Federal Judge Rules Against Presidential Debate Commission

A federal judge has ruled against the Commission on Presidential Debates and the FEC for enforcing rules that served to prevent a third voice in the presidential debates.

Note: this article is reposted from The Independent Voter Network (IVN). For the original article, see: https://ivn.us/2017/02/01/breaking-federal-judge-rules-presidential-debate-commission/

In a surprising decision, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. ruled against the Federal Election Commission in the case of Level the Playing Field et al v. Federal Election Commission holding that the rules governing participation in the presidential debates were decided unfairly and arbitrarily.

Level the Playing Field (LPF), the organization that brought the suit, challenged the 501(c)(3) nonprofit status of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) arguing it used unfair criteria to determine the participants of the 2016 presidential debates.

During oral arguments Lead Attorney for LPF, Alexandra Shapiro, argued the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) should lose its nonprofit status due to the unfair criteria used to determine eligibility in the presidential debates. The CPD, which is regulated by the Federal Election Commission, excluded non-major party candidates from participating in the debates in light of its 15 percent rule. According to the CPD, in order to participate in the presidential debates, a candidate must have “a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations…”

Judge Chutkan’s ruling in favor of LPF grants their motion for summary judgement and orders the FEC to reconsider the allegations against the CPD within 30 days.

The order states: “The FEC is ORDERED to reconsider the evidence and allegations and issue a new decision consistent with this Opinion within 30 days, failing which the complainant[s] may bring, in the name of such complainant[s], a civil action to remedy the violation involved in the original complaint.… The FEC is FURTHER ORDERED to reconsider the Petition for Rulemaking and issue a new decision consistent with this Opinion within sixty days.”

Read the full story, including the opinion from the District Judge here: https://ivn.us/2017/02/01/breaking-federal-judge-rules-presidential-debate-commission/

 

GPWA Spring Membership Gathering – Saturday April 8th

Saturday April 8th, 2017 in Seattle!

The Green Party of Washington State will hold our Spring Membership Gathering on Saturday April 8th from 12 noon – 5 PM. We will be meeting at Razzi’s Pizzeria on Greenwood Ave North in Seattle. Everyone is welcome!

Our agenda:

12 noon – Welcome and Introductions

12:30 – 2:30 pm – Green Party Campaign School Discussion and Workshops – Phone Banking, Signature Gathering, Volunteer Coordination, Database Management; Focus on issues for using skills – Seattle Wealth Tax and Police Accountability campaigns

2:30 – 2:40 pm – Region 10 – Progressive Independent Party Regional Outreach presentation

2:40 – 3:00 pm – Candidate presentations

3:00 – 3:30 pm – Elevator Speech Contest – with Prizes!!!
Why Join the Green Party? – in a 30-second elevator speech
Come with your contest entry written up and be ready to deliver it! Gathering attendees will vote, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded!

3:30 – 4:00 pm – What works! – Each Green Party local is asked to give a five-minute presentation on something being done in your local that is working well and could serve as a model for other locals. Bring a descriptive handout if possible!

4:00 – 4:30 pm – Nomination of candidates: GPWA Coordinating Council – Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, At-Large Members (5), and GPWA Delegates (2) and Alternates (2) to GPUS with voting by email/postal mail ballots sent within a week after the Gathering

4:30 – 5:00 pm – Proposed amendments to the GPWA Affiliation Agreement – discussion and voting by GPWA members at the Gathering

Home stays will be available for those attending from out of town. Please let us know by April 4th.

All new Green Party of Washington members who join by March 8th will be eligible to vote.

To check your membership status, see http://www.gp-wa.org/membership_status. If your membership has lapsed, renew before or at the Gathering to vote! Click here to join or renew.

RSVP on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/108598032991170/

#WeAreGreen 🌱

Ready to run Green in 2017?

