On Tuesday evening, a meager number of people showed up up for an uninspiring display of our sham Democracy at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark. The Garden State holds 1 of only 2 Governor’s races in America this year, yet barely any attention is being paid by residents who do not see either capitalist candidate as someone who understands working class issues.
From the Republican side of the duopoly Lt. Gov. Kim Guadano is running on the same old trickle down economic theories and racist policing policies that have given rise to Donald Trump. On the other side, another Goldman Sachs millionaire who paid for the office with legal bribes to the establishment bosses. Apparently, nobody got the message to New Jersey Democrats that our citizens are fed up with corruption and corporate rule.
FIve Candidates on the ballot were not on the stage last night: Seth Kaper-Dale of the Green Party, Pete Rohrman, Gina Genovese, Matthew Riccardi, and Vincent Ross. The debates do not let candidates in unless they raise and spend $430,000. Kaper-Dale said in a statement that he is bothered “About the status of our democracy when the issues that people are overwhelmingly concerned about, like education, Medicare for All, and racial justice, can be brushed aside in favor of what a millionaire and a Christie Republican want to discuss.” The Green Party puts the last first in our campaigns. With our smaller resources we focus on canvassing, representing issues that affect our communities, and standing up for social justice. Trying to raise money takes time away from building a democracy and it takes the focus away from the concerns of people.
In NJ, with our stagnant wages and struggling economy, many cannot afford to make a political donation. A $5 contribution can mean missing a meal; no one should have to choose between eating and having a political voice. We believe that those who cannot put money into politics need the most representation. That is why the Green Party is calling for money to be taken out of politics through a publicly funded election system, and furthermore, our debates should be open to all the candidates.
New Jersey deserves to hear from all the candidates who have made it onto the ballot. Green candidates across the state and at all levels of office have been excluded from debates and forums. In some cases candidates not running active campaigns or write in candidates have been invited while our green candidates have been shut out. We need to send a message, our democracy should not be for sale!
In spite of the duopoly attempts to silence us, we have gotten us results. During the primary season the Kaper-Dale campaign did not get invited to a social justice panel at NJPAC. After publicly calling for inclusion, late invitations went out for all the candidates in the race at that time. In LD-24 our Assembly candidate Aaron Hyndman will be on the stage for a debate with the corporate candidates on October 16th. We are proud of the hard work GPNJ has done to challenge the establishment. We need your help to do more. Sign the petition demanding our state Open The Debates!