MANY POSSIBILITIES IN 5-WAY DEBATE TONIGHT [THIRD Edition] Boston Globe - Boston, Mass. Author: Mark Jurkowitz, Globe Staff Date: Oct 9, 2002 Start Page: A.1 Section: National/Foreign Text Word Count: 1023 Document Text

In a memorable moment during the last gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney remarked that voters could be "bored to tears" by more televised face-offs.

But Romney changed his mind, and tonight - facing a distinctly different format and a far more crowded stage - the candidates will lock up in a debate that offers the prospect of volatility, confusion, and confrontation. But it will almost certainly not be boring.

Tonight's event from 10:15 to 11:15 on WLVI-TV (Channel 56) is the first general election debate to feature all five candidates on the ballot, and the first to ever include four female gubernatorial hopefuls. It's an encounter expected to serve up an unpredictable mix of personality, ideology, and strategy.

Former gubernatorial and congressional candidate George Bachrach thinks the appearance of Libertarian Carla Howell, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Independent Barbara Johnson creates potential peril for the front-runners, Romney and Democrat Shannon O'Brien. "In the immortal words of Janis Joplin, `freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,' " he said. "And the beauty of these other candidates is that they're liberated."

"Anything can happen in that format. Anybody can say anything," said veteran WBZ-TV political reporter John Henning. "I think that probably Shannon O'Brien will back away from the fray a little and [Romney] might too. I think they'll both be a little more careful."

The debate will feature a dramatically different format from the two recent face-offs between Romney and O'Brien. No opening or closing statements will be allowed. A single moderator, political analyst Jon Keller, will pose a question to a candidate, then the others will be allowed to answer, in sequence. After that, Keller will allow for a free-flowing follow-up discussion before moving on to the next question.

Some analysts expect a debate with several subplots featuring separate battles between Stein and O'Brien on the left, Romney and Howell on the right, and O'Brien and Romney in the middle.

For the three candidates who do not represent major parties, the forum offers a rare opportunity for desperately needed exposure to voters who may know little about them. "This is a critical opening for us," said Stein. "It's obviously going to be a challenge and it's only one hour. I look forward to really putting some good solutions on the table."

Johnson campaign manager Peter Van Oudenaren said that during her "precious 10 minutes" of air time, Johnson wants voters to "be listening to her not as a curiosity, but as a person who has something to say. Barbara has a different perspective than the other candidates on the issues."

A statement from Howell said she would "contrast her `small government is beautiful' platform with the proposals of big government, high-tax Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Shannon O'Brien . . . and contrast her pro-gun proposals . . . with Mitt Romney's and Shannon O'Brien's anti-gun positions."

For the front-runners, the five-person debate offers both possiblities and pitfalls, with candidate interaction now a much more complex dynamic. "Obviously, it's more difficult when you have five candidates as opposed to two," said O'Brien campaign manager Dwight Robson. "After two debates with Mitt Romney, the two candidates were probably getting fairly comfortable with each other. This is a very different environment . . . I'm confident she can distinguish herself from the four other candidates running for governor."

"There will be a new dynamic," said Romney deputy campaign manager Eric Fehrnstrom. "The one thing we can say for certain is that there are fewer questions." He added that while "Carla Howell has some pretty extreme ideas . . . the main event will be Romney- O'Brien," with the Republican stressing differences on economic policy with the Democrat.

Democratic political strategist Mary Anne Marsh, who worked with O'Brien on past campaigns, said that no matter how many people are in front of the camera tonight, "there's nothing that's going to end up helping the other three candidates. The only influence the debates have on this race is if something dramatic happens to affect the polls. That only ends up happening by something Mitt Romney or Shannon O'Brien does."

The debate was scheduled quickly. A day after O'Brien used the Oct. 1 televised forum at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to ask Romney to participate in more than the three scheduled debates, he agreed and his campaign contacted WLVI, which had standing invitations to all the candidates to appear at a forum on the station.

A WB network affiliate, WLVI has already hosted debates featuring the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, the Republican lieutenant governor foes, and the candidates for state treasurer and Suffolk County district attorney. Still, landing the exclusive rights to air this contest live is a coup for a station that typically attracts roughly 70,000 households to its 10 p.m. newscast. (Tonight's debate will also be simulcast on WBZ-AM radio and may be broadcast live on C-SPAN).

The reason for the odd 10:15 start time has nothing to do with politics. Tonight's 9 p.m. premiere of "Birds of Prey" - a show featuring young female superheroes - runs 70 minutes. The debate will also encounter stiff prime-time competition from two new medical series on ABC and CBS, NBC's venerable "Law & Order," and a baseball playoff game on Fox.

The Oct. 1 debate, which was carried by Channels 2, 4, 5 and 7, and cable outlet NECN, attracted about 300,000 households.

One final wildcard is Keller, who is known for popping unusual and unexpected questions. During the recent Democratic gubernatorial debate, Keller asked the primary foes to recall a lie they told in the past and discuss what they learned from the experience. And, in the 1996 presidential campaign, he stumped Lamar Alexander by asking whether he knew the price of a quart of milk and a dozen eggs.

