Dear Grace Ross,
I hope you're reading this. I really, really hope you're reading this. Why? Because I really like you. In fact, I really, really like you. While I don't agree with everything you have to say, in fact there's a lot of things we disagree on, if there's one thing I've come to recognize in your campaign it's that you're exceptionally intelligent and well-versed on what's wrong with Massachusetts. You're eloquent, an effective advocate and have made a very good case in each of your debates. In fact, I scored last night's debate for you; despite Keller's clear preference in shutting you up, as a clear and objective observer as possible, I still think you won that debate. There's only one problem - there's only one reason why your assets as an advocate aren't being employed to full potential... you're stuck in the Green-Rainbow Party.
I've frequently chatted with other bloggers and probably on this blog about how much I dislike the Green Party. While this is clearly a stereotype (one that doesn't describe you), I often find that Green-Rainbow members and candidates aren't as well versed as others. Maybe that's because third parties aren't invited to the table as often and most candidates just don't get the chance to get polished, but that clearly hasn't stopped you. Furthermore, while incidents from around the country involving the Green Party (especially in Pennsylvania, where Green's conspired with Republicans to get on the ballot), you have restored some respectability to the party.
But that still doesn't mean you shouldn't switch, or at least employ the fusion option if the ballot question passes. I understand you don't think the system works and that Democrats are part of the problem; in fact, I agree with you. The system doesn't work and Democrats are part of the problem. However, there is a growing movement of progressives around this country who want to change the status quo - and we're electing people who reflect our values. Just look at my State Rep, Doug Pederson, who lost his Chairmanship because he publicly sparred with Speaker Finneran over the Clean Elections Law.
The fact is, we can change the party from the inside. However, we can't do that without strong advocates for change. We can't do that without people willing to buck the party leadership and say "to hell with them." If anyone can resist the urges of lobbyists, special interests and going along to get along - you can. You can also speak from such a perspective that you may just convince a few others to go along with you. This is how we build a movement. The fact is, we need you on Beacon Hill - you're too talented and too smart to be anywhere else. So find a race and getcher butt in there!
Just look around us - there are so many DINOs in Massachusetts who are against so many of our basic, human rights. In your home city of Worcester, there are people like John Binienda, who doesn't (warning: pdf file) support marriage equality and he's anti-choice. After displaying your case so eloquently across the state this year, I'm confident you could get the support in defeating Binienda during a primary to win that race and replace a DINO with a proud, independent advocate. There are literally dozens of other candidates across the state whom I would love for you to replace - and there are guys like US Rep Steven Lynch who are just dying to be unseated.
However, it's difficult to do so from the context of the Green Party. Most media members relegate 3rd parties, especially Greens, as candidates who are 'bringing up issues that Democrats and Republicans won't.' In essence, they don't think you're serious opponents - and sadly, what the media parrots finds its way into the heads of most. They're usually happy to invite 3rd party candidates to one of the debates, but rarely all of them, and won't cover your issues in the press. It's unfair, but reality. It's time for you to buck reality as you have the establishment - and run as a Democrat next time around. We need you. You can do good.
Thanks for adding tremendously to the debates. Deval Patrick is still my guy, I truly believe in him, but I see so much potential in you too. There are serious problems with our state and if you can be an effective advocate inside the halls of Beacon Hill, who cares about Party ID? It's just a name; it's just a little, old letter attached to the end of your name in parenthesis. Stick it on there and be an agent of change so Massachusetts can become a better place to live.