Nader's blitz

Thursday, October 23
If you live in Massachusetts, Ralph Nader is probably coming to a town near you on Saturday.

The independent presidential candidate is scheduled to make 21 campaign stops in Massachusetts on Saturday, beginning in Westfield at 8:10 a.m. and ending with a stop in Stockbridge at 10:10 p.m. and then Sheffield at 10:50 p.m. His campaign claims the tour will give him the record for most campaign stops in a single day.

"Massachusetts was a good state to us in 2000 and 2004," said Rob Socket of the Nader campaign. "And we thought it would be a good place to run this historic tour."

In the Berkshires, Nader will appear at the Lion's Den — a tavern attached to the Red Lion Inn — on Main Street in Stockbridge from 10:10 to 10:30 p.m., according to his schedule.

Carol Bosco Baumann, the inn's marketing director, said that when she got the call from the Nader campaign, "I thought, 'Gosh, the Red Lion Inn is such an American icon. 'Good Morning America' was here to kick off its presidential coverage, and now we are still part of the election. It turns out the real reason is much more practical than that: He is stopping here because we are a good midway point between Westfield and Sheffield."

Nader will follow that with an appearance in Sheffield from 10:50 to 11:10 p.m. at a site to be announced.

Nader — whose name became synonymous with the Green Party during his three previous runs for president — opted to run as an independent this year and appears on the ballot in 45 states, including Massachusetts.

His campaign platform includes opposition to the $700 billion bailout, support for universal health care, and a call for a massive reduction in military spending.

His cross-state trip will be made by van and by car. His campaign said it was sending a dozen volunteers — "Nader's raiders" — into Massachusetts to staff an advance team that will pave the way for Nader's appearance, along with traveling musicians. A cleanup van will follow behind. In a message to supporters, the campaign called for 1,000 contributions of $21 each to pay for "rental cars, vans, gasoline, flyers, and multiple GPS units."

To reach Jack Dew: (413) 496-6241



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