By Scott Mansfield
September 27, 2012
Jill Stein is the 2012 Presidential Candidate for the Green Party, of which she has been a member for 12 years. She announced her candidacy in August 2011 after having been asked to by Green Party activists and has since been endorsed by notable political writer Noam Chomsky and former Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who for the first time in many years is no longer taking the lead as an independent choice at the polls.
Stein, a native of Illinois was born into the Jewish community there and said of her moral motivations that “From my perspective, the need to do Justice, love mercy was the watchword of my community, the Jewish community where I grew up.” She attended Harvard Medical School and has served with the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. She has for years lived in Lexington, Massachusetts and has had a modicum of success in the polls there but saw limited election success.
She was elected the Town of Lexington Town Meeting Representative twice in 2005 and 2008 winning a total 20.6 percent of the vote—which is more or less the same percentage as she earned in other Massachusetts elections. She has unsuccessfully run for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, House Representative of the same state, and Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Though she did not win the widespread support she would need to win these elections and probably won’t in the presidential run, she represents an important alternative in this upcoming election. She did however receive enough private campaign donations to qualify for the Federal Election Commission to match those contributions federally. She is running on a green platform with environmental concerns, naturally, and has chosen the campaign slogan of “A Green New Deal for America” which she claims is based on the idea of community-based full-time jobs. Of her campaign she has said that it is giving people a choice at the polls to avert another four years of corporate dominated hegemony.
She was invited to speak about her campaign platform on Moyers & Company and said that as part of her Green New Deal she would like to impose a sales tax on Wall Street transactions because it would generate hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue for the federal government and attempt to “rein in this reckless speculation in gambling on Wall Street which is a good thing all around.” She finds it easier to talk about additional taxes than her competition, as she states that the money from these taxes, mainly focused at corporations, the rich, and Wall Street, will give the federal government the revenue they need to jump start the Green economy.
Though Stein may lack the universal appeal that the Democratic and Republican candidates strive for she has reached some groups passed-over by the major parties, having campaigned in Oregon where neither Romney nor Obama have. She attended the pro-legalization festival Hempstalk where she expressed her strong support for the legalization of marijuana, a position that neither front-running candidate is willing to take, which only demonstrates the liberties that independent candidates are privy to in that Stein can say and do things which automatically cause controversy for front-runners.