- Published: 02 August 2006 02 August 2006
New York's Green Party Candidate for U.S. Senate
The Rock Hill Bakehouse Café in Glens Falls hosted a fundraiser for Howie Hawkins, the Green Party Candidate for US Senate from New York on Saturday, July 22. Mr. Hawkins spoke at length to the packed house about the race, the war in Iraq, the growing energy crisis and the importance of supporting third party candidates.
Most years, the prospects for a third party candidate are dim, at best. However, two early polls indicate that this year may be an exception. WAMC radio in Albany ran an informal poll on May 23, asking how listeners intended to vote in this year's Senatorial race. Mr. Hawkins came in first with 32%. On My 27, Zogby International released the results of a poll of likely November voters. The poll gave respondents three choices; Hillary Clinton, an anti-war candidate or someone else. Senator Clinton was the choice of 38%, an anti-war candidate 32%, undecided 21% and someone else 10%. Mr. Hawkins commented on the Zogby poll by stating "Anybody who tells me I might spoil the election for the Democrats I say, yeah, the only way I can spoil the election is to win the whole thing."
"Thirty two percent of the vote for an anti-war candidate translates into about a million and a half votes . . . So those of us that want to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and turn US foreign policy around have a real opportunity here to make a huge statement". Expecting the Democrats to lead us out of Iraq is like expecting crack addicts to turn in their needles". Because they're addicted to the campaign cash they get from corporate America, as addicted as the Republicans. Corporate America wants not a defensive military but a global occupation force." Mr. Hawkins went on to describe the ties between the Congress, corporations and the military as an "industrial-military-congressional complex".
Mr Hawkins offered two specifics regarding his energy policy. "We should take 300 billion dollars a year . . . and spend it on a global public works program to re-wire the planet with renewal energy and render oil and nuclear power obsolete and unnecessary. Make friends around the world, instead of enemies, spread goodwill instead of resentment." He also called for the creation of a National Oil Company that would lower and stabilize the price of oil. By accepting the standing offer from Venezuela to sign a long-term contract to purchase oil at $50.00 a barrel, the National Oil Company (which Mr. Hawkins referred to as a New Deal style yardstick corporation) would be able to drive down the cost of home heating oil and gasoline. He sees this future government entity as the driving force to spur the development of alternative energy sources and ease the transition to non-oil dependent economy.
Mr. Hawkins spoke of how the increased use of renewable energy will act as a catalyst for job creation, reduce our dependence on foreign oil from the Middle East which will improve our national security and "start to demilitarize our society (which) is on a permanent war footing" and help fight global warming.
One of the main goals of the New York State Green Party going into this years campaign is gain 50,000 votes for Malachy McCourt in the governor's race. Such a result would grant the party an automatic ballot line and facilitate it's ability to run more local candidates.
Mr. Hawkins has been active in peace and justice issues since the 1960's. His is a former Marine, co-founded both the Clamshell Alliance and the Green Party. He is currently a member of the Green Party National Committee. Mr. Hawkins is a resident of Syracuse, where is employed in the trucking industry and is a member of the Teamsters Union.
The fundraiser, which raised $2,000.00 for the Hawkins campaign, was organized by the Adirondack Progressives. Plans are underway for a speaking engagement in the fall by Malachy McCourt, the Green Party candidate for Governor in New York.