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Green Party of Michigan Update, and Harley Mikkelson is Running for President

Green Party of Michigan has distributed their December 6 State Update, pasted in its entirety below.

Note that Michigan Green Harley Mikkelson is listed as a Green Party candidate for President, along with Jill Stein (MA) and Kent Mesplay (CA).

Harley Mikkelson was the Michigan Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and 2004, for the U.S. Senate in 2008, and Governor in 2010. We will do a profile on him on Green Party Watch soon.

Also note upcoming Local Green Party meeting times in Detroit, Flint, Hillsdale County, and the Traverse Bay Watershed Greens.

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Green Party Candidates for Governor 2010

13 Green Party candidates are on the ballot in 2010 for State Governor, from New England to California and everywhere in between. Rich Whitney had a record setting campaign four years ago when he took 11% of the vote (the highest percent of any Green Party campaign for Governor) on 325,000 votes (second highest vote total ever for a Green Party candidate, Peter Camejo won 393,000 in California in 2002). Jill Stein ran for Governor in 2002 and won 76,000 votes for 3.5%. Howie Hawkins is no stranger to statewide campaigning, he won 55,000 votes in New York running for US Senate in 2006.

2010 Candidates for Governor are an experienced group of campaigners and public speakers who are bringing a Green alternative before the voters in 13 states. Laura Wells, Farheen Hakeem, & Jim Lendall are no strangers to either Greens or the campaign trail. If you can support their campaigns in any way please contact their campaigns or donate on their websites.

Jill Stein, Massachusetts – Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, housewife, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate. She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports, In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, published in 2000, and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, published in 2009. The first of these has been translated into four languages and is used worldwide. The reports promote green local economies, sustainable agriculture, clean power, and freedom from toxic threats.

Howie Hawkins, New York – Howie Hawkins has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent politics since the late 1960s. He was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and the Green Party in the US in 1984. For the last decade Howie has worked unloading trucks at UPS, where he is a member of Teamsters Local 317 and active in Teamsters for a Democratic Union, US Labor Against the War, and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare.

Maria Allwine, Maryland – Maria Allwine is a long-time community organizer and peace and justice activist. She has participated and been arrested in many nonviolent direct actions against the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, was Co-Chair of the Maryland Green Party and is a member of various Baltimore City activist groups. In 2006 she ran against State Senator Joan Carter Conway and received 11% of the vote and in 2007 ran for Baltimore City Council President against Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, received 17% of the vote.

Morgan Reeves, South Carolina – Reeves played college football at Michigan State, then in the NFL with Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts. In business, Reeves established and managed a land-clearing company. He’s also been involved in various community service projects, and has served as a pastor at six churches.

Howard Switzer, Tennessee – Howard Switzer describes himself best: “I am a hippy, proud because we hippies have been right on every issue for the last 40 years. We were right about Nixon, Racism, Vietnam, consumerism, nuclear power, environmental pollution, organic food, natural birth, green renewable and appropriate technology …and we are right about the corporate control of our national institutions. My goal is not to overthrow the system but to make it irrelevant by reviving democracy, by making sure that every organization, our church, school, or government is run according to its principles.”

Dennis Spisak, Ohio – Dennis Spisak is a two term elected member of the Struthers Board of Education and past candidate for US House of Representatives (2008) when he got 4.82% of the vote. Spisak and the Libertarian candidate have both been banned from the Gubernatorial debates in Ohio.

Harley Mikkelson, Michigan – Mikkelson was a Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 and 2004 and the Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008. He is a Vietnam Veteran, a retired state employee and union man. He has been in the Peace Movement since becoming active in Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1968.

Rich Whitney, Illinois – Rich Whitney is a 55-year-old civil rights and employment lawyer from Carbondale. As a lawyer, he has fought for working people who have lost their jobs or had their rights violated. A founder of the Illinois Green Party, he has long been politically active in support of the labor, health-care reform, environmental, civil rights, and peace movements. In 2006, he served as the Green Party’s first candidate for Governor, winning over 360,000 votes and making it possible for Illinois voters to have a third choice on the ballot statewide.

Farheen Hakeem, Minnesota – Farheen was born and raised on the north side of Chicago, with her two brothers from immigrant parents. Her parents were small business owners. She moved to Minneapolis in 1999 and was active in the peace movement and as a community organizer and educator. She has led several high profile campaigns for office. In 2005 she ran for Mayor and earned 14% of the vote. The following year she ran for County Commissioner and won 33% of the vote. In 2008 she ran for an open seat in the State Legislature and finished with 30% of the vote.

