Businessman runs for president
From Milledgeville to Washington, DC
Jeff Block, adjunct professor, discusses his presidential campaign
The Georgia College adjunct professor and local businessman filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Aug. 30, according to the Commission’s website.
Two hundred and seventy-four other candidates have also thrown their hats in the ring as of Nov. 9 according to FEC’s website.
According to Block, he is running on the independent ticket, because he sees himself as apolitical.
“It’s a paradox that I’ve written,” Block said. “I call myself apolitical yet I am a registered candidate for the president of the United States. Apolitical is because I have not voted in all of the elections in the past. I don’t buy into ‘I’m a Democrat,’ or ‘I’m a Republican.’ I don’t get involved in local politics.”
Block says he doesn’t have a personal grudge with the government and is not politically active.
“I think I can say I am apolitical because I will never once say President Obama is good, bad or indifferent,” Block said. “I’ll never once say that the Republican Party is the devil or the angel. It’s not about people and I am not out to change people’s behavior.”
The Revolution of 2013
Block sees his possible election as the people of the U.S. voting for a revolution, which he calls The Revolution of 2013 on his website.
“The first thing is, it’s not going to be a million people marching on Washington with
muskets on their shoulders,” Block said. “Also, in a revolution in the United States we are not asking for the president to be dethroned. Every four years we can turn over a president. We are not asking for that, so what are we asking for?”
Block decided that voting on a revolution would be the solution.
The revolution he desires is nonviolent and, after his election, would skip ahead to the rewriting of the Constitution to make the changes he outlined in his platform.
“So the Constitution has to be in limbo, let’s say, for 100 days,” Block said. “But I would be asking the Supreme Court to extend President Obama’s term for 100 days so we still have a functioning government. I don’t want to be making policy. I don’t want to be making executive decisions. I want President Obama to continue doing that for 100 days while we transition to the new government.”
In essence, Block wants the constitution to be void, but still enforced while the rewriting takes place. He knows this platform may cause questions from constituents.
“People have said to me ‘you’re going to have your hand on the Bible swearing to uphold the Constitution and then five minutes later you are going to be asking to change the Constitution,’” Block said. “It has to be viewed as a true revolution, that the day I’m elected, the Constitution is temporarily suspended awaiting these modifications and changes.”
Block does not plan on rewriting the Constitution on his own, rather he plans on soliciting others to help with the process.
“I’d like to end up with 25 to 50 people – constitutional scholars, some organizational behaviorists, philosophers, some engineers – some people on the back end that can really write it precisely the way it would be presented to the Supreme Court,” Block said.
“It has to be viewed as a true revolution where we are going in to make constitutional changes without ratification by the states, without Congress’ approval,” Block said.
Proposed changes to the governmental structure
One change to the government Block is proposing is the addition of an Office of the Presidents: Block wants three presidents.
Two out of the three votes would be required to pass legislation.
The term limit would be 12 years, with no re-election possible.
One president would be in charge of the domestic business environment and infrastructure of the economy. The next would be responsible for the people of the U.S., their health care and general well-being. The final president will be in charge of international affairs.
The requirements for running for president would be changed if Block wins the 2012 election.
According to Block’s website, “anybody over the age of 18 can be elected, regardless of citizenship or country of birth.”
Block believes if an 18-year-old can take a bullet for the U.S., they should be able to do everything else. According to Block, the issue will go back to the voters; if they want to elect an 18-year-old, they can.
Block acknowledges that he might have to give up the Office of the Presidents because it is “hard for people to grasp.”
The president’s cabinet secretaries would be split into thirds as well if Block is elected.
President Obama has 15 cabinet secretaries, but under Block’s plan, nine would be in the new government.
“The cabinet positions break down beautifully into thirds, Block said. “Three of the cabinet positions are concerned with the people of America. Three of the cabinet positions are concerned with the infrastructure of America. Three of the cabinet positions are concerned with international affairs.”
Block also wants to close down the House of Representatives as it is today.
In the House’s stead, Block wants to add 151 citizen-senators. These citizens would be selected much like juries are chosen today.
“We would have to have a rotating schedule so it’s not every four years there are new ones each time,” Block said. “Maybe once every year you replace one quarter of them. They would have it very easy being able to decline, because not everyone can interrupt their life for four years, not everybody can do it.”
The citizens selected would be paid the full salary of a senator for four years, live in an apartment in Washington, D.C., receive travel expenses, but they would have certain standards they have to meet.
“There would have to be some kind of minimum standards, like jury duty you can’t have active drug addicts and that kind of thing,” Block said. “There might have to be some kind of academic standards, but they can turn it down.”
According to Block the Library of Congress would be charged with making sure the 151 citizen-senators are informed about issues and what their job is.
A jump from 100 elected-senators to 150 would take place. Three senators per state would serve terms of eight years with no chance of re-election.
Supreme Court justices will be appointed by a two out of three vote by the Office of the Presidents and confirmed by the 151 citizen-senators. They will have a term limit of 12 years.
After the 100th day in office, Block would step down and leave the newly created government to the new politicians and citizens.
“I don’t claim perfection by any means,” Block said. “There is still going to be legislation that people are not going to like and things like that, but that’s the nature of any government.”
Block admits that his realistic chances of winning the election are slim, but not zero. He plans on running again if he is not successful in the 2012 race. To view his ideology in more detail visit his campaign website JeffBlock2012.com.