May 05 2010
Howie Hawkins of Syracuse announced his campaign for Governor of New York as a Green Party candidate in an Albany press conference on May 4th. The Green Party of New York will officially nominate candidates for statewide office at its May 15th nominating convention in Albany. If the Green Party candidate for governor earns at least 50,000 votes this year, the party will regain ballot status for the next four years, making it significantly easier to run candidates at all levels.
You can watch the video of Howie Hawkins’ campaign announcement:
Time Warner’s YNN network also covered the announcement.
Here is Hawkins’ statement “Why We Are Running” from his website www.HowieHawkins.com/2010 :
Why We Are Running
The basic issue in this campaign is: Will our state government be for the people, or continue to serve the super-rich and the giant corporations?
We are running because we are on the side of the people.
We are running – we, not me – because I cannot win the goals of our campaign alone. I will not have the tens of millions of dollars for media advertising that the corporate-financed Democratic and Republican candidates will have. But organized people can beat organized money. As the candidate, I am one spokesperson for this campaign. But we all need to be organizers and spokespeople for this campaign with our family, friends, co-workers, and neighborhood and internet communities.
We are running because only a grassroots movement of people reaching people by word of mouth can swell to the critical mass we need to achieve our goals. Personal contact is far more influential and persuasive than 30-second TV and radio spots. Every one of us can win over tens or hundreds or thousands of voters by consistent, persistent activity over the course of the campaign.
We are running to offer a real alternative to the two-party system of corporate rule. The Democrats have replaced the Republicans in the State House and the Governor’s Mansion, and in Congress and the White House, but little has changed. The two-party system is a very sophisticated scheme for presenting the illusion of real choice when both major parties are funded by the same corporate, financial, and real estate interests. Whether the A Team of Republicans or the B Team of Democrats are in the majority, it is still corporate power dictating policy.
The ongoing Wall Street bailout is the greatest transfer of wealth in world history. If our schools were banks, they would have been bailed out. Instead the creditor class of wealthy elites is making the borrower class of working and middle class taxpayers pay for the whole bailout for their bad investments through higher taxes, lower wages and benefits, and cuts in public services. The catastrophic destruction of our climate and oceans is accelerating, but the incumbent fossil fuel and nuclear corporations still capture far more government subsidies than clean, renewable energy. Whether it is job creation, health care, housing, or the environment, the government sides with the corporate vested interests against the broad public interest.
The progressives and independents who voted the Republicans out and the Democrats in are now taken for granted by the Democrats in power, because these voters have no where else to take their votes. We are running to give these voters a place to go.
50,000 Votes Wins a Green Party Ballot Line
One key goal of our campaign is to build the Green Party as a powerful, well-organized alternative to the corporate state’s two-party system. With 50,000+ votes for the Green gubernatorial ticket – a very achievable goal – the Green Party wins a permanent ballot line and reasonable ballot petitioning requirements for the next four years, enabling us to contest elections at every level as we continue to build our movement. We are building this campaign county by county to leave in place a grassroots party organization that can carry on the movement for our policy platform after the November 2 election.
Putting Our Solutions into Public Debate
A second goal of our campaign is to move the policy debate in New York. We are going to present before the public – and make the mass media and corporate candidates deal with – our platform of solutions to the problems we face: progressive taxation and revenue sharing, fully funded schools, full employment, single-payer health care, renewable energy, a state bank to finance a sustainable green economic revival, clean government, proportional representation, and more.
Building Independent Power
We won’t be completely satisfied unless we win the office. But if that turns out to be beyond our reach in this election, every vote we win and every person we recruit to the movement builds our power. Our power is based on our political independence from the corporate interests and their political representatives in both corporate parties. Our votes cannot be taken for granted. We will make the politicians and the policy debate in the media and in our communities deal with our solutions. We will lay the foundation for winning future elections.
Join Us: Donate, Volunteer, Vote
This website is your resource to find out about campaign activities and our policy positions as they develop. Much more information and interactive features will be added as the campaign develops.
But before you leave this website today, however, please visit the three links that will connect you with the campaign:
Donate: Even a grassroots campaign needs money to print literature, mail fundraising appeals, pay organizers, and, yes, do some media advertising. We can go a long way if we can reach our minimum goal of $100,000. It will give us credibility with the media and debate organizers as well as fund an effective grassroots campaign. That will take a lot of small contributors, including you. Please contribute what you can and consider the recurring donation option for the course of the campaign.
Volunteer: Sign up and indicate your interests. We will get back to you and help you.
Green Voter Pledge: We are taking names. We want at least 50,000 voters pledged to vote the Green ticket by the election on November 2. We will remind them and help them get to the polls on Election Day. Sign the voter pledge and ask other supporters you identify to sign the voter pledge.
