Sunday, June 22, 2008

Green Party: Competition Provides Public Service



Like most of you, I have never voted for a Green Party candidate, and as of now I have no plans to. Still, I believe they are providing a public service by offering a respectably sized slate of candidates for state and national legislative office.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of house district 39. The office was once held by Representative Dwayne Dobbins. Democrat Dobbins was forced to resign after his conviction for fondling a 17 year old. His wife ran for the seat and won it. That alone tells you that more competition for public office is needed. So staid is the Democratic party that no one was willing to "rock the boat" and run against her in the Democratic primary for re-election. Nor was any Republican willing to run against her in the heavily Democratic district. The last day of the filing period, her husband, the convicted sex offender, filed for the office. She neglected to mention that she was not going to run for the seat again. For a while, it appeared that he would win unopposed. It now appears that the Green Party has found an opponent for Dobbins. More on that on the jump.

In addition, it appears that neither the Democrat or the Republican party has recruited anyone to run for the other party's congressional seats. The Green party has found candidates in three of four districts. The Democrats are also putting forward three candidates, and the Republicans one- all incumbents.

71% of state legislative "races" had candidates who were unopposed in the general election in 2006. People are frustrated, but the system is not providing them an electoral means of expressing it. The Green party is sending six candidates to challenge for seats in the state house of Representatives. The GOP is running candidates in 39 seats, but about 25 of those are in districts they already control. The bottom line is that the GOP is challenging in about 12-15 new seats and the fledging Green party is challenging in about half that many. Not bad for an outfit just getting up and running.

Competition produces excellence, and right now the political system we have does not offer real choice. Whether or not I support their positions, I salute the Green Party for their public service of offering competition in public office.

19 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Green Party of Arkansas nominees are:

Rebekah Kennedy – U.S. Senate

Deb McFarland - 2nd Congressional District

Joshua Drake - 4th Congressional District

Abel Tomlinson - 3rd Congressional District

Conrad Harvin - State Rep. District 33

Richard Carroll - State Rep. District 39

Gene Mason - State Rep. District 42

Brian Barnett - State Rep. District 50

Mary Boley – State Rep. District 68

Wendy Crow - State Rep. District 90

Chicot County Assessor - Elizabeth McCoy

Pulaski County JP District 6 - Wainnette Copass

Sebastian County JP District 4 - Richard Suits

7:35 AM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark,

The RPA has a long way to go just to get back to mid 1990's level of offices held. For whatever reason Republicanism never caught on in Arkansas like it did in the rest of the south.
I personally don't see the RPA holding any constitution offices for at least 2 or 3 more election cycles.
With that said we can expect taxes to rise and goverment to expand in the next few years.
I guess you saw where G.W. Bush will be in Little Rock on July 1.

9:18 AM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For whatever reason Republicanism never caught on in Arkansas...

Rick, you answered your own question:
I guess you saw where G.W. Bush will be in Little Rock on July 1.

12:09 PM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Anon,

I do agree Bush has hurt the GOP over the last 4 years but the decline of the Republican Party in Arkansas started before Bush took office. If my memory is correct the state house & senate republican seats started to decline in the late '90's.

12:44 PM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other words, the start of the decline coincided with Huckabee's rise as Lt.Governor?

3:29 PM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Anon,

I think it coincided with his rise to Governor. You can't build a party running everthing from Little Rock. There was never a push to grow from the grass roots such as JP districts in each county. Then when we lose all constitution offices there is nothing left.

7:05 PM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Mark and co could never get the Constitutional Party off the ground, at least they can celebrate when the hippy party fields a candidate.

Mark, perhaps it wasn't the party but the "leadership" that was the problem.

9:26 PM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get schooled on the other thread, so now you're yapping at Mark here? Heh, heh. Cheap insults seem to be the best you can provide this forum.

10:36 PM, June 22, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Rick,

I think Bill Clinton never grew a bench for the Democrats in Arkansas. He was not interested in it lest there be some rivals or some folks to dilute the spotlight from him. When he left, there was a vacuum that the Republicans were able to take advantage of for a while, but Huckabee did not want to grow a bench either. He seemed to prefer working with Democrats- and no wonder considering the pace at which he spent money, grew government, and centralized power.

