Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Tuesday June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

United States

United States of America — Peace and Freedom PartyCandidate for President

Photo of Lynn S. Kahn

Lynn S. Kahn

Organizational Psychologist & Consultant
1,041 votes (20.8%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Transform every federal agency starting on Day 1 with US Departments of Veterans Affairs, Justice and Education
  • Cut $1 Trillion of government waste and re-direct savings to create jobs and invest in families and communities
  • Put in place new 5-point doctrine for war and peacebuilding in 21st Century



Profession:Organizational Psychologist & Consultant
Owner, Lynn S Kahn Associates (1977–current)
Psychologist and Organizational Consultant, Federal Aviation Administration (1992–2012)
Project Manager, National Partnership for Reinventing Government (1993–2000)


University of Wisconsin - Madison BA, Psychology (1988)
American University PhD, clinical psychology (1977)

Who gave money to this candidate?


More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Transforming Government: Five Case Studies and the Secret Sauce


I am an independent candidate for President of the United States with a very specific platform: Transform Government and Build Peace. This means fix our broken government agency-by-agency and build peace here at home and around the world. This essay presents plans to transform government at the U. S. Departments of Justice, Veterans Affairs, Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development. The conclusion briefly discusses “enduring mechanisms of coordination” as the secret sauce for governance in the 21st century.

Governance is a living system: our challenges as a nation and the solutions to those challenges are deeply connected. The confused mission statement of any agency leads to out-of-touch priorities and botched policies with overreaching regulations written in obscure language that inhibits economic growth and violates personal freedoms all reinforced by horrible performance measures. Cementing in place failure, agencies that should work together – such as Justice and Education or Labor and Transportation – work in silos without cooperation.


So, in place of solutions we have bureaucracies that grow poverty, unemployment, incarceration, a failing infrastructure and an outdated economy that makes warfare the only way to put people to work. I say instead to Transform Government and Build Peace.


U.S. Department of Justice


We have too much violence in America and we export too much violence around the world. Building peace at home starts by changing the mission of the U.S. Department of Justice, now organized around three words: “control, enforcement and punishment.” That mission will never solve mass incarceration, school-to-prison pipelines, community-police tensions or mistrust in our justice systems.


My proposed mission for the Department of Justice is “To reduce and prevent violence in America by building stronger communities, establishing true partnerships between law enforcement and local communities, and leading the effort to restore the full faith and trust of the American people in our police departments and justice systems.”



My strategic plan for Justice Reform includes prison, probation, parole, and court reforms. New priorities and important policy changes include: fund new training models in community policing; stop the war on drugs and treat addiction as a medical problem; fund networks of community-based services for people released or diverted from criminal justice systems; stop funding “stop and frisk” or other programs that contribute to racial profiling; fund independent civilian oversight boards; build partnerships to fund community engagement in community policing; provide tax incentives to train and hire ex-felons; and fund “innocence projects” for convictions based on biased testimony or compromised evidence.


Justice reform turns to community healing and community peacebuilding through face-to-face dialog between law enforcement and local residents. We will re-direct funding to hire local facilitators and mentors. Driving all these changes will be new performance measures that track progress on new goals including restoring trust in American justice.


 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)


The current mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.” Right now, over 100 VA facilities are under criminal investigation so I’d say “care for” does not come close to hitting the mark.


The VA has an appalling reputation among veterans. A 2014 survey found 73% did not believe soldiers and veterans get the care they need; only 57% of new veterans even register for VA health care; and only 37% of female respondents felt positive about VA services. In addition:


·      22 veterans commit suicide every day


·      180,000 veterans are in prison or jail


·      1 in 6 (15%) veterans have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


·      1 in 5 (19%) veterans have Traumatic Brain Injury


·      Official reports say VA wait times are 3 days for mental health care and 4 days for primary care; a local survey found wait times of 64 days for mental health care and 77 days for primary care


·      A 2015 report found 867,000 veterans waiting for eligibility determination, of which Social Security records showed 307,000 had died!


