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Monday Morning Green Party News

Monday morning round up of Green Party news around the nation

Rich Whitney, “Green Party candidate shines in debate” (KMOX):

“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 Cummins has 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:

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The League of Women Voters and the debate issue

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.

In Maryland, a post at the Baltimore Sun’s Maryland Politics blog entitled “Third-party gov candidates demand to be in debate” drew this comment:

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?

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Steve Fournier (CT) profiled in The Herald

The New Britain Herald profiled U.S. House candidate Steve Fournier in an an article called: “Green Party candidate wants to fight for ‘damaged and discouraged'”:

Fournier said that people are looking away from what the nation’s leaders have done to the country during the past generation.

“The criminals who govern us have injured our earth, damaged our republic, put us in mortal danger and we go on as if everything were fine, seemingly unaware of our dire situation,” Fournier said in a pamphlet.

“My conversations tell me that we are not unaware and that we are seething with repressed rage. Witnesses to an atrocity, we turn away because we feel unable to act,” he said.
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