BREAKING NEWS: TENNESSEE’S ALVIN GREENE MOMENT

4 08 2012

This story broke  late and may not make it on the air, but it’s too important to ignore.

The Green Party of Tennessee may have just gotten its two biggest breaks yet.

The first is that the District 6 Federal Court has apparently rejected the State of Tennessee’s appeal of Judge Haynes’ decision in February that ordered the state to list the Green and Constitution Parties’ candidates on the ballot as party candidates, not “independents.”  Tennessee Election Commissioner Mark Goins has been doing his best to close his eyes and make us disappear, accepting our paper work but refusing to list our candidates on the state website, but at this point he is going to have to capitulate, or face serious legal consequences.

Our other big break is the bizarre results of the Tennessee Democrat Party primary last Thursday, in which the nomination as Democrat Party Senate candidate was won by right-wing nut job Mark Clayton.  Was this the result of crossover voting by Republicans, computerized voting machine chicanery, or ignorance on the part of the voters plus Clayton’s name being first on the ballot?  We may never know, but the fact is that here in Tennessee, we have a situation analogous to what happened in South Carolina in 2010, when Alvin Greene, an indigent army vet who had been arrested on obscenity charges, won the South Carolina primary and became the Democrats’ sacrificial lamb, “born to lose” to Republican Jim DeMint.  Greene received about 27% of the vote, while the Green Party’s candidate, environmental activist Tom Clements, got 9% of the vote.  I’m surprised that the results weren’t reversed, considering Greene’s complete lack of qualification for the Senate, but he had the advantages of at least nominal support from the Democrat Party and a certain amount of “street cred” for being African-American.

Mark Clayton, on the other hand, will have neither of those factors working for him. Green Party candidate Martin Pleasant is clearly the most prominent progressive choice who will be on the ballot for US Senate in Tennessee this November–anybody else the state’s red-faced Democrats can convince to run will have to do so as an “independent.”

Sometimes,  when life seems dully predictable and likely to remain so, something extraordinary happens and throws everything up in the air.  This is one of those moments.  Glory Hallelujah!

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