Green Mountain News: Summer 2023

The Mountain Party of West Virginia’s latest news and views.

Issue No. 6 — Summer 2023

Denise Binion, Chair
Dylan Parsons, Vice Chair
Matthew Kolb, Secretary
Robert Smith, Treasurer

By: Denise Binion, Mountain Party Chair

DNC Chair, Jaime Harrison, recently attempted to undermine Dr. Cornel West’s “third party” run for President, stating that “this is not the time in order to experiment.” Harrison, head of one of the oldest political parties in the world, conveniently ignores the ongoing 235 year experiment of the American political system. This is the two-party system, which is arguably the greatest failure the United States has still yet to resolve.

One has to wonder why the two major parties believe that people have no right to more than two choices in any general election? The answer is simple, and it should come as no surprise given these are the parties of Wall Street not Main Street. By design, the two-party system aims to maintain the status quo of capitalism and the interests of the ultra rich. This system creates the illusion of choice, where the parties do not significantly differ on many of the life and death issues facing working class Americans (See Mountain Party Legislative Report). In an exaggerated and overdone fashion, each party routinely blames each other for America’s problems, while both parties are in fact the problem. This is why nothing ever seems to get done for the people.

The primary target of the Democrats’ fear-mongering propaganda is being used to malign the West campaign and the Greens, painting them as spoilers to an already spoiled, dysfunctional political system. Not only do they ignore the data, such as 2016 exit polling that effectively debunked the spoiler theory, many Democrats are amazingly omitting from this conversation that their very own Senator Joe Manchin is considering his own third party run for 2024.

Election after election, WV Democratic Party operatives repeatedly vilify WV Mountain Party/Green candidates using the same tired rhetoric, even telling candidates they have no right to run. They peddle the same old misconceptions that Mountain/Green candidates take votes away from Democrats or blame them for losses in their own poorly run campaigns and unlikeable candidates.

Giving voters personal choice is an inherent part of democracy. Why is it that Democrats, many who advocate so loudly for a woman’s right to choose, don’t accept that voters have a right to choose as well? □

Dr. Cornel West’s campaign gathers steam for a people-powered political rebellion

July 5, 2023 Cornel West Press Release – Distributed For Informational Purposes Only.
West is seeking the nomination of the Green Party in its contested primary process.

Dr. Cornel West’s campaign completes the transition to Green Party, gathering steam for a people-powered political rebellion.

Dr. Cornel West announced today that his campaign has completed the transition to the Green Party, with the goal of giving working people, the poor and struggling Americans across the 50 states a real choice that’s of, by and for the people in the 2024 election. The campaign has switched its FEC filing to the Green Party and its infrastructure has been turned over to veterans of Green Party campaigns, including former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who is the acting campaign manager. The West campaign plans to leverage the ballot access experience of the Stein/Baraka ticket that was on the ballot in 47 states. 

The campaign seeks to unite social movements, independents, labor groups and non-corporate political parties that are free from the stranglehold of billionaires, bankers and party bosses. Volunteers and donations are already pouring into the campaign, signs of a widespread voter rebellion against the two party duopoly that could reach unprecedented heights.  

In announcing the move, Dr. West declared “We can end poverty, endless war, cop cities, mass incarceration and ecological collapse, and provide housing, health care, reproductive rights, reparations, education and thriving wages for all. People have had enough of organized greed, institutionalized hatred, and normalized indifference to the lives of poor and working people of all colors. Yet the bipartisan consensus is siphoning trillions of dollars into wars that bring us to the verge of nuclear holocaust and tax giveaways to billionaires already drenched in obscene profits at the expense of struggling workers.

“Meanwhile the parties of war and Wall Street are throwing millions of children back into poverty by allowing the child tax credit expansion to expire; they are stripping 15 million Americans of health care in their failure to extend Covid Medicaid coverage; and they are denying food stamps to untold numbers of the vulnerable unemployed in their use of a debt ceiling crisis, that could have been avoided, to impose austerity on everyday people. And this comes as two thirds of Americans are already living paycheck to paycheck, 40% of renters are economically stressed, young people are mired in hopelessness, and diseases of despair – including addiction, overdoses and depression – are surging, contributing, along with the Covid debacle, to the shocking decline in lifespan in recent years. 

