Monday, December 28, 2015

How Can Bernie Possibly Sway Trump Supporters?

28 December 2015

By Matt Baume
The Stranger

"Currently the highest-ranking elected member of Socialist Party USA is Pat Noble, who won an election for the Board of Education in a town in New Jersey...."

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Video Interview with SP Presidential Candidate Mimi Soltysik

17 December 2015

2016 Socialist Party Presidential candidate Mimi Soltysik conducted a two-part video interview for the Rampage Revolution podcast.

Part I:

Part II:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Look for the Union Label -- The Socialist Party Does

05 December 2015

By Nerissa Young
The Register-Herald (WV)

Edward R. Murrow made television history when his landmark documentary “Harvest of Shame” aired during Thanksgiving more than 50 years ago. It chronicled the plight of migrant farm workers — unemployed veterans who had returned from war, impoverished black Americans and desperate Mexicans.

It showed how the system had failed some of the most vulnerable people in America and pitted out-of-work Americans against “outsider” Mexicans who were just as impoverished.

Someone who watches that film today would see that little has changed for the groups chronicled in it. Maybe its timelessness is the mark of good journalism. Its accuracy today is definitely the mark of poor government.

That’s why the labor component of the Socialist Party USA’s platform is so appealing. . . .

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Interview With Presidential Candidate, Mimi Soltysik

3 December 2015

By Will Chaney
The Monitor (Truman State University, MO) 

As capitalism continues to deteriorate, more Americans are becoming interested in alternatives. This is especially true of young people, who are seeing poor job prospects alongside rising rates of student, credit card, and housing debt. Our conditions allow us to experiment with more radical ideas and attempt to break out of the current dominant capitalist ideology, which discourages critical thought and challenges to the system. According to the Pew Research Center in 2011, 43% of young people now have a positive reaction to the word “socialism.” In Seattle, over 93,000 people voted for a city council candidate Kshama Savant in 2013, who is a part of the Socialist Alternative party. And of course there’s Bernie Sanders, a self-admitted socialist, running for president of the United States. The Left in America seems to be garnering momentum, something we haven’t seen since the 1960s.

One of America’s foundational Leftist political parties is the Socialist Party USA, which is known by many as the party of Eugene V. Debs. Debs, who ran for president throughout the early 1900s, sometimes from inside a prison cell, was very popular among the American working class, receiving votes of over 915,000 people at his peak.

The SP-USA currently has about 900 members, and has been growing since the 2008 financial crash. At the SP’s 2015 Convention, I was fortunate enough to meet presidential nominee, Mimi Soltysik, who has been in the party for five years and is currently the male co-chair (the SP tries to balance gender differences as much as possible, including proportional representation in most of its leadership positions. His running mate is Angela Walker, who ran for sheriff of Milwaukee County as a socialist, receiving votes of over 40,000 people.

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“Town Hall” Interview with Socialist Party USA’s Vice Presidential Candidate Angela Nicole Walker

03 December 2015

By Brooke Shannon
The Socialist

SP-USA members from around the country submitted questions to Brooke Shannon who compiled them into one town hall interview. Angela Nicole Walker provided answers in November 2015; in between national days of action, doing lots of great work, and all around hustling for justice in Milwaukee, WI.

What was it that moved you to become an activist? That is, was there was one specific event or moment where you realized something was really wrong with the world and that you needed to work to change it? – Stephanie Cholensky from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Angela: I’ve felt that things needed to be changed since I was a teenager, but the thing that actually got me out into the streets for the first time was the year 2000 presidential election. I voted in Florida, where then-governor Jeb Bush gave the state to his brother. The misconduct with the ballots was so epic and so disrespectful that when a trip to Tallahassee to protest and demand a ballot recount was announced, I made sure I went. It was a huge experience for me. Huge.

