CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Green Party has recruited Cincinnati NAACP president Chris Smitherman as a City Council candidate, and some Democrats already see it as a partnership that is going nowhere. They say the Greens --- who ran Ralph Nader for president in 2000 -- helped put President Bush and Dick Cheney in office by siphoning votes away from Al Gore in Florida.
They think they can pin some responsibility for the Bush years, a presidency that is held in low esteem, on the Greens. It could be a tactic that has some impact. The Bush-Cheney legacy is beginning to look toxic, particularly in urban areas, and the Dems can blame the Greens for the misery caused by an abuse of executive privilege.
UPDATE: This just arrived from a Dem source who notes it is the kind of evidence available to make the case Nader and the Green Party cost Gore the White House.
Local Green Party spokesman Josh Krekeler was indirectly quoted in today's Cincinnati Enquirer saying that Smitherman is the party's most viable local candidate ever. Smitherman served a two-year City Council term, but was defeated for reelection in November 2005. He was a member of the Charter Party then. The Charter Party is a Cincinnati-based political organization that has been active in city politics since the 1920s. It is not aligned with Republicans or Democrats, and declares itself to be an independent group.
The 2000 presidential election still rankles. Gore won the popular vote, but a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, with a conservative bloc of justices backing Bush, settled a dispute over Florida's electoral votes and handed the Republican the presidency. The conventional wisdom about Florida holds that Nader
's Green Party candidacy took votes from Gore, thus giving America Bush, the Iraq War, and a host of other policies that have harmed the middle and lower classes.
While the conventional wisdom is open to debate, there is no question the Greens and Nader remain close to this day. He's scheduled to address a Green Party conclave in Pennsylvania later this month, and will talk about ballot access -- the difficult legal barriers candidates outside the two main political parties have to surmount to secure spots on the ballot.
The national Green Party's political reform agenda speaks about the the "power of civic action" as an antidote to corporate control over the nation's law-making and regulatory agencies. The agenda is worth reading. Interestingly, the Greens want to abolish the Electoral College, and favor direct election of the president. That means they want to scrap the system that put Bush in power.