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Arkansas Green Party announces 2014 candidates for Governor, US Senate

p Josh DrakeFrom UALR public radio:

Both the Libertarian Party of Arkansas and the Green Party have already submitted enough signatures to be on the ballot for the 2014 elections. On Saturday the Green Party announced a candidate for governor and US senate.

Hot Springs attorney Josh Drake is running for governor while Huntsville resident Mark Swaney is running for US senate.

The party’s public relations officer Rebekah Kennedy identified climate change, fossil fuel dependence, and the infringement of civil liberties as key issues in both candidates’ campaigns. Continue Reading

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Green Party of Arkansas Fields Slate of 14 for November Election

Besides Presidential Candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala, Arkansas voters will see Greens on the ballot for all four seats in the House of Representatives, plus two state legislative seats and 8 more local races.

Arkansas is predicting a Republican sweep of the four Congressional races. The Green Party and the Libertarian Party have candidates in all four races.

Rebekah Kennedy is a Fort Worth attorney, who in 2008 got over 200,000 votes running for US Senate for 20.56% of the vote in a head to head match up with Democrat Mark Prior. She also ran for Attorney General in 2006 and 2010, pulling in 33,338 votes in 06 (4.4%) and 193,658 votes in 2010 (26.7%). This year running for the House of Representatives in CD-3, she faces incumbent Republican Steve Womack, and Libertarian candidate David Pangrac after the Democrat dropped out of the race. Polling in this race is interesting: Womack (R) 58%; Kennedy (G) 15.5%; Pangrac (L) 6%; Undecided 20.5%.

Josh Drake is running in his third attempt for the House of Representatives 4th CD. Drake is a Hot Springs attorney, who pulled in 4,129 votes in 2010 (2.32%) and 32,603 votes in 2008 (13.8%). Polling for this race indicates a tough race, With Republican Tom Cotton polling 51%, Democrat Gene Jeffress at 22%, Josh Drake at 4% and Libertarian Bobby Tullis at 3%. Undecided voters are at 20%.

In the first Congressional District, student Jacob Holloway appears to be losing traction (his website is broken and his original facebook page is down).  Polling has Holloway at 1%, versus 53% for the Republican, 28% for the Democrat, and 2% for the Libertarian candidate Jessica Paxton.

In the second Congressional District, Barbara Ward, who works at the Arkansas Historical Museum, is polling at 4% in her first campaign. Republican Tim Griffin is at 49%, Democrat Herb Rules is at 28.5%, with Libertarian Chris Hayes at 3%.

The Green Party has two candidates running for State Legislative races in Arkansas. In District 50, former Globetrotter Fred Smith, who was formerly elected to the seat as a Democrat, is running against Democrat Hudson Hallum, who was elected to replace Smith in a special election after Smith resigned in 2010. Details of why Fred Smith resigned, and why he is running now as a Green, can be read here. In the other race, in District 45 the Green Party is running Travis Mason against Republican incumbent Jeremy Gillam. There are no other candidates in the race.

Other candidates running for local races on the Green Party ticket in Arkansas:

  • Alvin L. Clay- Mississippi County, J.P. District 6
  • Kade Holliday- Craighead County Clerk
  • Roger Watkins- Craighead County Constable District 5
  • David Bogan- Craighead County Constable District 1
  • Kari Barber-Bars- Garland County Assessor
  • Mark J. Golen- Faulkner County, California Township Constable
  • Dalton Elliott- Faulkner County, Pine Mountain Constable
  • Michael Yoder- Faulkner County Justice of the Peace District 8

Rebekah Kennedy:

Josh Davis:

(Videos found at Independentarkansas.com)

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Arkansas Greens Nominate 14 Candidates Plus Jill Stein

The Green Party of Arkansas yesterday at their State Meeting nominated a slate of 14 candidates for this November’s election, including challengers to all four congressional seats, two state legislative races, and seven local elections.

They also unanimously endorsed Dr. Jill Stein for President, which gives Stein 10 Presidential Delegates. Arkansas has the 8th largest number of Presidential Delegates due to their strong campaign history over the last four years. In 2008, Rebekah Kennedy (pictured) 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.

