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9 More 2012 Presidential Candidates

The third party presidential candidates we told you about a couple of weeks ago were only the top of the list of those running for president in 2012. There are plenty more, but as you go down the list, information becomes harder to find. Here are a few that are either on the ballot somewhere or are waging a serious (or semi-serious) write-in campaign, in no particular order.

1. Jeff Boss

Jeff Boss is an independent candidate for the presidency and a conspiracy theorist. His campaign website claims that the National Security Agency (NSA) conspired to arranged the 9/11 attacks, which he witnessed himself. Boss also claims the NSA is trying to kill him, and that his website has been hacked and altered by the NSA, but the link which visitors are redirected to is empty. See a video of Boss in an article by Becky Turco. Jeff Boss will be on New Jersey's presidential ballot.

2. Randall Terry

Randall Terry gained fame as the pro-life activist who founded Operation Rescue. Terry has been arrested many times for blockading the entrances of abortion clinics, and he organized protests around the Nancy Cruzan and Terri Schiavo cases, both involving the question of withdrawing life support from patients in a vegetative state. Randall Terry will be on the presidential ballot in Kentucky, Nebraska, and West Virginia. Photograph by Ben Schumin.

3. Samm Tittle


Sheila "Samm" Tittle of El Paso, Texas, is a conservative independent candidate who is running on a platform advocating tougher border security, an end to abortion, smaller government, the abolition of the Federal Reserve, time-limited welfare benefits, and states' rights. Sheila Tittle has ballot access in Colorado and Louisiana.

4. Dean Morstad

Dean Morstad is an independent candidate from Minnesota who is running on a platform of cutting federal spending, reducing the size of government, and balancing the budget. He is recruiting election volunteers on his Facebook page. Morstad will only be on the ballot in Utah and Minnesota.

5. Jill Reed

Jill Reed is running for president for the Twelve Vision Party. Reed espouses a "protection-only" government and preaches on the "Prosperity Option" and self-improvement for all. Jill Reed will be on the ballot in Indiana and Florida.

6. Jerry Litzel

Jerry Litzel is a collector of presidential campaign memorabilia. Now that he is running for president, with his brother (on the right) as his running mate, he will have souvenirs with his own name on them. That appears to be the main thrust of his candidacy. The campaign has no website. Litzel will be on the ballot in Iowa only.

7. Terry Jones

You may recall Terry Jones as the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. He achieved notoriety in 2010 for announcing a Burn the Koran Day. He now has a television show. Jones has no ballot access in any state.

8. Temperance Alesha Lancecouncil

Temperance Alesha Lancecouncil has no campaign website, but she is the candidate of the Anti-Hypocrisy Party. From the mission statement:

A party has been formed to support any, and all of you who expose and oppose - - THE HYPOCRITE. Speak loudly against those who've put themselves in roles of leadership, power, or influence who "talk the talk," but don't "walk the walk." Or those who've walked a crooked path and waddled in its puddles, only now only to chastise you and me. WE ARE THE PARTY OF THE PEOPLE, THE TRUE PILLARS OF HUMANITY.
ANTI-HYPOCRITES, AT LONG LAST, UNITE!!

One gets the idea that this may be a one-woman party.

9. Jack Fellure

Jack Fellure is the presidential candidate of the Prohibition Party. Fellure, from Hurricane, West Virginia, has put in a bid for president through the Republican party in every election since 1988. He even threw his hat into the ring in 2012, but when the primaries commenced without him, he decided to run with the Prohibition party, which nominated him at their convention in June. His platform is the King James version of the Bible, and of course his affiliation with the Prohibition party means he is anti-alcohol and other drugs. No state will have Fellure on their official presidential ballot this year. Photograph by William S. Saturn.

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Big Questions
What Does the Sergeant at Arms Do?
House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Donald Trump arrive for a meeting with the House Republican conference.
House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Donald Trump arrive for a meeting with the House Republican conference.
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

In 1981, shortly after Howard Liebengood was elected the 27th Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate, he realized he had no idea how to address incoming president-elect Ronald Reagan on a visit. “The thought struck me that I didn't know what to call the President-elect,'' Liebengood told The New York Times in November of that year. ''Do you call him 'President-elect,' 'Governor,' or what?” (He went with “Sir.”)

It would not be the first—or last—time someone wondered what, exactly, a Sergeant at Arms (SAA) should be doing. Both the House and the Senate have their own Sergeant at Arms, and their visibility is highest during the State of the Union address. For Donald Trump’s State of the Union on January 30, the 40th Senate SAA, Frank Larkin, will escort the senators to the House Chamber, while the 36th House of Representatives SAA, Paul Irving, will introduce the president (“Mister [or Madam] Speaker, the President of the United States!”). But the job's responsibilities extend far beyond being an emcee.

