June 1964, Riesel

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June 1964, Riesel - VICTOR RIESEL U. S. Commies Grow Bolder NEW...
VICTOR RIESEL U. S. Commies Grow Bolder NEW YORK—Over at national Communist party headquarters; the political strategists are planning to plunge their organization into the fall elections in many cities. .They are confident they can poll a total of over 3 quarters of a million votes. For the first time since 1940 they may even nominate a candidate for the presidency and attempt to make a showing for him with a write- in campaign. All this enthusiasm is based on the strength revealed by one. of their comrades in the California June 2 primary election in a. minor race virtually overlooked by the nation. An avowed Communist candidate running for the Los Angeles county board of supervisors from the second district rolled up 33,578 votes. This! was 13 per cent of the total cast. * * * ' THIS TALLY, nothing short of astounding, was won by William Cottle Taylor,, a 54-year-old Negro party organizer who, I recall, was once chairman of the Maryland-District 6f Columbia Communist party district. More startling is the fact that he ran in. the Los Angeles district as, an avowed Communist. He boasted openly and with enthusiasm that he was the party's spokesman in that he was a paid functionary that he was a paid fourictionary of the organization. When the final results on Taylor's race were in, I called the Communist party headquarters here to inquire about their future, political plans in view of their California success—and -. of the Supreme decision last Monday (June 8) which freed the party from having to register with the government as an internationally controlled Communist action group. * * * I WAS NOT exactly received with enthusiasm when I asked to speak to party leader Gus Hall. He was out, they said. Instead, Iwas shunted to party publicist and image maker Arnold Johnson. Several times he started to say something, but then abruptly . said he would tell me nothing. Fine—the feeling is mutual. However, even without' being taken Into the party's confidence, it is possible to report that its officials are raising a political war chest. They reckon that if they can get well over 33,000 votes In just one section of Los Angeles for a frankly announced Communist candidate, they can poll a strong vote in' San Fran- • cisco, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Philadelphia and New York. Gus Hall and his national board have been discussing the number of strategic districts to hit now that the Soviets appear on the record to have "thawed" the cold .war. Party leaders also_are elated . by an apparent trend in many western nations • to view .-local Communists as reformers. There seems to be a swing back to the "popular front" era of the thirties. ' . * * * •'•.... ..-.• EVIDENCE OF this .attitude can be 1 easily seen in the recent British elections. There the party, 1 which never has had more than 60,000 members, had riproaring success at the 'polls. Though the Communist party now has only 32,500 members in the British Isles, its candidates polled over 200,000 votes in these local elections. The party actually elected 24 councillors' in several cities and missed out electing 6 others by less than 100 votes in each district. ' . ' With the Los Angeles and British polls in mind, the American Communist party leaders are preparing to call a national convention either in New York or Chicago to nominate a national ticket. for the first time in many years. They had; only been waiting for the Supreme Court to indicate that they need not register as a foreign controlled group. This decision came down, .on Monday, June 8. •-' , . '' .-.* •*•• * , v .-• '., ; THE PARTY chiefs immediately went into a huddle on political actidn. They decided to attempt to make a showing for their own candidates so they could convince some left .wing political figures that their public support is not the kiss of death. Then in 1966 they hope to back some of those non • affiliated pro - Communist personalities for ; off ice. They, especially have their, eye on the congressional elections. If they can get a front man into the house of representatives, as once they had. they will have developed a terific propaganda mechanism. What epuld be bitter than an American Congressman, to boost the prestige of pro-Soviet rallies and so-called /''peace" conferences across the U. S. — and across (he world. Development of. such a frontrunner is th«ir immediate goal,

Clipped from
  1. The Evening Independent,
  2. 15 Jun 1964, Mon,
  3. Page 4

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