Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

Re: Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

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Lessons from the 2004 Elections Political Independence Is the Lesson of 2004 for Progressives

By Howie Hawkins
November 8, 2004

The 2004 election should jolt progressives into rejecting once and for all the self-defeating strategy of supporting the Democrats as the lesser evil. "Anybody But Bush" resulted in anything but the progressive agenda.

Progressives didn't lose on November 2. They lost long before November 2 when beating Bush became the central priority for most progressives. If Kerry had won, he would be sitting down right now with Bush during the transition period, two Skull and Bones brothers jointly planning escalation of the war in Iraq and the corresponding neglect of social and environmental crises. The only times prominent progressives got any widespread media coverage in this election was when they joined in the Democrats' $20 million attack on the independent antiwar, anti-corporate Nader/Camejo ticket.

Working people lost the election last April when the labor movement continued to support Kerry even after he pointedly prioritized deficit reduction and a military spending hike over social spending. By June, when Kerry reassured the Democratic Leadership Council, the organized corporate force in the Democratic Party of which he is a founding member, that "I am not a redistributionist Democrat," unions should have been in open rebellion against Kerry.

Environmentalists lost the election as soon as the leadership of the big environmental groups decided to attack rather than support the Nader/Camejo ticket. Nader/Camejo was the one ticket with both the will and potential capacity to put before the nation the urgent need for a demilitarization and solarization of the economy before the impending peak of oil and gas production and the food, heating, electrical, and other material supply lines of petro-industrial society start breaking down.

The peace movement lost the election when it collapsed into the pro-war Kerry campaign, thereby giving legitimacy to the postelection escalation of the war to colonize Iraq that we are now witnessing. Because Kerry was as pro-war as Bush, it was clear long before the vote on November 2 that the U.S. government, under Kerry or Bush, would escalate the war for oil in Iraq and cut domestic spending to pay for it.

The 99 percent Bush/Kerry vote should not be taken as a 99 percent mandate for sacrificing social needs at home to empire abroad. It's more like a 70 percent mandate. The November 5 AP/Ipsos poll showed seven in ten Americans think U.S. troops should stay until Iraq is "stabilized." But that is up 32 percent from earlier in the year, when polls showed that only a 38 percent minority, in both the May 11 CBS/New York Times poll and the September 13 Harris poll, said U.S. troops should stay until Iraq is "stabilized." That's what happens when two pro-war candidates debate who can best fight the war to "stabilize" Iraq and the peace movement supports one of them. Peace movement support for the pro-war lesser evil helped turn a pro-war minority into a pro-war majority.

Progressives who supported Anybody But Bush have to face the fact that their lesser-evil strategy suffered a crushing defeat in this election. Not only did unions and other nominally progressive political organizations blow a few hundred million dollars failing to elect Kerry; worse, progressives lost the battle of public opinion as the lesser-evil strategy took progressive demands completely out of the debate, thus enabling Kerry to join programmatically with Bush in a debate about which one of them could best promote a militaristic approach to Iraq, terrorism, the Patriot Act, and federal spending priorities.

Progressives made no demands on Kerry. They never threatened to take their votes to the progressive Nader/Camejo ticket. Progressives marginalized themselves by allowing Kerry to take their votes for granted.

The political lesson that progressives should draw from the 2004 election is that abandoning their demands to support the Democrats as the lesser evil is political suicide.

Progressives can best fight the right through their own party that can advance a real alternative to militarized corporate plunder without compromise because it is independent of the funding and influence of the corporate/military complex. So the next four years should be about:

• strengthening the Green Party as an alternative to the bipartisan consensus of the corporate-sponsored parties;
• recommitting the Greens to independent politics;
• building independent movements for peace, justice, and the environment that are oriented toward winning people over to their demands instead of merely delivering them to the Democratic Party; and
• giving those movements independent electoral expression, especially at the municipal level where the Greens can continue to win offices, begin transformation from below by exercising the considerable autonomous powers of municipalities, and demonstrate that there really is an alternative.


New Mexico: A Sobering Lesson for Practical Fusion
By Jack Uhrich
Green Horizon Quarterly
Fall 2004

The New Mexico Green Party made national headlines in 1994. Its candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, Roberto Mondragon and Steve Schmidt, received over 10 percent of the vote, and the favored Democrats in the race, Bruce King and Patsy Madrid, lost.

All of a sudden, seemingly coming from nowhere, the Greens were a power to be reckoned with in New Mexico politics. Over the next six years, they would become what David Cobb called a "flagship" state party of the national Green movement, looked to as a model by Green parties all over the country.

Actually, like all "overnight successes," there was a lot of unseen groundwork laid beforehand. The NM Green Party's first chairperson, Abe Gutmann, had gained 40 percent of the vote in a state legislative race in 1992, Andres Vargas received 42 percent the same year in a race for district attorney, and Steve Schmidt had helped lay the groundwork for all the Green electoral successes that were to come over the next several years with his proposed strategy of running "serious, credible, platform-based candidates and campaigns."

But today, after all that groundwork and success, the New Mexico Green Party is a shell of its former self. Its Web site doesn't appear to have been updated in almost two years. They've only elected two candidates in the last three years, and one of their elected officials, Santa Fe city council member Miguel Chavez, switched his registration from Green to Democrat in 2002. Further, the Greens' candidate for governor in 2002, who helped the party regain its ballot status, has also switched his registration to Democrat to help the Dennis Kucinich campaign, and many others in the Albuquerque area have done the same.

What Happened? What Lessons Can Be Learned?

What happened to the momentum of the New Mexico Greens? Is their fate indicative of larger issues within the Green Party nationally? Does their fate foretell problems to come in other states? What lessons can we learn from their successes and shortcomings?

Even though many independent and Democratic progressives (incorrectly) blamed the Greens for the Democrats' loss in 1994, there were also many progressives -- both inside and outside of the Democratic Party -- who were glad to see an alternative out there. In late 1995, this writer helped to pull together Green Party leaders and leaders of NM's Pro PAC (a political action committee for progressive Democrats). An informal compromise was worked out, whereby the Greens agreed not to run candidates against incumbent Democrats that we considered progressive and supportive of our platform. Essentially, New Mexico Greens were practicing what Abe Gutmann called "practical fusion," whereby, even though they didn't formally endorse some of the non-Green progressive candidates, Greens were tacitly supporting them by not running someone against them and splitting the progressive vote. And that type of principled, positive cooperation was reciprocated by progressive Democrats. Green Santa Fe city council member Cris Moore was endorsed by a key local union in his successful bid to become the first elected Green in New Mexico, Abe Gutmann was endorsed by Pro-PAC and the Sierra Club, this writer by the National Association of Social Workers, and other Greens were endorsed by key people-of-color, feminist, gay, and lesbian leaders who were active progressive Democrats. So Greens were seen as exercising their "Green clout" both ways, by helping progressive Democrats, as well as punishing conservative ones.

Change of Direction in 1996-97

Unfortunately, a number of events in late 1996 and early 1997 changed the direction of the Green Party and its strategy. First, the New Mexico Democratic leadership undercut the efforts of progressives in their own party, and blocked the Greens' attempts to run Democratic progressives like state legislator Max Coli and Carol Miller (who was still a Democratic candidate at that time) as fusion candidates on the Green Party ballot line. And in June 1997, the New Party lost its case for fusion before the U.S. Supreme Court, by a daunting 6-3 vote. Have a look at Micah Sifrey's Spoiling for a Fight: Third Party Politics in America (2002).

Just before the Supreme Court decision, in the spring of 1997, the New Mexico Green Party again made national headlines, when Carol Miller (now a Green), got 17 percent of the vote in a threeway special election for U.S. Congress. This time there was no denying the "spoiler" impact of a Green in the race. Conservative Republican Bill Redmond defeated Democrat Eric Serna by just 3 percent. Carol's 17 percent of the vote was a clear factor in Serna's defeat.

Following the exercising of the spoiler part of the party's "Green clout" in the 1997 race, even more progressive and moderate Democrats made overtures to move toward fusion, whether practical or legal. According to John Nichols, in the August 1997 issue of The Progressive magazine ("Spoiling for success: in New Mexico, the Green Party costs the Democrats a Congressional seat"), Bill Richardson, then the most prominent New Mexico Democrat, and a Latino, called for "early entreaties" to the Greens, and even talked about a Green-Democrat fusion ticket for Governor in 1998.

Also, in early 1998 Shirley Baca, a popular, progressive Chicana Democratic state legislator, approached the Greens about running as a fusion candidate for Congress in New Mexico's southern district, which had a reactionary Republican congressman. She was even willing to use her situation to put forth another test case on fusion to the New Mexico courts, which many Greens and legal experts believed they could have won.

At the same time, Greens continued to win on the local level. Fran Sena Gallegos was elected as a Santa Fe judge in March of 1996, Gary Claus was elected to the Silver City Council in May of 1997, and Cris Moore was re-elected to the Santa Fe City Council in March of 1998.

An Accumulation of High-Profile "Spoiler Races"

But the accumulation of high-profile "spoiler races" had begun to dampen the tenuous coalition the Greens had built with Roberto Mondragon and his progressive allies in the Chicano community. Roberto, a lifelong friend of Eric Serna's, who had worked together with him on the Rainbow Coalition, left the Greens and returned to Serna and the Democrats when the Greens endorsed Carol's run in 1997.

At this point the New Mexico Greens were at a crossroads. Legal fusion, at least as a national strategy, was dead. However, it was still legally possible in New Mexico, there was support for it among even some mainstream Democrats like Richardson, and, even without it, there were practical things that Greens and progressive Democrats had cooperated on up until then, and could continue to cooperate on. In other words, "practical fusion" was still possible, as both a state and a national strategy.

Carol Miller Chooses to Run for Congress Again: Party Is Split

However, at the Green Party's state convention in 1998, Carol Miller refused the urgings of a number of the elders in the party that she run for another, less volatile office, like secretary of state, where many felt she had a real chance of winning. Instead, she chose to run again for Congress, this time against popular New Mexico attorney general Tom Udall. As attorney general, Udall had protected the Greens' ballot status with a special ruling that he had issued, and he was supportive of many parts of the Green Party platform.

At that same convention, the Greens voted formally not to continue to seek fusion, but to instead push for IRV as its major electoral reform. They did stay out of the governor's race, but they refused to support Shirley Baca for Congress, or moderate Republican Lorenzo Garcia in his race for treasurer (even though he had gained the Greens their highest vote total ever in a statewide race, 33 percent, running as a Green in 1994).

Besides Miller's race, 1998 also brought two more spoiler races where the Democrats lost. Green Bob Anderson gained more than 15 percent of the vote in a special congressional election in Albuquerque in the spring of 1998, and then more than 10 percent in the general election in the fall. In both races, Anderson's percentages prevented the Democrat from winning and helped elect conservative Heather Wilson, who is now a national force in Republican politics.

In the meantime, Carol Miller received less than 4 percent in her race against Tom Udall, avoiding another Democratic loss. However, her decision to run caused a major split among Greens over the practical fusion versus the more purist spoiler/instant runoff voting (lRV) strategy. Many Greens in Carol's district and around the state had openly expressed concern about the spoiler effect of her run in the Udall race, and Abe Gutmann even went so far as to organize a "Greens for Udall" campaign. He was ultimately censured by the party for taking financial support from Udall for this effort, but his censure led to an ongoing internal struggle that ultimately split the party in two, and that continues to this day.

Movement Groups Angered by the Spoiler Campaigns

Along with that, Miller's insistence on running against Udall, coupled with the outcome of the 1998 Congressional races in Albuquerque, angered many in organized labor, the people-of-color communities, and other former allies of the Greens in the gay and lesbian, environmentalist, and women's movements. Most people agreed that the Democratic candidate in Albuquerque was particularly weak, but they also felt that the Republican, Heather Wilson, was infinitely worse. Consequently, in 1999, a coalition of progressive people-of-color groups attacked the New Mexico Greens with a public campaign that reached the national media, accusing them of being racist and not caring about working-class people.

The Greens eventually met with and worked out an uneasy truce with these groups, but the die was cast. From then on, for all intents and purposes, active alliances between the Greens and people-of-color organizations -- as well as most of organized labor and other progressive groups -- were essentially over.

In 2000, there was yet another high-level spoiler race in the Albuquerque congressional race, coupled with the impact of Ralph Nader's national race. So, in a period of six years, the Green Party of New Mexico found itself involved in six high-profile spoiler races, in addition to the Nader 2000 race. In each race, there were good reasons not to like the choices the Democrats offered. But in each case (except for the Udall race), the Republican who was elected in place of the Democratic candidate was measurably worse than the Democrat. And in the case of Udall's election, the state Green Party officially opposed him, and then punished the most prominent Green who supported him, alienating many of Udall's supporters, most of whom would have supported Greens in other races.

Democrats Shift Strategy: Wait Out the Greens, "No" To IRV

All of this set the stage for what has taken place since. Despite the Greens' continued arguments that IRV is ultimately in the Democrats' interest to support, the Democratic establishment appears to have chosen instead to wait out the Greens. They apparently believe that the Greens will eventually wear out their welcome with the people, who they think will ultimately decide that it's better to elect a bad Democrat -- than vote for a Green and see an even worse Republican elected.

And the Democrats' strategy seems to be working. At present there are only two elected Greens in office, down from a high of five in 2000.

New Mexico's experience with their own six spoiler races, combined with the impact of the 2000 presidential race, and the subsequent threat of a spoiling effect on other high-profile races, such as Paul Wellstone's U.S. Senate race in Minnesota in 2002, has left every state Green Party with a spoiler "albatross" that it must begin to address realistically. In order to implement practical reforms like instant runoff voting, Greens need to have at least a working relationship with Democrats, especially those closest to the beliefs and values of the Green Party platform. But the effects of continuous spoiler races, without an at least equal amount of counter-balancing cooperative efforts with the broader progressive community, have been to drive a wedge between the two camps.

A Different Green Strategy Is Needed

Obviously a different strategy is needed. I advocate that we return to the original New Mexico strategy of fusion, both legal fusion, where possible, and practical fusion where it isn't. That does not mean we should abandon the quest for IRV, or that we would never use the threat of spoiling a race. Practical fusion includes the threat of spoiler races, and the spoiler races in 1994 and 1997 obviously had some major positive outcomes toward building the party. Our initial judicious use of a combination of practical fusion and spoiling in the mid-1990s enabled us to come very close (one vote, in the last legislative committee) to getting IRV on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.

However, after 1997 the party became too rigid in its approach, too unwilling to accept certain political realities that they were not in a position to change at that time, and too lacking in collective knowledge about how to negotiate the Green clout they had built into practical accomplishments that they could continue to build on. Instead, the political purism of the New Mexico Greens of the late-1990s (and this author embarrassingly includes himself as all too often a part of that purist camp), led to too few wins on the local level to counterbalance the effect of the high-profile spoiler races, and a growing unwillingness on the part of new candidates to step forward and run on the Green Party line. This left the public with the perception that the Greens may have admirable values and good ideas, but don't have the knowledge or the clout to make them reality.

What If!

Looking back, one cannot help but wonder, what if, after the 1997 race, Carol Miller had instead run for secretary of state and the Greens had instead supported Udall openly, as well as Shirley Baca in her southern New Mexico congressional race (a race she could also have run with our support)? Both Democrats were basically supportive of most of the Green Party platform. What if both of them had won, with open Green support? What if, instead of running in the second election in 1998, Bob Anderson had declared the first race as essentially the first outcome of an IRV-style selection process, with him being the candidate disqualified in the first round of voting, and thrown his support to the Democratic candidate in the second race? It's possible that New Mexico would now have possibly three Democratic congresspeople, instead of just one, and two of them more progressive than most Democrats in Congress.

Would not the Green Party in New Mexico also have looked different today? When progressives saw that the Green Party used their Green clout in more than just negative ways, the Green Party wouldn't have been yoked with the spoiler albatross. Green clout would be seen as a force that could help Democrats as well as hurt them. In turn, the New Mexico Green Party today would be enjoying increased support from labor, progressive organizations, people-of-color organizations, and progressive Democrats, all grateful for the critical support of the Greens -- support that had been the key to victory in these elections. Perhaps then, Green Abe Gutmann's 45 percent vote for city council in 1997, and Melissa McDonald's 46 percent in her 2000 race for county commissioner, would have instead been stretched to a winning 51 percent, and Greens would have representation in the governments of two of the most influential counties in the state. Perhaps Tom Udall and other progressive Democrats would have been so grateful for our support that they would have continued their qualified support for the party, and we would be growing in numbers, candidates, and newly elected Greens, instead of scratching our heads as to what went wrong.

Unfortunately, members of the Green Party can't rewrite New Mexico's history. They can only learn from it, apply it to their own times, develop new strategies, and try to do better in their future work. But the history lesson of New Mexico is that it's time for a change in strategy, if the Green Party is to grow and thrive.

As we go to press, there is some indication that the climate in New Mexico is starting to change. Popular Green leader Rick Lass has decided to drop out of his race for the New Mexico state legislature, so as not to split the vote with a progressive Democrat, who has a better chance of winning, and who supports much of the Green Party platform. Perhaps once again, the New Mexico Green Party will provide a model for Green parties all over the country to look up to.


The Greens Are Enduring, Debating, and Learning
By Steve Welzer
Green Horizon Quarterly
Spring 2005

The Green Party has now run national electoral campaigns under conditions of Democratic Party incumbency (2000) and Republican Party incumbency (2004). There were specific circumstances and issues in each case, of course, but to the extent that general conclusions can be drawn and lessons learned from these experiences the party will benefit and go forward.

Perhaps the most significant observation is that the Green Party, running an appealing candidate, has a chance to be perceived by many progressives as a serious and welcome alternative when a Democrat has been occupying the White House, but when the incumbent administration is Republican many of those same progressives will view the candidate of the Democratic Party as enough of an alternative as to merit support; moreover, they will tend to adopt a rhetoric of "closing ranks" and harangue against "spoiling," putting pressure on the Green Party to avoid running a high-impact campaign.

Handling "Anybody But... "

The "ABB" (Anybody-But-Bush) syndrome made 2004 a difficult year for the Greens, but it was certainly instructive. What the Greens will need to do is learn to anticipate it (in its generalized form -- "ABR" -- Anybody But the Republican). If the Green Party could become the repository of memory for the electoral wing of the social change movement, it could be ready each cycle to graphically remind progressives about the extent to which they are invariably disappointed with Democrats in power -- and about how the resurgence of alarmism when the Republicans are in serves no function other than to retard the development of a true alternative.

Another lesson of 2004 is that, internally, the Greens need to develop an organizational culture of steadfast independence. It was problematic that a significant number of Greens supported, worked for, contributed to, or voted for the candidate of the Democratic Party in 2004. Others reacted to the ABB pressure by opting for a low-impact, deferential presidential campaign. If they hope to overcome third-party marginalism, the Greens will need to project an image of gravitas while establishing in the minds of the voters a strong and clear-cut differentiation between themselves and both of the establishment parties.

Handling "Spoiler" Vilification

There is no way to know whether or not AI Gore would have won the 2000 election if the Ralph Nader/Green Party ticket had not attracted the highest percentage vote for a progressive third-party campaign since that of Robert LaFollette in 1924. It is conceivable that Nader did, in fact, "spoil" the election for Gore.

