Rich Whitney, Green for Illinois Governor: ‘Money Bomb’ today; promises to keep state’s National Guard out of war

Posted by Walter at Green Party Watch:

Green Party IL gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney will be having a “money bomb” this Wednesday December 9th. Whitney hopes to raise $50,000 from the the day’s donations. There will also be a funraising event that same night at Callihan’s Irish Pub 760 E. Grand Ave. Carbondale, IL at 7pm with music starting at 9.

Whitney garnered 10% of the vote for governor back in 2006 and 2010 looks ripe for a “November surprise.”

You can make an online donation on Whitney’s website here.

Or you can send a check to:

Whitney for Governor
P.O. Box 3803
Carbondale, IL 62902

Greens don’t accept money from corporation so please make your pledge today! Even if its $10!

To the very least, invite all your friends to donate and spread the word. The Whitney campaign has a facebook event for the money bomb.

Also read Rich’s facebook fundraising pitch


Dear Facebook Friends,

As a general matter, I don’t like to ask friends for money. Who would? But as a candidate for Governor of Illinois, the time has come for me to ask you for your support – not for my sake, of course, but for the sake of clean government, responsive to the will of the people, in the State of Illinois, and advancing the cause of genuine socially progressive politics nationally.

Look at virtually any vital issue today, and what do we observe? A fundamental disconnect between the needs, demands and interests of the people on the one hand, and what their so-called representatives actually do, on the other hand. The people opposed the obscene bank bailout but they signed away a trillion dollars anyway. A majority support a Medicare-for-all single-payer health-care system to eliminate insurance company profiteering and provide quality health-care for all, like most industrialized nations already enjoy – and yet it was immediately taken “off the table” in Congress and our own State single-payer bill is gathering dust in committee. A majority want an end to the illegal and immoral occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and yet we keep getting in deeper, at a terrible human and economic cost. And I could cite numerous other examples.

What causes this disconnect? It is no secret. It is the control of government by the interests of the wealthy and powerful few, of the big banks, Big Oil, big insurance, big pharmaceuticals, the military-industrial complex and other giant vested corporate interests who bankroll their own political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties, bankroll their candidates’ campaigns, spend billions on lobbying – and thereby control government. It is government of, by and for, the highest bidders. It is not a democratic republic but an imperialistic plutocracy, rule by the wealthy elite. Lately it has even become a “kleptocracy,” as it has taken to privatizing government functions so that taxpayer funds are used to directly enrich the ruling elite even further.

This is why the mission of the Green Party – a party of the people, a party that aims to establish genuine government of, by and for the people, is so vitally important. Things cannot be expected to change for the better until the rest of us – workers, small business owners, farmers, the disenfranchised – come together in a party of their own to wrest control of government away from today’s economic aristocracy.

In my own campaign, and in the campaigns of other Green Party candidates, we are fighting for the sound policy solutions proposed by the progressive movements (peace, social justice, health-care reform, education reform, environmental and more) – solutions that most Illinoisans already support, but which can’t get past the roadblocks erected by the Democratic and Republican Party institutions and the corporate interests that bankroll and lobby them. Solutions like:

-Overhauling our tax system in Illinois to make it more progressive, imposing the tax burden on those most able to pay, instead of those least able to pay. Such a tax system would ease the burden on lower and middle-income working people and provide property tax relief, while raising enough revenue to erase the structural deficit, adequately fund our schools, colleges and human services, pay health-care providers on time, and meet – rather than cheat – our pension obligations.

-Investing in people – in education, energy-efficient affordable housing, single-payer health care, and a modern infrastructure based on clean, renewable energy and public transportation – as a way to attain economic health and opportunity for all.

-Empowering the people, through living wage laws, free higher education (it can be done and it must be done!), support for small business and farmers, community land trusts, co-ops and employee-owned businesses that will stay in our communities – and a State-owned bank that can help us fund such projects without further burdening taxpayers.

-A complete ban on corporate campaign contributions and limits on the transfer of funds from party leadership to candidates – and an end to “pay-to-play” in Illinois by enacting a comprehensive ban on campaign contributions from state contractors, their owners and officers.

Of course, when it comes to campaign finance reform, the Whitney campaign and the Green Party have already set a good example: We already have a policy against accepting corporate campaign contributions. We are serious about our efforts to reach the goal of finally having a
government of, by and for the people.

This makes it more difficult for us in the short run. But it’s the right thing to do, the only way to succeed in the long run.

That’s where you come in. Because we don’t accept corporate campaign dollars, we need people like you to please donate as generously as you can to help us be competitive. We know you don’t have millions to donate. We are looking for your twenties, your fifties, your hundreds – and the occasional donor who can give more. We have faith that there is strength in numbers – and that we will reach “critical mass.”

Please support this effort by donating on or before the “money bomb” event in Carbondale on December 9th. If you are in the area and can make it in person, so much the better. I would love to see you there! If you wish to donate on-line, you can do so on my website. If you wish to send a donation by mail, please make your checks payable to “Whitney for Governor,” and include your address, occupation and employer for required reporting purposes. The mailing address is P.O. Box 3803, Carbondale, IL 62902.

My goal is to raise $50,000 by or on the 9th. By corporate political standards, this is a small sum but for working people it will take some effort. Yet it is an achievable goal if you each do your part by giving what you can, and spread the word to your other friends and family.

