Breaking News: Nader on the Ballot

Jeff Alworth

CHARLES E. BEGGS, The Associated Press, September 9, 2004 - 1:11 PM

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader’s name should appear on Oregon’s ballot this fall, a Marion County Circuit Court judge ruled today, overturning a decision by the state’s Democratic secretary of state.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Marion Circuit Judge Paul Lipscomb appeared to accept the argument by Nader’s attorneys, saying that the state appeared to have been inconsistent in applying rules for independent candidates.

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  • The Prof (unverified)

    I'm doing an interview on this in a bit. Am I outing myself?

    Nader is polling well below 5% last I saw, so my answer is going to be that Nader won't make much of a difference, Oregon liberals are too angry at Bush.

    But I wonder if the race continues to be uninspiring (the most common comment I've seen) if folks will vote for Nader as a protest. he's just not such a protest vote now.

  • iggi (unverified)

    good plan Prof -- i'm voting for Nader.

    unless they can figure out how to make Kerry look like a person and not a tree stump. or how to make Bush look like a person and not an walking, talking a-hole

  • Randy (unverified)

    You know what -- when I heard about the story yesterday I came to the conclusion -- let Nader on the ballot.

    The fact of the matter is, there are enough wackos out there who would vote for him regardless of the potential outcome that if that's what is meant to be, then so be it.

    This country is entering the twilight of its importance in the world for a variety of reasons -- Ralph Nader is simply a way to accellerate it if it results in a win for W.

    If a plurality of American voters wants to mortgage their children's future by voting for anyone other than Kerry -- then that's the reality we all have to learn to live with.

    It has been decades since those who are most affected by who is in office have bothered to get up off the couch and become even minimally informed and make a choice in their self-interest.

    If an oligarchy and giving up personal liberties is what people want -- then a vote for Nader or Bush will get them to their sweet bliss.

    I had hoped that at least the true Naderites had been just the slight bit awake to realize the consequences of 4 More Years and given it a rest this time around.

  • (Show?)

    I've never understood "protest vote." People give you this crap about breaking down the two party system when historically every time there were more than two major parties, they'd figure out that there was power in numbers and, voila, two parties again.

    Some Democrats used to be on the right (Dixiecrats) and a Republican freed the slaves, the parties change and adapt with the times. The Zell Millers of the world jump ship when they can't keep up (though he was born a Democrat and he'll die a Democrat, apparently). But if ever there was a time NOT to cast a "protest vote," it would be now.

    Kerry wasn't my first choice (or second, or third) but to say that I would risk the future of this country (this world) to make some sort of point. That makes no sense. And before anyone says anything about Kerry's personal weaknesses, I'm not talking specifically about him, I'm talking about the thought of a Bush legacy in the Supreme Court - Antonin Scalia as Chief Justice <shudder>. I don't care who is President as long as THAT never happens. Bush could have the chance to appoint three or four justices depending on how long they hold out. Luckily for us, they're an arrogant, stubborn bunch and refuse to retire until they absolutely have to. But there's a damn good chance three to four will retire during the next administration. And even if they do hold out, who wants to take that risk?

    The Supreme Court is always assumed to be the least powerful and the least influential because they fly so far under the radar until they decide a landmark case like Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade (or, y'know, the 2000 election). But it's those cases, the ones that affect our rights and freedoms, that CANNOT be undone unless a new case is decided affecting all or part of the previous decision OR there's a constitutional amendment (yeah, cuz that happens all the time).

    All it will take to undo Roe v. Wade under a Bush Court is the right case and once it's undone, it could take another 30 years to get those rights back again... and there are countless other rights that we have been granted or are protected under constitutional law that are hanging by a thread this election.

    Is a protest vote really worth that?

  • kewlclick (unverified)

    Did someone say 'let Nader on the ballot'? Look, gentlemen, I would not be one to vote for Nader. But the man has the RIGHT to appear on the ballot; as does any qualified person in this country.

