Greens in the news

In an interesting turn of events, New Jersey Green Steven Welzer, Green Party candidate for US House of Representatives from the 4th District, says he will not win the election in November, and says he would prefer that the Democratic Party nominee win the race. He called on the Democratic nominee to publicly support Instant Runoff Voting. The Democrat refused, saying he needed to learn more about IRV.

Illinois Green Sheldon Schafer is quoted at Central Illinois Proud website saying that his economic plan would not have included a Wall Street bail out.

Over at MN Sun, Green Party candidate for Minnesota House District 46B Allan Hancock is profiled. The article covers him and his issues, as well as the other two candidates in the race.

Over at The Wilder Side Connecticut Green Party leader Tim McKee explains that schools must inform students that there are more than two political parties, and encourages people who find out that schools are excluding information about non-corporate parties to contact him.

Over at Pen Street writer Erica Christoffer examines the Illinois Green Party and several of their 60+ candidates for office.

South Carolina Green Party leader Eugene Platt is profiled by the Charleston Post and Courier in his race for James Island Public Service District Commission. Platt, who won the Green Party nomination for State House District 115, has been removed from November’s ballot for that seat, but remains on the ballot in this non-partisan race while he continues to fight for his rightful place on the ballot as our candidate for the state house seat.

Finally, over at Medill Reports, Rob Runyan explains that Obama benefits from including the non-corporate candidates in the mix, with Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr taking more votes from McCain than Obama.

Green Party Watch News Network

Green activists reporting on Green Party candidates, chapters, committees and issues.


  1. You botched it, Welzer. If you want to have an effect, don’t say it this way:
    ‘I concede. Now please support instant runoff voting.’

    Instead try it like this:
    ‘If you solemnly swear to introduce instant runoff voting as your first bill in congress, I will concede the race.’

    If a candidate wants to give up, well, what can you do. But it should at least be done productively.

  2. > [Welzer] says he will not win the election in
    > November, and says he would prefer that the
    > Democratic Party nominee win the race.

    Response from Steve Welzer:

    The context of my remarks needs to be understood.

    The person who’s running as a Democrat, Joshua Zeitz, is unusually progressive and, through, our contact during the campaign, we’ve become pretty friendly. I intend to stay in touch with him because I believe I’ll have a chance of recruiting him to the Green Party (as Hugh Esco of Georgia did with Cynthia McKinney). Meanwhile, the Republican incumbent in this race happens to be radically bad on issues like militarism, abortion rights, women’s rights, and gay rights.

    The three of us participated in an editorial board meeting at the offices of the Asbury Park Press. At one point in the discussion each candidate was given the opportunity to pose a specific challenge question to another candidate. I had been hammering on the theme: “open up the electoral system to more voices and more choices” – so I posed the following question to Josh Zeitz, the Democratic: “I’ve heard you say that you’re concerned about having the Green Party candidate drain away votes from you, votes that might make the difference in a close race. In that context, I challenge you to go on record as supporting electoral system reforms like proportional representation or Instant Runoff Voting.”

    I said I was running for office for the first time, have much to learn, and it’s not likely that I’ll win in this particular race. I said that, unless there is a last-minute groundswell of support for my candidacy, I’d rather see Zeitz go to Washington than to have Smith re-elected. This was in the context of leading up to: “Mr. Zeitz, if you find it problematic that the Green vote might, from your perspective, be a ‘spoiling’ vote in this race, then you ought to be able to see the logic of implementing Instant Runoff Voting.”

    The press reported the responses from Zeitz and Smith as follows:

    “Zeitz would not endorse that plan [IRV] because he said he did not have all the details, but he would consider options that would open up American politics to third parties. ‘Third parties reinvigorate debate,’ Zeitz said.

    “Smith said third parties should be included in discussions, but he would not endorse a plan to open the American political arena to third parties.”

    There was then quite a bit of discussion about IRV, proportional representation, how elections are run in other countries, and why the only-two-choices American system is deficient. So the bottom line is that I managed to get a considerable amount of time of the editorial board meeting devoted to the role of third parties and ways to open up our electoral system. My remarks about probably not winning the race and preferring to see Zeitz go to Washington were brief and peripheral relative to all the points I made in favor of true and full multi-party democracy in general and Green politics in particular.

    It may be that the reporter at the meeting was not sympathetic to third parties. In another article he wrote that appeared in the newspaper the next day he said very little about my participation … and the little he did say was flat-out incorrect. I’ll file a protest with the newspaper about this flawed coverage.

    Steve Welzer
    Green Party candidate for US Congress in NJ’s 4th CD

  3. Steve,

    It takes a lot of guts to run for office, and even more to run as a Green. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that you have explained your side of the story. I’ve been burned by the press, and I’ve learned to speak v e r y s l o w l y to them when I know they are typing or writing down my reply.

    Also the press has its own motivations, as you have alluded to, especially in respect to local races. It sounds like in your case the press is behind your friend the Democrat, and is willing to encourage your potential voters to vote Dem as well.

    Good luck with the campaign! And I hope that if you don’t win you seriously consider running again, for this race or another.

  4. Michael,

    We have lives. We have more to do that try to create exactly what you want to see here. If you and others want to do your own thing, knock yourself out. But this site is not about bashing the Green Party.

    No voices are being ignored. You have taken yourself out of the conversation. We don’t limit comments here at all.

    If you don’t like what we are doing, start your own site bud.

  5. Sorry about my terse remarks, Steve. I should know better than to trust a newspaper sound bite on issues like this (especially after the national press reported that Ralph Nader endorsed John Edwards during primary season).
    At this point in time, I think that likely Democratic voters are not even considering the Green option, and so running as a Green gives a choice to people who otherwise wouldn’t vote. However, I understand that you’re trying to promote peace, democracy, sustainability and justice in your own way, so I wish you success and hope you stick with it in the future.

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