Thank you to everyone who supported my campaign for U.S. Senate. While we didn’t win, we did stand by our principles of running a clean campaign, staying focused on the issues. Not getting in the debate hurt us immensely, and if one good thing came out of this campaign, it’s would be that more people recognize the strangle-hold Republicans and Democrats have on our political system. One campaign, one election cycle is not enough to break that strangle-hold. So we must move forward.
Needless to say, we have received a few emails and phone calls from people(mostly Democrats) who choose to blame their loss on this campaign – instead of themselves, their own party, or Alexi Giannoulias, who wasted his money on off-putting attack ads. Understand that some people are angry and frustrated, but they refuse to own up to the reality that, according to exit polls, the Republican got over 3 times as many Democratic voters than I did. The Democratic Party, in selling out to corporate interests, left ordinary people in the dust — from minorities, to union members, to young people. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is not the answer either, and in two years from now, the Green Party will have the opportunity to make its case again, only louder and stronger.
I would encourage my supporters to support real change by joining the Illinois Green Party, and even better, PARTICIPATING in the Illinois Green Party, or running for office themselves in 2011 local races (school board, park district, etc) or in 2012 at the county, state or national level. A good place to start is right here:
As for me, I have not decided what are my next steps politically. I welcome your feedback and suggestions. In the meantime, I will continue to serve my community and speak out on the issues important to regular people.
Once again, thank you for your support.
We’ve come to the end of this long campaign, and today is the most important day. Today is not about the media. Not about the pundits, the pollsters. It’s about the voters. And while many pundits have counted this campaign out, we have yet to hear from the people whose opinions matter most.
So please make your voice heard, and vote TWICE for LeAlan Jones — that’s right, this is not a Chicaog thing…there are actually two Senate elections going on at the same time, so vote LeAlan Jones both times.
You can also help keep the Green Party on the ballot for four more years by voting for Rich Whitney for Governor, and supporting the Greens in every race all the way down the ballot. By doing this, you can help keep the Green Party viable and bring about real change in the future.
Great profile piece in this week’s Chicago Reader (Warning: this is an honest look at an honest candidate):
LeAlan Jones rushes onto the West Chatham Park practice football field and shoves his right outside linebacker: “Why are you waiting for him to come to you?” he demands, then shows the young man how it’s done, squatting into the stance of a linebacker like a velociraptor ready to spring.
Jones, 31, is the Illinois Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate. But while the major party candidates for Barack Obama’s old seat travel the state, shaking hands, kissing babies, and raking in millions of dollars in campaign donations, Jones has spent much of the fall literally on the sidelines, doing what he can to help coach the south side’s state-ranked Simeon High School football team, where the boy he’s raised for the past eight years, junior Robert Gregory, is the star quarterback, and he’s a volunteer linebackers coach.
Shut out of the major debates and frustrated by the lack of traction he’s gained in the black community, Jones says his time is better spent on the football field, where he can work to mold vulnerable teens into responsible young men. “There’s thousands of dollars of scholarship money on that field right now,” he says.
Senate debate sponsor WTTW ought to be ashamed of itself for subjecting its viewers to what amounts to a live reading of Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias attack ads.
The two candidates had an opportunity last night to address voters directly about real issues. Instead, they squandered it by making the same character attacks we’ve all heard before. Meanwhile, the one candidate who has something to say — LeAlan Jones — was locked out of the debate. Had LeAlan been included and given equal time, there would have been 30% less bickering, and 100% more vision for our future!
Shame on you WTTW for sponsoring an undemocratic, uninformative debate!
However, the debate is over, and we must move forward. LeAlan is preparing for a final push to tell voters what he’s about and get out the vote. We still need your help through donations. Please visit www.lealanforsenate.org/donate right now and make a donation in any amount.
P.S. — If you’re in Chicago, please consider attending a rally outside WTTW tonight to protest the exclusion of Green Party candidate Rich Whitney. If you can’t be in Chicago, then call WTTW at 773-583-5000 and tell them to LET RICH DEBATE!
During this campaign, we’ve gotten great press, from WVON to the New York Times. But when it comes to running an effective campaign, media is only part of the story. We need things like signs, flyers, email marketing, and ads to get the message out right now, when it counts. We can do a lot with a little bit of money, but we do need the donations to keep coming in to compete in this last week. Please make a donation today in any amount: $10, $25, $50, $150.
Sun-Times columnist Rich Miller writes:
“I don’t expect politicians to be perfect or even close to perfect. But these four guys [Mark Kirk, Alexi Giannoulias, Bill Brady and Pat Quinn] don’t even measure up to Illinois’ normally low standards. Candidates are supposed to grow during a campaign. These guys have shrunk.”
And yet, if the Green Party does not get at least 5% in this election to retain its established party status, this is what you’re going to be stuck with for four more years.
They’ve heard from the campaign, they’ve heard from our supporters, they’ve heard from some in the media who have editorialized about fair debates.
