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Maryland Green Senate candidate Flowers: “The Real State of the Union”

flowers

 

For Immediate Release:
January 12, 2016

For Further Information:
Margaret Flowers, mdpnhp@gmail.com, 410-591-0892

The Real State of the Union: Fundamental Flaws in the US Economy, Climate Approach and Foreign Policy

In anticipation of President Obama’s State of the Union address this evening, Dr. Margaret Flowers, candidate for US Senate seeking the Green Party of Maryland nomination, presents her assessment of the state of the Union and directions that Congress needs to take to solve the major crises we face as a nation.

Dr. Flowers states:

“The President is expected to talk about domestic policy reforms that are gaining popular support such as his recent gun control measures and proposed criminal justice reform, but these are largely put forth at this time as an appeasement for his widely unpopular international agenda which includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and expanded wars as well as to district from a dangerously flawed economy. President Obama is expected to sign the TPP on February 4 in New Zealand. See “The Facts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Compared to the Obama Administrations’ Claims, by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese.”

Missing from the speech will be meaningful discussion of major crises that loom before the United States and the world such as the fundamentally broken global economy, the climate crisis and US Empire which is expanding wars and conflicts.”

Economic Collapse: The Fundamentals of the US Economy Are Flawed

“The President began his administration on the heels of a financial crisis and may leave office with an even worse crisis. This is largely due to his failure to address the roots of the crisis during his terms; corruption, too-big-to-fail banks, growing wealth inequality and a population largely in debt.

After the financial crisis of 2008, instead of holding those who were responsible for it accountable for widespread fraud and corruption, then candidate Obama rewarded them by leaving his campaign to push through the Bush administration’s bailout package. As President, he put the bankers in positions of power on his economic team where they continued to protect Wall Street at the expense of everyone else. The Obama Department of Justice did not prosecute a single bank head and the attorney general and top officials returned to law firms that work for the big banks when their tenures ended.

While the public was desperately calling for relief, Obama failed to use the power of his office to put in place changes that would protect the victims of predatory mortgages and the looting of pensions and make credit available to smaller businesses. Millions of people lost their jobs and homes. Now, suicide rates among the shrinking middle class are at an all-time high while wealth continues to skew to the wealthiest.

Over the past eight years, the ‘recovery’ has really only been for those in the top 1% where wealth continues to be consolidated. The twenty richest people in the US own as much wealth as the bottom half of the population. The 99% are experiencing flattened wages, chronic unemployment and under-employment and high debt burdens just to meet their basic necessities. Poverty rates have grown in more than 3,000 counties around the country and have stayed steady in most of the rest. Employment participation is at an all-time low; and of those who are working, more than 50% are earning less than $30,000 a year. The reported unemployment figures are artificially low in part because they don’t consider that record numbers of people are working multiple jobs in order to get by or that many have given up looking for work. The fact is US workers are in an economic crisis.

Households in the US are carrying almost $12 trillion in debt. Over $1 trillion is student loans. Student debt has ballooned making many young people question the value of a higher education in this service-economy reality.

The failure to address the fundamental flaws in the economy and demand accountability has again placed the economy in a precarious position. We are facing the third bubble in fifteen years, this time a massive ‘bond bubble’ while the Federal Reserve is over-leveraged at 78:1 and risky derivatives have grown to $555 trillion globally, almost eighty times the global Gross Domestic Product. Inflated stock values do not reflect the reality of a global stagnating economy and a surplus of goods that impoverished people cannot afford to buy. There are widespread predictions of an economic crash in 2016, that could be more severe than the 2008 crash.

None of these economic realities are expected to be discussed in the State of the Union, nor will there be discussion of steps that could be taken to protect people and the economy such as holding Wall Street accountable, establishing public banks, abolishing student debt, restructuring mortgages to make them more affordable, moving to a guaranteed basic income and creating a public jobs program to meet our needs for infrastructure repair, public education, health care and a rapid transition to a green energy economy.”

The Climate Crisis Remains Inadequately Addressed When Urged Action Is Needed

“The climate crisis is another crisis that demands immediate steps. According to researchers, the world will reach the limits of its carbon budget in 2018. The US continues to be a major contributor to the crisis with the highest per capita carbon footprint in the world. The federal government is more concerned with protecting the profits of the oil, gas and nuclear industries rather than the rapid energy and economic transitions that are needed.

In 2009, the Obama administration derailed the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen when negotiations between other nations were working towards binding carbon limits. The resultant 2015 Paris agreement is entirely voluntary with carbon commitments that are inadequate to mitigate climate change. The Paris Treaty amounts to ‘too little, too late’.

While sound academic studies show that the US can move rapidly to a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy economy, Obama’s Clean Power Plan incentivizes more gas and more nuclear power. These dirty energies are being widely protested by the public in locations where new projects are being proposed. From excavation, to building infrastructure and dealing with waste, these are dirty energies that not only add to climate gases but cause widespread environmental and health problems.

Now that oil and gas prices are falling and there are record bankruptcies by oil and gas companies, there is an opportunity for a just transition to a green energy economy. Instead of listening to the oil and gas companies which are pushing Congress for a bailout, the administration and Congress need to listen to the people. This is the time to end the fossil fuel era and invest in a public works program for jobs in green energy production and infrastructure which includes transportation, retrofitting current structures to be more efficient and enhancing local production of foods and necessary goods. Such a program will create much-needed jobs, more than similar investments in oil and gas would create, and returns from that investment can be applied to a universal basic guaranteed income as tax payers should be considered investors in the new energy economy.”

US Foreign Policy Based On Intervention, Domination and Militarism Hurts the US and World

“Finally, US Empire, the largest in human history, will not be discussed even though it is a driver of the climate and economic crises. The US military is the largest single user of oil in the world, most of it for aviation fuel which produces triple the amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) as oil and diesel. The military also uses large amounts of electricity to power its 1,100 bases and outposts around the world.

The Empire Economy, which consumes 55% of discretionary federal dollars, has expanded unreasonably under President Obama to the point where even projects that the Pentagon rejects are funded while domestic needs are left unmet. President Obama is even wasting a trillion dollars over ten years to upgrade the US nuclear weapons program. Under President Obama, the US is surrounding China with the Asian Pivot and militarizing the European border with Russia while continuing to be entrenched in wars in the Middle East. Rather than making the world a safer place, US foreign policy which is based on intervention into other nations, global hegemony and aggression, has created greater insecurity.

It is time for the US to end its global hegemony and become a cooperative partner in the world. According to “Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World,” the US spends up to $120 billion annually on foreign military bases, which cost as much as four times the amount spent on Social Security, Unemployment & Labor ($29 billion); nearly twice as much as Housing and Community ($63 billion); four times as much as Science ($30 billion); and 1.7 times as much as Education ($70 billion). Rather than building more bases, especially bases that are widely opposed such as the ones on Jeju Island in Korea and on Okinawa in Japan, the US needs to close bases and outposts as part of remaking a foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy, cooperation and nonintervention into the affairs of other nations. We can bring the skills of military personnel and the military dollars home to address the urgent crises we face domestically.”

The Obama Legacy: Corporate Power Grows, Democracy Shrinks

“These are the major crises that we face and they require serious public discussion and effective steps to solve them. President Obama could leave his final term with a reckoning of this reality, but that is unlikely. Instead, President Obama will sugarcoat his minimal steps on gun violence and criminal justice while he pushes the TransPacific Partnership, an agreement which will further devastate the US economy, prevent measures to address the climate crisis and further empower the US’ military pivot to the Asia Pacific by seeking to isolate China economically, the opposite of what the US should be doing.

The Obama legacy will be recognized for its failures to protect people and the planet.”

Dr. Flowers will be participating in the Green Party of the United States’ official response to the State of the Union Address. The party will be streaming the speech live on Tuesday evening followed by reactions from Green candidates for federal office, including Dr. Flowers. The party’s live stream and responses can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/user/GreenPartyVideos/live

More information:

Livestream of Green Party State of the Union broadcast

Flowers for Senate statement on the TPP

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Green Party Watch to live blog Green 2014 election results

p Green Party US new logoHappy Election Day! Make sure to vote, and vote Green. Countless activists have worked tirelessly to give you a real choice outside the broken two-party system, and every Green vote strengthens our movement for peace, justice, democracy and ecology.

Tune in to Green Party Watch tonight – and the Green Party US Livestream with special guest Jill Stein – for breaking Green Party election results and some Election Night camaraderie. No red state vs. blue state theater here, just timely results on how and where the Green movement is growing. See you tonight!

