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Koch Impersonator Seeking Green Party Endorsement

February 25, 2011 in Congressional Campaigns, State Party News

The New Yorker yesterday reported that Ian Murphy, the guy that impersonated billionaire David Koch in an embarrassing phone call with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, wants to run for Chris Lee’s vacant Congressional seat in New York:

Murphy, editor-in-chief of the Buffalo Beast, the alt-weekly turned national monthly turned Web ’zine, had been considering a run for Congress even before he called Walker, pretending to be David Koch, and became a viral sensation. “I was in the process of figuring out how I could possibly get thirty-five hundred signatures or entice some loser party like the Green Party to endorse me—not that I think they’re losers, their politics are great, but I think they’re going to lose,” he told me on the phone Thursday. Both “seemed completely undoable.”

But as one Internet-driven scandal cleared the seat, another has earned Murphy the Green Party’s attention. Eric Jones, co-chair of the New York Green Party, told me that he would be meeting Murphy Wednesday evening to discuss politics. When asked if they would talk about Murphy running for Lee’s seat, Jones replied, “I’m kind of shocked he brought that up with you.”

We look forward to seeing how this plays out.

It should be noted that the “Koch Whore” prank may have bigger consequences than anticipated, as statements made by Walker on the call have some questioning whether there may have been legal violations on top of the ethical ones.

Story is also covered by Grist, and is up at Independent Political Report.

Reichel, Bocanegra Fall in Chicago Primaries

February 24, 2011 in Local Elections

Municipal Elections were held in Chicago Tuesday, in a low turnout primary election where if no candidate gets 50% of the vote there is a run off election. Two Greens were on the ballot, both losing in the primary.

In the 12th Ward, Alberto Bocanegra, Jr. came in 4th of 5 candidates, finishing with 321 votes (6.63%).

In the 47th Ward, Matt Reichel finished 3rd of 4 candidates with 605 votes (3.21%).

In a statement on Facebook, Bocanegra said: “Unfortunately we didn’t get the outcome we expected. People are so disgusted with politicians that they refused to come out and vote.”

Ben Manski on CNBC – “Tax the Rich”

February 23, 2011 in Social & Economic Justice, State Party News

CNBC has a talking head segment featuring Green Ben Manski in Madison Wisconsin against State Assembly Rep Scott Suder. Skip to the 6:25 mark for the fireworks. Note how Manski disarms Suder when he claims that “your party wants…” and Manski replies “I’m not a Democrat. I ran as a Green for State Assembly and your Party’s candidate came in third place…”


GreenStream Wednesday Debuts Tonight – Focus on Wisconsin

February 23, 2011 in Social & Economic Justice

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States will broadcast the offer the first episode of ‘GreenStream Wednesday’ on February 23, 10:00 pm ET, 7:00 pm PT, on the party’s Livestream channel.

The one-hour show will present Green news, interviews, video clips, and viewer participation.

Viewers can tune at http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus or go to http://www.livestream.com and enter the channel name: greenpartyus. The channel is also accessible at the Green Party’s video page.

The first show will feature interviews with Wisconsin Green leaders on the widely covered protests in their state against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plan that would cut benefits and abolish collective bargaining:

• Tony Palmieri, serving in his fourth year as elected Green member of the Oshkosh City Council

• Amy Mondloch, Executive Director of the Grassroots Leadership
College
in Madison and a long-time Green Party activist

• AJ Segneri, from Milwaukee, co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party

To participate in the ongoing discussion in the chat window during the show, viewers can log in to Livestream. Viewers can register for a free Livestream account by clicking on ‘Sign Up’ at the top of the page, but membership is not necessary to watch the broadcast. The shows will be archived on the Green Party Livestream Channel web site.

The Green Party produced a Livestream show on the night of President Obama’s Jan. 25 State of the Union speech, broadcasting the speech and hosting a simultaneous discussion of the speech in the chat window. The enthusiastic participation of party members and friends motivated the Green Party’s Media Committee, with the help of other Greens across the US, to offer a weekly one-hour show.

“Livestream is like a town hall meeting where you don’t have to raise your hand to state your opinions,” said Craig Seeman, Green professional streaming consultant.

Green Party of New Jersey Supports Trenton Rally for Wisconsin Workers

February 22, 2011 in Social & Economic Justice, State Party News

The Green Party of New Jersey urges all public and private sector employees to attend organized labor’s rally at the Trenton State House on Friday, February 25, 12:00 noon, supporting Wisconsin workers right of unionized collective bargaining.

We must show both Governors of Wisconsin and New Jersey that we will not be intimidated by the attempt to erode our standard of living, while millionaires and bankers continue receiving subsidies and tax breaks.

Among the speakers will be national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and representatives from the Wisconsin state workers who will bring us up-to-date on the situation in Madison.

Unlike the two major political parties, the Green Party of New Jersey has always stood in the forefront of workers rights- from the streets of Cairo, Egypt to those in Madison, Wisconsin and Trenton, New Jersey.

Green Party of New Jersey
P.O. Box 9802
Trenton, N.J. 08650-9802

Tel:973-625-3352

Green Party supports Wisconsin public employees, urges wider protest

February 22, 2011 in Press Release, Social & Economic Justice

• Greens denounce austerity budgets, calling them a ploy to balance budgets on the backs of working people, destroy unions, and enlarge the power of corporations

• Green solution to deficits and economic recession: rescind tax cuts for the rich, end the wars and reduce military spending, enact Medicare For All and public works programs

• ‘GreenStream Wednesday’ on Feb. 23: online show will feature Wisconsin Green leaders and an elected Oshkosh City Council member, 10 pm ET, 7 pm PT, on the Green Party Livestream Channel.

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders declared today that the party solidly supports Wisconsin’s public-sector employees protesting a bill introduced by Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate their benefits and collective bargaining rights.

“We in the Green Party are standing out front on this issue by standing with our labor and public service brothers and sisters here in Wisconsin,” said AJ Segneri, co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party.

On Feb. 17, the Wisconsin Greens issued a statement affirming that their party “salutes the state’s public workers, and stands in solidarity with their fight to retain full collective bargaining rights with their employers”.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Wisconsin Wave will hold a demonstration at a conference of Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce (WMC), which includes the state’s top corporate lobbyists. Wisconsin Wave is a project of the Liberty Tree Foundation and the Center for Media and Democracy; Liberty Tree’s founder and executive director is Ben Manski, a Green who ran for the Wisconsin state legislature in 2010 and received the best numbers for an independent party candidate since 1944.

Greens speak out on the Wisconsin uprising:

Laura Wells, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of California: “At long last, Americans are pushing back against the rule of our country by corporate oligarchies. We’ve been inspired by the courage of people in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, and now by public employees in Wisconsin. This is more than a struggle to preserve benefits and collective bargaining rights in a single state. It’s about saving the infrastructure of our democracy and preventing the US from lapsing into a new Robber Baron Era reminiscent of the late 19th century. We hope that the fire of protest spreads to every state where such budgets are proposed, whether by Democrats in California or Republicans in Wisconsin. It’s a thrill to see working people take back their rights, their freedoms, and their financial security.”

AJ Segneri, co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party: “Gov. Walker’s bill to strip benefits and bargaining rights from state workers, based on the claim of a state deficit, is an old Republican trick. The governor enacted tax breaks and special interest spending for the top income brackets, then introduced a bill to solve the resulting deficit on the backs of working people in Wisconsin and break up the public employees’ unions. The 14 Democratic state legislators in Wisconsin deserve our praise for denying Gov. Walker his quorum. National Democratic leaders should follow their example, instead of demanding sacrifice from working people and the needy while excusing the wealthy and corporations from paying their fair share in taxes. President Obama’s budget plan would place a five-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending, affecting programs like heating assistance to low-income Americans and community-service block grants, as well as cuts in money for water treatment plants and other environmental projects and higher interest on federal loans for graduate students. The rampaging union-busting extremism of the GOP and their billionaire supporters like the Koch brothers doesn’t justify the Obama austerity plan.”

Howie Hawkins, 2010 Green candidate for Governor of New York: “The biggest myth is that these deficits are caused by excessive social spending and generous wages and benefits for public workers. The real cause is tax cuts for the rich, runaway military spending, and a recession triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which was caused by deregulation of the financial industry. The Green Party proposes the obvious solution. One, call US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and reduce military spending. Two, roll back the tax cuts and loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations. Three, enact Medicare For All, which will save 30% by eliminating private insurance administrative overhead and reduce the cost of health insurance for public workers. Medicare For All will also stimulate the economy by relieving the financial burden on business of providing health benefits, enabling negotiation to bring down skyrocketing drug prices and other health costs, promoting competition by letting everyone choose which physician or hospital to visit, and saving tens of thousands of people from financial ruin over medical costs every year. And four, initiate major public works projects in conservation, green energy, public transportation, and repair of infrastructure. Presidents like FDR and Eisenhower proved that public works boost the economy for everyone.”