It’s up to us. Millions of New Yorkers are angry about the corruption and incompetence in Albany that is assaulting our standard of living to pay for the Wall Street bailout. The anti-incumbent mood is palpable. We can reach those New Yorkers. The people have enormous power if they use their political rights and votes. If each of us joins in to do our own part, we can build a powerful movement to put our government on the people’s side.
I look forward to campaigning with you. Together we will make a difference for the better.
May 3, 2010
Learn more about Howie Hawkins’ campaign and how you can help at www.HowieHawkins.com/2010
May 04 2010
The giant oil spill caused by an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is wreaking ecological havoc on the Gulf Coast.
A Coast Guard report that the leak could be five times bigger than previously thought has sparked fears that this may become the “biggest oil spill in the world”, far worse than the Exxon Valdez spill. 
This heart-wrenching disaster highlights the danger of President Obama’s plan to open vast expanses of pristine ocean for the massively polluting oil industry.
If you’ve already sent a letter, invite 5 friends to take action to protect our oceans.
President Obama’s plan to open the ocean to Big Oil will mean more emissions, more spills, and more pollution of our irreplaceable ecosystems.
It’s not just whales and birds that are threatened by offshore drilling expansion – it’s the entire planet.
1. “Gulf of Mexico oil slick said to be five times bigger.” BBC, April 29, 2010.
May 03 2010
Dr. Jill Stein is a pioneering environmental health advocate, as well as a mother, physician, teacher, and community leader. Her record of public service and passionate advocacy for healthy communities makes her an exceptional candidate for governor.
For years, Jill Stein has been a leader in drawing the connection between clean environments and healthy communities. She is the author of two widely acclaimed reports, “In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development” and “Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging,” which promote green local economies, sustainable agriculture, clean power, and freedom from harmful chemical exposures. She has presented her teaching program “Health People, Healthy Planet,” to numerous government, public health and medical conferences. It links human health, climate security and green economic revitalization.
Jill Stein began advocating for the environment as a human health issue when she realized that politicians were failing to protect children from toxic threats revealed by current science. She played a key role in efforts to protect women and children from mercury contamination by helping to pass tighter regulations on the dirtiest coal plants in Massachusetts, and helping to preserve the state’s moratorium on new trash incinerators. Having seen firsthand the power of big money to prevent critical health protection, Stein advocated for the Clean Elections Law to establish publicly-funded elections. Massachusetts voters passed the Clean Elections Law by a 2-1 margin, but the state legislature later repealed it in an unrecorded voice vote.
Jill Stein’s first foray into electoral politics was in 2002, when the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party recruited her to run for governor. In a five-way debate that year, she was widely acknowledged as the winner for her clarity and knowledge of the issues. In a 2004 three-way race for state representative, she garnered more votes than the Republican candidate. She ran for statewide office again in 2006, earning over 350,000 votes for Secretary of State. In 2008, she helped formulate the “Secure Green Future” ballot initiative calling for renewable energy and green jobs, which won 81% of the vote in the districts where it appeared on the ballot. She has been elected twice as a town meeting representative in Lexington.
This year, Jill Stein is running for governor on a platform of pragmatic Green solutions to problems like unemployment, unfair taxes, faltering schools, and a broken health care system. As governor, she would seek alternatives to her predecessors’ failed attempts to attract big business by sacrificing labor and environmental standards. She would create incentives for small, locally owned businesses to thrive, especially in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy. She would take action to fix an unfair tax system that makes lower- and middle-income people in Massachusetts pay at twice the rate of the highest income bracket.
As a teacher, Jill Stein understands the importance of quality public education. She would fight the privatization schemes and bureaucratic power grabs that threaten public education, and work to ensure that all public schools are fully funded and accountable to their communities. She would also reverse the escalation of fees and tuition at public universities, which has threatened to price higher education out of reach for young people from low-income families.
Massachusetts’ health care system is still plagued with problems, despite its vaunted 2006 reform package that foreshadowed the 2010 national health insurance reform. The state’s healthcare mandate forces people to buy expensive, stripped-down insurance plans that don’t protect health or financial security when serious health problems occur. As governor, Jill Stein would extend affordable coverage to all by moving Massachusetts to a Medicare-For-All system, which would save billions by cutting out the insurance companies’ red tape. She would also help people lead healthier lifestyles by supporting urban agriculture, farm-to-school programs, local organic farming, and other programs to reduce health threats and ensure clean air, clean water, and nutritious food for all. Her plan to encourage healthy living would not only improve quality of life, it would also save billions on health care annually.
