Current Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Hometown: New York, New York
Kevin Zeese is an attorney who has been a political activist since graduating from George Washington Law School in 1980. He works on peace, economic justice, criminal law reform and reviving American democracy. His twitter is @KBZeese.
Zeese began his advocacy career while in law school where he worked at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He went on to serve as their chief counsel in 1980 and national director in 1983. In 1986 he left to practice criminal law and, with Arnold Trebach, began the Drug Policy Foundation which went on to become the largest drug policy reform organization in history and is now known as the Drug Policy Alliance after merging with the Lindesmith Center. Zeese continues to serve as president of Common Sense for Drug Policy.
Zeese was involved in litigation that stopped the use of herbicides in Mexico and in the United States as part of the war on marijuana. With attorneys in Northern California he successfully sued to limit the use of the military and national guard in marijuana enforcement. He was counsel in a lawsuit against the US Drug Enforcement Administration refusal to allow the medical use of marijuana. In that case the chief administrative law judge for the DEA ruled that marijuana should be available as a medicine. This was rejected by the DEA administrator. after winning two appeals forcing the DEA to reconsider, the US Court of Appeals upheld the DEA's decision in the third appeal.
Zeese has filed bar complaints against the Department of Justice and CIA lawyers who wrote memorandums authorizing torture. He has filed a complaint against Rupert Murdoch and News Corp for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for hacking into private phones and bribing officials. He has also filed complaints against American Crossroads, the Chamber of Commerce and other super-PACs for violation of the tax laws for their misuse of 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations to avoid the reporting requirements of federal election law. Zeese has represented protesters arrested for acts of civil resistance.
Zeese co-directs, It's Our Economy and advocates for democratizing the economy so it serves all Americans not just the wealthiest. He also advocates for peace, shrinking the military budget and a non-interventionist foreign policy through Come Home America. Zeese co-hosts, Clearing the FOG radio which airs on We Act Radio, 1480 AM and UStream/ItsOurEconomy. Zeese serves on the steering committees of the Bradley Manning Support Network which advocates for Wikileaks whistle-blower, Bradley Manning. He was one of the organizers of the October2011.org movement which organized the Occupation of Washington, DC on Freedom Plaza and seeks to end the rule of money and shift power to the people.
His recent election integrity work has included challenging the activities of the national Chamber of Commerce through StopTheChamber.org, as well as the activities of Karl Rove’s Americans Crossroads as part of AmericanCrossroadsWatch.org and seeking to overturn the Citizen’s United decision. He has also filed complaints against Justice Clarence Thomas, as part of ProtectOurElections.org for his conflicts of interest. He has been active in independent and third party political campaigns including for state legislative offices in Maryland, governor of California and U.S. president, where he served as press secretary and spokesperson for Ralph Nader in 2004. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and was the only person ever nominated by the Green Party, Libertarian Party and Populist Party.