A Beginning Look At The 2008 Elections

 
September 21, 2007

Report to National Board, Communist Party USA
September 5, 2007

This report is fragments of an outline, broad stroke ideas to discuss and enlarge upon. It lays the groundwork for deeper analysis and conclusions. It is an initial report in preparation for the November National Committee meeting.

Everything we do and every new development relates to the 2008 elections. There is an opportunity in this election to begin a fundamental change in the direction of the country, which starts with taking the 2006 election results further and ousting ultra-right Republican big business domination of the federal government. It is a tough but realizable challenge for labor and the peoples movements.

Its amazing that on Labor Day 2007, when municipal races are just heating up, the country is already well into the 2008 election cycle. Every state is vying to be first to have a presidential primary. There may end up being presidential primaries before Christmas! By mid February the majority of primaries will be completed, and the selection is just about over. The Democratic nominating convention will not be held until August 25-28 August 2008 in Denver, Colorado.
The Republican convention will be held September 1 to 4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

Labor Day 2007 set the tone for the upcoming election period.

Labor Day was marked with rallies preparing to fight back on the big three auto negotiations and other key contract expirations and organizing drives around the country. The AFL-CIO launched a massive national campaign for universal health care aimed at mobilizing for the 2008 elections. as millions of workers are wondering how long their job will last and how they will meet their healthcare and mortgage and utility and college tuition payments.

Labor Day was also marked by a re-invigoration of the movement to bring the troops home from Iraq as Congress reconvenes. Vigils, national and local actions are all building up to ten regional actions on Oct 27 as support for ending the war continues to grow. Majority opposition to the war will fuel the 2008 elections.

Along with Iraq, domestic spying and constitutional rights, childrens healthcare, the budget and immigration policy, the leave no child behind act and requiring a paper trail on electronic voting machines are among the items on the post-recess Congressional agenda.

Labor Day was marked by the demand by labor and civil rights organizations for action two years since the Katrina disaster. The Katrina aftermath is an enormous human catastrophe affecting the entire Gulf Coast region. Still most families are homeless and the 9th ward in New Orleans is still in a shambles. The inhumanity and racism of the inaction by the Bush administration was instrumental in motivating voters to change congress in 2006 and will continue to impact the vote in 2008. The demand for a New Deal program to rebuild and create jobs should be high in the election agenda.

Labor Day was also marked with stepped up raids and roundups of undocumented immigrants, and the arrest and deportation of courageous immigrant rights leader Elvira Arellano, along with an attempt by Bush to turn the Social Security Administration into an enforcement agency of ICE using no-match letters. This order has been temporarily stopped by a court action of the AFL-CIO, ACLU and immigrant organizations, and mass pressure is being organized.
The unrelenting attack constitutes an emergency crisis for immigrant communities, for all of labor, and for the struggle for democratic rights. The ultra-right is clearly using immigration policy as a wedge issue in this election cycle which must be answered.

All ion all, as we enter the 2008 elections, working people are facing crises in every area of their lives, and this will shape the presidential and congressional elections. This was shown by the 17,000 union members at the nationally televised AFL-CIO presidential debate in Chicagos Soldiers Field and the ringing question by one SOAR member, why is this happening in America and what are you going to do to fix it?

Who wins the presidency and the size of the majority in Congress is of crucial importance. These elections offer a chance to deliver a decisive blow to the ultra-right and to change the course of the country. The obstructionism of the Republicans has become more clear to the country as the fight to end the war in Iraq and enact the elements of the 100 hours program and a progressive agenda continues in Congress. It took a huge effort in the face of this obstruction, but the minimum wage was finally raised for the first time in a decade.

The mess that the Republicans find themselves in seems to be never-ending, with constant scandals, the latest ongoing around Rep Larry Craig. Just about every cabinet member has had to resign, most recently Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzalez. Before that was Defense Secty Rumsfeld, UN Ambassador Bolton, Counsel Harriet Meiers. Delay and Abromov had to step down. The list goes on and on. Congressional hearings are unearthing one abuse of power after another which is influencing public opinion.

Bush has become such a liability that fissures among the Republicans keep expanding, reflecting divisions within the ultra right and among sections of capital..This is reflected in the weakening position of some Republicans around the Iraq war.

Every section of the electorate has a negative assessment of Bush and the Republicans. Polls show 61% disapprove of Bushs job performance with big negatives for Cheney.

It would be easy to assume the Republicans cant win, but that would be a great mistake. We must not underestimate who we are dealing with. This crowd will stop at nothing to steal or manipulate the election for their own benefit. They have money, they are aggressive and they fight dirty. Unforeseen developments can change the political landscape. This will be a nasty campaign. The defeat of the Republican ultra-right is not inevitable.

It will take a focused mobilization by labor and the peoples movements, but it can be done.

Just a year and a half ago in January 2006 the main estimate of pollsters and the mass media was that it would not be possible to change control of congress. The change was bigger than most anyone anticipated. We are now building on the victory.

Our Party has an important role to play in keeping the focus on the fight for a new direction in our country for jobs, healthcare and an end to the war. That is how the 2008 elections will be won.

A presidential election poll by Celinda Lake (7/07) shows the Democrats have a 12 point lead. Independents give the Democrats an 18 point advantage.. When questioned about specific candidates, it is a closer match. And, asked if they would vote for a third party 22% said yes and 20% said they might, indicating a general dissatisfaction with both parties.

There is a general anger and re-thinking taking place. Organizing and mobilizing on the issues is the key to winning a victory over the ultra-right in this election and to building a base of labor and peoples movement that can lead a change in direction in the country.

The Iraq war will shape the election along with economic issues of which healthcare is at the top. The AFL-CIO campaign for healthcare doesnt specify a specific bill, but within labor there is momentum building for HR 676.

Danger of Disunity

The biggest danger is disunity. The only way the Republicans can carry this election is by splitting the labor and peoples movement and suppressing the vote.

With this goal in mind, the Republicans are using immigration as the wedge issue in this campaign.

A poll of battleground Districts by Democracy Corps (June 19) had disturbing results regarding attitudes toward immigration. Respondents favored border security and stopping illegal immigration by 22 points over legalization. (Other polls have had different results) The authors said, We tested the kinds of attacks Republicans will use on the immigration issue – English as official language to amnesty and immigrants getting social security. Those demagogic attacks are not ineffective, in battleground districts, more likely to play a key role in Democratic rural and exurban districts where opposition towards immigration is stronger and Democrats hold a smaller advantage.

There is a tendency among the Democrats to stay away from the issue, or to pander to border security issues. Winning a stronger alliance with the labor movement on immigrant rights as a working class issue and a human rights issue will be key. When raids happen where organizing is going on, such as the UFCW at Smithfield, labor has responded strongly The Workers Centers are another positive effort that can be built on.
More is needed to counter the corporate media lie that immigrants are taking jobs from African American and low wage workers, and to deepen understanding that the root causes of the problem lie in trade and foreign policy. A deeper understanding of the racist character of the assault is needed, and that the attack on immigrants is a threat to basic democracy. Everyone is affected. The immigrant rights legislative subcommittee is working on a brochure that will address these questions in a Myth and Reality format.

Another divisive issue that will be used by the corporate ultra-right is trade and China. The responsibility for loss of jobs should be placed on the transnational corporations, not China or any other developing country. Scott Marshall mentions a defensive attitude in labor that must be overcome on both issues. The key is to link these issues to the main issues labor is mobilizing around.

Republicans also continue to use issues of terrorism to divide and to blunt opposition to the Iraq war. The Bush administration continues its policy of never ending war and occupation, which is affecting the whole economy and direction of our country.

Frustration with Democrats on the continuing war is a potential source of disunity and demobilization among left and progressive sectors who are key to mobilizing for the defeat of Republicans for Congress and President.

Significantly, ending the war in Iraq was one of the issues by which the executive council of the AFL-CIO evaluated candidates for president at their recent executive council meeting..Labors engagement, along with anti-war mobilization and organizing, can help push the Republicans and those Democrats who are still supporting the Bush policy to break away, and give added leverage to those Democrats who are working in Congress for an end to the war and occupation.

The possibility of moving our country in a different and progressive direction will raise enthusiasm and help set people into motion.

Presidential candidates.

We have probably all seen at least some of the many debates that have already taken place.

The Democratic field: is more progressive than past campaigns. At the AFL-CIO debate at Soldiers field each candidate was vying to be the most pro-union, the best for healthcare. All have come out against the war, although Clinton and Obama are still talking of leaving some troops behind which is an inadequate position. The fact that the front runners are a woman and an African American within a field including a Mexican American, a son of a mill worker and a national peace leader has had a positive influence on the national debate.

