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Former Independent MN Governor:
Jesse Ventura on the Issues

Jesse Ventura on Abortion

  • Keep abortion legal on privacy grounds. (Jul 2000)
  • Doesn’t support abortion, but leave them legal. (Jan 1999)
  • Abortion decision belongs with the woman and who she chooses. (Nov 1998)

Jesse Ventura on Budget & Economy

  • Government is no bottomless pit of money-it’s from you & me. (Jul 2000)
  • End pork-barrel spending; return surplus to the people. (Jan 1999)
  • Return any budget surpluses to the taxpayers automatically. (Jan 1999)
  • Government policy should facilitate business. (Jan 1999)
  • Let state meat inspection suffice for interstate shipments. (Jul 2000)
  • Bankruptcy reform: limit Chapter 7; protect states' role. (Feb 2001)
  • Uphold commitments to states before other spending. (Sep 2001)
  • Foster dairy production that is market driven. (Feb 1998)

Jesse Ventura on Civil Rights

  • Respect diversity, both cultural and lifestyle. (Dec 2000)
  • Equal opportunity for women; but equal responsibility too. (Jul 2000)
  • Gay domestic partnership OK; not gay marriage. (Jul 2000)
  • As football commentator, found name “Redskins” offensive. (Jul 2000)
  • Against funding National Endowment for the Arts. (Jul 2000)
  • Prosecution and sentencing should be colorblind. (Aug 1998)
  • Support principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment. (Feb 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Corporations

No stance on record.

Jesse Ventura on Crime

  • Opposes “Three Strikes”; leave discretion to judges. (Jul 2000)
  • Crime statistics are distorted to encourage racism. (Jul 2000)
  • No role for governor in crime; it’s for local police. (Jan 1999)
  • Put up with death penalty until life sentences mean life. (Jan 1999)
  • Supported death penalty, but now as Governor opposes it. (Nov 1998)
  • Find compromise between rehabilitation and punishment. (Aug 1998)
  • Supports flexible federal block grants for crime programs. (Sep 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Drugs

  • Drug addiction is a health problem, not a crime. (Jul 2000)
  • Drug War fails like Prohibition did. (Jul 2000)
  • Stopped taking steroids & made FDA posters against them. (Jan 1999)
  • Tougher drunk-driving laws for repeat offenders. (Jan 1999)
  • Stop being so afraid of marijuana; some uses are OK. (Jan 1999)
  • The war on drugs has failed; look for other solutions. (Jan 1999)
  • Rethink approach to drugs; “more of the same” fails. (Oct 1998)
  • Jail won’t work when we can’t even keep drugs out of prisons. (Oct 1998)
  • More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War. (Aug 2000)

Jesse Ventura on Education

  • Focus on results and standards. (Dec 2000)
  • Lifelong learning; college & training for work & life. (Dec 2000)
  • More money for class size reduction. (Jul 2000)
  • Public schools can’t advocate religion; private prayer OK. (Jul 2000)
  • Teach “creation science” in church, not schools. (Jul 2000)
  • Fund schools at state level instead of via property taxes. (Jul 2000)
  • Mainstrean special-ed kids, like his daughter did. (Jan 1999)
  • Reducing class size solves many educational problems. (Jan 1999)
  • Mainstream disabled students. (Jan 1999)
  • Commonsense steps to improve public education. (Jan 1999)
  • No government money for higher education. (Jan 1999)

    School Choice

  • Erase the word voucher from the vocabulary. (Dec 2000)
  • Public dollars belong to public schools. (Jul 2000)
  • Loosen federal control; leave more to state & locals. (Jan 1999)
  • Neighborhoods shouldn’t abandon their public schools. (Jan 1999)
  • Public schools are inefficient; but fix them, don’t end them. (Nov 1998)
  • Choosing private school includes responsility to pay. (Feb 1998)

