More letters oppose Democrats’ attempt to bar SEP candidate from Illinois ballot

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The following letters were sent to Mark Shelden, the County Clerk in Champaign, Illinois, to protest the efforts of the state and local Democratic Party to exclude the Socialist Equality Party and its state legislative candidate, Thomas Mackaman, from the ballot in the November elections. [See “Letters from around the world denounce Democrats’ effort to bar SEP candidate from Illinois ballot” and “Democrats move to keep SEP candidate off Illinois ballot” and “Stop the Democratic Party’s attack on third-party campaigns! Place SEP candidate Tom Mackaman on the ballot in Illinois!” .]

The effort to exclude the SEP from the ballot is part of a nationwide effort by the Democrats to stifle any campaign that opposes the bipartisan policies of militarism and the attack on the democratic rights and living standards of working people. We urge all those who oppose the war and who are angered by the pro-war politics and antidemocratic methods of Kerry and the Democrats to add their voices of protest against the attempt to exclude antiwar candidates from the November election. Send emails of protest to Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden’s office at: mail@champaigncountyclerk.com

Please send copies to the World Socialist Web Siteat editor@wsws.org

Dear Mr. Shelden,

I probably would disagree with many of the positions taken by Mr. Tom Mackaman, the Socialist Equality Party candidate in the 103rd District of the Illinois House of Representatives, but I do think that the challenge filed against his petitions is unfair and wrong.

From what I have read about the people who filed the protests and the validity of the signatures on the petitions, it is apparent that the protests are not sincere and may be illegally filed. I ask that you throw out the challenge and proceed with placing Mr. Mackaman on the ballot as the voters have petitioned.


George Whitfield

7 July 2004

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To Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden:

Your decision is extremely important. It is not strictly a matter of interpreting the law properly, but of considering historic questions.

A Democratic politician, John F. Kennedy, once said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Here, the Democratic Party should take heed of the words of its former leader.

The election campaign of the SEP is being run on a revolutionary platform. It states that the right of corporations to dominate our economic, cultural, and political lives must be annulled by a political movement of the working class.

It is running in the election in a legal and peaceful manner for the purpose of joining in democratic debate.

Yet, the Democratic Party in Illinois and all over the United States sees the SEP’s campaign as dangerous to its position in power. Consequently, it resorts to underhanded methods of attacking the SEP. Its attempts to disenfranchise the SEP’s supporters undermine the entire peaceful democratic process.

However, the material basis for the revolution still exists. Two political parties preside over the largest military in the history of mankind, protecting the wealth of the 1% who own 40% of the wealth in the United States. These parties rely on war, mass arrests and torture, the death penalty and other forms of brutality as well as hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign contributions to maintain their hold on power. Their limited political debates can be considered a brutality against the intellect.

The rest of the population suffers without health-care, without decent housing, without decent wages or reliable employment, and with the constant threat of a never-ending war. They suffer without a political party to represent them.

If you deny the SEP the opportunity to participate, you would not only be caving in on democratic principles, but you would also be protecting a brutal system that is on the verge of committing ever greater atrocities around the world and here at home.

Thank you for your judiciousness,

JL from New Jersey

8 July 2004

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Dear Mr. Shelden,

I came to know that the Democratic Party is trying to eliminate the Socialist Equality Party candidate, Thomas Mackaman, from the Illinois ballot in the November elections. I, a government servant working at a national scientific research institution, strongly demand that the Champaign County Election Board should not entertain this crude attack on democratic rights.

The whole world knows the fact about the questionable way Republican President George Bush was elected, which marked the rapid deterioration of democracy in the USA. Under the present circumstances where US imperialism is becoming the policeman of the world, even the people living in tiny countries like Sri Lanka look forward to the action you take in this regard.


Darshana Medis

Colombo, Sri Lanka

8 July 2004

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Dear Mark Shelden,

Please resist attempts by the Democratic Party to falsely force Mackaman off the ballot in Illinois. We need a good discussion about what’s going on in this country. It’s only the continued existence of democracy and possibly the survival of the human race that’s at stake. This is not melodrama. What is unfolding here and in Iraq is a tragedy of immense proportions. Good luck!

Tom Andrus

7 July 2004

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To the County Clerk:

I have read of the attempts by the Democratic Party to suppress third party candidates in the Congressional elections for the Illinois 103rd District.

The world is watching you, and the necessary debate on the Iraq war and all its ramifications that is at the centre of your coming elections.

Throw these antidemocratic machinations out. Put the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate, Tom Mackaman, on the ballot.

Steve Haran

Sydney, Australia

8 July 2004

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Dear Mr. Sheldon,

I live in Canada where I was shaken during our recent elections by the Conservative Party, our Republican Party, devising “creative” addition to our democracy, such as changing the operation of the judicial system and parliamentary system of decisions. Since the era of the Monica Lewinsky offensive, through the creative use of the referendum to unseat an elected Governor of California, to the present attempt to exclude third party candidates, there is in your country an attempt to violate those principles that had once made America an example of the smooth operation of democracy, at least in elections.

I ask that the Socialist Equality Party be allowed to contest an election so that at least one candidate presents a position and a point of view rather than a media event.


Andrew Linder Ph.D.

Toronto, Ontario

8 July 2004