Hawkins thickens the Congressional plot

Finally the Greens gave me their blessing. It just took a while to get to the point where they said, 'Let's go.'

You won't be ballot mates with Ralph Nader this time. What's up with his presidential campaign?

Nader's running independent. In New York it will be called Populist. The Greens will probably nominate {former Georgia Congressperson} Cynthia McKinney at their Chicago convention. I'll be running as a Green Populist. I have the support of both. I don't know whose line I'll be on, but I'll have my own box at the bottom of the ballot.

Of all the issues you've raised over the years, do you think public power is the one which finally might really happen?

Yeah. It's really the second. Living wage is one we really got going. After the Council voted it down, {Green staffer} Sally Kim ran around poking her nose in everywhere to revive it. At the least, we can define the issues of this campaign. I think, however, given the Stonecash poll--and he nailed the County Executive race right on the money--one-third for the Democrat, one-third for the Republican, one-third undecided, pretty close to the enrollment, that means a third candidate could win.

There are two discreet demands I will make, which I think I have majority support in the district. One is national health insurance, a single-payer medicare for all system. Obama's proposing public subsidies for private insurance, which Maffei talks about, which means the public will get screwed because the private insurance companies are a big lobby and all the regulations will be to their benefit.

Single-payer will save half a trillion dollars a year, $350 billion in unnecessary paperwork done by people trying to get reimbursed from 1,500 insurance companies, a bureaucratic nightmare. That's 31 percent of our health care dollars.

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