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Top 10 Green Party Stories of 2011

Better late than never, we’ve put together the following Top 10 Green Party stories, taken from a combination of hits on Green Party Watch and other criteria to build a summary of the year. We have modeled this after our Top 10 Green Party Stories for 2010. We are well aware that there were many other stories we could have included here, feel welcome to include your own in the comments. We sincerely hope that 2012 will have plenty of Green Party to Watch!

March 2011 – German Greens Historic Victory

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition was defeated in Baden-Württemberg as support for the Greens surged to a record, putting the anti-nuclear party within reach of leading the state government. The opposition Greens took a record 24.2 percent, while the Social Democrats, which said they’ll rule with the Greens, won 23.1 percent. “There won’t just be a changing of the guard in Baden- Wuerttemberg, there will be a change of politics,” Greens national co-leader Claudia Roth told reporters in Berlin. Winfried Kretschmann was later named the new governor of Baden-Württemberg.

March 2011 – Alex White for Mayor of Rochester, NY

Small business owner Alex White ran a spirited campaign in a special election for Mayor of Rochester, NY, challenging the status quo of local politics. White ran on a “Platform of Hope“, which he says “…grows Rochester through jobs for all, more community involvement, greater transparency, community policing, and a public utility.” Ultimately White finished with 9% of the vote.

Later in the year Alex White ran for City Council, finishing with 11% of the vote.

April 2011 – Ed Shadid wins seat on Oklahoma City Council

After a long and particularly nasty campaign, Ed Shadid survived the negative smear campaign against him and won a seat on the Oklahoma City Council with over 60% of the vote. Shadid, a spinal surgeon, who ran as an Independent candidate for State Assembly last year with the backing of the Green Party, defeated Charles Swinton, a banker, and the PAC “Committee for Oklahoma City Momentum”, which spent over $100,000 in ads opposing Shadid, accusing him of being a socialist who wanted to legalize marijuana. Check out some of the negative attack ads here.

May 2011 – Elizabeth May First Green Party Member of Parliament in Canada

In the May 2 Federal Elections in Canada, Elizabeth May became the first Green Party candidate elected as a Member of Parliament. Preliminary results show that Elizabeth May won the May 2, 2011 election with 48.13% of the vote, defeating Conservative MP Gary Lunn (33.73%) and NDP candidate Edith Loring-Kuhanga (12.28%). Elizabeth May, 56, has been the leader of the Green Party of Canada since 2006, vowing to raise the Green Party’s profile in Canada, particularly in the nationally televised debates. Although she was included in a debate several years ago, this election she was barred from the debate, which she used as a campaign issue in her campaign for MP representing Saanich-Gulf Islands on Vancouver Island.

July 2011 – Annual National Meeting in Alfred NY

The Green Party (US) Annual National Meeting was held in rural Alfred, NY, in conjunction with the biennial GreenFest. Among the speakers were leaders in the campaign to ban hydrofracking (hydraulic fracturing), an environmentally destructive and dangerous technique for accessing gas in the Marcellus Shale beneath Pennsylvania, New York, and other states. Also 2004 Presidential Candidate David Cobb, Philadelphia Sheriff candidate Cheri Honkala, Canadian MP Elizabeth May, and author David Korten addressed the Meeting.

September 2011 – Strong special elections showings by Mark Miller (MA) and Farheen Hakeem (MN)

In Massachusetts, Mark Miller ran a strong campaign for a vacancy in the State Legislature, finishing in second place of four candidates, just several hundred votes short of victory. Miller was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Mass Alliance, and the UAW.

In Minnesota, Green Party (US) Steering Committee co-chair Farheen Hakeem ran for an open State Senate seat. Hakeem finished second with 22% to 68% for Democrat Jeff Hayden. Hakeem outpolled a Republican and an independent in the race.

November 2011 – “Poor Peoples Advocate” Cheri Honkala’s campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia

Cheri Honkala announced her candidacy for Sheriff of Philadelphia on February 17, 2011, and ran a high-profile campaign that brought issues to the table that would never had been brought forward otherwise. She got good media, interviewed in Yes! & endorsed by NOW, interviewed on Press TV, the campaign made effective use of Youtube in promoting the campaign. Ultimately, in the 3-way race for sheriff, Cheri Honkala finished 3rd with over 10,000 votes for 6.6%.

