Interview with Howie Hawkins, 2010 NY Green Party candidate for governor

Socialist magazine Against The Current interviews New York Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins in their March-April issue.   This is a comprehensive and highly informative interview about strategy, the campaign, and how the party is building on its success.

We tried to summarize the election as a choice between the Green prosperity plan and the Cuomo/Paladino austerity plan. The response to our program of ordinary people on the streets, in local events and in local radio and TV interviews was overwhelmingly positive.

Hawkins has run many times for local office in Syracuse.   That attention to local campaigning was the basis for the party’s success in the election:

Name recognition means a lot. I’m well known in Syracuse. I got 41% for city council in 2009. For Governor, I got 5.3% in my home county and 3-4% in adjacent counties in the same media market where people know me and my politics. Statewide I got 1.4% overall, pretty consistently across upstate except for 2.5% in the Albany area, due, I believe, to protest votes by state workers whom Cuomo targeted for layoffs and wage and benefit cuts. We did worst in the New York City area, less than one percent in its outer boroughs and suburbs.

In local races, a campaign by a small upstart party can go door-to-door to get its message to people. We have built support for particular candidates and the Green Party over a series of local races and consistent long-term campaigns for reforms in movements as well elections.

The Hawkins/Mattera ticket was the only independent minor party to pass the 50,000 vote threshold.  So the NY Green Party will have automatic ballot access for the next 4 years, while candidates with more media notoriety (Jimmy McMillan) failed the test.

We had three goals in this campaign. The first was to get enough votes to qualify the Green Party for ballot status, which will make it much easier for us to run more candidates for the next four years until the next gubernatorial race. It takes 50,000 votes for the gubernatorial ticket to qualify and we got just under 60,000, after two four-year cycles where we failed with results in the low 40,000s. So our first goal was achieved.

Our second goal was to move the debate. Here we largely failed. The media treated the Greens as marginal at best. When they did cover third party candidates, they featured on personalities over policies and focused on Kristin Davis, the former Manhattan Madam who claimed to have provided hookers for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer; Charles Barron, a Democratic member of the New York City Council who announced his Freedom line candidacy as a protest of the Democrats’ all-white statewide slate; and Jimmy McMillan, a bizarre character running on the Rent Is Too Damn High line.

[…]

Our third goal was to build the Green Party organization. Even though the corporate media characterized the only televised debate, which had all the candidates, as a “circus” and ignored me and the policies I advocated in the coverage, we got our biggest surge of volunteers and money from people who saw that debate three weeks before the election. All along the way, we picked up support as people learned of our program. We may not have moved the debate in the media and forced the major party candidates to address our policies. But we did move several thousand people to sign up with us as supporters, volunteers, and contributors.

So we did succeed in building the Green Party. We come out of the election much stronger than we went into it. Now we must organize these new people into local party organizations and campaigns for economic security, peace, freedom, and sustainability in the huge vacuum on the Left being produced by the Cuomo/Obama Democrats’ “bipartisan” program of deficit-reduction austerity, war, repression, and environmental plunder.

The entire interview is well worth reading and is available here:  Renewing New York — an interview with Howie Hawkins.

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Columbia Town Hall Meeting on the SC Budget Crisis, Wednesday April 27

South Carolina Progressive Network town hall_flyer

The South Carolina Progressive Network describes the event as follows:

Join us for an important TOWN HALL meeting!

Is South Carolina broke? Or is our tax code broken?

April 27, 7 – 8:30 pm

SC State Museum, 301 Gervais St., Columbia

FREE and open to the public!

PANEL
Dr. Mike Fanning, who works with 
Reduce Our Awful Tax Rates, a coalition that includes the state Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Holley Ulbrich, Professor Emerita of Economics, Clemson University

Moderator: Brett Bursey, Director, SC Progressive Network

TALK BACK
After a panel discussion, the public will be invited to ask questions and make comments. We need YOU at the table for this important conversation. Come out and speak up!

Read more about this event here.  If you’re in the Columbia area, please attend.

SC Green Party passes resolution for new voting system

The South Carolina Green Party has become the first political party in South Carolina to pass a resolution demanding our legislature to acquire a voting system with a verifiable paper trail, in addition to requesting our legislature to “direct the Legislative Audit Council to initiate a review of the iVotronic voting machines”.

