From the recent success of the Green Party in Maine, we hop on over to the Pacific Coast. In California, a special congressional election now seems certain. U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher got kid gloves treatment in her confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week. She has been nominated to be the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the State Department.
Tauscher will resign her seat in Congress when she is formally confirmed by the Senate, and at that time, a date will be set for a special election to determine her replacement. Among the candidates for the seat is Jeremy Cloward, a member of the Green Party of California.
Cloward is clearly a strong liberal, matching the political values of California’s 10th congressional district. Cloward proposes expanding public education to include free, universally available day care. He supports full funding for education through graduate school. He calls for cuts in wasteful military spending, and nationalization of the auto industry and banks receiving bailout money. He also proposes a national living wage of 20 dollars per hour.
Cloward doesn’t offer just the typical ideas for nibbling around the edges of the status quo. Whether you agree with all his ideas, it’s clear that his candidacy is expanding the range of political debate, and that’s an achievement in itself.