Alan Cranston

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Alan Cranston

Alan Cranston was the senior Senator from California, serving in the Senate since 1969. He was also the Majority Whip, having been elected Democratic Whip in 1977.

Security disaster

Cranston has a consistent record of voting against almost all aid to countries fighting Communist aggression or insurgencies, including South Viet Nam and El Salvador, and for refusing to support anti-communist movements fighting for democracy in Communist dictatorships like Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique etc.

His 1988 American Security Council rating was 0%.[1]

Stanford Men Join Mexican Political Move

In July 1935 Alan Cranston, Palo Alto, and John Atkinson, South Pasadena, quartermiler and pole vaulter, respectively, on the Stanford track team, were recently reported to have joined a group of students from the University of Mexico in an attempt to dislodge Tomas Garrido Canabal, "dictator" of the state of Tabasco. Following the killing of five students who had gone to Tabasco to vote against Canabal, an organization was formed at the university to enter the state in August and vote against Canabal. Cranston and Atkinson, who are attending summer school in Mexico City, are reported to have joined the movement.[2]

Barclay student

Among Thomas S. Barclay's students were many who became active as judges and lawyers and five who became U.S. senators: Frank Church, Mark Hatfield, Lee Metcalf, Alan Cranston and Henry Jackson.

Covering Rome for Hearst

In 1937 Alan Cranston, Stanford '36, is now covering Rome for Hearst's Universal service, according to letters received by his father in Los Alios. Cranston, varsity track man while at Stanford, has been transferred from London, where he reported several big stories, including the trial of former King Edward's would-be assassin.[3]

Ethiopia and Italy

Alan Cranston, '36, ended a career as foreign correspondent in Ethiopia and Italy to join the Office of War Information in the foreign language division. [4]

Office of War information

In World War II Cranston was Chief of the Foreign Language Division of the Office of War Information, the U.S. information and propaganda organization.

In this position he made several surprisingly pro-communist moves.

Karr connection

For example, Cranston recommended that the OWl hire David Karr, as "a senior liaison officer working with other Federal agencies." Karr had been writing for the Communist Party USA newspaper, The Daily Worker, as well as for Albert Kahn, an author who was later revealed in Congressional testimony to be a Soviet agent.

In spite of this record, Cranston recommended Karr for employment, claiming that he knew he had worked for The Daily Worker but did not know he was a communist.

After the War Karr launched a successful career in international finance and became even more active in pro-communist work. In 1975, for example, he arranged a $250 million credit for the Soviet, Foreign Trade Bank.

His main contact in Moscow was reported to be Djerman Gvishiani, deputy chairman of the Soviet State Committee for Science and Technology and son-in-law of Soviet Premier Kosygin.[5]

Cranston remained a long time friend of Karr and said later that Karr "had a strong social conscience that made him an intense promoter of Detente."[6]

Tresca affair

While with the OWl in World War II, Cranston had also made other statements paralleling the communist line.

One concerned the assassination of Carlos Tresca in 1943. Tresca had been an Italian Communist, but broke with the party and became an intense opponent of the Stalinists and was allied with the Anarchists. He was gunned down in New York City in January 1943. His widow and friends said he had been slain because of his refusal to enter into a United Front with the Communists.

Alan Cranston, however, issued a statement as an OWl official that Tresca had not opposed the Communists in a United Front organization, the Victory Council.[7]


Several Stanford professors journeyed to Asilomar over the August 1947 to attend a United World Federalist Institute which opened yesterday, a UWF representative announced. Among the scheduled speakers were Dr. Albert Guerard, on "World Community, Is There One?"; Dr. Harold H. Fisher, director of the Hoover War Library, on "Russia and World Government"; and Dr. Theodore Kreps, on "Economics and World Government." Other speakers include Alan Cranston, former UN executive; Editor Paul C. Smith of the San Francisco Chronicle; and President Robert Gordon Sproul of the University of California. The speakers were followed by a student panel discussion. Colgate Prentice is president of the student branch of the organization, and Alfred Johnson of Palo Alto is director of the institute.[8]

"A Foreign Policy for Americans" forum

"A Foreign Policy for Americans" forum will be offered tonight at Cubberley Auditorium at 8:15 April 20 1955 when Alan Cranston, chairman of the California Democratic Council will speak under the auspices of the Political Union. The formal talk, which will be concerned with a critical appraisal of the Eisenhower administration's present foreign policy, will be followed by a debate and a short question period.

