Leading up to this weekend's Green Party nomination convention, nearly all Green presidential candidates have become increasingly vocal that Party insiders have attempted to rig the nomination in favor of Howie Hawkins.
In a video released on June 29, Green presidential candidate Dario Hunter outlined the many ways in which the nomination has been skewed heavily in favor of Hawkins.
"From the beginning, I felt that efforts were made by Green Party insiders to stack the deck for a Green establishment candidate -- a concept that defies all sense of Green values," Hunter said. "Several state parties put on events for Hawkins, giving him prime voter outreach opportunities, and denied them to our campaign and other candidates."
Hunter made note of the relationship between Hawkins and Party co-chairs.
"Early on we discovered troubling things about the relationship between the Hawkins campaign and Party leadership. Party co-chair Andrea Mérida Cuéllar was serving simultaneously as the manager for his campaign, even campaigning at the Party's Annual National Meeting, with her attendance subsidized by the Party, as a co-chair," Hunter said.
Two other current Party co-chairs, Margaret Flowers and Tony Ndege, publicly support Hawkins. Other prominent Green supporters include Ajamu Baraka, Kevin Zeese and Chris Blankenhorn, who -- along with Flowers and Cuéllar -- are listed online as organizers of the group Green Party Power.
Zeese, Flowers and Cuéllar have been involved in Green Party controversies in the past, including denouncing Jill Stein's recount efforts in late 2016 and issues surrounding the 2017 Annual National Meeting. Cuéllar has also been condemned for other controversies in Colorado as well as for allegations that she recently has engaged in doxxing.
"In the past year, we have seen state Party primaries keep candidates off the ballot, with one particularly-egregious example in North Carolina where no one but Hawkins was allowed ballot access," Hunter said. "We have seen the rules bent for Hawkins, allowing him to maintain dual-membership with another party, despite a clear rule to the contrary."
Hunter was referencing the Green Party's Party Affiliation Rule for Presidential candidates, which states:
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.
Hawkins is both a member of and the Presidential nominee of the Socialist Party USA -- meaning that, if he were to lose the Green Party's presidential nomination, he could end up effectively running against the Green Party.
"We have seen state parties publicly promote the Hawkins campaign before their own primary had taken place," Hunter said. "State parties have held phantom primaries internally, with no public notice and unsurprising results in Hawkins' favor. And we have seen delegate allocations that defy all sense of proportional representation -- a value that is a part of our Green platform. Texas gave Hawkins less than half of its votes, but 77% of its delegates."
As it stands now, Hawkins appears to have only won about 35% of the votes in the Green Party primaries (including in North Carolina), yet has nevertheless managed to secure 54% of the delegates.
Making matters worse, according to Wikipedia 4,202 of Hawkins' 5,182 votes came from the California primary -- meaning that 81% of his support has come from just one state and that only 980 Greens outside of California have voted for him.
247 of those remaining 980 votes came from North Carolina, where Hawkins was the only name on the ballot.
In separate interviews with PRIMO NUTMEG, former and current candidates Ian Schlakman, Chad Wilson, Dario Hunter and Dennis Lambert all explained how and why they see the nomination process as little more than a formality leading to Hawkins' anticipated nomination. Fellow candidates Susan Buchser-Lochocki, David Rolde and Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry have all also alleged a biased and unfair nomination process.
Further intrigue emerged when former Gov. Jesse Ventura expressed interest in seeking the Green Party nomination, but was told that he had a difficult path to the nomination. Some from the group People for Jesse have expressed concern that Ventura may have been misled or sabotaged.
Last week, former British MP George Galloway urged US Greens to nominate Ventura over the "dullard" Hawkins.
"I wholeheartedly endorse Gov. Jesse Ventura," Galloway said. "I know him well. I've worked with him in television. I have spent hours talking with him. I know his son, who is a colleague of mine at RT America. He is an outstanding figure. An interesting figure.
"You know, you've got to be interesting if you're going to make it as an independent, as a third-party, third-force candidate. If you're not interesting, you might as well not turn up. There's no point in being worthy but dull, if indeed Mr. Hawkins even is worthy," Galloway said.
This is not the first time that there have been allegations of rigging in the Green Party's presidential nomination. Similar allegations emerged around the nomination of David Cobb in 2004.
Consequently, Hunter and others have vowed not to recognize a first-ballot win by Hawkins this weekend, with some even discussing the possibility of legal action. Ventura supporters are also exploring other options to get the former Minnesota governor on the ballot, as Ventura has already stated that he is writing his name in for President in November.
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