How/when did you come to socialism and/or the SP-USA? — Paul Garner and Ace Madjlesi from Memphis, TN
Angela: I would say that I’ve been a socialist most of my life. I believe that the things that are best for people should be embedded in the infrastructure of this country, like public schools, public transportation, state parks, city parks, public hospitals, and the like. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that folks have to compete to get ahead, or that you need to beat out the next person for resources. Socialism appealed to me as a young person, even before I knew what it was, because it ensures that everyone involved is taken care of, and that the goods and services produced by the people are things that benefit the people. I loved that idea then, and I love it now. We can ALL be all right.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SP VP Candidate Angela Nicole Walker at the #noMPStakeover Town Hall

1 December 2015
The students of Milwaukee Public Schools excel when given the support, time, & tools needed to learn. Our students need community schools, not takeovers! Learn more about Stop the Takeover of MPS at

Watch Angela challenge County Executive Abele

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Socialist Soccer Fans who Saved MLS from Neo-Nazis

29 November 2015

By Leander Schaerlaeckens 
"Pason is the national secretary for Socialist Party USA–he has unsuccessfully run for the U.S. Senate four times and for New Jersey governor twice...."

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Socialist Party USA Candidate Says People Have the Power

20 November 2015

Victoria Advocate (TX)

Editor, the Advocate:

As the election season heats up, I had the chance to correspond with Socialist Party USA's candidate for president, former party co-chair Mimi Soltysik, and ask him a few questions.

First, why are you running?

He answered, "Presidential elections bring greater media opportunities for third parties, and for a revolutionary organization like ours, it's important to take advantage of those opportunities. Right now, it's a good time to be out there talking about what democratic socialism means. I see little value in electoral politics at this level, and I often find the messaging that comes from traditional campaigns to be alienating. Revolutionary change happens at the community level, and we will be using the campaign as a vehicle to contribute in any way possible to that push from the local level."

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SP Presidential Candidate Mimi Soltysik Interviewed on WNPR Radio

18 November 2015
WNPR (Connecticut)

2016 Socialist Party Presidential candidate Mimi Soltysik was interviewed on the Colin McEnroe Show on Connecticut National Public Radio affiliate WNPR.

Click Here to Listen to the Audio Podcast

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Third Party Candidates Fight for Ballot Access

17 November 2015

By Loretta Boniti
Time Warner Cable News (Central NC) 

"'I see that my generation does want to get involved in politics, but laws like these are what keep us from doing this,' said Stephanie Cholensky with the Socialist Party of NC...."

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Friday, November 13, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Hear Michigan Ballot Access Case

13 November 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

Matt Erard, a Michigan Socialist Party activist, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his ballot access case. The Supreme Court ruled in 1968 in Williams v Rhodes that states cannot make it more difficult for parties to get on the ballot than to stay on the ballot. Specifically, the court ruled against Ohio, partly because Ohio required 15% support to get a new party on the ballot, but an old party could remain on as long as it polled 10% of the vote.

Michigan also requires more support for a new party to get on the ballot than for an old party to stay on the ballot. However, the lower federal courts still refused to invalidate the Michigan law. Here is the Michigan cert petition.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

“Town Hall” Interview with Socialist Party USA’s Presidential Candidate Mimi Soltysik

12 November 2015

By Jen McClellan
The Socialist
Jen: I’m here with Mimi Soltysik who has recently been nominated as the presidential candidate of the SPUSA. Mimi, would you say a few words before we get started.  

Mimi: Yes, I would. First, I want to thank The Socialist for the chance to participate in this interview. Again, I wanted to express my gratitude to the folks at the convention for nominating Angela, for vice president, and myself. Also, I want to thank everybody for the questions they submitted for this interview. Thanks and solidarity with all....

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015

White House hopeful embraces a dirty word in U.S. politics - 'socialist'

08 November 2015

By John Whitesides

"Sanders says Americans misunderstand the socialist label and do not recognize its principles in popular federal programs such as Social Security or even local institutions such as public libraries and fire departments.

But to old-school socialist activists like Greg Pason, national secretary of the Socialist Party USA, Sanders is no crusader for the cause. Pason said Sanders sounds more like a liberal Democrat and he suspects most of his supporters in the Democratic race will eventually back Clinton...."

