Alan Augustson

Learning about Alan Augustson turned out to be much less pedestrian than I had expected. I anticipated that I owuld find a candidate like so many other unknowns. I found instead a person who has some very good ideas that are not being shared as widely as they should. I found myself debating about whether he should be endorsed. In the end I realized that, while his ideas deserve a wider audience because our political discussion of issues is often too narrow to be useful, he would not be able to lead the country.

We need a broader discussion that would come from some more obscure candidates getting more public attention, so this is almost an endorsement, but we also need a President who can get things done, and the current political climate would not allow Alan to do that even if he were elected.

Update 7/3/2007: Alan has decided to abandon his presidential bid in favor of running for the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.

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Comments

2 Responses to Alan Augustson

  1. Dear Mr. Miller:

    Thank you very much for the almost-endorsement; I’ll take it at this point.

    On the subject of whether I would be able to get things done: I’ve given a lot of attention to that very valid point. The last thing I want is to treat America to another Carter Administration.

    First, an amazing number of the injustices of the Bush Administration can be undone with the stroke of a pen, being not legislation but Executive Orders, changes to Agency-level regulations, and other such. Just on the strength of these alone, mine could be regarded as the most active First-Hundred-Days in history.

    Secondly, much injustice is the result of Agency-level action or inaction. While politics can never be totally divorced from administration, my plan to replace political appointees with senior-level career civil servants, all the way up to Cabinet level, should bring us as close as we’ll ever get to an Executive Branch that really works, works realistically, and works with the citizens’ interests in mind.

    Thirdly, there is considerable power in the Budget. The Budget can be used to hold Congress to its promises in a big way. For instance, I might not be able legally to revoke Halliburton’s contracts in the Middle East, but I *could* legally freeze all funding. Or, if Congress refuses to pass environmental legislation without attaching riders to strip it of all its power, I could just de-fund the offending special interests that benefit from those riders.

    In short, by being beholden to none of the interests that currently “own” our government, I would be considerably freer than any other President to act on conscience, rigorous analysis, and sound judgment.

    Thanks very much for listening; please feel free to write if you should have any questions or insights.

    –A²

    —–
    Alan Augustson
    Green Party Candidate for President
    alan@augustson2008.us
    http://augustson2008.us

  2. David says:

    Alan emailed that comment to me before he posted it here and I responded to him. I don’t think it necessary to dig up my response, but I would like to post one idea from my response.

    The power of the purse is great, but constitutionally that power resides with the House of Representatives, not the President. Though he may have some influence and a public pulpit to promote his policies his major legislative power is only the veto. Congress must always pass the financial bills first.

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