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Tue, Dec. 6th, 2005, 08:48 pm
Feinstein may encounter Green challenge in'06

Feinstein may encounter Green challenge in'06
San Francisco activist Todd Chretien hopes to make Senate race a referendum on war in Iraq
Oakland Tribune article

A co-author of San Francisco's successful ballot measure opposing military recruiters on public high schools and college campuses has announced he might run as a Green Party candidate against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Activist Todd Chretien, 36, of San Francisco has formed an exploratory committee and expects to announce a final decision in the next 10 days. In a news release, Chretien said he wants to make the election a referendum on the war in Iraq, forcing Feinstein to come to grips with polls showing a majority of California voters oppose the war.

"The Republican Party may be afraid to challenge Dianne Feinstein, but the Green Party and other progressives who represent millions of Californians who are opposed to the war in Iraq are not," he said.

Los Angeles businessman Bill Mundell last week announced he will not seek the Republican nomination for the 2006 U.S. Senate race, leaving the GOP without any clear contenders.

Feinstein was among Senate Democrats who voted to authorize the war, but recently she has said she regrets her decision and has joined other lawmakers in pushing for completion of a stalled investigation into the use of prewar intelligence. Many on the left have faulted Feinstein for not working to bring the troops home.

Anti-war and human-rights activist Medea Benjamin challenged Feinstein on the Green ticket in 2000, earning 3.1 percent of the vote; Chretien was her campaign's statewide student coordinator. 2000 Republican candidate Tom Campbell got 36.6 percent, while Feinstein won with 55.9 percent.

Sat, Dec. 10th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): This is the most exciting news

I have long dreamed of the day that you stopped pretending to be marxists and just joined the green party. I wish Todd the most success in his run, this has probably been your dream ever since the Jesse Jackson days. To those that believe in the revolutionary ideas of Marxism, as you understand them, I hope this campaign will make you reconsider the politics of reformism that the ISO represents.

Mon, Dec. 12th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
sfsocialists: Re: This is the most exciting news

Thanks anonymous. Why don't you identify yourself and what you are doing for the revolution?

Sat, Dec. 31st, 2005 07:50 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): Running in a non-socialist party

I wasn't the person who left the note at the top, but I will reiterate what I said when I left a note in response to an earlier posting here about Todd Chretien's campaign. There exists an explicitly socialist party in California with a ballot line in the state--and it isn't the Greens. I respect Todd Chretien's work this past year on the ballot initiative and I like a lot of the articles he writes for Socialist Worker and Counterpunch. That being said, the P&FP is a socialist party, while the Green Party isn't, and by choosing to run within a bourgeois liberal party, he and the ISO are, in my view, diluting their socialist message. What concerns me is that Todd Chretien never seems to even mention the P&FP when he talks about building this grand coalition for peace in the Senate race. He acts as if the P&FP doesn't even exist, but in fact it can easily draw 2% of the vote statewide, which is no small change for a third party. While I welcome an attempt at building a coalition for peace, it has to be a genuine coalition that doesn't slight other antiwar political movements, and the MVP campaign seems to me to be slighting an important multi-tendency socialist political party in California with a history of being on the ballot going back to 1968.

Given all that, while I wish Todd Chretien all the luck in the world, I will probably be casting my vote for the P&FP candidate for the Senate in 2006, not the least because I am a socialist and because P&FP is (unlike the Greens) a socialist party.