Uncategorized

Honoring The Socialist Legacy of The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

This MLK Day, conservatives and liberals everywhere will sing the praises of America’s most notorious civil rights leader while at the same time completely ignoring Dr. King’s strong adherence to democratic socialism which stemmed from his Christian faith. The christo-fascists in the GOP will be especially susceptible to this hypocrisy, posting MLK quotes about love and equality while at the same time pushing through legislation which aims to harm LGBTQ+ communities and pregnant people in the name of Christian values. Socialism, however, is much more in line with the teachings of Jesus than the conservatism and christo-fascism of the GOP.

While the Mountain Party has among its ranks people of all sorts of religious backgrounds and is not a religious party itself, its fight for collective and worker ownership over wealth and production, as well as its focus on fighting for the poor and dispossessed against the powerful capitalists, is a much better representation of the teachings found in the Christian Bible — such as Acts 4:32-35, James 5:1-6, Isaiah 1:27, and Matthew 19:23-24 — than any of the ungodly nonsense spouted by the GOP. 

“Christian” fascists in the West Virginia Republican Party, such as Delegate Geno Chiarelli, prefer to use their interpretation of the Bible as a weapon against LGBTQ+ communities and reproductive rights – despite the fact that neither anti-LGBTQ sentiment nor anti-abortion sentiment is found in the Bible. Jesus plainly says in Matthew 19:23-24 that the rich will not see the Kingdom of God, and yet it is the rich whom politicians from both parties prefer to represent over working class people.

“Call it democracy or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.”  — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961 

Today, we must reject the two capitalist parties and build the West Virginia Mountain Party to honor Dr. King’s socialist legacy.

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Uncategorized

Take Action This Giving Tuesday

As 2023 approaches, the Mountain Party is preparing its legislative agenda and its organizing and recruitment objectives for the upcoming year. 

Our grassroots party appreciates the financial support it receives exclusively from individual donors, mainly in the form of small contributions. 

Consider Donating $23 For Growth & Success In 2023

More critical than contributions, we ask of you and our friends, supporters and allies to take action:

  1. Register Mountain Party
    • Let the State know you want more choices and voices in Government. 
  2. Spread The Word
    • Tell your family and friends about the Mountain Party and why we need to dismantle the two-party system.
  3. Get Involved
    • Become a lead contact or county facilitator and assist the party in recruitment and event planning. 
    • Fill a vacancy on the executive committee.
    • Submit ideas for our newsletter or other projects.
  4. Help Organize
    • Develop a local chapter 
    • Engage in local issues and organize municipal ballot initiatives
    • Organize tabling events
    • Recruit potential candidates

To get involved, reach out to us at (304) 669-0247 or contact [at] mountainparty.net

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Uncategorized

A Constitutional Victory For The People

The West Virginia Mountain Party is proud to be part of the No Vote coalition that defeated all four proposed constitutional amendments put forth by the GOP. The West Virginia Republican Party’s horrendous anti-worker agenda, aiming to amend the State Constitution, was resoundingly rejected. The “against” vote statewide ranged from 54% to 64% on the four proposals.

Despite this constitutional victory, Republicans no doubt swept West Virginia state candidate elections, further reducing the number of seats held by the Democrats to approximately 12%. Unofficial results have Democrats shrinking their caucus from 11 to 4 State Senate seats and from 22 to 12 House of Delegates seats.

It is clear the electorate has no confidence in the West Virginia Democratic Party. Contradictory and unclear messaging, spineless legislative records, and a lack of solid proposals to make West Virginia a more equitable and prosperous place to live certainly has contributed to this. In consequence, Republican candidates are winning, not based on great policy, but for simply filling in where the Democratic Party has become effectively absent.

We are witnessing the demise of the Democratic Party in West Virginia. The letter D next to a candidate’s name is more of hindrance than an asset. Yet, with letters dropped and affiliation made irrelevant, the majority of West Virginia has rejected the GOP’s effort to remove judicial checks on impeachment proceedings, repeal state taxes to make way for corporate handouts, grant special rights and privileges to religious denominations, and politicize the classroom by allowing the far-right to overrule the State Board of Education.

Mountaineers want more choices on the ballot and more voices in government.

The Mountain Party remains a small organization, having concentrated its 2022 state candidate effort on the candidacy of Dylan Parsons, who raised more money than any other previous Mountain Party candidate. With a strong showing in Wetzel County, specifically in New Martinsville, Dylan has begun the process to establish a foundation of support for future local elections.

In upcoming local elections the Mountain Party will face some its most important battles as it is poised to win races for city council and further develop the coalition and capacity to dismantle the two-party system.

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Newsletter

Green Mountain News: September-October 2022

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

Issue No. 5 — September – October 2022
PRESS CLIPPING: Three Vie For West Virginia House of Delegates District 7 Seat – WTOV
October 19, 2022  —  WTOV  —  Excerpt covering Dylan Parsons, the Mountain Party’s only recognized candidate nominated at its May 14, 2022 State Convention.

The House of Delegates District 7 race features three parties — Republican, Democrat and the Mountain Party.

First up is incumbent Democrat Lisa Zukoff, a Marshall County native who is a John Marshall and WVU graduate and has worked with a fortune 500 company in public finance, owns [a] small business in Moundsville, and has been a delegate for four years.

“We have many shortages in West Virginia. We need to increase some pay,” Zukoff said.”We need a qualified workforce here. We have to have people to fill jobs for companies to come to West Virginia. It is a major issue in our community and our state”



Sheedy has a strong military background and has worked with the state division of highways for 3 decades.



And challenging Zukoff and Sheedy is Mountain Party candidate Dylan Parsons.He is from New Martinsville, graduated from Magnolia and [West Liberty University] and says he is running for the working class.”

I want to give teachers a raise of $20,000, I want to legalize cannabis, and I want to create 70,000 union energy jobs in the state. I want to end the right to work, and I want to give the working class representation.” □

Original Article: https://wtov9.com/news/local/three-vie-for-west-virginia-house-of-delegates-district-7-seat
Mountain Party Reiterates Commitment To Labor Movement
September 4, 2022  —  Excerpt From Mountain Party Press Release

From Starbucks to Amazon, workers across the country are banding together to win better pay and benefits and a greater say in their workplace.

As a party, we fight to ensure that progressive policy measures can be enacted which will benefit the working class. This includes raising the minimum wage to a living wage, supporting the right for public employees in West Virginia to engage in collective bargaining, and to combat wage theft by employers.

None of these policies will become law, however, without a reinvigorated, fighting union movement. We encourage everyone to reach out to your local, trade, or industrial union and begin the process of organizing your workplace. We must all be responsible for building the labor movement we wish to see. □
No More War In Ukraine
October 21, 2022  —  Green Party of the United States

The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) views the war in Ukraine with great concern. As the US party of peace, we emphatically oppose the recourse to war as a means of inter-state dispute resolution and, accordingly, condemn the present violence in Ukraine by all sides. With respect to the US and Western response, we express specific concerns regarding:

1. The militaristic approach of indefinitely arming Ukraine. This strategy is demonstrably flawed. Ukraine is losing the war (despite heavy Western military assistance) and protracting the conflict through further armament will only lead to more death and destruction in Ukraine – not to a Ukrainian victory. This approach does not reflect a sincere interest in the well-being of the Ukrainian people, but rather the geopolitical and financial interests of Western elites.

2. The misbegotten approach of imposing inefficacious and self-destructive sanctions on Russia. This strategy is empirically flawed. In keeping with the long track record of previous failures of punitive sanctions regimes, the current sanctions on Russia have not altered its behavior in Ukraine. Instead, they have increased its energy revenues and strengthened the Ruble, while damaging the Western European economy and undermining confidence in the US financial system. Aggravating international tensions through economic warfare will not bring peace to Ukraine.

3. The unwillingness to engage in diplomacy. A ceasefire, and subsequent negotiated peace, is the only realistic way to end the war shy of the utter ruination of Ukraine. Adoption of a realistic negotiating position and willingness to make concessions is essential to the initiation of genuine peace talks, but the U.S. has failed to pursue a diplomatic solution.

4. The dishonest portrayal of developments in Ukraine. Russian aggression is rightfully covered and denounced. However, sole attribution of blame to Russia whitewashes an extended history of inimical US interference in Ukraine, contributing to current hostilities. Additionally, depiction of the Zelensky Government as a democratic force representative of the Ukrainian people and selective coverage of Ukrainian military successes deceitfully engender popular support for the failing strategy of continued military aid. The West proudly lauds its freedom of speech and press. We encourage Western media to make use of this right in accurately and critically covering events in Ukraine.

GPUS calls for cessation of unconditional military aid to Ukraine, lifting of counter-productive sanctions regimes, and initiation of genuine negotiations toward a ceasefire and sustainable peace framework! We implore the Biden Administration to use its position of influence to facilitate peace by encouraging peace talks and engaging with Russia to de-escalate tensions – not to fuel war by further arming Ukraine and prolonging a terrible conflict. □


Abortion Rights Are Human Rights!
September 14, 2022  —  Excerpt From Mountain Party Statement

Have West Virginians finally had enough with Conservative Democrats? Minority Whip Sen. Woelfel, along with several other Democrats, who voted for the abortion ban alongside Republicans will likely face no consequences from their party.

Republicans wrote the bill, and several Democrats backed it. It’s time for real opposition with West Virginia’s Greens.

This will not stop with abortion. Reproductive rights, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and more face threats in the Mountain State. The Democratic Party cannot provide effective opposition when their own representatives are clearly divided on these fundamental, common-sense issues of equality, liberty, and justice. □
Upcoming Events:

October 26 – First Day of Early Voting
November 5 – Last Day of Early Voting
November 8 – Election Day
Join Our Email List To Receive Our NewsletterNever miss an issue of Green Mountain News! Visit our website at www.mountainpartywv.net and go to “Email Sign Up” which is listed in the top navigation menu, where you will be redirected to https://mailchi.mp/8870cb0a9702/mountain

Any questions or request for assistance may be sent via email to contact@mountainpartywv.net.

SIGN UP
Your Donations Make All This Possible

Our ability to reach West Virginians with progressive ideas, to keep us on the ballot in future elections, and to fund the critical work of building our movement relies entirely on the grassroots donations of people like you.

We will put your money to work expanding our organizing efforts and infrastructure. It also allows us to better support our candidates and enable us the option to hire part time staff.

Help us build West Virginia’s party for working people, the Mountain Party.

DONATE
Why The Mountain Party?

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

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

Abortion Rights Are Human Rights

  • Republicans wrote the bill. Several Democrats backed it. It's time for real opposition with West Virginia's Greens.
  • The WV Democrats Backing GOP Abortion Ban: Senate Minority Whip Woelfel, Sen. Jeffries, Del. Boggs, and Del. Evans.

Abortion Rights Are Human Rights!

Have West Virginians finally had enough with Conservative Democrats? Minority Whip Sen. Woelfel, along with several other Democrats, who voted for the abortion ban alongside Republicans will likely face no consequences from their party.

Republicans wrote the bill, and several Democrats backed it. It’s time for real opposition with West Virginia’s Greens. 

This will not stop with abortion. Reproductive rights, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and more face threats in the Mountain State. The Democratic Party cannot provide effective opposition when their own representatives are clearly divided on these fundamental, common-sense issues of equality, liberty, and justice.

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See Also: How the Democrats Are Culpable in the Erosion of Abortion Rights

Opinion

Mountain Party Reiterates Commitment To Labor Movement

This Labor Day, the Mountain Party reiterates our commitment to the labor movement. From Starbucks to Amazon, workers across the country are banding together to win better pay and benefits and a greater say in their workplace.

As a party, we fight to ensure that progressive policy measures can be enacted which will benefit the working class. This includes raising the minimum wage to a living wage, supporting the right for public employees in West Virginia to engage in collective bargaining, and to combat wage theft by employers.

None of these policies will become law, however, without a reinvigorated, fighting union movement. We encourage everyone to reach out to your local, trade, or industrial union and begin the process of organizing your workplace. We must all be responsible for building the labor movement we wish to see.

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Newsletter

Green Mountain News: July-August 2022

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

Issue No. 4 — July – August 2022
2022 Inflation Reduction Act Capitalizes On A World In Crisis
Edited Excerpt from August 2, 2022 Green Party of the United States Press Release 
 
We need bold action targeted at a just transition, environmental justice, and an immediate halt to fossil fuel projects to address the climate emergency by 2030.
 
Senators Manchin and Schumer agreed to reduce carbon emissions 40% by 2030 with $369.75 billion for Energy Security and Climate Change programs over the next ten years and extend Affordable Care Act subsidies for 3 years but this is far lower than the $4.2 trillion per year needed to cut carbon emissions by 2030.
 
This “climate deal” provides a relatively small renewable investment and subsidizes gas, nukes, fossil fuel-sourced hydrogen, and carbon capture while requiring the Interior Department to offer at least 2 million acres of public lands and 60 million acres of offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska for oil and gas leasing each year. The bill also doesn’t actually address phasing out fossil fuels, and negotiations hint that President Biden has promised to loosen pipeline restrictions in exchange for Manchin’s vote. 
 
