One of my signature photos is with Bill Clinton and having met him and heard him speak you’ve got to admire his brilliance, his oratorical ability and his ability to persuade. That doesn’t mean I agree with his politics nor for that matter Hillary’s politics. Entirely aside from my political disagreements with the Clintons I’ve been feeling the Bern since 1972 when Bernie and I were delegates to the People’s Party national convention that nominated Dr. Benjamin Spock for President and D.C. School Board member Julius Hobson for Vice President. More about my role at that convention is found at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/03/02/margaret-wright-womens-herstory/
The history of that convention is now coming full circle because it will be interesting to find out whether Bernie Sanders supported the minority “socialist” economics plank I wrote or the majority “populist” plank. I sent this letter to the University of Missouri archives earlier this year and still haven’t gotten a reply to try and document if Bernie had a role in this….I think he was on my side but I just don’t remember precisely:
February 27, 2016 Gary R. Kremer, Director Western Historical Manuscript Collection 2 Ellis Library Columbia MO 65201-7298
Dear Mr. Kremer:
Wikipedia indicates that the archives of the People’s Party which held it’s 1972 and 1975 conventions in St. Louis are located at the WHMC of UM.
Along with now-Senator Bernie Sanders, I was a delegate to both of those conventions. Sanders’ role in those conventions will now obviously be a matter of great historical and news interest.
If the collection for the People’s Party is indexed anywhere online, or if any of the actual contents are in digital form on the internet, I would appreciate it if I could get the URL to access those records. Ultimately what I would like to get access to, preferably in digital form are:
The party platforms of the 1972 and 1976 campaigns; most specifically I would like the 1972 Ageism plank (which I wrote) and the Majority and Minority economic planks (I wrote the Minority “socialist” economic plank); and the Gay rights planks.
The documents signed by delegates to get the Ageism and Minority Economic planks on the convention floor for a vote;*
The delegate and observer lists for each convention;
Any other documents with references to (a) Bernie Sanders, (b) other Vermont Liberty Union Party delegates, (c) Jan Tucker [i.e., myself), (d) California Peace and Freedom Party delegates, (e) Charles “Chuck” Avery of Indiana Peace & Freedom Party [who at some point was People’s Party National Secretary], (f) the appearance at the 1972 convention of Dick Gregory and his endorsement of the Spock Hobson ticket.
Thanking you for your prompt attention, I remain,
Respectfully Yours, Jan B. Tucker
The document for the socialist economic plank should contain the signatures of Fred Stover, President of the U.S. Farmers Union and former Under-Secretary of Agriculture under Henry Wallace; and Carl Braden, President of the Southern Conference Education Fund. I don’t remember if Bernie Sanders signed on to it but whether he did or didn’t will obviously be of great public interest.
Two issues that are underscored by Bernie’s participation in the 1972 and 1975 People’s Party conventions are (1) his track record of supporting African American causes and (2) his support of Gay rights. Much has been made of Bernie’s support for Jesse Jackson’s presidential candidacies but Bernie backing Black candidates at the Presidential level didn’t start with Jackson. In 1972 (see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/03/02/margaret-wright-womens-herstory/) we nominated Julius Hobson (of Supreme Court “Hobson vs Hansen” fame) and in 1975 we nominated Los Angeles’ own Black Panther Party Minister of Education Margaret Wright for President who ran with Dr. Spock for Vice President in 1976. In Vermont, to get Margaret on the ballot for the Liberty Union Party primary, we had to file and win in the U.S. Court of Appeals Wright vs Thomas to enforce our earlier victory in California’s U.S. Supreme Court Lubin vs Panish decision, to establish the right of working people and the poor to run for office without paying filing fees.
As an interesting aside, Helen V. Morgan who’s been on Hillary’s team ever since she had her picture taken with Bill at the Biltmore (with me) recently heard Bernie speak….and now she’s feeling the Bern too….like many in the Black community she just didn’t know Bernie and now that she’s heard him she realizes just how much she agrees with his issues and his track record with the African American community.
On LGBTI rights the contrast between Hillary and Bill Clinton and Bernie could not be more stark. Hillary and Bill backed the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Both these measures were disgraceful: during a national protest against DOMA called by the National Organization for Women (see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2015/07/05/jan-b-tucker-for-vice-president-lgbti-issues/ for more about that protest and other records of the Peace & Freedom Party and People’s Party on LGBTI rights) I personally performed a Lesbian marriage in front of the Van Nuys Federal Building.
Bernie’s record on LGBTI rights is spot on; watch him denounce a homophobic congressman in 1995: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O49wD6_g_Bs
Bernie’s LGBTI rights stances also go back to our 1972 and 1975 People’s Party record on those issues. I remember poignantly watching Dr. Spock give a big bear hug to People’s Party (and Gay activist from Indiana Peace & Freedom Party) National Secretary Chuck Avery at the convention. For people like us it was perfectly normal; but in 1975 even the concept of the world’s greatest and best-read pediatrician hugging a Gay man in public or private was a cause for most folks to freak out.
So, what to do about the California Primary?
If you’re No Party Preference or a Democrat, unequivocally absolutely vote for Bernie…..but some of us need to keep a third party option alive now and for the future, precisely because the forces that brought us DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and mandatory minimum sentencing and the like are still going to be alive and well in the Democratic Party and that fight will continue even if Bernie wins the presidency. So here are some alternatives:
Peace & Freedom Party: Vote for GLORIA LA RIVA of the Party of Socialism & Liberation (PSL) in the PFP primary. I don’t always agree with Gloria but like me, she’s absolutely despised by the PFP leadership. My slate endorsed her in 1998 when I was the party’s biggest vote getter and she kicked Marcia Feinland’s ass in the primary for governor for which the leadership has never forgiven her (nor me for that matter; our slate decimated theirs that year). Gloria is also well respected in the labor movement and is currently First Vice President of my union local, Pacific Media Workers Guild, CWA Local 39521 (AFL-CIO, CLC).
Green Party: Vote for SEDINAM MOYOWASIFSA-CURRY longtime African American activist and friend who I met through my Black Panther Party circles. Why not Jill Stein? In 2012 I discussed her views on immigration and learned she knew nothing about the subject. She didn’t even know about the implications of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and especially Article XXI of that treaty on the whole debate. I offered her an opportunity to discuss it with me so she could actually say something intelligent about the subject other than to repeat what the left wing of the Democratic Congressional Latino Caucus tell people they’re supposed to support on so-called “immigration reform.” She had 4 years to bone up and I haven’t heard from her. As another Oh By the Way, another Green aspirant, Darryl Cherney is a special kind of stupid…..
DOWN BALLOT RACES:
For U.S. Senate see my commentary at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2016/06/01/replacing-a-fighter-u-s-senator-barbara-boxers-seat-up-for-grabs/
Los Angeles County District Attorney
CAST NO VOTE
Los Angeles County, Judge of Superior Court
Office No. 11 – Debra R. Archuleta
Office No. 42 – E. Matthew Aceves
Office No. 60 – Stepan W. Baghdassarian
Office No. 84 – Susan Jung Townsend
Office No. 120 – Ray Santana
Office No. 158 – Kim L. Nguyen
Office No. 165 – Kathryn Ann Solorzano
LA Supervisorial Seat 2
LA Supervisorial Seat 4
LA Supervisorial Seat 5
ARA JAMES NAJARIAN or DARRELL PARK
Torrance City Council (vote for 3)
LEILANI A. KIMMEL-DAGOSTINO