New 'Peace' Group Rallies Anti-War Voters

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - A new group called Voters for Peace is seeking "disaffected" Republicans, Democrats, and independents who will pledge not to vote for pro-war candidates.

The group, which describes itself as nonpartisan, will be formally launched on Friday - the eve of the three-year anniversary of the Iraq war.

Voters for Peace said it hopes to "highlight growing public opposition to the war in Iraq and other wars of aggression." It aims to make the Iraq War an issue that candidates can't ignore.

Voters for Peace also said that at its formal launch at the National Press Club on Friday, it will unveil the results of a public opinion poll showing that large numbers of voters would sign a pledge to reject candidates who do not support a "speedy end" to the war in Iraq.

The poll also will indicate support for candidates who promise to oppose "future wars of aggression," the press release said.

Voters for Peace said it aims to gather two million signatures on its petition this year - and five million by the 2008 presidential election.

"When policymakers distort the facts and manipulate public opinion to justify wars of aggression in our name, it is the public's right and duty to speak out and act," said Linda Schade, an advisor and spokesperson for Voters for Peace.

Other people either attending, or invited to attend, the launch of Voters for Peace include Michael Berg, the father of Nick Berg, a civilian who was captured and beheaded by terrorists in Iraq in 2004; Kara Hopkins, editor of American Conservative magazine; Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action; John Nichols of the Nation magazine; Bill Scheurer, editor of The PeaceMajority Report; and Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising.

The group said it has $1 million pledged for startup funding, but the press release did not say who the funders are.

A votersforpeace web address where the "voter pledge" will appear currently directs people to the Democracy in Action website. The votersforpeace domain name was registered by Linda Schade of Takoma Park, Md.

A Google search shows that Schade was the executive director of "TrueVoteMD," a group that opposed electronic voting - and demanded paper records for each ballot cast.

A Sept. 2004 Washington Post article described Schade as a Green Party member.

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