The November, 2010 race is shaping up to make Jill the sole challenger to three candidates widely regarded as business-as-usual insiders — in an anti-incumbent year. Specifically she is likely to face Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, Democrat-turned-independent Tim Cahill, and Republican Charlie Baker, three candidates who share very similar positions on most key issues. (Both the Democrat and Republican are likely to rout lesser known and relatively unfunded primary election rivals.) In a four-way race, Jill Stein could potentially be elected governor with as little as 26% of the vote, which translates to roughly 800,000 votes. This is not beyond reach considering the 18% of the vote she won in her race for Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2006. Stein refuses to take lobbyist money, and vows to end the “pay-to-play” politics that dominates the state legislature. Her campaign is eligible for 1-to-1 public matching funds for every dollar raised over $125,000, meaning that as soon as she raises $250,000 from supporters, she’ll be able to mount a half-million-dollar campaign. Along with her running mate, community activist and veterans advocate Rick Purcell, she plans to mobilize thousands of grassroots volunteers across the state to bring their message of a healthy green future to the people of Massachusetts.
To find out more about Jill Stein’s campaign and how you can help, check out her website at JillStein.org.
Apr 20 2010
For decades, the U.S. government has spent tens of billions of dollars, sent thousands of nonviolent offenders to prison, and propped up a black market that fuels violent organized crime at home and abroad.
All this for the sake of marijuana prohibition.
It’s time for a new, more sensible approach.
We know how prohibition works from history class: alcohol prohibition in the 1930s didn’t reduce alcohol abuse, but it did turn a regulated industry into an illegal black market that enriched violent gangsters like Al Capone.
The harm done by prohibition goes beyond gang violence. Thousands of Americans have been imprisoned for no other offense than carrying a small amount of marijuana.
Invasive search procedures and racial profiling have become commonplace, creating mistrust between law enforcement agents and the communities they serve.
Billions of tax dollars are wasted on an ineffective policy that solves nothing.
Legalizing marijuana will cut down on violent crime, reduce unjust imprisonment, repair civil liberties, restore trust between civilians and police, and replace wasteful government spending with new tax revenues.
It will also help American farmers, who will be able to cultivate marijuana as well as the versatile and environmentally friendly hemp crop.
It’s time for a marijuana policy that makes sense.
Tell your Governor and state legislators to sponsor legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana today.
Apr 13 2010
Greens: President Obama must press Israel to end East Jerusalem settlements
• Green Party urges divestment as Israeli outrages mount
WASHINGTON, DC — President Obama must put pressure on Israel immediately to stop the construction of settlements and displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Green Party leaders and candidates said today.
“President Obama should send Prime Minister Netanyahu a message: enough is enough. If Israel continues to violate Palestinian human rights, the US must cancel the $30 billion military aid package pledged to Israel for 2009-2018. The plan to build 1,600 housing units for Israeli Jews in East Jerusalem is the latest outrage. Although a rumored US abstension from a possible UN Security Council resolution against the settlements would be an improvement over its usual veto on Israel’s behalf, this would still be an act of moral cowardice,” said Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. (News story on the possible UN resolution: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8591714.stm)
“The White House’s angry response to the East Jerusalem settlement announcement was a necessary first step, but it needs to be followed by concrete action, like support for a UN resolution against the settlements or actually withdrawing military aid. President Obama should show the kind of leadership that led Eisenhower to demand that Israel leave Sinai in 1955,” said Ms. Everette.
The Green Party has demanded that the US end military assistance to Israel, which has used such aid to displace Palestinians from their homes and farm lands, hold them in concentration camp conditions, maintain Bantustans in the style of apartheid-era South Africa, and launch illegal military assaults such as last year’s bloody invasion of Gaza.
“While the international community has been unable to deal with Israel’s violations after decades of UN resolutions, civil society has increasingly endorsed BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) as a powerful nonviolent strategy to pressure Israel into ending the Palestinian occupation and guaranteeing equality for all in Israel-Palestine. In 2005, the Green Party endorsed a BDS resolution (http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2005_11_28.shtml) comparable to the one passed by the Senate of the Associated Students of UC Berkeley in March,” said Derek Grigsby, Green candidate for State Representative in Michigan, District 7 ([email protected]).
The Berkeley students’ bill calls on the university to divest its assets from two General Electric and United Technologies for “materially and militarily supporting the Israeli government’s occupation of the Palestinian territories” and to advocate that the UC, with about $135 million invested in companies that profit from Israel’s illegal actions in the Occupied Territories (http://blogs.asuc.org/2010/03/18/announcements/sb-118-amended-passed).
Greens have urged the White House and Congress to reject the influence of AIPAC and to establish Middle East policy based on recognition that the rights of Palestinians must be equal to the rights of Israelis, on peaceful negotiation to resolve the conflict, and complete regional nuclear disarmament. Greens have noted the hypocrisy of applying sanctions against Iran for its alleged nuclear ambitions without insisting that Israel get rid of its nuclear weapons — especially since Israel, unlike Iran, has launched military attacks on other countries. (See “Arab Leaders Call for Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons” Earth Times March 28, 2010, http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/316159,arab-leaders-call-for-middle-east-free-of-nuclear-weapons.html#ixzz0jUbcWzVi)
“We encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders — and President Obama — to follow the lead of human rights activists like Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, organizer of the Wheels of Justice tour (http://justicewheels.org). In his embrace of nonviolent resistance as a tactic for justice, Dr. Qumsiyeh continues an often unrecognized history of Palestinian non-violent resistance and keeps alive the tradition of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. In response, the Israeli army has targeted him for arrest,” said Tony Affigne, Rhode Island Green and member of the party’s International Committee (http://www.gp.org/committees/intl).
