Although the Connecticut Green Party has no candidate for governor this year and is running a write-in campaign for US Senate, CT Green candidates running for a variety of statewide, congressional, legislative and local seats have been steadily making news. Here are some recent stories:
“Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, and State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) used nearly every answer to bash the other. But Green Party candidate Rich Whitney laid off the criticism, and used every answer to point out in some detail how he would close the budget gap, improve the job climate, and fund education. He said, “I’m the only one with a plan.”
Too bad the other debates are excluding him. Maybe they are afraid he will continue talking common sense?
The Post Standard is looking forward to Howie Hawkins in tonight’s debate as evidenced by this thorough profile piece:
He hasn’t won, yet. But he has accomplished another goal — to bring the Green Party into the same conversation the Democrats and Republicans are having about how to govern New York state. Hawkins, a graveyard-shift United Parcel Service worker from Syracuse’s South Side, is the Green Party candidate for governor. He has been invited to debate Democrat Andrew Cuomo, Republican Carl Paladino and four other candidates at 7 p.m. today in the only scheduled debate of the 2010 race.
The Middletown Press has a nice piece today on the Green Party, with coverage of Green congressional candidates Ken Krayeske, G. Scott Deshefy, & Charles Pillsbury, as well as Mike DeRosa (Sec. State candidate), David Bue (State Treasurer candidate), Steve Fournier (Attorney General candidate), & Colin Bennett (State Comptroller):
“People don’t know who to turn to anymore and with good reason,” Deshefy says. “I say to those disillusioned, those disgruntled, those disenfranchised citizens betrayed by the Republicans and Democrats time and time again, turn to me and to the Green Party to carry your burden. Otherwise, we are in for more of the same after November 2010.”
Cleveland City Councilor Brian Cumminshas quit the Democrats and become a Green again. He is a former Columbus area Green Party organizer. He will face re-election in 3 years, I can assure you he will face a Democratic challenger.
And finally, a poignant book discussion with US Senate candidate John Gray:
Fighting to be included in debates is a familiar exercise for Greens in the United States. Most political organizations fall into one of two camps: either they support open debates with all ballot-qualified candidates, or they support closed debates, which are typically limited to Democrats and Republicans. However, the League of Women Voters, in various times and places, has played the role of both ally and adversary to supporters of open debates.
The League of Women Voters ran presidential debates until 1988, when the Democratic and Republican parties, unhappy with the LWV’s inclusion of independent candidates like John Anderson, formed the Commission on Presidential Debates to seize control of the debates. The LWV issued a statement to announce its withdrawal of sponsorship for the debates:
The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.
However, this year the League of Women Voters in Illinois has invited only the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to an October 20th televised debate, despite the fact that Green Party candidate Rich Whitney received over 10% of the vote for governor 4 years ago. Whitney has called a press conference for Monday October 11th to demand that the LWV include him. Whitney’s campaign has also created the facebook group “Let Rich Whitney into the League of Women Voters Debate” and this video message from Rich Whitney to Illinois voters, which the campaign will release as a TV ad if it can raise enough money:
Whitney will take part in a debate with independent Scott Lee Cohen and Libertarian Lex Green on WJBC on Monday 11 October from 3-4:30PM. Democrat Quinn and Republican Brady declined to participate.
In Connecticut, Green Party Attorney General candidate Steve Fournier has filed a complaint with the IRS challenging the LWV’s tax-exempt status. Fournier says that while the League is supposed to be nonpartisan, its criteria for debate participation discriminate against independent and third-party candidates.
The gubernatorial debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters is the “real” debate to attend. It’s Tuesday, Oct. 19, 7:30 pm, in the Cultural Arts Center at Montgomery College’s Takoma Park campus, 7995 Georgia Avenue. For more information, see http://lwvmd.org/n/node/3261 or call 301-984-9585. Unlike WJZ-TV and the Baltimore Jewish Council, the LWV serves only the voters, and all of them. Third Party candidates have to work hard and overcome many electoral hurdles to get on the ballot; they deserve to be heard.
Maryland Green Party gubernatorial candidate Maria Allwine also commented on the post.
Is the League of Women Voters in your state a friend or foe of open debates? Can Greens call on the League’s better angels to ensure that our voices are included in the debates? What do you think?
Activist Ken Krayeske, best known for his arrest during Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s inaugural parade and for tangling with UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun over his hefty salary, is running for Congress on the Green Party slate. Read the rest of this entry →
Mansfield Today reports on Connecticut Green Party candidate for State Assembly 54th District Jason Ortiz:
Ortiz, a UConn student, announced his intent to run for state representative on June 28. His place on the ballot was officially confirmed at the end of August.
During a recent meeting of members of the Green Party, Ortiz discussed his ideas about education and empowering young people in Connecticut.
A long time supporter of the Green Party’s ideals of environmentalism and consumer advocacy, Ortiz expressed his excitement.
“The Green Party has been fighting for quality education for all of Connecticut and I am proud to have their support as I mobilize students to make education a priority again for the state of Connecticut,” said Ortiz. “I got my start in politics through the Cliff Thornton for governor race, so this endorsement has a personal significance as well.”
In addition to education, Ortiz’s campaign focuses on creating a sustainable economy, providing quality healthcare to everyone in Connecticut, and protecting the environment.
Thomas MacMillan at the New Haven Independent has written a detailed profile of Charlie Pillsbury’s Green Party run for US House of Representatives in Connecticut’s 3rd district. Pillsbury has made the call for a Green New Deal the central theme of his campaign:
This year, the Green Party message is still anti-war. Cutting military spending by 70 percent is number one on the “Green New Deal.” That’s the 10-point policy platform that Greens are adopting nationwide. Such deep military spending cuts would save $500 billion, Pillsbury said.
In New York, the ongoing petition drive to put a Green slate of candidates for Governor, Lt. Gov., Comptroller, and US Senate on the ballot is about to ratchet up for the “Weekend of 5000 signatures”:
With about three weeks left before filing our 2010 ballot petition, we need your help to get the signatures needed to deter a challenge from those who would deprive New York voters of real choices. So we’re calling for a statewide push to collect 5000 signatures this weekend. If 50 Greens gather 100 signatures each then we can make that goal — will you be one of those Greens?
The New York Greens’ petition drive is crucial because the NYGP can regain ballot status for the next four years only by getting at least 50,000 votes for Howie Hawkins for Governor in November. Regaining ballot access in the third most-populous state would be a big victory for Greens, in New York and nationwide. The New York Green Party is running a rock-solid slate of candidates this year, including Howie Hawkins and Gloria Mattera for Governor and Lt. Gov., Colia Clark and Cecile Lawrence for US Senate, and Julia Willebrand for Comptroller.
Meanwhile, the Connecticut Greens also need some extra hands on deck:
We need two hours of your time! Rae Johnson is very close on the petition drive but we need more signatures as a buffer. It is critical that we get one hundred more signatures by next tuesday! call Rae at 860-613-0501 if you can spare just a little time this weekend!
Dave Olszta also needs your help in Milford. In the middle of his petitioning as a Green for a state rep seat in the Devon section of Milford (Jim Amann’s old district), his mother died. He would appreciate any help anyone can give him in the next few days. His email address is: daveolszta [at] earthlink [dot] net; and his phone number is: 203-407-9124.
If you know of other places where Greens need help gathering signatures to get on the ballot (or raising money to get on the ballot, as with Jesse Johnson in WV last week) please let us know in the comments.
The Green Party of Connecticut announced today that Don Alexander is running for State Representative, House District 64 (Torrington, Sharon, Cornwall, Goshen, and Salisbury) this fall.
A resident of Torrington, Alexander is a quality assurance engineer at a state company. He is married, with three children. He is veteran of the Navy. This is his first time to ever run for office.
Alexander said he is running a positive, issue based campaign with no mudslinging. His campaign will address many issues but focus on:
1. Creating new “Green” jobs with tax incentives for new employees and start up costs for local companies
2. Building a world class state single payer care health care system to model for the nation
3. Restoring education funding and education jobs with free college tuition for all state students at local community colleges. Read the rest of this entry →
Still the 60-year-old, self-employed electrical engineer, who grew up in England, is unabashed about his decision to mount a campaign as the Green Party candidate against a five-term Republican incumbent to become New Milford’s state representative.
Payne is the sole challenger to 67th District Rep. Clark Chapin, a 49-year-old self-employed carpenter with two adult sons.
Payne’s passion for this unlikely quest stems from a yearning to push for changes in state law related to drug crime and the ensuing violence that robs families of their children — be it to addiction, prison or death.
“I’m doing this so other families don’t have to bury their kids; that’s the real reason,” said Payne, whose 22-year-old daughter, Rebecca, a Northeastern University student in Boston, was shot to death in her off-campus apartment two years ago.
Nicholas Payne is running for a seat in the CT legislature
Nicholas Payne knows the heartache of losing a child. His daughter, Rebecca, was murdered in Boston, found shot to death in her apartment. Police say she was not the target of the crime, and that drugs were involved. Instead of turning to violence himself, or going into a shell, Payne decided to address the horror of his daughter’s murder head on and run for the state legislature to change the drug laws that may have contributed to Rebecca’s murder.
In an article at News Times, Payne is quoted saying
“I’m doing this so other families don’t have to bury their kids; that’s the real reason,”
Monica Polanco of the Hartford Courant recently profiled the Connecticut Green Party’s slate of candidates for state legislature, Colin Bennett, Rae Johnson, Ben Wojan and Nicholas Payne:
The Connecticut Green Party is running four candidates for statewide seats and seats in the General Assembly. They include a youth counselor, a retired guidance counselor and a dual contender for state comptroller and the state Senate’s 33rd District
“I think the overarching theme is they’re average citizens,” said Tim McKee, party spokesman and member of its national committee. “I think they’re going to try to talk about important issues: the economy, certainly social justice issues and clean government.”
Hannah Vahl of the Middletown Press also wrote an article about Rae Johnson, Green candidate for State Senate District 9.
“There isn’t any common sense being used right now in decision making,” Johnson said about her motivation for running. “It doesn’t seem like it’s a government by the people, for the people. It’s time for a change.”
We are seeking to raise a quick $300 for a database of all Green Party registered voters to help our candidates in this year’s upcoming elections.
Can you give $10 ? If you give $25 we will mail you a Green Party bumper sticker! if you give $50 or more we have a free “Green Party- Peace Party” T shirt! Read the rest of this entry →
The Connecticut Law Tribune has a piece about Stephen Fournier, the Connecticut Green Party’s candidate for Attorney General:
So how does the Green Party agenda translate to the attorney general’s position?
“It really doesn’t,” Fournier said. “The AG can lobby for a change in laws, and I would do that. But you have to de-emphasize politics when you’re representing the people” in court.
One his main targets would be mortgage lenders.
In the last few years of his practice, Fournier was hired by lenders to serve as local attorney for customers’ mortgage refinances. There were multiple times when closing papers listed costs and interest rates that were higher than customers were told they would be, he said. “I got fired by [lenders] because I told people not to sign the papers,” Fournier said. “I’m sure there’s plenty of this still going on.”
He’d also mix it up with a “rogue” federal government that tramples citizens’ and state’s rights on a variety of issues, he said.
“Millionaires and celebrities get all the attention,” said Tim McKee, a spokesman for Connecticut Greens and a member of the party’s national committee. “We want to get more average people running for office, but it’s becoming harder and harder. … It’s a millionaires’ club.”
This year, the Green Party has candidates for attorney general, secretary of the state, treasurer and comptroller. It has no candidate for governor at this point…
McKee and other Green activists are taking a different approach this year, focusing on winning legislative races in addition to the four state constitutional offices.
So far, the party has nominated four candidates for the General Assembly. It also tapped Scott Deshefy, a retired DEP worker from Lebanon, to run for Congress from the 2nd District.
“We’re trying to be realistic,” McKee said. “You spend a lot of money and energy running for high-profile offices, but it’s hard to get press, hard to get into any debates. … There are just tremendous hurdles for a party that’s trying to grow.”