Monday, December 12, 2005

Hitting the hay

Well folks, I had hoped that someone from CA would call me before too late with a note or two about the plenary session, but I really have no reason to expect anyone to return my calls. This blog is only a couple of days old and there are some real journalists in the Green blogging world, including Deirdre Helfferich who are so much more well...journalistic? ~Chuckle~ Oh well.

I also want to give big props to the folks who visit the Appalachian Greens blog. Like Chlorophyll and Green Commons, Appalachian Greens has brought me a lot of hits. I appreciate that very much, and once I have learned how to do that blogroll thingy, I want to have all the Green Bloggers on my list. BTW, if you like this stuff, start your own blog! Decentralization is a key value because it strenghtens us. Centralization serves a "Master" by it's nature. I want only to be my own master, and no one else's.

JMC added a comment to my last post about the California Plenary sessions. His comments are italicised, and mine follow his. I am very grateful to JMC for posting his reply, for without it I would have butkus to report tonight! Thanks sir for your help.

JMC I've talked to the SF delegation, and it was (surprisingly) a very positive plenary. Most people I talked to had expected a bloodbath after the Sylmar debacle. None of the more controversial proposals such as lowering the voting threshold or disaffiliating with the GPUS passed, but some good things (such as a new health care plank) were actually accomplished.

I'm assuming that the "Camejo won the Californa primary because he was a stand-in for Nader" was Cat's opinion, not yours, because it's a complete fantasy. I estimate that the number of people who voted for Camejo as a proxy for Nader was probably less than 1000 statewide, as it was not widely publicized prior to the 2004 primary. My wife, the coordinator of the GPCA media committee, didn't hear about this strategy until well after the primary (in fact, not until after Milwaukee). Most people presumably voted for Camejo because he was well known among Greens from the 2 gubernatorial elections, and had represented the party very well in the televised gubernatorial recall debate.


8:09 PM

Gregg Jocoy said...

Thank you JMC! I intend to copy your message here and add it to my next post about the plenary session. I have calls in to several folks listed at the state party website as media contact folks, and I'm sure one or more of them will return my call eventually.

As to the comment vis-a-vis Camejo as a stand-in for Nader, that actually was my opinion and had been for a long time. I accept your proposition that the votes were Camejo's himself and not as a stand-in for Nader, but that was the conclusion I had come to on my own. I don't know California politics, in fact, I'm not sure I know South Carolina politics, but I'll try to catch up as fast as possible.

As I say, I make no bones about my politics. I am an unabashed Green Party partisan. I have no use for nor time for any other political party. I'm too busy trying to build my own.

I was not happy with the way things werte handled in 2003 and 2004, but we are still here, still loving each other, and still trying to fix a world we didn't break. I'm glad we're in it together.

12:03 AM
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Comments:
some background - i was in calif over thanksgiving and talked to some folks


In 2001, when the ASGP morphed into the GPUS, the nascent GPUS decided it wanted to get new affiliation agreements from affiliated state parties to submit with its application to the FEC because the name was changing and we were not sure that affiliation agreement with the ASGP would be recognized by the FEC. It was a part of my job to help get those signed agreements. The agreement we got from Calif was signed by the two co-chairs of the GPCA coordinating committee, which is its leadership body, like the national parties SC. The agreement, which is public record with the FEC, says they are signing for their CC.


The problem is that apparently they didn't have the authority to sign. The GPCA general assembly had to do so, and never was asked to consider it. So now, over 4 years later, they have decided that they are not bound by the agreement, and that it violates their bylaws by binding them in a way that they did not properly agree to. So there was an agenda item on their recent meeting to decide whether to sign it as is, sign a modified version, or do nothing, which from the reports you got, is what they did.


Note that this is very different from their AFFILIATION. The general assembly did consider and approve affiliation, and the validity of that decision is not being challenged. However, some Calif Greens who aren't happy with the national party chose to bring a motion to disaffiliate. But that motion is unconnected - technically - with the issue of the affiliation agreement, though I would assume that those who want to disaffiliate will not want to sign any agreement. Also, remember that 80% approval is required to decide anything, so small minorities can block a decision.


Hope this helps set it up. I don't have any reports on the state meeting - I only know what your blog reports.

Dean
 
Camejo said on Fox News in the spring of 2004 that if Cobb were to be the Green nominee, Camejo would support Cobb. Even though it was on Fox News, he really said that and then turned around and did something different as events unfolded.

The controversial proposals that went down in flames were

1) the affiliation agreement,

2) lowering fallback voting thresholds when consensus cannot be attained and

3) a last minute alteration to the proposed Green Party Election Code that changed the way county councils were elected.

This all sits against the backdrop of the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns that have yet to be resolved.

After GDI failed at both the Sylmar CA plenary and the GPUS CC, Camejo resolved to change the rules in CA to aid his proposals passing. The assumption was there there is a knot within the Green Party that opposes democracy and independence in defiance of the "demonstrated" support for Camejo as shown in the 2004 primary.

So Camejo formed GDI to push some proposals and now the IDEA pac to give money to promote candidates for local county council races.

With GDI going down in flames, IDEA is the new project. But in order to set the stage for a complete takeover of the party, Camejo needed to change the rules so that he could win.

