"Will Jeffrey Peters Be the Next President?"
March 26, 1999 – written by Barbara Bowers
Key West The Newspaper, Key West, Florida
Jeffrey Peters isn’t running for President of the United States on just a wing and a prayer, he had the foresight to get a web site in his name.
He has a new party, We The People (WTP), registered in every state *.
And he believes that if you’re among the 51 percent majority of people who didn’t vote in the 1996 Presidential election, you could be one of the "sensible center" who’s looking for an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans in the year 2000.
And oh yes, Peters has an RV. In a Charles Kuralt fashion, he’s grass-rooting it around the country in an effort to learn exactly what we the people want. Last week, Peters and his wife Cici pulled into Boyd’s Campground on Stock Island where I interviewed them.
I was a bit early and caught Peters on his way to do laundry. If this 1970 Harvard, cum laude graduate in government seems personable, you’re right. Fact is, he’s every bit as engaging as the current President of the United States, and he too, is musically inclined: Jeffrey Peters – the possible next President of the Unites States – launched into a song he wrote about the planet with the gusto and freshness of Little Boy Flowers on the piano.
"My mother was a concert pianist, and one of the miracles of this tour is a We The People tape of music," said Peters, a resident of New Hampshire who has been on his second US campaign tour since President’s Day, February 15.
Before the six states visited on this trip, the Peters’ started campaigning out West when they picked up their Residency By Thor RV in California. It too, was a piece of magic: The RV was donated** by a New Hampshire member of We The People, and the RV company, when it understood the vehicle’s mission, sold it almost at cost.
The web site is donated*** by a former non-voter, and generally, the Peters’ are finding the ways and means of financing a Presidential campaign through, well, the will of the people.
"The average cost to win a seat in the House of Representatives is $600,000; in the Senate, $6 million; and in the Oval Office of the White House, $100 million," said Peters.
"In 1996, the combined presidential and congressional campaigns cost $2 billion, and after those elections, a Time Magazine**** article showed that $125 billion was granted to party supporters in tax loopholes, tax subsidies and government contracts – basically, as welfare for the wealthy," he said. "That’s a return of 50-to-one on their investment.
"It used to be a bad Will Roger’s joke that we have the best government money can buy, but that’s become a sad reality."
Campaign finance reform is the foundation for the We The People platform.
"History shows that third parties succeed when an issue is ignored by the existing two-party system," said Peters. "I have seen the Republican and Democratic parties up close, and neither are living up to what Jefferson and Lincoln had in mind for the people."
Peters says Lincoln founded the Republican party based on the issue of slavery, which was being ignored by the two-party system at the time.
Campaign finance reform and term limits have been ignored repeatedly by the current political system, making these issues the heart of the new citizen’s movement, which has no connection to Ross Perot or Jerry Brown, although they "had some components of a good message, but turned out to be the wrong messenger."
"People have stopped voting because they don’t think their votes count any more; they don’t think they are being represented by the candidates they have to choose from," said Peters. "Government corruption and responsiveness to special interests and the demands of big money – which adds to the disparity between the rich and poor - is what the people are telling me is the biggest problem our country faces today."
Peters has been a political player on both teams in such positions as the Connecticut gubernatorial appointee to the Export-Trade Panel, and a corporate member of the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico. He has been an independent consultant to the World Bank, the executive director of the US-Mexico Quadripartite Commission and in 1986, he lost a bid for a Congressional seat, in which he could only accumulate $300,000.*****
He’s still repaying that debt today.
Since 1979 - Peters has been the president and CEO of his own real estate, finance and new business development company.******
Voter registration and turnout is critical to Peters’ Presidential campaign. He says in NH and Minnesota, people can register to vote on election day. He favors that, as well as voting by mail, which has increased voter turnout in Oregon. He’s in favor of voting by phone and computer. He also is working toward changing voting dates from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday to allow more working people the opportunity to fulfill their democratic responsibility.
"In a three-party race, you can win with between 34 and 40 percent of the vote," said Peters. "Even with only half the two-thirds of people who don’t vote now, we could win in 2000."
For information on We The People: 603-383-4285. E-mail: .
* We The People (WTP) is registered appropriately in all 50 states as either a political party, a not-for-profit corporation, or a political action committee (PAC).
** The RV was given to the Peters by the President of the Habitat for Humanity in New London, NH in her individual capacity with her husband.
*** The web site was donated by Webbers Communications, North Conway, NH - www.webbers.com.
**** Information from Time Magazine’s 4 part series on Corporate Welfare printed November 1998.
***** The Congressional Campaign in 1986 raised over the stated amount, with over $250,000 borrowed – it is important to the Peters to note that all of the debts incurred during the campaign were repaid in full.
****** The US-Mexican Development Corporation, started November 21, 1978 – a corporation to help business owners, CEOs and Presidents find investment partners, joint venture partners, businesses for sale, business knowledge about how to do business in Mexico, plus personal knowledge of or immediate access to the public and private sector leaders in both countries.