Green Party Wins Ballot Access in Tennessee

According to Ballot Access News, the Green Party and Constitution Party in Tennessee have won access to the Ballot in Tennessee via lawsuit:

On February 3, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes invalidated Tennessee’s new ballot access law for minor parties. The case is Green Party of Tennessee and Constitution Party of Tennessee v Hargett, 3:11-00692. The decision is 90 pages. It strikes down the early April petition deadline, and also strikes down the 40,029 signature petition requirement. And, it says that it is unconstitutional to force minor parties to nominate by primary, at least in the context of an open primary state that doesn’t have party registration. It strikes down the 2011 law that reserves the best positions on the ballot for the two major parties.

The decision also puts the Constitution and Green Parties on the 2012 ballot, based on the evidence that in the recent past, both parties did collect several thousand signatures on petitions to get on the Tennessee ballot.

This is very big for the Green Party, which would have had a very difficult time getting on the Tennessee ballot if the new ballot access law remained in place.

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Green Party qualifies for Arkansas ballot

The Arkansas Times reports:

Secretary of State Mark Martin said the Green Party gathered sufficient signatures to qualify for a party slot on the Arkansas election ballot this year. The party must hold a nominating convention by May 22.

The Arkansas Greens’ Jim Lendall joined the discussion to offer details about the road ahead: Read the rest of this entry »

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Green Party of Oklahoma to sue State over Ballot Access

Posted at the Green Party of Oklahoma:

The Green Party of Oklahoma will be filing suit in February against the state of Oklahoma, to challenge the state’s ultra-restrictive ballot access laws.

Oklahoma was the only state in the union to allow only two choices for President in 2004 and 2008. Without a change in the law, this sordid history will repeat itself in 2012.

If you are an registered Oklahoma voter who would like to be a potential plaintiff in this case, please contact attorney James M. Branum.

We are also looking for donations to help fund the cost of litigation. Donations can be sent directly to the attorney with a credit or debit card via paypal by clicking here. Donations received will pay for the availability retainer, legal fees and costs of litigation.

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More on Illinois Green Party’s Lawsuit for Ballot Access

As reported here in October, the Illinois Green Party has filed a lawsuit against the State Board of Elections over their interpretation of the “Established Party” statute. The Examiner (Chicago) has an excellent update on the status of the Illinois Green Party’s lawsuit for Ballot Access on behalf of Congressional Candidate Laurel Lambert Schmidt and others.

Some excerpts:

Laurel Lambert Schmidt will be traveling to Springfield (Illinois) on Tuesday, December 27th to file her 1315 petitions that she and about a dozen volunteers collected in the 3rd Congressional District to run again in the 2012 election in the same district, now redrawn. She only needed 600 petitions to be placed on the ballot as a member of the ILGP.

However, The Illinois Board of Election (ISBE) will likely not accept her petitions as an Illinois Green Party candidate this time, because the IBSE no longer recognizes the ILGP as an “established political party.” For Schmidt to gain ballot access for the 3rd Congressional district, she would now need 5000 signatures.

On the status of the lawsuit so far:

The ILGP had lost its first case in Cook County Circuit Court before Circuit Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon, who is also the Presiding Judge for the 4th Municipal District. The court cited the precedent of Vestrup v. DuPage County Election Commission, which was a 2002 case involving a Libertarian Party candidate.

The Illinois Green Party (ILGP) suffered another setback on Thursday in their bid to gain “ballot access” for several of its candidates statewide in Illinois. The First Judicial District Illinois Appellate Court (5th Division) ruled the Green Party cannot be on the March primary ballot in Illinois. The order to affirm an earlier lower court ruling was signed by Appellate Court Justices James R. Epstein, Joseph Gordon, Margaret Stanton McBride, and Nathaniel R. Howse Jr.

Bring it home, Andy Finko:

Andrew Finko is adamant about the cozy relationship between the court and the Democratic Party. “In Cook County, all the trial court and appellate court judges are Democrats and owe their jobs to the Democratic party that endorsed, promoted, and made it possible for them to be elected. Outsiders do not get elected to judge,” said Finko.

