Reform Party of the United States of America
Overview
The Reform Party of the United States of America (abbreviated Reform Party USA or RPUSA, generally known simply as the Reform Party) is a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, founded in 1995 by Ross Perot
Ross Perot
Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

. Perot said Americans were disillusioned with the state of politics—as being corrupt and unable to deal with vital issues—and desired a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Encyclopedia
The Reform Party of the United States of America (abbreviated Reform Party USA or RPUSA, generally known simply as the Reform Party) is a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, founded in 1995 by Ross Perot
Ross Perot
Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

. Perot said Americans were disillusioned with the state of politics—as being corrupt and unable to deal with vital issues—and desired a viable alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. The party has nominated different candidates over the years, such as founder Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, and Ralph Nader.

The party's most significant victory came when Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura
James George Janos , better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host...

 was elected governor of Minnesota in 1998. Since then, the party has been rebuilt to eliminate infighting and disagreements.

Ross Perot's efforts in the 1992 presidential election

The Party grew out of Perot's efforts in the 1992 presidential election, where—running as an independent—he became the first non-major party candidate since 1912 to have been considered viable enough to win the presidency. Perot made a splash by bringing a focus to fiscal issues such as the federal deficit and national debt
Government debt
Government debt is money owed by a central government. In the US, "government debt" may also refer to the debt of a municipal or local government...

; government reform issues such as term limits, campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

, and lobbying reform; and issues on trade. A large part of his following was grounded in the belief he was addressing vital problems largely ignored by the two major parties.

A Gallup poll showed Perot with a slim lead, but on July 19 he suspended his campaign, accusing Republican operatives of threatening to sabotage his daughter's wedding, and was accused by Newsweek Magazine of being a "quitter" in a well-publicized cover-page article. After resuming his campaign on October 1, Perot was dogged by the "quitter" moniker and other allegations concerning his character, to the extent that on Election Day many voters were confused as to whether Perot was actually still a candidate. He ended up receiving about 18.9% of the popular vote, a record level of popularity not seen in an independent candidacy since former President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 ran on the "Bull Moose" Progressive
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 ticket in 1912. He continued being politically involved after the election, formally turning his campaign organization (United We Stand America
United We Stand America
United We Stand America was the name selected by Texas businessman H. Ross Perot for his citizen action organization after his 1992 independent political campaign for President of the United States. Perot's 19% showing in the 1992 election was sufficient to entitle him to federal matching funds...

) into a lobbying group. One of his primary goals was the defeat of the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

 (NAFTA) during this period.

1995

In 1995, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, largely on the strength of the "Contract With America
Contract with America
The Contract with America was a document released by the United States Republican Party during the 1994 Congressional election campaign. Written by Larry Hunter, who was aided by Newt Gingrich, Robert Walker, Richard Armey, Bill Paxon, Tom DeLay, John Boehner and Jim Nussle, and in part using text...

", which recognized and promised to deal with many of the issues Perot's voters had mobilized to support in 1992. However, two of the major provisions (Constitutional amendments for term limits and the balanced budgets) failed to secure the two-thirds congressional majorities required to take effect. The term limits amendment vote failed in the house on a 227-204-1 vote (288 votes were required); the balanced budget amendment passed in the House of Representatives, but failed by two votes in the Senate. (Sen. Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

 voted against the amendment on procedural grounds when it became apparent that it was going to fail; by voting no he could attempt to bring it up again at a later date. A second vote on the amendment in the Senate in 1997 failed by one vote in a 66-34 split.)

Dissatisfied, the grassroots organizations that had made Perot's 1992 candidacy possible began to band together to found a third party intended to rival the Republicans and Democrats. For legal reasons, the party ended up being called the "Reform Party" ("Independent Party" was preferred, but already taken, as were several variants on the name). A drive to get the party on the ballot in all fifty states succeeded, although it ended with lawsuits in some regions over state ballot access
Ballot access
Ballot access rules, called nomination rules outside the United States, regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is either entitled to stand for election or to appear on voters' ballots...

 requirements. In a few areas, minor parties became incorporated as state party organizations.

