[Marxism] Who is David Cobb?

Paul H. Dillon illonph at pacbell.net
Wed Jul 14 13:36:20 MDT 2004


I personally know David Cobb since he lives here in Eureka when not on the
road and  he is active with the local Greens and Democracy Unlimited of
Humboldt County, an anti-corporate organizing group that has been
instrumental in helping to keep big boxes and other corporate activities out
of the area.  They were also instrumental in the actions of the Arcata City
Council when it instructed its police department not to enforce the
unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act (actions that had been
illegal prior to the Patriot Act's passage) and not to cooperate with
federal officials who requested them to carry out such actions.    I had a
long conversation with him driving from a Green party gathering in southern
Humboldt County back to Eureka. He is a pragmatic perhaps closer to
Kucinich -- uses the kind of political calculus that Kucinich described to
Amy Goodman on today's Democracy Now! He recognized the danger to Kerry's
election that a division in the democratic party over immediate withdrawal
from Iraq would cause and so desisted.  I believe Cobb thinks like that but
recognizes that the Green strategy should be to gain local offices.  He's
just using the presidential candidacy as a vehicle for Green party building
but aimed really at taking control on the local level as we have done
increasingly up here. (yes, i confess to being a registered green).     I
don't know about many of the Texas-related charges but I can say that Cobb
has not shown authoritarian tendencies in any of the actions we've been part
of together (eg, pre-Iraq war demonstrations).  I'll also say this, if he
were to be elected, his  first lady, Kaitlin - director of Democracy
Unlimited,  would be the bulldog in the house for attacking the


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>; "PEN-L list" <PEN-L at SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 10:23 AM
Subject: [Marxism] Who is David Cobb?

> Counterpunch, July 14, 2004
> Chronicle of a Nomination Foretold
> The Green Deceivers
> (clip)
> So who is this new champion of the Greens, David Cobb? In the 1990s,
> Cobb, who markets himself as a working class hero, lived in Houston,
> where he worked as a lawyer for an insurance company, the bane of Nader
> and most poor people. There, according to a former colleague, Cobb's
> duties included finding ways to deny claims to injured parties and sick
> people.
> Cobb ran the local Green Party as a tiny autocracy, unilaterally
> deciding which issues to take a stand on. According to several Houston
> Greens, Cobb proved to be both politically timid, extremely calculating
> and heavy-handed. In 1996, Cobb refused to oppose a local referendum on
> a taxpayer-financed stadium, which ended up only being opposed by
> libertarians. Cobb told a local Green organizer: "That vote was doomed
> to lose so we didn't waste our time on it." Grassroots organizing?
> Hardly. This is top-down organizing at its most petty and
> Another example from Texas. In 2000 during the peak of Bush's killing
> spree, a group of anti-death penalty activists got arrested during a
> protest outside the killing chamber in Huntsville before the execution
> of Gary Graham. They soon circulated a letter of support through the
> progressive community. Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn signed on, as did
> many local groups and churches. But not the Houston Greens. Not at
> first, anyway. Cobb objected. According to an anti-death penalty
> activist, Cobb said he didn't want the Greens associated with the
> campaign to save Graham from the lethal needle because "he might be
> guilty." What does guilt have to do with moral opposition to the death
> penalty? What kind of courage does it take to oppose the execution of
> the innocent?
> Eventually, more humane hearts in the local Green community over-ruled
> Cobb and the party finally signed on. But too late to do Gary Graham any
> good.
> Bob Buzzanco, a history professor and radical activist at the University
> of Houston, has watched Cobb's political peregrinations for many years.
> "When the war broke out, in 2003, a group of Students at the University
> of Houston, where I'm a professor, began to organized a peace group, and
> I was an advisor to them," recalls Bob Buzzanco. "Cobb and the Greens
> came to one of their meetings and acted in a most aggressive way and I
> had to publicly tell them that it was inappropriate to try to hijack a
> student peace group for the Greens."
> What about Palestine? Nader recently denounced both Kerry and Bush as
> being owned by the Israeli lobby in DC. But don't expect David Cobb to
> stand up against the rampages of the Sharon government. Buzzanco had a
> radio show on the local Pacifica station in Houston, KPFT. In 2002, he
> came under attack from local liberals for his commentaries on the
> rampages of the Sharon regime, a campaign that finally resulted in
> Buzzanco being placed under an internal investigation by Pacifica's
> thought police.
> "The local Greens were a major player in the Zionist slander campaign
> here," Buzzanco told me. "Two of Cobb's friends, George Reiter and Deb
> Shafto, were using KPFT as a campaign vehicle, to the detriment of other
> Left parties. They were front and center in the campaign calling me and
> others anti-semitic. When I talked to Cobb about it, he did nothing, far
> more concerned about getting that 0.001 percent of the vote than in
> being accountable for their candidates. The Houston Greens were a mess
> and Cobb was, in my estimation, an ego-driven charlatan."
> But take comfort. At least he's not a millionaire ... not yet anyway.
> full: http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair07142004.html
> -- 
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