Campaign 2000

Please read this and follow all the links...

Our Community's Political Choice

Jim Mangia, National Reform Party Secretary, ran for California Lt. Governor in 1998. Mangia is also a former resident of San Francisco and received 10,000 votes as an independent candidate for the Board of Supervisors. The following article appeared in the Bay Area Reporter during his campaign for statewide office.

The upcoming November election is so important for our community. I am the only openly gay statewide candidate on the ballot in California this year. I am running for lieutenant governor as the Reform Party candidate. The Reform Party is a new political party that stands for political reform, citizen participation, and government accountability, and against political corruption.

I believe that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement is at a crossroads. Many are saying that we have reached our limits on what we can expect to win politically in the next few years. On the gay marriage issue, for example, there is much discussion on whether that is an attainable or realistic goal. Personally, I think it is. And I think we can use my campaign to "up the ante" on this question.

We must increase our pressure on the Democratic Party to deliver on critical civil rights issues for our community. This campaign offers our community a unique opportunity to "push the envelope" with the Democratic Party at the same time that we, as a community, are responsible for assuring that a major third party retains permanent ballot status in California. The Reform Party is also at acrossroads. We need to win 2 percent of the vote for one of our statewide candidates to remain a permanent major party on the California ballot.

The lesbian and gay community could provide the votes needed to push Reform over the top. In the open primary, tens of thousands of lesbians and gay men crossed over and voted for me in an uncontested Reform Party primary. If the gay community votes for my campaign in anything resembling the percentages they did in the open primary, it will advance the Reform Party's attempt to gain ballot status and could, in fact, be the deciding factor. That activity provides our community with an incredible amount of leverage both with the Democratic Party and within the Reform Party. It is interesting to note that the largest increase in voter registration in the country is the mass exodus of American voters to independent parties.

With my campaign we are building political "insurance," political capital, and exerting serious political pressure. We are raising the stakes and letting the major political parties know that if they put up homophobic candidates we're not going to roll over, hold our nose and support them simply because the Democratic Party tells us to. We are helping to advance our struggle for civil rights by letting the Democrats know we are helping to build other options and political tools for our empowerment.

My campaign is also building an interesting coalition between the "white center" (middle America) "Perot voters" who have traditionally supported the Reform Party and the gay community, still furthering our leverage and political options. Under the current two-party arrangement, the lesbian and gay community has been reduced to a political football kicked back and forth for partisan advantage within and between both political parties. We can use the added leverage of my campaign to participate in the creation of a new political coalition focused on political reform. That in turn further broadens our options and advances our leverage in the political arena by challenging the corrupt way politics is done. It is because of this increasing corruption and the lack of mainstream alternatives that our community has seen many of our issues brought to a standstill.

The voting record of Cruz Bustamante (who is the Democratic Party's nominee for lieutenant governor) shows a callous and arrogant disregard for the lesbian and gay community. He opposes gay marriage, voted to criminalize HIV transmission, and refused to support AB101 (Sheila Kuehl's Dignity for Students Act). Yet the pressure is on for the gay community to support him. I think to do that would be a big political mistake. We would essentially be saying: abuse us, disrespect us, abandon us we will support you no matter what. That may have been a necessity just a couple of years ago. But now we have another option!

Some people in our community strongly believe that we should not jeopardize our relationship with the Democratic Party. I agree. I don't think it is in our community's best interest to, for example, not support Gray Davis and consequently elect Dan Lungren. At the same time, the lieutenant governor's race offers us a unique and potent opportunity to have our cake and eat it, too. In other words, we elect a progressive Democrat as governor and we exert pressure on a lower office to build political leverage. I believe we have a great opportunity this year. I hope you agree.

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 This is the guy who is chairing the Reform Party (disgruntled) that are so against Pat Buchanan.  Is it any wonder why they want Pat out?  See more about him at the following links.
Twice an independent candidate himself -- US Congress in '86 and San Francisco Board of Supervisors in '90 -- Mangia has