    Ballot access laws in this country are being abused by those in a position to abuse them. The actions of the Oregon Sec. of State over the last week were deplorable.

    What it boils down to is Nader, having lost the support he enjoyed four years ago, will be a non factor in this years Gen. election. However, Mr. Bradbury, slow as he was to realise this, seized the opportunity and made a fantastic ass of himself. His actions are a discredit to himself, the Sec. of State office, and those who follow his mad orders.

    Honorable mention for ridiculous behavour must go to the public employees' union that raised the 'forgery' alarm after investigating 279 signatures (of the 4000+ that had been submitted!) Way to go knuckleheads! A well spent $25,000!

  • Marcello (unverified)

    If there is a lesson learned from last year's recall election in California is that ballot access laws are a good thing. If you let people who have zero popular support on the ballot you end up with porn stars and former child actors who do it just to get some free advertising.

    You have people on the ballot who are in it to win (like it or not, with a few exceptions these are the ones from our two major political parties) and those who are in it to add to the debate and who bring a significant difference between the position of their parties and that of the two major parties. The Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party clearly fall into this category, and they belong on the ballot even though the number of votes they get at election time is rather small.

    My personal opinion is that this year Nader is in it purely to get media time. Same as dozens of candidates in last year's California recall election. And it is working. Look at the amount of coverage Nader had in the past few months copared to that of the Libertarian or Constitution candidates.

  • Javier O. Sanchez (unverified)

    "..unless they can figure out how to make Kerry look like a person and not a tree stump. or how to make Bush look like a person and not an walking, talking a-hole.."

    Kerry a tree stump? As much as I love Ralph, he looks as if one is firmly entrenched in his ass, and he's acting like it this year. I just wish every reactive Democrat would stop perseverating on Ralph and concentrate on our present puppet leader and how to make Kerry a sexy, passionate love machine bent and intent on eating Bush's ass for tea.

    Let's stop making Ralph a demigod (I wish maybe we could create another Corvair or start filling the air bags with poisonous gummi bears) and give Kerry a porno; that sounds a little sexist. How about a charismatic overhaul? Or some social justice speak...wouldn't it be great to hear something new?

  • (Show?)

    The Daily Show already outed Citizens for a Sound Economy (the latest Norquist/Sizemore group of pusballs) here in Oregon as being the ones working hardest to put Nader on the ballot.

    I asked before and got no answer, so I'll ask again: who is the Green Party's Presidential candidate? It's not Nader, so if you're actually Green, and not just a freeper posing, it gets you nothing to vote for him.

    Nader quit doing any constructive work a long time ago; it's the anonymous, active regular-Joe/Jane Greens who do the most work to advance progressive causes from that Party. It's people like the Greens you work with at your job, who show up, say something smart, and represent proudly at election time. Like Lloyd Marbet, who gives us good ideas to vote For among all of the OCA hate amendments and various tax whiner bullshit that plagues our ballots most elections.

    And while I know nothing about who Lloyd's supporting this election, the rest of those people, as a Pacific Green Party, decided: Ralph won't work with us, so we can't work with him.

    So Ralph just lost his 2000 base, and instead of coming back to the table with the Greens, or sitting one out and throwing his support behind Kucinich while he still could, he does what? Allows the Republicans to use him as a wedge to divide progressives against each other?

    A wedge, by any other name, is still a tool. Ralph, we never knew ya.

  • brad (unverified)

    Nader has not considered himself a Green for some time. And, in fact, he has been quite busy for the past four years (and many before that) creating grass-roots activists groups.

    Is there any doubt that he is presenting the clearest assessment of where we are, why, and where we can go?

    Is he to blame for turning the Democratic Party Leaders' attention towards finding ways to quiet his voice through intimidation, lawsuits, and slander?

    Can he win? I am sure he will agree that he cannot.

    Would his voice lend importance to a presidential campaign that has thus far been defined by simplistic propaganda and adolescent name-calling? Certainly.

