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  Peter Camejo dies - helped found Green Party
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Last Editedparticleman  Sep 15, 2008 01:13am
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MediaNewspaper - San Francisco Chronicle
News DateSunday, September 14, 2008 07:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThird-party political activist Peter Camejo, a perennial candidate for state and national office who helped pioneer the financial market niche of socially responsible investments, died Saturday. He was 68.

Mr. Camejo, who had been battling a recurrence of lymphoma, died at home in Folsom (Sacramento County).

He helped found the California Green Party in 1991 and ran three times for governor of California. He also ran as independent Ralph Nader's vice presidential running mate in the 2004 presidential election in which President Bush won a second term. In 1976 he ran for president as the Socialist Workers Party candidate.

Mr. Camejo described himself as a watermelon - red on the inside, green on the outside.

"Peter used his eloquence, sharp wit and barnstorming bravado to blaze a trail for 21st century third-party politics in the U.S.," Nader said in a prepared statement, which described Mr. Camejo as a "politically courageous champion of the downtrodden and mistreated of the entire Western Hemisphere."

Active in the Free Speech Movement and in protests against the Vietnam War as a student at UC Berkeley in the late 1960s, Mr. Camejo landed on then-Gov. Ronald Reagan's list of the 10 most dangerous people in California. School officials eventually expelled him, two quarters shy of a degree.

The spark of activism stayed with him as he became a leader in the movement to give voice to third-party candidates. He fought for universal health care, election reform, farmworker rights, living wage laws and against the death penalty and abortion restrictions.

His forum was often electoral politics, where he challenged Republicans and Democrats alike.

He ran for California governor in 2002, 2003 and 2006, only once breaking past the mark of 5 percent of the vote in grassroots campaigns in which he was vastly outspent by his Democratic and Republican rivals. He once told a reporter that he never expected to win, but wanted to help elevate the Greens to
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