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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 5, 2002
12:00 PM
CONTACT:  Green Party of the US
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com
Congress Gives Corporations Greater Power and Less Accountability Under 'Fast Track', ' Charge Greens
 
WASHINGTON - August 5 - Candidates and other members of the Green Party of the United States reacted angrily to the recent 64-34 vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate to grant the President Bush 'Fast Track' authority to make trade deals with minimal congressional involvement.

"Votes from Democrats in the House and Senate helped put Fast Track over the top, giving Bush free rein to expand free trade pacts like NAFTA and allow corporations greater power to violate environmental, labor, and human rights protections," said Joseph A. Fortunato, Green candidate for the 8th Congressional District in New Jersey. "Green candidates are making this a campaign issue."

"The GOP and a core of Democrats have surrendered unprecedented power to President Bush and to corporations," added Dr. Jonathan Farley, Tennessee Green Party candidate for Congress. "So what's the response from the New Democrats in the Democratic Leadership Council? Retreat!"

Meanwhile, Green candidates are running for seats in Congress united behind a 'Green Commitment' to "meet the needs of our families, our communities, our nation and our planet." The Commitment, which rejects the compromising influence of corporate PAC money and affirms various social and environmental justice positions, was first announced publicly on July 19 at the party's national 2002 Midterm Convention in Philadelphia. The text of the Green Commitment is appended below.

"The issues covered in the Green Commitment are issues trivialized by both the Democrats and the Republicans," said Elizabeth Shanklin, Green candidate for the House in New York's 18th Congressional District.

Carl Mayer, running in New Jersey's 12th District, agreed, noting that "The Democrats and Republicans represent Wall Street, and the Green Party represents Main Street." The Green congressional candidates are among 407 total U.S. Green candidates in 2002, 120 more than the 287 who ran in 2000.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D.-Conn.), speaking at a convention of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) in New York on July 28, regretted Al Gore's already feeble defense of working people in 2000, and warned Democrats not to risk the support of business by making corporate crime a campaign issue.

"There was once a rumor that the Democrats were the party of working people, but Sen. Lieberman has proven it unfounded," said Vivian Houghton, Green Party of Delaware candidate for Delaware Attorney General. "Sen. Lieberman confirms all suspicions that his party, under the influence of the DLC, has little regard for workers across the U.S., as well as small investors and anyone with a retirement plan. Lieberman has declared that the 'economic class conflict' of holding corporations accountable is off-limits for Dems."

"The effect of the Democrats' march to the right is that they've given Republicans an excuse for greater extremism," said Steve Greenfield, Green candidate for the 22nd District in New York. "The result is that Richard Nixon looks like a flaming liberal next to Clinton, Gore, Lieberman, and Democratic Party chair Terry McAuliffe. That's a historical imperative for Green candidates to run and win, and for a pledge like the Green Commitment."

MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States http://www.greenpartyus.org National office: 1314 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN

Index of Green Party candidates in 2002
http://www.greens.org/elections

THE GREEN COMMITMENT

(Announced Friday, July 19, 2002 at the 2002 Midterm Convention of the Green Party of the United States, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Today the Green Party candidates for the United States Congress announce the Green Commitment to America to meet the needs of our families, our communities, our nation and our planet. We promise to work for a clean economy, a safe environment, and a strong democracy. We will not accept contributions from corporate PACs. We will run our campaigns with integrity, and will unwaveringly promote issues supported by the American people but trivialized by the other parties:

*** Security through peace and justice. Crimes against humanity must be dealt with swiftly and justly, in accord with international law and without violating or curtailing civil rights. Peace will be attained through diplomacy, commitment to human rights, and by reducing the gulf between the rich and the poor. The Patriot Act must go, and a Department of Peace must be created. We will end weapons sales to repressive governments, and will demand compliance with UN resolutions as a starting point for peace negotiations.

*** Health care coverage for all Americans. That so many Americans remain uninsured is intolerable in the most medically and economically advanced nation in the world. An uninsured person is far more likely to die than someone with health care coverage, at any age. The Greens' single payer universal health care plan will not only provide care for all: it will save money and save lives. Provide full funding for, and guarantee access to, all reproductive health and family planning services.

*** Restoration of democracy. Allow a voice for all people, understanding that corporations are not people! Provide public campaign financing and access of third parties to government, by revising election laws and implementing Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation. Enforce the Voting Rights Act; end election fraud.

*** Energy independence. Turn the tide of global warming and assure a safe, uninterrupted supply of energy by drastically reducing fossil fuel use and supporting production of decentralized, renewable energy sources. Fund the rapid shutdown of nuclear power plants; include funds for retraining displaced workers. Jump-start the renewables market through investment policies. Restore conservation measures, including meaningful automobile fuel efficiency standards.

*** Corporate reform. Mandate corporate accountability. End corporate personhood. Get a fair share of taxes from corporations and stop corporate flight to off-shore tax havens. End corporate welfare as we know it. Eliminate trade treaties like GATT, NAFTA, and FTAA: they are abominations that undermine national sovereignty. Implement new treaties that protect communities, business, labor, the environment, and national sovereignty. Require rigorous clinical safety and environmental impact testing of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

*** Fair trade, fair labor. Abolish slave labor and the corporate practice of paying sub-poverty level wages. Refuse trade where sweatshop or prison labor is involved. Protect workers' right to organize; repeal Taft-Hartley. Reform the tax code to promote sustainable productivity. Tax unearned wealth before income. Develop jobs programs and an inviolable social safety net to protect people during low points in the economic cycle.

*** Preventive social spending and policies. End the failed War on Drugs and fund prevention and treatment. Fund public education for all, including vocational and post-secondary schooling. Provide equal opportunity for minorities and women. Abolish the death penalty. Make restitution to historically oppressed groups by providing funding for infrastructure in minority neighborhoods and by committing to eradicating institutionalized racism. Bring back the Equal Rights Amendment. Protect a woman's right to control her own body.

*** Preventive foreign spending and policies. No trillion dollar first-strike space weapons; no more nonfunctioning helicopters. Drastically reduce the military budget, eliminating all expenditures for offensive weapons. Allocate a portion of the savings to relieve debt in developing countries. Commit our funds to humanitarian, not military aid.

*** Support for small businesses and family farms. Rewrite corporate charters. Promote local development in order to ensure long-term economic health. Replace petrochemical-based fertilizers with organics, to protect our water supply from toxic runoffs. Ban use of genetically modified agricultural products.

Survival of the planet. Sign the Kyoto protocol, and adhere to it. Strengthen and enforce environmental regulations. Restore the Clean Air Act standards on coal-generating emissions. Fund studies to identify, and eliminate, the environmental causes of cancer. Fully fund the Toxic Waste Superfund through renewed corporate taxation. Ensure the health of the planet for survival's sake, and to ensure the health of human beings today. Outlaw patenting of genetically engineered life forms. Include pollution remediation costs in production costs ("eco-taxing"), and phase out non-sustainable production. Repeal the Price-Anderson Act.

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