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The Mountain Party is a political party in the state of West Virginiamarker that on July 8, 2007 at its state convention, voted to become the West Virginia affiliate of the Green Party. At the 2007 Green Party National Meeting the party was admitted to the Green Party as a state affiliate. It is a progressive and environmentalist party. The party platform calls for an end to mountaintop removal coal mining. It also calls for timber regulation that reduces flooding, erosion and eliminates clear-cutting and destruction of old-growth forests. Other platform planks include an end to corporate welfare, and the establishment of small community schools, universal health care and campaign finance reform.

The party platform

As of April 27 2002, the party's platform focused on:

  • Protection of our air, water and land: sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture, pro-environmental economic development; a halt to mountaintop removal coal mining in order to preserve precious forestland and streams; timber regulation that reduces flooding, erosion and eliminates clear-cutting and destruction of old-growth forests; full enforcement of current environmental protection laws; and phasing out the most ecologically harmful sources of energy


  • Election law reform: Promote political justice, Enhance voter access, Full Public Financing of elections, Same day registration, Independent, non-partisan election commission, Free airtime and access to debates * Accurate and verifiable voter rolls, Instant runoff voting and other progressive voting systems


  • Corporate accountability: Require corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and be responsible corporate neighbors; Hold the executives of a corporation directly liable for the harm resulting from their decisions; Challenge corporate personhood; Enforce laws governing corporate crime and violence


  • Economic fairness: Promote economic justice and community-based business organizations and activities; promote a living wage for all West Virginiamarker workers; and promote freedom to form unions and have collective bargaining


  • Education: Small community-based public schools and enforce time limits on busing; realign state budgetary priorities to ensure that all citizens attain an educational level that would allow democracy to flourish; provide civic education that encourages active participation in the democratic process beyond voting


  • Universal Health Care: Promote patients' rights; enact universal healthcare as a right, to include medical, dental and prescription benefits; promote healthy lifestyles in order to decrease medical expenditures for preventable disease; curtail corporate-induced "Pickensian" disease


  • True democratic principles in government: promote political justice; dismantle the political machines and replace them with politics as if people mattered; no privatization of government; proportional representation in the state legislature; transparency and sunshine laws for all government functions.


  • Tax Reform: Elimination of the sales tax on food and clothing; tax relief for small businesses; elimination of corporate welfare; make the tax code progressive; fair assessments of mineral holdings and properties


  • Gambling: Hold citizen referendums on any gambling initiatives in the state




The party, similar in its outlook to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, was created partially in response to the perceived conservative tilt of the state's Democratic Party.

History

Under West Virginia ballot access laws, a party gains automatic ballot access for the subsequent election cycle by gaining one percent of the votes for Governor. Having obtained access by petition in 2000, the party achieved that one percent in that election and again in 2004 and won over 4% of votes in 2008.

The Mountain Party was born as a direct result of the Denise Giardina for Governor campaign in the year 2000 general election.

Gubernatorial candidate Jesse Johnson unsuccessfully sued to be included in debates between the major candidates in 2004 and again in 2008. As of November 2006, 795 West Virginians had registered as Mountain Party voters and were eligible to vote in party primaries.

While the Mountain Party has never elected anyone to any statewide office, it has obtained good results in local elections. In 2004 Richwoodmarker elected party member and local poet Bob Henry Baber as its mayor, although this was in a non-partisan election.

As of the October 2008, there are 973 registered members of the party.

Election results

2008 elections

President
Cynthia McKinney received 2,327 votes, less than 1% of presidential votes cast in the state.


Governor
Jesse Johnson received 31,195 votes or 4.46% of gubernatorial votes cast.


11th Senate District
Andy Waddell received 2,788 votes or 7%.


30th Senate District
John Wellbourn received 3,889 votes or 1.5%.


51st House District
Robin Mills received 1,655 votes or 24%.


2006 elections

United States Senate candidate Jesse Johnson received 1.9% of the vote.


2004 elections

Governor


Jesse Johnson received 18,430 of 744,433 votes or 2.48%.


12th Senate District


John M. Williams (Weston) received 2048 of 43,858 votes or 4.67%.


2002 elections

15th Senate District


Kit Patten (Great Cacapon) received 1173 of 26,264 votes or 4.47%.


55th Delegate District


Vince George (Shepherdstown), in a two-candidate race against John Overington, a Republican, received 1396 of 3589 votes or 38%.


36th Delegate District


Bob Henry Baber (Richwood) received 376 of 3868 votes or 9.72%.


2000 elections

President


Ralph Nader received 10,680 votes or 1.63% of presidential votes cast in the state.


Governor


Denise Giardina received 10,416 votes or 1.62%.


References

  1. http://www.wvsos.com/elections/history/registration/OfficialVRGeneral2008.pdf WV SOS Office, Party Registration. Ret. 7-10-09.


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