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What Is Morality?

11:42 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

My previous two entries went on at length about the immorality inherent in continuing to support amoral politicians, particularly Obama and the Democrats, who implement immoral policies. Both entries, which followed up on Rusty’s post shortly before he was banned for it, made certain site leaders very upset. That’s because they are moral relativists who see nothing wrong with what right-wing government does, only in who is doing the things it does. Things that were wrong when Bush, Cheney, and the Republicans did them are now perfectly acceptable now that it’s Democrats doing the exact same things — or worse.

Be it in our everyday lives or in politics, we render moral judgments all the time. Especially in politics, those who win elections — whether legitimately or through theft — do so largely on the basis of having a clearly stated and well defined platform of issues, which are based on a set of moral beliefs. Those beliefs may be right or wrong, honest or dishonest, but they are based on moral beliefs nonetheless.

But what exactly is morality? Different cultures have different notions of what is right and wrong, so we’re told, and we must respect those notions even if we disagree with them. I will certainly grant you, dear reader, that fundamental truth. But even taking this into account, when studying notions of right and wrong across cultures, one typically finds common elements: Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t rape, don’t murder, and so forth. Each culture has its own method for dealing with people who violate these basic tenants of right and wrong, and we call them laws. The application of those laws can be consistent or inconsistent, but they do exist, and they have their basis in basic moral beliefs.

Likewise, in politics, positions on issues that affect real people in the real world are based on a set of moral beliefs. One can argue the complexity of those beliefs, but one cannot honestly argue against their existence. Again, this makes certain persons uncomfortable to the point of anger, and they lash out as though personally wounded. it is considered taboo to question a person’s stated political beliefs even when he or she publicly shows clear inconsistencies between what is said and what is actually done. We are, as liberals or progressives or socialists, told to keep an open mind, to not judge others. Moral absolutism is bad, or so we’re told.

Why it’s bad is rarely explained, if ever. The truth is that we’re told not to judge because if we were to judge others on the contrast between their words and actions, we would realize the futility of continuing to associate ourselves with those persons. When one is running a political gatekeeper blog designed to thwart left-wing activism independent of the Demcorats, such as FDL and Daily Kos, this has certain frightening implications for those site owners. If we realize we’re being taken for a ride, we might stop giving our hard-earned pennies to keep the gatekeepers in business.

But that’s an entry for another day. Here I want to point out the flaw in demanding that no moral judgment be made regarding support of Barry Obama. As I’ve said, we’re told it’s not polite to force others to take a moral stand. So here’s an experiment. I’ll pick a political hot-button issue. Let’s make it abortion. You may be for or against its continued legality. On what do you base your position?

You might base it on religious beliefs.

You might base it on considerations of access to adequate prenatal care.

You might base it on economic factors.

You might base it on social factors, such as the disproportionate number of impoverished people having the procedure.

You might base it on the lack, real or perceived, of an adequate foster care and home-placement system in America.

There are other factors, I’m sure, but let’s say that based on these and other considerations, you’ve made a decision as to whether or not to support legal abortion.

Congratulations: You’ve taken a moral stand.

No no no, you do NOT get to roll back on it, not simply because you’re averse to having a moral code ascribed to you. People can and do change their minds based on changing attitudes and new information. It’s normal, done all the time, nothing wrong with that. It’s why Dennis Kucinich went from being initially opposed to legal abortion to being in favor of it. He seems to have had a genuine change of heart on the issue. What he didn’t do was change his position simply because he was afraid of having someone accuse him of basing his beliefs on a set of morals.

So what’s the big deal about saying that it is immoral to support Obama and the Democrats after all they’ve done to betray Americans’ interests over the last thirty-odd years? Why is it so horrendously wrong to chastise those who continually complain about Obama, yet are not only unwilling to challenge him but actively defend him from those of us who would see him challenged in a primary election next year?

Politics is all about morality. Each of us has his or her own definition of what is right and what is wrong, but we all share common basic beliefs instilled in us by the societies in which we dwell. When we fail to live up to our stated morals, we weaken our own movement, and in the process hand our enemies a crucial victory.

