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Nader Hopes for Reception as Warm in St. Paul as in WA

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September 4, 2008

Minneapolis, MN - Today, as the Republican National Convention wraps up in Minnesota, Ralph Nader and other notable independent and third-party leaders will rally their supporters. Washington State is one of the strongholds for the perennial presidential candidate, who in July qualified to be on Washington's November ballot. Within the next two weeks, his suporter say, he's on track to do the same in 45 states. Nader was in Denver and now he's brought his campaign to Minneapolis, offering voters a different point of view and demand a spot in upcoming presidential debates.

Campaign coordinator Jason Kafoury holds no hope that Nader will actually win the election, but he says that’s not the only goal.

"We’re planning an effort going into 2009. Whoever wins, we can hold Congress’ feet to the fire and push some of the reforms in the legislation that we’ve been pushing in this campaign and actually make that happen in 2009."

Toby Nelson, of Seattle, is one of Nader's Washington campaign coordinators, and says he'll be back in the Evergreen State in early October.

"Washington has raised more money for the Nader campaign, dollar for dollar, than any other state except New York and California, both of which are states five times our size. There's very, very intense interest in Nader and Nader's message."

Nelson adds he hopes voters take note that Nader is taking stands that big-money donors prevent major candidates from sharing.

"You look at an independent candidate like Ralph Nader, who is bucking the trend and actually coming out with policy positions that, in a true competitive arena, you would have your major party candidates espousing. He's supporting an aggressive crackdown on corporate crime, and reaffirming personal privacy rights by repealing telecom immunity and repealing the Patriot Act."

Nader's platform includes support for universal health care, an immediate end to the Iraq war and renegotiation of free trade agreements. Today's rally in Minneapolis includes appearances by Nader, his running mate - San Francisco attorney Matt Gonzales - and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA