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2012 Green Party Presidential Candidate ___________

FEB 3, 2012 NOTE – This article is OLD. This article describes the four candidates actually seeking the nomination, and Green Party Watch is covering the campaigns daily.

Talk about 2012 and who might be a good Green Party standard bearer as the Presidential Nominee really began in earnest about one month before the 2008 election concluded. So talking about it now, in the summer of 2010, isn’t really out of line or out of place, and perhaps is overdue.

The conversation has already begun on the GPUS National Committee delegate email list, with names tossed around such as Barbara Ehrenreich, Margaret Flowers, Van Jones, and of course Cynthia McKinney. What I find interesting is the variety in “goals” that Greens expect from a Presidential candidate, and the variety of “types” of candidates that people think might accomplish those goals,

So what are the goals of running a national Green Party candidate for President? Winning the White House seems to rank low thanks to the reality of the duopoly in US Politics. So what, then? Five Percent might be brought up, because if a presidential candidate gets five percent of the national vote that political party is eligible for millions of dollars in support of the next presidential nominating convention, but more than that, the percent received by the candidate can impact ballot access in a number of states, Texas, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin just to name a few.

Another major goal often brought up is “party building”. A national candidate for President can travel the land raising money and recruiting volunteers for local chapters everywhere. Nader did it. Cobb did it. And McKinney did it as well, bringing new people into the Green Party fold, some of whom are now candidates for federal office or have taken leadership positions within the party.

So who might be a good Green Party candidate for President? Lets explore the topic by “type” of candidate.

The “Name” candidate

This group of candidates would include those who have a well known name for themselves in the public eye – the bigger the better. It is all about name recognition, but perhaps at a smaller scale. Lets face it, Nader was a “name candidate”, Cobb was not. McKinney was. Van Jones is close, but I would class him more as an “issue candidate”. Celebrities fall in this category, such as: Michael Moore, Amy Goodman, Susan Sarandon perhaps, Ben Affleck (or is it Matt Damon?), and any other famous person who wants to risk their career by taking the “Green Cause” to the political scene. My first choice for a “celebrity candidate” at this point would be Woody Harrelson, tied into the “Issue Candidate” category below for his Cannabis Activism.

The Issue Candidate

This category would include those candidates who are big activists on a narrower issue. Margaret Flowers is a universal heath care advocate. Woody Harrelson is a “legalize marijuana” advocate. Cindy Sheehan is an anti-war activist. Jesse Johnson is an anti-coal mining activist. Cynthia McKinney in a way is a social justice candidate, with emphasis on Palestinian Liberation. Would an “issue candidate” help the party meet its goals? My personal favorite potential “issue candidate” is Kathy Kelly, an anti-war / peace advocate who is a wonderful speaker, I would love to see her at the top of our ballot.

“Insider Candidate”

There is a case made for a Presidential candidate who is a political insider, an organizer within the party or a candidate for federal or state office who has done well. Kent Mesplay falls in this category, as does kat swift, and certainly David Cobb. What about Rich Whitney in Illinois? Jill Stein? Laura Wells? What about a party organizer like Mike Feinstein, Farheen Hakim, or Claudia Ellquist? Would a Green without national name recognition have any impact? Would a Green who had a broader package than a single issue candidate improve our returns? I think if the Green Party is going to consider an insider candidate, they would do well to tag someone who has run in high profile races and done well, who can speak well, raise money, and campaign. Rich Whitney, who got 360,000 votes for 10% in 2006 would be a leading candidate, and I would also bring attention to Jill Stein, who got over 3% of the vote running for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Medea Benjamin, who brought in over 300,000 votes running for US Senate in California in 2000, and Rebekah Kennedy, whose 200,000 votes in Arkansas in 2008 for US Senate brought her 20% of the vote.

Who will the Green Party recruit? Who will the Green Party attract? Will McKinney run again? Will there be another Draft Nader campaign? And if a Green is elected President in 2012, will the world still end as per the Mayan Calendar?

6

Green Party, progressive Dems, community organizers to hold Political Strategy panel at US Social Forum in Detroit, June 24

From the Green Party of the United States:

Five organizations have collaborated to organize a “progressive strategy dialogue” at the United States Social Forum (http://www.ussf2010.org) in Detroit, Michigan. The dialogue will be one of 50 People’s Movement Assemblies during the USSF. It will take place on Thursday afternoon, June 24th, from 1 to 5:30 pm in Cobo Hall, room W2-67.

