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Green Party LogoThe 2008 Green National Convention in Chicago will highlight Illinois Greens' triumph over ballot access obstruction


For Immediate Release:
Friday, June 27, 2008

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
Ruth Weill, National Convention Coordinator, 414-350-2107,
Patrick Kelly, Illinois Green Party Media Coordinator, 773-203-9631,

2006 Illinois Green gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney will host a forum for Green presidential candidates, Friday, July 11

Convention site recalls the dramatic 1968 Democratic Convention and street protests

Media credentialing page for the Green National Convention:
Updated convention information and schedule:
Convention press kit:
General information on the convention:
Green Presidential Candidates:

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party, holding its 2008 national convention in Chicago, will highlight the growth of the Illinois Green Party after adversity faced by Illinois Greens in the 2006 election. The convention, at which Greens will nominate their presidential ticket, will take place July 10-13.

In 2006, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevitch spent an estimated $800,000 in taxpayers' money in an effort to keep the Green Party off the ballot. Illinois Greens, however, overcame attempts by the state's Democratic establishment to disqualify candidates.

Green gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney drew over 10% of the vote in 2006, losing the race but guaranteeing Greens their place in future Illinois elections. This year, more than 50 Green Party candidates will appear on ballots all across the state.

Mr. Whitney will moderate the Green presidential candidates' forum during the 2008 Green Convention. The forum is scheduled for Friday, July 11, 7 to 9 pm at the Palmer House Hilton and will feature the four candidates for the Green nomination: Jesse Johnson, Cynthia McKinney, Kent Mesplay, and Kat Swift.

"The hostile efforts to keep Greens off the Illinois ballot in 2006 are typical of actions taken by both Democrats and Republicans in many states to limit the political field to two parties," said Budd Dickinson, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "The intense signature-gathering campaign organized by Illinois Greens gave voters a real choice in 2006, and will do so again in 2008 and 2010. The persistence we've seen in Illinois is the key to the growth of the Green Party as a force for political change."

Greens have faced and often overcome similar adversity in many other states where Democratic and Republican officials have conspired to pass election rules designed to hinder third party and independent candidates.

In 2004 and 2006, Pennsylvania Green candidates faced vicious tactics by Democratic politicians and lawyers to block them from the ballot, in addition to grossly unfair Pennsylvania election laws. The states' rules require Democratic and Republican candidates for President, Governor, and US Senator to hand in 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot, while third party and independent candidates must hand in over 67,000 signatures. The Green Party of the United States held its 2007 national meeting in Reading, Pennsylvania.

For a complete list of Illinois Green Party candidates, visit:

Chicago Conventions in 1968 and 2008

The site of the 2008 Green National Convention commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic Convention, outside of which thousands of antiwar activists gathered to protest the war and the nomination of pro-war candidate Hubert Humphrey. The confrontation in the streets of Chicago between protesters and law enforcement erupted in a police riot under the command of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

"As in 1968, the United States is today mired in a war that began with an intentional deception by the administration in power" said Sheldon Schafer, Green candidate for Illinois' 18th Congressional District (Peoria) ( "We've learned since 1968 that US wars -- Vietnam, Iraq and possibly others -- are the product of bipartisan collusion, not just the party in the White House. We've learned that protest isn't enough, that we must replace those in public office with people dedicated to global peace and justice."

"That's why the Green Party is so important in the 21st century, to change our country's political landscape," said Mr. Schafer. "In 1968, antiwar protesters were outside the Democratic Convention, rallying in the streets. In 2008, Americans against the war will be inside the Green Party Convention, some of them running for the White House and Congress."


Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

2008 Green National Convention: Live Green, Vote Green

Media credentialing

Convention press kit:

Video of Green presidential candidates

Links to Green Presidential Candidates' web sites

Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:

Green Party News Center

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