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Strategic Voting and the Sierra Club Petitions Nader

The CBS show, Sixty Minutes II, which was aired last Tuesday on U.S. Missile Defense and evidence of U.S. Government and Contractor fraud, was simply powerful television. Millions of viewers got to see a taped live telecast of Command Headquarters at the Pentagon to witness the second of three rigged missile defense test failures. That last failed test cost U.S. taxpayers about $100 million. Dr. Nira Schwartz, a soft-spoken former TRW employee whistle blower, is like the mouse that roared. Her honesty and courage, and association with Dr. Ted Postol of MIT, is truly inspiring, with all the best elements of their being true American heroes. The show ended with the positions of George Bush and Al Gore on missile defense; both were in favor of current missile defense work, but the Bush/Cheney ticket would be much more aggressive in financing this expensive, wasteful and deceitful direction.

1) Strategic Voting and the Nader Trader

2) Sierra Club, Petitioners ask Nader to Stop in Swing States


1) Strategic Voting and the Nader Trader

With such a tight election brewing, our communications via the Internet could make all the difference in the first election of the 21st Century. Many folks are highly principled in their voting for Ralph Nader and believe that the voting of a lesser evil is still evil, but you can always look at this another way and realize that the pathway to hell is paved with the best of intentions. A win/win solution is a possible solution to have your cake and to eat it, too.

The following is from

What's a Nader Trader?

A Nader Trader is someone who is leaning toward Ralph Nader in a swing state, but agrees to discuss his or her vote with a Gore-voting friend in a state that's strongly expected to go for Bush. In other words, you might want to vote for Gore in your swing state, while your friend casts a vote for Nader in a Bush-safe state, where it will not do harm to the Gore/Lieberman ticket. It's an easy way to tip the electoral balance away from Bush while preserving the national totals for the Green Party. If enough people consider this option, there is a very real chance that the Green Party's power will be increased AND that George W. Bush and his cronies will be kept out of the White House.

If you're a Gore supporter in a state that's strongly expected to go for Bush, phone or email a friend in a swing state who you think might be leaning toward Nader. If you're a Nader supporter in a swing state, contact a friend in a secure state for Bush. Even if you don't fit these categories, you can still play a crucial part by passing on this idea through forwarding this via email, telling as many friends as possible so that everyone hears about it by election day. Encourage friends who may receive a partial email to visit for more information.

Where are the swing states?

The state-by-state information at has been keeping a running assessment of what
states are considered tossups, and they now include information about how strongly each state is leaning toward one candidate. Don't just guess about the status of yours-- visit the site (and others like it) or read on.

At the time of this writing (Wednesday, 11/1/00), there are over 150 electoral votes among tossup states.

Tossup States:

West Virginia
New Mexico
New Hampshire

Many voters in these tossup states would like to cast a vote for Nader, but are unwilling to put Bush in the White House. Are you one of them? If so, contact friends and family about moving your Nader vote out of your swing states. Bring a Gore vote from a Bush-secure state into your swing state. Move your Nader vote to a Bush state.

Where are the Bush-secure states?

Even the quickest look at the electoral map will make you realize that there are a lot of states that are secure for Bush. There are millions of Gore voters in these states who would love to cast a meaningful vote in this election. They're currently stuck in a state that will go for Bush. These Gore voters in Bush-secure states should contact friends and family about bringing a vote for Nader into their state while their desire to vote for Gore will appear in a swing state.

Bush-Secure States Include:

South Carolina
North Carolina
North and South Dakota

Isn't California secure for Gore?

Nader Traders should realize that California is not a secure state for Gore. This cannot be overemphasized. Recent polls have shown a once-strong California lead for Gore has eroded, leaving California as merely leaning toward Gore with significant support for Nader. Many California voters have seen recent articles in the LA Times and other papers about the threat of Nader to Gore's chances in California. Gore voters in California should not switch their votes to Nader under any circumstances.

California voters interested in Nader should contact friends and family in Bush-safe states. Move those Nader votes down to Texas where they won't hurt anybody!

How might this help Nader's candidacy?

