Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Democrats in Green clothing?

I believe the Democratic Party is an evil institution, run by evil rich white men, by and large. Like the Republican Party, there are good and bad people involved, but the institution is rotten to the core and beyond redemption. If there were no Green Party I would do as I did before 2000...focus my energies on local issues and anti-nuclear efforts.

Unfortunately, at least from my perspective, mine is not a universally held belief. There are those in the Green Party who believe that there is some sort of "pure core" inside that rotten organization, and if only the right people could run the show, all would work out well.

Some of these people are leaders in the Green Party. Gray Newman of North Carolina was actively promoting the Democratic Party, and told we members of the Charlotte Area Green Party that he had changed his registration from "declined to state" to Democrat.

Apparently Phil Huckleberry, a current co-chair of the national party, as was Newman before he resigned and joined the Democratic Party, actively participates in Democratic Party internal affairs. Apparently every time he goes to vote in a primary he is required to declare membership in a party, and sign a document attesting to being a member of that party.

This comes from a posting to the Green National Committee listserve. The full text of the letter is behind the "Read more!" link. This does not mean that Huckleberry has done anything illegal. It does, in my mind, call into question his commitment to the Green Party. I am very uncomfortable with him serving as a national leader...but then again, I don't understand why we allow registered members of other parties to serve on our national committee, but we do.

I'll keep an eye open for more info as I read over the Green National Committee list. All the details, at least from one perspective, are behind the "Read more!" link, so read on...


Since you claim to be so well-versed in Illinois election law, it is baffling why you persist in repeating the falsehood that Illinois is not a partisan registration state (google is our friend). It is, every bit as much as New York or California. All that differs is the registration mechanism. In New York, a voter has the option of picking a party (or not) when s/he fills out a voter registration form. It's on the same piece of paper. In New Jersey, the registration form is a separate piece of paper, and you usually have to ask for it. In Illinois, a voter picks a party (in fact, MUST pick a party) when s/he votes in a primary. In fact, the party registration process is even more specific and policed than it is in New York, since you are called by name by a poll judge, asked verbally which party you are declaring your affiliation with, given the color-coded registration form for that party, you sign in front of judges from both parties in the form of a legal, written affidavit attesting to your declaration of affiliation with the stated party, and have your signature verified by judges from both parties, before you go into a booth.

That is how it works in Illinois, is it not? Every county clerk's office in Illinois issues a poll judge's guidebook just like this one, that spells it all out.
In other words, there is no difference in the IL party registration and its legality except the mechanism by which the party is declared. Some states have registrants declare it upon registering to vote, and yours does it annually on primary day, in writing, signed affidavit, confirmed by legal witnesses. There is no question that you know this, and no question that you knew it every time you swore in to vote in other parties' primaries, and therefore no question that you are misleading this body deliberately about whether or not you legally joined one of the major parties and were legally enrolled as a member of that party during years you were serving in various ILGP and GPUS offices.

We must ask the question of the strategic impact of the primary voting histories of you and all IL Greens who have acted as you have, upon the needs of Green organizing. While you may have spun yourself, as you have always tried to spin this body, into thinking you were merely enhancing your ability to have a meaningful vote in a gerrymandered district, the fact is, by helping Democrats select a general election candidate more to your liking, ostensibly the more left-liberal/progressive/populist one, or at least boosting those vote totals in a losing effort, you were a) helping the Democrats bring forth candidates from which potential Green candidates would have a more difficult time distinguishing themselves, and b) encouraging existing and up-and-coming progressive candidates, through enhanced vote totals in Democratic primaries, to think their future was in the Democratic Party. This provides the Democratic Party with the political cover that they are home for progressives.

This means you exercised very poor short and long-term party-building judgment, judgment we have every right and responsibility to question. In fact, here in Minnesota there are some Greens that hold that we Greens should never run against Democrats, especiall;y those who masquarade as "progressive" like Keith Ellison. This strikes me as taking the "safe states" strategy to a whole new level. Quite frankly, that is how I am reading you and I am personally uncomfortable with that. You see, unlike those who give rhetoric that "the Democratic Party is where progressive politics go to die", I really believe it. For the record, Keith Ellison had spoken at a 4,000 strong anti-war rally saying that "I will never vote to fund this illegal, rotten war" on a Thursday. He then voted for it the next Tuesday and even spoke of the "brave leadership of Nancy Pelosi."

I admit that I had told Greens to vote for Keith Ellison in the Democratic primary and I did the same thing. However, I have not registered as a Democrat and ALWAYS publically declared my support for Jay Pond, the Green who ran against him. I supported and stood for the Green Party at all times, never the "lesser evil" Democratic Party.

Please post to this list the exact years of your voting history, and party, in which you legally declared Democrat or Republican party affiliation in Illinois. We have a right to know.


Michael Cavlan

P.S. I am appalled that it would even be mentioned that the Green Party would talk of censoring and "not allowing" articles that are critical of our leadership. I know just how much the corporate media lies, yet when i get get information from them, it is still valuable information that we have a right to know. Unless there is something to hide.
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What rubbish! Michael does have a right to ask questions. From my dealings with Phil Huckelberry I can ascertain that he is NOT a Democratic operative as this letter implies and does his damnbest to help elect Greens here in Illinois as he will all across the country as Co-chair of the national party.
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