Green Party: Red ink in Chicago bash: The Swamp
The Swamp

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) is leading contender for W.H. nomination

Posted July 11, 2008 6:15 AM

Cynthia McKinney speaks to supporters during an election night party in Decatur, Ga., after the polls closed in her run off with former Dekalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson for Georgia's Fourth Congressional Seat Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Swamp

by Rick Pearson

As Green Party members gather in Chicago to select a presidential nominee and try to turn their progressive activism into an established spot on the nation's ballots, they'll also be trying to raise some green to defray the costs of their political convention.

Party officials were forced to turn to some of their members last month for a no-interest loan of up to $15,000 to help pay expenses for the convention, which began Thursday and runs through Saturday, including an estimated $36,000 for food and $10,300 to hold the roll call to select a nominee at Chicago Symphony Center.

Profits from fundraising pitches, a passing of the hat, the sale of merchandise and a silent auction at the "Live Green, Vote Green" convention will be used to repay the loan, organizers said.

Scott McLarty, a Green Party spokesman, said the need to borrow money was a reflection "that we tend to exist on the state and local basis" and that the Greens are more decentralized than Democrats and Republicans.

"Because we are so locally grass-roots oriented, the emphasis in terms of money and structure tend to be at the lower levels. We're doing financially OK, but it's difficult," McLarty said, adding that the Greens refuse to accept corporate sponsorship money which will help fund the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Heading into the voting by Green Party delegates, former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) is far and away the leader among four contenders for the party's presidential nomination, holding 304.5 delegates with 419 needed to win.

Top of the Ticket has more on Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party.

McKinney and other Green leaders have acknowledged that winning isn't necessarily about gaining the presidency this fall, but more a matter of getting enough popular votes for the party to achieve automatic ballot access in the states.

The Greens expect to appear on the ballot in 40 states, though they have have easier ballot access in at least 22 states, including Illinois, where voter disgruntlement over the state's 2006 choices for governor between Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka helped earn Green Party governor candidate Rich Whitney more than 360,000 votes, or 10.4 percent of the vote. The vote for Whitney made the Greens an established political party in the state.

Earlier this year in Washington, McKinney chided a reporter who called her bid for the White House a "long shot," saying, "We define for ourselves what winning is." She said achieving 5 percent of the vote, a threshold in many states for gaining status as an established political party, was a "very concrete goal" of her candidacy.

As a congresswoman, McKinney has had her share of controversies including a scuffle with Capitol Police. McKinney, who was first elected to Congress in 1992, lost a bid for re-election in 2002, won her seat back in 2004 and lost in the 2006 primary.

In her presidential campaign, she has pushed for a quick end to the Iraq War and has promoted impeachment proceedings against the Bush administration. She also has advocated a 10-point human rights plan that includes integrity in the nation's voting system, full employment and reparations to African Americans over slavery--which has been a plank in the Green Party platform.

But prospects for Green success on the left may be hampered by the candidacy of presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama and the Illinois Democrat's pledges for a new kind of government and politics that has injected energy into the presidential contest.

Dennis Goldford, a professor of political science at Drake University in Des Moines, said third-party candidacies for president largely exert pressure on the Democratic and Republican parties rather than provide a realistic shot at winning the White House.

"Minor parties exist to some extent to make a point and where they succeed is when the major parties feel so threatened by the third parties that the major party takes over their issues," Goldford said. "Mostly they exist to make a point--to hold the two major parties' feet to the fire." While the term "green" may be in, as the nation looks at combating carbon emissions and rising energy prices, the Green Party has had its share of problems.

After Ralph Nader's 2000 run on the Green Party ballot gained nearly 2.9 million votes nationally, the party's fortunes fell dramatically four years later. In 2004, Nader ran as an independent and got more than 460,000 votes while the Green Party's presidential candidate, David Cobb, got about 120,000 votes.

