Friday, May 10, 2013

Visit Our New Site!

We've stopped publishing on this blog for the time being. The writers invite you to check out our new project, The Hudson Valley Radical. It features our thoughts on national & international news along with updates on local activism in our Hudson Valley, NY area.

Feel free to look around at our old posts on this site, which represents a political ideology constantly in flux. So much so, in fact, that we've just taken down an earlier note because we no longer feels it best represents our positions on how to move forward.

Despite all the ideological chaos, we've always tried our best amplify a feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist voice. That will never change.

Onward and Upward,
Schuyler Kempton and Cameron Ohl
Writers, &

NOTE: Also be sure to check out Until Victory, the blog of the Anti-Oppression Forum, an anarchist collective in Poughkeepsie, NY

Monday, November 5, 2012

On Nov. 6: Write-in Durham-López 2012!

Months ago, Unite Left began working with the Freedom Socialist Party's un-millionaire campaign of Stephen Durham for President and Christina López for Vice-President. Throughout the election cycle the candidates and their supporters have been criss-crossing the country, running an energetic write-in campaign. They have encouraged working people in all 50 states to break with the parties of the 1% and use their vote to protest the oppressive capitalist system. We have been proud to have played a role in this campaign and in building a stronger socialist force in this country. Tomorrow, we urge all working people to Vote Socialist and write-in Stephen Durham for President and Christina López for Vice-President. Onward!

Below, we re-print Electoral Roulette: The 1 Percent Can't Lose, an article originally published in the October-November issue of the Freedom Socialist newspaper, followed by full Freedom Socialist Party recommendations for elections in New York, Washington, and California.

Electoral roulette: The 1 percent can’t lose

While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama joust for the White House, the U.S. economy limps along, teetering between “recovery” and another downturn.

With competition for global markets and resources at a white heat, CEOs are watching the 2012 election impatiently. As Fortune magazine’s Sept. 3 cover blared, “Hey, Washington: Enough already!” The authors say neither candidate is talking about needed “hard choices” — like “fixing” Medicare by restricting end-of-life care and levying surcharges on “smokers and the ultra-fat.”
So each contender is working hard to convince Corporate America that he is the turnaround guy, while using fear to appeal to ordinary voters. For Romney, it’s fear of those who are poor and need society’s help; for Obama, fear of Romney; for both, fear of foreign threats.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 are hedging their bets, throwing money to both parties, as they usually do — and for good reason. Bipartisanship delivers the goods for the ruling class.

For example, by the time George W. Bush left office, he had signed 460 laws passed by a Democratic Congress, including the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. In 2009, when Obama took over, he defended the bailout against public furor and extended Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. Busy saving capitalism, his promises to labor withered on the vine, including the Employee Free Choice Act to reduce management sabotage of union drives.

With either Romney or Obama, the basic agenda of the bosses is safe. And what they are after this time around is austerity on steroids.

What bosses want. Four years of wage cuts, bank bailouts, and stimulus funding have transferred millions in wealth from the working class to the already rich. But as the Great Recession lingers, the 1 percent can’t stop now.

Everything working people have won is fair game, though methods of attack vary. To take one case, Republican Paul Ryan is a fan of privatizing Medicare by forcing it to compete in a health insurance “marketplace.” Democrat Obama’s preference, to starve Medicare through “efficiencies” of $716 billion, would lead less directly to a similar result. Funding cuts would force service cutbacks and fee hikes, opening the door for private industry to profit by filling gaps in care.

Mail delivery, schools, mass transit, garbage pickup: privatizers want it all.

Other goals are outlined by the Business Roundtable, a kind of Fortune 500 executive committee. Its policy aims include more free trade, rollback of government regulations for everything from clean water to consumer safety, and energy development — drilling on public lands and fracking. To keep world markets open to U.S. businesses, they push for more carrot (foreign aid) and more stick (war spending). They want foreign “guest workers” and a U.S. labor force with lower wages, fewer benefits, and scarcer pensions.

From Wall Street, pressure is mounting to balance the federal budget. The chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi, is one of many who warn of a “catastrophic fiscal crisis” if action isn’t taken.

The blueprint for reducing the deficit and freeing up tax dollars for lucrative contracts and debt interest payments is provided by Obama’s bipartisan Simpson-Bowles committee. Cuts of $4 trillion in 10 years would be achieved primarily by slashing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Other proposals would raise the retirement age, hike Medicare premiums, and shrink the federal labor force by 10 percent.

In 2011, a firestorm of protest forced Congress to blink, and the Simpson-Bowles plans went on hold. But, as Obama pal, teachers’ union foe, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says, the two parties will “work it out because they have to.” The bosses see only one way to save their bottom lines: empty the pockets of the masses.

Implementing super-austerity will require political carnage as well — stripping away more civil liberties and attempting to make unions a historical footnote.

Spending money to make money. To advance this anti-working-class program, the corporate elite pays for the electoral shell game, ensuring that their interests are covered no matter which of the two parties wins.

This election, as of July, Obama led in contributions from individuals, with $348 million, mostly from large donors. Romney had taken in $192 million. The big contributors include Boeing, which wants lucrative Pentagon and Homeland Security contracts, and American Crystal Sugar, which has locked out its unionized workforce since May.

Walmart, Exxon, and Goldman Sachs favor Republicans and their shameless defense of Big Oil, union-busters, and banksters. Microsoft likes Obama’s ability to open new markets in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Labor-hater William Koch loves Romney. Tax-evader George Kaiser is betting on Obama.

But neither party has the working class sewn up. And so Super PACs, bankrolled by crooks like Dick Cheney, are flooding the airwaves with propaganda. TV ads and media talking heads are working overtime to persuade unconvinced voters that deficit reduction is the burning issue and that shredding the safety net is the only solution. The PACs are a pre-emptive strike aimed at the bosses’ worst nightmare — a militant mass movement challenging their rule. Heaven help the ruling class should Wisconsin meet Occupy and birth a movement that fights for anti-capitalist solutions to the economic crisis.

What bosses fear. The wild card is not who wins at the ballot box, but whether a radical movement develops in the streets and workplaces. This is what Greece has taught the world.
Glimmerings of such a movement are surfacing more often, from Chicago, where teachers struck to defend public education, to Washington state, where longshore workers threatened to blockade scab ships in a fight against a union-busting grain consortium.

As attacks on workers and the poor intensify, so will resistance. What’s urgent is the cultivation of leaders and organizations to give direction to protest and sustain it. And that’s what the Durham-López write-in campaign is all about: raising working-class solutions in the sprint for the White House while helping to develop working-class muscles in the marathon for fundamental change.

Contact Linda Averill at
By Linda Averill
Freedom Socialist, October-November 2012, Volume 33, No. 5
Why Vote for Stephen and Christina?
If you’ve been watching the presidential debates, you know that media pundits are riveted by the contrasts between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney—their lapel pins, tone of voice and body language are studied to see who comes across more “presidential.” There’s been lots of squabbling over whose statistics are true, but little clarification of substantive political difference between the two—because frankly, there isn’t much. After all, it took a bipartisan effort to bail out Wall Street, deregulate banks, create the housing crisis, and make going to college a quick trip to the poor house.
It’s time to try something different. Millions have quit going to the polls because voting for the “lesser evil” is a dead end. But there is an alternative to sitting out the election.
Vote for the greater good—Write in Freedom Socialist candidates Stephen Durham and Christina López for U.S. President and Vice President
When people encounter the Freedom Socialist Party campaign, they are energized by the candidates’ concrete solutions, happy to find a way to protest sham elections, and interested in understanding an anti-capitalist perspective. From anti-NATO protests and teacher picket lines in Chicago, to Washington state farm towns and Occupy Poughkeepsie, socialist feminist candidates Stephen Durham and Christina López have met great interest and a desire to discuss issues.
For five years, workers and the poor have been paying for an economic crisis they did not cause. The Durham-López platform calls for dismantling the Pentagon and taxing big business in order to provide adequate funds for education, medical care, and other human needs. It stands for ending unemployment with a massive program of public jobs; nationalizing banks and key industries under the management of workers’ committees; canceling student and consumer debt; establishing authoritative, elected civilian review boards over the police; ensuring reproductive rights; providing free mass transit for the good of people and the planet; and much more to improve the lives of those who survive paycheck to paycheck.
Presidential candidate Stephen Durham is a lifelong fighter to end discrimination; he’s been a rank-and-file strike leader and a radical envoy to Latin American unionists and feminists. A gay rights pioneer, today he heads the Freedom Socialist Party branch in Harlem. Durham knows how to build bridges across the divides of race, gender, sexual orientation, and nationality.
Vice-presidential candidate Christina López is a grassroots organizer for women’s rights, who co-founded Sisters Organize for Survival to fight social services cuts in Washington state. An Arizona native, she is passionate about immigrant rights and racial equality. López knows what it’s like to grow up poor in a barrio and is a strong advocate for quality public education for all.
It was clear from the outset that ballot obstacles precluded a traditional campaign at the national level. Thus, the unorthodox, un-millionaire campaign was born: a write-in effort to provide a voice for the working class and to protest the anti-democratic nature of the electoral process. Rather than spend time and resources jumping through bureaucratic hoops to qualify for each state’s ballot, the Durham-López team has prioritized hitting the streets and visiting campuses, neighborhoods and picketlines. This campaign is about building a movement for fundamental change. Visit to find out how you can get involved in the remaining weeks.

FSP recommendations for the November 6, 2012 New York State General Election
Writing in Stephen Durham and Christina López for President and Vice President is hands down the best choice. But when you open your ballot, you’ll find one other socialist option for president and vice president: Peta Lindsay/Yari Osorio, Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). FSP gave critical support to PSL candidates in past elections, despite their lackluster approach to feminism and our differences over international issues. We drew the line this year after their opportunistic maneuvering at the Peace and Freedom Party Convention in California, giving their support to Roseanne Barr, which resulted in not a single socialist appearing on that state’s presidential ballot.
Also on the NY ballot are the Green Party’s Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala for president/vice president, and several candidates for local offices. However, the Green Party is not anti-capitalist. They pledge only incremental change, instead of tackling the profit system head on.
The NJ senate race includes a clearly anti-capitalist alternative—Greg Pason, Socialist Party USA—and we urge NJ voters to cast their ballots for him.
How to write in your vote: New Yorkers will receive a paper ballot. At the end of the list of candidates for president, there is a space for write-in candidates. Fill in the oval next to the words “Write-In” and print: STEPHEN DURHAM for president and CHRISTINA LÓPEZ for vice president.

Open Letter on the November 6, 2012 California General Election

Vote for the Greater Good—Write in Stephen Durham and Christina López for U.S. President and Vice-President

