Archive for June, 2012

Jill Stein for President: 24 hours left in matching funds drive: all eyes on AZ, CT, DC

Posted in General on June 29th, 2012 by Dave Schwab – 2 Comments

From Jill Stein for President:

I am very grateful for your response over the past few days. You have pushed our Green Party presidential campaign to the brink of success in our quest for federal matching funds. Eight states have qualified for matching funds in the past 5 days. Now, with only 24 hours to go, everything is hinging on finishing the job in Arizona, Connecticut and the District of Columbia.

If we can succeed in these three states (for Greens, DC will always be a state), then you will be assured of having a voice in the 2012 presidential race. We challenge the pro-war, pro-Wall Street, anti-democratic rhetoric of the establishment candidates and present a vision of a peaceful, just, secure green future that creates a livable world for all people. For the past four years, we’ve been pushing forward for affordable health care,  an end to the wars, immigrant rights, solving the student debt problem, sensible drug policies, and protection of our civil liberties. Now, with just one final push, we can bring all those issues into the presidential arena.

But it all hinges on what happens in three critical states in the next 24 hours. Here is what remains to be raised from those states:

  • District of Columbia:  $2,291
  • Arizona:  $1,465
  • Connecticut:  $1,249

Raising these small amounts will result in a grant from the federal government that will almost DOUBLE the contributions that everyone across the country has already made.  And the doubling will continue for months to come. This will be a watershed event for independent politics in America.

There are two things we hope you will do RIGHT NOW to ensure our success:

First, if you’ve donated to my campaign before, please consider making an additional donation of at least half what you gave before. Any amount up to $250 per person will count toward our qualifying goals – – (If you’ve already given $250, consider asking your friends or family members to make a donation).

Second, send the appeal below to 10 of your friends in the critical three states. Or mail it to any suitable email lists to which you subscribe.  Post it on your Facebook page.  This forwarding of the message is extremely important.

On Sunday, we will announce the results of our effort.  Today, all eyes are on Arizona, Connecticut, and DC. Let’s make it happen!


Jill Stein


Medicare for All advocates urge support for Jill Stein matching funds drive

Posted in Presidential Campaign on June 28th, 2012 by Dave Schwab – 3 Comments

From Jill Stein for President:


As the Stein campaign closes in on federal matching funds, five leading advocates for Medicare for All have released a letter advocating support for Dr. Jill Stein. The letter was released as news came that two new states – Michigan and Oregon – have qualified for federal matching funds.

Please copy, paste, and forward the following letter to every health care advocate you know. You can see our latest matching funds numbers by clicking here. Thank you.

Medicare for All


Dear friends working for health care as a human right,

In all the sound and fury over the Supreme Court’s health care ruling,  the simple truth is being lost:  We know how to provide affordable health care for every American.  There is a proven solution — improved “Medicare for All” (or single-payer health insurance). It’s working in nation after nation around the world.  It is the only fiscally responsible way out of the health care mess.  And it’s not unconstitutional.

When President Obama slammed the door in the face of single-payer health care advocates, and abandoned the “public option”, it seemed that we were doomed to debating slight variations on the failing status quo.  But in the wake of the Obamacare/Romneycare crackup, we have an incredible opportunity to reframe the health care debate by injecting a long-time advocate for Medicare-for-All (single-payer) into the presidential dialogue. read more »

Leading peace advocates issue urgent call to support Jill Stein matching funds drive

Posted in Presidential Campaign on June 26th, 2012 by Dave Schwab – 2 Comments

From an email sent out by Jill Stein for President:



FROM: David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Leah Bolger, Bruce Gagnon, Chris Hedges, George Martin and Kevin Zeese

Dear Friends in the Peace Movement,

We can’t afford to let this opportunity slip by. By taking action over the next five days the peace community has a chance to inject a compelling and courageous peace advocate into the 2012 presidential campaign, to have a voice in the national debate over war, militarism, and military spending.

You know what is going to happen if we leave this election up to the two major party candidates. President Obama will defend his troop surges, his excessive Pentagon budgets, his preparations for war with Iran,  his escalation of the drone wars, his crackdowns on whistleblowers, his indefinite detention policy, and his new role as manager of the White House assassination list. Mitt Romney will not question these policies, but will promise to pursue them with even more enthusiasm. In debates and interviews, the American people will have the Big Lie drilled into their consciousness: that our nation must accept escalating military engagement and must visit worldwide violence against all who defy the U.S. government. read more »

Greens Call on Deal to End Torture in Georgia Prisons

Posted in General on June 26th, 2012 by Segneri – 3 Comments

Eighteen months after Georgia Department of Corrections employees brutally suppressed a non-violent work stoppage led by inmates in as many as eleven of the state’s 34 prisons, it is believed that the “Hidden-37″ have been in solitary confinement ever since. The Georgia Green Party today called on Governor Deal to end the torture; and on Georgians to join hunger striking Georgia inmates in a one day solidarity fast.

