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government selection 2004

Bradbury says Nader fails to get on ballot

The independent's Oregon chief is outraged, saying the Democratic official's decision is political.
The Oregonian
September 2, 2004

Ralph Nader did not qualify for Oregon's presidential ballot, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury said Wednesday, providing a mild boost to Democrats who feared the consumer advocate would draw votes from their nominee, Sen. John Kerry.

Bradbury said more than 1,000 sheets of signatures of registered voters that Nader supporters submitted could not be counted because rules about numbering the sheets were not followed or because the sheets were improperly signed or dated.

That disqualified 3,082 signatures that had been validated by county elections officials, leaving Nader 218 short of the 15,306 valid signatures needed to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot.

The announcement was greeted by howls of outrage from Nader's Oregon campaign leaders, who said they would challenge the ruling in court this week and try to force Nader's name onto the ballot. Bradbury's office faces a Sept. 8 deadline to provide county elections offices with an official list of presidential candidates so that the counties can begin printing ballots.

"I think the secretary of state should be ashamed of himself," said Greg Kafoury, co-director of Nader's Oregon campaign. "This is a completely political decision."

Bradbury, a Democrat, defended the ruling, saying, "It's my duty to uphold the law, and it is clear that signatures on sheets that do not comply with the law cannot be counted."

In contrast, Nader won a spot Wednesday on Washington state's ballot, but he suffered additional setbacks with courtroom defeats in Texas and Michigan. In Washington, Nader supporters submitted 1,983 signatures, almost double the 1,000 needed. He has now qualified in 14 states and Washington, D.C.

For all the uproar in Oregon, it is not clear whether Nader's absence from -- or presence on -- the ballot would make much difference. Nader won 5 percent of the Oregon vote in 2000, but public opinion polls and his struggles to qualify for the ballot this year suggest his support has greatly diminished as voters concentrate on the choice between Kerry and President Bush.

"I don't think he's going to have much impact on the race," Tim Hibbitts, an independent Portland pollster, said before Wednesday's announcement.

Nader's petition drive in Oregon fell short not because of alleged signature fraud, as his critics claimed, but because of technical provisions governing how such petition drives are to be conducted. The key issue centers on numbers on the pages signed by Nader supporters.

John Lindback, director of the state Elections Division, said the rules require that campaigns number the signature sheets before they are submitted to county elections officials for validation. He said a review by his office found 1,062 Nader signature sheets, containing 2,354 signatures that county officials had deemed valid, did not comply with the rule, resulting in their disqualification.

"The statue and the (elections) manual are very clear to us," Lindback said. "We were facing a lawsuit no matter which way we turned, and I would rather go to court where we said we followed the rules and the statute rather than we were selective about the rules. I know Greg Kafoury feels this is trivial. We don't regard any of these rules as trivial."

Kafoury said the Nader campaign was concerned that gaps had developed in the numerical sequence of the petition sheets in some counties when sheets were pulled out of the sequence for various reasons. He said Lindback's office advised campaign workers that they could solve the problem by submitting unnumbered sheets to county officials, then numbering the sheets in the proper sequence when they got them back from the counties.

Lindback said that no one in his office recalls giving such advice and that Nader's campaign lost control of the petition drive process.

"Their problem was that they were doing a lot of stuff in a hurry at the last minute, and they lost this organizationally," he said.

Kevin Mannix, the Oregon Republican Party chairman, accused Bradbury of playing politics in blocking Nader's access to the ballot. "I think Mr. Bradbury's partisan slip is showing," he said.

But Jim Edmunson, the state Democratic Party chairman, said that while Nader would be a "distraction" in the fall campaign, "it is doubtful that he would have had an impact on the election." In 2000, Nader easily qualified for the ballot when his supporters, who paid $7 a ticket, filled Portland's Memorial Coliseum for a nominating convention. Under state law, such a convention that is attended by at least 1,000 registered voters who sign a petition automatically qualifies the candidate for the November ballot.

