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August 19, 2004
Democrats Use Intimidation Tactics In Oregon

Members of the SEIU, a labor union supporting John Kerry for president, have decided to help their Democratic colleagues by targeting Ralph Nader petition gatherers for intimidation, posing as investigators and attempting to scare them off the job:

The Service Employees International Union, which supports Kerry, said in an election complaint filed with the state that it has heard from more than 30 people who say their names were falsified on Nader's petitions.

The union also has warned nearly 60 of Nader's signature-gatherers that they could face a felony conviction and prison time for knowingly submitting fraudulent signatures. ...

Nader's Oregon coordinator, Greg Kafoury, said one petition-gatherer was "badly shaken and intimidated" by two union members who knocked on her door and told her she was under investigation. "We have been sabotaged and smeared, and now we have had our people bullied by people who knock on doors at night," Kafoury said. He said there is no intentional effort to turn in invalid signatures.

Kafoury said 30 of the campaign's 150 petition-carriers have quit because of the union's actions, but he said the Nader campaign still believes it will be able to meet Tuesday's deadline.

Oregon has been one of Nader's stronger states, although that's really not saying much, and even with Nader in the race, Kerry shouldn't expect a lot of trouble hanging onto Oregon. However, the Democrats remember that Gore only barely carried the state in 2000 by 0.4%, and apparently the union goons want to take no chances. Rather than wait to find out whether the signatures collected are valid -- they can be challenged as a legal process -- the SEIU has decided to ensure that no one is around to collect them in the first place.

Many people throw around charges of fascism and Nazi tactics during this election cycle, and for the most part, they're way off base, as anyone who studied the Nazis would tell you. Leaving the Bush rally yesterday, one of the protestors held up a pathetically homemade sign written on a piece of a cardboard box proclaimimg, "Fascists For Bush," unmindful that had that been true, the attendees would have responded not by rolling their eyes and shaking their heads, but by cracking their heads instead. Responding to criticism with criticism is Socratic, not fascist, something the Hollywood elite have never learned nor care to know. However, following people to their homes an intimidating volunteers through their physical presence and vague threats of action should appall all Americans, especially since the SEIU represents goverment workers.

If this is what the Democrats have to offer in terms of political debate -- Paul Begala and James Carville shouting down criticism of John Kerry with personal invective and blockading debate, the SEIU stalking political volunteers, and their candidate threatening lawsuits against anyone who dares question the credentials he has loudly proclaimed as his primary qualification for the office for the last several months -- then I would argue that they have completely lost political legitmacy, and that the fascist taunts appear to be a matter of psychological projection. Voters should turn them out at all levels of the ballot in November, especially in Oregon.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 19, 2004 6:41 AM

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