Independent Greens of Virginia

Independent Greens of Virginia

The Independent Greens of Virginia, (also known as the Indy Greens), is the state affiliate of the Independence Party of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It became a state party in 2003 from a division of the Green Party of Virginia. When the state meeting of the Green Party of Virginia refused to recognize Carey Campbell's installation as chair of the Arlington Chapter of the GPVA [cite web |url= |title=Proposals to be Decided Upon at the First Quarterly Business Meeting of 2004 |publisher=The Green Party of Virginia |date=2004-01-08 |accessdate=2008-05-24 ] and subsequently disaffiliated the chapter and expelled Campbell from the party, [cite web |url= |title=State Meeting (Minutes) |publisher=The Green Party of Virginia |date=2004-02-08 |accessdate=2008-05-24 ] Campbell and Joe Oddo then formed a new statewide party.

The party, separate from the national Green Party, affiliated itself with the Independence Party of America on January 10, 2008. [cite web

last = Winger
first = Richard
authorlink = Richard Winger
title = Virginia Independent Green Party Affiliates with Independence Party
publisher = Ballot Access News
date = 2008-01-13
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accessdate = 2008-05-13
] .The platform of the Independent Greens focuses on fiscal conservatism, as well as transportation issues, running on the slogans "Fiscally Conservative, Socially Responsible" and "More Trains, Less Traffic." [] ]

The Indy Greens started in the Virginia Independent tradition of Harry F. Byrd Jr. of Winchester, Virginia. Fact|date=August 2008He was the second Independent elected to the United States Senate in American history. In their original party plan, platform and bylaws, Indy Greens described themselves as a “values conservative party”. The phrase came from Petra Kelly, and co-author the Christian conservative Herbert Gruehl in their original Green Party platform.

Like Senator Byrd, the Indy Greens called for balanced budgets at local, state, and federal levels, and paying off the federal debtFact|date=August 2008. As with Petra Kelly’s original Green Party platform that called for rotation/term limits, Indy Greens advocate term limits.

From the start these activist were dedicated to “More candidates, less apathy”, which means working with all independents, and third parties to put more candidates on the ballot.

Chairman Carey Campbell

In 2003, Carey Campbell was elected chairman of the Arlington Chapter of the Green Party of Virginia. In 2004 a faction of the chapter broke off and formed the Independent Greens. Mr. Campbell, is a U.S. Air Force veteran, and while a television anchorman for the American Forces Network Europe met Green Party founder Petra Kelly in 1978 (before the Green Party officially formed in 1980). Campbell studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany. Mr. Campbell also knew Joschka Fischer, when Joschka was still a taxi driver in Frankfurt, Germany. Joschka would become Germany's Vice Chancellor in 1998. Campbell was elected to the North Springfield civic association board, Braddock district council representative, and Vice President of the Fairfax Federation of Civic Associations.Fact|date=August 2008

Ballot access petitioning

The members of the Independent Greens of Virginia have a long record of success gathering petition signatures to help independents and third parties get on the ballot state wide. It takes 10,000 valid petition signatures including 400 valid signatures from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts to get a statewide candidate on the ballot. This means normally collecting at least 20,000 signatures across Virginia.

Virginia requires a political party to receive 10% of the vote in any statewide races to win “Major Party” status. Meaning if the Indy Greens were to meet this threshold they would receive automatic ballot access for their nominated candidates. In 2004, Some Indy Greens collected petition signatures to get the Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka on the ballot for president in Virginia. To a lesser extent some Indy Greens worked on ballot access efforts for the Green Party's David Cobb, and Nader's independent effort.

Indy Green nominated/endorsed 2004 congressional candidates included retired USMC Col. Marv Pixton in the 1st (1.4), L. Shirley Harvey (former Richmond city council woman) 3rd (0.1%), retired Army Col. Albert Burckhard 4th (0.06%), Dr. Brad Blanton 7th (24.3%), Jim Hurysz 8th (3.1%), school teacher Seth Davis 9th (1.7%), Joe Oddo 11th (1.4%). [] Fact|date=August 2008None of these candidates had the Indy Green label appear next to there name on the ballot. []

Philosophy and positions

The Indy Greens encourage all citizens to run for office, as a form of civic responsibility: "More candidates, less apathy". Any qualified candidate can run under the party label; candidates are taken on "first come, first served" basis. The party's goal is to offer voters a positive alternative on the ballot, by permitting average citizens to run for office. The campaigns are intended to be grassroots-financed and run. The strategy of running candidates in every means political strength and growth are come from being on the ballot. Indy Green strategy has the advantage of combining efforts in every aspect of campaigning. Fact|date=August 2008

Regional rail promotion

"More trains, less traffic" is an initiative to introduce a high-speed Maglev train across Virginia, and the United States to cut dependence on foreign oil. Indy Greens say it is a matter of national security. Rail is safer and more secure. Rail saves lives. Fact|date=August 2008

Indy Greens also advocate Light Rail in all Virginia cities, and larger towns.

Fiscal conservatism

As fiscal conservatives, the party echoes United States Comptroller General David Walker's call for an auditable accounting system at the Pentagon. Fact|date=August 2008 The Indy Greens favor balancing the federal budget and paying off the federal debt. The party supports term limits for U.S. Senators and Representatives.

2005 elections

In February 2005 Independent Greens endorsed State Senator Russ Potts, the major independent candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial election, 2005.Fact|date=August 2008 The Indy Green collected thousands of petition signatures to help Senator Potts make the ballot statewide.

In July 2005 the party filed paperwork with the Virginia State Board of Elections claiming 15 candidates as their nominees. According to the Lynchburg News & Advance, only six were in fact candidates of the party; the other nine were independents or candidates of other third parties. Those nine disavowed the Independent Green designation to the State Board of Elections. []

Indy Green state Vice Chair, Glenda "Gail" Parker ran for state house of delegates in the 44th district receiving 3.28% of the vote [cite web |url= |title=2005 State House District 044 election results |publisher=Commonwealth of Virginia]

Independent Katherine Waddell who was endorsed by the Indy Greens Fact|date=August 2008was elected to the Virginia state house of delegates 68th district in 2005.Fact|date=August 2008

2006 elections

U.S. Senate

Their most prominent candidate in the 2006 election was retired Air Force officer Glenda "Gail" Parker who ran in the U.S. Senate election. The contest was a close race between Jim Webb and incumbent George Allen. Parker considered backing out late in the race if one of the other candidates would commit to funding new passenger rail systems and a new accounting system at the Pentagon, and agree to balancing the federal budget and paying off the federal debt. [ [,2933,225657,00.html - Independent Candidate Gail Parker Pondering Withdrawal From Va. Senate Race - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum ] ] She charged that the Republicans were indebted to the oil industry and that the Democrats to the automobile industry. [Interview with Brian Lehrer, "Brian Lehrer Show," WNYC, November 9 2006, 10:50 a.m.]

Parker ultimately did not back out or make any official endorsements, but she did offer some last-minute support to Webb.cite news | url = | title = 'Gail for Rail' throws support to Webb | work = The Hook | date = 2006-11-06 | accessdate = 2006-11-08 ] Parker garnered 26,106 votes, 1% of the total, but greater than the 7,231 difference between the two leading candidates. [ [ 2006 Virginia Senate elections results] , CNN.]

Comedian Stephen Colbert found her campaign jingle worthy of a post-election sing-along on his television show The Colbert Report.cite news | url = | title = Colbert's a fan of 'Gail for Rail' jingle | work = The Hook | date = 2006-11-15 | accessdate = 2006-11-15 ] Colbert also joked that Parker, whose real first name is Glenda, purposely changed her name to Gail just so it would rhyme with "light rail" to make the campaign jingle flow.