The AFL-CIO and many national civil rights organizations are focusing on the issues rather than endorsements during the primaries, but individual unions have begun endorsements. Hillary Clinton has the endorsement of the United Transportation Union and IAM ; Chris Dodd has the endorsement of the Firefighters. Barak Obama does not yet have any union endorsements. John Edwards has the endorsements of USW, UMW and Carpenters; which reflects his strong message on economic issues and his frontal attack on corporate profits and power. For example, in a recent speech, speaking of the giant transnational corporations, Edwards said Your cannot deal with them on their terms. You cannot play by their rules, sit at their table or give them a seat at yours. They will not give up their power – you have to take it from them.

The media was able to blockout the essentially same message from Dennis Kucinich because he is not a frontrunner, but they could not entirely blockout John Edwards. The very enthusiastic response that Kucinich receives in debates more than likely encouraged Edwards. As Sam pointed out at the National Committee meeting, Kucinichs role in presenting a comprehensive left program from the presidential debate platform is helping raise the level of consciousness in the country and gives new openings at the grass roots..

Kucinich is returning from a trip to the Mid East and will tour the country with his message to end the war and occupation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is leading the corporate opposition to Kucinich by heavily funding a candidate to run against him for Congress. His strong local support is expected to prevail.

The Republican presidential field is very reactionary. The messages in their debates are based on hatred and fear. Their main appeal is to the Republican evangelical conservative base. While the Democratic candidates are rushing to support the Employee Free choice Act and Universal Health Care, the Republican field is vying for who can be more anti-immigrant and anti-Roe v. Wade. Mitt Romney called for solving the immigration situation by putting an end to employers hiring undocumented immigrants, and putting an end to sanctuary cities. Republican frontrunner Rudy Guiliani is hiding behind the issue of national security.

Some unions have made the unprecedented decision to endorse both a Democrat and a Republican in the presidential primaries. The IAM endorsed Mike Huckabee along with Clinton, giving the reason that 35% of their members are Republicans.. This is an unfortunate strategy that blurs the danger of the extreme right-wing. It reflects a no-struggle approach toward union members who have voted against their own class interests. We have a role to outreach and convince those workers still voting Republican that is against their interests. This can win elections.

A big new feature to the debates and the campaign is the role of the internet. The yearly KOS Convention (Netroots, non-partisan, grassroots political action community that uses Internet, blogs, YouTube, etc.) got big coverage and a lot of involvement for their presidential debate. This is a welcome expansion of political independence and democratic participation into the election process.

Congressional campaign

In 2008 it is possible to enlarge the Democratic majority in general, and at the same time to enlarge the progressive, Black and Hispanic caucuses and union members in Congress by engaging in some primaries.. The Blue Dog caucus has 47 members. On Aug 4, 31 Blue Dogs voted for the anti-democratic Protect America Act (FISA), with provisions for wiretapping and internal spying that shred basic constitutional rights. The bill passed with a 44 vote margin. The Blue Dog caucus has also voted with Bush on Iraq, preventing a veto proof majority for setting a deadline to remove the troops. In some Blue Dog districts, progressive candidates are expected to garner the support of labor and allies to run a primary. As was learned in 2006, this can be a big positive where there is an understanding that no matter who wins the primary, in the general election the main need is to block the possibility of a Republican majority or near-majority.

Senate
The main emphasis in the Senate is to hold onto and enlarge the Democratic majority. There are
3 open Republican seats which add to potential of larger Democratic majority. They are: John Warner (R-VA) is retiring (Armed Services Committee); Wayne Allard (R-CO) is retiring, and Craig Thomas (RWY) died.

House
The August. 3 Democracy Corps poll of battleground districts projects the potential for another wave election in the House, with Democrats picking up as many as 20 seats. Democrats now hold an 18 pont advantage in the battleground districts (55-37) and are in position to hold most of their seats. More than half of Republicans are facing possible defeat. Two-thirds of voters in Republican battleground say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Six in ten voters have negative feelings to the war, 55% want to reduce the troops and in Republican districts 60% want their member of Congress to vote for measures that will force the president to change policies and reduce troop levels in Iraq. While overall ratings for Congress are low, approval ratings for individual Democratic members are good.

The Battleground 2008′ July poll by Celinda Lake indicates that despite the Democrats electoral advantage, the political atmosphere is poisonous. The poll found that voters express extreme disdain for all politicians and hold both parties in contempt, but that this is especially so for Republicans. Respondents said that Republicans are too focused on the rich, support Bush too much on the war and are tied to corruption The most frequent criticism of the Democrats is giving in to Bush on Iraq. Independent voters follow the nationwide trend. 63% disapprove of Republicans in Congress. 57% disapprove of Democrats in Congress. The poll also found that 97% believe Congress puts politics over people – this crosses over every demographic, regional and attitudinal group This is an indicator of a mood of cynicism and disgust with politics, and indicates a very important role for our Party as well as labor and allies to educate, organize and mobilize on the basis that a progressive agenda can be won with united action.

