Did Maria Cantwell’s Campaign Try to Buy Off Aaron Dixon?


Aaron Dixon isn’t accustomed to selling out his ideals for career or political gains. Despite decades of community activism, as a former Black Panther and now a Green Party candidate for US Senate, Dixon’s legacy has yet to be tainted by concessions or compromise.

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s Dixon was on the front lines of the civil rights movement in Seattle. He started the Free Breakfast for School Children program, opened up a free medical clinic, as well as a free legal clinic, and worked to improve civil liberties for black students within the Seattle school system. In 2002, Dixon founded Central House, a not-for-profit organization that works to provide housing for young homeless adults, where he is still acting director.

Aside from managing his nonprofit, Dixon is running a statewide antiwar campaign against Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell in Washington State. Unlike Cantwell, Dixon is calling for an immediate unconditional withdraw of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and views his campaign as an extension of left social movements that are developing across South America and elsewhere. Needless to say, there are a few folks who are unhappy with Dixon’s campaign to oust Sen. Cantwell. And listening to Dixon tell it, they’ve done their best to persuade him to disband his campaign.

Allegedly it all started with a phone call from Mark Wilson, the former antiwar challenger to Maria Cantwell, who dropped out of the Democratic Primary halfway through the campaign to take a lofty post within the Cantwell camp. After agreeing to take the position, Wilson told a reporter that the amount of money he would be making was “confidential”, but several people familiar with the campaign say similar positions pay upwards of $8,000 a month. Apparently even antiwar positions have a price tag attached.

Unless you are Aaron Dixon, that is.

As Dixon tells it, “Mark [Wilson] called and basically told me that a lot of people have a lot of money within the Cantwell campaign, and he said that they could put on a fundraiser for Central House that would ‘blow my mind’. He called a week later and basically told me the same thing. I didn’t bite, ending this war is too important.”

When asked if exiting the race would have been contingent on there being a fundraiser for his organization, Dixon answered, “It wasn’t said directly, but it was certainly implied.”

Dixon also said that Mark Wilson was not the only Cantwell staffer to call his campaign headquarters with the hope of convincing him to drop out, but Dixon declined to elaborate.

The Cantwell campaign declined to comment on Dixon’s allegations.

Perhaps that’s just how Maria and the Democrats play ball. They attempt to buy out their opposition and support them financially if they forfeit. How’s that for embracing the democratic process? Fortunately for the antiwar movement there are candidates like Aaron Dixon who refuse to surrender.

Like Dixon said, ending this war it just too important.

JOSHUA FRANK, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, edits http://www.BrickBurner.org




JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His latest book, edited with Jeffrey St. Clair is  Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brickburner

November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate
Julian Vigo
A Brief Genealogy of Disappearance and Murder
John R. Hall
Stuck in the Middle With You
Barbara Nimri Aziz
McDonalds at 96th Street
David Rovics
At the Center of Rebellion: the Life and Music of Armand
Weekend Edition
November 20-22, 2015
Jason Hirthler
Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
Sam Husseini
The Left and Right Must Stop the Establishment’s Perpetual War Machine
Mike Whitney
Hillary’s War Whoop
Pepe Escobar
In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners
Ajamu Baraka
The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
Andrew Levine
The Clintons are Coming, the Clintons are Coming!
Linda Pentz Gunter
Let’s Call Them What They Are: Climate Liars
Nur Arafeh
Strangling the Palestinian Economy
Paul Street
Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship
Patrick Howlett-Martin
The Paris Attacks: a Chronicle Foretold
Vijay Prashad
Rebuilding Syria With BRICS and Mortar
Brian Cloughley
Why US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the Biggest Threat to World Peace