Gored by Martin Sheen and Mandy Moore

In which a grizzled veteran actor and a pretty new songbird mount inspiring letter campaigns to thwart third-party candidates and support the Vice Big Dog.

By John Warner - Kevin Guilfoile

Published November 3, 2000 5:45PM (EST)

With this presidential election shaping up to be the closest one in 40 years, increasingly panicky Democrats are putting the pressure on supporters of Ralph Nader to vote for Al Gore, especially in hotly contested states.

To help with the effort, some of the biggest Gore backers in the entertainment industry have been leveraging their fame to try to bring disenfranchised voters back into the Democratic Party's fold.

But Nader isn't the only third-party candidate who threatens to steal votes from the vice president. Recently, we received these two letters -- the first from actor Martin Sheen, the second from pop singer Mandy Moore -- alerting us to a heartening new development in the final stretch of the presidential race: More and more celebrities are voicing their rejection of third-party candidates and coming out in force for the Vice Big Dog.

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Why I, Martin Sheen, am not voting for the Church of God Party's Clifford Catton

Dear Friend,

Earlier in the presidential campaign, you may have seen a commercial for the National Rifle Association narrated by my sound-alike brother, Joe Estevez. This was a devious trick designed to suggest that I, President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet of TV's "The West Wing," do not think Al Gore has what it takes to be this nation's commander in chief.

Of course I should have seen it coming, as it's been better than seven years since Joe last embarrassed the family, that being the time he costarred in "Beach Babes From Beyond Infinity" with Jacqueline Stallone, Joey Travolta and Don Swayze. I'm certainly not the first president (real or pretend) to have a deadbeat leech for a brother.

With this letter, I hope to set the record straight by urging you to support the vice president, rather than waste your vote on a third-party candidate who has no hope of winning the election.

As detailed on his Web site, Clifford Catton of the Church of God Party launched his bid for the White House on a single issue: his belief that, since 1981, U.S. Postal Service employees have been stealing his mail. Of course, it's obvious that Mr. Catton is only being paranoid -- postal workers steal everyone's mail. They are lawless, feral creatures who tear up your pension checks and make little hand-puppet fish from the envelopes, putting on bawdy shows for one another behind rows of prefab particle-board shelves while pretending to look for your dented and water-damaged eBay treasures.

But widespread postal theft can best be addressed by voting for Al Gore, the candidate who spent four months in the jungles of 'Nam, where you learn quickly that the penalty for stealing another soldier's perfumed letters might be no one to watch your back when the hot metal rain pours down from Charlie snipers wedged 60 feet up in the jackfruit trees.

Certainly, you'll agree that nothing can be gained for the progressive cause by throwing away your vote on a third-party candidate whose quest for the presidency is more futile than my fat brother Joe's search for a hummer during the three-year period of Heidi Fleiss' incarceration.

If you want a president who will be the most like I am on television, that is, a president who will speak in a droning, modulated voice, who will wear blue jeans on Saturdays and who will appoint John Amos of "Good Times" as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then that president is Vice President Al Gore. A vote for Clifford Catton, on the other hand, is a vote for George W. Bush. Actually, it's half a vote for Bush, a third of a vote for Pat Buchanan -- the remaining fifth or so of your vote would go to syndicated columnist Dave Barry. The system is overly complicated, I know.


Martin Sheen,
A proud friend of Al's

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Why I, Mandy Moore, am not voting for Jackson Kirk Grimes, presidential nominee of the United Fascist Union Party

For immediate release to the Mandy Moore Fan Club listserve

OK! So here I am writing to you from my tour in Mexico City and I wish I could tell you all that it's, like, beautiful here, but it's not. It SUX!!! Cuz there's, like, so many poor (and really dirty, yucko!) people all over the place, and it's more polluted than Los Angeles even (thank God for Neutrogena Clean & Clear -- yay! -- or you could start driving an Aztek through my pores), which makes it kinda depressing (and sucky). But this weekend some of my BFs (best friends) and me are heading over to Cozumel for some sun and fun (and just maybe some boyz, hahaha!), which will be totally KEWL!

So anyway, it's time to get serious for a minute here, gang, because the election is peeking around Mr. Corner and my www.mandymoore.com webmaster (hi, Earl!) says that 12.2 percent of you are old enough to vote and that at least 45 percent of that group isn't Web surfing from prison, which means that a whole big lot of you have a HUGE decision to make on Nov. 7, and I'm telling you that no matter what you do, don't vote for Jackson Kirk Grimes of the United Fascist Union Party, because if you do, it would, like, just break my heart in pieces completely.

Now I can't talk about the details. Why? Cuz there's a whole bunch of lawyerey and policyey stuff going on, but trust me when I tell you that this guy is just a major league CREEPO and does not belong as the leader of the free world. If I were the prez, LOL! :) :) I wouldn't even let him own a camera!

Of course I totally dig the third-party candidacy concept thing, cuz, I mean, how boring if we only had room for the Britneys and the Christinas, but if you're going to run up against the two-party monolith (huge thanx to my biggest fan, Tammi T., for that Word-a-Day calendar, cuz learning rox! Stay in school!), do it like 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson by building a coalition of independent voters forged on the basis of shared values and specific policy initiatives, rather than as part of a grass-roots putsch designed to install JACKSON KIRK GRIMES THE CREEPO! as the leader of a totalitarian state where it's illegal to wear underpants!

I just know you'll do this for me, cuz you guyz were just so AWESOME when I asked you to vote for me in the Teen World Online "Who's the Prettiest New Songbird" contest and we totally harshed that whore Jessica Simpson (just kidding, she's like sooooooo supersweet, really, really pretty too and not fat at all!!!). But this is even more important because IF JACKSON KIRK GRIMES WERE PRESIDENT IT WOULD JUST SUCK SO HARD! :( :( :( !!!!!!!!!!!

Just remember, everyone, Al Gore is the real poo -- smell it!


John Warner

John Warner is a visiting instructor at the College of Charleston and author of the short story collection, "Tough Day for the Army."

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Kevin Guilfoile

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Al Gore