U.S. House of Representatives

As in 2004, in 2006 the party nominated or endorsed candidates in all eleven of Virginia's congressional districts for the November 2006 general election. To get their candidates on the ballot the Indy Greens of Virginia collected over 70,000 petition signatures.Fact|date=May 2008

2006 Indy Green endorsed/nominated congressional candidates included: 1st, Col Marv Pixton (1.4%), 2nd Col. John Kelly (write-in, 0.27%), 5th Joe Oddo (0.9% - nominated), 6th Barbar Jean Pryor (12.1%), 7th Dr. Brad Blanton (1.6%), 8th Jim Hurysz (2.8%), 9th Dr. Bob Lazo (write-in, 0.07%), 11th Ferdinando Greco (0.9% - nominated). [] [cite web
last = Miller,
first = Loraine
authorlink = Lorraine C. Miller
coauthors =
work = Virginia
publisher = Clerk of the House of Representatives
date = September 21, 2007
url =
format = HTML
doi =
accessdate = 2008-08-13

The party's 4th congressional district candidate Albert Burckhard received the second most votes of any third party candidate for Congress. [Tammy Lee, Independence Party of Minnesota, with 51,456 votes in Minnesota's 5th congressional district election, 2006, was the first. Statement by Libertarian media spokesman, 3rd Party round, C-SPAN, Nov 14.] According to the Virginia State Board of elections, Burckhard received 46,344, with 23.4% of the vote.cite news | url = | title = Elections 2006 Virginia U.S. House of Representatives Virginia 04 | publisher = CNN | accessdate = 2006-11-10 ]

2007 elections

In 2007 the Independent Greens endorsed or nominated candidates in nearly 20% of the state house and senate races. In Fairfax County (pop. 1,100,000) the party endorsed or nominated candidates on the ballot in 10 of 15 races and on election day received over 110,000 votes. Delvis McCadden received over 35% of the vote in his Roanoke race, [ [ Election_Results_for_2007] , State Board of Elections.]

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Scott York was re-elected. York an independent while not a member of the Indy Green, was endorsed by the party.

In Virginia's 1st congressional district special election, 2007, the party endorsed Lucky Narain, a U.S. Army reservist and Peace Corps veteran, with a Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University in early November. [Virginian Pilot] Narain welcomed and acknowledged the support and endorsement. [ [] ] At the Virginia Independent Party state December meeting, he was elected 1st Congressional District Chairman, and member of the central committee. On election day Narain received 1.78% (1,253 votes) of the vote. That is a slight increase from the 1.42% of the vote the Independent Green 2006 1st District congressional candidate retired U.S. Marine Col. Marv Pixton received.Fact|date=August 2008

2008 elections

Presidential Debates

The party organized presidential forums, or debates, before the major parties. Their first was January 22, 2007, at Randolph Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Participants scheduled were Gail Parker, Cindy Sheehan and Libertarian candidate Daniel Imperato of Florida, who saw himself as a potential unity/fusion nominee for Independent Greens, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists. [] But many state affiliates of these parties will only place party members on their ballots. Ten more Indy Greens presidential forums were planned for 2007, at universities and colleges. The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia hosted the second on February 5, 2007. Kent Mesplay of California, a 2004 Green Party (GPUS) Presidential nomination candidate running again, accepted an invitation. Fact|date=August 2008 Other invitees included New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel.

On July 10, 2007, the party hosted an event at the National Press Club. [Washington Examiner] Fact|date=August 2008 Over 50 Indy/Independent Green endorsed/nominated candidates for state and local office gave brief speeches in the first hour. Former CBS newsman Marvin Kalb served as moderator for a presidential debate at the same event, with Daniel Imperato, Kent Mesplay, Ohio journalist Joe Schriner, West Virginia actor and film producer Jesse Johnson, and Gail Parker, acting as a placeholder for Michael Bloomberg. The 2004 Green Party vice presidential nominee Pat LaMarche moderated another part of the debate. [Washington Post] Fact|date=August 2008

During a three week, eleven state tour in August 2007, Gail Parker made a campaign appearance in Oklahoma where she spoke out on pro-rail issues and in favor of a Bloomberg Independence/Green campaign. [ [ State native wants your green light for presidency | ] ] [] Parker assisted Arkansas Greens by gathering 160 petition signatures (of over 17,000) to get the party on the ballot. [ [ One Candidate for Green Party Presidential Nomination is Collecting Signatures] , "Ballot Access News", August 7, 2007.]

In late August 2007, Michael Bloomberg came to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Afterwards he met Gail Parker, Carey Campbell, and other leaders of the Committee to Draft Michael Bloomberg for President. [ [] ] Fact|date=August 2008On January 1, 2008, in Independence, Virginia, the party became the first state party in the nation to launch a petition drive to put Bloomberg on the ballot for president.Fact|date=May 2008 The vice-presidential candidate listed was Congressman Ron Paul.

