Chicago Reader: “The Silver Lining Party”

The Chicago Reader has a feature on the Illinois Green Party’s post election mood. Below are some excerpts, but read the entire article at the Chicago Reader. What is interesting about this article is the depth it goes into the variety of positions, often contradictory, among the Illinois Green Party’s candidates this year.

The Greens, drastically underfunded and as a result excluded from most mainstream media coverage, are still struggling to get their message out. And that message can vary: the Green candidates in this election weren’t always on the same page. The party’s leaders say that’s just grassroots democracy in action. But the fundamental problem remains: the reluctance of liberal voters to vote Green when it could cost a Democrat an election.


In Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Second District, also extending from the south suburbs into the south side, Anthony Williams, an African-American pastor with distinctly un-Green views, got 6 percent. Williams is anti-gay marriage, anti-choice, and anti-immigration—but he’d beaten the endorsed Green candidate in the primary.


Huckelberry says Greens need to focus on “dinky little races” in smaller cities and towns where they can actually win and show in practice why Greens are worth electing. “We have to run for governor to be taken seriously by the electorate, so we’ll keep doing it. But we need to get more people on school boards, village boards, library boards, park boards, and build the idea of what it means to have Green elected officials.”


Amid the gloomy news, Green Party leaders take heart in some of the young volunteers they attracted this election—such as Lucky Mosqueda, a 22-year-old Latino from Albany Park who volunteered for Whitney. Mosqueda says most Latinos in his neighborhood have no idea who the Greens are. Nor did he four years ago, when he turned 18 and voted for Blagojevich. He soon became disillusioned with the Democratic Party because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the failure of Democrats to push harder for gay rights. Through connections with Gender JUST, an organization for LGBTQ youth, he learned about the Green Party’s gay rights and anti-war stances, as well as its support for universal health care. He thinks more young Latinos would embrace the Green Party if they knew what it stood for, and he’s optimistic about the Greens’ future.

“I’m a metal head, so my message to the Green Party is, just keep on rockin’,” he says. “Reach out to more people. Have round table discussions with pizza, tea, vegan food, whatever will bring people together. We’re minorities in every way, the Democratic Party isn’t representing us, so the Green Party should make more of an effort to let people know they are out there.”

I highly recommend reading the entire article. I pulled these teasers out but read the entire piece to put them in proper context.


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.


14 Greens to Watch on Election Day

From Green Change:

Tonight, we will be focusing on the campaigns of 14 transformational Green candidates who are building the Green movement across the country. Some of these candidates are poised for history-making wins. Others are blazing the trail for future success by running party-building campaigns for statewide office.

14 Greens to Watch on Election Day

Jeremy Karpen for IL Assembly – Jeremy Karpen’s vigorous grassroots challenge to a Chicago Machine insider has earned him endorsements from the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Teacher’s Union, Independent Voters of Illinois, and even Chicago Progressive Democrats of America. Karpen, a strong supporter of single-payer health care, affordable housing, mass transit, and progressive taxation, has run a clean-money campaign as part of his commitment to reforming Illinois’ notoriously dirty pay-to-play politics.

Ben Manski for WI Assembly – Ben Manski’s insurgent run has earned the support of Madison’s teachers union, the Madison Capital Times, and leading progressives including Jim Hightower, Medea Benjamin, and Thom Hartmann. The outgoing Democratic assembly member revoked his endorsement of Manski’s main opponent, a Democrat who left the Sierra Club to lobby for the coal industry. Manski is racing to the finish line with the support of a broad transpartisan coalition of elected officials, unions, students, newspapers, and activists committed to renewing Wisconsin’s trailblazing progressive tradition.

Gayle McLaughlin for Mayor of Richmond, CA – With a population over 100,000, Richmond became the largest US city with a Green mayor when Gayle McLaughlin was elected in 2006. Since then, McLaughlin has made Richmond a center of the emerging solar industry, fought successfully to increase taxes on the local Chevron oil refinery while lowering them for small businesses, and brought down violent crime with expanded community policing. Her supporters, including Green For All founder Van Jones, hope that her record of positive accomplishments in office will carry Mayor Gayle to victory.

Hugh Giordano for PA Assembly – Hugh Giordano is a union organizer from Philadelphia’s Roxborough neighborhood whose people-powered campaign has electrified the race for an open seat in a traditionally Democratic district. After a CEO won the Democratic primary with only 30% of the vote, Giordano’s strong support for public education, single-payer health care, and worker’s rights has gained him the backing of local unions and maverick Democrats and made him a contender for the win.

