Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel (//; born May 13, 1930) is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party, he was a candidate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election and is a candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1981
|Preceded by||Ernest Gruening|
|Succeeded by||Frank Murkowski|
|3rd Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives|
January 25, 1965 – January 22, 1967
|Preceded by||Bruce Kendall|
|Succeeded by||Bill Boardman|
|Member of the Alaska House of Representatives|
from the 8th district
January 23, 1963 – January 22, 1967
|Preceded by||John S. Hellenthal|
|Succeeded by||Michael F. Beirne|
Maurice Robert Gravel
May 13, 1930
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic (Before 2008; 2010–present)|
(m. 1959; div. 1981)
Whitney Stewart (m. 1984)
American International College
Columbia University (BS)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1951–1954|
Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, by French-Canadian immigrant parents, Gravel served in the U.S. Army in West Germany, and later graduated from the Columbia University School of General Studies. He moved to Alaska in the late 1950s, becoming a real estate developer and entering politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1966 and also became Speaker of the Alaska House. Gravel was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1968.
As a senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful but unsuccessful attempts to end the draft during the War in Vietnam and for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971 at some risk to himself. He conducted an unusual campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1972 for Vice President of the United States, and then played a crucial role in getting Congressional approval for the Trans-Alaska pipeline in 1973. He was reelected to the Senate in 1974, but gradually alienated his Alaskan constituents, and his bid for a third term was defeated in a primary election in 1980.
Gravel returned to business ventures and went through difficult times, suffering corporate and personal bankruptcies amid poor health. He has been an advocate of direct democracy and the National Initiative. In 2006 Gravel began a run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States to promote those ideas. His campaign gained an Internet following and national attention due to forceful, humorous, and politically unorthodox debate appearances during 2007, but he found very little support in national polls or the 2008 caucuses and primaries. In March 2008 he left the Democratic Party and joined the Libertarian Party to compete for its presidential nomination and the inclusion of the National Initiative into the Libertarian Platform. At the Libertarian National Convention of 2008 he failed on both counts. He subsequently became an executive for a marijuana products company and continued to speak out about various political issues and candidates.
Gravel has announced that he is running in the 2020 Democratic primaries in order to bring his long-held policy goals to the debate stage. He officially filed to run for president on April 2, 2019.
Early life, military service, educationEdit
His parents were part of the Quebec diaspora, and he was raised in a working-class neighborhood during the Great Depression, speaking only French until he was seven years old. Calling him "Mike" from an early age, his father valued work above all else, while his mother stressed the importance of education.
Gravel was educated in parochial schools as a Roman Catholic. There he struggled, due to what he later said was undiagnosed dyslexia, and was left back in third grade. He completed elementary school in 1945 and his class voted him "most charming personality". A summer job as a soda jerk led to Gravel handing out campaign fliers for local candidates on his boss's behalf; Gravel was immediately impressed with "the awesomeness of political office."
Gravel then boarded at Assumption Preparatory School in Worcester, Massachusetts, where his performance was initially mediocre. Then an English teacher, the Assumptionist Edgar Bourque, gave him personal attention, improving Gravel's language skills and instructing him in public speaking. Gravel's grades improved measurably in his final year and he graduated in 1949. He has a sister, Marguerite, who became a Holy Cross nun, but Gravel himself struggled with the Catholic faith. He studied for one year at Assumption College, a Catholic school in Worcester, then transferred for his sophomore year to American International College in Springfield. Journalist I. F. Stone and philosopher Bertrand Russell strongly influenced Gravel in their willingness to challenge assumptions and oppose social convention and political authority.
Around May 1951, Gravel saw that he was about to be drafted and instead enlisted in the U.S. Army for a three-year term so that he could get into the Counterintelligence Corps. After basic training and counterintelligence school at Fort Holabird in Maryland and in South Carolina, he went to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. While he expected to be sent off to the Korean War when he graduated as a second lieutenant in early 1952, he was instead assigned to Stuttgart, West Germany, as a Special Adjutant in the Army's Communications Intelligence Service. There he had an adventurous time moving around the country, conducting surveillance operations on civilians, and paying off spies. After about a year he transferred to Orléans, France, where his French language abilities (if not his Quebecois accent) allowed him to infiltrate French communist rallies. He worked as a Special Agent in the Counterintelligence Corps until 1954, eventually becoming a first lieutenant.
Following his discharge, Gravel entered the Columbia University School of General Studies in New York City, where he studied economics and received a B.S. in 1956. He moved to New York "flat broke" and supported himself by working as a bar boy in a hotel, driving a taxicab, and working in the investment bond department at Bankers Trust. During this time he left the Catholic religion.
Move to AlaskaEdit
Gravel "decided to become a pioneer in a faraway place," and moved to pre-statehood Alaska in August 1956, without funds or a job, looking for a place where someone without social or political connections could be a viable candidate for public office. Alaska's voting age of 19, less than most other states' 21, played a role in his decision, as did its newness and cooler climate. Broke when he arrived, he immediately found work in real estate sales until winter arrived. Gravel then was employed as a brakeman for the Alaska Railroad, working the snow-clearing train on the Anchorage-Fairbanks run. Subsequently, he opened a small real estate brokerage in Anchorage (the Territory of Alaska not requiring a license) and saved enough so as not to have to work the railroad again. The firm was named the M. R. Gravel Real Estate Company. Gravel joined the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and would continue a sporadic relationship with the movement throughout his life.
Seeing Alaska as a wide-open place with no political establishment or entrenched interests, Gravel quickly became part of the civic scene there. By October 1957 he was a Division Chairman for Anchorage for the Democratic Central Committee in the territory, and by June 1958 he was president of the Alaska Young Democrats organization. He also became active in the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees), and by early 1958 his duties included handing out awards for farmer of the year.
By early 1958, Gravel was running as Democratic Party primary candidate for a Third Division seat in House of Representative of the territorial legislature (this was one of the four judicial divisions into which Alaska was sectioned at the time). Using the slogan "Gravel, the Roadbed to Prosperity", he ran but lost. At the same time, he was also an advocate for Alaskan statehood.
He went on a 44-state national speaking tour concerning tax reform in 1959, sponsored by the Jaycees, and often dressing as Paul Revere. Gravel was selected from some two thousand applications for this position. The tour received a good amount of local newspaper coverage at its various stops, with Gravel's first name sometimes given as Mike and other times as Maurice. The tour's general message was an urging of "lower taxes, more efficiency in government and a system of taxation moderate at all levels of income." At several stops Gravel stated that the "tide of socialism" had to be stopped. He elaborated at another stop, "It is part of our Jaycee creed that economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise. We really want to see that free enterprise become our inheritance." The tour was scheduled to conclude in Washington, D.C., on Tax Day, April 15, with petition signatures accumulated for reform to be presented to U.S. lawmakers: dressed as Revere, Gravel rode with the petition to the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
The tour over, Gravel married Rita Jeannette Martin at the First Methodist Church of Anchorage on April 29, 1959. She was a native of Montana who had attended Billings Business College before moving to Alaska two years prior and becoming a secretary in the office of the Anchorage city manager. She had also been named Anchorage's "Miss Fur Rendezvous" of 1958. They would have two children, Martin Anthony Gravel and Lynne Denise Gravel, born c. 1960 and 1962 respectively.
Gravel ran without avail for the City Council in Anchorage in 1960. During this time, he had become a successful real estate agent; after the 1960 election, he became a property developer in a mobile home park on the outskirts of Anchorage. After a partner ran into financial difficulty, however, the project went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Gravel was forced out in 1962.
With the support of Alaska wholesale grocer Barney Gottstein and supermarket builder Larry Carr, Gravel ran for the Alaska House of Representatives representing Anchorage in 1962, initially assigned the 10th and then 8th districts.[nb 1] Alaska had very crowded primaries that year: Gravel was one of 33 Democrats, along with 21 Republicans, who were running for the chance to compete for the 14 House seats allocated to the 8th district. Gravel made it through the primary, and in November eight Republicans and six Democrats were elected to the House from the district, with Gravel finishing eighth overall and third among with Democrats, with 8,174 votes. Gottstein became Gravel's main financial backer during most of his subsequent campaigns.
Gravel served in the Alaska House of Representatives from January 28, 1963 to January 22, 1967, winning reelection in 1964. In his first term, he served as a minority member on two House committees: Commerce, and Labor and Management.
He coauthored and sponsored the act that created the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights. Gravel was the chief architect of the law that created a regional high school system for rural Alaska; this allowed Alaska Natives to attend schools near where they lived instead of having to go to schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the lower 48 states.
During the half-years that the legislature was not in session, Gravel resumed his real estate work. With Gottstein and Carr's backing, he became quite successful as a property developer on the Kenai Peninsula.
During 1965 and 1966, he served as the Speaker of the House, surprising observers by winning that post. Gravel convinced former Speaker Warren A. Taylor to not try for the position against him by promising Taylor chairmanship of the Rules Committee, then reneged on the promise. Gravel denied later press charges that he had promised but not delivered on other committee chairmanships. As Speaker he antagonized fellow lawmakers by imposing his will on the legislature's committees and feuded with Alaska State Senate president Robert J. McNealy.
Gravel did not run for reelection in 1966, instead choosing to run for Alaska's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, losing the primary to four-term incumbent Democrat Ralph Rivers by 1,300 votes and splitting the Democratic party in the process. Rivers lost the general election that year to Republican state Senator Howard Wallace Pollock.
Following his defeat, Gravel returned to the real estate business in Anchorage.
Election to Senate in 1968Edit
In 1968 he ran against the 81-year-old incumbent Democratic Senator Ernest Gruening, a popular former governor of the Alaska Territory who was considered one of the fathers of Alaska's statehood, for his party's nomination to the U.S. Senate. Gravel's campaign was primarily based on his youth rather than issue differences. He hired Joseph Napolitan, the first self-described political consultant, in late 1966. They spent over a year and a half planning a short, nine-day primary election campaign that featured the slogans "Alaska first" and "Let's do something about the state we're in", the distribution of a collection of essays titled Jobs and More Jobs, and the creation of a half-hour, well-produced, glamorized biographical film of Gravel, Man for Alaska. The film was shown twice a day on every television station in Alaska, and carried by plane and shown on home projectors in hundreds of Alaska Native villages. The heavy showings quickly reversed a 2–to–1 Gruening lead in polls into a Gravel lead. Gravel visited many remote villages by seaplane and showed a thorough understanding of the needs of the bush country and the fishing and oil industries. He also benefited by being deliberately ambiguous about his Vietnam policy. Gruening had been one of only two Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and his opposition to President Lyndon B. Johnson's war policies was harming him among the Democratic electorate; according to Gravel, "all I had to do was stand up and not deal with the subject, and people would assume that I was to the right of Ernest Gruening, when in point of fact I was to the left of him." In Man for Alaska, Gravel argued that "the liberals" would come to West Germany's defense if it was attacked, and that the same standard should apply to the United States' allies in Asia. During the campaign he also claimed that he was "more in the mainstream of American thought on Vietnam" than Gruening, despite the fact that he had written to Gruening to praise his antiwar stance four years earlier.
