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government selection 2004

Nader rails against corporations

SARASOTA - More than 30 years have passed since Ralph Nader nearly single-handedly took on the auto industry's lack of safety standards in the 1970s, but his core message back then remains the same on the campaign trail: don't trust corporate America.
Herald Tribune
Sept. 29, 2004

Nader, the consumer advocate turned presidential spoiler, ripped into both Democrats and Republicans for being pawns of corporate America during a campaign stop at New College of Florida on Wednesday.

Nadar, fresh from winning a battle to secure his spot on the Nov. 2 presidential ballot in Florida, warned students on the honors college campus that greedy corporations are bankrolling the campaigns of George W. Bush and John Kerry and trying to distract young people from the real problems facing America.

"This is a disgrace," he told more than 200 students. "They are entertaining you into oblivion."

Nader pointed to efforts to use hip-hop music to get young people to vote, instead of dealing with them straight about the possibility of re-enacting the military draft, joblessness, poverty and the "corporate dictatorship" that is forming in America.

Less than two weeks ago, Nader won a Florida Supreme Court decision that allows him to remain on the presidential ballot. Democrats had sought to strike him from the ballot, claiming that the party that nominated him - the Reform Party - is no longer a legitimate political party.

Many Democrats are convinced that Nader's 2000 presidential run cost Democratic candidate Al Gore the White House in 2000. More than 97,000 Floridians voted for Nader, votes Democrats believe would have gone to Gore if Nader hadn't run. Bush won Florida in 2000 by less than 600 votes.

Nader fought back yesterday warning students to not sell out as other liberals have and support Kerry, who isn't addressing the need for a higher minimum wage, the failed war on drugs or opposing efforts by corporations to reduce their threat of being sued.

Nader was also highly critical of Republicans that are in power now in Florida and in national politics, calling them the "slimiest" Republicans to ever surface in politics.

He accused the Bush administration of misusing the national guard and reservists in the military by sending them to Iraq. He warned the students that such a move will ultimately reduce volunteer recruits, which could lead to re-instatement of the draft.

Nader said he fears too many young people are being sucked into a pattern in which they vote for the "least worst candidate" instead of voting for something they really believe in, even if the candidate doesn't win.

Nader's stop in Sarasota was part of a four-day run through Florida to drum up support for his candidacy. Nader said even after the Nov. 2 election he will remain active in politics.

"We are laying the groundwork for a political reform movement," Nader said

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