Ralph Nader film and open debates

From www.opendebates.org:

A movie is coming out that highlights the anti-democratic nature of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). “An Unreasonable Man” is an award-winning, nuanced documentary about Ralph Nader that is being released in major cities across the country. Co-directed by Steve Skrovan, the executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, “An Unreasonable Man” features a lengthy segment on the exclusion of Nader and other candidates from the 2000 presidential debates, despite the fact that a majority of Americans supported their inclusion. Featuring unseen footage, the sequence reveals how the major parties seized control of the debates from the League of Women Voters; how corporations finance the deceptive CPD; and how the CPD physically excluded third-party candidates like Nader, Pat Buchanan and Harry Browne from even entering the debate premises in 2000. Director Skrovan told me that the debate segment in the film spurred outrage among audiences at the Sundance Film Festival.

You can learn more about the film at the following website: www.anunreasonableman.com/

47 Responses to “Ralph Nader film and open debates”

  1. Andy Says:

    There were two Presidential debates held in 2000 that were open to all candidates who were on enough ballots to win the election. One of them was hosted by Jesse Ventura and the Minnesota Independence Party, the other one was hosted by Judicial Watch. Only 3 candidates had the balls to show up. They were Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party, Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, and John Hegelin of the Natural Law Party. These debates were show on C-SPAN and I’ve still got them on tape.

    If Ralph Nader was really so concerned about open debates why didn’t he show up for these two events? The same goes for Pat Buchanan. The fact that they didn’t show up makes them hypocrites.

  2. obpgpebt Says:

    obpgpebt

    obpgpebt

  3. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Ralph Nader is an American Icon and I cannot immagine being any thing but a Perot/ Perot/ Nader/ Nader voter in the last four down and dirty Presidential election cycles of the once great USA.

    An Imperfect Ralph Nader [or running mate Peter Camejo]? Sure! Election after election, his egg head smart but street level dummies, [East Coast students ????] messed up the field action. The veteran campaigners [like the SUCCESSFUL GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS RECALL] are first ignored and then vilified. Screw up after screw up is the norm for the Nader teams’ ‘boots on the ground’.

    After ignoring John Coffey and other Dump Gray Davis types, Uncle Ralph’s shock troups messed up the California 2004 Ballot Access attempt. After wards it was as if the wind went out of their collective sails.

    It was only due to Coffey, Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] and allies that Nader/ Camejo write in votes were positioned for counting.

    And piss poor PR! ‘Declare Your Independence! Oh geez! Next to no one cared! Now NADER’S RAIDERS….... At least a million folks would walk over broken glass for a NR tee shirt or NR coffee cup. [Another CHEAP and golden AND MISSED] opportunity!]

    Uncle Ralph had only to sign a one page prepared page to endorse the OTHER write in candidate in the City of San Diego: Council Member and Mayor’s hope ful Donna ‘Suffer Girl’ Frye. It would have cost him nothing and gained exposure with the INTER NATIONAL MEDIA DARING Frye.

    Too smart by half. Duh. Nader and Camejo are past their singular or collective ‘shelf date’. Jesse Ventura, Jim Gilchrist, or John [Not Pat or Bay] Buchanan any one? [Ralph and Pete? Here’s your time pieces, now step out of the parade…]

  4. Andy Says:

    “After ignoring John Coffey and other Dump Gray Davis types, Uncle Ralph’s shock troups messed up the California 2004 Ballot Access attempt. After wards it was as if the wind went out of their collective sails.”

    The reason that Ralph Nader didn’t make it on the ballot in California was because it was a bitch to get signed. The Nader campaign hired the same mercenary petition outfits who get most of the initiatives on the ballot in California. Of course they had some volunteers but volunteers don’t usually accomplish much on any campaign and this one was no different. The Democrats put out a lot of anti-Nader propaganda and this made it difficult to get signatures for Ralph Nader just about everywhere in the country, and this was especially true in California. To get on the ballot as an independent in California you’ve got to get something like 165,000 valid signatures, plus some padding to cover for validity. The Nader campaign didn’t get the ball rolling in California soon enough and when you factor that in with the difficulty of getting the petition signed you come up with why they failed. I know that they talked about raising the pay pretty high but I don’t think it ever happened and it may not have made a difference anyway. I know this because I know people who worked on it.

  5. Phil Sawyer Says:

    In my humble opinion, Andy is correct and my friend, Don Lake (CFABVH), is not correct on this matter.

    California is very, very difficult for independent and/or third party presidential candidates. I was a full-time, volunteer activist (and official California Elector, for the election year) for the Committee for a Constitutional Presidency/McCarthy ‘76 from August of 1974 through 1976 and beyond. We had to contend with the usual array of problems with these kind of things. We even had to deal with the fact that the Democratic Party’s Secretary of State, March Fong Eu, did not give us our petitions until well after the process had legally begun. In spite of all of our blood, sweat, and tears, we failed to obtain a place on the presidential ballot for Eugene J. McCarthy in California.

    By the way, Don and John, Gray Davis is a very decent and honorable gentleman and he was an excellent governor, as was Pete Wilson before him.

    Member: CUIP; GPUS; (and CFABVH too!)

  6. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Dear Sacramento Phil [and the Non Democan and Non Republicrat community at large] : is “Declare Your Independence” a superior slogan to “Nader’s Raiders”.

  7. matt Says:

    Regardless of slogans, Nader is a privately funded stooge whose purpose is to soak up publicity in the independent/emerging party movement and sap it of it’s vitality. The man is a cancer, and he’s bought and paid for already.

  8. Joey Dauben Says:

    Ralph Nader did more for the third party movements than YOU’LL ever do, Matt.

  9. John Brown Says:

    Gray Davis and Pete Wilson?

    Don’t make me barf. There’s a reason a lot of people move out of California and those two are definitely a big part of it.

    Gilchrist is a fucking nazi.

    Here is what his wikipedia entry says….

    “Gilchrist willingly allowed members of the National Alliance, one of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organizations, to help with his 2005 House run. Gilchrist has claimed that he refuses to work with white supremacists, but the SPLC report questioned his sincerity. The report interviewed a former volunteer in Gilchrist’s campaign who said that “they were basically allowing skinheads and white nationalists to work the phone banks and do IT and distribute National Alliance fliers targeting non-whites,” and that “[when I told them] that didn’t want to work for a campaign that was tainted by white supremacy in any way, they told me not to cause a stir.”

  10. Trent Hill Says:

    The SPLC is as bigoted as any of the Racist organizations it claims to report on.
    Also, Gilchrist’s organization is 25% non-white and 52% female. So, that reflects a larger minority in his organization than is actually present in the United States.

  11. matt Says:

    Ralph Nader did more for the third party movements than YOU’LL ever do, Matt.
    ====================
    A couple of things, Joey:

    First, with all due respect, it’s early. I’m only 23.
    Second, if you follow the link below, you’ll learn enough about Nader to make any further comment by me superfluous.

    http://www.whale.to/b/skol.html

  12. Phil Sawyer Says:

    To Don Lake (aka CFABVH):

    Sacramento Phil (aka Proletarian Phil) agrees with his friend, Don Lake, that “Nader’s Raiders” would have been a much superior slogan than “Declare Your Independence.”

    Proletarian Phil also is pretty sure that he will not see his shadow after the stroke of midnight this date – which will mean clear sailing for the “third party”/independent, peace, justice, and reform movement this coming year!

  13. matt Says:

    Gilchrist willingly allowed members of the National Alliance, one of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organizations, to help with his 2005 House run. Gilchrist has claimed that he refuses to work with white supremacists, but the SPLC report questioned his sincerity. The report interviewed a former volunteer in Gilchrist’s campaign who said that “they were basically allowing skinheads and white nationalists to work the phone banks and do IT and distribute National Alliance fliers targeting non-whites,” and that “[when I told them] that didn’t want to work for a campaign that was tainted by white supremacy in any way, they told me not to cause a stir.”
    =====================================
    Must. Leave. The Room. When Racists. Enter.

    I can’t catch the virus. That’s how it works, you know. first they’re sitting one cubicle over and the next thing you know they’re in your head. the fact that their arguments are ignorant makes no difference. Racism is catching. Everyone must leave immediately when a racist walks into the room. Even if it’s at JC Penneys and you’re shopping and it might not be a real racist but rather a guy with a shaved head who’s angry about something else. Can’t be too safe.

  14. Joe Says:

    I have my own concerns about Gilchrist, but racism is not one of them. I question SPLC’s sincerity and do not consider them a credible source. I don’t buy into the whole guilt by association thing. Gilchrist says he is not a racist. That is good enough for me.

  15. Kn@ppster Says:

    The two statements:

    “Ralph Nader has done a lot for the third party movement;” and

    “Ralph Nader is a dishonest whore whose public image conflicts in a big way with his private actions;”

    ... are not incompatible.

    Nader has done a lot for the third party movement. He brought real name recognition to the Greens, he’s been a very effective (in terms of achieving publicity, if not change) campaigner on behalf of open debates, etc.

    The fact that he was lying about “the simple room” he lived in (he’d go in the front door, out the back, and to the luxury brownstone he bought in his sister’s name and really lives in), that he finances his PIRG groups through fraudulent student fee swindles, and that he has been caught using his advocacy groups to manipulate the stock market to his, and his groups’, advantage, doesn’t change that, any more than Watergate changes the fact that Nixon opened China.

    Okay, so Nader and Nixon are/were both SOBs. That’s relevant, but it doesn’t change the other facts about them.

    Tom Knapp

  16. Jackcjackson Says:

    It ain’t racist if you hate dem mescans.

  17. John Brown Says:

    Ralphie Boy’s responsible for more federal and state regulations than any other man alive. He is the undispited master of shaking down mandatory student fees from hundreds if not thousands of colleges to finance political lobbying for more regulations and higher taxes. He does this with the full knowledge of what he is really doing, having written articles back in the 1960s documenting corporate-government collusion.

    Sure, he raised the third party profile, but also painted it in a negative light, and made things more difficult for other third parties (including the Greens without him), if anything. Both on the legal and publicity fronts.

    Gilchrist is to Mexican-Americans as the KKK is to balcks.

    Check out this video about the real news….what the media does not want you to know.

    http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2007/02/02/sweetass-video/

  18. John Brown Says:

    Sure, the SPLC are hypocrite rat finks, but it takes a rat to smell a rat and in Gilchrist they certainly smell a rat.

    Their information on his campaign staff is accurate. Who cares that they were the ones to bring it up?

  19. matt Says:

    the new hotness here @ TPW is “it takes a rat to smell a rat”. I like it.

    anyway, while it may be argued that Nader has done some good things for 3rd parties, if those things are counterbalanced by lying and stealing, and if this lying and stealing are well-known, then the net effect is bad, since it casts the entire movement in a bad light.

  20. undercover_anarchist Says:

    “If Ralph Nader was really so concerned about open debates why didn’t he show up for these two events?”

    Andy found out that Nader was Lebanese and now he hates him.

    Maybe because Nader was a serious candidate, unlike the other jokers, and didn’t deserve to be relegated to a minor league debate?

    A screwball like John Hagelin doesn’t deserve to share the platform with anyone.

  21. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Not only will I share a room with a racist, I will also share my saliva with his eye and my booth with his throat.

    Here is the secret truth: The “Constitution” and “Libertarian” parties are thinly vieled white supremacist hate groups; the CP’s veil so thin it barely exists. The Greens are an almost literally retarded, literally Marxist bunch of left-wing authoritarians. Given the choices, I would rather vote Republican or Democrat.

  22. Trent Hill Says:

    UA,

    You do that.

  23. Cutty Sark Says:

    Not only will I share a room with a racist, I will also share my saliva with his eye and my booth with his throat.

    Would that be one of those jack off booths Andy was talking about in Colorado Springs? Kinky!

  24. Jackcjackson Says:

    UA,
    I certainly don’t think the LP is a “white supremicist” group, though it has certaiinly atracted some kooky angry white guys.

  25. matt Says:

    Given the choices, I would rather vote Republican or Democrat
    =======================
    So basically you hang out here just to show the love?

    If you start a third party, UA, I’d give them the time of day. At least until they talk about spitting in people’s eyes because they have different opinions. That would probably gum up the works.

  26. Cutty Sark Says:

    The eye/saliva thing is just a kinky game for the jack off booths, and freaks should have their rights too. Some kind of funky power exchange. It’s cold this time of year in Michigan, I think.

  27. Phil Sawyer Says:

    Ralph Nader is one of the greatest patriots that this country has ever produced. There is absolutely no logical reason why anyone should give a passing thought to the negative things that were said above about that remarkable gentleman.

  28. Timothy West Says:

    Nader is right about the abuses of concentrated corporate power and money built into our system and the corruption it has installed. His methods to fix it are wrong but the LP better start listening to the rest of that message.

  29. Kn@ppster Says:

    Phil,

    I said the things I said about Nader because they’re true, and because they’re relevant to his public advocacies.

    Promulgating an image of an austere, “chosen poverty” lifestyle when one is actually a multi-millionaire is a fraudulent attempt to enhance one’s credibility with a particular audience segment at the expense of the truth. Nader’s done that. That may or may not destroy his credibility, but it erodes it.

    Using scams to finance public advocacy groups—as with the student fee swindles used to finance the various PIRG enterprises—is a fraudulent attempt to enhance a “grass roots” image at the expense of the truth. Nader’s done that. That may or may not destroy his credibility, but it erodes it.

    Attacking particular companies while selling their stocks short at the same time to make a buck is not just a swindle, it also quite possibly runs afoul of insider trading laws. Nader’s done that. That may or may not destroy his credibility entirely, but it erodes it.

    I actually agree with Nader on some particular issues, and I think his presidential candidacies have been helpful to third party and independent efforts in some particular ways. And maybe you’re right. Maybe he’s a “great patriot.” But he’s also a con man. That’s just a fact … and it will remain a fact whether you’re comfortable with it or not.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  30. Phil Sawyer Says:

    Not only am I not comfortable with it, Tom, I simply do not believe it either.

  31. Andy Says:

    “undercover_anarchist Says:

    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:38 pm
    “If Ralph Nader was really so concerned about open debates why didn’t he show up for these two events?”

    Andy found out that Nader was Lebanese and now he hates him.”

    Where in the HELL did you come up with this? When did I say that I hated people from Lebanon or anywhere else?

    While I’m not really a Nader support I do think that he was less toxic that George W. Bush and John Kerry.

  32. Andy Says:

    “Maybe because Nader was a serious candidate, unlike the other jokers, and didn’t deserve to be relegated to a minor league debate?

    A screwball like John Hagelin doesn’t deserve to share the platform with anyone.”

    undercover_anarchist is putting forth the same elitist attitude that the Democrats and Republicans have towards independent and “minor” party candidates. This is the exact same excuse that the Democrats and Republicans used to keep Ralph Nader out of the debates.

    Hell, I’m not even a Raph Nader supporter and I think that he should have been included in the Presidential Debates. Any candidate that makes it on enough state ballots to be able to win an election (which is not easy to do) should be included in the Presidential Debates. I think that it was very hypocritical of Nader and Pat Buchanan to complain about being shut out of the Presidential Debate and then not bother showing up at the only two debates that were open to all of the candidates who were on enough ballots to win the Presidential election that year.

    By the way, I’m not a John Hegelin supporter either but I’d say that Hegelin was probably less toxic than Ralph Nader.

  33. Andy Says:

    “undercover_anarchist Says:

    February 2nd, 2007 at 3:42 pm
    Not only will I share a room with a racist, I will also share my saliva with his eye and my booth with his throat.

    Here is the secret truth: The “Constitution” and “Libertarian” parties are thinly vieled white supremacist hate groups; the CP’s veil so thin it barely exists. The Greens are an almost literally retarded, literally Marxist bunch of left-wing authoritarians. Given the choices, I would rather vote Republican or Democrat.”

    Wow, this might be the most irrational post ever from undercover_anarchist.

  34. Cutty Sark Says:

    Of course Nadir’s a con man. I thought everyone already knew that?

    Phil can just ignore the facts since he’s obviously unable to dispute them.

  35. Cutty Sark Says:

    Andy,

    It’s all about the booth and sharing some throat. And some spit in the eye in the end.

