FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- October 17, 2006
GREEN PARTY GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE RICH WHITNEY SPEAKS IN URBANA
Kostas Yfantis, Candidate for County Board District 7, 217-840-6780, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Futrelle, Candidate for County Board District 8, 217-328-7853, email@example.com
Tom Abram, Candidate for 103rd State Representative, 217-417-7118, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Uskali, UIUC Campus Greens President, email@example.com
Dave Sacks, Whitney for Governor, 773-557-9411, firstname.lastname@example.org
URBANA, IL -- Rich Whitney, the Illinois Green Party's candidate for governor, appeared at several events in Urbana Monday. Along with local Green Party candidates for the Illinois State House and Champaign County Board, Whitney spoke to local citizens and reporters about the need for political and economic reform.
"It's time to end politics to the highest bidder," Whitney said at a noontime rally on the Quad at the University of Illinois. Whitney, a civil-rights lawyer from Carbondale, has been crisscrossing Illinois calling for political change, saying that the Green Party is setting an example by refusing corporate campaign contributions and that he is the only candidate supporting education funding reforms that don't depend on gambling for revenue.
"We need clean politics, a clean environment, healthy people, and a healthy economy," he said, outlining his proposals to ban campaign contributions from state contractors, jumpstart renewable energy and efficient urban planning, provide single-payer health insurance to all Illinois citizens, and invest income tax revenue in education to raise living standards and create living-wage jobs.
This Monday, he was joined at the rally and at a speaking event later in the evening by the Green Party's candidates for Champaign County Board and the Illinois House. Kostas Yfantis and Joe Futrelle, the candidates for Champaign County Board in districts 7 and 8, talked about stopping urban sprawl, promoting renewable energy, and the need for open government. Tom Abram, the candidate for state representative, said he supported House Bill 750, which provides property tax relief in exchange for a progressive income tax increase earmarked for education.
Audiences applauded when Whitney promised to use the governor's authority as commander in chief of the Illinois National Guard to veto any further deployment of Illinois National Guard to serve in what he called an "illegal and immoral" war in Iraq. Local Greens and peace activists helped put an advisory referendum on this year's ballot in Champaign and Urbana calling for just such a veto.
After the events, the University of Illinois Campus Greens hosted a fundraising reception at the Jerusalem restaurant in Champaign. Whitney spoke to local citizens about issues and his grassroots strategy for building support for his candidacy and for the Green Party. A silent auction featured locally-made food, art, jewelry, and Green Party memorabilia. Whitney, who also did several interviews with local newspaper and radio stations Monday, is hitting the campaign trail this week with appearances scheduled in Chicago, Kankakee, and Plainfield.