A year ago, two Santa Monica City Councilmen were members of the Green Party.
In the municipal election last November, Green Michael Feinstein lost his bid for re-election, and Friday Councilman Kevin McKeown sent the following letter to Green Party officials informing them that he had changed his voter registration to “decline to state.”
McKeown’s letter said, “As the only elected governmental official on the Green Party of California state Coordinating Committee, I have for some time been uncomfortable with the GPCA’s ongoing inability to file legally required political donation and expenditure records for a number of checks intended by donors for the Green Party, but apparently diverted through a privately controlled account.
“After four years, the matter finally was put before the California Green Party’s highest decision-making body, the General Assembly, this past weekend.
“Delegates from around the state were presented with written documentation, including a letter from the GPCA Finance Committee that explained the seriousness of the situation. That letter, part of each delegate’s information packet, concluded, ‘It is fair to describe the public outcry over the mismanagement of the funds in the account in question as the worst public scandal in our party’s history. That scandal is now part of our history — an indelible part. The only question remaining is whether you, the representatives of the Green Party of California, wish the party to continue our efforts to bring this problem to a conclusion based upon legal compliance and a political resolution based upon our own principles and values.’
“Instead of seeking responsible resolution, a minority wishing to avoid the issue refused to ratify the previously-circulated agenda, and succeeded in delaying the meeting by almost five hours. Eventually, the 80-odd,frustrated delegates voted to remove only one item from the day’s general assembly agenda — the matter of the legally-required financial filings.
“Greens, who advocate for political transparency and clean campaign financing, have now actively chosen to ignore compliance with California’s primary political finance disclosure law, 1974’s Political Reform Act.
“As an elected official trying to represent Green integrity in local governance to a Santa Monica constituency unfortunately very familiar through hometown headlines with ‘the worst public scandal in our party’s history,’ I find myself in an intolerable conflict.
“I’ve done my best, but I still have unresolved concerns with California Green Party leadership that considers itself above the law on financial transparency and electoral integrity.“I have this morning re-registered as ‘decline to state.’ I shall continue to work with you on implementing the Ten Key Values in Santa Monica, California, the nation and the world.”