Pasadena Mayor Challenges Democrat for Congress

What is the former Mayor of stodgy old Pasadena doing running as a Green candidate for Congress?

"Challenging the Democrats and the Democrat incumbent to do something about the Bush administration, not vote with it most of  the time," ex-Mayor Bill Paparian says.

Paparian, a long time Green, notes that the Green party funded challenges to the 2004 election when democrats folded up their

Mayoral Inauguration in 1995 (receiving the traditional top hat and key)

 tents -- challenges that uncovered actual wrongdoing in places like Ohio.

But what about the treehugger image?

"Anybody who knows me knows I like a good cigar, and I am no vegetarian, " Paparian said. "But I don't think anyone thinks it's a good idea to loot the environment for personal profit, or ignore the serious implications of global warming. In that respect, most people already know the Green position and agree with it to one extent or another."

Perhaps it is not a surprise after all -- in an era when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger creates a Green California website and a Texas Oilman turned President announces we are addicted to oil, when GM announces its Green vehicle fleet in national TV ads without any government prompting, and the waiting list for electric hybrid cars -- any hybrid -- can be months long.

But will all this green-feeling turn into votes for an unlikely Green candidate?

1996 Rose Parade riding in a 1948 Chrysler Town and County Convertible.

"Of course it will, " said Paparian. "People are ready to stand up to this administration, something Greens have been doing all along."

"Most people don't realize that Greens have also been on the forefront of holding this President accountable for this disastrous war, for the erosion of civil rights through the Patriot Act, and now this illegal domestic spying."

Paparian says he is running because "Schiff has let his constituents down. He has voted with the administration so many times that there is even a serious Democrat challenger in the primary."