June 12, 2024

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With others allowed on Green Party ballot, Jill Stein takes less than half the votes

10 min read
Dan Pulju: We had a very interesting result. Though she did win, Jill Stein got less than half of the votes. I think that makes our party look good, particularly compared to other state Green parties that in my opinion have kind of lost their way a little bit.

by DJ Suss D

After the May 7 pro-Palestinian vigil, Todd Boyle and I sat down with (2022) Pacific Green Party U.S. Senatorial candidate Dan Pulju over a beer at Max’s Tavern to discuss the machinations behind the Green Party decision-making process in light of the recent dust-up at their May 5 convention.

Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): Seeking the Green Party of the United States presidential nomination besides Jill Stein for the past several months have been Jasmine Sherman, Jorge Zavala, or George Zavala, Randy Toler, who is a veteran Green from Florida, and fellow named Daví.

[00:00:34] And in a lot of states the other candidates have not been treated so well, and this is not pointing fingers of blame at anybody, but it’s worked out this way because Jill Stein, due to her fame and her presence, has been often considered the presumptive nominee.

[00:00:56] And that may well likely be, she is probably going to be the Green Party nominee. I don’t consider, as someone who’s been involved in party organization for a long time, the fact that Stein is likely going to win to be any reason to allow the fundamental corruption of our processes—because we are supposed to be the party that does things democratically, the party that gives every candidate a fair shot and runs fair elections and has honest debates and does not censor people and does not shut people out of the process.

[00:01:33] Now here in Oregon, minor parties don’t have access to the state party primary system to the official elections. So we are allowed to nominate our candidates using conventions. There is disagreement and a split within the Green Party at the moment about which conventions are valid.

[00:01:50] But we just had a nominating convention on May 5. This convention, which I was involved in organizing, made sure that we involved, besides Jill Stein, all the other announced candidates, all the other people that were seeking the nomination. We invited them all. We gave them all plenty of time to speak, to answer questions, and for everyone to get to know them.

[00:02:15] And we, by a significant amount of time, I mean we spent about two and a half hours on it, which was more than half of the convention time. And we heard plenty about them, and then we had a vote, a straight-up vote that would allocate our 11 delegates for a nominating convention to them on a proportional basis, using, well, there’s a lot of proportional allocations, but we use the party list method, largest remainder, which basically gets as close as possible in a simple way that everyone can understand to giving 30% of the delegates to whoever gets 30% of the vote and 20% of them to whoever gets 20% and so forth.

[00:03:02] And we had, of course, we had a very interesting result. I think we had a good result, although I didn’t really have a preference. Stein got less than half of the votes, which was unlike other states, though she did win. She got the most votes, she got the most delegates—five delegates. Four of the delegates went to Daví and two of the delegates went to Jasmine Sherman.

[00:03:26] So we awarded delegates to three out of the five candidates. I think that makes our party look good, particularly compared to other state Green parties that in my opinion have kind of, like, lost the way a little bit and have had top-down structure determining.

[00:03:43] DJ Suss D: So what you’re saying then is the Oregon Green Party, because you informed your constituency more, they were able to see other candidates as a possibility, other than Jill Stein.

[00:03:57] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com):  We made sure that they knew who the candidates were and that they’d had access to the candidates to find out what the candidates thought and make an informed decision as voters within our party.

[00:04:08] DJ Suss D: Which is why Jill Stein got less votes in your state. She still won, but you said she got less votes.

[00:04:15] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): Well, I’m not going to speculate as to why that happened. I’m just saying that it is how things should be done. And even in our party in some states, that’s not how it happens. I believe Stein is going to be our nominee, and in my opinion, she is a good candidate. And she did win. In terms of plurality, she got the most votes. She didn’t get more than half the delegates this time.

[00:04:40] Todd Boyle: So this is Todd, and one of the questions I have is regarding the other candidates who got significant numbers of votes from the Pacific Green Party of Oregon here in Oregon. Was this a state convention or a Lane County here, or…? (State.) This is the state convention. And so did the other candidates beside Jill Stein reflect the values, you know, the four values of the Green Party, as much as Jill Stein, I believe, I believe she reflects those?

[00:05:10] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): I don’t know if you’re asking my opinion or the opinion of the convention voters, but in the opinion of the convention voters, I think they did. And if you ask my opinion, I think Daví came in a close second to Jill Stein because fellow candidate Jasmine Sherman remarked during the convention, she called him talented. And he has a talent for self-presentation. He has a good presence on video.

[00:05:35] And I think if he were on television, he would also have a very good presence. His disadvantage and the disadvantage the other candidates have all suffered is that they have not had the exposure and people don’t know who they are, and aren’t interested in them the way that they are in Jill Stein, who’s already been a candidate twice before.

[00:05:53] DJ Suss D: What do you think could have been done differently to get more exposure to the other candidates? Or is that even necessary?

[00:06:01] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): We did do what was necessary, which was we gave them two and a half hours to meet our voters and talk to them and have the voters hear them directly and that video will be ready probably within a day or two as soon as we have it prepared and edited.

[00:06:17] DJ Suss D: What did the other states do differently then?

[00:06:20] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): Well, that depends on the state. And I can tell you that one of the worst, saddest stories is the state of California had a group of only about 30 people decide to put only Jill Stein on their state primary ballot, even though some of the other candidates, at least, had qualified for the primary—so the state primary only had Jill Stein in California.

[00:06:41] Back in 2020 the same thing happened with Howie Hawkins in North Carolina. They only put Hawkins on their primary or convention ballot. So, there have been examples where in some states there’s only been one of the candidates. People have only had one choice on their ballot. This makes the Green Party look bad, ’cause it’s not supposed to be what we’re about.

