Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Howie hawkins Comes to Glens Falls

Adirondack Progressives Host Fundraiser for Green
U.S. Senate Candidate, Howie Hawkins

For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Funiciello (518) 361 - 6278 or mattfuniciello@earthlink.net

June 26, 2006 – Local progressive and Green Party activist Matt Funiciello announced today that candidate for U.S. Senate from New York, Howie Hawkins, will be the guest of honor at a dinner and fundraiser to be held at 6 p.m., July 22, 2006, at Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe in Glens Falls. The event is sponsored by the Adirondack Progressives. Local musician Carrianne Skidmore will provide entertainment and a vegetarian buffet will be served. Tickets are available at Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe and also at High Peaks Java; there is a suggested donation of $25. Hawkins faces incumbent US Senator Hillary Clinton in the fall election.

“Hawkins represents the best and brightest of the Green Party,” said Funiciello, a former member of the Green Party's National Committee, himself. “We’re extremely proud to have him as our party’s candidate against the pro-Iraq, pro-Patriot Act, pro-globalization, former WalMart board member, Citizen Hillary.”

“An independent opposition party like the Greens is the most effective way to advance peace, justice, and a sustainable society,” Hawkins said, “It is not just the peace vote that is open to alternatives. So are the millions without health insurance, the workers who are losing wages and benefits and their very jobs, the environmentalists who see no program to address global warming, and the women and people of color who are losing their recently won rights. All have reason to be dissatisfied with Clinton, who is taking them for granted as she rebrands herself a ‘moderate’ for her presidential run.”

“Clinton has been a consistent war hawk on Iraq and, indeed, all the wars initiated by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. She is more responsible than any other person in America for killing the single-payer national health insurance bill that had about 100 members of Congress as co-sponsors in 1993,” Hawkins added.

Howie Hawkins has been active in movements for peace, justice, the environment, and independent progressive politics since the late 1960s. A former Marine, he helped organize opposition to the Vietnam War and was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976. He was a co-founder of the Green Party in the United States in 1984 and currently serves on the Green National Committee.

After attending Dartmouth College in the early 1970s, Howie worked as a carpenter in New England and helped start up a construction workers cooperative that specialized in solar and wind energy installations. Howie moved to Syracuse in 1991 to be Director of CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives working for an economy that is cooperatively owned, democratically controlled, and ecologically sustainable. A member of Teamsters Local 317 and active in the national Teamster rank-and-file reform caucus, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, Howie presently works unloading trucks and rail cars at UPS.

Howie's articles on social theory, cooperative economics, and independent politics have appeared in many publications, including Against the Current, Green Politics, International Socialist Review, New Politics, Peace and Democracy News, Peaceworks, Resist, Society and Nature, and Z Magazine . He is the editor of Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2006).

Adirondack Progressives is a group of local Independents, along with members of the Green, Democratic and Republican parties interested in fostering a local dialogue on today’s most important issues. They are currently also organizing a fall appearance by Green candidate for N.Y.S. Governor, Malachy McCourt. McCourt is a longtime activist, author of the NY Times bestseller A Monk Swimming, and brother of Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt). For more information about this and other Adirondack Progressive events, contact Matt Funiciello at (518) 361-6278. For more information see: http://www.hawkinsforsenate.org and http://www.malachyforgovernor.com

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

To Those Unfortunates Who Work At The Post-Star

An Open Letter To The Good Folks at The Glens Falls Post-Star,

Most of you will be glad to know that I am done. For the last four or five years, I have read your paper and have more than frequently tried to engage many of you in discussing all of the myriad of things that require improvement at our local daily. I have done so solely because I believe in democracy (I believe that a truly free press is the only way we can have one). The cynical and machine-like nature of dailies like the Post-Star ("product" merely put out to raise more ad revenue) puts our democracy at great risk. It is wrong. Its just that simple. I have spent many hours of my time asking only that you do what is right (or, at the least, that you might explain why you have knowingly done wrong). At the end of this very bumpy road, our "discussion" has devolved into a mere rant on my part. You have obviously decided to stop even pretending you feel a need
to defend yourselves and your corporate, pro-war agenda.