Not surprisingly, though, the League of Women Voters has bowed to the corporate-sponsored candidates and refused to allow LeAlan Jones to participate in tonight’s debate. And not surprisingly, Mark Kirk is up there talking about his military record, and Alexi Giannoulias is talking about his family bank. And they’re not even answering the questions.
They’ve had this debate already! It’s the exact same debate they had on Meet the Press.
Does anybody care about the economy, clean energy, financial reform???
Well, we know a few who do. THANK YOU to everyone who called the League of Women Voters of Illinois, many of whom endured some fairly rude treatment. Even though we didn’t get what we wanted, we showed them what democracy is.
Let’s keep calling WTTW, who is hosting next week’s debate! We cannot give up now!!!
From the NBC-5 blog, the Ward Room, Edward McClelland provides some of the most perceptive commentary on the race yet:
Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias debated on Meet The Press Sunday morning. After half-an-hour of Kirk hoisting a chart with the names of Broadway Bank’s mobbed-up customers, and Giannoulias failing to name even one issue on which he differed from the party, we have a winner: Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones.
NBC provided a national showcase for the Illinois Senate candidates to display their very worst traits [...] .
The discerning viewer was left with a desire to vote for anyone but the two men on the television screen. Jones won the debate even though he hadn’t been invited.
But later that day, Jones and Libertarian Party candidate Mike Labno appeared on WBEZ, where they were asked the same questions that Meet The Press host David Gregory asked major party candidates. Jones was even more impressive in his presence than he’d been in his absence, showing a more sophisticated grasp of economics and foreign policy than Kirk and Giannoulias. He must be spending all his time reading, since he can’t afford to campaign.
In a debate before the Chicago Tribune’s Editorial Board, LeAlan called out his opponents for their lack of substance and not focusing on real issues:
“Those people who read the Tribune, those people who read the other publications, they have heard nothing over the last year except a bank and a military record, not talking about the issues that are relevant to their lives, their families lives, and their children’s lives….
“The citizens of Illinois…deserve a discussion that has a direction, a direction for them. Not a conversation about the individuals. The only real truth that either one of these men had told in this election is about each other. I don’t think that is a serious enough discussion…at a time when people are suffering tremendously….”
LeAlan also reminded Congressman Kirk that, despite his rhetoric on ”fiscal restraint,” Kirk was part of the Republican spending spree in the past decade:
The Congressman is a Republican, and many believe that that the Republican Party’s values are a free market process. We did not see a free market during the 8 years of the Bush administration. We saw massive spending. The president himself did not veto any spending that came across his desk.
Jones criticized the Congressman for his support of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) that bailed reckless Wall Street bankers, and for massive spending on an Iraq War that turned up no weapons of mass destruction.
Check out what Rep. Danny Davis had to say about the U.S. Senate race in today’s Wall Street Journal:
African-Americans “were expressing a reluctance” to vote for Mr. Giannoulias, said Mr. Davis. In Mr. Jones, black voters saw “a very bright, articulate young fellow, and many African-Americans have sort of been a little peeved with the Democrats.” He said that stemmed not only from the poor economy, but the fact that the Democratic Party forced Roland Burris, an African-American appointed to fill Mr. Obama’s vacant Senate seat, into retirement.
Chicago Pride covered LeAlan’s position on same-sex marriage and “Don’t ask, don’t tell”:
Green Party Illinois Senate candidate told the Associated Press on Thursday that if elected he would vote to legalize same-sex marriage though he personally opposes it.
Jones tells the AP that he thinks its best for government to stay out of people’s bedrooms. He also supports allowing gay and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
I just sent the following letter to NBC News president Steve Capus. As you can see, they are trying to keep me out of the Meet the Press debate on October 10th.
I urge everyone to call “Meet The Press” and ask them: “Let LeAlan debate!”. The number is 202-885-4598.
September 20, 2010
30 Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10112
Dear Mr Capus,
I am writing you in regards to your October 10th debate between Illinois U.S. Senate candidates Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias on your program “Meet The Press.” Despite repeated attempts by my campaign staff to contact someone from the program, we have been ignored.
I am no minor candidate. As the only African-American running this historically African-American U.S. Senate seat, I have been polling as high as 14% with 30% in Illinois’ sizable African-American community. These are unprecedented levels for a Green Party candidate in a federal campaign.
And yet, your network is deliberately excluding me from these debates while it has been eager to cover the Tea Party and all of their “all-American” candidates.
So I ask you straight: does NBC believe it can shut out young, minority, low-income voices from its airwaves?
If this is a matter of good television, I can assure you my presence in this debate would be great television. As you may know, I am still, to this day, the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Peabody Award for my radio documentaries on NPR.
Most importantly, NBC must fulfill its public obligation to include voices beyond the corporate mainstream. The public own the airwaves and we can take them back. I encourage you to include me in the October 10th debate in the name of real democracy and freedom.
