FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Hypocrites of TheNaderbasher.com

by SHAUN JOSEPH

 

The Democratic Party’s Nader bashers sunk to a new low with a television ad attacking Republican financial support for Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign–which ends with the Bush-Cheney campaign logo altered to read “Bush-Nader.” The ad was paid for by TheNaderFactor.com, one of several groups connected to the Democrats that has frantically attacked Nader for daring to offer a left-wing alternative to John Kerry’s Republican Lite campaign.

“[Nader] is now at a point where his entire legacy may come down to him helping Bush stay in office for another four years, and him cooperating with the right-wing groups that he’s opposed,” Chris Kofnis, an adviser to the group, snarled to the New York Times. Neither Kofnis nor the Times bothered to mention that campaign contributions from known Bush supporters constitute less than 5 percent of the $1 million that the Nader campaign has raised.

Still, given their sanctimonious tone, you’d think that the Nader bashers would at least set a squeaky-clean example. But you’d be wrong.

Seems TheNaderFactor.com needs to listen to that old saying about stones and glass houses.

TheNaderFactor.com is the main project of the National Progress Fund, one of the so-called “527 organizations” that emerged after the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law to ensure that campaign financing was not actually reformed.

The official purpose of the National Progress Fund is “[t]o engage in election-related activity for the purpose of supporting progressive issues.” To date, the only “progressive issue” associated with the organization is the claim that Nader–after four decades of liberal opposition to corporate power and political corruption–is conspiring with right-wing Republicans to help Bush keep the White House.

Does the National Progress Fund live up to the standards it demands of Nader?

Not so much.

According to reports filed with the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS, rather than the Federal Election Commission is responsible for monitoring 527 groups), the organization’s largest donation from an individual is $25,000, from Robert “Bobby” Savoie. Savoie was head of Science and Engineering Associates, which recently merged to become Apogen Technologies, where Savoie is vice chairman.

Savoie’s company is a major federal contractor, providing all manner of services to the Department of Energy, the IRS and the Pentagon. Currently, Apogen is doing an especially brisk business with the Department of Homeland Security–designing databases to track the movements of foreign visitors to the U.S.

Does it seem odd that someone who has done well by Bush’s “war on terror” would help the Democrats? Actually, Savoie has a long record of keeping his bread buttered on both sides.

About a month before his donation to the National Progress Fund, he handed over $25,000 to the Republican National Committee–and a month before that, he gave $2,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. His wife, Lori, by happy coincidence, gave equal amounts to the same organizations on precisely the same days.

According to the New York Times, TheNaderFactor.com’s anti-Nader television ad cost $5,000 to produce and $20,000 to run a dozen times in New Mexico and Wisconsin at the end of August. Precisely the amount that Savoie gave to the Nader bashers–and to the Republican National Committee the month before.

Savoie isn’t an exception. Like plenty of other rich, politically connected executives, he keeps thousands flowing to both major parties, so that millions flow back to them, no matter who wins. The idea of a genuinely independent alternative raised by Nader’s campaign is naturally terrifying–so Savoie joined right in with the liberal attack on Nader.

The Democrats and Republicans share the same corporate backers, and they share the same manual of dirty tricks for political campaigns. We expect slander and hypocrisy from the two parties of the Washington status quo. But progressives who say they want to win real change ought to know better.

SHAUN JOSEPH writes for the Socialist Worker.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail