Here are some highlights of voter suppression by the Demopublican Party in 2004.
- In Ohio, for example, lawyers were hired to call up petitioners and tell them that if they didn’t verify the signatures on the petition, they would be guilty of a felony.
- The (in Oregon) Nader campaign went about doing that, and during the course of that there was further harassment and intimidation of petitioners by law firms, private investigators, calling up and threatening petitioners that they would be called before a court if they did not certify all the petitions.
- SEIU came up with the strategy of getting its members to go and write signatures in the wrong place on a petition, on Nader’s petitions, which would then invalidate the entire petition.
- In fact, the center of this effort was something called the Ballot Project, which was started by Robert Brandon, who’s one of the defendants, and he’s a consultant to the Democratic Party. And he held a meeting at the Democratic Convention in 2004 with Moffett, Holtzman and a group of other high-ranking Democrats, and they said, our purpose is to keep Nader off the ballot. And they went, and they proceeded to do it, spending millions of dollars.
There is a certain irony with all of the Demopublican voter supression tactics. While various organization including the Ballot Project and SEIU worked endlessly to keep Nader off the ballot, it was the Green Party and the Libertarian Party who fought to the very end in Ohio to make sure every last vote was counted. Certainly what this speaks to is Nader, and the Green Party are even bigger enemies to the Demopublican Party than even George Bush himself.
These types of tactics are not forign to Wisconsin. After the Democratic Danes voted for no endorsement in last spring’s election, Democratic operatives worked behind the scenes to elect a libertarian to the city council. There does appear to be light on the horizen for a less antogonistic approach toward third parties.
There is no reason why we can’t have multi-party diversity within a unified left. This can easily be accomplished in most local and state elections through IRV. One specific reform we could do in Wisconsin is allocating presidential electoral votes proportionally through STV.