The benefits of the Nader Trader idea for the Gore/Lieberman campaign are obvious. But the idea will also almost certainly help Nader and the Green Party as well. Potential Nader supporters who had been reluctant (but willing) to vote for Gore can now be encouraged to find partners in other states, actually raising Nader's national vote total! Thus, it's in the best interest of all Nader and Gore supporters to work together to spread the word about Nader Trader.

Is Ralph Nader on the ballot in all 50 states?

No, and NaderTraders should take this into account when talking with friends and family. The map on Nader's official site currently shows that North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Dakota are the three states where Nader is neither on the ballot nor will be counted as a write-in. Write-ins for Nader will be allowed in Georgia, Indiana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Ralph is on the ballot in the remaining states.

Is it legal?

"A spokesperson at the U.S. Justice Department, which investigates potential instances of voter fraud, said it is, since the sites 'serve as a clearing house. There is no pecuniary exchange, and it is an agreement amongst private parties, no legal violation there in terms of violation fraud. It definitely is an innovative campaign technique, to say the least.' " (excerpted from the MSNBC article of 10/27, reachable through our media page.)

There's no way for authorities to know how or why you as an individual casts your secret ballot. Any agreement with a friend is informal, based on your personal relationship, and is not a legal contract. Since you're contacting a personal friend about being a Nader Trader, you can be sure your faith isn't wasted. You'll feel good about keeping Bush out of the White House, and you'll feel good about voting for progressive politics, too.

A vote for Nader on November 7 does not have to put George W. Bush in the White House.


2) Sierra Club, Petitioners ask Nader to Stop in Swing States

To: Ralph Nader

We, the undersigned, endorse the following letter to Ralph Nader from Carl Pope, Executive Director of The Sierra Club. Furthermore, we respectfully call upon candidate Nader to cease and desist from campaigning in swing states in the 2000 presidential election, for the many reasons stated below.

Ralph Nader
Nader 2000
PO Box 18002
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Ralph:

Yesterday you sent me (and many other environmentalists) a long letter defending your candidacy and attacking "the servile mentality" of those of us in the environmental community who are supporting Vice-President Gore.

I've worked alongside you as a colleague for thirty years.

Neither the letter nor the tactics you are increasingly adopting in your candidacy are worthy of the Ralph Nader I knew.

The heart of your letter is the argument that "the threat to our planet articulated by Bush and his ilk" can now be dismissed. But you offer no evidence for this crucial assertion. Based on the polls today Bush is an even bet to become the next President, with both a Republican Senate and a Republican House to accompany him.

You have referred to the likely results of a Bush election as being a "cold shower" for the Democratic party. You have made clear that you will consider it a victory if the net result of your campaign is a Bush presidency.

But what will your "cold shower" mean for real people and real places?

What will it mean for tens of millions of asthmatic children when Bush applies to the nation the "voluntary" approach he's using in Texas to clean up the air. And what about his stated opposition to enforcing environmental standards against corporations?

What will it mean for Americans vulnerable to water pollution when Bush allows water quality standards to be degraded to meet the needs of paper mills and refineries as he has consistently done in Texas, most recently at Lake Sam Rayburn? And what if he eliminates federal financial support for both drinking water and water pollution, as his budget calls for and his record in Texas (46th in spending on drinking water) suggests?

What will it mean for communities of color and poverty located near toxic waste sites, when Bush applies his Texas approach of lower standards and lower polluter liability to toxic waste clean-up?

What will a Bush election mean to the Gwich'in people of the Arctic, when the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is turned over the oil companies and the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou herd on which they depend are destroyed and despoiled?

What will it mean for the fishing families of the Pacific Northwest when Bush amends the Endangered Species Act to make extinction for the endangered salmon a legally acceptable option? If he refuses to remove the dams on the Snake River or reduce timber cutting levels to preserve salmon?

What will it mean for millions of rural Americans whose livelihood, health and communities are being destroyed by unregulated factory feeding operations, if Bush weakens the Clean Water Act? When he appoints Supreme Court justices who complete the task of shutting down access to federal courts for citizens trying to enforce environmental laws?

