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The End of the Green Party?

"The "safe states strategy", championed by officers like Phil Huckelberry and a sizable number of other Green Party delegates, emptied the Green Party's treasury, lost over 50,000 members, as well as the ballot lines gained by Ralph Nader's candidacy of 2000.

Those officers still remain in charge."
While the Democratic Party refuses to impeach President Bush, continues to fund the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan through 2009, spreads the same lies about Iran's nuclear ambitions, and gives the administration a blank check for domestic spying, what are the leaders of the Green Party up to?

Fasten your safety belts kiddos because they are doing some astonishing things.

Tearing Open Old Wounds

After Ralph Nader spoke to the Greens during their national convention in Reading, Pennsylvania last July, the party looked incredibly united. Collectively they seemed to recognize that in order to be a party of opposition they better start acting like one now by distancing themselves from the failed policies of old. Within hours, however, a principal architect of the disastrous David Cobb "safe state strategy" in 2004 immediately began to unravel the unity of the Greens.

Under the guise of what was purported to be a unification proposal titled "We Will Run", Phil Huckelberry, a vocal delegate from Illinois, opened up all the old wounds of 2004 by insulting the majority of Green Party members by condemning those who voted not only for the corporate candidate John Kerry, but also those who backed independent candidate, Ralph Nader.

The first question one might ask is why does the Green Party still have an officer in place that helped devastate the party by supporting a losing strategy in 2004? As it turns out, not only is Huckelberry still a delegate to their National Committee, he has also been promoted to their Steering Committee.

The Greens like to tell us how much they hate corporate crooks, yet with Huckelberry they have emulated the very worst of corporate America by promoting an insider who was party responsible for a major tactical failure in 2004.

In any normal business setting, a manager who is responsible for lost revenues, customer depreciation, and closing of plants would resign in anticipation of being fired. Only the worst, the real corporate criminals, reward such employees. The Green Party has chosen a surprising model to emulate. The "safe states strategy", championed by officers like Phil Huckelberry and a sizable number of other Green Party delegates, emptied the Green Party's treasury, lost over 50,000 members, as well as the ballot lines gained by Ralph Nader's candidacy of 2000.

Those officers still remain in charge.

In an effort to head off an impending disaster, John Murphy, a delegate from Pennsylvania and a longtime Nader supporter, offered his own amendment to counter Huckelberry's.

"My proposal would have fixed Huckelberry's proposal and guaranteed almost unanimous support," says Murphy. "But Huckelberry ignored the amendment until seven hours prior to the vote, which allowed delegates to tear each other apart for almost a month. We had almost been healed, but not now."

Such persistent divisiveness seems to only exist within the rank and squalor of the Green Party, which does not function like a democratic parliamentary body. Instead of operating under "Roberts Rules of Order", the Green Party's National Committee runs under a bizarre system called "Consensus", which was designed as a budgeting tool for the Quakers. A Consensus approach might be of some use to a monolithic religious organization, but it was never intended for a highly diverse political party.

Little things like the democratic process don't seem to bother the Green Party leaders all that much anyway; they gave the Green Party a presidential candidate in 2004 that only received a meager 12% of the vote in the primaries. The Green leaders believe in minority rule instead of majority rule. And they practice just that. Literally, in the Green Party ruling bodies, you must have super majorities -- 20% of the Green Party officers can overrule 80% of the Green Party officers.

With the Green Party delegates busy tearing each other apart, Murphy took his frustration a step further and called for the resignation of those responsible for the disaster of 2004. Not an unreasonable request.

Instead of those officers resigning, however, Murphy was removed from the Green Party's National Committee internet discussion groups by "forum managers" who are, as you might imagine, controlled by the Demogreens (the name given to those Greens who remain philosophically joined at the hip to the Democrat Party and were the "safe state strategists" of 2004). All Murphy had done was publicly oppose his party's failed leadership.

The End of Debate and Dissent

The Demogreens could not risk another Murphy calling for their resignation, so they are now voting on another proposal that will stifle debate and put an end to any dissent within the delegates' email discussion groups. The argument, and proposal, goes something like this: There are a few Greens who post too often so rather than letting the delegated decide what they read, the Greens have opted to prevent everyone from posting more than one letter per day. Apparently the Green Party delegates just can't handle excessive free speech. Of course the Greens could move to a blog format or even an online forum -- which would seem like a perfect solution.

Nonetheless, one thing you have to admire about the Greens is their transparency. They actually let the public see these silly proposals. Anyone can go to  http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/index and get an education as to how the officers of the Green Party really operate.

Green Party Turns Hard Right

Green delegates from Tennessee have recently advanced a proposal which they call "Moving the Money from Wall Street to Main Street". Certainly sounds innocuous enough. Tragically the delegates from Tennessee based their proposal on a presentation made to the Green Party delegates at their convention by a woman named Catherine Austin Fitts.

