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Nader Wins Peace & Freedom Party Nomination

Published on August 2, 2008, by in General.

On August 2, the Peace & Freedom Party nominated Ralph Nader for president and Matt Gonzalez for vice-president. This is the first time the Peace & Freedom Party has nominated someone who is expected to be on the ballot in a majority of states, in its entire history. That history extends back to 1968.

The vote was Nader 46, Gloria La Riva 27, Brian Moore 10, Cynthia McKinney 6. Nader was nominated by Lanric “Ric” Hyland, who had also been the person who nominated Eldridge Cleaver at PFP’s first presidential convention in 1968.

Matt Gonzalez was nominated for vice-president by acclimation.

Nader is now in a good position to be on the ballot in 45 states. He is trying in all but Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Georgia, and North Carolina. Nader is the first caucasian male to be the presidential nominee of the Peace & Freedom Party since 1972, when Dr. Benjamin Spock was the party’s nominee.

The November 2008 California ballot will list these presidential candidates, in all probability: Bob Barr, John McCain, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and Barack Obama. Also the ballot will contain the nominee of the American Independent Party. A lawsuit to be filed in a few days will determine whether that nominee is Chuck Baldwin or Alan Keyes.

34 Responses

  1. Laine

    Again, congragulations to the Nader-Gonzalez campaign and thanks to Phil Sawyer, Nader supporters in the PFP and of course the Peace and Freedom Party of California. I can only hope that this will result in a boost in the polls since Californians will know for sure that Nader will be an option in November.

  2. Good for Nader, though I don’t know why a socialist party nominated a non-socialist for its leading candidate.

    Some of my comrades in the SP-USA have argued that this may mean the sublimation of the Peace and Freedom Party to Nader’s agenda, though I don’t think scenario will be fully played out until 2010-2011 or so. And if what Phil S. has been saying about discussions to expand PFP into other states via the Nader campaign, perhaps some good may come out of this.

  3. I’m extremely excited that Ralph Nader has won the PFP’s nomination for president. I look forward to campaigning hard for Nader/Gonzalez in California and to growing the Peace and Freedom Party in California and beyond! I’ll be changing my registration to PFP first chance I get!

    (By the way, Nader is Lebanese-American; does that count as caucasian?)

  4. Richard

    Yes, he is of Greek Lebanese stock, not Arab Lebanese stock.

  5. Shiu Hung

    Congratulations to Mr. Nader & Mr. Gonzalez! We hope that the Nader & Gonzalez Presidential campaign will finally be given some of the serious attention it deserves by both the mainstream and “alternative” media, so that more people can find out about their Presidential platform. We want Nader to be included in national debates.

  6. Mike Gillis

    THIS IS EXCELLENT NEWS!

  7. The lack of logic in P2004 is some what avenged!

    The serial ‘wing nut’ candidate list is curtailed!

    Who is going to break the news to that certain guy?

    Ya know, the federal felon, Dandy ‘Puke’ Cunningham!

  8. Curt Boyd

    Go Ralph! I know there’s been talk of making the PFP a national entity, and I bet this will certainly help that cause.

  9. This is tangentially related: earlier today I could swear I read a series of comments on one of the third party oriented blogs talking abt Nader proposing to help the PFP get going nationally for 2010? Has anyone else read anything like this? Or was it before the tea really kicked in this morning, and I was just dreaming? I wouldn’t ask, but when called on this I couldn’t produce the link. Thanks.

  10. G

    GO RALPH AND MATT!!! This year will bring some surprises, yea democracy!

  11. Laine

    Deran,

    Supposedly people within the Nader campaign who are working on the nation wide ballot access drive might help the Peace and Freedom Party get on the ballot in other states. I too am interested in this prospect and hope something new will come of this. I don’t know about Nader himself supporting this however.

  12. Laine

    Phil Sawyer who posts on this site knows more about this and may be involved in the effort.

  13. Richard

    Nader will use the ballot label “Peace and Freedom” this year for himself in Iowa and Utah. If he gets 2% in Iowa that would create the Peace & Freedom Party as ballot-qualified in that state.

