Sunday, September 24, 2006

Shades Include Green (Party)

The world's not black and white. It's all shades and that includes Green. All involved in the writing of this piece have a lot of respect for the Green Party and Jess, in fact, is a Green.

Maybe it's because we know Greens, maybe it's because we think the Party stands for something, but it seems like Greens are forever told to hold their tongues and bide their time.

For instance, the supposedly brave and independent PBS show NOW, hosted by David Brancaccio, sat down with an old time PBS pal, Angus King. After we got over our shock at the heavy use of filters on the camera (Moonlighting didn't use that much on Cybill Sheppard* -- who knew Brancaccio wanted to be an actress?), we were shocked by the supposed answer to the 'divided country.' NOW's bio leaves out King's long connection to public broadcasting. So apparently the filter's not just on the camera. They also left out his most controversial action as Governor of Maine (finger printing all adults working in schools). Guess, like Brancaccio's furrows, that had to be fuzzed out too?

So as we realized this would be pure softball and horse racing (just what PBS needs, more handicapping of elections as opposed to addressing real issues), King got to plug his project -- Unity '08 -- a crap idea if ever there was one. And if you have any doubts about what a crap journalist David Brancaccio is, please note this is a steer both parties to the right organization. It doesn't want those "extremes." That's right and left. According to Unity '08, the extremes are deciding elections. While possibly true of the right (we can think of several who got elected in 2004 alone), exactly where are those radicals from the left? Where is the "extreme" left in the Senate? Nowhere.

Unity '08 is the usual b.s. of the desperate to try to pass off some computer thing ("The kids love the computers!" you can hear old man King saying) as "democracy." Sitting on the fence with a post between their ass cheeks, Unity '08 tosses out the political equivalent of fortune cookies. David Brancaccios was born a dupe and will die one. That's no surprise. NOW's been molded cheese since Bill Moyers left. But we got a heads up about the laughable footage of this interview so we went ahead and watched.

The footage is laughable. Not even Gwen Ifell feels the need for filters and soft lighting. But what was more shocking was listening to King expand on the laughable Unity '08 plan. The stated goal appears to be an American Idol version of the presidency. What should bother people is that Unity '08 is determined to free up the 'partisanship' and intend to do so, if they can get on the ballots, by nominating a Republican presidential candidate and a Democratic vice-presidential candidate on the same ticket. Or vice versa.

Where are the third parties? Why wasn't that question asked? (Probably because, despite the lighting and filter, Brancaccio worked overtime to hold a certain angle. Brancaccio should worry less about the wrinkles and more about the puffyness if he wants to focus on looks.)

So what Unity '08 will do is ballot-ize what many already see as the one-party state.

No, Leonard Cohen, "Democracy" isn't coming to the USA. The Unity '08 campaign is nothing but an effort to futher prop up the two-party (or one-party depending upon your outlook) state. "Choice" becomes you might get someone you can live with at the prez or v.p.

If you look too closely, you'll grasp that your vote just got cut in half (provided you vote for either of the two main parties -- otherwise, you're vote doesn't count).

So there it was, Angus King's latest sad scheme and there was the PBS host so ready to look to what the country needed from politics -- provided it served the two big parties and no one else.

We're also reminded of the guy who was so irritating he couldn't even take down War Hawk Hillary Clinton. You remember No-Name, he tried to talk to Larry Benksy on air, live, and kept screwing up. Was it three times that Bensky asked him about advertising before No-Name finally kind-of, sort-of answered?

No-Name was never getting off the ground. He couldn't even count on support from members of his own union (due to his own actions as head). Whether it was his first appearance on RadioNation with Laura Flanders (as a call-in who couldn't shut up about Wal-Mart -- yeah, that's the way to defeat Hillary Clinton, dig up things from before she was First Lady!) or his last (right before the election -- Reno should have done all the talking, she was funny and she made him seem almost human), independent media got all worked up over him. You had action alerts to force a debate between him and Hillary under the premise that, the more you got to know him, the better you'd like him. Since the alternative didn't seem to hold true for members of his union, you were left with the impression that those sending out the action alerts knew they didn't like Hillary and knew they were forever whomever was against her, but didn't know No-Name.

