We all know our existing system, dominated by two big parties, can leave a lot of people stuck in the middle and underrepresented. Ohio’s upcoming gubernatorial race is no exception.

I feel very sorry for all of the gay couples looking to send their adopted children to charter schools that teach intelligent design. How hard it must be for them to choose between one of the two major party gubernatorial candidates.

Or the librarians and teachers and parents of special-needs children who think government spending is out of control.

Or the libertarians who think the government should dictate who they can fuck, what they can do with their own bodies and what they can view on television.

If you don’t fall totally into one camp or the other it becomes SO hard to decide between the Democrat and the Republican.

And so we really need third-party candidates to come in and help us refocus our attention on what REALLY matters.

In the 2010 Ohio Governor’s race, Dennis Spisak IS that candidate.

I’d really like to thank Mr. Spisak, the Green Party Candidate for Governor, for his courage, strength and conviction.

We’d all be totally fucked without you, Dennis.

Thank you SO MUCH.

 
  • seditious

    What do all these posts about the Green Party mean?

    I think it means that Dem mouthpieces know that the Party has some big problems. President Obama came into office at a time that he could have been a transformational president like FDR and Reagan. Instead, he's been governing Bush-lite—pro-bailout, pro-war, pro-corporate lobbyist. He doesn't even have the self-respect to investigate the Bush crimes even though Cheney and Rove want to destroy Obama no matter what he does.

    Governor Strickland has also governed Republican-lite.

    I'm currently a registered Democrat who might just vote Green in future elections because the Democratic Party is taking progressives for granted because they don't fear us and they'll keep doing that until fear is instilled.

    The Democratic Party is no longer the party of the people. It rakes in more money from Wall Street than the Rethugs.

    The answer right now isn't party politics at all. What's needed to create the change that Obama promised but hasn't delivered is movement politics. And the Green Party constitutes much more of a movement than the corporately-controlled Democratic Party.

  • Plunderbund as Dem mouthpiece! Too funny. I think the ODP might disagree with you on that one.

    If the Green Party candidate was offering any new ideas to differentiate himself from Strickland then you might have a point. But I think Modern has clearly shown that this is not the case.

    Spisak has no chance of winning and his only impact will be to take away votes from the one guy who is actually committed to everything Spisak claims to want.

  • ROFL

    That is all. Nothing follows

  • seditious

    How can you call yourself a progressive and cheerlead for Gov. Strickland? Take Healthcare reform for example.

    Dem governors and mayors should have been pounding podiums across the country demanding Medicare for All the past year. There are about 50k to 60k state workers that our taxes pay for over-priced private health insurance premiums. Getting state workers into Medicare for All could save taxpayers almost half of those costs.

    The only reason that state and local Dem officials haven't been pounding podiums is that they are in the pockets of the Pharma and Big Insurance and Hospital lobbies.

    That's just one issue. The Green Party platform is in stark contrast to Strickland and Obama. I agree that Greens don't currently have a chance to win most elections but the threat of losing 5% of the vote leverages Dems to toward taking progressive positions. And, Greens could flourish if corporate money ever gets taken out of elections and rigid caps are established on rich people giving contributions (I haven't heard Strickland advocating those things).

  • Being a Progressive does not require me to also be a pie-in-the-sky, hippy dippy, my-way-or-the-highway ideologue.

    You don't get shit done by whining and bitching that things aren't perfect. You get things done, first and foremost, by getting elected. Something Strickland has proven he can do.

    And once you get elected, you pick your battles and you stand your ground on important issues, but you also end up making deals and making compromises to get the things you really want to accomplish. That's politics. That's how it works. And again, Strickland has proven himself a fighter and a savvy politician.

    Strickland's agenda certainly does include health care – and he's made multiple attempts to expand coverage in Ohio. But he's up against the GOP-controlled Senate and the huge loss of working capital caused by the global recession.

    No one, except maybe you and Dennis Kucinich, believe we are going to get a single-payer health care bill passed. Even if Dems controlled the entire GA. They can't do it nationally and we could never do it in Ohio. It's a fucking dream – like eliminating the state income tax.

    Oh – and there is no way in hell you are going to pull 5% of anything anywhere ever.

  • mvirenicus

    i can easily see the greens taking 5% of the vote even in this pathetic backwater state.

