Cynthia McKinney started her "I haven't decided weather I'm running for President yet" tour of northern California by having lunch with a couple dozen of us here in Mountain View. We took over the back of a fancy Italian restaurant about half a block from the train station. Things started about half an hour behind schedule, as seems to be the norm for these things. While we were waiting for Cynthia Hugh gave us a reminder that the Presidential races take money.


The first thing McKinney did was work her way around the room and shake everybody's hand. She has a big grin and is an expert at this stuff. Everybody kind of tuned in. When she got to Carol Brouillet the pattern kind of broke. Carol gave her an assortment of Deception Dollars and explained that they were her work. She said "If you declare for President I'll make one for you, and we can work together on what you want on it." Cynthia was touched by the offer. They talked for a few minutes.

Somewhere in that general time frame I gave Cynthia McKinney a Wyoming quarter.


After Hugh introduced her formally, Cynthia spoke.  She said she was excited to be in California, and if the trip raises $5000, she will be contesting the Green Party Presidential  for sure. She said her goal would be to get on 51 ballots and take the fall election. Her other goal would be to get us all involved with moving forward together.

What I really remember from that is the Q&A. I got the first question, asking her if she was campaigning in other states. She said they had just come from Arizona, where she had campaigned with a group getting on the ballot in some county. Before that she had visited New Hampshire, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. She spent some time talking about the need to stand with the guy who tried to get his name on the ballot in Pennsylvania but had some bad signatures that had caused some thorny ballot access fines which are still hung over from 2004. We could see she is troubled that they might stick her with the same kind of problem.

Somebody asked if she knew what had happened in her last Congressional race. She shook her head. Apparently there had been a bizarre equipment failure late in the evening of the count, and then the next day her opponent was declared the victor. Since then lots of evidence has surfaced about hanky-panky, and they are pursuing it through the courts, but it seems a bit late for an effective remedy now.

Somebody else asked how she felt about getting divorced from the Democrat Party. She said the real question was, had she ever been married to the Democrat Party. Then she explained that in Georgia, if you were Black you register Democrat, because that's just the way it was. Then she said a few things that were simply not not complimentary towards the two party system. It was very clear that she feels that real change can only come from outside that.

After she sat down the conversation meandered a bit. Cynthia talked about how in Washington she frequently got memos with talking points that had been focus group tested from the Democratic leadership. It was like they made it easy to be "on the same page" so that her constituents would feel represented and they could get away with business as usual. Carol talked about how it seems like the whole Federal Government thing is driven by fear. Somewhere in there I told her that I've said to many private Californians that if they just want to register to vote with us all they have to do is fill out the form at the nearest Post Office and mail it in. I also said that among them were some that believe marijuana is green. I suggested that maybe a good talking point would be something like "marijuana is less addicting than oil." It seemed like the time for her to leave came too soon.

Later I learned that we had raised something like $1200 bucks for her campaign. Now I'm thinking that we need to do a lot of work to get the word out on her campaign before February 5th. That's only four months from now, as I type this!

For more information please visit the draft Cynthia website by clicking here.