Democratic Party leads nationwide purge of Green Party candidates from November ballots

By Jacob Crosse
24 August 2020

In a series of blatantly undemocratic actions, Democratic Party state election commission members have kicked Green Party candidates off of the ballots in several states within the last week. The moves express the fear within the ruling class over the growth of social opposition and display the political gangsterism of the Democratic Party.

The moves come as Democratic state governors in Michigan and California and bourgeois courts have blocked the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates from the ballot, forcing them to gather signatures despite the coronavirus pandemic. While the SEP opposes the politics of the pro-capitalist Green Party, we defend the democratic right of its presidential nominee, Howie Hawkins, to appear on the ballot in all 50 states.

With regards to the Greens, the Democratic Party’s immediate concern is that any left-wing choice in the November election will subtract votes from the right-wing Biden/Harris ticket. Several last minute decisions have effectively barred Green Party candidates up and down the ballot from appearing in Texas, Montana and Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, three separate rulings in Texas courts blocked Green Party candidates from appearing on the November ballot, including US Senate candidate David Collins, 21st congressional district candidate Tom Wakely and candidate for railroad commissioner Katija Gruene.

Collins, Wakely and Gruene were all ruled ineligible for failing to pay filing fees, newly passed by the state legislature last year, which required candidates to pay as much as $5,000 to appear on the ballot. The ruling was made two days after a deadline for write-in candidates to file.

Green Party lawyers are challenging the filing fees in court as an unconstitutional burden, however, a ruling will likely not be handed down before the ballot certification deadline.

In a statement issued by the Green Party, the party accused the Democrats of “weaponizing” the legal system “to suppress votes.” However, within the same paragraph, presidential candidate Howie Hawkins pleaded for, “the Democrats… to join the Greens in fighting Republican efforts to prevent average Americans from voting.”

The statement once again made the argument that having the Greens on the ballot would be a benefit to the Democrats, noting: “The presence of Green candidates brings out voters who would otherwise stay home. Many voters who go to polls to support Green candidates end up voting for Democratic candidates in down-ballot elections.”

Prior to Wednesday’s ruling, Charles Waterbury, a Green Party candidate running for the Texas Supreme Court, was also forced to withdraw after his Democratic opponent, Amy Clark Meachum, sought a court order declaring his candidacy invalid because Waterbury allegedly voted in the March 3 Democratic party. State law bars candidates for state or county office from representing one political party in the general election if they voted in another party’s primary election within the same election cycle.

In a clear sign of their anti-democratic intentions, Democrats are not challenging the eligibility of Libertarian Party candidates, even though they have yet to pay the filing fees as well.

In Montana, the Democratic Party engaged in a massive pressure campaign against people who had already given valid signatures on a petition for Green Party ballot access, according to Green Party representatives. The Montana Supreme Court threw out the Green Party’s petition for lack of signatures after the Democrats succeeded in getting roughly 500 signatories to recant their signatures. The Democrats repeatedly called signatories, and in some cases showed up to people’s homes with a third-party notary, demanding they recant because the Green Party petition was financed to the tune of $100,000 by the Montana Republican Party.

Montana State Senate Green Party candidate Gary Marbut, speaking to Fox News, said that the party will seek an emergency injunction with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals while the Montana Secretary of State, a Republican, is separately appealing to the US Supreme Court in favor of the Greens’ ballot access.

Debbie Rowe, a volunteer on Marbut’s campaign, recalled to Fox News the pressure Democratic party operatives put on voters to recant their signatures: “The Democratic party had called most of them about 15 to 25 times to badger them to do a withdrawal.”

Rowe continued, “One elderly couple told me that they just didn’t feel comfortable saying ‘no’ after the 20th call they received. The Democratic Party even had a third-party notary come to their house to take their withdrawal; I think that scared some people, too—they think, ‘now they know where we live.’”

This past Thursday, the Wisconsin Elections Commission effectively banned the Green Party presidential and vice presidential candidates from appearing on the ballot this November. The Democrats argued against ballot access due to the fact that Green Party vice presidential candidate Angela Walker, a Milwaukee native, moved during the petition drive. Green Party members attest that they attempted to update Walker’s address with the commission prior to the deadline, however, the Democratic members of the commission ruled that of the 3,623 valid signatures submitted, 1,834 had Walker’s former address which the Democrats argued made them “invalid.” The signature requirement was 2,000. The Hawkins/Walker campaign argued that they have an additional 2,000 signatures to submit with Walker’s current address, but the commission will only count 4,000 signatures, and since the deadline has now passed, the remaining signatures cannot be considered per the commission. The party is expected to challenge the commission’s ruling, which as of now bars the party from appearing on the ballot.

The Greens are also spending thousands of dollars to pay attorneys as part of lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Nevada for ballot access. In Pennsylvania, Democrats allege the paperwork contained “numerous defective signatures, illegible signatures, signatures of unregistered voters, signatures in the handwriting of theirs and signatures of fictitious persons.”

The 2020 elections will not be the culmination of an open, democratic process, but a conspiracy among the oligarchy to stifle any dissent or movement among disaffected workers and youth.

 

The author also recommends:

The politics of oligarchy: Federal appeals court blocks SEP challenge to anti-democratic ballot access laws in California
[8 August 2020]

Howie Hawkins and the Green Party: Capitalist politics in the guise of “ecosocialism”
[29 May 2020]