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The iReport Debate is well underway, and we've received plenty of scintillating commentary from our passionate community of pundits. Followers of our Pundit of the Week feature know that we've got a strong community of regular politics-watchers, but we've seen plenty of fresh faces arrive since the launch of the Debate.
Each of them brings a new perspective to the table, and we're excited to highlight some of the excellent work these new folks have been doing. So this week, we're tipping our hat to four of our excellent new pundits and awarding them joint honors as Pundit(s) of the Week!
Ron Paul supporter and staunch libertarian Stephen Monahan of Brooklyn, New York, ranks information and internet freedom as the issue that's got him motivated to cast his ballot in the 2012 elections. "I believe the government has way too much control, and putting the internet into the government hands is a red flag," he said. "I immediately think of North Korea and how they have complete control over what the population has access to online."
Obama lookalike and supporter Jose Williams was a frequent presence on iReport during the 2008 elections, and has returned for another round of commentary and punditry. He sees the coming election as a stark choice in direction for the U.S., a choice between a more individualistic or communal society.
He favors the latter: "With America being the most powerful and influential country in the world, our choice in President can send us down the wrong road to the extinction of man or down the good road of peace, harmony with other countries, the environment and humanity," he said.
David A. Seaman hails from Lansford, Pennsylvania, and is a self-described gay member of the GOP. Though he leans conservative on a variety of fiscal issues like taxes, gun control and individual liberty, he's concerned that his party isn't so inclusive towards members of the LGBTQ community: "I want less government, to own my own gun and to be independent. Sounds great, but when I tell you I'm gay it's a bit of a conundrum."
"I would like to see the GOP stop using religion as part of their platform to run," he said. "I would like to see the GOP embrace diversity and uphold their conservative ideals to their country and economy."
Marijuana-reform activist Frank Mattioli is a liberal Democrat who believes that the U.S. should work to legalize cannabis and hemp. He shared his thoughts on the changes he would like to see made to U.S. drug law: "I think the best step would be federal recognition of marijuana as a medicine. Ideally, I believe it should be legal and regulated similar to tobacco or alcohol, but realistically I know it's not that simple," he said. "Baby steps are the best way to go about it."
Fresh faces and hot issues, as only iReport can do it. If you're eager to join in the debate and hash it out with the iReport community, now's your chance. You could be the next Pundit of the Week!
Congratulations to each and everyone of you for earning Pundit of the Week.
While we all may not always agree...let us continue discussing and bringing issues to the forefront and develop healthy dialogue.
This is great! i'm glad to be a part of CNN's iReport community. I have found that, for the most part anyway, it seems to be a friendly environment where intelligent individuals can discuss key issues and say exactly what needs to be said across all spectrums. I have been looking for an outlet to put my word on the table with the rest, and this turns out to be a great place to start. I will continue to post videos and opinions as i see fit, feel free to follow me if you'd like!
Of course they knowingly did not put up someone who supports the Green Party... I mean... Media blackout to the max!
because the green party isn't as widely known or is considered a top issue.