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Greetings from the Socialist Party USA's Soltysik/Walker Campaign

22 October 2015

A Statement by 2016 SPUSA Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates Mimi Soltysik and Angela Walker

"Love is an action, never simply a feeling.” bell hooks

On Saturday, October 17th in Milwaukee, WI, the delegates of the Socialist Party USA National Convention put their faith in us to represent the organization and its principles as its Presidential candidates. We are humbled with gratitude and will work hard to deserve that trust. It is with great love and fire that we forge ahead in this campaign.

The campaign's focus throughout the upcoming year will not be on the candidates. The campaign's focus will be on you. You are the mother, the father, the student, the worker. You are the community - the community that fights for the breath of dignity as the boot of oppression digs its heel into your throat - and you are the sacred, essential ingredient necessary for liberation. Capitalism and its defenders tremble when contemplating your power. That fear makes us smile, as we are seeing the dawn of a new era of equality, peace, and justice peeking over the horizon. Its light heals our collective wounds. It is the light of socialism....

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Socialist Party National Ticket Nominated

17 October 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

"On October 17, the Socialist Party, meeting in Milwaukee, nominated Mimi Soltysik for President and Angela Walker for Vice-President."

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Socialist Party USA nominates Mimi Soltysik for President, Angela Walker for VP

17 October 2015

By Andy Craig
Independent Political Report

"[T]he Socialist Party USA’s 2016 nominating convention, being held in Milwaukee, has selected Mimi Soltysik for President and Angela Walker for Vice-President.

Soltysik was the campaign manager for the party’s 2012 ticket, and in 2014 ran for California State Assembly. He is also the co-chair of the national party, and editor of The Socialist magazine. Walker is a bus driver and socialist activist in Milwaukee, where she ran last year year for Sheriff with the independent ballot label “Draft Bernie Sanders for President,” winning over 20% as the only opponent of Democratic nominee and incumbent Sheriff David Clarke."

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Socialist Party Presidential Convention Underway

16 October 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

The Socialist Party national convention convened today (October 16) in Milwaukee. On Saturday, October 17, the party will chose a national ticket. The frontrunners appear to be Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik for President and Angela Walker for Vice-President.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Real Socialists Think Bernie’s a Sellout

13 October 2015

By Patricia Murphy
The Daily Beast

"Although many groups in the country call themselves socialist, only one is a functioning political party, Socialist Party USA, which advocates for publicly owned, democratically operated utilities, manufacturing run by co-ops and a democratized economy. The Socialist Party has no plan to nominate or support Sanders in 2016."....

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Socialist Fights to Get Party Name on Ballot

09 October 2015

By Matt Reynolds
Courthouse News Service

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The ACLU on Thursday challenged the constitutionality of California voting regulations that forced a socialist politician to state on ballots that he is not affiliated with any party.

The ACLU Foundation of Southern California sued the state on behalf of Emidio "Mimi" Soltysik, California State Chair of the Socialist Party USA, and Jennifer McClellan, a member of the party's National Committee. They seek a court order to allow candidates of "non-qualified" parties to state their party preference on ballots in voter-nominated elections."....

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Socialist Party Candidates Sue California to Have Party Label on Ballot

8 October 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

On October 8, two Socialist Party candidates for the California legislature filed a federal lawsuit against the California law that forces them to have “party preference: none” on the ballot, if they run for Congress or partisan state office. Soltysik v Padilla, c.d., 2:15cv-7916-AB. They want to have “party preference: Socialist” on the ballot.

Because California no longer has party nominees for Congress or partisan state office, there is no purpose for the party labels shown on California ballots except to give information to the voters about that candidate’s principles. California only permits candidates who are members of qualified parties to have a partisan label on the ballot.

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Elections Laws Illegally Force Some Candidates to Falsely State “No Party Preference”

08 October 2015

ACLU of Southern California
Media contact:
Brendan Hamme, 714.450.3963,

LOS ANGELES – California’s Elections Code discriminates against candidates affiliated with so-called “non-qualified” parties by forcing them to falsely state “Party Preference: None” on the ballot when they clearly prefer a political party, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and pro-bono attorneys charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The suit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, was brought on behalf of Emidio Soltysik, the National Male Co-Chair and California State Chair of the Socialist Party USA, and Jennifer McClellan, a member of the Party’s National Committee. It seeks an injunction allowing candidates affiliated with non-qualified parties the same right to list their party preference afforded to other candidates.

