February 27, 2009 in Green Party Watch
Ralph Nader is 75 years old today. Happy Birthday, Mr. Nader!
One thing that separates the Green Party from other parties is the Four Pillars, which make the foundation of the international green movement. These four pillars are, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice and Non-violence.
In addition to these four, the Green Party in the United States has adopted six more, including Community Based Economics. Other nations may have other additional values.
Even if Community Based Economics is not an “official” value elsewhere, it does seem to be an undercurrent at least in New Zealand.
The Otago Daily Times is reporting that there are calls in New Zealand for “Buy Kiwi” programs similar to the “Buy USA” provisions of the recently passed “stimulus”. Among those calling for “Buy Kiwi” programs are the Green Party. In plain language they make it clear that the purpose of the “Buy Kiwi” program would be to preserve jobs in New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry →
The Chicago Tribune has endorsed a candidate in the Republican primary to replace President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. In the reporting of that endorsement the Tribune said that they reached out to all the Green Party candidates, interviewed two of them, and declined to make an endorsement in that primary.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the same, very crowded race. They gave the following quote to one of the five candidates seeking the Green Party nomination, Green party peace activist Matt Reichel.
“This district has been miss-served by the Democratic machine over the last several decades. Since they redrew the map after the 1990 census, we’ve had Rostenkowski, Blagojevich, and Emanuel – two criminals and another guy who stood up for the interest of Wall Street over the working majority of the district.”
Southern Illinoisan reports on a public forum on torture and Guantanamo Bay, including several quotes from Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney.
Madison.com reports that Green Party Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Todd Price will “probably” endorse a candidate in the runoff between the top two. They report that Price’s endorsement would mean a lot as he has a base of activist support.
News Radio WBBM reports on a forum focused on immigration issues, and includes quotes at the end of the article frrom several of the candidates seeking the Green Party nod for the Rahm Emanuel seat.
The Californian reports that Monterey Peninsula College will host Cynthia McKinney Tuesday March 10th at 1 p.m. in Lecture Forum 103, Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont St., Monterey.
Information: Julie Osborne, (831) 646-4192, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, Deadspin.com reports that Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun was annoyed when a Green Party activist, with press credentials, asked the coach to justify his 1.2 million dollar salary when the state was in dire financial straits. Ken Krayeske, the questioner, was reportedly the Green Party candidate for Governor in 2006.
February 24, 2009 in Ecological Wisdom & the Environment
In addressing the issue of water in the West we must be willing to address that prior solutions have not addressed the core problem. Today, we continue to base solutions through increasing supplies. In the past, it has been simply a matter of addressing increased demand for water by increasing the supply combined with conservation. Reservoirs and dams were built with wide surface areas resulting in huge evaporative losses, aquifers were pumped to the maximum, urban water conservation was voluntary and private wells were unmetered. Supply was there. Sometimes new sources, such as Owens Lake in California, or the San Juan /Chama diversion in NM were piped to urban centers to increase supply.
Supply solutions are still available. Desalination of ocean waters, dredging reservoirs and deep aquifer drilling are playing a new role in the discussions as the old sources dry up or prove unable to address increased demand. New deep water, low surface area, high altitude reservoirs can be built. Brackish water can still be tapped from deep aquifers and desalinated. Water pumped in rural areas with low demand can still be piped to urban areas. In other words, there remains the capacity to continue to address water management and administration in the same old way.
Is the Green Party too rigid in its opposition to nuclear power? Is nuclear power a safe alternative to fossil fuel? Are the Green Party concerns about the long term (seven generations) impact of nuclear power more important than the short term energy consumption needs of today’s generation?
Based on the interest in this story last week, I felt compelled to post this interesting story out of the UK. A Green Party Candidate for Parliament is finding himself in hot water for suggesting that atomic energy might have a role in fighting climate change. From The Independent:
Chris Goodall, prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, upset many party members with his assertion in yesterday’s Independent that atomic energy has a role to play in the fight against climate change. Mr Goodall was one of four prominent environmentalists disclosed as having had a change of heart about the nuclear issue, having moved from an anti-nuclear stance to believing that atomic power is a necessary part of the energy mix in the struggle to cut carbon emissions and halt global warming.