Bloomberg for President petitions delivered

On January 1, 2008 in Independence, Virginia, the Independent Greens became the first state political party in America to launch a petition drive to put Michael Bloomberg on the ballot for president. [" [ Michael Bloomberg could be on ballot in Virginia] ", "Democratic Underground", 18 August 2008 (accessed 20 August 2008).] On April 14, 2008, the party delivered 10,000 petition signatures to the Virginia State Board of Elections to put Michael Bloomberg on the ballot for President, with Paul as his running mate. [ IGVA News] ] On February 28, 2008, Bloomberg stated "I am not — and will not be — a candidate for president," and added that he is "hopeful that the current campaigns can rise to the challenge by offering truly independent leadership. The most productive role that I can serve is to push them forward, by using the means at my disposal to promote a real and honest debate." [Bloomberg, Michael R. " [ I'm Not Running for President, but...] ", "The New York Times", February 28, 2008.]

By August 1, 2008 the Indy Greens had submitted over 18,000 petition signatures to the state board of elections to put the stand-in Bloomberg/Paul ticket on the ballot in Virginia. On August 15, 2008 the Virginia State Board of Elections confirmed that they had collected enough signatures to put Bloomberg and Paul on the ballot. Bloomberg and Paul have until 5 September to decline the ballot line. [" [ Mayor Bloomberg on Virginia ballot] ", "Third Party Watch", 19 August 2008 (accessed 20 August 2008).]

By that time, the party announced that Bloomberg had declined the ballot line, and that the party was encouraging Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens to run in promotion of his plan to decline the U.S.' foreign oil intake by investing in alternative energy. [" [ T. Boone Pickens invigted (sic) to join Independent Greens presidential ticket; Bloomberg withdraws] ", "Third Party Watch", 5 September 2008 (accessed 6 September 2008).]

Nomination of Baldwin

The party ended up nominating the Constitution Party ticket of Chuck Baldwin and Darrell Castle on September 8th of that year. [" [ Independent Green Party of Virginia Puts Baldwin on Ballot] ", "Third Party Watch", 8 September 2008 (accessed 8 September 2008).]

Independence Party of America

On January 10, 2008, the Virginia Independent Green Party affiliated itself with the Independence Party of America, a new national party headed by Frank MacKay of the Independence Party of New York. [ [ Virginia Independent Green Party Affiliates with Independence Party] , "Ballot Access News", January 13, 2008.] "The New York Observer" reported talks by Independence Party and Independent Green leaders about supporting a Bloomberg run for the Presidency have been underway for months.Fact|date=May 2008

Congressional candidates

On April 1, the Parker for Senate campaign submitted 10,731 petition signaturesFact|date=May 2008 to put Glenda "Gail" Parker on the ballot for U.S. Senate. The Parker campaign and the Indy Greens would ultimately submit 22,00 petition signatures, and Mrs. Parker quailfied for the ballot on May 26, 2008. [" [ Gail 'For Rail' Parker running for Senate again] "", "The Hook", March 31, 2008.] [ [ Cash for Warner Senate bid dwarfs funds of GOP rivals] ", "The Washington Times", April 21, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-24.] .

Libertarian candidate Nathan Larson was assisted in collecting petitions with the Indy Greens in the 1st congressional district and was endorsed by them after making the ballot. Fact|date=August 2008

In the 6th Congressional District Dr. Janice Lee Allen is on the ballot an Independent [] ,and Indy Green endorsed candidate. Fact|date=August 2008

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Ron Fisher made the ballot in the 8th congressional district as an Indy Green. []

Independent Green leader Joe Oddo was also certified for the ballot in the 11th Congressional District of Virginia. []

Endorsement of the Pickens Plan

On July 7, 2008 the Indy Greens endorsed the Pickens Plan, a proposal by financier T. Boone Pickens, to build wind and solar power, and cut dependence on foreign oil.


External links

* [ Indy Greens of VA official website]
* [http://www.GailParker.US/ Gail Parker for US Senate]

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