Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gravel, Obama, National Initiative, Oh My!

Obama Gravel Agreement

Holy smoking peeholes! Looks like Obama's taking the Daddy Chair and Gravel's strapping him in.

(h/t to Freida Bee for the head's up)
Obama Adopting National Initiative. Gravel to Drop Out of Race

HARRISBURG, PA — Once Democratic Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel has announced he is now dropping out of the presidential race after meeting with Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama. Gravel had switched parties to run as a Libertarian on March 26th, but has now stated that his more recent decision is the result of Obama's declaration to adopt The National Initiative for Democracy. The National Initiative allows citizens to propose, alter, or nullify laws in conjunction with traditional legislative bodies and has been a major tenet of Gravel's presidential run.

During his run for the Democratic nomination, Senator Gravel accused Obama of being beholden to "corporatocracy" and "the military-industrial complex". While downplaying his previous denunciations as water under the bridge, Gravel did admit that strong disagreements still exist between him and the Senator from Illinois. This apparent chasm was highlighted by Gravel's insistence that he would turn down any offer to be in Barack Obama's cabinet should he become president.

A senior aide for the Obama campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was premature to comment on the specific role Gravel would play in an Obama administration, but did state that the former senator from Alaska would be involved in creating an agency called The United States Electoral Trust, which would administer the legislative power of citizens at the federal level.

The aide also stressed the importance of the National Initiative in setting the Obama campaign apart from that of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. "Countries like Switzerland have shown that federal ballot initiatives can produce sound lawmaking," she said. "It's time that a major candidate for president got behind a serious proposal to entrust the people with the same power we place in the hands of our elected leaders. By adopting the National Initiative, Senator Obama is sending a clear signal that he trusts the American people to have a more direct role in their government."

Before announcing his intent to bow out of the race for the presidency, Senator Gravel discussed his meeting with Barack Obama. "Stop and think," Gravel told reporters. "This is a real chance to empower the American people by giving them the ability to make laws. 24 states already have ballot initiatives that give the people the same power as their representatives without dramatically changing the way our government works."

Senator Barack Obama was unavailable for comment, but the meeting was confirmed by a spokesperson for his campaign, who said that Obama was "looking forward" to working with the former senator in order to "show that Americans are serious about democracy".

Like Freida, this is the first I've heard of the National Initative, but what better way to govern?

And we've got a source!

Can't wait to see how this plays out!


Evan Ravitz said...
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Evan Ravitz said...

I called Mike Gravel yesterday (I worked with him in 2002 and helped finalize the National Initiative language at his Democracy Symposium in 2001) and he confirmed this is a hoax. His wife said "If only!"

For REAL info on the National Initiative and easy things you can do to make it REAL, see http://Vote.org.

The National Initiative has been voted the #2 idea for the next President's agenda, so Obama might yet REALLY have to deal with it. You can vote for it at: http://www.ondayone.org/ideas?sort=votes
Just click the rightmost star where it says "rate this idea."