The Philadelphia Socialists have turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money for their operations.

Here is their pitch;

Who We Are

Philly Socialists is a locally-based political organization which was founded in 2011. In that time we have become one of the leading activist organizations in Philadelphia and one of the most dynamic socialist groups in the nation, with a number of accomplishments to our name.

What We Can Do With Your Support

With your help, in 2015 we plan on:

  • Expanding our reach by organizing a new branch in the city (taking us up to three active branches in Philly).
  • Continue offering our free GED classes for working class Philadelphia residents and free English classes for non-native speakers and new residents.
  • Take on and win a number of fights defending tenants against the predations of greedy slumlords.
  • Launch an independent tenants union based on the successes we’ve had with tenant organizing among working class residents.
  • Host a number of political education events to promote socialist, proletarian and working class ideas to Philadelphia residents.
  • Maintain a presence and offer additional support to the mass protest movements which periodically spring up in the city, with a special emphasis on feminist and anti-racist solidarity.
  • Hold a block party celebration at the site of our community garden.
  • And much more!

Why We Need Your Help

To retain a resolutely independent political perspective and an orientation toward class struggle, Philly Socialists has always strived for financial independence. From the beginning, we’ve avoided taking donations from foundations, unions, political parties, nonprofit institutions, as well as businesses (big or small). This has allowed us to navigate our own course free from meddling by bigger political players.

But this also means we rely heavily on the financial support of our members and sympathizers. Our activist members make regular monthly contributions (dues) to provide us with a budget for flyers, clipboards, posters, banners, supplies, and all the other infrastructure necessary to operate a political movement.

But we also sometimes need to ask for one-time donations from our members and supporters. We keep our solicitation to a minimum, but now is one of those times we need your support. Our goal of $10,000 through this one-time fundraiser will allow us to provide small stipends to as many as three (3) part-time organizers.

Other Ways You Can Help

We’re an activist organization composed of and fighting for poor and working class people. Not everyone in our group can make a financial contribution, but everyone can do something. If you live in Philadelphia, consider getting involved in our organizing efforts; we always have something popping. If you can’t help us meet our fundraising goals and you aren’t able to get involved in our activist work, please help us spread the word and share this Indiegogo campaign with sympathetic friends.

At least they’re out in the open.

The best part of the campaign though isn’t the Philly Socialist t-shirt or the radical art that you can get in return for a contribution but for the true believers willing to contribute $5,000, the chance to have a tractor or other heavy equipment factory will be named after you.once the Revolution has occurred.

I guess the Socialists don’t see the irony in using a Capitalist tool like crowdfunding to raise money for their very anti-Capitalist goals.

Mitt Romney handily won the New Hampshire primary last night and became the first Republican to win both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary in the same year.

The victory came despite a heavy barrage of attacks on Romney’s time as the CEO of  private equity firm Bain Capital where Romney accumulated most of his overall wealth.

While there is nothing wrong in attacking an opponent, it is the level and intensity of the attacks launched by Newt Gingrich that have raised the ire of conservatives.

Gingrich who promised to run a positive campaign in Iowa and was largely undone by Romney’s SuperPAC ads, put on his boxing gloves and hit Romney with Super PAC ads of his own as well as statements on the campaign trail that heavily criticized the former Massachusetts governor for the tactics Bain used in buying and restructuring companies while he was CEO.

The problem with the attacks is that they in essence criticized Romney for being a capitalist and served only to delight Democrats for having done the work for them.

Romney, who is the current front-runner for the Republican nomination spent the last week fending off the criticism, and it didn’t appear to hurt him too much if at all in New Hampshire, but if Gingrich keeps this up, it could seriously wound Romney’s campaign as he heads to South Carolina.

While Gingrich foundered in new Hampshire and is liming into South Carolina, he has managed to raise the ire of Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives who claim that the ads, as well as a forthcoming mini-movie are not helping the GOP, but doing the work of Obama and the DNC for them.   Others have compared Gingrich to members of the Occupy movement by labeling Romney as a “one-percenter” at a time when that has a largely negative connotation.

