Alternative parties criticize Illinois ballot access disparities

illinoisCentral Illinois WJBC Radio 1230 reports on its website that alternative parties in Illinois “are pointing out the large disparities” in ballot access between them and the Democrats and Republicans. A Libertarian candidate for state comptroller said she “has to get at least five times more signatures than her Republican and Democrat opponents, which is 25,000 signatures — a big undertaking.”

Rich Whitney, two-time Green Party candidate for governor, “said the process for new parties is like the Greek myth of Sisyphus. ‘It’s like rolling that boulder up the hill and then it rolls back down over you and you have to start over again,’ Whitney said.” He said the state’s “system is extremely unfair for parties other than Democrats and the GOP.”


Illinois Green Whitney addresses Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference

whitneyTwo-time Illinois Green Party gubernatorial nominee Rich Whitney delivered the keynote address at the Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, Friday evening.

Whitney said, “The Green Party, because we are free, we’re not prisoners of the corporate-minded thinking of the Democrats or the Republicans. We can embrace these sound public policy ideas and fight for them. I think that’s pretty huge. Also the positive side, we have our values. We have a political party based on unifying core principles and values to promote the common good.”

In 2006, Whitney received more than 361,000 votes, or 10.4% of the total, in a three-way race for governor. Four year later, he received just under 101,000 votes in a five-way race that was very close between the top two candidates.


Illinois Green Party news: Oct. membership meeting, fracking, 2014 candidates, and more

IL green party logoFrom the Illinois Green Party:

State Membership Meeting, October 19
The next Illinois Green Party state membership meeting will take place on Saturday, October 19, in U.E. Hall, 37 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago.
All current members, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the Green Party or its candidates, are invited and encouraged to attend. The membership is the highest decision-making body of the Illinois Green Party, and this is your chance to help strategize and set the direction for 2014 and beyond.
The meeting will feature a noontime public forum on “Fracking: Not in Labor’s Interest”. The event, co-hosted by the ILGP and the Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium on Fracking, is part of Global Frackdown 2, an international day of action against fracking. Continue Reading

Illinois Greens win in five local races

From the Green Party of Illinois:

p jessica bradshawWhile most of Tuesday’s elections were officially nonpartisan, Illinois Green Party members competed in elections across the state, with five candidates winning their races, based on unofficial results. If these wins hold, the ILGP’s number of officeholders statewide would grow to 10.

The big win of the night belongs to Green Party member Jessica Bradshaw, who appears to have been elected to Carbondale City Council in a hard-fought nonpartisan race. In the 12-candidate race for three city council seats, Bradshaw came in third and earned 677 697 votes, or 15.59%, with 100% of precincts reporting, according to unofficial returns.

“We knocked on over 4,000 doors in just a few months,” said Bradshaw. “It was hard work, but it showed that the way to win is by getting to know, and listening to, the people.” Continue Reading


Segneri: No Third Party?

Illinois Green AJ Segneri has this piece up at Dissident Voice: “No Third Party?”

Towards the end of 2010, I listened to radio shows and TV shows where hosts have asked where is the next third party? When are we going to see another party go against the Republicans and Democrats? I do not understand these questions because there are many “third” parties in our nation. From the Green Party to the Constitution Party and from the Socialist Party to the Libertarian Party, plus everything in between. These organizations have been in existence; however, the major media outlets have failed to expose them. None of the media sources have brought the rank-and-file of these organizations into their respective studios to talk about the issues. Day in and day out, nothing but the same two major party voices are shown speaking in monopoly media about how to solve the issues at hand. Why not bring in someone on TV like Rich Whitney of the Green Party, who in 2006 received 10.7% of the general election vote in the Illinois Gubernatorial race? That was the first time a third party has done so well in Illinois for over 40 years.
Continue Reading


Make a list of your dream candidates running on the Green Party ticket

The reason for this thread is simple – Make a list of candidates you would like to see on the Green Party ticket in 2012. This would include the Presidential, Congressional, and Senate races. At the state and local level, also make a list of who you would like to see run.

Now, what is the point? The point is that we can all see who we would like to see nominated, perhaps names we had never before considered, and see what the consensus is.

Just throw any name out there, from environmentalists, radicals, independents, non-Greens, celebrities, politicians, etc. Try to make your list concise by organizing it around the Presidential, Senate, Congressional, and state/local races.

Here’s a quick example(I live in Los Angeles):

President: Laura Wells, Howie Hawkins, Cynthia Mckinney, Cindy Sheehan, Bernie Sanders, Cornell West, Kent Mesplay, Ralph Nader

Senate: Jesse Ventura, Laura Wells, Jello Biafra, Matt Gonzalez, Ian Murphy, Howie Hawkins, Kent Mesplay, Mike Feinstein

Congress: Laura Wells, Cornell West, Deacon Alexander, Mike Feinstein

Los Angeles mayor: Ed Begley Jr., Deacon Alexander, Derek Iverson, Julia Butterfly Hill, Tom Morello

For local races, perhaps it would be best to consult your state Green Party and see what they think.

This is an example. The key in to throw out as many names out there as possible. The goal is to present this list to the national Green Party and state Green Party and ask them if we would consider nominating them on the Green Party ticket.


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.


Rich Whitney Leads Green Party Gubernatorial Results

Illinois Green Party candidate for Governor Rich Whitney led all Green Party gubernatorial candidates in 2010 in total votes and percentage of the total vote, with 99,625 votes, 2.70% of the vote.

