I ran for the office of State Controller in the 2018 California primary and I was able to obtain just under 4% of the vote (about 238,576 votes), making me one of several candidates that gained over the 2% needed to keep Peace and Freedom Party on the ballot in California.

Running a campaign is both educational and frustrating. It’s educational for both me and the people I came in contact with.” The current system purposely makes running a campaign, with its prohibitively ($2000 to $3000) high filing fees or excessively high (10.000) signatures-in-lieu of filing fees and charges for written statements, almost excluding workers on a fixed income from being able to run.

Asking people to sign the petitions is the first opportunity to begin educating people about the important issues, the need to change the system of our society from a capitalist one to a socialist one in order to put people’s needs before the profits of capitalist corporations. When the means of production are under the control of the working class, providing people’s basic needs for affordable housing, livable incomes, free healthcare, free education and protecting the environment that makes human life possible will start to occur. These are issues that most reasonable people will listen to and initially agree with.

They bring up questions about how it will all be paid for and then agree when it’s pointed out that the U.S. is the richest country in the world and therefore has all the resources needed, Our society just has all the wrong priorities in utilizing those resources wasting trillions of dollars every year on a bloated military budget fighting unnecessary wars for the sake of imperialist capitalism and subsidizing wealthy corporations like oil companies, big pharmaceutical companies, and huge agribusinesses that all make billions of dollars every three months and don’t need any taxpayer funds at all. The U.S, also wastes billions of dollars subsidizing nuclear power plants that no insurance company in the world will touch with a ten-foot pole because nuclear energy is basically unsafe, producing waste that no one knows what to do with and that is a constant ongoing threat to the environment.

The negative responses come from people who are pro-life or who own small businesses or honest workers who have brainwashed with American exceptionalism, the idea that the U.S. is the best country in the world with the best society and the best economic system in the world. They have been indoctrinated to believe that democracy and capitalism are inextricably linked and that capitalism is capable of reform. It will take a lot of time to educate workers about the facts of history and science and the impossibility of reforming a totally corrupt system like capitalism that demands ever-increasing profits and ever-expanding markets in our finite world which is the only place we have to live in the near future.

 – written by Mary Lou Finley, runner of two campaigns for the Board of Equalization and the 2018 campaign for State Controller

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