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Thread: Nashville Tennessean -- Ebola GAIDS & Me -- 28 July 2001

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Granby, State of Missery, ZOG

    Default Nashville Tennessean -- Ebola GAIDS & Me -- 28 July 2001

    Nashville Tennessean -- Ebola GAIDS & Me -- 28 July 2001


    Martin Lindstedt, 2000 portrait

    Page 1 -- The Nashville Tennessean -- July 28, 2001

    Reform Delegates Seek Agenda For Party

    Factions Continue Fight During Convention Here

    By Rob Johnson
    Staff Writer

    Martin Lindstedt, a Missouri trucker and militia member who has campaigned on a "nationalist, pro-White America First! political platform," threw open his Nashville hotel door when he heard scratching noises in the middle of the night.

    Wearing nothing but underwear, he focussed on the African-American woman who had mistaken his room number for hers. As she apologised for the late-night mix-up, Lindstedt realized he was face-to-face with Pat Buchanan's Reform Party running mate in the 2000 presidential election: "Hey, Your're Ezola Foster."

    Both are in town for the national convention of the Reform Party, the political movement that sprouted up around the presidential candidacy of Ross Perot, delighted in Jesse Ventura's Minnesota gubernatorial victory and has ignited one factional fight after another as it has become Buchanan's platform for his White House aspirations. Perot and Ventura have long since left the party; Buchanan is now its torchbearer.

    Yesterday, some members of the California and Missouri delegations found themselves excluded from the meeting, a sure sign, they said, that the Buchanan loyalists are continuing to hijack the party from its belief in cleaning up government ethics and campaign finance to a party with polarizing stands on social issues such as immigration and abortion.

    Today, for example, the party is scheduled to vote on whether to add an anti-abortion plank to its platform. All around the convention hall were pamphlets and posters warning of the threat of immigrants pouring into the country.

    Page 2: Reform: National convention here proves a study in contrasts

    While the delegates hammered out proposed changes in the party's constitution yesterday, the liveliest conversations took place in the hallways outside the Nashville Convention Center ballroom.

    Foster, gliding through the corridor in her sleek suit and straw hat, encountered Lindstedt, now in jeans and well-worn sneakers. They reminisced about their embarrassed introduction the night before, laughed and chatted briefly.

    She was talking to the Missouri man and party member whom Buchanan had once denounced as "crude, obscene, vile and bigoted in the extreme."

    Into a reporter's hand, Lindstedt pressed a flyer about how the two main political parties represent ''the special interests of minorities, foreign governments like China and Israel, the UN, trial lawyers, homosexuals, gun control, the New World Order, etc.,'' then excused himself.

    As he walked away, Foster said she hadn't realized he was the man her running mate described.

    Foster said she was excited that a party which originally avoided polarizing social stands was now embracing them.

    "That's probably why the party never moved. Because they didn't want to take a stand," she said. "I don't see how you can separate social issues from fiscal issues. I hear people say, 'I'm a fiscal conservative but liberal on social issues.'

    "How can you be? You have to pay for these social issues. And most of this issues are unconstitutional. So, this is the thing that distinguishes us," she said.

    "We, hopefully, tomorrow will be the only party that is truly pro-life. We will be the only party that's truly for the Constitution. We're the only party that truly believes in American sovereignty. Both Democrats and Republican administration want an open-border policy. A country without borders is no country at all."

    Nearby, a candidate for public advocate in New York City worried about the direction of the party.

    "We've got to recruit candidates,'' said Mike Zumbluskas. "If you don't have leaders, well, the grass roots can only grow so big. This country is going down the wrong road,'' he said. He talked about an increasingly two-class society, one that churns out doctors and lawyers but neglects to teach others a trade, forcing blue-collar jobs offshore.

    "However, taking a controversial stand on abortion is not going to help his Reform Party candidacy in New York.

    "Let's face it. It's going to cost me votes. It doesn't have to be."

    Foster thinks otherwise.

    "The Reform Party is representing the American people, and I think what we are trying to do with this party is to represent the silent majority."

    What of militia members with extreme views, such as Lindstedt?

