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The Mountain Party is a political party in the state of West Virginia 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.
In many states of the US, the environmental vote goes to the Democratic Party. However, the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in 2012, Joe Manchin III, demonstrated what the Greens saw as his hostility to the environmental movement by airing a television advertisement with him shooting the cap-and-trade bill with a rifle, which gives the Mountain Party an opening among environmentalists.
The party platform
As of April 27, 2002, the party's platform focused on:
- Environmental protection: sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture, pro-environmental economic development; a halt to mountaintop removal coal mining in order to preserve 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 higher tax rates and be responsible corporate neighbors; Hold the executives of a corporation directly liable for 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 Virginia workers; and promote the ability 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 adequate educational level; provide civic education that encourages active participation in the democratic process beyond voting
- Universal health care: Enact universal healthcare to include medical, dental and prescription benefits; promote healthy lifestyles in order to decrease medical expenditures for preventable disease; curtail corporate-induced disease
- True democratic principles in government: promote political justice; 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
- Fair Trade, Not Free Trade: oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty (FTAA), the World Trade Organization treaty (WTO), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and any future global trade treaties
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.
While the Mountain Party has never elected anyone to any statewide office, it has obtained good results in local elections. In 2004 Richwood elected party member and local poet Bob Henry Baber as its mayor, although this was in a non-partisan election.
As of October 2012, 1,345 West Virginians had registered as Mountain Party voters and were eligible to vote in party primaries, this accounted for .10% of party voter registration in West Virginia.
- Jill Stein received 4,288 votes, or 0.65% of presidential votes cast in the state.
- Bob Henry Baber received 19,232 votes or 2.97% of the votes cast in the state. (3-way race)
- Jesse Johnson received 16,550 votes or 2.54% of the votes cast in the state. (4-way race)
- 5th House District
Raymond Davis III received 761 votes or 13.37% of the total votes cast. (3-way race)
- 11th House District
Mark Myers received 1093 votes or 18.87% of the total votes cast. (2-way race)
- 12th House District
Justin Johnson received 351 votes or 5.07% of the total votes cast. (3-way race)
- 32nd House District
Tighe Bullock received 3,143 votes or 9.29% of the total votes cast. (4-way race)
- 37th House District
Derick Shaffer received 646 votes or 12.35% of the total votes cast. (two-way race)
2011 special election
- Bob Henry Baber received 6,083 votes or 2.02% of the votes cast in the state. (5-way race)
- Jesse Johnson received 10,152 votes or 1.92% of the votes cast in the state. (4-way race)
- Cynthia McKinney received 2,327 votes, less than 1% of presidential votes cast in the state.
- 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 House District
- John Wellbourn received 3,889 votes or 1.5%.
- 51st House District
- Robin Mills received 1,655 votes or 24%.
- United States Senate
- Jesse Johnson received 8565 votes or 1.9%.
- 51st House District
- Robin Mills received 369 votes or 8%.
- 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%.
- 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%.
- Ralph Nader received 10,680 votes or 1.63% of presidential votes cast in the state.
- Denise Giardina received 10,416 votes or 1.62%.
- Winger, Richard. "Mountain Party to Affiliate with Green Party". Ballot Access News.
- "Green Party vows to get 51 ballot lines in 2008" (Press release). Green Party of the United States. 2007-07-16.
- "Dead Aim - Joe Manchin for West Virginia TV Ad". YouTube. 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
- Official website
- West Virginia State Election Commission
- West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey article on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining