Friday, March 30, 2007

If you're a Green, you need to read this!

Take a peek behind the "Read more!" link and you will find comments by Brent McMillan, the national party's political director. The theme of his comments was Overview of Green Party national planning for 2008. Overview of Green Party national planning for 2008
Saturday, February 24th
GPCA Strategic Planning Retreat
Delivered by Brent McMillan

What's the political climate in which we'll be operating in 2008?

We will once again be under a lot of pressure to not run a presidential candidate. It will come from several directions and for different reasons. Those that want to run a candidate will be accused of being spoilers by progressive democrats and fetishist by those that want to run an independent.

Nader will probably run as an independent. I doubt that he'll be seeking our nomination. Although I will work to keep the door open to him, something that I have always quietly done since I began as the political director.

We also have some high profile folks who have expressed interest in seeking the Green Party's nomination in 2008. We may indeed be facing a similar situation in 2008 that we faced in 2004.

In many ways 2004 was our first really competitive convention.

As we would probably all agree 2004 was problematic. Before we even got to the convention approximately 70% of the national party's donor base either went ABB, Anybody But Bush, or didn't want us to run a candidate at all for other reasons. We then proceeded to fight over the scraps.

In my opinion we didn't do our work going into the convention and we left the convention with unfinished business.

I think that we are going to get another chance at reaching the American public in 2008. There is an immense political vacuum out there that we are operating in. I see a level of opportunity that we haven't had since 2000. For those of you that were involved in 2000 it's hard to forget the excitement that the super rallies created. We went from being a little fringe party to where we were now on the national political map.

(I was the State Facilitator for the Green Party of Washington State in 2000, in essence the chair, and I remember that after the Seattle Super rally the Seattle Times ran an editorial declaring the Green Party the second party in Seattle and that the Republicans were now the third party.)

So what are we going to do differently in 2008 so that we have the best chance of leaving our convention as a unified party ready to get behind our candidate? And if we are successful at that, how do we address those that share our values but not our necessarily our courage of conviction?

I'd like to talk about what some of those changes are that are in the works and also what yet might be.

1) Combined Calls:
Currently, GPUS Steering Committee member, Jim Coplen (IN) is convening joint calls between representatives of the Ballot Access Committee (BAC), the Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC), the Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC), Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee (BRPP) and the Annual National Meeting Committee (ANMC). We meet approximately once every two weeks.

One of the outcomes is that we are working to create a convention committee separate from the Annual National Meeting Committee that just oversees the Platform Approval and the Presidential Nomination Process. Expect a proposal to come forward to the national committee from the Annual National Meeting Committee.

2) Another outcome is that we are working to make more time for the Platform approval and Presidential Nomination. We would like to make more time for the process of approving the platform and for the presidential nominating process in 2008 than what we did in 2004. Therefore we will be scaling back competing programs. For example the
CCC had an ambitious campaign school going during the convention with several tracks. This will be scaled back in 2008.

3) Money:
A. Fundraise at the convention:
Little known to anyone is that in 2004 we did not allow our presidential nominee to fundraise at the convention. The national party was in dire financial straits at the time, so what else is new, and it was seen as competition. This was not made public. We asked our potential candidates to compete for the nomination, in essence to spend every last dollar they had to get the nomination and then sent this person away broke.

Who ever our nominee is in 2008 they should be allowed to fundraise at the convention regardless of the financial state of the national party.

B) Reseed the campaign:
Also, I think that they should walk away with a chunk of cash to reseed their campaign. What if 100 people donated $100 to a fund so that whoever walked away from the convention, walked away with $10,000 to reseed their campaign? I know that this is not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things, but it would be progress over what we have done in the past. I think that this money should not go through the
national committee but should be raised independently. We are competing with so many other programs for the general fund that this wouldn't stand a chance unless it was an independent effort.

We could use some help with this. This needs to be an effort outside of the National Committee. There are too many competing interests and saboteurs on the National Committee for this to be successful.

C) We need to work to get the National Committee more involved with fundraising. Recently I began circulating a draft of Plan for mobilizing the National Committee for fundraising. It is part of a plan currently being developed by the Fundraising Committee. Staff have begun working on a Wiki site for the development of the Fundraising Plan. Any delegate that has access to the GPUS Wiki can view the development of this. We do though ask that unless you are member of the Fundraising Committee that you not make any changes or comments at the Wiki site but instead send
these to a Fundraising Committee member. The Fundraising Plan also includes a Case Statement on the front end that basically asks and answers six questions. It includes questions like: What are we fundraising for? What resources do we have to accomplish this? What resources do we need to accomplish this? What markets are we targeting?

