Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Daily Jackass: Chris Hooks

The Texas Observer's political writer/Democratic gun-for-hire has been putting extra bitters in his cocktails while on duty in Philadelphia.

"Cranks", "dead-enders", "messianic" (in a description of Jill Stein and a hilarious comparison with Bob Bavakian) is nothing more than excessive spleen-venting from the most Green-hostile of Democrats sixty days ahead of the first scheduled presidential debate.

Dude.  I know it was hot and wet in the City of Brotherly Love (scroll down to 'Phooey, Philly') but maybe you should wait until the Greens start to actually register a little in the polling before you twist your knickers that tight.

Oh.  Well.  Maybe now is a good time to shit yourself.

With the counterpoint, Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University's Baker Institute has an exceptionally respectful, direct, and thorough advance of next week's presidential nominating convention here in H-Town.  Bold emphasis is mine.

Last week, national attention was focused on Cleveland and the Republican Party’s National Convention. This week, national attention is focused on Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party’s National Convention is being held. Houstonians should not feel entirely left out, however, since Houston will host the Green Party National Convention next week (August 4-7) at the University of Houston campus.

The main order of business at the Green Party Convention will be to nominate the party’s presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein. In doing so, the party will symbolically launch its national campaign, which includes not only Stein’s presidential bid but hundreds of other campaigns throughout the country for offices ranging from U.S. senator to state representative to county commissioner.

At present, Stein has formally qualified to appear on the ballot in 23 states (including the District of Columbia) and is expected to qualify in between 20 and 25 additional states before filing closes in early September. In addition to retaining the support of individuals who voted for her during the 2012 presidential election, Stein and her fellow Greens hope to capture the votes of Bernie Sanders’ supporters and others who want to cast a protest vote against Hillary Clinton, signal to the Democratic Party that it needs to move to the left, or who believe that the future of the country’s progressive movement does not lie within the Democratic Party but rather via the creation of robust alternatives to what they consider to be a two-party duopoly.

Stein’s prospects for victory are nonexistent. However, an improved performance by Stein would be positive for the Green Party in two principal ways. First, it would demonstrate the existence of popular support for the Green Party and its type of progressive agenda while simultaneously improving the party’s name recognition and brand among the general public.  Second, in a host of states, a good showing by Stein could represent the difference between guaranteed access to the ballot in 2018 and (in some cases) 2020 and either spending scarce resources on costly signature gathering campaigns to obtain ballot access or not being able to run candidates for public office.

Texas is one of the states where an improved Stein performance could be invaluable to the Green Party in regard to ballot access. In recent election cycles, Texas Democrats did not run a complete statewide slate of candidates, and the Green Party was able to maintain its ballot status by surpassing the required 5 percent vote threshold in the contests lacking a Democratic candidate. In 2016, however, Texas Democrats are fielding candidates for every statewide office, and unless a statewide Green Party candidate wins at least 5 percent of the vote in one of the eight statewide races, the party would need to undertake a very difficult ballot access campaign in 2018. To qualify for ballot access in two years, the Green Party of Texas would have to obtain 47,183 valid signatures in less than three months from registered voters who did not vote in the 2018 Democratic or Republican primaries. Since many signatures end up being invalidated, the Greens would need to gather close to a 100,000 signatures to safely cross this threshold and qualify for ballot access, a Herculean task for a party with very limited resources.

This year, in addition to Stein, the Green Party is fielding six candidates for statewide office in Texas (one for railroad commissioner, three for the Supreme Court and two for the Court of Criminal Appeals), almost 20 congressional candidates and around two dozen candidates for other offices ranging from state representative to sheriff to county commissioner. If Stein or one of her fellow Greens does not win at least 5 percent of the statewide vote on Nov. 8, this year could mark the last year for some time that Texas voters are provided with so many options to “vote Green.”

That covers every single base.  Nothing to quibble with and nothing to add.

Jackass on deck: Misandry Angie (who probably isn't capable of receiving whatever I blog as anything but 'mansplaining', but I'll offer it anyway).

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

In addition, TX Dems who can only fill 1/3 of the Lege, etc. have no room to complain about downballot races.