by Kevin Zeese (Press Secretary for the Nader-Camejo campaign. His email is email@example.com) ...At the meeting Ralph Nader offered Kerry a strategy for how the two campaigns could work together to beat Bush-Cheney and advance populist-progressive issues. Kerry refused... ...Nader offered a two prong strategy. First, the Nader-Camejo campaign would take aggressive positions on some issues that Kerry-Edwards were not comfortable with. These included a rapid, responsible withdrawal from Iraq with a definite date of withdrawal of our corporate and military interests; a more balanced approach in our handling of the Israeli-Palestinian issue; and the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Second, Nader suggested three major issues on which we could stand together. He selected issues on which Kerry had rhetorically spoken favorably but where increased intensity would advance the issues and move Kerry from being an "Anybody But Bush" to being a "somebody" who clearly distinguished himself from Bush. These issues were: First, ending corporate welfare to save taxpayers over two hundred billion dollars annually. This would level the playing field between large corporations who receive subsidies, handouts, giveaways and guarantees from their political friends in Washington which are denied small business. It would also reduce the deficit and provide funds for the basic needs of all Americans. Second, strengthening the rights of 42 million non-unionized workers who wish to join a trade union and advocating for a wage all full-time workers can live on at a time when 47 million American workers ** one in three full-time workers ** earned between $5.15 and $10 an hour. Third, a crackdown on corporate crime, fraud and abuse at a time when a corporate crime wave has looted trillions from innocent 401(k) plan holders, pension holders small investors and workers. Prosecuting corporate crime would put the government on the side of the people against Big Business criminals. These three issues centered on the foundational issue of the Nader-Camejo campaign, the corporate control of our government and the need to reign in corporate power. These were also three issues that were strong ways for Kerry-Edwards to distinguish themselves from Bush-Cheney. As Nader has said: "George Bush is a giant corporation masquerading as a human being in the White House." Highlighting issues of corporate abuse of workers, pension and the federal budget would have strongly contrasted with Bush's no-bid contracts to repeat-offender corporations like Halliburton, the corporate executive appointments to the leadership of government agencies and the ever-expanding taxpayer paid corporate giveaways of his administration. Appearing at joint events with Nader on these issues would have shown Nader supporters that there were some areas of agreement between Nader and Kerry thereby adding legitimacy to Kerry with Nader supporters. However, with Nader highlighting issues that Kerry would not highlight, Kerry would also differentiate himself from Nader and place himself in the middle of the political spectrum of the presidential debate but able to stand for underpaid workers and their families ** and give many of them a reason to vote when they don't usually have one... If this is true then the Kerry campaign was even more stupid than I thought, and the results of that idiocy, of course, is our current Executive disease.