What are YOU Doing?

7:35 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

Rusty1776 wrote what most people who have commented have recognized is a call to action. It is a rousing call to question the morality of continually complaining about how bad the Democrats have become, yet always — ALWAYS — caving in and supporting them because, well, because we let ourselves be lied to that the Republicans are just so much worse. Yet there is absolutely no legitimate reason to believe that the Republicans are any worse, especially given that writers from Glenn Greenwald to Jane Hamsher and the good folk here at FDL have documented all the ways in which Obama and the Democrats have continued and, in all to many instances, exceeded the extreme fascist policies of the GOP.

The only way to combat the rightward slide of the Democrats is to make them realize the political consequences of betraying progressives. This means challenging Obama and the Democrats at the polls with candidates who genuinely represent us, be they inside or outside the Democrat Party. It is increasingly apparent, though, that certain persons whose names shall go unmentioned in this entry are content to abuse their positions in regular attempts to intimidate those of us who call for actual political action. Demands for disclaimers that are not required are posted in the comments section, never mind that there is nothing in the rules that says people must post disclaimers. And questions about what we’ve actually done to challenge Obama and the Democrats are asked — yet the people asking these questions somehow never seem willing or able to answer it themselves, not in comments.

So I’m asking the same question not only of these unnamed persons, but of all who call themselves progressive, or liberal, or socialist, or whatever branch of leftism they claim to subscribe to.

What are YOU doing to hold Obama and the Democrats accountable for their multitude of crimes and other offenses?

Who are YOU running against Obama and other right-wing Democrats next year?

How much money have YOU raised toward that purpose?

Who and how many people are YOU rousing to action, through phone calls and blogging and letter-writing and fund-raising?

What actions are YOU rousing them to?

If you’re NOT doing these things, WHY aren’t you?

The purpose of these questions is not to engage in snark, or to pursue grudges against others. They are serious questions designed to achieve legitimate answers for a legitimate reason, namely, to gauge what we on the Left are actually doing beyond bitching and moaning on the Internet. If we aren’t doing anything beyond that, then Rusty’s point stands: We who call ourselves progressive should be doing everything in our power to oppose and challenge Obama and the Democrats, because if we’re not, then we have failed a vital moral test of what passes for our movement. How can we call ourselves Leftists if we refuse to stand in opposition to the policies of the right? How can we call ourselves Leftists if we refuse to challenge the right, and instead sit down and shut up at their behest as Obama, the Democrats, and their gatekeepers continually demand of us?

As some of us make a habit of closing, the floor is yours.

Ohio Elections in 2011 – Green Party Strategies

9:17 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

Ohio’s 2011 election calendar is found here in PDF form, and a list of ballot issues up for passage this year may be found at Ballotpedia. Among the issues to be decided are one to delay or repeal a slot machine law that was signed into law last year by then-governor Ted Strickland, an amendment to exempt Ohioans from mandated health insurance (though what form this exemption would take is as yet unclear), a police state measure similar to Arizona’s racist immigrant-I.D.-check, an amendment that would create a bipartisan judicial appointment board, and an amendment to limit the powers of federal and state regulatory agencies.

So far I have found no information on what local candidate elections might take place this year, but that information may be buried in the PDF file, which I have yet to read in full. Even if there are no local candidate elections in Ohio in 2011, however, Greens, Socialists, and Ohio State Laborers should already be gathering signatures — or preparing to gather signatures — for the 2012 elections, the filing deadlines for which aren’t that far away. This means left-wing third parties will have to run in every election next year, from dog catcher to U.S. House and U.S. Senate. It means, especially, identifying and picking candidates to run for public office, especially judicial offices.

Green Party Strategies for 2011

12:36 pm in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

I’m going to be attending a meeting of the Northeast Ohio Green Party on the 18th of January. We’ll be discussing strategies for future elections in Ohio, particularly Northeast Ohio. This is especially important in light of the GOP’s efforts to remove two of Ohio’s Democrats from Congress by way of redistricting, likely Dennis Kucinich, Marcia Fudge, Betty Sutton, or Marcy Kaptur. Any two of these four Democrats could be on the Congressional chopping block. This means even less representation of the public than we have currently, and we haven’t much to begin with.

