Cynthia McKinney says politics is no place for a a fashion show. "It's not a beauty contest. It's not a popularity contest," she intones on a YouTube clip. "Politics is about power and public policy."
The Alibi sought conversations with third-party presidential candidates on the ballot in New Mexico and succeeded in all cases but one. After nearly a month of trying, we were unable to schedule an interview with Green Party candidate McKinney. Using information from her campaign website, previous articles, and broadcasts of speeches and debates, we've cobbled together a short history of McKinney and her stances on major issues.
In 1992, McKinney became the first African-American woman in Georgia elected to a federal office. She served in the House of Representatives until 2003, again from 2005 until 2007, and was a vocal critic of President Bush's failures post-Katrina. She left the Democratic Party for the Green Party in 2007. Her running mate is Rosa Clemente, an activist, hip-hop performer and independent journalist from New York.
McKinney heralds the Green Party as one of peace, social justice and ecological wisdom. "The most wasted vote is the vote that doesn't reflect values," she says.
McKinney constructed a 14-point plan to revive the economy. She calls for a moratorium on foreclosures and a renegotiation of adjustable-rate mortgages into 30- or 40-year loans. Such mortgages should be eliminated along with predatory lending, she says. She would appoint David Walker, the former controller general of the United States, to audit "every institution and organization that is receiving taxpayer funding." The Federal Reserve should be nationalized, she adds, and a publicly owned banking system should be put into place.
It was wrong for the United States to engage in the occupation of Iraq, McKinney says. More troops should not enter Afghanistan. Capturing and murdering an individual such as Osama bin Laden would be unjust, she says, and such actions should be left to the courts. McKinney touts the Arms Trade Code of Conduct, which she introduced to the House. The measure would have outlawed the sale of weapons to human rights abusers. She says the bill was designed prevent despotic regimes from using U.S.-sold weapons against its own soldiers a generation later.
"The most wasted vote is the vote that doesn't reflect values.”
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party candidate
"Leave the oil in the soil," is McKinney's motto. War and drilling are America's energy policy, she says, and they don't work. She doesn't support any nuclear options, because the waste is so hard to get rid of, and she is staunchly against offshore drilling. She opposes oil exploration in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. The country needs to invest in solar, and tax plans should be put into place so prices are lower for solar consumers, she adds. Corn-based ethanol can't be the main focus of alternative energy, she says, because it will lessen the food supply.
McKinney supports a single-payer system and says insurance must be eliminated from health care. Every citizen should have equal access to medical care, she adds. She also discusses the disparities within the health care system based on race and ethnicity. These concerns must be addressed, she says, even if the country implements a system that offers care to everyone regardless of income.