Gravel beat Gruening in the primary by about 2,000 votes. Gruening found "the unexpected defeat hard to take" and thought that some aspects of his opponent's biographical film had misled viewers. In the general election, Gravel faced Republican Elmer E. Rasmuson, a banker and former mayor of Anchorage. College students in the state implored Gruening to run a write-in campaign as an Independent, but legal battles prevented him from getting approval for it until only two weeks were left. A late appearance by anti-war presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy did not offset Gruening's lack of funds and endorsements; meanwhile, Gravel and Rasmuson both saturated local media with their filmed biographies. On November 5, 1968, Gravel won the general election with 45 percent of the vote to Rasmuson's 37 percent and Gruening's 18 percent.
Senate assignments and styleEdit
When Gravel joined the Senate in January 1969, he requested and received a seat on the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, which had direct relevance to Alaskan issues. He also got a spot on the Public Works Committee, which he held throughout his time in the Senate. Finally, he was a member of the Select Committee on Small Business. In 1971 he became chair of the Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds, and by 1973 he was chair of its Subcommittee on Water Resources, then later its Subcommittee on Environmental Pollution. Gravel was also initially named to the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations. By 1973 Gravel was off the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and the Select Small Business Committee and instead a member of the Finance Committee, and by 1977 was chair of that body's Subcommittee on Energy and Foundations. By 1973 he had also been on the ad hoc Special Committee to Study Secret and Confidential Government Documents.
By his own admission, Gravel was too new and "too abrasive" to be effective in the Senate by the usual means of seniority-based committee assignments or negotiating deals with other senators, and was sometimes seen as arrogant by the more senior members. He instead relied on attention-getting gestures to achieve what he wanted, hoping national exposure would force other senators to listen to him. As part of this he voted with Southern Democrats to keep the Senate filibuster rule in place, and accordingly supported Russell Long and Robert Byrd but opposed Ted Kennedy in Senate leadership battles. In retrospective assessment, University of Alaska Anchorage history professor Stephen Haycox said, "Loose cannon is a good description of Gravel's Senate career. He was an off-the-wall guy, and you weren't really ever sure what he would do."
Nuclear issues and the Cold WarEdit
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the U.S. Department of Defense was in the process of performing tests for the nuclear warhead for the Spartan anti-ballistic missile. Two tests, the "Milrow" and "Cannikin" tests, were planned, involving the detonation of nuclear bombs under Amchitka Island in Alaska. The Milrow test would be a one-megaton calibration exercise for the second and larger five-megaton Cannikin test, which would measure the effectiveness of the warhead. Gravel opposed the tests. Before the Milrow test took place in October 1969, he wrote that there were significant risks of earthquakes and other adverse consequences and called for an independent national commission on nuclear and seismic safety; he then made a personal appeal to President Nixon to stop the test.
After Milrow was conducted, there was continued pressure on the part of environmental groups against going forward with the Cannikin test, while the Federation of American Scientists claimed that the warhead being tested was already obsolete. In May 1971 Gravel sent a letter to U.S. Atomic Energy Commission hearings held in Anchorage in which he said the risk of the test was not worth taking. Eventually a group not involving Gravel took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to issue an injunction against it, and the Cannikin test took place as scheduled in November 1971. Gravel had failed to stop the tests (notwithstanding his later claims during his 2008 presidential campaign).[nb 2]
In 1971 Gravel voted against the Nixon administration's proposed anti-ballistic missile system, the Safeguard Program, having previously vacillated over the issue, suggesting that he might be willing to support it in exchange for federal lands in Alaska being opened up for private oil drilling. His vote alienated Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, who had raised funds for Gravel's primary campaign.
Nuclear power was considered an environmentally clean alternative for commercial generation of electricity and was part of a popular national policy for the peaceful use of atomic energy in the 1950s and 1960s. Gravel publicly opposed this policy; besides the dangers of nuclear testing, he was a vocal critic of the Atomic Energy Commission, which oversaw American nuclear efforts, and of the powerful United States Congress Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, which had a stranglehold on nuclear policy and which Gravel tried to circumvent. In 1971 Gravel sponsored a bill to impose a moratorium on nuclear power plant construction and to make power utilities liable for any nuclear accidents; in 1975 he was still proposing similar moratoriums. By 1974 Gravel was allied with Ralph Nader's organization in opposing nuclear power.
Six months before U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's July 1971 secret mission to the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Gravel introduced legislation to recognize and normalize relations with China, including a proposal for unity talks between the P.R.C. and the Republic of China (Taiwan) regarding the Chinese seat on the U.N. Security Council. He reiterated his position in favor of recognition, with four other senators in agreement, during Senate hearings in June 1971.
Vietnam War, the draft, and the Pentagon PapersEdit
Although he did not campaign against the Vietnam War during his first Senate campaign, by the end of 1970 Gravel was speaking out against United States policy in southeast Asia: in December of that year he persuaded William Fulbright to join him in a spontaneous two-day filibuster against a $155 million military aid package to Cambodia's Khmer Republic government in the Cambodian Civil War.
President Richard Nixon had campaigned in 1968 on a promise to end the U.S. military draft, a decision endorsed by the February 1970 report of the Gates Commission. The existing draft law was scheduled to conclude at the end of June 1971, and the Senate faced a contentious debate about whether to extend it as the Vietnam War continued. The Nixon administration announced in February 1971 that it wanted a two-year extension to June 1973, after which the draft would end; Army planners had already been operating under the assumption of a two-year extension, after which an all-volunteer force would be in place. Skeptics such as Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John Stennis thought this unrealistic and wanted a four-year extension, but the two-year proposal is what went forward in Congress. By early May 1971, Gravel had indicated his intention to filibuster the draft renewal legislation, halting conscription and thereby bringing U.S. involvement in the war to a rapid end. During this period he also supported efforts to mobilize and influence public opinion against the war, endorsing the "Vietnam War Out Now" rallies in Washington D.C. and San Francisco on April 24, 1971, and financing a broadcast campaign by the antiwar group War No More with a personal loan. In June 1972 he escorted a group of over 100 antiwar protesters, including psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, actress Candice Bergen, theater producer and director Joseph Papp and medic Benjamin Spock, into the United States Capitol; the group was arrested after blocking a hallway outside the Senate chamber.
By June 1971, some Democratic senators opposed to the war wanted to limit the renewal to a one-year extension, while others wanted to end it immediately; Gravel reiterated that he was one of the latter, saying, "It's a senseless war, and one way to do away with it is to do away with the draft." A Senate vote on June 4 indicated majority support for the two-year extension. On June 18 Gravel announced again his intention to counteract that by filibustering the renewal legislation, defending the practice against those who associated it only with blocking civil rights legislation. The first filibuster attempt failed on June 23 when, by three votes, the Senate voted cloture for only the fifth time since 1927.
Protracted negotiations took place over House conference negotiations on the bill, revolving in large part around Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield's eventually unsuccessful amendment to tie renewal to a troop withdrawal timetable from Vietnam; during this time the draft law expired and no more were conscripted. On August 5, the Nixon administration pleaded for a renewal before the Senate went on recess, but Gravel blocked Stennis's attempt to limit debate, and no vote was held. Finally on September 21, 1971, the Senate invoked cloture over Gravel's second filibuster attempt by one vote, and then passed the two-year draft extension. Gravel's attempts to stop the draft had failed (notwithstanding Gravel's later claims that he had stopped or shortened the draft, taken at face value in some media reports, during his 2008 presidential campaign).[nb 3]
Meanwhile, on June 13, 1971, The New York Times began printing large portions of the Pentagon Papers. The papers were a large collection of secret government documents and studies pertaining to the Vietnam War, of which former Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg had made unauthorized copies and was determined to make public. Ellsberg had for a year and a half approached members of Congress – such as William Fulbright, George McGovern, Charles Mathias, and Pete McCloskey – about publishing the documents, on the grounds that the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution would give congressional members immunity from prosecution, but all had refused. Instead, Ellsberg gave the documents to the Times.
The U.S. Justice Department immediately tried to halt publication, on the grounds that the information revealed within the papers harmed the national interest. Within the next two weeks, a federal court injunction halted publication in The Times; The Washington Post and several other newspapers began publishing parts of the documents, with some of them also being halted by injunctions; and the whole matter went to the U.S. Supreme Court for arguments. Looking for an alternate publication mechanism, Ellsberg returned to his idea of having a member of Congress read them, and chose Gravel based on the latter's efforts against the draft; Gravel agreed where previously others had not. Ellsberg arranged for the papers to be given to Gravel on June 26 via an intermediary, Washington Post editor Ben Bagdikian. Gravel used his counter-intelligence experience to choose a midnight transfer in front of the Mayflower Hotel in the center of Washington.
On the night of June 29, 1971, Gravel attempted to read the papers on the floor of the Senate as part of his filibuster against the draft, but was thwarted when no quorum could be formed. Gravel instead convened a session of the Buildings and Grounds subcommittee that he chaired. He got New York Congressman John G. Dow to testify that the war had soaked up funding for public buildings, thus making discussion of the war relevant to the committee. He began reading from the papers with the press in attendance, omitting supporting documents that he felt might compromise national security, and declaring, "It is my constitutional obligation to protect the security of the people by fostering the free flow of information absolutely essential to their democratic decision-making."
He read until 1 a.m., until with tears and sobs he said that he could no longer physically continue, the previous three nights of sleeplessness and fear about the future having taken their toll. Gravel ended the session by, with no other senators present, establishing unanimous consent to insert 4,100 pages of the Papers into the Congressional Record of his subcommittee. The following day, the Supreme Court's New York Times Co. v. United States decision ruled in favor of the newspapers and publication in The Times and others resumed. In July 1971 Bantam Books published an inexpensive paperback edition of the papers containing the material The Times had published.
Gravel, too, wanted to privately publish the portion of the papers he had read into the record, believing that "immediate disclosure of the contents of these papers will change the policy that supports the war." After being turned down by many commercial publishers, on August 4 he reached agreement with Beacon Press, the publishing arm of the Unitarian Universalist Association, of which Gravel was a member. Announced on August 17 and published on October 22, 1971, this four-volume, relatively expensive set became the "Senator Gravel Edition", which studies from Cornell University and the Annenberg Center for Communication have labeled as the most complete edition of the Pentagon Papers to be published. The "Gravel Edition" was edited and annotated by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, and included an additional volume of analytical articles on the origins and progress of the war, also edited by Chomsky and Zinn. Beacon Press then was subjected to a FBI investigation; an outgrowth of this was the Gravel v. United States court case, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled upon in June 1972; it held that the Speech or Debate Clause did grant immunity to Gravel for his reading the papers in his subcommittee, did grant some immunity to Gravel's congressional aide, but granted no immunity to Beacon Press in relation to their publishing the same papers. The Senate Democratic Caucus backed Gravel in the case, but due to Republican opposition it did not pay Gravel's legal fees, leaving him owing $25,000 (the equivalent of $150,000 in 2019, adjusted for inflation).
