Time to Revive the New Party?

by jhwygirl

I’ve found myself wondering this for too long…and in asking around, I’ve yet to understand the answer to my question. So I’m putting it out there with that headline, hoping that perhaps someone can explain to me.

Why isn’t anyone suing to stop the Tea Party? That’s a very basic breakdown of the question, but if the New Party was stopped because it was determined – legally – that it was its own party regardless of how it had operated, apparently coattailing onto the Democrats, why isn’t anyone requiring the same of the Tea Party?

They call themselves a party. They have a Tea Party Debate. They raise their own money, and they have their own infrastructure system in all 50 states. How is that not a completely separate organization?

They campaigned to take out regular GOP candidates the last election.

What is different about the Tea Party?

Practical experience and the cynic is me speculates that it was the Democrats who took out the New Party…and Republicans operate under the Ronald Reagan 11th commandment. Ya’all know how wont they are to publicly criticize their own. Is that it?

Does anyone know?

From my vantage point, I don’t know the advantage to allowing the Tea Party to continue to coattail onto the GOP. Maybe there is an advantage and I’m missing it?

Anyways – been pondering it, been trying to get some answers, and now I’m ‘pimpin’ the blog’.

  1. Well i’m not sure ‘suing’ a bunch of genetically virulent homogeneous anti-humans is propitious… this strain of man is building a bridge/party to effect more pain and angst from the main body of evolution from which they have spiked.
    Would be far better to build your/our own bridge/party – such as New Progressive Alliance. Google it. Help build the party here not groan about the rapacious bellicose scum down the road.

  2. Steve W

    The last paragraph discusses what happened to the New Party.


    It’s a pretty good article in my opinion.

  3. Thanks for the 411 Steve… important stuff to know as we try to get out from under the Capitalist Dem Pty (run by Baucus in MT and other Capitalists in other states and ultimately by the DLC (it’s not really gone)).

  4. Ingemar Johansson

    Ouch! Weprin and Marshal go down in flames.

  5. Chuck

    The Solyndra debacle has convinced me that the Obama administration is incompetent and an absolute failure. His jobs bill is dead. The country is moving right J-Grl.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Have you heard of “Fast and Furious” Chuck?

    • JC

      You’re grasping at straws here, Chuck.

      And if you think the “country is moving right”, you’re wrong. Politics may be moving right at the behest of the t-party and corporate takeover of political funding, but the country as a whole is not moving right. If anything, the move to minority status for right-wing whites in the face of a liberal onslaught of leftist immigrants and a growing black population guarantees the country moves left. (Ok, that was hyperbole, but I couldn’t resist ;-) ).

      And if the right continues its economic terrorism on this country (and the world economy for that matter), the backlash against politicians will be immense in future elections. Hence the desire to revive the New Party.

      • Pete Talbot

        Well, JC, I’d like to agree that the country isn’t moving to the ‘right’ but I’m just not sure. Obama, although hardly a leftist, is certainly far to the left of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates. And he could be a one term President. Many voters, particularly independents, don’t give a rat’s a$$ if it’s a Repub. or Dem. running. In the face of a horrible economy, they’ll just vote for change — nevermind that the Republican’s solutions to our economic woes are exceedingly short sighted and ineffective — the voters just want change. That’s how Obama got elected, remember? ‘Change’ from the miserable Bush years.

        Anyway, some comments on the New Party question posed by jhwygirl. I have long wrestled with the difference in the Republican Party’s courting of the far right and the Democratic Party’s rejection of the left.

        Maybe the Repubs think they need the tea party to win elections, and the Dems don’t think they need the left. The Dems are wrong, of course, as indicated by the 2010 mid-term election results. I guess the Dems would rather lose elections than power share with the left wing of the party. As evidence, look at the bashing of the left by the likes of Rahm Emanual and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

        The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”

        Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

        Finally, here’s a piece I wrote over a year ago on this very site reviewing my New Party experience:


  6. http://newprogs.org/unified-progressive-platform-ratified

    Pete, i appreciate your account and energy of and for the New Party. Unfortunately at the time you and many others were working for the ppl the DLC was consumming the command of the Dem pty ~ only to bring you total luzers like Kerry, Edwards, Gore Lieberman, and Obama, Pure Capitalists PIGS Corporate Tools and proud of it. The official Dem Party in every state is a Corp Tool esp in Montana.
    There is a new wave come See the link above…

    & vote Franke Wilmer for Congress.