Asked what the candidates should expect from him tonight, Keller said, "they're wasting their time if they're wandering through the grocery store memorizing prices."

For his part, Keller said, "I want to see a spontaneous interaction between the candidates and get a clear look at how they respond to that challenge."


3 ADDED VOICES ALTER THE DEBATE INCLUSION OF ALL ON BALLOT SHIFTS TONE, TOPICS FOR 2 FRONT-RUNNERS
[THIRD Edition]
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Author: Rick Klein, and Joanna Weiss, GLOBE STAFF
Date: Oct 10, 2002
Start Page: A.1
Section: Metro/Region
Text Word Count: 1045
Document Text

In the first debate featuring all candidates for Massachusetts governor, the four women and one man on the November ballot sparred over taxes, wasteful spending, and job growth last night in a lively televised forum that sometimes seemed a meandering series of dinner- table arguments.

With the minutes scarce and the stage crowded, Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Shannon O'Brien used the debate as another opportunity to focus on each other; they largely ignored the presence of the three third-party candidates. At one point, Romney mistakenly addressed Green Party candidate Jill Stein as "Carla," as in Carla Howell, the Libertarian.

The format was a dramatic departure from the first two televised debates. B12

Romney and O'Brien were especially combative with each other, with Romney's remarks consistently aiming to criticize O'Brien: on tax votes, the state's rising debt, and her support of a salary increase for herself in the state Legislature.

"I'm sure she's going to say she doesn't want to raise taxes," Romney said. "But the truth is, that's what she's done in the past, that's what she'd do in the future as governor."

O'Brien contended that Romney was breaking his campaign promise to run a positive campaign, citing an advertisement criticizing her on taxes that began running on television yesterday.

"You made a pledge that you were going to talk about yourself," O'Brien said. "You have broken pledge after pledge in this campaign."

Romney shot back that she started the negative campaigning by attacking him on the campaign trail. "Politics is not a place for whining," he said.

The hourlong debate, which began at 10:15 p.m., was broadcast on WB affiliate WLVI-TV (Channel 56) and on WBZ-AM radio. The crowded stage made for some chaotic moments, and moderator Jon Keller had to intervene several times to stop the debate from devolving into utter confusion during the freewheeling discussions that followed candidates' answers to questions.

Stein, Howell, and Independent candidate Barbara Johnson desperately tried to use their time to draw attention to their candidacies, and Howell seemed the most successful at shaping the debate. Her constant trumpeting of her ballot initiative to eliminate the income tax in Massachusetts - she said "small government is beautiful" three times - kept the candidates returning to the subject of taxes throughout the hour.

"There is at least $9 billion in waste and destructive, big- government programs" in the state's $23 billion annual budget, she said.

Howell touted her initiative as a cure-all for government's problems and a boon for industry. Aiming for conservative voters, she went on the attack against Romney, who opposes her initiative, calling him a "big-government, high-tax Republican politician."

That left Romney, who touts his fiscal conservatism, defending government spending and telling Howell he wasn't "going to hurt our schools, our elderly."

Stein chimed in that with many citizens' needs unmet, "we don't have a lot of fat to cut from the budget." Throughout the debate, Stein used statistics and research to counter statements made by Romney and Howell, saying the state's tax code is grossly unfair to lower-income residents. She challeged Romney's statement that English immersion can replace bilingual education, and said the MCAS exam should not be used as a graduation requirement.

"We don't want to put all kids into some kind of pigeonhole," Stein said.

Johnson spoke slowly and deliberately, using the debate to float unconventional ideas: splitting up the attorney general's office, creating artificial reefs in the ocean to solve the fishing shortage, and allowing cities and towns to come up with their own gambling proposals to compete with the state lottery, including casinos. Keller had to cut off her responses several times, and once warned her to "please, make it brief" in the middle of an answer.

Johnson also raised a heretofore nonissue in the governor's race: energy policy. At one point, she said offhandedly that the nation has only "25 years before we see the last drop of oil." At another, she promised that "when I get an opportunity, I'll tell people about the energy revolution, and how one cubic foot of fission that can last for 50 years will save Massachusetts."

The cacophony of slogans and ideas sometimes left Romney and O'Brien - the race's clear front-runners - in the background, scrambling for traction against each other. But when they did find a window to attack, they did so with a sharper edge than in previous encounters.

When O'Brien proposed administrative consolidations that would save "tens of millions," Romney said it was great that she would embrace reductions he has called for.

"The treasurer's getting religion," he said. "I love it."

O'Brien accused Romney of distorting facts to make her look bad, particularly with the issue of state debt, where she has saved the state $500 million as treasurer.

"The fact is you were just wrong last week, you were wrong on your numbers," she told him.

The debate drew a crowd outside the Dorchester studio, including a Romney supporter in a dinosaur suit, taunting O'Brien for calling large out-of-state corporations "dinosaurs" in a previous debate, and an O'Brien backer who tooted freely on a baritone trumpet.