November 2011 – Fall Elections

In November’s elections, Greens won local races in California, Colorado, and Connecticut. Tanya Ishikawa was elected to the Federal Heights City Council (Colorado) with 67.5% of the vote. Larry Bragman took first place in his race for City Council, receiving 43.88% of the vote. This will be Bragman’s third term as a Council Member. Additionally, Ryan O’Neil won his first term on the City Council, helping maintain a healthy Green Party presence in the Northern California City.

In other races of interest, Portland City Councilor David Marshall finished with 7.74% in Portland, Maine’s first IRV election for Mayor. In Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala received 6.56% of the vote in her effort to be elected Sheriff of Philadelphia. She ran on a “No Evictions” platform. Brian Rudnick, running for City Council, received 11.8% of the vote. In Syracuse, NY, Howie Hawkins received 48.15% of the vote, narrowly losing to Democrat Khalid Bey. In Toledo, Ohio, Anita Rios finished with 26% of the vote in her campaign for City Council, and in St. Paul, Bee Xiong received 42% in the first round of voting for a City Council seat, not enough to win.

December 2011 – Presidential Candidate field set

The Green Party field of Presidential Candidates fluctuated throughout 2011. Roseanne Barr jumped in and then out, Socialist Stewart Alexander jumped in and then out, but by the end of the year, three candidates are seeking the Green Party Nomination for President. Kent Mesplay (G-CA) was the first to officially declare his candidacy in June. Jill Stein (G-MA) officially entered the race in October. Harley Mikkelson (G-MI) entered the race in November.

Harley Mikkelson is retired from a 26 year career with the Michigan Departments of Community Health, Education, and Human Services. Mikkelson was the Michigan Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and 2004, for the U.S. Senate in 2008, and Governor in 2010.

Kent Mesplay is an air quality inspector in San Diego, California. He sought the Green Party Presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.

Jill Stein is a physician and community health advocate who ran as the Green-Rainbow Party candidate governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010.

The 2012 Green Party Presidential Race will be followed closely right here at Green Party Watch.

December 2011 – 2011 Election Recap

With over 100 candidates across the United States, the Green Party candidates won 22 races, or 21% of the races they were in. The Green Party starts 2012 with 125 elected officeholders, 21 of which are partisan offices. A recap of the 2011 Election by former Green Party (US) Executive Director Brent McMillan.

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More indications that Jill Stein will seek Green Party Presidential nomination

Peregrin Wood at Irregular Times writes:

There’s a new Twitter feed for Green Party politician Jill Stein, with the address featuring a suggestive year: jillstein2012. At the same time, Jill Stein’s web site has been transformed, no longer focusing on her past political campaigns in Massachusetts. The site is now entitled Draft Jill Stein for President.

dog questionThe domain, jillstein.org, is registered to Ken Selcer of Lexington, Massachusetts, and asserts that it is being “run by Green Party volunteers.” Among the volunteers that have signed up so far are Ron Hardy and David Schwab, editors of Green Party Watch.

Also among the list of volunteers is Jill Stein herself. I’d say that this presidential draft effort is one that’s likely to be successful.

The Jill Stein Facebook page reports that “We expect Jill Stein to announce her decision to run for President on October 24th. Spread the word.”

It seems that Jill Stein won’t be the Sarah Palin of the Green Party, stringing her supporters along in order to get some attention. I don’t have much doubt at this point that we’re going to see a Jill Stein campaign for President.

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Technical details

The Green Party Watch Facebook page has 1580 “likes” right now. Our lifetime “likes” at Facebook is 1583. This means that only three of the 1583 people who have “liked” GPW have “unliked” us…an impressive total in my mind.

We have had 256175+ visitors since the site was founded two years ago, and almost 400,000 page hits according to Sitemeter. We have regular visitors from across the globe, although US visitors represent the huge majority of our hits.

Alexa says that 88 sites link to Green Party Watch, and we are the 2,702,035th most popular website on the Internet. 85% of our readers only read the “front page”.

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Green Party Watch Open Thread

This website Green Party Watch was initially started in 2008 to:

  1. fill a hole in online media coverage of the Green Party in the United States known as the “Green Black Out”;
  2. generate and disseminate news about Green Party locals, candidates, state parties and the national party;
  3. bring Green bloggers and other Greens together in one place to discuss and talk about Green Politics;

After three years, I find myself contemplating whether the site is still serving its original purposes, whether the site can be improved by new (free) software tools, and other questions.