  14. Laine

    Seriously? Why those states in particular? Is it because they require a low threshold of the popular vote in order to get ballot access for a new party?

  15. Richard

    Iowa and Utah have fairly late deadlines and require small numbers of signatures, so Nader was starting those later than some of the others. The “PFP” label idea is not very old; no one had thought of it when Nader had started petitions in certain other states. One can’t switch the label in the middle of the drive.

  16. Phil Sawyer

    Thanks to all of you who have expressed your appreciation for this great victory; your comments on being excited about the Nader-Gonzalez campaign and the Peace and Freedom Party; and your suggestions and questions.

    While I am way up on Cloud Nine (high on life) and it also seems like I am in a sort of waking Dream Land, I am still able to communicate effectively, I believe. I know this for sure: We have made up for what happened to us in 2004, in California. (What a long, strange, trip it has been.) The people of this state now will have a fantastic choice of candidates this year. We deserve that! As for me, I am going to do the very best that I can do every single day from now until election day to help the Nader-Gonzalez campaign carry this state!

  17. Thanks, Laine and Richard for the info.

  18. During the house party conference call last Friday, someone asked about party-building. Nader punted the question to Matt Gonzalez, sort of suggesting that he would be the heir to whatever degree of success and momentum the campaign built up during this election season. I read somewhere something about a 7% threshold that would qualify Nader/Gonzalez for a national party with ballot access in all states. Could someone (e.g., Richard) clarify this? I, for one, think that after this year Matt Gonzalez could be the future leader of a great progressive movement. In his response, Gonzalez acknowledged that while Nader has never been a member of any party, he (Gonzalez) has. He went on to say that he is starting to think that a coalition of parties is preferable to one centralized party. I think he or Nader also said something at the time about helping the PFP in their nationalization efforts.

  19. I hear that Nader’s just won the Michigan Natural Law Party nomination-also good news.

  20. Brad C

    Does anyone know what party Ralph is trying to get on the ballot with in Florida? I figured it was the Reform party before they picked Weill as the nominee but obviously thats not it. I really hope its true about the Michigan Natural Law Party nomination

  21. Student Nader Raider

    Congratulations Nader, and thank you to the Peace and Freedom Party.

  22. Jonathan

    Congratulations PFP great choice and I’m glad it broke Nader’s way he deserves it.

  23. Michael Richardson

    The Peace and Freedom nomination for Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez is indeed a milestone for the party and a huge boost to the Nader/Gonzalez campaign. I am the Nader’08 Ballot Access Coordinator and have pledged to help the Peace and Freedom Party go forward into 2009 and beyond. America needs a new national party to speak of peace and freedom and I am excited to be a part of the party future. For the present moment however, we are still deep into the struggles of ballot access for 2008 and my attention is turned to the task at hand. I promise to keep a steady eye out for the interests of the party and will encourage my comrades in the campaign to do the same. A watershed event happened in Sacramento and the “mainstream” doesn’t yet have a clue!

    Michael Richardson

  24. Richard

    There is no federal law that has anything to do with ballot access. Ballot access is 100% a matter of state law. Even if a new party got 99% of the national vote for its presidential candidate, it still wouldn’t be on the ballot in all states after that election. In New York, New Jersey, and Indiana it is literally impossible for a new party to become ballot-qualified in a presidential election year, neither before and after the election in that year. Pennsylvania requires registration of 15%. New Jersey requires a 10% vote for lower house of the state legislature, which is only up in odd years.

    As to the Michigan Natural Law Party, the best evidence is that the party chose Nader on Wednesday, July 30, last week, and presumably turned in the certificate since then, but the Michigan Secretary of State’s webpage hasn’t had any new updates since Wed. afternoon, so maybe on Monday Aug. 4 it will show up there.

  25. Does anyone know what party Ralph is trying to get on the ballot with in Florida? I figured it was the Reform party before they picked Weill as the nominee but obviously thats not it.

    Details, details, details: Ruben Hernandez and spouse Janice Miller [an elected public official] and other FLoridians walked out of the DFW court ordered ‘national convention’ !

