Reform Party’s Shilepsky backs federal budget reform

Jessica Steeno

Spirits were high among Reform Party candidates and supporters Tuesday night as they gathered to watch the election results unfold at a hotel room in Brooklyn Park.
Although they were not winning, party members said they were happy that the public is starting to notice them and that their message was heard.
“I’m glad I got out there and provided people with an alternative choice,” said Alan Shilepsky, Reform Party candidate for state House District 59B. The district includes the East Bank area of the University campus.
The Reform Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate, Dean Barkley, said he was hoping to win 10 percent of the vote in Minnesota. Early poll results showed Barkley carrying slightly less than 10 percent of the vote.
Barkley said he is encouraged by the number of younger people who have inquired about and joined his party.
“Most of the people joining our party are under 30,” he said. “Either we’re going to grow with Generation X, or we’re going to die.”
Early results showed Shilepsky carrying slightly more than 10 percent of the vote in his election.
Shilepsky said he is a moderate between two extremes. Although his financially conservative views are similar to those of Republicans, he still believes government involvement can be effective. As far as University issues go, he opposes tenure reforms, but supports eliminating General College.
The Reform Party’s platform supports the elimination of the deficit through a variety of tactics. Most of all, the party would like to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment, which would eliminate deficit spending.
The party wants to reform the welfare system to make it self-sufficient. Party members hope to accomplish this by offering incentives for work and education. They also want to create mandatory residency requirements and time limits for welfare recipients.
Party supporters also want to eliminate all automatic spending increases in federal and state government. They also hope to impose market fees on people who use public lands for grazing, timber harvesting and mineral development.