Two more televised debates will be held before the Nov. 5 election. A media consortium that includes The Boston Globe is hosting a prime-time debate including all five candidates on Oct. 24. The Boston Herald is sponsoring a final debate on Oct. 29, involving at least O'Brien and Romney, but no decision has been announced concerning inclusion of Howell, Johnson, and Stein.

The previous two debates, in Springfield and Worcester, included only O'Brien and Romney. The other three candidates unsuccessfully sued to appear alongside the Democratic and Republican nominees at last week's debate, in Worcester.

During the candidates' final remarks last night, Stein hoped for more five-way discussions.

"Prior to tonight, people were led to believe there were only two candidates," Stein said. "Tonight people have heard a much broader diversity of opinion and I really encourage that we make this a beginning."


FORUM'S SUCCESS IN EYE OF VIEWER

[THIRD Edition]

Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.

Author: Mark Jurkowitz, Globe Staff
Date: Oct 10, 2002
Start Page: B.12
Section: Metro/Region
Text Word Count: 565
Document Text

CAMPAIGN 2002 THE GUBERNATORIAL DEBATES / ON THE AIR Commentary

It may have been the only debate in history when a candidate listed as a qualification her time on the unemployment line, and when race issues were discussed in terms of "green people with purple spots."

From the first moment of last night's gubernatorial debate, it was clear that the "Odd Couple" had been transformed into an episode of "Three's Company."

In almost every important way, last night's format represented a dramatic departure from the first two televised debates on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. Veteran viewers of these face-offs were suddenly watching a show that changed the script, altered the setting, and, most important, introduced a slew of new cast members.

Instead of a sparring match between two front-running candidates - Republican Mitt Romney with his CEO-type TV persona and Shannon O'Brien with her more animated style - three more candidates were injected into the proceedings. And instead of a format that included questions from assorted moderators, journalists, and students, one moderator ran the show and encouraged interchanges designed to try to knock the competitors off their guard and their stump speeches.

The tone and feel of the debate was more informal, more freewheeling, and more unconventional. Asked about a possible repeal of Proposition 2 1/2, Libertarian candidate Carla Howell reverentially intoned that "small government is beautiful." In her raspy voice, feisty Independent candidate Barbara Johnson eschewed anything resembling a stump speech and offered a response that took far less than the allotted 60 seconds. And Green Party candidate Jill Stein brandished a colorful tax fairness chart and a pencil to make her point.

One big question last night was whether Howell, Stein, and Johnson - who desperately wanted the mass media exposure of the debate - would bring ideas and energy to the debate or would turn out to be the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players." The answer was clearly in the eye of the viewer.

If any candidate chewed the scenery last night, it was Johnson, who leaning casually over her podium, asked O'Brien a convoluted question about gambling policy in the Commonwealth, and spoke bluntly about people willing to "trade in a six-pack of beer for a can of paint." She may be the only gubernatorial candidate to ever answer a question about unemployment benefits by acknowledging that she was once on the unemployment line.

Stein, who talked about the need for social justice and her "people-powered campaign," was a soft, almost ephemeral presence during the debate. In one moment that symbolized the confusion caused by the swelling roster of candidates, Romney called her "Carla" before correcting himself.

Howell might have been the most effective phrasemaker, declaring at one point that "affirmative action is racial profiling." But she was by far the most robotic, repeating over and over her mantra of endorsing small government and ending the income tax, regardless of what question was before her.

Where did that leave the two leading candidates? Perhaps safely in the background as members of the supporting cast. The three new debaters ate up enough time to nearly relegate the Democrat and Republican to secondary roles.

In the closing moments, prompted by O'Brien, the two once again engaged in a battle over negative campaigning.

Those tired-sounding sound bites might have been the most eloquent argument for including Howell, Johnson, and Stein in the debate.


DEVELOPMENT'S IMPACT TO TEST NEXT GOVERNOR

[FIRST Edition]

Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.

Author: Anthony Flint, Globe Staff
Date: Oct 12, 2002
Start Page: A.1
Section: Metro/Region
Text Word Count: 3286
Document Text

CAMPAIGN 2002

Being green has long been in fashion in Massachusetts, with earth- conscious voters diligently recycling, saving whales, supporting lawsuits against corporate polluters, and demanding cleaner emissions from tailpipes and smokestacks.

The power of that constituency yielded some of the most progressive environmental laws in the country. Piping plovers and spotted turtles are safe in thousands of acres of protected habitat. The dirtiest power plants are being phased out. And people are actually swimming in Boston Harbor.

Today, the environmental movement has turned to a broader - and more complicated - challenge: the impact of development on the environment, from the destruction of woodlands for subdivisions and strip malls to water shortage problems caused by runoff to greenhouse gases produced by highway traffic jams.

Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, and the Conservation Law Foundation, have put sprawl near the top of their agendas.

The candidates for governor also are promising to manage growth better, seemingly convinced that the state's transportation and housing problems can be traced to a lack of planning.

Yet growth and sprawl are among the most complex, multilayered issues the candidates will try to tackle.

Voters often send contradictory messages on the subject: They may be fed up with traffic jams, for example, but are skeptical of any measures that restrict the freedom to build, especially in a tepid economy.

