Alan Augustson says Cynthia McKinney only appeals to ‘guilt-stricken white liberals’

“I was actively discouraged from my original presidential run, because GP didn’t want to counter the Democratic nominee with a white male,” says former Green presidential hopeful now running for Congress, Alan Augustson. “When I objected, it was implied that I was racist and sexist.”

“[To me, the Green Party has been useless,” Auguston continued in an on-the-record statement to IPR. “It consists of top-down managers, committees of one, and personality-cult politics. I now consider myself officially free to speak my mind.”

Augustson is upset that his in-absentia speech to Green convention goers is being “supressed” by the Green Party.

“I see that my speech — one of the best I’ve written, and a hell of a lot better than the transcripts of the actual ones — is being suppressed by my alleged party. It’s nowhere to be seen or read.”

Augustson, who lives in Illinois, did not attend the Chicago convention, citing financial difficulties. He says the registration fee was nearly $300.

Patrick Kelly disputed that assertion on IPR:

Registration was $225 for the whole weekend. A $150 student/low-income rate was available, open to anyone to take advantage of. Early registrants could register for $100. There was a one day registration fee of $50. And to get into the Saturday presidential nominating convention was only $30. We had lots of people from many communities, some on fixed income or otherwise tight budgets who saved up, did fundraising in their locals, etc. For someone who lives in town (so had no travel and lodging costs) that there was just no way they could afford to come to the convention, quite frankly, is a little off the mark.

In response, Augustson says: “Patrick Kelly appears either to know my financial situation better than I, or thinks I’m lying about it…. And as for the ‘observer’ rate: please pardon me if I’m not content to spend campaign funds, just to flesh out the audience for Cynthia’s cameras. Patrick’s tone has been representative of the treatment I’ve gotten from the Green Party from the very beginning.”

Finally, Augustson has harsh words for Green nominee Cynthia McKinney: “Cynthia McKinney is a blip. Whatever her qualities, and I’m sure she has them, she will be portrayed in the media as brittle and flaky — to the extent that she’s portrayed at all. Since African Americans will be voting Obama, she will appeal to absolutely no one but the most guilt-stricken of white liberals.”

20 thoughts on “Alan Augustson says Cynthia McKinney only appeals to ‘guilt-stricken white liberals’

  1. Sivarticus

    Absolutely agreed. McKinney is a reverse racist nut who wants taxpayer reparations for slavery. Between nominating a totally insane candidate for the Greens, and Nader not really going anywhere party-wise, I’m not sure if anything will be left of the non-Democratic left after this election. Not that it’s entirely bad, Americans will once again turn toward Libertarians and Constitutionalists as their main two party alternative.

  2. paulie cannoli

    I had a friend show up for a good chunk of the convention without any sort of pass and no one attempted to charge him anything. A couple of more people I know showed up at various times – same thing. Convention reporting coming up.

  3. ronaldkanehardy

    I didn’t want to reply to this because it seems like attention-seeking behavior on AA’s part, but I can’t help it, I think he’s gone off the deep end.

    I appreciated Auguston’s enthusiasm last year when he declared he was seeking the GP nomination for President. I even interviewed him on my old site here.
    http://babblemur.com/blog/?p=1079

    However note that he said then that:
    “I will respect the party process, and back the choice of the Delegates.”
    and
    “…I think America’s ready for a woman or a person of color to be President, but she needs to bring more than that to the table. Her plan of action, her positions on the issues, and her leadership capabilities, need to be better than mine.”

    So lets talk about Presidential “material” for a second. Alan Auguston has NO political experience other than writing about it, NO campaign experience before running for President, NO experience in Government, NO name recognition outside of his friends and family, NO money or fund raising, etc, but he thinks that he was railroaded for being a white male? That didn’t seem to stop Jesse Johnson or Kent Mesplay (although he has some indigenous blood in him I’m told).

