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Vol. 74/No. 31      August 16, 2010

Socialist candidates in Iowa
present ‘a clear message’
(front page)
DES MOINES, Iowa, July 29—It was a busy day for the Iowa Socialist Workers campaign. SWP candidates David Rosenfeld for governor, Helen Meyers for lieutenant governor, and their supporters delivered petitions with 2,100 signatures, well over the 1,500 required, to the state elections office here to put the candidates on the November ballot. They also filed 450 signatures to place Rebecca Williamson in the running for U.S. Congress in the third congressional district.

The candidates held a news conference on the steps of the state capitol attended by reporters from Iowa Public Radio (IPR) and the Cedar Rapids Gazette. IPR ran coverage of the campaign, including an excerpt from an interview with Rosenfeld, that afternoon and the next morning. The Gazette ran an article titled “Socialist Party members have a clear message” in that day’s online edition, as well as in the Mason City Globe Gazette.

Reporter Rob Boshart asked David Rosenfeld why he is running for governor. Rosenfeld responded, “We’re under attack in terms of the cutbacks in social services, in terms of long-term unemployment, the permanent state of war in this country, and unless working people begin to organize themselves as a movement that can exercise power as opposed to relying on politicians that represent the dictatorship of capital—those are Democrats and Republicans—we’re going to continue to get hammered in this crisis,” he said.

“Unlike most political candidates, Helen Meyers, 65, an industrial worker and unionist from Des Moines who is running with Rosenfeld as his lieutenant governor, said SWP members are willing to take unambiguous stands on the issues,” Boshart reported. “We stand four-square on the right for women to have an abortion. We think you can never have equality … until women have a right to control their own bodies,” the article quoted Meyers saying.

Later the candidates and supporters returned to the Capitol to participate in a march and rally of 100 people protesting Arizona’s anti-immigrant law.

In the evening the Des Moines Social Club showed the film Food, Inc., a documentary about food production under the capitalist profit system. Meyers and Margaret Trowe, SWP candidate for secretary of agriculture, attended, as did one of Trowe’s opponents, independent candidate Francis Thicke. Several farmers were present, including George Naylor, former president of the National Family Farm Coalition, who spoke on a panel after the film ended.

Some of the participants in the discussion called for “trust busting” the giant agricultural companies, arguing that monopoly of food production was to blame for the dire situation facing farmers and the crisis of food production.

Trowe said, “The problem isn’t the size of agricultural enterprises. The problem is that the power of government and the social wealth produced by working people are in the hands of a tiny minority of capitalists who profit off of the ruin of small farmers and workers. That is why we need a powerful union movement in alliance with working farmers that can break from the Democrats and Republicans and form a labor party. A labor party puts working people on a course toward a government that would halt farm foreclosures and guarantee working farmers income to cover their production costs. We need to take power away from the dictatorship of capital.”

On Sunday, August 1, Meyers and supporters joined a gay rights rally of 150 people protesting a smaller gathering nearby of those who want to ban same-sex marriage, which a 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision legalized.

Williamson traveled to Washington, D.C., on July 31 to join the final weekend of campaigning to put Omari Musa on the ballot for mayor of the District of Columbia.
Related articles:
Thousands sign to put socialist on D.C. ballot
Australia: Socialist candidates launch campaign
New York march condemns Arizona law  
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