Ralph Nader, Rocky Anderson, & Jill Stein

William Kaufman has an insightful article posted at Dissident Voice called “Ralph Nader, Rocky Anderson, and the Green Party: A Political Un-Love Story.”

The context of the article is Ralph Nader’s recent voice of support for Rocky Anderson’s Independent Presidential Campaign given Anderson’s centrist platform and Jill Stein’s solid progressive campaign. Some excerpts:

Although Nader claims that his backing falls short of a formal endorsement, the Anderson campaign isn’t echoing that semantic hair splitting. After the joint appearance, Rocky Anderson’s Facebook page was updated as follows: “At a press conference in Portland, Oregon today, Ralph Nader officially endorsed Rocky Anderson! It’s been a great day so far, now with everyone’s help let’s raise 10k in just 1 day! We can do it!”

Comparing Anderson to Stein:

On a host of other issues, Anderson lists noticeably to the right of Nader, despite praiseworthy planks such as raising the minimum wage to ten dollars per hour and slashing the Pentagon budget by 50 percent. On health care, while acknowledging the virtues of single-payer, Anderson also touts a variety of European multi-payer schemes that retain a role for private insurers. He does not expressly call for an outright repeal of WTO/NAFTA, the Patriot Act, or Taft-Hartley, demands that Nader has advanced prominently in all his campaigns. Nor does the solutions section of his website feature the specific demand for full public financing of elections, another of Nader’s key issues, (although Anderson has mentioned the idea in passing in a blog interview). Moreover, Anderson echoes the ideologues of the right in calling for a “balanced budget (or a surplus) except in times of war or major recession”—clearly a calculated appeal to conservative voters. Jill Stein, by contrast, converges with Nader on all the foregoing issues. And on it goes: the Anderson website’s “solutions” pages ladle on a thick glaze of leftish rhetoric that cannot conceal a paucity of programmatic specificity on many key progressive demands and a troubling penchant for pandering to the right.

The article then walks back through the history of Nader and the Green Party, focusing on the troubled 2004 election when the Green Party nominated David Cobb instead of Ralph Nader, and suggests that Nader is still resentful of that fact:

There is, however, a kernel of political substance lurking in Nader’s rancor about the party that once snubbed him. When I pointed out to Nader’s associate that Jill Stein was much closer to Ralph on the issues than Anderson is, the reply was, “Yeah, but given their [the Greens’] recent history, how do we know they’re serious about really remaining independent from the Democrats?”

The conclusion of the piece suggests that given the current political and social climate, Jill Stein and the Green Party are the best alternatives for the Left:

Given the widespread disillusionment with Obama among progressives and the unexpected flourishing of the Occupy movement, the 2012 election presents priceless opportunities for propagating a left message to an increasingly besieged electorate that is hungry for solutions. But what are the alternatives for the left? To dissipate and fragment its finite resources and energies among a half dozen socialist sects? To unify behind Rocky Anderson, who is spotty on program and still seemingly immured in the glad-handing, horse-trading ethos of the political establishment? Notwithstanding the Green Party’s history of organizational quirks, factional strife, and fitful irresolution in confronting the Democrats, it seems that the best opportunity to use electoral activism to complement Occupy is through Stein’s candidacy. Radical yet nonsectarian, her campaign is an all-out effort to build an independent progressive movement rather than an elaborate ploy to snare a Cabinet post or the rote ritual of a would-be socialist vanguard; in short, it’s the closest we can come, in spirit if not in size, to the Left Front in France or the Left Party of Germany.

The Greens seem at last to have gotten over their internal wars of the past decade, with the former Cobbites, now sorry about the fiasco of 2004, having joined with former Naderite Greens to back Stein; Nader, on the other hand, appears not to have gotten over or moved on, and may someday find himself sorry that he again spited the Greens, this time to back a candidate well to their—and his—right.

I encourage you to read the entire article at its source.

  1. steve says:

    There’s always a reason for the sold-out left to blame Ralph Nader for something. Former Nader staffers used the Green Party to muzzle Nader’s anti-war message in 2004 and 2008 and even to keep Nader off of state ballots. Now the Greens want a kiss and a hug. Nader kept every issue
    that Occupy, the Greens, Cornell West and everyone else now trumpets alive in spite of the Democratic attacks on Nader to silence that message. Prove yourself in 2012. Nader has proven himself many, many, many times over.

    • van mungo says:

      “Steve’s” snarky comment exemplifies just the sort of spiteful, high-schoolish pettiness that the article exposes as a crippling, dead-end folly for the left.

      The article definitively demonstrates that Rocky Anderson is not running a principle, progressive campaign–so Nader has no business endorsing it. His doing so is apparently just as much a matter of personal spite as anything he or “Steve” accuses the Greens of doing.

      What’s important now is to put aside crybaby grudges about ancient pissing matches and promote the candidacy that has the best chance of megaphoning a serious progressive agenda in 2012–but only if people think it’s more important to build a left movement in this country than to scratch itches of spite.

      The Green Party is amorphous and permeable–it can be changed by activists determined to do so. Nader’s groups are tightly controlled cliques that basically march to one man’s whims. That nis not a recipe for movement building–all of the Nader-spawned groups follow the nonprofit-sector bureaucratic elite model, not the dynamic, democratic movement-building model–which no doubt explains why Nader never attempted to build a permanent political party from his 2004 and 2008 campaigns–too difficult for him to control.

      Time for everyone to get over themselves and their gnawing personal rages and think seriously about what the best strategic choice is for the left in the 2012 presidential race. Right now it’s not the patently center-left opportunism of the Anderson campaign, which was definitively exposed in this article. Nader should know better, and so should “Steve.” If “Steve” has a better choice, then he should specify it, instead of just unfurling his Nader-groupie talking points.

    • Insightful?! Here’s my response to Kaufman’s incredibly deceitful piece:

      William Kaufman has obviously sought to mislead his readers by failing to disclose material information he must know exists. Is that what he means by “politricks” and “the dark side of politics”?
      Here’s the truth: (1) Ralph Nader is supporting my candidacy. He said he doesn’t “endorse” candidates because that connotes agreeing with everything the candidate may say along the way. Kaufman tries to make it appear that my campaign is misleading people about Mr. Nader’s support of me, stating that “the Anderson campaign” represented on Facebook that Nader “endorsed” me, referring to a post by a campaign staffer. What Kaufman fails to disclose is that I immediately clarified on Facebook with the following comment: “Rocky here: The above main post was written by a staffer who wasn’t present in Oregon. Ralph didn’t ‘endorse’ – he doesn’t’ do that. But he does ‘support’.” (See the April 10 post and comments on http://www.facebook.com/YourFriendRocky .) Who is misleading whom, Mr. Kaufman?

      Kaufman then characterizes my campaign, without any basis, as being “shadowy” and “equivocal”. He obviously hasn’t been paying attention. I would urge anyone to check out my website (www.voterocky.org) and the numerous interviews (click on News and Videos) available there. What is “shadowy” or “equivocal” about any of it? Kaufman then describes me as a “center-left pol who expressly abjures any identification with the left.” Again, he offers no evidence for those absurd characterizations. Check out http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/article-14721-rocky-not-a-democrat.html; http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobilemobileopinion/52371987-82/anderson-arner-done-guard.html.csp; http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705389115/Former-SL-mayor-Rocky-Anderson-divorces-himself-from-gutless-Democratic-Party.html, then you can determine for yourself how “equivocal” or “shadowy” my campaign and I are. And when and where have I “expressly abjure[d] any identification with the left”? Kaufman once again gets it entirely wrong. Seeking a broad-based political movement that can actually achieve change is different from “abjuring identification with the left.” Just look at my history – from my law practice (e.g. expanding rights for inmates, suits for police abuse), my presidency of the Board of the Utah ACLU, my work with Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, my progressive leadership as Mayor of Salt Lake City, and my founding of High Road for Human Rights – and you’ll see how absurd Kaufman’s mischaracterizations are.

