BY TIMOTHY BOLGER
Brock Pierce, a former child actor who grew up to be a cryptocurrency entrepreneur, has added third-party presidential hopeful to his resume after the Independence Party endorsed him for the nation’s top job last week.
Pierce, who is best known for playing a young Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks and the Disney film’s sequel, co-founded several digital currency companies in recent years and more recently has focused on Caribbean philanthropic efforts. The 39-year-old Minnesota native, who Forbes ranked in 2018 as one of the top 20 richest Bitcoin billionaires, now seeks to challenge the two-party system of American politics.
“We’re not saying hes the next president of the United States,” Independence Party of New York Chairman Frank MacKay, who also leads the party’s Suffolk County chapter, told reporters Friday during a news conference in Farmingdale. “What we’re saying is he’s a future president of the United States.”
President Donald Trump, a Republican, is seeking re-election on Election Day against his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. Besides Pierce, third-party hopefuls also running for president include Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen, and nearly 1,200 other long shots who filed to get on Nov. 3 ballots as of this week, according to the Federal Election Commission.
The Independence Party has nearly 500,000 members statewide, making it the largest third party in New York and the fourth-largest group of voters behind Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters who are unaffiliated with any political party. MacKay predicts Pierce will make a “major run” in four years.
“The objective here is to create a third major party,” Pierce said. “Not a third party. But a third major party.”
In outlining his platform, Pierce said the top issues facing the nation are properly preparing for technological advancements such as artificial intelligence, a national debt that is forecast to soon be larger than the economy for the first time in 75 years, recovering from the pandemic, and criminal justice reform. Police reform was the lone issue he raised for which he proposed specific policy changes.
“We can’t have cops murdering people,” he said. “Cops need better training. They need to be re-evaluated. We need to look at real reform around criminal justice.”
He criticized America’s status as having the most people in prison per capita than any country in the world.
“The goal should be the fewest people in prison,” he said, noting that many non-violent drug offenders should be in treatment instead of behind bars. “We have a lot of people in prison in this country that don’t belong there.”
Pierce, who appeared in 11 films as a child in the mid-90s, said his experience as an actor helped prepare him for his presidential bid. In one movie, First Kid, he played the son of a president. He said comedian Sinbad, who was his Secret Service agent in the film, may join him on the campaign trail.
As far as solving the economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Pierce said it will take a while.
“There is a path forward,” he said. “We can solve any problem … it just requires putting our heads together and doing the work.”
This article first appeared on our sister website, Long Island Press.