The events of 1971 changed Gravel in the following months from an obscure freshman senator to a nationally visible political figure. He became a sought-after speaker on the college circuit as well as at political fundraisers, opportunities he welcomed as lectures were "the one honest way a Senator has to supplement his income." But his speaking tours caused him to accrue one of the worst absentee records in the Senate. The Democratic candidates for the 1972 presidential election sought his endorsement. In January 1972 Gravel endorsed Maine Senator Ed Muskie, hoping that his support would help Muskie with the party's left wing and in ethnic French-Canadian areas during the first primary contest in New Hampshire (Muskie won, but not overwhemingly, and his campaign faltered soon after). In April 1972 Gravel appeared on all three networks' nightly newscasts to decry the Nixon administration's reliance on Vietnamization by making reference to the secret National Security Study Memorandum 1 document, which stated it would take 8–13 years for the Army of the Republic of Vietnam to defend South Vietnam. Gravel made excerpts from the study public, but Senators Robert P. Griffin and William B. Saxbe blocked his attempt to read NSSM 1 into the Congressional Record.
In 1970 Gravel co-sponsored legislation to establish a guaranteed minimum income, entitling poor families to up to $6,300 a year (the equivalent of $42,000 in 2019 after adjustment for inflation). He subsequently voted for a "work bonus" program, which would have entitled low-income working families with dependent children if they were paying Social Security or Railroad Retirement taxes to a non-taxable bonus of up to 10 percent of their wages. Gravel also supported extending Social Security to all federal employees and introduced a campaign finance reform bill in 1971 that would have enacted full disclosure of campaign financing, placed limits on large donations, media spending and individual candidate spending.
Run for vice president in 1972Edit
Gravel actively campaigned for the office of Vice President of the United States during the 1972 presidential election, announcing on June 2, 1972, over a month before the 1972 Democratic National Convention began, that he was interested in the nomination should the choice be opened up to convention delegates. Toward this end he began soliciting delegates for their support. He was not alone in this effort, as former Governor of Massachusetts Endicott Peabody had been running a quixotic campaign for the same post since the prior year. Likely presidential nominee George McGovern was in fact considering the unusual move of naming three or four acceptable vice-presidential candidates and letting the delegates choose.
On the convention's final day, July 14, 1972, McGovern selected and announced Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri as his vice-presidential choice. Eagleton was unknown to many delegates and the choice seemed to smack of traditional ticket balancing considerations. Thus there were delegates willing to look elsewhere. Gravel was nominated by Bettye Fahrenkamp, the Democratic National Committeewoman from Alaska. He then seconded his own nomination, breaking down in tears at his own words and maybe trying to withdraw his nomination. In any case he won 226 delegate votes, coming in third behind Eagleton and Frances "Sissy" Farenthold of Texas, in chaotic balloting that included several other candidates.
Gravel attracted some attention for his efforts: writer Norman Mailer said he "provided considerable excitement" and was "good-looking enough to have played leads in B-films", while Rolling Stone correspondent Hunter S. Thompson said Gravel "probably said a few things that might have been worth hearing, under different circumstances". Yet the process was doubly disastrous for the Democrats. In the time consumed by nominating and seconding and all the vice-presidential candidates' speeches, the attention of the delegates on the floor was lost and McGovern's speech was pushed to 3:30 a.m. The haste with which Eagleton was selected led to surprise when his past mental health treatments were revealed; he withdrew from the ticket soon after the convention, to be replaced by Sargent Shriver.
Reelection to Senate in 1974Edit
Several years earlier, Alaska politicians had speculated that Gravel would have a hard time getting both renominated and elected when his first term expired, given that he was originally elected without a base party organization and tended to focus on national rather than local issues.
Nonetheless, after receiving support from national and local labor leaders, securing key earmarks, and producing another half-hour TV advertorial, in 1974 Gravel was reelected to the Senate, with 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent for Republican State Senator C. R. Lewis, who was a national officer of the John Birch Society.
Gravel's reelection campaign left him $65,000-$75,000 in debt. In 1975 The Washington Post reported on a memo by his executive assistant laying out a fundraising strategy to tackle this, including raising funds from oil companies, meeting with previous donors and "inquir[ing] into the governmental priorities of these people and their groups in the coming session", as well as obtaining further speaking fees to reduce his personal debt. This was followed by a number of stories about links between Gravel, lobbyists and fundraisers, including one that was widely publicized in Alaska about his holding a share in a Colorado resort with two Washington lobbyists he was working with on land and energy legislation. Gravel had been open about the investment and had opposing views to one of the lobbyists on nuclear power. In 1980 the Wall Street Journal published details about his fundraising activities, including writing to individuals and PACs in the oil industry, pledging to kill off proposals for a windfall profits tax on the sector, and traveling in the Middle East with the business partner of one of his donors to sell Alaskan land to businessmen. Gravel suggested that critics of his fundraising were "naive".
In September 1975 Gravel was named as one of several Congressional Advisers to the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations, which met to discuss problems related to economic development and international economic cooperation.
In June 1976 Gravel was the focus of a federal investigation into allegations that he was involved in a sex-for-vote arrangement. Congressional staff clerk Elizabeth Ray (who had already been involved in a sex scandal that led to the downfall of Representative Wayne Hays) said that in August 1972 she had sex with Gravel aboard a houseboat on the Potomac River, under the instruction of Representative Kenneth J. Gray, her boss at the time. Gray allegedly wanted to secure Gravel's support for further funding for construction of the National Visitor Center in Washington, a troubled project that was under the jurisdiction of subcommittees that both members chaired. Another Congressional staffer said she witnessed the boat encounter, but Gravel said at the time that he had never met either of the women. Gravel and Gray strongly denied that they had made any arrangement regarding legislation, and neither was ever charged with any wrongdoing. Decades later Gravel wrote that he had indeed had sex with Ray, but had not changed any votes because of it.
Gravel and his main financial backer, Gottstein, had a falling out in 1978, during the Congressional debate over whether to allow a controversial sale of U.S. F-15 fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia. An ardent backer of Israel, Gottstein opposed the sale and asked Gravel to vote against it. But Gravel not only voted for it but made an emotional speech attacking the anti-sale campaign. Gravel wrote in 2008 that it was the only time Gottstein had ever asked him for a favor, and the rupture resulted in their never speaking to each other again.
By 1971 Gravel was urging construction of the much-argued Trans-Alaska pipeline, addressing environmental concerns by saying that the pipeline's builders and operators should have "total and absolute" responsibility for any consequent environmental damage. Two years later the debate over the pipeline came to a crux, with The New York Times describing it as "environmentalists [in] a holy war with the major oil companies." In February 1973 the U.S. Court of Appeals blocked the issuance of permits for construction; Gravel and fellow Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens reacted by urging Congress to pass legislation overturning the court's decision. Environmentalists opposed to the pipeline, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Sierra Club then sought to use the recently passed National Environmental Policy Act to their advantage; Gravel designed an amendment to the pipeline bill that would immunize the pipeline from any further court challenges under that law, and thus speed its construction. Passage of the amendment became the key battle regarding the pipeline. On July 17, 1973, in a dramatic roll-call vote, the Gravel amendment was approved as a 49–49 tie was broken in favor by Vice President Spiro Agnew. The actual bill enabling the pipeline then passed easily; Gravel had triumphed.
In opposition to the Alaskan fishing industry, Gravel advocated American participation in the formation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. For two years he opposed legislation that established a 200-mile (320 km) Exclusive Economic Zone for marine resources. He was one of only 19 senators to vote against Senate approval for the expanded zone in 1976, saying it would undermine the U.S. position in Law of the Sea negotiations and that nations arbitrarily extending their fishing rights limits would "produce anarchy of the seas." The legislation was passed, and the United States has signed but never ratified the Law of the Sea treaty.
Gravel accumulated a complicated record on Indian affairs during his time in the Senate. During his first year in the Senate Gravel urged abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, criticizing the agency for the pace of development of schools in Alaska, its paternalistic attitudes and the culturally inappropriate nature of its education, and advocating greater shared decision-making between the federal government and native communities in Alaska. Later, he evolved past this view; in the early 1970s Gravel supported a demonstration project that established links between Alaskan villages and the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, for medical diagnostic communications. In 1971, he fended off accusations from Alaskan natives that he was not spending enough time working on their land claims. Gravel helped secure a private grant to facilitate the first Inuit Circumpolar Conference in 1977, attended by Inuit representatives from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. These conferences now also include representatives from Russia. In 1977, Gravel helped lead an effort to have the U.S. Interior Department rename Mount McKinley to Denali; this eventually led to Denali National Park being so named. Subsequently, Gravel proposed a never-built "Denali City" development above the Tokositna River near the mountain, to consist of a giant Teflon dome enclosing hotels, golf courses, condominiums, and commercial buildings.
A key, emotional issue in the state at the time was "locking up Alaska", making reference to allocation of its vast, mostly uninhabited land. In 1978 Gravel blocked passage, via procedural delays such as walking out of House–Senate conference committee meetings, of a complex bill which represented a compromise on land use policy. The bill would have put some of Alaska's vast federal land holdings under state control while preserving other portions for federal parks and refuges; the action would earn Gravel the enmity of fellow Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. In 1980, a new lands bill came up for consideration, that was less favorable to Alaskan interests and more liked by environmentalists; it set aside 127,000,000 acres (510,000 km2) of Alaska's 375,000,000 acres (1,520,000 km2) for national parks, conservation areas, and other restricted federal uses. Gravel blocked it, as not ensuring enough future development in the state. A new compromise version of the bill came forward, which reduced the land set aside to 104,000,000 acres (420,000 km2). Representing Alaskan interests, Gravel tried to stop the bill, including by filibuster. But the Senate voted for cloture and passed the bill. Frustrated, Gravel said, "the legislation denies Alaska its rights as a state, and denies the U.S. crucial strategic resources," and opined that the Senate was "a little bit like a tank of barracudas."
