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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
July 31, 2000


By Mary Doclar
Star-Telegram Dallas bureau

DALLAS -- Iowa physicist John Hagelin, who wants to become the Reform Party's presidential nominee, said yesterday that the party has been reinvigorated since a weekend vote to remove Pat Buchanan from the ballot.

Seven of 10 Reform Party executive committee members voted Saturday to oust Buchanan from the presidential ticket, citing allegations of campaign fraud and disregard of party rules. Hagelin said during a news conference at the Dallas Press Club that his candidacy is gaining steam.

"The energy, the thirst for new ideas and for a party of, by and for the people is more intense than ever," he said. "Our party has been crippled by the assault on its democratic process. After the catharsis represented by this weekend, the party is able to move foward in a united way."

But Buchanan spokesman Brian Doherty said that the opposition's allegations of campaign fraud are "false and outrageous" and that Buchanan will remain on the ticket. He said Saturday's action was invalid because two members were not certified to vote....

The fracas between Buchanan and Hagelin, a lesser-known political candidate who is aligned with the Natural Law Party, is laying ground for a heated political battle when the Reform Party meets next month in Long Beach, Calif.

Hagelin and Russ Verney, former chairman of the Reform Party, said the vote to oust Buchanan could be overturned by a two-thirds vote of the party's 164-member national committee when it meets in Long Beach on Aug. 8.

But Verney said he is confident that Hagelin will be the party's presidential candidate. The possibility that two-thirds of the national committee will reinstate Buchanan "is incomprehensible to me," Verney said.

Both men accuse Buchanan of padding lists of ballot recipients with Republican donors. Hagelin has said that a preliminary examination of the 400,000 names submitted by the Buchanan campaign revealed that at least 250,000 of those people did not qualify as primary voters....

© 2000 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas

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