The relatively recent political party — Boston Tea Party — was founded back in 2006 and has seen steady, if slow, growth as a political player since then.
I caught up with front man Darryl Perry (who writes a column here on a regular basis) for a few questions and here’s how he responded.
1) What is the membership size of the BTP? Is there a growth chart of any kind since its inception?
As of mid-December there were 2,232 members. I have not updated the growth chart recently, however I can tell you that membership growth hasn’t grown as fast in the past 18 months or so.
2) Have you considered forming a caucus or bloc within one of the established political parties?
The original intent was for the BTP to be a caucus within the LP – however the members present at the first meeting decided to form a new party. As far as future plans to form a caucus within any other party, I will say “no comment”.
3) How is the platform different than that of the Libertarian Party? What would you say the fundamental difference is in your party’s coming together in the online era.
The BTP platform is 1 sentence that can never be changed; whereas the LP platform is tweaked or majorly overhauled every two years. The BTP also offers a bottom-up approach to party organization, whereas the LP (and most other parties) prefer a top-down approach.
4) How many candidates will the BTP be fielding in 2012?
That is a good question. Aside from the Presidential ticket at this time only one party member has announced plans to run for office in Florida for a position on the Soil and Water Conservation Board in Hillsborough County, FL.
5) As a political party, what has your role been in challenging the onerous ballot access laws in many states?
I wish the BTP were able to file lawsuits to challenge these laws – however, the bylaws prohibit the National Committee from soliciting donations – which makes spending money on lawsuits difficult. However, the BTP is a member of COFOE, a group which has assisted others in lawsuits against these laws. I’ve personally spoken with half a dozen legislators in NH about easing ballot access, as well as sent letters to countless other legislators in many States.
I also published a book in October of last year which was written to inform people about the various ways in which the two major parties have taken control of the electoral process and ways in which the “playing field” can be leveled so that independent & minor party candidates have the same path to ballot access as the “big boys.”
If you have further questions about this fledgling political party, please leave them in the comments and we’ll try to have Perry answer them. If you’d like more info on the Boston Tea Party happenings, their website — bostontea.us — is simple enough to remember.