By: Trevor Loudon
Mark Ritchie file 1 here.
Controversial Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was formerly a key member of a radical socialist “alternative” political party – a party that helped launch the political career of Barack Obama.
In the early 1990’s, the now defunct New Party was founded as a left wing adjunct to and eventual replacement for the Democratic Party.
While New Party leaders always touted their party as non-socialist an analysis of its leadership gives lie to that claim.
New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 activists – “some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP.”
Many of the hundred or so activists listed were affiliated to ACORN, Democratic Socialists of America, the Communist Party USA, offshoot Committees of Correspondence or the far left Institute for Policy Studies – once described by analyst Brian Crozier as the “perfect intellectual front for Soviet activities which would be resisted if they were to originate openly from the KGB.”
Mark Ritchie’s New Party comrades included;
- Elaine Bernard – A Democratic Socialists of America member.
- John Cavanagh – Institute for Policy Studies.
- Noam Chomsky – An anarchist, Institute for Policy Studies affiliate and member of both Democratic Socialists of America and Committees of Correspondence.
- Steve Cobble – Institute for Policy Studies affiliate.
- Chuck Collins – Institute for Policy Studies affiliate.
- Ellen David Freidman – A former member of the radical socialist New American Movement.
- Amy Dean – Later a Communist Party USA associate.
- Gary Delgado – ACORN founder and Institute for Policy Studies affiliate.
- Barbara Ehrenreich – Democratic Socialists of America leader, Institute for Policy Studies trustee and in 2008, founder of Progressives for Obama.
- Anita Estrada – ACORN activist.
- Bill Fletcher, Jr. – Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, member of Democratic Socialists of America and the radical Maoist leaning Freedom Road Socialist Organization. In 2008, founder of Progressives for Obama.
- Maude Hurd – ACORN leader and Democratic Socialists of America associate.
- Keith Kelleher – ACORN and SEIU leader.
- Manning Marable – A Democratic Socialists of America and Committees of Correspondence leader.
- Barbara Miner – A former Maoist and Committees of Correspondence associate.
- Maxine Nelson – Now a leader of ACORN’s voting registration arm Project Vote.
- Gwen Patton – A former Communist Party USA associate.
- Paul Pinsky – A Democratic Socialists of America affiliate and now Maryland State legislator.
- Frances Fox Piven – A Democratic Socialists of America member, Institute for Policy Studies affiliate and Progressives for Obama endorser.
- Rafael Pizzaro – Former Communist Party USA member. Member of Democratic Socialists of America and Committees of Correspondence.
- Gloria Quinones – Former Communist Party USA member and a Committees of Correspondence affiliate.
- Joel Rogers – A Democratic Socialists of America associate, later linked to George Soros‘ Open Society Institute.
- Juliet Schor – A Democratic Socialists of America member.
- Michael Shuman – Institute for Policy Studies affiliate.
- Gloria Steinem – A Democratic Socialists of America member.
- Dan Swinney – A labor unionist, Committees of Correspondence associate and Progressives for Obama endorser.
- Arthur Waskow – An Institute for Policy Studies founder and former member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee.
- Cornel West – A Democratic Socialists of America, Progressives for Obama endorser and member of Obama’s 2008 Black Advisory Council.
- Quentin Young – A former member of the Young Communist League and leading member of Democratic Socialists of America. A long time friend, mentor and personal physician to Barack Obama.
- Howard Zinn – A former secret member of the Communist Party USA and a Democratic Socialists of America affiliate.
From New Party News Spring 1996, page 1:
Mark Ritchie, as Minnesota Secretary of state has the responsibility of overseeing electoral recounts. This resulted in considerable controversy in 2009 when Ritchie handed a U.S Senate seat to leftist former comedian Al Franken, though his Republican opponent was ahead on election night.
Now Mark Ritchie is set to oversee another recount that could put leftist Democrat and long time Ritchie associate Mark Dayton in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion.
Interestingly, Ritchie serves on the Advisory committee of Wellstone Action with Franken, Dayton and Democratic Socialists of America member, New Party founder and Progressives for Obama endorser Frances Fox Piven.
The fact that Mark Ritchie once helped lead a covertly socialist political party with close ties to President Barack Obama must cast doubt on his impartiality and suitability for the position.