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Nader’s Denigrators

To the Editor:

I was very sorry to see the article “Strange Bedfellows: Nader and the GOP” [Opinion, July 22]. The author, Jeff Cohen, former communications director for Dennis Kucinich, adds his voice to the Democratic Party’s shameful vilification of an American hero, Ralph Nader. As the title implies, Cohen attempts to equate Nader and the Republican Party, but it is not Nader who is in bed with the Republicans, it is Kerry and the Democratic Party as they all support the same thing: war, attacks on civil liberties and corporate greed.

Progressives should remember who Nader is. He is the only presidential candidate who is against the war, the Patriot Act, NAFTA, FTAA, and the WTO. We should remember that through his years of relentless work, he has been responsible for more progressive legislation than anyone who is in Congress today. He was the driving force behind landmark pieces of legislation such as the Motor Vehicle Highway Safety Acts, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Freedom of Information Act, among others.

Cohen claims that “one of 10 big Nader donors had also donated to Bush and the Republicans.” But Nader has no “big . . . donors.” Nader does not take contributions from corporations or PACs; he only takes individual contributions that are no higher than $2,000. In reality, it is the Democrats who share donors with the Republican Party. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, five of Kerry’s top 19 donors have also donated to the Bush campaign. These include people from major US corporate interests: Citigroup ($157,806 to Kerry, $55,275 to Bush), UBS Americas ($157,450 to Kerry, $431,850 to Bush), Goldman Sachs ($155,250 to Kerry, $350,875 to Bush), Microsoft ($104,663 to Kerry, $184,040 for Bush), and Morgan Stanley ($101,954 to Kerry, $557,275 to Bush). These donations speak far louder than do the few dollars that individual Republicans may have donated to Nader.

The Democratic Party has not only conducted a campaign of vilification against Nader, but they have used undemocratic means to get him ruled off the ballot, in state after state, where thousands have signed petitions to have him put on the ballot.

It is a myth to think that the people who want to vote for Nader will instead vote for Kerry if they are denied the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. According to a CNN exit poll from the 2000 election, of those who voted for Nader, 30 percent would have voted for no one if Nader did not run. Another 21 percent would have voted for Bush if Nader did not run, and 47 percent would have voted for Gore.

If the Democratic Party thinks Nader’s campaign will hurt them, they should simply say so then let people decided to vote for whom they want. Their campaign of vilification and their undemocratic attempts to have Nader ruled of the ballot are simply attempts to disenfranchise me and millions of others who want to vote for the candidate of our choice, Ralph Nader.

Joe Lombardo
Albany County Green Party

You Can Tell Them by Their Hats

To the Editor:

I would like to extend congratulations regarding Miriam Axel-Lute’s column “Can You Be a Little More Precise” [Looking Up, July 29]. I live in a so-called “bad neighborhood.” However, I have never been attacked in my so-called bad neighborhood. I live on 3rd Avenue, off of lower Morton Avenue. Where I have been attacked is in the so-called “good neighborhood” of the Lark Street area. I have been attacked three times. Two times by persons of color, so to speak, but the most vicious attack was by a white drunken frat boy. I made the mistake of getting in the middle of his altercation with his weeping girlfriend whom he was shoving, and he punched me. None of these incidents I reported to the police. There were plenty of witnesses; nobody cared. So I just shook it off, and went home to my bad neighborhood and was perfectly safe.

John Esmond
Albany

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: metroland@metroland.net. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

Send to:
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
or e-mail us at metroland@metroland.net.


 
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