What's not in doubt is that the high-visibility impact of the 2000 campaign transformed and simultaneously provoked a crisis within the Green Party. On the one hand it was a step toward the party becoming viewed as a potentially serious new force in American politics and it catapulted the Greens to the front of the ranks among third-party initiatives. On the other hand, justified or not, it prominently associated the Green Party with spoiling. Nader's role in the election became fodder for the punditry; both he and the party found themselves confronted with a stinging campaign of vilification. (Seen on a Democratic Party discussion e-list: "GREEN=Get Republicans Elected Every November.")

The "spoiling" issue is a complex and difficult one that always has divided partisans of independent politics in this country, given our winner-take-all system -- and it surely will continue to do so until thoroughgoing electoral-system reform is achieved. Groups and even individuals are torn about this issue. In recent years the Labor Party and the New Party foundered when they were not able to successfully come to terms with it. So it was not surprising to see the Green Party internally divided as the 2004 electoral cycle approached.

Some Greens were concerned that if the party was perceived to "again" be a factor in the defeat of the Democratic Party opponent to George W. Bush, an indelible "bull in a china shop" stigma would impede its organizing efforts for years to come. When Ralph Nader made it clear that he would not accede to any type of campaign strategy which involved less than an all-out effort, Greens concerned about spoiling resisted the idea of another Nader/Green campaign.

Others, to the contrary, felt it was specifically important for the Greens to show that the party would not back down in the face of the "spoiler" vilification. They asserted it would be a mistake to give any credence to the idea that the Green Party's 2.7 percent of the vote in 2000 constituted "too much of an impact," and they felt that a rejection of Nader could give the impression that the party was less than steadfast in its determination to become a serious electoral force.

Questions and Differing Perceptions about the Party's Role

Discussions leading up to 2004, while often focused on the "Nader question" showed the extent to which Greens have questions and differing perceptions about the appropriate role of their party vis-a-vis the establishment parties. Should there be any degree of contingency to our opposition? Is our growth dependent upon weaning progressives gradually out of the orbit of the Democratic Party? To what extent and under what circumstances should we take pains to be "good citizens of the progressive movement" by deferring to the fact that the Democrat is the immediate practical alternative in an important race?

These questions deeply divided the party in a year when many progressives were viewing the 2004 election as a national plebiscite on the legitimacy, policies, and war of George W. Bush. The Cobb/LaMarche campaign made a point of exhibiting understanding and tolerance for voters who felt they had to prioritize defeating Bush. This posture succeeded in getting attention and praise from those prone to advocating an "inside/outside" strategy (a July letter from progressives with that orientation toward the Democratic Party stated: "David Cobb has earned our endorsement in safe states by deftly steering the Green Party toward a nuanced strategy dedicated to ousting Bush, while seeking to grow a grassroots party ... "). Pro-Nader Greens expressed concern that such a strategy compromised the party's independence to an unacceptable degree. The debate about this fundamental issue has by no means been resolved and is sure to continue. As it becomes recognized that the issue is, indeed, complex and that both positions have some merit, the discussion may very well become less rancorous and divisive.

Important to Keep Moving Forward

In order to learn from mistakes, regroup after divisions, benefit from internal debates, build consensus, and take advantage of organizational memory, a party must endure and keep moving forward. The Greens are well aware that prior attempts to build an alternative progressive political force in this country -- Socialist, Progressive, Labor, Citizens, Rainbow -- have failed to reach critical mass, disappearing or stagnating after a few electoral cycles or, at most, a few decades.

It is encouraging that the Green Party survived the difficult circumstances it encountered in 2004. Criticisms regarding the party's pace of growth, lack of cohesion, difficulty with fundraising, etc., need to be taken to heart, but, on the other hand, the critics should acknowledge the fact that among the group of third-party startup initiatives of the 1990s, only the Green Party has shown endurance.

Working in the party's favor is the resonance of the Green politics movement worldwide. Ecological responsibility has emerged as a major theme of twenty-first century political discourse. And, to its credit, the U.S. Green Party has demonstrated a capability to take advantage of opportunity. The Nader/Green campaign of 2000 stepped into the spotlight when the Reform Party unexpectedly imploded and the Gore candidacy fizzled. In 2004 the Cobb campaign skillfully maneuvered into a position where it could spearhead the challenge to the election irregularities in Ohio. (William Rivers Pitt wrote: "The presidential candidates for the Green Party and Libertarian Party deserve the lion's share of praise and credit for the [challenge to the Ohio Electors in the U.S. Congress on Thursday, January 6th] .... Cobb and Badnarik forced the Democrats to do the right thing, and that made Thursday a banner day for third parties in America." [])

Endurance in the Face of Crisis

So it turns out that there were some positive highlights to point to in a difficult year. It still remains to be seen whether or not the Green Party can accomplish what no other third party has been able to do in recent memory, i.e., break out of the marginal tier to gain widespread recognition as a viable oppositional force. The Greens must not allow "spoiler aversion" to hold them back. Not only is spoiling inevitable (there is no way to go from 1-4 percent of the vote to 30-40 percent of the vote without passing through levels that are sure to "spoil"), but, moreover, spoiling is an important tool in a third party's arsenal, a way to demonstrate why electoral-system reform is necessary.

Spoiling invariably elicits a degree of vilification -- the Greens simply need to learn to take the heat. In the face of it, they must not back down from their provocative and consistent challenge to both of the establishment parties. They need to develop an organizational culture oriented toward displacing the Democrats rather than deferring to them. And they need to spark the interest of the broad ranks of the politically disaffected rather than being overly concerned about the reticence of the liberal intelligentsia or the vagaries of the Rep-Dem dance.

Perhaps the exposure to the ABB syndrome of 2004 will help inoculate the Greens against the virus of lesser-evilism going forward. In an article that appeared in The Nation after the election, Medea Benjamin wrote: "Many of us in the Green Party made a tremendous compromise by campaigning in swing states for such a miserable standard-bearer for the progressive movement as John Kerry. Well, I've had it.... For those of you willing to keep wading in the muddy waters of the Democratic Party, all power to you. I plan to work with the Greens to get more Green candidates elected to local office"("Looking Back, Looking Forward," The Nation issue of December 20, 2004).

Code Medea 1, by Tara Carreon

Code Medea 2, by Tara Carreon

Woman Found Pushing Dead 3-Year-Old Son in Swing
by Tara Fowler

Police report that a 24-year-old woman was found pushing her dead 3-year-old son in a swing at a Maryland park on Friday.

Officers first responded to the park at just before 7 a.m. after receiving calls about a woman who had been pushing a child in a swing for an unusually long period of time. Police said that the woman, who is not being identified, may have been at the La Plata park since the day before, according to WUSA.

When officers went to take the child out of the swing, "it was instantaneously clear the child was dead," Charles County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson told the Associated Press.

The child's body, which showed no signs of physical trauma, was sent to the Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. His mother was taken to a local hospital for a mental evaluation, where she remained Saturday morning, WUSA reports.

Approached with apprehension, 2004 may become viewed in retrospect as the year in which the Greens managed to endure in the face of crisis and even make some breakthroughs and learn some valuable lessons. If the Greens will continue to press forward with their challenge to the two-party system -- boldly, consistently, and at all levels -- it might not be too long before the electorate starts to recognize the Green Party as the viable new alternative the party is seeking to become.


In my Green Horizon article I discussed the significance of the 2004 campaign from the vantage point of the Green Party, but I did not address the ramifications of the Nader campaign. My own take on the latter can be summarized thus:

• The main positive, enduring result of the 2004 Nader campaign was the graphic demonstration of what lengths the establishment parties will go to when threatened. It was instructive for the third-party movement to see that.
• Nader will make a significant contribution to the movement if he continues to pursue remedies to the ballot-access barriers he encountered during the campaign.
• The 2004 Nader campaign did not yield many other positives. It would take quite a stretch of the imagination to call the campaign a success. A major problematic factor was the dissolution of the Ralph Nader/Green Party alliance. Both sides can be faulted to some extent for this casualty.
• The problem on the Green Party side, as analyzed above, was aversion to being perceived to "again" play the spoiler role. Many Greens got cold feet about the party's association with Nader. Misleadership allowed the anti-Nader forces within the party to jeopardize the relationship.
• There were two problems on Ralph Nader's side, attributable to him and his inner circle of decision makers: 1. They failed to recognize the extent to which the interest in/sympathy for the 2000 candidacy was based on the idea that Nader was working to build a significant, permanent new alternative party. Going "independent" was a mistake. It resulted in loss of support, diversion of precious campaign resources to dealing with ballot-access problems, and a catch-as-catch-can series of unproductive alliances with forces more marginal than the Green Party. 2. They are, as a group, deficient when it comes to working in or with organizations which aren't their own (i.e., organizations they didn't initiate or don't control). In the wake of the 2000 campaign they refused to or didn't know how to do the kind of internal organizational politicking that was needed to playa significant role helping to develop the Green Party into a serious new political force. It was not enough for Nader just to do some fundraisers for the party. He and his colleagues needed to get involved helping to guide or at least influence the Greens. Failure to do so resulted in a lost opportunity.

The Ralph Nader/Green Party alliance had great potential. Without such alliances (with figures of stature like Nader) the Green Party will grow much more slowly. Without organizational support, Nader now goes back to being perceived as a lone wolf -- a heroic reformer who ultimately fell short of making a major impact in the arena of alternative politics.
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Re: Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

Postby admin » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:42 pm


Resurgence: The Green Party's Remarkable Transformation
By David Cobb
Green Horizon Quarterly
Winter 2005

A remarkable transformation has taken place in the public's perception of the Green Party. In one sense, you could say we've gone from being seen as spoilers to being hailed as saviors.

In the aftermath of the 2000 stolen presidential election, those who wanted to ignore the hard facts of voter suppression and fraud found the Green Party as an easy scapegoat. Never mind the massive disenfranchisement of African American voters in Florida or the blatantly political and unprecedented maneuvering of the U.S. Supreme Court, blame the outrageous results of the "election" on the Green Party. The die was cast, the spin spun and, to a great extent, the public bought it. The Green Party and our 2000 presidential candidate became persona non grata in many political circles.

Four years later, following another national election plagued by what could charitably be called irregularities, the Green Party has emerged as a champion of democracy.

This happened for two reasons. One, the Cobb/LaMarche Green Party presidential campaign did the right thing in Ohio by seeking a recount of that flawed and fraudulent election in order to protect the integrity of the democratic process. The second reason is because we ran a campaign in the first place. As Woody Allen has been credited with saying, 90 percent of life is just showing up. If we hadn't run a Green Party presidential campaign in 2004, as many people suggested, we would never have had the incredible opportunity of using the Ohio recount to shine a spotlight on the serious deficiencies of a dysfunctional electoral system.

The Ohio recount may be the best thing that has ever happened to the national Green Party. By demanding a recount (in conjunction with Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik), when we had no interest in the outcome of the election, we demonstrated a true nonpartisan commitment to ensuring the right to vote and the right to have all votes counted. By contrast, John Kerry, the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, refused to stand up either for himself or for the thousands of Ohioans who stood in line for hours in the rain to vote for him. Kerry never demanded a recount. After considerable hesitation and delay, he did file legal motions in support of our efforts, but that only amounted to saying "me too" to what our attorneys had already submitted. For many Democrats this dismal performance, following on the heels of Gore's botched recount effort in 2000, was simply too much.

The Cobb/LaMarche campaign was inundated with phone calls and e-mail messages from disgruntled Democrats. Thousands contributed financially to make the Ohio recount happen and many volunteered as observers for the recount itself. Many more sent messages saying that they were switching their party registration to Green; others hailed us as patriots.

The pinnacle of our post-election efforts came on January 6, 2005, when Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and California Senator Barbara Boxer challenged the legitimacy of Ohio's electoral college votes, the first such challenge since 1877. This historic challenge was preceded by an inspiring rally held in Lafayette Park across from the White House which was organized by our campaign in conjunction with a number of other progressive organizations. I was honored to share a stage with such longtime civil rights activists as Reverend Jesse Jackson and Representative Maxine Waters before joining over four hundred people in a March on the Capitol which stretched for several blocks through the heart of Washington.

Party Continues to Grow

The Green Party continued to grow in 2004. We ran record numbers of candidates, elected more local officials, and registered more Green voters than ever before. Everywhere we went, we found enthusiastic and dedicated Greens hard at work in their local communities.

There is no question that this was an unusual and difficult year to run a Green Party presidential campaign. Although many Greens supported our campaign, others supported either Kerry or Nader/Camejo, dividing an already small constituency even further.

That notwithstanding, the Cobb/LaMarche campaign was a spirited and principled effort embodying the best of Green values. We were unwavering in presenting a clear, alternative progressive agenda to the corporate parties. We told the truth. We consistently referred to John Kerry as a corporatist and militarist who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the USA PATRIOT Act; the racist War on Drugs; the misnamed, one-size-fits-all No Child Left Behind Act; and as someone who failed to support single-payer, universal health care and a living wage for all American workers. Some Greens objected to the fact that we told another truth as well -- that as bad as Kerry was, Bush was worse.

We ran a campaign that was significant not just for what it accomplished, but how we accomplished it. Our ticket was gender balanced; the only major ticket which could make that claim. Our campaign committee operated by consensus. As the presidential candidate, I was only one voice of many. We worked cooperatively in concert with state and local Green parties and we have, as promised, turned over our volunteer and donor lists to the national Green Party. And, despite negative attacks on us, we stayed positive the entire time.

As a result of all the campaigns the Green Party ran, from school boards to the presidency, we trained more activists, recruited more community leaders, and developed more skills and infrastructure. The Green Party is getting bigger, stronger, and better organized in each election cycle.

New Voting Rights Movement

The Green-inspired Ohio recount played a significant role both in the birth of the New Voting Rights Movement and in a fundamental transformation of the political landscape. The recount in Ohio (and in New Mexico) brought together Greens and Libertarians, longtime civil rights activists and new voting rights organizations. Our campaign also worked closely with Representative John Conyers and his staff, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow/PUSH, and a new group called the Progressive Democrats of America to document and publicize what went wrong in Ohio and what we can do to fix our broken election system.

Thanks to our part in the Ohio recount, the Green Party has gained new credibility and visibility as well as a leadership role in the New Voting Rights Movement. Election reform is now center-stage and has moved from being a peripheral issue pushed by "fringe" parties to a mainstream concern with the backing of leading civil rights organizations and members of Congress. It wasn't what we could have expected to be the result of our campaign as we set forth with the Cobb/LaMarche presidential campaign, but we did position ourselves to be ready for breakthroughs, and we couldn't be happier with the results.

Narcissism Runs Rampant: Diagnosing the Green Party

By Joshua Frank Published on, February 25, 2005

The ashes of the 2004 election battle have finally settled, and sadly the Green Party is buried in the rubble still gasping for air. Even so, if you have heard any of the sordid mutterings from staunch Green loyalists, they are spinning quite a different tale.

Take prominent Green apologist, Ted Glick, who has failed miserably at seeing the error of the Green Party's choice to run David Cobb this past year. "[Our vote total] was less than expected," he recently spewed in an online missive, "but the fact is that the cumulative vote for all fourteen 'third party' Presidential candidates on the ballot ... was a little less than 1.2 million." Apparently, to Mr. Glick, such a diagnosis somehow emancipates the Green Party's own tepid performance -- for no third party did exceptionally well.

Not sure if the Greens' vote total was less than expected, however, as David Cobb told CounterPunch during the "height" of his quest for the presidency that he had "no goals for votes." Talk about a schmuck.

The Greens could, and should, have been vociferously opposing the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. But they opted for a "smartgrowth" (read: safe-state) strategy instead, where they'd stay well below the electoral radar. They should have been on the front lines of the campaign scene, denouncing John Kerry and George Bush's neoliberalism and their handling of the downward economic spiral, civil liberties infringements, and environmental catastrophes. But instead the Green Party caved, and regardless of what Ted Glick and others claim, they paid a steep price, getting pounded at the polls as a result. A miserable sixth place.

David Cobb and his running mate Pat LaMarche earned a little over 118,000 votes on November 2, 2004. Even though only half a million people voted for Ralph Nader in 2004 -- a drastic decline compared to four years earlier when 2.8 million people voted Green -- Nader still managed to garner five times as many votes as the Green Party on Election Day '04, despite being vilified by professional leftists, Greens, progressives, and bemused Democrats.

Many still cite the drastic reduction in votes for Nader in 2004 as evidence of failure. But it is wrong to compare his two runs in these terms. In the second case, Nader had no party to back him, and in the wake of the September 11 Anybody-But-Bush hysteria, many who were with Nader in spirit decided to cast their votes for John Kerry in hopes of unseating Bush. Political expediency didn't work however.

The Libertarian Party garnered some 200,000 more votes than Cobb. But who cares, right? Cobb got his wish. For he never wanted votes anyway.

An example of the ruin: In Minnesota, the Green Party has enjoyed majority status since 2000, but is now heading back to the political fringe. Cobb's poor vote total disqualified the Greens from $400,000 in public subsidies and automatic ballot access in the state. Looks like they will have to start over from scratch in the state, as well as Connecticut, Montana, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, where the Green Party lost the presidential ballot access they had acquired during the 2000 election.

The Green Party didn't fare very well in local races either, where Cobb and others claimed they would stay strong. Failing to show up, the Greens were outgunned all across the board by Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Independents, and yes, even Socialists in some cases. But many Greens still claim that they "grew" in '04.

Green Party members Starlene Rankin and Mike Feinstein of California wrote in Green Pages following their November butchering that, "fourteen states ran the most Green candidates ever, and overall at least 431 Greens ran for office in forty-one states.... The Greens won 68 victories out of 431 races in 2004, including 12 city council seats and 18 victories overall in California. There are now a record 221 Greens holding elected office across the U.S."

Growing in numbers doesn't mean growing in strength. Currently the Green Party claims to have exactly 313,186 members in twenty-two states across the U.S. If this is indeed accurate, that means almost 200,000 of those members did not even cast a vote (let alone donate cash) for their party's presidential ticket in 2004.

How the hell can Ted Glick and others claim that this was a "success"? Not to mention their "smart-growth" strategy did not even elect the man they hoped would win: pro-war Democrat John Kerry.

Despite this "growth," sources at the Green Party headquarters reveal they are in dire straits financially. It isn't likely that the Green Party's D.C. office will have to close in the immediate future. Nevertheless if money doesn't start rolling in soon, sources admit, it may well happen down the road.

What is interesting is that Green Party "think tanks" have recently received big bucks from significant Democratic contributors, Richard and Marilyn Mazess of Wisconsin. According to the Federal Election Commission the Mazess clique have given well over $50,000 to the Democratic Party since 2003. They contributed some money to the Green Party following the election in 2004. And they also tossed Ralph Nader several thousand dollars this past election -- perhaps to cover their own Democratic tracks.

Nonetheless, two spanking new Green Party non profits are now robust and thriving. The Green Institute, which is headed by ex-Green Party Operations Director Dean Myerson, and the Liberty Tree Foundation for Democratic Revolution, which is headed by ex-Green Party Chair Ben Manski (both Cobb backers), have collected a combined $500,000 from the Mazess duo.