·       Recent reductions in this backlog are in part due to the denial of eligibility leading to more veterans filing appeals and a backlog of 290,000 veterans now waiting decisions on their appeals


·      We have 200,000 active-duty women soldiers and 280,000 women veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Studies show 1 in 4 women soldiers faced persistent sexual harassment or gender discrimination; 20,300 soldiers were sexually assaulted in 2014; 1 in 4 women who used the VA system in 2013 screened positive for Military Sexual Trauma.


·      And the Pentagon still forces women soldiers to wear male combat boots despite data about increased risk of stress fractures!


My strategic plan to transform the VA begins with a new mission: To provide world-class services and benefits to our veterans and their families. This sends the message that old standards of sloppy care are no longer tolerated, world-class service to all veterans is the new standard, and measures of success revolve around outcomes for veterans. This plan has six goals:


·               Goal 1: World-Class Health and Mental Health Care


·               Goal 2: World-Class Delivery of Benefits and Supports


·               Goal 3: 21st Century Technology and Data Systems


·               Goal 4: Organizational Excellence


·               Goal 5: Strong Partnerships


·               Goal 6: Performance Metrics Focused on Quality of Care



This plan would make the Independent Budget the VA’s financial baseline and use the Independent Assessment to build VA information systems.


Honesty and accountability starts in the White House. A new Situation Room would track the performance and progress of the VA (and all agencies). Accountability means a White House that releases monthly progress reports to the veteran community.


The best plan in the world will not transform the VA overnight or even within a few years. The question is:  “What single action can give the most immediate relief to our veterans?” I believe the answer is to fully and permanently fund an expanded Veterans Choice Program -- allowing veterans to get health services from non-VA doctors – without restrictions. If some VA facilities then have no patients, we will consider elimination, consolidation, privatization or converting VA facilities into affordable housing for veterans and their families.


How will we pay for the expanded Veterans Choice Program? The Pentagon has some responsibility for the mess at the VA and I propose transferring $17 billion dollars from Defense to the VA to fund the expanded Choice Program and to hire 100,000 veterans as mentors to veterans in need. That $17 billion is how much the Pentagon spent buying ammunition that was outdated, banned by international treaty or somehow inaccessible and for which the Pentagon is now spending $1 billion dollars to destroy.


Transforming the VA into a 21st century world-class service provider is how we honor our commitments to our veterans and their families.



U.S. Department of Education


The U.S. Department of Education has failed this nation for decades:


·      Of 34 industrialized nations, the US ranks 17 in reading, 20 in science and 27 in math


·      The gap between school funding in poor versus wealthier districts has grown 44% since 2001


·      Unfair funding leads to an opportunity gap for millions of students


·      Waste is widespread: 13 agencies fund 209 different science, technology, engineering and math education programs with 173 of those programs overlapping at least one other program


·      Education’s compliance paperwork is estimated to cost 93 million hours and $3 billion annually


·      Every year one million young people drop out of high school


·      28% of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying


·      25% of students in middle school report unwanted sexual harassment


·      African-American high school students are almost four times more likely to be suspended than white students; Latino, Native American and English learners are about twice as likely to be suspended


·      African-American 4-year olds are 18% of pre-school students and 48% of pre-school suspensions


·       And a federal Department of Education is not even in the Constitution of the United States!


My first day in office will include a “hard freeze” on the U.S. Department of Education – no hiring, no promotions, no bonuses, no travel. We will reclaim the $20-30 billion that Education wastes on non-performing programs and carefully return those savings to states.


We will cut programs not people. The employees whose programs have been cut will get four choices: retire, join Teach for America, take an inter-agency transfer to help Veterans Affairs cut backlogs, or join a Plain Language team that is cutting red tape. That’s it – retire, teach, help a vet or cut red tape.


What to do with the reclaimed wasted dollars? Help states close the unequal funding gap; fund free, quality, full-time pre-school for 4-year olds; support free community college; and eliminate interest on current student loans.