      Kaufman refers to my endorsement of Mitt Romney when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts, without disclosing the whole truth – including numerous public statements I have made about the new Mitt Romney since he has been running for President. Following the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, I endorsed Mitt Romney for Governor of Massachusetts. Of course, that was THAT Mitt Romney – a very moderate, reasonable person who, for instance, supported gay and lesbian rights and a woman’s right to choose abortion. Romney wouldn’t have won the race in Massachusetts had he not held himself out to be moderate, even quite liberal. But see some of my public comments about the difference between THAT Mitt Romney and the right-wing extremist running for President. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/19/why-salt-lake-s-mayor-lost-faith-in-mitt.html (referring to Romney as a “political prostitute”); http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/6/13/former_slc_mayor_rocky_anderson_the_former_mitt_romney_was_reasonable_very_moderate; http://www.democracynow.org/2007/6/25/salt_lake_city_mayor_rocky_anderson. Kaufman neglected to disclose any of that to his readers.

      On climate change, Kaufman misleads once again. He refers to one half of a sentence in my position paper about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But he fails to disclose the rest of the sentence. Here is the entire sentence in my policy paper: “Champion a market-based approach to reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, but support and defend the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions if market mechanisms are not promptly put in place by Congress or prove insufficient.” Why would Kaufman have omitted the last part of that sentence except to mislead? Other facts that Kaufman has neglected to disclose are that (1) cap and trade systems were successfully utilized to address both acid rain and the destruction of the ozone level; (2) we likely will not know the GHG-reductions effect of taxes on emissions until it is too late to avoid catastrophic effects of climate chaos, particularly without a concomitant cap and trade system; and (3) my position paper, with details and nuances entirely absent from those papers and positions of other candidates, is entirely consistent with the Presidential Climate Action Project. See http://www.climateactionproject.com/principles.php (“Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions demand and will drive innovation. Our economy will innovate most efficiently if it is given the flexibility to achieve ambitious goals through a variety of means, including marketbased incentives and/or trading.”) Among the members of the Advisory Committee of the Climate Action Project are former Senator Gary Hart, Van Jones, Gus Speth, Hunter Lovins, and many other top experts in climate change policy. I have been clear about my position for more than 15 years: We must urgently achieve a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, without waiting to see what effect taxes alone will have on emissions. I favor taking every measure possible to reduce GHGs, including EPA regulatory control, a cap-and-trade system, and taxes on emissions.

      Kaufman continues to mislead, this time in connection with my position on health care. He says I acknowledge the virtues of single-payer, but also touts a variety of European multi-payer schemes that retain a role for private insurers. Of course I “tout” a variety of multi-non-profit-payer systems as being far superior to the U.S. system. The French system (a non-profit multi-payer system), for instance, is ranked by W.H.O. as the #1 system in the world. The German system (also a non-profit multi-payer system) is far superior to the U.S. system. Every system in the industrialized world is far superior, in terms of cost, medical outcomes, and universality of coverage. But if Kaufman means to mislead his readers about my support for a single-payer Medicare-for-all system, which he apparently endeavors to do, one only needs to refer to my position paper on Health Care, http://www.voterocky.org/healthcare_solution. There you will find the following statement: “We must end the bizarre reliance in the United States on for-profit insurance companies for essential health care. We should adopt a health care system like Taiwan’s single-payer system (the most efficient in the world) or Canada’s single-payer system (which is consistently Canada’s most popular social program). Another option might be a system like France’s (#1 in the world, according to the World Health Organization), but it’s multi-payer non-profit system would likely be more expensive and less efficient in the U.S., particularly in light of the immense difficulty in the U.S. of achieving the sort of regulations that serve the public interest rather than corporate (even so-called “non-profit”) interests.” Is this not doctrinaire or clear enough for Kaufman?
      Kaufman can’t even get it straight about Michael McGee’s status. He lives in France – and certainly is not my campaign manager. Does Kaufman just make all of this up as he goes along?
      It has never been our strategy to seek positions in government with any other party. That may be Mr. McGee’s approach, but it certainly is not mine or the Justice Party’s. Also, we’ve never adopted anything close to a safe-state strategy. I’d be surprised if Mr. McGee said anything like that – but I wouldn’t be surprised, given Kaufman’s approach to the rest of this, if he simply made that up too.
      There is so much else in Kaufman’s piece to which I’d like to respond, but I think the reader likely gets my point. When people like this mislead and attack, it reflects poorly not only on their own integrity, but also on the party and candidate they support.

      • William Kaufman says:

        Let’s not put too fine a point on it: in this desperate, flailing eructation, chockablock with lies and even rank ignorance of basic federal law, Rocky Anderson buries his credibility far deeper than I did in the article—which was, by the way, 100 percent accurate, carefully sourced, and meticulously phrased; it’s Anderson who is being wildly and bizarrely deceitful in a frantic but doomed effort to rescue the fake progressive reputation he has so assiduously tried to fob off on credulous and well-meaning activists and voters.

        Let’s take his reply point by point; it will, perforce, have to be on the long side to dispel every last wisp of the dense fog of mendacity and distortion that Anderson spews in his reply:

        1. If Rocky Anderson wanted to effectively quash any impression that his campaign was claiming Nader’s endorsement, the staffer’s post with the word “endorse” could have been taken down. It never was.
        2. Rocky Anderson’s campaign, and his Justice Party, are indeed both shadowy in origins and equivocal in political orientation . The party was not and has never been a grassroots organization that arose from on-the-ground activism around clear progressive issues; it has always been a consequence, organizationally and politically, of Rocky Anderson’s decision to run for president.
        3. I gave clear quotations to document Rocky Anderson’s aversion to any identification with the left, including his disparaging comments about the Green Party (“just a sliver of the left”) in explaining to Amy Goodman why he did not seek their nomination rather than starting his own vanity party.
        4. Anderson, throughout his screed, refers to his high-minded support for various social issues, such as “expanding rights for inmates, suits for police abuse), my presidency of the Board of the Utah ACLU, my work with Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, my progressive leadership as Mayor of Salt Lake City, and my founding of High Road for Human Rights.” It’s a time-honored ploy of pseudoprogressive Democrats to cite their high-minded declarations of support for civil liberties, abortion, and other sociocultural issues while increasingly converging with Republicans on the neoliberal agenda of Chicago-school economic and class issues that are now of pivotal importance in determining the direction of this country. Notice that Anderson NOWHERE DENIES THE NUB of my analysis of his “solutions” pages lack of any call for a repeal of WTO/NAFTA and of Taft-Hartley, two pieces of legislation that are most directly responsible for the depressed living standards of working class Americans—WTO/NAFTA through the hemmhoraging of high-quality manufacturing jobs abroad, and Taft-Hartley through a steady decline in the power of the union movement and its ability to press for higher wages. How revealing that on these critical CLASS issues, Anderson is silent—and remains so in his dishonest reply.
        5. On Mitt Romney: Anderson claims that “Kaufman neglected to disclose any of that to his readers.” “That” here means that the Romney that Anderson warmly endorsed in 2002 was some sort of apostle of reason and light who embraced all manner of progressive positions. And exactly what are those supposedly enlightened positions? Anderson claims that Romney, in those halcyon days of 2002,“supported gay and lesbian rights and a woman’s right to choose abortion.” But Romney has NEVER supported marriage rights for gays. He has demagogued abortion this way and that, depending on which audience he was speaking to for which office he was seeking. When Romney ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994, he accepted the endorsement of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, an zealous antiabortion group; when he was thinking of running for governor of Utah, he wrote a letter to a newspaper there stating that he was unequivocally against abortion, just as he does now. As Ted Kennedy wittily observed, “Mitt Romney isn’t pro-choice or anti-choice; he’s multilple-choice.

        More important is the fact that when Anderson endorsed him Romney was prowar, progun, antilabor, pro-WTO/NAFTA, opposed to public funding of elections, opposed to raising the minimum wage, opposed to more progressive taxation, opposed to cracking down on corporate crime and fraud and corporate welfare, in favor of the repeal of Glass-Steagall, opposed to regulating the derivatives that would later wreck the economy, in favor, etc., etc. In short, Anderson warmly endorsed a militant and loyal defender of the interests of the 1 percent against the 99 percent—as I accurately observed in my article.

