|Progressive Calendar 03.21.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 04:55:30 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.21.06 1. Cam's feet/fire 3.21 9:30am 2. 3 GP announce 3.21 10am 3. NWA/Rachleff/KFAI 3.21 11am 4. Immigration 3.21 12:45pm 5. Family policy 3.21 12noon 6. Industry land use 3.21 6:30pm 7. Salon/bioneers 3.21 6:30pm 8. Water 3.21 7pm 9. Darwins nightmare 3.21 7pm 10. Wolff/peace 3.22 8am 11. Women/capitol 3.22 9am 12. Corp health forum 3.22 5:30pm 13. Global pandemic 3.22 5:30pm 14. Privatization/film 3.22 7pm 15. StPaul IRV 3.22 7pm 16. Iraq war/causes 3.22 7pm 17. Communist party 3.22 7:30pm 18. Joshua Frank - John Murphy & how the Green Party slays their own --------1 of 18-------- From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com> Subject: Cam's feet/fire 3.21 9:30am Office Hours: I, Cam Gordon, am happy to announce that beginning in February I will be holding office hours every Tuesday morning in the Second Ward from 9:30-11am. The locations will rotate as follows, so that I can meet with residents in their own neighborhoods: Third Tuesdays: Southeast Como neighborhood SECIA office, 837 15th Ave SE [Tell Cam what you want and need. Don't let him get away till he hears you. -ed] --------2 of 18-------- From: Jay Pond <jay [at] twoturtles.net> Subject: 3 GP announce 3.21 10am Three Greens Announce Candidacies - Call for a "Back to Basics" Political Focus Minneapolis, MN - Three more Green Party members are announcing their candidacies for office in Minnesota - Jay Pond, for 5th District U.S House of Representatives, Dave Berger for Minnesota State Auditor and Julie Risser for State Senate District 41. Their candidacies ensure a Green Party perspective in Minnesota's political discussion this year on the federal and state levels. "All three of us want to see responsible long-term investment strategies that encourage sustainable energy and a political shift to local control," says Pond. These candidates agree the promotion of clean energy must focus on community-based economics. Pond, Berger, and Risser contend Minnesotans should be able to buy energy from regionally produced renewable sources. "Minnesota imports more electricity than any other state. Minnesota also gets most of its electricity from coal-powered plants which emit mercury." says Risser. "Our energy requirements offer us the opportunity to build the foundation for a strong society by investing in basic needs." Berger agrees and wants to see a "Green Audit" approach to Minnesota's energy use. "We can encourage our cities and counties to invest in locally owned wind, water, and solar generators. Federal and state laws require existing power utilities to buy all electric energy that small power producers offer for sale." Currently, the majority of energy generated in Minnesota comes from environmentally unfriendly large coal and nuclear power plants. "Most Minnesotans want a clean energy alternative that is sustainable and economical" stated Pond. "I'm optimistic that as a nation we are ready to transition away from a war economy. When we do, this region will benefit. We have the political and financial clout to finance the building of a new energy infrastructure. To do so would create jobs while accommodating our region's potential for wind energy production." All three candidates also support a unified federal and state transit policy that invests in efficient and clean transportation options. "We must reduce single occupancy vehicle usage, curb gasoline consumption, and reduce pollutants," stated Pond. A workable mass transit system is only one piece of this investment puzzle, however. "We need to invest in basic infrastructure - encourage pedestrian friendly communities," stated Risser. "In my neighborhood children who live three blocks from school are bused due to lack of sidewalks and signage." Berger points out "Our local communities can help reduce our dependency on foreign, polluting, oil. We need an investment program for local governments that encourages the use of hybrid vehicles," stated Berger. "We can have clean energy if we invest in local control." Dave Berger, an instructor of sociology at Inver Hills Community College, was the endorsed Green Party candidate for State Auditor in 2002, garnering nearly 4 percent of the statewide vote. This election cycle a 5% statewide showing for his candidacy would allow the Green Party major party status in Minnesota. Information on Berger's campaign can be found at <http://www.daveberger.org/> www.daveberger.org or call 612-338-3630 Julie Risser, Adjunct Faculty at the University of St. Thomas, is focusing her campaign on energy independence, transit, and education. For more information <http://www.voterisser4senate.com/> www.VoteRisser4Senate.com or call 952-927-7538 Jay Pond received 6% of the vote in 2004 for 5th District House seat. He has since spent 6 months living in Washington observing and reporting on Minnesota's delegation in Congress - particularly Mr. Sabo's work on the Appropriations Committee. For more information: <http://www.jaypond.com/> www.jaypond.com or call 612-220-5050 A press conference for these three candidates will be held at State Capitol, State Office Building in St. Paul, Press Conference Room (Room 181 across from Secretary of State Office) 10am Tuesday, March 21st. For more information please contact any of the above campaigns. -- From: Jay Pond <jay [at] twoturtles.net> Subject: Issues - Not Money Raised Green Candidate for Congress Wants Race Defined by Issues, Not Money Raised Minneapolis, MN - "Elections for US House of Representatives should happen every 2 years not every 28 years - that was the intentions of the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution," say Green Party Congressional Candidate Jay Pond. "My candidacy as a Green ensures that this rare 'open seat' will not be