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PRESIDENCY 2004:

Ralph Nader RALPH NADER of Connecticut
Independent Candidate for President, and
Reform Party Presidential Nominee

Note: Nader is the also the nominee of the Independent Party of Delaware

RALPH NADER BIOGRAPHICAL FACTS:

POLITICAL: Green Party Nominee for President, 2000 (ballot status in 44 states - 3rd place - 2,878,000 votes - 2.7%) and 1996 (ballot status in 22 states - 685,000 votes - 4th place - 0.8%). Write-In candidate for President, 1992 New Hampshire Democratic Primary. Drafted as the New Party Nominee for President, 1972. Registered as an Independent voter.

PROFESSIONAL: Consumer advocate. Attorney. College lecturer. Author. Founder of Public Citizen, Congress Watch, Essential Information, the Public Interest Research Group, Center for Auto Safety, Center for the Study of Responsive Law, Institute for Civic Renewal, Government Purchasing Project and other public interest organizations. US Army Reservist, 1959.

EDUCATION: A.B., Princeton University, 1955. LLB, Harvard Law School, 1958.

PERSONAL: Born February 27, 1934 in Winsted, Connecticut. Single (never married).



Peter Camejo PETER MIGUEL CAMEJO of California
Independent Candidate for President and
Reform Party Presidential Nominee

Peter Camejo is back on the national political scene after an absence of nearly 25 years, only he's much changed since he last ran for President. Camejo was 1976 Presidential nominee of Socialist Workers Party -- a militant, Trotskyist communist party. He won ballot status in 30 states and captured 90,000 votes. Since then, his strident leftist views have evolved into the democratic socialism of the Green Party that he now espouses. "I tried to make changes inside the SWP, and it was very difficult. I guess it's like being in the Catholic Church and suggesting that Mary wasn't really a virgin or something," explained Camejo. A longtime progressive activist, he marched in Selma with Martin Luther King in the early 1960s, protested the Vietnam War, and advocated environmental protection policies. He also became a successful financial executive as chair and co-founder of Progressive Asset Management, a broker-dealer firm which promotes "socially responsible investments." Camejo also created the Eco-Logical Trust for Merrill Lynch, the first environmentally-screened fund of a major firm. He was an active Nader supporter in 1996 and 2000. In 2002, Camejo was the Green nominee for California Governor (382,000 votes - 5% - 3rd place). During the Gray Davis gubernatorial recall election in 2003, he was again the Green candidate for Governor (242,000 votes - 3% - 4th place). In both those elections, Camejo polled well enough during the campaign to be included in the various televised gubernatorial debates. While Camejo was an active candidate for the 2004 Green nomination for President, but he readily admitted he was running as a Nader surrogate. Days before the start of the GPUS National Convention, Nader announced his selection of Camejo as his VP runningmate to boost his chances of winning the Green endorsement (and ballot spots in 22 states) -- but the Nader/Camejo ticket was unable to win the support of the Greens.


LINKS:

Nader for President - Official Campaign Site.
Nader 2004 National Meet-Up Day
- Official Campaign Site #2.
Democracy Rising
- Official Nader Political Group.
Citizen Works
- Official Nader Political Group.
Essential Information
- Official Nader Political Site.
The Nader Page
- Official Nader Clearinghouse of Articles.
Crashing the Party
- Official Nader Book Site.
Public Citizen
- Nader Organization.
Center for the Study of Responsive Law
- Nader Organization.
Taxpayer Assets Project
- Nader Organization.
Aviation Consumer Action Project
- Nader Organization.
Congressional Accountability Project
- Nader Organization.
Reform Party
- Official Reform Party Site.
Reform Party State Affiliates
- Official Reform Party Site #2.
Vote Camejo
- Camejo's Official Political Site.
Progressive Asset Management
- Camejo's Investment Firm.
Nader Watch
- Grassroots Supporters (Unauthorized).
Unrepentant Nader Voter
- Grassroots Supporters (Unauthorized).
The Nader Factor
- Negative Site.
United Progressives for Victory
- Negative Site.
Vote2StopBush.org
- Negative Site.
Dear Ralph
- Negative Site.
StopNader.com
- Negative Site.
Ralph Don't Run
- Negative Site.
Repentant Nader Voter PAC
- Negative Site.
Nader Watch Blog
- Negative Site.
Don't Vote Ralph
- Negative Site.
Ralph-Nader.info
- Negative Site.
Damned Big Difference
- Negative Site.
Greens for Kerry (Change In '04)
- Negative Site.
Nader's Skeleton Closet
- Negative Site.


