Hofstra Debate 2012: Stein Arrested & Dinner with the Governor

Hofstra Debate Photo Gallery is at Flickr: here.

Ian Wilder writes:

There were so many fascinating, wonderful, First Amendment moments happening outside of the debate.

I saw our peace and justice friends calling for a better world.

I missed witnessing Green Party President candidate Jill Stein be arrested for trying to get into the debate.  (Stein and Honkala were released the next day. One of the Stein campaign press releases is at the bottom of this post.) When we went into the Hofstra Adams Playhouse to see the pre-debate discussion, I also saw a clueless Hofstra media professor describe Stein as only  a “Green Party protester” who got arrested because she didn’t have credentials.  We switched to the live Democracy Now! show at the Monroe Lecture Hall.  Amy Goodman more than made up for Hofstra’s negligence by continually mentioning the arrested, saying she hopes Dr. Stein will be free for the expanded debate on

Jill Stein was arrested for trying to take her rightful place at the Hofstra 2012 Presidential Debate.

Democracy Now! tomorrow morning.  I especially enjoyed Goodman’s mentions of Stein because her event  was co-sponsored by a faux peace organization which failed to list anyone other than the corporate war duopoly candidates on their election guide (even though this error was pointed out to them).

We got to see our friends Sr.Jean Clarke, Nadia Marin and Fred Brewington. We had to leave the event when a good chunk of the audience was cheering for Obama’s fake peace propaganda and his debate rudeness.

I spoke at the Public Area at 630 pm.  My speech is below.  I was at the public area twice. Saw lots of supposed nonprofits improperly cheering on Obama. I saw an amazingly expensive Bain puppet which used the Batman super-villain to attack  Romney and ignore Obama’s economic villainy. I saw Mac Bica rail against war.  I saw speakers try to educate about the Sudan and China,  I got my only swag – a bag with information – from an evangelistic global climate change group.

Kimberly got to get her picture taken with her favorite, former Governor candidate, Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan. He did the rounds, shook hands, and inspired young people with some pep talks.

Jimmy McMillan and Kimberly Wilder

Oh yeah, dinner with the governor.  We walked into the Subway on the edge of Hofstra campus for a quick bite.  I instantly recognized former NY Governor George Pataki sitting at a table eating a sandwich.  Rather surreal.  I, of course was wearing a Green Party sweatshirt.  The Governor must have noticed because he nodded to me when I came in.  We left him alone to eat.  As he was leaving, I rose to ask to take a picture.  Some of the people in the restaurant did not realize who he was until they heard me address him as Governor.

Governor Pataki at the Subway by Hofstra

I thought it was a memorable day to see two former Governor candidates. The debate seemed less exciting.


Ian Wilder’s speech at the Hofstra Debate “Public Area/Free Speech Zone/Protester Pen”

Four Years Later, Same Duopoly

Hofstra Public Area

October 16, 2012

It’s four years later, and here I am back speaking at the public area on the edge of the Hofstra campus before the presidential debate.   It saddens me to report that the ills I spoke of in the presidential campaign four years ago remain unchanged.  The corporate media still uphold the charade of the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates.  The commission is still controlled by the Democratic and Republican Parties.  Its’ still is funded by large corporations like Anheuser-Busch.  The commission still excludes any candidate outside of the Democratic and Republican parties even if the candidate is  on enough ballots to win the electoral college.  Both the Green Party and Libertarian candidates are on enough ballots to win, but are excluded from the debates.  And by the the terms of the Democratic-Republican debate agreement, Debate hosts such as my Alma matter Hofstra are even excluded from scheduling other qualified presidential candidates to speak on campus.  I am disappointed that my college would sell out the quest for knowledge so cheaply.

Of course, the corporate media never reports on these restrictive terms of the agreement.  nor do they report that debate sponsor Anheuser-Busch is not an American company. It is owned by Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate.  Lastly, the corporate media failed to report on the biggest debate stories of the year that 3 of the 10 sponsors have pulled out of the debates because they realized that the debate is not nonpartisan.   The YWCA, Philips Electronics, and British advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty have all pulled out of sponsorship. The YWCA and Phillips have issued statements that the debates are bi-partisan, not nonpartisan.

I support one of the candidates wrongfully shut out of the debates, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who was just arrested for trying to get into this debate..  Dr. Stein is on 85% of the ballots in the country.  She has called for all qualified candidates who could win the electoral college to be in the debate.  She understands that the corporate control of the debates and our democracy needs to be remedied.  She has consistently supported the reforms called for by the occupy movement.  She has chosen anti-poverty crusader Cheri Honkala as her running mate. As Green Party candidates, they follow the party policy of refusing all corporate donations.

And by the way, Dr. Stein had already debated Romney and bested him when they both were candidates for Massachusetts Governor in 2002.

When I was here four years ago, I outlined the issues that a Green Party presidential candidate would raise in a debate that Obama and McCain would not.  Obama and Romney still will not discuss these issues.

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein would rein in the oversized US military budget that is driving us over a fiscal cliff.  Our military budget is larger than every other nation in the world – – combined.  There is no reason for us to be maintaining 1000 overseas military bases. Our supersized military has been both a financial and foreign policy disaster.  It is time to take a different path.  As the Green Party 2008 VP candidates said, “The Green Party is not the alternative, it is the imperative.”

Like reining in our military budget, a single payer health care system would bring us in line with every other industrial democracy in the world.   Dr. Stein is a supporter of single payer.  Neither Obama nor Romney will even mention single payer, despite the boost it would be to American businesses.  All Obama and Romney want to do is argue over which one of them passed a better version of the same Heritage Foundation healthcare plan.  Romneycare and Obamacare just shore up the detrimental private health insurance industry, and drag down the economy.   Government healthcare is done with 2% overhead, private health insurance has 20% overhead.  Single payer would do away with hundreds of public and private bureaucracies. It would free doctors to concentrate on your health, instead about worrying about if they are using the right bureaucracy’s form. It would free up job creators to concentrate on innovations, instead of worrying about staying underemployed to keep health insurance.

Just as I discussed 4 years ago, the Green Party candidate is more interested in bailing out the American taxpayer, than bailing out the banks and the corporate tax cheats.  Both Obama and Romney mouthed the too big to fail bank propaganda that the foreclosure crisis is the fault of American homeowners rather than the criminal action of American bankers.  Neither Obama or Romney has even question the Federal Reserve’s secret Trillion dollar bailout of banks, domestic and foreign.  Dr. Stein would break up the big banks and nationalize the Federal Reserve.

We on Long Island know what a terrible idea nuclear energy is.  We came together as a region to shut down the Shoreham plant.  Neither Obama nor McCain nor Romney understand this.   Nuclear power does not make sense for public safety or financially.  Fukushima has reminded us all of the uncontrollable danger of nuclear power.  And that is with the corporate media downplaying the damage to Japan.  The corporate media has also ignored we are being forced to underwrite the cost of nuclear energy because the financial markets will not. The federal government has to provide both the insurance and financing of nuclear power plants  In a free market, nuclear energy would not exist. Yes, Obama has taken nuclear insanity one step further, and moved ahead on the building of the first nuclear power plants in 30 years. Dr. Stein understands the folly of nuclear power, and that is why she wants to shut nuclear plants down instead.

Dr. Stein has known that the key to our future lies in where our energy comes from.  She knows that we need to immediately address our energy sources to deal with the global climate change emergency that both Obama and Romney have ignored.  Stein has based her campaign on instituting a Green New Deal which would shift the focus of our economy from a militarily enforced oil economy to a renewable energy job creating one.

