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Green Party hold Oregon convention this weekend

Will choose between Nader and Cobb.
The Oregonian
June 4, 2004

Pacific Green Party ready to weigh in on Nader

Oregon members will pick 19 delegates to the national convention, which may play a key role in the 2004 race


Oregon's Pacific Green Party will decide this weekend whether to throw its weight behind Ralph Nader's independent presidential candidacy or to back a candidate from within the party's ranks.

Party members will meet Saturday at Portland State University to choose 19 delegates to the national Green Party convention later this month in Milwaukee. The Oregon convention, which will continue Sunday, is open to voters who have been registered in the Pacific Green Party no later than April 28.

The national Green Party's decision could play an important role in the presidential race. If Nader were to receive the party's endorsement, that would help him qualify for 16 state ballots, including in Oregon.

Nader, who ran twice before under the Green Party banner, has faced difficulty in several states -- including Oregon -- in qualifying for the ballot as an independent. Many Democrats blame Nader for costing them the 2000 election, a charge that Nader rejects.

Under state election law, the Pacific Green Party would have to hold an additional nominating convention to put Nader on the ballot here.

Many Green Party members are pushing to nominate another candidate. At this point, the candidate with the most pledged delegates is David Cobb, a veteran party activist who ran for Texas attorney general in 2002.

"I think there's pretty much two camps," said Blair Bobier, a Pacific Green activist who is Cobb's media coordinator. "It's Nader and Cobb, basically."

Bobier said Cobb has recognized the perception that the Greens could play a spoiler role in the election by pledging to concentrate his effort in states where the race between President Bush and Democrat John Kerry is not close.

As many as 200 Pacific Green Party members are expected to attend the convention, said Jeff Cropp, the convention coordinator. In addition, the party is accepting absentee ballots from party members; it has received about 50 so far, he said. The party has about 14,000 voters in Oregon.

More information can be found at www.pacificgreens.org or by calling the Portland office of the party at 503-235-0300.

Jeff Mapes: 503-221-8209;  jeffmapes@news.oregonian.com

homepage: homepage: http://www.pacificgreens.org

Tre, et al. 05.Jun.2004 05:19

Bern Haggerty

1. Although I am an outsider to Oregon, I would like to respectfully nominate Tre Arrow as a Green candidate for a high-profile office in Oregon. I have been following his refugee case, and I think he is exactly what we should expect from our leaders today. You all may know something I am missing, but as a Green, I would like to see our party shaped as a party of active resistence, not just (but in addition to) another ballot choice.

2. After reading the Nader interview posted here, I am leaning toward Ralph again. I lke David, and I think he has good indeas about party building. But, I think this "safe-states" strategy is a little too give-up-ish. Nader sounds more and more like a "safe voter" campaigner, which is the same thing as a "safe-states" strategy, but empowers voters everwhere instead of just a handful of states. Also, I think Nader projects a unique image, especially in the Middle East, as a son of Lebanese immigrants. We tend to think of Nader as non-racial, or white, because he is after all the model public citizen. I include myself because I have made this mistake in the past, publically and regret it. I don't know what Nader's racial or ethnic self-image is like, but he is definately seen by arab-american immigrants, and I am guessing by many living in the Mid-East, as an exception to the white America Empire. This effect is beyond David's reach.

3. I also like Carol Miller. She has said she is a Pro-Nader nominee on New Mexico ballot, but I think she would be a good President. Of all the candidates Carol has the best claim to being a "better Democrat" on health care reform. She was part of the 1990-92 reform effort that collapsed when Democrats failed to act like Democrats. She has the legitimacy of knowing something about health care. Carol is also a great role model for women, something Greens need in any activity, including elections.

4. Of all potential candidates Winona LaDuke would be the best candidate for US President, even better than Nader, I think--if only someone could convince her to run. The very best thing for America's world image would be a Presidential campaign by a woman of color living in one of America's occupied territories, promoting sustainable energy, real democracy, and self-determination.

So, good luck today Greens.

Bellingham, WA

Seriously, though 05.Jun.2004 07:47

jest askin'

I have voted several times for Green party candidates, including Nader in 1996. I might even join the Green party except I have a complete disagreement about the strategy of running a presidential candidate in the current situation. I think Green party success depends on promoting local candidates in winnable elections. But I cannot comprehend the value of running presidential candidates in unwinnable situations. The last four years of horror are clear evidence that that is a failed strategy.

