[image-1]Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will make a campaign stop in South Carolina this Friday, July 25. He will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. on the first floor lobby of the State House in Columbia (1100 Gervais Street). A fund-raiser luncheon will follow at noon.

In February, Nader, 74, announced his intentions to seek the presidency as an independent candidate on the late Tim Russert’s Meet the Press (watch clip). When Russert asked about his age (he’s two years older than McCain), Nader responded, “The only true aging is the erosion of one’s ideals.”

Nader ran on the Green Party ticket in 2000, receiving 2.7 percent of the nationwide popular vote. He ran again in 2004 as an independent, earning 0.38 percent of the nationwide popular vote. [image-2]

While his best-known book was the 1965 breakthrough, Unsafe at Any Speed, a top-selling exposé of the automobile industry, his recent memoir Crashing the Party: Taking on the Corporate Government in an Age of Surrender retells his version of the 200 campaign and took direct aim at the two-party system and its increasingly firm grasp on the rules of presidential debates. Director Kevin O’Donnell’s 2007 documentary An Unreasonable Man traced Nader’s life, career, legacy — including a mix of commentaries on his controversial 2000 campaign.

[image-3]On Feb. 28, he announced San Francisco-based public defender Matt Gonzalez as his Vice Presidential running mate.

According to his current literature, the Nader/Gonzalez campaign supports a single payer, Canadian-style, free-choice health care system; exploring the “use of solar energy over nuclear power;” cutting the military budget and reversing U.S. Middle East policy in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, and Iran; launching an aggressive crackdown on “corporate crime and corporate welfare;” “genuine enforcement” of affirmative action; equal rights for gays and lesbians, including civil unions; a constitutional guarantee of equal rights for women and full abortion rights, and “a living wage for all workers,” among other stances.

On July 14, South Carolina supporters of the Nader/Gonzalez campaign filed nominating petitions with the Secretary of State to place them on South Carolina’s November 2008 election ballot. South Carolina was be the eleventh state to formally submit paperwork for Nader’s candidacy. To qualify to appear on South Carolina’s ballot, state law requires submission of the signatures of 10,000 registered voters. The Nader/Gonzalez campaign submitted over 18,000 signatures — nearly twice the number required. The campaign expects to be on the ballot in 45 states.