Iraq War Protest Leader Sheehan Joins Roseanne Barr to run on Peace and Freedom Party Ticket
by Wikinews | Democracy, elections, and voting
Roseanne Barr, star of the popular ’90s sitcom Roseanne, won the presidential nomination of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party on Saturday, guaranteeing her ballot access in California, the most populous U.S. state. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan of California was selected as her running mate.
Barr first announced her intentions to run for president during an August 2011 appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. On the show, Barr told Leno she would run under the banner of the “Green Tea Party”, a political entity she created that combined elements of the Green and Tea Party movements. She named the American taxpayer as her running mate, and said her first act as president would be the legalization of marijuana. Several months later, Barr announced that she would instead seek the Green Party’s presidential nomination. After losing at the Green National Convention last month to physician Jill Stein, Barr searched for other ways to continue her campaign and settled on seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination.
At the convention, Socialist Party USA presidential nominee Stewart Alexander and Freedom Socialist Party presidential nominee Stephen Durham were the only opponents for Barr. Justice Party presidential nominee Rocky Anderson, who won the California Peace and Freedom Party presidential primary in June, withdrew from the race several days prior to avoid what Uncovered Politics called an “embarrassingly lopsided defeat”; Party for Socialism and Liberation presidential nominee Peta Lindsay dropped out before the convention vote to endorse Barr.
In the initial vote, Barr failed to win an outright majority. She received the support of 29 delegates, while 18 went for Durham, 12 supported Alexander, and four abstained from voting. Per party rules requiring majority support, a second vote was held in which Barr did receive a majority with 37 delegates versus 16 for Durham, six for Alexander, and five abstaining.
For the vice presidential nomination, Sheehan, who had said she would accept if Barr was nominated, won on the first ballot with 50 votes against 14 abstaining. Sheehan is best known for her active opposition to the War in Iraq after her son Casey died there in 2004. Notably, in 2005, she set up camp outside President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas to protest the war. In 2008, she challenged then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Congress as the nominee of the Green Party.
The Peace and Freedom Party was founded in 1967 and promotes socialism, feminism, and environmentalism. In 2008, consumer advocate Ralph Nader won the party’s presidential nomination and appeared with the party on both the California and Iowa ballots. The party will now attempt to qualify the ticket for ballot access in Florida.