Green CA Governor candidate collecting signatures to fight new rules to keep minor parties off the ballot
From the California Green Party:
From the California Green Party:
A Democrat, a Republican and a member of the Green Party are vying for the position vacated earlier this year by Eugene DePasquale, who won election to two offices in November and accepted the more prominent role of state auditor general.
Bill Swartz, a local developer and property manager, had his name officially added to the race by filing the necessary paperwork to appear on the May 21 ballot. Monday was the deadline to file nominating petitions.
Swartz is the president of Sherman Property Management Inc., which manages rental properties. He is also a co-developer of the Codo redevelopment project on North George Street.
The May 21 election coincides with the Democratic and Republican primaries, but all registered voters within the 95th District can cast a vote for state representative. The district includes York City, North York, West York, Spring Garden Township and part of West Manchester Township.
A member of the Green Party, Swartz faces steep competition. His opponents are Democrat Kevin Schreiber and Republican Bryan Tate.
Third-party political activists say they hope to recruit more candidates to run for down-ballot races in the next few years.
The Green Party recently decided on Iowa City as the site for its annual national meeting this summer. The four-day event in July will include policy discussions and meetings between party officials from around the United States but also seminars for activists who might consider running for office.
“What we’ve been talking about is getting people to run for local office,” said Holly Hart, an Iowa City resident and Green Party organizer. “We want to open the door for promoting some of these values and policies on councils and boards.”
… read full story …
September 26, 2012 in Ballot Access
Election Law Blog reports:
MACHIAS, ME – Maine Superior Court Justice Kevin M. Cuddy ruled on September 20, 2012 that a lawsuit filed by consumer advocate and 2004 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his Maine electors Christopher Droznick, Nancy Oden and Rosemary Whittaker against the Democratic Party and several of its allies must proceed to trial.
Originally filed in 2009, the lawsuit alleges tort claims under Maine law for civil conspiracy, abuse of process and malicious prosecution. The plaintiffs allege that Democrats orchestrated a concerted, nationwide effort to interfere with the campaign of Nader and his running mate, the late Peter Miguel Camejo, by filing 29 complaints in 19 states, including Maine, and that many of the complaints included groundless and demonstrably false allegations of fraud.
According to defendant Toby Moffett, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist who helped recruit an estimated 95 lawyers from 53 law firms to join the effort, the purpose of the Democrats’ complaints was to “drain,” “distract” and “neutralize” the Nader-Camejo campaign, by “forcing [them] to spend money and resources defending these things.”
In addition to Moffett, the lawsuit names as defendants the Maine Democratic Party, its former Chair Dorothy Melanson, the Democratic National Committee, its former Chair Terry McAuliffe, the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign and a Section 527 political organization Moffett headed called The Ballot Project.
“Former Governor Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and former Congressman Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party are now facing what the Nader-Camejo campaign confronted in 2004,” Nader added. “Both the Democratic and the Republican parties treat the electoral process and the voters as if they own them, and they will continue to do so until Americans of all political persuasions put a stop to it by demanding a broader choice of candidates on the ballot in each election cycle.”
From the Green Party of Rhode Island:
PROVIDENCE, RI (September 12, 2012) — The Green Party of Rhode Island learned on Tuesday that its nearly 2,000 petition signatures have been validated by Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.
The secretary of state’s certification means Green presidential candidate Jill Stein, and running mate Cheri Honkala, will appear on Rhode Island’s ballot this November.
Michael Narducci, Deputy Director of the state’s Elections Division, told the Greens on Tuesday that far more than the required 1,000 signatures had been certified as of September 11, with the count only partially completed. “The number will grow,” he said, “as more cities and towns bring me their papers.”
Party activists said collecting signatures this year was easier than ever.
“We were surprised how eagerly folks signed the petition to get Jill Stein on the ballot,” observed John Gallagher, who helped spearhead the successful signature campaign. “People are real unhappy with their other choices.”
Nick Schmader, the Greens’ vice chair for peace and diplomacy, said having a Green presidential slate on the Rhode Island ballot will once again “give voters an alternative to the dysfunctional, two-party duopoly.”
Cynthia Osorio Florez, Green Party treasurer, said petitioning was easier because “Lots of Rhode Islanders know that both the Democratic and Republican parties are paid for with corporate sponsorships and millionaires’ donations. Greens don’t take corporate money, period.”
Green Party vice chair Greg Gerritt agreed. “Those parties are dependent on money from the 1%, for their very existence,” he said, “They will never represent millions of desperately poor Americans, nor defend an environment facing unprecedented catastrophe.”
As of September 12, the Stein/Honkala ticket has qualified for the ballot in 33 states and the District of Columbia—far surpassing the minimum number of states for an Electoral College majority.
