Green candidates support marijuana legalization

In a year that has seen the biggest upsurge of activism against marijuana prohibition in American history, Green Party candidates across the country are leading the fight for marijuana legalization while Democrats and Republicans defend the failed, destructive “war on drugs” prohibition regime.

The eyes of Americans who oppose prohibition are on California’s Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. The California Green Party and its leading candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells and US Senate candidate Duane Roberts, support Proposition 19, while the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor and US Senate all publicly oppose it.

Meanwhile, Green gubernatorial candidates like Howie Hawkins in New York, Rich Whitney in Illinois, and Jill Stein in Massachusetts have injected marijuana legalization into the public debate and rallied anti-prohibition voters, who number 46% in the latest Gallup poll, around an issue considered taboo by the political establishment.

All of these candidates, plus other Green gubernatorial candidates including Deb Shafto in Texas, Dennis Spisak in Ohio, Maria Allwine in Maryland, Morgan Reeves in South Carolina, and Jim Lendall in Arkansas as well as over 100 Green candidates for federal, state and local office, have signed onto a 10-point program called the “Green New Deal”, which includes legalizing marijuana and ending prohibition as one of 10 major reforms needed to put the country back on the right track. See Green Change for a list of candidates endorsing the Green New Deal by state.

By voting Green, you not only send a strong message that you want a sensible drug policy; in many cases, your vote helps the Green Party maintain its ballot line in your state, enabling Greens to run more and stronger campaigns in the future. If you want to legalize marijuana, vote Green.

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Arkansas Green candidates for Governor, US Senate polling at 3.5, 4%

The City Wire reports on a new poll including Arkansas Green Party candidates Jim Lendall for governor and John Gray for US Senate:

In the U.S. Senate race, Boozman’s margin over incumbent U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln has shrunk to 13 points as he now holds a 49-36% lead. Independent Trevor Drown and Green Party candidate John Gray each received 4% support, while 7% of voters remain undecided.

Beebe has seen a steady increase in his advantage — now 16 points — over Republican gubernatorial challenger Jim Keet, 50-34%. Green Party nominee Jim Lendall pulled 3.5%, and 12.5% remain undecided.

If Lendall gets at least 3% of the vote, the Arkansas Green Party will remain ballot-qualified for the next 2 years.

Here are some interesting recent articles about Gray and Lendall:

Arkansas Times: A conversation with John Gray, Green Party candidate for Congress

Arkansas News: Here’s your independent voice

Blue Arkansas: Is John Gray picking up steam?

Baxter Bulletin: Jim Lendall fights for legitimacy of Green Party

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Jim Lendall, Green for Arkansas Gov, takes part in 3-way debate

Arkansas Green Party gubernatorial candidate Jim Lendall recently took part in a debate with Democrat Mike Beebe and Republican Jim Keet. Lendall needs 3% of the vote to retain ballot access for the Arkansas Green Party through 2012. Watch the debate online at Arkansas Educational TV.

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John Gray, Arkansas Green for Senate, in televised debate

Arkansas Green Party US Senate candidate John Gray participated in a debate on Arkansas Educational Television with incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln, Republican John Boozman, and independent Trevor Brown.

Watch the debate online at Arkansas Educational Television. (You can also find debates with Green candidates for Congress, Governor, and Attorney General.)

Also see the Arkansas Times’ recent interview with John Gray.

And don’t miss this great new John Gray campaign video “Think Outside the Box”.

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Green Party candidates win some debates, battle exclusion from others

Green Party candidates across the US win some debates, battle exclusion from others

• In Illinois race for the US Senate, Green candidate LeAlan Jones wins a debate from which he was excluded: SC Green Tom Clements challenges Sen. Jim DeMint’s refusal to debate; Calif. Green Laura Wells arrested for entering the gubernatorial debate site

• Video downloads and campaign news:
Green candidates in debates http://www.gp.org/candidates/debates.php
Greens on the campaign trail http://www.gp.org/elections/campaign-trail/index.php
Labor endorsements for Greens http://www.gp.org/candidates/labor-endorsements.php
More candidate videos: http://www.gp.org/candidates/videos.php

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party candidates across the US are shining in some debates — and protesting their exclusion from other debates. Read the rest of this entry »

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John Gray for Senate video: Think Outside the Box

Arkansas Green Party US Senate candidate John Gray has released an excellent campaign ad on youtube entitled “Think Outside the Box”. Gray is attracting widespread support from labor and progressives in a four-way race with Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln, Republican John Boozman, and conservative independent Trevor Drown. Here’s the video:

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Green Change: 10 Growing Green Campaigns

From GreenChange.org:

Here are ten growing Green campaigns from around the country. Our Green candidates are the true leaders of the Green movement.  They are working hard for all of us, and they need your help.  Please support them by donating and volunteering today.

RICH WHITNEY FOR GOVERNOR (IL)

Rich Whitney is a civil rights attorney who received over 10% of the vote for Governor of Illinois in 2006. He has proposed a detailed plan to fix Illinois’ budget shortfall and invest in green public works through public banking and progressive taxation, while his opponents Pat Quinn, Bill Brady and Scott Lee Cohen have not offered plans of their own. Whitney is advocating for single-payer health care, a living wage, free higher education and legalization of marijuana. Whitney needs at least 5% of the vote to maintain a ballot line for the growing Illinois Green Party, which is running 47 candidates at all levels this year. Learn more about Rich Whitney’s campaign and how you can help.

JESSE JOHNSON FOR US SENATE (WV)

Jesse Johnson is a leader in the battle against mountaintop removal coal mining, which he calls “ground zero for global climate change.” He is the only candidate in the race who opposes mountaintop removal, which Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican John Raese both support. Johnson has been endorsed by WV Democrat Ken Hechler, a former member of Congress and mountaintop removal opponent who challenged Manchin in the primary. Watch Jesse Johnson whip up the crowd at the Appalachia Rising rally in Washington DC on September 27th. Learn more about Jesse Johnson’s campaign and how you can help.

JOHN GRAY FOR US SENATE (AR)

John Gray is the Mayor of Greenland, Arkansas and an advocate for single-payer health care, worker’s rights, and ending corporate personhood. His opponents are Republican John Boozman, conservative independent Trevor Drown, and Democrat Blanche Lincoln, a leading recipient of Wal-Mart campaign cash who has fought to weaken health care reform and stop the Employee Free Choice Act. Gray’s priorities include breaking up “too-big-to-fail” corporations, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and putting Americans back to work. Learn more about John Gray’s campaign and how you can help.

TOM CLEMENTS FOR US SENATE (SC)

Tom Clements is a veteran activist against nuclear proliferation who has worked for Greenpeace, the Nuclear Control Institute, and Friends of the Earth. He is running against far-right incumbent Republican Jim DeMint and Democrat Alvin Greene, who faces felony obscenity charges. Clements is a strong advocate for green jobs, single-payer health care, and halting the abuses of big corporations and their political cronies like DeMint. He has been endorsed by the Greater Columbia Central Labor Council. Learn more about Tom Clements’ campaign and how you can help.

LAURA WELLS FOR GOVERNOR (CA)

Laura Wells is a financial manager and democracy activist who is campaigning on a plan to fix California’s budget crisis and provide quality affordable health care and education to all. Despite widespread dissatisfaction among voters with Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman, organizers of an “eco-friendly” gubernatorial debate on Oct. 12 are denying Wells the chance to offer her Green solutions to voters. Wells and local Green officeholders will join supporters at an open debate demonstration outside the debate in San Rafael. Learn more about Laura Wells’ campaign and how you can help.

