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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Democrats infiltrate Green Party

Progressive activists beware of working with the following people:

Holle Brian
Tom Dunwall
Stephen Eisenmenger
Andy Exley
Robin Garwood
Darrell Gerber
Eric Gilbertson
Cam Gordon
Kristina Gronquist
Ashley James
Tori Johnston
Tim Jordan
Bill Kingsbury
Sue Leskala
Eric Oines
Becki Smith
David Strand
Virginia Sutton
Annie Young
Jessica Zeglin

These people have not signed a pledge to vote against Obama in 2012.

Some have actively opposed the petition. Others showed up today to vote me off the 5CD Steering Committee, after I strongly supported the petition. A few of them (Dunwall, Eisenmenger, Gronquist, and Sutton) had not been to a meeting in over three years. To be fair, a couple of them may have voted for me, but none have signed the pledge.

Technically, what unites Greens is agreement on the Ten Key Values. It’s hard to imagine supporting the 10KV and not going on record against Obama, so as far as I’m concerned, they’re Democrats. Many of them are supporters of incumbents Annie Young and Cam Gordon. Young herself has stated that 80% of her voters are Democrats, and Gordon has endorsed the DFL mayor.

If I sound embittered, I am! It’s hard enough to try to get a third party movement off the ground, without interference from people who don’t share your goals.

I was not the only SC member to lose my seat. Along with mine, John Matheson’s seat, and the seat vacated by Dan Dittmann, were also lost, to James, Johnston, and Leskala. The composition of the SC is now 4 Greens and 3 Democrats, but because of the Green Party consensus process, which requires a 2/3 supermajority to override a blocking concern, there could be gridlock.

I want to thank Farheen Hakeem, Dave Bicking, Kevin Chavis, Ayan Deria, John Matheson, and Mary Metchnek, who supported me at the meeting, though the latter four (the four Greens on the SC) have not signed the petition.

As I have already stated, I now plan to put my time to more productive use. I plan to remain a member of the Green Party, though, as I have stated, I am only interested in working with people who have signed the petition. It helps to know who shares the same values, both inside and outside the Green Party. Also, it’s no secret that, after being in the GPMN for 10 years, and serving on the 5CDGP SC for 3 years, I am somewhat burned out. I am looking forward to having more time to do other things! Peace, Tom


At Sat Jan 16, 08:07:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Below was my candidate statement. I am told it was not read at the meeting.

----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Cleland
To: 5CD@mngreens.org
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 8:33 PM
Subject: [5cd] My 2010 SC candidate statement

Could somebody read this at the meeting? I have to work that day, and I am up for re-election. If I revise it I’ll email you all again before the meeting. – Tom Cleland, 5CDSC

Dear 5CDGP.

It has been an honor serving on the SC for the past 3 years. If re-elected, I am willing to serve, but I can’t guarantee how dedicated I will be, as I have stated that I am only interested in working with Greens who have signed the pledge to vote against Obama in 2012. I am hopeful that more Greens will sign the pledge as they see more of Obama. While I respect the right of Greens to vote a split ticket, I ask those who have not signed the pledge to honestly ask themselves if they identify as Greens, and if not, to leave us alone and join the DFL party. The Green Party was built as a third party movement with the intent of winning elections and reforming our corrupt political system. If the Green Party is itself corrupted, then I want no part of it.

What I am in favor of is apparent. You can read my listserv posts and my blog. I worked on the anti-racism training in 2007, Farheen’s and Cynthia’s campaigns in 2008, and Jeanine’s, Dave’s, and Marcus’s campaigns in 2009. I vote based on the issues. To me, the Green Party vision is wind turbines, mass transit, zero carbon homes, and local farming. We get there by beating the corporate parties. Let’s keep seeking the organizational structure it takes to do it.

Tom Cleland

At Mon Jan 18, 10:36:00 AM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Correction: Jeanine Estime, not John Matheson, remains on the Steering Committee.

At Wed Jan 20, 09:16:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious, Tom? You sound like you're channeling Tailgunner Joe McCarthy, waving a paper with your list of Commies (DFLers) infiltrating the State Department (GPMN).

Are you gong to call for purges next? No wonder the GPMN can't get any traction; eating your young leaves nobody for the future.

- Ken

At Wed Jan 20, 10:00:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Will you sign the petition?

At Thu Jan 21, 05:31:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing Tom to Joe McCarthy is quite extreme. A third party activist is supposed to work to break the duopoly in this country, their signing a petition to not vote for Obama should be a no-brainer. This is the Green Party, not the PDA. the PDA did not even endorse Obama, mind you.

At Fri Jan 22, 05:13:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Incoming SC member Tori Johnston was adamantly opposed to anti-racism training, and walked out of a meeting when black people arrived to endorse Jeanine Estimé. Johnston does support Annie Young, but Young defended R.T. Rybak, who enables police brutality against people of color. Johnston initiated the pushback against David Shove’s petition to vote against Obama in 2012.

At Sun Jan 24, 06:14:00 PM CST, Blogger Eric Gilbertson said...

I figured all along that you were harmless, just incompetent. Now that I hear you are crawling back to the DFL after burning all your bridges with the Greens, and causing as much chaos in the process as possible - I have to conclude your sympathies lay with them all along. They are welcome to have you.

At Mon Jan 25, 10:17:00 PM CST, Anonymous Jesse Mortenson said...

Yikes, Tom, this is wrong.

I give anyone who takes their own free time to work for the Green Party a measure of respect and credit by default (or really ordinary person working out of their conviction for justice and sustainability). I've disagreed with you at times; for example I did not support Mike Cavlan's bid for endorsement for US Senate. I have not worked with you regularly because I'm on the other side of the river. Most recently I met with you and others on the 5CD steering committee last year about the Metro Watchdog project. I hope you don't believe I've disparaged or been anything but cooperative in working for the 10 key values.

If you are publishing a list of ordinary, grassroots activists in order to openly attack and label them with baseless pejoratives, then you deserve to be called out as well. Making a purity test out of a pledge to oppose a particular political figure is both wrong and a waste of time. If you lost your steering committee seat because of this bizarre personal policy you've described, it was a just decision.

I don't know everybody on your "evil" list but I know most of them. These are some very sincere, smart, committed and principled folks, representing a fairly diverse (within the Green Party) spectrum of opinion. They've worked to build the party for years. I'm very sorry to see you engaged in such an absurd "campaign" against these folks. I don't know what group will welcome this sort of rhetoric.

At Mon Jan 25, 11:12:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Will you sign the petition?

At Mon Feb 08, 06:36:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

UPDATE: Cam Gordon, Bill Kingsbury, and Sue Leskala have joined the Facebook Fan Page "I'll Vote for Cynthia McKinney if Everybody Else Does" -- so that much is good in my opinion.

At Tue Mar 16, 09:15:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

UPDATE: I was very critical of the 5CD Green Party in January when many of the members would not sign a pledge to vote against Obama in 2012. Since then, however, there have been some positive developments, including a 5CDGP press release opposing the reappointment of MPD Chief Dolan, and Green Council Member Cam Gordon voting against Dolan March 3 and March 12. While I now wish to reactivate my membership in the 5CD Green Party, I may identify more closely as a friend of the newly-formed SD61 Green Party, which has a higher proportion who have signed the pledge.


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