by Cody Quirk
Recently, one Robert Peck of the Washington Constitution Party did an article on Independent Political Report in response to my article, ‘As an Independent American‘, that was re-posted on IPR -in a poor attempt to rebut it, the arguments, and stated evidence for why I left the CP and joined the National IAP in the first place.
Indeed, while I will not answer every sentence paragraph he had written in his response, I will feature certain portions that do need to be addressed and respond to it in detail…
Mr. Quirk casts numerous aspersions on the Constitution Party. He makes statements that may cause some to believe that there are actually numerous national political parties of relatively equal strength that all hold the same Biblical and Constitutional values; that an organized effort is underway to unify those parties and that the Constitution Party refuses to take part in his unification effort due, in his words, to its being “petty,” “unscrupulous,” “sectarian,” “incompetent,” and made up of individuals who have demonstrated “sneering arrogance and haughty demeanor” and are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” It should be noted that Mr. Quirk appears to have discovered the supposedly nefarious nature of the Constitution Party only after its choosing not to participate in his unification efforts.
Actually, I was well aware of such a nefarious nature that existed in the Constitution Party previously- but since I was a member then, and wanted to help strengthen it, I largely keep my mouth shut until the past couple of months, and before then, tried in sincere fairness to include the members of the CP Executive and National Committees with the Clarion Call To Unite Committee and this great effort that we are still pursuing; we constantly sent out emails and even made phone calls to many of the members of these leading committees in the CP, only to be met by either silence or skepticism. And after the CP National Committee meeting had their meeting in Baltimore, to their zealous extent of rejecting the sincere and public efforts of the CCTUC- while greatly disappointed, I at first accepted the results of the meeting, that is until a good associate of mine that attended the Baltimore meeting had this to say about what had happened, and of course, I became incensed when I then learned about specifics of the events at Baltimore. However, then again there have been times in the past where I have spoken out vehemently on certain internal matters that were dividing the CP at the time, and especially against certain individuals who were, at the time, also leaders of the CP.
On February 28 of this year, I was first made aware that something called the “Clarion Call to Unite Committee” (CCTUC) had been formed and was seeking “political unification of all constitutionalist parties,” according to a January 6, 2013 article at Independent Political Report. Mr. Quirk appears to head the CCTUC and I am aware of at least one other individual involved in the effort – there may or may not be others. The parties named in the January 6 article for which unification is sought, included the Constitution Party, National Independent American Party (not to be confused with the Constitution Party’s Nevada state affiliate by the same name), America First Party and the American Party.
Let’s take a quick look at each of the parties that CCTUC seeks to unite, indicating that by “joining forces” they can “turn the tide.”
Yes, I indeed contacted Mr. Peck and other national, regional, and state leaders of the CP, wanting to include them in our efforts, which only shows our intentions were sincere, open, and courteous.
The American Party, formed in 2006, only existed as a single state party in Florida and though the website is still up, they appear to have ceased operations in 2011 and are no longer listed with the Division of Elections.
Here’s where Mr. Peck gets it wrong again; the American Party was actually formed in 1969, as a continuation of the American Independent Party, which supported George C. Wallace in the 1968 Presidential elections. The former California affiliate of the CP (which is also called the American Independent Party), used to be an affiliate of this national party back then until it (and other state affiliates) broke away from the AP in the mid-1970s over internal matters, and afterward, a bitter rivalry existed between the AIP and the AP for a long time. Indeed, while now the AP is nearly defunct and may not have ballot access anywhere anymore except for Florida, perhaps; they have expressed interest in the CCTUC and in merging the parties together, and have greatly contributed to such efforts as well. And despite the visible snobbery of the Constitution Party in its attitude towards these other parties, we still welcome them and treat them with courteousness and respect, unlike the CP.
Mr. Peck, unfortunately, needs to be better careful with what he asserts, are facts and genuine history.
According to Wikipedia, the America First Party was founded in 2002 and reached its high water mark that same year with 11 candidates nationwide and has never made ballot access in more than three states.
This time, Mr. Peck is correct. However, it must be noted that the AFP was founded by the former conservative members of the Reform Party, along with many of those that supported the candidacy of Pat Buchanan back in the 2000 Presidential elections. Why exactly did these people simply start their own party when they could have simply joined the CP instead is a good question, and one that can be answered in the most part later on in this response.
The Independent American Party was formed in 1998 and appears to have never had more than three organized state parties and in 2012 only had ballot access in one state.
In contrast, the Constitution Party, founded in 1992, has state party affiliates in nearly every state. Over the years, the party and its Presidential candidate have achieved ballot access in a minimum of 21 states and as many as 41. Constitution Party state affiliates have put as many as 50 candidates on the ballot in a single state.
True, but again, one also needs to examine the circumstances for each party in this contrast; first off, the national party that I am now a member of largely started as a breakaway from the American Party, and even at that time, the AP was much smaller than the CP, so, therefore, the IAP started as a smaller tent then the National CP, who started as several state affiliates that merged together, and therefore started with a ‘bigger tent’. And unfortunately, the IAP was domination by extremist and incompetent leadership back then; the kind of leadership that even I butted heads with, and held negative views of the IAP for the longest time because of such people.
Yet, over time, such people either died of natural causes, or were voted out of their positions in the IAP, and things, therefore, changed for the IAP, gradually, especially in achieving ballot access and have better organized themselves recently after a long period of dormancy, in which I will be helping them from now on, while also still reaching out to the other parties which are in dialogue with the CCTUC.
On the factor of the CP; indeed, since they started out as a bigger tent, and had more competent and practical individuals as their leaders, they did hundreds of times better than the National IAP did… Back then.
It must also be noted that those state affiliates that were well organized and ran as many as 50 candidates- did so only because of the level-headed & experienced leadership of that state party, along with the dedicated members of that particular state, in addition with state election laws which were quite favorable to those particular state affiliates which made it easy for that state party to do, and to grow as well.
Yet the national party itself, played a very little, to almost no role in those factors at all; the truth behind the former strength in the CP was that it was made up of several individual state parties that had already existed for many many years, and was already organized enough to get and maintain ballot access on their own, as well as run many candidates for various offices. However, only a few of these state parties exist in the CP, and the majority of the state affiliates that were founded afterward have instead fared poorly and have also lost ballot access recently, and even the ones that do considerably well in the organization and can stay on the ballot are very weak in comparison to the Nevada and Utah affiliates of the CP.
Therefore, while the CP has seen success on the local levels, and some good showings on the state level… On the national level, the truth is the complete opposite; it is on this level that the CP fares poorly, where both the Libertarian and Green Parties, with their well-funded organizations and capable leaders, easily run circles around the CP and put it to great shame when it comes to the voting results of each presidential election.
And in it’s 20 or more years of existence as a national party; on trying to restore constitutional government and bringing America back to its moral and traditional foundations, it has failed. And with the way it is organized, ran, and funded, it will continue to fail until it collapses and fades away.
I don’t mean to speak disparagingly of other political parties. I recognize what an achievement it is to organize and obtain ballot access in even one state. However, to suggest that the Constitution Party and its supporters should put on the line all that they have labored for and built by yielding it up to a merger with these other parties, some of which may not even be actual parties is ludicrous.
In comparison to these other state parties which the CCTUC has reached out to, especially the ballot-qualified California AIP, whom has three times as many registered voters in their ranks in their state alone, compared to the entire National CP, where their Nevada affiliate by itself, makes up 90% of the national voter registration for the CP; in reality, it is ludicrous for the National CP itself to reject considering any talks on the subject of the merger. Especially when these other parties, including the Independent Green Party of Virginia, and the Constitution Party of Oregon (another ex affiliate of the National CP that left many years ago), also have ballot access in their respective states while the National CP itself, does not.
The real issue is this – that the door to the Constitution Party has always been open to any and all who share its commitment to Biblical presuppositions and strict adherence to the plain text of the U.S. Constitution as interpreted according to the original intent of its framers.
From the words of former National Chairman, Jim Clymer:
“…Religious tests have come up before. For example, several years ago a majority of the leadership of the CP in Illinois (the predecessor to the currently affiliated CP of Illinois) supported the exclusion of Catholics from leadership positions in the party or from membership positions altogether. At the 2004 National Convention of the Constitution Party in Valley Forge, there were platform amendment proposals submitted proposing a religious test for party membership. In both of these instances the CP rejected efforts to exclude certain religions from participating in the party.”
I highly doubt that, Mr. Peck. In fact, the above paragraph is only the tip of the iceberg in the CP’s turbulent history on the subject of religious sectarianism.
Seeing that the Constitution Party was founded well in advance of the other parties that are being proposed for unification, one would be forced to assume that the other parties were formed either because they were not aware of the Constitution Party’s existence at the time, or because they hold sufficiently differing views so as to be incompatible with the Constitution Party’s platform.
Funny, because some of these parties that the CCTUC has reached out to are former affiliates of the CP that have disaffiliated from the National CP (not the other way around) at one point or another, and yet trying to bring them back into the CP is something that the members of the CP cannot tolerate?
As for these other parties, I do believe the latter might be the likeliest explanation, yet not because these other parties expose a radically different or more moderate ideology on the major issues, but because of the various controversies which have existed previously in the Constitution Party, especially when one former Regional Co-Chair of the CP had this to say:
“…Many have objected to my treatment of Mormons by having referred to them in open discourse as “devil worshiping Mormons.” If you object, take your complaint to a higher tribunal, to He who declares All the gods of the nations are devils and to whom you owe due honor, reverence, and worship. Since He says, The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils, I can do no other.”
-then one does indeed wonder why they didn’t join with the Constitution Party in the first place?
The best statement that I’ve heard with regard to the CCTUC’s desire to unite like-minded, Constitutionally oriented parties, is that of Andrew Zuelke of the Constitution Party of Wisconsin, who commented in that party’s May 1, 2013 email campaign:
“I want to remind my fellow constitutionalists that the CCTUC is not breaking any new ground here. Members of the Constitution Party already answered the ‘clarion call’ to unite back in 1992 when ‘a coalition of independent state parties united to form the US Taxpayer’s Party’ which later became the Constitution Party. This idea isn’t new.”