After graduation from Stanford, Cranston bejjan his work as a foreign correspondent and then worked for a short time with the government before entering the Army. Always an active supporter of Democratic activities, Cranston began his organizational work with the party in 1948. Shortly thereafter he was appointed Santa Clara Democratic Council chairman and hld this position until he was elevated to his present position as State Democratic Council chairman.

Immediately following the.speech an informal debate will be held on the resolution, "Resolved, that the policy of containment of world Communism has not been effective." Al Brouse and Doby Langencamp will present the affirmative side, and Cliff Kimber will present the opposing view. There will be no vote taken on the resolution.[9]

Vietnam pullout

Sen. George McGovern introduced a resolution October 9 1969 urging total U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam as swiftly as possible. McGovern's proposal seeks a pullout pace limited only by steps to insure the safety of U.S. forces, prisoner of war release and arrangements for asylum for South Vietnamese who want to leave with the American troops. Senators Abraham Ribicoff, Alan Cranston, Stephen Young, Frank Church and Harold Hughes joined in sponsoring the measure.[10]

Supporting the Moratorium

Two alumni of Stanford returned to the area November 1969 to voice opinions on the Vietnam War and the Moratorium at a press conference preceding a Democratic fund-raising dinner. Senators Alan Cranston of California and Frank Church of Idaho began an informal news conference at a Los Altos residence by citing examples of recent teamwork in the Senate. Cranston pointed out that he had supported Church's attempts to nullify Rule 22 of the Senate procedures, the filibuster regulation. "As usual, we lost," Church said. The senior Senator from Idaho praised Cranston's efforts supporting a resolution of Senator Aiken of Vermont which would clarify a long-standing misinterpretation of US foreign policy.

Cranston's amendment to the resolution states that this country's diplomatic recognition of another nation does not constitute American approval of that nation. This resolution could ease the way of future attempts to extend US diplomatic recognition to Communist China. Both Senators were in substantial agreement as to the withdrawal of US forces from South Vietnam. Senator Cranston clarified his position by stating that he would not support a unilateral ceasefire, because that would leave US troops at the mercy of an army which has shown little respect for past ceasefire agreements.

Senator Church, while commending the Moratorium, said that it had "dangerous potential," and that the Administration would probably continue attempts to "defuse" the grass roots movement. Such an attempt would consist of two steps: First, a stepped-up withdrawal rate of US combat forces, and second, a full, complete military disengagement from the conflict. The Idaho legislator said that no "halfway attempt" of the President would placate Americans in regard to the cessation of hostilities in Vietnam.

Church felt that Nixon's announcement of a speech on the subject (set for tonight) was meant to take some of the steam from the October 15th protest. Cranston added that the President probably does not know exactly what his talk will propose even at this late date. Senator Church favored a pullout of all US combat troops from Laos and Cambodia at the same time as the Vietnam disengagement. He criticized the fighting in Laos as the "first time the United States has engaged in an undisclosed foreign war." In conversation later, Senator Church stated that if public opinion had not been so intense against the policies of the Johnson Administration in Southeast Asia, "we would now be involved in a land war with China."

A member of the Senate for ten years, Church said that he would support the Moratorium as long as it remained peaceful and as long as the President did not substantially change his policies on the war. Senator Cranston reported that he had been working with members of the House, including Representatives Reid (R-New York), Don Edwards ( D-Ca li fornia), and Allard Lowenstein (D-New York) to sustain the Moratorium as a "peaceful, non-violent" protest.

