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|Founded||June 23, 1967|
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The Peace and Freedom Party (PFP) is a single state left-wing political party, with affiliates and former members in more than a dozen American states, including California, Florida, Colorado, Indiana, Utah and Hawaii. but none now have ballot status besides California. Peace and Freedom's first candidates appeared on the ballot in 1966 in New York; but the Peace and Freedom Party of California which was organized in early 1967, gathering over 103,000 registrants which qualified its ballot status in January 1968. (California Secretary of State Report of Registration January 1968)
Peace and Freedom Party has appeared in other states as an anti war and pro civil rights organization opposed to the Vietnam War and in support of Black Power, farmworker organizing, Women's Liberation, and the Gay rights movement.
According to its main website peaceandfreedom.org , the party "is committed to feminism,socialism, democracy, ecology, and racial equality" advocating "to build a mass based socialist party throughout the country." It is a strong advocate of environmentalism, aboriginal rights, rights to sexuality, health care, abortion, education, housing, employment and a socialist-run economy.
The Peace and Freedom Party grew out of unhappiness with the Democratic Party's support for the war in Vietnam and failure to effectively support the civil rights movement.
In 1966, three men ran for the U.S. House using the Peace and Freedom Party label. Herbert Aptheker received 3,562 votes in New York's 12th Congressional District; Robert B. Shaw received 1,974 votes in Washington's 7th Congressional District; and Frank L. Patterson received 1,105 votes in Washington's 2nd Congressional District.
The party achieved ballot status in California in January 1968 by registering over 105,000 voters under its banner. It later got ballot status in 13 other states, but in most of those, the election laws and small organization meant that it was unable to retain ballot status after 1968.
The PFP's first national convention to nominate candidates for President and Vice President was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan on August 17-August 18, 1968. Eldridge Cleaver was nominated for President over Richard C. "Dick" Gregory by a margin of 161.5 to 54. Cleaver, a convicted felon and Black Panther spokesman, was technically not eligible to run, since he would not yet be 35 by the time of the inauguration in January 1969. Due to the needs of the state parties to collect signatures, the party fielded several vice presidential nominees, including Chicago activist Peggy Terry, activist Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, radical economist Doug Dowd, and Judith Mage, who had been nominated at the national convention. Cleaver personally preferred Yippie leader Jerry Rubin. Gregory appeared on the ballot in several states as the Peace and Freedom Party candidate as well as in New York and New Jersey as the candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party. Two states (California and Utah) refused to list Cleaver on the ballot, although each state listed the Presidential Electors and candidates for Vice President (Peggy Terry in California and Corky Gonzales in Utah).
A variety of people joined the PFP in its first election. Bob Avakian was a spokesman for the party in the San Francisco Area, and from the north coast where artists and activists such as Emmy Lou Packard and Byron Randall were involved. New York's Peace and Freedom Party consisted of a fractious coalition of competing Marxist groups, along with libertarians led by economist Murray Rothbard. Libertarians briefly competed for the leadership in the California branch of the party and several of their candidates for public office were nominated, but left following a split at the 1974 convention where the California Secretary of State ruled that the convention that voted to make the party socialist was the official party in California.
In the election of 1968, the PFP fared fairly well for a new third party. Gregory outpolled Cleaver, receiving 47,097 votes to Cleaver's 36,623. In California and Utah, where no presidential nominee appeared on the ballot, the voters cast 27,887 votes for the PFP. The full nationwide vote for Presidential Electors was thus 111,607. PFP candidates for the U.S. Senate garnered an aggregate nationwide total of 105,411 votes. In Utah, the PFP fielded folk musician Bruce "U Utah" Phillips for Congress, garnering 2,019 votes. The PFP retained ballot status in California, which it retained except for the brief period 1999-2003. In 2003, Peace and Freedom Party became the first party in the history of California to regain its ballot status.
In 1968 the PFP held a statewide founding convention in Richmond, California.
In 1970, Marge Buckley received 177,716 or 2.8% of the vote for Attorney General of California and down ballot C. T. Weber garnered 149,961 recorded votes (2.4%) of the vote for state Controller, By getting over 2 percent of the statewide vote each of these candidates insured the party would maintain on the ballot through the 1974 election.
After 1968, the PFP affiliates in most states dissolved primarily because of ballot access restrictions in many states, Fortunately the California party continued to maintain enough registered voters to maintain its ballot status and in some districts held the balance of power between the so-called major parties. . Throughout the 1970's and into the 1980's, the California party continued to contest local elections and sometimes win city and service district elections.
California PFP became part of the coalition making up the national left-wing People's Party. For 1972, the People's Party nominated the feminist and democratic socialist, the noted anti-war activist Benjamin Spock for President along with Julius Hobson of the D.C. Statehood Party for Vice President., In 1976 PFP nominated Margaret Wright as its first woman contender for president Wright lived in the Watts section of Los Angeles had worked closely with the Black Panther Party. Wright was also noted as being the founder of Women Against Racism.
In 1998, the PFP failed to attain more than the required two percent of the votes cast in the California state elections, causing the party to lose ballot status in the state. Its position on the ballot was restored in 2003 after a voter registration drive. Longtime PFP activist C. T. Weber was one of 135 candidates who ran for governor in the October 2003 recall election, Weber trailed behind in 50th place. In this recall, voters removed then-Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, and elected Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. At its August 2004 State Convention, the Native American activist Leonard Peltier was nominated as Peace and Freedom Party's presidential candidate. Peltier was at the time (and still is) imprisoned as a convicted murderer; however, his supporters contend that he was framed, and claim he is a political prisoner instead. Party members who supported Peltier's candidacy hoped to draw attention to his case, and to the effort to win a presidential pardon for Peltier.
The party again fell under the required number of registered voters to retain ballot status in February 2006, and was declared disqualified by the California Secretary of State. However, citing previous instances in which parties not meeting the 'ballot qualification' criteria were still allowed to participate in primary elections and the fact that there had not yet been a regular gubernatorial election since the party regained its ballot status (and as such, the decision was premature), the decision to bar the party from the June 2006 Primary was reversed after less than a week.
In the California state elections in 2006, two Peace and Freedom Party candidates received over two percent of the vote, thus ensuring the party's ballot status for the next four years. (Elizabeth Barron received 212,383 votes, 2.5% of the total, for Controller, and Tom Condit received 187,618 votes, 2.2% of the total, for Insurance Commissioner.)
On the March 30, 2008 the State Central Committee endorsed a plan to create a National Organizing Committee and national political party. The NOC is instructed to work toward a national "multi-tendency non-sectarian organization committed to socialism, democracy, feminism, environmentalism and racial equality." A national organizing conference was set for December 2008, following the general election.
|Wikinews has related news: Nader chosen as the presidential nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party|
A political convention was held August 2–3, 2008 in Sacramento to select the party's 2008 presidential ticket. Contending for the nomination were Gloria La Riva, also nominee of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Cynthia McKinney, also nominee of the Green Party, Brian Moore, also nominee of the Socialist Party and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Nader won the vote as follows: Nader 46, Gloria La Riva 27, Brian Moore 10, Cynthia McKinney 6. Nader's running mate, former San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, was endorsed for Vice President by acclamation. The nomination ensured that the Nader/Gonzalez presidential ticket would appear on the ballot in California for the 2008 election.
On August 6, 2008, the Nader/Gonzalez campaign submitted sufficient signatures to appear on the Iowa and Utah ballots as the Peace and Freedom Party candidate. This was the first expansion of the party beyond California since the 1970s. However, the party did not achieve the votes necessary to guarantee ballot access in Iowa and Utah in subsequent elections.
Since 1968 some 400 different candidates have sought Peace and Freedom Party nominations for public office.
As of January 2012, the Peace and Freedom Party had more than 59,000 registered voters in California.
|1968||Eldridge Cleaver & Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd||83,720||0.11%||Various candidates in various states|
|1972||Benjamin Spock & Julius Hobson||78,759||0.10%||As the People's Party|
|1976||Margaret Wright & Benjamin Spock||49,013||0.06%||As the People's Party|
|1980||Maureen Smith & Elizabeth Barron||18,116||0.02%|
|1984||Sonia Johnson & Emma Wong Mar||72,161||0.08%||Johnson was also candidate for the Citizens Party|
|1988||Herbert G. Lewin & Vikki Murdock||10,367||0.01%||No presidential slate appeared on California balloto|
|1992||Ronald Daniels & Asiba Tupahache:||27,949||0.03%|
|1996||Marsha Feinland & Kate McClatchy||25,332||0.03%|
|2004||Leonard Peltier & Janice Jordan||27,607||0.02%|
|2008||Ralph Nader & Matt Gonzalez||116,385||0.09%||Also on the ballot in Iowa|
|2012||Roseanne Barr & Cindy Sheehan||67,323||0.05%||Also on the ballot in California, Florida and Colorado|
|2016||Gloria La Riva & Dennis Banks||66,101||0.05%||La Riva was also candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation|
|1986||Maria Elizabeth Muñoz||51,995||1.0%|
|1990||Maria Elizabeth Muñoz||88,707||1.3%|
|1994||Gloria La Riva||72,774||0.9%|
|1998||Gloria La Riva||59,218||0.7%|
|2003||C. T. Weber||1,626||0.02%|
|2014||Cindy Sheehan||52,707||1.2%||Results from nonpartisan blanket primary|
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