  • Unlikely. Fitrakis only pulled about 1% in 2006 and he's as close to a lefty activist rock star as you get in Ohio.

    I can't speak for Modern, but I don't have anything against the Greens or Spisak. I whole-heartedly support most of what they stand for. My beef is with their approach.

    You don't further your cause by attacking the guy most likely to help you achieve your goals.

  • seditious

    Joseph,

    This isn't hippy-dippy stuff. Every other industrialized country has a Medicare for All (or non-profit) type system. How can any progressive call HCR a victory when all it does is bring 30 million more people into a failed system? Are you content with a family making $60,000 a year being mandated to buy private insurance that will cost them 17% of their income? That's not what Obama promised when I heard him speak in Dublin last autumn.

    I'm not talking about Strickland passing single-payer through the legislature because it's illegal and will likely still be illegal if a bill gets passed because of ERISA. Kucinich has fought hard for allowing states to choose single payer. Haven't heard a peep out of Strickland on that though.

    Ohio's state government has about 55,000 employees. The average health insurance premium for each employee is about $12,500. That comes out to taxpayers shelling out almost $700,000,000 for private health insurance premiums each year.

    Considering the budget crunch, why in the world isn't Strickland (and other Dem politicians) pounding the podium about getting state employees into Medicare for All which would save hundreds of million$. I'm not saying I expect him to pass legislation, just use the bully pulpit to highlight the issue.

    The only reason I can think of that that isn't happening is that Dem politicians are just as addicted to legalized bribes from the for-profit health industry as the Rethugs are.

    Obama and Strickland have initiated very few policies that demonstrate to voters that they are on the side of the people. From what I've observed, the Democrats are just using their power to position themselves to raise more campaign contributions from corporate interestes than the Rethugs.

  • The hippy-dippy part is not the goals to which you aspire. They are good ones. It's the belief that you can make any meaningful changes to the existing system by running as a third party candidate.

    If you want to make changes you need to get elected. If you want to get elected then you need to raise money.

    You don't have to like it, but that's how it works.

  • ^ this

  • modernesquire

    First of all, Ted Strickland was publicly pushing Congress harder than anyone but Sherrod Brown on the public option.

    He's had a long history of supporting health care reform. Your comment is the kind of know better while knowing nothing attitude that is frustrating me with most of the progressive community.

  • seditious

    For the past 7 or 8 years Democrats have repeatedly said that they'd deliver essential policy changes if we just took over the House, Senate, Presidency and state government, etc. They delivered this message in every medium—solicitations for campaign contributions, in stump speeches, in the media, etc.

    The grassroots worked their asses off and now Dems control the whole enchilada in D.C. There should be no excuses.

    If the Dems can't deliver on passing at least some progressive policies then WTF, I'll start voting to give another Party a chance to get the job done.

  • Strickland has been Governor for 3 years.

    Obama for 1.

    What the fuck are you talking about?

  • mvirenicus

    a supermajority in the senate, huge majority in the house, the white house and what have they accomplished in the last year? bupkus.

  • modernesquire

    Let's see, Strickland only reversed a major utility giveaway policy from the 90s by re-regulating the electric market, mandated the most aggressive renewable energy mandates in the nation, secured funding to expand health care in Ohio, froze tuition, and reformed Ohio's higher education and primary and secondary education system.

    Yeah, Dennis Spisak would do better against what was once a legislature entirely controlled by the GOP which now only controls one house.

    Strickland can't make state employees eligbile for Medicare, a State can't do that, as you point out, absent federal legislation being passed first.

  • seditious

    The point is that Democratic governors could be discussing how Medicare for All would save government at all levels billions of dollars each year. The Democratic Party is currently to the right of Eisenhower's Republican Party of 55 years ago regarding economic and labor issues.

    And, Strickland and other Dems have little to brag about concerning the cost of college tuition. Higher education is practically free in every other industrialized country in the world and many developing countries too. It could be that way here too if we just stopped invading countries unnecessarily and cut military spending in half and rolled back the Reagan tax cuts.

    Northern Europe has it all figured out. Look at the social contract of the Scandanavian countries. Yeah, Strickland can't make that kind of change as a governor but he wouldn't bring transformational change if he somehow became president either. I want progressive politicians who will deliver at all levels.

    My guess is that most of the bloggers on this site favor the Scandanavian model compared to the status quo. So, why do you guys have to shit all over other progressives such as Kucinich and the Greens?