But it also presents Greens with an opportunity to expand our own efforts in Northeast Ohio. With legislative districts being redrawn to favor Republicans and hurt Democrats, areas that were previously closed to third parties because of strong Democrat presence may open up. This means we can run truly leftist candidates in areas where Democrats simply don’t bother or have been pushed out because of the redistricting. Also helping is the official ballot recognition of third parties in Ohio, which allowed Greens and other outside political parties to obtain ballot access for the first time last year.

The time to build up progressive political parties is now. The party is gathering signatures for 2012, 2014, and beyond in numerous states. But we should also be focusing our efforts at running in each and every local election, each and every year, wherever an election is being held. This means running during odd-numbered years as well, especially for judicial seats. If Greens can win enough judicial positions, it will be much more difficult for corporate interests to abuse the court system to run roughshod over people’s civil liberties. Races for municipal legislative and executive offices should also be run in, in every district holding them, during every election cycle

Finally, progressive Democrats like Kucinich, who have been marginalized and attacked by their own party for years, should make the jump to the Greens or whatever strong third party organization exists within his or her area. Such a move would inspire many disaffected progressives to finally make the leap and join the Green Party, which now represents Americans far more than either major political party does. This is borne out by polls showing that a majority of Americans want the rich to be taxed, that twenty percent want the Pentagon budget slashed, and that almost no one except the ridiculously wealthy wants Social Security or Medicare cut or eliminated. It only makes sense that as the Democrats move ever farther to the right to placate Republicans and large corporations, independent organizations would become the new home for progressives.

For 2011, Greens should be focusing on continuing to grow and build their party. Recruit disaffected progressives from among the Democrats, recruit younger voters (especially those coming out of high school and in college), run in every race no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Congressional districts currently held by Republicans should be identified and targeted for 2012.

We can do this. The time for taking back our country is now, and the opportunity for doing so has never been greater.

Help Draft Candidates for 2012!

11:23 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

2010 is nearly over, and the fight for the presidency in 2012 is beginning to take shape. Corporate Democrat Barry Obama has not merely disappointed the public, nor has he merely failed to accomplish progressive goals. He has, in fact, deliberately and stubbornly refused to even try to accomplish progressive goals, opting instead to continue and expand on the fascist, totalitarian policies of his predecessor and ideological brothers, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

I do not make that last charge lightly, or at all inaccurately. Paul Street and Glenn Greenwald, as well as Jane Hamsher and the good members of the FDL family, among others, have documented the multitude of offenses which the right-wing Obama regime has undertaken against the public in the name of continuing the horrors of the Bush-Cheney years.

Sadly, the Democrat Party establishment is so powerful that no candidates exist within the institution who are willing or able to challenge Obama for the office of the presidency in 2012. That being the case, and in agreement with Ralph Nader, Jane, and others that there is little or no chance Democrats will abandon their preferred incumbent candidate, we’re going to have to acknowledge that any chance for true change will come from outside the Democrat Party. This is not an easy thing to do, but it has to be done.

Also required is a serious effort to draft candidates to run against Obama in 2012. We’re not going to do it by indulging flights of fancy, and we can’t waste two years trying to build a new political movement from whole cloth when we already have progressive organizations that we should be building up into a viable challenge to both major political parties.

In my observation, there are perhaps four people we might be able to persuade to run for president, or for Congress, in 2012: Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, Mike Gravel, and Ralph Nader. Their politics are well within the realm of progressive values, and they’ve all demonstrated their commitment to putting their efforts where their mouths are by running for public office.

I’ve created a petition below for people to sign, in the interests of drafting people to run for the presidency in 2012. This effort will not be recognized or supported by FDL moderators, and it is undertaken without their blessing. This is something we have to do on our own, expecting full-blown opposition to this effort from gatekeepers among the pretend left. (Common sense dictates that no one will will assume otherwise, but certain persons choose to overlook this fact.)

