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November 12th, 2010
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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Jul 22nd, 2006; Section: Iowa Today; Page Number:14
Green candidate offers alternative
Iowa Green Party Seeks Gubernatorial Signatures in Iowa City
Leah Dorzweiler - The Daily Iowan
Clipboards in hand, representatives of Iowa's Green Party filtered through the crowds, seeking enough signatures to put their candidate for governor, Wendy Barth, on the Iowa ballot in November.
Iowa City resident Holly Hart, the secretary of the Iowa Green Party, estimated that upwards of 800 signatures had been collected statewide as of Sunday evening. A minimum of 1,500 signatures of Iowa voters from at least 10 different counties will be needed by Aug. 13 to get the party's candidate on the ballot.
Although Hart admitted Barth's chances of winning the gubernatorial race were similar to "a lightning-strike probability," she insisted there were valid reasons to petition for her candidacy.
"We want to make sure our party's platforms are known to Iowa voters," Hart said. "We hope to put pressure on the major parties to take our issues into consideration."
The Iowa Green Party website states the party is committed to environmentalism, nonviolence, universal health care, election reform, and decent wages for workers, among other issues.
Jay Robinson, the Iowa Green Party's 2002 gubernatorial candidate, garnered only 1.4 percent of total votes, falling short of the 2 percent needed to retain official political party status - thus forcing the minority party to petition for candidacy in the 2006 election.
The Iowa Green Party decided to support Barth's petition after Rep. Ed Fallon, D-Des Moines, the party members' favorite Democratic candidate, lost the early June primary election to Secretary of State Chet Culver, Hart said. The Greens were particularly opposed to Culver's support of the death penalty, she added.
Barth said her campaign particularly advocates stronger regulation of "factory farm" hog lots, taking the National Guard troops out of federal control, and developing sugar beets and switchgrass - rather than corn - for ethanol use.
"Corn is not really optimal for ethanol use, whereas switchgrass, a prairie grass native in Iowa, could be harvested at 1,000 gallons [of oil] per acre," Barth said, although she added that the technology for switchgrass' synthesis into ethanol still needs to be worked out.
Peverill Squire, a UI political-science professor, said Iowa historically has not supported third-party candidates, but a push for candidacy is not necessarily unwarranted.
"Third parties are always useful for trying to get attention for issues that might otherwise get ignored," he said.
E-mail DI reporter Leah Dorzweiler at:
Roseville native runs for the Green in Iowa
Richard Johnson Lieutenant Governor Candidate
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006
Ben Botkin, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Illinois
ROSEVILLE - A Roseville native is running for lieutenant governor in Iowa on the Green Party ticket.
Richard Johnson, 45, formerly of Roseville, is on the ticket with Wendy Barth, the Green Party's candidate for governor. Johnson grew up in Roseville, where he says small town life shaped his values.
After high school, Johnson attended Western Illinois University and earned a degree in computer science with a business emphasis. A Burlington resident, Johnson is a technology coordinator for Louisa-Muscatine Community Schools in Letts, Iowa.
In a statement, Barth said Johnson's background is valuable.
"I am very pleased that Richard has agreed to join with me in offering Iowans a clear alternative to the corporate parties," Barth said. "Richard has strong leadership skills and an understanding of the issues that will resonate with voters across the state. Iowans are passionate about education, and Richard's experience withe educators can provide great insights as to how to keep our schools the best."
"Invariably, the big money interests always won out," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, the corporate dominance is going to make sure that that
Johnson believes the Green Party can avoid special interests. "We can stand up and call a spade a spade," he said.
"It's going to be a tough campaign," he said. "Our goal is to just get name recognition. We're making strides. We're still a young party."
Johnson and his running mate are focusing on issues such as increasing teacher pay and alternative fuel solutions. They also oppose the death penalty.
"At least with life imprisonment, if there's a mistake made, you can release the person," Johnson said.
|Thursday, June 22nd, 2006 |
Barth Campaign Announces Selection of Running Mate
Wendy Barth, Green Party candidate for governor, announced today that she has chosen Richard L. Johnson of Burlington as her running mate for the November election.
Richard, a former Republican, is currently the media coordinator for the Iowa Green Party and co-chair of the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Iowa Green Party. He also serves as a member and former co-chair of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), and was co-founder of the Southeast Iowa Chapter of PFLAG. A native of west-central Illinois, Richard has lived in Burlington for over twenty years and has been active in local politics since the late 1980s. He is employed as technology coordinator for Louisa-Muscatine Community Schools in Letts, Iowa.
In accepting his party's selection, Richard shared his hopes for the upcoming campaign season. "I look forward to bringing my experience in both the private and public sector to this campaign. I hope to help Wendy raise issues regarding the future of education in our state as well as the threats posed by the growing corporate control of our economy. Iowans deserve better from our government, and I believe that this campaign can provide voters with a clear choice between government of and by the people offered by the Greens, and government of and by corporations offered by the Republicans and Democrats."
