Support A Green Priority Today: Stop "Top Two"

From the Green Party of the United States: [Note: HR 5334 - the bill that would establish a nation-wide "Top Two" primary for all House elections - is sponsored by John Delaney, a Maryland Democrat]  In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, U.S. Senator and "friend of Wall Street" Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for taking the "Top Two" primary system - which is currently in use on California, Louisiana, and Washington - nationwide. Under "Top Two", all candidates are on a single primary ballot and the two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election regardless of party label. California was the most recent state to adopt "Top Two". In January 2009, State Senator Abel Maldonado held the state budget hostage during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression until the rest of the state legislature agreed to put a "TopTwo" referendum on the ballot. In June 2010, "Top Two" was adopted by 53% of the voters with overwhelming media support, big donations from corporate interests including Silicon Valley and health insurance companies, and a highly misleading campaign that characterized it as an "open primary". Support the Green Party as we work to build national awareness of "TopTwo" and its stifling effect on candidate choice. The Greens and other third parties warned that "Top Two" would disenfranchise voters who wanted to support candidates besides Democrats and Republicans. The evidence from California is clear. Under the previous primary system in 2010, there were six candidates on the general election ballot in every statewide race. In 2014, there were only two, and all statewide candidates are Democrats or Republicans. In 2010, there were four or five candidates on the ballot in every Board of Equalization race. In 2014, there are only two in each race, and all candidates are Democrats or Republicans. In 2010, 29 out of the 53 House of Representatives races had candidates outside of the duopoly. In 2014, there are only three, and none of them are Greens. In 2010, every registered Green and other supporter of the Green Party of California had the opportunity to vote for Green candidates in 8 of the 12 partisan races on the ballot: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Controller, Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and U.S. Senate. Additionally, some were in districts where they were able to vote for Green candidates for House of Representatives or State Assembly. In 2014, there will not be one single Green candidate on the ballot anywhere in California for a partisan race. "Top Two" is spreading to Oregon this year. On July 15th, Measure 90 - which would change Oregon's primary system to a "Top Two" system - was certified for the November ballot. Former Enron executive John Arnold has contributed $1.75 million in support of Measure 90. Other large contributors included Michael Bloomberg (at $1.6 million), Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Associations and The Standard Insurance Company. We need your support to help counteract the flood of corporate money into corporate campaigns like this one. A win for "Top Two" in Oregon means that Greens are disenfranchised on the entire Pacific Coast. A win for "Top Two" in Oregon means that big corporate interests and their supporters like Chuck Schumer will be encouraged to spread this anti-reform nationwide. A win for "Top Two" in Oregon means that the growing revolt against the broken two-party system can be stopped in its tracks nationwide. Your support can keep the revolt alive and growing. The Pacific Green Party of Oregon is mobilizing registered Greens and Jill Stein campaign volunteers from all across the state to defeat Measure 90. A win for the Pacific Green Party means that we can keep running candidates like Jason Levin for Governor - who crashed a debate that was restricted to Democrats and Republicans - and Christine Lugo for U.S. Senate, who is the first transgender U.S. Senate candidate in Oregon. We have beaten "Top Two" before and we can do it again. In 2008, the Pacific Green Party played a role in defeating a "Top Two" referendum that lost 66% to 34%. If you live in Oregon, make sure to vote NO on Measure 90. We need all Greens to contribute to our efforts as we resist candidate suppression in all its forms. Thank you for your continued efforts to promote Green candidates and campaigns and work for free and fair elections for all candidates.    

Baltimore Congressional Candidate Profiled in City Paper

Ian Schlakman - Green candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2 - was profiled in today's Baltimore CityPaper. "Over the last decade, Greens have started to shed their role as the punch line of American electoral politics," the story noted. "One gets the sense that Schlakman has run a professional campaign that Maryland Greens can be pleased with," the story continues. "He earned the endorsement of Jill Stein. He debated Ruppersberger, and unlike his Republican and Democratic opponents, managed to sound articulate on matters such as climate change and demilitarization without bloviating mindlessly..." Click here for the full story.       

Washington Post Endorses Dan Robinson for District 20

The Washington Post has endorsed Dan Robinson for next month's Maryland House of Delegates District 20 race. Dan is a former Takoma Park City Council member and current co-chair of the Maryland Green Party. Click here to read the Post's endorsement. Congratulations Dan, and good luck to all our Green candidates in next month's election! Don't forget to vote Green on November 4th!  

