The '''Independent Greens of Virginia''', (also known as the '''Indy
Greens''' and Independent Green Party), are the state affiliate of the Independence Party of America in the Commonwealth of
Virginia. The Indy Greens became a state party around 2001 when the regional group of independents and
Greens expanded statewide. Their platform is: for "More Candidates, Less Apathy", "More Trains, Less Traffic"
and "Fiscally Conservative, Socially Responsible". The party's policy is fiscal conservatism
and social responsibility, with an emphasis on building green rail, growing green jobs in renewable energy: solar,
The party traces its roots
to a local political group of "Independent Green Reformer”s" in the early 1990s. In their original party plan,
platform and bylaws, Indy Greens described themselves as a “values conservative party”. The phrase came from American
University graduate and Green Party founder Petra Kelly, and co-author the Christian conservative Herbert Gruehl in their
original Green Party platform.
Independent Greens cite the independent Virginia tradition of U.S.
Senator [[Harry F. Byrd, Jr.]] (in office 1965-1983). Byrd was the second U.S. Senator to serve as an Independent when he
became an independent in 1970. In the 1990s the leaders of what would become the Independent Greens were George R. "Tex"
Wood and C. W. Anglin. Wood filed lawsuits to gain ballot access for third party and independent candidates, and as of 2010
is 9th District chair of the Independent Greens.
==Philosophy and Positions==
The platform of the Independent Greens focuses on fiscal conservatism, calling for balanced budgets at local,
state, and federal levels, and paying off the national debt. Indy Greens supports term limits as Petra Kelly’s original
Green Party required term limits. "More Trains, Less Traffic" means building high speed rail
nationwide, new rail subways in every major American city, and light rail. On July 7, 2008, the Indy Greens were the first
state political party to endorse the Pickens Plan, a proposal by financier T. Boone Pickens, to build Wind power and solar
power, and cut dependence on foreign oil.
The Independent Greens run candidates and supports all independent
and third party candidates, endorsing candidates regardless of ideology. The philosophy behind this support is the party's
belief that winning is participating. It is a civic duty.
Throughout the 1990's the Independent Green Reformers were active across Virginia. In 1992
and 1996 they worked on Ross Perot petition drives. Indy Greens were active putting local and state candidates on the ballot
in the 1990s. Notable Independent Greens on the ballot in the 1990's as Independents included state senate candidates Dave
Goode, and conservative Virginia Dobey. In 2000 Independent Greens put several candidates on the ballot for Congress.
Rick for Rail Herron was a Green Party member, and on the ballot for Congress in the 8th District. Marc Rossi was an
Indy Green on the ballot in the 10th District as an Independent. In Virginia's 11th District Phd, Sarina
Grosswald was a joint Independent Green Natural Law candidate in 2000, and 2002. Independent Greens were
key in getting the Green Party candidate on the ballot for President in 2000 in Virginia. Independent Greens collected 18,500
of the 26,000 signatures presented to the state board of elections. In 2004 Indy Greens collected over 20,000 signatures to
assist putting the Constitution candidate on the ballot for President, along with several Indy Greens for congress like Joseph
Oddo, a co founder of the Independent Greens.
2005 the Independent Greens collected thousands of signatures to put sitting state senator Russ Potts on the ballot as an
Independent for Governor.
Glenda "Gail for Rail" Parker appeared on the ballot for the
first time as an Independent Green for state legislature, House of Delegates.
In July 2005, the Indy
Greens offered their nomination to all Independents on the ballot. According to the Lynchburg News & Advance, six accepted
the nomination, all others except one accepted the Indy Green endorsement. Among the Indy Greens on the ballot as Independents
for House of Delegates was the attorney, and music composer John "Cogg" Coggshall. The Cogg would compose
the famous Gail for Rail campaign theme song featured in 2006 on the Cobert Report.
The Indy Greens' most prominent candidate in the 2006 election was retired United States Air Force officer
Gail for Rail Parker who ran for the Virginia United States Senate. Gail for Rail Parker called for funding
new Virginia wide high speed rail system and a new accounting system at the Pentagon, and balancing the
federal budget and paying off the federal debt
Comedian Stephen Colbert found her campaign jingle
worthy of a post-election sing-along on his television show.
The party nominated candidates in three
Congressional districts, and endorsed all Independents for Congress: in the 4th, retired U.S. Army Col. Independent
Green Albert Burckard received 23.4%, in the 5th, Joseph Oddo received 0.9% and
in the 11th, Fernando Greco received 0.9%.
Independent Greens nominated candidates for five state legislative seats, and endorsed nearly 50 Independent candidates for
the state legislature. They ran many candidates for county board of supervisors. 60 Indy Green endorsee/nominees
attended a televised National Press Club press conference. In four of those races, the Indy Green
nominee received between 17% and 21% of the vote
* Senate 31 (Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church):
Samuel D. Burley, 4,676 votes (16.52%)
* Senate 35 (Fairfax, Alexandria): Mario T. Palmiotto, 4,532
* House 39 (Fairfax): Laura C. Clifton, 2,847 votes (21.17%)
House 49 (Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria): James Ronald Fisher, 1,072 votes (19.12%)
* House 28 (Stafford,
Fredericksburg): Craig E. Ennis, 457 votes (3.23%)
The party organized presidential forums among minor party
candidates between 2007 and 2008.
