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Post Election Analysis: Green Party House of Representatives

53 Green Party candidates appeared on the ballot this November, one more in Washington was on the ballot in the Primary, and 4 more ran write-in campaigns. Of the 54 ballot candidates, results ranged from 0.16% to 8.32%, from 157 votes to 17,545 votes. The average percentage of the vote of all 54 races was 2.21% from 225,000 votes.

This is a decline from 2008, when the Green Party’s 59 US House of Representatives brought in over 500,000 votes, averaging 3.47% of the total vote. 2008 was unique in that the Arkansas Green Party had three candidates for three House seats that were unopposed by one of the corporate parties, resulting in finishing with 64,000 votes (23.33%), 58,000 votes (21.52%) and 31,000 votes (13.76%). There were some other very strong finishes in 2008 by Carol Wolman in California, Titus North in Pennsylvania, and Jason Wallace in Illinois.

In fact the 2010 results more closely resemble 2006, another mid-term election, when the Green Party fielded 43 candidates, netted 253,000 votes, averaging 2.74%.

One of the better finishes in 2010 came in California from Ben Emery, who finished with 17,545 votes (7.25%). Emery raised over $10,000 in individual contributions and ran hundreds of commercials on television. With a fraction of the budget of his Democratic and Republican opponents Emery worked it to get the 17,000 votes that he finished with.

The other four stronger finishes were in Illinois, where the 11 Greens running for the US House averaged two points better (4.31%) than other Greens running for the House (2.21%), and slightly better than they did in 2008 (4.00%). Robert Burns running in Illinois’ 4th Congressional District made up of two slithering slices of Chicago’s western suburbs, finished with 6,656 votes, 8.32% of the vote in a lower turnout district. This result turned out to be the highest percentage of any Green running for US House in 2010. Congrats, Robert! Another good finish was in the neighboring 3rd Congressional District where Laurel Lambert Schmidt finished with 9,864 votes (6.03%). Both Schmidt and Burns were first time candidates who improved the Green Party’s results in suburban Chicago districts.

Sheldon Schafer in his second run for US House in the larger Western Illinois 18th Congressional District improved both his vote totals and percentage of the vote from 2008, finishing with 11,244 votes (5.09%) compared to 9,725 (3.17%) in 2008.

But special props go to Bill Scheurer, a first time candidate running in the 8th Congressional District. Although his results weren’t outstanding (6,449 votes, 3.31% of the vote), Bill wins the honorable “Nader Award” (something we just made up), given out to any candidate that can inspire the media to accuse them of “spoiling” a race. Here is Eric Zorn in his own words:

The way I look at the numbers, the only thing the Green Party may have accomplished in the 2010 elections in Illinois is to help a tea-party-backed candidate win a seat in Congress. Other than that, nothing.

[…]

Bill Scheurer, seems to have drawn enough votes — about 6,500 — to hand a victory to tea party Republican Joe Walsh in the northwest suburban 8th District.

In fairness to the author, at least he sought and printed a reaction from Illinois Green Party chair Phil Huckelberry, who said: “Everyone in the party I’ve talked to can’t stand Melissa Bean and would never vote for her,” said Illinois Green Party chairman Phil Huckleberry when I asked him about this. “Any argument that says otherwise is silly.”

To view a Google Docs Spreadsheet of Green Party US House of Representatives Candidates and their election results click here. Note it also includes results from 2008 and 2006 but no further back than that.

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Rich Whitney to travel Illinois by bike and train

Rich Whitney, Illinois Green Party candidate for governor, will travel across Illinois by bike and train in a “Sustainable Transportation Tour” from Thursday 20 May to Friday 28 May. Details and schedule below:

Sustainable Transportation Tour

Green Party candidate Rich Whitney will be traveling across the state by bike and train. He’ll be joined at points by local candidates and other Green supporters. Please contact lynne [at] whitneyforgov [dot] org if you want to join or help promote the events. Also, see Rich’s sustainable transportation policy.

(pre-tour) May 19th: Rich will join the Chicago Ride of Silence at 6:30 pm, Daley Plaza.

DAY ONE: Thursday, May 20th
10:30 am Press Conference at James R.Thompson Center at 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago opposing eminent domain at Peotone prior to FAA approval/disapproval of an airport. STAND (Shut This Airport Nightmare Down) is organizing the press conference and demonstration. Featured speakers are Rich Whitney, Green Party candidate for governor; Brian Cann, Will Township Supervisor; Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois and George Oschenfeld, Green Party candidate for State Representative, 79th district.

1:00 pm Press Conference / SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION TOUR LAUNCH
Logan Square campaign office @ 3044 W. Fullerton Avenue.
Mr Whitney will be joined by several supporters, including Jeremy Karpen, Green Party candidate for State Representative, District 39 and Jack Ailey, Green Party candidate for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Continue Reading

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Democrats playing dirty tricks in Illinois

In two stories at Ballot Access News, Richard Winger covers efforts by Democrats in Illinois to run against Tom Tressler in the Green Party primary in Tressler’s bid to win the nomination for President of the Cook County Board, and to keep Green Bill Scheurer from running for Congress on the Green Party line.

In the Tom Tressler case, a person listed as a leader of the Young Democrats has filled out paperwork to run in the Green Party primary against Tressler. When Illinois Greens attempted to contact the Democrat they got no response. Ballot Access News links to this NBC News story about the situation.

In the Bill Scheurer case, the Democratic Party is simply taking the low road by challenging his petitions to appear on the ballot in the Green Party primary. Because the Democratic dominated state legislature has ended a policy of long standing that allows party officials to nominate candidates in races where no candidate filed to run in the primary, a system called “slating”, the Illinois Greens will have no candidate in that congressional race should the petition challenge succeed.

The Democratic Party pulled this same sort of anti-democratic stunt a few years back when they advised Scheurer to hire a ballot access team that planned to sabotage his petitioning effort. Scheurer sued in that case. The current effort to keep him off the ballot is covered at the Daily Herald.