U.S. Department of Energy


The mission statement of the U.S. Department of Energy is bizarre and unbelievable. No one agency can possibly balance responsibility for nuclear weapons and lead our nation towards a future based on renewable energy.


The Department of Energy must be re-organized, splitting off all offices and laboratories responsible for nuclear weapons and nuclear power. I’d take the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) out of the Department of Energy – not because the NRC isn’t independent enough rather because the NRC drives the priorities and budgets of Energy in a way that favors the nuclear industry over renewable energy. I’d have the NRC report to the White House Office of Science and Technology, one of the rare offices with successful experience working inter-agency issues, to better manage the complexities of nuclear waste. The NRC has made little progress while spending billions of dollars that audit reports describe as lacking best practices in acquisition.


With that re-organization, we can begin a national conversation about the future of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Simultaneously, the new U.S. Department of Energy would focus on building partnerships to define and implement a realistic transition to an economy and energy grid based on 100% renewable energy. The emphasis here is on partnerships across government agencies, with local, state and tribal governments and with non-government organizations.


U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


The mission and strategic goals of the Department of Housing and Urban Development demonstrate quite clearly that when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. What does this Department do? Where was this Department during the housing crisis? Where is the vision and plan for eliminating homelessness? How exactly will this Department help states build partnerships that will dramatically expand affordable housing and build that housing near public transportation?


Skim through the latest audit reports of HUD”s Office of the Inspector General and take your pick of story after story of waste, fraud, incompetence and corruption in public housing. Legislation to provide stronger oversight authority at HUD is now before a conference committee; this may help manage parts of the current public housing crisis. The true solutions will require totally re-thinking the nature of public housing (currently inadequate and mostly sub-standard), investing in models of tenant-owned public housing and establishing affordable housing as a national priority.


Coordinating Across Government Agencies


We know in the real world to get anything important done we need cooperation and partnerships. The same is true for government. Good government requires communication and coordination across agencies, across levels of government (local, state, regional and tribal) and with non-government partners.


The problem is federal agencies plan, budget and work in isolation. We even have laws and policies that prevent cooperation across agencies fighting cyber-terrorism. When agencies do try to work together, there is no place in all of the federal government responsible for a unified mission or integrated funding. The solution to this inefficient and sometimes tragic lack of coordination is to re-structure and transform the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide inter-agency oversight.


Problems cross boundaries and so must solutions. Only the shift from isolated bureaucracies to “whole-of-government” partnerships and performance networks will allow us to solve problems that cross agency boundaries. This shift is a structural transformation within the very nature and culture of government. The secret sauce is composed of “enduring mechanisms of coordination” from inter-agency policy committees to citizen advisory boards. It is all connected and the right actions will always be “whole of government” strategies.


A New Doctrine for War and Peacebuilding in the 21st Century


My Presidential platform is Transform Government and Build Peace. My 7-track plan was designed to support that platform and deliver on the vision and goals I have outlined on my website. This essay focuses on Track 7: Build Peace and specifically my 5-point doctrine on war and peacebuilding in the 21st Century.


As President of the United States, I will abide by a new doctrine for war and peacebuilding in the 21st century based on this update to my five operating principles:



1.    We must be strong to build peace. As America makes decisions about confronting terrorism, as China expands its military arsenal including missiles aimed at U.S. soil, as North Korea claims to have miniaturized nuclear warheads and makes threats about nuclear aggression, and as Russia also builds new weapons systems and re-engages militarily in the Mid-East and Eastern Europe, we must make sure our military and intelligence expertise and resources are strong enough to counter today’s ever-changing threats. Anything less is straight out naïve; we must be strong to build peace.



True power must always include strength at home. We cannot be the most powerful democracy on the planet when only 19% of Americans trust our government to do the right thing and 75% of Americans see corruption widespread in government. We the People must rethink, reinvent and re-boot all our federal agencies until they deliver trusted and respected world-class services to all of us.



Strength at home is built on the power of our core values – freedom, justice, equality, diversity and self-government. As we work though our differences in this election cycle, we must remember to hold close the values that bind us together as one America.



2.    The purpose of American foreign policy is peacebuilding. The goal of war is never more war. The goals of warfare in the 21st century are the political solutions that can only be achieved through face-to-face dialog. I say this based on my absolute conviction that the power of face-to-face dialog is enormous and untapped. My theory of peacemaking published in 1988 is unchanged: People joined together in face-to-face dialog generate a field of energy with patterns of balance and rhythms of harmony across multiple levels of awareness.



This conviction in the power of dialog has influenced my work on issues related to violence and peacebuilding for more than 35 years. In the 1970s, I studied the group dynamics of peacemaking for my doctoral research. My 1988 book, Peacemaking: A Systems Approach to Conflict Management described the technology, psychology, theory and application of peacebuilding. In 1994, I designed a citywide Summit on Violence for Cleveland, Ohio where 1,000 residents worked together on action plans for twenty topics – from drugs and guns to gangs and the role of police in local neighborhoods. From 2005 through 2014, I worked on strategic plans to transform juvenile services for the City of Washington D.C. and then to transform probation services for New York City. This cemented in place my understanding of community peacebuilding and restorative justice. I learned to distinguish between the activities of peacebuilding (ceasefires, truce negotiations and community service) and the psychology of peacemaking (the internal dynamics of new insights and a change of heart).



And now of course my Presidential platform is Transform Government and Build Peace. My belief in the power of dialog is unshakeable and grounded in a respectful understanding of real world tensions and challenges. I know beyond any doubt that peacebuilders are working at every level and in every domain in every conflict zone around the world. This is often called multi-track diplomacy and as President I will bring to the forefront this worldwide network of peacebuilders.


3.    Building peace does not mean being stupid. No one can sweet-talk a bully; no one can negotiate with psychopaths and sociopaths that use beheadings, crucifixions, rape and enslavement as tactics of war. They have crossed a dark line; they are lost to us forever; they are not part of any peace talks; they must be confronted and defeated.



4.    American foreign policy must be based on systems thinking and true partnerships. Systems thinking means foreign policy composed of strategies from many different points of view. For many decades, oil and defense companies, arms dealers and big money have held American foreign policy hostage. Political advisers who see the world as empires to be conquered have done great damage. The new path forward is foreign policy developed by integrating many different sets of knowledge including:



·      Military strategies carefully considered and always informed by experts in culture and history.


·      Diplomatic engagement as the ultimate goal of foreign policy with attention to the unseen peacebuilding that occurs at all levels of every community.


·      Intelligence and communication strategies to counter the appeal of ISIS and radical violence that address how corruption, failed government and broken educational systems fuel violent extremism.


·      Humanitarian and economic development plans that recognize our War on Terror has killed 1.3 million civilians while contributing to 4 million Syrian refuges among 60 million people displaced worldwide.


·      Military budgets that spend taxpayer dollars wisely.




In 2003, we invaded Iraq, choosing sides in a religious war going on for more than 1,350 years. Eight weeks after the invasion, we fired 85,000 teachers, nurses, doctors, accountants and engineers. One week later, we disbanded the entire Iraqi army. We sent 700,000K Iraqi men home angry, humiliated, with their weapons and chain of command; when they protested in the following days, we fired our weapons. Our aggressive response inflamed wide-spreading rage and an insurgency that we then crushed (for a while) setting the stage for the rise of ISIS. These were all political decisions made against the advice of our military, intelligence and diplomatic leaders. These were poorly thought out decisions to build an empire and grab oil fields. Now almost all of the leaders of ISIS are former Iraqi officers.



SO I PROMISE I will never send our sons and daughters into harms way without listening to all points of view, without a comprehensive plan for going in and coming out, and without guarantees that our international partners are truly working together to stop the flow of weapons, fighters and money into conflict zones. Once agreed-upon strategies are complete, I will never allow politics to micromanage military tactics.



