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Nader Speaks To Kansas Crowd

This story was written by Francesca Chambers, University Daily Kansan

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader stopped by Lawrence Thursday evening to remind voters Sen. John McCain and Barack Obama were not only the presidential candidates who would appear on Kansas ballot Nov. 4.

Nader, who will be on the ballot in 45 states, said voters deserved better than McCain or Obama because neither candidate had proposed a solution to the economic process and both of the candidates had accepted donations from major corporations.

These are cowardly, inhibited candidates who are unworthy of the American people, he said.

Nader spoke to a full audience at Abe and Jakes Landing about curbing corporate corruption, reforming presidential debate restrictions and many other topics he said the two main candidates refused to discuss.

This is Naders fourth run for the presidency, but his second run as an independent candidate. He is the first Arab American to run for president of the United Sates.

We expect to be a good third party candidate and get millions of votes and hold the two major candidates feet to the fire on some of these issues Nader said.

Allen Cigler, professor of political science, predicted most of the people who would vote for Nader would be Democrats.

Cigler said in states that are solely for McCain or Obama, Naders presence on the ballot would not change the outcome of the election. However, in close states like Missouri, if Nader receives even two percent of the vote, McCain could win the election.

Nader said it was unfair of pollsters to exclude him from polls and it was corrupt of the Commission of Presidential Debates to exclude him from participating in the debates when multiples polls had found the majority of Americans wanted his particiapations.

Candidates must win a projected 15 percent of the votes to be included in the debates according the Commission on Presidential Debates Web site. Nader said he did not understand how the commission knew he was not meeting its standards if he was unlisted on some polls.

Many voters are considering Nade even strong Republicans and Democrats.

Sean Buchanan, Hutchinson, freshman, attended the Democratic National Convention as an Obama delegate. But he also came to see Nader speak at Abe and Jakes.

Im just checking it out, he said. Im totally committed to Obama, but Ive go an open mind.

Buchanan said he was intrigued by Naders record from promoting environmental issues.

Cigler, a democrat, sang Naders praises as well.

Hes a true believer in what hes advocated, he said. I love Ralph Nader. I think hes done tremendously good things.

Nader said he did not support the $700 billion blank check bailout because it gave President Bush the power to do whatever he wanted and the plan did nothing to prevent homeowners from defaulting on their loans.

He said unless Congress immediately rewrote legislation in order to avoid a repeat economic crisis cooporations would continue to take advantage of the American people.

This is going to be more than a recession, he said. This is going to be a depression.

Adam Wood and William Stewart, Lawrence, seniors, also spoke at Naders event. Steward is the President of the newly founded KU chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Wood is Libertarian candidate Bob Bars Douglas County campaign manager; though he said he had not yet decided which third party candidate he would vote for.

I dont care who you vote for, Wood said. Just dont vote for McCain or Obama.

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