made by only one political party, otherwise democracy fails in our congressional district." "As this election season heats-up, people will be reluctant to let it be defined by money raised" says Dave Berger, Green Candidate for State Auditor. "Rather they will want to see clean races based on the issues people most care about - war, energy, health care, and education." Pond agrees, "This begins the 4th year of the war in Iraq, during which time there has been very little opposition from the Democratic Party. To let that party be the sole decision maker for this congressional seat is unhealthy democracy." "True election reform and increased participation can happen right now with this house race," says Becki Smith, spokesperson for Pond's campaign. She thinks it important that Jay Pond and other third parties candidates have equal access to the media, including MPR, Fox News, ABC, KARE 11, NBC, and the Star Tribune. "Access to the endorsing processes of unions, and organizations involved in political candidate endorsements infuse new ideas and personalities into our community's political dialogue." During the past year Pond spent 6 months in Washington observing Congress, particularly Mr. Sabo's work on the Appropriations Committee. His announcement into the race preceded Mr. Sabo's announcement to retire. "During a six month stint in DC, Mr. Sabo was always very kind to me, he'd smile and say, 'well how are you today Jay?' It was a thrill to hear my Congressman call me by my first name. Thank you, Mr. Sabo for respecting me as a candidate - Jay Pond during the past few years. Thank you for your hard work, modesty, and accomplishments for people everywhere during the expanse of your career. You've been a mentor and inspiration." A press conference for Green candidates will be held at State Capitol, State Office Building in St. Paul, Press Conference Room (Room 181 across from Secretary of State Office) 10am Tuesday, March 21st. 612-220-5050 for more information. --------3 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: NWA/Rachleff/KFAI 3.21 11am Tune in TUES MAR 21, 11am on "Catalyst", KFAI RADIO to hear Macalester College Peter Rachleff, professer of labor history, talk about the Northwest Airline strike and building a 21st century labor movement. KFAI 90.3fm Mpls 106.7fm St.Paul all shows archived for 2 weeks after broadcast http:www/kfai.org --------4 of 18-------- From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Immigration 3.21 12:45pm The Freeman Center for International Economic Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and the University of Minnesota International Trade Consortium present a Workshop on Global Policy Katherine Fennelly Professor, Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs will speak on: Minnesota Immigration '101': Characteristics of Immigrants and the Politics of Immigration 12:45-2pm Tuesday March 21 215 HHHCtr - Wilkins Room U of M - West Bank Campus (Please note special venue due to electrical work in the Stassen Room) What draws immigrants to Minnesota? What are the major immigrant and refugee groups in the state? What are the attitudes of native-born Minnesotans and of elected officials to foreign-born residents? In this session Professor Fennelly will paint a portrait of contemporary immigration to Minnesota and an overview of the politics of immigration in the state. All are welcome! Beverages will be served. --------5 of 18-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: Family policy 3.21 12noon March 21 - Family Policy from a Public Goods Perspective. 12noon-1:30pm. Cost: Free. This event is part of the University of Minnesota Inaugural Family Policy Forum Series. What role should government play in supporting families? We will examine this frequently asked question from a different lens public goods. Economic analysis can help discern which aspects of the family have public goods qualities or external benefits that warrant government support. In this third Family Policy Forum we will explore when the family may and may not meet these definitions and the corresponding public policy implications. Rob Grunewald, Associate Economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will present, with a response by Maria Hanratty, Associate Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Rob Grunewald conducts regional economic research and co-authors the Minneapolis Fed s Beige Book report on current economic conditions. He also writes articles on the regional economy and other economics and banking issues for the Fedgazette and The Region, two economics and banking periodicals published by the Minneapolis Fed. Grunewald regularly speaks to business, community and school groups about the Federal Reserve and the regional economy. He co-authored Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return (January 2003), an economic policy paper, which has been featured in the media, legislative hearings, and seminars in Minnesota and several other states. Event Contact: Office Specialist, Children, Youth and Family Consortium (612) 625-7865 candiceb [at] umn.edu To view a map of Carlson, please visit: http://onestop.umn.edu/Maps/CarlSMgmt/index.html No need to RSVP, the event is free, however there is a cost for parking. Attendees are invited to bring a lunch. Parking: Hourly paid parking is available in the U of M 19th Avenue Ramp, across the street to the west, and in the U of M 21st Avenue Ramp, across the street to the southeast. There are also a number of nearby surface lots. To view a parking map, please visit: http://onestop.umn.edu/Maps/19Ramp/index.html The Family Policy Forum is presented by the University of Minnesota's Family Policy Minor and the Children, Youth and Family Consortium. Location: Room 1-115 on the first floor of the Carlson School of Management located on the west bank of the University of Minnesota. --------6 