4) Impeccability in the rules process:
In my opinion representatives of the candidates had too much influence in the rules process.

We have to have a process that people trust. Not just in fact but also in perception.

The problem we have is that there are not enough active greens on the national level to have people work on the rules that aren't working on some campaign. Do we keep the two separate or do we work to keep a balance of representation of various interests.

Look at the former Delegate Apportionment Committee (DAC) as an example of the latter model.

This can be described as the Civil Service Model vs the Political/Trans-Partisan Model. Trans-Partisan is a word that I would like to see in the Green Party lexicon. It's not non-partisan, which denies political identity, it's not bi-partisan, which limits the debate to two sides, it's trans-partisan which recognizes that it's more
complicated than that. Yes, we have a political identity, but we are also willing to transcend our ideology in order to find a successful solution.

I think that people often mean well but don't understand that things are different when you work at the national level. We often come from groups at the local level where we are among friends. It may seem harsh to you, what I am about to say, but when you are working at the national level you are not among friends. This is a hard thing for people to accept.

At first, when they work at that level they are shocked at the level of animosity and distrust. They can't believe that that is the way it is. But it is. This party, at the national level, is still very young. There is little in the way of traditions to guide us in how to be civil towards each other. Email, for example, is an impersonal medium.

Perhaps, in time, we will build the traditions, in addition to the ten key values that will help guide us. In time our ability, as a party, to engage in civil discourse amongst ourselves does seem to be improving.

5) We need to have better informed Delegates. Many states did not have a plan in place for what to do after the first round of voting in Milwaukee. I have suggested a judge and jury model as a solution. The judge informs the jury of what the legal questions to be answered are but doesn't dictate to them how they are going to do it. State Committees need to have a plan in place before they come to the convention.

States will have a template to work from. There are drafts being worked on now for how to address this. We need help, though. We need people willing to work on this. We also need to have in written form an answer to the question, "how does the nomination process work?"

6) How do we do a better job of communicating with potential candidates?

What's the initial point of contact with a potential candidate? Who is the initial point of contact with a potential candidate? This is a problem at both the national and state level that needs to be addressed. The PCSC recently sent out a survey to all of the state committees in regards to this. A little over 50% have responded so far.

Who does the potential candidate talk to about the ballot access process for your state? Who can they contact to help them with fundraisers or hosting an event? Each state party needs to have clearly defined initial points of contact.

7) In 2006 we created the Green Senatorial Campaign Committee (GSCC). It became the first Congressional Committee to be recognized by the FEC since it was formed in 1975. We held off forming the Green House Campaign Committee so that we could incorporate the lessons learned from the GSCC in its formation and ultimately FEC approval. Former GPUS Political Director, Dean Myerson and I were present at the FEC hearing for the approval of the GSCC. It passed easily with a 6-0 vote.

8) Have the 2008 convention as early as possible, and settle on the convention site sooner rather than later. The earlier we know this the more likely we will have a well organized and well attended event.

9) Challenge 2008. In 2004, soon after I arrived at the national office in February, I began seeing in our press releases and other locations references to our running 1,000 candidates in 2004. I began asking around for where was the plan to do that. Nobody could answer the question, so I went to working on killing any reference to this. So what if we ran 1,000 candidates in 2008, what would that look like? I did
an exercise in an excel spread sheet where I looked at the last four years and each state parties record for the actual number of candidates run. I then developed a formula for this. I didn't let any state off the hook, so if they hadn't run a candidate before the goal became that they would run a candidate.

California runs about 16% of our candidates. The math is simple. Therefore if we were to do this the expectation for California would be 160 candidates in 2008. If anyone would like a copy of the schedule please email me and I will send it to you.

We have some tough questions before us that we need to have answers to in order to be effective in 2008. Our next annual national meeting is in Reading, Pennsylvania in July. I hope that many of you will be able to make it there to meet with your colleagues from around the country.
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De-fund the war...grow a spine already!

In a piece at the Montgomery County, MD blog, karma432 points out that the Democrats are not doing their job and rejecting funding for the illegal and immoral war on Iraq.

Guess I'm not the only Green who wonders why the Democrats can't see the time has come to bring our troops home, not just from Iraq, but from all foreign soil. There is no real justification for US troops to be in Japan, Korea, Germany, Colombia or anywhere else.
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Who really spoiled?

