Mike Gravel Endorses Green Party Candidate; Then He Becomes a Libertarian?

OK, so on March 11th, 2008, Mike Gravel (D, turned Libertarian?-AK) issued a statement endorsing Jesse Johnson (Green Party-WV).  Here’s a press release from Johnson’s campaign:

National Statesman and International Hero Senator Mike Gravel Supports Jesse Johnson’s Bid for President

In what has to be the most unprecedented cross party statement of support Democratic Party Candidate for President Mike Gravel announced that he has decided to support the campaign of Green Party Candidate Jesse Johnson running for the nomination on the Green Party Ticket.

After a meeting between the two in Washington DC Friday, Gravel stated, “My political party long ago walked away from taking the necessary steps that will safe guard our nation’s and our children’s futures. I worked dedicatedly throughout my career as a U.S. Senator to protect the precious resources our country had within it’s boundaries as well as to mitigate the negative impact our businesses and individuals were having on the planet. I have watched the ever important job of stewarding these gifts vanish from the political landscape and I hold the Democratic Party leadership responsible for giving up that fight.”

Why did Gravel choose Johnson from among the other candidates vying for the nomination in all the campaigns of all available political parties? Gravel explains, “I’m supporting Jesse because he began his political career with the determination that the environmental plundering must stop. He placed every other interest on hold to run for office, in his home state and now nationally, to challenge the corporations that destroy our national resources and then harvest from this practice a toxic energy source; coal. The mountain top mining practices devastate the landscape by blowing apart mountains and then carbon belching plants burn the coal creating a form of energy that serves as one of the major contributors for global climate change.”

Gravel continues, “We must have a voice in the political realm speaking earnestly and intelligently about all of our environmental needs. Johnson and the Green Party have that environmental credibility that we Democrats have lost.”

Senator Gravel intends to travel and campaign with Jesse Johnson as their schedule allows.

Jesse Johnson, former chair of the West Virginia Mountain Party and two time candidate for statewide office, said that this sort of cross party support “was just the kind of non-traditional, selfless act that we have come to know Senator Mike Gravel to make. When he read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional record, or filibustered to end the draft he had his eye – at all times – on the big picture and the needs of others. I am not surprised that a true patriot and advocate of the citizen as leader of our country would take such an unprecedented and bold stand. And I am honored and humbled that he has selected my campaign and the Green Party as his allies in this very important race to save our environment from the actions of humans.”

Gravel closed by saying, “We’ve seen the havoc the two parties can wreak, on a global scale, by locking out the voices of reason – by eliminating the third party voices. I want to amplify those voices to save our country from our own shortsighted and greedy actions. If we want to end the war in Iraq, provide health care to all citizens, educate our young people, we’re going to have to start not only working together with these alternate parties: but literally working to support them. That’s why I’m supporting Jesse Johnson’s campaign for President.”

So, he did that while he was STILL running for President.  Think that’s strange?

Just hours ago, Third Party Watch reported that Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory confirmed that Mike Gravel has joined the Libertarian Party.

Here is a press release from the Libertarian Party (http://www.lp.org/media/article_572.shtml):

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel joins Libertarian Party ranksBelieves Democrats are out of touch with American citizens
Washington, D.C. – Mike Gravel, a former Alaskan Senator and Democratic candidate for president, has joined the Libertarian Party.“I’m joining the Libertarian Party because it is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can’t be found in the two major parties that control the government and politics of America,” says Gravel. “My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy.”Gravel served in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1981. Most recently, Gravel was a Democratic presidential candidate, though forced out of national debates by Democratic Party leadership and the media. Gravel officially became a member of the Libertarian Party today.Gravel is the most recent former member of Congress to switch to the Libertarian Party. In 2006, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr joined the Libertarian Party.“It is a distinct honor to have another former member of Congress within the Libertarian Party,” says Barr. “Just as Senator Gravel believes Democrats have lost touch with the American public, I too concluded Republicans had lost their core principles, and could no longer associate myself with the GOP. While coming from opposite sides of the aisle, Senator Gravel and I definitely agree on the fundamental need for systemic change in our political system, and that the only way we have of effecting that change is by supporting and working in the Libertarian Party, which is the only political party in America that consistently works in word and deed to maximize individual liberty and minimize government power.”

“We’re honored to have a former member of the United States Senate join our ranks,” says Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory. “Senator Gravel has a sincere dedication to empowering the American people and eliminating the corrupting influence of the two major parties. His switch from the Democratic Party, as well as former Congressman Barr’s abandonment of the GOP, shows that the Libertarian Party is truly a big tent organization moving firmly in the direction of Liberty.”

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting http://www.lp.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 333-0008 during normal business hours, or at (202) 731-0002 during any other time.

This has got to be one of the WEIRDEST campaigns I’ve ever seen: start off as a Democrat, endorse a Green (while still remaining a Democrat, and become a Libertarian – all while running for President.

This could make things interesting for the Democrats – if they have some ultraliberals leaving for the Green Party and moderates leaving for the Libertarian Party, it could cost them votes that they already desperately need.

Then again, Ron Paul could run as a Libertarian some say (although he’s confirmed that he won’t), which would pretty much guarantee a Democratic victory.

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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