Why Is Green Party Candidate Ben Manski Using Democratic President Obama In His Campaign Literature?

I was truly amused when a college student thrust into my hand a piece of literature Tuesday at the President Obama rally.    The face-up side to the half-page thick-stock  flyer had a picture of Obama and two quotations he recently gave at a political event.

But then the flyer turned into a Ben Manski for State Assembly piece, and when flipped over featured more on his race along with a photo of the candidate.


Seems not too long ago Ben Manski was doing all he could to undermine the Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore to make sure Ralph Nader would be elected to the White House.  Seems the only thing America got was an election decided by the Supreme Court, and an invasion of Iraq.  Someone made a bad decision on who to back for the White House.  But now Manski is using  Democratic President Obama for his political advantage! 

Was President Ralph Nader not available for an endorsement?

The piece of political literature is an attempt to make voters think that Manski somehow has the backing of this president or more broad support among Democrats than he actually has.  There is NO mention that Manski is not a Democrat, nor that he is running on the Green Party ticket. 

This type of politics cheapens the credibility of Ben Manski.  Worse, this is not good for the political process that Manski claims needs fixing.

15 thoughts on “Why Is Green Party Candidate Ben Manski Using Democratic President Obama In His Campaign Literature?

  1. Skip

    Why are you blaming Nader for Bush’s victory in 2000? Gore won the popular vote. The rest of the 3rd party candidates on the Florida ballot tallied more than the difference between Gore and Nader there. And, as you said, the Supreme Court ruled the day.

  2. Kurt

    Perhaps Ben Manski supported Obama in 2008. I think that a lot of former Naderites did. Bush won because the election was stolen in Florida. Not because some of us voted for Ralph Nader – a proven progressive.

  3. Sarah

    Wow. This post is ridiculous!

    You must have forgotten your history. Al Gore won the election. It was stolen by the Republican Party and the Supreme Court.

    1. Andy Olsen

      Sarah, I’d be interested in your response to my post below on this subject.

      In Florida, the total Nader votes were 1,000s of times greater than the disputed margin that put the election in reach of the thieves.

      In New Hampshire, the total Nader votes were three times greater than the margin by which Bush won that state.

      These are hard numbers. With different circumstances in either state, Gore would have been President and world history would be far different.

      Are you really arguing that Green Party efforts that year were of no consequence and did not affect the election? “Vote for us, it makes no impact” sort of message?

  4. Sam Stevenson

    I enjoy getting drawn to new blogs by puerile posts like these. It’s not worth derailing the baby-boomer bitterness pouring out of this tantrum. There are just two things you should take into consideration:

    1: Hulsey had no presence at the Obama event that I’m aware of
    2: The Manski literature wasn’t trying to disingenuously co-opt Democratic enthusiasm but rather associate young people’s enthusiasm for progressive change vis-a-vis Obama to the 77th Assembly race in their back-yard.

    The tactic was simply effective. You can sputter and pout as much as you’d like but you can’t convincingly argue that Greens and Democrats are mutually exclusive terms (There are people out there that don’t mindlessly support candidates simply because of party affiliation). Note Manski’s growing list of Democratic endorsers and the very tough time Hulsey has had picking up endorsements that under ‘normal’ circumstances should have been a walk in the cake.

    PS To everyone kvetching about the 2000 election: give me a break, just because a group of people voted in protest to our increasingly moribund two-party system doesn’t put them at fault for Bush’s ‘election’. I would have a MUCH easier time arguing that Bush ‘won’ because Gore didn’t excite the progressive base that ended up voting for Nader. Please stop parroting this incredibly ill-conceived argument if not for me then for yourselves.

    1. Andy Olsen

      Red herring alert: The Nader voters of 2000 are not the ones being criticized here.

      The Green Party candidate in the 77th is the subject of the criticism, as well as the terrible judgment Ben Manski showed 10 years ago. Manski is whitewashing that history, hiding it in his campaign biographies even as his supporters shout down anyone trying to raise it (hi!).

      Back in 2000, Ben Manski viciously attacked Al Gore, pretty much ignoring George Bush except to say Bush was the same as Gore. Who can forget Ben Manski’s chants of “Al Gore, Corporate Whore?” Ben Manski did nothing to fight the right wing. Ben Manski did nothing to help fight the election theft that took place in Florida.

      Here we are in 2010, facing the possible loss of Russ Feingold in the US Senate and what is Ben doing? Ben is attacking Democrats again!