    I am absolutely certain that the [BALLOT ACCESSED] Reform Party of FLorida would be THRILLED to nominate some one other than a person connected with John Blare and the other Independence gang [Frank MacKay] OR court ordered national joke [and illegal in Mississippi and Louisiana] Ted [Theodore] Weill!

  26. Brad,

    Ralph is seeking the nomination of the Ecology Party in Florida. This is a new party, formed predominantly by Green Party defectors who support Nader. I’m unclear regarding Florida ballot law for presidential candidates. I believe it’s very easy for a party to place their candidate on the ballot if the candidate is already listed on another state’s ballot. I have questions regarding the required status of the campaign in the other state. By this I mean it seems unlear to me weather or not the candidate has to be nominated by the same party in each state. I know for instance that Nader is on the ballot in several states as a member of the Independent Party. I’ve also seen the Florida Ecology Party refered to as the Independent/Ecology Party. I wonder, structurally, what must the affiliation be between the several state parties to get on the Florida ballot. I also wonder what the timeline has to be like. Can the Ecology Party become part of the Independent Party after endorsing Nader and still get him on the ballot?

    Richard?

  27. Oh, come on, let the guy get some vacation days in.

    That and asprin will reduce the pounding in his ears!

  28. Chris X.

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting an expanded Peace and Freedom Party into other states. Nader is a curious choice, but perhaps his nomination will lead to an expanded party.

    McKinney supporter from NJ.

  29. Phil Sawyer

    Actually, Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez are the logical choices. Not only for the Peace and Freedom Party but also (of course) for the United States of America!

  30. Kevin Akin

    What a convention!
    As the newly-elected California State Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party, let me fill you all in on some details. As one of the officials responsible for guiding the candidates for President and their aides through the process, I tried to maintain a certain neutrality (though I did have a first choice, I considered any of the four candidates acceptable). And because I knew I would have to help in the campaign of the winner, I paid particularly close attention to what the candidates said during the campaign, and the forum the night before the convention.

    The February PFP presidential preference primary is non-binding. The selection of delegates came later, in the June primary. A relatively recent state law, designed to cripple small parties, requires that a write-in candidate for Central Committee must file a petition well before the write-in nomination period asking that a space be provided on the ballot for names of central committee candidates to be written in. This petition requires 25 valid signatures, while the number of nomination signatures required, depending on the party registration, varies from one to 20. Few potential write-in candidates were able to overcome this hurdle this year, and anyone who was registered in another party during part of the previous year could only run as a write-in. The disadvantage to Nader was great. In over 90% of districts, they could run no one. But in the few districts where they were able to run someone, their large organization and relatively broad support enabled them to get most of the delegates.

    Write-in votes are usually counted weeks after the election, which was torture for the Nader campaign, as they had to decide whether to do a simultaneous independent petition campaign (estimated cost $600,000)to make sure Nader got on the ballot. They counted and recounted their prospects every day, but ultimately decided to risk everything on prevailing at the Peace and Freedom convention.

    It also did not help them figure their prospects that Peace and Freedom delegates are traditionally uncommitted, many of them up to the last day. In fact, the speeches the night before the vote actually changed several minds – in all directions, but with a net effect in favor of Nader.

    The four candidates were quite impressive, especially as a group. A few delegates were moved to tears by the need to reject three of them. (Seek out the video of the August 1 forum when someone gets around to posting it.)

    Most of the delegates expected the vote to go to a second and third round, and put considerable thought into deciding on second and third choices if their first choices were eliminated. It was a big surprise when Nader won on the first round, with one whole vote to spare. Several others intended to vote for him on the second or third ballot, so he probably would have won even if he had ten fewer delegates, but there was also a good chance that if Nader and La Riva had ended up stalemated below the 50% mark, Moore could have won in the end.

    While the delegates loved Cynthia McKinney, she had put little effort into qualifying candidates to go to the convention to vote for her, and the delegates were much more enthusiastic about her than they were about campaigning in tandem with the Green Party, whose nomination she had already secured.

