Jesse Ventura on Government Reform

Former Independent MN Governor; possible Presidential Challenger


I believe there should be term limits

I actually had experience in politics prior to running. I just decided not to make a career out of it because I believe there should be term limits. But that experience shouldn't really matter in the first place because Minnesota's state constitution states that no prior experience is necessary to run for office.
Source: Time magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Aug 2, 2016

Require paper ballots & hand-counting

All votes should still be paper ballots and hand-counted. Minnesota is still that way, and I hope this never changes.

Would you use an ATM machine that didn't give you a receipt? These electric voting machines don't do that. There's no way to keep a record of whom you voted for, so there can't be a valid recount. When computers can be used to change votes, it challenges the legality of our system. The only way to change that is to go back and make it as primitive as you can, one person one vote.

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.130 , Mar 9, 2010

Electronic voting machines are a GOP conflict of interest

It's obvious that, to avoid the specter of vote fraud always hanging over our elections, we've got to outlaw the electronic voting machines and return to a system where there's a "paper trail." How can we not see the blatant conflict of interest that currently exists, with the computer companies and the vote-counters being dominated by the Republican Party? Give the Democrats enough years in power, and you can bet they'd follow the same pattern. While we're after real reform, let's finally abolish the antiquated Electoral College and allow the popular vote to prevail. And let's open the ballot and the debates to legitimate third-party candidates, and break the stranglehold that big money has on the two-party system.
Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.141 , Mar 9, 2010

CIA operatives in every state government

Shortly after becoming Governor, I found out something and it stunned me. There is a CIA operative inside every state government. They are not in executive positions--in other words, not appointed by the governor--but permanent state employees. While governors come and go, they keep working, holding down legitimate jobs but with a dual identity.

I wasn't sworn to secrecy about this, but only my chief of staff and I were allowed to know his identity. I still have no idea what they're doing there. Are they spying? Checking out the state government and reporting back to someone at headquarters? But who and for what purpose? I mean, are they trying to ferret out traitors in the various states? (Or maybe just dissidents--like me!)

Anyhow, I wasn't told the reason and was simply left to ponder how come our Constitution is being violated. And that's another reason why I am writing this book, because I believe it's vital to our democracy to see the hidden pattern that's been undermining this country.

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. xiii , Mar 8, 2010

Get rid of the antiquated Electoral College

Gore won the 2000 national popular vote from the get-go. How can you get a half million more votes that the other guy & lose? The presidential is the only election where we allow that to happen. We should have gotten rid of the Electoral College long ago It was fine back in the days when everybody was still on horseback. It's time to leave an antiquated system behind. Who's profiting from keeping it going? As a third-party guy, I was hoping 2004 would bring the opposite result: Bush would win the popular vote and Kerry would take the Electoral College. Maybe that would have brought them to the table to abolish the whole thing.

But 2004, it turned out, was even more blatant election theft than in 2000. The exit polls were predicting a huge victory for Kerry. But somehow Bush had taken a decisive lead and Kerry conceded on the day after. There is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale, the NY Times "informed" us. The Washington Post called any talk of vote fraud "conspiracy theories."

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.132 , Mar 8, 2010

Term limits in Congress would limit lobbyist power

Term limits, in my view, would be a damned good idea. Maybe politicians wouldn't then be quite so beholden to the power of corporate lobbyists. The only lobbyists I ever knowingly met with as governor was one I used--to try to get a floor vote on a unicameral legislature. Otherwise, I told my staff from the beginning: lobbyists and special interests did not elect me, so why do I need to talk to them now?
Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.173 , Apr 1, 2008

Bingo Saga: allow Bingo from somewhere in 1,000 law volumes

[This is] what's gone down in MN legend as "the bingo saga." In the secretary of state's office was a massive wall filled with what had to be close to 1,000 books. I inquired, "What is all this?" And I was told, "Those are all the laws for the state of MN." I sat there a moment and thought: They tell us that ignorance of the law is no excuse. In other words, we as citizens are supposed to KNOW all this? That seemed pretty absurd.

My solution? I wanted to change the system so that every 3rd year, the legislature couldn't make new laws. They could only come back and repeal old ones. Trim down the size of those bookshelves in the secretary of state's office a little. But in order to do that, I'd have to revise the state constitution.

