8 04 2017

Let’s start with election news: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was a good news – bad news kind of evening for the Wisconsin Greens in Dane County elections on April 4. The Greens lost both contested races they entered but won four seats on Madison City Council, with candidates running unopposed in each instance.


Samba Baldeh


Rebecca Kimble

Steve Arnold took 41.4% of the popular vote in a two way race for Mayor of Fitchburg but came up short. Similarly, Ali Muldrow of the Greens garnered 44.1% and over 20,000 votes but wound up second in her bid for a place on the Madison School Board. Winning their seats to Madison City Council were Ledell Zellers (Distruct 2), Marsha Rummel (District 6), Samba Baldeh (District 17) and Rebecca Kemble (District 18). Congratulations to the Wisconsin Greens candidates and volunteers for making it happen!

Out in Los Angeles, US House candidate Ken Mejia had this to say about his April 4 election:

As of this morning, we are 7th out of 23 candidates, with the top 2 front runners who raised the most money (over $1,000,000 combined) getting a majority of the votes. However, we are only 249 votes away from 4th place out of 23 people – beating 16 Democrats and all other party candidates (Republican, Non-Partisan, Libertarian). In addition, there are many mail-in and provisional ballots left to be counted.

We always knew it was going to be a tough race, especially running as the outsider campaign in a very low voter turn out Special Election (9.6% voter turnout so far). Nevertheless, regardless of what the final numbers are, WE HAVE ALREADY WON!

yeswekenThe top two candidates, both Democrats, will face each other in a general election in June.The winners received 5-8,000 votes to Mejia’s 1300. When you consider that the winning, corporate-sponsored, candidates outspent him by a factor of ten to one–Mejia raised about $50K compared their roughly half a million each–Meijia did very well, indeed. By doing some admittedly simplistic math, we could say that, if Mejia had had access to the same kind of financing as the winners of the election, he would have received 13,000 votes for his money, as many votes as the actual top two combined, and nearly enough to win outright and not need a runoff. Sure, that’s a fantasy, but it points up the tilted nature of our political playing field, and the need for serious campaign finance reform, if not a whole other socio-economic-political paradigm.

So that’s some good news, and some bad news. The ugly stuff happened in Philadelphia, where Democrats did a serious number on Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala’s campaign for a Pennsylvania State House seat.


Poll workers, who were almost universally Democratic Party activists, reportedly pushed people to vote for the Democrat by, for example, telling voters that if they were registered Democrats, they had to vote for the Democrat,  and otherwise overtly campaigning in the polling places. The write-in election featured the use of ink stamps of the candidates’ names, to eliminate the possibility of illegible ballots. Some voters reported that, when they requested a Honkala stamp, they were given a stamp for her opponent instead, and then not allowed to change the misvote. According to the official results, Honkala lost by about a 4-1 margin, but both she and the Republican candidate, the only one actually on the ballot, have filed complaints, and it seems the DA and the legislature will both be investigating.

And, on that note, a song from The Clash seems appropriate…..

The Clash,”Know Your Rights




One response

10 04 2017

Here’s an update from Cheri Honkala, a Green who experienced widespread irregularities in the special election in which she was a candidate:

On Thursday, we filed a lawsuit in federal court.

The lawsuit asks the court to void the March 21st election because of widespread voter intimidation and election fraud tactics, that those in violation of election code are held accountable, and that a new, fairly-run election be held within 90 days.

Our democracy matters–especially in impoverished, frontline communities who are trying to elect people to fight hard for their basic human rights.

Please help us take the establishment machine to court by donating $27 to our legal costs.

Take a minute to read a few of these horrific and flagrant election code violations:

Misleading literature was given to voters throughout the district. It implied that I was an outsider–despite having lived in the district for 30 years. It also implied that I was a Republican–despite being a Green Party member that was endorsed by the likes of Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution, Tim Canova’s Progress for all, progressives Tom Morello and Rosario Dawson, environmental activist Josh Fox, and many more.

At the Beauty School polling place, Honkala poll workers were told they could not put up Honkala signs because this is a “Democratic district.”

At the Wyoming Branch Library polling place, establishment Democrats had set up a table outside with sign-in sheets and stickers, giving voters the impression that this party-run table is the place to check in to vote, rather than the actual check-in station inside the polling place.

At the Munoz Marin School polling place, a table was set up right next to the voting machine, covered with literature for Democratic candidate Emilio Vazquez, with voters being told that the table has “what they need to vote.”

At the Bethune School polling place, judges of elections held and distributed Vazquez stamps.

At the Barton School polling place, a voter who walked into the polling place with Cheri Honkala’s stamp was told by the election workers that she “had the wrong stamp.” The Honkala stamp was taken away and the voter was given a stamp for Emilio Vazquez.

At the Esperanza Health Center polling place, a Honkala voter was point blank asked by the election workers who she was voting for.

An elderly Latina woman reported on video that she was afraid for her safety and that she and other senior citizens were intimidated into voting for Vazquez.

At the West Kensington Ministry polling place, an election worker was captured on video coming out of the polling site and taking money from a Democratic poll worker.

At the Hartranft School polling place, Mr. Vazquez was inside sitting and talking with the Election Board even though Vazquez was a candidate.

At Vazquez’s “victory party” — held on Election Night, 3 days before ballots were even counted — a photograph was taken of a person holding one of the ballot boxes, which were supposed to be securely in the hands of police or city commissioner staff by that point.

And these are just a handful of the dozens of stories!

In addition to our lawsuit, which is bringing together Greens, many Democrats, and Republicans to fight against the corrupt machine in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia District Attorney and the Pennsylvania Attorney General are both investigating this so-called election.

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