In 1978 Gravel authored and secured the passage into law of the General Stock Ownership Corporation, that became Subchapter U of the Tax Code under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. While that was originally done as a prerequisite to a failed 1980 Alaskan ballot initiative that would have paid dividends to Alaskan citizens for pipeline-related revenue, it also turned out to be significant in the development of binary economics.[clarification needed]
Loss of Senate seat in 1980Edit
In 1980 Gravel was challenged for the Democratic Party's nomination by State Representative Clark Gruening, the grandson of the man Gravel had defeated in a primary 12 years earlier. One of Gruening's supporters was Gravel's former backer Gottstein. Several factors made Gravel vulnerable. As an insurgent candidate in 1968 Gravel had never established a firm party base. Not liking to hunt or fish, he was also always culturally suspect in the state. A group of Democrats, including future governor Steve Cowper, led the campaign against Gravel, with Gravel's actions in respect to the 1978 and 1980 Alaskan lands bills a major issue, especially given that the latter's dénouement happened but a week before the primary. The sources of Gravel's campaign funds, some of which came from political action committees outside the state, also became an issue in the contest. Another factor may have been Alaska's blanket primary system of the time, which allowed unlimited voting across party lines and from its many independents; Republicans believed Gruening would be an easier candidate to defeat in the general election.
Gruening won the bitterly fought primary with about 55 percent of the vote to Gravel's 44 percent. Gravel later conceded that by the time of his defeat, he had alienated "almost every constituency in Alaska."
Gruening lost the general election to Republican Frank Murkowski. Gravel was the last Democrat to represent Alaska in Congress for 28 years, until Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich defeated Stevens, by then an aged, iconic figure who had just been convicted of seven felonies for taking unreported gifts, in a very close and protracted election result in mid-November 2008. (Stevens's conviction was subsequently vacated due to prosecutorial misconduct.)
Career after leaving the SenateEdit
A difficult transitionEdit
Gravel took the 1980 defeat hard, recalling years later: "I had lost my career. I lost my marriage. I was in the doldrums for ten years after my defeat," and "Nobody wanted to hire me for anything important. I felt like I was worthless. I didn't know what I could do." By his own description in 2008, Gravel was a womanizer, and had an affair while in the Senate, and in December 1980 he and his wife Rita separated. They filed for divorce in September 1981; she would later get all of his Senate pension income.
During the 1980s Gravel was a real estate developer in Anchorage and Kenai, Alaska, a consultant, and a stockbroker. One of his real estate ventures, a condominium business, was forced to declare bankruptcy and a lawsuit ensued. In 1986 Gravel worked in partnership with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets to buy losses that financially troubled Alaska Native Corporations could not take as tax deductions and sell them to large national companies looking for tax writeoffs.
Return to politicsEdit
In 1989 Gravel reentered politics. He founded and led The Democracy Foundation, which promotes direct democracy. He established the Philadelphia II corporation, which seeks to replicate the original 1787 Constitutional Convention in bringing direct democracy about.
Gravel led a quixotic effort to get a United States Constitutional amendment to allow voter-initiated federal legislation similar to state ballot initiatives. He argued that Americans are able to legislate responsibly, and that the Act and Amendment in the National Initiative would allow American citizens to become "law makers".
In 2001, Gravel became director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, where he admired institute co-founder Gregory Fossedal's work on direct democracy in Switzerland. By 2004, Gravel had become chair of the institute, and Fossedal (who in turn was a director of the Democracy Foundation) gave the introduction at Gravel's presidential announcement.
In 2003 Gravel gave a speech on direct democracy at a conference hosted by the American Free Press. The event was cosponsored by the Barnes Review, a journal that endorses Holocaust denial. After some controversy over his appearance, Gravel apologized, saying he did not realize the group's ties. Gravel has said repeatedly that he does not share the group's views on the Holocaust, stating, "You better believe I know that six million Jews were killed. I've been to the Holocaust Museum. I've seen the footage of General Eisenhower touring one of the camps. They're [referring to the Barnes Review and publisher Willis Carto] nutty as loons if they don't think it happened". The group invited Gravel to speak again, but he declined.
Mike and Whitney Gravel lived in Arlington County, Virginia, until 2010 and now reside in Burlingame, California. They have the two grown children from his first marriage, Martin Gravel and Lynne Gravel Mosier, and four grandchildren. Whitney Gravel's income has sustained the couple since 1998. In the 2000s, Gravel suffered poor health, requiring three surgeries in 2003 for back pain and neuropathy. Due to unreimbursed medical expenses and debts from his political causes, he declared personal bankruptcy in 2004. He began taking a salary from the non-profit organizations for which he was working; much of that income was lent to his presidential campaign. In 2007, he declared that he had "zero net worth".
2008 presidential campaignEdit
Democratic Party primariesEdit
At the start of 2006 Gravel decided the best way he could promote direct democracy and the National Initiative was to run for president. On April 17, 2006, Gravel became the first candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2008 election, announcing his run in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Short on campaign cash, he took public transportation to get to his announcement. (Gravel called for public financing of elections.) Other principal Gravel positions were the FairTax, withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days, a single payer national health care system, and term limits.
Gravel had opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, and in 2006 said that U.S. troops in Iraq, as in Vietnam, had "died in vain". He also favored a regional peace initiative, as well as reparation payments for Iraqis. Gravel also called for a "U.S. corporate withdrawal from Iraq", with reconstruction contracts held by U.S. companies to be turned over to Iraqi firms.
Gravel campaigned almost full-time in New Hampshire, the first primary state, following his announcement. Opinion polls of contenders for the Democratic nomination showed Gravel with 1 percent or less support. By the end of March 2007, Gravel's campaign had less than $500 in cash on hand against debts of nearly $90,000.
Because of his time in the Senate, Gravel was invited to many of the early Democratic presidential debates. During the initial one at South Carolina State University on April 26, 2007, he suggested a bill requiring the president to withdraw from Iraq on pain of criminal penalties. He also advocated positions such as opposing preemptive nuclear war. He stated that the Iraq War had the effect of creating more terrorists and that the "war was lost the day that George Bush invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis." Regarding his fellow candidates, he said, "I got to tell you, after standing up with them, some of these people frighten me – they frighten me." Media stories said that Gravel was responsible for much of whatever "heat" and "flashpoints" had taken place. Gravel gained considerable publicity by shaking up the normally staid multiple-candidate format; The New York Times' media critic said that what Gravel had done was "steal a debate with outrageous, curmudgeonly statements." The Internet was a benefit: a YouTube video of his responses in the debate was viewed more than 225,892 times, ranking seventeenth in most views for week and first among news and politics clips;[nb 4] his name became the fifteenth most searched-for in the blogosphere; and his website garnered more traffic than those of frontrunners Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards. Gravel appeared on the popular Colbert Report on television on May 2, and his campaign and career were profiled in national publications such as Salon. Two wordless, Warholesque campaign videos, "Rock" and "Fire", were released on YouTube in late May and became hits, and eventually gained over 760,000 and 185,000 views respectively. "Rock," in turn, was given airtime during an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Some thirty-five years after he first achieved the national spotlight, he had found it again.
All this did not improve his performance in the polls; a May 2007 CNN poll showed him with less than 0.5 percent support among Democrats. Gravel was in the next several debates, in one case after CNN reversed a decision to exclude him. Like some of the other second-tier candidates, Gravel did not get as much time as the leaders; during the June 2, 2007, New Hampshire debate, which lasted two hours, he was asked 10 questions and allowed to speak for five minutes and 37 seconds.
During the July 23, 2007, CNN-YouTube presidential debate, Gravel responded to audience applause when he had complained of a lack of airtime and said: "Thank you. Has it been fair thus far?" Detractors began to liken him to "the cranky uncle who lives in the attic," or "the angry old guy that just seemed to want to become angrier." Berkeley political scientist David Terr found that moderator George Stephanopoulos directed roughly five percent of his questions to Gravel; in a poll asking who did the best in the debate, Gravel placed seventh among the eight candidates. National opinion polls of contenders for the Democratic nomination continued to show Gravel with one percent or zero percent numbers. By the end of the third-quarter 2007, Gravel had about $17,500 in cash on hand, had collected a total of about $380,000 during the 2008 election cycle, and was continuing to run a threadbare campaign with minimal staff.
Beginning with the October 30, 2007, Philadelphia event, Gravel was excluded from most of the debates, with the debate sponsors or the Democratic National Committee saying Gravel's campaign had not met fund-raising, polling, or local campaign organizational thresholds. For the Philadelphia exclusion, Gravel blamed corporate censorship on the part of sponsor owner and alleged military-industrial complex member General Electric for his exclusion and mounted a counter-gathering and debate against a video screen a short distance away, but he had lost his easiest publicity. In reaction, supporters organized "mass donation days" to try to help the campaign gain momentum and funds, such as on December 5, 2007, the anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition.
Gravel did not compete in the initial 2008 vote, the Iowa caucuses, but was still subjected to a false report from MSNBC that he had pulled out of the race afterward. Gravel did focus his attention on the second 2008 vote, the New Hampshire primary. There he received about 400 votes out of some 280,000 cast, or 0.14 percent, before taking time off to improve his health. He resumed campaigning, but fared no better in subsequent states. By the end of January 2008, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Gravel were the only remaining Democrats from the initial debates still running; Gravel vowed to stay in the presidential campaign until November. On March 11, 2008, Gravel continued to remain in the Democratic race but additionally endorsed a Green Party candidate for president, Jesse Johnson, saying he wanted to help Johnson prevail against Green Party rivals Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader. By late March, Gravel had almost no fundraising and was only on the ballot in one of the next ten Democratic primaries.
Switch to Libertarian PartyEdit
On March 25, 2008, Gravel announced that he would leave the Democrats and join the Libertarian Party, saying: "My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy." The following day Gravel entered the race for the 2008 Libertarian presidential nomination, saying that he would have run as a third-party candidate all along except that he needed the public exposure that came from being in the earlier Democratic debates. Gravel's initial notion of running as a fusion candidate with other parties was met with skepticism and not pursued.
As a Libertarian candidate, Gravel faced resistance to his liberal past and unorthodox positions; nevertheless, he garnered more support than he had as a Democrat, placing second and third in two April 2008 straw polls. In the May 25 balloting at the 2008 Libertarian National Convention in Denver, Gravel finished fourth out of eight candidates on the initial ballot, with 71 votes out of a total 618; he trailed former Congressman and eventual winner Bob Barr, author Mary Ruwart, and businessman Wayne Allyn Root. Gravel's position did not subsequently improve and he was eliminated on the fourth ballot. Afterwards he stated that "I just ended my political career," but he vowed to continue promoting his positions as a writer and lecturer.
In June 2008 Gravel endorsed the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative, saying the measure would create a "citizens commission rather than a government commission" with subpoena power against top U.S. officials to "make a true investigation as to what happened" regarding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He later said, "Individuals in and out of government may certainly have participated with the obviously known perpetrators of this dastardly act. Suspicions abound over the analysis presented by government. Obviously an act that has triggered three wars, Afghan, Iraqi and the continuing War on Terror, should be extensively investigated which was not done and which the government avoids addressing."
