Arbor Update has posted the text of an email that calls on Michigan Republican Party members to volunteer to help independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader achieve ballot access in Michigan. The Republican Party is claiming that their efforts are combating disenfranchisement, with Greg McNeilly of the state GOP claiming in the San Francisco Chronicle that “unlike the Democratic Party, where ‘D’ stands for disenfranchisement, we want voters to have choices.”
As was the case in Arizona, where state Democratic Party members sued to keep Nader off the ballot, the Michigan Democratic Party has pledged that they will challenge Nader’s access petitions as a result of his allegedly being supported by the Republican Party. The Michigan Democratic Party is demonstrating its willingness to engage in the vicious attacks that have characterized the national response third party and independent candidates this year, with Michigan Democratic Party Executive Chairman Mark Brewer claiming that “this clearly shows that a vote for Ralph Nader is a vote to reelect George Bush. The Republicans know that and that’s why they are desperate have Nader on the Michigan ballot,” echoing the pronouncements of Democratic Party members across the country who have erroneously claimed that the loss of the 2000 election in Florida was a result of Nader getting votes, rather than widespread voter disenfranchisement (source: MDP news release). While it is peculiar to see both Republicans and Democrats pretending to be concerned with disenfranchisement, both sides are simply concerned with maintaining their power and the status quo of the two corporate parties.