Tag Archives: Green Party

Crowd Chants ‘Let Her Speak’ As Green Party Candidate Forcibly Ejected from Debate

Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, was physically ejected from a Monday Goucher College senatorial debate featuring Republican and Democratic candidates after she took the stage in defiance of a last-minute rule change that reportedly caused her to be disinvited from the event.

Dramatic footage seen above captured the moment when audience members chanted “Let her speak” as she was being forced out of the building. Some audience members rushed the stage to argue in favor of allowing her to speak and were also subsequently ejected.

Dr. Flowers was invited by the Baltimore Jewish Council to participate in early January. The forum had been scheduled for February 24th and Flowers accepted the invitation. Two weeks later the forum was delayed to March 28th and Flowers was once again invited to the rescheduled event. At the time, no conditions were placed on the invitation. In mid-March, Flowers was informed that she was no longer invited to participate in the event,” claimed a press release by the Flowers campaign.

[RELATED: Green Party’s Stein Seeks Collaboration with Sanders, Calls Clinton ‘Warmonger’]

Saying that too many candidates had accepted debate invitations, the Baltimore Jewish Council reportedly adjusted its debate criteria, requiring candidates to be participants in a contested primary on the ballot who are polling at or above 5 percent.

However, the Green Party is not allowed to place its candidates on Maryland’s primary ballot, and no polls have been conducted which include Dr. Flowers.

I attempted to participate in tonight’s forum because there can be no democracy when voters aren’t allowed to hear from the candidates seeking public office. As a non-profit entity, the Baltimore Jewish Council has a responsibility to let all candidates speak. If it chooses to support a candidate or party over another, it should relinquish its non-profit status, act under the rules assigned to political advocacy groups and not solicit tax-deductible contributions,” said Dr. Flowers.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Sarah Mersky of the Baltimore Jewish Council told The Real News in footage seen below, “Lots of people did respond, and, again, they were given the information and criteria just as Dr. Flowers was. So, obviously, you’re not going to have a forum with 30 people. No one has a forum with, I think, more than 5 or 6 candidates. And almost every one has just been [featuring Democratic candidates] Van Hollen and Edwards, so…

People are not aware of how corrupt the political system is, and it was made that way by the Republicans and the Democrats to exclude third party voices and that’s why we’re stuck in the box that we’re stuck in — because third parties can’t get through these obstacles,” said Dr. Flowers.

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Green Party’s Stein Seeks Collaboration with Sanders, Calls Clinton ‘Warmonger’

Physician and 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said that her party has been trying unsuccessfully to make inroads with Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.

Many of my supporters are also his supporters. I’m asked all the time if there could be a Bernie Sanders collaboration and my answer to that has always been yes. The Green Party has long sought to establish a collaboration with Bernie Sanders,” she said.

However, she told NBC News in an interview published Saturday, “That phone call has not been returned, and I don’t expect that this will happen.

[RELATED: Green Party’s Stein Predicts DNC Will Sabotage Sanders, Try to Reabsorb Supporters]

Speaking on the Democratic Party’s presidential frontrunner, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Stein said, “I think we’re polar opposites. Hillary talks the talk, but in my view she is as big a corporatist, as big a warmonger, as big an imperialist as any of the Republican presidential candidates. Her rhetoric is less offensive.

In a mid-March interview with The Huffington Post, Stein expressed worries that Sen. Sanders’ campaign would ultimately end in his supporters being co-opted by Hillary Clinton.

[RELATED: Judge Opens the Door for Third Party Candidates in Georgia]

There are many things about Sanders that are great. We agree on a lot domestically. But to allow yourself to be lulled into compliance with the Democratic Party means you’re allowing yourself to be reined in from establishing a real progressive message,” she said.

Sanders has taken the right domestic positions in the wrong party. They will seek to destroy his campaign if he gets close to securing the nomination. … The DNC installed a kill switch to prevent a true progressive nominee after McGovern got the nomination in 1972,” added Stein.

Stein claimed that the Democratic primary “is over” and that “the party machinery is behind [Clinton].

Stein said that she entered politics as a Green Party candidate “when the Democratic Party killed campaign finance reform in my state.

The Democrats won’t do it for us. We have to establish a political vehicle [for progressives],” added Stein.

She acknowledged that her presidential candidacy is a long shot, but suggested that a Green Party victory is within the realm of possibility.

We have far more recognition than we did four years ago. And we are in the age of unpredictable events, this presidential election being one of them,” she argued.

Commenting on the unexpected political rise of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, Stein said, “People have been savaged by a predatory economic and political system, and some are turning to Trump. Unfortunately, Trump is just more of the same.

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Judge Opens the Door for Third Party Candidates in Georgia

On March 18, U.S. District judge Richard Story struck down part of Georgia’s stringent ballot access law requiring third party candidates to collect an enormous number of signatures to appear on the ballot, ruling it unconstitutional.

Under old law, parties not recognized by the state of Georgia were required to collect signatures from 1 percent of eligible registered voters to get on the statewide ballot, equating to over 50,000 signatures. Now candidates only need to collect 7,500 signatures.

Georgia’s previous ballot access requirement narrowed voters’ choices for their presidential candidate, but now the future for third parties is looking brighter in the Peach State.

In 1972, Congressman John G. Schmitz, the American Independent Party presidential candidate that year who got over 1,100,000 votes nationwide, did not qualify to be on the Georgia ballot. In 1976, former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, who ran as the American Independent Party presidential candidate, couldn’t get on the ballot in his own state.

