Santa Monica, Calif. Officials from the Green Party, which ran Ralph Nader's presidential campaign in November, announced Monday plans for a renewed push to make their association of state parties into a federally recognized national party.
Green Party officials said they have satisfied all the requirements for national party status and will file the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission by Aug. 10. FEC attorneys will then make a recommendation to the six commissioners, who have 60 days to issue an opinion.
The designation which the Greens sought unsuccessfully in 1996 is desirable mainly for fund-raising purposes. Local and state party committees may not accept donations above $5,000 a year per contributor; the limit for national party committees is $20,000.
"We can raise more funds, and raise the threshold point of our recognition," said Santa Monica Mayor Mike Feinstein, a Green Party member. "We've decided to participate in the system."
Among other criteria to gain federal recognition, parties must nominate candidates for various federal offices in numerous states, engage in activities like voter-registration drives on an ongoing basis and have a national convention.
The FEC found in 1996 that the Green Party did not satisfy all those requirements, but party officials say they anticipate success this time around.
The Green Party ran 57 candidates for congressional seats across the country in 2000, none of them successful. Nader was on the ballot in 45 states and got 3 percent of the vote nationwide.
Party officials say Nader's candidacy raised the Green Party's profile and has resulted in increased membership to about 200,000 members nationwide. But many Democrats blame Nader for Al Gore's loss.