But it’s got to be done. The goal for signatures is 20,000 but the petition will be sent to Cindy, Cynthia, Mike, and Ralph even if we only reach five thousand, even if we only obtain a few hundred. If we’re serious about running a candidate against Obama in 2012, or in running genuine progressives for Congress, this is a good start. It will show these progressive fighters that there is a base of supporters who will lend their time, energy, and money to getting them elected.

Time’s wasting. Who’s with me?

Click here to sign the petition!

As Freedom of Information Comes Under Greater Attack, the Left Must Work to Elect Real Leaders

9:51 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

Empty Wheel has a post today about Joe LIEberman’s apparent attempt to ram through a bill against anyone caught disclosing government secrets to Wikileaks.

This is on the heels of attempts to shut down the information-disseminating web site by flooding its servers and bullying hosts into dropping the organization.

LONDON – Wikileaks struggled to stay online Friday as corporations and governments moved to cut its access to the Internet, a potentially crippling blow for an organization dedicated to releasing secret information via the web.

Manchester, New Hampshire-based company EveryDNS, which had been directing traffic to the website wikileaks.org — stopped late Thursday after cyber attacks threatened the rest of its network. WikiLeaks responded by moving to a Swiss domain name, wikileaks.ch — and calling on activists for support. Two companies host the Swiss domain name, one of which is in France. The other is in Sweden.

Officials in France moved to ban WikiLeaks from servers there, with Industry Minister Eric Besson calling it unacceptable to host a site that “violates the secret of diplomatic relations and puts people protected by diplomatic secret in danger.”

(Gleen Greenwald discusses LIEberman’s Chinese-emulating efforts here and here, for those of you who want to do further reading on this week’s Wikileaks events.)

Simply put, world governments are waging all-out war against the free flow of information. The planet is moving toward an increasingly totalitarian police state, with the United States leading the way. That the “most powerful” country in the world is in reality collapsing under the weight of its own greed and warmongering does not mean that things are bound to improve once the final implosion occurs. In fact, things can and likely will get a whole lot worse.

It is imperative that the left cease its subordination to the Democrats and do what the far right did to the Republican Party decades ago: completely take over the organization. But this can only be done through a two-pronged approach: by running actual, bona fide progressive candidates against right-wing Democrats at every level, and by running strong left-wing third party candidates. Only by making the Democrats see how much they really stand to lose by continuing their move to the right will they begin to take the left seriously. And only by getting serious will the left be taken seriously.

In my previous entry, I pointed out the short list of potential candidates to challenge Barry Obama in 2012 from within the Democrat party, and a longer list of potential third party and unaffiliated candidates who can be convinced to run. Unfortunately, far too many leftists choose to focus on vanity candidates and forming new, splinter organizations. This is destructive to the cause for two reasons. First, by wasting time and energy trying to recruit the likes of Jane Hamsher and Jon Stewart to run for president in 2012 — people who have displayed ZERO indication that they will ever run for public office — resources are spread out too far for drafting potential candidates who might actually be persuaded to run. Second, by trying to start all over with a brand new political organization, leftists ignore that we already have several political parties that already represent us and that cannot grow enough to challenge the duopoly without our support; if we don’t join these organizations and work to build them up, and instead waste two years trying to form a new splinter group — which can only further fracture us as a group, then we’ll be defeating our own goal of removing corporate-owned politicians.

We already have existing third party structures. The left has simply refused to adequately use them in order to win back power, having been browbeaten into capitulating to the Democrats. They include, but are not limited to:

The Green Party of the United States,

The Socialist Party of the United States,

The Progressive Party, a homegrown organization with chapters in Vermont, Washignton, Oregon, and Missouri (the last as an offshoot of the Greens), and

The Working Families Party, which has chapters in New York, Connecticut, Oregon, South Carolina, and Delaware.

Some leftists think it is a mistake to have too broad a platform, while others think a narrow one is more preferable. But why try to come up with a whole new one when there are working platforms already in place within these existing political organizations? And since they do exist, and already in several states, why not simply join them and work to help build them up into viable political parties that can challenge the corporate-owned organizations and win?

