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[NOTE TO READERS OF THE GEORGE BUSH-UNDERCURRENTS WEBSITE: Is Nader really a "crusader" for consumers? His stock portfolio doesn't strongly reinforce this idea. Is there any hope for us in politics? Or must we look elsewhere? Nader owns stock at McD's, (see the end of this article), and we've seen it's selling possibly bad S. Amer. beef, at the very least, overseas. But can the US be far behind? After all, we manipulated elections overseas--then our own were manipulated. --Max Standridge] Subject:

RE: Ralph Nader's Stock Portfolio... Enron/..Green Party's

Hello to Mr. Constantine, Congressman, attorney, kind professors, Dean, publishers, all:

The following excerpt is perhaps a good intro. to this excellent article, which somewhat slams Mr. Nader

It's important to note that Mr. Nader also took an anti-Israel position on foreign pollicy, in the view of many persons. We can wax sanctimonious, of course, about others' investments when we don't have such investments ourselves. But Nader's ties to companies affiliated with Cheney are odd-looking, indeed, and make his alleged "third party candidacies" rather murky as to their real political purpose.

For what it's worth, though, I think one could exaggerate the impact of the Green Party on Gore's fortunes in 2000.

For example, the Greens first started getting politically active in the US around the 1988 election. Many Greens are former CPUSA members; others have frequently voted "Social Democratic"; still others are brand new voters who never registered as anything but Greens. One other group of Greens--some of whom I met back in 1986 here in AR--are persons who had previously not voted at all.

When you put all that together with the 1992 and 1996 election data, which shows the Greens pulling about the same # and % of the vote as they did in 2000, (except in MN, Nader's home state, where Nader hurt--but didn't defeat--Gore), you begin to see that, though Nader is an annoying hypocrite who probably doesn't perform a useful political function in the real world even insofar as his cause celeb, the ecology, he probably didn't really cause Gore's defeat. The Greens, like the CPUSA and the non-voters prior to '86, are simply people that never belonged to the Democratic Party to begin with.

Please note that a small percentage of Greens may have been former Democrats: there are no reliable numbers or data to reinforce--or even suggest--this. But in terms of numbers of votes in states like TN, which Gore failed to carry by a wide margin (Bush carried TN with 51.15% of the vote), Greens were negligible in their effect. Nevertheless, when it gets "down to the wire", as it did in FL, this can make a difference.

For example, in my historical research in trying to find a "formula" for awarding a couple of "stray" Electoral votes last summer, I found that there were about 8 states, in a total of three elections, to which we could look for some level of "guidance" in this area. In 1892, 1896, and 1968, there were close elections, and Electors more or less decided to vote in a "third party" combination for Byran/Palmer, or Cleveland/Weaver, or Wallace/Humphrey, based on, in 5 of the 8 states, the followng "criteria" (as we would understand them today; that is, to "translate" this to figures we can understand today):

(1) The two combined trailing candidates who are most affiliated with the same views on key issues have a lead over the lead candidate.

(2) That same combination is carrying a majority or half of the Congressional districts and a majority or half of the counties.

(3) The lead candidate is leading via a plurality of the Popular vote. When all three of these applied, an Electoral vote was granted to that combination of candidates.

In the 2000 election, the "Gore/Nader" or "Nader/Gore" field qualified for two such Electoral votes, using this formula: one each in the states of Florida and New Hampshire.

They came very close to this in OH, as well. That combo even got the same percentage of the Popular vote--the Secretary of State of Ohio's archival recount showed Bush dropped to 49.96%, while Gore/Nader was at 49.0%. But, the Gore/Nader combination didn't attain a lead over Bush in OH.

Similarly, only after Bush's absentee ballots were counted in CO, did Gore/Nader drop behind Bush in the Popular vote there, though retaining over half of the congressional districts

But, the "Gore/Nader" or "Nader/Gore" theoretical Electors, would have pulled two Electoral votes, one each from FL and NH, from Bush. That would have put Bush/Cheney at 269 Electoral votes, though it wouldn't have really added to Gore's total. The Electoral count would have been: Bush 269-Gore 267-Gore/Nader 2.

The result would have been that the election would have gone to the Congress, where the GOP had a majority in the House, while the Senate was an even 50/50 split. At that point, it seems likely that a Republican would have been put into the White House (House majority versus Senate tie equals a slight edge for a GOP candidate in that situation in terms of # of votes that would have been cast. At the same time, several state laws require Electors to vote only for members of the winning candidate's party in their state--not necessarily for the official Presidential candidate per se. In other words, if their state's vote was close enough to "qualify," an Elector could have voted for "McCain, " or another Republican for Vice-President along with Bush, or even voted for a "McCain/Bush" ticket; so long as it was an "all-Republican" ticket.)

The question that would have arisen would be whether this would be Bush, (likely), Bush/Cheney (less likely, given legal problems as to Cheney's candidacy. since some considered him also a Texas resident, violating one of the clauses that regulates Presidential tickets), Bush/Powell or Bush/McCain (more likely). We'll never know, but my point is just that, historically speaking, to the extent these dead Electors can serve as any guide, present any formula, they suggest that "Bush/Cheney" didn't really qualify, and a different "Bush/---" ticket won. Since Congressional negotiation might have been required to "create" the new "winning ticket" in this scenario, and, given Powell's publicly announced disinterest in the Vice-Presidency, I tend to think the task would have fallen to McCain.

What I kept noticing, time after time, about Nader, was that, when Gore was really in trouble, Nader was, too.

That was also true in 1992 and 1996.

To go back to Colorado as an example, as the absentee ballots were processed, Gore/Lieberman dropped from carrying three congressional districts (half of them) and 48.8% of the vote, to only two districts and a little over 47%. It wasn't always the case that Gore did better as the counts got more precise, but, on balance, that was the case most other places. Had Bush's absentee ballots not been counted in CO, Gore/Lieberman would have had over 738,000 votes (counting Gore's absentee ballots) to Bush's 700,000, (without Bush's absentee ballots) and would, therefore, have carried the state. As it was, Bush was, before absentee ballots, at only 49.58% and 48.80% was for Gore/Nader. That pre-absentee ballot percentage talley was point-6 or six-tenths of one percent from a qualification for an Electoral vote by the "formula" above. And, had Bush gotten less than 38,000 votes via the later-counted absentee ballots, he'd have failed to carry CO. So, on balance, absentee ballots put Bush over in CO. Bush led Gore/Lieberman in CO by 8.36%, but he led Gore/Nader by only 3.11%, in the final tallies. Bush picked up almost 55,000 more votes from absentee ballots than Gore did. And Nader's Greens figures looked about the same in CO in '92 and '96 as they had in 2000. Gore's problem was with conservative voters and certain Libertarian types. In 2004, the Libertarian Party has come out against the Iraq war, greatly increasing its chances of getting votes from any disenchanted Republicans. This might make CO a much more "interesting" state in 2004 even than it was in 2000.

A prime example of a strongly Libertarian state is the other "interesting" state of 2000, Nevada, which, like New Mexico, was "too close to call" for about 3 days--and in which, again, the Libertarians may score more heavily against Bush in 2004 than in 2000, due to the GOP's own disenchantment with the Iraq war. Bush carried NV with 49.52% of the vote, to Gore/Lieberman's 45.98% and Gore/Nader's 48.44%--not quite the same percentile as Bush--in this case Gore/Nader trails Bush by 1.08%--so not quite qualifying by the Elector formula described above. Bush led Gore/Lieberman by 3.54% in NV, but led Gore/Nader by only 1.08%. Even so, that difference is probably mostly not a vote the Democrats should chase, or can get. That "other" column is always going to be out there, a chimera to both major parties.

Look at it from the GOP end: the Libertarians were a big factor there in NV "against" Bush--though, again, most Libertarians have not been members of either major party since at least the '70s. Yet, there is always the potential, occasionally real in specific states, where the Libertarians become a "protest" vote for Republican Party members, draining away a few otherwise GOP votes that can be precious if the state is very close. By and large, though, their vote is not up for grabs for either party. And, even in those cases where their votes do come straight out of the Party, other votes can often be garnered from quarters with dissimilar views. Similarly, the Greens just voted in NV like they've been voting since 1988, or 1980, when Barry Commoner's Environmentalist Party was thought to have hurt President Carter's re-election bid. In the case of "various socialists," they've run in various, sometimes most, states, for at least 100 years. But Nader's hot rhetoric and seeming saintly "consumerist" position in society probably didn't do Gore any good in getting Democrats to vote in a state where the Yucca Flats nuclear dump was and is a hot topic: possibly good for some parts of the economy, short-run; very bad for the ecology, long and short-run. Demos could "jump" Nader from the right, pick up a vote or two, and win--or still lose.

