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Campaign news and more endorsements for Green Party candidates running in the Nov. 8, 2011 general election

From the Green Party of the United States:

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party candidates have continued to receive endorsements in local races across the US.

59 Greens will be on ballots in the November 8, 2011 general election. Ten Greens have been elected to public office in elections held earlier this year, out of 34 candidates who competed.

Green candidates in St. Paul, Minnesota, received several endorsements. For the first time, St. Paul will use Ranked Choice Voting (also called Instant Runofff Voting) in City Council elections, which will increase the chances of a Green election victory.

TakeAction Minnesota, a progressive grassroots coalition, has endorsed Jim Ivey for Ward 2 (http://iveyforsaintpaul.org) and Bee Kevin Xiong (http://xiongforsaintpaul.org) for Ward 6 in City Council races.
http://www.takeactionminnesota.org/_assets/document/St._Paul_City_Council_Endorsements.pdf
http://iveyforsaintpaul.org/news/jim-ivey-endorsed-takeaction-mn

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 has also endorsed Mr. Ivey and Mr. Xiong.
http://www.ufcw789.org/newsletter/vol2issue5.pdf
http://iveyforsaintpaul.org/news/united-food-and-commercial-workers-endorse-jim Continue Reading

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Illinois Green Party Files Suit Against State Board of Elections

The Illinois Green Party, and congressional candidate Laurel Lambert Schmidt, on Monday filed suit against the State Board of Elections over the Board’s interpretation of the “established party” statute. A victory for the plaintiffs would substantially lower ballot access bars for Green candidates in numerous congressional and legislative districts across the state, which would allow for many more Greens to run for office in 2012.

The case, Schmidt v. State Board of Elections, was filed in Cook County Circuit Court (11-CH-36783). The complaint charges that the Board erred in determining that the Green Party does not retain established party status in areas of the state where Green candidates exceeded 5% of the vote in 2010. Four congressional candidates and six legislative candidates reached that level, including Schmidt, whose 10,028 votes in the old 3rd Congressional District earned her just over 6% of the vote.

The Board’s argument is that since the old districts no longer exist due to decennial redistricting, the 5% rule does not apply in the new districts.

“Laurel’s situation demonstrates the absurdity of the Board’s position,” said Phil Huckelberry, Illinois Green Party Chair.

As an established party candidate, Schmidt would need to submit a petition in December with valid signatures from 600 registered voters in the district, and would then be on the March primary ballot. Non-established or “new” party candidates would have to file 5,000 signatures in June.

“The advantages for established party candidates are substantial,” said Huckelberry. “Forums and debates are often set up by June, and a number of organizations will have already issued endorsements based on who is already on the ballot.”

Schmidt is running for the second time against Dan Lipinski, a relatively unpopular Democrat who was the latest recipient of what Huckelberry called “Mike Madigan’s sugarplum gerrymandering.” Schmidt’s own residence was drawn mere blocks outside of the district, but she is prepared to move back across the line to serve the district in Congress.

“I’ve been an active member of this community for 27 years. Dan Lipinski moved into Illinois and the district after he was handed a spot on the ballot that his dad had won in the primary. Now, every rule and every line are bent in Dan Lipinski’s favor,” said Schmidt, who labeled Lipinski as a “socially conservative, blue dog hawk.”

“The people of the 3rd District deserve a choice. As the first Green in Congress I will work for and be a voice for peace, people, and planet over short-term profits. The two-party system and its control by corporate cash is destroying the 99% – that’s us.”

Schmidt is not the only candidate who will be affected by the ruling, said Huckelberry. “We have interested people who are looking for some resolution on this issue before jumping in.”

Illinois Green Party: www.ilgp.org
Laurel Lambert Schmidt for Congress: www.laurel4congress.org

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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 update for week of 5/6

From Rich Whitney for Governor:

ONLINE AND IN THE NEWS
Check out the Huffington Post article on Scott Lee Cohen’s run for governor: Quinn, Brady, Whitney react or read Rich’s full statement in the Decatur Tribune.

Rich’s “comprehensive plan to solve the state’s budget crisis…in which the numbers actually work” received extremely positive coverage in the April Edition of Illinois Issues. Continue Reading

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Rich Whitney joins IL Greens for immigrant rights march and other events

From Rich Whitney for Governor:

Rich, US Senate candidate LeAlan Jones and several other Green Party candidates and volunteers will be marching in this year’s May Day Immigration March in Chicago on Saturday, May 1st. Please join us at 1pm at the corner of Lake & Ashland by Union Park.

ALSO ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
April 30: Rich will be in Peoria this Friday for a joint campaign event at the Peoria Theater with green congressional candidate Sheldon Schafer from 6:00-10pm.

May 8: Rich joins green congressional candidate Laurel Lambert Schmidt for a fundraising brunch from 11am-1pm at 203 Parkview Road, Riverside 60546. RSVPs appreciated:  lynne@whitneyforgov.org Continue Reading

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Illinois Green Party challenger knocks Lipinski’s health care vote

Bob Skolnik has an article at the Riverside Brookfield Landmark about Green Party candidate Laurel Lambert Schmidt’s challenge to Dan Lipinski, the only Illinois Democrat to vote against the recent health care bill. In a press release, Schmidt outlined major problems with the bill, but objected to Lipinski’s decision to vote against the bill out of opposition to womens’ reproductive rights.

“Dan Lipinski has put his personal religious values before the well-being of millions of Americans who just might be able to get health care coverage when before they could not,” Lambert Schmidt said.

Lipinski’s vote against the health care bill has provided a welcome boost for her campaign, Lambert Schmidt says.

“People are seeking me out even though I lack the money and publicity to really get my name out very much so far,” Lambert Schmidt said.

Read more on Laurel Lambert Schmidt’s campaign for Congress at her website.