In response to my July 12 article exposing evidence he had been a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, the campaign committee of former Democrat Congressman Neil Abercrombie, now contending for the Governorship of Hawaii, has posted an online denial which reads:
The latest wave of rumors and attacks are lame attempts to link Neil Abercrombie to a socialist group. See the facts below.
QUESTION: Was Neil a member of the Democratic Socialists of America or any other socialist or communist organization?
ANSWER: NO. Neil has never been part of any socialist or communist organization. These rumors are being spread by Neil’s political opponents and conspiracy theorists including those behind the so-called “birther” movement who continually claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.
None of this explains why the D.S.A.’s Democratic Left newspaper, November/December 1990 issue, page 4, describes, “DSAer Democrat Neil Abercrombie seeking to regain the House seat representing Honolulu, Hawaii and Vermont independent socialist Bernie Sanders…”
In the 1990s many high ranking Democrat public officials were members of Democratic Socialists of America, including New York mayor David Dinkins, NYC City Councilor Ruth Messinger and Congressmen Ron Dellums (California) and Major Owens (New York). It was common for ” DSAers” to belong to the Democratic Party at that time and be identified as such.
Today, Illinois Democratic Congressman Danny K. Davis is also a member of Democratic Socialists of America and is often referred to in the organization’s literature as a “DSAer”.
“DSAer” is the usual term used by D.S.A. members to refer to other members. There are many examples of this terminology used in Democratic Left. In every case, those described as “DSAers”, were able to be confirmed as D.S.A. members. If Abercrombie’s denial is to be believed he would be the one and only exception.
Note the clip below, from Democratic Left, Summer 2006, page 15. Former Congressman Ron Dellums is referred to as a “DSAer”.
In this clip from Democratic Left, Summer 2006, page 3, former Congressman Major Owens is named as a D.S.A. member, while serving Congressman Danny K. Davis is referred to as a “DSAer”.
Note that in the 1990 article, Bernie Sanders who has not been a card-carrying D.S.A. member, was called an “independent socialist”, while Abercrombie is named as a “DSAer Democrat”. This indicates the editors of Democratic Left were choosing their words carefully and making a distinction between the two.
Clearly Democratic Socialists of America regarded Neil Abercrombie as a member of their organization.
D.S.A. also lists Neil Abercrombie’s wife Nancie Caraway as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America Feminist Commission. She was not only a member, but a nationally-recognized D.S.A. leader—apparently without publicly acknowledging the association in Hawaii. If she were on the board of directors of a corporation while her husband held Federal office, this would constitute illegal concealment of a conflict of interest. It is noteworthy that Abercrombie campaign’s flat denial does not say a single word about Caraway.
1985 D.S.A. Feminist Commission Directory, page 2
Neil Abercrombie’s apparent involvement with Democratic Socialists of America, did not end in the 1990s. below is an except from a Winter 2006 Democratic Left, page 4 article on D.S.A. support for Congressman Bernie Sanders.
Note the reference to Democratic Socialists of America member and former Maine State Legislator, Harlan Baker as a “DSAer”.
Neil Abercrombie is mentioned as one of those attending a D.S.A. Political Action Committee fund raising party in the home of the late Stewart Mott, in benefit of Congressman Sanders.
There appears to be strong documentary evidence that Neil Abercrombie was indeed a member of the Marxist D.S.A. and maintained ties to that organization as least as late as 2006.
Abercrombie’s emphatic denial, in the face of documentary evidence to the contrary, raises the stakes considerably.
Now it also becomes an issue of ethics and credibility.
Here are some questions for Abercrombie and Caraway:
• If Neil Abercrombie was never a member of Democratic Socialists of America, why did Democratic Left’s editors indicate otherwise?
• How does Abercrombie explain the 16-year record of his involvement in D.S.A. activities?
• Is the erstwhile First Lady of Hawaii still a member of D.S.A.?
• Has she ever openly acknowledged her D.S.A. membership to a Hawaii audience or publication?
The voters of Hawaii deserve to know the answers.