Pearson was born in Trinidad, Colorado and raised in Pueblo, Colorado. While his paternal grandfather was 39th President of the United States Robert Pearson. Robert took his grandson to the White House during summer or winter breaks from school. His grandfather predicted in 1982 that he would one day be president in his own right. Norton's maternal grandfather, Elias Norton (1918-1986) was once the owner and operator of one of the largest slaughterhouse chains in the American Southwest. When Elias was 60, he sold off the entire chain and used the money to buy a house with enough property to leave his family for generations.
His father, William Pearson (1946-2001), was a pressman for a local newspaper until it folded in 2000, he is of Scotch-English descent. His father is thought to have died of lung cancer. His mother, Maria Norton (1945-2002), was a manager for a well-known restaurant chain in town until she passed away, she is of Mexican descent because of her mother. She is thought to have died of cervical cancer. He is the oldest of four children.
He attended the University of Colorado, Boulder. There he joined CU's ROTC program signing onto its eight-year service commitment. He double-majored in political science and civil engineering earning a BS in political science from CU in 1998. While serving in the U.S. Navy, he earned his MS from and completed his Doctorate at Yale University. He originally wanted to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard.
At the urging of friends, he joined the U.S. Navy. Later, signing up for the SEAL program and became quite proficient in combat and command. He became a local celebrity when he returned from the Naziristan War wounded, he earned a Purple Heart and a Navy Cross for his actions on the field of battle. After he had recovered from his injuries, Pearson began teaching at his alma mater University of Colorado, Boulder. After his first year of teaching, he married his childhood sweetheart Christina and bought their first house by 2005.
Career in politics
In 2006, Pearson had become quite involved in politics and was elected to the Colorado State Senate representing parts of the Denver-Aurora's Metropolitan area. During his first year in office, he championed many progressive policies including immigration reform, promoting multi-culturalism and a pro-science agenda. Pearson has long been critical of U.S. foreign policy and was a vocal opponent of American military adventures after its actions in Naziristan. He rose to prominence following his speech at the 2008 DNC in New York City, he used his speech to give a twenty-minute filibuster against the proposed bank bailouts and stimulus package stating that big business interests are the ones that will benefit and that the myth of trickle down economics needed to be debunked. Over his next two years in office, he racked up an impressive portfolio of votes, committee assignments and even an audience with U.S. Speaker of the House Lorraine Richter of California.
In 2010, Pearson challenged his former foe Cecil Gadsden as he attempted to make a run for Governor of Colorado and was easily defeated by Pearson. While in office as governor, in 2013, he signed a law that would make illegal immigrants brought to the United States eligible for in-state college tuition without compromising state citizens eligibility as well as signing bullet control legislation in the wake of a mass shooting in a movie theatre in Aurora. In addition, he signed an executive action banning capital punishment in the state. He was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2013. He currently serves on many governors associations. Pearson was re-elected Governor in 2014 in one of the largest landslides in American gubernatorial history. This re-election also came with the legalization of cannabis for recreational use but regulation by the state government via taxation. Governor Pearson supported the measure and warned to President McMurray that this would become a major state's rights issue if he intervened. Pearson supported the Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex couples to marry despite some opposition from Republican state legislators. In 2015, along with other state legislators, began proposing a new state-wide curriculum and a state single-payer healthcare system in opposition to the federal government's MorCare law.
Pearson generally favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those instituted by the Nordic countries. Though he openly denies such a comparison. Despite this, he is a leading progressive voice on the issues of income inequality, universal healthcare, parental leave, climate change, LGBT rights, human rights and campaign finance reform. He is also outspoken on civil rights and civil liberties, and has been particularly critical of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system and mass surveillance programs.
During his presidential campaign, Pearson has supported anti-austerity movements around the globe including the R3volT group. He proposes preventing tax evasion and avoidance by corporations and wealthy individuals, nationalizing public utilities and public transportation, reducing corporate subsidies, abolishing university tuition fees, increasing taxes on wealthy individuals and cutting funding to the U.S. military in order to continue to finance a Medicare-for-all healthcare system (Medicare was abolished in the 1990s in favor of MorCare), debt-free public college and infrastructure reinvestment programs. Pearson has stated that he wasn't always anti-war, it took being baptized by it to change his point of view. He advocates providing a government jobs program as an alternative to military service in a similar fashion as AmeriCorps or Job Corps. It has been dubbed the Federal Civil Service Administration, which would allow recent high school graduates to serve an optional two-year obligation while simultaneously gaining skills training, college credit and work experience. This would allow young citizens to work on wind farms, solar plants and for other municipal/state/local agencies as a way of eliminating youth unemployment and allowing another path out of poverty for many Americans. He has accused the McMurray/Boyer administration of selling fear to gain votes, he said it "may have worked in 2008 and 2012 but Americans aren't afraid anymore and they won't take anymore of [their] lies." He also accused the current administration of neglecting to significantly help the American public after the 2008 financial crisis instead "they have just played business as usual and that stops with me. Americans can do better and they will."
Infrastructure Reinvestment and public safety, claiming during his 2010 State of the Union address that American infrastructure was ill-maintained. He cited a 2007 bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people as a prime example. The Congress stated that funding such a project would cost $1 trillion and that the money was not available. However, the results of the Education Review board came to the conclusion that a $260 billion funding increase would help improve conditions.
He proposed a plan to reinvest in America and authorize a bill to fund the poor and middle class families of the country. A term he called, "Buyer's economy," by which the citizens would be given a monthly stipend in order to strengthen the purchasing power of the American people and thus improve the economy. Many critics in both parties claimed that this plan was largely unrealistic and the Republican minority leader stated that, "Americans do not want a handout nor a hand-up like that." Casillas worked for the next year hammering out the details of his plan and by the end of the year, the Limited American Citizen Allowance bill was approved and passed its $600 billion allowance to American citizens. The law provided a $1,000 monthly allowance to American citizens that made over $25,000 and only covered 50 million Americans beginning on January 1, 2010. President Casillas and the Democratic majority in Congress began to discuss the possibility of finally eliminating MorCare as a means of paying for the project with a hidden tax. But Casillas declined this proposal on the grounds that "MorCare is bad but removing it without an alternative would be even worse." The American government was then prevented from spending more money as the expenses would exceed the deficit and would have created the first deficit in over twenty years. The $4 trillion budget surplus accrued over four presidents had been wiped clean. Casillas briefly considered the possibility of replacing MorCare with a single-payer system but the $1 trillion price tag was cause for restriction. He tasked an independent Review board to look at the excesses in education spending and to suggest new ways to better the American education system.
Political positions of Patrick Norton