Monday, September 13, 2004



As Ralph Nader campaigns in swing state after swing state, a large group of prominent endorsers from Nader 2000 is calling for support for Kerry in those states in order to oust Bush.
Four years ago this month, Nader convened news conferences in several cities to unveil his personally-selected "Nader 2000 Citizens Committee" of leading supporters. Today (Sept. 14), more than 70 members of Nader's 2000 committee joined in issuing a statement that urges "support for Kerry/Edwards in all swing states" because "removing George W. Bush from office should be the top priority in the 2004 presidential election."

Signers of the statement include Noam Chomsky, Ben Cohen, Phil Donahue, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Hightower, Bonnie Raitt, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Cornel West and Howard Zinn. The statement and a current list of signers can be viewed at:
The statement and list will be widely circulated, especially via the Internet, to reach as many progressive or disaffected voters in swing states as possible between now and Election Day. This effort is not coordinated in any way with the Kerry Campaign or the Democratic Party.

The statement reads as follows:

Nader 2000 Leaders United To Defeat Bush

We, the undersigned, were selected by Ralph Nader to be members of his 113-person national "Nader 2000 Citizens Committee." This year, we urge support for Kerry/Edwards in all "swing states," even while we strongly disagree with Kerry's policies on Iraq and other issues. For people seeking progressive social change in the United States, removing George W. Bush from office should be the top priority in the 2004 presidential election. Progressive votes for John Kerry in swing states may prove decisive in attaining this vital goal.

David Barsamian, Author, Radio Interviewer
Juliette Beck, California Citizens for Fair Trade
Herbert Bernstein, Professor of Physics at Hampshire College
Thomas Berry, Author, "Dream of the Earth"
Wendell Berry, Farmer and Writer
Norman Birnbaum, Author and Educator
Grace Lee Boggs, Detroit Activist and Writer
Blase Bonpane, Office of the Americas
Theresa Bonpane, Office of the Americas
Eric Brakken, Former Staffer United Students Against Sweatshops
Ira Byock, Palliative Care Physician, Author of "Dying Well"
Edgar Cahn, Founder of Time Banking
John Cavanagh, Director of Institute for Policy Studies
Noam Chomsky, Author and Professor at MIT
Steve Cobble, Strategist, Jackson '88, Nader '00, Kucinich '04
Ben Cohen, Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's
Peter Coyote, Actor and Writer
Ronnie Cummins, Director of Organic Consumers Association
Herman Daly, Professor at University of Maryland
Iris DeMent, Musician/Songwriter
Phil Donahue, Former Talk Show Host
Mark Dowie, Journalist, Former Editor/Publisher of Mother Jones
Barbara Dudley, Former President, Greenpeace and National Lawyers Guild
Troy Duster, Professor at New York University
Ronnie Dugger, Co-founder of Alliance for Democracy
Barbara Ehrenreich, Political Essayist and Social Critic
Richard Falk, Center of International Studies, Princeton University
Jim Goodman, Organic Dairy Farmer
Rebecca Goodman, Organic Dairy Farmer
Doris (Granny D) Haddock, Senate Candidate, Reform Activist
Paul Hawken, Author, Economist
Randy Hayes, Founder, Rainforest Action Network and Director of Sustainability, City of Oakland
Jim Hightower, Author and Commentator
Wes Jackson, The Land Institute
David Kairys, Law Professor at Temple University and Author
Ynestra King, Ecofeminist Writer/Activist
John Kinsman, Family Farm Defenders
Philip M. Klasky, Co-director, Bay Area Nuclear Waste Coalition
David Korten, Author of "When Corporations Rule the World"
Frances Korten, Director of Positive Futures Network
Saul Landau, California State Polytechnic University
Rabbi Michael Lerner, The Tikkun Community
Theodore Lowi, Political Scientist, Author
Howard Lyman, Former Rancher, Vegetarian Activist
Joanna Macy, Author and Scholar
Jerry Mander, President of International Forum on Globalization
Manning Marable, Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia
Redwood Mary, Plight of the Redwoods Campaign
Robert McChesney, Professor University of Illinois
Carolyn Merchant, UC Berkeley Professor of Environmental History
Peter Montague, Environmental Research Foundation
Gus Newport, Former Mayor of Berkeley, California
Ruth Ozeki, Novelist
Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York
Bonnie Raitt, Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter
Sheldon Rampton, Co-author of "Banana Republicans"
Marcus Raskin, Author
Tim Robbins
Vicki Robin, New Road Map Foundation
Susan Sarandon, Actor and Activist
John Schaeffer, Founder of Real Goods Trading Company
Michelle Shocked, Musician
John Stauber, Co-author of "Banana Republicans"
Andrew Strauss, Professor at Widener University School of Law
Charlotte Talberth, Max and Anna Levinson Foundation
Meredith Tax, Writer and Human Rights Activist
Studs Terkel, Author, Oral Historian
Tom Tomorrow, Cartoonist
Sarah van Gelder, Editor of YES! Magazine
Eddie Vedder, Musician, Pearl Jam
Harvey Wasserman, Author of "Harvey Wasserman's History of the US"
Cornel West, Professor, Author of "Democracy Matters"
Sheldon Wolin, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University
Howard Zinn, Historian and Author

