Phillip Burton

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Phillip Burton


Philip Burton was a Democratic Party California Congressman. He was married to his successor, Sala Burton.

Young radical Democrats

When Phillip Burton returned to San Francisco in 1947 he worked for Time Oil in Richmond. There he met a young Democratic activist and former Communist Party USA member named Bert Coffey, a close associate of George Miller, Jr. a young California Assemblyman. This group of young Democratic insurgents joined up with Joe Holsinger, Yori Wada, Jack K. Berman, a liberal lawyer and the first husband of Dianne Goldman (Dianne Feinstein), and Dr. Carlton Goodlett, a black physician, publisher and longtime Communist Party USA activist. Burton and Goodlett worked closely together in the NAACP and the Young Democrats.[1]

Helped by Carlton Goodlett

According to radical former San Francisco district attorney Terence Hallinan, an endorsement from Carlton Goodlett was important to the election of many political leaders. Goodlett helped to inspire and promote the political careers of Mayor Willie Brown, the late Representative Philip Burton, Senator John Burton, and Representative Ron Dellums[2].

World Peace Council

From September 29, to October 12, 1975 the Soviet front World Peace Council sent a delegation on a ten-day tour of the United States of America, where it was "warmly and enthusiastically received". In six of the ten cities visited, the delegation was officially welcomed by the mayors' offices and presented with "keys to the city", medals and proclamations.

The delegation was composed of Romesh Chandra, Secretary General of the World Peace Council; Josef Cyrankiewicz, former Premier of Poland, for many years a prisoner at the infamous Auschwitz prison camp, "outstanding anti-fascist fighter", and Chairman of the Polish Peace Committee; Ambassador Harald Edelstam, Swedish Ambassador to Algeria, formerly Ambassador to Chile during the Allende Presidency,"renowned for his rescue of hundreds of Chileans from the fascist junta"; Purabhi Mukherji, General Secretary of the Congress Party of India, member of Parliament and formerly a minister of the Indian government ~ for 15 years; James Lamond, Labour member of British Parliament, former Mayor of Aberdeen, Scotland, and active member of the Engineering Workers Union; Yacov Lomko, Editor-in-Chief of the Moscow News, leading member of the Soviet Peace Committee, and Communist Party USA member Karen Talbot, US member of the WPC Secretariat.

The WPC delegates were guests of a number of members of Congress at a luncheon in the House of Representatives' dining room, and at a reception. Among those present were several members of the Congressional Black Caucus,including Congressman John Conyers (Democrat of Michigan), Congressman Ronald Dellums (Democrat of California), Congressman Ralph Metcalfe (Democrat of Illinois) and others. Congressman Philip Burton (Democrat of California), House majority leader, joined the luncheon, expressing interest in the work of the WPC and the New Stockholm Campaign. The delegation was also able to speak with a few members of the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees and the Armed Services Committees, including Congressman Paul Findley, Senator Briscoe, ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, and Senator Thomas McIntyre.[3]

The first official conference of the Soviet front World Peace Council in the U.S. was the Dialogue on Disarmament and Detente held January 25-27, 1978, in Washington, DC.

A luncheon was held to honor World Peace Council president Romesh Chandra that was attended[4]by California Congressmen Philip Burton, Don Edwards, Ron Dellums, and New York rep. Charles Rangel.

The Pelosi connection

After moving to San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics. She became a friend of one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton.

Phillip Burton died in 1983 and was succeeded by his wife, Sala Burton. In late 1986, Sala became ill with cancer and decided not to run for reelection in 1988. She picked Pelosi as her designated successor, guaranteeing her the support of the Burtons' contacts."[5].

Sala Burton died on February 1, 1987, just a month after being sworn in for a second full term. Pelosi won the special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt on April 7, 1987, then easily defeating Republican candidate Harriet Ross on June 2, 1987; Pelosi took office a week later. [6].

DSA support

Members of Democratic Socialists of America worked on Phillip Burton's successful re-election campaign in 1982, as well as for Supervisors Nancy Walker and Doris Ward. [7]

IPS 20th Anniversary Committee

According to Information Digest[8]the Institute for Policy Studies celebrated its 20th anniversary with an April 5, 1983, reception at the National Building Museum attended by approximately 1,000 IPS staffers and former staff.

The Congressional IPS comittee members included Les Aspin {D. WI}, George Brown, Jr. (D.CA}, Philip Burton (D.CA), George Crockett (D-MI}, Ron Dellums (D.CA}, former Texas Congressman Robert Eckhardt, Don Edwards {D.CA}, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Tom Harkin {D-IA}, Robert Kastenmeier (D. WI}, Chairman of the Subcomittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice, George Miller (D-CA}, Richard Ottinger {D-NY}, Leon Panetta (D-CA}, Henry Reuss (D.WI}, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Patricia Schroeder {D.CO}, John Seiberling (D.OH} and Ted Weiss {D.NY}.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Phillip Burton in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for California.[9]

References

  1. [A Rage for Justice: The Passion and Politics of Phillip Burton By John Jacobs, p 22/23]
  2. http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/4263/Goodlett-Carlton-B-1914-1997.html
  3. World peace council Tour USA. 1975, pages 6 and 7 , wpc information centre, Lonnrotinkatu 25 A 5 krs 00180 Helsinki 18 Finland
  4. Information Digest Vol XI #4 2/24/78 pp 62-65
  5. [Is this the new face of the Democratic Party?," The Nation . Retrieved February 3, 2010]
  6. [Associated Press (June 3, 1987). "Democrat Elected in San Francisco". New York Times,]
  7. [DSA Western Regional newsletter, Dec. 1982, page 2]
  8. Information Digest April l5, 1983 p77-79
  9. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates