Since beginning in Germany, the Greens have been divided between "fundis" (advocates of fundamental principles of social transformation) and "realos" (advocates of realpolitik, or doing whatever is necessary to get elected). Both co-exist in the same German Green Party, where a socialist wing is not a barrier to electability.
But US Greens have been held back by an anti-left grouping which feels the Green Party must rid itself of socialists if it wants to be successful electorally. One of the most intense struggles has been in Missouri. As you go through the recent history of Missouri Greens, try to ascertain whether events reflect a personality conflict or efforts at a Joseph McCarthy-like anti-red campaign.
Jan 6 - Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance (GPSL) sends out invitations by mail and e-mail (including dozens to Kansas City) to the Missouri Green Party meeting on January 15.
Jan 15 - Missouri Green Party meeting discusses organizing around the World Trade Organization, Missouri Resistance Against Genetic Engineering (MoRAGE), Grassroots Earth Day 2000, and the 2000 Presidential election.
Jan 24 - Daniel Romano, of St. Louis, invites Matt Harline to participate in a joint Presidential campaign between Greens across the state.
Jan 28 - Matt Harline writes Daniel Romano that it is "absolutely impossible" to work with the Gateway Green Alliance.
Jan 29 - meeting scheduled by Kansas City Greens to "form a new Green Party in Missouri." No members of the Gateway Green Alliance were informed of or invited to the meeting.
Jan 30 - Gateway Greens learn that some members of the Kansas City group were e-mailing the draft of a "Hate Don Fitz" letter that appeared designed to exclude him from state-wide Green Party work.
Feb 1-10 - Gateway Greens discuss "Hate Don Fitz" campaign and conclude it is part of a 10 year effort by conservative Greens to drive radical environmentalists out of the Green Party. (In 1990, Howie Hawkins and Guy Chichester were kept out of the Green Party Organizing Committee meeting in Boston. In 1995 a few members of the Missouri Green Party attempted to expel Jeff Sutter. In 1996, GPUSA member Jana Cutlip was prohibited from entering the formative meeting of the Association of State Green Parties.)
Feb 6 - Don Fitz calls Ralph Nader to invite him to the Missouri Green Party nominating convention and solicit his help in urging cooperation between Greens in Missouri.
Feb 13 - Kansas City Greens hold make-up meeting for Jan 29 meeting, which was canceled due to snow. No members of the Gateway Green Alliance were informed of or invited to the meeting. Ann and Robert Cobb attended and urged the group to work with Greens in St. Louis. They were told cooperation was impossible because the St. Louis group gathered very few signatures for Ralph Naderís 1996 campaign.
Feb 26 - Kansas City Greens hold meeting to set up rival "Green Party of Missouri," establishing two competing signature-gathering efforts in the state. No members of the Gateway Green Alliance were informed of or invited to the meeting.
Mar 8 - Rival Kansas City Green Party meets to nominate Ralph Nader. No members of the Gateway Green Alliance were informed of or invited to the meeting.
Mar 10 - Green Party of St. Louis Co-Coordinators Barbara Chicherio and Daniel Romano send letter to Kansas City Green organizers (by mail and e-mail) inviting joint work on a Presidential campaign.
Mar 23-27 - Green Party of St. Louis sends invitations by mail and e-mail to over 370 Greens in Missouri (including several dozen in Kansas City) to the April 2 Missouri Green Party Presidential nominating convention.
Apr 1 - Daniel Romano and Barbara Chicherio of St. Louis receive letter from Kansas City dated March 19 (postmarked March 29) inviting them to "join our party" but saying nothing of invitation for a joint campaign.
Apr 2 - Missouri Green Party nominating convention. Though invited, no Kansas City Greens came. MOGP reviews 1996 campaign, when individuals from Kansas City caused insufficient signatures to be gathered by wasting months arguing that they wanted a new party that did not have the word "Green" in it. By the time they agreed to a Missouri Green Party effort, not enough time was left. MOGP discusses the problem of Kansas City Greens setting up a rival party in 2000 and offers to unite efforts by giving Kansas City 6 electors and selecting 5 from supporters of the St. Louis group. Dean Myerson says the Kansas City group wants to nominate the Treasurer of the Party and would agree to the MOGPís nominating the Chairperson.
April - Efforts to establish a unified petition effort seem thwarted as Kansas City Greens reject the MOGP nomination of Henry Robertson as Chairperson. MOGP offers the compromise that, if Kansas City Greens will nominate a Treasurer not involved in the 1996 conflict, the MOGP will make a similar nomination for Chairperson. Kansas City Greens agree, nominate a different person for Treasurer and attempt to tell MOGP who to nominate for Chairperson. Kansas City Greens then attempt to prevent the Chairperson from functioning and MOGP responds it will agree if the Treasurer is similarly prohibited from functioning. Kansas City Greens agree and then suggest the agreement means neither the Chair nor Treasurer will represent the Green Party to the public. MOGP responds that this is as biased as saying that neither the Chair nor Treasurer will receive or disburse funds. After weeks of delaying signature-gathering, Kansas City Greens finally agree to MOGP proposal that neither Chair nor Treasurer will perform duties except as agreed to by the Negotiating Committee.
April-May - MOGP nominates 3 persons to Negotiating Committee who joined the Greens after the 1996 disputes and asks Kansas City to reciprocate. Weeks go by without Kansas City Greens selecting Neg Comm members and do so only with national pressure from Dean Myerson. As a first step towards unity, MOGP suggests that the Chairperson (from St. Louis) should collect affidavits to secure the petition drive. Discussions with the Kansas City negotiation team reveals that their group has attempted to usurp the role of the Chairperson by soliciting affidavits without approval of the Negotiation Committee.
In 1992, the Gateway Green Alliance organized a conference on hazardous waste near Times Beach. Though a dozen groups participated, the Kansas City Greens refused the Gateway Green invitation to attend.
In 1992, the Kansas City Greens did not inform or invite the Gateway Green Alliance to the formative meeting of the Missouri Green Party. After learning of it from others in St. Louis, Gateway Greens attended.
In 1993, the Gateway Green Alliance organized a Missouri conference on landfills. Though 20 groups participated, the Kansas City Greens refused to endorse or attend.
In 1994, the Gateway Green Alliance organized a state-wide meeting to unite environmentalists and labor to oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Kansas City Greens did not endorse or attend.
In 1994, the Gateway Green Alliance organized the Second Citizens Conference on Dioxin. Though activists and scientists from throughout the world came, the Kansas City Greens did not endorse or attend.
In 1996, the Gateway Green Alliance attempted to organize state-wide opposition to the transportation of nuclear waste through St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City. The Kansas City Greens did not participate.
In 1998, the Gateway Green Alliance organized First Grassroots Gathering on Biodevastation: Genetic Engineering. Though activists and scientists from throughout the world came, the Kansas City Greens did not endorse or attend.
In 1998, the Gateway Green Alliance called a Missouri Green Party meeting in Columbia, Missouri to make it easier for those from around the state to come. Though ten St. Louis Greens drove to Columbia, no one from Kansas City responded to the invitation. That meeting decided to hold Missouri Green Party meetings in St. Louis until there was more geographically diverse participation.
During the time of the above events, the Kansas City Greens never invited the Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance to participate in any conference or coalition they built.
28 May 00