In case any of you are still under the mistaken impression that George Bush did not steal the elections fair and square in 2000 and 2004, Dee's Dotes brings all the facts together...yet again.
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Women's History Month Profile in Courage: Dr. Wangari Maathai

In an article in The Baltimore Times, Ron Kipling Williams writes about the Green Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya.
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Gayle McLaughlin discusses green buildings

The recently elected Mayor of Richmond, CA is quoted in the Berkeley Daily Planet calling for a "Green Industrial Revolution".

Go Gayle! Go Green!
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Brazillian Green Culture Minister tours US

In an article at the OC Register, Gilberto Gil's plans to visit southern CA are discussed. Minister of Culture in Brazil and a prominent leader of Brazil's Green Party, Gil is touring the US for the first time in years.
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Green, or Republican?

I must admit that I never thought of being called a Green as an insult, but I don't generally run in Republican circles. Even so, it's surprising to me to see that in CO, being called a Green in perceived as an insult.

In a piece in The Coloradoan, a committee headed by the former Mayor of Fort Collins is said to have sent fliers to Republican voters claiming that one of the candidates in their upcoming election is a member of the Green Party. Not true, but since when has the truth been important to a corporate politician?
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Protest at Winthrop University

This is video of a campus walkout and protest at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC on March 20th, 2007. It was filmed by Bob Shields. If you hit that link you will find more voideos he has shot, including footage from DC anti-war protests.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is Cynthia McKinney thinking Green thoughts?

That is the question asked over at Atlanta Progressive News, or you can check it out behind the "Read more!" link on this post.Lewis, Johnson Split on Iraq; McKinney Thinks Green; AJC in Backwards Land

By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor, Atlanta Progressive News (March 23, 2007)

(APN) ATLANTA – US Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Hank Johnson (D-GA)–Georgia’s two most leftist Congresspersons–split sharply today on the US Occupation in Iraq, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Lewis joined 7 other Democratic US Representatives and one Republican in what has been called a courageous stand against the Occupation funding bill. Johnson, on the other hand, supported the funding bill.

Unfortunately, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (AJC) reported that Lewis and Johnson had the complete opposite positions as they actually did.

Former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney told Atlanta Progressive News she would never have supported the funding bill, and said if she’d been in Congress instead of Johnson, the Democrats would have had "one more arm to twist."

"The bill passed with exactly the 218 votes required. Almost all of the Republicans and six Democrats voted No for the wrong reasons. One Democrat voted "Present." But eight Democrats voted No because they oppose further funding of this war," national impeachment activist, David Swanson, wrote in a commentary.

"These eight are the beginning of a movement for peace, and the first indication that some Democrats, even under the most intense pressure not to, will be willing to oppose Speaker Pelosi when she takes the wrong stance. This will be required if a movement for impeachment is ever to take hold in Congress," Swanson said.

The eight US Representatives who voted No for the “right reasons”–because the exit target date wasn’t soon enough–were US Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), John Lewis (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mike McNulty (D-NY), Mike Michaud (D-ME), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). One Republican of Libertarian persuasion, Ron Paul (R-TX), also voted no for similar reasons.

US Rep. Lewis, who used to work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said on the House floor, "If he could speak today, he would say this Nation needs a revolution of values that exposes the truth that war does not work. If he could speak today, he would say that war is obsolete as a tool of our foreign policy."

"Tonight I must make it plain and clear that as a human being, as a citizen of the world, as a citizen of America, as a Member of Congress, as an individual committed to a world at peace with itself, I will not and I cannot in good conscience vote for another dollar or another dime to support this war," Lewis said.

Former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney spoke at a recent March on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, to oppose the official four year anniversary of the US Invasion of Iraq [although it should be noted the US began bombing Iraq months before the official Invasion began].

"We are shocked the Democratic Majority in Congress chose war over us as we say Bring our troops home now! The answer is clear: Our country has been hijacked," McKinney said in her speech.

"Our beloved America is dividing again into two Americas. Our struggle is for nothing less than the soul of our country. As an American of conscience, I hereby declare my independence from every bomb dropped, every threat leveled, every civil liberties rollback, every child killed, every veteran maimed, every man tortured. And I sadly declare my independence from the leaders who let it happen. We will not stop. We will win. We will take our country back!" McKinney said.

Meanwhile, online readers of the AJC were led to believe that Lewis and Johnson had the complete opposite positions as they actually had.

