Wednesday, September 21, 2016
It seems that every strong Clinton supporter, and every strong Trump supporter (or, perhaps more accurately, every Anti-Clinton Voter and every Anti-Trump Voter) has been working overtime in the mainstream media and on social media to convince people not to vote for a third party in 2016. "After all, they won't win...and that will only help Candidate X win," they say. They don't seem to understand that even if there were no third parties, I would not vote for either Clinton or Trump.
And to be honest, many of them try to give me constructive advice: "Please, this is a two-party nation, and only one of the two major party candidates can win. Why don't you work within one of the major parties to make effective change instead?," they plead.
Because history has shown that won't work.
There are only two factors that motivate party policy.
The first is money. And sorry, I don't have enough to influence either party in that respect.
The second is votes - and more important, winning elections.
When they win, they assume they touched on the right issues in the right way, and ran their ground games in an effective and successful way. If what you want is more of the exact same nonsense that both major parties have handed out, then by all means, vote for a major party. They will assume that their win means they did everything correctly, and you can expect more of the same in the years to come.
When they lose, they must admit that they did something wrong, and begin the process of looking at polls and votes and voter turnout rates to see where they lost ground.
Want to send a message to the major parties to make them seriously examine what they have done this election cycle? FORCE THEM TO RE-EVALUATE WHAT THEY'VE DONE.
It is a Media cliché at this point to speak of 'blue states' and 'red states' and 'battleground states.' But the number of states on the edge is far bigger than anyone could imagine this year.
This year, in 36 states, polls show that the combined support for Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Green exceeds the margin of difference between the Republicans and Democrats. These states represent 358 Electoral votes: far more than the 270 needed to win.
The table below indicates the margin of difference between Clinton and Trump, and the combined 3rd Party support, as published by the Washington Post 50-state poll on September 6:
And, to further drive home the point, here is a map (courtesy of 270towin.com). Red states are runaway Trump, Blue states are runaway Clinton, and the Grey states represent those states where the 3rd Party support now exceeds the difference between them:
So there you have it.
Are the chances slim that a 3rd Party candidate will win the election outright? Yes.
Are the chances large that the 3rd Party vote might tip an election in some of these state one way or another? Yes.
Are the chances even larger that a party that loses a state - or even comes close to losing - will need to examine what they're doing wrong? ENORMOUS.
No, your vote for a Third Party is not a wasted vote; rather, it is the most significant way you have demanding change in the system.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein announced at the Green Party National Convention this week that she has chosen Cheri Honkala, “the nation’s leading anti-poverty advocate,” as her Vice-Presidential running mate.
The Green Party expects to be on the ballot in 45 states this election, and, along with Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, could make the difference in key swing states such as New Mexico. In 2000, Ralph Nader did well enough as the Green Party candidate to anger many Democrats who thought he took key votes from Al Gore, thus throwing the election to Bush. The Green Party, with a thoroughly ‘pedigreed’ Progressive platform, may also take votes from Barack Obama, who has sought to placate liberals while keeping a Clintonesque centrist stance on many issues.
Stein and Honkala promise a “Green New Deal,” that like FDRs original New Deal, would create 25 million jobs, as well as downsize the military, restore civil liberties lost under the Patriot Act and NDAA, legalize marijuana, and guarantee college education for everyone.
Honkala is the national coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group led by poor and homeless people. She ran for sheriff in Philadelphia last year.
“Compelled by her own experience as a homeless, single mom, Honkala has spent nearly three decades working directly alongside the poor to build the movement to end poverty, and has organized tens of thousands of people to take action via marches, demonstrations and tent cities,” Stein’s campaign said in its announcement.
Honkala said, “It’s immoral that children are hungry and homeless in the richest country in the world. It’s time for the 99% to stand united to serve our collective human needs instead of selfish, corporate greed. The Green Party is the only one standing up to Wall Street, and Jill Stein’s Green New Deal is the best plan for saving this sinking ship. I’m honored to fight beside her.”