It's clear that Kerry will probably carry New Hampshire, and may also carry NV. He's been leading Bush in OH a lot of the time, and, if he carries OH along with most of what Gore carried before, he could very well be the first Democrat to win in the Electoral College only. Kerry's also shown potential in CO and AR, and in VA and WV, all of which have been close or tied. On balance, AR, CO have potential for Kerry, and Kerry might still win WI like Gore did, though this seems unlikely. VA and WV seem unlikely for Kerry. And Kerry's lost some ground in PA, and his margins in other states, including NJ and CT, will probably be down from what Gore's were. All this is suggesting a lower Popular vote for Kerry, but one better placed in the Electoral College, than Gore's. Another indicator of Electoral strength is the overall number of small or rural states: Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and also Nevada all seem "leans Kerry" states. That's a total of five, and, if you count Iowa, six. And how is Florida to fall? Most seem to give it to Bush based on the greater establishment of Jeb Bush's administration there over the past four years, and Florida's seemingly upsurging economy. But Florida also has a burgeoning Hispanic population. And Hispanics generally are more Democratic than GOP.

The article below illustrates how much concern is raised at how hypocritical Nader's posturing really is, [then (2000) and now (2004)]. Because he was popular in the "intelligentsia", according to the media, I am copying this to my academic friends and associates.

Part of the reason that "combined candidate" vote lacked an element of credibility for a "Gore/Nader" ticket in the Electoral College, was that only that tiny fraction of a percent of Greens were ever Democrats. Only agreement on some philosophical issues could have been used as an argument or point of agreement to "ally" the two. CPUSA just wasn't the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, another Bush is in the White House, doing irreparable harm to places like theAmazon. Does Nader think that, on balance, helps his credibility as an ecologist? With Bush riding high in the polls, tree-hugging will become increasingly difficult. Few will, at least for awhile, be willing to entertain "prior knowledge" considerations in this "War on terrorism" matter,as you no doubt have seen in other areas over the past few years.

--Best in all,



"Corporate-bashing is in vogue on the American left, and Gore is certainly doing his fair share of it on the stump, railing against HMOs, insurance companies and big pharmaceuticals. Some have seen this as Gore trying to shore up support on the left, mimicking Nader disingenuously and unconvincingly. "After all, as Nader said to the Washington Post in June, 'The corporations are planning our future. They are making sure [our children] grow up corporate. The kids are over medicated, militarized, cosmetized, corporat-ized. They are raised by Kinder care, fed by McDonald's, educated by Channel One.'

"There is a difference between Gore and Nader on this point, at the very least: Nader has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in a fund that owns 15,694,800 shares of McDonald's stock. Gore does not. . . ".[--excerpt from article below.]

----- Original Message -------

From: Alex Constantine -- To: John Judge

-- Subject: Ralph Nader's Stock Portfolio Enron

-- Date: Wed, 06 Mar 2002 13:45:56 -0800

Ralph Nader, a very wealthy man, at last report owns stock in Occidental, Enron, Raytheon and McDonald's. To my knowledge, there have been no reports of his having sold of his shares in a score of corporate pariahs--AC

Salon: A recent financial statement shows the Green Party candidate invests in companies he rails against -- including Dick Cheney's former employers.

By Jake Tapper Oct. 28, 2000


-- Supporters of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader are angrily lining the streets on the way to a rally for Vice President Al Gore. They hold up Nader signs, looking scornfully at the motorcade that passes by. Lefties like to bash Gore for being a tool of corporate America.

More specifically, Gore incurs their wrath because the trust of his mother, Pauline, owns stock in Occidental Petroleum which, according to Nader running mate Winona La Duke, "is working to exploit oil reserves under U'waland in Colombia."

The U'wa are an indigenous tribe in Colombia, and became the champions of an anti-Gore rally at the Democratic National Convention.

"As I listen to the vice president espouse his views on campaign finance reform, I look at his investment portfolio and have to ask how that might influence public policy," La Duke has said, slamming Gore erroneously for "own[ing] substantial stock in Occidental Oil Co."

If La Duke is looking for Occidental stockholders to criticize, she might want to look a little closer to home. In the financial disclosure form Nader filed on June 14, the Green Party presidential candidate revealed that he owns between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of shares in the Fidelity Magellan Fund. The fund controls 4,321,400 shares of Occidental Petroleum stock. The Rainforest Action Network -- whose members no doubt include myriad Nader Raiders -- has slammed Fidelity for "investing in genocide," and called for the fund to divest its Occidental holdings.

"The Occidental projects are so beyond the pale about what's reasonable and moral in this modern era," says Patrick Reinsborough, grass-roots coordinator for the Rainforest Action Network. Reinsborough says that his group has been primarily targeting Gore and Fidelity Investments in general, Fidelity Magellan being part of the Fidelity Investments mutual funds network, as well as the one with the largest quantity of Occidental stock.

