Mike Hersh | mikehersh.com | Oct 27, 2004
In this critical 2004 Presidential Election, there are several names on the ballot, but only two men can win: George W. Bush or John F. Kerry. We all know this. Progressives and liberals cannot control what other people do, but we can control what we do - and that brings us to the Nader Question. It's important to respect Ralph Nader, and recognize his right to run for office any way he likes. He has that right and people have the right to vote for Nader if they want.
This isn't about challenging or denying rights. This is all about asking if it's right for Nader (and his supporters) to work for votes in swing states - as opposed to states where Bush or Kerry have safe leads. I believe it's wrong, especially considering the Nader Legacy. Especially considering the Bush record. You or someone you know may disagree. I hope to change minds, because Nader and his supporters have done so much good for the planet.
Ralph Nader made a career of telling the truth and exposing lies. He served America well, leading and inspiring people to demand better from powerful institutions and - when that failed - working to hold them accountable. Using his example, we should analyze Nader's actions and hold him accountable for them. There are important reasons many well-known Nader supporters including Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Nader's two-time running mate Winona LaDuke - advocate voting for Kerry - at least in swing states.
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A Debate on Ralph Nader's Candidacy Democracy Now! October 26th, 2004
With a week to go before the November 2 election, the race for the White House appears to be heading into a dead heat. Most major polls put President Bush and John Kerry neck and neck. Both candidates have more or less stopped traveling to any states not designated as battleground states and have consolidated their efforts in a few key pockets of the country. Their campaign buses pass through places like Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin and Colorado. These states also get bombarded with campaign TV ads. But as Bush and Kerry crisscross the swing states eating pancakes, hunting geese and visiting factories, they are not alone. Well, maybe when it comes to hunting geese.
Independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader is heading into the final stretch of his campaign. And like the two major party candidates, his calendar is all about the battleground states.... The head of the Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe and other party leaders have charged that Nader's is a vanity campaign that could help Bush retain power. Nader says his candidacy hurts Bush more than Kerry. But it's not just the Democrats mobilizing against Nader. Many of his most prominent supporters from his previous campaigns have jumped ship this year. People like Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Phil Donohue, Tim Robbins and Cornell West to name a few.
Many of them have signed onto a letter urging people to vote for John Kerry in all swing states, saying "For people seeking progressive social change in the United States, removing George W. Bush from office should be the top priority in the 2004 presidential election. Progressive votes for John Kerry in swing states may prove decisive in attaining this vital goal." [Complete Article]
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Helen Dewar and Paul Farhi | Washington Post | October 23, 2004
Ohio's Supreme Court rejected Ralph Nader's effort to get his name on the state ballot yesterday, in a blow to the independent presidential candidate but a possible boon to the hopes of Democrat John F. Kerry....
The ruling was the second setback in five days for Nader in the critical swing state. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit turned down Nader's request to delay a federal judge's decision that removed him from the Ohio ballot....
In its ruling yesterday, the court said Nader's campaign waited too long before raising that claim, and that granting Nader's request now "would endanger Ohio's election preparations."
Nader has been drawing support between 1 percent and 2 percent of voters in Ohio polls. While Nader voters are unpredictable, Doug Schoen, a Democratic strategist unaffiliated with Kerry's campaign, said the Democrat should be the beneficiary. "Given how close the race in Ohio is, this could potentially make all the difference in the world," he said. [Complete Article]
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Blog for America | February 23, 2004
"When I announced last week that I am no longer actively pursuing the presidency, I urged my supporters not to be tempted by any independent or third party candidate. I said I would support the nominee of the Democratic Party, because the bottom line is that we must defeat George W. Bush in November, whatever it takes...."
"If George W. Bush is re-elected [sic], the health, safety, consumer, environmental, and open government provisions Ralph Nader has fought for will be undermined. George Bush's right-wing appointees will still be serving as judges fifty years from now, and our Constitution will be shredded. It will be government by, of, and for, the corporations - exactly what Ralph Nader has struggled against . Those who truly want America's leaders to stand up to the corporate special interests and build a better country for working people should recognize that, in 2004, a vote for Ralph Nader is, plain and simple, a vote to re-elect [sic] George W. Bush."
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Manuel Roig-Franzia and Jonathan Finer Washington Post October 22, 2004
Groups seeking to minimize Nader's impact are focusing on at least seven states - Iowa, Florida, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Minnesota, Maine and New Hampshire - where Bush and Kerry are in a virtual dead heat. In all of those but Minnesota, according to aggregates of nine recent polls ... Nader's share of the vote exceeds the thin margin separating Bush and Kerry. [Complete Article]
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The Political Monitor Blog : Powered By RADIO LEFT : September 26, 2004
As a Democrat who has suffered for the past three years because of this man's egomaniacal pursuit of one office, I've frankly had enough of the hero worship lavished on someone so undeserving. Search the internet, and you'll find it very difficult to get the truth about this man and his real beliefs, not the propaganda he spews, but the rarely quoted statements he's made and the way he's treated people who have worked for him. Read on and learn what insiders have known for a while, but the media has by and large ignored....