    Some activists shake the trees and others collect the nuts. It's necessary for there to be progressives doing both things.

  • modernesquire

    Would the Green Party be the one collecting the nuts?

    Define “Northern Europe” that has it all figured out. It's easy to have a small military budget when you have an international superpower providing all of your global security needs. But maybe you're right. Maybe if we cut our military spending and revoked our treaty obligations in NATO and cleared out Germany, all those countries wouldn't have “free” tuition, too.

    The problem with the Green Party and Kucinich is that they don't understand that the first principle in a democratic government is compromise. A democracy, not even a democratic republic, can strive with t-totalers demanding their way or nothing. That leads to gridlock which is why Dennis Kucinich is an ineffective Congressman in getting things done legislatively, but he's a favorite of the far-left.

    Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy, but only when that dissent is ground in reason. People like Dennis Spisak are going out there criticizing Ted Strickland with false narratives. Attacking Strickland for things that he not only doesn't oppose, but actually has notable achievements.

    Naysayers like Spisak discourage people to participate in the system because their entire rationale for their existence is the believe that there is no difference between the two parties which is utter nonsense. So is your idea that the Democratic Party is to the right of Eisenhower Republicanism in the 1950s.

    Last I checked, Dwight Eisenhower didn't push for equality for the GLBT community.

    The Green Party would serve a function if 1) we had a parliamentary system of government, 2) they didn't convince the Democratic Party that their base wouldn't support them no matter what they do.

    You see, from my perspective, unlike prior third parties, all the Green Party has done in this nation is help give those who want to push the Democratic Party ammunition, because there's no point in courting a voting group that will never be satisfied and is going to criticize you no matter what you do.

    Dennis Spisak is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the Green Party. He clearly has no freaking clue what Ted Strickland has done for this State, nor does he factor in the political realism of the fact that the Republicans largely control the state legislature, and yet he's going around criticizing Strickland for not doing things that, in reality, Strickland has done.

    Caught in the line, Spisak then dismisses the advancement claiming it's not enough, is somehow corrupted, all the while promoting a separate false narrative that someone else, like himself, would do better in a political environment when these issues would need to be agreed upon by a State Senate still controlled by Republicans.

    Spisak constantly criticizes Ted Strickland for being in the pocket of the coal industry simply because Strickland hasn't outlawed nuclear or coal power, and yet, he won't say that he'd do any better because he knows that in reality Ohio couldn't meet its electric demands without some coal power.

    I've got news for you the Reagan tax cuts were rolled back. First in 1984 in order to balance the budget and then again in the tax increases that made Geoge H.W. Bush's “no new taxes” pledge the symbol of flip-flopping.

  • modernesquire

    The Green Party isn't a movement. If it were, it would achieve something other than help getting Republicans elected.

    The Green Party isn't the party of the people, because the people don't support it.
    How can I say that…. well, just look at the absolute failure it's been as a party. In the last gubernatorial election, it came in dead last behind a liberterian candidate.

    The Democratic Party has hardly taken progressives for granted. If anything it's the other way around. Apparently, progressives like you thought that within a year of Obama's Administration we'd all be coffehouse coitre Western Europeans right now.

    Sorry, but our system, by design, isn't meant for such radical changes.

    We're dealing with an economic meltdown right now, as well as several major foreign policy crises left by the last Administration. Sorry that we haven't made the U.S.A. into France yet, but even that wouldn't be enough for the Greens. Because Western Europe relies on nuclear power.

    You know I haven't heard you say one thing you've done to try to improve the system. Have you donated to Jennifer Brunner's campaign? Nope. I bet you've never even helped Dennis Kucinich.

    What you want is a government that does everything you want and is able to know that only by how you vote every two to four years. Well, sorry, democracy requires you to work a little harder if that's what you want. If you think that leaving in a huff and throwing your vote to the Green Party is going to help you, then you must still believe that this country would have been no different if there had been a President Al Gore.

    If that's what you believe, then there's no point in talking anymore. I can't rationalize with the delusional.

    What the fuck did you think would happen?

    You think we win one, two elections and then all the opponents of what you support would just… give up? Why would they do that which we refused to do in 1980 or 1994?

