- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2000

Ralph Nader yesterday wrapped up his insurgent campaign for president with a rally in the nation's capital, where he urged supporters to lay the groundwork for a new, progressive political movement regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's election.
And, in a break from previous statements, Mr. Nader, the Green Party candidate for president, also hinted that his supporters should support Democratic candidates for the House and Senate in areas where no Greens are running.
Flanked by celebrities such as former talk-show host Phil Donahue, rock singer Patti Smith, and intellectuals such as Harvard University's Cornel West, Mr. Nader pleaded with voters to help create a progressive political party that will keep an eye on the two major parties.
"A vote for your hopes, a vote for your dreams, a vote for a higher expectation level of what our country can become, of what it can mean to the world those are the votes that you need to register, not a lesser of two evils," Mr. Nader said to thunderous applause in the MCI Center in the District of Columbia.
Organizers said that about 10,000 people paid $10 to attend the rally, which was also billed as being in support of voting rights for D.C. residents.
As he has at other gatherings, Mr. Nader spoke for well over an hour, going through his usual laundry list of issues, ranging from the environment to globalization to campaign finance reform. And he sought to link his candidacy to efforts by Texas billionaire Ross Perot, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, to shake up the political system.
"They wanted change here in Washington," he said.
Mr. Perot and Mr. McCain are supporting Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Mr. Ventura has said he will not vote for either Republicans or Democrats.
Both hints by Mr. Nader yesterday, and statements put out by his campaign suggest that the Green candidate hopes his supporters vote for Democrats in key congressional races. But he has avoided any direct endorsements.
"Where there are no Green Party people on the ballot, vote for the most progressive candidates and push this agenda in the right direction," he told supporters.
While he did not explicitly say that Green voters should back Democrats, he told NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday that people who support him for president will help Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.
"Our voters are going to spill over and help get [a Democratic] speaker," he said.
Over the last week, Mr. Nader has quietly issued statements excoriating incumbent Republicans in seven key congressional races whose outcome will determine control of the House. And in a few cases, he also urged voters to support their Democratic challengers, though his staff shied away from calling them endorsements.
"This is meant to be a critique of the incumbent Republican," Nader spokeswoman Stacey Malkan said. "It is not technically an endorsement."
The candidates about whom Mr. Nader made statements were carefully screened by Nader staffers, who coordinated their work with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the office of House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat, according to a source close to the Nader campaign.
Specifically, Mr. Nader suggested a vote for Ed O'Brien, who is challenging Rep. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania; Susan Davis, who is running against Rep. Brian P. Bilbray of California; and Gerrie Schipske, the opponent of Rep. Steve Horn of California.
But he also issued harsh statements opposing the re-election of several Republicans, including Reps. James E. Rogan of California, George Nethercutt of Washington, Charles Bass of New Hampshire and Anne M. Northup of Kentucky.

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