While the convention site of Chicago was chosen, in part, to promote the Green Party becoming an established political party in Illinois, the Greens also have had problems in their attempts to field candidates this fall. Though they expect to field about 50 candidates to various offices across the state's ballot, the State Board of Elections last month sided with objections raised by the Democratic Party and kicked four Green congressional candidates off the November ballot. The four were chosen to fill vacancies following the state's Feb. 5 primary, but the board ruled the Greens failed to follow proper procedures to slate candidates.

Another Illinois Green congressional contender, 75-year-old Vic Roberts, a retired Downstate coal miner who had previously made repeated bids for office as a Democrat, died last weekend after marching in Taylorville's July 4th parade.

Digg Delicious Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo


Writer Rick Pearson neglected to mention that despite Israel's leading role in environmental technology, the Green Party has been strongly anti-Israel for years. Furthermore, former Rep. McKinney's voting record and campaigns have seethed with anti-Israel and antisemitic overtones. In a tv interview, her father, also a Georgia politican, said her problem was "J-E-W-S." Is the Green Party focusing on environmental issues or bigotry?

Cynthia McKinney is the epitome of a nut job to head the Green Party a socialist leftist group. She is certifiably crazy which you would need to be to run for office in this crazy party.Her antics like hitting Capitol policemen give her cred in this party.
The Green Party is a bunch of losers. Jerry White, Springfield, IL

Can't resist. So the Green Party is short of the "long green" hey? Maybe they can contact their kin in California, although they're busy saving river smelt in Sacramento while killing off the valley farm economy by depriving them of the water they need for crops.

McKinney's not a nice woman and one might have to question her sanity after some of the boneheaded things she's done in the not-too-distant past.

Or ... at least question her intelligence.

Regardless, with her at the top of the ticket, it's very difficult (ie -impossible) for any one (established political party, or layman) to take the Green party seriously.

The hardest part for the Greens in America is getting over the nearly complete media blackout. Aside from this blog entry how many times has the Baltimore Sun published a printed article about the Greens in the 2008 election cycle?

Jerry, Greens aren't socialists. If you want to connect with socialists you can join one of the several socialist parties.

Can't resist. So the Green Party is short of the "long green" hey? Maybe they can contact their kin in California, although they're busy saving river smelt in Sacramento while killing off the valley farm economy by depriving them of the water they need for crops.
Posted by: Cyndee | July 11, 2008 9:25 AM

California's water issues are more complex than you realize. The greed for water is destroying the ecosystem there.

But, I'm disappointed that the Green Party seems to have wilted from its momentum in the last IL governor election. I was really hoping for a new choice in the voting booth.

I like what the Green Party stands for, and we need a viable alternative to the RepubliCrat duopoly that's running this country into the ground, but I am dismayed at their embrace of McKinney - she's a complete buffoon.

The key phrase here is "FORMER"
And that's what it should remain. This woman was an embarrassment to the
fine state of Georgia. And it is totally impossible for this women to help the Green party. Why she can't help herself. My advise get a real job and be a useful part of society and pay your taxes like everyone else.

Cynthia McKinney rocks--I'd like to see her as the Dem veep.
But I won't vote Green until we get the instant runoff second choice ballot on board. Otherwise, you're wasting your votes.
How great it will be when we have a safe alternative---We can push the Obama types to STAY TO THE LEFT and get the Repug crazies calmed down a bit. And of course, maybe our candidate will win.
But at least we won't give our vote away to the Bushie types like the Nader voters did last time.

Cynthia McKinney's views are entirely in keeping with the Green Party's 10 Key Values. Cynthia McKinney's views are entirely in keeping with the Green Party's 10 Key Values. The Greens are running a social justice ticket this year. If you're not into progressive politics and you don't like strong black women, then the Greens may not be the ticket for you.

It is an error to question Ms McKinney's sincerity or to slander her with anti-Semitism. She has been outspokenly opposed to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Like President Carter, she has called for a balanced approach to the Middle East peace process, an approach that would look to create the best possible resolution for all parties. If you don't think that's possible, look to another candidate.

