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The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Will there be a Green-Rainbow candidate in the special senate race?

GUEST OPINION


Will there be a Green-Rainbow candidate in the special senate race?

by John Andrews  Feb 13, 2013

At this time, there does not appear to be any Green-Rainbow Party candidate who will run in the special election to replace Senator John Kerry.  This is unfortunate because the campaign dialogue between the Democrat and Republican contenders will certainly ignore the many critical issues that a GRP candidate would inject into the race.  Voter choices will be narrowed by having only two choices on the ballot.
 
It is worth noting the reasons why our electoral system has failed to produce better choices in this race.  For one thing, it is very expensive to run a statewide race for U.S. Senate.  The big money politicians - with the help of wealthy donors from outside Massachusetts - will probably spend well over five million dollars each on their races.  Because GRP candidates run clean money campaigns and do not use incumbency power to leverage donations from lobbying donors, few potential GRP candidates would be able to secure the funding needed to run a full scale senate race.
 
State election law also discriminates heavily against GRP candidates when it comes to funding by the party.  Any Democratic town committee can donate $1000 to the Democratic nominee, whereas election laws impose a crippling $500 donation limit on the entire statewide Green-Rainbow Party, including all its locals.  In addition, Democratic town committees can give unlimited non-monetary gifts to their candidates (such as printing, lawn signs, etc.).  Any such gifts from GRP locals must have their monetary value computed and subtracted from the $500 state limit.
 
Even getting on the ballot is difficult for a GRP candidate.  It requires collecting about 20,000 nomination signatures using an outmoded and unwieldy signature validation process.  For the Democratic and Republican candidates, professional signature gatherers are paid as much as $5 apiece to collect signatures (One candidate is reported to have paid $100,000 to get his signatures for the Senate race.) The GRP generally uses volunteers to collect its signatures.  It takes time to organize such a signature drive, and the drive would absorb a major part of the GRP volunteer base for several months.
 
Potential GRP candidates are sometimes discouraged by the fact that they are likely to suffer a media blackout, being excluded from mention in the press and barred from debates.  The Boston Globe is notorious for censoring any mention of candidates other than those of the two major parties, and the Globe has often played a lead role in the media consortium that excludes third-party candidates from debates.
 
It would be great to give voters more than two choices at the polls.  Voters need to hear a campaign dialogue that does not consist entirely of right-wing and center-right debate.  But for that to happen routinely, we need to build a stronger Green-Rainbow base,  fight against discriminatory election laws, and break through the media blackouts.  Meanwhile, we can support Green-Rainbow candidates running for local office,  support local Green-Rainbow chapters,  and donate to the GRP Candidate's Fund.  Everyone needs to do their part to bring about a healthier democracy.

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Showing 6 reactions


commented 2013-10-03 15:39:15 -0400 · Flag
Not only does John Andrews have the right prescription — build a stronger base, oppose discriminatory election laws, confront the media with real news — but doing this by running at the local level allows powerful opportunities doing it. All that is needed is to respond to the presence of new awarenesses in the potential electorate. It is also at the local level that participatory democracy can be effected most directly by putting into office Green-Rainbow Party people who understand this.
commented 2013-03-11 13:38:23 -0400 · Flag
There will be a Green-Rainbow candidate running in this Massachusetts Special Election for US Senate in June 2013: Me: Norman Bie. I am seeking that seat, and I am a member of the Green-Rainbow Party. I tried to spark interest within the GRP to oppose Elizabeth Warren and her pro-War agenda. No takers. Now, we, the pro-Marijuana voters are in a position to name the next Senator, the next Governor, and most of the elected officials in Massachusetts from now on.

63% of this state’s voters just voted to Legalize Medical Marijuana, yet our state and Federal legislators have done nothing about it. If we make this campaign about Marijuana and related issues, we can win with 63% of the vote.
commented 2013-03-05 13:00:46 -0500 · Flag
There’s a rumor that Peter Vickery is considering a run for Governor….
or is Senate? Or none of the above.
I think he could break through if anyone can.
commented 2013-02-14 01:55:33 -0500 · Flag
I nominate green rock star-Adam Sulkowski http://adamsulkowski.com/all-things-sustainability/
@GR_Party tweeted this page. 2013-02-13 21:31:22 -0500
Green-Rainbow Party posted about Will there be a Green-Rainbow candidate in the special senate race? on Green-Rainbow Party's Facebook page 2013-02-13 21:31:22 -0500
Will there be a Green-Rainbow candidate in the special senate race?