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For The Record  

FTR #264 Darth Nader: Ralph Nader’s Politics of Hypocrisy

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1. In this most closely decided election, the small percentage of the vote garnered by Green Party candidate Ralph Nader did, as some critics had warned it would, prove to have decisive impact. A vote for Nader was indeed a vote for Bush, particularly in Florida. (Nader got more than 90,000 votes in Florida.)

2. This program illuminates some aspects of Nader’s financial and professional history that have escaped popular attention. The broadcast begins with an article by Martin Kilian, a charter member of the Green Party in Germany. Kilian penned a critical analysis of the Nader candidacy that was posted on the Consortium’s web site. (consortiumnews.com; 11/1/2000.)

3. The Consortium is an association of alternative journalists. Kilian warned against the political immaturity of the Nader candidacy, failing to take into account both the nature of the American electoral system and the social and environmental consequences of a Bush presidency. (Idem.)

4. The balance of the first side of the broadcast features an article about the hypocritical investment policy that Ralph Nader has executed. (“How Nader Profits While He Preaches” by Jeff McMahon; bushwatch.net/nader.htm; 10/27/2000.)

5. Nader owns up to $250,000 worth of shares of Fidelity Magellan Fund, a firm that is heavily invested in many of the corporations that Nader has been most vocal in criticizing. (Idem.)

6. Among those firms that Fidelity invests in are Halliburton oil, headed by Dick Cheney up until recently. Fidelity also invests in Occidental Petroleum, a firm that has been criticized by environmentalists. Al Gore’s mother’s trust owns a significant block of Occidental stock. Gore’s populist credentials have been impugned Nader Vice-Presidential candidate Winona La Duke because of that stock. (Idem.)

7. The second side highlights disturbing aspects of Nader’s anti-labor activities, and his avoidance of social issues. (“1.75 Cheers for Ralph” by Doug Henwood; Left Business Observer; 10/1996 [#74].)

8. Next, the program turns to the effect a Bush administration will have on issues that are at the core of the Green/Nader campaign. (“The Last Green Mile” by Thomas L. Friedman; New York Times; 12/ 8/2000; p. A31.)

9. The federal appointments that Bush will make are going to have an immensely negative impact on the interpretation of Federal regulations on the environment, in particular. (Idem.)

10. The broadcast concludes with discussion of a federal appeals court decision that dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutional legitimacy of a Bush/Cheney ticket. (“Cheney Ruled a Resident of Wyoming” AP; Los Angeles Times; 12/8/2000; 12/8/2000.)

11. Three of the four judges were appointed by President Bush, the other by Reagan. (Idem.)

12. Program Highlights Include: Nader’s role in undermining airline and trucking workers in the 1970’s (“1.75 Cheers for Ralph” by Doug Henwood; Left Business Observer; 10/1996 [#74].)

13. Nader’s fight to prevent unionization in a publication he founded (Idem.).

14. Nader’s alleged refusal to prevent publication of CIA/corporate collusion in his Multinational Monitor (Idem.).

15. Nader’s role in effectively neutralizing a bigger union drive at Public Citizen (Idem.).

16. Nader’s excessive secrecy about his own financial affairs (“How Nader Profits While He Preaches” by Jeff McMahon; bushwatch.net/nader.htm; 10/27/2000.).

17. A detailed list of the various corporations Nader invest in and (hypocritically) criticizes at the same time. (Idem.)

Discussion

3 comments for “FTR #264 Darth Nader: Ralph Nader’s Politics of Hypocrisy”

  1. Ralph Nader has a bold new idea for revolutionizing the US two-party system: find a really rich guy to run for president:

    The Washington Post
    Oprah for president? Nader seeks ‘modestly enlightened’ billionaire to run

    By Aaron Blake
    February 24 at 1:56 pm

    Former third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader wants to shake up the two-party American political system, and he’s got just the person to do it:

    Oprah Winfrey … or Bill Gates … or Ted Turner.

    Nader, who ran for president as the nominee of the Green Party in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent in 2004 and 2008, is out with a new memo outlining 20 “modestly enlightened rich people” (a.k.a. MERPs) who could run for president and shake up the two-party system.

    The Dream Team of MERPs include Winfrey, Gates and Turner, along with former third-party New York governor candidate Tom Golisano, former AOL chief executive Steve Case and hedge fund founder Tom Steyer, who recently suggested he might spend as much as $100 million to help Democrats win the 2014 election and push the issue of climate change.

