[Marxism] Conservative support for Nader?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 21 10:16:57 MDT 2004


Counterpunch, July 21, 2004

Nader Sleeping with the Enemy?
Let's Be Fair
By JOSHUA FRANK

Democrats and liberal defenders of John Kerry, are throwing tantrums 
over Ralph Nader's new found affinity for conservatives who are aiding 
his ballot efforts in swing states. According to a Detroit News report, 
Greg McNeilly the Executive Director of the Michigan Republican Party 
said, "We are absolutely interested in having Ralph Nader on the 
ballot." Indeed these Republicans hope Nader will siphon votes away from 
Kerry, and tally the state's 17 electoral points on George Bush's score 
card come election day.

Right-wing organizations are also putting their efforts behind Nader out 
West. Citizens for a Sound Economy, an anti-tax, anti-government group 
ran by Republican powerhouse Dick Armey, wants Nader on the Oregon 
ballot. A rigid Christian anti-gay group, known as Oregon Family 
Council, also believes voters should have a chance to pull the lever for 
Ralph in the fall. As you can imagine, Democrats aren't the least bit 
pleased with these recent developments. And they are the first to 
happily point out Nader's new bedfellows.

Out of their own rage over Nader's challenge to politics as usual, 
Democratic loyalists are fighting harder than they did during the 
Florida recount to keep Nader off state registers. In Oregon, while 
attempting to gather signatures at a local high school petition drive, 
Kerry troops infiltrated the event, boosting the numbers so organizers 
believed they had reached capacity. Countless Naderites were left out, 
unable to attend the rally or sign the petition, which needed to take 
place during a single assembly. Democrats, loathing the thought of 
voters having a chance to vote for Nader, did not sign the petition -- 
ultimately sabotaging the event efforts.

Then of course there is Arizona, where Democrats successfully blocked 
Nader from attaining ballot access. Their lawsuit, which argued that a 
number of the signatures were gathered by former felons, was deemed 
illegal. The tactics used by the Democrats is reminiscent of the 
Republican shenanigans in Florida four years ago (where's Greg Palast 
when you need him?), and what the Democrats surely won't tell you is 
that they used a Republican law firm to nail Nader.

Well, if Nader is so bad, what about the Kerry/Edwards ticket? Where is 
the Democrat support coming from?

As usual, convicted corporate criminals have been pouring tons of cash 
into both major parties this election season. But since the Democrats 
seem to be the only party up in arms over Nader's bid, it is only fair 
to focus on their blatant follies.

Chevron Inc, who was convicted in 1992 of egregious environmental 
offenses, has given the Democrats over $46,000 this election cycle. 
Pfizer, the monstrous pharmaceutical company and maker of Zoloft and 
erection fortifying Viagra, has given close to $160,000 to the Democrats 
this go-round. Their crime? Price fixing food additives, to which they 
pled guilty in 1999.

Time/Warner, who will most likely be charged with a $400 million 
accounting violation later this summer by the SEC, has given John Kerry 
approximately $250,000 since 1990. That's not including the over $3.6 
million they have given the Democrats since the Al Gore's run for president.

And Democrats are up in arms over the a few thousand dollars 
conservatives, as individuals not corporations mind you, have given to 
Ralph Nader this year?

Bush's homeboy, convicted right-winger Kenny "Boy" Lay, the Enron sage, 
used to sit on the board of directors for the Heinz Foundation, which is 
John Kerry's wife's ketcup rich environmental trust. His company has 
given well over one million dollars to the Democrats since 2000. And we 
all know Enron's crimes.

Archer Daniels Midland, the huge multinational processor and exporter of 
cereal grains and oilseeds, pled guilty in 1996 to one of the largest 
anti-trust lawsuits in the history of the United States. They've anteed 
up over $1.7 million to the Democratic Party since 2000. And this is 
just the tip of the iceberg.

How about the most recent on the list of corporate robber barons? 
Although they have yet to be convicted of any wrong-doing in Iraq (the 
Pentagon claims they have overcharged tax payers millions of dollars), 
Dick Cheney's war profiteering Halliburton has donated $129,449 to the 
Dems this year. And Democrats still want us to believe Nader's the only 
one who is sleeping with the enemy?

Clearly conservative money and support, which is minimal at best, is 
aiding Nader's efforts to get his name on certain state ballots. But 
Democrats are also guilty of having their hand in a tainted cookie jar. 
The difference being, Nader is unlikely to be persuaded by such support. 
Unfortunately the same can't be said for his opposition.

-- 

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