SALEM, Ore. – The leader of a Republican-leaning anti-tax group says his organization is ready to collect petition signatures to help Ralph Nader (search) win a spot on Oregon's presidential ballot.
Democrats are challenging Nader's efforts to appear on ballots in some states. In San Francisco on Tuesday, his running mate, Peter Camejo (search), compared the Democratic Party to "a dictator" who uses fear and false rhetoric to give voters the illusion they have an open electoral system.
Drawing votes away from Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search) to help President Bush win Oregon is a goal of Citizens for a Sound Economy, said its leader, Russ Walker. The group was instrumental in putting together the signature drive and campaign that led to the drubbing of the state's $800 million tax hike in a Feb. 3 special election.
The offer could be a boost to Nader, who has struggled to meet an Aug. 24 deadline to qualify for the Oregon ballot.
Campaigning in his home state of California, Camejo argued that if Nader gets any sizable support, the fault lies with Kerry for failing to appeal to the "tens and tens of millions of Americans" who oppose the war in Iraq and stand to Kerry's left on social issues such as gay marriage.
Camejo said the Democrats' message about the danger the Nader candidacy poses to Kerry was undoubtedly scaring away voters who would otherwise cast ballots for their ticket.
"This is how people act when they are under a dictator," Camejo said. "This is a capitulation to the role of money, and we are the rebels."