California is a "jungle primary" state, in which multiple candidates from all parties (and No Party Preference) compete in the first round, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election.
CA-34: Mejia faced only incumbent Democrat Jimmy Gomez and a Libertarian candidate. It's a very diverse & progressive district. Mejia, who received about 12% Tuesday, says he's running to win, but it will be quite an accomplishment if he whittles down Gomez's 79% primary showing.
CA-40: Cortes Barragan faced only incumbent Democrat Lucille Roybal-Allard, so a two-two finish was guaranteed. He received about 19.6% of a small vote pool.
They're not going to win over many dyed-in-the-wool Democrats in their respective districts, so they'll be focusing on people who didn't vote Tuesday—or who have just given up on voting. In the 2014 general election, the vote count in District 34 was only about 61,000; in District 40, it was under 50,000. Each of these districts has about 400,000 eligible voters. There's a whole lot o' non-votin' goin' on there.
I thought about including this information in the previous post, because it is tangentially related to it, but decided that it needed its own entry. This is mostly copied and pasted from my Facebook post:
See full results from California's jungle primaries here. If you are a Progressive living in Greater LA—especially Greater East LA—I urge you to do what you can to help these young Greens. If you live elsewhere, send them what disposable cash you can.
Presented without comment. I have some minor quibbles with Dixon's analysis, but I'm more interested in yours.
[Insert "I wish I knew how to quit you!" photo here. I'm having trouble getting Meme Generator to work today.]
If it were easy to just up and quit identifying with the Democratic Party, a lot more American voters would have done so by now—Progressives in particular. Codependency with an abusive political partner is a painfully difficult state of existence. The ever-present fallacy of false alternatives is downright cruel: "What, you're gonna leave me? Where are you gonna go—to the Republicans?"
Stop it, Democratic establishment. Just fucking stop it. Of the millions of us who no longer identify as Democrats, some of us have gone to the Republicans. Others have joined smaller parties like the Greens. The huge majority have given up on partisan politics entirely, including the largest cohort of all: those who don't vote, even in presidential elections.
As I mentioned Monday, I missed the Green Party confab over the weekend, so I didn't have the information who got elected or nominated to do what. But it's available now, if somewhat incomplete:
Gubernatorial candidate Janis Richards informed me that she and George Reiter were indeed officially nominated to run for Governor and Railroad Commissioner, respectively. She did not have the information on whether Jamar Osborne got the nomination for Attorney General; however, she did note that Osborne did not receive the Libertarian nomination for which he had filed back in December; that went to Michael Ray Harris.
Richards, Reiter, and the other candidates will appear on Texas ballot only if the party manages to acquire the requisite petition signatures, which we have discussed in this space ad nauseam. We have also observed that this slate is considerably smaller than in recent years when the Texas Greens had guaranteed ballot access.
State Executive Committee
Harris County is well represented on the SEC, with four of the nine members. This is nothing new or unexpected: Even with all the recent rancor, Harris County remains the largest and strongest of the county organizations.
Houstonian Joy Davis is the new Co-Chair, starting a two-year term. Long-time Greenie Alfred Molison is taking the fiscal reins; David Wager has tried for some time to find his own replacement as Treasurer, and it took withdrawing entirely from active membership for someone to finally step into his shoes.
Like Richards, Davis is a recent arrival, having found the Harris County Greens via the Green Party Black Caucus at the 2016 convention we hosted here. A newly elected member of the Harris County Steering Committee as well, Davis has demonstrated organizational acumen, enthusiasm, and a diplomatic disposition.
The GPTX website shows all the At Large SEC members having terms that expire next year. Normally those terms are staggered, just like the co-chair positions. I'll post an update if that turns out to be inaccurate.
The National Committee delegation's terms also universally expire at the 2019 annual meeting, according to the website. Three of the nine NC delegates are from Harris County: Richards, Alán Alán Apurim, and now-former state co-chair Laura Palmer. You might also count Harris County co-chair Valerie Alessi, although she and Remington now dwell in Galveston County.
In addition to running for governor, Richards now has a trifecta of responsibilities within the party: She serves on the Harris County Steering Committee, the State Executive Committee, and the National Committee. As I have told her at least once, the line between commitment and overcommitment is indeed a fine one; participating in those three bodies borders on the masochistic.
Adrián Boutereira, Jill Stein's 2016 field director, also represents the Lone Star State on the NC. In a recent downsizing at GPUS, Boutereira lost his paid position, but he is still a devoted Green and an avatar of the Party's overtly eco-socialist identity. (Yeah, that's a nifty string of ten-dollar words, innit?)
This post shouldn't be about me. Yes, it's my blog, and I'd love to talk to you about my activities over the weekend, but I can't help feeling that those activities are of so little importance compared to other recent events. It seems inappropriate to talk about oneself when one's government is committing mass murder yet again.
