I’ve been struggling with something for a few weeks now, okay - maybe not weeeeeeeeeeks. The whole thing circles around Green Party stuff, what seems like personal needs, and a desire to do good, not just right. I guess it’s just better to put it out on the table of blog...
Way back in 2000 I worked on the Medea for Senate campaign. It was one of the most enjoyable political experiences of my life. I worked for a candidate who was speaking into the microphone about the >very< things I was faced with every day. My political party was supporting a candidate who got a lot of people energized not to be active through November 2000 - but for much longer after that. And, people can think back to this campaign and get some of that energy and momentum back.
2002, Peter came on the scene with his run for Governor. Starting with not as much political resources, the campaign moved forward, but I just couldn’t get into it. I tried, I hosted fundraisers, purchased Los Angeles County’s only lawn signs for the campaign, and I talked up the campaign as much as I could.
The recall came, and again - just couldn’t get into it. But, towards the end of the season there was a tremendous amount of energy and momentum many of us knew the party didn’t have the resources to maintain.
Then, the presidential election season.
Yes, I was on the Accreditation Committee - in fact I co-chaired it.
I was leading the effort, within the committee, to get our 2004 nomination procedures into a proposal and in front of the National Committee for their approval. In terms of processes, it was best to update the process we used in 2000 and send it to the NC for approval. This is what we did: we changed the references of ASGP to GPUS and 2000 to 2004. That was it.
And, the proposal passed, with a few changes. In terms of GP activities it was a painless process.
Then before the Winter 03 plenary, Peter announced (after the
deadline) he was running as a “Favorite Son”. I admit, I fell for it. I thought it was a good idea, under the premise that competition will make for a deeper more thoughtful campaign.
The GPUS convention took place, David Cobb and Pat LaMarche won the nomination.
The day marks the birth of the new Peter Camejo campaigns - one of finger pointing, stomping of feet, and out of control list nannies.
The Cobb/LaMarche campaign of 2004 was a Green Party campaign. It was a campaign of our issues, our awareness, and a celebration of our platform. David and Pat woke up that day in November not as the new owners of the Green Party, without feelings of being owed something - but as continued members of the Green Party. And, I feel the same way.
I am a member of the Green Party. I have never been a part of another political party - through thick and thin, press or no press, good days, bad days - I am here.
So, while Peter strolls into another campaign for Governor, I hope that people keep this in mind. Peter is not owed anything, he doesn’t own the party. Peter is a member of the party, and Greens shouldn’t feel bullied, marginalized, demeaned, or otherwise down about how they feel about other candidates. Even if they want to support other candidates.
This is what I’ve been having an internal showdown about - I want to run for Governor. I want to run a campaign that someone out there would get excited about. I want people to celebrate our platform, our values. We don’t need to run a campaign that says “we are a third party trying to break the duopoly”. We need a campaign that reaffirms our independence as a political party, we need a campaign that will help the initiatives that we support, succeed. Our party needs a campaign that can take ownership of what is owed to our party
- not just individuals.
While I >want< to run to secure the party’s nomination, that doesn’t necessarily say that I should run, or can run. I have a job, which I throughly enjoy. I have student loans. My partner Alex, has much more pull than most in terms of making the final decision. It takes money, it takes support, time and energy. Maybe a weekend in Vegas can help to reconcile the internal conflicts.