Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Wednesday, August 06, 2008 • 2:33 PM Post a Comment
Ferrucci Going Green
posted by Andy Bromage

Ralph Ferrucci worked so hard collecting signatures for Ralph Nader's presidential drive that he came up short for his own campaign.
Ferrucci planned to challenge Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) on the Independent Party ticket that Nader is running on. But he focused so much on getting signatures for Nader he failed to get the ones he needed for his own petition drive. So Ferrucci says he'll seek the Green Party's nomination, on whose ticket he ran for Congress in 2004. The Greens, and other minor parties, have ballot access and have until September to nominate a candidate to run.
Ferrucci was at the Capitol today delivering Nader's petitions to the Secretary of the State's office and told the Daily Advocate he's spoken with Green Party elders who seemed supportive of the idea.
Does this mean Ferrucci will abandon his old friend Ralph Nader in favor of Green Party presidential pick Cynthia McKinney? Nope. Ralph says he's sticking with Ralph. Go figure.
Stay tuned for updates......

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Greens to challenge Electoral Collge

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Greens launch effort against Electoral College manipulation of
presidential elections
Malapportionment of Electoral College votes may lead to a
Republican victory despite the popular vote, disenfranchising tens of thousands
of voters, especially black voters in southern states
Green civil action seeks to democratize the Electoral College by
enforcing 14th Amendment voter protections, names Vice President Cheney
as defendant

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders said today that the outcome of
the 2008 presidential election may be affected by the antidemocratic
apportionment of Electoral College votes, with the popular vote
misrepresented by the winner-take-all system of assigning votes to electors.
"We're in danger of seeing the 2008 election stolen again, as in 2000
and 2004," said Clyde Shabazz, Green candidate for the US House in
Michigan (13th District) ( "In Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, we witnessed the obstruction and manipulation of votes by election officials and possible tampering with computer voting
machines. But equally insidious is the malapportionment of Electoral College votes, which disenfranchises whole sections of the voting public."
A civil action to protect the voting rights of presidential electors
and the voters they represent was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia (1:08-cv-01294) on January 28, 2008, by Asa
Gordon, chair of the DC Statehood Green Party's Electoral College Task Force and executive director of the Douglass Institute of Government
The action seeks relief against the defendant, Vice President Cheney,
who will preside over the tabulation of "unbound electoral states" on
January 6, 2009, challenging the recognition of Electoral College votes
that are apportioned by states on a winner-take-all basis.
The civil action seeks enforcement of the 'Mal-Apportionment Penalty'
provided in Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution,
which mandates a reduction of a state's presidential electors and
congressional representatives if "the right to vote at any election for the
choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United
States... is denied... or in any way abridged."
The civil action alternatively seeks the issuance of a court order
providing proportional apportionment of presidential electors.
"If two thirds of the voters in a state vote for a candidate from Party
A and one third vote for a candidate from Party B, and the state's
winner-take-all rule gives all of the state's electors to Party A, then
one third of the voters have been disenfranchised in violation of
Amendment 14, Section 2 of the US Constitution," said Jody Grage, treasurer of the Green Party. "We've witnessed in election after election how some states have used the winner-take-all formula to prevent the votes of political, ethnic, and other minorities from being counted."
Mr. Gordon noted that the civil action had the potential to "alter the
fate of the 2008 presidential election in a manner different from any
presidential election in the nation's history." (
