Electoral Politics

"France: United Radical Left Campaign Gathers Momentum"

Murray Smith, Paris, Green Left Weekly, March 3, 2004

The united campaign being waged by France's two largest revolutionary
socialist parties — the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) and Workers
Struggle (LO) — for the March 21 regional elections is getting a good

"An Enemy of the People"

John Chuckman

Ralph Nader has defined a perfect moral dilemma for thinking Americans.

He finds himself in a situation resembling that of Dr. Stockmann in Ibsen's drama, "An Enemy of the People." Dr. Stockmann discovered the municipal baths were contaminated, but good burghers worried about the destructive effects of the truth on the town did not want the doctor revealing it.

An anonymous coward writes:

"Open the Debates"

Ralph Nader, CommonDreams.org

Last week, Open Debates (see Opendebates.org), a
nonprofit, non-partisan organization, whose purposes I
support, filed a complaint with the Federal Election
Commission (FEC) against the Commission on Presidential
Debates (CPD) which was created and is controlled by
the Republican and Democratic Parties. Open Debates
charged, with documentation, that the CPD is not non-
partisan but is deeply bi-partisan, serving and obeying
the dictates of the two major Parties.

Open Debates argues that such control is a violation of
FEC debate regulations. Corporate contributions which
could go only to an educational association are instead
going to a bi-partisan political organization which is

"A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton's Campaign"

Wayne Barrett, Village Voice

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.

Though Stone and Sharpton have tried to reduce their alliance to a curiosity, suggesting that all they do is talk occasionally, a Voice investigation has documented an extraordinary array of connections. Stone played a pivotal role in putting together Sharpton's pending application for federal matching funds, getting dollars in critical states from family members and political allies at odds with everything Sharpton represents. He's also helped stack the campaign with a half-dozen incongruous top aides who've worked for him in prior campaigns. He's even boasted about engineering six-figure loans to Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) and allowing Sharpton to use his credit card to cover thousands in NAN costs -- neither of which he could legally do for the campaign. In a wide-ranging Voice interview Sunday, Stone confirmed his matching-fund and staffing roles, but refused to comment on the NAN subsidies.

An anonymous coward writes:

"To Greet G.O.P., Protests of Varying Volume"

Michael Slackman, New York Times

When the Republican National Convention comes to town, the Rev. Peter
Laarman hopes to greet it with a quiet, reserved defiance. He wants
religious leaders to hold discussion groups on concerns about politicizing
Sept. 11. He wants to have seminars to discuss lost jobs. And he wants to
bring experts to New York to discuss national security.

What he does not want to do is take to the streets with huge protests.
Instead, through a campaign he calls the Accountability Project, he hopes
to offer a thoughtful counterpoint when the Republicans stage their
nominating convention in New York, scheduled for Aug. 30 through Sept. 2.

But Mr. Laarman may find his tempered voice drowned out in what may well
be a tense and angry time on the streets of Manhattan.

Anonymous Comrade writes

"Coming Soon: The Dirtiest Show on Earth!"

John Chuckman

Crowds cheering, bands marching, costumes glittering, high-wire stunts, and even animal acts (if the latest Bush stories about Kerry are to believed) -- all these and more are coming this fall to America's local fairgrounds and national airwaves.

American elections are not noted for depth of content. Despite constant disparagement, sound-bites often are the only way to know what all the racket is about.

$2.4 Trillion US Budget to Boost Defense Spending

Reuters, Feb. 03, 2004

WASHINGTON -- President Bush proposed a $2.4 trillion election-year
budget on Monday that would boost defense spending, slash 128 programs
and seek to cut this year's record deficit in half -- a goal even fellow
Republicans were skeptical he could achieve.

Anonymous Comrade writes

"The President from Podunk Drilling Inc."

John Chuckman, January 15, 2004

Thinking people aren't surprised to be told that failed-oilman George Bush qualifies as a moral and intellectual dry hole.

Bush's halting words come from a mouth so long smugly-set it can scarcely form the shapes of vowels, but enormous ignorance also manages to come through. Still, it never hurts to have a first-hand account, expert testimony, to reinforce even our strongest perceptions, and former Bush Cabinet-member Paul O'Neill has now supplied that in spades.

"RNC Not Welcome"

The Good Riddance

The Good Riddance [TGR] recently met with one of the founders of RNC [Republican National Convention] Not Welcome to talk about organizing against the upcoming Republican National Convention, which is scheduled to occur in New York City, close to the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We started off by talking about the Demilitarize the Police rally that occurred at One Police Plaza a few days earlier. The rally focused partially on the use of "less-than-lethal weapons," such as rubber bullets and tear gas to control demonstrators.

RNCNW: I wouldn't be satisfied if, for instance, the cops decided that they weren't going to use less-than-lethal weapons, because in New York, they rely more on systems of control than they do on brute force.

"Anti-War Protest Set for Republican Convention"


NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A coalition of anti-war groups plan to greet
delegates to next summer's Republican National Convention with a massive
protest against U.S. foreign policy, hoping to keep the Iraqi war alive as
an issue in the 2004 election, organizers said on Tuesday.

The march could be one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history,
organizers said.

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