FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from







The Florida of the Northwest
Oregon Democrats Sabotage Nader...Again

by Joshua Frank
September 4, 2004

Send this page to a friend! (click here)


Ralph Nader isn't having much fun these days. How could he? Putting up with the Democrat's "dirty tricks" is full time job.

The most recent assault by Democrats to the Nader campaign, and perhaps the most egregious, came this week in Oregon where Democrats successfully stopped Nader from attaining ballot access.

"The Secretary of State in Oregon [Democrat Bill Bradbury] told us to number our petition sheets," Nader's spokesperson Kevin Zeese says. "Then he refused to put us on the ballot because we numbered them -- discarding enough signatures to make us 200 short."

This wasn't the first time Democrats in the state have gone after Nader however. They've been at it for months. The ex-anti-war crusader turned Kerry puppet, Howard Dean, spoiled the Nader campaign's first bid to get on the Oregon ballot by suppressing turn out with an aggressive media barrage the day of Nader's convention.

Weeks later during Nader's second event in Oregon the Democrats struck again, this time by sending 150 Kerry backers into the hall to swell the crowd to over 1,000, which forced them close the doors and leave out hundreds of angry Naderites. The Democrat invaders then refused to sign Nader's petition, which would have put him on the ballot by bringing together 1,000 supporters in one meeting. The Nader campaign failed to make the mark that day by a mere 50 signatures.

As if that wasn't enough, Oregon Democrats then hired a law-firm to harass Nader's signature gatherers in the state.

"Democrats are promising to line-up law firms to litigate our ballot access on frivolous technicalities," Nader stated in a campaign press release on July 9. "Democrats are harassing our petitioners. This anti-democratic activity by the Democratic Party limiting the voter's choices to only the two major party candidates, is a repudiation of voters who wish to vote for candidates of their choice and shows the lack of confidence Democrats have in their own candidate."

In Oregon it was Margaret S. Olney of Smith, Diamond, and Olney who threatened Nader petition circulators by sending them intimidating letters. In her note Olney wrote that her firm, which was hired by Democrats, was investigating "whether fraudulent signature-gathering techniques were used in the circulation of those petitions [and the petitioner's involvement] may result in a conviction of a felony with a fine of up to $100,000 or prison for up to five years."

Even after the Nader campaign complained to Oregon's Secretary of State, the firm sent investigators to the individual's homes and repeated the threats.

"Despite this harassment and abuse we were still able to collect 28,000 signatures and the counties verified more than 18,000," says Zeese. "We needed 15,300 to get on the ballot. The Democrats alleged fraud and forgery -- but couldn't find any -- so the Democratic Secretary of State disqualified us for following the advice we were given by his office."

Of the 28,000 signatures turned in 10,000 were deemed invalid by Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, the Katherine Harris of the Beaver State. The state Elections Division then disregarded another 2,354 signatures because of the numbering problems, plus an additional 718 signatures because Nader petitioners did not sign and date each sheet of names.

Greg Kafoury, Nader's campaign manager in Oregon, is planning to file lawsuit against the Secretary's office in Multnomah Circuit Court this week.

"I think it is partisan. I think it is cynical. I think it is corrupt," says Kafoury.

He forgot to mention undemocratic. But then that goes with the territory.

Joshua Frank is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press. He welcomes comments at

Other Recent Articles by Josh Frank

* Partisan Protests: Not All of New York Rises Up
* Greens at the Crossroads: Party Fights for its Future
* Ralph Nader as David Duke? The ADL Wants You to Think So
* Monkeywrench Hope: An Interview with Jeffrey St. Clair
* Why the 2004 Election Pretty Much Sucks
* The Outsider: A Short Interview with Ralph Nader
* The Greens & the Politics of Mendacity, Part II
* Greens Endorse Kerry: The Politics of Mendacity
* Logging is Not Restoration: Forest Battles Escalate in Oregon
* Donkeys Buck Antiwar Support: Unity a Futile Effort
* Kerry to Edwards: “Let's Lose!”
* No Time for Democracy: This is an Emergency!
* The Fall: Beltway Democrats Sink Dean
* My America
* Ralph's Revolt
* Forging Alliances
* The Anybody But Bush Offensive: Don't Back Down
* Homes Destroyed, Death Toll Mounts: Where's Kerry?
* The Lost Sierra Club
* Who Would Jesus Occupy? 10 Reasons to Oppose the US Occupation of Iraq
* A Street Fighting Man? The Only Way Kucinich Can Win
* Diary of New York City's Diet Demonstration
* To Support or Not to Support: The Nader Question
* So Where’s Kerry Now? The Downside of Super, Tuesday
* Burn the Maps and Get Lost in the Territory
* Nader’s Nadir? Not a Chance!
* We Must Voice Dissent: Interview with Japanese Scholar and Activist Ichirou Tanaka
* Protests Matter
* Howard’s End: No Big Loss for the Left
* In Defense of Polluters: Howard Dean's Vermont
* Coffee and State Authority in Colombia
* Indy Nader and the Greens
* Iraq: Not About Oil?
* Senator Max Baucus, Thanks!