Archive for August, 2010

Ben Manski Endorsed by Madison Teachers Union

Green Party candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly District 77 Ben Manski won the endorsement of the  Madison Teacher Inc., a powerful teacher’s union in the progressive college town of Madison. Commentators are already looking at Manski to be a contender in this year election in what is a traditionally progressive Democrat seat.

The Cap Times:

The most surprising and potentially significant development so far in the 77th District state Assembly race, where five Democrats are battling to replace retiring state Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, does not involve one of the Democratic contenders.

Despite the fact that the Democratic primary in this historically Democratic district is just a few weeks off, the big news involves Green Party candidate Ben Manski.

The endorsement of Manski’s candidacy by Madison Teachers Inc., one of the most politically powerful and engaged local unions, alters the character of the fall race — no matter who wins the Democratic nomination.

Manski has already been running a strong race, securing significant endorsements and building a credible war chest.

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Is LeAlan Jones Going to be Shut Out of Debates?

This blog post blasts Kirk for shutting Jones out of the Illinois Debates.

But what of Democrat Giannoulias?

(ht: DK)

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Arizona Green Party Endorses Candidates; Opposes Others

From the Arizona Green Party:

Phoenix, AZ—On Sunday, August 22nd, 2010, the Arizona Green Party (AZGP) state committee completed endorsements for the 2010 elections. All of the candidates were interviewed, and answered questions on their campaigns, and their support for the Green Party Ten Key Values and our national Green Party-US platform. The following Green Party candidates have been endorsed by AZGP. We encourage registered voters in Arizona to vote for, support, volunteer, and donate to their campaigns:

Jerry Joslyn: U.S. Senate; William Crum: U.S. Congress (CD 2), write-in candidate for General Election; Leonard Clark: U.S. Congress (CD 3), write-in candidate; Rebecca DeWitt: U.S. Congress (CD 4); Deborah O’Dowd: State Representative (LD 6), write-in candidate; Justin Dahl: State Representative (LD 12); Luisa Valdez: State Representative (LD 15); Angel Torres: State Representative (LD 16); Gregor Knauer: State Representative (LD 17); Linda Macias: State Representative (LD 21); and Kent Solberg: State Representative (LD 27). Leonard Clark said, “I am glad to be endorsed by the Green Party. Because it’s about time that the people of Arizona have a real choice when they go to vote.”

Richard Grayson, write-in candidate for U.S. Congress (CD 6), was vetted, but remains non-endorsed by AZGP. If he is successful in the Primary Election, the Arizona Green Party may reconsider endorsing him for the General Election.

Claudia Ellquist, AZGP state co-chair, stated, “There are several Green Party candidates that are actively opposed. We strongly advise all registered Arizona voters to not waste their votes on these individuals during the August 24th Primary Election or the November 2nd General Election (assuming they advance).” The offices include: Governor, Secretary of State (write-in), Treasurer (write-in), Corporation Commission (2 write-in candidates), U.S. Congress (CD 5, write-in), State Senate (LD 10, 2 write-in candidates), State Representative (LD 17, write-in), State Senate (LD 17, write-in), State Representative (LD 20, write-in), State Representative (LD 22, write-in), and State Senate (LD 23, write-in).
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Historic Election for The Australian Greens

The Australian Green Party performed very well in Australia’s recent federal election. Adam Bandt won his seat in Melbourne constituency giving the Greens one seat in the lower House of Australia’s parliament. A first for a general election for The Greens and possibly paving the way for more Green seats in the future! The Greens got about 12% of the vote in the Lower house. The Labour Party suffered a huge set back and were pushed back to 72 seats while the center right Liberal/National Coalition gained 73 seats. So it appears that the lone Green along with four Independents will control the balance of power in this hung parliament.

It also looks like The Greens will also hold the balance of power in the Senate (upper house). Expect Labour and the Liberals to negotiate with the Greens in these coming days.

With this win here in Australia and the win in Britain 2010 has proved to be a historic year for the Green movement.

Note on The Greens website:

Congratulations to all Greens campaigners and supporters.

While counting continues, at midnight election day it appears the Australian Greens have recorded a record result in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Congratulations to Adam Bandt in the seat of Melbourne, and to all the successfull Senate candidates.

At this stage it is expected that the Greens will have ten members in the Federal Parliament.

To everyone who worked on the campaign, we thank you for your efforts,

More details as soon as they come to hand.

Sydney Morning Herald:

THE Greens were hoping to secure the balance of power in the Senate last night after a backlash against the major parties pushed up their share of the vote and delivered them a lower house seat.