"US Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta) is part of the whip effort to keep Democrats in line," Tom Baxter and Jim Galloway wrote on the AJC’s Political Insider blog. In fact, Lewis was part of the anti-whip effort to keep Democrats out of line, not in it.

The juxtaposition of this statement about Lewis with his quote, "I’m not prepared to vote for another dollar or another dime to support this war. It is time to bring our young men and our young women home," misleads readers into believing that ending the war funding was the Democratic Party’s leading position, while the opposite is true.

Johnson, who was reported as saying, "Politically, the reality is that you just can’t yank the troops off the streets. You just can’t leave them without the funding they need in order to wind this process down," was characterized by the article as being in the "middle," when in fact, Johnson was keeping with the Pelosi party line. The AJC reported Johnson was "unsure about the effort."

The AJC is currently restructuring itself to promote online content.

As reported previously in APN, US Rep. Lewis declined to endorse McKinney in her Run-off with Mr. Johnson, despite his legislative position similarities with McKinney. At the time, it was unclear what positions Johnson would take if elected, as he ran on largely a vague, anti-McKinney platform.

This is one of the first major indications of the consequences of Johnson’s purported victory [the so-called election "results" were based on an election without paper ballots and riddled with vote flipping] in terms of how Georgia citizens from the 4th District will be represented for the next two years.

To be sure, the House vote is a major development as it does include a 2008 target date for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, the first such target date of its kind. Prospects for the legislation in the US Senate are less clear, and President Bush has vowed to veto the bill anyway.

US Rep. Woolsey had offered an alternative bill to Pelosi’s, which would bring troops home within six months of enactment. That bill has 50 total co-sponsors. US Sen. Feingold’s similar bill in the US Senate had 4 total co-sponsors.

Former US Rep. McKinney continues to keep her options open for the future. It is unclear whether she will run for her US House seat in Georgia’s 4th District again, or whether she will run in another district, or for another Office. Several Internet sites are abuzz with the possibility McKinney may defect to the Green Party. A close look at her recent statements in DC would seem to corroborate such a possibility.

McKinney has been speaking at Green Party functions, particularly on the West Coast, and multiple sources close to APN say she is being wooed by the Greens to consider numerous possibilities, including a 2008 Presidential nomination. It was widely reported McKinney considered a Green run in 2004, but she decided at that time to run again as a Democrat for Georgia’s 4th Congressional seat.

Asked if there’s any basis to the innuendo of a Green candidate McKinney in the future, "The Dems certainly didn't bolster their case today, did they?" McKinney told Atlanta Progressive News.

About the author:

Matthew Cardinale is the News Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He may be reached at

Syndication policy:

This article may be reprinted in full at no cost where Atlanta Progressive News is credited.
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Atlanta Progressive New
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Greens get good quote

The blog, Thomas Friedman is a Great Man is a satire site, but the Green Party gets a solid quote from the blog. The writer takes text directly from one of our media committee's great press releases, pointing out that the Democrats must be pressured to reject half-measurers.
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Greens and others protest the war on campus

The piece is from
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Green blogger makes Fort Wayne paper

His name is Nikolas Schiller.
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

A video worth watching

Summer Lipford of Statesville, NC
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Democrats cave...supprised?

not me. In a vote to fund the war on Iraq, enough Democrats voted for more war for the resolution to pass.

Because the proposal included a date by which the US is supposed to leave Iraq (which will not actually happen I feel sure), the Bush administration has said he will veto it.

Has anyone got a pair they can loan to the Democrats? useless can they be?
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LaMarche website wins national award

In a press release, the national party reported that Pat LaMarche's campaign website won several national recognitions for excellence.

Websites do not make a campaign, but they sure do help. Congrats to Pat and her supporters for this recognition.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

CT Green gets his day in court

An article at Drinking Liberally in New Milford, explains how Ken Krayeske, a local Green, was arrested for approaching the newly elected Governor of CT in a "threatening manner".

Apparently he was taking a photograph. So much for Freedom of the Press.
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What torture will get you...

One of the most disgusting and anti-American actions of the Bush administration is the sanctioning of torture. In a piece at the Montgomery County MD blog, karma432 writes that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has admitted to planning the attack of at least one US building after 9-11.

Only one problem. The building he "confesses" to plotting to attack was not even built until after he was in Bush's secret torture system. Go figure.
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DC Greens raise questions

Pretty much across the board, Greens have stood against government give-aways to sports teams and their owners. Well, the DC Statehood Green Party has taken a stand against plans for the "Verizon Center" in DC. Read all about it by clicking this link.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Iowa Greens ambitious?