Tony Palmeri, Green city council member in Oshkosh serving his second term: “Gov. Walker says he wants to give local governments the tools to balance our budgets — including a hammer to destroy collective bargaining rights. We reject his tools of divisiveness, and instead ask state government for assistance based on Green values, such as fairer distribution of shared revenue dollars to support local budgets; an end to needless budget-busting and polluting road projects; a fairer distribution of tax dollars to support equity in our K-12 system; increased grant money for college students; an end to special-interest tax breaks for the wealthy that drain millions of dollars from the budget; a progressive tax system based on ability to pay; and a green jobs program to help us build a sustainable, economically viable future. These measures, taken together, would save the state money and restore Wisconsin’s tradition as a laboratory for progressive ideas and democracy. Citizen activism has demonstrated, in an inspiring way, that we will not let Mr. Walker and his corporate sponsors bury that tradition.”

Wisconsin Green Party Stands With Public Workers

February 21, 2011 in State Party News

From the Wisconsin Green Party‘s Website:

The Wisconsin Green Party salutes the state’s public workers, and stands in solidarity with their fight to retain full collective bargaining rights with their employers.

The budget crisis facing the state was not brought on by public workers, and if there is to be a recovery, workers, public and private, must be the primary beneficiaries.

Scott Walker’s attempt to “repair the budget” on the backs of public workers is not about money, it’s about power. State workers earn less than their counterparts in the private sector, and often go years without a wage increase. Walker wants to permanently take away the ability of these workers to have a say in their health insurance and pensions.

While Walker attempts to divide workers into “haves” and “have-nots,” he continually pleads the case for the real “haves.” At a time when profit margins at the S&P 500 companies are at an all-time high, taxes for these corporations are approaching all-time lows.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Walker’s “laser focus on jobs, jobs, jobs” is really about increasing the wealth of his financial backers. His pledge to create 250,000 jobs in the next four years leaves out an important detail: each one of these jobs will be at minimum wage—at least until he can end the minimum wage.

Of course, state workers have borne the brunt of economic crises before. Democrat Gov. Jim Doyle came into office eight years ago promising to cut 10,000 state jobs in his first term. Walker’s just building on that legacy.

We urge legislators to turn back on this course of attacking public workers. Hosni Mubarak thought he could ride out the outcry, but the sleeping giant, once awakened, proved unbeatable.

Cheri Honkala Announces Green Party Candidacy for Philadelphia Sheriff

February 19, 2011 in Local Elections

Cheri Honkala Announces Green Party Candidacy for Philadelphia Sheriff
Honkala vows to fill 40,000 empty properties & keep Philadelphia families in their homes if elected

by Belinda Davis
February 18, 2011

Cheri Honkala announced her intent to run as the Green Party candidate for sheriff at 10:00 a.m. on 2/17, addressing an overflow crowd of some 60 supporters and members of the press at 718 Market St. (the headquarters of Casino-Free Philadelphia). Before her announcement, Jim Moran led the crowd of chants to “keep families in their homes,” the echoing the central theme of Honkala’s anti-foreclosure platform. Next, numerous speakers offered their enthusiastic support, as Holly Walker interpreted their comments in sign language.

Rev. Robert Johnson, whose own family has suffered under foreclosure, asked the crowd to “put themselves in [his] shoes.” Esther Smith, whose family was able to avoid foreclosure, emphasized how Honkala had stood by her—and how she in turn stood by Honkala. Galen Tyler, of the PPEHRC, said that as the Green Party candidate for sheriff, Honkala would be “for the people, not for the corporations,” and urged everyone to “get their friends, families, and neighbors out to work for Cheri.”

Hugh Giordano, a union organizer speaking on behalf of the Green Party, stressed that Honkala “was what a Green Party candidate should be. The Green Party stands for people—getting candidates who stand for us, not the CEOs and the bankers.” He added that the Green Party does not accept contributions from corporations. “The Green Party stands for social justice, democracy, good public education, a living wage, union jobs—and keeping people in their homes. Everyone should be proud that Cheri Honkala is running for sheriff as a Green Party candidate.”
Read the rest of this entry →

Matt Reichel Interview – Windy City Times

February 18, 2011 in Local Elections

WCT: What does it mean/matter that you are endorsed by the Green Party?

