Monday, July 30, 2007

How to win the Green Party nomination

I feel sure that some will believe that I somehow think that the Cobb/LaMarche campaign of 2004 was sneaky and underhanded. It was not. They did, as far as I can tell, most everything above board. The only time I can recall where they behaved in a seriously bad fashion was in the post-California primary. Since Camejo had said he was a stand in for Nader, and since Nader was rejecting the party's nomination, the Cobb campaign was able to keep the vote totals and resulting delegate count off the national party website for some time.

There can be no doubt in my mind that most Greens wanted Nader to run as a Green in 2004. Sadly, this is not what Nader wanted to do. It appears that he is not interested again in 2008. Why his unwillingness to run with us is not seen as a real shame is beyond me. It's like a divorcing couple, both refusing to accept any portion of the blame for the break up.

All that said, Cobb and his supporters were pretty much out there in public doing what needed to be done to be sure he won the nomination. From his supporters joining and controlling the Delegate Allocation Committee, the Presidential Campaign Support committee, the By-laws, Rules, Policies and Procedures committee and other relevant committees to writing op-eds in prominent publications about how another Nader run would spell the end for we Greens, the Cobb faction did the work needed to win the nomination.

I believe the Cobb campaign did serious damage to the Green Party and did nothing to make us grow. Our financial situation has sucked since his disastrous outcome, and ballot lines were lost. Again, I can't point to a single local chapter or state chapter which was created or grown as a result of the Cobb/LaMarche campaign.

Now, as I pointed out in the previous post, some of those same forces are aligning behind Dr. Jared Ball's campaign. I believe his campaign would be just as disastrous for us as the 2004 campaign was.

To share with you a perspective from an "insider" in the Cobb/LaMarche debacle, I post a letter from Greg Gerritt of RI.

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Many people had a piece of the action in 2004, but maybe the person most responsible for the strategy of 2004 is me. Early on I knew it was going to be a very bad year for the party and figured that a low budget grassroots campaign was going to be the best we could muster. I helped set it in motion because I believed that it was going to be the best of a number of bad alternatives. I still think it was the right thing to do given the situation. I was the first person to tell David Cobb that if he wanted the nomination, that he ought to go about it as an organizing effort, actually
talk to Greens and run for the nomination. The only way to run for President is to actually run. I gave this advice to every potential candidate, but only David Cobb, and to a lesser extent, Kent Mesplay followed it.

I am proud of the campaign David Cobb ran in 2004, especially in light of the state of politics on planet earth at that time, and the forces aligned against the Green Party. I continue to stand by that advice and am happy to report that it is exactly the same advice I give to everyone seeking the 2008 GP nomination.

For 2008 the stars do not appear to be aligning against us in the same way, so maybe the results will be better, but I still note that the only way to run for president is to actually do it, and if someone wants to be nominated by the Green Party they have to ask for it and campaign for delegates to the nominating convention.

Greg Gerritt gpri co chair pcsc


So, the bottom line is, those of us who want a useful Green Presidential campaign should begin now to contact individuals we would like to see seeking our nomination, and show them our support. If you think Nader should seek our nomination (although I think it a lost cause), contact him and tell him so. If you want Rep. McKinney to seek our nomination, tell her. If you want Elaine Brown to be our nominee, let her know.

Frankly, there is not a single person announced at this point who gets even a tiny rise out of me. I only see failure and wasted time/money/effort.
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