Ralph Nader, who was the Green Party nominee in 1996 and 2000 and an Independent nominee in 2004 and 2008, was never on the ballot in Georgia, even though he placed third in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

But now one hindrance to ballot access in Georgia has been lessened this election cycle.

“This is a huge victory for Georgia voters who wish to vote for minor party or independent candidates for president,” said Richard Winger from Ballot Access News. “The decision is important for the 2016 race, because when one compares the easier requirements to get on the ballot for president in each state (minor party or independent), Georgia required the 3rd highest number of signatures.  Only North Carolina and California required more. The Texas minor party petition was a slightly smaller number of signatures.”

The ruling may be an opportunity for those in the #NeverTrump movement who are flirting with the idea of running a third party candidate against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Georgia attorney and RNC rules committee member Randy Evans told Daily Report that the court’s ruling is “particularly noteworthy given that it comes at a time when institutional powerbrokers are meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the creation of another party should Donald Trump become the GOP nominee.”

Nicholas Sarwark, the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee which is the executive body of the Libertarian Party, told Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook, “While the Libertarian Party already has ballot access in Georgia, we applaud Judge Story’s ruling striking down Georgia’s unconstitutionally high ballot access requirements. For 45 years, we’ve been fighting to give Americans a real political choice, while Republicans and Democrats have put up these barriers to competition to try to stop us. The real winners in this ruling are the people of Georgia who will have more political choice on their ballot.”

A 2015 Consider This video from Truth In Media highlighted the fact that the Republican and Democrat parties no longer represent the majority in the U.S.

R's and D's No Longer Majority

Republicans and Democrats are no longer the majority.Learn more: http://bit.ly/1Kdbdqm

Posted by Truth In Media on Saturday, July 18, 2015

Federal Court: Tennessee Ballot Access Law Unfairly Burdens Third Parties

A July 2 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in a suit brought by Tennessee’s Green and Constitution parties has rendered a controversial ballot retention statute in the state unenforceable. According to The Tennessean, Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. said in the decision, “Tennessee’s ballot-retention statute clearly imposes a heavier burden on minor parties than major parties by giving minor parties less time to obtain the same level of electoral success as established parties.

Under the law, Tennessee’s third parties are required to collect a number of signatures exceeding 2.5% of the number of Tennesseans who voted in the last gubernatorial election in order to gain ballot access and were also required to achieve at least 5% of the vote in a statewide race in the subsequent gubernatorial election in order to remain on the ballot. The combined burden of having to meet the high number of petition signatures while also being required to achieve the 5% electoral total within the same election cycle had the effect of forcing third parties to continue to repeatedly attempt to collect signatures to obtain and maintain ballot access while the Democratic and Republican parties remained on the ballot automatically. Major parties only have to meet that 5% threshold at some point during the previous four years in order to remain on the ballot, giving them more time to achieve the same electoral feat.

Green Party of Tennessee co-chair Kate Culver told The Tennessean, “This is huge for the potential for third parties to have a voice in the political arena. We know right now people are unhappy and disgruntled with the two major parties… There needs to be some way to get those voices heard.

Ballot Access News’ Richard Winger wrote, “The Sixth Circuit decision strikes down the vote test on Equal Protection grounds. Tennessee could easily repair this law if it said that newly-qualifying parties also don’t need to meet the vote test in their first election, but that they can meet the vote test in either of the party’s first two elections.

Though the federal appeals court’s decision does render the statute unenforceable, the court has no authority to dictate what the new process will be. Only the Tennessee General Assembly can implement a new ballot retention system. The state could also appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but is not expected to do so.

A spokesperson for the lawsuit’s defendant, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, said that the state is reviewing the court’s decision to determine what action it should take in response.

Richard Winger of Ballot Access news noted, “The Sixth Circuit also struck down the old Tennessee law that newly-qualifying parties must file a document saying they don’t advocate the violent overthrow of the government. The state had not tried to defend this law, except to argue that it isn’t enforced. However, the decision says the state ‘has not explicitly disavowed enforcing the oath in the future.’ The U.S. Supreme Court had struck all loyalty oaths for parties in 1974, but some states continue to keep them on the books. These states include California, Illinois, Kansas, and Arizona.

OK GOP Governor Signs Bill Making Third-Party Ballot Access Easier

“Today marks an important milestone in Oklahoma history — a day in which the state Legislature and governor not only acknowledged the harmful nature of Oklahoma’s ballot access laws, but also made an effort to ease that burden,” said a statement by the Libertarian Party, cited by The Oklahoman. On Tuesday, Republican Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 2181, a bill that reduces the number of signatures required by independent parties in order to obtain recognized party status and ballot access from 5% of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial or presidential election to 3% of those who voted in the most recent gubernatorial contest. The new law is set to take effect on November 1 of this year.

A blog on the Libertarian Party’s website noted, “To get on the ballot in 2016 in Oklahoma, 24,712 valid signatures will be needed. Under the old standard, the amount would have been 41,188.” Libertarian Party staff said that Oklahoma’s outgoing 5% rule made it “one of the toughest states for ballot access.”

Oklahoma’s Republican Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman was one of the authors and initial sponsors of the bill. An op-ed in Tulsa World stated, “Hickman originally proposed bringing the number all the way down to 1 percent.”

Ballot Access News pointed out the fact that Governor Mary Fallin signed the bill within a day of it reaching her desk.

A statement by the Green Party, cited by The Oklahoman, said that the bill’s passage “opens up the possibility for progress towards greater political representation and participation” but that the Green Party will continue pushing for the signature requirement to be changed to 5,000.

Since the year 2000, no independent party has obtained official ballot access in Oklahoma such that a candidate could identify by that label on the ballot.

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