[Marxism] Ralph Nader Interviewed by Amy Goodman [Democratic Party Shock Troops Disrupt Nader Ballot Registration]

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Fri Jul 9 12:05:15 MDT 2004

*full: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/07/1354230


AMY GOODMAN: *This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I'm Amy Goodman. 
As John Kerry names John Edwards as his running-mate, the runoff for 
president is set. Four candidates who support the war in Iraq. Today 
we're going to speak with independent presidential candidate, Ralph 
Nader. He has just released a new book called "The Good Fight." We will 
get his reaction to being kicked off the ballot in Arizona, why he isn't 
running as a Green Party candidate, and to charges that he will help 
President Bush win re-election. But we want to start with your reaction 
to the choice of John Edwards. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Ralph Nader.

*RALPH NADER: *Good morning, Amy. I think it was from John Kerry's point 
of view, probably the most effective choice. John Edwards has been 
vetted. There aren't going to be any skeletons in his closet. He has a 
good two-Americas speech. There will be a lot of dynamism and he's a 
charmer, but the question I have is will he defend the civil justice 
system, which is the right of the American people when they're 
wrongfully injured or defrauded to have their full day in court against 
corporations, or will he sidestep that issue? Civil justice is under 
serious attack. It's already been eroded in state legislatures and 
there's a current Class Action bill in the congress that will further 
weaken the rights of defrauded people from having their day in state 
court. So that remains to be seen.

*AMY GOODMAN: *You have written about -- or actually have also spoken to 
John Kerry. What did you say to John Kerry when you spoke to him? Did 
you urge him to choose John Edwards?

*RALPH NADER: *I wrote him a letter a few weeks ago, urging him and made 
it public on our website, voteNader.org, which by the way demonstrates 
the wide differences in the agenda of the Nader-Peter Camejo ticket 
compared to the other two parties. The other parties are pro-war, 
pro-PATRIOT act, pro-death penalty, pro-corporate globalization, and we 
are on the other side of that. We are the only anti-war candidate. When 
I talked to John Kerry, I talked basically about the dirty tricks that 
the democratic parties at the state level are using to try to keep us 
off the ballot on technicalities, drain our resources. In Arizona, the 
democrats hired three corporate law firms. They filed suit against us. 
They had filed suit on such things like one of our signature gatherers-- 
it takes 14,500 signatures to get on the Arizona ballot. One of the 
signature gatherers collected 550 signatures. He happened to be an 
ex-felon who paid his debt to society. He had been on juries. He was a 
registered voter. They found that he did not pay allegedly a $400 fine 
to the state, and they wanted to knock off 550 signatures. That would 
have cost us long days in litigation, and we had to drop our effort. We 
have limited funds under Federal Election Commission regulation. The 
democrats have unlimited funds outside of any regulation. That's what 
they're doing in Oregon and elsewhere. I told John Kerry to-- words to 
the wise. He may be presiding over a situation, whether he knows it or 
not, that can be a mini Watergate.

*AMY GOODMAN: *There's a piece CNN did a few days ago saying that 
efforts by two conservative groups to help President Bush by getting 
independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot in the key 
battleground state of Oregon has prompted a complaint to the Federal 
Election Commission by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in 
Washington known as CREW. Saying that phone banks encouraging Bush 
supporters to attend a Nader nominating convention amounted to an 
illegal in-kind contribution to your campaign by the Oregon Family 
Council and Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy, two conservative 
groups. Your response.

*RALPH NADER: *This group should be called Citizens for 
Irresponsibility. They filed these complaints based on newspaper 
clippings. There's no coordination at all with the republicans. We had 
no evidence in our convention in a high school auditorium in Portland, 
Oregon the other day, that they were in any way supporting us. We did 
have evidence that the democrats had infiltrated the auditorium to swell 
our number above the required 1,000 supporters, and as a result gave us 
the impression, and the impression also was conveyed to Oregon state 
election authorities who were there with their counters, that we could 
close the doors and start the balloting. Then when the doors were closed 
and some latecomers were left out, the 100 or so democrats refused to 
sign the nomination forms. So, they were like trojan horses. The 
democrats did obstruct. The republicans put out press releases but 
didn't engage in any results. But I think that the Committee on 
so-called Responsibility, that is going to be coming under strong 
scrutiny, because they're engaging in reckless harassment.


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