Green Party's Prez Candidate Jill Stein On Her Way Running!
Friday’s New York Times has a substantial story on the Green Party’s presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein. FINALLY corporate mainstream media is giving some serious print attention if not air time to the Green Party candidate for President of the United States as a viable alternative.
Susan Saulny addresses anecdotally one of Stein’s main challenges: NAME RECOGNITION. When Keith Brockenberry, a cook, wandered into a Stein meet-and-greet in Roxbury, MA, he was charmed by Stein, but had to inquire blankly, “For president of what?” “For president of the United States,” supplied a supporter. Brockenberry shot back: “Get out of here!"
Dr. Stein is doing all she can to change this scenario. She has been campaigning very hard throughout the country to generate support as well as non-corporate funding.
When she officially accepts the nomination at the Green Party’s convention this weekend in Baltimore, she will be the party’s first candidate to have qualified for federal matching funds — a milestone for this 11-year-old alternative party and potentially a major boost for a campaign that does not accept corporate donations.
The Green Party of the United States expects to be on the ballot in at least 45 states and to spend about $1 million on its campaign. At the moment, it has secured ballot access, an organizational test in itself, in 21 states, including the battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, where the major party candidates, President Obama and Mitt Romney, who are raising tens of millions of dollars every month, are locked in a tight race.
Saulny builds a profile of Dr. Stein. Stein is 62. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. She is a general internist. She is married to a surgeon. She has two adult sons. She lives in Lexington, MA but originally comes from the Chicago area. Saulny also supplies that Jill Stein grooves on organic cooking and “was not too long ago the lead singer of a folksy rock band.”
Stein confesses that she became a citizen candidate when as a doctor she “grew impatient with the social and environmental roots of disease”. She asserts: “I’m now practicing political medicine because politics is the mother of all illnesses.”
The attractive and stylish appearance of Dr. Stein (“sporting bright scarves and slim pant suits” according to Saulny), and her graceful, thoughtful speaking manner belie a tough, passionate and knowledgeable candidate. Stein is capable of deft political zingers. When asked what she learned from debating Mitt Romney in 2002 during the governor’s race, Stein shot back, “It’s easy to debate a robot!” Presumably re: Obama: “We need to have people in Washington who refuse to be bought by lobbyist money and for whom change is not just a slogan!”
Saulny explores Stein’s challenge of increasing citizen awareness of herself and her platform:
She longs to be included in the nationally televised debates, a high hurdle for any third-party candidate. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, a candidate must have “a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate” as determined by five national polling organizations.
Ms. Stein’s problem, then, is of the chicken-and-egg variety: to get national name recognition, she needs television exposure in debates. But she does not qualify for debates because of a lack of national name recognition.
She thinks that is by design, to benefit major parties.
“If they actually have to debate a living, thinking, informed person, it’s very hard for them,” Ms. Stein added, referring to Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney. “They have kind of a mutual agreement, which you can see evident in the nature of their debate right now. If it’s important, they won’t go there. Many issues are not on the table.”
Ms. Stein says she emphasizes issues like ecological sustainability, racial and gender equality, and economic justice. The centerpiece of her platform is a Green New Deal, a twist on the Roosevelt-era programs intended to stimulate job growth and the depressed economy. It could be paid for by ending the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the campaign says, and by eliminating waste in the health care system. Beyond that, Ms. Stein favors a progressive income tax that would raise rates on the wealthy.
Jill Stein's slogan certainly says it all. She is for PEOPLE, PEACE AND PLANET! Can either of the legacy party candidates possibly claim the same thing with a straight face? Wait a minute. As masters of mendacity, of course they can. But they would be L-Y-I-N-G!
Here is a link to a video interview by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now of Stein at the Green Party convention in Baltimore this weekend.
Stein’s recently disclosed VP running mate is activist Cheri Honkala. Here is a short profile from Democracy Now about Honkala with more on the Green Party platform:
Dr. Jill Stein’s Green Party vice-presidential running mate, Cheri Honkala, is a single mother who has firsthand experience with homelessness. In 2011, she ran as the Green Party candidate for sheriff of Philadelphia on a platform of ending foreclosures and halting evictions. "Large sections of the population are just sitting out. ... It’s not just because they’re not interested in what’s happening in this country. They just don’t see that their vote actually matters," Honkala says. "But our campaign gives an opportunity for people to see themselves, because we represent the 99 percent." Her Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is one of the country’s largest movements led by the poor and homeless. We speak with Honkala and Dr. Stein about their campaign for the White House and the challenges they face as a third party in a two-party political system. If elected, Stein says she would work to repeal the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. "There are so many strategies that a president could bring into play to help draw public attention to not only the problem, but how we can solve it with a constitutional amendment to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech."