Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, April 18

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

The Mechanics
« Anthony Abbate Civil Trial, Day 2: Code of Silence -- Fact or Fiction? Anthony Abbate Civil Trial, Day 4 Part 1: That's What She Said ...Maybe »

Election 2012 Wed Oct 24 2012

Third Party Candidates Debate in Chicago

The day after the final debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, four third party candidates made their case for why they should be the next president of the United States at the Hilton Hotel here in Chicago.

Jill Stein of the Green Party, Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party answered questions put to them by moderator Larry King that were submitted via social media.

Hosted by the nonprofit Free & Equal, the debate was not picked up by any major U.S. networks, but was shown through a live stream as well as on Al-Jazeera and the Russian Times.

Issues discussed included electoral reform, climate change and civil liberties -- many topics never mentioned during the four preceding presidential and vice presidential debates.

The candidates universally decried the impact of the two-party system and the influence of large amounts of money paid by Political Action Committees (PACs) during elections in the United States.

"Big Money that filters through the PACs is the biggest hindrance in my opinion to free and open elections, and freedom and democracy in this country," said Virgil Goode.

They also largely agreed on ending the war in Afghanistan, reducing military spending, repealing the PATRIOT Act and similar legislation, marriage equality for gays and lesbians. When it came to the War on Drugs, three of the four candidates endorsed legalizing marijuana.

"I have drank alcohol, I have smoked marijuana," said Gary Johnson. "In no category is marijuana more dangerous than alcohol, and yet we are arresting 1.8 million people a year on drug-related crimes," Johnson said.

After being arrested for trying to participate in the presidential debate at Hofstra University on October 16, physician and Green Party nominee Jill Stein used this debate to call for a "Green New Deal," Medicare for all, and free college education.

"Instead of bailing out Wall Street banks again, let's bail out the students," she said.

Rocky Anderson, Justice Party nominee and former mayor of Salt Lake City, endorsed healthcare for all, an equal rights amendment to the Constitution, and addressing climate change. He also cautioned against legislation like the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which he said gives the president the power to indefinitely detain people without trial.

"We are on the road towards totalitarianism and that is not an exaggeration," he said.

Conservative former U.S. House member and Constitution party nominee Virgil Goode kept his answers short and to the point, focusing on balancing the U.S. budget, ending super PACs, and imposing term limits. He also called for a moratorium on green cards until U.S. unemployment is below 5 percent.

"It makes no sense to bring in so many foreign workers when we need jobs for American citizens first," Goode said.

Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico and Libertarian Party nominee, called for abolishing the IRS, repealing the PATRIOT Act and balancing the budget, including a 43 percent reduction in military spending, which he says would take it back to 2003 spending levels.

"If we don't do this now we're going to find ourselves in a monetary collapse," he said.

While the odds of these candidates winning is slim-to-none, and some may even be seen as "spoilers" in what is sure to be a tight presidential race, they are nevertheless determined to earn the support of voters.

"Wasting your vote is voting for someone you don't believe in," said Gary Johnson.

For a more complete breakdown of the debate, check out the Storify below.

GB store

Patti Jo Edwards / October 24, 2012 12:48 PM

Gary Johnson may win in a landslide if we vote our principles and VOTE! Spread the word. Don't waste your votes on Obama or Romney unless you honestly believe they represent the best interests on our country. I am investing my vote by casting it for Gary Johnson.

GB store


Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project
GB store

About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Mike Ewing,
Mechanics staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15