LUISA EVONNE VALDEZ FOR STATE HOUSE (AZ)

Luisa Evonne Valdez is running for Arizona State House in District 15, which covers central Phoenix. Valdez is a disabled veteran and advocate for LGBTQ and veterans’ rights who was recently named one of “40 Hispanic leaders under 40″ by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is campaigning to bring a voice for equal rights, community-based economics, renewable energy and sustainability to Arizona state government. Learn more about Luisa Evonne Valdez’s campaign and how you can help.

DAN CRAIGIE FOR STATE HOUSE (MN)

Dan Craigie is running for Minnesota State House in District 59B in Minneapolis. Craigie, whose background includes working as a Navy technician, is a strong advocate for green jobs, single-payer health care, and equal rights. With the support of Cam Gordon, a Green who has twice won election to Minneapolis City Council, Craigie is running a muscular on-the-ground campaign to become the first Green elected to Minnesota’s legislature. Learn more about Dan Craigie’s campaign and how you can help.

DAVID ELLISON FOR CUYAHOGA COUNTY EXECUTIVE (OH)

David Ellison of Cleveland is running for Cuyahoga County Executive in Ohio. Ellison is an architect and community activist who has led the fight for community-driven development. In a race with five other candidates, Ellison stands out as a supporter of community-based economics and environmental sustainability. He supports creating a public bank and investing in local food production to strengthen the local economy. Learn more about David Ellison’s campaign and how you can help.

EDWARD SHADID FOR STATE HOUSE (OK)

Edward Shadid is running for Oklahoma State House in District 85 in Oklahoma City. Shadid is a medical doctor and advocate for healthy, sustainable lifestyles. His campaign is focusing attention on the issue of ballot access reform in Oklahoma, which makes it harder than any state for Greens and other independents to qualify for the ballot. Ralph Nader recently joined Shadid for a campaign rally in Oklahoma City – watch the video here. Learn more about Edward Shadid’s campaign and how you can help.

CHERYL WOLFE FOR STATE HOUSE (MT)

Cheryl Wolfe is running for Montana State House in District 11, which covers parts of Flathead and Lake Counties north of Missoula. Wolfe is an accountant and community activist from Polson. She is running against incumbent Republican Janna Taylor, a supporter of more oil and coal industry development in Montana. Wolfe’s campaign gives Montanans the choice of voting for green jobs, sustainable development, progressive taxation, instant runoff voting and more. Learn more about Cheryl Wolfe’s campaign and how you can help.

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Greens will take part in debates in AR, AZ, and MA. Where else?

Debates are incredibly important for Greens, anyone who supports Green candidates, and anyone who supports independent politics in general, for a number of reasons.

First of all, debates are watched by people across the political spectrum, so they offer a rare chance to publicize Green positions outside the usual echo chambers that politics has been boxed into (corporate media that only covers horse races, independent media outlets that cater to small self-selected audiences, Fox News and talk radio that serve as a megaphone for right-wing corporatist propaganda, etc). This ability to reach a general audience with a Green message not only attracts new people to vote for Green candidates and join the Green Party, it puts pressure on politicians of other parties to adopt Green positions that are popular. Conversely, when Greens are excluded from debates, many vital issues don’t get addressed at all: single-payer health care, runaway military spending, climate change, the failed war on drugs, corporate personhood, and the utter corruption of pay-to-play politics, to name but a few.

Secondly, watching (or attending/participating in) debates and inviting others to join you is an essential act of participating in a healthy democracy. It keeps you informed, open to new ideas, and aware of the crucial role of civil discourse in a pluralistic society.

Finally, there may be no better way to make a case for the Green Party than to actively demand that our candidates participate in the debates. Every time a qualified candidate is shut out from the debates, it makes a mockery of democracy – and people recognize that when it’s brought to their attention. The various mechanisms used by the political establishment to shut out independent voices and maintain the stranglehold of the corporate-sponsored political duopoly need to be exposed for what they are: a concerted attack on the right and freedom of Americans to choose their own government. Open debates activism is also an opportunity to build transpartisan alliances with Libertarians, Socialists, Constitutionalists, and other independents, which helps our pro-democracy message to reach a larger audience across ideological lines.