UPDATE: A recording of this Webinar may be viewed at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxPr8aUIVquEM0RFdm5aZ194Uk0/view

An archive of this and other how-to webinars by the GPUS Coordinated Campaign Committee can be found here: http://gpus.org/committees/coordinated-campaign/ccc-webinars/

 

Interested in running Green in 2017 or 2018? The Green Party will host a webinar for all declared candidates, those considering a run for office, and key support staff on Tuesday, January 24 at 9:00 PM (Eastern time), 6:00 PM (Pacific time).

This webinar is designed for declared candidates, and especially those considering a run for office this year with the Green Party. Potential 2018 candidates also welcome. Those who are (or plan to be) key support staff or volunteers are also welcome to join. This particular session will focus on:

– Why run for office?
– What does a typical campaign look like?
– What personal considerations should influence my decision?
– How do I seek a Green Party endorsement?

This webinar will be led by Jennifer Baker, recently elected to the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees and Alex Shantz, who ran her campaign.

Jennifer Baker is currently serving as a Communications Media Specialist for the Napa Valley Unified School District in Napa, CA where she lives with her husband and two elementary school children. She holds Masters degrees in Library Science and Public Administration. In a highly contentious race against a firmly entrenched incumbent and political insider, she was elected to a 4-year term on the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees, representing Area 1 this November. While she has over 25 years of public service experience, this is her first publicly elected position.

Alex Shantz, who also has held office as a Napa Valley College Board of Trustees, is active with the Green Party of California. He also recently served on the St. Helena United School District Board. Read more about Alex here: http://www.cagreens.org/news/young-green-elected-student-trustee-napa-valley-college

RSVP here for the call-in details: http://www.gp.org/so_you_want_to_run_for_office

 

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the Webinar video posted on Jill Stein’s Facebook page: 
https://www.facebook.com/drjillstein/videos/1472145062825679/

Faced With a Lawsuit, Debate Commission Loses One-Third of Its Board Members

The Commission on Presidential Debates, or CPD, has been under fire for its policies for several years now. For the past 24 years, the CPD has excluded anyone but the Republican and Democratic nominees from participating in the three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate in September and October before the election.

An important lawsuit, Level the Playing Field, et al. v. Federal Election Commission, goes before a federal judge on Jan. 5. That suit seeks to accomplish what the CPD has refused to do on its own: change the rules to stop systematically preventing independent candidates from debating – and becoming president.

[Ed note: the Green Party of the United States is a plaintiff in this lawsuit.]

Meanwhile, it seems no coincidence that the CPD itself is disintegrating. Here’s what has happened:

  • On April 16, 2014, the CPD elected six new directors. Three of them have recently resigned: Leon Panetta, the former congressman and director of the CIA; Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana; and Shirley Tilghman, a biologist who is the president emerita of Princeton University.
  • After the 2014 board elections but before these three resignations – two other directors were named to the board: Jim Lehrer, the former PBS nightly news anchor, and Bob Schieffer, former CBS “Face the Nation” anchor. Schieffer dropped off within months.
  • A fifth director, Sen. Alan Simpson, also left the board over the past year.
  • A sixth director, Mike McCurry, a Democratic lobbyist who once served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton, stepped down as co-chair in the past few weeks. McCurry had been one of the board’s staunchest supporters, along with Frank Fahrenkopf, the ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee. McCurry was replaced as co-chair by Dorothy Ridings, a former newspaper publisher who left her post as president of the League of Women Voters 30 years ago.
  • The final departee was former President Bill Clinton, who, with former President Jimmy Carter, was one of the CPD’s two living honorary co-chairmen.

So, to sum up: The CPD has lost one-third of its board members in the past year.

The question is why, and the CPD itself is not forthcoming…

Read the full article here: http://ivn.us/2016/12/21/debate-commission-loses-one-third-board-members/

Stein Recount Support Statement

The 2016 general election has left many of us deeply shaken. We are more aware than ever that the entire US elections process does not represent all of our voices; from state caucuses, to primaries, to debate and ballot access, and to voting methods. And now to witness the egregious cost and road blocks we face to have the accuracy of our votes verified. It is a bedrock crisis for true democracy which should be both fair and free.

After election integrity watchdog groups discovered many states met specific criteria for possible election irregularities, Jill Stein was the only candidate who accepted the commitment to the US citizens to ensure their votes were accurately counted. Not for Donald, not for Hillary, not for Jill, but for each of us who voted and for those who should have been allowed to vote. Her quick decision to act allowed for the recounts to occur in those flagged states where she also had the legal right to file and where filing deadlines had not past. And the citizens clearly spoke with an equally quick and vast response of small donations to meet the costs involved.

In light of this, the Green Party of Washington State fully supports Jill Stein’s decision to pursue the recounts. It reflects our values and principles for election integrity and grassroots democracy representing each and every citizen.

#DefundDAPL & Stand with Standing Rock!

Do you have a Wells Fargo bank account? Would you be willing to close it to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock?

The rejection of the drilling permit required to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline was a huge victory — but this fight is not over yet. Following the Army Corps announcement last Sunday, Standing Rock Leadership made a direct request to continue targeting the investors financing the pipeline.

So we’re joining efforts with 350 Seattle to target Wells Fargo, which has over $470 million invested in the pipeline and the corporation behind it.

If you have an account and would be willing to close it to stand with Standing Rock please fill out this form.

For those of you who are willing to take this action, 350 Seattle has created this handy advice page on how to move your money and find a values-based bank.

If you don’t have an account, but would like to support the day of action, please fill out the form.

Where: Wells Fargo Center, 999 3rd Ave, Seattle
When: Thursday, January 5th, 12 PM
What: #DefundDAPL: Mass Closure of Accounts

And please help spread the word on Facebook!

Call to Action on I-873 Signature Gathering!

handsupdontshoot

Washington is the only state in which a law enforcement officer can be prosecuted for use of deadly force only if malice (evil intent) can be proven. I-873 would eliminate this consideration when determining whether an officer committed justifiable use of deadly force.

Ready to work on this? The Green Party of Washington State is working with Washington for Good Policing on this initiative – and the final submission deadline is 31 December, so DO IT NOW!

To get petitions sent to you, send a message to hello@greenpartywashington.org.

SUGGESTIONS: Ask for 3 petitions and maximize your effort and the quantity of signatures you can gather by finding an event with a lot of people – Farmer’s Market, concert, progressive forum, Trump protest, etc. Even better, find someplace where there is a line – at the ferry, an entertainment event, etc. Still better, ask for 6 petitions, go with two friends and celebrate your full petitions with a cup or glass of something.

It beats sitting around and moping!  Thanks for all you do and will do!!

Celebrate our Green Victories!

ballot

Now that the dust is settling around the presidential election, it’s become apparent that the Green vote – and Green issues – gained a lot of ground this year.

In short, our movement scored several victories!

Ballot Access – We maintained ballot lines in 12 states thanks to voters casting over 1.2 million votes for Jill and Ajamu. (We are on the ballot in many other states as a result of Green Party voter registration). In all, we now have ballot lines in 21 states!

Marijuana legalization – California, Massachusetts and Nevada all passed marijuana legalization (recreational and medical for those 21 years or older). Marijuana for medical use was also approved in Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas.

Minimum Wage – In Alabama, Colorado, and Maine, the minimum wage will  increase to $12 by 2020; in Washington, the minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020.

Repealing Citizens United – Washington state passed initiative 735 and California passed Proposition 59 calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish the illegitimate, court-created concepts of “corporate constitutional rights” and “money equals political speech.”

District of Columbia – A resolution in favor of DC statehood passed.

Ranked-Choice Voting – Maine and Benton County, Oregon both adopted measures approving Ranked-Choice Voting.

