Courts Don't Have Time For Green Party's Bullsh*t
Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered a freeze on election officials mailing out absentee ballots, saying it needed time to decide whether to add the Green Party's pointless presidential ticket to the ballot. Municipal clerks had a hard deadline of September 17 to send out ballots to the one million Wisconsin voters who'd requested them. More than 378,000 ballots had been prepared and some were already sent out. It would be time-consuming and expensive to reprint the ballots to include someone who was never going to be president, now or ever.
Howie Hawkins and his running mate, Angela Walker, failed to make the ballot in the first place because their signature petitions had two different addresses for Walker. We barely have time for Green Party candidates in the best situations, but when we're dealing with fire and plague, presidential candidates need to have their signature game down tight.
Hawkins and Walker filed a legal petition with the Supreme Court, and they had help from the Milwaukee-based law firm von Briesen & Roper, which isn't a ACLU franchise specializing in medical marijuana cases. Rather, the firm has a history of representing Wisconsin Republicans. Hawkins saw nothing suspicious about this.
"You get help where you can find it," Hawkins told The Washington Post when asked whether Republicans had financed the legal action. "They have their reasons and we have ours."
His campaign manager, Andrea Merida, insisted that she didn't know the firm's political affiliation or really anything about them. She'd “literally used Google" to locate them because she is so good at this.
None of these dummies seem to grasp that Republicans would want Hawkins on the ballot as a spoiler so they could repeat Donald Trump's performance in 2016. President Klan Robe's margin of victory in Wisconsin was about 23,000 votes. Democracy falls by less than a percentage point. However, more than 30,000 people voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein because what's the worst that could happen?
Wisconsin is also one of five states where Republicans have tried to get Kanye West on the ballot. (They don't think much of the cognitive abilities of Black voters.)
Wisconsin's Supreme Court has a conservative majority that usually rules in Republicans' best interests, but one of the conservative judges joined the three liberals Monday and ruled against adding Hawkins to the presidential ballot. According to CNN, the Supreme Court declared, "We would be unable to provide meaningful relief without completely upsetting the election."
Of course, the whole point of this exercise was “completely upsetting the election." Friendly neighborhood Republicans tried to get the Green Party on the ballot in Montana, as well. It's not a swing state, but Republican incumbent Senator Steve Daines is facing a strong challenge from former Governor Steve Bullock.
In Montana last month, District Judge James Reynolds accused the Montana GOP of “constructive fraud" and "negligent representation" for not disclosing to people that they were behind the Green Party petition drive.
"The actions of the Montana GOP and its agents demonstrate that its misrepresentations and failures to disclose in violation of Montana campaign finance law were intentionally designed to create an advantage for the MT GOP at the expense of unwitting signers," he wrote.
Once people realized who was behind the petition, they withdrew their signatures in disgust, which meant the petition fell far short of the minimum necessary to qualify the Green Party for the 2020 ballot. This includes candidates for Senate, House, governor, attorney general and state Senate in Missoula.
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan dealt another blow to the GOP Monday when she denied another request to add the Green Party to the ballot in Montana. Because she has jurisdiction over the appeals court hearing the case, she was able to dismiss it without referring it to the full court.
But what's up with useful idiot Hawkins? He's made a play for Bernie Sanders supporters since April, claiming that he's fighting for the same things as Sanders, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. The difference is that had Sanders won the Democratic nomination, he was in a position to actually turn those policies into legislation as president. Hawkins isn't fighting for anything. He's shadowboxing in a dark room.
Joe Biden isn't entitled to anyone's vote, and if Hawkins wants to sit on the couch in November, that's his prerogative. But playing the third-party monte in this election is simply unconscionable. Trump is an existential threat and regardless of what you might think of Uncle Joe, he is the only option for beating Trump. There is not a single Green Party policy that will thrive during a second Trump term. Get your ego out of the way and let's get this monster out of the White House.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."