Jill Stein of Lexington, Massachusetts is now officially the nominee of the Green Party for President of the United States. Nominated by the Green Party in Baltimore at the national convention over the weekend, the physician/activist will be making campaign trips until November.
For the near future Stein can be expected to travel to buoy the pace of petitioning in remaining open states and she may become a frequent flier at Logan Airport. The battle for ballot access has already by been lost by restrictive laws in a number of states thus making the remaining open states more critical.
Petitioning is underway in Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Serious campaign help is needed to open the door for Stein in Pennsylvania and Virginia. With an August 1 deadline, Pennsylvania requires 20,601 valid signatures and has demonstrated to Ralph Nader it will spare no expense to invalidate petition signatures and remove a candidate from the ballot. According to the Green Party website 6,000 signatures have already been collected.
If Stein were smart she would move the campaign from her home or Boston office to the nearest state she needed to get on the ballot and go from there. The so-called “third party” route is not an easy one to travel with numerous roadblocks, detours, and dead ends. Restrictive laws and rulings, irrational court decisions, and media blackouts serve to keep the third parties in their place on the sidelines.
Virginia is another state Stein should be spending some time in with an August 24 deadline looming and only 1,800 signatures in hand and a 10,000 signature requirement. Virginia’s petition laws have long had an unusual hardship, the signatures have needed to be collected by Congressional District, presenting another logistical difficulty.
If Stein concentrates on Pennsylvania she may have to bypass Montana and Nebraska. The Cornhusker State petition deadline is July 31 with Montana’s candidate deadline the next day, August 1, when Pennsylvania is also due.
Virginia would not be a bad state to campaign from with its access to the Washington, D.C. media. However, the national media presents a whole new problem to the good doctor from Lexington. With the Green Party nomination, Stein has become a stealth candidate, and for the most part will be ignored by the media as much as possible. If Stein is to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate it could be an upset to the much venerated two-party system of Republicans and Democrats.
Virginia and Pennsylvania are two states where Stein needs to be on the ballot, they will be early tests of her ability to marshal a national campaign.