For that lack of communication, I cancel you. I already cancelled my home subscription about a year ago. I had already ceased writing letters to the editor last summer as you refuse to print them when they matter most. Quite recently, I ceased writing about your terrible behavior on my blog, as well. I am now cutting all ties and am going to stop selling your “paper” at my place of business. I vow to stop concerning myself about your existence in any way. I will continue to be a politically-active, community-oriented, citizen advocate and, as such, when I send out press releases, I will include your joke of a paper on my list of corporate, pro-war, anti-third party media (it is my feeling that you should at least have access to this type of information even though you will likely never use it). At the very least, you can all gather around the water cooler and talk about “that asshole Funiciello” and his ranting while you continue to blacklist third parties and regurgitate wire service crap. That will prove highly amusing for you, I have no doubt.

You’ve had several months now to let people know that Howie Hawkins is running for U.S. Senate against Hillary. You have yet to mention it even once! Why? Is it because you're bad, evil people with a bad, evil agenda? I've given you way too many chances and you've failed at almost every turn. I am left with no alternative thought process. I know that your readership will never read that Malachy McCourt is running for Governor, either. You’re not going to tell them. That’s simply unconscionable! That is corrupt agenda-ridden bullshit and you know it. Those in management perpetrating this third-party blacklist should know one thing; You are without merit or integrity. You know exactly who you are.

Good luck to those of you at "the paper" who try to do what is right on a daily basis. I feel sorry for you having to work in that environment. I know for a fact that you’re not all simple, corporate minions trying to dumb down the electorate but, obviously, most in the P-S hierarchy are. They totally negate your efforts. Here’s to the inevitable (and happy) day on which you escape from that tomb of lies and misrepresentation!

Peace to you all,
Matt Funiciello

Thursday, May 25, 2006

WAMC Senate Poll Results

Hey, Everybody! While the Fascist Daily has yet to even mention most of the candidates running against incumbent Hillary Clinton in this year's Senate race, our local NPR-affiliate, WAMC (90.3), ran a poll on Tuesday asking people who they would vote for. Almost three hundred people participated and .... drum roll please .... Guess who won?!

HOWIE HAWKINS (a fellow Green, Teamster and activist). He won with 32%, more than twice the votes for the incumbent!

Aside from the fact that a Green won the poll, there are two other interesting points;

1) Steve Greenfield received 11%. He is a registered Green running as a Dem because of anger focused on the national Green Party (which I share). His total would make the total Green vote 44%!

2) The two war parties (Dem & Rep) garnered less than 22% of the total vote ... Exactly half that of the Green vote. Who's in the minority?

Food for thought, eh?

Way to go WAMC! Just don't lose that neutrality and objectivity right before election day! ;-) For those interested, Susan Arbetter sent me the results of the poll and they are posted below (unfortunately, WAMC's site doesn't allow one to view past poll results).

By the way, if you are looking for information about Howie Hawkins, his agenda or his platform, check out the website below. He's an altruist and a tireless champion of the poor and the progressive. He would be a GREAT senator! http://www.hawkinsforsenate.org/

Peace,
Matt

mattfuniciello@earthlink.net
Two Political Parties = One Massive Corporation


Dear Matt,

Always good to hear from you. Thanks, too, for the kind words. Here are the results from Tuesday's poll:

14% - Incumbent Hillary Clinton, Democrat
32% - Peace activist Howie Hawkins, NYS Green Party
5% - Reagan-era Pentagon official KT McFarland, GOP
11% - Anti-War candidate Jeffrey T. Russell, Libertarian Party
3% - Former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer, GOP
9% - Anti-War candidate Jon Tasini, Democrat
4% - Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party
3% - Mark Greenstein, Democrat
1% - Tom Weiss, Democrat
11% - Steve Greenfield, Democrat
4% - Other
3% - I don't know yet

