Senate candidate says he#039;s the alternative

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 21, 2002

It isn't that William McGaughey craves attention.

He got that when he ran for mayor of Minneapolis last fall and lost … badly.

He received attention when he was the subject of investigations into nasty "slumlord" allegations. All were satisfactorily resolved, he said.

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What he needs attention for today is to become a viable candidate for the U..S. Senate as an Independence Party candidate.

Jim Moore is the IP's endorsed candidate, but McGaughey and -- "I can't remember his name. 'Mills' I think," he said -- are in the race.

So, McGaughey takes off in his van and travels the state talking to reporters and handing out position statements and pictures from the one-hour photo shop. Sometimes, reporters are too busy to listen. "I was at Faribault and the reporter couldn't talk and then I went to Worthington and they were too busy to talk and then I went to Rochester and he said he just couldn't talk to me either so here I am," McGaughey announced late Tuesday afternoon.

He visited the Austin Daily Herald and discussed his candidacy.

"I'm not the endorsed candidate and I did not seek the endorsement at the Independence Party's convention," he said. "When I walked in there, I was so confused. Although the issues they were quite respectable, they didn't really differentiate their stands on those issues and they sounded the same as the Democrats and the Republicans. What they were saying were the DFL and GOP core values I had heard all along," he said.

So he decided to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Paul Wellstone and coveted by Republican Norm Coleman.

Thus far, McGaughey is a kind of "oddity in the 2002 campaign.

He's that middle-aged man holding a sign in downtown Minneapolis that reads "I believe that the federal government should reduce the standard work

week to 32 hours by 2010."

He's the man in a straw hat and casual clothes standing in front of the Paul Bunyan statue at Brainerd holding a sign that reads "I believe in the full citizenship, dignity and equality of white males and of everyone else, too."

The 32-hour work week is the cornerstone of McGaughey's economic policy.

The call for equality for white males and others

has to do with political correctness, affirmative action,

and battling the political and economic elite. of society.

McGaughey is anything but boring. The usual political campaign rhetoric does not know his lips. Instead, he

prides himself in being an "in your face" candidate.

McGaughey, who should know, believes, "Politics has gotten so off course" that voters need to ask the "right questions. No longer will the IP have a spokesman when Governor Jesse Ventura — who came from the IP's political predecessor, the Reform Party – leaves office.

McGaughey believes the party's

status as a viable third party rests upon candidates such as he who are issue driven.

"You've got to stand for something," he said.

Since the Reform Party's debacle of 1992, when Ross Perot abandoned the party and his quest for the Presidency in mid-campaign, the party's remnants have waged an uphill battle both to be heard and to be understood.

Now, McGaughey is hoping his name will stand out in the September 10 state primary election against endorsed IP candidate Moore and "Mills, I think is his name."

"I think I have a realistic chance to win the September 10 state primary," he said. "I'm motivated to do this/. I want to keep a positive campaign and give hope to others."

When he finished, McGaughey left two pictures of himself holding the signs and drove on across the state.

(Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at