Impeachment Is A Family Tradition
Andy first entered Green Party politics in college, when he heard that a third party, the Citizens Party, was running an environmentalist for president: Barry Commoner. Andy was elected to the San Diego steering committee for the party for two years until moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1983.
In 1982, the San Diego steering committee worked as the San Diego campaign committee for Gore Vidal’s campaign against Jerry Brown for U.S. Senate. Vidal was proposing a constitutional convention so that we could establish a parliamentary system in the U.S.
As preposterous as it sounds, it was a great vehicle for pointing out that there are ways third parties can get a fair opportunity to gain political power. With a parliamentary system, if a party gets five percent of the vote, they get 5% of the seats. This is why the Green movement has been much more successful in European parliamentary nations than in the U.S. where you have to get over 50% of the vote to win, or at least a plurality of votes cast.
The Citizens Party was recognized by several European Green Parties at its 1984 CiP Convention as their sister Green Party in the U.S. The Citizens Party also made a valiant attempt to pass an affordable housing initiative, paid for by redirecting one half of Reagan’s tax cuts to a state pool of loan money to create permanent affordable housing. Andy was the San Diego coordinator for the initiative.
In the Spring of 1985, a day apart, Andy joined up with Earth First! and then attended the first meeting of the East Bay Green Alliance in Berkeley. He organized for the Green Party movement in the EBGA until in 1987 he formed the short-lived Berkeley Greens, the world’s only Earth First! Green Party organization.
After his historic campaign against the genetically-engineered microbe Frostban, he was invited to address the first national Greens conference in Amherst, MA. In 1988 Andy hit the road in a 1964 Ford Country Sedan station wagon with a red leather T-Bird interior and moved north to videotape the struggles for the ancient Redwoods in Humboldt County and the old growth forests in southern Oregon.
Andy has continued to work in California Green Party politics ever since.
Andy’s great, great, great, great uncle Major General John A. Logan is considered by historians the greatest volunteer of the Civil War. It is fair to say that without him, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox. Before the war, Logan served in Congress from southern Illinois as a Democrat. He is responsible for bringing Illinois into the Civil War on the Union side and recruited for the war his famed 31st Regiment Illinois Volunteers, the bravest and most hard core of the hard core union soldiers thanks to their devotion to the General who was fearless and equally devoted to them.
After the war, now close friends with Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, Logan was elected again to the House of Representatives and then three times to the Senate as a Republican. While in the House he was one of the seven Congressmen to prosecute Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial in the Senate. He read the charges on the Senate floor.
Logan ran for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1884. He came in second to Secretary of State James G. Blaine, but was selected to be Blaine’s running mate for vice president. They lost by one electoral vote to Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat to win since before the Civil War.
Two years later, Logan was a shoe-in for president in 1888, but finally died from his Civil War ailments in 1886. Republican Benjamin Harrison running on Logan’s platform then defeated Cleveland. General Logan is probably the most important figure from 19th century American history that you’ve never heard of. But he co-founded and was president of the first U.S. veterans organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, and started Memorial Day.