Rich Whitney (G-IL): Cohen lacks Comprehensive Plan and Vision

Rich Whitney

Rich Whitney

Good Intentions are not Enough

Green Party candidate for Governor, Rich Whitney, issued the following statement regarding Scott Lee Cohen’s announcement that he will run as an independent for Governor:

Even assuming that he gets on the ballot, I am not overly concerned by Mr. Cohen’s presence in the race. He seems to be positioning himself as some sort of centrist. But being in the “center” between two candidates who each support devastating cuts to education and essential social services, who won’t fix our broken tax system, and who have no original ideas for creating real job opportunities for Illinoisans, is nothing to brag about.

Mr. Cohen won the Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor on the strength of his message and support for unemployed workers seeking work — and I commend him for that. But good will and helping individual job searchers is no substitute for the public policies that can not only create jobs but move us toward a full employment economy. I am the only candidate in this race that has a comprehensive plan for attaining that goal, including:

  • a Green Capital Bill designed to promote both short-term and long-term employment opportunities;
  • policies to promote local agriculture and a resurgence in good manufacturing jobs in Illinois;
  • investment in people, especially a publicly funded universal health care system in Illinois and free higher education, both vocational and college, a powerful source of new business and employment;
  • a state bank that can provide low-interest credit to productive small businesses and start-ups, and invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and re-tooled manufacturing; and
  • use of eminent domain to reclaim abandoned factories and facilities and retool them under worker or community ownership.
  • eliminating spending that exists only to reward political supporters of favored legislators and that does not serve a legitimate public purpose. 

If Illinois voters are ready to vote for a candidate outside of the same Democratic and Republican Party leaders who created the mess we are in, they do not need to look to a newly “independent” candidate who comes cut from the same cloth. They can support the truly independent candidate and party that already fought to get on the ballot four years ago and are already ballot-certified now; the candidate that clearly has the best platform for serving the public good; the candidate that is not beholden to the wealthy and privileged and special interests but to the people of Illinois.

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