We would like to thank Eugene Platt for all his hard work, persistence, and determination in helping pass this resolution. Eugene Platt was also instrumental in getting the James Island Public Service District to be the first group of elected officials to pass a resolution for a new voting system in South Carolina.

Below is the entire resolution.

A RESOLUTION BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA GREEN PARTY
TOWARD RESTORING VOTER CONFIDENCE IN ELECTIONS

WHEREAS the South Carolina Green Party is a ballot-qualified political party affiliated with the Green Party of the United States; and

WHEREAS one of the Green Party’s Ten Key Values, Grassroots Democracy, is expressed as follows: “All human beings deserve a say in the decisions that affect their lives. We work to increase public participation at every level of government.” And

WHEREAS we live in a republic in which the right to vote in free elections is cherished; and

WHEREAS all who vote in such elections have a reasonable expectation that their respective votes will be counted exactly as cast, allowing all voters a high degree of confidence not only in the integrity, but also in the accuracy of the entire electoral process; and

WHEREAS many citizens do not have full confidence in the iVotronic voting machines currently used for elections in South Carolina; and

WHEREAS a concern frequently expressed about the iVotronic voting machines is they do not provide a paper trail that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED: The South Carolina Green Party implores the State Legislature, during its current session, to direct the Legislative Audit Council to initiate a review of the iVotronic voting machines, toward replacement with voting machines (made in the U.S.A. if available) that incorporate a paper trail—or, alternatively, replacement with any other creditable procedure, including paper ballots—which will increase voter confidence in the electoral process.

Adopted this sixteenth day of April 2011

Bipartisan deal on the federal budget fulfills GOP plan to dismantle government and destroy the social safety net

Obama’s retreat from promises of change led to the Democrats’ sell-out and a battle to save Social Security, Medicare, collective bargaining, public broadcasting, the EPA, scientific research, and Planned Parenthood


Greens blast Obama’s proposed $1 trillion cut in Medicare and Medicaid and the budget deal’s ‘tyrannical’ policies imposed on the District of Columbia, including denial of funds for abortion

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders urged President Obama to expand his goal of raising taxes on the wealthiest tax brackets, and insisted that the key to dealing with the deficit is reversing tax cuts for the wealthy, even greater reductions in military spending, and ending the wars. Greens strongly rejected the President’s proposal on Wednesday for $1 trillion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: “The Green Party calls for withdrawal of troops and a halt to US military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Iraq; an overall cut in military spending of at least 50%; and cancellation of the $900 billion in tax cuts for the rich enacted six months ago, with a requirement that corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. These actions would quickly solve the federal deficit. It’s obvious that Republicans are seeking to dismantle government, to satisfy regulation-hating corporate lobbies and false populists in the Tea Party whose agenda would destroy the infrastructure of democracy. Democrats, led by President Obama, have marched into the budget debate armed with a willingness to capitulate. This pattern will continue as long as Democrats and Republicans remain each others’ sole competition.”

Laura Wells, 2010 Green candidate for Governor of California: “Last Friday’s 11th-hour postponement agreement opened up a chance to keep the social safety net in place and maintain investments in America’s future. Unfortunately, Democratic leaders are continuing to compromise with Republicans, with virtually no consideration of the effect that the budget will have on low-income and unemployed Americans or future generations. President Obama’s promise of change has turned into a battle to save Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, collective bargaining, public broadcasting, the EPA, scientific research, and Planned Parenthood. Top Democrats are willing to place these necessities on the chopping block, helping the GOP make federal government a wholly owned subsidiary of the US Chamber of Commerce. By rejecting single-payer and incorporating mandates in their ‘historic’ health care bill, Democrats set the stage for the Republican plan to slash Medicare and Medicaid, even before the bill would go into effect.”

Audrey Clement, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: “Republicans describe the wealthy beneficiaries of their draconian budget cuts, tax giveaways, and deregulation schemes as ‘job creators’. In reality they are corporate welfare addicts. In light of the GOP’s attempt to abolish EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by corporate polluters, we might also call them ‘global catastrophe creators’.”