of 18-------- From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com> Subject: Industry land use 3.21 6:30pm Industrial Land Use: To better integrate industrial land uses into the City's planning process, the City is currently studying industrial land use trends and policies. The purpose of the study is to provide the City with a clear policy direction for industrial land uses and industrial sector employment within the City of Minneapolis. For more information, visit http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/planning/industrial-landuse.asp There are two upcoming meetings to gather public input about industrial land use in the neighborhoods of the Second Ward: West Bank, Seward, Longfellow Tuesday, March 21st 6:30pm to 8:30pm Longfellow Community Center 3435 36th Avenue South Southeast Como, Prospect Park, University area Wednesday, March 22nd 6:30pm to 8:30pm Van Cleve Recreation Center 901 15th Avenue SE --------7 of 18-------- From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Salon/bioneers 3.21 6:30pm Tuesday's Salon, March 21, the guest will be Rebecca Cramer of the organization called Bioneers. The mission of Bioneers is to restore our Earth's imperiled ecosystems and the healing of our human communities. That's what the salon is all about---healing of our human communities. Come and hear some positive news for a change. patty Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) are held (unless otherwise noted in advance): Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats. Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information. --------8 of 18-------- From: leslie reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Water 3.21 7pm Tues. March 21, 7 -8 pm: Join a WILPF water study group. Informational meeting at Van Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis (Van Cleve is at the north end of 15th Ave. close to Como). The study group will use a guide produced by national WILPF (Women's International League for Peace & Freedom) and will be self-directing. The $15 study guide offers extensive materials to help us understand current and coming threats to water (the "oil" of the 21st century)--especially corporations' attempts to control our water, and the problems with bottled water--and what citizens can do about them. FFI 651-633-4410. --------9 of 18-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Darwins nightmare 3.21 7pm GET REAL: CITY PAGES DOCUMENTARY FILM SERIES City Pages brings back the hits from five years of Get Real documentary festivals--and introduces some new work, too! Discussions with filmmakers, by phone or in person, will often follow the screenings in this ongoing monthly series at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE--Bryant-Lake Bowl, Tuesday, March 21 at 7pm. 810 West Lake St. Minneapolis Nominated for an Academy Award, this clear-eyed look at globalization's underbelly tells of two relentless killing machines: the Nile Perch, which, over the course of decades, has eaten through everything that once lived in Tanzania's Lake Victoria; and the foreign capitalists who introduced that non-native fish in order to sell it to European consumers. Losing out to both of these predators are the local Tanzanians, who once lived off the bounty of the lake and are now left with bones and rotting carcasses. When things take an even stranger turn, thanks to an astounding third-act revelation, Darwin's Nightmare becomes a cautionary tale whose lessons may not come too late to heed. A.O. Scott of The New York Times calls the film "an extraordinary work of visual journalism, a richly illustrated report on a distant catastrophe that is also one of the central stories of our time." --------10 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Wolff/peace 3.22 8am Wednesday, 3/22, 8 to 9:30 am (yes, am), Roy Wolff addresses People of Faith Peacemakers on "Where do we go from here?" abouting creating a climate of peace/justice work among faith communities, St. Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside, Mpls. --------11 of 18-------- From: erin [at] mnwomen.org Subject: Women/capitol 3.22 9am Hello to all friends of the Minnesota Women's Consortium! We will be hosting our 2006 Women Come to the Capitol event on Wednesday, March 22 from 9am-2:30pm, beginning at the Minnesota Women's Building (550 Rice Street, St. Paul). There is no cost for the event, although we would appreciate a $10 donation to help cover the cost of the delicious lunch. In addition, we hope to provide a limited number of special free parking coupons for those who RSVP soon. Whether you are new to the legislative process, or just wanting a refresher course, this event will provide the opportunity to learn more about government, the advocacy/lobbying process, current issues important to women, and network with a variety of organizations working for change. You may choose from workshops on: immigration, health care issues for women and families, or GLBT and reproductive rights. Speakers will include experts from the Children's Defense Fund, Child Care WORKS, Women's Wellness program of the YWCA, Minnesota Hospital Association, Midwest Health Center for Women, Main Street Project, Centro Legal, the White House Project, OutFront Minnesota, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, and others - a stellar group! Join us for a lunch panel on how women and women's perspectives are so important in leadership and community organizing. Finally, meet with your legislators at the Capitol. It will be a full, but fun event, so join us. For more information please call me at (651) 228-0338 or email bharti [at] mnwomen.org. There is no cost for the event, although we would appreciate a $10 donation to help cover the cost of the delicious lunch. In addition, we hope to provide a limited number of special free parking coupons