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
As of yesterdays’ deadline, Dr. Jill Stein has become the first Green Party candidate in American history to have raised enough 'small level' donations, in enough states, to qualify for federal matching funds.
Federal election law provides matching funds to any Presidential candidate who raises $5,000 in campaign contributions from each of 20 states. Only the first $250 per donor counts, so no single large donor is able to ‘buy’ the matching fund threshold. The Stein campaign reached the threshold in 21 states plus the District of Columbia, exceeding the requirements. The top ten states for donations (in order) are Massachusetts (her home state), New York, California, Washington, Illinois, Minnesota, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Texas, and Arizona. Of these, Arizona may be the most significant, as the Greens have achieved ballot access in that state, and it is considered by many observers to be a swing state in this election. The Greens have also achieved ballot access in 22 states (although these are not exactly the same as the states where they reached matching fund thresholds), and are in the process of obtaining petition signatures to gain access in 18 others.
The Green Party Convention will be held in Baltimore, Maryland from July 12-15 this year. While the official platform will be adopted at that time, the current Green Party platform is a decided mix of Progressive economic and environmental policies, and the probably the strongest embrace of civil liberties of any party in recent memory. The Green Party Website enumerates "10 Key Values," including commitments to grassroots democracy, social justice and economic opportunity, ecological wisdom, non-violence, decentralization, community-based economics, gender equity, diversity, personal and global responsibility, and a focus on the future and sustainability. Green Party members have been active in criticizing the bank bailouts and have been active in the Occupy movement.
Dr. Jill Stein, the presumed standard-bearer for the 2012 elections, issued the following statement in reaction to the Party’s meeting the matching fund goal:
"It's been an incredible week.
Just seven days ago when our campaign began an intensive push to qualify for federal matching funds, we were only half way to the threshold. We had reached the required $5000 donation level in only 10 of the 20 states we needed. Today, thanks to an outpouring of support from across the nation, we have qualified in 22 states, two more than the FEC requires.
We are now in the process of submitting a qualifying package to the FEC that will include the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Just two days ago, it looked like Connecticut, Arizona, and the District of Columbia might not make it. But you decided that failure was not an option. And you made it happen. I'm extremely grateful to the army of volunteers who stepped up to the plate and made phone calls and sent emails asking their friends to donate to our campaign. They did this because they believed in what we stand for. And because this campaign belongs to us all.
I'm especially grateful for the support we received from the peace community, from Medicare for All advocates, and the drug policy reform community. They made it clear that they needed a voice in the 2012 presidential race, and that we were the only ones who could provide it.
Our achievement is another sign that the spirit of democracy and justice is alive and well in America. It is rising up in the continuing fight for health care as a human right, in student strikes for affordable higher education and the forgiving of college debt, in eviction blockades, Occupy Movement, and the fight of workers for jobs and living wages and the right to form unions, and in growing mass civil disobedience to protect our imperiled climate future. Now, thanks to your support, democracy and justice now have a voice in this presidential election as well, and we are proud to be that voice.
The surge of support in the matching funds campaign arose despite the constant diet of Obama/Romney that the corporate media is feeding the American people. People are hungry for alternatives - they want to hear about the solutions that are being kept off the table by the establishment parties - they want real debates, not stage-managed squabbles between two defenders of war and Wall Street. They want the truth.
We are the party of no more bailouts. We are the party of a Green New Deal to create 25 million jobs that jumpstart the Green economy and make wars for oil obsolete and saves the climate. We are the party of health care the right of every American through . We are the party of taking action to save the climate of this planet. We are the party that save the taxpayers from the burden of the bloated, unaffordable Pentagon budget and end the use of drone aircraft for assassinations. We are the party that will solve the student debt problem and fully fund the education of our children. We are the party that stands for sane, scientific drug policies and rebuilding our communities that have been devastated by crime and foreclosures.
