Loose Lips

Ralph Nader’s $11 Million Statehood Plan

Ralph Nader's latest career turn as a D.C. statehood activist hasn't been going so hot. His "limited general strike" for statehood—basically, showing up late for work—didn't take off, and his presidential debate on the state of New Columbia never happened.

"The apathy is so thick you can cut it," Nader tells LL.

Nader's not discouraged, though. He claims that he can win statehood for the District in two years for the low, low price of $11 million. Nader alluded to his plan Monday on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show, but didn't go into details. LL couldn't resist getting the full plan.

First, activists will need to raise the $11 million from rich Washingtonians, according to Nader. Once that minor task is done—Nader insists the money will be "chicken feed" for the wealthy—some of it would be used to launch a statehood tour around the country. But then, the plan takes a distinctly Naderian tone.

A million dollars would be spent on ads asking for volunteers to join Nader's "trios"—groups of three people who focus on a single senator or representative who opposes statehood. A single trio would start by meeting with the congressman and introducing some tough love. "We are your minders for your forthcoming vote, we hope, on statehood," Nader imagines a statehood activist telling a senator.

The trio, backed by a team of researchers, gets to know everything about the politician. They show up at events and pressure congressmen some more. The trio would warn their target's staff about dirt they dig up. "You're seen as carrot and stick," Nader says. "Preferably carrot."

Putting that level of pressure on a sitting congressman might seem to bring the risk of backfiring, but Nader claims his plan is so good it will only take two years. "If it started today, it would be July 4, 2015," he says. "Victory day."

Photo by @mjb via Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • Dane

    With logic like that, now we know why Al Gore wasn't elected in 2000.

  • name

    Your article changes font mid stream

  • name

    Nader is the height of slimy me-first politichicanery. His "PIRG" organizations took advantage of people who needed jobs for years and didn't provide benefits or even compensation for on the job injuries (my former roommate twisted an ankle canvassing and told me she wasn't offered even a paid day off).

    Now he's trying to make a fast buck off of DC residents.

    Good luck charlatan.

  • Drez

    In 2006 Nader told me that the only DC politician qualified to be Mayor was David Catania.
    I still can't figure out WTH he was talking about.
    I responded by bringing up the 2000 election.
    I figure he still gets shit about that 4 or 5 times a day every day that he bothers getting out of bed.

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  • Anonymous, Too

    "I still can't figure out WTH he was talking about."

    That's because you're an intellectual midget who isn't qualified to carry his biefcase.

    "I responded by bringing up the 2000 election."

    I rest my case.

  • Drez

    ^ I freely grant that Nader inspires many and far better qualified intellectual midgets to carry his briefcase.

  • Wrack

    This guy is loony. And that's a shame, because he's done some good things. Unfortunately, none of them happened in the last 15 years.

  • James

    Wow! President Nader would have had a legislative record unmatched since LBJ, if he'd dealt with Congress this way. (LOL).

  • New Columbia

    Why do they insist on calling it New Columbia when you know darn well and post card will still have to say DC. Seriously. You think North Carolina is going to give up the initials NC?

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