Document:California Press Release 11 August 2000 Reform Party Chaos Was Inevitable

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14547 Titus Street, Suite 214
Panorama City, CA 91402
For immediate release: August 11, 2000
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 782-8400

Reform Party chaos was "inevitable," Libertarians say

PANORAMA CITY -- The Reform Party's self-destruction, as evidenced by the party's fractured national convention currently underway in Long Beach, was "as inevitable as death and taxes," the Libertarian Party of California announced today.

"The Reform Party has been in a coma for some time, and all signs were pointing towards its eventual demise," said Libertarian state executive director Juan Ros. "The fact is, the Reform Party had lost its leader and its message. Without those, the party could not continue to exist."

According to Libertarians, the Reform Party was doomed to failure for several reasons:

  • The Reform Party formed around a single individual -- and depended on that individual.
"Ross Perot breathed life into the Reform Party," Ros noted. "Without his leadership, the party was lost at sea without direction."
  • The Reform Party had no unifying ideology.
"How else can you explain a party that counted as members a semi-libertarian like Jesse Ventura and a social conservative like Pat Buchanan?" asked Ros. "A party with that much ideological divide among its members cannot survive long."
  • The Reform Party's presidential nominating process invited shenanigans. Under Reform Party rules, any registered voter can ask for a Reform Party presidential primary ballot, regardless of party affiliation or ideology.
"While the party's intent is to create an open nominating process, the result provides an incentive for all sorts of political mischievousness -- exactly the types of actions of which the Buchanan campaign is being accused," Ros noted.
  • The Reform Party caved in to the lure of federal funds.
"For a party built around reform of the campaign system, the Reform Party wasted no time accepting $2.5 million in political welfare for its convention and $12.6 million for its eventual nominee," Ros stated.
"And in the end, the federal handout will drive the final nails in the Reform Party's coffin."

Since 1996 the Reform Party's voter registrations in California have plunged 31%. The party has 13 partisan candidates on the ballot in California, compared to 113 for the Libertarian Party. And as of August 1, the party had obtained ballot status for its presidential candidate in only 31 states.

"The writing's on the wall," Ros concluded. "May the Reform Party rest in peace."