Press Releases

Calling All Greens and Others--Support Iowa City Pipeline Divestment - 23 February 2017

We urge you all to write your city councils before the building of the proposed pipeline. As samples,

Green Party Position on Seclusion Rooms in Iowa Public Schools - December 23, 2016

The US Green Party has four pillars of belief, which are Peace, Ecology, Social Justice and Democracy. Under the pillar of Social Justice, The Iowa Green Party of Johnson County has grave concerns regarding the use of seclusion rooms in Iowa Public Schools. In particular, the alleged abuse of seclusion with special education and minority children within the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) forces the Green Party to consider this a human rights issue.

No child who is in distress should be locked in a small, dark enclosure in public schools. We understand the Iowa Department of Education state statute Chapter 103 regulating seclusion rooms was born out of the abuse of an autistic child named Isabel in the Waukee School District in 2006. Isabel was a second grader locked in an unsafe storage closet for up to 5 hours at a time. As a result of her parents’ lawsuit against the Waukee school district and the Heartland Area Education Agency, the Iowa State legislature created Chapter 103 in 2008 to protect all children from the same harm.

 

December 2016
Open Letter to Senator Chuck Grassley

Dear Senator Grassley,

We are writing you because we are extremely concerned about several of President Elect Trump’s cabinet picks. We hope you will oppose many of his cabinet choices. Below we will describe what we find most troubling about some of the individuals he has selected for various extremely important positions:

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson This man has zero governmental experience. He is the CEO of ExxonMobil. He is a billionaire with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Mr. Tillerson still retains holdings valued over $150 million in Exxon stock. This is a blatant conflict of interest. We cannot trust that Mr. Tillerson will put the country’s best interests ahead of his own financial interests.

Secretary of Treasury: Steven Munchin Mr. Munchin is a former Goldman Sachs executive. Let’s not forget how the big banks’ greed led to the financial collapse of 2008. In fact, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay a $5.1 billion settlement related to its mishandling of mortgage-backed securities. Goldman Sachs essentially defrauded investors by falsely representing to its investors that the securities it sold were backed by robust mortgages when it knew that the mortgages were actually extremely risky and likely to fail. We have still not fully recovered from this financial collapse and working class Americans were hurt the most. Why on earth would we trust these people to not do the same thing again?

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions Mr. Sessions is a blatant racist. Back in the Reagan era he was denied a federal judgeship when we found out that he had used the N-word, called a black assistant US attorney “boy,” and said that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot.” An unapologetic racist like Mr. Sessions has NO place in government. There has to be a better option than this man.

Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry Mr. Perry is also a climate change skeptic and in a 2011 presidential debate he said that he wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, but couldn’t even remember the name of the department. Come on! Is this a joke? There has to be someone more qualified for this position. Furthermor, Mr. Perry is heavily invested in Energy Transfer Partner, a company with a huge financial interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline that will threaten to contaminate the water supply of millions if it leaks and there was just another leak in a different, smaller pipeline in North Dakota.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson Mr. Carson was caught lying about several different personal stories during the Republican primaries in 2016. Furthermore, prior to Mr. Trump selecting him for this position, he released a statement saying he wasn’t qualified to hold government office due to lack of experience. This man is a liar and contradicts himself at every turn. He is not fit for this office.

Head of the EPA: Scott PruittMr. Pruitt is another climate change denier and long-time critic of the EPA. Furthermore, his background is in law and he has zero scientific or environmental experience or education. I know you are a climate change skeptic as well. However, WHAT IF the scientists are correct and human activity is putting our planet on an extremely dangerous path? Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to make sure we pass on the healthiest possible planet to our children and grandchildren? Also, don’t you think it would be wonderful if the US were energy independent? Iowa leads the nation in renewable wind energy production and that is truly something to be proud of. Let’s lead the world in renewable energy production. If we didn’t have to rely on foreign oil, major oil producing countries (Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, and Venezuela) would have no power over us. Energy independence via investment in renewable energy resources is a laudable goal. Just think what we could accomplish if we took all the money we spend on war in the Middle East and invested in renewable energy technologies. The bottom line is that given Mr. Pruitt’s lack of scientific training, this man has no business leading the Environmental Protection Agency.

Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos Mrs. DeVos is a billionaire by birth and marriage. She has no experience whatsoever with public schools. She has lobbied against public education and advocated for a voucher system. We cannot risk our children’s education and future on a privatized educational system. Any privatized system’s primary goal is profit, not the wellbeing of the children. Our poorest schools would receive fewer funds and our most at-risk children would suffer even more.

There have been lots of problems with charter schools around the country. According to the Washington Post, only one in six of Pennsylvania’s charter schools achieve a “high-performing” rating based on test scores. That is unacceptable. Charter schools underperform public schools in Pennsylvania and the industry is full of fraud and corruption. Privatization of our educational system is not the answer. The countries with the best education in the world have strong public education systems and highly paid teachers. We need to follow their proven track record.

We call on you to uphold our national interests by opposing these appointments.

Sincerely, The Johnson County Green Party

3 December 2016
Johnson County Green Party Announces

Instant Runoff Voting Ballot Initiative:

Maine has become the first U. S. state to initiate instant runoff (ranked preference) voting. The Johnson County Green Party has sent the following letter to its local senator. We encourage those in other parts of the state to send a similar letter to their local representatives.

Galvanized by the last election, we are writing to ask if you might be willing to propose a bill in the Iowa Senate in favor of instant run-off voting. It has long been know that this is the fairest, most non-partisan way to conduct an election which will result in the selection of candidate who reflect the will of the voters. Maine has just passed such a bill, and it would be wonderful if Iowa could be the second state to do so. The time seems propitious, for each of the major parties might see some advantages for themselves in such a bill.

Here is the text of the Maine ballot proposal:

Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?

Ballot Summary:

This initiated bill provides ranked-choice voting for the offices of United States Senator, United States Representative to Congress, Governor, State Senator and State Representative for elections held on or after January 1, 2018. Ranked-choice voting is a method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in rounds in which last-place candidates are defeated and the candidate with the most votes in the final round is elected.

A fuller account of the text and accompanying information about this bill is provided at ballotopedia.org/Maine_Ranked_Choice_Voting_Initiative,_Question_5_(2016) .
An important feature of the bill is the requirement that the ballot be simple and easily understood.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Florence Boos
Holly Hart
Dawn Jones
Nathan Giddings
Heather Young
Emily Klinefelter
Clifton Johnson
Rose Persaud


 

 

Jill Stein Should Be Part of a 4-Way Presidential Debate

By John Nichols. The Nation. August 19, 2016
Even those who do not back third-party contenders should recognize that open debates are vital for robust democracy.

Let independents vote without being 'spoilers'

Alejandro Murguia-Ortiz, guest columnist
Aug 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm 

"With our current electoral system, third parties simply cannot win. In order to join the debate stage, a candidate must reach 15 percent in 5 consecutive national polls; but without media attention, it is difficult to reach that threshold. This year we’ve seen third party exposure with Gary Johnson averaging 7 percent and Jill Stein averaging 3 percent. Without fears about the spoiler effect these numbers would be greater, so to solve this problem we must embrace an instant runoff voting system.

Instant runoff voting allows voters to rank candidates by preference. Voters simply rank those whom they view favorably, leaving the rest unranked. Ballots then run through a series of counts, the candidate with the least number of votes per round is eliminated and their votes are granted to each ballot’s second choice." Full story

Alejandro Murguia-Ortiz of Sioux City is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business.

May, 2016 from Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for POTUS
Subject: My prescription for our sick healthcare system

As a medical doctor and presidential candidate, I enthusiastically endorse the National Health Program proposed last week by Physicians for a National Health Program, which would provide healthcare for everyone without limitations, conditions or cost contributions.

