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.