Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kent Mesplay for President

Kent Mesplay, CA

I announced my candidacy to the Presidential Candidate Support Committee of the Green Party of the United States, May 1, 2007. Since that time I have participated in four interviews, accepted another, participated in two Green Party Presidential Forums: one July 10th at the National Press Club a couple blocks from the White House (five candidates; hosted by Marvin Kalb of "Meet the Press") and another at the Annual National Meeting of the Green Party in Reading, PA July 13th (ten candidates; not much debate but some fine introductions). Also, one call-in debate with two other Green Party candidates: Gail Parker and Joe Schriner, August 7, 2007. I have also been invited to non-partisan presidential events elsewhere, including New Mexico. People are beginning to contribute funds. I find it helps to ask, although I don't like doing this. I work full time as an Air Quality Inspector for the county of San Diego. I anticipate taking more time off work as funds come in to replace my otherwise lost wages (there is a new Federal Election Commission rule allowing candidates to replace their salaries with monies earned from campaigning- something new, allowing non-wealthy people a chance at office). Your support is essential as we Greens are not beholden to business interests for our funding.

I run to improve our political system, to help define, popularize and support the Green Party, to be an advocate for changes to our culture that will help us survive adversity and to improve our basic physical security, especially in terms of the basic categories of water, food and energy. I am optimistic that we can reform government and that we will begin building our communities with a sense of long-range planning as though we-the-people intend to be around for a long time to come. I value decentralization, diversity and sustainability, not as catch-phrases but as a good way of life. I believe that international commerce should be cognizant of the importance of people being able to meet their own basic needs of water and food, rather than the current method of seeking to exploit "developing" nations at their most basic level. Our party is pro-peace and we vigorously question the "need" for war, especially wars of choice that ultimately misuse and abuse our troops, damage our reputation and weaken our security by inciting enemies.

Over-all turnout in the last General Election was poorer than ever. Ralph Nader once said, "If you don't turn to politics, politics will turn on you." As of this time Mr. Nader is not running for the nomination. You can work to help reform politics by learning about Instant Runoff Voting (I.R.V.) or preferential voting, by advocating representational government such as proportional representation rather than "winner-take-all" and by not supporting the major parties until they stop cowering by excluding our good candidates from their "debates." One comment I recall David Cobb (Green Party Presidential Candidate, 2004) repeating, on the last campaign for the White House, is that "third" parties perform the function of introducing new ideas and applying new pressures to the powers that be so that we now have child labor laws, a 40-hour work week and some other programs that are designed to counter-balance the extreme economic power of the elite and help the common person. In a Democratic society (yes, I know we are a Republic) even non-moneyed voices deserve to be heard. We must get the money out of politics and require our elected officials to not be obligated to "earmarking" bills. Although it is an indication of support, we ought to require more from our candidates than essentially seeing who can raise the most cash. When funds are contributed it is best that they are anonymous to the recipient and are pooled. Currently, candidates have to raise their own money and I am no exception. Even a monthly contribution of $1 per person would allow me to run a visible campaign if those who will vote for me would begin doing this. Plus, such a plan approaches the concept of publicly funded elections wherein a candidate does not feel obligated to contributors of large amounts. Eventually, I would like a more fully honored separation of powers through a Constitutional amendment limiting the influence of business on government.

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