Standing Rock/DAPL – In this election, we also participated in the growing movement at Standing Rock being led by indigenous people.

We were the only presidential campaign to stand in solidarity with the water protectors, and Jill and Ajamu were the only Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to actually go and lend their support. The campaign also sent a delegation for an entire week.

We’re proud of that record.

Also, Greens were elected at the local level! We elected 3 Greens in Minnesota, 5 in Michigan, 10 to 13 in California, and 1 in Florida!

Resist Trump and the Failed Two-Party System!

resist

Stein/Baraka Campaign Calls for Immediate Resistance to Trump and the Failed Two-Party System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 9, 2016

The Stein/Baraka campaign calls for sustained and organized resistance to president-elect Donald Trump and the rise of right-wing extremism in the United States. The campaign expresses solidarity and empathy with those who are traumatized by the election results and calls for an honest and sober reckoning of the collusion between the political establishment and corporate media that led to Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

A New York Times poll reveals that 82% of Americans are literally ‘disgusted’ by this election,” said Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate. “This election is a reaction to what voters see as a toxic and corrupt political establishment and represents a wholesale rejection of it. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sabotaged Bernie Sanders, who by all accounts would have easily trounced Donald Trump. Because of Wikileaks, we also know that the DNC actively colluded with corporate media to elevate Donald Trump as a ‘Pied Piper Candidate’ to encourage the most extreme elements of the Republican party,” she said.

She continued, “The DNC’s cynical political calculations, as well as the public’s mistrust and rejection of Clinton’s policies of endless wars for oil, disastrous trade deals, and support for Wall Street deregulation that crashed the economy and devastated the lives of millions — all this together has resulted in horrific blowback that puts us all in danger.”

“We stand in solidarity with the communities that have suffered from harassment, voter suppression, and now the trauma of a Donald Trump victory and what it represents,” said Ajamu Baraka, Green Party vice-presidential candidate. “We must build alternative power. We need principled and strong social movements that express and agitate for the needs of the American people, and a political party to represent that movement at the ballot box. Over one million people voted for the Green Party ticket. We are the electoral arm of that social movement.”

Green Party activists are hitting the ground running the day after the election. The Green Party calls for direct actions against the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the lame duck session, and is co-organizing for “Occupy Inauguration” demonstrations on January 20 and 21 (also the anniversary of Citizens United).

The party also commends several state-level victories for institutional reform in this election, including the passage of ranked-choice voting in Maine. Ranked Choice Voting would end the role of fear-voting in elections by allowing voters to rank their choices for president or other single winner offices. In addition, the Stein/Baraka campaign praises successful resolutions in Washington and California calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights and the concept of money as speech.

“Don’t mourn, organize,” said David Cobb, Stein/Baraka campaign manager. “This government is premised upon the concept of ‘consent of the governed.’ We do not consent to Donald Trump and right wing rule. We do not consent to the establishment of corporate rule. We do not consent to Empire. We call for a peaceful, non-violent revolution by the ordinary people who were shut out of this terrible election by the leadership of both corporate political parties. The Green Party is prepared to be an instrument for popular power and a new politics of integrity that must rise up and replace this rotten two-party system,” he said.

Seattle People’s Budget movement: Build 1,000 Affordable Homes!

build1000homes

From the Seattle People’s Budget Town Hall to the public hearings on the budget, one thing is clear: when ordinary people in Seattle have the opportunity to weigh in on the budget, they point to the urgent need for affordable housing and human services.

We support the Coalition to Build 1,000 Homes:

The Green Party of Washington State supports Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s budget amendment which would reallocate the $160 million once tied to a new North Seattle Police Precinct to affordable housing for Seattle’s working families.

Read the FAQ, and then support this effort by signing the Petition to Build 1,000 Homes.

Let’s hold all Seattle City Councilmembers accountable, and tell them they should vote yes on the Build 1,000 Homes budget amendment!