    “Presently, only very rich modestly enlightened people could have a chance to break this introverting cycle of political oligarchy, which unenlightened rich people generally approve of, that sets its own rules, makes its own laws, appoints its own judges and even brazenly forces taxpayers to finance its quadrennial political conventions,” Nader writes in the memo, which was shared with The Washington Post.

    Nader notes — correctly — that MERPs would be more likely to poll highly enough to be included in debates and have the money to get on the ballot in all 50 states — the two biggest hurdles to less well-funded third-party candidates.

    Nader said he would prefer that one of these MERPs would run as a third-party or independent candidate, but that they could also challenge the major parties in primaries or get involved in the conversation by some other means, including threatening a third-party bid unless a specific issue is addressed in one of the parties’ platforms.

    Below are the 20 MERPs that Nader lists (while also clarifying that he doesn’t endorse any of them or their political positions).

    The description of each person is by Nader:

    Thomas Steyer – former Hedge Fund entrepreneur, and a determined, environmental advocate especially on climate change.
    Ray Dalio – heads the country’s largest hedge fund and is an engaged philanthropist.
    Oprah Winfrey – founder of the Oprah Winfrey Show, advocate, actress and philanthropist.
    Jerome Kohlberg – co-founder of KKR – large leveraged buyout firm, contributes to education and has funded campaign finance reform.
    Barry Diller – media, cable business, believes in the public airwaves as a public trust.
    John Arnold – former energy trader, now promoting the Giving Library connecting philanthropists with nonprofits, among many other projects.
    Ted Turner – cable television business, philanthropy includes $1 billion to the United Nations and other major donations to environmental, peace and population control programs that he advocates.
    Thomas Siebel – software company creator, heads several companies in software, real estate and agriculture, and creator of the annual educational Siebel Scholars program.
    Chase Coleman – successful money manager and creates venture capital firms.
    Marc Andreessen – supports Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and advances all-investing-partner philanthropic commitments.
    David Rubenstein – former, energetic White House assistant to President Carter and co-founder of a successful venture capital firm – the Carlyle Group – expanding philanthropist and convener.
    Steve Case – former CEO and chairman of AOL and exuberant philanthropist for innovative projects.
    Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook, author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and a co-founder of the Lean In Foundation which supports women in reaching their career goals.
    Bill Gross – leading bond mutual fund manager, supports, among other organizations, Doctors Without Borders.
    William Conway – co-founder of Carlyle Group – whose priority philanthropic mission is to generate job producing activities.
    Stanley Druckenmiller – investment firm manager, now giving to medical research, education and the fight against poverty.
    Abigail Johnson – President of Fidelity Investments, trustee of the Fidelity Foundation which has provided over $200 million to nonprofits in the United States and Canada.
    Tom Golisano – former independent candidate for Governor of New York, founder and Chairman of the Board of Paychex.
    Bill Gates, III – co-founder of Microsoft, now more of a philanthropist with emphasis on prevention of infectious diseases and education.
    George Kaiser – chairman of BOK Financial Corporation, and advocate for renewable energy and tax reform.

    I’m definitely rooting for a Ray Dalio candidacy. Not a Dalio presidency. Just the campaign.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 27, 2014, 8:51 pm
  2. Remember when Ralph Nader wrote a column pining for a billionaire to mount a third party challenged in 2016 presidential race and even listed 20 examples back in 2014 as a means of challenging the US’s two-party system. Well, while Donald Trump’s wildly successful challenge to the GOP isn’t quite the political revolution Nader appears to be hoping for, that doesn’t mean Ralph still won’t get his third-party billionaire wish:

    The Boston Globe

    Bloomberg run would break up the two-party tyranny

    By Ralph Nader February 09, 2016

    If you think Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are shaking up the 2016 presidential campaign, imagine the jolt that could come from a third-party run by megabillionaire, and former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.

    As Ross Perot did in 1992, when he ran as an independent, receiving 19 million votes, a Bloomberg candidacy would instantly produce a three-way race. Rich candidates get instant mass-media coverage and polls, creating widespread name recognition in only a matter of days.

    The restless, ambitious, supremely self-confident former three-term mayor of the nation’s largest city has been more than just thinking about becoming president for a decade. He’s done the surveys and solicited the advice of historians and political analysts about his chances. He’ll only run if he thinks he can win.

    So what does he bring to a campaign? His mayoral reign steeped him in urban issues and needs, which he has long believed are not given even minimal coverage in presidential campaigns. His contacts with the urban political scene in many cities is unmatched. He can forge an immediate network of movers and shakers in the business, philanthropic, and political arenas. As a protector of Wall Street and a law-and-order mayor who backed police and their stop-and-frisk practices, he reassures the nervous plutocracy and oligarchy, who fear loss of their usual control over elections.

