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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nader Seeking Payday From Constitution Day

At Ron Paul’s Sep. 10 press conference for “principled” third-party candidates, Ralph Nader said:

As long as we’re dealing with symbols, I prefer to put next to my lapel the Constitution of the United States. The flag can take care of itself, but we have to take care of the Constitution. And on Sep. 17, which is Constitution Day, highlighted by Sen. Robert Byrd’s legislation to try to have people all over the country congregate to understand and learn what our Constitution means, what it must mean, and how it must be observed—we are asking people to send us their pledge to the Nader-Gonzalez ticket, to support candidates who will defend, in very meticulous ways, the Constitution and the great promise, which still lacks fulfillment, which is embedded in its various articles. And we hope people will send that pledge of support for Constitution Day, Sep. 17, to

On that site the Nader campaign is seeking pledges totaling $80,000 to celebrate Constitution Day, on the basis that Nader is “the Presidential candidate who will always defend the United States Constitution”.  The following are quotes from the Nader campaign site about federal policies he advocates.  On Constitution Day, decide for yourself whether Nader’s policies are authorized under the Article I Section 8 powers of the federal government.
  • Health care should be provided by a national, single-payer health insurance program funded by the federal government and providing comprehensive benefits to all Americans throughout their lives. [...] Everyone would be included in a single, comprehensive public plan covering all medically necessary services, including acute, rehabilitative and long-term care, mental-health services, dental care, prescription drugs and medical supplies. [...] Public health policies are needed to wean our culture away from fatty fast foods and encourage healthier life styles, via sound diets, exercise regiments, and reductions in smoking and drug use.
  • Education. The federal government has a critical supporting role to play in ensuring that all children—irrespective of the income of their parents, or their race—are provided with rich learning environments, equal educational opportunities, and upgraded and repaired school buildings. [...] Federal law should be transformed to one that supports teachers and students—from one that relies primarily on standardized tests and punishment. [...] The federal govenrment should discourage, not demand, the use of misleading and narrow multiple choice standardized tests. [...] Working with the states where appropriate, the federal government must a) immediately provide full funding for Head Start; b) guarantee pre-school education for all children; c) adequately fund nutrition programs in the schools; d) ensure that the nation’s crumbling schools are repaired within three years. There is, as well, a critical positive role for the federal government to play, by promoting the vision, curricula, programs and projects for a K-12 civics education for democracy.
  • Agriculture. Federal policy must focus on the farm and food system as a continuum that provides many benefits. We must advance the production, marketing, use and disposal of food and fiber in accordance with consumer, environmental, worker and family farm standards of justice and sustainability.
  • Affirmative Action. The federal government should maintain its commitment to affirmative action [...] At the federal level, authentic minority set-asides and affirmative-action arrangements are a modest way to support the growth of businesses owned and controlled by people of color.
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act is now 10 years old – but it has only begun to correct the fears that have kept people with disabilities in isolation since the beginning of history. Disabled people are still too often refused access to health care, transportation, school, housing and jobs. [...] The ideal solution for everybody is more and better modern public transit [...] buses to every neighborhood at every reasonable hour, coupled with urban development policy that fights the automobile-driven suburban sprawl and rebuilds the cities for better living.
  • Energy.  Calling for a $313.72 billion dollar federal investment in that ten-year period, [our energy program] progressively shifts the burden of American energy consumption away from fossil fuels and onto domestic renewable energy markets such as the wind, biomass, and solar energy industries.
  • Labor. The Nader campaign advocates immediately increasing the minimum wage to $8 per hour, from its current $5.25 per hour. Two years after that increase, we advocate a $10 per hour living wage. [...] The pernicious dominant employment law of employment at will that allows for an employee to be fired for any reason, no reason or a bad reason needs to be replaced with an employee’s bill of rights.

While it’s unlikely that Ron Paul will be donating any cash to honor Nader’s fidelity to the Constitution, the Campaign For Liberty video of Nader’s ten minutes of podium time already has over 4,000 views on YouTube. Nader’s pledge total is $3600 going into the ten-day stated period for his fundraising drive.