However, I'm pleased to report my success in repealing one law. MN had it on the books that elderly people living together in nursing homes were only allowed to play bingo twice a week. The law even dictated what the prizes should be.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.154-155 , Apr 1, 2008

States should not be in business of building sports stadiums

The state wasn't in the business of financing a new stadium. The Minnesota Vikings' owner, a Texas billionaire named Red McCombs, wanted a new stadium. Red came in with no plan whatsoever. He simply said, "I need a new stadium, governor."

Playing dumb, I said, "Well, Red, build one. What do you need to see me for?"

Red said, "Well, I can't do that without some participation of state money." Maybe he was just used to getting what he wanted, with his holdings in oil and TV stations.

I said, "If you raise your ticket prices $10 a seat and you keep selling out, that's $640,000. Do that over 10 games, it's $6.4 million. I don't think $10 a seat, or even $20, would upset the apple cart that bad."

Red replied, "I can't simply just put this on the backs of our most loyal fans."

I responded back, "Red, my wife couldn't care less about football. My wife pays taxes to the state of MN. So do a lot of people who think just like her. And I have to represent all of these people."

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.174-177 , Apr 1, 2008

Term limits for politicians AND for political press

NY Times, Feb. 25, 2001: "The governor decreed that reporters covering him would have to wear a jackal press badge. On the front is the governor, in a finger-pointing, Jesse-Wants-You pose, and beneath that is the reporter's name and organization, and the words "Official Jackal." On the back is a warning that the governor can revoke the credential 'for any reason.' The governor's office says the new badges are meant to enhance security and accountability. Many new organizations object. They say what started out as good-natured fun has become demeaning and unprofessional."

Even more important than placing term limits on politicians, I believe they should have term limits on Capitol reporters. It would be a good policy, on the part of newspapers, to do a rotation. In the end, they, they don't take an objective point of view. They start feeding into their own stories what they want to see happen. They get overrun, I think, with the feeling of power--just like career politicians do.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.220-222 , Apr 1, 2008

Get rid of elitist, bankrupt Electoral College

Our federal electoral system is bankrupt. I see Florida as having been stolen by the Bush people in the 2000 election. My biggest beef about the 2000 election, though, was this: Half a million more Americans voted for Al Gore to be President. In any other election in America, if you get the most votes, you win. How can we continue to justify a concept that you can win the presidential popular vote and LOSE? This shows that the Electoral College is a controlled, elitist system. It was set up when the elected officials were still riding on horseback to Washington. Why still hang onto something that's completely irrelevant?

What I wanted to see happen in 2004 was the exact opposite result of 2000. I wanted Bush to win the popular election and John Kerry to have the most votes in the Electoral College. Then maybe these two groups of elitists would get together and say, it's time to get rid of the Electoral College. If I ever became president, that would be one of my top priorities.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.278-279 , Apr 1, 2008

Limit campaign money to one publicly-funded source

I think our elections are fraudulent today simply in how the system operates. Campaign finance "reform", that so-called bipartisan McCain-Feingold bill, is a sham. The 2 parties simply found loopholes and started cheating the very first year.

I cringe when I hear how many millions the 2008 presidential candidates have raised in campaign contributions.

I'm not big on socialism, but maybe it's time we limited the campaign money to one publicly funded source so that every candidate's share is equal. If that's unconstitutional, then why not remove all limits and go to full disclosure? At least that way, you know who is buying the influence.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.279-280 , Apr 1, 2008

Get presidential debates out of the hands of the two parties

The presidential debates have to get back into the hands of a neutral party. Up until 1996, all presidential debates had been under the jurisdiction of the League of Women Voters. In 1996, Congress took them away from the League and formed another bureaucratic layer of government, the Federal Debate Commission. It so happens that the commission's members are not elected, but appointed, by the former heads of the Republican and Democratic national parties. In fact, two of the appointees were THEMSELVES the former heads of the two parties. They now determine who you get to hear in the debates.

Now whether or not someone can participate in debates is based upon an arbitrary polling figure. You have to be polling nationally at 15%. If that criteria had been applied in MN, I would not have become the governor. Because at the time of the primary, I was only polling at 10%. But I was allowed to debate, and I proved that you could be at 10% and still end up winning.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.285-286 , Apr 1, 2008

1996: Dole & Clinton conspired to limit presidential debates

In 1992, when Ross Perot scared the pants off the two parties by getting almost 20% of the vote, that entitled him to nearly $30 million of our tax dollars if he chose to run again in '96. Shouldn't that entitlement--and the fact that he received one out of every 5 votes--also have automatically qualified Perot to take part in any '96 debates?

