Green Party congressional hopeful Steve Fournier of Hartford offers a strikingly different agenda than the ones put forward by major party candidates.
“I think our country is in the toilet and I'm willing to go in there and pull it out. Cleaning up Congress is a dirty job, I tell them, and somebody has to do it,” Fournier said.
Fournier, 62, said that volunteers have collected more than 3,000 signatures in the 1st District that “make it all but certain” that he’ll be on the November ballot against U.S. Rep. John Larson, an East Hartford Democrat, and Republican challenger Joe Visconti of West Hartford.
To reach the ballot, a petitioning candidate needs 2,050 verified signatures from registered voters, a determination that should be made soon.
Fournier’s campaign aims “to vindicate us with our grandchildren. They will certainly defile our graves if we don't make big changes now.”
Fournier, a community activist, said he personally got 900 signatures – and talked with those who signed.
“The people I've been talking to are angry, but they're also afraid. Afraid to dissent and afraid to look powerless and foolish,” he said.
Fournier said that people are looking away from what the nation’s leaders have done to the country during the past generation.
“The criminals who govern us have injured our earth, damaged our republic, put us in mortal danger, and we go on as if everything were fine, seemingly unaware of our dire situation,” Fournier said in a pamphlet.
“My conversations tell me that we are not unaware and that we are seething with repressed rage. Witnesses to an atrocity, we turn away because we feel unable to act,” he said.
“We're told that enemies are in our midst,” Fournier said, “and our biggest fear is not that any of the million or so terrorists out there will do us any harm but that we will be counted among them.”
“And so we take off our shoes in the airport and buy newspapers that lie to us and pretend to support the troops and stay away from political gatherings of all kinds,” he said.
“It’s not that people are apathetic or complacent. We're damaged and discouraged,” Fournier said.
Fournier, a Vietnam veteran, said that “racketeers and their henchmen now govern America.”
“The two major political parties have been complicit in the racket and have furthered it by trashing the Bill of Rights, undermining the rule of law, and effectively repealing all checks on executive power,” he said.
“Most recently, our leaders have waged two wars to advance their political ends and lost both of them, as all responsible authorities predicted they would,” Fournier said.
“They have long since quit regulating the big, anti-national corporations that control public policy, resulting in the widespread abuse of workers, poor quality goods, mass export of jobs, declines in public health and happiness, environmental pollution, the concentration of wealth in a few hands, and a failing economy,” he said.
“These problems can't be addressed until Americans undertake the restoration of Constitutional government,” Fournier said. “This candidacy--the candidate is a troublemaker and whistleblower--is an expression of urgency.”
Fournier said he’s been active in politics since he left the Air Force in 1970 and got involved in the anti-war movement and left-wing politics. In the years since, he said, he’s been a Democrat, a Republican and a Green Party member.
With the exception of a brief stint on the Hartford Board of Education a decade ago, when he helped convince the state to take over Hartford’s troubled public schools, Fournier’s been an activist and outsider.
Larson has rolled over challengers since winning the 1st District in 1998. He’s represented Bristol since a redistricting in 2002 expanded the size of each of Connecticut’s remaining five congressional districts.
- Withhold all military funding until there is “an acceptable timetable” to withdraw troops from Iraq.
- Uncover wrongdoing in the executive branch and military, including the ouster and punishment of “those responsible for 9/11/”
- Crack down on economic misconduct by the rich and powerful.
- Enact universal health care at least as good as Medicare.
- Create a mandatory national service for all Americans to serve in the armed forces or improving public assets.
- Crack down on pollution.
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