The dialogue was initiated by the Independent Progressive Politics Network, which has organized similar dialogues a number of times over the past decade. Co-sponsors are the Green Party of the United States, League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Progressive Democrats of America and the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy.

Three major issues will be addressed:

• what can be done to stimulate independent, grassroots activism around key issues like unemployment, the housing crisis, racial justice, the climate crisis, corporate control of elections, immigrant rights, war and empire and universal health care;

• an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as far as the building of a popular progressive movement; and,

• how to develop a “united progressives” network that brings together Greens and other third party activists, progressive Democrats, and labor, community and issue-based organizers into an on-going, independent, progressive alternative to our corporate-dominated political system. Continue Reading

2

Green Party US announces media events for 2010 national meeting in Detroit

Schedule of Media Events at the Green Party’s 2010 Annual National Meeting in Detroit, June 24-27

• Web site for the Green Party meeting: http://greenpartymeeting2010.wordpress.com

• Media credentialing page: http://www.gp.org/forms/media

• Green Party Speakers Bureau: Green leaders available to speak on various issues: http://www.gp.org/speakers

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party will feature former national nominees, state and local candidates for 2010, officeholders and other special guests during press conferences planned to take place at the party’s 2010 Annual National Meeting at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  The meeting will take place from Thursday, June 24, to Sunday, June 27. Continue Reading

2

David Cobb gives anti-corporate personhood presentation in Arizona

David Cobb, the Green Party’s 2004 candidate for president, has been active recently as a leader of Move To Amend, a coalition working for a Constitutional Amendment to establish that constitutional rights are for humans, not corporations. The Arizona Daily Wildcat recently covered Cobb’s presentation at the University of Arizona in Tucson:

David Cobb, the 2004 Green Party presidential candidate, gave a presentation at the UA Law School on April 13 describing why citizens should be working towards amending the Constitution. Continue Reading

1

Lynne Serpe for NY City Council

Campaign Manager for David Cobb’s 2004 Green Party presidential bid, Lynne Serpe has announced she is running for NYC City Council representing the Astoria area. Serpe is the Former Deputy Director, Political Reform Program, New America Foundation , and had a column published in the LA Times co-written with Steven Hill.

Serpe and Robyn Sklar Nelson operate Triple R Events, which they describe as

monthly green events in LIC/Astoria that are fun and educational, not boring and preachy.

Serpe’s campaign maintains a presence on FaceBook and Twitter.

Serpe’s campaign will kick off:

Saturday, May 16th
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Boomerang Cafe & Lounge
36-11 30th Avenue, Astoria
N/W to 30th Avenue, walk five blocks east
R to Steinway, walk 2 avenues north to 30th Avenue and three blocks west.

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Greens urge quick action on Ohio and PA election crimes

Press release issued July 23, 2008:

Greens urge quick action on Ohio, Pennsylvania election crimes, seek assurance of 2008 ballot access fairness and election integrity

• Pennsylvania: 12 indicted after Statehouse Democrats staffers were given taxpayer-funded bonuses to keep 2004 presidential candidate Ralph Nader (Ind.) and 2006 US Senate candidate Carl Romanelli (Green) off the state ballot

• Ohio: Evidence of massive fraud by GOP operatives in the 2004 election, with possible Karl Rove involvement; Greens were the first to probe the 2004 vote theft

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders urged swift and aggressive court action to ensure fair elections and enforcement of legal campaign practices in the wake of election scandals in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Continue Reading

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David Cobb on Cynthia McKinney

David Cobb, writing for the Eureka Times-Standard, wrote about Cynthia McKinney’s swing through Oregon earlier this month in a column: “Peace Candidate McKinney visits Humbolt”. An excerpt:

Ms. McKinney is a towering figure in the progressive community. She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia, and served six terms before quitting the Democratic Party and joining the Green Party.

While in Congress, she introduced articles of impeachment against George Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice. She has actively participated in international war crimes tribunals designed to bring the Bush-Cheney administration to justice. She also bucked the Democratic Party leadership and consistently voted against every regular and supplemental appropriation bill to fund the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

She co-sponsored legislation for universal health care, for a living wage, and for publicly funded elections. She voted to implement the Kyoto protocols to end global warming, to abolish the federal death penalty, to repeal NAFTA and to abolish the World Trade Organization.

The corporate media has refused to cover Cynthia McKinney’s campaign for president. Perhaps it is because she has been such an outspoken voice for the people.