1996 presidential election

When the 1996 election season arrived, Perot at first held off from entering the contest for the Reform Party's presidential nomination, calling for others to try for the ticket. The only person who announced such an intention was Dick Lamm
Richard Lamm
Richard Douglas "Dick" Lamm is an American politician, Certified Public Accountant, college professor, and lawyer. He served three terms as 38th Governor of Colorado as a Democrat and ran for the Reform Party's nomination for President of the United States in 1996.He is currently the Co-Director...

, former Governor of Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

. After the Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. It was created in a provision of the 1975 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act...

 indicated only Perot and not Lamm would be able to secure federal matching funds—because his 1992 campaign was as an independent—Perot entered the race. Some were upset that Perot changed his mind and in their view overshadowed Lamm's run for the party nomination. This built up to the beginning of a splinter within the movement when it was alleged certain problems in the primary process, such as many Lamm supporters not receiving ballots, and some primary voters receiving multiple ballots, were Perot's doing. The Reform Party claimed these problems stemmed from the petition process for getting the Reform Party on the ballot in all of the states, since the party claimed they used the names and addresses of petition signers as the basis of who received ballots. Primary ballots were sent by mail to designated voters. Eventually, Perot was nominated and he chose economist Pat Choate
Pat Choate
Patrick Choate is an American economist who is perhaps most known for being the 1996 Reform Party Vice President candidate, the running-mate of H. Ross Perot...

 as his vice-presidential candidate.

Between 1992 and 1996, the Commission on Presidential Debates
Commission on Presidential Debates
The Commission on Presidential Debates began in 1987 by the Democratic and Republican parties to establish the way that presidential election debates are run between candidates for President of the United States...

 changed its rules regarding how candidates could qualify to participate in the presidential debates. As Perot had previously done very well in debates, it was a decisive blow to the campaign when the Commission ruled that he could not participate on basis of somewhat vague criteria — such as that a candidate was required to have already been endorsed by "a substantial number of major news organizations", with "substantial" being a number to be decided by the Commission on a case-by-case basis. Perot could not have qualified for the debates in 1992 under these rules, and was able to show that various famous US presidents would likewise have been excluded from modern debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Despite legal action by the Perot team, and an 80% majority of Americans supporting his participation in the debates, the Commission refused to budge and Perot was reduced to making his points heard via a series of half-hour "commercials". In the end, Perot and Choate won 8% of the vote.

As Jackie Salit noted in the Christian Science Monitor: "At its founding meeting in Kansas City in 1997, the 40 black delegates in the room, led by the country’s foremost African-American independent – Lenora Fulani
Lenora Fulani
Lenora Branch Fulani is an American psychologist, psychotherapist, and political activist. She may be best known for her presidential campaigns and development of youth programs serving minority communities in the New York City area...

 – represented the first time in US history that African-Americans were present at the founding of a major national political party."

1997

By 1997, factional disputes began to emerge with the departure of a small group that believed Perot had rigged the 1996 party primary to defeat Lamm. These individuals eventually established the American Reform Party
American Reform Party
The American Reform Party is a minor political party in the United States that was formed in a factional split from the larger Reform Party of the United States in October 1997...

. During this time, Perot himself chose to concentrate his efforts on lobbying efforts through United We Stand America
United We Stand America
United We Stand America was the name selected by Texas businessman H. Ross Perot for his citizen action organization after his 1992 independent political campaign for President of the United States. Perot's 19% showing in the 1992 election was sufficient to entitle him to federal matching funds...

.

Mid-term elections of 1998

In 1998, the Reform Party received a boost when Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura
James George Janos , better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host...

 was elected governor of Minnesota.
According to the League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters is an American political organization founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt during the last meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association approximately six months before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote...