“On Monday, July 2nd, if the state has not met the very reasonable demands of these hunger strikers, it will be time for us to share their hunger for justice,” said incoming Georgia Green Party Chairman Bruce Dixon. “We ask Georgians of faith, and Georgians hungry for justice to join our one day solidarity fast as we work to share the story of these Georgians whose ‘starving for change’ will take them into their fourth week without food.”

Party officers are responding to news that ten inmates at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center have been on a hunger strike since Sunday, June 10th, 2012. Among their number is Miguel Jackson, who was assaulted by multiple DoC employees while handcuffed. According to Mrs. Delma Jackson, his wife, “Miguel suffers daily for the injuries he sustained at Smith State Prison. He has chronic migraine headaches, a broken nose, and he suffers from post traumatic syndrome.  He still has the hammer indentions in his head.”

On December 17th, 2010, in a meeting with representatives of over a dozen advocacy and community groups in Georgia, Timothy Ward, Facilities Director with the Department of Corrections acknowledged that 37 inmates had been subjected to ‘protective custody’ on suspicion of having served as instigators of the December 2010 strike, based on evidence that contraband cell phones had been confiscated from their personal property. A story has emerged from correspondence with inmates and their families about the tortuous conditions at the Segregation Management Unit (SMU) at the Jackson Georgia facility. Inmates there are subjected to months of ongoing deprivation of access to showers and exercise. Party activists have reports that these human beings are subjected to life under 24-7 video surveillance in a 4′ x 6′ plexiglass cell.

The Georgia hunger strikers are believed to include several among the Hidden-37, referring to the 37 men whom Mr. Ward mentioned in December of 2010, although since that statement Shawn Whatley was later added to their ranks.

Last month the Center for Constitutional Rights, representing many of the leaders in last year’s hunger strike involving thousands of prisoners at California’s Pelican Bay, brought litigation challenging as inhumane 8th Amendment violations, the extreme abuse of solitary confinement used at that prison. CCR argues that “Solitary confinement for as little as 15 days is now widely recognized to cause lasting psychological damage to human beings and is analyzed under international law as torture.”

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights in the U.S. Congress held hearings on the subject, “Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences.”

Meanwhile, the Butts County prison which hosts the Georgia Solitary Management Unit and its death row as well is now home to hunger strikers who are demanding (1) medical attention for Miguel Jackson; (2) and that their custody be subject to the published standard operating procedures of the Department of Corrections, inclduing providing inmates (a) access to their property; (b) open visitation with the families; (c) access to the commisary; (d) regular access to exercise; and (e) classification reviews at thirty day intervals.

“Miguel has been on hi max for eighteen months,” said Mrs. Jackson. “He is being punished for officers beating him and the officers are going on with their lives as if nothing happened. Where is the justice in that?”

“Its time to dismantle the prison state built with our tax dollars and populated with our families and neighbors,” said Bruce Dixon, state Green Party chairman. “When addiction is treated as a criminal matter rather than a health concern, you have stepped out onto the slippery slope which now seeks ways to normalize abuse and torture. But even when our family truly offend us, they are still our family. The Green Party intends to explain, confront and curtail the carceral state with the power of organized people.”

— 30 —

Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
“Reassessing Solitary Confinement: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences”

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Lawsuit Challenges Solitary Confinement at California Prison

The Georgia 37 are at least 38. And we now know one of their names

GA Prison Inmates Stage 1-Day Peaceful Strike Today

Presidential candidate Jill Stein: 5 days to make Green Party history

Posted in Presidential Campaign on June 25th, 2012 by Dave Schwab – 2 Comments

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is within reach of becoming the first Green Party presidential candidate ever to qualify for federal matching funds. However, June 30th is the deadline to apply for matching funds, meaning that Stein’s campaign needs to reach the threshold of $5,000 in 9 more states within the next 5 days. If Stein qualifies, every donation up to $250 will be matched by federal funds, giving a huge boost to her campaign’s capacity to win ballot lines and reach voters.

