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Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 7 

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CAR CAPTION: Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

A bright green car promoting Ralph Nader, who is running for president with the Green Party, was parked at NASA in the Art Car display during the Ballunar festival last weekend.

Introducing ...

The other candidates

By Crys Lewis
Daily Cougar Staff

With the presidential election looming in the near future, the media seems to be bombarded with news and advertising about George W. Bush and Al Gore. But let's not forget that other candidates are running. The United States has a democracy, and while there are only two main parties, there are many, many smaller parties that hold their own ideologies and focuses.

This is just a brief overview of some of those parties and their candidates to give you a better view of the options available to you before it's time to vote this November.

Reform Party

Pat Buchanan is a name that has been tossed around in the public eye for quite some time. He tried to get the Republican nomination for president in 1992 and 1996. Failing there, he joined the Reform Party, where he was better received, in October 1999. Now he has finally gotten his presidential nomination and will be running in the 2000 election. Buchanan has had a long history of political involvement: He was Vice President Nixon's executive assistant, and after Nixon received the presidency, became his speechwriter and senior adviser.

Buchanan's running mate is Ezola Foster. She was the Buchanan campaign's national co-chair before being selected for the ticket. Foster was not Buchanan's first choice, but critics say he hoped choosing an African-American woman would end rumors that paint him as a sexist and a racist.

Foster is the founder of the Americans for Family Values organization, which purports to restore traditional family values in public policy. She was a staunch supporter of California's Proposition 187, which would have banned illegal immigrants from receiving any public services. She believes that Southern states have the right to fly the Confederate flag over public buildings and that the nation's black leaders are "snake oil peddlers of the welfare state whose only wares are dependency, degradation and decay."

Buchanan and Foster are both pro-life, pro-prayer in schools and anti-gay rights. He will receive matching federal funds from the Federal Election Committee.

Libertarian Party

Harry Browne was the party's 1996 candidate for president and is back for another shot at the office. After capturing enough votes in the last election to qualify the Libertarians for matching federal funds from the FEC, he will be a much bigger contender this year, although his campaign will still be much smaller than the two major parties' campaigns. Knowing that he realistically does not have a chance at the White House, he instead plans to use the election to promote libertarian ideals and attract more people to join the party. If just a few other candidates adopt a few of the party's views, then he has won.


 
 


Harry Browne

Generally, Libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally moderate to conservative. They believe in "a free market economy of abundance and prosperity, individual liberty and personal responsibility and a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace and free trade."

Art Olivier is Browne's vice presidential candidate. An engineer with Boeing and a freelance Web site developer, he also served as the mayor of Bellflower, Calif., for a time.

Browne will most likely be on the ballot in all 50 states, but will probably not be included in the televised Presidential debates.

Socialist Party

David McReynolds has been involved in politics for quite a while: He was a Socialist Party nominee (write-in) for Congress in 1958, he's been active with the Peace and Freedom Party, and he was the Socialist Party's presidential nominee in 1980. He's been arrested more than a dozen times for participation in peace, civil rights and labor demonstrations. The only homosexual in a major third party, he also differs from other candidates in that he's also an atheist.

Mary Cal Hollis, McReynold's running mate, is a special-education teacher. She was the Socialist Party's presidential nominee in 1996, making it onto the ballot in five states and capturing 4,300 votes. She's been active for many years on behalf of numerous leftist and vegetarian causes. Before becoming a member of the Socialist Party, she was a Democrat.

McReynolds isn't likely to win the election, but he should get more votes than any socialist candidate in recent elections simply because he'll be on the ballot in more states. In his 1980 run, he was the first openly gay person to win a party's presidential nomination and appear on state election ballots. Interestingly enough, his running mate then was a Catholic nun.

Green Party

Many people are familiar with Ralph Nader, a well-known consumer advocate. He is currently the presidential nominee for the Green Party, a group focused on environmental issues. Nader himself is more interested in having his campaign "emphasize the problems of, and remedies for, the excessive concentration of corporate power and wealth in our country, by highlighting the important tools of democracy needed for the American people as voters/citizens, workers, consumers, taxpayers and small savers/investors."
 


 


Ralph Nader

His running mate is Winona LaDuke, a leading Native American activist. The former high school principal started out her political involvement by fighting in a lawsuit to recover lands promised to the Anishinabeg tribe by an 1867 federal treaty. The case was dismissed four years later, but she continued to be active in such issues. She now serves as National Program Director of Honor the Earth and founded the Indigenous Women's Network and the White Earth Land Recovery Project.

Nader admits that he will most likely not win the ticket, but his goal is to win 5-6 percent of the vote so the Greens qualify for matching FEC federal funds in 2004. The American Reform Party -- an anti-Perot faction that split off from the Reform Party USA in 1997 -- has also endorsed him, though it didn't nominate him.

Natural Law Party

John Hagelin is a Harvard-educated quantum physicist with New Age ideas. The NLP's slogan is "Bringing the light of science into politics," and it advocates things like transcendental meditation, "yogic flying" and other such actions as solutions to national and international problems. The NLP was founded on the teachings of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, but a party spokesman claims many newer members have no ties to this philosophy. In the 1996 election, Hagelin was on the ballot in 44 states and expects to be on as many ballots this go-round.


John Hagelin

His running mate is Nat Goldhaber, an Internet entrepreneur who founded the online Cybergold payment system and has a net worth estimated to be in excess of $100 million. He was the former aide to Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor. Goldhaber also has close ties to the Transcendental Meditation movement.

Though it is not on the ballot as of now, the NLP is interesting in that Hagelin filed a written notice with the Reform Party to seek its nomination for president. When the former Perot forces turned to him to prevent Buchanan's winning the nomination, he received a slight boost. At the national convention they staged a walkout and had a rump convention across the street from the official one, where they nominated Hagelin as the Reform candidate. Hagelin and his supporters plan to go to court and declare Buchanan's nomination invalid (most likely so that Hagelin will receive the matching federal funds), but Buchanan will most likely win the fight and keep the Reform nomination.

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