How about you tell us about yourself, who you are and what you do for the Reform Party?
My name is Nicholas Hensley, and I am the Secretary of the Reform Party National Committee. I am from North Carolina. I am the only Southeasterner with a national party office. As the ranking Southeastern officer, I help the regional Representative Donna Shankle – from Florida, with organizing the Southeastern region, and representing Southeastern interests on the executive committee.
As secretary I handle all of the record keeping, internal communication and public relations with help from the communications committee. The acting chair of the communications committee is William Drummond, who is from Chipley, Florida. Drummond ran for Congress as the Reform Party candidate in 2012.
What is the Reform Party?
The Reform Party is a moderate, centrist and populist party. The Reform Party was founded on the belief that the political establishment is corrupt, and government officials weren’t acting in the best interest of the The People. It grew out of the 1992 Ross Perot campaign, and is committed to fighting against political corruption, free trade and the special interests. To summarize the Reform Party platform, I always quote Ross Perot.
“The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, the public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled”.
The Reform Party mostly focuses on economic issues. We want to restore American Industry by curtailing free trade agreements, and restoring American jobs that have been shipped overseas. Secondly we wish to balance the budget by passing a balanced budget amendment, and giving the President a line item veto. We wish to create a financial blueprint to end the deficit and repay America’s debt.
Who is the Reform Party’s Presidential Candidate?
The Reform Party’s Presidential candidate is Roque De La Fuente. “Rocky” is a first generation American whose parents are from Mexico. Originally a Democrat, he decided to run as an independent, and later as the Reform Party candidate, because he was shut out of the Democratic Primary. He came to learn that if you are not an established member of a major party, then it is impossible to take part in America’s political process.
Before running for President, Rocky followed in his father’s footsteps and became an entrepreneur. Before selling them, Rocky put together a large chain of car dealerships in the Western United States. In the 1980s, during the Mexican financial crisis he helped bring stability by establishing a number of currency exchanges, but he is no longer active in banking. During the present few years, Rocky has been involved in a diverse set of commercial ventures including real estate development.
What does the Reform Party have to offer the people of Florida, and how is it different then the Republicans and Democrats?
Florida has a large number of elder voters. One of the founding principles of the Reform Party is to keep Social Security solvent. Instead of keeping the Social Security solvent, the Republicans and Democrats have been raiding the trust, and taking people’s hard earned wages. The Democrats offer no solution, and the Republicans want to privatize Social Security and hand it over to bankers. The Reform Party wants to repay the Social Security trust fund, and make sure that everyone has an account with their name on it. If the government borrows from the trust, then that money will be paid back with interest like a treasury bond.
The Democrats and Republicans have mismanaged Medicare. As health costs rise, many elderly Floridians worry that their Medicare will be taken away, and have been ignored by Clinton and Trump. The Reform Party wants to keep Medicare viable by rooting out fraud and waste, and simplifying administration to cut costs without raising taxes. We also want to work with drug companies to reduce the price of medication, and lower patient costs.
The Democrats and Republicans have promised to balanced the budget many times, but they have not. Due to their fiscal irresponsibility, later generations will be saddled with today’s debt. Instead of taking action, and offering solutions the political establishment has resorted to gimmicks and false promises to assure voters. The words of establishment politicians however are not actions. The Reform Party will take action. The Reform Party will establish a fiscal blue print to restore America’s financial health, we will pass a balance budget amendment to keep our finances healthy, and create a line item veto, so there will be more checks and balances on spending.
The Republicans have promised a smaller government for decades, but have not delivered. The Democrats wish to expand the authority of government, and meddle in people’s affairs. The Reform Party wishes to make the government small, and smarter, by reorganizing it to reduce overlap, curtailing bureaucratic procedures and removing outdated regulations that only add red tape.
Furthermore the Reform Party will fight the corruption that the Democrats and Republicans have embraced. We will take the government back from the special interests, and have never taken a dime of funding from them, so we can take America’s government back and give it back to the people. We will break the political establishment by opening the ballot, and freeing the vote.
Can a third party win elections?
Third party candidates win every election cycle, but the media does not report on them. The Vermont Progressive Party currently has a collection of state and local officeholders. The Green, Reform and Libertarian Parties combined have hundreds of local officeholders. The Reform Party, in 1996 also once won a Governor’s race. These victories illustrate that a minor party can and do succeed.
What is the future of the Reform Party?
The future of the Reform Party is once again bright. We know that we are not going to win the Presidency in 2016, but are hoping to lay the foundation of future success. If we can use this election to shake as many hands as we can, spread our message and recruit party members, then we can capitalize on our gains, and build.
The most important thing we can do this election is put together the basic framework for fifty state ballot access. If we can network organizers and volunteers in each state, and allow them to build grow their organization organically, then we can build the infrastructure needed for statewide and federal victories in 2020.