Cynthia McKinney registers to vote in California as Green, moves toward Presidential bid

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Hat Tip: By Jeffry Scott, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney seems to have ended any notions of running again for state office in Georgia and has registered to vote in California where she is still considering a run for president on the Green Party ticket.

In recent weeks McKinney — who last month posted a letter on her Web site declaring that she had no interest in the Green Party nomination — has appeared at fund-raisers in California, where a group named Run! Cynthia! Run! is trying to draft her as the party’s candidate in California.

McKinney’s name already is on the ballot in California, along with six other Green Party candidates, including Ralph Nader. She and the others were nominated by a Green Party convention in September in California.

The fact that McKinney’s name remains on the ballot has given supporters hope, said John Morton, a California Green Party delegate.

“She’s got us all guessing, but she hasn’t removed her name, and that’s a good sign. I talked to her last week, and she said she’s very interested but not ready to make an announcement.”

Two weekends ago McKinney attended a rally with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who is running for the San Francisco seat held by Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy’s Pelosi. Sheehan told the crowd that McKinney is running for president.

McKinney, who served five often-provocative terms as a U.S. congresswoman representing voters in DeKalb County and roughly the southeastern section of metro Atlanta, has been registered to vote in Marin County since May 4, 2007, according to records at the Marin County Registrar of Voters. Marin is a county north of San Francisco.

According to the Georgia secretary of state’s office, she is still registered to vote in Georgia, but has not voted since December 2006. Secretary of state director of media Matt Carrothers said state law does not require she notify the state that she is now a registered voter in California.

“But since she is registered to vote there, she cannot vote in Georgia,” Carrothers said.

Vicki Leidner, chairwoman of the Feminst Issues Group of the San Francisco Green Party, hosted a fund-raiser for McKinney two weekends ago when, she said, “we raised a good chunk of money, especially for someone who hasn’t declared she is running.”

Leidner said McKinney has sought to keep a low profile in moving to the San Francisco area, where she has been accepted as a doctoral student at the University of California at Berkeley. “After you been through the things she’s been through, you learn to be a little quiet about things,” Leidner said.

Brent McMillan, political director for the national Green Party, said the party also is seeking to get her name on the ballot in Illinois. “California and Illinois are the first- and second-largest Green Party states.”

McKinney is not yet registered as a presidential candidate in Illinois, and, by law, cannot register before Oct. 29. To register she must first submit a petition with between 3,000 and 5,000 signatures to be eligible.

California delegate Morton said McKinney has a place in Marin County but he believes she still divides her time between San Francisco and Atlanta.

“We expect her to move out here by the first of the year,” he said. “She still has matters to deal with back in Atlanta.” Morton said he believes McKinney, who the Green Party courted to run in 2004, is the perfect Green candidate.

“She’s very outspoken, and even when she was a Democrat she didn’t follow the dictates of the party,” he said. “She has a Green mind, believes in social justice, is against the war.”

McKinney could not be reached for comment.

Cynthia McKinney leaves democratic party, tests waters for Green Presidential bid

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Cynthia McKinney, a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia, was in California this weekend to test the waters for a potential bid for the Green Party’s 2008 Presidential Nomination.  Last month, she left the Democratic Party in the wake of its failure to end the War in Iraq and the many and sundry defeats it has sustained since taking back power on Capitol Hill this past January.

McKinney, defeated for re-election last fall by a handkerchief head uncle tom, has been courted steadily since then to take up the Green banner and continue her progressive fight against the imperialistic Bush war machine.   An announcement is expected shortly about her future intentions.

Congressman Hank Johnson faces possible primary challenge

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Cynthia McKinneyGo to fullsize image

May 09, 2007
Rep. Hank Johnson’s (D-Ga.) mild-mannered style will never be mistaken for that of his outspoken predecessor, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D). But that doesn’t mean fellow Democrats are going to let him cruise to a second term without another heated primary.Democrats in the Atlanta area say Johnson is keenly aware that McKinney’s departure has opened a door to any number of ambitious would-be members of Congress. Johnson, wary of pronouncing himself reelected, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that he’s hearing several names.

Anti-McKinney Democrats largely coalesced behind Johnson last year to knock off McKinney for the second time in the last three cycles. Now some of them — and possibly McKinney — apparently have turned their eyes on the quiet freshman as well.

“He’s certainly hearing rumors,” Johnson spokeswoman Deb McGhee Speights said. “But he wouldn’t be surprised, certainly, at this point if there is a challenger.”

Pervasive speculation has it that DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones will drop his U.S. Senate bid to enter the race, and Democrats are not counting out repeat bids by McKinney or former Rep. Denise Majette (D-Ga.). Majette beat McKinney in 2002 but vacated the seat for a failed bid for Senate in 2004, at which point McKinney retook her old seat. Jones’s campaign dismissed the rumors and spoke highly of Johnson. But many Democrats are dumbfounded by Jones’s flirtation with running for Senate.

Jones, who has said he is running but is still technically in an exploratory phase, raised a meager $18,000 in the first quarter and has a spotty personal history that might be hard to overcome statewide. At the same time, he has crossover appeal because he is conservative and black.

A Strategic Vision poll from last month showed current Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) up 57–29 in a head-to-head match-up.

As a black Democrat in Georgia, Jones figures to have a strong shot at the Democratic nomination and could scare off other candidates, according to Georgia political operatives and observers.

Atlanta Democratic consultant Angelo Fuster, who has worked for Jones in the past, said people underestimate Jones at their own peril, and Johnson surely wouldn’t.

“I think that [Johnson] has some concerns that Vernon is going to run against him,” Fuster said. “The general consensus is that Hank would have a difficult competition if Vernon decided to run for the House.”

University of Georgia political science Professor Charles Bullock said Jones, who is term-limited in his current job at the end of 2008, is much better known than Johnson is.

Before entering Congress, Johnson served as a DeKalb commissioner beneath Jones.

“That would certainly be a much more winnable seat for him,” Bullock said. “There was some thought when McKinney was in there that he might run against her once his term was up. So this is not novel speculation that he might run in the 4th district.”

Jones spokesman Jamie Grey said the speculation is unfounded and based on race, but he also suggested Jones would have beaten both Johnson and McKinney.

“You’re hearing that from some naysayers and some ne’er-do-wells that really want to look for a person of a different hue to run under the Democratic banner for the Senate,” Grey said. “If Vernon wanted to be the congressman from the 4th congressional district, he would be it now.”

Grey also said any of the other names being mentioned likely would not be able to beat Johnson.

Johnson won in 2006 partially thanks to the backlash from McKinney’s dust-up with a U.S. Capitol Police officer. The officer didn’t recognize her and tried to make her go through a security check, from which members are exempt.

Johnson gained a primary runoff with McKinney and defeated her 59–41 in August. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic, and he went on to sail through the general election.

Democrats say they believe McKinney might be interested in running for her old seat now that another year has passed since the event. McKinney has remained a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq and has been giving speeches, including at a peace conference in Malaysia in February where President Bush was labeled a “war criminal.”

Johnson hesitated to support the Iraq war supplemental last month, but eventually decided to join Democrats. Speights said though Johnson wants the troops out soon, it was the best option and Johnson wasn’t concerned about a primary challenge from the left.

McKinney, for her part, tried to position herself toward the end of the 2006 runoff as the No. 1 opponent of Bush.
She has been working to retire a $60,000 campaign debt and has updated her website in recent months to reflect her progress. She’s about one-sixth of the way there, according to the site.

Majette ran for state school superintendent in 2006 after losing her Senate bid and again lost by a wide margin. Like Johnson did in 2006, she won in 2002 with an assist from McKinney’s antics.

McKinney and Majette could not be reached for comment.

DeKalb County Commissioner Burrell Ellis said McKinney loyalists have rallied around Johnson in the early going and that he looks ready if a challenge heads his way.

“I think he’s now making his own mark and looking strong,” Ellis said.

