Tag Archives: Green Rainbow Party

The Green Rainbow Party Convention: 5-21-16

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Gordon Davis, center, at a Green Rainbow workshop; it was one of several held during the political party’s recent convention.

For the “Third Party,” Neither Trump Nor Clinton

By Gordon Davis

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its annual convention May 21 in Worcester.

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts is the official state affiliate of the Green Party US. The national Green Party has made unofficial overtures to Senator Bernie Sanders to form a left-of-center third party should he not win the Democratic nomination.

There was some discussion of how the Reds (Green for Republican) and the Blues (Democrats) were breaking up, similarly to what happed to the Whigs before President Lincoln. I do not think this is the election of the third party. It might, however, be soon.

Jill Stein of Lexington is the favorite daughter of the Green Rainbows. All of its delegates seemingly are committed to Dr. Stein for the national convention of the Greens in Houston, TX, in August. The national Green Party platform included basic income for all regardless of work status, single payer health insurance similar to Medicare,  universal good free public education from kindergarten through college, and replacement of fossil fuels by renewable fuels.
 
The Green Rainbow convention also endorsed the candidacy of Charlene DiCalogero, running for state rep in Worcester’s 14th District and Danny Factor, vying for state rep in Worcester’s 12th District.

There were two informational speakers at the convention:

The first was Jonathan Simon who talked about electric vote counting. He pointed out statistical anomalies between the hand counted ballots and electronically counted ballots. The software for the electronic counters is proprietary, and no election commission anywhere can review the software. Even in Massachusetts the Secretary of State does not allow a comparison of hand counted ballots to the quantity of votes counted electronically.

The second speaker was Mary Lawrence who spoke on animal rights. She made an interesting observation. Ms. Lawrence said when farm animals are treated badly, the workers on those farms are also treated badly. This bad treatment eventually finds its way into society.
      
The Green Rainbow Party adopted a support resolution for BlackLives Matter during its 2015 convention. This was well ahead of the Democratic and Republican parties. As a part of this convention, the Green Rainbows organized a workshop on racism and BlackLives Matter.  The workshop leader was scheduled to be Julius Jones, who confronted Secretary Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire last year. Unfortunately, he had to cancel.

Something of a crisis was handled well by the convention coordinator, David Spanagel. He recruited Darlene Elias, a leader of the BlackLives Matter civil rights movement in Holyoke. A local activist from Worcester assisted her.  The discussion was energized and focused on how to interrupt offense behavior. Merelice, a town representative, from Brookline spoke of her efforts to fight racism at City Hall. 

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Merelice, standing, discussed efforts to eliminate racism in her town.

Other workshops included a discussion of the fight against the gas pipelines through Massachusetts and a workshop on global climate change.

The upcoming presidential election will be a test for the Greens nationally. The party may grow as more people express their disgust for candidate Donald Trump and their mistrust of candidate Hillary Clinton. Regardless, the Green Rainbows seem on the verge of a break-through on several local levels.

This just in! InCity Times ace political writer Steve Maher is back!

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Woo-hoo!!!

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS SHOULD ABANDON CAUCUSES, SUPERDELEGATES, UNPLEDGED DELEGATES AND CLOSED PRIMARIES

By Steven R. Maher

Sometimes one gets the impression that America democracy is dissolving before our eyes as the rank and file rebel against the party elites through the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Part of what voters are rebelling against are the rules set up by these elites to preserve their own privileges and the huge amount of money flooding into the political process because of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. Together these two toxins are poisoning the American people’s belief in the Democratic process.

The antidote to these poisons is uniquely American – let the voters decide, not the super-delegates,unpledged delegates, or the party bosses.

Caucuses

The first thing each party should do is abolish caucuses, replacing them with primary elections where party voters choose the candidates. The caucus process embraces a fundamentally un-American concept that everyone knows what candidate you voted for. Unlike a primary, voters can’t go into a voting booth and in privacy select the candidate of their choice. They have to go “caucus” in the corner of the meeting hall for their candidates, where their choices are known to all. This is a situation which lends itself to retaliation and boycotts in which individuals can be targeted for reprisals for supporting a particular candidate.

Caucusing imposes what I call an “availability tax” on working business persons or single parent mothers. If you’re a small entrepreneur (Republican) trying to get a business up and running, taking three or four hours out of the day to caucus means foregoing business opportunities. Likewise, a single working parent (Democrat) trying to support several small children on a minimum wage job (or two jobs) may have to cut back on food, the electricity or some other vital expense to pay for a baby sitter to watch their children while Mom caucuses.

The caucus system is an expensive privilege for many, not a right.

For the two reasons cited above, both parties should replace caucuses with a primary election where voters can walk in, cast a ballot, and leave with the knowledge that their input, anonymously made, counts.

Superdelegates

In 1972 the Democrats had one of the worst electoral defeats in history when Richard M. Nixon defeated George McGovern in every state but Massachusetts. After this, the party created “superdelegates.” Wikipedia defines ‘superdelegates’ this way: “These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders, and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.” The same website put the number of superdelegates at 719.

