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George Clarke

Campaigning with Dobbs and Carlson

(6 September 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. XII No. 36, 6 September 1948, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Harry Braverman of Youngstown, Ohio, our candidate for Congress in the 19th District, is the outstanding campaigner of the week. Readers of The Militant will remember that the Youngstown Board of Elections threw out Braverman’s petitions because some of the people who signed the petitions had moved from their residence where they last registered and signed their new addresses 1 And some of these Northern capitalist politicians pretend indignation because Negroes in the South are denied the ballot.

Well, Harry has made the welkin ring in his fight to overthrow this phony ruling. First he made things hotter than a firecracker for the Board of Elections. And last week he took his case to the Ohio Supreme Court. He didn’t have the price of a high attorney’s fee so he boned up on all the hocus-pocus of the law and submitted his brief without benefit of counsel in Columbus. The reporters were goggle-eyed, they’d never seen anything like it before and they gave good accounts of Harry’s action in the Ohio papers.

If Harry wins, they may have to reprint all the ballots in the 19th District. That’ll learn them not to monkey with the democratic rights of the workers – when Trotskyists are around.

* * *

MINNESOTA: Farrell Dobbs came back home last week to the town he helped write a union label oij. He got a rousing welcome. It was on a small scale but still a real omen of what to expect when the tide turns. Barbara Bruce writes that there was an enthusiastic audience at Farrell’s meeting at the Andrews Hotel. Almost the entire staff of Local 544 – the staff the teamsters elected before Tobin and Roosevelt declared war on the union – was there. And so too Were numerous drivers still in the union suffering under the rule of Tobin’s gangsters. The audience showed they meant business by contributing a total of $350. Vincent R. Dunne, candidate for U.S. Senate against Ball, the bosses’ man, was in the chair.

The Minneapolis and St. Paul papers gave Farrell a big play. John Wickland, Minneapolis Tribune writer, tells why: “Ten years ago Dobbs was a force to reckon with in Minneapolis .labor circles ... He and the Dunne brothers and Karl Skoglund were undoubtedly the most powerful labor leaders this city has ever known.”

A good meeting was held for Dobbs in St. Paul. Farrell told the story of the Kutcher case and paid tribute to the valiant fight of the packinghouse workers, many of whom are getting the same dirty treatment from the packing trust that Kutcher is getting from the biggest trust of all, the capitalist government.

* * *

WITH GRACE CARLSON IN OHIO: The comrades are still overflowing with praise at comrade Carlson’s masterful performance at a “Press Club Presents” program, a variation of “Meet the Press” on Cleveland’s Mutual station on Aug. 25. Two weeks before the newspapermen made a chump out of Gus Hall, Ohio State Chairman of the Communist Party. They dragged him over the coals and back again for all the flip-flops and crimes of Stalinism.

But Grace turned the tables. She led off with a forceful analysis of the logic of the class struggle in this country and of the party’s program. Then followed a long series of questions which comrade Carlson took in her stride. But when one newspaperman asked: “Why did the Attorney-General put the SWP on the subversive list?” then, Ted Selander writes, Grace stole the show.

“That’s just what we want to know!” she began and then she ripped into the whole sordid deal which The Militant has written about. From then on, Ted says, all questions were asked in q respect|pl tone in the atmosphere of students addressing their teacher in a schoolroom.

In addition to this program, Grace was interviewed on a women’s radio program. There was an informal banquet arranged by the branch and a public meeting at the Hollenden Hotel.

TOLEDO: From Cleveland Comrade Carlson went to Toledo. Here she was interviewed on two women’s programs over stations WTOL and WTOD. Our vice-presidential candidate is taking the beauty parlor chit-chat out of these programs by talking about our differences with other parties, the SWP’s stand on war and Stalinism. In the two days preceding the broadcast there was a small but good public meeting and a social affair in comrade Carlson’s honor.

NEW YORK: All of the reports talk of the intense heat in recent days, and we in New York have our own little story to tell. It is a story of an outstanding demonstration of revolutionary devotion. 250 comrades and friends came to the Trotsky Memorial meeting, which launched the presidential campaign in New York, when the thermometer stood at 100. It was a magnificent sight and I think the audience was unanimous in agreement that it was a great meeting.

Among the features of the meeting was the premiere of the film SWP on the March showing scenes from the Party’s nominating convention and the beginning of the campaign. It marks a grand start for our budding film producers – and we hope to have the film out in the country in the near future.

Joe Morgan gave a hard-hitting talk on Trotsky’s analysis of the American Negroes as a “dynamic revolutionary segment of the American working class.”

HERE AND THERE: Connecticut is getting ready to file with 13,300 signatures. The law requires 8,300 for presidential candidates ... Wisconsin is getting under way – now has about 6,000 signatures ... Mike Bartell spoke on the Hickman Case over WEVD in New York on Aug. 31 and Farrell Dobbs’ CBS acceptance speech was rebroadcast over WNYC on Sept. 1 ... The Plentywood Herald gave a big front page write-up to Farrell’s meeting in that Montana city.

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