Read the rest of this entry →
February 23, 2009 in Local Elections
Former Alderman Pete Karas has formally entered the special election for Mayor of Racine, WI, an economically challenged community of 80,000 on Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Chicago.
He sent this video out today:
Karas is a life long resident of Racine and has been involved with the Green Party for years. Please check out his website and consider donating a few bucks to his Green Campaign for Mayor of Racine.
FBI Case Against Turner Unravels; Renewed call for Investigation of FBI Targeting
The FBI’s “cooperating witness” who is the foundation of the FBI attempt to convict Chuck Turner and Dianne Wilkerson of extortion has announced that he is no longer cooperating with the FBI. In a front page article in Friday’s Boston Globe, Ronald Wilburn states that he “felt he had been used by the FBI to topple a pair of prominent black politicians”. Wilburn goes on to say “Dianne is a thief. Chuck isn’t. Dianne knew better. Chuck is a victim of circumstance.” Those circumstances, it should be noted, appear to have been fully engineered by the FBI informant. Importantly, the suspicious activities they suggest were initiated and carried out by the FBI informant, not by Chuck Turner. The unfolding facts thus appear not only to exonerate Turner, but also to raise serious concerns about the abuse of secret police powers by the FBI.
Read the rest of this entry →
White-hot outrage cannot adequately describe Green reaction to revelations of children unjustly sent to PA juvenile detention centers on the orders of corrupt local judges.
Two Pennsylvania judges have pleaded guilty to earning millions by wrongfully sending teenagers to privately-run youth detention centers.
Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to place juvenile offenders in a situation in which personal greed fed by corporate excess turned people into profit.
“This calls to the very question of the value of the civil rights of the individual children wrongfully removed from their homes to appease the ‘predatory capitalism’ conducted by Pennsylvania Child Care, LLC” said Hillary Kane, Chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. “When I think of the long-term impact unwarranted juvenile detention will have on those children and their families, it really makes me angry.”
Read the rest of this entry →
Green Party files Petition to Intervene in NRC licensing of Levy County Nuclear Plant,joins Nuclear Information and Resource Service to challenge deficiencies in Progress Energy Combined Operating License Application (COLA)
Gainesville, FL — On February 6, 2009 the Green Party of Florida (GPF, http://www.floridagreens.org) joined with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS, http://www.nirs.org) and the Ecology Party to file a legal challenge to a new nuclear power plant proposed by Progress Energy Florida (PEF) for a site in Levy County, near Inglis, Florida.
The filing is a formal Petition to Intervene in the NRC’s licensing process for nuclear power plants, the latest in a series of such actions taken by NIRS and other groups nationwide to protect the health and safety of the public and the natural resources that are placed at risk by this industry. The interventions by parties with standing, which must follow rules established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), are intended to stop these nuclear boondoggles before construction work starts and millions of dollars are wasted.
Read the rest of this entry →
GREENS SLAM CULLERTON ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Green Party leaders in Illinois ripped Senate President John Cullerton’s comments opposing campaign finance reform in Illinois. According to Joseph Ryan of the Daily Herald, Cullerton told the newspaper’s editorial board that “he thinks Illinois’ wide-open campaign system is just fine” and that disclosure is all that is necessary. (Ryan’s blog entry is at http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/1447.)
“John Cullerton just raised the ‘Politics As Usual’ flag over Springfield,” said Illinois Green Party Chair Phil Huckelberry. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Read the rest of this entry →
Richard Carroll, the Green Party’s only state legislator in Arkansas, sought to join the state legislature’s Black Caucus and was denied. From an editorial in the Feb. 13 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
It’s not easy being Green, but white’s harder if you want to be a member of the Legislature’s Black Caucus.
OK, so the wordplay is a little lame. So is state Rep. Joyce Elliott’s suggestion that discrimination on account of race is OK when the perpetrators are black and the victim is white. And she a Democrat, too.
