Jaagen Autenberg

From IIWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
His Excellency
Jaagen Autenberg
8th President of the Radiatian Federation
In office
October 10 4060 – September 15 4064
Vice PresidentSteven McCarthy
Preceded byAngela Pavlovic
Succeeded bySteven McCarthy
Premier of Diatara
In office
January 20 4032 – March 6 4054
Preceded byShikuza Petrov
Succeeded byJames Vater
Personal details
Born Jaagen Melvin Autenberg
April 11 LAI 3988 (age 74)
Solitude, Diatara
Political party Social Democratic Union
Other political
affiliations
Workers Party
Spouse(s) Mary Autenberg
Children 2
Profession Publican

Jaagen Melvin Autenberg (born April 11 3988) is a Radiatian politician who served for 22 years as the Premier of the state of Diatara. In 4060 he was elected the 8th President of the Radiatian Federation.

Prior to entering politics, Autenberg owned a gas station and pub on Interstate 205, before being elected mayor of the tiny hamlet of Solitude, Diatara. He was thrust into the national spotlight after shooting dead two rapists who had kidnapped a girl and driven her to Solitude.

This lead to him being nominated for the state Premiership and winning on a Worker's Party ticket, before going on to win a record five consecutive terms in office. Although nationally unknown, in his home state he holds celebrity status.

In LET 60, aged 72, he announced that he would contest the Social Democratic Union Presidential primaries and seek the party's nomination to run for President of the Radiatian Federation. Despite being nationally unknown, and with Bahamatsu Premier Melina Forst considered the frontrunner, Autenberg surprised pundits by winning the nomination.

He ran on a platform that could loosely be described as populist, causing controversy for supposedly racist gaffes and for claiming that Radiatia was better before the fall of the RPSU. While polls showed incumbent President Angela Pavlovic ahead in the race, Autenberg won a shock victory.

As President he embarked on a number of ambitious social programmes including "AutenSurance" - the first ever federal-level social safety net. This resulted in the first significant decrease in Radiatia's rich-poor divide since the fall of the RPSU, however Autenberg also faced criticism for overseeing a rise in the national public debt and national crime rates while in office.

In 4064, despite high approval ratings, he declined to seek a second term due to his advanced age and health problems. His Vice President Steven McCarthy went on to win the subsequent election.

Early Life

Jaagen Melvin Autenberg was on April 11th 3988 in Solitude, Diatara. His father was a manual labourer who worked on building Interstate 205, upon which the town of Solitude lies, and his mother worked at a nearby collective farm.

The family, and indeed much of the area, was poverty-stricken and Autenberg spent much of his early life working on farms in an attempt ensure that an excess of productivity would ensure the family had enough to eat before the communists took what was produced. Autenberg was educated at a rural school, although the quality of his education was poor and he left school aged 12, unable to read.

The Isthmus War broke out in the year 4000, when Autenberg was 12, and he was sent to work in an arms factory along with other local children. He joined the Union Army aged 16, and was stationed on the Zamoro Peninsula in northern Vatfer where he later met his wife, Mary Schultz.

Upon returning to Solitude, the newly married coupled worked on a collective farm and had two children together. By his own admission, Autenberg "barely noticed" the fall of the RPSU, not noticing any change until Radiatian Petroleum opened a gas station and invited Autenberg to work there.

Autenberg later was able to purchase a pub and inn, starting his own business for the first time and because of his prominence as a local businessman, was elected Mayor of the Solitude District in LET 25.

Political career

Autenberg first came to national prominence in 4032, when two rapists kidnapped a girl in Dastor, Diatara and drove her north to Solitude.

Autenberg, who was both mayor and owner of the village's only pub, said he heard a girl screaming and saw two men attempting to sexually assault her in the carpark. After attempting to stop the two men, Autenberg proceeded to open fire with his shotgun, killing both - an act considered perfectly legal under Diatara state law.[1]

He gained national and international attention following the incident, and was immediately approached by the Workers Party who asked him to stand in the upcoming election as Premier of Diatara, hoping the oust the incumbent Communist Party Premier, Shizuka Petrov.

Premier of Diatara

Autenberg was elected as Premier of the State of Diatara in 4032, as part of that year's mid-term elections and during a nationwide swing towards the Workers Party, bouyed in no small part by his local celebrity status.[2]

The election was considered a "friendly affair", with ousted Premier Shizuka Petrov described as a "friend" by Autenberg, and who agreed to move to Solitude and help run Autenberg's pub whilst Autenberg was in the state capital of Dastor on official business.

Autenberg went on to win re-election six times and stayed in office for over 22 years. While most northern states became solidly "blue" following Soden Larssen's "northern strategy" of 4040, Autenberg became the only Social Democratic Premier of any northern state.