Certainly this raises questions as to which direction the Green Party will proceed in the future. How much influence will these "think tanks" have, especially if the Green Party itself continues to struggle financially? Will it be replaced by these non-profit careerists? Will fruitless "smart-growth" campaigns continue to be the failing Green Party strategy?

To no surprise, David Cobb has parked his ass on the Board of Directors at the Green Institute "think tank." And akin to Theodore Glick, Mr. Cobb still claims his losing campaign strategy was a winner. Narcissism runs rampant indeed.

This is not to say that there aren't spurts of dissension starting to pulsate within the party's grassroots. A quest to take back the Green Party is already underway. Many Greens are coming together under the banner of the "Green Alliance" to shift internal power away from Cobb and others, and back into the hands of the membership. Green Party veteran Peter Camejo, who was Ralph Nader's running mate this past election, is also contemplating the best way to mend the fractures currently leaking what little strength the Green Party has left.

Let's hope that Camejo, the Green Alliance and other likeminded Greens can join forces and topple the current party "leadership." If they aren't successful, 2004 won't be the worst election the Greens will ever endure.


Lessons from the 2004 Elections
By Peter Miguel Camejo
January 2005

The 2004 elections unmasked a great deal of the political realities of our nation. Most readers are aware the media is now under the control of a handful of large corporations all run by right-wing, generally Republican, worshippers of the market. Still it seems so peculiar how the most crucial issues of our time were simply never mentioned during the presidential campaign by either of the two pro-corporate parties.

Except for a pro-pollution quip by Kerry, little was said about the destruction of our planet and economy through global warming. In Missouri, Kerry stated that buying "a great big SUV is terrific, terrific. That's America." Both Kerry, and Bush joined in opposing the Kyoto Protocol during the debates to reassure corporate America of their commitment to profits over a future for our species.

The fact that 90 percent of the people have seen no rise in their inflation-adjusted income over the last thirty years in spite of the doubling of our GDP was of no concern to Bush or Kerry. The only real income gains went to the richest 1 percent. This income polarization and the growth of an underclass, with our minimum wage dropping (inflation adjusted in present dollars) from $8.50 to $5.15 since 1968 was never discussed.

The drop in corporate tax revenues that once provided 33 percent of federal government revenues but today provide only 7.8 percent likewise was particularly a taboo issue. The only comment in this regard was a call by John Kerry for further tax cuts for corporations. His proposal came at a moment when profit margins were the largest ever of GDP and the percentage of the budget from corporate taxes the lowest in decades.

The poorest 20 percent now pay the highest tax rate on their income for state and local taxes throughout the nation. In California the poorest 20 percent pay a rate 57 percent higher than the richest 1 percent of the population who pay the lowest rate of all. The general trend to an ever increasing regressive tax structure and the endless growth of corporate subsidies of course was never mentioned.

We could go on and on. Our antiquated electoral system, the growing violations of our Constitution and the rule of law internationally, and so on were never put before the people. The single most pressing world issue, the war in Iraq, became the centerpiece of the campaign as both Kerry and Bush fought over who was the most pro-war.

The Key to U.S. Elections

There was one peculiar event around the elections that received almost no analysis or discussion. The overwhelming majority of the supporters of John Kerry disagreed with their candidate on most major issues. Even in countries with completely distorted electoral systems, where money dominates and manipulates, it is quite unusual to see people voting massively for someone they consciously disagree with.

This simple fact tells how deep the corruption of the American political system has become. The Boston Globe reported 95 percent of the delegates at the Democratic Party convention opposed Kerry on the war. But these delegates are hopelessly corrupt people. They are part of a system based on careerism and money. They accept the game and call it being realistic. That is to lie to the people, to lie to themselves; to act out a lie does not bother these people at all.

Dennis Kucinich, Howard Dean, and Al Sharpton -- along with all the Democratic "left" -- bought in to the fundamental lie of the presidential campaign. That lie is simple. They tell the people that the Democratic Party is not corrupt, is not an agent of corporate rule, and is not a defender of George Bush and his policies. They do not tell the people the elections are fixed from day one through the control of money and the media. Nor do they speak of the role of the so-called "two-party" system that prevents the real issues from being heard or debated, and that does not allow representative democracy (proportional representation), or even runoffs that would make it possible for people to vote for an opposition candidate. That lie is the essence of our electoral system. And in one sense it is the key issue of the elections.

This fact is a statement on the enormous success of the two-party, pro-money political system developed in the United States. It has achieved getting about half the people simply not to vote, and those who do vote even when they disagree with corporate domination vote in favor of what they oppose. Yet the people believe they somehow have chosen the government. Keeping this system in place is essential for the rule of a tiny minority over the majority in a complex modern economy. Open totalitarianism would have a very deep negative impact on the economy. Far better is the illusion of democracy. Crucial in this equation is the role "progressives," especially many of the liberal intellectuals, play.

Massive Capitulation of Liberals

The fact that the Democratic Party candidate was totally pro-corporate, pro-war, pro-Patriot Act, anti-poor, and against the environment did not stop the bulk of so-called "progressive leaders" from demanding not only a vote for Kerry but respect for corporate domination of our society -- by not having any candidates appear that favored peace, or were anti-corporate. They openly sought to deny those progressives who disagreed with their capitulation to the Democratic Party the ability to express their opinion at the ballot box. In the end approximately half a million people did vote for peace and against corporate domination.

The Nader Factor

Never in our history have we seen such a massive effort to try and prevent an individual, Ralph Nader, from entering the race for the presidency. This massive anti-democracy campaign was led by so-called "progressive" organizations like The Nation and Throughout the campaign these groups became more openly direct agents of the Democratic Party.

The only other time in American history where the kind of viciousness expressed against Ralph Nader was ever seen was against the early abolitionists, the Liberty Party candidates (in the 1840s), who were labeled fanatics for daring to challenge the two pro-slavery parties of the time.

Why is this happening? Why the intensification of the broad capitulation of the progressive intelligentsia? For years they have backed the existing system through their subordination to the Democratic Party. But the new level of panic and intensity of their attack against anyone daring to challenge the Democrats is new.

U.S. Turns to Reverse Gains

The answer, I believe, is tied to the shift in the socio-economic reality since the 1970s. After the Second World War the United States made a worldwide effort to take markets from nations weakened by the war, primarily England and France. The move to gain world domination was combined with a campaign to offer concessions at home to win the backing of working people and draw in the power of the trade unions behind corporate international ambitions. Liberal support for the Democrats was associated with concessions. The Democrats, certainly deceivers then as now, acted more as brokers negotiating concessions in return for delivering support from minorities and working people.

This period ended with the Vietnam War, globalization, and the beginning of the micro-processor revolution during the 1970s. The shift can be traced to the rise of Japan's economy (actually economies throughout Asia in general), and the peak in oil inside the United States.

The U.S. corporate world found itself being challenged by international competitors in new ways. It now wanted to remove some of the concessions granted in the period from the thirties through the sixties. Once the Cold War ended, which left the U.S. as the only world military power, the shift accelerated. At each step the Democratic Party rose to the occasion, blocking any effective opposition to the take-back program of corporate America.

Unions were destroyed (from 37 percent of our workforce to 12 percent), the minimum wage was lowered, social safety nets were dismantled, the income gap widened, and some environmental regulations were lowered.

At each step scattered resistance appeared. As each union was attacked it would try to fight back alone, depending on its "friends" in the Democratic Party. As the corporate rulers saw so little resistance, and it became clear that they could depend on the Democrats' control over minorities and labor (later also the NGOs) they pressed forward with increasing take-back programs. The Patriot Act is now an open challenge to the Bill of Rights. The war in Iraq is an open break with any pretense to respect the rule of law internationally.

Thus the role of the Democrats as the broker-negotiator for labor, minorities, and women for concessions has shifted toward direct support of corporate policy since the 1970s. They now try to convince the people that the Republican pro-corporate platform is really in their own interests. That is, they have become open backers of the shift to the right.

During the 1990s interest in third parties reappeared. Polls showed a lowering in the support for the two parties. The Perot phenomenon showed how shallow the commitment to the two parties was at the beginning of the 1990s. Then in 2000 a nationally known figure, Ralph Nader, came forward with a pro-the-people platform and was backed cautiously by some progressive Democrats, such as Hightower, Moore, Dugger, and others. Ronnie Dugger had formed a "populist" party that would not run candidates lest it upset the Democrats. Other Democrats tried forming a third party that would endorse Democrats, called the New Party. Nothing came of these formations. Only the far more clearly independent progressive Green Party that was willing to run against Democrats began to grow, at least a little, particularly in California.

Democrats were startled. They were doing their job supporting corporate America when suddenly an independent current was beginning to appear. Quickly they set out to stop the Green Party and the Nader phenomenon. Relying on their undemocratic spoiler electoral system, they placed the "blame" for the election of Bush on Nader precisely while they voted for everything Bush asked of them.

By 2004 the Democrats had proved they could contain the opposition and permitted corporate America to confirm Bush as an actually "elected" president. They had scared the Moores, Hightowers, and Duggers back into the fold from which I doubt they will dare stray again. These kinds of capitulations are not quickly reversed. However, if a mass break begins from below, these "progressives" will suddenly once again become interested in third-party politics and once again they will play the role of opposing those who actually are building an independent force.

So far the Democrats have shown they can contain the early attempts to develop a political movement representing the people. The key to the victory for Bush in 2004 was precisely the effectiveness of the Democrats. And the effectiveness of the Democrats was partially reflected in the inability of leading progressives to stand up against what will be recorded, in time, as the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people, the Democratic Party.

The Rise of the Religious Right

These same liberals who cried out against Nader for running are all confused by the reappearance of an old traditional way to control the oppressed in our nation. The use of superstition combined with handouts. The rise of the religious right is the companion to the Democratic Party in controlling the oppressed majority. While a super-oppressed underclass is being created by globalization, including inside the United States, new religious formations are appearing, well funded, offering programs of token material assistance (as the governmental safety net is removed) while indoctrinating people to accept pro-corporate worship of the market with the usual promise of a reward in heaven. This organizing effort of the right is making gains precisely because of the failure of a progressive viable alternative to exist.

Could it get any better for the rich? If you can't brainwash them with superstition you have the Democratic Party "opposition" to corral and control them. It will be hard for corporate America to get the editors of The Nation reading the Bible, but voting Democratic is easy enough and either way it leads in the same direction. Watching the Democrats giving George Bush eighteen standing ovations at the State of the Union address in 2004 tells you all you need to know -- including the moment when Bush called for ending the separation of church and state through his plan to give tax money to these rightist reactionaries who use the cover of being religious outfits.

The rise of Bush and his more open and explicit moves to not only take away socioeconomic concessions but begin to change the traditional framework -- that is the constitutional rights of our political system -- has made the more "progressive" types like The Nation editorial board panic. They have no confidence that the people could ever independently resist these attacks, so instead of helping build an opposition, calling on people to rebel from the Bush/Kerry platform of war and oppression, they call on everyone to forget about the economic take-backs or even the war issue and back the "lesser-evil" of the two pro-corporate, pro-war political organizations, the Democrats.

Their panic, as they begin to finally understand where corporate America is going, is quite open. They offer no solution. They can only shout words of hate against anyone who points out the dead end of their support for the Democrats. They have only one simple message: "vote Democrat." They offer no platform, no demands on the Democrats. They do not even dare to say to the Democrats: "If you continue to support Bush we won't support you." No, their support for the Democrats is unconditional. It is considered a "reality check" that cannot be altered, like gravity. The fact that 25 percent of our people are no longer registered Democratic or Republican and that polls find 38 percent do not consider themselves supporters of either party is of no concern to them. There is no hope. Surrender, unconditionally, to the rule of the corporate world and ask for mercy, vote Democrat.

Michael Moore is a perfect example. On national TV he called Ralph Nader crazy for daring to run. Moore went on to speak about "we," meaning the future Kerry government, as though there was any connection between what Moore has advocated in his writings and movies and what Kerry would do. This delusional effort which swept an entire current of well-known progressive leaders from Chomsky to Moore has really revealed the failure of that layer to understand the nature of our society and the role of our two-party system. Deep down it shows a lack of belief that the American people could ever rise up and change America.

The Green Party

Within the Green Party this crisis resulted in the appearance of two opposing political currents. One current bent to the liberal capitulation and the other resisted the capitulation. What was new for those of us who have been around for the last fifty years fighting for social justice, peace, and democracy was not the capitulation but the existence of a rather broad resistance, at least in comparison to the sixties where the capitulation to the Democratic Party was quite generic.

Inside the Green Party two documents appeared expressing these two currents. One called for support for the concept of voting for a lesser evil, i.e., the Democratic Party, signed by eighteen leaders of the Green Party. The other, named the Avocado Declaration, called for opposing lesser-evil voting and supporting Green Party independence. The document of the lesser-evil current gave very little historical or socioeconomic explanation to back up the authors' views.

The Green Party nomination of David Cobb for president -- the choice of the lesser-evil current -- over Ralph Nader -- the choice of the independent current -- is now history. But what is not yet fully understood is that Cobb lost the primaries and the state conventions. Thus the Milwaukee convention of 2004 that nominated Cobb introduced another issue and a new crisis into the Green Party: internal democracy. The evidence is so overwhelming that the Milwaukee convention was packed that it is hard for Cobb supporters to deny it. It is sad that they show no remorse nor see the destructive result of rejecting majority rule. It is our hope that the next National Convention will return the Green Party to internal democracy and that Cobb and many of his supporters will help to do so.

The pro-lesser-evil current has every right to fight for their ideas and try to win a majority within the Green Party. If they were to become the majority, the pro-independence current should respect their right to promote their views in the name of the party. But the grave problem that arose in 2004 is that the lesser-evil current lost the votes of the membership but still succeeded not only in getting control of the convention but getting control of the national Coordinating Committee. The result has been a sharp decline of the Green Party nationally. Its funding has declined and the Green Party's strongest state organizations have begun to feel uneasy with the national leadership.

But in California and New York, the Green Party has continued to grow. In New York, registration in the Green Party grew by the thousands during 2004, now surpassing 40,000, and in California a new record of elected officials hit seventy-seven, while registration remained just under record levels of 160,000. These two states represent by themselves the majority of Greens in the United States and both states side strongly with the pro-independence current.

It is inevitable and normal that the Green Party will have internal differences and debates on these historic issues. As I traveled throughout the country campaigning, I met Green Party organizers who are stunned by what has happened and will leave the Green Party if its internal structure is not democratized.

In the present discussion on returning the Green Party to democracy Marilyn Ditmanson, the Treasurer of the Butte County Greens in California, expressed what many Greens feel when she wrote, "There are those of us who believe that the Green Party is important enough to spend our time to fix it. Right now the Green Party does not represent the will of its people. There are many of us who are on our last campaign for the Green Party -- to bring democracy to the party. If we do not get democracy here we will find a political party or start one where we get democracy."

Across the nation, Green Steve Greenfield of New Paltz, New York, writes, "The will of the great majority as expressed in opinion surveys, primaries and ultimately in the ballot booths was overruled by 'electors' whose prime source of decision power was their ability to afford the transportation to Milwaukee."

It would be quite easy for the Cobb supporters to prove their claim that their victory was legitimate and that they did represent the majority. Take for example Maine, a state where the pro-Democratic Party wing of the Greens is well organized and in control of the Green Party apparatus. Maine is the state where a Green candidate was elected to the state legislature, but who openly announced his support for Kerry. Maine's delegation voted 95 percent for Cobb at the 2004 National Convention. Maine Cobb supporters have one little problem to explain. When the Green Party membership voted for who they supported and who they wanted as delegates they only voted 23.6 percent for Cobb while delivering 29.2 percent for Nader and giving Salzman and Camejo (who both supported Nader) another 12.9 percent, bringing the pro-Nader vote to 42.1 percent.

The Cobb supporters argue the delegates from Maine came around and changed their minds and voted for Cobb. If that were true, then all that the Cobb supporters need to do is present written statements from the nineteen delegates showing that only 23 percent (four delegates) had originally voted for Cobb and the other fifteen of their nineteen delegates had originally voted for other candidates, mostly pro-Nader, but had changed their minds. That is, that their delegation to the convention reflected their membership.

If they could do that they would have done so long ago. They know what we all know. The pro-Cobb Greens packed the Maine delegation in open disrespect for the will of the membership as was done in many other states. John Rensenbrink, one of Maine's lesser-evil leaders, wrote a piece claiming there was a shift in opinions at the last minute. Rensenbrink added something new in the debate, attempting to red-bait those who support independence. Rensenbrink wrote that the real danger to the Greens is socialists, specifically naming the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and the International Socialist Organization (ISO) for joining the Green Party.

Rensenbrink is the editor of Green Horizon Quarterly, so you would think he would show some journalistic integrity and indicate some evidence for his assertions. But his statement is not backed by a single fact. Not a single member of the SWP is a member of the Green Party. Nor could Rensenbrink name a single delegate that "changed" his or her mind.

It is true that there are many socialists in the Green Party. Some, like members of Solidarity, have been members for years. Others, like the ISO, have recently joined in some areas. Both have played important and extremely positive roles in strengthening the influence of the Green Party. The ISO in particular has brought large numbers of young activists on campuses to help build Green Party campaigns and has done so in a totally principled manner. Both the ISO, Solidarity, and other socialist groups have helped expand Green Party influence within the labor movement and both have been welcomed by the majority of non-socialist Greens. Certainly that is what I have seen in California.

As Forrest Hill has shown, Cobb at best had about 25 percent support among Greens while those backing Nader had about 60 percent. The convention was stolen. It is not the first time nor will it be the last time a convention is stolen from its membership.

The Cobb supporters have another problem to explain in states where Cobb had lost the primaries or conventions but the convention delegates turned out to be over 90 percent for Cobb. The votes in the election show no such trend of a "shift" to Cobb away from Nader. In Maine, Cobb received 2,942 votes to Nader's 7,997 -- clearly Nader carried the majority of voters who had voted Green in 2004 and who did not vote for Kerry. Amazingly, Cobb support came in just around the percentage he got when the membership voted in Maine. In Wisconsin, we have a similar electoral result. Wisconsin is another Cobb last-minute miracle that gave him 94 percent of the delegates at the Milwaukee convention, but where he had received an even lower percentage of the membership vote than in Maine. But when the votes came in from Wisconsin, Cobb received 2,674 votes to Nader's 18,730, about 12 percent. Once again this reflected the actual vote strength Cobb had inside the Green Party.

Nader's campaign was an alliance between Greens and independents expressed in the Nader/Camejo ticket. The Greens who did not vote for Kerry voted in their overwhelming majority for Nader/Camejo, for a slate that favored independence and opposed lesser-evil politics.

The battle to build an independent electoral resistance to corporate domination clearly passed through the Green Party in the year 2000. It may not do so in the future unless the Green Party becomes once again a clearly independent political force.

The lesser-evil current in the Green Party has begun to shift more openly to a policy in support of the Democratic Party along the lines originally advocated by the now defunct New Party. Jack Uhrich, one of the more factional Cobb supporters, wrote an article for Green Horizon Quarterly making this view quite explicit. He argues the Green Party is not growing because it does not support Democrats and gives a detailed example in New Mexico. He names which Democrats the Greens should have supported and ends his article by pointing out there is hope since a Green has withdrawn in a race to help the Democrat win. He explains the decline of the Green Party in New Mexico as directly related to its policy of maintaining its independence from the two corporate parties, especially under the influence of Carol Miller, one of the leading pro-democracy and pro-independence Greens in New Mexico.

