Edward Kennedy

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Ted Kennedy


Edward (Ted) Kennedy was a veteran U.S. Democratic Party Senator from Massachusetts until his death on August 25, 2009. Martha Coakley is the Democratic Party candidate running to fill the Senate seat.

Latin America 1961

Kennedy took to Latin America in 1961. He visited a number of countries, accompanied by his "political counselor." John Nathan Plank In each country, Kennedy met with prominent Communists or other left-wing leaders. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico was outraged that Kennedy wanted to bring such people to the embassy--this was the heart of the Cold War, after all--and he refused, telling Kennedy to arrange his own interviews somewhere else. A State Department official in Peru described Teddy as "pompous and a spoiled brat."

KennedyFBIReport08-thumb-440x494.jpg

In Colombia, the first person Kennedy wanted to meet with was Lauchlin Currie, a Soviet spy who served as a key aide to Franklin Roosevelt, then moved to Colombia and renounced his American citizenship.

By the time he got to Chile, Kennedy apparently was tired of political work, so he "made arrangements to 'rent' a brothel for an entire night" in Santiago.

1962 campaign

Writing in the Boston Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, The Yankee Radical September 2009, editor Mike Pattberg gives some background on the 1962 campaign that made Ted Kennedy a Senator for Massachusetts.;[1]

When Ted Kennedy first ran for U.S. Senate in 1962, he had no support from the left. Americans for Democratic Action, the major liberal group of the time, backed former Attorney General Edward McCormack in the Democratic primary. The Socialist Party USA mobilized their meager forces for Harvard professor H. Stuart Hughes, running as an anti-nuclear testing independent peace candidate in November. According to Ben Ross, SPers discussed the Hughes campaign exhaustively in The Yankee Radical in 1962, and with post-mortems into 1963. As near as I can tell from superficial research, both groups were right. McCormack actually had a good civil rights record, certainly stronger than JFK’s, at a time when this wasn’t to be taken for granted from Democratic politicians. Ted Kennedy had no record of any sort, but did have the Kennedy name and his father’s money, which was more than enough. In the ensuing decades Eddie McCormack went on to become a corporate lawyer for big developers; H. Stuart Hughes eventually drifted into neo-conservatism, endorsing Reagan. Ted Kennedy evolved into…Ted Kennedy,the Lion of Liberalism, as the Globe calls him.

F.B.I. Soviet contacts memo

On July 28, 1970, the F.B.I. issued a top secret memo entitled CONTACTS BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOVIET, UNION AN MEMBERS OR STAFF PERSONNEL OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS INTERNAL SECURITY - RUSSIA

The memo stated;

Untitleddocored.jpg
A review of information we have developed through our coverage of Soviet officials and establishments in Washington, D. C., has disclosed a continuing interest by representatives of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to maintain contacts with and cultivate members or staff personnel of the U. S. Congress. There appears below a compilation of such contacts which have come to our attention from January 1, 1967, to date:

Senators

  • 1967 77
  • 1968 34
  • 1969 53
  • 1970 to date 16

Representatives

  • 1967 55
  • 1968 23
  • 1969 10
  • 1970 to date 6

Staff Employees

  • 1967 265
  • 1968 224
  • 1969 239
  • 1970 to date 104
Based on a review of the information disclosed through our coverage, it appears that soviet officials are making more contacts with the following Congressmen or members of their staff than with other U. S. Legislators
Group 1
Excluded from automatic downgrading and declassification

The document was declassified on September 12, 1997

Cuba recognition drive

In 1972, a coalition of congressmen, radical activists and some communists spearheaded a drive to relax relations with Fidel Castro's Cuba.

Under, the auspices of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.- Mass.) and Sen. Harold Hughes (D.-Iowa), a two day conference of liberal scholars assembled in April, in the New Senate Office Building to thrash out a fresh U.S. policy on Cùba.

Among congressional sponsors of the seminar were Sen. J. William Fulbright (D.-Ark.) and Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.-N.Y.), both influential members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Sen. George McGovern (D.-S.D.), Rep. Bella Abzug (D~-N.Y.) and Rep. Ron Dellums (D.-Calif.).