Dr. Qumsiyeh (http://qumsiyeh.org), former associate professor of genetics at the Yale University School of Medicine and a member of the Green Party of Connecticut before he moved back to Palestine, wrote about his experiences in a New Haven Register op-ed published on March 9, 2010 (“Peaceful protest in Israel can lead to arrest,” http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2010/03/09/opinion/doc4b95ab40a3642160727871.txt).
“The US’s uncritical support for Israel and flow of military and financial aid endanger US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and threaten US security and global stability. Even Gen. Petraeus and VP Biden have admitted this,” said Rodger Jennings, Green candidate for US Congress in Illinois, District 12 (http://www.rodgerjennings.org). (See “The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story,” Foreign Policy, March 13, 2010, http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/14/the_petraeus_briefing_biden_s_embarrassment_is_not_the_whole_story). “The Gaza assault, which couldn’t have happened without US weapons, was a major turning point for people worldwide, including many American Jews. Like the misery that continues for Gazans, the memory of that horrific assault lingers.”
Greens note that, until recently, a campaign to silence critics of Israeli policies and actions helped maintain unilateral support for Israel, especially in the US, and that censorship of such criticism has sustained the conflict. Many US Greens expressed alarm when the Heinrich Boell Foundation (http://www.boell.de), a legally independent political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party, canceled February speaking engagements in Germany by Dr. Norman Finkelstein, an American Jewish scholar, child of Holocaust survivors, and author of books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust (http://www.normanfinkelstein.com).
“There is increasing recognition that the two-state solution is not viable. Israel-Palestine is already a de facto single state, mainly because of Israel’s illegal settlement policies, with over 500,000 Israeli Jews living in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. It’s time to consider the one-state solution — one homeland for both peoples — with a secular democracy that ensures full and equal rights regardless of religion or ethnicity, ” said Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. (See “Palestinians Increasingly Back 1-State,” Jerusalem Post, March 22, 2010, http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=171559 and “Who’s Afraid of a One-State Solution?” by Dmitry Reider, Foreign Policy, March 31, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/31/whos_afraid_of_a_one_state_solution)
Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
“Ensure Israel arms curbs, say MPs”
BBC News, March 30, 2010
“Open Letter to Berkeley Students on their Historic Israeli Divestment Bill”
By Naomi Klein, Common Dreams, March 31, 2010
“Palestinians increasingly back 1-state”
Jerusalem Post, March 22, 2010
“US Can’t Afford Military Aid to Israel”
Josh Ruebner, The Huffington Post, February 26, 2010
“Evidence of misuse of US weapons in Gaza”
Amnesty International, February 23, 2009
US Campaign to End the Occupation
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Winter 2010 issue now online
• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on foreign policy http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-foreign-policy.php
Apr 12 2010
WASHINGTON, DC — In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s 267th birthday, the Green Party of Florida and the People’s Lobby Coalition for Public Funding Only of All Elections will hold a forum on the influence of corporate lobbies on US elections. The forum will take place at the National Press Club (http://npc.press.org) in Washington, DC, at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.
The speakers will discuss ‘Money Morality’ and the effect of corporate money on health care, energy, the economy, treatment of the poor, and other major issues, with an analysis of military expenditures in light of campaign contributions from defense contractors.
“We’ll talk about the correlation between the influence of the 13,000 special interest lobbyists and our elected officials’ voting trends in relation to these issues. And we’ll propose necessary changes to our election system to restore democracy,” said Jennifer Sullivan, organizer of the event.
The event is open to the public, with doors opening at 7 pm. Admission is free for all members of the media with proper ID. General admission is a suggested donation of $10.00 or $15.00 per couple; no one will be turned away.
Refreshments will be served, with a variety of selected hors d’oeuvres, house specialty dips, gourmet chips, beverages, and a cash bar.
Apr 06 2010
Last week, President Obama announced a plan to open 167 million acres of ocean for offshore oil and gas drilling, a vast area that even George W. Bush — a former oil executive and great ally of the oil industry — didn’t open for drilling.
Obama’s plan will deepen our country’s addiction to oil, and open pristine oceans off America’s East and Alaskan coasts to the massively polluting oil industry.
Obama’s plan would allow the fossil fuel industry to drill in a great expanse of ocean that has been off-limits for two decades. 