Indeed this idea isn’t new at all, yet if Mr. Peck thinks that the CP has already answered the Clarion Call, and nothing more needs to be done in the field of politics, and in restoring constitutional government, then he is very incorrect here, especially since there are other constitutionalist parties out there that have ballot-access, are organized, and very capable of splitting the vote as well as manpower and resources, as they did in the last presidential election with the candidacies of Tom Hoefling and Will Christensen, both whom had ballot access in a state where the CP’s presidential candidate, Virgil Goode Jr., was not on the ballot and therefore, both candidates received votes which could have easily gone to Goode instead, if he were on the ballot in those states.
This above, is one of the reasons why there must be a unified party among those that are tired of the two-party system and also want to see our Constitutional Republic reemerge again, and unfortunately the CP has already dropped the ball on being that unified party that all patriots and principled-conservatives could flock to, especially when Mr. Zuelke’s CP state affiliate recently passes a resolution which calls for not just the recriminalization of sodomy, but also the repeal of ‘no fault’ divorce as well, and also, at their recent state convention, reelected a State Chairman that espouses extremist viewpoints and especially had this to say about the 2012 Presidential election on his commentary blog:
“…Here are some other facts: President Obama is not a Christian. There is plenty of proof of that, which I am not going to talk about here. Governor Mitt Romney is not a Christian. He is part of the Mormon Church. If you want more information about Mormonism, talk to your pastor…”
Unfortunately, I cannot view the opinions of those members of the Wisconsin affiliate of the CP in high regard, being myself, a Mormon.
…The same appearing to be true of the current effort, the Constitution Party National Committee recently voted to abstain from participation in the CCTUC and instead stay focused on its primary tasks of recruiting members, fielding candidates and welcoming any individuals, groups or other parties who want to join their efforts to that of the Constitution Party.
And with how far in the red the National CP’s finances are currently, I highly doubt that it can do such for the time being.
I have only become aware of the existence of the Independent American Party within the past year or so. As a member of the Constitution Party National Committee, a state party chairman, and the immediate past Western Area Co-Chairman, I am not aware of the Independent American Party ever making contact with or seeking interaction with the Constitution Party. Nevertheless, if they share the same goal as the Constitution Party, then I’ll repeat that “the door is open – come on in and join us.”
Really, then what about this? Mr. Gneiting repeatedly contacted Frank Fluckiger and the others about this, and you didn’t know? However, with the past animosity, and previous events that took place in Baltimore – do you think that the National leaders of the IAP would up and close shop for the sake of the CP? As a national leader of the IAP, I sure as hell am not going back, in which the reasons why I will elaborate further down…
More recently, I was made privy to an IAP communique which indicated a party-building plan that included targeting states to organize in which already have Constitution Party state affiliates. The plan indicated that part of the IAP strategy for obtaining ballot access in those states consisted of courting the support of some existing Constitution Party state leaders.
If these things are true (some of which I’ve seen with my own eyes), then the IAP would appear to be acting in a very subversive manner and putting its own aggrandizement ahead of the cause of restoring Constitutional governance through working together with a pre-existing, Constitutionally-committed, national political party that already has state affiliates and ballot access. If these indictments against the Independent American Party are false, then I urge the leadership of the IAP to open a dialog with the leaders of the Constitution Party in order to clear the air.
Yes they are false, yet with the arrogance and animosity expressed by the leaders of the CP in regards to the National IAP, and to the CCTUC at the Baltimore meeting, and elsewhere, along with how this author has received threats of physical violence on his person, and from recognized leaders of the CP, in addition- then not only is this author jumping ship for the National IAP but dialogue on the subject of simply giving up and joining the CP, is very much unrealistic at this point.
Originally, in my peaceful dialogue with the National IAP I did try to talk them out of attempting to get on the ballot in states where the CP was already on; for the sake of trying to have them work with the CP, instead of competing with them- which was one of the original goals of the CCTUC. And I nearly succeeded in having the IAP cease it’s ballot access efforts, that is until the events in Baltimore happened, along with the fallout that came afterward- so in reality, I was also helping the CP at the same time then, and things might have gone differently if the events at Baltimore didn’t happen the way they did.
So congratulations Mr. Peck & Company; you guys have screwed up the possibility of the IAP closely cooperating, and eventually having a merger with the CP in due time, as would have the other parties, by their eventual consent and agreement, would have also done, of course.
Yet now, what was done cannot be unchanged, and the road of unifying these parties together as one must now take a different path.
The bottom line when it comes to unification is that the Constitution Party has been seeking to unify God honoring, Constitution upholding patriots since 1992.
Then why, after twenty years, are there no CP’ers in major offices, and along with competing national parties and ex-state affiliates which are on the ballot and run their own presidential candidates? And why is the CCTUC in existence in the first place then?
The door is open – come on in and join us!
I did a long time ago- and you dropped the ball, sir.