|From||United States of America|
|Birth||1 May 1957, Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois, USA|
Joanne Marie Jorgensen (born May 1, 1957) is an American academic and libertarian political activist. Jorgensen is the Libertarian Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2020 election. She was previously the party's nominee for vice president in the 1996 U.S. presidential election as the running mate of Harry Browne. She was also the Libertarian nominee for South Carolina's 4th congressional district in 1992, receiving 4,286 votes, or 2.2%.
Early life and career
Jorgensen was born in Libertyville, Illinois, and raised in neighboring Grayslake. She is an alumna of Grayslake Central High School. Her grandparents were Danish immigrants.
Jorgensen received a B.S. in Psychology at Baylor University in 1979 followed by a Master's in Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1980. She began her career at IBM working with computer systems, leaving there to become part owner and President of Digitech, Inc. She received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Clemson University in 2002. She has taught full time since 2006
Jorgensen is a Psychology Senior Lecturer at Clemson University, a public, land-grant university in Clemson, South Carolina.
1992 U.S. House of Representatives campaign
The first office for which Jorgensen ran was the 1992 United States House of Representatives election. She ran as a Libertarian to represent SC-4, in northwest South Carolina, against incumbent Democrat Liz J. Patterson and Republican Bob Inglis. Jorgensen placed third with 2.2% of the total vote.
|Democratic||Liz J. Patterson (incumbent)||94,182||47.5||-13.9|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
1996 vice-presidential campaign
Prior to the 1996 United States presidential election, the Libertarian Party nominated Jorgensen to be the vice-presidential running mate of author Harry Browne. Jorgensen was nominated on the first ballot with 92 percent of the vote. She participated in a vice-presidential debate televised nationwide by C-SPAN on October 22, along with Herbert Titus of the Taxpayers Party and Mike Tompkins of the Natural Law Party.
Browne and Jorgensen, who were on the ballot in all 50 states and D.C., received 485,759 total votes, which placed them in fifth place with 0.5% of the popular vote. At the time, this was the Libertarian Party's best performance since 1980.
2020 presidential campaign
On August 13, 2019, Jorgensen filed with the FEC to run for the Libertarian presidential nomination in the 2020 election. She formally launched her campaign at the November 2, 2019 Libertarian Party of South Carolina convention, before participating in the official South Carolina Libertarian presidential debate the same day.
In the non-binding Libertarian primaries, Jorgensen was second in the cumulative popular vote, winning two of the 12 primaries.
On May 23, 2020, Jorgensen became the official Libertarian presidential nominee, making her the first woman to become the Libertarian nominee and the only female 2020 presidential candidate with ballot access to over 270 electoral votes. Spike Cohen was nominated to be Jorgensen's vice president; Cohen is a mostly unknown figure in mainstream politics. That same day, Jorgensen's supporters repurposed Hillary Clinton's unofficial 2016 campaign slogan, "I'm With Her". The slogan trended on Twitter that night and made national headlines.
Jorgensen is critical of the current system and supports replacing it with individual retirement accounts. She supports an option to opt out of Social Security, allowing anyone who took this route to invest 6.2% of their future payroll taxes in individual retirement accounts and receive prorated Social Security benefits for existing contributions as zero coupon bonds for retirement.
In the final debate of the primaries, candidate Jacob Hornberger accused Jorgensen of "support[ing] the welfare state through Social Security and Medicare". In response, Jorgensen called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" and said that she would allow people to opt-out of the program on her first day in office. However, she emphasized the constitutional inability of a president to unilaterally end the program without the support of Congress, as well as the need for the government to fulfill existing Social Security obligations.
Criminal justice reform
Jorgensen opposes the seizure of property through federal civil asset forfeiture and the use of qualified immunity to protect police officers. She is also critical of the United States' incarceration rate. She also wants to work with Congress to end the War on Drugs and other victimless crime laws. She has said she would pardon anyone in prison who has been incarcerated for a victimless crime. Jorgensen opposes private prisons, solitary confinement for juveniles, mandatory minimums for people charged with drug possession, and the death penalty for drug traffickers. She also supports amnesty for whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, viewing them as an essential and necessary check on government corruption.
War on drugs
Jorgensen opposes the war on drugs. Jorgensen has called the drug war a "failed" policy, and supports abolishing drug laws, promising to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders.
Jorgensen supports the right to bear arms. She has stated she would abolish the ATF whose purpose, she believes, is to enforce "unconstitutional laws".
She promotes the demilitarization of police, saying that the police's duty "is to go after specific perpetrators of violent crimes, not to act as a force against the people."
Jorgensen favors Generation IV nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions and she wants to remove barriers to replacing coal-burning and oil-burning power plants in the United States with nuclear power plants, in addition to allowing off-grid use of solar power. She supports removing "subsidies of all forms of energy production, allowing emissions-free nuclear power a chance to compete on a level playing field" and supports the use of hydraulic fracking while holding "fracking companies responsible for damages."
Jorgensen opposes embargoes, economic sanctions, and foreign aid. She favors the withdrawal of American troops from foreign wars. She favors non-interventionism and free trade with other nations.
Government spending and debt
Jorgensen supports the Constitutional authority to block any new borrowing. She has pledged to veto any spending that leads to a deficit and any debt ceiling increases.
Jorgensen believes that the most effective way to help the poor is through the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals paired with deregulation. She wants to eliminate policies that, she argues, increase the costs of housing and health care, as well as those creating barriers to creating new businesses or entering professions.
Jorgensen favors the decentralization and localization of education, and has proposed slashing or altogether eliminating the budget of the Department of Education, leaving the education of children to the states.
Neutrality and Peace
Jorgensen opposes US involvement in foreign wars. Advocating armed neutrality similar to Switzerland’s, she has promised to “bring the troops home.”
Maintaining that taxes currently are not voluntary, Jorgensen supports the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service and the elimination of federal income tax.
Jorgensen supports a free-market healthcare system financed by providing individuals with a spending account and allowing individuals to keep any savings, which she believes would create an increased incentive for healthcare providers to compete by meeting consumer demand for low cost services.
Immigration and trade
Jorgensen believes that American citizens should be free to travel anywhere they choose and to buy and sell anywhere in the world. She believes in eliminating trade barriers and tariffs and repealing quotas on the number of people who can legally enter the United States to work, visit, or reside. In a Libertarian presidential primary debate, Jorgensen said she would immediately stop construction on President Donald Trump's border wall. During another primary debate she blamed anti-immigration sentiment on disproportionate media coverage of crimes by immigrants. She argued that immigration helps the economy and that the blending of cultures is beneficial.
Jorgenson has characterized the U.S. government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as overly bureaucratic and authoritarian, calling restrictions on individual behavior such as stay-at-home orders and corporate bailouts, "the biggest assault on our liberties in our lifetime".
Jorgensen is married and has two adult daughters and a grandson. While campaigning in August 2020, Jorgensen was bitten by a bat.