Sam Webb

Samuel Webb (born June 4, 1945) is an American activist and political leader, who served as the Chairman of the Communist Party USA from 2000 to 2014, succeeding the party's longest running leader Gus Hall. Webb did not accept nomination to be reelected as chairman at the 30th National Convention in 2014, at which John Bachtell was elected the party's new chairman. Webb continued to serve on the party's National Committee until 2016 when he renounced his party membership and joined the Democratic Party.[1]

Sam Webb
Sam Webb CPUSA.jpg
Chairman of the Communist Party USA
In office
Preceded byGus Hall
Succeeded byJohn Bachtell
Personal details
Born (1945-06-04) June 4, 1945 (age 75)
Maine, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic Party (2016–present)
Other political
Communist Party USA (1978–2016)
Alma materSt. Francis Xavier University, (B.A., Economics) University of Connecticut, (M.A., Economics)


Samuel Webb was born in Maine and graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1967. He holds an M.A. in economics from the University of Connecticut.[2] He worked as a Communist Party organizer in Michigan from 1978–1988.[2]

Webb led the CPUSA when it made the decision to support some Democratic candidates in the 2004 presidential election. While the Party regarded both major parties as two capitalist entities in a collaborative dictatorship for established financial institutions, it believed that rule by the Democrats was preferable to rule by the Republicans, arguing that the latter puts the interests of working people in considerable danger.[3] During the 2008 election, Webb called President Obama a "people's advocate" and said that some of his early decisions, in reversing some of President George W. Bush's policies,[clarification needed] were praiseworthy.[4]

In 2005 Webb wrote Reflections on Socialism, a paper reflecting ideas that Webb first presented at the 2005 Left Forum in New York City. This paper points out that socialism is once again being discussed in the trade union and student movements, in popular magazines and certainly in the halls of power worldwide.[5]

Webb traveled to China,[6] Britain, Cuba,[7] and Vietnam,[6] in order to meet communist and socialist leaders.

On February 4, 2011 Webb published an essay in the Communist Party magazine Political Affairs, "A Party of Socialism in the 21st Century: What It Looks Like, What It Says, and What It Does". It set forth positions that came under sharp criticism from Communist parties across the world, as well as a portion of CPUSA members, as being revisionist, social democratic, and anti-Communist. These parties included the Communist Parties of Canada,[8] Mexico,[9] Germany[9] and Greece[10] as well as the CPUSA Houston club,[11] the Austin Hogan Transit Club of NYC,[12] the CPUSA Tucson Club,[13] the LA Metro Club,[14] and the Communist Party of San Francisco.[15]

In 2014, Webb did not seek reelection as the National Committee's chairman and stepped down from office. At the 30th National Convention of the Communist Party USA, John Bachtell was elected as the new Chairman of the National Committee, thereby ending Webb's 14 years as the party's leader.

In 2015, Webb resigned from the National Committee and renounced his party membership, declaring himself to be in favor of liquidating the party. He came out in full support of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary and condemned Bernie Sanders and his supporters for breaking the unity of the Democratic Party.[16]


  1. ^ Bachtell, John. "Standing together in protest: unity will trump hate".
  2. ^ a b Hoffmann, Leah (February 14, 2006). "The Communist: Sam Webb". Forbes. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  3. ^ Webb, Sam (September 28, 2008). "Finances and the Current Crisis: How did we get here and what is the way out?". Political Affairs Magazine. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  4. ^ "Honoring Ohio's unsung heroes of 2008 elections". People's Weekly World. December 2, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009.
  5. ^ Reflections on Socialism, Communist Party USA, June 4, 2005.
  6. ^ a b Margolis, Dan. "CPUSA Delegation returns from China, Vietnam". People's Weekly World. December 22, 2006; retrieved December 14, 2011 at CPUSA website Archived June 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Musa, Arnaldo (June 2004). "U.S. leader highlights combative spirit of the Cuban Five". Granma International. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  8. ^ "From the Communist Party of Canada: Lessons from Our History: Resolution adopted by the Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada". Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Jay (October 14, 2011). "Marxist update: Critiques of Sam Webb's CPUSA revisionism". Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  10. ^[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Houston Communist Party". Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  12. ^ "Time to change the line". April 13, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  13. ^ jarnoldski (March 7, 2013). "Where to Begin? The Communist Party USA and The Present Crisis". Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  14. ^ "Houston we have a problem…". July 22, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "Traffic Overload". Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  16. ^ Webb, Sam. "Bernie or Bust?".

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Gus Hall
Chair of Communist Party USA
2000 – 2014
Succeeded by
John Bachtell