According to Ballot Access News, there are currently 631 registered members of the Green Party in Delaware, 22 votes below the state requirement for ballot access this year. The party “has until August to increase its registration.”
State Party News
Myles Hoenig, the Green Party candidate for the Maryland Seventh District U.S. House seat, says he “looks forward” to facing Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, who announced this week that he will seek re-election.
Hoenig said Cummings “has had a long and distinguished career in public service fighting for civil rights and human dignity. However, the mood in this country right now is finally saying no to the status quo, of which the Congressman dutifully represents.”
Hoenig faulted Cummings for accomplishing “little for this district” and said he “played politics and helped President Obama kill Single Payer and the public option” despite Cummings’s long-time support for a single-payer system.
Maryland Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Flowers spoke with Students for a National Health Program at Johns Hopkins University this week. The health professional students had gathered for the first meeting of a local chapter of the group.
Flowers said, “The most exciting part of the movement for healthcare justice is coming from students who understand we need a national health program that covers every person in the United States. … The students recognized that a single payer system, or Improved Medicare For All, is the solution needed to solve the U.S. healthcare crisis.”
Flowers and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who are both physicians, spoke with theREALnews about healthcare policy and the Democratic presidential race, the topic of a recent joint op-ed by the two.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania Annual Meeting will take place this Saturday, February 6, in State College. The meeting will include a presidential candidate forum featuring all five nationally recognized Green Party candidates, participating in person or via Skype.
In addition, Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, the 2012 Green Party vice presidential nominee, and Maryland Green U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Flowers will address the meeting.
Maryland Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Flowers is calling for congressional action to address the impacts of the more than 15,000 abandoned and exposed hazardous uranium mines throughout the United States. Flowers works with Clean Up The Mines! and Popular Resistance, which are meeting this week in Washington to raise awareness of the continuing radioactive contamination affecting millions of people.
Flowers said in a statement, “In the Senate I will sponsor the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act. Because there are no laws on the books, corporations and the federal government are evading responsibility for cleaning up these toxic, hazardous sites. They are an invisible threat causing cancers, birth defects and diseases. We must introduce legislation to clean up the mines and affected areas, provide clean water and compensate individuals who are suffering adverse health effects from living near them.”
Longtime Green Party activist Howie Hawkins was arrested Tuesday for his participation in the We Are Seneca Lake blockade against the Crestwood gas storage facility in upstate New York. According to the Green Party of New York, Hawkins “joined a U.S. armed forces veterans contingent in a human chain across the entrance to Crestwood Midstream on Route 14.” Hawkins is a Marine veteran who “remained active in the anti-war and anti-nuclear movements” during his service.
Green Party of New York co-chair Gloria Mattera said, “The Green Party is proud to support We Are Seneca Lake’s ongoing civil disobedience campaign against methane gas storage. Their heroic efforts remind us that, while New York is not fracking, we are still bound to an undemocratic fossil fuel system that is deadly to our climate and communities.”
Protesters have been blocking the Crestwood gas storage facility gates since October 2014. The We Are Seneca Lake movement opposes Crestwood’s plans for methane and LPG storage in lakeside salt caverns.
Hawkins was one of the co-founders of the Green Party of the United States in 1984, and has made New York bids for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, and comptroller, as well as several county and city-level offices. In his 2014 gubernatorial run, he received nearly 185,000 votes, just under five percent of the total. In 2015, he won 35% of the vote in his run for Syracuse City Auditor.
A January 16 news item on Green Party Watch stated that the California Green Party had asked the Secretary of State to list five candidates on the ballot for the June 7 presidential primary. This information was incorrect. The California Green Party will make its designation of candidates on January 31. We apologize for the error. (The erroneous post has been removed to avoid confusion.)
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Flowers, both physicians, write at Truthdig that the debate between Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders over healthcare illustrates the importance of backing a single-payer “Medicare For All” system.
They write in part that the Affordable Care Act and Medicare For All “cannot exist in the same system, because if the insurance industry continues to play a role, it will undermine any publicly funded system. The insurance industry is adept at attracting the healthiest people and leaving those who need health services to public systems or else uninsured. The industry is an impediment to health. It must be ended, not reformed.
