Green Party warns major party Senators not to vote for further funding of Iraq occupation

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Green Senatorial Campaign Committee (GSCC) was granted national Senate campaign committee status by the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, February 8, giving the committee the ability to raise and spend money under rules similar to those for the Democrat and Republican House and Senate national campaign committees. The GSCC assists Green Party candidates running for the U.S. Senate.

Federal Election Commission Advisory Opinion 2006-36 represents the first time a political party other than the Democrats or Republicans has been granted a national party campaign committee. Such committees have higher limits on campaign contributions that they can accept and give to candidates.

As its first act after receiving FEC recognition, the GSCC called upon all U.S. Senators to vote against further funding of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, or any resolutions promising such funding, including currently proposed concurrent resolutions promising funding 'for troops.'

"Dozens of Democrats in the U.S. Senate are preparing to vote for a stay-the-course resolution being marketed as an anti-'surge' resolution," said Chris Lugo, Tennessee Green candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2006, referring to Senate Concurrent Resolution 7, sponsored by Sen.
John Warner (R-Va.).

"The Warner resolution actually promises more funding for the occupation," noted Mr. Lugo.

During the 2006 election cycle, 6 Democratic Senators who voted for the occupation of Iraq-- Hillary Clinton, N.Y.; Dianne Feinstein, Calif.; Maria Cantwell, Wash.; Herb Kohl, Wis.; Bill Nelson, Fla.; and Joe Lieberman, Conn--were opposed by Green Party candidates.

"When Democrats in Congress vote for war, their actions have consequences. One of those consequences is that the Green Party will oppose them at the ballot box. If the Democrats vote for more funding, or even promises of more funds, they are supporting the occupation's continuance, not opposing it," said Anita Wessling, Co- Chair of the GSCC.

"Don't let the Democrats hide behind the fog of war," said Rebekah Kennedy, 2006 Green candidate for Attorney General of Arkansas. "We don't need 60 votes to overturn a filibuster and pass a fake anti- surge resolution. We just need 50 votes, or a courageous committee chair, to block any funding bills or resolutions. We got out of Vietnam when Congress refused any more funding. We got out of Kosovo when a Republican-controlled Congress cut off funds. It's up to this Democrat-controlled Congress to decide when the Iraq occupation will end."

Brent McMillan, Political Director of the Green Party of United States and life-long peace activist, was elated that the Green Party now has an FEC-recognized Senate campaign committee to help Greens compete on a more equal basis with the established parties's candidates. "We have been laying the groundwork to become a force in Congressional elections. With the FEC's decision today, the Party of Peace has a more level playing field with the twin parties of war."

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