At Least It’s Not Your Green Party

A particularly clear case, folks, but hardly the first–from the Austin Statesman:

A group with ties to Republicans paid $532,500 to gather petition signatures to land the Green Party of Texas on this year’s state ballot…

The group behind the effort is called Take Initiative America, which does not disclose its donors. The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this month that Republican operative Tim Mooney of Arizona connected Take Initiative America to the Green Party after the group gathered the signatures.

In addition, Cleta Mitchell, who is Take Initiative America’s counsel, is listed on the website of the Republican National Lawyers Association as its co-chair…

The presence of a Green Party candidate on the statewide ballot could take votes away from Democrat Bill White, who is challenging Gov. Rick Perry.

A poll follows.

[poll id=”1137″]

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MountainDem says:

    This crosses the line of what our country is about though (if it proves to be true of course)

  2. VanDammerVanDammer says:

    Nah, willing political pawns.  Somebody in the Green Party had 2 know what was happening.  $500K doesn’t get dropped anonymously.

    Next yer gonna try 2 tell me they wanna teach 8th graders the import of Phyllis Schlafly in history … how soon ’til they really get to secede?

  3. Steve Harvey says:

    it is one more demonstration of the fact that small third parties in America, when they run a candidate in a race they can’t win, are working against the party most similar to them. Such parties should work to affect the major party that is their natural umbrella, unless and until they can make meaningful independent bids for office. Otherwise, they are in reality working against their own political agenda.

    • CaninesCanines says:

      it is one more demonstration of the fact that small third parties in America, when they run a candidate in a race they can’t win, are working against the party most similar to them.

      • Steve Harvey says:

        I’m saying that third parties shouldn’t run their own candidates in races in which the only result will be splitting the vote of their own political fellow-travelers, and handing over the victory to the opposition. They can still (productively) exist as independent bargaining units trying to affect the platforms of their umbrella party, which is not very different from what happens with ruling coalitions in multi-party nation-states today. They can also, productively (from the point of view of their own agenda), run candidates in those races in which they have enough support that they have a real chance of winning. As the political landscape shifts, some may displace existing parties, or become viable additional parties, in which case they would be positioned to productively run their own candidate more often. My comment isn’t about whether they should exist or not, but rather what strategy best serves their own political agenda.

      • Steve Harvey says:

        we also, collectively, have the option of reforming our electoral system in ways which eliminate these perverse disincentives to the formation of full-fledged third parties. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!  

      • Third parties almost always do more damage than good – the system is gamed against them, and when they become relevant, most of the time they wind up cutting off their nose to spite their face (see Bush v. Gore).

        An instant runoff system (but not the runoff system prevalent in many Southern states and now in California) would allow third parties to have relevance without acting as spoilers.  Until such time as we use IRV (or NY’s multiple endorsement system, or perhaps, in large districts, proportional representation), third parties exist best as non-candidate “support mechanisms” for the major parties, helping to ensure they don’t forget important points of view close to but perhaps not completely aligned with their party platform.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        they want but it seems obvious that they should have to finance it with the people who support their positions otherwise it is a Potemkin Political Party with no real base and a pawn of more ruthless operatives.  

        • Steve Harvey says:

          having a right (no argument there), and pursuing an effective strategy (that’s what I’m talking about). Ralph Nader had every right to vote, but his exercise of that right gave us Bush (far less aligned to Nader’s positions) rather than Gore (far more aligned to Nader’s positions). So, if his goal was to advance his political agenda, his exercise of his right accomplished the opposite of his goal.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          gigantic egos that could care less about the damage that is done to their causes as long as they get media attention.

          Third parties can also rationalize their sell out by feeling the exposure of their party to the voters will strengthen them in the long run even if it sabotages their agenda in the short term.  The are Third Parties because like the Tea Party extremists they have become disillusioned with the traditional political parties so they have little sympathy or concern for a traditional party.

          You argue from a rational point of view which hampers your analysis.

          • Steve Harvey says:

            In truth, rationality never hampers an analysis, only irrationality disguised as rationality does.

            I wasn’t talking about what people actually do, or the bases of the decisions they will make, but rather only about what the consequences of certain choices are.

  4. Craig says:

    That people should not be able to pay petition gatherers.  It subverts what was supposed to be a grass-roots process where the people overrule their leaders, not a process where the leaders dupe the people.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      with his amendments?  Pretending that these amendments are the will of the people and not his deep pockets.  It is deceptive democracy at best.

      • (I posted this in the now aged Doug Bruce thread, but judging by this conversation, it needs a “refresher”…)

        Justice Scalia to Doug Bruce:

        From today’s ruling in Doe v. Reed (plaintiffs wished to block disclosure of petition signatures in Washington State):

        Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously (McIntyre) and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.

  5. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    There should be full, mandatory disclosure of all political groups contributing money for or against elections: who they are, who their members are, and who contributes.

    They can contribute as much as they want, but we the people need to know when the Green Party is actually the Republican Party!

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