The tradition of "home rule" in Massachusetts, where 351 cities and towns govern themselves independently, remains a significant obstacle to regional or statewide planning initiatives. Another worry is rising home prices, which can be worsened by restrictions on growth that tighten supply or make it more expensive to build.

Still, if Massachusetts continues to grow as it has over the past 10 years, communities will face water shortages measured in billions of gallons daily, according to the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Open space will continue to disappear at a rate of 44 acres per day, says the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Traffic congestion on major and secondary roads will lead to gridlock, says the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which cites a 300 percent increase in traffic at the Interstate 90 and Interstate 495 interchange in the last 20 years.

The next governor can play a major role in helping commuters cope with highway congestion. Massachusetts commuters already spend an average of 1 hour per day commuting, according to the US 2000 Census, up from 45 minutes in 1990.

The state is already becoming a less attractive place to live and work because of the side-effects of spread-out growth, environmentalists and planners say - a quality-of-life factor closely tied to economic health.

"By whatever name it goes by, whether smart growth or quality growth or balanced growth, governors have recognized the need to address these issues - traffic congestion, affordable housing, loss of farmland," said Joel Hirschorn, director of natural resource policy studies for the National Governors Association. Doing nothing "threatens economic development at a time of a continuing fiscal crisis."

Between the major candidates, Republican Mitt Romney would allow cities and towns to decide their own future, while Democrat Shannon O'Brien would appoint a statewide director of smart-growth planning to implement an ambitious smart growth agenda. Romney also seeks to address congestion problems with a proposed "commuter bill of rights" - which would take measures to speed highway repairs and construction, and limit delays.

Existing proposals to reduce the spread of development await the next governor.

Planners and environmentalists say that the next governor could change development patterns through a number of relatively modest steps by coordinating highway and transit improvements with land- use planning, or requiring that all state offices be in urban areas, or imposing extra fees on development in areas that require new water, road, or sewer infrastructure.

The state's antiquated zoning law also could be changed, said Bennet Heart, senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation. The law encourages sprawl by giving relatively free reign to developers of single-family subdivisions, he said. It could be turned around, Heart said, to encourage more compact development close to transportation infrastructure.

"Just by making it a visible part of their agenda and by appointing people who understand the issue, a governor can do a lot to thwart sprawl," he said.

Massachusetts' sprawl problem is hard to see, said David Dixon president of the Boston Society of Architects, which has sponsored a civic initiative to promote new planning methods. "We don't think of ourselves as a growing region because we don't have big population growth, so we don't consider sprawl a serious issue," Dixon said.

But people and businesses are using more land as they spread outward from Boston, he said. Socioeconomic fragmentation - rich suburbs and poor cities - is equally hard to picture, he said. Sprawl's impact on the environment gets most people's attention, Dixon said. Unprotected wildlife habitat, open space, and woodlands succumb to bulldozers and backhoes. Aquifers fail to be recharged when water runs off of major retail structures and large parking lots. Air quality suffers as more cars are on the roadways for longer periods.

Housing costs, one of voters' most important concerns, can be alleviated - or worsened - depending on how the next governor chooses to manage development.

The state's existing development patterns also have hurt affordable housing, said Marc Draisen, incoming executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

"If you look at our housing production, the problem with it is that it's been unusually land-hungry, which puts us in the odd situation of using up vast quantities of land" - and hurting the environment - "while not really solving the housing supply crisis," he said. "We also end up generating a huge amount of traffic because none of this housing is near transportation nodes."

The predominant form of residential development is relatively expensive single-family homes on large lots in suburban and rural communities, Draisen said. Massachusetts ranks 45th in the nation in terms of creating more efficient multifamily housing, according to a state commission looking at construction regulation.

Because commercial development provides tax revenue without adding students in the schools, many towns go out of their way to attract big office parks and malls, Draisen added. "But everyone's acting independently, and the result is a pattern that is again very spread out." The solution, planners and environmentalists say, sounds simple: regional coordination to encourage development on less land. But the tradition of local control in Massachusetts is a powerful obstacle. Only Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod have regional planning agencies, and the latter was driven by a determined political effort led by the late Senator Paul Tsongas. Attachment to the status quo, by developers and independent- minded cities and towns, has led many people to believe that Massachusetts will not adopt the aggressive planning policies of Maryland, New Jersey or Oregon, which direct growth to established urban areas and bar it in the countryside. In many cases, nothing changes unless there are both carrots and sticks, said Robert Liberty, immediate past president of 1,000 Friends of Oregon, the group that advocated smart growth there.

Incentives might be money for developers redeveloping in cities, or extra funding for schools in towns that build multifamily housing. In a get-tough policy, said Liberty, "If bad local zoning and planning is causing congestion on state-financed intercity facilities, then those communities should not receive additional money to fix problems they created."


THE CENTER OF DEBATE

[THIRD Edition]

Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.

