Aaron Russo

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Aaron Russo
Aaron russo-cannes.jpg
Personal Details
Birth: February 14, 1943
Death: August 14, 2007(2007-08-14) (aged 64)
Occupation: Activist, Businessman
Party: Libertarian Party

Aaron Russo (14 February 1943—14 August 2007) was an entertainment businessman, film maker, Libertarian Party political figure and a tax protester.

Entertainment career

During his career in the entertainment industry, Russo was manager for Bette Midler from 1972 to 1979 and The Manhattan Transfer, and the producer of the films The Rose and Trading Places. He also produced Wise Guys. Russo has stated that he was the first person to book Led Zeppelin in a United States venue, (the "Electric Theater," Chicago,1968, later named the "Kinetic Playground").

He was awarded an Emmy for a Bette Midler TV special, and a gold record for producing the Soundtrack to The Rose.

Russo directed 1989's Rude Awakening.

Russo's films, which include Trading Places (starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd) and The Rose (movie) (starring Bette Midler), have received six academy award nominations. Russo has personally won both an Emmy and a Tony award and his films have also won a number of Golden Globe awards.

His last film was America: Freedom to Fascism, an advomentary (advocacy documentary) critical of The Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service. It raises some serious questions on why and if Americans have to pay income tax.

The documentary includes interviews with a host of people who are experts, scholars and whistle-blowers. All deny the legitimacy of the income-tax laws, including Irwin Schiff, who is now in jail because a judge refused to allow Irwin to introduce the law in the courtroom to defend himself. The judge stated that he would decide what the law was.

Political Career

Russo became involved in politics in the early 1990s when he produced and starred in a video entitled Mad As Hell in which he criticized NAFTA, The War on Drugs, the concept of a National Identity Card, and government regulation of alternative medicine.

Russo ran in the Republican primary for governor of Nevada in 1998, placing second with 26% of the vote. He then endorsed the Democratic candidate, Las Vegas mayor Jan Laverty Jones, who lost to Republican Kenny Guinn. Russo subsequently planned to run for governor in 2002 as an independent or a Libertarian, but he was temporarily sidelined by cancer.

In January 2004, he declared his candidacy for the President of the United States as an independent, then decided to run for the Libertarian Party's nomination. While some considered Russo's style crude and even insulting [1], others argued his media experience would enable him to pose a serious threat to incumbent President George W Bush, pulling enough votes from otherwise likely Bush voters to affect the outcome in battleground states, in the same way that Ralph Nader was considered to be in relation to Democrat John Kerry.[2][3][4]

At the Libertarian National Convention in May 2004, Russo received 258 votes, as opposed to 256 for Michael Badnarik and 246 for Gary Nolan, a majority being required to receive the presidential nomination. Russo went on to be defeated on the third and final ballot by nominee Badnarik by a vote of 423-344.

On 14 January 2007, Russo announced his full support for U.S. Congressman Ron Paul's 2008 presidential bid.[5][6] This support includes his America: Freedom to Fascism volunteer network.[7]

External Links

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