This single-payer plan, also known as Medicare for All, is backed by thousands of doctors across the country. It would make healthcare a human right and put people, rather than profit, at the heart of our healthcare system.

It’s past time for a Medicare for All health care program with quality care for everyone, no exceptions.

Add your name to the call for Medicare For All today!

It is a national tragedy that the world’s wealthiest country has failed to provide the basic human right to healthcare, as virtually all other developed nations have done.

Having spent decades caring for patients, I am painfully aware that America is in a health emergency. Americans are leading shorter lives in poorer health than residents of virtually all developed countries.

A key factor in this health emergency is the shameful lack of affordable and comprehensive coverage. Each year an estimated 26,000 people die from lack of health insurance. That’s 3 people per hour.

The Affordable Care Act is just a band-aid on this unjust pay-or-die system. Fewer than half of America’s uninsured have gained coverage under the plan, and tens of millions will be shut out even after its full implementation. And underinsurance is epidemic, with skyrocketing copayments and deductibles that discourage people from using insurance even when they have it.

Like Mitt Romney’s plan that preceded it in Massachusetts, the Affordable Care Act was designed to enrich the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. An army of over 3000 registered healthcare lobbyists spent a staggering $1.2 million per day in the run-up to its passage. A widely supported public option initiative was declared “off the table” by then Senate Finance committee chair, Democrat Max Baucus, who received more campaign money from health and insurance industry interests than any other member of Congress.

In short, the Affordable Care Act is a fatally flawed product of a fatally flawed political system.

Medicare for All is the medicine we need.

PNHP’s National Health Program offers what Americans actually need: comprehensive cradle-to-grave health coverage, free choice of provider and hospital, and coverage of all medically necessary care without cruel and arbitrary restrictions set by profiteering CEOs.

In addition, the plan tames medical inflation, and saves a monumental $500,000,000,000 (that’s half a trillion) every year by slashing administrative red tape and bureaucracy, and through bulk purchasing of prescriptions.

It’s long past time to provide the American people the health care they deserve with an improved Medicare for all system.

Sign and share my call for Medicare for All now!

With your help, a Dr. Jill Stein administration will mobilize the majority demand for universal health care and work tirelessly to win health justice for everyone in our society.

It’s in our hands!


 

IOWA GREEN PARTY TO SENATOR ERNST: TPP Violates the Constitution

IOWA CITY, APRIL 2015 - Iowa Green Party activist Dawn Jones and other members of the Johnson County Green Party have challenged newly elected Senator Ernst to defend her support for the potentially devastating Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. We're still awaiting her reply!

April 6, 2015

Dear Senator Ernst,

Congratulations on your new Senate seat. 

We’d like have a conversation with you about the Trans Pacific Partnership and the other trade deals currently being negotiated in secret, without public input—with the aim of eliminating any public debate in Congress by using “Fast-Track” Trade Promotion Authority.

Congress has a duty, clearly stated in the Constitution, “to promote the general welfare.” A strong PUBLIC life is the foundation of a free, high-quality private life. The TPP agreement looks like a tremendous threat to our republic’s sovereignty. Corporations could sue our nation into submission on any number of issues. Replacing public governing with corporate power is harmful to America. Private interests should not overrule our public good. Americans are not FREE when un-elected corporate employees overrule our democratically elected officials.

The TPP was developed in secret, without Congressional scrutiny.The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties … to increase the power of multinational corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can “sue” states and obtain taxpayer compensation for “expected future profits.” These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule our national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal decides that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits.…

Senator Ernst, if you cannot pledge to vote against Fast-Track (TPA), TPP, TISA, and TTIP, please let me know in writing your answer to this question:

How is permitting foreign corporations to disallow laws made by U.S. citizens in keeping with your oath to support and defend our Constitution of the United States of America?