... we had almost 300 people voting.

best,
Susan

Susan J. Arbetter
Host/Producer
The Roundtable Show
WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Irish Governors, Ghouls and Beheadings

Given the Post-Star's stubborn insistence on only reporting on two-party candidates, it should be no surprise that they have, yet again, managed to "un"report on all the third-party and independent candidates who are running for US Senate and Governor (and Attorney General and Comptroller). When it comes to leaving out all the details that don't suit their corporate paymasters, the Post-Star is truly stellar! Following are two stories they apparently felt weren't newsworthy (as they have printed absolutely nothing about either).

The first story is from the Albany Times Union. Its about the NYS Green Party convention (held in Albany this past weekend). You may recognize the name Malachy McCourt. He wrote "A Monk Swimming" about his childhood in Ireland and about his coming of age in New York City. He is an author, an actor and a lifelong activist. He is also the brother of award-winning author Frank McCourt ("Angela's Ashes"). Mr. McCourt was given the official nod by State party officials to run for NYS Governor. He announced he was running about two months ago. Although I have reminded the Post-Star of this fact repeatedly over the last six weeks, its almost like they don't want you (or anyone else in their readership) to know about third parties or any other perceived threats to the two-party status quo. As such, they have simply withheld the information from you. Nice of them, huh? Can you say, "Propaganda"? Remember, its not just the lies they tell you and the bias with which they tell it, its actually what they DON'T tell you that matters most!

The second story is about a friend of mine, long-time Syracuse activist and organizer, Howie Hawkins. He is running for Hillary Clinton's seat in the Senate and was also just given the nod by his Green compatriots at the convention. He announced his intent over two weeks ago. Apparently, this news is also irrelevant to you as the Post-Star will tell you nothing about it, either.

I would suppose that the Post-Star's total lack of fairness and neutrality in this (as in all political races they've "reported" on) simply betrays their severe corporate, two-party bias. I guess its also possible that they just can't bring themselves to cut into that sexy 10 column inches a day they've been pissing away on their little love affair with the corporate, pro-war, John Sweeney (R) and his "opponent", the corporate, pro-war, Kirsten Gillibrand (D). God forbid we were to take ten seconds out from that B.S. and actually spend some time with candidates who actually care about (and understand) the issues! Thanks for protecting us from real information, Post-Star. Thanks for letting us know that Gillibrand and Sweeney are really good at fake-attacking each other. Thanks for reporting on it every single day! Your mothers must be so proud.

Its also obvious that the "Glens Falls Pro-War" has a blacklist set up for all pro-peace or pro-worker candidates, anywhere ... anytime! Do you remember Nicholas Berg? He's the American hostage who was beheaded on video, a truly terrible and gruesome event. The Post-Star should know. They ran, literally, dozens of stories on the beheading and the video. The victim's father, Michael Berg, is now running for Congress in Delaware. This news has been in the national papers and the indie press for some time. The "Pro-War"managed to talk endlessly about the beheading (ghouls) but when the murdered child's father decides to run for office acting on his grief and his passionate belief that this war is wrong, they say, "Oh, thats just not sexy enough for us. Where's the blood?" Good job, Post-Star! Nice censorship and lack of professionalism! Nice Fascism! Where can I get me some of that? ;-)

Peace,
Matt


From: The Albany Times Union
Green Party selects writer Author Malachy McCourt to run for governor on anti-war platform
By MATT PACENZA, Staff writer
First published: Sunday, May 21, 2006

ALBANY -- The state Green Party picked a well-known author Saturday to run for governor and anchor its bid to regain the party's lost ballot line.Leaders expressed hope that a strong anti-war platform will attract 50,000 votes for Malachy McCourt: a commentator, actor and author best known for his memoir "A Monk Swimming," and for his even-more-famous brother, Frank. McCourt, 75, was chosen by about 60 members of the party's state committee at an all-day meeting Saturday on the University at Albany's uptown campus.