In an article at, Tim Paluch writes that Daryl Northrop has only begun to do battle with the forces of repression and reaction by running for office as a Green, and carrying the message of peace, justice, ecology and democracy to the people of Iowa.
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Angry White Liberal speaks

In a piece at the Montgomery, MD Greens blog, "Angry White Liberal" takes General Pace to task for his position on gays in the armed forces.
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Are Greens brainwashing your kids?

Rebecca S. Bender writes in the Eureka Reporter that a speaker in Humbolt County, CA was addressing a group of about 60 Republican women that we Greens are "indoctrinating" children by teaching them about sustainability.

In The Green Room, blogger Noel Lynch gives all the details.
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Monday, March 19, 2007

Portage County (WI) Greens choose new leaders

An article at the Stevens Point Journal the Portage County Greens get coverage for electing new leadership and endorsing candidates for local office.
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Hawai'i Greens lose ballot status

An article by KHNL says that the Green Party did not win enough votes to remain a ballot certified political party.

To regain ballot status they must gather 663 signatures from certified voters. If they accomplish this goal, they will be guaranteed a ballot slot for the next ten years.

The Star-Bulletin covered the story as well.
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Green Pages available NOW!

And I must admit that I think this is the best edition yet. Local, state, national and international news is there from cover to cover. Buy yourself a subscription if you have not done so yet, and at least take a look online by clicking here.
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Greens to Congress: Get Bush under control

Noting that the Bush administration has taken the US on a path to destruction, has brought us into a war on Iraq, is threatening to attack Iran, and is enriching their cronies in companies like Haliburton, Blackwater, and other war-profiteers while unleashing attacks on personal freedom here in the US and elsewhere, the Green Party is calling on congress to bring some sanity to US policy, and restrain the Bush juggernaut.
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Greens join anti-war protests

In a press release the Green Party announced plans by various Greens across the nation to participate in protests that note the forth year of Bush's war of choice on Iraq, and the devastation it has wrought on our democracy and the poor suffering people of Iraq.
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Currently under discussion

The Green National Committee is discussing a variety of similar proposals.

Proposal 271 appoints Dave Jette of WA to the Finance Committee.

Proposal 270 appoints Matt Funicello of NY to the same committee.

Proposal 269 appoints Paul Culley of NY to the committee also.

Proposal 268 brings the great state of Montana's Green Party directly into the fold as the newest accredited state Green Party.

Proposal 267 establishes new requirements for affiliation...I think this one deserves a look-see.

Proposal 266 addresses the question of how to resolve procedural objections. Proposed by the State of Georgia, which has some of the most vocal proponents of avoiding following the rules vis-a-vis both the Women's Caucus and GPAX, I can't help but giggle at the idea of the national party taking direction from them.
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Writing a budget...

The Green National Committee has rejected two budgets, and has now submitted a set of instructions for budget writers who will hopefully submit a budget the entire party can get behind.

Passed by a close vote of 40 "yes" votes, 34 "no" votes, and 9 abstentions, your state's votes can be found by clicking right here.
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Presidential Support Committee re-vamped

Passed while I was away, the Presidential Campaign Support Committee has established new policies and procedures. To see how your state delegates voted, visit the results page here.
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Jane Hunter approved at Forum Manager

The Green National Committee has approved Jane Hunter of NJ to serve as a Forum Manager. This position, one of three, is responsible for helping keep the conversation on the e-mail list somewhat civil.
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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Are there criminal gangs at work in your state?

Of course there are, but what are they up to?

In North Carolina, at least one of these criminal gangs is under attack. They are cooperating in kidnapping after the fact and illegally transporting these kidnapping victims to nations where they are to be tortured.

Of course, we get to cover the bill for this criminality, because it's being done for our government.

Is there something like this going on in your state? How can we find out? What can we do about it?

How in the HELL did MY country turn into an international purveyor of criminal behavior?
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Back on track

I have been away for a week visiting a seriously ill family member. Because I don't have her permission to go into details, I won't. Suffice it to say that I am glad I was able to be some small service to her and her husband of 57 years, and that slow but steady progress is happening, for which I am grateful.

I am now hoping to get back to bringing a bit of Green news and opinion to you.
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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Photos from Rock Hill anti-war vigil

For the past eight weekends the York County (SC) Greens have held a peace
vigil at the corner of Eden Terrace and Oakland Avenue.

