The Communist Party USA Plans to Begin Actively Running Candidates Again

The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) was formed on September 1, 1919, as a breakaway party from the Socialist Party of America following the success of the Russian Revolution. The CPUSA played an active role in labor unions for multiple decades and saw membership reach around 75,000 by 1938. Many communists were elected before World War Two and their most successful presidential ticket saw William Z. Foster receive 103,307 votes in the 1932 presidential election. However, following World War Two the CPUSA saw membership decline due to the Red Scare and government suppression to the point of less than 10,000 in 1957, with over 1,500 being FBI informants.

The CPUSA remained a small political force in the United States with their best presidential result following World War Two being 58,709 votes in 1976. The CPUSA lost its support from the Soviet Union in 1989, and saw further decline following the fall of the Soviet Union. The party has rarely run candidates since the 1990s.

However, in recent years the CPUSA has been more successful electorally. A member of the CPUSA served on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1983 to 2002, Denise Winebrenner Edwards served on the Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania city council from 1999 to 2010, and since 2019, and Wahsayah Whitebird has served on the Ashland, Wisconsin city council. Whitebird’s victory was rather impressive due to him defeating the president of the city council. Now the party is planning to start running candidates for office again starting with local elections in either 2022 or 2023. The CPUSA has also seen its membership increase in recent years with membership rising to between 5,000 and 10,000.

The party has decided to go in this direction due to the success of progressive organizations such as Our Revolution and DSA. The new guide by the CPUSA was drafted by the Political Action Commission on February 22, 2021, and was presented to the National Board on April 7.

The guide was welcomed by district leaders and has ten points of recommendation as follows:

“1. Include discussion on running candidates as part of the overall discussion on building the Party.

2. Have as a goal running where possible. especially in local elections. There should be collaboration between the National Party and the districts and clubs.

3. Possibly concentrate nationally on one or two candidates where we go all out to win and put resources into campaigns.

4. Develop guidelines for how to consider a candidacy and a collective process of deciding how, who, and where to run and carry out the effort. This should include connections to local struggles and relationship building. It also should include collaboration between local and national Party organization in decision making.

5. Develop a national platform which can be adapted to state/local conditions.

6. School for candidates: develop guidelines and work with candidates on how to run — Voter registration, education, engagement and turnout, fund-raising, status of public financing, social media, concentration, research, positions on issues, greater visibility (e.g., testifying at state and/or local public hearings), etc. — use 2021 to prepare and educate our candidates. It often takes running more than one time to get elected. We want to win, but running itself is a learning experience.

7. Reestablish Progressive Public Officials, a network of those who hold elected and appointed public office who are in and around us, as a way of mutual support and action on policy.

8. Hold a discussion on voter suppression, which would include the question of voter intimidation and develop a program to democratize our election laws.

9. Study where are the main local elections we can run in 2022 and 2023.

10. Maintain the sub-committee on Communist candidates as part of the Political Action Commission to help carry out these recommendations.”

Further reading:


32 thoughts on “The Communist Party USA Plans to Begin Actively Running Candidates Again

  1. fred stein

    It is ironic that one person in the picture behind the Communist sign had a NIKE shirt on. Even I who is a Capitalist will not wear a commercial product clothing unless they pay me a monthly fee.
    By the way we don’t need the Communists, leftwingers have the Democratic Party and the Green Party.

  2. Longtime Reader

    In a way this is a good thing. This means that all the communist factions/fringes in other political parties such as the Democrats can move over to a vanguard that solely and actually reflects their ideology. You know, what Marx himself actually calls for instead of infiltrating an organization that is complicit in the capitalist system.

  3. SocraticGadfly

    I think this is a good thing overall. That said, riffing on Longtime, the SPUSA I think ran a prez candidate in 2012 and I know did in 2016. Communists didn’t have to infiltrate, or whatever, Democrats.

  4. Johno

    I guess they could do well in NYC mayoral election. As well as running candidates in Seattle, Portland, and Burlington, Vermont. What a contrast Vermont could go with CP while New Hampshire LP! Be interesting governing for sure, side by side states.

