Damon Eris at Poli-Tea:
Following a couple weeks of speculation, independent Bud Chiles has officially withdrawn from the Florida gubernatorial race and thrown his support behind his former rival, Democrat Alex Sink. From the beginning, Chiles’ strategy seemed to hinge on his widespread name recognition; his father, Lawton Chiles, was a fixture of Florida politics for almost half a century: from the State House to the State Senate, to the US Senate and finally the governor’s mansion. Initially, the strategy appeared to pay off: when he jumped into the race, Chiles quickly demonstrated around 15% support in the polls, which likely included his name only because it was so familiar. However, the Independent proved incapable of building upon that base and his support began to dwindle, until this week when he dropped out of the race. No doubt, the corporate media and polling organizations will now pretend that there are only two candidates for governor in Florida, though this is not in fact the case.
Politics1-FL, for instance, lists candidates for the Independence and Libertarian parties alongside a number of independent gubernatorial tickets. Among the latter is economist and author Farid Khavari. Just yesterday, it was announced that Khavari has named Darcy G. Richardson as his running mate. Richardson is now a ballot-qualified candidate for Lieutenant governor. Regular readers of Poli-Tea may recall that Darcy is an author, historian and veteran third party and independent political activist, who is in the process of writing a comprehensive seven volume history of the American third party and independent political tradition, and is the co-founder of Uncovered Politics.
Khavari and Richardson’s platform focuses on economic issues, and its centerpiece is a proposal for the formation of a state bank to address the many problems associated with the common practice of privatizing profits and socializing losses, with which we have become so familiar in recent years. “The banking industry’s dirtiest secret,” says Richardson, “is that it’s half ‘socialist,’ and in the worst sense of that word. While privately held at the profit end, it externalizes all the attendant risks to the public. If the people of Florida are going to bear the risks of finance, we contend that they should also reap its benefits.”
Unsurprisingly, one rarely if ever hears such proposals floated by the corporatist shills in the Republican and Democratic parties, one can only assume, because so many of them have been paid by their corporate masters to ensure the privatization of profit and the socialization of loss. But a number of third party and independent candidates for office this year are vocal supporters of the idea. In Illinois, the issue unites the Green and Libertarian party candidates for governor, Rich Whitney and Lex Green, both of whom have called for the formation of a state bank as an integral part of their respective financial and economic proposals, despite their often vehement opposition on many economic and financial issues.
We’ll certainly be hearing more from Khavari and Richardson on this front in the coming weeks and months.