Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor says that the recent events of the governor’s race have made state politics seem like a long-running reality television show.
“What is this, The Real Candidates Of Erie County?” said Howie Hawkins, an anti-nuclear activist who ran for the U.S. Senate as the Green Party candidate in 2006. “Actually, the constant bickering reminds me more of Jersey Shore. Maybe Cuomo should hire Snooki as his Press Officer. [Wait, what will Josh Vlasto do then?–DF] That’s about the level we’re at now.”
The Green Party is in a precarious state in New York. In order to automatically qualify for a ballot line, they must receive 50,000 votes for governor. The last time this happened was 1998, when the party nominated Grandpa Al Lewis from the television show The Munsters. In 2006, the writer Malachy McCourt fell about 8,000 votes short. The rise of the Working Families Party has cut into the Green Party’s popularity among liberal voters in New York state, and this year, Charles Barron’s Freedom Party could cut further.
Hawkins, along with Libertarian candidate Warren Redlich, has been angling to get in on the Paladino/Cuomo debate (assuming they ever even happen.) As most Green Party candidates do (think Ralph Nader, circa 2000) Hawkins has been arguing that there is very little to distinguish the Republican and Democratic nominees. He has proposed a “Green New Deal,” a WPA-style green jobs program that he says would put the state’s 80,000 unemployed back to work, something he would pay for with a stock transfer tax.
“Both want to cut taxes for the wealthy and cut compensation for working New Yorkers,” Hawkins said. All that’s left to argue about is ‘who’s the bigger man?’ — and the media’s falling for it. Given the chance to debate, I can provide New Yorkers with a competing vision.”