You can contact my media team at 312-94-JONES or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S Senate candidate
(September 16, 2010) Chicago, Illinois — LeAlan Jones, the Green Party’s nominee for US Senate in Illinois, responded sharply to new Census figures that shows that one in seven Americans live below the poverty line.
“At a time when the super rich are complaining about losing their deficit-ballooning tax cut, we see that our most vulnerable Americans are getting crushed,” said Jones, who grew up in the shadow of the Ida B. Wells housing project on Chicago’s south side.
“This is a wake-up call to all progressive and compassionate voters out there,” added Jones. “Republicans and Democrats still believe that Wall Street can fix this problem. But Wall Street caused this problem and voters must ask themselves: who will help our poorest citizens?”
Jones, who lives in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood hit hard by the Great Recession, has called for a renewed war on poverty.
“We spend more than a trillion dollars for wars on the other side of the world,” Jones pointed out. “Imagine how much poverty we could have eradicated with that much investment in our communities here at home.”
According to his website, Jones’ economic plan will “finish what the New Deal started and create a sustainable economy with good, green jobs.”
For more on his economic platform, including his Share the Wealth plan, go to lealanjones.com.
LeAlan is available for interviews about the latest poverty numbers and its effect on real Americans. Contact the media team at email@example.com or 312-94-JONES.
We are so close to the debates, we can feel it.
The latest poll puts LeAlan Jones at 9%. He needs 10% to get into the ABC 7 debate and blow this race wide open.
Can you help LeAlan make it to 10%? All it takes is 1%.
There are dozens of voters who want to put up LeAlan lawn signs, but we need $600 to print the first batch.
There are hundreds of young people who can distribute LeAlan’s literature, but we need $500 to pay for the paper and ink.
There are thousands of people across Illinois who want to meet LeAlan and learn more about him, but we need $400 to pay for train tickets.
All of their efforts can get us over 10%.
Your contribution of $5, $10, $20, $50 or $100 will play an important role in getting LeAlan into the debates. We believe if he’s in the debates, his plan to create green jobs and end corporate greed will connect with voters.
We hope to raise $5,000 by the end of this weekend. Don’t forget to share this on your Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Spread the word!
The time is now.
The conservative pollster Rasmussen Reports has finally included LeAlan in their latest poll, after months of calling him “other”.
LeAlan is getting 9% with Kirk at 41% and Giannoulias at 39%. That’s just 1% shy of what LeAlan needs to participate in the ABC 7 / League of Women Voters debate. We have just one month to get the word out and get LeAlan over 10%.
Also notable is that a majority of voters know who LeAlan is (56%) – and his favorable rating is up to 26%!
But here is the most telling part: only 8% of Illinois voters rate the U.S. economy as good. 8%. Clearly people on the ground are hurting which is why we need to build a sustainable economy and reclaim our community wealth.
Alexi needs to boost black support
By Laura Washington, Chicago Sun-Times
Alexi Giannoulias is loath to admit it, but LeAlan Jones could become his gnarliest nightmare.
Two recent polls show Giannoulias is locked in a suffocatingly tight race with U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk. Along comes the youthful and energetic Jones, a 31-year-old journalist, high school coach and youth mentor. He’s not only fresh, he’s “Green.” Jones is running with the insurgent Green Party, which is trying to make inroads in the Nov. 2 election.
While his opponents continue to trash each other, LeAlan Jones is rising above the negativity. From a Daily Herald article by Kerry Lester:
A third, lesser known candidate in the race – Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones of Chicago – says he is trying to talk about the issues and sees the sparring between Kirk and Giannoulias as an opportunity to capture votes.
“I’m not here to talk about the failure of a bank, I’m not here talking about my record, I’m talking about the issues that matter to people,” he said in a recent TV appearance.
From today’s New York Times:
As a boy growing up in the long shadow of the Ida B. Wells public housing development, LeAlan Jones, the Illinois Green Party candidate for the United States Senate, learned at an early age to ignore naysayers.
“If you come from the ghetto, people are always doubting you,” Mr. Jones said. “I never listened to them. I was too busy.”
So go ahead and tell him the political facts of life: that he is wasting his time and has a scant shot at winning President’s Obama’s old Senate seat in November.
LeAlan Jones, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, reacts to the Senate’s confirmation of Elena Kagan as Supreme Court Justice:
“While I celebrate more women on the Supreme Court, I am concerned that President Obama has yet to nominate any African-Americans to the bench after two vacancies. Furthermore, Elena Kagan’s inability to hire any African-Americans during her time at Harvard is troubling. Yet again, the Obama administration is playing it ‘safe’ — and in turn, giving conservatives and corporations the upper hand. Elena Kagan will not be able to balance out the four ultra-conservative justices and their 1770s values. ‘Originalism’ is a racist, classist values system that has no place in modern society — and waxes nostalgic about a time when people like Justice Thomas and I were worth 3/5s of property-owning, white men.”
The LeAlan for U.S. Senate team recently launched a newly redesigned Web site. Let us know what you think by taking our quick survey: