While standing little chance against a Republican incumbent, Ohio lawyer, labor organizer and now nurse, Bill O’Neill, is standing for Congress on the Democrat ticket in Ohio’s 14th Congressional District.
In the largely rural District, Democrats and local Communist Party USA members have united to promote Democratic candidates in the November mid term elections.
Leading Communist Party members like Wally Kaufman and Diana Sowry have formed an alliance with local labor unions and the Democrats to try and stem and reverse the coming Republican/Tea Party tide come November.
From the Peoples World;
Labor, civil rights, family farm and community allies rallied here Aug. 21 to kick off the campaign to elect Democrats in November.
The occasion was the opening of the county Democratic headquarters, but the event had been initiated by a grassroots progressive coalition.
Wally Kaufman, vice president of the AFL-CIO Retirees Council, said he and activists from the NAACP, the Farmers Union and other groups had planned a picnic to mobilize for the elections, but at the request of the Democrats, agreed to combine the event with the opening of the party’s headquarters.
“We plan to set up an Ashtabula Progressive Forum to hear speakers and discuss issues, especially in relation to the elections,” he said.
Kim Parker, president of the Democratic Women’s Caucus welcomed about 50 people in attendance to the brightly lit storefront stressing the critical battle shaping up. George Williams, president of the NAACP, also gave words of greetings and an invocation.
Ray Gruber, president of the Ashtabula AFL-CIO, said labor was already making 20,000 calls a week, on behalf of its endorsed candidates, out of phone banks throughout the state.
He said the race for the U.S. Senate seat left open by the retirement of Republican Senator George Voinovich was critical. There could not be a clearer choice, he said, than between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, the Democrat, and Rob Portman, the Republican, who served as trade representative and budget director under President George W. Bush.
Diana Sowry, secretary of the AFL-CIO, warned about the intense anger felt by many young people in the community.
“They feel they have no future. We need to hit the streets and fight back against the dark force,” she said, referring to the Republicans. She urged people to take part in the national march on Washington for jobs, peace, education and justice set for Oct. 2.
Bill O’Neill, Democratic candidate for Congress, said there is deep-seated anger about the bailout of the banks and the unfunded wars.
He called for efforts to stop the continuing loss of jobs by ending tax breaks for corporations that go overseas and insisting that wind turbines and other equipment in new green energy industries be manufactured in the United States…
Kevin Boyce, candidate for state Treasurer, stressed the importance of re-electing Gov. Ted Strickland and the Democratic slate of statewide candidates.
Strickland, he said, a “people’s candidate, you can trust.” His opponent, John Kasich, however, was an executive with Lehman Brothers, the giant Wall St. bank that collapsed last September. Kasich is calling for privatizing the state’s department of economic development, which would end transparency and open the door to corruption.
Ashtabula County, is not generally regarded as an hotbed of communism, but even in rural Ohio, as in many regions across America, the lines between the Democratic Party, organized labor and the Communist Party are now almost non-existent.