Everyday people think: the U.S. is way overdue for change. So when they encounter the Freedom Socialist Party Durham/ López campaign, they are energized—whether it’s appreciation for concrete solutions, delight at a way to protest sham elections, or interest in an anti-capitalist perspective. Outside big-box stores, on campuses and picket lines, in barrios and at rallies, socialist feminist candidates Stephen Durham and Christina López have been cheered and welcomed.
Durham has been a radical since his student days at Berkeley and is a pioneer queer activist. Today he heads the Harlem branch of the party. He’s been a strike leader, a Marxist educator and traveled widely in Latin America making alliances with unionists and radicals. López is President of Seattle Radical Women and a hardworking grassroots organizer with a passion for fighting on behalf of the most oppressed—women, immigrants, people of color, young people and the poor.
Their campaign is an optimistic antidote to the grim austerity measures levied against the working class from Chicago to Los Angeles and South Africa to Greece. Workers and the oppressed are the vast majority worldwide and are fighting back in inspiring ways. But these forces need support and encouragement—your support. So step onto the righteous side of the global class war by voting for a concrete socialist alternative! The full platform of the Durham/López campaign can be found at
Open Letter on the November 6, 2012 California General Election
The Presidential election finds California with real problems that need real solutions. Our state is in the top ten in foreclosures, unemployment and homelessness, and we’re number one in incarcerations. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans offer any substantial answers in their tit-for-tat campaigns. Obama fills our airways and email inboxes with scare stories about Mitt Romney. But both parties support war, bank bailouts, union busting, and the privatization of education. So why vote for them?
Unfortunately, California’s only socialist electoral party, the Peace and Freedom Party (PFP), turned their 2012 opportunity into a farce by selecting comedian Roseanne Barr as their presidential candidate. The Party for Socialism and Liberation ensured that no serious socialist got the PFP nomination by throwing their support at the last minute to Barr. A month later, Barr’s VP running mate, antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, resigned from the ticket (even though her name still appears on the ballot). Sheehan pointed to political differences and Barr’s failure to come through with promised financial or canvassing support.
Also on the ballot for president is the Green Party’s Jill Stein. While she has been stronger on workers’ rights than past Green candidates, she is still an advocate of capitalism. Her Green New Deal calls for an unattainable gentler form of capitalism via a reprogrammed financial sector that serves everyday people. But the very nature of the profit system is the problem.
Registering a protest vote against this rotten and rigged system is the most powerful thing you can do in the upcoming elections. On your ballot, you’ll find a line under the list of the corporate parties’ candidates where you can write in Stephen Durham and Christina López. Be sure to spell their names correctly or your vote will not count!
We live in contradictory times, and the ballot reflects this with several, mostly bad, tax propositions plus an entreaty to eliminate the death penalty.
California Ballot Measures
We live in contradictory times, and the ballot reflects this with several, mostly bad, tax propositions plus an entreaty to eliminate the death penalty.
  • Proposition 30: Temporary Tax Increases for Education and other Needs— Vote Your Conscience
    If passed, this measure would increase the state sales tax by .25% for four years, and increase modestly graduated income tax rates on individuals making at least $250,000 a year for seven years. This measure is on the ballot because Governor Brown convinced the California Federation of Teachers to abandon their popular grassroots-initiated Millionaires Tax, which exclusively targeted the 1% with permanent tax increases but frightened Brown’s big business allies.There is no winning side to this compromise initiative. A YES vote adds to the burden on the poor via an increase in the regressive sales tax that already represents 29% of the state’s funding. Even though the bulk of the revenue would come from the wealthy via the income tax, the toll on the under-privileged is harsh. On the other hand, a NO vote means immediate “trigger” cuts of $6 billion to public education, already crippled by previous cutbacks. The heavy-handed bullying by Democrats and labor bureaucrats to pass this measure is disgusting, and there are no safeguards ensuring that the revenue will go to education, as claimed.
  • The only way out of these lose-lose election dilemmas is for education workers, students, and the community to demand fully-funded public schools paid for by taxing the ultra-rich and corporations.
  • Proposition 31: State Budget Restrictions—Vote NO
    This complex constitutional amendment would require “performance review” of all state programs, budget cuts to balance all new expenditures and give the governor power to make unilateral cuts in times of a “fiscal emergency.”
  • Proposition 32: Limits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction—Vote NO This measure pretends to get big money out of politics, but exempts big business and their PACs. The real targets are public and private sector unions who would be forbidden to use members’ dues for any political purpose without express, yearly, written permission for individual members. It’s an attack on labor’s ability to fight for working-class issues.
  • Proposition 33: Car Insurance Increases based on Prior History—Vote NO
    This is another attempt by the insurance industry, particularly the CEO of Mercury Insurance, to raise premiums on those who have not had continuous coverage for five consecutive years. The first to pay will be the poor, students and immigrants.
  • Proposition 34: Replace the Death Penalty with Life Without Parole—Vote YES
    This would rid California of the death penalty, a legacy of slavery. Despite the many things wrong with this initiative—mandatory life without parole, and mandated work for those convicted of murder—this is a step forward to end a practice that kills mostly the poor and people of color.
  • Proposition 35: Increases the Penalties for Human Trafficking—Vote NO
    As socialist feminists, we abhor human trafficking of laborers and sex workers. However, this initiative statute poses a threat to civil liberties, has an overly-broad net that could impact any sex worker—trafficked or not—and duplicates current laws while doing little for victims.
  • Proposition 36: Revises the Three Strikes Law—Vote YES
    The original law mandates life in prison for anyone convicted of three felonies. This initiative statute would reduce the life sentence in a limited number of cases. A better option would be to strike down the entire law because it disproportionally affects the poor and people of color.
  • Proposition 37: Labeling Genetically Engineered Food—Vote YES
    This initiative statute is a step in the right direction in providing consumers information about food purchases, although it contains many exceptions.
  • Proposition 38: Income Tax Increase to Fund Education—Vote NO Like Proposition 30, this is aimed at increasing funding for California’s impoverished education system but, this measure increases taxes on all income earners—including the overburdened poor and working class— instead of targeting the rich and corporations.
  • Proposition 39: Multi-state Business Taxes—Vote YES This initiative statute closes a loophole used by businesses that operate in states outside California, and adds $1billion to state revenues while establishing a Clean Energy Job Creation Fund.

