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Vol. 74/No. 37      October 4, 2010

Iowa socialist candidates
gain attention in media
DES MOINES, Iowa—Workers and farmers in Iowa can now learn about the positions of the Socialist Workers Party candidates along with those of their opponents by going online to the Des Moines Register’s “Compare the Candidates” feature.

The Web site shows the views of incumbent Democratic Party governor Chet Culver, Republican challenger Terry Branstad, SWP candidate David Rosenfeld, and candidates from the Libertarian and Iowa parties, along with their photos. Also shown are the views of the candidates for U.S. Congress from Iowa’s Third District, including SWP candidate Rebecca Williamson. The “Compare the Candidates” feature was compiled from answers submitted by the candidates to a survey.

On the question of immigration, for example, incumbent Congressman Leonard Boswell states, “We have to register those individuals who are in the country illegally,” and he calls for a vague “path to citizenship” for some. Republican challenger Brad Zaun says, “I do not support amnesty or a pathway to citizenship for people that have entered the United States illegally. That policy simply encourages people to continue to break our laws.”

“I support the full legalization of all immigrants, now,” Williamson says. “I join with the millions who have poured into the streets in cities and towns all over the country the past several years calling for a halt to immigration raids, deportations, and 'no-match' letters. I also join those who oppose calling these fellow workers criminals, scapegoating them for capitalism's problems. The Democratic and Republican politicians and other anti-immigrant forces want to obscure the source of the social problems we face. I oppose any delays, fines, or requirements to speak English.”

The “Compare the Candidates” page is at

The September 16 Register published a letter from Rosenfeld denouncing the effort by Des Moines police to publicly accuse Black youth of carrying out a “beat whitey night” during the recent Iowa State Fair.

Noting that “the police have had to admit there is no evidence” that any of their allegations about “racially motivated” African American youth are true, Rosenfeld wrote, “The only part of this whole affair that clearly was racially motivated was the demonization of young Black people by the police.” He continued, “The rush to judgment and the slanderous characterization of the fights during the state fair were a reflection of the mode of operation of the police.”

“I have campaigned for governor in Black communities in Des Moines, Waterloo, and other areas of the state,” Rosenfeld added. “I have heard accounts of brutality, abuse, racial profiling, and discrimination carried out by the police.”

The Register has also received a letter from Williamson, describing what she learned in discussions with workers in northern Iowa who have worked at the Wright County Egg company, owned by Jack DeCoster, a capitalist food producer with a record of labor and food safety violations.

“The recent sickening of more than 1,000 people from salmonella-contaminated eggs, many traced to DeCosters’s farms, highlights the need for working people to demand safe and healthy conditions for workers in the food industry and products free of contamination and disease,” Williamson wrote. “This begins with union organizing.”

She ended, “Democratic and Republican administrations support capitalists contemptuous of workers rights and food safety and can’t be relied upon to enforce existing safety legislation. Working people need a labor party, based on a fighting union movement, which will act in the interests of the laboring majority.”
Related articles:
Illinois socialists call for labor party
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Join socialist campaign October 2
Montreal forum hears SWP candidates  
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