Noah Averssen

Noah Averssen was a major political figure in the early 26th century and the fourth President of the The Terran Republic  
 

Early Life

Born in Copenhagen, Earth in the year 2460, Noah was born to a middle class family and raised to value education, the rule of law and the concept of social justice. His father, Kyle Averssen was a highly regarded defence attorney and his mother was the head-mistress of a local high school.   Noah attended a private school and then attended Cartwright College in Albion, on Earth. An extremely sharp student, he studied Law and political science and was active in the college community. He was editor of the Cartwright College Newspaper and volunteered with a local charity. He graduated in 2482 with a BA, top of his class and then studied his Masters Degree in Criminal Law. He qualified with His Juris Doctorate in 2484 from the University of Chicago.  

Legal Career

Noah was hired to work as a prosecutor for the Dhaka City Government in 2484 and developed a reputation as a fair minded lawyer with a sharp mind and a sharp wit. He ran afoul of the Dhaka PD on several occasions when he refused to prosecute cases, sometimes due to what he saw as faulty evidence or due to the extenuating circumstances around the case.   He was overlooked for promotion on several occasions and in 2490 he left the City's legal team to set up his own practice, working as a defense attorney. He generally represented poorer clients and took appeals cases on. He often worked pro-bono and supplemented his meager income from his practice by working some divorce and family law cases.   As an attorney, Noah began to develop a reputation as one of the sharpest legal minds on Earth. He also had an excellent record on fairness and integrity and was named Terran lawyer of the year in 2493.   Whilst working private practice, he achieved his PHD in jurisprudence and also completed a BA in education.

Judge

In 2495, the Ministry of Justice for the Government of Earth put Noah Averssen's name forward to be a high court judge. Surprised and flattered, Noah accepted the nomination and went through a tough confirmation hearing in the Diet, facing tough questions rtegarding cases he'd refused to prosecute and defendants he'd help to acquit as a defence attorney.   Despite this, he was confirmed by the Diet in June of 2495 and Governor August Solarin II confirmed him to his status as a judge.   During his time as a judge, Justice Averssen continued his reputation for sharp legal work, fairness and refusing to tow a political line. He was generally considered to be a liberal judge and he threw out several cases that were brought by the Hansa that he deemed were abusive of the legal system.   In 2499 he published a book about the law in the Empire, a whimsical and somewhat minor work that was largely read by students.

Lecturer and Author

In 2501 Justice Averssen published his second book, a dense and somewhat lyrical book about jurisprudence that was popular with lawyers and jurists. He was criticized by many active lawyers in Dhaka for his increasing interest in being an author.   In 2505 he stepped down as a Judge and took up a post as a law professor at the University of Chicago.   In 2509 he published "Of Crime, Punishment and Fairness", a very well received book critical of law enforcement and the shady tactics sometimes employed to get a conviction. This book was a best-seller

Politics

Noah had always been somewhat political, a liberal during the time of the Empire saw him put under surveillance by the CIS. He began to get more involved in politics as a judge, writing amicus briefs and speeches for liberal candidates and politicians.   After joining the University of Chicago, Dr Averssen began to raise money for the Social Democratic Party and was often seen at major political events.   The party courted him to run for political office in 2510 and 2515 but he declined to seek a seat in the Diet. However in 2518 he was succesfully recruited to run for Governor of Earth.   Despite being seen as an outsider candidate, Dr Averssen's campaign began to get serious traction and the later support of House Solarin. He won the governorship in 2520 and took up his new role in Dhaka City.

Governor of Earth

A political neonate, Governor Averssen faced a divided and somewhat hostile Diet and whilst he had support from the SDP and some other liberals, he faced an uphill struggle to pass his major plan of infrastructure improvements and legal reforms.   Governor Averssen appointed his longtime Calswell Norris as Chief of Staff and he appointed a broad coalition to his cabinet.   Governor Averssen battled with the Diet to get funding for a major infrastructure project on Earth and was forced to reduce his ambtious plans somewhat to get the measure through the Diet.   Governor Averssen also battled with the Diet over legal reforms. He was opposed in his attempts to remove the death penalty from most cases and to remove mandatory minimums. In the end, a watered down measure narrowly passed the Diet   Governor Averssen did have some victories, successfully seeing a number of new schools and hospitals built using Federal funds. He worked closely with the SDP members of the Keavett Creed administration but was critical of the President.   Governor Averssen also amended the electoral code on Earth, meaning that both Senate seats would be elected.   During his time as Governor, he was generally seen a centre-left politician, refusing to be drawn into clashes with the Hansa and the moderate parties. This led some progressives describing him as a sell out and a centrist but he rejected these terms as childish  

