portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

corporate dominance | political theory selection 2004

We all knew this was happening

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is getting a little help from his friends - and from George W. Bush's friends,including Florida frozen-food magnate Jeno Paulucci and Pennsylvania oil company executive Terrence Jacobs
GOP donors double dipping with Nader
Contributors deny that financial support is designed to hurt Kerry

10:29 PM CST on Friday, March 26, 2004
By WAYNE SLATER / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is getting a little help from his friends - and from George W. Bush's friends.

Nearly 10 percent of the Nader contributors who have given him at least $250 each have a history of supporting the Republican president, national GOP candidates or the party, according to computer-assisted review of financial records by The Dallas Morning News.

Among the new crop of Nader donors: actor and former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein, Florida frozen-food magnate Jeno Paulucci and Pennsylvania oil company executive Terrence Jacobs. All have strong ties to the GOP.

Democrats have warned that Mr. Nader's entry in the race could help Mr. Bush by drawing votes from John Kerry. Some analysts say Mr. Nader's third-party candidacy four years ago siphoned off Democratic voters and cost Vice President Al Gore the White House.

"Republicans are well aware that Ralph Nader played a spoiler role in the 2000 election. And there is no reason why they wouldn't want to encourage and help him do so again in 2004," said Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for the Democrat National Committee.

A spokesman for the Bush campaign declined to comment on Mr. Nader.

"We're focused on our campaign. We're focused on generating support for Republican candidates," said Danny Diaz, referring inquiries about Nader fund raising to his donors.

Republicans who have given to Mr. Nader offered a variety of explanations, including a desire to provide voters a choice in November and to highlight the consumer advocate's issues. Some donors said they were miffed by efforts, primarily Democrats, to keep Mr. Nader off the ballot.

None said their donations were designed to boost Mr. Bush's chances in the fall.

"Did I give $1,000 to Ralph Nader because I hope and believe he will be president? No," said California business executive Charles Ashman. "I don't believe that any more than Ralph Nader does. But I was offended to see this campaign to squelch him from being a candidate."

Mr. Ashman said he remains a staunch Republican. He contributed $2,000 to the Bush campaign, the maximum allowed for the general election, according to records.

"I proudly made a contribution to the re-election of President Bush because I support him 100 percent," he said. "I hope and believe he will be re-elected."



'Spoiler' label

Mr. Nader has dismissed the "spoiler" label Democrats have given him, saying he expects this time to draw equally from both parties.

In 2000, Mr. Nader was on the ballot in 43 states and the District of Columbia and got 2.7 percent of the vote nationwide. Experts say he was a deciding factor in two states, Florida and New Hampshire, both of which Mr. Bush won by razor-thin margins.

A Kerry spokesman declined to discuss Mr. Nader.

According to campaign finance reports, Mr. Nader raised $930,000 through February. During the same period, Mr. Bush had raised $158 million and Mr. Kerry $41 million.

More than 24 Nader contributors of $250 or more - about 10 percent of his total - are otherwise reliable GOP donors, The News review found.

Mr. Paulucci, the creator of Chun King and Jeno's Pizza Rolls, donated $2,000 in February to Mr. Nader.

The Florida frozen-food executive is a prolific contributor to the GOP, giving more than $150,000 to the Republican Party and national candidates since 2000.

Mr. Paulucci described himself as a independent and said he also has supported Democrats, including those in his native Minnesota. Most of his money in federal races has gone to Republicans, records show.

Mr. Paulucci said he met Mr. Nader in Minnesota some years ago in connection with a tax issue.

"I saw him on TV. I thought I would give the guy a little bit of encouragement," he said. "I didn't think for a moment that this is going to help Bush. No, that was not my thought."



Ben Stein's money

As for Ben Stein's money, the television personality and outspoken advocate for the Republican Party has contributed $500 to Nader and $1,000 to Mr. Bush this year. Records indicate that over the last decade, Mr. Stein has given exclusively to the GOP.

In the 2000 presidential race, Mr. Stein agreed to make TV ads for Mr. Bush, although they were never aired. He did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Others helping Mr. Nader with $2,000 checks are Robert Monks, who lost a Senate race in Maine, and his wife, Millicent. Both have a long history of contributing money to Republicans and are financially backing Mr. Bush's re-election.