Jesse Ventura on Energy & Oil

  • Develop light rail tranist for Minnesota. (Dec 2000)
  • Competitive electricity pricing; include alternative energy. (Dec 2000)
  • Overcome dependency on foreign oil. (Jul 2000)
  • Voluntary partnerships reduce greenhouse gases economically. (Aug 2000)
  • Kyoto Treaty must include reductions by all countries. (Aug 2000)

Jesse Ventura on Environment

  • Smart Growth with greenways and mass transit. (Dec 2000)
  • Recycling conserve our limited resources. (Nov 1998)
  • Teach environment in grade schools. (Oct 1998)
  • Too risky to have large feedlots near homes. (Oct 1998)
  • Replace MTBE in gasoline with cleaner ethanol. (May 2000)
  • More state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups. (Aug 2001)
  • Support State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water. (Aug 2001)
  • More EPA flexibility on interstate ozone. (May 1998)

Jesse Ventura on Families & Children

  • No more tax subsidy for child care; parents’ responsibilty. (Jan 1999)
  • Community regulates behavior better than government. (Jan 1999)
  • Encourage fathers' participation in child-raising. (Sep 2001)
  • Federal funds & state involvement in fatherhood initiatives. (Aug 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Foreign Policy

  • Global cooperation OK; world government not. (Jul 2000)
  • Buchanan is an unrealistic isolationist. (Feb 2000)

Jesse Ventura on Free Trade

  • Trade creates jobs & productivity. (Sep 2000)


  • Trading with China is a no-brainer. (Jul 2000)
  • Opening markets will cause China’s downfall. (Jul 2000)
  • Ease Canadian border-crossing rules. (May 1998)
  • Grant fast-track authority to the President. (Nov 1999)

Jesse Ventura on Government Reform

  • Will not actively fund-raise for re-election: “No strings”. (Feb 2001)
  • Open up, simplify, & demystify government. (Dec 2000)
  • Single House Legislature returns power to people. (Dec 2000)
  • Constitution is designed to be interpreted. (Jul 2000)
  • Feds leach away states’ rights. (Jul 2000)
  • Ban campaigning while earning a public paycheck. (Jul 2000)
  • Ban PAC funding; limit soft money; limit free air time. (Jul 2000)
  • Government should get out of the way and let people live. (Jan 1999)
  • Government service should be temporary; not a career. (Jan 1999)
  • Fought and lost on removing stupid milk regulations. (Jan 1999)
  • Spend every 4th year removing obsolete laws. (Jan 1999)
  • Put political process on TV; exposure beats incumbency. (Jan 1999)
  • To change system, private citizens must get involved. (Jan 1999)
  • Supports a Unicameral Legislature. (Nov 1998)
  • Reforms must respect state's rights to select electors. (Aug 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Gun Control

  • Gun responsibility goes with gun rights. (Jul 2000)
  • Guns are designed to kill; respect them. (Jan 1999)
  • If you’re going to own a gun, know what you’re doing. (Jan 1999)
  • Concealed weapons OK if you can pass safety exam. (Nov 1998)

Jesse Ventura on Health Care

  • Individual responsibility for unhealthy lifestyle choices. (Dec 2000)
  • Focus on prevention, children, and results. (Dec 2000)
  • Supports “Minnesota Care”; tax to pay for uninsured. (Jul 2000)
  • No national care, but pure capitalism can’t work. (Jul 2000)
  • Comment “suicides are weak” meant “don’t encourage them”. (Jan 1999)
  • Government interference should be kept to a minimum. (Nov 1998)
  • Premise of the tobacco lawsuit wrong; it punishes victims. (Aug 1998)
  • No federal pre-emption of employee health plan regulation. (Oct 2001)
  • Maintain Medicare funding of HMO benefits. (Oct 1999)
  • Protect state tobacco settlement funds from federal seizure. (Apr 1999)