    • Pete Talbot

      You’re a bit of an enigma, Darwin. Isn’t Franke Wilmer running as one of those “corporate tools” (Democrat)? I didn’t see the New Progressive Alliance in any of her literature. I’m sure she’s s wonderful candidate but doesn’t her party affiliation make her part of the “pure capitalist PIGS?”

      • yes i unfortunately have to Agree ~ i doubt she’ll get State Dem support because she is a lot more to the left than the centrist/right Kim Gillan, who is a big supporter of Deregulation *primary means of Wealth redistribution to the Wealthy* and a proponet of anti choice. As usual in this so called Democracy the better of two evils.
        Wilmer would be better in Rehbergs seat in my opinion.
        Meanwhile i do my best as a full on Socialist to advance the cause.

        • …forgot to add, i said she will not get Montana Dem Pary support /owned by the Corporate TOOL Baucus who runs the Dem party/ i insinuated the Dem Party in MT is owned by the Corp Tool Baucus / if that tarnished a good candidate i apologize.
          By Definition Liberals and Conservatives are Capitalists; Some much more so than others.

        • Pete Talbot

          “Wilmer would be better in Rehbergs seat in my opinion,” you say. Jeez, Darwin, Alfred E. Newman would be better in Rehberg’s seat than Rehberg.

  7. YES! Please revive the New Party!!! Do it quickly before the 2012 election!

    Liberal ideology is doing so well now, we need an even more extreme version of it out there!

    Seriously, please get a national New Party movement going.

  8. That darn Tea Party that everybody hates. Funny how a GOP Tea Party candidate won in a landslide in the heavily Democrat dominated NY9 special election yesterday, eh?

    Face it, Liberal ideology, when you guys are telling the truth about what it is and exercising its policies is a very unpopular failure with the vast majority of Americans. You are going to have to start lying and being sneaky again.

    • JC

      The opposite party winning a special election in a sex scandal-immersed district is no big thing, and it has nothing to do with ideology.

      No more than, say, a republican losing his seat and then having it swing dem.

      Oh, and that list I linked to is almost 3 years old and doesn’t include the likes of NV Sen John Ensign shtupping an employee, and wife of his best friend. Let’s see if his stand-n can hold the seat.

      If you want a current example, how about Republican Rep Chris Lee who resigned his seat after getting caught with his pants down in a Craiglist sexcapade? Republicans lost the seat to a dem in New York’s heavily republican 26th district in a special election not long ago.

      Ya know, that Tea party/GOP ideology of hypocrisy really is getting old. But then again, “Tea Party/GOP” is really a redundant label. Afterall, the t-party is nothing more than a rebranded wing of the republican party.

  9. ladybug

    A non-Democrat progressive might have fared better in NY-9. It is triangulation that represses voter turnout on the left. Had promises from the 2006 and 2008 elections been kept, things might be different now. We are witnessing the consequences of lying to supporters, nothing more. T-party supporters will in good time see they too are being lied to by the Republican Party. Then, they too will stay home. Some democracy, eh?

  10. JC

    Hey Pete, we could talk about the collective political sentiment of the country until the cows come home, and not really ever come to a conclusion. So in the meantime, in the spirit of the post you linked to above talking about your dalliance with the NP, and its success in MIssoula City Council races in the 90’s, I’ll toot your horn a bit with an email that showed up in my inbox not too long ago :-)

    Please join Dave Harmon, Pete Talbot and myself [Jim Parker] on Thursday September 15, from 5:30-8:30pm at 3500 Duncan Drive for the 3rd Progressive Hoe Down to raise money for our City Council candidates (see attached card for details). Bring your family (kid friendly!), tell your friends, and BRING YOUR CHECKBOOK to contribute to the campaigns of your choice, write your checks TO THE CANDIDATES!

