Nader barred from FleetCenter during Democratic convention Move comes despite the granting of passes to Republicans
By STEWART M. POWELL SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER WASHINGTON BUREAU
BOSTON -- Democrats ended their courtship of independent candidate Ralph Nader yesterday and told the potential political spoiler to stay away from the Democratic National Convention, which gathers today to nominate Sen. John Kerry.
Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe announced that he would not give Nader the credentials required to get past barricades and security personnel to enter FleetCenter because Nader's third-party candidacy could steal votes from the Democratic nominee.
Nader said he planned to seek a credential, presumably to allow him access to delegates and the news media inside the convention hall.
"We will not be giving Ralph Nader a credential to our convention," McAuliffe said, scoffing at Nader's theory that his candidacy would actually draw votes away from Bush rather than Kerry.
A number of GOP officials have obtained credentials from McAuliffe, allowing them to gain access to television network booths inside FleetCenter in order to offer running Republican commentary on the Democrats' proceedings. Republican officials are reciprocating at their New York City convention beginning Aug. 31 by giving a number of Democratic officials access in order to provide commentary to TV networks.