#1:NYTimes/DPvs.Nader;Nader response

Dayne Goodwin dayneg at SPAMshell.aros.net
Thu Nov 2 14:07:00 MST 2000


[excerpts]
October 25, 2000 The New York Times

THE GREEN PARTY
Democrats Hear Thunder on Left, and Try to Steal Some of Nader's

By JAMES DAO

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 - Concerned that Ralph Nader has become a major threat
to Vice President Al Gore's ability to win the presidency, the Democratic
Party and its allies in the labor, environmental and women's movements are
mounting aggressive campaigns in swing states across the country to
dissuade liberal voters from supporting Mr. Nader, the Green Party
candidate.

In the Pacific Northwest, the League of Conservation Voters is preparing
to run radio advertisements asserting that voting for Mr. Nader would be
tantamount to voting for Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican. In Ohio, the
state Democratic Party has begun flooding college campuses with leaflets
urging students not to waste their ballots on the Green Party. In
Wisconsin, the Service Employees International Union has dispatched
hundreds of organizers to implore its 12,000 state members to vote
Democratic, not Green. And the Democratic National Committee has organized
an array of prominent liberals, including Senator Paul Wellstone of
Minnesota, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem and Robert Redford to
stump for Mr. Gore in Nader strongholds like Eugene, Ore., Madison, Wis.,
and Seattle.
        [snip]

Mr. Gore himself has begun addressing Mr. Nader's challenge head on,
telling voters in Washington on Monday that his environmental record was
as strong as Mr. Nader's.  "I don't want to use the argument that a vote
for him is a vote for Bush - that may be true," Mr. Gore told a reporter
for KIRO-TV in Seattle. "I prefer to say, `Look, I want you to look at my
record and my agenda and my passion for doing the right thing.' And I'll
match that against anybody."

But Democratic strategists say they want Mr. Gore to avoid mentioning Mr.
Nader, arguing that doing so only elevates the insurgent's profile and
draws attention from their real target, Mr. Bush. For that reason, the
Democrats are trying to shift the burden of wooing Nader voters to a
stable of well-known liberal politicians and advocates. Ms. Steinem, for
example, has been traveling by bus to campuses along the Pacific Coast,
reading her list of "the top 10 reasons I'm not voting for Nader." On
Sunday, she plans to join Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human
Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian organization, Robert
Cox, president of the Sierra Club, and the rock singer Melissa Etheridge
for a concert and rally in Seattle.
        [snip]

The Democrats have asked Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the
Earth, to campaign for Mr. Gore in the Pacific Northwest. And the Sierra
Club will begin running television spots next week in five states where
Mr. Nader is polling well that carry the message: "Think there's no
difference between the candidates?  Think again."

Former Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Mr. Gore's rival in the
Democratic primaries, is being dispatched later this week to campaign
in Oregon and Washington, where Democratic strategists are counting on
him to woo liberal white men for Mr. Gore. Mr. Jackson has been  sent to
colleges where Mr. Nader is considered popular, including the University
of Wisconsin at Madison.

Because Mr. Nader could also win votes from union members who are angry
with Mr. Gore for supporting global trade, the Democrats have organized
a list of heavyweight labor leaders to help. Earlier this week, John J.
Sweeney, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., toured the Northwest with other
labor officials urging labor activists to stick with Mr. Gore.

Andrew L. Stern, head of the service employees union, said in an interview
that he had been telling crowds in the Northwest: "If you can wake up the
next morning and live with George Bush as the next president, then I guess
you can vote for Nader. This is not a low-risk protest vote."

The Democratic Party has also been asking Gore supporters to flood the
Nader campaign with e-mail messages urging him to drop out of the race.
        [snip]
        - - - - - - -
[Nader letter responding to NYTimes]
Published on Sunday, October 29, 2000 in the New York Times

Why I'm Running by Ralph Nader

To the Editor:

You discredit our democracy by editorializing on Oct. 26 that
the limited ground covered by the Gore and Bush candidacies
should define political competition in this election. Millions
of voters, when they contrast actual records to rhetoric, find
the two major-party candidates similar on excessive corporate
power over our government.

George W. Bush has a dismal record on the environment, health
care and judicial rights. Al Gore has furthered big-business
control in America, letting corporations decide whether we eat
genetically engineered food, letting big agribusiness destroy
family farms, and supporting concentration in the financial,
telecommunications, cable and health care industries. Mr. Gore's
actual record on many environmental issues, in one industry
after another, has been one of surrender.

Similarities between these two candidates abound. They take
millions in corporate campaign cash (we don't - practicing what
we preach). They agree on the death penalty, on no universal
health care coverage now, on more military spending, on the
World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade
Agreement, on corporate welfare and on slashing the social
safety net. They take no stand on repealing anti-union labor
laws that keep many millions of workers earning nonliving wages
or on fighting corporate crime.

My candidacy not only provides the sole competition on these
issues, but also prevents Mr. Gore from cornering votes on the
environment simply by not being as bad as Mr. Bush.

You miss the critical point: we seek long-term political reform
through a growing party that pushes the two parties toward
reforms that you have espoused over the years, thus far in vain.

RALPH NADER
WASHINGTON, DC









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