This isn't the first time the warning bells have been sounded about this matter. Democrats in Congress have filed this resolution, nicknamed the For the People Act, at the beginnings of several previous sessions. They claim that it's supposed to make the five improvements in the graphic above:
Sounds great, right?—at least for left-of-center voters who want to see democracy enhanced in a political system in desperate need of reform (or, as some of us believe, replacement). The Progressive Reform Network, one of many nonprofits that send me far too much email, seems to think it's all cool.
However, there's an ugly snake in all that beautiful grass. That bullet point in the graphic about matching grassroots donations? That already happens, but this resolution aims to make qualifying for the matching more difficult.
Either Jill Stein's presidential campaign or the Green Party of the United States has raked in more than $80,000 in contributions since Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday. At least, that's what US Uncut is saying.
Since Tuesday morning, the Green Party has received over $80,000 in contributions, over half of which comes from first-time donors, and half of which comes in the form of contributions under $50. Tellingly, about 615 of those contributions totalled $27, the exact number commonly trumpeted and solicited by the Sanders campaign during his revolutionary grassroots funding movement.
I may faint. Green Party US is not accustomed to such mass largesse. It's almost as if all the work we have done since 1999 is about to bear fruit.
US Uncut doesn't cite any actual sources for this information, and I would like to see some confirmation. But the article does cite Alexa for information about the enormous increase in hits that jill2016.com has received just since yesterday.
My imagination is getting a workout.
Senator Bernie Sanders has a reputation as a person of integrity: When he said months ago that he would support the Democratic nominee, I took him at his word. Today he went and did it.
Imagine if Sanders endorsed former Senator Hillary Clinton today with the ulterior motive of showing the Democratic Party and world how many of his supporters would vote Green rather than stay in the Democratic fold?
I use that word "fold" because, since Sanders entered the race, progressive analysts and cranks have bandied about the term "sheepdogging" to describe Bernie's purpose to the Democratic Party: attract a huge herd of Progressive sheep, then drive those sheep toward the inevitably less-progressive nominee, playing on fears of the Republican wolves. See also Kucinich, Dennis; Dean, Howard; Brown, Jerry; and Jackson, Jesse.
Either nobody told me, or somebody did tell me and I forgot. We had a third out-of-town candidate drop in at the Loes' residence Saturday, Green Senatorial nominee Emily "Spicybrown" Sánchez. It was wonderful to see Emily, along with Railroad Commission candidate Martina Salinas and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Kenneth Kendrick.
A physical therapist's assistant by day, slam poet by night, Emily opted to include her nom de slam "Spicybrown" in her ballot moniker. Texas allows the use of nicknames and even pseudonyms on the ballot, and thus Republican Sam Fayad now runs under the same Sam Texas. Back in December 2013, when I first heard about her intent, I wondered at first whether the nickname would turn out to be a liability. As it turns out, it has brought her all kinds of credibility with audiences in heavily Latino South Texas, not just among fans of competitive poetry or hearty mustard. Even with her limited campaigning, the phenomenon of Laredo has extended deeper into the Rio Grande Valley and up to Emily's current city of Del Rio (Val Verde County).
Other statewide candidates in attendance, but not on the bill to speak, were Deb Shafto (Comptroller of Public Accounts) and Jim Chisolm (Supreme Court, Place 8), both from Houston. None of the local folks were on the bill to speak: The 30-40 local voters who filled the Loes' living room have heard Deb and me speak plenty. I'd like to have heard Jim make a speech, but there's something I find very dignified about not actively campaigning for a judicial spot.
Hardy and Lee Loe made us all very comfortable as usual. Laura Palmer was a serenely welcoming mistress of ceremonies. I'm sorry to report that nobody, including professional videographer Laura, captured the proceedings on video, but Laura was busy with her other duties.
David Wager just called and reported that contributions to the three visiting candidates totaled just over $2,200. That will cover a couple of day-trips for each of them. Thank you, our generous Green and Progressive friends!
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.