Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel is basing his run on "direct
democracy" -- giving voters the power to make laws.
70 percent of the voters already make laws by initiative in twenty-four states
and in numerous local communities, and when voting on bond issues referred to
them for decision by their representatives -- serious lawmaking," Gravel
writes on his Web site. "American voters have made laws for the last 100
years and their record is as good as their elected legislators -- with respect
to fiscal matters, the people's record is far superior."
in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and in the U.S. Senate
from 1969 to 1981. During his tenure in the Senate, Gravel was known as a critic
of the Vietnam War. He waged a nearly five-month long, one-man filibuster against
the renewal of the military draft and entered a portion of the document known
as the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.
Gravel lost his bid
for re-election in 1980, the same year that President Carter signed the Alaska
National Interest Lands Act, which Gravel strongly opposed. The act designated
about 55 million acres of Alaska as wilderness, restricting development there.
entered the 2008 presidential race in April 2006. His campaign is centered on
direct democracy efforts. He also supports pulling troops out of Iraq immediately,
abolishing income tax in favor of a national sales tax and making education reforms.
his political career, Gravel worked as a real estate developer and founded the
Democracy Foundation, which promotes direct democracy.