The Sergeants at Arms are also their respective houses’ chief law enforcement officers. Obliging law enforcement duties means supervising their respective wings of the Capitol and making sure security is tight. The SAA has the authority to find and retrieve errant senators and representatives, to arrest or detain anyone causing disruptions (even for crimes such as bribing representatives), and to control who accesses chambers.

In a sense, they act as the government’s bouncers.

Sergeant at Arms Frank Larkin escorts China's president Xi Jinping
Senat Sergeant at Arms Frank Larkin (L) escorts China's president Xi Jinping during a visit to Capitol Hill.
Astrid Riecken, Getty Images

This is not a ceremonial task. In 1988, Senate SAA Henry Giugni led a posse of Capitol police to find, arrest, and corral Republicans missing for a Senate vote. One of them, Republican Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon, had to be carried to the Senate floor to break the filibustering over a vote on senatorial campaign finance reform.

While manhandling wayward politicians sounds fun, it’s more likely the SAAs will be spending their time on administrative tasks. As protocol officer, visits to Congress by the president or other dignitaries have to be coordinated and escorts provided; as executive officer, they provide assistance to their houses of Congress, with the Senate SAA assisting Senate offices with computers, furniture, mail processing, and other logistical support. The two SAAs also alternate serving as chairman of the Capitol Police board.

Perhaps a better question than asking what they do is pondering how they have time to do it all.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Stacy Conradt
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politics
Grave Sightings: Hubert Humphrey
Stacy Conradt
Stacy Conradt

With the state of politics lately, it’s hard to imagine a generous act of kindness from one political rival to another. But if Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon were capable of burying the hatchet, there’s hope for anyone.

Humphrey, a senator from Minnesota, ran for president several times. In 1952, he lost the Democratic nomination to Adlai Stevenson. In 1960, of course, he faced a charismatic young senator from Massachusetts named Jack Kennedy. In 1968, Humphrey, who was vice president at the time, came closest to the presidency—but Nixon triumphed by a little more than 500,000 popular votes.


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Though he graciously admitted defeat and pledged to help the new president-elect, Humphrey wasn’t shy about criticizing Nixon. Just 10 months after Nixon took office, Humphrey stated that the administration had done “poorly—very poorly” overall, citing the increase in interest rates and the cost of living. Nixon and his team, Humphrey said, had “forgotten the people it said it would remember.” He was still making his opinions known four years after the election, turning his eye to Vietnam. “Had I been elected, we would now be out of that war,” he told the press on January 10, 1972.


Stacy Conradt

The Watergate scandal broke later that year, and Humphrey no doubt felt validated. He mounted another unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1972, but lost the nomination to George McGovern. Humphrey briefly considered trying one more time in 1976, but ultimately nixed the idea. "It's ridiculous — and the one thing I don't need at this stage in my life is to be ridiculous," he said. The public didn’t know it at the time but the politician had been battling bladder cancer for several years. By August 1977, the situation had become terminal, and Humphrey was aware that his days were numbered.

When he knew he had just a few weeks left to live, Humphrey did something that would stun both Republicans and Democrats: He called former rival Richard Nixon and invited him to his upcoming funeral. He knew that Nixon had been depressed and isolated in his political exile, and despite the Watergate scandal and the historical bad blood, he wanted Nixon to have a place of honor at the ceremony. Humphrey knew his death would give the former president a plausible reason to return to Washington, and told Nixon to say he was there at the personal request of Hubert Humphrey if anyone questioned his motives.

Humphrey died on January 13, 1978—and when the funeral was held a few days later, Nixon did, indeed, attend. He stayed out of the Washington limelight, emerging right before the ceremony—to audible gasps. Humphrey’s gracious act must have been on Nixon’s mind when he listened to Vice President Walter Mondale sing the fallen senator’s praises: “He taught us all how to hope, and how to love, how to win and how to lose. He taught us how to live, and finally he taught us how to die.”

Nixon wasn’t the only former foe whom Humphrey had mended fences with. Barry Goldwater, who ran against Humphrey in 1964, had this to say:

“I served with him in the Senate, I ran against him in campaigns, I debated with him, I argued with him. But I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a friendship as much as the one that existed between the two of us. I know it may sound strange to people who see in Hubert a liberal and who see in me a conservative, that the two of us could ever get together; but I enjoyed more good laughs, more good advice, more sound counsel from him that I have from most anyone I have been associated with in this business of trying to be a senator.”

After the ceremony in D.C., Humphrey was buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. His wife, Muriel, joined him there when she died 20 years later.

Peruse all the entries in our Grave Sightings series here.

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