Green Alan Augustson announces candidacy in Illinois’s 5th congressional district

Alan Augustson has officially announced his candidacy for Democrat and White House Chief of Staff-to-be Rahm Emanuel’s vacant seat in Congress.  A special election will be held on April 7 to determine who will represent Illinois’s fifth congressional district.  Since the Green Party is a ballot qualified party in Illinois, Augustson will only need to collect 30 signatures in order to appear on the ballot.

This past election season, Augustson ran for Congress in the same district, garnering 9,283 votes or just above 4 percent.  His chances of winning the special election are low in a highly Democratic district, but a Democratic victory is not guaranteed.  There will certainly be a low turnout and Augustson has wider name recognition than before the November election.  Also, it has yet to be seen how Illinois voters will react to the Democratic party at the ballot box in relation to the ongoing scandal with their Democratic governor.

Alan Augustson has posted the following video on his website explaining his candidacy:

54 thoughts on “Green Alan Augustson announces candidacy in Illinois’s 5th congressional district

  1. Catholic Trotskyist

    Hopefully Augustson will lose badly. the Illinois Greens could really take an opportunity from all these issues, but greens can be corrupt too, and hopefully there will be something coming out about them. I will be very angry if Augustson spoils the elction and gets a Republican in, like Malik Rahim did. I’m not mad at Rahim, because Jefferson is the one Democrat who deserved that fate, bbut hopefully the Democrats will find a good candidate, perhaps even one who will empathize with the principles of Catholic Trotskyism.

    God bless Claiborne Pell, amen.

  2. MattSwartz

    Dude is a total socialist, but he’s almost certainly less corrupt than the average Chicagoland Democratic candidate. I hope he does well.

    I won’t be sad if he wins and ruins it for the Republican candidate. There’s a one in ten thousand chance of that happening, but even so.

  3. Green Ferret

    As Richard Winger pointed out, the Republican in this district got less than 25% the last time. In other words, this is a Republican-proof district; even if half of the voters who voted D last time vote G this time, the R would still lose.
    If progressives in this country had anything resembling a strategy, there would be large pushes for Green candidates in these deep blue districts where Republicans are a small minority. Unfortunately, ‘strategic voting’ is just a code word for ‘fear-based voting’ – people vote against their least desired outcome rather than their favorite candidate.
    Instant runoff voting would solve that.

    Btw – does this guy have a Ron Paul streak in him, or am I crazy? Could any RP experts school me on this?

  4. Trent Hill

    If I remember correctly, Auguston actually EMBRACES decentralism–one of the few Greens who does. Isnt that one of their 8 (or 12?) values?

  5. Catholic Trotskyist

    Ferrett, in order for this to work, entire neighborhoods would have to be assigned as to who will vote Democrat and who will vote Green. Not gonna happen. I agree about instant runoff voting.

    I supported Cindy Sheehan in her independent run against Nancy Pelosi. That district is so blue that the Republican only gets 10% ever, whether its a conservative, or even when libertarian Justin Raimondo was the Republican candidate about a decade ago. We must remember, however, that the Republican candidate actually got third place in the 2006 election against Bill Jefferson in Louisiana. This time, Jefferson lost to the Republican. Maybe, partially because they got rid of that electoral system; otherwise another Democrat could have challenged him this time. However, that’s the danger for Emanuel’s successor.

  6. Robert Milnes

    progressives need a new strategy. last one joined liberal and black democrats & foisted obama on us. try the progressive alliance strategy. greens 27% seek the libertarian vote 13%. 40% wins a close 3 way race. no libertarian oppose augustson, please.

  7. Gregg Jocoy

    Actually Trent, many Greens fully embrace Decentralization. I am one of them. In fact, in an informal poll at Green Party Watch (click my name) you will see that 17% of 155 individual Greens selected it as one of their top three of the Ten Key Values.

    Perhaps you should consider looking for facts before tossing around accusations about a party you know little about, and the people who make up it’s membership.

  8. Trent Hill

    Gregg,

    Ohk, i’ll play your game. Do you think there should be an EPA, a Department of Education, a Department of Energy, and Department of Housing, etc should be killed at the Federal level? Do you think the Federal Government should ensure voting rights? Do you think the Federal Government should send money to an area that has just experienced a natural disaster (see Katrina)? If you want to kill all those departments, and dont want the Federal Government to do all those things—I’ll apologize and take back my remarks.

    If not, then you do not support decentralism–you simply give it lip service.