Daniel Hartnett, a self-described conservative who operates a plumbing business in Sioux City, Iowa, said his $250 to Mr. Nader was not meant to help Mr. Bush. He said he agrees with some of Mr. Nader's views.

Four years ago, Mr. Hartnett supported Mr. Bush, and although he hasn't contributed to his re-election this year, that's where his loyalties lie in November.

"I'm a Republican," he said. "If Mr. Bush comes out and takes a good hard conservative stand on a few issues that I care about, I'll probably send him $2,000."

Staff writer Jennifer LaFleur in Dallas contributed to this report

 http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/032704dnpolnader.11e3e.html
So What? 27.Mar.2004 13:43

we all know THIS too:

310,082 Democrats voted for Bush in Florida (13% of the Democrats in the state, up 5% or 120,000 votes from 1996) in 2000.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bu$h Raising Campaign Funds From Kerry's Top Contributors

In all, nine of Kerry's top 20 donors favor Bush with their contributions. Kerry's top contributor, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, has given nearly $106,000 to his campaign. But the nation's largest law firm has contributed an additional $65,000 to the Bush campaign.

 http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/2004/PresFRJan.asp

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- March 4, 2004
CONTACT: STEVEN WEISS (202/857-0044 or  editor@capitaleye.org)

BUSH RAISING CAMPAIGN FUNDS
FROM KERRY'S TOP CONTRIBUTORS

President Bush  http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/summary.asp?ID=N00008072 begins the head-to-head battle for the White House against Sen. John Kerry  http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/summary.asp?ID=N00000245 with a $100 million advantage in fund raising. For that, Bush can thank his incumbent status, his network of fund-raising Pioneers and Rangers -- and several of the top contributors to the Kerry campaign.

Nearly half of Kerry's biggest financial supporters  http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/2004/BushKerryContribs.asp contributed more money to Bush than to Kerry himself through Jan. 30 of this year, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics' study of campaign finance reports filed this month with the Federal Election Commission.

The finding is one of many examples of Bush's fund-raising dominance, and it illustrates how much ground Kerry must make up to approach financial parity with the president. Bush raised a total of $145 million for his re-election effort in the first 13 months of the election cycle, dwarfing Kerry's $33 million.

Kerry's third-largest contributor, Citigroup, gave more than $79,000 in individual and PAC contributions to the presumptive Democratic nominee through January. Louis Susman, Citigroup's vice-chairman, is one of Kerry's biggest fund-raisers  http://www.capitaleye.org/inside.asp?ID=110. But the financial services giant gave more than $187,000 to the Bush campaign during the same period, good enough for 12th on the president's list of top contributors.

Goldman Sachs contributed nearly $65,000 to Kerry through January, earning it the No. 6 ranking among Kerry's top givers. But the company's employees and PAC sent Bush nearly $283,000 -- more than four times the amount it gave to Kerry. Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson and managing director George Walker are Bush Pioneers  http://www.capitaleye.org/PRchart.1.14.04.asp who have raised at least $100,000 for the campaign.

Even MassMutual, which ranks among the biggest donors to Kerry over the past 15 years, has contributed more money to Bush than to its home-state senator in the current election cycle. The insurance conglomerate gave $69,000 to Bush through January, compared with slightly more than $50,000 to Kerry. MassMutual CEO Robert O'Connell was a Bush Pioneer in 2000.

In all, nine of Kerry's top 20 donors favor Bush with their contributions. Kerry's top contributor, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, has given nearly $106,000 to his campaign. But the nation's largest law firm has contributed an additional $65,000 to the Bush campaign.

Kerry's No. 2 contributor, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, has been far more lopsided in its giving. The trial law firm has contributed nearly $92,000 to Kerry and just $4,000 to Bush. The firm's chairman, Mike Ciresi, is one of Kerry's top fund-raisers.

Two of Kerry's top donors -- Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices and Hill, Holliday, the Boston-based ad firm -- have given no money to Bush. Bob Clifford of the Clifford Law Offices and Hill, Holliday Chairman Jack Connors are top fund-raisers for Kerry.