The Hutchinsons had a NWA base. They did not have "big" personalities. Asa is a decent fellow and I like him, but he did not exude warmth like Arkansas politicians must, and Tim was actually unpleasant to be around in my opinion. Tim's moral failing at the same time the democrats began to fill the vacuum finished him off.

Add to all that, the Democrats will help their candidates, even if they are not their favorite people. The state GOP would rather a Democrat win than have a Jim Holt win. Bill Halter was not the favorite of many Democrats, yet they saw his race could be close so they dumped $250,000 in to buy TV telling old people that Jim Holt wanted to end their social security. The GOP refused to help Holt, and spent all their money on attack-direct mail to some favored state rep. candidates and Asa.

The base wants Christian conservatives and the party leadership does not. That and the millstone of GW Bush is why the GOP is not going win in this state anytime soon. They may be headed for the ash heap of history, unless the Democrats help them out by continuing to join them in efforts to keep barriers to entry for other political parties high (you may recall the Greens has to take the state to court to get on the ballot).

**********************

As far as the Constitution (not Constitutional) party. I wish them well and may still vote for their candidate for President as a protest (Chuck Baldwin). As to the reasons we said goodbye, maybe I will write about it later. I don't have the time or patience right now AS IT CONCERNS MORMONS!

5:49 AM, June 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always comes back to the Mormons for Mark.

Seriously, if you couldn't hack it in a third (fourth, or fifth party) then why do you even keep on trying. Clearly your views don't match a majority of people anywhere. If they did I suppose you would actually have a chance to create a political movement.

But no, it's always a Mormon holding you back.

7:44 AM, June 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never voted for a Green Party candidate, and as of now I have no plans to. Still, I believe they are providing a public service by offering a respectably sized slate of candidates for state and national legislative office.

My feelings exactly!

8:40 AM, June 23, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark,

I disagree the party leaders would rather see a Democrat elected than someone like Holt. The GOP called Stubby Stumbaugh to DC and asked him to run against Marion Berry and promised money if he would. When all was done the GOP didn't keep their promises.
When you have more candidates than money someone is going to be left out. I know feelings get hurt but thats the way it goes. Money should have went to Stubby before Holt but I guess neither got it.

10:37 AM, June 23, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Yes, my views have been going out of fashion since their heyday in 1787, when they were the dominant view in this country.

They have been in decline at an accelerating pace since 1913 at the least, and are now no where near a majority of the American people. At least not until after the coming dose of reality that is going to smack them in the forehead like a Barry-Bonds swung 2X4.

It was just that smack that we have been trying to warn them about. Perhaps after they regain consciousness from the coming politico-economic-social coma they will listen again.
************************
Now as to the Constitution party and why we voted to dis-affiliate....

After some time in the CP I realized that their claim to be the 3rd largest political party in America was due entirely to the fact that the American Independent Parties of California and Nevada were the official CP affiliates for those states. I believe that the way voter registrations are done in those states over-represents them.

It turned out that the AIP was the remnants of the same AIP that ran George Wallace for President in 1968. You may remember he was the "segregation forever" guy at that time. Wallace won at least five states that year, including Arkansas, on the AIP ticket.

In the south, the AIP quickly faded away. In Nevada and California though, they had more lasting roots. That was because they were Mormon-dominated and there are lots of Mormons in those states.

You might recall that prior to 1978 the Mormons frowned on blacks, believing that their dark skin was because their spirits had been unfaithful in a war from a prior existence. I personally have read a Book of Mormon printed in 1950 which made this perjorative claim about dark skin. Those versions are rare, they are bought up by the faithful who want to conceal the original doctrine. Later and present copies of the Book of Mormon have changed those passages.

At any rate, Mormon doctrine on race in 1968 made them a natural fit with Wallace and the AIP. The Mormon church officially backed away from the doctrine a decade later, but as with polygamy, not all of the faithful agreed with the idea of changes to the doctrines handed down by the elders.

