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Howard Phillips, founder of The Conservative Caucus (TCC) and its Chairman since 1974, has resigned, saying that recent health problems required that he “direct my energies on my health, my family life, my spiritual priorities, and my writings.” He affirmed his gratitude “for the opportunities God has given me to work with such fine people and I remain wholeheartedly supportive of the important work and mission of this organization.”
Phillips, now 70, led TCC through successful battles to block ratification of the SALT II Treaty, begin the SDI missile defense program, repeal the Catastrophic Coverage Act, prevent passage of Hillary Clinton’s socialized medicine scheme, and persuade the House of Representatives to impeach President Bill Clinton.
He visited all 50 states in campaigns against the Panama Canal treaties, SALT II, and the nuclear freeze. He also held organizational meetings in all 435 congressional districts during the early years of TCC.
His leadership in TCC’s Victory Over Communism project included support for anti-Communist freedom fighters in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, repeal of the Clark Amendment, Congressional approval of the MX missile, a 600-ship navy, and even a visit to Eastern Europe and the Baltic states as the Soviet empire began to show signs of collapse.
Phillips is a graduate of the Boston Latin School and Harvard, having served as President of the Harvard Student Council. He was one of the founders of Young Americans for Freedom.
Prior to founding The Conservative Caucus, he was Republican Chairman of Boston and campaign manager for Richard Schweiker’s successful 1968 Senate campaign in Pennsylvania.
During the Nixon administration, Phillips headed the President’s Council on Youth Opportunity and the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), and won nationwide conservative acclaim when he attempted to eliminate the OEO programs.
The Constitution Party (originally named the U.S. Taxpayers Party) nominated Phillips as its candidate for President in 1992, 1996, and 2000.
TCC’s Board of Directors expects to choose a new Chairman early in 2012, with Darrell Castle serving as interim Chairman. Castle was the 2008 Vice-presidential nominee of the Constitution Party.
Wikipedia notes that Jewish by birth and a native of Boston, Massachusetts, Phillips converted to evangelical Christianity in adulthood and has been associated with Christian Reconstructionism.
Phillips first campaign for president in 1992 ended in a seventh place finish. The campaign received 43,369 votes for 0.04% of the total vote. In 1996 the Phillips campaign finished sixth with 184,656 votes for 0.19% of the total vote. In the 2000 election he received 98,020 votes for 0.1% of the total vote and a sixth place finish.
Phillips’ original intention was to have Pat Buchanan run for President; however, when Buchanan did run for President outside the Republican Party in 2000, it was as the Reform Party candidate.
The 2008 ticket that Castle vas VP on, led by Chuck Baldwin, got the party’s best result yet, 199,750 votes, and was endorsed by Ron Paul.
Wikipedia also notes
Buchanan’s 2000 Reform Party running mate Ezola B. Foster switched her membership to the Constitution Party in 2002. Buchanan stated on the September 7, 2004 edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, “There is a chance I would vote for [Michael] Peroutka.” However, he later penned an endorsement of President George W. Bush in the pages of The American Conservative.
U.S. senator Bob Smith announced his switch from Republican to the U.S. Taxpayers Party in 1999 to seek its 2000 presidential nomination. Smith later claimed that anti-New World Order ideologues within the party resisted his candidacy due to his Roman Catholicism. He continued his campaign as a non-partisan independent but ceased the campaign soon thereafter and returned to the Republican party to assume a Senate committee chairmanship. In 2008, he began writing editorials on the Constitution Party’s web page, fueling speculation that he would seek its presidential nomination again, although he had endorsed Rep. Duncan Hunter for the Republican nomination. He requested that his name be withheld from consideration in a March 2008 letter to CP supporters.
Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist ran for Congress with the American Independent Party in 2005, but has since rejoined the Republicans.
Author and WorldNetDaily columnist Jerome Corsi launched a brief campaign for the 2008 nomination but in July 2007 decided to return to writing. Former Reagan Administration official and Christian activist Alan Keyes had actively sought the Constitution nod after ending a bid for the GOP nomination.
In 2010, former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo ran for governor of Colorado as a Constitutionalist. He received 36.8% of the vote finishing in 2nd place. Despite losing the election, Tancredo managed to secure major party status for the Constitution Party in Colorado, as that state requires a party to surpass 10% in a gubernatorial election to qualify for such status.
In 2010, former Republican Representative Virgil Goode (VA-5) accepted an appointment to the National Executive Committee of the Constitution Party.