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Maine Greens Elect Three; Plus Independent to State Assembly

The Maine Green Independent Party saw three local candidates win elections on Tuesday:


Greens in Portland won several races: City Councilors David Marshall and Kevin Donoghue easily won re-election to third terms on the City Council while Holly Seeliger won the open seat for the School Board District 2 (West End, Parkside). Congratulations to David, Kevin and Holly for running terrific, grassroots campaigns and for showing that Greens can govern. Are you ready to run in 2013? Form a municipal committee? Contact us today! info@mainegreens.org

While the Greens running for State legislative seats once again performed well but lost, one Green was re-elected to the state assembly as an Independent. Ben Chipman, who is a Green, wound up running for State Assembly in 2010 as an Independent and defeated his Republican and Democratic opponents. This year he won re-election:

Maine House District 119
Herbert C. Adams (D) 1,272 36.63%
Benjamin M. Chipman (I) 1,884 54.25%
Gwendolyne Elissa Tuttle (R) 317 9.13%

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Two Greens vying to become next mayor of Portland, Maine

In Portland, Maine’s largest city, the city’s first mayoral election in decades features two candidates from the Green Independent Party: former State House member John Eder and City Councilor David Marshall. Both have been featured recently in the Portland Press Herald.

In his interview, Eder said that affordable housing would be the central issue in his administration:

“We’re on the verge of the creative economy toppling the artists and workers who helped make Portland become what it is,” he said. “We can’t lose those people.”

Marshall pointed to a record of accomplishment in five years on the council and presented his plan:

Marshall’s five-point platform includes investing in the city’s school facilities, converting homes and businesses from oil to alternative fuels, and creating a streetcar line.

Those programs would cost a significant amount up front, as some opponents have pointed out. Marshall calls them “investments.” He points to a record of saving the city money.

The election will be conducted using instant runoff voting, which Green Anna Trevorrow played a key role in enacting as a member of Portland’s charter commission. Ben Chipman, an independent State House member who is closely aligned with the Greens, is also quoted in the article about Marshall.

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Independent Maine state legislator introduces bill on Earth Day to fund commuter rail from casino revenue

Ben Chipman represents Portland in the Maine legislature’s lower house.  He has been a Green Party activist for years and was elected as an independent.  On his facebook, he said, “On Earth Day I am proud to release a bill to fund commuter rail service! Whatever your position is on the casino, if it is going to be built I think it is important that the revenue go towards worthy projects that reduce our carbon footprint.”

From the Bangor Daily News:

LD 1344 would amend the casino bill to allocate money currently earmarked for harness racing purses and the Sire Stakes Fund, 2 percent of slot machine revenue, to the State Transit, Aviation and Rail Transportation Fund.

The estimated funding would total about $2 million a year.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Benjamin Chipman, U-Portland, and co-sponsored by Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, and Rep. Jarrod Crockett, R-Bethel…

Chipman said the Biddeford casino is likely to pass, and the harness racing funds will probably lose that funding anyway.

He said rail service would be a win-win. On one hand, “it would relieve some of the traffic congestion that people in that area are worried about.” At the same time, passenger rail would make the casino “more feasible” by adding another way for potential casino patrons to get to Oxford.

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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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Greens fall short in campaigns for state legislature

Despite having a number of promising campaigns for state legislature in various states, Greens fell short of victory in every race – a few by painfully close margins. However, one former Green running for state legislature as an independent in Maine did win.

In Maine, Fred Horch of Brunswick finished with 34% in District 66, just 4 points (or 200 votes) behind the victorious Democrat. Anna Trevorrow finished 2nd with 31% in District 120, and Seth Berner finished 2nd with 28% in District 115.

In Massachusetts, Mark Miller of Pittsfield finished with 45% in a 2-way race in the 3rd Berkshire District.

In Wisconsin, Ben Manski finished with 31% behind Democrat Brett Hulsey, who had 49%. While Manski did better among voters who designated a candidate in the race, straight-ticket Democratic votes gave Hulsey the edge.

In Illinois, Jeremy Karpen finished with 35% to 65% for Democratic incumbent Toni Berrios.

In Pennsylvania, Hugh Giordano finished with 18% in a 3-way race.

In Maine, independent Ben Chipman won House District 119 with 54% of the vote. Chipman previously worked as an aide to John Eder, who became the second US Green to be elected to a state legislature in 2002. Chipman has also run on the Green Party line in previous campaigns. While not technically elected on the Green Party line, Chipman will no doubt be a voice for Green values in the Maine State House.

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Maine Green Independent Party will run 18 candidates for state legislature in 2010

AUGUSTA- On Monday, March 15th, the Green Independent Party of Maine turned in signatures to qualify 18 legislative candidates throughout the state, the second highest total in 12 years of holding official ballot status.

“We made legislative recruitment a top priority this year. With sweeping changes in electoral reform that came out of Augusta last year, we no longer need the governor’s race to keep party status. We turned our resources toward legislative seats, where we have better opportunity for success,” said Anna Trevorrow, Chair of the state Green Independent Party.

The party has nearly doubled its number of qualified candidates from 2008, and has expanded its geographic outreach. The Greens have qualified 15 candidates for State House and 3 for State Senate.

“This year we are running a great slate of candidates from York to Hancock County and some of them have excellent chances to win, running in open seats where the incumbent is term-limited,” said Ben Chipman, Candidate Coordinator for the state party and former Legislative Aide for John Eder, a Green who served in the State House from 2002-2006. Continue Reading

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June 2009 Greenline published

Greenline, the Green Party’s e-bulletin, has just released their June 2009 edition. With stories on registration for this summer’s Annual National Meeting, election results from June 9th elections, and the last opportunity to buy paper versions of Green Pages this year, it is a must read. The entire text is available by clicking this article’s headline.

Continue Reading

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Portland Maine Greens run to help re-write city charter

Dan Jenkins and Anna Trevorrow are both running for seats on the Portland City Charter Commission, a group to be elected to evaluate and restructure government in that city.

Trevorrow’s main issues include:
1. Move from an appointed to an elected Mayor
2. Create greater neighborhood representation by examining districts and at-large vs. district seats
3. Attain greater accountability for City Hall officials

Ben Chipman is also running for a seat on the commission, focusing on small districts for city races to avoid the impact money can have on a race covering a large number of voters.

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Portland Maine Greens get detailed write-up

DownEast.com carries an outstanding and detailed report on the history of the Portland Maine chapter of that state’s Green Independent Party. Jeff Clark, the article’s writer, interviewed several Portland Greens, and offers up a number of quotes.

Much of the thrust of what these Greens have to say can be summed up in these phrases: Go for youth, go for the non-voter, stand by your issues, and the Democrats are not our friends. Here are a couple of quotes to whet your appetite:

But these days the Greens are widely acknowledged as the city’s new second party, displacing the GOP in both votes and political offices and shaking the complacency out of the Democratic power structure.

“One of the first pieces of advice I got was to cut out all voters between eighteen and thirty-five years old, as well as anyone who hadn’t voted in the last presidential election,” Eder recalls. “I said no. Those young voters were my crowd. What I found was that it’s easy for any group of voters to become apathetic if they’re not invited to participate. Appealing to younger voters and going door to door were the keys to my success in Portland.”

Maine’s Greens have largely moved past the disgruntled Democrats who were the majority of early members. “There’s a generational change going on,” she says. “People are feeling they are Greens because of what we stand for, not because they’re sick of the Democrats.”