    He has told associates that he would run if the likely Republican and Democratic nominees are either too extreme (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders, in his mind) or faltering (Hillary Clinton). The time for decision is rapidly nearing for meeting different state deadlines for ballot access. Even though Bloomberg is reportedly ready to spend a billion dollars on his campaign, and can get the necessary petition signatures in record time, Richard Winger, publisher of Ballot Access News, says he has got to get started early next month.

    How about the electoral college? Perot didn’t get one electoral vote from this embarrassing vestige of yesterday, which allows candidates who win the popular vote to still lose in the national election. However, with winner-take-all pluralities in a multiparty race, the electoral college could work in Bloomberg’s favor if he could excite the voters.

    Therein lies the rub. What excitement could come out of his announcement day? He’ll emphasize his ability to get things done — starting with founding the giant Bloomberg News Company on a shoestring investment 35 years ago. He’ll recount his mayoral achievements and the absence of any personal scandals in the snakepit known as New York City politics. But his Wall Street boosterism may not go down well with many potentially defecting voters.

    He’ll reassure independent and partisan voters that he is the heavyweight in the race who can fix broken politics in Washington. After all, he has been a registered Democrat and Republican, and is presently an independent — the ultimate hybrid candidate who knows how to bring people together, as he often did in fractious New York City.

    Will it work to meet his bottom line — that he has a chance to win and avoid being stereotyped with that politically-bigoted word “spoiler”? His biggest procedural problem is time. The outcomes of the Republican and Democratic party race may not be known until well beyond March, as many had expected.

    In addition, it is difficult to perceive what bundle of goals, what exciting horizons, can emanate from a noncharismatic personality who projects a dutiful managerial image but is not about to start shifting power and freedom from the few to the many.

    Were Bloomberg to run, regardless of his prospects of winning, he would help break up the two-party tyranny that believes it owns all the voters in this country. He would convey that a competitive election should mean more choices of candidates and agendas. The rigged presidential debates, especially if he were included as Ross Perot was in 1996, would receive much needed public scrutiny.

    But such contributions by themselves won’t move Michael Bloomberg. To run, he has to believe he’s going to prevail. My guess is that his poll-driven answer to this recurring interest in the White House will be once again to stay put as a full-time, bold advocacy philanthropist and official adviser to favored institutions.

    While that wasn’t quite a ringing endorsement of Bloomberg himself, it sure sounds like Ralph is looking forward to a Bloomberg run just to uphold the principle of helping to “break up the two-party tyranny”:


    Were Bloomberg to run, regardless of his prospects of winning, he would help break up the two-party tyranny that believes it owns all the voters in this country. He would convey that a competitive election should mean more choices of candidates and agendas. The rigged presidential debates, especially if he were included as Ross Perot was in 1996, would receive much needed public scrutiny.

    Now what are the odds of Michael Bloomberg actually going through with this pledge? Let’s see:


    He has told associates that he would run if the likely Republican and Democratic nominees are either too extreme (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders, in his mind) or faltering (Hillary Clinton). The time for decision is rapidly nearing for meeting different state deadlines for ballot access. Even though Bloomberg is reportedly ready to spend a billion dollars on his campaign, and can get the necessary petition signatures in record time, Richard Winger, publisher of Ballot Access News, says he has got to get started early next month.

    So all the other GOPers other than Trump or Cruz are less extreme than Bernie Sanders according to Bloomberg. Huh.

    Ok, so if the GOP nominates Trump or Cruz and the Democrats nominate Sanders or Hillary, Bloomberg jumps in. But he also needs to make that decision early in March (presumably after seeing the results of the Super Tuesday primaries). So, basically, unless John Kasich (or Jeb Bush, LOL) can somehow pull off a series of stunning wins in the next month, we just might have a three-way race on our hands! A three-way race that could make a GOP victory much more likely. Well, at least Ralph will be pleased.

    Beyond the deeply disturbing possibility that Michael Bloomberg could pave the way for a GOP victory in November, this all raises an interesting metaphorical question for Ralph: since he referred to the current two-party system as a choice between tuberculosis and cancer in a recent interview, what’s Ralph’s metaphor for Michael Bloomberg if he throws his hat in the ring? “A breath of fresh air”? No, that’s how Ralph described Donald Trump back in August. How about just “a dream come true”. Or better yet, “an old dream (circa 2011) come true”:

