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Politics & Government

Jill Stein promises Newark crowd a Green revolution

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Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein told supporters during a visit to Newark Friday that she’s the true progressive voice of the country rather than Democrats who rule through "fear".

Speaking to about 60 people at the George Wilson Center, Stein urged disenfranchised Bernie Sanders backers to rally behind her message, while assuring them of her viability.

Stein spoke for about an hour, spending much of the time railing against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a proposal that would transport crude oil from the Bakken oil fields to a site in Illinois.

Protests over the project have rallied thousands against it, including Stein, who is now wanted on misdemeanor charges for spray-painting a bulldozer at a site in North Dakota.

She also spoke of the need to bail out the nearly $1.4 trillion in outstanding student debt.

“They’re already trained, they already have their degrees, they’ve already done the work. We need to liberate them from these part-time jobs that prevent them from acting on their passion, their skills and their dreams,” Stein said.

Environmental reform and public investment in renewable energy plays a strong role in her platform as well, with her promise to create a New Deal-esque public works program to wean the American energy grid off of coal and oil.

A practicing physician for decades, Stein briefly argued with an audience member who accused her of perpetuating the idea that there's a verifiable link between vaccines and developmental disabilities.

She agreed with the man that there's no such link, but still called for a well-funded study to research whether this "epidemic" could be caused by air pollution and pesticides.

Stein will appear on the ballot in 45 states, but trails Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump by a vast margin in nationwide polls according to Real Clear Politics.

She currently only polls at 2.7 percent and Democrats say they’re worried third-party candidates will ensure a Trump presidency through a split vote.

But Stein promises she is a viable choice.

“The name of the game here is about standing up. We’re not talking about splitting the vote, we’re talking about flipping the vote,” she said.

She and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, a former Republican governor, are also still shy of the 15 percent needed to clinch a spot on the nationally televised debates. Johnson stands at 8.3 percent.

Editor's note: This story originally stated an audience member argued with Stein that there's a verifiable link between vaccines and autism. The person actually accused Stein of perpetuating the idea.

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