As I'm sure most of you have seen, Tom Golisano is not running for Governor. What does this mean for the Greens?
First I'll explain what the Governor's race means to us in general. We're not going to win. There, I said it. We don't have a chance in heck. We're not even going for second. Nope. We need something more attainable and vital to our continued success. We need ballot status.
Ballot status means the Greens will have a ballot line for our candidates in every election we want to run someone in. Potential Green candidates will only have to get petition signatures of Greens to get on the ballot not of the population as a whole. This is so much easier than running as an "independent". The difference is can be getting 2000 signatures versus 100 signatures. The time, money and effort you spend in getting all those signatures can be better spent campaigning. It's also easier to get qualified people to run for office. It also means that your party is higher up on the ballot.
For those in the city, you may remember my...um...amazing ballot placement in the school board race a couple of years ago. I was so far down, the levers covered up my name. For whatever reason, people will not bother to look down to find candidates. As if the extra 10 seconds it takes will somehow effect the outcome of their lives. But I digress.
So, how do you get this coveted ballot status? Easy. By getting 50,000 votes for Governor. You then have ballot status for the next 4 years. The special interest-sponsored parties get that standing on their heads. When we got ballot status back in 1998 it was by a little over 1000 votes. When we lost it in 2002 it was by 8000.
When Golisano ran for Governor last time he was on the Independence line. That got a lot of the "protest" vote. So did the guy who ran for the Marijuana Reform Party. We did too, but not enough to get 50,000. Golisano did for the IP, whatever the guy's name for MRP did not. So with Golisano out, the Repbulican candidate will be the decided underdog against Spitzer (more on him down the road), the IP may cross-endorse the Republican. This should leave the Green candidate poised to get the "protest" vote - at least enough for 50,000.
Of course that's best-case scenario. It's still going to take a lot of hard work getting our candidate on the ballot, whomever he or she may be. But overall, TG not running is a good thing for us.