D.C. Wire Video: Nader Protests Outside Washington Post
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader complains a lot that he can't get any mainstream media coverage for his presidential campaign this go-round. So today he showed up outside the Washington Post's headquarters at 1150 15th St. to hold a news conference, in which he quoted liberally from Washington Post stories. D.C. Wire showed up to be sure Nader couldn't say he was ignored again.
Not many others showed up. About a dozen Nader staffers, some filming the proceedings, stood on the sidewalk as the candidate read from a prepared script. A few passersby did a double take and one shook Nader's hand and posed with him for a picture. But otherwise, the spoiler from the 2000 election barely caused a stir; one man rolling down the sidewalk on a Segway looked perturbed when he had trouble navigating past the Nader aides.
Nader railed on the District's lack of voting rights in Congress, but also complained that the city is essentially a one-party democracy controlled by Democrats -- both locally in City Hall and, increasingly, on Capitol Hill and, if Obama wins, the White House.
"It's a one-party District," he said. "There is no fear among politicians that they will lose their jobs if they don't shape up."
D.C. Wire pointed out that within the city 90 percent of registered voters are Democrats. Don't they have a right to elect Democrats?
"There's never any opportunity to challenge the Democrats," Nader said. "People here say, why bother? Second, the Democratic Party never delivers on promises."
To make his case, Nader referred to the debate over public financing of the Nationals' baseball stadium and recalled the infamous night three years ago when the D.C. Council voted down the stadium, only to approve it two hours later.
"We were lobbying the City Council against the stadium.at 8 p.m.," he said. "At midnight three votes were changed, including people who campaigned against the stadium and were elected to city council. That's what happens when you're in a one-party state. They don't have to worry about getting defeated."
Mayor Fenty voted against the stadium as a council member and was elected mayor, Nader was reminded.
"Then he supported it," Nader said. (Fenty said that as mayor he would see that the stadium project was completed on time because it was approved by the council.) "He broke his promise," Nader insisted. "Is he going to worry about being defeated? Is there a Republican who's going to beat Adrian Fenty? Of course not. That's what I mean. We don't have a competitive democracy."
David A Nakamura
October 29, 2008; 5:07 PM ET
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