        Finally, as for Anderson’s assertion that I “failed to disclose to [my] readers” Anderson’s frail rationalizations for supporting Romney in 2002, this is simply a blatant lie; I quoted in full the lame excuse he gave Amy Goodman.

        6. On the carbon tax: Anderson reproaches me for failing to quote this part of his statement in support of Wall Street’s favorite nonsolution to the climate crisis—cap and trade: “but support and defend the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions if market mechanisms are not promptly put in place by Congress or prove insufficient.” This is completely irrelevant. We are talking about a CARBON TAX. The EPA doesn’t have the power to levy a tax—only Congress does. Can Anderson, the would-be president, really be this grossly ignorant of the constitution? Moreover, the EPA is already charged with the regulation of environmental toxins, so Anderson is just spinning his wheels here. I’m not concealing anything—but Anderson is clearly STILL concealing his failure to advocate a carbon tax by underscoring his advocacy of the EPA’s doing what it is already doing. How pathetic, how ignorant.

        But the ignorance doesn’t end there. Anderson, the man who would be president, evidently doesn’t even know that the EPA is only just now beginning (as in two weeks ago!) to address the issue of carbon emissions from power plants, and its powers are very limited. In the words of Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, “there is currently no uniform national limit on the amount of carbon pollution new power plants can emit, and the standard we proposed last week is common-sense, achievable and in line with the direction the industry has been moving for a decade. As the [EPA] Administrator and I said repeatedly when we announced this proposal last week, this standard only applies to new sources – that is, power plants that will be constructed in the future. This standard would never apply to existing power plants. And we have no plans to address existing power plants.” (http://blog.epa.gov/administrator/2012/04/05/standard-for-new-power-plants/ )And this in a situation where many leading climate scientists think it may already be too late to turn back the tipping point (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change ).

        Anderson, who is obviously no expert in this matter, opines, “cap and trade systems were successfully utilized to address both acid rain and the destruction of the ozone level.” This is one of the hoariest myths of the neoliberal cap and traders. Someone who is a world-renowned expert in this area, James E. Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, disposes of this myth in his op-ed piece on this subject in The New York Times: “Supporters of cap and trade point to the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments that capped sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-burning power plants — the main pollutants in acid rain — at levels below what they were in 1980. This legislation allowed power plants that reduced emissions to levels below the cap to sell the credit for these excess reductions to other utilities whose emissions were too high, thus giving plant owners a financial incentive to cut back their pollution. Sulfur emissions have been reduced by 43 percent in the two decades since. Great success? Hardly. Because cap and trade is enforced through the selling and trading of permits, it actually perpetuates the pollution it is supposed to eliminate. If every polluter’s emissions fell below the incrementally lowered cap, then the price of pollution credits would collapse and the economic rationale to keep reducing pollution would disappear. Worse yet, polluters’ lobbyists ensured that the clean air amendments allowed existing power plants to be ‘grandfathered,’ avoiding many pollution regulations. These old plants would soon be retired anyway, the utilities claimed. That’s hardly been the case: Two-thirds of today’s coal-fired power plants were constructed before 1975. Cap and trade also did little to improve public health. Coal emissions are still significant contributing factors in four of the five leading causes of mortality in the United States — and mercury, arsenic and various coal pollutants also cause birth defects, asthma and other ailments.”
        (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/opinion/07hansen.html — see also Ralph Nader’s devastating critique of cap and trade in his Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, “We Need a Global Carbon Tax:The cap-and-trade approach won’t stop global warming. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122826696217574539.html)

        Anderson, who has no compunctions about taking hedge-fund money from Americans Elect as a shortcut to ballot status in all fifty states, is also conscience-free about placing the fate of the planet earth in the hands of the Wall Street banksters whose arcane scams have brought the U.S. economy to its knees. The noted progressive economist Dean Baker explains why Goldman Sachs echoes Rocky Anderson’s enthusiasm for cap and trade: “The outstanding value of carbon permits will almost certainly run into the trillions of dollars once the system is fully up and running. The annual trading in these permits and various derivative instruments (e.g., options, futures, swaps of various types) is likely to also run into the trillions of dollars, perhaps tens of trillions. A market that trades $10 trillion a year would generate $25 billion a year in revenue, if fees and commissions average 0.25 percent. If Goldman can capture 30 percent of these trades by getting in on the ground floor, then it stands to generate more than $8 billion each year in revenue from carbon trading. This is enough to explain Goldman’s enthusiasm for cap and trade – it’s all about as clear as it can possibly be.”

        And whom does Anderson cite as his “experts” in support of this unworkable and reckless bankster fraud? Gary Hart? Van Jones? Gus Speth? NOT ONE of them is a scientist—just the usual suspects: Democratic Party/Obama loyalists whose main job it is to find rationales for the Democrats’ ever-accelerating collapse into free-market rapacity. If this weren’t so pathetic, it would be laughable.
        7. On health care: Anderson just cannot bring himself to advocate, simply and unambiguously, a publicly funded single-payer healthcare system that would once and for all put an end to the superfluous, dysfunctional, piratical private-insurance middlemen—he evidently considers this “doctrinaire”—another tell-tale sign of his contempt for clearly progressive solutions to socioeconomic problems. Maintaining any role for private insurers is an invitation to more of the redundant billing chaos and inefficiencies that hobble our current system. Perhaps Anderson, in line with his other neoliberal tropisms, just can’t bring himself, definitively and without qualification, to advocate putting a large sector of the U.S. economy in the public sector, no matter what the efficiencies achieved or the money and lives saved. Why not just come out in support of single payer and putting the private insurers out the healthcare racket? I mean, the guy supports the cap and trade Wall Street scam—so you figure it out.
        8. On the issue of Michael McGee. I sent an e-mail to the main address of the Justice Party and cc’d most of the Rocky Anderson campaign staff, including Mick Johnson, his campaign manager; Nancy Karter, the campaign office manager; and Walter Mason, the campaign’s ballot access manager (since some of my questions were about ballot access). So I most certainly did make a good-faith effort to reach all the responsible parties at the Anderson campaign. THE ONLY PERSON WHO GOT BACK TO ME WAS MICHAEL McGee, both in an e-mail and a follow-up phone call in which he most certainly did identify himself as Anderson’s campaign manager and most certainly did detail the swing-states-dropout-angle-for-a-cabinet-post strategy that he also conveyed to Jill Stein and her campaign manager, Ben Manski, in conference calls last September and October—both Stein and Manski corroborated McGee’s swing-state gambit 100-percent in my conversations with them. Manski, Jill Stein, and I all heard exactly the same story from McGee, who identified himself to all of us as authorized to speak on behalf of Anderson. Mr. Anderson maliciously implies that I made up this whole swing-state scenario—but McGee gave the same line of patter to Ben Manski and Jill Stein—does Anderson wish to imply that they are liars, too? That they and I, who have had no personal contact until ten days ago, just happened to make up the same lie about Michael McGee? So now that Anderson’s little ploy has been exposed to the light of day, he wants to disown McGee? Let him do so. But the truth is what it is. (My e-mail to the Anderson campaign, complete with all the addressees, is reproduced below, along with McGee’s written acknowledgment that we spoke on the phone, along with McGee’s cc to Anderson campaign staff members about his conversation with me).

        Truth, alas, is an orphan in this world, as Anderson’s verbal writhings above sadly illustrate. My article, by contrast, is entirely truthful—far too much so for Anderson’s taste, evidently. Now that I have shone a bright light on Anderson’s political equivocations and underhanded strategic ploys –the stench of which he weirdly and incoherently compounds in his ill-informed, dishonest, rope-a-dope reply—Anderson scurries to cover it over it with a sickly perfume of bizarre tergiversation, mendacity, and distortion. But it’s too late, Rocky—it is now irrevocably clear that when it comes to a serious advancement of a principled progressive agenda on the critical class and economic and climate/environmental issues of our day, and on the intention to build a progressive movement that is clearly and definitively independent of the hedge funds and Wall Street banksters, this Rocky is more pretender than contender.

        Bill Kaufman

        1. My e-mail to the main officials in the Rocky Anderson campaign:
        From: William Kaufman
        Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:08 PM
        To: ‘contact@justicepartyusa.org’
        Cc: ‘voterockyweb@gmail.com’; ‘mickjohnson.justice@gmail.com’; ‘waltermason.justice@gmail.com’; ‘nancykarter.justice@gmail.com’
        Subject: Need Information for Article on Justice Party

        Hi—
        I am writing an article on the Justice Party and the Rocky Anderson candidacy that I plan to submit to the Web zine CounterPunch,[ed note: I ended up submitting the piece to Dissident Voice instead, of course] where I have published several articles in the past.
        I need to get some basic information—I was hoping that someone could answer, via e-mail or a brief phone interview (my number is XXX-XXX-XXXX), the following basic questions (a phone interview would be preferable in case I have follow-up questions based on your answers):
        1. Has the Justice Party held a nominating convention per FEC requirements? If not, have you scheduled one or announced the date for it?
        2. In how many states has the Rocky Anderson presidential candidacy already obtained ballot status? In how many states do you realistically expect to achieve ballot status by election day?
        3. How many functioning state branches of the Justice Party are there?
        4. How many members do you estimate the party has, either in terms of registered voters or people who have volunteered to work for the party?
        5. Does the party accept corporate financing, either through bundled contributions or PACs?
        6. Who, besides Rocky Anderson, are the officers of the party, and what are their titles and duties?

        I hope to have the article finished over the weekend, so I would be grateful to receive an e-mailed or telephoned response on Friday. If you call, please call after 2:00 p.m. eastern time. Or, if you would prefer that I call you, please e-mail me a phone number and suggested time frame.

        Thanks,
        Bill Kaufman

        2. Written evidence that I talked to Michael McGee:
        From: Michael McGEE [mailto:michael.mcgee.1@gmail.com]
        Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 2:10 AM
        To: kman484@earthlink.net
        Cc: Michael McGEE; Lenny Brody; Walter Mason; clbonham
        Subject: Answers to “Need Information for Article on Justice Party”
        Hello Bill,
        Good talking to you. Here is some further information for your CounterPunch article on the Justice Party. You will also find an attached Word document with the contacts for members of the National Justice Party Steering Committee. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any more information.
        Yours in solidarity,
        Michael McGEE
        Justice Party Co-chair

        • William Kaufman says:

          Two addenda:

          1, Michael McGree, during our phone interview, did clearly state that he is on the Steering Committee of the Anderson campaign—so clearly, in conjunction with his role as Justice Party Co-Chair, he has a significant role in shaping campaign strategy, by his own account—these are not minor titles or roles–these titles and roles place him at the upper echelons of the Anderson campaign. So . . . McGee divulges some inconvenient truths about the Anderson campaign strategy, and Rocky is ready to disavow him. That’s just another blot on Anderson’s character.

          2. Note that Anderson, in his reply, makes no mention of his clearly stated advocacy of a balanced budget except in times of war or national emergency. If ever there were a Republican/neoliberal right-wing/free-market-fundamentalist hobby horse, that’s it–Paul Ryan couldn’t have stated it any more bluntly than Anderson. It seems that, along with cap and trade, Anderson thinks he can send the right specific signals to the 1 percent while flinging a few crumbs of empty generalities toward the credulous 99 percent.

          New face, same old game.

          • Steen says:

            your against a balanced budget? that doesn’t mean gashing public services.. maybe it means taking on this dadgum military industrial complex! maybe it means taxing corporations and the rich fairly.

            Do you want reckless amounts of debt? a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility is not a partisian issue. When Rocky left office as mayor of SLC he left the city with a budget surplus.. he didn’t do so by falling short on any of his other goals though like criminal justice reform, environmental improvements, lower levels of poverty etc.

          • Deadbeat says:

            Since you’re taking about repealing free trade agreements what about the repeal of the Israel-US Free Trade agreement. The Homeland Security is a bastion of cronyism that supports Israeli firms getting huge government contracts that not only degrade at our civil liberties but transfer huge sums of money to Israel that makes it way into the settlements and further erodes peace in the region.

            If ending these agreement are important like ending NAFTA you need to go after the very first of these so-called agreements that set the tone for NAFTA — the Israel-US agreement that was instituted in the mid-1980′s.

        • Steen says:

          Rocky Anderson has not taken a dime from AE and do you have an issue with the best healthcare system in the world according to many independent ratings agencies (France) ?

          We need the BEST SOLUTIONS for America’s problems not the most ideological ones. The best solution could be public, private or a mix of both. It could come from the federal government, a think tank, state government, an economist, scientist whoever, local governments and cities, other countries and many other places but don’t simply write stuff off because it doesn’t fit your ideology.

          McGee doesn’t speak for the campaign anymore than Charlotte or anyone else does only Rocky himself can state what his strategy is which is to my knowledge to compete everywhere he possibly can and WIN the 2012 Presidential election or at least make a serious impact and change the narrative.

          It is also clear to me that you have may have tricked Michael into answering your questions and then spun the answers to fit your own narrative which is more than misleading.

      • As William Kaufman points out Rocky Anderson’s proposed remedies for climate change are problematic–they seem as if they were drafted by the corporations. Or at least that they are based on an effort to reassure the 1% they have nothing to fear. Free market approaches to climate change do not work on a mass level. We have already seen that–they depend upon the goodwill of the corporations–who have no goodwill. Look at how they nimbly out-maneuvered the opposition to the Keystone pipeline. .Cap and trade will do nothing to stop massive programs in the works like tar sand extraction. .And as Kaufman points out Wall Street is already planning on turning cap and trade into a trillion dollar casino trading in permits and derivative that will drain yet more money from a potentially productive US economy–money that could be used to phase out fossil fuels.The only question is, how long will it take for that bubble to burst and how soon will it take for the government to run to the rescue of Wall St? Why is Anderson encouraging Americans to put trust in the free market cap and trade as panacea
        just when the public has begun to distrust such approaches? Environmentalists cannot afford to place our faith in Ron Paul type solutions–the hour is too late.
        Furthermore as Nader pointed out, in 2008 in an article in the Wall Street Journal cited by Kaufman, cap and trade CANNOT work — cannot cut down global emissions of GHG– unless all countries agree to participate. And China will not agree..
        Anderson keeps prattling on that we don’t know if a tax on carbon emissions would work. One can only urge he read the 2008 article co-authored by Nader and Toby Heaps. The kind of carbon tax scheme they suggest is the most effective way to cut down carbon emissions. It does not depend upon the good will of corporations and it does not hand out pollution credits to be sold on a market. Why should we make such concessions anyway? It is our planet, why must we allow corporations to sell pollution credits?
        I’m afraid Dr Stein is seems much less equivocal on the issues, as Kaufman points out. Shortly after Obama’s State of the Union Address in which he proposed opening 75% of US land to oil developers she stated “If President Barack Obama gets his way with his new energy policy, he may go down in history as ‘the president who fueled the fire of climate disaster’… With his State of the Union speech, President Obama adopted the apocalyptic ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ platform of the most rabid Republicans. He is parroting the fossil fuel lobbyists in saying that our public lands and our environment should be sacrificed for the goal of increasing domestic oil production….The President’s spin ignores the fact that our most pressing problem isn’t foreign oil, it’s what fossil fuels, both foreign and domestic, are doing to our planet. . Our nation and human society around the world are already experiencing serious climate disruption. The President has given up the fight against climate change just when we most need to expand our efforts.”
        Now if Rocky Anderson would sound as unequivocal as Jill Stein his message would be much clearer to the American public. Assuming his good faith, he’s been leaning over backwards to sound pro-corporate, just when Americans are becoming distrustful of corporations. His message on climate change is just not strong enough:We the people should manage and care for the environment–we should make our industries pay for all externalities no matter how high. Why should we pick up the bill for the harm they do to our earth? The government does not exist to ensure corporations. It should be of the people, by the people, and for the people–and for the earth. That means the corporations have no right to pollute, no right to trade pollution credits.