Well, that wasn't allowed. That year, it was Bill Clinton running for reelection against Bob Dole. Dole did not want Perot in the debates, because he felt it would erode his conservative base. Clinton did not want debates at all because he was so far ahead. So, the two of them made a backroom deal. They would eliminate Perot if Clinton was allowed to say how many debates there would be, and when. They took this to the Federal Debate Commission and, of course, it was rubber-stamped. That's how we were denied seeing Perot take part in a spirited 3-person debate. That year, the only two debates were held--by design--at the same time as the World Series.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.285-286 , Apr 1, 2008

Credits win to public financing & same-day registration

We learned more about end-running the media during our visit with Governor Jesse Ventura. How did you reach the people of Minnesota to win the election? I asked him. He replied that he was at about 10% in the polls and then got on 10 statewide debates with the other major candidates. Second, the state provided substantial public funding of election campaigns, and third, Minnesota had same-day voter registration. In about a month, Ventura went from 10% to 38% and won the governorship in a three-way race. Same-day registration led to a last-minute surge of voters for him that helped raise the total average in an off-year election.
Source: Crashing the Party, by Ralph Nader, p.182 , Oct 14, 2002

Get money out of politics, could be better spent elsewhere

Q: Do you support McCain-Feingold and campaign finance reform?

VENTURA: I think that it touches on the subject but it doesn't go nearly as far as it ought to go. We're trying to pass that type of legislation here to try to get the money out of politics. This last election, it was like 3 or 4 billion dollars were spent across the nation to elect candidates. Now imagine what we could do with that money if it wasn't being spent for that.

Source: CNN coverage: interview on Larry Kind Live show , Mar 14, 2001

We need to upgrade our voting process

I kind of don't like the Electoral College to begin with irrelevant of what happened in this [2000] election. I find it strange that someone can get the most votes and lose. We need to upgrade our voting process because the first thing you'll find in state government when they want to cut something is they'll cut money out of voting. They learned a valuable lesson that maybe they ought to invest in voting a little bit more to keep the integrity of it to the level it should be.
Source: CNN coverage: interview on Larry Kind Live show , Mar 14, 2001

Will not actively fund-raise for re-election: “No strings”

Maybe my success is partly about the fact that I have not had a fundraiser since I was sworn into office. No strings attached. It’s great.

I get criticized for making money on weekends. I’m an entertainer and have been all my life and so occasionally I will make a few dollars entertaining on the weekends. But I wonder what my critics would say if I was traveling around every weekend raising money for my campaign chest? That would be okay, I’m sure. No thanks. I don’t take bribes. In fact I recommend it to all politicians. You sleep well. And you don’t have to go to those God-awful fundraisers, and pretend you are aware of some lobbyist’s problem that you’ve never heard of.

And you know what? Having no strings attached is so great that if I run for re-election I will promise the people of Minnesota that I will not actively raise a dime. The people of Minnesota will know my record. If they approve, they will re-elect me. If not, they won’t. Win or lose, my conscience will be clear.

Source: Speech to the National Press Club, Washington, DC , Feb 26, 2001

Close soft money loophole, give candidates public money

My Administration's goals for campaign finance reform are:
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Minnesota Legislature , Jan 4, 2001

Open up, simplify, & demystify government

A government too complex, too mysterious, is also too inaccessible. It unnecessarily excludes the people who form it. Using the best practices and principles of the “already-tried,” incorporating vigorous citizen input, and mixing in a whole lot of common sense, the Ventura administration envisions a simpler state government and an involved citizenry.

We’ll bring reform to state departments and agencies, reigning in excessive rule making, clarifying overlapping roles, and bringing greater cooperation between departments to benefit all Minnesotans. We’ll introduce a variety of government systems and services reforms, including a simplified tax system and more one-stop government shopping via technology improvements. And we’ll support any effort to demystify government to make it a friend, not a foe.

In addition, existing laws pertaining to campaigns and elections need to be reviewed and amended to allow for full participation by credible third parties.