Right now, I know of a handful of broadcast debates in which Greens will participate. We need your help to find out about others: where Greens will be in the debates, and where they are planning actions aimed at getting in the debates. Such actions can be successful: Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May was included in a nationally televised debate after her supporters publicly protested her exclusion with letters, calls, and other activism. Even when our actions fail to get our candidates on the debate stage, they help open the eyes of our fellow citizens to what we are fighting for. So without further ado, here is a short list of upcoming debates to watch; please help me expand it by looking up debates/debate activism in your state and leaving information in the comments.

9/21 MA Governor debate with Jill Stein – 7 PM – WCVB-TV (Channel 5), WHDH-TV (Channel 7), WGBH-TV (Channel 2), New England Cable News (NECN), WBUR, WTTK-FM, WBZ-AM

9/26 AZ Senate debate with Jerry Joslyn – 6 PM – KTVK channel 3 in Phoenix, streamed at AZfamily.com

10/11 AR-1 House debate with Ken Adler – 6:30 PM – AETN

10/11 AR-2 House debate with Lewis Kennedy – 6:30 PM – AETN

10/12 AR Governor debate with Jim Lendall – 8 PM – AETN

10/12 CA Governor “eco-friendly” debate – Greens likely to protest exclusion at Dominican University in San Rafael

10/13 AR Senate debate with John Gray – 6:30 PM – AETN

10/13 AR-4 House debate with Joshua Drake – 8 PM – AETN

10/15 AR Attorney General debate with Rebekah Kennedy – 7:30 PM – AETN

10/26 MA Governor debate – Jill Stein must raise $100,000 by 10/1 to participate

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Poll: Arkansas Greens close behind Democrats in 2-way statewide races

The Arkansas Green Party is challenging incumbent Democrats in 2-way races for attorney general, state treasurer and state auditor. A recent poll by Talk Business and Hendrix College showed the Greens within striking distance in all 3 races:

In the attorney general’s race, incumbent Democrat Dustin McDaniel received 37 percent support, Green Party candidate Rebekah Kennedy received 24 percent and 39 percent were undecided when party affiliation was included.

Without political affiliation, McDaniel received 38 percent, Kennedy received 19 percent and 43 percent were undecided.

In the state treasurer’s race, Democrat Martha Shoffner, the incumbent, received 33 percent support, Green Party candidate Bobby Tullis received 23 percent and 44 percent were undecided when party affiliation was mentioned.

Without party affiliation, Shoffner received 22 percent, Tullis received 17.5 percent and 60.5 percent were undecided.

In the state auditor’s race, Democrat Charlie Daniels received 39.5 percent support, Green Party candidate Mary Hughes-Wills received 26 percent and 34.5 percent were undecided when party affiliation was included.

Without party affiliation, Daniels received 37 percent, Hughes-Wills received 17 percent and 46 percent were undecided.

Read the full article at Arkansas News.

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Green candidates win key endorsements from unions and labor organizations

While Dems take labor support for granted and cave in to corporate lobbies, Greens fight for working people; Greens say “We don’t have a shortage of work ethic in America, we have a shortage of work”

WASHINGTON, DC — Green candidates for Congress and other public offices have drawn important endorsements from unions and labor organizations, as well as union leaders and rank and file members throughout the US.

“Unions and working people are waking up to the fact that they have a party willing to fight for them — the Green Party,” said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for Governor of New York (http://howiehawkins.com/) and a member of Teamsters Local 317 (see below).

