Why Independents Are Right and Ralph Nader Is Wrong About Proposition 14

I was disappointed to see that my friend and colleague, Ralph Nader, recently spoke out against Proposition 14, the California ballot initiative that proposes to reform the electoral process in America's most populous state. If passed, Prop 14 would allow all voters, whether affiliated with a party or not, to vote in an all-inclusive first round in which every candidate is listed on the ballot with their party preference next to their name. The top two vote getters go on to the general election which is also open to every voter. Nader believes California voters should reject this reform in order to guarantee third parties a spot on the general election ballot at the expense of millions of independent voters who will be empowered if Prop 14 passes.

In 2004, Ralph faced an organized conspiracy by the Democratic National Committee and the John Kerry presidential campaign to keep his name off the ballot in as many states as possible. Leading Democrats held Nader responsible for Al Gore's defeat in 2000, and justified their assault on his right to run for President and the right of Americans to vote for him with the need to defeat George Bush by any means necessary, including restricting the franchise. I am proud to have volunteered my efforts to represent Nader in courts in West Virginia and New Mexico, and that in both states his name remained on the ballot, in spite of the Democratic Party onslaught.

Read the full op ed as appeared in The Sacramento Bee, March 28, 2010.