In response to a question as to whether he conceived of America's purpose as one to act as "policeman" of the world, Church replied that, while the US should remain free to offer non-military assistance to foreign nations, foreign governments "should look to their own resources." To substantiate this view, Church reported that President Kennedy's original intention was to aid the South Vietnamese regime with everything but combat troops.[11]

"Emergency Conference of New Voters"

In an effort to increase student power in electoral politics, an estimated 1600 Bay area students will gather November 18, 1971 at 8:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium to voice their opposition to President Nixon and the Vietnam War. Main speakers at the rally will be Republican Congressman and Presidential candidate Pete McCloskey, (R-San Mateo); former New York Congressman Allard Lowenstein (now Chairman of the Americans for Democratic Action); Senator Alan Cranston (Dem.-Calif.) and John Kerry, spokesman of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The "Emergency Conference of New Voters" is being organized by the student body presidents of 19 local colleges and universities to "ignite students into seizing the political process to change the country," according to ASSU co-president Larry Diamond. The student leaders feel that although President Nixon is winding down that war for middle class American college students, he is increasing the horrors for the victims of our bombing policy in Cambodia and the two Vietnams. They assert that the President has no moral justification for his policies and that he has been dishonest in presenting those policies and their effects to the American people.

In keeping with the goal of increasing student political power those attending the rally will have the opportunity to register to vote in California elections. Between 7 and 8 p.m., a preliminary conference will be held on registration laws and on 1972 convention delegate selection and party reform.. Explaining that the 19 colleges to be represented at the rally have 189,000 potential voters enrolled as students, a rally organizer warned President Nixon that "We've got the votes, we're getting organized and by 1972, we'll drive you out of office." In addition to the four main speakers, those scheduled to appear at the rally are Congressman Donald W. Riegle, Jr. (Rep.-Mich.); State Senate Majority Leader George Moscone; Assemblyman Willie Brown, (Dem.-San Francisco); Assemblyman John Vasconcellos (Dem.-San Jose); and Yvonne Westbrook, the 18 year old black woman who ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this year.

The Conference is the twenty-fourth and last in a series of local rallies held across the nation since May in such diverse locations as Providence, R. 1.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Austin. Texas. ADA Chairman Lowenstein, who led the "Dump Johnson" movement after 1967, has been providing volunteer manpower to aid most of the local rallies. A national conference of new voters will be held at. Loyola University in Chicago December 3-5. A similar conference in 1967 endorsed Senator Eugene McCarthy's candidacy for President. The ASSU is now raising funds from private sources to send Stanford delegates to the Chicago conference.[12]

National Youth Caucus

Over 250 students from 71 Northern California colleges gathered at a National Youth Caucus (NYC) conference Saturday in an effort to insure maximum representation of 18-24 year-olds at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The conference was held at San Jose State College. A California Black Caucus also met Saturday at Garden Oaks School in East Palo Alto, drawing about 300 blacks from Northern California. Assemblyman Willie Brown (Dem—San Francisco) told the delegates that a solid concentration of black political power could give them considerable influence at the Democratic National Convention in Miami in July. He encouraged them to vote for a black candidate on the first ballot at the convention, no matter who they might actually be supporting. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (Dem—New York) is the only black candidate so far. Both meetings discussed youth representation at the February 12 district caucuses which each presidential candidate will hold to recommend a slate of pledged delegates and a representative to the candidate's state organizing committee.

Leading the Stanford delegation to the youth conference were ASSU Co-President Larry Diamond, Paula Johnson, Joel Kenwood, Connie Peterson and Zach Zwerdling. They are the five members of the central committee of Northern California's NYC Conference. Diamond also serves as State Chairman of the California NYC. Sen. Alan Cranston (Dem—Calif.) told the opening session of the conference that the NYC "can do a lot to shape the choices this nation and this state make next year." He added that he shared young people's "frustration over the way things are going", but that he also believed that "change can be achieved with a little more effort and organization."

