Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cynthia McKinney at the Green Party of Calif. strategy retreat

[Sorry it has taken a while to get this up. I would have posted from Sonoma, but we were in a no-wifi zone (below).]GPCA retreat siteThe Green Party of California has had a lot of issues since the 2000 election including accusations of spoiling, infighting in Los Angeles and on the state coordinating committee, fundraising problems, and a bitter split over the 2004 presidential nomination. At this GPCA strategy retreat, I felt like the party had climbed a tall mountain, and could finally see over the other side.

The speakers--Cynthia McKinney (former member, U.S. Congress [D-GA]); Ross Mirkarimi (member, San Francisco Board of Supervisors); Larry Robinson (member, Sabastapol City Council); and Brent McMillan (political director, GPUS)--all had insightful, encouraging and inspiring things to say. The possible presidential candidacy of McKinney is the most broadly interesting topic, so I'll focus on her in this post, and then discuss the other news in a separate post.

Cynthia McKinney and Michael RochmesMcKinney (above), is being courted as a potential Green Party presidential candidate. Her appearance at this event and at other Green Party gatherings around the country show that she is seriously considering a run (she is also promoting a film, American Blackout, about voter suppression). She hasn't publicly decided whether to run, however. I would expect a decision in the next couple of months. Some of the discussion and strategizing was off the record, but I can tell you that she said a lot of the right things, and the sense in the room was that most Greens would be ecstatic if she decides to run.

McKinney suggested she would stress the anti-war position and electoral reform in a presidential campaign. She would reach out to nonvoters and minorities with her campaign, and seek to broaden and expand the membership of the Green Party.

Despite her reputation in the media, Cynthia McKinney is extremely personable, down-to-earth, and unpretentious. I was impressed that she not only came to speak to us, she spent two nights at the camp with us. While Ralph Nader has continued to support Green candidates and the party, he never, to my knowledge, took the time to meet and talk to local Greens around the country like this. McKinney seems to see a potential presidential candidacy as a partnership with the party.

18 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

Glad to hear it went well in Sonoma. Thanks for the report.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please have Cynthia meet us in Minnesota.

Dying to meet her.....

Michael Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2008

9:37 PM  
Blogger Dave English said...

I'm going to go on the record saying that Cynthia McKinney shouldn't be considered as a Presidential Candidate...Way too controversial...Aside from the incident (by the way she never apologized to the officer she hit in the chest), she's suggested on KPFK that Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11 which he didn't reveal for his own financial gain, has tried to intimidate reporters from using mistakenly miked comments she made in a public forum, and has allowed herself to be "bodyguarded" by anti-Semites. Aside from that, why embrace yet one more Democrat running to the Greens because they are not pariah's in their own party. Does she speak truth to power? Sure. Put let's not be seduced by that, let's look at the whole picture. Endorsing McKinney will only tarnish our image.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Dave English said...

"...now pariahs.." that is

1:40 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Michael - I have nothing to do with Cynthia's schedule. I suggest contacting Brent McMillan in the national office and asking how you can get in touch with her.

11:24 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Dave,
I know how you feel about this, but I think you are making too much of the incident with the House guard. Any Green Party candidate who has a chance of receiving more than marginal support is going to get attacked in the media and become controversial. We can't avoid controversy. We just have to decide for ourselves if we can stand with our candidate.
I haven't done my full due diligence (you should send me what information you have), but from meeting Cynthia, I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt at this point.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Dave English said...

You may be right but my hunch is that Americans would have a very difficult time getting past the incident...It's simply not presidential...you can't go around hitting people...I forgive her in the sense that she's been the victim of racial profiling all her life, but I'm pretty open-minded, whereas all Americans????...every news show in America would latch onto her BECAUSE of the incident and would be sure to bill her as That Lady Who The Guy Is Now Green Party Presidential Candidate--very tabloid, very bad for us...

11:51 PM  
Blogger Dave English said...

That Lady Who Hit The Guy Is Now Green Party Presidential Candidate (i suppose that's what the Preview button is for)

11:52 PM  
Blogger John Geraghty said...

You can view American Blackout here, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6083303169951698685&q=american+blackout and you can also take a look at my blog http://help-cynthia-impeach.blogspot.com

I think that if you take a long hard look at the capitol hill police officers incident you will realise what a set up it was. You can view video of Capitol hill polce officers discussing the atmorphere around the police, many spoke of plots to discredit and harass Cynthia McKinney, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4mOZomLryU

I already have my McKinney 08 t shirt made up, and have done since 06. I suggest you get one too.

7:55 AM  
Blogger monte said...

You may well feel US voters are not open minded, and wouldn't give her fair consideration, but i feel that doesn't apply to Green voters.
I don't think we don't need a nominee that appeals to those who won't vote Green anyway.
I think our voters are open minded, and i think we can make a case to them to vote for Cynthia.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it would be positive if McKinney were to run on the Green ticket. Up until now many people have thought of us Greens as a hippie environmentalist party (the mainstream of course). Her running may change the perception to what we really are - The People's Party: Nonviolent/Anti-war, pro-universal heathcare & just standard of living, education & social justice for all etc.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former constituent of the recently defeated Cynthia McKinney for Congress, I would encourage you to select her as your Presidential nominee.

I would be very open-minded to see how she would run, what she would propose, and the attention she would garner.

After all, Cynthia has become quite a legend in the state of GA so we might as well share her with the other 49 and beyond.

10:06 AM  
Blogger cseeman said...

McKinney talks about her potential run in 2008. Video taped June 9 in NYC.
McKinney running in 2008
On attendee complemented her on her dress. Cynthia responded that she's buying everything green.

7:03 AM  
Blogger cseeman said...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2508693105235438933

7:05 AM  
Blogger Kyle said...

McKinney was my rep, and thank god she is not now. She is a powderkeg, with a very short fuse. I agree with her on almost all topics, but she has such negatives that her candidacy would KILL any legitimacy the Green Party wishes to garner. Those on here who've known her from GA and like her, cannot get beyond the negatives. I'm liberal, involved heavily in higher ed environmental and sustainability issues, and would hate to see the Green Party so tarnished.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Green Party will lose all credibility for even considering Cynthia McKinney as a candidate. Cynthia had a good record in Georgia for many years, but she went CRAZY! I know, I was in her district. Just look at all the nutty things she's done since 9/11. I'm sorry, but you don't deck a security guard that doesn't recognize you just because you allegedly got a new "do." You show some ID and respect for those serving and protecting you. She also plays the race card anytime things people dissaprove or refute her opinions. Cynthia is yesterday's Bad News.
A Voter in Georgia

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also there is the lingering rumors of McKinney's anti-Semitism, as well as McKinney's father, Billy McKinney, who was quoted after his daughter's election loss recently by blaming the "J-E-W-S" for the defeat. Controversial Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan also stumped for McKinney during the past election. This would fly in the face of the Green Party's dedication to global justice for all.
added by a Voter in Georgia

1:29 PM  
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6:06 PM  

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