Cynthia McKinney wins 79% of Wisconsin Green Party Vote

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney won 79% of the vote in the Wisconsin Green Party’s Presidential Preference Primary. The Primary, conducted by mail among dues paying members of the party, ran from April 28 through March 27. Kent Mesplay, who campaigned in Wisconsin in November of 2007, won 10%. Ralph Nader received 5% through write-in votes, followed by Kat Swift 2%, Uncommitted 2%, and Jesse Johnson 1%.

Wisconsin sends 24 delegates to the GPUS Nominating Convention in July, which will be held on the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Chicago riots at the Democratic National Convention. Of these delegates, 19 will be voting for Cynthia McKinney, 2 for Kent Mesplay, 1 for Kat Swift, 1 for Uncommitted, and 1 for Ralph Nader. Wisconsin is tied for the seventh largest delegate contingent among the 50 states (the top states are California 168, Illinois & Maine 44 each, New York 40, Massachusetts & Pennsylvania 32 each, Wisconsin, Michigan & Oregon 24 each.)

The raw vote totals from Wisconsin are: 97 ballots counted, 77 votes for McKinney, 10 for Mesplay, 5 for Nader, 2 for Swift, 2 for Uncommitted, 1 for Johnson.

Counting only the five primary states (AR, CA, DC, IL, MA) plus Wisconsin so far, an estimate of delegate strength right now for the Green Party nomination would be:

* Ralph Nader 118 * Cynthia McKinney 110 * Kent Mesplay 11 * Howie Hawkins (Nader stand-in) 9 * Jared Ball (dropped out of the race) 8 * Elaine Brown (dropped out of the race) 8 * Kat Swift 7 * Jesse Johnson 3

Uncommitted = 13, Undetermined = 5.

Other state parties will be determining their delegate proportions over the next 6 weeks, and some are already in the process of caucusing or returning mailed ballots. The fact that Ralph Nader is not seeking the Green Party’s nomination has not resolved the question over the delegates he may have received so far to date. From what I have heard about the debates among the GPUS National Committee and the Presidential Campaign Support Committee (whose co-chair is a Nader Supporter), the effort within the Green Party to Draft Nader (whether he wants it or not) has not yet died.

I’m happy to report that I will be a delegate from Wisconsin to the Green Party National Convention in July!

54 Responses to “Cynthia McKinney wins 79% of Wisconsin Green Party Vote”

  1. Robert Milnes Says:

    In order to not split the progressive vote, the GP should endorse the LP ticket. The LP should try to make its ticket as attractive to greens as possible. The GP & LP nominee should declare non-support of Nader so as to avoid further splitting of the progressive vote. Nader & GP cannot win. This strategy the LP could win. It could be CLOSE!

  2. Laine Says:

    Mr. Nader still has the delegate lead despite not running for the nomination? Seems doubtful that he will continue to have the lead up until the convention but assuming he does or is extremely close could his supporters still fight to give him the Green Party endorsement?

  3. Brent Burk Says:


    Please… really? Again? Is this all you do?

  4. Mike Gillis Says:


    Yes. That is all he does.

  5. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Not at all surprised. Good job, Cynthia!

    ...and I’m not even Green.

  6. Sivarticus Says:

    Nominating McKinney seems like it has one commonality with what the Constitution Party is wrestling over with Alan Keyes. She is a washed up Democrat, like Keyes, the washed up Republican. Though Keyes failed in ever being elected to anything, what does it say if the Greens run someone who was booted out of their Congressional seat twice?

    Though she does share their ideology, at least, as would be the case if Bob Barr runs and wins the LP nomination (despite also losing a Congressional primary). I’m just hoping third parties tread lightly where candidates with major failures are concerned, or else they invite becoming open to ex-politicians who are political jokes unable to stick around in one of the major parties.

  7. Jeremy Young Says:

    I have to say that Robert’s idea has merit, though it won’t happen this cycle. If there were no McKinney, I think Gravel probably could pull it off.

  8. Laine Says:

    I wish McKinney the best of luck but according to her website she has yet to even reach her fund raising goal of 100K yes? I am sorry but with that little support behind her at this point her campaign if going to reach less than Mr. Nader’s. Perhaps support will solidfy behind her once she wins the nomination but it doesn’t look good at this point.

  9. Robert Milnes Says:

    Jeremy Young, thank you for your comment. The idea is that the GP or the GP nominee have got to show some leadership. & the LP & LP nominee also. Somehow a mechinism needs to be found for the GP or GP nominee to endorse the LP ticket. It won’t happen this cycle if nobody does it.

  10. Mike Indiana Says:

    McKinney has raised $62K so far which while not a lot, is substantially more then 2004 nominee David Cobb had raised at this point.