“To achieve improved Medicare-for-all will require strong leadership, someone who is willing to tell the truth and not bow to industry pressure. People often believe that single-payer is not politically realistic. As physicians, we understand the difference between political reality, which is malleable, and the reality that many are suffering in the U.S. and dying of preventable causes.”
The University of North Carolina Asheville Blue Banner has released the full video and transcript of news editor Larisa Karr’s interview with Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, which took place on November 15 during Stein’s North Carolina campaign tour.
Karr writes, “Stein is tireless, fearless, and just won’t stop. In between campaigning in the United States and going to Paris to attend the recent COP21 conference, the Green Party presidential candidate sat down with the Banner last semester to discuss student loans, America’s foreign policy, and why she was handcuffed to a chair for hours during the last presidential debate.”
In other Stein campaign news, Stein is making a push to get on the general election ballot in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Utah. In 2012, Stein was on the ballot in Rhode Island and Utah, but ran as a write-in candidate in New Hampshire. She said, “Getting on the 2016 ballot for New Hampshire’s 873,932 registered voters would be an inspiring demonstration of how our movement is gaining momentum!”
Matt Funiciello, the Green Party candidate for the New York 21st District U.S. House seat, co-writes a Huffington Post piece with Siena College economist Aaron Pacitti calling for the establishment of a living wage.
They write, “Beginning on January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in New York rose to $9.00 per hour, a 12 percent increase from 2014. Additionally, the minimum wage for tipped workers increased to $7.50 per hour. Although a minimum wage that rises faster than the cost of living is a good policy to reduce poverty and inequality, small incremental increases over multiple years are not sufficient to keep full-time minimum wage employees out of poverty. A $15 minimum wage is needed today and should be indexed to inflation to ensure that low-wage workers can be economically self-sufficient.”
They argue that “the minimum wage is far too low for an economy as rich as ours, forcing full-time workers to live in poverty and rely on public support. It’s time we end consumer and taxpayer subsidies to businesses that employ minimum wage workers, and make the minimum wage a living wage.”
The Illinois Green Party has launched an online petition calling for the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, saying that “citizens of Chicago will no longer endure the corruption and lies emanating from the highest offices of the city. We deserve honest elected officials who protect and serve the public.”
The Illinois Green Party says the two officials “betrayed the public trust by suppressing the video recordings showing the shocking execution of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke. Emanuel sat on the video until forced to disclose it by court order, and Alvarez took no action to charge Van Dyke for 13 months — while Van Dyke continued to be employed by the City and Emanuel ran for re-election.”
Several Green Party candidates for federal office expressed their thoughts on the State of the Union during the Green Party livecast Tuesday evening.
Joe DeMare, Ohio U.S. Senate:
Margaret Flowers, Maryland U.S. Senate:
Arn Menconi, Colorado U.S. Senate:
Shamako Noble, California U.S. Senate:
Matt Funiciello, New York 21st District U.S. House:
Joe Manchik, Ohio 12th District U.S. House:
In addition, Green Party national co-chair Andrea Mérida spoke in both English and en español:
For Immediate Release:
January 12, 2016
For Further Information:
Margaret Flowers, email@example.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
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that 15 Now, which has campaigned for a $15 per hour minimum wage in Minneapolis, has joined forces with St. Paul-based $15 in ’16 to create 15NowSTP to campaign for a $15 minimum in Minnesota’s capital city. Green Party activists Brandon Long and Jesse Mortenson are among the leaders of the new group.
The newspaper says that Long, “who foresees a minimum wage increase going to ballot referendum in Minneapolis, said the proposed St. Paul ordinance ‘will be strengthened to better match the eventual language of the Minneapolis ballot initiative.'”
The Chicago Tribune reports that two candidates, Warren Grimsley and Rob Sherman, will face off in a Green Party primary in the Illinois Fifth District U.S. House race on March 15. A third candidate, Richard Mayers, was removed from the ballot after a challenge by the Grimsley campaign.
Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections, “said the objection to Mayers was upheld because he is not a registered voter, which makes him ineligible as a candidate for any party.” Mayers, a white supremacist with a criminal record, has been a frequent candidate for office in Illinois.