Source: The Big Plan: Service, not Systems , Dec 10, 2000

Single House Legislature returns power to people

Many state leaders agree that a single house system of government would better serve Minnesotans. A single house would be more open, accountable and responsive. In a more streamlined legislative process, citizens would be able to understand and follow legislation. It would place the responsibility for representation squarely on the shoulders of a single elected legislature rather than on two houses that can hide behind one another to avoid taking responsibility for tough votes. A single house would bring power to the people instead of concentrating power in the hands of a few powerful conference committee members. Every amendment and every bill would be given the respect of a recorded vote. While some powerful leaders may oppose a single house, ultimately we should trust the people to decide this issue.
Source: The Big Plan: Service, not Systems , Dec 10, 2000

Constitution is designed to be interpreted

The Constitution reads more like a mission statement than an instruction manual. It’s full of “majestic generalities,”; it sketches the broad principles and leaves the details up to us. That way, it’s flexible enough to adapt to changing times. And it has: More than 200 years later, it’s still working.

You’ll often hear politicians & lawyers talking about interpreting the Constitution in terms of “getting back to the Founding Fathers’ original intent.” But you know what? We can’t. The Constitution is such an open-ended framework that even in their time it had to be interpreted. Maybe that’s why they wrote it that way: because even back then, there was a lot of argument over the meaning of lofty principles like “free speech” and “due process.”

The Constitution is constantly being interpreted, mostly by the Supreme Court. We’re always looking to it for answers. But the truth is, it can’t answer all of our questions, it can only inform our decisions. That’s what it was really meant to do.

Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p. 90-91 , Jul 2, 2000

Feds leach away states’ rights

I see indications that the federal government is on a campaign to leach away powers from the states. We’ll become a lesser nation if that happens. One of our strengths today is that our states vary somewhat in their modes of thinking, and they can experiment with different solutions to the same problem. That gives us freedom of choice. If we don’t like the attitudes prevalent in one state, we can move to another. We’ve got to be on guard against allowing this diversity to slip away from us.
Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p.202 , Jul 2, 2000

Ban campaigning while earning a public paycheck

Incumbents usually take advantage of their government paychecks during campaign time. When I ran for governor, I was made to give up my job as a radio show host in order to campaign. I went without income for six months, yet my two opponents, both public employees, kept their jobs the whole time, even though they were campaigning ten hours a day just as I was.

The taxpayers essentially funded their campaign. They didn’t fund mine. Why shouldn’t they have had to take a leave of absence if they weren’t performing the duties of their office?

I want to try and pass a law that says if you’re in public office, you’re not allowed to campaign from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you want to campaign, you can campaign at nights and on the weekends. This would keep incumbents from forcing taxpayers to pay them salaries for work they’re not doing.

Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p. 33 , Jul 2, 2000

Ban PAC funding; limit soft money; limit free air time

We need to talk about making PAC contributions illegal. Candidates pay attention to whoever coughs up the cash. If the only sources of funding they have are the people, then candidates will have no choice but to listen to us.

We also need to fix the loopholes in the campaign funding system. There’s already a cap on donations to an individual candidate, but no limit to the amount you can donate to a party. This so-called soft money is then funneled to individual candidates in the form of “issue ads.” We ought to cap the amount that each candidate is allowed to spend on a given campaign.

Some people have tossed around the idea of providing all candidates with equal chunks of free air time, free print space, and free Internet access, which they could use to state their positions, hold debates, and conduct question-and-answer sessions. We just have to be careful with the term FREE. In some circumstances, FREE may not mean what it appears to. Who exactly will pay for the free air time?

Source: Do I Stand Alone, by Jesse Ventura, p. 37-38 , Jul 2, 2000

Avoiding candidate debates cheats the American public

Q: Your reaction to the possibility that the Reform Party candidate may not be allowed in the presidential debates?

JESSE VENTURA: I think it's despicable. Here in Minnesota when I ran, at the point of the primary, I was only polling 10%, which means that if you went by their criteria, I would not have been allowed to debate and subsequently would have not won the election. It shows great fear on their part in the fact that a candidate like me can be at 10% and can turn around in a mere six weeks and win. It's obviously clear to me that they don't want that to happen again. I think it's cheating the American public.

