Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney debated Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn and Republican Bill Brady last night at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. While Quinn and Brady bickered and spoke in vague generalities, Whitney stood out as the only candidate with a plan to fix the budget and ensure that all Illinoisans have access to quality jobs, education and health care. Over the course of the debate, Whitney made strong cases for single-payer health care, progressive taxation, a green capital bill, tuition-free higher education, a state bank, and more.
Although Rich Whitney earned over 10% of the vote in 2006, establishing the Green Party as a major party in Illinois, sponsors of two upcoming debates are trying to keep him out. The recently redesigned Illinois Green Party website has a page telling Whitney supporters how they can join the grassroots campaign to get Whitney in the debates. On facebook, the campaign has started a rapidly-growing page “Do the Right Thing: Put Rich Whitney in the Debates”. You can easily write a letter to the editor supporting Whitney’s inclusion in the debates at Green Change.
Whitney is also asking supporters to watch and share a video message calling on the debates to include his voice. His campaign needs donations to put the video on TV – please donate what you can so that one of the Green Party’s most outstanding candidates can reach millions of undecided voters. Whitney needs 5% of the vote to keep the Illinois Green Party, which is running dozens of strong candidates this year, on the ballot. You can watch the video “A Message to Illinois Voters from Rich Whitney” here: