UTAH GREEN CANDIDATES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2004
Contacts: Patrick Diehl, Congressional candidate (UT-2), 435/826-4778
Jon Roesler, former Congressional candidate (UT-1), 801/547-9435
Tom King, State House candidate (District 43), 801/502-8556
John Weisheit, State House candidate (District 55), 435/259-8077
Victoria Woodard, State House candidate (District 73), 435/826-4778
Nader Supporters in Utah Try to Block Green Nominee David Cobb; Greens Assert the Right to Have Their Candidate on the Ballot
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Green Party of Utah (GPU) Congressional and State House candidates are appealing to independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader to honor his March 2004 pledge not to interfere with Green ballot lines, and to reject efforts by some Nader supporters in Utah to block national Green Presidential nominee David Cobb from appearing on the Utah ballot.
“The Green Party supports Mr. Nader’s right to compete as an independent or as the candidate of any other political party that nominated him, and we condemn underhanded efforts by Democratic Party operatives to block him,” said Tom King, State House candidate, District 43. “But some of his supporters in the GPU are trying to keep David Cobb’s name off the Utah Green ballot line. In doing that, they’re acting just like theDemocrats who are obstructing Mr. Nader himself.”
In a recent column (“Why I’m Fighting to Get on the Presidential Ballot”, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 11, 2004, <http://www.jsonline.com/news/editorials/sep04/258054.asp>),
Ralph Nader criticized the undemocratic behavior of Democrats who are using unscrupulous tactics to keep his name off the ballot in many states. Nader’s campaign submitted enough signatures to put him on the ballot in Utah.
“Our affiliation agreement with the Green Party of the United States requires us to put the national Green nominee on our Utah ballot line,” said Patrick Diehl, GPU Local Liaison and Congressional Candidate (UT-2). “We participated in the Green National Convention, but a minority in the GPU doesn’t like the outcome of the convention and is trying to force the party to break its word.”
“Imagine if some Utah Democrats or Republicans decided they didn’t like their party’s nominee and tried to banish John Kerry or George W. Bush from the ballot,” added John Weisheit, candidate in State House District 55. “It’s unthinkable.”
On Monday, September 12, the Green candidate for mayor of Salt Lake County, Diana Lee Hirschi, withdrew her candidacy because she said the party had been taken over by a “faction” that was continuing to try to put Cobb on the ballot. Repeated polling of GPU members shows that 2/3 supported Cobb before the convention, and 2/3 still do.
'Use of the word 'faction' spins this issue as if the majority of the GPU, who support the choice of the national Green Party convention, are some sort of subversive movement within the GPU. We're not. Our aim, simply put, is to put our Green Party nominees on the Green Party ballot line, where they belong," said Jon Roesler, GPU Treasurer and former Congressional Candidate (UT-1). "What we're doing is not subversive; what we're doing is representing the will of the majority of our membership. We call this 'grassroots democracy,' and an overwhelming majority of Green Party members support it."
Mr. Roesler withdrew his candidacy several weeks ago because of the turmoil in the GPU caused by the Nader supporters.
“I don’t understand why Ms. Hirschi insists on punishing the GPU for supporting the national Green Party candidate,” said Victoria Woodard, candidate for State House District 73. “She should join Nader’s campaign and stop obstructing the Green Party and its nominees.”
The GPU’s lawsuit seeking a Temporary Restraining Order against the Utah State Elections Office for its failure to place Cobb on the Utah ballot will be heard Friday, September 17, 2004 at 2 P.M. in Judge Henriod's courtroom, 450 South State Street, Salt Lake City.