Green Party Wins Back Ballot Line in New York

11/03/2010 10:53 AM |

oldz
  • oldz

Howie Hawkins is not the governor elect of New York State, but his party has walked away from the election with the best they could have hoped for: with 84 percent of districts reporting, Green Party candidate Hawkins passed the 50,000 vote mark, which will give the Green Party a guaranteed line on state ballots during the next four years.

It’s the first time the Green Party achieved such success since 1998, when the Al Lewis-Alice Green ticket took in 52,000 votes—and that’s back when there was still a Liberal Party! The Party was kicked off in 2002 (Nader backlash?), when Stanley Aronowitz took in about 42,000 votes; Malachy McCourt failed to win the line back in 2006, when he pulled in just slightly more.

In fact, Hawkins did better than any other third party candidate, even though the coverage he received following that wacky debate was next to nil. If you Googled “Howie Hawkins” yesterday, The L‘s pre-debate Q&A was the first result from a media organization. Even kooky favorite Jimmy McMillan, of the Rent is Too Damn High! Party, pulled in less than one percent of the vote.

Media seem to treat third party candidacies as diverting side shows—unless, say, there are murmured rumors a “legitimate” candidate like Bloomberg might run for president—as when the fascination never ceased, during New York City’s last mayoral campaign, over whether the Naked Cowboy would run. During the same election, the Green Party tried to exploit media dismissal when they ran Reverend Billy, who’s both a copy-attracting persona and a man with a thorough commitment to real issues of justice. Still, the one time the Times covered the campaign, they attached the headline “Comic Pastor Runs for Mayor”. Yuk yuk!

But Hawkins’ success gives the Green Party a platform off of which to build. “This is a building block for the future,” Eric Jones, co-chair of the NYS Green Party, said in a press release. “We are going to use this victory to elect Greens statewide, starting at the local level and moving on up to the state.” If this country, and state, is truly angry about corrupt incumbents, let them use their imaginations in the voting booths: let them vote for principled candidates of reform not beholden to the debauched coffers of the major parties.

7 Comment

  • As a progressive New Yorker, I’m sick and tired of not only Democrats (who at least don’t really deny being a spineless, backroom dealmaking megaentity), but of the phony, sleazy WFP, which pays lip service to progressiveish-sounding rhetoric but when the time comes, sucks up to Andrew Cuomo, runs no candidates of its own and “selects” endorsements largely on who is willing to contract with its for-profit shell corporation of campaign workers (Data & Field Services), who don’t even know who their employer is. Now that the Greens have shattered the 50,000 vote plateau, I think a lot more progressive New Yorkers are going to stop feeling guilt-ridden loyalty to an organization being picked on by Breitbart and Beck (their ideological agenda is immoral, but when it comes to WFP, a lot of their factual assertions are, unfortunately, right) and go to bat for a party that runs its own candidates and doesn’t sell its endorsements. Go Green!

  • Thanks for this, Carl Paladino.

  • right on, pfps. i would sooner vote for paladino than vote for anyone under the wfp ticket.

  • this is a big effing deal.

  • Sad and true about third parties being treated “as diverting side shows.” When did true choice at the ballot booth become a farce? So sick of Dems and Reps pushing back and forth on this seesaw. That’s the real comedy.

  • I’m afraid gpointer makes my point exactly – any criticism of the WFP is immediately and defensively interpreted as being words from the “Tea Party” or the Conservatives, or coming from Rupert Murdoch.

    If you want to trumpet the fact that you weren’t prosecuted after a U.S. Attorney’s investigation, fine. The Green Party, for the record, has never been investigated. And what the investigation of WFP did reveal was that candidates like DiBlasio were trading in “hires” of campaign staff from a for-profit shell corporation in exchange for an endorsement – the fact that it might not be illegal under New York’s porous campaign laws still doesn’t make it a shining example of democracy in action and I would assume/hope that if the Conservatives or Independence parties were caught doing the same thing, you would be outraged whether or not anyone was prosecuted. And none of this touches the fact that WFP endorsed Andrew Cuomo, who has made it clear that he’s anti-labor and at best punting on fracking, as well as pro-war Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

    But keep accusing your critics of being Murdoch drones or Tea Partiers. The political graveyard is full of movements and parties who couldn’t distinguish between constructive criticism and extremist attacks.