for those who RSVP. So come on, please let us know you (and your neighbor, co-worker, aunt, and all your clients and members) will be there! This is a year in which ALL women's voices must be heard. --------12 of 18-------- From: joel michael albers Subject: Corp health forum 3.22 5:30pm [More corporate spin at the U of the health insurance disaster. -ed] Big "HC Forum" U of MN,3/22 See date, time, location below. Note: Beware of how this "conversation" will be framed and spun. We need to flood this meeting with as many people as possible who will speak out on behalf of a universal single-payer (publicly-funded) system which will be excluded from the debate (even though a majority of MN's favor single-payer). Every Health Care Reform Forum i've ever attended at the U of MN in the last 15 years has been framed in terms of the private health insurance market. Publicly-financed social insurance models (everybody in, nobody out), particularly the single-payer model, have been excluded in every case. The panelists are market-based researchers and part of that system (Mac Baird is the only panelist i am unfamiliar with). Roger Feldman's title in journal articles, for example, is "Blue Cross Blue Shield Professor of Health Economics". The U of MN is OUR university and we have a right to respectfully, but firmly, challenge the panelists to a FAIR, INCLUSIVE debate. --Joel Albers Minnesota Universal Health Care Action Network 612-384-0973 joel [at] uhcan-mn.org www.uhcan-mn.org Health Care Economics Researcher, Clinical Pharmacist -- From: John Schwarz <john [at] unitedhealthsystem.org> Thanks, Joel, for reminding us of this important event. I just want to add that the national context of this meeting (and all 22 of them) is part of the Citizens Health Care Working Group. This "citizens" group is another in a long line of bogus "citizens" health care reform task forces where real citizens are left out of the process in favor of corporate executives, academic pro-market researchers, and government officials. The Group (federal commission) was created as part of the very bad Medicare law of 2003 that established Part D drug coverage, with funding and the establishment of this Group included in the bill. The Group's charter, i.e. what it's supposed to do and accomplish is vague and non-binding, like all of these task forces. It will produce a report for the President and Congress. A national application process for serving on the Group was conducted a year ago and Group Board members (15) were supposed to be split between health experts, common citizens--particularly those on public programs, or with disabilities or other "special health needs," with some practitioners thrown in. I applied, portraying myself as a common citizen but with a strong background in health policy and some personal experience with safety net programs and an inability to purchase private health insurance due to pre-existing conditions. There were 600 applicants. Many selected to serve on the Group board were corporate representatives, and I don't believe there were any true "common citizens." The supposed "common citizens" were all involved in health administration with things like non-profit clinics or high-level "specific" consumer-based interest group officials, e.g. a mental health advocacy group. Not someone suffering from mental illness, for instance. The Chair is the head of Toyota's Benefits and Compensation Division. In other words, everyone was heavily involved in the health system as their way of making a living. No wonder the people selected to lead the local meeting at the U are the usual suspects that Joel knows about. No citizen involvement here in MN. -john Schwarz --- 03/22/06 What is Your Health Worth? A National Conversation on Health Care What: The University of Minnesota is one of 22 sites nationwide hosting a public discussion on the U.S. health care system, its flaws, and how those flaws might be addressed. The University will be linked via satellite to other town meetings going on nationwide. The highlights of the national conversation will be compiled and forwarded to President Bush and key members of Congress. When: March 22, 2006, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Where: Moos Tower 5-125 (click here for parking information) Who: A distinguished panel of University health policy experts will lead the citizen discussion. Panel members include: * Lynn Blewett, Associate Professor, Health Services Research & Policy * Mac Baird, Family Practice Department, Medical School * Ira Moscovice, Professor, Health Services Research & Policy * Susan Foote, Associate Professor, Health Services Research & Policy * Alan Lifson, Associate Professor, Epidemiology * Roger Feldman, Professor, Health Services Research & Policy Judith Garrard, SPH Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs will moderate the discussion. The event is FREE. The public is encouraged to attend. A light dinner buffet and beverages will be provided. Those unable to attend the discussion in person are invited to participate in the several different ways: * Watch the live web cast on March 22 from the University of Michigan at http://www.umich.edu/healthmeeting. * Continue the online dialogue. "What Is Your Health Worth? A National Conversation on Health Care" kicks off two weeks of online discussions (from March 22 through April 5) about health care. Americans may add their voices to the debate by sharing their comments on the online Discussion Forums or by starting their own Citizen's Blogs at www.citizenshealthcare.gov, under "Communicate." * Go to the Public Comment Center at www.citizenshealthcare.gov and answer questions about the health care system and what matters to you. This national event is led by the Citizens' Health Care Working Group and is sponsored locally by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. --------13 of 18-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: Global pandemic 3.22 5:30pm March 22 - Emergency Planning for a Global Pandemic. 