LaRouche backs Kerry for president

Lyndon LaRouche, a former democratic presidential pre-candidate in the primary election last May, has now endorsed Massachusetts senator John Kerry in his bid for the presidency.

This endorsement may come as a surprise to those who are familiar with LaRouche who, during his campaign, was an outspoken critic of the senator.

“We have someone that is qualified,” said LaRouche spokesman Harley Schlanger.

According to Schlanger, LaRouche commenced his endorsement on July 29 at the Democratic National Convention where, he says, LaRouche called for a political action committee, coined LaRouche PAC, to register and mobilize voters for Kerry.

“Like more and more Oregonians, LaRouche has come to the conclusion that George Bush continues to take our nation in the wrong direction when it comes to health care, the economy, and the war in Iraq,” said Lisa Sohn the Oregon Communications Director for the Kerry campaign, in response to the endorsement.

Schlanger says he still believes LaRouche is more qualified for the job than Kerry.

“As an economist, he has never missed a forecast,” said Schlanger.

LaRouche became a household name here at PSU last spring when a group of his supporters demonstrated nearly every day of the primary election season. Since his defeat in May, they had all but left, although they have been back on occasion to campaign on Kerry’s behalf and to disperse LaRouche literature and pamphlets.

Throughout the course of his political career, in which he sought office eight times, LaRouche has drawn criticism for his offbeat theories and boisterous claims.

In fact, a number of critics have labeled him a racist and a fascist, claiming his progressive image is a mere front, obscuring a far-right cultist agenda.

Though their intended purpose is to insure Kerry’s election, LaRouche PAC still recruits at college campuses for the “LaRouche Youth Movement,” a practice that has also drawn much criticism from those that believe that the LaRouche organization is nothing more than a conspiracy theory-based political cult.

At an open public meeting last spring Schlanger claimed that LaRouche told him, “my chances of winning (this election) are better than the chances of humanity surviving if I don’t win.”

Representatives from the Kerry camp believe the endorsement is part of a trend of growing support for his campaign and distaste in President George W. Bush, though they have yet to comment on LaRouche as person or politician.