Stitching Together Controversy

Posted September 19, 2012 at 12:01am

Political gadfly Ralph Nader is done with dressing down public officials. Now he wants to dress them up.

Nader has launched in an effort to help voters more easily connect the dots between their elected officials and the fount of campaign contributions that keeps Capitol Hill firing on all cylinders. The idea is to depict politicians wearing suits emblazoned with the logos of corporations and interest groups that fill their campaign coffers. “Racket jackets” one supporter calls the suits, which effectively follow the NASCAR model of human bill boarding.
“We need to signify … who owns and rents these politicians,” Nader said of the in-your-face strategy.

His first target: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who Nader asserts is virtually “synonymous” with special interests.

The initial part of the shaming process will involve distributing full-sized posters — “We’ve got hundreds of’em,” Nader assured HOH — throughout Boehner’s home of Western Ohio. Nader would ultimately love to raise enough money from campaign finance reform activists in Boehner’s district to produce a physical jacket that folks could actually see and, hopefully, seethe about.

And he’s not stopping there. Nader name-dropped House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and GOP vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) as bought-and-paid-for politicians worthy of sartorial skewering.