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by Robin Hindery
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 at 7:50 PM
Green Party candidates for statewide office come out in support of fiscally responsible policies that emphasize job creation, environmental protection, and social justice.
greennewdeal3.jpg, image/jpeg, 976x500
Nearly a dozen Green Party candidates in California on Tuesday endorsed a political platform that calls for slashing military spending, eliminating fees at public universities and establishing single-payer health care.
The 11 statewide, legislative and congressional candidates announced their support for a so-called “Green New Deal.” The 10-point platform also would legalize marijuana and enact a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They said sweeping changes are needed in the nation’s priorities as the country faces what they describe as massive fiscal and environmental crises.
“This plan pulls all of these various things together that we can do both individually and institutionally to benefit ourselves and the next generation,” said supporter Laura Wells, a Green Party gubernatorial candidate from Oakland.
The platform was drafted by the national political organization Green Change, based in the northern San Francisco Bay area community of San Rafael. More than 50 Green Party candidates from other states also have signed on.
Green Change co-founder Gary Ruskin called the plan “a complete break from the failed policies of the Democratic and Republican parties that have led us to economic and environmental disaster.”
Wells said she believes the most important feature of the plan is its commitment to reduction—whether that means lowering a household’s energy consumption or cutting the nation’s military budget by 70 percent or more.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for a more modest cut in military spending—0 billion over the next five years. The Defense Department’s current annual budget is nearly 0 billion, including war spending.
California’s third-party registration has been falling as the number of voters who decline to join a political party has soared. According to the secretary of state’s office, nearly 113,000 voters in California identify with the Green Party—less than 1 percent of the electorate.
In 2000, the Green Party had a registration of about 139,000 voters.
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