No Cobb supporter has made any comment disassociating themselves from Jack Uhrich's call for support to Democrats in partisan races. But the evidence continues to mount that the lesser-evil current is a minority in the Green Party. For instance, at the recent state plenary in California, the largest Green Party organization by far, it was clear that only a small minority believes the Green Party as an institution should endorse partisan Democrats.

In other states, like Utah, the lesser-evil wing has promoted splitting the Green Party. In Utah the pro-Cobb current simply declared itself the Green Party and began "expelling" Greens who supported Nader. The treasury of the Green Party was under the control of both a Nader and a Cobb supporter. The Cobb supporter went to the bank and emptied the account, taking all funds to the new "Cobb-only Green Party." The Cobb supporters then went to court seeking to have themselves declared the Green Party of Utah. They lost their requests after several attempts.

The national leadership has done nothing to stop the split in Utah. In fact, not one Cobb supporter has publicly opposed the pro-split action of their current in Utah. In the states where the largest active Green membership exists, the Cobb current is a minority and thus an open attempt to split the party is not likely at this time. The future of the Green Party lies in the balance. Some Greens who favor independence have quit, some on the right are joining the Democrats. There is some discussion of forming a new party, but most Greens believe the present crisis can be overcome. The fact is many of the Cobb supporters want there to be a Green Party and believe in democracy. I believe consensus can be reached on the issue of one person, one vote and a democratic process for nominating presidential candidates or endorsements can be created, in my opinion.

The party must accept and learn to live with conflicting political currents. This issue will dominate the history of the Green Party in the immediate future. As I proposed at the 2004 convention, the best way for Greens to proceed is to allow both currents to promote their strategy and for us to learn from each other, debate, discuss, and respect each other. My unity proposal at the Milwaukee convention, calling for both Nader and Cobb to be endorsed and allowing each state to respect its internal democracy for ballot status was unfortunately rejected by the Cobb current.

It is clear that such a compromise was not what the Democrats wanted to happen at the Green Party convention. They wanted Nader defeated. The last thing Democrats want is democracy and open discussion. They were overjoyed to hear of Cobb's "victory" at the convention. The Nation immediately ran a congratulatory article quoting only Greens who were Cobb supporters. Open Kerry supporters like Norman Solomon immediately announced he would join the Green Party now that it had come to its senses and was joining in the pro-Kerry effort.

While the Democrats fought tooth and nail to deny Nader ballot status, they tried to help Cobb. In New York, where 15,000 signatures are required, Cobb's small group of supporters were only able to collect 5,000. Even then the Democrats would not challenge their efforts and wanted Cobb on the ballot.

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) are featuring David Cobb and Medea Benjamin on their Web site and at their national conference, while they rejected allowing Ralph Nader to speak. And of course they would not invite any Green who they did not consider a supporter directly or indirectly of John Kerry. Yet the PDA leadership agrees with the Green Party on many critical issues. Greens should work with them around specific issues. There is nothing wrong per se with Greens attending their conference and speaking at it. The issue is, do we promote their illusion that working in a pro-war, pro-corporate party is the course progressives should take? The lesser-evil current in the Green Party is rapidly moving to an inside/outside strategy because of their illusions in the nature of the Democratic Party. Ted Glick, Jack Uhrich, John Rensenbrink, and Medea Benjamin are among the most open advocates of this view.

The truth is, however, that the Democrats are now in disarray. They can't blame Nader for Bush's electoral victory and they haven't a clue of the role they played in helping Bush win. The polarization economically continues. The war and the attacks on our liberties continue.

Green Party relations with dissenting Democrats are quite important for the Green Party. The key is how this relationship is maintained. We should seek to work with Democrats around issues where we agree. But at the same time we must keep our independence and work to expose the reality of the Democratic Party. It is of great interest to us what happens in the Democratic Party.

While working with progressive Democrats is not the centerpiece to building the Green Party in my opinion, it is a factor both positive and negative. There will be an ideological struggle and collaboration around specific issues with many Democrats. The key is not to ever have the Green Party, as an institution, endorse candidates of the two parties representing the rule of money over people. In the end, a major split in the Democratic Party is inevitable due to the massive internal contradiction between what the Democrats support and who votes for them.

All these events point to our need to focus the growth of the Green Party outside of the "liberal intellectual" establishment and turn to the layers that, at least in California, have become the strongest base of voter support for the Greens. These include the poorest people, African Americans, Latinos, and youth. Our effort to build an independent alternative is still focused through the Green Party. Hundreds of thousands of people are members of the Green Party. We need to protect, build, unify, and win over the Green Party to a combative, independent stance.

In opposition to that perspective is the rising development from within the lesser-evil current for an inside/outside strategy, where the Green Party openly endorses Democrats, works with progressive Democratic Party organizations, and becomes a "fusion" pressure group from the outside. The problem with such a strategy is that it fails to understand the nature of the Democratic Party as a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate world. We will never build a people's alternative force that does not see the Democrats as our opponents -- rather than our allies.
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Re: Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

Postby admin » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:43 pm



Reexamining the Green Party Nominating Convention: A Statistical Analysis

By Forrest Hill Published on September 28, 2004

In this analysis, I review in detail the methods used to allocate delegates to the presidential nominees at the Green Party National Convention and show how they led to the nomination of a candidate supported by a small minority of Green Party members. As you will see, the facts show that if the Green Party leadership had developed a system of voting based on the principle of "one person, one vote" (a system supported by the Green Party and all forces in the world that value democracy), Ralph Nader would have overwhelmingly carried the day and won the party's nomination.

The truth is that the Coordinating Committee (CC) of the United States Green Party, whether intentionally or not, created a voting system for the 2004 convention in Milwaukee that drastically undermined the political power of the majority of registered Greens in the country. This was especially true for Greens in California, where over half the registered Greens live.

In general, the CC extensively reduced the voting power of tens of thousands of Greens by relying heavily on the electoral college to determine the number of delegates for each state. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the number of representatives each state has on the CC is itself a function of the electoral college. For a party that proclaims to support the democratization of our election system (including abolishing the electoral college system) such non-representative democracy in the leadership is a concern.

The CC also developed several other ad hoc formulas, which have little relationship to the size of state party memberships, as a way to proportion delegates among states. The upshot of these formulations is that they allowed David Cobb, relatively unknown among Green Party members and a candidate who received only a small percent of the votes in statewide primaries, to win the Green Party nomination for president in 2004. This has resulted in a crisis within the party, not just because there is little support among the rank-and-file for Cobb, but also because the manner in which Cobb was nominated is perceived by many to have undermined key democratic values supported by the party's platform.

The CC has responded to criticism about the lack of democratic representation at the nominating convention by stating that the formula for delegate allocation in Milwaukee was approved in 2003 and according to Dean Myerson, political director of the USGP, "there were no complaints that it was an 'electoral college' then." While this statement may be true, it only reflects the fact that most Greens were totally unaware of the delegate allocation rules passed by the CC (and most still are), as well as the role the electoral college played in determining the outcome of the convention.

In this article I first critique the allocation rules developed by the national Coordinating Committee to determine the delegation size of each state. I then show how under the CC rules the voting power of an individual Green decreases dramatically across all states as the number of registered Greens in their state increases. Finally, I show what the outcome of the election at the National Convention would have been had the CC insisted on using a modified "one person, one vote" system, in which states where Greens cannot register are assumed to have some minimum number of active members based on empirical evidence.

1. Critique of the Delegate Allocation Rules

One of the arguments made for not using a one person, one vote system is that in many states voters are not allowed to register Green. To try and solve this problem the national Coordinating Committee (CC) approved a system for calculating the number of delegates given to each state based on four criteria: 1. The number of electoral college votes, 2. The number of Greens elected to office, 3. The state's Green voting strength, and 4. The number of delegates each state has on the national Coordinating Committee.

These factors are weighted according to the formulas shown below.

Green Party 2004 Delegate Allocation Rules

Criterion 1: The state's electoral vote 0.5

Criterion 2: Greens elected 2000 through 2003. For each elected Green, award 1 point if the candidate garnered 500 or more votes, and 0.2 points if the candidate garnered less than 500 votes. Also award 0.2 points for each elected official who switched to the Green party after taking office.

Criterion 3: The state's Green Party Voting Strength 1.75. For most states, this criterion is based on the support presidential contender Ralph Nader received in the 2000 election. A state party may, however, substitute another 2000-2003 statewide race that had both Democratic and Republican opposition. To compute the electoral strength, multiply the number of votes cast for the candidate by the percentage of the statewide vote the candidate received, then divide by 100,000.

Criterion 4: The number of delegates that each state has on the Coordinating Committee 1.75.

Total the points from each of the four criteria and then round up any fractional part to the next largest whole number to determine the number of delegates the state will send to the Green Party Convention.

The fact that the CC decided to use a system that is not based on "one person, one vote" as one of the primary methods for determining the delegate count is a concern. However, what is even more troubling is that in their attempt to create a set of delegate allocation rules they somehow succeeded in creating a system that massively underrepresents the majority of Green Party members.

Below I have highlighted some of the major flaws in CC delegate allocation rules.

Criteria 1 and 4

First of all, Criteria 1 and 4 are essentially identical since the number of delegates that each state has on the Coordinating Committee is determined by the electoral college system (i.e., the number of delegates a state has on the CC equals the number of the state's electoral college vote). Thus, in terms of the proportion of delegates allotted each state, Criteria 1 and 4 yield the exact same result. Added together these criteria can be rewritten as a single rule that simply says the number of delegates a state has at the National Convention equals the number of the state's electoral college vote.

Given that the CC relied so heavily on the electoral college as a predictor of Green Party size in each state, one question we should ask is how well does the electoral college actually predict the number of registered Greens within states other than California (where 53.5 percent of registered Greens reside)?

Figure 1 shows the number of registered Green voters in the twenty-two states where Greens are allowed to register as a function of the number of electoral college votes. There is a small positive correlation only because of the large number of registered Greens in New York relative to other states. However, if we remove New York from this analysis (it is technically a statistical outlier) the correlation between the electoral college vote and the number of registered Greens within states is totally uncorrelated. This means that for states with less than thirty electoral college votes (i.e., forty-seven states plus the District of Columbia), knowing the number of electors in a state tells you absolutely nothing about the number of registered Greens.

The dash line shows the general trend of the number of registered Greens as a function of the number of electors for states with less than thirty electoral college votes. While this trend is not significant, the fact that it is negative emphasizes how arbitrary and meaningless Criteria 1 and 4 are as rules for allocating delegates (i.e., for the majority of states, the size of their electoral college vote is totally unrelated to their success at building the party).

Criterion 2

The second criterion proposed by the CC to allocate delegates also has some serious flaws. This formula uses a point system based on the number of candidates elected to office between 2000 and 2003 and the number of votes cast for those candidates. The purpose of this rule, we assume, is to allocate delegates to states according to how successful Greens have been at running for office. The major problems with this formula are: 1. it uses an arbitrary low-voting threshold to assign a value to each winning candidate, 2. it ignores the actual number of votes cast for "winning" candidates, 3. it does not distinguish between the relative difficulty of winning various races, and 4. it does not count races in which Green candidates received ten thousand votes, yet lost.

Figure 1. The number of registered Greens in each states (where Greens are allowed to register) as a function of the number of Electoral College Votes in each state. The dashed line shows the predicted trend between Electoral College Votes and Registered Greens for states with less than thirty Electoral College Votes.

The problem with setting a low-voting threshold as a measure of success in local races is that changing the threshold by a relatively small amount drastically changes the proportion of delegates allotted to each state. For example, if the threshold is raised to one thousand votes (a relatively small number of votes to win an election), then Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would see the number of delegates allotted to them under this formula decline by about 40 percent.

If the point of Criterion 2 is to measure the relative number of active Greens in each state (assuming this can be determined by the number of elected Green officials), then a fairer method of assigning delegates would be to count the actual number of votes cast for winning candidates. Thus, the proportion of delegates allotted to a state is the number of votes cast for winning candidates in that state divided by the total number of votes cast for all winning Green candidates in the United States.

Figure 2 compares the proportion of delegates allotted states using the CC point system formula vs. the proportion of delegates that would have been allotted using the number of votes cast for winning candidates (data are for 2000 to 2003). Only the states with the ten highest delegate counts using these methods are shown. California does pretty much the same under both systems (receiving about 43 percent of the delegates), however, several states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin would receive a substantially lower percentage of delegates, while Oregon and Washington would increase the size of their delegation by at least a factor of two.

Figure 2. Percent of delegates that were allotted each state using the "winning" candidate point system described in Criterion 2 and the percent that would be allocated based on votes cast for "winning" candidates.

Of course if we want to allocate delegates based on the strength of local elections, why only use the number of votes cast for winning candidates? Since the conditions for winning a race vary greatly from state to state, why not measure local support for the Green Party by adding up the votes cast for all Green candidates in each state? This makes abundant sense when you consider that Laura Wells received 419,873 votes running for state controller yet lost (thus California receives no delegates for her efforts) while the combined vote total for all "winning" candidates in states other than California is 404,602. In fact, in 2002, six Greens ran for statewide offices in California and all of them received over 300,000 votes. On top of that, Matt Gonzalez received more than 100,000 votes running for mayor of San Francisco and was nearly elected to office. Yet, none of these races had any effect on the number of delegates allocated to California under the CC formulation.

In general, it makes no sense to use the number of officeholders as a way of distributing delegates among states. Delegates are supposed to represent a constituency, while the number of candidates holding office can depend on a number of factors that have nothing to do with the size of the Green membership. For example, Wisconsin has won several supervisor seats simply because they were uncontested, while in states like California (where developers are heavily involved in supervisor races), Green candidates usually need to get at least 20,000 votes to win, and are often heavily outspent by their opponents.

Figure 3 shows there is little relationship between the highly ad hoc method of distributing delegates using Criterion 2 and the number of registered Green voters within states. A correlation analysis between registered Greens and elected Greens is not significant (P > 0.15). Thus, given there is no relationship between the number of "winning" candidates and the size of statewide Green membership, this method of proportioning delegates should be dropped.

Criterion 3

The third criterion, the "voting strength of a state," is perhaps the most perplexing concept for allocating delegates, and one wonders what the CC was thinking when they came up with this rule.

Figure 3. The number of registered Greens in twenty-two states where Greens are allowed to register as a function of the Greens elected to office between 2000 and 2003. The elected Greens score is calculated according to Criterion 2 in the delegate selection rules. Note that California was excluded from this analysis as it represents over half the registered Greens and is a statistical outlier.

The voting strength, as defined by the number and percent of the vote Ralph Nader received in the 2000 presidential election assumes that somehow there is a relationship between the support for Nader in a state and the influence of the Green Party. First, Nader (and his political organization) in part must be given the credit for his support in 2000. Second, since the total number of registered Greens equals about one-tenth the number of votes received by Nader, and Greens tend to vote at the same rate as non- Greens (about 50 percent), the votes received by Nader were overwhelmingly cast by non-Greens. Finally, it is highly ironic that the CC decided to use Nader's showing in 2000 to disenfranchise Nader supporters in 2004.

It should be noted that even though we believe Criterion 3 is a highly arbitrary method of allocating delegates, in the case of California, the CC didn't even apply its own rule correctly. The rule states that the results of another statewide race that had both Democratic and Republican opposition can be substituted for Nader's presidential results. Using the results of Peter Camejo's 2002 gubernatorial race would have increased the delegate count by five in California, while the results from Laura Wells's race for Controller would have increased the delegate count by eight. Such oversight makes us wonder how accurately the CC applied its own set of ad hoc rules in other states.

Forgoing the will of the many for the few

While the intent of the delegate allocation rules was to allow all states to participate in the nomination of the Green Party presidential candidate, the fact of the matter is they do an incredibly poor job of representing the membership in states where Greens are allowed to register. This is disturbing given these states easily account for 90 percent of the active Greens in the United States. As we will show in the next section, states with large numbers of registered Greens were highly underrepresented at the convention, while states with small memberships were dramatically overrepresented. This heavily biased the voting results toward small states resulting in a victory for David Cobb.

2. Voting Power at the Convention

The defining principle that should have guided the national Coordinating Committee in developing their criteria for delegate allotment is "one person, one vote." It has been argued that since voters cannot legally register as Greens in twenty-seven states, Green Party members in these states would be disenfranchised if registration were the sole criterion used to allocate delegates, while states with high numbers of registered voters would be overrepresented.

Unfortunately, in their zeal to help fledgling states with small Green Party memberships (which is a noble cause), the national Coordinating Committee came up with a delegation formula that not only highly overrepresented small states but massively disenfranchised Green voters in populous states, especially California.

This is easily illustrated by calculating the voting power of Greens in states where they are allowed to register. The voting power is defined as the ratio of the number of national delegates to the number of registered Green voters. Greens from states with a high ratio have greater voting power (or representation) than Greens from states with a low ratio.

Figure 4a. Relative voting power of Green members at the National Convention in states where Greens can register to vote. Voting power is the number of delegates per registered Green, and the relative voting power is the ratio of the voting power of each state to the voting power of California (thus CA has a relative voting power of 1).

Figure 4a shows the voting power of each state relative to California, which has a delegate-per-voter ratio of 1/1,200. In general, Green Party members in eighteen states had at least twice the voting power of Californians, and in nine of these states Greens had at least ten times the voting power. More importantly, voting power among states decreases "exponentially" as the number of registered Greens in each state increases (Figure 4b). Thus the CC managed to come up with a system that almost completely disenfranchises the majority of registered Greens in states where they are allowed to register. Including the delegate count from states where Greens are not allowed to register (i.e., where membership is surely not more than a few hundred people) only makes the situation worse.

Given the incredible inadequacies of the CC system to fairly allocate delegates among states, two questions arise: 1) how might we improve on this system to best approximate the principle of "one person, one vote" and 2) what would the outcome of the nominating convention have been if delegates were distributed according to this fundamental democratic principle?

A Democratic Method for Allocating Delegates

Figure 4b. The relative voting power of each state as a function of the number of registered Green voters. The X axis is on a logarithmic scale indicating that voting power decreases exponentially as the number of registered voters increases.

One way to implement a democratic one person, one vote system of representation given current limits on registration is to assume that states have some minimal number of Green Party members. There are numerous ways this minimum number could be determined. The most restrictive way would be to use the number of registered Greens in the state that has the lowest number of registered voters (in this case Iowa). The problem with this method, however, is that because of potential restrictions on registration in Iowa or other states with low numbers of registered Greens, these numbers would likely underrepresent active membership in several states (for example, Wisconsin).

For the sake of argument, we will assume the minimum number of active Greens in each state is equal to the geometric mean [2] number of Greens in the twelve states with the lowest number of registrants (52 percent of the states where Greens can register). The number of registered Greens in these states ranges from 90 (Iowa) to 4,832 (Arizona) and the geometric mean number of registered Greens is 825.

To estimate the proportion of delegates allocated to states using a one person, one vote system, we assume that all states, whether Greens can register or not, have "at least" 825 active Green members. This would not only provide a generous estimate of the size of the active membership in states where Greens are not allowed to register, but also increase membership size in seven states where Greens are allowed to register (Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Utah).

