Candidate campaigns for third-party voting option
October 23, 2010 1:10 PM
Like many third party candidates, Laura Wells is trying to make a name for herself amid the sea of red and blue that dominates the electoral system. She believes a true democracy is when all parties are represented at the table.
With no corporate donors, she said her campaign for governor as a candidate for the Green Party is built on "time and people" with a mission to counter the destructive policies of Republicans, Democrats and the corporate movement.
"I call them the Titanic parties," she said. "That's where they're headed. Dragging us along with them and shutting the doors to the lower decks while they're at it."
Wells, who plans to run for governor again in 2014, was not allowed to attend the gubernatorial candidate debate in San Rafael, Calif. Oct. 12, because she did not score more than 10 percent in the Los Angeles Times, Public Policy Institute of California, or field polls, which was a requirement to attend.
When she decided to go to the debate as an observer, she was stopped by authorities who told her "you're not supposed to be here." She was arrested and charged with trespassing.
She said the real crime, however, is not letting all candidates participate in the debate.
Although she doesn't know what the survey question was in the polls, she found out through friends that they were only given a choice between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman without an option to choose "other."
According to the PPIC, neither of the state's two major parties have a majority of registered voters, and Independent and decline-to-state voters are on the rise. When asked if the two major parties do a poor job at representing the country and if a third party is needed, 66 percent of Independents, 52 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans said yes, the PPIC found.
She said there's a growing dissatisfaction with the two major parties and thinks voters should be given options for third-party preferences on survey questions instead of being categorized as "undecided" if they opt out of choosing a Democratic or Republican candidate.
According to Wells, whose main goal is to solve California's fiscal situation, closing the doors to smaller parties keeps California's current conditions "muddy and disastrous."
"Even with the (independent) parties that I disagree with very much, if they're at the table, it helps clarify the situation for people," she said.
Her major platform is creating fair taxes that don't safeguard major corporations or mega-millionaires.
"The first thing I would do (as governor) is to establish a state bank so we would stop being at the mercy of Wall Street," she said.
By partnering with local banks and credit unions, Wells said a state bank would develop California by helping small businesses and boosting the local economy. This would allow more money to stay within the state, assist student loan programs and help California establish financial independence.
One of her goals is to educate people on the effects of Proposition 13, a 1978 amendment to the California Constitution, which capped and lowered property taxes. While it allowed homeowners to stay in their homes, the proposition created a two-thirds majority vote requirement in the legislature to raise taxes, which made it easier to lower taxes, to the benefit of wealthy corporations, she said.
"Very few and far between will any politician go up against [Prop 13]," she said. "Their funders would be up in arms against it. [Democrats and Republicans] aren't going to alienate their corporate sponsors."
Wells said her mission is to educate younger generations, spread awareness about fiscal issues affecting them, and inform people about options other than red or blue.
"I don't think people are apathetic, I think people are discouraged," she said. "There is a peoples movement building and the Green Party is the electoral arm of that movement."
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