News Flash – Pelto to run under Green Party Banner for 2nd Congressional District Seat

Wait, What? Readers:

Below is the press release that was issued this morning.  Since my gubernatorial effort in 2014, I’ve learned that the only effective way to get substantive media coverage on the important issues that challenge our state and nation is to be a candidate for office.  Since issues like the corporate education reform industry attack on public education and the nation’s unfair tax system that coddles the rich and burdens the middle class deserve far more attention, I have decided to run for Congress under the Green Party banner.  Discussing the critical issues we face is the most important step toward educating persuading and mobilizing people to stand up and speak out.  Watch for more information and a website soon.  Your support and participation would be greatly appreciated.

Meanwhile, Wait, What? will continue its work.

Jonathan

For Release:                                                                 For More Information Contact:
July 12, 2016                                                                Jonathan Pelto 860-428-2823

Pelto to run under Green Party Banner for 2nd Congressional District Seat

Long-time education advocate and former State Representative seeks to empower voters with issue agenda

(Storrs, Connecticut) Jonathan Pelto, a public education advocate and former Connecticut state representative, announced that he will run for Congress in Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District this year as a member of the Green Party.  The Green Party’s nominating convention will be held on July 30 at Mansfield Public Library’s Buchanan Auditorium.

“I’m running for Congress as a Green Party candidate because this year’s election is so critical for sustaining the future of our democracy.” Pelto said, “I’m not running against Joe Courtney, whose performance in Congress has been extremely admirable, but to ensure that a variety of key issues are raised in this political campaign cycle.  Uncontested and under-contested elections reinforce apathy,  and this year, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, we need every voter to understand what is at stake and participate by voting.”

The Connecticut Green Party is the Connecticut affiliate of the Green Party of the United States. Ralph Nader, the Green Party’s Presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, is from Connecticut and signed Jonathan Pelto’s petition to run for Governor in 2014.

“A Congress that will adopt a fair and equitable tax system that requires large corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share, so that we can pay for vital services and reduce our national debt, is essential for securing the future of our country and create a healthier, safer and more equitable future for all of our citizens” Pelto added.

“In addition to highlighting the importance of an equitable and viable tax system, I will use this campaign to articulate an agenda that stops the privatization of public education and deals with the student debt crisis. Other critical issues include creating a more open and honest government, effective legislation that stops the wealthy from buying political decisions and laws that support, rather than undercut, renewable energy so that we can reduce the devastating effects of climate change.  We must also work to convert our defense industry to develop products for commercial markets,” Pelto concluded.

Over the past ten years, Green Party members have been elected to local positions in New Haven, Windham and New London.  The Connecticut Green Party holds a ballot line in the 2nd Congressional District, having received at least the required one percent of the vote in every election cycle since 2008.

“Jonathan Pelto is Connecticut’s leading voice on behalf of public education” said New London Board of Education member Mirna Martínez. “His willingness to stand up and speak out on the important issues we face will make him an outstanding candidate. We are looking forward to having him heading our Green Party slate in eastern Connecticut.”

Scott Deshefy, who gained ballot access in 2008 to become the first Green Party candidate to run in the 2nd Congressional District, added, “The Green Party is about educating and persuading voters to become better informed and more active in our democracy. Jonathan Pelto’s candidacy is a major step forward in our effort to reach more voters with our agenda of fairness, equity, social justice and grassroots democracy, which touched off the current progressive movement.”

This year’s race presents an unprecedented an opportunity to raise the visibility of the Green Party and to present sensible and humane solutions to the challenges faced by our country, state, and municipalities

“As Connecticut approaches the critically important 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the party and its Congressional candidate must receive at least one percent of the vote in the 2016 election, in order to maintain ballot access and its minor party status in the 2nd Congressional District. I hope to be able to ensure that the Green Party gets those votes” Pelto said.

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Pelto, 55, has long a long record of involvement in Connecticut politics and government.  Pelto was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1984, where he served five terms.  During his legislature tenure he served in a variety of leadership positions including deputy majority leader of the House.  In 2014 Pelto was an unsuccessful petitioning candidate for governor.

Pelto is the founder and coordinator of the Education Bloggers Network, a confederation of more than 240 pro-public education bloggers around the country.  For the past six years Pelto has written the Wait, What? Blog, which is purportedly the most read commentary website in Connecticut.

Again with the absurd complaint that a third candidate is – by definition – a spoiler

This week’s Fortune Magazine includes an article entitled, The 2016 Presidential Election Could Have Two Spoiler Candidates.  The article reports on the campaigns of Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein.

By calling them spoilers, the magazine of Wall Street clings to the notion that anyone running against the two establishment candidates is, by definition, a spoiler.

Note:  When I was petitioning for an opportunity to run for governor in Connecticut, headlines read;

Spoiler alert: Pelto to challenge Malloy as 3rd-party candidate,” “Spoiler alert: Pelto goes all-in for governor,” “Spoiler Fears on Left in Connecticut Governor Race,”  and Spoiler Alert, Connecticut: Jon Pelto Says He Isn’t One.”

Putting aside the notion that we are supposed to be an egalitarian democracy that thrives on choice, the “mass media” continues to serve as pawns for the Democrat and Republican parties when they state, suggest or imply that more political choices will “spoil” (i.e. ruin) the American political system.

It is an outrageous approach to covering elections considering that the United States was founded on the fundamental concept of democracy, one in which the notion of political parties was frowned upon by some of the most eloquent founders of the country.

In his farewell address, the nation’s first President, George Washington warned;

“Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.”

But the two major American political parties would have us believe that they – and they alone – are the guardians of freedom and democracy.

For example, leaders of the Democratic Party like to claim that it was Ralph Nader who “spoiled” the 2008 presidential election and that, but for Nader, Al Gore would have won Florida and therefore the presidency.

However, such a claim is utterly false, in fact and in function.

Yet, the lie remains part of our revisionist history because it helps the elite protect their standing.

So beware the label of spoiler for when it comes to Florida and the 2000 Presidential election, here are the facts;

  • According to the official “final” count, out of more than 6 million votes cast, Al Gore lost Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes.
  • The exit polls conducted at the time determined that approximately 308,000 Florida Democrats voted for George Bush.  By comparison, Ralph Nader got 24,000 votes from Democrats on that fateful day.
  • Those promoting the “spoiler theory” would also have us believe that there were only three candidates on the Florida ballot in 2000 – Al Gore, George W. Bush and Ralph Nader.
  • However, there were actually ten (10) candidates on the ballot.  Gore lost by 537 votes and ALL EIGHT 3RD PARTY CANDIDATES on the Florida ballot received more than 537 votes each.
  • Yet you never hear the others being called “spoilers,” few even know there were seven others.  Those other 3rd party candidates included the Workers World Party candidate, the Socialist Party candidate, the Socialist Workers Party candidate and five others including Nader.
  • In addition, a major academic study of the 2000 Florida election determined that Gore would probably have won Florida’s Electoral College vote had there been a full statewide recount.  However, the Gore campaign only requested a recount in four of the most Democratic counties…  Al Gore never asked for a statewide recount and the Florida Supreme Court only ordered a recount among an even smaller sub-set of voters.
  • And it certainly wasn’t Ralph Nader’s fault that the United States Supreme Court voted, on partisan lines, to stop the Florida recount altogether, which had the immediate effect of ensuring Bush’s victory.

The truth about Ralph Nader and the 2000 Florida election is pretty simple.

When you hear political and media pundits complain that Ralph Nader “spoiled” the 2000 presidential election remember, “Al Gore lost seven-and-a-half times more Democrats to Bush, than he lost Democrats and Independents combined to Nader.”

Al Gore lost Florida because not enough voters – especially Democrats – cast their vote for him.

Democracy is the system of government in which The People have the opportunity to choose their leaders.

To suggest that a 3rd party candidate “spoils” the notion of democracy by running for office is to reject the most fundamental values and principles our nation is supposed to represent.

Rather than call any 3rd party candidate a spoiler, the media (and establishment politicians) would do better focusing on the actual campaign and striving to educate or persuade voters as to why their candidate deserves to win rather than working to undermine and denigrate the very essence of our democracy.

Their absurd label that 3rd party candidates are spoilers is unbecoming and un-American.