Saturday, March 27, 2004

Two Republican Candidates

A word of advice to anyone who is thinking about voting for Ralph (The Spoiler) Nader:

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is getting a little help from his friends – and from George W. Bush's friends."

Nearly 10 percent of the Nader contributors who have given him at least $250 each have a history of supporting the Republican president, national GOP candidates or the party, according to computer-assisted review of financial records by The Dallas Morning News.

Among the new crop of Nader donors: actor and former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein, Florida frozen-food magnate Jeno Paulucci and Pennsylvania oil company executive Terrence Jacobs. All have strong ties to the GOP.

Democrats have warned that Mr. Nader's entry in the race could help Mr. Bush by drawing votes from John Kerry. Some analysts say Mr. Nader's third-party candidacy four years ago siphoned off Democratic voters and cost Vice President Al Gore the White House.

"Republicans are well aware that Ralph Nader played a spoiler role in the 2000 election. And there is no reason why they wouldn't want to encourage and help him do so again in 2004," said Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for the Democrat National Committee.

A spokesman for the Bush campaign declined to comment on Mr. Nader.

"We're focused on our campaign. We're focused on generating support for Republican candidates," said Danny Diaz, referring inquiries about Nader fund raising to his donors.

Republicans who have given to Mr. Nader offered a variety of explanations, including a desire to provide voters a choice in November and to highlight the consumer advocate's issues. Some donors said they were miffed by efforts, primarily Democrats, to keep Mr. Nader off the ballot.

None said their donations were designed to boost Mr. Bush's chances in the fall.

"Did I give $1,000 to Ralph Nader because I hope and believe he will be president? No," said California business executive Charles Ashman. "I don't believe that any more than Ralph Nader does. But I was offended to see this campaign to squelch him from being a candidate."

Mr. Ashman said he remains a staunch Republican. He contributed $2,000 to the Bush campaign, the maximum allowed for the general election, according to records.

"I proudly made a contribution to the re-election of President Bush because I support him 100 percent," he said. "I hope and believe he will be re-elected."

Read the article, but first take some prophylactic Pepto-Bismol. Wouldn't want anyone to puke on their keyboards.


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