He ran in 1976 as the candidate of the U.S. Labor Party. In 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 he entered (and lost) the Democratic Party primary, then ran as an independent candidate in the general election. In 2004 he again entered the Democratic primary, but did not run as an independent and endorsed John Kerry in the general election. The Democratic Party does not recognize LaRouche as a Democratic candidate[Citation Needed] and does not grant credentials to his delegates, although he typically wins a handful of delegates in some state primaries.[Citation Needed] In the 1980 election season he participated in New Hampshire Democratic primary debates. His presidential campaigns were notorious in the 1980, 1984, and 1988 elections for his use of FDR's "economic royalist" rhetoric and running half-hour paid advertisements on television forecasting imminent economic collapse unless he was elected and his radical Socialist agenda enacted.
LaRouche was a member of the Socialist Workers Party from 1948 to 1957. During the late 1960s following his expulsion from the Socialist Workers Party he taught a class on Marxist theory and picked up a small following of leftist students in New York. In this period he used the pen-name of Lyn Marcus. His following became the nucleus of his political movement under the umbrella group called the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC) and published a newspaper, New Solidarity. During the early 1970s LaRouche's NCLC became known as one of the most preeminent groups of the 1960s New Left with violent attacks in 1973 on members of rival leftist sects such as the Communist Party which LaRouche called "Operation Mop-Up". In 1974 LaRouche's organization was in an alliance with the followers of another far left group led by Fred Newman, who would go on to form the left-wing New Alliance Party in the 1980s. The U.S. Labor Party was the electoral vehicle for LaRouche and his followers during the 1970s. Around the time of his 1976 run for President on the U.S. Labor Party ticket, LaRouche modified his rhetoric. After 1978 and throughout the 1980s and 1990s LaRouche was branded by other Socialists as a fascist with a committed core of leftist followers. His organization formed a number of affiliated groups such as the Schiller Institute, and publications such as 21st Century Science and Technology and Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) magazines and New Federalist newspaper. LaRouche served a prison term from 1988 to 1994 over mail fraud and tax charges involving fundraising by his political organization.
Organization and Supporters
His organization has been the subject of ongoing controversy among leftists and extremists from the early 1970s to the present over allegations it is a cult and uses cult-like techniques on members. Specific allegations are over the violent "Operation Mop-Up" attacks in 1973; deprogramming sessions LaRouche held on his members in 1973-4; the death of Jeremiah Duggan in 2003 after attending a LaRouche Youth Movement conference and the question of whether or not it was a suicide; the suicide of Ken Kronberg, the head of a LaRouche-affiliated printing business, in 2007 following a morning briefing by LaRouche; and fundraising and recruitment tactics by the LaRouche organization. LaRouche supporters spend long hours collecting funds for the organization and selling books and magazine subscriptions, and can frequently be spotted tabling at airports and outside post offices and subways.
LaRouche supporters are usually referred to as 'LaRouche Democrats' or 'LaRouchies'. In 1986, two LaRouche Democrats won the primary election in Illinois for Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor, promoting the winner of the primary for Governor, Adlai Stevenson III, to run on the 'Illinois Solidarity Party' ticket instead, refusing to run with LaRouche followers. LaRouche followers have otherwise been notably unsuccessful at the polls.