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Champaign County Board District 9 - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 19th, 2005

01:41 pm - Champaign County Board District 9

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I am excited to announce that Nick Mann has decided to run his first political campaign as a Green for Champaign County Board District 9. He has my full and enthusiastic support. Nick just turned 18 and this will be his first opportunity to vote in an election, but I have known Nick since he was 13 and he has been energetically involved in electoral and activist politics in Champaign County for that entire time. I think Nick will bring a real vision of social justice to the County Board which is currently mired in the cheap power brokering of the status quo.

You may recall that I ran for county board in 2004 as a Green Party candidate. When I ran I had to gather about 300 signatures to get on the ballot and I had to face a frivolous month long court challenge to my legitimate right to run for office. I got on the ballot and ran a campaign on the principals of bring human rights to all residents of Champaign County (including GLBT folks), establishing a citizen's police review board, preventing out of control urban sprawl, and expanding the living wage to include outsourced contract workers as well as direct county emlpoyees. At the height of campaign season I came down with mono and it knocked me out when I needed energy the most. Despite my crippled campaign, I received very positive comments from the News-Gazette editorial board and I went on to get 14% of the vote.

14% of the vote means that the Green Party is now an Established Party under Illinois Law for that particular county board district election. That means that the Greens get a primary election this year. A primary election means that voters can go to the polls and say "I want the Green Party ballot for County Board, and the Democrat (or Republican) ballot for everything else." They get to do this because we're only an established party in the county board races. There isn't any contest in the Green Party primaries but there isn't any contest in the Democrat or Republican primaries for those offices either.

The act of taking that ballot will put you on record as supporting the Green Party. This primary is the easiest way to vote for the Green Party's progressive values and philosophy without having to even consider whether it is the "strategic" thing to do or not. Put the Democrats and Republicans on notice this spring by choosing the Green Party primary ballot for County Board and casting your vote for Nick Mann!

Comments:

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From:tinyshel
Date:December 19th, 2005 08:29 pm (UTC)
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Good luck to your friend Nick! My friend Keith is running for Coles County Clerk. He's running as a Democrat, but is very liberal and was previously involved with the Greens. He wrote a short blurb about his campaign here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/2/201339/223

I can't vote for him, as I'm in registered in Cook County, but I thought maybe you'd know some people down around Cole who might be interested.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 19th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Awesome, I'll spread the word.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 19th, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
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Yes! Joe also has my full and enthusiastic support. I haven't met Kostas yet, I would like to!
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From:zorbtrauts
Date:December 19th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC)
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Actually, the Democratic primary will be contested.

This is VERY good news. Steve Beckett and Barb Wysocki are the District 9 folks whose term is coming up. Nominally, they are Democrats - but their policies are remarkably conservative and they have sided with the Republicans in order to take control of the County Board leadership.

In the primary, they will be challenged by two VERY good candidates (though I've been sworn to secrecy as to who they are until they file in an hour and a half).

My concerns are that

1) the Republican primary won't be contested and Republicans in District 9 will take Democratic ballots in order to keep Beckett and Wysocki on the ballot in the fall

2) the Greens will take Green ballots because they can - though this won't actually have any practical effects in the primary, since it is uncontested - except reducing the number of liberal-types who might otherwise support the liberal Dems running in the primary.

This might well result Beckett and Wysocki (who are essentially stealth-Republicans) winning the Democratic primary in one of the county's most liberal (and Democrat-heavy) districts.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 19th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
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Well, the very real effect of people taking Green ballots is to identify themselves as Greens in the voter rolls.

Your clarification that the election will be contested is understood though and I will no longer suggest that there is no strategic reason to take a Dem primary ballot. I look forward to learning who these secret candidates are!

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From:zorbtrauts
Date:December 20th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC)
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Well, since they are no longer secret, I can tell you: Lisa Bell (who runs the children's dental access program for county residents) and Bob Kirchner.

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From:mixwhit
Date:January 10th, 2006 05:18 am (UTC)

reason to pull a dem ballot

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While I definitely understand the motivation to pull a Green primary ballot this Spring, I urge the Greens to pull a Dem ballot and vote Bell/Kirchner. I very much support Nick's running and hope he does well in the general. However, I want to remind everyone that there are two open seats and the Greens are only running one candidate. So, in order for Greens to have any say over the second candidate they'll need to pull a Dem primary ballot.

As for Republicans crossing over, I think it is less likely due to the 5-way Republican primary for Governor.
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From:fellow_traveler
Date:December 19th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC)
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When you say "put you on record as supporting the Green Party," does that mean there is some sort of automatic procedural effect from taking the Green ballot? Or is it symbolic?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 19th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
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It means that candidates who ask for the voter rolls from the county clerk will see a little "G" by your name in the field for this primary election rather than a little "D" or "R". Actually maybe they'll see a G/D or G/R, I dunno.

In Illinois you do not register with a party. You declare your party affiliation when you ask for a primary ballot. That affiliation is a fleeting thing which can be changed at every election cycle.

So when people fearlessly take Green ballots they can be counted and that will send a message to future candidates that there are X number of folks who really WANT to support the kind of issues the Greens stand for.
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From:snmnstrz21
Date:December 20th, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
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I'm going to admit my ignorance and say I have no idea how or where to vote in a primary. I have no clue what district I'm in and only a vauge idea of where I would even go to vote. Or heck, even WHEN I am supposed to vote.

However, I am at least registered to vote and I exercise my right to vote every four years.

But I don't know nuthin' about this primary of which you speak.
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