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The responses to my recent blog post, "There's Never a Third Party When You Need It," have struck a consistent note: Illinois already has a third party, the Greens. Wednesday evening I got a call from the state party chairman, Phil Huckelberry, who wanted to drive the point home. My post "was kind of a shot across our bow," he said. "We are running to get elected. We’re not in this for kicks and giggles."
I knew the headline (which I wrote) would get me in trouble. But the post itself doesn't say Illinois needs a third-party ticket. It says voters need, desire, and might actually elect a blue-ribbon candidate for governor, someone drafted and backed by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats because he or she had the competence and gravitas to save the state from bankruptcy. And because governors deserve their choice of lieutenant governors, and because the alternatives for U.S. senator are just as bleak, independent alternatives in those races would be welcome too.
Because the pickings are so slim, this year's Green Party candidate for governor, Rich Whitney, could get a ton more votes than he would normally get, and one of them might be mine. But he's not the household name and commanding figure the hour requires (a CFO on horseback type). Nevertheless, a plan to resolve the state's budget crisis is "exactly what Rich Whitney is running on," says Huckelberry, so here it is.