Updated Election Results for Nader/Gonzalez State by State

Jacksonville, FL: Ralph Nader to Speak Oct 28

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

News Advisory
Contact: Ryan Mehta, 202-471-5833, rmehta@votenader.org (national); Kevin Derby, 904-521-3722 (local)


WHO: Ralph Nader

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 11:15 - 11:45 a.m.

WHERE: Room 429 of the Main Library in the Historic Hemming Plaza, 303 North Laura St. Jacksonville, FL 32202

On Tuesday, October 28 at 11:15 a.m., consumer advocate and Florida Ecology Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader will hold a press conference in Room 429 of the Main Library in the Historic Hemming Plaza, 303 North Laura St. Jacksonville, FL 32202. Mr. Nader will speak on a variety of topics including the economic crisis, the fraudulent Commission on Presidential Debates which excludes alternative voices from participating, and other pressing issues especially pertinent to Florida residents.

According to a Reuters/Zogby poll just released this week, Obama and McCain are neck-in-neck in Florida, with both candidates pulling in 47%. With numbers so tight in a state as crucial as Florida, the Nader/Gonzalez campaign holds tremendous leverage over the other two candidates that forces them to respond to our demands, and the demands of the people who are calling for more jobs and fair wages, a just health care system, an end to the wars, and a reversal of the $700 billion blank check bailout to Wall Street crooks and speculators.

Nader/Gonzalez urges Congress to re-institute a ban on offshore oil drilling after their recent capitulation to big oil that that ended the 27-year moratorium on the dirty, destructive practice now threatening Florida’s coasts. The case against offshore drilling has been made time and time again, illustrated by the numerous incidents in which oil rigs have led to ecological destruction and severe contamination of waters. The Rainforest Action Network estimates that a single oil rig, in its lifetime, dumps more than 90,000 metric tons of drilling fluid and metal cuttings into the ocean, and may drill up to 100 wells, each dumping 25,000 pounds of toxic metals including lead, chromium, and mercury.

The biggest strike against offshore drilling this election year is that, contrary to what Obama and McCain (who both initially opposed, but now support offshore drilling) would have you believe, it will not reduce gas prices anytime soon, or at all. Because of the time it would take oil companies to secure permits, obtain and set up equipment, and conduct research required to extract oil, we won’t start to receive oil shipments or feel the relief of lower gas prices for 10 years. And according to a widely cited report from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, peak production of offshore drilling would not be reached until 2030, and would still produce too little oil to affect world oil prices. If we are really serious about bringing down gas prices, we should implement long-overdue increases to fuel-efficiency requirements for motor vehicles. The Nader/Gonzalez campaign calls for increasing the average efficiency of our gas guzzlers from about 20 miles per gallon to more than 40 mpg over the next five years. That would save us 5 million barrels of oil a day — barrels that do not have to be produced or imported.

Concerning Florida ballot measures, Nader/Gonzalez condemns the so-called Floridians for Smarter Growth, a front for Florida’s Chamber of Commerce and other corporate forces, for fighting to keep off the ballot a populist measure sought by Florida Hometown Democracy (FHD), a real citizen action group determined to give Floridians the choice to approve or reject land-usage proposals. FHD, which intended to put a referendum on the November ballot that would amend Florida’s State Constitution, hopes that allowing land-usage decisions to be made by the citizens it affects will help protect the state’s environmental sanctity from the ravages of city and county expansion.

"Florida Hometown Democracy is to be commended for its herculean grassroots effort to decentralize to the municipal level the authority over corporate development plans for Florida’s local communities," Nader said in a statement of solidarity. "Corporate interests have always despised direct democracy because they cannot tolerate the will of the people holding them accountable."

FHD succeeded in collecting enough signatures to qualify the measure for ballot — a total of 619,350 — but the corporate-backed forces led a fierce, deceptive campaign urging signatories to revoke their signatures resulting in the cancellation of 13,247 signatures putting FHD about 6,000 below the colossal threshold. FHD engaged in a number of legal battles to keep its drive alive, including challenging the unjust Feb. 1 deadline, but the courts shamefully sided with the pro-corporate foes. However, the group may still collect the remaining signatures before November 4 in order to qualify the land-usage measure for the state’s 2010 election — a goal the group is confident it will achieve.

Nader/Gonzalez condemns all forces that, in a dictatorial-fashion, engage in abhorrent tactics to destroy or diminish democratic efforts intended to shift power from the few to the many. The campaign calls for basic changes to state ballot access regulations that continue to threaten the tenets of democracy. By restricting candidates’ rights and setting extreme thresholds for ballot initiatives, the rights and choices of citizens — both voters and candidates — are in essence being violated.

Mr. Nader will also address other critical issues the major party candidates have taken "off the table" that the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign has put on the table, including:

- a comprehensive, six-month negotiated military and corporate withdrawal date from Iraq;
- a single-payer, private delivery, free-choice public health insurance system for all;
- a living wage and repeal of the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act;
- a no-nuke, solar-based energy policy supported by renewable, sustainable, energy-efficient sources;
- a carbon tax to deter global warming and a Wall Street securities derivatives tax to pay for the Washington bailout of Wall Street;
- an end to the corporate welfare and corporate crime waves that have resulted in millions losing pensions, savings and jobs and squandered tax dollars;
- a major public works jobs program to repair America’s schools, clinics, public transit, bridges, drinking water & sewage treatment systems paid for by reducing the bloated, wasteful military budget and ending corporate subsidies; and,
- more direct democracy reflecting the preamble to our constitution which starts with "we the people," and not "we the corporations."

About Ralph Nader
Attorney, author, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader has been named by Time Magazine one of the "100 Most Influential Americans in the 20th Century." For more than four decades he has exposed problems and organized millions of citizens into more than 100 public interest groups advocating solutions. He led the movement to establish the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and was instrumental in enacting the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and countless other pieces of important consumer legislation. Because of Ralph Nader we drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments. Nader graduated from Princeton University and received an LL.B from Harvard Law School.

About the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign
The Nader/Gonzalez independent presidential candidacy will be on the ballot in 45 states, is polling at 5-6 percent nationally, and despite being excluded from the presidential debates,* a recent Time/CNN poll shows Ralph Nader polling 8 percent in New Mexico, 7 percent in Colorado, 7 percent in Pennsylvania, and 6 percent in Nevada — all key battleground states.

For more information on the Nader/Gonzalez campaign, visit: votenader.org.

For more information about the Florida Ecology Party visit: www.ecologyparty.org

*National polls since 2000 have a majority of Americans wanting Ralph Nader on these debates.