Independent president candidate Ralph Nader visited Iowa yesterday as a debate raged at the statehouse over whether Nader’s name should appear on the November ballot in Iowa. Nader backers submitted over three-thousand petition signatures to state officials, more than twice as many as required to get his name on the ballot. But lawyer Steve Wandro argued many of the signatures were questionable. He says there were problems with addresses, legibility, dates and the forms themselves.Lee Jolliffe of Des Moines, the woman who filed a formal challenge of the Nader petition signatures, says she found many addresses simply didn’t exist. Jolliffe says “the whole thing is full of improprieties.” She says some of the signatures had “over-writing” — she suggested Nader backers may have had “signing parties” where they took a phone book and signed names and addresses, going back to corrected mistakes, like turning a Karla into Kayla. Nader dismisses the charges. Nader says “the democratic party is in the midst of a massive dirty tricks campaign” against him. Nader says Kerry needs to put a stop to the harassment of Nader ballot initiatives, or he’ll be faced — in Nader’s words — with a Watergate-type scandal. Nader says he didn’t solicit the help of those folks who stood outside Bush and Cheney events here in Iowa and collected signatures from Bush backers to get Nader’s name on the ballot “to help Bush and hurt Kerry.” Nader says he’s not accepting any “organized support from Republicans.” Nader spoke at Creighton and Drake Universities yesterday, and his campaign spokesman stood in front of the college students and asked the students for voluntary donations of five-bucks each to the Nader campaign.
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