Wendy Barth welcomed the addition of Johnson to the campaign ticket. "I am very pleased that Richard has agreed to join with me in offering Iowans a clear alternative to the corporate parties. Richard has strong leadership skills and an understanding of the issues that will resonate with voters across the state. Iowans are passionate about education, and Richard's experience with educators can provide great insights as to how to keep our schools the best.
Campaign volunteers have been petitioning to gain access to the November ballot, and will continue their efforts in the coming weeks. The campaign plans on attending a number of local events to help inform Iowans of the choice the Green Party offers them when they go to the polls this fall. "It's time to restore government to the control of the electorate," Barth said, "and to begin repairing the damage the two corporate parties have done to our economy, our environment, and to the citizens of Iowa."
Iowa Green Party
Iowa Green Party Announces 2006 Candidate for Governor Wendy Barth
According to Barth, "The governor is supposed to have control over the Iowa National Guard, but the President has usurped that authority. Using the National Guard in a war of aggression is an abuse of their purpose and the honorable commitment that the Guard members make to our state."
"I propose that as a state we create a new organization, tentatively called "Iowa Emergency
Agriculture and Sustainable Economics
"Overproduction of corn threatens both Iowa farmers and their customers," Barth notes. "There has been a glut of corn on the market for a many years, resulting
"In addition, corn is energy-intensive and involves yearly tilling, which contributes to erosion. This is squandering our precious topsoil. As governor I would promote development of alternative crops by our state's farmers. There are so many good reasons to look for other crops to grow on this, the best topsoil in the world. Why shouldn't we compete with produce imported from other areas, such as asparagus from Peru and rhubarb from Washington?"
According to Wendy Barth, "Switchgrass is a prairie grass that thrives in Iowa. It can be fermented to create ethanol, with a larger yield per acre (over 1000 gallons) than corn. Since it is perennial and requires no annual cultivation, erosion is no longer a problem and fewer chemicals are needed. Switchgrass is one way we can seriously compete in the fuel market, as Brazil has demonstrated."
If the low turnout in Tuesday's primary is any indication, Iowans want a real choice when it comes to their state leaders. Wendy Barth offers that choice, and we believe Iowans will respond to her message.
TO HELP WITH WENDY BARTH'S GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN:
Iowa Green Party
Saturday May 6th, 2006
Iowa Green Party Co-Chair Calls Upon Us to Change the Future!
At the May 2006 meeting of the statewide Iowa Green Party, co-chair Daryl Northrop gave the following address to delegates and members:
2006: Regrouping in Iowa
It's 2006, and where have we been? Where are we going? What do we want?
We have passed through two years of the toughest electoral environment for Greens in a long time. We are at war. Corporate dominated parties are working harder than ever to muzzle dissent or even new entrants from getting into the political arena. We hear all the time that in Iraq democracy doesn't flower during a war--well, the same is true in the United States. While we do not have to deal with insurgent attacks and reprisals, we do have to deal with our toxic political environment.
My pledge to you and to the Iowa Green Party is this: I will keep going, because what I and we are doing is right and vital. Even Thomas Friedman, capitalism's chief apologist at the New York Times, wrote that we need a third party. If its clear from his warped vantage point, then it is obvious to the public.
To achieve our goals of bringing a revitalized citizen-powered democratic system into being, we must provide an entrance into the political. That means providing a local structure to plug into, an alternative analysis of current and historical events, and a willingness to ask the question that almost always causes an uncomfortable silence: “What do you think we, as citizens, should do?” Nothing makes people confront their self-imposed political paralysis more than that question.
In a recent lecture at Iowa State University given by famed left-wing author and professor Noam Chomsky, during the question and answer session, a student asked, “Are there any presidential candidates in recent elections that you would have supported?” Perhaps he was expecting a well deserved, but predictable denunciation of Democratic and Republican candidates; perhaps he was hoping Chomsky would spontaneously endorse a candidate from a third party. Chomsky did neither. He stated that the student was asking the wrong question. The question should have been addressing the political paralysis that grips the American electorate. He cited the recent election in Bolivia where a mass peasant movement elected one of their own, on a platform of income redistribution, social and economic justice, and nationalization of natural gas reserves--taking the profits away from multi-national corporations and bringing them back to the people.
He said in the United States, arguably the richest and still one of the freeest countries in the world, that there is NO reason why we cannot do what Bolivian peasants have accomplished.
The Bush administration will not be in office forever. The war in Iraq will not last forever. The political climate in the United States may get better for third parties or it may get worse. The question facing us as a political body is the same as the question that faces us as individuals, “What do you think, as citizens, we should do?”