The Austin Chronicle

Republicans Go Green

By Richard Whittaker, June 11, 2010, News

The Green Party of Texas may have made it onto the November ballot, but there's a question about who put it there. To get ballot access in Texas, parties must either receive 5% of votes cast in the previous election or present a petition for ballot access with 43,992 signatures within 75 days of their precinct conventions. Traditionally, third parties have had trouble hitting either target, but on May 24 the Greens handed 92,000 signatures to the secretary of state.

Chicago-based petition-gathering company Free & Equal Inc. told The Dallas Morning News that it had been hired by Arizona-based Republican consultant Tim Mooney to collect the signatures. The money was to come from Take Initiative America, a Missouri-based nonprofit corporation – connected to New York-based hedge fund manager Paul Singer – that made national headlines in 2007 for its failed efforts to change California's presidential electoral college allocation to benefit Republicans. The Green Party has said it will declare the petition as a donation in kind for campaign finance purposes, but Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie said it should reject the gift to "save their integrity and repudiate petitions that undermine democracy and fair elections."

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