Jill Stein running for governor

(Teabaggers unite for Brown! - promoted by David)

Stein will once again run for governor as a Green-Rainbow Party candidate. For those who remember her 2002 run, she is an educated, well-spoken, well-informed, and unapologetically progressive candidate.  

Given the concerns many progressives have about Gov. Patrick — his pro-corporate tendencies, his “build, baby, build” attitude towards development and environmental rules, his support of casinos — Stein’s candidacy could be more harmful for Patrick than Cahill’s candidacy is for Baker.

So the question I have is, how many of you BMGers would think of voting for Stein?

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48 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Grace Ross Is Better

     Yes, I know she's gay. She has convrete ideas though.

  2. I like Jill Stein.

    If she were running in the Democratic primary, I would definitely give her a second look, but the fact is, she's  a fringe candidate.  She got just 3% in 2002 and only 18% running for SoS in 2006, even though she was the only challenger.

    If Green-Rainbow or Libertarian candidates really want to be taken seriously, they need to run at the local level.  Capture a State Rep seat or two or a county office.  Get a foothold and then make a claim as the legitimate 2nd party here in Mass.  If they only ever jump in as the 3rd or 4th candidates in the high-profile races, then they will always be viewed as nothing more than spoilers.

    • Indeed!

      I've often wondered why the G-R folks don't really start getting strategic.  Go after open seats in really progressive areas -- state rep and state senate, county seats, that sort of thing.  The power of incumbency is large, so if they would just focus all their efforts on a single seat each go-round, they might pick up a few in a decade.  It doesn't sound like much, but if they got some momentum and some national support -- and if they played nice with the Dems once in office so as not to pick too big a fight -- they might find themselves as powerful as the GOP by 2025.

      Yes, it takes that long.  Change is hard work, and if you want to become a strong third party, you've got to scrape out a meager existence for a while.

      • I agree

        Though dominant, it's not as if the Democratic party is uniform in Massachusetts. There are cities and towns where everyone is formally labeled a D, but with lots of diversity among their positions.

      • it's on all of us to get strategic

        we need to seriously overhaul this voting system!

        • So when is the next episode?

          I know I'm not the only "big D" Democrat on this blog who wants the Greens to be more successful.  This episode ends with "run green" -- but the Green's haven't really done that.  Yeah yeah, they run for governor every four years.  Big whup.  It's the race which satisfies the ego the most but has the least chance of winning.

          We had a Green run for SOComm.  That was great.  But really -- why aren't we seeing Greens running either (a) against GOP candidates in general elections, particularly before a Dem challenger gets in... with the idea of making it a GOP vs. G/R race instead of a three way race, or (b) against Dem candidates in the general elections, particularly in liberal districts where there is no strong GOP challenger... with the idea of making it a Dem vs. G/R race instead of a three way race.

          Either way, the G/R can say they're doing good by liberals -- we either get a G/R instead of GOP or instead of D, but we never end up with a GOP instead of D (like we could with these gubernatorial races).

          Run decent, reasonable people who are smart and good looking and normal and "big G" Green.  Don't run them for the corner office -- run them for state rep seats and city councilor seats.  Get some credibility as a state party.

      • The reason why G-R folks don't $quot;start getting strategic$quot;

        is because, on the whole, the party is filled with a bunch of id...

        Oh, wait, rules of the road and all.

        Let's just say the rank and file Green Party member is usually very content to exist outside the bounds of political relevancy.

        Grace Ross in particular made me sad. She won more than one of the gubernatorial debates, imo, and had many great ideas. If she only ran as a democrat for a different office, she'd have a strong shot. Heck, she'd have a decent shot within the G-R umbrella in several state rep districts.  

    • They need election reform

      When I can vote: "1. Green, 2. Democratic, 3. Libertarian, 4. write in, ... (last). Republican" then Greens will get my vote. Until then I'll give them an occasional vote in races where I figure there's a big enough landslide that my vote doesn't matter.

      • WE need election reform!