We call for:
 
• The Green Party’s original Green New Deal, a rapid ten-year transition to real zero emissions and 100% clean renewable energy; ensures the transition minimizes the impact on workers and communities creating new jobs and guaranteeing compensation to those affected, shifts fossil fuel industry funds toward green businesses and green research, and democratizes the proposed green transition giving communities direct ownership of energy companies.
 
• Single Payer, a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health plan to finance healthcare as a human right and eliminate the administrative waste and profit-seeking of private insurance. #EverybodyInNobodyOut
 
• Biden to declare a climate emergency and take action pursuant to climatepresident.org: keep fossil fuels in the ground, stop fossil fuel exports and infrastructure approvals, shift financial flows from fossil fuels to climate solutions, use the Clean Air Act to set a science-based national pollution cap for greenhouse pollutants, power the electricity sector with 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 and promote energy democracy, launch a just transition to protect our communities, workers, and economy, advance Climate Justice: Direct federal agencies to assess and mitigate environmental harms to disproportionately impacted Indigenous Peoples, People and Communities of Color, and low-wealth communities, and make polluters pay: Investigate and prosecute fossil fuel polluters for the damages they have caused. Commit to veto all legislation that grants legal immunity for polluters, undermines existing environmental laws, or advances false solutions
 
“This is considered a tradeoff to gain an extension for the Affordable Care Act.  We should not have to choose between watered-down environmental policy and inadequate health care,” said Green Party Co-Chair Margaret Elisabeth. □
Mountain Party Offers Plan to Truly Tackle Student Debt Crisis

The Biden Administration has announced the final extension of student loan payment forbearance through the end of the year. Individuals making less than $125,000 are eligible for $10,000 in federal loan forgiveness. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for an additional $10,000 for loans serviced via the Department of Education, for a maximum of $20,000. 
 
Despite delaying the issue late into his second year in office, any relief offered by the Biden Administration is certainly better than none. However, this partial forgiveness will not help future generations and still does not solve the student debt crisis.
 
Any plan which aims to solve the student debt crisis must:
 
• Include forgiveness of private student loans
 
• Address predatory interest rates
 
• Tackle the root issue of college affordability
 
Now is not the time for lukewarm half-measures. With the midterm elections nearing, Democrats have now alienated everyone with private student loans and anyone with an extreme amount of debt with continually accruing interest. These students have been forgotten, while the political establishment prioritizes capitalism and a system of senseless profiteering. 
 
The West Virginia Mountain Party, an affiliate of the Green Party, calls for the immediate cancellation of all student loan debt and rebates to those who paid some or all of their student loans. The United States is one of the richest countries in the world with a bloated budget that finances war and corporate welfare. It is time we prioritize universal higher education, including trade schools, and an equitable future for all working class people. 
 
In order to fight for policies which benefit the working class, we must elect candidates from a working class party. The Mountain Party is concentrating its efforts on electing the first Mountain Party delegate this November. Learn how you can assist us in electing a delegate who will fight for student debt relief here: https://mountainpartywv.net/contribute-for-2022-victory/ □
OPINION: The United States Needs A Progressive Alternative

By: Robert E. Smith

The two big-tent parties have maintained a system of persistent political gridlock, weaponizing hyperbolized fear of the opposing party. However, the Republicans use this system to their advantage by selectively dragging  their feet on specific issues, making huge gains for conservatives. One of the most notable examples was when the GOP blocked the confirmation of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.

Only after the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade are some Democrats seriously discussing term limits for Supreme Court Justices, a position supported by 67% of Americans that includes a majority of Republicans. There’s also a serious attempt to federally legislate marriage protections with a clean bill in the wake of SCOTUS’ potential willingness to overturn several precedents. However, there is very little time for the Democrats to make up for their own inaction over the last half-century. Most notably failing to codify Roe and ultimately being culpable in the erosion of abortion rights.

Despite Democrats controlling the White House and having a working majority in Congress, the neo-liberal, centrist tilt of the party has further exacerbated the issue of gridlock; it is nearly impossible to make progress on seemingly any issues with popular support. The elephant in the Democrats’ room may just be the problem. Serious attempts by the Democratic Party to legislate a popular agenda would expose its conservative Senators and members of Congress to intense criticism and further splinter the big blue tent. This is unfortunate, as the Democratic Party is missing an opportunity to place pressure on the Republican Party and hold them accountable. Of course holding the GOP accountable also means Democrats must hold their own members to the same (if not higher) standard. So while the majority of Americans support abortion rights, cannabis legalization, and climate action, none of these issues in a consequential manner will be addressed by Congress in the near future. Even if Democrats had the courage to simply carve-out the filibuster, the conservative faction of the centrist Democratic Party is too influential in the Senate to make any progress.

The Republican Party’s reactionary philosophy enables it to accommodate voters ranging anywhere right of center on the political spectrum. The Democratic Party, however, is unable to adequately represent progressive voters and anyone on the left when they are more concerned about making appeals to conservatives via their centrist, do-nothing agenda. So many issues, like the climate crisis, cannot afford political compromises, where compromise still results in failure. There’s no compromise on healthcare; it must be universal and end the senseless profiteering. There’s no compromise on democracy; elections must be free and fair. There’s no compromise on peace; only diplomacy, international law, and respect for human rights can achieve this.

There are several parties out there claiming to be viable alternatives to the Democrats and Republicans. However the vast majority are centrist parties with the aim of merging elements of the two major parties together and maintaining the status-quo of capitalism. Such as Andrew Yang’s new Forward Party, centrist parties do not fundamentally offer anything dramatically different for the American people other than a rebrand of liberalism in a moderate package. These parties are substitutes for the existing major parties, but they are not alternatives in the sense of offering an entirely different platform and truly progressive vision for the country. 

Today the Green Party of the United States is the only national, electorally driven political party that has the capacity to be the left alternative of the right-wing GOP and largely centrist Democratic Party. 

If there is no alternative political party holding both major parties accountable to enact a popular people’s agenda, then we should expect more losses for economic, environmental, racial, and social justice. The overturning of Roe is a warning of further decline for democracy in the United States.
Upcoming Events
The Mountain Party’s candidate for House of Delegates, Dylan Parsons, and supporters will be participating in the following community events:
 
September 2 – Labor Union Awareness Event in Morgantown
 
September 17 – Country Roads Festival in New Martinsville
 
October 7-9 – Autumnfest in New Martinsville
Join Our Email List To Receive Our Newsletter

Never miss an issue of Green Mountain News! Visit our website at www.mountainpartywv.net and go to “Email Sign Up” which is listed in the top navigation menu, where you will be redirected to https://mailchi.mp/8870cb0a9702/mountain

Any questions or request for assistance may be sent via email to contact@mountainpartywv.net.

SIGN UP
Your Donations Make All This Possible

Our ability to reach West Virginians with progressive ideas, to keep us on the ballot in future elections, and to fund the critical work of building our movement relies entirely on the grassroots donations of people like you. 

We will put your money to work expanding our organizing efforts and infrastructure. It also allows us to better support our candidates and enable us the option to hire part time staff. 

Help us build West Virginia’s party for working people, the Mountain Party.

DONATE
Why The Mountain Party?

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

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

Mountain Party Offers Plan to Truly Tackle Student Debt Crisis

The Biden Administration has announced the final extension of student loan payment forbearance through the end of the year. Individuals making less than $125,000 are eligible for $10,000 in federal loan forgiveness. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for an additional $10,000 for loans serviced via the Department of Education, for a maximum of $20,000. 

Despite delaying the issue late into his second year in office, any relief offered by the Biden Administration is certainly better than none. However, this partial forgiveness will not help future generations and still does not solve the student debt crisis.

Any plan which aims to solve the student debt crisis must:

  • Include forgiveness of private student loans
  • Address predatory interest rates
  • Tackle the root issue of college affordability

Now is not the time for lukewarm half-measures. With the midterm elections nearing, Democrats have now alienated everyone with private student loans and anyone with an extreme amount of debt with continually accruing interest. These students have been forgotten, while the political establishment prioritizes capitalism and a system of senseless profiteering. 

The West Virginia Mountain Party, an affiliate of the Green Party, calls for the immediate cancellation of all student loan debt and rebates to those who paid some or all of their student loans. The United States is one of the richest countries in the world with a bloated budget that finances war and corporate welfare. It is time we prioritize universal higher education, including trade schools, and an equitable future for all working class people. 

In order to fight for policies which benefit the working class, we must elect candidates from a working class party. The Mountain Party is concentrating its efforts on electing the first Mountain Party delegate this November. Learn how you can assist us in electing a delegate who will fight for student debt relief here: https://mountainpartywv.net/contribute-for-2022-victory/ 

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Newsletter

Green Mountain News: April-June 2022

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

Issue No. 3 – April, May & June 2022
Increased Membership: A Growing Trend For the Mountain Party

(CHARLESTON, WV — May 31, 2022) Mountain Party membership continues to grow according to the West Virginia Secretary of State.