The poll confirmed that Iraq is the biggest issue, but also found that the economy and jobs are top concerns. A plurality of voters (38%) think their children will be worse off then they.are which is a phenomenon that has just taken hold under Bushs tenure. Voters favor Democrats in congress on the issues (52 – 37 on the war; 59-29 healthcare, 54-29 energy, 56-33 social security, 55-38 jobs) A majority even prefer Democrats on the issue of deficits (51-38). Republicans are not favored on any issue tested except terrorism (49 R to 36 D). Independent voters afford Dems double digit margins on every issue: health care (+44), social security (+40), energy independence (+32), wasteful government spending (+12), deficits (+37), economy (+5), jobs (+26), Iraq (+24), corruption (+18).
Every age group supports Democrats 18-34 (+28) 45-64 (+9) seniors (+5). Republicans lead only among voters 35-44 (+9). Democrats break even with married voters (44-44), lead among single voters (+25) and divorced voters (+18)

Regionally, Democrats lead in the West (+17), Northeast (+14), Central Plains (+12), Midwest (+11). Republicans lead only in the Mountain states (+7). South and South Central are tied. Democrats win urban areas (+17), suburban (+7), and lose rural areas by just 4 points. Among the swing independent bloc Democrats lead (41-31) with 29% undecided. This shows the possibility of undoing or at least cracking the Southern Strategy originally developed by Richard Nixon.

Rural America a battleground. The June 8 poll, Rural America Competitive by Democracy Corps shows the deep economic crisis facing that part of the country. Rural America has less economic opportunity and a higher cost of living. As a result, the issue of changing course economically is competitive with the issue of family values. The main problems listed are the cost of fuel (77%), cost of healthcare (66%) and lack of good paying jobs (52%).

In 2004 Bush carried the rural areas of the country with 19 points. In 2006 Bush lost ground. There was a 51-48 split. In 2008 there are possibilities for Republicans in rural America. 50% say they are conservatives and place family values at the top of their agenda. However, there are divisions on Iraq, reflecting the large number of soldiers from rural areas that have been killed in the war. Rural America will be a big battleground in 2008 Republicans need rural America to win, but Democrats have a chance to cut deeply into the Republican base.

In 2006 ballot referenda to raise the minimum wage were effective in Missouri, Ohio and several other states in shifting the focus from gay marriage and abortion to economic issues. This election cycle, similar labor and religious coalitions will focus on referenda in support of health care for all.

The ultra-right is also utilizing ballot referenda, for the purpose of creating disunity in battleground districts.. In Michigan, where an anti-affirmative action initiative was used to divide the electorate in 2006, the right-wing is now collecting signatures for a referendum to make Michigan a non-union, right-to-work (for less) state. They are exploring other states to introduce these poisonous ballot initiatives. We can play a role ideologically to show that racism and anti-labor attacks go hand in hand, and serve to divide and weaken the growing alliances of labor and the peoples organizations.

The key to victory in 2008 for progressive forces will be to hold onto the base built in 2006 and take the fight into the south and rural areas where it is possible to break the back of the right-wing Republican machine.

Core forces of the all peoples front

The core forces of the all peoples alliance against the ultra-right are the main expression of political independence, and the main forces for unity and expansion of democracy
Labor movement.

Scott Marshall reported on Labor 2008 at the August 20 meeting of the Political Action Commission. The AFL-CIO presidential debate was a turning point for labors political independence. .There is a high level of discussion and involvement of the rank and file on choosing issues and candidates. Jobs and economic security went above the Iraq war as the most important issue in the AFL-CIOs latest polling.

For the last 10-15 years labor has been building an independent apparatus to field and support labor candidates. In the 2006 elections. 25% of voters were union members. The goal in 2008 is to increase that by involving and developing a cadre of rank and file activists to carry out labors political work..

CBTU has launched a new method of voter registration, based on workers going into the neighborhoods where they live to discuss the issues, register voters and get out the vote from their neighborhood on election day. Working America is a community based effort used for political action. 13 million workers who have no union are signed up. This apparatus can be strengthened..