The code violates candidates’ First Amendment and Equal Protection rights, said Brendan Hamme, an ACLU of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) attorney. “Party affiliation is the single largest factor in how the vast majority of voters vote,” he said. “Yet candidates who associate with non-qualified parties are denied the ability to convey this vital information to voters on the ballot.”....

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Socialist for School Board

2 October 2015

By Jen McClellan
The Socialist

The following is an interview with Pat Noble. Pat Noble is a member of the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education, is the National Treasurer of the Socialist Party USA, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Socialist Party of New Jersey and the Chair of the Central New Jersey Socialist Party. Folks can follow him on Twitter @socialistpat.

Jen: Tell me a little about the position you’re running unopposed for.

Pat: I am currently running for re-election for a second, three-year term on the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education. The Board is comprised of nine seats from three constituent districts, with my seat being one of the Red Bank seats. The purpose of a Board of Education is to serve as a policy-making body for the district.

Jen: What challenges do you face being a socialist in office in a two-party system?

Pat: I should start by clarifying that my position is non-partisan, though I am very open about my politics as a democratic socialist and have been endorsed by the Central New Jersey Socialist Party local in my 2012 campaign and subsequent 2015 re-election bid. I think the greatest challenge a socialist can face in electoral politics is that of public misconception. Our beliefs and principles, while radical in their own right as an alternative to capitalism, are also radically different than the beliefs and principles that are falsely associated with us by corporate media and the right-wing Democratic and Republican parties. We are painted as authoritarians that only seek massive government control and centralization, which of course is very far from reality. Since we do not have regular access to media in the same way that the capitalist parties do, our largest challenge is continuing to change the public perception of what socialism actually is. When presented as individual ideas or proposals, socialist positions carry the support of a significant amount of the working class. Our task is to not only put forward socialist ideas to our communities and through our activist work, but to also connect those ideas to a larger need for systematic change.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vote for the Revolution: An Interview with Presidential Candidate Mimi Soltysik

29 September 2015

By Walter Beck
Omnibus Journal

Sometimes my life takes a strange turn, one Saturday night after a day of mandatory overtime at work, I found myself with a pint of Scotch, two packs of cigarettes, and nothing to really mix with them properly. So my savage political addiction and base journalistic instincts took over and I ended up interviewing a Presidential candidate. I know, it’s weird. What follows is the raw uncut transcript of a whisky-tipped journalist and a truly Revolutionary presidential candidate…


Socialist Party to Convene in Milwaukee

29 September 2015

By Lisa Neff
Wisconsin Gazette

The Socialist Party USA is returning to its roots — in Milwaukee.
The party’s national convention takes place Oct. 16–18 at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts, 926 E. Center St., Milwaukee. Organizers have reasons for choosing Milwaukee beyond tourism amenities and discounted rates on rooms or airfare.

The party has messages to deliver about Milwaukee and Wisconsin politics. An organizing statement says, “The city of Milwaukee has been taken over by neoliberal policies that have turned Milwaukee into something completely unrecognizable to the way it once was.”

The statement continues, “The state of Wisconsin as a whole has been taken over by an extremist right-wing Republican Party, led by Scott Walker, succumbing to nihilism on jobs, state economy and public education, housing, health care, LGBTQAI and women’s issues. This is why we socialists are coming to town.”
Organizers wanted to convene in a city that was once a hotbed of socialist activity....

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Bisexual Visibility Week: Excerpt from 'Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out!' on the 25th Anniversary of Its Publication

25 September 2015

By Binyamin Biber
The Huffington Post

"Frustrated in my unrequited love, but not feeling rejected, I went off to the University of Iowa. There I met Karen, who accepted my love and my "bisexuality" (I finally knew that Elton John and I were not alone in the world). Karen and I joined the Socialist Party USA and several other campus and community activist groups, learning more about heterosexism and liberation as we grew together...."

