(The following was originally published in The Monarch Review.)
Sick of Corporate Politics? Elect a Socialist Alternative
Jess Spear, Socialist Alternative candidate for State House
Olympia is broken.
In 2003, Boeing threatened to outsource jobs and received a whopping $3.2 billion in ransom from our State Legislature. Boeing eliminated thousands of jobs anyway. Last fall, Boeing played the outsourcing card again and this time scored the largest tax handout in U.S. history at $8.7 billion. Already, over 1,000 jobs have been eliminated. Over this same period there have been an average of $6 billion yearly in corporate handouts.
Meanwhile, the State Supreme Court has twice ruled that the legislature is illegally underfunding education by $2 billion/year. King County is facing a massive 17% cut to Metro service while ridership needs are growing. Overall, since the recession began there have been $10 billion in cuts to social services.
The blame for this cowardly capitulation to corporate economic terrorism and criminal failure to fund our state’s first priority, education, rests squarely on the shoulders of both political parties. But the real power in the state legislature has long rested in the hands of my opponent, House Speaker and 20-year incumbent, Frank Chopp.
A glance at Chopp’s corporate sponsors gives some explanation: Walmart, Microsoft, Paul Allen’s Vulcan, the Washington Restaurant Association, McDonald’s, BP, Alaska Airlines – the list goes on and on – and of course, Boeing.
Chopp claims corporate money has no influence on him. But let’s be real. Chopp’s impressive list of corporate backers aren’t just testing him out. They have two decades of experience with the House Speaker and wouldn’t keep bankrolling him if they weren’t pleased with the return on their investment.
Poll after poll shows: People are tired of corporations getting whatever they want while politicians cut public services.
Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative have proven how socialists are different. The election of Sawant was decisive in the battle for $15 in Seattle. Immediately after the election, Sawant launched 15 Now, a mass grassroots force to win the highest minimum wage in the nation. Along with the labor movement, Sawant and 15 Now stood up against the propaganda of big business and built a 74% supermajority in favor of $15 in Seattle.
Frank Chopp doesn’t represent the progressive views of the 43rd District. Anger at corporate handouts, backbreaking rents, and cuts to public services is high. Residents have already had a taste of what a socialist does in the city council. Now we have the opportunity to elect a 2nd socialist in just 2 years, and send shockwaves through the political establishment in Olympia.
Kshama’s election victory forced $15 to the top of the agenda and moved the debate rapidly to the left in the city council. Similarly, defeating Frank Chopp will put issues like corporate welfare and rent control front-and-center.
But to win this election and these demands, we need strong community engagement.
Join me in building the movement against the corporate domination of our state. Visit www.votespear.org, help spread the word, donate, get involved!
Hundreds have joined Socialist Alternative around the nation in the wake of Kshama’s election and victory on $15. To become part of the struggle for a socialist world, please contact us atwww.socialistalternative.org.