Those who say Michael Dukakis is boring or that George Bush is a wimp may be interested in the alternative presidential candidates meeting at the first-ever National Independent Candidates Convention.
They include a ventriloquist who once ran his puppet for president; a man who says the CIA tried to kill him when he was 12; another who claims he was a CIA agent for 8 years and wants to show how the agency breaks the law; and a woman who says God gave her a revelation on a bus to run for president.If that's not enough alternative, there's the retired schoolteacher who wants to stamp out homosexuality; a nurse who wants to rid the world of nuclear bombs; and an insurance salesman who says he could put America on the right track in the Middle East.
They were all attracted to Park City by local presidential candidate "Mr. Dirt," a sculptor who is trying to publicize ideas on how to reverse world pollution.
Dirt, also known as Robert Earl Anderson of Magna, earlier tried other methods to gain publicity, including shaving his head to become a bearded "Mr. Clean" lookalike and campaigning at the Salt Lake City-County dump with a wildly decorated truck - complete with a 12-foot flagpole on top.
After he still received little attention, he came up with the idea of inviting all the other 300 or so independent U.S. presidential candidates to Park City. He also invited the national TV networks and all major newspapers.
He envisioned hundreds of candidates addressing hundreds more delegates. He even asked the Yarrow Hotel in Park City to reserve its largest room.
Dirt was upset when the hotel reserved only a small room with just 24 seats around six tables. But it had plenty of room left over at a press conference Tuesday - attended by eight candidates, one of their friends and two local reporters. A few more candidates are expected later.
Many of the candidates who did come cannot afford to stay in a hotel. So they are staying with Dirt in Magna instead - and he is looking for volunteers to help temporarily house some U.S. presidential candidates.
But the candidates are still anxious to explain their views to anyone
who will listen, and hope the convention will bring the publicity most have sought unsuccessfully for years. Following is a look at some of them:
Irvin James Guenther, of Louisville, Ken., is an actor/singer/ventriloquist who once ran his puppet, Maxie, for president. He said he has run three times for president - counting Maxie's try.
"The main issue I'm concerned with is pornography. Actors who are clean and decent can't get parts," he complained. He said he is also running against abortion and favors more benefits for veterans.
Louie Gene Youngkeit, Provo resident and Hercules employee, says the CIA tortured him at a theater in Anaheim, Calif., when he was 12 years old, and has said sympathy about that attack could help his campaign.
Issues he is concerned about include ensuring the government does not use disinformation, achieving national economic stability, stressing constitutional principles and encouraging family togetherness.
Robert Cotner, Bixby, Okla., is a private investigator. He says he worked for the CIA for eight years, but says the agency now denies that.
"I am seeking publicity on issues that they don't want publicized. That is that laws don't apply to anyone who isn't a registered Democrat or Republican." He adds that "everything the CIA does is illegal." He also wants to publicize his claims that paper money is illegal.
Isabel Masters, Oklahoma City, Okla., received a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. She first attended college at the same time as her six children.
When asked why she is running, she said, "I had a divine revelation when I was riding a bus from Washington to Pennsylvania that I should run for president." She calls for an end to world hunger.
Mary Jane Rachner, a retired Minnesota teacher, finished second in the North Dakota Republican primary - the year's last primary. She said she had 6 percent of the vote and claims that shows not all Republicans want George Bush.
She said she might have done better, but she ordered billboards in North Dakota that said, "Stamp out homosexuality" and the ad company would not post them. She stresses issues to strengthen the family.
Bea Mooney, of Lakeland, Minn., is a public health nurse who said she decided to run for president because "I couldn't live with myself unless I did something to make the world safer from the nuclear threat."
She wants to push for world peace as well as better health care and health care education. She ran for president in 1980 and 1984, and ran for governor and Congress in Minnesota.
Roger E. Craft, Pacific Palisades, Calif., owns an insurance agency and stresses foreign policy to "give peace a chance" by getting America out of the Persian Gulf and avoiding violence in Africa.
He also seeks "a renewed spirit" in America by rejuvenating the steel and auto industries by protecting them from foreign competition.
Although they had not yet arrived, the convention also expects Tom Woods, a Long Beach, Calif., psychiatrist who says economic development is the key to world peace; George Washington America of New York City; and Hector Marquez of Alaska.
Dirt, who organized the convention, said, "This will be great. These people need to be heard. This will grow slowly and get bigger and bigger every year."
The convention continues through Friday.