Jim Lendall, Arkansas – In his own words: “I served in the Arkansas Legislature for eight years, introducing innovative legislation and speaking out for those with no other voice. I fought against corporate welfare and the corporate assault on working people and the environment. I will bring that same commitment to the office of Governor of Arkansas…”

Deb Shafto, Texas – Deb Shafto is a retired teacher and former union organizer. She is a passionate environmentalist, and is concerned about the expanding wealth divide in America.

David Scott Curtis, Nevada – I am going to refer directly to this fascinating and insightful article from Las Vegas City Life, excerpting just the first paragraph to get you to read the entire thing: “he aspiring governor lounges inside a coffee shop in downtown Las Vegas, drinking juice from a bottle and explaining how his education plan will revive the state’s failing schools. He doesn’t have a bound report, or even an acronym — just a few observations from a product of the system.”

Laura Wells, California – Laura Wells ran for State Controller in 2002 and won 419,873 votes, 5.8% of the total. She ran for the same seat in 2006 and won 260,047 votes, 3.2% of the total. She has lived in California for 30 years and has been active with the California Green Party for at least 8 years. She has been excluded from the California Gubernatorial debates and was reportedly arrested at the most recent one while attempting to enter with a ticket.

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Michigan Green Party nominates slate of 34 candidates for 2010 elections

The Michigan Green Party recently nominated a number of candidates, including several for statewide office and Congress, bringing the total number of Greens running in Michigan this year to 34. The candidates include Harley Mikkelson for Governor and Lynn Meadows for Lt. Governor, John Anthony La Pietra for Secretary of State, and 7 candidates running for various statewide education-related offices. Among 11 nominees for US House of Representatives, 6 already have websites up: Ellis Boal in MI-1, Charlie Shick in MI-3, J. Matthew de Heus in MI-5, Candace Caveny in MI-10, Julia Williams in MI-12, and George Corsetti in MI-13. The Michigan Greens also have 5 candidates for state legislature and 8 for local office. The full list of candidates can be found at GPW’s 2010 Green candidate page or at gp.org’s elections database.

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Rebekah Kennedy Pulls Record Results for U.S. Senate

Rebekah Kennedy, running for U.S. Senate in a head to head race against conservative Democrat Mark Pryor in Arkansas, took in 206,504 votes for 20.54% of the vote. This is the highest percent vote return of any Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate ever. Furthermore, 206,504 votes is the second most number of votes won by a Green Party U.S. Senate candidate ever, second only to Medea Benjamin’s 2000 Senate race in California (326,828). For a brief history of Green U.S. Senate candidates click here.

In Illinois, Kathy Cummings pulled in 115,621 votes for 2.56%, the fifth highest number of votes for a Green Senate candidate.

In Colorado, Bob Kinsey won 46,014 votes for 2.13%.

In Michigan, Harvey Mikkelson won 44,439 votes for 0.92%.

In Washington D.C., Keith Ware’s 14,602 votes netted him 7.45%, which puts him in the top 10 highest vote percents for Green Senate candidates.

Chris Lugo in Tennessee took 9,103 votes for 0.38&, and Steve Larrick in Nebraska took in 7,235 votes for 0.95%.

All told, these seven candidates won 443,518 votes, the most votes for a Green Party slate of candidates since the 2000 election, when Medea Benjamin and 9 other candidates brought in over 700,000 votes. This should be seen as a good sign for the Green Party.

My spreadsheet listing Green Party US Senate candidates is on Google docs, and it is mostly based on the excellent Green Party Election Database.

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Green Party Candidates for U.S. Senate 2008

As reported in the Fall 2008 Green Pages, the Green Party’s seven U.S. Senate candidates:
Kathy Cummings
Kathy Cummings – Illinois

Cummings is running against Richard Durbin because “in 2002 he knew Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. He kept that information from the public. He allowed Bush to fool the American people into starting an unjustified war. You can see Durbin confess to this on YouTube. See his ‘Bombshell announcement’ on my website. He kept quiet for five years because he claims he was sworn to secrecy by the Senate Intelligence Committee! By doing so, he showed his loyalty was with a dishonest regime and not with the People.” Cummings is a Peace candidate who supports the oath of office to uphold the constitution, provide health care to all people and create an ecologically sustainable country.