Check out the entire list -


Blogger NC Yellow Dog said...

This article was posted to the DNC Blog this morning:

1) It seems that former consumer advocate Ralph Nader will be on the ballot November 2 as the candidate of the Reform Party, thanks to a 6-1 decision by the Florida Supreme Court. As it turned out, the legal issue/loophole is that the Florida Statute does not provide a definition for a "national political party". If you don't have a definition for what a national political
party is, you can't have one for what it is not, eh? It seems that the Legislature will need to deal with that issue prior to the next
presidential election cycle. Mike Thomas wrote an excellent column in today's Orlando Sentinel which looks at the changes in getting on the ballot as a third party since 1998, and a closer look at the Reform Party. You can read it by linking to,1,4739401.column?coll=orl-news-col. But let's
take a closer look at this so-called "Reform Party USA". It doesn't have a national headquarters, per se. It's office address is actually the residence of it's national chairman, Shawn O'Hara in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. You'll learn more about this eccentric individual shortly. It's "national convention" was no more than a conference call held by phone. There was a meeting held in a
Dallas-area hotel shortly afterward, only to affirm the decision which had made previously during the conference call.

2) Most of us have more money in our pockets now than the Reform Party USA had in early August, according to an AP
report. The party's treasurer actually went as far as to request that the Federal Election Commission terminate it's fundraising
authorization, citing that the national party leaders failed to build the organization or to foster "philosophical alignment among
members and candidates." Obviously, Mr. O'Hara suspended him immediately. It is really a marriage of convenience, as we all
know, and it was readily admitted according to a April 3 story in the Hartford Courant.

"The Hartford Courant reported April 3 that Nader, who is running as an independent, had “met and exchanged letters with third-party officials to negotiate what he says is a pragmatic strategy that would help him gain access to all 50 ballots.” Where Nader’s supporters are unable to get him on state ballots, wrote reporter Janice D’Arcy, Nader will try a variety of tactics. In
some states he will identify himself as the candidate of his newly formed Populist Party, while in others he will gain the endorsement of third parties. “I would still be an independent candidate, I would just appear on their ballot lines,” he said." Now if you REALLY want to check out a close tie between the Reform Party USA, getting Ralph Nader on the ballot, and
keeping George W. Bush in the White House, then check out this quote from a July 12 piece which appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The chairman of the Reform Party, Shawn O'Hara, voted for Bush in 2000 and says if Nader were to tilt the election one way or another, he would prefer if Bush is re-elected. "While O'Hara says Bush "has lied to the American public"
about what he calls the "illegal war in Iraq," he is far more dismissive of Kerry.

"I'm not a George Bush fan anymore. My man's Ralph Nader," O'Hara said. But, he added, "I'm doing everything I can to make sure John Kerry never gets around the White House."'

