More donors needed for the Green Party!!!

We need to hold the Green Party of California accountable in raising more money! Here, a concerned Facebook user asks why the Green Party does not require it’s registered members for monthly donations…(Some of the numbers are not exact, but hey, it gets the conversation going)

Someone asked me to explain what I meant by how small membership donations by the Green Party could result in more effective third party runs. So here it is:

This all began when I outlined something called the 5/25 plan which I thought the Green Party, or any other ambitious third party, should adopt. Your goal shouldn’t be too ambitious or based on something approaching the Rapture. (“People will just realize that the Green Party is right and the voters will be swept up into the sky and onward resulting in Green Party victory!”) I do think that the Rapture strategy is the operational strategy for the Green Party which is probably why they weren’t able to mount a very effective challenge against Alvin Greene, of all people.

But to not get too far off track, the 5/25 plan simply means walking before running. Let’s see if you can raise 35 million dollars to contest 5 senate seats and 25 house seats. From online sources I estimated that there were at least 300000 Americans who identified themselves as Green Party members. If all those Green Party members gave 10 dollars a month, then that would amount to 3 million dollars a month or 36 million dollars a year. You need at least 2 million to contest a senate seat in the average state, about 200000 to contest a US house seat. Those are minimums. If you can find someone who spent less money and won a house and senate seat please point that out to me. Keep in mind that Meg Whitman spent over a 100 million and lost the Governor’s race.

Well what does this mean for California Greens? I’ve been told that there are an estimated 50000 Greens in California. Ask them to commit to 10 dollars a month. This would mean 500000 a month or 6 million a year. This means you can run real races in California. If you can’t give that amount, which I can give even when I’m poor as dirt, then you’re not committed to change. Or at least committed to 10 dollar a month change. I should also point out that once it became clear that you were running real campaigns–with ads and dirt cheap field canvasses–then you would probably get more traction from small donors outside the Green Party. With that kind of money you could seriously contest several house seats and I would take a look at other seats if they’re available. A green Attorney General would be nice for those of us who would long for the day when corporations and fat cats might actually have to abide by the Rule of Law.

California could lead the way. I guarantee that after two years of actually contesting elections you will be much more successful than the national Green Party and their apparent wishful thinking strategy where Green Party candidates win without money and just because they’re right. Who knows. They might even make the Californian strategy a national strategy.

See the original post here: http://mirroruniverse.blogspot.com/2011/05/theory-behind-green-party-membership.html


  1. That’s just a ridiculous goal. I hate to say it and I wish it weren’t true, but the Greens have never seriously contested a single Senate seat and never gotten a Congressional seat (I would be surprised if the party has ever come close, either). It is a big deal if a state representative gets elected, and the closest thing we have to a single state representative is an independent.

    I don’t know about Canada, but in the UK they just recently elected their first MP, and they have districts much closer to the size of state rep districts than Congressional districts. It’s also not uncommon at all to have a Green city councilor there. So here in the US, we’ve got plenty of work to do before Congressional and Senate seats are even a thought in our mind – it was nice to see LeAlan Jones polling at 14% and Tom Clements getting a high percentage, but they each ended up getting single digits.

    There is one town in the country with a Green majority city council. That’s awful, really. Maybe Greens need to get more disciplined and organized – not that I have room to preach about that, but that seems to be the only way to be successful in such a rigged game.

    In any case, thinking about a Green in Congress is just dreaming and probably counterproductive to really growing the party.

  2. Ross, That’s why I keep advocation for local and state races. We always run big seats, but use our resources wisely in local and state races.

  3. The fundraising idea is good – regular monthly contributions from those who can afford it and choose to donate. But, we are a political party, not a club (AAA motor club) or a membership organization (GreenPeace). You don’t have to cough up money to be a Republican or a Democrat, so I see no reason for Greens to link donations to party membership.

    Plus, by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars on elections, the Green Party ends up playing the game of politics on the GOP and DNC terms – which are stacked in their favor, not ours. Getting into a fund-raising and spending competition with two corporate backed parties is a losing proposition.

    The key is to change the game. Lets not fight this battle on their terms, lets fight in ours.

    Getting Greens elected to city, regional, and state bodies is not only more cost effective, but it gives Green candidates, political operatives, and volunteers priceless real-world experience in campaigning. Also, it is at the city and state level that election law is determined. By passing Instant Runoff voting in cities that have home rule, and in state legislatures, we break the monopoly on power that the two parties have – which is completely dependent on winner-take-all voting.