        • Steen says:

          with all due respect compare Rocky Anderson’s record on environmental issues to Jill Stein’s. Sure she might sound good but she has no record of doing the things people that care about the environment want to see happen.

          Rocky was named America’s greenest mayor, he spoke out about climate change and its harmful effects, he spoke out against the influence of big oil and the fossil fuel industry. He implemented the Kyoto regulations in Salt Lake (to my knowledge the first US city to do so), he led the way in retrofitting and renewable energy. He spoke at international climate change conferences.. do I completely agree with on these issues? honestly no but his record compared to Jill Stein is immensely better and he has shown he can make a positive impact when it comes to environmental justice and change.

    • Steen says:

      Ralph Nader is an American hero.. he has done more work for advancing the cause of progressivism than most any politician alive today. Not to mention his consumer activism that has led to clean air and water, seatbelts and automobile safety, safer medicines etc. just because you don’t like who he chose to SUPPORT doesn’t mean he is a fake. The real clique is the Green Party. Rocky might differ on a few issues with Ralph but he is not a “conservative”!

    • Bob Brister says:

      Amen. As long as the same leadership that wrecked the Green Party in 2004 is still in power, the Green Party is part of the problem.

  2. Charlotte Scot says:

    I also feel obligated to respond to the article by William Kaufman. The errors in the article are big enough to drive a truck through.
    What I do not understand is why the Green Party is supporting this yellow journalism. The reporter makes numerous misstatements about Rocky Anderson, all of which could have been cleared up had he actually spoken with Rocky or the campaign. He spoke with Michael Magee whom he identified as Rocky’s Campaign Manger. Michael is NOT Rocky’s campaign manager. He lives in France and is a co-chair of the Justice Party. Michael is NOT affiliated with the campaign, and he positively has no authority to speak on behalf of the campaign or Rocky. The reporter strews innuendo, and semi-truths about Americans Elect but again, it appears he never actually spoke with anyone at American Elect to check the statements he was about to distribute.
    As to why Ralph Nader would support Rocky Anderson and not a Green Candidate, look at some of Rocky’s accomplishments: Former two term Mayor of Salt Lake City, founder of the High Road for Human Rights, named by Business Week as one of the top twenty activists in the world on climate change; he served on the Newsweek Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Board; he was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the top ten straight advocates in the United States for GLBT equality. Rocky also received numerous awards for his work, including the EPA Climate Protection Award, the Sierra Club Distinguished Service Award, the Respect the Earth Planet Defender Award, the National Association of Hispanic Publications Presidential Award, The Drug Policy Alliance Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award, the Progressive Democrats of America Spine Award, the League of United Latin American Citizens Profile in Courage Award, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee Patriot Award, the Code Pink (Salt Lake City) Pink Star honor, the Morehouse University Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award, and the World Leadership Award for environmental programs.
    I volunteer with Rocky’s campaign and have met all three Green Party Candidates. I consider them intelligent and hard working activists. I would never consider supporting a hatchet job on them like you are doing with Rocky. We are all in this together and if we start fighting one another the 1% will continue to rule, and we will be buried alive.

    • William Kaufman says:

      See my reply to Anderson above.

      Charlotte Scot is one of Anderson’s paid flunkies.

      My article was entirely truthful and meticulously sourced.

      The Anderson campaign has been exposed for the pseudoprogressive scam that it is.

      Too bad. Deal with it. Find some other angle for advancing Rocky’s personal ambitions.

      Progressives in this country have had quite enough of false saviors–we already have one in the White House–we don’t need another.

      • Steen says:

        as Rocky and Charlotte mentioned above your article was mostly false and another smear attempt likely by the Jill Stein campaign to undermine the most viable progressive candidate in this year’s Presidential race. The Green Party and it’s “safe states” strategy espoused by Ben Manski Jill Stein’s campaign manager is the real scam and it will be a failure once again.

        To lie about Rocky’s positions and records because you don’t think he is “liberal” enough is simply ridiculous them an has stuck his neck out to stand for progressive values in a way few politicians ever have. Unlike Jill Stein he is not a fringe candidate and that is what bothers you!

        Michael McGee is NOT Rocky’s campaign manager and he did not say those things.. you simply twisted his words and I for one am sick and tired of the Jill Stein campaigns private efforts to undermine Rocky because he actually has a chance.. you just want him to fail as bad as y’all are going to.

        • VAGreen says:

          You’re still trying to pin “safe states” on the Green Party in 2012? That was eight years ago, and Ben Manski didn’t support it even back then. Ben supported David Cobb in 2004, but supporting a candidate does not mean that you agree with everything they say or do.

          How is Rocky Anderson more viable than Jill Stein?

          • Steen says:

            Rocky has elected experience, he has a wider appeal to independents and moderates along with libertarians and others we need to build a “progressive” coalition outside of just progs and ex-Dems. He has more name recognition, a real, proven record as an activist, lawyer and mayor and more awards among other things

          • VAGreen says:

            Rocky has to get onto the ballot to be viable.

        • William Kaufman says:

          So Rocky and his paid factotum want to challenge all the compromising matieral I’ve uncovered. Gee–I’m SHOCKED.

          I’m glad to know that you have clairvoyant powers and know exactlyl what Michael McGee told me in his phone call to me–you should take your show on the road. Kreskin, look out–you’ve got competition.

      • Charlotte Scot says:

        When I was Press, Secretary and Director of Communications for the DNC I was paid and paid well.
        I am NOT paid for my work with Rocky Anderson. (another error Mr. Kaufman?)
        Working for the DNC I could see first hand the effects of the corporate controlled duopoly and how it was destroying the American political system.
        I do not understand your hatred of Rocky Anderson, but it taints your credibility and renders your writing to nothing more tan a personal attack on a man who has devoted most of his life to protecting and promoting Social Justice, Economic Justice, and Environmental Justice.
        Your comments about Michael Magee’s role in the Anderson campaign would be humorous if they weren’t being used to demean Rocky. I was also on the National Steering Committee, and Michael had one vote just like everyone else on the committee. I adore Michael but, he has no more power than Lenny Brody his co-chair (with whom you did not speak). The Steering committee is separate from the campaign just like the DNC is separate from the Obama campaign. Anyone (including you or me) can offer suggestions to the campaign but only Rocky can make decisions that affect policy. What you quoted may be some of Michael’s ideas but they positively are not campaign policy.
        Mr. Kaufman, you are playing into the hands of the Republicans and Democrats by creating a false fight between Rocky and the Green Party. Rocky helped create the Justice Party for the long term. It was not started to be a threat to the Green Party. It was started to accommodate a wide range of political points of view and to offer an alternative to the 54% of Americans who want to see a NEW political party.
        Your negativity puts a blemish on the Green Party and its candidates. Furthermore, it supplies ammunition to the Republicans and Democrats to further smear all Progressives.
        I don’t get it.

        • Charlotte Scot once more gallumphs into view with another of her grammar-free, fact-free, ditsy, ad hominem spews.

          If his profusely illiterate shill was actually Press Secretary and Director of Communications for the DNC, we should not wonder at the imminent decline of American civilization. She is listed as a Rocky Anderson staff member–if she is actually dishing out her crass, desperate PR drivel gratis, then both she and the Anderson campaign must truly have fallen on hard times.I suppose that the DNC has since hired someone who is capable of perpetrating a grammatical, logically coherent sentence.

          I’m sure the whole world will be delighted to know that Ms. Scot “adores” Michael McGee, with whom she claims to be thick as thieves but whose name she cannot even spell correclty. Her adoration of Mr. MdGee settles the whole issue, obviously. This kind of vacuous nattering is typical of her discourse, shaped in no small measure by her term of service in the corporate-owned and -operated Democratic National Committiee, where lies and doubletalk are obligatory stock and trade.,

          She makes another unfounded allusion to my “errors” (“another error Mr. Kaufman?). In the entire fog of rope-a-dope and mendacity she and Anderson have perpetrated on this site, the ONLY error either has caught is Michael McGee’s formal title–which should be Justice Party Co-Chair and Steering Committee member of the Anderson campaign. That’s it. The only one. Period.

          The rest is all sound and fury signifying nothing.

          Notice, that neither she nor the other designated Rocky shills in this comment section take on any of the documented issues I raise in my rejoinder to Anderson. She instead traffics in fact-free personal emotive appeals of the kind that PR slicks specialize in when they want to divert attention from unpleasant facts. See JJ’s comment below for a trenchant critique of her methodology.

          The Anderson campaign is in a shambles, obviously. I asked nearly the entire staff to respond to my queries, and only Michael McGee responded. Now his is being cynically disowned because he spoke truthfully to me when the others would not speak at all.

          If this is a snapshot of Rocky Anderson’s Brave New World, we’d be better off with the current one, horrific as that is.

          • Steen says:

            Jill Stein’s campaign is the one that is in “shambles” hence why they have to cut down all their opponents with factual falsehoods.

            As for the decline of western civilization.. that is being caused by people spewing vile attacks and lies like you.

            Charlotte is a volunteer just like most of Rocky’s and the JP’s staff are. People like her and others are putting in long hours and often putting their credibility and allegiances on the line to work for Rocky and the JP. They do it for multiple reasons but mainly because they care about this country, the direction of it and doing the best they can that should be all of our goals.

          • Steen says:

            Jill Stein’s campaign is the one that is in “shambles” hence why they have to cut down all their opponents with factual falsehoods.

            As for the decline of western civilization.. that is being caused by people spewing vile attacks and lies like you.

            Charlotte is a volunteer just like most of Rocky’s and the JP’s staff are. People like her and others are putting in long hours and often putting their credibility and allegiances on the line to work for Rocky and the JP. They do it for multiple reasons but mainly because they care about this country, the direction of it and doing the best they can that should be all of our goals.

    • William Kaufman says:

      By the way–Anderson’s paid flunkie Charlotte flings around all manner of irresponsible, loopy accusations without bothering to docment a single thing. She speak of “errors big enough to drive a truck through,” “”innuendoes,” “numerous misstatements,” “semi-truths,” etc.

      But she doesn’t specify a single so-called error or document any counter-assertions. This is sloppy, vile stuff–the kind of thing that would get an F in seventh-grade composition class.

      Really, Rocky–is this the best you can do for a paid spokesperson? Then your campaign is in worse shape than I thought.

      As for Americans Elect, the repugnant hedge-fund electoral scam whose tainted money is helping to buy the ballot lines in all fifty states that Anderson covets, here is the lowdown on that corporate scam:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/30/1011928/-Third-Party-Group-Americans-Elect-A-Wolf-in-Sheep-s-Clothing-

      http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-meyerson-americans-elect-20120320,0,6103949,print.story

      • Steen says:

        again your willing to let the American house burn down because you don’t like the fire department.. AE isn’t perfect at all they have serious problems (as Rocky has clearly stated) but they are simply an option to achieve ballot access and give Americans a viable 3rd voice.

        It isn’t the only option and Rocky and the JP are pursuing dual strategies.. they do not expect to be the AE nominee for multiple reasons but they did this to get attention for the campaign if nothing else because again Rocky wants to win while Jill would rather run a quixotic campaign.

        Ralph Nader was the right.. the Green Party is in shambles

  3. Alan Hyman says:

    Mr.Kauffman,

    It is OK to support whomever you want, that is what makes our country so great. However please don’t call names or make lies about other candidates. To be honest with you,Rocky has a much better record, which is why I’m volunteering for him. It’s articles like these and people like you that gives our country, our movement a bad name ans STOPS true changing from becoming a reality. This is the same exact CRAP that the two parties do, don’t you realize stuff like this does absolutely nothing to move our country forward? In your article you practically criticized Rocky for willing to work together with people, I mean come on! I have many friends who are Republicans and I try my best not to look at issues so black and white. I don’t embrace a dumbed down one party, one solution approach. That is what has destroyed this country for so many years. It’s time Jill Stein came out and denounced this type of behavior. If you wanna critiscize Rocky FACTUALLY for his stance on the issues that is fine, but destroying the facts to promote your candidate is truly sad. I just wish we all see through the light and realize just what little this does for our country and what little it does in achieving most of our goals- making a better and more prosperous country.

    • William Kaufman says:

      See my reply to Rocky Anderson above.

      Anyone who could lend support to the cap and trade Wall Stree scam–and fail to call for the repeal of Taft-Hartley and WTO/NAFTA–is no progressive.

      You believe whom and what you want to believe. Some people have a chronic allergy to the facts, which I have painstakingly enumerated above.

      • Alan Hyman says:

        Wow, just wow. First off can we not call names to anyone here? I haven’t called anyone a name and I would appreciate it if everyone here called no one a name, but pointed them out for there wrong doings. I’ve read every comment and my only reaction is can we all shut up? I agree with Solomon, just because someone is not as hard core as Stein, does not make them a centrist. That being said we must appeal to EVERYONE, it pisses me off when people say we have to be for the 99 %. We must be for the 100 %! We must help EVERYONE. You can’t alienate rich people and corporations, there are a lot of good ones and sadly the bad ones gave them a bad name. Of course we need to work with them, not accept donations or ask for favors or anything. Just work with them and there workers. First off, who are you to tell Rocky Anderson what he believes? Of course when making legislation affecting corporations, you work with them. You don’t let them write the bill like we do now, but you do forums with them, there workers etc.. You ask for there input, you put forward a solution supported by everyone or the common good. I have a question, am I a flunky for supporting Rocky? So everyone here who supports Jill Stein is a Stein flunky? Why even go that low? Why call people names? If you wanna debate, awesome! However stop calling people names.. Lastly, I will admit is it our fault for not making it clear enough, but anyone who knew anything about Rocky’s record would know he against NAFTA, also saying a market solution does not mean Cap and Trade, does it? Don’t be so quick to assume things there.

      • Steen says:

        William you seem like a person who is willing to let your house burn down because you don’t like the fire department…

    • VAGreen says:

      This article came out yesterday. I don’t expect Jill to be constantly watching the internet for negative articles about Rocky Anderson so that she can instantaneously denounce them. She has better things to do, like run for President.

      • William Kaufman says:

        There’s no reason for Jill Stein to denounce the article.

        As I document meticulously above, every political point I made about Anderson is true.

        And Michael McGee, Co-Chair of the Justice Party, conveyed the same swing-states strategy to her and Ben Manski that he did to me. We can’t all be making it up.

  4. Jay-Ottawa says:

    William Kaufman’s essay is vile character assassination against Rocky Anderson and Ralph Nader. Read Anderson’s response — is it still posted above? — to get a feel for the intentional distortions. Andrew Breitbart lives again on “Green Party Watch.”

    The Greens should be allying themselves with other members of the Left who are countering the corruption of the two major parties. Instead they promote defamation through plants like Kaufman. Who’s next on the Green’s list: Naomi Klein, Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges?

    The Greens will become a valuable force for reform when they stop following Trotsky’s Rules.

    • William Kaufman says:

      Read my response to Rocky Anderson above.

      Do you have any facts or sources to cite, as I did meticulously above?

      It appears that you are the character assassin–you’re all bluster, no facts.

      Anderson can trot out as many of his paid and unpaid flunkies as he can–but all your fire-breathing can’t compete with the facts.

      • Steen says:

        bro, your facts are nothing but lies

      • steve sloane says:

        On Tue, 24 Apr 2012 22:36:18 -0400 (EDT), slonobono wrote
        > I forgot to sign my comment which was sent yesterday and did not
        > appear. Here it is again. Steve Sloane
        >
        > In a message dated 4/23/2012 8:50:20 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
        > Slonobono@aol.com writes:
        >
        > It is a terrific and thought provoking article…Kudos to Kaufman
        > who saw through Obama before anybody that I know, but about not
        > saying sorry?? I don’t know about that finish to a great article.
        > This is what it leaves me thinking about: A lot people owe Nader
        > an apology…Greens, Dems and all those who disparaged him for
        > being a champion to the causes that they damaged when they vilified
        > him..they called him an egomaniac when it was far from the
        > truth…it might be healing for them to apologize and it might
        > bring some focus back to the key issues about which we all
        > agree…we progressives, like: 100% public campaign finance medicare
        > for all $10 minimum wage, right now repeal of the patriot act that
        > is enough to make the point saying that Gore and the Dems started
        > hating Nader because they needed someone to blame for bungling the
        > 2000 election isn’t saying it all…what they really hated was his
        > populist platform starting with 100% public campaign finance
        > reform…it could shuffle the deck in Congress and professional
        > politicians are afraid of losing their jobs…they couldn’t pretend
        > to be progressives or liberals with Ralph holding up the bar. Look
        > how low it has gone without him. How right the liberals and phony
        > progressives have swung. They couldn’t stand to have Ralph around
        > because he made them all seem trivial and weak by comparison. He
        > has done more than all the elected politicians put together and he
        > didn’t need to be in office to achieve all that. Apologies to
        > Nader might be healing and saying sorry might require the Nader-
        > haters to do some soul searching and realize what it was about his
        > candidacy that made them swing to the right… I want to hear Gore
        > say he’s sorry for disenfranchising all the black voters who were
        > ready to fight for their right in FL…it wasn’t just Nader and it
        > wasn’t just personal…Gore and the Dems lacked the courage and the
        > will to win even when they had all the support that they needed. I
        > am sorry, but it’s true.
        >

  5. Joe says:

    I think my favorite part of this is that the candidate who supposedly disliked the Green Party enough to go it alone with a new party because of weird bickering and squabbling jumps balls deep into an argument on a blog post online. Super mature.

    • Steen says:

      the fact that Rocky is friendly and approachable enough to actually respond to arguments against him shows what a good, amiable leader he is. The man speaks for himself and he doesn’t hide from criticism… if you wanna know something about him just ask!

  6. peter says:

    Great article! Rocky is yet another opportunist trying to cash in on the left angle. I am glad to see some honest journalism on this. Shame on all the slavish Rocky supporters that have attacked this article. He is a fake. The article very cleary points out his non-leftish roots and policies. Why would anyonedefend him? And i love Ralph — but enough of thisgrudge against the green party. At least have the sense to not support someone as blatantly shallow as rocky!

    • Steen says:

      “cash in” how is Rocky “cashing in” the man has left the Democratic party risking his political career, put his own money and time on the line to run for President as a matter of conscience. He is not shallow he is a lot deeper than Jill Stein who has taken no such risks as for “non-leftist” roots I don’t how “leftist” you want your Presidential candidate of choice to be but they have to be electable and if you read my comment below you will see how Rocky’s record shows he has done nothing but stand for progressive values the values that we all here supposedly support and care about.

  7. Ben Schattenburg says:

    I do think Rocky would be right at home in the Green party and that we should be as welcoming as possible to him. This Justice Party nonsense really needs to stop though. They haven’t fielded any candidates other then Mr. Anderson or given any coherent explanation for why they will succeed where the Greens have failed, other then vaguely alluding to some mysterious strategy to bring in Democrats and Republicans.

    The fragmentation of the left is a stupid drain on scarce resources that should be spent on defeating Democrats and Republicans and replacing them with Greens. End this ego trip now Rocky!

    http://memegenerator.net/instance/19363732

    • Alan Hyman says:

      With all respect there my friend, the Green Party is dead and I don’t see it reviving anytime soon. You guys kind of blew it back in the early 2000′s. Not to say that your very far off from the majority of the American people. I envision the Justice Party being a new model of political party. Possibly one that follows the 100 % model? Have two separate bank accounts for salaries and paying for party material. Creating a new model, with a separate website domain (open.justicepartyusa.org), outlining all the party donations and where EVERY penny is spent and how effective it was. Going further than the required FEC law. May be we could have a E-town hall once a week? Many more ideas storming, none of these ideas have ever come through the Green Party, atleast from my knowledge, to me the Green Party is exactly like the two other parties. My other problem is there constant alienation of anyone who disagrees with them,I reached out on many occasions and got no reply and was never followed up with. The Green Party constantly just hates on rich people and corporations, and with no justification. I have a problem when Exxon pays no taxes that is terrible and that’s pure corruption that must be fixed, however this alienation of ALL corporations is just plain wrong, saying things like “All corporations are bad entities that must be stopped” is just plain wrong. Again I have no problem with making them pay taxes, treat there workers better etc.. However alienating them and calling them names is just bad and should have no place in our political system.

    • Alan Hyman says:

      Sorry for spamming the comments here man! I promise this is my last comment for tonight atleast. I think the Green Party embraces a very scary approach, the same approach taken by the two major parties. This one party, one solution approach is terrible, you can’t tell everyone you have to think like this and agree with us to join us. Disagreeing is simply being human. I don’t take a straight one party solution to every thing. For instance on health care, I am all for 100 % single payer. That being said on welfare I am big for reforming it, to encourage giving people a hand up instead of a hand out, crack down on misused funds and make it more transparent. We must also address the root problem, create job centers, incentivize hiring, make a better public education system,more affordable housing ,better public transportation system etc.. We must work with corporations and businesses to make this a reality. There is currently about 100 billion dollars worth of duplicate programs, that must be integrated together, we must put in “paygo”. We should put in problem solving based budgeting, if money is allocated and there are no results that funding must be stopped. I have many other opinions, but I just gave you a few to give you a idea. Hopefully we can all work together going forward and stop this kind of non sense.

  8. JJ says:

    Having read the original article, which impressed me with its careful dissection of the Rocky Anderson campaign, as well as the trail of comments here, I remain convinced of the accuracy of Mr. Kaufman’s analysis. Mr. Anderson and his supporters respond the point-by-point critique with three basic feints: to just repeat that Mr. Anderson is well-meaning (so take that Mr. Kaufman!), to cite specific examples of policies supported by Mr. Anderson that progressives also support (but failing to respond to the examples of the opposite mentioned by Mr. Kaufman), and to offer excuses for poor policy choices made by Mr. Anderson in the past (the Romney endorsement being a particularly notable example of this). Of course, all of this is accompanied by a shrill volume and personal attacks on the author. To repeat, I remain convinced that the Anderson candidacy offers no opportunities for progressives on the electoral front.

    • steve sloane says:

      Here, here, JJ!!

    • Steen says:

      I don’t agree with Rocky on every single issue.. let me make that clear but I also don’t agree with Jill Stein on every issue and Rocky is a lot closer to my personal beliefs on issues than Jill or Obama/Romney, Ron Paul or whoever else are.

      I supported John Edwards in 2008 and I didn’t agree with him on everything either.

      You know why I support(ed) them both? because I most closely agree with them for one but also because I think their hearts are in the right place. Rocky approaches issues with a can do, common sense progressive viewpoint and he really does want to do what is in the best interest of the people. Not his own political career, not his bottom line, not big corporations, not other people in his party everything he does is for the people. I may not agree with it but he is a person with a good approach.

      As for the Romney endorsement they were personal friends and it is perfectly ok in my opinion for a friend to endorse another friend even if they don’t agree on every issue. Rocky didn’t say “I agree with Mitt Romney” he said “he is a good leader” or something to that effect and Mitt for all his faults did infact do a good job on the olympics which is the part Rocky knew about.

      You also can’t deny Romney has changed his tune since 2002 when the endorsement was made.

      Working with the other side is not bad or treasonous and a poisonous partisan attitude that says “we shouldn’t work with the other side/viewpoint” is what is harming America.

      I appreciate his ability to work across the aisle without selling his principles and values out and to come up with solutions. We need reasonable leaders not bitter ideologues

      • Alan Hyman says:

        Good job Steen. I agree, I think alienating anyone who is willing to work together who thinks differently is a problem plaguing our system. I am willing to work with ANYONE. We may disagree, but that’s OK, we can just agree that we disagreed and hope that we agree on the next one. Rocky endorsing Mitt was simply two friends endorsing each other. I have friends who are Republicans, independents, socialists, libertarians etc.. The thing that unites us together is we’re friends and we all wanna fix our country. I don’t look at there party affiliation, I look at there character and record. I openly supported and helped a Republican candidate around here, because the Democrat was corrupt and said I was too “open-minded”, because I wouldn’t use talking points and preach unfactual things just to make sure he was elected. I’m really tired of this bullshit. It’s time we stopped,overcame our differences and worked together.

  9. You really have no idea what centrist means if you think Rocky Anderson is remotely centrist. Not being as hard left as Stein does not make one centrist.

    • Thanks for your frank admission of one of my main points–that Rocky Anderson is distinctly to the right of Jill Stein.

      Now–if you’d care to discuss specifics rather than trafficking in glib generalities, bring it on. You think that Anderson’s positions on cap and trade, Taft-Hartely, WTO/NAFTA, etc., are progressive? Let’s hear your detailed exposition, withou sources, on this.

      My details rejoinder to Anderson appears above. Read it. Deal with it. Think. Learn.

      • Steen says:

        Jill Stein is a fringe candidate and everyone who is rational knows it.. she got less than 4% of the vote in her 2002 run for Massachusetts Governor and less than 2% in her 2010 run for Massachusetts Governor. Her vote totals have gone down and she obviously does not attract support from many people outside a small part of the left. Rocky on the other hand was elected as mayor of Salt Lake twice 2000 and 2004 garnering over 56% of the vote in the largest city in what is possibly the most conservative state in the country (Utah). Comparing their congressional bids Jill Stein got 21% of the vote in a bid for congress in the liberal state of Massachusetts in 2006 while Rocky received 42% of the vote in his 1996 bid for congress in the very red state of Utah. Rocky Anderson is much more appealing and electable to most Americans and the voting record shows it

      • Steen says:

        it’s quite funny how you claim Jill Stein is so far on the left… she might talk a good game but Rocky actually has a record defending PROGRESSIVE values. He led the way on climate change (America’s greenest mayor) who implemented the Kyoto treaty and other major initives , criminal justice reform (one of America’s best restorative justice programs), opposition to the drug war (kicking DARE out of SLC schools), affirmative action, immigration reform and so much more.

        He was the first and I believe only mayor of a large US city to call for the IMPEACHMENT of GEORGE BUSH one of the left’s major enemies. The man stuck his neck out to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their crimes while Jill Stein was at the house! where was Jill Stein? I didn’t see her speaking out against the Bush administration.

        As the director of High Road for Human Rights Rocky testified before congress against torture and other abuses by the CIA and Bush administration (that have been continued by Obama). Where was Jill Stein? has she testified before congress standing up for human rights?

        In the 1980s Rocky led the way exposing harmful US actions in Nicaragua and as a lawyer he defended civil liberties, victims and others. Where was Jill Stein during this period?

        and of course Rocky spoke out against the illegal war of aggression that was the Iraq War while Jill Stein was nowhere to be found

        Jill Stein can’t hold a candle to Rocky when it comes to resume and experience. Rocky is the real progressive who has shown he can stand for what he believes

  10. Edy Vote Green Alvarez says:

    Frankly, you all don’t have anything better to do. How many Greens did you all register this weekend?

    Get over it, adults. Im freakin 23 years old and we need a United Left. Did you all see how the Right is coalescing around Romney? Quite impressive. We need to coalesce around Jill!

    Here, donate to to the Jill Stein campaign or the Green Party. We need ballot access.
    http://www.jillstein.org/earth_day_pledge

    • van mungo says:

      “Frankly, you all don’t have anything better to do.”

      That’s it–start right out with a blast of insult and condescension. I’m sure that will work wonders for attracting people to the Stein campaign.

      People should be uniting behind Jill Stein for many reasons, not the least of which is her appealingly understated, sincere personal style–a blessed relief from the haranguing routine of so many leftists.

      You could learn a lot from her.

    • Steen says:

      Jill Stein is going nowhere.. and she ain’t gonna go nowhere

  11. RMW Stanford says:

    Is the Green party a bigger player than the Justice party yes of course but at this point in time neither are major players in the political scene in the United States this time and both are more like blips on the political scene. Yes both are going after the same target group of voters but why not embrace the competition at this point? Competition can be a great thing. Use the competition with each other as way to force both parties to become better and more efficient at recruiting members and getting their message out. Friendly rivals so to speak and when/ if it ever reaches the point that one of the parties is or is on the verge of becoming a major party it will probably absorb the other one anyway.

    • Steen says:

      absolutely.. the Green Party always acts so haughty like they are the only “left” party in the US. Yet they have gotten nowhere.. no seats in the House or Senate, no Governors, no Mayors in any medium or large US cities, only a hand few of local elected officials they don’t even get close to winning much of anything. They have no right to put down the JP that has only just begun

  12. Ron says:

    Can people please calm down a little bit?

    The article in question wasn’t written by the Green Party, Jill Stein, or Green Party Watch.

    We linked to it and excerpted from it at Green Party Watch because it was relevant (Rocky Anderson, Jill Stein, 2012), it had intriguing historical perspective (Ralph Nader, David Cobb, 2004), and a very interesting “take” on current third party politics. Some of the comments here seem to think the article was a supreme court ruling rather than investigative journalism.

    I think dialog is good, and discussion is good, and even argument is good. I would like to just remind people that if your argument is based on crap, it doesn’t help your “cause”.

    Is the Green Party under the same leadership as 2004? Is it in “shambles?” The Green Party’s leadership changes constantly, it is not the same as 2004, 2006, 2008, or even 2010. The Green Party is not in shambles, there are great candidates running across the nation for Congress, state legislative seats, mayors, city councils, and local boards. We hope to bring more attention on the hundreds of Green Party candidates and elected officials over the coming months.

    I myself was just elected to my County Board, and don’t tell me it doesn’t matter because I now debate and vote on proposals to spend millions of dollars on local projects that affect myself, my neighbors, and my county. Your own local county board will probably have more impact on you locally than any single US Senator ever will (think land use, planning, zoning, storm water management, etc.)

    Personally, speaking only for myself, I think Rocky Anderson would be a very good option for Vice President on a ticket with Jill Stein. I think Americans Elect is a bad choice, but on the other hand, ballot access is critical at this juncture. The Stein Campaign has already demonstrated that they are willing to raise money and spend it on ballot access, because if you aren’t on the ballot – no votes.

    So lets talk issues, lets talk strategy, but the snappy attacks aren’t doing anything for me, and likely not doing anything for anyone reading these comments.

  13. Michael Cavlan RN says:

    I was turned on to this by my dear friend and political ally. Who was the National Co-Chair of the Greens for Nader campaign. We both had a good laugh about it. I never come here any more. But had to for this.

    Shaking head sadly as I walk away.

    Michael Cavlan RN
    Candidate US Senate 2012
    Minnesota Open Progressives

    • Michael Cavlan RN says:

      As an aside. I note that the Oregon Green Party are on the edge of loosing Ballot Access. So are the Minnesota Green Party. Pretty sure the Utah Green Party already have lost it. These are just the ones I know about.

      • VAGreen says:

        We regained ballot access in Utah earlier this year. We will rebuild the party that was torn apart by the Destructo-Greens who disenfranchised an entire state’s voters by keeping their own party’s Presidential candidate off the ballot in 2004.

        We also just got news that our petition in New Mexico was good.

        In Minnesota, all we need are for a small percentage of the Greens who voted in the state caucus to collect signatures. Shouldn’t be too hard.

        As for Oregon, we’re engaged in a registration drive there. We have until late August to make it.

      • Jim Ivey says:

        Michael,

        With all due respect, your comment about the Green Party of Minnesota being “on the edge of loosing [sic] Ballot Access” is inaccurate. As you already know, the GPMN has been classified as a “minor party” for a number of years by the State of Minnesota. As a result, we don’t have an automatic ballot line, and we petition for individual candidates. However, the requirement for presidential ballot access is only 2000 signatures, collected over a period of roughly three months. That’s trivial, and the Green Party presidential candidate will definitely be on the ballot. Any candidate that can’t pull that off wouldn’t deserve to be on the ballot. Frankly, I’d rather they raise that to 5000, and lower the requirements for the major party status to 50,000 (from where it is now, over 100,000 signatures).

        Good luck with your campaign, and feel free to call with questions. I’m always available.

        Jim

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