Promising to roll tanks down city streets, wipe out AIDS through mandatory testing and eliminate the new Gramm-Rudman budget-balancing law, two supporters of ultraconservative Lyndon LaRouche tried Friday to fashion their Illinois primary victory into an international movement.
In a contentious news conference, the two candidates, Mark Fairchild and Janice A. Hart, castigated the national Democratic Party, Illinois gubernatorial candidate Adlai E. Stevenson III and the media--and, at the same time, called on all three to join them in pressing their views in the United States and abroad.
Embarrassing a lackadaisical Illinois Democratic Party, Fairchild and Hart last Tuesday defeated two mainstream Democrats and, in the process, frustrated Stevenson, who has vowed not to run with the two "LaRouche Democrats," whose organization is called the National Democratic Policy Committee.
But their victory "is being applauded globally," Hart said at the news conference. An intense, combative woman who described herself as a "hell-raiser and a troublemaker," Hart likened herself to Joan of Arc and vowed that LaRouche policies will "save our nation and our Western civilization."
During the session, Hart repeatedly refused to answer questions, including whether she knew how many counties are in Illinois. But that did not impede the flow of her rhetoric.
Stand on AIDS
Hart said acquired immune deficiency syndrome is "sweeping" central Africa and "is going to engulf all of Western civilization" unless everyone is tested and those with the disease are quarantined for treatment.
Once elected, Hart said, she would work to overturn the Gramm-Rudman law because it will make cities suffer massive cuts in education and transportation.
Turning to crime issues, she said: "You bet I'm going to roll those tanks down State Street," a main thoroughfare in Chicago. "I'm going to put every drug pusher behind bars."
At one point, she urged the media to report fairly and to "cut out all the baloney," the "misinformation" and "gibberish" as a way of helping her rid the nation of "this traitorous influence that's currently running the show today."
Fairchild said Stevenson "should get off his sour-grapes attitude" and "get together and talk policy" to guarantee a Democratic victory in November.
Some Democrats said the Illinois victory never would have happened in the first place if Democrats in that state had shown a bit more leadership.
"My guess is, they didn't pay enough attention to what was happening," said Jim Ruvolo, Democratic chairman in Ohio, adding that in Chicago, the stronghold of the state Democratic Party, leaders were absorbed by the longstanding feud between Mayor Harold Washington and old-line party boss Edward R. Vrdolyak.
Nevertheless, the Illinois victory has sent shudders through the Democratic Party in Washington and elsewhere, although no LaRouche candidate has ever won elective office anywhere.
Democratic National Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. said he is urging party officials around the country to monitor candidates for Democratic nominations at all levels to weed out "extremist candidates" for "legitimate" Democratic voters.
Terry Michael, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said the party does not want to "raise their profile" by paying too much attention to LaRouche Democrats, "but, at the same time, if the public becomes aware that they are really kooks, then that will help prevent the same thing from happening again."
National Democratic Party officials said the next primary test will come May 3 in Texas.
LaRouche supporters in California say Illinois results are no fluke. Page 26.