Last weekend we were up to about thirty five, due in large part to a group of students from across the Carolinas
who were in Rock Hill at the behest of the Socialist Student Union at
Winthrop University for an area student conference. I would guess that between 20 and 25 of us were those same students.

Photos, if I have done this right, are linked to below.
Here's a photo...
That's me, wearing a straw hat
The weather was warm enough for shorts.
Apparently, megaphones can be bought cheap at eBay.
The students march for peace.
Letting Exxon know...
Citgo in this shot...
A can of spray paint, a sheet, and we're go to go.
Oakland Avenue.
Lies, Lies, and MORE Lives.
Crossing at the crosswalk...
Honk for Peace is always a good phrase.
Impeach Bush, Impeach Imperialism.
We stay on the sidewalk and the grassy rise next to the sidewalk, as we have been told.
The ever-popular Peace Sign.
Trekkies for Peace?
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Proposal 262 passes.

This proposal allows the Green Party to borrow from a few Greens to pay a printing bill and to seed the next solicitation.

I continue to plead with my readers: If you can afford $50, please give through the "Donate to the Green Party" link above and have your donation matched by the generosity of a devoted Green. For every $50 + that you give, she will give $25 +

I sure would love to see some folks giving, but I also understand that sometimes that is not possible.
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Greens warn: Plan could keep US in Iraq forever

This is taken directly from the press release. The entire piece is well worth reading.

"The Iraqi hydrocarbon law, if approved by Iraqi lawmakers, will provide lucrative profits for U.S. energy corporations by placing up to 2/3 of Iraqi oil resources under foreign control," said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "The U.S. government, whether led by Democrats or Republicans, will be committed to protecting American energy company operations and investments in Iraq by keeping U.S. troops there."

The Green Party position is clear. Faced with these sorts of realities, how can we accept Democratic or Republican leadership?
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Proof the Greens get it!

As Democrats Clinton, Kucinich and Edwards issue position papers on health care, the Green Party calls for Single-payer health care. Neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to step up to the plate and demand common sense when it comes to health care. Only the Green Party recognises both the value of broadly based alternative therapies and health programs and the fundamental understanding that health care must be a human right, distributed in a just fashion. The current system does not do that, and the profits that go to corporations and attorneys under the scheme in place now make it difficult for politicians they have bought and paid for to stand up against their sponsors.

Only the Green Party can straighten out the system that is rigged against patients and taxpayers, and for rich folks and the companies they own.

Click the link. The press release is well written. Here is a quote taken from the statement that makes the point so perfectly:
"Single-payer will provide quality health coverage for every American regardless of income, ability to pay, residence, age, or prior medical condition at a cost that's far less than working Americans currently pay for private coverage, while providing full choice of physician and hospital," added Dr. Battista. "That's why the Green Party supports single-payer."
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Rene of Vermont: Results are in

Rene's results are in. He won 131 votes, coming in second behind the Democrat at 532 and ahead of an independent at 123.

Thanks to Jay V for the link.
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A Green with lots of opinions

I have written here from time to time about the personalities involved in the Green Party. From locally successful Greens like those who make up the city government in Arcata and Sebastapol and who serve on county councils like those in CO and HI, to more "national" figures like Jason West and Rebecca Rotzler of the Village of New Paltz NY, Matt Gonzalez of San Francisco to internally prominent voices like Phil Huckleberry and Marc Sanson of IL and Mato Ska of New Mexico.

I have also written about groups associated with or a part of the Green Party. Groups like Greens for Democracy and Independence, GPAX, the Women's and Black caucuses and the Green Institute as well as the various committees of the Green Party have all been written about here from time to time.

I served for a bit on the national Media Committee. These folks do serious work under tight scheduling and accomplish more than any other committee I am aware of, including the Green National Committee.

Even so, I left the committee because I had been unsuccessful in reviving "Greensweek", the weekly email "newsletter" we used to get. I was unable to get it going again because of personal failings. No one stood in my way and kept me from getting it out.

Even so, I have wondered for some time if we Greens, and especially the members of the Green National Committee, have been missing the boat by not getting our positions, especially our personal positions, into the public debate. I read amazing, passionate, well thought out discourse on the national mailing lists, but it gets drown out by the stupid, needlessly angry, and self-serving clatter that is so strong on the lists.

And I say that as one who has done so myself in the past.

