Template:Infobox Politician David Keith Cobb (born December 24, 1962 in San Leon, Texas) is an American activist and was the 2004 presidential candidate of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).
Career and political activitiesEdit
After working as a crewman on a Gulf Coast shrimp boat, a construction worker and a waiter, Cobb graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993 and for several years maintained a successful private practice as an attorney in Houston, Texas. During the 1980s, Cobb had campaigned for the Democratic presidential candidacies of Jesse Jackson and Jerry Brown. As a result of his experiences, however, Cobb became disenchanted with the Democratic Party and declined to campaign for them any further. Instead, he turned his activism to the issues of democracy and corporations, appearing at lectures, seminars, and workshops throughout the U.S. with various citizens' groups to promote his view that corporations have become unelected governing institutions and that a nonviolent democratic revolution is needed in response.
In 2000, Green Presidential candidate Ralph Nader asked Cobb to organize his campaign in Texas, and Cobb closed his law practice to do so. He coordinated a successful ballot access drive in the state. Concurrently, Cobb became the GPUS's General Counsel.
In 2002, Cobb ran for Attorney General of Texas on the Green ticket and used his candidacy to "barnstorm" parts of Texas with little Green representation. He was unsuccessful in the election, winning just 0.92% of the vote, but the Green Party of Texas grew dramatically during his campaign, from four local chapters to 26. The next year, Cobb was tabbed as a possible presidential candidate by a Green committee, and he accepted the challenge, taking an indefinite leave of absence as General Counsel (made permanent by Cobb's loss of bar status in Texas shortly thereafter.)Template:Fact
2004 presidential campaignEdit
With the announcement in late December 2003 that Nader would not seek the nomination of the Green Party for President in 2004, Cobb began to be considered by some Greens as the front-runner for the party's nomination. On January 13, 2004, David Cobb won the first Green primary in the nation, that of the District of Columbia, beating local activist Sheila Bilyeu and several write-in candidates and gaining the early lead in the race for the nomination. Nader eventually announced an independent campaign for president and sought the "endorsement" rather than the "nomination" of the Green Party. Shortly before Forward 2004!, the Green Party presidential nominating convention, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in June, 2004, Nader selected Green Party member Peter Camejo as his running mate. On June 26, on the second ballot, the convention selected Cobb as the Green presidential candidate. The party also nominated Pat LaMarche as its candidate for vice-president.
Cobb stated his intention to run a campaign focused on building the Green Party and to pursue a "strategic states" or "smart states" strategy that would take into account the wishes of Greens in each state, and which otherwise would focus on states that traditionally are "safely" won by the Democratic candidate, or "safely" won by the Republican candidate, with a large margin of victory. Such so-called "safe states" are also referred to in campaign literature as "neglected states" because the Democratic and Republican candidates traditionally put most of their campaign energy into more competitive "swing states." Cobb's campaign said that, in each state, the campaign would aim to follow the wishes expressed by Greens in that state. While some of Cobb's erstwhile supporters urged swing state residents to vote for Democrat John Kerry in order to stop the re-election of President George W. Bush, other Cobb supporters encouraged votes for Cobb and LaMarche in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The candidates themselves used the phrase "vote your conscience," campaigning both in swing states such as Wisconsin and safe states such as California.
On October 8, 2004, Cobb was arrested in an act of civil disobedience, breaking a police line while protesting the Commission on Presidential Debates for excluding third-party candidates from the nationally televised debates in St. Louis, Missouri. Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik also was arrested in the protest.
In the November 2004 presidential election, Cobb placed sixth in the popular vote total nationwide, earning over 118,000 votes (0.096 percent), but received no electoral votes.
2004 Ohio recountEdit
After the 2004 election, Cobb and Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik sought a recount of the Ohio vote and announced that they would challenge the 2004 presidential voting results in Ohio, even though neither challenger was claiming to have won the election, and even though Cobb had not even been on the ballot in Ohio. The challengers explained that it was an important matter of principle, to make sure all the votes were counted, and counted accurately. They pointed to alleged irregularities of various kinds.
On December 6, 2004, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell certified that Bush had won Ohio by about 119,000 votes over Kerry. This was a considerably lower difference than earlier unofficial counts had reported, but it still amounted to a margin of about two percentage points. A formal legal challenge to the certified vote could not be filed until the official Ohio certification, which made it official that Bush could expect 286 electoral votes, to Kerry's 252 electoral votes.
Cobb currently serves as a Fellow with the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, and as an organizer with Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.
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- Official Cobb for President website
- Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution website
- Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County websitede:David Cobb