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Nader calls Oklahoma 'corporate colony'



Ah, Oklahoma. It's a place where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain. Its name means "red people" in Choctaw. And it's a land where petroleum-saturated politicians are orchestrating our every move.

Do what now? Could you repeat that?

"Oklahoma is now a corporate colony run by oil-marinated politicians," independent candidate Ralph Nader said during a Sept. 18 appearance in Tulsa.

The longtime presidential candidate isn't on Oklahoma's ballot this November, but that didn't stop him from appearing at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa before a captive audience of 75 people, according to the Tulsa World. The political activist and consumer advocate visited T-Town "because we want to support Oklahomans" as part of a promise to campaign in every state.

Nader announced Sept. 18 that he'll be on the ballot in 45 states, not to mention the District of Columbia, The Boston Globe reported. And hold on to your hanging chads: Nader is a possible write-in candidate if you live in Texas, Indiana, Georgia and North Carolina.

Question: Which is the only state where you can't vote for Ralphie?

Answer: Oklahoma, where write-in votes are as prohibited as wine in grocery stores.

Nader shouldn't feel so alone. Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr, a third-party candidate running as a Libertarian, sued Oklahoma election officials to get on the Nov. 4 ballot.

"It's a real bummer," Barr told Oklahoma Gazette. "It's an irony born of the two-party system, the status quo. The two status quo parties conspire " perhaps not in a legal sense, but they conspire " to keep third-party presidential candidates off the ballot. They make it almost impossibly difficult for an independent or third-party candidate for president to get on the ballot."

The lawsuit asked the federal court in Oklahoma City to ease Oklahoma's ballot access to conform to the standards of the rest of the country.

"Oklahoma has the most restrictive ballot access laws for presidential and vice presidential candidates of independent or minor party status in the United States," the lawsuit stated. "In fact, Oklahoma is the only state having a petition signature requirement above 2 percent of the previous vote for president."

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