Green Mountain News: July-August 2022

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 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: □
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 and go to “Email Sign Up” which is listed in the top navigation menu, where you will be redirected to

Any questions or request for assistance may be sent via email to

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.

Why The Mountain Party?

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

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

Green Mountain News: April-June 2022

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)
Join Our Email List To Receive Our Newsletter

Never miss an issue of Green Mountain News! Visit our website at and go to “Email Sign Up” which is listed in the top navigation menu, where you will be redirected to

Any questions or request for assistance may be sent via email to

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.

Why The Mountain Party?

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

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