The Nader factor

Published July 14, 2004 7:06PM (EDT)

The gaggle of ex-primary campaign managers at the The Nader Factor is taking the ballot-access battle to the airwaves with a new ad. The radio spot criticizes Nader for accepting support, including direct campaign donations, from Republicans and conservative groups, tainting his push to become a progressive presidential candidate. Nader remains defiant in the face of the mounting criticism, but the new ad did pass the test, indicating it's a fair swipe at the independent presidential hopeful. From FactCheck's writeup: " -- an anti-Nader group staffed by former Dean, Clark, and Gephardt campaigners -- released a new radio ad July 13 saying Nader is getting help from Republicans in three key states in hopes of stripping votes away from Kerry.

"It says, 'The same right-wing Republicans that are anti-choice and anti-environment are suddenly pro-Nader.'

"The ad's use of the terms 'right wing' (which it uses six times) and 'extremist' (used twice) are debatable, as is the term 'anti-environment.' But it is well documented that some Republican-leaning groups have worked for Nader, and that a few wealthy Republican donors have given money to the Nader campaign." Nader resents the focus on his strange bedfellows, but the scrutiny is legitimate and raises questions about what, exactly, he hopes to achieve in this election.

By Stephen W. Stromberg

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

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