Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Huckleberry defended

A newly minted Green responded to the statement that Phil Huckleberry is an active Democrat by explaining that the Supreme Court has invalidated IL's law governing party registration. The explanation is behind the "Read more!" link, but to this Green, voting in a party's primary is joining that party, unless one lives in a fusion state and intends to assist a Green in securing another party nomination as well.

Anyhoo, one "answer" to the questions raised about Huckleberry's actions is behind the "Read more!" link...

Michael and list,

(Note to Forum Managers and others who might complain: I have subscribed to the discussion list, but not yet been authorized. This list is my only choice, at present, for response to Michael's questioning of Phil Huckelberry's Green-ness.)

Summary: A U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidates the Illinois method of locking someone into a party, so we, as voters in Illinois, essentially do not have any official party registration. Phil Huckelberry is not a Democrat just because he may have pulled a Democrat primary ballot at some point in his voting history. Having pulled a Democrat primary ballot when a Green Party primary ballot was not available is more likely a indicator of Phil's reasonable desire to have more influence over his own representation.

Personal Background: I am a recent convert that believed in Green Party values but not Green Party viability until late last year. I worked on a Democrat's campaign for Illinois senate early last year, but voted for every available Green candidate on my ballot in November 2006. I joined the Green Party in November 2006 when I became convinced that the Green Party is viable. I share this background to make it clear that I have recently participated in the Democrat party, but genuinely now participate in the Green Party.

The biggest reason that I am now a member of the Green Party is because the Rich Whitney for Illinois Governor campaign was a huge success, though not victorious. After being in the party for several months, I am convinced that Phil Huckelberry was a major contributor to the Rich Whitney campaign's success.

Regarding primary voting in Illinois, we have had little choice in how best to influence our own representation during primary voting. Generally we have only had the choice of Democrat, Republican or non-partisan. An Illinoisan could have taken a purist approach by pulling a non-partisan ballot since a Green Party primary ballot has generally not been available. But, then we give up our right to influence our own representation during the primary voting. In my dealings with Phil, he doesn't seem like the kind of person that will just stand by and let things happen to him without trying to influence them. In addition, Phil has been working along with others in the
Illinois Green Party and locals to make sure he and others in Illinois have a Green Party primary ballot.

The Law: The Illinois Election Code in Section 7-43 states:

No person shall be entitled to vote at a primary: ...
(d) If he has voted at a primary held under this Article 7 of another
political party within a period of 23 calendar months next preceding the
calendar month in which such primary is held: ...


The U.S. Supreme Court found section 7-43(d) unconstitutional by stating:

Section 7-43 (d) unconstitutionally infringes upon the right of free political association protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments by "locking" the voter in his pre-existing party affiliation for a substantial period of time following his participation in any primary election, and the State's legitimate interest in preventing party "raiding" cannot justify the substantial restraint of the 23-month rule.


Though the election code still appears to create a party affiliation for 23 months after participation in a primary election, case law makes that part of the election code unconstitutional. As a non-lawyer but still a reasonable person, I do not believe Illinois has party registration. Therefore, Phil Huckelberry is not and cannot be a registered Democrat, regardless of what party's primary ballot he may have chosen in past elections.


Terry Campbell
Illinois Delegate
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Well to this Green, voting in a party's primary is trying to have an influence in the electoral process. In 2006, only a few areas had Green primaries. Previous to that, it wasn't possible to pull a Green primary ballot. In 2008, Greens across the state will be able to pull a Green primary ballot, thanks in no small part to Phil's monumental work in attaining ballot access.

In many areas in Illinois, voting in the primary is the only way you can have a voice in who represents you. The districts are so severely gerrymandered and the ballot laws are so oppressive, that the primary oftentimes decides the election. Now that we have ballot access, I look forward to seeing more Greens opposing the unopposed (and the already opposed for that matter!)

Phil is in no uncertain terms a Democrat in Green Clothing. He's one of the most hardworking Greens in Illinois and in the GPUS. He developed our plan to get Whitney and the rest of our statewide slate on the ballot in 2006 and defend our signatures against the Democrats. He ran for State Representative in both 2004 and 2006 - as the Green he is. If he was really so sympathetic to the Democrats, why wouldn't he run with them?

And if you question the credibility of "newly minted Greens" (Terry Campbell, by the way, has been very hardworking and full of ideas since he joined), then I'll let you know I am not too new. I've been involved with the Greens for over 5 years, voted Green since I could, and ran for State Rep last year. I'm a delegate to GPUS and the statewide volunteer coordinator.

I find the entire attack on the "Greenness" of our most dedicated volunteers tired, baseless, and a distraction from all the actual work that could be done.

Tom Abram
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