, The Reform Party USA obtained more votes nationwide in 1998 than did any other third party in America (without those garnered by Ventura). Counting Ventura's performance, Reformers took in more votes than all other third parties in the United States combined, establishing the Reform Party as America's third largest party.

2000 presidential election

The Reform Party's presidential candidate for the 2000 election was due federal matching funds of $12.5 million, based on Perot's 8% showing in 1996. Early on, there was a failed effort to draft Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Donald John Trump, Sr. is an American business magnate, television personality and author. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Trump's extravagant lifestyle, outspoken manner and role on the NBC reality show The Apprentice have...

 entered the race briefly, giving television interviews outlining his platform. Trump was progressive on social issues, and supported allowing openly gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 soldiers in the military, saying: "it would not disturb me." Trump considered himself a conservative, but criticized Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

, saying: "I'm on the conservative side, but Buchanan is Attila the Hun
Attila the Hun
Attila , more frequently referred to as Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in 453. He was leader of the Hunnic Empire, which stretched from the Ural River to the Rhine River and from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea. During his reign he was one of the most feared...

."
He withdrew from the race citing the party's infighting., as did Jesse Ventura and the Minnesota Reform Party.

Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

 decided to leave the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 because: "The Republican Party at the national level has ceased to be my party. This divorce began around the end of the Cold War when President (George) Bush declared it to be a New World-order party and began intervening all over the world. While he and I were allies and friends during the Cold War, I just felt that once the Cold War was over the United States should return to a more traditional non-intervention foreign policy."

It was suggested that John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 seek the party's endorsement.

After a bitter fight, Pat Buchanan secured the Reform Party nomination over John Hagelin
John Hagelin
John Samuel Hagelin is an American particle physicist, three-time candidate of the Natural Law Party for President of the United States , and the director of the Transcendental Meditation movement for the US....

 of the Natural Law Party. Hagelin and an anti-Buchanan faction walked out and held a separate convention across the street, where they nominated Hagelin as the party's candidate. The dispute went to the courts and the FEC decided that Buchanan was the legitimate nominee and awarded him $12.6 million in campaign funds. Buchanan's running mate was Ezola B. Foster
Ezola B. Foster
Ezola Broussard Foster is an American activist, writer, and politician. She is president of Black Americans for Family Values, authored the book What's Right for All Americans, and was the Reform Party candidate for Vice President in the U.S. presidential election of 2000...

. Buchanan got 449,225 votes, 0.4% of those voting, and the party lost its matching funds
Matching funds
Matching funds, a term used to describe the requirement or condition that a generally minimal amount of money or services-in-kind originate from the beneficiaries of financial amounts, usually for a purpose of charitable or public good.-Charitable causes:...

 for 2004.

In 2002, Buchanan returned to the Republican Party.

2004 presidential election

By the October 2003 National Convention, the Reform Party had only begun rebuilding, but several former state organizations had elected to rejoin now that the interference from the Freedom Parties was gone.They increased their ranks from 24 to 30 states, and managed to retrieve ballot access for seven of them. (Buchanan's poor showing in 2000 had lost ballot access for almost the entire party.)

Because of organizational and financial problems in the party, it opted to support the independent campaign of Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 as the best option for an independent of any stripe that year. While the endorsement generated publicity for Nader and the Reform Party, the party was only able to provide Nader with seven ballot lines down from the 49 of 51 guaranteed ballot lines the party had going into the 2000 election.

In early 2005, press releases from the Reform Party indicated that the party was in the process of rebuilding, with appeals for donations, attempts to reconstitute state party affiliates that were lost during the breakaways of such groups as the Independence Party of Minnesota
Independence Party of Minnesota
The Independence Party of Minnesota , formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is the third largest political party in Minnesota, behind the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Republican Party . It is the political party of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura , and endorsed former U.S...

 and the America First Party
America First Party (2002)
The America First Party is a paleoconservative third party in the United States.The party was formed in 2002 when a group of Pat Buchanan supporters left the Reform Party. The party is pro-life, opposes all gun control, seeks to end affirmative action, racial quotas, and illegal and unlimited...

