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George Clarke

Campaigning With Dobbs and Carlson

(13 September 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. XII No. 37, 13 September 1948 p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Irving Beinin, New York Campaign Director, filed nominating petitions last Saturday in Albany for Dobbs and Carlson. The petitions contained 21,967 signatures, representing more than twice the total number required by law and at least 150 signatures for each of 61 counties in the state, three times the number needed and more signatures than was filed by the SP and the SLP. The New York Organization is how awaiting news of certification by the Secretary of State.

* * *

UTAH: Word has been received from our campaign workers that petitions for Dobbs and Carlson to place on the Utah ballot have been filed in Salt Lake City. They tell us that the petitions were in tip-top shape and they should receive official notification in short order. Historians will record two significant dates in the history of Utah: 1847 When the Mormons arrived and 1948 when the Socialist Workers Party got on the ballot.

* * *

Two of the biggest publicity items of the campaign made the press in the last week. The first ibas in the Detroit News where W.K. Kelsey devoted most of his column on the editorial page to us. Under the caption A New Ticket in the Field, Kelsey introduces his column by saying, “A few days ago the Commentator (title of the column) remarked ‘How the Socialist Party leadership has changed since the days Of Eugene Victor Debs!’ Now comes Howard Lerner, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for Governor of Michigan and deposes ...” Then after a lengthy quotation from comrade Lerner comparing Dobbs and Carlson with Debs and contrasting him with Norman Thomas, Kelsey writes brief biographies of Dobbs and Carlson and concludes with a summary of the main planks in the SWP platform.

The second item was a write-up in Time magazine of the SWP campaign accompanied by a picture of Dobbs. Naturally the write-up was in the usual cynical-nasty Time style.

And while we are on publicity, mention should be made of an editorial devoted to us in The Pontiac (Mich.) Press. The editor finds our presence as an “organized minority” a good thing and proof of the existence of the democratic process. He would do well to send his comments to Attorney General Tom Clark whose blacklisting proceeds from the opposite point of view of suppressing the minorities.

* * *

MINNEAPOLIS: Farrell Dobbs’ parting shot as he left Minnesota was a press statement denouncing the egg-throwing at Wallace during his southern tour. His statement reads in part:

“President Truman and the Republican politicians deplore this treatment of Wallace only because they are fearful that he will become a martyr in the eyes of large sections of the Negro people and thus win their votes. They are not concerned about the rights of Wallace, the Negroes or anybody else. In fact, the demagogue Wallace is only accidentally a victim of persecution. Actually he has a 15-year record of doing nothing at all for the people while holding public office.”

* * *

OHIO: Akron reports a lively and interesting meeting for Grace Carlson. They report good publicity in the Beacon-Journal and the Informer. Comrade Carlson was interviewed over Akron’s largest radio station, WAKR which also carried a five minute round-up of Grace’s statement of the party position in the station’s 15 minute news summary.

The news from Youngstown thus far is contained in a clipping from the Youngstown Vindicator which features an interview with Grace and her picture. Among other things Comrade Carlson is quoted as saying:

“Henry Wallace ... manages to keep his hands on hard cash despite support of the Communists ... Roosevelt was slicker than President Truman in trying to pass off the Democratic Party as the labor party. Truman isn’t so good a faker, and he doesn’t have the Harvard accent and flowing language.”

From Columbus, we received a report that a writ of mandamus has been filed with the State Supreme Court to compel the Board of Elections to place Harry Braverman on the ballot as Trotskyist candidate for Congress in the 19th district.

The report states that the Ohio Attorney General had caused the reversal of a similar decision made against the SLP in 1916. Braverman left Columbus with assurances from the Attorney General that the legal points on which the SWP case is based are solid. The writer is certainly correct that the “SWP here is making a determined effort to break the monopolistic stranglehold of the Republican and Democratic Parties over local politics.”

* * *

The Flint comrades deserve a rousing cheer for their alertness which resulted in obtaining one-half hour of free time for Farrell Dobbs on Oct. 11 over station WFDF to answer Truman’s Labor Day speech in Detroit.

Genora Dollinger, our candidate for U.S. Senate from Michigan, writes that they are distributing 10,000 leaflets at plant gates, using the sound car for four days running prior to their meeting, placing ads in the local papers and doing extensive telephoning on the meeting and radio broadcast.

* * *

CALIFORNIA: The petition drive to put Harry Press and Robert Chester, SWP candidates for State Assembly and Frank Barbaria for Congress in the San Francisco Bay Area is well under way. As of Sept. 4, 1,047 signatures of the required minimum of 1,500 signatures were collected for Harry Press.

From Los Angeles, Jean Blake writes that the petition campaign for Myra Tanner Weiss for Congress is in high gear. On Sept. 5 they had a total of 1,215 signatures. Jean writes: “The house in the 19th Congressional District which serves as headquarters for the campaign is like an old CIO strike headquarters – comrades dropping in right after work in the evening or during the day; eating in shifts, napping in shifts ...”

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