FW: Avoiding the Evil of Two Lessers

1998-06-02

Carolyn Ballard

FYI - they have previously given us permission to post to the website.

-----Original Message-----
From:   Robert Weissman [SMTP:•••@••.•••]
Sent:   Monday, June 01, 1998 6:52 PM
To:     Multiple recipients of list CORP-FOCUS
Subject:        Avoiding the Evil of Two Lessers

In the movie Bulworth, Warren Beatty plays Senator Jay Bulworth, a
Clinton-like sell-out who is transformed into a tell-the-truth,
anti-corporate activist. 

The movie's message is as obvious as the headlines of today's newspapers
-- insurance, banking, oil, and auto companies give big bucks to the major
political parties, and in return get the big fix out of both ends of
Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Anyone not putting money into the machine -- working people, poor people,
inner-city blacks -- won't get anything out. 

The movie is great entertainment, but what is a concerned citizen to do
after leaving the theater? 

The people of the New Mexico's third Congressional district now have an
option. Instead of voting for the lesser of the two evils, Sante Fe-area
citizens who wish to put a stop to corporate control of the political
system have a viable alternative -- they can vote for Green Party
candidate Carol Miller for Congress. 

Miller, a community organizer and public health advocate, calls the
corrupt two-party system "the evil of the two lessers." 

Miller first ran for Congress in a special election in May 1997, when the
seat was vacated by Bill Richardson, who was appointed to be head of the
U.S. mission to the United Nations. 

She garnered an impressive 17 percent of the vote, effectively knocking
out the machine Democratic, Eric Serna (40 percent), and electing a
right-wing Republican, Bill Redmond (43 percent). 

Citizens activists forced to confront corporate crime and violence in
their community increasingly see that Big Business dominates both major
parties. 

The question has been how to take back the government from the
corporations. Citizen activists have answered with setting up hundreds of
public interest and community groups in Washington and around the country,
to pressure politicians into doing the right thing. 

By running candidates for political office, the Greens are saying, in
effect, that the failed public interest model is not enough, that it is
time to become overtly political. 

Instead of pressuring politicians from the outside, it is time to get down
and dirty and engage the political process directly, and by so doing,
recapture our government from the corporations. 

Miller's political history is a case in point. For more than three
decades, Miller has worked as a public health activist. She was turned off
from Democratic Party politics after a stint with the Clinton White House,
where she was invited to work on health care reform. 

She was invited to join Hillary Clinton's health care reform project and
agreed to go to the White House in an effort to convince the Clinton
administration to implement a single-payer, Canadian-style health care
system. 

After watching the Clinton administration cave to insurance interests and
reject single payer, Miller left Washington in disgust and returned to New
Mexico with an eye toward confronting the Democrats and Republicans
directly at the voting booth. 

This year, she will face the incumbent Congressman Redmond and probably
Tom Udall, New Mexico's Attorney General. (A recent Sante Fe New Mexican
poll shows Udall leading Serna in the upcoming Democratic primary by 35 to
26 percent with 19 percent undecided.) 

Udall is the son of Stewart Udall, the former member of Congress from
Arizona and Interior Secretary. The Udalls have a reputation of being
liberal environmentalists, but Tom has been wavering on environmental
issues in New Mexico, including the proposed nuclear waste dump outside of
Carlsbad, known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). 

Miller says WIPP, which will involve the transportation of nuclear waste
to New Mexico from 22 states, can never be made safe.

She is also critical of Udall for not aggressively investigating the oil
companies, as Udall has promised to do, for the price-fixing of gasoline. 

Miller is the only major candidate in the race raising the issues of
corporate control of her district -- nuclear waste burial, price-fixing by
gasoline companies, alleged pollution at Intel's facility in Rio Rancho,
and nuclear safety issues at the government's nuclear bomb facility just
outside Sante Fe at Los Alamos. 

She believes she can win the election, because the 17 percent she received
in 1997 gave her increased name recognition and credibility, because of
Redmond's corporatist record and because she believes both Serna and Udall
have both opened themselves up to criticism as wishy-washy corporatist
Democrats. 

How does Miller feel about Green Party's track record of being the spoiler
and electing Republicans? 

"We have to get out there and run," Miller says. "If some Democrats lose,
that's the price you pay." 

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime
Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
Multinational Monitor.

(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

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