Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Amanda Ulman, Socialist Candidate For Mayor Of Houston, Should Run A Serious Campaign—Or She Should Not Run At All

(Blogger’s Note 11/5/11–What I said here about Ms. Ulman’s campaign 2 years ago is valid again for her 2011 campaign.)    

Amanda Ulman is a Socialist candidate for Mayor of Houston.

It is useful for voters in Houston to have the option of a socialist candidate. Republicans have put the idea of socialism back in the public’s mind after a long absence. Nobody was thinking of socialism before the Republicans started calling Barack Obama a socialist.

Though it has been many years, socialist candidates for public office were once able to win between 5% and 10% of the votes in elections all over the nation. Once in a while they would even win a race.

In 1912, Eugene V. Debs took 6% of the vote nationwide as the Socialist candidate for President of the United States. There is nothing to say that candidates running as Socialists could not at some point in the future win support in our nation.

If Ms. Ulman is going to run for Mayor of Houston, as she did also in 2007, she should be serious about what she is doing. Otherwise, she will be easy to dismiss as a kind of joke.

As far as I can see, Ms. Ulman does not have a web site. How can a credible campaign in this day and age not have web site? Ms. Ulman is missing a cheap and easy way to get her message out.

I can tell Ms. Ulman that as Election Day approaches, people will start putting her name in search engines as they see her name on the ballot.

Two years ago, when Texas Liberal got much less traffic than it does today, I got something like 1000 hits in the days leading up to Election Day for a post I’d written about a candidate for Mayor of Houston named Outlaw Josey Wales. (Sadly, Mr. Wales is not running in 2009.)

Every time I write about a candidate for public office, I get a large spike in my blog traffic for that post in the last few days before the election. People see who is running for the various offices and they research these candidates. Often traffic about that candidate’s post goes up for a few weeks before the election as people early vote.

With a web site, Ms. Ulman could write about how her Socialist beliefs are relevant to governing Houston. What is more socialist than a government run police department or fire department?

Ms. Ulman could talk about the local relevance of issues like the need for universal health insurance or a more fair distrubution of income. The three “serious” candidates for Mayor of Houston, all Democrats, seem not to care very much about issues facing the poor—and about economic issues facing working people of all kinds—here in Houston.

While Ms. Ulman may not be able to raise much money, she could stand on busy street corners with a sign that simply said: Amanda Ulman–Socialist For Mayor Of Houston.

I realize she might not want to do that by herself in the current political climate. Still, voters would could least attach a real human being to the idea of socialism and would see that at least one fellow citizen of Houston holds socialist beliefs.

Has Ms. Ulman contacted the editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle and of the various community weekly newspapers in Houston asking for an interview? Has she asked for time on all of the T.V. and radio community affairs programs? Has she produced a cable public access message that is being broadcast? Does she have a Twitter account?

Ms. Ulman could represent a real choice for voters frustrated with the big money donors and lack of attention to so many serious issues that seems to define campaigns for Mayor of Houston. Maybe Ms. Ulman could be the start of a real core of socialist support in Houston. You never know.

Ms. Ulman should run a real race or she should give it up and stop harming her cause by not being serious.

Here is a series of articles from The Nation magazine about ideas for socialism in modern America.

September 23, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. Don’t you think a blogger lunch with the candidate is in order? Contact her and set it up.

    Comment by PDiddie | September 23, 2009

  2. How’d she get on the ballot? Did she win a socialist primary or did she win the nomination at some secret Houston socialist convention?

    I’m with ya Neil. If you’re going to run then run.

    Comment by citizenx | September 24, 2009

  3. I don’t know if she got the signatures or paid her way on. You can pay some amount and get a spot on the ballot.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 24, 2009

  4. At the least she can force the other candidates to talk about economic and social justice. I’m with you, if you’re running you have to run a serious campaign.

    Comment by Notus | September 25, 2009

  5. Socialism is Unamerican. In America we all have an equal opportunity to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, learn a skill and get out there and sell it for the top dollar you can muster. To think that redistribution of wealth or such concepts as economic or social justice actually exist is (in my opinion) kind of fooling yourself. To be jealous of the guy that is more skilled than you or has made the sacrifices that you are not willing to make to have money and things is pointless. We all make our own choices everyday and those choices have social and economic repercussions which shape our lives and personal circumstances. Its simple and its fair. The socialist concept and anything associated with it does not work… reference the failure of the USSR. Besides all you do is take wealth from people who worked for it and give it to those in power who havent. Socialism is the percieved path to prosperity for the economically inept or lazy that does not work. Good Christian values and hard work are the recipe for success. Period.

    Comment by Terrence Harrington | November 4, 2009

  6. Not everyone has an equal chance to do well in America. Kids born poor face many obstacles.

    If voters chose socialism, why would it be UnAmerican?

    Plenty of non-Christian people work very hard.

    Often hard work is not rewarded in our society.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 5, 2009

  7. […] Fitzsimmons is part of a colorful tradition of Socialist Workers running for office in Houston. Texas Liberal has the full story on […]

    Pingback by Texpatriate | Mayoral shots fired | June 18, 2013

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