Half of Kerry's top contributors through January are law firms. Two-thirds of Bush's top contributors represent the financial sector. Bush's No. 1 financial supporter, with nearly $458,000 in individual and PAC contributions, is Merrill Lynch, the financial services firm that has topped the list of the president's contributors since he first began fund-raising last spring. Second among Bush's top donors is PricewaterhouseCoopers with nearly $430,000 in contributions.

-----

GEORGE W. BUSH (R)
Top Contributors
 http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/contrib.asp?id=N00008072&cycle=2004

Top Industries
 http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/indus.asp?id=N00008072&cycle=2004

-----

JOHN KERRY (D)
Top Contributors
 http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/contrib.asp?id=N00000245&cycle=2004

Top Industries
 http://www.opensecrets.org/presidential/indus.asp?id=N00000245&cycle=2004


Democrats getting desperate 27.Mar.2004 14:01

George Bender

Since they can't compete with Nader on the issues they're resorting to stupid smear crap. It's a free country. Anyone can contribute to any campaign. Nader has a very long record of opposing corporate power. A few thousand dollars from Republicans isn't going to change him. Nothing does. Nader is a rock. Warmonger Kerry is going down!

The next task is to get Nader on the Oregon ballot. To do that we need to get 1,000 registered voters together in one place at the same time. Join us on April 5, 6 p.m., Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. It's free. If you're not already registered to vote you can register there.

 http://naderoregon.org/

What? 27.Mar.2004 15:52

James

"Since they can't compete with Nader on the issues they're resorting to stupid smear crap. It's a free country. Anyone can contribute to any campaign."

I think the Democrats would disagree. I swear, the arroagance which flows from Indymedia is sometimes suffocating. Yes, you're all very principled. I think the Democrats would ask you to wait and see who effects positive change first, though.

I'm surprised that the source of a presidential campaign's financing is now off-limits. One of the more popular refrains around these parts has been the oil & energy industry's financing of the Bush Campaign. That's not a smear, but if you point out that these same GOP-types are financing (ten percent) of Nader's campaign, it somehow is a smear.

Nice.

Look -- you're right, anyone can run. I'll be at the Roseland with you. Not because I think Nader has any new, different, or good ideas. (I don't. I disagree with almost all of his policies). But because I agree with you that everyone has a right to run. (Also, I see it as a nice way to protest my other ballot choices).

It's a fair point though, that Nader is getting significant help from right-wingers. Read Free Republic -- they're all over this. They're helping to get him on the ballot, they're donating money, they're working for him. It's not because they'd like to see him in office. It's because they like George Bush there.

understanding the strategy 27.Mar.2004 16:29

Citizen Rove

"Read Free Republic -- they're all over this."

Exactly, it's a smart strategy to have the republicans and democrats working for a common goal, that goal being to perpetuate the myth that Nader was and will be a spoiler. It works great for both corporate parties. But ask yourself, if the republican leadership really thought Nader's run would hurt the democrats, why would they exclude him from the debates? Once you can answer that you'll understand the strategy, and then defeat it.

It's plainly obvious 27.Mar.2004 18:31

James

"But ask yourself, if the republican leadership really thought Nader's run would hurt the democrats, why would they exclude him from the debates?"

It has nothing to do with Nader, from the Republican perspective. It has do with fringe right-wing candidates, like Pat Buchanan. Of course the Democrats and Republicans have a mutual interest in excluding -all- third-party candidates. But it's a matter of principle for them. If the Republicans accepted the Naders in the debates, they'd also have to accept the Buchanans and the Brownes.

Those are top-down strategy decisions. That's the stuff political parties are made of. What this thread is discussing is something different. It's the bottom-up GOP support for Nader. The rank-and-file Republicans, already maxed-out in their donations to Bush, are making donations to Nader as "anti-Kerry" donations.

In and of itself, it doesn't prove anything, except that those folks believe Nader will be a spoiler. That Nader will be a spoiler may or may not be true. But it is true that these FReepers and other Republicans donating to Nader believe he will be.