Ms. Fitts, a Republican, was Assistant Secretary of Housing in the administration of George Bush Sr. and now supports libertarian causes. Why was Fitts invited to talk to the Green Party about banking issues? Nobody really knows. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the associates of Catherine Austin Fitts is Franklin Sanders, a leading thinker in the extreme right-wing Constitution Party. Sanders is also chairman of the Tennessee chapter of "The League of the South", yes, from the same state of the Green Party delegates who offered the proposal in the first place.

The League of the South is quite an outfit. They advocate the ideology of "kinism", and would outlaw racial intermarriage and non-white immigration, expel all "aliens" (including Jews and Arabs), limit the right to vote to white landowning males over the age of twenty-one, and re-institute black slavery. The Green Party is about to adopt a proposal based on the philosophy of people like Fitts and Sanders. One has to wonder who would influence these guys if they were savvy enough to win elections.

Nader Greens to the Rescue, Again

When the Green Party delegates from Tennessee were made aware of the implications of supporting a proposal based on the motives of Fits and Sanders by delegates from New Jersey, Liz Arnone and Gary Novosielski (both Nader Greens) -- the folks from Tennessee decided to keep it anyway by simply removing the names of Sanders and Fitts.

Take the gun, leave the cannoli.

However, simply removing the names of the libertarian banker and the racist leader from The League of the South is still an open endorsement of these people and their positions. Who knows, maybe the Green Party delegates are just the most politically naÔve leaders of any party in the nation. In any event, politically naÔve or intentionally destructive, the Greens certainly do not need folks like this in leadership positions.

Ralph Nader may very well pull the Green onions out of the fire if he runs on their ticket in 2008 by restoring many of their lost ballot lines. Nader would also increase their membership and replenish their treasury. The question simply remains: How long after November 11, 2008 will it take the people who savaged the Green Party in 2004 to squander the political capital once again gained by a Nader presidential campaign?

The Demogreens work pretty damn quickly. My guess is, given its current leadership and their juvenile antics, by 2009 the last chapter will have been written and the book closed on the Green Party of the United States. A sad ending to a story which began with such noble aspirations.


same ol Counterpunch at it once more, beating up on victims 04.Sep.2007 16:34

instead of the Democrats or Republicans

In my opinion, just another fear-mongering trash piece which is all "Counterpunch" is good for.

John Murphy 05.Sep.2007 12:13

Brian the Green

I've encountered John Murphy over the years and the guy is a psychopath. I'm actually shocked that Frank uses him as a source. I wouldn't trust anything the guy said. He is bad news.

I was on a Green message board for Oregon Greens. John Murphy would come in and post under many different names without revealing the fact. This was discovered by someone who knew how to trace computer addressess. He was doing similar things on other forums as well. When called on it, he became beligerent and physically threatening. He was banned from the board.

Subsequent to that, PA greens VOTED NOT to have John Murphy represent them in a US Senate race. Frank, in an earlier article, chalked that up to the Greens being infultrated by Dems. I chalked it up to the fact that John Murphy is a nut case.

Here is a post from our July 2004 forum:

Thanks Ed. We had a vague idea Mr. Murphy was playing the old multiple
alias email address game. Murphy has pretty much revealed himself as a
political imposter by expressing homophobic, chauvinistic, and racist
attitudes. I got a few emails from him attacking my "racial-genetic"
quality so its seems pretty clear he thinks like a nazi (typical
far-right republican). As redbird suggests Murphy is probably a paid
republican operative. Apparently the GOP is employing nazified street
gang members now. MF
__________________________/---From: .....@post.com -
(Ed Warner) Date: Tue, Jul 13, 2004, 6:45pm (PDT+2) To:
ohioleft@.....com -
For those of you interested over thirty email addresses on the ohioleft
list share the same telephone access line. The most prominent list
participator on that line is named John A. Murphy, johnamurphy @
comcast.net . The most logical conclusion is the many names and email
addresses (mostly yahoo) are coming from the same residence and probably
the same computer in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Regards, Ed

Joshua Frank is a shitty journalist 05.Sep.2007 12:19

Brian the Green

I think Frank's report of our demise is a bit premature. As long as we have ballot access, we'll survive. The GP is the only party that represents my progressive values. Here is a report on our national status from Ballot Access News.

Constitution, Green, Libertarian Ballot Access Now, Compared to 4 Years Ago
September 5th, 2007
Source: www.Ballot-access.org

The United States currently has only three minor parties that regularly appear on ballots in states containing a majority of electoral votes, in presidential elections. Those three are the Constitution, Green and Libertarian Parties. Interestingly, the three parties are in virtually exactly the same position today as they were exactly four years ago, relative to ballot status.

For years ago, Libertarians were on in 26 states, Greens were on in 20 states, and the Constitution Party was on in 10 states. Currently, Libertarians are again on in 26 states, Greens are again on in 20 states, and the Constitution Party is now on in 14 states, an improvement.