    And, I’ll also note, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Rich Whitney, or whomever–I have never heard any major Green suggest that the Federal government ought to give up power to the states or localities.

  9. Ross Levin Post author

    Trent – you can be for a certain amount of decentralization and even if you’re not an anarchist (or something close) that doesn’t mean you’re not in favor of decentralization.

  10. Trent Hill

    Ross,

    What I said was not, in any way shape or form, a form of anarchy. Anarchism involves abolishing governance not transferring governance from a distant location to a closer one or splitting up functions and powers of governance.

    Please cite 1 or 2 examples in which well-known Greens wanted to decentralize….anything.

  11. Ross Levin Post author

    Nader wants a national initiative process, which is a decentralization of power.

    Many Greens want to decentralize the energy industry.

    But it doesn’t really matter. Because none of these Greens have been elected.

  12. mattc

    well if your ideas only matter if you get elected, i’ve wasted quite a bit of time keeping up on 3rd party politics….

  13. Mike Theoodre

    “Dude is a total socialist, but he’s almost certainly less corrupt than the average Chicagoland Democratic candidate. I hope he does well.”

    These are very left-leaning districts. I trust outright socialists above average politicians, and I find myself on the side of socialist friends more often than two-party one’s. Libertarianism here is a longshot, and always will be, and our Green Party is strong. No one in this state can afford to be picky anymore, especially as the two parties will throw thousands of dollars at this race.

  14. Alan Augustson

    Oh, where to begin…

    >>I will be very angry if Augustson spoils the elction and gets a Republican in(…)

    I tried to go the Democratic route at first — no go. It’s “pay to play” in the Chicago and Illinois Democratic party. You’d better have a fortune in cash, or a coattail relation. So ya know what? Screw ’em. If I spoil the election for the Dems, they had it coming.

    >>The vote in that district in November 2008 was 170,728 for the Democrat; 50,881 for the Republican; 9,283 for the Green.

    The people who voted for the Democrat were voting for Barack Obama. The people who voted for the Republican were voting against Barack Obama. The Barack-versus-Not-Barack Show won’t be around to distract them this time.

    >>Dude is a total socialist(…)

    My beliefs are basically these:

    1. If you work, you shouldn’t have to be poor.
    2. Government exists to do those things that people cannot do for themselves.
    3. Unless every member of society has value, no one does.

    If that adds up to “socialism” for you, I can live with that.

    >>Charles Wheelan is also n the running.

    1. He won’t get the Democratic nomination — the party machinery will force their choice on the voters, by hook or by crook.

    2. If he runs as a Republican, he won’t win.

    3. If he runs as an indy or a Libertarian, he’ll have to collect over 12,000 signatures just to make the ballot. That’s a lot of trouble to go to, for the party that cleared less than ten votes, on its last foray into the Fifth.

    4. This means he’ll almost certainly run as a Green. But who in this District knows him? He hasn’t vetted himself to the people, or to the Party locals. He’s got an “in” with the intelligentsia at PBS, but not much else. He wouldn’t even win the primary.

    In all, I appreciate and respect the guy’s credentials but he hasn’t a chance.

    Keep ’em coming; I’m here all week. And tip your waitress; it ain’t a fricken hobby.

  15. Steven R Linnabary

    well if your ideas only matter if you get elected, i’ve wasted quite a bit of time keeping up on 3rd party politics….

    You can always go back to TownHall.com or DailyKos.com and help rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    PEACE

  16. Steven R Linnabary

    And tip your waitress; it ain’t a fricken hobby.

    But make sure she knows it is a gift, not a tip. No point in forcing her to report the tip, and paying taxes on it. I’ll bet SHE can spend it more responsibly than some bureaucrat.

    PEACE

  17. Dick

    “If he runs as an indy or a Libertarian, he’ll have to collect over 12,000 signatures just to make the ballot. That’s a lot of trouble to go to, for the party that cleared less than ten votes, on its last foray into the Fifth.”

    The LP received less than 10 votes? What?

  18. Trent Hill

    “Nader wants a national initiative process, which is a decentralization of power.

    Many Greens want to decentralize the energy industry.”

    National Initiative gives more power to the Federal Government and takes it away from the states–do you even know what decentralism is Ross?

    As for “decentralizing” the energy industry..im not sure how they would do that without utilizing government power over those energy companies–which would be more centralization.

  19. Trent Hill

    Wow, Roderick Long visits our blog? Talk about an honor.