Prominent members of the press and academic world participated, including conference chairman Kalman Silvert of the Ford Foundation, Joseph Gruenwald of the Brookings Institution, Tad Szulc of the New York Times and James Goodsell of the Christian Science Monitor.

Sen. Fulbright signalled the move to seek détente with Càstro's Cuba in March 1972, when he attacked the State Department for refusing to issue visas to four Cuban film-makers who planned to participate in a pro-Castro film festival in New York City.

Secretary of the New York State Communist Party USA, Michael Myerson coordinator of the festival, was among the observers at the Cuba recognition conference as well.

Prof. Larry Birns of the New School for Social Research in New York, admitted he deliberately selected panelists who look favorably on "normalizing'" relations with Cuba. The sessions, he said, were not supposed to generate an open debate. ,

One panelist, John M. Cates, Jr., director of the , Center for Inter-American Relations, matter òf factlyremarked during the discussions: "So why are we here'? We're here so Sen. Kennedy can have a rationale to get our country to recognize Cuba."

Kennedy had set the stage for the meeting by recommending an end to the economic boycott of Cuba, freedom of travel and cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, and reestablishment of formal relations.

Largely agreeing with Kennedy's recommendations, the group reached a broad consensus that the United States should: Pay rent or give up its Navy at Guantánamo, initiate cultural and sports exchanges with Cuba, lift the trade embargo on Cuba, sell surplus grain to the island on a deferred payment plan and establish formal and informal diplomatic contacts. Members also hoped a study commission to pursue these goals would grow out of the conference.

Brady Tyson of American University, the most miltant panelist, said public opinion must be mobilized to persuade the U.S. government to ease relations with Castro's regime. Committees of Cuban-Americans must be formed for the same purpose, he said.

The conference was financed by a New York-based organization called the Fund for the New Priorities in America, a coalition of groups clearly sympathetic to many pro-Communist causes.

The Fund was virtually the same group as the Committee for Peace and New Priorities, a pro-Hanoi group which bought an ad in November 1971 in the New York Times demanding Nixon set a Viet Nam withdrawal date. Both the Fund for the New Priorities and the Committee for Peace, were located at the same address in New York.[2]

Kennedy and ACORN

Edward Kennedy was an early supporter of ACORN.

ACORN leader Wade Rathke quotes veteran ACORN organizer Dewey Armstrong, on Kennedy's contribution to the organization.

As you may know, Ted Kennedy may not be with us much longer...
ACORN allied with him in ‘79 (a tactical decision at the time), when he committed unequivocal support for the central demand of our ACORN 80 Peoples Platform campaign (our first real national campaign), while Jimmie (his spelling…) Carter didn’t much want to talk to us or risk being seen dealing with what we might call the broad-based progressive forces that were organizing, speaking out, and acting for social and economic justice...
Ted Kennedy is an inspiration and example of what can be accomplished in the halls of power w/o sacrificing principles too much. Who’ll be the next in line – doesn’t have to be just one, either.[3]

Democratic Agenda

More than 1,200 people attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee initiated Democratic Agenda Conference held November 16-18, 1979, at the International Inn and Metropolitan AM Church in Washington 1 DC. The conference focused on "corporate power'; as the key barrier to "economic and political democracy," concepts many Democratic Agenda participants defined as "socialism.'

The Democratic Agenda meetings attempted to develop anti-corporate alternatives" through influencing the direction of the Democratic Party during the period leading to the July 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York.

Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee/Democratic Agenda leader Michael Harrington had endorsed, the Presidential campaign of Senator Edward Kennedy who was invited to address the Democratic Agenda conference' s Saturday luncheon. Although Sen. Kennedy declined to appear, he did send a message of support to the DA stating, "I share your conviction that progressive economic and social program must gain a high priority in the direction of our party and our nation...I welcome the opportunity to work with you."[4]

Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus

For groups and organizations seeking radical social change within the Democratic Party, the National Convention of 1980 had at least one historic first - formation of a Socialist Caucus of delegates. Organized by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and by the Democratic Agenda which was DSOC's cadre and supporters within the Democratic Party and was based in DSOC' s New York office and at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. Some 31 delegates and alternates from twelve states and Democrats Abroad attended the Socialist Caucus.

As a preliminary to the convention's Socialist Caucus meeting, , indeed as a "building event" and as a continued show of support for Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the Democratic Agenda sponsored a convention rally at New York's Town Hall. The speakers included Herman Badillo, Julian Bond, Fran Bennick, Harry Britt, Cesar Chavez, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI}, Douglas Fraser, Murray Finley, Michael Harrington, Terry Herndon, Ruth Jordan, Ruth Messinger, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem and William Winpisinger.

DSOC works within the Democratic Party, said Harrington, because of the party's relationships with organized workers, blacks, feminists, environmentalists and other "progressive groups."

The Socialist Caucus circulated a list of convention delegates who were caucus members, including;[5]

"Knows about" DSOC"

Nancy Lieber, International Committee chair of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, wrote a June 30, 1981 letter to Danielle Page, a staffer for Canadian Member of Parliament Ian Waddell.

Dear Danielle Page,
I'm sending along a list of Congresspeople and senators who know about us, democratic socialism, and -- perhaps Canada.
Only the first one is an open socialist, but the others are sympathetic in varying degrees.

The list was;

Hope this is of help and you recruit them to the cause!
In Solidarity,
Nancy Lieber
Chair, Intl. Committee

DSA interest in campaign funders

Tafoy.JPG

Nuclear Freeze

During the 1979 SALT II debate, Oregon's far left Republican Senator Mark Hatfield introduced an amendment that called for a “strategic weapons freeze,” which helped provide the impetus for the popular Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and would ricochet back into Washington and prompt Hatfield and other members of Congress to act.

As tensions between Washington and Moscow mounted in 1982 and the two countries built up their nuclear arsenals even further, Hatfield and other members of Congress 'heard from their constituents", who sought a way off the escalatory ladder and were calling for a “nuclear freeze” with the Soviet Union on the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

“We heard from people at every stop who knew about the nuclear freeze proposal and wanted us to support it. ‘Why not?’ they asked. We found that question difficult to answer,” Hatfield and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) later explained in their 1982 book Freeze! How You Can Help Prevent Nuclear War. “A new arms control initiative was needed to offer leadership in Congress and respond to the growing public concern,” they wrote.

On March 10, 1982, Hatfield and Kennedy joined House proponents of the freeze, including Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), to introduce a “sense of Congress” resolution based directly on a widely disseminated document, “Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race,” developed by Randall Forsberg, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology defense policy expert who would later join the board of directors of the Arms Control Association. With the backing of Hatfield and Kennedy, the effort gained broad-based popular and expert support, national attention, and increasing political momentum.

Following new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s announcement in July 1985 that the Soviet Union would forgo tests and that the Soviet Union would not test until and unless the United States began testing, the Reagan administration declined to reciprocate. In October 1986, a bipartisan group of 63 House and Senate members, led by Hatfield, Senator Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), Representative Les Aspin (D-Wis.), and others, sent a letter to Reagan urging him to reciprocate and call off the next scheduled test in Nevada, code-named Glencoe.

Cranston and Hatfield also introduced legislation seeking to bar the spending of money to carry out U.S. nuclear tests if the Soviet Union was not doing so. Their initiative did not succeed, but it would get another chance.[6]

Nicaragua conference

The Communist Party USA controlled U.S. Peace Council organized a National Conference on Nicaragua in 1979, along with several other radical groups, to discuss a strategy to ensure that the Sandinistas took control.

Three Congressmen and two Senators lent support to this Conference: Ron Dellums, Tom Harkin, and Walter Fauntroy in the House and Mark Hatfield and Edward Kennedy in the Senate.[7]

Supporting "Veteran's fast for life"

Edward Kennedy addresses the press conference

On September 1st, 1986, four veterans began a water-only "fast for life" on the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. They wanted to to draw attention to, and to protest, President Reagan's "illegal and extraordinarily vicious wars against the poor of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala."