Only three times in history have Green Party gubernatorial candidates exceeded 10% of the vote. The first was in 1994, when Roberto Mondragon, who finished with 10.4% of the vote in New Mexico. The other two were in 2006, when Pat LaMarche finished with 10% in Maine and Rich Whitney finished with 11% in Illinois. (See a spreadsheet of historical Green Party gubernatorial candidates here).

This year was definitely a downturn for Greens running for Governor.  In Illinois the votes for the Green Party candidate were 1/3 of the 2006 votes. In California the Greens got half what they did in 2006. Massachusetts went from 42K to 32K, Maryland went from 13K to 11K, Tennessee went from 2,700 to 1,800, Minnesota went from 10K to 6K, and Nevada went from 6K to 4K. However the Green vote went up in Ohio (from 38K to 56K), New York (42K to 58K), Michigan (20K to 21K), and Arkansas (12K to 14K), from which you can cast your own theories.

In the post election chatter, some have questioned why Greens bother to waste the resources to run for Governor when the odds are so stacked against them. In some states, ballot access and/or recognition as a political party is based on gubernatorial returns. In other states, it has no impact at all. I would argue that running a green party candidate for a high profile state-wide race has several benefits.

First, it has the potential to influence the dialogue by putting Green Solutions out front next to the partisan, safe, and centrist positions of the two corporate political parties. It forces Democrats to ask why their candidate isn’t supporting what the Green Party candidate is supporting.

Second, it has the potential to raise awareness of the Green Party statewide. It has been noted that many voters have not heard of the Green Party. If a good Green Party candidate in a high profile race actually gets some media and equal debate access, s/he has the potential to get the Green Party message in front of tens of thousands of voters, and some of them might like that message enough to join the party or even run for office themselves.

Third, it gives all the Greens out there someone to vote for. There were over 400,000 votes cast this year for Green Party candidates for Governor. Think about it this way. There are 400,000 voters in the United States that would prefer a Green Party Candidate running their state than a Democrat or a Republican. That’s a lot of people. If we don’t run candidates, those voters are going to have to hold their nose and vote for another party’s candidate. The Green Party owes it to those Greens in America to give them a candidate to vote for.

Finally, political parties run candidates. That is how they are defined. If the Green Party doesn’t run candidates, they aren’t a political party. We should personally thank all of the Green Party candidates who ran for office this year, they gave the voters something Green to vote for.

2010 Green Gubernatorial Results

  • Rich Whitney (IL) – 99,625 (2.70%)
  • Jim Lendall (AR) – 14,525 (1.88%)
  • Dennis Spisak (OH) – 56,734 (1.51%)
  • Morgan Reeves (SC) – 19,807 (1.51%)
  • Jill Stein (MA) – 32,816 (1.43%)
  • Howie Hawkins (NY) – 58,123 (1.37%)
  • Laura Wells (CA) – 92,892 (1.22%)
  • Harley Mikkelson (MI) – 21,312 (0.66%)
  • Maria Allwine (MD) – 11,022 (0.64%)
  • David Curtis (NV) – 4,437 (0.62%)
  • Deb Shafto (TX) – 19,475 (0.39%)
  • Farheen Hakim (MN) – 6,188 (0.29%)
  • Howard Switzer (TN) – 1,886 (0.12%)

Rich Whitney: A final campaign message to supporters

From Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney:

November 4, 2010 – 12:34 am

Don’t Lose Heart! Cause for Hope Amidst the Disappointment
A “Final” Campaign Message (But Read On!)
by Rich Whitney, 2010 Green Party Candidate for Governor

To the hundreds of people who supported me in my campaign for Governor, and to the roughly 100,000 or so who saw fit to vote for me, despite the politics of fear that swept Illinois this election season, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We acknowledge our disappointment but are not consumed by it. We will assess the causes of our disappointing results but will not be obsessed by them. We live to fight another day, and fight on we shall. Continue Reading


Post-election Green Party 2010 ballot access roundup

Last night the Green Party won ballot access in New York and Texas, retained it in Massachusetts and Ohio, lost it in Illinois and Wisconsin, and fell short of gaining it in Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, and Nevada. Here are the results by state:

Arkansas: Greens got on the 2010 ballot by petition, but failed to retain a ballot line when Jim Lendall got less than 3% of the vote for governor.

Illinois: Greens lost the ballot line and major party status gained in 2006 by Rich Whitney’s 10% for governor when Whitney got less than 5% of the vote for governor this year.

Maryland: Greens got on the 2010 ballot by petition, but failed to retain a ballot line when Maria Allwine got less than 1% of the vote for governor.

Massachusetts: Greens retain ballot access and party status after Nat Fortune earned 5% for State Auditor.

Minnesota: Annie Young’s 2.7% for State Auditor falls short of winning major party status, but retains minor party status for the Minnesota Greens.

Nevada: Greens fail to gain ballot access after David Curtis got less than 1% of the vote for governor.

New York: Greens gain ballot status through 2014 thanks to Howie Hawkins earning over 50,000 votes for governor.

Ohio: Greens retain ballot status thanks to Dennis Spisak earning over 1% for governor.

Texas: Greens gain ballot status through 2012 thanks to Ed Lindsay earning over 5% for comptroller.

Wisconsin: Greens lose ballot status after not running any statewide candidates who could qualify.