The Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio





About us



Lectures / Books / Poetry

A Democratic Socialist Perspective - articles

News / Archives / Literature

Campaign Finance Foodshed Project Living Wage Contact Elected Officials Environmental Welfare Search
Date this page last updated 07/26/04

The Free Press – Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio

2004 Annual Awards Dinner  
Saturday, May 1, 2004 - 6:00 PM

at the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, 67 East Innis Ave.
South of German Village, off South High Street
RSVP: 253-2571

The Debs-Thomas-Harrington Awards are a tradition in the DSA and the local affiliates, of which DSCO is one.  In addition, the Free Press honors community activists with the “Libby” Award and the Selma Walker lifetime Achievement Award. 

2004 Awardees: 

 * Free Press "Libby" Award (for Community Activism) - Kent Beittel and Mary Beittel

 * Eugene V. Debs Award
(for Labor Activism) - Kathleen Gmeiner

 * Norman Thomas Award
(for Peace Activism) - Tarunjit Butalia

 * Michael Harrington Award
(for Social Justice) - Pat Marida  

* Selma Walker Award  
(for Lifetime Achievement in Human Rights Activism)


Bonnie Jackson
awarded by Free Press

  Past Free Press / Democratic Socialist of Central Ohio Awardees: 
(This was able to be compiled due to the help that Suzanne Patzer provided)

 For 2003:  Was held at the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, 67 East Innis Ave.

 Ψ      Libby Award (for Community Activism) – Connie Hammond  (Chosen by Free Press staff)

 Ψ      Norman Thomas Award (for Peace Activism) – Lance Shreffler

 Ψ      Eugene Debs Award (for Labor Activism) – Don Slaiman

 Ψ      Michael Harrington Award (for Social Justice Activism) – Michael Manley

 Ψ      Selma Walker Lifetime Achievement Award (for Human Rights Activism) – Bob Fitrakis (Chosen by the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio)  


For 2002:  Was held at the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, 67 East Innis Ave.  

Ψ     Free Press "Libby" Award (for Community Activism) - Les Stansberry

Ψ      Debs -Thomas Award (for Social Justice Activism) - Bill Moss

Ψ      Selma Walker Lifetime Achievement Award (for Human Rights Activism) - Bob Allen


For 2001:  Held in conjunction with Community Shares of Mid-Ohio at the First Unitarian Universalist Church on Nov. 3  (Food provided by Gregg Gross, Pierre's, Gary Witte, Winifred Wirth, Joan Phillips and Carla McComb)

Ψ Libby Award (for Community Activism) - Marilyn Welker

Ψ Debs - Thomas - Harrington Award - George Boas

Ψ   Selma Walker Lifetime Achievement Award (for Human Rights Activism) -  Native American activist
Kenny Irwin 


For 2000  (30th anniversary of the Free Press.  No DSCO awards were given that year, but these were the recipients of Free Press Awards)

30 Libby Awards to past and present Free Press volunteers

1970s – Steve Abbott, Margaret Sarber, James Beoddy, Steve Conliff, Roger Doyle, Alive Lehman, Mimi Morris, Colin Neiburger, Steve Rothman

1980s – Duane Jager, Jennifer Blumberg, Bill Finzel, Donald Guess, Elizabeth Ann James, Gail Larned/Eric Marlow, Bob Roehm, John Quigley, Allen Zak

1990s – John Bailey, George Boas, Bill Buckel, Charlie Einhorn/Lynn Stan, Dick Embs, Rob/Lisa Lectka, Bob Powers, Tim Wagner, Gary Witte/Winifred Wirth, Marty Yant, Paul Volker – deferred to Dan Dougan

Selma Walker Award – Carol Welsh


For 1999:  

* Libby Award – (for Community Activism) – James Moss

* Eugene Debs Award (for Labor Activism) – Cathy Levine

* Norman Thomas Award (for Peace Activism) – Rev. Jeffrey Kee

* Michael Harrington Award (for Social Justice Activism) – Joan Phillips

* Selma Walker Award (for Lifetime Achievement in Human Rights Activism) - Harvey Wasserman