You can donate at the Jill Stein for President website.

Here is the latest update from Jill Stein’s campaign on the matching funds drive:

VIDEO: How matching funds fit into strategy read more »

Green Party of Pennsylvania Opposes Shell “Cracker” Plant

Posted in General on June 22nd, 2012 by Segneri – 1 Comment

Contact: Carl Romanelli,

Contact: Katrina Brabham,

The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, opposes the development of a massive petrochemical “cracker” plant on the banks of the Ohio River near Monaca in Beaver County. The proposed Shell Oil Co. plant covering hundreds of acres, would convert natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale into more profitable chemicals used in everything from plastics to tires to antifreeze.

The Corbett administration has announced plans to approve $1.65 billion in ethane tax credits over 25 years for the Shell Oil Co. facility, and both Republicans and Democrats in the PA Legislature have promised to pass this as part of the 2013 Pennsylvania budget. U.S. Senator Robert Casey claims he “fought hard” to bring Shell to Pennsylvania, while the Obama administration continues to push fossil fuels and nuclear power subsidies over cleaner alternatives. “Yet again we see the old parties marching to the orders of their common campaign contributors,” said GPPA Chair, Carl Romanelli of Luzerne County.
The Green Party opposes the Shell tax scheme for two general reasons. First, it is an environmental disaster, particularly for its connection to hydro-fracturing. “The Green Party of Pennsylvania opposes this project because it supports the fracking industry and fracking is fundamentally unsafe,” explained Chris Robinson of the Green Party of Philadelphia, “Natural gas extraction pollutes our land, air and most importantly, our water. The GPPA has been calling for a ban on fracking since 2009.”
Second, this plan is economically unsound as it fails to consider the real economic promise in new industries, while corporations force states to pile on the giveaways, or they will locate in another state. This creates competition among states for luring these polluting corporations, but it comes with a budget hole that must be made up in cuts to essential programs, or tax increases on Pennsylvanians. Such an approach represents backward priorities and offers no real sustainable path for economic, environmental, and energy security.
“All that this competition between states accomplishes is each of us fighting to cut off our noses faster than our neighbors and at the end of the day, Shell can still leave after 10 years and extort even more tax credits from us,” explained Katrina Brabham of Pittsburgh, PA Green Party Secretary.  “This is just part of the economic race to the bottom that corporations have put us in.”

“This is just another outrageous example of corporate welfare,” stated Jay Sweeney, GPPA Steering Committee member from Wyoming County, “more tax breaks for profitable companies while the people who truly need relief get cuts in social services and education funding. The corporations then fund the campaigns of Republicans and Democrats alike. This is criminal and must be stopped.”

When asked for an alternative, Romanelli noted, “All of the industrial applications of this toxic process can be accomplished better through industrial hemp. Such an approach would not only be greener, but would offer a large scale job growth for Pennsylvanians; from the farm to the stores. It is time we had the discussion as to true alternatives to pollution and poverty,”

The Green Party of Pennsylvania is currently conducting a petition drive to get a Green presidential candidate on the ballot in November. The GPPA is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties and accepts no corporate contributions. The GPPA stands for ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, social justice, and nonviolence.

For more information please visit:
Green Party of Pennsylvania,
Green Party of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Statement,
“Corbett Plan Hurts the Truly Needy,” The Morning Call, April 6, 2012,

Tories Ignore Elizabeth May’s Budget Bill Quiz Challenge

Posted in International Greens on June 20th, 2012 by Segneri – 12 Comments
Green Party leader Elizabeth May holds a copy of Bill C-38 as she speaks about the budget bill in Ottawa on Monday, June 11. May's budget bill quiz challenge — answer five questions about the 400-page Omnibus Bill — was ignored by Conservative MPs.

OTTAWA — It was a challenge that went unanswered.

Not one Conservative MP showed up to take Green leader Elizabeth May’s open-book test on the contents of Bill C-38 Tuesday morning, and May said she wasn’t surprised.

“Why bother to know what’s in this act, if reading it and understanding it can get you fired?” May said in an empty room, save for a stack of unopened quizzes, a copy of the bill, and some untouched pitchers of water.

“If you’re given your talking points and you’re content to live with yourself to rely on talking points instead of reading the legislation yourself, then that be on your head.”

On Monday, May challenged Conservative MPs to take a quiz on the contents of the federal omnibus budget bill, saying that she was concerned that caucus members, including cabinet members, were unfamiliar with the specifics of the legislation.

