Mike Gravel endorses Green Matt Reichel in congressional race; Reichel endorses national ballot initiative amendment

In Illinois’ fifth congressional district there is currently a special election underway to fill Rahm Emanuel’s vacant seat, since he is now the White House Chief of Staff.  Matt Reichel is the Green Party candidate, running against a heavily favored Democrat and a Republican, after winning the primary.

The Matt Reichel campaign recently announced that former US Senator and 2008 presidential candidate – of both the Libertarian and Democratic parties – has endorsed Reichel.  In addition, the congressional candidate has endorsed the National Initiative for Democracy, a plan for a constitutional amendment to establish a national ballot initiative process.  Gravel is the primary spokesperson for the National Initiative.

Below is the announcement from the Reichel campaign:

We have exciting news to share! Former senator Mike Gravel of Alaska has endorses Matt Reichel for Congress! This high-profile endorsement from a political figure on the national stage is a major boost to our already dizzying campaign.

Here is Mr. Gravel in his own words:

“I am happy to offer my endorsement of Matt Reichel in the special congressional election in Illinois’s fifth congressional district. Matt is the best choice for the fifth district, and he needs your help to get elected.

Matt is more than just a typical politician. He is a clear break from tradition for the congressional district that has elected Rod Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel. He values peace and democracy above all else, as seen from his anti-war activism and his endorsement of the National Initiative for Democracy. The National Initiative is an important proposal that would establish ballot initiatives on the federal level in the United States. It would be an important step forward for transparent government and truly empowering the people, and I trust that this is something that Matt will work for once he is in Congress.

Matt has demonstrated that he is a capable politician with his victory in the Green Party primary on March 3rd. Now he needs your help. The general election is on April 7th, only a few weeks away. Please visit www.MattReichel.us to volunteer or donate, or send contributions to The Committee to Elect Matt Reichel to Congress, 1726 W. Carmen, Chicago, IL 60640.”

This enthusiastic endorsement from a respected statesman is a great benefit to this campaign. However, we still need quite a bit of help–both financially as well as volunteers to help get the word out. If you can help in either way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Thank you for your ongoing support!


Ben Head
Director of Communications

(Disclosure:  I contacted Reichel about endorsing the National Initiative and Gravel about endorsing Reichel.  I also helped to write the statement of endorsement from Gravel.)

12 thoughts on “Mike Gravel endorses Green Matt Reichel in congressional race; Reichel endorses national ballot initiative amendment

  1. ILVoter

    How influential can an endorsement by a senator who has been voted out for years and lost two party nominations for president? Having gained little support for either nomination.

  2. derkel

    Gravel tried getting back into relevancy in politics and failed.

    I sincerely like Gravel, but his career is long over. He was the only candidate who took the time to come visit the LPWV convention.

  3. Steven R Linnabary

    IL Voter-

    It probably won’t have a huge effect. But you might be surprised at what constitutes an endorsement worthy of pursuing.

    A few years ago I was working on a democrats campaign. He got the endorsement of a woman who had been “Mrs. Ohio Homemaker” a few years earlier, or something equally inane. I thought the endorsement was insipid and should have been kept quiet, but the others were excited. The others carried the day, a news release was sent out, and it did make news for several days as a coup of sorts.

    The point is, with the general voting public you will be surprised at what will gain a few votes.

    And the Senator is no beauty queen. He does have a following, being the ONLY democrat to oppose the wars. He does have gravitas.


  4. sunshinebatman

    It sounds like Gravel his swapping his endorsements for NID endorsements. It still seems goofy to me. He should move back to Alaska and run against Palin on an NID platform, see how it works in practice up there.

  5. Ross Levin

    ILVoter – surely it’s more influential than no endorsement at all?

    Morgan and derkel – Gravel was not trying to “get back into political relevancy,” but to promote the national initiative. His run was merely a step in the process of enacting the national initiative. And sorry, Morgan, I don’t think he’s running for anything anytime soon. He’s a direct democracy advocate now.

    sunshinebatman – that is what he cares about, so that’s why he bases most of his endorsements on that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Plus, his endorsement of Eric Sundwall had nothing to do with Ni4D as far as I know.

    Also, Alaska does have an initiative process, which was established when the state was. Over 20 other states and hundreds of locales also have it.

  6. DebbieKat

    I am so glad that Gravel continues to tour and teach about the NI4D. He’s a great man. I think it’s sad that people so easily forget a person’s contributions if they haven’t been in the spotlight for a few years. I think any progressive would be honored to have Gravel’s endorsement. The man who read the Pentagon Papers into the senate record, helped get the Alaska Pipeline built, helped end the draft, was behind a number of environmental legislation passed in the 70’s… And, yes, he’s one of the few politicians who has been against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the rest of the countries that we are sabre-rattling against. Glad to see he’s still going strong.

    What we need to do is get some existing legislators involved in endorsing the NI4D. I’m going to see if I can work on Kucinich. He’s still got an enormous following.

  7. Ross Levin Post author

    Debbie – Gravel has said that he spoke to Kucinich about it and Kucinich didn’t understand it or didn’t like the idea. It’s still definitely worth a try, though.

  8. DebbieKat

    I had heard that before too. But, it’s always worth a try. Maybe he’ll change his mind.

  9. CHUCKtheFED

    Gravel the only Democrat to oppose the wars? Think again (11)

    And, yes, he’s one of the few politicians who has been against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan(8)

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