We The People
We The People: The New Hampshire Newspaper

"A Candidate of a Different Kind"
Tuesday, February 1, 2000
By Nicole Howard, Staff Howard

As a child, Jeffrey Peters had one answer for that often-asked question, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

He wanted to be the President of the United States.

"I meant it," he said.

Now, years later, Peters is seeking a nomination for president. He stopped by the MUB (student union) last Friday, and spent the afternoon talking to students and explaining his platform.

Peters, a Harvard graduate and CEO of a business development corporation, is co-founder of the "We the People, The American People's Party," a political party aimed at independents, disillusioned Democratic and Republican voters and non-voters.

"We want people to know that there is a new alternative out there," Peters said.

The cornerstone of the party, Peters said, is the idea that running for elective office and voting in elections should be easier for people. Peters said he favors "modernizing democracy" by allowing citizens to register to vote at polling places, and to vote by mail, phone and computer.

"Why should politics be the last place to modernize?" he said.

"We the People" also forms opinions on issues. The party is set up like a democracy, Peters said. Before an issue becomes part of the …platform, it must be approved by two-thirds of the party's membership.

As of now, the party has approved four issues.

One is called "the Direct Democracy initiative," which Peters said will put voters back in control of the government by allowing them to pass laws through the initiative and referendum process. This means that if the House of Representatives or the senate doesn/t pass a law, citizens can still get the issue on the ballot and vote on it during an election.

Campaign finance reform is also a major focus of Peters' campaign. He said the government takes $1,000 from every citizen's tax bill to pay benefits to special interest groups who donate money to "candiTuesday", February 1, 2000.

"$1,000 per taxpayer goes to corporate welfare," Peters said.

He proposes public funding of national elections, which would cost only $10 per taxpayer and take the "big money out of politics."

"We the People" is a friendly wake-up call to citizens," Peters said. "While we were sleeping, big money stole our government, stole our democracy. It's time to wake up. Stand up and take back our country."

"We the People" has also approved initiatives on term limits and the minimum wage. Peters said that until campaign finance reform is passed, term limits are necessary. He also said that the minimum wage is too low because the income of most people who work for minimum wage is below the poverty line.

"That's wrong," he said.

Peters said he has campaigned in 30 states.

"We get out and meet people - hear(ing) what people say is the most important problem facing the nation today," he said. "there's a felling that politics are corrupt and that politicians are crooked. One citizen told me politicians are like dirty diapers - they need changing. We need an outside force to cleanse our system."

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