Some people will be voting for Nader, because of his history and his more constitutionalist message. That's fine. Some people will vote for Barr because they want to throw all the rascals out. That's OK too I guess. Some people will vote for McCain or Obama and are already preparing themselves for the profound disappointment that is sure to follow. I can't really get on board with that, but I understand it.

At a time when income disparities and the grown of prisons have grown under both Democratic and Republican Presidencies, its time for a social justice campaign that will connect local activists with a national vision. The McKinney campaign will be an activists campaign, and will certainly help grow the Green Party after the disaster of 2004.

It's obvious that this report was written by someone with utter contempt for the Green Party. It sounds like the reporter believes the Greens should raise millions in corporate donations and basically sell out instead of raising money from ordinary citizens. I am actually at the convention, and I went into the media office and asked about the budget, and the guy who coordinated the convention budget just happened to be working at the press credential table. What he said was that the party leadership approved a loan if needed but one hasn't been taken out through a bank.

I'm not sure where Rich Pearson go this information, but he might actually want to try talking to people who know what they're talking about.

What a different view the reporter presents from the convention I attended. I saw and heard hundreds of people supporting democracy and real reform, by the people, for the people, than I've ever heard in mainstream media.

The democrats and republicans hardly even touch representative government the way it was meant to be - by the people, for the people, the Green Party way - but are still beholden to pleasing George W. Bush, Wall Street/big biz and their big donors. The "usual suspects" from the democrats and republicans are more more concerned about their personal careers than the constitution, and certainly do not represent hard working Americans. And congress' unprecedented low, single-digit approval rating confirms, this government no longer represents American citizens.

Look at the constant funding and re-funding for the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq at $720 million per day, approval for big telecom immunity for blantant and confirmed illegal acts (a huge "get out of jail free" card), and ongoing "royalty relief" for big oil that is setting records for unbelievably huge profits. Then there's the impending taxpayer funded bailout for Wall Street based upon the over-the-top greed of sub-prime mortgage lenders preying upon Americans.

When will the corporate charity, big business welfare and military industrial handouts end?! When will Americans speak up and say, enough is enough, already. We see through the double-speak and are looking at actions taken by congress and the president, rather than fluffy promises.

And for some of the comments, obviously by some very opinionated people who have never bothered to visit and reading what the Green Party stands for and what its candidates uphold.

This is what the convention was about - and how to restore democracy in America, as it was intended by the founding fathers and the Constitution.

If anyone at the Tribune or the other status quo supporters were to have read about the Green Party and the Ten Key Values, this article would have contained relevant information and informed comments, both of which are lacking.

The Green Party must really be confused and desperate. After watching Cynthia McKinney's behavior, hitting the Capitol Hill police officer, in 2006, I couldn't imagine her running for dog catcher. Why would anybody in their right mind elect McKinney to anything ... let alone the Presidency of the United States?

I assume one of McKinney's slavery reparations checks would not go to Baarck since he is not the descendant of slaves.

Gina- memory problems? She was not prosecuted, and the allegation actually was that she poked the officer with her cell phone when he accosted her.

There needs to be some balance and reasonableness, that has been sorely lacking from law enforcement since their unchecked and unaccountable empowerment under the Bush-Cheney regime. People and their rights need to be respected.

For the facts, check here:

Grand jury declines to indict Cynthia McKinney.

No charges, no conviction, nothing, nada. She is completely exonerated.

A grand jury is a prosecutor's tool. It hears only one side of the story - the prosecutor's best scenario - and if there was even a shred of any type of evidence, regardless of how unreliable or biased, the grand jury would have indicted.

Post a comment

(Anonymous comments will not be posted. Comments aren't posted immediately. They're screened for relevance to the topic, obscenity, spam and over-the-top personal attacks. We can't always get them up as soon as we'd like so please be patient. Thanks for visiting The Swamp.)

Please enter the letter "v" in the field below: