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Green Over Gray

[whitespace] Dan Hamburg

In the governor's primary, vote for Hamburg

This week, Californians are able to do something that is ordinarily irresponsible in statewide and national elections--vote their consciences. New polls show Democratic candidate Gray Davis way ahead. He doesn't need our vote; Jane Harman and Al Checchi don't deserve it. And there's nothing anyone can do yet to stop Dan Lungren. So we're free to vote for someone who advocates ecologically and socially sound principles. Like stopping executions. Decriminalizing marijuana. Ending the destruction of old-growth forests. Getting better pay for teachers. Supporting universal health care.

Green candidate Dan Hamburg not only champions these ideas; he is a capable legislator with a track record. From 1993 to 1995, he represented the North Coast in the U.S. Congress, where he is remembered as the author of the overwhelmingly passed Headwaters Forest Act. Before that he was a Mendocino County supervisor.

A vote for Hamburg may be a protest vote--we're not that naive about California electoral politics in the '90s--but it isn't a wasted vote.

If there were a chance that anyone other than Gray Davis was set to win next Tuesday, we would reconsider this position. Davis, though an uninspiring incrementalist, is smart and capable with a solid centrist record. He knows Sacramento well. And he possesses the most important quality a Democrat can have this year--the platform and the team most equipped to beat Dan Lungren.

If it wasn't clear that Davis is going to win in a walk, he'd be our guy.

Al Checchi talks a good game--in fact, on several issues, his position is preferable to Davis'. But it is unlikely that he'd be able to actually do anything in the statehouse. After all, he can't just fire the legislature if they don't see things his way. His rich-man's arrogant naiveté is illustrated by the fact that he doesn't even bother to vote.

Jane Harman is simply unprepared to be governor. As a conservative Democratic congresswoman from the Southland, she's fine, and some of the ideas she's professed in her campaign are commendable. But she is much more at home in Washington, D.C., than in her district, and she has not given nearly enough thought to building a distinguishing platform on state issues.

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The 1998 platform of the Green Party of California.

Dan Hamburg for Governor home page.

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Dan Hamburg has an excellent record on the environment, as would be expected from the Greens. But the Stanford grad also puts forward great ideas about other issues.

His proposals for funding education, transportation and social services set him aside from the pack that offers safe solutions unlikely to reverse the decline of California's educational system, the erosion of its environmental quality or the violence that plagues our state.

New ideas were once the realm of the Democrats. But they have succumbed to the electoral pragmatism of cheerleading the death penalty and backing environmentally unsound economic development. Luckily, there's an alternative for voters who think schools, forests and coastlines are more deserving of funding than prisons. His name is Dan Hamburg.

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From the May 28-June 3, 1998 issue of Metro.

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