Sunday, February 05, 2006

Senate Candidates

There are three candidates running for the Green Party nomination for Senate. That is the chance to be beaten by DiFi. Since the media and just about everyone else considers any race against Feinstein to be quixotic, one journalist I know replied to my comments on any race against Feinstein with "zzzzzzzzzzzz", you have to question why each of the three are running.

One look at his web site makes it clear why Todd Chretien is running.
ThatÂ’s why IÂ’m asking you to volunteer time, donate whatever amount you can and cast your vote for peace. LetÂ’s bring the anti-war movement to the polls. Sen. Feinstein has all the money, the corporate connections, and the defense contractors on her side. All we have is the desire to build a movement for peace and justice.

It is almost as if he is a stand in for Cindy Sheehan. In fact, the buzz about the potential of Sheehan's entry into the race as a Democrat has filled Green Discussion lists as well as gotten media attention. It seems that Cindy will have to make

Tian Harter has a broader view, but one with less overall media attention. Again, going to his web site, he tells you why he is running.
I'm running because I want to tell as many people as possible that we need to mend our fuelish ways. It's all about using that First Amendment "right to petition the government" to talk about the 2,000 lb. Elephant in the living room, that being the consumer lifestyle corporations are advertising. I've got some creative solutions about how we can change the situation I want to share. I'm looking for opportunities to talk about it with anyone that wants to know more

Kent Mesplay was rather more specific and truthfully more realistic in his definition of what he is trying to do. The following is a slightly edited version from an email that he sent to a group of people.

Kent Mesplay, Green Party presidential candidate intends to use the U.S. Senate Race to gain popular support, especially among the youth, to do the following:
  1. build the Green Party into a sustainable "leadership" body that will help us to: positively prepare for the probable continued and escalated consequences of Global Climate Change;and 2) speak in shorter sentences
  2. have a Renaissance in civic participation (yes, a Green can win!),
  3. make better use of our Solar assets,
  4. Improve relations with Mexico,
  5. have a physical security that is "built-in," in terms of water, food, housing, transportation and medicine (ALL medicine, including of the Spirit) and that will grow as a team, nationally and internationally to check the conditions that lead to war and thus prevent most war.

Ours is a peace movement and there is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong in looking out for future generations by helping to make our democracy more democratically accessible. There are jobs in Green Business, especially when such is presented as a Security Issue. Our lives and those of the future depend upon good governance and a severing of the corruptive cord that links earmarked projects to Selected Official.

Publicly funded campaigns, a Revised electoral system that fosters coalition-building and preferential voting: I.R.V., Single Payer Health Care for All, An energy-independent California based upon Renewable Energy leading the global economy, and not just being number six with the importance of our business. Mesplay for Senate. These are astatementsnts that one can expect to hear in an educational and convivial contested Green Party Primary race for U.S. Senate.

It is clear the Kent is trying to broaden the range of the debate. It is the exact opposite tactic from Todd's, who is trying to use the energy that is in the anti-war movement to carry him through. Tian is somewhere in the middle in this.

If I think about what I want a Senator to be doing, what they should work on, then the I want someone in that office who is concerned with the events of my life. Kent comes the closest doingign that. While Todd focuses on Feinstein's position on the war, I would argue that the single worst thing that she has done is to force CalFed on the people of California as the solution to the problems of managing the water in the delta. CalFed is not as successful solution and has embarked on programs that are proving to be an environmental disaster in the Sacramento / San Joaquin Delta.

There are a range of issues that should occupy the attention of the Green Party, not the least of which is good local governance. A preoccupation with the big issues of the progressive left may energize some segment of the electorate, but it looses the rest. I much prefer Kent's approach, focusing on the things that make a difference, supporting a range of Green Solutions and working with the local green communities on their problems.

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