Sincerely,

Dawn Jones, Holly Hart, Douglas Marverson, Florence Boos and the Johnson County Green Party (Iowa)


 CC:      Des Moines Register
Iowa City Press Citizen
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Iowa Democratic Party, 5661 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321
Republican Party of Iowa, 621 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50309
Veterans of Foreign Wars, 406 West 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111

May 23 2015 Symposium on GOVERNING UNDER THE INFLUENCE:

IOWA CITY, APRIL 2015 - Johnson County Green Party members are pleased to join with the Eastern Iowa Move to Amend and American Friends Service Committee to support Governing Under the Influence – a symposium to be held 9:30-4 p. m. May 23, 2015 at the Iowa City Public Library.

Democracy has been silenced – we can’t shout loud enough to be heard over the massive contributions of corporations and the 1%.

During our nation’s history, movements have achieved amendments to the U.S. Constitution to gain recognition of groups of people as citizens and voters.  Abolition of slavery was the 13th Amendment, then the equal treatment amendments for newly freed black men (14th & 15th), and the 19th amendment that grants women the right to vote.  During the time of rapid industrial growth, progressive and populist groups worked to achieve legislation limiting child labor and prohibiting waste products being incorporated in food.

On the dark side of our history are the actions taken to turn corporations from servants chartered by states for a limited purpose -- which had to benefit the residents of the state -- into the powerful behemoths that they are today. They have achieved this massive increase in power through rulings of the Supreme Court which first declared the corporation a partner in a business contract, which states had no right to regulate.  Then corporations were allowed to claim the rights of natural, human beings as acknowledged in the Bill of Rights. Because corporations now have more rights than we humans, it is very difficult for us to protect ourselves from them.
We have come to realize that some thefts haves multiple victims, sometimes the residents of the U.S., sometimes all living beings.  One situation not widely recognized in the progressive community is the loss of the U.S. Government’s right to create money which Congress bestowed on the Federal Reserve.  The difference in the two situations is that with the Federal Reserve, interest is owned on the money the Federal Reserve creates.

It is more widely recognized that when corporations use the water, land, and air as a dump for their toxic waste products, they are removing the possibility of a healthy life for us and our children’s children.  When governments sell off highways, parking ramps, public buildings and lands (like the Post Offices throughout the country), they are appropriating the value of those assets.  When governments privatize social services (public schools, the military,  Medicaid, Social Security, prisons) they are hollowing out the nation’s resources.   Possibly the most direct examples of hijacking are our government’s permitting gambling on derivatives and legislating that the gamblers will be able to shift their losses to bank patrons and taxpayers.
Today we are exploring some of these cases and sharing ways some groups are working toward justice.

Speakers and topics

Greg Coleridge – Move To Amend

Diana Henry – The School to prison pipeline and the importance of students being able to read and write by third grade

Mark Neucollins (panel ?) -  “Fee and Dividend” and the CCL methodology

Jess Fiedorowicz with medical student – Physicians For National Health Plan. Jess is a psychiatrist who works with overweight patients. Perhaps he would be able to tie in processed foods and increase of diseases of consumption.

Greg Coleridge – H.R. 2990 (NEED Act) to create jobs, fix infrastructure and bring the function of printing money back to the Treasury Department.

Benjamin Hunnicutt – the history of labor’s struggle for shorter work hours to allow each individual to reach his maximum development was altered  to a goal of full time employment and increased consumption

Kevin Rutledge - Militarization and Violence


2006 Gubernatorial Petitions Filed!

2006 DES MOINES, IA - The Iowa Green Party today filed petitions containing more than 2000 signatures to place the names of Wendy Barth and Richard L. Johnson on this fall's ballot for Governor and Lt. Governor. Barth and Johnson were nominated at the state convention held in May. Barth and Johnson have been encouraged by the response they have received while gathering the necessary signatures to be on the ballot. They look forward to engaging the other candidates in this fall's campaign.

"We we want to be at every debate that Nussle's camp has proposed, whether Chet Culver can be there or not." Barth said on Monday."We are viable and we have answers that Iowans are interested in hearing. Iowans will respond to our positive message of real change."

