2012 Questionnaire: David Cobb

Reply by David Cobb, to the GPUS Outreach and exploratory questionnaire for the 2012 GPUS presidential nomination
received July 7, 2011

1. Are you interested in seeking the Green Party 2012 presidential nomination? Are you considering seeking the nomination, but have not yet made up your mind? What factors are you taking into consideration?

I continue to be a proud GP member, and remain active in my local Party.However, I am not interested in seeking the Green Party 2012 presidential nomination, and am not considering doing so.

I am currently focused on helping to nurture and build the growing grassroots movement to abolish the illegitimate legal doctrine known as “corporate personhood,” the outrageous court-created concept that allows corporations to overturn democratically enacted laws that attempt to control their harm and abuse.

Check out www.MoveToAmend.org .

2. What do you believe the goals should be of the 2012 GPUS presidential campaign? If you were the GPUS presidential nominees, how would your campaign work to achieve them? (Will your campaign succeed?)

I believe the goals of a the 2012 GPUS presidential campaign should be:

a) Receive 5% of the popular vote to qualify for 2016 FEC matching funds
b) Qualify (or maintain) state ballot lines wherever possible
c) Assist local candidates earn media, attract volunteers and GET ELECTED
d) Convince voters to join the Green Party (register Green where possible, and to actively participate in local GP efforts)

3. Please list five issue areas that you feel are most important and what would you do about them. (Who are you?)

These problems are inter-related, so the list below does NOT reflect a “rank-ordering” of importance:

a) Global Climate Crisis and the devastation of the natural world
b) Profound racial and socio-economic injustices inherent in every aspect of our lives
c) The corporate empire and the wars fought to maintain it
d) The lack of actual democracy in the U.S.
e) The failure to prepare for the coming energy, water and food shortages

Solutions exist to each of these problems, but are not implemented because “We the People” do not actually control our own government, or the institutions of our society. Therefore, the true solution to each of the problems is an aggressive “democracy movement” in the U.S.

I believe the GP represents the electoral arm of this movement, that the Move To Amend coalition represents the effort to democratize the legal system. I believe our challenge is to convince the leaders and members of the countless peace, justice and ecological NGOs of civil society to join the GP and to use our ballot lines as a way to build their own movements.

4. What parts of the GPUS platform* do you feel most closely aligned with? What parts do you disagree with, if any? Are there parts you would improve upon and how? (Who are we?)

I support the GPUS Platform in its entirety, and thank all those volunteers who helped to create it. I believe it accurately reflects the policy positions based upon the “Four Pillars” of the international GP movement (Peace, Justice, Ecology and Democracy) and the 10 Key Values of the US GP movement.

I think publishing a short summary of the key areas of our Platform (both on the website and in printed form) would help us grow our Party.

5. What in your background qualifies you to be a credible presidential candidate? What assets would you bring to your campaign in addition to those already existing within the Green Party? (What do you have to offer?)

Since I am not seeking the GP nomination, this question is not exactly applicable.

I do believe that my experiences in 2004 provide me with a unique perspective, and offer to engage anyone seeking the GP nomination in conversation and dialogue. They can contact me at david@duhc.org.

6. Presidential campaigns are legally independent entities from the political party whose nomination they received. Yet most successful political campaigns meld candidate and party synergistically. If you were the GPUS nominee, how would you envision that working relationship? (How can we work together?)

I believe anyone seeking the GP nomination should agree to:

a) Publicly support the GP Platform as adopted at the GP Convention
b) Immediately share all volunteers lists generated during the campaign with the respective local and state parties
c) Commit to prioritizing the hiring GP activists for the campaign, and to coordinate all national hires with the national committee and all state hires with the respective state parties
d) Share (at no cost) a list of all donors with the national party by Jan of 2013
e) Write a letter asking folks to make a financial contribution directly to the national party by Jan 2013

7. Do you believe that an independent party like the Greens can succeed in the US? How would you define such success? How can it happen? (Will we succeed?)

Absolutely! Alternative political parties have played a critical role in US history. Here is a list of the policies that alternative parties championed at the ballot box when the establishment parties opposed them (NOTE: There is a reason they are called the “established parties”—they promote and defend the established order):

The abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the labor/trade union movement, ending child labor, the creation of the Social Security Administration, Unemployment Insurance, Workers Compensation Laws, the Direct Election of the US Senate, the Civil Rights movement.

Indeed, the entire fabric of what we today consider the bare minimum for a just and compassionate society was woven because alternative political parties refused to capitulate to the establishment. They organized, educated, agitated and ran for office even when they were called naïve, unrealistic, un-American, or “spoilers.”

8. There is some interest within the Green Party of having the party’s nominee run together with a Green Cabinet, that would feature prospective cabinet members and federal agency heads that would serve in your government, should you be elected president. Such an approach could demonstrate what a Green government might be like and would do so during the election, promoting transparency. It could expand the number of people campaigning, with Cabinet members on the road and in the press in addition to the nominees. What do you think of this approach? Who might hold positions in a Green Cabinet? How would you see your candidacy interacting with those individuals during the campaign? (How might we connect the dots?)

I support the approach, and would be willing to serve on a Green Cabinet.

I wont run the list of “Who’s Who of progressive leaders and activists at this time, but I will do so if the ultimate nominee choose to create one and employ such a strategy.

9. Can we publish your reply on the GPUS web site in a public section reserved for such responses?