    I mean it's crazy how many people think Obama has “abandoned” them by supporting a massive government stimulus package designed to create jobs for you, tried reforming a health care system, end the Iraq war, and close Gitmo.

    So he's not everything you thought he'd be. Maybe that's because you projected more on him than you should have. It's like thos anti-war progressives who are shocked, SHOCKED that Obama would do what he actually said he'd do in Afghanistan.

    The problem is that the Green Party is all criticism, no real solutions. Most Green Party progressives I've ever met are some of the most fascist people I've ever seen. Don't get me wrong they're “benevolent” fascists, but they have no room for disagreement on anything. That's why their T-totaler ways have been completely counterproductive to the progressive cause.

  • seditious

    >>>I mean it's crazy how many people think Obama has “abandoned” them by supporting a massive government stimulus package designed to create jobs for you, tried reforming a health care system, end the Iraq war, and close Gitmo….SHOCKED that Obama would do what he actually said he'd do in Afghanistan.

    Modern,

    This is b.s. on so many levels. It's almost on par with Fox News propaganda.

    Excuse me for not thinking that a campaign centered on the themes of Change and Hope would mean that Pres Obama would go to West Point and use 9-11 as justification for upholding the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war and send more troops to Afganistan. Yes, he campaigned that Afghanistan is the “good war.” But that was before we knew that Karzai is a crook and he would use massive election fraud to maintain power.

    Iraq is more b.s. Few troops have been withdrawn there. They've just been moved to bases.

    Change? One-third of the stimulus was welfare for corporations and rich people.

    Health care—the Health Insurance companies stock prices are going up in the face of “reform.” Why take Medicare for All off the table at the beginning of the process and never even get it scored by the CBO? Why cut Pharma their sweet deals regarding drug importation and not negotiating for bulk prices?

    Close Gitmo and move 'em to Bagram.

    Excuse me for thinking a Constitutional Law Professor as President would bring back the Fourth Admendment. The government and AT&T continue to warehouse every email and phone call and the Telecoms still can't be sued and the issue remains off the radar screen.

    Obama said at the start that he wanted every viewpoint at the table. Yet, it's only the DLC at the table—Hillary, Rahm, Summers, Bernanke, Geithner, Duncan, LaHood,….

    Your right on two things—the Green Party isn't exactly a movement and Progressives should now be focused on movement politics. And that citizenship should be much more than just voting. That's why I'm a contributing member of Progressive Democrats of America and I contribute to progressives such as Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich.

  • seditious

    Modern wrote: “I've got news for you the Reagan tax cuts were rolled back. First in 1984 in order to balance the budget and then again in the tax increases that made Geoge H.W. Bush's “no new taxes” pledge the symbol of flip-flopping.”

    This comment demonstrates massive ignorance or a massive lie. Modern, the top tax bracket pre-Reagan was 70%. Today it's in the 35% range. That's on earnings over $2 million or so, adjusted for inflation.

    This is an important issue, get yourself educated:

    http://www.alternet.org/workplace/106410/tax_cu

    http://www.alternet.org/workplace/106979/why_th

  • seditious

    Check out the Republican Party's Platform in 1956 to see how today's Democratic Party is more conservative and pro-corporate than Eisenhower's Republican Party.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid

  • Nifty Lawrence

    >>>If it were, it would achieve something other than help getting Republicans elected.

    If Democrats want my vote, they can actually start doing something useful rather than getting control of the presidency, the House & the Senate then *still* making sorry-ass excuses about how they can't get any major (or minor) reforms accomplished. The health care “reform” bill is but one example. What an absolute & pathetic joke.

    What will the excuse next year be? Mid-term elections. Can't rock the boat. The year after that? Preparing for the 2012 elections. Can't rock the boat. I've been a voter too long to see much use in supporting a status quo that continually gets us more war, not less. More corporate control of the economy, not less. More violations of civil liberties & civil rights, not less.

    Getting Republicans elected? It's called an election. This idea that the votes of all progressives belong to the Democratic Party has always struck me as puzzling & extremely presumptuous. My vote belongs to no party.

    >>>The Green Party isn't the party of the people, because the people don't support it.

    It's not an accident that the number of unaffiliated voters in this state is more than the combined number of registered Democrats & Republicans.