She set aside two hours for MPs to show up and take the 15-minute quiz, available in French and English. Any MP who earned a passing grade — three out of five — would get a tree planted in the location of their choice.

The federal omnibus budget bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons late Monday and then headed for the Senate Tuesday, where it’s expected to sail through. C-38 would raise the eligibility age for old age security, reform the employment insurance system, overhaul environmental protection and fisheries laws, and expedite natural resource development approvals, along with hundreds of other proposed changes.

The government has repeatedly defended its legislation, saying the measures in the more than 400-page bill are what the country needs to stay afloat financially in a tough global economy.

A lone independent MP, Bruce Hyer, did show up toward the end of the morning to take the quiz and received a perfect score.

Read more:

Two Tennessee State Reps. Will Have Green Party Opponents

Posted in State Wide Elections on June 20th, 2012 by Segneri – Comments Off

NASHVILLE — Knoxville’s state Reps. Joe Armstrong and Bill Dunn drew no opponents to their re-election this year when the normal qualifying deadline passed for legislative candidates in April, but both could now wind up with challengers from the Green Party.

The Green Party of Tennessee last month nominated candidates for several offices in accordance with a federal judge’s decision in February — including Calvin Cassady of Knoxville as an opponent to Democrat Armstrong in the 15th House District and Bryan Moneyhun as an opponent to Republican Dunn in 16th House District.

U.S. District Court Judge William Joseph Haynes ruled that several aspects of state law dealing with third party candidates are unconstitutional, including provisions that have generally kept party names — other than Republican and Democrat — from being printed with candidate names on the ballot.

Part of the ruling allowed the Green Party and the Constitution Party, which filed the legal challenge, to nominate candidates later than the regular qualifying deadline — April 5 this year — and have their names appear on the ballot with the party label.

The state, however, has appealed the judge’s ruling. A hearing on the appeal is scheduled for July 25 before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will decide whether the candidates will be on the ballot or not.

Read more at Tom Humphrey’s “Humphrey on the Hill” blog

Green Party Leader Plays Quiz Master To Tories On C-38

Posted in International Greens on June 19th, 2012 by Segneri – Comments Off

Playing quiz master on Parliment Hill Tuesday, Green Party leader Elizabeth May challenged Tory MPs to take a test to show how much they know about the omnibus budget Bill C-38.

“You have to be familiar with the act to get a passing grade,” said May of the six question, open-book, multiple-choice test, adding that it would take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the quiz.

“I do not expect MPs to have memorized the bill, but if they are not familiar with the legislation,” May said, “they will find it difficult to achieve a good score.”

The only MP who showed up to take the test, independent Thunder Bay-Superior North representative Bruce Hyer, passed with 100%. “I had to look up a number of the answers,” said Hyer thumbing through a copy of the bill that May provided for MPs to reference during the test, “but I thought I would do really well.”

Hyer’s high score means that May will plant a tree in a place of his choosing and Hyer said he will ask her to plant a Red Pine in his riding to draw attention to the plight of the the nearby boreal forest.

Critics of the bill say that it does much to dismantle the structure of Canada’s environmental protections and that the bill tries to do too much on too many disparate issues, rather than breaking them down into separate bills.

May thought up the idea for the quiz after she spotted Conservative MPs playing solitaire during a voting marathon last week that shot down more than 700 amendments to the bill, she said.

“Many of them were very thoughtful and merited consideration,” Hyer said of the amendments, adding that the vote made him “very concerned about the state of parliamentary affairs.”

“Before we take the final vote on C-38 Wednesday evening,” May said, “I would like to be more reassured that at least some of the Conservative caucus has read the bill.”

Sample questions from the test:

1.) Which of the following acts in NOT in C-38?

A. Parks Canada Agency Act

B. Navigable Waters Protection Act

C. Auditor General Act

D. Wage Earner Protection Program Act

E.  Migratory Birds Convention Act

2.) Which of these agencies and/or positions are eliminated?

A. Inspector General for Canadian Security and Intelligence Service

B. National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

C. First Nations Statistical Institute

D. Office of Atmospheric Carbon Reporting

E.  None of the above

F. All of the above

3.) Both Minister Joe Oliver and Peter Kent said C-38 will require more frequent pipeline inspections and double hulled tankers. Please find the section in the bill where this is mandated.


