April 5, 2013. Charleston. Get ready for the most television-driven Congressional race of 2013. In one month, voters will go to the polls in the South Carolina Special Election featuring a disgraced former Governor against an unknown, inexperienced sister of a popular Comedy Central host. But there is a third option – the Green Party’s Eugene Platt. And he’s serious, experienced and credible.
Eugene Platt, Green candidate for Congress in SC. Image courtesy of the Green Party.
A native of Charleston, Eugene Platt is a retired Federal Civil Service employee. He’s also the son of a South Carolina Naval shipyard worker and a veteran US Army paratrooper. He’s nobody’s push-over. And unlike his two opponents in next month’s Special Election to replace newly-appointed US Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Platt has spent the last 20 years serving his local community as an elected member of the James Island Public Service District Commission. In fact, he's the Green Party's only elected official in the state.
It’s safe to say that public service is a life-long passion of Eugene Platt. His sincerity and honesty comes shining through with little doubt. Strangely, that’s yet another characteristic that his two opponents seem to be lacking. Through their powerful friends in the corporate media, the Democrats’ Elizabeth Colbert Busch and the Republicans’ Mark Sanford have already taken their fight to New York – to a playing field of celebrities and lifestyles that Platt and the rest of the 1st district are rarely welcomed or invited.
The Colbert Report vs. Morning Joe
It’s Stephen Colbert versus Joe Scarborough, The Colbert Report versus Morning Joe, Comedy Central versus MSNBC, Viacom versus NBC Universal. Just in the past few days, the networks, shows and hosts have gone on an unprecedented political campaign offensive for their respective candidates.
On Morning Joe, the team proudly celebrates disgraced former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford by explaining that while he was a corrupt elected official, their long-time friend was professional and honest enough to admit to his South American extra-marital affairs illegally paid for with taxpayer money, after he denied it and was repeatedly caught. For that, Morning Joe and MSNBC insist voters of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District should send their former Governor to Washington...and forget all about that House Judiciary Committee censure and the 37 confirmed ethics violations.
On the other side, popular late night comedian Stephen Colbert has enlisted his own Comedy Central show to campaign for his sister – Elizabeth Colbert Busch. And while nobody, including the voters, knows anything about the longshot Democratic candidate, viewers and fans of the Colbert Report really don’t seem to care. They just know she’s host Stephen Colbert’s sister and that’s enough to earn their support. Her campaign website doesn’t do much better for the candidate, limiting her credentials to simply being, ‘a decades-long resident of the Charleston area…with a history of success in the Lowcountry.’
But what do all those multi-national, establishment corporations that are going to decide this election have in common with the voters of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District? Nothing. Viacom owns Comedy Central which owns The Colbert Report which owns Stephen Colbert who is helping the Democrat. NBC Universal owns MSNBC which owns Morning Joe, which owns Joe Scarborough who is helping the Republican.
The only thing missing from this race is any regard for the citizens of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. The winner will instead be chosen in the halls and studios of New York media corporations. That is, unless the Green Party’s Eugene Platt has anything to say about it. While Sanford and Colbert attend elite and exclusive, high-power fundraisers in Washington and New York, the Green’s Platt is walking precincts and ringing doorbells in Charleston and Myrtle Beach.
Platt goes on the offensive
Showing that his loyalties lie with his fellow neighbors and residents of the South Carolina district rather than powerful New York fundraisers, Super PACs and television producers, Platt explains on his campaign website, “It’s time to stop subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous at the expense of those who are struggling just to get by or raising a family on a tightly-stretched budget.”
Unlike most Green Party candidates who position themselves even further to the left of Democrats, Eugene Platt’s positions and platform are an unusual combination of center-left social issues and center-right fiscal and government issues. And like all voters from both the right and the left, he believes corporate and special interest money in our political system needs to be stopped.
The Green Party nominee was an early supporter of universal healthcare during his 1990 bid for Congress, as he puts it, “back when almost no one was talking about it.” He is opposed to ‘ill-advised military ventures the country has involved itself with, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.’ The candidate insists military action should be defensive only. And not surprising for a Green candidate, Platt insists pollution and climate change are real and must be taken seriously.
Pleasing supporters from the center-right, Eugene Platt is a veteran US Army paratrooper and a supporter of veterans and our men and women in uniform. Like many, he’s not afraid to oppose the war but support the troops. He’s also a critic of the current criminal justice system. The Green candidate insists the process is broken and doesn’t focus its energy and resources where it should – the safety of law-abiding citizens. Platt supports truth in sentencing, greater parental responsibility, a drastically shortened interval between arrest and trial, victim restitution, more stringent parole policies, and opportunities for rehabilitation.
Eugene Platt’s campaign website sums up the Green Party nominee’s positions on family by introducing voters to his own family members. The section explains how he is, ‘a widower since his wonderful, loving wife Mary died of breast cancer in 2003.’ After introducing his own children and grandchildren, the site promises, ‘He understands that family is the foundation of society. In Congress, he will be a champion of family-friendly legislation – including health care for all.’
The Green Party and its candidate have the most uphill election race of the year in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. And as two multi-national media giants, with thousands of local outlets between them, continue to promote their Republican and Democratic establishment candidates from New York, Eugene Platt will continue to do what he’s done every day for the last 20 years – serve the people of South Carolina. And he doesn’t need a nationwide cable TV show to do it. Then again, the way the media always blacks-out Green Party candidates, it wouldn’t hurt.
For more information on Eugene Platt, visit VotePlatt.com.
For more information on the Green Party, visit GP.org.
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