  36. Phil Sawyer Says:

    “Cutty Sark”: There you go again, my friend. You are mistaking “facts” for ad hominem argument – a serious error of debate and logic. Unless you are referring to someone named Mr. “Nadir” (as you spelled it). In that case, since I do not know of whom you write, I will happily put the whole thing on a shelf. Actually, I plan to do that anyway. The burden of the proof is upon those who make such terrible false witness (those who forgot all about the Ten Commandments, I guess). It is not worth a passing thought; if I respond no more to this slander about Ralph Nader, it is only because I have already stated my position and there is no necessity for me (or anyone else) to wallow in the mire of Karl Rovian dirty politics. No necessity and no excuse, actually.

  37. matt Says:

    Phil,

    Did you read my link? The author seems quite comfortable bearing a burden of proof. He cites sources from across the political spectrum on the subject of Mr. Nader’s stock portfolio and the shakedown techniques he uses to enrich himself. This man has a paper trail so long and dirty that no single Karl Rove type could have fabricated it. Don’t take any of this on my authority. Don’t even take it on the author of the article’s authority. Look up the source documents.Investigating someone you intend to support is always a worthwhile investment.

  38. Cutty Sark Says:

    Matt,

    Why are you trying to argue logic and facts with an avowed communist?

    Next thing you know, he will be telling you that this

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0674076087

    is all lies and bullshit, and Fidel Castro’s Cuba is a great place to live.
    Or maybe North Korea, or something.

    “Phil Sawyer” – who said I was your friend?

  39. matt Says:

    One of my guiding presuppositions is that human dignity demands that everyone, even total clowns, be taken at face value. For example, I respond to UA and Dondero, who contribute nothing and don’t appear to be too open to new ideas. When I was in jr. high, I was a republican and I had some pretty illogical positions too, but people argued me out of them. Ten years later, I thank the people who mocked and cajoled and argued me towards reason.

  40. matt Says:

    btw, Phil,

    I’m not saying you’re a ‘total clown’ either. You make a lot of good points, although your communism kick IS pretty out of hand.

  41. Cutty Sark Says:

    Well, have fun. Ignoring over a hundred million people killed by Communists takes a monumental amount of ignorance that may just be beyond the powers of logical discourse and persuasion.

    But I guess there’s lots of ex-commies out there so anything’s possible.

  42. matt Says:

    Probably, but hey, I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Anything’s possible.

  43. Trent Hill Says:

    Cutty Sark. Im going to guess you are a “ProtestWarrior” type republican. One of the ones that will defend Bush to the very end,simply bcuz you are bipartisan hacks. One of those people who thinks the ACLU is simply EVIL.
    As for Communists being “stupid”. That is simply not true. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were brilliant men who created a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, I don’t find that that idea can actually be put into practice effectively. On paper, it looks decent (at least to some. Not me really.)

  44. Cutty Sark Says:

    I’m not even close to being a Republican and I hate Bush (shaved is better), but nice try.

    When I say commies are stupid, I mean followers not leaders. And I don’t mean they are book-dumb. Some of them are very well read. But they have this glaring ability to ignore something so obvious it’s pretty much pressing against their face.

  45. Trent Hill Says:

    In that case Cutty Sark, I will agree with you on this issue.

    I once read a beautiful quote concerning communism.

    “A Communist is a person who has read Karl Marx. A Capitalist is someone who understands Karl Marx.” -Reagan

    Im actually not sure if Phil Sawyer is a communist or avowed socialist. To me, Socialism is communism without the firing squad though.

  46. matt Says:

    Fewer and more secretive firing squads at least. That or else a citizenry that finds being stolen from charming and enjoyable.

  47. Howard Says:

    I loved An Unreasonable Man, but was frustrated, as usual with the film and Nader not even mentioning Instant Runoff Voting which I feel is the single most important measure for third parties to gain any ground. Why is this issue and the flaws of the plurality system not the central focus of Nader’s campaigns? It makes no sense.

    I hope you’ll check out my post at Instant Runoff Voting Excluded: An Unreasonable Omission from An Unreasonable Man where I talk more about this issue.

Leave a Reply