For 1998:  Saturday, Nov 7, 7pm, Unitarian-Universalist Church, 93 W Weisheimer Rd, Columbus OH

2nd Annual Free Press Libby Awards /Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio Deb-Thomas-Harrington Awards Dinner
The Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio is proud to honor the following progressive activists:

Speaker: David Altman, environmental lawyer


For 1997:  Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner: Follow the money - by George Boas
(This started becoming an annual event in 97)

On November 9, Midwest DSA held it First Annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner. Awardees were: 

Debs-Thomas-Harrington  Award – Donald Day, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ohio AFL-CIO

Also honored was – Baldemar Velasquez, President of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC)

For their lifelong commitment of these two men working for justice on behalf of workers. Day spoke of labor's successful campaign to defeat Issue-2.

Velasquez gave the keynote speech. He urged us to "follow the money" as the guiding principle in our activism. To illustrate his point, he told how farm workers successfully fought Campbell's Soup. Following the money, FLOC discovered that primary stockholders call the shots at Campbell's. They pressured the biggest stockholder, Philadelphia National Bank, to get Campbell's to recognize FLOC as the bargaining agent for farm workers. They persuaded depositors to withdraw their money, leafleted PNB branches, and got account holders to deposit 5 cents at a time to jam up the bank's service. The tactic worked and within a month PNB publicly urged Campbell's to negotiate with FLOC.


For 1994 

Libby (for Community Activism) – Chris Cozad

Debs (for Labor Activism) – Bob Farrington

Thomas (for Peace Activism) – Bill Barndt

Harrington (for Social Justice Activism) – Susan Young

National Lawyers Guild – Jim McNamara

The Golden Heart Award

Local attorney and fellow-peace activist Mike Smalz was awarded the Golden Heart Award this weekend in Washington D.C. at the national conference of the Association for Enforcement of Child Support.  Mike is receiving this award for his work with the Ohio State Legal Services Association that successfully sued for the state to remit millions of dollars of child support to low-income parents who were no longer on public assistance.  Mike will also be making a presentation on Child Support Distribution Issues.  Mike is member of Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio and very active in the anti-war movement.  So that you can congratulate Mike personally, you can usually find him at the Women in Black demonstration at 5:30 on Fridays at 15th and High, the Peace Demonstration at North Broadway and High St. at noon on Saturdays, and the Anti-War NION demonstration on Sunday nights at 5:00 PM at 15th and High.  CONGRATULATIONS MIKE!!    (Forwarded by Connie Hammond)


Bob Fitrakis  A founder and member of the Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio, has recently ran for School Board, and before that, Columbus City Council.  He did well in both races, narrowly missing enough votes to continue in the General election for City Council.  Bob, who has two Doctorate degrees,  is a Professor at Columbus State.   He recently earned a law degree.  Bob and his wife Suzanne are the editors of the Columbus Free Press.  

The Central Ohio Green Party, along with community activists, got enough signatures for Bob to easily get on the ballot for City Council.  Kenny Schweickart worked hard for Bob, getting over 800.

His future political plans are unclear at present, but he remains committed to unapologetically challenging the system.  

Bob has ran for Congress before, in 1992, and has ran for Columbus City Council and Board of Education.  

Listen to Bob's public affairs radio show, "Fight Back!", just recently moved to Thursday  mornings on WVKO 1580AM.   Phone line to get on air:  573-8605


Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. -- Thomas Jefferson


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Theodore Roosevelt


" Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power."

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Fascist Dictator of Italy


"By the end of the millennium five men controlled the world's media. And the people rejoiced, because their TVs told them to."

Michael Moore


"If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves."

