Socialist Workers Party’s Dan Fein Kicks Off Campaign for Mayor of Chicago

Dan Fein

From Laura Anderson in The Militant:

Dan Fein, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor, kicked off his campaign here Dec. 6, joining a rally and march on the West Side protesting police torture in Chicago and the killings of Eric Garner by cop Daniel Pantaleo in Staten Island, N.Y., and Michael Brown, shot dead by cop Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri.

There are more than 100 inmates seeking freedom because they were victims of a notorious cop torture ring on Chicago’s South Side, run by former Police Lieut. John Burge to force false confessions and railroad workers to prison.

“Some of my opponents in the mayor’s race say that cops wearing cameras is the solution to cop killings,” Fein told fellow protester Valerie Hale, a member of Save Our Sons Ministry. “But the Eric Garner incident was videotaped and that didn’t prevent the Staten Island prosecutor and grand jury from letting the cops who killed him walk. The problem is not the lack of cameras — it’s the fact that the police defend the dictatorship of capital. They serve and protect the propertied owners, not working people. Disciplined mass protests can slow down the cops — that’s why we are here today marching.”

“I’m here because I don’t like ignorance or cop brutality,” Mansfield Whiting, who used to work in a plastics factory and is looking for work, told Fein.

“I’ll take any job at this point,” he said. “How can anyone find a job with a living wage or medical insurance?”

“We must rely on workers’ collective power and solidarity,” Fein said. “The workers movement needs to organize its own political party, a Labor Party, to champion the interests of working people.”

“You have my support,” said Whiting, who volunteered to help get the word out about Fein’s campaign.

Fein, a 69-year-old factory worker and long-time trade unionist, is one of 11 candidates in the Feb. 24 “nonpartisan” election for mayor.

Rahm Emanuel, the incumbent, left his post as White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama to run for mayor in 2011. He led an assault on Chicago teachers, forcing them on strike in 2012. The strike won broad support among working people, who were looking for a way to push back attacks by the employers and city government.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, another Democrat, is running against Emanuel. Karen Lewis, who was president of the Chicago Teachers Union during the 2012 strike, is backing Garcia, as are other liberals. Lewis had threatened to run against Emanuel herself, but dropped out of the race after she became seriously ill.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be an April 7 runoff between the top two contenders.

Fein has been participating in and promoting actions by workers at Walmart, fast-food restaurants and elsewhere fighting for $15 an hour, full-time work and union representation. The Chicago City Council recently approved a proposal from Emanuel to raise the city minimum wage to $13 an hour by June 2019. Instead, Fein demands the city meet the demands of the protesters, and not put it off to the future.

As SWP candidate for governor last fall, Fein joined and built solidarity with striking teachers in Waukegan and auto mechanics at Al Piemonte Chevrolet in East Dundee.

Fein is also campaigning to back the fight of immigrant workers against government efforts to criminalize and deport them. There are 525,000 undocumented workers in the state of Illinois, mostly in the Greater Chicago area.

8 thoughts on “Socialist Workers Party’s Dan Fein Kicks Off Campaign for Mayor of Chicago

  1. Jed Ziggler Post author

    Dan Fein’s electoral history:

    1970 – Rhode Island U.S. Senate

    1973 – Mayor of Houston, TX

    1974 – Texas Lt. Governor

    1979 – Mayor of Phoenix, AZ

    1988 – Washington U.S. Senate

    1992 – Florida U.S. Senate

    1993 – Metro-Dade County Commissioner

    1998 – Georgia U.S. Senate

    2000 – Georgia U.S. House District 5

    2005 – NYC Comptroller

    2009 – NYC Mayor

    2013 – NYC Mayor

    2015 – Chicago Mayor

    If you want to be an SWP candidate, you better be prepared to travel!

  2. Richard Winger

    Jed, that’s very impressive research. How did you do that? I have records of all SWP candidates so I could have compiled that myself, with effort.

    The SWP traditionally asks its members to move from branch to branch, and the members traditionally accept the party’s wishes. Many other SWP candidates have similar records of having run for office in many different states.

  3. Deran

    As far as his age when he first ran for office. The SWP, like WWP and PSL periodically run candidates that don’t meet age requirements. It often doesn’t matter because they are often write-in candidates.

    I’ve noticed SWPies do travel alot. I’ve always wondered if the Party provides some sort of living allowance? Or do they all have jobs flipping burgers or washing dishes from town to town? Are there other Party members who have well paying jobs and they give lots of their money to the Party, that then is uses it to subsidize their “episcopi vagantes”?

  4. Jed Ziggler Post author

    “As far as his age when he first ran for office. The SWP, like WWP and PSL periodically run candidates that don’t meet age requirements. It often doesn’t matter because they are often write-in candidates.”

    Fein was on the ballot in RI. Apparently they just didn’t know he as ineligible.

    “Seems rather cultish.”

    I’ve thought the same thing. Here you have an active political party with no logo, no party website other than that of The Militant, no candidate websites, no social media presence, seemingly stuck in the past. The same handful of party members run for various offices all over the country, seemingly only to sell copies of The Militant. The party is fully Castroist, expelling all who don’t tow the party line (such as the Trotskyists in the ’80s who formed what is now the Socialist Equality Party) and those who don’t sell enough copies of The Militant. Its either a strange moneymaking scheme, or a political cult. Sort of a shame, since the SWP was an influential Trotskyist political party pre-1980.

    Speaking of cults, according to Politics1 the Tax Wall Street Party that ran Dan Buhrdorf for U.S. Senate in Nebraska has ties to the LaRouche Movement. Their chairman, Webster Tarpley, is a longtime LaRouche follower.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *