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"All of us should have free choice when it comes to patriotic displays... a government wisely acting within its bounds will earn loyalty and respect from its citizens. A government dare not demand the same."
— Jesse Ventura

"As governor, there isn't a lot I can do beyond that to crack down on crime. Law enforcement is really a local issue. It's the cops' job to tighten down on criminals."
— Jesse Ventura

"Government works less efficiently when it begins to grow out of control and takes on more and more of the responsibilities that belong to the citizens."
— Jesse Ventura

"Government's role should be only to keep the playing field level, and to work hand in hand with business on issues such as employment. But beyond this, to as great an extent as possible, it should get the hell out of the way."
— Jesse Ventura

"I also believe that government has no business telling us how we should live our lives. I think our lifestyle choices should be left up to us. What we do in our private lives is none of the government's business. That position rules out the Republican Party for me."
— Jesse Ventura

"I asked Dalai Lama the most important question that I think you could ask - if he had ever seen Caddyshack."
— Jesse Ventura

"I believe in the America people's ability to govern themselves. If government would just get out of the way and allow them to lead their lives as they choose, they will succeed."
— Jesse Ventura

"I believe patriotism comes from the heart. Patriotism is voluntary. It is a feeling of loyalty and allegiance that is the result of knowledge and belief."
— Jesse Ventura

"I decided to run for governor because I got mad... I want to make government more directly accountable to the people."
— Jesse Ventura

"I don't believe we need the government's help as much as some think we do. That belief sets me apart from the Democrats, since their way of dealing with everything is to tax and spend."
— Jesse Ventura

"I don't support abortion. I could never participate in one. But I think it would be a mistake to make them illegal again."
— Jesse Ventura

"Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business."
— Jesse Ventura

"Patriotism is voluntary. It is a feeling of loyalty and allegiance that is the result of knowledge and belief. A patriot shows their their patriotism through their actions, by their choice."
— Jesse Ventura

"Politics is not my life. I have a career in radio and another career in film."
— Jesse Ventura

"Remember that government doesn't earn one single dollar it spends. In order for you to get money from the government, that money must first be taken from somebody else."
— Jesse Ventura

"Students often approached me about state-paid tuition while I was out campaigning. After I explained to them that if the state pays their tuition now, they will pay higher taxes to pay other people's tuition for the rest of their lives, most of them ended up agreeing with me."
— Jesse Ventura

"The Constitution guarantees us our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That's all. It doesn't guarantee our rights to charity."
— Jesse Ventura

"There are a lot of good causes out there, but they can't possibly all be served by government."
— Jesse Ventura

"There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag."
— Jesse Ventura

"There's no question that we need tougher drunk-driving laws for repeat offenders. We need to take a lesson from European countries where driving isn't a right but a privilege."
— Jesse Ventura

"We call our country home of the brave and land of the free, but it's not. We give a false portrayal of freedom. We're not free - if we were, we'd allow people their freedom."
— Jesse Ventura

"When the Constitution gave us the right to bear arms, it also made us responsible for using them properly. It's not fair of us as citizens to lean more heavily on one side of that equation than on the other."
— Jesse Ventura

James George Janos (born July 15, 1951), better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, actor, author, and former professional wrestler who served as the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.

Jesse Ventura
Ventura served as a Navy UDT during the Vietnam War. He later embarked on an 11-year professional wrestling career from 1975 to 1986, taking up the stage name Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He had a long tenure in the World Wrestling Federation as a performer and color commentator, and was inducted into the company's Hall of Fame in 2004. After leaving wrestling Ventura began a successful film career, appearing in films such as 1987's Predator.

Ventura first entered politics as Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota from 1991 to 1995. He ran as the Reform Party candidate in the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1998, running a campaign centered on grassroots events and unusual ads that implored citizens not to "vote for politics as usual". The campaign was successful, and Ventura served from January 4, 1999, to January 6, 2003, without running for a second term.