I am always interested in what other people want to see here.  We’ve gotten great suggestions in the comments before, and we’ve tried to improve the site and services based on feedback within the bounds of money and time.

Several times we have had suggestions that there needs to be an alternative to Democratic Party “group think” sites like Daily Kos and Democratic Underground, which routinely ostracize and kick out Greens. We certainly agree, and there were some failed attempts at that in the past (see “Green Commons” for example).  Can something like that be integrated into Green Party Watch, or should it be a separate website?  Is GPW primarily a “News” site, or is the “green way” of News generation to have many Greens reporting and sharing what is happening where they are? Are they one and the same?

And then there is the question about overlap with the official “gp.org” website – sometimes people come here and think they are questioning the “Green Party Leadership”, whatever that means. Shouldn’t some of the things we do here (like a calendar of local and state Green Party meetings) be better suited on the National GP.org site?  The difference might be that here at Green Party Watch users can (or should) be able to generate content, while gp.org is less “user driven”.  How can Green Party Watch better differentiate itself from the “official” Green Party website? And how can Green Party Watch better enable users to generate content here?  Or is “user driven content” the wrong way to go?

These are some of the questions I have been pondering while I am on vacation in sunny southern California, not distracted by work. I’m interested in what people think, and I have some time now to possibly do some site redesigning over the next few days.

What do you think?

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Green Party Presidential Poll February 2011

(EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS POLL WAS CREATED IN FEBRUARY, 2011, BEFORE ANY CANDIDATE HAD ANNOUNCED THEIR INTENTIONS TO RUN. THE POLL IS CLOSED. NEW POLLS WILL BE POSTED IN THE NEAR FUTURE.)

This is the first of a series of polls we will be putting up throughout 2011 in order to gauge interest in potential presidential candidates for the Green Party ticket in 2012. To date, none of these candidates have publicly declared interest in the nomination, their inclusion in this poll was at our discretion.

We chose to include a number of candidates that have been brought up here and on Green Party lists, but for this poll we decided to exclude “celebrity” candidates or candidates that are more commonly associated with another political party. There are obviously many names that we could have included and we may include them in future polls, but for this poll we wanted to keep the number of options at a manageable number.

[poll id=”15″]

Jared Ball (District of Colombia)

Jared Ball is an assistant professor of communication studies at Morgan State University where his research interests include the interaction between colonialism, mass media theory and history, and the development of alternative/underground journalism and cultural expression as mechanisms of social movements and political organization. He is the founder and producer of FreeMix Radio: The Original Mixtape Radio Show, and a former editor for the first academic journal dedicated to hip-hop, The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture. He briefly sought the Green Party nomination for President in 2008 before pulling out and endorsing Cynthia McKinney.

Rosa Clemente (New York)

Rosa Clemente is a United States community organizer, independent journalist and hip-hop activist. She was the vice presidential running mate of 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. As a student she was President of the Albany State University Black Alliance (ASUBA) and Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Student Association. At Cornell she was a founding member of La Voz Boriken, a social/political organization dedicated to supporting Puerto Rican political prisoners and the independence of Puerto Rico. In 2003, Clemente helped form and coordinate the first National Hip Hop Political Convention that drew over 3000 activists.

Tom Clements (South Carolina)

Clements is a South Carolina environmental activist and politician. Clements was the Green Party’s nominee in the 2010 United States Senate election in South Carolina. Clements received more than 9% of the general election. He is the Southeastern Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for the US branch of Friends of the Earth in Columbia, South Carolina. Clements worked as the campaign manager for Democratic Congressman Doug Barnard, Jr. in the 1980s and as well as a long environmental activist with Greenpeace and the Nuclear Control Institute.

Howie Hawkins (New York)

Howie Hawkins asked that his name not be included in this poll

Jesse Johnson (West Virginia)

In 2004, Johnson ran as the Mountain Party candidate for Governor to bring the issue of mountain top removal to statewide attention. Despite having no corporate financial support, he received 18,430 votes (2.48%). In 2006 he ran as the party’s candidate for a seat in the U.S. Senate, receiving 1.9% of the vote. In 2007 Johnson worked to merge the Mountain Party with the Green Party, and subsequently sought the Green Party’s nomination for President in 2008. Continuing to fight against mountain top removal in West Virginia, he ran for US Senate in 2010, finishing with 1.92% of the vote.