Four years ago, Amy Goodman wrote about our 1 party state.  Still true.  Four years ago I warned that you get what you vote for.  Still true.  Four years ago I warned that Democratic and Republican politicians don’t care about your phone calls, petitions or emails.  They only care about your dollars and your votes.  Still true.

Please, I don’t want to be standing here in another four years finding we still have made no progress on these issues.  Please don’t waste your vote on Obama or Romney.

Jill Stein calls for us to replace the politics of fear with the politics of courage. Vote Green Party for President.


Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala arrested, call tonight’s debate a “mockumentary”


(HEMPSTEAD, NY) – Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green presidential and vice-presidential nominees, were just now forcibly prevented from entering the grounds of tonight’s presidential debate organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). See a video here.

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala will appear on 85% of ballots on Election Day, and recently polled 2-3% in four consecutive national polls. The Federal government recognizes Jill Stein as a qualified presidential candidate, having approved her campaign for federal matching funds. Yet the two women were arrested by local police when they tried to enter the grounds of Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, where the debate is scheduled to take place. They are currently still in police custody.

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala walked with supporters toward the Hofstra campus at 2:00pm EST today. There they were met by three ranks of police officers in uniform and plainclothes. At this point, the Green Party candidates held an impromptu press conference in which Dr. Stein called the CPD debate a “mockumentary,” saying that, “We are here to bring the courage of those excluded from our politics to this mock debate, this mockery of democracy.”

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala then turned and began walking onto the debate grounds, at which point the rank of police officers physically stopped them and pushed them back. The two women sat down and the police arrested them, saying that Stein and Honkala would be charged with “obstructing traffic,” a charge Jill Stein for President staffer and lawyer Alex Howard called “bogus” in that there was no through-traffic visible at any time during the incident. 

The presidential debates are the first opportunity for millions of voters to see the candidates themselves, not just their advertising campaigns. These debates are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) – a supposedly “nonpartisan” entity which is a puppet of and serves the interests of the Democrats, Republicans and the big corporations that fund both of them. The CPD’s criteria to be included in these debates is designed to exclude independent presidential contenders who promote ideas that challenge those in power.

Over 14,000 have signed a statement calling on CPD to change its criteria, and repeated public calls for opening the CPD debates have been ignored by that corporation.

“The debates must include every candidate who is on enough ballots to win the White House and who has demonstrated a minimal level of support — meaning either 1% of the vote in a credible national poll, or qualification for federal matching funds, or both,” reads the statement. “In 2012, the Green and Libertarian party candidates both meet all of these criteria and are both contenders for the presidency…These debates belong to the people, not the politicians or Wall Street.”

In addition there have been protests all over the country about this issue including in Boston, home of the Romney headquarters, and in Denver and Kentucky – the sites of the two recent presidential and vice presidential debates.

Jill Stein will be participating in at least four debates coming up, during which the American people will be able to learn the real range of options available to them this election.  Below are the list of debates in which Jill Stein will be participating:

• Thursday, October 18 — The Independent Voter Network debate between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson can be viewed live on October 18, 2012 beginning at 7:00 PM EST on http://ivn.us/, or on IVN.us’ Google+ and YouTube page. More information at: http://ivn.us/ca-election-center/2012/10/11/ivn-us-to-host-first-online-presidential-debate/

• Monday, October 22 — Time TBA: Democracy Now continues its “Expanding the Debate” series with a live broadcast during the third presidential debate with real-time responses from Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson. For full details: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/10/10/expanding_the_debate_upcoming_democracy_now_election_specials

• Thursday, October 23 & Tuesday October 30 — Free and Equal Election’s Alternative Debate will be available live online, streaming from http://freeandequal.org/live on Oct. 23 and Oct 30 at 9:00 PM EST.  The first of thses two debates will include Jill Stein from the Green Party; Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party; Virgil Goode from the Constitution Party; and Rocky Anderson from the Justice Party.  More information at: http://action.freeandequal.org/debate-rsvp/


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