State and Local Candidates
FSP only recommends candidates who criticize the capitalist system and call for radical change. Where there are socialists on the ballot, we encourage you to vote for them (see below). Sadly, Proposition 14 undemocratically took away the right to write in candidates other than for President.
  • CA 9th State Senate District: Vote for Mary McIlroy, Peace and Freedom Party
    Clearly a socialist, she calls for defending public education and keeping state parks accessible to all.
  • CA 15th Assembly District: Vote for Eugene Ruyle, Peace and Freedom Party
    His demands include ditch the twin parties of Wall Street, free education and healthcare for all, end wars, tax the rich, and protect and restore Mother Earth.
San Francisco Measures
  • Measure A: City College Parcel Tax—Vote Your Conscience
    This property tax would cost $79 per parcel for eight years, and the $14 million in revenue goes directly to City College of San Francisco. This vital school should be funded by corporate taxes and an oil severance tax on Chevron, not regressive property taxes. But, the desperate economic straits facing this working-class college as a result of previous budget cuts leads us to say: you choose how to vote.
  • Measure B: Park Bond—Vote NO
    Parks are important especially to poor and working-class families. But this measure which allows the city to borrow $195 million in bonds to improve facilities doesn’t get our support while unspent funds from a previous bond exist, and some parks are being privatized.
  • Measure C: Housing Trust Fund—Vote YES
    Aimed at alleviating the paucity of affordable housing for poor, working-class and middle-class city residents in the city, this measure creates a fund through the tax on business proposed in Measure E and other sources that do not tap the average person. Although it gives developers a discount for building affordable units, the need is dire with the federal government no longer constructing public housing.
  • Measure E: Gross Receipts Tax—Vote YES
    This will substitute a gross receipt tax for the current payroll tax, resulting in $28.5 million more revenue per year and 90% of businesses in San Francisco paying higher taxes. Small businesses are exempt.
  • Measure G: Repeal Corporate Personhood—Vote YES
    Mostly advisory, this statement of policy opposes the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United that said corporations are people and paved the way for super PACs, powerful business- funded Political Action Committees.Don’t miss out on the opportunity to vote for what you want and need this November and be a part of an exciting grassroots upsurge: Write in Stephen Durham for U.S. President and Christina López for U.S. Vice-President!
    In Struggle, Toni Mendicino, SF Organizer
    P.S. It’s not too late to volunteer with the people-powered Durham/López campaign. Come to a weekly meet-up or lend your talents and energy as you can. Contact me at 415-864-1278 or

Summary of Ballot Recommendations November 6, 2012 California General Election
(You can take this into the voting booth)
U.S. President—Write in Stephen Durham
U.S. Vice President—Write in Christina López
CA Senate Dist. 9—Mary McIlroy
CA Assembly Dist. 15—Eugene Ruyle
California State Propositions
CA Prop. 30—Vote your conscience
CA Prop. 31—Vote NO
CA Prop. 32—Vote NO
CA Prop. 33—Vote NO
CA Prop. 34—Vote YES
CA Prop. 35—Vote NO
CA Prop. 36—Vote YES
CA Prop. 37Vote YES
CA Prop. 38—Vote NO
CA Prop. 39—Vote YES
San Francisco Ballot Measures
SF Meas. A—Vote your conscience
SF Meas. B—Vote NO
SF Meas. C—Vote YES
SF Meas. E—Vote YES
SF Meas. G—Vote YES

FSP recommendations for the November 6, 2012 Washington State General Election
President/Vice-President: Write-in Stephen Durham & Christina López
Legislative District No. 43, Position 2 - Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative
Initiative 1185, Maintain the two-thirds legislative vote NO
Initiative 1240 Charter Schools — NO
Referendum 74, Same-sex marriage — APPROVE
Initiative 502, Marijuana legislation — NO
SJR 8221, Reduction in debt limit — No position
SJR 8223, UW and WSU: Stock market investment — NO
Advisory Vote #1 and Advisory Vote #2 — Leave your ballot BLANK
King County Proposition 1, Fingerprint system — NO
Seattle Proposition 1, Seawall and assorted facilities — NO

Legislative District No. 43, Position 2 – Vote for Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative

The FSP has endorsed Socialist Alternative (SA) candidate Kshama Sawant, running for a seat in the Washington House of Representatives.

