Russo promoting his film America: Freedom to Fascism
|Born||February 14, 1943|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 24, 2007 64) (aged|
|Known for||Music manager, film producer, libertarian politician and activist|
Aaron Russo (February 14, 1943 – August 24, 2007) was an American entertainment businessman, film producer and director, and political activist. He was best known for producing such movies as Trading Places , Wise Guys , and The Rose . Later in life, he created various Libertarian-leaning political documentaries including Mad as Hell and America: Freedom to Fascism . After a six-year period with cancer, Russo died on August 24, 2007.
Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.
Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. It tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler whose lives cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet. Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, and Jamie Lee Curtis also star. The storyline is often called a modern take on Mark Twain's classic 19th-century novel The Prince and the Pauper.
Wise Guys is a 1986 black Mafia comedy film directed by Brian De Palma and produced by Aaron Russo from a screenplay written by George Gallo and Norman Steinberg. It stars Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo as two small-time mobsters from Newark, New Jersey, and features Harvey Keitel, Ray Sharkey, Lou Albano, Dan Hedaya, and Frank Vincent.
Aaron Russo was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943 in a Jewish family. Growing up on Long Island, Russo worked for his family's undergarment business.
Brooklyn is a borough of New York City coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States. It is New York City's most populous borough, with an estimated 2,504,700 residents in 2010. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island.
Long Island is a densely populated island off the East Coast of the United States, beginning at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) from Manhattan Island and extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. The island comprises four counties in the U.S. state of New York. Kings and Queens Counties and Nassau County share the western third of the island, while Suffolk County occupies the eastern two-thirds. More than half of New York City's residents now live on Long Island, in Brooklyn, and in Queens. However, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term Long Island to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and conversely, employ the term the City to mean Manhattan alone.
In April 1968, Russo opened the nightclub Kinetic Playground in Chicago, Illinois, originally naming it the Electric Theater. He booked numerous prominent rock groups and musicians at the club such as The Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Vanilla Fudge, Rotary Connection, and The Who.
The Kinetic Playground was a short-lived nightclub located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most-populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third-most-populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is also the most-populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second-most-populous county in the US, and portions of the city extend westward into neighboring DuPage County. It is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland. At nearly 10 million people, the metropolitan area is the third-most-populous in the nation.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
In addition to owning his own nightclub, Russo managed several musical acts throughout the 1970s including The Manhattan Transfer and Bette Midler.
The Manhattan Transfer is a jazz vocal group founded in 1969 that has explored a cappella, vocalese, swing, standards, Brazilian jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop music.
Bette Midler is an American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several Off-Off-Broadway plays, prior to her engagements in Fiddler on the Roof and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. She came to prominence in 1970 when she began singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following. Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist. Throughout her career, many of her songs became hits on the record charts, including her renditions of "The Rose", "Wind Beneath My Wings", "Do You Want to Dance", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", and "From a Distance".
Russo then moved into producing and directing movies, six of them receiving Academy Award nominations and two receiving Golden Globe Award nominations.His final film would be America: Freedom to Fascism , a political documentary critical of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve System and warning about the coming of the New World Order.
America: Freedom to Fascism is a 2006 film by filmmaker and activist Aaron Russo, covering a variety of subjects that Russo contends are detrimental to Americans. Topics include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the income tax, Federal Reserve System, national ID cards, human-implanted RFID tags, Diebold electronic voting machines, globalization, Big Brother, taser weapons abuse, and the use of terrorism by the government as a means to diminish the citizens' rights.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The government agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code, the main body of federal statutory tax law of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers and pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings. The IRS has also overseen various benefits programs, and enforces portions of the Affordable Care Act.
The New World Order or NWO is claimed to be an emerging clandestine totalitarian world government by various conspiracy theories.
Russo became involved in political issues in the early-1990s when he produced and starred in the documentary entitled Mad As Hell in which he criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the federal government's War on Drugs, the concept of a National Identity Card, and government regulation of alternative medicine.
