Nader Boehner Racket Jacket

Call it the Boehner NASCAR jacket.

If it were up to Ralph Nader, high school students across America would identify which major corporations donate to their members of Congress, design NASCAR-style jackets covered with the corporate logos of the donors, and present the jackets to their members.

Nader unveiled the idea today at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Nader was a guest of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, who were hosting their Poverty Tour 2.0 at the high school’s auditorium.

West asked Nader what was on his mind, and Nader answered with a twenty minute attack on the failure of Democrats and Republicans to address the issue of poverty in America – or even mention the word – poverty.

“How do you get the attention of your member of Congress?” Nader asked the assembled high school students. “You show who owns them. How do you show who owns them? In a very personal way. You give them a poster jacket, with the logos on the jacket, wrapped around the head of the member of Congress.”

Nader then held up a poster titled – The Congressional Jacket, John “The Wheelman” Boehner Edition – with a picture of Boehner wearing a jacket covered with corporate logos.

Nader has put up a web site – – to promote the idea.

“Speaker John Boehner – he’s a corporation who has been masquerading as a human being,” Nader told the students. “Exxon Mobil, Sallie Mae – the rip off company on student loans. He was single handedly blocking reform of student loans. Monsanto – they want to own your own genes. Years ago corporations called cotton plantations owned slaves. Now they want to own your genes.”

Then Nader touched on a corporation near and dear to Tavis Smiley – Wal-Mart – which donates to Boehner’s campaigns and is a major sponsor of Smiley’s PBS show.

“Why is Wal-Mart contributing to Speaker Boehner?” Nader asked as Smiley grinned. “Because Wal-Mart wants to freeze the minimum wage at $7.25. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation from 1968, it would be $10.36 an hour. Do you know how many workers are working between $7.25 an hour and $10.00 an hour? Thirty million.”

After the students make the poster of their member of Congress festooned with corporate donor logos, Nader urged the students to go out and raise the money to pay a tailor to make the jacket. Nader said the jacket will draw local television and radio publicity.

“All over the country, high school students will be giving members of Congress the jacket to show who owns them,” Nader said. “Is there anyone who will stop you from doing that?”

“Nobody can stop you from doing that. Half of democracy is showing up,” Nader said. “Start taking yourselves seriously. You can lead the fight with what you have in your hands and in your minds.”

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