Front Page Story
Nader no one to give advice
by Judi McLeod
June 28, 2004
Its not known how many Canadian voters casting ballots in June 28th's federal election will take to heart U.S. presidential candidate Ralph Naders message to vote socialist. In his 11th-hour,Vote Socialist SOS dispatched Friday, Nader endorsed New Democrat Party leader Jack Layton.
The new Canadian Conservative Party, he said, would ruin Canadas health services if elected.
The Nader message closely echoes the campaign theme of Prime Minister Paul Martin, a Liberal veering to the left.
The unsolicited vote Socialist advice comes from a self-professed white knight, whose leftwing causes rake in somewhere between $10 million to $20 million annually from unwitting American college students.
While the consumer advocate voices concern about Canadas health system, detractors on American soil worry about Nader using college students as political pawns.
According to Radley Balko, whose stories are posted on theagitator.com, "if youre in college, or have kids in college, the odds are pretty good that youre supporting Ralph Nader too. And thats just the way Nader and his nationwide network of Public Interest Groups (PIRGs) would like to keep it."
Although catching on in the 1980s, the PIRG idea has picked up momentum in the last few years, mainly due to the publicity accompanying Naders presidential campaign.
Parents and guardians should know how youngsters are caught up in the spider web of PIRGs.
Explains Balko: "Each time a college student registers for classes, he or she is automatically billed somewhere between three and eight dollars, all of which goes directly to the local PIRG chapter. There, its funneled directly to the state chapter, where its used to lobby state legislatures on issues like tougher emission standards, campaign finance reform, and a bevy of other environmental and anti-corporate causes. Very little, if any of the money actually stays at the campus where its generated.
"Its also used as "seed money" for more fund-raising campaigns. And about 10 percent of the money goes to USPIRG, the national chapter, where it is used to lobby on the federal level."
Balko goes to the movements roots to show the procedure for start-up campus PIRGs: "First, they attempt to institute mandatory, non-refundable "contributions" from the student body, either through a student referendum, a petition drive, or by going through school administration. The University of Wisconsin requires all of its students to donate to the local PIRG chapter, as does the University of Oregon, and about a third of the state colleges in New Yorks SUNY system.
"If that doesnt work, PIRG chapters attempt to institute a "reverse check" system, where each student automatically donates to PIRG each time he registers for classes, unless he specifically knows to look for an already checked box asking for his supportand "un-checks" it.
"If they cant win support there, PIRG groups will attempt a "refundable fee" system, where each student is automatically billed, but can request a refund by taking the bill to the university registrar or bursars office, filling out some paperwork, then taking the form to the local PIRGs campus office to get the money back."
Heres the kicker: "Such systems rake in millions for PIRGs because they put the burden on the college students to educate themselves about each line on their tuition bill, or go to great effort for a comparatively small refund, particularly unlikely when mom or dad, or Mr. Perkins and Mr. Stafford are paying for college anyway."
Craig Rucker, is executive director for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, an organization thats been fighting PIRG scams for years.
Rucker says students are unknowingly funding Naders 2004 presidential campaign.
"Whats remarkable is the blatant, transparent hypocrisy the PIRGs use to defend their tactics. The USPIRG website claims that mandatory student fees earmarked for liberal activism are "protected by the First Amendment" and are intended to "foster a marketplace of ideas."
"Yet that same USPIRG website is a staunch supporter of radical campaign finance reform, and says that contributions to political candidates are not political speech and, therefore, not protected by the First Amendment.
"Get it? The act of forcing students at state colleges to fund causes they dont believe is "protected speech" but voluntarily giving to a political candidate isnt.
"This is also the same Ralph Nader who (correctly at least on this issue) rails against corporate welfare because he says its deplorable to take money from taxpayers and then funnel it to corporations whose interests might be different from those of said taxpayers. Its the same Ralph Nader and USPIRG organization that cries out against the "injustice" of ATM fees, and criticizes credit card companies for preying on the naivete of college kids.
"Yet this same Ralph Nader and USPIRG has no problem with mandating, tricking or manipulating college students into donating to leftist activism."
Meanwhile, a white knight that allegedly manipulates college students is hardly the guy qualified to dole out election advice to another country.
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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