DONALD TRUMP: It's disgraceful. It's amazing that they can get away with it. I think they're very concerned. I think they're extremely nervous about it. I also think that probably the law will be changed in this case, or the rule may be changed in this case, because it's just inconceivable to me that they can allow this to happen.

Source: CNN coverage of Reform Party Presidential Race , Jan 7, 2000

Give every new program a sunset clause to force evaluation

Source: 1999 State of the State Address to Minnesota Legislature , Mar 2, 1999

Government should get out of the way and let people live

There are a lot of good causes out there, but they can’t possibly all be served by government. The Constitution guarantees us our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s all. It doesn’t guarantee our rights to charity.

The government is not a parent. We can’t expect the government to always be there, ready to bail us out. When we make decisions in life, we have to be willing to live with the consequences. We can’t expect the government to help us get back on our feet every time we make a bad decision.

We’ve gotten into the bad habit of overlegislating. I believe in the America people’s ability to govern themselves. If government would just get out of the way and allow them to lead their lives as they choose, they will succeed. Government only needs to be there to support them in their efforts.

Remember that government doesn’t earn one single dollar it spends. In order for you to get money from the government, that money must first be taken from somebody else.

Source: Ain’t Got Time to Bleed, p. 16-7 , Jan 1, 1999

Government service should be temporary; not a career

You’ve heard the old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely? That’s what comes into play when public servants make a career of what they do: They eventually have to shift their focus from serving the public to serving their own careers. It’s not a career if you don’t get reelected! So that becomes your objective: winning the election, staying in the game. Raising money. To hell with the “public service”!

On the other hand, when somebody who isn’t a career politician takes office, everybody understands that it’s temporary. They’ll serve one or two terms, then they’ll be out. They have a life and a career somewhere else. Odds are, they themselves will be affected by the legislation they pass or the programs they implement during their term. They probably sought office because they felt strongly enough about one issue or several issues to want to do something about them. That is the mind-set we want in our public servants.

Source: Ain’t Got Time to Bleed, p. 18 , Jan 1, 1999

Fought and lost on removing stupid milk regulations

Not everything was smooth sailing in Minnesota this year. I fought hard to get a stupid federal law off the books: the Eau Claire Milk Law, which regulates the prices dairy farmers can charge for their milk in relation to their distance from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I couldn’t get anybody to budge on that one.
Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.284-5 , Jan 1, 1999

Spend every 4th year removing obsolete laws

I’d like to work on having every fourth year become a year in which no laws are made, but the old laws are reviewed, updated, or deleted as needed. That way we won’t get endless, obsolete laws piling up on the books.
Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.304 , Jan 1, 1999

Put political process on TV; exposure beats incumbency

Whenever you take a stand on an issue, people will line up around the block to kick your ass over it. By having an opinion, you make yourself a target. Why do you think Congress likes to hide behind closed doors at decision-making time?

I put all the city council meetings on public TV, over the good old boys’ objections. Exposure creates an educated, involved public, which isn’t in the interests of the old-boy network. The smaller the number of people involved, the more power the incumbents have.

Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.198 & 202 , Jan 1, 1999

To change system, private citizens must get involved

While I was mayor, I learned that government is a system of checks and balances--you can’t simply walk in and change things. It takes time. I used to joke that it would be nice if a magic wand came with the job, if I could just wave it and make things work the way they’re supposed to. But unfortunately it’s not that easy. The bureaucracy is so huge that in a lot of situations all I can do is tell people the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Government protects itself from the top down--state government is reluctant to get involved in local government, and so forth. And since the good old boys are ensconced from the top down, we have to be willing to whittle away at their network from the bottom up. That’s the only way it’s possible: in tiny local victories that eventually lead to bigger victories. The only way the system will ever change is if enough well-meaning private-sector people get involved in their local government for the right reasons.

Source: Ain’t Got Time To Bleed, p.197-8 , Jan 1, 1999

Jesse Ventura on Secrecy

CIA's job is often to cover up the truth

The 1964 CIA memo of "Propaganda notes" is self-explanatory. They made sure the Warren Report that concluded Kennedy was assassinated by a lone nut named Lee Harvey Oswald got disseminated far and wide. The intention was to bury suspicions of conspiracy, part of a systematic government-promoted distribution of "propaganda."

A great deal of the CIA's job seems to be to "spin" whatever happens. And for the most part, spinning is done to cover up the truth: If we've done it, then it has to be right.

