Magazine article The Nation

In a Green Shade

Magazine article The Nation

In a Green Shade

Article excerpt

So, after two years of President McMuffin, are there any signs of boat-rocking independent candidacies in the upcoming November elections?

In New York there is the frisky initiative of Al Sharpton and the New Alliance Party, which provokes the usual torrents of abuse, but if not them, who? If not now, when?

In the West there are at least two states where the Democratic machine faces destabilization by green candidates. Montana's one representative is Pat Williams, a Democrat. His Republican can opponent in November is Cy Jamison, who headed the Bureau of Land Management in the Bush years and who espouses an Attilan posture toward God's creation.

In the best of times Williams's margin over a Republican would be tight. But now he confronts the independent candidacy of Steve Kelly, one of the founders of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, which has been battling the Williams-sponsored Wilderness Bill, which would doom 4 million roadless acres in Montana. Passed by the House, the bill awaits a Senate vote. Kelly helped write the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, now before Congress, which would save all remaining roadless areas in the northern Rockies.

The Democrats tried to knock Kelly off the ballot but failed, and then to their alarm Kelly got 10 percent support across the state in the first credible poll. So Williams is shaking in his boots. Kelly is now traveling the state telling people that since Williams is doomed, they might as well put him in the House. Kelly is strapped for cash; his address is 40 East Main, No. 3, Bozeman, MT 59715.

In New Mexico environmentalists at first supported the Democratic gubernatorial bid of Jim Baca, dumped as B.L.M. chief by Babbitt the Lionheart because his wild ideas for reform vexed ranchers and, more important, bankers underwriting ranches whose value depends on federal subsidy in the form of exclusive access to public grasslands. …

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