Pubdate: Mon, 03 Jul 2000
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2000 San Jose Mercury News
Contact:  750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190
Fax: (408) 271-3792


ANAHEIM -- More than a thousand Libertarians gathered at the party's 
national convention Sunday to nominate Harry Browne, their 1996 candidate 
for president, to run again in 2000.

The 67-year-old investment banker from Nashville, Tenn., acknowledged he 
has little chance of winning the presidency.

Browne said he hoped his campaign would reinvigorate what was formerly the 
nation's top third party.

``We're the only political party that's offering to set you free,'' Browne 

``It's the most powerful political message in the world,'' he said.

Officials with the Libertarian Party, which advocates individual liberties 
over expansive and expensive government programs, claims about 30,000 
dues-paying members.

It also identifies itself as the biggest third-party movement in the United 

However, the party has lacked the star power of the Reform Party and the 
Green Party in recent years.

Browne finished fifth in 1996, behind Reform Party candidate Ross Perot and 
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, garnering less than 1 percent of the 
national vote.

He has proposed a 12-step program that would eliminate income taxes, Social 
Security, the war on drugs and federal welfare.

Competing against Browne were Don Gorman of Deerfield, N.H., a former 
four-term New Hampshire state legislator; Barry Hess, a salesman from 
Phoenix; David Hollist, a charter bus driver from Alta Loma; and Jacob 
Hornberger, the president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, a 
libertarian think tank in Fairfax, Va.

The nominee for vice president was expected to be announced later Sunday.

Among the candidates for the vice presidential nomination was Steve Kubby 
of Squaw Valley, the Libertarians' 1998 candidate for governor of California.

Kubby, a backer of the medical marijuana law that Californians passed in 
1996, ran fourth in the governor's race but made headlines last year when 
he and his wife were arrested and charged with possessing drugs for sale 
after authorities found 300 marijuana plants in their home.

The case has not yet gone to trial.

Many delegates at the convention, which was held at an Anaheim hotel, were 
optimistic about their chances for strengthening the movement because of 
the increasing popularity of third-party movements.

Some were even jubilant during the nominations, donning patriotic costumes 
such as tri-cornered hats and headdresses patterned in stars and stripes.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart