In the fading hours before people clicked off the lights for the Labor Day weekend, you probably missed a significant vote: I garnered 44 percent in MoveOn.org's poll of its New York members' sentiment on the Senate race. A huge number of people are ready to vote against a pro-war, pro-corporate incumbent.
The result confirms what I've found for the past nine months: when voters actually get to compare my vision for our state versus the record of the incumbent, they reject her in large numbers. Unfortunately, voters in the state have had very little opportunity to do so because of the relative media blackout of this race, the refusal of the incumbent to engage in an open democratic debate and the media's affirmation of her run-and-hide strategy by its refusal to schedule debates even if the incumbent refuses to show up.
Actually, many people who wrote our campaign were certain that I would have received a majority of the vote (if not two-thirds of the vote required to gain MoveOn's endorsement) if the poll had been fairly presented (it was slanted in favor of the incumbent) and if voters had been given more than the hurried less-than-24 hour window just before a holiday weekend. We were deluged by complaints aimed at MoveOn (this one was typical: "Your credibility as an organization is shot with me, you must be on the Clinton take").
Though Hillary Clinton's "unapologetic" support for the war was pointed out, I was surprised that the background information fell for the idea that her recent criticism of Donald Rumsfeld was anything but a carefully orchestrated public relations move. More important, MoveOn's members were not reminded that Senator Clinton supports NAFTA and other so-called "free-trade agreements" that hurt workers (I oppose so-called "free trade"), that she sat on the board of Wal-Mart for six years, that she believes in discrimination because she opposes same-sex marriage (which I support), that she advocates criminalizing flag-burning (I'm opposed to such an attack on the First Amendment), that she has never been for single-payer health care and is the second highest recipient of lobbyist money (I'm campaigning for single-payer, "Medicare For All" and do not get any corporate lobbyist money).
Personally, I respect the work MoveOn has done over the past few years. So, I call on them to serve democracy once again: because its members are so deeply divided on the Senate race, MoveOn should sponsor a debate between myself and the incumbent prior to the primary next week. Such a debate would reaffirm MoveOn as an organization that listens to its members and seeks to reclaim our democracy from the special interests that are sucking our country dry.