Author: EILEEN MCNAMARA
Date: Oct 13, 2002
Start Page: B.1
Section: Metro/Region
Text Word Count: 650
Document Text

EILEEN MCNAMARA

It took two unlikely wom

en last week to highlight a flaw in Shannon O'Brien's campaign for governor of Massachusetts.

The problem is not O'Brien's Beacon Hill connections or her record on taxes or her management skills as state treasurer.

The problem is that it was not O'Brien, but Acting Governor Jane Swift, who took concrete action on behalf of striking janitors in Boston. The problem is that it was not O'Brien, but Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who used the last debate to champion a more equitable tax code, affordable housing, and nonpunitive education reform.

A progressive could be forgiven for waking up Thursday morning and wondering where the Democrat was in the Democratic candidate for governor.

"I'm a different kind of Democrat," O'Brien pledged in an attempt to distance herself from the tax-and-spend reputation that, reasonably or not, still plagues her party. If, however, that pitch is perceived as pandering to voters leery, to the point of obsession, of higher taxes, it could well rebound among the liberal Democrats she needs to win.

You don't hear the word liberal in Massachusetts politics much these days, but you don't hear much about party loyalty either. O'Brien cannot assume that the voters who made Robert Reich such a credible primary challenger will transfer their allegiance to her simply because she's a Democrat. For many of those voters the message of Stein's grass-roots campaign resonates more deeply than the scripts of O'Brien's political ads.

Respondents to the instant poll Channel 56 conducted after the debate were more impressed with Stein's performance than those commentators who focused less on the substance of her remarks than on the state of her nerves in her first appearance on live television. Where will those voters go in November? Voters who do not think high school seniors should be denied their diplomas because of their performance on one standardized test? Voters who view the merger of the Rainbow Coalition and the Green Party as an active, rather than rhetorical, commitment to racial inclusion?

The rush toward the political center by Republicans and Democrats alike in the past decade is what has given rise to viable third- party candidates, on the national and state level, on the left and the right. As candidates for the two major political parties have become more beholden to their financial sponsors, it has fallen to the "fringe" candidates to talk candidly about the serious and complicated challenges confronting the country and the Commonwealth. Neither Stein nor Libertarian Carla Howell can garner the votes to win the governorship, but they can command public attention to issues that were all but ignored in the previous debates between O'Brien and Mitt Romney, debates that devolved into sniping about who was being meaner to whom.

Stein's passionate articulation of the need for social and economic justice only underscored O'Brien's reticence to veer from her centrist theme of governor-as-fiscal-manager. But the truth is, O'Brien is more committed than her campaign has shown to many of the same ideals. Her long record of support for increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation says more about her commitment to those at the bottom of the economic ladder than the fact that she occasionally auctions herself off as a luncheon date to raise money for good causes. Her support for full civil rights for gay people, her opposition to the death penalty, her commitment to transform 2,500 acres of surplus state land into reasonably priced housing says more about her core beliefs than the fact that she "blew the whistle on the Big Dig," however admirable that might have been.

O'Brien ignores progressive voters at her own peril. Just because Stein cannot win does not mean she cannot attract enough votes to deprive O'Brien of victory. Reich nearly did it in September. A lot more is at stake in November.

Eileen McNamara's e-mail address is mcnamara@globe.com.


GREEN PARTY LINE COLORS GOVERNOR'S RACE DEBATE LEXINGTON'S STEIN BELIEVES MESSAGE PLAYS IN SUBURBS
[THIRD Edition]
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Author: Christine McConville, Globe Staff Correspondent
Date: Oct 13, 2002
Start Page: 1
Section: Globe NorthWest
Text Word Count: 1199
Document Text

GLOBE NORTHWEST 1

Jill Stein, the Green Party's candidate for governor, may be a physician and a political activist, but when it comes to describing the core values of her campaign, she says she's just another soccer mom.

"The things I'm talking about resonate with people out here in the suburbs," said Stein, 52, of Lexington. She is the only gubernatorial candidate who opposes passing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests as a graduation requirement, she said. As a crusader for children's health and for clean air, she has worked to reduce children's asthma rates in the Merrimack Valley, providing medical evidence that led to the closure of a trash-burning incinerator in Lawrence.

These are the kinds of issues, she said, that have got people's heads nodding in agreement, as she talks about what she will do if elected governor. And it's these concerns, affecting every family, Stein said, that have sparked suburbanites' interest in the Green Party, which is still rooted in the activism of Ralph Nader, its candidate for president in 2000.

"Health care is unaffordable, and housing costs five times as much today as it did 20 years ago," said Stein, in a telephone interview Thursday, the morning after her views were aired in the first televised debate to feature all five gubernatorial candidates. "And the economy? Yes, we had a boom, but a boom for whom? You had to be ahead to get ahead."

"When people hear what the party is all about, and that I'm not a career politician, people hear hope," Stein said.

Of course, the polls and the political analysts continue to point to the Greens as a minor party. A Boston Globe/WBZ poll of 400 likely voters in late September showed Stein with only 4 percent of the vote. That was before Stein's somewhat favorable showing in the Wednesday debate, which could boost her numbers. And her campaign coffers are dwarfed by those of the major candidates.

