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Ralph Nader will be in the Buffalo area on Thursday to rev up supporters and help retire his presidential campaign debt.

The campaign debt stands at $160,000, down from about $600,000, Nader said.

Nader, who ran for president in 2000 and 2004, said in a recent interview that misplaced priorities by President Bush -- whom he called "an unscrupulous, messianic militarist" -- deny critical social needs, including aid to ailing cities like Buffalo, because of an exaggerated terrorism threat.

"The priorities are so wildly out of synch that they move into the area of institutional insanity," Nader said.

Nader will be at Lewiston Porter Senior High School, 4061 Creek Road, Youngstown, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss concerns raised by radioactive and chemical materials found in the Town of Porter.

Later in the evening, he will appear at a 7 p.m. program in Trinity Church, 371 Delaware Ave. Preceding his appearance will be a rare acoustic performance by Patti Smith, and local speakers.

Nader believes Bush exploited the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, by centralizing power, silencing public dissent, unnecessarily pursuing Iraq and enriching corporate supporters.

Nader is angry at the Democratic Party, too. He blames it for launching 21 lawsuits last year that attempted to keep his name off 18 state ballots where he could siphon votes away from Sen. John Kerry.

Nader hopes his speaking tour will help regalvanize an anti-war movement that, he complained, "took the year off in deference to Kerry."

Tickets for the Holy Trinity event are $15 at the door, $12 in advance. For information, call 332-4658.


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