Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bush Backers Give Campaign Money To Ralph Nader

Swift Boat Veterans Float Nader Some Money

By Brian Faler

Thursday, October 7, 2004; Page A07

Swift Boat Veterans for Nader? A handful of donors to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization that has run controversial ads attacking Democrat John F. Kerry, have also given money to independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
Five donors, who contributed a total of $13,500 to the anti-Kerry group, also gave $7,500 to the longtime consumer advocate. That has infuriated some Democrats, who complain that Nader is taking money from supporters of not only a Republican group, but also one he has repeatedly denounced. In August, at a speech at Tulane University, Nader called the group "proxies" for the Bush campaign, which, he said, was attempting to "smear" the Democratic nominee.

"If Nader wishes to have any credibility left with progressives, he must give back all right-wing money," said Robert Brandon, co-founder of anti-Nader United Progressives for Victory, which unearthed the contributions.

The Nader camp rejected suggestions that it was hypocritical of him to accept the money -- and said the donations were evidence of its candidate's ability to appeal to voters from across the political spectrum. "Twenty-five percent of our voters are people who voted for Bush. I'm not surprised there's some overlap in funding, as well," said spokesman Kevin Zeese. "If they support us, they support us," he said. "We can still criticize their advertising campaign."


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