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Vol. 74/No. 43      November 15, 2010

Socialist candidates in
Iowa advance solidarity
DES MOINES, Iowa—The last leg of the Iowa Socialist Workers Party campaign was busy and rewarding.

On October 27 WHO radio held a panel of “the other guys”—the four candidates excluded from the gubernatorial debates between Democratic incumbent Chet Culver and Republican challenger Terry Branstad. SWP candidate David Rosenfeld joined Jonathan Narcisse of the Iowa Party, Libertarian Eric Cooper, and Gregory Hughes, who calls himself the “Poor Party” candidate.

Narcisse laid out his perspective of strengthening family and religious faith, tax breaks for business investment in Iowa, and voting out the judges who overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage. Hughes attacked judges who enforce child support laws. Cooper called for letting the “free market” lower the minimum wage to solve unemployment.

In response, Rosenfeld said that Cooper “must not have a whole lot of acquaintance with the life of workers. Try to propose to my coworkers the idea we should be making less than $7.25 an hour. It’s preposterous. These are poverty wages. You want to turn them into starvation wages… . The question is what we can do to strengthen our unions. Our watchword has to be solidarity.”

Rosenfeld addressed a candidates forum at the Islamic Center in Cedar Rapids, sponsored by the Council on American Islamic Relations Iowa Chapter. “The economic crisis has spawned long-term unemployment, massive cutbacks, and ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Rosenfeld said. “Among the political consequences of this crisis has been a rise in demagogic scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims. These appeals are daggers aimed at the heart of working-class unity.”

Rosenfeld and this correspondent, while campaigning in front of the Family Dollar store in the Black community here, met Janna Bragg, who said, “I can’t buy your paper today, but I want you to know I respect the Socialist Workers Party.” Bragg is a laid-off laundry worker and student at the Des Moines Area Community College.

Both Rosenfeld and Rebecca Williamson, SWP candidate for U.S. Representative in the 3rd District, took part in candidate panels on Iowa Public Television. Several of Williamson’s coworkers at the John Deere assembly plant in Ankeny told her they saw the show and liked her comments.

The Daily Iowan, student newspaper at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, ran an editorial reluctantly endorsing Culver for governor. In it they also commented, “Rosenfeld’s candidacy offers liberals unhappy with Culver’s waffling on workers’ and gay rights a clear alternative… . his anachronistic, ‘dictatorship of capital’ rhetoric is sure to turn off liberal voters otherwise amenable to a left-wing candidate.”

Margaret Trowe was the SWP candidate for Iowa secretary of agriculture.
Related articles:
Elections in 2010 signal no change for workers
N.Y. students discuss possibilities for revolution
‘Moderates rally’ held in D.C. ahead of elections
‘Two-party face’ of capitalism’s ‘one-party system’
Join fight for a socialist world
SWP candidates in 2010  
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