Howard Zinn, historian and author


" The problem in defense is how far you can go [in military spending] without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without. "

President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953


" U.S. Ieaders commit war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity, as their imperial role calls for keeping subordinate peoples in their proper place and assuring a "favorable climate of investment" everywhere. They do this by using their economic power, but also ... by supporting Diem, Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto, Savimbi, Marcos, Fujimori, Salinas, and scores of similar leaders. War crimes also come easily because U.S. Ieaders consider themselves to be the vehicles of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost. It is also immensely helpful that their mainstream media agree that their country is above the law and will support and rationalize each and every venture and the commission of war crimes. "

Edward Herman, political economist and author


"The loud little handful will shout for war. The pulpit will warily and cautiously protest at first.... The great mass of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes, and will try to make out why there should be a war, and they will say earnestly and indignantly: "It is unjust and dishonorable and there is no need for war."

Then the few will shout even louder.... Before long you will see a curious thing: anti-war speakers will be stoned from the platform, and free speech will be strangled by hordes of furious men who still agree with the speakers but dare not admit it...

Next, the statesmen will invent cheap lies...and each man will be glad of these lies and will study them because they soothe his conscience; and thus he will bye and bye convince himself that the war is just and he will thank God for a better sleep he enjoys by his self-deception."

Mark Twain -- observing how wars that are at first seen as unnecessary by the mass of the people become converted into "just" wars


"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."

-Martin Luther King Jr.


"It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."

- Abraham Lincoln in a letter to William F. Elkins, Nov 21st, 1864


"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

--Hermann Goering

* Quote from Goering according to Gustave Gilbert, a psychologist, in a private conversation with Goering, during the Nuremberg trials.


"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

Joseph Goebbels


"To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That's just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them."

Michael Parenti


"If voting changed anything, it would be illegal."

On a wall in San Francisco


"We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism."

Robert Bowman, Vietnam Veteran


"Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor - with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it ..."

US General Douglas MacArthur


" The propaganda system allows the U.S. Ieadership to commit crimes without limit and with no suggestion of misbehavior or criminality; in fact, major war criminals like Henry Kissinger appear regularly on TV to comment on the crimes of the derivative butchers. "

Edward S. Herman


"The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."

Henry Kissinger


"I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these [Third World] nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own.... And if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the "haves" refuse to share with the "have-nots" by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don't want and above all don't want crammed down their throats by Americans."

General David Sharp, former US Marine Commandant


" It is legal to purchase a fully assembled Uzi machine gun in this country [United States] but it's not legal to purchase a fully assembled low-watt radio transmitter. "

Greg Ruggerio


"Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism.... Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all others."

Emma Goldman


"From 1984 to 1994, California built 21 prisons, and only one state university...the prison system realized a 209% increase in funding, compared to a 15% increase in state university funding."

The Justice Policy Institute


" Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable ... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. "

Martin Luther King, Jr.


" With unfailing consistancy, U.S. intervention has been on the side of the rich and powerful of various nations at the expense of the poor and needy. Rather than strengthening democracies, U.S. leaders have overthrown numerous democratically elected governments or other populist regimes in dozens of countries ... whenever these nations give evidence of putting the interests of their people ahead of the interests of multinational corporate interests."

Michael Parenti


" [Nearly 70% of the military budget] is to provide men and weapons to fight in foreign countries in support of our allies and friends and for offensive operations in Third World countries .. Another big chunk of the defense budget is the 20% allocated for our offensive nuclear force of bombers, missles, and submarines whose job it is to carry nuclear weapons to the Soviet Union... Actual defense of the United States costs about 10% of the military budget and is the least expensive function performed by the Pentagon... "

Rear Admiral Gene LaRoque, U.S. Navy retired


"This focus on money and power may do wonders in the marketplace, but it creates a tremendous crisis in our society. People who have spent all day learning how to sell themselves and to manipulate others are in no position to form lasting friendships or intimate relationships... Many Americans hunger for a different kind of society -- one based on principles of caring, ethical and spiritual sensitivity, and communal solidarity. Their need for meaning is just as intense as their need for economic security."

