Who: Mike Gravel
Current position/Experience: 2020 presidential candidate, 2008 presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. of Alaska (1969-1981)
Campaign Website: https://www.mikegravel.org/
Background: Mike Gravel is a former U.S. Sen. of Alaska who served from 1969-1981. He also served in the Alaska Senate from 1963-1966, which included two years as speaker of the house. Gravel is best known for putting the Pentagon Papers into public record in 1971, and also attempting to end the draft during the Vietnam War. He was a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2008 presidential election, but garnered very little support in both the polls and primaries. Gravel does not intend to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, rather his goal is to appear in the Democratic debates. His presidential campaign tweeted that their "only aim is pushing the field left by appearing in the Democratic debates. Donate as little as you like, but help us get to the necessary 65k donors!" Once Gravel makes it to the Democratic debates, he intends to drop out and endorse the most progressive candidate.
2020 Campaign & Endorsements
Date Announced: April 2, 2019
Campaign Leadership: David Oks
- Health care: Gravel has called health care a human right and is in favor of instituting a single-payer health care system for Americans "irrespective of income and employment status."
- Immigration: Gravel wants to "institute a policy of open borders," abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and "offer immediate legal status to all undocumented immigrants who have resided in the country for more than three years."
- Environment: Gravel supports the Green New Deal proposed by House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
- Economy: Gravel is in favor of a $15 minimum wage, a Federal Jobs Guarantee Program, and investing $1.5 trillion in infrastructure. Gravel's "Progressive Tax Reform" plan includes repatriating "all wealth currently residing in off-shore tax havens" with a one time tax rate of 24 percent, instituting a tax on all financial transactions, and raising the capital gains tax.
- Criminal Justice: Gravel wants to end the war on drugs, abolish the death penalty, end private prisons and ban solitary confinement, and prohibit the use of "public, open carrying for police officers."
- Abortion: Gravel wants to pass an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the rights of all Americans access to abortion. He also wants to ban crisis pregnancy centers that "manipulate and shame women into carrying to term children they are unable to support."
- Foreign Policy: Gravel advocates for ending all wars the US is involved in. His platform consists of closing all military bases, bringing every American solider home, banning foreign arms sales, denuclearization, and "opposing the Israeli apartheid."
- Abolish Electoral College: Gravel's website says that "the United States should abolish the Electoral College, moving to a system of direct election of the president."
- Abolish the Senate: "Pass an amendment to the Constitution retaining the two-senator structure, but making the voting power of a state’s senators proportional to the state’s population."
- 12-Year Terms for all Federal Judges: "The United States should limit the terms of all federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, to twelve years, with the opportunity of renomination or nomination to a different office at the end of each term."
- Pete Buttigieg: Gravel ran into some controversy when he said fellow Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg campaigns mostly on "the fact that he's gay" during an interview with Hill TV. Gravel later apologized by releasing a statement on Twitter saying that he "misspoke."
This piece is part of our Election 2020 series. See below for more information on the most talked about Democrats challenging President Trump.