SA’s election platform is excellent and clearly identifies capitalism as the problem and socialism as the solution. It calls for what working people really need – a public jobs program to provide full employment; taxing big business and the rich to fund human needs; ending police brutality and institutional racism; and guaranteeing the rights of women, LGBT people, and immigrants. FSP urges voters in Seattle’s 43rd district to give Sawant a thumbs up!

FSP’s endorsement, however, is one of critical support. In the presidential election, SA endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein rather than the Freedom Socialists or any other anti-capitalist slate. SA’s strategy is to support whichever third party candidate they think can garner the most votes, regardless of program. This led them to support another non- socialist, Ralph Nader, four years ago. Supporting reformists who promote the delusion that a kinder, gentler capitalism is possible is contradictory to the message of SA’s own campaign.

The most powerful way for socialists to participate in elections would be with joint slates, mutual support and a united voice. FSP has walked its talk about the need for united left electoral work and has actively backed the Sawant campaign, despite the lack of reciprocal support, helping it win labor endorsements and speaking engagements.


Initiative 1185, Maintain the two-thirds legislative vote — Vote NO

This initiative is sponsored by Tim Eyman to continue the requirements of his earlier I-1053. It mandates a two-thirds legislative vote on any tax hike or loophole closure, and a simple majority vote to increase state fees. Most legislators decry I-1053, yet use it as an excuse for refusing to raise taxes on the rich and corporations, despite public pressure to do so. Passing I-1185 will lead to even more devastating budget cuts.

Initiative 1240, Charter Schools —Vote NO

I-1240 allows the state to set up 40 charter schools over the next five years. Each charter would be a private non-profit with its own board of directors that could contract out staffing and operations to private, for- profit corporations. These charter schools would be privately controlled, but paid for with public funds!

The I-1240 campaign was funded almost entirely by a handful of billionaires including Walmart heiress Alice Walton and local one- percenters such as Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and the parents of Jeff Bezos.

Charter schools privatize public education, under-pay teachers, bust unions, and create a two-tier education system. While charters initially must admit all students, statistics show that they under-serve the disabled, the poor, immigrants, and students of color by “counseling” them out and then touting high success rates. That is why Washington voters have turned down three previous charter school initiatives. Let’s do it again! Learn more at

Referendum 74, Same-sex marriage — APPROVE

Referendum 74 asks voters to approve or reject the February 2012 law that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington state. In June, opponents filed R-74 to demand a public vote on the new law. If R-74 is approved, the law will finally go into effect.
R-74 deserves approval, but it has a drawback: it eliminates the option of domestic partnership for everyone except seniors. And, in 2014, existing domestic partnerships are converted into marriage. Forcing people into marriage in order to take advantage of shared benefits is hardly a feminist vision of progress. On the other hand, approval of R-74 would send a loud message to federal politicians — Democrat and Republican alike — to get off the dime and repeal the antigay federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Initiative 502, Marijuana legislation — Vote NO

The FSP favors legalizing marijuana but this initiative is seriously flawed. It would subject minors, drivers and medical users to a wide range of serious new criminal charges, penalties, and high costs. Groups that have long sought legalization are divided over whether the initiative is a step in the right direction. After looking at who will most likely be targeted by I-502’s new penalties, the FSP cannot endorse it.

Under I-502, the state would license and regulate marijuana cultivation and distribution, and impose a 25% excise tax on wholesale and retail sales. Persons over 21 years of age could possess up to one ounce. However, anyone suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) would be forced to take a blood test to determine the level of marijuana’s active chemical (THC) in their system. If the level of THC is above a specified limit, it would result in an automatic DUI – unlike the current law on alcohol use that requires proof of impairment in addition to the blood alcohol level. The THC test limit has no scientific validity. Traces of THC can be detected for a month after the last toke. Regular users of medical marijuana are likely to always be above the test limit. It should be a prosecutor’s job to prove impaired driving ability rather than using the mere level of THC in a driver’s blood as proof of guilt.

I-502 does not legalize marijuana use for people under 21. It prohibits even sharing a joint. Overall, I-502 gives enormous power to police and prosecutors, and may well increase the number of people in trouble with the law. For young people of color, who are already pulled over at an alarming rate for “driving while black or brown,” this initiative will compound an injustice. Visit to learn more.

