Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Tue Jul 27 09:17:34 MDT 2004

I’m forwarding this from the Nader list, because it represents a rather
straightforward bit of reporting about the conscious, ongoing effort of
pseudo-Leftish types to demobilize the third party movements.  

It is interesting how the media has chosen to cover the Nader-Camejo
campaign.  It can't spare the people and the space to go to a
Nader-Camejo meeting and report what the candidates say, but instead
reports at some length on the major party response to the campaign.

-- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---  
Anti-Nader Forces Coordinate Strategy
Courant Staff Writer

July 27 2004

BOSTON -- On the 15th floor of a Holiday Inn just off a construction
site, Ralph Nader's running mate Peter Camejo held court in an empty
party room Monday morning. Only one reporter came.

Two hours later across town in the second-floor ballroom of The Four
Seasons Hotel some of the Democratic party's political elite gathered to
re-shape their anti-Nader campaign. Only one reporter showed up there,
too. But it was private, invitation only, no publicity.

The two scenes captured the essence of Nader's independent presidential
campaign. While polls show it is becoming statistically irrelevant
nationally - an effort mired in logistical battles to get on state
ballots and on the defensive about its relationship with Republican
backers - it has never been more of a threat to the Democrats.

The Four Seasons group, which does not necessarily want to publicize its
fear that Nader will ! siphon off crucial votes in swing states, is
spearheading an attack on Nader that promises a new coordination and
sophistication. It is using the Democratic convention as a way to
combine its previously independent efforts and focus them more

"We're not going to let him do it again," said Toby Moffett, a former
Connecticut congressman and former Naderite who is now working to
coordinate the anti-Nader groups that have sprung up after the 2000
election. "We'll do whatever it takes within the law."

Moffett was among those gathered at the Four Seasons - a group a few
dozen in size that included Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg;
former New York congresswoman Liz Holtzman; Roy Neel, former campaign
manager for Howard Dean; and Arianna Huffington.

Behind closed doors for more than an hour, they shared their research
and strategies to undermine Nader. Neel, for instance, is working on
voter models that help identify ex! actly who is likely to vote for

"It's now our job to find those voters and educate them," said Neel
after the meeting. "Kerry and Edwards don't have the time or resources
for this targeted approach. We do."

They also discussed the results of polling that found when they
publicize Nader's acceptance of money and help from Republicans, it
erodes his support.

It's a claim Nader and Camejo call overstated and misleading. They say
the amount of money they've collected from Republicans is far less than
donations from traditional liberal and independent voters.

The Nader campaign also defends the Republican effort in a few states,
such as the swing state of Michigan, to help them collect signatures to
get on the ballot.

"We'll accept the help of any registered citizen who wants to defend our
right to be on the ballot," Camejo said Monday.

But the attacks seem to be working with voters. Polls have dipped from a
high of about 7 percent to as lo! w as about 3 percent nationally in
some surveys.

Democratic anger toward Nader is at least four years old, the bulk
stemming from the tissue-thin margin between Al Gore and George W. Bush
in states where Nader won a small but significant number of votes. 

When Nader announced he would run in this election, the response was
immediate and disparate. 

There were bloggers and traditional Democratic activists. There were
also former Nader devotees such as Moffett, who owes much of his own
political career to Nader, who chose the young Moffett to head the
Connecticut Citizens Action Group which served to launch his
congressional bid. Moffett broke with Nader during his 2000 presidential
bid and tried to convince him not to run this year. 

This year, Moffett said, the Democrats have to be smarter by working
together. They see the convention as the perfect platform to do so.

The newly mobilized anti-Naderites plan to fan out at the convention and
brief! the Democratic delegations in states where their research shows
Nader may harm Kerry most: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin are all

"It's a total manipulation of political discourse," said a visibly angry
Camejo when told about the plans. "They tear down our posters; they fill
our meetings. They do everything they can."

David Cobb, who beat out Nader to become the Green Party presidential
candidate this year and appeared with Camejo at the Monday press
conference, offered a rare defense of his former opponent: "Look, the
Democrats and the Republicans have conspired to create ballot access
laws to prevent alternative voices. But what the Democrats are doing
here is unprecedented."

The official party line is that although the Democratic National
Committee supports the anti-Nader efforts, it is not expressly involved.

This week, the most combative swing the DNC took at Nader was to deny
him a floor pass to the convention.

When Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese asked for one Friday, he was quickly
turned down. "The answer is no," said DNC spokesman Jano Cabrera. "This
is a convention for Democrats."

The strategists, for their part, are quick to defend their efforts. They
say it is Nader who should be on the defensive about his complicity in
jeopardizing the progressive values he previously championed.

Bob Brandon, the former Naderite who coordinated the Four Seasons
session, said of Nader's campaign, "It's not about more choices. It's
about re-electing Bush." 
Copyright 2004, Hartford Courant 

More information about the Marxism mailing list