Today our international partners must work together on plans beyond the defeat of ISIS to design new governance structures, new models for security and clear plans for economic development in a region devastated by war and a refugee tragedy. And those investments cannot happen around the world without substantial investments in creating a true 21st century economy here in America.



5.    Washington D.C. must tilt toward peacebuilding. We spend 12 times as much making war as building peace. That imbalance must be corrected. American foreign policies are based on aggression and confrontation and those policies alone do not work. We must make wiser decisions.



We must be more effective in the ways we de-escalate tensions and demand diplomatic solutions. We must have clear follow-up plans for the months and years after we stop dropping bombs. We must recognize that building peace requires transforming government and we must reduce and prevent violence wherever we find it. Our political leaders must recognize that we cannot build peace around the world unless we build peace here at home, starting in Washington, DC and including politicians at all levels. We the People must demand more of our political leaders.



FINAL COMMENT: There are real and dangerous conflicts around the world and there are certainly people out there who want to do us harm. We need to be realistic about those dangers and how we will work together to counter those threats while understanding the true costs of war and the moral injury war inflicts on us all. We must as a nation make a new set of decisions together: when to declare a global ceasefire, how to create an America that works for everyone with no one left out, how to invest in peacebuilding and economic development here at home and around the world.



With these plans and principles to build peace around the world, with that range of solutions before us, with a ready network of peacebuilders worldwide and knowing that only a voter’s revolution will demonstrate that we can together launch a new era of peacebuilding, I hold this truth in my vision, goals and plans for America:

In the 21st century, we the people are wiser than warfare.


Cut One Trillion Dollars of Government Waste and Reinvest the Savings in Our Famiiles and Communities


My Presidential platform is Transform Government and Build Peace. In my 7-track plan to do that, Track 1 states we will Cut One Trillion Dollars of Waste out of Federal Bureaucracies and Invest the Savings to Cut Taxes, Jumpstart New Jobs and Invest in our Communities. These 5 strategies will fulfill that promise: Eliminate Duplication, Reduce Fraud, Require Accountability, Stop Funding Stupid, and Require Financial Responsibility at the Pentagon.


Everyone talk about waste in government. I deeply understand the mechanics of the Executive branch of government and my teams will get to tens of billions of dollars of waste by looking under the hood and demanding efficiencies and wiser spending. In my 7-track plan to Transform Government and Build Peace, Track 1 states: Cut One Trillion Dollars of Waste Out of Federal Bureaucracies and Invest the Savings in Our Communities.


Eliminate Duplication – Goal: Save $100 Billion

Duplication of government programs is widespread because no government office is responsible for coordination and oversight across agencies. For example, nine different federal agencies run 47 different job-training programs. That means We the People pay 47 different times for rent, utilities, staff, managers, desks, computers, supplies, contracting and grant reviews, paperwork and administrative support for the same programs. Duplication goes on and on. A strong President will demand consolidation and eliminate duplication.


Eliminate Fraud and Tax Evasion – Goal: Save or Recover $300 Billion

We spend about $125 billion a year on fraudulent and improper payments with about 75% of these improper payments in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Disability, and Earned Income Tax Credits. In addition, about $385 billion is lost to the “tax gap” which includes tax evasion, tax fraud, and lack of knowledge about taxes due. These numbers come from the most recent General Accountability Office (GAO) report although the GAO has issued similar reports for decades. The lack of respect for the quality of GAO analyses and recommendations is appalling! Only an independent President who understands the mechanics of our agencies will know what to do with these reports.


Demand Accountability – Save $150 Billion

The White House itself recently estimated that 28% of federal programs are not-performing which means they do not achieve results or cannot demonstrate that they will ever achieve results. In other words, American taxpayers spend about one trillion dollars per year on programs that have no positive impact on anyone, anywhere! My first-year goal is to eliminate 15% of not-performing programs and redirect dollars and staff to higher priority programs.