Sistas Unite

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Rep. Cynthia McKinney

Three outstanding sista’s labored mightily to hold up the blood stained banner of black progressive politics in 2006.  Karen CarterDonna Edwards, and Cynthia McKinney.   It is damning for the CBC to have given monetary and pac support to their two of the ladies opponents and did next to nothing for their colleague, Cynthia McKinney.

Sista Leutisha Stills of Black Agenda Report has an excellent report detailing the greater progressive tendencies of black female Congresswomen than their black male counterparts.  In the case of these particular sistas it takes a woman to do a “man’s job” because the brothas ain’t man enough to stand up for what’s right for America and for their constituents.

“Dollar Bill” Jefferson has repeatedly voted to eliminate estate taxes on the wealthiest people in the nation so that they can pass their wealth to their children and heirs tax free.  This, while thousands of his constituents are desperate to come home to New Orleans and there is no affordable housing, no jobs, and inadequate schools.  Slashing taxes for the rich was never helpful before Katrina,and it won’t be after.  It is time for a new direction.  Perhaps the people will have that opportunity after he’s convicted on federal bribery charges. His re-election over Karen Carter is a defeat for progressives and for the people of New Orleans.

Like Jefferson, Al Wynn is also an irresponsible Corporate Whore too wedded to corporate payola to vote the interests of his constituents.  Wynn for to allow the Bush Administration to go to war in Iraq and has placed his vote on the side of wingnuts who authorized the development of “low-yield” nuclear weapons.  Just what the doctor ordered, more weapons to make war on brown people with natural resources America needs.  He has lost his way and it is time for a progressive alternative:  Donna Edwards. 

Finally, Hankerchief Head  Hank Johnson, defeated Cynthia McKinney on a shameless Pro-Israel platform which will allow them to bomb their enemies back to the stone-age, regardless of actual threat or potential loss of life.  He claims to be liberal, but somebody who supports Israeli aggression of the type that we saw this year is no liberal.  The bombing of Lebanon and the killing of innocents is an unconscionable human rights crime that should be condemned not championed.  I pray for a McKinney resurrection, but I am not really  hopeful.

It should be the mission of black progressives to form alliances and Political PAC’S to change the face of CBC into what it needs to be:  A progressive bulwark of freedom for the Nation.  They can start by helping to encourage these sistas and women like them to run for Congress.

Happy Birthday to me

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I won’t gonna post nothin’today, the 35thanniversary of my birth, but I heard from the Voice of God, as far as I am concerned, when Bruce Dixon, formerly of Black Commentator, contacted me on this blog.  The Black Commentator has been an uncompromising voice of authentic black thought and protest.  The former contributors, of whom he is one, have launched a new website and blog that pays me the ultimate complement by linking here.  I cannot tell y’all what a gift and ego boost that is to me.

It is more important than Courtland Milloy’s mention of this blog in the Washington Post, the establishment voice of the white power structure. It is the ultimate validation. I look forward to reading their site and have provided a link to them.

I bought Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign vehicle today, The Audacity of Hope, and will fill you in on my perspectives in the coming days.  I intend to be as supportive of the brotha as I can be, but I still firmly believe that with Russ Feingold’s exit from the Presidential race, Hillary’s position as the frontrunner is solidifying. Whichever road to the Convention I take, it will be with the express purpose of getting Obama on that ticket. I ain’t even gonna front, I believe people of color have earned a seat at the table of power. 

The time is right for it, and I feel he is the right one for this ticket. I don’t really care whether Bill and Hillary agree or not. Enough delegates can be elected that make his presence on the ticket mandatory.  The question is whether or not Obama deserves that kind of loyalty from us or from progressives more broadly.

The Congressional Black Caucus is still in my crosshairs and their growing power as a result of Tuesday’s election will be a focus this week, as well as the traitors in their midst:  Al Wynn, Artur Davis, David Scott, Gregory Meeks, Edolphus Towns, Hankerchief Head Johnson, and Sanford Bishop. I hate to include brotha Sanford on the list because he has been supportive of Cynthia McKinney, but he has too many black constituents (44%) to be voting like a damn redneck.