My intention is to level the playing field by revealling facts that few are aware of on Nader's own connections to the same corporations he's bashed the Democrats and Republicans for being invested in. He's also chosen to deny employee protections for those who support him, making a lie of his supposed support of worker's rights.
I've worked hard to gather this information. Gleaning the truth about Nader's shady workings behind the scene is not easy, and you have to search high and low on the internet to discover the other side of Ralph Nader.
Read on as I present the facts, some quotes, and my own comments for you to consider, and feel free to send me any additional facts and documentation that you have on Nader's dubious past. I will gladly post such information and respect your privacy as you choose.
It's time to put the brakes on his egomaniacal pursuit of the highest office in the land, as he dares to assume the right to inflict upon us hell on earth from the consequences.
Ralph Nader was revealled in 2000 to own stock in Occidental Petroleum, a non-pc Big Oil company which does business with the repressive regime in Burma. This is in documents which he had to make public in his 2000 presidential race finance reports.
You would think that Nader's claim to being an environmentalist candidate would preclude owning stock in such a company- because the green party was openly critical of Al Gore's mother's similar ownership of the same stock. This is something that's been missed (except to people who read the FEC statements) and most definitely needs to be brought to light. The original article can be found at: http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/10/28/stocks/index.html
Yet, when confronted by this conflict of interest, his response was nothing if not self-serving and disingenuous....
In an article from http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26345 written by Paul Sperry, we learn more interesting facts...
Tired of the double-speak he'd been hearing, in 2002 Mr. Sperry obtained the financial disclosure statement for Nader that's required in political races, and found that Nader has made a modest fortune from the very corporations he's demonized others for investing in.
Cisco Systems, valued at the time at $1,158,750
Fibercore Inc., between $15,000 and $50,000
Iomega Inc., $15,000-$50,000
3 Com Corp., $50,000-$100,000
Ziff-Davis Inc., $50,000-$100,000
$2 million-plus in Fidelity and other mutual funds
While you may want to say, hey, that was from the 2000 election disclosure and isn't true now, think again. Nader still has questionable investments in 2004 to consider...
$12,419 worth of GE stock, now valued at more than $753,000 (note that this is the very same GE that Nader has been at war with since the early 1980s for "not paying their fair share" of corporate taxes!) 22,000 shares of NASDAQ 100 Trust SRI valued at $536,140. $1,746,500 worth of NASDAQ 100 Trust SRI total
Nader's Public Safety Research Institute also bought 873 shares of AT&T and 564 shares of Verizon, who like Cisco rank among the outsourcing leaders.
Where did he get the money for these investments to start with? How about the college PIRG groups founded by Nader for one, where students are forced to pay into this fund even when they don't support Nader. His organizations have made unknown amounts of money from these contributions...unknown because Nader refuses to release his income tax records and blocks attempts to obtain any details on his personal finances.
Nader is the president and treasurer of the Public Safety Research Institute, an organization that, in 1973, purchased Allied Chemical stock, which was the main manufacturer of airbags. Sounds innocent enough....until you learn that PSRI bought the stock the day before GM announced they would be offering optional airbags on their 1974 models! Insider trading, anyone??? Only if you're Martha Stewart, I guess....
That wasn't the only time they took advantage of the foreknowledge of coming events...in 1976, PRSI bought Goodyear stock, just before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced they were going to investigate the Firestone 500 series of steel-belted radials. What's really notable is that the NHTS was run at the time by Joan Claybrook , who was a former top Nader aide.
(Ralph Nader's Skeleton Closet can give you more of this information. )
While Nader loves to stump on bashing corporations and their investors and preach against corrupt schemes, especially to point fingers at other candidates, he convenienty leaves out his own complicity, or should we say...duplicity....
Consider this aspect of Nader's past as well....he's 'punished' his own employees for daring to try and start a union, ruled his workers like a tyrannical dictator, and demanded they work inhuman hours while berating them for not performing to his exacting standards, without giving anyone a clear idea of what the hell it was he really wanted.
There is an excellent article by Charles Pekow that should be required reading for anyone who thinks Nader gives a damn about workers.... http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13141 . This article gives the reader a very clear picture of Nader as an abuser of those who work for him.
And on an older forum board, a Tim Shorrock email details his own experiences with the man who would be president....
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Paul Levy | Star Tribune | October 16, 2004
Winona LaDuke, Ralph Nader's running mate in the two previous presidential elections, plans to vote for John Kerry, she said Friday from her home on Minnesota's White Earth Reservation. "I'm voting for John Kerry this November," LaDuke said in a prepared statement. "I'm voting my conscience.
John Kerry provides promise for Native America and for America," said LaDuke, a longtime activist and Harvard graduate. "His policy proposals involve vision - like alternative energy, more accessible health care, and finding all those children who have been 'left behind' by the Bush administration. Heck, Kerry can even say 'sovereignty,' which is a far cry from Bush's inability to pronounce the word."
