The World Socialist Web Site is issuing an urgent appeal for financial support for the Socialist Equality Party’s intervention in the 2006 elections. More than ever, we are relying on donations from our readers and supporters—to cover logistical, legal and other expenses. Above all, resources are needed to confront the obstacles to achieving ballot access placed before the SEP by the Democrats and Republicans—who operate a virtual dictatorship over the electoral process in the US.
The SEP campaign has so far won broad support among wide layers of working people, students and professionals for a socialist perspective that opposes the war and occupation of Iraq and the Bush administration’s assault on social conditions and democratic rights at home. The campaign is at a key stage in a number of areas where SEP candidates are seeking ballot status.
In Illinois, the SEP is fighting a bogus legal challenge to the 4,991 signatures filed to place candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for State Senate in the 52nd Legislative District. In a bid to bar the SEP from the ballot, the Illinois Democratic Party has filed an objection—on the most indiscriminate grounds—to more than half the signatures collected on nominating petitions. Thousands of perfectly valid signatures are being challenged by the Democrats, who have employed the most powerful corporate attorneys in the state. As we did in 2004, SEP supporters face a costly and time-consuming legal battle to fight the Democrats’ groundless objections and win a place on the ballot.
In California, SEP supporters have collected over 7,500 signatures towards the 8,442 required by the state by August 11 to place John Burton on the ballot for US Congress in the 29th Congressional District (Pasadena) against incumbent Democrat Adam Schiff. Petitioners face a big challenge in the final weeks of the campaign in the form of the sheer number of signatures required, a gerrymandered district and large numbers of immigrant and unregistered district residents who are unable to sign.
In New York, where SEP candidate Bill Van Auken is challenging pro-war Democrat Hillary Clinton for the US Senate, supporters must gather a large amount of signatures—25,000—by an August 22 deadline.
On July 19, the SEP submitted petitions bearing the signatures of more than 5,000 voters to place Jerome White on the ballot in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. In Oregon’s 19th District, petitioning is under way to place Christie Schaefer on the ballot for state senate. Ballot status has already been achieved for SEP candidate Eric DesMarais, who is running for state senate in Maine’s 32nd Legislative District.
All of these campaigns require large outlays of funds to cover transportation, communications, printing and other expenses. In Illinois in 2004, a bad-faith challenge similar to the one now faced by the Parnarauskis campaign resulted in thousands of dollars in legal costs. These burdens are deliberately hoisted on third parties by the Democrats and Republicans in an antidemocratic effort to bar candidates who offer alternative viewpoints—particularly those of socialists challenging them from the left.
Unlike the two big business parties, the Socialist Equality Party does not receive contributions from corporate backers. We rely solely on our supporters and readership and we are appealing for your financial support now.
This election campaign will unfold in the midst of an intensifying international crisis and an escalating assault within the United States on the democratic rights and living conditions of the working class. The campaign being mounted by the Socialist Equality Party is critical to the development of an independent mass political movement against the right-wing Democratic-Republican political oligarchy.
We appeal again for your political support.