  • Nifty Lawrence

    >>>If you think that leaving in a huff and throwing your vote to the Green Party is going to help you…

    Again, presuming that progressive votes somehow *belong* to the Democrat Party and/or that all/some/many progressives consider themselves members of that party. Most Dems still don't get it & I'm afraid they never will.

  • So form an Independent Party and see if you can get all the “independents” to vote for you. My guess is that won't work either.

  • I'd love to see stats on how many progressives EVER vote non-Dem. My guess is it approaches zero.

  • Steve

    Who do you think voted for Nader for President, fool?

  • mvirenicus

    this is a function of the two-party system as it currently stands. if progressives weren't so loathe to allow a rethug to win and simply voted on issues and record of governance, they'd vote non-dem in droves. i voted non-dem for prez as recently as 96, and that was primarily because dole didn't have a chance. but, in reality, it was how i really *wanted* to vote.

  • seditious

    Joseph, Eric, Modern, Tim

    The bottom line is that you tout PB as “A Progressive Political Playground.” So, why shit all over progressives such as Dennis Kucinich and the Greens and instead use your ammo on corporate Dems and Rethugs.

    Or, have the integrity to change the slogan to “A Democratic Political Playground for Gradual and Incremental Change.”

    And Modern, you say that Greens are facist but I noticed that my comments must now await being moderated whereas they previously were appearing instantly.

  • seditious

    >>>And Modern, you say that Greens are facist but I noticed that my comments must now await being moderated whereas they previously were appearing instantly.

    Actually, my last comment was posted instantly so strike the above sentence from the record.

  • I guess it depends on how you define bupkus I guess. šŸ˜‰

  • Yeah. Whitelisted you too. We have to moderate comments to some degree. Lots of nutjobs out there who say the darnedest things.

  • comment moderation is not fascist.

  • I feel like I should chime in here since I'm the guy who originally came up with the tagline “A Progressive Political Playground”. I also coined and previously used “Crack Hits for Campaign Staffs”, but I digress.

    I'd note that I used this tagline long before any of the other bloggers joined me at PB, so you must consider that. It wasn't a joint decision and some current PB bloggers may not even like it.

    I'm probably the most hippy dippy of the lot here, but I also consider myself (and this blog) to be pragmatically progressive. I don't for a second think we'll ever arrive at my vision of a Progressive America. My aim is to bend the curve towards it so to speak. I'm in for the long haul.

  • Maybe not, but it is totalitarian. Essentially i control it without apology. šŸ˜‰

    Tim, Brian, Brian, and Joseph all have the ability to moderate but they rarely do. If you prove to be a valuable commenter you'll get whitelisted. If you prove to be a fucktard you'll get banned. Pretty simple, really.

  • No one is shitting on Dennis. I love Dennis.

    But Dennis is one of the few electeds who can get away with being an unapologetic idealist because his seat is safe. Dennis would never hold his seat if he was in my district (15th) and he could never win statewide office.

  • Nifty Lawrence

    As if all independents are independent for the same reason(s).

    But even if we were all of one mind, your two major parties have stacked the deck against third parties & independent candidates so massively – from allocating votes via the Electoral College via a winner-takes-all system to who gets to serve on local Boards of Election – that it makes it extremely difficult for such candidates & parties to make any kind of headway whatsoever.

    In other words, your parties have made it, structurally speaking, nearly impossible for anyone but Democrats or Republicans to get elected.

  • My point is that most independents are still really either Dem or Rep. They just like to say they are independent. Some I'm sure are thoughtful people who vote based on the policies and not on the partisan politics, but my guess is they have pretty regular partisan voting patterns.

    If there were enough people up in arms about the institutional nature of he D/R entrenchment it would get changed. I guess there isn't. Hence, the wahmbulance.

  • Tabbitha

    Thanks for that list. One thing it left out, rescinding the Mexico City Gag Rule relating to money for international aid for birth control.

  • mvirenicus

    it's in there. wasn't left out.

  • billy

    I voted for Barack in 2008. Needless to say I'm disappointed. I think I'm going to register Green again. Yeah the chances of a Green candidate winning an election for a federal office are slim and none. But at least I can vote my principles when I cast a vote for a Green. When I vote for a Democrat it is always the lesser of two evils. The sad truth is that one is evil and the other is just terribly inept.

  • mvirenicus

    i've heard the two major parties described as stupid and evil. sometimes they get together and create something both evil and stupid. that's called bipartisanship.

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