Autenberg was known to work constructively with Liberal-Conservatives in the Diatara State Parliament after they gained control of the legislature, earning for himself a reputation for pragmatism rather than ideological rigidity. Furthermore, although he was a Social Democrat, Autenberg was known to have clashed with President and fellow member of the SDU Keldon Silviu, while he was known to get on well with Kärtsy Nepula, then the Premier of Eldura, leading to speculation that he may not have voted for the SDU during the 4048 election.

His lack of a clear ideology, combined with his personality and status as a celebrity in Diatara, in conjunction with the fact that the northern states of Radiatia are known to have a different political culture to the rest of the federation, have been described by analysts as the main reasons for his continued success in his home state.

Autenberg retired from the Premiership in LET 54, handing the reigns over to James Vater who then lost to the LCP in 4056. At the time Autenberg stated that he intended to retire from public life and return to Solitude to work at his pub.

Presidential run

Autenberg never showed any signs of holding Presidential ambitions, and although he endorsed Owen Warsazeck in the 4056 election, he refrained from making any major public statements and appeared to be well into retirement.

It came as a shock to pundits when, on August 21 4060, Autenberg announced his intention to run in that year's election. He was immediately written off - Melina Forst, the Premier of Bahamatsu was the clear frontrunner and was assumed by the media to be the automatic nominee of the SDU.

Boris Kahler wrote that Autenberg's chances of winning the nomination were "negligible" and that it was "a complete mystery as to why he's running".

In the Tchort and Saku primaries, Autenberg trailed the other candidates - including Forst, Senator Steven McCarthy of South Corpshire and Premier Vladimir Angelov of Alayenia. However, by the Chongluntz primary, McCarthy had withdrawn and to the surprise of many chose to endorse Autenberg, rather than Forst.

On Super Saturday - when the Forst campaign had assumed they would clinch the nomination - Autenberg became the surprise frontrunner, carrying most of the north and central states. This opened a bitter rift in the SDU, with Lena Toriah and Keldon Silviu both voicing support for Forst while Autenberg was endorsed by Steven McCarthy of the SDU's hard left faction and former Senate Majority Leader Josko Ivers of the party's socially conservative, rural faction.

Forst's campaign suffered another blow after she was endorsed by the state run media of Segland, in what many were assuming was a double bluff designed to swing Radiatian public support in favour of the openly isolationist Autenberg.

On August 31st, Autenberg won the nomination after a strong showing in rural western states and announced his campaign slogan would be "Radiatia First!" Several high profile Social Democrats, including Lena Toriah and Keldon Silviu, declined to endorse Autenberg nor were they present at the convention.

Autenberg's campaign emphasised his "socially conservative, economically socialist" views, but nationwide polls suggested that he trailed Angela Pavlovic by 10 points, leading some pundits to predict another LCP landslide like that of the LET 56 election.

He caused significant controversy on September 21st, after telling an audience in Zanscho, Detzetscha that he felt life was better under the Radiatian People's Socialist Union, a statement which was widely condemned.

President Angela Pavlovic said that Autenberg "should immediately apologise to the families of more than 10 million Radiatians murdered by the communists" and that "there is no place for such an ignorant and offensive viewpoint anywhere in Radiatia, let alone from a potential President."

The final polls put Pavlovic ahead by 51 to 49 points, suggesting that Autenberg had closed the gap but was unlikely to win.

The election ultimately saw the highest voter turn-out in Radiatian history, with scores of people from northern states in particular who had previously never cast a ballot voting for Autenberg and making him the surprise winner.

Pavlovic and Autenberg both broke the previously held record for the single highest number of individual votes received by a candidate due to the increased voter turn-out.

After Autenberg's election victory became clear, the EXE500 dropped by 200 points and the value of the Tsenyen fell due to market panic over the unexpected victory.

Presidency

On October 10th 4060, Jaagen Autenberg was inaugurated as the 8th President of the Radiatian Federation, becoming at age 72 the oldest President in history, a record previously held by Hiroshi Vodotel.

Autenberg declined to give an inauguration address citing that he "ain't no good at givin' speeches", and his first act in office was to close six foreign military installations, to the alarm of many in the Federal Ministry of Defence.

Domestic policy

Pundits have argued that Autenberg is the most socially conservative President in Radiatian history, noting his views on immigration, capital punishment and even transgender recognition.

Under his administration, three executions have been carried out in federal prisons. Prior to his administration, there had been only one federal government execution carried out between 4044 and 4060.

Despite his tough on crime persona, Autenberg pardoned former President Gregori Fyoderov and ordered his immediate release from prison. He has also been criticised for overseeing rising crime rates across the Radiatian Federation, and for relying too heavily on state, rather than federal, law enforcement.

Autenberg signed an executive order banning citizens of nations in the United Nocturian Co-Operation Axis, including Hadin, Algrabad and Segland from travelling to the Radiatian Federation for any reason.

Autenberg also vetoed legislation that would see the federal government officially recognise transgendered individuals in official documents such as passports.

