Democrats Campaigning To Keep Green Party Off The Ballot

| Educate!

Above photo: Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins reads a newspaper in a holding room before a television interview. Mike Groll | AP.

Voter shaming did not work for the Democrats in 2016 and with this latest attempt to bar the Green Party from even standing, Democrats are choosing a high-risk strategy that could backfire on election day.

The 2020 presidential election is already underway — or, at least, it should be. Because of an ongoing legal battle, none of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties will be sending out mail-in ballots today like they were originally scheduled to. Democrats are attempting to remove Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins from the ballot because of an alleged procedural mistake his running mate Angela Walker made when informing election authorities about a change in her South Carolina address. A similar battle is raging between the two parties in Wisconsin, another key battleground state.

That such a minor procedural error could, in effect, disbar an entire political party from running might be news to many Americans. It is also a charge the Green Party strenuously denies. “I filed my address change properly to the Wisconsin Elections Commission as they instructed me to when our campaign informed them of my address change,” Walker said in a press release this morning,

The Democrat chairing the hearing concerning Democratic objections to my filing prevented that documentation from being presented. They had that information in hand. The Democratic commissioners could have resolved the problem last month at the hearing. Instead, they are playing politics with Wisconsin voters. They could end this now by withdrawing their phony objections. The Democratic commissioners are as guilty as the Republican justices in this hold-up of absentee ballots.”

“The court should have made a decision by now. We want a decision today to put us on the ballot. We want the absentee ballot process to proceed without further delay,” Hawkins added.

Why the Democrats might benefit from the removal of the Greens is clear. With many predicting a close election, third party votes could prove crucial in preventing one of the two major parties from getting over the line. One Emerson poll found that 51 percent of Bernie Sanders primary voters were at least considering opting for a third party come November. Hawkins and Walker have been pitching hard to disenchanted leftists, reminding voters that they embrace a Green New Deal, while Biden has rejected it.

Democrats have been clear in their opposition to Hawkins. “The ‘Green Party’ has done incalculable damage to the environment by helping to elect Republican Presidents twice. Don’t fall for it again,” advised Obama advisor and MSNBC contributor Ben Rhodes. Democratic strategist Tom Watson was even blunter, tweeting, “A vote for the ‘Green Party’ is a vote for fascism.”

The attack on Hawkins comes amid an open letter signed by over 170 prominent environmental leaders condemning the Green Party and telling the nation to vote for Biden, claiming he is a “progressive Democrat,” who, in “his 36-year Senate career” was “an enlightened voice on nearly every issue.” “Twenty years ago, the Green Party snatched the White House from a climate change leader and handed it to George W. Bush,” they questionably claim, not mentioning the Republican Party’s legal shenanigans. “Pious gestures [like voting Green] will produce catastrophic results,” they conclude.

On the Green ticket, Ralph Nader won 2.9 million votes in the 2000 election, no doubt hindering Al Gore’s chances. However, the Florida election was blatantly stolen by Bush, a fact glossed over in the letter. In 2016, the Green Party received 1.5 million votes nationwide, triple what they got in 2012. “Whatever you think of the Green Party, throwing them off the ballot because they listed two addresses for the VP is complete bullshit and voter disenfranchisement,” said Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project think tank.

Republicans have also been involved in their own voter suppression tactics, closing around 1,700 polling stations across the South since 2013, primarily in poorer and majority non-white neighborhoods (some counties losing nearly 90 percent of their voting places). President Trump, who recently said that if more people voted, Republicans would never again be elected, has attacked the postal ballot system as well, claiming it would produce a fraudulent result, instructing his followers to vote twice, once by mail and in person on Election Day. Across the United States, some 671 mail sorting machines have been removed ahead of the election, leading many to accuse the Republicans of blatant election rigging.

While the merits of voting for a third party in a two-horse race can be debated, voter shaming did not work for the Democrats in 2016 has historically not been a productive strategy. With this latest attempt to bar the Green Party from even standing, the Democrats are choosing a high-risk strategy that could potentially backfire come Election Day.

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

  • John R.

