Friday, 30 April 2010

Interview: California Gubernatorial Candidate Chelene Nightingale

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Chelene Nightingale is no stranger to politics. For the past five years, Chelene has been a leading constitutional activist, organizing many rallies and marches in California, including the "Free the Texas Three" march for Deputy Gilmer Hernandez and Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean in Hollywood.

She has lobbied as a private citizen in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., demanding secure borders and no amnesty. Nightingale has attended and spoken at Tea Parties and End the Fed events. It was owing to her past political achievements that the National Constitution Party leaders and members requested her to run for Governor in California as an American Independent candidate. This interview of Nightingale for The New American magazine’s online edition was conducted by Warren Mass.

The New American: As your profile indicates, you have been a political activist in California for five or more years. Is this why the Constitution Party leadership asked you to run for Governor?
Chelene Nightingale: Yes. I did not immediately accept the invitation. In fact, it took me several weeks of prayers and discussions before saying yes. Although I had been a political activist for five years at the time of the invitation, I had absolutely no interest in running for office. But as a mother, I am quite concerned about the future of the United States for my children and future generations. We are rapidly losing our liberty, the unemployment rate continues to rise, and our borders are wide open. We can save our Republic, but only if “we the people” take action and run for office ourselves or at least vote out the collectivists and elect liberty candidates instead.

TNA: You have already received a glowing endorsement from Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, who said you will make “a fantastic Governor.” What was your reaction to receiving that endorsement?
CN: First, it was an honor to meet Chuck Baldwin. He is so humble, so kind. I have gained much wisdom from reading his articles over the past couple of years. Our campaign was blessed by his kind words. His endorsement is a constant reminder to work hard to educate others and promote limited government principles. I never want Chuck to regret his endorsement. Our whole campaign team is truly grateful for his support which has made a positive impact. We just received another great endorsement from the amazing G. Edward Griffin!

TNA: On your campaign website www.nightingaleforgovernor.com many of the problems facing Californians are listed, followed by your solutions to those problems. These include Education, Water and the Environment, Illegal Immigration, and States Rights. And you place great emphasis on economic problems, such as the amount of money California spends on social programs, the terrible business climate in the state, the fact that the state government has actually run businesses out of the state, the tremendous cost of government, and the state’s 11.5 percent unemployment rate. Which of these will be your first priority upon taking office as Governor?
CN: Every issue actually all ties into the California economy. Declaring state sovereignty and creating a sound money solution will be a top priority. California is still the eighth largest economy in the world, but with our state allowing the federal government to meddle, combined with a full-time over-regulating legislature, our state is not so “golden” right now. We can restore our state by lessening the power of special interests, reversing business taxes, eliminating income taxes, allowing a temporary mortgage moratorium, and reversing or abolishing too strict regulations like AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. The first day in office, our team will begin an extensive audit of the state’s financial books. Our state has too much wasteful spending. We need to protect the middle/working class. Our state is near last on an economic freedom list, thus my mission will be to bring us near the top while reducing our state debt. We have natural resources in our state like oil, wind, solar, timber, and water, yet the UN’s Agenda 21 program has prevented our state from thriving economically. Instead millions of Californians have lost their jobs while our state further spirals into debt. Kazakhstan currently has a better credit rating than our state. Firmly declaring the 10th Amendment and forming a sound money state bank is a necessity.

TNA: Millions of Americans know California mainly by its agricultural products, its quality fruits and vegetables available year round. Yet your statements about “water and the environment” indicate that environmental restrictions are starving the state’s famed San Joaquin Valley for water, noting that “those who vow to save our environment are actually destroying the Central Valley.” You also offer the refreshing statement that “global warming has been exposed as a fraud.” What would you do as Governor to reverse this process?
CN: The Governor has the power to turn back on the Delta Pumps in the Central Valley. And the county sheriff has the power to arrest any federal agent who tries to shut the pumps back off. Any true environmentalist realizes the impact water scarcity has on land. Not only is it truly a dust bowl in certain areas, but the lack of vegetation creates less oxygen in the air. If we really wanted to save “smelt,” we could create fish hatcheries and relocate some of the Northern Californian seal population, thus increasing the fish population, which would also benefit the Northern California fishing industry. We must turn back on the water for farmers, revenue, and the population in order to consume quality fruits and vegetables. “Global Warming” was just another UN model in order to enact stricter government regulations. Now they are claiming that global warming will cause cancer and mental illness. Yet scientists have proven that our climate is actually cooling and that the warming science was inconclusive. People do not need the government to hold their hands — humans are responsible enough to take care of the planet, which has been in existence for millions of years. What the people need is freedom! As Governor I would turn on the water and abolish AB 32.

TNA: You have also made illegal immigration a campaign issue. Can you tell us about the cost of illegal immigration to Californians — including the cost of education, healthcare, and incarceration of criminal aliens; the deficit incurred because of the imbalance of services rendered versus taxes received; the cost of law enforcement and incarceration as the result of illegal aliens’ gang activity; and the effect of drug cartels on California’s local politics? And what would you do to stop the flow of illegal immigration to California?
CN: FAIR reported that illegal aliens cost California $10.5 billion in education, incarceration, and healthcare. But this does not include Calworks or food stamps. Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich reported that illegal aliens receive over $1 billion per year in Calworks and food stamps. This is only one county. Based on these numbers our state is burdened with an additional $20 billion per year due to illegal immigration. But this does not include all the lives lost in this state which include Jamiel Shaw, Jr., Amy Kortlang, the Bologna family, Agent Rosas, David March, and Tyler Lundin at the hands of illegal aliens. Human life is far more priceless!