In August 2008 Gravel was speaking to a crowd of supporters of Sami Al-Arian (who two years earlier had pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison for a charge of conspiracy in helping Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a "specially designated terrorist" organization) when he was caught on tape saying of Al-Arian's prosecutor, "Find out where he lives, find out where his kids go to school, find out where his office is: picket him all the time. Call him a racist in signs if you see him. Call him an injustice. Call him whatever you want to call him, but in his face all the time." Gravel was criticized for potentially involving the children of the prosecutor, and Al-Arian's family disavowed the sentiments.
Gravel defended Alaska Governor Sarah Palin after she was chosen as Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate in September 2008. He praised Palin's record in standing up to corruption among Alaskan Republicans, thought her national inexperience was an asset not a detriment, and predicted that the "Troopergate" investigation into whether she improperly fired a state official would "come out in her favor." Gravel made clear he would not support or vote for either McCain-Palin or Obama-Biden in the general election. The following year Gravel said that Palin's politics were "terrible, but that doesn't detract from the fact that she's a very talented person". He predicted that Palin would run for president in 2012 and that "she's going to surprise a lot of people" Palin did not run, but Gravel's prediction about "TrooperGate" was accurate as Palin was found not to have violated ethics laws.
From mid-2008 through October 2009 Gravel gave several lectures at South Korean universities about the Korean National Initiative, a Korean adaption of the National Initiative Gravel has proposed in the United States.
In December 2010 Gravel praised WikiLeaks, in the news during the year for the Afghan War documents leak, Iraq War documents leak, and United States diplomatic cables leak, as the "most significant effort to save democracy (which is slowly being eclipsed by the Military Industrial Complex) since the release of the Pentagon Papers". Gravel indicated in December 2010 that he might run for president again and possibly challenge President Obama for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 presidential election, but he did not.
In 2013 Gravel attended the International Conference on Hollywoodism in Tehran, Iran, an Iranian government-organized anti-Hollywood conference. Gravel noted that the conference was attended by "various elements of extremes" but said it was necessary to discuss how the U.S. film industry portrayed Iran in order to prevent "an insane war" between the two nations.
In May 2013 Gravel was one of several former members of Congress to accept $20,000 from the Paradigm Research Group, an advocacy group for UFO disclosure, as part of holding what they termed a Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, modeled after congressional hearings, regarding supposed U.S. government suppression of evidence concerning UFOs. Gravel said, "Something is monitoring the planet, and they are monitoring it very cautiously, because we are a very warlike planet," and, "What we're faced with here is, in areas of the media, and the government too, an effort to marginalize and ridicule people who have specific knowledge."
In December 2014 Gravel was announced as the new CEO of KUSH, a company which makes marijuana-infused products for medicinal and recreational use, and a subsidiary of Cannabis Sativa, Inc. He also became an Independent Director of Cannabis Sativa.
During the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, Gravel praised Bernie Sanders and his campaign, saying "Bernie is one of the most gifted politicians I have ever observed. He's a person of great integrity and very clever." Gravel predicted that Sanders would be elected president but would be unable to get his key reforms through Congress, and thus that Sanders and his supporters should back some of the proposals of the National Initiative.
Gravel has gone further in conspiratorial thinking in relation to the September 11 attacks, saying in 2016 on a conspiracies-oriented radio program: "We killed 58,000 American servicemen in the Vietnam War and all they did was die in vain. What's so unusual about killing 3,000 more in order to develop the grist for the mill to empower into infinity the military industrial complex?" The remarks were later disavowed by even Gravel supporters.
In 2019 it was reported that Gravel is working on a book project to highlight his principle idea for direct democracy, an U.S. Constitutional Amendment to bring into being a “Legislature of the People” that would circumvent a dysfunctional Congress.
2020 presidential campaignEdit
On March 19, 2019, Gravel announced that he was considering running in the 2020 Democratic primaries. He said, "The goal will not be to win, but to bring a critique of American imperialism to the Democratic debate stage." An exploratory committee was formed, with filing a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on that same day.[nb 5] The filing was the idea of a group of teenagers inspired by the podcast Chapo Trap House, and done with Gravel's consent, but without his involvement. Intrigued by the group's commitment to amplifying his long-held policy goals, Gravel (who would be 90 years, 8 months old on Inauguration Day in 2021) said he planned to meet with them in April, and to discuss a 2020 White House run with his wife. On April 2, 2019, Gravel filed to officially run for office.
Gravel's initial stated goal was merely to qualify for debates by getting the required 65,000 small donors. He discouraged people from voting for him and said his preferences were Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, both of whom favor a non-interventionist foreign policy. But on April 29, Gravel's campaign said he was running to win, not just to participate in debates. In a subsequent interview, though, Gravel emphasized the virtue of Sanders and Gabbard in some order as a presidential ticket. Statements like these caused Vox to call Gravel "2020's oddest Democratic presidential candidate".
In June 2019 Gravel touted the endorsement of Muntadher al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who, in December 2008, made headlines after he threw his shoes at President George W. Bush in protest of the U.S. war in Iraq. Al-Zaidi endorsed Gravel based on his promise to improve White House policies regarding Iraq and the Middle East.
On June 13, 2019, the Democratic Party announced the 20 major candidates who qualified for the first debate later that month. Gravel was one of the four who missed out (the others were Montana Governor Steve Bullock, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton, and Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam). He had failed to get the requisite number of donations or to score one percent or better in enough polls; indeed he failed to reach that threshold in any poll, many of which did not include him. Nevertheless Gravel said he would not drop out and would try to qualify for the July debate.
Alan Abramowitz and Jeffrey Allan Segal described Gravel as "a maverick, if not an eccentric, in the Senate." His Americans for Democratic Action "Liberal Quotient" scores ranged from 81 out of 100 (1971) to 39 out of 100 (1980), with an average of around 61. His American Conservative Union scores ranged from 0 out of 100 (several years, including 1971 and 1972) to 38 out of 100 (1979), with an average of 14. Abramowitz and Segal note that Gravel's lowest ADA ratings coincided with his two Senate re-election bids, and for the most part his highest ACU ratings followed the same pattern.
On drug policy, Gravel said in 2007 that he favors decriminalization and treating addiction as a public health matter. During his 2008 presidential candidacy he condemned the War on Drugs as a failure, saying that it did "nothing but savage our inner cities and put our children at risk." Gravel called for abolition of capital punishment in his book Citizen Power, and adhered to this position during his 2008 run for president. He supports abortion rights.
During the 2008 campaign Gravel was a strong supporter of LGBT rights. He supported same-sex marriage and opposed the Defense of Marriage Act and the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. He wrote in 2008 that "depriving gays and lesbians of equal rights is immoral."
Foreign policy and defense issuesEdit
Gravel firmly opposes U.S. military action against Iran and Syria. He voiced opposition to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the use of torture, indefinite detention, and what he called "flagrant ignorance" of the Geneva Convention. In 2014 Gravel called for the release of the full, unredacted Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.
Gravel opposes the use of international sanctions as a policy tool and blamed the ones against Iraq under Saddam Hussein for the deaths of a half-million children in that country. In 2013 Gravel said that sanctions against Iran were "illegal".
During his 2008 candidacy, Gravel called for a cut in military spending, variously reported to be 15 percent or 50 percent. He called for the savings to boost public education spending. To spur international nuclear nonproliferation efforts, Gravel called for unilateral reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
In 2008 Gravel criticized the decision of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to not pursue the efforts to impeach George W. Bush and the attempted impeachment of Dick Cheney, saying also that Bush and Cheney had committed crimes and deserved "to be prosecuted" at The Hague. In 2013 he expressed disdain for President Obama, calling him "a total fraud" and saying that both Bush and Obama should be tried "for the crimes and murders they've committed" in the International Court of Justice. Gravel specifically condemned Obama for the drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.
Economy, immigration, and environmentEdit
During his 2008 candidacy, Gravel favored a progressive FairTax scheme, which would abolish the Internal Revenue Service, eliminate the federal income tax (which Gravel referred to as "corrupt"), and impose a national sales tax. To offset the new sales taxes on essential goods, Gravel's plan called for monthly government rebate payments to individuals and families.
Gravel opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during his 2008 candidacy, calling it unfair and economically harmful and needing renegotiation. Gravel believed that NAFTA was the "root cause" of illegal migration to the U.S. He favored a guest worker program and "setting up naturalization procedures that would fairly bring immigrants into legal status." In a 2007 interview, Gravel identified himself as "very much of a globalist" who believed in open markets and open borders and condemned the scapegoating of undocumented immigrants. Gravel also said that he favored eliminating the cap on H1B visas.
As a senator from Alaska, Gravel favored drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but during his 2008 campaign opposed it. In 2008, Gravel supported a carbon tax to combat climate change.
Education and health careEdit
Gravel called for the cost of college tuition to be borne by the federal government, rather than students. In his 2008 campaign, he called the No Child Left Behind Act "a failure" and called for it to be "reformed and fully funded". He expressed support for universal pre-kindergarten and the expansion of the Head Start program; and expressed an openness to charter schools and school vouchers. He also suggested extending the school day and the school year, and supported merit pay for teachers.
Gravel also called for publicly funded universal health care to replace the current employer-sponsored health insurance system. He supported "full funding" of the VA system. When asked in 2007 about naturopathy, homeopathy, and acupuncture, Gravel said that he was "totally" in favor and was "very very much in favor" of holistic health care.
Awards and honorsEdit
- Gravel, Mike. Jobs and More Jobs. Mt. McKinley Publishers, 1968.
- Gravel, Mike. Citizen Power: A People's Platform. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972. ISBN 0-03-091465-5.
- Gravel, Mike and Lauria, Joe. A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man's Fight to Stop It. Seven Stories Press, 2008. ISBN 1-58322-826-8.
- Gravel, Mike and Eisenbach, David. The Kingmakers: How the Media Threatens Our Security and Our Democracy. Phoenix Books, 2008. ISBN 1-59777-586-X.
- Gravel, Mike. Voice of a Maverick: The Speeches and Writings of Senator Mike Gravel. Brandywine House, 2008.
- Gravel, Mike. Foreword to "Poisoned Power: The Case Against Nuclear Power Plants." [John W. Goffman & Arthur R. Tamplin, Rodale Press, Inc., Emmaus, PA, June 1971].
