McKinney started her "I haven't decided weather I'm running for
President yet" tour
of northern California by having lunch with a couple dozen of us here
in Mountain View. We took over the back of a fancy Italian restaurant
about half a
the train station. Things started about half an hour behind schedule,
as seems to be the norm
for these things.
While we were waiting for Cynthia Hugh gave us a reminder that the
Presidential races take money.
thing McKinney did was work her way around
the room and shake everybody's hand. She has a big grin and is an
expert at this stuff. Everybody kind of tuned in.
When she got to Carol Brouillet the
pattern kind of broke. Carol gave her an assortment
of Deception Dollars and explained that they were her work. She said
"If you declare
for President I'll make one for you, and we can work together on what
you want on it."
Cynthia was touched by the offer. They talked for a few minutes.
Somewhere in that general time frame I
gave Cynthia McKinney a Wyoming quarter.
After Hugh introduced her formally,
Cynthia spoke. She said she was excited to be in California, and
if the trip raises $5000, she
will be contesting the Green Party Presidential for sure. She
said her goal would
be to get on 51 ballots and take the fall election. Her other goal
would be to get us all
involved with moving forward together.
What I really remember from that is the
Q&A. I got the first
question, asking her if she
was campaigning in other states. She said they had just come from
Arizona, where she
had campaigned with a group getting on the ballot in some county.
Before that she had
visited New Hampshire, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. She spent some time
the need to stand with the guy who tried to get his name on the ballot
but had some bad signatures that had caused some thorny ballot access
are still hung over from 2004. We could see she is troubled that they
might stick her with
the same kind of problem.
Somebody asked if she knew what had happened in her last Congressional
race. She shook her head. Apparently there had been a bizarre equipment
failure late in the evening of the count, and then the next day her
opponent was declared the victor. Since then lots of evidence has
surfaced about hanky-panky, and they are pursuing it through the
courts, but it seems a bit late for an effective remedy now.
Somebody else asked how she felt about getting divorced from the
Democrat Party. She said the real question was, had she ever been
married to the Democrat Party. Then she explained that in Georgia, if
you were Black you register Democrat, because that's just the way it
was. Then she said a few things that were simply not not complimentary
towards the two party system. It was very clear that she feels that
real change can only come from outside that.
After she sat down the conversation
meandered a bit. Cynthia talked about how in Washington
she frequently got memos with talking points that had been focus group
tested from the
Democratic leadership. It was like they made it easy to be "on the same
page" so that her
constituents would feel represented and they could get away with
business as usual.
Carol talked about how it seems like the whole Federal Government thing
is driven by fear. Somewhere in there I told her that I've said to many
private Californians that
if they just want to
register to vote with us all they have to do is fill out the form at
the nearest Post Office and mail it in.
I also said that among them were some that believe marijuana is green.
I suggested that
maybe a good talking point would be something like "marijuana is less
addicting than oil."
It seemed like the time for her to leave came too soon.