The Socialist Equality Party has succeeded in placing its candidate for US Senate, Bill Van Auken, on the ballot in New York for the November 7 election, having filed petitions bearing the signatures of nearly 25,000 of the state’s voters.
The petitions, filed on August 22, were accepted by the state as valid, and the Democratic Party and its candidate, incumbent Senator Hillary Clinton, chose not to challenge the nomination, as the Democratic machine has done in other states. The official deadline for filing such a challenge expired three days after the petitions were submitted.
On Thursday, the New York State Board of Election held a drawing to assign ballot positions to independent parties, including the SEP.
The challenge that the SEP is mounting to Hillary Clinton—the frontrunner in the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination—has national and international political significance. The incumbent junior US senator from New York embodies the reactionary role of the Democratic Party and its support for both US militarism abroad and social reaction at home.
Having voted for the October 2002 resolution authorizing the Bush administration to launch the unprovoked invasion of Iraq, she has continued to support the war, joining with the Democratic Leadership Council in affirming that she stands “for winning in Iraq, not a rush for the exits.”
She has criticized the Bush administration from the right for failing to pursue a more aggressive policy against Iran and gave her uncritical support to the US-Israeli war against Lebanon.
Clinton has become the biggest recipient of campaign financing of any politician in the country, amassing more than $22 million. This includes donations pouring in from Wall Street finances houses, drug and hospital conglomerates, real estate developers, media moguls like Rupert Murdoch, the right-wing owner of Fox News, and other corporate interests that are confident she will pursue the same pro-capitalist policies as the Bush administration.
In a letter to campaign supporters announcing that the SEP had succeeded in its campaign to win a place on the New York ballot, the party’s candidate Bill Van Auken wrote:
“The Socialist Equality Party’s winning statewide ballot status in New York for the first time in its history is an enormous political achievement and is an indication of major changes in the political situation in the US and internationally.
“This objective was realized only through the tireless efforts of many members and supporters who spent six weeks bringing our program to tens of thousands of New Yorkers across the state. In the course of this campaign, nearly 25,000 voters signed our nominating petitions, an indication of the powerful political support that exists for the SEP’s program demanding an immediate end to the war in Iraq, the defense of democratic rights and a socialist policy to put an end to social inequality.
“In the name of the SEP I would like to extend the warmest gratitude and congratulations to all those who participated in this effort and made it possible for our party to contest this election.
“We intend to make the most of this opportunity, which has been won through determined political struggle. The SEP will prosecute the broadest and most aggressive campaign possible against Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and the entire two-party system.”
The Socialist Equality Party is holding a meeting in New York City September 17 to inaugurate the next stage in its New York election campaign.
SEP Campaign Meeting
Sunday September 17, 2 p.m.
441 West 26th Street (Btw. 9th and 10th Aves.)
Manhattan, New York
(For more information, call (718) 729-4312 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org)