But when Nader tried the same approach this year, he failed twice to attract the necessary support. It was only after the second convention failure in late June, relatively late in the process, that Nader's Oregon campaign leaders started a statewide drive to collect 15,306 voter signatures, the alternative method to gain ballot access.

The result was a sometimes madcap race to the secretary of state's office before the Aug. 24 deadline for submitting signatures. Along the way, charges and countercharges flew between the Nader camp and state Democrats and their allies, who were determined to keep Nader off the ballot and make the Nov. 2 election a strictly Bush versus Kerry showdown.

Edward Walsh: 503-294-4153;  edwardwalsh@news.oregonian.com

homepage: homepage: http://naderoregon.org

The New Bush Slogan: “The Ownership Society” 02.Sep.2004 17:12


While some are fighting in the courts for Nader, he continues the battle against Bush by publishing his writings every few days.

Nader For President 2004
P.O. Box 18002 - Washington, DC 20036 - www.votenader.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For Further Information:
September 2, 2004 Kevin Zeese 202.265.4000

The New Bush Slogan: "The Ownership Society"
Will Make Americans Poorer and Add to the Wealth of the Wealthiest

The selected President George W. Bush is expected to sound the theme of an "ownership society," featuring personal savings accounts at the expense of social security and medical accounts at the expense of full health care for all. This charade continues the duplicitous performance of Republicans at their corporate-saturated convention in New York.

This new slogan is reminiscent of Bush's claims of being a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, reinforced by the New York Convention's slogan "People of Compassion." (To see the record of the compassionless conservative administration—less assistance to children; more poverty; less safety regulations in the workplace, marketplace, and environment; less health care; lower wages; and illegal wars that have taken the lives of thousands, click here).

Were George W. Bush authentic about the "ownership society," he would propose measures that would give control to what the American people already own but have lost control over to the corporations.

The President would give control over the public airwaves which the public owns. Presently, and since the 1920's, the radio and TV stations control the public airwaves as tenants, though they are licensed from the Federal Communications Commission. These stations are the tenants; the people are the landlords. These tenants pay no rent (no license fee) to the landlords via the FCC. These tenants receive this public property free and decide who says and who does not say what, 24 hours a day. The landlords neither have their audience networks nor any TV or radio stations based on a return of their property for an allotted time during prime-time and drive-time each day. These time periods would be programmed with experienced staff and studios and open widely the kind of information, participation, and communication worthy of this great public commonwealth that has been so trivialized and debased with commercialism and more media concentration.

The President would give control over the public's federal lands to the American people who own these lands, which amount to one third of the United States. Presently these federal lands are controlled by mining, timber, and other extractive corporations through their compliant servants (often their former business associates) in the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture. As a result, these give-aways of the peoples' natural resources are a form of legalized theft, matched by no other country in the world.

Finally, the President would not give away the results of federal research and development—newly discovered drugs and many other innovations—paid for by hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Drug companies are presently given free-of-charge important drugs, discovered and tested by government or university scientists under contract or grant.

These giant drug companies then turn around and gouge patients mercilessly for such anticancer drugs as Taxol (Brisol-Myers Squibb), without any price restraints from the federal government. An ownership society would give the taxpayers more control through their governmental representatives over what they own and have paid for. Government R&D has represented a major portion of the entire nation's research and development budget over the past fifty years.

George W. Bush has been representing the interests of the giant corporations rather than the interests of the people. Over two-thirds of American people polled believe this to be the truth.

The American people should not be deceived by this evening's deceptive Bush-brand of "ownership society," which means turning over the people's money in the health and social security sectors to corporate control. Mr. Bush's corporate control brings with it woefully inadequate disclosure, regulation, or prosecution when these companies proceed to rip-off defenseless Americans, or when stock markets fail them after the corporate manipulators jump ship with their profits.