Monday, June 21, 2004

Vote Nader/Camejo 2004!

Great news! Ralph Nader did the right thing and chose Peter Miguel Camejo for his running mate:
  • Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader selected Peter Camejo, a Green Party activist from California, as his vice presidential nominee on Monday.

    The pick comes just days before the Green Party will select its candidate for the White House at its national convention in Milwaukee, where Camejo said he will make the case for Nader, the party's presidential nominee four years ago.

    Although not actively seeking the Green nomination, Nader said he would accept it and the access to 22 state ballot lines the party selection brings with it. . . .

    Camejo ran as the Green Party candidate for governor of California in the special election won by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Camejo appeared in the campaign's only nationally televised debate and won 3 percent of the vote. He also ran for governor in 2002, winning 5 percent.

    The son of Venezuelan immigrants and fluent in Spanish, Camejo said at the press conference announcing his selection he would lead the Nader campaign's outreach to Hispanics, a traditional Democratic constituency.

    The campaign's central issue, Camejo said, would be opposition to the war in Iraq, and criticized Bush and Kerry for having identical positions. . . .

    His campaign turned in about 40,000 signatures on Monday to get on the Illinois ballot, more than the required 25,000. Petitions have also been completed in Texas and Arizona and are awaiting certification. . . . (Rolando Garcia/Reuters, "Independent Nader Taps Green Party Activist for VP," June 21, 2004)

  • Presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Monday tapped longtime Green Party activist Peter Camejo to be his running mate, a move certain to boost the independent's chances of winning the Green Party's endorsement this week and its access to ballot lines in nearly two dozen states. . . .

    "I'm a member of the Green Party, I'm very proud of being a Green," Camejo said. "But I am so happy to join with Ralph Nader in the broader coalition he is trying to build to present an alternative for this election that stands on principles of social justice, peace in the world and equality."

    The announcement came before the Green Party convention beginning Wednesday in Milwaukee. Nader, who ran as a Green candidate in 1996 and 2000, is not seeking the party's nomination, but he has actively pursued its endorsement.

    One Green Party leader said a Nader-Camejo ticket would have a strong chance of winning the party's backing.

    "This is an opportunity for Nader to make an overture to the party membership," said Ben Manski, one of five co-chairs of the Green Party. "I think it certainly would put him much more in the running but not a guarantee."

    The Green Party has ballot access for a presidential candidate in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. . . .

    . . . Camejo, 64, launched a spirited defense of Nader's decision to run for president despite critics who label him a spoiler. "They don't realize what they are saying," Camejo said. "It's not Ralph Nader's rights they're going to deny, it's the voters. The voters will decide who they want for president." (Sam Hananel/The Associated Press, "Nader Selects Green Party Activist Peter Camejo as Running Mate," June 21, 2004)
Nader's choice of Camejo as his vice presidential candidate makes it much easier for the left wing of the Green Party -- of which Camejo is the most prominent member -- to get the party to endorse the Nader campaign at its national convention. Now, the promise of the Nader campaign has dramatically increased quantitatively and qualitatively. The Nader/Camejo ticket will likely receive the Green Party's 22 state ballot lines and, in addition to Nader's own efforts so far and the Reform Party's 7 ballot lines, can mount an all-out campaign in almost all states! Camejo will move the Nader campaign's politics sharply to the left, too, especially on issues such as immigration on which Nader's own rhetoric at times has been found wanting by left-wing activists. Now, we're really good to go!

Vote Nader/Camejo 2004!

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