Volunteers with the fledgling Kentucky Green Party have successfully gotten Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on the ballot for President and VP in Kentucky.
From the Kentucky Greens:
Friday, September 7 at 3:30 PM, a half hour before the deadline, we submitted 8,370 signatures to the Ky Secretary of State’s office to get Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on the presidential ballot in Kentucky. At 6:30 pm, Geoff Young got a call from Mary Sue Helm in that office (working overtime) to say that they had reached 5,000 in their counting and decided to list our candidates on their web site:
Jill, Cheri, and the Green Party will appear on every ballot in Kentucky unless one of the other parties files and wins a lawsuit to disqualify enough of our signatures to bring us below 5,000.
The Green Party joins the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independent candidate Randall Terry on this fall’s Presidential Ballot in Kentucky. There are also three official Write In candidates.
The Green Party will now appear on at least 36 state ballots while petitioning continues in remaining states.
From an email from Ben Manski, campaign manager for Jill Stein for President:
Last week, I told you that we needed to raise $45,000 in one week, and explained why (see message below). We have raised $28,000. We need another $17,000 right now.
We are making incredible progress. Four more states joined the Green surge in the last two days. Iowa. Idaho. Minnesota. Montana. (If you check out our ballot access map (click here) you’ll notice how much greener it is, and that there are a few states that we’d given up on that we are giving another shot).
But we won’t receive our first matching funds check for another week, at the earliest. That is what the Federal Elections Commission has told us. And our ballot access costs must be paid right now.
This is still a make-or-break moment. We need your donations right now.
Please pull our remaining states through, get them on the ballot, keep the green surge going and donate now.
LAST WEEK’S MESSAGE FOLLOWS: Read the rest of this entry →
August 9, 2012 in Ballot Access
From the Jill Stein Campaign:
Alaska, Kansas, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin join the Green surge
Today the Stein campaign announced success in petition drives led by Greens and Volunteers for Jill Stein groups in Alaska, Kansas, Maryland, Washington, and Wisconsin. In each of these states, state elections authories have received more than enough qualified signatures to place the Green Party or the Stein/Honkala ticket on the ballot.
“As of today, voters in at least 30 states will see Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on their ballot lines,” said Erika Wolf, associate campaign manager.
The ballot drives in Maryland and Washington states were led by their respective state parties, and supported by Stein volunteers. The ballot drive in Wisconsin was a combined effort, and the petitioning efforts in Alaska and Kansas were led and heavily financed by the Stein campaign itself, with support from local Green parties and the national Green Party of the United States.
“This is the August crunch, when the final 20 state ballot lines can either be won or lost, and we need every dollar and every volunteer we can get, right now, to make sure this campaign is truly national,” said campaign manager Ben Manski.
The Green Party’s Presidential ticket of Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala have added Oregon, New Jersey, and hopefully Pennsylvania to the growing number of states that will get to vote Green in 2012.
Earlier this week from Oregon:
The Oregon Elections Division today notified party officials that the Pacific Green Party of Oregon is qualified under state law to place candidates on the November ballot.
As a result, Oregon voters will once again have the opportunity to vote for peace, sustainability and genuine democracy.
The PGP has nominated Seth Woolley of Portland and Pat Driscoll of Eugene as the party’s candidates for Oregon Secretary of State and Treasurer, respectively.
“Oregon voters deserve the opportunity to vote on a Green agenda,” said Mr. Driscoll.
The Party’s presidential nominee is Dr. Jill Stein, a Harvard-educated physician and author. She is joined by running mate Cheri Honkala, the nation’s leading anti-poverty advocate.
Today from the Stein/Honkala Campaign:
The Stein campaign confirmed today that it expects Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala to appear on the presidential ballot in the major Mid Atlantic states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Now on the ballot in 24 states, the campaign is petitioning in every state remaining, and aims to qualify for the ballot in at least 40 states.
Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala joined supporters at Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg state capitol building yesterday, and began submitting nearly 40,000 signatures of Pennsylvania voters who wish to see the Green Party on their state ballot in 2012. Just over 20,000 signatures are required to establish a ballot line in Pennsylvania, but the state is infamous in the voting rights community for its draconian petitioning requirements and high disqualification rate of signatures.
Across the river in the neighboring state of New Jersey, Greens are celebrating their success in submitting more than twice the required 800 signatures in order to regain ballot status.
“We were counting on New Jersey to carry their weight, and that they did well,” said campaign manager Ben Manski. “Pennsylvania is the performance trophy in this ballot access drive, and with a lot of money and volunteer effort, we’ve won it. Now we have to take this sense of confidence to the 20 remaining states, some of them tough to win, and make sure that every voter is able to exercise their right to vote for the candidates of her or his choice.”
