While Jill Stein and the Green Party build on their infrastructure and now have 2012 ballot access in 20 states, Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson is seeking a third way for his alternative-party bid -- direct nomination via the online Americans Elect process.
"Americans Elect provides a unique opportunity to third-party candidates," Anderson said in a March 14 news release. "It gives the American people the ability to select their choice for president without worrying about the corporate investors backing their campaign. Declared candidates of Americans Elect are selected based on their qualifications rather than the size of their campaign war chest."
"Declared candidates of Americans Elect are selected based on their qualifications rather than the size of their campaign war chest." - Rocky Anderson, Justice PartyCitizens who sign up as delegates will vote online, without party affiliation, during a series of caucuses in May, narrowing the field to no more than six candidates, who will then choose running mates. An online nominating convention will be held in June to select the Americans Elect ticket.
Americans Elect, the self-identified "first national online primary," says it will nominate a "competitive, nonpartisan ticket" that will be on the ballots in all 50 states. More than 300 candidates have declared or been drafted so far, with Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul garnering the most support.
Former Salt Lake City mayor Anderson acknowledged his newly formed Justice Party "has had some recent setbacks in ballot access acquisition, [but] it continues to grow and expand as America's fresh face of an independent movement calling for an end to Washington, D.C., corruption."
Americans Elect provides a never-before-possible option for a real choice in 2012, he said. "Let's take advantage of this opportunity. We need everyone to take a few moments to register and become a supporter for Rocky Anderson on Americans Elect's website."
Meanwhile, Stein continued her march to what seems like certain nomination by the Green Party of the United States at its July convention in Baltimore. The Lexington, Mass., physician has won all eight Green Party primaries and caucuses held thus far, according to her website -- Ohio, Maine, Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Virginia.
"Why should anyone give their trust and vote to a president who breaks his word to the men and women who work every day -- sometimes at the risk of their lives -- to keep our nation's transportation systems operating?" - Jill Stein, Green Party
While the Maine caucuses are not yet complete, Stein has received more than two thirds of the votes cast in the eight contests. She carried Ohio with 90 percent of the votes.
A veteran Green who has sought the Massachusetts governorship twice on the Green Party ticket, Stein criticized President Barack Obama this past week for recent anti-labor and pro-nuclear-energy positions.
On the March 14 anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima she said the Obama administration "has shown it has learned nothing" by its support of nuclear power plants as much of the world shifts away from them following the Japanese nuclear disaster. In February, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the first nuclear power plant in the United States since 1978, which will be constructed in Georgia.
The next day, Stein called Obama's recent signing of the FAA Reauthorization Bill "a betrayal of working America." The bill was opposed by at least 19 major trade unions, including the UAW, Steelworkers, Transportation Communications Union (IAM) and Teamsters, she said.
By signing significant anti-union changes to the Railway Labor Act that erased longstanding protections for thousands of railroad and airline workers, Stein said, Obama showed American workers his true colors.
"This should be a real wake-up call for labor regarding where we are headed," she said, noting that Obama promised in March 2011 to veto any FAA Reauthorization Bill containing anti-union provisions. "Why should anyone give their trust and vote to a president who breaks his word to the men and women who work every day -- sometimes at the risk of their lives -- to keep our nation's transportation systems operating?"
"Cast a vote for resurgent democracy, a democracy that thrives outside of the Democratic and Republican Parties that are sponsored by and subservient to corporate America." - Noam ChomskyBoth Stein and Anderson in recent days have also received high praise for their candidacies.
On the eve of the Massachusetts primary, progressive icon and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky endorsed Stein in a letter sent to Green Party members.
"I hope you'll take the opportunity of the March 6 Green-Rainbow primary to cast a vote for resurgent democracy," he wrote, "a democracy that thrives outside of the Democratic and Republican Parties that are sponsored by and subservient to corporate America. And I hope you will consider joining me in supporting Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein -- both with your vote and with a contribution to her campaign for people, peace and the planet."
Popular anger at the political and economic institutions, and the subordination of the former to the latter, has reached historic heights, he wrote.
"There could hardly be a better time to open up political debate to the just anger and frustrations of citizens who are watching the country move towards what might be irreversible decline while a tiny sector of concentrated wealth and power implements policies of benefit to them and opposed by the general population, whom they are casting adrift," he wrote.
Progressive freelance journalist and former hedge fund manager Robert Hunziker posted a passionate call to arms for Anderson in a piece published in CounterPunch and the UK Progressive titled "Rocky Versus the Capitalists."
"Rocky Anderson is one of the most appealing, and accomplished, progressive politicians in the history of the United States of America." - Robert Hunziker, freelance journalist
"Rocky Anderson is one of the most appealing, and accomplished, progressive politicians in the history of the United States of America," the article begins.
No candidates for president have the breadth of political accomplishment and progressive credentials to match Anderson's, Hunziker wrote, calling the former Democrat a "Mister Rogers lookalike" whose voice resonates in any venue.
"This is the man who took on 'W's Administration, before, during, and after the Iraq invasion, traveling across the land crying out for impeachment, testifying before the U. S. House Judiciary Committee: 'There has never been a more compelling case for impeachment,'" he wrote.
Anderson turned Salt Lake City into one of the Greenest cities in the world, achieving 31 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations in three years, Hunziker said. He dramatically improved efficiency of the city's fleet, established a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly city, doubled recycling and recaptured methane gas from landfills to generate electricity.
"He committed Salt Lake City to the Kyoto Protocols, surpassing Kyoto standards seven years ahead of schedule," he wrote.
Anderson likewise lives what he preaches, Hunziker said, citing his xeriscaped yard, solar panels, cold-water detergent, fluorescent bulbs and a natural gas-powered car.
"Rocky is unabashedly progressive in every aspect of life," he wrote.
Steven Higgs can be reached at .