, and the election of new party officials.

Activities of the party in 2005

In 2005, a dispute arose: the number of National Committee members required under the party's by-laws to call meetings of the National Committee and the Executive Committee did so. These members came from several states including Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. At both meetings, it was determined that a national convention would be called and held in Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

. The Chairman at the time and National Committee members from Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, and Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

 refused to attend the National and Executive Committee meetings, rejected the legitimacy of that convention and boycotted it as illegitimate. As a result those states held a second convention in Yuma. Arizona.

In response to a suit filed by the group that met in Tampa, leaders of the Reform Party filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization...

 (RICO) complaint claiming the Tampa group were extremists and guilty of conspiracy.

2006 candidates

In 2006, the Reform Party nominated candidates in Arizona, and was petitioning to regain ballot access in several other states where state Reform Party organizations were active. The Reform Party of Kansas nominated a slate of candidates led by Iraq War veteran Richard Ranzau. In Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, a former assistant U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator and Navy veteran with credentials as a fiscal conservative, Eric Eidsness
Eric Eidsness
'— Incumbent Marilyn Musgrave , a Republican who was the chief sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment won a surprisingly close 45.6% to 43.1% reelection in 2006 despite the Republican-leaning nature of her eastern Colorado district...

, ran on the Reform Party ticket in Colorado's 4th congressional district
Colorado's 4th congressional district
Colorado's 4th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located in the eastern part of the state, the district encompasses most of the rural Eastern Plains as well as the larger cities of Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Longmont along Colorado's Front...

 in 2006 and received 11.28% of the vote, five times the winning candidate's margin of victory; he later switched his affiliation to the Democratic Party. The Florida Reform Party granted use of its ballot line for governor to Max Linn
Max Linn
Max Linn is an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. He was the Reform Party nominee for governor of Florida in the 2006 election. He was defeated by Republican Charlie Crist.-Background:...

 of Florida Citizens for Term Limits (a Republican-leaning organization) in the 2006 gubernatorial election
Florida gubernatorial election, 2006
The 2006 Florida gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Governor Jeb Bush was term-limited, and could not run for re-election. Republican Charlie Crist, the state's Attorney General, won the election for Governor of Florida.-Democrats:...

. Linn retained professional campaign staff with connections to the Perot and Ventura campaigns, but received only 1.9% of the vote. As of March 2007 the Reform Party had ballot access for the presidential election in 2008 in four states (Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi) and had already started petitioning in an additional four.

2008 National Convention

The Reform Party held its 2008 National Convention in Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

, July 18–20.

At the national convention, Ted Weill
Ted Weill
Theodore "Ted" Weill was the nominee for President of the United States of the Reform Party of the United States of America in the 2008 election...

 of Mississippi was nominated to be the party's 2008 presidential candidate. Frank McEnulty
Frank McEnulty
Frank Edward McEnulty is an American businessperson and politician. In the 2008 presidential election, he was both the Vice Presidential nominee of the Reform Party of the United States of America and the presidential nominee of the New American Independent Party. His running mate was Bobby...

 of California, the 2008 presidential candidate of the New American Independent Party, was nominated to be the party's 2008 vice-presidential candidate. Also, David Collison
David Collison
David Collison is the national chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America. He was elected national chairman at the party's 2008 national convention in Dallas, Texas.-Political background:...

 of Texas was elected national chairman of the party. However, the party could not announce the results of the national convention on its web site until October because of a court order obtained by a dissident faction associated with the Independence Party of New York
Independence Party of New York
The Independence Party is an affiliate in the U.S. state of New York of the Independence Party of America. The party was founded in 1991 by Dr. Gordon Black, Tom Golisano, and Laureen Oliver from Rochester, New York, and acquired ballot status in 1994...

