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Ralph Nader Goes For Bit of Spotlight With Michigan Rallies

posted on: Sep 4, 2008

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While the political focus has been on the Democrats and Republicans the last two weeks, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader isn’t shrinking away from the race.

He’ll be in Minneapolis tonight to hold a rally geared toward opening up the debates to all the presidential candidates. And he’ll travel to Lansing and Detroit on Sunday to resurrect his legendary battles with the domestic auto industry.

He’s opposed to proposed loan guarantees to the Detroit 3 automakers, unless there are some strict conditions attached to them.

“The question is whether bailing out bad management is a solution,” Nader, 74, said in a phone interview with the Free Press today. “If the government comes in, it should demand a sale of GM to a competent firm. This is the worst top management in the country. They have their heads buried in the gas-guzzling SUVs they continue to make.”

Nader’s battles with automakers are legendary, dating to 1959 when he began to write articles questioning the safety of domestic automobiles. He’s run for president five times as a Democrat, Green Party member or independent candidate.

Nader has watched the two major party political conventions the last two weeks and said they are further proof that politicians are in the pockets of corporate America.

“These are corporate bacchanals,” he said. “It’s a place where politicians make connections with corporate paymasters.”

He called Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who gave her acceptance speech in St. Paul on Wednesday night, a symbolic nominee who has a good pedigree of standing up to oil companies and the Republican establishment.

“But the only way she can go now is down,” he said.

Nader will be at rallies at the Kellogg Center, 55 S. Harrison in East Lansing, at 3 p.m. Sunday and the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4605 Cass Ave. in Detroit, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on the Nader campaign, go to www.votenader.org.

Kathleen Gray
Detroit Free Press