He added, “Regardless of the appearances, they all have an inherent, non-waivable conflict of interest when presiding over political cases. Whether directly and/or indirectly, they all want to help their team and keep their good relations with the party that gave them their jobs.”

I highly recommend reading the entire piece at The Examiner.

http://www.examiner.com/city-hall-in-chicago/it-s-not-easy-being-the-green-party-the-state-of-illinois

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Green Party Pres. candidate Cynthia Mckinney national speaking tour

-Mckinney to speak in Los Angeles on Saturday June 18th!!

EYEWITNESS LIBYA: CYNTHIA MCKINNEY REPORTS BACK ON THE MASSIVE BOMBIMG OF TRIPOLI
-Mckinney to speak in Los Angeles on Saturday June 18th!!

-Cynthia Mckinney was the 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate along with Vice Presidential Candidate Rosa Clemente.

The ANSWER Coalition is sponsoring a nationwide speaking tour featuring former Congressional representative and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, who is currently in Libya on her second fact-finding mission. McKinney will offer an eyewitness report exposing the truth that has been concealed by the western corporate media.

Also speaking on the tour will be Akbar Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

McKinney and the other speakers will shed light on the devastating impact of the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya and the extensive civilian casualties that the White House, Pentagon and the media have persistently denied. McKinney is currently on her second trip to Libya during the NATO bombing. During her time there, she has visited several hospitals, and has conducted video interviews with doctors and the wounded.

Under the guise of humanitarian intervention and protecting civilians, NATO has carried out a massive bombing of Africa’s largest oil producer. McKinney’s report shows how devastating the bombing has been for civilians in Tripoli and elsewhere.

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Personal account of ballot access petitioning and harassment in public places in Maryland

For background see earlier article posted by Gregg Jocoy and My article at IPR.

I arrived in Maryland on November 22. Andy Jacobs was there one day before me and Darryl Bonner was already there earlier working on the Green Party petition (and the Libertarian petition when it became available – the Greens started earlier). Several other people came and went for parts of the drive, but the three of us gathered the bulk of the Libertarian petitions. Darryl gathered a good chunk of the Green Party petitions and Andy and I gathered somewhat small numbers of signatures for the Green Party as well.

Although it was the same time of year, the weather was about 20 degrees colder than it was four years ago in Maryland, and we had several snow storms. Temperatures were frequently in the 20s and 30s, sometimes with strong winds. Since the vast majority of places we work are outdoors, it made it more difficult to stop people.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Maryland Green Party Prepares to Submit 10,000+ Signatures

From Ballot Access News:

The Maryland Green Party has 14,613 signatures on its petition to be on the ballot in 2012 and 2014. The Maryland Libertarian Party has 10,200 signatures on its petition. The requirement is 10,000. Both parties have rushed to finish these petitions, because if they submit at least 10,000 raw signatures by January 4, 2011, the state will let the voters who are registered in those parties continue to be registered that way. Otherwise, those voters will all be converted to independents, unless they choose another qualified party.

It is likely the Green Party already has enough signatures. The Libertarian Party will have three weeks after January 4, 2011, to make sure they have 10,000 valid signatures. The Constitution Party has also started its Maryland petition drive.

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New Howie Hawkins for NY Governor TV Ads

New York Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins has released 2 new campaign ads that will begin running on TV this week:

#1: New York Wants to Know…

#2: Howie Hawkins Green New Deal – Green Party

Hawkins’ campaign needs donations as soon as possible to get these ads on the air and maximize the Green vote. If Hawkins gets at least 50,000 votes, the New York Green Party will win a ballot line for the next 4 years, making his campaign one of the most important in the nation for Green Party ballot access. The New York Green Party, and Hawkins’ campaign in particular, have seen a surge in interest after Hawkins’ performance in last week’s gubernatorial debate.

Donate to Howie Hawkins for NY Governor to help put these ads on TV and maximize the Green vote.

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Tennessee’s Oppressive Ballot Access Law Struck Down

GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES APPLAUD FEDERAL COURT’S DECISION ON BALLOT ACCESS

On September 20, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes, struck down Tennessee’s laws on how a previously unrecognized political party can get on the ballot. The case was filed by the Libertarian, Constitution and Green Parties of Tennessee on January 23, 2008. The decision states that the high number of signatures required for party ballot access taken together with the wording on the petition saying the signers are members of the party, along with an early filing deadline for the petition, are all unconstitutional. The judgment stated that it violates the plaintiffs’ right to vote and to associate as a political party, as well as Tennessee voters’ right of choice among political parties.

“The Green Party of Tennessee is delighted that the U.S. District Court in Nashville agrees that Tennessee’s ballot access laws are not fair and have effectively kept all other parties off of the ballot,” stated Howard Switzer, Green Party of Tennessee candidate for governor.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Texas is Important

“If the Republican Party insiders are doing stuff like that, we wouldn’t know about it,” [Green Party attorney David] Rogers said. “If the Republicans are doing the right thing for the wrong reason, is it wrong or is it right?”

The Dallas Morning News article here pretty much sums up where we are at with the Green Party of Texas ballot access story. A Texas Judge, who is a “lifelong” Democrat has blocked the Green Party of Texas from running a handful of state wide candidates. The GP of Texas has appealed, taken to the GOP controlled Supreme Court, and a Friday deadline looms as the last opportunity to put those candidates on the ballot.

This Texas ballot access story may be the most important story of the year in terms of its implications.

First, it is very similar to the Romanelli situation in Pennsylvania when Republicans were largely behind the funding for a 60,000 plus petition drive to get the Pennsylvania Green on the ballot. Although the funding was legal, all from individuals that did not exceed state limits, the Green Party signatures were not only thrown out by the Democrats but over $80,000 in court costs was slapped down to Romanelli to further punish the Greens for daring to surpass ballot access barriers. How can the ethics of the Green Party be questioned given the unethical and clearly self-preserving actions of the Democrats? Why are Democrats allowed to take money from Republicans and do whatever they can to increase their chances of winning while the Green Party is called unethical for doing the same thing?

Second, while the Democrats don’t hide the fact that for them this is all about eliminating competition in the Governor’s race between White and Perry, for the Green Party this is all about 2012. For the Texas Greens it may be about ballot access, but for the Green Party of the United States this has implications in recruiting a viable candidate for President in 2012. Being able to offer a ballot line in Texas, the second most populous state in the union, is a real big deal sweetener.

Third is the question of whether the cost of petitioning is an “administrative cost” for political parties or not. The Green Party of Texas claims it is, because if they can’t get signatures then they can’t run candidates. The onerous ballot access barriers are an administrative hurdle to cross.

Fourth is the issue of ballot access barriers. The one question major media outlets seem to be brushing over is why the Green Party requires 42,000 signatures from registered voters who did not vote in the primary, but the Democrats and Republicans don’t have to do that? In many states there is an equal access to the ballot. In Wisconsin, for example, whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Green, you need 2,000 signatures to run for state wide office, 1,000 to run for US House of Representatives, 400 for State Senate, 200 for State legislature. There is a uniform application of ballot access requirements. Why do states like Texas and Pennsylvania have tiered access rules that inherently benefit the two parties in power?

Finally, how will the three parties be impacted by this in terms of public perception? Will the Republicans look slimy for paying over a half a million dollars to put some leftist competition on the ballot? Will the Democrats look like creeps for legally challenging the will of over 90,000 Texas voters? Will the Green Party look like puppets, or instead like innocent victims who just wanted the right to run candidates for state wide office?

Some stories on the topic:
Texas Green Party files appeal for candidates (Dallas Morning News, 6/28/10)
Texas Green Party Appeals Ballot Decision
(Wall Street Journal,6/28/10)
Judge blocks Green Party candidates from Texas ballot (Dallas Morning News, 6/25/10)
Texas Democrats sue to find who bankrolled Green Party petitions (Dallas Morning News, 6/11/10)

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Texas Green Party announces successful petition drive

From the Green Party of Texas:

MEDIA ADVISORY
Green Party of Texas to Hold Press Conference

Turning in of Over 90,000 Petition Signatures
to Secretary of State on Monday

WHEN
Monday, May 24, 2:00 p.m.
Signatures will be turned in immediately after the press conference.