  11. Robert Milnes Says:

    If Cobb had endorsed Badnarik & that was sustained by the GP, that might have got a progressive movement going. & even if Nader/Gonzales wins, which they won’t, they will still have to deal with a rep & dem Congress. All executive legislation & appointments blocked. All vetoes overridden.

  12. Dave Williams Says:

    “I’m just hoping third parties tread lightly where candidates with major failures are concerned, or else they invite becoming open to ex-politicians who are political jokes unable to stick around in one of the major parties.”

    That is about the sanest sentence I’ve read all day. My sentiments exactly.

  13. Ronald Kane Hardy Says:

    A couple of responses:

    Almost all of Ralph Nader’s delegates in this delegate count are due to getting a majority of the California vote almost two months ago before he had even declared his independent campaign. California’s 168 delegates equal almost 20% of the total GPUS delegation.

    Cynthia McKinney was driven from Congress by the Democrats because she wasn’t conservative enough or “establishment” enough for them. She wasn’t defeated by a Republican, the Democrats ran “moderate” democrats against her in her own primary.

    As a Green, I think it is great that we may have a Presidential nominee that has more federal elected experience than both Obama and Clinton, and more state legislative experience to boot. McKinney is NOT “washed up” - she is young and at the prime of her political career. She is not afraid to challenge the “spoiler” issue that is still raised against third parties, she is challenging the corruption of the two party system, questioning the integrity of our election system that uses flawed electronic voting machines, and McKinney actually speaks to and identifies with the disenfranchised non-voters in America and may be able to give them a voice and something to vote for.

    I strongly encourage Third Party Watch readers to NOT buy the media’s crap about McKinney and to do your own research. She’s a GREAT candidate for the Green Party.

  14. Jonathan Cymberknopf Says:

    It is still possible to draft Ralph Nader for the Green Party If the people vote he cannot say no and he will not ! Go Nader Go Greens !!

  15. Roer Grant Says:

    Isn’t she black?

  16. Not Yet a Green Says:

    Don Lake: Remember kiddies, that it is a [rigged] popularity contest! And slap happy Cindy is a ‘name’! [Oh, and lots of turned off Dems and GOPs might vote various protest candidates in district after district and state after state where said vote is already pre determed!]

  17. Matt, NJ Green Says:

    1. Yes McKinney is African-American, which would be great for the GP, as our party has a poor record of attracting non-whites.

    2. Nader personally told me he will NOT accept the nomination EVEN if the convention elects him (which he doesn’t think will happen). He said “it wouldn’t be fair to the other candidates” for him to take it. He was in NJ a few weeks ago when I asked him.

    3. since when was the LP “progressive”?? On war and social issues, yes. On economics and taxes… it’s 19th century capitalism run amok! Social Darwinism. Greens could never support that.

  18. Robert Milnes Says:

    Matt, it is not necessary for greens to support libertarianism or become libertarians for the strategy to work. It is a matter of vote coordination to not split the progressive vote. Nader & GP cannot win the executive ticket because of inadequate ballot access. By not endorsing Nader & endorsing the LP ticket the GP not only adds its votes, it also adds a few ballots, particularly Washington, D.C. Also that move attracts other voters making BOTH more inclusive. The rest of the ballots could be EITHER one Green OR one Libertarian, first come first served Honor System.

  19. Robert Milnes Says:

    People, if you want this to happen, you have got to speak up & make the moves. Time is running out. Candidates, get on your ballots & declare you support the Honor System. Greens, contact your party. Tell them to contact the LP to get a ticket you can support. Libertarians, at your convention nominate a ticket the greens can support. Pass the word.

  20. David Gaines Says:

    [tin foil hat] Why is someone who is allegedly running for the Libertarian Party nomination so enthusiastic about telling progressives in the Green Party for whom to vote? The Green Party is not in the business of endorsing other parties’ candidates, period. The one counter-example of this I can think of - Kevin Zeese’s 2006 US Senate race in Maryland - accomplished essentially nothing. The Libertarians may as well have run their own Senate candidate for all the long term good that was gained by this strategy. I would spend this energy promoting my own presidential campaign instead of wasting it on a pipe dream trying to unite all 3rd parties no matter how irreconcilable they are. [/tin foil hat]

    I don’t know how many times this has to be said - particularly on a 3rd party website where people presumably know better - but aside from two main issues (Iraq war & civil liberties), there is nothing attractive about the Libertarian Party for progressives. The Libertarian Party is not a progressive party, in the sense that that word is currently (and traditionally, for that matter) used. And this is coming from someone who was an LP & SLS activist before many people reading this were even born. I can’t think of a single Green besides Kevin Zeese (who probably doesn’t consider himself a Green anymore) who is anxious to align himself or herself, however temporarily or strategically, with a party whose platform represents a wish list of laissez faire capitalism.

