Illinois Green Party feels threatened by 24 year old

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The race for Cook County Board President just got a little bit more interesting:

While the petition battles of Todd Stroger and Dorothy Brown have occupied the minds of political junkies watching the Cook CountyBoard President’s race, another petition challenge of interest has gone by unnoticed.

Green Party candidate Tom Tresser, who made a name for himself as the leader of the anti-Olympics group No Games Chicago, has challenged the petitions of his Green Party primary opponent Sean Burke upon finding out that Burke is associated with the web address for the Cook County Young Democrats.

via NBC Chicago “Green Party Candidate Challenges Primary Rival’s Affiliation

Little information about Sean Burke is available, but the Green Party is already in a tizzy. Green Party Watch went and wrote a piece about how the Democrats are “playing dirty tricks”  and cited another example of a Green Party candidate being challenged in another district as proof. Further investigation on the internets reveals that in the second case mentioned the Democratic nominee is also being challenged.   To add further fuel to this fire, Tresser went ahead and wrote on his blog why he was challenging Burke, saying:

The Machine has taken note of the Green Party and it’s entirely appropriate to protect the party from candidates who are running to mess with us. I and some of my mentors and Green Party allies believe that the party needs to protect itself from people who want to run as a Green but who do not hold to the core values of the party, are not reformers, are not fighters, who are serving the Daley-Stroger Machine and who actually want to damage viable Green party campaigns.

The whole thing sounds downright paranoid. If you scroll down the NBC link, Sean Burke made  the first comment on the story, and the only reaction to his post was by another commenter making fun of Burke’s website and telling him “you’re full of crap”. This Burke is 24 years old, and I buy his switch,  his disenchantment with the Young Democrats. The  Green Party platform is an interesting mix of Republican and Democratic ideas, and I myself can understand the appeal.  Everyone is always hammering on about how our two party system is broken, with the two parties we have bickering incessantly while slowly morphing into one another.  Is it that hard to believe someone from the Young Democrats would want to join the Green Party?

By Tresser calling out Burke (who may have just put his name on the ballot for a whim, because why not considering the politicians that run Chicago?) he may have actually helped Burke’s candidacy while also alienating potential Green Party members. I campaigned for Ron Paul and later Barack Obama, but if I now decide to join the Green Party will I too be called a spy and saboteur?