WorldPeace the Man; the Agenda
WorldPeace the Man
Fourteen years ago I changed my name from Kenneth Edward Wolter to John WorldPeace. At that time I was about to turn forty, had just divorced after seventeen years of marriage, was preparing to take back my four children from my ex-wife, was closing down my tax, bookkeeping and law practice in the Hispanic East End of Houston. I have never been a hippie, I have never used illegal drugs, I have never been arrested. I worked full time for nine of the ten years I attended night school at the University of Houston where I earned three degrees in Political Science, Accounting and Law. No one helped me pay my college fees, I borrowed no money and I took out no loans.
After graduating from the University of Houston at the end of August 1970, I was drafted and served as an infantry sergeant in the U S Army from Oct 1970 to May 1972. By God's grace I was sent to Italy instead of Vietnam. I voted for Nixon in 1972 because he promised, and did, end the war in Vietnam. I have three sons who honorably served in the United States Marine Corps.
I met my present wife, Kay, in 1988, a few months after I had changed my name. We have six children between us, four of which are married. We have seven grandchildren. In 1990, we moved from Houston to Groesbeck to live with her father on his farm due to his illness. He died a year later and we stayed on the farm for another year to close the estate. We then moved to Colorado from 1993 to 1996 in order to get some distance from our ex-spouses. In 1996, after my last son left for the Marine Corps, we moved back to Houston and I reopened my law firm.
I sue lawyers, auto dealers, and other large corporations for their various torts against the average person as well as practice family and criminal law.
Changing One's Name
I changed my name because after my divorce I felt that my life had changed and that I was on a different path. I chose WorldPeace because I have always felt a commitment to do something to leave the world a better place than I found it. I believed that if I changed my name to WorldPeace that at the least people would have to think about WorldPeace for a moment when they read or heard my name.
If you think about changing names for a moment, you will realize that half the population has changed their name when they got married. Not to mention the innumerable immigrants who had their names changed. Not to mention the Native Americans who were forced to take the white man's name. Not to mention all the Blacks who have inherited slave names from their forefathers. And then there are those who have been adopted.
Also, we are each born with a name that we did not chose. And many of us later find that our name is not in harmony with who we have become. I think that there is nothing strange about a person changing their name to one that more closely represents who they have become.
Governor WorldPeace's Platform
The foundation of my political platform is that of "equality and justice". Equality in the sense of equal opportunity and a level playing field. Justice as the lack of corruption and prejudice.
There are three major groups of citizens that are disenfranchised in Texas: Blacks, Hispanics and Women. Each of these groups face glass ceilings in society in regards to how far they can go as a group. Women of color must face a double glass ceiling.
In order to show my commitment to parity for Blacks, I have promised to sign an executive order to remove the Confederate Flag from publicly funded places like the Laredo International Airport. I will not remove it from monuments to the Confederate dead. I do not intend to rewrite history. I do not advocate reparations for the descendants of slaves. I believe that the Confederate Flag is an affront to the Blacks whose ancestors endured three hundred years of slavery. It is an breach of faith with those Union soldiers both White and especially Black who gave their lives to preserve the United States of America. I believe the Confederate Battle Flag is to the Blacks of America what the Nazi flag is to the Jews. Both are an abomination to Christian morality.
I believe in affirmative action as regards to executive appointments by the governor. Therefore, I will allocate a percentage of my appointments as governor to Blacks that is equal to the percent they represent to the total vote for governor in 2002. I will not allocate a percentage based on their population to the total population because I do not intend to reward voter apathy.
In order to show my commitment to parity for Hispanics, I have promised to erect a statue to Juan Seguin on the Capitol grounds in Austin. Juan Seguin was a Texas patriot who fought in the first siege of the Alamo and who also fought at San Jacinto. He was later driven out of Texas simply because of his race. The statue will be a reminder to everyone that blind racial prejudice will have no quarter in my administration. This statue will also remind us that even though we won our independence from Mexico, we did it with the help of Hispanic patriots like Juan Seguin.
I will allocate a percentage of my appointments as governor to Hispanics that is equal to the percent they represent to the total vote for governor in 2002.
In order to show my commitment to women, I will allocate half of my executive appointments to women. I will also erect a statue on the Capitol grounds in Austin to acknowledge the contributions of women to Texas and society in general.
I will also order that the state payroll be immediately audited to make sure that there is no discrimination based on race or gender. Any discrepancies will be rectified to the date of my inauguration.
I am also committed to our senior citizens. I will encourage these individuals to volunteer back into society by working in every aspect of government possible. I will encourage our seniors to return to our elementary and secondary schools for the purpose of tutoring students who are deficient in reading and other skills. I will set up programs to transport these individuals to and from the places where they are needed. I will do everything I can to allow these people to continue to be productive members of society.
I am also committed to the physically and mentally handicapped. I intend to find creative ways to allow them to participate in our society in addition to receiving a minimum amount of government services. I have an understanding of these matters in that one of my uncles had downs syndrome as well as my current wife's sister who also had it. Both had the minds of a five year old.
I am also committed to the Native Americans who live in Texas. It is my intention to petition President Bush for the release of Leonard Peltier to my personal custody. I believe that Leonard Peltier is acknowledged by all the Indian nations as representing everything that was and is wrong about our relations with the people who occupied America tens of thousands of years before the Europeans. There is no doubt that our ancestors practiced a degree of genocide on these people. I do not believe in reparations. I only believe in the freeing of Leonard Peltier as a token of my good faith toward the Indian nations that reside in Texas and America. I believe that the FBI through its actions at Ruby Ridge and Waco have shown that they are less than perfect and as a lawyer I know that justice is not always achieved in the courthouse. I believe that even if Leonard Peltier did the acts he was accused of doing (and I must say that I have reasonable doubt as to whether his did) it is time to let him out of prison.
My commitment is to equality and justice for all the people of Texas and I intend to do all that I can to move toward that goal as quickly as is possible.
Education - I am committed to giving teachers a $2,500 across the board pay raise to show my good faith toward their needs. I am also committed to giving teachers equal rights with students. I am also committed to changing the way that children are allowed to learn such that children who learn best with a computer will be allowed to do so and that children who require personal instructions will have access to qualified teachers. I will maintain the TAAS test but I will reduce the emphasis on them until some other method of measuring student and teacher performances can be implemented. I believe in a modified Robin Hood plan where money is reallocated from the rich school districts to the poorer districts; not to the point of total equality but only to the point where the poorer schools are brought up to a new minimum. One of those minimums will be computer access for all students because a child without computer skills has only limited potential in the job market. I will also require students to read aloud in groups so that their teachers can make sure they are reading at the required level. If they are not, then their daily routines will be changed to increase the time they spend reading. This will start in the first grade and not in high school. In regards to the money for these programs, I will reallocate the state budget such that education is a top priority. This means that unless the public insists on a tax increase, other services are going to be reduced in order that our educational goals for our children will be met.
The Family Law
I intend to require that everyone who files a divorce must participate in mediation within 90 days of filing for divorce. In addition, when children are involved, all parties will have to attend COPE programs designed to create an awareness of the trauma that children of divorced parents must endure. If mediation is not successful, then the divorce will proceed as usual.
The Civil Law
I believe in tort reform but I believe that the current limits of $200,000 in punitive damages is too low. I advocate raising that amount to $500,000 because it is my experience that with the current restrictions, businesses have quit paying legitimate claims because the present limits are not large enough to encourage them to settle claims without going to court. I will also require mediation within six months of filing suit or the case will be dismissed.
The Criminal Law
I will set up a Public Defenders office which will replace the current system whereby judges appoint attorneys for indigent defendants. Many times attorneys are appointed to move a case as opposed to seeking the truth. A public defenders office will set up a true adversarial system whereby prosecutors are evenly matched with defense attorneys who represent indigent defendants. I believe this will go a long way to reducing the number of defendants who serve longer than normal sentences, who plead guilty to crimes which they did not commit and who are wrongly executed.
The Prison System
I intend to encourage businesses to build facilities within the prison walls where they can take advantage of 160,000 inmates that presently reside in the state's care. The companies would be allowed to pay reduced wages with respect to what they would pay outside the prison. The prisoners would have to contribute half of their earnings to reimburse the state for housing them and in addition they could be charged an addition third to pay child support and reparation to their victims. In addition, they would be allowed a reduction in their sentences based on the days that they worked.
I believe that prison is a surreal environment and that we will have better luck reinserting criminals into society if they are living a more normal life in prison. I would also allow more conjugal visits for those who worked and attended classes to prepare them for reentry into society. The closer connection a criminal keeps with his or her family the greater the chances of a successful re-entry into society.
The Election of Judges
I advocate the election of judges but I believe that a judge must disclose to the attorneys before him contributions that he has received from those attorneys either directly or indirectly. If the contribution is more than $500, then the judge will have to recuse himself from that case and turn it over to the administrative judge for reassignment.
The Texas Economy
As John WorldPeace, I feel that I am a natural world ambassador and as such I will seek out companies from all over the world to locate in Texas. I am pro-business because business creates jobs. At the same time I am pro-union because my experience as an attorney has proven that justice is best achieved when competing views are pitted against each other. In other words, unions as well as environmental groups keep businesses in check. When both sides of an issue have equal representation, then policy tends to be more fair and just.
There are many concrete ideas that I have which I believe will lead to a more just and equitable society. I have only mentioned some of the more significant ones to give examples of how I will implement my policies. For more details you can go to my web page at http://www.johnworldpeace.com or .org. In all cases, I will ask the question of whether proposed legislation is fair and just and benefits society as a whole or whether the few are benefited to the detriment of the many.
I believe that these concrete ideas will clearly distinguish me from my opponents in the governor's race. If you feel that you are in line with my ideas, then I encourage you to contribute to my campaign by visiting my web site.
The Next Governor of Texas
September 10, 2001