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.
The SEP campaign has 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. SEP campaigners have collected the names of tens of thousands of voters signing to place our candidates’ names on the ballot.
In the course of petitioning, we have confronted obstacles placed before the SEP in terms of the sheer number of signatures required, gerrymandered districts as well as antidemocratic maneuvers on the part of the Democratic and Republican parties, which operate a virtual dictatorship over the electoral process in the US.
In Illinois, the SEP fought and defeated a bad-faith challenge by the state Democratic Party to the close to 5,000 signatures gathered to place candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state Senate in the 52nd Legislative District. In a bid to block the SEP from obtaining ballot access, the Democrats flouted election law and filed groundless objections to entire sheets of legitimate petitions, even after the election board had declared a sufficient number of them to be valid. After a three-month battle by the SEP campaign, costing thousands of dollars in legal and other expenses, the SEP won a key victory when the Illinois State Board of Elections voted September 21 to finally place Parnarauskis on the ballot.
Legal and financial burdens such as those faced by the SEP campaign in Illinois 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.
In California, the electoral restrictions were so severe that even the collection of nearly 12,000 signatures did not suffice to place the SEP’s congressional candidate on the ballot in Pasadena. Petitioners faced a great challenge in the form of the amount of signatures required, as well as large numbers of immigrant and unregistered district residents who were unable to sign. John Burton, the party’s candidate for US Congress in the 29th Congressional District, will be conducting an aggressive write-in campaign.
In New York, where SEP candidate Bill Van Auken is challenging pro-war Democrat Hillary Clinton for the US Senate, supporters submitted over 24,000 signatures on August 22, well in excess of the 15,000 needed, and the SEP has been certified for the November ballot.
In Michigan, Jerome White submitted more than 5,000 signatures and will be on the ballot as an independent candidate for the US House of Representatives from the 12th Congressional District.
In Maine, the SEP campaign gathered 284 signatures to place Eric Des Marais on the ballot as an independent candidate for state Senate from the 32nd District. In Oregon, where new restrictive requirements blocked the efforts of SEP candidate Christie Schaefer to obtain ballot status for state Senate in the 19th District, we will conduct a write-in campaign.
All of these campaigns require large outlays of funds to cover transportation, communications, printing and other expenses. 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 is unfolding 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.