Greens were especially critical of language in the budget deal that would impose Republican policies on the District of Columbia, outlawing the use of federal or local funds for abortion for low-income women or for needle exchange:

Alan Page, DC Statehood Green Party candidate for At-Large City Council in the April 26 special election (http://alanpagedc.com): “The White House and Congress have fulfilled Newt Gingrich’s dream of making the District a ‘laboratory’ for Republican policies. Congress has a long history of forcing unwanted laws on DC and vetoing locally passed statutes. After the 2008 election, President Obama and Democrats in Congress refused to act on their ability to end this outrage by granting DC statehood, even though the result would very likely have been a new Democratic vote in the House and two new Democratic votes in the Senate. During the past decade, while the DC Statehood Green Party and other local advocates of DC democracy demanded statehood, Democrats led by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.) campaigned for a bill that would have given DC a single voting seat in the US House but would not have abolished federal control over DC laws, policies, and budgets. The ‘DC Vote’ bill served only to eclipse the far greater need for genuine self-government and an end to Congress’s tyrannical rule over the District. Under the continuing resolution passed on Friday, DC residents will suffer the brunt of the Democrats’ lack of political will.”

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

http://www.gp.org

Original URL: http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=414 Continue reading

Join Us at the State Convention on May 14th!

THE SC GREEN PARTY BULLETIN
Volume 9 No. 1 – April 11, 2011

(1) JOIN US AT THE ANNUAL STATE CONVENTION ON MAY 14th
(2) NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR STEERING COMMITTEE ELECTIONS
(3) MAKE YOUR 2011 MEMBERSHIP CONTRIBUTION
(4) GET INVOLVED!

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(1) JOIN US AT THE ANNUAL STATE CONVENTION ON MAY 14th **********************************************************************

Please join us for the annual state convention of the South Carolina Green Party in Columbia on Saturday afternoon, May 14th. Details will be announced soon. Everyone is encouraged to attend!

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(2) NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR STEERING COMMITTEE ELECTIONS **********************************************************************

Nominations are now open for election to the Steering Committee. Nominations and confirmations (see below) must be received no later than April 30th (two weeks before the State Convention). The terms of five Steering Committee members are ending (Gregg Jocoy, Rolf Baghdady, Leslie Minerd, Nammu Muhammad, and David Whiteman), so five two-year positions will be open. After nominations are closed on April 30th, the Steering Committee will provide a final list of nominees.

Nominations may be emailed (to at scgreenpartyinfo@earthlink.net) or mailed (SCGP, P.O. Box 5341, Columbia, SC 29250).

In order to be eligible to be on the ballot, anyone nominated must certify by April 30th that they (a) are interested in being on the ballot, (b) are a member of the Party, and (c) do not occupy a leadership position in any other political party. All nominees should also submit a brief personal statement for inclusion in the SCGP Bulletin and the State Convention agenda packet.

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(3) MAKE YOUR 2011 MEMBERSHIP CONTRIBUTION
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According the SCGP bylaws, in order to be considered a member of the Party for meetings and conventions, a citizen must have either (a) paid annual dues or (b) been an active member of a party organization in the state. To be sure you are a member for 2011, send in your $25 annual membership contribution. You can send your checks to SCGP, P.O. Box 5341, Columbia, SC, 29250.

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(4) GET INVOLVED!
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(a) Volunteer for a state or national committee!
Opportunities exist for volunteers on all state committees, including communication, fundraising, website, elections, and outreach and membership. The SCGP is eligible to have representatives serve on most of the national USGP committees. For a list of committees, check out http://www.gpus.org/committees.html. If you’re interested, please reply to this email and let us know about your interests and skills.

(b) Recruit New Members!
Encourage your friends to become members of the SCGP. The best way is just have them sign up through our website (www.scgreenparty.org). Or they can send their name, address, and phone number to scgreenpartyinfo@earthlink.net. We will add them to our mailing list and forward their names to our local organizers.

(c) Join our Discussion Forum!
The SCGP maintains a discussion/action forum for its members. If you are interested in receiving emails about issues and events related to green politics, please join the our Discussion Forum by sending an email to:
SC-GreenParty_Forum-subscribe@yahoogroups.com