While the Senate result will not be clear for some days, the Greens chalked up an early lower house victory, claiming the electorate of Melbourne.

With more than a third of the vote counted in Melbourne, the Greens candidate Adam Bandt had 36.5 per cent of first-preference votes, compared to 41.3 per cent for Labor candidate Cath Bowtell.

The Liberal Party was polling 17.8per cent of the vote in Melbourne, meaning its preferences will easily deliver the seat to Mr Bandt, making him the first Green to win a seat in the House of Representatives at a federal election.

Greens strategists were hopeful that the higher national vote for the party would translate into extra Senate seats for the party, giving it the balance of power.

In voting for the House of Representatives, with more than half the nation-wide vote counted, the Greens had 11.5 per cent of the primary vote. That was up from 7.8 per cent in 2007 and was the minor party’s best yet share of the national vote.

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Top Two Primary Results in Washington State

Washington State primaries were yesterday, August 17. Washington State has the “top two” primary rule, meaning only the top two vote getters move on to the general election.

Richard Winger of Ballot Access News writes:

“No minor party members qualified for the November ballot for any federal or state office, except in races in which only one major party member was running. However, in one U.S. House race, an independent candidate did qualify for the November ballot, even though there was more than one major party member running.”

According to Brent McMillan, Executive Director of the Green Party (US),

Roy Olson ran in the primary for U.S. House District 9 in Washington State. Roy finished fourth of four candidates with 2,603 votes or 3.38% and does not advance to the General Election. Unofficial Results:

http://vote.wa.gov/Elections/WEI/Results.aspx?ElectionID=36&JurisdictionTypeID=3&JurisdictionID=155&ViewMode=Results

Howard Pellet ran in the primary for State House District 40, Position 2, in Washington State. Howard finished third of three candidates with 1,596 votes or 7.02% and does not advance to the General Election. Unofficial Results: http://vote.wa.gov/Elections/WEI/Results.aspx?ElectionID=36&JurisdictionTypeID=5&JurisdictionID=63445&ViewMode=Results

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Wisconsin State Legislative Candidate Ben Manski

Ben Manski, a public interest attorney, pro-Democracy advocate and Executive Directory of Liberty Tree, is running for Wisconsin State Assembly District 77, the progressive west side of Madison.

This Capital Times article summarizes the five Democrats, one Republican and Constitution Party candidates that Manski will be facing.

He has released this first “video report”:

You can contribute to the Manski Campaign by going here.

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Stracuzzi in Debate for DC Congressional Seat

This is a portion of a forum/debate between DC Statehood Green Party candidate Lino Stracuzzi and Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton from August 9, 2010.

Stracuzzi’s Facebook page

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US Senate Candidate John Gray Shut Out of Arkansas Debates

Autumn in American Third Party Politics means the battle to be included in publicly funded debates and forums, often a losing battle.

From the Arkansas News: “Exclusion from Senate debate irks independent, Green Party nominee”

LITTLE ROCK — Independent and Green Party candidates for U.S. Senate say they will be in Hot Springs Friday to protest their exclusion from a candidate forum sponsored by the Association of Arkansas Counties.

The association has invited Democratic incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln and her Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. John Boozman, to participate in a forum at its annual conference at the Hot Springs Convention Center, but independent candidate Trevor Drown and Green Party candidate John Gray are not invited.

“We’re going to be protesting over in Hot Springs on Friday morning on this,” Gray said Wednesday. “My feeling is, that is a state group, an association of counties, and they have no business whatever spending state money to have a private debate.”

John Gray for US Senate website (donations surely welcome)

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New York Times profiles LeAlan Jones

The New York Times on Friday has a profile piece on US Senate candidate LeAlan Jones, A Candidate Takes an Unlikely Green Path:

As a boy growing up in the long shadow of the Ida B. Wells public housing development, LeAlan Jones, the Illinois Green Party candidate for the United States Senate, learned at an early age to ignore naysayers.

“If you come from the ghetto, people are always doubting you,” Mr. Jones said. “I never listened to them. I was too busy.”

So go ahead and tell him the political facts of life: that he is wasting his time and has a scant shot at winning President’s Obama’s old Senate seat in November.
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Jill Stein Responds to Corporate Media Debate “Exclusion” Standards

The Jill Stein Campaign for Governor of Massachusetts received notice from a consortium of Media outlets that she was “invited” to participate in two gubernatorial debates, assuming she met the following demands:

1. The candidate must have an established campaign headquarters with at least three paid staffers and communicates, on a daily basis, with recognized non-partisan media outlets such as television stations and newspapers.

