Reform Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2000

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Reform Party Presidential Primaries, 2000
United States
1996 ←
2000
→ 2004

  Patrickjbuchanan.JPG John S. Hagelin.jpg
Nominee Pat Buchanan John Hagelin
Party Reform Reform
Home state Virginia Iowa
Running mate Ezola B. Foster Nat Goldhaber
States carried 47 + D.C. 3
Popular vote 49,529 28,539
Percentage 63.44% 36.56%

2000ReformMailInBallotResults.svg

Mail-In Presidential Primary results map.

Following Ross Perot's impressive showing during the 1996 presidential election, the Reform Party of the United States of America became the country's largest third party. The party's 2000 presidential candidate would be entitled to $12.5 million in matching funds. Several high-profile candidates vied for the nomination, including Donald Trump, Pat Buchanan, and physicist John Hagelin. For a brief time, Congressman John B. Anderson and Congressman Ron Paul were considered potential candidates, but both ultimately declined to seek the nomination.

The party's 2000 candidates received a great deal of media attention, particularly after a dispute at the party's national convention in Long Beach, California led to a schism and the formation of a rebel faction. Supporters of physicist John Hagelin refused to accept Pat Buchanan as the party's chairman, and staged a walk-out, which was broadcast live on television.

Ultimately, a court decided Buchanan was the party's nominee, however, the drama surrounding the convention is often credited with leading to the downfall of the Reform Party.

The campaign[edit]

Buchanan enters race[edit]

During the 1992 Republican Presidential Primaries, television commentator Pat Buchanan fared extremely well and received 22.96% of the total vote. During his 1996 bid, Buchanan spent a brief time as the Republican front-runner; his campaign carried four states, including New Hampshire, Alaska, Missouri, and Louisiana. Buchanan re-entered the presidential race in 2000, hoping to be the primary "Stop Bush" candidate. He was, however, viewed much less favorably by his fellow Republicans, and he struggled to place fifth during an Iowa Straw Poll.[1]

Reform Party member William von Raab launched a "Draft Buchanan" movement, and in October 1999 Buchanan announced his departure from the Republican Party, disparaging them (along with the Democrats) as a "beltway party." He announced that he would seek the presidential nomination of the Reform Party, and immediately sought to align himself with the "Russ Verney faction" of the party. Some in the Reform Party voiced concerns that Buchanan, ardently pro-life and anti-gay rights, would inadvertently move the party too far to the right. During a meeting with Reform Party leadership at Pat Choate's Washington, D.C. home, Buchanan assured the party elite that his campaign would not address social issues, instead focusing on economic policy.[2]

At the time Buchanan entered the race, the Reform Party was engulfed in a feud between the supporters of Ross Perot and newly elected Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who, as the Reform Party's highest elected official, was rumored to be considering a presidential bid on the party ticket in 2004. Buchanan's campaign immediately aligned itself with diverse factions within the party, including Russ Verney and Marxist Lenora Fulani.[3]

On November 12, 1999 Fulani formally endorsed Buchanan, saying: "We are going to integrate that peasant army of his. We are going to bring black folks, Latino folks, gay folks and liberal folks into that army...I'm going to take Pat Buchanan to 125th Street in Harlem. We are going to have lunch at Sylvia's. I am going to take him to speak at Reverend Sharpton's National Action Network." [4] Fulani became Buchanan's campaign co-chair.

At the same time, the Buchanan campaign began to gain support among White Nationalists.[5][6] He won the endorsement of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who quit the Republican Party and joined the Reform Party to aid in Buchanan's campaign.[7] It should be noted, however, that almost all white nationalists left the Reform Party following the campaign; in 2004 the party nominated Lebanese-American Ralph Nader as its presidential candidate.

Trump enters race[edit]

Supporters of the Jesse Ventura faction began encouraging Donald Trump to enter the race, likely as a placeholder for Ventura, who said he would not consider a presidential bid until after his term as governor ended. On October 25, 1999 Trump joined the Reform Party.[8][9] and for a brief time he seemed to be a credible alternative to Buchanan. His pre-campaign gained a great deal of media attention. It seemed as though the primaries would amount to a showdown between Buchanan and Trump, the latter of whom remained confident he could win not only the primary, but also the general election. Trump told reporters: "It's not so much the Reform Party, it's really the fact that I'd want to make that if I ran and spent a lot of money I could actually win, I could beat that Democrat-Republican apparatus." [10]

On October 19, 1999 Donald Trump announced he would file to appear on the California primary ballot.[11] During the California primary, he received 15,311 votes.[12] Trump ultimately withdrew his candidacy. During an appearance on The Today Show, he stated: "The Reform Party is a total mess! You have Buchanan, a right winger, and you have Fulani, a Communist, and they have merged.... I don't know what you have!" [13]

Schism[edit]

World renowned physicist John Hagelin, developer of the popular "String Theory," also entered the race for the Reform Party nomination. Hagelin had run for president in both 1992 and 1996 on the Natural Law Party ticket.