Appropriate or not, I will talk about my weekend. There are lessons to be learned from it.
Over the past week, the United States of America got even more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, raining death and destruction on yet another Middle Eastern nation and creeping closer to direct confrontation with Russia. It's what we do. It's kind of become our specialty.
So, on Saturday afternoon, rather than go Downtown to see Houston's 31st annual Art Car Parade, as I had planned, I yielded to my peacenik reflexes and joined in a small protest rally Uptown. Downtown I likely could have added dozens of signatures to the Green Party's ballot access petition while other Greens were tied up with their state convention; Uptown I managed to get ten. Brian Harrison and several others from the most recent Socialist Alternative meeting were present, and all of them had signed the petition that evening.
Sigh. I didn't go to the State Convention of the Green Party of Texas Saturday. Some of you know why. Thus, as of this morning, all I know about what happened there is what I've read toward the bottom of this entry.
I also didn't go to the Art Car Parade, which I'd been looking forward to with my customary eagerness. Despite long-held plans to petition downtown, where 100,000 Art Car fans were likely to show up despite the damp and chilly conditions, I joined a few dozen peace activists at Westheimer and Post Oak to hold signs and chant. I'll post something about my weird weekend later today.
Meanwhile, we present the weekly adaptation of Brains and Eggs's Weekly Wrangle.
Does anyone know a good voting rights attorney who will work for beer money? Because if I were a more litigious lefty, I'd be licking my chops at the prospect of a history-changing lawsuit. By suppressing any mention of political parties that, for whatever reason, do not hold primary elections, the Harris County Clerk's Office is effectively partisan in nature—and that's unethical at best, unconstitutional at worst.
Longtime HCGP apparatchik Alán Alán Apurim noticed something about the information presented on the HCCO's Harris Votes website. Well, to be more precise, he noticed what information is not on the site: that voters may exercise an option other than voting in a primary or abstaining entirely.
Apurim sent a message to the appropriate administrator at HCCO about correcting the oversight. From the resulting correspondence, it seems that the County Clerk's staffers need to be, shall we say, deprogrammed out of the notion that our political activities must remain confined to donkeys and elephants.
As noted below, Socratic Gadfly has tossed in his tuppence-worth regarding the current state of the Green Party of Texas, with updates following the revelation that GPTX had four (4) candidates filing to run as Greens in 2018.
I still haven't resolved my feelings about the filings or dearth thereof, but I'm leaning toward PDiddie's diagnosis that GPTX is waxing irrelevant. This situation is not irreparable, but fixing it does require putting the right folks in charge in the big metro county parties, with enough time to formulate strategies and coordinate implementations. That's a tall order, since we have a history of electing co-chairs based on whoever is willing to serve a two-year term.
In less than two decades, we have witnessed county parties go dormant for years at a time, only to be revived with fresh blood, and then going back into hibernation. The Occupy movements of 2011-12 were a terrific source of personpower, energy, and inspiration; even after Occupy was effectively crushed, GPTX kept going on the momentum it generated.
The basic information is up on txgreens.org. It may be moved to a different page on that site before long. It may also be updated in the next few months. The page contains a link to an as-yet-incomplete profile of Janis Richards, who has filed to run for governor of Texas.
Jan Richards is all too aware of her name's similarity to Ann Richards. With so many Texans holding fond memories of Governor Ann, she is willing to milk that similarity for all it's worth. Jan is a bit of a wonk, as I've mentioned in this space—more the type to run a campaign than to speak from the stump—but from my observations she is as sincere a disillusioned Sandernista/converted Green as you're likely to meet.
Some Greenies may be disappointed that only four Greens applied to run. There are more self-identified Greens filing to run independently than within the Party label, understandable given the odds against regaining ballot access. I hope to have more information on that bunch in the next few days.
I can picture PDiddie not knowing whether to laugh or cry. I can hear the f-bombs raining from katija gruene's lips. As for myself, I'll figure out later how I feel about this.
Le Sigh. Remember how the people of Maine voted last year to switch to Ranked Choice Voting for local and state offices? Remember how for a while it appeared that the Legislature there would overturn it, but didn't? Remember "that depends on what your definition of the word 'majority' is"? Well, now the duly elected representatives in Augusta have kicked that particular can waaaaay down the road.
According to an email blast (which you can also read here) from the Maine Green Independent Party, who worked hard to get that referendum on the ballot and passed, LD 1646 has passed both houses of the Legislature, bearing the title "An Act to Implement Ranked Choice Voting in 2021."
That title would seem to indicate that RCV will happen, although not in time for the next gubernatorial election as the voters had been led to believe. However, there is a multitude of tiny devils in the details.