5:30pm. Cost: MIC members and students FREE; Non-members $15. Minnesota International Center Program: World Chat - Emergency Planning for a Global Pandemic; speaker Edward J. Lord. Registration 5:30 PM; Program 6:00 - 7:30 PM Advance registration requested Location: MIC, 711 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN --------14 of 18-------- From: bkucera [at] csom.umn.edu Subject: Privatization/film 3.22 7pm Film: 'The Navigators' explores the impact of privatization ST. PAUL - Great Britain, under the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and others, was among the first nations to explore privatizing major public services. "The Navigators," a 2003 film by director Ken Loach, examines the effect of these policies on one group of workers - the employees of British Rail. The film will be shown Wednesday, March 22, as part of the Labor & Community Film Series sponsored by the University of Minnesota Labor Education Service. The screening will start at 7 p.m. at the UAW-Ford-MnSCU Training Center, 966 S. Mississippi Blvd., St. Paul. It is free and open to the public. "The Navigators" follows the fortunes of a group of track workers as the privatization takes effect. At first, the company's 'Mission Statement', 'performance-related pay' and unpaid holidays seem like a joke. Before long, however, the workers find they must make a very clear choice -- to take their chances with their severance pay and life as casual agency workers, or toe the line and work for the new company under new rules. Forced to cut corners, a tragic accident seems inevitable. The film is particularly relevant given today's privatization debates across the United States and elsewhere in the world. The Labor & Community Film Series highlights recently released films that give voice to workers and communities in the Americas. For directions and a complete schedule of films, visit the LES website, www.laboreducation.org or call 612-624-5020. --------15 of 18-------- From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at] riseup.net> Subject: StPaul IRV 3.22 7pm We are holding a kickoff meeting for IRV in St. Paul on 22 March, 7PM at the Selby Community Room, upstairs at the Mississippi Market, Selby & Dale. Email or phone (651-776-4874) with questions. -Troy --------16 of 18-------- From: Carrie Anne Johnson <v0teyourheart [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Iraq war/causes 3.22 7pm Come hear a presentation by Dave Bicking on the background and causes of the war on Iraq Wednesday, March 22, 7:00pm, At Center School, 2421 Bloomington Ave. S., Mpls (ring doorbell for entrance) Free, all are welcome. In place of our regular meeting of T3 (Tackling Torture at the Top), we will be hosting a presentation by Dave Bicking on the background and causes of the war on Iraq. He will cover the history of US involvement in Iraq, as well as the development of the current US strategy for global empire. The current war and occupation of Iraq stem from the combination of its particular history and its central role in securing a US empire. We will discuss the implications for the anti-war movement, the role of fraudulent "exit strategies", and the use of torture as an integral part of US strategy. --------17 of 18-------- From: Michael Wood <mwood42092 [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Communist party 3.22 7:30pm COMMUNIST PARTY STUDY GROUP March 15 AND 22 Wednesdays., 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Mayday Bookstore, 301 Cedar Avenue Minneapolis Info: call Harry McAllister @ (651) 776 - 2027 or visit the website at http://csminn.cpusa.org Description: " What would Rosa and Lenin think of the occupation of Iraq? " Come join the MN Communist Party USA study group about two of history's great anti-war activists: Rosa Luxemburg and V.I. Lenin. On March 15, we will look at Rosa Luxemburg's pamplet from WW1 called the "Junius pamphlet". Then, on March 22, we will examine V.I. Lenin's very important critique of Rosa's pamphlet. In the time of Bush and state-monopoly capitalism, these readings raise issues that are vital today such as the need to oppose imperialist wars and support the self-determination of oppressed nations. Rosa Luxemburg, a Marxist activist, wrote the "Junius pamphlet" while imprisoned for opposing WW1. She was later murdered by the German government. Rosa is an anti-war militant who is also known for her serious theoretical and political mistakes. V.I Lenin is the Communist leader who ended Russia's involvement in WW1, became the country's leader, and called for the belligerent nations to end the war. He criticised Rosa's "Junius pamphlet" for not validating wars fought to win a nation's freedom from oppression. He reminds her that the American people fought for liberation in 1776 against England and urged her not to lump all wars together as imperialist. "What would Rosa and Lenin think of the occupation of Iraq?". What can the "Junius pamphlet" from WW1 and Lenin's criticism of it teach us? Will it inspire us to struggle even more against Bush and the capitalist system that breeds wars? You're invited to join the MN Communist Party USA study group and come find out! We'll have coffee brewing just for you! --------18 of 18-------- How the Green Party Slays Their Own An Interview with John Murphy by Joshua Frank www.dissidentvoice.org March 9, 2006 John Murphy is running an antiwar, pro-civil liberties campaign for US Congress from the 16th District of Pennsylvania (www.johnmurphyforcongress.org). Murphy, a Green, was denied his party's endorsement last month because, as Murphy believes, he supported Ralph Nader and was critical of Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb in 2004. Murphy recently spoke with Joshua Frank about his campaign as well as the future of the Green Party. Joshua Frank: John, you've been a Green Party member for a while now. Can you tell us a bit about what capacity you've played in your state's Green Party? John Murphy: I never wanted to get involved in the internal operations of the state Green Party. I thought this was better left to younger men and women. I have, however been active in helping campaign for Green candidates at the local level. My political activism took on an interesting form in the last few years. I became what some people call a "photo essayist." I simply began by writing to my friends and business associates several years ago asking them to contact their senators to prevent an unconstitutional transference of legislative power to the executive branch whereby President Bush would be given unlimited power to wage war at his discretion. These simple letters to friends became more and more sophisticated as I began to embellish them with editorial cartoons, articles written by other people and then my own comments often spicing up my essays with my own form of editorial cartoons. Now I have lost count of how many thousands of people receive them. I have been active in the antiwar movement ever since the 60s but the Nader campaign of 2004 gave me the opportunity to use many of the skills I have developed over the last 60 years as an educator, union negotiator and business owner in support of his campaign. Consequently when the Nader campaign needed someone to represent Mr. Nader in a series of debate-like forums throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania they chose me. When they wanted someone to speak prior to his press conferences and fundraisers in Philadelphia, they chose me. When they wanted someone to represent the independent candidacy of Nader/Camejo in the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, an organization consisting of the leaders of the "minor parties" organized to change the egregious ballot access laws in Pennsylvania, they again chose me. My organizational and leadership skills coupled with my seniority were put to much greater use in this capacity than serving in any position as an internal officer in the official state Green Party organization. I paid those kinds of dues many years ago when I held several functional vice-presidencies, including chairman of the board, of a prominent professional association in Philadelphia. JF: Can you talk a little about what it was like being a Nader supporter in the Green Party during the 2004 elections? JM: First of all you should keep in mind that the entire reason for my joining the Green Party was that since I voted for Mr. Nader in both 1996 and 2000, I simply decided that if there were a couple of hundred thousand people who felt the way I did, at least I ought to join their party. I had no idea how intimidated the Greens in leadership positions had become as a result of the scapegoating efforts of the Democratic Party after the 2000 election. As the 2004 election approached, a lot of the Pennsylvania Greens were saying things like "we don't want our Democratic friends to hold us responsible again for Bush's election." Truthfully, I was surprised by that entire line of thinking because I never felt "responsible" nor did I hold Mr. Nader "responsible" for Gore's loss in 2000. I had always held the Democrats responsible for that. In any event there was no way that I could possibly support someone like John Kerry whose position on the Iraq war, the USA Patriot Act and a dozen or so other issues were diametrically opposed to the values espoused by the Green Party. The GPUS as well as the GPPA supported Kerry through his surrogate candidate David Cobb who told the Greens that it would be all right to vote for him in states like Texas and Massachusetts where it didn't matter but they should vote for Kerry everywhere else. In the meantime, the leadership of the Pennsylvania Green Party had become completely seduced by the "safe-states" philosophy of David Cobb. I am strained to describe in polite language how anyone could embrace this philosophy; especially people I once would have described as courageous. Suffice it to say that any courage that I once believed existed in the Green Party leadership was ephemeral. I could understand how the Democrats who, in good conscience, thought they were supporting the antiwar movement through the candidacy of Kucinich or even Dean might have been flimflammed by the ABB (Anybody But Bush) strategy of the Democratic Party but I just couldn't believe that my fellow Greens had gotten sucked into that black hole. So while I was gathering signatures for Nader's nominating petitions, the Green Party was working hand in glove with the Democratic Party whose sole purpose was to subvert Nader's candidacy by denying him ballot access in Pennsylvania. It's very spooky to realize that while the Democratic Party challenged every one of Nader's signatures, not even one of David Cobb's signatures were challenged by the Democratic Party -- not even for the sake of appearances. I did not stop simply at supporting Mr. Nader. I chastised those who came to be known as the "lesser evil Greens" whenever the opportunity arose. Since I had a pretty powerful Internet presence, that opportunity arose on a pretty regular basis. The events that began to unfold in Pennsylvania even became more bizarre. The Pennsylvania leadership eventually passed a resolution condemning the safe-states philosophy. When I learned of this I immediately thought, well I guess they're finally going to dump David Cobb. But they did not. In fact they put him on the ballot in a state where he did not even want any votes! How could the Pennsylvania Greens take this action? How could they condemn the safe states gospel and then actually put its evangelist on the ballot? How