This was sent to IPR for publication by Steve Krabbe. It can be found on his blog, The Moderate Independent.
By Steve Krabbe
On March 2, 2013, I had the pleasure of speaking with David Collison, the Chairman of the Reform Party National Committee. It was a pleasant conversation, where he and I discussed the history of the party and the strategy for the future. We also spoke about some current national issues, which will be addressed in separate articles. I plan to speak with more him in the near future about other issues, which he seemed very open to.
The conversation began with our discussing how he came to be the Chairman of the National Committee. His response was, “I got drafted”. In 2001, he joined the party on the county level, and quickly became a leader there. Soon, he became the State Secretary Treasurer of the Texas Reform Party. In 2002, he became the National Secretary. In 2008, when he was “drafted”, he was chosen as the Chairman of the Reform Party National Committee, being re-elected to a second term recently.
SHORT HISTORY OF THE REFORM PARTY
In order to find out where the Reform Party is headed, I needed to understand the history of the party. It is important to know where a group has come from in order to understand where they are going. So, we discussed the founding of the party, some of the problems they have encountered along the way, and what the Reform Party has learned from these experiences.
Most who follow third parties know that the party was founded by Ross Perot, as a result of his candidacy for President of the United States. Collison said that Mr. Perot was somewhat disillusioned by the way that his candidacy was treated by the media and the way that the rules were rewritten to make third-party candidacy more difficult. So, at the founding convention in 1997, Mr. Perot addressed the convention and told them, as Mr. Collison said, “You’ve got a party now, if you can keep it”. In 2000, the party nominated Pat Buchanan after a bitter dispute over who was the legal nominee for the party, which ended in a court battle where Mr. Buchanan was declared the official nominee. The Reform Party still contends that the Buchanan nomination was not legitimate because of the way the Buchanan supporters replaced delegates from state parties. In 2004, the Reform Party supported Ralph Nader’s candidacy for President. Collison said this was because “it was a mutually beneficial relationship. We had been painted with a brush by the whole Buchanan affair as being kind of a right-wing party. And, we knew that by nominating Ralph Nader, we would basically completely dispose of that picture.”
The rest of the article can be found here , including audio of the interview.