The effort to elect union members to public office has the potential to be expanded.

Latino
The Latino vote could be 10% of 130 million voters in 2008, compared to 5.8% in 2006. It is estimated that the Republicans could lose 1.3 million Latino votes in the battleground states of AZ, NM, FL, CO over the issue of immigration. Evangelical Christians made up 10% of the Latino vote in 2004. They lean conservative, Republican, and place family values issues first. This year they are angered by the Republican anti-immigrant attacks and may oppose Republicans in an independent way.

Latinos accounted for nearly half of the countrys overall population increase from 2002-2006, but many were too young to vote or were not citizens in 2006. Governor Richardson has called for a goal to increase the turnout of Latino voters in 2008 (Pew says 13% voted in 2006 out of 39% who were eligible to vote)

Responding to an idea put forth by NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected Officials), a massive year long media campaign is being carried out by Univision to appeal to more than 8 million permanent residents to become citizens. This would benefit Democrats at least twice as much as Republicans, and could result in 2-3 million.

The early primary in Nevada is considered the Latino Iowa.. One in four of 1.8 million in metro Las Vegas are Latino, and many Latinos are union members. Who wins the primary in Nevada will send a message to TX, CA, NY, NJ, FL, CO, IL This is the first time that Latinos are in senior level positions in every major Democratic presidential campaign organization.

The presidential campaign will be on the agenda of the LCLAA and National Latino Congreso conventions in late September and early October.

Youth
On Election Day 2006, 10.8 million 18-29 year olds voted, which was two million more than in the previous midterm election This trend is expected to continue in 2008.

Democracy Corps: released a study Republicans Collapse Among Young Americans in June. In 2008 young people 18-31 will outnumber the baby boom generation. By 2015 they will be one third of the US electorate. Republicans and younger voters disagree on nearly every issue the role of government, Iraq war, global warming, gay marriage and illegal immigration (55% favor a path to citizenship, 44% favor a focus only on border security). Issues like global warming and the Iraq war can drive this vote. But young peoples economic struggles, more than any other issue, defines their political agenda They are pressed economically by jobs with few benefits, low wages and rising costs of living. Young voters also indicate that they are ready for a woman or African American president.

The youth vote will be very instrumental in the 2008 elections, and will continue to have a big impact in coming years.

African American
The African American vote has historically been the most progressive force. There is a major effort to get out the vote in 2008. Jesse Jackson is conducting a voter education tour for jobs, peace, justice from Sept 15-19 in 12 So Carolina cities with the purpose of inspiring African American voters to study the issues and vote in the February primary and beyond.

A campaign in the African American churches nationally will kick off with Black Voter Empowerment Sunday, Oct 14. Power of the Sister Vote 2008 has been formed to appeal to African American women who make up 58% of the Black electorate. It is sponsored by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Council of Negro Women and APRI to make sure issues of women and youth remain on the front burner in 2008. VOTE – Voices of the Electorate, Operation Big Vote, and Black Youth Vote are also moving into high gear.

Barak Obama predicts that Black voter turnout will swell 30% if he wins the primary. He says that If we just got African Americans in Mississippi to vote their percentage of the population, it is a Democratic state. The same is probably true in Georgia, and South Carolina.

The CBC weekend in September will be a major force in focusing on 2008.

Women
In 2006 women voted Democratic by a 12 point margin That has now increased to an 18 percent margin. Single women support Democrats in the largest numbers. The presence of Hillary Clinton in the field has upped the ante for every campaign to reach out for the womens vote..

Women comprise 59% of Democratic primary voters in key early states. (Washington Post (6/11/2007). An ABC/Washington Post poll in June showed while men are almost equally likely to support Clinton and Senator Obama, among women, Clinton leads with a two to one margin. NOW was an early endorser of Hillary Clinton.

The Coalition of Labor Union women (CLUW) will hold its convention October 10-13 around the theme A New Direction for Working Women, which will prepare for the 2008 elections

The womens vote will be an important factor in 2008.

Third Party issues

There are five third party presidential candidates, and two independent presidential candidates.

Bloombergs independent candidacy could have a negative impact on the election dynamics. Cynthia McKinney may be the candidate on the Green Party ticket, which could also have a negative spoiler impact in a close race. A new formation Unity 08 is projecting a ticket that would include one Democrat and one Republican for President and Vice President. We should also be aware of the new formation, Committee for a Unified Independent Party, of which Lenora Fulani is part. All of these efforts, from the left and the right, will be diversionary in one way or another, and do not recognize the main danger of the extreme right-wing and their corporate backers.