Matt Reichel: This is significant because the 47th Ward has been one of the top performing wards for the Green Party going back to [Ralph] Nader’s presidential run in 2000. There has always been a strong progressive and independent streak to this community, and so this would be a fitting place to elect the city’s first Green alderman. If elected, our ward organization will be converted into a coalition of community groups, oriented on civic service. We will not exist purely as a means of electing machine Democrats to higher office, as is currently the case. As such, a victory for me will be more than a victory for the Green Party; it will be a victory for all working people of the 47th Ward.

Matt Reichel is running for Alderman in Chicago’s 47th Ward. Read the entire interview here.

Canadian news

February 15, 2011 in International Greens

So my name is Peter Tretter, I’m new to Green Party Watch. I’m here in Canada, involved with the Green Party of Canada and the Green Party of Ontario. I’m the President & CEO of the local electoral district riding association in Barrie, Ontario.

Green Party leader, Elizabeth May

Image via Wikipedia

Some items of interest:

* Federal Leader Elizabeth May‘s election office in Saanich got driven into by a truck! She is also saying that US-style attack ads hurt democracy.

* Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner recently announced his shadow cabinet in prepation of a provincial election to occur October 6th, 2011.

* Green Party of British Columbia Leader Jane Sterk recently addressed Tofino City Council in a precedent setting move.

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Green Party Meetings (Feb 14-20, 2011)

February 15, 2011 in Local Party News

Monday Feb 14, the San Fernando Valley (CA) Greens met in Northridge, CA.

Tuesday Feb 15, the Logan Square Green Party in Chicago Illinois are meeting at the Green Party office on Fullerton Ave.

Wednesday Feb. 16 the Los Angeles Greens in California meet at 7 PM at the Peace Center on W. Third St.

Thursday Feb. 17 the Detroit Greeens are meeting with the Tri-County Greens at the Phoenix Cafe in Hazel Park, MI.

Do you know of local or state Green Party meetings or other Green Events that we should add to our Events Calendar? Post them here as a comment or send by email to GPW@GreenPartyWatch.org

Poverty Activist Cheri Honkala Running for Sheriff of Philadelphia

February 15, 2011 in Local Elections, Social & Economic Justice

Posted at Independent Political Report, Cheri Honkala, national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, intends to run for Philadelphia Sheriff on the Green Party ticket:

US Greens congratulate Egyptians, insist that Egypt must move to democracy without US interference

February 14, 2011 in International Greens, Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States congratulated the Egyptian people and called President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation a huge step towards democracy, human rights, and stability for their country.

“The Egyptian revolution is a victory for the people of Egypt, and also the victory for an idea — the idea that violent regimes can be overthrown through nonviolent means,” said Romi Elnagar, member of the Green Party of Louisiana and wife and mother of Egyptian-Americans. “While police and rampaging pro-Mubarak thugs killed 350 and injured thousands more, the protesters themselves remained overwhelmingly peaceful.”

US Greens hoped for an end to the 30-year-old ‘emergency decree’ and for a broad-based transitional government that embraced opposition parties, to begin the work of dismantling the brutally oppressive Mubarak regime. The next step will take place when the military relinquishes power and Egyptians establish a civil government with a constitution, free and fair elections, democratic institutions, and the means to solve problems like unemployment and poverty.

Greens also urged the Obama Administration to cooperate in an investigation of the alleged $70 billion that Mr. Mubarak’s accumulated during his corrupt regime and to freeze any of his assets that are held in the US.

“We call on the US government to avoid meddling and respect the right of Egyptians to rule themselves. Aid for Egypt must be for humanitarian purposes, not military, and without strings attached. If the Obama Administration tries to press the new Egypt into subordination, to satisfy the US’s strategic military and economic interests in the region, we will betray the Egyptian people and their right to democratic sovereignty,” said Laura Wells, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of California.

US Greens noted that much of the conflict in the Middle East and resentment of the US by Egyptians and other populations in the region centers around the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“Since making its 1979 ‘cold peace’ with Israel, the Egyptian government has supported Israel’s ongoing apartheid and dispossession of Palestinians, most recently complying with the siege of Gaza, in return for billions in aid from the US. We look to the formation of a democratic Egypt which adheres to international law and reflects its citizens’ long-standing opposition to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians,” said Dr. Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party’s International Committee.

