[Marxism] The Nader Factor: Democrat Fat Cats toy with anti-war voters

WSheasby wsheasby at earthlink.net
Sat May 22 09:24:47 MDT 2004


                   "Slept with Nader woke up with Bush in 2000?" 
 
            The Nader Factor: Democrat Fat Cats toy with anti-war voters 

By Walt Contreras Sheasby

     Were it not for a loophole in the McCain-Feingold Act and the 
somersaults of defeated candidates Howard Dean, Gen. Wesley Clark, 
and Dick Gephardt, petitioners for Ralph Nader would have an easier 
time of collecting signatures to put him on the ballot. The anti-Nader 
forces in the Democratic Party are being joined by former Nader 
supporters in what the maverick candidate calls a “cabal.” 

     Funding for the elaborate scheme to strip anti-war and Green voters 
from Nader comes from the corporate rich: George Soros, powerful 
currency speculator (Soros Fund Management LLC) and billionaire 
benefactor (Open Society Institute), his friend Peter Lewis, chairman of 
the Progressive Corp., Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of RealNetworks, 
Rob McKay, president of the McKay Family Foundation, and benefactors 
Lewis and Dorothy Cullman. (1) 

     These are the powerful Fat Cats who fund the so-called Section 527 
groups that provided support to the candidates in the Democratic Party 
primaries, without officially being connected to either the candidate or 
the Party. Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code provides a loophole 
for fat cats to evade caps on political donations. With the primaries over, 
both the 527s and the former candidates are sitting on a ton of unused 
cash that can be used for monkey-wrenching both the Green Party voters 
and the independent ballot petitioning by Nader followers. 

     The latest entry into the psy ops war against Nader is the National 
Progress Fund, which plans to run TV ads in six battleground states, 
featuring people who voted for Nader in 2000 who now say they regret 
their votes. A similar theme is projected on their website called The 
NaderFactor.com. The 527 group, formed by major operatives in the 
Democratic Party, was announced at the very moment that Nader was 
meeting with Kerry, a symbolic gesture equivalent to leaving a horse's 
head in Nader's bed. (2) 

     A preview of the first TV commercial can be seen at www.The 
NaderFactor.com. Bob Schick, a high school English teacher from Ohio, 
says: ''Four years ago, I supported Ralph Nader because he stood for the 
issues I believed in: a clean environment, civil rights, and a sensible 
foreign policy,'' Schick says. ''But now, after seeing how quickly and 
thoroughly the Bush administration has wounded our country - there's 
more pollution, an economy that sends our jobs overseas, and a war I 
have serious questions about - I feel I made a mistake.'' (3) 

     The appeal is clearly aimed at those who might regard Nader as the 
real anti-war candidate. The website urges other repentant Nader voters 
to contact the National Progress Fund to offer their own disavowal of 
Nader. "Slept with Nader woke up with Bush in 2000?" is one of the 
slogans on the site. 

     A senior Kerry aide stressed that the group is -- quote -- "completely 
independent of the campaign," but Nader has asked Kerry to disavow the 
effort to create dissension in the ranks of supporters using testimonials of 
former Nader voters who have repented. 

     The new National Progress Fund brings together the key staff (and 
undoubtedly unspent cash) of the Howard Dean, Gen. Wesley Clark, 
and Dick Gephardt campaigns. The group is run by Tricia Enright, who 
was spokeswoman for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, David Jones, 
chief fund-raiser for Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, and John 
Hlinko, who led the Draft Wesley Clark Internet movement. By using the 
staff and cash of his former rivals, Kerry gets to go around saying, "I'm not 
going to ask Nader to drop out--he has as much right to run--but I'm going 
to make the case for voting for me." (4) In the meantime, the 527 makes 
the slightly more negative case with the powerful mea culpa testimonials 
of regretful Nader voters. 
 
     Enright said they planned to start airing targeted television ads next 
week in as many as six states, including Florida. The fund will focus its 
advertising firepower on six states that were decided by 2 percentage 
points or less in 2000 -- Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa, Oregon, 
Wisconsin and New Mexico. Bush carried the first two; Al Gore carried 
the latter four. 

     As CBS has reported there are three other 527 groups already involved 
in the anti-Nader effort. Democrats clearly hope Nader doesn't get on the 
ballot, particularly in the battleground states. According to Sarah 
Leonard, spokesperson for the Democratic organizations America Votes, 
ACT and the Media Fund, they are keeping an eye on Nader's efforts. "If 
we think it gets to the point where we need to step in and mobilize to 
make sure he doesn't get on the ballot, then we will," she says. (5) 

     America Votes (527) is an umbrella group for coordinating other 527s. 
Twenty-two of the organizations have each kicked in $50,000 to finance 
an umbrella organization. America Votes is run by Cecile Richards, 
former top aide to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). 
     America Coming Together (527) also known as ACT is a collaboration 
between many Dem powerhouse issue groups and labor unions focusing 
on grassroots voter contact. ACT has received $5 million contributions 
from financier Soros and his wife, Susan Weber Soros, and $3 million 
frin insurance magnate Peter B. Lewis of the Progessive Corp. Soros says 
"ACT is an effective way to mobilize civil society, to convince people to 
go to the polls and vote for candidates who will reassert the values of the 
greatest open society in the world." (6) 
     The Media Fund (527), financed in part by billionaire George Soros, 
is run by former Clinton aide Harold Ickes, and has joined forces with 
ACT to raise money. While ACT is the major 'ground war' vehicle for the 
Democratic groups, the Media Fund will finance radio and television 
commercials. 

     Nader said the effort sounds like an assault on freedom of speech. ''I 
would advise them to cease and desist,'' he said. ''Since we do everything 
legally to get on the ballot, I don't see what they can do,'' he said. ''They're 
better advised to spend their money to try to persuade the millions of 
Democratic voters who supported Bush in 2000 to vote for their ticket.'' 
(7) 

=================================================== 

1. Walt Contreras Sheasby, George Soros and the Rise of the Neo- 
centrics, http://www.citizinemag.com/politics/politics-0401_soros_ 
neocentrics.htm 

2. http://www.nationalreview.com/kerry/kerry247.asp 

3. http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4109793,00.html 
http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/elections/article.adp?id=20040518211009990 
002 

4. http://paperbag.dailykos.com/story/2004/5/19/163924/732 

5. CBS News Online. 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/30/politics/main615025. 
shtml 

6. http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=America_Coming_ 
Together 

7. http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/elections/article.adp?id=200405182110099 
90002 

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