Like Cranston, State Assemblyman Ken Meade (Dem—Berkeley) spoke of the power of young people in the elctoral process. Meade noted that in 1968 President Nixon carried California by 500,000 votes and that there will be at least 1.5 million 18-24 year olds casting their first votes in 1972. Taking these figures into account, Meade said that "without carrying California, Nixon would not have been elected President in 1968 and the youth vote assures that he will not win in 1972." He advised "Don't just work within the system, take advantage of it." San Francisco Sheriff Richard Hongisto claimed that "policemen are moving us towards a police state from the bottom all the way up to Attorney General John Mitchell." Hongisto, who has been a law enforcement officer for several years, was the upset winner in his race to be elected Sheriff last year. He urged his audience to "work to destroy those racist, sexist stereotypes of our decadent society." National Chairman of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) Allard Lowenstein, a former New York Congressman and organizer of the 1968 "Dump Johnson" movement, said that "four more years of an administration steeped in deception" would be severely damaging to "the whole fabric of freedom in this country."

Speakers at the closing session of the conference were state Assemblyman John Burton, former Stanford Black Student Union president Leo Bazile, and Yvonne Westbrook unsuccessful candidate last year for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.[13]

Normalize relations with the People's Republic of China

In January 1978 Senate Majority Whip Alan Cranston urged the United States yesterday to normalize relations with the People's Republic of China "as soon as possible" along lines suggested by the Chinese. Cranston, who led a 10-member congressional delegation on a four-city tour of China, said he doesn't believe that Peking will try to take Taiwan by force if the United States renounces a mutual defense treaty in effect since 1954. The California Democrat, declaring that he feels more urgently about the need to set up diplomatic ties with China because of his trip, said, "I feel we should do so swiftly, that we should recognize the absurdity of maintaining our relationship with Taiwan on the grounds it is the government of all China. Clearly, it is not. . . Cranston noted the terms outlined by Peking for normalized relations: an end to U.S.-Taiwanese diplomatic relations although trade and cultural ties could continue; an end to the mutual U.S.Taiwanese defense treaty and withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from the island off the Asian mainland.

"I think we should proceed on those termsas soon as possible," Cranston said. Defense treaty He noted that renouncing the mutual defense treaty would eliminate a legal obligation for the United States to intervene if Peking moves militarily against Taiwan. It would not preclude such a move, however, if the United States decided one were necessary. Cranston said he discussed his views with President Jimmy Carter on Monday aboard the plane carrying Carter back to Washington from Minnesota, where he attended funeral services for Hubert Humphrey. Carter "didn't comment," he said. United States policy, as set out in the Shanghai Communique signed at the end of President Richard Nixon's trip to China in 1972, favors eventual normalization in diplomatic relations. But the question of Taiwan has been the main stumbling block. Cranston declined to say precisely how soon he thinks the United States can move toward normalized relations with Peking. "I doubt that practically it can be done this year," he said, especially in view of administration foreign policy concerns with the Panama Canal treaties and strategic arms limitation talks with the Soviet Union. Not fearful But he also said he was not fearful that the issue would be politically damaging if it were raised in advance of the 1980 presidential elections. "I think there will be some uproar and then when China doesn't make an immediate grab for Taiwan it will die down," he said.

With Cranston in China for a 14-day trip that ended a day early because of Humphrey's death were Sens. Charles Mathias (R-Md.), James Abourezk (D-S.D.), Gary Hart (D-Colo.), and Richard Lugar (R-lnd.) and Reps. Charles Whalen (R-Ohio), James Weaver (D-Ore.), Stephen Neal (D-N.C.), Fred Richmond (D-N.Y.) and Steven Solarz (D-N.Y.). The group traveled to Peking, Shanghai, Nanking and Canton, touring numerous facilities as well as holding discussions with several Chinese officials. Cranston said he found among Chinese leaders a "discouraging acceptance of the inevitably of war" because of differences between the United States and Russia.[14]

Anti anti communist

Throughout his career in the Senate, Cranston was one of the most radical in opposing aid to countries fighting Communist insurgencies like South Viet Nam and El Salvador, and for refusing to support anti-communist movements fighting for democracy in Communist dictatorships like Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique etc.

During the 1988 Presidential primaries when he was one of the Democratic contenders, he continued to show this tendency.

During the New Hampshire primary, Cranston took part in a forum for all the candidates moderated by Barbara Walters.

