Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Nader Falls Short in California,

San Francsico Chronicle reports

Former consumer advocate Ralph Nader appears to have fallen far short of the signatures required to be an independent presidential candidate in California, but his supporters -- insisting it's not over -- say they'll ramp up efforts to get him on the state ballot as a Green Party candidate.

The Nader campaign had turned in just 82,923 signatures to state officials as of the 7 p.m. deadline Friday -- just more than half of the 153, 035 valid signatures required to put him on the ballot as an independent candidate, according to the secretary of state. Monterey and Mono counties will not report their numbers until Monday but were unlikely to produce enough signatures to qualify Nader for the ballot, state officials said.

Officials in the Nader campaign, citing the difficulty and cost in gathering signatures in the nation's most populous state, said they suspended their signature-gathering efforts last week and did not expect to meet the requirements for the California ballot.

But in a move that has caused a deep rift in the state Green Party, backers of Nader and his vice presidential candidate, longtime Green Party member Peter Camejo, are now trying to get the ticket on the California ballot under the auspices of the Greens.

Nader and Camejo and their followers are putting forward all sorts of rationalizations for this blatant power and ego trip. But it is time for a little honesty. Nader made a decision to bypass the Green Party which would have assured him widespread ballot access. He did little to built the Green Party or any political institution to the left of the DP in the last four years. He announced his candidacy without any sort of real accountability. There is nothing resembling the intellectuals and artists for Browder which the CP was able to assemble in 1932. Nader is accountable to no-one.

Ted Glick on Nader's California Maneuver

(Ted Glick is a long-time, New Jersey based, left activist who has been involved with the Green Party. He is National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network, www.ippn.org)
the Nader/Camejo campaign, having failed in their efforts in California either to get the Presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party or to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot as an independent, has launched an effort to take away the ballot line of the
Green Party's nominee, David Cobb, and put Nader on instead. They are doing this even though it has been national Green Party policy for years that in order to be affiliated with the national Green Party a state party has to agree to support whoever is chosen as the Presidential nominee by the national party.

In other words, the Nader/Camejo campaign is willing to risk disaffiliation, at least, if not a seriously divided Green Party nationally, for the short-term purpose of getting Nader on the California ballot. ...

I really hope that what is happening is not an opening salvo in a less-than-principled campaign on the part of **some of** the pro-Nader forces within the Green Party to confuse and disrupt the efforts of the Cobb/LaMarche campaign, a kind-of "rule or ruin" approach to politics. The purpose of this destructive campaign would be to either lay the basis for a move to "take over" the Green Party after November 2 or, if that can't happen, to split away as many individual Greens as possible and establish a "Ralph Nader party." If this is what is really going on, they may find that their tactics will backfire on them. There are many Greens who support Nader who do not and will not support such an effort.

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