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government | political theory selection 2004

Letter from Ron Wyden to Ralph Nader

"I cannot believe you would choose to associate yourself with this attempted fraud
on the people of Oregon."
June 25, 2004

Ralph Nader
Nader for President 2004
P.O. Box 18002
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Ralph,

While I obviously will support John Kerry for President in November, I want you to know that I respect your right to run for President and to attempt to qualify for the ballot in Oregon. However, reports emerged
yesterday that Bush-Cheney campaign workers and conservative special interest groups were assisting your efforts to get on the Oregon ballot. Apparently, this is being done with, at a minimum, the quiet encouragement
of Nader for President campaign staff. I am writing to bring this to your attention and to urge you to reject this potential fraud on the voters of my state.

The facts, as I understand them, are that calls were made this week by the Oregon Bush-Cheney campaign office, as well as the conservative interest groups Citizens for a Sound Economy and Oregon Family Council, to recruit
Bush supporters to show up for your second attempt to gather enough signatures to qualify for Oregon's ballot. The Oregonian quotes Russ Walker, State Director of Citizens for a Sound Economy saying, "We don't
agree with Ralph Nader's positions on the issues - he's socialistic and we're free marketers." He went on to say the idea of helping your campaign as a means of helping the reelection of President Bush has been
widely discussed among conservative groups in Oregon. Tim Nashif, an organizer for the Family Research Council is quoted by The Oregonian saying, "We'd like to take a few votes away from John Kerry if it would be
possible." The Bush campaign in Oregon acknowledged that their volunteers "may well" have been phone banking on your behalf. Further, the head of the Nader campaign in Oregon is quoted in The Oregonian, saying of the
Republican phone banking efforts on your behalf, "It's a free country. People do things in their own interest."

Ralph, I have always believed that you stood for putting principle over politics. I prefer to believe that this apparent coordination of efforts between your campaign and conservative operatives is news to you. The
Oregon statutory requirements for qualifying for the presidential ballot exist to ensure that only candidates with legitimate support occupy space on the election ballot. Getting 1,000 true supporters to your convention
doesn't seem like an unreasonable threshold for demonstrating such support, but using operatives of a campaign that has already qualified for the Oregon ballot is deceptive and unethical on its face and would defeat
the legitimate purpose behind Oregon's law. At a time when so many Americans are cynical about the campaign process, particularly in light of the allegations of fraud and dirty tricks in the 2000 presidential campaign, I cannot believe that you would knowingly accept help from people who work so hard to defeat your every stated value and I cannot believe you would choose to associate yourself with this attempted fraud on the people of Oregon.

Ralph, I am asking you to again place principle over politics and cancel your convention until you can assure Oregonians that only true Nader supporters are participating in your ballot qualifying efforts. Again, I
will defend your right to organize to get on Oregon's ballot in November, but I cannot defend your appearance on that ballot should you use deceptive means.


Ron Wyden
United States Senator
deceptive and unethical huh ? 25.Jun.2004 15:37


Kinda like the Democrats continuing attempts to remove his ballot access in Arizona ?

Democratic Machine Coming Down Hard 25.Jun.2004 15:42


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For Further Information:

Date: June 25, 2004 Jason Kafoury

(202) 465-2764

Greg Kafoury

503) 224-2647


1.Does Nader have anything to do with the announcement of pro-Bush groups that they are going to try to stack his convention?

Answer: Absolutely not. The press reports that two pro-Bush groups are trying to get their supporters to come to the Nader Convention at Benson High School on June 26. The Nader Campaign has had nothing to do with this effort. Those organizing this manipulation may discover to their regret that those that go to hear Nader may become converted to Nader's cause.

2.Does Nader seek the support of genuine conservatives?

Answer: Absolutely yes. Nader has always had a strong appeal to classical conservatives, because his values are Jeffersonian. He comes from a small town and a family business, has fought the government along with big corporations, he stands for government efficiency, ending police state legislation, ending corporate welfare, rejecting trade agreements that destroy American sovereignty, and believes our foreign policy should support ordinary people overseas, while resisting the lure of empire.

