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