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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Green Party receives national political status

The national Green Party announced Thursday it had received recognition from the Federal Election Commission as a national political party, a step one Green Party co-chair said puts the party in the \big leagues."" 




The Green Party earned national recognition in 2000 when well-known consumer advocate Ralph Nader ran for the presidency under the party's banner, earning 4 percent of the popular vote nationally. But the party that supported Nader was actually an association of state parties because the Greens had no national party that could act as the equivalent of the Republican or Democratic national committees, according to Green Party leaders. 




Thursday's FEC decision gave federal recognition to the national Green Party of the United States, formed this past July by the Association of State Green Parties.  




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""It basically means that the Green Party at the national level is in the big leagues in terms of national recognition,"" said Green Party Co-chair Ben Manski, a Madison resident. ""We see this as a sign of the public recognizing that the Green Party has taken root as an opposition party."" 




Another one of the party's six co-chairs, Jo Chamberlain of Half Moon Bay, Calif., said she expects the party to receive benefits from national party status in both its fund raising and its recruiting. 




National political parties are allowed to transfer unlimited funds to their affiliated state parties, meaning that ""we can raise money as a national organization that we can use to help our affiliated states,"" Chamberlain said. The national party can also help state organizations by holding joint fund-raisers with them. 




""We can raise more money than we could otherwise,"" Manski said. 




In addition, greater national recognition will make the party more attractive to voters, Chamberlain said. 




""It's a psychological-cultural thing,"" she said. ""People want to be part of an organization that's successful."" 




Dane County Green Party member Jim Young, who plans to run for Wisconsin governor in 2002, also said recognition can bring more people into the party. 




""It's a big emotional boost for not only our party but for other people who have been left out of the political spectrum,"" Young said. 




But Manski said federal recognition alone is not going to make voters see it as a mainstream political option. 




""I see it as one piece,"" he said, adding that how Green Party candidates fare at the polls will also impact the way people view the party. ""This is very good news in terms of us gearing up for elections next year.\

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