Nader campaign grabs headlines with savvy tactics and little cash

NEW YORK: His campaign has raised less than a million dollars and employs fewer than 30 people. He has the backing of a party that holds not a single seat in Congress and that almost nominated Jello Biafra, an ex-punk rocker with a very public penchant for marijuana. Nonetheless, Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has been getting some serious media attention of late.

NEW YORK: His campaign has raised less than a million dollars and employs fewer than 30 people. He has the backing of a party that holds not a single seat in Congress and that almost nominated Jello Biafra, an ex-punk rocker with a very public penchant for marijuana. Nonetheless, Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has been getting some serious media attention of late.

NEW YORK: His campaign has raised less than a million dollars and

employs fewer than 30 people. He has the backing of a party that holds

not a single seat in Congress and that almost nominated Jello Biafra, an

ex-punk rocker with a very public penchant for marijuana. Nonetheless,

Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has been getting some

serious media attention of late.



During the latter half of June, Nader’s campaign orchestrated a series

of street-smart maneuvers - among them a star-studded lawsuit filed

against the Federal Election Commission and a gushing public appearance

with (and near endorsement from) labor bigwig James Hoffa - that forced

the press to sit up and take notice. Though still a long-shot for the

presidency, Nader has become a favorite topic of media outlets such as

Salon.com and The New York Times.



Nader press secretary Jake Lewis said that his staff and candidate have

had to be creative in order to seize the media’s attention. ’Ralph has

visited all 50 states, which I don’t think any other candidate in modern

times has done,’ he explained. ’And certainly the (FEC) lawsuit was in

the news at the time of the most recent polls.’ Current polls show Nader

grabbing 7% of the national vote - almost twice that of the other

third-party candidate, Pat Buchanan.



Lewis, who became Nader’s press secretary after spending several years

as a PR representative for the National Rural Electric Cooperative

Association, suggested that the campaign’s strategy would likely

continue on the same path. Of course, there seems to be little choice:

the campaign’s fund-raising goal is an almost negligible dollars 5

million.



’We don’t want to get into a race for money,’ Lewis said. ’We will

accept no soft money and no PAC money, so everything will come from

individual contributions.’



Nader made a bid for the oval office in 1996, spending less than dollars

5,000 in the process. This figure has led some (specifically, Bill

Hillsman, whose quirky ads are credited with getting Jesse Ventura

elected and who is now being considered for Nader’s team) to suggest

that the prior lack of commitment has made him a hard sell to the press

this time around.



While Lewis concedes that the media was ’slow to start following him

this year,’ he believes that ’this really is an opportune year. The

other two (candidates) are so dismal ... they are not taking any

chances.’



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.