Though I was set back on my heals by these revelations, I figured that was a long time ago and I would try to work with them to advance the ideas we all agreed on.

The trouble was, they did not agree as much as they let on. Mormon doctrine for example, allows for abortion not only to save the life of the mother but also for rape, incest, and I believe fetal deformity. At any rate, the Mormon head of the AIP in Nevada used language that could be used to justify any abortion; "women has a right to kill intruder to her body" type stuff.

The CP platform was "100% Pro-Life No Exceptions". Nevada AIP, the CP affiliate, was advocating and supporting candidates whose views on abortion were in line with the Mormon church, but not the CP. The super-big California AIP backed them to the hilt. Those two states might have had as many members as the rest of the nation put together. Without its AIP alliance, the CP was seriously smaller.

Many people objected to Nevada's actions and demanded that the national organization rebuke Nevada. They refused to do so. That got me and the rest of the Arkansas CP officers very concerned.

When things started blowing up and states were threatening to leave the CP if they did not reign in Nevada, we attempted to contact national to get their side of the story. They must have lumped us in with the trouble-makers, because they refused to return our calls. They also appointed as National Field Director a guy who was big in the AIP of California, and he was LESS THAN DIPLOMATIC with those concerned about departures from the platform.

It came to a head in the Florida meeting. None of us made that one, but those states who wanted Nevada to be disciplined issued an ultimatum. Their proposal to reprimand the Nevada Chairman was defeated, and states affiliate began leaving the CP. After that vote, someone took a video of Mormon delegates excitedly declaring that all of this was a fulfillment of Mormon prophesy.

Apparently there is a Mormon prophesy that the Constitution will hang by a thread and there is something that the Mormons will do to save it. The CP they claimed, would now be the vehicle for that to transpire. I share their respect for the Constitution, including the establishment clause, but felt uncomfortable with the CP as an adjunct of the Mormon church, as they seemed to want it to be. And they were now firmly in control.

It also cleared up for me the inexplicable refusal of the CP platform to endorse the Marriage Amendment. The logic in the platform itself is flawed. It seems likely that this is another tip of the hat to Mormons who still hold an affinity for polygamy. They don't want the Constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

By the time we left, there was little CP left. It was a dog wagged by the AIP tail. Since I did not wish to be a member of the AIP, there was no point in going on. The leadership also acted in violation of its own rules. They passed rules making it almost impossible to reign in an errant state affiliate so as to protect the AIP, then ignored those rules and tossed out a CP affiliate that stayed in but protested what the AIP was up to.

In my judgment, it was time to fold the tent. We need a new party constructed on a firmer foundation.

1:03 PM, June 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You get schooled on the other thread, so now you're yapping at Mark here? Heh, heh. Cheap insults seem to be the best you can provide this forum."

I am not sure which is more fascinating: Mark Moore's weird Mormon obsession or the fact that his sockpuppets apparently can't conceive that there might be more than one person in the world who disagrees with him. A lesser man who was aware of Mark's history of failure in electoral politics might pick up this latter insight faster -- oh, well.

1:52 PM, June 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice how you didn't deny that it is in fact the same person. Do you deny it?

2nd question: How do you move around with that tail between your legs?

4:48 PM, June 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:48: I do deny it. Furthermore, with respect to the "tail between the legs" comment, you should probably address that to the person who says, "Cheap insults seem to be the best you can provide this forum." Oh, that's you, sorry. And sorry for getting in the way of your sycophantic cheerleading for Mark Moore's religious hatred.

8:41 AM, June 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse us if we don't believe you.

9:49 AM, June 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"'...you should probably address that to the person who says, Cheap insults seem to be the best you can provide this forum.' Oh, that's you, sorry."

What part of "best" do you not understand, genius? Think about it a while.

10:28 AM, June 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A more objective person might conclude that it is Mark Moore getting schooled (he can't figure out the meanings of basic words, he insists that other people are not answering his questions even after they have answered them, he says other people are 'evil' because they ridicule him and then defends his own ridiculing behavior as biblically based). Of course, it is hard to be a sycophantic cheerleader for Mark Moore and be objective.

12:59 PM, June 25, 2008  

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