Locals’ reaction to Nader mixed
Though pundits nationwide have theorized that Ralph Nader’s bid for the presidency will spoil the Democrats’ attempt to win the White House, not all liberals in Nevada County agree.
California Green Party spokeswoman Beth Moore Haines, who lives in Nevada County, in fact, believes the opposite is true.
“I would say the race is already spoiled … by the corporate sponsors who fund the entire process. It’s ridiculous to me that a person who spent (decades) as a consumer watchdog for free would be precluded from that,” Moore Haines said.
Nader announced his campaign as an independent Sunday, accusing Republicans and Democrats alike of operating at the whim of corporate sponsors.
Ralph Hogan, local campaign organizer for Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich, said while he agrees with Nader in principle, the two major parties have a stranglehold on the system, which doesn’t allow for third-party candidates.
Hogan said the theory that Nader’s campaign will steal votes is plausible; however, it may help keep the issues alive, alive, he said.
Some, including Democrats sour about Al Gore’s loss in 2000, have labeled Nader a spoiler – a claim Moore Haines disputes. She said it is unreasonable to claim this is a democracy if people who can run for office are limited to those who can likely win.
According to the national Green Party Web site, there is a movement afoot to persuade Nader to run as a Green candidate. Moore Haines said there is not a consensus among the Green Party.
But she said one candidate might be running on the wrong ticket – self-proclaimed “Green-Democrat” candidate Kucinich.
“I think it is a shame he is in the wrong party,” Moore Haines said. “(But) you have to play the game and try to change the rules from the inside.”
Kucinich’s approach of working within the Democratic Party is the only viable option, Hogan said.
“In 2000, Nader squandered the incredible power he had,” Hogan said.
“Instead of at the last minute, parlaying his delegates to candidates that were at least a step in his direction. … He went for the whole thing and lost everything.”
Kucinich sees the big picture, Hogan said. It is not just about getting into the White House, it is about moving the progressive movement forward, he said.
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