Mississippian Nominated For President

The Reform Party was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot, who, as an independent presidential candidate in 1992, had gotten 19 percent of the vote against the Democrat Bill Clinton and the Republican incumbent, George H. W. Bush. Perot actually finished second in Maine and Utah.

Since Perot’s 1996 presidential race– in which he got just nine percent– the Reform Party has been through some strange and troubling times. In 2000, because of the votes received by Perot in 1996, the presidential nominee was entitled to millions of dollars from the Federal Election Commission. Pat Buchanan, an erstwhile Republican, and John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party competed for the 2000 nomination, with Buchanan winning.

The Reform Party broke into several factions, and there has been a number of lawsuits. At a 2004 meeting in Texas, the RP faction headed by Shawn O’Hara of Hattiesburg, Mississippi endorsed Ralph Nader for president. Since then, of course, O’Hara has run for several offices in Mississippi as a Democrat, promising, among other things, snow cone stands for rest stops (I don’t know exactly when O’Hara left the RP).

At a July 18-19 Reform Party meeting in Dallas, Texas, Ted Weill of Tylertown, Mississippi, won the 2008 presidential nomination. One of the commenters at this link says that Weill is legally blind and describes him as a “rich old crank.” According to Newsmeat, Weill has donated (a) $1000 to Ralph Nader in 2008, (b) $8800 to Lyndon LaRouche PAC in the past year, and (c) a total of $16,700 to Lyndon LaRouche and Lyndon LaRouche PAC since 2003.

LaRouche once went to prison for credit card fraud, where his cellmate was Rev. Jim Bakker of PTL fame (don’t you know the two of them had some interesting conversations?).

Notably, former state Rep. Erik Fleming, who defeated O’Hara to become the 2008 Democratic nominee against U. S. Sen. Thad Cochran, has also been linked to LaRouche.

Both the Reform Party and the Natural Law Party, incidentally, are still among Mississippi’s eight ballot-qualified parties.

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