        Your unwillingness to vote for your favorite candidate is precisely what cements this anti-democratic system in place! In 2002, Stein was the candidate in the debates that made you say "I want THAT ONE to be my governor!" But the mainstream media went full force against her (after doing everything they could to ignore her and marginalize her). After the Nader experience in 2000, the spoiler argument was an all-too-easy weapon against Stein. The tragedy is that it was used to muzzle her. Her ideas were hands down the best of all the 2002 gubernatorial candidates, but we barely even got to hear them. We were bullied by fear-mongers. A vote for Stein is a vote for Romney. Over and over again. And when all was said and done, her votes COMBINED with O'Brien's didn't match Romney's. While she polled at 7% she got 3%. How high would she have polled if she was treated as a serious candidate from the beginning? How high would she have polled if people didn't reflexively think "I'd support her if she had a shot at winning"? That attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy!

        In 2006, people were happy to have someone to vote FOR, rather than AGAINST. But in 2010, the only candidate worth voting FOR will be Jill Stein. It should have been clear to all progressives on day one that Deval Patrick was a corporate shill masquerading as a progressive outsider force. Quoted in the Globe before he even took office... saying that the biggest misconception about him was the whole "liberal thing"... meanwhile that was the most carefully constructed and marketed image you could imagine... all the while he never took solid positions as a candidate and progressives didn't feel the need to try to force some promises/accountability out of him.

        Everyone should start supporting the Voter Choice campaign for 2012. But more importantly, once we start voting and hitting the streets for our favorite candidates -- the ones who actually articulate what we believe in and what we hold dear -- THEN the system has to respond. Until we actually put our votes where our hearts are, then we render ourselves voiceless and powerless. Go ahead and tie your hands behind your back and see how that gets you to where you want to go! I refuse to buy into this game if you have to shut up in order to play! Enough!

        • I mean this with love

          whining and crying and pleading and being a victim doesn't help.  It just helps the middle 60% of voters continue to think of G/R as fringe wackos.

  3. Well-spoken?

    During her campaign, she was airy, by all appearances scared of numbers, and offered little by way of implementable ideas.  While I wish there were a true progressive in this race, I think it is possible to be both progressive and pragmatic.

    My favorite memory of Jill Stein is when she led a protest against minor candidates being shut out of a gubernatorial debate...and refused to share the megaphone with another minor candidate who also showed up.

    I don't agree with Grace Ross on many things, but she knew what she was talking about...I wish she'd run again.  As for Stein, why not take a flyer on a lower constitutional post, where she'd have a shot?

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  4. Would there be support for Grace?

    Given the early comments on this thread, allow me to ask these questions:

    (1) How many BMGers would think of voting for Grace Ross? (2) Would it make a difference if she ran as an independent, or if she ran a primary battle as a Dem against Deval?

    • Sorry

      I don't think I answered the question well in the previous ranty post, I want a real progressive Democrat, in elected office, to have the gumption to challenge Deval. But I won't hold my breath while waiting.  

  5. Not sure

    I wish there was a progressive alternative to Deval Patrick and Martha Coakley, and I would be inclined to vote for a third party candidate to break up the one party state a little bit more. I voted for Stein for SoS, the Green party candidate against Cahill, and the Working Families candidate against DeNucci, but for Governor, in a seriously contested race where every vote will count, I will likely be choosing between the two party candidates. Stein could be an attractive candidate for those that feel betrayed by Deval, but besides a few of us here on BMG, I don't see a lot of grumbling from the progressives about Deval, his base still thinks he is alright, his bigger trouble will come from the lunch pail Democrats that Cahill is courting, and the independents Baker is courting, those two groups went big for Deval and they won't be around this time.

    I suspect Stein will get below 5%. Also I am leery of voting for people without credible experience in either business or government. If there was a Green state rep or Senator running, or even Luc Shuster the Green school committee rep in Cambridge, that would be one thing. But someone with NO experience other than being a professional protester is not someone who I want running the corner office. Obama was smart enough to run for State Senate before running for Senator, knowing full well a 'community organizer' is not a real job.  

    • To pick nits...

      'community organizer' is most certainly a real job -- if it comes with salary and responsibilities, it's a real job.  Just like college professor, bus driver, CIO, janitor, and movie star are all real jobs.

      The better point methinks is that the job of 'community organizer' doesn't clearly translate well to being a good legislator or a good executive... so it helps to have something else on the resume which points to your ability to get the job that you're applying for done and done well.

