In mid-June, 2021, Paula Bradshaw and Rich Whitney, active in building the Shawnee Green Party in Carbondale Illinois since 1996, tendered their resignation from the Green Party. They communicated their decision privately within the party among allies, before submitting a formal letter of resignation. In that letter, they wrote.
. . . recent actions and statements of the GPUS Accreditation Committee, Steering Committee, National Committee Forum Managers, National Committee and the Lavender Caucus -- all taken in support of the Lavender Caucus’s proposal to suspend the affiliation of the Georgia Green Party – betray the democratic principles and precepts upon which the party was founded and evince a clear intention by the party majority to suppress dissent, elevate policy positions to the status of inviolable “principles,” and rule by decree rather than by democratic process. It has become increasingly apparent that the GPUS is determined to become a rigid dogmatic sect rather than a political party in which policy questions and interpretations of the Ten Key Values can be freely discussed and debated, and in which minority viewpoints are tolerated.
Paula Bradshaw is a podcast producer and three time candidate for the U.S. Congress, running with the nomination of the Illinois Green Party. At the time of her resignation, she served as a Delegate to the Green National Committee for the Illinois Green Party. Rich Whitney is an attorney who ran for Governor of Illinois taking 10% of the state-wide vote and leaving the Illinois Green Party with a state-wide ballot line. Rich Whitney served until this resignation as the chairman of the Illinois Green Party.
Their resignation is likely the highest profile fallout to date within the U.S. Green Party resulting from the tactics of what their letter characterizes as a mob of dogmatic, self-righteous authoritarians within its ranks.
In their heavily footnoted 13 page letter, the Southern Illinois grandparents who have devoted 25 years to building the Green party, cite a broad range of offenses by various members of party leadership which they assert violate the founding values of the party, including:
- Suppression of Paula’s speech on the National Committee
- suppression of speech by others on the National Committee and elsewhere
- an unprecedented attack by the Steering Committee on Dialogue Not Expulsion
- the suppression of real policy discussion on issues raised by gender ideology
- a betrayal of core Green Party values, including: Grassroots Democracy, Feminism and Non-Violence
- dogmatism and sectarianism within the party
Their letter concludes:
For the above reasons, we have come to the conclusion that the Green Party of the United States can no longer serve as a vehicle for social progress. There are still some good people in the ILGP and GPUS, but the national organization has been captured by a mob of dogmatic, self-righteous authoritarians and we can no longer support it. Therefore (with Rich’s apologies to Sheldon Schaefer for abandoning him as co-chair), we resign from the Illinois Green Party. (emphasis added)