US Greens: Obama must cut off aid to Egypt after Mubarak refuses to resign

February 11, 2011 in International Greens, Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders urged President Obama and Congress to cut off aid to Egypt after President Mubarak refused to step down from office on Thursday. Greens have called the resignation a necessity for a peaceful transition to democracy and respect for human rights in Egypt.

Greens said that, in the context of President Mubarak’s speech, Vice President Suleiman’s recent warning of a ‘coup’ can only be meant to intimidate the Egyptian people, who will continue to protest in demand for Mubarak’s removal. The warning hinted of a violent measures to crush the demonstrations.

“For decades, President Mubarak has used economic and military aid from the US to suppress human rights and freedoms in his country. Unless the aid is canceled, President Obama’s declarations of US support for the protesters are hollow and hypocritical,” said Julia Willebrand, spokesperson for the Green Party’s National Women’s Caucus and former chair of the International Committee.

Vice President Omar Suleiman, former intelligence chief of Egypt who allegedly aided the CIA’s secret extraordinary-rendition program, had warned of a coup if protesters refuse to accept the Mubarak Administration’s timetable for a transition to democracy and asserted that Mr. Mubarak has no plans to step down. Leaders of the youth groups leading the demonstrations in Tahrir Square interpreted Mr. Suleiman’s remarks as a threat to launch a crackdown and impose martial law.

Green leaders in the US have expressed the party’s support and encouragement for nonviolent protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and other nations in the region who have demanded an end to corrupt and oppressive regimes.

Greens hope for a broad-based transitional government in Egypt that fully respects freedom of speech for all segments of society, including the media and opposition political parties, and insisted that President Mubarak’s successor must by chosen by the Egyptian people, without influence from Washington. The Green Party advocates a policy that denies aid to governments that suppress human rights, reserves aid for humane purposes, ensures respect for Egypt’s independence and sovereignty, and ends US intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs and leverage over Egypt’s military and security forces.

The Green Party of the United States has also called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel because of the Israeli government’s continuing apartheid system and brutal occupation of Palestinian lands. Egypt, which receives US aid in part for its cooperation with the US’s Israel-Palestine policy, is the second largest recipient of US military and economic aid ($1.55 billion in 2010), after Israel ($3.175 billion).

“Peace in the Middle East doesn’t require US military bases and billions of dollars for oppressive governments. It requires democracy, clean elections, human rights and freedoms, economic fairness for all people living in the region, and an end to meddling by outside powers like the US for their own economic and strategic purposes,” said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of Miami-Dade Green Party and organizer of local rallies in support of the Egyptian protesters.

Local Green Party Meetings This Week (Feb 7 – 13, 2011)

February 9, 2011 in State Party News

Local and State Green Party groups meet throughout the year. Is there a local in your area? Do you want to start one? See this nice Organizing Kit put together by GPUS.

Monday Feb 7, the Triangle Greens (NC) met at the Durham County Library.

This Saturday the Green Party of Minnesota is holding their Winter Meeting in Golden Valley, MN, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the agenda.

All members are encouraged to attend. We’re planning three sets of workshops hosted by guest speakers. In addition to our traditional favorites like single-payer healthcare and transition towns, we’ll also have action-oriented workshops for people interested in learning how to lobby or be a candidate for office.

Also Saturday the Green Party of Pennsylvania State Committee is meeting in Carlisle, PA at 1:30 PM, followed by an evening session with speakers at 6:30 PM. In the afternoon they will be electing officers and delegates to the National Committee. In the evening:

Please join us for an engaging evening with honored guest speakers from different groups and backgrounds, who offer common ground in addressing critical issues of the day that impact all of us, not just Greens. This evening is for YOU if you are seriously concerned about the state of our voting systems, our environment and our civil liberties.

(1) Marybeth Kuznik, Founder and Executive Director, VotePA — Voting Machines in Pennsylvania, 6:30-7:00

(2) Bill Belitskus, President, Allegheny Defense Project — Marcellus Shale Drilling and its Effect on the Allegheny National Forest, 7:00-8:00

(3) Jim Compton, Anti-Real ID Activist, Boiling Springs, PA — Real ID in Pennsylvania, 8:00-8:30

On Sunday The Portland (Maine) Green Party is hosting a Noon social prior to the 1 PM Maine Green Independent Party’s Steering Committee Meeting, both at the Meg Perry Center in Portland, Maine.

Do you know of other Green Party meetings or events coming up? Let us know at GPW@GreenPartyWatch.org