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Error-Prone NY Times Again Mislabels Jesse Ventura

Published on December 30, 2006, by in General.

On December 29, 2006, the New York Times repeated a factual error that it has repeated many times in the past. In an article titled “In Minnesota Shift, Case Study for National Political Shake-up”, reporter Kirk Johnson says that Jesse Ventura was elected Governor in 1998 as an independent.

The truth is that the Reform Party recruited Jesse Ventura to be its candidate for Governor in 1998. He won the Reform Party primary and then he won the general election. Because he was the Reform Party nominee, he received equal public funding with his major party opponents, and he received the top line on the general election ballot. As Governor, he played an important role in the Reform Party nationally. He endorsed Jack Gargan for national chair, and Gargan was elected national chair in 1999, against the wishes of Ross Perot. When a special national convention of the Reform Party in 2000 removed Gargan as national chair, Ventura and the entire Minnesota Reform Party disaffiliated from the national Reform Party and the Minnesota Reform Party changed its name to the Independence Party. The Independence Party of Minnesota is still a ballot-qualified party. It elected a State Senator in 2002 and in 2006 polled 7% for Governor. It is unfortunate that the New York Times cannot tell the truth about this bit of important history.

7 Responses

  1. Darcy G Richardson

    Well, what can you expect from a newspaper that did more to build up the case against Iraq and its non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” than any other news outlet other than Fox News? The New York Times never lets facts get in the way of a good story. Reporter Kirk Johnson is apparently following in the fine tradition of Judith Miller…

  2. It seems the one’s in political power are scared of even acknowledging America has legitimate third political parties. I guess the next thing will be that all third political parties are terrorists because they oppose the tradition of the two-party system.

  3. Pat Benjamin

    Errors occur in this piece above. First, Gargan was not removed at a special convention. He was removed at a Reform Party National Committee meeting in February, 2000. Second, Ross Perot never endorsed anyone at the Reform Party 1999 convention.

  4. joeyD

    The meeting which Gargan was removed was extremely controversial. So the whether it’s referred to as “special convention” or “Reform Party National Convention” or a “hack job” all depends on which side of the Reform Party civil war one represents. Although Perot did not endorse anyone, it is widely suspected he employed Russ Verney to take Gargan down. Had Perot’s faction respected the vote of the 1998 delegates and accepted that Gargan won fair & square, Jesse Ventura would now be remembered in history as a Reform Party Governor. The NY times omission of the Reform Party is the legacy that this special convention left us. There will always be multiple versions of the history of the Reform Party, regardless of the official version put forth by the people who destroyed it.

  5. Certain people like to lump all non-Democrats and non-Republicans together as “independents.”

  6. David

    “Well, what can you expect from a newspaper that did more to build up the case against Iraq and its non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” than any other news outlet other than Fox News?”

    You left-wing morons get dumber and dumber by the day,

  7. Phil Sawyer

    No one destroyed the Reform Party. It went through a self-destruct process that was caused by multiple splits. That is very sad and tragic but is not unusual for new political parties.

    In regard to David’s personal insult to Darcy Richardson, I would have to ask him how many books he has written? Furthermore, Darcy would not stoop to personal insults. He is capable of winning debates by presenting the evidence in a logical and meticulous manner.

    Former Founding Member:
    United We Stand America
    Reform Party of California

    Former Member:
    Peoples Party
    Citizen’s Party
    National Unity Party of CA
    California Party
    Patriot Party of CA
    American Independent Party of CA
    Natural Law Party of CA
    Peace and Freedom Party of CA
    etc.

    Present Member:
    CUIP; GPUS; Unity08

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