On January 1, 2008, the Independent Greens became
the first state political party in America to launch a petition drive to put New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Congressman
Ron Paul on the ballot for president, and vice president.
By August 1, 2008 the
Indy Greens had submitted over 70,000 petition signatures to the state board of elections to put a Independent Green U.S.
Senate candidate Gail for Rail Parker on the ballot, along with five Independent Green nominees/endorsees on the ballot for
U.S. House of Representatives and the Bloomberg/Paul presidential ticket on the ballot in Virginia. On
August 15, 2008 the Virginia State Board of Elections confirmed Greens had collected enough signatures to put Bloomberg and
Paul on the ballot. Ron Paul and Michael Bloomberg withdrew from the Indy Greens ballot line on September
5, 2008. Indy Greens offered the nomination to Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens to run in promotion of Pickens Plan to reduce
the United States' foreign oil intake by investing in alternative energy.<
Mars (of Mars Candy fortune) was offered the nomination for her promotion and support of conservation and
there were discussions with former Governor Jesse Ventura.
Gail for Rail Parker ran for the U.S. Senate for a second time in 2008.
Indy Greens were nominated for the House of Representatives. In the 8th District, J. Ron Fisher received 2.08%. In
the 11th District seat Joseph Oddo received 2.02%. Three other Independent Greens were on the ballot as
Independent Greens attempted to draft Washington
Capitals hockey team owner Ted Leonsis as the gubenatorial candidate. Seven were on the ballot as Independent Greens and a
total of 27 nominee/endorsees. Among them was the only Korean American woman on the ballot for House of Delegates Ana Marie
Choi, and the only native american indian, retired USMC Col. Jim Leslie. Most Indy Green nominee/endorees like John Parmele
(US Air Force) were retired military veterans. The top vote-getter IG nominee was Craig Ennis in the 28th district, who received
24.5% of the vote.
IG endorsee/nominee results by district:
9th - Sherman
"for Rail" Witcher received 20.7% of vote in two way race.
12th - Paul Cornett got 34% of
the vote, also two way race.
18th - Todd Jack 17% in three way race.
- William Smith 15%, three way race.
28th - Craig "for Rail" Ennis 24.5%,
two way race.
29th - Aaron Tweedie 20%, two way race
30th - Matt Carson 25%,
two way race
37th - Anna Marie "for Rail" Choi 7%, three candidates on ballot.
- Col. Jim "for Rail " Leslie 1%, four way race.
41st - Monique "for Rail" Berry
2%, three way race.
44th - Gail "for Rail" Parker 2%, three way race.
- Josh Reubner (Green Party) 4%, three way race.
57th - Robert Smith 21%, two way race.
- Watkins Abbitt - re-elected.
64th - Col. Albert "for Rail" Burchkard 2%, three way race.
65th - Gary Reinhardt 29%, two way race.
68th - William "for Rail" Grogan
30%, two way race.
69th - Shirley Harvey 6%, three way.
70th - Otis Brown
22%, two way.
71st - Silver Persinger 17% two way race.
82nd - John Parmele
4% in three way.
85th - French Mackes 18% in two way race.
89th - Trip Triplin
18% in two way race.
91st - Gordon Hesel 35% in three way race.
W. Smith 1% in three way race.
Greens had a full slate of 11 endorsee/nominees for Congress.
Gail for Rail Parker, retired U.S. Air Force officer
2nd endorsee Kenny Golden,
retired U.S. Navy Commodore
3rd John D. Kelly, elected Indy
Green district Chair and retired U.S. Air Force MSgt
4th Janet Murphy, realtor,
Indy Green Press Secretary
5th Jeff Clark U.S. Army veteran, elected Indy Green
5th district Chairman
6th endorsee Jeff Vanke, centrist Phd., husband, father.
7th Floyd Bayne, businessman
Ron Fisher, retired U.S. Navy Captain
9th endorsee Jeremiah Heaton
U.S. Army veteran, businessman, farmer, husband, father.
10th endorsee Bill Redpath,
11th David William Gillis, Jr., realtor
Independent Greens established an IndependentGreen Youtube channel on October 17, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/user/IndependentGreens?feature=mhum
. It features Independent Green leadership and candidates.
Virginia elects 100 members of the state House of Delegates, and 40 members
of the State Senate in 2011. Virginia's largest county Fairfax also elects the local board of supervisors,
and county chair. Virginia has a population of 7,300,000. Fairfax county has 1,100,000 residents. Independent
Greens Jeremy Good (2003), Gail for Rail Parker (2007), and Carey Campbell (2009, a special election) ran as Independents
for Fairfax County Chair, Virginia's biggest non statewide race. Independent Greens Will Radle is the (2011) candidate
for Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.