Vfl080.jpg

The veterans were;

The veterans believed that the President's explicit policy of directing the contra terrorists in Nicaragua to commit wanton murder and destruction, enabled by appropriations passed by a majority of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, amounted to grotesque, unconscionable violent behavior in violation of both U.S. Constitutional and international law, and the egregious breach of the human rights of virtually all Nicaraguan citizens. The veterans believed that the President was clearly vulnerable to Constitutional impeachment, and that all members of the Senate and House of Representatives should have been subjected to criminal prosecution under international law as well, whether they were re-elected or not.

On October 7 several U.S Congressmen and Senators spoke at a press conference in support of the faster's cause. They included Senator Charles Mathias (R-MD), Claiborne Pell (D-RI), Don Edwards (D-CA), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Leon Panetta (D-CA), Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), David Bonior (D-MI), Lane Evans (D-Illinois), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).[8]

Paying tribute to Michael Harrington

Washington Socialist, September 1989, page 16

On Friday September 15, 1989, a tribute service was held to commemorate the recently deceased leader of Democratic Socialists of America, Michael Harrington.

Invited guest speakers were Irving Howe, Senator Edward Kennedy, Willy Brandt, Deborah Meier, Bogdan Denitch, Jack Clark and Eleanor Holmes Norton.[9]

Opposed aid to El Salvador

On February 6, 1990, Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry introduced a Bill to cut off all aid to El Salvador just a few days after EI Salvador's President Cristiani had come to Washington to discuss the need for such support.

This bill was backed by four other Democratic Senators: Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Paul Simon of Illinois, Alan Cranston of California and Brock Adams of Washington state.

The Senators and Congressmen who vote against providing aid to the government of El Salvador were effectively handicapping the democratically-elected government in that area and paralleling the Communist line of the time.[10]

The Communist Party USA newspaper, the People's Daily World of January 30, 1990 stated:

Last weekend's meeting of the Communist Party, USA resolved to Mobilize to build the March 24 demonstration in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to military aid to El Salvador and intervention in Central America.

DSA book

Democratic Left, Jan. 1991, page 8

In 1991 Democratic Socialists of America was selling a book "Reclaiming our Future", by DSA honorary chair William Winpisinger, edited by "DSAer" John Logue and carrying a foreword by Senator Edward Kennedy.[11]

"Michael Harrington and Today's Other America"

In 1998, a new film based on late Democratic Socialists of America leader Michael Harrington was released. "Michael Harrington and Today's Other America-Corporate Power and Inequality" featured interviews with Bogdan Denitch, Congressman Bernie Sanders, Frances Fox Piven, John Kenneth Galbraith, Rush Limbaugh, Senate Ted Kennedy, Jim Chapin, Robert Kuttner, Charles Murray, Robert L. Hellbroner, Joanne Barkan, Joseph Murphy and Bob Herbert. [12]

CBC 33rd Legislative Conference, 2003

Anger at the Bush administration for waging war abroad and attacking rights at home bubbled up at the Congressional Black Caucus 33rd Legislative Conference in Washington DC, Sept. 24-27, 2003.

“Collective Leadership: Challenging A Bold New World” was the title of the conference, which attracted thousands of participants in 53 plenary and workshop sessions.

A standing-room crowd at a session titled “The Iraq War: America Speaks Out” convened by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), cheered Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who recently accused Bush of “fraud” in tricking the U.S. into war. The White House reacted with rage to that blast.

But Kennedy did not apologize. “If your son or daughter is in the National Guard or Reserves, you know they are going to be called up and sent over to serve in Iraq,” Kennedy thundered. “They are asking $87 billion for the war in Iraq and they cannot find enough to fund ‘No Child Left Behind.’”

Kennedy read from the Pentagon’s 28-page draft plan sent to Capitol Hill after weeks of protests from lawmakers that the occupation is floundering. “Locate and secure weapons of mass destruction,” was the goal one week. A week later, again, “Continue to locate and secure weapons of mass destruction.” The crowd groaned and Kennedy flung the draft in the air, calling it “an insult to our troops serving over there.”[13]

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 Edward Kennedy in his successful Senate run as candidate for Massachusetts.[14]

Opposed the Iraq War

The following is a list of the 23 U.S. Senators voting "Nay" on the Iraq War resolution in October 2002. The vote was 77-23 in favor of the resolution.

