The Onion: “Remember the Reform Party?”

A very funny, if recycled, piece from this week’s issue of The Onion...

Republicans, Democrats Unite In Good Laugh Over Reform Party

WASHINGTON, DC—In a rare moment of bipartisan unity, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle fondly recalled the Reform Party Tuesday. “Remember ‘Ross For Boss’?” Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) said, laughing uncontrollably at the memory of the closest thing America has seen to a viable third party in recent history. “Plus Trump, Warren Beatty… And what was the deal with that crazy admiral guy who died?” Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) joined in the fun, saying, “And that platform they had full of, aw, who knows what. ‘Reform,’ I guess!” The senators then spent an hour slapping each other on the backs, gleefully recalling the Reform Party’s credo of “radical centrism” and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura’s election as governor of Minnesota. Said Robert Byrd (D-WV): “They really thought they had something going there for a while!”

and another funny one…

American People Shrug, Line Up For Fingerprinting

WASHINGTON, DC—Assuming that there must be a good reason for the order, U.S. citizens lined up at elementary schools and community centers across the nation Monday for government-mandated fingerprinting. “I’m not exactly sure what this is all about,” said Ft. Smith, AR, resident Meredith Lovell while waiting in line. “But given all the crazy stuff that’s going on these days, I’m sure the government has a very good reason.” Said Amos Hawkins, a Rockford, IL, delivery driver: “I guess this is another thing they have to do to ensure our freedom.”

30 Responses to “The Onion: “Remember the Reform Party?””

  1. matt Says:

    “And that platform they had full of, aw, who knows what. ‘Reform,’ I guess!”

    The onion often makes good points and this is one: how can an emerging party try to run on “reform” when both of the major parties have been using the term forever? The Reform Party was poorly named, I think.

  2. rj Says:

    yes…the reason the Reform Party failed was a bad name

  3. matt Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, everything about them was as fuzzy as the name. They had no real agenda and no real alliance to any discernible philosophy.

    I was merely pointing out that the name was especially bad.

  4. Cody Quirk Says:

    yes…the reason the Reform Party failed was a bad name

    =and bad leadship.

  5. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Amen Cody, in your home state of California both the former and current state chair[s] of are being sued in court!

  6. Kris Overstreet Says:

    We really need some reform in government, especially today with Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence from 30 months to 0.

    My proposals to begin that reform here:

  7. Alan Augustson Says:

    The Reform Party, in the end, was Ross Perot. It was only, ever, as viable as his money made it. And that money was tied to Perot himself—and therefore, subject to his ego and his temperament. When he imploded, just prior to the 1992 elections, they had nothing—no message, no candidate, zippo.

    I think for a third party to be anything other than a short-lived novelty, they need to have a message that’s so strong that it practically sells itself. That, and really, really good timing.

  8. Don Garner Says:

    Mr. Cassidy:

    The story you have posted is dated August of 2005, it is 2 years old. Why post an old Story? Why have you not posted current news about the Party, such as the Jury verdict from the Florida Trial which proved the guy you show cased on your wanna bee web site, Charles Foster, was a fraud, as are you.

  9. Austin Cassidy Says:

    The Reform Party doesn’t exist in any functional form. Someone did mention the outcome of the lawsuit, but it was no big deal.

    I decide what I feel like covering. This is not the NY Times, we have no obligation to cover everything… it’s kind of based on a whim, and what I and the contributors feel like writing. Sorry.

    And finally, the item was originally done in 2005… but it was republished this week by The Onion for their July 4th edition. That’s what the recycled part of this statement meant: “A very funny, if recycled, piece”

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound rude… but you called me a fraud and I frankly don’t need that kind of crap.

  10. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Alan, I agree. It’s very hard for a party to form around such a strong single figure… if Perot and Ventura had been buddies somehow, I think there could have really been something impressive. But the usual bickering and fighting won the day… and as such, the RP is no more.

  11. Sean Scallon Says:

    Someday I would love to write a book on the old Reform Party because was the last attempt to build a serious third major party since Wallace’s old AIP. It was hardly a blip on the radar screean.

