Stein Fails to Make South Dakota Ballot; Greens, Focus Down Ticket!

Rick Knobe is considering a third-party vote to send a message that the two major parties have failed by putting forward the “nauseating” and “dangerous” Donald Trump and the “not much better” Hillary Clinton. Knobe will have Libertarian Gary Johnson and Constitutionist Darrell Castle to pick from, but not Green Jill Stein. Jay Pond, South Dakota Stein organizer, publicly threw in the towel Monday evening, a day before Stein’s nominating petition was due in Pierre. Stein needed 2,774 signatures; her people collected… not that many:

Jay Pond here,- a huge thank you to all who helped gather signatures to get Jill Stein on the ballot in SD. We fell short of the number needed and unfortunately she will not be one of options.

We had a tough challenge and many of us had to endure criticism for having the audacity to willing participate in our own democracy. I heard the words: ridiculous, stupid, selfish, out of touch, angry, childish. The truth is the opposite. You are all amazing smart people who believe in a future that is responsive to our needs [Jay Pond, Facebook post, South Dakota for Jill Stein, 2016.08.01].

I will on principle reject the notion that anyone trying to place Jill Stein on the 2016 Presidential ballot is “ridiculous, stupid, selfish, out of touch, angry” or “childish.” I could see how a smart citizen of good conscience could say that Jill Stein would bring a more positive, progressive agenda to the White House than Hillary Clinton.

I won’t rule on how “smart” all of the Stein circulators are. I will say they fell short of “amazing.” Circulators in Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania apparently got the job done for Stein without recognized party status. Getting the job done didn’t even require “amazing” performance. Placing Stein on the ballot required finding 11% of the South Dakotans who voted for Sanders in the June 7 primary who were disgusted enough or democratic enough to sign a Stein petition. Placing Stein on the ballot could have been done by naming electors, rallying circulators, and distributing petitions by July 1, then dispatching twenty circulators to each gather five signatures every day in July. Five signatures a day: that’s an hour on a bad day at the courthouse. That’s five minutes in the parking lot at Jazz Fest.

Coulda woulda shoulda—doesn’t matter. Results matter. If Stein/Green people want results, they need to turn their amazing smarts to electing progressives here in South Dakota. Tilt the balance in Congress by volunteering and voting for Paula Hawks and Jay Williams. Tilt the balance in Pierre by contributing to and electing Democrats like Clara Hart, Mark Winegar, Michael Hanson, Kathy Tyler, and me. And then think about organizing another petition drive to win ballot access for the Green Party in the next election.

Amazing smart people don’t always win, but they won’t dwell on loss. Amazing smart people will do what can be done with the options available.

28 Responses to Stein Fails to Make South Dakota Ballot; Greens, Focus Down Ticket!

  1. Anthony D. Renli

    This honestly isn’t surprising to me.
    The Greens and the Libertarians (to a lesser extent) really do a lousy job at building a local infrastructure and executing a ground game at a local level. The Green party has 20 years of being together and really haven’t had more than a single state house/senate member in any single state at any given time. They have had a single city government run by the Green party once (in California). The Libertarians have a slightly better record, but they have been around since the 70’s and still really don’t have any major success stories to talk about.
    Until they start seriously recruiting on a local level. Until they start running candidates constantly at the local level and prove that they can govern and work with others nobody is going to trust them. Until they do that throwing someone up for President every four years is at best nothing more than a vanity exercise, at worst a way to line the candidates and consultants pockets.
    And, yes, I know that the Democratic party in South Dakota can’t constantly run candidates/raise money/build a local presence in parts of the state. This is, in my opinion, about half of why we lose. We forfeit.

  2. I agree, Anthony, with the value of recruiting not just volunteers but candidates at the local level. A new party needs volunteers and voters to invest in the new party label attached to people they know, neighbors who live down the street, party activists whom they will see every week.

    Dems need to do the same thing, contest every seat available. Party buy-in starts at home, not on CNN.

  3. It’s ok. We have another rock to vote for on the presidential ballot.

  4. Robin Friday

    A vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump. I had a whole reply typed to you, Cory, and it went “POOF” into cyberspace. So I’ll just say, I’m a greenie too, but I’m a pragmatist too. Stein didn’t make the ballot, but Johnson did. And a vote for Johnson remains a vote for Trump.