"By refusing to challenge Electoral College malapportionment in 2000
and 2004, which blocked Democratic electors from voting in those
elections, the Democratic Party's leaders abandoned tens of thousands of their own voters, just as they failed to challenge the election
irregularities in Florida and Ohio in 2000 and 2004," said Mr. Gordon. "Will they fail to challenge malapportionment again in 2008, and hand the Republicans another victory? Barack Obama would not be the Democratic nominee if not for the Democratic Party's proportional assignment of primary delegates. The winner-take-all provisions in the general election present the distinct possibility that Mr. Obama in 2008 will win the popular vote by a considerably larger margin than did Gore in 2000, but will repeat the Democratic loss in the Electoral College."
Mr. Gordon said that African American voters in several southern
states* that were represented by proportional assignment of delegates in the Democratic primary, and who were critical to Barack Obama's success, will be lost to Mr. Obama under the winner-take-all rules of the general election.
"If proportional assignment is considered by Democrats to be vital to
democracy in their primary elections, why won't they fight for it in the
general election?" asked Mr. Gordon, who led workshops for Green
presidential electors during the 2008 Green National Convention
As a result of the workshops, several Green electors pledged to
presidential candidate (and eventual Green nominee) Cynthia McKinney agreed to
institute a program for enforcement of the Reconstruction-Era
provision enshrined in the 14th Amendment.
"The 'Democratize the Electoral College' program exposes the hypocrisy
and fraud behind charges that the McKinney campaign might 'spoil' the
Democratic presidential ticket's chances of winning. Democratic leaders
should have to explain why they choose to ignore 13 additional
electors from southern states that they'd gain through the Green Party's
presidential electors project. Why is the Green Party fighting to give
voice to Democratic voters that the Democratic Party will not fight for?
Let me be clear -- we're not doing this to assist Barack Obama, but to
foster real democracy and voter participation, and to offer Cynthia
McKinney as the truly democratic choice for all the people," said Mr.
Green Party leaders noted that after John Kerry quickly conceded the
2004 election, Democratic leaders failed to respond to thousands of
complaints about voting irregularities in Ohio and other states. Green
presidential nominee David Cobb and Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik
launched the Ohio and New Mexico recount efforts and collected the
initial evidence that Republican officials had blocked the votes of many
African American and young voters ( Greens
raised most of the money for the recounts. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
later held hearings and published evidence of the election theft
Cynthia McKinney and running mate Rosa Clemente were nominated during
the 2008 Green National Convention in Chicago, July 10-13.
The Green Party's national platform endorses a constitutional amendment
abolishing the Electoral College and providing for the direct election
of the president by instant runoff voting
"Americans don't vote for President. Instead, we vote for an electoral
college which was created in the late 1700s to expressly increase the
power of the slave states -- and which it is still doing," said Mark
Dunlea, an election law attorney with the Green Party of New York State.
* Asa Gordon's civil action observes that the Office of the Federal
Register of the National Archives and Records Administration explicitly
declares that "the electors in these (Southern) States (ARKANSAS -- 6
Electoral Votes, GEORGIA -- 15 Electoral Votes, LOUISIANA -- 9 Electoral
Votes, TENNESSEE -- 11 Electoral Votes, TEXAS -- 34 Electoral Votes) are
not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate"
The civil action was filed on July 28, 2008, to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the adoption of the 14th Amendment to the US
Constitution. Since the debacle of the 2000 presidential election, the Green Party in partnership with the Douglass Institute of Government has led the way in educating Americans about their constitutional "right to vote" under the provisions of 14th Amendment, Section 2.

Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193
• Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:
• Green Party News Center
• Green Party Speakers Bureau
• Green Party ballot access page
Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente 'Power to the People' Campaign for the
White House
Mal-Apportionment Penalty Civil Actions
"Greens: Enforce 14th Amendment's 'Right to Vote' Provision"
Green Party press release, October 18, 2004
"Greens Push for Real Electoral Reforms at Carter-Baker Hearings, June
Green Party press release, June 27, 2005
2008 Green National Convention, July 10-13 in Chicago, Illinois

~ END ~

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Tiny Working Families Party,0,2113560.story
Tiny Working Families Party A Coalition Pushing Labor Agenda
Courant Staff Writer
August 4, 2008

Of the 1.9 million voters in Connecticut, only 15 are registered with the Working Families Party."I don't know who any of them are," said Jon Green, executive director of the party.Is he one?"No," he said, laughing.Confused?What the Working Families Party does have is a progressive economic agenda and a valuable asset: its own line on every ballot in Connecticut.The party practices fusion politics — cross-endorsing supportive candidates from other parties, typically Democrats — on a broad scale.A change in state law last year eased the rules for cross-endorsements, setting up the Working Families Party as potential kingmaker in close races, such as Democrat Jim Himes' challenge of U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, R-4th District.Himes and the state's four Democratic congressional incumbents will appear twice on the ballot this fall — on the Democratic and Working Families lines.So will about 50 state legislative candidates, including two Republicans, Sens. John Kissel of Enfield and Leonard Fasano of North Haven.Two years ago, when Democrat Chris Murphy unseated U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-5th District, he garnered an extra 5,794 votes on the Working Families line.That was more than Shays' 5,747 plurality.Working Families was founded 10 years ago in New York, where fusion voting is common. After a slow start in Connecticut, the party is establishing a reputation as an important ally for Democrats.The increasing role of Working Families in Connecticut, one of the relatively few states that allow fusion voting, provokes concern among Republicans."They've taken a loophole in the law and, with 15 people, they have managed to establish themselves as a fringe party whose sole purpose is to confuse voters that Democrats have support from a phantom party," said Chris Healy, the Republican state chairman.
Composition Of PartyWorking Families is less of a party than a coalition of labor unions and community activists who are trying to convince politicians that support for their causes can translate into measurable votes.Their causes include universal health care, mandatory paid sick days and a livable wage.With its own ballot line, the party is hoping to get credit for electing progressive, pro-labor candidates, just as Ralph Nader's presence on the presidential ballot in Florida earned him blame for Al Gore's narrow loss in 2000.Green said the party's polling shows that many of the votes on their line come from voters who could not bring themselves to vote for a Democrat or a Republican."It's a protest vote that actually counts," he said.Maura Keaney, the campaign manager for Himes, said Working Families is composed of groups that are mainstream, unlike some other minor parties."Working Families is about coalitions," Keaney said. "The Green Party is about being on the outside, rather than forming a strong progressive coalition."Working Families is backed by elements of major unions, including the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers.Art Perry, the political director of an SEIU local that represents janitors, said Working Families is a consistent voice for labor causes of great import to his members, including paid sick days.Causes are more important than party loyalty, he said.And that attitude is the cause of tension between the Working Families and Democrats.
Backing A RepublicanAlthough the party tries to influence most races by cross-endorsing major party candidates, it occasionally backs a Republican.In one race this year, it is trying to be a spoiler, fielding its own candidate in an effort to draw votes away from a Democratic incumbent.The target is Linda Schofield, a Democrat from Simsbury who was cross-endorsed two years ago in her successful challenge of a Republican incumbent, Robert Heagney. Schofield, who won by 180 votes, got 167 votes on the Working Families line.But Schofield, a former director of the state Medicaid program, became a voice of opposition within the Democratic caucus to a health care pooling bill that the Working Families Party favored.She is facing a rematch with Heagney.Green said the party decided that it would be better off with a conservative Republican sitting harmlessly with the GOP minority than an unfriendly Democrat inside the majority."It is a compliment," Schofield said. "They deem me as intelligent and effective, and they want to take me out."House Majority Leader Christopher G. Donovan, D- Meriden, said the Working Families overlooked Schofield's casting a key vote in support of another labor cause: overriding Gov. M. Jodi Rell's veto of a minimum wage increase."She's been there when we've needed her," Donovan said.Schofield said the Working Families Party was trying to establish a progressive litmus test, which could limit the ability of Democrats to win in Republican-leaning districts."I think they are trying to intimidate Democrats into being more in tune with the Working Families' left-leaning policies," Schofield said. "There is an inherent threat here, 'If you don't vote our way, we'll run someone against you.'"Working Families sees one of its roles as forcing the large Democratic majorities in the legislature to deliver on issues. For that, Green makes no apologies."You have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies," Green said. "It's just about the issues."Contact Mark Pazniokas at full coverage of the 2008 election season, including photos, video and other multimedia, visit
Copyright © 2008, The Hartford Courant