"We have called upon Ralph Nader -- as we would call upon any citizen -- to either divest from Fidelity or to participate in shareholder activism," Reinsborough says. "Gore has much more long-standing links to Occidental Petroleum."

But even if Fidelity were to divest its holdings in Occidental, it holds shares in so many companies Nader has crusaded against, it's hard to escape the conclusion that Nader's participation in the fund is supremely hypocritical.

The fund, for example, owns stock in the Halliburton Company, where George W. Bush's running mate, Dick Cheney, recently worked as president and COO. The fund has investments in supremely un-p.c. clothiers the Gap and the Limited, both of which have been the target of rocks by World Trade Organization protesters, as well as Wal-Mart, the slayer of mom-and-pop stores from coast to coast.

Nader spokeswoman Laura Jones says that only the candidate himself can answer questions about his personal investments.

Nader could not be reached for comment. In a June interview with the Washington Post about his millionaire earnings-- much of which he has donated to his public interest groups -- Nader said the stocks he chose were "the most neutral-type companies ... No. 1, they're not monopolists and No. 2, they don't produce land mines, napalm, weapons."

But this is not true. The Fidelity Magellan fund owns 777,080 shares of Raytheon, a major missile manufacturer. And this isn't the only example of his rhetoric not matching up with his financial investments.

"I'm quite aware of how the arms race is driven by corporate demands for contracts, whether it's General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin," Nader told the Progressive in April. "They drive it through Congress. They drive it by hiring Pentagon officials in the Washington military industrial complex, as Eisenhower phrased it."

The Fidelity Magellan fund owns 2,041,800 shares of General Dynamics. "Both parties are terrible on anti-trust," Nader told CNN in August. "Look, we have Boeing now, one aircraft company, manufacturer after the McDonnell Douglas merger."

In a June press release, Nader expressed disappointment in the Clinton administration's Justice Department to challenge the merger of British Petroleum with Amoco, or Exxon's merger with Mobil. The Fidelity Magellan fund owns 2,908,600 shares of Boeing, 24,753,870 shares of British Petroleum-Amoco and 28,751,268 shares of Exxon-Mobil.

The fund also owns stock in Shell, Sunoco, Texaco and Chevron -- on whose board Bush advisor Condoleezza Rice serves. Nader has slammed Gore for being too cautious in his health care proposals, and for deferring to big pharmaceuticals.

Before the House Budget Committee in June 1999, Nader testified that "Bristol-Myers Squibb markets taxol at a wholesale price that is nearly 20 times its manufacturing cost. A single injection of taxol can cost patients considerably more than $2,000 and treatment requires multiple injections." The Fidelity Magellan fund owns 15,266,900 shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Does this bother an activist like Reinsborough?

"Sure," he says."Absolutely."

He lauds Nader for engaging in "shareholder activism," but says that such activities "aren't democracy. It's one dollar, one vote."

Corporate-bashing is in vogue on the American left, and Gore is certainly doing his fair share of it on the stump, railing against HMOs, insurance companies and big pharmaceuticals. Some have seen this as Gore trying to shore up support on the left, mimicking Nader disingenuously and unconvincingly.

After all, as Nader said to the Washington Post in June, "The corporations are planning our future. They are making sure [our children] grow up corporate. The kids are over medicated, militarized, cosmetized, corporat-ized. They are raised by Kindercare, fed by McDonald's, educated by Channel One."

There is a difference between Gore and Nader on this point, at the very least: Nader has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in a fund that owns 15,694,800 shares of McDonald's stock. Gore does not.

With additional reporting by Alicia Montgomery.

About the writer: Jake Tapper is the Washington correspondent for Salon News.

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"Ralph Nader: Millionaire hypocrite? The Green Party candidate for president is rolling in green of his own. Does that make him a bad lefty?" By Joshua Micah Marshall 06/20/00

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[NOTE TO READERS OF THE GEORGE BUSH-UNDERCURRENTS WEBSITE: The above e-mail/article is Part II of a two-part set on Nader and his McDonald's and other investments. A previous article details how Nader's McDonald's stock holdings implicate him in the distribution of tainted South American beef--and suggests a motive for his Presidential candidacies: to prevent Democratic administrations from investigating companies in which he has investments. (If you haven't read the first of the two articles yet, go to Nader, Part I.) So--where does this all take us? Perhaps it is this: that only from deep within, can our hope come. If that's the case, then, if we can look deeply within, hope truly is "on the way."--Max Standridge.]

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