EMAIL PAGE FIVE
COLUMN SEVENTY-SIX, OCTOBER 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
THE MAN WHO SPOILED
GORE'S RUN NOW TELLS MINN. GREENS:
'DON'T SPOIL THIS ONE!'
Green Candidate Miffed After Nader Backs Wellstone
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 20:33:39 -0700
From: "venire" firstname.lastname@example.org
Note | In what appears a rather remarkable change of tactics Ralph Nader has not
only endorsed a Democrat, but cited 'likelihood of winning' as a valid
consideration. -- ma)
Candidate Miffed After Nader Backs Wellstone
Rob Hotakainen and Shira Kantor
Bakersfield Californian | The Star Tribune
10 August, 2002
a speech to congressional interns this week, Ralph Nader said that Ed McGaa, the
Green Party's Senate candidate in Minnesota, is a newcomer who has little chance
of winning: "He'll be lucky to get a few thousand votes."
the same time, Nader, the party's presidential candidate in 2000, offered to
appear at a news conference with McGaa's opponent, Democratic Sen. Paul
Wellstone, to promote corporate reforms. Assessing Wellstone's prospects in the
November election, Nader said: "I don't see how he's going to lose."
Wellstone's campaign welcomed Nader's remarks, McGaa was puzzled by them.
"It's bewildering to me.... I will prove him extremely wrong," he said
in a telephone interview Friday.
Gordon, chair of the Green Party of Minnesota, said that Nader's remarks
"demonstrate that we are in a bit of a dilemma here with the Senate race in
Minnesota, and I think that Ralph recognizes that."
the dilemma: With McGaa drawing support from 3 percent of Minnesota's potential
voters in the most recent Star Tribune poll, many Green Party members say it
could hurt Wellstone, who's virtually tied with Republican Norm Coleman. If
Coleman wins and Republicans take control of the Senate, some Greens fear it
could hurt their party.
are definitely expressing concerns about being the spoiler," said Gordon,
who's backing McGaa.
years ago, many Democrats said Nader was the spoiler in the presidential race,
drawing votes that likely would have gone to Al Gore and helping elect George W.
said he voted for Gore and that he told that to delegates of the Green Party's
state convention in St. Cloud.
"(Nader) might have heard about that and probably felt slighted," said McGaa. "But I honest-to-God voted
Far Left finding
'lesser evil fallacy'
is not a fallacy?
Gore because I did not want Bush to win. ... I'm probably stupidly honest, but
I'm honest, and I wasn't going to lie."
was out of the country Friday and unavailable for comment, according to his
Farrell, a spokesman for the Wellstone campaign, said the senator had not
received Nader's written offer.
look at it, and we'll certainly consider it. ... Paul's certainly done a lot of
good work with Ralph Nader over the years," he said.
Farrell said "the stakes are very high this year," adding that the
Wellstone campaign will try to win Green Party voters by stressing the senator's
record and reminding them of the "need to keep some balance in Washington,
and that means keeping the Senate Democratic."
the Greens try to get comfortable with their new political muscle, the Minnesota
Senate race emerged as a hot topic at their recent national convention in
Franklin, a Green Party member from Houston, said that given the tight race in
Minnesota, the Green Party should not be backing a candidate against Wellstone.
not down with us on everything, but you don't need to be," Franklin said.
"And if we really do make a difference in the outcome of the race there in
Minnesota and, for heaven sakes, actually remove a fairly liberal senator - one
of the few - is that that really what we want to do?"
the Minnesota convention in May, Winona LaDuke, Nader's 2000 running mate, wrote
an open letter to delegates, urging them not to endorse a candidate.
said that Wellstone, who's regarded as a champion for environmental causes, is
"the closest we have to a Green in the U.S. Senate."
Wellstone loses this November, it is a defeat for the Green Party, for all
progressives, and for the agenda we share," LaDuke said in her letter.
Dean Zimmermann, 6th Ward Minneapolis City Council member and a Green Party
member, said that Wellstone is responsible for collecting his votes, not the
can't take votes away from (Wellstone) ... They're not his votes,"
made his remarks Wednesday as he fielded questions after delivering a speech on
Capitol Hill. He called himself an independent and said he does not direct the
Green Party, but he defended the party's right to endorse a candidate in
can't say to the Green Party, 'Hey, pick and choose. Just float a candidate
against the bad guys or the mediocre guys, but not against the good guys,'"
Lamb, a Green Party member from Minneapolis who voted for Nader, said Nader was
wrong. "Of course, you can pick and choose. It's called strategy." He
said that Wellstone is "a genuine progressive" and that it's the wrong
strategy to run a Green against him.
don't nominate a candidate who's going to alienate thousands of progressives
across the state of Minnesota," Lamb said. "That's not the way to
build a progressive Green Party throughout the state."
said that he sent a letter to Wellstone offering to appear at a joint press
conference to discuss new organizations for shareholders, bank depositors and
see how he responds," Nader said. He praised Wellstone as "very
articulate" and described him as a well-funded candidate who spends much
time in Minnesota in his green bus, a campaign trademark.
can't imagine how he's going to lose because he's done a lot of good things,
although he's not quite as good as he used to be," Nader said.
Myerson, the national Green Party political coordinator in Washington, said the
issue is one for the voters to decide.
the voters feel that Wellstone is close enough to Green Party positions ... they
can vote for him," Myerson said. "If they don't want to, they don't
have to. But we don't need to micromanage these decisions for voters."
Rios, co-chair of the national Green Party, said she always thinks "it's
best to vote for the Green Party candidate," noting that anything can
happen in Minnesota.
would not say that it's inevitable that that Green Party candidate is going to
lose," she said. "I mean, you're Minnesota. Look at Jesse
said it's not realistic to predict a victory for McGaa, but said: "I stand
behind the party's endorsement." He said that Nader is "walking a
don't know that I want to second-guess his decision.... I appreciate not being
in his shoes," said Gordon, adding: "We would love it if Ralph would
come to Minnesota.... He could stand with our endorsed candidates, including Mr.
who lives in Edina, said that he has been receiving "tremendous press"
and that Nader will be proved wrong on Election Day.
have tremendous credentials," he said. "You know, I'm very
well-educated. I happen to be the only veteran in the race." And he said
that many Minnesotans will vote for him "'cause I'm a breath of fresh
wait and see," he said.
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: t r u t h o u t 2002 ##
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