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  Reform Party, Full of Fervor, Opens Session
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Last EditedJason  Dec 22, 2009 02:43am
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AuthorR.W. Apple Jr.
MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateMonday, August 12, 1996 08:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 11— Former Gov. Richard D. Lamm of Colorado, who is challenging Ross Perot for the Reform Party's Presidential nomination, opened the first stage of its bicoastal convention here tonight with the charge that the major parties ''are recklessly driving this country into bankruptcy.''

Mr. Perot, the billionaire businessman from Texas, who has often pictured himself as a reluctant politician, said when his turn to speak came later, ''I want to be your President.''

He told 1,500-odd fervent, placard-waving party supporters, mostly Californians and predominantly middle-aged, at the Terrace Theater of the Long Beach Convention Center, ''We've got to continue to organize, we have to win in '96 for this country, and we can win.'' He called for an end to ''negative, mean-spirited, mud-slinging politics.''

Short on brass bands and bunting, long on condemnation of the political status quo, the meeting was televised on CNN and C-SPAN and watched by other party backers at home or in larger groups in motels or restaurants across the country.
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