Despite a series of voter purges and the state’s population in decline over the past several years, Mountain Party membership totals are up.

Five years ago, the Secretary of State in May of 2017 reported Mountain Party membership to be 1,883 constituting 0.15% of total registered voters.Now in 2022, Mountain Party membership is 2,311 at 0.20% of total registered voters.

In contrast, the Democratic Party has lost over 150,000 members during this five year period, with all other parties and no affiliation making gains.

This dramatic decline coincides with the Democrat’s worst electoral performance in the state’s history back in 2020, which will likely be compounded in the 2022 midterms. □
Honkala Inspires At May 14 Biennial Convention

At the Mountain Party’s biennial convention in Morgantown, former 2012 Green Vice Presidential nominee Cheri Honkala made the case for alternatives outside the two-party system, with the Mountain (Green) Party being one of the leading alternatives.

Honkala described the need for more direct action oriented approaches to take on capitalism. She referenced the Black Panther’s survival programs such as the free breakfast program for children and free clinics. In addition, she highlighted the strategies utilized by the original Poor People’s Campaign.

Denise Binion and Dylan Parsons were elected Chair and Vice-Chair respectfully.The next scheduled Mountain Party convention will take place in 2024.
Mountain Party Member Spotlight: Meet Mary Kinnie

Mary Kinnie is the State Executive Committee (SEC) member for the 16th Senate District and a former candidate for the House of Delegates.

“I was born and raised in Berkeley County. I have also lived in McDowell County as well as the State of California. I am fortunate to have traveled abroad many times, and my home state of West Virginia is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been,” said Mary Kinnie, “I love to travel through our state and learn about our history.”

“Participating in the Mountain Party is one of the efforts to keep our unique state wild and wonderful for my kids and all of our future generations.”

Mary has owned several small businesses, with her current business thriving as a successful cottage bakery. She supports policies like the WV Cottage Law that allow more small businesses to exist.

“The Mountain Party stands for what I believed in before I knew there even was a political party with real people and real values. I have voted Mountain (Green) for a decade and hope to bring more folks together to take our state forward.”

In her spare time, Mary plays in a band and enjoys expressing herself through music and art.
How the Democrats Are Culpable in the Erosion of Abortion Rights

By: Dylan Parsons, Mountain Party Vice Chair & Candidate for House of Delegates

** Originally Published Before SCOTUS Officially Overturned Roe v. Wade **

(May 9, 2022) With the Supreme Court due to overturn Roe v. Wade within the coming months, the left has been berated by liberals with the familiar talking point that in order to protect abortion rights we must “vote blue.” Predictably, liberals took to social media soon after the leaked draft opinion was reported, blaming Susan Sarandon and other third party voters for the upcoming Supreme Court decision, while completely ignoring the Democratic Party’s culpability in this travesty. 

While the Republican Party is the most vocal anti-choice party, the Democrats are not blameless for this miscarriage of justice.

While the popular sentiment may be to “vote blue” to protect abortion rights, this runs afoul of history. In 1974, then-Senator Joe Biden stated in regards to Roe v. Wade, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.” He went on to say, “I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” A few years later in 1982, Biden was one of only two Democratic lawmakers who supported a constitutional amendment that allowed states to overturn Roe v. Wade and pass their own laws on abortion. Just nine years later, Joe Biden would then be largely to blame for the confirmation of anti-abortion Justice Clarence Thomas.

Fast forward to 2015, when eventual Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton told MSNBC that her position on abortion was flexible and that she was willing to “compromise” with Republicans: “[If] there’s a way to structure some kind of constitutional restriction [on abortion] that takes into account the life of the mother and her health, then I’m open to that.” One year later, Clinton would select anti-abortion Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential nominee. 

Following Clinton’s defeat, top Democrats were still not convinced of the necessity to promote bodily autonomy. In 2017, Nancy Pelosi asserted that Democrats fighting for abortion rights were “hurting the party” and that the party should be open to anti-choice candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders and DNC head Tom Perez echoed these sentiments, saying that the party should not “demand fealty” to the party’s ostensibly pro-choice positions. This flexibility on abortion policy is currently being put into practice, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, and South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn are all endorsing anti-choice Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar in his primary against pro-choice progressive Jessica Cisneros.

