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Voter Purging/Biden-Trump Ad Wars

Voting rights advocate, Greg Palast, returns to give us the latest on Republican efforts to purge the voter rolls of people of color. And ad guru, Bill Hillsman, comes back to analyze the effectiveness of the late stage TV ads from the Biden and Trump campaigns.

Greg Palast is an economist and financial investigator turned journalist. He is known for his investigative reports for BBC, The Guardian and Rolling Stone. Mr. Palast was instrumental in exposing historic controversies such as the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station Project, Exxon Valdez, the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election and Deepwater Horizon. He is the author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.  His latest book is How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters.

“Once a year [Secretaries of State] can literally wipe off the voter rolls, those voters they think shouldn’t vote. And not surprisingly these hacks tend to remove people of color.”

Greg Palast, author of How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters

“Young people! Sign up to be a poll worker, because a lot of the elderly volunteers are too frightened to go to the polls, because they’re excessively vulnerable to the Covid-19. Stand up for the elderly people who volunteered for decades and take their place.”

Ralph Nader

Bill Hillsman is a writer and an expert on Independent voters. He is the founder and CEO of North Woods Advertising in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He ran award-winning political advertising campaigns for Senator Paul Wellstone, Governor Jesse Ventura and our own Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign. North Woods Advertising has won numerous awards for creativity in advertising, including an EMMY and multiple POLLIE awards. Mr. Hillsman authored the book Run The Other Way: Fixing the Two-Party System, One Campaign at a Time.

“Biden ran an extremely good ad on the first game of the World Series. They were somehow able to get Sam Elliott to be the voiceover on that. And it’s gotten a remarkable response. The nature of the ad was a call to bring us together. And there is no more American – especially Western American – voice than Sam Elliott. The fact that Sam Elliot was the voiceover in that ad is going to get them tens of thousands of votes just on that basis.”

Bill Hillsman, founder of North Woods Advertising

“They’ve (Democrats) decided to attack Trump on some of his strengths. Whether that’s going to work or not, I don’t know. From an advertising perspective, though it seems to make some sense, based primarily on just how much money he (Biden) has.”

Bill Hillsman, founder of North Woods Advertising

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 346 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. John Puma says:

    Re: “The Democratic Party will not protect or restore your right to vote.”

    Why? Because it, too, engages in election fraud … but more often against Democratic candidates (in primaries) rather than in general elections against Republicans. In this way, in 2016, the DNC was able to nominate history’s second LEAST popular candidate (HRC) to run against history’s LEAST popular candidate (Trump) … having serially committed election fraud to prevent history’s MOST POPULAR candidate (Sanders) from getting the nomination.

    The legal case (Wilder v. DNC Services Corp) brought against the DNC in Florida by Sanders supporters, (then appealed to the Fed 11th Circuit – Atlanta) was dismissed by a panel comprised of two (W.J.) Clinton appointees and a Trump appointee. In it, the DNC, through its attorney, took the position … ” we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they COULD have. And that WOULD HAVE BEEN THEIR RIGHT … ” (My emphasis. Quoted from page 36 of case transcript as linked from

    On a related note, if the DNC and HRC had spent 10% as much time and effort on the election fraud against them by the GOP, as they did – and continue to do – on the fantasy of Russia Gate, there would be no voting crisis facing the US electorate in 2020.

    • Afdal Shahanshah says:

      I’d also like to add that there is compelling evidence of election fraud in this year’s 2020 Democratic Primary as well. Progressive haven’t made as big a deal about it this time around because Bernie Sanders was such a laughable coward refusing to fight this year, but the same massively improbable exit poll deviations reared their head once again. The statistician Theodore de Macedo Soares has most of them documented by state on his blog here:

    • Mark Hughes says:

      Great comment, John. I too believe this, fully. What the Dems blame the Republicans for in the general election, they themselves do to progressive or populist candidates during their primaries. Total hypocrites. If the Dems went after Republicans as viciously as they do against left-populist candidates (Sanders, Gabbard, etc) the Republicans would be no more. But, that would leave the Dems as the lone party standing, which would put them on the hook for complete responsibility for the country from that point forward. But the Dems need someone to blame.

      Not only did the DNC nominate a horrifically low-popular candidate in 2016, they did so again this year! Biden was nowhere to be found in the approval ratings during, say, January of this year. But he got nominated anyway. And who did he nominate to be his VP? The only candidate to fare worse than he did during the primary, someone who was among the first to drop out. Just a trash party.