If you cannot donate on the 9th or would prefer to see me in person in Chicago, you will have two more opportunities to do so: at the December 15 event with my friends Matt Reichel and Tom Tresser, our excellent candidates for 5th Congressional District and Cook County Board President, 7:00pm – 10:00pm at the Dank Haus German Cultural Center, 4740 N. Western, and again on December 17, at 7:00 p.m. with my friend Paloma Andrade, our excellent candidate for Cook County Commissioner, 7th District, at Serenata Restaurant & Bar 6009 W. Cermak Rd. in Cicero.

This holiday season, please give the gift of supporting good, responsive government. Please invest in your future and the future of Illinois and our country. Please support the Whitney for Governor campaign.

Thank you for your efforts.

In Solidarity and Friendship,
Rich Whitney
Green Party candidate for Governor of Illinois



Posted at On The Wilder Side:

Green Party candidate for Governor Rich Whitney issued the following statement today in response to President Obama’s address committing an additional 30,000 or more U.S. troops to Afghanistan:

As my friends and I in the peace movement protest the latest escalation of the occupation of Afghanistan, I take this opportunity to remind Illinois voters that the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq are not simply a matter of national policy. By virtue of the fact that the Governor is commander in chief of the Illinois National Guard, it is an issue for our State as well. 9,600 Illinois guardsmen have been deployed to Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. 200 are there now and the National Guard Bureau in Washington can call up additional numbers at any time. Thirty-two members of the Illinois Guard have been killed since the U.S. went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Any Presidential order to commit more troops to Afghanistan is illegal under established principles of international law, just as the initial invasion and occupation were illegal. The war against Afghanistan violates international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions, the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and international agreements dealing with the suppression and control of terrorism.

One of the principles that our nation championed during the Nuremberg War Crimes trials was the repudiation of aggressive war as an instrument of foreign policy. International law would have justified aggressive efforts to locate and apprehend Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists following the 9/11 attacks. But no international law or principle of self-defense justified invading an entire sovereign nation, overthrowing its government and continuing to occupy it, while attempting to control both the form and direction of its future government.

Such orders are also illegal under our Constitution. The Authorization to Use Military Force passed by Congress on September 14, 2001, gave the President powers to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks…or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism….” This amounts to a permanent delegation of congressional authority to the President, with neither standards to rein in his actions, nor a clear means of regaining control in Congress. As such, it was, and is, an unconstitutional abdication of Congress’s exclusive power to declare war.

Another principle established at Nuremberg is the principle that government officials have an overriding duty to disobey illegal orders. The Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal states that government officials have a responsibility not to commit or further “an act which constitutes a crime under international law.” If elected Governor of Illinois, I would honor my commitment to the Constitution and established international law, and assert the Governor’s right to veto any mobilization of the Illinois National Guard for service in Iraq of Iraq and Afghanistan.

My position is further explained in policy papers on my website at whitneyforgov.org, with further supporting legal argument found at www.bringtheguardhome.org/.

Of course, there are other sound reasons for opposing the continued occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Aggressive war and occupation of other nations, against the will of their people, is not only criminal; it is immoral. It has brought with it the evils of war crimes against civilians, torture, radioactive contamination and environmental destruction, the creation of millions of refugees, and other massive human suffering, not only abroad but among our own service men and women.

These policies are also self-defeating, ignoring the most elementary lessons of history – that no nation will long stand to be occupied and controlled by another; and that even sincere efforts to “win hearts and minds” cannot overcome this natural tendency to resist outside domination. If some other nation occupied the United States, even with declared good intentions, we would surely fight to throw off such domination. We should not expect others to act any differently. Continued occupation will only create more resistance, and more recruitment for the very terrorist forces that our own forces are trying to suppress.

Finally, these policies are exacting a terrible economic cost, compounding the terrible human cost – and this is one more reason why the wars are a State issue as well as a federal issue. To date, $915.1 billion dollars have been allocated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The share paid by Illinois taxpayers to date comes to about $49.1 billion – or more than four times the size of the structural deficit that our government has been wrestling with in Springfield. Our schools, colleges and universities, public services, pension system, neglected infrastructure, and our economy generally can all be said to be casualties of these misbegotten wars. For the same amount of money, we could have paid the cost of single-payer universal health care in Illinois for about four years, provided over 65 million homes with renewable electricity for a year, or paid the cost of nearly 5 million annual college scholarships.

These are among the reasons why I, along with the Green Party generally, opposed the Afghan and Iraq wars before they began and have consistently opposed them since then. I will continue to oppose them, to the fullest extent of my ability, if elected Governor of Illinois. The peace movement, largely ignored by both the Democratic and Republican parties, even though it represents a prevailing sentiment among the American people, has a candidate of its own in this Governor’s race.

3 thoughts on “Rich Whitney, Green for Illinois Governor: ‘Money Bomb’ today; promises to keep state’s National Guard out of war

  1. Kimberly Wilder

    I like the headline given here. I actually got the e-mail about the money bomb, and kind of overlooked it. Fundraising doesn’t inspire me. Attaching the issue of war and peace to it made me take more notice…

    When Malachy McCourt ran for Governor of NY, we were very pleased that he made one of his issues to call the NY National Guard home. That is a great way to link statewide candidates with national issues.

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