The proportion of delegates allotted to each state is found by dividing the number of Greens in each state (using a minimum threshold of 825 Greens per state) by the total number of Greens in all states. Thus California would get 49 percent of the delegates (53 percent of registered Greens live in California), while states where Greens cannot register would each get approximately 0.25 percent of the delegates. So, for example, if there were, say, twelve hundred delegates at the convention, states like Iowa and Rhode Island would get three delegates.

By simply setting a minimum membership size, we ensure that all states are represented, yet create a delegation that fairly represents those states where Greens have been successful in building the party. There are other ways to set this threshold (some may argue for a round number like one thousand or two thousand). However, whatever method is chosen should be based on some sort of empirical evidence.

In essence using a system with a reasonable membership threshold does not punish states for being successful (which makes no sense if our purpose is to grow the Green movement), and provides an incentive for new state organizations to grow their membership.

3. Convention results using the democratic principle "one person, one vote"

The real delegate count

If the National Convention used a one person, one vote system to allocate delegates, what would have been the outcome of the presidential nomination?

To answer this question, we need to know the vote from all state primaries and caucuses.

Mysteriously, the national Green Party Web site, which provides a lot of information on the convention rules and the delegate count for each nominee, never posted the actual results of any state Green Party primary or caucus. Why was this information hidden from the membership? Neither did the Web site report on the turnout at the caucuses, which were often not well attended, nor how many people actually participated in the voting. Again the question is why? Therefore we are forced to work from e-mails.

Based on records from several e-mails, there is a strong indication that voter turnout in the caucus states was small (generally less than one hundred people) and that delegates may not have been proportioned according to the actual vote. For example, in Maine, Nader received 30 percent of the vote and was awarded six delegates while Cobb received 24 percent and was awarded seven delegates. Even more disconcerting is the fact that almost all the Maine delegates representing Nader voted for Cobb at the convention. Green Party officials must guarantee that delegates who represent a candidate are individuals who support that candidate (i.e., they are not simply appointed). The fear that the delegation was packed with Cobb supporters is one of the reasons a large number of Greens do not accept the results of the 2004 convention.

While we have managed to ascertain the vote in fifteen state caucuses via e-mail communications (see appendix), the vote of the majority of states cannot be found anywhere on the GPUS Web site (this information appears to have been suppressed by the Green Party). Thus, to determine the outcome of the presidential nomination using a one person, one vote election system, we calculated the percent of votes received by each candidate using the delegate count posted on the Green Party's Web site.3 This undoubtedly favors Cobb; however, it is the best information available on how Greens actually voted.

Table 1 shows the percent of delegates that would have been allotted to each candidate under a one person, one vote (OPOV) system versus the CC's delegate allocation rules. There are a couple of points to note. First, the percentage of delegates for Cobb under OPOV is about half of what it was at the national convention. This is due to the fact that most of Cobb's victories were in small states where, as shown above, the voting power of Greens was dramatically elevated under the CC rules. Second, the percentage of delegates allotted to Peter Camejo is more than twice as high under OPOV vs. the CC rules, due to the fact that he overwhelmingly won the California primary, receiving 63 percent of the total vote (or as reported in the press, 75.3 percent of the Greens who actually cast votes). Under OPOV, Camejo has 50 percent more delegates than Cobb, while under the CC rules Cobb is allotted almost three times as many delegates as Camejo. Finally, there is a substantial change in the percentage of uncommitted votes due to a high number of write-in ballots in California.

In general, these patterns indicate that the biggest flaw in the CC voting system was that it massively underrepresented the will of the Green membership in California. This seems particular egregious, given that almost fifty thousand Greens voted in the California primary, while the turnout at any other primaries or caucus meetings (as far as we know) never exceeded one thousand participants.

Table 2 shows the percentage of Greens who supported Nader or candidates running as a stand-in for Nader (Camejo, Miller, and Salzman) versus Cobb. Under a democratic one person, one vote system, the delegates representing Nader supporters outnumber Cobb by more than 2-1, while under the CC rules Cobb received more delegates than all Nader supporters combined. The fact that the CC rules for allocating delegates so drastically alters the outcome of the election is the prime reason that so many Green Party members do not believe the National Convention was legitimate.

Candidate / Delegates OPOV / Delegates CC rules

Peter Camejo / 33.4% / 15.5%
David Cobb / 24.1% / 40.1%
Kent Mesplay / 1.8% / 3.1%
Carol Miller / 2.2% / 1.2%
Ralph Nader / 14.0% / 15.3%
Lorna Salzman / 8.0% / 5.2%
Other / 0.9% / 4.4%
No Nominee / 4.8% / 9.6%
Uncommitted / 10.8% / 5.6%

Table 1: The percentage of delegates allocated to each candidate using a one person, one vote (OPOV) system in which all states are assumed to have at least 825 Green members, and the percentage of delegates allotted under the CC delegate rules.

Candidate / Delegates OPOV / Delegates CC rules

Nader Supporters / 57.6% / 37.2%
David Cobb / 24.1% / 40.1%

Table 2: The percentage of the delegates allocated to Nader supporters versus Cobb supporters under one person, one vote (OPOV) versus the CC rules.

Outcome of a democratic convention

As many know, Ralph Nader did not seek the Green Party "nomination." The reason he chose this course was because in November of 2003 when he was deciding whether to run for president, the Greens were divided about their national strategy. Many Greens in leadership positions did not want to run a candidate at all, while others only wanted to run in states where the race was not competitive between Republicans and Democrats.

After Nader announced in December that he did not plan to seek the Green Party nomination a lot of Greens began to urge him to reconsider. He finally relented and said that if the Greens decided not to run a candidate that he would accept their endorsement. To help ensure that Nader received the endorsement of the party, several candidates, including Peter Camejo, Carol Miller, and Lorna Salzman, put their names on various ballots around the country to run as stand-ins for Nader. Nader's name was also added belatedly to the ballots of several states.

The voting procedure developed by the CC for the convention stipulated that the only way the party could endorse Nader (or any other candidate for that matter) was if over 50 percent of the delegation first voted for "no nominee," and over 50 percent of the delegation voted to endorse a candidate using Instant Runoff Voting. [4]

During the first round of voting, the number of votes cast for each candidate was proportional to the number of votes they received (i.e., the results in Table 3). Since no one received a majority of votes during the first round of voting, the nomination process proceeded to a second round of voting, at which point candidates who ran for Nader would have instructed their delegates to vote for "No Nominee."

Table 3 shows the results of the second round of voting under a one person, one vote system. We have not changed the uncommitted category as there is no way to know how they would have voted; however, if these delegates voted in a manner that was consistent with the Green rank and file then most of them would have voted for "No Nominee." Thus under any kind of fair system, it is unlikely that Cobb would have gotten more than 30 percent of the vote and so his nomination should have been resoundingly defeated.

Candidate / Percent of Delegates

No Nominee / 62.4%
David Cobb / 24.1%
Uncommitted / 10.8%
Other / 2.9%

Table 3: Outcome of the second round of voting under a system of one person, one vote representation. The No Nominee category represents the sum of the delegates for Camejo, Miller, Nader, Salzman, and the No Nominee category.

Given that the votes for candidates representing Nader/Camejo accounted for 57.6 percent of the delegates, the endorsement of Nader would have been assured following the defeat of Cobb.


The real tragedy of the 2004 Green Party National Convention is that the party leadership got away with creating a highly undemocratic set of rules, which allowed a candidate with minority support among the rank and file to win the party's nomination for president. It is this point, and not the nomination of David Cobb himself, that has thrown into doubt the legitimacy of the national governing body and its supporters.

To make matters worse, there are several other problems that are not dealt with in this analysis. The first is that the CC implemented a system of voting that denied delegates the right to vote for endorsement without first voting against nominating a candidate. This problem was exacerbated by making candidates who were running as stand-ins for Nader drop out of the polling after the first round if they themselves were not willing to accept the nomination.

Second, many of the state delegations were packed with Cobb supporters who voted for Cobb after the first round, once they were no longer mandated to vote for one of the pro-Nader candidates. For example, in Maine where Nader and Salzman supporters won the caucus vote and Cobb only received 24 percent of the vote, eighteen out of nineteen delegates voted for Cobb in the second round of voting. The California vote was also not respected by the delegation as many switched to Cobb in the second round of voting. These and other examples have led many Greens to fear that the delegation was intentionally packed with Cobb supporters.

Finally, the behavior of much of the leadership toward Ralph Nader prior to the 2004 National Convention is inexcusable. Between 2001 and 2004 Nader appeared at forty-four Green Party fundraisers in thirty-one states (out of his own costs) and continued to promote the Green Party. In fact, there is no doubt that he has done more to build the Green Party than any other single individual. Yet over the past couple of years he has suffered the slings and arrows of many on the Steering Committee, as well as constant attacks from David Cobb and others for not being registered Green, for not sharing the names of all his donors with the GPUS or the Cobb campaign, and for not doing enough to build the party. It is this attitude that makes many Greens feel the CC intentionally devised their delegate allocation rules to weaken Nader's chance of receiving the party's endorsement.

This paper is not meant to provide a definitive solution of how voting should be carried out at future conventions. It does, however, show the importance of creating a system that fairly represents the Green Party membership. Given that the distribution of party members is heavily consolidated in a few states, using the electoral college (a system which itself does not fairly represent voters in America) to determine the voting power of each state must be stopped. All future elections for the presidential nomination of the Green Party must be based on the "principle" of one person, one vote. To do otherwise will only serve to alienate the membership and continue to divide the party.
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Re: Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

Postby admin » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:08 pm



Below is a record of the vote in fifteen state caucuses obtained from e-mails sent by members of various state parties. We have no way of knowing whether these are accurate, but we believe they represent the turnout in many of the caucus states.


John Battista

How many attended the state caucus?

Attendance was 49 to pick 15 delegates

Delegates assigned to each candidate

7 Nader, 4 Cobb, 3 No Candidate, 1 Camejo

Second round of voting at the convention

8 Cobb, 7 No Nominee


How many attended the state caucus?

25 Greens picked 7 delegates

Delegates assigned to each candidate

6 Cobb, 1 Camejo

Second round of voting at the convention

7 Cobb


Paul Dumouchelle

Secretary, Green Party of Ohio

How many attended the state caucus?

43 attended the caucus and 46 voted bye-mail to pick 25 delegates

Delegates assigned to each candidate

12 Cobb, 5 Mesplay, 4 No Nominee, 1 Abstention


How many attended the state caucus?

Thanks for inquiring. We had about 50 people at the state convention. About 40 of them were qualified members of the Illinois Green Party. I believe about 35 (of the 40) participated in the nominating portion of the convention.

How many registered Greens are there in IL? If not a registration state, what is the membership of the GPIL?

We don't have any registered Greens, as Illinois does not allow you to register as a party member. The only current indication of party in Illinois is a record of which ballot you choose at a primary, which (with a few local exceptions) the Illinois Green Party has not yet qualified for. We do however have approximately 500 members of the IGP.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

11 Cobb, 4 Mesplay, 7 No Nominee


From Kevin Zeese

How many attended the state caucus?

60 people picked 12 delegates

Delegates assigned to each candidate

5 Cobb, 3 Camejo, 2 No Nominee, 1 Nader, 1 Miller


Ben Meiklejohn

How many attended the state caucus?

A total 171 votes cast statewide, Ralph Nader has earned the most votes with 51 total or 30 percent of all votes cast (excluding abstentions). David Cobb received 41 votes, or 24 percent. The rest of the votes were divided among 13 candidates.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

7 Cobb, 6 Nader, 2 None of the Above (NOTA), 2 uncommitted

Second round of voting at the Convention

18 Cobb, 1 No Nominee


From Marc

How many attended the state caucus?

Total vote count over the two-day period was 85

How many registered Greens are there in MI? If not a registration state, what is the membership of the GPMI?

We can't register. Our membership was last stated at 483 dues-paying members.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

13 Bier-Beemon (favorite daughter), 10 Nader, 8 Cobb, 1



Conversation with Dante:

How many attended the state caucus?

Don't make me cry. We only had 40 at the most. We weren't that big to begin with and with the state of things we're even smaller.

How many registered Greens are there in NE? If not a registration state, what is the membership of the GPNE?

We are partly a registration state meaning that only 1 of the 3 districts have ballot access. That district has just over 100 registered members.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

9 delegates for Cobb


How many attended the state caucus?

75 people attended (total GPNJ dues-paying membership is approximately 280).

Delegates assigned to each candidate

9 Nader, 4 Cobb, 3 Uncommitted, 1 No Candidate


From Gray Newman

How many attended the state caucus?

We had 14 Greens from our locals pick 10 delegates for the convention. We have plus or minus 250 Greens in our locals but I know of quite a few more who do not live near locals.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

8 Cobb, 1 Camejo, 1 Salzman



How many attended the state caucus?

In Georgia the State Green Convention location was changed three times. Eventually it was held in Savannah and was attended by 17 Greens. While Georgia GP has never attained State Party status (11,000 write-in votes were cast for Nader in 2000), they were allotted 11 delegates to the convention.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

11 for Cobb


How many attended the state caucus?



99 Cobb, 74 Nader, 62 No Candidate/Abstain, 3 Other, 1 Camejo

Delegates assigned to each candidate

16 Cobb, 12 Nader, 9 NOTA


From Katey Culver

How many attended the state caucus?

The Green Party of Tennessee Annual Meeting and 2004 Convention was held Fri-5un May 21-23. Twenty-five Greens were at the meeting; also attending were two teenagers, six toddlers, and two cooks.


The actual tally was 19 voting members; 17 Cobb, 1 NOTA, 1 Camejo

Delegates assigned to each candidate

9 Cobb, 1 NOTA


Source: David Pollard

How many attended the state caucus?

There were 55 certified state delegates and about a dozen alternates that picked the 35 delegates for the convention

How many delegates will actually attend the National Convention?

Currently we have 19 people expecting to go to the expense of traveling and lodging up in Milwaukee. If less than 18 actually are able to make it to the convention, Texas will not be able to vote its full allotment of delegates at the convention. So there is to a small degree a self-limiting factor for states that are disinterested in the presidential campaign.

Delegates assigned to each candidate

25 Cobb, 9 No Nominee, 1 Camejo/Mesplay

Second round of voting at the convention

34 Cobb, 1 No Nominee


How many attended the state caucus?

596 people attended with 102 of 134 districts reporting. Some of the organized caucuses had no participants.


NO CANDIDATE / 130 votes / 22.41%

NONE OF THE ABOVE / 105 votes / 18.10%

UNDECIDED / 104 votes / 17.93%

WRITE-IN / 93 votes / 16.03%

DAVID COBB / 70 votes / 12.07%

LORNA SALZMAN / 28 votes / 4.83%

PETER CAMEJO / 24 votes / 4.14%

KENT MESPLAY / 8 votes / 1.38%

CAROL MILLER / 7 votes / 1.21%

PAUL GLOVER / 6 votes / 1.03%

NO ENDORSEMENT / 3 votes / 0.52%

SHEILA BILYEAU / 2 votes / 0.34%

Second round of voting at the Convention

31 Cobb, 1 Mesplay, 1 No Nominee


From Anita, no response on number attending.

Arkansas' seven delegates to the National Convention will be committed to David Cobb as a result of voting at our state convention today. The decision was unanimous.


Proposals to the GPUS from Greens for Democracy and Independence

Presented at GPUS National Committee meeting, July 21-24, 2005

Proposal ID 153

Proposal: Strengthening Internal Democracy in the GPUS

Presenters: Green Party of New York State, Green Party of Vermont

Discussion: July 4-24, 2005

Voting: July 25-31, 2005


To maintain our party's unity we must institute internal democratic reforms that ensure that all viewpoints are respected, all members can participate fully in the institutions of the party, and all decisions truly reflect the will of the Green Party membership.

In order to strengthen internal democracy in the Green Party of the United States, we ask the State Committee of the Green Party of New York State to approve the following proposals.


The Green Party of New York and the Green Party of Vermont call upon the GPUS to strengthen internal democracy by adopting a national policy based on the principle of one person, one vote.

To facilitate the adoption of one person, one vote, we call upon the GPUS to require all accredited state parties to estimate the size of their state membership relative to other states, and that a neutral commission be set up to evaluate the claims made by each state.

One Person, One Vote

It is imperative that all members in the Green Party recognize that our national decisions reflect the true will of our members and that their opinions and votes are fully counted and respected.

The Green Party internal structures must correspond with the principle of one person, one vote. No member of the Green Party may have more or less representation than any other Green Party member when selecting the party's presidential ticket and its national leadership bodies.

State representatives to national leadership bodies and selection of delegates for National Conventions must correspond to the principle of one person, one vote. Any existing regulations that conflict with this principle are invalid and must be adjusted to correspond to it.

The principle of one person, one vote must be respected along with our principles of gender parity and diversity on the issues the party has declared relevant for our nation and our time.

Determining State Membership Size

Before the Green Party can implement one person, one vote representation, we must develop methods to fairly determine the membership size of each state. Given that more than half of the states in the United States do not allow citizens to register for any third political party, each state party will have to use different methods for estimating membership sizes.

States can estimate their membership size using registration numbers, number of elected Greens, votes cast for local, statewide, or presidential Green candidates, or whatever method they deem appropriate. All estimates by any one state must be contrasted with estimates from all other states to determine the overall percentage of delegates allotted that state.

Neutral Commission to Certify Membership Size

Based on the principle above, a special commission should be established that, as clearly as possible, represents the Green Party members and its differing political currents, geographic spread, and other factors such as gender and race. The commission will be selected by the National Committee and will meet every two years in odd numbered years.

Each state will be asked to provide an estimate of their membership size based on any combination of direct and/or indirect methods they deem as appropriate. The commission will review each state's claims and their premises. They will either agree or make their own estimate. In cases where there is disagreement between the committee and a state, every attempt will be made by both parties to resolve the dispute.

Once the membership size for each state has been certified by the commission, these values will be used to determine the proportion of representation each state gets in our national governing bodies and at the National Convention.

Representation for delegates and for ejection of the National Committee members will follow the certification of membership state by state in a formula that will be based on a one person, one vote criterion.

This proposal does not provide a rule or bylaw change; it is a call for rulemaking. It is a general resolution that provides guidance and recommendations for a working group established to craft and introduce proposals for actual rules or bylaw amendments. Such a working group would be convening under a charge to formulate proposals that are in accordance with the general principles outlined in each proposal and would be presented to the National Committee in the form of proposed bylaws and/or rules and procedures. The working group should be called into existence immediately upon adoption of this resolution, include members from all GPUS member states and caucuses, and submit formal proposals to the National Committee within ninety days of this resolution's adoption. The resulting proposals, wherever they consist of rules or bylaws or changes to rules or bylaws will require a two-thirds vote of the National Committee in order to pass.


This proposal is to be presented for vote to the 2005 National Committee meeting, to be held July 21-24, 2005.

Proposal ID 154

Proposal: Delegate Selection to the National Convention

Presenter: Green Party of New York State, Green Party of Vermont

Discussion: July 4-24, 2005

Voting: July 25-31, 2005


The Green Party of New York and the Green Party of Vermont call upon the GPUS to strengthen internal democracy in the selection of delegates to our leadership bodies and to the presidential nominating convention, based on the principle of one person, one vote.