Here is what i suggest, and feel free obviously to take it or leave it as you will: Instead of wasting time, energy, and money on pie-in-the-sky efforts with no real focus or reality-based perspective, find a third party in your area and join it. Depending on exactly where on the left you stand, and what organizations exist in your community, you may wish to do some research to determine which one best represents your views. You can do this by looking up the party platforms on the web sites I’ve linked to. Once you’ve found a party to your liking, you can re-register either by going down to your local board of elections, or by voting in a primary election or caucus. If no such party exists where you live, you can look into forming a chapter and get help from people in other states who have formed or reformed theirs.

In the meantime, time is growing short. The Republicans are already doing the work of deciding which corporate-owned politician they want running for the office of the presidency in 2012, and they will likely announce their picks early next year, if not later this month. If you’re a Democrat and want to get a Democrat to challenge Obama in a primary in 2012, I strongly suggest you recruit a candidate who will actually take that risk and start trying to recruit him or her now. Since the options are so few, you’re better off focusing on those who have run in the recent past, like Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, or even John Edwards if he’s still interested (though his politics aren’t necessarily the best, nor is he necessarily a reliable engine for real change). On the third party and independent fronts, You’ve got your choice of Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, Mike Gravel, maybe Jesse Ventura. Start trying to recruit these people to run on an independent or third party ticket now, because there’s no way they’re running as Democrats and efforts to try and make them do that will almost certainly fail, thus turning them off from running at all.

Do this, and we may actually make a real difference in 2012. Whatever we decide to do, as an ideological whole, the war by the rich and powerful against everyone else is still raging, and the enemy will not settle for anything less than total, absolute victory. We must be equally as uncompromising in our principles, flexible enough in our strategies and tactics to allow ones that work, and above all, in it for the long haul.

Green Party Candidate Dennis Spisak on Progressive Independence Radio – Saturday, October 23, 7PM

11:32 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

I’ll be interviewing Ohio gubernatorial candidate Dennis Spisak on Saturday, October 23rd, at 7:00 PM via my Blog Talk Radio show. The URL and call-in number are below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/progressive-independence/2010/10/23/green-party-candidate-dennis-spisak

1 (347) 884-9121

The show is scheduled for two hours, though I don’t think we’ll be talking quite that long. This should allow some time for listeners to call in with questions for Mr. Spisak, though I do ask that anyone calling in please keep it short.

When I Was a Democrat, the Two Major Parties Hated Me

9:44 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

This past May, in Ohio’s primary election, I re-registered as a Green by voting for that party. Ohio’s unfair ballot access laws were ruled unconstitutional two years ago when the right-wing Libertarian Party sued to be recognized as a legitimate third party on the ballot. Because of the ruling, Greens were able to obtain ballot access as well.

Ever since then, and especially since voting in a local primary last month, I’ve been inundated with calls and mailings from Republican candidates and one Libertarian whackjob. I continue to receive calls and mailings from Democrats on an equal basis.

This has me confused. When I was a registered Democrat, both major parties despised me — the Republicans because I was a Democrat, and the Democrats because I am a true lefty and they’ve moved so far to the right that they may as well be Republicans, and they can’t stand being reminded that their base expects them to represent the left. Now that I’m a Green, they can’t get enough of my ass.

This is confusing because neither major party has bothered to do its homework on independent voters. Rather than recognize us as the ideologically disparate people we are, with some holding left-wing beliefs while others hold right-wing ones, they lump us into some indescribable muddle that is comprised of a myth — that of the ideological center. Is it possible that these dishonest, cynical politicians actually believe their own Big Lie that there is a fixed political center that causes voters to be fickle about who represents them?

Democrat Lee Fisher certainly seems to think so. At a volunteer thank-you buffet this past summer, he strongly implied that Ohio, being a purple state, means that voters don’t know where they stand and therefore will vote either way based on their mood at the time. This, of course, is a flat out lie — voters cast their ballots the way they do because they’re angry at politicians for keeping unemployment high, services down, and favor the wealthy over all else. We tend to punish the party in power that is responsible for creating and maintaining the status quo. Given few alternatives, namely, vote for one of two horrendously bad politicians or just stay home, many choose the latter. This allows the party that is not in power to capitalize on low voter turnout and gain public offices. Far from being fickle, we simply get fed up and take whatever actions we think are allowed to us to punish the party in power for having screwed us over time and time again.