This proposed giveaway of our ocean to Big Oil, an industry notorious for environmental devastation, was announced soon after we discovered that the Obama administration is considering a deal to loosen the international ban on commercial whaling.
Our planet does not need more oil drillin g and commercial whaling. We need more energy conservation and clean renewable energy like solar and wind power.
1. David Usbourne, “Drill, Barack, Drill: Obama to open up US East Coast for oil exploration.” Independent (UK), April 1, 2010.
Apr 01 2010
Since 1986, the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling has helped threatened whale populations to recover.
Now, the whaling ban itself is threatened.
The Obama administration is considering a deal to allow some commercial whaling to resume — even while some species of whales are still struggling to survive. 
Whales are gentle, sociable creatures, thought by many researchers to be highly intelligent and empathic.
In 1986, environmentalists won a major victory when the International Whaling Commission decreed a moratorium on commercial whaling.
The whaling ban has protected endangered species of whales, like the Blue Whale, from being hunted to extinction.
But endangered whales still face threats to their survival, including unexplained die-offs and ecological disruptions caused by climate change, ocean noise, and offshore energy development.
If the United States agrees to allow hunting of whales for profit, the results could be devastating for vulnerable whale populations.
1. Juliet Eilperin, “With some species rebounding, commission weighs loosening of ban.” Washington Post, March 29, 2010.
Mar 29 2010
Now it’s time to work for real health care reform — Medicare For All, say Greens
• The Democratic “insurance company enrichment” bill burdens millions of Americans and imposes mandates that enrich insurance companies
WASHINGTON, DC — Green candidates and party leaders said today that the passage of the Democratic health care bill, with its increased financial burdens on millions of Americans, should not slow the movement for Medicare For All (single-payer national health care).
The Democratic bill “falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps,” as Jane Hamsher writes in “Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill” (http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/19/fact-sheet-the-truth-about-the-health-care-bill).
Physicians for a National Health Program said in a statement on Monday, “Instead of eliminating the root of the problem — the profit-driven, private health insurance industry — this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers’ defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money.” (http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/march/pro-single-payer-doctors-health-bill-leaves-23-million-uninsured)
• Dennis Spisak, Green candidate for Governor of Ohio (http://www.votespisak.org/governor): “Now that this bill has passed, those of us who support real universal health care must keep up the demand for Medicare For All. Every American deserves the same high-quality guaranteed health coverage that Congress members enjoy. We will challenge those who insist that further health care reform is no longer on the table. The Democratic bill was mainly written to give the appearance of reform. It forces people to buy insurance or face a tax penalty. It works like a regressive tax, in which in the uninsured — in the midst of a recession — must pay for insurance they can’t use due to the likely high co-pays and deductibles. Especially vicious is the amendment prohibiting states from enacting their own single-payer programs.”
• Jill Stein, physician and Green candidate for Governor of Massachusetts (http://www.jillstein.org): “”The position of most Democrats and Republicans on health care is that Americans have no right to medical treatment, but private insurance companies have every right to enrich themselves on our need for health care and to send hundreds of thousands of Americans financial ruin over medical costs. According to Physicians for a National Health Program’s critique of the bill, about 23 milion Americans will remain uninsured after nine years, resulting in ‘an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths annually and an incalculable toll of suffering’. In the media coverage of health care reform, the angle was whether President Obama could prevail against the GOP and uncooperative Democrats. It was all about personalities and a horse-race competition. Whether the Democratic legislation — or obstruction of reform by Republicans — actually helps people became a
• Rich Whitney, Green candidate for Governor of Illinois (http://www.whitneyforgov.org)
: “The real story of health care reform over the past year is how the insurance and other health lobbies sent millions of dollars in campaign checks to both Democrats and Republicans to make sure their interests came first. We’ll get real health care reform when Americans get angry enough to stop voting for Democratic and Republican candidates who are addicted to corporate contributions, and elect Greens, who call health care a basic human right.” (Visit the web site of the Center for Responsive Politics to learn how much these corporations donate to each Congress member: http://www.opensecrets.org)
• Nancy Allen, farmer and long-time Green organizer from Maine: “Some of the Tea Partiers showed their true colors this past weekend, when crowds hurled racist and homophobic epithets at Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Barney Frank, and other Congress members. How much did Republican politicians, insurance companies, and other industries encourage such behavior? How did these corporations successfully convince so many Americans that their own medical care is less important than corporate profits and power?”
• Rodger Jennings, Green candidate for US Congress in Illinois, District 12 (http://www.rodgerjennings.org): “The winners are the largest for-profit health insurance companies. Both Democrats and Republicans made the bottom lines of the insurance cartel the top priority, rather than every American’s need for quality medical care. Private insurance adds cost to health care but provides no value — physicians, nurses, and other professionals do the actual medical work. The administrative overhead, including CEO bonuses and salaries, of private insurance raises health care costs by up to 31%. The administrative overhead for Medicare is under 3%. By eliminating the corporate insurance middle-man, we’d reduce health care spending from over 15% to about 9% and cut the price of coverage and care dramatically, and every American would enjoy guaranteed, quality health care.”
Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on health care reform: http://www.gp.org/speakers/speakers-health-care.php
• Green candidate database and campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
Single-Payer Now! Green Party page on health care reform
Single Payer Action http://www.singlepayeraction.org
“The Sober Reality of Health Care Reform”
By Jane Hamsher, FireDogLake, March 22, 2010
“Deaths Rising for Lack of Insurance, Study Finds”
By Michelle Andrews, The New York Times (blog), February 26, 2010
“NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option”
By Miles Mogulescu, Huffington Post, March 15, 2010
Reposted from Green Party Watch
Mar 25 2010
Originally posted on Green Party Watch
Several Green candidates have launched campaigns in their states’ races for governor in 2010.
The Green Party of California will have a contested primary election for the gubernatorial race, with Laura Wells and Deacon Alexander competing for the nomination, to be decided on June 8.
In recent years, gubernatorial races in some states have given Green Parties high enough percentages to achieve or maintain ballot status and determine the outcome of the election.
In 2006, Rich Whitney and his fellow Greens overcame an attempt by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to keep the Green Party off the Illinois ballot. Gov. Blagojevich spent about $800,000 to block the Green Party. Mr. Whitney drew over 10% of the vote on Election Day 2006 and will be on the ballot in 2010.
Some Green gubernatorial candidates to watch:
RICH WHITNEY, a civil rights attorney based in Carbondale, is running again for Governor of Illinois. At a time when Illinois is experiencing devastating cuts to education and social services, Mr. Whitney is the only candidate in the race who refuses to accept such cuts as inevitable. He has set forth a comprehensive plan for restoring health to the public sector and fighting for “a full employment economy,” at “a living wage, or better.”
“It may surprise some people to hear a candidate talk about expanding public employment at a time when the media keep pounding into people’s minds the notion that government is ‘too big’ and ‘we can’t afford it.’ We have to recognize that the corporate-dominated media have an agenda and that there is a reason why we have been hearing this propaganda steadily for over 30 years. We also have to realize that when the opinion leaders in the corporate media keep telling us that ‘we’ can’t afford it, what they are really trying to tell us is that ‘they’ – the wealthy owners of corporate America – don’t want to afford it,” said Mr. Whitney.
“They don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes needed to maintain the most basic functions of government. And thus the illusion is created that in the richest, most productive nation in the world, we as a society somehow can’t afford quality public education, quality health care for all, quality employment opportunities for all and decent retirement security for all.”
Rich Whitney proposes creative measures for dealing with the state’s fiscal and economic crises, including creation of a state bank, and imposing what he calls the real “sin” taxes — a financial transactions tax on speculative trading and a fee and dividend system to combat global warming and promote sustainable energy, transportation, and energy efficiency.
Web site: http://www.whitneyforgov.org
See also: “Rich Whitney, Green Party Governor Candidate, Releases Budget Proposals” (The Huffington Post, March 11, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/11/rich-whitney-green-party_n_495664.html)
JILL STEIN has launched an exciting grassroots campaign that is posing an unprecedented challenge to business as usual in Massachusetts. She is building on the 350,000 votes she received statewide in her race for Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2006. Given the emerging lineup that has her facing three CEO-insider politicians with nearly identical positions on the key issues, the race may actually be won with as little as 26% of the vote. With her 18% in her last statewide election, and the anti-insider fever that’s gripped the state, this could put a win in actual striking distance.
As Dr. Stein explained at a recent gathering, “A government run to benefit lobbyists and insiders has given us double digit unemployment, skyrocketing health care costs, predatory home foreclosures, crumbling schools, unaffordable higher education, counterproductive crime and drug laws, regressive taxes, unending and costly wars, and a climate crisis that threatens our economy. We can do better. It’s time to put solutions on the table that give us a secure green future in which there is both prosperity and justice.”
Since her February 8 kick-off, Dr. Stein has given numerous radio and television interviews and put together a strong campaign team. “Doors are opening as never before for a Green candidate,” Dr. Stein says. “This could be our breakthrough year.”
Web site: http://www.jillstein.org
S. DEACON ALEXANDER is one of two candidates competing for the California Green nomination for governor. A sixty-four year old retired union carpenter, many of Deacon’s ideas for a better society are from his father, bricklayer’s assistant and political activist. As a long-time social advocate and former Black Panther, Deacon Alexander worked to acquit all charges against Angela Davis in 1972 and joined Latino immigrants to fight for Los Angeles’ South Central Farm.