  5. Johno

    If the communists try they could really change Vermont. Libertarians have used free state movement for New Hampshire and encouraged their followers, if they can, to move there. The communists should do same with Vermont. Instead of being spread all over the place they could really immediately impact Vermont. LP has strong influence in NH. Maybe the communists-can learn and Instead of being small fish in big pond, say New York, be a big fish in small pond Vermont.

  6. Don Grundmann

    Will the Communist Party teach its REAL history that A) it founded by, and has always been funded by, New York bankers; i.e.; Jacob Schiff & Kuhn Loeb at its start; B) that it was always dedicated to destroying Christian society and enslaving all of humanity; and C) that the idea that it was going to help workers was, from the very beginning, a total joke to any of its leaders?

    Their followers are known as ” useful idiots ” before they are shot.

    Will they tell the truth about the literally tens of millions they have killed;murdered everywhere that they gain power?

    My prediction – No way. They will simply keep lying ( like they ALWAYS do ).

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C.
    Chairman, Constitution Party of California; where we help ALL people gain ( and we fight for ) freedom and prosperity; the total opposite of Communists.

  7. Austin Cassidy

    Johno – Does the LP really have much of a base of strength in New Hampshire these days? They’ve elected members to the state house, but that was years ago. Their statewide candidates have mostly languished in the 1-2% range of late.

    Despite all of the Free State relocations, it seems like the New Hampshire LP had a lot more electoral strength in the 1990s than it does today. Maybe I’m just missing something?

  8. Fernando Mercado

    Don literally typed total horseshit. Jacob Schiff did not have sny affiliation with the Communust Party and I cannot find any proof a Kuhn Loeb exists.

    The rest is just ravings of a mad man

  9. Don Grundmann

    Fernando – There are many books which document exactly what I wrote and in far greater detail. The Communists have always been funded and controlled by the bankers. You are just another, as Lenin termed it, ” useful idiot ” ( they knew how much stupid people would help them ). I place a $1,000 bet that I am correct. Put up or shut up.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C.
    Chairman, Constitution Party of California; where we know and teach REAL history.

  10. Fernando Mercado

    I have literally written a 30+ minute vid about the Communist Party and literally looked up ur statements, as I sad before: 1 has no affiliation with the Communist Party, the other does not exist.

    The rest is fary tale nonesense sir. I’ll take my $1000 (plus the $1000 u owe me for proving Climate Change is real) as a kindfuo donation to an Transgender charity please

  11. Gene Berkman

    “Many communists were elected before World War Two,,,” Not quite. Only two candidates running as Communist Party candidates were ever elected in the US, one before WW II, one during the war.

    In 1941, Peter V Cacchione was elected to the New York City Council from Brooklyn, and re-elected in 1941, 1943 and in 1945 – the last for a four year term.

    In 1943, Benjamin Davis J Davis, Jr was elected to the New York City Council from Manhattan, and re-elected in 1945 to a four year term.

    Both Cacchione and Davis were elected when New York City chose its Council members by proportional representation. In 1947 New York voters amended the city charter to end proportional representation, partly because it had enabled the election of Communist Party members.

    No other open Communists were elected, although a number of candidates elected as Democrats or members of left wing parties have been suspected of being Communists.

    Mike Quill, ALP member of the New York City Council was a secret Communist, and Gene Connelly, ALP member of the New York City Council was suspected of Communist affiliation.

    Several members of Congress in the 1930s or 1940s were also suspected of Communist ties – Vito Marcantonio in New York, Franck Havenner in California, Ernest Lundeen in Minnesota, John Toussaint Bernard also in Minnesota. But the Communist Party failed to elect any officeholders as open Communists other than 2 members of the New York City Council.

  12. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    When it comes to genocide — 100 million+ dead — Communists put the Nazis to shame.

  13. Don Grundmann

    Fernando – A) Being the Weasel that you are you state that Kuhn Loeb does not exist – CURRENTLY. But it DID exist at the time of the Russian Revolution and the seizure of power by the Communist mass murderers, Lenin & Trotsky. B) Even Wikipedia, RIGHT NOW, shows Jacob Schiff and his connection to Kuhn Loeb. But you are, of course, too dumb to even check such an easy source, OR you are simply lying as you will, being a Weasel, normally do.
    I will take Door # 2 – lying.
    I can also easily find the historical documentation that Lenin & Trotsky received literally 10’s of millions of dollars from Schiff which they brought into Russia via a train which was allowed to pass through Germany by German Intelligence.