Cynthia McKinney (Georgia)

Cynthia McKinney served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat before joining the Green Party in 2007, and becoming the Green Party candidate for U.S. President in 2008. In 2008, McKinney finished with 0.12% of the popular vote. Since 2008, Cynthia McKinney has been a champion of Palestinian Rights and a supporter of the Free Gaza movement. In 2009 she was one of 21 activists on a Free Gaza relief ship that was rammed and taken captive by the Israeli Navy. She was held by the Israeli’s for 5 days. In 2010 she participated in portions of the Bike4Peace event from San Francisco to DC.

Jill Stein (Massachusetts)

Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, housewife, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate. She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports, In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, published in 2000, and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, published in 2009. She was the Green-Rainbow Party candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, she ran for State Representative in 2004, Secretary of State in 2006, and again for Governor in 2008. She is the co-chair of the Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party.

kat swift (Texas)

kat swift is a former co-chair of the Green Party of Texas, former co-chair of the Green Party’s National Women’s Caucus, and public spokesperson for the Green Party of Texas during their 2010 legal fight for ballot access. At 35 years old she was the youngest person to seek the Presidential nomination in 2008. swift is currently a 2010 candidate for Bexar County Commissioner in Precinct 2.

Laura Wells (California)

Laura Wells was the Green Party candidate for Governor in 2010, finishing with 129,231 votes, 1.2% of the vote. Wells is a former financial and business analyst, and political activist in Oakland California. In 2002 she garnered nearly a half million votes in her run for California State Controller. At the last 2010 Gubernatorial debate in California, which excluded all third party candidates, Wells was arrested upon attempting to enter the building to watch the debate.

Rich Whitney (Illinois)

Whitney is a Civil Rights Attorney from Carbondale, Illinois. He was the Green Party candidate for Governor in 2006 after the Green Party netted 39,000 signatures in 90 days to get on the ballot. Whitney finished with 361,336 votes for 10.4% of the vote. Based on this strong showing, the Illinois Green Party won Major Party status in Illinois, securing full ballot access for the Green Party until 2010. Whitney ran again in 2010, and despite ballot hijinks by Democrats and being excluded from the state wide debates, he finished with 99,625 votes (2.7% of the total).

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Top 10 Green Party Stories of 2010

2010 was a roller coaster year for the Green Party. Mid-term elections proved voter dissatisfaction with the Democrats in power, but the media-darling Tea Party Movement drove voters to reactionary candidates, not helping Greens at the polls. International Greens saw successes in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other places, while US Greens were moved by the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza under siege by Israeli forces. The 2010 Annual National Meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan in conjunction with the US Social Forum, putting Greens side by side their brothers and sisters in the struggle for social justice in America. In the fall, Greens had many exciting candidates running for office including Jill Stein, LeAlan Jones, Laura Wells, Rich Whitney, Tom Clements, Colia Clark, Julia Willebrand, Farheen Hakeem, Howie Hawkins, Cecile Lawrence, Ben Manski, Fred Horsch, and so many other inspiring Greens.

The following Top 10 Green Party stories are taken from a combination of hits on Green Party Watch and other criteria to build a summary of the year. May 2011 be prosperous for Greens around the World. Time is running out.

Top 10 Green Party Stories of 2010

May 7, 2010 – Caroline Lucas becomes first Green Member of Parliament in United Kingdom – Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, won a hotly-contested race in Brighton Pavilion to become the Greens’ first-ever member of parliament. The Guardian summed it up best: “It’s a massive breakthrough, not only because she’s a brilliant, charismatic, humane politican who will enrich parliamentary life, but also because it proves it can be done, even under our antiquated political system.”

May 31, 2010 Green Party and Cynthia McKinney Condemn Freedom Flotilla Massacre – In May of this year the Israeli Navy attacked a flotilla of ships run by the Free Gaza movement carrying humanitarian supplies to the besieged residents of the Gaza Strip. 19 human rights activists were killed in the attack and 50 more wounded. The Green Party, led by 2008 Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, have been vocal and active critics of Israel’s war on the people of Gaza.