“I run for Governor because Californians must do better. We must educate, not incarcerate. Growing affordable housing and local business are in my plan to invest in basic infrastructure. Abolish the death penalty, the prison industrial complex, racism against immigrants and all people of color. I support jobs which empower our youth, rebuild inner cities, and reduce global warning,” said Mr. Alexander.
“My gubernatorial campaign is simple. We will go Poor-to-Poor, up and down the State of California . My first act as candidate was on Skid Row in LA with the homeless, the disenfranchised, the down and out. These people have been excluded, denied and rejected for far too long. I pledge to bring them into my campaign for Governor, register them as Greens, and fight for their rights.”
“Both my gubernatorial primary opponent, Green Party candidate Laura Wells, and I fully support Ten Key Values and platform of California Green Party. Our differences lie not in substance, but in our priorities. A party and candidate which put the rights of the least of us first, is one which can proudly represent all Californians.”
LAURA WELLS is also running for the Green Party’s nomination for Governor of California. Ms. Wells ran for State Controller in 2002 and 2006. In 2002, she received over 400,000 votes, the highest vote total of any Green Party partisan statewide race in California.
“I ran as a candidate for State Controller with the motto ‘follow the money’ to understand what’s happened in California. Now it’s time to fix the money,” said Ms. Wells. “Prop 13 was passed in 1978 to keep people, especially seniors, in their homes, but like a bad pharmaceutical, the side effects of the tax policies have been disastrous especially to our younger generations. The Titanic Parties will not touch Prop 13 because likely voters love it, but I am touching it. I sent a valentine saying, ‘Prop 13, I love you, but honey, you’ve got to change!’”
“There are solutions: we can institute a State Bank for California and invest in California not Wall Street. We can have great schools, healthcare, a wonderful environment, and golden job opportunities.”
The Laura Wells campaign has printed 10,000 copies of a newsletter leaflet listing the “13 Ways Prop 13 has been Unlucky for California” on one side and “FAQs: State Bank for California” on the other. The campaign is distributing them at rallies and meetings all over the state. Leafletting began with the March 4 Day of Action, when thousands of students from universities, community colleges, and high schools walked out of class to demand a re-ordering of priorities in the state’s finances.
For more about Prop 13, the State Bank, and other information about Laura Wells and her campaign, visit her web site: http://www.LauraWells.org
DAVID CURTIS is running for Governor of Nevada.
“Fellow Greens have been asking me to run for office for more than five years. I do not enter into this lightly,” said Mr. Curtis. “Extreme economic events of the last two years in Nevada convinced me that I needed to take a more direct role in the leadership of my native state. I am running to help rebuild the Nevada economy. I want to make the state a viable place to live for my family and the citizens of Nevada.”
DENNIS S. SPISAK is the Green Party of Ohio candidate for governor in 2010. Mr. Spisak is running with the goal of bringing renewable energy jobs, single-payer health care for all, and clean fair elections to Ohio.
“I am running for governor because I believe we must send a representative to Columbus who will address the issues facing regular citizens, not lobbyists or corporate PACs. My campaign will focus on the issues that Ohioans care about: affordable health care, economic fairness, quality public education, and bringing renewable energy manufacturing jobs to the state. I am not afraid to call for health care for all Ohioans, economic justice, and nothing less than a renewal of Ohio’s sense of community and promise of equal opportunity for all Ohioans,” said Mr. Spisak.
“The people of Ohio are tired of politics and government controlled by the Democrats and Republicans. They want straight talk and straight answers to the problems facing them and their children. The Green Party has the answers to their problems.”
Web site: http://www.votespisak.org/governor
Green Party Elections web page: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
Mar 24 2010
This post was written as part of GreenChange blog action day. Learn more here.
The anti-war movement seems to be at a crossroads these days. The rapid contraction of anti-war activism after George W. Bush left office caused many skeptics, including activists themselves, to wonder if most of the protesters had been more anti-Bush than anti-war. However, there are signs that the ranks of Americans who are determined to protest the evils of war, no matter which party controls the White House, is growing.
A December rally in Washington DC against the escalation of the Afghanistan War, which featured an impressive lineup of speakers including Chris Hedges, Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Ralph Nader, nevertheless attracted only a small number of supporters – probably less than 1000. The recent March 20th anti-war march in Washington DC attracted between 2500 and 10000 supporters. That’s still a far cry from the hundreds of thousands who would march during the Bush regime, but it may be a sign that the movement is recovering from its post-election inaction.
I remember hearing from people familiar with United For Peace & Justice (UFPJ), a nationwide umbrella group for anti-war organizations, that UFPJ leaders opted not to put their organizing muscle behind the March 20 protest. I’m out of the country and out of the loop, so I can’t confirm if that’s true. If it is true, I think it’s a big mistake for a self-described anti-war organization to downplay an anti-war protest. If anti-war group leaders view President Obama as more receptive to their message, that’s all the more reason for them to put pressure on him to do the right thing.
