As of last week's Annual State Meeting of the Green Party of Texas, Sketch is the newly elected GPTX treasurer. Here is the complete listing of the State Executive Committee, delegates and the Green National Committee, and current regional coordinators. The regional coordinator system may be retired soon.
Just prior to the ASM, I relented to Laura's plea to stand for an at-large position on the SEC, and fortunately for me I was not elected.
The Post 2504 Landscape
A Green buzz is reverberating through Texas and all around the nation in the wake of HB 2504 becoming law and guaranteeing a ballot line for 2020. The National Committee has a vested interest in having a strong Green presence in the second-most populous state. Veteran Greens like me, who have faded from the scene to avoid intra-Party squabbles, are becoming active again. Among those with whom I have conversed, the focus have shifted more than ever toward recruiting candidates for 2020 and amassing the funds to back them up.
This all gets back to something I proposed more than two years ago for HCGP, and which was adopted formally but never properly implemented. I would dearly love to see my proposal not just implemented, but expanded to the state Party. Henceforth, every active GPTX member should take on and actively fulfill one or more of the following roles:
- SEC member or officer
- NC delegate
- campaign treasurer
- candidate recruiter/developer (that was not in the original proposal)
- fundraising specialist
Ethics Must Be Above Reproach
For obvious ethical reasons, SEC members and NC delegates should not participate directly in any particular electoral campaign. I almost added "with the possible exception of their own," but I honestly don't care to see them seeking public office while in Party leadership. Progressives have made a lot of noise about how the Democratic National Committee had its thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primary season. In my perception, being a GNC member while running for office is an even worse conflict of interest, even if its for an office one already holds (à la Debbie Wasserman Schultz).
The exception to that might be if just one candidate files for a race, and that candidate happens to sit on the SEC or NC. If there is more than one candidate for a particular nomination, the Party would need to exercise extreme caution in preventing the dedication of more resources to an SEC member's campaign than to any others'.
On that same note, the Party needs to determine whether and how it will assist candidates with filing fees—or collecting of petition signatures, per the Texas Election Code's matrix. The Party cannot prevent more than one candidate from filing for any particular partisan race in 2020. But it would be hard-pressed to provide funding for more than one in each race.
My recommendation, for what it's worth, would be to restrict monetary assistance to only the statewide races and US House seats, which require filing fees ranging from $3,125 to $5,000. Fees for the other offices are $1,250 or less, so let those candidates spend their own money, work their own fundraising magic, or gather a mere 500 petition signatures from within their districts, say I.
An important factor at play in 2020 is that, in Texas, presidential election years feature a smaller number of statewide races than the midterm years (when the state's six executive positions are contested). What statewide positions will be available next year? Just these eight:
- one US Senate seat (John Cornyn's)
- one Railroad Commission seat
- three Supreme Court seats
- three Court of Criminal Appeals seats
There will also most likely be a Green presidential ticket, and I'm happy to say that no frontrunner has yet emerged, and GPUS is not showing any pronounced preference for a particular candidate. Howie Hawkins, the many-time candidate for Governor of New York, may have the nationwide name recognition, but Dario Hunter and Ian Schlakman have strong followings, especially among young Greens.
GPTX could get by with running for just three of those eight: US Senator, Railroad Commissioner, and one of the judicial positions. Greens can no longer rely on Texas Democrats to leave any holes in their statewide electoral slate, even though they did as recently as 2018: CCA Position 8 had only Republican and Libertarian nominees last year.