Vermin Supreme

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Vermin Supreme
Vermin Supreme August 2019.jpg
Vermin Supreme at a Trump 2020 rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, August 2019
Judicial Committee Member
Libertarian Party
Assumed office
July 12, 2020
Personal details
Born (1961-06-03) June 3, 1961 (age 59)
Rockport, Massachusetts, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Political partyLibertarian (2016–present)
Other political
affiliations
EducationGloucester High School
Occupation
  • Performance artist
  • presidential candidate
  • activist

Vermin Love Supreme[1] (born June 3, 1961)[2] is an American performance artist, politician, and activist who has run as a candidate in various local, state, and national elections in the United States. He currently serves as a member of the Libertarian Party's judicial committee.[3][4][5][6] Supreme is known for wearing a boot as a hat and carrying a large toothbrush,[7] and has said that if elected President of the United States, he will pass a law requiring people to brush their teeth.[4][8][9][10] He has campaigned on a platform of zombie apocalypse awareness and time travel research,[11] and promised a free pony for every American.[12]

In 2011, he participated in the Occupy Boston protests.[13] He is the subject of the 2014 documentary, Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey, which follows his 2012 campaign and explores his life as an activist and political prankster.[14]

Supreme ran a campaign for president in the Libertarian Party's 2020 primaries. At the 2020 Libertarian National Convention he came in third place, receiving 206 delegate votes. Supreme's running mate Spike Cohen received the vice presidential nomination, joining presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen on the Libertarian general election ticket.

Personal life[edit]

Supreme grew up near Boston, Massachusetts,[15][16] and is said to be the oldest of three children.[1] He graduated from Gloucester High School in 1979, then moved to Baltimore to attend art school, but he dropped out and began booking bands for underground clubs.[17]

In 1986, he joined the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament in protest of nuclear weapons.[1] In 1987, he began running for public office.[18] He legally changed his name to Vermin Supreme in the 1990s while still in Baltimore.[1]

In 2006, Supreme donated one of his kidneys to save his mother.[1] He is married and has no children.[1]

Political positions[edit]

Supreme discussed his political views in a 2008 promotional video. He stated he was registered as a Republican at that time, but that he leaned toward anarchism. He asserted that libertarians "are just about abolishing the government and letting shit fall where it may,"[19] which he called a mistake, though he later said that assertion was based on a "prejudice" for "lack of knowing,"[20] and that "[t]he Libertarian Party is the only party that aligns with my core principles of anti-state, anti-war, and anti-authority."[21] He also asserted that Republicans want to nullify the government, but "offer no alternative to helping people other than charity."[19] Supreme's vision of anarchism holds no need for government, but depends on citizens to take responsibility for themselves and for others, citing "mutual aid and support and care to our fellow citizens" as key elements. To that end, Supreme called for a gradual dismantling of the government, while citizens take up the slack. He asserted that Americans no longer know how to be citizens, placing some of the blame on schools that teach in a "very twisted and jingoistic fashion".[19]

In the video, Supreme discussed his presidential campaign. He describes his "joke humor" campaign as a response to the lies people are fed by the media and by the government.[19]

In an interview with the New Hampshire in 2018, Supreme labelled his political beliefs as "social anarchist" and believes that "Peter Kropotkin was a great anarchist thinker and writer".[22]

U.S. presidential campaigns[edit]

Vermin Supreme speaking to crowds during the 2008 New Hampshire primary

2004[edit]

Supreme campaigned in the Washington, D.C. presidential primary in 2004,[18] where he received 149 votes.[23]

2008[edit]

Supreme campaigned in the New Hampshire Republican primary in 2008. He received 41 votes (0.02%) in the New Hampshire primary. According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), he also received 43 votes, nationally, in the general election.[24]

2012[edit]

Supreme glitter bombs Randall Terry during a forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in December 2011.

