Critical advances for Greens on Election Day 2006 lay foundation for 2008
* Greens win ballot status in Illinois, with gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney's 11%, overcoming prohibitive ballot access rules, and in Nevada
* Strong antiwar vote in favor of warhawk Democrats shows a disconnect in U.S. politics; only Greens offered an antiwar platform; Greens warn that Democrats in Congress will do little to reverse Bush's foreign policy
* 2006 Green Party election news and results: http://www.gp.org/2006elections
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders called the 2006 midterm election a small but important step forward for the party, preparing Greens for the 2008 presidential campaign.
According to initial returns, Greens won at least 35 races nationwide, with 18 wins in California, on November 7. Among the California victories is Gayle McLaughlin, who defeated the incumbent for Mayor of Richmond, the first city with more than 100,000 residents to have a Green mayor.
"The number of votes gained and the increased percentages in significant races show the party's steady growth," said Rebecca Rotzler, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and Deputy Mayor of New Paltz, New York. "We maintained ballot access in most states where we already had it, and gained a key state, Illinois, thanks to Rich Whitney, who received 11% in his run for Governor."
Greens warned that antiwar voters may find themselves frustrated by Democrats in Congress during the next two years, especially on the war front.
"Some Green candidates running for Congress probably contributed to the defeat of Republicans," said Jim Coplen, co-chair of the national party. "While Democratic candidates offered weak criticism of Republicans on issues like the war in Iraq, Green candidates sharply criticized the war and other Bush policies. Ironically, outspoken Green criticism may have translated into votes for Democrats among voters who decided it was time to end Republican rule in Congress. Unfortunately, many of the winning Democrats, like Hillary Clinton [N.Y.] and Howard Berman [Calif.], support the war. They will only call for changes in military strategy in Iraq, they'll support President Bush's threats of an attack against Iran, and they'll maintain uncritical endorsement of Israel's murderous and illegal policies in regard to the Palestinian people."
Thumbnail reports on Green campaigns across the U.S.:
Green candidate Rich Whitney drew 11% (325,598 votes) for Governor in Illinois, achieving ballot status for the Green Party in preparation for the 2008 election. This is the first time a national third party has achieved ballot status in Illinois since 1920; Illinois has difficult ballot access rules and Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent $800,000 in taxpayers' money trying to keep Greens off the state ballot. http://www.whitneyforgov.org http://www.ilgp.org
Pat LaMarche, running on a strong universal health care platform, drew nearly 10% in her campaign for Governor of Maine. Ms. LaMarche, who qualified as a 'clean elections' candidate, competed with the incumbent Democrat and a former Democrat who had reregistered as an independent in order to run, as well as a Republican.
Also in Maine, the Green Independent Party won two seats on Portland City Council and maintained four seats on the city's School Committee, according to preliminary results. Maine Greens were disappointed in the defeat of John Eder, two term member of the Maine statehouse.http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/loc...08portland.html
DC Statehood Greens won eight Advisory Neighborhood Commission races and easily kept its ballot line. The Statehood Green Party has replaced the Republican Party as Washington, D.C.'s second party in terms of electoral participation.
Joyce Robinson-Paul finished second out of two, receiving 14,109 votes for 14.7% in her race for D.C.'s U.S. Senate seat ('Shadow Senator'). Keith Ware finished second out of three in his race for U.S. Representative, beating the Republican. He received 12,533 votes for 12.7%.
Green candidate Tom Kelly, running for the U.S. House in Colorado's District 1, has received 25,096 votes for 21%. This is the highest percentage for a Green running for Congress this year.
Green candidate Malachy McCourt, running for Governor of New York, received 40,485 votes, missing the state's requirement of 50,000 votes in a presidential or gubernatorial race for ballot status. However, several other statewide candidates received over 50,000 votes, and New York Greens, led by senatorial candidate Howie Hawkins <http://www.hawkinsforsenate.org>, are calling for a legal challenge asking for the state to recognize these votes as qualification for Green Party ballot status in 2008:
Malachy McCourt for Governor/Alison Duncan for Lt. Governor: 40,351 votes (0.97%)
Rachel Treichler for Attorney General: 57,564 votes (1.43%)
Julia Willebrand for Comptroller: 108,030 votes (2.82%)
Howie Hawkins for U.S. Senate: 51,538 votes (1.22%)
Green candidate Gayle McLaughlin <http://www.gaylemclaughlin.net> appears to have won her race against an incumbent for Mayor of Richmond, California, a few miles from Oakland and San Francisco. Ms. McLaughlin, who refused corporate donations and raised about $14,000, was outspent by the incumbent, who raised more than $110,000 from contributors, the biggest of which was Chevron. Gayle first won office two years ago when she ran for Richmond City Council. Richmond, with a population of 103,000, is now the largest city with a Green mayor.
Also in California, incumbent City Council member Larry Robinson was reelected in Sebastopol, retaining the Council's Green majority, in place since 2000
In U.S. Senate races, Todd Chretien (California) drew over 110,000 votes (some precincts still haven't reported), more than any other Green senatorial candidate. In Pennsylvania's 15th District, Greta Brown drew 31,443 votes, the most of any Green candidate for the U.S. House. 14 Greens ran for the Senate, 42 for the House.
The Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party needed 3% in a statewide vote to maintain ballot status. Dr. Jill Stein, running for Secretary of the Commonwealth, accomplished this by receiving 351,495 votes (the most votes for any Green candidate on November 7) for 18% in a two way race. Jamie O'Keefe, running for State Treasure, also had a high enough vote percentage to accomplish this. He received 16% (322,493 votes).
The following state Green Parties appear to have lost ballot status in the 2006 election: Alaska, Connecticut, and Maryland. However, these parties have sufficient infrastructure to collect petition signatures and place candidates on the ballot in 2008 and are likely to regain ballot status.
8.7 million voters across the U.S. voted for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and for impeachment resolutions on local and state ballots that were promoted or supported by Greens. Troop withdrawal initiatives won in all ten localities in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, and all 11 communities in Illinois, including Chicago. Of 139 cities and towns in Massachusetts voting on the troop withdrawal measures, only a handful voted nay on initiatives demanding that Congress and the White House end the war immediately. In California, San Francisco voters supported a local impeachment measure by 59.41%. In Berkeley, a similar resolution won the support of 68.56% of the electorate. Greens supported and led the initiative campaigns; in April, 24 of 32 communities voted in support of the 'Troops Home Now' resolutions that were promoted by Greens. (More information: <http://www.LibertyTreeFDR.org>)
"Tuesday's vote represents more of a defeat for Republicans and the Bush agenda than a victory for Americans who oppose the war on Iraq," said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "Only the Green Party offered a real antiwar platform, calling for immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. The danger now is that Democrats in Congress will ignore the will of the American people, according to numerous polls and voters' initiatives, and keep U.S. troops in Iraq while only criticizing the Bush Administration on strategic grounds. A lot of antiwar votes may prove to have been wasted on November 7."
Green Party of the United Stateshttp://www.gp.org
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Washington, DC 20009.