Every vote for the Green Party ticket is a vote for a new direction for America. It is a vote for a Green New Deal in which solving the problems of people will be a higher priority than propping up Wall Street banks and rewarding hedge fund operators.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those who donated during to our campaign, who got on the phone and called their friends, who sent out emails, who posted appeals online, or who helped in any way. You are what democracy looks like. I want to thank our hard working campaign staff for whom this campaign is more than a job. With your support, we are going to change politics in America.
We're especially proud to that one of the states in which we qualified is the District of Columbia - one of America's last colonies. The United States is the only purportedly democratic nation in the world that denies voting representation in the national legislature to the citizens of its capital city. The Green Party is committed to righting that wrong. We are deeply grateful for support that our campaign has received from the voters in the District - and we will stand up for you.
Our first major goal in this campaign was to win the Green Party nomination. We appear to have done that by winning 29 state primaries and securing well over half the delegates to the nominating convention. Our second goal was to qualify for federal matching funds. Today, we have done that. We now focus our resources on completing our ballot drive efforts across America, working to win the support of people outside of the Green Party to our common cause. Our goal is to be on the ballot for more than 90% of the voters in America. Clearly, many more challenges must be met. And with your help, we will meet them.
So today we celebrate a victory. And every voter who joins us in calling for a new direction in America is a victory. Let's keep standing up for people, peace and the planet.
~ Jill Stein, M.D."
The Stein campaign website, which is separate from the official Green Party website, can be found here: http://www.jillstein.org/
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Delegates from all three counties in Delaware (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex) voted Saturday at the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s annual state convention in Dover to endorse Andrew Groff for US Senate. The party could not nominate Groff as its candidate because the Green Party has already nominated him, and the General Assembly recently abolished fusion nominations in Delaware. But the endorsement means that the Libertarians will not nominate a competing candidate, and will support Groff’s campaign.
Groff is the owner-operator of Avero Holdings LLC, a computer consulting business, and an adjunct instructor in Computer Information Systems at Delaware Technical and Community College. He decided to take the plunge and run for public office after doing organizational work in support of Occupy Delaware.
Groff also discussed the barriers that Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly have created to make ballot access and successful campaigning possible for “alternative candidates.” “Raising the number of members in a political party necessary to appear on the ballot nearly extinguished several independent parties,” Groff said. The Constitution Party has lost ballot access this year, and the Greens are scrambling to gather the final registrations necessary to assure that his name will appear on the November ballot. “I think we’ll be all right,” the candidate said.
Both the Libertarian Party of Delaware and the Independent Party of Delaware have sufficient registered members to guarantee their candidates will appear on this year’s ballot.
“I intend to give Tom Carper a good hard run,” Groff promised. “This year will be about a citizen against the corporate candidate.”
For more information, or to donate (he really likes donations!), visit Goff's Campaign Website
Friday, March 09, 2012
- A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies (YES, this was ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO!)
- Social Security to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled
- Freedom to strike against unfair labor practices.
- Minimum wage laws
- A legal eight hour workday
- Creation of a federal Securities Commission to regulate Wall Street
- Debt relief for farmers
- Workers' compensation for work-related injuries
- An inheritance tax
- A Constitutional amendment to permit a graduated federal income tax
- Universal right of Women to vote
- Direct election of Senators instead of appointment by state legislatures
- Primary elections for state and federal nominations
- Reductions in tariffs that raised cosumer prices
- Limits on the production of military armaments
- Public Works Projects to improve waterways & transportation
The central theme of the campaign was expressed in this platform clause:
“To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”
To accomplish this, the Party Platform supported:
- Strict limits and disclosure requirements on political campaign contributions (Yes, we've been debating this for 100 years...)
- Registration of lobbyists
- Recording and publication of Congressional committee proceedings
- Strong national regulation and permanent active supervision of major corporations.
The Party's candidate for President would infuriate southern racists by dining with blacks on multiple occasions, and the Party would openly admit blacks to the nominating convention. A Woman would deliver one of the nominating speeches.
Now . . . Which Party was this?
If it sounds like the Democratic Party - it wasn't.
