Meet Michealene Risley — She's Running for President

This mother of three is taking on the two-party system -- curious to know more?
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Meet Michealene Risley — She’s Running for President

This mother of three is taking on the two-party system — curious to know more?

-Harvey Helms

Micheleane Risley

Ed note: The following article reflects Harvey’s opinions, and not necessarily those of BettyConfidential as a whole. But we all think you’ll find it fascinating, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum!

Yes, ladies! The time is upon us to decide who will fill that chair in the Oval Office for the next 4 years. I know it’s only spring, but November 4th will be here before we know it. As your Cyber Main Gay, I’m normally only political if someone is threatening to raise taxes on luxury goods or a candidate has decided that wearing sweater vests everyday is a good idea. (Luckily “You Know Who” dropped out of the race before the Fashion Police could give him a citation.) The last election seemed like such the No Brainer! Get rid of the problematic one and replace him with the fresh air of diversity. This year seems more complicated. HMMM?

Luckily I recently ended up at a place where most of my best decisions have ever been made — Sammy Zelcer’s 1258 Salon. (Sammy and his staff give the best hair in California. Check him out.) One of the country’s top Patent Litigators and an all around incredible woman, Kathi Lutton, was co-hosting a fab fund-raising party for a woman who is running for President of the United States.

When this candidate was through speaking everyone in the salon was mesmerized. Me included! Ladies! Please meet Michealene Risley! She’s answered some of the questions that I’m sure are going through your mind right now:

Q: Why did you decide to run for president?

Micheleane Risley: As a mother of three boys, I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving our nation’s problems to my kids. It’s not their fault that our representatives are not leading. I thought about running for president for a long time. The challenge is, men have defined the environment for politics for a very long time. They have defined the process as, it’s a blood sport; take no prisoners, damn the consequences. This kind of process damages our culture and prevents good people from engaging in public service.

After deciding to run, we sat down as a family to review everyone’s concerns. All three of my boys, 15, 14 and 9, said, “Go for it, Mom.”My husband, Eric was less convinced. Eric is a remarkable man who has supported my work and shown incredible patience with my escapades. This includes my trip to a Philippine hospital, and being thrown in prison in Zimbabwe, Africa. Never once did he say, “Don’t do this, or I told you so.” This time he did.

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As an activist, my heart is always open. Some argue that this approach would be destroyed in the political arena. The difference is, I am not a politician. I am a public servant. As an activist – I fight for change, whether for women and children or getting money out of politics. As reluctant as I may have been, I know I am supposed to be doing this. What friend wants to tell you no when your heart says yes?

The more I researched and studied the issues, the more determined I became. Mounting debt, crumbling infrastructure and partisan politics have almost destroyed our country. The United States is at a significant crossroads and choices matter, perhaps more than ever before. As a mom, a wife, and a woman, I am stunned by the legislation against women. Women need to understand how much power they have and both men and women need to stand up for these rights as it effects all of them.

The challenge is how do you get people to really listen and engage again, when they have been disappointed time and again?

Q: Do you have any hope of actually winning? If not, then what are your motivations?

MR: My goals were never about winning. The goals were about forcing the two party representatives to actually discuss the critical issues of our times. My goal is to change the conversation. Our campaign has offices on the GOOGLE campus; our volunteer staff has tripled in the last week. Americans we talk to are beyond fed up, and have no hope in the system. My campaign offers hope. The great news is that we have managed to remain in the top 4 since the DECLARED candidates were announced on Americans Elect. I am the only Woman in the top candidates running for President in 2012. America holds itself up as a beacon for women’s rights – that’s a myth. There have been women leaders in many of the world’s countries, but America is not one of them.

Q: What are the most important issues to you?

MR: If I could do one thing, and one thing only, it would be to get money out of politics. Period. The entire political process has been hijacked. For decades now, we have watched, as Washington legislators became the puppets of the lobbyists that pay them. The revolving door between DC and K Street has made it nearly impossible for legislation to pass that doesn’t benefit big business. The situation worsened with the Supreme Court upheld “Citizens United,”which essentially opened the floodgates for unaccounted political donations.

America has lost any semblance of the Democracy it once had. We are an Oligopoly now. All of our voices have been drowned out by the sound of money changing hands.

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