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As Governor Beshear just pointed out, this is an election year and the Green Party just wrapped up its national convention in Baltimore, nominating a Massachusetts physician for president. The Greens say they are in it to win it. At the very least, they hope to broaden the conversation beyond Democrats and Republicans.

NPR's Allison Keyes reports.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Our first round of voting is concluded so...

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: Amid waving green and white campaign signs in a conference room at a Baltimore Holiday Inn, the room erupted in cheers as Dr. Jill Stein won the delegate count.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Jill Stein is the next president of the United States of America.


KEYES: She laid out her platform, called the Green New Deal, which she says includes a series of emergency reforms ranging from declaring a moratorium on foreclosures, to forgiving student loan debt to creating millions of community-based jobs in worker cooperatives, public transportation and in clean energy.

DR. JILL STEIN: Green New Deal ends unemployment in America.

KEYES: Stein blasted Republicans and Democrats alike, including President Obama. She accused the Democrat of embracing the policies of his Republican predecessor, and calling his recent relaxation of policy for young undocumented immigrants a pre-election about face.

STEIN: The Obama White House has been the most anti immigrant administration in a century.

KEYES: In fact, Democrats bore the brunt of the criticism here, though folk like Bob Marsh of California think both so-called mainstream parties are to blame for the nation's woes.

BOB MARSH: The Democrats are more responsible because we all know that the Republicans represent Wall Street.

KEYES: Mell Davis of Maryland believes in the candidate, not the party that voters should pay attention to. And she thinks Stein's message will resonate with voters once they hear it.

MELL DAVIS: It's definitely outside the Republican/Democratic box. We need to get, you know, outside of that thinking that nobody besides a Republican or Democrat can get elected.

KEYES: Davis thinks the party's vice presidential nominee, Cheri Honkala, will attract single parents. The formerly homeless single mother says she can put a human face on those living in poverty.

CHERI HONKALA: An issue that hasn't been talked about by either President Obama or Mitt Romney.

KEYES: Stein has qualified for federal matching funds, the first Green Party presidential candidate to do so in its 11 year history. And party officials are hoping to spend up to $2 million on the presidential race alone. And Stein has an answer for those who worry that the Green Party could tip battleground states against President Obama.

Many pundits felt 2000 Green Party nominee Ralph Nader's showing in Florida contributed to Al Gore's loss to President George W. Bush.

STEIN: It's a convenient scapegoat. And a convenient public relations campaign to try to suppress the voice of the opposition.

KEYES: Right now, the Green Party is on the ballot in 21 states. It hopes to make it on in 45 states by Election Day in November.

Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.


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