“The attacks on the aid boats is a criminal act of piracy and a deliberate provocation,” said Dr. Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party’s International Committee. ““We demand immediate action from the US, including emergency orders from President Obama to cut off all aid to Israel. The policies of the US regarding Israel and Palestine up to now have convinced Israel that it can act with impunity in committing massacres and massive human violations against Palestinian civilians.”

2008 Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, who was taken prisoner by the Israelis last year on another attack on a Free Gaza ship, said: “I am outraged at Israel’s latest criminal act. I mourn with my fellow Free Gaza travelers, the lives that have been lost by Israel’s needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists.”

June 8, 2010California Voters Pass Prop 14, Top Two Primary Initiative By a 53% – 46% margin, California voters approved adopting a “top two primary” election reform, a system whereby all candidates appear on a single ballot in the primary but only the top two, regardless of political party, advance to the General Election.

California Gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells had this to say: “Prop 14 pretends to be “open primary,” but more accurately should be called “top two,” or party-killer! Only two candidates would be left in November, when Prop 14 would exclude all the independent, alternative political parties like the Green Party, Peace and Freedom, and Libertarian. Prop 14 would favor only Democrats and Republicans that are incumbents or highly funded.”

June 24-27, 2010 – Green Party Annual National Meeting in Detroit in Conjunction with US Social Forum The Green Party’s Annual National Meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan in conjunction with the US Social Forum. The Green Party sponsored several Social Forum workshops and registration was cross-listed between the two events. Many Green Party candidates were in attendance and available to the media. A number of candidate presentations were taped by Green Party Watch and can be found through this link.

June 2010 – Republicans pay to get Green Party on Ballot in Texas, Democrats Livid If there is one thing that drives Democrats crazier than a Green “spoiling” an election, it is Greens getting on the ballot at all despite overwhelming odds. In Texas, a Republican consultant in Arizona arranged for a non-profit in Missouri to pay for Free & Equal to come up with 92,000 signatures to get the Green Party of Texas on the ballot up and down the ticket. Democrats were livid, immediately suing and issuing injunctions against ballot access. The case went to the Texas supreme court before culminating with the Green Party candidates being allowed to remain on the ballot.

The ultimate result of this was that Ed Lindsay, Green Party of Texas candidate for State Comptroller won over 5% of the vote, ensuring that the Green Party of Texas will have state wide ballot access through the 2012 elections.

August 21, 2010 – Historic Election Results for Australian Greens The Australian Green Party performed very well in the federal elections in Australia, with Adam Bandt winning a seat outright in Melbourne with over 36% of the first-choice vote, and the Greens winning about 12% of the vote in the lower house, giving them a share of control over the balance of power in the Australian Parliament.

September 21, 2010 – Green Party Senate candidate Natasha Pettigrew hit and killed on bicycle Natasha Pettigrew, Senate candidate for the Green Party in Maryland, was riding in the bike lane on a highway early on a Sunday morning by an inattentive driver of a SUV. The driver apparently didn’t realize she had hit anyone until she arrived home. Pettigrew died from her injuries the next day. This (long after the fact) article really captures the influence this story had on people.

November 3, 2010 – Green Party Gains Ballot Access in Texas and New York Election returns resulted in the Green Party gaining ballot access through at least 2012 in two of the most populous states, New York and Texas, however the Green Party lost ballot access in Illinois and Wisconsin. In New York Greens gain ballot status through 2014 thanks to Howie Hawkins earning over 50,000 votes for governor. In Texas Greens gain ballot status through 2012 thanks to Ed Lindsay earning over 5% for comptroller.

November 5, 2010 – Green Party Candidates for US Senate Net Half Million Votes The eleven Green Party candidates on the ballot this year for US Senate netted a combined half million votes. The 510,000 votes is the highest combined total for Green Party Senate candidates since 2000, when Medea Benjamin won 326,000 votes for US Senate in California and Vance Hansen picked up over 100,000 in Arizona. The 2010 results were clearly led by Tom Clements in South Carolina, whose 118,000 votes gave him 9.37% of the total. Clements had the most votes and the highest percent of the vote of all Green Party US Senate candidates in 2010. LeAlan Jones was the second big finisher with 116,000 votes, 3.19% of the total.

2010 – Green Party Elects 37 Greens to Office in 2010 342 Greens ran for office in 2010, over 300 of them were on the ballot in November. 37 Greens were elected, a win rate of 10.8%. All but 2 of the wins were in non-partisan races.

