Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is asking supporters to take action to get him into two debates that debate sponsors are threatening to exclude him from. Whitney received over 10% of the vote for governor in 2006, establishing the Green Party as a major party in Illinois. He is an excellent, well-spoken candidate with a comprehensive platform to fix the Illinois budget and ensure that everyone in Illinois has access to quality jobs, education, and healthcare.
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote that Whitney has “the best command of the facts” and “the most sensible ideas for moving Illinois forward”, and Illinois Issues columnist Charles Wheeler wrote “only one candidate for governor has a comprehensive plan to solve the state’s budget crisis, one in which the numbers actually work: the Green Party’s Rich Whitney.” However, the Illinois League of Women Voters and PBS station WTTW are trying to exclude Whitney from upcoming debates. Whitney, who does not accept corporate campaign money, can’t afford to blanket the airwaves with ads. Locking him out of the debates would stymie his best opportunity to reach Illinois voters who haven’t yet heard of Whitney or his ideas.
The Illinois Green Party needs to get 5% of the vote for governor to retain ballot status. Since Whitney’s strong 2006 performance qualified the IL Greens as a major party, they’ve run scores of candidates at all levels. This year almost 50 Greens are running, mostly at the state legislature and local levels. Candidates like Jeremy Karpen have strong chances of winning and bringing independent progressive voices to Illinois politics. In a state with a Republican ex-governor in jail and a Democratic ex-governor on trial, voters want more choices, and the Greens are providing a progressive alternative. Yet if Whitney is pushed out of the debates and gets less than 5%, the Illinois Green Party will be dealt a major setback.
Take action today to ensure that Rich Whitney is included in the Illinois gubernatorial debates. Here’s a message from Whitney’s campaign explaining how you can make a difference:
Help Get Rich Whitney Into the Debates!
Rich Whitney will participate in a debate at Southern Illinois University on Thursday, October 14, at 8 PM, joined by Republican candidate Bill Brady and Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn. This event marks the only debate that will include candidates from all three of the legally established parties in Illinois. We invite you to tune in to listen and watch the debate at 8 PM. The event will be broadcast on most PBS stations and several NPR affiliates.
The League of Women Voters of Illinois is hosting a gubernatorial debate, to be televised on WLS (ABC 7) on Wednesday, October 20th. WTTW (PBS 11) is hosting a gubernatorial forum on their news program Chicago Tonight on Thursday, October 28th. As of now, only Pat Quinn and Bill Brady have been invited to take part in these debates, in spite of the fact that the Illinois Green Party is a legally established political party and that Whitney garnered over 360,000 votes in the 2006 gubernatorial election.
The debate sponsors need to DO THE RIGHT THING and include Rich Whitney in these debates!
• In 2006, Rich Whitney received over 360,000 votes in 2006 – more than 10% of the vote.
• The Green Party is one of three major parties under Illinois law – just like the Democrats and Republicans.
Here’s How You Can Help!
1.) For the League of Women Voters of Illinois:
Call them at 312-939-5935 and ask them to DO THE RIGHT THING!
Or Email LWVIL President Nancy Marcus – firstname.lastname@example.org and Executive Director Jan Czarnik – email@example.com.
When you email or call, be sure to tell them your name, and what city and/or neighborhood you live in.
2.) For WTTW Channel 11:
Call their main switchboard at 773-583-5000. Say that you want to leave a message that WTTW needs to DO THE RIGHT THING and invite Rich Whitney and other Green Party candidates to their Chicago Tonight forums.
Make sure to leave your name and city/neighborhood as WTTW will be logging who has called and left messages.
You can also email them with the same message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3.) Please help us spread the word by sharing Rich’s new YouTube ad on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail lists, and beyond!
Don’t let anyone believe that they’re forced to choose between Quinn and Brady. They have a real choice – a candidate with real plans and real support. Let people everywhere know they can vote for Rich Whitney – and that people are trying to keep them from knowing!