    • Deval's $quot;Green (party) Problem$quot;

      Can't disagree with most of what you've said.

      Stein is not going to appeal to a majority of mainstream Massachusetts voters. (If they think Deval represents "Moonbats," boy, they ain't seen nothing yet...and I do use that term affectionately)

      Cahill is easily the most dangerous third-party candidate on paper..again, "on paper." If he wasn't the most socially conservative candidate in the race, he'd have even more appeal.

      But Stein or Grace Ross could draw just enough lefty votes away to cause problems for the sitting governor.

      I'm wary of using the term fringe candidates, because candidates are only fringe to the extent we, the voters and politically active, keep them on the fringe. Ron Paul was considered a longtime fringe candidate, but now, God help us, he is a major player on the right.

      If we want to make Jill Stein/Grace Ross major players on the state's political scene, we can.

      • Ron Paul

        Ron Paul may have a very vocal and devoted group of followers, but I think it remains to be seen if he can become a "major player."  He still got buried in every primary and caucus and he continues to be marginalized by the likes of Limbaugh and Steele.  He endorsed the Constitition Party candidate for President and that guy got less than half a percent. So far, he's been unable to translate his influence into votes.

        I think this goes to my point above- Ron Paul ran for President as a Libertarian in 1988 and was viewed as a "fringe" candidate, but it was only when he did so within the Republican Party that people began to take him seriously.

        If the Ron Pauls of the world suddenly jumped to the Libertarian party, all of a sudden they'd have a handful of seats in Congress as an established 3rd party and they'd have some credibility. Until then, they (and the Greens, etc) will always be the candidates who make a lot of noise and then can't muster 3% in any given election.  That's what makes them fringe.

  6. either Stein or Ross would get my vote . . .

    . . . if that causes a problem for the Democrats, it's fine with me.

    • Here's how I see it.

      You remember Monty Hall?  He had this television game show where you'd pick one of the three doors.  Behind one door was a toaster, behind another was a donkey, and behind a third was a Corvette.  Invariably, the contestant would pick door 2 (without loss of generality) and he'd show the toaster behind door 1 (wlog).  The question: do you want to switch to door 3 or keep what's behind door 2?  You'll either get a donkey or a Corvette.

      You're playing the same game.  The difference is, there are 10,000 doors.  Scott Brown is behind 9,998 of them.  You pick door number 3629.  He then opens up door number 2091 which has Deval Patrick behind it.  Instead of taking Deval Patrick, you opt to keep your door, hoping it's the one with Rosstein and not one of the 9,998 with Scott Brown.

      Now, if you liked Scott Brown better than Deval Patrick, this would make sense.  But if you like Deval Patrick better than Scott Brown, it doesn't really matter how much more you like Rosstein -- the odds are overwhelming that you're going to take Scott Brown home instead.

      • You mean Baker, I assume, not Scott Brown . . .

        unless Monty Hall is more powerful than I think he is.  Here's how I see it:  It's more like "The Price is Right".  If we leave Gov Patrick to his own devices he'll bid $1 to the left of the republican, and leave us to pick the lesser of two evils.  If he really has to worry about losing lots of voters on the left, he'll have to find some way to win our votes.

        • I did indeed.

          and you make a fair point... but it's only a fair point if you're willing to vote for Patrick.  You began by claiming that either Stein or Ross would (not could or might) get your vote.

  7. Noooooooooooooooooooo!

    Stein and Green Party are playing the Nader role all over again.  Win a City Council race or run for State Rep. first.  Prove that you can win something instead of being a spoiler for once.

  8. Go for the open seats

    State Senator Galluccio is out. I'd love for her to run for his seat. No big deal to start now for the coming election, whether special, or next fall.

    I would never vote for her for Gov.

    But it would show the necessity of the Democratic party to really organize. This state is ripe for a strong 3rd party, if that 3rd party got it together to run for office and get 10 to 20 people in the state house. That would be cool, to have a 3rd party bigger than the Republicans in the General Court.

    • Does she live in his district?

      If so, that is a great idea.  Governor is a waste of time.  3% tops.

      • A waste of time and money. She could spend less money on a State Rep/Senate race

        and have much better results. I for one would vote Green for State Senate, especially if Tim Toomey runs for Gooch's seat. Then I would have no choice!