None of the three parties has completed any petition drives in an entire year. However, Libertarians are over halfway done in Arkansas, Nebraska, North Carolina and Utah. Greens are over halfway done in Arkansas. The Constitution Party is mostly done in Missouri and South Dakota.

the Green 'movement' is dead in its tracks 05.Sep.2007 13:53


The Green's sold themselves initially as a radical alternative to the status quo; however, EVERYWHERE the Green's have gained governmental power, they've transformed into compliant tools of capitalist imperialism.

So why should anyone in the US give them any support? Why cannot Green advocates explain the actions of their fellow Greens in other countries, they in fact pretend such sell-outs never existed, or continue to exist on a daily basis.

Any party that does not diametrically oppose the current system and offer a new program for society ends up like the Greens: recruited to be compliant tools of the existing order.

You are wrong Rosa 05.Sep.2007 15:52

Brian the Green

Where are your facts?

What is your alternative?

Google "Elected Green Party" or something similar and you'll find plenty of evidence of extremely progressive agendas:

Pro environment
Pro labor
Pro poor
Pro peace

Google some names like:

Joyce Chen, Alderwoman, New Haven, CT
Wangari Maathai
Gayle McLaughlin, Mayor, Richmond, CA

Here are some more facts:

Commentary: Election Wins For Green Party Were State-Wide
By Chris Kavanaugh (11-28-06)
As Published in the Berkeley Daily Planet

The November election results represented an important political breakthrough for the Green Party of California. Nationally, including California, the Green Party fielded 375 candidates for 66 different elected offices in 38 states. Prior to the November general election, the party held at least 223 local, municipal, county and state elected offices nationwide.

In a dramatic election development, Green Party of Contra Costa County candidate Gayle McLaughlin stunned local Bay Area political observers by capturing the City of Richmond mayor's office.

In terms of population and significance, Richmond is one of Northern California's largest cities after San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento and Oakland. Mayor-elect McLaughlin defeated a sitting Democratic Party incumbent mayor seeking re-electionóby any measure, a remarkable and nearly unprecedented electoral accomplishment.

Ms. McLaughlin's victory against incumbent Richmond mayor Irma Andersonówho brazenly accepted $110,000 from Chevron Oil, Pacific Gas and Electric and other corporate interests during her campaignósent a political shock wave across the Bay Area by highlighting the Green Party's organizational maturity and strong progressive values. True to her Green Party principles, Ms. McLaughlin refused corporate contributions during her campaign.

Meanwhile in Oakland, Green Party City Council candidate Aimee Allison received a solid 46 percent vote total in an unsuccessful but spirited effort to topple incumbent Councilmember Pat Kernighan, an establishment politician backed by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and corporate real estate developer interests.

Along with Oakland mayor-elect Ron Dellums' earlier election victory, Ms. Allison's strong progressive campaign has arguably transformed Oakland's political landscape: the progressive movement centered around Ms. Allison's campaign has injected new political energy and space into Oakland that is now acting to counteróand confrontóthe entrenched political forces that have operated in Oakland with impunity for decades.

In a testament to the political momentum generated by Ms. Allison's campaign, during the City Council campaign's final weeks, Ms. Allison's Democratic Party opponent desperately repackaged herself as a progressive candidate in her literature, and attempted to distance herself from her closest City Council ally, Ignacio de la Fuente, whose Council office is currently under FBI investigation for corruption.

In Berkeley, incumbent City Councilmember Dona Springóthe longest serving Green Party City Councilmember in the nationówon re-election with a 70 percent vote margin. An unprecedented four Green Party candidates (seeking five open seats) won commissioner seats on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board.

In Sonoma County, the City of Sebastopol maintained its Green Party City Council majority by re-electing Larry Robinson. Green Party City Councilmembers have served as a majority in Sebastopol for six consecutive years, since 2000.

In San Francisco, Green Party Board of Education candidate Jane Kim captured first place out of 15 total candidates seeking three open School Board seats. A second Green Party candidate won a city Community College Board seat.

Outside of California, Illinois Green Party governor candidate Rich Whitney captured 11 percent of the statewide vote, a historic margin matched only by a third party candidate 86 years ago. Mr. Whitney's vote total enabled the Green Party to receive ballot status in Illinois, the first time a national third party has achieved ballot status since 1920.

Meanwhile, Maine Green Party governor candidate Pat LaMarche won 10 percent of her state's vote, another historic vote total. Also, Green Party-supported or promoted ballot measures calling for US troop withdrawal from Iraq passed in at least 150 municipalities and cities across Wisconsin, Illinois and Massachusetts, including the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee.

The 2006 election was an unqualified success for the Green Party as the party continues to make important gains in membership, political recognition and ballot access both in California and nationally.

by Chris Kavanaugh is a Berkeley resident.