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By Vickie Karp

Austin, Texas  May 5, 2005

When my cell phone rang last Friday as I was on my way to take care of some real estate business, I didn't recognize the area code or number.  "This is Vickie", I answered, curious.

"Vickie, this is Karl Schwarz."

Karl Schwarz, the interesting and imposing gentleman I meet at a local citizens' group meeting a couple of months ago here in Austin, in town to promote his new Bush-bashing book, "One Way Ticket to Crawford, Texas".  I had purchased a copy, introduced myself to him after his talk, and told him I work as the Chairperson of the Coalition for Visible Ballots, and with Bev Harris of Black Box Voting (as a Board member of this non-profit) .  "Oh, yes, Bev!" he'd responded with a smile.  "I just spoke with her last week!  She is doing great work!"

But why was the distinguished gentleman from Arkansas (now Georgia) calling me?

But I had a quick response: "Why, Karl!  It's good to hear from you!  I just started reading your book two nights agoit's fascinating!"  (all of which happened to be true.)

"You sure took your time!" he responded with a laughsince I'd had the book for several weeks.  And then, "I'm calling you because you work with Bev, and I'm going to be needing some expert advice from y'all soon on how to run a fair electionI know those electronic voting machines can't be trusted!  I'm actually heading down your way right now, because on Monday, I plan to announce that I'll be running for President in 2008!"

Finally!  A presidential candidate who knows (and wants to change it!) that the vote is rigged!  I got excited and pulled out my yellow pad to start taking notes.  No political topic is taboo to Schwarz, as I was about to learn.

A Republican for many years, even serving on the influential Republican National Committee in the finance division, Schwarz received his "wakeup call" during the Bush-Cheney administration's early years.  His speaking tour and his "One Way Ticket" book tell of his discovery of high-level lies, cover-ups and deceit perpetrated on the American people by this administration on issues as vital as:  the real truth about 9/11, (and the government's whitewashing and coverup about it);  the fake runup to war in Iraq; the details of how controlling oil and related pipelines created our "need" for war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the very-near-future plans to attack Iran;  the Bush-Cheney "treasonous" energy policy;  the "missing" $6 trillion dollars at the Pentagon; (Schwarz says, "NO MORE MONEY for the Department of Defense until they find the missing $6 trillion!"...and he proposes an audit of the entire U.S. government!); government catering to the pharmaceutical industry and the resulting suppression of real, cheap cures for cancer and other diseases; the abhorrent treatment by our government of veterans and active military; and (my personal favorite)--Republican connections to electronic voting machine vendors, fraudulent systems which have helped secure the highest level of Republican control in our country's history.  ("Let's turn the elections and the vote back to the people!" Karl says.)

Schwarz expresses his intention to restore true ethics, integrity and fiscal discipline to our government, and when you hear him say it, you kind of get the idea that he's not fooling around.

A successful businessman himself with his nanotechnology business, apparently quite well-off financially, he appears to be unbribable; and his willingness to speak the unspeakable about our current government, and with such conviction and lots of documentation (814 pages in the book!) makes me hope he has good security guards and won't fly in planes (he doesn't!)

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A computer snafu kept the press release from getting out in time, so just four of us witnessed what could well have been the historic event on Monday morning  (May 1st) in Round Rock, Texas (just north of Austin) at the Republic Broadcast Network radio studio:  Conservative Christian and former Republican Karl W.B. Schwarz did in fact declare himself a candidate for President of the United States for the year 2008.  One lone member of the press was there to document the event:  Leon Smith of the Crawford, Texas newspaper, "The Iconoclast".

Schwarz is running as a candidate for the American Independent Party.  The American Independents plan to gain support among disenchanted former Republicans and Democrats and those from other third parties who share their vision of holding forth the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law as its highest standards. 

A groundswell of political organizing is underway to form and certify this party in all 50 states in time to address the 2006 and 2008 elections on a national and state level. "We will not wait until 2008 to challenge the powers-that-be", Schwarz stated.  Other candidates are being sought to contest all U.S. House seats and those U.S. Senators up for re-election in 2006 and 2008, as well as gubernatorial positions. 

Another memorable quote:  "I want to wake the American people up to the truth:   that neither of the major political parties represents anyone but the corporate elite," states Schwarz.  Blasting the protection by the current administration of corporate executives of companies such as Global Crossing and Enron at the expense of the former employees and shareholders who lost their life savings and retirement, Schwarz notes:  "No one is above the law.  Not even members of the current administration!"

Schwarz noted three goals for the country to be highlighted during his campaign:  to create energy independence; to drastically change our foreign policy and regain the respect of the world community for our fine nation; and to immediately stop the abuse being perpetrated on our military and our veterans by the current administration.

As a Board member for Black Box Voting, my personal position is always non-partisan.  I do not campaign for or promote any candidate for any office.  When a candidate for President invites me to attend his announcement, however, it strikes me as big newseven if no one else knows it yetand it was fascinating to be able to visit with 2008's newest candidate about his views.  I have a feeling BBV will be hearing from Karl again as we get closer to the mid-term elections.  He knows we have a long way to go before any third party candidate could make significant wins, as long as we are using electronic voting systems. 
Vickie Karp