Wikinews interviews Frank McEnulty, independent candidate for US President

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

While nearly all cover of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, there are small political parties offering candidates, and those who choose to run without a party behind them, independents.

Wikinews is interviewing some of these citizens who are looking to become the 43rd person elected to serve their nation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

First off is Long Beach, California's Frank McEnulty (b. 1956), a married father of two with an MBA (Venture Management) and BS (Accounting/Finance).

Interview

Why do you want to be President?

My name is Frank McEnulty and I am running as an independent candidate for President of the United States in 2008. Crazy right? Well maybe, but I am just way too fed up with how the two major parties are running (or should I say ruining) politics in this country and I feel the need to try and do something about it.
I've noticed over the past several years that most of the political ads are pushing a party, rather than ideas or an individual. "Vote for me, I'm a Republican" or "Vote for me, I'm a Democrat" is all one seems to hear any more. What do these people stand for? Nothing until the party tells them to or else they get cut off from the fountain of money.
Do these candidates have independent thoughts? Maybe, but they never voice them in public because it might not be in line with party doctrine.
Do they ever vote for a bill, law or policy because it is the right thing to do for the country? Only if the party tells them it is okay to do so.
Usually, if a Republican introduces a piece of legislation it must be wrong per the Democrats because the Democrats didn’t come up with it.
Usually, if a Democrat introduces a piece of legislation it must be wrong per the Republicans because the Republicans didn’t come up with it.
What’s wrong with just working together to do what is right for the country regardless of what party you are affiliated with?
If you’re as disillusioned with how the political process seems to be working as I am let’s get together and make them see how upset we are. None of us can do it by ourselves, but if enough of us band together we can and will make them sit up and take notice.
Please visit my website at www.frankforpresident.org to see where I stand on a lot of today’s important issues and pass this email along to all your family members and friends, co-workers and everyone else you know.
Together we will make a difference because:
"ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN AMERICA"
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Have you ever run for political office before? (President, senate, congress, city councillor, school trustee... etc.) Have you ever been a member of a political party, other than the one you're currently in?

No [I haven't run for before]. Yes, for years I was a member of the Republican Party back when it believed in fiscal responsibility and smaller government. For the last 10 years I was registered as an Independent and I recently became a member of the New American Independent Party.

Have you ever campaigned for another political candidate?

No.

What is your current job?

My current job is President and CFO for a group of small, privately owned companies. Although I have managed companies that have been involved in a wide cross section of different industries, the vast majority of my work experience has been in various sectors of the real estate industry.

What skills or ideas do you bring from this position, or previous positions, that will benefit the Oval Office?

During my career I have been called on many times to straighten out problems and get things moving in the right direction. I am a problem solver who can make the tough decisions to get things done and back on track. The problem with almost all politicians these days is that they are politicians and only care about what they need to do to win the next election. What this country needs are statesmen who will look at the big picture and do what is right for all Americans. You don’t make everyone happy doing that, the same as you can’t always make everyone happy in your business, but if you keep the long-term view it will turn out better for all concerned and make for a stronger more vibrant country that benefits everyone.

Obviously, the next American President and his or her administration will face many diverse issues. But if you were to narrow identify the three most important issues, what would they be? How will you address these issues?

