Today is the fourth anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC decision, when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are allowed to make unlimited political expenditures. Wealthy individuals, corporations and Super PACs are now free to spend millions on advertisements for the candidates and elected officials who will be expected to protect consumers from those same corporations once they are elected. In 2012, corporations and Super PACs spent over $1 billion on our elections, much of which was not publicly disclosed. The Green Party believes that a level playing field for all candidates for public office is vital to a functional American democracy. We call for the overturning of the Citizens United decision. We support amending the Constitution to ensure that only human beings - not corporations - are considered persons with free speech rights. This is why the Green Party is the only national political party that refuses all contributions from corporations and political action committees. The Green Party is leading by example - leading the way to elections free of corporate influence, undisclosed cash, and democracy sold to the highest bidder. Please help us lead the way with a contribution today.
Ian Schlakman, of Baltimore, has announced his intention to seek the Green Party's nomination for United States House of Representatives, District 2. Ian is a technology and cyber security entrepreneur and small business owner. Ian's website can be found at www.ian42.com. Ian has worked with a variety of organizations and movements in Baltimore, including Occupy Baltimore, the Baltimore Green Currency Association, and LETSBMore, a local time bank. The Maryland Green Party will hold a state-wide party-organized primary election to determine its nominees for 2014 campaigns.
During the 2014 General Assembly session, the Maryland Green Party is promoting the Green New Deal for Maryland, based on the Green New Deal program adopted by Green candidates nation-wide in 2010, and most recently promoted by Jill Stein, the Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee. The 2014 Green New Deal for Maryland is based on four pillars. Part 1: The Economic Bill of Rights We cannot truly move forward until the roots of inequality are pulled up and the seeds of a new, healthier economy are planted. Thus the Green New Deal begins with the following Economic Bill of Rights for everyone: All workers must have the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace, to fair trade, and to organize a union at work without fear of firing or reprisal. We support increasing the minimum wage. The right to quality health care will be achieved through a single-payer "Medicare-For-All" program. The right to a tuition-free, quality, public education system from pre-school through college is vital. We support phasing out all student tuition and fees for in-state students in the University System of Maryland. We believe in the right to decent, affordable housing - including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions. A state bank with local branches could take over distressed mortgages and restructure them to affordable levels. All people must have the right to accessible and affordable utilities - heat, electricity, phone, internet, and public transportation - through democratically-run, publicly-owned or cooperatively-owned utilities that operate at cost, not for profit. All taxpayers have the right to fair taxation distributed in proportion to ability to pay. We support re-introducing the millionaire's surtax and passing combined reporting legislation to ensure that corporations pay taxes to Maryland on all income earned in the state. Part 2: A Green Transition The Green Transition program will convert the old, unsustainable economy into new economy that is environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially responsible. Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") must be banned in Maryland. We support promoting offshore wind energy. Studies show that it could meet 70% of the state's annual energy demand. The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act was a small first step and must be aggressively followed up with more investment in wind energy projects. We support establishing feed-in tariffs that reimburse anyone who produces renewable energy. We support creating incentives for establishing neighborhood and community energy cooperatives to reduce the costs and spreads the benefits of renewable energy. Funds should be directed toward a comprehensive effort to retrofit all buildings for energy efficiency. We support strict labeling requirements for genetically-modified foods and the promotion of sustainable, organic farming as the foundation for an economic revival in rural parts of Maryland. Part 3: Real Financial Reform The takeover of our economy by "too-big-to-fail" banks and well-connected financiers has destabilized both our democracy and economy. Under the Green New Deal for Maryland we will start building a financial system that is open, honest, and stable and that serves the the real economy rather than the phony economy of high finance. We support the establishment of state and municipal public-owned banks that function as not-for-profit utilities. We support the establishment of a state-owned bank to serve as the depository for all state tax collections and fees. We support fostering credit unions and community-owned cooperative banks to serve as community development financial institutions that support local businesses, affordable housing, green-collar jobs, and other community development projects. We support investing the state's pension funds in socially responsible funds, with a portion targeted toward in-state development projects, particularly small-scale, local businesses that are frequently ignored by multi-national banks. Part 4: Democracy That Protects the Rights of All As we are replacing the old economy with a new one we need a new politics to restore the promise of American democracy. Ballot access for independent and minor party candidates is critical for introducing new ideas into the political system. Requirements for establishing and maintaining new political parties should be made more reasonable. We support publicly financing all Maryland elections. We support the implementation of instant runoff voting and proportional representation in multi-member districts. It is vital to prohibit all business entities - including corporations, general or limited partnerships, limited liability corporations, or real estate investment trusts - from contributing to campaign finance entities. We support the decriminalization of marijuana use and the re-evaluation of other drug laws to eliminate racial bias in their implementation. We support withdraw from joint federal/state immigration enforcement programs that break up families and create fear and distrust between law enforcement and immigrants.
Dan Robinson, of Takoma Park, has announced his intention to seek the Green Party's nomination for Maryland House of Delegates, District 20. Dan is a 28-year resident of Takoma Park and has recently served two terms on the Takoma Park City Council. Dan's website can be found at www.drd20.org. Dan is a retired former educator, technology consultant and office building owner. He has co-founded several local institutions, including the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Voice and the Takoma Park Street Festival. Dan's campaign will highlight several Green Party values he hopes to bring to Annapolis.The Maryland Green Party will hold a state-wide party-organized primary election to determine its nominees for 2014 campaigns.
Washington, DC - The Democratic and Republican parties are waging economic war on working Americans, the unemployed, students, and veterans, said Green Party leaders and candidates on New Years Day 2014.Greens hoped that 2014 would be the year that Americans realize that the two corporate-money parties are causing the erosion of the middle class and driving poor people into destitution and desperation.Green Party leaders said that a new bill sponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to reinstate the unemployment extension for three months was a necessary stopgap measure, but strongly criticized the eagerness of both parties' legislators to place safety-net programs on the table during budget talks.Quotes from Greens:• Howie Hawkins, working Teamster, Green candidate for Governor of New York in 2010, candidate for the 2014 Green gubernatorial nomination in New York:"The recent bipartisan votes in Congress to slash food stamps, unemployment benefits, and veterans' pensions showed special cruelty to the nation's neediest. President Obama's proposed job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership, Social Security cuts, and inadequate minimum wage hike are evidence he has little understanding of the economic difficulties people are facing. Democrats and Republicans measure the health of the economy according to Dow Jones, the GDP, and corporate profit margins. Greens judge the economy according to how many Americans have secure jobs with livable wages and good benefits, and how many Americans are getting lifted out of poverty. Let 2014 be the year that voters wake up to the reality that no real change is possible as long as the two parties of war and Wall Street remain in charge."• Darryl L.C. Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States:"Austerity is the bipartisan belief that working Americans should pay the bill for the criminal recklessness and greed of the financial sector. Five years after the economic meltdown, Wall Street is posting record gains while most of us are still struggling to make ends meet on the low wages that make such gains possible. The top One Percent have enjoyed 95% of the economic gains since 2009 and now own 35% of all stock value, the wealthiest ten percent own 80%, capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than most middle-class income, and many top corporations pay no taxes at all. Washington has abandoned the promise that anyone who works a full-time job should make enough to live on and provide for a small family. Democratic and Republican leaders no longer believe that all Americans should share in the country's prosperity. The new guiding principle is that capitalism doesn't work for everyone and shouldn't work for everyone. It's inevitable that a White House staffed with Wall Street operatives and a Congress that takes marching orders from corporate lobbyists will side with the One Percent."• Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for President in 2012"Greens care about students and veterans, and we're proud that many students and veterans are Greens. We call for a jubilee to alleviate the crushing student-debt burden and a lowering of student loan interest rates. We advocate a 'Green New Deal' that would provide jobs for young people, including summer jobs for people still in school and new full-time jobs for those graduating from high school and college. We demand an end to the mandatory sentencing, zero tolerance, the War on Drugs, and other schemes used to warehouse young black, brown, and poor Americans in the corporate prison system. We oppose public-school privatization, which emphasizes constant testing and uncritical obedience instead of preparing students to be well-informed citizens living in a democracy. We support making higher education free, as other countries have done. Greens demand deep cuts in the bloated military budget -- but no cuts in pensions and services for veterans. The promise we made to young people when they enlisted is more important than the boondoggle contracts meant to enrich arms manufacturers."• Mike Tanis, co-chair of the Green Party Youth Caucus"Democratic Party politicians and apologists worship at the altar of bipartisanship and insist that they must compromise with an increasingly extremist GOP. Two-party politics has given Democrats a perpetual excuse for seeking deals with Republicans, competing with the latter for the favor of corporate contributors, and disregarding the well-being of most Americans. The rise of an alternative party like the Greens will alter this dynamic. Dems will have to compete for votes with Greens, not just with Republicans. As long as legislatures remain the exclusive property of the Ds and Rs, the U.S. will keep sliding further to the right, towards more wealth and power for corporate plutocrats and less financial security for ordinary Americans, until people stop saying 'The only choice on Election Day is Democrat or Republican.'"• Laura Wells, Green candidate for Controller in California"Green candidates like public banking advocate Ellen Brown, running for California Treasurer, and myself are using our campaigns to inform the public about Green solutions to the lingering economic crisis: A livable wage and a stronger social safety net, which will stimulate the economy by reversing the redistribution of wealth to the top One Percent. A tax on stock trades, especially short-term speculation. Restoration of Glass-Steagall and enactment of strict regulations on trading, especially on risky securities like derivatives and hedge funds. A progressive tax system that requires the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share and relieves working people. Break-up of too-big-to-fail banks and conversion to state and municipal banks -- like North Dakota's successful state bank. A reduced military budget, an end to unprovoked military attacks on other countries, and redirection of such funding into human needs. Conversion to a Green economy that will provide millions of new jobs, as outlined in the Green New Deal. A single-payer national health care system. A halt to foreclosures -- a top priority of elected Greens like Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond, California, who is leading her city in using eminent domain to stop banks from seizing the homes of many of her constituents.