Score One for the Socialists: Their Very Own Mayoral Candidate

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Mayoral candidate Amanda Ulman
Photo by Craig Malisow

​Noting the stunning absence of Socialist Workers Party candidates in Houston's mayoral race, Amanda Ulman has decided to throw her hat (no doubt crafted by union haberdashers earning union wages) into the ring. Ulman filed her candidacy for the November 4 elections Wednesday, before she left to rally in support of an abortion clinic in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ulman came in second to Bill White in the 2007 election (narrowly missing by 92,000 votes and 80 percent of votes) but came in a full percentage point ahead of Independent candidate/built-in-punchline Outlaw Josey Wales IV. She now faces City Controller Annise Parker, former city attorney Gene Locke, Harris County Department of Education Trustee Roy Morales, and City Councilman Peter Brown.

Describing herself to reporters Wednesday as a "seamstress," the 34-year-old Ulman issued a press release that actually doesn't address local issues -- she's getting downright federal on our asses. This includes calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; the "nationalization of the land and housing stock" to prevent foreclosures; and the release of "five Cuban revolutionaries" who "were framed-up on conspiracy charges and have been locked up in U.S. jails for more than ten years."

She's also demanding union-scale unemployment compensation that would last until the person finds a job; increasing the minimum wage to union scale; immediate and unconditional legalization of all undocumented workers; and the abolishment of income taxes on workers. (No word yet on her position vis-a-vis hell freezing over).

Her release states that she'll be running against "the capitalist class and their candidates in the Democratic and Republican parties, which are spearheading the assault on working people....The working class needs to answer this war on our class by organizing a revolutionary struggle to take state power out of the hands of the rulers."

Ulman was on her way to Omaha so couldn't talk to Hair Balls today. We spoke instead with Steve Warshell, who's actually the socialist candidate for city controller.

We said we admired Ulman's gusto, but asked if he felt the candidate really had a shot.

"The purpose is to start a discussion about how we can change and put an end to the electoral monopoly of two big business parties," Warshell said. "...For us, the best thing to do is to run in the election, start a discussion -- that advances thinking on this. You can't take power without a majority, right? That's how it works...The fact is...this is the way you get it: you educate, you discuss, and that's what we're doing."

Makes sense. But we're really looking forward to that revolutionary struggle stuff -- as long as it's during our lunch hour (you know how The Man is about personal time off; especially for coups).


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