Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis
Here is the Columbia Missourian newspaper article on the rally today in Jefferson City where Missouri Greens turned in the petitions for Nader and the Green Party.
--Tom Palazzolo, Gateway Greens
Greens hold rally at state capitol
- By MEGHAN LITECKY, Missourian staff
FRANCES SAYERS/Missourian [photo]
Green Party volunteers wait outside the State Capitol on Monday in Jefferson City before delivering petitions to the Secretary of State. The volunteers collected 21,308 signatures to put Ralph Nader on the state's presidential ballot.
July 25, 2000 JEFFERSON CITY -
Armed with sunflowers and signs, Green Party members and Ralph Nader supporters stormed the Missouri Capitol steps Monday afternoon, rushing inside to deliver 21,318 signatures to place Nader on the Missouri ballot for president. The party gathered enough signatures to place Nader and his running mate, Winona LaDuke, on the state presidential ballot.
"It was more than twice the number we needed to put the Green Party on the ballot," said Tom Sager, the group's candidate for Missouri's 8th district for U.S. Congress. "We are really happy about the response we received from the petition drive. We never thought we'd get this much support from the people of Missouri."
Eight of 15 Missouri Green Party members running for state government positions also attended the rally. They included senatorial candidate Evaline Talyor, of Kansas City, gubernatorial candidate Zaki Baruti, of St. Louis, and Ben Kjelshus, of Urich, who is running for lieutenant governor. In addition, there is Paula Elias, of Columbia, the party's secretary of state candidate; Ray Vanlandingham, of Springfield, Mo., who is running for state treasurer; Devin Scherubel, of Clark, running for Missouri's 9th district for U.S. Congress, and Mary Auer of St. Louis, who is running for Missouri's 3rd district for state Senate.
"I am so excited by this whole Green movement," Elias said. "It's about giving the power back to the people. It's about people taking responsibility, and people taking charge, and that is what Ralph Nader is all about."
Despite the candidates' and their supporters' high hopes and enthusiasm, it is hard to ignore the lack of success third parties often have in presidential elections. Green Party members, however, feel they are the ones to change all that.
"We think the people need a choice," Sager said. "We don't see any difference in Republicans and Democrats. We don't see any difference between Bush and Gore. We don't see any difference in Ashcroft and Carnahan."
Green Party members also feel they have the power to solve America's problem of low voter turnout. Members see Nader as the answer to this lack of participation.
"A lot of what gives us momentum is just we have a strong, powerful presidential candidate. We intend to aim at those voters who have been so disillusioned," Vanlandinghlam said. "Over 50 percent of the population did not vote in the last presidential election because they saw the two candidates as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum with no difference in between them."
The Green Party also stands out among mainstream political parties in how they run campaign finance. "We are a grass roots campaign and we do not need lots of money. We do not need paid advertising that does not apply to our campaign what-so-ever," Scherubel said.
"The kind of campaign we are going to be running is a very spirited campaign, and once people start re-ceiving our message to the everyday person and worker, farmers and the black people they are going to be excited about our campaign," Baruti said.
What makes the Green Party so popular among Americans of every age, sex and race is how the party relates to the average American by offering an alternative. "The Green Party is an alternative to the established political parties which are controlled by corporate America," said St. Louis Green Party member Tom Palazzolo.
"The Green Party is a party of working people that listen to the issues that affect the average Americans," said Columbia Green Party member Ken Leija. "It is something I can believe in. Nader and LaDuke have integrity."
The Green Party sees its battle as a crusade. "Just with the little dollars we are going to be like David who slewed Goliath," Baruti said. "We are going to slew [sic] the Goliath of politics: the Democrat and Republican parties who are financed by obscene amounts of dollars that take them away from the every day people."
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