pResidential Visits, and Kerry Sympathizers vs. Reality
I was able to attend the gatherings outside of both the Kerry campaign stop on the Waterfront, and the Bush visit to the Beaverton high school location. My main focus was gathering signatures to place Nader on the November ballot. Here are a few of my impressions and observations, as well as a look at some of the claims that the Democrats are making about the Nader campaign.
After a short pedal down to the Portland Waterfront, I arrived at the Salmon Street Fountain shortly after 10 AM. Crowds of people were streaming everywhere, and I proceeded to solicit signatures for a petition to place Ralph Nader on the Oregon ballot. I had some success with the people that were gathered in that area, but found myself mostly in conversations with people rather than collecting signatures. One of the longest interactions was with a Socialist Party booster who refused to sign my petition, and claimed that Nader had abandoned social issues. I pointed out prominent planks in the Nader platform that dealt with Universal Heath Care and labor rights, but she seemed unaware that he was promoting these issues.
Shortly after this, I spotted Spark and Deva in the area. I gave Spark a brief on-camera interview, offered them my Kerry event 'invitation', then headed for the MAX out to Beaverton.
Upon exiting the MAX, I hopped on my bike and pumped a few miles over to the Bush gathering at Southridge High School. When I arrived, I noticed that the police officers, mostly clad in full riot gear, lacked name tags. I approached one of them and asked why they were not wearing nametags. He did not respond, but one of his fellow officers approached and seemed to be in a poor mood. He would not answer my question but did provide me with a name of the officer in charge.
I began to work the crowd with my Nader petition. One side of the street appeared to be concentrated with Bush detractors, while the other side appeared stacked with supporters. There was a great deal of fear (of Bush) expressed by the detractors, and I found myself subjected to numerous claims that I was a Republican operative. Others wanted to know who was paying me, who I planned to vote for, and what I liked about the Nader platform. I responded that I was an independent volunteer planning to vote for Nader because he was the only candidate that represented my views, and I listed a few of them.
I completed my pass through the crowds on both sides of the streets. I received about the same number of signatures on both sides of the street, for a total of around 25. Just around the time I was finishing up, the Bush motorcade began to roll out. I positioned myself on the Bush supporter side, crouching in front of the crowd, and offered an enthusiastic single fingered salute to each of the limos as they exited, passing within 15 feet in front of me.
Now to address some of the empty claims constantly repeated by Democratic sympathizers. Nader did not cost Gore the election in 2000. That claim has been repeatedly discredited and is astoundingly ignorant at this point. Gore won the election despite 8 million Democrats casting their votes for Bush, ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20040524-121024-1968r), yet conceded the 'victory' to Bush. The Bush crew engaged in blatant voter fraud activities and the Democrats failed disgracefully to challenge them.
For a brief explanation of the fraud, see http://www.ericblumrich.com/gta.html
For the extended version, have a look at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5278.htm
The Nader campaign does not intentionally recruit help from the Republican Party, and has publicly denounced both Republican and Democratic meddling in his campaign. One of the most aggressive Democratic apologists suggested that most of the Nader campaign contribution comes from Republican groups who do not support Nader. When I pressed him for a source for his claims, he volunteered the http://www.opensecrets.org/ website. I did not find anything there that supported his claims. In fact, what I found was evidence suggesting that Bush and Kerry are both very deep in the pockets of large corporations, and many of these corporations, including some particularly heinous ones, were giving massive support to both Bush and Kerry. Here are a few examples of their (common) top contributors:
Goldman Sachs- Bush: $352,875 Kerry: $209,750
Morgan Stanley- Bush: $559,425 Kerry: $124,279
UBS Americas- Bush: $433,350 Kerry: $172,800
Citigroup- Bush: $273,650 Kerry: $186,606
Bank of America- Bush: $191,250 Kerry: $121,802
Microsoft- Bush: $184,740 Kerry: $133,543
The Kerry campaign also received well over $100,000 from JP Morgan Chase & Co., IBM Corporation, and Viacom Inc., and more than $200,000 from Time Warner.
Time Warner was the only overlapping top contributor to the Nader campaign, offering his campaign $3,200. There were ZERO shared top campaign contributors between the Bush and Nader campaigns.
To the issue of Nader taking more votes away from the Kerry campaign than the Bush campaign, while I couldn't personally care less if this was true, I have yet to see a single poll that supports this claim in numbers that are outside of the stated margin of error for the poll, and most polls that I have seen show this to be only marginally true.
As for me, I am working to get Nader on the ballot because he deserves the support and is the only candidate who both represents my views and is qualified for the job. I don't doubt that a few Republicans are petitioning or contributing with ill intentions against Kerry, but I do not control the behavior of others, and there is nothing illegal about this anyway. I do know for a fact that the Democrats have engaged in many unethical and sometimes borderline illegal efforts with respect to their ongoing sabotage of the Nader campaign. Most Kerry backers appear to be supporting him only because they have ill intensions towards Bush.
Kerry and the Democrats reek with the stench of failure. The illegal Iraq invasion is poised to be the greatest military defeat in US history. Kerry offers no credible alternative to our present policy in Iraq, in Israel, in Venezuela, and elsewhere. The US economy is well on its way towards a massive meltdown, largely as a result of US military adventures, and both Skull and Bones candidates are offering to continue policies that will complete our economic collapse.
Kerry is a proven enemy of liberty, with his backing of the PATRIOT Act and proposals for 'neighborhood terror watch' groups. He is an established enemy of the environment, of labor, and of human rights with his support of NAFTA and the anti-human Chapter 11 provision contained within it. Kerry has admitted publicly to have participated in war atrocities in Vietnam- a conflict which nobody should confuse as being righteous, or an effort to defend the US in any legitimate way. Vietnam is one of the biggest disgraces in our nation's history, and the only American 'heroes' in that war were those that worked to undermine it.
On a positive note, the Nader campaign is reporting that: "... Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader today applauded a federal court decision that found the FEC acted contrary to the Federal Elections Act by ignoring evidence that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is a partisan political organization.
""This decision is the first step toward getting real presidential debates this Fall. A federal court, looking at all the evidence, found that the FEC has been ignoring evidence that the Commission on Presidential Debates is a partisan organization," said Nader."
Details at http://www.votenader.org/media_press/index.php?cid=152
For Nader on the issues, see http://www.votenader.org/issues/index_home.php
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