Business Politics and Current Affairs

October 21, 2010

US Politics – Constitution Party

Filed under: US Politics — ispoli @ 9:00 am

Constitution Party

Former Nixon Administration official and Conservative Coalition chairman Howard Phillips founded the US Taxpayers Party in 1992 as a potential vehicle for Pat Buchanan to use as a third party vehicle – had he agreed to bolt from the GOP in 1992 or 1996. The USTP pulled together several of the splintered right-wing third parties – including the once mighty American Independent Party – into a larger, more visible political entity (although some state affiliate parties operate under names other than the USTP). Renamed as the Constitution Party in 1999, the party is strongly pro-life, anti-gun control, anti-tax, anti-immigration, protectionist, “anti-New World Order,” anti-United Nations, anti-gay rights, anti-welfare, pro-school prayer … basically a hardcore Religious Right platform. When Buchanan stayed in the GOP, Phillips ran as the USTP nominee in both 1992 (ballot status in 21 states – 43,000 votes – 0.04%) and 1996 (ballot spots in 39 states – 185,000 votes – 6th place – 0.2%) – and as the Constitution nominee in 2000 (ballot status in 41 states – 98,000 votes – 6th place – 0.1%). The party started fielding local candidates in 1994. Still, for a new third party attempting to grow, the party fielded disappointingly few local candidates since 1998. The web site features the Constitution Party platform, articles, archives, links and more. The party received a brief boost in the media when conservative US Senator Bob Smith – an announced GOP Presidential hopeful – bolted from the Republican Party to seek the Constitution Party nomination in 2000 (although Smith exited from the Constitution Party race just two weeks later). At the 1999 national convention, the party narrowly adopted a controversial change to its platform’s preamble which declared “that the foundation of our political position and moving principle of our political activity is our full submission and unshakable faith in our Savior and Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ” – although the party officially invites “all citizens of all faiths” to become active in the party. Any national candidate seeking the party’s nomination is explicitly required to tell the convention of any areas of disagreement with the party’s platform. In Spring 2002, Pat Buchanan’s 2000 VP runningmate Ezola Foster and many Reform Party leaders from California and Maryland defected to the Constitution Party, providing a nice boost to the party. In a blow to the party, many of the Buchanan’s followers from the 2000 race launched the nearly identical America First Party in 2002 (although it seemed to implode less than a year later). The Young Constitutionalists are the youth wing of the party.

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