Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Perot Ready for His 2nd Run Lamm May Not Back Reform Party Nominee

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Perot Ready for His 2nd Run Lamm May Not Back Reform Party Nominee

Article excerpt

Using hi-tech tactics and the anti-establishment message that attracted a strong following four years ago, Ross Perot is embarking on a third-party bid for the presidency based on rallying voters fed up with the Republican and Democratic parties.

Perot was on his way to historic Valley Forge Sunday to accept the nomination of the Reform Party, which he won in a mail, telephone and Internet poll.

In his first presidential bid, Perot, a billionaire from Texas, spent nearly $60 million of his own money. Most of it was spent on television commercials in which he appeared with pointer and charts to support his argument that neither Republicans nor Democrats were taking effective action to balance the budget and reduce the size and power of the federal government.

The 19.7 million votes Perot received in 1992 qualified his new party for $30 million in federal campaign funds. But he has not decided whether to accept the money, which would limit him to spending $50,000 of his own money.

Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm, who lost his bid for nomination by the party Perot founded and financed, said he was committed to building a third party but wasn't sure he'd vote for Perot.

"I'm going to sit on my back porch for a couple of weeks and really think about this," he said. While repeating his support for the Reform Party, Lamm said it had been "too much in the shadow of Ross Perot."

The party chose its nominee through a process far different from that followed by Republicans and Democrats. Instead of state delegations gathering at a convention, ballots were mailed to about 1.1 million people Reform Party officials had identified as members of the party.

Few of them, apparently, bothered to vote. Perot ended up with 32,145 votes; Lamm with 17,121.

"I have to assume it was fair and square," said Lamm, but later he said he still wanted to "find out what happened."

Lamm said the party was exaggerating its size. "When we say there's 1.3 million people in the Reform Party, I think the number's closer to the 50,000 that voted. …

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