Vermin Supreme campaigned as a Democrat in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.[25][26][27]

The following are some of the milestones in this campaign:

Supreme in 2012
  • In May 2012, he visited the second largest regional high school in Maine to give a speech about his campaign style to a government class.[36]
Vermin Supreme, The Yes Men and monochrom's Johannes Grenzfurthner at HOPE 2012
  • July 14, 2012: Supreme appeared with The Yes Men at 2600: The Hacker Quarterly's HOPE Number Nine conference during the Saturday keynote.[37][38]
  • August 25, 2012: Supreme announced his new political party, the Free Pony Party, and that he has chosen fellow fringe opponent Jimmy McMillan as his running mate. Conversely, McMillan stated he was still running for president on his own Rent Is Too Damn High platform, and that Supreme would be McMillan's running mate.[39]
  • October 5, 2012: He participated in a debate hosted by Peter Schiff in the Peter Schiff Radio Show, which featured a panel of overlooked presidential candidates including Jimmy McMillan on the Rent Is Too Damn High Party ticket; Santa Claus, independent write-in candidate, and Edgar Lawson, write-in Republican presidential candidate.[40]

2016[edit]

Supreme attempted another presidential run in 2016.[41] He embarked on a tour of 20 cities to build support for his campaign and sought to qualify for matching funds from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).[41][42] He filed as a candidate in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary on November 21, 2015,[43] and received 259 votes in the primary on February 9, 2016, coming in fourth after Martin O'Malley.[44] He was not invited to return to the Lesser-Known Democratic Candidates Presidential Forum, due in part to him glitterbombing Randall Terry at the event in 2011.[45] Shortly before the primary, he was observed questioning Republican candidates Chris Christie and Ted Cruz through a bullhorn.[46][47] On March 4, 2016, he switched his affiliation to the Libertarian Party.[48] He received the vote of a single delegate in the first round of presidential nomination voting at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention.

2020[edit]

Supreme ran again for President in 2020, this time as a Libertarian. This also marks the first time that Supreme has run a "legitimate" campaign, focusing on real rather than satirical issues and using the slogan "In On The Joke".[49] He won the Libertarian Presidential Preference Primary in New Hampshire on February 11, 2020.[50][51] On March 3, 2020, Supreme was declared the winner of the Massachusetts primary.[52] He dropped out on May 23, 2020 after Jo Jorgensen received the Libertarian Party's nomination for president. However, Supreme's running mate Spike Cohen was chosen to be the vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.

"Right to pony" during 2017 Clinton book tour[edit]

In December 2017 Hillary Clinton planned to visit Concord, New Hampshire, for a book tour promoting her new book What Happened. In advance of her presentation, Supreme planned a demonstration in front of the bookstore during the event.[53] The demonstration was to be a "pony protest" and include at least one pony.[54] Supreme has a history of making the election promise of ponies to constituents and has asserted that Clinton does not like ponies enough.[55] When Supreme sought a protest permit for his demonstration the police ordered the city to deny his request.[55]

In response, Supreme asserted his "right to pony" and retained Marc Randazza, an attorney with a reputation for advocacy of First Amendment rights, to represent him in suing the city of Concord for the permit.[54] The court found in favor of Supreme, issuing an injunction that the city give him a permit, allow him to protest the event, and allow him to bring ponies.[54] A stipulation was that Supreme had to pay for parking for ponies at the rate for cars.[56]

When Supreme presented the pony protest, there was a parade.[57] More than 1,000 people attended the book signing and protest.[58] Various media sources covered the pony protest and Clinton book tour together.[59] The editors of the school newspaper of Londonderry High School used the event to endorse Supreme in the 2020 presidential election.[60]

Other political activity[edit]

In March 2018, inspired by several high school and college students (some from out-of-state) running for Governor of Kansas in the midterm election, Supreme stated that "I certainly did not want to draw away any votes from any teenagers running in the Governor’s race," instead opting to run for Attorney General, becoming a challenger to incumbent Republican Derek Schmidt. The lack of requirements in order to run for office, as outlined in the state's Constitution, has been heralded by Supreme: "This is indeed a very interesting and attractive loophole,” he said. “I think that’s a very good thing for democracy." Desarae Lindsay of Texas was named his campaign treasurer and would accompany him to his 2020 presidential campaign.[61]

Film career[edit]

Supreme at an anti-fascist rally in Boston, November 2017

Supreme co-wrote and stars in the 2009 film Vote Jesus: The Chronicles of Ken Stevenson, in which he poses as a right-wing political candidate to gain access into the world of American fundamentalism.[62]

In 2012, Supreme starred in a web series entitled Learnin' with Vermin that uses a fictional version of his presidential campaign as a platform to teach political concepts such as voting methods.[63]

