WASHINGTON -- Ralph Nader announced yesterday that he will make a second run for the presidency as a Green Party candidate and vowed, as he did in 1996, to take on big business and its influence on government.
"I can no longer stomach the systemic political decay that has weakened our democracy," said Nader, who will compete for the Green Party nomination against three others.
"It is necessary to launch a sustained effort to wrest control of our democracy from the corporate government and restore it to the political government under the control of citizens."
Nader, 65, whose quest for the White House in 1996 earned him less than 1 percent of the vote, said at a news conference that he will raise enough money to pay his campaign workers but will not spend a nickel on polling, consulting firms or television ads.
First known for his crusade against the automobile industry in the 1960s, Nader founded a number of consumer advocacy groups over the years, including Public Citizen, which focus on corporate and government wrongdoing.
The Green Party, an offspring of the anti-nuclear and environmental movements, shares similar goals, among them its pursuit of "ecological wisdom" and "grass-roots democracy."
Portraying himself as the only candidate willing to shake up the system, Nader said he is concerned about the growing disparity between rich and poor.
"Despite record economic growth, corporate profits and stock market highs year after year, a stunning array of deplorable conditions still prevails," Nader said on his Web site.