Candidate for President

Governor Averssen's name was mentioned as a potential nominee for President as early as 2523. Whilst initially he refused to comment, by 2525 Governor Averssen began to draw up plans to seek the SDP nomination in 2530. Governor Averssen was broadly seen by the moderate wing of the SDP as a great contender for the Presidency and that he would be able to appeal to left leaning moderates and even some centrists.   Governor Averssen met with top SDP leaders like Malik Grumman and Gawain Knottman and managed to secure the support of the SDP leadership for his bid. At the SDP nominating covention in 2530 he was opposed by left wing firebrand Rep Simone de Luca but he was comfortably nominated on the first ballot.   During the General Election, Governor Averssen was a very visible figure and a compelling public speaker. He also befitted from a positive press. Going into the election, most polls showed him as the favorite but there was still lingering doubts after two prior SDP failures to convert a first placed finish into the Presidency   When the polls closed, the SDP emerged as the largest individual party, though with a smalelr vote share than in 2520. After four weeks of talks, the General Assembly agreed to take a vote and the Vishnu Elpis party agreed to pack President Averssen and voted to confirm him as President of the Republic  

President of the Republic

In April of 2530, President Averssen was sworn in. As per the coalition agreement he named a broad cabinet and also invited Valiant and the Isolationist Party to join a wartime coalition.   President Averssen spoke ot the need for unity in the face of the war and called on all parties to support the Republic.    
I want to give my thanks to the people of the Republic for showing their faith in me and electing me as your President. These are hard times and this is not the start or the end of my journey, just another step. I want to tell you that these times will be trying for all us and that there will be grim sacrifices, dark days and moments that try the soul. But I also want to tell you that this darkness cannot last and that the dawn is closer than you think. This is a moment for us all to come together, no matter who we voted for and find common voice. This a moment for all of us to dig deep and work for a victory, no matter whether we believe in this war or not. This is a moment for us all to find something to believe in, whether that be the universe itself, the Republic or your friends and family. This is our moment, the Republic’s moment and I call on you now to do your part and help deliver this victory, your victory and bring an end to this war. Thank you, the journey continues!
    He named longtime friend and fellow lawyer Calswell Norris as his Chief of Staff   First Averssen Cabinet:
  • Haiss Taggart - Attorney General -Gurava 
  • Carpenter Navarro - Treasury Secretary - Centrist Party 
  • Elliot Pardot - Foreign Secretary - SDP
  • Dr Rita Haynes - Secretary of Defence - Vishnu Elpis 
  • General Levan O'Brien - Minister for Intelligence - Valiant Party 
  • Joachim Steivar - Secretary of the Interior - SDP
  • Gawain Knottman -Secretary of Transport - SDP
  • Shelton Mavros -Secretary of Education -Independent
  • Beckett Solarin - Liaison to TASC -Independent
  • Calswell Norris -President's Chief of Staff - SDP
As per the coalition agreement, Dr Haynes was named as Designated Successor and she led several key meetings of the cabinet in the President's absence   Whilst there were some early administrative wrinkles and a lack of focus in the central administration, the largely SDP cabinet proved to be far more effective than the Creed government. There were some issues with clashes between the President's top team and his chief of staff and Foreign Secretary Pardot, who was seen as somewhat cavalier figure and often off message.   The administration agreed to raise war bonds tin order to fund hiring Strategic Dynamics PMCs for use during the campaign. These funds were also used to recruit another 500,000 new marines, largely recruited from Earth .   The President's major budget was passed by the General Assembly, though the President came in for some criticism for the reduction to healthcare and social spending, breaching a campaign promise.   The President approved of the use of a shuttle raid to capture the downport in New Silesia , resulting in the lightning fast victory, though the President shared the credit with the cabinet and allowed Dr Haynes to take the victory lap with he press.   The administration also agreed to deploy marines to Vanheim and the long and bloody campaign there resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 troops. President Averssen insisted on an inquiry by the Republic Military to see why losses were so high.   There were also disputes between the Military and the administration over military spending. In July of 2532 Calswell Norris stepped down as Chief of Staff and was replaced by Hazel McDere, who had been Chief of Staff to prominent SDP Senator Davis Hanley of New Berlin. With the introduction of Hazel McDere as Chief of Staff, two other staffers gained prominence including Marine General Ecton Dempsey and young political savant Bridie Wallander.   President Averssen's health took a brief turn for the worse in late 2532 and he missed three weeks but was briefed in hospital room.   In 2534 the President clashed with members of his cabinet over the pressure to launch an offensive at the Gannid Commonwealth. He made it very clear he opposed such a measure and he even clashed with key SDP cabinet officers.   In 2533 the SDP introduced two divisive bills into the General Assembly. One of them would guarantee teacher tenure on Republic worlds that already had the institution and introduce to worlds without. The bill was very popular on the left and with the Teacher's Union, though Valiant members pointed out that the Teachers Union was a key donor to the SDP   The other bill would introduce a minimum wage of five adjusted dollars and twenty five cents per hour across the Republic. Again this faced opposition on the right as a "business killer".   Going into 2535 the President enjoyed high job approval but equally there were strong calls from his party and the wider public to end the fighting and bring the troops back home.   The President clashed with the cabinet and the foreign office over a proposed treaty with the Dhau Empire which would result in a non-aggression pact. The President faced calls from the cabinet to accept the "Ashpool Plan". The plan later collapsed after it failed to gain enough support from the Senate to pass.  