The party picked a full slate of candidates to run for statewide office. The list included labor activist Howie Hawkins as its candidate against Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Green Party lost its ballot line in 2002 after gubernatorial candidate Stanley Aronowitz failed to win the minimum 50,000 votes needed to maintain the party's official status. The party won a partial victory in court when a federal judge ruled that boards of elections must continue to allow people to enroll in minor parties.

But the party will have to collect 15,000 valid signatures for each candidate to get them on the ballot -- even before they try to get McCourt 50,000 votes in November. Party leaders said they're confident they'll get there. "2006 is going to be the year," said party co-chair Gloria Mattera. "You need a party in New York that will speak for people who need health care, good jobs and decent schools." The party's candidates -- which leaders are calling the "Peace Slate" -- also will tout the party's anti-war platform, which includes a call for the immediate pullout of all U.S. troops from Iraq.

Party leaders said they didn't even considering offering their gubernatorial ballot line to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer -- widely considered to share at least some of the progressive ideals that Greens embrace. Activists criticized Spitzer's stand on gay marriage, among other issues. The attorney general has said that same-sex ceremonies violate state law, but also has pledged that as governor he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. At the meeting Saturday, the Green Party also chose Rachel Treichler for attorney general, Julia Willenbrand for comptroller and Alison Duncan as its pick for lieutenant governor.
Matt Pacenza can be reached at 454-5533 or by e-mail at mpacenza@timesunion.com.

Hawkins for US SenateMedia Releasehttp://www.hawkinsforsenate.org/ May 20, 2006For More Information: Sally Kim, (518) 364-2968, green_sallyk@yahoo.com
Howie Hawkins 315-425-1019, hhawkins@igc.org

Hawkins Easily Wins Green Nomination for US Senate vs. Clinton
Malachy McCourt Wins Nomination for Governor
Peace, Global Warming, Health Care Top Green Election Agenda (Albany)

Longtime peace activist Howie Hawkins easily won the Green Party nomination Saturday afternoon to face Hillary Clinton in the race for Senate. The Green Party launched its effort to reclaim official ballot status in New York State by nominating author and Irish activist Malachy McCourt for Governor. McCourt, winning in a landslide, is widely viewed as having the name recognition and public support needed to get over the 50,000 votes need for Governor. Also nominated for statewide office was labor and lesbian activist Allison Duncan; attorney Rachel Treichler, a former Green Party Congressional candidate, for Attorney General; and, former New York City Mayoral candidate Julia Willebrand for Comptroller.

Hawkins will challenge Clinton over the war in Iraq. The Greens support bringing the troops home immediately and believe that President Bush should be impeached for lying to the country about the reasons for the illegal invasion. "We have to stop going to war for oil," stated Hawkins. In Iran, Hawkins supports diplomacy rather than military confrontation. Hawkins supports the nuclear disarmament of all countries.

Hawkins, a member of the Teamsters Union, won 12,616 votes among Green Party State Committee members, which is weighted based on the prior Gubernatorial election results. Sandor Hicks, a 9/11 Truth Activist, won 2,778 votes. Steve Greenfield, a New Paltz resident, finished third with 2,752 votes. Hawkins and the Greens will challenge the two major parties, including both Bill and Hillary Clinton, for failing to respond to the growing threat posed by global warming. Hawkins supports major investments in energy conservation and efficiency, as well as an investment in renewable energy sources such as solar and technology. The Greens believe such investments will produce much needed job creation, especially in upstate New York.