    Jesse Johnson has a history of running statewide campaigns for office and running environmental campaigns in West Virginia. Kat Swift is a veteran Green Party activist at her local level, state level, and National level, particularly in the area of ballot access and organizing. Kent Mesplay has a history of environmental activism and both local and state party work in California. Cynthia McKinney served 12 years in Congress fighting for Green Values.

    And Auguston thinks gender or race hurt him? How about experience?

    Now as for his speech. He expects his speech to get attention on the week of the largest GPUS event of the year, when we are Nominating a President and VP, when we have dozens of seasoned activists and elected Greens and yes, even candidates, holding workshops, building party, energizing for action, but he wants everyone to read his speech?

    On Thursday night in Chicago there was a Reception hosted by Rich Whitney the Illinois Candidate for Governor in 06 whose 10% put the Green Party as a Major Party in Illinois. There were dozens of Illinois candidates in the room, and Congressional candidates from Illinois got the spotlight and podium Thursday night and at the Friday AM press conference including Steve Alesch, Rodger Jennings, Scott Summers, Omar Lopez, Jason Wallace, and Sheldon Schafer. Omar Lopez was one of four keynote speakers on Saturday. Jason Wallace was one of the facilitators for the Delegate vote. They were working it, and there are some great candidates there.

    Auguston couldn’t make it due to money? Wisconsin sent three unemployed Delegates among our 24 to Chicago. They applied for the $100 low income registration rate and got it. We raised money to cover their $100. They took the Metra from Kenosha to Chicago for $7 each way, stayed for the day. I’m sorry he’s hurting for money but damn, if you can’t fund raise enough to raise $100 to get to Chicago and back from Illinois how is he going to raise money to campaign for office?

    Oh and it would have paid for itself from the fund raising opportunities on site. Greens were throwing around money like confetti. I raised $3,000 for Cynthia McKinney in 72 hours right before the Convention.

    What I am seeing here is someone who wants to run for President, wants to be VP, is currently running for Congress, complains publicly that the Convention isn’t featuring any Illinois speakers (i.e. Alan Auguston), and now he’s publicly attacking our candidate for President for no particular reason except one: attention.

    Alan – you need to earn the attention you seek. Go out and make a difference in people’s lives. Become a community activist, or if your more of an “armchair” activist then help with some party organization – fund raising, volunteer organizing, database entry, phone banking, etc. Or do what you are doing now – run for office. But damn, Jack, why don’t you go after your opponent Rahm Emmanuel?

    I can’t believe I just wasted 20 minutes writing this. I could have been fund raising this entire time.

  4. Gregg Jocoy

    I am one of the folks who discouraged Augustson from running for President when he first showed up as a poster to Green Commons. The site is down now, and I guess may remain moribund, so I can’t provide a link, but as memory serves I said that I believe that, since we had run middle aged to older white male lawyers twice, we should choose a woman this run. I don’t remember any discussion of race except as to how it might impact the run for office and building constituencies for the party. Such as, “If we nominate Gonzalez (before he was chosen to be Nader’s running mate) we have a shot at growing in the Latino community.”

    It was his sex, not his ethnicity, that was a problem for me. He may find no comfort in that, and it may strike many as a bad idea to examine the benefits and detriments each candidate brings to the table, but for me the selection of our presidential candidate crucial. Augustson did not seem happy with our discouragement, which is understandable, but he was not the only one discouraged from running.

    In fact, Jared Ball got a shot from me when he announced. I am not enamoured of academics and lawyers, so when Ball, an academic, announced I again wrote that the time had come for the Green Party to nominate a qualified woman. Fortunately we did. Ball was angry. Augustson is unhappy. I understand, but our values include “Respect for Diversity”, and while that does not dictate what the party does, it can have an influence.

    Three others remained in the Presidential running, including one clearly white male and one man of mixed heritage (as we all are) including as best I can understand, some First American heritage. Those who opted for other candidates are not sexists or racists because they supported swift or Mesplay of Johnson. I don’t think any of those folks is complaining about the outcome.