WHERE
Outside the Secretary of State’s office, Rusk Building
208 East 10th Street, 3rd Floor, Austin

WHAT
The Green Party of Texas will turn in over 90,000 signatures on Monday, in an effort to get the Party on the General Election ballot this November. If accepted, this will be the first time the Green Party has had ballot access since 2002. Read the rest of this entry »

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Green Party of Texas likely to get on the ballot (but still needs your help)

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

Texas Greens are optimistic that their petition drive for 2010 will succeed. The deadline is Monday, May 24. Here is the link to the party’s web page electronic petition. However, the party is depending almost entirely on old-fashioned signatures on paper.

If the party does get on the ballot in Texas in 2010, it is almost certain to poll enough votes to also appear on the 2012 ballot, because this year no Democrat is running for State Comptroller. Greens do have a candidate for that office, as do Libertarians and Republicans. It is very likely the Green candidate for Comptroller will poll 5% and extend the party’s ballot status into 2012.

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Mel Packer calls for volunteers in PA to gather signatures

Mel Packer, the Pennsylvania Green Party’s candidate for US Senate, recently issued this call for volunteer help:

We are still looking for more volunteer petitioners to collect signatures so my campaign can achieve ballot status. Our immediate need is to get folks out to polling places this Tuesday, May 18th, where we can get LOTS of signatures if we get LOTS of you out. Email melpacker [at] aol [dot] com or ebbortz [at] gmail [dot] com NOW if you can help out. We only have a couple of days in order to get petitions to you. And if you can’t do the 18th, but CAN get signatures as you go through your day/workplace, etc., we still need your help. We need to get about 40,000 signatures before they put us on the November ballot and we get into the debates. Please help.

You can watch a recent debate at Robert Morris University with Mel Packer and five other candidates at PCN TV.

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Green candidate for NY governor wants a government ‘for the people’

The Legislative Gazette has a piece reporting on Howie Hawkins, the likely nominee of the New York Green Party for governor. Green nominees for governor and other statewide offices will be decided Saturday 15 May at the party’s nominating convention in Albany. From the article:

If Hawkins is able to garner 50,000 votes during the gubernatorial vote, the party will be able to have an official ballot line, which is a goal of the campaign.

Hawkins’ campaign slogan, “Tax Wall Street, Not Main Street,” echoes the sentiments of the party, which shuns corporate funding and aims for a more grassroots support base.

“We see the basic issue in this campaign as whether our state government is going to be for the people or continue to serve the super rich and the giant corporations and whether it is going to represent main street and Martin Luther King Boulevard or continue to represent Wall Street,” said Hawkins. “And we are running because we are on the side of the people.”

His platform includes a more progressive tax system, proportional representation, ending the war on drugs, single-payer health care, the establishment of a state bank, and the push for cleaner energy.

Read the full article at the Legislative Gazette.

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Texas Greens collecting online signatures, hiring petitioners for ballot access

The Texas Green Party has launched an online ballot access signature drive in an effort to collect the thousands of signatures required by law to place Green candidates on the ballot. If the TX Greens succeed in collecting over 40,000 needed signatures by May 22nd, their 18 declared candidates for office will appear on the ballot this November. Also, since the Texas Democratic Party has no candidate for comptroller this year, it’s likely that the Green candidate for comptroller would earn at least 5% of the vote, thereby gaining ballot access for the Green Party through 2012.

Help the Texas Green Party give voters a choice: sign and share the online petition.

In related news, the Texas Greens have started hiring paid petitioners to gather signatures on the ground before the May 22nd deadline. From the Texas Green Party facebook page:

Get paid to petition to put Green Party in Texas – contact Sean Haugh at 919-402-3489 – start asap!
…and make sure you tell kat you are so we can ensure you are on our list too! – kat@txgreens.org

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