Books by MN Governor Jesse Ventura

63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read by Jesse Ventura American Conspiracies - Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells Us book by Jesse Ventura Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! book by Jesse Ventura
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Reworking the Body Politic from the Bottom Up (May 1999) ISBN 978-0-375-50332-0
  • Do I Stand Alone? Going to the Mat Against Political Pawns and Media Jackals (September 2000) ISBN 978-0-7434-0586-7
  • Jesse Ventura Tells it Like it Is: America's Most Outspoken Governor Speaks Out About Government (September 2002, co-authored with Heron Marquez) ISBN 978-0-8225-0385-9
  • Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! (March 2008, co-authored with Dick Russell) ISBN 978-1-60239-273-1
  • American Conspiracies (March 2010, co-authored with Dick Russell) ISBN 978-1-60239-802-3
  • 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read (April 2011, co-authored with Dick Russell) ISBN 978-1-61608-226-0

Navy Seal

Jesse Ventura Navy Seal
From September 11, 1969, to September 10, 1975, during the Vietnam War era, Ventura served in the United States Navy. Ventura graduated with BUD/S class 58 in December 1970 and was part of Underwater Demolition Team 12 and later as a reservist with SEAL Team 1.

Ventura has frequently referred to his military career in public statements and debates. He was criticized by hunters and conservationists for stating in an interview with the Minneapolis StarTribune in April 2001, "Until you have hunted men, you haven't hunted yet."

In January 2002, Ventura, who had never specifically claimed to have fought in Vietnam, disclosed for the first time that he did not see combat. He did not receive the Combat Action Ribbon, which was awarded to those involved in a firefight or who went on clandestine or special operations where the risk of enemy fire was great or expected. However, Ventura, who was stationed at Subic Bay in the Philippines, was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, which was given to military personnel who took part in the contributions to the war effort in Vietnam. He was a bodyguard for The Rolling Stones for a short time before he ventured into professional wrestling and changed his name.

Mayor of Brooklyn Park

Following his departure from the WWF, Ventura took advice from a former high school teacher and ran for mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota in 1990. Ventura defeated the city's 25-year incumbent mayor and served from 1991 to 1995.

Governor of Minnesota

Electoral history

1998 election for Governor
Jesse Ventura (Ref.), 37%
Norm Coleman (R), 34%
Hubert H. Humphrey III (DFL), 28

See also: Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1998

Ventura ran for Governor of Minnesota in 1998 as the nominee for the Reform Party of Minnesota (he later joined the Independence Party of Minnesota when the Reform Party broke from its association with the Reform Party of the United States of America). His campaign consisted of a combination of aggressive grassroots events and original television spots, designed by quirky adman Bill Hillsman, using the phrase "Don't vote for politics as usual." He spent considerably less than his opponents (about $300,000) and was a pioneer in his using the Internet as a medium of reaching out to voters in a political campaign.

He won the election in November 1998, narrowly (and unexpectedly) defeating the major-party candidates, St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman (Republican) and Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III (Democratic-Farmer-Labor). After his victory, bumper stickers and T-shirts bearing the slogan "My governor can beat up your governor" appeared in Minnesota. The nickname "Jesse 'The Mind'" (from a last-minute Hillsman ad featuring Ventura posing as Rodin's Thinker) began to resurface sarcastically in reference to his frequently controversial remarks. Ventura's old stage name "Jesse 'The Body'" (sometimes adapted to "Jesse 'The Governing Body'") also continued to appear with some regularity.

After a trade mission to China in 2002, he announced that he would not run for a second term. He accused the media of hounding him and his family for personal behavior and belief while neglecting coverage of important policy issues. Ventura later told a reporter for The Boston Globe that he would have run for a second term if he had been single, citing the media's effect on his family life.

Governor Ventura sparked media criticism when, nearing the end of his term, he suggested that he might resign from office early to allow his lieutenant governor, Mae Schunk, an opportunity to serve as governor. He further stated that he wanted her to be the state's first female governor and have her portrait painted and hung in the Capitol along with the other governors. Ventura quickly retreated from the comments, saying he was just floating an idea.