    Back to the actual topic of this thread: Cynthia McKinney is going to get the nomination of the Green Party and I don’t think there’s anyone who’s more or less rational out there who thinks that that is not the case. Therefore, arguing over whether or not she OUGHT to be the GP candidate is a waste of time, unless you’re making that argument on behalf of Kat Swift, Kent Mesplay, or Jesse Johnson, all of whom are nice people but none of whom has a prayer of winning the nomination.

    As far as Ralph goes, I admire his refusal to accept the Green Party nomination (he therefore certainly can’t be accused of the things he was accused of in 2004 vis a vis the GP convention), assuming that that is indeed the case, but he should certainly make that position a lot clearer by way of an unambiguous and very public statement to that effect.
    I’m still a bit baffled at how his go-it-alone strategy is going to help build a permanent, party-centered alternative to the major parties, especially in down ticket races. He claimed at his campaign kickoff speech that they’re thinking of forming a new party but I see no evidence of that happening yet. And what would be the appeal of such a party when people already have the Green and Socialist parties from which to choose (and one-state-only parties in Vermont, South Carolina, California, etc.)?

    Finally, on another point that was raised, I think these Cynthia McKinney/Bob Barr/Alan Keyes-style defections only help the 3rd party cause, particularly if they continue. That may be the only thing that gets the leadership of the two parties to wake up and smell the coffee.

  21. Freelancer Says:

    Congratualtions on becoming a delegate Ronald. :)

  22. Laine Says:

    Well the draft Nader website listed some rather devious tactics used by McKinney supporters and the Green Party leadership used against Elaine Brown and Ralph Nader. If even half of that is true I am disillusioned by the Green Party and that leaves me feeling like the Green Party is not the vehicle for progressive change that I hope it would be.

  23. Sean Scallon Says:

    The fact that there are so many delegates pledged for Nader, even though he has said he is running as an independent, makes one think there is a anti-McKinney (white?) bloc out there just waiting for a candidate to vote for. Unfortunatley that potential candidate (Mike Gravel) is now a Libertarian so McKinney will win the Green nomination for lack of alternative.

    And yes Robert Milnes should either end his candidacy for the LP nomination support Gravel or shut up about any progressive-libertarian “alliance”. Put your money where your mouth is.

  24. Merlo Says:

    Congratulations to Cynthia and all the Green Party candidates! Keep going and going for our principles.

    No matter what you say, non-Green Party people, you can’t use us, Werk fer yer ewn perty, alreit?

  25. Ronald Kane Hardy Says:

    “...the draft Nader website listed some rather devious tactics used by McKinney supporters and the Green Party leadership…”

    In my opinion that was a “sour grapes” letter conceding that their effort to draft Nader had failed. They cast blame so wide and far they may as well have blamed the weather, the tides of the ocean, and Nader himself.

    My state, Wisconsin, was even singled out. We were accused of:

    “Much of the GPUS leadership is more dedicated to petty infighting and rule mongering than to the greater goals of the Green Party. He specifically mentioned party leaders in Wisconsin and Washington states, with whom his staff had recently had dealings.”

    I can attest to the fact that the Wisconsin Green Party bent over backwards to please the Draft Nader camp, and were in discussions with the Ralph Nader people as well (who are an entirely different group that the Draft Nader Greens). We extended our deadline to give more time for Nader to declare. We included a full page essay in our newsletter and voter guide by Howie Hawkins urging people to write in Ralph Nader. We made provisions to provide Nader delegates based on write ins. The only thing we refused to do was to put a name on our ballot of someone who had given no indication that he was seeking the Green Party nomination. We did this because this was what our membership instructed us to do, and because we did not want to deceive our voters by providing them a candidate to vote for who was not seeking our nomination. We stood by our principles despite being called many names by the Draft Nader Camp.

    And behold, he did not seek our nomination.

    For all the exceptions we made for the Draft Nader Greens, they chose to single us out as a reason Nader didn’t seek the GP nomination? Pah.

    If I were Ralph Nader, I wouldn’t seek the Green Party nomination either.

    But read it for yourself here.

  26. Laine Says:

    Well thanks for your clarification on that issue Ronald it is hard to know what is going on being isolated from active state parties. But in your shoes why would you suggest that Ralph not seek the nomination?

  27. Robert Milnes Says:

    David Gaines, the idea isn’t to unite all third parties which I believe Gravel said somewhere. The idea is to make the Green & Libertarian parties as inclusive as possible & coordinate their vote creating a de facto New Progressive Party. As we saw in 1912, the Progressive Party COULD WIN. & it is by far the best performance by a third party or independent in the past 100 years. We shouldn’t even count independents because even if one would win, which won’t happen, that person would arrive to a Dem & Rep Congress. Every legislative initiative, policy & appointment blocked; every veto overridden. & Forget trying to get the CP into a progressive alliance.

  28. Dave S Says:

    It’s true that in any party, some individuals will try to bend the rules to get what they want. It’s unfortunate and short-sighted, but I don’t think it’s cause for condemning the entire party, the vast majority of whose members are not engaging in any monkey business. Also, keep in mind that these accounts are usually biased; for example, I was all but convinced by Nader supporters that in 2004 Nader didn’t get the nod because of a conspiracy in the Green leadership, but a conversation with one of those alleged conspirators cleared up the real, much simpler reason Nader didn’t get it: he didn’t show up. After Nader has not only stayed out of the Green nomination process but also made it clear that he doesn’t want the nomination, it’s becoming unclear why some Greens insist that we should nominate him. As admirable as Nader is, better in the end to have a party than a cult of personality.
    Remarking on the UN Human Rights Commission, Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that the amount of human rights abuses in a country was inversely proportional to the amount of complaints from that country. The Green process is still much more democratic than that of either of the major parties, and it will only get better through dialogue. Hopefully most of that dialogue will be constructive and not of the ‘petty infighting’ variety.

  29. Robert Milnes Says:

    Sean Scallon, I beg your pardon. I am proceeding as I said I would. As the default progressive alliance candidate for the LP nomination. If Gravel gets the Nom & shows me the inclination to try it, I could be talked into joining his campaign as a paid Special Advisor. But that goes for whoever is the nominee. & I will generally support whoever is the party nominee, unlike Ron Paul.

  30. Laine Says:

    Well ending a cult of personality and building a party is probably why Mr. Nader has distanced himself from the Greens. In mainstream America Ralph Nader and the Green party have become synonmous so it seems. I’ll most likely support Mr. Nader this year considering his age it will most likely be his last campaign, afterwards I suppose the Greens are my best choice.

  31. Bryan Says:

    I agree with Dave S. above. But I would like to take it a step further.

    Many of Nader’s supporters are trying to claim that the Green Party has disenfranchised them, and that the GP is not working under the idea of Grassroots Democracy.

    It is Nader who disenfranchised his supporters, at least as far as their support of him in the Green Party is concerned. The various Green organizations bent over backwards for him. He was exempted from some of the requirements needed to be a recognized candidate. He was allowed time at the end of the San Francisco debate, without participating in it. Although he was not a declared candidate, Nader was allowed to be on several primary ballots. Even though he had/has a lead in the delegate count, he announced his candidacy for president, not as a Green but rather as an Indy.

    Nader removed any argument that he and his supporters were denied anything, because he NEVER declared himself a candidate. Nader didn’t go through the motions of running for the nomination…so how can he or his supporters claim that he was wronged? And, he stated at his Indy announcement that he would NOT be seeking the Green nomination.

    My only hope is that the “Nader Greens” vote for the Green Party down-ticket on November 4th. Otherwise he will have hurt the Party as much as he helped in the early years.

  32. Laine Says:

    I disagree that he is hurting the Greens at all when it comes to running his own campaign. By saying that you are on the line of saying Nader cost the Democrats the White House in 2000.

  33. Ronald Kane Hardy Says:

    In my opinion, Ralph Nader did the Green Party a HUGE favor by running for President on the Green Party ticket - especially in 2000. His anti-corporate message was well timed and he not only galvanized a movement he brought that movement into an alliance with the Green Party.

    Nader did not create the Green Party - it started as a political movement in the 1980’s in the US, and even earlier globally. The Green Party existed before Nader, and it will exist after Nader. Nader gave the US Green Party a massive push in 2000, and although it caused severe growing pains for the Greens, the Green Party should be grateful for what Nader did.

    Ralph Nader’s Independent campaign is what he wants to do. His driving issues are anti-corruption, opposing “corporate occupied” Washington, attacking the two party system, fighting for ballot access and electoral reform, etc. On these issues, as well as his opposition to the wars of occupation and to some degree the Environment, Nader is right inline with the Green Party. But lets face it - Ralph Nader is not a “party” kind of guy. He wants to build a movement, not a political party, and I’m glad he’s doing it. I’m glad he’s running. Me - I’m working on building the Green Party.

    But to seek the Green Party nomination for him would be a distraction from his mission. It would come with the baggage of having to work with the Green Party which he doesn’t need to do. He’s got his own people. He’s got his own network, his own fund raising lists, his own campaign, and he doesn’t need the Green Party to do what he is doing. Why should he seek the Green Party nomination.