The Nussle campaign released a proposed schedule that includes eight debates debates across the state. At this time the Culver campaign has yet to agree to the schedule.

Wendy Barth, a fourth generation Iowan, is the President of Women for Peace Iowa, and has worked as a software engineer for 15 years, doing 3-D animation and avionics. She lives in Cedar Rapids where she has been a long-time activist for progressive issues.

Richard L. Johnson is co-founder of Southeast Iowa PFLAG and is the ttechnology coordinator for Louisa-Muscatine Community Schools. An Illinois native, he has lived in Burlington for the last 23 years.


MORE INFORMATION

Iowa Green Party
P. O. Box 2448
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
319-337-7341
iowa@greens.org

Wendy Barth for Governor
P.O. Box 1234
Iowa City, IA 52244-1234
Susan Temere, Campaign Manager
515-554-2015
temere48@yahoo.com
www.votewendy.org

Cedar Rapids Gazette, :Jul 22nd, 2006; Section: Iowa Today; Page Number:14


ELECTION 2006

Green candidate offers alternative
Wendy Barth doesn’t mind if opponents steal her ideas

By James Q. Lynch The Gazette

Wendy Barth has no illusions of winning the election, but sometimes when the Green Party candidate for governor looks at what’s happening in Iowa, she ‘‘feels’’ like Greens have scored some important victories.

‘‘When I drive across western Iowa and see all those wind turbines, it feels like a victory,’’ says Barth, an active Green since Ralph Nader captured her attention in 2000.

Renewable energy — long a priority with pro-environmental Greens — now is a priority with Democrat Chet Culver

and Republican Jim Nussle, with both gubern a t o r i a l candidates t a l k i n g about making Iowa the renewable energy capital of the country.

‘‘It’s great that it’s getting talked about,’’ she says.

The major party candidates also are talking about health care, which has been a Green issue for some time, Barth says.

Likewise, the recent emphasis on improving Iowa’s water quality is an idea Greens and their allies have been championing for years.

The fact that Nussle and Culver are talking Green doesn’t bother Barth at all.

‘‘My campaign would be a success if either party stole my platform,’’ says Barth, 46, of Cedar Rapids, who as a software engineer for 15 years worked on 3-D animation and avionics.

Barth, the president of Women for Peace Iowa, has left her job to devote herself full-time to the campaign and to what she calls ‘‘planting the seeds’’ for a sustainable future.

Barth’s campaign is all about ‘‘future focus,’’ something Republicans and Democrats lack.

Iowans now are given a choice between the lesser of two evils, and Barth wants to offer an alternative.

Admitting she’s a novice at campaigning, Green says she’s spending time meeting Iowans in small groups, such as at farmers markets and visits to activities on the Iowa City Ped Mall, and at Green Party events around the state.

Barth is still gathering the 1,500 signatures she needs to get on the November election ballot.

She can’t say what her campaign budget will be but knows it will be millions less than what Nussle and Culver spend.

‘‘The amazing thing is that they will spend those vast amounts of money and not say a thing,’’ Barth says. ‘‘I’ll spend a small amount of money and say as much as I can.’’

Maybe, she adds, ‘‘I’ll make the other guys take a stand.’’

She’s heard all the reasons why third-party candidates can’t win but believes that if all the people who didn’t vote for Rep. Ed Fallon in the Democratic primary for governor because ‘‘he can’t win’’ had voted for him, he would be the Democratic nominee.

‘‘I want to get Iowa out of the ‘lesser of two evils’ mindset,’’ Barth says. ‘‘When I started to vote Green, it felt good. It feels really good, especially if you can’t see the difference between the Democrats and Republicans.’’

As she campaigns, she tells Iowans that if they see the governor’s race as a horse race, they should bet on — or vote for — who they think will win.

If they’re looking for better government, they should vote for the person who ‘‘really represents what you believe in, who will do things the way you want to see things done.’’