Autenberg signed the Commonwealth Statehood Act in 4063 and on April 7th that year admitted the states of Slibezoneer, Chauch, Navanga, Norfus, Numongolis, North Chiridia and South Chiridia into the Radiatian Federation.

Autenberg has hinted at holding some sympathies with the controversial Pan-Radiatian movement.

Economic policy

Autenberg has shown himself to hold protectionist views, openly condemning many of the Pavlovic administration's free trade policies and even questioning the Nui-Ra agreement.

However, he reneged on most of these statements just before taking office, instead opining that he "supports trade" but wanted to make sure "we were getting a good deal" and announced he would not repeal any trade agreements.

On January 14 4062, Autenberg signed into law the "National Insurance Act", a landmark bill which was subsequently nicknamed "AutenSurance".

The bill represents the first federally funded social safety net since before the Demodand Administration, and was lauded by Social Democrats who had tried on multiple occasions to pass such legislation in the past and failed.

Liberal-Conservatives condemned the bill calling it "socialism, plain and simple" while neutral commentators both praised the political achievement (Boris Kahler called it "The Social Democratic Union's finest hour") and warned that the bill could result in a significant increase in debt levels.

The Autenberg Administration has borrowed extensively for public works programmes and AutenSurance, causing Radiatia to see the largest budget deficit since before the Toriah Administration, for which the President has drawn much criticism.

Other economic experts have warned that Autenberg has "gambled", claiming that if his projects - particularly in the north - do not generate the economic stimulus he is hoping for, then he may have borrowed large sums of money that Radiatia cannot pay back, or that worse yet if there is an economic downturn the country will be forced into austerity.

Autenberg came to power while the Radiatian Federation was in recession, although the economy was back in recovery by 4062.

Foreign policy

Autenberg is openly isolationist and has been criticised for being "ignorant" of foreign policy matters. He once claimed the most foreign place he had ever travelled was Exegrad.

On the campaign trail, Autenberg emphasised "Radiatia First", a policy which was designed to emphasise Radiatia disengaging from foreign conflicts and concentrating only on its own region.

Autenberg ended Angela Pavlovic's refugee policy and controversially deported a large number of refugees claiming that he felt that it was "wrong that we give these foreigners free stuff, but do nothing for Radiatians who fall on hard times".

His decision to close six foreign military installations resulted in considerable criticism from the top brass of the Radiatian Military, with one retired General calling it "suicide by stupidity".

However, in late 4062, Autenberg embarked on a trip to Nui-ta in which, contrary to public expectation, he announced that the Nui-Ra alliance would be retained and strengthened and purchased a small island called San Sisi to serve as the new base of operations for RFSOUTHCOM.

This move brought him praise both domestically and internationally, although many isolationists in Parliament criticised the U-turn and said that the President had "sold out" on Radiatia First.

Public and political image

Jaagen Autenberg's political views do not fit neatly along the traditional left-right axis, and he has drawn criticism and praise from both.

His critics have called him a "far right politician in left-wing clothing" and many in the Social Democratic Union have pondered Autenberg's close relationship with many Liberal-Conservatives such as Kärtsy Nepula and his strongly socially conservative views and nationalistic views.

However, Autenberg chose the hard-left Steven McCarthy as his running mate and was an enthusiastic supporter of Owen Warsazeck. His controversial comments regarding communism also suggest he genuinely holds left-wing, if not hard-left views.

In public Autenberg has always been portrayed as a "typical northerner" and every man and has gone to great lengths to avoid the usual trappings of office, forgoing many of the luxuries usually reserved for a President.

On his visit to Nui-ta he walked into a local bar and bought everyone present a drink, and has been known to do similar things when visiting small towns across the Radiatian Federation.

Upon obtaining office Autenberg had fairly low approval ratings of around 45%, which dipped to a nadir of 30% following a nationwide spate of violent crime, as well as bad economic news.

His approval ratings rose to 53% after the passage of "AutenSurance" and continued to rise after the LET 62 mid-term elections.

Commentators have noted that "though he was underestimated at first, Autenberg continues to inspire and may yet go down in history as one of the most popular Presidents of all time".

Political scientists have made note of a so-called "Autenberg Effect", in which Autenberg has consistently proven polls wrong by mustering support from non-voters.

Personal life

Autenberg has a wife called Mary and the couple usually live in Solitude, Diatara. Autenberg has tended to keep his family life private.

He is known to have two children, a son and daughter. His son served in the Hadinian War while nothing is known about his daughter. He is also rumoured to have several grandchildren.

When asked about why he is so secretive regarding his private life, in contrast to his usually open and honest persona, Autenberg responded "I'm the President an' I deserve to be scrutinised. But none o' them are President, so you folk had better be leavin' them the hell alone."

In 4064 Autenberg announced that he had been diagnosed with penile cancer. While unlikely to be deadly, he cited this in conjunction with his advanced aged and loss of energy as his reasons for not seeking a second term.

References

  1. https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?p=8176617#p8176617
  2. https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?p=8223869#p8223869