June 25, 2004
Nader for President 2004
P.O. Box 18002
Washington, DC 20036
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.
United States Senator