      • no, she doesn't

        Does she live in his [Galluccio's] district?

        No. She lives in Lexington, in Ken Donnelly's senate district and Tom Stanley's house district, as noted in stomv's post below (more commentary about that shortly).

        Note that Stein is an elected representative Town Meeting Member in Lexington, but that's small potatoes compared to what we're talking about here.

      • Doesn't need to live in district

        Only State House candidates must live in district. For State Senate, merely must reside in district at time of election. http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele...

        • I'd be interested...

          ...in why there are different standards for the two chambers of the General Court in this regard.  Does anyone know the background on that?

          • Mass Constitutional Amendment specifies, 1975

            In the 1975 amendment CI (number 101) specifies the Senate and House residency. I have not reviewed earlier amendments to see if this is an old standard, reproduced in the amendment. This was the amendment that changed the House from multi-representative districts, and 240 seats, to 160 seats. On the change of the number of representatives, see the League of Women Voters site: History: http://www.lwvma.org/legislatu... The amendment itself: http://www.mass.gov/legis/cons...

            For the State House of Representatives, Mass Constitutional Amendment CI (101), Section 1. "Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen."

            For the State Senate: Amendment CI, Section 2. "...and at the time of his election shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen"

          • Residency standards are original in 1780 constitution

            OK, the initial 1780 text of the Massachusetts constitution specified the same residency requirement that is currently the case.

            State Senators originally merely must reside within district at the time of election, and Representative must have resided for a year in the district.

            Sources: Part II, Chapter I, Section III, Article III (House of Representatives)  http://www.mass.gov/legis/cons...   "and for one year at least next preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of, and have been seised in his own right of a freehold of the value of one hundred pounds within the town he shall be chosen to represent"

            Part II, Chapter I, Section II, Article V (The Senate) http://www.mass.gov/legis/cons... "and at the time of his election, he shall be an inhabitant in the district for which he shall be chosen."

            • Thank you

              I actually did browse the Constitution and find those provisions.  I guess what I was trying to find out was the why, as in the rationale, for the difference.  If anything it would make more sense to have more restrictive requirements for the more exclusive chamber.

              Now that I think of it one reason might be the Senate was elected by district from the beginning and the framers recognized that lines could be redrawn, thus somebody without moving could suddenly find himself living in a different district.  The House in contrast was originally elected by towns, each town electing one or more Representatives based on population.  Thus it was more reasonable to expect that a person might live in the town for a year without being gerrymandered out.  Maybe, therefore, the different requirements were just held over, but now with both chambers being districted I think similar residency requirements make more sense.

  9. Doesn't have to live in district right now

    Candidates in the State Senate must merely be an inhabitant of the disctrict when elected. See the Mass Sectretary of State's guide for candidates. http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele...

    State Senator    * Must be at least 18 years of age.    * Must be a registered voter.    * Must be a U.S. citizen.    * Must be an inhabitant of the district when elected.    * Must be an inhabitant of Massachusetts for at least 5 years.    * Requires certified signatures of 300 voters registered in the district.

  10. I liked Jill Stein

    a lot in 2002- but never seriously considered voting for her because Shannon was so much preferable to Mitt and it was clear that she would need every vote available to win.

    Deval has been a major disappointment and Baker is way less offensive than Mitt and I will definitely consider voting for her this time.  

    • The Baker who was head of

      the administration's A&F during the Big Dig?

      You've got to be kidding me.

      The only real difference between Baker and Romney is that Romney had hundreds of millions of his own personal funds to help himself get the seat, which helped clear the field for him. Baker actually has to run in a primary because he doesn't. But would Baker say and do Romney-esque things if it helped him win? Sure. It's just that Romney didn't start treating Massachusetts as the butt of his jokes until Romney started running for President.  

      • Not kidding

        Gov. Patrick hired Jim Aloisi, architect of that program who got rich off it, as his "transportation czar"...just last year.  So, I'm not sure how much I'd hold it against Baker for not resigning from A & F over it at the time.

        I'm not saying I like all his politics, but I do get the impression that Baker is, as a person, a lot more genuinely accepting I ever did with Mitt.

