Dr. Jill Stein has issued a written statement thanking her supporters for making her the first Green Party member to achieve federal matching funds goals. She also took a moment Monday afternoon to record a short video expressing her feelings:
Ian Murphy is the Green Party candidate in the NY-26 special congressional election on May 24. This is Murphy’s Statement on the Death of bin Laden. The bad man is dead, but I don’t feel like celebrating. I’m pleased many Americans feel that justice has been done, but the slaying of our own monster offers [...] Continue reading →
Atheist and Green Party campaigner Siân Berry isn’t against Christmas. She just wants us to turn down the consumerism and ramp up the joy. An excerpt from a new compilation.
Being green and being religious can fit together well. Most religious texts contain advice on caring for natural things, and most religions use these teachings in campaigns to cut carbon and save the planet (“What would Jesus drive?” being my particular favorite). I applaud all of this, but my own political and environmental activism comes more or less directly out of my non-belief in God.
I have always been an atheist. At Sunday school I was willing to learn the moral lessons of the parables but very unwilling to believe there was anything supernatural about the commonsense advice Jesus was doling out. Later, even under extreme peer pressure when most of my friends became Baptists in the middle of my teenage years (and despite the exciting prospect of a dramatic full-immersion baptism ceremony), the idea of a divine being was something I just couldn’t accept.
I wasn’t political either. At university, I studied metallurgy and the history of science, visited coal mines and nuclear power stations with relish, and steered well clear of anything that smelled of ideology. On the college committee, I was the entertainment rep, keeping my fellow students amused with ’70s discos and pub quizzes and not giving a thought to the future or the bigger picture.
It was only later that I became more thoughtful and developed a proper humanist philosophy. After college, I moved into a house with five friends who brought with them a massive collection of books, including piles of politics, literature and history. So, with these resources at my disposal, I sat down to work out what I thought about the world. After two years of serious study, the conclusion was something of a counterpoint to the Atheist Bus Campaign’s famous slogan. My version goes something like this: “Our planet, its civilizations, and its people are unusual and fragile things. There’s probably no God, so we’d better look after them well.”
Once I had this sorted out, I was ready to go. I spotted the Green Party, realized I agreed with most of what they had to say, joined up, and volunteered to help. And in the busy eight years since that day, I hope I have helped to make a difference to the way some people think about how to help the world get by. Meanwhile, I’ve spent most of my professional life working as a writer and campaigner and, in the process, learned an awful lot about how to fail badly at convincing people into a greener, more responsible way of life.
[From: The Free George, online magazine of Albany, Saratoga, the Lake George Region and the Adirondacks.]
As part of an ongoing Meet the Candidates series, we recently spoke by phone with New York Gubernatorial Candidiate Howie Hawkins (G) to discuss his views on Unemployment, Restoring Progressive Income Tax Rates, the Deadlock in Albany, Green Economic Recovery, Alternative Energy, Hydrofracking, Education, Same Sex Marriage and the Arts. The videos are listed as Part 1 & Part 2 below.
Although The Free George does not endorse political candidates, we do strongly believe in the right of all candidates to be heard. Most media outlets today refer to third-party candidates as unnecessary or “fringe”; we disagree with this assessment & feel it is important to give them a platform. With 58% of Americans supporting the need for a third party, our coverage of the NY Gubernatorial race will focus on some of these viable third party candidates.
Parts 1 and 2of an Interview with NY Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins (G)
Last night Andrew Cuomo confirmed every fear that progressive and independent voters have about his run for governor. Most thought it a silly joke when, in mid-September, the Democrat Party candidate claimed that he, and not the Republican Carl Paladino, was the real Tea Party candidate. Any doubts about this claim were dashed at the Hofstra debate last night. Cuomo means what he says – his administration will slash publicly funded programs across the board and will cut taxes for the rich and corporations.
Last night’s event, seemed more like a group of old buddies hanging around than a debate. The fact that Paladino got up to go to the bathroom during the debate and that the Libertarian Candidate suggested that legislation could be better handled by a meeting between him, “Howie” (Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins) and “Charles” (Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron) over a six-pack and a beer didn’t help things.
While the antics ensued, Cuomo insisted on displaying his budget-cutting commitment. In fact, the only issues separating Paladino and his Democratic Party opponent was Cuomo’s cool demeanor and commitment to gay marriage. [But see “Doubts About Cuomo’s Support of Gay Rights“] Both pledged to slash the state budget by cutting taxes, reducing social programs and expanding charter schools. On nearly every issue, the two parties are precisely the same.
Unlike Paladino, Cuomo was relaxed. Why shouldn’t he be? Miles ahead in the polls, a treasury filled with campaign contributions from liberals and conservatives and a mad-dog opponent sure to say something stupid each time he opens his mouth. Casting off even the pretense of liberal politics will win a few Republican votes and allow Democrats to become even more accustomed to being the party of budgetary slash and burn.
Paladino looked like what he is. A candidate who has been disowned by the Republican machine and one who can only generate media attention through outlandish comments. At times, he seemed confused, other times angry and his evening was punctuated by the rhetorical comment, “You might think I’m crazy.” We do.
Two alternatives did present themselves. Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron and the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins did well arguing from the left of the two Tea Partiers. Barron was sharp early, pushing Cuomo on campaign donations, corruption and the Democrats tax-cut pledge. Hawkins was better late in the debate when he seemed to become accustomed to the spotlight. He drew cheers for his position against hydro-fracking, made important contributions with a proposal on the Stock Transfer Tax and was clear on a plan to return democracy to legislative deliberations in Albany by reducing the power of “leaders” of committees.
Overall, Barron’s agenda seemed a bit narrower than Hawkins’ did. When asked about the plight of a small business owner Barron called for more funding for black-owned businesses instead of examining the larger issues of access credit. Hawkins scored well here by proposing a non-profit state bank as being the key to loosening up credit access. Similarly, Barron looked uncomfortable and, frankly, creepy, in refusing to take a position on the issue of gay marriage. Hawkins seemed much friendlier while trumpeting the Green Party’s accomplishments on the issue.
During his closing statement, Barron seemed unenthused sensing, perhaps, that he had lost his early momentum. Hawkins pulled a sometimes-confusing presentation together by providing a neat description of a “Green New Deal” that would put New York back to work and achieve some amount of social justice. These are attractive notions that should attract voters in this moment of economic crisis.
The real opponents in this year’s race for Governor in New York State are now apparent. No, it is not Paladino versus Cuomo. The two seem to share a lot politically. Instead, Barron and Hawkins may provide serious challenges to Cuomo by presenting ideas that speak more directly to the needs of everyday New Yorkers. However, the real victor last night was the sometimes-phantasmagorical Tea Party that seems to have two candidates running for office this election. New Yorkers would do well to defeat them both.