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Why are the Democrats Complaining About Republicans
When They are Pulling the Same Dirty Tricks on Nader?

by Donna J. Warren
September 1, 2004

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The Democrats are outraged that Republicans use dirty tricks to keep their most loyal constituent, the black voter, from voting for Democrats!

In Philadelphia, Republicans systematically intimidate African-American voters by sending clipboard carrying men into black neighborhoods in sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia. [NAACP/PFAW 2004].

In Michigan, Bush advisor State Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) advocates blocking the black vote. “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.” African Americans comprise 83% of Detroit’s population. [Detroit Free Press, 7/16/04]

In Louisiana, Republicans post flyers in public housing projects which read “Vote!!! Bad Weather? No problem!!! If the weather is uncomfortable on Election Day, you can wait and cast your ballot later.” [Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 12/12/02]

Oh boo hoo, Republicans use unethical and illegal tactics against the Democrats to keep black voters away from the polls.

No better for the Democrats!

The Democrats harass, threaten, and abuse the Nader-Camejo campaign. They’ve threatened Nader-Camejo campaign petitioners; they’ve spoil ballot access; they’ve used Howard Dean to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot; they’ve used state employees, contractors, and interns who work for elected Democrats to review and challenge signatures; they’ve hired corporate law firms to harass Nader-Camejo ballot efforts on frivolous and technical grounds.

Why then do Democrats cry foul when Republicans give them a taste of their own medicine?

“Over the past several years, Republican operatives have shamelessly intimidated and repressed minority voters in a coordinated effort to keep them from the polls.…The Republican operatives behind this plan are shameless and un-American. It’s time that people everywhere learn the truth about the Republican’s tactics and unite to stop them in 2004.” Americans Coming Together (ACT) Website.

ACT’s President, Ellen Malcolm ask readers to “start fighting back. Republicans have used these tactics for far too long. They are despicable and must be stopped”.

Oh come on Ellen, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

In a blatant attempt to intimidate campaign workers and disrupt and interfere with the Nader Campaign, Ellen’s Democrats used lawyers to investigate “fraudulent signature-gathering” and threaten felony convictions in prison up to five years and fines up to $100,000. Even sessions at the Democratic National Convention were held to plan a national campaign to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot and limit the choices of voters.

The Democrats continue to show they will do anything to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot by disrespecting Americans’ constitutional rights to free speech, assembly, and petition.

So if Democrats are doing everything they can to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot, why are Democrats complaining about Republicans doing all they can to keep loyal Democratic constituents away from the voting booth?

Both parties should stop intimidating and repressing the democratic process. Keeping minority voters away from the polls or stopping voters from putting Independent Candidates Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo on the ballot, is shameless and un-American.

“Voter intimidation is not a relic of the past, but a pervasive strategy used with disturbing frequency in recent years. Sustaining the bright promise of the civil rights era, and maintaining the dream of equal voting rights for every citizen requires constant vigilance, courageous leadership, and an active, committed and well-informed citizenry.” The Long Shadow of Jim Crow, Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today, a joint report from the NAACP and People for the American Way.

Well said NAACP and People for the American Way, now you better tell your Democrats!

Donna J. Warren sits on the national board of Pacifica Radio and is a former Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor of California. She may be reached at