During his 2000 campaign, Hagelin appeared on ABC's Nightline (2000)[14] and Politically Incorrect (2000),[15][16] NBC's Meet the Press (2000),[17] CNN's Larry King Live,[18] PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer,[19] Inside Politics, CNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal.[20]

In July it was announced that Hagelin and Buchanan would be the only two candidates on the primary ballot.[21] Supporters of Hagelin later charged the results of the party's open primary, which favored Buchanan by a wide margin, were "tainted." Buchanan countered that Russ Verney had allowed the Hagelin campaign to mail a "Stop Buchanan" pamphlet using official "Reform Party" envelopes.[22]

Much to the dismay of many Reform Party members, it became clear that the Hagelin campaign intended to merge the Natural Law Party, which was based on the teachings of Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with the secular Reform Party.[23] On August 2, Buchanan's website posted a copy of a proposed resolution to merge the two parties.[24]

The animosity between the two campaigns reached a breaking point at the party's convention in Long Beach, California.[25] Buchanan supporters blocked Hagelin and his delegates from entering the convention.[26] Hagelin's supporters declared the convention illegitimate, and announced their own rival convention nearby, where they endorsed John Hagelin as their presidential candidate.[27]

With two individuals both claiming to be the Reform Party candidate, a court would have to determine who would be permitted to appear on the ballot and receive the $12.5 million in matching funds.

Results of the Mail-In Primary by State[edit]

States won by Pat Buchanan
States won by John Hagelin
Pat Buchanan John Hagelin Margin State Total
State #  % #  % #  % #
Alabama 222 79.29 58 20.71 164 58.58 280 AL
Alaska 549 79.80 139 20.20 410 59.60 688 AK
Arizona 1,042 72.77 390 27.23 652 45.54 1,432 AZ
Arkansas 347 80.70 83 19.30 264 61.40 430 AR
California 8,166 51.95 7,554 48.05 612 3.90 15,720 CA
Colorado 571 43.69 736 56.31 -165 -12.62 1,307 CO
Connecticut 557 63.44 321 36.56 236 26.88 878 CT
Delaware 125 73.10 46 26.90 79 46.20 171 DE
D.C. 78 59.09 54 40.91 24 18.18 132 DC
Florida 2,806 63.93 1,583 36.07 1,223 27.86 4,389 FL
Georgia 807 73.03 298 26.97 509 46.06 1,105 GA
Hawaii 67 35.08 124 64.92 -57 -29.84 191 HI
Idaho 289 73.35 105 26.65 184 46.70 394 ID
Illinois 1,896 79.26 496 20.74 1,400 58.52 2,392 IL
Indiana 931 77.39 272 22.61 659 54.78 1,203 IN
Iowa 1,192 50.90 1,150 49.10 42 1.80 2,342 IA
Kansas 663 69.21 295 30.79 368 38.42 958 KS
Kentucky 571 66.24 291 33.76 280 32.48 862 KY
Louisiana 472 81.66 106 18.34 366 63.32 578 LA
Maine 284 58.32 203 41.68 81 16.64 487 ME
Blocker
Maryland 710 54.64 369 45.36 52 9.28 560 MD
Massachusetts 353 59.03 245 40.97 108 18.06 598 MA
Michigan 726 71.04 296 28.96 430 42.08 1,022 MI
Minnesota 281 41.51 396 58.49 -115 −16.98 677 MN
Mississippi 63 80.77 15 19.23 48 61.54 78 MS
Missouri 401 72.25 154 27.75 247 44.50 555 MO
Montana 137 60.62 89 39.38 48 21.24 226 MT
Nebraska 111 60.99 71 39.01 40 21.98 182 NE
Nevada 235 72.53 89 27.47 146 45.06 324 NV
New Hampshire 173 65.53 91 34.47 82 31.06 264 NH
New Jersey 455 75.71 146 24.29 309 51.42 601 NJ
New Mexico 123 53.02 109 46.98 14 6.04 232 NM
New York 794 69.10 355 30.90 439 38.20 1,149 NY
North Carolina 458 61.39 288 38.61 170 22.78 746 NC
North Dakota 136 63.85 77 36.15 59 27.70 213 ND
Ohio 1,059 74.32 366 25.68 693 48.64 1,425 OH
Oklahoma 1,237 70.36 521 29.64 521 40.72 1,758 OK
Oregon 269 65.61 141 34.39 128 31.22 410 OR
Pennsylvania 752 70.94 308 29.06 444 41.88 1,060 PA
Rhode Island 47 69.12 21 30.88 26 38.24 68 RI
South Carolina 552 67.15 270 32.85 282 34.30 822 SC
South Dakota 69 68.32 32 31.68 37 36.64 101 SD
Tennessee 187 76.02 59 23.98 128 52.04 246 TN
Texas 1,877 72.70 705 27.30 −106,879 45.40 2,582 TX
Utah 88 59.86 59 40.14 29 19.72 147 UT
Vermont 31 65.96 16 34.04 15 31.92 47 VT
Virginia 239 66.76 119 33.24 120 33.52 358 VA
Washington 272 68.86 123 31.14 149 37.72 395 WA
West Virginia 78 72.22 30 27.78 48 44.44 108 WV
Wisconsin 417 71.16 169 28.84 248 42.32 586 WI
Wyoming 254 55.46 204 44.54 50 10.92 458 WY
TOTALS: 32,145 65.25 17,121 34.75 15,024 30.50 49,266 US


