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Kentucky Greens Organize State Party

Aware of the odds stacked against them, it was reported that 35 people met to formally organize the Kentucky Green Party last weekend.

Kentucky’s laws for becoming a “Political Party” rather than a “political organization” requires obtaining 20% of the vote in a Presidential Election, a nearly impossible task.

Presumably the next step for the Kentucky Greens will be to become a formally accredited and recognized state chapter of the Green Party of the United States.

This article from the Courier-Journal covers the Kentucky Green Party’s organizing meeting and the state of third party politics in Kentucky:

Tired of Democrats and Republicans who don’t speak to the issues or solve the problems important to them, about 35 people gathered Saturday in Anderson County to form the Green Party of Kentucky.

But if that group’s experience is anything like third parties that have struggled for recognition in Kentucky before them, the Greens will learn that the state political system is stacked against them.

The problem according to John Longmire, who was the state chairman of the Reform Party when it formed in Kentucky prior to the 1996 presidential election, is a state law that requires that groups that want to be certified as parties get 20 percent of the vote in a presidential election.

He said the system is “slanted to keep down the advent of third parties.”

Under the law, all parties that can’t get 20 percent of the presidential vote are officially designated as “political organizations” and “political groups,” which means they aren’t allowed to conduct primary elections and their candidates often must spend thousands of dollars obtaining signatures on a petition just so they can file to run.

Before Saturday’s vote to become a state chapter, the Green Party had 498 people registered as members, according to the state Board of Elections — possibly the residual effect of past efforts to form the party in Kentucky, members who have relocated from other states or as a result of support for presidential candidates

Read the entire article here.

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Philadelphia Green seeks help to get on City Council ballot

Kaitlyn Foti reports at Chestnut Hill Patch:

Chestnut Hill resident Brian Rudnick is hitting the street, trying in a short amount of time to get the signatures he needs to get on the ballot this November.

Rudnick decided late in July that he wanted to switch from a write-in campaign as the Green Party candidate for the 8th District City Council seat.

The Green Party candidate, and Chestnut Hill resident, has only a few days to gather 750 signatures.

…“There is a strong and determined minority that thinks the city should have a two-party system at least. Because the Republicans are so weak, we hardly have a two-party system. That second party could be the green party,” Rudnick said.

…As for the chances for the Green Party, he said, “They are a political force, and their values are peace, social justice, grassroots democracy and non-violence, and what I seek to exemplify in my life and as a council person.”

Read more at Chestnut Hill Patch or at Rudnick for Philadelphia City Council.

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Elizabeth May, David Korten, other speakers announced for Green Party 2011 National Meeting in Alfred, NY

From the Green Party of New York:

Join us for New York Green Fest/GP-US ANM Fri., Aug. 5 to Sun., Aug. 7, 2011 in Alfred, NY on the campus of Alfred University.

It is not enough to oppose toxic drilling and injustice, we need alternatives. The most difficult questions of sustainability are not about technology; they are about implementing our values. Implementation is achieved in the political arena. At NY Green Fest we explore the politics that enable us to live in a sustainable world.

For NY Green Fest 2011, we return to the beautiful campus of Alfred University in Alfred, NY. We are joined by Greens from across the country and Canada coming to the 2011 Green Annual National Meeting (ANM), which is being held in conjunction with Green Fest this year.

Our program features more than 30 great workshops on politics, energy, media and ecology (check out the list on the right), four forums and great music on our solar stage. Presenters include Elizabeth May, Canada’s first elected Green Party member of Parliament, David Korten, author of Corporations will Rule the World and co-founder of YES! Magazine, Tina Clarke from the Transition Towns Movement, David Cobb, 2004 Green nominee for President, Virginia Rasmussen from the Program for Corporations Law and Democracy (POCLAD), Gay Nicholson from Sustainable Tompkins, Richard Grossman from Frack Free Catskills and Jack Ossont and Kate Bartholomew from the Coalition to Protect New York among many. Several Green Party candidates and officeholders from New York and other states will attend. At least one candidate for the Green presidential nomination, Kent Mesplay, will be present.

