Green: Last week, Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein's campaign has been certified for federal matching funds. Her first allocation of about $100,000 has been processed, a substantial amount of green. Stein is the first Green Party presidential candidate since Ralph Nader in 2000 to reach that milestone.
To qualify for federal matching funds, Stein had to raise $5,000 in donations from each of 20 states, irrespective of those states' populations. Any portion of a person's contribution above the $250 mark is not counted toward the $5,000. For the remainder of the 2016 campaign season, the Stein campaign may file with the Federal Election Commission for donations to be matched one-to-one.
Grumbling: The latest controversy in national Green Party circles concerns candidate Kent Mesplay's April Fool's Day post on mesplay.org. To all appearances, he's not fooling: He has asked Roseanne Barr to be his running mate, in the event that he receives the nomination. Here is the original, and here is Green Party Watch's post.
Barr, in case you missed it, put herself forth as a serious candidate for the Green Party's presidential nod in 2012. For a professional comedian, she showed a horrible lack of timing: Stein, twice a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, had already built a substantial organization and a devoted following by the time Barr entered the race. The two candidates appeared together in this presidential forum in May 2012 (it's about 1 hour and 45 minutes long), at which Barr talked the Green Party line quite convincingly.
Both items linked above make reference to Barr's recently adopted Zionism and her acerbic comments leveled at anyone who views Palestinians as human beings. She has even trotted out the tired old line about how anyone who criticizes Israel must be anti-Semitic.
The Zionist stance alone would make Barr anathema to the Green Party of the United States. However, neither item deigns to mention how Barr alienated herself from GPUS back in 2012.
In June of that year, she could not appear in person at the Texas Green Convention, so she telephoned in. Most of her appearance went well, as she detailed her policy positions. Then she took an opportunity to accuse Stein's followers in New York State of dissing and dismissing potential Barr delegates at the Green Convention there. She did not even bother to phone in for the national Green Convention in Baltimore, instead convincing a campaign organizer and delegate from Minnesota to read a prepared statement that accused several Green Party leaders, by name, of sabotaging and otherwise thwarting the Barr campaign. The delegate was careful to inform the Baltimore crowd that the words were Roseanne's, not her own.
After slamming the Green door shut, Barr went on to accept the nomination of California's Peace and Freedom Party, with Cindy Sheehan as her running mate. The Barr-Sheehan ticket won just over 67,000 votes, almost all of them in California, the only state on which that ticket appeared on ballots.
Having a candidate with big-time name recognition is helpful for a minor political party in this two-corporate-party system. Mesplay has run for president four times, and he's not even that widely known within the Green Party, let alone likely to win the nomination in 2016, so the Green Party has nothing to worry about. I would love to see GPUS field a well-known candidate, someone in the same league as Nader, for president or VP; I would prefer a candidate who knows better than to spew toxic rhetoric.
Meanwhile, I give Mesplay props for trying.
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.