. . . She’s hoping by touting the light-rail issue, she might draw another name into the Green Party presidential mix â€” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Michael Bloomberg would present the best opportunity for a fusion candidate to advocate very strongly for high-speed rail,â€ she said. “New York City has one of the most sophisticated commuter rail systems in the country, and Michael Bloomberg is very familiar with the benefits and knows where the pitfalls are for building a rail system.â€
Bloomberg is a billionaire who could finance his campaign; he would help in efforts to get the Green Party on the ballot, she said. . .
. . . And we had one actual Presidential candidate on hand: Gail Parker, who hails these days from those Independent Greens in Virginia but who spent some of her childhood here in the Sooner State, and who was well received by the crowd. (She also schlepped along a Draft Bloomberg sign, which if nothing else indicates that she’s keeping the options open.)
Since Gail Parker is getting a decent amount of attention with her campaign here in Oklahoma, I think it is appropriate for me to give some thoughts as an Oklahoma Green.
Gail is a very nice person who is running a very active campaign. I met with her when she was here in town and was struck by her personableness and her tenacity.
However, those good qualities aside, I don’t see any way that she would ever be considered as a Green candidate for President, and I am very concerned that her campaign will misrepresent what Greens are really about.
I have three main concerns about her: (1) her advocacy of a Bloomberg fusion campaign, (2) her refusal to address other issues besides rail, and (3) her participation in a divisive state Green Party splinter group. I’ll address each of these concerns below.
1. The Bloomberg fusion concerpt — Bloomberg is a moderate Republican. He has many admirable qualities (from a Green perspective), but he does not agree with us on drug policies, the Patriot Act, trade issues, and most importantly the war in Iraq (you can research this in this Wikipedia article on Bloomberg’s political positions). Certainly he is better than most Republicans (heck, he seems to be more liberal than Hillary Clinton on many issues — i.e. he supports gay marriage), but he still is not progressive enough for the Greens.
Bloomberg is also rich. Most Greens (including myself), believe that the rich have too much power in this country and would not support giving the ultra-rich even more power.
2. Gail’s refusal to talk about other things on the campaign trail besides rail — I’ve done a fair bit of google searching on Parker’s position on the issues, and frankly it is hard to find out where she stands on anything but rail. (the best analysis I could find of Parker was on Ambivalentmumblings.blogspot.com). She ran a US Senate campaign in ’06 and is currently running for County supervisor in Virginia (along with her Presidential bid), yet I can’t find anything that says where she stands on some of the following key issues — abortion, immigration, the war in Iraq, civil liberties, LGBT rights, trade/globalism, environmental protection (other than promoting rail), foreign policy, etc. I have found that she refers to herself as a “conservative” pretty often, and uses the meaningless phrase – “Fiscally conservative, socially responsible” that means nothing. What does this mean? Without hearing her take specific positions on the issues, we just don’t know. The only tidbits of information I’ve been able to glean is that she is opposed to the Iraq war (which she told me in person) and that she wants better accounting practices at the Pentagon (which is on her campaign website)
Certainly I know that she argues that she preaches the Rail gospel because it is the only way to get press, but when it comes to candidate questionnaires and direct questions on specific issues I think she needs to be able to answer the questions. You should not be running for President if you don’t feel you have to answer the people’s questions.
3. Her participation in a divisive state Green Party splinter group — This very much concerns me because the Greens have worked for a long-time to educate the people about our positions. We are an ideological party committed to certain values (the best summation of them is The Four Pillars of the Green Party.
By forming a second state party group in Virginia (something I might fear she may try to do in Oklahoma as well), she is creating needless confusion. She makes it very clear that she sees the Green Party of the United States as being “too liberal,” so I have to wonder why is seeking their nomination and using their name? Why not run as a true independent or start another third party?
Well anyway those are my thoughts. I hope it was helpful to hear what a real grassroots GP member thinks of her campaign.