1) E
2) F
3) No answer (the Ministers’ claims were false; the answer is not included in bill C-38)

Seven Days Left for Illinois Ballot

Posted in Ballot Access, State Party News on June 19th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 1 Comment

The Jill Stein campaign is calling for help as Greens have just 7 days remaining to secure the thousands of signatures necessary to get on the ballot in Illinois. Illinois is significant as it is the most populous state left that the Green Party is not on the ballot yet. The Green Party is already on the ballot in California, Texas, New York, and Florida.

From the Stein Campaign:

7 days to win Illinois, with your help

The temperatures are near 100 in Illinois this week. In the Carbondale area, they’ve been working the local fairs. In Chicago, they are sleeping 10 to a room and putting in long days across the city. From Rockford to Champaign Urbana, volunteers for Jill Stein and the Green Party are pushing hard to put Illinois on the ballot.

We are closing in on the minimum signature threshold right now. But we need many more signatures to guarantee the Illinois Greens a ballot line. This is after all, still Illinois, and still 21st century America, where different rules apply to different people. We must have a large safety margin to make sure that partisan election administrators don’t deny us the ballot.

Your donation right now will help win Illinois. We are sending volunteers from across the country to Chicago and other cities. We are providing a minimal daily stipend for food and public transportation expenses. We have rented an apartment for two weeks so that volunteers are in one place and have a place to stay. And we will bring in additional paid petitioners if we can afford to do so. Your donation can put Illinois on ballot. Please donate now.

Greens Stand Against Sale of Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

Posted in General on June 17th, 2012 by Segneri – Comments Off

The City Committee of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, has taken a firm stand against the sale of Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). Green Party leaders say that Mayor Michael Nutter has failed to make his case in favor of selling PGW to the highest bidder.

Since 1836, the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) has provided our citizens with gas for many purposes. Currently, PGW has more than 514,000 customers. PGW is the largest municipally-owned gas utility in the U.S., and the utility’s 1,654 employees are required to live within Philadelphia, where they are part of the city’s tax base.

When Nutter slapped a “FOR SALE” sign on PGW, Green Party leaders questioned this move. “After all,” said GPOP Chair Vivek Ananthan of Northern Liberties (Ward 5), “PGW pays the city an $18 million franchise fee each year.”

Nutter is so sure that he can sell PGW that he has already begun hiring lawyers, financial advisors, lobbyists and communications specialists to work on the sale. Next, he plans to hire a broker to handle the nitty-gritty of the sale.

Green Party leaders point out that no one yet knows how much the preparation for a sale will cost Philadelphia, but Nutter does want PGW’s customers to pay for this expense. That idea does not sit well with members of GPOP’s City Committee. Nor does it have the agreement of the Philadelphia Gas Commission, which offered the following statement to the press, “We have grave reservations about the wisdom and appropriateness of such expenditures and how they would be of benefit to PGW’s customers.”

Before taking this stand, Philadelphia’s Greens looked at the “Strategic Assessment” of the PGW sale prepared by Lazard Frères, and released by Nutter in February 2012. The Lazard assessment says that no sale will take place unless the new owner will honor the union contract, which expires in 2015.

Carol McLean, a GPOP City Committee member from Germantown (Ward 59), is worried about the effect of the sale on PGW’s workers. “Privatizing PGW is clearly an attack on union members,” said McLean. “Gas Workers Local 686 helped PGW get back on its feet by making significant concessions in their last contract. Apparently, Mayor Nutter did not appreciate their effort. Eliminating union jobs with benefits is not a fiscally sound policy. When Nutter is done slashing and cutting municipally-owned services, who will be left standing?”
Sale of PGW may also have a particular effect of low-income consumers. The Lazard Assessment says that Philadelphia will require PGW’s new owner to honor PGW’s “Senior Citizen Discount Program and to preserve all PUC-mandated discount programs currently in place.” This is not enough to satisfy McLean, who warns, “Once PGW is privatized, there is absolutely no assurance that the new owner will honor subsidized rates for low-income and elderly consumers.”

Chris Robinson, a GPOP City Committee member from Germantown (Ward 59) said, “Lazard made an attempt to analyze the outcome of selling PGW, but their report is quite full of holes. For instance, the Lazard Assessment says, ‘Under any privatization scenario, it is unclear whether tax revenues from a privatized PGW would exceed or be lower than the $18 million franchise fee.’”