  5. Man, I can’t catch a break. Was feeling the Bern, then after he was cast out, I convinced myself I could vote for Jill, now she is done in SD too! This is a really bad year. Will vote the down ticket, but dang!

  6. Sorry about that poofage, Robin! I wish I knew what happened. I’ll repeat: a South Dakota Democrat casting a vote for Johnson is helping Trump hold the state for Republicans. A South Dakota Republican voting for Johnson is helping Clinton and us Dems pull off a historically unusual victory.

    Hank, you sound you are bad luck. But I’ll still take my chances: if you’re voting down your ticket for me, thank you, and tell your friends! :-)

  7. Kim Wright

    Unfortunately, most South Dakotans only know or recognize the current two-party system which leaves Republicans in control and Democrats trying to catch up…I doubt there was a statewide organization in South Dakota supporting the Green candidate; but I have no doubt those who sought to add Jill Stein to the ballot are strong supporters. It will be an interesting (to say the least) election process. I would urge ALL voters to make a difference by making the right choices on ballot measures including No on referred law 19 and Yes on V.

  8. Those strong supporters could have used an organization. I’m not sure any nomination happens without organization.

    I agree that voting NO on 19 and YES on V will be good for voters’ rights.

  9. great energy cory. democrats are the ticket, and bad mouthing them is bad mouthing yourself if liberal values are what one espouses. yes republicans have wicked campaign and funding abilities compared to democrats. we’ll get there and win.

    Paula is no princess, she is an intelligent candidate who can change south dakota. thanks for running. both of you. and Jay Williams. We are used to losing to $10 million dollar republican war chests. We don’t have to apologize for that.

    Vote for democrats everytime. don’t get all balled up on Bernie, and then Jill…oh my! Bernie has been, would have and will continue to be a strong liberal voice. Maybe he’ll be a democrat someday. We would have been lucky to have been able to elect him. But Hillary will do the same job likely better. the woman knows her way around the block perhaps better than Bernie.

    time for a woman at the top!!!

  10. Amy Harmon

    People who are not Democrats or Republicans run all the time but constantly lose to the more familiar, and better funded, two-party system. It will take a lot more voters daring to vote outside of those two main parties for these others to gain more traction from the bottom up. I do see it happening more and more though, as disgust and disillusionment for the two main parties increases, and that gives me great hope. More third party candidates are running and polling better these days than in the past. We just need more voters to support them. I only wish it were moving in that direction faster. It’s long past time Americans make the choice to break up the two party stronghold. There are too many people who still don’t realize our power when we unite together. #VoteValuesNotFears.

  11. Disgusted and disillusioned voters do need to dare to vote for new leaders instead of withdrawing from the process and settling for the status quo. Third-party candidates need to persuade those voters that they have viable alternatives. Third parties need to organize, campaign smart, and avoid distractions.

  12. Darin Larson

    The trouble with third parties is that their best ideas get taken up by one of the major parties–usually the Democrats. Once the major party adopts your idea, the best way to get those ideas put into policy is to vote for the major party.

    Stein flew to Cincinnati yesterday when her rally was in Columbus, so she had to drive 100 miles after her flight landed and was late to the rally. Headlines in the paper, “It’s not easy being Green.”

  13. If one of the major parties adopts an idea put forward by a minor party, isn’t that a success for the minor party?

  14. Darin Larson

    Cory, that is a success for the minor party, but it removes the impetus for the minor party’s existence. It is no longer an imperative that the third party exist if their ideas become part of the mainstream.

  15. Not convinced Jay Pond actually wanted to get Jill Stein on the ballot here in South Dakota. He is either a complete incompetent or a saboteur, yet I think he was compensated by the Jill2016 campaign.

  16. Darin, at that point, does anyone outside the third-party power structure care? If the political system is meant to burp up practical solutions for policy problems, and if third parties manage to exist just long enough to push major parties to adopt their ideas, then who cares if those third parties don’t stick around to become political powers unto themselves?

