Tuesday, July 17, 2012

US SWP veep candidate campaigns in Longview, Washington

Socialist Workers Party vice presidential candidate campaigns in Longview

July 11, 2012 8:25 pm  •  By Leslie Slape / The Daily News

Although she knows the odds are against the Socialist Workers Party winning the U.S. election, vice presidential candidate Maura DeLuca said it's important to give voters a choice beyond the "lesser of two evils."

"I think a lot of people are seeing what's going on," DeLuca said Tuesday during a campaign stop at the Ocean Beach Walmart in Longview. "There's more and more people dropping out of the work force. There's health care. Prices are going up. People are thinking, 'What can we do to get out of it?' "

DeLuca, 33, and socialist presidential candidate James Harris are stumping in several states, including Washington, gathering petition signatures to put their names on the ballot. Although the SWP has fielded a candidate for president in every election since Farrell Dobbs ran in 1948, state ballot laws are growing increasingly restrictive, making it almost impossible in some states for third-party candidates to get on the ballot, DeLuca said.

DeLuca said the party encourages voters to write in candidates, including SWP gubernatorial candidate Mary Martin, who also campaigned in Longview Wednesday.

DeLuca and Martin said the SWP supports the working class and labor unions, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

"We were down here every Saturday for six months" during last year's strife between ILWU and the EGT grain terminal, Martin said. The union gave the SWP permission to collect petition signatures outside the union hall Wednesday night, Martin said.

"We think it's important for the working class to have a voice in elections," DeLuca said. "The candidates say they support the working class, but look what they do in practice. It's getting worse. We're calling for a massive, federally funded public works program (to build) more hospitals and more schools. Thousands of people could be put to work."

The general public has some misconceptions about socialism going back to the murderous purges of Stalin, which was not what Lenin and the Bolsheviks fought for during the Russian revolution, DeLuca said. The SWP is against government intruding into personal choices, such as what to eat, she said.

"We're for smaller government, for things being decided on a very local level."

President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Health Care Act, is "misnamed," DeLuca said. "I call it the Insurance Act. It's another aggressive tax on workers, another fee you have to pay."

Health care is profit-based and the health care legislation hasn't changed that, she said. "I think the only way it's really going to work is if it's not based on profit .... where (health care) really is a human right."

She also believes life-long learning is a human right, and to achieve that, America needs a system where "the people who create the wealth (the workers) decide how it gets distributed. ... That wealth would be used for human needs — health care, education, culture, art and learning."

As for immigration, the SWP believes in a "world without borders," DeLuca said. "We're for legalization of all immigrants. People working here should have the same rights as everybody else."

She also supports a woman's right to choose abortion.

DeLuca and Martin said response in Longview has been positive, with some people coming by after seeing a notice in the paper. Several people signed the petition while a journalist was there.

"Even as we were setting up the table, two people wanted to stop" and sign, DeLuca said.

More information: http://www.themilitant.com/index.shtml


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