Monday, November 14, 2011

Will Baltimore Go Green Next Summer?

from the Baltimore Sun
Though it won’t be on the same scale as the huge political affairs expected in Tampa or Charlotte, Baltimore will nevertheless have a slice of the presidential convention scene next year. The city is the only candidate remaining to host the Green Party’s 2012 convention, a state party leader said Monday.

The party’s national committee is voting this week to select a city to host its presidential nominating convention, but Baltimore is the only option still in the running after Sacramento dropped its bid Friday. The event, which the party expects to draw hundreds of delegates, will take place at the University of Baltimore from July 12-15.

“We think that 2012 is going to be a big year when the Green Party can really break through,” said Brian Bittner, co-chair of the state party. “In Baltimore, we want to be the place where everyone can come from around the country.”

News of the convention comes as third party candidates, including Greens, have struggled to get on the ballot in Maryland. The state Green and Libertarian parties sued the Maryland State Board of Elections this year after officials ruled the parties failed to win enough votes in 2010 to qualify for ballot positions. The lawsuit is pending on appeal.

Asked about holding a national convention in a state where the party has had difficulty getting on the ballot, Bittner noted that third parties have faced similar problems in many states. “That’s an issue we hope to bring attention to," he said. "What we've been going through in Maryland [is] sort of emblematic” of what the party has faced elsewhere.

Republicans will host their party’s convention in Tampa Aug. 27-30 and the Democrats will head to Charlotte the following week.

The 2008 Green Party convention was held in Chicago.

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