The Militant (logo)  
   Vol.66/No.33           September 2, 2002  
SWP candidate in Iowa
gains ballot status
DES MOINES, Iowa--Edwin Fruit, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for Congress in the third congressional district here, joined his campaign supporters August 13 in filing more than 670 petition signatures for ballot status, double the requirement, with the Iowa secretary of state.

The next day, Fruit, 56, was sent a letter stating that his name will be certified for inclusion on the November 5 election ballot.

The socialist campaign offers a working-class alternative to the Democrats and Republicans, the twin parties of imperialist war and economic depression. The campaign is the only voice for workers, farmers, and young people who are standing up to the brutal effects of the deepening global crisis of the capitalist system.

The week before, Fruit and his supporters fanned out around Des Moines and the surrounding region with information about the campaign.

Supporters visited Storm Lake, Iowa, where they spoke to working people in shopping centers and in their homes in support of the fight being waged by Planned Parenthood to protect its patients’ privacy. Following the discovery of the remains of a baby, officials in Buena Vista County had demanded the release of pregnancy-test records from the organization’s Storm Lake clinic. The socialist campaign champions the right of women to control their bodies.

At a Native American powwow in Tama, Iowa, vendors expressed interest in taking a consignment of Pathfinder titles.

Fruit has also joined his supporters in campaigning at the gate to the meatpacking plant where he is employed. The socialist candidate works on the cut floor and is a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1149.

Supporters have taken the campaign to the UPS terminal in Des Moines, which is organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 90. They set up a campaign table at the terminal gate and spoke to a number of workers about the proposed UPS contract and broader social issues, such as the U.S. rulers’ drive toward a war against Iraq.  
Discussions with working farmers
Campaigners met working farmers at the Iowa State Fair, held the same week that the petition signatures were filed. A Waterloo dairy farmer who has showed cattle from his 90-cow milking operation at the fair over a number of years, said that the price he gets for his milk barely covers the cost of maintaining his herd. "If my wife and my son did not have an off-the-farm job, we would have had to fold years ago," he said.

The socialist workers are now looking ahead to the corn and soybean harvests, when they plan to meet farmers at the grain elevators where farm trucks line up to unload. Fruit’s campaign demands government protection for working farmers, including guarantees of the use of the land they rent or hold title to for as long as they continue to farm. He is urging all union loyalists and other working people to join with working farmers in demanding the government ensure them an income that will meet their costs of production and allow them a decent living.

During a day of campaigning on Saturday, August 17, two tables were set up--one at a shopping center just blocks from the campaign headquarters, and the other at the well-attended farmers’ market in downtown Des Moines, where a number of people had signed the nominating petitions. One person saw the "Stop the War on Iraq" sign on the table while driving by, stopped his car, and came over to buy a copy of the Militant, one of 15 sold that day.

At the shopping center table two Mexican workers, denied driver’s licenses by a restrictive law passed by the Iowa legislature earlier this year, said that they appreciated the demand on the campaign flyer calling for no restrictions on obtaining licenses.
Related articles:
Socialist campaign joins strikers, opposes war drive
6,000 sign to put socialist worker on ballot for mayor in U.S. capital
Candidate for Nebraska governor gets ‘enthusiastic response’ in South Omaha
‘Capitalism has nothing to offer’  
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