August 11, 2015

Greens slam Hillary while Donations spike

By Mark Wachtler

August 11, 2015. St. Louis, MO. (ONN) Green Party members may have noticed some excitement in the air. The Greens are firing on all cylinders after their national convention in St. Louis last month. Donations are up. The establishment media is giving the Party tons of free coverage. Five candidates have launched a campaign for the Party’s 2016 Presidential nomination. The Greens are suing the Commission on Presidential Debates. And five-dollar-Fridays are providing the resources to do it all.

The 5 current candidates for the Green Party’s 2016 Presidential nomination appeared together at the national convention in St. Louis last month.

$5 Fridays

If it’s the first Friday of the month, Green Party supporters can count on receiving a reminder from the Green Party national office. Five Dollar Fridays is the result of an effort to harness the widespread grassroots support the Greens have across the country. Party leaders simply ask members to contribute $5 on the first Friday of every month.

“In May, we started a new Green fundraising initiative called First Friday/$5 Friday,” announced Green Party fundraisers Managers Starlene Rankin and Lea Pierce, “This month, we're asking you with extra energy and joy, because we just got back from the 2015 Annual National Meeting in St. Louis. Without a doubt, everyone there - from brand-new members to long-term activists who have been with the party since the beginning - felt a new surge of energy and focus. There is no doubt that this Presidential cycle is a game changer for the Green Party of the United States.”

Standing with Ferguson, MO - literally

The Green Party national convention last month was held in a very timely place - St. Louis, Missouri. With the war-torn suburb of Ferguson only minutes away, the topic was on the minds of all attendees. A convention recap reported, ‘GPUS activists braved the 110+ heat index to join local activists in front of the Ferguson Police Department. Activist and newly-elected Steering Committee Co-Chair Andrea Mérida of Denver was one of the speakers, and she reminded all that Ferguson - right where we stood - was where the Dred Scott decision went down. Dred Scott v. Sandford was a landmark 1857 decision in which the US Supreme Court held that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court.

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The Green Party’s Pierce and Rankin go on to describe the scene, “Our goal for the rally was to stand in solidarity with local activists to demand an end to the militarization of our police forces and the harassment and murder of black people and people of color. Several GPUS leaders, including two Green Presidential Candidates - Jill Stein and Darryl Cherney - spoke, along with Bruce Dixon, Editor of Black Agenda Report and co-chair of the Georgia Green Party, and keynote speaker James Lane.”

Greens sue the Commission on Presidential Debates

A separate announcement from the Green Party reminded supporters of the Greens’ dedication to breaking the Republicans’ and Democrats’ hijacking of the nation’s Presidential debate system. The statement read, ‘Earlier this year we told you about two lawsuits we have joined to open up the national debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. For years the Commission has hosted Presidential and Vice Presidential debates featuring only Democratic and Republican candidates. Now the Commission has indicated that changes may be coming to the debates and is looking for public input regarding the rules for participation, among other reforms.’

The announcement from the GPUS goes on to present a handful of facts in support of their effort:

  • ‘The Constitution contains no mention of political parties, and there is no legal requirement that the President be a member of one of the parties that exclusively participate in CPD-sponsored debates.  
  • According to independent polling data, interest in independent minor party identification and candidates are at an all-time high. 
  • The Commission's requirement that candidates poll at least 15% in national polls in order to participate is absurdly high. The requirement also assumes that all candidates are included in polls, which they are not. Minor party candidates like the Green Party are rarely listed as options in national polls. 
  • There is an easy standard for limiting who should be allowed in national debates - only candidates who qualify for enough state ballots to theoretically win the Electoral College should be invited. In 2012 only four candidates would have met this requirement. This is an easy way to set a clear standard and prevent overcrowding the debate stage.’

Hillary Clinton on Education

While the Republican Party sets its sites on Democratic Party heir apparent Hillary Clinton to get an early start on the General Election battle, the Green Party is exposing Hillary Clinton because much of her disgruntled fan base shares more of the same positions with the Greens than they do with the Democratic half of America’s oligarchy and their leader Hillary Clinton.

‘Something sneaky (and kinda smelly) is afoot,’ another Green Party announcement warned, ‘The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) recently announced that its executive council “overwhelmingly” endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President last week. No members were consulted. The endorsement was made based on a poll, and secret interviews that were not released to the rank and file. No choice. No debate. Just another palace coup in what Hillary hopes is her inevitable coronation as the Democratic standard bearer.’

The statement goes on to explain, ‘The inside-the-beltway good old girls network is working overtime for Hillary. Hillary's gal pal and AFT President Randi Weingarten has spent decades kissing up to Hillary. Now it's time to deliver the goods, isn't it? Interesting, in light of the fact that Hillary has had nothing to say about education in this campaign. We won't speculate as to the spoils of war Hillary has promised Randi, but you just know they're there. Will she end up as Hillary's Secretary of Education? Or Czarina in another corner of Hillary's realm. Green voters should be outraged by this endorsement if for no other reason than the fact that Clinton has supported the very policies that have put teachers under attack and made public education a profit center and growth industry for transnational corporations.’

Hillary Clinton on the environment

A separate critique of Hillary Clinton by the Green Party just four days ago details the former First Lady and Secretary of State’s non-existent position on the environment, ‘The presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is schizophrenic when it comes to climate change. While she certainly understands the science and the threat, consider this:

  • She promoted fracking abroad while Secretary of State. Clinton encouraged developing countries to sign deals with American fossil fuel companies to extract their shale gas through fracking.
  • The Clinton family charitable foundation takes LOTS of oil money. Big oil companies like ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips have given millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, as have Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich nations in the Middle East. A recent expose in the International Business Times, revealed that the foundation accepts donations from Pacific Rubiales, a Canadian oil company accused of human rights violations in Colombia. Not only that--Pacific Rubiales’ founder, Frank Giustra, now sits on the Clinton Foundation’s board.
  • With the Republicans, Hillary has supported offshore oil drilling. In 2006, Clinton sided with Republicans and against climate hawks like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) by voting in favor of a bill opening new Gulf Coast areas to offshore oil drilling.
  • She won't touch the Keystone XL issue with a 10-foot pole. Even when asked directly about it, Clinton just refuse to answer. In January she told a Canadian audience, “You won’t get me to talk about Keystone because I have steadily made clear that I’m not going to express an opinion.”’

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