Some of my Green compadres on Facebook are in a huff over the Green Party of Oklahoma's endorsement of Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders. The header of the press release notes that GPOK is endorsing Sanders for the Democratic Primary, which happens on Super Tuesday 1 March, and not for the presidency itself.
The text of the release notes that this decision comes from the GPOK Cooperative Council, derived from some admittedly non-scientific straw polling via social media and elsewhere.
It's an astoundingly tepid endorsement, for several reasons. This is my favorite:
"The platform of the Green Party of Oklahoma contains what we call our '10 Key Values,' said Green Party of Oklahoma State Facilitator Rachel Jackson. “These values are grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, global responsibility, and a focus on the future. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who will appear on Oklahoma’s ballot in the primaries that will truly advocate for most of those ideals.”
The GPOK acknowledges some Greens believe parts of Sanders’ platform, such as his stance on military drones and Israel, do not reflect Green values.
The GPOK press release was cited in a story from Tulsa's ABC affiliate KTUL. We can be grateful that a mainstream media outlet took the trouble to report Green Party activity, but the reporter did not do sufficient homework: Jill Stein is not "the current Green Party candidate," and if anyone at GPOK told Erin Christy that, that GPOK member needs to be enlightened otherwise: We have five candidates vying for the nomination. Jill Stein just happens to have the best organization of the five.
Here's a post from Steve Greenfield of New Paltz NY on the GPUS Facebook page:
Forget Oklahoma. They're a symptom, not the disease. Would anyone here who happens to be on the National Committee, or otherwise familiar with GPUS bylaws, tell us how it's possible for people to be legally enrolled in the Democratic Party and still cast votes on GPUS decisions? A lot of people think this is something new, but it's been going on since the beginning. And for anyone wondering "what's he talking about," in states that have no permanent voter party registration process, like New York or California, but instead you sign up for a party on Primary Day, you are legally a member of that party at least until the next primary. Yes, folks, there are Democrats on the National Committee, and chairing state committees. GP-OK didn't invent anything here. Sure, they should be expelled for encouraging their members to enroll as Democrats, but they won't be. So? What's the underlying organizing strategy here, National Committee? Make this make sense to us.
Oklahoma has a closed primary system with exceptions. Generally, only voters who are registered members of a recognized political party may vote for the party's candidates in primary and runoff primary elections. However, registered Independent voters may be eligible to vote in party's primaries and runoff primaries if authorized by the party. The Democratic Party has authorized Independent voters to vote in their party's primary and runoff elections in 2016 and 2017. Registered Republicans may only vote in Republican primaries and runoffs, and Independents may not vote in Republican primaries and runoffs.