The North American Free Trade Agreement is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994, and superseded the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada. The NAFTA trade bloc is one of the largest trade blocs in the world by gross domestic product.
Because of the uncertain nature of various alternative therapies and the wide variety of claims different practitioners make, alternative medicine has been a source of vigorous debate, even over the definition of "alternative medicine". Dietary supplements, their ingredients, safety, and claims, are a continual source of controversy. In some cases, political issues, mainstream medicine and alternative medicine all collide, such as in cases where synthetic drugs are legal but the herbal sources of the same active chemical are banned.
In 1998, Russo took his political interests to a higher level, running for governor of the state of Nevada as a Republican. Placing second in the Republican primary with 26% of the vote to candidate Kenny Guinn, Russo later endorsed the Democratic nominee, then-Las Vegas mayor Jan Laverty Jones, who would eventually lose to Guinn.[ citation needed ] Russo was planning to run again for Nevada governor in 2002 as either an independent or Libertarian but was sidelined by cancer.
In January 2004, Russo declared his candidacy for the President of the United States initially as an independent but then as a Libertarian. At the Libertarian National Convention in May 2004, Russo received 258 votes to Michael Badnarik's 256 votes and Gary Nolan's 246 votes, short of the majority required to receive the presidential nomination. Russo would eventually lose the nomination on the convention's third and final ballot to Badnarik by a vote of 423–344.
On February 14, 2004, Russo gave his full endorsement to the Free State Project, saying in his letter, "I encourage my fellow Libertarians and all freedom-loving Americans to consider joining the Free State Project."
In 2007, Russo created the political grassroots organization, Restore the Republic, to fulfill the political ambitions laid out in his final movie documentary, America: Freedom to Fascism. Regarding the organization, Russo said his goal was to "try and get the word out to the public about what's happening to America – and give them an opportunity to try to change things". [ citation needed ]
On August 24, 2007, Russo died at the age of 64 of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Ronald Ernest Paul is an American author, physician, and retired politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1979 to 1985, and for Texas's 14th congressional district from 1997 to 2013. On three occasions, he sought the presidency of the United States: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012. Paul is a critic of the federal government's fiscal policies, especially the existence of the Federal Reserve and the tax policy, as well as the military–industrial complex, and the War on Drugs. He has also been a vocal critic of mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance programs. He was the first chairman of the conservative PAC Citizens for a Sound Economy and has been characterized as the "intellectual godfather" of the Tea Party movement.
Gary P. Nolan is an American talk radio host and a former candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States.
Robert Laurence Barr Jr. is an American attorney and politician. He served as a federal prosecutor and as a Congressman.
Lester Neil Smith III, better known as L. Neil Smith, is an American libertarian science fiction author and political activist. His works include the trilogy of Lando Calrissian novels, all published in 1983: Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon, and Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka. He also wrote the novels Pallas, The Forge of the Elders, and The Probability Broach, each of which won the Libertarian Futurist Society's annual Prometheus Award for best libertarian science fiction novel. In 2016, Smith received a Special Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Libertarian Futurist Society.
Michael J. Badnarik is an American software engineer, political figure, and former radio talk show host. He was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 elections, and placed fourth in the race, behind independent candidate Ralph Nader and the two major party candidates, George W. Bush and John Kerry. Two years later Badnarik ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2006 congressional elections for Texas's 10th congressional district seat near Austin. In a three candidate field, Badnarik came in third, receiving 7,603 votes for 4.3% of the vote.
The Libertarian National Convention is held every two years by the Libertarian Party to choose members of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC), and to conduct other party business. In presidential election years, the convention delegates enact a platform and nominate the Libertarian presidential and vice-presidential candidates who then face the nominees of other parties in the November general election.
Richard V. Campagna of Iowa City, Iowa was the vice-presidential running mate of Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad is a Palestinian American scholar and the president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, a libertarian 501(c)(3) tax-exempt Muslim think-tank. He also is president of the Islamic-American Zakat Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt religious and charitable organization that primarily serves poor and needy Muslims in the United States.