Post-Convention[edit]

Ultimately, when the Federal Elections Commission ruled Buchanan was to receive ballot status as the Reform candidate, as well as about $12.6 million in federal campaign funds secured by Perot's showing in the 1996 election, Buchanan won the nomination. In his acceptance speech, Buchanan proposed U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations and expelling the U.N. from New York, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, taxes on inheritance and capital gains, and affirmative action programs.

As his running mate, Buchanan chose African-American activist and retired teacher from Los Angeles, Ezola B. Foster. Buchanan was supported in this election run by future Socialist Party USA presidential candidate Brian Moore, who said in 2008 he supported Buchanan in 2000 because "he was for fair trade over free trade. He had some progressive positions that I thought would be helpful to the common man."[28] On August 19, the New York Right to Life Party, in convention, chose Buchanan as their nominee, with 90% of the districts voting for him.[29]

On November 2, party founder Ross Perot endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president.[30]

The Reform Party never recovered from the 2000 fiasco. Many longtime members departed, the party's funds were depleted, and its reputation severely tarnished. On Election Day, Pat Buchanan only received 448,895 votes, thus losing the Reform Party's ballot access in most states. Buchanan returned to the Republican Party in 2001. During the 2004 election cycle, the Reform Party nominated Ralph Nader in hopes of relinquishing themselves of the "pro-life" label Buchanan had bestowed upon them. In 2008, Ted Weill, who had been a critic of Buchanan, was the party's presidential candidate.

Candidates[edit]

Declined to run[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.politics1.com/buchanan2k.htm
  2. ^ Benjamin, Pat (2007). The Perot Legacy: A New Political Path. iUniverse, Inc. US. ISBN 0-595-70214-7. 
  3. ^ http://www.socialism.com/drupal-6.8/?q=node/1167
  4. ^ http://www.gwu.edu/~action/buchpho.html
  5. ^ http://www.newcomm.org/reports/party.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2002/fall/reforming-right?page=0,1
  7. ^ http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/feb2000/ref-f17.shtml
  8. ^ "Jesse The Body Ventura bodyslams national Reform Party". CNN. 2000-03-13. 
  9. ^ http://www.albionmonitor.com/9910b/copyright/patdonald.html
  10. ^ http://www.twoop.com/people/donald_trump.html
  11. ^ http://www.thegreenpapers.com/News/19991019-0.html
  12. ^ http://primary2000.sos.ca.gov/returns/pres/00.htm
  13. ^ http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-february-14-2000/headlines---men-behaving-bradley
  14. ^ "Campaign 2000". Archive.hagelin.org. 2000-10-30. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  15. ^ http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/john-hagelin/246263 TV Guide
  16. ^ "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher". Tv.msn.com. 2000-08-23. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  17. ^ "Meet The Press". Ontheissues.org. 2000-10-22. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  18. ^ "Larry King Live episode list". Locatetv.com. 1992-01-08. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  19. ^ "PBS transcript of show". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  20. ^ "On The Issues web site". Issues2000.org. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  21. ^ USA Today. 2000-07-02 http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/e2209.htm |url= missing title (help). 
  22. ^ http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20000816040547/http://www.buchanan.org/wn-00-0712-hagelin.html
  23. ^ http://www.culteducation.com/reference/tm/tm15.html
  24. ^ http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20080517041946/http://www.buchanan.org/db00-0802c.html
  25. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/776469/Feud-may-result-in-2-Reform-Party-conventions.html
  26. ^ http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec00/reform_8-10.html
  27. ^ Smit, Matt (2000-08-06). "Buchanan says he'll win fight for Reform Party nomination". CNN. 
  28. ^ "Q&A with Socialist Party presidential candidate Brian Moore". Independent Weekly. 2008-10-08. 
  29. ^ (2000-08-01) Right To Life Party Picks Buchanan, Ballot Access News.
  30. ^ "CNN Transcript". CNN. 

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