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Elijah Manley, Teenaged Presidential Candidate From Fort Lauderdale, Will Campaign in New Hampshire

25 September 2015

By Jess Swanson
Broward Palm Beach New Times

"At first, Manley expected to be able to campaign only locally. But he says that after a New Times article came out earlier this month, he’s received an outpouring of support from Manley supporters across the country. Now, after a small influx of campaign contributions, he plans to travel to Wisconsin next month for the Socialist Party’s national convention and then, in November...."

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Mimi Soltysik: “Kick Capitalism’s Ass”

14 September 2015

By Mari P-A
The Red Vine

Last year, this paper carried an interview with Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik, a Socialist Party USA candidate for the California State Assembly. Now he’s seeking the SPUSA nomination for its presidential campaign. I spoke with him on behalf of The Red Vine:

What is your message to supporters of Bernie Sanders, or even the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who see those campaigns as a more realistic avenue to build some kind of anti-corporate politics?

They are of course free to lend their efforts to whichever direction or whichever candidate they feel worthwhile. I have an opinion, of course, about the value of working to overthrow capitalism by focusing on D.C. The overthrow of capitalism will not be determined by who gets your presidential vote. It can and will happen as we strengthen our local focus. I don’t mean to imply that the candidates you mention are, however, focused on destroying capitalism. When supporters of any candidate are willing to have a discussion about socialist revolution, I’ll be there with a friendly smile, prepared to talk strategy and tactics. So many are doing fantastic work in spreading the revolutionary message, and they are finding better ways to deliver that message, better strategies for engaging in a healthy and productive dialogue with the people. I might sound optimistic when I say that many elements of the U.S. Left are headed in the right direction, but I truly believe that.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Mimi Soltysik Declares for the Socialist Party Presidential Nomination

17 August 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

Mimi Soltysik has declared his intent to obtain the presidential nomination of the Socialist Party. See this story. He was the campaign manager for the Socialist Party’s presidential nominee in 2012. Soltysik lives in Los Angeles. The Socialist Party national convention will be in Milwaukee on October 16-18.

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Interview with Mimi Soltysik, Candidate for the Socialist Party Nomination for President

17 August 2015

By Devon Douglas-Bowers and Colin Jenkins
New Politics / The Hampton Institute
"The following is an email interview with Mimi Soltysik, a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Party USA. He is currently seeking the Socialist Party's nomination for the 2016 US Presidential election. This interview was originally published by The Hampton Institute."

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Rehear Michigan Socialist Party Ballot Access Case

14 August 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

On August 12, the Sixth Circuit refused to hear Erard v Michigan Secretary of State, 14-1873. This is the case in which the Socialist Party, which is not ballot-qualified in Michigan, argues that Michigan discriminates against new parties, relative to old parties. Michigan requires approximately twice as many signatures for a newly-qualifying party to get on the ballot as it requires votes for an already-qualified party to remain on.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Michigan Socialist Ballot Access Case Rehearing Request is Still Pending

22 July 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

The Sixth Circuit is still considering the rehearing request filed in the Michigan Socialist Party ballot access case on June 5. The case is Erard v Michigan Secretary of State, 14-1873. The Sixth Circuit had upheld the Michigan law on May 20. It is somewhat encouraging that the court hasn’t already denied the request; often requests for reconsideration are denied within two weeks or so.

The lawsuit challenges the part of the Michigan law that requires approximately twice as many signatures for a new party to get on, compared to the number of votes needed for an old party to remain on. For 2016 a new party needs 31,519 signatures, but in 2016 parties will only need 16,491 votes to remain on. The Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, and Natural Law Parties are already on.

Erard is a pro se litigant, so he can only represent himself. Therefore the Socialist Party is not a co-plaintiff, but the court has never suggested that Erard (a past Socialist Party nominee for public office) has a standing problem.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Bernie’s Strange Brew of Nationalism and Socialism

20 July 2015

Kevin D. Williamson
National Review

"Liberty Union sometimes ran its own candidates but generally endorsed candidates from other parties, most often the Socialist Party USA...."