      Those who whitewash history are doomed to repeat it.

  5. Sam,
    See the photos of Brett at the Obama rally — http://www.brett4us.org/2010/09/brett-at-president-obamas-rally.html

    Everything’s broken, including Bush, Gore, and Obama

    While promoting a revolution in democracy, Manksi says parties, the economy, Congress, the courts, and the presidency are all broken, badly broken. For instance, “People are saying, ‘Okay. Congress is not accountable. The President is out of control. The Supreme Court isn’t even in the room.’ Right.” May 5, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2YcVCBCp5M

    Clintons and the Democratic Party – From Ben’s blog in Isthmus, August 16, 2008 http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=23517

    In 1996, the choice between Clinton and Dole made me Ralph. (Sorry, Mr. Michael Moore, you got that quip from me, and I got the bumpersticker to prove it). . . .

    [When the Clintons saw that Hillary was losing, The Clintons pulled out the old Dixiecrat playbook. They portrayed Obama as uppity. An America-hater. Muslim. A cokehead. Un-American. A danger to white women.

    We all know what happened then. As Obama lost ground in the polls, he responded by dissing Muslims, betraying civil liberties, backtracking on the war, and wearing a flag pin, causing people to begin to seriously wonder for the first time whether the charge was true that Barack was all bark and no bite.

    Ed Blume
    Hulsey campaign volunteer

    1. This comment is so incoherent it is hard to find a point of entry. Still, the Manski video (from 2006, posted in 2007, not from May 5, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2YcVCBCp5M ) speaks for itself, it speaks for Ben, and it speaks to me. Things are broken in American politics. A revitalization is required. That revitalization isn’t going to come from a candidate who carries a briquet of switchgrass around like a talisman while working hard to see that new power plants are built that will fire up burning 90% coal and 10% “renewables” while still belching out 100% of the CO2 and the CO of the old technology.

  6. Like Ben’s work for Nader in 2000, Ben sends his hometown of Pittsburgh down the memory hole (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/memory+hole).

    I just watched an interview online, and Ben said, “I’m a native of the 77th District.”

    Native means: a person born in a particular place or country, e.g, a native of Ohio.

    Ben is NOT a native of the 77th. He was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Israel until age 8, when he arrived in Madison and took English as a Second Language class.

    Can a person who speaks untruths be a progressive?

    Ed Blume
    Hulsey campaign volunteer

      1. Quibble. Not when we’re talking about honesty.

        Manski was being dishonest when he claimed he was a “native” of the 77th.

        I don’t care where either Ben or Brett were born. I care about being honest.

        Ed Blume
        Hulsey campaign volunteer

        1. Actually, you care about getting your man Hulsey elected. To move to the 77th at the age of 8 and attend Randall, Van Hise and West High School over the next ten years or so qualifies as “native” enough for most of us.

          Let’s see, I was born at Saint Mary’s, lived on a farm in Vermont township until I was four, went to kindergarten and first grade at Bret Harte school on the South Side of Chicago, then moved to Monona where I continued grade school and subsequently graduated from Monona Grove High School.

          Where am I from? It doesn’t matter. If I told you I was a native of Monona and you called me a liar and said I was from Black Earth, I guess I’d just smile.

  7. Ben Manski represents an opportunity for reform that Brett Hulsey does not. Hulsey is all about compromise. Witness his promotion of switchgrass as a combustible fuel alternative. The challenge lies in moving from combustibles (all of which produce greenhouse gases) to alternative sources like wind, solar, and water/gravity.

    Ben Manski is all about leadership. He represents the future of a revitalized progressive movement, a big tent that includes progressive Democrats, Greens, and Independents. Brett Hulsey represents more of the same. Not more of the same excellent representation that the 77th has had for the last fifty years, but more of the same kind of corporate compromise that has eroded the Wisconsin Idea and diluted the human values of the state’s Democratic party.

    In 2000 I was as angry as any other Democrat about the Florida outcome and the travesty of a Supreme Court intervention. I was convinced that Ralph Nader was both unqualified and not a viable candidate politically. Ben Manski and I disagreed about that.

    This year though, we agree. The 77th is a bellwether of progressive representation. Ben Manski is a hard working man, an organizer and a leader. I understand why Democrat Spencer Black must remain quiet about his choice of whom to support. I was gratified to see the Capital Times whole hearted endorsement of Ben. I can’t channel Midge Miller, but if she were alive, I think I know who she would support.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s