could they have squandered our meager resources in such a way when they were so desperately needed to support Mr. Nader whose position actually reflected what Greens like to call their "ten key values"? When it became clear that they couldn't even come up with enough volunteers to collect a sufficient number of signatures for David Cobb the chairman of the Green Party himself financed a private contractor to collect the balance of the necessary signatures. What were these people thinking? Clearly the Pennsylvania Greens didn't want this guy Cobb but the chairman himself paid to have him put on the ballot! For some reason, I still considered myself a member of the Green Party, but I had become part of an internal movement called the "GDI" -- Greens for Democracy and Independence which had developed a series of proposals that would prevent another bastardization of the democratic process like the Milwaukee convention where David Cobb who actually had gotten only 12% of the Green Party votes ended up as the official candidate. JF: I've heard quite a few stories like yours, and there are purportedly a lot of things going on within the Green Party; a split between Cobb Greens and Camejo Greens and even the impeachment of a few Steering Committee members. Not to open up all those issues here, but can you expand more on what has recently happened with your campaign for Congress? Was it more personal than strategic on the part of those who didn't support you? I'm assuming that the majority of them were, and are, Cobb supporters? Are the Greens in PA trying to dump the Naderites? JM: Yes, there was a failed effort to impeach five members of the steering committee because they refused to seat a validly elected member of the GDI. It had to do with two separate results from the IRV voting that took place at the plenary meeting of the Green Party in Tulsa last July. Two different programs were used yielding two separate results. But the truth of the matter is they simply did not want to seat a Naderite! JF: Can you tell us more about the GDI? JM: Sure, for all practical purposes the GDI is composed of former Nader supporters. There may be one or two repentant Cobbites in the group but the "lesser evil Greens" want absolutely nothing to do with the GDI members whom they see as some kind of a radical fringe. There has even been an incredible amount of red-baiting going on. But you're correct; trying to delve into this business would take quite some time. To make a long story short however if the GDI is not ultimately successful in getting its proposals passed, I find it hard to imagine how the Green Party will survive after 2008. The Green Party in Pennsylvania decided not to nominate me for House of Representatives in the 16th Congressional District. The reasons leading up to this decision are truly Byzantine. JF: What is the nominating process like for Greens in Pennsylvania? JM: In order to receive the nomination of the PA Green Party you must first have the endorsement of your local party. Four members of the Chester County Green Party (my local Green Party) met in secret and decided not to call the local party into session for a period of six months in order to avoid the possibility that I might show up with sufficient supporters to obtain the local party's endorsement. These four former officers actually admitted this abuse of the democratic process in front of the chairman of the Pennsylvania Green Party, three officers of the Pennsylvania Green Party, nine of my supporters along with my wife and children! There are two ways you can destroy democracy. One way is by preventing people from voting the other is by preventing worthy candidates from ever appearing on the ballot. The Green Party of Pennsylvania has chosen the latter. When the Chester County Green Party was forced to have a reorganization meeting on January 30, the party chairman tried to cut a deal in order to prevent this disgrace from becoming public. Since they deliberately prohibited the Chester County Green Party from meeting in order to endorse me, the party chairman tried to get a motion passed whereby my endorsement would be deferred to the delegates of the Green Party itself. Although it looked like these four former officers were going to go along with the deal he was trying to cut, a few days later one of them went on the listserv of the Pennsylvania delegates and told them that the Green Party of Chester County could not recommend me for endorsement. A feeding frenzy followed whereby the Cobbites trotted out one red herring after another for condemning my candidacy. At the Green Party convention they would use this as the linchpin upon which they would hang their refusal to grant me their nomination. Tragically, but not unexpectedly, the Green Party chairman in a monumental act of CYA did not even tell the delegates what he witnessed at the meeting at the Chester County Green Party. I attended the Pennsylvania state Green Party convention last week (February 25 and 26). It was a cross between a high school pep rally and a meeting of a religious cult. Of course not having a beard and ponytail, as I had back in 1967, made me a bit out of place. Guess I just never recovered form going "clean for Gene" in '68. These folks had decided quite some time ago that there was no way they were going to allow my nomination. They even engaged in emotional blackmail. One of the former officers of Chester County Green Party wrote to the Pennsylvania delegates saying that if the Pennsylvania Green Party nominated me it would destroy the Green Party in Chester County and the PA Green Party could forget about getting any signatures on its nominating petitions in Chester County. As a matter of fact, I have more volunteers from the Chester County Green Party in my campaign than have participated in any meeting of the Chester County Green Party for the past