    As if I didn’t already loathe the dismal d’s — the party that is never progressive and keeps the Greens off the ballot = won’t vote for the dismals.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    a 3rd party is impossible in America—there is only 1 possible, the ruling class party w 2 crooked branches from the same rotting tree

  • zak1

    The Green Party’s media allies need to coordinate to counteract this DNC campaign:


    This Dem campaign to drive Greens off the ballot is striking a chord with voters of different stripes – people see clearly what this means, and they’re repelled by the inherent unfairness of the Dems using their huge finances and political clout to bully an underdog party and block voters from choosing – Greens can amplify this to draw attention and support – respond more loudly; make challenges to draw media – this is an opportunity –
    strike while the iron is hot – nobody is supporting such behavior


    Public outcry over the Wisconsin decision can also be used to draw attention and educate voters about the huge disparity between the duopoly and third parties in terms of the requirements placed on them – people will respond to the notion of basic unfairness, and also to the notion of voters being denied the right to make their own choices


    The mainstream corporate media is suppressing third party coverage – and working to focus voter attention on candidate personalities instead of policy positions – Greens should find a Buzzfeed-type savvy PR person to help them find ways to go viral


    The progressive media has been systematically ignoring or deriding the Greens since 2016 – the top progressive media outlets barely mention the Greens – despite the Greens being the only national left party – left media should challenge hypocrisy of progressive media


    The People’s Party, organized by Sanders campaigners, is channeling DemExit support away from Hawkins/Walker – without offering any alternative ticket to support in 2020 – Greens and left media should call for debate between Hawkins/Walker and PP leadership regarding 2020


    The Presidential Debate Commission, a private duopoly corporation, is going against public wishes by blocking Greens and Libertarians from participating – blocking vital policy issues from discussion during a national emergency – Greens should make more noise now about being included in these upcoming debates – maybe rig their own makeshift debates, or join with Libertarians to do a series of debates together to draw attention


    Idea of Safe State Strategy has been distorted to scare people into voting Blue (even though Chomsky admitted he was voting for Jill Stein in 2012 and 2016), but that coin has two sides – Green candidates are right to steer clear of such talk and focus on representing all their membership – but Green supporters outside the campaigns themselves can use the Safe State argument to marshal support for Hawkins/Walker, especially in population-heavy Safe States


    Newsweek has just invited Hawkins to respond to their recent story about presumed low voter interest in his campaign – he should take this opportunity to respond, as loudly as possible, by rejecting their horserace framing and reminding them how hugely popular these policies are, whether espoused by Sanders or Hawkins – and calling for more focus on the policies that people desperately need and are clamoring for across the country –
    instead of this celebrity circus the media is giving us instead


    – Hawkins should use this argument to push for his (and Jorgenson’s) inclusion on ballots and in debates – people deserve the right to be properly informed and to choose for themselves – also use the opportunity to show solidarity with Jorgenson’s campaign – spirit of fairness and inclusion, and the people’s right to choose

  • RFinNH

    Ari Berman on DN! Yesterday being a shill and saying all greens fault…

    Goodman had no POV from other side regards Wisconsin…

    DN! Losing credibility because sides with DNC and Israel by always playing protector like the real reason Democrats exist in USA type DNC is to protect GOP aka class rule Capitalism aka dog eat dog, from US people-

    DN! Juan looked so depressed and disappointed from home in NJ where Goodman has him and Nermeen chained…

  • RFinNH

    CV is Choked Vodka-

    Always guaranteed to be Schodka expired Vodmit

  • Bill Rood

    The Democratic Party is controlled at the top by fascists (people who believe corporations and the state should be bound together like fasci). These corporate fascist imperialists have created a Planpanic and are using self-proclaimed “Marxists” at the head of BLM and Antifa to create chaos in order to delegitimize the November elections. They will then use the chaos they created to claim invalidly that they won the election and seize power. The irony is that the “Marxists” have nothing to do with Karl Marx, who wanted the proletariat to unite, not split up into a hierarchy of victimhood. See Whitney Webb’s excellent article on the “Transition Integrity Project.”

    A vote for any Democrat except Shahid Buttar (running against Pelosi) is a vote for public health justified totalitarianism. If there’s not a 3rd party candidate and the Republican is unacceptable, you always have the option of writing in or leaving the choice blank.

  • Collectivist

    Not surprising at all. The DNC abhores democracracy.

  • MrRedwoodGuy .

    Like a battered wife that just keep defending the husband, and returning home to his promises of “no mas” – voters just keep battering their heads against party walls and walking away with black eyes. No amount of logic, proof of pain, or failure will break that magnetic attraction to futility and disaster.

  • SageThinker

    Democracy in name only, it’s a system of wage slavery to the rich, imposed by the land control in Enclosure mode, to make us work for housing or die.

  • Collectivist

    No doubt about it, Sage.

  • Nylene13

    Do the Democrats really think that if they suppress 3rd Party votes-that will make us Socialists vote for Biden?
    No way in Hell.

  • RickW

    Is Biden getting ready to throw the election? This is what Dems have a penchant for………

  • Linda Jansen

    Can we please quit with the “Nader [Greens] lost the election for Gore crap???? Go look up “How Florida Democrats Torpedoed Gore”.

  • blessthebeasts

    DN! sold out a long time ago.

  • zak1

    I think Plan A is to get everyone cheering for the “home team” by default, regardless of the actual candidate

    Plan B is to scare or shame dissenters into the fold

    Plan C is to discourage and demoralize those stubborn remaining stragglers into throwing up their hands and staying home

    They regard losing support as one notch down, wheras seeing that support go to a rival is two notches down – so they prefer naysayers dropping out instead of adding strength to a competitor

  • chetdude

    Great article!

    I’m going to save this quote for the next set of Nader-Haters I encounter:

    “As the Clinton-Gore-Lieberman Democrats have jerked the party out from under this core populist constituency, pursuing the money and adopting the policies of the corporate and investor elite, the core constituency of the party has — big surprise — steadily dropped away. In 1992, the under-$50,000 crowd made up 63 percent of voters. In 1996, after Clinton and Gore had relentlessly and very publicly pushed NAFTA, the WTO and other Wall Street policies for four years, the under-$50,000 crowd dropped to 52 percent of voters. After four more years of income stagnation and decline for these families under the regime of the Clinton-Gore “New Democrats,” the under-$50,000 crowd dropped this year to only 47 percent of voters.”

    And this one:

    “Now it gets really ugly for the Gore campaign, for there are two other Florida constituencies that cost them more votes than Nader did. First, Democrats. Yes, Democrats! Nader only drew 24,000 Democrats to his cause, yet 308,000 Democrats voted for Bush. Hello. If Gore had taken even 1 percent of these Democrats from Bush, Nader’s votes wouldn’t have mattered. Second, liberals. Sheesh. Gore lost 191,000 self-described liberals to Bush, compared to less than 34,000 who voted for Nader.”

  • chetdude

    That’s a good point.

    It’s crap like this that causes more people who might have voted against Trump (“for” Biden) to stay home in disgust than the minuscule number who would have voted FOR the Green Party Candidates (instead of Biden)…

  • Counterpunch seems to be going that way as well. More than half the articles now are TDS-based. They seem to be going down the same path as TruthDig.

  • Nylene13

    Tonight a radio show (PBS) was saying that The Green Party cost Hillary the election.

    So what?

    It sounds like the Democrats think they OWN the votes of we the people, and we have No Right to vote for any party except the Democrats or the Republicans.

    Which, as most of us know, is basically the SAME Party.

    How DARE we slaves vote against our OWNERS???

  • Nylene13

    Looks like I will be staying home. There is no Green Party in Nevada, or any progressive party I know of.

    I will not vote for Biden.

    Of course, if Trump DOES free Assange, I may just have to vote for Trump.

    I doubt he is any crazier than Biden, anyway….

  • zak1

    You mentioned that the Green Party knew of some people in Nevada who were organizing to form a branch there – have you tried following up with them to ask for contact info?

    I have a feeling you’d be happier during this election period if you were involved in some kind of related organizing

  • Nylene13

    I have not found anyone. I suppose I could try asking CA Green Party.

    Maybe you can find something?

    Unfortunately I think the guy who told me that was Kevin Zeese.

