The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 24, 1996 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 24, 1996
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Page 4
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A4 THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1996 CAMPAIGN '96 THE SALINA JOURNAL T THIRD PARTIES Pushing ideas Candidate: Third parties have valuable role in politics By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salinn Journal As the vice presidential candidate of the Natural Law Party, Mike Tompkins' schedule is slightly different than that of Al Gore or Jack Kemp. Instead of flying from rally to rally, Tompkins drives. And rather than making statements to the Washingon press corps, he has interviews with regional newspapers by car phone. Still, he's not disappointed. "Third parties influence national debate and the importance of certain things," Tompkins said Wednesday in a car-phone interview while driving in Virginia. "Major parties do not have any incentives to innovate, because they are keepers of the status quo. Third parties become the agents of change." Tompkins, 47, is on leave as director of a public policy institute at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. The Natural Law Party was founded by advocates of the Transcendental Meditation organization, which runs the university. A group of investors with the organization plan to build an institute and corporate executive retreat in Smith Center. In Salina and in central Kansas, candidates and supporters of third parties say their role in this election is not necessarily to win, but to push their ideas and causes into "Major parties do not have any incentives to innovate, because they are keepers of the status quo. Third parties become the agents of change" Mike Tompkins Natural Law Party vice presidential candidate the mainstream of politics. "People are dissatisfied by the two-party system," said Tompkins, who is the running mate of Natural Law presidential candidate John Hagelin. The pair are the only Natural Law Party candidates on the ballot in Kansas. "Some want to be proactive and work within the major parties to create change. But sometimes that creates frustration. "So you think maybe there's another way to approach this. If we can't join them, let's beat them," Tompkins said. "This was Ross Perot's idea in 1992." Tompkins said Perot's 1992 campaign was successful at getting the Republicans and Democrats to focus on the national debt and the federal deficit. The Natural Law Party doesn't have Perot's money, however, and so it is working at the grassroots level to run candidates not just for high office, but state and city offices as well. Although the party's presidential ticket is its only effort in Kansas, the party has 475 candidates running in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Some Natural Law candidates for federal offices are showing up in the polls, registering 7 to 8 percent, Tompkins said. "Basically you're looking at the Reform, Natural Law and Libertarian parties for significant (third party) numbers," he said. The Reform Party has candidates for both U.S. Senate seats in Kansas, three candidates for Kansas Senate seats and five candidates for Kansas House seats. Claude McMinn, 2804 Patty, supports another third party candidate, perennial presidential seeker Lyndon LaRouche. McMinn said he supports LaRouche because LaRouche stands up to special interests. He said both major parties "have been sold out to this power structure." McMinn said he sees parallels between the United States today and the collapse of other nations throughout history. The country's economic system is controlled by worldwide banking interests that insist the U.S. be a debtor, he said. To spread these views, McMinn mails out LaRouche literature once a month to 50 or so people. Perot / Key states could swing FROM PAGE A1 recent bad blood between the Dole and Perot camps. It was Dole's campaign that insisted Perot be excluded from the presidential debates, drawing sharp criticism from Perot and Reform Party running mate Pat Choate. Just what the Dole camp had to offer Perot was unclear; one Dole adviser noted the GOP candidate recently proposed a commission to draft a sweeping rewrite of campaign finance laws, and said perhaps Perot could be offered a leading role. Several Republicans suggested Reed would not have traveled to Dallas unless he had reason to believe Perot was open to his proposal. But Holman said flatly: "Ross Perot is in the race to stay." Indeed, as Dole campaigned in Jacksonville, Fla., Wednesday, a small plane buzzed overhead trailing an American flag and the message: "Don't Export Jobs — Vote Perot." One Dole adviser said Perot might be open to the idea because he is facing the embarrassing prospect of getting less than 10 percent of the vote four years after he was a major campaign force. Perot has mounted an unconventional campaign, making only rare public appearances, and relying mostly on 30-minute television programs. The latest of those was airing Wednesday night on CBS. Perot was scheduled to deliver a National Press Club speech Thursday in Washington. Of most urgent concern in the Dole campaign, the GOP sources said, was getting Dole over 40 percent in national polls so that he would be within striking distance of Clinton. When the ethics attacks of the last week failed to move the polls in Dole's favor, the idea of approaching Perot was raised. While some Dole aides opposed the idea, those in favor said Dole had little to lose at this point and a Perot endorsement might swing a few states in Dole's favor. Much of Perot's support in Florida, Texas, California and Ohio was described by Republicans as from voters who otherwise would likely vote Republican — or at least be motivated to vote against Clinton. 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