Sadly, the Big Lie is believed even by the politicians who tell it. Instead of recognizing the need to move to the left to win and keep government offices, Democrats choose to pander to something that doesn’t exist. Independents are as much non-entities as left-wing Democrats are to party leaders and politicians, but because we’re part of a voting bloc everybody seems to want a piece of no matter what, we’re given slightly more importance than dog droppings come election time (as opposed to no more than that if we’re Democrats, because we’re expected to vote for the party’s candidates or no one at all).

But let this not discourage you, good readers. Think about it: as Democrats, you are absolutely nothing to your own party. You vote how you’re told to vote, and if you dare complain about woefully inadequate policy positions, you’re "on drugs", "whiny", "irresponsible", "petulant" "children". Re-register as a Green, or a Socialist, or a Progressive, or a Communist, or Libertarian or Constitution, and watch how fast the major party politicians flood your mailboxes. Listen to the hours’ worth of answering machine and voice mail messages once you go Indy. Turn your entire e-mail inbox into one large spam folder for having left the duopoly. They can’t pander to you enough, hoping for your vote. And therein lies your true power as a voter. You might Vote Green in the primaries as long as they’re allowed on the ballot, but come the general election you’re a hot commodity.

Take advantage of this, MAKE the duopoly do something to EARN your votes. Your vote has power, or else the duopoly wouldn’t be trying so damned hard to prevent you from voting your beliefs — or from voting at all. They hate you if you’re a liberal Democrat, but they love you if you’re unaffiliated. So why not use it to ensure that the politicians who represent YOU do as YOU want them to do, and not what Wall Street orders?

Your vote is a powerful weapon. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

POST-ENTRY ANNOUNCEMENT:

I’ll be doing a Blog Talk Radio interview with Green Party candidate Alan Crossman, who is running for a local office in my home town. His web site is alancrossman.us is you want to check it out before tuning in. The show will be recorded on Sunday, October 10th, at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/progressive-independence/2010/10/10/green-party-candidate-alan-crossman

The call-in number is 1 (213) 325-3434.

Listeners are welcome to call in with questions (please keep them civil).

David Ellison for Cuyahoga County Executive

9:52 am in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

In FDL entries here and here, as well as on other web sites, we went all out to help Jill Stein raise the $125,000 needed to qualify for entry into the Massachusetts gubernatorial debates and receive matching state funds. This was an amazing and productive action on the part of Green Party volunteers, online activists, and fed-up voters. We sent a message that we would not be denied entry into the electoral process by the establishment.

I am writing now to help raise money for Green Party candidate David Ellison, who is running an uphill battle for Cuyahoga County executive. His web site is here.

http://www.electdavidellison.com

To understand what this office is and what it would mean for a Green to win, some back story is necessary.

Since the 2008 election, Democrat leaders at the county level have been embroiled in scandal, with the FBI indicting several high-ranking officials in county government on charges of corruption. Wanting to rid Cuyahoga of democratically elected representatives in favor of a less accountable dictatorship, the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, in tandem with powerful business interests, seized upon the corruption charges to ram through a change in county government that created a county council, and especially a county executive with virtually unlimited power. The executive appoints all lower-offices, including sheriff, except for the prosecutor. That last was, in part, the brain child of current county prosecutor Bill Mason, himself a slimeball heavily involved in machine politicking.

This was a bad idea for numerous reasons, many of which were pointed out by the independent weekly paper, Cleveland Scene. Basically, the whole restructuring of county government in Cuyahoga was another power grab by Republicans, wealthy business interests, and corrupt Democrats who, having failed for years to win significant power in the region, decided to do an end-run around the electoral process by replacing the government with one they thought they would have an easier time winning. Ironically, the very machine politician who hoped to preserve his own position in the restructuring, Bill Mason, is expected to resign soon because he is now being investigated in the ongoing corruption scandal, according to Scene.

