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Wikinews Interviews Three Additional Third Party Vice Presidential Candidates

As part of the July 2020 edition of the Wikinews feature on the 2020 presidential election published yesterday, I conducted three short interviews with three vice presidential candidates.  Those candidates were teacher Amar Patel of the American Solidarity Party, filmmaker John de Graaf of the Bread and Roses Party, engineer Eric Bodenstab of the Unity Party.

Amar Patel

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why did you agree to be the running mate of Brian Carroll? How do you complement him on the ticket?

Patel: I was already serving the second and final year of my term on the National Committee and was the party chair when Brian asked me to run with him. I would have essentially done the same thing I did until the end of June whether I was running for office or not. This basically continued my service as a party leader through November and I welcomed the opportunity to have a heightened awareness to our message for a few more months. I complement Brian by being the quick take provider on Twitter while he is long form prose producer on Facebook.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What duties and responsibilities come with being the vice presidential nominee of the Solidarity Party?

Patel: Technically there are no official duties or responsibilities besides filling in and signing the required paperwork to get on various ballots or become write-in candidates. I have taken on the responsibility of creating memes and videos for us to promote the party message but also the short term campaign message.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In what states is the Carroll/Patel ticket expected to be on the ballot? Why should voters in those states choose Carroll/Patel over other tickets?

Patel: We will be on the ballot in my home state of Illinois, Vermont, Wisconsin, Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas, Rhode Island, Washington, Mississippi, and perhaps a few others.
There is no other campaign that clearly states that government will necessarily continue to grow as long as #FamilyFriendsFaith erode. Those institutions teach us self control and responsibility for others. If you primarily concern yourself with selfishness, the state has to provide the constraints that you do not. If you believe rights and responsibilities must be balanced vote Carroll/Patel 2020.

John de Graaf

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhy did you decide to run as the vice presidential nominee of the Bread and Roses Party? How do you complement Jerome Segal on the ticket?

de Graaf: I was asked by Jerome to be his Bread and Roses Party running mate and considered it an honor as I have been advocating for its principles for half a century. We believe that quality of life is more important than quantity of money or goods, and that our national priorities of economic growth, worship of the stock market and constant tax cutting to fuel mindless consumption both threaten the life systems of the planet and ignore the importance of “the roses” in our lives — such things as nature, natural beauty and smart human design, the arts, social connection, good health, and especially enough leisure time to actually enjoy the fruits of our prodigious labors.
We come out of the “voluntary simplicity” movement of resistance to consumerism but understand that living simply and ecologically is not solely a personal choice. We need policies that make it easier for people to earn a modest but secure income without working themselves to death or producing for the sake of production rather than the satisfactions that meaningful work, human connections and a beautiful environment can bring us.
Jerome has also been a longtime advocate of Middle East peace and justice for Palestinians with a two-state solution in Israel. We support that, and a massive reduction in nuclear weapons and arms buildups in the interest of world peace. Our priorities as a country are simply out of whack and we want to make that point and offer a different vision of the good life.
I complement Jerome in that while he is an academic and a scholar I am a filmmaker and communicator who has spent forty years making documentaries for PBS about quality of life issues.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat duties and responsibilities do you have as the vice presidential nominee of the Bread and Roses Party?

de Graaf: At this point, only to help get the word out as we are under no illusions of winning. Our goal is educational and we hope that our key concepts — guaranteed jobs or income that allow for a modest but secure life and a Beauty New Deal (to complement the Green New Deal which we also support), will be picked up by candidates and leaders in the major parties. Of course, we hardly expect the GOP to take us seriously but we know many Democrats share our values and will be inspired by our proposals.
We’d love to see a Bread and Roses caucus in the Democratic Party — we agree with its calls for greater equality, climate action, racial justice, compassion and kindness. We also believe it should pay attention to the “roses” and should work hard to reduce international tensions. We will continue to campaign for these ideas both as a third party and within the Democratic Party.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIn what states should voters expect to see the Segal/de Graaf ticket on the ballot? Why should voters choose the Segal/de Graaf ticket over other tickets on the ballot?

de Graaf: Covid-19 has made it very difficult to collect the signatures to get on the ballot in many states and you will only see us on the ballot this year in Maryland, where Jerome lives, and Vermont. We are not seeking to be spoilers and had no intention of running in any state where we might in any way cause the defeat of Joe Biden as we believe the most important thing right now is to end the monstrosity of the Trump presidency.
We see Vermont and Maryland as among the bluest states in the union, where it is also possible that some on the Left will sit the election out, knowing that a Biden victory is assured in their state. Instead, we hope they will come out and vote for us and then for other progressives further down the ticket. If we get enough votes to be noticed we hope we can create a new dialogue about the importance of the roses in political thinking.
In other safe Blue States or deeply Red ones, voters can write us in to send a message about quality of life. As we emerge from Covid-19, we do not want to return to the old normal of a grossly unequal, overworked America, obsessed with materialistic values at the expense of our environment, health and happiness. I hope people who read this will check out our webpage and our Facebook page.

Eric Bodenstab

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhy did you join Bill Hammons on the Unity Party’s 2020 presidential ticket? How do you complement him on the ticket?

Bodenstab: I joined Mr. Hammons on the ballot because it was time to expand the party nationally. We had just appeared on the ballot together in 2018, and by December it was clear that we were going to field a presidential candidate. That person was myself. Bill, for all his effort since 2004, probably needed to have someone else drive. In addition, there was plenty to do at the state level here in Colorado. When Covid hit, I lost my job and it made sense to pass the baton back.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngWhat duties and responsibilities come with being the vice presidential nominee of the Unity Party?

Bodenstab: Our duties are very widespread. From fundraising to finding candidates to talking with voters — we are candidates and field coordinators at the same time. I was just in Louisiana last weekend personally seeking 8 electors for our presidential ballot. Despite having in-laws in that state, we didn’t have much of a network there, so Bill and I both were building it at the grassroots level.
After we engaged and enrolled 8 individuals, spread across the 6 districts, Bill headed back to Tennessee to finish our ballot access there. Our time in Louisiana took us to Eunice, a small town of no more than 10,000. After finding our elector there (in CD 4), we met a young woman who was helping us find our last elector in Baton Rouge. In passing, I let it be known that I was in the engineering field. She was clearly more excited by that, than us being presidential candidates. Such is the nature of our campaign, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. People should be excited by us being ordinary citizens rather than rich and powerful lawmakers.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.pngIn what states should voters expect to see the Hammons/Bodenstab ticket on the ballot? Why should these voters consider casting their vote for the Hammons/Bodenstab ticket over the other tickets on the ballot?

Bodenstab: As I have mentioned, we traveled to Louisiana and Tennessee this last month. We anticipate being on the ballot there, as well as in New Jersey (which is confirmed and reported, how you heard about us).
We have demonstrated that just a couple guys, with the peripheral help of several others, can take a big step personally on behalf of the party we founded some years ago. I don’t think any of the other candidates can boast that. Jo Jorgensen, from what I understand, has also worked tirelessly on ballot access for the Liberty party. But she cannot claim she founded a party. With all due respect, there is something incredibly special about that.

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