Subsidiary to the GDI proposals were the three that ate the shit sandwich in Davis:

1. Renegotiate the affiliation agreement so that in 2008, Camejo can name the individual to take the CA Green Party ballot line, and

2. Reduce voting thresholds so that Camejo's bloc could work its will on the party, and

3. Change the way that Green County Councils are elected to ensure that Camejo's allies gets some seats on all GCCs and is able to use the consensus block to prevent others from acting or to get more delegates to the plenary to gain more influence there. This was the most odious proposal, as the same people who demand independence for the GPCA from the GPUS want to keep the CA county locals firmly under their thumb by reconfiguring the election system to ensure that some of the candidates that IDEA is funding are elected no matter what.

Camejo held a campaign meeting for the 2006 statewide races, where Laura Wells, the 2002 candidate for Controller mentioned her candidacy. Camejo responded in a way that typifies his increasingly irrational comportment, dissing the only woman yet to declare for a constitutional office race. My reports have it that his conduct sucked the oxygen out of the room.

The only reason why the plenary was positive was that the agenda tilted towards the GDI/IDEA consensus held no sway with the greater representative Greens. The fact that these matters were agendized without concern as to their lack of consensus demonstrates how out of touch the agenda and coordinating committees are with grassroots Greens.

With Peter Camejo insisting on a third run for governor, what with his having received fewer and fewer votes each time out and with ISO west coast coordinator Todd Chretien running for Senate, we have a case where self selected straight white trotskyite males are to be the face of the CA Green Party in 2006. Their treatment of Laura Wells is most disturbing.

The ISO is a democratic centralist organization. This means that Todd has to go to a politburo (Center) in Chicago to which he has participatory rights but once any decision is made, he is bound to adhere to it. Similarly, ISO cadre are not allowed into the major decisionmaking meetings, yet must toe the party line. This means that we might see ISO automatons within the Green Party who will block and vote the line of a party that is not the Green Party, as if the GP is a vessel of last resort into which every failed leftist tendency can pour itself.

As a feminist party that is not a socialist or trotskyite party, how can we stand by while this unrepresentative cadre operates at the GPCA state level? The only reason they can operate relatively unimpeded there is because so many of us are too busy working in the locals where things get done to bother with state races for which we have no significant base to support.

-marc
Marc Salomon, San Francisco
 
I think Dean clarifies this a bit here. I can speak as an original member of the State Committee in NY (but not for the State Committee) and as a co-chair of the GP-US Accreditation Committee (but not for the committee). In NYS we have a similar situation to CA, except that not only did our state committee not approve the afflation agreement sent to us - no body did - the chair at the time announced that he had received it, and then deiced to sign it and send it back in the interest of saving time. (I don't fault him here, I don't believe it was really done with bad intent.)

Compounding this is that not all the afflation agreements are the same. Also, I can't find anywhere that the GP-US National Committee ever approved those agreements (and we know they never even saw some). (I'll also note looking them over that for sometimes technical reasons, a number of states are in violation of their agreements.)

So we have agreements that don't agree with each other, some of which were never approved by anybody, and of which if valid some state are violating. It should help make one understand why some though GP-US proposal 191 that talked about affiliation agreements and the enforcing of them was thought to be at best premature.

Plus, there is in some states (there was and is in NY) opposition to some of the changes that were embodied by these new agreements.

It also should help explain why Greens in some states feel the need to look at these agreements, just what the states have supposedly agreed to do, and review the whole process. Greens should not take this as an attack, but as health and very Green process.

-- Roger

"There is not enough imagination in any social group to render it amenable to the influence of pure love." - Reinhold Niebuhr
 
It's bupkis, by the way.

The election code change that Marc objects to is a proposal to use Proportional Representation for our county council elections (Limited Voting until a county's voting equipment supports STV) instead of our current plurality-takes-all election system.

The suggestion that Todd Chretien is controlled by Chicago puppetmasters is, I suppose, no more loony than the suggestion that JFK would be taking orders from the Pope.
 
It occurred to me that readers might be interested in the actual affiliation agreement. Here it is in full.

OFFICIAL AFFILIATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA
AND
THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED this _______day of ________, __________ that the Green Party of California (GPCA) agrees to formally affiliate with the Green Party of the United States, and formally agrees to abide by the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States.

It is understood that the GPCA shall appoint delegates from California to represent the GPCA on the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of the United States. It is also understood that these representatives should be gender balanced.

It is also agreed that the undersigned GPCA reserves all rights and powers to the GPCA that are not given, through the Bylaws of the Green Party of the United States, to the Green Party of the United States.

It is also agreed that the GPCA will continue to conduct voter registration drives in the State of California.

It is also agreed that the GPCA will use its best efforts to support ballot access for national candidates nominated by the Green Party of the United States and candidates nominated by the GPCA.

It is also agreed that the GPCA will conduct a State convention, at a minimum, once each election year.

It is also agreed that the GPCA will solicit contributions for state, local and national Green Party candidates.

It is also agreed that the GPCA will make its best efforts to nominate candidates for State, local and federal offices.

It is also agreed that the GPCA shall operate according to the bylaws of the GPCA as filed with the Secretary of State, Elections Division.

The following representatives of the GPCA, acting pursuant to the Bylaws of the Green Party of California, swear that they are empowered to enter into this affiliation agreement with the Green Party of the United States.

Signed this ____Day of _____, ________
Green Party of California PO Box 2828 Sacramento, CA 95812
 
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