Dan Hamburg for Mendocino County (CA) Supervisor – In a county the size of Delaware on the coast of California, former member of Congress and Voice Of The Environment executive director Dan Hamburg is running for supervisor to build a vibrant, sustainable local economy and protect the beautiful natural landscape for generations to come. Hamburg finished first in the 4-way June primary, and has been endorsed by the third-place finisher as well as local unions and environmentalists in his head-to-head race against the conservative, developer-backed candidate who finished a close 2nd in the primary. Continue Reading


Illinois Green Party live-blogging Election Day

The Illinois Green Party is covering Election Day happenings with a live blog at their website. After it was revealed recently that Chicago voting machines were identifying Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney as “Rich Whitey”, it should be interesting to read about any other “irregularities” that might occur. The bloggers are already reporting that Rep. Toni Berrios, who faces a strong challenge from Green Jeremy Karpen in the 39th District, has been delivering pastries emblazoned with her campaign logo to election judges in an apparent violation of electioneering law.

On a related note, if you encounter any difficulties when voting, make sure to report them to your state Green Party as soon as possible, so that patterns of voter suppression can be identified before polls close.


Jeremy Karpen for IL State Rep supporter-made music videos

Illinois Green Party candidate for 39th District State Representative Jeremy Karpen has met an enthusiastic response to his challenge of the Chicago Machine. Supporters of Karpen’s campaign have made musical videos of their favorite candidate that are well worth watching for a taste of what people-powered politics looks – and sounds – like. Enjoy:

Continue Reading


Help a Green who can defeat the Machine

From Green Change:

Jeremy Karpen’s clean-money Green campaign for the IL State Assembly is poised to pull off an upset victory against his Chicago Machine opponent.

Jeremy and his volunteers have already knocked on 7,000 doors and made 3,000 phone calls. Jeremy has earned enthusiastic endorsements from leading newspapers, unions, and voter groups.

At this critical moment, Jeremy needs to raise $3,000 to air a bilingual TV ad, “I support Jeremy Karpen/Yo Apoyo a Jeremy Karpen.”

Watch the ad and make a donation at www.jeremykarpen.org/content/put-jeremy-tv .

If you have a spare hour to phone bank, please volunteer by emailing diane@jeremykarpen.org with the subject line “phone bank”. Even if you don’t live in Chicago, you can make calls from the comfort of your own home.

Jeremy Karpen’s election could spark a peaceful Green revolution from coast to coast. His victory will prove that Greens can start winning state legislative races.

Let’s do everything in our power to help him win.

Please donate and volunteer today to help make Green history.

Here is more information about Jeremy and his campaign: Continue Reading


Chicago Sun-Times endorses Jeremy Karpen, Green for IL State Rep

The Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed Illinois Green Party candidate for 39th District State Representative Jeremy Karpen, who has also been endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago Progressive Democrats of America, and Independent Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization. From the Sun-Times:

39th House District: Incumbent Democrat Rep. Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios is known for not making waves; Springfield insiders say she does a decent job but nothing more. With an out-of-control state budget deficit and a distressed economy, that performance doesn’t cut it. Voters in this Northwest Side district should elect Green Party candidate Jeremy Karpen, a counselor and supervisor at the Mercy Home for Boys. Both candidates share fairly liberal views on taxation policy and education, but Karpen is far more independent, more progressive and has greater depth. There is no Republican running.


Jeremy Karpen, IL Green for State Rep, endorsed by Chicago Teachers’ Union

From Illinois Green Party candidate for State Representative District 39 Jeremy Karpen:

CHICAGO (September 29, 2010) – On Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers
Union (CTU) endorsed Jeremy Karpen, Green Party candidate for 39th
District State  Representative. The union based their support for
Karpen on their support of what the CTU called his “comprehensive plan
to improve state funding… including education,” his support for an
elected school board, and his opposition to voucher programs.

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers Union,”
said Karpen. “I work on the front lines with those most affected by
underfunded schools, but, unlike my opponent, I reject the notion that
it is time to give up on public education. I’ve stood in solidarity
with public school teachers for a long time, and I am proud to have
them stand with me.”

The Chicago Teachers Union endorsed a selective slate of only 39
candidates across the state. Karpen is the first Green Party candidate
to receive an endorsement from the CTU. Continue Reading