Four excellent forums will be held during the event:

Building Local Economies, Fri., Aug. 5, 6:45 pm

David Korten (via Skype) on “Agenda for a Local Economy,” Tina Clarke (via Skype) and David Doonan on the Transistion Town Movement, Opening music: Woven Green Band, Location: Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center

Asserting Local Sovereignty over Fossil Fuel Extraction, Sat., Aug. 6, 1:15 pm

Richard Grossman, Virginia Rasmussen, Mary Jo Long, Jack Ossont, Gary Abraham, Opening poetry: Michael Czarnecki, Location: Solar Stage on Campus Quad

Campaigning for Local Economies and Clean Energy, Sat., Aug. 6, 6:45 pm

Elizabeth May (via Skype), Kent Mesplay, Colia Clark, Bill Belitskus, Jay Sweeney, Green Candidates and Office Holders, Opening music: Crow Weaver, Moderator: David Cobb, Location: Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center

The Future of Sustainable Politics, Sun., Aug. 7, 11:15 am

John Resenbrinck, Greg Gerritt, Howie Hawkins, Cecile Lawrence, Opening music: Carl Lundgren, Location: Solar Stage on Campus Quad

Check out http://nygreenfest.or/2011schedule.html for the workshop schedule.  Bios of our 55 presenters are athttp://nygreenfest.org/presenterbios11.html Continue Reading

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Oregon City Commissioner James Nicita, a registered Green, ‘faces recall effort’ over opposition to a new mall

The full story can be read here, below is an excerpt.

Parks has 90 days to collect 1,742 valid signatures from registered voters. If the recall petition is certified, a special election would be held by the end of the year.

CenterCal Properties, which had worked on the mall project and was negotiating an agreement with the city’s Urban Renewal Commission, pulled the plug on the project last month. Nicita spurned offers to meet with CenterCal President Fred Bruning, who made it no secret that Nicita’s continued opposition was a key factor in the decision to kill the mall.

Last year, Bruning temporarily broke off negotiations with the city, citing a “deep division” among city commissioners — Nicita in particular.

Nicita voiced strong criticism of The Rivers, questioning whether it was viable to build a huge mall in a down economy and provide the $17.6 million subsidy the developer requested to offset construction costs. The mall would have been built on an old garbage dump.

When Nicita proposed a city charter amendment that would have killed the project and alienated other developers, more than 400 people showed up to oppose the plan, which was withdrawn.

Nicita suggested other uses for the land and proposed building a nearby trash-burning plant that could turn the waste into electricity.

Nicita, a Pacific Green Party member, was elected to a nonpartisan seat on the commission in 2008.

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Terry Baum Running for SF Mayor

The Bay Area Reporter has a feature piece on Terry Baum, an out lesbian and Green who is challenging the Democratic Party status quo in San Francisco Politics by running for Mayor.

“There are a lot of problems in San Francisco and Democrats have been governing a long time. They have to take responsibility for those problems,” said Baum, 64, in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. “We have a one-party city. It is not healthy for North Korea being a one-party state and it is not healthy for San Francisco.”

City Hall is awash in cronyism, contends Baum, who argues electing her mayor would bring that to an end.

“The best way to break that up and bring some fresh air in would be to elect a Green mayor,” she said. “People feel disconnected from politics because there aren’t enough voices.”

Due to ranked-choice voting, Baum argued she can’t be tarred and feathered as a spoiler candidate, as Green candidates have been blamed in the past.

“There is no issue of throwing away your vote,” said Baum. “People are free to vote for me as their number one and put the person they think has a better chance of winning as their number two.”

Read the entire article here.

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Kentucky Green Party Founding Convention to be held Sat. July 23

This news comes from kygreenparty.org:

Kentucky Green Party Founding Convention – Don’t Miss It!

The first and founding statewide convention of the Kentucky Green Party

When: Saturday, July 23, 2011, Registration & snacks starting at noon.  Decision-making time from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Where: The home/farm of Susan Carson Lambert,  1317 Pigeon Fork Road, a few miles northwest of Lawrenceburg, KY  40342   (phone: 502-839-4811)

The convention will be open to all, including the media, but only Kentuckians who are registered members of the Green Party will be able to vote on decisions, and there are several important decisions to be made!  Continue Reading

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At state meeting, nuclear expert piques Illinois Greens’ concerns about nuclear power

From the NBC affiliate WREX:

ROCKFORD (WREX) -The Illinois Green Party wants people to be more aware of the dangers of nuclear energy.

Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service Chicago Dave Kraft says residents and lawmakers should be concerned because Illinois has four reactors the same type and vintage as the ones in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Kraft said today was a chance to raise awareness in political circles about the state of nuclear energy in Illinois and hopefully inspire legislators to take a hard look at safety at our nuclear reactors.

He said it’s also time to consider alternative sources of energy and cut our dependence on nuclear energy.

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Philly Green Richard Antipuna running against ‘computerized election theft [becoming] the norm in the US’

The following is an article by Philadelphia Green Chris Robinson, reprinted with his permission:

At Green Night Out on July 9, Josh Mitteldorf explained to the gathered diners that “computerized election theft has become the norm in the U.S.” Philadelphia Greens and their friends had gathered for an evening of feasting, fun and politics. Greens are interested in computerized election theft, and they are running a candidate, Richard Antipuna, for Philadelphia City Commissioner.

Perhaps you wondered why Barbara Capozzi did not demand a recount in the Democratic Primary for City Council District 1, when touch-screen polls showed that she lost the election by a mere 72 votes. The simple answer is that no one can do recounts (or any other kind of audit) on the kind of computerized voting machines used in Philadelphia. Was this election stolen? Barbara Capozzi will never know.

Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, discussed three historical elections which were successfully stolen by computer companies. His first example was the 2002 election of governor and senator in Georgia, which was stolen by the Republicans. Mitteldorf’s second example was the 2002 election of governor in Alabama, which was also stolen by the Republicans.

Finally, Mitteldorf discussed the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, where Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell was also George W. Bush’s campaign manager. You probably remember that this election was also stolen by the Republicans, but Mitteldorf added new details of the computer swap that was used to change the vote count. He also discussed a murder that was necessary to cover it up. Incidentally, this election was contested by the Green Party of Ohio (no word from the Democrats).

“Wholesale election theft in the U.S. is now institutionalized and systematic,” concluded Mitteldorf, “and it always favors the Republicans.”

The national Green Party Platform says, “Electronic voting machines must include a verifiable paper trail that allows every voter to verify that his or her vote was recorded and counted accurately, coupled with random audits based on the paper trail.” This is not the case in Philadelphia.

//
Green Night Out takes place monthly at Singapore Kosher ‘Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant, www.singaporevegetarian.com. Green Night Out is sponsored by the Green Party of Philadelphia, www.gpop.org. More information about Green Night Out and advance reservations may be made at 215-243-7103

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Green Party activist and musician Jello Biafra’s letter announcing cancellation of show in Israel

As an addition to an earlier post about Cynthia McKinney’s and Jello Biafra’s actions in the Middle East, here is the full letter which Jello Biafra published announcing the cancellation of a concert in Israel:

Dear Friends,

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine are not going through with the July 2 date in Tel Aviv. This does not mean I or anyone else in the band are endorsing or joining lockstep with the boycott of all things Israel. I am going to Israel and Palestine to check things out myself and may yet conclude that playing for people in the belly of the beast was the right thing to do in the first place.

The toll and stress on the band members and myself has been huge, both logistically and as a matter of conscience. I can’t drag anyone any further into rough waters without being better prepared than some of us thought we were. A responsible leader does not go, ‘Hey, check out the storm at the top of Mount Everest. Let’s go up anyway just in case we don’t die.’ Some members are angry with me for this decision, let alone how long it took me. I don’t blame them.

It would have been so easy to quietly pass on the gig out of fear someone might get upset, and no one would have been the wiser. We could have flown under the radar, left the date off our tour postings and not bothered with a statement, but how honest is that?

Our intention in going was that we thought we could do some good , speaking truth to power, fans and impressionable young minds in a way that most bands don’t. What about the people on the same side of the human rights fence we are who now don’t get to see us play? Should the be boycotted too? What about the even larger atrocities of the Bush regime and by extension Obama? Should we turn off our mouths of anger and boycott our own country too? We tried again and came close to landing a Ramallah show, but again, we needed to be better prepared. How fair is it to the organizers to demand a full-on rock show on a few days’ notice with a type of music they may not be familiar with? More importantly, how much are we really doing for Palestinian rights if people there don’t seem interested in our kind of music at all?

I’ve been doing this long enough to know better than buy into hardline absolutes such as playing in Israel automatically supports apartheid or Israel’s government. That threat is ridiculous. I know far more about this issue than some people think I do, and I am not a poodle for Hasbara, Peace Now, BDS or anyone else. The first people contacting us went out of their way to be diplomatic and communicate how they felt. Then our Facebook page went from eye-opening and educational to a childish bickerfest between a handful of people, to the point where we had to try something else just to reclaim our own Facebook page.

