Champaign Dem joins field for 13th District primary
CHAMPAIGN — A third Democrat is jumping into the 13th Congressional District race, joining former Madison County Judge Ann Callis and University of Illinois Professor George Gollin.
David Green, 63, of Champaign promises an "insurgent campaign" that will "appeal to leftists in the Democratic Party, those who identify with other leftist parties, including the Green Party and anti-war libertarians."
Green said Monday that he will make a formal announcement on Sunday, Sept. 1, at the Champaign Public Library.
The three Democrats are seeking the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville. Davis also is being opposed in the GOP primary by Urbana attorney Erika Harold.
"I didn't decide to do this until the last week or two," Green said Monday.
He said he didn't "see anything that inspires me in any way, shape or form to want to vote for either" Gollin or Callis in a Democratic primary.
"I don't see them as anything but business as usual as it has gone on in the Democratic Party under both the Clinton and Obama administrations," he said. "They really haven't been forthcoming with what their platforms might be, and they haven't published anything in their work or their public life regarding what their general political views are."
Green said he gave some thought to running as a Green Party candidate, "but the bar is too high, in terms of having to collect something like 10,000 signatures. But with the Democratic primary all you have to collect is 800 or so."
He said he voted last year for Democratic candidate David Gill in the three-way race won by Davis.
"I think he was a better candidate than either of these candidates. With Ann Callis, I think that what you see is what you get. She's a Democratic Party functionary and she's been anointed by the leadership to be the one to tip this district into the Democratic Party column without making any waves," he said. "George Gollin is a bit more unknown, but I don't know if he intends to make any serious waves. Nothing I know about him suggests that he is anything close to having the kind of critical views of the Democratic Party and the political process and of the society at large than I do."
Green said he running to win the election, not just to offer liberals a choice. But he said he probably would not raise much money.
"I wouldn't be running if I didn't want to win," he said. "I can't imagine I would plan on buying any air time of anything like that because I firmly believe that the kinds of things people say when they buy ads are absolutely banal and only insult the intelligence of the voters and diminish the nature of an informed political process."
He cited three "anti" and three "pro" reasons he is running.
"First of all, I'm anti-war, anti-military-industrial complex, anti-intervention in other counties, anti-military bases in other countries," he said. "I'm anti-Wall Street and anti-big bank and the financialization of the economy. And I'm anti-business-as-usual in Washington in terms of the leaders in Washington not being accountable to the voters as much as to the corporate lobbyists and so forth.
"There are many things I'm for, but the three that stand out is that I'm pro-socialized health care, a Medicare for all system."
He also supports full employment, "and by that I mean not just to get to 4 percent unemployment and that's called full employment. I'm for government-sponsored employment for anyone who wants it, a sort of New Deal effort by the government to provide a job in various sectors and to find jobs for everyone at the federal, state and local levels," Green said.
He also favors "free education for all from preschool through graduate school."
Green, in frequent letters to the editor in The News-Gazette, has been critical of Israel and supportive of a Palestinian state.
"I won't make any bones that I am opposed to what is called foreign aid, which is really military aid, to not only countries like Israel but also Egypt and Colombia," said Green, who is Jewish. "Beyond that I am a forthright supporter of a genuine peace agreement between Israel and Palestine along the lines of the original 1967 borders, prior to the 1967 war. I oppose Israel's occupation of Palestine. I think it's illegal and as part of an agreement, I think most of the settlers would have to be either be part of a new Palestinian state or they would have to go back behind the green line into what is Israel proper, as it was originally demarcated during the British mandate."
Green said he was born in Los Angeles and has lived in Champaign-Urbana for about 15 years. He said he is separated, has an adult son and works as a social policy analyst at the University of Illinois' Center for Prevention Research and Development, a part of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.