From the Green Party of Arkansas:

At its state nominating convention on May 6, 2012, The Green Party of Arkansas nominated the following candidates for the November 6, 2012, General Election.

Dr. Jill Stein, President of the United States, unanimous.
Jacob Holloway- U.S. House District 1
Barbara Ward- U.S. House District 2
Rebekah Kennedy- U.S. House District 3
Joshua Drake- U.S. House 4th District

Fredrick Smith-Arkansas State Rep. District 50
Travis Mason- Arkansas State Rep., District 45

Alvin L. Clay- Mississippi County, J.P. District 6
Kade Holliday- Craighead County Clerk
Roger Watkins- Craighead County Constable District 5
David Bogan- Craighead County Constable District 1
Kari Barber-Bars- Garland County Assessor
Mark J. Golen- Faulkner County, California Township Constable
Dalton Elliott- Faulkner County, Pine Mountain Constable
Michael Yoder- Faulkner County Justice of the Peace District 8

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Greens will take part in debates in AR, AZ, and MA. Where else?

Debates are incredibly important for Greens, anyone who supports Green candidates, and anyone who supports independent politics in general, for a number of reasons.

First of all, debates are watched by people across the political spectrum, so they offer a rare chance to publicize Green positions outside the usual echo chambers that politics has been boxed into (corporate media that only covers horse races, independent media outlets that cater to small self-selected audiences, Fox News and talk radio that serve as a megaphone for right-wing corporatist propaganda, etc). This ability to reach a general audience with a Green message not only attracts new people to vote for Green candidates and join the Green Party, it puts pressure on politicians of other parties to adopt Green positions that are popular. Conversely, when Greens are excluded from debates, many vital issues don’t get addressed at all: single-payer health care, runaway military spending, climate change, the failed war on drugs, corporate personhood, and the utter corruption of pay-to-play politics, to name but a few.

Secondly, watching (or attending/participating in) debates and inviting others to join you is an essential act of participating in a healthy democracy. It keeps you informed, open to new ideas, and aware of the crucial role of civil discourse in a pluralistic society.

Finally, there may be no better way to make a case for the Green Party than to actively demand that our candidates participate in the debates. Every time a qualified candidate is shut out from the debates, it makes a mockery of democracy – and people recognize that when it’s brought to their attention. The various mechanisms used by the political establishment to shut out independent voices and maintain the stranglehold of the corporate-sponsored political duopoly need to be exposed for what they are: a concerted attack on the right and freedom of Americans to choose their own government. Open debates activism is also an opportunity to build transpartisan alliances with Libertarians, Socialists, Constitutionalists, and other independents, which helps our pro-democracy message to reach a larger audience across ideological lines.

Right now, I know of a handful of broadcast debates in which Greens will participate. We need your help to find out about others: where Greens will be in the debates, and where they are planning actions aimed at getting in the debates. Such actions can be successful: Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May was included in a nationally televised debate after her supporters publicly protested her exclusion with letters, calls, and other activism. Even when our actions fail to get our candidates on the debate stage, they help open the eyes of our fellow citizens to what we are fighting for. So without further ado, here is a short list of upcoming debates to watch; please help me expand it by looking up debates/debate activism in your state and leaving information in the comments.

9/21 MA Governor debate with Jill Stein – 7 PM – WCVB-TV (Channel 5), WHDH-TV (Channel 7), WGBH-TV (Channel 2), New England Cable News (NECN), WBUR, WTTK-FM, WBZ-AM

9/26 AZ Senate debate with Jerry Joslyn – 6 PM – KTVK channel 3 in Phoenix, streamed at AZfamily.com

10/11 AR-1 House debate with Ken Adler – 6:30 PM – AETN

10/11 AR-2 House debate with Lewis Kennedy – 6:30 PM – AETN

10/12 AR Governor debate with Jim Lendall – 8 PM – AETN

10/12 CA Governor “eco-friendly” debate – Greens likely to protest exclusion at Dominican University in San Rafael

