|Green Party Committees:
Presidential Campaign Support (PCSC)
Reply by Jill Stein, to the GPUS Outreach
and exploratory questionnaire for the 2012 GPUS presidential
received August 25, 2011
For the last several months and with increasing frequency,
I have been asked by Green Party activists to run for the Presidential
nomination of he Green Party. I did not seriously consider doing
so until the recent debt ceiling fiasco and the Presidents
astounding attack on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid a
betrayal of the public interest that cries out like never before
for electoral challenge. During the strategy discussion at the
National Meeting, I became convinced that the party must have as
strong a voice as possible in the Presidential race. I am now seriously
considering whether I could provide that voice, absent the increasingly
unlikely appearance of a nationally known candidate who could run
a true Green campaign
that would grow the party for the long haul.
I believe this presidential race is a perfect
storm for political transformation. In the context of surging
economic hardship, criminal wars, environmental peril, and unprecedented
betrayal by both corporate parties the Green Party is
the singular political vehicle for turning the failed economy
of exploitation into an economy of shared and sustainable prosperity.
This race is an opportunity like never before to establish the
Green Party as the voice of principled opposition the
only unbought political party that can truly advance the cause
of people, peace and the planet. With that goal in mind, I respectfully
submit to you my responses to the PCSC candidates questionnaire at
this preliminary stage of consideration. If you need any further
information, please contact me any time.
1. Are you interested in seeking the Green Party 2012 presidential
nomination? Are you considering seeking the nomination, but have
not yet made up your mind? What factors are you taking into consideration?
Since August 7 I have begun talking to Greens across the country
to define the nature of the 2012 race and gauge the level of
participation and support for the Presidential campaign if I
were to run. Key questions in my mind are whether we have the
level of volunteer commitment and financial support to make a
credible run. Having a broad network of state and regional coordinators
who are committed to raising the required matching funds, for
example, would be a strong indicator of broad support. To be
clear, I have not yet made a decision to run and have made no
public announcements of a run. If we decide to go ahead, I would
hope to formally announce the campaign by the end of September.
2. What do you believe the goals should be of the 2012 GPUS presidential
campaign? If you were the GPUS presidential nominees, how would
your campaign work to achieve them? (Will your campaign succeed?)
The key objectives of the campaign would be:
1) End 2012 with significantly stronger national, state and local
Green Party organizations. This will be measured by increases in
active members, ballot lines secured, voter registration, numbers
of candidates, and media presence. Achieving matching funds and
the 5% vote threshold for campaign finance in 2016 would be groundbreaking
2) Establish the Green Party as the recognized progressive opposition
party to the bipartisan establishment in Washington.
3) Change voter allegiances. Convince at least 3 million voters
to abandon the Democratic/Republican options and to vote Green.
(The targeted vote total target should be adjusted as the campaign
unfolds, but it should not be set at an unrealistic level since
this leads to inefficient expenditure of resources.).
4) Help the Green Party strengthen its national level organization
so that it becomes a more effective participant in the national
dialogue over the next four years.
5) Change the national conversation in 2012, providing an answer
to the disempowering, deceptive, and manipulative dialogue propagated
by the major parties.
6) Use the Presidential campaign to provide a boost to Green candidates
running for state and local offices.
7) Train and give experience to new Green Party activists who
will be leaders of the Party over the next four years.
8) Develop and demonstrate effective strategies for mobilizing
grassroots democracy and electoral action to overcome the suppression
of political opposition by the corporate political forces.
I believe all of these goals can be accomplished
to varying degrees by running an intensive, well-organized, alternative
oriented campaign. It will be driven by the power of our message,
and our role as the only voice challenging the increasingly unpopular
corporate politics of Democrats and Republicans. Since we will
be the only advocate for widely supported causes from a
WPA style jobs creation program, to peace, single payer, free pre-K
through college education, mortgage and student loan restructuring,
workers and immigrant rights, and taxing the rich we are
positioned to draw support from a variety of quarters. We will
focus on constituencies that have the potential to support the
party, and will concentrate our organizing efforts in parts of
the country where state and local chapters provide a basis for
growth, or where new chapters can by organized. We realize our
campaign would be a long shot, and some extraordinary meltdown
of the frontrunner
campaigns would have
to occur for us to overtake them. But even if we fall short of
that, we think we can win a breakthrough victory by changing the
by growing the only national party serving the public interest."
3. Please list five issue areas that you feel are most important
and what would you do about them. (Who are you?)
Here are five of our key, priority issues:
a) CREATE JOBS THROUGH A GREEN NEW DEAL - an emergency program
to achieve full employment and jump start a green economic recovery.
This would provide a Manhattan Project/WWII scale mobilization
to transition to clean renewables and related green sectors of
the economy (including local food and recycling manufacturing)
to avert climate catastrophe while achieving energy independence,
improving trade balances and meeting urgent transportation, energy,
housing and environmental infrastructure needs for the 21st century.
It will be funded by taxing the rich and large corporations, through
trillion dollar savings from single payer health care and the associated
reduction of health care inflation, and through downsizing the
bloated military. The Green New Deal will get economic help directly
to people - and end the Obama/Bush trickle-down philosophy that
forces ordinary people to subsidize the massive transfer of wealth
and power to the super-rich.
b) The Green New Deal will include an ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS,
including the right to living wage jobs, health care, quality education,
retirement security, and affordable housing.
c) PEACE NOW - End the needless wars that have drained America
of the resources we need to fund our communities. Bring the troops
and war dollars home now. Reduce the bloated military budget to
provide defense not empire building.
d) RESCUE DEMOCRACY -- Restore our freedom of political expression,
our imperiled civil liberties, and protections from government
surveillance by the swollen Homeland Security complex. End the
hijacking of political speech by the biggest spender, (resulting
from the Citizens United and Buckley v Valeo supreme court decisions).
