Brandy Baker, Mark Lause at the North Star: background info on, criticism of Stein’s involvement in 2016 Presidential recount efforts

Over at the North Star, two authors, Brandy Baker, (Author bio: “GREEN NATIONAL COMMITTEE DELEGATE FOR MARYLAND”; Article: Jill Stein sees Russia from her house) and Mark Lause, (Author bio: “GREEN PARTY OF OHIO AND NORTH STAR EDITORIAL BOARD”; Article: Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory) provide some detailed history and analysis of Jill Stein’s campaign and its participation in recount efforts related to the Presidential vote in 2016 in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Baker writes in part:

The recount has become a huge distraction for the Greens, and one from which we should move forward. While many individual Greens here in Maryland signed the petition opposing the recount, our state party took a neutral position on it and is focusing on local organizing. A wise decision. Baltimore City has grown tremendously this election cycle thanks partly to the Stein/Baraka campaign, but largely to some strong local campaigns and good organizing. It is one of the most vibrant and energetic Green Party locals in the country. A new local has formed in Baltimore County and they have put full independence from the two party system in the by-laws. The New Jersey State Green Party and its locals are doing some impressive organizing as is the Alabama Green Party. Colorado passed some of the strongest bylaws on independence when their liberal wing was trying to pressure them to endorse Bernie Sanders during the Democratic Party primary. The fight for independence in the Green Party remains strong not only locally, but nationally, and the recount battle is yet another example of this reality.

More locals are embracing the membership-based, dues paying model, so there is hope of us eventually stamping out the NGO model of organizing in the Green Party, or at least greatly diluting it. There really are few other nationwide organizations on the left that seeks to empower people in their communities, to be open to others bringing their own struggles into the organization instead of the other way around. We need to forget about the 5% when we run in the Presidential elections and strengthen the local bases first. When the country is ready, they’ll give the Greens their 5%.

The Greens were never supposed to be about top-down schemes: “Safe states”, voter trading, endorsing “progressive” democrats, or partisan recounts.

The Green Party is Jason Justice of Colorado during roll call at the convention wrapped in the Colorado Pride flag naming victims of police shootings. It is Baltimore anti-poverty activist, the Reverend Annie Chambers and recently declaring, “I want to talk about the poor.” It is Baltimore’s Vince Tola who has spent years of his life and who has made personal sacrifices to keep Baltimore Green Party organizing efforts afloat. It’s door knocking, events, meetings, phone calls, emails, Greens all over the nation trying locally to bring people together to make their communities and this country a decent place to live. So what about solid, old-fashioned, bare bones organizing? Not just focusing on electoral politics. Perhaps that should be second or third down the list of our main activities. Organizers talking to people at their jobs, as they come out of night school, as they are sitting on their stoops. It’s not going to happen through social media. As Tony Soprano said, “this is a face to face business.” The Trump years will be tough and the liberal astroturf organizations disguising themselves as resistance will not provide any solutions. It will be organizations that seek to hold both parties accountable, that see how deeply the systemic rot runs, and that work to bring revolutionary change that will matter. The Greens should strive to be one of those organizations.

Some see old-school organizing as dated and unfashionable.

If that is the case, then let us be unfashionable.

Lause writes in part:

Frankly, if anyone seriously thinks that 2016 represents some major departure from the standard of electoral integrity (or lack thereof) characteristic of contemporary voting, they’ve simply not been paying attention.

Finally, how is one recount going to ensure free and fair elections in America? Nothing ever has. There are no guarantees, no perpetual fixes . . . Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

But the most outrageous claim is that we need to take on this recount effort for the good of the system. As Cobb puts it, the project is “about securing confidence in our election system.” (Harold Michael Harvey, “Why Is Jill Stein Challenging Election Results?” The Hill, November 27, 2016.) This concerns directly echo those the Clinton campaign have been expressing repeatedly in response to Trump’s whining that the election was “rigged.” Confidence in the system is essential to maintaining the duopoly and deflecting serious independent movements for change.

Much, much more at the original source.

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