7/17/2008

The Unstoppable Cynthia McKinney Is Back As Green Party Presidential Nominee

Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney reassumed the national political stage Saturday, winning the presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States at the party's national convention here.Amid chants of "Paint The White House Green" and signs proclaiming, "Truth. McKinney 2008," McKinney revved up a crowd of about 350 Green Party delegates from 38 states who elected her on the first ballot."I am asking you to vote your conscience, vote your dreams, vote your future, vote Green," McKinney told the convention in a 30 minute speech following an address by her running mate, hip hop artist and political activist Rosa Clemente.


"I am asking you to vote your conscience, vote your dreams, vote your future, vote Green," McKinney told the convention in a 30 minute speech following an address by her running mate, hip hop artist and political activist Rosa Clemente.

She was joined by her father, former Georgia representative Billy McKinney; her mother Leola, and her son Coy, on the stage in the elegant Michigan Avenue hall where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs,

McKinney, 53, was the odds-on favorite to win the nomination, coming into the convention with a 10-1 delegate lead over her closest rival, Jesse Johnson of West Virginia.

Since last fall, McKinney has campaigned in 30 states on the slogan "Power To The People" and a platform that calls for single-payer universal health care, the immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, the creation of a Department of Peace, and reparations for African-Americans.

In her address, Clemente, 36, vowed that she and McKinney would fight all "-isms and ideologies that divide us." Clemente jokingly threw down a challenge to the nation's sitting vice president: "Dick Cheney, bring it on."

In her unlikely re-emergence on the national political stage as the presidential nominee of the Green Party, which she joined in 2007 after leaving the Democratic Party where she had served six terms representing DeKalb County's 4th Congressional district, McKinney faces a stiff – extremely long-shot – run at the presidency.

She as much conceded winning the presidency was not her goal in her speech Saturday. She said the thrust of her campaign would be to get 5 percent of the vote in November, effectively establishing the Greens as a third party that would not have to fight state-by-state to get on the ballot every four years.

"We are in this to build a movement," said McKinney to roars from the crowd. "A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the movement that will turn this country right-side-up again."

In Georgia, because the party failed to qualify under state laws, McKinney and Clemente will not be on the ballot in November. Green Party leaders expect she will be on the ballot in 36 states, where ballot qualification rules vary.

David Cobb, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2004 – and pulled in just 0.1 percent of the vote – said Saturday that one of the appeals of McKinney' as a candidate is her name recognition.

"Before she has even won the nomination, she has pulled new members into the party," said Cobb, who introduced McKinney at the convention, praising her work in Congress and for having introduced articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condolezza Rice. He estimated Green Party membership is about 500,000.

McKinney is the second former member of Congress from Georgia mounting a presidential run this year. Former 7th District Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) is running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket.

A lighten-rod political figure, McKinney was defeated in 2006 by the 4th District's present congressman, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), after a much-publicized run-in with a U.S. Capitol police officer and her accusations that the Bush administration covered up information about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

That incendiary quality seemed to endear McKinney to Green delegates who, throughout the convention, inveighed against the "crimes" of the Bush administration and the distortions of the news by "corporate media" – which, except for the cable network C-SPAN, have given little coverage to the convention.

"Don't expect me to keep a count of the major flip flops of the other candidates between now and November, I'm sure there will be plenty," McKinney told the crowd. "They are in this flip flop because they have to appear to share our values — while they serve somebody else."

[Source: Vidz King - Posted by WAR ON YOU]

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