August 13, 2012; Source: Mother Jones

Mother Jones (or MoJo, for short) provided a great service with this article on 19 “wacky” candidates for president. According to the criteria of the Federal Election Commission, to one for president, one needs to receive contributions or make expenditures of more than $5,000. That’s not a tough threshold to meet, so MoJo unearths not only the presidential candidacies of comedienne Roseanne Barr and anti-abortion activist Randall Terry (running as a Democrat), but also the campaign of Florida-based pastor Terry Jones, who threatened to burn the Koran and prompted violent demonstrations against American troops in Afghanistan.

Mother Jones also highlights Lester Byerly, a Tea Party candidate who advocates drinking hydrogen peroxide to cure cancers, colds and viruses, a less costly alternative to President Obama’s national health care reform. Candidate Warren Ashe, one of the more scientifically talented candidates, claims to have developed methods for time travel extending up to 500 years into the future—while he was working for the Reagan administration. Roller derby referee Dutch Van Raam is carrying the banner of the Free Soil Party (whose last successful presidential candidate was Martin Van Buren). While Dutch only shares one small part of the name of his favorite presidential candidate, one of today’s nominees carries a full presidential moniker; Rutherford B. Hayes pledges to rid Washington of communists and people with big egos, something he has probably overcome as CFO of the Miss Liberty America pageant, in which women compete in multiple categories of beauty and gun marksmanship (the pageant slogan is, “Saving America, one woman at a time”).

The candidate of the Prohibitionist Party, Jack Fellure, has a platform based on the King James Bible and promises to defeat the emerging New World Order being promoted by “atheists, Marxists, liberals, queers, liars, draft dodgers, flag burners, dope addicts, sex perverts, and anti-Christians.” Rounding the field out are: candidate Laurie Roth, who is still pushing the birther issue about President Obama; Andy Martin, supposedly the originator of the notion that Obama is a “secret Muslim;” and Pastor Wiley Drake, who has literally prayed for Obama to die. Then there’s Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey, a wrestler and human blood drinker who runs as a Republican. Ah, democracy.

Sticking Republican or Democrat after your name is pretty easy, but we’re interested in the sort of third party candidates who could represent a legitimate alternative to the two major party candidates, especially given the search for such a candidate by a group such as Americans Elect.

Do any NPQ Newswire readers have any knowledge of the various candidates of the Greens, the Socialists, and the numerous filers who are listed as Libertarians on the FEC list? We do note that the official presidential candidate of the Green Party this year is a nonprofit activist, Cheri Honkala. The Philadelphian and anti-poverty activist is the founder of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and is also the founder and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. No matter what one might think of the Greens, which took a hit in some minds after Ralph Nader’s impact on the electoral prospects of former Vice President Al Gore, Honkala is a legitimate and respected nonprofit activist. Is there nonprofit DNA flowing in the bloodstreams of other third party candidacies on the FEC list?—Rick Cohen