Saturday, July 28, 2007

Matt Gonzalez for President

How a Green Won
by John Halle / July 28th, 2007
Dissident Voice

AP, San Francisco: San Francisco Mayor Matt Gonzalez announced his
campaign for the Green Party nomination for Presidency today. He is
expected to encounter only token opposition at the Green Party nominating
convention in July. A likely running mate is Georgia representative
Cynthia McKinney, according to Green Party officials.

Pledging an immediate withdrawl of US troops from the Middle East, the
Gonzalez-McKinney ticket is expected to galvanize anti war activists
displeased with the current field of candidates all of whom are on record
as having supported President Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Congressional support of subsequent incursions into Syria and airstrikes
on major Iranian cities have led to numerous, increasingly disruptive
demonstrations across the nation.

Unlike previous Green Party candidates, Gonzalez brings to the table
substantial experience in governance. A big city mayor and public interest
lawyer, Gonzalez's resume is equivalent to that of his likely Republican
opponent, though largely untainted by the plague of scandal which has been
a conspicuous feature of the Giuliani campaign since its outset.

The multi-ethnic ticket is also expected to attract the support of Latino
voters angered by the Democratic frontrunner's overtures to anti-immigrant
groups. A former member of the Congressional Black Caucus, McKinney will
be the first member of this body nominated for executive office. She is
expected to make the war on drugs, widely viewed as catastrophic for
African American communities, a centerpiece of the campaign and has
pledged to make voter registration among traditionally disenfranchised
groups a major focus.

The Green Party ticket's endorsement of single payer, universal health
care has attracted the support of large activist organizations developed
in the wake of Michael Moore's Sicko, which last week became the largest
grossing film in history. The only other candidate supporting single
payer, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has remained mired in the low
single digits and has, since September, been excluded from debates
sponsored by major news organizations.

Experts noted that while a Gonzalez-McKinney ticket would be a long shot
under normal electoral circumstances, the presence of two moderate
candidates in a four way race leaves the field open for a left wing

While lacking the financial resources of the major party candidates, Green
Party officials believe they can compensate for this shortfall through on
line donations and an effectively organized volunteer staff. They note
that these were sufficient to overcome a candidate lavishly financed by
corporations, wealthy donors and the full weight of the Democratic Party
machine in 2003.

While some progressives remain skeptical about the prospects for third
parties, others have reconsidered their position. "A year ago I was on
record as saying 'It's not going to happen'. Now I'm not so sure," said
one who insisted on anonymity.

John Halle is a Professor at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and
former Green Party Alderman from New Haven's Ninth Ward.


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