The Lazard Assessment further concludes, “A successful privatization of PGW would require that the City develop a plan to build broad support from the City Council, City Administration, Commonwealth officials, the PA PUC and PGW Management. Such support is critical to convincing potential acquirors (sic) that a sale process would be a worthwhile allocation of time and resources.”

“Please note that Lazard did not call for building the broad support of PGW’s unions and customers or of City taxpayers,” pointed out GPOP City Committee member John Gonzalez of Fairhill (Ward 19). “Their assessment does call for a publicity campaign to deal with their opponents: ‘A privatization process should also incorporate a comprehensive strategy addressing the concerns/positions of each PGW stakeholder (e.g., ratepayers, City taxpayers, unions, PA PUC, Buyer, etc.).’”

The Green Party has historically been opposed to privatization, the process of transferring ownership of a public service or property from the government to a for-profit business or to a non-profit organization. Specifically, the Green Party platform says that Greens stand “firmly opposed to privatization and contracting-out of public services. A government that works for us would provide critical goods and services that should not be run for profit.”

“Privatization of basic utilities is the most egregious example of erring on the side of profit for the few at the expense of the needs of the many,” said Belinda Davis, GPOP Treasurer from Chestnut Hill (Ward 9). “After the most recent examples of corporate greed and its disastrous effects, why would the city even think of selling PGW, except as a short-term budgetary fix? This is short-sighted in the extreme, and the residents ofPhiladelphia will have to pay for it.”

Because of their political analysis, the Green Party has supported campaigns against the privatization of public education, water supplies and other natural resources, parks and recreation, the military and police, libraries, broadcast airwaves, prisons and Social Security. Most recently, the Green Party of Luzerne County took a stand against privatization of parking lots in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

The Green Party of Philadelphia is an independent political party which stands for ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, non-violence. For more information about the GPOP, please contact 215-243-7103 and

Contact: Chris Robinson
215-843-4256 and

kat swift on the Texas Green Party

Posted in State Party News on June 15th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 2 Comments

This interview was posted at the San Antonio Current – and is a great read. kat swift is the heart and soul of the Texas Green Party and a 2008 candidate for President.

Kat Swift on the evolution of the Texas Green Party
By Greg Harman

A debilitating car accident has relegated one of the Green Party’s key organizers (some would, and have, called her the party’s conscience) to the sidelines this election cycle after several years of full-throttle ballot efforts. Fittingly, Kat Swift had been registering voters at Bexar County jail when another driver ran a red light and struck her vehicle last April. Several months passed before she discovered the full impact the accident had taken on her spine, a message arriving with crippling back pain. Swift first ran for San Antonio’s City Council in 2007. In 2010, she mounted a campaign against Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo and locked up 20 percent of the vote as a Green Party candidate. And while today she spends most of her hours perched on an adjustable hospital bed at her West Side home, Swift has continued to be a force for developing and propelling new candidates as an at-large member of the party’s state executive committee. This week, she spoke to the Current about the state of the party, wayward Libertarians, and the surge of energy the Occupy movement has meant for Greens in Texas.

For more information about her injury or how you can help, see — Greg Harman

So give me the talk. I’m that independent voter at the bar, or I think I am, and my reaction is, ‘What? The Green Party? Isn’t that bunch that killed Al Gore?’

I get so sick of that propaganda and lies. The people who’ve done their research have said that more Democrats in Florida voted for Bush than people voted for Nader, for one. Two: Al Gore won the popular vote and he did nothing to stand up for himself. Three: He couldn’t hold his own against Bush in a debate, he lost his home state, and the people who went and voted for Nader most likely would not have voted for Gore at all. So you can’t take those votes and say, ‘These people would have voted for Gore.’ I wouldn’t have voted for Gore. There’s no fucking way you could have gotten me to vote for Gore. And the Supreme Court decided the election; it wasn’t the vote.

Most people who vote Green are either former apathetic voters or they’re third party all the way and they vote strategically.

Bring me forward then. 2010: that was the year there was Republican money helping the Greens get on the ballot. What got lost in the reporting on that effort?

That’s what they said. The fact is, we got no money from anybody. The petition company got money to run a petition drive, and I oversaw that. We needed 47,000 signatures from people who didn’t vote in the primaries and were already registered to vote — and 92,000 people signed that damn petition in two weeks.