  • zak1

    I’d say try contacting the Hawkins website – they must be networking with all the branches

  • GypsyFreyja

    Excellent question. Yes, I think they do. Either vote for Biden or stay home is their goal for anyone left of their center right/right agenda.

  • Nylene13

    I am concerned about your statement here that the Peoples Party is organized by Bernie campaigners and is channeling DemExit support away from the Green Party-WITHOUT OFFERING ANY ALTERNATIVE Candidate. WTF?

    That sounds like nothing but a plan to promote Biden.

  • GypsyFreyja

    Please don’t stay home Nylene. If nothing else, go to vote down ballot. Write in Sanders if you have the opportunity. But please don’t stay home. If you do stay home, I’ll still support and understand your decision. Just hoping you, and anyone considering staying home, will reconsider.

  • Nylene13

    I just sent off an email on that site-asking about Nevada Greens-shall see what happens….

  • Nylene13

    Nader ran as an independent. My father, a WW2 Vet who adored Nader and subscribed to his magazine religiously-would not vote for Nader because he was not running as a Democrat.

    My father would ONLY vote Democrat-as many WW2 vets did.

    Also, I wonder if our elections are rigged. I mean, the rich do everything else.

  • GypsyFreyja

    Can we please quit with the “Nader [Greens] lost the election for Gore crap????

    Thank you.

  • Nylene13

    I don’t know if I trust ‘None of the above’ ballots.
    No write- ins allowed in Nevada.

  • GypsyFreyja

    I hear ya. I don’t trust they will allow a clean election at all but I’m going to vote anyway.

  • zak1

    In my view, this may be the most important story in the 2020 season – the one that nobody will touch. What is going on with DemExit/ GreenEnter?

    After Bernie supporters saw what the DNC did in 2016, the obvious question was – what’s to stop them from doing it again in 2020?

    And in 2020, when the DNC again shafted the Sanders campaign, the outrage publicly coalesced around key Sanders organizers – led by Nick Brana, who said they were breaking from the Dems and starting a new People’s Party

    When asked (briefly) why they didn’t just throw their support behind the Greens, who already had widespread ballot lines, Brana made some vague historical analogy saying the Greens had played out their usefulness – but nobody ever pressed Brana to specify how DemExiters were supposed to vote now, in 2020 (see Black Agenda Report podcast and Ron Placone Youtube)

    When the 10,000-member LA chapter of Our Revolution voted to DemExit, they opted to join the People’s Party

    Now – if you look at the FAQ on the People’s Party website, they specify that their approach is to break with the Greens, rather than collaborating with them – their argument is that the problem with the Green Party is that Greens spend all their time and resources fighting to get onto the ballot, as if this is some Green flaw – the site makes no mention about this being a policy applied to all third parties – they say nothing about why the People’s Party would be exempt from that problem – and they say nothing about how their members should vote in 2020

    Recently, the People’s Party had a big online convention filled with high profile figures, talking about how they would launch a campaign in 2024 – but what are they doing for 2020? Is this just some kind of holding pen for DemExiters?

    What reason do they have to disparage the Greens in this moment? Why not just agree to provisionally support Hawkins/Walker now, and then decide what to do in 2024? As former Sanders campaigners, isn’t their first priority to push forward the Sanders platform? Why shouldn’t they support the only campaign that’s endorsing this platform?

    How were these decisions made? Did the People’s Party take a vote among their membership as to whether to work with or support the Greens? Did they host debates on this subject? Did we see them approaching the established Green Party and advising them to make changes that would then lead to collaboration? Have we seen any public communication between the People’s Party and the Greens?

    When asked about this, Howie Hawkins said he would be willing to have any conversation regarding the future of the Greens and the People’s Party, after this election, but he made the obvious point that, for now, he was running the only national campaign on this platform, so the obvious first move would be for the People’s Party to support the Greens in 2020

    What I’m seeing throughout is the Greens giving straightforward answers and the People’s Party giving convoluted, evasive, and misleading answers to these obvious questions, with the People’s Party leadership being the ones who are refusing to collaborate, and who are saying nothing about who their party will support in 2020.

