Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Texas Greens ready to begin ballot access work

The first step -- for anyone who did not vote last Tuesday -- is to find your precinct nominating convention, consolidated in the counties listed here across the state, and happening this evening.

Organizing this duty belonged to David Collins until recently, but he got mad and quit because the Harris County Greens finally succeeded in clearing out their dead wood.  You can pick up petition forms at the convention, or you can print them from the link here, or below.

This petition sheet is your tool for expanding and enhancing democracy in Texas. Make multiple copies (legal size!) of page 1. Read the instructions on page 2 very carefully. Talk to friends, relatives, and total strangers about its importance. If they are eligible to sign, convince them to sign.
In order to be valid, a signature must be gathered in the 75 days, beginning March 14th, from:
  • a registered Texas voter
  • who did not vote in any primary election this year
  • and did not sign any other party's petition or attend any other party's conventions.
Those who gather signatures need not meet these criteria. They need only be of legal age to sign their petition sheets. Each petition sheet has space for 10 signatures. A signature line contains places for the voter's full name, street address, home county, birthdate, and (optionally) voter registration number. Yes, the birthdate is required for verification.

All petition sheets submitted to the state must be signed by the signature collector in the presence of a Notary Public. The actual deadline for submitting petition sheets to the Secretary of State's office is the Tuesday following Memorial Day, or May 29, 2018.

For more detailed information about the petition drive, see this page at txgreens.org.

Candidly, if I knew a week -- more like two -- ago what I know today, I would not have voted in the Democratic primary, and instead helped the Greens try to get on the ballot.  The factors for that change of heart include:

-- Bernadine Williams' H-Town takeover of the Greens.  After we -- she, I, others -- failed to do so a year ago, I didn't think it could be done this year.  I was wrong.

-- The extraordinarily shabby treatment of progressive candidates by the Texas Democratic establishment.  Two examples, one from this Truthout piece regarding Sema Hernandez ...

... The Texas Democratic Party push backed against Sema Hernandez, a Bernie Sanders-inspired progressive activist challenging O'Rourke for the nomination.

"When I arrived to Texas Democratic Party headquarters in December 2017, I was asked if I was sure I wanted to run because there was already two other people in the race," she said.

When Hernandez paid in cash the $5,000 fee to be put on the ballot for the Democratic primary, she said that the Democratic Party official who accepted the fee jokingly asked if it was drug money. The Texas Democratic Party did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

... and the other, this reply to Tom Wakely on Twitter.

Hover your mouse over "Notorious RKGM", or click on her name, and take note that she appears to identify herself as a Tarrant County Democratic Party official.  What did I just blog the other day about Tarrant County Democrats (scroll to CD-12, Vanessa Adia).

-- And then there's that whole nasty business regarding the DCCC and Laura Moser that I won't rehash at this time.

I'm ready to #DemExit again.  Sure didn't take long, did it?  There are some cold, hard realities associated with this circumstance and the effort needed to accomplish it.

Let's be honest about this: Given the political climate and the current state of the Green Party in Texas, the prognosis for success in 2018 is not great. GPTX has undertaken five ballot access drives. It was successful in 2000 and 2010, but fell short in 2004, '06, and '08.

Even in a state where 85% of voters skip the primaries, finding willing signatories can be difficult. People who desperately want a third option on the ballot may still have trouble thinking beyond the two-party paradigm. They may also be reluctant to give anybody their addresses for fear of being sold to mailing lists.

Typically, the number of signatures gathered should exceed the requirement by 50%. Historically, about one-third of signatures collected in these drives do not satisfy all the criteria.

Even if the Greens get their ballot line back, at least one candidate must top 5% to keep the party going in 2020. However, difficult though it may be ...

... with enough volunteers and enough enthusiasm, this is entirely feasible!

The numbers are daunting.

In order to qualify (for ballot access), the Green Party of Texas must collect 47,183 verified signatures, equal to 1% of the total votes cast in the last (2014) gubernatorial election, from registered voters who did NOT cast a ballot in either primary election within a 75-day period beginning March 14th ...

If you can do something more than blog -- like me -- in helping the Texas Greens get back on the November ballot, it will be worth it to send a message to these toxic neoliberals that their party cannot, will not win a goddamn thing if they choose to keep shitting on the FDR/Bernie Sanders wing of the Donkey Party.  Twenty-sixteen's lesson was not learned, so we're gonna hafta rub these Blue Dogs' noses in their own shit again.  Maybe they'll get it in time for 2020.

Once more, consolidated precinct conventions in these counties tonight, 7p.m.:

Bell County - Killeen Fire Station #1, 3800 Westcliff Road, Killeen, TX 76543
Bexar County - Bill Miller's Restaurant, 1004 San Pedro, San Antonio TX
Collin County - Market Place, 6100 Eldorado Pkwy, McKinney, Texas 75070
Denton County - Agua Dulce Mexican Kitchen, 115 S Elm St, Denton, TX 76201
Harris County - Havens Center, 1827 W. Alabama, Houston, TX 77098
Tarrant County - Root's CoffeeHouse, 9101 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, TX 76180
Travis County - Green Party Space, 1105 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78741


Unknown said...

Residual anger aside, I'll still be collecting signatures for the Green Party of Texas over the next eleven weeks, whenever & wherever possible. I still want to see a flourishing Green Movement in this state, whether or not I'm actively participating.

A vote in the primary may disqualify your signature on the petition, but it does not disqualify you from collecting signatures.

PDiddie said...

Which means I can do more than just blog, right?

Unknown said...

You certainly can/may.