Socialist Equality Party launches write-in campaign in California

Make your vote count! Write in John Burton for Congress!

By of John Burton
29 September 2006

I call on all residents of the 29th District of California to write in my name, John Burton, for US Congress this November.

How can the political system be considered democratic when it is controlled by two parties that serve the interests of the corporate and financial elite? I am running to break the stranglehold of the Democratic and Republican parties and provide the working people of the 29th District with a socialist alternative to the right-wing political establishment.

I am running as a write-in candidate because the Democratic and Republican parties have passed laws whose sole purpose is to exclude third party candidates from the ballot. Absurd requirements are imposed on candidates who challenge the Democratic-Republican two-party dictatorship.

Nearly 12,000 people signed a petition to place my name on the ballot because they wanted a political alternative. Because of the anti-democratic ballot access laws, this was not enough. By means of these laws, independent views are excluded from the electoral process. As a result, none of the candidates on the ballot represent your views.

That is why I am asking you to write in my name when you select a congressman on November 7. If you want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the assault on democratic rights, defend jobs and raise the living standards of working people you should support the campaign of the Socialist Equality Party.

Residents of the 29th District: Make your vote count! Write in John Burton for US Congress!

By casting a write-in vote, you will be expressing support for the program of the Socialist Equality Party:

* End the occupation of Iraq! Withdraw all US troops immediately and unconditionally! No to war against Iran!

The invasion of Iraq was based on lies, justified by propaganda about a “war on terror.” The real aim of the war and occupation is the seizure of Iraq’s oil fields to further the geopolitical interests of the American ruling elite. In your name, this oligarchy is pursuing a policy of international plunder, supported by both the Democrats and Republicans.

My Democratic opponent, Adam Schiff, the incumbent congressman from the 29th District, voted for the war and continues to support the occupation. He personifies the complicity of the Democrats in this criminal operation. A vote for Schiff is a vote for war. One of Schiff’s leading financial supporters is Parsons International, a Pasadena-based engineering firm that has received multi-million dollar US government contracts to build new prisons in Iraq.

The barbaric occupation of Iraq continues into its fourth year despite growing popular opposition. It has caused the deaths of countless Iraqis—numbering in the hundreds of thousands—along with 2,700 US soldiers. More than ten percent of the dead soldiers are from California—the most of any state.

Last summer the US government backed the brutal Israeli assault on Lebanon. Now it is threatening wars against Iran and Syria which could ignite global conflicts with China, Russia and other major powers, leading to death and human suffering on a scale not seen since the end of the Second World War.

* End the assault on democratic rights! Repeal the Patriot Act! End government spying and torture!

The decay of democracy in the United States is very far advanced. The Bush administration claims unrestricted power to arrest and detain people indefinitely and without charge. It has implemented massive spying operations domestically and internationally that violate the most fundamental First and Fourth Amendment rights. Now it is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would sanction CIA torture centers operating around the world.

Adam Schiff strongly supported the infamous Patriot Act. He recently voted to make its provisions permanent. He uncritically supports the sham “war on terror” which the Bush administration uses to attack the democratic rights of the American people. A vote for Schiff is a vote for the continuation of these policies.

The police state measures enacted by the Bush administration, with the complicity of the Democrats, are aimed not at protecting the American people from terrorist attack, but rather at protecting the ruling corporate-financial oligarchy from opposition by American working people to its plunder of the country’s resources and its policies of war and social reaction.

Your rights are being taken away to prevent you from opposing the policies of the US government.

* For social equality! Quality jobs, economic security, decent schools and health care for all!

Good jobs are destroyed while social programs are cut back or dismantled altogether. Working people face rising prices, declining wages, declining benefits and longer working hours. Real wages for the average worker in Los Angeles County have declined by 6 percent since 1979. Most people are finding it harder and harder to get by.

While most struggle to survive, a small layer of the population—that which controls the levers of corporate and political power—has massively increased its share of the national wealth through tax cuts, speculation and fraud. In the California energy crisis of 2001, we experienced first-hand the consequences of this corporate greed. Yet both Democrats and Republicans claim there is no money for improving social programs, especially in public health care and education.

I call for a democratic redistribution of wealth to meet social needs and ensure a high standard of living for everyone.

I also demand full social and political rights for all immigrants and undocumented workers. These workers are not to blame for deteriorating economic and social conditions. Those responsible are the political elite and their corporate backers who are rolling back the previous gains of the working class to protect their profit margins and personal fortunes. The SEP strives to build an international movement of working people of all races and nationalities based on their common class interests, and opposes all measures that pit the interests of one group of workers against another.

* For an independent socialist party of the working class! For democratic control of production!

The capitalist system has failed! All the problems we face today—war, social inequality, the attacks on democratic rights—have their origins in a system that subordinates every decision to the profit interests of the ruling elite. To address these problems, the great forces of production—the energy companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the banks and other large corporations—must be transformed into public utilities, controlled democratically and operated to serve social needs This is the perspective of socialism.

Both the Democrats and Republicans represent the interests of the wealthy elite and big business. Whatever tactical disagreements exist, their fundamental unity of interests underlies the inability of the Democrats to oppose the Bush administration. Instead, on every critical issue—from the war, to the Patriot Act, to tax cuts for the rich—the Democrats function as accomplices in the administration’s campaign to oppress and exploit working people all over the world.

A political movement for socialism is needed for working people in the 29th District and throughout the country. None of the problems that confront the working class can be solved within the framework of a capitalist economic system which places the profit demands of corporations and the rich above the real and urgent needs of ordinary working people.

A write-in vote for our campaign in California will be a critical step forward in the building of this new political movement.

Residents of California: No one on the ballot represents your interests! Make your vote count: write in John Burton for US Congress this November!

To contact the John Burton campaign, write to burton2006@socialequality.com

Make a donation today to support the SEP election campaign!

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