    Entry–FREE, Finger foods/desserts–FREE (bring one to share if you have time), Drinks–FREE, Music by members of Broken Valley Roadshow–FREE (but throw them a ‘bone’ or two)…and dance the night away under the cool September eve!!

    JUST SHOW UP—-this only happens every two years!!

    See you there…”Yee Haw!!!!!!!!!”

    • Pete Talbot

      Thanks for the fundraiser props, JC. Think Andy B. or Ingy might show up?

      I was going to mention it but felt kind of sleazy promoting an event I’m also helping to organize. Guess that makes me kind of a lame organizer.

      Maybe we can “talk about the collective political sentiment of the country until the cows come home.”


  11. ~sigh~

    Do you think it’s a coincidence that the majority of federal judges have been appointed by Republican Presidents? Many on the left have been swayed by specious argument to disbelieve or dismiss the claim that IOKIYAAR. That’s kind of a joke now, right? “Both parties are the same”. “The Democrats are spineless”. Yet the right/Tea Party are owned and subsidized by the very people who own and subsidize the most popular segment of the media. They are owned and subsidized by the very organizing principles of ALEC. But the left wants to believe that it’s the “Democrats who took out the New Party”.


  12. lizard19

    from a Lee rag:

    Tester said he expects it won’t be hard to motivate Democrats after they spent the last year watching the results of a 2010 election in which excited Republicans marched to huge wins in the state Legislature at home, and seized control of the U.S. House nationally.


  13. Pogo Possum

    It was the 1997 Supreme Court 6 to 3 ruling in the “Timmons v. Twin Cities Area New Party” case that upheld the Minnesota ban on fusion (cross-endorsing candidates) that doomed the New Party, jhwyGirl, not any official action by the Democratic Party. You are correct that a lot of Dems and some more left wing groups had little love for the New Party by ’97 and may have helped ensure its demise further down the road if the Supreme Court had not stepped in first. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Party_(United_States)

    I suggest you sit down with Pete some evening and have a three beer conversation about his experiences and perspectives on the trials and tribulations of the New Party in Missoula. He can help shed light on both the good and the bad. Check out my comments in the link he provided for a perspective from the other side of the political aisle. Pete and I agree on some points but have a few key differences of opinion about what transpired in the mid ‘90s with the New Party and its wide assortment of participants.

    Missoula Republicans would love to see the New Party revitalized. Good luck with the project if you decide to bring it back from the grave.

    PS Glad to see you posting on a more regular basis.

    • Steve W

      Pogo; If local Republicans really would love to see the New Party revived, then perhaps they could help themselves by advocating for laws that facilitate fusion voting? My guess is they don’t want to see it revived that much, since we were very effective for a time. I doubt they would like to see the left return to that level of effectiveness. You have to remember that while the right was winning everywhere else in MT, the left was still electing legislators, county commissioners, and other offices in Missoula. The New Party never hurt the Democrats in the slightest, though it may have bruised more than a few egos within the local party.

      It was just that enthusiasm, effectiveness and winning record that of course brought forth push back both from our local versions of the blue dogs and from others who didn’t like the fact that the times-were-a changin’.

      But in the end, it made the left in Missoula County and beyond much stronger in a whole lot of ways. The Democrats who were able to accept New Party people as allies did very well; The New Party people who were able to accept Democrats as allies did very well. And those who couldn’t adapt, didn’t. After the Supreme Court decision, the Democrats were once again the only game in town and were the beneficiaries of the whole consciousness raising exercise in small d democratic politics.

      So now we have a legacy of many former New Party people who have been elected as Democrats to local and state offices, or who have played pivotal roles in the elections of local, statewide and federal Democratic candidates. I see that as a good thing.

      Of course, not everyone agrees with me on that.

      • I wouldn’t. We have more self-serving kool-aid drinking Democrats in office here Montana and yes, here in Missoula, than any semblance of real progressives like the New Party.

        There are a few…but they would’t amount to the count of fingers on one hand.

        Point that kind of stuff out to them and that brings in the wolves. They have no problem taking out their own to save themselves some feigned ill that might hurt “the greater good.”

        And as proof, watch the wolves swoop in on that.

      • Fusion? If the New Party was so “effective” why do you need fusion Steve? The quick nationwide demise of the New Party after the Supreme Court killed the fusion strategy was proof that it was unable to stand on its own.

        The limited success the New Party had was achieved through subterfuge and misleading main stream Democrats into thinking the New Party was an ally to their cause. When they figured out what you guys were up to they rejected you like a bad skin graft. Most New Party members still in office now try to hide their former New Party ties or flat out lie and deny they were ever members. Even Obama has run from his early New Party ties.

        • So Pogo let’s just say you’re right Progressive, we are an Anathema to the Dem Party ~ what’s your point? jhw was right about the wolves… There’s hardly worse than a status quo Dem spitting on Progressives; or you’re just a troll?

          • Pogo isn’t a troll.

            I appreciate his outside-looking-in perspective. It helps keeps us honest.

            I was more or less trying to tell him that there isn’t a hope’s chance in hell to see the rise of the new party – and yes, even in Missoula.

            Pogo isn’t a wolf. The wolves I see are right amongst us, Darwin26. Here in Missoula helping feed the larger pack.

        • Steve W

          Pogo, I think you would have to agree that your assertion that the Republicans would love to see the New Party make a come back is either a lie or it’s ignorant of the facts. Either way you are wrong, which is why you pivoted away from your original assertion and refused to defend it.

          As to your pivot assertions, Fusion was the cornerstone of the New Party. Without it, their is no reason to be a 3rd party in a system that only allows 3rd parties to act as spoilers, a system that structurally negates the ability of 3rd parties to organize and grow. Fusion overcomes those structural impediments on 3rd parties. The New Party didn’t go away, it transformed into The Working Families Party and continues to elect candidates and to thrive in New York State where fusion is still legal. Many Democrats in New York State actively seek out the endorsement and ballot line of the Working Families Party. So do members of other parties. And they also run their own candidates on thier own ballot lines.

          Also contrary to your pivot assertions, the New Party was always aboveboard and open about their platform, their origins, their funding and their political philosophy. All this was available on the net, in our news letters, in our campaign literature.

          If you have an example of a lie that was told, please share your example. Who told it, to who did they tell it, and when did this happen?

          Please provide an example of current Montana office holders lying or covering up their former membership in the New Party.

          Please provide an example of Obama ‘running from his New Party ties.’

          Now let me provide you with an example, Pogo. Just to prove I can give you what I ask for you to give me.

          Last Thursday night I attended the Progressive Hoedown, which is a biannual social party and political fund raiser for progressive candidates for Missoula City Counsel, hosted by three former Missoula New Party members.

          As far as I could tell, most of the Democratic Party endorsed candidates for city counsel were there. Nobody was hiding or running from the New Party.

          Sorry to dispute your favorite fantasies, to burst your bubble so to speak, but I don’t think you have your facts straight, Pogo.

  14. I am not certain what you are referring to Steve. 1st, I am not a status quo Dem (jhwyGirl can testify to that) and 2nd , I didn’t pivot away from anything I said. If you want more specifics I will give them to you.

    First though, I want to make it clear that I respect some of my former New Party friends and also respect participants like Pete who were very above board in the whole NP process. I also want to apologize to jhwyGirl for diverting her post from its original intent. I was trying to add some historical perspective from “the other side of the aisle”, not take up a lot of ink reliving old battles. But if you want to go there……..

    Much of what you say supports my statements or as you say, my assertions. I stated the Supreme Court decision on fusion doomed the New Party. I don’t think you dispute that.

    Did the New Party mislead the main stream Democrats? You bet. I listened to New Party co-founder Joel Rogers address a group of New Party followers at the UM and brag that the NP objective was to work within the Democratic Party infrastructure and pretend to be Democrats until it was strong enough to run as a single party and destroy both Democrats and Republicans. That isn’t the message your group initially told the main stream Dems when you first came to town. Go ask a few.

    Start with long time Union member and Democratic Central Committeeman Jack Reidy. I watched the newly elected Chair of the Democratic Central Committee (who was a NP member) stand up in a Missoula City Council meeting and tell Reidy that the Central Committee had been meeting without him and other Democratic Central Committee members and had not informed them about meetings so they could vote because the New Party controlled Central Committee no longer considered him and some other elected Central Committee members to be “Democrats”. Jack gave her a piece of his mind and said this had happened on numerous occasions and he and other Democrats were tired of their games.