Actually, “lame” is the kindest thing that could be said about it.
Here’s the deal. Rep. Richard Carroll is the Arkansas General Assembly’s only Green Party member. He is white, but his wife is black and he represents a predominantly black district in North Little Rock. Recently, he asked to join the Legislature’s Black Caucus because, he said, he wanted to better represent and understand the views of his constituents.
The caucus said no. Carroll is welcome to attend the group’s meetings and even voice his opinions, but he won’t be allowed a vote there.
The high-minded Elliott, whose many honors include recognition from the ACLU as a great civil libertarian, patiently-and nonsensically-explained to a reporter that “all discrimination is not bad. You can discriminate about whether you are going to drink four beers or 10 beers. I would say that’s good discrimination.” She went on to claim that excluding white lawmakers is a legitimate form of discrimination because black legislators need to join with others of “common cause.” Never mind that Carroll’s district was found to be 65 percent black in the last census.
February 19, 2009 in State Party News
The search for one Republican vote necessary to approve a new budget for the State of California ended at 6:15 this morning. State Senator Abel Maldonado crossed party lines to vote with the Democrats in a deal that combines cuts in services, increases in taxation and borrowing to close a $40 billion deficit. The deal could also save Maldonado’s political career at the cost of eliminating 3rd party participation in general elections.
As part of the deal, Maldonado extracted an agreement to put two measures on the ballot for the voters of California in 2010. One is reasonable and the other is not. Salaries for members of the State Legislature are set by in independent commission. This year, even with the large deficit, they gave the legislators a salary increase. One of the two measures that Maldonado wanted would prevent legislators from getting a raise when the State budget has a deficit.
The other is much more of a personal gift disguised as a measure to open up elections. It would change the primary system in California to one that would select the top two candidates for office regardless of party. In the conservative Central Valley of California, this would generally deliver a general election between two Republicans. In San Franicisco, it is more likely to deliver one between two Democrats. It will, however, almost certainly ensure that no third party candidate will ever reach the general election. That single fact will deter the most qualified candidates from seeking to run as a Green or a Libertarian or anything other than as a representative of the duopoly.
Maldonado is a relatively moderate Republican, representing a carefully constructed district that stretches from the edge of Sililcon Valley all the way to the agricultural community of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County. He has ambitionns to run for statewide office after his current term as State Senator is over in 2012. At that time, he would have served his limit of two terms in the State Senate.
After this vote, there is no way that Maldonado could be elected in a very partisan Republican primary. He would surely be opposed by the very right wing California Republican Assembly, which resembles the John Birch Society on policy. This deal provides the only way that Maldonado can achieve a statewide office where his being willing to compromise on the budget would appeal to independent voters.
February 19, 2009 in Local Elections
According to this story in the Burlington Free Press, there are five candidates running for city council in Burlington, VT. The election is March 3. It appears that even in the races with more than two candidates the one with the most votes win rather than a run off or using instant runoff voting.
Howver in the Mayor’s race, Burlington had adopted Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) in 2006, and this article published today “Burlington Voters to Use Instant Runoff” describes how it was received, and how it will be used again on March 3 to determine the winner between five Mayoral candidates. This Mayor’s race is partisan, and includes a Progressive (Incumbent), Democrat, Green, Independent, and Republican. See the sample ballot with the ranked choice options here.
The Green Party candidates are:
James Simpson’s positions are published in the Burlington Free Press here.
Burlington Vermont Green Party website is here.
February 18, 2009 in Green Party Watch
After more than a year of therapies and effort, Paul Huntley Hess, my father-in-law, died February 10th. He died in his sleep, at home, with his wife of almost 60 years, his only daughter, and one of his grand daughters at his side.
I have always believed that we must be the change we want to see. The only things I can be sure to change are myself and my actions. I try to put my family first.
Now that a week has passed, things are beginning to settle down a bit. I didn’t want to get back in the saddle only to be torn away again. I believe that I can now commit again to contributing to this site and others.