    "I've met a lot of militiamen in Montana," she said. "That's the beauty of this party. We have people that believe so strongly in this nation. There are a few who would go to any extreme to promote their belief, but the vast majority of us believe in going the legal route."


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Reform Party 2000-2001

    Reform Meeting Rallies Around Buchanan



    The last time the Reform Party held a national convention here, in early 2000, there were shouting and shoving matches, with maybe a blow or two struck, and the police were called in to restore order, or some semblance of it.

    So when the party, or what is left of it after its minuscule showing in Election 2000, convened here this weekend for another national convention, the big question was: Will they shout and shove again?

    There was some shouting, but almost all in the form of cheers or exuberant debate. There was no shoving, no fisticuffs. A house detective rested against the back wall of the hotel ballroom where the convention was held.

    This time around, the followers of Patrick J. Buchanan were in iron-fisted control, determined to peacefully finish the revolution they started last year when they muscled aside the Perot-less Perot forces and nominated Mr. Buchanan as the Reform Party's presidential candidate.

    And in a sense they did finish.

    Back when the Perotistas were running things, populist, relatively bloodless issues like free trade, balanced budgets and campaign finance reform were the big debate items at party conventions, the only debate items, really. But the new Reformers, while paying verbal homage to the basic Perot issues, spent most of their time debating basic Buchanan issues, hot-button items that had never come up before at a Reform convention, like abortion, gun control, immigration, cultural identity, marriage, sexual preferences, hate crimes and affirmative action.

    Not every issue ended up as a plank in the party's new manifesto -- inclusion required approval by two-thirds of the delegates, a difficult threshold. But many did, and in the end there was no doubt that the new Reform Party was still locked onto the hard-right Buchanan heading it took at last year's nominating convention in Long Beach, Calif.

    It was pure Buchanan, which was the whole point of the exercise.

    But to what end?

    Only 187 delegates were present, from 37 states. The party chairman, Gerry Moan (he was re-elected), reported that the party treasury held ''maybe three, four thousand bucks.'' Equally bad, Mr. Moan said, is that because Mr. Buchanan pulled only 0.5 percent of the vote last year, the party is no longer eligible to be listed on the ballots of at least 40 states.

    Perhaps most telling of all, Mr. Buchanan himself came and went in less than 30 minutes, speaking only briefly this afternoon, taking no questions and signing few of the ''Go Pat! Go!'' placards and T-shirts proffered by party faithful.

    ''Keep up the good fight,'' he urged, going into his litany about the evils of abortion, free trade that isn't free and national borders as porous as a piece of Swiss cheese.

    ''We grew up in the greatest country on earth, so why do we put up with this mess?'' he fairly shouted, bringing the crowd to its feet and setting off another round of ''Go Pat! Go!'' chanting.

    And then he was out the door. Not a word about whether he would stand with the ''Buchanan Brigades'' while they keep up the good fight.

    The truth is, Mr. Moan conceded in the hallway, Mr. Buchanan has hardly been in touch since the election.

    ''He's pretty well left it up to us,'' Mr. Moan said. ''Essentially we don't hear from him, don't know what he's up to.''

    Mr. Buchanan paused briefly in the hotel lobby to say that he had been busy with other matters and that he was still recovering from a gallbladder operation.

    What should the party do next?

    ''Well, they should keep working at it,'' Mr. Buchanan replied. ''The issues are still out there. There is still a need for such a party.''

    Would he be working with them, or maybe even run again?

    ''We'll see what I can do, but haven't really thought about it yet,'' he said. ''But run again? Right now I'd say no. Going to do some writing and speaking and the like.''

    And Mr. Perot and the Perotistas?

    He has not been seen at a Reform Party affair in years, not since the days when the Republicans and Democrats co-opted many of his best causes. And the Perotistas who tried after his departure to keep things going, people like Russell Verney, his closest political adviser, also have drifted off to other pursuits.

    ''A few of us keep in touch by phone or e-mail,'' Mr. Verney said the other day. ''But the Reform Party we knew is now just a piece of history, an idea. And that's about all we have to talk about.''

    I am The Librarian

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