The 2004 Libertarian National Convention was held from May 28 to May 31, 2004 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The delegates at the convention, on behalf of the U.S. Libertarian Party, nominated Michael Badnarik for the presidency and Richard Campagna for the vice-presidency in the 2004 presidential election. The convention was televised nationally on C-SPAN.
David Peter Bergland was an American politician who was the United States Libertarian Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 1984 presidential election, and also served twice as the Chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
Stephen P. "Steve" Gordon was a libertarian political consultant with the firm Forward Focus Media and a political activist. At the time of his death, he was writing at The Next Right and The Liberty Papers and served in several positions, including Director, for the Alabama chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus.
The 2004 presidential campaign of Michael Badnarik, software engineer and candidate for the Texas legislature in 2000 and 2002, began on February 17, 2003, three months after starting an exploratory committee on November 17, 2002. He spent over a year traveling the country, totaling over 25,000 miles prior to the 2004 Libertarian National Convention. On the second night of the Convention, he participated in a debate with the other Libertarian candidates, broadcast on C-SPAN.
The Best of Bette is the first compilation album by American female vocalist Bette Midler, released in 1978. This greatest hits album was issued in the UK, Continental Europe, Scandinavia and Australia to coincide with Midler's first world tour. Later editions released in 1979 also came with a free poster promoting her then upcoming movie The Rose. The Best of Bette, confusingly released with near identical cover art to 1973's Bette Midler, featured songs from Midler's first four studio albums with the addition of one track from 1977's Live at Last, the studio recording "You're Moving Out Today". The version included on The Best of Bette is the rare single mix which features an extra verse that is not found on the Live at Last album or on many of the single releases worldwide.
The Libertarian Party of the United States was formed in Colorado Springs in the home of Luke Zell by a group of individuals led by David Nolan on December 11, 1971, after several months of debate among members of the Committee to Form a Libertarian Party, founded July 17. The formation was prompted in part by price controls and the end of the Gold Standard implemented by President Richard Nixon. The Libertarian Party viewed the dominant Republican and Democratic parties as having diverged from what they viewed as the libertarian principles of the American Founding Fathers. This group included John Hospers, Edward Crane, Manuel Klausner, Murray Rothbard, Roy Childs, Theodora (Tonie) Nathan, and Jim Dean.
The Ron Paul presidential campaign of 1988 began in early 1987 when former Congressman Ron Paul of Texas announced his candidacy for the 1988 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party. He joined the third party after leaving the Republican Party over the Reagan administration's handling of the federal budget. He ran on a platform that included non-interventionism in foreign conflicts, decriminalization of illegal drugs on a federal level, a return to the gold standard, the abolition of the Federal Reserve and a reduction in all government spending.
The 2016 Libertarian National Convention was the gathering at which delegates of the Libertarian Party chose the party's nominees for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States in the 2016 national election. The party selected Gary Johnson, a former Governor of New Mexico, as its presidential candidate, with Bill Weld, a former Governor of Massachusetts as his running mate. The convention was held from May 26–30, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.
The 2016 Libertarian Party presidential primaries and caucuses allowed electors to indicate non-binding preferences for the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate. These differed from the Republican or Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses in that they did not appoint delegates to represent a candidate at the party's convention to select the party's nominee for the United States presidential election. The party's nominee for the 2016 presidential election was chosen directly by registered delegates at the 2016 Libertarian National Convention, which ran from May 26 to 30, 2016. The delegates nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for President and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld for Vice President.
Bonnie Sue Fishman, known professionally as Bonnie Bruckheimer, is an American film and television producer. She has also been known professionally as Bonnie Fishman, Bonnie Martell, and Bonnie Bruckheimer-Martell. She has been nominated for 2 Emmy Awards. In 1985, she and Bette Midler formed their own production company, All Girl Productions, and were producing partners until 2002.