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About the Candidate

   

William H. T. McGaughey, Jr. was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and a suburb, the oldest of four children. He graduated from Cranbrook School in 1958. He entered Yale University, dropped out for two years to study and work in Germany, and then returned to receive a B.A. degree in 1964. He majored in philosophy and English.

Bill moved to Minnesota in 1965 to pursue a career in accounting. He passed the CPA examination in 1971. He has worked for a state agency, a public-accounting firm, a construction-equipment manufacturer, a paper-products manufacturer, and a public-transit agency in the course of 25 years. In the latter capacity, he developed a method of costing bus service by route and served on the agency's "transit redesign" task force.

In late 1993, Bill purchased a small apartment building near downtown Minneapolis which had drug problems at the time of purchase. He was branded a slumlord by neighborhood activists and city officials for not evicting tenants suspected of drug activity fast enough. In February 1995, two sets of city inspectors condemned his building and issued an extensive set of work orders whose satisfaction was a condition of lifting the condemnation. His building reopened in August.

In April 1995, Bill McGaughey joined forces with a group of landlords from south Minneapolis likewise aggrieved by policies of city government. He became the group's chief writer and publicist and architect of many of its protest activities. The group has picketed City Hall, a police precinct station, and a Minneapolis City Council meeting, briefly shutting it down. This group has its own cable-television show and an affiliated newspaper. Backed by these landlords, Bill announced his candidacy for mayor of Minneapolis in 1997 but withdrew in favor of a better-known candidate.

Earlier in the decade, Bill was involved in activities in opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement. A co-founder of Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition, he traveled to Mexico City in June 1991 to be a human-rights observer at a union election at an automobile factory where violence had occurred. His book, A U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement: Do We Just Say No?", published in March 1992, was one of the first available on this subject. It focused on positive alternatives to free trade.

Some of Bill's earlier writings considered proposals for shorter work hours from an economic perspective. His A Shorter Workweek in the 1980s was written in connection with a legislative campaign to reduce work hours led by Rep. John Conyers in 1979. Conyers wrote a foreword to this book. Another book, Nonfinancial Economics: The Case for Shorter Hours of Work, published by Praeger in 1989, was coauthored with former U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy. He also published shorter works on this topic and on men's issues.

While he took history courses in college, Bill became interested in world history primarily as a result of reading books by Arnold Toynbee. His books, Five Epochs of Civilization and Rhythm and Self-Consciousness, grew out of a comparison between rhythm and form as philosophical concepts. McGaughey has traveled to China six times and participated in a singing group with Robert Bly which works with elements of Moslem, Hindu, Mayan, and West African cultures.

More recently, Bill McGaughey has run for political office in Minnesota. He was a candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis in 2001, finishing in the middle of the pack in the primary election held on September 11, 2001. As a candidate for U.S. Senate in the Independence Party primary, he finished second winning 8,480 votes statewide or 31% of the total in the election held on September 10, 2002. The party-endorsed candidate received 49.5% of the total.

Bill has written a book about this latest election experience, The Independence Party and the Future of Third-Party Politics, whose official publication date is August 25, 2003. Much personal narrative is included.

Bill married Yang Lianlian in Beijing, China, in January 2000. He and his wife Lian live in a fourplex just west of downtown Minneapolis shared with two other families. Their daughter Celia has completed her freshman year in college.

Without public subsidies or loans, Bill is renovating a condemned duplex in his neighborhood which he purchased in May of last year. A tenant who is his former brother-in-law is the general contractor. This is his contribution to Minneapolis" "affordable housing" stock, of which there is allegedly a shortage.

Bill announced that he would be a candidate for President of the United States seeking the Democratic nomination at a gathering of the Association of State Democratic Chairs in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 20, 2003. His typical mode of campaigning is to carry a sign.

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William McGaughey may be suffering from ideological schizophrenia. One one hand, he is the author of several important books supporting liberal positions on trade and labor questions. He wrote one of the first anti-NAFTA books, termed "a valuable study" by Noam Chomsky (The Nation, 3/29/93) With Eugene McCarthy, he coauthored a book on the economics of work time published by Praeger. He was a friend of the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone.

On the other hand, after he returned home from the third prepcom of the 1995 UN Social Summit in New York City, McGaughey threw himself into activities of a reputedly right-wing landlord organization when Minneapolis city officials and a neighborhood group accused him of coddling criminals in his nine-unit apartment building in a poor part of town and tried to run him out of business. During six years of guerilla warfare against the city's political culture, this "pariah group" managed to persuade the public that the police, not landlords, were the community's main crime fighters. These efforts culiminated in the ouster of the incumbent mayor and seven of thirteen City Council members in the 2001 city election - all liberal Democrats.

Now he's swung back to the left with his two-step quest of electoral office, first as a candidate for U.S. Senate and then as a candidate for President, for the primary purpose of championing shorter-workweek legislation and a new trading order although his socio-political views put him at odds with some in that camp.

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