There were many reports at that time about the growing economic crisis in Mexico and increasing evidence of Communist agitation and subversion encouraged by Castro's Cuba. Walters asked each candidate about what his reaction would be to a Communist takeover in Mexico.

Cranston refused to be alarmed by the prospect and instead switched to a criticism of U.S. policy toward the hard-pressed anti-communist government of El Salvador. "We have backed tyrants or even imposed tyrants on other people," he said. "The Mexican government is telling the U.S. to stop what you're doing in El Salvador, stop backing the tyranny there, stop trying to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, and we will be able to take care of our problems."[15]

Cuba recognition drive

In 1972, a coalition of congressmen, radical activists and some communists spearheaded a drive to relax relations with Fidel Castro's Cuba.

Under, the auspices of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.- Mass.) and Sen. Harold Hughes (D.-Iowa), a two day conference of liberal scholars assembled in April, in the New Senate Office Building to thrash out a fresh U.S. policy on Cùba.

Among congressional sponsors of the seminar were Sen. J. William Fulbright (D.-Ark.) and Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.-N.Y.), both influential members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Sen. George McGovern (D.-S.D.), Rep. Bella Abzug (D~-N.Y.) and Rep. Ron Dellums (D.-Calif.).

Other sponsors included Senators Alan Cranston (D-CA), Mike Gravel (D - Alaska), Fred Harris (D - OK), Philip Hart (D - MI), George McGovern (D - SD) and Frank Moss (D - UT)

Congressmen Joseph Addabo (D - NY), Herman Badillo ( D - NY), Alphonzo Bell (R -CA), Jonathan Bingham (D - NY), John Brademas (D -Indiana), Donald Fraser (D - Minn.), Seymour Halpern (R - NY), Lee Hamilton (D - Ind.), Michael J. Harrington (D - MA), Patsy Mink (D -HI), Parren Mitchell (D - MD), Charles Rangel (D - NY), Thomas Rees (D - CA), William Fitts Ryan (D - NY), Ogden Reid (D - NY), Benjamin Rosenthal ( D - NY), Morris Udall ( D - AZ).

Secretary of the New York State Communist Party USA, Michael Myerson was among the observers.

One panelist, John M. Cates, Jr., director of the , Center for Inter-American Relations, matter of factly remarked during the discussions: "So why are we here'? We're here so Sen. Kennedy can have a rationale to get our country to recognize Cuba."

The conference was financed by a New York-based organization called the Fund for the New Priorities in America, a coalition of groups clearly sympathetic to many pro-Communist causes.

The Fund was virtually the same group as the Committee for Peace and New Priorities, a pro-Hanoi group which bought an ad in November 1971 in the New York Times demanding Nixon set a Viet Nam withdrawal date. Both the Fund for the New Priorities and the Committee for Peace, were located at the same address in New York.[16]

Nuclear Freeze

During the 1979 SALT II debate, Oregon's far left Republican Senator Mark Hatfield introduced an amendment that called for a “strategic weapons freeze,” which helped provide the impetus for the popular Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and would ricochet back into Washington and prompt Hatfield and other members of Congress to act.

As tensions between Washington and Moscow mounted in 1982 and the two countries built up their nuclear arsenals even further, Hatfield and other members of Congress 'heard from their constituents", who sought a way off the escalatory ladder and were calling for a “nuclear freeze” with the Soviet Union on the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

“We heard from people at every stop who knew about the nuclear freeze proposal and wanted us to support it. ‘Why not?’ they asked. We found that question difficult to answer,” Hatfield and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) later explained in their 1982 book Freeze! How You Can Help Prevent Nuclear War. “A new arms control initiative was needed to offer leadership in Congress and respond to the growing public concern,” they wrote.

On March 10, 1982, Hatfield and Kennedy joined House proponents of the freeze, including Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), to introduce a “sense of Congress” resolution based directly on a widely disseminated document, “Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race,” developed by Randall Forsberg, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology defense policy expert who would later join the board of directors of the Arms Control Association. With the backing of Hatfield and Kennedy, the effort gained broad-based popular and expert support, national attention, and increasing political momentum.

Following new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s announcement in July 1985 that the Soviet Union would forgo tests and that the Soviet Union would not test until and unless the United States began testing, the Reagan administration declined to reciprocate. In October 1986, a bipartisan group of 63 House and Senate members, led by Hatfield, Senator Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), Representative Les Aspin (D-Wis.), and others, sent a letter to Reagan urging him to reciprocate and call off the next scheduled test in Nevada, code-named Glencoe.

Cranston and Hatfield also introduced legislation seeking to bar the spending of money to carry out U.S. nuclear tests if the Soviet Union was not doing so. Their initiative did not succeed, but it would get another chance.[17]

"Friends of Ireland"

March 16 1981, twenty-four American political figures, most of them of Irish ancestry, urged an end to the fear and the terrorism and the bigotry in Northern Ireland and proposed that the Reagan Administration find a way to promote a peaceful settlement of the Ulster conflict.

In a joint St. Patrick's Day statement, the 24 - including Governor Carey, Governor Byrne, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts -announced the creation of an organization seeking to facilitate greater understanding of the positive role America can play resolving this tragic conflict.

They stressed that the organization, known as the Friends of Ireland, will seek the unification of the six counties of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic but that the goal can be reached only with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, and with full safeguards for the rights of both sections of the community.

It was the fourth consecutive year that the group had issued a statement on St. Patrick's Day calling for an end to violence in Ulster, but it was the first time it had sought to define a role for the United States. The group was set up to counter a vocal lobby for the Irish Republican Army.

Two-thirds of the people of Northern Ireland are Protestants, while the Irish Republic is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Efforts to resolve the violent conflict between Protestants and Catholics, and work out a settlement aimed at erasing the border, have been thwarted by terrorists on both sides.

The statement urged the Administration to play a constructive role in Northern Ireland and support a policy that helps bring terrorism to an end, that demands respect for the human rights of all the people of Northern Ireland, that recognizes the legitimate aspirations of both the Protestant and Catholic communities, and that strengthens the ties between two of America's closest friends - Ireland and Great Britain.

The Irish Government promptly applauded the creation of the group. In a statement released by the Irish Embassy here, Prime Minister Charles Haughey said that the links between the Irish and American peoples, which are of such long standing, will be even further strengthened by the setting up of this group.

In their statement, the political figures said that the Friends of Ireland will be open to all members of Congress and will strive to inform Congress and the country fully about all aspects of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

It will emphasize our concern, the statement said, for both the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Ireland. Besides Governors Carey and Byrne and Senators Moynihan and Kennedy, the following officials signed the statement: The Speaker of the House, Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy of Rhode Island Senator Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware, Senator Alan Cranston, Democrat of California Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, Senator Thomas Eagleton, Democrat of Missouri Senator Daniel Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii Senator, Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont Senator George Mitchell, Democrat of Maine Senator Claiborne Pell, Democrat of Rhode Island, Senator William Proxmire, Democrat of Wisconsin Representative Edward Boland, Democrat of Massachusetts, Representative Charles Dougherty, Republican of Pennsylvania Representative Thomas Foley, Democrat of Washington Representative James Howard, Democrat of New Jersey, Representative Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., Republican of California Representative Joseph McDade, Republican of Pennsylvania Representative Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts. Representative James Shannon, Democrat of Massachusetts, Representative Pat Williams, Democrat of Montana.[18]

IPS advisers

During the 1984 Democratic primaries, Institute for Policy Studies founders Marcus Raskin and Richard Barnet advised George McGovern and Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), and IPS fellow Saul Landau, an Emmy-winning filmmaker, shot some of McGovern's spots.[19]

Rapoport support

Bernard Rapoport was a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party, starting with Homer Rainey's gubernatorial campaign in 1946. He later supported Ralph Yarborough, Frances Farenthold, Ted Kennedy, Alan Cranston, and George McGovern, during whose campaign in 1972 Bernard met Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham. From 1974 onward, Rapoport donated to every one of Bill Clinton's campaigns and served as fundraiser for both presidential bids.[20]

South Africa benefit

On January 17 1986, a benefit concert was held at Oakland's Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, for the National Emergency Fund of the South African Council of Churches.