    Nader could have had the Green Party nomination if he wanted it. If he had declared his intention to seek the nomination at any time in the last 3 years he would have had no serious opposition within the Green Party, he would just have to go through the motions. But instead Nader is letting the Green Party grow without him. He’s really doing the Greens yet another favor by NOT running as a Green.

    So that’s what I mean when I say “If I were Ralph Nader, I wouldn’t seek the Green Party nomination either.”

  34. Freeman Says:

    McKinney’s not African-American. She’s black. I’m not European-American. I’m white. I got a buddy from D. C. who traces his family history to Europe. He says he’s not European-American nor African-American. He calls himself black. I suppose Obama qualifies as African-American because his father’s Kenyan.

    Have you seen Romney lately? My sister saw him right up close a couple days ago, with McCain, on his way into a hotel in Denver. She said he must’ve been under tanlights a long while. I saw a photo of him in the Denver Post. He’s darker than Obama!

  35. Bryan Says:

    I still don’t see the logic saying a Nader campaign is not harmful to the Greens this year, but that is actually helpful in some way. When about half the Party is going to support another candidate in their campaign, how is that helpful?

    Laine, at the top of these comments you brought up a question that is like a worst case scenario for me…if the delegate count is very close at the convention, will Ralph’s supporters still attempt to get him the “endorsement”?

    Hardy, I wish all the draft Nader people would read your comment, and stop trying to force an unwilling Ralph, on the Green Party. He doesn’t want the nomination. Why can’t they face it?

    I guess I don’t understand why the Nader supporters don’t move on over to his campaign. Unless they run a down-ticket, I would hope that they would vote Green except at the “top spot”, and then in December return to the Greens so we can continue growing the Party.

  36. Freeman Says:

    McKinney’s got the nomination bagged. In November, she’ll get more votes than Nader mostly on account o’ she’ll be on the ballot in a lot more states.

  37. Robert Milnes Says:

    I came out early in the campaign against Ron Paul as bad for the LP & bad for the Progressive Alliance. It also was evidently bad for my polling as I have the worst negatives of all the LP candidates. But I’m right. And I have come out early against Ralph Nader as bad for the GP and the Progressive Alliance. Bet I’m getting bad polling in the GP. But I’m right again. The solution here is for the GP to endorse the LP ticket. Then get on as many down-ticket ballots as possible with ONE Green OR ONE Libertarian on EVERY ballot. Now, not that I care that much but I have a solution for the Florida & Michigan problem in the democratic campaign. Since an election is a lot like a poll. a poll could be taken or an average poll like on It would be about as quick & easy & fair & accurate & inexpensive as possible. This could easily be translated into percentage, total vote & winner & number of delegates in each state. But nobody listens to me.

  38. Steven R Linnabary Says:

    Observation from a Libertarian:

    I think it is unlikely that all of California’s 168 delegates will make the journey to Chicago, probably not even a majority. It’s just too far to travel for many working people.

    The LP and the Greens can and do work together on some issues. Here in Columbus, we got together to fight the county’s plan to build a hockey arena. The newspaper daily made sneering comments that the only opposition came from the LP & GP. It was great publicity for both of us. And, we won.

    A few years ago, I ran for local office. When I addressed the local Greens, I was treated with respect. I doubt I made any converts, that wasn’t my mission. But I undoubtedly got most of their votes.

    The local LP always invites GP candidates to address our meetings. There haven’t been many, the LP & GP are both quite small here. But Green candidates appreciate a civil, attentive audience and the chance to practice their “stump” speech.

    There is always the possibilty of working together on other projects in the future. I think a debate cosponsored by Greens and Libertarians for local school board or city council candidates would draw media attention. Neither party usually runs in those races, because of ballot access issues and the non partisan, at-large nature of those offices.


  39. Sean Scallon Says:

    Working together on issues of common interest (as Steve mentioned) is one thing. For the Greens to endorse the LP ticket (especially that could be headed by Bob Barr or Wayne Allyn Root) leaps the flights of fancy. And what do the Greens get out of the deal if they do so? It’s not like they’re going to choose the VP candidate nor staff the LP campaign or write the party platform. At least with the LP and CP there were areas of overlap that made transcendental figure like Ron Paul plausible to be the nominee for both parties (although getting on state ballots for both parties would still require some expensive legal battles). Other than the civil liberties issue and the war, there’s almost no overlap between the collectivist Greens and individualist LP. If individual Green voters want to vote for an acceptable LP candidate they can, but to expect the whole party to do so is incredibly silly

    As for Mr. Miles, I have to say you were the default progressive-libertarian candidate until a two-term U.S. Senator decided to join the party. You can either join him or be eclipsed.