To facilitate this process we call upon the GPUS to require that the selection of delegates to our National Convention respect the vote of the membership by ensuring that:

1) The number of delegates pledged to each candidate is proportioned according to the vote, whether a state uses primary, regional caucus, or a state nominating convention to choose a presidential nominee.

2) A delegate may not go to the National Convention representing a candidate (or proposal) that they did not vote for in their state's primary or caucus, unless specifically bound to support that candidate (or proposal).

3) During the first round of voting at the National Convention, delegates must vote for their designated candidate (or proposal position) to ensure that the will of the membership is respected. Should a second round be necessary, the delegates from any state may cast votes in accordance with instructions from their own state party organizations should such instructions be issued, or be free to vote their conscience if no such instructions are given. In all subsequent rounds, delegates are free to vote their conscience based on what they believe is the best for the Green Party.

4) Where possible, state Green parties should hold official primaries to facilitate the greatest possible participation by their members. Where no primaries exist, every effort should be made to ensure that all state party members receive ballots. The GPUS should help facilitate these efforts in cases where the states have limited resources to poll their membership. In all cases, the GPUS should report the number of voters participating in a state election and the number of votes received by each candidate on their Web site.

This proposal does not provide a rule or bylaw change; it is a call for rulemaking. It is a general resolution that provides guidance and recommendations for a working group established to craft and introduce proposals for actual rules or bylaw amendments. Such a working group would be convening under a charge to formulate proposals that are in accordance with the general principles outlined in each proposal and would be presented to the National Committee in the form of proposed bylaws and/or rules and procedures. The working group should be called into existence immediately upon adoption of this resolution, include members from all GPUS member states and caucuses, and submit formal proposals to the National Committee within ninety days of this resolution's adoption. The resulting proposals, wherever they consist of rules or bylaws or changes to rules or bylaws will require a two-thirds vote of the National Committee in order to pass.


This proposal is to be presented for vote to the 2005 national Green Party meeting, to be held July 21-24, 2005.

Proposal ID 155

Proposal: Green Party Affirmation of Independence

Presenter: Green Party of New York State, Green Party of Vermont


If the Green Party does not affirm its independence from the corporate parties, its existence will be compromised and its unity endangered. Furthermore, the Green Party will face internal strife and conflict as Greens debate which Democrat or Republican qualifies or does not qualify for support.

A policy of political independence is fundamental to our future growth and survival as a political party and should be as universal as our Ten Key Values.

In order to make political independence a policy in the Green Party of the United States, the Green Party of New York and the Green Party of Vermont ask GPUS to approve the following proposal.


The Green Party of New York and the Green Party of Vermont call upon the GPUS to affirm its complete political independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties by adopting a national policy that states and acknowledges the following:

1) That the institution of the Green Party of the United States, as defined by its national organizations and by its presidential and vice presidential candidates, will not endorse, place on its ballot lines, urge a vote for, raise funds for, urge a vote against, or otherwise oppose just one of the two corporate party candidates (which amounts to backhanded support for the other corporate party candidate), or in any way run its campaign or make any GPUS resources available to assist either or both major corporate-supported parties or their partisan candidates. The GPUS urges its member state parties to observe these principles in their conduct of state campaigns and general operations, and recommends that all state parties adopt this as policy.

2) That an endorsement by the Green Party of corporate-controlled parties and their partisan candidates represents a movement away from the core of our founding principles of the Ten Key Values and toward the dissipation of our political identity, and therefore, while state Green parties have the unfettered right to name and/or endorse candidates in any manner of their own choosing with no interference or intrusion by GPUS, it is GPUS policy to not grant support of any kind to partisan candidates of any corporate-supported party through the Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC), official GPUS media, or activities of GPUS standing committees and caucuses.

3) That, as an independent political party, it is not only our right, but our duty to politically challenge the corporate parties in elections and to make demands of them to foster greater electoral democracy in America. This affirmation does not apply to other third parties or independent candidates whose platform reflects our Ten Key Values. We recognize that we do not live in a representative democracy and that to build such a democracy we must work with other political organizations. Thus, the Green Party may endorse and work with other political parties or candidates that are independent of corporate domination and where there is agreement on issues in harmony with our Ten Key Values.

This affirmation does not in any way restrict the Green Party, or its members, from working with individuals from the corporate parties on issues we support such as non-violence, social justice, electoral reform, or environmental sustainability. The Green Party is not a centralized party. It welcomes political diversity and encourages its members to express their views openly and publicly on any matter they wish, including the right to support, work for, or vote for a candidate from any party. Members may do so as individuals, as organized committees, as members of state organizations, county organizations, county committees, or as members of a local Green Party chapter. Such action does not contradict the Green Party's institutional independence, since these individuals or organizations are autonomous and do not represent the official policy of the Green Party of the United States itself.

This proposal does not provide a rule or bylaw change; it is a call for rulemaking. It is a general resolution that provides guidance and recommendations for a working group established to craft and introduce proposals for actual rules or bylaw amendments. Such a working group would be convening under a charge to formulate proposals that are in accordance with the general principles outlined in each proposal and would be presented to the National Committee in the form of proposed bylaws and/or rules and procedures. The working group should be called into existence immediately upon adoption of this resolution, include members from all GPUS member states and caucuses, and submit formal proposals to the National Committee within ninety days of this resolution's adoption. The resulting proposals, wherever they consist of rules or bylaws or changes to rules or bylaws will require a two-thirds vote of the National Committee in order to pass.


This proposal is to be presented for vote at the 2005 National Committee meeting, to be held July 21-24, 2005.


Which Way Forward for the Green Party?

By Ashley Smith and Forrest Hill August 26, 2005

At the July 21-24, 2005, National Committee meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Green Party arrived at a fork in the road. The delegates voted down resolutions offered by Greens for Democracy and Independence designed to ensure proportional representation inside the party, national delegates accountable to the expressed will of the membership, and political independence from the two corporate parties.

This vote seems to fly in the face of everything that the Green Party stands for.

As Maryland senatorial candidate and Green Party member Kevin Zeese rightly points out, "the overwhelming majority of Greens support real democracy -- based on the principle of one person, one vote -- and want the Green Party to stand for something different than the Democrats or Republicans."

"The Tulsa decisions exacerbate the already growing rift in the party. The ramifications of these decisions must be reversed if the Greens are to truly challenge the corporate parties. This can only happen if Greens across the country are willing to fight to take back their party. Only an uprising by the membership will reinvigorate the Green Party," added Zeese.

At Tulsa, two currents came into conflict over the future of the party, a radical wing embodied by the Greens for Democracy and Independence (GDI) and a liberal wing that supports internal policy-making over political organizing.

GDI argues that the Green Party must become the political expression of the living social movements to challenge the corporate duopoly at the ballot box. It came into being to resolve the political and organizational crisis that wreaked havoc in the Green Party during the 2004 election.

The crisis started in the period leading up to the nomination of Green presidential candidate David Cobb, who argued for a "safe states strategy" in battleground states during the 2004 election campaign. This tactic was viewed by many Greens as a backhanded way of adopting a political strategy of capitulation to the Democratic Party in order to defeat Bush.

The safe-state strategy was supported primarily by small state parties, who were disproportionately represented at the 2004 National Convention. Based on this undemocratic apportionment, Cobb won the nomination, and for the first time ever, the Green Party embraced a lesser-evil political strategy.

The Cobb campaign for president garnered only about 120,000 votes, or about one-third of the registered Greens in the country. More importantly, there was virtually no support for Cobb from activists outside the party. As a result of this disastrous showing, Green parties in several states lost their ballot lines.

Since the election, the division between GDI supporters and the liberal wing of the national Green Party has become more apparent.

Many in the liberal wing have aligned themselves with organizations like the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), whose stated aim is to transform the Democratic Party from within. In fact, David Cobb has appeared on many PDA panels and is prominently featured on their Web site.

The PDA is organizing to bring progressive activists into the Democratic Party, with the hope that it can be transformed from within. If the AFL-CIO -- which is heavily involved in the Democratic Party and backed by millions of members -- has failed in this effort, the PDA with its meager forces stands no chance of succeeding. The PDA has a greater chance of derailing the Green Party's efforts to challenge the corporate parties, than moving the Democrats to the left.

Greens for Independence and Democracy seek to reassert the central mission of the Green Party as the political arm of the social movements. GDI has been the driving force in developing proposals to institute democratic reforms and assert the independence of the Green Party from the corporate parties. GDI has presented these proposals publicly on its Web site and at state party meetings, where they have won majority support from state parties in New York, California, Florida, Vermont, and Utah -- parties that represent the majority of Greens in the country.

Divisions Intensify in Tulsa

The Tulsa meeting was essentially a contest between the two wings of the party played out through the same undemocratic apportionment scheme that distorted the outcome of the 2004 Milwaukee convention. Under this scheme California and New York have only about 16 percent of the votes on the National Committee (NC), even though more than two-thirds of all registered Greens live in these two states.

Since liberal delegates to the NC overwhelmingly represent the smaller state parties -- many with less than one hundred members -- they control almost two-thirds of the vote. Delegates from states supporting GDI represent most of the Greens in the country, yet are a minority voting bloc on the NC.

Conflict between the two wings erupted early in the convention over which delegates to seat from Utah, a state where two groups claim to be the official Green Party. The original Utah Greens split into two factions in 2004 over which candidate -- Cobb or Nader -- to put on their state's ballot line. The leadership body only recognizes the "Cobb Party," while the "Nader Party" is recognized as the official Green Party in Utah by the secretary of state's office.

During roll call, the "Cobb Party" delegates were automatically seated by the leadership body. GDI delegates later protested this decision and proposed seating one Utah delegate from each party. This proposal was voted down by the liberal wing fifty-seven to thirty-four (with four abstentions).

Following this skirmish, Peter Camejo and David Cobb spoke to the body, each describing a different strategy for the future of the party.

Camejo stressed building the Green Party as the political expression of the mass social movements. He supported allowing many political tendencies to exist in the party. He even went so far as to apologize to David Cobb for any misstatements he may have made against him during the campaign. Finally, he called upon the Green Party to stand up to the Democrats and argued its independent challenge to the two-party system is "the spirit of the future."

Cobb repeated many of Camejo's points, but then emphasized an exclusionary message. Condemning what he called sectarianism -- his label for anyone who opposed his safe-states strategy, or believed in building a left wing of the party. In an answer to a question after his speech, Cobb denounced CounterPunch's Alexander Cockburn, saying that he "represents why the sectarian left has failed." The not-so-subtle message was that the Green Party should exclude those who oppose supporting liberal Democrats in their election campaigns.

The GDI Proposals

The real conflict in Tulsa broke out when GDI presented their proposals on internal democracy and independence to the NC. Since these proposals had already been passed by several state parties and discussed on the NC's listserv, GDI encouraged all delegates to provide comments, concerns, and amendments.

The liberal wing did not argue against the content of the proposals. Instead they raised objections concerning bylaws, implementation, and procedure.

After a long period of debate -- during which the governing Steering Committee (SC) left the room to caucus (without explanation) and anti-GDI forces lead delegates in doing "the Wave" and singing "Oklahoma" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" -- the NC voted down all three proposals by an average vote of fifty-eight to thirty-four (with three abstentions).

The vote on the GDI proposals completely mirrored the vote to seat both Utah delegations, and drew a clear delineation between the two factions of the party. There is no question that the undemocratic apportionment scheme has allowed a liberal bloc of delegates to gain the upper hand in the national leadership body of the Green Party.

As one GDI member put it, "If the liberal wing is able to maintain its dominance of the party and orient the Greens into subordinating themselves to the Democratic Party, the Green Party will likely whither away like the Working Families Party and the New Party before them."

The Future of GDI

The opportunity and responsibility for GDI members is immense. The Democrats continue to ratify the Bush administration's program and thereby keep stoking frustration with the two-party system. The Democrats continue to support the occupation of Iraq, voted for the renewal of the Patriot Act, gave the margin of victory for the passage of CAFTA in the Senate, and stand prepared to confirm the nomination of antiabortion Reaganite John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

Today, millions of workers, women, gays, Latinos, Blacks, Arabs, Muslims, and other oppressed populations find no electoral expression within the two corporate parties for their demands and aspirations. Many have grown frustrated with the failure of the lesser-evil strategy of voting for the Democrats and are looking for an alternative. Unfortunately, the present leadership of the Green Party is set to direct them right back into the arms of the Democratic Party.

In 2004, leaders of all the various social movements suspended their efforts in order to mobilize the vote for Kerry -- even though Kerry opposed almost all of their demands. Nine months after the election those social movements are still demobilized. Hopefully, the demonstration against the war scheduled for September 24 will mark the return of mass social movements after a long hiatus for the elections.

The disenfranchised in America form a large latent electoral force, which GDI and supporting state Green parties must connect with to renew the Green Party. Such a coalition offers the hope of galvanizing the Greens and the broader social movements to build a genuine third party rooted in this country's excluded majority and its mass movements that will fight and not join the corporate parties.

The contest between the two visions of the Green Party as expressed by the two wings of the NC is not just a fight for the soul of the Green Party, it is a fight to win the hearts and minds of people to break with lesser-evilism and build a no-holds-barred challenge to corporate politics. It is also a fight for maintaining and growing the social movements during election periods.

While the current undemocratic NC of the Green Party is taking the road back to the Democratic Party, the GDI current is considering how to galvanize individuals and state parties to take the road of democracy and independence.
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Re: Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

Postby admin » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:25 pm



1. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on why he came out against the war in Vietnam despite the condemnations he expected from liberals and civil rights leaders, in "To Chart Our Course for the Future" (address at SCLC Ministers Leadership Training Program, Miami, February 23, 1968) in The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Clayborne Carson (New York: Warner Books, 1998).

2. Peter Miguel Camejo, "Green Party Unity," June 14, 2004, published on Reprinted in this collection.

3. An analysis of the National Election Study exit poll data by Harvard political scientist Barry Burden shows that only 9 percent of the people who thought Nader was the best candidate actually voted for him. If people had not voted strategically for the lesser evil, Nader would have had over 30 million votes instead of 2.9 million and might have won the election, especially if he had been allowed into the debates. Burden also shows that Nader would have won the 2000 election using the Condorcet system of preference voting in which voters rank each candidate against every other candidate, the system that most votingsystem experts consider the fairest and most accurate way to reflect voters' preferences. 2000 was the only presidential election for which there is exit polling data to conduct a Condorcet election retrospectively in which the Condorcet winner was not the actual winner. See Barry C. Burden, "Minor Parties and Strategic Voting in Recent U.S. Presidential Elections," Electoral Studies, in press, available online at

4. Mitofsky International, "California Recall Election Exit Poll -- October 7, 2003," available at CAGV0230H.HTM.

5. J. R. Ross, "Greens Reject Endorsement of Ralph Nader," Associated Press, June 26, 2004; Rick Lyman, "Greens Pick a Candidate Not Named Nader," New York Times, June 27, 2004; "Greens Reject Nader Endorsement, Back Cobb,", June 27, 2004; Rupert Cornwall, "Greens Reject Nader Bid for White House," The Independent (UK), June 29, 2004.

6. P. J. Huffstutter, "Green Party's Choice Could Be Kerry Boost," Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2004.

7. Available online at Another reason for the decline in Nader's support in opinion polls was that polling organizations did not include Nader as an option in polls in states where he was denied a ballot line, which came to fifteen states in total after Labor Day.

8. The representation formula read:

"States will be allocated delegates slots based on the following formula:

1) Number of Electoral College members multiplied by 0.5

2) Number of Coordinating Committee members multiplied by 1.75

3) Number of Elected Greens that are listed by and accepted by the Coordinated Campaign Committee* on or before 12/31/03 multiplied by 1.00

[*] Electeds who received 500 or more votes will be given a value of 1, Electeds who received less than 500 votes or no vote totals known by the CCC will receive a value of 0.2.

4) Election Strength [*] derived from the 2000 Presidential Election multiplied by 1.75. States wishing to use a statewide race may do so as long as the Green candidate had Democratic and Republican opposition.

[*] number of votes for Nader multiplied by percentage of Nader's vote in the state divided by 100,000.

Add the four factors together and round up. This number will equal the number of delegates."

(Gray Newman, "[usgp-coo] corrected additional language to AC proposal," Coordinating Committee e-mail list, November 11, 2003)

This formula was never actually voted on by the Coordinating Committee (now called the National Committee), but only posted to the National Committee e-mail list during the week of voting on the accreditation rules proposal, which had listed the number of delegates for each state without describing the method by which the numbers were determined. (See Proposal 55: Accreditation of Delegates to the 2004 Nominating Convention at

Expressed mathematically, the total delegates for a state were (.5 x electoral college vote) + (1.75 x Coordinating Committee delegates) + (1 x Elected Greens) + (1.75 x Statewide Green vote, Nader 2000 or other).

At the abstract level, the formula weighted the factors as follows:

10% to the electoral college vote

35% to National Committee delegates

20% to Elected Greens

35% to Statewide Green vote (Nader 2000 or other)

Because most states did not have elected Greens and some states did not have Nader 2000 or other statewide votes to win bonus delegates, in practice the formula gave much higher weighting to the electoral college vote. If we look at the total number of delegates from all states at the Milwaukee Convention owing to each factor to get the percentage that came from each factor, the result is:

33.9% come from electoral college vote factor

25.6% come from National Committee delegates factor

14.3% come from Elected Greens factor

22.5% come from Statewide Green vote factor

Thanks to New York State's 2004 delegate coordinator, Roger Snyder, for deciphering how the formula worked in theory and practice.

9. The primary, caucus, and convention results are posted on the Green Party Web site at Candidates Sheila Bilyeau, Peter Miguel Camejo, Paul Glover, Carol Miller, and Lorna Salzman supported the endorsement of Nader. The Green presidential primary votes were as follows:


10. David Cobb, "Green Party 2004 Presidential Strategy," distributed at the Green Party National Committee meeting in Washington, D.C., July 17-20, 2003. Emphasis in original. Reprinted in this collection.

11. John Rensenbrink and Tom Sevigny, "The Green Party and the 2004 Elections: A Three-Dimensional Strategy," May 1, 2003. Reprinted in this collection.

12. Ted Glick, "A Green Party 'Safe-States' Strategy," July 1, 2003. Reprinted in this collection.

13. Michael Tomasky, "Gang Green," American Prospect Online, July 23, 2003, ViewWeb&articleId=1256.

14. Michael Albert, "Election Plan?" ZNet, August 12, 2003, http:// ... emlD=4037; Tom Hayden, "The Democrats in Iowa: Field of Dreams?" AlterNet, August 12, 2003, ID=16584.

15. Peter Miguel Camejo et al., "Open Letter to Ralph Nader (Green Gubernatorial Candidates' Statement)," December 1, 2002. Reprinted in this collection.

16. Jeff Proctor, "Kucinich Visits UNM Campus," Daily Lobo, October 15, 2003, ... Visits.Unm. Campus-528668.shtml. Kucinich stated in his campaign video that he will bring Greens into the Democratic Party. Greens in California and New York as well as New Mexico reported phone banking from the Kucinich campaign trying to get Greens to re-register as Democrats to support Kucinich in the primaries. See the discussion of Kucinich's Green reregistration efforts in Peter Miguel Camejo, "The Crisis in the Green Party: The Magic Number 39 and My Meetings with Cobb, Kucinich, and the Steering Committee," CounterPunch, April 6, 2005, 04062005.html.