    We Greens are weak. We are growing stronger. Sadly, none of our candidates can count on a lot of help from the party. This will change over time. We are headed in the right direction, and most Greens are enthusiastic about the near future. I hope Augustson’s mood, and chances, improve between today and election day.

  5. Mike Gillis

    For the 900th time, Ralph Nader is NOT white. He’s an Arab-American.

    Just because he doesn’t feel the need to remind everyone every five minutes does not make it any less true.

    The Greens have only run an all-white ticket once: in 2004.

  6. johncjackson

    Who?

    This guy sounds like the Milnes of the Green party.

    Some guy that no one supports with no shot or qualifications. And he has to make up reasons for his own ineptitude and blame someone else ( in this case he is worse than Milnes).

  7. green in brooklyn

    I have no time for a Green that complains about lack of coverage for a speech and can’t be bothered to come to a national convention in his home state.

  8. Gregg Jocoy

    Well, you’re right of course Mike, Nader is of Lebanese lineage. Of course, whiteness and blackness, or redness or yellowness, is in the eye of the beholder. While you and/or Nader might prefer he be seen as a Lebanese-American, I would guess most folks will keep on thinking he’s white.

  9. Mike Gillis

    Gregg, that’s a totally irrelevant point.

    You made a factual error. I corrected it.

    I don’t care HOW Nader is seen ethnically, but the reality of the matter is that he’s an Arab American.

    What people believe is irrelevant.

    He’d still be an Arab American, even if everyone thought he was a Vulcan.

    You said he was white. He’s not. Just admit your error and move on.

  10. Trent Hill

    He’s got you Gregg,lol.

    I hope Nader siphons off the entire Arabic vote.

  11. Sivarticus

    The Greens seem the most extreme politicos obsessed with identity politics.

  12. paulie cannoli

    Most people who take such taxonomies seriously (I do not) classify Arabs as white.

  13. Mike Gillis

    The obsession with identity politics and the penchant by some to call out racism when it’s inappropriate is one of the reasons I left the Greens.

    Back when we were trying to draft Ralph for the nomination, I met a lot of McKinney supporters fully willing to call us or imply that we’re racists or sexists for not backing her.

    It’s in this that I don’t have a lot of problem believing some of this guy’s allegations.

    Cynthia has surrounded herself with a ring of Greens that I wouldn’t trust to hold an ice cream cone for me. Greens who openly fought against alot of internally democratic reforms. Her campaign manager even tried cynically to compare proportional representation to “Jim Crow” in an online battle on the GNC.

    When they would trot out the “Ralph is an old white guy” line, they’d be correctly factually and we’d get the weirdest response.

    “Well, he lives as a white guy”

    What the hell does that mean?

    Would you prefer he wore a turban? Rode a camel? Carried a scimitar?

    He doesn’t run away from his heritage and he isn’t afraid that people will jump on him for taking strong stands on Israel/Palestine, Arab racial profiling, the Iraq War or Middle East peace.

    He doesn’t run away from his Arab heritage, but he doesn’t define himself by it either.

    It’s like some Greens wouldn’t be happy with him unless all he did was remind people of his Lebanese background and parrot the Ten Key Values over and over.

  14. G.E. Post author

    If Nader carried a scimitar, I think he’d get more libertarian support.

    Mike Gillis’s experience with the Greens is a common one. When making calls for Ron Paul in late 2007, I found three fellow former Greens — all under 30 — who had left the greying Marxist cabal known as the Michigan Greens due to the overbearing nature of the leadership, and as a result, had discovered libertarianism. Two of these people were former candidates.

  15. Mike Gillis

    Oh don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to become a libertarian.

    I’m still a diehard leftist.

    I’ve just learned over the course of three years in the Green Party that I loathe hippies, political correctness and identity politics.

  16. G.E. Post author

    Understood. I didn’t meant to imply otherwise. But the point is that the aged Green leadership pushes people away.

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