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Socialist Party has presidential nominee: Stodden doesn't impress

The Socialist Party USA (an actual political party of actual socialists, not a "lite" interest group within the Democratic Party) has its presidential and vice presidential nominee, per Twitter.

The Socialist Party is excited to announce our 2024 Socialist presidential ticket of Bill Stodden (Iowa) for President and Stephanie Cholensky (Minnesota) for Vice President!

There you are.

Several thoughts, both on the candidates and on background issues.

First of all, who are these people, focusing on the presidential nominee?

One weird thing about Stodden right away. The Salvation Army is a church, not just a religious organization, and a fundagelical one on doctrines at that. (In this current century, the Army, both in the US and abroad, has put this fundagelicalism into action with anti-gay activity and other things.) Why is he a Salvation Army bell ringer and not just an individual one, but a PR flak in his area? Indeed, per below and even more, why is he the "executive director" of the Ames, Iowa, "chapter" if I'm correct? I'm positive that's him as Google and Duck Duck both return hits from old newspapers that have a man with same last name, presumably either father or grandfather, in a "story obituary," and this person was part of the music faculty at Iowa State.

Secondly, I'm sure it's this guy, former Marine vet protesting Iraq war in Rapid City, South Dakota. (That's confirmed below.)

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Bill Stodden was trained for possible war in Iraq before his honorable discharge in 1999. Now with the Socialist Party USA, he helped organize the Spearfish march and also marched Sunday. 
"I wanted the veteran's voice to be heard. It's important for people to know that not all veterans support the war," Stodden said. He understands why the U.S. entered World War II and Vietnam. "I just don't see a reason for this war … and I don't want to see my brothers and sisters in uniform die."

If that's the case, the obituary person would be his grandfather, or a great-uncle? Probably not enough age difference to be a great-grandfather. And, given that he was a delegate to an SPUSA national convention back in 2007, the timeline fits.

That said, genealogy aside, if he's not wisened up over 20 years about the Vietnam War, in combination with his flacking for the Salvation Army, I doubt I'll be signing his ballot access petition here in Tex-ass if he has one. (So, it's back to trying to make a decision on both stratchery and ethics grounds on whether to sign Bob Jr or Cornel next spring. And, even should Stodden get on the ballot, it's a decision between Cornel, if HE gets on the ballot, the official GP nominee, or undervoting.) If you want to reform something, start with the Salvation Army.

Stodden also answered a party questionnaire (PDF) courtesy of Independent Political Report and its piece on the nominations. So did Cholensky, below.

INNterestingly, he became an ex-Socialist Party member, at least on leadership, when he drank the Dear Leader Kool-Aid in 2008, per Stodden's questionnaire. He came back in 2012, but says he doesn't regret his 2008 Obama vote. As someone who did my duopoly exit back in 2000 and never looked back, this also isn't good.

Other background? PhD in political science, not being used professionally. Runs a non-profit that focuses on food and shelter. If not the local Salvation Army chapter, what is it? Because the Iowa public radio station linked above says:

Salvation Army's Bill Stodden visits with us about Bell ringers and the Red Kettle Campaign, the Food Pantry, the Fresh Food Market, rental assistance, The Angel Tree gift shop, Toy Drive, and the need of support as needs increase and past support has diminished.

And, there we go. No wonder he said he runs a "small non-profit." And, as "executive director," not "captain" or whatever his Salvation Army military rank is. A lot of SPUSA people would, or will, probably balk at the Salvation Army.

So, we have a guy in a fundagelical church that conflicts with SPUSA thoughts on personal sexual liberty, and beyond that, is quasi-fundagelical on "you must believe in Jesus." We have a guy with the two-party party line on the Vietnam War who then voted for Dear Leader. Pass.

It's nice to beat the rush and get disenchanted right away rather than have to be disillusioned months later.

Cholensky, here, rejects the SPUSA's outright opposition to GMOs and nuclear power. As do I with both it and Greens.

Now, the big picture stuff.

First, a stragery one. As for the question of why the early nomination, the party doesn't have ballot access in most states, so it's usually subject to the even higher hurdle of independent candidate ballot access petitioning. I used to wish it would wait until early 2024, but if this is part of why (I assume, but don't know) that it does this in 2023, then I accept that.

Second, Bill Stodden is not a Green and not a Green Party candidate, so unlike 2019/2020, there will be no co-nomination.

Now, the Texas angle. SPUSA has no party line ballot access, so Stodden's campaign will have to do like Mimi Soltysik in 2016 and get on the ballot as an independent. I can sign only one ballot access petition, and he's third in line behind Bob Jr. and Cornel. (For various strategery reasons, I may sign Bob Jr.'s petition and not Cornel's.)

Oh, as for the number of signatures? Here in Tex-ass, it's 113,000 and change. I think it was a lot lower for Mimi Soltysik in 2016; the high presidential turnout in 2020 plus increased population has jacked the number. It was 90K in 2020.

I mention Soltysik because I nearly voted for him in 2016. Had the Hillary Clinton campaign allowed for early voting in its oppo research against Jill Stein (Al Gore didn't have to consider that vs Ralph Nader in 2000), seeing her with oil/defense/tobacco stocks via mutual funds, just like St. Ralph in 2000, would have been the tipping point for me to write in Soltysik, who was available here in Tex-ass in 2016. Knowing what I do off the bat against Stodden, though, I don't have to worry about that road this time. I was hoping that the SPUSA would have had a better alternative for next year, but ... it doesn't.

This post first appeared on SocraticGadfly, please read the originial post: here

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Socialist Party has presidential nominee: Stodden doesn't impress


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