John Hagelin, Nat Goldhaber Win Reform Party Presidential Ticket
In a dramatic and historic week in Long Beach, California, John Hagelin and Nat Goldhaber won the Reform Party presidential and vice presidential nominations and vowed to take their coalition campaign to every home in America.
"I accept with humility and with pride the mantle of Ross Perot," Hagelin said in his acceptance speech to the Reform Party convention.
"We will reclaim our democracy. We will win the White House," he continued, "not through a message of exclusivity and intolerance, but through an inclusive message, and a broad-based platform of commonsense reforms that the overwhelming majority of Americans support."
Nat Goldhaber likewise expressed his appreciation to the delegates and his deep commitment to Reform Party ideals, adding, "It may be difficult for some to believe, but we have a real chance to win the White House this November!"
Hagelin and Goldhaber are virtually assured of also winning the Natural Law Party nomination at the NLP's upcoming National Convention on August 31-September 2 in Alexandria, Virginia. The dual nomination will fulfill Hagelin's quest for a coalition candidacy that can "credibly challenge the two-party stranglehold on our political process."
The Week In Review: What Really Happened?
The Reform Party split into two groups during its national convention--"The Reform Party of the U.S.A." and "Buchanan Reform." The former nominated John Hagelin/Nat Goldhaber, and the latter nominated Pat Buchanan/Ezola Foster. Both groups have submitted nomination papers to the Federal Election Commission, claiming the $12.6 million in federal campaign funds from Ross Perot's 8% showing in the 1996 elections.
But the real Reform Party stands behind John Hagelin. Nine out of the 11 Executive Committee members, the long-term party leaders and rank-and-file, the grassroots support base, and all the strongest states (New York, California, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin, Colorado, etc.) are united in their support of the Hagelin ticket.
The Reform Party has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission, charging that Pat Buchanan (1) committed massive voter fraud during the Reform Party primary and (2) hijacked the Convention in direct violation of party rules.
Timeline: How and Why the Reform Party Split Happened
(June 30) Pat Buchanan and John Hagelin, along with the state Reform Parties, submit lists of voters who purportedly requested presidential primary ballots according to Reform Party election rules.
(July) Buchanan's secret list of 500,000 names is discovered. Hagelin requests an audit of the list, and the Reform Party Presidential Nominations Committee votes in favor, but Buchanan refuses to cooperate. Evidence mounts that the vast majority of Buchanan's list never requested ballots and are derived from Buchanan's Republican donor base.
(July 30) The Reform Party Executive Committee votes 7-0 to disqualify Buchanan from the primary ballot. Buchanan contests the vote, claiming that two voting members were not qualified to participate and therefore that no quorum exists.
(August 8) Buchanan calls an emergency meeting of the Reform Party National Committee in Long Beach. This gathering of 164 Committee members, engineered by Buchanan's supporters, is supposed to decide which contested delegates will be seated at the Convention. It is designed to ensure that Buchanan seats enough Convention delegates to overturn the Executive Committee's vote to disqualify. The meeting takes place in a room paid for by the Buchanan campaign, with security guards paid for by the Buchanan campaign. The media, barred from the proceedings by the Buchanan campaign, wait impatiently outside the room.
The uncontested National Committee delegates are seated according to procedure, with a final count of 21 for Hagelin, 19 for Buchanan. Since at this point there is not a quorum present, Party Secretary Jim Mangia calls for adjournment. But Acting Party Chair Gerry Moan, a Buchanan supporter, overrides Mangia and announces, in direct violation of Reform Party rules, that everyone in the room (which is filled with Buchanan supporters) will be allowed to vote.
He further overrides every attempt by Mangia, by the Party's parliamentarian, and by others to discuss these decisions.
Recognizing that the Buchanan faction is staging a takeover, the longtime Reform Party members try to leave the meeting. They are forcibly restrained by the security guards. In the ensuing scuffle, the door to the meeting room opens and the media film the proceedings. The Party splits; led by Jim Mangia and John Hagelin, the true Reform Party marches down the street to another location.
(August 9) Two separate Conventions are now inevitable. Since the Buchanan faction has control of the $2 million in taxpayer dollars that funded the Convention, the true Reform Party works all night and creates another hall and another Convention from scratch.
(August 10) The Reform Party National Nominating Convention begins. Delegates are seated, and voting on Party business commences. John Hagelin presents his view of a unified Reform Party to the delegates; Pat Buchanan addresses the parallel Buchanan Reform convention.
(August 11) The results of the Reform Party's mail-in and online primary are announced, as scheduled, at the Reform Party Convention. The final tally, as determined by the independent firm E-Ballot, is 49,529 votes for Buchanan and 28,539 for Hagelin. But an estimated 43,000 of the Buchanan votes have been obtained from fraudulent ballots derived from Buchanan's Republican donor base, reducing Buchanan's total to about 6,000 votes and thereby making Hagelin the rightful nominee.
Following the announcement, the Reform Party delegates overwhelmingly elect Hagelin, in full accordance with Reform Party election rules. Hagelin accepts the nomination and also files suit with the FEC against Buchanan.
(August 12) Delegates elect Nat Goldhaber as the Reform Party vice presidential nominee. The Hagelin/Goldhaber ticket begins its national campaign tour, with its eyes on the White House.
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