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Monday, July 30, 2007

How Pure Are Ohio's Greens? Next Door In Pa. It's Been The Green-O-P

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."


  1. So what if Greens take Republican money, Democrats take a hell of a lot more of it.

    Republicans are people too and some of them voted for Nader because George Bush isn't really a conservative or a Republican. He's a radical neocon that runs huge deficits and launchs us into wars based on lies.

    Greens don't take money from corporations like the two corporate party duopoly does.

    The Green candidate from PA took money to get on the ballot only because the Democrats always harass Greens. It wasn't the PA Green Party, it was his local Green Party and the Democrat he was running against took a lot more Republican money than he did.

    They rig the system so you have to raise money and then cry foul when Greens start to raise money too. They are too scared to debate Greens so they shut us out of debates even when Greens on the ballot.

  2. Hi Anon --

    Thanks for stopping by.

    But you really aren't serious, are you? If I understand, I think you are arguing that Republicans financed the Green Party candidate because they didn't want to elect the Green Party candidate.

    By the way, I like the Green Party, especially if it is converting Republicans. But that's not what I sense is happening; what I sense is that hardnosed political folks are using the Greens for hardnosed political purposes. Sort of like a rent-a-party. Perhaps I am wrong, but something just doesn't seem to pass the smell test.

  3. Bill, the point is that the undue influence of big money on our elections corrupts our elections. Greens are trying to clean it up, but we're met with the highest ballot access barriers in the industrialized world.

    This is really a non-partisan issue. Both parties are part of the problem on the war, the Patriot Act, selling us out to the highest bidder and many other issues.

    In order to be a serious candidate we're supposed to raise serious money. We don't seek Republican money over other peoples money. We just try to run on the issues and participate in what is supposed to be a democracy.

    The reality is that some Republicans may give money to Greens with the hope that it will take away supprt from Democrats, but are Greens supposed to give a lie detector test before we take money from people that have voted for Republicans? Democrats are happy to take their money and not challenge this corrupt system. We are trying to challenge it.

    Democrats shouldn't feel entitled to the votes of African Americans, Labor and the peace moevment when they fail to repesent us. They should have to earn our votes by supporting us through public policy, instead they try to earn it through advertisements and lip service.

  4. Dear Anon --

    I would strike down the ballot access restrictions if I could. Immediately.

    It is unfair to the Libertarians and the Greens, extremely unfair. Voices that are outside the existing current political oligarchy really have a hard time getting heard. Even in Russia, where it is probably less democratic, they have numerous parties. Of course, you may be killed for running as a candidate in one of them -- but you can put your name under their line. We need reform on ballot access for small parties in Ohio, but I don't think Blackwell, Brunner or anyone else is seriously going to do it.