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The Green Party — Alive And Well In The Keystone State?
found here: http://www.mcall.com/html/pastdays/b_pg001_e3b1_3deraymond3.htm
written by BernieOHare, edited by Tom (Plastic)
posted Wed 2 May 7:10pm

Politics:3rd Party
"The Green Party appears to have taken root and grown in Pennsylvania," BernieOHare writes. "According to an article in The Morning Call, several members of the Green Party successfully blocked a major municipal funding plan full of 'corporate giveaways,' and now one of them is running for local office. There are at least a dozen candidates running for local office in Pennsylvania this election season. With Ralph Nader, the Greens attempted to change the system from the top. Now it appears that the Greens are trying the reverse strategy to change an entrenched two-party system."

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1.  a good plan
 by maml  [ message privately ]2 funny 
  at Wed 2 May 11:58amscore of 2 funny
  
Taking seats in municipal councils, county boards, school boards, etc.. is the only way we Greens are going to stick around as a real party. Running failing presidential bids every four years will only have us looking like the socialists. On the other hand, proving ourselves useful on a local level will give our national and global ideas more credence.

And we all like Credence, don't we?
I've blocked AI. I'm happier now.
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    2.  Re:a good plan
     by jjgiddes  [ message privately ]2 funny 
      at Wed 2 May 7:21pmscore of 2 funny
      in reply to comment 1
      
    Sure do!

    Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
    Lord, don't they help themselves, oh.
    But when the taxman comes to the door,
    Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah...

    (it was too obvious)

    "You've got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it." -- Groucho Marx
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    6.  Greens already look like Socialists
     by Anonymous Idiot   
      at Wed 2 May 8:49pmscore of -1 obnoxious
      in reply to comment 1
      
    Since they only propose using government force to achieve their ends and scapegoat capitalist institutions every chance they get.

    What is the difference, if any?
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      17.  Booooo! Booooooo!
       by jjgiddes  [ message privately ]1  
        at Thu 3 May 11:41amscore of 1
        in reply to comment 6
        
      I am a socialist! Boooo! Then again, I'd be considered pretty centirist anywhere else in the world. This country makes it very easy for me to adopt my particular political viewpoint, every single day. Good luck with fighting the good fight against those who would "scapegoat capitalist institutions". Seems to me that Archer Daniels Midland, Enron or ConAgra really don't need your help that much, since they're already scapegoating themselves, but good luck anyway.
      "You've got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it." -- Groucho Marx
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3.  Harder Than It Sounds
 by NH4  [ message privately ]4 informative 
  at Wed 2 May 7:22pmscore of 4 informative
  
The Libertarian Party in Montana tried a similar grass-roots strategy. We went from 3%-4% of the vote in local elections in 1980 to 15%-20% in 1982, then increased to 20%-25% in 1984.

Within two years after that, half of our most effective activists were in jail (Libertarians perceived as left-wing were set up on drug charges, while Libertarians perceived as right-wing were set up on gun charges), and many others had "chosen" to become Republicans (the alternatives were not pretty). The same thing happened to the similarly-successful Alaska Libertarian Party.

But that won't happen to the Greens -- unless they threaten the established political order. They wouldn't go and do something silly like that, would they?
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    5.  Re:Harder Than It Sounds
     by grimgrin  [ message privately ]2 astute 
      at Wed 2 May 8:31pmscore of 2 astute
      in reply to comment 3
      
    This may sound like a snarky question, but were the charges "set-up" by planting drugs or, charging people because one of their friends/roomates were involved or were the charges "set up" by the cops taking a look at a newly public figre and arresting them for something they had been dooing all along?

    If it the former, then, ouch my sympathies.

    If it's the latter, then you learned your lesson didn't you?

    Don't break the law while you're a public figure or closley tied with a political organization. I have no sympathy for anyone who sets out to "change the way govenrment operates" and who doesn't know enough to keep their nose clean.

    Grimgrin.
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      7.  Re:Harder Than It Sounds
       by Anonymous Idiot  0  
        at Wed 2 May 11:12pmscore of 0
        in reply to comment 5
        
      What sort of nonsense is that? That's a bit like saying, "if you die your hair blond and wear blue-tinted contacts, you'll be all right among Nazis."

      I have no sympathy -- or respect -- for people like you. Perhaps you'd like to further suggest that gays stay in the closet all their lives just to avoid any possible confrontation, or that women should get used to the "barefoot, pregnant in the kitchen" lifestyle in order to please men??

      Please, before you make an ass of yourself in the future, consider that even though you have an opinion, it might well not be worth publishing, even electronically.
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        8.  Thanks for Your Sympathies
         by NH4  [ message privately ]3 informative 
          at Wed 2 May 11:51pmscore of 3 informative
          in reply to comment 5
          
        Actually, Grimgrin, an IRS manual published in 1980 outlined the strategy that was ultimately used against members of the Party in 1986-1988 (although the manual was ostensibly designed for dealing with "tax protesters"): it said that it was important to avoid the appearance of political persecution when taking action against enemies of the Service, and so every effort should be made to make targeted "tax protesters" appear to be common criminals. It recommended that right-wing "tax protesters" be attacked as "gun nuts," and that left-wing "tax protesters" be attacked as "druggies." It recommended this course of action because "even people sympathetic to those arrested would tend to think the charges were true."

        Although the Libertarians were known to be sympathetic to "tax protesters," it appeared that most of the actions taken were by the State rather than by federal authorities, in both Montana and Alaska. In both states, anyone with a professional license had a complaint filed against him/her, and all such people had their licenses taken away, often on the flimsiest of grounds. A fine example: one lawyer I knew well was defending a man on charges of operating a methamphetamine laboratory, when the U.S. Attorney decided to charge him "conspiracy" with his *client*, demanding that he testify against his client or face imprisonment. He refused to testify, he was charged with conspiracy for DOING HIS JOB, and he spent two years in a federal prison, during which he was disbarred. Another man I knew was approached about serving as press attache for the Secretary of State, a Republican, and told that if he refused, cannabis would be found at his house. He left the state, as I did.

        As I found out the hard way, anyone who sets out to change the way the government operates -- AND STARTS TO SUCCEED -- will be destroyed. The folks who run America aren't playing games: they have more power than any ruling class and/or any political class in world history, and they're not just going to get out of the way and watch you screw things up for them. Everyone is either guilty of *something* or can be accused of *something*: they set it up that way on purpose.

        Good luck to the Greens. I voted for Nader because I always vote for the largest third party, regardless of what they have to say (although in this case I happened to appreciate Nader's social libertarianism). But if you start to get somewhere, watch your backs.
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          9.  Re:Thanks for Your Sympathies
           by grimgrin  [ message privately ]1  
            at Thu 3 May 12:19amscore of 1
            in reply to comment 8
            
          No matter how cynical you are, it is impossible to keep up.

          I don't know who said it but it gets reinforced every time i turn around.

          My sympathies for having to deal with that sort of thing.

          Grimgrin.
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            11.  Re:Thanks for Your Sympathies
             by NH4  [ message privately ]1  
              at Thu 3 May 2:37amscore of 1
              in reply to comment 9
              
            One thing you had right, Grimgrin, although in the wrong context: I sure learned my lesson.
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            19.  Re:Harder Than It Sounds
             by Sigivald  [ message privately ]1  
              at Thu 3 May 1:44pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 7
              

            Gee, and to me it sounded like, "if you're goign to run for office and get attention drawn to you, perhaps you shoud obey the law". If you think the law is bad, either protest/work to change it, or, sure, flaunt it openly. But if you flaunt it openly, don't be suprised or indignant when you get arrested for it.

            Godwin's Law is invoked. EOF.


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          12.  Well, then
           by Brian Jones  [ message privately ]3 astute 
            at Thu 3 May 4:43amscore of 3 astute
            in reply to comment 3
            
          I know this might go against the whole "standing up to the Man" ethos, but Greens could fight this by getting their people working in law-enforcement and related fields, right?
          Cheap crass attention-whoring plug goes here.
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          21.  Re:Harder Than It Sounds
           by Anonymous Idiot  0  
            at Sun 6 May 9:48pmscore of 0
            in reply to comment 3
            
          DESTROY the current political order!!!!
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        4.  Strategy
         by PerryStroika  [ message privately ]3 clever 
          at Wed 2 May 8:06pmscore of 3 clever
          
        Traditionally third parties have tended to concentrate mainly on presidential elections to gain publicity for their causes. Usually their agenda is coopted by one of the two main parties as soon as it is realized that there is an audience for what they have to say, with the result that the third parties themselves lose supporters and fizzle out after a few short years.

        The bottom up strategy of running for local offices first-seats on the board of education, town council, or state legislature, etc.-is a much more stable, pragmatic approach the long term project of really building a party capable of exerting influence.
        Mouthpiece
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          14.  Re:Strategy
           by drezdn  [ message privately ]1  
            at Thu 3 May 10:20amscore of 1
            in reply to comment 4
            
          This is how the Christian Coalition and The Republican Party managed to win so many seats with The Contract with America... They would run right wing candidates for school board elections, city council, and every small position they could possibly hold. In time, they started winning and gained control of many places (particularly Texas) on a local level.

          Good luck to the Green Party in doing the same thing, though I believe many Democrats are still stinging from Nader's unwillingness to withdraw, and so the campaigns will be hard fought...

          One interesting sidenote would be when Hunter S. Thompson ran for Sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket, he was polling higher than either the Democratic or Republican candidate, but both candidates pulled together just to ensure that he didn't win.

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            16.  The Screwheads and the Doomed
             by jjgiddes  [ message privately ]1  
              at Thu 3 May 11:32amscore of 1
              in reply to comment 14
              
            Ah, I was wondering when someone would mention the Good Doctor... his example proves that there is no room for complacency in this world, and actually getting up and doing something is, well, a necessity now rather than a desired end. Of course, I'm sitting here ranting about it on Plastic, but thank a God I don't believe in that Plastic isn't my only outlet. That would be just sad.
            "You've got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it." -- Groucho Marx
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        10.  The grass is always Greener....
         by Slacktivist  [ message privately ]1  
          at Thu 3 May 12:29amscore of 1
          
        One of the American Green Party Key Values is grassroots democracy. Although Nader's run helped bring visibility to the Green's, the plan has always been to organize from the bottom up. In fact, that's the only way to build a real party. Unlike the Republicrats, we don't have millions in corporate cash to buy our support.
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          13.  Re:The grass is always Greener....
           by Anonymous Idiot  0  
            at Thu 3 May 8:21amscore of 0
            in reply to comment 10
            
          Grassroots "democracy" may be a Green Party, but does that mean standing for election? Most lefties I know consider grassroots to be showing up for a protest with the same 6 winos and a nun they used the last 4 times. If the Greens do develop a local presence, good for them. However, most progressives lack the patience to do this over the long haul. Local aldermen and board members spend most of their time on boring stuff like sewage easements and hiring dog catchers, not changing the face of society. Also, sometimes you lose an election or a vote.

          The republicrats may have big corporate money, but they also have the people in their parties who do the scut work every day and week. Collect the garbage, fight the fires, pass out the parking tickets, collect the sales tax. Not very exciting. It's just the way actual, real working folk get things done.
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            18.  Re:The grass is always Greener....
             by maml  [ message privately ]1  
              at Thu 3 May 12:06pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 13
              
            And the republicrats have the bluehaired set that show up for every fucking rally and babble about how much they love the party to the TV crews and wear silly hats and curse the other side a lot. Political activism always draws in a lot of windbags, be it progressive or regressive. It irks me that you seem to think all Greens don't have a work ethic.
            I've blocked AI. I'm happier now.
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              20.  Re:The grass is always Greener....
               by Anonymous Idiot  0  
                at Thu 3 May 5:23pmscore of 0
                in reply to comment 18
                
              I think that if leftists had the same work ethic as rightists they would already be in the city council. I remember about 15 years ago a spate of horrified articles in places like Mother Jones and the Progressive about the fiendish "stealth campaigns" run by rightists who got quietly on the local school board and started to run their agenda. Of course stealth campaigns have the same weakness as the stealth bomber: it's only a secret until you drop the first bomb.

              Did the left begin at that time to enter the elective process? Not really. They gave up the elections to the right and degenerated to the stupid symbolism they now enjoy. It's a lot easier to dress like a turtle and march at the WTO than try to convince your neighbor that you can run the town better. I believe that if the left had taken a page from the New right and begun real grassroots organizing: i.e. run for local, county and statehouse offices- they would be contesting Congressional races by now. Instead, you're doing the same street theater I saw at college in the late 60's. Lots of progress for the progressive movement.
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