What will it mean for the wildlife that depend upon our National Forests when Bush undoes the Clinton-Gore Administration reforms, reverses their roadless area protection policy, and restores the timber industry to the mastery of the forests and the Forest Service that it enjoyed under his father? If he doubles, or triples, the cut on those Forests?

What will it mean for millions of people in Bangladesh and other low-lying countries when an American refusal to confront the problem of global warming unleashes the floods and typhoons of a rising ocean upon them?

Your letter addresses none of these real consequences of a Bush victory. Nor has your campaign. Instead, you indulge yourself in the language of academic discourse when you claim:

"Bush's "old school" allegiance to plunder and extermination as humanity's appropriate relationship to our world speaks a language effectively discounted by the great tradition of naturalists from John Muir to David Brower. Bush's blatant anti-environmentalism will lose corporate favor as it loses popular support. It is a language of politics fading rapidly, and without a future."

Candidate Bush may well be speaking a fading language. So was candidate Reagan in 1980 when he ranted that trees caused air pollution. It is power, however, not language, that determines policy. President Bush would be vested with the powers of the government of the United States, and he is an even more devoted servant of environmental counter-revolution than Reagan ever was.

Because your letter is couched in this language, so divorced from the real world consequences of your candidacy, and the real world choices that face Americans, it is difficult to respond to all of its selective misrepresentations and inaccuracies. A few samples, however, may show you why I am so disappointed in the turn your candidacy has taken:

You claim that "Earth in the Balance" was "an advertisement for his calculated strategy and availability as an environmental poseur." Can you offer a single piece of evidence to support this quite astonishing statement?

You claim that the Clinton Administration stood up to the oil industry on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge only because "focus groups have shown him he cannot give" it up. In fact, most polls show that the public is somewhat split on this issue, and there are certainly no focus groups I know of showing that it is a third-rail which no President can cross at his peril. Can you cite your evidence?

You lament that the Administration has "set aside lands not in National Parks, but rather in National Monuments...." You are surely aware that a President cannot legally create national parks, which require an act or Congress; nor can you be under the misapprehension that this Congress with Don Young as the head of the House Resources Committee and Frank Murkowski as his counterpart in the Senate would have designated these areas as parks however long a battle Clinton and Gore might have fought. No, you simply took a cheap shot, and ignored the facts.

You have also broken your word to your followers who signed the petitions that got you on the ballot in many states. You pledged you would not campaign as a spoiler and would avoid the swing states. Your recent campaign rhetoric and campaign schedule make it clear that you have broken this pledge. Your response: you are a political candidate, and a political candidate wants to take every vote he can. Very well -- you admit you are a candidate -- admit that you are, like your opponents, a flawed one.

Irresponsible as I find your strategy, I accept that you genuinely believe in it. Please accept that I, and the overwhelming majority of the environmental movement in this country, genuinely believe that your strategy is flawed, dangerous and reckless. Until you can answer how you will protect the people and places who will be put in harm's way, or destroyed, by a Bush presidency, you have no right to slander those who disagree with you as "servile."

You have called upon us to vote our hopes, not our fears. I find it easy to do so. My hope is that by electing the best environmental President in American history, Al Gore, we can move forward. My fear is that you, blinded by your anger at flaws of the Clinton-Gore Administration, may be instrumental in electing the worst.

Sincerely yours,

Carl Pope
Executive Director
The Sierra Club

Please Note: While the letter above was written and distributed publicly by Carl Pope, neither he nor the Sierra Club have been involved in any way in creating this petition based on that letter. All those responsible for establishing this petition are listed below.


You can sign and comment on this letter at

Note: Although Flyby News considers the statement in the last paragraph of the above letter that Al Gore would be the best environmental President in American history as an exaggeration, we encourage you to sign and comment on this letter with hopes of encouraging the Green Party and Ralph Nader to consider the significant difference for the next four years in comparison with George Bush as President.
Asked how he would feel on Nov. 8 if [George W. Bush] was elected, he smiled, and even seemed to suggest he would prefer that outcome. "A bumbling Texas governor would galvanize the environmental community as never before," he said. "The Sierra Club doubled its membership under James Watt." --NYT, 11/1/00

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