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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on SPUSA annual picnic

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comes an article on this past weekend’s Socialist Party USA annual picnic:

The picnic, now in its 111th year, drew about 50 people to Kern Park, where the food, of course, was potluck and the entertainment was the two-person band Eric Blowtorch and the Welders.

The crowd, many with graying hair, was mostly the party regulars, a group that looks increasingly quaint in today’s sharp-edged, fast-moving political world.

“I don’t think it’s a relic at all,” said Paul Cigler of Appleton, state chairman. “We’re keeping a long tradition alive, and this is a message that needs to be heard.”

Besides touching the SP’s long history, the article discusses Brian Moore‘s presidential campaign and its limited finances, while highlighting the ballot access challenge it faces:

In Wisconsin, backers need 2,000 valid signatures, all collected between Aug. 2 and Sept. 2. So the picnic served as a launch for the effort.

The state party gave Moore $300 toward a plane ticket but couldn’t find a local host. Moore ended up at the Best Western, where the $62 a night charge was OK, but more, he noted, than the $49 he paid in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio.

These things matter when you have a tight budget, such as $5,000 to get on the ballot in Washington state. Saturday was the deadline, and Moore said they were likely to fall short.

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Fred Church Ortiz


  1. paulie cannoli paulie cannoli July 29, 2008

    I’ve lived in some communal situations that worked fairly well, and some that really sucked. It depends on the people involved. The same can be said of free market systems; some business are much better than others, some rental units more livable than others, etc. Overall, the price system works better in my experience.

  2. G.E. G.E. July 29, 2008

    No, Peter. They let everyone cook as much food as they’re able and eat as much as they “need.”

    Everyone went hungry.

  3. Deran Deran July 28, 2008

    Frank Zeidler! The last Socialist Party mayor of a major US city (Milwaukee).

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