I swear, the arroagance which flows from Indymedia is sometimes suffocating. 27.Mar.2004 19:03

see every comment James ever posts here. James@arrogant_unsubstantiated_pontifical_bastard.com

Selection 2000:

13% of Florida's Democrats voted for Bush.
8% of Florida's Republicans voted for Gore.
Of those who voted for Clinton in 1996, 16% voted for Bush in 2000.
Of those who voted for Clinton in 1996, only 1% voted for Nader in 2000.
Of those who voted for Dole in 1996, only 4% voted for Gore in 2000.
Of those who voted for Dole in 1996, only 1% voted for Nader in 2000.
Of those who voted for Perot in 1996, 10% voted for Nader in 2000.

 http://www.msnbc.com/m/d2k/g/polls.asp?office=P&state=FL

1) 310,082 Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida (13% of the democrats in the state, up 5% or 120,000 votes from 1996)? It seems that Gore's loss of Democrat votes hurt him much more than Nader's votes.

2) Polls in Florida that asked "If these were the only two presidential candidates, who would you vote for?" Bush still came about ahead by 2% (49 to 47). That seems to negate any argument that if Nader hadn't been running Gore would have picked up votes.

 http://www.msnbc.com/m/d2k/g/polls.asp?office=P&state=FL
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/281121.shtml


"Let's try joining the party that Bush's oil buddies DON'T finance:"

GOOD LUCK. They're all in the pocket of one lobby or another.

THE BIG PICTURE
2002 CYCLE
Totals by Sector
 http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/sectors.asp?Cycle=2002&Bkdn=DemRep&Sortby=Sector

Election cycle: All Cycles 2002 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1990

Breakdown to display: Dem vs. Repub Source of Funds Sort by: Sector Rank

The Center classifies business contributions into one of 10 sectors, from agribusiness to transportation. Labor and ideological groups form sectors of their own, as does "Other," a diverse group that includes retirees and government employees, among others.

Rank
Sector
Amount
Dems
Repubs

10
Agribusiness
$54,381,311
27%
72%

4
Communic/Electronics
$114,869,659
61%
39%

12
Construction
$45,526,054
31%
69%

13
Defense
$15,862,661
35%
65%

9
Energy/Nat Resource
$57,793,688
27%
73%

1
Finance/Insur/RealEst
$230,723,758
42%
58%

8
Health
$95,076,357
35%
65%

5
Lawyers & Lobbyists
$112,162,120
71%
29%

11
Transportation
$46,332,315
29%
71%

2
Misc Business
$139,721,663
35%
65%

7
Labor
$96,585,427
93%
7%

3
Ideology/Single-Issue
$135,798,737
53%
47%

6
Other
$107,984,354
45%
55%

------

THE BIG PICTURE
2002 CYCLE
Top Industries
Election cycle: All Cycles 2002 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1990
 http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/industries.asp?cycle=2002

The Center classifies contributions into one of 100 industries, from agricultural services to waste management. Also classified as industries are various types of labor unions and groups that do not neatly fall into a business, labor or ideological classification of their own, including retired individuals and government employees.

Rank
Industry
Amount
Dems
Repubs
Contribution Tilt

1
Lawyers/Law Firms

$95,358,971
74%
26%
Strongly Democratic

2
Retired

$75,285,895
36%
63%
Leans Republican

3
Real Estate

$65,970,202
48%
52%
On the Fence

4
Securities/Invest

$59,866,568
48%
52%
On the Fence

5
Candidate Cmtes

$45,442,579
50%
50%
On the Fence

6
Health Professionals

$42,283,054
38%
62%
Leans Republican

7
TV/Movies/Music

$39,902,175
78%
22%
Strongly Democratic

8
Insurance

$37,564,920
31%
69%
Strongly Republican

9
Leadership PACs

$34,029,792
42%
58%
Leans Republican

10
Pharm/Health Prod

$29,366,851
26%
74%
Strongly Republican

11
Public Sector Unions

$27,260,284
93%
7%
Solidly Democratic

12
Computers/Internet

$26,702,017
48%
51%
On the Fence

13
Oil & Gas

$24,934,708
20%
80%
Strongly Republican

14
Business Services

$22,044,254
44%
55%
On the Fence

15
Electric Utilities

$21,476,780
34%
66%
Leans Republican

16
Bldg Trade Unions

$21,377,224
93%
7%
Solidly Democratic

17
Commercial Banks

$20,750,731
36%
63%
Leans Republican

18
Industrial Unions

$19,326,756
99%
1%
Solidly Democratic

19
Misc Mfg/Distrib

$19,241,050
24%
76%
Strongly Republican

20
General Contractors

$17,775,441
30%
70%
Strongly Republican

METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs, soft money donors, and individuals giving $200 or more. All donations took place during the election cycle and released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, June 09, 2003. Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics.

