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News ::
Democracy in the Parking Lot (english)
25 Sep 2002
Modified: 26 Sep 2002
Supporters of Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein gathered on Tuesday to protest her exclusion from the gubernatorial debate.
More than 50 supporters of Massachusetts Green Party gubernatorial candidate Dr. Jill Stein gathered outside the debate hall on Tuesday to protest the exclusion of Stein from the first post-primary gubernatorial debate . The debate was held at Western New England College in Springfield. The only candidates permitted to participate were Mitt Romney and Shannon O’Brien.

As if to emphasize the exclusive nature of the event, the entrance to the debate hall was decorated with large red-white-and-blue icons of a Republican elephant and a Democratic donkey. Police kept Stein and her supporters from entering the debate hall. But their chants and cheers could be heard. When Stein arrived on the scene demonstrators began chanting

"Hey Mitt! Hey Shannon?
What have you got to fear?
Meet us in the parking lot!
Jill Stein’s here!"

Mitt and Shannon remained within the protection of the guarded debate hall. And as the debate continued, it became clear that neither candidate would offer any challenge to the status quo. At times the candidates seemed merely to be arguing about which one was more sincere about implementing the solution that they held in common. Both want to roll back the income tax to 5%. Mitt said he can do it sooner. Both support the MCAS graduation requirement. Shannon claims that she a longer term commitment to MCAS as a part of education reform Both ducked a question about Clean Elections.

At one point O’Brien’s bragged "I know how to fix things on Beacon Hill" . Some people believe that this part of the problem that needs to be discussed. O’Brien is very close to Thomas Finneran , the powerful leader of the Democratic Party, who sets their legislative agenda and punishes progressive Democrats who show independence from the leadership line. 29 of 33 members of Finneran’s leadership team voted for O’Brien when she won the Democratic Party endorsement. After her primary victory over the reformers within the Democratic party, O’Brien immediately called Finneran to the victory platform to share the limelight. O’Brien humiliated Clean Elections reformer Warren Tolman by making him stand next to Finneran in a show of party loyalty.

Jill Stein is a threat to O’Brien because Stein articulates the progressive views that are shared by a majority of the Democratic Party voters. Stein is in favor of Clean Elections, universal single-payer health care, eliminating tax loopholes for politically-connected insiders, eliminating the MCAS graduation requirement, democratizing the legislative process, and the removal of Thomas Finneran as Speaker. In order to force progressives to vote for O’Brien and thus endorse her conservative views, alternatives like Stein have to be silenced.

During the primary election, Warren Tolman and Robert Reich campaigned as outsiders who vowed to change the Beacon Hill culture. Together they won 42% of the primary vote, outstripping O’Brien’s 32%. O’Brien has to deal with the fact that voters of her party voted for change , but they got a Beacon Hill insider who is wedded to the politics of Thomas Finneran.

Outside the debate hall Stein told cheering supporters "It’s not just we who have been excluded tonight. The people of Massachusetts have been excluded from this debate. The only candidates allowed inside are those who have taken millions of dollars from the usual big money donors. Mitt and Shannon will support the status quo because that is what their donors want. They are afraid of us because we are free to speak up for the people of Massachusetts. But with your help , our voice will be heard before this campaign is over."
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Nice Try! (english)
26 Sep 2002
Jill is nice.

Too bad she's just another Democrat, not a genuine Green.

If only Citibank & the Fed would get out of the way, perhaps the Mass Greenwash Party could make way for a genuine Green Party in these parts.

Even though votes are not properly counted (even in Boston!), I suggest writing in votes for OPEN DEBATES, NO BRIBERY, REAL VOTE TABULATION.
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