Points By Drew Pritt


California is key to McKinney’s Resurrection or Burial
July 12, 2008, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

According to most head counts, former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia has the 1st Ballot strength of 300+ Green Party Delegates. However, California Greens possess 168 delegates. By far the largest contingent of any state delegation. McKinney possesses 45 of those delegates. 102 Delegates are held by Ralph Nader, who is not been nominated formally, but could be from the floor on multiple ballots after the first ballot. So the determining factor to McKinney winning is can she win on the 1st Ballot?

 Like any good establishment Democrat, which is what McKinney was till last year, her campaign has tried to give the illusion that she will win on the 1st Ballot. The problem is if she falters and by any significant measure, she has nowhere to go but down. McKinney has chosen Rosa Clemente, a hip hop activist with no discernible ties to the Green Party, and that may be her Achilles Heel. She may win, but at this moment, it’s McKinney’s to lose. The former Congresswoman has been in that position before in 2002 and 2006, both times losing to first time primary challengers.

 Ralph Nader was the nominee of the Greens in 1996, 2000, and 2004, with his high water mark being 2000, when he received 2,883,105 votes, for 2.74% of the national popular vote. However, in 2004, Nader only received 463,653 votes, for 0.38% of the national popular vote. He has selected one of the most prominent Greens ever elected to office,  former San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, who in a runoff for San Francisco Mayor in 2005 garnered 119,329 votes to 133,546 votes for Mayor Gavin Newsom (D). Greens only are 3% of the total registered voters. Nader has 139 total delegates including 102 from California.

 Jesse Johnson and former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska seem to be working in tandem. In his speech today, Johnson said that Gravel is a shining example to him of what is right and wrong with this system. Johnson has the majority of California’s remaining delegates. He has only 30 some delegates on the first ballot but he seems to be the 2nd Choice of many state delegations. In multiple ballots, Johnson could become the nominee. Theres word that Johnson may select a well-known Green like former State Representative Jim Lendall of Arkansas to counter McKinney’s choice of an outsider to the Greens. Johnson could still select Gravel as a running mate if he wins the nomination.

  Kent Mesplay and Kat Swift are veterans of the Green Party. Either one is an ideal compromise candidate. Its a question of which one can seize a vaccum situation although this author thinks Swift’s ability to work as a youth coordinator in the past could give her the edge as in knowing how to organize.

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