On July 10, the 2014 Convention of the Florida Press Association/Florida Society of News Editors will be holding its gubernatorial candidate forum at the Biltmore in Coral Gables. In an all too familiar story, the Libertarian candidate for governor, Adrian Wyllie, will be denied his rightful place at the rostrum. The sponsors claim he lacks public support, even though he is polling between 5% and 6% of the vote. Lacks public support? Catch 22: how can a candidate gain support when he or she can’t be heard?
Over the years, minor party candidates have been systematically excluded from the public dialogue by the two-party system, but Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is fighting back. In his statement below, he declares, “I refuse to accept your rules, and I present you with the following ultimatum. I will attend the FPA/FSNE Gubernatorial Forum on July 10th in Coral Gables. You may either allow me to participate in the forum, or you may have me arrested.”
In fighting for his right to speak, he is fighting for all minor party candidates who have been shut out of the public eye for so many years. The Green Party of Florida therefore insists that his voice be heard on an equal footing with all the gubernatorial candidates.
Green Party Candidate for Florida Representative, District 6: Henry Lawrence
I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Small Business Forum for Florida Representative Candidates – District 6. This forum was a first outing for the eight candidates running for the seat held by Jimmy Patronis, who is term limited and can not run for the seat this election cycle.
Henry Lawrence, co-chair of the Green Party of Bay County was among the candidates at the forum, and guests got to hear a little about Henry, and about what a Green Representative will bring to Bay County. Other candidates speaking at the forum were: Tho Bishop, Melissa Hagan, Thelma Rohan, Jamie Shepard, Jay Trumbull, Ryan Jack Singletary, and Jerry Wyche.
Each candidate got two minutes to share some information about themselves, and tell the audience why they felt they would be the best person to represent the citizens of Bay County. Then the moderator, Don Arias, asked a series of question, three per candidate, and each person got 90 seconds to answer the question asked of them.
Henry Lawrence performed well in representing Green values as he introduced himself to the audience. Having lived in northwest Florida most of his life, Lawrence is aware of the issues facing this area, and as a small business person himself, he knows how important small business is to Panama City. Promoting jobs, and economic growth is vitally dependent on education at all levels, and providing good jobs is key to keeping young people in Bay County after they have graduated from high school or college – good quality job candidates will not stay in an area that does not offer the high paying jobs they seek in order to make a decent living.
“I was really impressed with the weekend, it made me really happy,” related Cathy Gilbert, the newly-elected Female Co-Chair of the Green Party of Florida (GPFL). The long-time Green continued, “The discussions weren’t just worthwhile for getting business done, but they actually excited and energized people. Folks who had never met face-to-face had the chance to talk in person, to actually get to know their partners from around the state. Their commitment was apparent, and I could see that people are working in their locals with a lot of passion.”
Some 30 members had just wrapped up three days of deliberations (June 6 – 8) in Orlando, Florida, at the Quaker Meeting House on Friday and Saturday, and at the Latino Leadership center on Sunday. The weekend began with concerns over the state of the party. The GPFL is small, it had lost several officers in the course of the past year, and heavy issues over the character of the party itself remained unresolved.
But attendees emerged hopeful, pleased by the creation of new affiliates in Broward and Orange counties, many new faces among the old, with a mix of seriousness and camaraderie shown in tackling the hard and potentially divisive issues.
The United States is experiencing a serious crisis and most Americans know it. Our government and the Washington establishment is disintegrating at near breath taking speed. A Unified Progressive Movement or Coalition: Periodic efforts have made to create and launch “third party” efforts by small groups around the nation but few achieve any kind of significant national recognition. The Green Party has made a gallant effort but generally fails to get more than a fraction of the national vote in presidential elections though their platform is appealing to many of us. In order to mount a significant challenge by a progressive movement, I believe a coalition of organizations must agree to cooperate to represent common values. This requires both a suppression of individual egos and a willingness to work together on common causes.
The United States is experiencing a serious crisis and most Americans know it. Our government and the Washington establishment is disintegrating at near breath taking speed. It could well be the most serious situation in at least a hundred years. For years now several authors have described our government in Washington as being “broken” or “dysfunctional”. But these words seem inadequate now.
It is much more like a “living” entity which is dying and is in a critical state; all vital signs are poor. Crises are generated in Washington from incompetence and corruption. Little or nothing gets done; few if any serious problems are addressed. Everything is addressed as “partisan.” But that is a delusion because as I will mention later there is really only one party with two different factions serving the corporate fascists. When the two factions finally agree on something, then it is called “bipartisan” because the two political parties appear to be constantly fighting over power and money. What, if anything, is to be done about this evil charade? Continue reading “Why Americans Must Demolish the Political Duopoly and Create a New Progressive Alliance”