Create real freedom of political expression, full public participation,
and informed voter choice free from fear
and intimidation - at the polls through policy reforms including:
publicly funded elections, free access to public airwaves for
all legitimate candidates, instant runoff voting and proportional
access for all political parties and candidates, safeguards against
electronic election fraud, and an end to voter suppression schemes,
the corporate-electoral revolving door, and rampant influence-peddling
e) SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE (improved Medicare-for-all) to provide
quality, comprehensive health care to all as a human right. Single
payer saves money by ending the 30% administrative overhead of
private insurance and by controlling the runaway health care
inflation that is bankrupting families, business, and all levels
of government. And it puts an end to insurance company meddling
in personal health care decisions and choice of doctor.
4. What parts of the GPUS platform* do you feel most closely
aligned with? What parts do you disagree with, if any? Are there
you would improve upon and how? (Who are we?)
I have broadly supported the GPUS platform over the past many
years, and will be reviewing the most recent update to see
how it can best be advanced in the campaign. In general the
platform makes a compelling case for a new form of politics,
and new policies that put people and the planet first.
5. What in your background qualifies you to be a credible presidential
candidate? What assets would you bring to your campaign in addition
to those already existing within the Green Party? (What do you
have to offer?)
I have been an active Green Party member since 2000. Currently I am serving as
co-chair of my state party (the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts). I have
run several state-wide races including two runs for Governor, and a race for
Secretary of State in which I received 350,000 votes (18% of the total). I have
been fortunate to be part of a cohesive team that can organize a campaign, raise
money, and motivate volunteers. We have worked hard to translate the momentum
of our campaigns into substantial growth of the state party. I am medical doctor
by profession and have extensive experience advocating in the political, professional
and non-profit worlds for the environmental, economic and democratic foundations
of healthy communities and a secure, green future. I have co-authored two books
on the community origins of health and disease, including the health imperative
for a green (and non-toxic) economy. The first of these has been translated into
6. Presidential campaigns are legally independent entities from
the political party whose nomination they received. Yet most
successful political campaigns meld candidate and party synergistically.
you were the GPUS nominee, how would you envision that working
relationship? (How can we work together?)
I believe that each campaign should build the Party as the
only national political party that has not been hijacked by
corporate America. Every campaign should leave us stronger
for what comes next. In Massachusetts, our statewide campaigns
have served to reinvigorate our state party, expanding its
volunteers, local chapters, and donor base, reactivating its
committees, and creating new statewide initiatives (for a just
state budget, for fair redistricting that ends historic political
suppression of the community of color, to bring the troops
and war dollars home, and to green our communities). We have
used the donor list from my gubernatorial campaigns to put
the state party on a sound financial footing. Our workshop
at the Green Party annual meeting on Reinvigorating State Parties
shared some of our strategies for re-invigorating state parties
with the broader national Green Party network.
As I envision the possible campaign organization, I would
hope that the Presidential campaign engages every Green Party
volunteer and member that we possibly can. I hope we would
bring in throngs of peace, labor, single payer, climate, justice
and democracy activists that have been marginalized and abandoned
by Barack Obama and the Democrats, and transition them to the
Green Party for the long haul as the only party thats
fighting for them, not against them. After the campaign, I
would want to tour the states and to help campaign volunteers
become long-term Green Party volunteers. I would also work
to transition larger donors to the Presidential campaign to
become sustaining supporters of the national Green Party.
7. Do you believe that an independent party
like the Greens can succeed in the US? How would you define such
success? How can it happen? (Will we succeed?)
The Green Party is the only national, non-corporate political
alternative to the Democrat/Republican machine. I believe we
are rapidly approaching a breakthrough moment. We must seize
that moment before economic, environmental and political decline
reaches a point of no return. That we have survived the massive
efforts to suppress opposition voices that we fight
on when all other non-corporate national parties have been
wiped out - is a staggering achievement. The corporate parties
are working hard to keep us hidden from view. But the ongoing
betrayal of the public interest by Barack Obama and the Democrats
has brought us to a critical tipping point. Growing masses
are looking for a new political vehicle for reclaiming their
imperiled right to a just and sustainable future. We are the
only option on the map.
Throughout history, third parties have exerted tremendous
influence in America, and it can happen again. This is a long
term goal. Our near-term minimum goal is to acquire the strength
to offer a compelling and widely-recognized alternative to
the establishment parties. Success will be measured for starters
by doubling or tripling our membership, activating new state
chapters and reactivating dormant ones, and increasing the
number of candidates we run. Over time, we can win the allegiance
of more and more voters and electoral successes will follow.
8. There is some interest within the Green Party of having the
party's nominee run together with a Green Cabinet, that would
feature prospective cabinet members and federal agency heads
serve in your government, should you be elected president. Such
an approach could demonstrate what a Green government might be
like and would do so during the election, promoting transparency.
It could expand the number of people campaigning, with Cabinet
members on the road and in the press in addition to the nominees.
What do you think of this approach? Who might hold positions
in a Green Cabinet? How would you see your candidacy interacting
those individuals during the campaign? (How might we connect
There are enormous potential advantages as well as vulnerabilities
in having multiple spokespeople for the campaign. They would
expand the reach of the campaign, but theyd also be subject
to all the scrutiny and criticism of a candidate. So a lot
depends on finding people with expertise, credibility, the
right message, and the message discipline to avoid the traps
that will be set for us all. There are many people who could
fill these rolls if they were willing, presuming we have the
to find and adequately vet them.
9. Can we publish your reply on the GPUS web site in
a public section reserved for such responses?