Dinner Committee Members included Hon. Alan Cranston, Hon. Leo McCarthy, Hon. Barbara Boxer, Hon. Sala Burton, Hon. Ron Dellums (a DSA member), Hon. Don Edwards, Hon. Tom Lantos Hon. George Miller, Jr. Hon. Norman Mineta, Hon. Pete Stark, Hon. Willie Brown, plus Democratic Socialists of America members Julian Bond, Nancy Skinner, Harry Britt, John Henning, Adam Hochschild, Frances Moore Lappe, Stanley Sheinbaum, Communist Party USA affiliates Wilson Riles, Jr., Maudelle Shirek, Al Lannon, and Irving Sarnoff, and radical socialists Julianne Malveaux, Drummond Pike, John George, Peter Yarrow and actor/activist Sidney Poitier.[21]

Opposed aid to El Salvador

On February 6, 1990, Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry introduced a Bill to cut off all aid to El Salvador just a few days after EI Salvador's President Cristiani had come to Washington to discuss the need for such support.

This bill was backed by four other Democratic Senators: Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Paul Simon of Illinois, Alan Cranston of California and Brock Adams of Washington state.

The Senators and Congressmen who vote against providing aid to the government of El Salvador were effectively handicapping the democratically-elected government in that area and paralleling the Communist line of the time.[22]

The Communist Party USA newspaper, the People's Daily World of January 30, 1990 stated:

Last weekend's meeting of the Communist Party, USA resolved to Mobilize to build the March 24 demonstration in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to military aid to El Salvador and intervention in Central America.

Ganz connection

On March 17, circa 1990 Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America and the Socialist Community School organized a meeting at the os Angeles Workmen's Circle with Marshall Ganz, Director of the Organizing Institute.

Ganz was described as in an advertising leaflet as;

  • Architect of Jerry Brown's campaign for state Democratic Party chairman.
  • Strategist and get out the vote drives in the 1986 Alan Cranston and 1988 Michael Dukakis campaigns
  • Former director of organizing for United Farm Workers
Come and engage in a lively discussion about the future of the democratic party and the strategy for progressive activists working within the Party.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Alan Cranston in his successful Senate run as candidate for California.[23]

Chicano movement

The 40th Anniversary Commemoration Committee of the Chicano Moratoriums was formed in the summer 2009 by the Chair of the National Chicano Moratorium Committee of August 29, 1970 along with two independent Chicano Movement historians whom although not of the baby boomer generation, have become inspired by the Movimiento.

The organization posted a list of significant “Chicano movement” activists on its website which included Alan Cranston.[24]


  1. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 37
  2. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 87a, Issue 9, 23 July 1935]
  3. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 91, Issue 8, 10 February 1937]
  4. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 104, Issue 73, 7 December 1943
  5. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 37
  6. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 37
  7. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 37
  8. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 111A, Issue 25, 18 August 1947]
  9. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 127, Issue 42, 20 April 1955]
  10. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 156, Issue 11, 10 October 1969]
  11. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 156, Issue 27, 3 November 1969]
  12. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 160, Issue 38, 17 November 1971]
  13. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 160, Issue 64, 25 January 1972]
  14. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 172, Issue 61, 18 January 1978]
  15. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 37
  16. Human Events, April 29, 1972, page 3
  17. ACA In Memoriam: Mark O. Hatfield (1922–2011), Daryl G. Kimball
  18. NY Times, 24 POLITICIANS URGE U.S. ROLE IN ENDING ULSTER STRIFE, By BERNARD WEINRAUB, Special to the New York Times March 17, 1981
  19. Left-Wing Thinkers Interview by Sidney Blumenthal Washington Post, 30 July 1986
  20. [1]
  21. EBONY & IVORY invite you to attend a dinner benefit for theNational Emergency Fund of the South African Council of Churches
  22. Communists in the Democratic Party, page 9
  23. CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
  24. Chicano Moratorium website: Moratorium Participants (accessed on April 16, 2010)