California Catholic Daily exclusive by Eric Francis

Three members of the American Solidarity Party, whose platform offers a unique combination of social conservatism and progressive-leaning economic positions, are running for office in California’s June 5, 2018 primary election.

Republicans concerned about protecting human life from conception to natural death or religious liberty in the public square and Democrats concerned about protecting undocumented immigrants or providing universal health care will feel equally at home in the American Solidarity Party.

Chino Hills resident Desmond Silveira  is running for governor. Brian T. Carroll,  of Visalia, is running in California’s 22nd Congressional district for the U.S. House of Representatives, and Anaheim resident Ed Rushman is running in California’s 46th Congressional district. Each is currently working on getting the signatures required to qualify for the ballot.

“We are a party that seeks the common good, on common ground, through common sense,” explained Los Angeles County party coordinator Jim Hanink, quoting from the party platform. “We believe in the sanctity of human life, the necessity of social justice, our responsibility to care for the environment, and promotion of a more peaceful world.”

“The ASP finds its inspiration in Catholic social teaching,” said Hanink, a retired philosophy professor at Loyola Marymount University. He digs deeper into related principles such as distributism  and communitarianism  in a Friday morning live-streamed panel called “The Open Door.”

Rushman  is a consulting technical manager in the information technology and services field. Like the ASP,  he presents himself as an alternative to America’s two-party system, or in California’s case, “one party system.” And he aims to provide “a more direct and responsive representation, free of corporate sponsorship and deals or compromises with politics as usual.”

Carroll is a junior high school teacher in Farmersville and a longtime activist. He helped bring about the public transit system Tulare county has today.

“We support small farmers and businesses against the giants,” he said. “We are not socialists. We support private ownership, but we want that ownership to be distributed to the largest number of owners possible.”