New Year’s reflection from an electoral activist

Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their New Year!

Tom Cleland of Minnesota

Tom Cleland is a third party activist and blogger from Minnesota. He was a volunteer for Green Party candidate Farheen Hakeem for Governor.

Tom posted at his blog:

Main Lesson of 2010

We forced the recount! The main lesson of 2010 is that if Democrats ignore Green Party issues, they risk losing elections.

The background of the story is in a longer, previous post, where Tom writes:

But my proudest accomplishment of 2010 was the work I did for the gubernatorial campaign of Farheen Hakeem and her running mate Dan Dittmann. First we needed to collect at least 2,000 signatures to get them on the ballot, of which I got 500. Then we needed to get our message out…

In the end, we only got 0.29% of the vote, but it was enough to force the recount. Farheen also won the FairVote Ranked Poll…

28 thoughts on “New Year’s reflection from an electoral activist

  1. Bryan

    Never give up.

    After running in ’07 for town council (NP), ’08 county council (Green), and again in ’10 school board (NP), each time I was able to put a progressive agenda “on stage”. It gave a voice to those who may not want to put themselves up to take hits, but more importantly it made people think.

    Several of the issues I ran on in ’07 have been implemented by the current council. Did my input have anything to do with it? I hope so, but I will never know.

    You can do what you will for “organizing” but running for office gets press, and a generally wider audience not available otherwise.

    So my “profound” comment would be…keep on keeping on….

  2. Catholic Trotskyist

    Kimberley; the most profound electoral lesson of 2010 is that our President and dear leader Barack H. Obama, broke his promise to reveal his adoption of Catholic Trotskyism in 2010. If he had done this, the Republican Party would be utterly destroyed; the entire nation would have been educated about the ways of Catholic Trotskyism and the joyful message of our new world order and balanced ideology. We would have been in the process of amending our constitution to get rid of single-member districts. Obama is moving too slowly.

    Happy new year to the people of God, the readers of IPR. Amen. Blessings on the prosperity of all.

  3. Sludge Puppy and the Scum Lords

    Hey CT haven’t you heard about Disneyism and the Mouse de Lord?

  4. Daniel Surman

    I don’t think I met anybody familiar with Hakim or her campaign in my few months I have been in the Twin Cities. I did run into a Ken Pentel booth at the state fair and some of his literature in the basement of one building at college.

  5. Michael Cavlan RN

    Dan and all

    I know Tom Cleeland personally. Nice fellow.

    First it is Farheen Hakeem not Hakim. I actually worked on the Ken Pentel booth at the MN State Fair.

    As for lessons, well as a candidate in 2010, my lessons are quite different from Tom Cleeland.

    Democracy is dead.

    I shall be writing an article on the experiences of our campaign. It will be horrifying and hard hitting.

    I will probably send a copy to this site.

  6. Michael Cavlan RN


    Miles, ya whack job. I will. On my time frame not yours.

    BTW folks. Some frigging nut job called me, tracked down my phone # (which is on my campaign facebook site) and, well it was kind of weird.

    He blethered on about a post I had made here and then talked about how Catholic Trot is a good person, that he knew personally.

    It was a 415 area code, which is the San Fran area of California. The only reason I answered it was because I thought it was a friend of mine from there who left the GP and joined with the Peace and Freedom Party.

    Poor deluded whack job..

  7. Catholic Trotskyist

    Mike, so I guess we both learned good lessons about the fact that we’re too optimistic. I was too confident in Obama and you were too confident in democracy, or at least your version of it. The Catholic Trotskyist Party is growing, with dozens of new members each month, and you are welcome to join, even with our past disagreements.

    Both Libertarian Paulie, and James Ogle of the US Parliament project, have a 415 area code and are the only two people on this site that I’ve had contact with outside of this site. Clearly Ogle is more likely to have done what you said; but he’s a good person; you’re just too intolerant of differences of opinion. I just recently joined the USA Parliament project about a month ago, and the Catholic Trotskyist Party is among the most active parties, along with the Libertarians and American Independents. But I truly apologize for any inconvenience. Be assuredd that the caller was not me.

