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Vol. 73/No. 43      November 9, 2009

Iowa socialists ‘stand
with those resisting’
DES MOINES, Iowa—“Rosenfeld wants the working class to take political power, resulting in ‘the widespread transfer of wealth,’” wrote Des Moines Register columnist Marc Hansen. His interview with David Rosenfeld, Socialist Workers candidate for the city council at-large seat, was published in the paper October 15.

Rosenfeld, 47, and Rebecca Williamson, Socialist Workers candidate for the Ward 1 city council seat, have been getting media coverage and participating in an array of candidates’ forums and debates, as well as campaigning in working-class communities around the city, at college and university campuses, and among meatpacking coworkers.

In another Register article reporter Jared Strong covered a candidates’ forum organized by the Grays Lake Neighborhood Association. Strong said that Rosenfeld “didn’t directly answer questions throughout much of the forum” and that he “would not specifically identify the ways he could ‘empower the working class’ if elected to municipal office.” Rosenfeld sent a letter to the editor, which was published in its entirety, answering Strong’s claims.

Rosenfeld wrote, “While my opponents spoke of dealing with waste and inefficiencies in dealing with city budget shortfalls, I explained that here and across the country, talk about balancing government budgets is, in fact, part of the opening skirmishes in a war on the working class—a war aimed at drastically driving down our standard of living in order to shore up a failing economic system. That is why workers must wage a political fight for unemployment benefits for all the jobless until they find jobs, and a massive, federally-funded public works program at union-scale wages. That is why the working class needs to take political power.”

Williamson, who is 28, was interviewed on WHO Channel 13 October 22. Referring to the more than 15 million unemployed nationally, Williamson said the capitalist class is using this to make headway in driving down workers’ standard of living. “I would stand with those who are resisting those attacks and work with unions and other organizations to build a mass movement, a fighting movement like we’ve seen before in this country, and I’m also confident that this would grow into a national movement and ultimately take power out of the hands of the capitalists and make a socialist revolution in the U.S.,” she said.

At an October 22 candidates’ forum, Williamson condemned the call by 20-year Ward 1 incumbent Thomas Vlassis to reopen the city union contracts to extract concessions. “I oppose this,” she said, adding that city workers need more pay and benefits, not less.

Hansen’s column in the Register, entitled “Socialist—a real one—makes run for city council,” took as its starting point that some are calling the Obama administration “socialist.” He decided to interview Rosenfeld to find out his views.

“Rosenfeld isn’t for bailing out the insurance companies and big banks like those phony socialists in Washington,” Hansen wrote. “He’s for taking them out completely, sending capitalism to history’s trash heap. Rosenfeld believes the workers create the wealth but … the bosses steal almost all of it away. It’s a morally bankrupt system.”

Hansen also noted Rosenfeld’s support for the Cuban Revolution, writing that “To Rosenfeld’s way of thinking, Cuba is the only ‘living revolution in which workers and peasants remain at the helm of society.’”

After having read the article a Teamster business agent who had met the candidates at a labor candidates’ forum earlier called the campaign headquarters asking to talk with Rosenfeld or Williamson. “ I just want to thank you for what you two said today in the Register,” he told Rosenfeld. The next morning one of Rosenfeld’s coworkers who supports the socialist campaign brought the article out to the line as work was about to begin, calling out to the other meat packers, “Look at this—David’s in the paper!”
Related articles:
Vote Socialist Workers Party!
2009 Socialist Workers Party candidates
Socialist outlines views at N.Y. mayoral debate
Montreal Communist League candidates  
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