17. Micah Sifry, "Ralph Redux?" The Nation, November 24, 2003, http://www. Sifry's article was posted on The Nation's Web site on November 6. Mother Jones' online "Daily Mojo" gave this story more play by using Sifry's quotes from anti-Nader Greens in "Never Say Nader," November 11, 2003, http://www. mother

18. "Statement on Green Strategy 2004 and Call for Dialogue and Action," posted on the Portside listserv, November 17, 2003. Reprinted in this collection.

19. For a balanced account of the arguments and actions of both sides of this split up through 1996, see Greta Gaard, Ecological Politics: Ecofeminists and the Greens (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998).

20. Nancy Allen cited by Steve Herrick, "Re: ASGP-COO here's something you may not have seen...," August 31,2000, on the ASGP CC e-mail list.

21. John Rensenbrink, Against All Odds: The Green Transformation of American Politics (Raymond, Maine: Leopold Press, 1999), 205.

22. American Greens have also lost their programmatic focus on the changes in political institutions needed to make society a grassroots democracy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, many Greens focused on using local elections and municipal charter reforms to create grassroots-democratic structures of governance based on citizen assemblies and their wider coordination through councils of assembly-mandated delegates as a fundamental alternative to the centralized and hierarchic structures of the nation-state. See "Libertarian Municipalism," in Murray Bookchin wrote extensively on this approach. See Janet Biehl, ed., The Murray Bookchin Reader, ed. Janet Biehl (London: Cassell, 1997), and Biehl with Murray Bookchin, The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1997).

23. Charlene Spretnak and Fritjof Capra, Green Politics: The Global Promise (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1984),203.

24. Charlene Spretnak, "A Green Party -- It Can Happen Here," The Nation, April 21, 1984, 472-478.

25. Rensenbrink, Against All Odds, 129.

26. Nader spoke on independent politics to a January 11, 2004, forum in New Hampshire, sponsored by the Committee for a Unified Independent Party, a Newmanite front. The next day Doug Ireland blasted Nader on The Nation's Web site ("Nader and the Newmanites," January 12) for getting "in bed with the ultrasectarian cult-racket formerly known as the New Alliance Party." Democrats Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, and Al Sharpton also participated by sending representatives or answering questionnaires to the New Hampshire forum, but they escaped the ire of Ireland, who condemned Nader's run under any circumstances. Cobb and his supporters made much of Nader's attendance at this forum. In March, Ted Glick's "2004 and the Left" highlighted this as one of Nader's "questionable alliances." In late April, Cobb reportedly said in a public forum that Nader was "taking contributions from people Cobb called 'thinly veiled racists.''' (Doug Matson, "Green Party Hopeful Speaks His Mind," Santa Fe New Mexican, April 26, 2004.) In the ensuing controversy in the Greens that Cobb's remark engendered, Dean Myerson, now a Cobb campaign spokesperson, made it clear to Carol Miller of New Mexico, who had complained about this negative campaigning by Cobb, that Cobb was referring to the New Alliance connection: "New Alliance people were working on or coordinating petitioning efforts [for Nader], who also have supported Buchanan. It is the connection to Buchanan that led to David's characterization." (Carol Miller quoting Dean Myerson, "Spin is not an answer," May 19,2004.) The "New Alliance people" are concentrated in New York City. As one of Nader's two field coordinators in New York State, I know that they did offer to coordinate the New York petition drive, but were rejected by the Nader campaign. Their members collected about fifteen hundred of the twenty-eight thousand petition signatures for the Nader/Camejo ballot line that were submitted in New York State.

27. Greg Palast, "The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney," AlterNet, June 18, 2003,; Mark Donham, "Cynthia McKinney vs. Condi Rice: Why Do the Democrats Want to Deny Her Seniority?" CounterPunch, December 9, 2004,; Cynthia McKinney's letter of April 2005, reprinted on the ActionGreens listserv, April 22, 2005, in message 32438, "Same 01' Dirty Tricks-Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA),"

28. It should be noted that the liberal and radical tendencies in the Greens and the positions they took on the 2004 campaign are general trends. Some individuals associated with each tendency joined with the other tendency on the 2004 campaign strategy debate. For example, Mike Feinstein, Annie Goeke, Carol Miller, and Lorna Salzman had been prominent in the ASGP but supported Nader in 2004. On the other side, Joel Kovel had been active in left Green tendencies but supported Cobb in 2004 (Joel Kovel, "Green Follies,", June 23, 2005, http://www.commondreams. org/views04/0623-01.htm).

29. Jan Jarboe Russell, "Growing the Party is Green Presidential Hopeful's Top Priority," San Antonio News-Express, December 7, 2003, http://www. 094333 .html.

30. The quote is from the Supreme Court's unsigned majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. at 104. On the Republicans' vote suppression and the Democrats' capitulation, see Jeffrey Toobin, Too Close to Call (New York: Random House, 2001), Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (New York: Penguin, 2003), and Alison Mitchell, "Black Lawmakers Protest as Congress Certifies Bush Victory; Gore Gavels Down Lingering Bitterness Over Bush Victory," New York Times, January 7, 2001.

31. A media consortium, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Tribune Co. (Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and others), the Palm Beach Post, the St. Petersburg Times, the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and CNN, spent nearly a year and $900,000 having the respected National Opinion Research Council (NORC) at the University of Chicago reexamine every disputed ballot in the 2000 Florida presidential election. NORC found that Gore won the popular vote in Florida when all disputed ballots were examined. See Dan Keating and Dan Balz, "Florida Recounts Would Have Favored Bush, But Study Finds Gore Might Have Won Statewide Tally of All Uncounted Ballots," Washington Post, November 12, 2001; Jim Naureckas, "Not That It Was Reported, But Gore Won," Newsday, November 15, 2001,; and Toobin, Too Close to Call, 278-281.

32. Much of the commentary blaming Nader, such as the Epilogue to Michael Moore's Stupid White Men (New York: Regan Books, 2001), claims that Nader concentrated his efforts in the swing states in 2000 as if he were trying to help Bush beat Gore. In fact, an analysis of candidate appearances and campaign advertising shows that Nader spent far more campaign resources in the safe states than in the swing states in 2000 and proportionately far fewer resources in the swing states than Bush and Gore. See Barry C. Burden, "Ralph Nader's Campaign Strategy in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election," American Politics Research, forthcoming, available at

33. Jeff Horwitz, "Nader vs. the Green Party?" Salon. com, June 24, 2004, 4/cobb _campaign/index_n p. html; Ted Glick, "The Green Party in 2004: More Than Party Survival," ZNet, February 7, 2005, SectionID=90&ltemlD=7186.

34. Jack Uhrich, "Re: [usgp-dx] I've Had Enough of Nader's Attacks on the GPUS," February 25, 2004, message on the Green Party discussion list.

35. Annie Goeke inrerview, June 1, 2005.

36. Ralph Nader, Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001).

37. Cobb and his supporters would claim that Nader refused to share the volunteer and donor lists from the 2000 campaign. As a field coordinator for upstate New York for the 2000 Nader campaign, I know there was no problem using the volunteer lists for party organizing. Having talked with people on both sides of the controversy about the donor-list sharing, I believe some staff miscommunications on both sides made coordination more difficult than it needed to be. But in the end, Nader's campaign did share those lists with the national Green Party and a fund-raising letter from the Greens to those lists went out.

38. The Cardwell and Sprague commentaries on the Bastrop convention of the Green Party of Texas, along with the text of the bylaw amendment, can be found on the ActionGreens listserv archive at group/ActionGreens/. Cardwell's statement is in message 30720, February 10, 2005, and Sprague's statement and the bylaw amendment are in message 30734, February 11, 2005, in the thread "Anti-Democratic actions of Cobb in Texas."

39. Jack Uhrich, GP-US National Committee discussion e-list, March 14, 2004.

40. Nader's December 22, 2003, letter is reprinted in this collection, as are his March 24, 2004, and June 25, 2004, letters to the Greens requesting their endorsement for his independent campaign.

41. Greg Gerritt, Green Party Tempest: Weathering the Storm of 2004 (providence, RI: Moshassuck River Press, 2005), 7, 11, 13, 17-18, 28.

42. Available online at

43. Medea Benjamin et al., "An Open Letter to Progressives: Vote Kerry and Cobb," July 23, 2004. Reprinted in this collection.

44. Cobb press release cited in Glick, "The Green Party in 2004."

45. David Cobb, interview by Michael Albert, "Why Run?" Z Magazine, September 2004,; CounterPunch Wire, "The Quotations of David Cobb: He Doesn't Care How Many Votes He Gets," CounterPunch, September 13, 2004,

46. Joshua L. Weinstein, "LaMarche says she'll vote for whoever can beat Bush," Portland Press Herald, June 30, 2004; Susan M. Cover, "LaMarche Launches Campaign," Kennebec Journal/Central Maine Morning Sentinel, June 30, 2004.

47. Hannah Plotkin, "Green Party VP Wants Bush Out -- At Any Cost," The Dartmouth, October 25, 2004. For similar LaMarche statements during and after the campaign, see "Pat LaMarche Stumps in Nebraska," Associated Press, August 3, 2004; Martha Stoddard, "Green V.P.Candidate Says: Vote Your Heart," Omaha World-Herald, August 3, 2004; Christopher Arnott, "Not Easy Being Green," New Haven Advocate, August 5, 2004; Michael Reagan, "Green Party's LaMarche Runs a Strategic Campaign," Brunswick ME Times Record, September 20, 2004; Clarke Canfield, "Pat LaMarche Urges Residents to 'Vote Their Conscience,''' Associated Press, October 7, 2004; Pat LaMarche, "Greetings from Green Vice Presidential Candidate Pat LaMarche to the Greens," October 30, 2004; Michael Reagan, "Green Party Aims to Grow," Brunswick Times Record, November 12, 2004.

48. David Cobb, "Resurgence: The Green Party's Remarkable Transformation," Green Horizon Quarterly 6, (Winter 2005). Reprinted in this collection. For similar claims from Cobb's campaign leadership, see Blair Bobier and John Rensenbrink, "Ground breaking Presidential Campaign Goes Overtime," Green Pages 8 (Winter 2004), org/greenpages/content/volume8/issue4/oped2.php and Ted Glick, "The Green Party in 2004," reprinted in this collection.

49. Mike Feinstein, "Green Party Election History -- By Year," http://www. party/election history. html.

50. Mike Feinstein, "Draft Green Party Voter Registration Update: Trends in U.S. Green registration, a month-by-month comparison, April 2000- present," May 9, 2005,

51. Ballot Access News, February 2004 and December 2004.

52. Alexander Cockburn, "Don't Say We Didn't Warn You -- Lessons They Won't Learn from November 2: A Word from Nader; A Last Look at Kerry and Michael Moore," CounterPunch Weekend Edition, November 6-7, 2004,

53. David Cobb, "Resurgence: The Green Party's Remarkable Transformation," reprinted in this collection. The other post-election analyses from the Cobb leadership that make no comments on its impact on the campaign issues and debate are Bobier and Rensenbrink, "Groundbreaking Presidential Campaign Goes Overtime"; Glick, "The Green Party in 2004"; and Gerritt, Green Party Tempest.

54. Tom Hayden, "When Bonesmen Fight," May 8, 2004,, posted on Z Net, May 22, 2004, showarticle.cfm?Section ID=3 7&ltem ID=5577.

55. The few organizations and institutions on the left that did not surrender to Anybody But Bush should be noted. Among political organizations, two independent socialist groups, the International Socialist Organization and Solidarity, put significant energy into the Nader/Camejo campaign. Among media institutions and pundits, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch; the radical youth e-journal, Left Hook (; and Greg Bates (Ralph's Revolt: The Case for Joining Nader's Rebellion, 2004) and Joshua Frank (Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, 2005) of Common Courage Press stood almost alone among the left intelligentsia against the lesser-evil politics of the Anybody-But-Bush tide.

56. For a discussion of some of the contemporary ties between big corporate foundations and progressive media and NGOs, see Charles Shaw, "Regulated Resistance: Pt. 2 -- The Gatekeepers of the So-Called Left," Newtopia Magazine, May 3, 2005, http://www.newtopiamagazine. net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=40. For a case study of how liberal corporate funding worked to co-opt and pacify the Black power movement of the 1960s, see Robert L. Allen, Black Awakening in Capitalist America (New York: Anchor Books, 1969; Reprint: New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1990).

57. The visibility of a few antiwar Democrats like Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, and Cynthia McKinney can obscure how overwhelmingly the Democrats have supported Bush's war and repression agenda. Key votes in Congress include:

War Powers, September 14, 2001: Only one (Barbara Lee) of 212 House Democrats and none of the fifty Senate Democrats voted against the resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against anyone associated with September 11 attacks without a Declaration of War by Congress. This resolution was the legal basis for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

Patriot Act, October 24-25, 2001: Only one (Russell Feingold) of fifty Senate Democrats and fifty-three of 212 House Democrats voted against.

Iraq War Resolution, October 10, 2002: Only twenty-one of fifty Senate Democrats and 126 of 212 House Democrats voted against. These relatively high votes against the Iraq war resolution were the result of intensive lobbying by the peace movement. A month before the vote, only a few Senate Democrats and about twenty-five House Democrats were committed to opposing the Iraq war. Once the invasion was launched, even this core opposition shrank, as the following votes show.

"Unequivocal Support" for Iraq War, March 22, 2003: As the invasion of Iraq began, none of the forty-eight Senate Democrats and only eleven of 204 House Democrats voted against this resolution expressing "unequivocal support ... for [President Bush's] firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the on-going Global War on Terrorism."

1st Supplemental Appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, $79 billion, April 3, 2003: None of the forty-eight Senate Democrats and only nine of 204 House Democrats voted against.

2nd Supplemental Appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, $87 billion, October 17, 2003: Only eleven of forty-eight Senate Democrats and 119 of 204 House Democrats voted against.

3rd Supplemental Appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, $25 billion, June 22-24, 2004: None of the forty-eight Senate Democrats and only fifteen of 204 House Democrats voted against including this supplemental funding in the Defense Department appropriation.

4th Supplemental Appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, $82 billion, May 6, 2005: None of the forty Senate Democrats voted against the Senate or conference committee versions. Only 34 of 202 House Democrats voted against the House version of the bill on March 15. On May 5, only fifty-four House Democrats voted against the final version reported out of the House-Senate conference committee, with the increase in no votes due to objection to anti-immigrant provisions added in conference, not to funding the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations.

58. See, for example, Benjamin et al., "An Open Letter to Progressives." In September, another statement by prominent Nader 2000 supporters called for a Kerry vote in swing states without even calling for a Nader or Cobb vote in safe states. It referred readers to the same Web site used by the July 23 statement to identify swing states. See "Nader 2000 Leaders Organize to Defeat Bush," September 14, 2004, http://www.

59. The comparison between Nader's 2000 and 2004 vote totals must also take into account the fact that the Nader/Camejo ticket was denied ballot access in many populous states where Nader was on the ballot in 2000, including Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The totals cited are the Federal Election Commission's official totals. We will never know how many more write-in votes Nader/Camejo received. Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Oregon do not even count write-ins as a matter of election law. Many other states do a poor job of counting them.

60. E. J. Kessler, "Billionaire Liberals Seek To Fund Idea Mills," Forward, January 21, 2005,

61. David Rosenbaum, "Kerry Team Settles Dispute with Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq," New York Times, July 11, 2004; "Did Kucinich Sell Out Anti-War Democrats?" Democracy Now! July 14, 2004, http://www. 0234; Charley Underwood, "A Kucinich Delegate in Boston and the Totalitarian Democratic Party," August 1, 2004,

62. Seymour Hersh, The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House (New York: Summit Books, 1983), 128-133; Michio Kaku and Daniel Axelrod, To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon's Secret War Plans (London: Zed Books, 1987), 164-168.

63. Carl Davidson and Marilyn Katz, "Moving from Protest to Politics: Dumping Bush's Regime in 2004," April 28, 2003, Peace%20and%20Justice/moving.Jrom_protescto _politics.htm.

The phrase "From Protest to Politics" in the title of the Davidson/Katz paper seems to reflect a conscious retreat from the radicalism of 1968 that developed in response to the liberalism of 1964. As a national officer of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) between 1966 and 1968, it could not have been lost on Davidson that this phrase resurrected the liberal slogan that civil rights leader Bayard Rustin coined after the Johnson landslide of 1964. Rustin was the principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and a harsh liberal critic of Black, student, and antiwar radicals. In calling for a continuation of the moratorium on demonstrations called by the civil rights leadership in the summer of 1964 in deference to Johnson's campaign, Rustin argued that the liberal/labor/Black electoral coalition behind Johnson demonstrated an electoral realignment that was creating a permanent Democratic majority for progressive reform. (Bayard Rustin, "From Protest to Politics: The Future of the Civil Rights Movement," Commentary, February 1965). Radicals reached the opposite conclusion, arguing that demonstrations and, indeed, disruptive resistance were needed to pressure the power structure for reforms. They pointed to the fact that Johnson delayed action on the Voting Rights Act until after the 1964 election, and then moved on it only after the widely televised Alabama state trooper brutality against civil rights marchers in Selma in March 1965 created a national public climate that forced his hand. The other major pending civil rights legislation, the Fair Housing Act, languished until the aftermath of the King assassination in 1968.

Among those radicals was Carl Davidson, whose proposal adopted by SDS to support draft resistance at the very end of 1966 gave SDS its counter-slogan to Rustin's in 1967, "From Protest to Resistance." The National Mobilization Committee adopted that slogan for the famous October 21, 1967, antiwar demonstration at the Pentagon later that year. The McCarthy liberals, in turn, threw Rustin's slogan back at the mobilization for the Pentagon demonstration to convince antiwar youth to support their candidate as a more "realistic" strategy. McCarthy played the role in 1968 that Kucinich did in 2004 in seeking to head off a third-party insurgency. In announcing his candidacy on November 20, 1967, McCarthy said he wanted "to provide an alternative for those who become cynical and make threats of support for third parties or fourth parties or other irregular political movements." McCarthy was trying to head off the movement for an independent Peace and Freedom ticker. A ticket headed by Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. Benjamin Spock had been promoted in the lead-up to the National Conference for a New Politics in September 1967. That conference failed to support an independent ticket in 1968, but the independent Peace and Freedom movement continued in California and other states and ran independent antiwar slates in several states under various names. See Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS (New York: Vintage, 1974), 313-316; Dave Dellinger, More Power Than We Know: The People's Movement Towards Democracy (New York: Anchor, 1975), 89-91; Michael Friedman, ed., The New Left of the Sixties (Berkeley: Independent Socialist Press 1972), 35-93.

64. Pushing Roosevelt toward his Second New Deal in 1935 was left to economically progressive but socially reactionary demagogues such as Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Gerald L. K. Smith, and Dr. Frances Townsend, who coalesced in the 1936 Union Party presidential campaign of Representative William Lemke that received 2 percent of the vote. "In 1935, ... when a poll by the Democratic National Committee revealed that Huey Long was likely to receive three to four million votes if Long ran for president as an independent in 1936, FDR launched what became known as 'the second hundred days,' during which time the Social Security Act, the Wagner Act, and the 'soak the rich' Wealth Tax Act were passed." Douglas O'Hara, "The Merchants of Fear: Smearing Nader," CounterPunch, February 24, 2004, 02242004.html.

