Wednesday, February 06, 2008

One for the money...

I am starting a new class of links in the right side menu. Under the heading Green Candidates, I will provide a list of those candidates that I have become convinced have a real chance of winning a partisan election in 2008. I would like to accomplish two things.
  • First and foremost, I want everyone to have a chance to see what real candidates are doing and how they do it. I would like to see all candidates in California (and elsewhere) begin to emulate the best that we have.
  • Beyond that, I want to encourage each reader of this blog to donate something to their campaigns. We can only win in those races where we are able to amass enough funding to pay for literature, to pay to staff a campaign office, to pay for television / radio advertising, etc. We need to choose carefully, focus our giving on the best run campaigns, but we do need to contribute.
My first entry is Farheen Hakeem, who is running for a State Legislature seat in District 61B in Minnesota. The link is to her web site. For a quick appraisal of what is possible, let me quote from a note that David Strand posted to a national GP email list today.
I went and helped pass out literature to people attending Independence, Republican, and Democratic Party caucuses in State House District 61B where
Farheen Hakeem is running seeking Green Party endorsement for an open state house seat.

I was a little overwhelmed that I practically got mobbed for Farheen stickers and literature.

Many people said they didn't need lit but are voting for Farheen.

And this was the hard core of the hard core of the competing parties who all recognize Farheen as someone they like from her 2 previous Green Party races.
Farheen's site is not yet set up to accept credit card donations, but any who wish to contribute can do so by check. Checks may be made out to "Neighbors United for Farheen Hakeem" and mailed to the same:
Neighbors United for Farheen Hakeem
c/o Farheen Hakeem
3315 Elliot Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Everything I am reading about the way political opinion might be shaped tell me two things. Americans are optimistic and they value the sense of community. Farheen's campaign embodies those two traits, even to the name they have chosen. "Neighbors United" speaks of the positive things that Farheen will do.

In a real way, we are all part of Farheen's community and like good neighbors, we are here.

I ask all who read this to find me another Farheen Hakeem to add to my list.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this conversation. I am glad to see we're talking about this. To my mind there is nothing more vital to keeping the Green Party alive. As I said in my post to Green Party national delegates today:

What if we finally got a Green in Congress? If we pooled our resources, found a great candidate who already has a base of support in her or his Congressional district, and ran this person against a vulnerable incumbent, I know we could win it. It'll definitely get a lot of media attention -- and a lot of it, even from mainstream sources, will be positive. It will be national news. And it will be a huge victory for our party that can breathe new life into us.

We need a big win. We can have this one -- maybe not in '08 but down the line -- if we choose our battle, and our candidate, wisely. I think the candidate must be someone who has already held a lower elected office. They've got to have credibility with voters in their district, not as a Green but as a leader.

Please note that pursuing such a strategy needn't supersede a Presidential strategy. We can do both.

I do hope in any case that we run to win some key races this year. Nothing turns voters out quite like the prospect of victory.

In order to make this work, we really need to do our homework. We need to look at the demographics in a given district and see if we have a candidate who can sway the major constituencies there. It's not just about who lives in any given district -- it's about who VOTES there. There are a number of companies that provide extremely useful data for candidates to use when trying to figure who is most likely to show up on Election Day. And it is that kind of analysis that is going to be required to secure a victory.

I would like very much to hear about candidates running for Congress in California this year. If anyone can provide details, please do so. Then we can start analyzing each one of these races to see if we've got a real shot at any of them.

Remember folks, wishing don't make it so. But doing your homework can. That, and knocking on every damn door in that district. Let's get to work.

Wes said...

Thanks for the comments, honky d.

I have not analyzed many of the California Congressional Races for Greens. The ones that I have will probably not end up in the column of links, but I hope to be convinced.

I think that it would much more productive for Green to run for State Assembly seats where the current holder is term limited out. The fate of Prop 93 kept many on the sidelines. I know that my own State Assemblyman, John Laird (D) said that he would have run again if it passed. The 3 Democratic challengers had all said that they would have dropped out if he did. Now, they are all in.