Swift Boat Veterans for Nader

By Geraldine Sealey
October 7, 2004 6:39PM (UTC)
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Back in July, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that one in 10 of Ralph Nader's major contributors to his campaign were also Bush-Cheney donors. But Nader has tried to downplay the role Republican money has played in his campaign, saying at one point: "There are three or four major Republican donors who have contributed to my campaign. But that's because I worked with them on a number of issues. ... It's all very small, relatively small, contributions. And we like it that way.''

Has Nader worked on "issues" with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth? Because it turns out Nader and the notorious anti-Kerry veterans group share common financial backers.


"Five donors, who contributed a total of $13,500 to the anti-Kerry group, also gave $7,500 to the longtime consumer advocate. That has infuriated some Democrats, who complain that Nader is taking money from supporters of not only a Republican group, but also one he has repeatedly denounced. In August, at a speech at Tulane University, Nader called the group 'proxies' for the Bush campaign, which, he said, was attempting to 'smear' the Democratic nominee."

"'If Nader wishes to have any credibility left with progressives, he must give back all right-wing money,' said Robert Brandon, co-founder of anti-Nader United Progressives for Victory, which unearthed the contributions."

"The Nader camp rejected suggestions that it was hypocritical of him to accept the money -- and said the donations were evidence of its candidate's ability to appeal to voters from across the political spectrum."

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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