NATIONAL MOVE UNDER WAY
'Bring in LaRouche,' Say Dems
In Pennsylvania, South Dakota
The prominence of John Kerry and Lyndon LaRouche as the leading figures contesting and shaping economic-recovery policy, in the Democratic Party's Presidential campaign from this point forward, was underlined at the end of March by events in Pennsylvania and South Dakota—two states with primary elections still upcoming. Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche was welcomed by Democratic state legislators, other constituency leaders, and his Youth Movement in Pennsylvania's state capital of Harrisburg March 29, a month before that state's Presidential primary; while LaRouche Democrats dominated the South Dakota state Democratic Presidential caucuses held in the capital, Pierre, two days earlier.
In Pennsylvania, State Rep. Harold James, in a statement (see page 60) and at a reception for the candidate, stressed the urgency to the Democratic Party and its constituencies, of LaRouche's leading involvement in the Presidential campaign and the July national convention. LaRouche, answering questions at a press conference in Harrisburg, warned, "If I'm kept out of this picture, going into the convention in July, the Democratic Party—even with a President as dumb as Bush—may not be able to win the election. That's the situation. If the Democratic Party wants to win, they have to include me in. Include me out, and they're going to lose as they did in 2000."
The press conference followed a boisterous rally in the Capitol Rotunda and visits to legislators by 80 members of the LaRouche Youth Movement; it was covered by local press and labor officials and an Associated Press wire story.
Is the Nomination 'Locked Up?'
Later, introduced by James at the reception, LaRouche took questions from supporters, union representatives, and legislators and their staffers—including both Black Caucus members and lawmakers representing the formerly industrialized areas of western Pennsylvania. Rep. Leanna Washington, chairman of the Pennsylvania Black Legislative Caucus, made a strong statement thanking LaRouche for coming to Harrisburg, and asking about the role African-Americans would play in his Administration; she noted that she was familiar with the candidate's landmark Talladega, Alabama Martin Luther King Day speech, circulating nationally on DVD. LaRouche said that he wants the image of Martin Luther King to be restored in his Administration, to acknowledge Dr. King as the conscience of the nation.
At the end of the reception, Rep. James stressed the importance of the primary vote on April 27.
The LaRouche Youth's mid-day rally on the steps of the Capitol Rotunda was addressed by four young leaders—on the work of Ben Franklin; President Franklin Roosevelt; the principle of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; and the economic and scientific leadership of LaRouche. Their speeches were punctuated with Classical canons and Bach's "Jesu, meine Freude" motet, heard throughout the Capitol building. During the morning, the young organizers had met with both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature—the latter having a growing interest in LaRouche's 18-month mobilization against the Cheney/neo-conservative grip on the White House.
A national Associated Press wire story, "LaRouche Makes Pitch in Pa. Capitol Building," went out on the candidate's press conference. It reported that LaRouche "said the country is in its 'worst financial crisis in modern history.' He advocated investing heavily in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors to create jobs and criticized the process by which presidential candidates are picked by the parties, saying that voters are not heavily enough invested in the issues."
Halfway across the country in Pierre, South Dakota on March 27, nearly half the South Dakota Democrats attending the statewide Party Presidential caucus at the VFW hall in the capital were LaRouche supporters. The Kerry and LaRouche campaigns had the two large caucus delegations, and were the only ones which qualified their delegates and candidates for the June 1 Presidential primary ballot. Of the 101 LaRouche delegates who had been elected from 35 local caucuses on March 13, some 57 attended this Congressional District-level caucus for this state's single, statewide "at-large" Congressional District. The minimum attendance requirement for qualifying LaRouche for the primary ballot was 48.
Other LaRouche supporters, not delegates, also attended the caucus. The response to this LaRouche show of force from the other 70-odd Democrats who attended (most were pledging to support Kerry, and a handful were for Rep. Dennis Kucinich or were "uncommitted"), was extremely open and friendly. One of the state Democratic officials told the LaRouche delegation, "You are energizing the Democratic Party—we must work together to defeat Bush."
The walls of the VFW hall were plastered with "Vote LaRouche! Continue the American Revolution!" posters featuring the large picture of the LaRouche Youth Movement in action. Initially, the whole caucus gathered in this main room where they received instructions from the state official chairing the proceedings. She told them, "the major delegations, for Kerry and LaRouche," will each meet on separate floors for voting, to elect committed slates from among themselves, for the delegates whose names will appear on the ballot with their candidate. The large Kerry and LaRouche blocs were each to elect 9 delegates and 3 alternates. Other delegations were instructed to meet on the stairway.
The top delegates on the LaRouche slate are two LaRouche Youth Movement leaders, Liz Unruh and Leah Hanson, and Steve Nelson, a young farmer. All 57 delegates will organize the campaign's outreach to the "forgotten man" in this poor rural state, and to the state's colleges, including those owned and run by the Lakota Sioux nation.
Some of the LaRouche delegates went directly to the floor where the Kerry delegates were meeting, to organize them to campaign for the LaRouche's "FDR approach" to solving the economic collapse; many of the Kerry delegates asked for extra broadsheets to distribute.
Asked in Harrisburg about Kerry's apparent "lock" on the Democratic nomination, LaRouche said, "The financial crisis hitting hard, new crises like the Spain terrorist crisis, hitting in other parts of the world, including the United States, or the Americas in general— this kind of thing is going to tell the citizen, that he's not a spectator, cheering for a gladiator in the arena. He's in the arena. And when the American citizen realizes he is in the arena, then he's got to vote for himself—not choose which gladiator he's going to back up—then his thinking's going to change."