Green-Rainbow Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein has failed to qualify for up to $519,000 in public funding, a setback for her struggling candidacy but one that gives Governor Deval Patrick a boost.
Stein, who needed to submit $125,000 in qualifying donations by last Friday’s deadline, fell short by just $3,000, according to Brad Balzer, deputy director of the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Jill Stein was never going to win this election. But if she had qualified for half a million bucks in public financing, she could at least have made a decent amount of noise while not winning. Now that public financing is out of the picture, though, it’s well and truly over. She won’t win, and she won’t make much noise in the process.
The right thing to do, then, is to end her campaign. There is simply no point in sticking around for the sole purpose of appearing in the occasional debate (as election day draws closer, some media outlets will shut her out) and pretending to supply a realistic lefty alternative to Governor Patrick. She won’t win, and she can’t win, and all she can do at this point is throw the race to Charlie Baker. Frankly, I don’t think she will even do that, since I think that (a) she won’t get enough votes, and (b) many Stein voters are people who otherwise wouldn’t show up. But it’s (barely) within the realm of possibility. Is that really worth doing?
Next time around, Green-Rainbow Party, why not do things the right way. Stop pretending you can win a top-of-the-ticket race before establishing any sort of real presence in this state. Field a solid, respectable slate of candidates for the state legislature. (Why not start with Nat Fortune – he seems like an interesting fellow and he is not going to be the next Auditor.) That would be well worth doing, as well as financially manageable (state rep races cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, as opposed to the millions needed for a statewide run), and you might actually pick up a few seats. Once you do that, you can start to work on the kind of statewide reputation necessary to field serious candidates for higher office, like the statewide offices and the Congress.
This is a multi-year, probably multi-decade project. It is the only way a third party will ever get anywhere in this state (or any other, for that matter). Please, prove to us that you are serious about creating a third party – God knows we could use one. End this campaign today, and start laying the groundwork for 2012 tomorrow.