    I am going on too long here, but let me tell you about two of the resolutions passed at the end of the convention. One of them, signifying the high regard for all of the candidates, committed the Party not to expel or discipline any member who supported the campaign of Moore, La Riva, or McKinney, even in opposition to the nominee of the party. (Both party Bylaws and the state elections code provide for expulsion for supporting someone who runs against a party nominee.) Very few are expected to take advantage of this resolution, but both Gloria La Riva and Moore running mate Stewart Alexander are PFP State Central Committee members, so this is important to them.

    The other resolution was a reaction to a misbegotten smeary story in the Sacramento Bee. During his speech on Saturday morning, Nader criticized those who call themselves socialists, but support regimes that oppress and kill their own people. (Some La Riva supporters, but no one else, characterized this statement as “anti-socialist.”) The Bee writer said that Nader had attacked socialism, and so did the sub-head writer. When Nader saw this the next morning, he was angry, and wrote a letter to the editor saying quite emphatically that he had not criticized socialism. At breakfast I told several people that the Bee’s bungled smear was like calling someone “anti-Christian” who criticized the Inquisition, and this must have traveled fast, because the same comparison appeared in Nader’s letter some two hours later, phrased a bit differently. At lunch Congressional candidate Gene Ruyle made 100 copies of a short, simple resolution: “This 40th anniversary Convention of the Peace and Freedom Party proudly reaffirms its commitment to socialism as expressed in its Platform.” There was some vigorous discussion when it came to the floor, but when it was time to vote, there was a room full of voting cards raised for “yes,” none at all for “no,” and only three abstentions, a low number for a vote at a Peace and Freedom meeting. The message was quite clear – though Nader himself will not accept any “ism” as describing his views, those who nominated him are for socialism.

    If anyone has any questions, I will check this site tomorrow and be happy to answer them.

  31. Phil Sawyer

    Thank you for your very nice letter, Kevin!

  32. Dutch Merrick

    Congrats Ralph and Matt!

    Great news that we “Caulifornians” will have a choice in November that wont make our stomachs turn to vote for.

    Funny, that the LA Times didn’t have a word about this win .
    Musta’ been the job of one of the 150 news staffers they just terminated…!?

    Get the message out, Ralph!

  33. Charles Douglas

    Can we get some transcripts or video of the convention, especially Nader’s speech?

    Also, can the new chair provide some information on how we can organize official county central committees (or whatever you call them) for P&F in unorganized counties?

    Thanks for being so up-front with what’s happening, it’s a good sign of health for P&F, unlike the undemocratic Greens who’ve been steadily sliding into exclusionary irrelevance since the Cobb debacle of 2004.

  34. Kevin Akin

    Answers for Charles Douglas –
    Right now we have official organizations in these counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Tulare, with someone likely to be appointed in San Mateo tomorrow. In all other counties, particularly the more populous ones, we intend to form committees as soon as possible.

    The process is pretty simple: Get in touch with me, the State Chair, and I will check with our other state officers and select someone from your county (if we have multiple applicants) to appoint as Interim County Chair. After you are sworn in by the Registrar or County Clerk, you have one opportunity to appoint additional members of the County Central Committee. After that, any additional appointments must be decided collectively by the County Central Committee.

    It is best for us to appoint someone who has some experience or skills that will be helpful in dealing with the Registrar of Voters, one of the main duties of a County Chair. But if others are available who can help with that (and several of us elsewhere in California can help with advice and information), it doesn’t really necessarily matter who has the formal title.

    People who are actively hostile to socialist ideas (broadly defined) probably do not belong in Peace and Freedom Party leadership. But I think you will find, reading our Platform, that about 90% of it would, at least line-by-line, have majority support from most Californians right now. The rest is a matter of education and experience, generally obtained by workers at the “School of Hard Knocks.”

    The way the Peace and Freedom Party looks at all political issues is fairly simple – we ask “what is in the interests of working people?” (And we certainly include those who wish they had work, as well as retired workers, the children of working-class families, etc.) We figure the rich already have lots of political representation.

    I am distorting my e-mail address to keep it from earning me any more spam, but it should be clear enough. Write to me at kevinakin1950(at)hotmail.com and tell me your county and something about yourself, if you are interested in becoming an active local official of the Peace and Freedom Party. If you are in a county where we already have an organization, we need you there too! -Kevin

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