Source: 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, p. 97 , Apr 4, 2011

Kennedy assassination involved CIA, Pentagon, & 2nd gunman

The Incident:
The assassination of President John F, Kennedy, riding in his limousine in Dallas, on November 22, 1963.
The Official Word:
Lee Harvey Oswald, an ex-Marine and Communist sympathizer, shot the president twice from behind, firing a rifle from the sixth-story window of the Texas School Book Depository. He was captured later that day in a theater, and killed two days later by Jack Ruby.
My Take:
The cover-up of what really happened to JFK starts with the Warren Commission's "lone assassin" conclusion, and continues to this day with the help of the big media. A second gunman assassinated the president from the grassy knoll, while Oswald was set up as the fall guy. The perpetrators behind Oswald are tied into the CIA, the Pentagon, and the Mob, along with right-wing extremists who tried to make it look like Cuba was behind it. Oswald himself was part of an intelligence operation that involved a look-alike "double."
Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p. 22&43 , Mar 8, 2010

Government cites "national security" for too many secrets

We've got to have a more open government. Why can't those 10,000 documents on Able Danger be released? The old excuse of "national security"? Shouldn't there be some elected board that would say, "Okay, tell us why this falls under national security and we'll make the determination whether it truly does, or is this simply a political cover-up?" When the government starts keeping too many secrets for us, that's a big step on the road to losing more of our liberties.

We've got to have a more open government. Why can't those 10,000 documents on Able Danger be released? The old excuse of "national security"? Shouldn't there be some elected board that would say, "Okay, tell us why this falls under national security and we'll make the determination whether it truly does, or is this simply a political cover-up?" When the government starts keeping too many secrets for us, that's a big step on the road to losing more of our liberties.

Source: Link , Mar 8, 2010

Release 10,000 documents held under "national security"

We've got to have a more open government. Why can't those 10,000 documents on Able Danger be released? The old excuse of "national security"? Shouldn't there be some elected board that would say, "Okay, tell us why this falls under national security and we'll make the determination whether it truly does, or is this simply a political cover-up?" When the government starts keeping too many secrets for us, that's a big step on the road to losing more of our liberties.

Do you ever think that maybe our country needs a Truth Commission, to understand the crimes that were committed "in our name" over these recent decades? My hope is that some of you will stand with me in calling for accountability. The only way we can truly move forward is to come to grips with a recent past that's brought us to the brink of losing it all.

Source: American Conspiracies, by Jesse Ventura, p.202-203 , Mar 8, 2010

Democracy cannot survive while hiding secrets

If I ever became president, I would push for opening up every document in the National Archives after a limited number of years, unless it was a case where someone's life might be in jeopardy. But the moment that person died, that document would automatically become public record. I just don't like the idea of secretive government, and we're going in that direction more and more, by leaps and bounds. I do not believe that a democracy can survive when it's hiding secrets.
Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 57 , Apr 1, 2008

Oswald did not act alone in JFK assassination

Concerning the Warren Commission, I started to wonder. I started reading all the books I could about the assassination. It caused quite a stir when I told an interviewer from "Playboy" that I did not believe the official conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone. That was my first year as governor and, as far as I'm aware, I was the highest ranking official who'd ever made that statement. My most basic reasoning is this: If Oswald was really who we were led to believe--a disgruntled little Marine private who got angry with capitalism and became a communist, tried to defect to Russia, came back and thought he'd make a name for himself in history by shooting the president--then why would any of the evidence need to be withheld and locked away in the National Archives for 75 years because of "national security"? As a Navy SEAL, I had top-secret clearance. That was higher than Oswald's and I know a few secrets, but not enough to jeopardize national security.
Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 54 , Apr 1, 2008

2004 class: Warren Commission was wrong on JFK

Teaching at Harvard in 2004, I decided to focus a class on the Kennedy Assassination. I knew that was a gutsy move to make at the Kennedy School of Government.

