Under the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act, candidates and campaign committees are required to file detailed reports listing the names, addresses, occupations, and financial contributions of those who donate more than $200 to their campaigns. The reports, which are open to the public, provide a convenient enemies list for government agencies, employers, rightist organizations, and other enemies of the workers movement.
The Socialist Workers Party first won a partial exemption from the act in 1979 on the basis of the measures threat to First Amendment right to free association. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has since extended the exemption several times, at roughly six-year intervals.
Over the years the party has cited police interference with campaign activities, firings of candidates and campaign supporters, break-ins at campaign headquarters, death threats against candidates, and hundreds of other incidents of harassment as among the reasons why an exemption is necessary to safeguard workers democratic right to participate in elections.
Since the last extension, granted in April 2003, such harassment has continued. Incidents include the Sept. 11, 2004, firebombing of the SWPs election campaign offices in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and the firing of Lisa Potash, Socialist Workers Party candidate for Atlanta City Council president, from her meatpacking job one week before 2006 municipal elections.
The current FEC exemption expires at the end of 2008. The SWP has announced plans to petition in October for an extension.
Socialist Workers Party launches presidential ticket of Calero, Kennedy
Róger Calero, SWP candidate for president
Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. vice president
Support socialist ticket in 08!
SWP candidate across the United States
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