Howie Hawkins for Congress
25th District, New York
For Immediate Release: Saturday, August 30, 2008
For More Information: Howie Hawkins, 315-425-1019, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawkins Asks Why Maffei Is Opposed to Democracy
Howie Hawkins, the Green Populist candidate for Congress in the 25th District, today accused his Democratic opponent of suppressing democracy by challenging Hawkins’ petition to run for Congress. Hawkins filed over 6,300 signatures. 3,500 signatures are required by law to qualify for the ballot.
Hawkins noted that due to New York State’s biased election laws, independents must collect nearly three times the 1250 signatures that Democrats and Republicans need to run for Congress. Hawkins submitted over five times the signatures the major party candidates needed.
“To hear Barack Obama tell it, change comes from the bottom up. Apparently Maffei didn’t get the message. Maffei doesn’t want an independent upstart to even have a chance of coming from the bottom up,” Hawkins said.
"Major party politicians like Dan Maffei support sending US troops to Iraq and Afghanistan under the guise of installing democracy, but they write anti-democratic election laws that suppress debate and democracy here in America," stated Hawkins.
"Maffei is trying to fix the election. He doesn’t want the competition. He wants to take for granted voters who are antiwar, for universal healthcare, and for clean energy. He doesn’t want to have to debate my platform of all troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, comprehensive health care for all through a single public insurer, and cutting the military budget at least $300 billion a year in order to fund a clean energy transition of sufficient speed and scale to achieve climate stability, energy security, and economic revitalization," said Hawkins.
If Hawkins’ petition survives Maffei’s objections, he will be the only independent candidate for Congress in New York State this year. The few other candidates who may have an additional line on the ballot through an independent nominating petition are also running as Democrats or Republicans.
“Independents have to go out and spend long hours every day for the limited six week petitioning period to convince thousands of voters to sign their petitions. Independent candidates not only have to get three times more signatures, we don’t have the patronage-based structures of the old established parties to gather them for us. The major party candidates don’t have to work for a single signature. Their party committees do it for them. In the course of doing their own petition for the county committee seats, the committee members present party voters with a stack of petitions to sign for all the party’s designated candidates. Many don’t even know whom the candidates are that they signed for,” Hawkins noted.