    Based on their behavior so far, and their leadership’s links to the Sanders campaign and the Democratic Party, it seems very plausible to me at this stage that the People’s Party may be a DNC funded diversion to distract and neutralize DemExiters, precisely to channel them away from the Green Party, and limit their interference in the 2020 election

  • Nylene13

    It does seem that way. It seems that the Peoples Party main motive is to support the Democratic Party, regardless of how corrupt it is.

    This might explain the huge backlash against Michael Moore’s Movie Planet of the Humans. I

  • chetdude

    Actually – although he never joined the Green Party by registering Green, just as Sanders has never joined the democratic(sic) party, Ralph Nader was the official nominee of the Green Party for President in 2000…not as an “independent”.

    Nader would have found it impossible to be on most of the state’s ballots if he’d run as an independent and therefore would have had NO mathematical chance to win. The last person to be able to do that was Ross Perot using a large part of his considerable fortune in a system that was even less rigged to keep independents/minor boutique 3rd parties from qualifying.

  • chetdude

    Actually, it was libertarian Gary Johnson who cost Trump the lead in the popular vote too.

  • chetdude

    I’m going to chime in with a different perspective based on my personal experience serving on a Green Party County Committee.

    My experience was the tension between those of us who were Movement Greens and the group I call the “disgruntled ex-dems”.

    The ex-dems had so internalized “normal politics” in that democrat machine town in a red state that they spent at least 90% of their time and energy on street corners gathering the thousands of petition signatures needed to remain on the ballot in our state and county.

    We Movement Greens recognized that politics is the tail and Movements could be the dog (to replace the PTB and corporate media driving machine politics in town). We were much more interested in creating coalitions with the many other groups and organizations in town by making politics fun, showing how the 10 Key Values serve and support those groups’ needs as well, and to attract them into changing their registration from independent/democrat to Green and thus automatically qualify to run candidates (and for public financing) by achieving the threshold percentage required.

    Finally, we Movement Greens were shoved out of our leadership positions by parliamentary tricks perpetrated by the disgruntled, process poisoned ex-dems (silly Movement Greens – more interested in Consensus Process than Roberts’ Rules of Order).

    I’m afraid that too many “distrungled ex-democrats” have infiltrated too many Green Party leadership positions and that the party, like the democrats, and internalized a belief that the electoral route is the only path to change and don’t realize how important a massive Popular Movement will be to make real change happen.

    From what have heard from some of those trying to organize the People’s Party, they recognize the vital importance of Movements driving change – some of which can be accomplished by wagging the electoral tail and don’t want to go through the trouble of trying to change the “culture” that I’ve described above.

  • chetdude

    Aloha, my friend.

    See my response to Zak above…

  • Nylene13

    I don’t know.

    When I lived there- I think that Harry Kim may have won the Big Island because the Establishment there was more afraid of The Green Party winning that Kim winning. So they ‘Let’ Kim win.

    And they knew Kim was about the only one who could beat everyone.

    I voted Green, because I knew Kim would win. He did not need my vote. The People knew who Kim was and trusted him.

    That is so rare, now.

  • Nylene13

    Independent/Green Party- makes no difference to Old Party Democrats.

    They will only vote Democrat.

  • John R.

    “No way in hell.” It is a clear path to HELL unless they sell their very souls – and they’re sellin’ ’em as we speak.

    When I take a moment to “think about what the Democrats really think” (about anything) I can be 100 % certain that anything and anyone remotely Progressive is all but invisible – the Dems work for the same corporate masters as the Repubs. Everything else is theatre, just like it always is.

  • John R.

    B I N G O .

  • John R.

    Chetdude – there is no convincing Dembots or getting thru the Blue flavored Koolaid fog NO MATTER what You, I or anyone has to say, even Ralph Nader about the topic at hand – It’s deja view all over again !

  • chetdude

    I don’t post for them, I post for the hundreds of other non-posters who visit these spaces and have relatively open minds…

  • Nylene13

    UP Date-It has been 3 days and still no reply from the Greens….