. Therefore, the Weill/McEnulty ticket appeared on the ballot only in Mississippi, in which it received 481 votes.

An erroneous news report was broadcast by ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

 that stated the party had endorsed John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

. Frank MacKay of the dissident Independence Party of New York
Independence Party of New York
The Independence Party is an affiliate in the U.S. state of New York of the Independence Party of America. The party was founded in 1991 by Dr. Gordon Black, Tom Golisano, and Laureen Oliver from Rochester, New York, and acquired ballot status in 1994...

 faction had made the endorsement, not the Reform Party USA. Reform Party USA Reference David Collison
David Collison
David Collison is the national chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America. He was elected national chairman at the party's 2008 national convention in Dallas, Texas.-Political background:...

, the Reform Party's chairman, said during a 2009 interview, "Do you believe that any legitimate national party would endorse the Republican candidate for President rather than have a candidate of their own?"

The candidates for the nomination included:
  • Alan Keyes
    Alan Keyes
    Alan Lee Keyes is an American conservative political activist, author, former diplomat, and perennial candidate for public office. A doctoral graduate of Harvard University, Keyes began his diplomatic career in the U.S...

    , a former diplomat
    Diplomat
    A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

     and Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

     candidate
  • Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank Edward McEnulty is an American businessperson and politician. In the 2008 presidential election, he was both the Vice Presidential nominee of the Reform Party of the United States of America and the presidential nominee of the New American Independent Party. His running mate was Bobby...

     who eventually became the Vice Presidential candidate
  • Ted Weill
    Ted Weill
    Theodore "Ted" Weill was the nominee for President of the United States of the Reform Party of the United States of America in the 2008 election...

    , an activist from Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

  • Daniel Imperato
    Daniel Imperato
    Daniel Imperato is an American businessman, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States in 2008. Imperato has also unsuccessfully sought the Green Party, Reform Party, and Constitution Party nominations...

     who later joined the Libertarian Party
    Libertarian Party (United States)
    The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

  • Gene Chapman, a blogger from Denton, Texas
    Denton, Texas
    The city of Denton is the county seat of Denton County, Texas in the United States. Its population was 119,454 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, making it the eleventh largest city in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex...


2009 legal action

A long standing feud in the party involved John Blare, of the Reform Party of California
Reform Party of California
The Reform Party of California is the state of California's affiliate of the Reform Party of the United States of America. It held its first state-wide conference at the Los Angeles Convention center on June 1–2, 1996, where about 1,000 members gathered to hear 1992 presidential candidate Ross...

, and the Reform Party officers.

On December 4, 2009, a New York Federal judge heard MacKay v Crews on the question of who are the legal Reform Party officers. On December 16, 2009 the judge ruled in favor of David Collison
David Collison
David Collison is the national chairman of the Reform Party of the United States of America. He was elected national chairman at the party's 2008 national convention in Dallas, Texas.-Political background:...

's faction.

Collison said: "After over two years of litigation in Texas and New York, it is my profound pleasure to announce that US District Court Judge Joseph Bianco of the Eastern District of New York has ruled in our favor, and has further reinforced the 2008 ruling of Judge Carl Ginsberg of the 193rd District Court in Texas."

2010

In January 2010, Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 operations officer Charles S. Faddis announced his support of the party in The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Sun
The Baltimore Sun is the U.S. state of Maryland’s largest general circulation daily newspaper and provides coverage of local and regional news, events, issues, people, and industries....

: "I have decided to throw in my lot with the Reform Party of the United States."

In February 2010, former Reform Party Chairman Pat Choate
Pat Choate
Patrick Choate is an American economist who is perhaps most known for being the 1996 Reform Party Vice President candidate, the running-mate of H. Ross Perot...

 emerged to discuss the appeal of the Tea Party movement
Tea Party movement
The Tea Party movement is an American populist political movement that is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009...

