When legendary consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced his campaign for president three weeks ago, his headquarters received 5,000 offers from volunteers within days. And now the campaign is off and running in Indiana, with an all-out effort poised to get Nader on the ballot and convince voters that he represents a serious alternative.
Dallas Stoner and Dan Sockrider discuss Nader's presidential run.
“Ralph is running, as all third-party and independent candidates do, to mobilize citizens behind an issues agenda,” said Indiana campaign coordinator Dallas Stoner. “The major parties refuse to discuss or adopt any of the issues that are truly affecting the public. America needs a candidate that represents the constituency, and not that of a handful of campaign financers.” Stoner said Nader plans to make fighting corporate crime, dismantling NAFTA and confronting the concentration of mass media key elements of his platform, as well as a serious examination of the use of American force. “We have American troops spread all over the globe, and neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have an exit strategy,” Stoner said. “I could go on for days about why we need Nader versus Bush or Bush Lite. The simple answer is this: Nader represents positive change, he represents the people of this state and he represents the people of this country.” Indiana is a key state in the Nader campaign, because of its conservative leanings and the difficulty of getting on the ballot. “I’ve been contacted by the Washington Post and the New York Times,” Stoner said. “They’re watching this one. Indiana is the first state to close its ballot, and it’s usually the first to mark up a big blue state in the election. People are paying attention.” In order to get on the ballot in Indiana, Nader needs 29,552 signatures from verifiable registered voters by June 30. Two hundred volunteers have already dedicated themselves to gathering signatures. “We are taking this task very seriously,” Stoner said. “We realize the importance of real change in America, and we also realize the fact that taking Indiana in this election is going to be hard. Last time the focus was really on getting 5 percent for the Green Party … I think that’s what hurt Nader then. We’re not thinking that way now. We’re seriously here to win the election.”
Next meeting Saturday, April 3, at The Abbey, 771 Massachusetts Ave., 7 p.m., and biweekly thereafter. Meetings are also being organized elsewhere in the state. For more info: www.votenader.org, or contact Dallas Stoner at 317-809-3120 or Dallas@votenader.org.