  • zak1

    Who knows how swamped they are – but they should reply – especially to a request like yours – I’d say give them a few more days first and then maybe even try phoning them

  • zak1

    This is a fascinating response – it really shows what’s missing from our progressive media – why are readers like us in the comment threads the only ones discussing this – rather than Democracy Now, The Nation, etc?

    I see what you mean about the demographics and the impact on organizational behavior, and we need to hear much more about these developments – but I’m really not inclined to give the People’s Party the benefit of the doubt

    – at this stage, they really are acting like a PR front for Biden, especially the way their actions dovetail with all the money the DNC is spending now to drive the Greens off the ballot – they sure know how to throw a party (small p) but all I’m seeing so far is a holding pen to keep DemExiters out of the picture and quiet in 2020

    And all of this is consistent with the ongoing silence of the progressive media – their ongoing refusal to cover the nation’s only national progressive party – and also with the progressive Democrats’ refusal to engage with or mention independent electoral activity – the scale of this is too large, and the behavior is too consistent, which makes me think it looks coordinated

    Howie Hawkins has an excellent interview now in The Atlantic – he mentions that we’ve even seen major parties try to infiltrate the Greens and run fake progressive candidates to disrupt or coopt them

    Your information is valuable – and our journalists should be seeking out more accounts like yours and providing coverage and analysis

    – but in my view the People’s Party’s behavior in 2020 is too toxic and too convenient for the duopoly (especially in contrast to Hawkins’ Left Unity campaign) – it raises too many questions, especially since we’ve seen phenomena like this before

    – I’d like to see more effort on the part of the independent left media to call out such behavior and push them to explain themselves

  • Nylene13

    From what I found online-The Nevada Green Party presently consists of 3 people.

  • zak1

    Ok – see what happens if you drop them a line?

  • chetdude

    I can only surmise that some of those trying to organize a more Movement oriented People’s Party are sincerely recognizing that the massive corporate propaganda machine and primarily the democrats have tainted the “Green Brand” so much that just the name conjures up negative reactions – even among “progressives”.

    And of course, for the next few weeks, in the microcosm of the Reality-TV-Porn “election” being held in this failed, 4th world state, it will be impossible to elect Howie and it’s imperative to dump Trump.

    Alas this means put Biden in the office and prepare to fight even harder against the suicidal status-quo instead of allowing the dems to put everyone back to sleep the way they did in 2008/2009…

  • chetdude

    Damn, I’m very grateful that Kim kept our drinking water source safe and free!

    It’s funny that the remedial sick care system took 12 hours to get me and my potentially fatal heart attack to Honolulu but Mayor Harry Kim was able to get his there within 2 hours back in 2018…I wonder why that is?

  • Nylene13

    Because he is the Mayor of the Island of course.
    But I doubt that is because HE demanded special privileges.

    No doubt it goes with the job.

  • zak1

    Given their questionable behavior, to me the most logical step is to start by noticing how consistent their actions so far are with the massive DNC campaign to neutralize the Greens – it seems much easier to assume that they may be in on this effort, rather than assuming this is some coincidence

    Commercial media have damaged civic participation by training us to think of politics like some sports spectacle – this whole winner take all logic that discourages most people from even voting

    – our vote is a lobbying instrument – it can be used to strengthen any policy initiative, even if the candidate supporting it does not win

    – the media teaches us to think of ourselves as cheerleaders at a football game, rather than citizens fighting for policies

    For people whose priority is simply to eject Trump – they should probably vote Biden, at least in swing states – but they should remember this when 2024 comes around, and they’re faced with exactly the same argument once again, and again

    (in my view, voting Biden is the fiendishly clever impotent activity – this notion that somehow after we vote for him he’ll turn around and reform his policies – has that ever worked – and that somehow this voting habit won’t produce an even worse choice in 2024)

    – and, in any case, it seems to me every voter, regardless of their preference, should support the right of the public to be properly informed and make their own choices

    – I believe everyone should oppose the duopoly’s efforts to suppress and censor 3rd parties on the ballot and in the media

    – and we should all support the inclusion of Greens and Libertarians in the presidential debates

  • Nylene13

    There really wasn’t a contact on the site I found.

    I will keep hunting around though….

  • Nylene13

    Are you OK? Read there is a big wildfire by KA’U?