Sunday, May 29, 2005

Decline to state (cont.)

I have been thinking for a while about what I should write in response to Kevin McKeown leaving the party (see below). Actually, I don't have much to say. From my perspective, Kevin McKeown seemed to be the main force behind the effort to demonize Michael Feinstein and persue for four years allegations into mishandling by Feinstein of a donation to the Green Party of Los Angeles County. McKeown carried around a file of evidence against Feinstein and would bring it out on the slimmist of context. McKeown certainly had a part in writing the text that he quotes below, refering to the donation as "the worst public scandal in our party's history". He also had a large part in promoting the scandal.

With Kevin McKeown on the Green Party of California (GPCA) Coordinating Committee, the issue of the mishandled donation came to a head at the recent GPCA plenary, and as a result of what happened at the plenary, McKeown has left the party.

But what happened at the plenary? I was there, and I believe McKeown misrepresents it in his letter. He says that "a minority wishing to avoid the issue refused to ratify the previously-circulated agenda, and succeeded in delaying the meeting by almost five hours." That's just not true.

The night before the plenary, the coordinating committee apparently changed the item about the donation to an advisory, rather than an action item. The next morning, just before deciding whether to approve the agenda, an ally of McKeown brought a motion to unseat the Los Angeles County delegation, most of whom supported Michael Feinstein in the matter. The coordinating committee decided, after much confusion, that the LA delegation could not be unseated. Then most of the Los Angeles delegation voted to accept the agenda. Some, who wanted to have a separate vote to disqualify the LA delegation, voted against the agenda, as did others including the San Francisco delegation, who were upset about an entirely different issue.

While Michael Feinstein is not blameless, it is unclear if he has ever had the power to settle this issue to the complete satisfaction of McKeown and a few others. In my opinion, Kevin McKeown's crusade on this issue has come at the expense of the better interests of the Green Party. Although the issue was not fully settled at the recent meeting, I am hopeful that the party can move on from this point and do the important work we should be doing.


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