- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who quit the national Reform Party earlier this year, predicted the past week's raucous convention was the beginning of the group's demise.
"I look like a genius today," Mr. Ventura, who left the party in February, said today on NBC's "Today" show.
"Is it dead? Yes. I believe this is the final straw," Mr. Ventura said.
The Reform Party national convention ended last week with two factions selecting two presidential nominees.
One faction consists of supporters of conservative Pat Buchanan, the former Republican who bolted his party to seek the Reform Party nomination. But supporters of Reform Party founder Ross Perot say John Hagelin is the real Reform Party nominee.
Both sides are fighting in court over $12.5 million in federal funds for the nominee.
Mr. Ventura charged that Mr. Buchanan's ultimate goal was to destroy the Reform Party.
"It's not beyond my belief that Buchanan was sent to the Reform Party to destroy it," Mr. Ventura said.
A Buchanan spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Mr. Ventura and others who left the Reform Party with him have formed the Minnesota Independence Party.


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