- The Alaska Constitution as ratified in 1956 had originally placed Anchorage in District 10, and given the community eight seats in the House based upon the 1950 United States Census. The reapportionment and redistricting proclamation of Governor William A. Egan, dated December 7, 1961, placed Anchorage into District 8 (due to the elimination of two districts earlier in the order), and given the community 14 seats in the House based upon the 1960 United States Census. See Mitchell, Elaine B., ed. (1973). "Constitution of the State of Alaska". Alaska Blue Book (First ed.). Juneau: Alaska Department of Education, Division of State Libraries. pp. 201–203. This change occurred immediately prior to Gravel's election to the House. These districts were without designated seats. Therefore, it is impossible to determine a direct predecessor or successor, especially with the higher turnover of legislative seats which existed at the time. Gravel served from District 8 with: William H. Sanders (1963–1964); Bennie Leonard, Keith H. Miller, James C. Parsons, Jack H. White, William C. Wiggins (1963–1965); Homer Moseley (1963–1966); Earl D. Hillstrand, Joseph P. Josephson, Bruce B. Kendall, Carl L. Lottsfeldt, John L. Rader, Harold D. Strandberg (1963–1967); George M. Sullivan (1964–1965); Carl F. Brady, Bernard J. "Pop" Carr, Sr., Gene Guess, M. Daniel Plotnick, Charles J. Sassara, Jr., Ted Stevens (1965–1967); William J. Moran (1966–1967). See Alaska Legislature Roster of Members 1913–2010 (PDF).
- Gravel claimed during his 2008 presidential campaign that "the Pentagon was performing five calibration tests ... [Gravel] succeeded in halting the program after the second test, limiting the expansion of this threat to the marine environment of the North Pacific." See "Mike Gravel's Legislative Accomplishments". Mike Gravel for President 2008. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2007. In reality, the Milrow and Cannikin tests were the only ones planned and both of them were carried out. See "Round 2 at Amchitka". Time. July 17, 1971. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- During Gravel's 2008 presidential campaign, he would claim that, "In 1971, Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), by waging a lone five-month filibuster, singlehandedly ended the draft in The United States thereby saving thousands of lives." See "Mike Gravel and the Draft". Mike Gravel for President 2008. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2007. A 2006 article in The Nation stated that "It was Gravel who in 1971, against the advice of Democratic leaders in the Senate, launched a one-man filibuster to end the peacetime military draft, forcing the administration to cut a deal that allowed the draft to expire in 1973." See John Nichols (April 15, 2006). "Pentagon Papers Figure Bids for Presidency". The Nation. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2007. Neither of these assessments is correct. From the beginning of the draft review process in February 1971, the Nixon administration wanted a two-year extension to June 1973, followed by a shift to an all-volunteer force – see David E. Rosenbaum (February 3, 1971). "Stennis Favors 4-Year Draft Extension, but Laird Asks 2 Years" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.; for confirmation, see "Once More, "Greetings"". Time. October 4, 1971. Retrieved February 2, 2008. – and this is what the September 1971 Senate vote gave them. Gravel's goal had been to block the renewal of the draft completely, thereby ending conscription past June 1971. See Mike Gravel (June 22, 1971). "Filibustering the Draft" (fee required). The New York Times. Letters to the Editor. Retrieved December 29, 2007. In Gravel's 2008 memoir, he conceded that he failed to bring about the immediate end of the war that he wanted, and that Nixon had gotten the two-year extension he had originally asked for. However, Gravel wrote that he had never trusted Nixon's pledge to only extend the draft for two years, and that when Nixon let the draft expire in 1973 it was the threat of a renewed filibuster that caused him to stick to the pledge. See Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 180. No other accounts support this interpretation; in fact, Nixon had first become interested in the idea of an all-volunteer army during his time out of office, and he saw ending the draft as an effective way to undermine the anti-Vietnam war movement, since he believed affluent youths would stop protesting the war once their own possibility of having to fight in it was gone. See Glass, Andrew (January 27, 2012). "U.S. military draft ends, Jan. 27, 1973". Politico. Retrieved March 19, 2019. and Ambrose, Nixon, Volume Two: The Triumph of a Politician, pp. 264–266.
- 1. Mike Gravel for President Exploratory Committee. 2. Date: March 19, 2019. 3. FEC Committee ID #: C00699637 This committee is a Principal Campaign Committee. Candidate: Mike Gravel. Party: Democratic Party. Office Sought: President. Signed: Elijah Emery. Date Signed: March 19, 2019. Official Committee URL: mikegravel.org. See: "FEC Form 1 · Statement of Organization · Filing FEC-1320193". docquery.fec.gov. Washington, D.C.: Federal Election Commission. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- "Statement of Candidacy" (PDF). docquery.fec.gov. 2019.
- Mike Gravel genealogy, Wargs.
- Current Biography Yearbook 1972, p. 182.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 69–70. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "gravel-70" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- Thernstrom, Stephan, ed. (1980). Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-37512-3. pp. 392, 398.
- Moriarty, Jo-Ann (February 19, 2007). "Springfield native has sights set on top job". The Republican. Springfield. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
- Leahy, Michael (September 9, 2007). "Last". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 74.
- "How the Pentagon Papers Came to be Published by the Beacon Press: A Remarkable Story Told by Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, Dem Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel and Unitarian Leader Robert West". Democracy Now!. July 2, 2007. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 83.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 81.
- Dudar, Helen (July 3, 1971). "unknown". New York Post.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 105, 128.
- Mike Gravel's Unitarian Universalism, by Doug Muder, UUWorld, December 10, 2007. Accessed December 19, 2007.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 105, 107–108.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 108–110.
- Martin Tolchin (February 27, 1976). "Senators From Hinterlands Recall Early Years in City; U.S. Senators Recall Their Early Years in City" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
- Stephen Haycox, Gravel entry in American Legislative Leaders in the West, 1911–1994, Greenwood Press, 1997, p. 126; ISBN 0-313-30212-X.
- "Notable Alumni". Columbia University. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Alex Koppelman (May 7, 2007). "Don't worry, be Mike Gravel". salon.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2007.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 134–135.
- Warren Weaver, Jr. (July 2, 1971). "Impetuous Senator: Maurice Robert Gravel" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
- "Marriage Vows Spoken by Rita Martin and Maurice R. Gravel". The Montana Standard. May 17, 1959. p. 9B – via Newspapers.com.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 136.
- "Democrats Plan Two-Day Drive For Campaign". Fairbanks News-Miner. October 7, 1957. p. 10. Retrieved April 3, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Alaskan Young Demo Tells Conference Statehood Views". Fairbanks News-Miner. Associated Press. June 23, 1958. p. 3. Retrieved April 3, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Farmer of the Year from Fairbanks (caption)". Fairbanks News-Miner. March 4, 1958. p. 8. Retrieved April 3, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Total of 30 Candidates File For Fourth Division Seats". Fairbanks News-Miner. February 3, 1958. pp. 1, 3. Retrieved April 3, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "'Paul Revere' is Here, Doesn't Like Taxation". The Atlanta Constitution. March 6, 1959. p. 16. Retrieved April 2, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Alaska JC Touring For Tax Reforms". The Herald-Press. St. Joseph, Michigan. February 18, 1959. p. 6. Retrieved April 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "'Paul Revere' From Alaska Urges Tax Cut". Chicago Tribune. February 20, 1959. p. 9. Retrieved April 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Tax Fighter To Arrive". Fairbanks News-Miner. December 16, 1958. p. 3. Retrieved April 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Alaska Jaycee Sparks Plan For Tax Reform". The Herald-Press. St. Joseph, Michigan. February 21, 1959. p. 5. Retrieved April 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 141.
- Current Biography Yearbook 1972, p. 184.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 142–143.
- Sims, Ward (May 11, 1962). "Complete List of Primary Election Candidates". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Associated Press. p. 3. Retrieved June 11, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Control of House May Rest in Absentee Vote". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Associated Press. November 8, 1962. p. 7. Retrieved June 11, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Lehmann, Nicholas (September 30, 1979). "The Great Alaska Feud". The Washington Post. Also available as "Senatorial Feud Overshadows Alaska Lands Bill Fight", The Hartford Courant, October 5, 1979.
- "State Officials". Session Laws of Alaska, 1963. Juneau: Office of the Alaska Secretary of State. 1963. p. viii.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 143–144, 149.
- Democracy in Action (April 17, 2007). "Interview with Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel". National Press Club. Retrieved April 29, 2007.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 145–146.
- Zelnick, C. Robert (June 27, 1971). "What Makes Mike Gravel Run?". The Washington Post. p. B1.
- Gruening, Ernest (1973). Many Battles: The Autobiography of Ernest Gruening. New York: Liveright. pp. 510–511. ISBN 978-0-87140-565-4.
- Ron Faucheux (June 1993). "Great slogans: reading between the lines of America's best political rhymes and mottos". Campaigns & Elections. Archived from the original (fee required) on May 11, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Current Biography Yearbook 1972, p. 183.
- Chinn, Ronald E. (September 1969). "The 1968 Election in Alaska". The Western Political Quarterly. 22 (3): 456–461. doi:10.2307/446336. JSTOR 446336.
- Marcetic, Branko (May 29, 2019). "Mike Gravel Should Be on the 2020 Debate Stage". Jacobin (magazine). Retrieved May 30, 2019.
- Johnson, Robert KC (August 7, 2006). "Not Many Senators Have Found Themselves in Joe Lieberman's Predicament". History News Network. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
- Congressional Quarterly Almanac 96th Congress 1st Session 1979. 34. Congressional Quarterly. 1980.
- Congressional Quarterly Almanac 91st Congress 1st Session 1969. 25. Congressional Quarterly. 1970. pp. 52–55, 587.
- Congressional Quarterly Almanac 93rd Congress 1st Session 1973. 29. Congressional Quarterly. 1974. pp. 42–44.
- Congressional Quarterly Almanac 95th Congress 1st Session 1977. 32. Congressional Quarterly. 1978.
- David E. Rosenbaum (October 26, 1971). "Fame Travels With Senator Gravel, the Man Who Read Pentagon Papers Into the Record" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
- David Westphal (January 13, 2008). "Gravel the Firebrand". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
- Gravel, Mike (July 31, 1969). "Risks in Alaska Tests" (fee required). The New York Times. Letters to the Editor. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Richard D. Lyons (August 23, 1971). "Underground A-Test Is Still Set For Aleutians but Is Not Final" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Witnesses Oppose Aleutian H-Blast" (fee required). The New York Times. May 30, 1971. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "The Amchitka Bomb Goes Off". Time. November 15, 1971. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
- Anthony Ripley (July 16, 1970). "Atomic Power: A Bitter Controversy; Atomic Power: A Bitter and Growing Controversy" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- "Senator Seeks to Block Atom Plants" (fee required). The New York Times. February 17, 1971. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Gladwin Hill (July 29, 1975). "Nuclear Power Development Encounters Rising Resistance With Curbs Sought in a Number of States" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- "Nuclear Neighbor" (fee required). Cedar Rapids Gazette. January 20, 1974.