    Obviously Ross Perot was a major reason the party formed and then dissolved itself. His money it possible to get it off the ground but th eproblem was that it never advanced beyond a person vehicle for Perot himself and when others tried to claim the Reform mantle or take control of it like Richard Lamm, Jesse Ventura and Pat Buchanan, old Ross simply would let go and used other to keep control of it until he cut his losses in 2000.

    The other reason it died because it really had a hard time deciding what it stood for. Perot’s campaign attracted a diverse but also motley group of followers that were united in their disastisfaction with the political system but could never unite on a common platform. And the idea the party could maintain some sort of silence on social issues that its candidates would have to deal with if elected was ludicrous. They acted liked the Whig Party when came to slavery: don’t talk about the issue and it might go away. But they couldn’t get away with it for long and in the end it proved utterly distructive. Anyone watching what happened in 2000 knew the party was heading for a shipwreck and that’s what happened.

  12. Carl Says:

    The Reform Party in some ways was a revival of the old American Party; i.e., the No Nothings.

  13. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home[s] Says:

    Hey Sean Scallon, our decade old organization
    has had an unique ‘worm’s eye view’ of the west
    coast and national dysfunction of the reform
    so called movement!......

    John Coffey, JD
    POB 2258
    Barstow CA

    Paul Snyder PhD
    1416 Broadway “A”
    Chula Vista, CA

    Don Lake/Tish Firmiss
    623 Eucalyptus Court
    Chula Vista, CA

  14. Trent Hill Says:

    They are also semi-delusional and write almost everything headline style.

  15. Alan Augustson Says:

    Gosh, is it wise to publish personal contact info here? O_o

  16. Don Garner Says:

    Mr. Cassidy:

    Yes, you decide what to post. That said, this site is nothing but a collection of your favorite stories. As for the fraud comment, you posted a “interview” with a chap by the name of Charles Foster. YOUR SITE posted this article as a glorious article -interview with him as the Chairman of the Reform Party. It was a happy talk interview. That chap Foster was proven by a Federal Jury to have never been a officer of the Reform Party, then after that court decision, you make nasty comments about the Reform Party. That makes you biased, a Fraud and a hypocrite.

    In 2006 the Reform party ran a large number of candidates from local to federal level, yet because your chap Foster was proven to be a fraud, you make nasty comments about the party while talking up other 3rd Parties like Socialists and others. Get Real

  17. Austin Cassidy Says:

    The Reform Party is a basket case. I haven’t the slightest clue who the national chairman or any other party officials are. In fact, I would bet I could find five people who claimed to be the chairman of the Reform Party.

    As to Charles Foster… I didn’t interview him, another contributor to this site did.

    I am biased. I am not a fraud.

    The Reform Party is a nonfunctional entity, much like the Natural Law Party… except the NLP’s dissolution was much more orderly than the mess that some people continue to call the Reform Party.

  18. Don Garner Says:

    Mr. Cassidy

    Why wasn’t the happy talk interview with the fraud Chrales Foster followed by your negative diatribes like you post now? It seems that you didn’t have a negative view of the Reform Party until very recently when a group of frauds were found to have never been officers.

    The fact is your comments are intellectually dishonest. The Reform Party in 2006 ran candidates in Arizona, Rhode Island, Kansas, Florida, and Colorado. That doesn’t sound lime a disfunctunal party to me. Also the Party defeated an attempt by a bunch of frauds to steal the Party name, that doesn’t sound like a disfunctunal Party to me. I used to feel that way too, but I started following the party again in early 2006, and they are really doing things. Like I said, get real. Sorry your bud Foster was exposed. By the way, Did your web site also interview a guy by the name of Wyatt Chesney who was “running for President” who turned out to be a fraud as well?? You seem to keep interesting company, but then again, birds of a feather flock together.

  19. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I don’t know who Charles Foster even is. And it’s my understanding that many of the candidates who ran with the Reform label in 2006 did so as representatives of different factions.

    Who is the chairman of the Reform Party right now? What is the national party’s website?

    Whatever your answer, I can give you 3 people who disagree and have just as many supporters and just as much money as the person you ID.

    The RPUSA is, essentially, dead.