As the gloves came off, unfortunately so did some of the masks. Calling anyone speaking up for Palestinian rights a ‘terrorist’ is dumb. So are the blanket condemnations of everyone who happens to be Israeli that seem to be coming from the ‘drive all the Jews into the sea’ crowd. I also even got an invitation from a self-proclaimed fan to ‘come meet the Israeli right’ and see the settlements through their eyes, complete with a wine-tasting party. Whew! Whoever started punksagainstapartheid.com now admits it was aimed solely at one person – me. It is obvious that not everyone signing the petition has any idea who I am, or knows anything about punk, possibly the majority. The last time I looked I could only find three names of people I actually knew. Some made it clear that I will be on their bad list no matter what I do because I dared to even think of playing in Israel.

I can’t back anyone whose real goal or fantasy is a country ethnically cleansed of Jews or anyone else. Where people who think for themselves or talk to the wrong person are automatically a sell out. Speaking personally, I currently favor two democratic states in the admittedly naive hope that in our lifetime they can somehow evolve into one. Where race or religion does not matter because people have learned to work with each other.

I think back to last year when JBGSM played in Serbia. The locals we spent time with were not monsters, and filled me in on how they risked their necks for years opposing and demonstrating against Milosevic and were not down with ethnic cleansing at all. But they weren’t too happy about being bombed by NATO for over 2 months straight either, and showed the ruined buildings to prove it.

I also heard comments like, ‘The Croats killed my grandfather in World War II. I can’t forget that…’ and ‘There’s another war coming soon. I can feel it.’ The most I could do from the stage is say that I do not know what I would do if the Croats or Serbs killed my grandfather, or a suicide bomber or occupying army killed my child. But I would hope I would be one of those people who could somehow say, ‘Can’t we have some peace?’ The audience seemed to appreciate that.

The next day I laid out my thoughts and emotions to the person giving me a ride in Slovenia. She turned ice cold and said, ‘Maybe next time you should play in Bosnia.’ Good point. The nightmare continues.

Rise Above, Jello Biafra

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Are Cynthia McKinney and Jello Biafra, so-called ‘leading lights of the US Green Party,’ lending support to Middle Eastern tyranny?

The following is an excerpt from an interesting post on New Jewish Resistance, via a complementary post on California Greening, which calls for the Greens not to nominate anyone in 2012 who “align with the likes of Ahmadinejad, Qadaffi or Asad.”

Two leading lights of the US Green Party, Jello Biafra and Cynthia McKinney, have betrayed the party’s platform and values by loaning support to Israel and Qaddafi, respectively. If the Green Party wishes to maintain any legitimacy, it must quickly repudiate them…

Yet, somehow, Jello has seen fit to buck the boycott of Israel by playing a gig in Tel Aviv  on July 2. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)  has issued a statement to the lapsed punk pioneer, “Appeal to Jello Biafra: Do not cross our picket line.” But Jello apparently intends to do so, condescendingly offering to “debate” the issue with his critics. In an open letter of his own to the critics, he wrote that “both the Israeli Left and the Palestinian Left are divided right down the middle as to whether this kind of a boycott is a good idea at all.” As if we should give equal weight to the “left” wing of an occupied people and an occupying power.

Equally problematic is Cynthia McKinney, who was the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2008. Embarrassingly, since the NATO bombing campaign she has been openly shilling for blood-drenched dictator Moammar Qaddafi. Last month, McKinney spoke on Libyan state TV—in what appeared to be a live interview in Tripoli—to blast the NATO bombing, saying the “last thing we need to do is spend money on death, destruction and war.” Such pacifistic sentiments might have some legitimacy—if McKinney were not speaking over a propaganda organ of the Qaddafi regime, or if she at least offered some recognition that Qaddafi is also guilty of perpetrating “death, destruction and war…”

The Green Party must forthrightly repudiate Jello Biafra and Cynthia McKinney until they halt their depraved conniving with oppressive regimes.

The rest of the post is certainly worth reading, with links to things like an open letter from a group of Palestinians to McKinney asking her to stop supporting Qadaffi and McKinney’s own commentary linked on the front page of the Green Party’s website.