Attention Democrats: Don't Vote Green Party in the Comptroller's Race

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You may not know it, and even if you did, you may have forgotten about it which is why I'm writing this post. I'm here to tell partisan Democrats that the most important race on the Texas ballot for the future of the Democratic Party of Texas might not be the Governor's race. In fact, it's a race in which Democrats didn't even bother to field a candidate- and therein lies the problem, one which we are going to regret and for which someone's head should probably roll.

I'm talking of course about the race for Texas Comptroller.

Republican incumbent Susan Combs, who sits on the Legislative Redistricting Board, has no Democratic opponent and faces only minor party opposition on the ballot. Normally, that's not a problem because the only minor party is the Libertarian Party, which can expect up to 20% of the vote in a race such as this. This works out quite well for Democrats because it guarantees the Libertarian Party as a whole ballot access for the next 2 years if they can exceed 5% in any statewide office (or 4 years of access if they can break 2% in the Governor's race). This has happened repeatedly in the past decade in statewide judicial offices where the Democratic Party has not fielded a full slate.

But this year, the Republicans made a smart move in paying for the Green Party's ballot petitions program, qualifying them for the ballot this year. (See here, here, here, or here.) The Green Party has failed every time they have tried to regain ballot access this past decade and likely would have again this year if not for the support of the Republicans who bought their access.

It's a Trap!Basic Point- The Texas Republican Party bought the Texas Green Party for less than $200,000, knowing that without a Democrat running for Comptroller, Green Party nominee Ed Lindsay could more easily garner 5% ensuring Green Party access for the 2012 elections.

Ed Lindsay, twice the Democratic nominee in HD-54 against Republican Rep. Aycock is but a pawn in this almost beautiful GOP scheme. Many Democrats, seeing no nominee of their own on the ballot, still want to vote against Comptroller Combs- but now they have a Green candidate (instead of just a Libertarian) for whom they can cast their protest vote. And if enough voters, just 5%, choose the Green Party candidate to “stick it” to the Republicans by voting for the “most liberal” alternative, Democrats will give the Greens (and the Republicans) the only thing they both want- automatic statewide Green Party ballot access for 2012.

2012. The first election after redistricting. You see where this is going?

Does anyone doubt that every marginal state house seat on the ballot will have a Green Party candidate? Or that many of those candidates will actually be fielded by the same Republicans who bought the Green Party and their ballot access this year? And that all this is done knowing that Green candidates 'take' more votes from Democratic candidates than the Libertarians 'take' from Republicans, allowing the GOP to hang on to their majority just a little bit longer?

Many of the following Democratic State Reps should be keenly aware of this math.

2008 Election Win %

Rep. Turner    51.30%

Rep. Bolton    51.19%

Rep. Moody     51.05%

Rep. Thibaut   50.62%

Rep. Miklos    50.55%

Rep. Vaught    50.44%

Rep. Hopson    49.27%

Rep. Maldonado 48.60%

Yes, it's Democrats' fault for not running for Comptroller. Yes, many of us support more ballot choices and inclusion of a liberal party's viewpoint. But this isn't about higher values or “costing someone the election” or being anti-Green. A vote for the Green Party really is a vote for the Republicans. It's their Party, they paid for it, and the GOP is counting on Democrats to seal the deal. For less than $200,000, the GOP will have enabled Democrats to stab themselves in the back up and down the ballot in 2012. That is, unless Democrats refuse to fall for this Republican trick.

This year's Green Party is a Republican scam. Don't fall for it. Don't vote Green. Not this time. “It's a trap!”


About Author

Former Publisher & Owner of the Burnt Orange Report. Political Thinker, Digital Explorer, and Time Traveler.


  1. Please
    There is nothing to fear from greater ballot access.  There would not be a Green Party candidate in every election in 2012, no, give me a break.  Also, you need to trust the voters.  In a close House election in 2012, they aren't going to vote Green, just like in the close governor's race, many lefties, including I, are holding their nose and voting for Bill White even with a Green on the ballot.

    Texas is unique in having such high ballot hurdles, it is not something to perpetuate.  The Green Party is not the Republican Party, give me a break.  Tell you what, how about you devote this same loud front-page posting to telling Democrats to push to expand ballot access in the next Legislature.  Then maybe people won't think you're being hypocritical.

    Also no, voting Libertarian doesn't send the same message, it seems like a right-wing vote.

    • Really?
      “In a close House election in 2012, they aren't going to vote Green”

      What about a close presidential election in 2000?  

      K-T is absolutely right. The Green Party that's on the ballot this year is simply the Super-Liberal Caucus of the Republican Party of Texas.

  2. Wow
    So this is what it has come to. So sad. The Texas Democratic Party is truly dead.

    The TDP couldn't even be bothered to field a candidate for Comptroller or for a bunch of other statewide offices (Supreme Court and CCA). And now they are reduced to begging people to not vote for the Greens. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    Honestly, the current leadership just needs to go – across the board. The failure to field a Democratic candidate in each and every statewide race is pathetic and inexcusable. That alone should have required removal of the party leadership right after the filing deadline.  

  3. Not Buying It
    I will vote Green in this race–the only reason I will not be checking the straight ticket box. If the Democrats aren't going to field a candidate for a statewide office, they will have to live with the consequences. And I have to vote against Combs, and will not vote for a Libertarian.

    In this race, the Green candidate's views most closely match my own, and that is always the factor I use in deciding, not giving some possible future strategic advantage to a party that can't even be bothered to put someone on the ballot.

  4. Maybe if all Texas Dems voted Green in this race…
    Since the left-wing vote won't be divided between a Dem and a Green, the Green (Lindsay) might actually win and get Combs out of office!

  5. Democrats Back Third Parties to Siphon Votes
    If the Greens took money from the Republicans which they did not if anyone would bother looking at the facts, then the Democrats are guilty of doing the same thing in other parts of the country.

    The Democratic Party leadership and its apologists really screw up the party.  I have been voting Democrat (and straight ticket) since Dukakis and after reading about all the ignorant things the TX Democrats have done, this little yellow dog barks a new color GREEN!

    The Democrats voting records across the board has been Republican Lite.  It is pretty clear the more things “CHANGE”, the more they stay the same.  

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