It wasn't the Republicans, either...although it was a party formed largely of ex-Republicans.
It was a third Party, the Progressive (or “Bull Moose”) Party, who nominated Theodore Roosevelt that year.
Democrat Woodrow Wilson would go on to win the Presidency that year with a minority (41.8%) of the vote. But the Progressives, running as a “Third Party,” would take 27% of the national vote, outpolling the Republicans and winning 6 states (California, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.)
Rather than being a “wasted vote,” their ideas would impact the platforms of both major parties for generations to come.
Just some Food for Thought.
Green Party USA
Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts
American Progressive Party (not an officially established Party)
Progressive Party of Oregon
Progressive Party of Vermont
Progressive Party of Washington
Working Families Party of New York
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The Republicans continue to dismiss the people with total disdain, while Obama's Department of Homeland Security coordinates with City Police forces to storm the protests.
In the midst of this, the Green Party alone has had the courage to stand up and oppose these gestapo-like tactics. I reprint, in its entirety, the official statement released by Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President:
"The aggressive, needless police actions across the country against Occupy Wall Street (OWS) are an assault on civil liberties and an effort to suppress a much needed movement for economic justice and democracy. The courageous protesters who have stood up to intimidation by lethal force are standing up for us all.
The use of police in full riot gear with helicopters buzzing overhead to arrest peaceful and largely sleeping protesters is frightening commentary on the militarization of state and municipal security. Unprovoked police violence against citizens practicing peaceful civil disobedience - clearly documented on videos gone viral on the internet - is deeply alarming: young women being corralled and pepper sprayed on Wall Street, students at University of California Berkeley being attacked with nightsticks, Iraq veteran Scott Olsen who served two tours of duty supposedly defending freedom, yet whose own freedom was assaulted in a police attack at Occupy Oakland that fractured his skull and rendered him unable to speak.
In conducting these raids, public officials are suppressing rights of free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. Routinely, reporters were physically prevented from observing the raids. Many of those who managed to get in to the sites were reportedly intimidated or arrested. If access to public ways and public health and safety concerns were significant, other non-military solutions were available to deal with them. The lack of such efforts belies the excuse that these concerns justified police raids.
As the OWS protesters have said, the defenders of the 1% can evict the protesters, but they can't evict an idea. The protest is here to stay. I call upon the mayors of the occupied cities to follow the example of Green Party Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, California, who welcomed the local occupation, and to allow the Occupy gatherings to continue.
Throughout American history public assemblies by the people have been essential to the advance of our civil liberties and to the defense of our freedoms.
Coxey's Army in 1894 marched from Ohio to DC, demanding public jobs for the unemployed in the midst of a recession. In 1932, the Bonus Army of 17,000 World War I veterans and their families, in the third year of the Great Depression camped in DC demanding the immediate cash-payment redemption of their World War I bonuses that were scheduled to be paid in 1945. In 1968, the Poor People's Campaign, a legacy of recently assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, set up a shantytown in DC known as "Resurrection City" in support of an Economic Bill of Rights, seeking full employment, a guaranteed annual income, and affordable low-income housing. In 1985-86, students erected and camped in anti-apartheid shantytowns on college campuses to protest investments in corporations in apartheid South Africa.
Some of the OWS protesters are homeless. Many more are young and jobless, often carrying unconscionable college-loan debt burdens. They are the tip of the iceberg of insecurity that is increasingly intolerable for growing numbers of the American public, with the upper 1 percent of Americans now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year and controlling 40 percent of the nation's wealth. Income disparity in the US now exceeds that before the Great Depression. Thus, the anguish that compels protesters to sleep on the cold hard ground is not going away.
The political parties of the 1% are showing signs of neither understanding the protest, nor acting to address the root economic causes. I challenge President Obama to forbid all Federal involvement in these disturbing violations of civil liberties, and to urge all elected officials to respect the right of citizens to peacefully assemble to petition their government for redress of the economic grievances caused by rule by the 1%."
Jill Stein for President Campaign