Over 120 Pennsylvanians participated in their state’s ballot access drive, and the Stein campaign and Green Party of the United States rallied financial and volunteer support from around the country.
Now the attention of the campaign’s ballot access efforts, under the custody of Associate Campaign Manager Erika Wolf, shifts to the New England states of Connecticut and New Hampshire, the southern states of Virginia and Alabama, and a swatch of western states ranging from Alaska to Kansas and the Dakotas. A dozen such states will require direct financial and volunteer support from the campaign. Other states, like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Rhode Island, among others, are expected to qualify their ballot lines with only regional support. Overall, the campaign expects its total ballot access costs to exceed $300,000.
CBS News is reporting, in an interview with her, that Green Party presumptive presidential nominee Jill Stein has announced her choice for the party’s vice presidential candidate, to be approved at this week’s convention in Baltimore. Cheri Honkala is the Stein campaign’s choice, a poor people’s advocate based in Philadelphia and the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
There was some speculation that actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who is also running for the Green Party’s presidential nomination, would be the vice presidential candidate. However, Stein has opted instead for Honkala, saying in an announcement, “Compelled by her own experience as a homeless, single mom, Honkala has spent nearly three decades working directly alongside the poor to build the movement to end poverty, and has organized tens of thousands of people to take action via marches, demonstrations and tent cities.”
Honkala herself stated, “It’s immoral that children are hungry and homeless in the richest country in the world. It’s time for the 99% to stand united to serve our collective human needs instead of selfish, corporate greed. The Green Party is the only one standing up to Wall Street, and Jill Stein’s Green New Deal is the best plan for saving this sinking ship. I’m honored to fight beside her.”
For the time being, Honkala is also coordinating ballot access efforts for the Green Party of Pennsylvania, which is in the process of working to collect over 40,000 signatures by the end of July. Honkala joined the Green Party in 2011, when she ran for Sheriff of Philadelphia on a platform of turning the Sheriff’s office from the department that evicts people to a social service working to “keep families in their homes,” as well as establishing community land trusts so that people living near vacant and abandoned properties can control them. Honkala ran for Sheriff after labor organizer Hugh Giordano reinvigorated the Green Party of Philadelphia with his strong run for state representative in 2010. The campaign proposal of addressing blight and vacant lots is part of a Philadelphia-wide political effort to address vacant land in the city in recent years. Honkala is also consistently involved in efforts to prevent individual families from losing their homes to foreclosure and other work ensuring the basic survival of some of the most economically oppressed in Philadelphia. The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign also operates around the United States, and is part of various international poor peoples’ movements.
As mentioned earlier, Honkala has been an activist of one form or another, whether simply to ensure the survival of herself and her son in the Minnesota winter when she was homeless or organizing protests at the Republican National Convention in 2000, for decades. Several documentaries have been made about her or her efforts, including “Poverty Outlaw,” and she was featured in the book The Myth of the Welfare Queen. Honkala has been named one of the 100 most powerful people in the region by Philadelphia magazine, as well as being named “Person of the Year” once by Philadelphia Weekly. Her son Mark Webber is an actor, director, and playwright who used his celebrity to help her campaign for Sheriff. In that campaign, Cheri campaigned and organized in Philadelphia, as well as travelling the country to encourage progressives to leave the Democratic Party and encourage Greens to approach politics in a way that is more inclusive of and relevant to poor people.
[Disclosure: I was involved in Cheri Honkala's campaign for Sheriff on many levels and this summer I have been part of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, working on a farm they are organizing in the neighborhood where Honkala lives. I am also a member of the Green Party of PA, was active in Hugh Giordano's campaign, and have been collecting signatures to get the Stein campaign on the ballot there.]
Illinois has some seriously biased ballot access laws against third parties, i.e. any political party other than Democrats or Republicans. In 2012, a third party candidate for President needed 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot, while the D’s and R’s needed nominal signatures for their party primaries, and it is assumed that home-state favorite Barack Obama (D) will win the state. ,
The petitioning period for third parties and independents in Illinois ended last week, and while the Green Party and the Libertarian Party submitted over 25 thousand signatures, four other candidates submitted less than 20 signatures, three of them submitted less than 5 signatures, and based on Illinois state law, any citizen can challenge petitions.
The National Green Party didn’t challenge any petitions, nor did the Illinois Green Party, but one Rob Sherman, a three time Green Party candidate for office, Chair of the Cook County Greens, and outspoken advocate for separation of church and state, did. He filed a challenge to the nomination papers of:
The Illinois Green Party spent around $8,0000 and put in countless hours to get the Green Party on the ballot in Illinois. Other than Virgil Goode, the other three candidates put in less than 60 minutes and no money to get on the Illinois ballot. This double standard is frustrating – on the one hand, the Green Party suffered from harsh challenges by Democrats to get on the ballot in 2006, but on the other hand, taking a chance with just two signatures is a colossal risk for a national presidential campaign that hopes to unite the progressive movements with the Occupy protests for real political change in America.