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Michigan Ballot Access Case Plaintiff Asks for Rehearing from Sixth Circuit

10 June 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

Matt Erard, the Socialist Party member-plaintiff, has asked for reconsideration in Erard v Michigan Secretary of State, 14-1873. This is the case that challenges the Michigan law that requires approximately twice as much support for a newly-qualifying party to get on the ballot than is required for an already-qualified party to stay on.

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Do all presidential candidates deserve equal treatment by journalists?

31 May 2015

By Derek Donovan
Kansas City Star

"And the 10 candidates whose names have been on Page A1 so far aren’t the only ones in the race. A large number of other parties such as the Constitution Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party and Socialist Party USA will be putting forth their own names...."

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Read more here:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sixth Circuit Upholds Discriminatory Michigan Ballot Access Law

21 May 2015

By Richard Winger
Ballot Access News

On May 20, the Sixth Circuit upheld the aspect of Michigan ballot access laws for new parties that requires newly-qualifying parties to submit approximately twice as many signatures as the number of votes needed for an established party to remain on the ballot. Erard v Michigan Secretary of State, 14-1873.

The decision is only eight pages and does not even mention the two precedents that say states cannot require more signatures for a new party than it requires votes for an old party. Those precedents are the U.S. Supreme Court decision Williams v Rhodes, and a 3-judge U.S. District Court decision from Massachusetts in 1972 called Baird v Davorem....

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

7 Ways NYC Mayor’s “Progressive Agenda” Is Like The Communist Party’s Manifesto

19 May 2015

By Ryan Carrillo
The Libertarian Republic 

"New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week unveiled a 13-point “Progressive Agenda” which is being called the Liberal ‘Contract with America.’ However, the Progressive Agenda is much more similar to two other platforms rather than the Republican contract with America.

Here are 7 ways that the Progressive Agenda is eerily similar to the Communist Party USA and Socialist Party USA‘s manifestos."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Socialists Plan to Use 2016 As Opportunity to Explain What Socialist Means

6 May 2015

By Jamie Fuller
New York Magazine

Bloomberg Politics talked to several socialist groups to see what they thought of Bernie Sanders. Socialist Party USA doesn't think he is the ideal candidate — but its members do love that he loves the word socialist. The group's co-chair, Mimi Soltysik, told Bloomberg, “I think having that word in the discourse — it can help sort of stimulate a positive response, as the stigma wears off...."

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America's Socialists Say Bernie Sanders Can Advance Their Cause

6 May 2015

By Sahil Kapur
Bloomberg News

"But why does the Socialist Party say Sanders isn't a real socialist? Soltysik says democratic socialists believe in 'community control of institutions,' rather than private control; 'local control of the means of production'; and a socialized medical program.

'And we're anti-capitalist,' he said. 'We don't see capitalism as a reformable institution.'"

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Vote No on Proposal 1: Socialist Party Statement on Michigan’s May 5, 2015 Special Election Ballot Proposal

3 May 2015

Statement by the Socialist Party of Michigan
"The Socialist Party of Michigan encourages all working class voters of our state to reject the proposed new road-maintenance funding scheme in the May 5, 2015 statewide Special Election (Proposal 15-1). In response to rising corporate investment concerns over the crumbling state of Michigan’s road conditions, the state legislature’s Proposal asks voters to approve a constitutional amendment to authorize raising the state sales tax from six to seven percent, as well as an additional net increase in motor fuel taxes.

Without even considering any rollback to the state’s 86% corporate income tax cut, let alone any reduction to the 20% of general fund dollars allocated to the state’s prison system; the legislature has crafted Proposal 1 with the intent of further saddling the state’s working class and poor with an even greater disparate share of the state’s tax burden. According to current figures from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the average cost of sales and excise taxes already amounts to 5.1% of household income for Michigan families in the lowest three-fifths of the income range — and 6.2% of household income for families with incomes in the bottom one-fifth. By contrast, the average percentage of household income paid in sales and excise taxes by Michigan families in the top one-percent of the income range amounts to a mere 0.8%...."