As the independent media worked like crazy to give him a name (and narrative), some started to wonder, "Isn't there a Green in this race?" Yes, there was. And yes, there still is. No-Name is history. But he won't, as Joshua Frank pointed out, endorse the Green Candidate. No-Name bad mouthed Hillary like crazy (we're not complaining about that), he made his entire campaign about disliking (if not hating) Hillary. Now he's out of the race and instead of endorsing Howie Hawkins (the Green candidate), No-Name states: "I am a Democrat. I ran as a Democrat. I decided not to endorse the incumbent, and to stay out of endorsing anyone else. Between now and November, that could change. Something could happen and she (Sen. Hillary Clinton) could decide the war was really bad and wrong, and then I would reconsider." Translation? He won't endorse anyone but Hillary.

Strange since, in August, Mark Sommer reported him declaring the following, ""I believe the war was foolish, illegal, immoral - it should never have been fought. It cost the lives of 2,600 wonderful American men and women, tens of thousands of Iraqis, destroyed a country and probably left us with a legacy of anger from the Muslim world that could go on for, potentially, generations. I believe on that alone Hillary Clinton does not deserve re-election."

Hillary Clinton, according to No-Name, doesn't deserve to be re-elected. Yet, he won't endorse the anti-war candidate Howie Hawkins because Hawkins is a Green? Guess you're against the war until it means making a real choice, eh, No-Name?

No-Name accomplished nothing. Not because he lost. It was always a given he'd lose. Those not in independent media wrote him off the day he declared. But he accomplished nothing because time was wasted with action alerts and other nonsense when the race always included an anti-war candidate, Howie Hawkins. If the same build up had been given to Hawkins, he'd be a national presence now. Instead, a lot of ink, a lot of airtime and a lot of online activism was wasted on the guy who was always going to lose and who, everyone who knew him when could tell you this, would fall right into line with the big-money line because God forbid No-Name ever go out on a limb.

We say all the above to make it clear how the Green Party has been screwed over this year. A press release was sent to us and we'd recommend (whether you plan to vote or not, whether you're interested in political parties or not) that you read it -- just to know that the Green Party didn't disappear -- just the coverage of it in some forums.

Press Release
Green Party of Suffolk County
September 17, 2006

Press Contact:
Kimberly Wilder, GP of Suffolk County Press Secretary
(631) 422-4702

Suffolk Residents Elected to State and National Green Party

On September 16, 2006 the Green Party of New York State
(GPNYS) met in Albany for the thrice yearly State Committee
meeting. In attendance were several Green activists from
Suffolk County -- Roger Snyder, Ian Wilder, and Kimberly

During the meeting, the Nassau/Suffolk Region 1 Greens met
to elect new representatives. Roger Snyder of Huntington
was elected as one of the National Representatives to the
Green Party of the United States (GP-US). This is Snyder's
second term. Snyder participates in important national
committees such as the Accreditation Committee, which
reviews applications by new states and caucuses, as well as
the Bylaws, Rules and Policy Committee. Roger Snyder ran
for State Senate for the 5th District in 2002.

In addition, Ian Wilder of North Babylon was elected as one
of New York's national representatives to the Presidential
Campaign Support Committee. This is Wilder's second term.
The committee is recruiting and screening candidates to run
for president on the Green Party line in 2008. Ian Wilder
is a co-founder of the Babylon Greens and served as
Co-Chair of the Green Party of New York State from 2004 to
2006. He ran for Supervisor for the Town of Babylon in

Kimberly Wilder of Babylon was elected to the Executive
Committee of the state party. This is Kimberly's third,
non-consecutive term as a member of the GPNYS Executive
Committee. Wilder is eager to support the Green Party's
efforts to regain automatic ballot status by earning 50,000
votes for Malachy McCourt on the governor line. Wilder has
previously run for Suffolk County Legislator District 14 in
2001, and as a write-in for State Senate in the 4th
District in 2004.

Outgoing GPNYS Secretary, Betty Wood of Cortland County
said, "During the entire time I have worked with the Green
Party, Roger Snyder and the Wilders are the most
hard-working and dedicated Greens I have ever met. It is
exciting to have this team supporting our ballot efforts
and representing Greens from New York at the state and
national level."

Part of the GPNYS meeting was devoted to exchanging ideas,
literature, and merchandise to support the five statewide
campaigns. The Green Party of New York State is running
author/activist Malachy McCourt for Governor, and union
activist Howie Hawkins for U.S. Senate. The Wilders and
Snyder have set up a website called "Long Island for
Malachy!" The site is a place for Nassau and Suffolk
voters to come together to send a message of peace by
supporting Green Party governor candidate McCourt. The
web-site,, includes
instructions for requesting "McCourt for Governor" lawn
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