I'd respectfully suggest to any serious Greens who might read this that you re-consider this failed approach, and that you listen to the millions of green-thinking progressives who might join you locallly, if you would only recognize the real threat to our liberty that the Bush fascists represent on the national scene. Otherwise you risk remaining frozen at the 3% margin of politics.

I know a withering barrage of flame posts will follow this question, but I am not asking it as flame bait, or to annoy anyone. I sincerely believe the cause of progress in environmental and social justice has been set back tremendously by the current Green party strategy in regard to national elections. My question is, what is the strategic reasoning behind the decision to run a presidential candidate at this time?

Thanks in advance to any serious responses.

One Green Answer 05.Jun.2004 17:49

Bern Haggerty

First, I am looking for an update on the state convention. Any news on nominations, platforms, forthcoming actions?

Second, why run a Green Presidential candidate in this election? If you read the earlier Nader-Buchanan interview post, you will get a sense of the voters Nader is trying to attract: generally Republicans opposed to Bush's wreckless spending. And, considering Nader got the Reform Party nimination, I think this might actually work against Bush. Imagine for a moment who Nader might select as a running mate consistent with this strategy. All in all, I think this is a pretty safe strategy, and it even appears consistent with Green values. I am not sure about the tax ideas, but at least they are creative. So, the short answer is a Nader campaign is headed toward taking votes away from Bush.

Here are some slightly longer answers. Considering the thorough brainwashing the Democrats and the mass press have dished out--any Greens who don't vote for the Democrat in this election are not,. and will never be, swing voters. I, for example, will never vote for Democrats who support illegal invasions, cluster bombing, mass murder, prison turture, the Patriot Act, etc.--even if they were the ONLY party on the ballot. So, don't worry about loosing my vote; the Democrats never owned it to begin with.

This doesn't answer the question about running a Green presidential candidate, but as I have explained before, I think Nader is the Green candidate likely to have the greatest positive effect on global justice, AS A CANDIDATE. Here is a concept I have also considered: aside from ethnicity, Nader seems to have the best cross-cultural competency of all the candidates (inside and outside of the Green party).

Finally, here is my personal reason to reject the "give-up, go-away, wait-until-some-other-election" agrument. What political party has done the most to de-legitimize, obstruct, and embarass the American Military Empire in the last two yeaars? Not the Democrats, most of them, including Kerry fell over each other to support war [and, notably, to put their personal stamps of approval on the DOD system of torture prisons, which the proudly inspected in person]. Not Labour in UK, not the Liberals in Canada. But across the Globe, the Green Party has played a significant, if not the decisive role, in thwarting American Imperial expansion.

Recall Autumn, 2002 and the negotiations over a UN Resolution. Sensing trouble ahead, the General Assembly elected Germany as the at-large Security Council member. Germany obliged by agressively opposing the Empire's war plan, forcing a delay of probably about six months all together, and setting the invasion up for failure, or at least a crisis of legitimacy.

The Democratic Party had nothing to do with this. In fact, the Democrats were simultaneously making themselves look at least as tough as Bush--even upping the ante by demanding a bigger war budget than he had requested. Don't let the election hysteria erase your memory of Democratic Party atrocities.

The political party responsible for destroying the Empire's legitimacy is the only GLOBAL political party today: the Green Party. Why support a Green Party presidential candidate in the United States? The answer is that a Green Party presidential candidate in the US builds Green Parties around the globe.

We really cannot afford to wait for the Democratic Party to create a global civil society movement that will confront the American Empire. We need a global political movement to promote a just civil society NOW! And the Green Party is really the only thing that approches this today.

In addition to planning for Green Party resistence on November 2, though, I think we need to seriously disrupt, embarrass, and if possible destroy the American Military Empire TODAY! Think about what might happen in the next five months. We cannot just sit around waiting for some election. Here's my suggestion: Let's use June 30 as a day to transfer power to a democratically-elected American government. Is there some reason Iraq should be allowed to replace its arbitrarily appointed military government before we replace our arbitrarily-appointed military government?

Obliterate the American Military Empire on June 30!

But, if this falls through, Vote Green National, State, Local, and Global in November.

We cannot afford to waste another election being dragged down into war by the Democrats and Republicans.

How's that?

Peace, Bern Haggerty.