        • So,

          because Patrick selected Jim Aloisi, it's okay to put Baker in? With that kind of logic, I'm surprised you're not trying to recruit Jim Aloisi to run for Governor. As the saying goes, "two wrongs don't make a right."  

          • not following you

            But, the saying that come to mind regarding Aloisi and this election is, "he knows where the bodies are buried."  Who was it again that said that?

    • Shannon who?

      and look how far voting for her got you. Jill Stein, I think people still remember her. I'd vote for her again.  

  11. to rephrase a lot of the good points already here

    I ask the question:  What is Jill Stein trying to accomplish?  If she's trying to build the Green Party, she's making the wrong move and should look for local and/or state rep races, for herself and her fellow party members.  If she's looking to challenge Patrick from the left then she could really make a statement by joining the Democratic party and making a primary challenge (or supporting another candidate who did so).  I support Governor Patrick but also believe, from my own political perspective, that everyone should be challenged from the left.

    Again I ask, what is Jill Stein trying to accomplish?  Since she's not making a smart move in either party building or direct challenge, I'm still scratching my head.

  12. I voted for Jill Stein in 2002....

    and I would consider voting for her again this year.  The Green-Rainbow Party is still relatively small and I would assume that it is the party's strategy to gain more recognition across the state by running statewide candidates.  This makes perfect sense to me.  

    Jill Stein did run for State Representative once before, so we cannot fault her for not doing that.

    I will also join those who have advocated for electoral reform.  We need Instant Runoff (or Ranked Choice) voting in the Commonwealth.  Or else we'll be stuck with the same old tepid Democratic incumbents who have been running our General Court and communities for years.  

    • And she should have stuck with it...

      as per wikipedia...

      Following her defeat to Mitt Romney, Stein ran for state representative in 2004 for the Ninth Middlesex District.[citation needed] She received 21.3% of the vote, ahead of Republican Linda Fosburg, with 18.9% of the vote, but behind the Democratic incumbent Thomas M. Stanley, who received 59.6% of the vote.[2]

      She beat the GOP candidate.  She should have run again in 2006, trying to get a bigger share.  Organize more, raise more funds, work damn hard campaigning.  Get to know the neighbors, every street.

      I'm not saying she would have won in 2006, but instead of losing by 38 points, she might have lost by 18 points, fewer if she caught a break.  Since she finished ahead of the GOP candidate, she would have gotten full media coverage during the race (which isn't much for anyone, but it would have helped), and likely would have gotten more national support.

      Instead, she ran for SOCom, which did nothing to help the G/R actually gain some seats in government.

      • I agree that...

        she should have considered running for State Rep again in 2006.  But I would also point out that the main reason she probably got 21% of the vote and defeated the Republican candidate was because she ran for governor.  People were familiar with her because they had seen her in gubernatorial debates and read about her in the newspaper.  The run for governor gave her and her party important visibility.

      • sounds good in theory - but you have to look at the district

        Ninth Middlesex. - Consisting of precincts 2, 3 and 4, of the town of Lexington, and all precincts of wards 1, 2, 3 and 4, and precinct 1 of ward 7, of the city of Waltham, both in the county of Middlesex.


        I remember a lot of hubbub among Lexington Democrats during this race. Stein had a lot of vocal support and while I don't remember the numbers, I'd be interested to see how much of her support came from Lexington.

        But I think the bottom line is that the majority of the district is in Waltham (only 1/3 of Lexington is in the district) which obviously favors Stanley. I'm not so sure of the upside of taking him on again when the result is pretty much fated.

        It may have made more sense for her to throw her hat into the ring when Havern resigned and/or when the Marzilli kerfluffle occurred. The electorate of the senate district (particularly all of Arlington and 2/3 of Lexington) seem like friendlier ground than Waltham. But now I don't think she'd have a chance against Donnelly.

        One more note: If Lexington becomes unified in a single house district (next year?), she'll likely be in Jay Kaufman's district. That would be another race she couldn't win, at least as long as Kaufman is still running.

  13. Feisty rally!

    Looked like there was almost going to be a fist fight.  

  14. The Stein Campaign: Serious, decidely viable, and in some senses necessary

    Plenty of interesting comments above about Green strategy.

    As for shooting for the moon: the criticism is fair enough. But from what I gather, Dr. Stein is the only state-level Green candidate to have made her intentions known. Others may in fact follow. Would be interesting to see a re-nascent third party run a full slate.But if the GRP does run serious candidates for, say, Sec, Treas., Auditor, etc, then why not engage on the gubernatorial level as well?

    I agree with those of you who feel that the GRP needs to pursue some low[er]-hanging fruit, and I hope they do. But it's not a zero sum game, and running for other offices doesn't preclude showing up for the governor's race.

    And I'd disagree that a serious third-party run is out the question right now. In '08--absolutely; running against the Dems would have been nonsensical-- I probably could have run for dogcatcher on an "against Bush" platform and won. But '10 is shaping up quite differently on the national level, and I think we could well see a similar reaction here in MA. As defections from Obama are indicating, abandoning your base is never such a hot idea. DP may learn the same lesson.    

    The question as posed is: "would I vote for JS?," not "will I." Which is why I'm surprised to see so many folks who are clearly disgruntled (at best) with the current leadership responding as sharply as they are. I'd be loathe to discount ANY candidate prior to seeing his or her platform unveiled. I do know that I'm wholly uninspired by the candidates who have announced. (The thought of propping up the state economy via casinos strikes me as an idea truly worthy of a fringe candidate, and an indication of just how  close to the bottom of the barrel our current leadership is scraping when it comes to ideas. The Green-Rainbow Party here in MA obviously faces an uphill climb, but I'm wide open to alternative ideas on the state economy.)

    As well as on healthcare. How is it that third parties are always labeled "impractical," when both Patrick and Baker endorse continuing a system that's clearly not working? This budget-buster IS one issue on which Stein is, I think, as well-versed as anyone. To discount someone like that from the start has me scratching my head.

    I know dyed-in-the-wool, traditional Democrats aren't going to look outside the Party. I can understand that. But recent polls have shown that a staggering number of progressives (nationwide), who've been truly turned off by the rather inept centrist in the Oval Office, are considering staying home come November. Young people are not going to get all excited about Deval's deals with developers and casino employment (but may well respond to a candidate that addresses climate change in a substantive (not band-aid way) manner and has some real ideas on green jobs creation). Couple that with the abysmal turn out in the run-off for TK's seat, and you're already looking at glum base here in MA and some grim horizons (die-hard Democrats and Patrick supporters will show up, of course, but let's admit that Deval isn't exactly going to rouse the discouraged, the independent, and the whopping numbers of unaffiliated voters in the state).

    With that in mind, I think the Stein campaign deserves a closer look. And will receive one from the electorate at large.The GRP will inevitably peel some support from Patrick, and, if and when the campaign serves up those "implementable ideas," that effect could easily snowball. But there are clearly large segments of the electorate for whom mention of Patrick and Baker are going to elicit nothing but a blank stare or a scowl, and a strategic campaign offering the combination of insight AND inspiration (yep, the latter matters--folks are still hungry here in MA for what Obama delivered last season) could rouse that sleeping giant.

    For all these reason, then, yes, I'd be loathe to discount Stein's attractiveness--to me, personally, as a voter (the endless need to compromise is one thing, but being endlessly sold out has become a bit much--tired of having my admittedly progressive vote taken for granted); and I'd definitely be wary of discounting her viability. Patrick and Baker are going to look all-too-similar when confronted by a challenger whose ideas are not wildly radical, but alternative--and sane and, yes, as someone notes above, that need to be ground(ed in real numbers and implementable. But Greens, like everyone else, learn from their mistakes). The state of the state, combined with the big hangover Obama supporters are suffering, could translate into a very receptive audience for whatever alternatives a Stein--or any other 3rd party candidate for that matter--might provide.    

    As for running as a progressive Democrat in the primaries--do you really want the issue of campaign finance brought up in that environment? I mean, there is a gentleman's agreement among Democrats--and Republicans--that we don't talk about that particular elephant in the room, right? GRP candidates refuse corporate monies. Naive, you'll say, of course; but to a growing number of voters, less naive, perhaps, than believing that politicians beholden to their contributors will place the people's interests before the folks who put the money down. Not taking said monies isn't some holier-than-thou, uptight moralistic stance--it's at the heart of the GRP diagnosis of the rot at the heart of our body politic. It would, I think, be very hard for a candidate who believes this to join a Party who pooh-poohs the idea that corporate influence peddlers shouldn't be gaming the system. And, refusing to beg for such contributions, such a candidate would fare no better in the high-rollin' Democratic primaries than as an outsider in the general gubernatorial.  