      Noam Chomsky says the Republicans aren’t a true political party rooted in parliamentary politics; it instead delves into obstructionism and clings to an outdated and unethical ideology. However the Dems are no different. In lieu of practicing parliamentary politics, they delve into evidence-free conspiracy theories like Russiagate and tacky theatre like taking a knee while wearing kente cloth. Both are horrifically corrupt to the point that both of their politicians aren’t so much legitimate politicians in the classical sense as they are political operatives.

      The Democrats aren’t weak, nor tired, lethargic or anything like that. Want evidence? Look at how viciously they went after (and still go after) Sanders supporters, and how they treat Sanders himself. No, like Paul Street, who was on RNRH not long ago, has stated many times, the Dems are flat-out corrupt. Once that lands and sticks with traditional Dems supporters, then there might be change.

  2. Mark Hughes says:

    I have to admit that while I’m not a big Greg Palast fan (can’t stand his “I’m a journalist, see the hat?”), I have to hand it to him for at least holding the Democratic Party responsible for its shenanigans. The DNC has failed the American People no less IMO than the Republicans. It’s like Glen Ford once said about the two parties, one’s just obvious about it and the other is a talented liar.

    I also have to disagree that ads play a significant part in voting decisions, at least during this particular election cycle. Personally I look around and see voters becoming more tribal by the minute. Those who consider themselves conservative will vote Republican every single time, those who view themselves liberal will vote Democratic every single time. Supposedly according to polls, there are far fewer people voting Third Party this year than four years ago. Those like me who have zero problem voting Third Party are becoming fewer in number. So we might now be in an era of Tribal Politics, and I don’t see that changing especially as long as Covid-19 continues to go uncontrolled by our various governments. Electoral Politics in America is so revolting I’m considering going back to sitting out election cycles. Of course I’d think this kind of thing also happens when an Empire is irreparably collapsing.

  3. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Television-free progressive here, what’s Joe Biden doing to win my vote? Spending a bunch of money pandering to right-wingers (of which he is one) on television ads I’ll never see? Telling the plutocrats who pull his strings that “nothing will fundamentally change”? Adopting even a single one of his major primary opponent’s platform planks? He doesn’t even have the decency to lie to me about supporting a Green New Deal or ending fracking!

    Ralph should really think of coupling a voter suppression expert like Greg Palast with an interview about election fraud from an expert like Bob Fitrakis, John Brakey, or Bev Harris sometime. The troublesome truth is that stolen elections are usually a combination of both.

    With regard to military propaganda in video games, The Grayzone did a good piece on recent Call of Duty games last year:

    Finally on David’s question, sortition is officials selected by random lot like in jury duty (also where it came from). Sortition was a key component ofemocracy according to the ancient Athenians who invented it and in fact they built elaborate machines called kleroterions to facilitate it. If you check out Aristotle’s “Politics” you’ll learn that the people who invented democracy actually were keenly aware of -electing- officials and considered all electoral systems to be oligarchy by the very nature of which class of society has the ability to run for office. This is how democracy was understood for several hundred is not thousands of years. In fact, check this out, as late as the 17th century in one of the very first French dictionary, democracy was still defined as rule by lot:

    But it seems that an Orwellian inversion of the definition of democracy occurred sometime in the late 18th or early 19th centuries, with Jefferson and Madison’s “Democratic”-Republican Party playing a key role. We have been paying the price ever since with this oxymoron of “representative democracy”, but it’s time to take back the word already! Let’s reclaim democracy by abolishing the oligarchic institutions of the House and Senate and replacing them BOTH with a sortition-based body!

  4. Luiz Paulo says:

    Dear All,

    My name is Luiz Paulo Ferraz, and I am a Brazilian Ph.D. student in the History Department at Brown University. I have been writing about the role of Ralph Nader in the emergence of American activism in support of indigenous people in Brazil in the 1970s. I am also particularly interested in an article he wrote for Sunday Times in 1972 and the intense repercussions it had in Brazil. I wondered if he would be willing to be interviewed to clarify some issues concerned with this topic. I would be happy to explain better anything that may be unclear.

    Thank you very much,
    Luiz Paulo Ferraz

  5. margaret walsh says:

    i listened for it ..
    i did not hear it ..


    are you not their FB freind?

    thank you for your consideration .. Margaret Walsh