A documentary following Supreme on the 2012 campaign trail and exploring his life and work as an activist and political prankster called Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey was funded through a Kickstarter campaign and premiered at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival on April 9, 2014.[64] The film was directed by Minneapolis-based filmmaker Steve Onderick and features founder of the Rent is Too Damn High Party, Jimmy McMillan, and Boston-based singer-songwriter, comedian, and fellow performance artist Rob Potylo.[14] The film was released to the general public on Vimeo on Demand on January 30, 2016.[14]

Supreme has also collaborated with Potylo on his webseries, "Quiet Desperation."[65]

Filmography[edit]

List of acting performances in film and television
Title Year Role Notes
Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey 2014 himself documentary
Learnin' with Vermin 2012 himself educational
Vote Jesus: The Chronicles of Ken Stevenson (documentary) 2009 Ken Stevenson film
2008 Uncut 2008 himself TV series
Winning New Hampshire 2004 himself documentary

Electoral history[edit]

2008 Republican presidential primaries[edit]

2008 New Hampshire Republican primary
Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
John McCain 88,571 37.71% 7
Mitt Romney 75,546 32.17% 4
Mike Huckabee 26,859 11.44% 1
Rudy Giuliani 20,439 8.7% 0
Ron Paul 18,308 7.8% 0
Fred Thompson 2,890 1.23% 0
Duncan Hunter 1,217 0.52% 0
Alan Keyes 203 0.09% 0
Stephen Marchuk 123 0.05% 0
Tom Tancredo* 80 0.03% 0
Dr Hugh Cort 53 0.02% 0
Cornelius Edward O'Connor 45 0.02% 0
Albert Howard 44 0.02% 0
Vern Wuensche 44 0.02% 0
Vermin Supreme 41 0.02% 0
John H. Cox 39 0.02% 0
Daniel Gilbert 33 0.01% 0
James Creighton Mitchell Jr. 30 0.01% 0
Jack Shepard 27 0.01% 0
Mark Klein 19 0.01% 0
H. Neal Fendig Jr. 13 0% 0
Scattered 227 0.1% 0
Total 234,851 100% 12

2016 Democratic presidential primaries[edit]

2016 Democratic presidential primaries[66]
Candidate Votes %
Hillary Clinton 16,917,853 55.23
Bernie Sanders 13,210,550 43.13
Martin O'Malley 110,423 0.36
Uncommitted 101,481 0.33
Rocky De La Fuente 67,468 0.22
No Preference 50,990 0.17
scattering 48,576 0.16
Willie Wilson 25,796 0.08
Paul T. Farrell, Jr. 21,694 0.07
Keith Russell Judd 20,305 0.07
Michael Steinberg 20,126 0.07
Henry Hewes 11,062 0.04
John Wolfe Jr. 7,369 0.02
Star Locke 5,202 0.02
Steve Burke 4,893 0.02
Lawrence "Larry Joe" Cohen 2,407 0.01
Calvis L. Hawes 2,017 0.01
James Valentine 1,726 0.01
Uninstructed Delegation 1,488 0.00
Jon Adams 486 0.00
Vermin Supreme 268 0.00
Mark Stewart 236 0.00
David John Thistle 226 0.00
Graham Schwass 143 0.00
Lloyd Thomas Kelso 46 0.00
Mark Stewart Greenstein 41 0.00
Eric Elbot 36 0.00
William D. French 29 0.00
Edward T. O'Donnell, Jr. 26 0.00
David Formhals (write-in) 25 0.00
Robert Lovitt 22 0.00
William H. McGaughey, Jr. 19 0.00
Edward Sonnino 17 0.00
Steven Roy Lipscomb 15 0.00
Sam Sloan 15 0.00
Brock C. Hutton 14 0.00
Andrew Daniel "Andy" Basiago (write-in) 13 0.00
Raymond Michael Moroz 8 0.00
Richard Lyons Weil (write-in) 8 0.00
Ignació León Nuñez (write-in) 6 0.00
Willie Felix Carter (write-in) 3 0.00
Brian James O'Neill, II (write-in) 2 0.00
Doug Terry (write-in) 1 0.00
Miguel Bashaw (write-in) 1 0.00
Kevin Michael Moreau (write-in) 0 0.00
Total 30,633,131 100.00

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Linda Gaponenko (June 7, 2016). "11 Facts About Vermin Supreme". Odyssey. Retrieved August 10, 2019. In 1986, at age 25, he participated in the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament.
  3. ^ Fishman, Dan (2020-07-14). "LNC Election Results". Libertarian Party. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  4. ^ a b Kennedy, Pagan (January 11, 2004). "Merry Prankster". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on February 20, 2009.
  5. ^ "Dean Wins D.C. Primary". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Archived from the original on September 12, 2011.
  6. ^ Lindholm, Jane (January 8, 2008). "New Hampshire's other candidates". American Public Media. Archived from the original on July 18, 2008.
  7. ^ Duff, Lori (April 16, 2010). "Vermin Supreme". Concord Monitor. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "Commentary: If Elected, No Flying Toothbrush Monkeys (audio)". National Public Radio. January 9, 2004. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011.
  9. ^ Conaboy, Chelsea (December 28, 2007). "5 questions for Vermin Supreme". Concord Monitor. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015.
  10. ^ Reinhard, Beth (November 13, 2007). "Vermin Supreme is running for president". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on July 2, 2011.
  11. ^ O'Toole, James (January 8, 2012). "In New Hampshire, underdogs promote presidential agendas". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012.
  12. ^ Williamson, Elizabeth (December 6, 2011). "A Pony for Every American? New Hampshire Primary Has It All". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Dwyer, John Stephen (October 5, 2011). "Who is occupying Boston, and why?". Blast Magazine. Archived from the original on May 4, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c "Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey". Snow Arch Films. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012.
  15. ^ Garance, Franke-Ruta.Running Gag: A campaign veteran comes to the D.C. primary Archived October 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Washington City Paper. January 9, 2004. Web. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  16. ^ Miller, Leslie F. (2009). Let Me Eat Cake: A Celebration of Flour, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla, Baking Powder, and a Pinch of Salt. 9781416588733: Simon & Schuster. p. 73. ISBN 9781416591979.CS1 maint: location (link)
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  25. ^ Grossman, Samantha (January 10, 2012). "Vermin Supreme: The Presidential Candidate Who Promises Free Ponies". TIME Magazine. Archived from the original on January 26, 2012.
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  27. ^ Moran, Andrew (January 13, 2012). "Is Vermin Supreme the next President of the United States?". Digital Journal. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012.
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  39. ^ Giunta, Eric (August 25, 2012). "Vermin Supreme Running for President with Jimmy 'Rent Is Too Damn High' McMillan". Sunshine State News. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012.
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  46. ^ "Vermin Supreme mocks Christie in N.H." Philly.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2016.
  47. ^ Rothkopf, Joanna. "Ted Cruz Gets Trolled by Pro-Pony Presidential Candidate Vermin Supreme". The Slot. Archived from the original on February 10, 2016.
  48. ^ Jent, Greg (March 1, 2016). "Presidential Candidate Switches to the Libertarian Party". The Libertarian Republic. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016.
  49. ^ De Leon, Andres (April 19, 2019). "2020: The Year of the Libertarians?". The Libertarian Republic. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019.
  50. ^ "Results - 2020 Libertarian Presidential Preference Primary". Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. January 14, 2020. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  51. ^ Brown, Elizabeth Nolan (January 13, 2020). "More Holes in the 'Imminent Threat' Story on Soleimani". Reason. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  52. ^ "PD43+ » Search Elections". PD43+. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  53. ^ Fisher, Damien (December 6, 2017). "Clinton book signing targeted by Vermin Supreme". www.nashuatelegraph.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017.
  54. ^ a b c
  55. ^ a b Vidal, Alex (December 9, 2017). "Surrender Hillary, We Have You Surrounded With Ponies". www.dangerous.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017.
  56. ^ Maxwell, Mary W (December 10, 2017). "What Happened to Hillary? Ponies, Paynes, and How Obama Got Elected in 2008 - Gumshoe News". Gumshoe News. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017.
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  59. ^
  60. ^ Wilbur, Tyler (December 14, 2017). "Why you should vote Supreme in 2020". Lancer Spirit Online. Archived from the original on December 24, 2017.
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  63. ^ "Learnin' With Vermin". YouTube.com. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012.
  64. ^ "Who Is Vermin Supreme? A Documentary". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014.
  65. ^ "Quiet Desperation". quietd.com. Rob Potylo. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015 – via YouTube.
  66. ^ Berg-Andersson, Richard E. (2016). Tony Roza (ed.). "Democratic Delegation 2016". thegreenpapers.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2016.

External links[edit]