Dennis Mikolay: ‘When politics comes naturally’

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.com by Dennis Mikolay:

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE ABOUT THE NATURAL LAW PARTY APPEARED IN THE MONMOUTH
UNIVERSITY “OUTLOOK” ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2010.

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WHEN POLITICS COMES NATURALLY
By Dennis “DJ” Mikolay

Whenever the public becomes discontent with government policy, the masses
start to recognize the ineffectiveness of the two-party duopoly. Thus, the
talk of forming a third party alternative inevitably begins. The truth of
the matter is, there is really no need to form a new party, as there are
already numerous appealing alternatives to the Democrats and Republicans,
several of which advance substantive platforms and noble ideals.

The problem, however, is that no-matter how strong a candidate’s ideas
are, it is an uphill battle for third parties; media exposure is scarce
and electoral victory nearly impossible. In the rare event that some
coverage is granted, it is often cynical or belittling. Indeed, running
for office as a minor party candidate is no easy task, and while the
majority of Americans might potentially agree with a third party’s
platform, they will likely never hear it.

Just ask Mary Jo Christian, the daughter of a former Irvington mayor, who
spent the better part of the 1990s as an activist with the now defunct
Natural Law Party. Christian’s initial foray into politics began in 1990,
when she formed the Monmouth County Citizens for Clean Air and Water and
with a mere $35,000 war-chest, successfully prevented the political elite
from constructing a garbage incinerator in Tinton Falls.

Inspired by this victory, her political apex occurred in 1996, when she
heard physicist Dr. John Hagelin, the Natural Law Party’s public
figurehead, speak at an Asbury Park hotel. She joined the organization and
by 1998 was their congressional candidate in New Jersey’s twelfth
congressional district.
In keeping with the notion that third parties often address pertinent
issues ignored by the major parties, Christian’s campaign championed
environmental awareness and airport security, both of which would become
hot button issues years later.

Not all politicians, however, shared Christian’s concern for the
environment and safer skies; during her public debate with opponent Rush
Holt, the Democratic contender immediately dismissed her concerns that an
airplane could easily be hijacked from Newark airport and taken to
Manhattan.

“I argued against closing a nearby air-force base because I knew there
would be trouble at Newark Airport,” said Christian. “I had seen a man go
through security with a bag full of knives and scalpels. Holt cut me off
midsentence and said that could never happen in America. He dismissed my
hijacking worries!”

Holt’s lack of concern for anti-terroristic measures didn’t inhibit his
rise in the Democratic Party ranks, and he has since established himself
as one of their key figures on the national scene.

While Christian’s ideas were considerably out of league with the two major
parties, she found inspiration in the fact that Minnesota Governor Jesse
Ventura, elected on the Reform Party ticket, was willing to address issues
major party candidates avoided.

“Jesse Ventura is awesome,” said Christian. “When I first started talking
to him about genetic engineering, he admitted he didn’t know anything
about it. But he went out and read up on the issue; he has really immersed
himself in getting all the knowledge he can!”

Christian’s activism continued into the 2000s . She formed the Council of
Alternative Political Parties, and later worked on musician Pat DiNizio’s
campaign for senate with the Reform Party. By that point the Natural Law
Party and the Reform Party had begun to work together on a number of
endeavors. An unsuccessful attempt to merge the two parties took a heavy
toll on both organizations, and the Natural Law Party was dissolved in
2002.

Today Mary Jo Christian, a television producer, is busy at work on a new
Native American themed reality show. Christian believes Americans can
learn a great deal from the Native Americans whom she describes as
“wonderful, loving, caring people.”

While her days as a candidate for public office are far behind her, Mary
Jo Christian still feels the need to warn voters against the potential
dangers she sees presented by the far-right elements of the “Tea Party”
movement, which she claims “ troll uneducated voters for their own twisted
agenda.”

2 thoughts on “Dennis Mikolay: ‘When politics comes naturally’

  1. Jacob Zychick

    Dennis “DJ” Mikolay writes another excellent article to show that this system does need another voice, especially at the state and local level!

    I would like to share my thoughts about Mr. Mikolay, who I believe to be the true leader in creating an alternative choice in New Jersey. Dennis has taken an article and featured such high-profile former candidates such as Chris Daggett and Congressman John Anderson. He has showcased through his article and various meetings his knack for campaign strategy, and also fits the mold for a future manager/strategist that will be successful in defeating the duopoly.

    I hope that additional people begin to notice the efforts he has made in Monmouth County and New Jersey.

    Sincerely,
    Jacob Zychick
    Chairman, Reform Party of New Jersey (2010-2012)

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