Reform Party Says 'No' to Soft Money

July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM

Washington ( - A newly reorganized Reform Party arrived in Washington on Tuesday, as interim national chairman Pat Choate challenged both likely presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties - Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W Bush, respectively - to conduct their campaigns without so-called soft money.

"Either do the reform thing - stop taking soft money, stop taking PAC money - or stop calling yourself a reformer," Choate said at a press conference where he announced the Reform Party's plan to move its headquarters to the nation's capital and presented the names of the party's newly selected committee heads.

Heading the Reform Party finance committee, said Choate, will be Robert Bowes. His first task will be to raise $1 million from individual donors between now and the party convention to be held in Long Beach, California in August.

"For this party, that will be more than enough," said Choate.

Choate also announced that the Reform Party has joined the Democrats and Republicans as participants in the new, non-partisan political Internet site, also headquartered in Washington. The website features a wide range of interactive political tools such as tailored news delivery, debate rooms, surveys, message boards, and interactive broadcast events, said Chairman and CEO Ron Howard.

"As it serves to improve the political process, we are proud to offer the Reform Party the same enhanced citizenship and activism tools that we are making available to the Republicans and Democrats," Howard told spokesman Josh King told that the website encourages the participation of other political parties, in addition to the Reform, Democrat and Republican parties, plus independent voters not aligned with any party.

"We want to make sure that our website holds options for all of the people to get involved," said King.