I noticed there were people in my class that day whom I'd never seen before. They were too old to be students. Their sole purpose in being there was apparently to debunk any conspiracy theories. They didn't completely disrupt the class, but they would speak out of turn and insinuate that is was un-American and undermining our great country to bring up the past and question the integrity of all those great men on the Warren Commission. Never question your government, was the message. (Kind of like what the former president George H. W. Bush said at President Ford's funeral: We know the Warren Commission is accurate because Gerald Ford said it was.) So where did these people come from? I suspect they were plants, sent in by someone in the government.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 56-57 , Apr 1, 2008

CIA plants operatives in state government positions

I was stunned to learn that there are CIA operatives inside some state governments. They are not in executive positions--in other words, not appointed by the governor--but are permanent state employees. Governors come and go, but they keep working--in legitimate jobs, but with dual identities. In MN, this person was at a deputy commissioner level, fairly high up.

The CIA person informed my chief of staff and me that only we would know of the operative's identity, nobody else in state government. No one ever made me swear that I wouldn't talk about this. I could only speculate about other states, but I'm fairly certain that the same situation exists all across the country. It would seem odd that only MN would have CIA operatives.

Are they put there to spy? To see the direction that state government is going, what's happening, and report back--to whom? And for what purpose? Do they think there are traitors in certain states? I don't know. That part, I wasn't told.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p. 93-95 , Apr 1, 2008

Jesse Ventura on Voting Record

Unicameral state legislature would be more democratic

I pushed for MN to move to a unicameral legislature. I proposed that our House and Senate be combined into a single body of 135 members, down from 201. That way, I believed government would be more accountable and responsible. The state would also save about $20 million a year.

The only state to have a unicameral legislative is Nebraska, and for 80 years, they have never been forced into a special session to reach a budget conclusion. That speaks volumes. In a unicameral set-up, you don't have two separate houses holding each other up! Unlike MN, where the last several years of legislative sessions haven't finished on time because of a budget deadlock. At the federal level, yes, we need the check-and-balance of different make-ups in a House and a Senate. But [not] at a state level.

I wanted at least to get this on the ballot, so Minnesotans could vote one way or the other. Well, I couldn't even get the legislature to bring this to a floor vote. I called them "gutless cowards," and I meant it.

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.171-172 , Apr 1, 2008

ATMs offer receipts and so should electronic voting machines

The electronic voting machines are a disaster. There is strong evidence that Ohio and possibly some other states went for Bush in 2004 only because somebody tampered with these machines. What astounds me is that they don't provide any paper trail. You wouldn't go to an ATM machine that didn't offer you a receipt. Whether you want to keep it or not is your choice, but you still have a right to push the button and get 1. But not with these new voting machines. No receipts! How can you have an election where there is no mechanism for a recount? All you hear about today are computer viruses, but we're basing more and more of our entire election system on computers that can be hacked into--with no means of detecting it!

The results of our first two presidential elections in this century have been, to say the least, questionable. I laugh when I hear the US accuse other countries of voter fraud. Shouldn't we clean up our backyard before we point fingers at anyone else?

Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.279 , Apr 1, 2008

Supports a Unicameral Legislature

A unicameral legislature will cut government expense, increase the legislators’ accountability to their constituents and improve efficiency. Nowhere other than in our government do we pay two groups to perform the identical job. If we eliminated one of the legislative bodies, we would also eliminate the conference committees. A unicameral legislature would limit the amount of vote trading and political protection that legislators currently practice.
Source: 1998 campaign web site, jesseVentura.org/98campaign , Nov 1, 1998

Reforms must respect state's rights to select electors.

Ventura adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

In the wake of the United States presidential election in Florida, the Congress and the administration has expressed interest in federal standards for elections. Recognizing that Articles I and II of the United States Constitution grants states, not Congress, the authority to determine the manner of selecting presidential electors and conducting elections generally, most legislative proposals do not mandate federal standards. Rather, current proposals direct federal agencies or commissions to study and make recommendations concerning the election system. Nonetheless, the possibility of legislation in the 107th Congress requiring states to implement federal election standards remains. If enacted without adequate funding by the federal government, such legislation could also result in an unfunded mandate to the states.

NGA’s Position

Articles I and II of the United States Constitution grant states the authority to determine the manner of selecting presidential electors and provide that states are responsible for establishing election procedures generally. However, in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, the nation’s Governors recognize the need for election reform. NGA will continue to monitor federal legislation addressing this issue, but has not taken a position in support of or opposition to election reform efforts.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA11 on Aug 1, 2001

Other candidates on Government Reform: Jesse Ventura on other issues:
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Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
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Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

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