SJR 8221, Reductiion in debt limit — No position

This amendment reduces the level of debt the state is allowed to carry by limiting its ability to borrow money. It aims at improving Washington’s credit rating, but does nothing to solve the budget crisis for working people. Fact Check.

SJR 8223, UW and WSU: Stock market investment — Vote NO

SJR 8223 seeks to amend the state constitution to permit the University of Washington and Washington State University to invest students’ tuition money and public funds in the stock market. These institutions cannot be allowed to risk young people’s future on Wall Street – as happened to older folks who lost their life savings when the market crashed. Fact Check.

Advisory Vote #1 and Advisory Vote #2 on tax issues — Leave your ballot BLANK

This manipulative and misleading opinion poll about past legislative tax changes will achieve nothing.


King County Proposition 1, Fingerprint system — Vote NO

Proposition 1 would renew a levy to continue supporting the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) paid for by property taxes at about $21 annually on a $360,000 home. The levy would continue for six more years with annual increases. Enough of dinging homeowners to pay for Big Brother technology.


Seattle Proposition 1, Seawall and assorted facilities — Vote NO

The city wants to purchase $290 million in bonds to pay for fixing the Alaskan Way seawall “and associated public facilities and infrastructure.” The issue surfaced when the city proposed a waterfront tunnel and developers wanted the area fixed up for new projects on adjoining land. The bonds would be repaid by increasing property taxes approximately $59 annually and last for 30 years for a home worth $360,000. Yes, the seawall is deteriorating: but who should pay for it? Answer: downtown developers and businesses that stand to benefit the most.

Writing in Stephen Durham and Christina López for President and Vice President is hands down the best choice. But when you open your ballot, you’ll find numerous other third party options for president and vice president. They include Ross C. (Rocky) Anderson/Luis J. Rodriguez, Progressive Party; and Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Pacific Green Party. Neither group is anti-capitalist. They pledge only incremental change, instead of tackling the profit system head on.

Two rightwing parties are also in the running: the Libertarians, who boost unfettered capitalism; and the Constitution Party, which has close ties to the far-right, racist, anti-immigrant movement.

FSP recommendations for the November 6, 2012 Oregon State General Election
Durham-López: The best option among third party presidential candidates
Writing in Stephen Durham and Christina López for President and Vice President is hands down the best choice. But when you open your ballot, you’ll find numerous other third party options for president and vice president. Two socialist parties gathered signatures to appear on the Washington State ballot, although they spent little time campaigning here. They are: Peta Lindsay/Yari Osorio, Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL); and James Harris/Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party (SWP). FSP gave critical support to PSL candidates in past elections, despite their lackluster approach to feminism and our differences over international issues. We drew the line this year after their horse- trading shenanigans at the Peace and Freedom Party Convention in California, which resulted in not a single socialist appearing on that state’s presidential ballot. The SWP has made little attempt to run a serious campaign.

Other names on the ballot include Ross C. (Rocky) Anderson/Luis J. Rodriguez, Justice Party; and Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green Party. Neither group is anti-capitalist. They pledge only incremental change, instead of tackling the profit system head on.

Two rightwing parties are also in the running: the Libertarians, who boost unfettered capitalism; and the Constitution Party, which has close ties to the far-right, racist, anti-immigrant movement.

Last but Not Least...
If this election is getting you down, join the Freedom Socialist Party for election-night parties that will be lighting up 5 cities on Nov. 6th. Join the FSP in Los Angeles at Solidarity Hall from 6:00-9:00 PM, in New York at Freedom Hall starting at 7:00 PM, in Portland at the Bread and Roses Center from 6:30-10:00, in San Francisco at New Valencia Hall from 5:00-8:00 PM, or in Seattle at New Freeway Hall from 6:30-11:00 PM  

This election do not despair, Protest! In elections to come, we hope and work for a united workers' movement that can mount a real challenge at the ballot box, in the streets, and at the workplaces. Until this is the case, the most effective vote is one that challenges the capitalist system, and a write-in for Stephen Durham and Christina López  is the ultimate protest vote.

Join the movement. Vote Durham-López!

Visit for complete information about the Un-Millionaire Durham-López write-in campaign