Superdelegates were created to prevent another George McGovern from winning the nomination. It seems tailor made to block Bernie Sanders. It reeks of the rancid belief that the people can’t be trusted to make their own choices, and the party bosses should in some exigent circumstance select the nominee against the will of their own party. Selecting the candidate with the most votes is the American way.

Unpledged delegates

The Republicans don’t directly make members of the party’s political establishment “superdelegates” the way the Democrats do. But they do allow their state organizations considerable leeway in creating electoral processes that are favorable to party patricians, and in the case what I call “mini-conventions,” which almost totally disenfranchise the lower party ranks.

Depending on the website you wish to cite, there are 168 unpledged delegates (Politico) or 457 (Mother Jones). “The only people who get unpledged status are each state’s three Republican National Committee members,” says Wikipedia. “This means that unpledged delegates are only 168 of the total number of delegates. However, unpledged delegates do not have the freedom to vote for whichever candidate they please. The RNC ruled in 2015 that the unpledged delegates must vote for the candidate that their state voted for; the unpledged RNC members will be bound in the same manner as the state’s at-large delegates, unless the state elects their delegates on the primary ballot, then all three RNC members will be allocated to the statewide winner.”

The Mother Jones figure seems to include those states, like Pennsylvania, which elected 57 delegates unpledged to any candidate. Some of the Pennsylvania unpledged delegates, to their credit, said in advance they would vote for Trump if a majority of their constituents did. Others stated they would not vote for Trump under any circumstances, regardless of how the majority of the people voted.

Particularly insidious are the “mini-conventions” like that in Wyoming, where Ted Cruz won 14 out of 14 delegates. In these shams, voters go to precinct meetings, where delegates are elected to a county convention. At the county convention, delegates are chosen for the state convention, where delegates are for the national convention are picked. This is what Trump has accurately described as a “rigged process.”

Closed primaries

Closed primaries are those where only someone who has been a party member for six months or more are allowed to vote. In Massachusetts, Independents can take either a Republican or Democratic ballot, and revert back to being an independent after they vote.

This writer understands why some party members would prefer that the party nominee espouses their party’s basic liberal or conservative brand. A good example of this can be illustrated by the reference to the two second-tier parties in Massachusetts, the Libertarians and the Green Party.
Libertarians advocate shrinking the size of government and reducing governmental interference in Americans’ private lives. How would Libertarians feel if thousands of left-wing Democrats voted in a Libertarian primary for a Libertarian nominee who wanted to double size of government and insert government totally into the private lives of all Americans? Probably the same way the Democratic Party establishment felt about large numbers of independents entering the Democratic primary to vote for Bernie Sanders.

The Green Party is at its heart an environmentalist party. How would the Greens feel if thousands of right wing Republicans entered the Green Party to pick a nominee who favored fracking and land strip mining? Probably the same way the Republican establishment felt about thousands of independents flooding their primary to support Trump.

The two party system has served America well. To preserve this system, the two major parties need to have the elasticity to absorb elements such as those supporting Trump or Sanders. The closed primaries should be abandoned. Otherwise, as John F. Kennedy warned in his inaugural address: “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”

Gordy’s parked in A.I: Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts holds its regional convention at the WPL!

Green Rainbows and the Quakers

By Gordon Davis

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The Green Rainbows met at the Worcester Public Library, located at 3 Salem Square
 
The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its regional convention yesterday to select state committee members. The state committee sets the policies for the Green Rainbows.

At the convention the presenter from the Society of Friends (Quakers) Anti-Mass Incarceration Network stole the show with his strong condemnation of the unnecessary and unfair incarceration of millions of people in the United States.

Phil said the USA has five percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. More than any so called authoritarian country or feudal country on earth!

He also condemned indefinite or prolonged solitary confinement as counterproductive and torture.

He referred to a United Nation protocol that solitary confinement for greater than 15 days is torture.

Phil also said most of the arrests are for non-violent “crimes” such as drug possession. He pointed out that for decades many of the so called drug crimes were no crimes at all. Before the early 20th century there was no prohibition on any drug. Each of the drug laws prohibition had at least a partial basis in race. 

The presenter pointed out that modern drug laws are a continuation of the slave plantation mentality of the majority society. After the Reconstruction Period in US history the vagrancy laws were enacted to prevent Black people who had little or no resources from travelling to look for work. These laws were a means to repopulate the prison labor system, especially in the Southern United States. 

The modern day drug laws and anti-panhandling laws to some extent are a continuation of the system to keep the prisons full.

Eileen, an activist from Northern Worcester County, spoke about gas pipelines being built in Massachusetts. Her message was new gas pipelines are not needed and that they would be environmentally harmful.

What she said was not entirely encouraging, as it seems to be a done deal that the pipelines in the Boston area are a done deal. However, the pipeline in Northern Worcester County was likely going to be diverted through New Hampshire.

Brian, a town representative from Shrewsbury, spoke on the use of citizen petitions to have issues placed on the Town agenda.

Dave, a co chair of the Nashua River Green Rainbows Chapter, reported that Jill Stein got 50 percent of the primary vote in the March 1, 2016, state election. She will get half of the ten delegates from Massachusetts committed to her at the Green Party US national convention in Houston, TX.

