PA Green Party Funding by Republicans is Deplorable -- and so are the Actions
Progressives around the country were shocked to hear that Carl
Romanelli is running as the Green Party candidate for the US Senate
from Pennsylvania with over 99% funding from the Republicans. The
howl has gone up that the Greens are letting themselves be used by
the Republican Party to keep a progressive Democrat from being
But a closer look reveals a very different picture. The actions of
the Green Party of PA candidate, though quite bad, are much less so than
actions that the Democratic Party routinely takes each election. In fact, the Democratic Party
should own up to the blame it bears for the current electoral crisis in
Let's not beat around the bush. Getting on the ballot with 99%
dirty money is a bad thing to do. The GP of PA should have given it
back and said, "No thanks, we would rather not get on the ballot than do
it with the funding of racist, anti-working class war criminals."
But this raises the question, Should all dirty money be returned?
Democratic Party hacks have often been heard oinking and squealing that
this Green got so many hundreds of dollars or Ralph Nader got so many
thousands of dollars from GOP or war-monger doners.
Meantime, the Democratic Party pockets tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands
and millions of dollars from its own dirty money sources. Many of the
same corporate criminals who finance the RP also finance the Democratic Party and the
Dems accepts this as "part of politics." But will those who oink and
grunt so vociferously at the Green Party please answer this question:
If it is bad for a Green to accept $1000 of dirty money, would it not be
1000 times as bad for a Democrat to accept $100,000 of dirty money?
Asking this of the Democratic apologists is met with a cold silence,
or, more often changing the topic. They simply refuse to acknowledge
that the corporations know that they have a good deal buying off both
parties because they will be well served whichever one wins.
A much better way of framing the issue would be, How much dirty
money is acceptable? No candidate or party has the time to scrutinize
every check and verify its source. Some dirty money is likely to make
its way into any campaign. The issue is, What proportion of money from
filthy sources should make people wonder if the candidate is beholden to
Maybe a good number to pick out of a hat is 10%. If more than 10%
of a candidate's campaign comes from slime, it is time to take a close
look at the candidate. If it reaches 20-30%, it is clearly time to
wonder who the candidate represents. In no way should the Democratic
Party be immune from the same standard. If it routinely receives a
quarter or half of its money from the slimy rich and their corporations,
then it is clearly beholden to slimy rich corporations.
When the GP of PA accepts 99% of its funding from the Republicans,
it is way over the edge in becoming so dependent on them for funds that
supporters must ask if it is making its decisions based on who finances
it. How this came about is far more than just Greens accepting dirty
The first source of blame is the Democratic Party, which still
whines that Ralph Nader caused George the Lesser to win in 2000. Years
after the event, the Democrats run and hide from their own role in
instaling Bush. They try to divert attention from the fact that if the
US had a system of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV-where voters rank order
candidates) as is typical of civilized countries, Nader voters could
have ranked the Democrat second.
The Democrats had no desire for such a system. Yes, it could have
gotten a Democrat elected. But the cost for them would have been
showing a massive number of people ranking Green first and Democrat
second. Rather than have that happen, the Democrats prefered George
Bush be president.
During the next four years, the Democrats had ample time to advocate
IRV in national, senatorial and congressional elections. They did not
do so. They proved that the Democratic Party preferred to have George
Bush reelected than adopt a system allowing voters to express thay they
might actually prefer the Green Party.
During the next two years, the Democrats had ample time to advocate
IRV throughout the states. They had ample time to advocate that states
have ready access to running candidates for statewide office. They did
neither. The Democrats showed that they prefer to elect Republicans
than for voters to have a genuine choice.
In PA, the Democrats have no problem with a requirement that new
parties need 67,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot. This
translates to nearly 100,000 signatures, since many are thrown out as
"invalid." This is a nearly insurmountable task for most new parties,
Green Party included.
So, it is understandable that that GP of PA agreed to accept the
Republicans' dirty money. It was the unconscionable inaction of the
Democrats which forced the Greens into a dilemma.
While the action of the GP of PA is understandable, that does not
make it acceptable. Part of the reason for its bad decision is that the
GP of PA is part of GPUS. GPUS models itself on the corporate parties
by refusing to have a defined membership. Since it does not base itself
on a dues-paid membership, GPUS must look to other sources. Years ago,
many Greens predicted that this source of funding would be from
corporations. In PA, events did not turn out exactly as predicted,
since the funding was from the corporate-based RP rathern than directly
from the corporations themselves.
Not all Green Party activists accept the corporate structure of GPUS
and the GP of PA. The original Green Party, the GPUSA, is based on a
dues-paying membership. It is this defined membership, not anyone who
shows up, who makes policy, including what money to accept and from
where. GPUSA has never knowingly accepted money from any anti-worker,
racist or war-mongering source, including the Republican Party or