Mid-Term Reshuffle and Later Term

As per the coalition agreement, President Averssen's cabinet resigned in early 2535 to allow a mid-term reshuffle. President Averssen placed his key advisers General Ecton Dempsey as Foreign Secretary and Bridie Wallender as his new Chief of Staff.   The second Averssen Cabinet:
  • Attorney General - Gawain Knottman -SDP
  • Treasury Secretary - Carpenter Navarro -Centrist
  • Foreign Secretary - Ecton Dempsey -SDP
  • Defence Secretary -Dr Rita Haynes -Vishnu Elpis 
  • Intelligence Secretary -Patton Rosewood -Gurava
  • Interior Secretary - Elliot Pardot -SDP
  • Liaison to TASC - Melina de La Hoya -Independent
  • Chief of Staff to the President Bridie Wallender -SDP
As per the coalition agreement, Dr Rita Haynes was to remain as the Designated Successor.  

Foreign Policy -Major Treaties

The Averssen administration signed two major treaties in the later part of its term. They agreed to become part of the Tazzyn sphere in return for major aid and the offer of a huge, low cost loan from the Tazzyn Empire. The Tazzyn would also receive a base in Terran space   They also signed a joint agreement to end hostilities with the Gannid Commonwealth, again giving up a base lease in the process  

Domestic Policies - Constitutional Reform

The Averssen administration, working with its allies in the General Assembly, passed several major laws during the 2535-2539 session   They voted to amend the constitution to allow member worlds to leave the Republic, a move that was thought to be key to getting former Hassal League worlds to join. They also amended the constitution to allow member worlds to own and build capital ships   The Averssen Administration also launched a major investigation under Attorney General Knottman into corporate corruption, resulting in several major legal cases that dragged on for years.   The Averssen administration also agreed to back a major economic package brought forward by the Centrists , which cut taxes across the board, though the balance of the package was weighted towards the wealthy.   The President also agreed to major legal reforms to support prosecutions against major corporate corruption.  

Controversy - Impeachment

In 2535, Senator Noah Haumont of the Senate's Oversight Committee wrote to the President to inform him that there were allegations that the administration and the SDP had accepted financial inducements, including bribes, to place people on the cabinet. The President denied these rumors and the Senate voted to form a sub-committee, the so-called "Inkerman Committee", chaired by conservative Senator Xavier Inkerman   The committee hearings dragged on for nearly a full year, stalling government business. The cabinet were called to testify and Senator Inkerman never missed an opportunity to grand-stand, except when speaking to members of VE where he was very respectful. Malik Grumman was implicated in accepting the payments but the President said that ultimate responsibility lay with him as President and leader of the SDP   Finally the President was called to testify and was more than a match for Inkerman in the point -counterpoint. The Inkerman committee's findings, disputed by only one member of the five senator panel, was that the SDP had committed serious corruption.   The General Assembly then called for the President to face impeachment, which dragged on for a full year. A deal was sought to avoid the full vote but in the end, the General Assembly narrowly voted to impeach the President.   The full Senate then sat in judgement and whilst they agreed it looked likely that the SDP and Malik Grumman may have agreed to the donation in return for a cabinet post, there was no legal proof of it and the President was exonerated by the Senate, though in the court of public opinion he suffered a major reverse in the polls and saw several members of the cabinet resign in protest.   In February of 2539 the President confirmed he would not seek a second term. This was later followed by former Foreign Secretary Elliot Pardot would also not seek nor accept the SDP nomination or President. President' Averssen's term would finish as "caretaker" in 2540 until the General Assembly elected a new President   President Averssen attended the SDP Convention in 2540 and gave a very well received speech.  

Post Presidency

After his term ended, President Averssen retired to a quiet estate in Athens, on Earth . He wrote his memoirs which sold for a ten million adjusted dollar advance.   President Averssen attended the inauguration of his successor, Xavier Inkerman and he did not offer criticism of his Presidency.   President Averssen took up a spot as a guest lecturer at the University of Athens and Chicago Law-School.   President Averssen was very critical of the actions of Malik Grumman that prompted his resignation.
Children


Cover image: by Destiny - Game

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