Thursday, June 14, 2012

Texas Greens build momentum

This ought to piss off both Carl Whitmarsh and Bethany a little more. And that's never a bad thing. (Update: Noting the correction sent out by cewdem last weekend, he did not make the erroneous assertion. Somebody *ahem* put colored words on his e-mail. Or something.)

From the San Antonio Current:

David Collins walked to the front of the Hill Country cabin with a green toga draped over shirt, tie and slacks, a throwback, he said, to mankind's first republic: the Roman Senate. "The toga has great symbolic significance for me," he said, "and I've felt myself to be politically and spiritually green for a long time." Staring down at the getup, Collins laughed. "I would run for office naked if I thought the Green Party would benefit from it."

Collins, a Houston-based longshot candidate for Texas' open U.S. Senate seat, was among a smattering of candidates and activists working to dismantle the country's two-party dominated political system meeting at a small Hill Country retreat in Grey Forest Saturday and Sunday for the Green Party of Texas' convention. Far outside the clubby, insidery scenes of political officialdom on display in Houston and Fort Worth at the weekend's state Democratic and Republican conventions, Texas Greens held a quiet, low-key gathering on the outskirts of San Antonio to tap nominees and chat philosophy, politics, and revolution.

You really need to read the whole piece. Laugh, cry, gnash your teeth, get motivated to help or power up to thwart, whatever floats your boat.

The Texas Greens ultimately, and unsurprisingly, threw support behind Jill Stein for the party's nomination for president. Stein, who once ran against Mitt Romney for governor of Massachusetts, says her win in the California primary last week guaranteed her place as the Green Party nominee for president at the party's national convention in Baltimore next month. Sitcom comedienne and celebrity Roseanne Barr, who didn't show at the Texas convention, spoke to Texas Green members via phone conference Saturday, saying she'd continue to seek the Green nomination for president.

Stein, an eloquent Harvard-educated physician keen on quoting Frederick Douglass ("Power concedes nothing without a demand") and Alice Walker ("The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any"), seems to embody the type of voter Greens across the country are fighting to win over: liberals, progressives, peace activists, and environmentalists who feel ditched by rightward-drifting Democrats.

Stein wrote off the so-called spoiler effect of third parties, that the major impact is to tip close races between Democrats and Republicans by siphoning off small, crucial pieces of the party base. "We've been told to be quiet, that this silence is an effective strategy," she said. "Well, how's that 'lesser evil' thing working out for you exactly? … We have assured the policies of expansive war, of ignoring a climate meltdown, of economic collapse by silencing ourselves as the only real, non-corporate voice of public interest," she said. "So many progressives have muzzled themselves."

More Jill Stein, from last weekend's convention outside San Antone.

Texas is thisclose to qualifying for federal matching funds. When that happens, the momentum hits a higher gear.

Finally, a terrific Q&A with Kat Swift, Bexar County godmother of the Texas Green Party, which resolves some of the lingering mythological questions people always seem to have about the Greens. Didn't they keep Al Gore from getting elected in 2000? (No.) Didn't they take Republican money to get on the ballot in 2010? (Not exactly, no.)

Go read the whole two things from the SAC and then let's hear what you have to say about it in the comments.

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