With this split between liberal and conservative Democrats being tolerated within the party, it is commonplace for the liberal Democrats to blame the more conservative Democrats such as Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for the party’s failure to pass progressive legislation, including the codification of abortion rights — never mind the fact that even before the 50-50 Senate split, the Democrats still failed to codify abortion rights into federal law when they had an overwhelming majority during the first two years of the Obama presidency. President Obama, it should be noted, promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act on day one of his presidency. Once in office, he reneged on his promise and stated that the bill was “not [his] highest legislative priority.”

For nearly half a century the Democrat establishment has continually utilized fear in an attempt to get people to the polls, telling us that a Republican government will almost certainly seek the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Weaponizing this fear has been prioritized over the actual codification of abortion rights, and now the reversal of Roe is occurring under a Democrat government.

The liberals of the Democratic Party have done nothing to stop the conservative elements in their party. “Progressive” lawmakers stayed silent during the 2018 primary election when Joe Manchin was challenged by progressive activist Paula Jean Swearengin, and Senator Elizabeth Warren even endorsed Manchin’s bid for re-election. Manchin went on to vote for two out of the three anti-abortion Supreme Court justices nominated by President Trump, and did so without any consequences from the Democratic Party. Since winning both chambers of Congress and the Presidency in 2020, the Democrats have done next to nothing to crack down on conservative Democrats and secure abortion rights at the federal level.

Democrats have had the option to expand the Supreme Court, end the filibuster, and to put hard pressure on Manchin and Sinema and other conservative elements in their party, but instead have chosen to sit back, throw up their hands, and declare that all is lost. Even in the immediate aftermath of the recent Supreme Court leak, President Biden stated that he is unwilling to end the filibuster in order to codify abortion rights. The weakness of the Democratic Party is just as much to blame for the gutting of reproductive rights as is the determination of the Republicans.

This is not just an issue at the federal level either. The West Virginia Democrats controlled the state for eight decades and did virtually nothing to protect abortion rights. The WVDP has even helped to strip away abortion rights; during a vote on the anti-abortion HB 4007 in January 2020, only five of 41 Democrats voted against the bill. In 2021, almost one-third of the Democrats in the House of Delegates voted for the anti-abortion HB 2982. In 2022, six House Democrats voted in favor of SB 468, which banned abortion based on a person’s “reason” for receiving the procedure — a bill that even three House Republicans voted against. Almost half of the Democrats present in the State Senate voted for HB 2982 and over half of them voted for SB 468 — but of course no Senate Democrats will ever face consequences for their anti-abortion votes since Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin is virulently anti-choice, having even co-sponsored an anti-abortion resolution in the State Senate just this year.

When even the top leaders of the WVDP are anti-choice, and the leaders of the national Democrats openly express their approval of anti-abortion candidates, how can anyone seriously expect to win abortion rights legislation by “voting blue”?

Make no mistake: this is a small part of the larger class war. Abortion will always be legal for the rich and powerful capitalists; and so long as their system and their two parties are in charge, abortion rights will never be safe for the working class. In order to secure any fundamental human rights, it is imperative that the working class completely break from the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Green Party of the United States affirms the non-negotiable right for an individual to control their body, reserving the right to make their own decisions on their reproductive health. It is essential that access to birth control, family planning resources, and safe, legal abortion be available.
“With every drop of my blood I defy their law, and I despise them. I am appealing to you, to the common people; I care nothing about the Supreme Court, corporation lawyers every one of them. The Supreme Court is not the court of last resort; the people are.”

– Eugene Debs (May Day Speech 1919)
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(Op-Ed originally published by The West Virginia Holler)
Uncategorized

How the Democrats Are Culpable in the Erosion of Abortion Rights

By: Dylan Parsons, Mountain Party Vice Chair & Candidate for House of Delegates

With the Supreme Court due to overturn Roe v. Wade within the coming months, the left has been berated by liberals with the familiar talking point that in order to protect abortion rights we must “vote blue.” Predictably, liberals took to social media soon after the leaked draft opinion was reported, blaming Susan Sarandon and other third party voters for the upcoming Supreme Court decision, while completely ignoring the Democratic Party’s culpability in this travesty. 

While the Republican Party is the most vocal anti-choice party, the Democrats are not blameless for this miscarriage of justice.