ANALYSIS:

Famed consumer advocate, liberal activist and Harvard-educated attorney Ralph Nader is making a fourth Presidential run in 2004. He launched his 2004 Presidential Exploratory Committee in December 2003, and announced his official candidacy in February 2004. Unlike 1996 and 2000, Nader did not seek the Green nomination in 2004 (although he did seek their "endorsement" and ballot access). Instead, Nader is officially running as an Independent. He also announced plans to form and run under the banner of the "Populist Party" -- only where needed -- but merely for making it easier to gain ballot access in some states. In 2000, Nader raised millions of dollars, mobilized leftist activists and grabbed national headlines with his anti-corporate campaign message. Nader ignored pleas from liberal Democrats that he abandon the race because he was siphoning essential votes away from Al Gore's campaign -- answering that Gore was not substantially different than Bush, and that his own campaign was about building a permanent third party. In the end, Nader was on the ballot in 44 states and finished third with nearly 2.9 million votes -- seemingly depriving Gore of wins in some key states (conservative Reform Party nominee Pat Buchanan, but contrast, intentionally ran a "safe states" startegy and declined to campaign in any states that were close so as to not hurt Bush's chances). More significantly, Nader missed the important 5% mark for the national vote, meaning that the party will still be ineligible for federal matching funds in 2004. Since 2000, Nader still maintains he did not cause Gore to lose because he believes most of his own voters were people who not have bothered to vote at all but for his candidacy -- although he is clearly still annoyed that many Democrats who previously donated to his various liberal public interest groups cut off their donations in retaliation for Nader's 2000 campaign. Nader extended an olive branch -- of sorts to the Dems -- in a 2003 news interview: If the Dems agree not to go negative on his Presidential campaign, Nader promised to encourage all the voters who show up to vote for him to also vote for Dems for Congress and all the other down-ballot offices to help them recapture majority status in those legislative bodies. Nader vows that his latest campaign will work "to defeat the giant corporation residing in the White House masquerading as a human being." By forgoing the Green option in favor of an Independent run, Nader will have to secure his own ballot status. However, a vocal group within the Greens still attempted to organize a "Draft Nader" campaign for the nomination. Peter Camejo's surrogate candidacy and other tactics were being used in the primary for this draft movement. Nader, however, again shot down the draft movement in March 2004 when he wrote an open letter to the Green Party saying he would accept the party's endorsement, but would refuse to accept the Green nomination. "If you do not choose a Presidential candidate in Milwaukee, I would welcome your endorsement and have said the same to other third parties as well ... Should the national Green Party decide to endorse my candidacy and have its members focus their efforts on state and local races, then State Green Party ballot lines and the participation of Greens in a variety of ways would be mutually helpful," wrote Nader. In May 2004, Nader received the endorsement and de facto nomination of the Reform Party -- ensuring him of ballot status in CO, KS, MI, MS, MT, SC, and FL. Nader still plans to pursue the Independent route, but will run under the Reform banner only if needed in those states to ensure he appears on the ballot. Also, many of his prominent 2000 supporters -- including folks like filmmaker Michael Moore and The Nation magazine -- called on Nader to get out of the 2004 race and make it clear they will not support him again. The Nation argued that the 2004 run will turn progressives sharply against Nader and expel him from their ranks. An unapologetic Nader, in response, attacked them as cowardly members of the "liberal intelligensia." Nader badly miscalculated his strategy for dealing with the Greens. On the eve of the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention, he selected respected Green leader Peter Camejo as his VP runningmate. His supporters then made a push to either win Nader the nomination or, alternatively, ensure that the party nominated no candidate -- but then endorsed Nader. David Cobb, however, praised Nader's passion but successfully argued that merely "endorsing" Nader would risk the party's ballot status in several states and do nothing to build the party for the long-term. Cobb's approach worked, and he handily defeated the Nader forces for the Presidential nomination on the second ballot. At the Green National Convention, Nader finished 3rd place with 117.5 delegates (17%) on the first ballot. Nader and John Kerry are friends of more than 30 years, so a late Nader withdrawal from the race in Kerry's favor is not outside the realm of possibility -- but his selection of Peter Camejo as his VP runningmate seems to indicate a desire to run a full campaign. However -- now that he must go forward without the Green Party's ballot status -- Nader will be lucky if he can secure ballot access in just 15 states. It is already clear Nader will not qualify for the ballot in Indiana, California, Texas and some other larger states. Because of his failure to secure the Greens' ballot spots, Nader will not be a factor in much of the 2004 race (except in Florida and Michigan).


OFFICIAL CONTACT INFORMATION:

Nader for President 2004
P.O. Box 18002
Washington, DC 20036
202.265.4000


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