Committee to Elect
Vivian Houghton Attorney General
Candidate upsets predictions
Rebuttal by Vivian A.
Published Oct. 1, 2002, in The News Journal
Columnist Ron Williams’ attacks
against my attorney general candidacy were outbursts born of frustration.
In December, when it looked as if only
incumbent Jane Brady and Democratic challenger Carl Schnee would run in
the attorney general’s race, Williams wrote a column in which he threw
his weight behind Schnee. He
suggested at that time that because Brady was unpopular, Schnee would win
easily if he didn’t discuss complex issues and just talked “about the
niceties of law enforcement.”
Now switch to 10 months later and some
of the facts that prompted Williams to write his angry column.
The first fact is that it’s a three-way race, not a two-way race,
and that audiences and analysts are concluding that I’m a tougher
opponent for Brady than Schnee is. As
the Delaware Law Weekly wrote, I left Schnee “searching for political
air” in debate.
Such praise has been followed by major
endorsements, as when the United Auto Workers Community Action Program,
which represents more than 7,000 Delawareans, voted to support me.
Omowali Walker, longtime activist in the Africa-American community,
said, “Houghton is the best attorney general candidate in at least 20
Frustrated voters and angry non-voters
have flocked to my campaign because my candidacy represents an independent
vision. Williams says he
worries that my interest in prosecuting corporate executives and managers
whose companies break the law is unconstitutional.
If he knew the law better, he wouldn’t worry.
For instance, in Texas two managers were sentenced to 36 months in
prison for violating chemical contamination statutes.
As far as Williams’ view that “the
Green Party can’t win,” in the last two years more than 100 Green
candidates have won elected office. The
Greens are the fastest growing party in the United States.
Given that my momentum is bad news for
Schnee, Williams’ columns didn’t surprise me.
Still, I find it offensive that his distortions included a
paragraph in which he mocked one of my supporter’s religious beliefs and
noted his sexual preference. Such
intolerance contributes to a moral climate in which anti-gay violence is
tolerated and the principle of freedom of religion gives way to religious
smugness or, worse, fanaticism.
One of Williams’ more curious
criticisms is that while Brady and Schnee talk about “legitimate”
concerns, I waste his time by insisting that “voters are…interested in
issues about race, justice, and pollution.”
That Williams views such issues as irrelevant to the attorney
general contest is a sad commentary on how little political understanding
is required to become a News Journal editor.
Williams just can’t keep up. He wants to hear about “niceties” instead.
Vivian A. Houghton is the
Green Party candidate for Delaware attorney general.