Michael Lerner


"This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq, then we take a look around and see how things stand. This is entirely the wrong way to go about it... If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely, and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war . . . our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Richard Perle, about the war on terrorism


"Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all."

John Maynard Keynes


"We will export death and violence to the four corners of the Earth in defense of our great nation."

George W. Bush, 2001


Political discussion in the United States is usually restricted to the moderate to conservative range that precludes discussion of class conflict. If "class warfare" is mentioned, it is because a conservative wants to suggest that certain matters should be kept off-limits in American political discussion"

Steve Brouwer


"The U.S. record of war crimes has been, from the nineteenth century to the present, a largely invisible one with no government, no political leaders, no military officials, no lower-level operatives held accountable for criminal actions. A culture of militarism has saturated the public sphere, including academia, endowing all U.S. interventions abroad with a patina of patriotic goodness and democratic sensibilities beyond genuine interrogation. Anyone challenging this mythology is quickly marginalized, branded a traitor or Communist or terrorist or simply a lunatic beyond the pale of reasonable discussion."

Carl Boggs


"I say, bomb the hell out of them [Iraqis]. If there's collateral damage, so be it."

U.S. Senator Zell Miller, D-GA - on the day after the September 11 attack


 "[It is] not isolationist to suggest that the United States has a special role in the world and should not adhere to every international convention and agreement that someone thinks to propose . . .A Republican administration will proceed from the firm ground of the national interest, not from the interests of an illusory international community." (Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb. 2000) 

National Security Adviser Condolezza Rice


"American capitalism, based as it is on exploitation of the poor, with its fundamental motivation in personal greed, simply cannot survive without force."

Philip Agee, CIA Diary


"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine."

William Blum, Rogue State


"The only true security comes from ensuring that all people, here and around the globe, are able to meet their basic needs and dream of a better life. At the very least, we have to make damn sure we are not the ones robbing them of that dream."

Michael Moore


“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of inhumanity.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

Stealing Money From Kids
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

If there's one thing that brings together the right and the left, and citizens and
corporations, it is the importance of education -- for stimulating the intellect, developing a moral sensibility, enhancing the civic culture, enabling a skilled workforce and creating a sense of community.

The question is: Who's willing to pay?

Not big corporations.

They instead demand cities and states offer tax breaks before they will invest in new plants and facilities. Those tax breaks, frequently in the form of property tax abatements or what is called tax increment financing (TIF, a long-term diversion of certain areas' property taxes to corporations investing in those areas), deprive schools of money.

Property tax breaks often directly siphon money away from schools, which rely heavily on property taxes as a revenue source. According to "Protecting Public Education From Tax Giveaways to Corporations," a report issued last week by the National Education Association (NEA), local property taxes constitute 65 percent of all local education funding, and 29 percent of all school funding, including local, state and federal contributions.

Property tax abatements and TIF districts cost schools hundreds of millions of dollars a year, at least.

Case studies in the NEA report, which was conducted by Good Jobs First, the leading organization studying state and local business subsidies, show that abatements and TIF districts cost schools in Texas $52 million a year. Montana schools lose $16 million a year in revenues to business tax subsidies. Abatements and TIF reduced or diverted property tax revenue for Ohio schools by $102 million in 1999.

Poor reporting rules and the diversity of jurisdictions and tax revenues make it almost impossible to determine a total cost to schools from business tax breaks.

However, some estimates have tagged the cost of local and state subsidies to business as high as $50 billion annually. This is an estimate of the total cost, not just the amount borne by schools, and some states reimburse schools, in whole or part, for revenues foregone due to property tax breaks.

The NEA report offers three recommendations to redress the problem highlighted by the study. First, there should be improved disclosure of subsidies and enforcement of conditions attached to subsidies. Second, local school boards should have a formal say -- up to and including veto power -- over subsidy decisions. Third, states should prohibit the
abatement or diversion of the school portion of property taxes.