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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Petitioners BOOTED off New Haven Green Petitioners Booted Off Greenby Paul Bass July 23, 2008 1:00 PM Permalink Comments (40)The Squirrel Nut Zippers had the mic. The cops told Ralph Ferrucci andhisband of petitioners they had to exit the Green stage right.Or, if they preferred, given their political leanings, stage left.Ferrucci - a New Haven political activist who has run for mayor and U.S.Senate and Congress on the Green Party ticket - is no stranger toflyeringand collecting signatures on petitions at public events, such as lastSaturday's city-sponsored Squirrel Nut concert on the Green. He didn'tthinkhe was breaking any rules when he brought a team of six petitioners togather signatures of voters to place presidential candidate Ralph Nader'sname on the state's November ballot.The cops thought otherwise.Ferrucci said the "lieutenant in charge" approached him "and told me I'llbearrested if I didn't get the petitioners off the Green."Ferrucci said he protested that he had a right to be on public land."This isn't owned by the city," the cops told him, according to Ferrucci.(It's true; a not-for-profit organization known as the Proprietors of theGreen controls the space.)"But this is a public space," Ferrucci said he (correctly) pointed out."Myrights apply."For at least three decades, volunteers and staffers from politicalcampaigns - including those of Mayor John DeStefano and Democraticcandidates like U.S. Senate hopeful Ned Lamont - have routinelycirculatedpetitions or handed out flyers at summer events on the Green.Which lieutenant was it who threatened the arrest?"I should have gotten his name," Ferrucci said. "But I was more concernedabout getting arrested. I didn't mind taking the bust," but he worriedabouthis crew of volunteers. So he sent them off the Green, to surroundingsidewalks (uncontested public space), where they harvested signaturesfrom asmaller, less compact field of passersby.Ferrucci said he remained by the middle of the Green, where he received"nasty looks" from five cops on duty.Since the weekend, Ferrucci brought his complaints to the mayor's chiefofstaff, Sean Matteson.According to Ferrucci, Matteson confirmed that the petitioners should beallowed to work the Green. Matteson promised to investigate the matter,Ferrucci said. Ferrucci asked for a letter confirming the permission topetition. "That way if the cops bother us I have a letter saying we'reallowed to be there."Matteson didn't return repeated phone calls to confirm the conversation."There is no letter," mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said. "There'snodiscussion about a letter."Mayorga said Matteson "has had a discussion" with Assistant Police ChiefStephanie Redding about the matter. She said Redding "has agreed to lookinto it."Mayorga said that while it's Matteson's "personal opinion" that the Nadercampaign should be able to petition on the Green, the city does not yethavea position on whether it can at another concert this coming weekend. Shesaid she wants to wait to hear back from Redding."I don't know what the turnaround will be on that," Mayorga said."We're not trying to make things difficult for anyone. We're trying tomakesure we're on the same page."Mayorga said it would not be possible to identify the lieutenant whothreatened Ferrucci with arrest.(Update: Reached at a press event at City Hall Wednesday afternoon,Mattesonsaid he plans to make clear to the cops that the Nader campaign maypetitionat Saturday's concert.)One member of the Proprietors of the Green, Anne Calabresi, was surprisedthat a petitioner would be removed or threatened with arrest."How could they?" she asked when told of the incident Wednesday. "TheGreenis dedicated to free speech. It's that simple."A TrendThis is the latest in a string of embarrassing cases of city governmentflouting the constitution or the public's right to know.Some incidents have occurred at the hands of mid-level or lower-levelemployees who acted on their own (though in the spirit of higher-ups).City government lawyer Dinella Dodd, for instance, last month booted thepress from a public hearing on parking ticket appeals.The city's elderly services chief suspended an employee for, in part,speaking to the press on off hours, without first checking in with themayor's spokeswoman.The mayor has implemented a press policy - blasted as flagrantlyunconstitutional by the ACLU - which forbids thousands of city employeesfrom speaking about anything with reporters at any time without expressprior authorization from his press office; that has set a chill overgovernment.The DeStefano administration has also subverted the intent of a ruling bythe State Freedom of Information Commission that required that jobevaluations of top administrators be publicly available. Theadministrationhas basically stopped doing written evaluations as a result.He's BackRalph Nader is running as an independent in this year's presidential racerather than as a Green. Nader ran in 1996, 2000, and 2004 as well. Hedidn'twin.Ferrucci said the campaign technically needs 7,500 valid signatures ofvoters to make the Connecticut ballot. In actuality it probably needs tocollect more like 12,000, he said, because election officials ofteneliminate many signatures as invalid. The deadline is Aug. 6."We're at 5,500 signatures," Ferrucci reported. He said he's confidentthecampaign will make its goal.Assuming the law doesn't shut them down.(Nader, a former Green candidate, is running as an independent thisyear.)