  40. Robert Milnes Says:

    Sean Scallon, Gravel has not stated that he is willing to try the strategy more or less as I have described. It shouldn’t be just a passive message-vote for me greens; I endorsed one of you but now I am on the LP ballot so you should vote for me. Even this is getting ahead of ourselves. Gravel has not gotten the nomination yet. If I read my libertarians right, there is a lot of competition & opposition to his nomination. He might get the vp nomination instead. & whether that would be satisfactory to greens, I do not know. No, better I stay on. And what do the greens get out if it if they do? (endorse the LP ticket). First, it would be good if the GP notified the LP that it might be willing to do that in exchange for vote coordination. AND if the LP tried to nominate someone the greens could feel somewhat comfortable with at least. That’s why Barr seems problematic or even Ron Paul himself. Pretty far right for greens I would think. Assuming the executive ticket could be agreed on, that leaves what the greens would really get. More inclusion & a REAL possibility of actually winning in whatever remaining ballots they get on & keep as the ONLY green or libertarian on that ballot so as to not split the vote. So it is either politics as usual for BOTH the Libertarians & Greens OR give this strategy a try.

  41. Ronald Kane Hardy Says:

    If the Libertarians nominated Cynthia McKinney for President, I think it would be VERY easy for the Green Party to do the same!

  42. David Gaines Says:

    Ronald Kane Hardy: Good analysis of the Nader/Green Party dynamic up above. One other thing that people who haven’t been following Nader this year don’t seem to realize, and that is that he has been very charitable in his public statements regarding both the Green Party in general and the McKinney campaign in particular. Go and find video clips on the ‘net from his various speeches and TV appearances so far. He has only good things to say about the GP and it can be summed up the way RKH and others here have, which is to say that it’s time for the GP to go its own way and run its own candidates and get rolling on its post-Nader phase.

    The simplest answer to the often-asked question of how the Nader campaign could possibly help the GP this year when it is directly competing with it is that Nader is the 800 lb. gorilla in the 3rd party room. He attracts the media, he attracts the attention, he attracts the voters. He attracts people away from the major parties - people who may well decide the Green Party is a better fit for them, at least on the local level, and that decision would never have been reached absent a Nader presidential campaign.

    I don’t like independent presidential campaigns (I’m still skeptical of his claim that he’s forming a new national party) and I’m not supporting Nader/Gonzalez, but I certainly support their right to run, I’ll sign their ballot petition, and I’ll contribute money to them just as I will contribute to Cynthia McKinney and Brian Moore. I think in the long run a Nader campaign will only be beneficial to creating forward movement on the issues all of us on the 3rd party left care about. In other words, it will prove to be a net plus even if it seems counterintuitive in the short run.

    As for Robert Milnes:

    [tin foil hat]”David Gaines, the idea isn’t to unite all third parties which I believe Gravel said somewhere. The idea is to make the Green & Libertarian parties as inclusive as possible & coordinate their vote creating a de facto New Progressive Party.”[/tin foil hat]

    And I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for someone so devoted to 3rd parties to understand that you cannot fuse together - regardless of how short term or strategically - two parties who are at their core diametrically opposed. There would be a complete loss of integrity and credibility on both sides. And if philosophical or political integrity doesn’t mean anything to you, why not stick with the major parties? They’re experts at ditching integrity out the window.

    What’s the long term strategy? To stick mud in the eye of the major parties? That’s not appealing, that’s juvenile. There needs to be a strong connecting thread and there simply isn’t one besides something along the lines of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Libertarianism is not a progressive (translate: liberal) philosophy. Virtually no Greens are interested in forming any kind of alliance along the lines you describe with Libertarians and their insistence on guns for everybody, regulation-less free market capitalism, yadda yadda yadda.

    I have nothing against Libertarians - some of my best friends are Libertarians, as the saying goes, and I myself used to be one - but if you’re going to pound the pavement advocating a pipe dream, at least choose one that’s rational.

    [tin foil hat]”As we saw in 1912, the Progressive Party COULD WIN. & it is by far the best performance by a third party or independent in the past 100 years.[/tin foil hat]

    As anyone who is even passingly familiar with the 1912 election knows, the so-called “Progressive Party” was in reality the “Teddy Roosevelt Cult of Personality I-Hate-William-Howard-Taft Ballot Access Vehicle Party.” ANY party will do well with a famous ex-president as its candidate. It’s all about America’s obsession with celebrities (some things never change). I suggest you read James Chace’s illuminating book 1912 before you continue tossing out the so-called Progressive Party of TR as an example worth emulating today.