First, the biggest problem facing us now and for generations to come is our dependence on foreign sources of oil and oil in general.
We need to immediately start a "Manhattan Project" for energy independence. We put a man on the moon back in the "dark ages" of technology and I firmly believe that we have the brain power to come up with solutions to the world's energy problems if only we apply ourselves and our resources to the task. We are quickly on our way towards spending $1,000,000,000,000 (that’s a trillion) of your tax dollars on the war in Iraq. If that money had instead been pointed towards new research and development into fuel cells, hydrogen, solar, wind and other technologies, I believe we would already be well on our way to major break-throughs in renewable and alternative energy solutions.
The world and the United States would be much better off if we weren't all relying on a small region of the world for the lifeblood of our economies. The only way to bring the price of oil down is to make it less valuable and the only way to do that is to develop alternative energy sources that can replace oil in everyday life. Not only would this be good for the country and for the future, but it would also go a long ways to reducing Greenhouse gas emissions.
For that reason, I am proposing the following Energy Plan for the United States (and the world) in the following 3 steps.
Short Term - Conservation and Alternative Power
Five to Thirty Years - A Strong Nuclear Program
Long Term - We Need New Technologies – A Manhattan Project for Energy Independence
Please see my website at http://frankforpresident.org/FRANKemails.htm#email11 for more details on this and other policies my administration will be following.
Second, the next biggest problem facing us now and for generations to come is our fiscal irresponsibility.
There are fewer topics concerning our current political landscape that get me more upset than the fiscal irresponsibility of our Congress and President. As President, I promise to veto any and all bills that include the barrels of pork as discussed below. If we don't get our country back on a footing of fiscal responsibility soon, we are going to leave a bankrupt, second level economy to our children and grandchildren. The President is our leader and he needs to act like one and do what is right for the country now and in the future.
Under the "fiscal restraint" of the Republicans our deficit has ballooned and spending has increased (even ignoring the war in Iraq) at a greater pace than at almost any time in the history of our country. There was the hope and, as we were promised by the Democrats during the last Congressional elections, that they would show some fiscal restraint and get the country back on a path of fiscal responsibility, but the current Congress has shown they can even outspend the spendthrift Republicans. Without a truly Independent President our spending will never go down as they will always be trying to buy votes for the parties.
Third, the next biggest problem facing us now is illegal immigration.
The facts are simple. The President and his administration have conspired with the large business and agricultural interests in our country to artificially depress and hold-down wages. They have done this at a tremendous cost to all law-abiding, tax-paying American citizens and it needs to stop now! It is also in the process of bankrupting a large number of our states, counties and cities because of the cost of dealing with illegal immigrants and their families. If the illegal immigration problem had not occurred most state and local governments would be in a financing surplus situation and wages across the board for entry level jobs would be higher.
The problem of illegal immigration actually has a very simple solution. Start enforcing the penalties against the hiring of illegal immigrants and you will remove the major attraction that draws people to this country illegally - jobs. Without jobs and the prospect of a much better life the vast majority of people will stay home.
As President I would do one thing to ensure that this situation doesn't happen again, I would make sure our laws are enforced.
First, I would instruct all agencies under my jurisdiction to strictly enforce and apply the rules against hiring illegal immigrant workers.
Second, I would direct that all instances of hiring of illegal aliens be subject to penalty by jail time - real jail time, not a "country club" jail. It's real simple for an employer to pay a fine and move on - that's just a cost of doing business. It's not so simple to ignore the threat of real jail time in a real criminal jail. No one wants to face that prospect.
Third, there would be no Federally funded benefit programs available to illegal immigrants further removing incentives to come here illegally.
Fourth, I believe we need to change the Constitution so that only those born of American citizens become citizens of this country upon birth. The founders of our country could and would have never envisioned the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of babies being born each year in United States hospitals solely so their parents can use their anchor babies as an excuse to demand to stay here and take benefits from the rest of us.
It's really that simple. If the laws are enforced and there aren't any jobs or free government benefits for illegal aliens then there will be no reason for them to sneak across the border and come here.

Campaigning for the American presidency is one of the most expensive exercises in the world. How do you deal with the cost and fundraising?

The Internet is a wonderful vehicle for getting the word out about my campaign. The Internet is the base and then I rely on individuals to tell those they know and before long you build up a real snowball effect. The vast majority of the money spent by the major candidates is a complete waste of money. When was the last time that someone listened to an entire political campaign ad, didn't hang up on a computer generated phone call or actually read the campaign literature that was received in the mail before tearing it up? Unfortunately, today’s major party politics believe in spending vast quantities of money, but rarely spending it smart. Sounds like how our government operates as well.

What are you/were you looking for in a running mate?

I will be looking for someone who is smart, wants what is best for all Americans, is a moderate, a fiscal conservative and will put forth the time and effort to run in a real campaign. I also believe that my running mate needs to be a business person because the government is a business and needs to run more like one. I’m not worried about being outsiders in the Washington scene, because I believe that gridlock is good for the following reason. If there is gridlock, then only legislation that makes sense for all Americans and benefits the vast majority of all Americans will get passed. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of laws. We don’t need new ones every day.

Can you win the 2008 Presidential election?

I am willing to admit that my chances of winning the 2008 Presidential election are slight, but there is still a chance for the simple reason that I do not see a candidate on either the Republican or Democratic side who is looking to do what is best for all Americans and I strongly believe that most Americans are still looking for that person to lead them as their President.

Can any third party or independent candidate ever win?

Yes, I believe the odds of a third party or independent candidate improve with every Presidential election. People are becoming more and more frustrated with what they perceive as a complete lack of interest on the part of politicians, including their President, with what is best of the country. The more noise the third party and independent candidates make, the more people will realize there is another choice and the better their chance becomes of winning the White House.

If you can't make it into the Oval Office, who would you prefer seeing taking the presidency?

None of the current candidates from the two major parties are suitable to be President at this time. Right now, and I have heard this from a lot a people, it will be a choice of hold your nose and vote for who you think might do the least amount of damage. None of the major candidates remaining (who have a chance per the newspapers) have any desire to do what is right for America in the long-term and do what is right for all Americans and not just what will get their party members elected and reelected. Hard, unpopular decisions need to be made to get our country back on a decent track and no politician from a major party will take that track.

What should the American people keep in mind, when heading to the polls this November?

That this is your country and there are options. Just because the Democrats have this person and the Republicans have that person doesn’t mean there isn't someone else better out there. A Presidential election is always important and this one is more important than most recent ones due to our current fiscal, energy and other troubles. Do a little work, see who is truly best for America and then vote that way. The person may not win, but if enough people do this a message will get sent that even the major parties will have to listen to eventually.



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