'Law & Order' Star Sam Waterston Says Centrist Effort Needed to Fix Washington Politics

Sam Waterston, whose character Jack McCoy recently became district attorney on the long-running NBC crime drama "Law & Order," says he has no interest in following Fred Thompson's lead and running for office — but he is dipping his toe into the political waters.

He has become the spokesman for Denver-based Unity08, a centrist effort for political change that is trying to put a bipartisan ticket picked over the Internet on the presidential ballot in all 50 states.

"Bitter partisanship remains the reality in Washington, proof positive that the system is broken, and that a third force in the middle is essential to fix it," Waterston says on a video posted Dec. 4 on YouTube and on the Unity08 Web site.

"The year 2008 will soon be here, and our choice again will be between the lesser of two evils when it comes to the presidential candidates who get on the November 2008 ballot. I can't accept that."

Waterston, 67, told Newsweek for the edition hitting newsstands Monday that he is not registered with any party, although he remembers being a Democrat "many, many years ago." He said he grew disenchanted with partisan scare tactics.

"I found myself doing things like voting for Barry Goldwater in New York because I was so appalled by the 'Be afraid, be very afraid' (Lyndon) Johnson ad," he told the magazine. "I was trying to send a message, but of course that got lost. Then I started voting independent because I was under the impression that if you left the parties, they would miss you. They don't miss you."