So, here's the point. Martin Zehr is Mato Ska. He has written a dozen articles and had them published at I and other Greens have been published there too, and they are looking for more.

Mato/Martin's latest piece, and I have not read any of them yet, is entitled The Kirkuk Referendum.

There are other Green voices who are prominent, and the list of people/groups is far from comprehensive. The more folks who are internally important to the conversation speak up, like Mato has done here, the better we define who we are and what we are about.
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

A delegate from VA offers to match gifts from GNC members

Tamar Yager of VA, and her husband Tom have agreed to match donations to the national party from delegates and alternates. If you don't know if you are a member of the GNC or not, it's very likely that you are not.

I think this sort of "Matching Funds" thing could work for Green Bloggers. Say, have one donor agree to match what other bloggers donate or their readers donate up to a pre-set limit.

Something like "If a Green Blogger or Green Blog Reader gives $5 up to $20 to the GPUS, I will match that gift until I have matched $200." Of course, the question is, how can we confirm that the donations actually happen. So, why not try a revolutionary political approach: Trust our fellow Greens.
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Financing the party by tapping the activists

I think there is a fear that asking everyone on the GNC to donate to the Green Party will leave some folks feeling like too much is being asked of them. I think there is a fear that if we get serious about raising money for the Green Party, we will somehow lose a bit of our soul. I think there is a fear that becoming the change we want to see in the world will make us uncomfortable.

Some of these fears are reasonable. If we are going to use new ideas to design Green Communities for our people to live in, we may make a boo-boo as we go along. We will waste taxpayer dollars, but catch ourselves before the media gets wind. We will approve projects we will have to reverse ourselves on when new information comes to us. But knowing that your member of Town Council or School Board or County Council is a Green should tell everyonethat you are an honorable person who can be trusted to perform assigned duties with the passion that comes from working on projects we all can see will bring about real change
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Example of wording issues

The Green National Committee is considering Proposal 261, which I have mentioned before. It involves the GNC endorsing, on behalf of the GPUS a report on war crimes put together, apparently, by a group named "Consumers for Peace".

In a recent message to the GNC, Marc Sanson of IL quoted from the GPUS Green Party Rules and Procedures at some length. The question he asked, paraphrased of course, was why has the proposal been submitted to a vote only one week after it was first presented when the normal procedure is to allow for two weeks of discussion before a vote is cast?

In addition, he asks why the threshold for passage is only 50% when the Rules and Procedures say that an 80% vote is required for passage when a question is submitted for expedited approval.

I will add one more question to his. The Rules and Procedures say, in part,
At least 50% of the member states of the GREEN PARTY must vote on a resolution, and at least 80% of the voting states must approve the resolution before the GREEN PARTY shall be allowed to issue a public statement.

Well, by my reading, the proposal would have to secure the votes of a majority of 80% of the state delegations. This is not happening, and in fact, the votes are cumulative, not based on a state by state vote. In other words, the way it's set up, CA and VT have the same voice on such a question, but in reality, the individual members of the GNC are doing the voting, not the state delegation.

The Green Party needs to consider appointing a single person or tiny committee of no more than three and charge them with examining all the party infrastructure for conflicts and recommendations for changes so the GNC can begin to actually lead the party. We can win so many races and accomplish so much to promote the Green Planet we all want, but these sorts of wording problems will bite us in the ass if we don't address them.

Personally, I think the GP needs a Parliamentarian.
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How the Greens in the Great White North raise money

Apparently, they borrow it from party members with a promise to pay an 8% dividend to the loaners.

Interesting. What do you think gang?
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More on Elaine Brown's campaign

Over at Vibes Watch, Michael Rochmes writes that Brown is in the running and copies the text of the national party announcement linked to at Babblemur.
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Report from CA retreat

In a piece at the blog California Greening, Wes writes about the retreat in Sanoma, CA.

One thing he says that I find fascinating is Wes' assertion that the Green Party website does not offer visitors enough of an empowered feel. While there is a "Take action" section, the website does not engage a visitor as effectively as does.

I believe we need to make the entire Green Party much more action oriented. A chapter that is planting a community garden is more likely to elect a candidate than a chapter that has a huge email list, and only a few people writing to it. A chapter that sues to force corporations or the government to do their job is more likely to elect a member than a chapter that passes meaningless resolutions that no one reads is. A chapter that elects actual Greens is much more likely to actually effect Green Change.

Anyway, Wes reports on Cynthia McKinney and Elaine Brown both being at the meeting. That alone would have justified a reporter or two in my mind.
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Evidence: We can create our own image

Many folks believe that the Green Party is seen as liberal amongst the voters. Others believe that we are seen as spoilers. Others think we are seen as tools of either the Democratic or Republican parties. I believe that the Green Party is a clean slate to most voters, and as such, we Greens are the only people who can determine what the voters think of us.

Are you concerned that local voters will reject a Green Party overture because they think we are too pro-Palestinian? Are you worried that voters will reject your campaign because we are on record as supporting reparations for slavery? Are you worried that a neighboring state running against a "decent" Democrat will hurt your chances? Forget about it! The voters know virtually nothing about us, and the media and Demopublicans are not spending any time, print, or energy on us. Therefore, we get to decide how our voters see us.

How do I know this? Well here's an example:

The Burlington Free Press in Burlington VT has allowed Rene Kaczka-Valliere, a 27 year old social worker and Green Party nominee running for Ward 5, as well as the other candidates, to share their ideas directly with the voters. She takes the opportunity to tell the readers what she wants the voters to know about the Green Party. She gives a full and accurate accounting of the Green Party, but the point is that she felt it was necessary to tell the voters of Burlington VT who the Green Party is. And this is in VERMONT, a state where the Greens have been on the ballot for some time, where there has been controversy over access to their Presidential ballot line, and where they have elected a public socialist to the House and now to the Senate, and the voters still don't know who we are.

So, there are no excuses. This party is ours to take by the scruff of the neck and get busy making changes. No more waiting. No more moaning. It's time for action, from the grassroots up.

How does Rene Kaczka-Valliere explain who the Green Party is? Here are her own words:
Ward 5: In their own words

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007
Rene Kaczka-Valliere

BIO: Age: 27; Education: bachelor's degree, Wheelock College, 2001; master's degree, Coventry University; family: partner, Jeanne; occupation: social worker, Champlain Valley Agency on Aging; political experience: none; party affiliation: Green Party.

STATEMENT: Dear Ward 5 Residents, my name is Rene Kaczka-Valliere and I am the Green Party candidate running for City Council. Over the last 6 weeks I have been visiting you in order to share my vision for Ward 5 and the City. During this time, many of you have shared your unfamiliarity with the Green Party. Let me introduce you to the largest political party in the world and the fastest growing political party in the United States.

The Green party first formed in New Zealand and Tasmania in 1972. The Party now exists in over 70 countries, such as South Korea, Nepal, Mongolia, Nigeria, Morocco, Somalia, Kenya, Netherlands, Russia, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Since 1985, there have been 3,068 Green candidates in the U.S., with 602 of those candidates winning. Currently, 223 Green Party members hold offices in 28 U.S. states, including the District of Columbia. Worldwide Green Party members and candidates are guided by the Ten Key Values of: Grassroots Democracy; Social Justice; Ecological Wisdom; Non-violence; Decentralization; Community-based Economics; Feminism; Diversity; Responsibility; Future Focus and Sustainability.

My campaign is based upon these Key Values.

I am concerned with the prevalence of men's violence against women. Men's violence is a serious issue in our city as well as in our nation. I am committed to ending men's violence where it exists in our schools, in our workplaces, in our neighbourhoods, and in our homes. This issue relates to the Green Party's values of Feminism, Non-Violence, Social Justice and Responsibility. To learn more about this issue and my platform, visit On March 6th make history vote Green in our Green Mountain State.
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Humboldt County CA Greens address Representative

In an article at The Eureka Reporter, Rebecca S. Bender says that the Humboldt County Greens are calling on their federal representative to push for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Quoting the Greens saying "Blocking military funding would be a historic and courageous act on the part of the 110th Congress,...", the article makes it clear that these Greens won't accept less from Representative Mike Thompson.

Bender ends her piece with this quote:
"There is a growing movement across the country for peace, and to end the occupation in Iraq, of which the Green Party of Humboldt County is a part," County Council Co-Chairperson Hannah Clapsadle replied late Wednesday.

"Congressman Thompson needs to show his constituency with his actions that he opposes the occupation. There are Democrats in Congress that are taking leadership on this issue; Thompson is not. We stand by our original requests to him."

This is the sort of leadership I am interested in looking at. If I remember correctly, the Greens in that neck of the woods have had some impressive victories over the past few years. I want to know what they, and other successful Greens, have done, and how did they do it.
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