Hakeem Jeffries Using Wall Street Money to Try to Buy Election while Hiding Himself from Voters, Says Fellow Candidate
As Brooklyn Congressional candidate Hakeem Jeffries (D) declines yet another opportunity to appear in a live debate before voters, fellow candidate Colin Beavan (Green) has raised grave concerns about Mr. Jeffries’ choice to put fundraising from Wall Street before speaking to Brooklyn voters. Mr. Jeffries has so far refused all but a single opportunity to appear in a live debate before citizens but has raised nearly $750,000, much of it from investment bankers and corporate lawyers. The June 20 debate he has declined to participate in is the final one before the Democratic primary six days later.
“Mr. Jeffries is attempting to use money contributed by Wall Street bankers and their lawyers to buy himself a Congressional seat through advertising while hiding himself from voters. It suggests his loyalty goes more to the people who pay for his ads than the voters he hopes to represent. This is exactly how traditional party politicians created the crisis in our country’s democracy,” said Beavan.
The United Community Centers and Brooklyn for Peace invited all four candidates in Brooklyn’s 8th Congressional District to East New York for the June 20 debate without input from any of the campaigns. Yesterday Mr. Beavan’s campaign learned from the debate organizers that Mr. Jeffries has chosen not to appear and will apparently send a “proxy” to answer questions on his behalf.
WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party members will participate in the May 1 General Strike organized by the Occupy Movement and the May 1 Coalition and will join thousands of union members, students, immigrants, and others across the US in the first national strike in the nation’s history, with simultaneous strikes in other countries.
Rallies, marches, and picket lines are planned for over 115 cities to assert the rights of working people and democracy, in the face of growing power of financial elites over government and the lives of the”99 percent” and the threat this represents to the future of the US.
“The Occupy Movement is nonpartisan and is not affiliated with any political party, including the Green Party. But the presence of Greens in Occupy protests, including the May Day strike, is a reminder that the demands of the Occupy Movement will be represented on the ballot on Election Day. They won’t be represented by the Wall Street candidates — Republicans and Democrats — but by Green candidates,who accept no money from corporate PACs,” said Ursula Rozum, peace activist and organizer in Syracuse, NY, and Green Party candidate for Congress in New York’s 24th Congressional district.
Roger McGill, a firefighter with Bellevue, is a Green Party candidate for the Cheektowaga Town Board.Roger McGill found a new way to pound the pavement. It’s more like he’s gliding over it while delivering his promise of a more efficient town government all over Cheektowaga.
McGill, the Green Party candidate for Cheektowaga Town Board, has been riding his bike around town to meet and talk to voters. From the seat of his 18-speed, he has been spreading his message of a smarter, greener way to run the town. He’s also promising to serve as a full-time councilman.
“If our town has the highest taxes in Erie County, something’s not being run correctly, and this means we need a full-time council member who is focused on making Cheektowaga a better place to live,” he said.
McGill, 49, is a lifelong town resident, a graduate of Cheektowaga Central High School and a firefighter. He is a past chief and commissioner of Bellevue Fire Company and a past commissioner of the U-Crest Fire District.
McGill is one of seven candidates for three seats in the upcoming election. The others are incumbent Democrats Charles Markel and Richard Zydel, Republicans Angela Wozniak, Joseph Mesler and Roger Heymanowski and Democrat Gerald Kaminski.
When asked why he decided to run on the Green Party line, McGill said it’s because the two major parties don’t appeal to him.
Elgin-Middlesex-London Green Party candidate Eric Loewen was born five years after his party was formed in 1983 but says, despite his age, he’s ready for the big leagues.
“It is a big step up,” says the 22-year-old Aylmer resident. “I don’t have a lot of experience in politics. I have a lot of volunteer experience through business associations such as the Elgin Business Resource Centre, the newly formed Home Based Business Association and I just love working with people, listening to their needs.”
“Owning (Loewen Painting) and then the volunteer experience, I know a lot about how to run a business and running a business, in a lot of ways, is like running a family or a lot of other things.”
Loewen announced his provincial candidacy last month. He registered with the Greens about a year ago because he says it reflected his own ideologies.
“(The party) brings a closer relation with the people around us and especially the earth as well and brining back that union to parliament is something that I feel very strongly about,” he stressed.
However, the young man has a lot on his plate with the Green Party of Ontario’s extensive platform and lofty promises to erase the province’s almost $20 billion deficit by 2015 — a target two years earlier than the reigning Liberals and Progressive Conservatives — and create more jobs.
Loewen explained getting out of the red will be done, in large part, by emphasizing preventative health problem education as a means of reducing the funds fed to the health care system.
“We want to invest in education about how to properly take care of yourself for health care purposes, basically reducing the need to spend money in our health care system.”
“Smoking for example: a lot of people are going in for lung cancer or something to that effect and using expensive equipment to do treatments or to do X-rays. If we can eliminate that spending, then we can save money and that’s where our budget gets balanced.”
That alone will not erase the multi-billion dollar figure. Loewen ruled out cuts to education but not health care. He did, however, add that if there’s a need for health care spending, “we will make sure that spending is there.”
To balance the books, the candidate said the party will likely look into program spending cuts, a traditionally unpopular option among voters but one that likely needs to happen to combat the deficit. At the time of a Times-Journal interview, the candidate was unable to specify which programs would face cuts.
“I think there will be some program spending cuts. I don’t have any specific details in that area. That’s all I can tell you,” he advised.
But along with potential service cuts, Loewen and the party promise a focus on entrepreneurship and other measures to create jobs.
The East Elgin Secondary School graduate says anybody with an idea to start a business will be provided the resources and incentives to do so. Loewen said that will be done through enhancing existing services — such as the Elgin Business Resource Centre or the region’s Youth Entrepreneurship Partnership program — based on their recommendations and internal analysis..
“For those that don’t have that sort-of (entrepreneurial) drive to them, we want to reduce income taxes and business taxes especially so that more local, smaller business have the income available to hire more more people,” Loewen said.
“I have no official numbers; I just know we want to lower taxes to stimulate growth and that will be the big thing, lower taxes, especially on the personal and businesses taxes to really bring about growth in the community.”
The Ontario Greens also pledge to freeze provincial tuition for the 2012 school year while maintaining current budgets; create an Ontario Food and Farming Policy Council to funnel agricultural planning among various ministries and stakeholders and eliminate corporate and union political party donations.
As for the last point, Loewen says it will create more legitimate races.
“(Currently), you’re not allowing the little guy who might be a smarter, better representation for the riding to be able to succeeded because he won’t be able to get the information out to everybody. If we remove the corporate and union benefit sponsorship then, what happens is, it becomes a closer game and a fair game for everybody.”
San Francisco holds its non-partisan mayoral election on November 8, 2011. On August 8, nine candidates were invited to debate each other at the Castro Theater. Terry Baum, a registered Green who has the backing of the San Francisco Green Party, was not invited. She was told there wasn’t enough room on the stage for a ninth chair. But then the incumbent (appointed) Mayor decided to run, and the debate organizers made room for a chair for him. So Baum brought her own chair, and she was permitted to participate. Some of the other candidates ceded some of their time to her. See this story. Baum is one of only two persons running for Mayor who is a member of any minor party. The other is Wilma Pang, a member of the Peace & Freedom Party.