[Marxism] Nader CA petition effort fails
cuibono at rcip.com
Sat Aug 7 09:22:01 MDT 2004
This story is taken from Election at sacbee.com.
Nader fails to make California ballot
By Kevin Yamamura -- Bee Capitol Bureau - (Published August 7, 2004)
Famed third-party candidate Ralph Nader has failed to gather enough
signatures to qualify for the California ballot as an independent after
ditching his Green Party label of four years ago.
Nader had submitted slightly more than half of the 153,805 signatures
required two hours before Friday's deadline, according to the secretary of
"We were not there, the last I heard," confirmed Peter Camejo, Nader's
running mate and a two-time gubernatorial candidate who lives in Folsom.
The news could spell doom in the nation's biggest voting state for Nader,
whom Democrats blamed for costing Democrat Al Gore the 2000 presidential
But Nader's campaign insisted that it would still reach the California
ballot somehow, possibly by challenging the state's signature requirements
in court or even assuming the spot of Green Party nominee David Cobb.
"We're taking approaches to make sure we have other options," said Nader
spokesman Kevin Zeiss. "We plan to be on the ballot in California."
Democratic nominee John Kerry owns a significant lead over President Bush in
California with or without Nader in the race, according to recent polls.
Still, if Nader ultimately fails to reach the ballot in voter-heavy
California, it could stifle his efforts elsewhere, political analysts said.
As of late Friday, the secretary of state's office reported that Nader had
turned in a little more than 77,000 signatures. That number includes results
from all but five of the state's 58 counties.
Camejo blamed Democrats for trying to keep Nader off the ballot nationwide
and said it would be "very sad for the people of California to deny Nader
supporters the right to vote for him."
Kerry spokesman Luis Vizcaino had no comment.
The Nader campaign has submitted signatures to make the ballot in 17 states,
according to the campaign. The campaign believes it could be the Reform
Party standard-bearer in seven states.
Despite receiving nearly 3 percent of the national vote as the Green
candidate in 2000, Nader rejected the party label this time and chose to run
as an independent. He tapped as his running mate Camejo, a Folsom
businessman whom Nader endorsed for governor in 2002.
"California is a place where Nader should be able to mine some support,"
said Walter Stone, chairman of the University of California, Davis,
political science department and an expert on third parties. "If he can't
get on the ballot here, that's an indicator that his campaign is faltering
compared to where it was four years ago.
"I think it will be harder for him to sustain an image that he's a serious
and viable player if he can't get on the ballot in California."
In 2000, Nader courted voters by railing against the two major political
parties, both of which he faulted as being controlled by special interests.
Nader asserted there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans.
But with the nation fiercely divided over post-Sept. 11, 2001, policies and
the war in Iraq, that argument rings hollow in 2004, Stone said.
"(Nader) can't just say, 'Sure, I affected the election, but who cares?' "
Stone said. "That's just a much less compelling argument now."
Nader and Camejo had hoped the Green Party would endorse their ticket during
its June convention, allowing the two to appear on the California ballot
under the Green affiliation. But national party delegates opted instead to
nominate Cobb, a Eureka lawyer.
Camejo said Friday that some pro-Nader Green Party activists are holding
"emergency" talks to explore swapping out Cobb.
"The Green Party is very divided, and there's a crisis," said Camejo, who
won the Green Party's non-binding California primary vote in March. "Any
state Green Party can tell the national party, 'We don't accept your
convention and we're putting Nader-Camejo on the ballot.' "
The Green Party has until Aug. 26 to decide which candidate it wants to run
on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, said secretary of state spokeswoman
But removing Cobb is highly unlikely, according to Green Party of California
spokeswoman Beth Moore Haines.
"I think there would be considerable cost to California in good will toward
the rest of the Greens in the nation if we did something like that," Haines
said. "The hope is always that folks with similar values on different
campaigns work as cooperatively as they can. But this would be one of the
less collaborative strategies, and not one embraced by the Greens in
California. And I'm a big Peter Camejo fan."
Camejo said the Nader campaign also is exploring legal challenges to
requirements to reach the California ballot. Though the signature drive fell
short, Camejo said, "you make an effort to see what you can get, and then
see what else you can do."
The Bee's Kevin Yamamura can be reached at (916) 326-5548 or
kyamamura at sacbee.com.
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