two years. Furthermore, because I have been endorsed by the Libertarian Party, they have already arranged to get all the necessary signatures for my nominating petitions! Now ironically the Green Party candidates will have no signatures on their petitions from Chester County. In a year when they need 67,000 signatures they have essentially thrown away the 5000 signatures that my candidacy would have brought them. If that were not bad enough one person who constitutes an entire hate group all by himself joined the GDI listserv some time ago under false pretenses. When the GDI was considering endorsing me, he tried to blackmail them by telling them that if they gave me their endorsement they could forget all about their three proposals ever passing in Pennsylvania. You might get away with that kind of emotional blackmail in Pennsylvania but the GDI would never buy into something like that and I am pleased to say that I have been endorsed by the GDI as well as by Peter Camejo. I expect to have the formal endorsement of Ralph Nader as soon as he returns from Connecticut. JF: So what is their public rationale for not endorsing you? JM: The Green Party here has said they can't have someone like me represent them because of the way I criticized them for supporting David Cobb. This decision was not strategic; it was personal. Unfortunately, the GPPA and by extension the GPUS, has not yet developed the talent for strategic thought. The Republicans are going to be represented in the 16th Congressional District by a man who took money from Jack Abramoff and who blames Homer Simpson for the decline of fatherhood in the United States. This man of course also supports the war, the Patriot Act and countless other pieces of legislative atrocities. The Democratic Party is being represented by a retired school administrator who believes that terrorists should be tried by military tribunals instead of civilian courts. She too believes that the occupation of Iraq should continue and gives her support to the Patriot Act along with free-trade agreements like NAFTA. The Democrat does not even support equal rights for gays and lesbians and she thinks that individual countries must be held responsible for acts of terrorism committed by their citizens. The implication being that the United States therefore has the right to invade any such country anytime it chooses. The Green Party of Pennsylvania, however, will not allow an antiwar, pro-civil liberties candidate to represent it because he called them a dirty word two years ago! JF: On the whole, does this pro-Cobb sect represent the majority of Greens you know? JM: Most Greens are well-meaning environmentalists who see the Green Party as some kind of a social club where people should sit around and talk about our stinking air and dirty water but should not sink to the level of electoral politics. The Pennsylvania Greens, following the GPUS in the 2004 presidential contest essentially backed off from the whole question of electoral politics. The Pennsylvania Greens again had an opportunity to back a strong antiwar/pro-civil liberties candidate for House of Representatives in the 16th district against the two warmongering candidates, but again it backed off from that race as well. If the Green Party ever hopes to overcome its characterization as being a fringe group full of tree hugging hippies it's definitely going to have to stop electing such politically na´ve leaders. The Green Party of Pennsylvania refused to support a truly antiwar candidate in the 2004 presidential election deferring to John Kerry through the surrogacy of David Cobb and now they have decided not to field an antiwar Green candidate to run against the two pro war candidates for House of Representatives in the 16th District. I will be running as an independent and my ballot line will read "Pennsylvania Populist Party". As you may recall the Green Party of Maryland refused to endorse Mr. Nader consequently he started the Maryland Populist Party. I will run under the Populist banner in honor of Mr. Nader. Fortunately the local Greens -- the real Greens in Chester County -- will be supporting me. I will also be endorsed by both the Libertarian Party and the Reform Party. Although the Pennsylvania Socialist Party had endorsed me, they had their hands slapped by their own National Committee whose policy does not permit the endorsement of non-socialists. Nevertheless the rank-and-file members of the Socialist Party will be providing me "feet on the street" during my campaign. I have linked my candidacy not only with Kevin Zeese who is running for Senate in Maryland but to a network of non-duopoly antiwar candidates that has sprung up all over the country. As far as the Green Party actually trying to get rid of the Naderites; I'm afraid it is really true. Most of the Nader supporters have become members of the GDI. One of our proposals requires the complete independence of the Green Party from the two old parties which of course ally means the Democratic Party. There is a strong element in the leadership of the Green Party which, in the words of Jody Haug, one of the co-chairs on the National Steering Committee of the Green Party, "we need to keep our options open." A large majority of the Green Party's National Committee refuses to declare its independence from the Democratic Party and wishes to retain the option of supporting a Democrat either openly or simply by running no candidate in closely contested elections. Those of us in the GDI, primarily the Nader supporters, feel that this will spell the death of the Green Party. Joshua Frank edits the radical news blog www.BrickBurner.org and is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press (2005). Josh can be reached at: BrickBurner [at] gmail.com. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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