What Barth and Iowa Greens want to see done is investment in a sustainable economy, universal health care, stopping the pollution caused by confined animal feeding operations, protecting abortion rights, recognizing same-sex marriages and restoring usury laws to protect Iowans from predatory lending.

So even if she doesn’t win, Barth says, ‘‘I’ll have given people something to think about. I’ll have made people aware they have options and have given people something to believe in.’’

The more votes she gets, she says, the more likely it is that one of the major parties will steal her Green ideas.

And that, Barth says, would be a victory in itself.

Contact the writer: (319) 398-8375 or james.lynch@gazettecommunications.com

 

Iowa Green Party Seeks Gubernatorial Signatures in Iowa City

Leah Dorzweiler - The Daily Iowan
Issue date: 7/3/06 Section: Metro
Amid the sea of jazz aficionados who flocked to the Pentacrest this past weekend for live music and outdoor ambiance, a handful in attendance came with political agendas.

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:
lddzb@mizzou.edu

http://media.www.dailyiowan.com/media/storage/paper599/
news/2006/07/03/Metro/Seeking.The.Greening.Of.Iowa-2120053.shtml

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.


"If there was a problem or something, I knew that I was safe," said Johnson, a 1978 graduate of Roseville High School. "The townspeople valued honesty and straight shooting. It was just a safe environment to
grow up in."

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."


Johnson is a former Republican who was disillusioned by what he views as hypocrisy in the two major parties.

"Invariably, the big money interests always won out," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, the corporate dominance is going to make sure that that
continues."

Johnson believes the Green Party can avoid special interests. "We can stand up and call a spade a spade," he said.


No Green Party candidates have been elected governor. Johnson says the goal with this year's campaign is to get 4 percent of the votes. That will guarantee a place on the ballot in the next election, 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."

Contacts:
Co-chair Wendy Barth (peacenik@usa.net) 319-363-5345
Co-chair Daryl Northrop (dnorthrop@polkcogreens.org)
Campaign Manager: Joe Aulwes (aulwes@gmail.com) 515-554-2015


MORE INFORMATION

Iowa Green Party
P. O. Box 2448
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
319-337-7341
iowa@greens.org


Wendy Barth for Governor
P.O. Box 1234
Iowa City, IA 52244-1234
Joe Aulwes, Campaign Manager
515-554-2015
aulwes@gmail.com
www.votewendy.org

Iowa Green Party Announces 2006 Candidate for Governor Wendy Barth


The Iowa Green Party announces the selection of Wendy Barth of Cedar Rapids as the party's candidate for governor. Wendy is co-chair of the Iowa Green Party and serves as president of Women for Peace of Iowa. In setting forth her goals for her campaign, the candidate identified three areas of focus: Peace, Agriculture and Sustainable Economics, and Energy.

Peace

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
Response Guard", and transition the Iowa National Guard to this "well regulated militia" as defined in the Bill of Rights, to meet the needs that the Iowa National Guard has so capably filled, but beyond the reach of federal authorities who clearly have abused their authority."

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 the cost of production being consistently higher than the market price. Subsidies allow us to dump this corn on the Mexican market. Mexican farmers, unable to compete, are forced into poverty. It's time to re-examine our farm subsidy programs."

"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?"


"Washington continues in a prolonged tax-cutting mood, and sooner or later corn subsidies will fall victim to the tax-cutter's axe. Iowa needs to be proactive in finding other crops and competing in these markets."


Energy

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
P. O. Box 2448
Iowa City, Iowa 52244
319-337-7341
iowa@greens.org

 

Saturday May 6th, 2006

Contact:
Co-chair Daryl Northrop dnorthrop@polkcogreens.org, 515-229-9368
Co-chair Wendy Barth, iagp-cochair@usa.net, 319-363-5345
Media Coordinator Richard Johnson seiowagreen@fastmail.com, 319-601-1364

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?”

 

 

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