Political positions

As Minnesota Governor, Ventura succeeded in several initiatives. One of the most notable was the rebate on sales tax. In each year of his administration, Minnesotans received a tax-free check in the late summer. The state was running a budget surplus at the time, and Ventura believed that the money should be returned to the public. In political debates, he often admitted that he had not formed an opinion on certain policy questions. Ventura frequently described himself as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." He selected teacher Mae Schunk as his running mate.

Later, he came to support a unicameral (one-house) legislature, property tax reform, gay rights, and abortion rights. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, he affirmed his support of gay rights, including gay marriage and gays in the military, humorously stating he would've gladly served alongside homosexuals when he was in the Navy as they would've provided less competition for women. While funding public school education generously, he opposed the teachers' union, and did not have a high regard for the public funding of higher education institutions. Additionally, Ventura supported the use of medicinal marijuana, advocated a higher role for third parties in national politics, and favored the concept of instant-runoff voting. He also opposed the death penalty.

Ventura was elected on a Reform party ticket, but he never received support from Ross Perot's Texas faction. When the Reform party was taken over by Pat Buchanan supporters before the presidential elections of 2000, Ventura left the party in February 2000, referring to it as "hopelessly dysfunctional". However, he maintained close ties to the Independence Party of Minnesota, which also broke from the Reform party around the same time.

Despite being a supporter of third parties in the past, Ventura has since declared he no longer supports the third party movement and advocates that all political parties, including third parties, be abolished. Feeling that the two-party system has corrupted the government, Ventura has expressed concern that if a third party became as successful as the Republicans and Democrats, it "will likewise have to corrupt itself. If you already have a two-headed monster, why would you need three?"

Lacking a party base in the Minnesota House and Senate, Ventura's policy ambitions had little chance of being introduced as bills. Initially, the residents of Minnesota feared Ventura's vetoes would be overturned. He vetoed 45 bills in his first year, and only three of those vetoes were overridden. The reputation for having his vetoes overridden comes from his fourth and final year, where six of his nine vetoes were overturned. He vetoed a bill to require recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

During the first part of his administration, Ventura strongly advocated for land-use reform and substantial mass transit improvements, such as light rail. He made the light rail project a priority, obtaining additional funding from the Minnesota state legislature to keep the project moving. The Hiawatha Line was completed in 2004.

During another trade mission to Cuba in the summer of 2002, he denounced the economic sanctions of the US against Cuba, stating that the sanctions affected the Cuban public more than it did its government.

Ventura Becomes a Superhero

Ventura was succeeded in his office by Republican Tim Pawlenty. He began a cable television show in October 2003, on MSNBC called Jesse Ventura's America. The show was broadcast once a week, on Saturdays, unlike many MSNBC shows which are on five nights a week (this show was originally planned for five nights a week as well, but MSNBC executives changed their minds). At the time of its airing, Jesse Ventura's America was the only national television show filmed in Minnesota. Among his guests were Charles Barkley, Gray Davis, Arianna Huffington, Rob Kampia, and Kathy McKee. However, the show was short-lived and ended on December 26, 2003, only a couple of months after the show began. Ventura later claimed that the show was cancelled because of his opposition to the Iraq War.

In 2004, Harvard graduate student and fellow Navy veteran Christopher Mora promoted the idea that the academic establishment had failed to reach out to citizens experienced in public service, but who did not fit the traditional idea of a politician. He successfully lobbied for the selection of Ventura, who started teaching a study group at Harvard University for the Spring 2004 semester as a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government's Institute of Politics (IOP). His 90-minute study group focused on third party politics, campaign finance, the war on drugs, and other relevant political issues. Ventura scheduled multiple famous friends to appear for his seminars including Dean Barkley and Richard Marcinko.

