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©_2002_Authorized and_paid_for_by_the Committee_to_Elect Vivian_Houghton Attorney_General, 800_N_West_St., Wilmington_DE_19801

Committee to Elect 
Vivian Houghton Attorney General

Green Candidate upsets predictions

Rebuttal by Vivian A. Houghton
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 years.” 

A new vision

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.