"They are still a fringe operation at the very least," said Lou DiNatale, a political analyst at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. "They don't stand a chance."

DiNatale dismissed Stein's conviction that the message of the Green Party is resonating in the suburbs.

"Anybody who speaks to soccer moms about education will get a supportive response," said DiNatale. "When a party begins to emerge, no one pays attention. Now they are getting some attention, but they shouldn't interpret attention as support. That comes from winning votes in elections. Let's see what they win, and my guess is that they aren't going to win much."

Still, DiNatale said there is no question that the Greens have a greater presence today than ever before. "Their potential role is as a spoiler only," he said. "But before, they weren't even spoilers."

Despite conventional wisdom, Stein and other Greens say they are gaining ground in vote-rich suburban towns and cities, establishing a base for this and future elections.

The Wednesday debate should help. In a WLVI-TV poll that ran immediately after the face-off, 32 percent of the viewers said Stein won the debate. Only Republican candidate Mitt Romney did better, with 33 percent of the viewers saying he won.

"That was profound," Stein said of the public's reaction to her performance. "We are surging ahead, just on the power of ideas. We have basic Americans' ideals, that government should be accountable to people, and not big money." Stein is one of two Greens from the northwest suburbs who say they find themselves tapping into a growing distaste and distrust of what's happening politically and economically.

Jonathan Leavitt, a 35-year-old Green Party community activist from Lawrence, is running for state representative in the 14th Essex District, which spans Lawrence and North Andover. He said he has established a name for himself as a crusader for innovation in education, and a harsh critic of "politics as usual" in Lawrence.

And now, he said, he's been "blown away" by the reception he has received in his efforts to unseat two-term state Representative David Torrisi, a Democrat. Republican Paula Porten is also running in the race.

"My district is an older urban district on one half, and a relatively affluent community on the other, so it's been an interesting test run. But based on the responses out there, the phone banking, the door-to-door work, I'm feeling like, `Yeah, this could actually happen,' " he said last week.

Porten, a personal injury lawyer, said she welcomes Leavitt in the race.

"He's helping my campaign by taking away votes from the Democrats," she said. She refused to comment on Leavitt's chances.

But Porten said that 14th Essex voters are more concerned about keeping taxes low, than any issue on the Greens' platform.

"People were calling me to say, `I can't afford to have my taxes go up.' . . . Everyone is now focused on taxes," she said.

Torrisi said that at this point, he has no idea how Leavitt will do in the race, so he's not taking any chances. "I'm taking both my challengers very seriously," he said.

He said he has been reminding voters of his role in securing state aid for the new North Andover high school and the youth center, as well as about how he generated about $4 million in state aid for community policing programs in Lawrence.

"He has his message and I have mine," Torrisi said. Torrisi said his message is that he has been "delivering for my district in the 3 1/2 years that I've been in the State House."

Stein's campaign manager, Pat Keaney, said that for months now, his office has been fielding calls from what he calls "disaffected Democrats."

Keaney predicts that the Greens' run for statewide offices will resemble Nader's strong support two years ago. Even though just 2,000 voters were registered Greens, Nader landed about 170,000 votes nationwide.

In Massachusetts, Nader captured 6.7 percent of the votes, so for the first time, the party earned official recognition.

Leavitt, who started this state's Green Party in 1996, remembers the effect Nader's showing had on the party.

"His name recognition got us to the next level," said Leavitt. "After the 2000 election, our phone calls started getting returned. We no longer had to explain that the Green Party wasn't Greenpeace."

Now, two years later, the party is still appealing to suburban voters, Leavitt said, because its calls for economic and social justice coincide with the public's growing distaste of corporate greed.

Keaney agreed, saying, "Two years ago, Nader's message was that corporations are too powerful and they are robbing us blind, and this is unhealthy for a democracy.

"Now I think a lot of people are waking up to it, because its impossible to ignore it. You can no longer ignore the reality that this economic system needs to be reined in."

Christine McConville's email is cmcconville@globe.com.

[Illustration] Caption: 1. Green Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein of Lexington, before Wednesday's televised debate with her four opponents. / GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / EVAN RICHMAN 2. Lexington's Jill Stein (right), Green Party candidate for governor, with two of her opponents, Democrat Shannon O'Brien and Republican Mitt Romney. / GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / EVAN RICHMAN

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Abstract (Document Summary)

"The things I'm talking about resonate with people out here in the suburbs," said [Jill Stein], 52, of Lexington. She is the only gubernatorial candidate who opposes passing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests as a graduation requirement, she said. As a crusader for children's health and for clean air, she has worked to reduce children's asthma rates in the Merrimack Valley, providing medical evidence that led to the closure of a trash-burning incinerator in Lawrence.

Of course, the polls and the political analysts continue to point to the Greens as a minor party. A Boston Globe/WBZ poll of 400 likely voters in late September showed Stein with only 4 percent of the vote. That was before Stein's somewhat favorable showing in the Wednesday debate, which could boost her numbers. And her campaign coffers are dwarfed by those of the major candidates.