Of course the country needs a massive anti-corporate, pro-people third party. But how do we achieve that goal? It cannot be accomplished which the working class and people are forced into a defensive mode under ultra-right domination of the federal government. In the process of achieving that first task, the seeds of a new peoples party are being sown.

Sometimes we are criticized as tailing the Democratic Party. That is not the case. We have no illusions about the Democratic Party. We, along with labor and its allies recognize that at this moment the Democratic Party is the only vehicle that has the possibility to enable a big shift in politics in 2008..

Building the movement at the grass roots on the issues, bringing the troops home, universal health care, employee free choice act, and jobs, and connecting that program to the elections is the main expression of political independence in 2008, led by the Labor 2008 campaign. If the president and congress are elected with this mandate, and if the movement continues after election day, it will have to be taken into account.

As Henry Winston used to say in relation to tactical questions, take into account time, place, and circumstance.

Cindy Sheehan running against Nancy Pelosi is a negative. It takes the main fight away from the initiators and main supporters of the war the Bush administration backed up by Republicans in Congress and some Democrats. That is where pressure can make a qualitative difference in the effort to achieve withdrawal.

In this period, independent campaigns are most effective at the local level. There are several in the 2007 municipal election cycle. Some are Working Families Party or Progressive Party and some utilize the Democratic Party ballot line. There are a few Communists among them, but not nearly enough.

Protecting the Vote

Voter registration, education and election protection will be key in this election. The right-wing can be expected to mobilize full force to suppress the vote in 2008. One method of voter suppression is the idea that voting doesnt make a difference, and all politicians are corrupt. The importance of a huge voter turnout by labor, African American, Latino, women and youth voters in order to achieve a stronger footing to win an end to the war and economic demands has to be argued for and won.
In Louisiana, there is an attempt to purge Katrina evacuees from the voting rolls. This large African American vote has kept Louisiana in the Democratic column. The Black Caucus and the NAACP have filed a suit with the Justice Department charging violation of the Voting Rights Act on the basis that there was no pre-clearance for the voter purge.

Protecting the right to vote will loom as a bigger and bigger factor around the country, especially in areas where Republicans are trying to defend their shrinking base, and in areas where African American, Latino and other working class families are relocating as they are pushed out of cities by gentrification.

In California, the Republican Party is collecting signatures for a ballot referendum in June that calls for selection of California delegates to the electoral college on a proportional basis. Californias huge Democratic voting base would be undercut, endangering the national election for President. Efforts to defeat it will need broad support. The California Democratic Party has launched a campaign including a pledge card which reads, Many of us believe that we need electoral college reform, but a piecemeal, state-by-state approach that only changes the way California votes is the wrong way. Any efforts to reform our elections system should be about fairness, not creating partisan advantage. I pledge to stop the Republicans from stealing the White House and stealing Californias electoral votes.

These examples show that the ultra-right is in no way conceding the 2008 elections.

Our role

We have an important role to play in the 2008 elections, which is connected to every issue and campaign in which we are involved. In the first place, we play an ideological role as a force for unity. We must expose the class and social forces behind the ultra-right and expose the threat to democracy they represent. We have an important opportunity in the 2008 elections to raise class consciousness, and to highlight and build up labor and peoples independent role.

The Peoples Weekly World / Nuestro Mundo, Political Affairs, and Dynamic have played a consistently important role, and that should be expanded even more. Our Party and press building campaign is very important to this effort. Increasing the readership of our paper will make an ideological contribution to the 2008 elections.

We should also develop our own program for 2008. How to end the war and occupation. A New Deal program for Gulf Coast and country. An emergency response to the economic crisis Moratorium on foreclosures and payments on mortgages under various conditions. Extend benefits for the unemployed, and massive job creation 0 which is already being developed by the Economics Commission.

Our work on the elections should build at the ground for the long term both coalition and our own constituency. There are new possibilities to develop left center relations between labor and the Party. We should think through how to strengthen those ties. In 2006 we reached new levels of participation in labor sponsored election activities. How can we deepen that in 2008 and consolidate labors growing independent trend?

We should get involved in voter registration in every club, and involving every member. We can inspire voter registration and turnout by relating the elections to ending the war, achieving universal single-payer health care, and measures to respond to the economic crisis.

In every district we should identify the key House and Senate races where we will work with labor and its allies. The Political Action, Labor, and Peace and Solidarity Commissions can help in this process.

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