    Bottom Line – The Communist Party was founded and funded by bankers ( as it is to this day ), both American and European. Its purpose was, and still is, to destroy Western Civilization; i.e.; Christianity; and permanently enslave all of humanity except for the less than 1% ruling Elite. It has always relied on complete idiots like yourself and murderous psychopaths to do its ” grunt work ” after which The Idiots ( like you ) are simply shot.

    As with the lie of ” Climate Change ” you don’t find the reality of Communism because you don’t want to; i.e.; to admit the truth you would have to admit that you believed lies up until that moment; i.e.; you are a fool/idiot RIGHT NOW.

    I say that like too many of humanity ( and just as the Plantation Masters expect ) you will NEVER admit that you are an idiot.

    And that is exactly why you will always be an idiot.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C.
    Chairman, Constitution Party of California; the Party of the Red Pill; i.e.; reality

    P.S. – Since you trumpet the total lie of ” The Sky Is Falling!!!” ” Climate Change ” you must be ready to debate and defend your insanity.

    Prediction – No way. You ( like all other defenders of The Lie ) will chicken out as the giant ” Beta ” which you are.

  14. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    “Will they tell the truth about the literally tens of millions they have killed;murdered everywhere”

    Probably not as many as those murdered by “Christians” throughout history in the name of their “god”.

  15. Don J. Grundmann, D.C.

    Fernando – You are simply incapable of refuting facts and since you don’t want to know the truth ( are allergic to it ) you simply escape behind an excuse.

    Exactly as I predicted.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C.
    Chairman, Constitution Party of California; the ” Johnny Appleseed ” Party of Truth

  16. Jared

    AB: “Probably not as many as those murdered by ‘Christians’ throughout history in the name of their ‘god’.”

    Not exactly. Exponentially more people have died under democidal, officially atheistic Communist regimes. Most religious wars were more about political clashes and territorial expansion than religious ideology, and the body counts pale in comparison. More often than not, states use religion as a pretext to stir up popular support for the war effort, but simple religious differences aren’t the reason behind it.

  17. dL

    Exponentially more people have died under democidal, officially atheistic Communist regimes.

    Not exactly. Figures for the crusades puts the death toll ~ 1-10 million(over a 100 year period). Communist regime murders ~ 10-50 million(over a 40 year period). That’s not an exponential difference. And given the population in the 20th century was an order magnitude greater than it was in the 11th century, percentage wise, the figures are roughly proportional.

  18. wolfefan

    Hi Fernando – I don’t know the parameters of your search, but Kuhn Loeb was a real bank. The anti-Semitic tropes that blame evil Jewish bankers for all the evils of the world are vile, but Kuhn Loeb was real and is although the name has been retired it subsumed into American Express.,_Loeb_%26_Co.

  19. Fernando Mercado

    I looked it up and it yeilded no results. I checked again, it did.

    Those same results also disprove Dons insane ramblings but he is not known for reading. Its amazing he managed to type those sentences

  20. Dalton Herriott

    Hi Gene Berkman, yes you are correct that about those elected Communists, but you seem to be ignoring a lot of local officials who were Communists. The Communist Party of Montana for instance was rather important with it taking almost 20% of the presidential vote in Sheridan County and winning every local office in the county. There were many Communists elected prior to World War Two in local offices although not as much as the Socialist Party.

  21. Fernando Mercado

    Gene: Oh there was no suspect for John Bernard, he was a full blown Communist (to be fair he did not get his card till after serving his 1 term.)

    And aside from the McCarthyism in Vito/Ernest/Franck, u missed Hugh De Lacy, another Communist Congressman (albiet a registered Dem)

  22. Richard Winger

    Although Communist Party nominees only won partisan races in New York city, open Communist Party candidates for non-partisan office sometimes won in other places. Some victories were in the 1930’s and others were in the 1990’s, to such offices as Washington, DC neighborhood commission.

