Arizona GOP Consultant Led Green Party's Efforts to Gain Texas Ballot Access

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The Dallas Morning News has learned that the Green Party's petition drive to gain ballot access in Texas this November has been set up by Arizona-based Republican consultant Tim Mooney.

The news comes a week after the Green Party of Texas submitted 90,000 signatures to the Texas Secretary of State. This instance appears to be the first time there has been confirmation that Republicans are driving a Green Party ballot access effort. Kat Swift, the state coordinator of the Green Party of Texas (which can now perhaps more accurately be called the Green Tea Party) has admitted, as the DMN confirmed, “If it hadn't been for that donation, we wouldn't have been on the ballot.”

The Green Party of Texas has been hijacked by people whose political opinions are polar opposites of the Green Party platform. Rick Perry's Republican Party of Texas has spent years destroying the very things the Green Party believes in. Now, thanks to the efforts of an out-of-state political consultant with a long history of ballot fraud accusations, Perry and Texas Republicans will hope to benefit from the Green Party pulling votes from Bill White and other Texas Democrats. The issue now is not about ballot access, but whether or not Green Party supporters are content to partner with the party that opposes everything they advocate.

Mooney told the DMN that the petition drive (estimated to cost $200,000) was funded by a Missouri-based group called Take Back Initiative, although he declined to say who contributed to Take Back Initiative. The group first came into the public eye in 2007 when it contributed $175,000 to an effort to split California's electoral votes.

Mooney has a well-documented history of involvement in shady petition drives. Mooney was part of Capital Strategies, a Las Vegas-based company that helped Ralph Nader gain ballot access in multiple states and also was involved in GOTV strategies for the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign in Florida. Capital Strategies had its business license revoked by the State of Nevada in 2005. Mooney also incurred multiple liens for failing to pay state and federal taxes. Mooney is identified as a “Fraud Merchant” on the Stop Ballot Fraud website of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center.

Given his past, Mooney's disengenous answer to the DMN's question of whether the Green Party's presence on the ballot would benefit any particular candidate or party is no surprise.

“I don't know if it benefits any individual person or whatever. It's all up to what the individual voter wants.

“The end result,” [Mooney] said, “is that if these signatures prove to be valid, Texans are going to have another choice. Whether they exercise that choice is purely up to Texans.”

This is not the first time Mooney has been called on to aid the Green Party in order to help Republican Party candidates. For him to pretend that his efforts are not meant to explicitly help Texas Republicans is embarrassing.

As you might guess, the Perry campaign has denied any involvement. Over the coming weeks, as we will continue to learn more about the Green Party's Republican-funded $200,000 petition drive, that claim could become increasingly difficult to believe.

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7 Comments

  1. What would you have had the Greens do?
    Criticize the Republicans for this shadiness, but not the Green Party.  In a system stacked against ballot access for smaller parties, you want them to refuse help out of some kind of noble sacrifice that no one would notice?  

    • Distasteful, but not wrong
      Gotta hand it to the Greens. Pretty funny stuff. Getting on the ballot (maybe, depending on Sec of State confirmation) with the help of Republican operatives. Too bad the Dems couldn't do the same with the Libertarians. Oh, but haven't the Dems been giving the Libs a pass on statewide positions for a number of election cycles to let them keep their ballot access line. Dems, give me a break. If there are enough valid signatures on the petition, and I'd be surprised to see the Repbulican SOS who is in Perry's pocket reject this petition, then the GP should be on the ballot.

      Now with that said I am supporting and campaigning for White and unfortunately that .5 or 1% of the vote that the Green gubernatorial candidate might get could be the difference in a tight race with Perry. It'll be a squeaker for White even without the GP.  

      • we lost the Texas House last year
        by 19 votes in one House race.  Those 19 votes were why we had a Voter ID bill on the House floor in late May instead of the CHIP expansion.

        There's a Green Party candidate on the ballot in a competitive House race.  Their mere presence on the ballot can be the difference between decent implementation of the healthcare bill, or disaster.  Lower homeowner insurance and college tuition rates.  It could mean the difference between a better redistricting map, or more Republican gerrymandering.

        I don't begrudge them their right to be on the ballot, and Democrats are no more entitled to those votes than the Greens.  However, if someone I was adamantly opposed to tried to give me an inch so they could take a mile, I wouldn't take the bait.

        Enjoy the vanity campaign funded by the bad guys, they'll enjoy the next ten years of power they'll get from the redistricting map.

        Just saying.

        • Right is right, wrong is wrong.
          It comes down to this…ballot access should not be as restrictive as it is. The Greens have a right to ballot lines.

          You speak out of both sides of your mouth in your argument. “yes they should have a ballot line, but look at the problems they have or will have caused”. Really?!…You can't blame the Greens for all the ills you speak. Dems need to step it up to win those votes.  

  2. Blue-Green Fusion
    If Democrats were concerned about the ticket-splitting potential of this, they would go through these petitions to find those as signed them but also signed petitions for GOP or Democratic candidates or who voted in GOP or Democratic primary elections.

    Actually, the potential here is for a bit of Blue-Green fusion, namely encouraging voters where there actually are Green voters to vote straight-Dem plus for the Green Comptroller candidate.

  3. Hijacked? Hardly.
    To say that the Green Party has been “hijacked” in any way by the Republicans is a ludicrous statement.  In no way has the source of the signatures — however shady — changed the values the Green Party stands for.

    And despite the hatchet-job reporting by the Morning News, the Green Party's core values do not include “requiring schools, hospitals and the military to provide vegetarian meals”.  Some Greens are vegetarians, but last time I looked, didn't all of those institutions already provide special-needs meals?  If that's the worst spin the Morning News could put on the Greens, then maybe there's something to the party.  Like its actual core values: the Ten Key Values, things like Grassroots Democracy, Decentralization, and Personal Responsibility.

    As far as the elections go, Texas needs the Green Party.  Democrats, after years of capitulation to the Republican establishment, have forgotten their progressive roots.  There is no “left” in Texas now — only centrist, right-wing, and radical-right.  If the Democrats won't work for the common man, for fear of being “unelectable”, then someone needs to fill that gap.

    Bottom line: neither Bill White nor any other Democratic candidate should see the Green Party as a threat.  Address the important issues, and you'll get the votes.  Pander to the right, and you don't deserve to win.

  4. el_longhorn on

    OMG!
    How dare the Green Party act like the Republican and Democratic Parties, accepting money from every possible source no matter what!

    Two parties today, two parties tomorrow, two parties forever!!!!

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