Stop Funding Stupid – Save $200 Billion

The federal government “buys stupid” in three different ways:


1)    We buy stupid things such as research on how to roll up beef jerky or market alpaca poop. We fund outdated programs such as selling reports to other agencies that can be found online for free. We spend $25 billion maintaining empty federal properties.

2)    We buy important things in stupid ways. Incompetent acquisition and contracting includes $10 billion wasted on failed efforts to modernize our tax systems. A program to convert plutonium from nuclear weapons to commercial nuclear fuel started at $3.8 billion and may now cost $47.5 billion and the only customer for that nuclear fuel opted out in 2008!

3)    We spend a lot of money in great confusion: Why do we spend $20 billion on nuclear weapons? Why do we spend $2 billion on private prisons when crime is at historic low levels in most cities and public prisons have empty wings? Why can’t we cut even 5% of the $1.75 trillion cost of regulations and save our citizens and businesses $87 billion?


We will stop buying stupid only when a focused White House imposes greater discipline on agency acquisitions and invites the American public to help determine how we fund the programs and priorities of our government agencies!


Require Financial Responsibility at the Pentagon – Save $250 Billion

The Pentagon is the only government agency that cannot pass a financial audit. Efforts and systems to track spending, soldiers, weapons and supplies are billions over budget and years behind schedule. Let’s consider just four items:


1)      The Commission on Wartime Contracting investigated $60 billion wasted on fraudulent, improper and abandoned contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

2)      A government audit found that 95 weapons systems had a combined total of $295 billion in cost overruns.

3)      In 2014, the Pentagon announced it would spend $1 billion to destroy $16 billion worth of outdated or banned or inaccessible ammunition.

4)      We are about to buy outdated weapons systems and related facilities adding up to $100 billion over 10 years.


As many have noted, a Department that is brilliant on the battlefield yet cannot track taxpayer dollars is inexcusable. We the People deserve better, the Pentagon knows better and my White House will demand better.


Final Comments: I come into this election cycle in an odd way. I am not a career politician. I worked as an organizational psychologist inside federal agencies for 32 years, including 6½ years on the White House Partnership to Reinvent Government. We all know networks of change agents across our nation – many in California -- with the knowledge and experience to build the partnerships that will cut waste and transform government agencies. And we know how to design and convene Citizen Summits and Conversations with America so We the People not Big Money drive the purpose and priorities of government.

My vision is an America that works for everyone with no one left out. My vision is a government restoring trust and building peace at home and around the world.

My goals for America are just as bold: a robust economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years with 10 million new jobs by 2020; world-class and free education from early childhood through public college; world-class and dramatically expanded public health care; community-based policing with genuine community engagement; a justice system that is truly just; a tax system that is truly fair; an immigration system that is compassionate; a realistic transition to 100% renewable energy so that our energy grid and our economy are independent of foreign governments and do not poison our air, water, land and food. We will simplify regulations while demanding accountability making sure our economy promotes the health and wellbeing of our nation. We will honor the commitments we made to our veterans, our children, our seniors, our Native American brothers and sisters and our truly disabled citizens. America will lead the world by balancing the skills of the strongest military on the planet with the wisdom of diplomacy and peacebuilding.


To achieve those goals, I have a 7-Track Plan and cutting one trillion dollars of waste is how I will start to fund the bold goals we all share. Cutting waste and reinvesting those savings is the only path forward to create a future that will serve our families, our communities and our planet in healthier and safer ways.

Videos (5)

— May 24, 2016 Captivating Cinema

Ask my position on gun control - I say look deeper to understand what we can do about violence in America

— May 24, 2016 Captivating Cinema

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is failing out veterans

— May 24, 2016 Captivating Cinema

We have reinvented health insurance not health care - much remains to be done to provide access to quality health care

— May 24, 2016 Captivating Cinema

ths US Department of Education has failed this nation for decades - it's time to rethink how we fund education in America

— May 24, 2016 Captivating Cinema

A new doctrine for war and peacebuilding

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.