    I’ve listened to a number of Mr. Long’s lectures on praxeology and the business cycle at Mises U.

  20. Steven R Linnabary

    Libertarian Joseph // Jan 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    How so?

    LJ, it is easy.

    If you notice at the top of the IPR page, right next to “RSS Feed” is a button “site meter”.

    Go ahead, click on it. ANYBODY can look to see who is on this site, be able to discern what type of OS is used (Windows, Linux, Mac), which browser is used (Chrome, IE, Firefox, Safari, etc), even the type of monitor you are using!.

    Quit being an idiot. We have all got better things to do with our time.

    Besides, I have seen some rather clever writings come from your thoughts. You should focus on those.

    PEACE

  21. Ross Levin Post author

    Trent – I just don’t know many famous Greens’ positions on issues. I listed two things that I knew that kind of qualified as decentralization.

    And as for third party politics – it seems like if you’re taking part in electoral politics, the thing that matters most is getting elected. If you’re not out to get elected, you should find another venue.

  22. libertariangirl

    And as for third party politics – it seems like if you’re taking part in electoral politics, the thing that matters most is getting elected. If you’re not out to get elected, you should find another venue.

    amen to that!

  23. mattc

    “And as for third party politics – it seems like if you’re taking part in electoral politics, the thing that matters most is getting elected.”

    Spoken like a true karl rove.

  24. mattc

    I would say that spreading the message is just as important to a 3rd party as winning is. Especially since our current system will always trend towards having 2 dominant parties.

  25. Libertarian Joseph

    It’s good if you can get elected and, ugh, work with the socialists to cut government spending, but shouldn’t the core of the LP be “hardcore”? The LP is not the candidates that its fielding, it’s repesentative the core beliefs of which the party stands. Go check out the dems. They’re 100% socialist amongst themselves, yet they field center-left canddates, usually, not far-left as much, otherwise you would have seen Kucinich as their nominee

  26. Ross Levin Post author

    What I’m saying is that if your mission (as a candidate or a party) is to educate and start a social movement rather than to elect people who will push a certain agenda, then maybe a political party isn’t the best way to accomplish your goals.

  27. libertariangirl

    “IF your serious about changing the world , and you KNOW your philosophy is correct , then you owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win elections”
    Blackwell.

    my favorite quote whenever i get tired of trying to win elections and just want to rely on activism to change things:)

  28. Gregg Jocoy

    Trent wrote:

    Gregg,

    Ohk, i’ll play your game.

    **Perhaps this is a good place to start. Trent, actual people’s lives are involved in political, corporate and governmental decisions. That you consider this to be a “game” speaks volumes.**

    Do you think there should be an EPA, a Department of Education, a Department of Energy, and Department of Housing, etc should be killed at the Federal level?

    **EPA-keep it. Dept of Education-kill it. Department of Housing-kill it. Etc…depends on the mission, and whether actual reform is possible.**

    Do you think the Federal Government should ensure voting rights?

    **Yes**

    Do you think the Federal Government should send money to an area that has just experienced a natural disaster (see Katrina)?

    Money is but one component, but if the question is, do I believe the federal government has a proper role to play in helping those damaged by natural disaster, the answer is yes, and no. Those with the capacity to help themselves should be expected to do so. Those who made foolish decisions about where they located their homes etc should not be helped by the federal government.**

    If you want to kill all those departments, and dont want the Federal Government to do all those things—I’ll apologize and take back my remarks.

    **Your apologies are unimportant to me. Frankly, I don’t care either way.**

    If not, then you do not support decentralism–you simply give it lip service.

    **So, to be clear, you get to decide what defines green decentralization, even though you have shown neither any real understanding of Green politics nor the capacity for honest, independent evaluation of the Green Party or our politics. Your prejudice against the Green Party and our goals and values clouds your judgment to the point that all I see when I read what you write is contempt.**

    And, I’ll also note, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Rich Whitney, or whomever–I have never heard any major Green suggest that the Federal government ought to give up power to the states or localities.

    **Well, the Michigan Greens have rejected the idea of a federal bail-out for the auto industry. You don’t understand, and don’t want to understand, green thinking. And, while I don’t expect you to change even a little bit, I do know that I have never seen a single Green Party member call for distancing us from decentralization, or any of the Ten Key Values. The fact that you are focused on the “leaders” of the party shows just how deeply you don’t understand decentralization.**

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