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Socialists and the Living Wage Issue

25 February 2015

A Statement by Greg Pason 2015 Socialist Party Candidate for New Jersey State Assembly (34th District)

"The current left and progressive labor movement’s call for a $15 minimum wage poses the need for immediate improvements in compensation of the lowest-paid workers. But it falls short in some ways, and I believe democratic socialists can both strengthen the campaign and use the current focus on a $15 and hour minimum wage to put forward a democratic socialist vision.

The Socialist Party’s Statement of Principles puts forward a vision on how we want to address both “reform” and 'revolutionary' ideas: 'While a minority, we fight for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. When a majority we will rapidly introduce those changes, which constitute socialism, with priority to the elimination of the power of big business through public ownership and workers’ control … socialists can support movements of working people and make improvements that illustrate the potential of public ownership.'

When the Party advocates for issues like a living wage or an increased minimum wage, we do so with three objectives: 1) To fight for immediate improvements in the lives of working people; 2) To illustrate the need to break from a system which cannot satisfy human needs even in the best of conditions; 3) To put forward democratic socialist alternatives.

When we organize around wage and labor issues, we need to connect that work to a vision of the type of economy we are fighting for. The focus is not just to get a higher wage but also to challenge an economic model (i.e., capitalism) that takes power from the workers who provide the labor power and the communities affected by the decisions of business...."

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

State of the Union: Socialist Party USA Response

21 January 2015

By Stephanie Cholensky
Socialist Party USA National Co-Chair

The political theater of a State of the Union Address, while certainly absurd in its disconnect with the struggle of the people,  does serve as a reminder of our commitment to democratic socialism. While we are not insensitive to the impact, undoubtedly temporary in a two-party capitalist system, that incremental reform may have for the working class, the Socialist Party USA continues its fight for a revolutionary change impervious to market fluctuations and two-party politics.  A question frequently asked is: “What would the United States look if the Socialist Party USA Platform was adopted?”  Here is a small sample highlighting what the people could expect:

  • A minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living.
  • A full employment policy and the provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.
  • Comparable worth laws and affirmative action for women.
  • A steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum as well as an end to regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes.
  • The restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale.
  •  The closing of all U.S. military facilities at home and abroad that train foreign military and paramilitary personnel.
  • An end to the U.S. occupation of the province of Guantanamo, Cuba.
  • An end to all U.S. aid to Israel, as a precondition for peace.
  • Reparations from the federal government for its role in the slave trade and the genocide of Native American nations, with the reparations programs administered by the oppressed communities themselves.
  • The end of all anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBTQ) restrictions in law and the work place, the repeal of all sodomy laws, and the legalization of same-sex marriage.
  • The forgiveness of all outstanding federal student loans.
  • Full and equal funding of public education;  the restoration of a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, including art, music, world languages, and physical education; an end to all public funding of private schools; and free tuition and full-time teachers with full benefits (not "adjuncts") at the post-secondary level.
  • Public child care starting from infancy, and public education starting at age three, with caregivers and teachers of young children receiving training, wages, and benefits comparable to that of teachers at every other level of the educational system.
  • A socialized health care system based on universal coverage, salaried doctors and health care workers, and revenues derived from a steeply graduated income tax.
  • The prosecution of the criminal activities of politicians, corporate managers, and other privileged individuals, rather than the over-emphasis on minor infractions by working class people and for a sliding scale of fines based on income.
  • The decriminalization of drug use and the regulation of narcotics by doctors through the use of prescriptions rather than by the criminal justice system.
  • The development of alternative energy sources including solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass to end dependence on fossil fuels.

President Obama is eloquent and articulate. He is well aware that a masterful spin job is vital to maintaining the capitalist status quo. Truth is the enemy of our elected officials, an enemy that is becoming increasingly apparent in the day of information-sharing.  We stand to highlight that truth, and to use that truth to defeat the oppressive and brutal capitalist system and implement a humane system, a just system, a peaceful system, a democratic socialist system.