This will be Dr. Stein’s second run for President of the United States. She, in the 2012 presidential election, received the highest number of popular votes that any woman had received in any previous Presidential election. I wish her well this time around, although she will be overshadowed by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump!

The Green-Rainbow Party State Convention – Worcester, May 30

By Gordon Davis

The Green-Rainbow Party (GRP) is the Massachusetts affiliate of the Green Party USA. The GRP was formed in 2000 when the Green Party and the Rainbow Coalition Party merged. As of the 2014 election, GRP is an official ballot party in Massachusetts by means of three of its candidates polling three percent of the vote in their respective elections: Danny Factor, Ian Jackson and Merelice.

GRP 10-31-14

The Green Rainbow convention will take place in Worcester on Saturday, May 30, 9 AM at 90 Main St. in the Public Hall of the Unitarian Universalist Church.

According to GRP organizers, most are from the Worcester County-Nashua River chapter. The convention has several goals. The primary goal is to facilitate the presidential primary in which there appears to be several Green Party candidates, including a favorite daughter, Jill Stein. Ms. Stein is scheduled to make an appearance at the convention.

Below: National Green Convention, 2012

Green Convention  2012

Besides the presidential candidates, there will be educational speakers on topics important to the GRP:

1. Abolition of poverty and homelessness –  Jason Murphy, Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy,  The restoration of income guarantees and other safety net benefits will be discussed as an to the issue.

2. No Fracking in Massachusetts –Rosemary Wessel, The organizing against the proposed gas pipeline in Northern Worcester County will also be discussed.

3. Black (all) Lives Matter –Leetka Katzenblickstien organizing the new civil rights movement will be discussed. Ms. Katzenblickstien is twelve years old and helped to organize a Black Lives Matter rally in her town of Westford.  In addition there will be a workshop led by Darlene Elias on the same topic.

From Ms. Elias’ workshop a resolution will be developed expressing the condemnation of the police killing of low income people – especially young Black men. The GRP may the only electoral party to take on this issue of Black Lives Matter new civil rights movement.

There will be seven workshops, including one of the workshops that will have a Worcester connection: Peace Education in Worcester. This workshop will be presented by the Non Violence Center of Worcester.

The GRP has a strategy of winning local elections, with the goal of creating enough local support to win a state-wide election. To this end the GRP has a member on the Board of Southbridge Selectmen. Merelice is running for Selectman in Brookline. There is another GRP member running for Board of Selectmen in Shrewsbury.

Next Tuesday, election day, remember: the Green Rainbow Party is the future

By Gordon Davis

The Green Rainbow Party came into existence in the last decade from a merger of the Green Party and the Rainbow Coalition Party, a coming together of racial justice, social justice, peace, and green environmental issues. It is the part of the nation Green Party in the USA.

The Green Rainbow Party is different from any of the other political parties in that it does not accept any contributions from  incorporated entities and therefore is not influenced by corporations. All of the funding for the Green Rainbows is  donations from individuals. The Green Rainbows have self imposed public campaign financing without government help.

It is common knowledge that the very rich and corporations have influenced the policies of both the Democrats and the Republican parties. Many of the policies of the Democrats and the Republicans are disguised as helping middle class and poor people, but are in reality hurting us.  The regressive tax is an example. High tuitions at state colleges are another. The future of this Commonwealth should be a government which has policies with no corporate strings attached.

The Green Rainbow party has developed several goals for Massachusetts which we call the Community Uplift Initiative. These policies are not influenced by corporations, but only by the desire of good public policy. The three candidates of the Green Rainbow Party have dedicated themselves to effectuation of the goals. Please look for and consider them on your ballot:

MK Merelice, who is running for State Auditor

Danny Factor, who is running for Secretary of the Commonwealth

Ian Jackson, who is running for Treasurer of the Commonwealth

The community uplift initiative of the Green Rainbow party includes the following:

1.     An Economic Bill of Rights that says that every human being deserves to live a life of dignity and respect, and an end to discrimination

2.    A Community Uplift Initiative to end poverty and unemployment – breaking from the current Beacon Hill approach of spending on corporate welfare, enriching the wealthy, and leaving the poor and middle class struggling with rising cost of living and stagnating wages. An emphasis is on green jobs.

3.    A minimum wage of $15 per hour and ultimately a living wage for every worker.

4.    Ending the patronage system on Beacon Hill

5.     Tuition-free higher education to end the student debt crisis – with government takeover of existing student debts.

6.    Universal single-payer health care that includes everyone and excludes no one.

7.    Getting big money out of politics through public campaign financing.

8.    A progressive income tax to fund government rather than gambling casinos that exploit the unwary.

9.    Establishing a public bank of the Commonwealth that will honestly serve the banking needs of the people and help us downsize Wall Street.

1.  An action plan to lead Massachusetts to 100% renewable energy by 2035.  This would make it unnecessary to spend billions on more fossil fuel infrastructure – like gas pipelines – which will make it impossible for us to address climate change.