    I don't think too many Greens believe that occupying select office chairs changes much, but a run for governor allows SOMEONE to actually speak publicly in a campaign about instant run-off voting and clean elections--two notions supported by voters that aren't likely to get much air time without some third-party input. The powers-that-be among Democrats and Republicans appear to perfectly content with the game as it's played, swapping the governor's chair every four years while the senate and legislature go on their merry way. Are the voters? Look at the number of unaffiliated voters, look at turn out.

    If it increases voter turnout, if it injects some new ideas about the process into the process, if it forces incumbents and major party challengers to talk about issues they'd certainly prefer to avoid, then I think a gubernatorial run by any third party has to be recognized as plus in the Commonwealth. And if her platform addresses, in a meaningful and implementable way,  the concerns of progressives who don't see Patrick getting the job done, then not only would she get my vote--she will get my vote.

    • I hear you

      and appreciate your post.  You make two statements which perhaps are the difference between a green Democrat and a Green democrat...

      Patrick and Baker are going to look all-too-similar when confronted by a challenger whose ideas are not wildly radical, but alternative--and sane and, yes, as someone notes above, that need to be ground(ed in real numbers and implementable.

      From where I sit, Patrick and Baker don't look all-too-similar, even if Ghandi sits on one side and Mussolini on the other.  Their policies are different.  Their tactics are different.  Their foci are different... and substantially different in my view.  When GRP takes the tack that D and R are the same, why would I continue listening when I know that D and R simply are in no way the same.

      If it increases voter turnout, if it injects some new ideas about the process into the process, if it forces incumbents and major party challengers to talk about issues they'd certainly prefer to avoid, then I think a gubernatorial run by any third party has to be recognized as plus in the Commonwealth.

      But it hasn't.  Stop 10 people and ask them what instant runoff voting is.  Stop another 10 and ask them to say something about clean elections.  The fact is that the runs for governor have not substantially raised awareness for these two important issues.

      I think IRV is the key, and I think the GRP needs IRV to grow.  I also think that the GRP is going about getting IRV in an ineffective way.  Here's what I would do: 1.  Choose a date for it to be on the ballot statewide.  Give yourself plenty of time. 2.  Three years before that, choose 20 rep districts across the Commonwealth where you've got the most supporters and activists.  Draw up non-binding ballot initiatives asking those reps to support IRV. 3.  Get loads of petitions signed, work your butts off, and get big numbers in those 20 rep districts.  You won't win them all, but you'll learn an awful lot about what works and what doesn't. 4.  Use that learning to train new people, get new people excited, improve upon your materials, etc. 5.  Now, if (3) was successful, goto 6.  Else go to (2) but expand that number to 30 or 40. 6.  Go for it statewide, with big effort.  Get national greens, libertarians, etc to join in.  No state uses IRV for federal offices to my knowledge, so all third parties would have a vested interest in shattering this glass ceiling.

      Note that none of this involves supporting a single person for governor.  It doesn't involve standing around with signs and cowbells.  It doesn't involve bitching about corporate influence or how Dem==GOP or single payer or Iraq or any other issue which the GRP has a very strong opinion on.  This is pure civic organizing, not political organizing.  It involves hard work, it involves making nice with all your neighbors, it involves getting doors slammed in your face, it involves constant letters to the editor, resolutions in Town Meetings, coffees, working with the LWV, explaining what the initiative means to both Dem and GOP town committees.  It means working with the other 97% of the community, not being antisocial or indignant.

      Now, you do this, and I as a Big D Democrat will work my arse off to help.  I'll get you the majority of my precinct, and I'll drive turnout to make up for quiet precincts elsewhere.  The GRP has a small number of very dedicated but not necessarily well trained supporters.  You've got to use that human capital wisely, and work to grow its size and effectiveness.  More cowbell is not the answer, contrary to Christopher Walken's claims.

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Fri 28 Nov 3:12 PM