Sunday, May 07, 2006

Senate Candidates

I have tried to make this site a discussion venue. Only a few have really participated. Still, I will continue laying out my opinions for what it is worth.

Here is number one.

I will not vote to Todd Chretien for Senator. While he is running around acting the candidate, he does not communicate. Even his mentor, Peter Camejo, does a far better job and is willing to spend a little time when asked. When I asked Todd questions about his candidacy, directly or later through the Cal Forum email list, he has been silent. Oh, he sends out his press release messages, but has not engaged in any sort of conversation.

On the other hand, both Kent Mesplay and Tian Harter have given me good reasons to vote for them.

I would want a Green Candidate in this election to take on the issue of energy use in the united states. That is one issue that affects every one of us. In fact, if one were to decide which issues to emphasize based on public polling, then energy and gasoline prices would be at the top of the list.

Tian has long been associated with the campaign to "mend our fuelish ways." This terminoligy has been so identified with Tian from his long association with energy issues that you can not separate them. He makes his position clear on his profile at smartvoter.org. Among his priorities is the determination "To draw connections between good citizenship in daily life and doing political acts. We need to stop voting for oil companies at the gas pump." The facts of this case argue the Tian is right.

Another issue that is hanging over all of us is the specter of global warming. We may not want to think about it, it is too big, too abstratct, there is little that we perceive that we can do, and, besides big oil and the Bush administration tell us that there is not enough data on which to make any sound policy judegements so just keep on doing what you are doing. (Isn't that a poicy judgement?)

Kent Mespaly has identified this as a key priority for him.
that national government would do better to promote REAL physical security, including steps to mitigate the nightmarish consequences of global climate change. Absent leadership from Washington, D.C. we must do what we can within our state to become self-reliant down to the county level. When we do this we will grow the economy through job creation in vital sectors such as energy and small-scale agribusiness. We can have a physical security that is built-in, allowing the populace to feel more secure and reducing our reliance on the federal government in the advent of real terror.


While Todd is running a campaign from the left, both Tian and Kent are running for office based on a sense of the truth of all 10 key values. I can support either Tian or Kent and would work hard to get them as many votes as possible. I do not have the sense that Todd represents the Green Values that I am interested in.

This campaign is about more than a catchy phrase like "A Million Votes for Peace." All three Green Party Senate Candidates are in opposition to the War in Iraq but there is more to this camapign and Kent and Tian know that. If we are to make headway as a party in California, we need someone to make sure that our candidates are grounded in the principles of being Green, are capable of making the case that the environment is not something we visit but is where we live.

8 comments:

TianHarter said...

Thank you Wes for the kind mention! I invite everybody to find out more about my campaign on my website at TianHarter.org . Don't be fuelish!

Roger, Gone Green said...

As a closeted Green for many years (I didn't register, and then when I did I didn't tell people)I am only recently active in actual Green electoral politics.

I have been flummoxed and flustered to discover how much of the Green party takes its positioning from stale Socialist positions, or other elements of the far-left.

I find this approach no more useful than that of the xenophobic, narrow-minded, authoritarian approach of the ascendant faction of the right -- and particularly the religious right -- in the Republican party.

I am absolutely certain that Green values are not the values of the traditional (old worn out) left: Oh there is some common ground, but Green is Green

The Green I see in the 10 KV describes a new middle that is neither so extreme as either the worn-out Left or Right nor as useless as the current "moderate" position.

The current "Moderate" is mostly just a little less left or a little less right in voting pattern -- perhaps instead of "Moderate" they should be called "Equivocal".

Or perhaps such voters are in this place because Left and Right are all they are given to choose from when neither will do?

Within Green party values there are elements that the extremists can like: Grassroots Democracy and decentralization appeals to the former Republi-tarian mindset; Social Justice concepts excite the left, etc., etc. But we should not be allied with either set of extremes.

The potential energy of the 10 KV carried forward as a new, biology centered, fairness-first position that is not left, not right nor even equivocal/moderate is stunning.

Because of this I truly cannot support those candidates that come to the Green party with essentially socialist bents or vocabulary.

Now I know this is preaching to the choir, but I feel strongly enough about it that it will affect any endorsement votes I give as a member of a local or the County Council. I am probably even going to do a personal slate mailer for our district, so your thoughts on the candidates are welcome.

One problem I have is that I can never FIND Mr. Mesplay . . . he has a website, but I am none the wiser for having visited it . . .

Orval Osborne said...

Thank you for putting your views out there in public. I am not going to vote for Chretien, and I fear he will win based on his connections and not on his merit. I am not opposed to socialism but the ISO has a different value system than the Greens' 10 key values.

I also don't think the Green Party should position itself to the left of the Democrats, but rather for sustainability, social justice, etc, independent of what the other Parties say.
+Orval Osborne

Lisa said...

I'm concerned about the ISO possibly using us and our ballot line as well. Isn't the Peace & Freedom Party platform actually socialist, so since the ISO doesn't have a socialist party ballot line to run on in CA (or probably anywhere in US),why wouldn't Todd run for P&F instead of Green?
Is it because we have a bigger organization?

Too bad the 3 candidates couldn't get some kind of webcast debate going, but then how many would watch it? Probably most of us insiders and active Greens already know who we are going to vote for, and the other Greens probably don't even realize it is contested.

Thanks for your blog, Wes.

Lisa in LA

Kent Mesplay said...

Thanks, Wes. Hello everyone (thanks for the prod, Orval). I am back in the race: template, graphics, text, (transfered to new host server) should be all going by Tuesday, three weeks before the election. I responded to Smart Voter and others and I just sent in my info to Vote Smart.
I am off to Visalia for our first senatorial debates, tomorrow (Saturday the 13th of May).
More later. This is my first ever blog posting. Please wait just a few more days before checking out my web site...In the meantime, you can write to me at kmesplay@msn.com (but I am gone this weekend to debate).

Maybe I'll kick off my campaign soon.

Roger, Gone Green said...

Actually, Lisa, I think it is right that most rank-and-file Greens are not aware of the primary issues or choices -- which is precisely why I am creating a "slate mailer" to email to folks I can contact. I intend to do it independently, and I may email it, but I am hoping to have a (small) effect on several races where I have strong opinions. . .

Wes said...

This is the debate and the commentary that I had hoped would develop when I first set up cagreening. While I value my own opinion, the citizens of California (not just the Green Part) are best served with a discussion of ideas and solutions that is out front and public.

I had a communication recently from a member of the Santa Clara County Council. They were concerned that the real Green message was not getting to the general public and wanted to do something about it. Roger has, using his own initiative. Maybe we can do something similar in Silicon Valley.

Lisa said...

I'm glad people are chiming in here; it takes time.

I have been promoting this blog because Wes has put a lot of thought into these posts and the GPCA; a blog is better than lists for organizing info; and I think listserves are passe, not for GPCA committee work, but for reaching potential Greens, new Greens and potential Green Party activists!

The Greens Cal Forum, an active statewide list, consists of mainly old timer insider Greens, talkin to ourselves. If it was used more for organizing and sharing positive strategies i would like it better and i tried to steer it that way, but there aren't enough new people finding it.

I've gotten about all I can get out of the GCF list after a year on it. Blogs are the future.

I hope at some point there is an official GPCA blog commons, to consolidate and make it easier for new folks to find and plug in. There are a growing number of individual green blogs, the challenge is how to share the knowledge.

Check out the green commons, with many green bloggers nationwide:
http://www.greencommons.org/

Lisa Taylor
Los Angeles City Greens Vol. Coord.