The Republicans paid the petition company and I worked with the petition companies and they gave us the petition. They gave us correctly collected signatures from people who wanted to see the Green Party on the ballot. Then it turned out the nonprofit they were using was actually incorporated, even though they told us they weren’t. But by that time the signatures were property of the state. … But, at this point, the whole issue is moot, because that only put us on the ballot in 2010. That’s it. In order to be on the ballot this year, we had to get 5 percent in a statewide race. In 2010, we got 6.34 percent in the Comptroller’s race and those 252,000 people who voted for the Green Party candidate. So we’re on the ballot because of 252,000 voters. That’s it
read more »

New Zealand Greens Polling at 15%

Posted in International Greens on June 13th, 2012 by Segneri – Comments Off

Prime Minister John Key has brushed off the latest political poll which shows he has slumped as preferred prime minister while Labour leader David Shearer’s popularity has increased.

The poll by Reid Research for TV3 showed National’s support tumbled by four points and Labour gained by almost the same amount.

Labour could form a government with the Greens and the Maori Party if an election was held tomorrow.

Mr Key, who has been in Europe for a fortnight, has dropped in the preferred prime minister stakes by 3.7 points to 40.5 per cent.

Mr Shearer is up 1.9 points to 12.3; NZ First leader Winston Peters is up 0.2 to 4.8 and Greens co-leader Russel Norman is up 1.8 to 4 per cent.

Mr Key told RNZ today National was polling what it was on election night last November.

“The Government faces lots and lots of challenges and, in fact, if you look at the programme we’re undertaking and where we’re taking New Zealand, the one thing I came away from the European trip was thinking New Zealand’s in pretty good shape in relation to all these other countries.”

The poll of 1000 eligible voters was conducted between May 29 and June 6, at the height of the Government’s Budget crisis over its plan for increased class sizes, which it eventually dumped on Thursday.

Mr Key said there would always be a little bit of push-back to reform from time to time.

“In terms of education, fundamentally there that is a debate about what is the right step forward to produce the best outcome for our kids. What the general advice that we’ve had has been that after a long build-up of more teachers, the question is whether the next best dollar can be spent improving the quality of the 52,000 teachers and principals.”

It was better to accept that parents did not accept changes in class sizes, than go through months and months of industrial action, he said.

“Sometimes it’s just better to say, well we accept that people don’t feel comfortable with that particular route and take another route to achieve the same outcomes.”

But Mr Shearer, speaking to Firstline this morning, said the overall trend showed that Labour’s support was increasing and that was positive for both him and the party.

“I think what you’ve got is a series of incidents, like the classroom sizes type of activity going on, but there’s also other things going on behind the scenes, and I think people are getting concerned about as well.”

Mr Shearer said it would take time for the public to get used to him and where he stood, and it was positive to see the overall trend line moving up.

“So we started off at 27 per cent for the Labour result at the election, and we’re going about, up to about 33 [per cent] now six months later so the trend line is going in the right direction, and myself I’m going slowly in the right direction as well.”

The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

NY Green Party Calls Out Gov. Cuomo

Posted in General on June 13th, 2012 by Segneri – Comments Off
Green Party Says Cuomo is just another bought politician of the 1%

Questions why he has failed to fight for campaign finance reform and a higher minimum wage
The Green Party said today that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s secretive relationship with the Committee to Save New York highlights the failure of the Democratic Party over the last six years to reduce the power of money and special interests in Albany since taking back control of the Governor’s mansion. It was recently uncovered that gambling interests gave the Committee $2 million dollars at a time when Cuomo decided to promote casinos.

Cuomo has failed to release a campaign finance reform proposal this year with only two weeks left to the end of the legislative session, despite telling good government groups this winter that he would make it a priority. The Green Party has been a long time advocate of public campaign finance reform and a dramatic reduction in the amount of allowable campaign contributions.

The Greens said that the groups working on campaign finance reform had been too cozy with Cuomo and the Democrats. Too many of them have ignored Cuomo’s fundraising habits and lack of leadership, instead turning the issue into a partisan attack on the Republicans. The reality is that Cuomo has aligned with the Senate Republicans to defeat a host of issues such as the minimum wage, progressive taxes, public campaign finance reform and non-partisan redistricting, The Greens noted that the Koch brothers gave $92,000 to Cuomo in 2010 compared to $46,000 to Wisconsin Governor Walker. Both Cuomo and Koch have publicly attacked government workers.

