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Green Party: After shutdown, Americans still need Medicare for All, Social Security without reductions, deep cuts in military spending

green party earthflowerFrom Ralph White at Hot Indie News:

Green Party leaders spoke out yesterday about the budget impasse, government shutdown, bipartisan plans to scale back Social Security and Medicare, and looming negotiations on the debt ceiling.

Greens emphasized that the Affordable Care Act, which remains at the center of the stalemate between Democrats, traditional Republicans, and extremist Tea Party Republicans, must be replaced with a single-payer national health care system (“Medicare For All”).

• James Lane, Green candidate for Public Advocate of New York City (http://www.VoteJamesLane.org): “After the shutdown ends, Congress and the White House will deal with the debt ceiling, but we can count on both Democratic and Republican leaders to ignore the major cause of the nation’s rising debt — the bloated military budget and President Bush’s unfunded wars. The ceiling was enacted in 1917 to protect U.S. taxpayers from the financial cost of war and the tendency of presidents to go to war without raising money to pay for it. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were accompanied by massive tax cuts for the wealthy and followed by the economic collapse and bailout of Wall Street. Instead of cuts to food stamps, Medicare, Social Security, and other sorely need social programs during the lingering recession, we need deep reductions in military spending. Greens have called for elimination of hundred-billion-dollar subsidies for defense contractors and a halt to military strikes on countries that haven’t attacked the U.S. Defense spending should only cover the immediate defense of U.S. borders from outside attack and continuing services for veterans.” Continue Reading

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Greens: Obama’s pause in drive to attack Syria is good news, but anti-war pressure must continue

green party earthflowerFrom Green Party US:

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders said that President Obama’s decision for a temporary pause in the rush to win congressional authorization and launch an air strike against Syria was good news and a monumental achievement by the American people. Greens now urge the President to call off the attack permanently and instead support nonviolent efforts to end the strife in Syria.

President Obama announced the pause during his address to the nation on Sept. 10. It allows the pursuit of Russia’s proposal for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons to international monitors — a plan Syrian President Assad says he supports (“Failing To Convince on War, US Agrees to Follow Russia’s Path To UN,” Common Dreams, Sept. 10,http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/09/10).

The Green Party opposes any resumption of threats to attack Syria and supports a halt to U.S. arms shipments and training for Syrian rebels. Party leaders reiterated the call for a nonviolent resolution, with diplomacy, participation in the upcoming U.N.-backed Geneva II Middle East peace conference, cooperation with the International Criminal Court, and an across-the-board arms embargo. Continue Reading

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Green Party urges mass protest against “adversarial government”, end to National Surveillance State initiated under Bush, expanded under Obama

green party earthflowerFrom the Green Party of the United States:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party today called for a mass movement to demand the dismantling of the National Surveillance State created by the National Security Agency, CIA, and Justice Department with President Obama’s approval.

Greens also called for a halt to the prosecution of whistleblowers, including Pfc. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, who complied with international laws to which the U.S. is signatory when they exposed war crimes, as well as government and corporate criminality in the U.S. and abroad, and for no action against whistleblower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

“President Obama and Congress members who are defending this kind of mass surveillance don’t understand that adversarial government that turns millions of Americans into potential enemies is the opposite of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law,” said Carl Romanelli, 2006 U.S. Senate candidate in Pennsylvania and member of Green Party’s International Committee. Continue Reading

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Green Party Eastern U.S. House Candidates 2010

There are 60 candidates running for the United States House of Representatives on November 2.

This is the first of three posts on Green Party House candidates, beginning with the Eastern portion of the United States. There are candidates running in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Connecticut

Ken Krayeske (CD 1) – Krayeske is no stranger to media attention ever since his notorious challenge to UCONN coach Calhoun over his salary. Krayeske, now running for the US House, has been picking up a lot of media, most recently from a high profile endorsement from Ralph Nader. Krayeske has a nice website and a great campaign video. (GPW coverage of Krayeske)
G. Scott Deshefy (CD 2) – G. Scott Deshefy is a retired environmental analyst with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. He ran for this same seat in 2008, finishing with 6,287 votes (1.87%). I highly recommend his campaign blog.
Charlie Pillsbury (CD 3) – Pillsbury works part time for Mediators Without Borders. He is a veteran candidate, having run in 2008 for New Haven Registrar of voters (8.15%), in 2005 for Alderman (30.5%), in 2003 for Alderman (38.9%) and in 2002 for US House of Representatives (9,050 votes, 4.9%).

Florida
Nicholas Ruiz III (CD 24) – Ruiz is running a write-in campaign for US House in Florida’s 24th district. He has put out several campaign videos (find them on his website) and took part in debates as well. He is the author of America in Absentia (2008), Integral Reality (with Robert Hassan, forthcoming, 2010) and The Metaphysics of Capital, (2006). He is also the editor of Kritikos.

New Jersey
Mark Heacock (CD 1) – Mark Heacock is a Master Painter, Lacrosse coach and veteran candidate. He ran for New Jersey General Assembly in 2007 (2.86%) and 2005 (5.15%), and Borough Council in 2004 (24%) and 2003 (33%). Check out the videos on his site here.
Steve Welzer (CD 4) – Welzer has been a Green Activist for 20 years, a founding member of the New Jersey Green Party, and co-editor of Green Horizons Magazine. This is his first run for office. Watch his “Candidates on Demand” interview on Youtube here.
Ed Fanning (CD 5) – Fanning has worked for 29 years in the finance industry, and is the Secretary of the Green Party of New Jersey. He ran for this same seat in 2008, finishing with 4,950 votes (1.68%). See his “Candidates on Demand” interview on YouTube here.
Patricia Alessandrini (CD 9) – Alessandrini is a retired nurse who has run for Bergen Freeholder in 2008 and State Assembly in 2003 (1.48%). Watch her “Candidates on Demand” video on YouTube here.

