Independent presidential candidates Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzales want your vote in ’08

In the "taking a look at ALL relevant candidates for Leader-of-the-Free-World" series, we go from the Libertarian Party (click for previous post) to no party at all. Even in our political duopoly, there are those who have managed to permeate outside of the two parties to evoke awareness. Only a select few have done so with no party backing at all. Independent candidates have been around since the times of Washington, who incidentally was the first and only US President ever elected as an independent (although the Federalist Party quickly rallied around him after his first term began). Whether John Anderson (1980) or Ross Perot ('92 and '96), independents have broken away from the Dems and GOP, to speak on issues that both majors fail to address. The most notable independent of this year's election is Ralph Nader, who is running with former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Matt Gonzales. No stranger to American Politics, Nader has run in every election since '92. After 40 years of successful consumer advocacy, he wanted to respond to the powerful corporate momentum to pursue their narrow interests (thanks Ronnie!), so Nader threw his name into the hat: “I don't like citizen groups being shut out by both parties in [DC] -- corporate occupied territory -- not having a chance to improve their country.” The pinnacle of his career was his run in 2000 as a Green, when he finished the popular vote, in third. There are many differences between Nader, and Obamcain, but FISA is definitely the most recent, glaring difference. Enacted in 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act makes it illegal to intentionally engage in electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act or to disclose or use information obtained by that same electronic surveillance without a warrant. It was revealed in 2005, that the NSA teamed up with telecoms like AT&T to engage in warrantless surveillance, which involved the private communications of millions of Americans. So the in light of the telecom industry breaking the law (save Qwest Communications), the punishment of a fine of up to $10,000 or up to five years in prison, or both, should apply, right?  Well the telecom lobby bought themselves an amendment to the law. This month, the FISA amendment act of 2008, was passed. Here are just some of the "benefits": * Prohibits the individual states from investigating, sanctioning of, or requiring disclosure by complicit telecoms or other persons. * Permits the government not to keep records of searches, and destroy existing records. * Protects telecommunications companies from lawsuits for "'past or future cooperation" with federal law enforcement authorities. * Removes requirements for detailed descriptions of the nature of information or property targeted by the surveillance. * Allows for warrantless surveillance up to 7 days. * Allows eavesdropping in "emergencies" without court approval. * Prohibits the government from invoking war powers or other authorities to supersede surveillance rules in the future. McCain was conveniently absent from the voting and Obama voted FOR it (talk about the candidate for change, huh?) Nader's response to the Senate passing FISA... When Nader was ten, his father asked him: “Well, Ralph, what did you learn in school today? Did you learn how to believe or did you learn how to think?” Be an indie-thinker! Come back to LEGENDmag Blog for posts on other Third party candidates.

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kc! Bradshaw is the Creative Director for LEGENDmag, a founder of CircleSavvy and works as a freelance graphic designer for Exkclamation. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer textures of life; rides his classic motorcycle; and absolutely loves music. Stalk him on Twitter.