#2 The Congressional Black Caucus is falling down on the job: the betrayal of Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard

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The Congress of the United States is an undemocratic fiefdom of immense complexity, just like the federal government it oversees, which takes years to navigate with any degree of functional dexterity and a lifetime to completely master.  Even then, the member will still be a staff driven drone, indistinguishable one from the other to the general public.

The Congress of the United States is also a cocoon of ostentatious privilege that envelopes a member like a fly in a spider’s web.  Slowly and imperceptibly, like a spider, which slowly drains the life from its prey, the ostentatious power and privilege of a member of congress similarly drains the humanity out of the member until they are nothing but an emotionally paralyzed, dead husk, useless to each other and their constituents.

Even the Capitol itself is a Byzantine monstrosity.  Its confusing cornucopia of offices, formal spaces, and hideaways, mirror the Federal Government bureaucracy it symbolizes. Into this fantasy like world of power and prestige step the forty-three members of the CBC. I have spent the majority of my life in awe of these people, deluded into believing them Black symbols of excellence. On the contrary, they are mere mortals like the rest of us imperfect children of God.

The CBC is quick to stand up for the righteous principle of black representation when they feel an individual threat, but they were AWOL in 2002, 2004, and 2006 when those principles were heavily on the line in key races in Maryland(Mfume and Wynn), Georgia(McKinney), Texas(Rodriguez), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has their Uncle Tom’s too, and Alabama(Hillard). 

In honor of the September centennial anniversary of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riots, the political establishment, led by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, decided to launch another riot, as they did a century ago, to decapitate strong black leadership. Their target: Cynthia McKinney. This was a continuation of the racial assault launched against her four years ago when she and Earl Hilliardlost their seats to trojan horse corporate whores, Denise Majette and Artur Davis.

Left out of the racist media profiles of Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard, is a fair assessment of the history of struggle for black representation.  Clara Bingham, author of “Women on the Hill” wrote, “When the Voting Rights Act became law in 1965, the democratically controlled legislature tried to fight it by redistricting to maximize Democratic and white political power while minimizing black influence.” She also wrote that, “Racial bloc voting was the norm in Georgia. A 1989 survey showed that 86 percent of whites voted for the white opponents of black candidates.”  Into this breach, stepped then State Representative Cynthia McKinney in 1991. 

Again, Bingham writes, ” In July 1991, Cynthia, as a member of the legislature’s reapportionment committee, introduced the maximum black plan, or “Max Plan.” Her plan rewrote district lines, significantly  expanding the number of state legislative and congressional districts with a population that was more than half-black, assuring the election of a black candidate…”The Georgia Democratic Party resisted Cynthia’s plan.”

After two failed attempts and Justice Department rejection of redistricting plans that diluted black voting strength, Georgia passed Cynthia’s plan and she ran for Congress in the district she drew and won.  Earl Hillard played the same lead role in redistricting in Alabama.

The racist assault on majority-minority districts continued and Cynthia fought back. Those that opposed these efforts challenged her district and it was redrawn, reducing its black majority. She and Hilliard continued to win elections until they ran afoul of the Israel Lobby. Cynthia’s and Earl’s position on other issues mattered very little to the Lobby. Their districts were inundated with out-of-state money for trojan-horse candidates more compliant with a corporate or pro-Israel agenda.

Denise Majette, Cynthia’s trojan horse successor in 2002 campaigned on a platform of repealing estate taxes for the richest among us. Cynthia’s successor this year openly courted pro-Israel donors and slandered her by characterizing her as  anti-Israel.  Artur Davis, Earl Hilliard’s 2002 opponent did the same, even speaking before this year’s AIPAC conference in Washington.  Neither Cynthia or Hillard supports terrorists or the killing of innocent people by either side in the Arab-Israeli conflict. 

The CBC failed Cynthia and Earl, despite the tepid support they gave, by not doing more to defend the right of African American constituencies to choose representation that reflects their values.  The entire black caucus had a moral obligation to come together and defend them.  Neither received the support they deserved from every member of the CBC. They chose instead to look the other way and surrender to the the forces of anti-black reaction and aggressive pro-Israeli militarism.

For this, they are to be condemned.