Jesse Ventura on Homeland Security

  • War isn’t civilized; don’t expect warriors to be. (Jan 1999)
  • Military is stronger if all-volunteer. (Jan 1999)
  • Against the draft; for including women except in combat. (Jan 1999)

Jesse Ventura on Immigration

  • Immigration is an integral part of who we are. (Jul 2000)
  • Official English leads to Official Christianity. (Jul 2000)
  • Emergency medical, but no other services, for illegal imms. (Nov 1998)
  • Grant legal immigrants all benefits of citizens. (Nov 1998)
  • Share costs of legal immigration between states & federal. (Feb 2001)
  • Federal government should deal with criminal repatriation. (Feb 2001)
  • Ease Canadian border-crossing rules. (Oct 1999)

Jesse Ventura on Jobs

  • Improve the Competitive Position of Rural Minnesota. (Dec 2000)
  • Make Agriculture Competitive Anywhere in the World. (Dec 2000)
  • Training and retraining to resolve workforce shortage. (Dec 2000)
  • Subsidize ethanol like we subsidize oil. (Jul 2000)
  • Unions support Democrats even when interests are elsewhere. (Jul 2000)
  • Supports prevailing wages but not living wages. (Jan 1999)
  • Strongly pro-union; and a union member. (Jan 1999)
  • State instead of federal rules for animal operations. (Nov 1999)

Jesse Ventura on Local Issues

No stance on record.

Jesse Ventura on Principles & Values

  • Political “horse races” ignore the issues. (Jul 2000)
  • Parties need ideological base as well as grassroots. (Jul 2000)
  • Religious Right & extreme left are both “morality brokers”. (Jul 2000)
  • Considers himself a moderate libertarian. (Jul 2000)
  • Independent Party, not Reform Party. (Feb 2000)
  • I didn’t need this job (as governor). (Jan 1999)
  • Voters want honesty; he provides it. (Jan 1999)
  • Fiscally conservative and socially liberal. (Jan 1999)
  • Two traditional parties are out-of-control monsters. (Jan 1999)
  • Does not plan to run for president; but won’t rule it out. (Jan 1999)
  • Problem is with fundamentalist fanatics, not religion. (Jan 1999)
  • Big Plan: smart government and self-sufficiency. (Jan 1999)
  • Wanted to be mayor & governor; doesn’t want to be president. (Jan 1999)
  • Member of Midwestern Governors' Association. (Sep 2001)
  • Member, National Governors Association/Economic Development. (Jan 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Social Security

  • Maintain long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare. (Aug 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Tax Reform

  • Modernize, simplify, & clarify tax system. (Dec 2000)
  • Repeal the 16th Amendment. (Jul 2000)
  • Replace income with national sales tax. (Jul 2000)
  • Let people keep as much of their money as possible. (Jan 1999)
  • $600 “Jesse Checks” tax rebate to every taxpayer. (Jan 1999)
  • Replace income tax with 15% national sales tax. (Jan 1999)
  • Supports national consumption tax to equalize tax burden. (Nov 1998)
  • Reform outdated property tax system. (Oct 1998)
  • No national sales tax or VAT. (Feb 2000)
  • Let states independently determine estate taxes. (May 2001)

Jesse Ventura on War & Peace

  • We need Saddam as the bad guy in oil disputes. (Jan 1999)
  • Deal with terrorism as a joint federal-state responsibility. (Feb 2001)
  • Include states in anti-terrorism planning. (Sep 2001)

Jesse Ventura on Welfare & Poverty

  • Transition from Welfare to Self-Sufficiency. (Dec 2000)
  • Social programs should be a safety net, not a hammock. (Jul 2000)
  • Focus welfare on jobs & training. (Jul 2000)
  • Believes in private charity, not government charity. (Jan 1999)
  • Support LIHEAP, low-income heating assistance. (May 2000)
  • Maintain federal Social Services Block Grant funding. (Sep 2001)
  • Maintain flexibility & funding levels for TANF block grants. (Sep 2001)