News Release

Pro-Bush Forces Working to Help Nader in Push to Get on Oregon Ballot


The Oregonian newspaper reported Friday that “groups allied with President Bush are encouraging their conservative members to do the seemingly unthinkable: attend a convention Saturday to help put left-leaning independent candidate Ralph Nader on the Oregon presidential ballot. The groups — with the encouragement of some Republican political operatives — are telling their members that Nader would draw votes from Democrat Sen. John Kerry and boost Bush’s chances of winning Oregon.”

AP says that “two conservative groups have been phoning people around Oregon this week, urging them to attend Ralph Nader’s convention … The groups make no bones about their goal — to draw votes away from Democrat John Kerry and help President Bush win this battleground state in November.”

The Oregonian reported: “Portland attorney Greg Kafoury, who heads the Nader campaign in Oregon, said he saw nothing wrong with the Republican outreach efforts. ‘It’s a free country,’ he said. ‘People do things in their own interest.'”

The following political analysts are available for interviews:

Sifry, author of the book Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America, said today: “This is what happens when you decide the ends justify the means and you start running an opportunistic campaign with an incoherent strategy. On the one hand, Nader tells Democrats to ‘relax,’ he won’t hurt their efforts to unseat President Bush this fall. On the other hand, we now learn in Oregon that he is accepting help getting on the ballot from Republican-aligned groups who clearly don’t want Bush to lose. He says he will attract votes from disaffected Republicans, conservatives and independents, but then he picks Peter Camejo, a Green Party stalwart who was once the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, as his running mate. He says he wants to inspire young people to be idealists, but then he reaches out to Lenora Fulani and her cultish New Alliance Party crowd, who are some of the most cynical and dangerous manipulators of young people I’ve ever encountered. To me, this is all sad evidence that Ralph Nader’s run for the presidency this year makes little sense.”

Mazza is editor of The Portland Alliance, a progressive monthly newspaper. He said today: “I am deeply disturbed to learn the direction this campaign has taken and very disappointed to see someone who has been working his entire life to strengthen our democracy now engage in such cynical tactics. We cannot achieve the robust democracy that Mr. Nader has always worked for by working with those who seek to exclude people or believe elections are merely games in which the ends justify the means. It is just that sort of behavior by the current administration that has placed our nation at risk.” Mazza added: “The Portland Alliance is a local progressive newspaper that since 1981 has been reporting the news not covered by the corporate-dominated media. … The Alliance does not endorse candidates; however, it does strongly support open, fair, democratic elections in which ideas, not money, influence the outcome.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
David Zupan, (541) 484-9167; (202) 347-0020