Even Rick Perry who is barely hanging on at this point has called Romney a “vulture capitalist” and not a “venture capitalist”.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, many of the companies Bain invested in during Romney’s tenure went bust, but several were very successful.  Bain had hoped that most if not all their investments would be successful and profitable, but they also knew that they were investing in distressed companies and that nothing is guaranteed.

It’s never easy when people lose their jobs and companies go out of business, but that is our system.  Bain wanted to make their investments work out for all involved, but sometimes businesses are just too far gone for that to occur.

If Romney wins the nomination and the right to face President Obama in November, you can bet that after watching Gingrich’s ability to ding Romney on his role at Bain, it will be a central part of the Democrats campaign against him.

All the Republicans have to do is look and see how giddy Chris Matthews and the gang are at MSNBC as well as Obama’s own advisers to know that they the anti-Bain campaign will come back to haunt them in November.

The Occupy Wall Street movement which is both leaderless and agendaless is now struggling with what to do with  what do with the homeless who show up to their encampments for shelter and  food and those that are trying to profit off the protest by selling merchandise.

The Atlantic Wire reports on this has caused some resentment from the OWS faithful.

Seven different New York Times reporters scoured encampments across the nation and looking for homeless people. They found many, but came up with little hard data on how many protesters are actually homeless: “Some organizers estimated that as many as 30 percent of the people camping out in some cities were chronically homeless, a figure that seems impossible to verify.” While showing up for camaraderie, a warm meal, and a chance to protest one’s economic situation doesn’t seem out of bounds from the movement’s original principles, The Times did find some protesters who are not pleased with the developments. “It’s bad for most of us who came here to build a movement,”  Zuccotti Park protester Hero Vincent told the paper. “We didn’t come here to start a recovery institution.”

Apparently the homeless are not part of the 99%.

Earlier last month the OWS organizers in New York shut down their kitchen temporarily when they realized that the homeless were showing up for a hot meal.

Can’t have the riff-raff ruining the image of the movement now can we?

Then there is the question of making money off the protest.

The New York Daily News reports on one woman’s efforts to profit from OWS.

A  Midwood t-shirt maker is cashing in on Occupy Wall Street by selling her “ioccupy” wares at Zuccotti Park – and defending her hustle as part of the American Dream.

Gloria Erani, 27, set up shop at the epicenter of the growing global movement hawking shirts for $15 apiece in front of the tents lining Liberty Street.

Unlike other OWS vendors, who mainly sell art and buttons and give their profits to the protesters, Erani is proudly keeping the cash.

“Growing up in Brooklyn, I got to see a small business hustle. My dad owns a shoe store on Kings Highway; retail is on our blood,” said Erani, as customers thumbed through the pile of simple black and white tees.

But OWS members want her out, saying she’s exploiting their cause of stopping capitalistic exploitation.

“It’s called predatory capitalism. She’s using our movement to make money,” said Christopher Guerra, 27, who sicced the computer hacker group Anonymous on Erani last week.

“I warned her – ‘you keep doing this, you are going on the Internet,'” Guerra said.

Erani said she choose to print “ioccupy” on the clothes since “everyone loves Apple” products and “I feel it would sell very well.”

And her hunch is profitable: Erani said she’s sold about 75 shirts during her weekly visits to Zuccotti, telling prospective buyers their cash will support the local economy.

“It’s a chain reaction. It keeps money circulating. Now I can help my local grocer,” Erani told two British tourists eyeing the tees.

Proud dad Chuck Erani, 55, who has ran his shop Chucky’s Designer Shoes for 30 years, said his daughter is doing what Americans do best – turning an idea into dollar bills.

“My daughter is out there working, hustling to make a buck to pay her rent,” said Chuck Erani. “I am happy she’s standing up for her capitalistic entrepreneurial rights.”

Erani is making pocket change with her t-shirts and the real ire should be directed at OWS’s bulging back account which has reached an estimated $500,000 and continues to grow without any plans on to distribute it to those that are really in need.

Hypocritical?  You bet.