Other key green issues in the 2006 election include abolition of the death penalty, same-sex marriage, reproductive freedom, living wage jobs, immigration rights, mass transit and agriculture sustainability. The Greens support the shutdown of nuclear power plants, starting with Indian Point. Hawkins supports shifting more of the tax burden at the state and federal level to the wealthiest taxpayers and polluters rather than low and moderate income Americans. Hawkins opposed the recent Congressional vote for a $70 billion tax cut package that overwhelmingly favored the rich. Hawkins believes that a fairer tax system would allow for increased state and federal funding of schools, reducing the burden on local property taxpayers. "Every politician tells you that they want to cut taxes. What they don't tell you is that they want to cut taxes for the rich while cutting essential services and shifting more of the tax burden onto working families," added Hawkins.

While the Greens failed to retain ballot status in 2002 when Stanley Aronowitz fell eight thousand votes short (41,797) of the 50,000 mark, they successfully sued in federal court to retain the right to enroll as Greens. 36,141 New Yorkers are presently enrolled Greens. The Greens will need to collect 15,000 signatures from registered voters (of any party) to get on the ballot this fall.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Glens Falls Pro-War: Republican Tool or Fascist Propaganda Mechanism?

Some of the recent letters to the editor in the Post-Star speak angrily of "liberal bias". They talk about it with the simplistic idiocy of a Rush Windbag or a Bill O'Really. I would imagine these letters are written by those who can barely read. These occasional media buffs seem to think that Will Doolittle's occasional rant against John Sweeney and his drunken frat-boy behavior must constitute some kind of widespread bias against him and other faux-conservative types by our area's daily newspaper.

The truth about the Post-Star's actual leanings is a lot more telling than that. I have often felt that the Post-Star staff write those "Stop Attacking My Little Weeney, You Liberal Rag" letters themselves so that they can talk about how embattled they are and how fierce their conservative critics are. My latest archive search seems to back that up, 100%.

Trying to find out how well the Post-Star is doing at covering all of the candidates running for state office, I searched their archives looking for any evidence that they have even mentioned third party candidates or independents. Being a Green, I happen to know which members of my party are running for these particular offices. I apologize to those from other real parties for not properly representing the other independent and third party candidates. Like Will Rogers said, "I only know what I read in the paper." Too bad that OUR paper doesn't cover those who wish to represent the working class and the truth!

In the Governor's race (which seems to be shaping up to be no race at all), the Post Star has not done much previewing of potential candidates. Interestingly, Malachy McCourt who is running for Governor as a Green and who announced almost two months ago, has not even been mentioned once by the Fascist Daily. The ComPost-Star has yet to report this information to anyone, anywhere (not even on page 5 with no pictures). Boy, they must REALLY hate democracy or Irish people or authors or Greens!

In the Senate races, Hillary Clinton weighs in with 70 stories while her Green opponent, Howie Hawkins, gets ... NONE. "Little Chuckie" Schumer gets 221 stories under his belt while Green Publisher/Entrepeneur Sander Hicks gets ... NONE.

In the LOCAL Congressional race, John "Pro-War" Weeney gets 222 stories. Kirsten "Fake Democrat" Gillibrand gets 113. Her anti-war Democratic Party opponents are hardly mentioned (Morris Guller, Doug Walters et al). When they are, it is often as an afterthought and rarely, if ever, is the lead point of the story. This presupposes, to the reader, that these candidates don't really stand a chance.

Wouldn't it be great if the media was forced to do what is right and equally cover ALL candidates? Why should they be able to only cover the war-party and pro-corporate candidates (Democrat and Republican)? Where is there any journalistic ethic in the skewed, biased, narrow, selective, fascist reporting that this archive search represents?

In a time when walls are literally being built around our country to keep our slaves in and allow for even more terrible abuses of power by our domestic, corporate, political machines, we MUST demand that media try to tell us the truth. Maybe they could have a special weekly column called, "The Truth (Just this Once)". They could run it every Tuesday hidden in the classified section or on a back page. Hardly anyone would ever notice, I'm sure. How much harm could it really do? The New York Times has been telling the truth with just about that frequency and look where its gotten them! We're all still well on the road to militant corporatism and they are still considered by many of those directly affected to be a "real" newspaper. Truly frightening!