“It’s no wonder Americans are abandoning the political parties that have brought us to this crisis. As the corporate parties betray our families and communities, the number of people who consider themselves politically independent is now twice the number identifying as either Democrats or Republicans. The number demanding a choice outside the corporate duopoly is at a record 62%. And a new poll shows the number of Americans who consider voting 3rd party vastly exceeds those who do not.

“We must reintroduce America to the best of itself!  In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Dorothy Day, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edward Said, Luisa Moreno, Chief Joseph, and so many other visionaries, we are demanding a world of justice, truth and love for us all. Let’s do it together.” □

Mountain Party Condemns SCOTUS 303 Creative Decision

Originally Published on June 30, 2023 Via Social Media
By: Ash Orr and the Mountain Party State Executive Committee

The Mountain Party of West Virginia is disappointed by today’s SCOTUS decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which introduces a limited First Amendment exemption for businesses open to the public, allowing them to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community when providing goods and services. However, it’s important to note that the unique circumstances of the transaction in this particular case indicate that the ruling does not apply to the vast majority of businesses that offer goods and services.
It is noteworthy that SCOTUS acknowledges the ongoing significance of our nation’s nondiscrimination laws. By referencing previous cases like Masterpiece Cakeshop (2018) and the Hurley case (1995), the Court reaffirms that states have the authority to safeguard the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, just as they protect other groups, ensuring their equal access to products and services.

Over 50 years ago, our nation made a collective decision that businesses opening their doors to the public should serve everyone, reflecting a core principle of treating one another with fairness and equality.

Following the ruling in the case of 303 Creative, Ash Orr, Mountain Party Executive Committee Member, issued the following statement:

“This particular case was engineered to generate an artificial controversy. The overwhelming majority of Americans, as well as businesses across the country, stand firmly against discrimination. A staggering 80% of Americans support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people, and a strong majority of 65% reject the idea of allowing businesses to deny service based on religious grounds. Fair-minded individuals share the fundamental belief that when a business serves the public, it should do so without discrimination. Today’s Supreme Court ruling does not alter this belief.

“Our nondiscrimination laws exist to ensure that no one is turned away due to their identity. In a diverse nation like ours, these protections are crucial for everyone. Over time, they have been expanded to prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sex, disabilities, among others.

“While extremist politicians are pushing for laws that target mistreatment and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, the vast majority of Americans, including business owners, strive to treat everyone with dignity and respect. They understand the harmful impact of exclusion and denial of service based on one’s identity. Segregation and exclusion in the public market harm us all.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that this ruling does not serve as a gateway to further discrimination in the marketplace. Otherwise, we risk regressing to a time when businesses routinely denied goods and services based not only on LGBTQ+ status but also religion, race, national origin, sex, gender, and more.

“Our history urges us to remember that divisions upheld by the highest courts will be confronted in the streets, throughout elections, in schools, and wherever the people gather to discuss their representation. Our fight will continue.” □

OPINION EDITORIAL: Traditions and the Mountain Party

By: Ken Powell III

“Only an individual can think of herself and her work as containing an element that is inescapably public. This identification does not happen by accident. Although it may be facilitated by them, it is not brought about by national policies or the exhortations of professional bodies. If it were ever ensured by unthinking tradition, it is not now: today a person belongs to a tradition only inasmuch as she seeks it out, aligns herself with it, and puts herself in its line of tutelage.” – Jedediah Purdy, For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today