[00:07:02] Todd Boyle: Yeah, I feel like the Green Party, you know, the message to the public of what the Green Party stands for is confusing.

[00:07:09] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): The public is confused because the Green Party is accessible to anyone that wants to join it. But because it’s a small party, practically anyone who wants to join it and is very ambitious and willing to do a lot of hard work is able to gain a lot of influence. And you end up in situations where people have a lot of different agendas and bring different values to the organization. So there are varying levels of commitment to democratic process and to eliminating corruption in politics.

[00:07:43] Todd Boyle: Yeah, so what I’d like to ask is: What is your ultimate objective? In life, I mean. Because obviously you’ve committed a lot of energy for many years to the Green Party.

[00:07:54] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): Like anyone else, my objective, at least as far as it’s relevant to politics, is to get what I want. I try to be honest about my involvement in politics, what I want politics to give me. However, politics can only do that if politics is run honestly.

[00:08:10] And so I don’t like corrupt politics and so that’s why it’s important to me to make sure that it is done fairly. Particularly because I’m not in the position to benefit from corrupt politics: I’m not a billionaire, not wealthy, and not particularly well-connected with the people that benefit from the corruption.

[00:08:30] DJ Suss D: So where is the Green Party on the Ukraine war? Because a lot of liberals feel that Putin should be deposed as a dictator rather than just end the war.

[00:08:45] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): The Green Party is meant to be a grassroots democratic organization without anything like a high committee or an ideological authority handing down decisions about what its positions are on a particular issue.

[00:09:00] We’re supposed to develop our positions through honest debate, genuine debate, and an actual discussion without trying to censor and silence each other.

[00:09:12] So what I’m saying is there’s a variety of opinions on the Ukraine, yes, absolutely as it should be. And this gets back to the integrity of processes, so important for the party’s position as an alternative party as an alternative to our corrupt system, the two-party system, to mean anything and be worth anything at all.

[00:09:31] That shows how important it is to do it right, because if you’re not, if you’re just as corrupt as the two major parties, then what is even the point?

[00:09:39] So of course, there’s a diversity of opinion, and just to digress again, diversity of opinion is one of the original founding principles of the Green Party back in Germany decades ago. There is a diversity of opinion on the Ukraine war. One of the most notable positions favoring U.S. policy has been Howie Hawkins in 2020. He’s been adamantly in favor of backing Ukraine during that war.

[00:10:07] He does happen to be in the minority on that issue and within the Green Party, the prevailing sentiment in debates has tended to be that the fault lies with our own government and its ambitions of expanding its power within Europe. And that the solution has nothing to do with backing Ukraine with more and more money and weapons but rather immediately finding a negotiated solution with the Russians.

[00:10:38] If you’re going to follow up asking my opinion, my opinion is that I have no quarrel with the Russians whatsoever. Just as Muhammad Ali had no quarrel with the Viet Cong. The Russians have no quarrel with the Russians. I’m not Russian, it’s not my first language. I just learned Russian because it dawned on me decades ago that it’s ridiculous for us to be in a situation of mortal combat with a country halfway around the world that we have no no fundamental quarrel with whatsoever.

[00:11:14] DJ Suss D: In the 21st century right?

[00:11:17] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): Well, obviously it was not about communism because the communism’s gone, yet still, here we are with formidable nuclear arsenals and this ridiculous life or death struggle that has no impact on my life whatsoever. And shouldn’t.

[00:11:34] So to me, it’s yet another feature of the corruption of our government and something that affects me personally. And to hark back to what I said earlier about politics being a matter of getting what you want: I don’t want that. I don’t want to live under this imperial government that invariably imposes these authoritarian means like the Patriot Act and spying on me and etc. etc. I don’t want that. So how do you fix that? You get involved. And that’s what I did.

[00:12:05] DJ Suss D: Where’s the Green Party on Israel?

[00:12:07] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): The Pacific Green Party of Oregon recognized overwhelmingly at the last convention (and this was one of the few things in the February convention that could not be overturned by any amount of cheating) that Israel has committed genocide in Palestine. That is the position of the Green Party of Oregon. It’s overwhelmingly the position of most other Greens in the United States.

[00:12:30] DJ Suss D: That was open to debate, that one has been decided. That issue has been decided.

[00:12:39] Dan Pulju (OregonGreenParty.com): Decided in the sense that it is a platform plank, which takes a two-thirds majority at convention to pass, so it’s close, it’s that close to consensus, two-thirds.

[00:12:50] DJ Suss D: According to a statement from the Pacific Green Party, the May 5 convention marked a return to their rules of order, with party decisions made by those present. They get 11 delegates to the national Green Party of the United States presidential nominating convention. They awarded them proportionately to three of the five candidates: five for Jill Stein; four for Davi; and two for Jasmine Sherman. They nominated three candidates for other offices: Mike Beilstein for Oregon House District 16, Joe Meyer for U .S. House District 3, and Dan Pulju for Oregon Treasurer.

[00:13:24] During the party business segment, they examined the purge of more than half the ballots at the February convention. Motions were passed to revoke supporting membership for Seth Woolley and Nathalie Paravicini and to remove Nathalie from the State Coordinating Committee. Supporting membership is required to vote on party business or serve on the SCC.

[00:13:47] Their next nominating convention is set for August 11. They are aware of a meeting planned for May 25, but it is not being run by the legitimately-elected SCC, as their by-laws require. For KEPW News, I’m DJ Suss D.

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