By James Thompson

Some of the people, notably G.L. Morrison and Dave Adkinson, have valiantly attempted to defend the leadership of the CPUSA and question any improprieties on the part of the party.

Below you will find an exact reproduction (with personal telephone numbers removed) of the e-mail exchange between James Thompson and John Bachtell leading up to “dropping” of James Thompson’s membership in the CPUSA. Leadership did not feel the need to file charges or even inform James Thompson of the reason for his dropping as required by the CPUSA constitution.

John Bachtell’s messages are full of contradictions. He thanks James Thompson for his e-mail response but alleges in the same message that James has made no response to his attempts to contact him. He also fails to address the fact that James Thompson contacted John Bachtell on 6/13/12 and invited him to Houston and requested the details of his visit. Bachtell did not respond until 6/30/12 demanding an immediate meeting. At this point, James Thompson was out of town on vacation and returned on 7/1/12. However, it was inconvenient to meet at this point and the day of Bachtell’s and Juan Lopez’ departure, 7/2/12, was also inconvenient since James Thompson had to work all day.

Some might ask why James Thompson did not clear his schedule to meet with John Bachtell and Juan Lopez. Of course, the obvious answer is that it was not possible. However, by the time they contacted James Thompson, it was obvious that they were attempting a hostile takeover of the Houston club. The question that went through my mind was “Why should I meet with these people who obviously have hostile intentions towards our club?” The other question that went through my mind was “How can I reasonably call together a meeting of the whole club in such a short time?” This reveals naivete on my part. John Bachtell and Juan Lopez did not want a meeting with the whole club.

In the meantime, I was receiving information from people Mr. Bachtell and Mr. Lopez met with indicating they were being told that the original Houston club was being folded into a new club which would be “shepherded” by the national office. People were also telling me that Bachtell and Lopez told them that they should ignore any e-mails from me and should not attend any meetings called by me. They also told people that Houston was not unique according to our members. They told our members that they were organizing new clubs in other cities where there were clubs that did not agree fully with the opinions of the national leadership. They cited Massachusetts as an example.

I’m reminded of the lines from Joe Hill:

“And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Says Joe, ‘What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize.

Joe Hill ain’t dead, he says to me,
Joe Hill ain’t never died.
Where working men are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side,
Joe Hill is at their side.

From San Diego up to Maine,
In every mine and mill –
Where working men defend their rights
It’s there you’ll find Joe Hill
It’s there you’ll find Joe Hill.

I am glad to be writing these little articles on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie. His fighting spirit should be an inspiration for all working people. I grew up not far from Okemah, Oklahoma, where Woody grew up. I’m proud to be an Okie even if I’m not from Muskogee. I’ve been listening to KPFT in Houston and WWOZ in New Orleans all day who have been running back to back tributes to Woody, one of the greatest members of the CPUSA.

We need more people like Woody and less people like Earl Browder and Sam Webb and their cronies.

Following is the e-mail exchange between John Bachtell and James Thompson:

Hi Pat,

We are sending this email after numerous attempts to speak with you in person and by phone, without response.

It is clear your continued actions are incompatible with membership in the Communist Party USA. Therefore, based on a discussion in the National Board you have been dropped from membership.

Please turn over all Party records and finances in your possession to the newly organized and officially recognized Houston club.

If you have any questions about this action please feel free to call me at ———-.

John Bachtell
July 8, 2012

Hi Pat,

Thanks for returning my email. We have also made several attempts to reach you by phone and have left messages to schedule a meeting with you. We have not gotten a response yet.

We would be happy to meet with you anytime and anyplace at your convenience Sunday or Monday until midafternoon when we depart.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

John Bachtell
(John provided his telephone number here)

On Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM,wrote:

My wife and I are in San Antonio now. I asked Bernard about the meeting last Sunday at our monthly meeting and he said he didn’t know anything about the meeting with you and Juan.

We will return to Houston tomorrow, however I have scheduled a phone call with a Union brother from NY at the time you propose.

I would be happy to meet with you the next time you are in Houston. Please show us the courtesy of giving us advance notice so that we can gather the whole club together to meet with you. We feel that informing us at the last minute is disrespectful.

From: John Bachtell
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 10:21:50 -0500
To: Paul Subject: Re: Meeting in Houston

Hi Pat,

As you know Juan and I are in Houston. We along with Bernard would like to meet with you while we are here. We propose 7 pm Sunday at the Kim Son restaurant (downtown at 59th and Jefferson)

Please let me know if this is good for you.



On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 9:09 PM, Paul wrote:
Dear John –

We have talked over the phone in the past.

We understand that you are likely to come to Houston in the near future. We certainly would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss our points of common ground as well as differences. Some members have already expressed interest in such a meeting. We want to work together to build maximum unity and resolve differences in a mutually respectful and beneficial manner.

However, we don’t know the details of your visit. Please let us know if you would be available to meet with us and if you need us to make arrangements for a meeting place, etc.

We look forward to welcoming you to Houston.

Peace & solidarity
Pat Thompson
Club Chair, Houston Communist Party
(Pat provided his telephone number here)