It may be a somewhat curious thing to make an appeal to tradition to an audience belonging to a party that is left-wing. After all, how often do we hear, say, a “family values” conservative, or a “small government” Republican, make such appeals while simultaneously supporting policies that actively harm families or enlarge the government? This latest “compromise” budget bill manages to do both by increasing defense spending by 3% and adding more pointless bureaucratic roadblocks to obtaining SNAP benefits. Both WV Senators, Manchin (D) and Capito (R), practically threw their shoulders out their sockets by patting themselves on the back so heartily for their role in this budget deal. And why not? It was a bipartisan deal, and as President Biden is keen on reminding us, “Bipartisanship is hard. Unity is hard.” It is certainly hard on the working poor, to be sure. If you somehow needed another reminder that both the Republican and Democrat parties do not work for you, then look no further. I know for myself the fact that both major political parties are essentially courtiers to the financier class was the major driver in getting me to join the Mountain Party. I reckon I am not the only one.    

But I digress. My point is that we are conditioned to treat appeals to tradition with skepticism given that those appeals are almost exclusively rendered by conservative opportunists. But tradition can be a powerful political and social tool that can endow us with an esprit de corps. In this epoch of rapacious consumerism and callous individualism, a proper sense of tradition can be just the thing to combat despair, isolation, and political vertigo. And we on the left have our traditions, ones which call us to public service and commitment. I do not wish to write about a specific cause or even to wax poetic about battles fought and victories won past or present. Rather, I wish to briefly talk about the need to foster a general, but not diffuse, impetus for deliberate engagement with the public commons.

When we talk about the public commons, we are talking about those local cultural and natural resources that are, or should be, available for all citizens to enjoy. These include our parks and streams, our soup kitchens and homeless shelters, our museums and public artworks, and much more. Much of these things are the result of collective effort by civic organizations and community organizers. Take for example the good works being accomplished at the Wheeling Soup Kitchen. They manage to serve good tasting and healthy meals to our most vulnerable citizens, and also make their property available for civic groups such as the Reentry Alliance (a civic group that aims to pool together community organizations and healthcare providers to better serve those reentering society from jail or some other state institution) to meet and talk strategy. Last year, Wheeling adopted a much-needed needle exchange program and increased distribution of narcan in critical areas. This passed through a city council that is fairly conservative overall, and it happened due in no small part because civic organizations and citizens made their voices heard through the democratic process. Direct action is still the best way of getting the goods.  

To be clear, I understand that mere civic engagement does not substitute or eliminate the need for a thorough political and economic ideological framework. Nor does engagement at the local level, however effective, act as sufficient means to systemic reform. Even so, by focusing on engaging with the public commons, I believe our party can accomplish three very important things. First, we build the necessary political and civic connections to greater party growth. Second, this practice of civic faith combined with civic works instills in our party members both the political spirit and the hard-earned political wisdom that comes only by experience, thus burnishing future party leaders and activists. Finally, at its core, it is what the Mountain Party is about: making the lives of its most vulnerable citizens better.

Empathy is a core value of any leftist ideology, and public engagement is literally the very first thing noted in our party preamble. It is the will to act on our principles, and to see the works of our labors that propel us in hard times.  Indeed, civic engagement is our tradition. At the Heritage Port in Wheeling, one can find in an obscure corner a statue of Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Auto Workers union. According to Coretta Scott King, he “was to black people the most widely known and respected white labor leader in the nation. He was there when the storm clouds were thick.” Mr. Reuther was born and raised in Wheeling, and learned his socialist values from his father, right here.

We’ve our traditions, too. Let’s act on them.

Major Parties Are Failing To Put People, Planet, & Peace First

Read: 2023 Legislative Session Report Cards     (Report published on March 30, 2023) 

Don’t be fooled. There is a group claiming to be the West Virginia Mountain Party. They are selling merchandise to allegedly fundraise for the Mountain Party. This merchandise does not contain the official logos and is not authorized by the West Virginia Mountain Party.

We are in the process of resolving the matter.

For further information or to report contact with this group masquerading as the WV Mountain Party please reach out to us at:


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Read: The Case For An Independent Left Party In West Virginia

(Op-Ed originally published by The West Virginia Holler) 

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