U.S. Senate candidate Dan Pulju: Hi, my name is Dan Pulju. I’m an Oregonian and a Eugenian just like you. I am fed up with federal government corruption and I am doing something about it by running for U.S. Senate versus the incumbent Democrat, Ron Wyden.
[00:00:15] I will be on your ballot this November as the nominee of the Pacific Green Party. You may remember the Green Party for running Ralph Nader, for running Jill Stein. The Green Party started about four decades ago in Germany. We have one basic central principle, which is: ‘Neither left nor right but up front.’
[00:00:33] My campaign is running on a basic anti-imperial platform. Our government gets us in war after war as it has for decades. And I believe that a government which wars abroad also tends to war at home. This has caused the degradation of our democracy and led our country into dysfunction and chaos.
[00:00:55] You may be familiar with our military-industrial complex, which our President Eisenhower warned us in vain about becoming too powerful. This is true in other branches of government as well. We have pharmaceutical companies that have done what they call ‘regulatory capture,’ taken over portions of the government that are supposed to be regulating them. Our fossil fuel industry has done the same.
[00:01:18] The government of our empire, which is essentially a marriage of corporations and a massive bureaucracy in Washington, has over the past several decades, and especially the past 20 years, eroded our rights, beginning in particular with the Patriot Act, which subjected us to mass surveillance. And in 2013, the government decided to actively start subjecting us to propaganda as well. We need to get big money out of politics.
[00:01:46] The two corporate parties and the corporations in general are able to control politics because they have all the money and there are not enough restrictions to level the playing field and keep things fair. When I talk about the two-party system, I put the word ‘two’ in quotes because I believe that these two parties have more in common with each other than they have with the rest of us.
[00:02:07] Probably about half of the voters in this country are not members of either two parties or if they do vote for them, they’re voting for the lesser evil, and they don’t feel represented themselves in government.
[00:02:19] I want to tell these people: ‘Your vote counts, please don’t give up on the system. I’m not going to win. Your favorite candidate is not going to win, but we have to stay in the game or we will simply be dominated by those who do.’
[00:02:34] Elderly people, older people like Todd, who probably spent their whole lives fighting this fight, tend to realize that you do need to vote. Even if we have a revolution and install another government, we’re going to have to have it be democratic. So we’ve got to go through it that way.
[00:02:50] My campaign will get a baseline of about 2% of the vote if I don’t really do much and am not very lucky. If I work hard and everything goes right, I could get up to 5%. I have picked this race to go for that 5% goal because in a U.S. Senate race that is generally unprecedented. Minor parties don’t tend to do that well, and it would get attention, it would build momentum and get people interested in seeking the electoral alternative. Most of the energy that is actually against our government and its wars is not focused electorally at the moment.
[00:03:25] One thing the Green Party is known for and which I certainly support is voting reform. We need more transparency in our elections, but also we need to change how the votes are counted. We currently have what is known as single winner plurality, which allows someone to win an election with sometimes as low as 30% of the vote. When we have the Democrat and Republican, one of them gets close to 50%, often they’re only actually supported by about 30% of the electorate.
[00:03:53] We can have ranked choice voting. We in Oregon can have even proportional voting, or we could have mixed-member districts here in Eugene. A lot of you probably remember the efforts to get STAR voting implemented here. All of these forms of ranked choice voting, though I have opinions about which are better than the other, are better than what we have now.
[00:04:13] We need to get rid of this two-party system so that everyone is represented, and so that everyone has someone to vote for.
[00:04:21] I am in favor of all medical rights. I am pro-choice on both abortion and on medical treatments, including vaccines, particularly when they are experimental. I think that during the past two years there has been a lot of drama about this in the country, but it seems to be self-resolving.
And now we have over the next coming years, the fight over protecting a woman’s right to choose and abortion. My position is the same on all of these medical rights. Bodily autonomy is a human right and the state does not have the right to violate this.
[00:04:54] My campaign will also be focusing on ending the drug war. By this I mean ending the drug war for real. Measure 110, which was passed in 2020 to decriminalize possession of hard drugs, was the right thing to do. The people of this state realized correctly that incarcerating mass numbers of people simply for what is essentially a vice offense is counterproductive, expensive, and completely unfair. Millions of lives have been ruined by this. It is also a racist policy.
[00:05:26] What the drug war was really about was a war on the poor and the working class and the punishments for the drugs were imposed in order to establish methods of control by the government on the poor and the working class. And unfortunately, those methods of control still remain in what you could boil down to one word, institutionalization.
[00:05:48] People that have been freed from the mass incarceration system by legalization still depend on government support for food, for housing and for medicine, and have little incentive to regain or opportunity to regain control over their lives and live productively.
[00:06:04] I’m going to say a little bit about Ukraine, even though it is a sensitive subject. It is the current iteration of U.S. war-mongering, and like most of the ones in the past, it has broad public support at first for the United States to become involved. Of course, the United States was involved from the start in 2014 with its support of the Maidan coup.
[00:06:25] But in general, we see the continuation of a policy of, no better word for it than ‘Russophobia.’ This is a relic of the Cold Wwar that retains antipathy and hostility, diplomatically and militarily towards a country that there is no reason to have an adversarial relationship with.
[00:06:43] And again, this is simply for the purposes of our ruling elite, to be able to maintain control over the population.
[00:06:51] However, it is also fortuitous that their reaction to the Ukraine war—to the Russian operation in Ukraine—has backfired because of the sanctions that have led to our own troubles here by disrupting supplies. What we have now is supply-side inflation, and there’s really no way out of it until the supply disruptions actually end.
[00:07:14] I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the elements of neo-Nazi militias within Ukraine and how astonishing it is that our political system, that our so-called leaders are able to justify sending tens of billions of dollars of aid without accountability as to where that aid is going, knowing full well that many of them are going to be ending up in the hands of these militias with neo-Nazi ideologies, many of which are guilty of the most heinous crimes that have occurred so far during the Ukraine civil war.
[00:07:46] I think that it is accurate, those who are saying, that the United States government wants to fight to the last Ukrainian. They’re not winning the war. They’re not going to win. The Russians are going to succeed in their goal. Their stated goal of securing the independence of the Danbas self-proclaimed republics.
[00:08:03] The Green Party supports grassroots economics. I’m in favor of bringing back our small business, bringing domestic manufacturing back to the United States and getting people back to work, doing meaningful jobs.
[00:08:16] One final comment about vote stealing, a lot of people who vote Democrat and Republican and particularly people that support those two parties like to accuse minor parties of stealing votes from their candidates. And I would just like to say that if you believe that a minor party can steal your vote from a major party, then a major party has already stolen your vote from you.
[00:08:39] My campaign will be focusing on advertising and I will need donations and volunteers. You can find out more at danforsenate.org. Thank you.
Todd Boyle records his annual People’s Forum on Mondays during August.