New York
Anthony Gronowicz (CD 7) – A New York City native, Gronowicz was the Green Party candidate for Mayor of New York City in 2005, finishing third of 8 candidates. He has a PhD in New York City Political History and is the author of “Race and Class Politics in New York City Before the Civil War”. Here’s a clip of Gronowicz by Craig Seeman.
Hank Bardel (CD 13) – Bardel is a retired union worker and long time Green Party activist. He last ran for office in 2002 running for the US House and finishing with 1% of the vote. He has also run for City Council twice and State Assembly once. He did not get the signatures necessary to appear on the ballot so he is running a write in campaign.

Pennsylvania
Ed Bortz (CD 14) – Bortz is a retired engineer / electrician, and life long writer, poet, and Green Party activist in the Pittsburgh area. Here is a video of Bortz speaking at a Medicare rally that I highly recommend (watch the nervous people behind him.)

South Carolina
Faye Walters (CD 4) – This is C. Faye Walters’ fourth run for the US House as a Green Party candidate. She finished with 1.23% in 2004, 1.3% in 2006, and 3% in 2008. Furthermore she ran as a Natural Law Party Candidate for U.S. Congress District 4 Representative in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002. She has a rich and varied background, currently a small business owner in Greenville, SC.
Nammu Muhammad (CD 6) – Nammu Muhammad is a life-long resident of the threatened Waverly community in Columbia. An electrician, Nammu has worked against gentrification and the displacement of longstanding communities by a business driven and unaccountable development program.

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GreenGram: Green Party of NJ Newsletter

This is one of my favorite state green party newsletters, so I’m posting it in its entirety…

Green Party of New Jersey

The Green Party of NJ Bulletin – December 2009

* Campaign results and assessments
* County local reports
* Greens Say NO to Obama’s Escalation in Afghanistan
* CT GP would welcome Nader into race against Dodd
* GPNJ members represented in latest Green Horizon Magazine
* Events Calendar
* Links
Continue Reading

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Steve Welzer responds

In an earlier post I reported that New Jersey Congressional candidate Steve Welzer would prefer that the Democrat win the race, and asked that the Democrat endorse Instant Runoff Voting, which the Democrat refused to do. I did not provide a link to the news article I based that report on. That article can be found here.

In a reply posted at the earlier report Welzer responded. Because his reply explains in detail what is a complex position, it is copied and re-posted in it’s entirety here.

The context of my remarks needs to be understood.

The person who’s running as a Democrat, Joshua Zeitz, is unusually progressive and, through, our contact during the campaign, we’ve become pretty friendly. I intend to stay in touch with him because I believe I’ll have a chance of recruiting him to the Green Party (as Hugh Esco of Georgia did with Cynthia McKinney). Meanwhile, the Republican incumbent in this race happens to be radically bad on issues like militarism, abortion rights, women’s rights, and gay rights.

The three of us participated in an editorial board meeting at the offices of the Asbury Park Press. At one point in the discussion each candidate was given the opportunity to pose a specific challenge question to another candidate. I had been hammering on the theme: “open up the electoral system to more voices and more choices” – so I posed the following question to Josh Zeitz, the Democratic: “I’ve heard you say that you’re concerned about having the Green Party candidate drain away votes from you, votes that might make the difference in a close race. In that context, I challenge you to go on record as supporting electoral system reforms like proportional representation or Instant Runoff Voting.”

I said I was running for office for the first time, have much to learn, and it’s not likely that I’ll win in this particular race. I said that, unless there is a last-minute groundswell of support for my candidacy, I’d rather see Zeitz go to Washington than to have Smith re-elected. This was in the context of leading up to: “Mr. Zeitz, if you find it problematic that the Green vote might, from your perspective, be a ‘spoiling’ vote in this race, then you ought to be able to see the logic of implementing Instant Runoff Voting.”

The press reported the responses from Zeitz and Smith as follows:

“Zeitz would not endorse that plan [IRV] because he said he did not have all the details, but he would consider options that would open up American politics to third parties. ‘Third parties reinvigorate debate,’ Zeitz said.

“Smith said third parties should be included in discussions, but he would not endorse a plan to open the American political arena to third parties.”

There was then quite a bit of discussion about IRV, proportional representation, how elections are run in other countries, and why the only-two-choices American system is deficient. So the bottom line is that I managed to get a considerable amount of time of the editorial board meeting devoted to the role of third parties and ways to open up our electoral system. My remarks about probably not winning the race and preferring to see Zeitz go to Washington were brief and peripheral relative to all the points I made in favor of true and full multi-party democracy in general and Green politics in particular.

It may be that the reporter at the meeting was not sympathetic to third parties. In another article he wrote that appeared in the newspaper the next day he said very little about my participation … and the little he did say was flat-out incorrect. I’ll file a protest with the newspaper about this flawed coverage.

Steve Welzer
Green Party candidate for US Congress in NJ’s 4th CD