2. The candidate must have raised at least $100,000 between January 1 and October 1 for the purpose of running for governor. .

3. The candidate must receive 5 percent in a poll conducted by a media organization or academic institution that is recognized by the Boston Media Consortium.

The memo to the Stein campaign gave no indication as to whether their own polling would include Jill Stein when polling voters, but nonetheless, the conditions they set run contrary to the standards demanded by the Stein Campaign. Here is Stein’s response:

BOSTON – “Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to eliminate their competition by pushing them off the debate stage” according to gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein. Stein was responding to proposals from Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker to organize debates that would be confined to the three men against whom she is running.
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Rich Whitney Asks For Funds to Open Up Chicago Office

The Rich Whitney for Illinois Governor campaign is asking supporters to make a donation so that they can open up an office on the South Side of Chicago in Bronzeville. See message below:

Full Disclosure: I am a volunteer on Rich’s campaign.

Dear friends and supporters,

Currently Rich Whitney has very little name recognition on Chicago’s South Side. The reason is fairly obvious: neither the Whitney for Governor campaign nor the young Illinois Green Party has had much of a presence on the South Side.

The Whitney for Governor Campaign wants to change this reality by OPENING A SOUTH SIDE CAMPAIGN OFFICE IN CHICAGO’S HISTORIC BRONZEVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD, out of which the campaign can base its South Side organizing efforts.

To pay for this office, a South Side organizer’s stipend, and for miscellaneous office expenses, the campaign needs a total of $4,500.00. Right now the campaign has $1,800.00 set aside to use for these expenses. But we still need to raise the rest of the needed funds — $2,700.00 — from our supporters.

PLEASE HELP US MEET OUR GOAL OF RAISING $2,700, BY MAKING A DONATION TODAY, AT: http://www.facebook.com/l/593cfTVrBiclxtbo7zD3CyBMXqg;tinyurl.com/27waurs

With great appreciation,
The Whitney for Governor Team

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62 Green Candidates Endorse “Green New Deal”

From Green Change:

Sixty-two Green Party candidates nationwide today called for a “Green New Deal,” to cut military spending by at least 70%, provide single-payer universal health care, make tuition free at public universities, create millions of new green jobs, abolish corporate personhood, ban usury and legalize marijuana.

Green candidates calling for the Green New Deal include ten candidates for governor, nine for the U.S. Senate and seventeen for the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The Green New Deal is a complete break from the failed policies of the Democratic and Republican parties that have led us to economic and environmental disaster,” said Gary Ruskin, co-founder of Green Change, a national political organization.

“The Greens will pick up the New Deal torch the Democrats have dropped, reclaim the goals they have abandoned, such as job creation through public investment and single-payer health care, and expand the goals to include a sustainable green economy,” said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for governor of New York.

These are the ten planks of the Green New Deal:

* Cut military spending at least 70%
* Create millions of green union jobs through massive public investment in renewable energy, mass transit and conservation
* Set ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax to meet them
* Establish single-payer “Medicare for all” health care
* Provide tuition-free public higher education
* Change trade agreements to improve labor, environmental, consumer, health and safety standards
* End counterproductive prohibition policies and legalize marijuana
* Enact tough limits on credit interest and lending rates, progressive tax reform and strict financial regulation
* Amend the U.S. Constitution to abolish corporate personhood
* Pass sweeping electoral, campaign finance and anti-corruption reforms

Green candidates who have endorsed the Green New Deal include:
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Reparations: “No mere paycheck, but the whole enchilada”

The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States is currently debating proposed revisions to the national Party Platform. Among the changes under consideration is a proposal to strengthen existing langauge in support of Reparations which already exists in the document:

http://green.gpus.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=510

In response to a Delegate speaking in opposition to Proposal #510 fearing that “the tax burden will fall upon the shoulders” of those who did not benefit from slavery, Hugh Esco from the Georgia Green Party recently offered the following remarks to the National Committee. They are reprinted here by permission.

Dear Delegates:

Pigeon-holing reparations as a mere paycheck is a tactic of the banksters who’s interests are most directly threatened by the movement for Reparations and our unity on this issue.

A careful reading of #510 shows that it puts us on record for no new taxes, that it calls for a shift in existing spending:

“to end the criminalization of the Black and Brown
communities, to eradicate poverty, to invest in education,
health care and the restoration and protection of human
rights,”

and that the only new revenue source advocated in this language is with this language:

“We support the creation of a claim of action and a right
to recover inherited wealth and other profits accumulated
from the slave trade for the benefit of a reparations
trust fund.”