Many investigative reports have indicated that the gangs and drug cartels are the shadow government of at least San Diego and Los Angeles. Although, when I recently visited Northern California, I was informed by locals that the Mexican drug cartel had camps in their region. With both a federal and state government refusing to enforce immigration laws and secure our borders, these reports should not shock anyone. Not everyone crossing the border is simply coming here innocently for a better life.

As Governor I would immediately demand our National Guard come back home to protect our borders. Since the federal government refuses to protect this nation, like Arizona, our state will do the job! In addition, as Governor I will end all public benefits for illegal aliens as well as curtail any state funding for sanctuary cities.

TNA: You have identified yourself as a staunch defender of states’ rights and, of course, state sovereignty is enshrined in our Constitution by means of the 10th amendment. You have also signed a 10-point Tenth Amendment Pledge that is downloadable as a PDF from your website: http://www.nightingaleforgovernor.com/pages/issue_statesrights.html Will you list a few of the key points of that pledge and tell our readers how they will effectively guide your administration as Governor of California, should you be elected?
CN: Every candidate should be required to read the United States Constitution and their own state’s constitution. Long before this campaign I advocated the 10th Amendment. We launched our campaign site with the state’s rights page which garnered the attention of the 10th Amendment Center. The pledge declares that as Governor I will thoroughly read and understand every bill before signing. It also enforces protecting the state from federal government acting beyond its constitutional authority. If elected Governor, I would expect the people to keep our administration accountable to them only. Elected officials do not employ the people! The people employ the elected officials! Thomas Jefferson stated it best, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

TNA: Have you run into the same questions concerning your electability that Chuck Baldwin ran into in his campaign for the presidency in 2008? Defenders of the Constitution have run into that obstacle since Dwight Eisenhower’s supporters invented a slogan that torpedoed Ohio Senator Robert Taft’s quest for the 1952 Republican nomination with the slogan: “I like Taft, but he can’t win.” What is your answer to those voters who would vote for “the lesser of two evils” because they don’t think a third-party candidate can actually win the governorship?
CN: Those are the people that helped us lose our Free Republic. I was part of that blame until I finally woke up and realized I was compromising my principles by voting for evil! If voters still keep this same mindset at the polls, then Americans cannot expect to restore our Republic. Frankly I believe we are under an oligarchy rule, thus we need to follow the example of our Founding Fathers — a Revolution at the polls. Both the two main parties are controlled at the top by the CFR elite, George Soros, and the Bilderbergs. California is the perfect example of this fact. The system is only mentioning three candidates from the two main parties, although there are over two dozen candidates running for Governor representing six different political parties. Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, the two RINOS [Republicans in Name Only], represent the CFR! While Poizner is a CFR member, Meg is endorsed by John McCain. In addition she joined Jimmy Carter and Van Jones on a “Climate Cruise” and later declared her admiration for the former green jobs czar! (Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSn37TMXZO8)

Fortunately Americans are taking action at Tea Parties and honestly seeking alternatives. In fact our campaign is exceeding original expectations. Per website trackers Alexa and Quantcast, our campaign site is third highest in gubernatorial website traffic beating out big-money candidate Poizner. And this month alone our website increased by 120 percent. One online poll has our campaign in second place behind Democrat candidate Jerry Brown. We receive new supporters daily and are hopeful that we will gain even more support after the primary in June. Nationwide polls do suggest that a majority of Americans will vote Tea Party or third-party candidates. We could pull off an historic win since the majority registered voters in California are independents.

Although voters are waking up, it may be too late. The collectivists will have Prop 14 on our ballots in June. Prop 14 will basically eliminate third-party candidates from being on the general election ballots. In this election, anyone who votes for the collectivist candidates will be the ones who cause the liberty candidates to lose.

TNA: Can you share some of the more encouraging experiences you have had since announcing your candidacy? Have you received support that has reinforced your commitment to become elected and to serve the people of California?
CN: Absolutely! The campaign trail has been quite rewarding, it is not all doom and gloom. California is home to some of the sweetest, most passionate people! I personally have made many new friends along the way that I hold dear in my heart. During these past several months memories have been created that will last a lifetime. One of my favorite moments was at the Save the Mojave Cross Memorial event when one of the returning soldiers from Iraq gave me his tags. Also the Support the Homeless event on Valentine’s Day just filled with happiness and warmth. We have campaigned from Eureka to San Diego listening to great patriotic Americans who love this country. We have been encouraged by so many who honestly strongly believe we can win in November. Our campaign win would be the people’s win, because I am a frustrated voter just like them. I am no different just an average wife and mother with bills to pay. Running for office is just my civic duty now, but it is the supporters behind the campaign that count! We the people are united together fighting for liberty.

I will end it with yet another Jefferson quote: “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”