65. Kevin Spidel, interview by William Rivers Pitt, "Ordinary Heroes and the Rising Power of the Roots," Truthout, January 27, 2005, http://www.

66. Medea Benjamin, "A Special Message from Media Benjamin," posted on the Progressive Democrats of America Web site, March 14,2005, http:// postcards/medea-lettec3-14-05.php.

67. Mitofsky International, "California Recall Election Exit Poll -- October 7, 2003," CAGV0230 H.HTM.

68. Katherine Q. Seelye, "Nader Emerging as Threat Democrats Feared," New York Times, October 16, 2004:

Though he hurts Kerry more than Bush, there's a potential that he hurts Bush, too," said Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who has examined Nader voters, although she said that potential Nader voters were difficult to find and hard to track. She said the profile of likely Nader supporters was changing and beginning to resemble that of voters who supported Ross Perot, the third-party candidate in 1996, rather than those who supported Nader in 2000. His backers then tended to be split equally between men and women and were white, liberal and college-educated, according to pollsters. But Greenberg said voters who support him now tend to be white men, blue-collar, fiscally conservative, populist, against open trade, angry about the high cost of health care and prescription drugs and fiercely opposed to the war in Iraq.

69. A June 2004 Gallup poll found that "With Nader thrown in, Kerry's percentage among Black voters declined from 81 percent to 73 percent. Nader drew 10 percent of Black voters, dropping Bush to only 9 percent. Among Latino voters in a three-way race, Kerry's support fell from 57 percent to 52 percent, while Bush's fell from 38 percent to 35 percent. Nader was the choice of 8 percent of Latino voters." "Poll: Kerry Leads Among Minority Voters," July 7, 2004, 2004/ALLPOLlTICS/07/06/gallup.poll/. After Nader did not receive the Green Party's support at the end of June, his numbers among all groups fell considerably. But election day exit polls showed that the proportion of Nader's voters that were non-white was 48 percent (5 percent Black, 36 percent Latino, and 7 percent other non-white), far higher than for Kerry (34 percent) and Bush (12 percent). Exit polls also showed more union households in Nader's base (33 percent) compared to Kerry's (30 percent) and Bush's (18 percent). Considering all the liberal hand-wringing over what the "moral issues" vote meant in 2004, it is worth noting that more voters who identified moral issues as why they voted for their candidate were in Nader's voter base (57 percent) than Kerry's (8 percent) or Bush's (35 percent). See the exit poll conducted by Edison/Mitofsky for the National Election Pool (ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC), __ u_s_aII_us0.shtml.

70. Todd Chretien, "The Dem Plot Against Nader: Florida Comes to California," CounterPunch, August 5, 2004, http://www.counter 08052004. html.

71. Noam Chomsky, "The Non Election of 2004," Z Magazine, January 2005, On the moral values question, Chomsky reports:

In some polls, "when the voters were asked to choose the most urgent moral crisis facing the country, 33 percent cited 'greed and materialism,' 31 percent selected 'poverty and economic justice,' 16 percent named abortion, and 12 percent selected gay marriage" (Pax Christi). In others, "when surveyed voters were asked to list the moral issue that most affected their vote, the Iraq war placed first at 42 percent, while 13 percent named abortion and 9 percent named gay marriage" (Zogby). Whatever voters meant, it could hardly have been the operative moral values of the Administration, celebrated by the business press.

Introduction Part II

1. Ronnie Dugger, "Ralph, Don't Run," The Nation, December 2, 2002, hrrp:// 1202&s=dugger.

2. Eric Alterman, "Bush's Useful Idiot," The Nation, September 16,2004, 1004&s=alterman.

Chapter 1

A Green Party "Safe-States" Strategy

1. This does not mean all individual Democrats are "bad guys." There are a not-insignificant number of people like Kucinich and Sharpton, progressives with solid histories of often-courageous activism. Over time it is essential that the third-party movement help to bring these people out of the Democrat Party and into a genuinely progressive independent political formation.

2. "Focusing" on the safe states should not be understood to mean that the Green Party would only put their candidates on the ballot in those states. In the "unsafe" states where there is significant Green organization -- which is most of them -- it is to be expected that state organizations will nominate or petition to put presidential/vice-presidential candidates on the ballot. I support this.

3. I've researched presidential voting results for 2000, 1996, and 1992. This research yielded twenty-three states with over 103 million people in them with voting results from those three years which make it extremely likely the winner will be from the same party as was the case in all three of those presidential election years. There are another five states with over 35 million people in them which are very likely to go the same way as in 2000. There's a good chance, based upon what happened in 2000, that, in the last month or two of the campaign, the key time period, there will be another 5-10 states that will fall into this category of a near-sure thing for Bush or the Democrat. To see the basis for these projections and the specific twenty-eight states, write to me.

Chapter 3

How the Greens Chose Kerry Over Nader

1. Garance Franke-Rura, "No Tie -- Cobb! The True Story of How a Man You've Barely Heard of Beat Ralph Nader for the Green Party Nomination." American Prospect, Web exclusive: June 28, 2004.

2. John Rensenbrink and Patrick Mazza, "Report on the ASGP Middleburg Meeting 1996," middle.htmz.

3. From The Nation, November 3, 2003. Ralph Nader's Skeleton Closet, .

4. "NoKerryNoBush, Dems Promote Fake Greens for Kerry Org," SF Indymedia, Friday April 09, 2004,

5. "Why John Kerry?" Greens for Impact, http://www.greensforimpact .com/doc/wjk.cfm

6. Walt Contreras Sheasby, "George Soros and the Rise of the Neo-centrics," Citizine, ... eocentrics. htm.

7. Sheasby, "Democrats Launch Anti-Nader Campaign," Citizine, May 28, 2004, ... -0405_walt sheasby.htm

8. Belinda Coppernoll, "Truth at the GP Nominating Conv. in Milwaukee,", June 28, 2004.

9. Rick Lyman, "The Greens Gather, Sharply Split Over Nader's Run," NY Times, June 26, 2004, 26greens.html.

10. 2004 Delegate Allocation Details,

11. Carlos Petroni, "Green Party Delegates at a Crossroads. Battle between the Left and Demogreens in Milwaukee," SF-Frontlines, Saturday, July 3, 2004, les.php?op=modload&name=News&file =article&sid=745&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0.

12. Kevin McKeown, "Milwaukee report," Greens CA listserv: grns-calforum@, June 28, 2004.


Reexamining the Green Party Nominating Convention: A Statistical Analysis

1. Outliers are measurements that are extremely large or small compared with the rest of the sample data and are suspected of misrepresenting the population from which they were collected. Using the Grubb's outlier test, the probability that the number of registered Greens in California fits with the distribution of the remainder of the data is less than 5 percent.

2. The geometric mean is a measure of the central tendency of a data set (like the average) that minimizes the effects of extreme values (like Iowa in this case).

3. Green Party roll call vote at the National Convention, http://www. Nom.phtml.

4. National Convention Voting Procedures, displayproposal.php?proposalld=82.


Peter Camejo is a financier, businessman, political activist, environmentalist, author, and one of the founders of the socially responsible investment movement. Camejo has fought for social and environmental justice since his teens. He marched in Selma, Alabama, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., rallied for migrant farm workers, and was active against the war in Vietnam. His most recent run for office was as Ralph Nader's running mate in the 2004 election. Camejo ran as the Green Party candidate in the 2003 gubernatorial recall election in California and in the 2002 governor's race.

Todd Chretien was the California student coordinator for the Nader/LaDuke 2000 and the Medea Benjamin for Senate 2000 campaigns, and the Nader/Camejo 2004 northern California field coordinator. He is a member of the Green Party in Oakland, California, and a frequent contributor to the international Socialist Review (

David Cobb was the Green Party nominee for president in 2004. He served as the general counsel for the Green Party of the United States, and was the Green Party of Texas candidate for attorney general in 2002. In 2000, he managed Ralph Nader's presidential campaign in Texas.

Walt Contreras Sheasby was an ardent advocate, organizer, and social theorist. He ran four times for public office and served as editor for Capitalism Nature Socialism. He was a veteran of the civil rights movement and antiwar movement of the 1960s. He was an active member of the Green Party in California until his life was tragically cut short by West Nile virus in August 2004.

Mark Dunlea is former chair of the Green Party of New York State and is the author of Madame President: The Unauthorized Biography of the First Green Party President (Big Toad Books, 2004), which imagines what would have happened if a Green had been president on September 11, 2001.

Joshua Frank is a writer living in New York. He has appeared as a political commentator on MSNBC. His investigative reports and columns have appeared in many publications, among them: CounterPunch, Z Magazine, Common Dreams, Clamor, Green Left Weekly, and Left Turn magazine. He is the author of the newly released, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005).

Ted Glick is the national coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network (, and is the author of a twice-monthly "Future Hope" column distributed nationally. He was an active member of the David Cobb Green Party presidential campaign leadership team throughout 2004.

Matt Gonzalez is the first member of the Green Party to win elective office in San Francisco, winning over 65 percent of the vote in a runoff election to become a member of the Board of Supervisors in 2000. In 2003, he was elected as the president of the Board of Supervisors and ran for mayor of San Francisco and was narrowly defeated in the runoff election. He currently is a lawyer in San Francisco and is active in the Green Party.

Howie Hawkins is a teamster and Green activist in Syracuse, New York. He has been active in movements for peace, justice, the environment, and independent politics since the late 1960s, and in the Green Party in the U.S. since it began organizing in 1984.

Forrest Hill has served on the Coordinating Committee for the Green Party of California, is a member of the Green Party National Delegation and California State Finance committees, and has helped coordinate campaigns for Ralph Nader, Peter Camejo, and Aimee Allison. He has a Ph.D. in oceanography from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has worked as an environmental consultant to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. He is currently a financial advisor in the field of socially responsible investing.

Alan Maass is the editor of Socialist Worker newspaper (, and author of The Case for Socialism (Haymarket Books, 2004).

Carol Miller is a public health administrator who first rose to prominence in the New Mexico Green Party by running for Congress in 1997. She was active in the Nader for President Campaign 2000 and sought the Green Party nomination for president in 2004. She has actively worked for health care reform as a member of the White House Health Care Task Force, serving two terms as president of the New Mexico Public Health Association and six terms on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association.

Dean Myerson serves as executive director of the Green Institute ( He was national secretary of the Association of State Green Parties from 1997 to 1999, coordinated the Green Party's 2000 National Nominating Convention in Denver where Ralph Nader was nominated, and also served on the Nader 2000 national staff. From late 2001 through October 2003, Myerson was national political coordinator of the Green Party of the United States and ran the Green Party's office in Washington, D.C.

Ralph Nader has founded or organized more than on hundred civic organizations, authored numerous books and articles, and was the Green Party candidate for president in 1996 and 2000. He ran for president as an independent in the 2004 election. His most recent book is The Good Fight (HarperCollins, 2004).

Rachel Odes is a Green Party member and activist in Oakland, California, and was a national organizer for the 2004 Nader/Camejo campaign.

John Rensenbrink is a cofounder of the Green Party and former U.S. Senate candidate for the Green Party of Maine. He was also a cochair of the Green Party of Maine and is currently coeditor of Green Horizon Quarterly (

Tom Sevigny is a founding member of the Green Party of Connecticut and has served as the state's co-chair and one of Connecticut's National Committee Representatives.

Ashley Smith is a Green Party member in Vermont and is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review. His writing appears regularly in Socialist Worker and on CounterPunch. He was the Vermont coordinator for the Nader/Camejo 2004 campaign.

Sharon Smith writes the "Which Side Are You On?" column in Socialist Worker ( and is a frequent contributor to the International Socialist Review and CounterPunch. She recently authored the book Women and Socialism (Haymarket Books, 2005) and Subterranean Fire (Haymarket Books, 2006).

Norman Solomon's most recent book is War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (Wiley, 2005). His writings are archived on the Web at and

Jeffrey St. Clair is the cofounder and coeditor of the newsletter CounterPunch ( An award-winning investigative journalist, his recent books include Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me and A Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils (CounterPunch, 2004).

Jack Uhrich is a member of the South Carolina Green Party Steering Committee and was Fund-raising Director for the Green Party of the United States.

Donna J. Warren is a former Green Party candidate for lieutenant governor of California and ran for Senate as a Green in 2001. She is a founder of the South Central Green Party, and helped found a Green Party chapter in East L.A. She sued the CIA and the Department of Justice in 1998 for their complicity in the destruction of South Central by crack cocaine and is an activist with Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS).

Steve Welzer was the state coordinator for the Green Party of New Jersey (GPJ) and was a founding member of the GPJ in 1997. He has been active in the Green movement for fifteen years. He is currently coeditor of Green Horizon Quarterly ( org).

Sherry Wolf is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review ( and has written articles on "The Origins of Gay Oppression" and "The Democrats and War: No Lesser Evil."
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Re: Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate

Postby admin » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:39 am


Chapter One: Green Independence? The Debate Begins

Howie Hawkins, unpublished letter to The Nation, November 14, 2002. Reprinted with permission.

Appeal to Nader from Green gubernatorial candidates, sent December 2002.

The Avocado Declaration, published online at http://www., January 1, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

John Rensenbrink and Tom Sevigny, "The Green Party and the 2004 Elections: A Three-Dimensional Plan," Green Horizon Quarterly, Spring 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Howie Hawkins, "For a Green Presidential Campaign in 2004," presentation at regional Greens meeting, Freeville, NY, June 28, 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Ted Glick, "A Green Party 'Safe States' Strategy," published online at July 1,2003. Reprinted with permission.

David Cobb, "Green Party 2004 Presidential Strategy," presentation at Green Party National Committee meeting, July 17-20, 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Chapter Two: Green Tactics and Strategy

Howie Hawkins, "'Strategic Voting' Is Strategic Suicide," Synthesis/ Regeneration 32, Fall 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Sharon Smith, "Debating the Election: The Democrats Don't Deserve Our Support," Socialist Worker, September 19,2003. Reprinted with permission.

Norman Solomon, "Debating the Election: We Have a Responsibility to Work to Defeat Bush," Socialist Worker, September 19, 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Statement on Green Strategy 2004 and Call for Dialogue and Action, eighteen Green Party activists, circulated online, December 14, 2003, archived at gem.

Greens for Nader, "Run Ralph Run, But as A Green, "an open letter to Ralph Nader, December 10, 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Ralph Nader, "Letter to the Steering Committee and the Presidential Exploratory Committee of the Green Party," December 22, 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Green Party Steering Committee, "Letter to Ralph Nader Urging Reconsideration of Withdrawal," December 24, 2003.

Ralph Nader, "Endorsement, Not Nomination," letter to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States, March 24, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Greens for Nader, "Greens Should Endorse Nader," circulated online, April 15, 2004.

The Nation Editors, "An Open Letter to Ralph Nader," February 16, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Ralph Nader, "Whither The Nation? An Open Letter" February 19, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Ted Glick, "2004 and the Left," published online at, March 30, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Howie Hawkins, "Endorse Nader," Green Horizon Quarterly, Summer 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Peter Miguel Camejo, "Letter to The Nation," June 17, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

The Nation Editors, "It's Not Easy Being Green," June 17, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Chapter Three: The Milwaukee Convention

Peter Miguel Camejo, "Green Party Unity," circulated online, June 14, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Ralph Nader, "A Few Thoughts for the Green Party," presentation at Green Party National Committee meeting, June 25, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Alan Maass, "The Green Party's Step Backward," Socialist Worker, July 2, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Ted Glick, "Green and Growing: An Activist Report Back from the Green Party Convention," published online at http://www.dissidentvoice. org, June 29,2004. Reprinted with permission.

Walt Contreras Sheasby, "How the Greens Chose Kerry over Nader," published online at http://www.unrepentantnadervoter. com, July 19, 2004.

Jeffrey St. Clair, "Suicide Right on the Stage: The Demise of the Green Party," published online at, July 2, 2004.

Norman Solomon, "Why I Changed My Voter Registration Today," published online at, June 28, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Todd Chretien, "A Reply to Norman Solomon and Medea Benjamin: Believing in a Green Resistance," published online at, July 26, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

David Cobb, "Growing the Green Party," In These Times, July 16, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Carol Miller and Forrest Hill, "Rigged Convention, Divided Party: How David Cobb Became the Green Nominee Even Though He Only Got 12 Percent of the Votes," published online at, August 7, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Dean Myerson, "A Response to Miller and Hill," August 11, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Peter Miguel Camejo, "Cut and Run: The Green Party 2004 Convention," circulated online, August 17, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Chapter Four: Independence versus Anybody But Bush

Matt Gonzalez, "Why Vote for Ralph Nader?" San Francisco Examiner, July 14, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Donna J. Warren, "A Letter to the Black Caucus from a Black Woman Living in South Central," San Francisco Bay View, July 14, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Sherry Wolf, "From 'Maverick' to Attack Dog: Howard Dean's Gay Bashing of Ralph Nader," published online at http://www., July 10, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Medea Benjamin, Peter Coyote, John Eder, Daniel Ellsberg, et al., "Vote Kerry and Cobb: An Open Letter to Progressives," published online at, July 23, 2004.

Peter Miguel Camejo, "Money vs. People: The Mystery of the 2004 Elections," published online at July 29, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Ralph Nader, "What You Won't Hear: Twelve Topics Democrats Will Duck at Convention," Boston Globe, July 25, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Joshua Frank, "David Cobb's Soft Charade: The Greens and the Politics of Mendacity," published online at, August 6, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Ralph Nader, "Parties to Injustice: Democrats Will Do Anything to Keep Me Off the Ballot," Washington Post, September 5, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Zach Kaldveer and Sophie Mintier, "Only Progressive Unity Can Defeat Bush," published online at http://www.changein04. com, October 21, 2004.

Ralph Nader, "An Open Letter to Former Naderites Running Scared in 2004," published online at, October 27, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Chapter Five: Lessons from the 2004 Elections

Howie Hawkins, "Political Independence Is the Lesson of 2004 for Progressives," November 8, 2004, written for this volume.

Jack Uhrich, "New Mexico: A Sobering Lesson for Practical Fusion," Green Horizon Quarterly, Fall 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Steve Welzer, "The Greens Are Enduring, Debating, and Learning," Green Horizon Quarterly, Spring 2005. Reprinted with permission.

David Cobb, "Resurgence: The Green Party's Remarkable Transformation," Green Horizon Quarterly, Winter 2005. Reprinted with permission.

Joshua Frank, "Narcissism Runs Rampant: Diagnosing the Green Party," published online at http://www.counter, February 25, 2005. Reprinted with permission.

Peter Miguel Camejo, "Lessons from the 2004 Elections," January 2005, written for this volume.


Forrest Hill, "Reexamining the Green Party Nominating Convention: A Statistical Analysis," published online at http://www., September 28, 2004. Reprinted with permission.

Green Party of New York State, Green Party of Vermont, Proposals to the Green Party of the United States from the Greens for Democracy and Independence. Presented at GPUS National Committee meeting, July 21-24, 2005.

Ashley Smith and Forrest Hill, "Which Way Forward for the Green Party?" August 26, 2005, written for this volume.
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