This language clearly says that the banks, insurance companies, railroads and related concerns which profited from the institution of slavery owe monetary restitution for that stolen labor and those stolen lives. The text of the amendment itself makes clear that we as a nation owe a debt as well. But Reparations is no mere paycheck. It is about repairing the fabric torn asunder by the crimes against humanity on which this nation’s wealth has been built.

At root of the myriad issues we face with respect to our nation’s institutional relationship with its Black, Brown, Native and Asian communities is our nation’s ongoing commitment to the ideology of white supremacy. Supporting Reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans goes to the very heart of this ideologcal commitment built into the fabric of our governing institutions, and prepares the ground for future work to respect the Treaty rights of Native nations within our border, including those long violated tenets from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which made real the Gadsden Purchase and ended our 19th Century imperial war to extend the institution of slavery into Mexico.
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Green Party National Committee Begins Voting on Platform Updates

Following the failed update of the Green Party (US) Platform in 2008, the Green Party National Committee adopted new rules allowing for mid-term updates to the National Party Platform by the National Committee beginning in 2010. The first batch of 14 Amendments to the platform (of a total of around 80) have been voted on, with 8 approved and 6 rejected. The first batch of Amendments were related to Chapter 1, “Democracy”, which will now be renamed “Grassroots Democracy” (Prop 463).

High Voter Turnout

Voting on the first week of platform amendments has been extremely high. On the first 14 amendments between 130-142 delegates from 44 affiliated state parties and caucuses voted on platform amendments. Never in (at least) the last 20 months have 44 affiliated state parties and caucuses submitted votes on a single proposal, and only 3 times since 2008 have over 130 delegates voted on a single proposal. (The three proposals eliciting this level of turn out dealt with the Fiscal Policy, approving the budget, and a Death Penalty resolution aimed at the Green Party of Mexico…)

Adopted

Platform Amendments according to the rules require a 2/3 approval to pass.

Platform Amendments that passed this first week included:
Renaming Chapter 1 “Grassroots Democracy” (Prop 463)
Updating the section “Free Speech and Media Reform: For a Better Democracy” (Prop 467)
Updating the section “Education: a Good Education for All Students” (Prop 468)
Updating the section “Foreign Policy: A Real Road to Peace in the Middle East” (Prop 471)
Updating the section “Foreign Policy: Human Rights” (Prop 472)
Updating the section: “Foreign Policy: Trade (Prop 474)
Updating the section: “Foreign Policy: Womens’ Rights” (Prop 476)
Adding the section: “Demilitarization of Space” (Prop 477)

Israel-Palestine Conflict

Of these amendments, probably the most contentious in terms of online debate among delegates both before and after the voting was Prop 471, which dealt specifically with Israel and Palestine. Prop 471 sought to put into the platform the language of a 2005 Resolution calling for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) against Israel, ending the occupation of Palestine, and essentially calling for a “single state solution” to the Israeli-Palestine conflict under a democratic and secular state.

The lobbying among National Committee Delegates both for and against adopting this platform amendment was intense, with terms like “Zionism” and “Islamophobia” tossed around like a salad. The amendment eventually passed 95-36, with 11 abstentions, a strong majority for passage.

The next batch of Amendments are currently being voted on, most from the chapter on Social Justice.

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Pennsylvania Candidates Make Ballot

From Pennsylvania:

All Green Party Candidates Meet PA Signature Requirements

Packer files for Specter’s U.S. Senate seat; Bortz seeks spot in Congress Five others vie for State Representative

Harrisburg, PA – On Monday, August 2, 2010, Green Party candidates successfully filed all nominating papers (petitions) with the Bureau of Commissions and Elections allowing all candidates to compete in the general election in November. Congratulations to all candidates, petitioners, and supporters.

Ed Bortz (http://www.edbortzforcongress.org/), Green Party candidate for U.S. Congress in the 14th District of Pennsylvania filed more than 9,900 signatures, more than twice the minimum requirement for ballot access.

Mel Packer (http://melpacker.com/), Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate also satisfied the statewide signature requirement, as did all Green Party candidates for Representative in the General Assembly. Packer works as a Physician Assistant in an emergency room in Pittsburgh. Prior to becoming a PA, he was a Teamster and helped organize Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a rank-and-file union democracy movement. Packer was recently on the board of the Thomas Merton Center, a nationally-known peace and social justice center.
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