    Leo, stick with the simpler solution. Saboteurs conspire for some great gain. If Team Stein felt Pond did not perform adequately, Team Stein could choose not to compensate Pond. To what end would one throw one’s sabots into the Machine Stein in South Dakota?

  17. Darin Larson

    Cory says “Darin, at that point, does anyone outside the third-party power structure care?”

    No, but that is the reason the third parties fail to develop into major parties.

  18. @Darin & @Cory Are you aware of the predominance of independent voters in the US?

    Corruption and coercion in the two major parties is my best guess for the loss of faith in the two party system. Generally, people do not like poison. So who is voting in the general? I predict a Trump victory, very sad to say. Independents don’t gravitate toward Hillary.

  19. Yes, Leo, I am aware, and that loss of faith in the two parties is a big problem when it leads to political disengagement. Democracy requires attention and participation. If independents are going to check out, we have a problem.

    If independents really are unhappy with corruption and coercion in the two major parties, they have a patriotic duty to fight that corruption and coercion. Checking out allows that corruption and coercion to grow and rule. Either join the existing parties and clean them up, or form a new party that stays clean and beats the GOP and Dems.

  20. Darin Larson

    Leo, that is very interesting and enlightening but independent minded folks are not the same as an organized political party. Bernie was a popular independent but he needed to work through the Democratic Party to have the effect that he did. Independents are also all over the map with regard to their core political beliefs. Witness Bernie supporters who are not voting for Hillary.

    How an independent can look at Trump and say that’s who the country needs is beyond my comprehension.

  21. Open up the debates! Tomorrow night at Hofstra University will be a sham perpetrated upon the American voting public without the presence of Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. The League of Women’s Voters would clearly have invited both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson to the debate stage, but of course their organization was overtaken by the collusion of the RNC and the DNC in the formation of the Commission of Presidential Debates.

    We do not get to vote for Jill Stein here in South Dakota (Thanks Jay Pond!); however, any Stein or Johnson supporters can continue to call upon the Commission to open up the debates. Also, if you are interested in phone banking we can do that too. Funny…never heard a word about either of these alternatives from Jay Pond the State Coordinator for Jill Stein’s campaign. If we couldn’t do it here, we could certainly help nationwide as we are only one of two states that do not have an alternative to vote our conscience and vote for Jill Stein.

  22. Vote Johnson.

  23. Grudznick, please explain your logic why a Jill Stein supporter would vote for Gary Johnson.

  24. Mr. Leo, I have no idea, but I think I am voting for Gary Johnson and would like to encourage others to do so. I don’t even think I’ve heard about this Jill Stein. Is she sane?

  25. Grudznick, From my vantage point, I think Jill Stein is clearly qualified to be President of the United States of America. Even though Gary Johnson is a former Governor, I do not feel the same way about him. However, his Vice Presidential running mate, Bill Weld, also a former Governor (MA) is clearly qualified. I do not support the Libertarian ideology as I think it is wholely impractical. Despite my bias, I think that Gary Johnson should be on that debate stage along with Dr. Jill Stein. For an introduction to Jill Stein, you might find interesting her recent interview with Ralph Nader here:

  26. Don Coyote

    @grudznick: Johnson isn’t a Libertarian in anyway shape or form. He’s a turd in the punchball. He claims he’s for lower spending and smaller government but New Mexico debt exploded under his governorship. Don’t vote, it only encourage the bastards.

  27. Leo, Jill Stein is a friggin quack. She is more of a witch doctor than someone who supposedly has been a trained medical professional. Someone who is that far out of touch with the reality of the world in which we live in should not be even considered for the presidency, and then there is Stein.

    Hillary Clinton was not my first choice for president, she was my second. She beat out the first choice and I will do my damnedest to get her elected. I am too damn old to speak Russian and to proud to do so as well.

  28. It is a question of priorities and values. Addressing climate change, universal healthcare and an end to corporate giveaways as is embodied in the TPP and TTIP and DAPL (which will only hurt us in the end) are important to me, as they were enumerated by Bernie Sanders. I have not heard one statement from Hillary Clinton regarding any opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline – likely because she is in a bind with her corporate donations from the oil and gas industry. The only candidate left in the field who shares those values is Jill Stein.