Thursday, February 28, 2008

Matt Gonzalez for VP?

Greens now have a real challenge. Ralph Nader has picked Matt Gonzalez to be his VP running mate. There are many who would like to see Ralph Nader as the nominee for the party. There are many others who are working just as hard to make that nominee be Cynthia McKinney. That battle is still being played out and many states have not made up their minds.

Having a recognized Green as a running mate might shut down the talk about whether Ralph truly wants the Green Party nomination, but I doubt it. Though you won't hear the words from McKinney's mouth, some of her supporters will surely play this off as just a political trick, just as Nader supporters rant on and on about McKinney's support of the Reconstruction Party in New Orleans and evidence of her trickery... even though McKinney is a registered to vote as a Green and Nader is not.

The biggest question about Nader has always been whether he is really running as a "Green" or if he is just trying to use the Green Party ballot access as an easy path toward expanding his coalition. Even in some states with an active Green Party, Nader appears to suggest using other methods to get on the ballot. The best example being up in Oregon. Nader's campaign site, links to this blogged story in the Eugene Oregon Register Guard which suggests that he will use the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) for ballot access.

I am told that the IPO was started by Nader supporters and that it very well could be that he appears on the ballot in Oregon with both parties, assuming that he wins the GP nomination. However, calling attention to one party without mention of the other could (and probably will) be construed as a put down of the one ignored.

Having Gonzalez as a running mate does other good things for Ralph. He should be having a full backing from the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee, that might pick up some votes for Nader. I don't have any solid demographic information as to how important that might be. At least, MAPA has been showing Nader's photo on it's home page for several months.

Since the convention is not until late July, and with a many states not yet having their primaries, the Nader / McKinney competition for this nomination, especially with Nader's primary win in delegate rich California, may begin to be as contested as Clinton / Obama.


Anonymous said...

Under Oregon law, a candidate cannot be listed on the ballot as the candidate of more than one party.

Wes said...

Thanks, that is good to know. There are some who advised me otherwise. That definitely puts the Pacific Greens and the Independent Party of Oregon at odds with each other.

Anonymous said...

There is no conflict between the Independent Party of Oregon and the Pacific Green Party.

Just because a blow-hard ambulance chaser like Greg Kafoury spouts off that Ralph will run on the IPO ticket doesn't mean anything. People criticize Ralph for running on ego, well, that's nothing compared to Greg.

Anyway Ralph has a lot of ways to get on the ballot in Oregon each has its benefits and drawbacks. He should worry more about states that would make a difference in the election.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Oregon. I am the chair of the Independent Party of Oregon.

IPO was indeed formed in response to the 2005 Leg which greatly restricted ballot access, but it has emphasized state issues (campaign finance reform at state level, elimination of corporate tax favoritism, and finding state leg candidates).

As of last week we had 13300 members--mostly new voters, but almost equal numbers of former Ds and former Rs and somewhat more former nonaffiliated voters. Who can predict what this mix of independent thinkers will decide to do, or if it will nominate a presidential ticket at a summer convention.

BTW: OR does not have fusion voting, so a candidate must choose a single party ballot line for the ballot.

Anonymous said...

Linda from Independent Party of Or again. No conflict with the Pacific Greens in Oregon. We strongly support many Green initiatives (IRV as one example) and cooperate on issues of importance to third parties in general.