  23. Jared

    dL, the Crusades lasted for roughly 200 years. Historical estimates range from 1 million to 9 million at most. But the numbers are nearly impossible to calculate with any precision, partly because the Vatican concealed their records and underreported, partly because we have an incomplete picture, and historians are reluctant to speculate. Bloodshed, starvation, and disease were all major contributing factors, and Christians (both Western crusaders and victimized Eastern Christians) likely account for about half of all deaths. But the early Crusades in particular were promoted as a pious defensive struggle to retake holy land conquered by anti-Christian oppressors, not as a call to exterminate Muslims and Jews for practicing Islam or Judaism. How the Latin crusaders conducted themselves is another story.

    Your 10-50 million claim for how many were killed under Communist states—by mass murder, deaths from forced labor and relocation, judicial and extrajudicial executions, and failures of central planning—is much too low. While the Soviets and Chinese kept horrible records, compared to the Nazis, for example, estimates range from 60-150 million, and 100 million is a widely cited number. Deaths resulting from Stalin’s policies, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, and Pol Pot’s killing fields alone likely far exceed 50 million. “Exponential” was maybe hyperbolic, but I really don’t think there’s any comparison between how many people have died by Christian hands in the name of God vs. how many by Communists in service to the State. The 20th century was a bloodbath, mostly thanks to Communism.

  24. Root's Teeth Were Awesome

    dl: Figures for the crusades puts the death toll ~ 1-10 million(over a 100 year period).

    How many people were “murdered” by Crusaders? It was a defensive war, in response to centuries of Muslim expansion by war.

    Communism was a worldwide genocide, with over 100 million murdered.

  25. Richard Winger

    In 1932, William Z. Foster, the Communist Party nominee for president, got 17.78% of the vote in Sheridan County. But the Communist Party never won any elections for partisan office in Montana under the party name. I think it was the Farmer-Labor Party of Montana that elected county officers, and perhaps the Farmer-Labor Party was a tool of Communist Party members.

  26. Gene Berkman

    Dalton is right about Sheridan County, Montana electing Communists:

    My source on the Congressmen who were fellow travelers is “The Heyday of American Communism” by Harvey Klehr. He mentions Vito Marcantonio, John Toussaint Bernard and Franck Havenner, and he also mentions Hugh DeLacey. Another fellow traveler he mentions is Jerry O’Connell of Montana, elected in 1936 to one term.

    Benjamin Gitlow mentions Ernest Lundeen in “The Whole of Their Lives” as a paid agent of The Communist Party. Lundeen had other associations, including with George Sylvester Viereck, an agent of the German government, and Charles Coughlin, the radio priest. Sen. Ernest Lundeen died in August, 1940, in a plane crash on his way to a convention of Father Coughlin’s National Union for Social Justice.

  27. Darcy G Richardson

    Don’t forget about Emil Nygard, who was elected mayor of Crosby, Minnesota, on the Communist Party ticket — it was called the Workers Party back then — at the height of the Great Depression in 1932.

    Running for the third consecutive time, Nygard defeated both of his major-party opponents while defeating the incumbent mayor by 170 votes.

  28. Darcy G Richardson

    Nygard, incidentally, was only 26 years old when he was elected mayor.

  29. Darcy G Richardson

    For anyone who might be interested, I wrote about Nygard and the local success of Montana’s Communist-dominated Farmer-Labor Party led by the colorful Charles “Red Flag” Taylor in my forthcoming book, Others: Third Parties During the Great Depression — the fifth in my seven-volume series on independent and third-party politics in the U.S.

  30. SocraticGadfly

    Root’s Teeth, uh WRONG! The Crusades were an offensive war, designed to let Western Europe dump an unruly population surplus while helping the Byzantines regain land that had been lost in purely secular-driven warfare to the Seljuk Turks. They were **sold as** defensive religious war, but that was a PR sales lie.

  31. dL

    But the early Crusades in particular were promoted as a pious defensive struggle

    Bickering over wether the crusades were an offensive or defensive war is beside the point.

    Your 10-50 million claim for how many were killed under Communist states…is much too low.

    Not really. I took a gander at Wikipedia

    and it depends on what you include or exclude. Even so, the upper bound, 50 million, is not that far off from estimates published in conservative publications like WSJ.

    The 20th century was a bloodbath, mostly thanks to Communism.

    No, It was a bloodbath mostly thanks to 2 world wars that had little to do with communism. Certainly Stalin, mao tse tung and pol pot were brutal dictators, but I also note how many people communism has killed in the 21st century versus how many people the United States keeps on killing.

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