Green Party: Demilitarize the Police, End Racial Disparities and Bring Justice to the Criminal Justice System

Green Party leaders and candidates are calling for the demilitarization of civilian U.S. police departments, asserting that military police tactics have created an "occupation mentality" in many communities. Greens said that abuses of police power and disregard for the lives of young black people were on display in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, threats against reporters, and a display of force that turned peaceful protest into a violent confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri. Greens expressed support for the protesters. "The murder of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson must be investigated and prosecuted aggressively, but the crisis won't end with the punishment of an individual police officer," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for governor of New York. "Out-of-control police who respond to minor violations with overwhelming force, toleration of racist cops, siege-like conditions in some cities and city neighborhoods, and record-high incarceration - all of these are evidence of a growing police state." Read the Green Party's full statement here...

Anne Arundel Green Party Deliver Letter to City Leaders in Response to False Allegations by Crystal Springs Developers

Anne Arundel Green Party Delivers Letter to City Leaders in Response to False Allegation by Crystal Springs DeveloperContact:  Robb Tufts 443-370-6857 or robb.tufts@yahoo.comAnnapolis - Today the Anne Arundel Green Party delivered letters to the office of Mayor Pantelides and to each of the City Council members in regards to a false allegation made by the developers of the Crystal Springs project in an August 5th, 2014 blog posting. In the statement published by Crystal Springs, the Green Party was described as a "self-proclaimed anti-development organization with a stated agenda of stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development."“We have never described ourselves as anti-development on our website, brochures, or other communications. Nor have we ever passed any sort of resolution or issued any statement in regards to all out stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development,” stated Robert Smith, acting co-chair of the Anne Arundel Green Party.The Anne Arundel Green Party, along with several community and environmental organizations, signed a letter July 31 regarding the Crystal Spring project. The letter called for scaling back the project to preserve priority forest, wildlife corridors, and wetlands. Since its inception in 2001, the Anne Arundel Green Party has advocated for smart growth principles, supporting local businesses, and most of all protecting the environment and the water ways of the Chesapeake Bay.Mike Shay, the party's nominee for County Executive in 2010, cites the Green Party's stance on development as one of the reasons he sought the nomination. "As a community organizer in South County we have actually been fighting in favor of development -- the type of development that builds communities, supports our local economy, and doesn't damage the environment and our waterways.”Members of the Anne Arundel Greens were also concerned about the tone of the statement in regard to its members’ participation in civic commissions. "Because of this misconception that the Green Party is ‘anti-development,’ members of our political party are being unfairly singled out on city commissions and as a city employee," said Robb Tufts, the party's 2006 candidate for the County Council. "Annapolis is still a democracy, and there should not be a political party litmus test when it comes to volunteering for the city or for civil service employment.”###Dear Mayor Pantelides and City Council,The Anne Arundel Green Party wishes to address misstatements made by the developers of Crystal Spring on their blog, www.crystalspringannapolis.com, and forwarded to the Annapolis Mayor and City Council.In their statement against the Annapolis Environmental Commission posted on Aug. 5, 2014, the developers stated, "The AEC and/or individual members of the AEC have ... been organizing members of The Green Party, a self-proclaimed anti-development organization with a stated agenda of stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development."First, the Anne Arundel Green Party (AAGP) is not a "self-proclaimed anti-development organization with a stated agenda of stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development." AAGP has not published any materials claiming to be anti-development, nor published any materials advocating completely stopping the Crystal Spring development. If the developers cannot produce such materials, they should apologize on their web site and to the Annapolis community for publishing potentially libelous mistruths.The Green Party, of which AAGP is a local chapter, is a political party recognized by the State of Maryland. Greens are not "anti-development"; they support sustainable development that minimizes environmental impacts, recognizing the right of future generations to grow up with sufficient natural resources. Mike Shay, AAGP's candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive in 2010, ran on a platform of "more efficient government, responsible development, less crowded schools and a cleaner environment," and stressed "balancing a healthy business environment with the critical need to protect the [county's] natural resources." One of the Green Party’s elected leaders in Maryland, Michael Cornell, has been advocating the redevelopment of downtown Columbia to be more pedestrian and bike friendly and to better serve the residents there.AAGP signed on to the joint letter submitted by Gerald Winegrad, the Sierra Club, and others on July 31 regarding the Crystal Spring Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan. This letter does not argue for preventing the development; rather, to limit its impact by preserving priority forest, wildlife habitat, and wetlands. This letter reflects AAGP's official position on Crystal Spring thus far.Finally, we are alarmed that members of our political party who serve as volunteers on city commissions or are employed by the City of Annapolis are being singled out solely due to their political affiliation. Freedom of association is one of the bedrock principles that this country was founded on. We respectfully request the City of Annapolis provide assurance that the political rights and freedoms of its volunteers and employees will be protected.Sincerely,Robb Tufts On behalf of the Anne Arundel Green Party