As Republicans and Tea Party members continue to throw around the term “socialist” as a sort of epithet, LaBotz, a Clifton resident, is one of just three national candidates from the Socialist Party, and the only one running for a Senate seat. The wry 65-year-old, running against Republican candidate Rob Portman and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, a Democrat, isn’t bothered by the name-calling, though. In fact, he’s relishing it.
As opponents against President Obama’s health-care bill increased their “socialist” rhetoric, he says, it has only seemed to draw more interest in Socialist Party ideas, helping turn his candidacy from a mere curiosity to an alternative that’s gaining attention. “While the Tea Party has been attacking socialism, I find many Ohioans, especially young people, interested in the socialist alternative,” LaBotz says.
Free, or at least affordable, health care, better education, being paid living wages, having a voice in the workplace and being able to retire with dignity — these are socialist staples, he says. And as unemployment climbs, home foreclosures share daily front pages with natural disasters and schools continue to struggle, LaBotz is finding more sympathetic voters.
Jul 30, 2010
From City Beat: