Efforts to Stop Nader
The struggles the Nader campaign had to engage in to obtain ballot access, as legal challenges arose in state after state, severely damaged its prospects.  In a Sept. 21, 2004 news conference Nader said he held Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry "directly responsible" for his ballot access difficulties.  Democrats pointed out Republican efforts in support of Nader, but by fostering frivilous lawsuits, intimidation and other actions designed to impede Nader's efforts to gain ballot access, the Democratic Party behaved in an anti-democratic manner, earning one of the black marks of the 2004 election cycle.

Outside of the Democratic Party, a number of other groups formed to counter Nader:

Progressive Unity Voter Fund  >>
"DontVoteRalph.net will unite, mobilize, and inform all progressives about the threat posed by Nader's campaign."

Launched as Ralph Don't Run; after Nader announced quickly changed to Don't Vote Ralph.

John Pearce, founder and former CEO of MediaMap, his wife Kathy Cramer, and Paul Erskine.  Strategic Advisor Gloria Totten of Progressive Majority.


The NaderFactor.com (National Progress Fund)  >>
"The Nader Factor is dedicated to building a dynamic grassroots community of former Nader voters, Nader supporters, progressive Democrats and others who are uniting to change the destructive White House policies."

The Nader Factor website launched on May 19, 2004.  On May 25, they launched their first advertising. 
In June representatives of the group met with Nader (June 3, 2004 letter).  Shortly before the Republican National Convention they launched a tongue in cheek "Let Nader Speak to his Right-Wing Supporters" petition effort (Aug. 26, 2004 letter). 

National Progress Fund: David Jones (Jones earlier spearheaded Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values, which ran controversial ads against Howard Dean in the Democratic primary).  Others involved in the effort: Tricia Enright, who worked on the Dean campaign, served as President of the National Progress Fund, but later went on to work on the Kerry campaign in Pennsylvania; Wesley Clark supporters Chris Kofinis and John Hlinko; and Karl Frisch.
(05/26/04)     "One Question" :60 TV ad (FL, Sept. 30, 2004)
   "Bush-Nader, '04" :50 TV ad and print ad (WI, NM, Aug. 16, 2004)
   "Used" :60 radio ad  (OR, WI, PA, FL, July 12, 2004)

   "Bob Schick" :30 TV ad  (WI, NM, May 25, 2004)
Major Contributors >
Americans for Jobs   Washington, DC

John Koza   Sacramento, CA
Investor, Third Millenium Capital
Sheet Metal Workers   Washington, DC

Painters & Allied Trades   Washington, DC

Robert Savoie  Metairie, LA
President, SEA Associates
James Nance   Patrick AFB, FL
Coalition to Defend America

S. Daniel Abraham   West Palm Beach, FL
President, Slim Fast Foods

Stop Nader.com  >>
The Stop Nader website launched several days after the Nader Factor site; some of the links were not active however.   "We are calling for Nader to drop out of the race.  We urge you to join us by signing the Stop Nader Petition." 

Democratic Action Team: Communications Director Michael K. Frisby.  Bud Jackson, The Jackson Group.  Jason McIntosh.  Former Congressman Bob Gammage (D-TX).

(05/26/04)     "Don't Do This To Us Again" :30 TV ad (OR, May 31, 2004)

United Progressives for Victory  >>
United Progressives for Victory is a federal PAC announced June 2, 2004.  "Our mobilizing effort is designed to convince likely Nader supporters that the dangers of a second Bush administration are too great for any of us to cast a throwaway protest vote in 2004...  United Progressives for Victory will serve as a nationally coordinated network, sharing technical assistance, information, and other resources among coalitions of progressives in targeted states."

In July 2004 the group formed a companion Section 527 entity, Uniting People for Victory, "that will use resources for issue campaigns."

A favored approach of United Progressives for Victory was the letter to voters; in the latter half of September and first half of October the group orchestrated at least eight such letters (WI, MN, CO, Peace Leaders, Leaders on Women's Issues, OR, WA, Health Care Advocates).  United Progressives for Victory did some advertising in late October (Daily Iowan, Iowa State Daily, Minnesota Daily, Santa Fe New Mexican, Taos News, Isthmus Publishing Co./Madison, WI and Capitol Newspapers/Madison, WI).  UP for Victory repeatedly emphasized that Nader is "the recipient of financial and political support from right-wing campaign donors." 

UP for Victory was headquartered at 1730 Rhode Island Ave, N.W. Suite 712, Washington, DC.  Campaign Manager: Karen Mulhauser - Mulhauser & Associates.

The Ballot Project, Inc.
This 527 group, formed on June 2, initially was called Focus on Ballot Qualification, Inc..  Its stated purpose: "Assess and prepare legal challenges to the ballot qualification of candidates seeking public office as well as measures, referenda, initiatives and ballot questions posed for public vote and engage in other non-federal activity lawful under section 527."  The Ballot Project was headquartered at 1730 Rhode Island Ave, N.W. Suite 712; directors were William C. Oldaker (Treasurer), Ginny Hunt (Secretary), and Tom Shakow (President).
Major Contributors >
Uniting People for Victory   Washington, DC
CWA COPE   Washington, DC

UFCW   Washington, DC

Max Palevski   Los Angeles, CA
John Haas   Villanova, PA
Robert Shapiro   Chicago, IL
Bernard L. Schwartz   New York, NY
chairman, Loral
AFL-CIO PAC   Washington, DC

Jacobs & Goodman   Alamonte Springs, FL
public attorneys

RepentantNaderVoter.com PAC  >>
"Launched in July 2003, RepentantNaderVoter.com PAC's goal is to convince former Nader voters to vote for Kerry in 2004."  Jason Salzman and Aaron Toso, who run the Denver, CO public relations firm Cause Communications, developed this effort.  Bush's policies, particularly in Iraq, prompted Salzman cut the "un" from the "Unrepentent Nader Voter" sticker on the back of his Honda.  Salzman laid out his case in an op-ed "Open Letter to Ralph Nader" that ran in the July 6, 2003 Los Angeles Times.  The two decided to start the website "over beers at the Denver Chop House."  In August 2004 RepentantNaderVoter.com PAC offered donors custom-made stainless steel and pink nose clips for "folks who may not like John Kerry, but want to vote for him anyway because Bush is so bad."  On September 18 the group staged a modest "beg-in" to protest Nader's appearance at the Tattered Cover in Denver.

The FAQ section of the website has the question, "Do you like Ralph Nader?"  The answer: "Yes. We are in complete agreement with him on the major issues. It's great to hear Ralph Nader critique politics as usual in the United States. No one does it better."  The response continues, "We absolutely need to expand the debate, but it's not worth the risk in 2004."

Greens for Kerry (Change in '04)  >>
"The ramifications of a Bush second term could be catastrophic; the stakes are simply too high. To protect our nation and preserve a healthy future– economically, socially, environmentally and morally, we must defeat George W. Bush.  We urge all Greens and Nader voters in swing states to vote strategically and join with people of all political stripes, united in our concern for America’s future, and support John Kerry for President." 

On August 27 Greens for Kerry released "A Progressive Platform: Prospects and Expectations in a Kerry Administration."  (
Nader frequently spoke of the need for a progressive voice to hold Democrats accountable).
"Sarah Newman, the founder of Greens for Kerry, is a registered Green Party member in San Francisco, a two time Nader voter (96' and 00'), and a proud volunteer of Nader's 2000 campaign for President."

Copyright © 2004  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action