SocraticGadfly: Howie Hawkins, Greens, Socialist Party USAversus the apparent whining of Ian Schlakmanalong with the apparent conniving of Dario Hunterand a seeming hot mess for the Green Party

November 03, 2019

Howie Hawkins, Greens, Socialist Party USA
versus the apparent whining of Ian Schlakman
along with the apparent conniving of Dario Hunter
and a seeming hot mess for the Green Party

Update, Nov. 9: Please note the header has been updated. For why, see near the bottom, in two places, in italics.

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins also sought the Socialist Party USA nomination, and got it, meaning that if the Greens go off the rails, I have a candidate. I think. (SPUSA was on the ballot by write-in  in Texas in 2016.) Sadly, his only opposition was the WAY underage (constitutionally) Elijah "Beau" Manley, who pulled the same stunt with Greens in 2016. Here's an interview with Howie and his campaign staff.

Sorry, Howie, but IMO, you're not a "legal" Green candidate.
Running on the SPUSA line has drawn flak from other Green candidates. Howie's team, led by Margaret Flowers on Twitter, claims SPUSA isn't Federal Election Commission registered and therefore it doesn't violate Greens' two-party rules. Richard Winger of Ballot-Access News says it IS FEC  registered. That ALSO said, political parties only HAVE TO register with the FEC if they meet certain criteria. And, per Richard Winger, the FEC lists it among parties for which it has codes for candidates filing federal financial reports.

Ian Schlakman, the main complainer about Hawkins, has now withdrawn from the race. I've asked him on Twitter for a short course on why, without having to fast-forward through an hour-long video interview. He does address it a bit on his Medium site.

So, let's look through some stuff.

Update, July 1, 2020, partially summarizing older updates below: Old Green Party election language confirms that this is indeed the case, so shut up, Howie-haters. And, yes, Howie-haters are out there, and lying in ever greater numbers since he appeared to have clinched the nomination. Even before that, it became clear to me that the rule is a "spirit of" issue, made more clear by the fact that Stein also sought the nomination of smaller third parties, like Peace and Freedom, in 2016. (She didn't get it, but she sought it. She was not a registered member of that party — if it has registered memberships, but she sought the nomination.) So now, more and more, it looks like this is an issue being driven by a technical interpretation of the rule combined with Howie hatred.

Per Green Party rules, Section X is the rubber hitting the road on all of this. And, Ian's right.

10-1.2 addresses Hawkins:
Party Affiliation: Candidate is not a registrant or otherwise a party member of any state or national level political party in the individual’s primary state of residence except for a state party which has affiliated with GPUS, or a party forming for the intent of GPUS affiliation in a state where there is no GPUS affiliated state party.
Sorry, Margaret Flowers, that doesn’t say “FEC registered” anywhere.

Andy Ellis, also a Maryland Green (like Flowers, Schlakman and Kevin Zeese — maybe a plague would solve some problems) thinks Hawkins is in the clear. He thinks this by using the "or" disjunctive in the "state or national level political party" differently than I do, then referring to "individual's primary state of residence" in what seems to be a legalistic way, further expounded on Facebook.

The "Or"? If the SPUSA is a federal party, even if not recognized as such in New York State, and Hawkins is running for president, a cross-state race? Then "national level" clearly should apply.

Contra Andy's Jesuitical take on Medium, 10-1.2 also does not say that "political party" definition, especially for presidential race, should be restricted to the state of primary residence.

You know what? This sounds like something that may have sprouted from the fertile mind of David Keith Cobb.

On the other hand, the rule was surely written to prohibit Dem-Green fusion. And, the party has nominated AccommoGreens David Cobb and Jill Stein, who played footsie with Dems even tho not being members of that party.

(Update, May 16, 2020: Old Green Party election language confirms that this is indeed the case, so shut up, Howie-haters. And, yes, Howie-haters are out there, and lying in ever greater numbers since he appeared to have clinched the nomination.)

That said, I do also know that Schlakman had not been officially certified before he withdrew. I also, also know that the certification process is a pretty low bar. Dario Hunter as well as Hawkins has been certified.

Schlakman claims in his Medium piece that the certification process makes Greens like Dems.

That said, IMO, Ian’s kind of a whiner on being “certified.”

He just had to:
  1. Pledge to appear on all state party ballots;
  2. Have a dedicated website;
  3. Get 100 signatures of support from official Green Party members, from at least five state parties;
  4. Raise $5,000, with at least $300 from five different states (but hey, it took Sema Hernandez 10 months to raise just $7,000 here in Texas as a Democrat with a repeat run for the Senate), or $100 from each of 10 states or $10 each from 100 individual donors;
  5. Have a federal campaign committee registered with the FEC.
Nothing TOO difficult there, dude. And here on Facebook, Kat Gruene says the finance threshold is just $1K not $5K. Kat is presumably right; she's plugged-in enough. So, Ian's really whining. AND, the GP needs to have somebody updating its website. That's not at all good when we have some serious rules argumentation issues and we don't have a current version of the rules online.

Update, April 23, 2020: Contra what Ian may be telling others on Twitter? The 2016 requirements to be a "recognized candidate" are basically the same as 2020.

Well, if your cantankerousness is as bad as reported, and the "official Green Party" members is kind of stringently defined, maybe you couldn't meet the signatures. Or, given that your "People For Ian Schlakman" FEC committee has no data listed, I guess you couldn't meet the $5K.

The only reasonable complaint he might have is that non-certified candidates will be delisted from the GP website and with relatively short notice.

On the third hand, Ian, that's also in the rules:
10-3.2 Candidate Access: Candidates who are officially recognized shall, through use of fair, equitable and published procedures, be eligible for special campaign assistance offered at the discretion of the GPUS, which may include special postings on GPUS websites, use of GPUS contact lists, or special visibility on GPUS communication channels.
So, again, you're whining, and you're being selective about how the rules should apply.

Schlackman missed the 100-signature requirement as well, and ALSO did not turn in his candidate questionnaire, per the party's candidates page. Dude, THAT could have been done long ago. 

Green insiders within Texas, like Katija Gruene, agree with me on both the rules issues. She said explicitly that she sees the two-party issue as a problem, with "everyone knows the general 2 parities [sic] ruling is issue."

So, as it is right now?

The only recognized Green Party candidate in my book? Dario Hunter.

(Update, Nov. 9: Per Andy Ellis of the Maryland Green Party, looks like Dario was a conniver to cut off the eligibility, by an imposed deadline, to be a certified candidate. Just wow. Maybe now, we have NO recognized candidates.)

I get what Hawkins is doing, but ... it's not allowed. At least, it shouldn't be, without some party buy-in.

Kind of ironic, at a minimum, right now, isn't it?
So, now we're back to that "I think" in the first paragraph.

Had Hawkins asked for a waiver of 10-1.2 at this year's Green Party convention, and gotten it, I'd be OK with that. Following the rules. But? He didn't. And, he was already eyeing both the Green and SPUSA races at that time.

That, too, has been noted by someone with whom I agree a fair amount of the time on Facebook. It was Howie's choice to pursue this two-prong strategy, including not seeking such a waiver.

That said, this isn't the first time.

Update, Nov. 9: It's now clear that the rule is a "spirit of" issue, made more clear by the fact that Stein also sought the nomination of smaller third parties, like Peace and Freedom, in 2016. (She didn't get it, but she sought it. She was not a registered member of that party — if it has registered memberships, but she sought the nomination.) So now, more and more, it looks like this is an issue being driven by a technical interpretation of the rule combined with Howie hatred.

Also, in light of the first italicized update, Dario staffers and Howie staffers appear to be trying to negotiate a post-nomination truce, with Hunter stans asking for Hawkins' support if Dario wins. Well, since he is the SPUSA nominee, don't see that happening. Onward. And, if per a recent Tweet or two by Dario, he really sees himself as that different from Howie, then? 

Per this?
And this?
Sir, focus on selling your campaign to a majority of Green Party delegates.

Meanwhile, back to the anti-Howie nuttery that grows and grows.

Jonah Earl Thomas:
I want Howie to work to mend the party, but it looks like he's far more interested in courting small socialist splinters outside the party than his opponents inside the party.
That seems to be about it. No recognition that he should have at least done my waiver route if he was going to pursue this. (That said, Greens talking about "small socialist splinters" should always beware that Democrats say the same about Greens, not that Democrats are courting.)

The biggest thing is that Jonah says he'll support the nominee no matter what. I've already indicated I likely won't do that.

Update, Nov. 9: Both Dario's actions and the Stein 2016 background have greatly softened me on the "won't vote Howie" angle. See more below.

I had always thought that, if the GP's candidate, or the party, went off the rails, I'd vote SPUSA. But, if Hawkins is the Green as well as SPUSA candidate, and he doesn't ask for a waiver at the 2020 Green national convention, or get the rule modified? He won't get my vote on either party's ballot line. (I think; see my caveat above.) If he asks for a Green waiver, but doesn't get it, I'll still consider him on the SPUSA line. But even that isn't guaranteed.

And, I've already said I won't vote Marxist/Communist, or Marxist under some sort of socialist party label.

And, all of this doesn't even count that Howie is half-right, half-wrong (at best) on Russian election interference, while any Green candidate, or any individual, who claims Russia did nothing, is more than half wrong, and far wronger than Hawkins.

Speaking of, in that post I said one good thing about Howie getting nominated — if he does — it would flush conspiracy theory rats out of the system. I already blocked Jasun Thor Easley. (GP official Facebook group is "public" so I'm not breaking my social media ethics standards.) Dude also posts pseudomedicine on his Twitter feed. A couple of more are lined up and one other, George Hayduke, got blocked a week or two ago. Easley was also a thread troll.

So, current summary? If Andy Ellis is right about Dario Hunter (and it seems so), then neither candidate is unsullied. I'd still prefer Hawkins ask for a waiver (and hopefully get it).

Meanwhile, Chad Wilson, another uncertified candidate, has started a petition to boot Howie. I just asked him if he'll start a similar one about Dario. He has refused to answer.

Also, contra Schlakman (whose whining may be congenital for all I know), I agree with the GP's "certified candidate" process. I don't care if it "looks like" the Dems or not. Its level of "weed clearing" is just minor. The only difference is that I might have extended the certification deadline to Dec. 31.

But, as is? It got rid of a chronic whiner as well as a 2016 repeat who's also a repeat on playing the SJW card when things don't go her way. (Not just my opinion; the late Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report felt the same way.)

And, the whole schmeer? As disgusting as some Greens may find it, it's not just the lawmaking part of politics that's like sausage. It's just that with the Greens being much smaller than  Rethugs or Doinks, a lot of this percolates to the surface quickly.

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