, contrasting it with Ross Perot's party, saying: "The difference with the Tea Party is it's been heavily pushed by a bunch of talk-show conservatives. You have the Republican Party attempting to use this as a means to pull independents or conservative independents to their policies, to their agenda."

In February, Congressional
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 candidates filed to run as Reform Party candidates in all four of Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

's congressional districts, but none for any statewide offices. Among these are Barbara Dale Washer, Tracella Lou O'Hara Hill, and Anna Jewel Revies.
In April 2010, Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

 condemned the Reform Party on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, saying: "Many remember the Reform Party of the 1990s, which formed around the candidacy of Ross Perot. I sure do, because it eliminated any chance that President George H.W. Bush and I would prevail over Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. Speaking on behalf of the Bush-Quayle campaign, to this day we firmly believe that Perot cost the Republican Party the White House."

Pat Choate, on April 28, 2010 to give an interview to Monmouth University
Monmouth University
Monmouth University is a private university located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, United States.Founded in 1933 as Monmouth Junior College, it became Monmouth College in 1956, and later Monmouth University in 1995 after receiving its charter....

's student newspaper. In it he remained suspicious of the Tea Party movement, saying: "At these [Tea Party] events, a professional Republican always speaks. What to me is questionable is that the Tea Parties endorse candidates, but never endorse Democrats—they seem to be a front for the Republican Party. We were seen as very serious. Perot gave millions, we fielded candidates, and we were a real threat to the status quo. The media treats the Tea Parties as a sign of dissatisfaction, and views them skeptically."

Kristin Davis
Kristin Davis (politician)
Kristin M. Davis, formerly known as the Manhattan Madam, is a former madam famous for having run one of the prostitution rings that Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer frequented prior to the scandal leading to his resignation....

, the Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 madam
Madam
Madam, or madame, is a polite title used for women which, in English, is the equivalent of Mrs. or Ms., and is often found abbreviated as "ma'am", and less frequently as "ma'm". It is derived from the French madame, which means "my lady", the feminine form of lord; the plural of ma dame in this...

 involved in the Elliot Spitzer scandal, announced on June 27, 2010 that she was running for Governor using the Reform Party name after failing to secure to Libertarian Party
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

 nomination. Davis condemned the Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 and Republicans for catering to wealthy Caucasian males, saying: "Where are the women, the Hispanics, the African-Americans and the gay people? We must reject their tired old thinking...."

On June 29, 2010, Reform Party National Committee chairman David Collison sent Davis a cease-and-desist notice demanding that she immediately change the name under which she is seeking to run for Governor. Davis, made no attempt to obtain permission to run as an official Reform Party candidate, and therefore withdrew her use of the Reform Party name. Davis is not a member of the Reform Party. Davis never contacted the Reform Party NYS, and changed her Independent Ballot line name.She did file as an independent candidate by obtaining the required signatures needed in New York State to run for Governor, officially as an independent.

Presidential tickets

  • 1996 – Ross Perot
    Ross Perot
    Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

     and Pat Choate
    Pat Choate
    Patrick Choate is an American economist who is perhaps most known for being the 1996 Reform Party Vice President candidate, the running-mate of H. Ross Perot...

     - 8,085,402 votes
  • 2000 – Pat Buchanan
    Pat Buchanan
    Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

     and Ezola B. Foster
    Ezola B. Foster
    Ezola Broussard Foster is an American activist, writer, and politician. She is president of Black Americans for Family Values, authored the book What's Right for All Americans, and was the Reform Party candidate for Vice President in the U.S. presidential election of 2000...

      - 448,895 votes
  • 2004 – Ralph Nader
    Ralph Nader
    Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

     and Peter Miguel Camejo - 465,650 votes
  • 2008 – Ted Weill
    Ted Weill
    Theodore "Ted" Weill was the nominee for President of the United States of the Reform Party of the United States of America in the 2008 election...

     and Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank Edward McEnulty is an American businessperson and politician. In the 2008 presidential election, he was both the Vice Presidential nominee of the Reform Party of the United States of America and the presidential nominee of the New American Independent Party. His running mate was Bobby...