Rebekah KennedyRebekah Kennedy – Arkansas

Kennedy is a lawyer who has proudly worked in the areas of civil rights and on behalf of victims of workplace discrimination. She previously ran for the office of Arkansas Attorney General and received 4.67% of the vote. She is motivated by the fact that not one Democrat or Republican was willing to run against an incumbent in federal races. Kennedy is challenging Mark Pryor, motivated to run due to Pryor’s many votes in opposition to the people of Arkansas. She currently serves as Elections Co-chair for the Green Party of Arkansas, a position she also held from 2002-2007. Fromm 2007-08 Kennedy served as Public Relations Co-chair. Her reasons for running include challenging Pryor’s votes to continue support for the occupation of Iraq and the Military Commissions Act. Kennedy calls for the U.S. to take the lead in stopping global warming and to create a national health care system.

Bob KinseyBob Kinsey – Colorado

Kinsey is a retired United Church of Christ minister, history teacher, and a veteran of the Marine Corps. His son-in-law is currently serving in Iraq. Kinsey sums up his campaign with the phrase “Respect Life!” This means government must set policies to insure life into the future. The current economic system, run by uncontrolled growth, “is the ideology of a cancer cell.” “We have to redirect our economics to avoid the tipping point” of environmental catastrophe. He supports building sustainable infrastructure, tax incentives for wind power, organic agriculture, safe ranching practices, and mass transit. Kinsey connects his support of the Ten Key Principles to his values as a minister. “The Green Party values are a good secular representation of what Jesus called ‘the Kingdom of God.'”

Steve LarrickSteve Larrick – Nebraska

Larrick is running against Ben Nelson, considered the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. On his website, Larrick discusseshis policies for ending the occupation of Iraq, providing health care to all Americans, solving America’s economic problems, reducing dependence on foreign oil and protecting civil liberties.

Chris LugoChris Lugo – Tennessee

Lugo is running against Republican Lamar Alexander. For the past five years he has worked as a peace activist with state wide coalitions to end the war in Iraq. This activism will be helpful in getting out the anti-war message, which is at the core of his campaign. Having worked for the past ten years with a range of progressive coalitions in Nashville and across the country has given Lugo a sense of what issues are important at the Federal level. Lugo entered the U.S. Senate race “to be a voice for the progressive issues that need to be discussed in Tennessee – ending the war, bringing health care to every citizen, abolishing our nuclear weapons stockpile, addressing issues of racial justice in the South, media democracy, election reform, international peace, and publicly funded campaigns.”

Harley Mikkelson Harley Mikkelson – Michigan

Mikkelson is a Vietnam veteran, a union member and an active Green Party member since 2002. He ran for Congress in 2002 opposed to starting a war in Iraq. In 2004 he ran calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. He has been in the Peace Movement since becoming active in Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1968. His campaign focus is to bring U.S. troops home immediately. In addition, Mikkelson would campaign for Fair Trade, in order to bring back jobs to the United States, and would stress the need to provide more educational opportunities and health benefits for everyone.

Keith Ware
Keith Ware – District of Columbia

(no description in Green Pages – the following is from multiple sources) Keith Ware is a community, environmental and human rights activist in DC, and owner and operator of Nature Green, an Eco-store in downtown DC. “As a fourth-generation Washingtonian, as well as a father, business owner and community activist, I understand the District’s needs and will be the people’s voice.” “The fact that Washington residents have no federal representation violates their basic rights as U.S. citizens. This is an issue close to my heart as well as the hearts of all Washingtonians.”

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A short history of Green Party U.S. Senate races

In 1992, Linda Martin and Mary Jordan became the first Green Party candidates for U.S. Senate.

Mary Jordan ran for U.S. Senate in Alaska, receiving over 20,000 votes, 8.37% of the total vote in a three way race against the infamous Frank Murkowski. Linda MartinLinda Martin ran for U.S. Senate in Hawai’i against an entrenched Democratic Party in 1992 against Daniel Inouye, who had been in the Senate since 1962, and who handedly defeated his opponents winning over 70% of the vote in every re-election – that is until 1992. Linda Martin earned 49,921 votes, 13.73%, holding Inouye to 57.3%, while the Republican picked up 26.9%. Her race changed Hawai’i politics, and Green Party politics, setting records for both total votes and percent of votes by a Green in a partisan race. In this video, Mike Feinstein interviews Linda Martin in 2003 about her campaign.

Two years later, Barbara Blong picked up 140,567 votes running for U.S. Senate in California. In the 1990s, Greens ran for U.S. Senate in Alaska (twice), Hawai’i, California, Maine, Oregon (twice), New Mexico, and New York.

In 2000, with the Nader campaign getting big, Greens ran 10 candidates for U.S. Senate, who combined took in 706,538 votes, led by Vance Hansen (Arizona, 108,926, 7.80%), Medea Benjamin (California, 326,828, 3.08%, and Doug Sandage (Texas, 91,448, 1.46%).
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