10/13 AR Senate debate with John Gray – 6:30 PM – AETN

10/13 AR-4 House debate with Joshua Drake – 8 PM – AETN

10/15 AR Attorney General debate with Rebekah Kennedy – 7:30 PM – AETN

10/26 MA Governor debate – Jill Stein must raise $100,000 by 10/1 to participate

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Poll: Arkansas Greens close behind Democrats in 2-way statewide races

The Arkansas Green Party is challenging incumbent Democrats in 2-way races for attorney general, state treasurer and state auditor. A recent poll by Talk Business and Hendrix College showed the Greens within striking distance in all 3 races:

In the attorney general’s race, incumbent Democrat Dustin McDaniel received 37 percent support, Green Party candidate Rebekah Kennedy received 24 percent and 39 percent were undecided when party affiliation was included.

Without political affiliation, McDaniel received 38 percent, Kennedy received 19 percent and 43 percent were undecided.

In the state treasurer’s race, Democrat Martha Shoffner, the incumbent, received 33 percent support, Green Party candidate Bobby Tullis received 23 percent and 44 percent were undecided when party affiliation was mentioned.

Without party affiliation, Shoffner received 22 percent, Tullis received 17.5 percent and 60.5 percent were undecided.

In the state auditor’s race, Democrat Charlie Daniels received 39.5 percent support, Green Party candidate Mary Hughes-Wills received 26 percent and 34.5 percent were undecided when party affiliation was included.

Without party affiliation, Daniels received 37 percent, Hughes-Wills received 17 percent and 46 percent were undecided.

Read the full article at Arkansas News.

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Arkansas Green Party nominates slate of candidates

The Arkansas Green Party nominated several candidates at its state convention on July 24th. The candidates include two former state representatives, Jim Lendall for Governor and Bobby Tullis for Treasurer, as well as Rebekah Kennedy for Attorney General, who earned over 20% of the vote for US Senate in 2008. Here is the list of candidates after the convention:

U.S. Senate – John Gray – – http://www.johngrayforussenate.com
Congress – District 1 – Ken Adler —  http://www.kenadlerforcongress.org
Congress District 2 – Lewis Kennedy
Congress District 4 – Joshua Drake
Governor – Jim Lendall – jelendall [at] comcast [dot] net
Secretary of State – David Orr
Attorney General- Rebekah Kennedy
State Auditor – Mary Willis
State Treasurer – Bobby Tullis
State Senate District 18 – Greg Slocum
State Rep. District 33 – Conrad Harvin
State Rep. District 90 – Mark Swaney
Saline County Collector – Joy Ballard
Johnson County Coroner – Ray Wood

Endorsements in non-partisan races:
Howard Smith – West Memphis City Council
Jacob Hollaway – Jonesboro City Council

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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?

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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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Rebekah Kennedy calls Mark Pryor out

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) had to date not responded to any requests for a debate from his only challenger, Rebekah Kennedy of the Green Party, who had requested a debate in August by letter followed up by several phone calls.

During a question and answer session following a speech at the Political Animals Club in Little Rock, Pryor called on Rebekah Kennedy, who according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette asked:

“I was just wondering, my campaign wrote you a letter back in August questioning you about scheduling a debate and had several follow-up calls since then and received no response… Do you feel like the voters in Arkansas are entitled to a debate? If not, do you feel responding would be an appropriate response? Do you feel like a straightforward refusal would be more appropriate?”

Pryor replied that no media group had offered to host a debate, it was too late to schedule a debate, his schedule was really busy, he never saw the letter requesting a debate but the campaign probably got one, etc, etc,.

In related news, 4029TV.com reports that around 800 ballots in Franklyn County mistakenly list Rebekah Kennedy on the ballot as the Republican. There is no Republican in the race.

Also the Times Record reports that the Democratic State Representative removed from the ballot by his own party earlier this year waited too long to sue for re-admission. This decision means that the only candidate on the ballot for State Representative in District 39 will be the Green Party’s Richard Carroll.

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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.”