  43. John Murphy Says:

    No surprise there as the green party of Wisconsin was responsible for stopping the delegate allocation formula which was based on the principle of “one green; one vote”. Wisconsin is operated by Ben Manski who is one of the people that lied to Ralph Nader in 2004 telling him he had no support in the Green Party. There are three states which are solidly demogreen—Maine, Illinois and Wisconsin. A quick trip to the voting page will show you that Wisconsin, Maine and Illinois always vote in such a way as to accommodate the Democrat Party and to prevent democracy and independence from occurring in the Green Party .

    A good way to see how Wisconsin, Maine and Illinois destroy the Green Party would be to take a look at prop 321 and prop 323. Click on the word in the results column and compare how Pennsylvania voted as opposed to how Wisconsin voted. The greens in Wisconsin are essentially members of the PDA as are the greens in Illinois and Maine along with the 24 “paper states”. The paper states have less than a total of 2000 greens yet they will have 192 delegates at the convention. California, on the other hand which has 140,000 greens has had its delegates capped at 20% - 168 delegates instead of 336!

    It was people like Manski, Meyerson and Rensenbrink who decided back in 2000, after it was clear from Nader’s run that we could in fact be a significant factor in the elections, that the Green Party would no longer present any threat to the Democrat Party. That’s why they gave us David Cobb in 2004 and that’s why they gave us an anti-democratic delegate allocation formula so that going into 2008 we could not possibly choose Ralph Nader.

    Cynthia McKinney is a fine woman however she has no money, no name recognition and is expected to get less than 0.2% of the vote. In other words, she is a substitute for David Cobb. The GPUS will exist in name only by this time next year as we will have lost half of our ballot lines. Cynthia realizes that this is happening and has decided to use the 21 ballot lines of the Green Party to build her own Reconstruction Party.

    Unfortunately most greens don’t know what’s going on at the national level. This indicates that the Democrat Party Accommodationists in control of the National Committee and the steering committee have absolutely no regard for the grassroots. They have completely cut the Green Party leadership off from the grassroots so the majority of greens have no idea of the level of corruption in our National Committee and in our Steering Committee.

    John Murphy
    National Delegate

  44. Fred C. Says:

    “The GPUS will exist in name only by this time next year as we will have lost half of our ballot lines. Cynthia realizes that this is happening and has decided to use the 21 ballot lines of the Green Party to build her own Reconstruction Party.”

    Are you saying she’s going to completely takeover and reinvent the GP? Or split off activists/affiliates? I haven’t seen a peep about the Reconstruction Party since that manifesto was published.

  45. John Murphy Says:

    No Fred, Cynthia is creating her own party. The Reconstruction Party

    The Green Party will pretty much cease to be and a new progressive alternative party will come into existence as well in less than a year. It will probably be called The Populist Party.

    Ralph, Matt, Marakay Rogers and I are running on the “Independent Populist” ballot line in Pennsylvania and a number of other states which are currently considering disaffiliating from the GPUS will join this new party.

    The GPUS is structurally flawed. There is a small cadre of Democrat Party Accommodationists which maintains control through 24 “paper states” and supermajority voting which prevents any change in the status quo. In other words in order to get rid of the paper states, and therefore the Democrat Party Accommodationists we would need 67% of delegates to vote in favor of it. But that is simply not possible because Wisconsin, Maine and Illinois control the paper states and hence the majority of the delegates. These leaders are in diametric opposition to the grassroots but they are responsible for the death of the Green Party as an electoral alternative.

    Cynthia McKinney is simply making a very good decision. Since she realizes that she is being used by the Democrat Party Accommodationists (this group is usually called demogreens), why not use the 21 ballot lines of the Green Party to form the basis of a predominantly African-American “Reconstruction Party”. The Green Party has done an absolutely abysmal job in attracting African Americans.

    John Murphy

  46. Tom Yager Says:

    What John Murphy isn’t telling you is that under his own state’s proposal for delegate apportionment, California would have ended up with about 25% of the delegates to the convention. He’s trying to make an apples to oranges comparison of “registered Greens” to “members” in states without registration by party.

    He’s just making the rest of the stuff up:

    Murphy has no idea what McKinney is really thinking, so he’s putting words in her mouth.

    Proposal 323 is the rules for Presidential Nominating Convention and has nothing to do with Democratic Party.

    The Green Party of Wisconsin is not “operated” by Ben Manski. He’s not even involved in the state party’s leadership.

    He has no evidence that the so-called 24 “paper states” are controlled by the Green Parties of Illinois, Maine, and Wisconsin. It’s telling that he’s more interested in purging half of our state parties than trying to build them. It’s also telling that he is running on an opposition party’s slate while trying to stay on the highest decision-making body of the GPUS.

  47. Bryan Says:

    Mr. Murphy,
    You seem to be arguing a case that Ralph Nader has again been wronged, I would ask…How? Nader has specifically stated he is NOT running for the Green Party nomination. As I stated before, his “draft” organization made some headway, but without his participation. The Green Party allowed Nader to be a “recognized” candidate, even though neither he, nor his “draft” group, had fulfilled the requirements for this recognition.

    As to the rest of your post,”No surprise there”, you are a long time Nader supporter, even speaking for him at events. As his supporter I assume that you would fully support the Green “endorsement” of Nader, not the nomination…just the “endorsement”.

    Do you feel that Grassroots Democracy only exists in CA and PA? In the examples you gave, prop 321 and 323, you could flip EVERY vote in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Maine, DOUBLE California’s vote, and “your side” would still have lost the vote. The Green National Committee is there for all of us, not just those who live in CA or PA.

    I am a Cynthia McKinney supporter, and would have been even if Ralph had declared as a candidate. I realize that you put up the Reconstruction Party “jab” to possibly split her supporters, however, I posted an article on my blog about that possibility about a month ago. I have a “plan B”, Kat Swift. Kat is a long time Green activist, and I have little doubt that she will be there in 2009 and beyond. As my state convention draws near, I have to say that I am undecided about my vote. The one choice I don’t have is Nader…He is not seeking the Green Party nomination.

  48. John Murphy Says:

    Mr. Murphy,
    You seem to be arguing a case that Ralph Nader has again been wronged, I would ask…How? Nader has specifically stated he is NOT running for the Green Party nomination. As I stated before, his “draft” organization made some headway, but without his participation. The Green Party allowed Nader to be a “recognized” candidate, even though neither he, nor his “draft” group, had fulfilled the requirements for this recognition.

  49. John Murphy Says:


    Mr. Murphy,
    You seem to be arguing a case that Ralph Nader has again been wronged, I would ask…How? Nader has specifically stated he is NOT running for the Green Party nomination. As I stated before, his “draft” organization made some headway, but without his participation. The Green Party allowed Nader to be a “recognized” candidate, even though neither he, nor his “draft” group, had fulfilled the requirements for this recognition.

  50. Bryan Says:

    oooo I musta’ hit a nerve…Nothing to say about the rest of it?

    I’m getting better, I can get my message across three times in less than 20 minutes….

  51. John Murphy Says:

    Bryan, you have not identified the correct problem and it is just too bothersome to explain it. It’s kind of like, well, the reason that you’re failing algebra II is that you never understood algebra I and I just don’t have time to give you a remedial course in Algebra I and then try to expalin the quadratic formula. By now, of course, the problem has reached an entirely new calculus and I certainly have no time to teach you how to differentiate an equation when you don’t even understand Algebra I.

    I’ve been involved at the national level for the last four years. Neither Cynthia McKinney nor Ralph Nader have anything to do with the problem in the GPUS. They may be emblematic of the problems as they are currently manifest; they may be metaphors for the problem but Mr. Nader’s decision to run or not to run is as completely irrelevant as Ms. McKinney’s decision to run for our nomination.

    John Murphy
    National Delegate: GPUS
    State Delegate: GPPA
    Nominated GPPA Candidate: Representative in Congress

  52. Bryan Says:

    John, That’s one way of saying you can’t answer the questions I presented pertaining to your argument. You just used two complete paragraphs to say absolutely nothing.

    You may be a “National Delegate”, but on your website you list the following in order, ralph nader’s Indy run, GP, the reform party, and the libertarian party. So what is it, are the Greens the only progressive Party in PA? I have a hard time trusting anybody with the Reform Party and the Libertarian Party on the front page of their website, when they are supposedly Green. I may put links to them myself, on my links page, not on the front page.

    Impressive list of credentials, they seem to be growing. I guess if you have four years at the “national level”, you must have gained that seat just after you left the Nader campaign in ‘04.

  53. Ronald Kane Hardy Says:

    Since much of what John Murphy has said about Wisconsin is not true, I think it is fair to question the rest of his comments. The Wisconsin Greens are not members of PDA, we are not “demogreens”, we are not given orders by Manski, we are not “destroy(ing) the Green Party”. We are working to grow the Green Party, and we are focused on Wisconsin. I believe Greens should focus on local issues and bio-regional issues and grow the party from the ground up. All of this “demogreen” smack is just smoke - meaningless non-existent boogeymen to blame one’s troubles on.

    I think it is important to stay focused on the roots of the Green Party and the four pillars of the Green Party. What are we working for? How does name calling and “prop xyz” make our world a better place? Way too much energy is spent by folks fighting amongst themselves on the National Committee - energy that could be spent on local initiatives. It is a shame, really.

  54. Robert Milnes Says:

    David Gaines, I checked out 1912 by James Chace. Sorry. Not impressed.

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