George Clarke Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index  |   ETOL Main Page

George Clarke

Campaigning with Dobbs and Carlson

(20 September 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. XII No. 38, 20 September 1923, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

By rights and by custom, the Presidential candidate should get top billing, but your campaign manager got so excited about happenings in the Smoky City, he decided to begin with the only woman candidate for Vice President.

Grace Carlson spoke at a noonday plant gate meeting at the big Westinghouse plant in Pittsburgh. Eloise Gordon writes that “workers at the meeting estimated there were close to a thousand” present and that we had a better crowd than Senator Taylor. “We made quite an impression,” Eloise says, “the workers sure listened attentively. No one walked away. In fact they hung around as though they wanted to hear more.”

The second big item was the publicity. We received the biggest press since the campaign began in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Press published a two column picture of Grace and under it a lengthy interview. The Post Gazette printed practically a column-long interview. In addition there were write-ups in the Sun-Telegraph, the Hazlewood paper, some of these running stories two days in a row.

And it wasn’t because Grace got soft that we got this publicity; The Post-Gazette quotes her as saying: “I make the same proposals and the same stand I made prior to my indictment and conviction in 1941 in Minneapolis under the Smith Act.”

In the Press she is quoted as follows; “I don’t think Henry Wallace is a Communist. He’s a capitalist who thinks he knows a better way to carry out Roosevelt’s policies ... I don’t think he has the fanatical spirit of the John Brown type that would carry him through.”

The third item is about a meeting in a new territory, Hazlewood. Comrade Carlson writes: “It was a good meeting although we got off to a bad start with a belligerent drunk in the audience. He was for Truman and Roosevelt, against Reds, etc. But when he said that he knew what the workers needed better than I did because he was a railroad worker, then I told him a thing or three!

“I explained that my father was a RR boilermaker, my brother-in-law a railroad trainman and that I’d lived in the shadow of the round house most of my life. He wasn’t converted but he kept quiet after that and left early. Three RR Workers who had come in with him, stayed on and contributed.”

* * *

MICHIGAN: Now we can return to the top man on the slate. Detroit reports a meeting of 150 held under party auspices with Farrell Dobbs as the main speaker. Jack Gaynor says it was a “very spirited meeting. The audience was very responsive. They applauded loudly when comrade Dobbs described what a Workers and Farmers Government would be like in the U.S. During the question period a worker asked about the Minneapolis strike. You could have heard a pin drop as Farrell gave a vivid blow-by-blow accohnt of those great battles.”

The bouquets are still comihg from the General Motors City in response to comrade Dobbs’ radio answer to Truman’s Labor Day speech; Gemma Dollinger, SWP candidate for U.S. Senator, writes from Flint: “It was the first time we have been able to reach the night shift workers here ... Farrell did a wonderful job! We think it was his best broadcast so far ... We have heard numerous reports from workers in the shops, all very favorable, indicating they were deeply impressed.”

The public meeting in Flint had an attendance of 55. Two young workers joined the party. Three former members are on the way back in and sympathizers who heard our candidates are closer to us than ever before.

Genora says: “The comrades in Flint are proud of our candidates and our election campaign. It spurs our memerbship on to do a better job of building the party.”

We are awaiting the report on the noon-day meeting where comrade Dobbs was scheduled to speak to the Pontiac Fisher Body Workers. The same evening he was to speak over station WCAR Pontiac and later at an outdoor rally.

* * *

Before we move on to Ohio, there are a few things to be said about our ballot status. We have filed in Utah, Colorado, New York and Connecticut. Word from the Secretary of State is expected any time now in all these states on the certification of our ticket on the ballot. We are watching for last minute dirty plays by the capitalist politicians.

In addition we expect the file within a week in Montana. San Francisco is going over the top in its signature drive to put Harry Press on the ballot for State Assembly in the 18th assembly district. Los Angeles expected to file the 4,250 signatures needed to put Myra Tanner Weiss, SWP candidate for Congress, on the ballot by Sept. 15. The Braverman Congressional fight in Youngstown is still raging with the local election board still uncertain as to whether to reverse their ruling or to go into court.

* * *

Youngstown also reports a very good state picnic highlighted by Grace Carlson’s speech and a good indoor meeting which was followed by a long question period.

* * *

NEW YORK reports an Active Workers Conference held on Sept. 11 attended by executive committee members of all branches and all other activists. An ambitious campaign was mapped out which included a series of street meetings, the organization of Dobbs-Carlson Clubs around each branch and a sub drive. New York also reports that they are participating in a WNEW program which will put the party on the air for six weeks from Sept. 20 to Oct. 29 with one 15 minute and 15 four minute broadcasts.

* * *

We want to conclude this week on an advertizing note. There are two splendid pamphlets thus far published for campaign purposes: The Voice of Socialism and the Letter to American Negroes by William Bohannan. They can and should be sold far and wide. We think that every pamphlet sold can mean a vote and perhaps a member. Sales should come easy. Let’s have some reports.

George Clarke Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 11 October 2022