    The only exception to this is the presidential race. I do advocate running a presidential candidate every 4 years for the following reasons:

    1. Advertising for the Green Party: many new voters only tune in during the presidential race, and a candidate is a great way to get their attention and support.
    2. Support local and state candidates. A presidential candidate can pair up with local candidates in various areas for more press coverage and fund raising opportunities.
    3. State ballot access rules. Many states measure whether or not a third party maintains full ballot access based on if they run a presidential candidate and how well they do.
    4. Federal matching funds- receiving 5%(?) of the popular vote qualify’s the party for federal campaign funding.

    My thoughts on the matter.

    Feel free to email me with your input!

    Daryl Northrop

  4. I added the California Green Party to Givv.org here: http://givv.org/recipients/green-party-of-california

    I’m not a fan of making any mandatory monthly donation type drive. That would drive registrants away from the party. Though, if you want to set up a monthly donation, I think Givv.org is a great place to do it because it shows our numbers and how much we are raising per month.

    I have decided that my personal 2012 political goals are to campaign to put Ron Paul in the White House and the First Green in Congress.

    We need to stop limiting our vision. Realism is good in small doses, but really, we need to encourage everyone to work on what they want to work on. If that means local elections for you, good. If that means a single Senate race for someone else, good!! If that means fund-raising for another, or a Presidential races for some, let’s encourage that.

    Go Green!

  5. Having some problems getting money or volunteers? Fascinating.

    Wonder why? Oh hell. Too late to have that conversation. You were warned after all.

    Has the daytime drama “As The Green Turd Turned” ended yet?

    Man. Really really sad.

    Oh well. Carry on. Organizing and building an alternative to the pro-war, corporate corrupted two party system, like we really mean it.

    Wow. Pretty harsh, man. Did I disturb the polite garden club debating club?

    Oh as a small aside, those of us former Greenie meanies were wondering, given the latest missive seeking help on the National level. Is Holly Hart the GP secretary for life? Is she appointed or just mandated. Or is it that there is no-one left willing to do the job?

    Just wondering.

    Your friendly former National Green Delegate and organizer.

  6. This is what I propose: We do phonebanking to our Green Party registered members and ask them for donations. It’s that simple. The problem is getting that list of registered Greens.

  7. Good news!

    The California American Independent Party (AIP) is teaming up with all parties, independents, voters and non voters to elect Hon Roseanne Barr [Green Tea] simultaneously for both chair of the AIP and AIP US Presidential candidate.

    If anyone wants to coordinate in fundraising or other activities with the “Go Draft Barr/Ogle for President 2012″ committee, the correct forms have been submitted to the Federal Elections Commission, and we will be coordinating with other interested committees through the correct procedures.

    It’s an independent campaign and we’ll be working as independents and with all parties for ballot access. The American Independent Party is currently ballot qualified only in California and Washington DC.

    We’re looking to forward to working with US Senate candidates and US Congressional candidates in all 50 states as a “Coalition of Three”. If you’d like to start participating in your state now, feel free to call or email.

    Thank you very for your interest!

    –James Ogle [Free Parliamentary]
    Go Draft Barr/Ogle for President 2012
    (web site coming soon)

  8. Give people an opportunity to make regular donations bigger than 10 dollars as well. Many greens can afford more than that.

  9. I think this is actually good idea. German parties actually charge membership fees and it is one of the reasons they have not been coopted by centrists like American Democrats.

  10. Dameocrat, I asked you on another post to work together on a project. I believe it could have been the college greens. May i have your email? Let’s work together…

  11. Maybe Greens could raise more money if they actually handled it ethically and were transparent in their finances. GPUS stopped putting detailed financial statements on their web site over a year ago. I joined the Green Card program which entitled me to a paper copy of the GP newspaper. They unilaterally did away with sending out individual copies before my Green Card term ended and did not refund the newspaper portion. I sent money designated for the Ballot access committee and find out they were borrowing the money so designated to cover Party expenses elsewhere. This does not motivate me to make substantial contributions to the Party apparatus. I send an occassional small contribution if they do something good otherwise I send contributions to individual Green candidates who look like they are actually working hard campaigning.

  12. Good point, Richard. If I was runing as a Green, do I raise my own money? Can the county district Greens help me out in raising money? These are all questions to ponder.

    I think what we could do is ask more Greens if they are able to be sustainable donors and if they cannot, that is fine. It doesn’t hurt to help, right?

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