     - 481 votes

Platform

The Reform Party platform includes the following:
  • Maintaining a balanced budget, ensured by passing a Balanced Budget Amendment
    Balanced Budget Amendment
    A balanced-budget amendment is a constitutional rule requiring that the state cannot spend more than its income. It requires a balance between the projected receipts and expenditures of the government....

     and changing budgeting practices, and paying down the federal debt
  • Campaign finance reform
    Campaign finance reform
    Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

    , including strict limits on campaign contributions and the outlawing of the Political action committee
    Political action committee
    In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

  • Enforcement of existing immigration
    Immigration
    Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

     laws and opposition to illegal immigration
    Illegal immigration
    Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

  • Opposition to free trade
    Free trade
    Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

     agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement
    North American Free Trade Agreement
    The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

     and Central America Free Trade Agreement, and a call for withdrawal from the World Trade Organization
    World Trade Organization
    The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

  • Term limits on U.S. Representatives
    United States House of Representatives
    The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

     and Senators
    United States Senate
    The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

  • Direct election of the United States President by popular vote
  • Federal elections held on weekends


A noticeable absence from the Reform Party platform has been social issues, including abortion and gay rights. Reform Party representatives had long stated beliefs that their party could bring together people from both sides of these issues, which they consider divisive, to address what they considered to be more vital concerns as expressed in their platform. The idea was to form a large coalition of moderates; that intention was overridden in 2001 by the Buchanan takeover which rewrote the RPUSA Constitution to specifically include platform planks opposed to any form of abortion. The Buchananists, in turn, were overridden by the 2002 Convention which specifically reverted the Constitution to its 1996 version and the party's original stated goals.

Active state affiliates

The party's active state affiliates are:
  • Reform Party of Texas
  • Mississippi Reform Party
    Mississippi Reform Party
    The Mississippi Reform Party is the state party organization for Mississippi of the Reform Party of the United States of America.In the 1990s, Ted Weill founded the Independent Party of Mississippi. Weill received 13,861 votes in his bid for Senate...

  • Reform Party of California
    Reform Party of California
    The Reform Party of California is the state of California's affiliate of the Reform Party of the United States of America. It held its first state-wide conference at the Los Angeles Convention center on June 1–2, 1996, where about 1,000 members gathered to hear 1992 presidential candidate Ross...

  • Reform Party of New Jersey
    Reform Party of New Jersey
    The Reform Party of New Jersey is the state party organization for New Jersey of the Reform Party of the United States of America. It is the successor to the defunct New Jersey Reform Party...

     (refounded in 2010)
  • Reform Party of Florida
    Reform Party of Florida
    The Reform Party of Florida is the state party organization for Florida of the Reform Party of the United States of America.-2000 campaign controversy:...

  • Reform Party of Kansas
  • Reform Party of New York State
    Reform Party of New York State
    The Reform Party of New York State is the state party organization for New York State of the Reform Party of the United States of America.-Reform Party USA Logo:...


See also

  • List of political parties in the United States
  • Third party (United States)
    Third party (United States)
    The term third party is used in the United States for any and all political parties in the United States other than one of the two major parties . The term can also refer to independent politicians not affiliated with any party at all and to write-in candidates.The United States has had a...

  • Ballot access
    Ballot access
    Ballot access rules, called nomination rules outside the United States, regulate the conditions under which a candidate or political party is either entitled to stand for election or to appear on voters' ballots...

  • Write-in candidate
    Write-in candidate
    A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name. Some states and local jurisdictions allow a voter to affix a sticker with a write-in candidate's name on it to the ballot in lieu...

  • Absentee ballot
    Absentee ballot
    An absentee ballot is a vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to attend the official polling station. Numerous methods have been devised to facilitate this...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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