LaDuke, who turns 45 on Monday, is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, which seeks to have land returned to natives of the northwestern Minnesota reservation, whose ancestors were duped into giving away land to government agents, lumber barons and rail executives. She applauded Kerry's efforts in solving Indian Trust cases and said that his support of native communities shows "we are on his radar." [Complete Article]
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Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times (10/15/2004)
With less than three weeks before the election, Ralph Nader is emerging as just the threat that Democrats feared, with a potential to tip the balance in up to nine states where President Bush and Senator John Kerry are running neck and neck. Despite a concerted effort by Democrats to derail his independent candidacy, as well as his being struck off the Pennsylvania ballot on Wednesday, Mr. Nader will be on the ballots in more than 30 states. Polls show that he could influence the outcomes in nine by drawing support from Mr. Kerry. They are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
Moreover, six - Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin - were among the top 20 where Mr. Nader drew his strongest support in 2000. If the vote for Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry is as evenly divided as the polls suggest, the electoral votes in any one of those states could determine who becomes president.... Mr. Nader met Mr. Kerry at his campaign headquarters and afterward praised him as "very presidential." Mr. Kerry did not ask him to withdraw then, but now the party is in a full-throated plea, with its chairman, Terry McAuliffe, saying on Thursday that Mr. Nader should "end the charade" of a campaign being kept afloat by "corporate backers."
Although Mr. Nader's support is negligible in much of the country, and scant in some of the nine states, even a tiny Nader vote could make a difference, as it did in 2000 in Florida and New Hampshire. Democrats ... acknowledge that he could make a difference, and even Mr. Kerry has adjusted his stump speech in part to try to appeal to potential Nader voters, who tend to loathe corporate America and fiercely oppose the Iraq war. Mr. Kerry now casts Mr. Bush as a tool of rich and powerful "special interests," and he has sharpened his critique of Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq.
Several Democratic and left-leaning groups sprung up this year to try to keep Mr. Nader off the ballot in the swing states, fearing he could siphon votes from Mr. Kerry as he did from Al Gore in 2000. In Florida that year, Mr. Nader won 1.6 percent of the vote. That accounted for 97,488 votes, and Mr. Bush beat Mr. Gore there by 537. [Complete Article]
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David Corn | Reproaching Ralph | tompaine.com | October 13, 2004
Ralph Nader has done so much good for the United States, but his latest stubborn run for president will secure him a place as either a spoiler or an almost-spoiler. And political reporter David Corn - who broke into independent journalism 24 years ago working for Nader - is in the unenviable position of trying to reconcile his respect for what Ralph has done as a consumer advocate with his disappointment at Ralph's utterly futile bid for the presidency. David Corn writes the Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers).
I have not written about Ralph Nader's campaign for the presidency - until now - for three reasons. First, I worked for Ralph (who has reached first-name stature) 24 years ago. Not even out of college yet, I spent a year as a writer for various publications and books produced by Ralph and his public interest groups. In this position, I gathered the connections and learned what I needed to start a career in independent journalism. Ralph gave me my start, and I am forever grateful for that and, more importantly, for the fine public interest work he has done for decades. It is a cliché - because it is true - that Ralph has achieved more for Americans than most members of Congress. It has saddened me to watch him destroy his legacy (which is shared by the many who have toiled with him) by mounting a fool's errand of a campaign. Thus, I have avoided this painful topic. There is, after all, much else to write and think about.
[Ralph] argues his campaign does not pose more of a threat to Kerry than to Bush [but] his GOP partners ... believe the Nader campaign is mainly a problem for Kerry.... Ralph has not played it straight.... [H]e maintained that his presence could help Kerry. Yet he now actively seeks to undermine Kerry [while] campaigning in swing states.... Telling someone not to run for office because his or her candidacy might be tactically unwise is not denying that person his or her political rights....
What to say now? It is absolutely pointless to urge Ralph to change course. Stubbornness was one of the assets that helped him survive - and surmount - the difficult times of his life. Tragically, it has become his downfall. [Complete Article].
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Bill Cotterell, Political Editor | Tallahassee Democrat | 09/15/2004
A federal judge refused to intervene Tuesday in the roller coaster legal fight over Ralph Nader's quest for a spot on the Florida presidential ballot, sending the dispute back to state courts. Attorneys for Nader and the Reform Party asked U.S. District Judge Stephan Mickle of Gainesville to pre-empt jurisdiction of the week-old case as a federal voting-rights issue - made urgent by Saturday's deadline for mailing absentee ballots to Floridians living overseas, including military personnel.
Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood separately asked him to quash an injunction issued last Wednesday by Leon County Circuit Judge Kevin Davey, who held that the Reform Party is not even a 'minor party' anymore and that Nader's nomination by a few of its members was a ruse to get around the state's requirement that he gather more than 90,000 voter signatures on petitions."
Aside from the legal issues, the case has major political implications in a closely divided swing state with 27 electoral votes. Republicans have been supporting Nader in his bid to make Florida the 25th state to put him on the ballot because his presence is thought to hurt Kerry's chances more than Bush's in Florida. Nader got more than 97,000 votes in Florida four years ago as the Green Party nominee for president. After Bush's victory was certified by a 537-vote margin, Al Gore supporters blamed Nader for the outcome. Complete Article
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