The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 70/No. 32           August 28, 2006  
Socialist Workers in New York file for ballot status
(front page)
ALBANY, New York— “We oppose the anti-working-class campaign around ‘homeland defense’ that Democrats and Republicans are pushing in the name of ‘fighting terrorism,’” said Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Senate in New York. “The U.S. rulers are trying to get us to accept restrictions on political rights and a stepped-up military presence in civilian life. The target of such measures will be the unions and the struggles of working people.”

Calero was responding to a reporter’s question at a news conference held here August 15, before he and other socialist candidates headed to the state board of elections office and turned in 30,000 signatures—double the requirement—to place the Socialist Workers ticket on the ballot.

The event was reported on in the Syracuse Post-Standard, New York Newsday and the Albany Times-Union, and taped for the Empire Radio Network.

The SWP ticket also includes Maura DeLuca for governor, Ben O’Shaughnessy for lieutenant governor, Martín Koppel for state attorney general, Willie Cotton for state comptroller, and Nancy Boyasko for U.S. Congress in the 11th District in Brooklyn.

In the press conference, Calero noted that both Democratic senator Hillary Clinton and Republican contender John Spencer are trying to outdo each other in pushing for “homeland security” measures that undermine workers’ rights. The day before, Clinton called for a bigger police and military deployment at home while Spencer defended wiretapping by the National Security Agency.

DeLuca, a sewing-machine operator in New York City, pointed out that “dairy farmers in this state face an unremitting squeeze on their livelihoods and the threat of losing their land.” The price farmers receive for milk is the lowest in years, compounding their losses from recent floods.

“Our campaign calls for government-funded affordable credit to working farmers, price supports to cover their production costs, and an end to farm foreclosures,” DeLuca said.

A reporter asked about the difference between the SWP and the Working Families Party, “left-wing Democrats,” and “independent socialist” congressman Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

“The difference is that ours is a working-class campaign with a platform to organize working people independently of the Democrats, Republicans, and all other capitalist parties,” Koppel replied. He said the Working Families Party, which has already endorsed the leading Democratic candidates, is “simply a vehicle to get working people to back the Democrats.” Sanders, a social democrat, gives critical support to the Democrats and “claims it’s possible to reform capitalism into a system that will benefit working people, which is impossible,” Koppel said.

Another reporter asked why the SWP ticket includes candidates too young to hold office. “There was a time when 18-year-olds, women, Blacks, and workers without property were barred from voting,” DeLuca replied. “Those restrictions were defeated. If enough people want us to be elected, the current undemocratic legal requirements will be changed, too.”

While legally excluded from holding office, young people and workers who are noncitizens are helping lead important labor and other struggles, said Calero, himself a Nicaraguan-born U.S. permanent resident.

“The Democrats and Republicans speak for the tiny class of billionaires,” he noted. In contrast, “our ticket is far more representative of the working class in this country. That’s why thousands signed to have a working-class voice be heard in the elections.”
Related articles:
California: SWP candidates join antiwar protest, campaign for legalization of immigrant workers
Socialist Workers Party candidates in 2006  
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