Undecided? Try These Candidates
Los Angeles Times
When Ross Perot qualified for all 50 state ballots last month, he was actually the fourth presidential candidate to do so. The third was Libertarian Party nominee Andre Marrou.
Marrou knows his face will never be on the cover of Time Magazine. And he is not going to be interviewed on the network morning talk shows, as are the three other White House contenders who are on every state ballot - President Bush, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and Perot.
Nevertheless, Marrou predicts he will lead his party to its best year ever in a presidential race.
That's because, like other minor party candidates, Marrou says that Perot's groundswell of support last spring is only the most obvious example of an angry current in the electorate that expresses itself in the form of opposition to the Republican and Democratic tickets.
"Clearly there is an issue overriding party affiliation in this campaign, and it is the economy," said Howard Phillips, the Washington Taxpayers Party's candidate. "Perot provided a bridge; he made it legitimate for people who are unhappy with Bush or Clinton to look for an alternative."
Nationwide, there are 23 presidential candidates this year. But only about half of those are on the ballot in more than five states. (There are 11 presidential candidates on the ballot in Washington state, according to the state's 1992 Voters Pamphlet.)
The gulf of opinion that separates these candidates makes the debate between Bush and Clinton look like fine-tuning. But they are also united in a goal to shake up the two-party status quo.
Marrou, 53, a former Republican, comes from the pioneering politics of Alaska's legislature, where he was the third Libertarian to serve. His running mate, Nancy Lord, comes from the country's liberal movement. She was an anti-war crusader in the 1960s and the childhood friend of a student killed by National Guard troops at Kent State University.
The Libertarian Party was started in 1971 and this is only the second presidential campaign in which it has qualified for all 50 state ballots. Officials said the party also has a record number of more than 800 Libertarian candidates on November ballots throughout the country.
Marrou contends that America has broken from its constitutional roots and gone off on an uncharted course toward socialism and communism. His plan to severely cut taxes would shake even the most conservative Republican.
Government collecting money from its citizens is essentially theft, Marrou said. If people earn their money, they should be able to keep it. And nobody should tell them what to put on their property or how to treat their bodies, as long as it doesn't harm anyone else, he said.
"Libertarian philosophy is to maximize individual liberties; and to do that you have to limit government powers," Marrou said. It's not a radical idea, he contends. It's just that the country has strayed so far from its roots.
Ron Daniels, 50, of the Peace and Freedom Party, is trying to build America's next multiracial movement - called Campaign For a New Tomorrow - following his former role as executive director in Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. In 1988, Daniels was deputy campaign manager of Jackson's presidential bid and the chief organizer of the Super Tuesday primaries. Daniels announced his campaign on Columbus Day last year in order to call attention to the country's celebration of a man who enslaved the populations he discovered.
The party was launched in California in 1967, primarily in opposition to the Vietnam War. Daniels believes a prerequisite for the nation's economic health and global influence is the healing of its own racial scars.
Daniels, who lives in Ohio, proposed a $50 billion plan to improve urban America that would be financed by cuts in the military and an increase in taxes on the wealthy.
Phillips, 51, candidate of the American Independent Party in California and the Washington Taxpayers Party in the rest of the nation, is one of Washington's most conservative voices. For nearly 20 years, as leader of a lobby group called the Conservative Caucus, Phillips has positioned himself to the right of most of the country's conservative Republican leaders.
He served in the Nixon administration as head of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, but then broke with the White House during Watergate to head a group called Conservatives For The Removal of the President.
The party has roots in one of the country's last major third-party campaigns, that of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace. The party was created in 1967, largely as a segregationist vehicle for Wallace's campaign in 1968.
On economics, his Taxpayers Party shares some of the Libertarian philosophy. Phillips would also eliminate the Internal Revenue Service and taxes.
Where the two separate, however, is on social issues. Phillips' party favors a strong national defense and tough drug laws. It also opposes abortion rights and anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals.
There are two other major campaigns for minor party candidates.
The Natural Law Party started in Iowa last April. Its platform seeks government in harmony with natural laws of the universe. Its candidate, John Hagelin, says the first step to solve the country's economic and social problems is for more people to practice transcendental meditation.
In 39 states, voters will also consider Lenora B. Fulani, the presidential candidate for the New Alliance Party, which has raised more than $2 million in campaign contributions through street-corner and door-to-door solicitations. The party emphasizes multiracial politics.
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