After more than 8 months of negotiating, cajoling and applying the necessary legal pressure to his home state's Board of Elections, Jesse Johnson has succeeded in getting, not only his name on the West Virginia (WV) ballot, but all four Green Party Presidential candidates, including Cynthia McKinney, Kat Swift, and Kent Mesplay.
Despite the affiliation between the West Virginia Mountain Party and the Green Party, WV lawmakers had threatened to withhold the ballot line on the basis that the names of the parties were dissimilar, leaving Johnson as the only green Presidential candidate on the state's ballot. However Johnson and his lawyer successfully argued that this decision would also call into question all past elections in which an affiliated party had a different name, not only in WV but nationwide (e.g. the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota as an affiliate of the Democrats).
Johnson entered politics a few years ago after returning to his homestate to see the environmental and socio-economic devastation wreaked by the current coal mining practices of mountain top removal. His once beautiful mountains are blown up regularly for the sake of quick extraction of coal while the debris is pushed into streams left to contaminate the ground water upon which the locals rely for farming and fresh drinking water.
"Green values are the values of American citizens," Johnson said. "I intend to gain their votes by defending our Constitution and our environment passionately, protecting the jobs and families of working-class Americans through sensible trade and health care policies, and ending not only the warin Iraq, but war as a means of foreign policy as well as the unforgivable bedrock of our economy."
Johnson has run to state level campaigns before as a candidate for Governor
of West Virginia in 2004 and U.S. Senator in 2006.