Sep 12, 2010

Green Jesse Johnson picks up major Democratic endorsement in WV US Senate race

After losing the race to represent the Democrats in a special US Senate election, former Democratic politician (and arguably, institution as far as West Virginia is concerned) Ken Hechler has endorsed Jesse Johnson. Johnson is the nominee for US Senate of the Mountain Party, West Virginia's affiliate of the Green Party.

Salon describes Hechler and his motivation for, at 95, running for Senate:
In his 95 years, Ken Hechler has recorded history from the front lines in World War II, debriefed Hitler’s top commanders before the Nuremberg Trials, advised Harry Truman, marched with Martin Luther King, published several books, been the subject of a documentary, and -- somewhere between all of this -- served nine terms in Congress and four as West Virginia's secretary of state...

You say that you aren't running anyone and that you want to use this race to raise awareness of mountaintop removal from strip mining. Why single out this issue?

I’m not really running for the Senate, I’m running to enable the people of West Virginia to register at the polls their opposition to this devastating practice, which hurts so many people in the valleys when they dump the rocks in the soil and all the things that they’re blasting out of the mountains into people’s front yards.
Hechler received about 17 percent of the vote in the primary. Now Johnson is the only candidate in the race who opposes mountaintop removal, a situation he was also in when he ran for governor in 2008.

The following video was posted on the front page of Johnson's website:



From the Sunday Gazette-Mail:

"People were voting not against mountaintop removal, but were actually voting against my age of 95," he said.

Johnson doesn't have that "handicap," Hechler said.

"He's 51 years old," Hechler said as he introduced Johnson, who also opposes mountaintop removal. "Compare that with a 95-year-old, and you'll see why you're going to have a huge outpouring of support for Jesse Johnson."

Johnson has previously run for governor, U.S Senate and president. He said he would run a grass-roots campaign and stand up to rich and powerful interests.

"It's time for business as usual to be over," he said.

1 comment:

Appalachia Rising said...

Join us on September 25-7 in Washington, D.C. at Appalachia Rising, a mass mobilization calling for the abolition of mountaintop removal and surface mining. Appalachia Rising is is a national response to the poisoning of America’s water supply, the destruction of Appalachia’s mountains, head water source streams, and communities through mountaintop removal coal mining. It follows a long history of social action for a just and sustainable Appalachia.
Appalachia Rising strives to unite coalfield residents, grass roots groups, individuals, and national organizations to call for the abolition of mountaintop removal coal mining and demand that America’s water be protected from all forms of surface mining.

Appalachia Rising will consist of two events. First, the weekend conference, Sept. 25-26, Appalachia Rising, Voices from the Mountains will provide an opportunity to build or join the movement for justice in Appalachia through strategy discussions and share knowledge across regional and generational lines. The second event on Monday, Sept.27, is the Appalachia Rising Day of Action which will unify thousands in calling for an end to mountaintop removal and all forms of steep slope surface mining though a vibrant march and rally. An act of dignified non-violent civil disobedience will be possible for those who wish to express themselves by risking arrest.

For more info, visit appalachiarising.org