- "Sen. Gravel Urges U.S. to Back Taiwan-Red China Unity Talks". The Washington Post. January 29, 1971. Archived from the original (fee required) on January 12, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Terence Smith (June 24, 1971). "5 SENATORS BACK PEKING SEAT IN U.N.; 4 Urge Admission Even at Cost of Ousting Taiwan" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- Thomas W. Evans (Summer 1993). "The All-Volunteer Army After Twenty Years: Recruiting in the Modern Era". Sam Houston State University. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Ambrose, Stephen (1989). Nixon, Volume Two: The Triumph of a Politician. Simon & Schuster. pp. 264–266.
- Griffith, Robert K., Jr. (1997). U.S. Army's Transition to the All-volunteer Force, 1868–1974. DIANE Publishing. pp. 40–41, 51. ISBN 978-0-7881-7864-1.
- David E. Rosenbaum (June 5, 1971). "Senators Reject Limits on Draft; 2-Year Plan Gains" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- David E. Rosenbaum (February 3, 1971). "Stennis Favors 4-Year Draft Extension, but Laird Asks 2 Years" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Robert C. Maynard (February 3, 1971). "Laird Briefs Hill On Volunteer Army" (fee required). The Washington Post. p. A12. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
- John W. Finney (May 9, 1971). "Congress vs. President" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Kifner, John (March 28, 1971). "Antiwar Rallies Set for Capital". The New York Times (New York ed.). p. 16. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- "Coast Drive Slated by Antiwar Group". The New York Times. April 11, 1971. p. 4. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- "111 Foes of War Arrested in Capitol As Hall Is Blocked". The New York Times. June 28, 1972. p. 11. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Mike Gravel (June 22, 1971). "Filibustering the Draft" (fee required). The New York Times. Letters to the Editor. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- David E. Rosenbaum (June 24, 1971). "Senate Votes Closure in Draft Debate, 65 to 27" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- David E. Rosenbaum (September 22, 1971). "Senate Approves Draft Bill, 55–30; President to Sign" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "'72 Draft Lottery Assigns No. 1 to Those Born Dec. 4" (fee required). The New York Times. August 6, 1971. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Neil Sheehan (June 13, 1971). "Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces 3 Decades of Growing U. S. Involvement" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Timeline". Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers. Annenberg Center for Communication at University of Southern California. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Rudenstine, David (1996). The Day the Presses Stopped: A History of the Pentagon Papers Case. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-21382-1. pp. 46, 391.
- "Beacon Press & the Pentagon Papers: History". Beacon Press. October 22, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Warren R. Ross (September – October 2001). "A courageous press confronts a deceptive government". UU World. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- David E. Rosenbaum (June 30, 1971). "Gravel Speaks 3 Hours; Senator Reading Study to Press" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Prados, John; Porter, Margaret Pratt, eds. (2004). Inside the Pentagon Papers. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7006-1325-0.
- John W. Finney (July 1, 1971). "Action by Gravel Vexes Many Senators" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Church Plans 4-Book Version of Pentagon Study" (fee required). The New York Times. August 18, 1971. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Letter from Gravel to Beacon Press". Beacon Press. August 4, 1971. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Kahn, George McT. (June 1975). "The Pentagon Papers: A Critical Evaluation". American Political Science Review. 69 (2): 675–684. doi:10.2307/1959096. JSTOR 1959096.
- "Resources". Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers. Annenberg Center for Communication at University of Southern California. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Gravel v. United States". Jrank.org. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "More Muskie Support" (fee required). The New York Times. January 15, 1972. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
- Oudes, Bruce (1989). From the President: Richard Nixon's Secret Files. Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0-06-091621-3. p. 428.
- Tad Szulc (April 26, 1972). "1969 Study Shows War Policy Split" (fee required). The New York Times.
- Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Welfare: Matters for Committee Consideration in Connection with H.R. 3153 (PDF) (Report). US Government Printing Office. October 3, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- "Senator Gravel to Seek Vice-Presidential Spot" (fee required). The New York Times. Associated Press. June 3, 1972. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- Steven V. Roberts (June 28, 1972). "Uncommitted Delegate in the Spotlight" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- James M. Naughton (July 9, 1972). "The Air Went Out Of the Whoopee Cushions" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- Max Frankel (July 14, 1972). "Impassioned Plea: Dakotan Urges Party to Lead the Nation in Healing Itself McGovern Names Eagleton Running Mate; Calls Nixon 'Fundamental Issue'" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- "The Foregone Convention". The Nation. July 24, 1972. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006.
- Sheila Hixson; Ruth Rose, eds. (1972). The Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention, 1972. Democratic National Committee. p. 8.
- David S. Broder (September 6, 1987). "Filling Nostalgia Gap with Democratic Stars of the Past 20 Years". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Ken Rudin (September 27, 2004). "The Worst Acceptance Speech?". Political Junkie. NPR. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
- Mailer, Norman (1983). St. George and the Godfather. Arbor House. ISBN 978-0-87795-563-4.
- Thompson, Hunter S. (1973). Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. New York: Popular Library. pp. 319–320.
- Wallace Turner (November 7, 1974). "Alaska Governor's Contest in Doubt" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- "John Birch Official Seeks to Replace Gravel in Alaska" (fee required). The New York Times. United Press International. January 11, 1974. Retrieved December 23, 2007.
- Lázár, Péter (June 2003). The Mansfield Amendments and the U.S. Commitment in Europe, 1955-1975 (PDF) (MA). Defense Technical Information Center. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Report by Congressional Advisers to the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations. United States Congress. 1976. p. 6.
- Crewdson, John M. (June 12, 1976). "U.S. Studies Charge Of Sex-for-Vote Bid". The New York Times.
- "Miss Ray Said to Link Tryst to Building Project". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 13, 1976.
- Maureen Dowd (October 25, 1982). "In Washington, D.C.: Last Stop for Union Station". Time.
- Oelsner, Lesley (June 14, 1976). "Rep. Howe Held on Sex Charge in Utah; Gravel Denies Sex on Boat With Miss Ray". The New York Times.
- Steven Rattner (May 8, 1978). "Now Washington Wants Its Station Back". The New York Times.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 196–197.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, pp. 144, 202.
- "Senator Supports Pipeline; Would Make Operator Liable" (fee required). The New York Times. United Press International. February 18, 1971. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- Edward Cowan (July 14, 1973). "Senate, 61–29, Blocks Bid to Delay Alaska Pipeline" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "U.S. Court Blocks Permits to Build Alaskan Pipeline" (fee required). The New York Times. Reuters. February 10, 1973. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- "Morton Hints Congress Bid To Clear Alaskan Pipeline" (fee required). The New York Times. United Press International. February 16, 1973. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- Edward Cowan (July 18, 1973). "Senate, 77–20, Votes For Alaska Pipeline; Court Test Barred, With 49-to-49 Tie Broken by Agnew" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- David Binder (January 29, 1976). "Senate Approves a 200-Mile Limit on Fishing Rights" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Indian Education, 1969. Part 1, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Indian Education of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, U.S. Senate, 91st Congress, 1st Session on Policy, Organization, Administration, and New Legislation Concerning the American Indians (Washington, D.C., Feb. 18,19,24, and Mar. 27, 1969; Fairbanks, Alaska, Apr 11, 1969) (PDF) (Report). United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 1969. pp. 261–266. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Eben Hopson (October 22, 1976). "Speech Before the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention". ebenhopson.com. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- "Pique over the Continent's Tallest Peak". Time. November 7, 1977. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Joel Connelly (September 13, 2002). "In Alaska, Big Schemes Often Yield Empty Dreams". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original (fee required) on May 11, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Wallace Turner (August 26, 1980). "Polls Indicate Gravel Is in Trouble In Alaska's Senate Primary Today" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
- "Birth and Death In the Night". Time. October 30, 1978. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- "Ah, Wilderness! Ah, Development!". Time. November 24, 1980. Retrieved February 2, 2002.
- Wallace Turner (August 28, 1980). "Gravel Loses a Bitter Fight In Senate Primary in Alaska" (fee required). The New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2007.
- "Important Dates in the History of Binary Economics". Kelso Institute. 2000. Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Gauche, Jerry N. (2000). "Binary Economic Modes for the Privatization of Public Assets" (PDF). Journal of Socio-Economics. 27 (3): 445–459. doi:10.1016/S1053-5357(99)80098-5. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 192.
- Martin, Jonathan (December 11, 2009). "Mike Gravel says Sarah Palin will run for president". The Politico. Retrieved December 12, 2009.
- Wallace Turner, "Side Issues Figure in Tricky Alaska Primary", The New York Times, July 6, 1982. Retrieved July 7, 2007.
- "Alaska's Primary Election History" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. September 1, 2009. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
- Kane, Paul (November 19, 2008). "Ted Stevens Loses Battle For Alaska Senate Seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- Berger, Judson (April 3, 2009). "Special 'Rerun' Alaska Senate Election Highly Unlikely". Fox News. Archived from the original on April 5, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
- Politics1, "P2008: An Interview With Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel" Archived January 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine by Ron Gunzburger, April 17, 2006.
- Leonard Jacobs (July 8, 2008). "Q&A: Mike Gravel". Metromix. Retrieved July 20, 2008.
- "People in the News". Lewiston Journal. Associated Press. September 12, 1981. p. 14.
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, Mike Gravel profile
- Swardson, Anne (October 22, 1986). "Native corporations offer tax loopholes". The Washington Post for the Anchorage Daily News. p. C–4.
- Gravel and Lauria, A Political Odyssey, p. 243.
- "First Democrat to Announce Candidacy for President on Monday" Archived November 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Joe Lauria, CommonDreams New Centre, Published April 13, 2006.
- "Direct Democracy in Switzerland: A Review". National Initiative for Democracy. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- Jonathan Stein (June 29, 2007). "Power to the People: The Democracy Foundation's Plan to Create a Fourth Branch of Government". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
- "Contacting the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution". Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. Archived from the original on October 29, 2004.
- "Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel Announces His Campaign". Democracy in Action. April 17, 2006.
- Alex Grobman, Rafael Medoff. "Holocaust Denial: A Global Survey – 2003". David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
- Alan Tuttle (August 2007). "Interview with Senator Mike Gravel". Philadelphia Jewish Voice. Retrieved January 1, 2008.
- Ron Gunzburger (April 17, 2006). "An Interview with Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel". Politics1.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "National Contacts". MikeGravel.us. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- "Mike Gravel Biography". Mike Gravel for President 2008. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "Washington: A 'Maverick' For President". The New York Times. April 18, 2006. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
- Elliot, Philip (April 17, 2006). "Ex-Alaska Sen. Gravel Runs for President". Associated Press. Archived from the original (fee required) on May 11, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- The Candidates: Sen. Mike Gravel: Democratic Candidate for President, Former U.S. Sen. (D-Alaska), Washington Post (October 16, 2007).
