Cindy Sheehan announces run for California governor

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan meets with reporters in Crawford, Texas, during the opening of "Camp Casey" on Sheehan's new property near former President Bush's ranch.
Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan meets with reporters in Crawford, Texas, during the opening of “Camp Casey” on Sheehan’s new property near former President Bush’s ranch.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist who rose to national prominence after her son was killed in the Iraq war in 2005, rode her bike to the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday morning and declared her candidacy for governor.

Sheehan, who will run as a candidate from the Peace and Freedom Party, dismissed Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his willingness to accept campaign contributions from oil companies and not being “accessible to the people.”

To say the affair was put together on a shoestring would be an understatement. Sheehan, who did not apply for a permit typically needed to hold a rally on the Capitol steps, arrived to find another rally in progress -- one protesting Brown’s plan to expand state prison capacity. Some of her supporters joined that rally, and Sheehan made use of the group’s public address system for her own news conference.

“Quickly,” she called to supporters, summoning them to the stage after the prison rally was over. “I don’t want them to take the podium away.”


When that didn’t do the trick, her campaign manager pulled a red plastic whistle from underneath his paint-stained shirt and blew a single blast to get their attention.

Dressed in a yellow T-shirt and Velcro-strapped sandals, Sheehan criticized Brown’s unwillingness to put a moratorium on extracting oil through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a procedure that critics say could contaminate drinking water and stimulate earthquakes. She noted Brown has received a $27,200 campaign contribution from Occidental Petroleum, the maximum allowed under state law.

“I would rather have 27,200 people send one dollar each,” she told a small handful of cheering supporters.



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