Daniel Akaka (D - Hawaii), Jeff Bingaman (D - N.M.), Barbara Boxer (D - Calif.), Robert Byrd (D - W. Va.), Lincoln Chafee (R - R.I.), Kent Conrad (D - N.D.), Jon Corzine (D - N.J.), Mark Dayton (D - Minn.), Dick Durbin (D - Ill.), Russ Feingold (D - Wis.), Bob Graham (D - Fla.) [Retired, 2004], Daniel Inouye (D - Hawaii), Jim Jeffords (I - Vt.), Ted Kennedy (D - Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D - Vt.), Carl Levin (D - Mich.), Barbara Mikulski (D - Md.), Patty Murray (D - Wash.), Jack Reed (D - R.I.), Paul Sarbanes (D - Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D - Mich.), Paul Wellstone (D - Minn.) [Dec. 2002] and Ron Wyden (D - Ore.).

Introduced EFCA

EFCA was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. George Miller (D-California) and Peter King (R-New York) and in the Senate by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) in April 2005. [15]

Backed socialist Bernie Sanders

Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy traveled to Vermont to campaign for Bernie Sanders during the Congressman's successful 2006 U.S. Senate race.

According to Democratic Socialists of America's Democratic Left, Spring 2006, page 4;[16]

The Democratic Party is not mounting a serious challenge, although a candidate may occupy the Democratic line. A number of prominent Democrats, including Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy and Illinois Senator Barack Obama, already have campaigned with Sanders.

"Single - payer" movement

According to Michael Lighty, a former National Director of Democratic Socialists of America, and Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, writing in DSA's Democratic Left, Winter 2007/2008 .[17]

There’s a growing movement for single-payer universal healthcare. The movement is led by activists in Healthcare-Now!, doctors in the Physicians for a National Health Program, nurses in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, leaders in labor unions such as United Steelworkers of America and Communication Workers of America, activists in the Progressive Democrats of America, and Congressman John Conyers, with the support for HR 676 by 300 union locals, 75 Central Labor Councils, and 25 state Federations of Labor, and hundreds of clergy and faith-based organizations, as well as civil rights, women’s and healthcare advocacy groups in the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare.
The policy proposals developed by Beltway think tanks and the principles for reform adopted by the AFL-CIO confer support for single-payer while allowing for private insurance-based approaches as well. Other bills in Congress, notably sponsored by Ted Kennedy and John Dingell and “Americare” introduced by Pete Stark, seek to incrementally establish a single-payer system.

Drinan Award

The Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award was established in 2006. The award is annually presented by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World to individuals who exemplify the late Father Drinan's commitment |to peace and human justice".

The award broadly focuses on U.S. politics, political science, physical science, biology, peace studies, and peace and human rights activism.

References

  1. TYR, Sep. 2009
  2. Human Events, April 29, 1972, page 3
  3. http://chieforganizer.org/2008/05/30/thinking-about-ted-kennedy/
  4. Information Digest, December 14, 1979, page 372
  5. Information Digest, Septemer 19, 1980, p 333
  6. ACA In Memoriam: Mark O. Hatfield (1922–2011), Daryl G. Kimball
  7. Communisis in the Democratic party, page 67
  8. [1] Ivan's Place , Veterans Fast for Life for Peace in Central America, accessed June 2, 2010
  9. Washington Socialist, September 1989, page 16
  10. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 9
  11. Democratic Left, July/August 1991, page 8
  12. [Dem. Left Winter 1998, page 2]
  13. PWW Black Caucus hears call: Defeat Bush, GOP, by: Tim Wheeler October 3 2003
  14. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  15. GDDSA newsletter archives, 2007
  16. Democratic left, Spring 2006
  17. Dem. Left, Winter 2007/8
  18. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation website. Council for a Livable World 50th Anniversary Celebration