Oct 11

SPMI Candidate to Appear in Televised Candidates Debate

Matt Erard, Socialist candidate for 53rd District State Representative, will appear in a live televised debate with his Democratic and Republican opponents on Ann Arbor Community Television Network (CTN) on Wednesday October 18th at 8:15PM. The debate will replay on CTN on the following dates and times:

Replays: Saturday, 10/21 at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10/22 at 9:30 p.m.; Monday 10/23 at 2:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 10/24 at 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday, 10/25 at 8:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10/26 at 12:30 p.m.; Friday, 10/27 at 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10/28 at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10/29 at 9:30 p.m.; Monday 10/30 at 2:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 10/31 at 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday, 11/1 at 8:30 p.m.; Thursday, 11/2 at 12:30 p.m.; Friday, 11/3 at 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11/4 at 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11/5 at 9:30 p.m.; Monday 11/6 at 2:30 p.m

Sep 15

Both 2006 Socialist Party of Michigan candidates to appear on November ballot

The Socialist Party of Michigan is fielding two candidates in the November 2006 elections: Jacob Woods who is running for State Board of Education and Matt Erard who is running for 53rd District State Representative in Ann Arbor. Woods and Erard are running on full socialist programs based on public ownership, worker control, and democratic economic planning; giving Michigan workers an alternative the ever increasing war mongering, outsourcing, union-busting, falling wages and benefits, growing inequality, and attacks on essential social programs that have characterized conditions in the state and nation since the last elections in 2004.

As a result of Michigan’s obscenely undemocratic ballot-access laws designed to keep socialist candidates off the ballot, the Socialist Party of Michigan has been so far unable to achieve ballot access in the state since it was re-chartered by the Socialist Party in 2000. Despite this obstacle, however, the Democrats and Republicans who designed these laws have been as unsuccessful at keeping SPMI candidates off the ballot in 2006 as they have been in the preceding two elections.

SPMI State Representative candidate Matt Erard became qualified for the November ballot on July 19th after an extraordinarily arduous four-month petitioning effort to be placed on the ballot as an independent. Despite his nomination and affiliation with the Socialist Party, Erard’s name will be listed on the ballot as a candidate with “No Party Affiliation” due to the fact that Michigan is among a minority of states that does not allow candidates from parties without ballot access to designate a party name on the ballot once they have qualified as independents.

The 2006 campaign of Matt Erard will mark the first time in decades that a Socialist has qualified for State Representative in the city of Ann Arbor. “Whether or not we win the election in November, the fact that Ann Arbor voters will have a Socialist alternative on the ballot for this office is a victory in and of itself” Erard said.

Although Erard noted that Ann Arbor has historically been an overwhelmingly Democratic city, he argued that rampant capitulation and participation by the Democratic Party in recent years in war mongering and attacks on democratic and economic rights have caused widespread disillusionment with the Democratic Party among progressive voters and increased recognition of its status as a corporate appendage.

SPMI State Board of Education candidate Jacob Woods became qualified for the November ballot on August 6th after getting the nomination of the Green Party of Michigan at its 2006 state nominating convention. Unlike Green-Socialist relations in a number of other states, the Green Party of Michigan has traditionally been very friendly to the Socialist Party of Michigan out of solidarity with many of the party’s demands and recognition of the anti-democratic nature of Michigan’s ballot access laws. For the past three elections, the Green Party of Michigan has allowed Socialist Party candidates to have spots on its ballot line even while campaigning as dual-Socialist Party candidates on socialist programs. In 2002 the Green Party of Michigan nominated SPMI candidate Dan D. Karam for 26th District State Representative. In 2004 the Green Party of Michigan nominated SPMI candidates Ben Burgis for Michigan State University Board of Trustees and Lisa Weltman for 14th District Representative in Congress. The nationally-defunct Natural Law Party of Michigan similarly allowed the Socialist Party ticket of Walt Brown for President and Mary Alice Herbert for Vice President to appear on its state ballot line in 2004.

Woods hopes to use his campaign to tie the crises facing the Michigan educational system to the economic crises and inherently undemocratic nature of the capitalist system. A socialist system would not only guarantee free quality education from cradle to grave, but would radically change the current structure of our schools to emphasize democratic cooperative decision making by teachers, students, faculty, and community residents and free our educational system from the corporate interests who seek to privatize and underfund our schools while keeping them structured as standardized and indoctrinating intellectual assembly lines.

The website of the campaign of Matt Erard for 53rd District State Representative can be found at http://www.erard2006.org. The website of Jacob Woods for State Board of Education can be found at http://woods2006.spmichigan.org

Aug 06

Brown-Herbert on the Natural Law ballot line

Friday, August 06, 2004In a surprise move that even caught members of his own party off guard, Walt Brown, Socialist candidate for president, was nominated by the Natural Law Party of Michigan to be its candidate on the November ballot.

