A few weeks ago, the Rocky Anderson for President campaign reversed course. Although Rocky Anderson had previously spoken out against the influence of corporate money in politics, he suddenly announced that he had submitted himself for approval to the Americans Elect political party – a political organization that was established with, and continues to draw financial support from, money from Wall Street hedge funds. Americans Elect is a pro-corporate political party that employs corporate methods, with a top-down, anti-grassroots structure while refusing to disclose the identities of its many secret donors. Americans Elect is all about expanding the influence of corporate money in politics.
Rocky Anderson said that joining the corporate machine of Americans Elect was necessary to gain attention for himself, and to gain ballot access. Since he joined Americans Elect, though, Rocky Anderson’s presidential campaign has languished there, far below the threshold for gaining ballot access.
A better presidential candidate took another course. Jill Stein has been running for President with the Green Party. As part of her campaign, she’s been travelling across the United States, visiting local Green Party organizations, and asking how she can help them in their efforts. A big part of her work has been ballot access: Getting a Green Party line on the ballot on Election Day. That doesn’t just help her own presidential campaign. It helps Green Party organizations field other candidates in state and local campaigns as well.
Yesterday, Jill Stein announced that, in cooperation with the New Mexico Green Party, her campaign had successfully gathered more than enough signatures to get the Green Party on the ballot in New Mexico. She did so without accepting any corporate support. Jill Stein is showing that Rocky Anderson was wrong – an alternative presidential candidate does not need to run into the arms of big corporate money to gain ballot access.
Will the Green Party gain ballot access in absolutely every state? Probably not. They’ll probably not succeed in North Carolina, where ballot access requirements are unreasonably high. But, take a look at this map, provided by the Stein for President campaign, and you’ll see that Stein and the Greens are making pretty good progress.