Another ironic twist is that far from having a sure path to victory in this electoral mess, Republicans found themselves competing not only with Democrats for spots on the new council and the executive position, but independent candidates as well, thanks to a court ruling that finally allowed third party candidates to be officially recognized on Ohio ballots.

This is where David Ellison comes in. He is an architect by trade, but he has been involved with the Green Party for at least twenty years now in Ohio, and he is running for county executive. (His Face Book page is here, if you’d like to add him as a friend.)

Ellison is running on some very sensible ideas, which include creating a state-chartered Bank of Cuyahoga to invest public funds within the community, as opposed to the current setup where the county invests in transnational banks that move money out of the county. He also proposes to eliminate backroom-decision-making by setting up an "independent public access County Broadcasting Cooperative … to follow, report on and analyze local government issues and decisions."

If these and David Ellison’s other proposals for reform sound like a progressive’s dream agenda, then please go here to donate to his campaign.

http://www.electdavidellison.com/donate.html

We have a month to go before the November election, and as important as the Congressional midterms are, we mustn’t let ourselves forget the local races going on. People complain all too frequently that there are no viable alternatives in elections, but this is a problem generated not by electoral demographics, but by self-fulfilling prophesying to the detriment of the progressive movement. The better Greens do this year, the better our chances of building successful, solid local and state organizations that can take on the establishment parties.

Take THAT, Naysayers! Jill Stein Raises Over $125,000 to Qualify for Matching Funds

1:53 pm in Uncategorized by Michael Kwiatkowski

Dave Schwab and others have been working their tails off to help Jill Stein raise enough money in her bid to become governor of Massachusetts to qualify for matching funds and be allowed into the gubernatorial debates with establishment candidates Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker.

That Ms. Stein’s campaign, and her helpers in the progressive blogosphere, have been able to raise the $125,000 necessary to get included within the space of a few days is testament to the fact that, yes, the non-Democrat left IS indeed organized, and that with enough support from the left, can achieve astounding results.

The outpouring of support from excited Green Party supporters, grassroots activists and fed-up voters willing to take a chance, is amazing. According to the Stein campaign’s web site, donations have been coming in online in such numbers that they overloaded their PayPal account.

9/24/10 – 4:35 pm

Due to an overwhelming outpouring of support which has pushed PayPal to it’s limits, we need to temporarily stop taking donations via PayPal.

We hope you’ll come back again soon and try again! We will turn the Contributions Page back on as soon as we can.

Thank you!

It is impossible for me to overstate just how big an accomplishment this is.

Can we now get an acknowledgment from the naysayers that there are viable third party candidates out there, and that they have earned support from the mainstream blogs? Or will they cook up some other excuse for refusing to help push Democrats to the left?

That’s not mere snark. That is a serious question. One of the biggest hurdles in trying to raise awareness, raise campaign funds, get out the vote, and so on, has been the catch-22 condition that until Greens and other candidates could prove viability, they would get no support from mainstream bloggers even as that condition was made with the knowledge that without the help of mainstream blogs, it is exceedingly difficult to meet the requirements necessary to obtain that viability.

Only now that catch-22 has been broken. As of last Friday, Rasmussen reported that Patrick, a nominal Democrat, was only slightly ahead of Republican counterpart Baker.

Incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick remains slightly ahead of his Republican challenger Charlie Baker in the race for governor of Massachusetts.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Bay State finds Patrick earning 45% support, while Baker picks up 42% of the vote when leaners are included. Democrat-turned-Independent candidate Tim Cahill runs a distant third with five percent (5%), and five percent (5%)more favor some other candidate in the race. Two percent (2%) are undecided.

With the race that close, Jill Stein’s candidacy gives progressives a real shot at shaping the outcome of the Massachusetts election. We have leverage enough to force Patrick, a darling of the right-wing Democratic Leadership Council in 2007, to actually adopt left-wing positions and govern accordingly.

None of this would have been possible if not for the hard work and dedication of third party activists, concerned voters, and an energized progressive movement. Also deserving of thanks are the people at this and other blogs who helped spread the word about Jill Stein. You all rock AND roll!