National Greens have come out against the challenge to the petitions of the Socialist, Justice Party and Independent campaigns. The most notable argument that seems to summarize the typical Green Party opposition to the challenges comes from third party and green party advocate Howie Hawkins here (in a statement posted at Ballot Access News)
I know how hard it is to get on the ballot. I’ve petitioned successfully 17 of 19 attempts for myself and petitioned countless times for other Green candidates, with mixed success because of major party challenges or state official malfeasance. I have been challenged on my own petitions by the Democrats almost every time, most of them utterly frivolous challenges that served only to force me to devote limited time and resources to defend my petition instead of campaign for the office.
The strongest case in favor of the challenges comes from Rob Sherman himself, in a comment left at Independent Political Report:
Unless you have been out there, collecting nominating petition signatures (as I did when I ran for State Rep in 2006 and 2008 and for Village Clerk in 2010), you have no idea how incredibly taxing it is on the legs and feet, and how challenging it is to be out there in all kinds of weather, such as day after day of 90+ degree heat this year, and frigid conditions with frequent blowing snow when I was out there in previous years. After all of that intense physical suffering by so many, you want me to do what?
Among ballot access advocates and Green Party organizers, this has become a problematic situation. While third parties share in common a complex set of exclusive ballot access laws, there has been a general sense of solidarity on the ballot access front. For an apparently significant Green Party leader to take the lead position to knock possibly four other third party candidates off the ballot in Illinois is significant, and possibly damaging for the Green Party. On the other hand, the greens and Libertarians clearly put together the volunteers and resources to qualify for the ballot in Illinois, far in excess of the number of signatures that the four challenged parties submitted.
So what do you think? Should the Greens have challenged those petitions or not?
In yet another historic feat, the Illinois Green Party submitted over 25,000 signatures to get back on the ballot in 2012, and this time the Democrats did not challenge the petitions. This means that Illinois joins California, Texas, New York and Florida to have the Green Party on the ballot this fall in the five most populous states. The next most populous state, Pennsylvania, is currently petitioning. The Green Party is currently on the ballot in 22 states, and petitioning in 18 more.
Also, two Green Party Congressional Candidates Nancy Wade (5th Congressional district) and Paula Bradshaw (12th Congressional district) submitted over 5,000 signatures each to appear on the ballot. According to the DuPage County Greens, Paula Bradshaw’s petitions were challenged. Nancy Wade announced that she is on the ballot without challenges.
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.
June 8, 2012 in Ballot Access
The Green Party is fighting to be on the ballot in 44 states for the first time since the year 2000. We’ve already secured access to ballots in the four largest states – California, Texas, New York and Florida – for the first time in over a decade. Illinoisand Pennsylvania are the next two largest and just two of the states where volunteers and funds are urgently needed to get our candidates on the ballot.
In a true democracy, it shouldn’t be a political struggle to be on the ballot in every state, to simply give voters a choice, and to allow them to exercise their basic rights. But it is a struggle, and a challenge that thousands are rising to meet.
Volunteers in every state are collecting thousands of signatures from registered voters who demand that their government place Green candidates on the ballot. Recent court cases in several states have challenged the unjust laws that limit political diversity and discourse. We work with coalitions of political parties and advocacy groups to introduce legislation to make laws more fair. But we need your help.
The Green Party needs your support in the struggle for real multi-party democracy in the United States. Rise to the challenge with us. Please donate today to give voters a choice this November.
Ballot access in all 50 states is about more than having a strong national party. It’s fundamentally essential for running local candidates. So far over 150 Green candidates are campaigning for local, state, and federal office.
Just think of how many great candidates we could run with permanent ballot access in every state. Please support our efforts today.
Spring 2012 Green Pages Available for Purchase
The latest edition includes stories on our 2012 Presidential candidates, continued Green Party support for the Occupy movement, and an analysis of how Greens run successful campaigns and influence their communities once in office.
May 9, 2012 in Ballot Access
Unlike the Democrats and Republicans, the Green Party often has to struggle to get on the ballot in a country that claims “Democracy” as a core value. In some states, Greens have no barriers to the ballot, but in many others state laws make it extremely hard for alternative political parties to get on the ballot.
AJ Segneri interviewed Phil Huckelberry, Chair of the Green Party’s Ballot Access Committee, and published it at Dissident Voice. You can also read the interview here, below the fold. If you don’t know much about ballot access issues for third parties you might find it quite enlightening.