“It is no surprise to the Green Party that Governor Cuomo has once again failed to enact legislation to eliminate selling state lawmakers to the highest bidder. Like Obama and McCall, Cuomo talks about the need to change campaign financing while bending the rules at every opportunity to maximize his intake from the 1%, from Wall Street to hedge funds to gambling interests. Cuomo has shown himself to be just another politician for sale, The bigger your check book, the more he is willing to do your bidding. Unfortunately, minimum wage workers can’t compete in the money game, which is why Cuomo has repeatedly tried to declare the wage hike dead,” noted Howie Hawkins, the Green Party Co-Chair who finished 3rd in the recent gubernatorial election.

When Carl McCall ran for Governor a decade ago, he dutifully said he supported campaign finance reform. In practice, he was the worst abuser in the country of “pay to play”, raising millions of dollars in contributions from companies profiting from doing business with him as State Comptroller.

The “Committee To Save New York” was identified in the NY Times as heavily funded by gambling and real estate interests. Last year, Cuomo publicly urged the Committee to bankroll a media campaign to support his austerity budget of cutting services and attacking public employees while enacting tax cuts for the wealthy. Cuomo has also been heavily financed by hedge funds which benefit from sizeable tax credits for charter schools. The NY Times has also reported that the natural gas industry gave more than one hundred thousand dollars to Cuomo, who is widely seen as pushing to allow hydrofracking to occur.

“Cuomo has been bought. The taxpayers of New York deserve a refund. It is disturbing that Genting and NYRA’s contributions to C.S.N.Y. obviously influenced the Governor’s decision to support a constitutional amendment to allow seven privately-owned casinos worth billions to the gaming and real estate sectors. Money clearly equals free speech for Gov. Cuomo and his allies in the State Legislature. When the Occupy Albany movement sprang up at the Capitol, challenging the power of the 1%, Cuomo and his lieutenants immediately sought to get the police to evict them. Now we know why,” said Peter LaVenia, Green Party Co-Chair.

Countdown To Double Your Green: 17 Days to Matching Funds

Posted in Presidential Campaign on June 12th, 2012 by Segneri – 3 Comments


Video explaining the urgency of matching funds program

We have until June 30 — just 17 days — to qualify for federal matching funds. I’ve just now recorded a short videothat explains that every donation you make to Jill Stein for President, up to $250, can be matched dollar-for-dollar by public financing – IF, and only if– we get 20 states to qualify by June 30th. We have 10 states right now. You can see the video herePlease donate now.

Silence is not an effective political strategy. Raising your voice is effective. When we get matching funds, we will win a stronger, clearer, and more insistent voice in 2012. And the voice of peace, democracy, economic justice, and sustainability must be heard! Donate right now, and pass this message on with a request that others join you.

Here is how it works:

  1. We must raise at least $5,000 in each of 20 states.
  2. The first $250 donated by any individual counts toward that $5,000 goal, and will be doubled once we qualify.
  3. Our deadline is June 30th. We must submit our application by then to ensure processing before the Green National Convention on July 13th.

Those are the facts. Here’s our progress so far:

Matching Funds Map

We’ve identified 15 priority states for our Double Your Green campaign: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. We need your help to put these 15 states over the top.

15 Priority States Qualifying Donations as of June 11th
TX $ 3,435.00
NC $ 2,520.00
OH $ 2,434.00
VA $ 2,415.00
NM $ 2,260.00
MI $ 2,175.00
AZ $ 1,852.50
OR $ 1,815.00
CO $ 1,698.00
DC $ 1,540.00
FL $ 1,470.00
CT $ 1,050.00
ME $ 910.00
SC $ 755.12
VT $ 611.11

We’ve already qualified in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Wisconsin and new states Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania!

3/4 of the way there: New state Texas!

Halfway there: Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and new states Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon!

1/4 of the way there: D.C., Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, South Carolina and new states Missouri, Maine, and Tennessee!

Double your Green for Jill Stein

Most of the states that are currently in the lead are there because they have actively raised funds for the campaign. They’ve held house parties. They’ve sent out fundraising appeals. That’s all it takes.

It’s not hard. And there is a real urgency to putting your state over the top:

  1. We need matching funds so that we can get on the ballot across the country. The average ballot access campaign costs $2000 to $5000 to run. The toughest states will cost many times that.
  2. Every day that goes by without the Green alternative on the ballot is another day of fake debate between Wall Street and Wall Street Lite.
  3. It will take weeks for the Federal Election Commission to process our matching funds application. Every delay could result in missing a ballot access opportunity in a new state.
  4. June 30th is the deadline. It’s that simple.

Please take an immediate step by making a donation: Even if your state is not in the top 25, once we qualify, your donations will also be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $250.