Ross Levin has a great post on how the 3/20 anti-war march in DC, which he attended and reported from, got significantly less media coverage than a significantly smaller Tea Party rally against healthcare reform across town.
It’s an open secret that the “grassroots” Tea Party movement is actually an astroturf operation, promoted by establishment media pundits like Rick Sanchez and Glenn Beck and funded by establishment political operatives like Dick Armey. Yet the mainstream media coverage treats the Tea Party protests like a genuine grassroots conservative uprising. My question is: can anti-war organizers convert this state of affairs into greater publicity for their movement?
Just the fact that anti-war rallies attract more people than tea parties won’t get them more coverage, but maybe if anti-war organizers made the “we’re bigger than the tea party” challenge integral to their actions, and communicated it to both the mainstream and independent media (as well as creating their own media), it would get more press and attract more attention from the general public.
Another idea (just throwing it out there): an “An-TEA-War PARTY protest”, in which anti-war protesters would mimic tea partiers by standing on the Capitol steps and screaming anti-war slogans at passing members of Congress. By holding signs saying “An-TEA-War PARTY”, these protesters could attract the Tea-Party-loving press.
Another idea: antiwar protesters could have simply marched past the tea party protest, in an attempt to highlight the media’s bias in giving greater coverage to a smaller protest. Intrepid protesters could even join the Tea Partiers and wave their anti-war signs for the cameras. Such tactics would probably require nonviolence training, since some tea partiers could get physical and it would not be good if the anti-war protesters retaliated.
One more demonstration idea: I’ve often thought it would be interesting if someone organized a march in the style of a 1930s labor rally. Everyone would wear suits or dresses, and carry black-and-white signs and banners with simple lettering and straightforward messages. To my mind, a protest like that could attract media attention and get people talking.
In case I’ve offended anyone who thinks the tea parties are cool, there is an encouraging initiative from Voters For Peace to broaden the anti-war movement to include folks who don’t usually show up for anti-war events. Here’s Sam Smith’s take on the effort:
“Last Saturday I spent eight hours with three dozen other people in a basement conference room of a Washington hotel engaged in an extraordinary exercise of mind and hope.
The topic was, by itself, depressingly familiar: building an anti-war coalition. What made it so strikingly different was the nature of those at the table. They included progressives, conservatives, traditional liberals and libertarians. Some reached back to the Reagan years or to 1960s activism, some – including an SDS leader from the University of Maryland and several Young Americans for Liberty – were still in college.”
I’ve read the foreign policy chapter of Ron Paul’s book, and I felt that he was right on the money about many things, like ending US wars in the Middle East, closing US military bases in other countries, and cutting off military aid to foreign governments like Israel and Egypt. In the same coalition-building vein, we can only benefit by more often invoking the anti-militarism words of people who conservatives revere, like Dwight Eisenhower and George Washington. I’ll add some choice quotations below.
Another great thing about Voters For Peace is that it’s involved in both grassroots activism and legislative pressure campaigns. To be effective, the anti-war movement must get serious about pressuring politicians. Pressuring politicians requires setting specific goals that they can be held accountable to. For the anti-war movement, that means war funding, since Congress can end the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan only by refusing to fund them.
The most effective pressure tactic would be organizing a nationwide voter pledge not to vote for any politician who votes for war funding. If you want a politician to pay attention, tell them they won’t get your vote if they don’t meet your conditions. The Democratic majority has voted solidly to continue the wars, but make them feel that their majority is at risk if they fail to end the wars, and that’s how you get real action.
In many districts, instead of voting for a pro-war incumbent in the general election, you can vote for a Green, anti-war Libertarian, or other independent. The anti-war movement needs to show politicians that only anti-war candidates will earn our votes from now on.
What are your thoughts?
“Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? ”
“He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. ”
“Believing that the happiness of mankind is best promoted by the useful pursuits of peace, that on these alone a stable prosperity can be founded, that the evils of war are great in their endurance, and have a long reckoning for ages to come, I have used my best endeavors to keep our country uncommitted in the troubles which afflict Europe, and which assail us on every side.”
“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. ”
“Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure. ”
“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend… Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”
” In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. ”
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ”
Mar 18 2010
Public universities across America are raising tuition so high that many students simply can’t afford it.
For example, the University of California system is boosting its average undergraduate tuition from $7,788 to $10,302. 
In five states, public universities already charge undergraduates on average more than $10,000 per year for tuition and fees. 
It’s outrageous that US politicians sign blank checks for war, yet turn their backs on young Americans struggling to get an education.
State governments are justifying massive tuition hikes as a necessary evil in the face of growing state budget deficits. But the real question is one of priorities.
Congress recently passed the largest military budget in US history,  while Wall Street enjoyed a massive $14 trillion bailout. 
Our members of Congress must prioritize education above endless wars and subsidies for corporate profits.
The future of our nation depends on making quality education available for our young people.