Letters to the Editor

Published the week of July 26-August 1, 2000

It is no surprise that the RFT would wish to smear the presidential campaign of Pat Buchanan. His candidacy represents the worst nightmare of any upwardly mobile left-winger: socially conservative, fiscally liberal.

However, the particular smear used in Jeannette Batz's article ("This Ain't No Party," RFT, July 19) that "several longtime Missouri (Reform Party) members have quit in disgust since an influx of Buchananites drew candidates whose views even state party chair Bill Lewin calls 'objectionable and repugnant'" is as false as it is breathless.

If a candidate were truly a "Buchananite," he or she would certainly have been involved in the Buchanan presidential campaigns of either '92 or '96 (where Buchanan won the Missouri Republican caucuses). However, the candidates you discussed in your article have no history with the Buchanan campaign and were, in fact, active members of the Reform, Democrat, Libertarian or U.S. Taxpayers parties during this period of time.

Further, when it became clear this year that some state candidates had filed for office who had white-supremacist and anti-woman views, at the earliest available opportunity (the state party convention in April), the Buchanan campaign proposed a resolution censuring those views. This proposed resolution was rejected by the state chair, the same Bill Lewin.

The RFT should know that any attempt to tar a candidate by means of guilt by involuntary association will be met by the general public with the same laughter with which they greeted the left's supposedly fatal blow to Ronald Reagan when he was endorsed in '80 and '84 by the Ku Klux Klan.
Don Griffin
Missouri Chairman
Buchanan for President

Donna Adams
At-large Delegate from Missouri
Reform Party Convention 2000

The Libertarian Party stands for more tolerance, more freedom and less government. Your comments associating Martin Lind-stedt with the Libertarian Party were misleading. We have no control over people who use our ballot access to run for office. Under state law, anyone willing to pay the filing fee can run. However, you should have noted that he lost every primary he was in (Libertarian voters overwhelmingly rejected him) and that he is the only person in history to be expelled from the Libertarian Party. I was on the state Libertarian Party executive committee when we voted to expel him for dishonorable conduct, and I can assure everyone that he does not represent the views of the Libertarian Party.

Libertarians believe that the proper role of government is to maintain public order and ensure commercial honesty, not to micromanage the lives of citizens and not to elevate one group over another. Our ideal was expressed by Thomas Jefferson when he said, "A government that prevents men from injuring one another, but leaves them otherwise free." If you are looking for a party that takes a commonsense, nonideological approach to public policy, that believes in keeping the government completely out of the abortion issue, that believes that government monopolies are just as bad or worse than private monopolies, that is totally opposed to corporate welfare, that believes in ending the war on drugs and that believes nobody has a right to someone else's money, you belong in the Libertarian Party.
Dick Illyes
St. Louis County Libertarian Party

I thank writer Jeannette Batz and the RFT for the story about the Reform Party of Missouri and its candidates for office in 2000. The article accurately states that candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds, talents and political views are seeking the Reform Party's nomination in the August primary. Batz's article is an excellent starting point for researching the candidates who are in the Reform Party primary. The Internet is another great way to find out about the candidates. The Reform Party of Missouri provides links to most candidates' Web sites at www.MoReform.org and www.Missouri.Reformparty.org.

My main quibble with the article and cover page is the possible inference that the Reform Party will support any candidate who declares himself or herself a Reformer. This is not true of either our national or state party. Missouri law permits anyone to file as a Reformer by simply paying a filing fee, and our party does provide forums for candidates seeking our nomination, but we do not endorse all candidates who file as Reformers. Two weeks prior to the RFT cover story, in fact, Reformers met in Kansas City and passed a resolution which stated unequivocally that the local party would not support racial supremacists or separatists (the resolution is posted on our Web sites). And I should note that the two candidates who are in our national presidential primary -- Pat Buchanan and John Hagelin -- were even swifter in denouncing racist candidates.

Once again, though, I thank Batz and the Times. You have provided valuable information that will be very useful to St. Louis voters who are considering alternatives to politics as usual. I encourage readers to use the article as a tool to help them make their choices in the Reform primary on Aug. 8. I also urge readers to consider becoming candidates in future elections. America deserves candidates from a wider variety of backgrounds. Let's take back representative government!
Bill Lewin
Reform Party of Missouri

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