“While Democratic politicians take labor votes for granted, Greens are pushing for the creation of millions of Green jobs, public works programs, and the right to organize in the nation’s workplaces. While Democrats cave in to wealthy corporate lobbies and campaign contributors, Greens are promoting Medicare For All and opposing plans by the White House’s ‘Catfood Commission’ to cut Social Security. When Democrats and Republicans sent Wall Street billions in bailouts, Greens demanded help for working people suffering under the economic meltdown. The Green Party says: we don’t have a shortage of work ethic in America, we have a shortage of work,” said Mr. Hawkins.

Recent labor endorsements for Green candidates: Read the rest of this entry »

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US Senate Candidate John Gray Shut Out of Arkansas Debates

Autumn in American Third Party Politics means the battle to be included in publicly funded debates and forums, often a losing battle.

From the Arkansas News: “Exclusion from Senate debate irks independent, Green Party nominee”

LITTLE ROCK — Independent and Green Party candidates for U.S. Senate say they will be in Hot Springs Friday to protest their exclusion from a candidate forum sponsored by the Association of Arkansas Counties.

The association has invited Democratic incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln and her Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. John Boozman, to participate in a forum at its annual conference at the Hot Springs Convention Center, but independent candidate Trevor Drown and Green Party candidate John Gray are not invited.

“We’re going to be protesting over in Hot Springs on Friday morning on this,” Gray said Wednesday. “My feeling is, that is a state group, an association of counties, and they have no business whatever spending state money to have a private debate.”

John Gray for US Senate website (donations surely welcome)

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Arkansas Green Party candidates in the news

After the Arkansas Green Party nominating convention on July 24th, Arkansas Green candidates have been appearing regularly in the news. Here are a few recent articles:

Arkansas News: Green Party candidate launches campaign for state treasurer

The Log Cabin Democrat: Conway man chosen to represent Green Party on November Ballot

KHBS-TV: Lincoln, Boozman face new candidate

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Arkansas Green Party nominates slate of candidates

The Arkansas Green Party nominated several candidates at its state convention on July 24th. The candidates include two former state representatives, Jim Lendall for Governor and Bobby Tullis for Treasurer, as well as Rebekah Kennedy for Attorney General, who earned over 20% of the vote for US Senate in 2008. Here is the list of candidates after the convention:

U.S. Senate – John Gray – - http://www.johngrayforussenate.com
Congress – District 1 – Ken Adler –  http://www.kenadlerforcongress.org
Congress District 2 – Lewis Kennedy
Congress District 4 – Joshua Drake
Governor – Jim Lendall – jelendall [at] comcast [dot] net
Secretary of State – David Orr
Attorney General- Rebekah Kennedy
State Auditor – Mary Willis
State Treasurer – Bobby Tullis
State Senate District 18 – Greg Slocum
State Rep. District 33 – Conrad Harvin
State Rep. District 90 – Mark Swaney
Saline County Collector – Joy Ballard
Johnson County Coroner – Ray Wood

Endorsements in non-partisan races:
Howard Smith – West Memphis City Council
Jacob Hollaway – Jonesboro City Council

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John Gray polling at 2% in Arkansas US Senate race

The Arkansas News Bureau reports on the US Senate race in Arkansas:

The poll of 793 likely Arkansas voters, conducted Saturday through automated phone calls, found that 57 percent said they would vote for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Boozman and 32 percent for Democratic incumbent Lincoln if the election were today.

Another 3 percent said they would vote for independent candidate Trevor Drown and 2 percent said they would vote for Green Party candidate John Gray, with the remaining 6 percent undecided.

Hat tip to Independent Political Report for the story.

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Green Party state conventions in AR, OH, OK this July

Green Parties in several states will be holding state party conventions in July. Among them are Greens in Arkansas, Ohio and Oklahoma. If you know of other upcoming party meetings, let us know in the comments.

Saturday 24 July:

Arkansas Green Party 2010 State Convention, Little Rock, AR

Ohio Green Party 2010 State Convention, Columbus, OH

Oklahoma Green Party 2010 State Convention, Norman, OK

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