While the popular sentiment may be to “vote blue” to protect abortion rights, this runs afoul of history. In 1974, then-Senator Joe Biden stated in regards to Roe v. Wade, “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.” He went on to say, “I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.” A few years later in 1982, Biden was one of only two Democratic lawmakers who supported a constitutional amendment that allowed states to overturn Roe v. Wade and pass their own laws on abortion. Just nine years later, Joe Biden would then be largely to blame for the confirmation of anti-abortion Justice Clarence Thomas.

Fast forward to 2015, when eventual Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton told MSNBC that her position on abortion was flexible and that she was willing to “compromise” with Republicans: “[If] there’s a way to structure some kind of constitutional restriction [on abortion] that takes into account the life of the mother and her health, then I’m open to that.” One year later, Clinton would select anti-abortion Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential nominee. 

Following Clinton’s defeat, top Democrats were still not convinced of the necessity to promote bodily autonomy. In 2017, Nancy Pelosi asserted that Democrats fighting for abortion rights were “hurting the party” and that the party should be open to anti-choice candidates. Senator Bernie Sanders and DNC head Tom Perez echoed these sentiments, saying that the party should not “demand fealty” to the party’s ostensibly pro-choice positions. This flexibility on abortion policy is currently being put into practice, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, and South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn are all endorsing anti-choice Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar in his primary against pro-choice progressive Jessica Cisneros.

 With this split between liberal and conservative Democrats being tolerated within the party, it is commonplace for the liberal Democrats to blame the more conservative Democrats such as Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for the party’s failure to pass progressive legislation, including the codification of abortion rights — never mind the fact that even before the 50-50 Senate split, the Democrats still failed to codify abortion rights into federal law when they had an overwhelming majority during the first two years of the Obama presidency. President Obama, it should be noted, promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act on day one of his presidency. Once in office, he reneged on his promise and stated that the bill was “not [his] highest legislative priority.”

For nearly half a century the Democrat establishment has continually utilized fear in an attempt to get people to the polls, telling us that a Republican government will almost certainly seek the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Weaponizing this fear has been prioritized over the actual codification of abortion rights, and now the reversal of Roe is occurring under a Democrat government.

The liberals of the Democratic Party have done nothing to stop the conservative elements in their party. “Progressive” lawmakers stayed silent during the 2018 primary election when Joe Manchin was challenged by progressive activist Paula Jean Swearengin, and Senator Elizabeth Warren even endorsed Manchin’s bid for re-election. Manchin went on to vote for two out of the three anti-abortion Supreme Court justices nominated by President Trump, and did so without any consequences from the Democratic Party. Since winning both chambers of Congress and the Presidency in 2020, the Democrats have done next to nothing to crack down on conservative Democrats and secure abortion rights at the federal level.

Democrats have had the option to expand the Supreme Court, end the filibuster, and to put hard pressure on Manchin and Sinema and other conservative elements in their party, but instead have chosen to sit back, throw up their hands, and declare that all is lost. Even in the immediate aftermath of the recent Supreme Court leak, President Biden stated that he is unwilling to end the filibuster in order to codify abortion rights. The weakness of the Democratic Party is just as much to blame for the gutting of reproductive rights as is the determination of the Republicans. 

This is not just an issue at the federal level either. The West Virginia Democrats controlled the state for eight decades and did virtually nothing to protect abortion rights. The WVDP has even helped to strip away abortion rights; during a vote on the anti-abortion HB 4007 in January 2020, only five of 41 Democrats voted against the bill. In 2021, almost one-third of the Democrats in the House of Delegates voted for the anti-abortion HB 2982. In 2022, six House Democrats voted in favor of SB 468, which banned abortion based on a person’s “reason” for receiving the procedure — a bill that even three House Republicans voted against. Almost half of the Democrats present in the State Senate voted for HB 2982 and over half of them voted for SB 468 — but of course no Senate Democrats will ever face consequences for their anti-abortion votes since Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin is virulently anti-choice, having even co-sponsored an anti-abortion resolution in the State Senate just this year.

When even the top leaders of the WVDP are anti-choice, and the leaders of the national Democrats openly express their approval of anti-abortion candidates, how can anyone seriously expect to win abortion rights legislation by “voting blue”?

Make no mistake: this is a small part of the larger class war. Abortion will always be legal for the rich and powerful capitalists; and so long as their system and their two parties are in charge, abortion rights will never be safe for the working class. In order to secure any fundamental human rights, it is imperative that the working class completely break from the Democratic and Republican parties. 


Donate to Dylan Parsons’ campaign for House of Delegates here.

.Read “The Case for an Independent Left Party in West Virginia” here.

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