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PRESIDENCY 2004:

Walt Brown WALTER F. "WALT" BROWN of Oregon
Socialist Party USA
Presidential Nominee

Note: Brown is the also the nominee of the Natural Law Party of Michigan and the United Citizens Party (SC)

WALT BROWN BIOGRAPHICAL FACTS:

POLITICAL: Oregon State Senator, 1975-87 (served as a Democrat). Malheur County Counsel, 1989-91 (served as a Democrat). Member, Socialist Party USA since 1948. Founded the Socialist Party of Oregon, 1992. Socialist Party USA nominee for Congress in 1998 (6%), 2000 (2%) and 2002 (3%). Legal Counsel, Socialist Party USA.

PROFESSIONAL: Semi-retired attorney, currently. Deputy District Attorney, 1989-91. Former Professor, Northwestern Law School. US Navy & US Navy Reserve, 1944-70 (World War II veteran; retired at the rank of Commander). Aircraft riveter, mailman, construction worker and warehouseman (before attending college).

EDUCATION: B.A. and J.D., University of Southern California. M.A. in Government, Boston University. M.L.S., University of Oregon. Attended courses at Harvard Law School. Rhodes Scholar nominee, 1948.

PERSONAL: Born in 1926. Widower, father and grandfather. Recently remarried.



Mary Alice Herbert MARY ALICE HERBERT of Vermont
Socialist Party USA
Vice Presidential Nominee

Mary Alice "Mal" Herbert is 68, a retired school teacher, a widow, a mother, and the daughter of a Methodist minister. Originally a Republican, she became a socialist by the 1960s in response to "the patriarchal capitalist hierarchy of my own country." Herbert has also been a frequent candidate for state office in the 1980s and 1990s under the banner of the Liberty Union Party, a democratic socialist and feminist party active only in Vermont. In 1996, for example, she was the LU nominee for Governor against Howard Dean. Her campaign strategy in those years was simply "to make pithy statements" in speeches and Letters to the Editor. She originally entered the 2004 race as the designated runningmate of one of Brown's more leftist rivals for the Presidential nomination (Eric Chester). Chester lost the nomination to Brown, but Herbert won the VP nomination at the SPUSA national convention. She is using the VP nomination as a platform for advancing her views on feminist socialism.


LINKS:

Walt Brown for President - Official Campaign Site.
Walt Brown for Congress - Official 2002 Campaign Site.
Socialist Party USA (SP-USA) - Official National Site.
The Socialist - Official SP-USA Magazine.
Young People's Socialist League - SP-USA's Youth Organization.
VoteSocialist.org - Official SP-USA Campaign Clearinghouse


ANALYSIS:

The SPUSA are true democratic socialists -- advocating left-wing electoral change versus militant revolutionary change. Many of the SP members -- including Presidential nominee Walt Brown -- could easily be members of the left-wing faction of the Democratic Party. Unlike most of the other political parties on this page with "Socialist" in their names, the SP has always been staunchly anti-communist. Founded by labor union leader, ex-Democratic elected official and pacifist Eugene V. Debs in 1900, the SP was once a mighty national third party (Debs -- for example -- received over 900,000 votes and 6% for President in 1912). The SPUSA also once elected congressmen, mayors and other officials throughout the 20th Century (largely during the 1910s through 1950s). Curmudgeonly peace activist David McReynolds was the party's 2000 Presidential nominee, earning ballot status in seven states (7,746 votes - 8th place - 0.01% ...plus a bunch more write-in votes in New York and other states where election officials refused to tabulate individual write-in votes). The 2000 showing was a far cry from the SP glory days, but a major improvement over the party's 1996 showing. Some SPUSA insiders gripe that Brown insists upon total day-to-day control of all aspects his own campaign, even writing his own press releases, newspaper ads, etc. They note it took over a week after Brown won the nomination for him to finalize the press release announcing his victory. Brown failed to achieve ballot status in California in March 2004 when he lost the primary contest for the Peace & Freedom Party's Presidential nomination in that state. Still -- considering that Brown captured over 10,000 votes during his 1998 congressional run -- it is reasonable to expect that he should he able to push up the party's 2004 showing by a small amount. In Spring 2004, a feminist faction within the SPUSA attempted to force the SPUSA national leadership to replace Brown as the nominee when it was learned he is personally not pro-choice on the abortion issue. A series of harsh email exchanges followed between rival factions. However, party leaders decided that since Brown is running on the officially-adopted SPUSA Platform (which is pro-choice), his candidacy is de facto pro-choice and there is no need to replace him. Brown readily says electoral victory is not possible, but he hopes his campaign and other third party challenges from the left will -- in the long term -- force the Democratic Party leftward. "The type of leadership that we got from a Reagan or a Schwarzenegger is not what we need in this country. We need thoughtful, well-educated people who have the charisma of credibility, not the charisma of TV ... Time is on our side. Time is on the side of democracy, time is on the side of the cure for cancer [and] time is running out for dictators, time is running out for stupidity," said Brown.


OFFICIAL CONTACT INFORMATION:

Walt F. Brown for President 2004
c/o Socialist Party of Oregon
P.O. Box 5633
Portland, Oregon 97228
503.636.4150
Email: WaltBrown4Prez@aol.com


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