By Robert W. Peck
Chairman, Constitution Party of Washington
May 22, 2013
An article was recently posted at Independent Political Report featuring comments by Cody Quirk in regard to his effort to, as he puts it, “unify the Constitutionalist parties”. In the May 20 article titled “Cody Quirk: As an Independent” American, 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.
This is not a rebuttal to Mr. Quirk; neither do I seek a debate, as he is entitled to his opinion. However, since Mr. Quirk’s statements have been made public, then the public deserves to know all the facts before forming an opinion.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The fact is that a similar endeavor at unification, which bore substantially the same name, was undertaken several years ago. The Constitution Party’s chairman attended a meeting of the “parties” involved – a meeting which he described as consisting of the America First Party and “one or two other tiny groups that put the word Party next to a name.” It quickly became apparent to him that the endeavor was merely a distraction and “a total waste of time.” 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.
Regarding the Independent American Party, the party that Mr. Quirk has been most focused on unifying with the Constitution Party and which he has now joined, in a Feb 22, 2013 article (you can find it here http://tinyurl.com/agn893m) Mr. Quirk states:
“So far the National IAP has officially expressed interest in working towards a merger of the parties, and, in fact, since the National IAP also wants to cooperate better and work closer with the CP, I am actively helping their party on a few matters of their own while still an official member of the CP.”
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.”
However, I find it disturbing that a few months ago I was informed that the IAP was working to obtain ballot access in a state where an organized, active and strong Constitution Party state affiliate already has ballot access. This does not agree with Mr. Quirk’s assertion of the IAP wanting to “cooperate better and work closer with the CP.”
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.
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.
The door is open – come on in and join us!
Robert W. Peck
Chairman, Constitution Party of Washington