Elizabeth Warren, Socialist Part 1: Liz Warren and the Heather Booth/Democratic Socialists of America Connection
April 23, 2013
Freshman Massachusetts Senator Elizabet Warren appears to be at least as socialist as her predecessor, Ted Kennedy.
Like the “Lion of the Senate,” Warren is also enmeshed in the U.S. socialist movement. Unlike Kennedy though, her ancestry doesn’t make her quite so untouchable. Like Kennedy, she almost certainly has presidential ambitions.
Democratic Socialists of America is big in Massachusetts. America’s largest Marxist group is entrenched at Harvard, controls the Bay State’s labor movement and commands the allegiance, or at least respect, of a whole swathe of municipal, county, state and federal politicians.
Ted Kennedy was deeply entrenched in DSA and Liz Warren is too.
Elizabeth Warren is particularly close to well known Democratic Party activist Heather Booth, one of the most important “progressive” operatives in the country. Booth has been working for a socialist USA since the 1960s, though is very loathe to use the “s’ word herself.
Booth has questioned whether it is “useful in an American context to focus attention on socialism, given its anti-democratic record. Instead she has argued that a radical definition of democracy has a greater chance of changing minds and political practice in the United States.”
Booth has been a key trainer of Democratic activists, most recently for DSA friendly Barack Obama, but starting in 1993, Heather Booth worked on electoral campaigns and with the Democratic National Committee and was the Training Director for the Committee during the Clinton administration.
Booth honed her skills while running Chicago’s infamous Midwest Academy, a DSA-controlled school for “community organizers’ based on the principles of radical agitator Saul Alinsky. Booth has stated “Alinsky is to community-organizing as Freud is to psychoanalysis.”
While never publicly admitting to DSA membership herself, Booth has a 40-year history with the organization.
According to the December 29, 1979, issue of Information Digest, the “initiators” of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (forerunner of Democratic Socialists of America), formed in 1973 as a result of a split within the Socialist Party USA, largely over the issue of cooperation with communists, included Julian Bond, John Conyers, Ronald Dellums, Doug Fraser, Joyce Miller, William Winpisinger, Jerry Wurf and Heather Booth.
Booth has worked with DSA since then and is often described as a “friend” of the organization.
Heather Booth’s main connection to Liz Warren come through her latest “front” group, Americans for Financial Reform.
On January 28, 2010, Booth wrote in the Huffington Post:
Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama reinforced his ambitious agenda to fix the economy and enact financial reform, including measures to hold Big Banks accountable for their reckless actions that led to our financial crisis and the loss of millions of jobs:
The House has passed financial reform…And the lobbyists are already trying to kill it. Well, we cannot let them win this fight. And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back.
At Americans for Financial Reform, we are fighting to make this possible. Financial reform will protect working families and small businesses by reining in the greedy, reckless behavior of big banks on Wall Street and will crack down on the abuses committed by credit card companies and the mortgage lending industry. These reforms will hold Wall Street accountable and prevent another financial crisis.
Members of AFR’s Advisory Board include Alan Charney, a former DSA National Director; AFSCME official Richard Ferlauto, a one time Connecticut DSAer; and Robert Kuttner, an Obama biographer, from DSA aligned “think tank” Demos and himself a long time DSA supporter.
Right from the start, Elizabeth Warren was AFR’s best friend.
As far back as 2009, Booth and Warren were working together to promote a Consumer Finance Protection Agency.
I was on a blogger call today with Elizabeth Warren to discuss this bill. This call was hosted by Heather Booth, Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of 200 organizations fighting for this other reforms of our banking and financial system. Warren is Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel – COP – but was not on the call in that capacity. She was on the call to explain why we need the CFPA. Warren originally proposed the idea of a CFPA,
In 2010, AFR circulated an online petition asking President Barack Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a rap song urging the same —― Got A New Sheriff, by the Main Street Brigade, also appeared.
“Elizabeth Warren is one of the great experts in the country on the economics of middle class families and supporting them and protecting them” said Heather Booth, head of Americans for Financial Reform. “There’s no one who has a background with the depth on the issues and the willingness to stand up to those biggest banks.
Booth invoked her labor union (read DSA) support in order get President Obama to appoint Warren to head the new agency.
According to 2010 Huffington Post article:
In July 2010, a coalition of groups fighting to reform the nation’s financial system formally endorsed Harvard Law professor and bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Americans for Financial Reform, an alliance of more than 250 organizations that has spent the past year advocating for financial reform legislation, said that Warren is the “most experienced, effective and independent person” to serve as the critical first chief of the new agency.
AFR includes top labor groups and progressive advocacy organizations with deep ties to the Obama administration, including AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union.
“[Elizabeth] Warren has shown a steadfast and tireless commitment to protecting consumers throughout her distinguished career and is without question the best candidate to run the new CFPB,” Heather Booth, AFR’s director, said in a statement.
“We join many others in encouraging the White House to quickly move to nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Booth added.
On April 6th, 2010, Americans for Financial Reform and its radical ally, Americans for Fairness in Lending, hosted a special webinar discussion with Professor Warren and AFR Director Heather Booth for the general public. It focused on “where things stand in the movement for financial reform and how everyday citizens can get involved in the fight to rein in the big banks and get the economy back on track.”
- Find out about reform efforts in Congress-including the Senate bill currently being debated and the House bill which passed in December.
- Learn why we need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect us from abusive financial products.
- Ask Professor Warren and Heather Booth your question about financial reform.
- Hear about ways to join the fight around the country and online.
Despite considerable pressure from AFR and other groups, Obama didn’t appoint Warren. Undeterred, Warren, backed by the DSA-controlled Massachusetts labor movement, decided to run for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Scott Brown in 2012.
Heather Booth was there to help her friend.
On March 21, 2012, a “Young Professionals Event” fundraiser was held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Boston for Elizabeth Warren
The event was hosted by Alisha Bhagat, Heather Booth, her DSA husband Paul Booth, Institute for Policy Studies “arch progressive” Robert Borosage and Mike Lux, former Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison in the Bill Clinton White House, former Obama Transition Team outreach to the “progressive” movement, influential blogger/consultant and one time Iowa Democratic Socialists of America member.
Elizabeth Warren was not slow in returning a favor to a comrade.
When Midwest Academy held its annual award ceremony on December 12, 2012 at the Eatonville Restaurant, Washington DC, Elizabeth Warren was guest speaker.
Pictured below, Warren mingles with Heather Booth and convicted felon, Democratic Party strategist and long-time DSA associate, Bob Creamer, and in the background, well known Chicago DSAer Roberta Lynch.
Creamer is the husband of Illinois Democratic congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who was also in attendance. Schakowsky too has been a confirmed DSA member.
Long time DSA member Julian Bond was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award,” while yet another one time DSAer, Mike Lux, was given a Progressive Leadership Award.