On October 22, 2004, with Ventura by his side, former Maine Governor Angus King endorsed John Kerry for President at the Minnesota state capitol building. Ventura did not speak at the press conference. When prodded for a statement, Governor King responded, "He plans to vote for John Kerry, but he doesn't want to make a statement and subject himself to the tender mercies of the Minnesota press".

In November 2004, an advertisement began airing in California featuring Ventura. In it, Ventura voices his opposition to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's policies regarding Native American casinos. Ventura served as an advisory board member for a group called Operation Truth, a non-profit organization set up "to give voice to troops who served in Iraq." "The current use of the National Guard is wrong....These are men who did not sign up to go occupy foreign nations". Ventura also became critical of the War in Iraq, arguing that Iraq had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks. On The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Ventura compared the 2003 invasion of Iraq to a scenario of invading Korea in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan.

In August 2005, Ventura became the spokesperson for BetUS, an online Sportsbook. In 2005, Ventura repeatedly discussed leaving the United States. In September 2005, Ventura announced on The Mike Malloy Show that he was leaving the U.S. and planned to "have an adventure". In late October 2005, he went on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and reiterated that he was leaving the U.S. and moving to Mexico due to, among other things, censorship.

In September 2006, Ventura endorsed and campaigned with independent Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, and Independence Party of Minnesota's gubernatorial candidate Peter Hutchinson and Team Minnesota.

In April 2008, a book authored by Ventura, titled Don't Start the Revolution Without Me, was released. In it, Ventura describes a hypothetical campaign in which he is a candidate for President of the United States in 2008, running as an independent. In an interview with the Associated Press at the time of the book's release, however, Ventura denied any plans for a presidential bid, stating that the scenario is only imaginary and not indicative of a "secret plan to run". On MinnPost.com, Ventura's agent, Steve Schwartz, describes the book thus: "[Ventura is revealing] why he left politics and discussing the disastrous war in Iraq, why he sees our two-party system as corrupt, and what Fidel Castro told him about who was really behind the assassination of President Kennedy."

He spoke at Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul's "Rally for the Republic", organized by the Campaign for Liberty, on September 2, 2008. At the event, Ventura implied a possible future run at the U.S. Presidency. Ventura stated before a live audience that "If America proves itself worthy, in 2012 we'll give them a race they'll never forget!"

Bush/Cheney administration and torture

In a May 11, 2009 interview with Larry King, Ventura twice stated that George W. Bush was the worst president of his lifetime, adding "President Obama inherited something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You know? Two wars, an economy that's borderline depression." On the issue of waterboarding, Ventura added:

It's a good thing I'm not president because I would prosecute every person that was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law. [King: And you were a Navy Seal] That's right and I was waterboarded...at SERE school, Survival Escape Resistance Evasion (sic). It was a required school you had to go to prior to going into the combat zone, which in my era was Vietnam. All of us had to go there. We were all in essence, every one of us was waterboarded. It is torture. [King: What was it like?] It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It's no good, because you — I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders... If it's done wrong, you certainly could drown. You could swallow your tongue. [It] could do a whole bunch of stuff to you. If it's done wrong or — it's torture, Larry. It's torture.

Ventura then stated that he had no respect for Dick Cheney because he is "a guy who got five deferments from the Vietnam War. Clearly, he's a coward. He wouldn't go when it was his time to go. And now he is a chickenhawk. Now he is this big tough guy who wants this hardcore policy. And he's the guy that sanctioned all this torture by calling it 'enhanced interrogation'." Ventura also expressed interest in being appointed ambassador to Cuba should U.S. relations with Cuba continue to improve. On a May 18, 2009 appearance on The View, Ventura asked Elisabeth Hasselbeck if waterboarding is acceptable, why were the Oklahoma City bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, not waterboarded. "We only seem to waterboard Muslims." Comparing the waterboarding of detainees to the North Vietnamese torture of American P.O.W.s, Ventura asserted, "We created our own Hanoi Hilton in Guantánamo. That's our Hanoi Hilton." "'Enhanced interrogation' is Dick Cheney changing a word. Dick Cheney comes up with a new word to cover his ass." On May 20, 2009, Ventura appeared on Fox & Friends. When Brian Kilmeade told Ventura that he would stop supporting waterboarding when "they're dead", Ventura responded, "Really? Have you enlisted? Have you enlisted or are you just talking?... Go walk the walk, don't talk the talk."