  8. Carey Campbell

    Interesting post, and post string.

    Superb question. Lessons learned.

    I second. NEVER GIVE UP!

    That’s solid, and sound.

    As we prepare to put the long underwear on, and launch another day of petition gathering door to door tomorrow in 2011.

    Never give up.

    The truth is this. In Virginia the Independent Greens had a spectacular and successful 2011.

    A full slate of Congressional candidates in all 11 districts. It sets a high bar for us in 2011. 100 house of delegates candidates, 40 state senate.

    The challenge that comes with tomorrow’s sunrise, quite literally, is this. Rise with the sun. Collect signatures day long to get our 2011 candidates on the ballot.

    Candidates. Candidates. Candidates. On the ballot. This the Green Party must have, not only as Independent or Green Party in Virginia, but across the U.S.

    That’s the lesson. On the ballot. In the debate. Defines the debate.

    Thanks for the question.

  9. Robert Milnes

    Cavlan @9, ya lose job. It is spelled Milnes, not Miles you spelling challenged typo.
    If anyone is a whack job it is you; progressives trying the same old politics over & over again, expecting a different result.

  10. Mobert Riles

    I’ve got 200 years of experience running winning political campaigns in my dreams. I’ll lay down even money to anyone who can best me with my eyelids closed. It never fails. I always win. Losers, the first mistake you made was leaving your house! Get back under the bed and dream away the fat!

  11. Katholick Trotskyite

    Nobert, to be fair I have been to Moberts house and I can attest to the fact that he types sitting on the bed with a Cyrillic keyboard, composing his posts in Serbo-Croatian, then uses google translator. No further work is necessary as the hand of the creator has blessed him with such limpid thoughts as all appear as mindfully minted in what ever language they appear. Praise Jesus.

  12. Deran

    CatTrot and Milnes, aren’t you two supposed to be updating your open threads?

    I thnk the biggest lesson for third party politics was the Libertarians picking up a million plus votes for Congressional votes. And I think that is part good and hard work on their part, but also a lot abt being in the right place at the right time in history. I think if their had been a similarly strong socialist, or progressive, political party they could also have done well, but because of the econ0my.

  13. paulie

    OK, yes, I am an addict.

    Cavlan, the person you spoke to is James Ogle of the US Parliament. He’s called me as well.

    By sheer coincidence, I also have a 415 asrea code. The rest of the number is 690-6352 and I would love to hear from everyone else here, not just joogle, as I will try to make this the only time I read IPR comments for some time to come, and even email access will be very rare for a while.

    Happy new year to all!

  14. Catholic Trotskyist

    Deran, actually as far as I’m aware, I don’t have an open thread yet. I seem to be behaving just well enough that I am able to post freely. Although I am now the main spokesman for the US Parliament on IPR, which does have an open thread.

  15. Opeach Obama, I mean, is this the best we can do? [Lake]

    June 2010 – GreenPartyWatch

    Republicans pay to get Green Party on Ballot in Texas, Democrats Livid If there is one thing that drives Democrats crazier than a Green “spoiling” an election, it is Greens getting on the ballot at all despite overwhelming odds.

    In Texas, a Republican consultant in Arizona arranged for a non-profit in Missouri to pay for Free & Equal [California and Illinois] to come up with 92,000 signatures to get the Green Party of Texas on the ballot (up and down the ticket).

    Democrats were livid, immediately suing and issuing injunctions against ballot access. The case went to the Texas supreme court before culminating with the Green Party candidates being allowed to remain on the ballot.

    The ultimate result of this was that Ed Lindsay, Green Party of Texas candidate for State Comptroller won over 5% of the vote, ensuring that the Green Party of Texas will have state wide ballot access through the 2012 elections.

    *eyes open, eyes open*

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