  20. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Oh, and I looked up the interview you mentioned. It was prefaced with the following statement: “Foster is one of several people who claim to be the “true” Chairman of the Reform Party. This interview should not be taken to mean that this site “endorses” any one faction of the party over another.”

  21. Trent Hill Says:


    Shut the hell up. Austin is clearly FAR more knowledgeable on this subject than you.
    As for the Reform Party being alive and well. They have 300k to get out of debt, and they have to do it without any fundraising techniques. Talk ABOUT screwed.
    Also, the Prohibition Party has run presidential contenders consistently since the early 1900’s. Does that make them any less dead? No.

  22. Don Garner Says:

    Sorry Trent, Austin doesn’t know what he is talking about. Yes, there is a disputed $300K judgement,Do you or Austin know how that came about? It was a result of phoney people acting in the name of the Party. That judgement will be challenged..

    The Reform Party still has ballot access in several States.

    The leadership of the Reform Party is no longer disputed, a Federal Court jury has decided that issue. All that is left is the removal of phoney web sites per the court’s order and the Party moving ahead.

    Perhaps a little objectivity and discussion with the victors in the recent court case would help. I took the the time to talk to them, as did my local media, they are approachable people and give honest answers.

  23. Trent Hill Says:


    That is exactly what me and Austin have just explained. There are MANY people pretending they are chairmen, and no one knew who is actually was until the court decided.
    However, having leadership and ballot access in the 3 easiest states in the Union isnt a big deal.
    I could go out tomorrow and get ballot access in Colorado, Florida, and Mississippi with 500 members. Those are 3 of the easiest states. Louisiana is the only other state you have ballot access in*, and I live here—it isnt that hard—especially with a name like the Reform Party.

    *You also have ballot access in Kansas, but they think you’re all retarded.

  24. Don Garner Says:

    Interesting you mention Kansas, they participate in Reform Party National Committee Meetings. The Chairman of the of the Kansas State Party had a lot of great things to say at the last meeting, which I attended. I didn’t hear him say anything like that at all.

    It would seem you are quite familiar with the term “retarded”, you must speak from experience.

    By the way, ballot access in Florida and Colorado is not easy.

    Your current post is not consistent with your previous statements. You previously failed to aknowledge the court deciding the leadership issue, now you backstep and state ” people were pretending until the recent court decision”. The only pretenders were Mr. Foster and Co.

    The legitimate Party has operated and has been recognized and has worked with the FEC during this mess, and anyone could go to Federal Web Sites and Court web Sites to verify who was the real officers.

    By the way, no one answered my prior question, wasn’t the fraud Wyatt Chesney featured on this web site as well??? He was also promoted by Fosters group as well.

  25. Trent Hill Says:

    Joseph Martin is the leader of Kansas’ Reform Party. And they are Buchananists. They have long considered LEAVING the Reform Parties national apparatus, but for some reason are scared they’ll lose ballot-access.
    And yes, Florida and Colorado are VERY easy compared to states like Illinois, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Missouri, Nevada, and Minnesota (middle of the road ballot access states)
    Or tough states like North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, or New York.

  26. Don Garner Says:

    Perhaps you should base your comments on real information. I have been in meetings with Mr. Martin. That is not his statement. He participated in a Reform Party National Committee Meeting just a couple of weeks ago. He is the Vice Chairman of the State Party of Kansas.

    They are not Buchananists, they are Patriots.

  27. matt Says:

    If you truly cannot bear to see your party scorned, run some candidates and get some election results. Barring that, this will be par for the course. Not that I care too deeply, I said earlier the Reform Party doesn’t have a coherent point of view or any strong leadership. I suppose if I get proven wrong I will be pleased.

  28. Don Garner Says:

    No one likes to see their Party scorned, however misinformation is unacceptable and should be responded to.

  29. Trent Hill Says:


    This isnt misinformation. Last I had spoken with Mr. Martin they were strongly considering leaving the National Apparatus. If they are now actively participating, super-duper for you.
    However, to say the Reform Party is a functioning national party is not only wrong, but disingenuous.

  30. Sean Scallon Says:

    Citizens - Thanks, I’ll write those names down and keep track of them. As I said I think it’s a story worth telling.

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