Ms. Hunter and Mr. Strawn:
As a follow up to my meeting in Washington, DC with members of the Green Party of the United States Presidential Exploratory Committee, and the numerous exchanges I have had with many members of the Green Party from around the country, I write to let you know that I have made a decision with respect to my relationship with the national ticket of the Green Party of the United States for 2004.
As you know, I subscribe to the principles of social justice and respect for our environment that Green Party activists hold so dear. I have supported Green Party candidates in the past and will undoubtedly do so in the future. In my political endeavors, I have enjoyed support from Green Party supporters who live in Georgia and around the country; and I hope to have their support in the future. I also strongly believe that the two party system, so firmly entrenched in this country, fails to serve the larger needs of many Americans who increasingly view neither party as speaking to or satisfying their political and representational needs. The electoral success of the Green Party around the globe was once pointed to as a source of legitimacy here in the United States. However, the increasing electoral success of Green Party candidates here in the United States speaks very vividly to this point. In addition, the Green Party brings more participants into our system and that is good for our country.
I have carefully weighed the opportunity set in motion by the interview with the Presidential Exploratory Committee. I have received words of encouragement from every corner of this country and from Green Party supporters beyond our shores. But in the end, a national campaign is not in the cards for me at this time. I hope that we can continue to work together on issues of mutual concern as we all endeavor to have a United States of America that lives up to its most noble ideals and respects life and liberty at home and around our globe.
cc: Mr. Badili Jones
Ms. Monica Palta
Mr. Hugh Esco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For further information, please contact:
Georgia Green Party:
Badili Jones, Co-Chair, 404-806-0480,
Monica Palta, Co-Chair, 706-543-6961,
Denice Traina, Press Secretary, 706-736-4738, gpga -
Georgia Draft McKinney Committee
Terence Courtney, 404-381-5993,
Carol McChesney, 770-446-7532,
McKinney Ends Speculation on 2004 Green Bid
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney -- long the subject of a draft effort among Green Party activists -- ended speculation on her Presidential ambitions for 2004, leaving open what her intentions are for this election cycle. In personal phone calls, followed by a letter to the Co-Chairs of the Presidential Exploratory Committee with copies to the Co-Chairs of the Georgia Green Party, Ms. McKinney stated that "a national campaign is not in the cards for me at this time". This news came only three weeks after RalphNader announced that he would not be seeking the nomination of the Green Party, but might still pursue a 2004 Presidential bid anyway as an independent.
"We have greatly appreciated Ms. McKinney's support in the past, and it is unfortunate that she will not be able to lend her efforts to the Green Party bid in the 2004 Presidential Election," said Monica Palta, Athens resident and Co-Chair of the Georgia Green Party. "I am confident, however, that our Milwaulkee Convention will identify an equally worthy candidate, and that we will make a strong showing in this year's presidential campaign."
"We obviously had hoped for another outcome for our efforts to draft her to the slate," said Terence Courtney, husband to Darcel Courtney -- the the Secretary of the Green Party of Dekalb County, father, union organizer as well a founding member of the Georgia Draft McKinney campaign.
"Cynthia McKinney is a woman of strong integrity and great conviction. She believes in justice and human rights. We who sought to draft her chose to align ourselves with a candidate worthy of support by voters across this nation. She may have decided not to run at this time, but she is still a role model for the politics this country needs, which we as Greens intend to offer. Her pledge of future support for Greens will help us build a broader foundation of support. I wish Ms. McKinney the best no matter where her political and private life may take her."
Pledging to continue the Party's work to offer "that half of the voters who do not to participate in elections" a reason to head to the polls in November, Badili Jones, Monica's Co-chair of the state Party as well as a Co-Chair of the Green Party of the United States, responded to Ms. McKinney's letter stating that "This is regrettable, if not totally unexpected. The Georgia Party certainly has its work cut out for us in the coming year, as we work to mobilize our ballot access campaign without a known name to hold out as our potential candidate."
Even so, Jane Hunter, Co-Chair of the Green Party of New Jersey as well as a Co-Chair of the national Party's Presidential Exploratory Committee reports, that in the past couple of weeks since Nader's announcement opened up the field, she has taken many phone calls from additional potential Presidential candidates. Several Party activists have already been seeking the Party's Presidential Nomination, some with months of active campaigning already behind them. Included in their ranks are: Shiela Bilyeu, Peter Camejo, David Cobb, Brian Czech, Paul Glover, Kent Mesplay, Carol Miller, Christini Rosetti and Lorna Salzman. Many Green Party activists are also strategizing to draft Nader for the Party's nomination, as a reluctant candidate -- if necessary. Ms. Hunter expects McKinney's letter to give still others the courage to step forward into the contest.
"I will again urge Ms. McKinney to consider seeking the Green nomination
in 2008, which I believe will present a larger opportunity for a Green
candiate. Her candidacy can bring people together and address real issues
like our need for health care, living wages and real democracy both at
the polls but also where we work," said Draft Committee organizer Terence
Courtney. "No matter who may win this November, Democrat or Republican,
we still lose as we face four
more years of corporate rule. 2008 will be our opportunity to wedge ourselves between those Parties supplanting those corporate interests and mobilizing a broad base of support in service to the people of this country -- and that will be a winning coalition."
The Party's nomination will not be decided until its Presidential Nominating
Convention, scheduled for June 23rd through 28th, 2004 in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
The Georgia Party will name its delegates to the national Convention when
they meet in Convention in April near McRae Georgia.
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