THE GREEN RECRUIT HOW DR. JILL STEIN, NO POLITICIAN, SUITS HER PARTY'S HOPES
[THIRD Edition]
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Author: Brian MacQuarrie, Globe Staff
Date: Oct 17, 2002
Start Page: A.1
Section: Metro/Region
Text Word Count: 2070
Document Text

CAMPAIGN 2002 / THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR ONE IN A SERIES OF PROFILES OF THE STATE'S GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES.

"The hair looks good," a campaign worker assures Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for governor, as she marches toward a rally at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for striking janitors. Her long, straight locks now shortened and coiffed in a bob, Stein confides that she even used a Newbury Street hairdresser once patronized by Shannon O'Brien, her Democratic rival.

The stylish look is new for Stein, a medical doctor who admits to only "an occasional haircut" before she decided to run for governor last year. "Now that I'm in some of the debates, I need to keep the hair in order," Stein, 52, says with a smile.

Stein, outfitted in a charcoal pin-striped suit, has a pair of glasses perched atop her graying hair, a backpack slung over her right shoulder, and an opened juice box in her right hand. Her lapels carry a "Jobs With Justice" button to support the janitors, and another button that supports bilingual education.

As Stein walks along Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, past shopkeepers and pedestrians who do not seem to recognize her, campaign manager Patrick Keaney offers this directive from the union organizers: "They're very happy to hear you speak, but you can't attack Shannon."

Stein nods, looks straight ahead, and moves toward the rally.

The scene speaks to the dilemma that faces Stein and the state's fledgling Green Party. To win statewide office, the party must attract liberal Democrats, among others. But in attacking candidates such as O'Brien, who Stein says embodies the business-as-usual agenda of "big-money politics," the new party risks alienating thousands of potential supporters for the issues close to her heart: health care, the environment, tax fairness, and children.

These are issues that have engaged Stein, a public health activist, for years. And in Stein, the Green Party has found an articulate, if barely known, advocate who has gamely thrown herself into electoral politics.

But the party's fight for recognition, and its push for media coverage of its issues, have sometimes obscured the qualities brought to the campaign by the candidate herself. Stein is a Harvard- trained internist who plays guitar and sings, with a gentle voice sometimes compared to that of Judy Collins or Karen Carpenter. She was a top student in grade school and high school, a precocious child who was captivated by examining butterflies and other living things. She was Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard, although she seemed less interested in the honor itself than in the nuts and bolts of the studies in which she excelled.

Stein is a natural teacher, too. At her Lexington home on a quiet cul-de-sac, she keeps an old, deaf Labrador retriever that sits, heels, and follows other commands via sign language she taught him.

That partial resume is indicative of the depth that Stein, who works part-time at the Simmons College health clinic, brings to a shoestring campaign in which she never envisioned herself. It's also indicative of her ethereal, soulful demeanor, which masks a focused passion that surfaces in rapid, focused argument whenever the subject turns - as it often does with Stein - to the connection between health and politics, money and politics, and the environment and politics.

"I feel like I've had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time to be a catalyst," Stein says in her kitchen, where large windows and thick, surrounding trees impart a feeling of wooded seclusion near busy Route 2. Stein's husband, Dr. Rick Rohrer, is chairman of the liver and kidney transplant surgery department at New England Medical Center. They have two sons, a 19- year-old at Trinity College in Hartford, and a 16-year-old at Lexington High School.

Rohrer, 52, did not see Stein's televised performance in the Oct. 9 debate, her biggest breakthrough in the campaign yet, because he was doing surgery. "That helps keep things in perspective," says Stein.

A young achiever

The third of four children of a corporate lawyer and housewife, she grew up an inquiring girl in the comfortable Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill. She was reading at 3 years old, learning guitar by second grade, and studying the natural world in grammar school through family outings and a microscope she received as a birthday present.

"I just looked at things," Stein says of her time spent with the microscope. "Back in those days, we used to take trips to the country and catch and release butterflies, frogs, and fish. I wasn't doing any hard science, but I was very interested in living things."

Her burgeoning passion for music rivaled that interest. From her debut rendition of the Civil War song "Tenting Tonight" at a third- grade performance, Stein showcased guitar skills that have since expanded to Afro-Cuban percussion, mandolin, banjo, and piano.

"I began to teach guitar to other kids when I was in junior high school," Stein says. She also was a cheerleader in junior high - "Can you believe that?" she asks - and Student Council secretary in high school, as well as being voted "Most Likely to Succeed" and "Most Talented."

"I didn't have any spare time," Stein says. "I was a very dedicated student; I worked very hard."

She graduated in the top five of her class and applied to Harvard as "the path of least resistance" for a smart Midwestern youth. "There were enormous expectations that that's where I would go, and the decision of where to go to college felt like it was made for me" by her parents and community, Stein says. "If you could get in, that's where you went."

Once she was in Cambridge, however, the boundaries of her world opened, in a consuming way. Stein studied anthropology, sociology, and psychology in a search "for answers to deeper questions: the search for community, for social purpose, for what makes people tick."