- Religion and Politics '08: Mike Gravel, Pew Research Center (November 4, 2008).
- How Mike Stands on the Issues Archived September 17, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, MikeGravel.us (accessed September 7, 2016).
- Richard Kim, Mike Gravel: An inconvenient truth-teller, The Nation (November 8, 2007).
- "FEC Form 3P for Mike Gravel". Federal Election Commission. April 15, 2007. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- No Breakout Candidate at Democratic Debate, ABC News, April 26, 2007
- "Clinton edges ahead after first Democratic debate", The Times, April 27, 2007.
- Hillary Clinton shines in Democratic candidates' debate, Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, April 27, 2007.
- Alessandra Stanley (May 4, 2007). "A Show Where Candidates Are More Prop Than Player". The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2007.
- Mark Memmott, Jill Lawrence (April 30, 2007). "Mike Gravel, soon to be a household name". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2007.
- Lisa Tozzi (June 18, 2007). "Mike Gravel: Behind the Music". The New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Mike Gravel – Rock. YouTube. May 27, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Mike Gravel – Fire. YouTube. May 28, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Bill Schneider (May 7, 2007). "Poll: Liberals moving toward Clinton; GOP race tightens". CNN.com. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "Gravel Dismisses CNN, WMUR-TV And Union Leader Statement" (Press release). Mike Gravel for President 2008. March 19, 2007. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "The Mainstream Media Has Gone Underground ..." (Press release). Mike Gravel for President 2008. June 5, 2007. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "Part I: CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate transcript". CNN.com. July 24, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2007.
- Rick Pearson (January 7, 2008). "Mike Gravel to teens: Say 'yes' to drugs". Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
- Dan Harrie (January 22, 2008). "Democratic hopeful Gravel visits Park City". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 1, 2008.
- "ABC News Debate – Unfair for Kucinich and Gravel". USA Election Polls. August 23, 2007. Archived from the original on November 3, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
- "ABC News Poll" August 19, 2007, ABC News
- "Report for Mike Gravel for President 2008". Federal Election Commission. October 17, 2007. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- Alex Johnson (October 31, 2007). "Democratic rivals target Clinton's vote on Iran". MSNBC.com. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "CNN keeps Gravel out of Democratic debate in Las Vegas". Las Vegas Sun. Associated Press. November 7, 2007. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "Kucinich booted from Iowa debate". The Hill. December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
- Mike Gravel (October 30, 2007). "Corporate Censorship!". Mike Gravel for President 2008. Archived from the original on January 14, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- Sarah Wheaton (October 30, 2007). "Gravel vs. MSNBC". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- Larry Eichel (October 30, 2007). "The debate is on. Here. Tonight". philly.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
- "December 5 Is "Mass Donation Day" For Mike Gravel". The Presidential Candidates. December 4, 2007. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- "Second-Tier Dems Hope for Caucus Boost". WHO-TV. January 3, 2008. Archived from the original on January 12, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- J. Skyler McKinley (January 4, 2008). "We're Still in the Race!". Mike Gravel for President 2008. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- "Election Center 2008: Primary Results for New Hampshire". CNN. January 9, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
- "Mike Gravel to campaign on". Associated Press. January 8, 2008. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- Sarah Morrison (February 7, 2008). "Candidate Speaks to Political Science Class". The Daily Californian. Archived from the original on February 17, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2008.
- Isaac Arnsdorf (February 13, 2008). "Gravel urges direct democracy at YPU". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- Joel Stein (March 4, 2008). "The Third Democrat in the Race". Time. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- "Mike Gravel endorses Jesse Johnson (Green Party) for President". Third Party Watch. March 11, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2008.
- David Weigel (March 18, 2008). "Several Minutes with Mike Gravel". Reason. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
- Amy Hollyfield (March 27, 2008). "Mike Gravel has gone from long shot to no shot for presidency". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
- "Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel joins Libertarian Party ranks". Libertarian Party. March 25, 2008. Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
- Mike Gravel (March 26, 2008). "A Personal Message from Mike". Mike Gravel for President 2008. Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2008.
- Sarah Elkins (March 31, 2008). "Maverick Mike". Newsweek. Archived from the original on May 6, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
- Josh Gerstein (March 27, 2008). "Barr, Gravel Eye Libertarian Nod for President". The New York Sun. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
- Philip Klein (May 21, 2008). "Will the Real Libertarian Please Stand Up?". The American Spectator. Archived from the original on May 26, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
- "Straw Poll Results". Mike Gravel for President 2008. April 8, 2008. Archived from the original on April 9, 2008. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
- "Press Releases: Presidential and VP Vote Totals – Updated Live!". LP.org. May 25, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
- "Libertarians Pick Barr as Presidential Nominee". Fox News. May 25, 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2008.
- Jefferson Siegel (June 18–24, 2008). "'Pentagon Papers senator' calls for new 9/11 probe". The Villager. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
- Amy Goodman (June 17, 2008). "Former Senator Mike Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of President Bush and Vice President Cheney". Democracy Now!. Pacifica Radio. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
- Rahn, Will (December 9, 2010). "Gravel Says He Might Challenge Obama". The Daily Caller. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
- "Plea Agreement; U.S. v. Al-Arian" (PDF). February 28, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Meg Laughlin (April 23, 2006). "In his plea deal, what did Sami Al-Arian admit to?". St. Petersberg Times. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012.
- "'Find Out Where He Lives'". Fox News. December 22, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- Barakat, Matthew (August 8, 2008). "Al-Arian trial postponed as judge questions case". Fox News. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
- "Interview with Mike Gravel". 2008 Election Center. Pacifica Radio. September 1, 2008. Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2009.
- Keating, Joshua (February 22, 2013). "Mike Gravel on movies, sanctions, and what we can learn from Iran". Foreign Policy.
- Erdbrink, Thomas (February 18, 2013). "Stung by 'Argo,' Iran Backs Conference Denouncing 'Hollywoodism'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Out there: Former Sen. Mike Gravel says White House suppressing evidence of ETs". Yahoo! News/ABC News. May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Siddons, Andrews (May 3, 2013). "Visitors From Outer Space, Real or Not, Are Focus of Discussion in Washington". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Kendall Breitman (December 30, 2014). "Mike Gravel to helm pot products company". Politico. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "The Team". Cannabis Sativa, Inc. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
- Gravel, Mike (February 21, 2016). "This is the key to Bernie Sanders' political revolution: Here's how we beat GOP obstruction". Salon.
- Harry Cheadle, "Mike Gravel the online left wing sensation is also a ..." Vice.com, March 21, 2019
- Graham, David (April 10, 2019). "Mike Gravel's Plan to Rock the Democratic Primary". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- Bort, Ryan (March 20, 2019). "88-Year-Old Mike Gravel Is the Latest Teen Sensation". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Montellaro, Zach (March 20, 2019). "'Do you know how old I am?': Teens draft Gravel to run for president". Politico. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Kamisar, Ben (March 20, 2019). "Mike Gravel explains his viral moment". Retrieved March 27, 2019.
- Frank Miles (April 3, 2019). "Mike Gravel has filed to run for president but intends to drop out after debates, campaign says". Fox News. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Steinhauser, Paul (April 29, 2019). "2020 long-shot Mike Gravel changes plans, says he's now 'running to win'". Fox News.
- Manchester, Julia (May 10, 2019). "Mike Gravel says Sanders, Gabbard would be 'ideal' 2020 Dem ticket". The Hill.
- Scott, Dylan (May 28, 2019). "Mike Gravel, 2020's oddest Democratic presidential candidate, explained". Vox Media.
- Resnick, Gideon (June 7, 2019). "Mike Gravel Touts Endorsement From Iraqi Journalist Who Threw Shoes at George W. Bush". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
- Joung, Madeleine (June 13, 2019). "Here Are the 20 Candidates Who Qualified for the 2020 Democratic Debates". Time.
- Skelley, Geoffrey (June 12, 2019). "The First Democratic Debate Deadline Has Passed: Who's In And Who's Out". FiveThirtyEight. Updated June 13, 2019.
- Alan Abramowitz & Jeffrey Allan Segal, Senate Elections (University of Michigan Press: 1992), p. 75: "Gravel was a maverick, if not an eccentric, in the Senate."
- Phil Williams, The Senate and U.S. Troops in Europe (Macmillan, 1985) p. 255: "Not only was Gravel one of the Senate's mavericks or outsiders who lacked the status, prestige and influence of someone like Mansfield ..."
- "Voting Records". Americans for Democratic Action. Retrieved November 5, 2016. Gravel's ADA scores for 1969 through 1980 are 72, 75, 81, 75, 65, 43, ?, 45, 55, 70, 47, 39. (The ADA site's 1975 report is missing some pages, including the one for Senators from Alaska.) His lower scores from 1974 on are partly a reflection of a change in ADA methodology regarding how they treat absences and paired absences from votes.
- "Federal Legislative Ratings". American Conservative Union. Retrieved November 5, 2016. Gravel's ACU scores for 1971 (when ACU began its ratings) through 1980 are 0, 0, 5, 36, 23, 12, 20, 6, 38, 0.
- Review: Citizen Power: A People's Platform, Kirkus Reviews (June 26, 1972).
- George W. Grayson, Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State? (Transaction, 2011), p. 260.
- Transcript of the Third Democratic Primary Presidential Debate, PBS (June 28, 2007), transcript provided by the New York Times.
- Mike Gravel to Senator Mark Udall: Make Full Torture Probe Public Like I Did with Pentagon Papers, Democracy Now! (interview with Amy Goodman) (December 16, 2014).
- Joshua Keating, Mike Gravel on movies, sanctions, and what we can learn from Iran (February 22, 2013).
- Former Senator Mike Gravel Calls for Independent 9/11 Investigation and Prosecution of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Democracy Now! (June 17, 2008).
- Steven Nelson, Former Sen. Gravel: NSA Leaks Should Have Come From Senators, U.S. News & World Report (July 9, 2013).
- 2008 Elections: Caucus Guide: Mike Gravel on Taxes, Las Vegas Sun (accessed September 7, 2016).
- The Fair Tax has its moment in the sun. Could there be more to come?, Time (January 4, 2008).
- Michael Arrington, Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel Does Things A Little Differently, TechCrunch (December 8, 2007).
- "Mike Gravel on Education". On the Issues. April 2, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- "Mike Gravel on Civil Rights". On the Issues. April 2, 2019. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Pianin, Alix (March 3, 2008). "GS Honors Students, Alum at Annual Gala". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Gravel.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Mike Gravel|
|Wikinews has related news: Mike Gravel|
- Mike Gravel official website
- United States Congress. "Mike Gravel (id: g000388)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Mike Gravel at Curlie
| Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Alaska
| U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Alaska
Served alongside: Ted Stevens