Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Why I am running for State Assembly, 15th District, in 2014" by Eugene E. Ruyle

For more information on Eugene E. Ruyle's Campaign for Peace and Socialismgo to my campaign website []
As a working class, socialist party in the heartland of world imperialism, the Peace and Freedom Party should be raising issues of peace and socialism in every partisan and non-partisan election. As long ago as 1850, Marx and Engels wrote that: "Even where there is no prospect of achieving their election the workers must put up their own candidates to preserve their independence, to gauge their own strength and to bring their revolutionary position and party standpoint to public attention. They must not be led astray by the empty phrases of the democrats, who will maintain that the workers' candidates will split the democratic party and offer the forces of reaction the chance of victory. All such talk means, in the final analysis, that the proletariat is to be swindled. The progress which the proletarian party will make by operating independently in this way is infinitely more important than the disadvantages resulting from the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body." - Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League.  London, March 1850)
This year, after four decades of running working class, socialist candidates and putting our revolutionary position and party platform before the people of California, the Peace of Freedom has only two candidates for statewide office—Cindy Sheehan for Governor, and Nathalie Hrizi of the Party for Socialism and Liberation for California Insurance Commissioner. One more local candidate is planning to run: Robert Soloway, running in the 48th Congressional District in Orange County against right wing incumbent Dana Rohrabacher. In all the years we have had ballot status this is our fewest Peace and Freedom Party candidates. It does not provide a very good argument for our staying on the ballot.
In 2012, I ran for State Assembly in the 15th Assembly District that surrounds the Berkeley campus of the University of California and includes Richmond, Berkeley, and North Oakland. After the election, I wrote in what was "Definitely Not a Concession Speech:" "With over 13% of the vote, I refuse to concede to the incumbent, whose re-election was just part of the normal functioning of a corrupt and undemocratic electoral system. While the twin parties of capitalism spent billions of dollars to convince the American people to vote for politics-as-usual, our low-keyed Campaign for Peace and Socialism refused all campaign contributions and received 22,779 votes, or 13.2% of the total."
In 2014, the incumbent Nancy Skinner will be termed-out. At latest report, there are five Democrats and one Republican running in a district that is 64% Democrat, 8% Republican (SEE: “As Nancy Skinner's Assembly term nears end, 2014 hopefuls step forward - The Daily Californian” If the Democrats split their registrants equally, each will receive just under 13% of the vote, while the Republican will get 8%. The bulk of the remaining 28% are No Party Preference or one of the smaller parties (Peace and Freedom registration is under one percent. There is no particular reason to think I will get 13% of the vote as I did in 2012, but no reason to think I won’t. If I do, It could have me coming in second and advance to the General Election in November. Unlikely, it is true, but it is not the principle that motivates my campaign. As in my earlier campaigns, in 1982, 2008, 2010, and 2012, I will basing my campaign in 2014 on the principle set forth by Marx and Engels 160 years ago.
The requirements for running for state assembly are the least of any partisan office in California. The filing fee is $952.91, or 1,500 valid signatures in lieu of filing fee, gathered between December 27, 2013, and February 20, 2014. The in lieu signature requirement of 1500 may seem high, but they do not need to be registered Peace and Freedom. Anyone registered to vote in the 15th AD can sign. Considering this, the in lieu signature requirement does not seem any more stringent than the old requirement of 60+ Peace and Freedom registrants.
My campaign will support the campaigns of our statewide candidates by collecting signatures for Cindy and Natalie while I am collecting the 1500 for myself in Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. My primary method of signature gathering will be on college campuses. I suspect UC, Berkeley and Contra Costa College are the best places. Perhaps Berkeley City College is also a possibility, but they don’t really have a campus. Political gatherings and other venues will also be utilized for signature gathering.

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