    When people wrongly state that he "cost" Gore an election, they fail to mention that Gore never attempted to compete with Nader's ideas or vision. If Gore was concerned about earning votes away from Nader, he would have confronted at least one of Nader's platform items- instead he created the phrase "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush".

    If the Democrats, who have for years wrongly and simplistically stated that Nader cost Gore the election, cared to attract the voters who cast ballots for Nader in 2000, they would have learned that they need to attract such voters with a candidate who represents them. Kerry is truly the better of two bad options. Luckily, in a “free” world we have more than two options. Imagine what our country could accomplish if people voted for the best candidate instead of the best of the two that the media and its corporate sponsors gives us.

    I have not decided whom I will vote for. Regardless, I believe that our country, our children, our leaders and the world deserve to hear from a man who has spent his life working to move our society towards a more just and peaceful state.

    I will be saddened if Bush wins again. However, my vote is still mine. And my vote must be earned. It will not be given out of fear.

    To intimidate him and his supporters with ugly language and distracting lawsuits is juvenile, ignorant, and undemocratic.

  • (Show?)

    Green Candidate for President: David Cobb

  • Randy (unverified)

    "Would his voice lend importance to a Presidential campaign..."

    Can anyone (other than a Naderite) give me 10 words of Ralph Nader that have even managed to make the Oregonian in this campaign?

    In his day I admired his tenacity to work hard and articulate clearly why he was tyaking the actions he took.

    These days, he's a sad, sorry sop of a candidate reduced to ever more shrilly attacking Democrats than King W.

    Sad... really sad.

  • pdxkona (unverified)

    Um....I'm sorry I'm still stuck on the part of the Oregonian article that read something like 'Nader on ballot because judge says that its not Bill B's, Secretary of State, decision.'

    This confuses me. I thought it was his call- is that not part of his job desciption? Or am I wrong....? Help.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)


    Under state law, nominating petition signatures are verified by county election officials. The SoS is then responsible for counting the verified signatures from the different counties to determine whether Nader had enough.

    Nader needed 15,306 verified signatures. He turned in 18k verified signatures. Bradbury then began applying unwritten rules to those 18k signatures and throwing out "verified signatures" for procedural technicalities. When he was finished Nader had only 15,088.

    The judge ruled that Bradbury acted without authority by applying unwritten rules inconsistently against the Nader campaign.

    Right now you should be looking closely at our SoS. In 2000, Pat Buchanan made the Presidential ballot in Oregon through a signature drive. I don't remember any sort of flap regarding their submission of signatures.

    Did Bradbury's office apply those same unwritten rules to the Buchanan petition drive or did he look the other way (knowing that Buchanan's presence on the Oregon ballot might siphon votes from Bush)?

    If Bradbury is responsible for using his office to swing this year's Presedential election he should should save everyone the time and pain of a federal investigation and just resign right now.

  • (Show?)

    On again off again, who cares. Nader won't make one whit of difference in the outcome of this year's election. More importantly and regardless of whether it's Nader or Buchanan or some guy that licks goat balls, elections have rules and those rules must be followed or elections won't function and fraud will be rampant. These rules are not unwritten - they're in plain old print, we call them the Oregon Revised Statutes (relevant here is Chapter 249) and they've been in place long before Bradbury got into office. "No signature in violation of the provisions of this chapter may be counted." This is not a technicality, it's a statute.

    If people really want fair elections then the Naderites ought to get over their egotism and realize that this isn't about them, the Dems ought to get over their self-righteousness and realize this isn't about them either, the Rs ought to get over their smugness and realize this doesn't help them, and all y'all ought to take a look at the law and realize that these rules are the safeguards that keep elections fair.

    Alternately, if you want elections that favor only your side, then keep on whining.

  • (Show?)

    Oregon Supreme Court ruled today that if Nader-ites want him to win in Oregon, they're going to have to organize one hell of a write-in campaign. Of course apparently it's part of some sort of Democratic conspiracy, according to Nader. Either way, he's off the ballot.

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