Today the Green Party kicks off its six-day national convention Milwaukee, Wis. On Saturday, delegates will vote on a presidential candidate. They could nominate Green activist David Cobb or endorse 2000 Green candidate Ralph Nader, who wants an endorsement but not a nomination. LINK
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink (http://www.codepinkalert.org), Global Exchange will key note and other Green leaders will be featured. Ralph Nader is not slated to speak as he contends he will not actively seek the nomination.
Please Note: even if Nader does win the Green Party's backing, it is not a done deal for getting him on their ballot in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
Last night, also in Milwaukee, a grassroots organization called "Greens for Kerry" launched plans for a sophisticated strategy to appeal to Nader/Green sympathizers in swing states. Their goal is to prevent a "'catastrophic' Bush second term" in swing states. The group has set a goal of gathering a minimum 10,000 signatures on their Web site http://www.greensforkerry.com) pledging support for John Kerry in battleground states.
Yesterday Ralph Nader and his new running mate Peter Camejo met with 23 members of the Congressional Black Caucus. AP reports shouts could be heard from inside the meeting. LINK
Leaders in the CBC tell the Kimberly Wilson of the Baltimore Sun they did not mince words when Nader to bow out. "You can't win," said Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan. LINK
Nader called it an ''exciting exchange." He pitched his candidacy would draw out voters and benefit candidates with progressive agendas in congressional and state-wide races.
"We're on the same page on health care, education, jobs, the environment," said caucus chairman, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. "Now we pray that he will sync his conscience with his conduct."
Democrats in Arizona are poised to challenge the validity of signatures to get Nader on the ballot in their state. The Arizona Republic reports Arizona Dems will file a lawsuit today contesting Ralph Nader's place on the Nov. 2 ballot. No specifics so far but that the action will be filed before 8:00 pm ET, and the deadline for challenge is today. Arizona Dems started checking Nader's 22,000 signatures shortly after they were submitted June 9.
Some math: Arizona is a battleground. Nader took 3 percent there in 2000. There were roughly 7,000 extra signatures submitted in Arizona in preparation for today's challenge.
It would probably take a signs of systematic negligence or abuse render enough invalid to keep his name off on Nov. 2. Jon Kamman reports "A challenger must cite specific signatures being contested, but a wider attack could focus on disqualifying petitions on grounds they were circulated by a non-resident of the state or others barred from the petition process."
Jano Cabrera says the Arizona party has not asked for support for the lawsuit, but the national party stands behind the effort in principle. LINK
Nader tells AP if things get out of hand he may ask Kerry to referee. ''If this becomes a pattern of harassment in other states, we will ask John Kerry to disown and disapprove of these antidemocratic tactics."
Later today, author, anti-war activist and famed thinker Howard Zinn will release a statement to urge voters "do all in your power to assure that Nader achieves ballot access." LINK