James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was named honorary chairman Thursday of retired Superior Court Judge Bruce W. Sumner’s write-in campaign for Congress against Art Hoffmann, a Lyndon LaRouche Democrat.
Roosevelt, 78, a retired Marine brigadier general from Newport Beach, said members of the extremist Democratic faction have been falsely claiming that their beliefs are synonymous with his father’s New Deal politics.
By quoting FDR, LaRouche and his backers create “a cloak of respectability” about their theories, Roosevelt said. But, he added, “the kind of things he (LaRouche) says are not in line with anything my father stood for. LaRouche has accused everybody he could possibly think of, of being subversive of one thing or another.” Conspiracy theories were not part of the New Deal, Roosevelt said.
He added that LaRouche “stands for some things that the Democratic Party attacks and attacks some of the things we do stand for . . . help for people who need programs in times of stress.”
LaRouche, a Leesville, Va., writer and a candidate for President in 1988, claims he can revive the Democratic Party with a platform that includes screening and quarantining AIDS victims, reviving steel production and exposing former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger’s alleged alliance with international drug traffickers. As part of an effort to boost LaRouche’s chances, LaRouche candidates are running for state and congressional office this year in primaries around the nation.
In Orange County, Democratic leaders discovered about 10 days after the March 7 filing date that LaRouche follower Hoffmann, a 29-year-old technical writer, was the only Democrat to have filed for the 40th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Robert E. Badham (R-Newport Beach).
In an effort to prevent Hoffmann from becoming the Democratic standard bearer by default, Sumner, who is also a former state assemblyman and the chairman of the Democratic Central Committee of Orange County, entered the race as a write-in candidate.