3) Mr. O'Hara has been a political gadfly in Mississippi for some time. He ran for the 5th Congressional District seat against
incumbant Democrat Gene Taylor in 1992, for the U.S. Senate against Republicans Trent Lott (2000) and Thad Cochran
(2002), and has run three times for governor…all without success. During one of his campaigns for the Senate, according to the
Hattiesburg American (his —- and my —- hometown newspaper) he said he favoured eliminating the Department of
Education, the FBI, and the CIA.

From an article in Roll Call from July 13:

"The 46-year-old polymath — who says he is two courses away from attaining his sixth degree, a master’s in business
administration — has written and self-published no less than 1,112 books, with the aim of securing a spot in the Guinness Book
of World Records. He once filled a 14-foot U-Haul truck with the volumes and presented them to a local elementary school for
inspection. In his spare time, he has also penned 120 movie screenplays, 33 musicals and 3,600 songs.

"It is not surprising that under O’Hara’s leadership, the party, which will likely run only four nonpresidential federal candidates
this cycle, has branched out into some less than conventional realms.

"O’Hara used October’s national convention in Diamondhead, Miss., to showcase his self-produced film “Rebel Lady,” a romantic comedy about a stripper out for vengeance after being unjustly incarcerated in a mental institution. The film featured 10 Reform Party candidates, with O’Hara himself in a lead role. (O’Hara later married his co-star, Amanda Rios, 21, and says he plans to enter the picture in the Sundance film festival.)"

4) BTW: The four nonpresidential federal candidates the Reform Party USA are running…are for the four congressional seats
in Mississippi. Mr. O'Hara is a candidate for the 2nd District seat currently held by Democrat Bennie Thompson, but he lives in
Hattiesburg…which is in the 4th District. The Second District covers much of the Delta region and also much of the Jackson
Metro area. It is a predominately African-American district, and considering what you will read next, in addition to
Congressman Thompson's popularity there, he has not a snowball's chance in Hades to be elected.

But O'Hara also assisted in the defense of former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel Bowers, who was tried five times
before a jury convicted him in the firebombing murder of Vernon Dahmer, whose home in rural Forrest County north of
Hattiesburg was torched for helping his fellow black citizens register to vote. Mr. Dahmer, who owned a grocery on Monroe
Road (My family and I used to pass by it often as a child), would take the money for people to pay their poll tax and help them
get registered. Of course, that angered the KKK, and in the early morning hours of January 10, 1966 he became a martyr in
the cause of civil rights for all, and his death became yet another black eye on my beloved home state. But O'Hara got called
out on this tie during a news conference with Nader in Texas, and Texas Democrats called on Nader to step down as the
Reform Party's candidate according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

"Nader was introduced by Shawn O'Hara, national chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America. O'Hara is also an outspoken defender of Samuel Bowers, former Imperial Wizard of the KKK in Mississippi.

"Bowers was convicted in 1998 in the fire-bombing death of Vernon Dahmer, a black civil-rights activist from Hattiesburg, Miss. Prosecutors said Klansmen shot up and bombed Dahmer's home in 1966 because he helped blacks register
to vote by letting them pay their poll tax at his grocery store…

"After his speech, Nader appeared stunned when asked about O'Hara's relationship to Bowers and the KKK. '"That's false. I think that's propaganda," he said as supporters quickly ushered him onto an elevator.

"But O'Hara, also of Hattiesburg, acknowledged that he actively worked on Bowers' defense team. The political activist, who is not a lawyer, said he began defending the Klan leader after failing to find hard evidence of his guilt.

'"When there was not the goods to put him behind bars … I worked on his defense team," O'Hara said, adding that he would work on any future appeal by Bowers because prosecutors "tried him five times for the same thing, and never named where the alleged murder was committed."'

O'Hara said he is not a racist.

Yeah, that's like saying my congressman, Adam Putnam, is a real enviromentalist! Now tell me another lie!

Submitted for your consideration-NC Yellow Dog

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:20 AM  

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