Nader gets on Utah's ballot, says he is the real change presidential candidate

Published August 1, 2008 12:14 pm
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Posted: 12:14 PM- Ralph Nader says the only photo on his office wall is of legendary New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig.

Nader, who is running for president for a fifth time, admires the Iron Horse's tenacity.

On Friday, Nader filed paperwork putting himself on the ballot in Utah, saying he is the only candidate who can break the corporate stranglehold on Washington.

"It's time," he added, "for presidential campaigns to offer a greater choice than the corporate Republican nominee, John McCain, and the corporate Democratic nominee, Barack Obama."

Given a chance, Nader says his message of universal health care, a living wage, a withdrawal from Iraq in six months and an end to corporate corruption would resonate with voters.

But a "political bigotry" in the news media and a system in which the two major parties call the shots on debates conspire to keep him on the outside looking in.

"This country is not owned by the two major parties. They don't own the voters," Nader said. "There is not even the word 'party' in the Constitution. There isn't even the word 'corporation' in the Constitution, and yet these two institutions have run our country into the ground and are tearing the heart and soul out of America."

Nader insists his candidacy is regenerative, and he is not a spoiler. He says he helped, not hurt, Al Gore in the 2000 election, and it's wrong to think of him as taking votes from one candidate or the other.

Nader is on the ballot in about 20 states and projects he ultimately will be on the ballot in 45 states, and will campaign in all 50. He heads to California this afternoon.

Nader says Utahns, in particular, should be drawn to his opposition to building a nuclear-waste dump at Yucca Mountain, Nev., since most of the waste would travel through Utah, and his support for better wages for workers.

gehrke@sltrib.com" Target="_BLANK">gehrke@sltrib.com

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