July 12, 2000
REFORM PARTY CANDIDATE CHALLENGES
BUCHANAN TO OPEN VOTER LISTS
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- The battle for the Reform Party presidential nomination contest heated up Wednesday as hopeful John Hagelin accused rival Pat Buchanan of padding his list of supporters with party outsiders, including Republicans.
At a press conference at which he accepted the endorsement of the San Francisco Reform Party leadership, Hagelin said that Buchanan, a former Republican, had submitted an extensive voter list to the national committee that included non-Reform party members. The names on that list are given primary ballots and will decide their party's nominee.
"We have reason to believe that this list of over 400,000 names includes members of Pat Buchanan's financial donor base," said Hagelin, a physicist from Connecticut. "And we are demanding in the name of democratic fairness that we have an opportunity to verify that the members on the list submitted by Buchanan -- that is currently off-limits -- contains valid Reform Party voters."
More than 1 million ballots are being mailed out for the Reform Party presidential nomination. Primary voting ends August 9, and the winner will be announced on August 11 at the Reform Party's convention in Long Beach, California.
Hagelin called on Buchanan to either open the list for verification or "withdraw from the presidential primary." ...
Hagelin's nomination from the San Francisco chapter of the Reform Party comes on the heels of his endorsement by the New York Reform Party leadership last week. Hagelin is also expected to pick up the endorsement of Los Angeles party leaders on Thursday. California and New York residents made up the bulk of Reform Party votes cast in 1996.
Hagelin is also seeking the nomination of the Natural Law Party, which he won in 1996 and 1992.