Brown, along with his vice-presidential candidate, Mary-Alice Herbert, were nominated by the NLP State Convention last week, and have already accepted the nomination.

Originally, the Brown-Herbert ticket was only going to appear on the ballot as official write-in candidates, but since the NLP had not nominated anyone for their top spot, the campaign contacted the party and quickly secured the ballot line.

This will be the first time Socialist presidential candidates have appeared on the Michigan ballot since 1972, when the SP-endorsed campaign of Benjamin Spock was on the ballot as the Human Rights Party.

But Brown and Herbert are not the only Socialist candidates running for election. Three members of the Socialist Party are also running as candidates of the Green Party.

— Ben Burgis, a resident of East Lansing and a graduate student at Western Michigan University, is running for Mich. State University Board of Trustees.

— Lisa Weltman, a resident of Detroit and a part-time instructor at Mott Community College, is running for U.S. Congress in the 14th District.

— Lloyd Clark, a resident of Essexville and a disabled worker, is running for Bay County Commission in the 2nd District.

Jul 10

Working woman to challenge Conyers

On Saturday, July 10, the Wayne County Caucus of the Green Party of Michigan unanimously selected Lisa Weltman to be their candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 14th Congressional District.

Weltman, 40, is a longtime resident of Detroit and a well-known activist among working people in the area. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Mott Community College in Genesee County, Mich.

Weltman was chosen to be the Green candidate after she made a passionate statement about why she feels it is necessary to present a clear, progressive challenge to the incumbent, 20-term Representative John Conyers Jr.

“In the past, Conyers has put forward many progressive ideas,” said Weltman, “but in the last period he has sought to accommodate the Bush agenda of wars for profit and attacks on democratic rights.”

Weltman points to Conyers’ votes in support of laws that restrict the democratic rights of American citizens under the guise of the “war on terror,” his support for Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation, and his co-authorship of a bill, with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), to reinstate the military draft as examples of this shift.

“I want to present a real alternative for working people to the politics of war and repression. The people of this district deserve a Representative who will be consistent in opposing the policies and practices of the Bush regime.”

Weltman says she intends to run a grassroots campaign, designed to “empower working people to stand up for themselves.”

However, according to the Weltman campaign, the goal is not simply to siphon off votes from the Democratic Party. According to a spokesperson for the campaign, voter education and outreach — especially to those who have never voted before or have not voted in a long time — is a central part of the effort.

“About half the eligible voters in this country don’t bother to come to the polls,” said Martin Schreader, spokesperson for the Weltman campaign. “The main reason for many of these people is because they do not think any of the candidates represent their interests. We want to change that.”

Schreader added that if traditionally Democratic voters decided to switch to the Greens, he would welcome it. “If a Democrat thinks they have more in common with the vision and principles of the Green Party, then they should by all means vote Green.”

“But we want [Weltman’s] campaign to be the one to reach out to and mobilize those people who have felt disenfranchised by the two-party system.”

Currently, the Weltman campaign is planning out its schedule for the next three months, including campaign appearances, interviews and other events. The schedule, when it is completed, will be listed on her website: [link].

Those interested in scheduling interviews or seeking comment from Weltman can call (313) 535-4234, or send an e-mail to LAN_EMAIL_SUBS.

Jun 15

Socialist candidate for OCC Trustee receives over 11,000 votes!

On Monday, June 14 school board elections took place across the state of Michigan and Carl L. Williams, Socialist Party member and Oakland Community College student, was on the ballot for OCC Board of Trustees. Carl received 11,675 votes, coming in a strong 6th place (out of nine candidates). This is a remarkable showing considering that the top four vote-getters were the three incumbents and a candidate with both wide name-recognition and previous office experience. Carl’s 11,675 votes translates to 10.1 percent. By comparison, the top vote-getter received 17 percent. This is a great showing for the first 2004 SP candidate in Michigan!

Upon an overview of the votes broken down by district, Carl came in second place in Troy (Warren Consolidated District), and third place in Northville, Oak Park, Oxford and Southfield. Carl came in fourth in a handful of districts as well. In Southfield, Carl was a solid 344 votes ahead of the fourth place finisher. Click here for election results.

While this was a non-partisan election, Williams made no secret of his affiliation with the Socialist Party, posting links on his website and discussing the issues with the workers and students of the school. He had wide support from the Socialist Party of Michigan, who posted information on all their websites. The SPMI – along with SP Vice President Mal Herbert – had a presence at the NAACP-sponsored debate as well. The areas in which Carl did best were the most working class, areas the SPMI needs to and will continue to focus on in the future.

The SPMI is continuing its work on the fall campaign, running candidates in several state-wide offices. Click here for more information.