Statesman Reports: TDP to Drop Effort to Keep Green Party Off the Ballot

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The Texas Democratic Party filed a motion with the Texas Supreme Court to dismiss the writ of mandamus filed in the Green Party ballot scam clase. The Statesman's Jason Embry had it first:

…Democrats will drop that effort, hoping to quiet complaints that they are trying to limit voters’ choices. Instead they will focus on suing to find out who provided more than $500,000 for the petition drive that gave the Greens ballot access.

“This case has never been exclusively about whether or not the Green Party gets on the ballot,” said Chad Dunn, a lawyer for the Democrats. “That was a small part of it. The focus in this case was discovering all the violations of the law and ensuring that those responsible pay the necessary penalties.”

From the TDP statement:

By filing our motion today, we can best insure that both the lower Courts and the Supreme Court have all the facts before ruling on whether these secret funds were, in fact, spent illegally by a corporation for blatantly political purposes.    

We brought this action to find out the facts behind the Republican Party/Green Party scandal, and that has always been more important than whether or not Green Party candidates appear on the Texas ballot.  Texas voters should know the truth about what Republican operatives with ties to Rick Perry have done and are deliberately trying to hide from Texas voters.    

We are confident that when all the facts are established and the truth is known, the Courts will see that this is a case where the Republicans had an obvious political interest and funneled secret funds into an illegal corporate effort to gain political advantage.

I don't expect this to go away any time — the lawsuit will continue, and it seems that every week another Republican is linked to Rick Perry's campaign. For now, though, the Texas Democratic Party has done what the Green Party has yet to do — act responsibly. It continues to amaze me how much kat swift, in her quest for the latest fractured talking point, rails against corporate money yet refuses to prevent her organization from leading by example.

Kudos to the TDP for taking the high road and focusing on the only issue that's ever mattered: finding the source of the corporate money that got the Green Party on the ballot in the first place. Stay tuned.

Previously on BOR:


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Take the high road?
    Honestly it has not sounded as if though the Dems have taken the high road in the tone, language and content of their comments since this issue arose. Frankly it seems like a bit of back pedalling now to not alienate a good number of voters.

    At this point the Greens, I believe, have created a number of problems for themselves internally. Now can the Dems figure out a way to stick it to the Reps in this matter, make it hurt financially and politically for them? And specifically Perry who we know is the big prize in all of this.  

  2. el_longhorn on

    Kudos to the TDP for listening to their lawyers' advice and calling off what was likely to be a losing lawsuit that could have alienated huge numbers of voters.

    And kudos to the Greens for making the impossible reality. If they meet the threshold in the 2010 election they will be able to stay on the ballot in future elections. That is good for Texas.  

    • Green party qualifying
      The problem as always is that the Green party can do little but take votes away from Democrats.  I agree with some of the Green party's more liberal positions that the Democrats haven't adopted, but the fact of that matter is that we won't get anywhere if Republicans stay in power.  We have to be able to win first before we start fighting over whether to rule in a more liberal or more moderate manner.  That fight is largely what the Green party represents.  Fire from the rear only helps conservatives by helping Republicans.

      • I understand the political implications
        But if the Democrats' opposition to voter ID and support for things like same day voter registration and voter education and outreach mean anything, then the Democratic Party should not oppose tens of thousands of Texans who signed a petition to get the Green Party on the ballot.

        We set a very high bar for allowing political parties access to the ballot in Texas. The least we can do is respect their accomplishments when they clear that hurdle. Childish complaints of “they cheated” and lawsuits designed to bully them off the ballot reflect poorly on the Democratic Party.  

        • Motives of the petitioners
          How many actually support Greens and how many are Republicans hoping to hurt Democrats?

          That's the issue here.  I'm not questioning the right of the Greens to try to get on the ballot and to be on it if they get enough legitimate petitions.  I'm questioning the wisdom of what they are doing.

  3. Republicans signing Green petition. Other shennanigans.
    It doesn't matter what affiliation the petition signers are. How many Dems vote in Republican primaries to upset the apple cart? And vice versa? How many Dems signed petitions for Strayhorn's indpendent bid a few years ago?

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