Camejo/Huffington Update

Eli Stephens elishastephens at
Wed Jul 30 18:24:34 MDT 2003

No, I'm not planning on posting here every message from the Camejo campaign.
But this one is interesting because it goes directly to the question of
indpendent political action that we've been discussing on the list, and also
because it's actually written by Peter, unlike all the other communications
from his campaign which come from his campaign manager. Peter doesn't
address the irony of the possibility of his stepping down in favor of
someone who has announced she would step down in favor of Dianne Feinstein.


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 Green and personally to Arianna for any difficulties I have
created by the failure to make by stance clear.

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 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 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

"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 possibility."

--Message to Green Party leadership. February 16, 2003

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

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 complimentary
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

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 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.

Peter Camejo
July 30th, 2003

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