Thursday, March 20, 2008
Kent Mesplay, campaigning for the Green Party nomination for President, suggests that Ralph Nader's Independent run for President might boost his delegate count in the second round of this summer's Green Party Convention.
Though Nader won significant popular vote in several key states, including California with the largest constituency, many state parties have successfully pushed for bylaws which require a candidate to be a signed member of the party.
"Ralph Nader is basically doing his own thing, as he always does. I think strategically, he’s making a mistake if it is his intent to be the nominee (of the Green Party). If I criticize the man it’s not because he’s running an independent candidacy. He’s saying some important things and pointing out that there’s too much money in politics. People who were drafting him allowed his name to be used, so there are many who are disappointed." He continued, "Nader has elder status in that he helped the Green Party get going. Some people just have not been able to let him go."
Mesplay contends that, as in 2004 when he ran against Nader and Cobb, Nader's delegates may be attracted to his particular platform, which emphasizes sustainability .
"Things get interesting in the second round," said Mesplay, when the number of promised delegates pledged to Nader could select one of the remaining candidates, including himself. "I intend to win the nomination."
Cynthia McKinney, former Democratic Congresswoman of Georgia who recently signed up to be a Green appears to be the frontrunner. McKinney draws into the party a much sought constituency of the black and urban communities. Her platform emphasizes social and economic justice, a much heralded but little played tune from the party's ten key values. Her record of standing up in Congress to others in office and of opening up matters that most have ignored gained her the respect of many Greens, while her public persona took a beating from fellow Democrats and the media. To date, her campaign has demonstrated the most organizational and fundraising muscle.
When asked about fellow candidate Jesse Johnson's recent vote of support from Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel, Mesplay said, "I’m pleased for Jesse, because it shows that people are starting to pay attention to the Green Party. It shows how creative we can be and how creative we must be in order to attract media attention."
Mesplay hopes that in the 100 days before the convention, his additional campaign work will attract enough state delegates to offer good competition at this year's convention. This weekend, he will be a guest speaker at the Harvey Mudd College Goal 5 Conference, along with a number of other distinguished environmentalists. In late April, he intends to protest the exclusion of the Green Party at the Science Debate 2008 , a nationally sponsored debate between the Democratic and Republican candidates for President. Difficult to not see the irony that the Green Party would not be included in an event like this. It remains to be seen if Ralph Nader will be attending, either as an invited or unwelcomed guest.
To hear more of BlogTalk's interview Kent Mesplay, use the media player below, and check out other blogtalk radio shows. There are a surprising number of third party candidates voicing their opinion and it's a good thing to know there's an alternative to the corporate media out there.
For more information, go to Mesplay's campaign website.