Voting Third-Party? Here’s Where The Candidates Stand

Pictured: Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (left) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton in a prime-time speech from the Democratic National Convention stage in Philadelphia. That same day, socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant — who had backed Sanders — told a crowd at a rally across town to continue Sanders’ “political revolution,” not by following his lead, but by voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Stein has been courting Sanders supporters in Philadelphia while Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson crashed both the Republican and Democratic conventions. In this season of two-party discontent, both Stein and Johnson believe they have a chance to peel off voters and leave their marks on the presidential race.

Johnson believes he will be on all 50 states’ ballots. Stein expects to make most.

Related: I’m A Veteran. Here’s Why I’m Voting For Donald Trump »

Garnering support from 15 percent of voters in national polls qualifies a candidate for the presidential debates. That seems to be the benchmark of legitimacy for which Stein and Johnson are aiming.

Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, is known for his support (and use) of marijuana, favors small government, a single consumption tax and more protection for civil liberties.

Stein, a physician who became a liberal activist, offers a platform that prioritizes action on climate change and eradicates student debt.

She wants the nation’s energy to be 100 percent clean and renewable by 2030, would like GMOs banned until they’re proven safe (many scientists already believe GMOs are safe) and would set a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage.

Here’s what Stein and Johnson believe (though, like many politicians, they don’t lay out how they’d accomplish all their lofty goals):


—Stein wants to abolish student debt and guarantee tuition-free education from preschool through university education. She wants to “protect our public school systems from privatization and increase federal funding for school.”

—Johnson “believes there is no role for the federal government in education.” He would cut the Department of Education.

Related: I’m A Veteran. Here’s Why I’m Voting For Hillary Clinton »


—Stein’s platform prioritizes climate change. It calls for a ban on pesticides that she says threaten bees, and would transition the country entirely to renewable energy and end the use of nuclear energy.

—Johnson believes the climate is probably changing and humans are probably contributing. He supports the federal government’s interest in protecting the environment, but believes that should happen by punishing polluters, not intervening in energy markets or subsidizing certain energy sources.


—Stein supports a federal $15 minimum wage, more union rights and tighter regulation of Wall Street. Her platform calls for tax cuts for the poor and middle class, and higher taxes on the wealthy. She hopes to impose a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.

—Johnson advocates for a free market with small government and limited regulation. He favors tax reform that would create a single consumption tax that is the same rate for all goods and all purchasers. Basic necessities would be covered by a “prebate” — a monthly payment given to every taxpaying household by the government.


—Stein favors a single-payer health care system that would essentially give everyone a form of Medicare.

—Johnson favors fully privatized health care.


—Stein believes in LGBTQ protections from discrimination and supports gay marriage.

—Johnson says people ought to be free to marry whomever they want.


—Stein’s platform calls for demilitarized borders and an end to deportations of law-abiding undocumented immigrants.

—Johnson would like work visas to be more easily obtained and to give immigrants a path to citizenship. He notes that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born people.


—Stein would like to cut military spending in half and close more than 700 foreign military bases. She would ban drone warfare and would remove U.S. nuclear weapons abroad.

—Johnson considers himself skeptical of foreign intervention. He believes Congress needs to be involved in military decisions.


—Stein supports the Black Lives Matter movement, and an end to police brutality and mass incarceration.

—Johnson believes police shootings are rooted in the drug war, which he would like to end.


—Stein supports gun control measures, and believes the issue ought to be treated as a national public-health emergency.

—Johnson’s support for gun ownership rights aligns with the Libertarian Party platform, which opposes gun restrictions of all kinds.


—Both candidates support the legalization of marijuana and deplore the War on Drugs.


© 2016 The Seattle Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class, Jennifer Rooney, who was immediately promoted after selection through the Meritorious Promotion Program, was pinned in a ceremony Sept. 20, 2019, by her father, Robert Rooney, and grandfather, John Rooney. (U.S. Marine Corps/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina)

A U.S.S. Manchester, CL-83, hat firmly tucked on his head, John Ronney, pierced the collar of his granddaughter, Jennifer Rooney's new rank during a special pinning ceremony at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on Sept. 25.

By Rooney's side was his son and Jennifer's father Robert, a Navy veteran. Together, three Navy veterans brought together for military tradition.

"They are the two people who taught me everything I needed to know about the Navy," said Jennifer.

Read More Show Less

CAMP PENDLETON — The military prosecution of a Coast Guardsman accused of murder began Wednesday with a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.

Read More Show Less

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.

Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.

Read More Show Less

President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.

It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.

The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

Read More Show Less