OSHKOSH, WI -- October 27 -- Originally published on October 26 -- Former Wisconsin Ralph Nader supporters called on voters who are still supporting Nader to abandon his campaign and to join the effort to defeat George W. Bush, United Progressives for Victory (UPforVictory.com) announced today. According to recent surveys, Bush and John Kerry are locked in a dead heat in Wisconsin.
"Under George W. Bush, Wisconsin families cannot pay for their health care, students are priced out of college, and workers are losing their jobs. This election is too critical to cast a protest vote for Ralph Nader. I supported Nader in 2000, but I will not vote for him this election because the people of Wisconsin cannot afford four more years of Bush," said Austin King, an Alderman from Madison and a former Nader 2000 voter and campaigner, who traveled to Oshkosh to encourage voters to unite against Bush.
Nader, who is campaigning in battleground states, including Wisconsin, where he will appear today in Oshkosh and Green Bay, has been abandoned by activists and grassroots supporters. For example:
* More than 75 original "Nader's Raiders" and close associates publicly denounced Ralph Nader's presidential bid last week and are advertising against him in battleground states. Print advertisements began running today in Madison, WI. (View the Nader's Raiders letter and the print ad)
* Leaders in Wisconsin, such as former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the mayor of Madison, student activists, environmentalists and the current Attorney General, have signed a public statement urging Nader voters to oppose his candidacy. Others in Washington State, Minnesota and Colorado, have signed similar letters. (Read the Wisconsin letter online)
* More than 50 peace and anti-Iraq war activists have released a letter opposing Nader's candidacy.
* More than 70 of his 2000 campaign's leading supporters, including Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Cornel West, have urged swing state voters to support Kerry.
* More than two dozen women's issues leaders and 30 national and state health care advocates have publicly said they oppose Nader's presidential run.
On the other hand, Republicans supporters and major GOP and right-wing operatives have assisted Nader in his efforts to run for President this year in order to split the progressive vote and help re-elect Bush. For example:
* Eight major donors who have given $31,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to air attack ads on John Kerry's military service have also given Nader more than $11,000. Nader has also accepted contributions from conservative PAC donors who have given to the archconservative Club for Growth.
* Nader's campaign has received legal representation from lawyers who represented Bush in the 2000 Florida recount and ballot access assistance from a Republican consultant in Nevada, conservative, right wing organizations in Oregon, the Michigan state party, which collected 45,000 signatures for his effort.
* Altogether, Nader has accepted over $125,000 in cash and known in-kind contributions by GOP donors and consultants. This does not count the unreported in-kind contributions made by the GOP in circulating his ballot petitions in many states.
UPforVictory.com includes progressives who have worked with Nader in the past and leaders with years of experience working on progressive causes including peace and foreign policy, the environment, consumer rights, women's issues, civil rights and constitutional rights, health care and workers' rights, and social and economic justice.