CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Cincinnati NAACP president Chris Smitherman has stirred up a firestorm with his plans to run for a City Council seat on the Green Party ticket. All of the debate has focused on whether or not he has a conflict with the NAACP, which tends to discourage local chapter leaders from running for elective offices.
But there has not been much aired about efforts in Pennsylvania to use the Green Party as a front. There have been hijack attempts by Republicans, a tactic designed to siphon progressive votes away from Democrats. Some Greens clearly are concerned that anybody who shows up is welcome. And they are not exactly enthused about poseurs financing and entering their party. Last year, there was an uproar when a when the Green Party's U.S. Senate candidate in the contest involving Rick Santorum's reelection bid wound up being funded by Santorum's backers. Nearly all the money for Green Party nominee Carl Romanelli came from GOP sources -- almost turning it into the Green-Old-Party.
This month, another GOP official in Pennsylvania briefly declared himself a Green. Again, it looked like a strategic move rather than a true political conversion.
Some Greens have argued that their party is the victim of both the major parties. However, they also contend the party has opened itself to abuse by outside political operatives and people who just show up and declare themselves true-blue Greens.
"Part of the reason for its bad decision is that the GP or PA is part of the GPUS. GPUS models itself on the corporate parties by refusing to have a defined membership. Since it does not base itself on a dues paid membership, GPUS must look to other sources . . .
"Not all Green Party activists accept the corporate structure of GPUS and the GP of PA. The original Green Party, the GPUSA, is based on a dues-paying membership. It is this defined membership, not anyone who shows up, who makes policy, including what money to accept and from where. GPUSA has never knowingly accepted money."