------

THE BIG PICTURE
2002 CYCLE
Most Heavily Partisan Industries
 http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/partisans.asp?cycle=2002

The list below shows the industries and interest groups that gave the highest proportion of their dollars to one party or the other.

Election cycle: 2002 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1990

Party: Republicans Democrats
Industry/Interest Group Repubs Pct to Repubs
1 Repub/Conservative $13,392,562 99.7%
2 Gun Rights $2,613,497 93.7%
3 Business Assns $2,468,224 84.4%
4 Poultry & Eggs $1,578,106 82.7%
5 Mining $4,652,168 82.3%
6 Trucking $3,708,932 80.5%
7 Building Materials $5,629,707 80.0%
8 Oil & Gas $19,901,981 79.8%
9 Chemicals $5,704,797 78.7%
10 Tobacco $7,191,015 78.7%
11 Railroads $5,246,963 76.8%
12 Forest Products $3,616,921 76.3%
13 Automotive $11,451,129 76.1%
14 Misc Mfg/Distrib $14,576,203 75.8%
15 Livestock $2,702,773 75.5%
16 Food & Beverage $7,727,280 75.1%
17 Food Process/Sales $8,924,899 74.5%
18 Subcontractors $4,108,369 74.1%
19 Pharm/Health Prod $21,713,472 73.9%
20 Home Builders $4,164,324 71.2%


 http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/index.asp?cycle=2002


A smart aleck comment 27.Mar.2004 19:44

Catalina Eddie

'Seems like those poor embattled Democrats might hafta pay some attention to which side of their bread gets buttered and by whom. Like, does money translate into votes? I really don't know anymore. I haven't voted for a Dem since George Mc, and I was embarrassed about that. This time around, I'm tempted to vote ABB, but I just can't give my vote to JFK. Too many good Amerikans have died to preserve that dubious right, and to throw it away is to piss on their graves

Vancouver

a convenient excuse 27.Mar.2004 22:13

Citizen Rove

"they'd also have to accept the Buchanans and the Brownes"

As for being plainly obvious, this is plainly obviously untrue. Or do people not remember 1992? The democrats and republicans have such a tight control over the debate process that they can choose to let in whatever candidates they want. Sure, it would be "fair" to let in based on some sort of objective qualification (such as being on all state ballots) but I don't think anyone is naive enough to consider either political party "fair".

So again, if the republicans wanted just Nader in the debates they could do it. Even if fringe candidates were allowed I'd bet those that believe the Nader spoiler myth would still tell you it would be a net gain for Bush. And why not? Nader is polling higher than any fringe "right-wing" candidate. Look at the 2000 election, if you were to suggest that Gore would have gotten Nader's votes and Bush would have gotten Buchanan's, Brown's, and Phillips', then it would clearly be to the advantage of the republicans to have opened up the debates (Nader got 3 times as many votes as the other 3 combined). But they didn't, and they won't again because those making the strategies know that it is not to their advantage. And because they know it, I suggest that we all know it too.

Frankly, the fact the the freepers believe it is reason enough for me to find it suspect. What was the last thing anyone can remember any of them being right about? And the fact that many democrats agree with them should be a warning flag to anyone that something is fishy. It's a strategy, and a good one. The a good lie is one that is truly believed by one's followers; a great lie is one that is truly believed by one's opponents. It is a great lie and it has served the republicans extremely well, but no one should confuse its effectiveness with its truth.

'Citizen Rove' 27.Mar.2004 22:38

Quizmaster

"a great lie is one that is truly believed by one's opponents."

--does that make 9-11 great?

(in that mainstream Democrats and Republicans each believe, and disseminate/propogate the belief that, it was a "surprise attack" - give or take various increments of advance knowledge/warning?)