Politics & Policy

Kilroy’s Past a Little Pinker than Today

Evidently, Ohio Congresswoman (and self-proclaimed moderate Democrat) Mary Jo Kilroy may have been a full-blown socialist at one point. This attack line emerged last week and has gotten surprisingly little play in the Ohio press, or with the Stivers campaign, which suggests it’s either not credible or just hasn’t gotten that much exposure. Either way, the accusation’s worth considering. First, here’s the story from New Zeal:

Evidence has emerged that in the early 1990s, Mary Jo Kilroy, then an Ohio lawyer and activist, was a member of the U.S.’s largest Marxist-based organization, Democratic Socialists of America (D.S.A.).

Furthermore, while running as a Democrat, Mary Jo Kilroy was backed by her D.S.A. comrades in her both unsuccessful (2006) and successful (2008) races for U.S. congress.

D.S.A. has long been influential inside the Ohio Democratic Party. In 1990 D.S.A. member Tom Erney unsuccessfully ran for Congress on the Democratic Party ticket. in 1992, D.S.A. member Bob Fitrakis, also ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat.

According to the D.S.A.’s newsletter – the Democratic Left, November/December 1992, page 9, the socialists did have one success in 1991. They elected D.S.A. member Mary Jo Kilroy to the local school board.[…]

Kilroy was also named as a D.S.A. member in Democratic Left, July/August 1992, page 11, as part of a report on a D.S.A. National board meeting in Washington D.C.The text indicates that Kilroy actually attended this high level D.S.A. meeting.[…]

The Center for Democratic Values, the think-tank project of Democratic Socialists of America, held its first national conference, “Arguing with the Right,” November 6-7 1997 at the Clarion Hotel Columbus Ohio, in conjunction with the DSA national convention.

The conference will include historical and analytical sessions, plus skills workshops for contesting the Right’s current dominance of American political discussion.

Workshops included “Arguing for Public Schools”: Mary Jean Collins and Mary Jo Kilroy (Columbus Board of Education).Ten years later, Mary Jo Kilroy was Democratic Party candidate for Congress in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.

Boy, if these documents turn out to be accurate, Kilroy might be in for a Reverend Wright moment. Granted, a lot about someone’s views can change in 10 years, but I don’t see voters being forgiving of a candidate with a history of being red under the bed. I mean, these are real, live socialists! If this is true, I think it even passes the David Frum smell test. Ball’s in your court, Kilroy campaign.

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