On the November ballot, Greens had strong showings for State Legislative races, but fell short in races for Governor and US House of Representatives. One Green, Ben Chipman, was elected to the Maine State Assembly but was listed as an Independent due to a technicality.

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An Appeal For Support From Green Party Watch

Last week the Green Party’s National Committee passed a new Fiscal Policy intended to position the Party for financial growth going into 2011 and beyond. Now the National Committee is discussing the proposed 2011 Budget for the Party, which is (again) optimistic in light of the economic collapse this country is facing and the effect this economy has had on funding for non-profits. To the credit of this proposed budget it does more closely tie proposed expenditures to fund-raising targets, and it actually budgets for electoral support such as Ballot Access and Campaign support, something sorely missing from prior budgets.

But let me be frank – the Green Party of the United States, given that it does not accept corporate funding and is not eligible for public financing, is almost entirely funded by small donations from Greens like you and I. There are no National Membership Dues, there are only pleas for financial support. The financial support from us “Greens on the Street” have paid for having an office in DC, paid for having a Political Director, and Office Manager, and until recently a Fundraiser and Accountant. The Green Party (US) Budget has typically been shoe string at best, half or one-third that of the Libertarian Party, and likely a fraction of the budget of the two Corporate Parties that control our government and electoral system.

In fact, I will go a step further and say that there are months in which the Green Party (US) has had to decide between paying staff salaries on time versus paying off debts to creditors versus paying the rent. Sound familiar? Yup, many of us have been in the same boat.

Green Party Watch is a website dedicated to covering news and views about the Green Party, particularly the Green Party in the US, and without the Green Party we would have nothing to cover. Our goals in creating this website were primarily to help raise awareness online and through the media of what the Green Party is doing, what Green Party Candidates are doing, and what Green Party locals and state parties are doing. Green Party Watch is an ALL VOLUNTEER EFFORT. We have never asked for any money, we have never asked for any compensation for our time and work, and we don’t intend to. We have no paid advertisements on this site, there are no pop-ups, no Google ads, nothing.

We intend to continue this ad-free public service to Greens across the United States and beyond because we believe in expanding media coverage of the Green Party in order to fill that void in our corporate media, and we believe in helping to build a stronger community awareness of the Green Party by spreading the word of what the Green Party is up to, good or bad.

So now comes my rare and special plea to you, the Green Party Watch reader. I’m not going to ask for financial support for Green Party Watch (we don’t need it, not really). I’m not going to ask for support for my own campaign for City Council in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this Spring.

I am asking you to join me in making a small financial contribution to the Green Party of the United States.

Why? I won’t tell you that it is for campaign support or ballot access or anything other than what it is – A donation to KEEP THE GREEN PARTY IN THE BLACK. A donation to keep the office doors open, to keep the phone bill paid, to pay for mailings, to pay for merchandise, to pay for health insurance for the two or three employees the Green Party retains, to pay for travel costs to prepare the Annual National Meeting, to pay for the general operating expenses of an organization.

But not just any organization, the Green Party is NOT the Sierra Club. The Green Party is a bootstrap grassroots political organization that has a skeleton staff, low overhead costs, and no corporate ties. Nonetheless when I call 1-866-41-GREEN I reach an actual human who can answer my questions.

A donation to support the Green Party Candidate Database which we have used so extensively in our reporting here at GPW, and expanded coverage of Local Candidates. A donation to support continued Media Outreach, better web presence, LiveFeeds, support for a Local Organizing Kit, Publication of Green Pages, and more.

Green Party Watch gets around 500 visitors a day. During Election times or Israeli kidnapping of Cynthia McKinney we get thousands of hits a day. We have almost 1,500 people subscribed to our Facebook feed. None of this would be relevant without the Green Party. I have arranged with the Green Party (US) to set up a specific fund-raising campaign for the Green Party from Green Party Watch. I am now asking all of the GPW readers to either make a large or small donation to the Green Party or to become a sustaining member, whatever you can manage. Lets put our money where our mouths are.

I am pledging a $100 donation to the Green Party if someone will match me. Who’s in? $50? $25? How about the price of a pizza delivery?

Lets give a gift to the Green Party from Green Party Watch letting them know that we want them to keep the doors open, the phones on, and the candidates to support!

Comments MORE than welcome!