For those voters who think Ralph Nader and Bob Barr are too conventional, the Green Party this weekend named former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia, its 2008 presidential nominee.
At the Green Party’s nominating convention Saturday in at the Chicago Symphony Center, McKinney received 313 out of 532 votes cast in the first round of balloting.
"I am asking you to vote your conscience, vote your dreams, vote your future, vote Green," McKinney told the convention’s 800 or so attendees. "A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the movement that will turn this country right-side-up again."
McKinney, a former six-term congresswoman and the first African-American woman elected to represent Georgia in Congress, might be best known for asking "What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th?"
Controversy has followed the outspoken public official seemingly wherever she goes. In 2000 she wrote that "Al Gore’s Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I’ve never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time." (She said that despite the fact that Gore’s campaign manager at the time, Donna Brazile, is African-American.) In March 2006, McKinney and a Capitol Hill Police officer got into an altercation.
McKinney was defeated for reelection in the Democratic primary in 2002. After her successor unsuccessfully ran for US Senate, McKinney reclaimed her US House seat in 2004, only to be defeated in the primary again in 2006.
McKinney’s vice presidential nominee will be hip-hop activist and journalist Rosa Clemente, 35.
In 2004, 119,859 Americans voted for then-Green Party nominee David Cobb, giving him 0.1 percent of the total. In 2000, 2.8 million voters chose then-Green Party nominee Nader, giving him 2.7 percent of the total, and in the view of many Democrats, helping to swing the election to then-Gov. George W. Bush.