rocky Anderson campaign and the Justice Party as very similar to gaining stock in McDonald’s when Ray Kroc had only one store.


    Can ya hear the music for the movie in the background commercial? I can.


  19. Bane Woot

    Root has a vacation home? I thought he was so busy working to get himself in the 1% that he hasn’t even had time to play a single round of golf in the last decade!

    I wish I was as awesome as Root…

  20. Jeremy C. Young

    Wayne Root @4 is right on this one. I don’t have a problem with Anderson trying to appeal to the widest possible spectrum of voters, but he is clearly a big-government leftist (like me), and any assertions to the contrary are silly.

  21. Rob Banks

    “leftist” (which has an entirely different meaning than what you seem to be implying

    How do you define it? What in your opinion is a leftist party, what makes a party a leftist party or a non-left/right party?

    If only “leftists” are concerned with money in politics, why were there so many Ron Paul people at Occupy Wall Street?

    Ron Paul supporters oppose Wall Street and bankster bailouts and the federal reserve manipulation of the money supply. Most Ron Paul supporters and Ron Paul himself oppose government financing of campaigns. We tend to believe that money is in politics because politics is in money. Our solution is to get the politicians out of our business, our money and our economy. We share other goals with OWS such as bringing the troops home and ending the torture/surveillance state and the prison-police-industrial and military-industrial complex.

    While we share the left’s opposition to a corporatist-government crony regime, our solution is a truly free market, not an enlarged social democratic welfare state.

    Why were there so many people who refused to be described by “left” or “right?”

    For some people, it is because we are really not left or right. Some people are moderates, some are libertarian (far left on some issues and far right on some others in today’s US political terms), some are authoritarians.

    The left in the US today typically means favoring smaller government vis a vis the right on foreign policy and social issues, and bigger government social services. That sounds like Anderson to me, and both the leftists (Jeremy and Deran) and libertarians (Root, Paulie, etc) who have commented here seem to agree, other than you.

    left and right are outdated terms that don’t really make sense, and are just used to reinforce that there are two choices – left for Democrats and right for Republicans, which isn’t even true if you do believe in left vs right.

    I would agree that Democrats don’t really represent the aspirations of the left and that Republicans don’t really represent the aspirations of the right once they win office; they only use them to win elections.

    It seems quite clear that Anderson is unhappy with Obama for not standing firm for the issues of the left which he used to win election. I don’t see any issues thus far where Anderson disagrees with the leftist position. If he had a mix of leftist and rightist issues I think it would be more accurate to say he is non-left/right.

  22. Green Party Voter

    Thanks to all for discussion. Interesting reading.

    Rocky would still be more effective in the Green Party because of ballot access, and the strong message.

    It will be a painful message for Rocky and Michael.

    It’s damn near impossible to get on all those state ballot lines without millions of dollars.

    The Green Party has an amazing record of success…

    Well, it will be what it will be. The Greens can only invite and encourage Rocky to join and work together. Ultimately it is he, and his friends that will make the call.

    That is as is should be.

    As for me, count me today, tomorrow, and on as a Green Party Voter.

  23. Tom Blanton

    I’m not seeing any new ideas from Rocky Anderson. He seems to be stuck in the politics of the past. I don’t think he gets it that a lot of the OWS people aren’t looking for government solutions. A great many lean anarchist and are more interested in bottom-up decentralized systems as opposed to centralized top-down governance.

    Rocky seems to favor the state socialism of Bismark from the 19th century. Yawn.

    Perhaps one day progressives will learn the value of freedom, that there’s no free lunch, regulatory capture, and the old maxim that power corrupts and attracts the corrupt. The total lack of imagination prevents all alternative community solutions to providing healthcare or safety-nets from being tried in favor of totalitarian-style big government solutions which the corrupt elite always take over – it draws them like flies on shit.

    Kids, the system is broken. Electing someone who has a nice smile and promises to be good ain’t gonna change much for the long term. More regs and programs added to the existing mess is no solution.

  24. Lean Green Party

    The Green Party was founded on “decentralization” and it is one of the Greens “key values”.

    Ballot Access News is reporting tonight that Rocky and friends have not filed a statement of intent, i.e. they have given up on trying to gain ballot access in Texas.

    The silver lining there is that Rocky and friends may have understood the need to form a Green Party alliance, just to get on the ballot.

    If they realize that now, they will save a lot of time, money and energy. Working with the Greens is the practical solution.

  25. Catholic Trotskyist

    Yes, I agree with Green Party Conservative on this. Rocky does need to form a Green Party alliance. Otherwise the votes will be split. 99% of the population doesn’t care about Michael Kavlan’s factional fighting. They can’t tell the difference between the Green Party’s ideas and the Justice Party’s ideas. Now as for me I’m voting for Barack Obama still, because anything is better than getting a Republican into office. And there is still a high likelihood that Obama will turn in a more socialist and pro-life direction in his second term. But I could be persuaded to change my mind if Anderson undertakes a PLAS or National Unity team type campaign. I think that Ron Paul or Phil Davison

  26. Catholic Trotskyist

    I think that Ron Paul or Phil Davison would be good running mates for Rocky. As pro-life but pro-freedom conservatives, they would be good representatives for the Green Party in possible alliance with the Catholic Trotskyist Party. Ron Paul has a good following already, as does Davison to some extent, with his dramatic and dynamic speaking abilities. Green Party Conservative, what do you think about this?

  27. Catholic Trotskyist

    Tom, progressives don’t trust communities or businesses to do the right thing. Or churches. They believe that the government needs to take care of the less fortunate. Corrupt elites are the price to pay for that and it is a price worth paying.

  28. Common Tater

    Ballot Access News is reporting tonight that Rocky and friends have not filed a statement of intent, i.e. they have given up on trying to gain ballot access in Texas.

    There’s still time.

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