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    Reform School Politics

    By Ken Rudin
    Special to
    Friday, April 2, 1999

    Question: What chance does the Reform Party have for taking seats in Congress next year, adding another governor to join Minnesota's Jesse Ventura, and possibly winning the presidency? It seems like people are becoming apathetic with the process on a national level. I think we could see a huge swing in turnout if they put out candidates who excite voters – Micah Bergdale, Dewey, Ariz.

    The Reform Party needs more than Jesse Venutra to grow nationally. (Collection of Ken Rudin)
    Answer: Minnesota is probably the place to look to see if the Reform Party remains viable, given the national attention that came to the state following last year's upset victory by now-Gov. Ventura. A lot of statewide media focus was directed at a March 30 special state Senate election that was necessitated following the resignation of a Democratic incumbent. Gov. Ventura had enthusiastically endorsed the Reform candidate, a jeweler named Terry Anderson. Anderson lost, but pulled in 20 percent of the vote.

    The Reformers get another opportunity on April 13, when another special Senate election will be held. Reform Party leaders in the state also have spoken with former Democratic congressman Tim Penny about challenging Sen. Rod Grams (R) in 2000. If there is going to be an increase in Reform Party candidates nationwide next year, an early indication may be found at the party's national convention this July in Dearborn, Mich.

    One factor that could benefit the Reform Party is the way the presidential calendar has been drawn for 2000. Conventional wisdom says that with nearly half the states holding primaries and caucuses by March 7, the major parties' respective frontrunners could sew up their nominations earlier than ever. That means a potentially dreary eight-month general election campaign that could lead to widespread buyers' remorse -- and a possible opportunity for some third-party hopeful to generate voter interest.

    Question: I am interested in working on the Gore campaign in 2000. How would I contact his organization? – Ava Alexander, Los Angeles, Calif.

    Answer: If anyone reading this column is interested in working for a presidential candidate, now would be a great time to contact the campaigns. It is still early enough in the process whereby people who sign on now have an opportunity to make a difference in the campaigns. Below is a listing of each candidate's mailing address and web site. Good luck! (P.S. -- If you find yourself in a position of influence, please make sure your campaign has buttons, and don't forget to send me some!)


    Bill Bradley: Bradley for President, 395 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052, 973-731-2100.

    Al Gore: Gore 2000, 2131 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, 202-263-6000.


    Lamar Alexander: Alexander for President, 2000 Glen Echo Road, Nashville, TN 37215, 615-620-2000.

    Gary Bauer: Bauer for President, 2800 Shirlington Road, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22206, 703-933-2000.

    Patrick J. Buchanan: Buchanan 2000, P.O. Box 2000, Dunn Loring, VA 22027, 1-800-GO PAT GO.

    George W. Bush: Bush Exploratory Committee, P.O. Box 1902, Austin, TX 78767, 512-637-2000.

    Elizabeth Hanford Dole: Dole Exploratory Committee, P.O. Box 58247, Washington, DC 20037, 202-777-5050.

    Malcolm S. "Steve" Forbes: Forbes 2000, 209 Madison Street, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314, 877-837-8383.

    John R. Kasich: Kasich for President, 2021 East Dublin-Granville Road, Columbus, OH 43229, 614-785-1600.

    Alan Keyes: Keyes 2000, 5025 N. Central, Suite 408, Phoenix, AZ 85012, 888-450-7771,

    John McCain: McCain Exploratory Committee, 1158 E. Missouri, Suite 140, Phoenix, AZ 85014, 602-604-2000.

    Dan Quayle: Quayle for President, 2929 E. Camelback Road, Suite 124, Phoenix, AZ 85016, 602-522-3500.

    Bob Smith: Smith for President, P.O. Box 77024, Washington, DC 20002, 202-USA-4-BOB.

    Got a question? Ask Ken Rudin:

    Ken Rudin, political editor at National Public Radio, is also the creator of's ScuttleButton contest.

    © Copyright 1999 Ken Rudin

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