Camejo: Ralph and I will talk about returning GOP money

Published July 9, 2004 7:26PM (EDT)

On top of today's news about GOP support for Nader in Michigan, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that a significant portion of major donors to the Nader campaign are ideological -- though not necessarily electoral -- opponents of the long-time consumer advocate. "Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader -- still not on the ballot in a single state -- has received a recent windfall of contributions from deep-pocketed Republicans with a history of big contributions to the party, an analysis of federal records show."

"Nearly one in 10 of Nader's major donors -- those writing checks of $1,000 or more -- have given in recent months to the Bush-Cheney campaign, the latest documents show. GOP fund-raisers also have 'bundled' contributions -- gathering hefty donations for maximum effect to help Nader, who has criticized the practice in the past.

"The donations from wealthy Republicans -- combined with increasingly vocal Democratic charges that they represent a stealth GOP effort to wound Democrat John Kerry -- prompted Nader's vice presidential running mate, Green Party member Peter Camejo, to suggest the consumer advocate reject the money that doesn't come from loyal Nader voters.

"'If there has been a wave of these (donations), then that's something Ralph and I will have to talk about -- and about returning their money,' he said Thursday in an interview with The Chronicle. "If you oppose the war, if you're against the Patriot Act, your money is welcome.

"'But if your purpose is because you think this is going to have an electoral effect, we don't want that money. I take no money from people who disagree with us,'" Camejo said. 'We're not interested in that.'"

Nader may also make the Nevada ballot, after all. His campaign website claims that the Nader-Camejo team turned in 11,000 signatures -- more than twice the required number. One swing state down.

By Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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