Questions regarding 9/11

In April and May 2008, Jesse Ventura, in several radio interviews for his new book, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me, expressed concerns about what he described as some of the unanswered questions of the September 11 attacks. His remarks about the possibility that the World Trade Center was demolished with explosives were also repeated in newspaper and television stories following some of the interviews.

Ventura was interviewed on the Alex Jones radio show on April 2, 2008 where he said that he felt that many unanswered questions remain, and he believes that World Trade Center Building 7, which was not struck by a plane, collapsed on the afternoon of 9/11 in a manner which resembled a controlled demolition Ventura stated:

How could this building just implode into its own footprint five hours later? That's my first question. [...] The 9/11 Commission didn't even devote one page to that in their big volume of investigation.

He also states the Twin Towers appeared to be pulverized to dust, that they fell at virtually free-fall speed, and that no other massive steel-framed buildings had ever collapsed in this manner due to fire before.

On May 18, 2009, when asked by Sean Hannity of Fox News, how George W. Bush could have avoided the attacks of September 11, 2001, Ventura answered, "Well, you pay attention to memos on August 6th that tell you exactly what bin Laden's gonna do."

On December 2, 2009, when Jim Norton of the Opie and Anthony Show accused Ventura of believing that the Government was behind 9/11, Ventura denied the accusation and stated that he simply believed that "we have not been told the truth" regarding the events on 9/11.

Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura

In August 2009, it was announced that Ventura would host TruTV's new show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura."Ventura will hunt down answers, plunging viewers into a world of secret meetings, midnight surveillance, shifty characters and dark forces," truTV said in a statement. On the program, which debuted on December 2, 2009, Ventura travels the country, investigating cases and getting input from believers and skeptics before passing judgment on a theory's validity. According to TruTV, the first episode drew 1.6 million viewers, a record for a new series on the network.

The second season of the series debuted in October 2010 and aired 8 episodes through December 2010.[92] A third season is in the process of being made and will air sometime in 2012.

American Conspiracies and 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read

American Conspiracies is a book Ventura wrote with Dick Russell, published by Skyhorse Publishing in 2010 which discusses conspiracy theories related to several notable events in United States history.

63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read was also written by Ventura with Dick Russell and published in 2011. The book describes documents that Ventura claims the government does not want the public to be informed of, although he stated the documents were not stolen and were only on the public domain.

Lawsuit Against the TSA

In January 2011, Jesse Ventura filed a lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration for being subject to controversial pat-downs. Ventura has asserted that these pat-downs violate citizens' Fourth Amendment rights. Ventura's attorney has claimed that while he is not seeking any monetary compensation, Ventura wants an acknowledgment from the court that his rights were violated and that the TSA halt future pat-downs on him. Ventura stated that as a former politician and a military veteran and posing no threat, it is inappropriate for him to be subject to pat-downs. Since filing the lawsuit, Ventura has been flying privately.

The lawsuit was dismissed in November 2011 under the ruling that Ventura should have filed the lawsuit in the Court of Appeals. In related comments to the media following the lawsuit's dismissal, Ventura stated he believed America had become "fascist" for the secret ruling and subsequent mainstream media blackout. The former Governor said he would seek dual citizenship in both the United States and Mexico, having lived in Baja California Sur for a number of years. He also said he no longer felt patriotic and would raise a fist during the playing of the national anthem at public events. Ventura has declared he would no longer fly commercially and has repeatedly stated "I love my country, not my government" in post-press-release interviews. The ultimate outcome of the TSA constitutional matter remains undetermined, and Ventura has not stated whether he would continue his lawsuit.

 

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