Nader regularly appears on right wing talk shows in order to argue that Bush should be rejected because he is not a true conservative. Nader has always believed that he could draw more votes from Bush this year than from Kerry. Nader is on the cover of this month's American Conservative with an appeal to conservative voters, and has been endorsed by the Reform Party, which four years ago endorsed Pat Buchanan.

It is important that people not be confused between Nader's true conservative support, and the intended manipulation by these pro-Bush groups. Progressives should turn out in force at Benson High, June 26, 5-7:00 p.m., because just as it is important that Bush lose this election, it is crucial that John Kerry feel pressure to abandon his support for this disastrous war in Iraq.

Paid for by Nader For President 2004

deceptive and unethical huh? 25.Jun.2004 15:47

ex-democrat voter

Kinda like Wyden's "support" for the forests?

Fuck Ron Wyden and his Democrat smear crap 25.Jun.2004 15:50

George Bender

Wyden and the Democrats are stooping to a new low. There is no evidence whatsoever, and Wyden cites none, that there is any "coordination of efforts between your campaign and conservative operatives." He quotes Jason Kafoury as saying, ""It's a free country. People do things in their own interest." That's the simple truth. The Nader campaign has no control over what the Republicans do. Ron Wyden is a worthless, scumsucking asshole and he can go fuck himself. I will never vote for him again. He doesn't give a shit about democracy or ethics, he just wants to knock the competition out of the race, and he is willing to play dirty to do it.


The Point Commentary

Nader Dont Get No Respect

Ralph Nader is fighting for his life. His political life, that is.

America is generally thought of as having a two-party political system. Republicans and Democrats occupy almost every seat in Congress. But nearly every presidential race has included candidates from more than two parties.

George Washington ran for reelection against four other candidates. Abraham Lincoln didn't receive a majority of votes against three others. Ulysses S. Grant won against five opponents. Theodore Roosevelt ran for his second full term representing the Bull Moose Party.

John Schmitz, John Anderson, Eugene McCarthy and Pat Buchanan are some of the more recent major third party candidates. Ross Perot is widely credited with having handed the 92 election to Bill Clinton. The same is said of Ralph Nader in 2000. Which is why he's under attack. John Kerry supporters have launched the National Progress Fund, a group dedicated to driving Nader from the race. Another group, the Democratic Action Team, has undertaken a legal battle trying to keep Nader off the ballot. Never before have there been such intense efforts to exclude a third party candidate from the race.

All of which strikes us as odd. For a man who claims to represent the best interests of all voters Kerry's doing his best to disenfranchise the nearly three million who voted for Nader in the last election.

And that's the Point.

I'm Mark Hyman.

So much for Wyden 25.Jun.2004 15:55

Lynn Porter

Let's all remember this the next time Wyden runs for office and hit him hard with letters to the editor. He has forfeited all right to any support from progressives.

too late for the dems and their whining 25.Jun.2004 15:58


NADER IS GOING NOWHERE. He's already committed to the end, so either keep bitching or steal the show

Respond to Wyden Now! 25.Jun.2004 16:05


I agree with Lynn that we need to remember this next time Wyden's up for election...in the meantime, email him TODAY:

Forest Animals 25.Jun.2004 16:28


I think it would be cool if a million forest animals showed up tomorrow to stop the "vote for Nader-elect Bush scam". I want you Nader supporters to be thinking of those animals' future when you go to his convention.

watch out Kerry & Bush 25.Jun.2004 17:14

Just another peon

I don't think Bush wants to get Nader on the ballot. When Nader gets on the ballot Bush will have someone who is really offering an alternative,someone who will bring up the issues.
And not just agree with everything the warmonger Bush does, like Kerry.
Watch out Bush and Kerry- Ralph has some questions for you. Have you the guts to debate him?

just stating the obvious 25.Jun.2004 18:01


"He has forfeited all right to any support from progressives."

Yes, years ago.

"I don't think Bush wants to get Nader on the ballot"

Absolutely, you think that if Nader's run would benefit Bush that Nader would be excluded from the debates? Of course not.

Dont vote Ralph petition 25.Jun.2004 18:06

Tell the truth Ralph!

forest animals lose habitat under kerry too 25.Jun.2004 18:22


Just for the record...a hell of a lot more forest was logged under Clinton than Bush. Bush sucks for a lot of reasons, but there is no credible reason to think a Kerry election will protect Oregon's forests. The sales that are always being posted about all over indymedia are by and large Clinton era old-growth sales.

cool 25.Jun.2004 18:39

supporting kerry's ego

Can you tell me where to find the don't vote Kerry petition or the tell the truth Kerry petition? Afterall, we all know Kerry is only running because of his over-inflated ego. He should really end his campaign so he doesn't take votes away from Nader and allow Bush to be elected.

Animal 25.Jun.2004 19:08


""Just for the record...a hell of a lot more forest was logged under Clinton than Bush""

Obviously you've never heard of Bush's "Healthy ForestInitiative" which is now being implemented.

Smokey 25.Jun.2004 19:40


Obviously you slept through the Clinton years.

As for the "Healthy Forest Inititive" don't you mean the Wyden/Feinstein Forest Compromise...

Chomsky and Zinn Are Voting NADER. 25.Jun.2004 19:57

"Smokey" didn't sleep, he hibernated

Wyden the Gap 25.Jun.2004 20:06

Menopause Red

I don't recall Ronny opposing an unjust occupation of Iraq loudly, and i certainly didnt appreciate his endorsing the Republicans fraudulent Medicare for Seniors Meds Bill last november.

Sandal hootenany 25.Jun.2004 21:20


I cant wait to see all the GOP suits wearing sandals tomorrow at the Nader convention! What a hoot.

to ron wyden 26.Jun.2004 00:07


Not sure if you'll look at these responses, but just in case. I'm offended you voted for the censorship bill this week. In doing so you've removed the most vocal and powerful critic of the bush administration; howard stern. While plenty of people dismiss him, his continual hammering on the bush administration which began on feb 26 [and resulting in his being taken off clear channel four days later] reaches an estimated 12 million people daily. You have essentially voted to end this.

Basically my attitude is if you are going to vote with republicans, people may as well vote you out. At this point, unless I see you do something spectacular in the near future, I'll vote for anyone but you.

As far as nader is concerned, he's an imbecile. An old, egomaniac.

Oh, I don't know... 26.Jun.2004 08:31


It's kind of funny that this half-assed, last minute smear tact...uh, I mean "report" emerged yesterday, and ron wyden got his letter written so "quickly". hmmm?

I hope that Bush supporters come, though. They'll get quite a lecture about Bush from Ralph. hehehe.

See you all at the convention! Peace.

Naderites and Republicans = schweet 26.Jun.2004 09:53


"I cant wait to see all the GOP suits wearing sandals tomorrow at the Nader convention! What a hoot."

HAH! I think they will stick out with their penchant for wearing their sweaters tied around their necks.

Chomsky and Zinn would only 26.Jun.2004 12:39


vote for Nader in SAFE states, as they say in the article you refer to. Oregon is not a safe state, it's a swing state.

Kind of giving yourself away there: 26.Jun.2004 21:45


Quote: "Ron Wyden is a worthless, scumsucking asshole and he can go fuck himself."

Funny that you favor Cheney's exact figures of speech. Though perhaps the words "major league" and "big time" could have shown up there to make it perfect.

Wonder how many other Republicans besides you are in here 'turfing this story and stirring up the rancor?

Ron Wyden Voted Against the Iraq War 26.Jun.2004 22:56


Hey Folks,

Ron Wyden voted against the Iraq war. He gave my Peace Group a lot of access to his staff when we wanted to talk about issues related to the war. That is good enough for me.

Not good enough for me 01.Jul.2004 08:47


And Ron Wyden is a member and enabler of a party who overwhelming supports this Iraq war. That's not good enough for me.

Don't vote for wyden again! 02.Sep.2004 22:59


I have been denied my cival right to vote for whom I choose. It appears wyden came up with a sneaky trick to asure Kerry wins oregon. Well i won't vote for him now. if it was Ross p. I would still be mad. I would hope good people would vote the same.