Is Howie Hawkins a loser?

Apologies for the provocative title. “Loser” is a derogatory term that implies bad things about a human being, none of which I would ever think to apply to someone I don’t know personally, especially not someone like Hawkins who is dedicated to providing alternative ideas and points of view at election time. However, it is true that Hawkins is a perennial also-ran candidate; and it is true that Maxwell School professor Bob McClure recently was quoted in the Post-Standard about one of the upcoming Maffei-Sweetland debates:

“Our objective – Channel 5’s and Maxwell’s – is to provide voters with the kind of information, and in as much depth or detail as possible, to allow them to evaluate the two candidates, one of which will be their congressman,” McClure explained. Hawkins – who has been on the ballot in 13 prior elections without winning – has no chance of being elected, McClure said.

In the “Let’s Play Democracy” game of what passes for public debate these days, the people putting on the democracy events of course have the right to set their own rules. There are plenty of other public forums in the community for a minor candidate to get their views aired. But McClure’s comment is a new and naked admission that the electorate no longer has time to invite “political losers” into the public square, even if they do get on the ballot. And America doesn’t like losers, so perhaps those who have passed their “sell-by” date need not apply?

Should Hawkins get to join the debate? Or would his presence be a waste of the public’s time at this point? I’m not sure how to answer this myself… as the last debate I attended at Maxwell (Valesky vs. Hoffman vs. Dadey — who claimed to be invited only at 11 a.m. the day of) turned into a “forum” where only Valesky managed to show up. Fun and games.

2 Replies to “Is Howie Hawkins a loser?”

  1. I do know Howie and I have a long-standing objection to the direction he has taken the local Green Party. There is no local Green Party, just a vanity election operation for Howie and a base for Howie to support the pro-Nader/pro-electoral wing of the national Green Party–something in which Howie is definitely a mover and a shaker.

    Howwever, he doesn’t DO anything locally–with the exception of distributing densely worded, nine-point font, single spaced, front and back printed position papers. He managed to get the municipal power issue injected into the last Mayoral race, but then he got fewer votes than Dr. Daniels did in her prior Green Party run for Mayor. Howie decides to run for Common Council–ostensibly “in it to win it” and finishes fourth, getting beat two-to-one by the guy finishing third, a Republican who owed the city $11,000 in back parking tickets.

    That being said, McClure is a jerk. He believes that he, the University and Channel 5 are the gatekeepers to determine who the candidates should be? McClure believes that his little dog and pony show is the zenith of potential knowledge gathering about this campaign? candidates that get themselves on the ballot should be allowed to participate in public debates–even a sure loser like Howie.

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