Graduation from Harvard confronted Stein with a difficult choice: medicine or music? Stein chose the latter for a one-year trial, sleeping on a mat in a Cambridge apartment with several other tenants while she performed at venues such as the Nameless Coffeehouse in Harvard Square and at ethnic street fairs as a "troubadour" for the Summer thing program run by the city of Boston.

"I lived the life and experienced the hardship of trying to support oneself as a musician," Stein recalls. "I taught music to kids and played publicly," she adds, earning only enough to pay the rent. "I was always playing eclectic music, studying classical Indian voice and trying to translate that into folk music as well," Stein says. "I was also doing Latin and Hebrew" music, "as well as Indian, and exploring what they had in common. It was wonderful music, it was very exciting, but there was no commercial venue for it."

Since graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1979, Stein has held several medical positions in the area. She has been a medical instructor at Harvard since 1982 and has worked at the Simmons College Health Center since 1991. From 1982 to 1990, she was a physician with Harvard Community Health Plan at its Braintree and Cambridge facilities.

She also became cochairwoman of the Greater Boston chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, spreading warnings about the link between chemical contamination and the prenatal health of mother and fetus. She worked with activists in Lawrence in the mid- 1990s to shut down two incinerators near the Merrimack River. And she cowrote "In Harm's Way," published in 2000, which became an internationally noted warning about the connection between children's health and household and environmental chemicals.

After the 2000 presidential elections, buoyed by Ralph Nader's strong showing in Massachusetts, Green Party leaders here decided to field a statewide slate for the 2002 election. They asked an unsuspecting Stein to run for governor.

Stein was not even even registered as a Green Party voter when she was contacted by Jonathan Leavitt, who founded the party's Massachusetts chapter. Although she had worked for Nader in 2000, the request came as a shock. "I thought he was joking," Stein recalls. The decision to run was not reached until after a month of soul-searching with family and friends.

Stein topped the list of possible candidates, Leavitt says. After all, she already had logged appearances on the "Today" show and "20/ 20," where she delivered environmental warnings to a national audience. She also had the intellect to take on the job, and name recognition among New England's environmental activists.

No average campaign

The governor's race is now dominating Stein's life, although she is far from a typical campaigner. Instead of wall-to-wall public appearances common among major-party candidates, Stein has spent hours writing policy statements, meeting with small groups at house parties, and logging limited-visibility time on urban street corners with striking janitors or members of the Rainbow Coalition, the multiethnic, Boston-based organization that has allied itself with the Green Party. She has not run a single radio or TV ad.

Indeed, Stein seems much more engaged by the intellectual component of the campaign than by the cheek-by-jowl salesmanship that's a staple of the Massachusetts political arena. At the janitors' rally, for example, nearly all of Stein's interaction with potential supporters was initiated by people who introduced themselves to her.

Stein says she is not daunted by the prospect of dealing with seasoned politicians on Beacon Hill. After all, she says, a Green Party governor would mean that the balance of power had irrevocably changed at the State House, and that House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran and his lieutenants would be "running for their political lives."

But despite a generally positive reception from the public, Stein's campaign is a study in disorganization. Her appearances change locations on short notice, interviews are postponed, and queries go unanswered.

The fly-by-night effect is nowhere more visible than at the party's headquarters in Somerville's Davis Square. There, in a basement office next to the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, Stein's volunteer coordinator was found working in a dark room during daylight.

"We declared this `anti-fluorescent bulb' day," said Michael Gainer, the coordinator. Wearing a green T-shirt and drinking from a coffee cup with a pasted-on Stein logo, Gainer tapped away at a computer keyboard. A single lamp on his desk gave the office the feel of an all-night study session in a college dormitory. The telephones were notable only for their silence.

Keaney is her only paid staff member, party officials say. But the former Cape Cod newspaper reporter, who worked for Nader in 2000, has not seen a paycheck in the two months he's worked for Stein.

Leavitt concedes that campaign logistics have been a learn-by- doing experience for new recruits. Although he and other Green Party members cite that as a badge of honor, the practical effect can be measured in the $3.4 million in Clean Elections funding that the party failed to obtain after a down-to-the-wire scramble to collect verified contributions from 6,000 donors.

The money could have turned the spotty effort into a formidable campaign, and even veteran Democrats were worried. But the Greens, who pride themselves on grass-roots organization, were apparently not disciplined enough. Stein acknowledges that the party's organizational shortcomings hurt its efforts to acquire Clean Elections funding. Now, the Greens expect to spend only $200,000 through the November election. The major-party candidates will each spend about 30 times that amount.

Still, Stein says, the party already has succeeded in this election by gaining inclusion in two TV debates. It's a half-full perspective that others might call half-empty, but Stein and the Greens handicap the race with rose-colored glasses. Victory is possible, they insist, although few outside observers agree with them.

The Greens, however, acknowledge they are still fighting even to be known. At the Oct. 9 televised debate, Stein's big night, Mitt Romney turned directly to her and said: "Carla, I agree. . .."

Romney quickly corrected himself: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Excuse me, Dr. Stein."

On the fringes of Massachusetts politics, it's not easy being Green.