Here's the first bit of not exactly earth-shattering news that I'd like to include in this entry. Another Houston-based author, Neil Ellis Orts, recently got an idea to create a Facebook event page for creative friends to advertise their wares, gratis. Check out the selection of books, artworks, and jewelry, some of it by Houston residents, including a certain novel about the exciting lives of Unitarian Universalists in a fictitious Texas college town.
I met Neil through Continuum Performance Art, the group with which we have both staged performances. I bought Neil's novella Cary and John shortly after it was published last year, and I recommend it, especially to those who might enjoy a good closeted love story with vivid, multi-dimensional characterizations.
Since my last post about four weeks ago, I have
- had an enjoyable, low-stress 53rd birthday;
- endured losses to the top two teams in our TORSO Soccer division, both on late goals (but miraculously stayed in fourth place), then had the next two Sundays off;
- traveled to Wichita and back, a trip on which I got to meet my lady-friend's relatives and the women she considers sisters;
- been exposed to way too much depressing news from the outside world;
- tried to do my part in keeping the Harris County Green Party moving forward, stressed about not being able to do enough, and realized that my approaches to helping HCGP grow have been wrong from the beginning.
Turning UH Green
At least I can report that a decision has been reached regarding the venue for the 2016 Green Party US Presidential Nominating Convention. The local and national folks put their heads together, after touring some possible sites, and decided to hold it at the University of Houston. The dates are set at 4-7 August 2016, with Saturday the 6th the most likely date for choosing the party's nominee.
Bear in mind that, while Dr. Jill Stein remains the presumptive nominee, the only Green candidate to file the requisite paperwork and pursue federal matching funds, all Greens should be cautious not to label her as "the Green nominee" or even "the Green candidate." She is a Green candidate. Other declared candidates include Kent Mesplay (for the fourth time), Earth First! organizer Darryl Cherney, and the redoubtable SKCM Curry.
Not Just Anybody, and Possibly Nobody
GPUS has a set of criteria for whom it recognizes as a presidential candidate. One of the criteria is "written support from 100 Green Party members to the GPUS Secretary, with no more than 50 from one state, and including members from at least five state parties; this requirement is not applicable until December 1st of the year preceding the presidential election."
In expressing this written support, Green Party members may indicate their support for more than one candidate. It's a standard practice within the Green Party to allow voting for multiple candidates when choosing its officials at the county, state, and national level. The method varies from state to state, but Approval and Ranked Preference voting are the most common; both have the advantage of ending up with a candidate approved by at least 50% of the voting members.
For public offices other than President and Vice President, states may also use a form of Instant Runoff Voting. However, for President, delegates the the Presidential Nominating Convention cast votes for just one candidate in each round. They may also choose None of the Above for any office. If NotA wins, the Party chooses not to field a candidate for that office.
The NotA scenario almost happened in 2004, when David Cobb narrowly defeated NotA in the second round of balloting. That year, some None-of-the-Abovers preferred to support the Greens' 2000 nominee Ralph Nader, who was running as an independent in '04; some just did not want to risk peeling votes away from Democratic nominee John Kerry in key states. As it happened, Cobb's vote totals did not upset any Electoral College apple carts. He did continue the Green tradition, started by Nader and carried on by Stein, of getting arrested or tossed out while trying to crash the presidential debates.
After the 2004 election, Cobb and Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik went to bat for Kerry in Ohio, where the Republicans appeared to have used multiple dirty tricks to lock up the vote for George W. Bush. Kerry, VP nominee John Edwards, and the rest of their crew didn't bother.