Michigan news outlets are reporting that Ralph Nader did not withdraw his bid to get on the ballot as an independent candidate. The corporate media is framing the story in terms of Nader accepting Republican help, “reporting” that 90 percent of the signatures were collected by Republicans (no verification of this claim was reported) and writing in a way that conveys the sense that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. Michigan Democratic Executive Chairperson, Mark Brewer, like his national counterparts, has shown his willingness to attack Nader in the past and is still calling for Nader to withdraw his name from the race in Michigan. Additionally, the Michigan Democratic Party is planning to challenge the ballot access petitions and is likely going file a federal election complaint against Nader and the Republicans charging that the Republican Party exceeded a state political campaign limit of $5,000 when collecting signatures for Nader. Nader’s campaign has responded by accusing Brewer of whining, arguing that the Democrats “should have Kerry say he’d withdraw from Iraq. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about Nader taking his voters away.”
The Democrats vs. Nader debate is ridiculous–both nationally and here in Michigan, as the real goal of the Democrats campaign should be going after President Bush, not Ralph Nader. Even the Green Party of Michigan, who has their own candidate running for president, is pledging to support Nader’s effort, arguing that more candidates on the ballot ensures a more vibrant democracy. The Greens argue that Nader offers a genuine alternative to the Bush/Kerry war ticket, and as a true alternative, his opinions deserve to be heard–not simply made the subject of Democratic infighting and Republican manipulations.
Also worth reading is Jeff Cohen’s look at Nader’s GOP support, and while his own efforts at encouraging Nader not to run are in many ways anti-democratic, he raises a number of serious issues with Nader’s campaign.