The Communist Party USA (1919- ), also known for a period of time as the Workers Party of America (1921-1929), did not consistently have ballot access in New York. The Encyclopedia of New York State indicated it had ballot access as the Workers Party for 1924-1928 and as the Communist Party for 1930-1936, 1942, 1970-1980, and 1984.
It may not have ever had any candidates for office from Lansingburgh or Troy. On rare occasion, statewide candidates spoke in downtown Troy.
The only connection to Lansingburgh would seem to have been that during 1953-1954 a couple people alleged in hearings that some members of the Rensselaer County American Labor Party were also members of the Communist Party. The American Labor Party did have some candidates for office who were from Lansingburgh. However, as there do not seem to have been any criminal prosecutions that resulted from those hearings, it’s hard to be sure how creditable the allegations were.
OFFICIAL RESULT OF VOTES CAST AT LAST ELECTION
[Frank T.] Johns, Socialist-Labor candidate for President got 263 votes in the county. [William Z.] Foster, the Workers party nominee, polled a total of 138. […]
[Norman] Thomas, Socialist candidate for Governor, polled 1,010 votes in the county. [Frank E.] Passono, Socialist-Labor nominee, got 129 and [James P.] Cannon, who ran on the Workers party ticket obtained 61.
Troy Times. November 28, 1924: 5 col 3.
The Workers’ Party of America, running William Z. Foster and Benjamin Gitlow as candidates for President and Vice President of the United States, will open its campaign in Troy with two meetings this week. The first will be tomorrow night and the second will be held Friday evening. Both meetings will be held on the corner of Federal and River Streets at 89 o’clock. A local Campaign Committee will conduct an extensive campaign in Troy.
Troy Times. July 2, 1928: 4 col 8.
The meeting at which Robert Minor, Workers’ (Communist) party candidate for Senator, will speak, was announced in these columns next Sunday. it is to be held Sunday afternoon, September 14, at 3 o’clock at Domino Hall [22 Fourth Street].
Troy Times. September 8, 1928: 7 col 4.
J. Louis Engdahl, candidate of the Communist Party for Lieutenant Governor, will address a meeting at 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon at Domino Hall at 22 Fourth Street. Mr. Engdahl, head of the International Labor Defense, with headquarters in New York, is active head of the ticket while the “Red” candidate for Governor, William Z. Foster, is serving a term at Hart’s Island Penitentiary, New York, for participating in the demonstration of “unemployed workers” in Union Square [bottom of microfilm of newspaper cut off].
Troy Times. October 3, 1930: 18 col 5.
Israel Amter, Communist candidate for representative-at-large, will address a rally at Odd Fellows’ Hall on Fourth Street Sunday at 8 p.m., sponsored by the Albany-Rensselaer Counties Committee of the Communist Party. Max Gordon, organizer for the Communist Party, will also speak.
Amter is the only state candidate on his ticket and was originally candidate for governor, but declined the nomination to accept that of representative. Mr. Gordon was recently arrested in Cohoes for distributing communist literature without a permit. His case is now before Supreme Court Justice Pierce H. Russell on application for a writ of habeas corpus.
Times Record. October 25, 1938: 8 col 8.
A talk on social issues will be given by Max Gordon, organizer for the Communist Party in Albany and Rensselaer counties, at a Communist Party rally at 81 Fourth Street tomorrow night. Guest speaker for the meeting will be Israel Amter, Communist candidate for Congressman=-at-large.
Times Record. October 29, 1938: 9 col 3.
Party’s Appeal for Venue Change to Be Argued Monday at Albany
Presiding Justice James P. Hill of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court today granted an order temporarily staying the hearing before Justice William H. Murray here of proceedings in which Spencer C. Young of New York, Democratic-American Labor candidate for state comptroller, seeks the removal of the candidates of the Communist Party and of three other minor political parties from the November ballot. […]
Norman Thomas, veteran Socialist leader, asked Herbert H. Lehman, Democratic senatorial nominee and former governor, to use his influence in halting the attempt to ban the minor parties.
The plea for a change of venue by the Communist Party is traced to the fact that in 1940 Justice Murray, presiding in Greene and ALbany Counties, in a similar hearing ruled that the signatures were void and barred the party candidates at the fall election.
Earl Browder, leader of the Communist Party at the time, was among those who testified on behalf of the party. Justice Murray’s decision in that year was affirmed by the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals.
The examination of 24 witnesses yesterday brought the total to 39 City of Rensselaer residents who have testified that through deception they signed the Communist Party nominating petitions.
Every witness denied membership to the Communist Party and said that unintentionally and unknowingly they added their names to the petitions which, they thought and were told, were for “the betterment of working conditions for veterans.”
A number of Negro residents of Rensselaer declared on the witness stand that they were told the petitions were for the anti-poll taxes and anti-lynching.
In each case, witnesses declared that the top of the petition (bearing the name of the Communist Party) was concealed by a wide rubber band or a purse. The two women canvassers, one from New York City and another from Schenectady, did not disclose the name of the party or the true purpose of the petitions, it was alleged.
Frederick J. Link of Rensselaer testified that he asked to see the petition and that the canvasser would not comply with his request and that he signed the petition “to get rid of her.”
S. J. Burdick of Rensselaer said that the women claimed they represented the American Labor Party and that he signed under those conditions.
Others who testified yesterday afternoon were Paul F. Nuttall, Dorothy A> Link, Joseph Van Buren, Joseph Hunt, Emma King, Joseph Perry and Marie Gaylord, all of Rensselaer.
In addition to the Communist Party, Young is attempting to bar the Socialist Workers, Industrial Government [AKA Socialist Labor] and Socialist Parties, claiming that each obtained some of its petition signatures through deception.
Times Record. September 26, 1946: 19 col 3, 34 col 5.