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George Clarke

Election Campaign Manager’s Column

(30 August 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. XII No. 35, 30 August 1948, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

In this corner we will present many items culled from letters and reports throughout the country telling of the stirring campaign for Dobbs and Carlson and the local SWP candidates, of the tours of the presidential candidates and many other notes of interest. Campaign workers: Write your reports to this column.

SEATTLE: Farrell Dobbs began his nationwide tour in this working class center, famous for its great General Strike in 1919, with a series of inspiring meetings. His blistering attack on Dave Beck, Czar Number 2 of the Teamsters Union, and Beck’s howling retort are reported elsewhere in this issue.

The Stalinists echoed Beck’s groans when comrade Dobbs tore into their treacherous policies and into their new-found idol Henry Wallace at a meeting at the Yesler Housing Project. Although the audience of 50 was largely pro-Wallace at the outset of the meeting, the forum’s sponsors and the bulk of the audience rallied to comrade Dobbs’ defense when the Stalinists tried to disrupt the meeting.

A second meeting was held at the University of Washington, marking the first appearance of an SWP spokesman on that campus. The final election rally, held under party auspices on Aug. 20 at Swedish Hall, had an audience of Boeing strikers, teamsters, seamen as well as students and housewives.

Both Seattle dailies, the Times and the Post-Intelligencer carried lengthy interviews with comrade Dobbs. His remark that he had, “as good a chance of being elected as Harry Truman” was relayed over Associated Press wires to papers throughout the country.

* * *

MICHIGAN: Glowing reports of Grace Carlson’s speaking tour in Michigan keep coming into the Campaign office. Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw papers featured interviews with comrade Carlson.

Genora Dollinger, our candidate for U.S. Senator from Michigan, writes us that Flint’s largest radio station WFDF and station WWOK announced comrade Carlson’s appearance in General Motor’s city. Station WMRP in Flint interviewed comrade Carlson.

Comrade Carlson addressed a lively meeting at the Civic Center in Detroit on Aug. 17, concentrating her remarks on the preparations for World War III. William Yancey of Flint, the party’s candidate for Secretary of State urged “every Negro in America to divorce himself from the Republican and Democratic parties on the grounds of adultery, cruelty and desertion” and urged them to join the SWP. Howard Lerner, candidate for Governor was chairman of the meeting. Generous contributions were made in the collection.

The following night Grace spoke to a group of 25 active militants in the Negro community. She pointed out that “the platform of the SWP on the Negro question is backed by its actions in the Hickman Case, the O’Day Short case and numerous other struggles of the colored people.”

Michigan is proud of its sound truck decorated with campaign signs and slogans. They report that the street meeting in Pontiac was heard in a half-mile area, families listening from their porches and passing motorists slowing down to catch what they could of the speeches. Nine subs and over 50 copies of the Militant were sold at the meeting. The comrades say that, “the new friends made in Pontiac have become the center for building a branch in this important auto union stronghold.”

* * *

CLEVELAND: Grace had a press conference on her arrival in Cleveland. The Plain Dealer and the News printed her picture and interviews.

* * *

NEW YORK: Irving Beinin, New York Campaign Manager, reports that having concluded its petition campaign to put Dobbs and Carlson on the N.Y. ballot with 24,000 signatures, twice the number required, the local is beginning . an energetic political campaign. The campaign opens with a combined election rally and Trotsky Memorial meeting on Aug. 27. An all-day Active Workers Conference to plan all phases of the campaign is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 29.

* * *

CONNECTICUT: An underhanded campaign to make it tough for minority parties to get on the ballot has been opened by Connecticut politicians. A New Haven paper published an insidious article saying that voters have been misled into signing petitions. Mrs. Redick, the Secretary of State, publishes the names struck off the petitions. Who gave Mrs. Redick the right to publish these names? Who’s behind this campaign of intimidation?

* * *

PENNSYLVANIA: The Pennsylvania campaign began with a bang-up picnic at the Torchia Farm in Reading on Aug. 15. A large bus-load of people from Philadelphia joined carfuls from Allentown, Pittsburgh and the friends from Reading to make up a large crowd. Main speech was made by the National Campaign Manager. More than $100 was netted to apply to the first-rate sound equipment recently purchased.

The loud speaker equipment was used for the first time at a Phila. meeting on Aug. 17. People, listened from open windows and doorsteps and in little groups within two blocks in all directions. 12 subs were sold and plans Were advanced for the organization of a Dobbs-Carlson block committee.

* * *

HERE AND THERE: Newark had first rate picnic with a good turnout last Sunday. William Bohannan, SWP New Jersey Congressional candidate and yours truly were the speakers. There was a delicious meal, swimming, a ball game and a good collection ... We are getting ready to file our petitions in Utah and Colorado. We’re over the top in Signatures in both states.

... Order excellent 8x10 photos of Dobbs and Carlson, 15 cents each, from national campaign headquarters, 116 University Pl., N.Y.C 3.

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