    New York Magazine

    Ralph Nader Finds a Corporate Mogul to Love

    By Jonathan Chait

    October 11, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Ralph Nader just hates Democrats more than anything, including Republicans. It would be one thing if Nader was advancing some theory that running left-wing spoiler campaigns in the general election will hurt Democrats but push the Party to the left. That’s a terrible theory, but at least it’s a theory. But it’s pretty clear that Nader isn’t even advocating this kind of crazy long-term plan when you consider things like his advocacy of a Mike Bloomberg presidential campaign:

    “In area after area, you know, whether it’s consumer fairness, single payer health insurance, full medicare for all, for example, cracking down on corporate crime, a really new kind of tax system, the two parties are too hooked into the establishment, the corporate state that they can’t change. And so, if you ever put that agenda out in front of people it would be spectacular, especially if the candidate had enough money to reach those people. … Let’s say a Bloomberg runs, it would be a three way race in every sense of the term, because he could write a check for $500 million.”

    Bloomberg is not a left-winger who would force Democrats to the left. He’s an advocate of holding down taxes on the rich and an opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. If Bloomberg was the Democratic nominee, Nader would be assailing him as a corporate stooge.

    So why would he want to support a spoiler run for an even more moderate candidate than Obama? There is no coherent rationale here. He just has an insane belief that electing Republican presidents somehow leads to good things.

    “Bloomberg is not a left-winger who would force Democrats to the left. He’s an advocate of holding down taxes on the rich and an opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. If Bloomberg was the Democratic nominee, Nader would be assailing him as a corporate stooge.
    Keep in mind that Bloomberg was one of many individuals across the political spectrum who Nader was hoping would run in the 2012. Still, for someone with Nader’s professed politics, it’s all a bit odd. Not remotely surprising, but odd.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 10, 2016, 7:27 pm
  3. In truth, there are two green parties in the US and they are as different from each other as night is from day.

    “Why are there two green parties”
    (greenparty.org)

    The Greens/Green Party USA
    (web site greenparty.org)

    This party is funded by dues and takes no government, corporation, or large donations from wealthy people to avoid having to answer to anyone. But small, ma and pa donations are welcome. The party focus is on grassroots work and the environment alone with social justice issues such as voting rights. And while it is involved in the political process in this respect, it never runs a candidate to take away votes from a Progressive Democrat as Green Party of the United States (That’s the party that ran Ralph Nader and is now running Jill Stein for President in 2016 as they did in 2012.)
    This party is called Green Party of the United States (gp.org) and is run just like the major parties in that it depends on lots of donations and does not care from whom the money comes from.Here’s s short list of articles
    on Republican money going to their Green Party candidates:

    Green Party candidate Finds He’s a Republican Pawn, by Sam Verhovek
    New York Times of August 8, 2001.

    Florida Republican Money Flows to Green Party Candidate Ursula Razum, She Gives The Money to Charity, by
    Michele Breidenbach (mbreidenbach@syracuse.com) of November 1, 2012

    Green Party Scandal: Did The Texas Green Party Willfully Break The Law?
    by Matt Glazer of The Lone Star Project Morning News of June 6, 2010.

    And here’s oe about Ralph Nader.
    Nader Defends GOP Cash/Candidate Says He’s Keeping Money, by Carla Marincci, Chronicle Political Writer of July 10,2014.

    And here’s another one on Nader:
    GOP Donors Funding Nader/Bush Supporters Give Independent’s Bid a Financial Lift, by Cala Moorinucci, Chronic Political Writer of July 9,2004. According to the article, one out of ten donations of $10,000 or more going to Nader, came from rich Republicans

    Now take a look at this: Pennsylvanian Green Party candidate for Senator running with – hold onto our hat – 99% Republican money, accourting to Green Party USA

    But some members of Green Party US not only deny Republican money to greens. One person thinks the idea is just great.

    Green party Watch: Green Party Activist Edy: The Green Party Taking Money from Republicans(or Democrats a Bad thing?

    He goes on to write that Nader never took a dime of Republican money. But why in the world would Democrats give money to a Green Party Us candidate? The very idea is not worthy of conversation. But I am writing about to let you know just how outright stupid some of these green Party US people really are.

    Now we come to the election of 2016 and I highy recommed:

    “Disaster Will Come” Dan Savage’s epic rant lays out the problem with third party candidates” and the follow up, “How Green is Her Bullshit?” by Dan Savage.

    Is Jill Stein The next Ralph Nader? by Laura Reston (New Republic)

    And I shall end with a question for all these who are voting for Stein because their conscience would not let them vote for Hillary. “What is your conscience going to tell you to say to someone seeking an abortion under President Trump because your voting for Jill Stein gave Trump just what he needed to win?” Think about that before you vote your conscience.

    Posted by David | August 6, 2016, 3:33 pm

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