Points By Drew Pritt

Gravel, Lendall, Turner, & Rummel on Johnson’s Shortlist
July 10, 2008, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Because McKinney is more than 125 votes shy of a first ballot victory, and has named her running mate, speculation is increasing who may end up on a ticket, should Jesse Johnson of West Virginia come from behind and defeat McKinney.

Reportedly, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, former State Representative Jim Lendall of Arkansas, Boston City Councilman Chuck Turner of Massachusetts, and Madison Common Councilwoman Marsha Rummel of Wisconsin are on Johnson’s shortlist of Running Mates.

Johnson is Chair of West Virginia’s Mountain Party, a Green Party affiliate, and a Green National Committee Delegate. In 2004 Johnson was the Gubernatorial candidate for the Mountain Party, receiving 18,430 votes (2.84%). In 2006 Johnson once again topped the party’s ticket running for a seat in the U.S. Senate, as a placeholder nominee and received 1.9% of the vote. Johnson is also a filmmaker, actor, and theatrical producer. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor’s Equity, AFTRA, SAG’s Native American Registry and has worked with both the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. He helped form the United Electrical Workers Union in West Virginia in 2006.

Mike Gravel served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963-66, and as Speaker from 1965-66. He then represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate from 1969-81. He served on the Finance, Interior, and Environmental and Public Works committees, chairing the Energy, Water Resources, Buildings and Grounds, and Environmental Pollution subcommittees. In 1971, he waged a successful one-man filibuster for five months that forced the Nixon administration to cut a deal, effectively ending the draft in the United States. He is most prominently known for his release of the Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that revealed the lies and manipulations of successive U.S. administrations that misled the country into the Vietnam War. After the New York Times published portions of the leaked study, the Nixon administration moved to block any further publication of information and to punish any newspaper publisher who revealed the contents. From the floor of the U.S. Senate, Gravel insisted that his constituents had a right to know the truth behind the war and proceeded to read 4,100 pages of the 7,000 page document into the senate record. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Senator Gravel did not have the right and responsibility to share official documents with his constituents. 

Lendall is a former State Representative, from Little Rock, was elected to four terms in the state legislature as both a Democrat and an Independent. In 2006, he garnered 12,593 votes in a bid for Governor of Arkansas. Lendall served in the U.S. Army, has worked at UAMS and is currently a registered nurse at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He advocates school district consolidation, backs lottery legislation to fund education, wants to repeal the grocery tax, stresses the importance of environmental protection and wants to make emergency contraceptives available without a prescription.

Chuck Turner is a Boston City Councilor representing District 7 including Roxbury, Lower Roxbury, and parts of the Fenway, South End, Dorchester. He has worked as an activist for over forty years. During that time, he has served as the director of a community development corporation, an organizer training center, and a  placement agency for construction workers of color. He has also worked as a manager/counselor at the nation’s oldest batterers’ treatment organization and as education director at a nonprofit consulting firm, focused on establishing worker cooperatives. He has a BA from Harvard, was a Community Fellow at MIT, and was awarded an honorary Associates of Arts degree from Roxbury Community College.


Marsha Rummel has lived in the 6th Alder District since 1982. She was elected to the Marquette Neighborhood Association (MNA) Board in 1994, and has been Board President since 2002. She has been an advocate for preserving Willy Street as a live-work neighborhood, maintaining affordable housing, preservation of the First Settlement and Third Lake Ridge Historic districts, best practices in development, and citizen input into the planning process. Marsha co-founded Rainbow Bookstore Cooperative, where she has served as manager since 1991. She was a founder of Progressive Dane, and has been active in issues like the local minimum wage, TIF reform, the big box retail ordinance, Inclusionary Zoning, and the Buy Local campaign.


No word yet on when Johnson will announce his running mate. 








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