Peter Camejo and Arianna Huffington

Walter Lippmann walterlx at
Tue Aug 12 06:21:08 MDT 2003

(These are from Arianna Huffington's website.)

6. What about the Green Party?
I heard Peter Camejo is running.

Peter Camejo has declared himself a candidate.
But that doesn't make Peter and Arianna enemies.
In fact, Peter encouraged Arianna to enter the race!

These two prominent progressives have forged a
unique and powerful partnership. They have agreed
to work together towards a common goal -- making
sure that a progressive sits in the governor's office
after October 7.

"I am encouraging Arianna to enter the race --
Together we will be quite powerful."
- Peter Camejo

Peter Camejo's statement in
support of Arianna in its entirety

Peter Camejo of the Green Party
Makes Statement of Solidarity
and Support August 3rd, 2003

There has been some confusion around what I have said about
Arianna Huffington's potential entry into the campaign for Governor.
First I would like to take responsibility for the problems around this
issue because it is important to make messages simple and clear. In
that sense I want to apologize to the Greens and personally to Arianna
for any difficulties I have created by the failure to make my stance

I am encouraging Arianna to enter the race. She will add the
powerful voice of a woman who stands for many of the things that
I stand for and which define the goals of the Green Party. She favors
democracy (IRV), peace and social justice. She would add a dimension
to this campaign that I believe, when combined with what the Green
Party brings to the table, could result in an upset where a genuine
independent becomes Governor, opening up a new era in California and
democratizing our society.

Arianna is a talented writer and can communicate orally in an
intelligent and articulate manner. She is well known in important
circles and will attract many people we have not been able to win
over at this time. Together we will be quite powerful.

On February 16th, 2003 I sent out an e-mail to the leadership of
the Green Party where I projected the possibility of an independent
stepping forward, with whom we could form a bloc to win the election.
At that time I had no idea that Arianna or anyone else was considering
entering the race. I quote what was in that message below so that you
can see my position was not just a quick reaction to the possibility
of Arianna entering the race.

" This makes it easier for us to raise the issue of IRV [Instant
Runoff Voting] but also another concept that the Greens favor. Our
long-term goal is to build the Green Party into a mass party really
representing the people. That is, a party that is a coalition of
sectors of the population around a platform as defined in our Ten Key
Values. In the framework of this election we can raise the proposal of
an independent coalition candidate that represents environmentalists,
labor, Latinos, feminists, African Americans, small business, the LGBT
community, etc. Such a candidate by definition must be totally
independent of the Democratic and Republican machine and be opposed to
corporate domination of our electoral system. This candidate must
fight for renewable energy, free elections, against war, for a living
wage, protecting public education, etc.

" By championing such a concept the Green Party not only points
the way to what kind of party we want to be in the future, but lays
out a winning strategy for today. If we could implement such a
strategy, it is not impossible to actually win a statewide election
now. I think the chance we could achieve such a goal this time is
perhaps one in ten. But by positioning ourselves as favoring such a
proposal we become much more attractive to progressive Democrats and
independents who are attracted to our program. Essentially, we are
seeking to split the Democrats between those tied to the corporate
world and those seeking to represent our constituency.

" Keep in mind there are three Senators and two Assembly
Democrats who refused to endorse Gray Davis in the last election.
Keep in mind that 21% of our voters refuse to register Democrat or
Republican. Given the crises of the war and the capitulation of the
Democratic Party leadership to Bush, amazing things could happen
that no one expects.

" We need to take advantage of this opportunity. Even if no
coalition is formed around a platform truly acceptable to the Green
Party, we will win more allies through the projection of such a

We are at the beginning of our relationship with Arianna and the
forces gathering around her candidacy. If the possibility of
California electing an independent like Arianna develops, we must not
let any "party" or personality issues stand in the way of a call for
our supporters to vote for Arianna.

The questions is, how best to get there? How best to win a large
enough support base to achieve a victory? The Greens bring to the
table a small army of dedicated political activists willing to set up
literature tables, go door to door, and help build mass meetings and
other media events.

Also, we now have a candidate whose name recognition and
acceptance in the media has reached "major" candidate level. My
candidacy has won strong support among Latinos and other people of
color as the only non European-American major candidate. Arianna
brings very strong complementary talents and strengths to a combined
effort. Arianna will be the only woman (major candidate), a celebrity
in her own right, with the potential for massive, even national media
coverage. Her ability to raise funds for a serious media effort is
incomparably greater than the Green Party.

It is perfectly understandable that there will be differences
about how to best proceed and what to do or say at what time. It is
imperative that we work our way through these issues in a supportive
and honest manner. Our campaign will keep you posted as we seek to
develop a manner in which the two campaigns could work together to
bring about a victory for the people of California.

I see this as a process with both candidates campaigning
throughout the short 8-week period. BUT, near the end of the campaign,
if we can win by having one of the two candidates call on their voters
to back the other, we definitely should consider it. For a number of
reasons, it is most likely that I would be the one stepping down.

On October 7th, the Ward Connerly "Racial Privacy Initiative"
will also be on the ballot. We will need the energy of all progressive
forces to stop this racist measure. Therefore it is imperative that
the Green Party takes full advantage of the recall campaign to fight
this bill.

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