    Doesn’t sound very “above board” to me, Steve. Too bad Iphones, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo and much of the online search engines we take for granted today to instantly track events, people and political groups didn’t exist in the mid-1990’s to help people know more about what your group was up to behind the scenes.

    Just for the record, Montana didn’t have fusion so what changed in Missoula by 1997 for the NP to go from “effective” to “out of business”. The NP early successes started changing when Dems figured out what you were up to and when some of your folks started going out of their way to insult the Democratic Party faithful. Then things changed. Craig Sweet and Lindy Tracy lost to main stream Dems who won by accusing them of being members of the New Party. Dave Harmon held on by only 14 votes.

    Others ran from the NP label:

    “Before he ran for city council, (Democrat) Mike Kurz was warned about the danger of labels. “One thing I was warned over and over was, don’t get labeled a New Party member because it will never fly,” he says. http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/whats-in-a-name/Content?oid=1133739

    “At 09:47 PM 10/31/2006, Dave Strohmaier wrote: ‘…I’d also caution against referencing the New Party in all of this, as if anyone who favors any of the majority positions of the LGSC was once a New Party member…’.” http://www.cmslists.com/pipermail/missoulagov/2006-November/000188.html

    Even Obama tries to hide his former NP endorsements and membership:

    “Right-wing hatchet man and conspiracy theorist, Stanley Kurtz is pushing a new crackpot smear against Barack falsely claiming he was a member of something called the New Party.”
    Carol Harwell: “Barack did not solicit or seek the New Party endorsement for state senator in 1995.” Carol Harwell was Obama’s campaign manager for his 1996 bid for state senator. According to Ms. Harwell the Obama campaign did not solicit or seek the New Party endorsement. [Conversation with Ms. Harwell on 6/11/08] “

    My Democratic friends reported the same greeting we heard when we hit the doors in the mid-90s – Democratic identified residents greeted candidates with “are you one of those damn New Party people?”

    The final obituary in 1997 made it clear Democrats were happy to see the NP go away:

    “New Party gives in to frustrations after 10 years …..The controversy drove a wedge through Missoula’s Democrats. City Councilman Myrt Charney, who twice defeated New Party opponents, said he couldn’t support the New Party’s liberal agenda.”

    Then there was that embarrassing incident with the Commissioner of Political Practices when what remained of the New Party tried to morph into Progressive Missoula


    “CONCLUSION Based on the preceding Summary of Facts and Statement of Findings, there is substantial evidence to conclude that Progressive Missoula, the individual treasurer and committee members of Progressive Missoula, Allison Handler, and the Allison Handler campaign organization violated Montana campaign finance practices and reporting and disclosure laws and regulations. “

    I can’t think of one former New Party member currently in office who advertises his/her past New Party membership on his/her “current” campaign literature.

    Yes, you held a Progressive Hoedown with Progressives/Liberals in attendance. I even received an email on it. Sounded like fun and some of my liberal friends said they enjoyed it. Hate to break it to you but there were hard working Liberals in Missoula long before the New Party came to town and more will continue to be here long after the NP flyers have yellowed in their dusty files.

    Yes you three NP founders hosted it. Like aging jocks reminiscing over beers about their long faded glory days at their high school reunion, the aging New Party veterans meet each year and reminisce about how great they were in their younger years. Some of the younger liberals/progressives nod and smile over old war stories. Then the crowd breaks up at the end of the evening, tomorrow comes and few people really care about what you used to do in ancient history. They are more interested in what they want to accomplish today.

    Go ahead and fight for fusion in the courts. That battle has already been lost and the main stream Dems will fight you on it. The GOP isn’t the barrier for bringing the New Party back from the grave, Steve. It’s Democrats who don’t want you. The GOP wants you back just the way you were. We want the liberals to wear the New Party label so we can use it as a wedge issue with main stream more moderate Democrats.

    In the beginning of the New Party, co-founder Dan Cantor said the goal of the New Party was to form a religion and not a sect. In the end, you ended up with a sect, and a pretty small one at that.

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