This all seems logical enough to us.

What the report did not do was suggest what corporations' role should be in these matters. Since corporations drive the "bidding for business" game, this is an important question.

Since companies so heavily emphasize the importance of a skilled workforce, shouldn't corporations simply be willing not to ask for property tax abatements?

We decided to call up the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and find out.

We asked Marty Regalia, the Chamber's chief economist: In light of the impact on schools, should companies stop seeking tax breaks from cities and states?

That proposal, he said, is "blatantly un-American." (Yes, they really talk this way at the Chamber.)

No one forces cities and states to give tax breaks, he said. They are competing for a benefit -- new investment -- and they choose to enter the competition. If they think it is a bad deal, they are free not to offer tax breaks. "Local communities do not give away [tax breaks] at gunpoint," he said.

There is some truth to Regalia's point that cities and states are free to decline to offer tax benefits.

The problem, though, is not just that most government officials are spineless and/or indentured to business, but that there is an inherent difference in bargaining power between government and business. The companies have the power to decide where to locate. And even though most threats to move factories or offices are bluffs, in some cases, a tax break may influence a decision to locate in this town or the one next

However, property tax breaks and benefits virtually never determine whether or not a company of any size is going to undertake a new investment.

In the bigger picture, and based on the rules of the game, the outcome is always the same: the cities and states collectively lose tax revenues, the investing company always saves money that it would have been willing to pay in taxes on investments it would have made anyway.

This all comes at the expense of education, among other important government spending priorities.

The tax breaks are taking money from kids as sure as the schoolyard bully stealing classmates' lunch money -- just on a scale so large that few have been willing to call it by name.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press;

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

(This article was forwarded by DSCO Co-Chair
Simone Morgen.)

This article is posted at:

Also see:  Local Tax Abatements/Living Wage 

AND see: New study suggests tax incentives for existing companies do not produce jobs and may actually REDUCE jobs!


Also by Mokhiber and Weissman:

Corporations, War, You


NO IRAQ WAR – Yard signs are available.  I just got a shipment of 100 signs – these are available while supplies last.  Please contact Connie Hammond 614-268-2637 or  Or just meet me at the WIB vigils on every Friday or AntiWar Protests on Sunday evenings!!  (related info)


Anti-War links:    Not in Our Name    United for Peace    Veterans for Common Sense

Columbus Jobs with Justice, Regular meetings are usually the second Tuesday of
every month. Or see the website of the national organization:
Subscribe to the Columbus Labor Calendar listserv by e-mailing
<  For more information: Call 237-8440 or e-mail

Cathy J. Levine, Executive Director, UHCAN, wrote to Reg Dyck, Co-Chair of DSCO:

We wish everyone a happy -- and healthy -- New Year. We thank everyone for supporting our work during the past year and for your efforts to achieve health care justice. It looks like the Coalition for affordable Prescription Drugs has collected more than the number of signatures required to put the issue before the Ohio legislature. UHCAN Ohio has played an important role in this campaign, without any source of funding except your memberships and donations. Next year's work will include defending Medicaid coverage from cuts to the state budget. We will keep you up to date on our work, and let you know about ways you can participate. If you have not received our latest newsletter, please send us your name and address and we will add you to our mailing list. If you are able, please send a year-end donation to the address listed below. Your financial support will make it possible for us to continue and build on our efforts in these areas and others. Thank you again for your support of UHCAN Ohio.  

Cathy J. Levine, Executive Director
Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio 1015 East Main Street, Room 302
Columbus, OH 43205
phone: (614) 253-4340
fax: (614) 253-4339

Update on this campaign    

Noreen Warnock's article on the Greater Columbus Foodshed Project

Top of Page

Free Press / Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio Annual Awards Dinner   Bob Fitrakis   Iraq War   Notable Quotes   Tax Abatements