Los Angeles Times: Tens of thousands have left California’s American Independent Party in the last month

voter registration
By John Myers
May 20, 2016

A new analysis finds nearly 32,000 voters in California’s American Independent Party changed their official registration and left the party in the two weeks after a Los Angeles Times investigation identified widespread confusion among the party’s members.

The change comes after a series of stories last month about voters who had intended to be politically independent , what’s known in California as having “no party preference.” A poll conducted for The Times found 73% of American Independent Party members did not know they had registered with an actual political party.

Paul Mitchell, a political data specialist whose firm sells exclusive analyses of voter data to California political campaigns, worked with The Times on the stories. He conducted the new analysis for The Times on a pro-bono basis.

Using voter data from each of California’s 58 counties, Mitchell found that 31,772 AIP voters left the party in the two weeks prior to May 1. The first story was published in The Times on April 17.

The party gained 10,744 new members during the same two-week period — thus resulting in a net registration loss of 21,028 voters.

Finish the article here.

19 thoughts on “Los Angeles Times: Tens of thousands have left California’s American Independent Party in the last month

  1. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    This has been known since the 70s. In fact, it was an officer of the American Independent Party who told me this while we were picketing. We did not know they would be there – but it was interesting to meet them.

  2. Antirevolutionary

    Any updates on the attempt to get Castle on the ballot in California?

  3. Andy


    That Mark Seidenberg guy pops up here every so often to brag about how many voter registrations the American Independent Party has, and as I have said on multiple occasions, the American Independent Party’s number of registrations is heavily padded with people who have no idea what the American Independent Party is.

    I know that their numbers are heavily padded as a fact because I’ve gathered thousands of voter registrations in California, which gathering thousands more petition signatures in that state. Most of the people registered as American Independent Party in California think that they are registering as independents, which to do in California they were supposed to check the Decline To State A Political Party box, which I think has been changed to the No Party Preference box.

    The article above says that 73% of the American Independent Party’s registered voters do not know that it is a political party, but I’d bet that the real number is higher than that, or at least the number of people who know that it is a political party, and who knows what that party is. I would not be surprised if 90%-95%, or maybe even a little higher, do not know what the American Independent Party is.

    I have done lots of petitioning in California, and it was extremely rare for me to ever encounter anyone who was registered to vote under the American Independent Party banner and who know what the party was.

  4. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I doubt any of the AIP bosses will comment on this event (apart from posting on IPR). They won’t pursue any major media interviews to put their spin on this story.

    I never hear AIP people phoning in talk radio shows. I never see them interviewed in print media. I’m not aware of any campaigning or activism whatsoever, apart from some voter guide statements.

    The AIP bosses seem uninterested in promoting or growing their party. Their website’s info is always years out of date. Its visual appearance looks 15 years old. Very web 1.0.

    The entire party seems to be six or seven people who meet in a “convention” every few years. The primary goal of these conventions is to further purge the AIP ranks, keeping the party as tiny as possible, so as not to risk this insiders’ control.

    The AIP seems less a party than a weekend hobby for a few party bosses. The bosses of nothing.

  5. Bob Haran

    Wow, the Times did a number on the American Independent Party. I wonder if they would have reported anything about the party if it was for; abortion, gay marriage and an open border and amnesty for illegal aliens. It seems that the establishment doesn’t want third parties or people for enforcement of our immigration laws to have any political influence. It seems that our political system no longer represents the American middle class. Maybe it is time to take our government back from corporate American and Wall Street. We have played fair and by the rules, we have been nice and tolerant, only to be called bigots and intolerant. Maybe it is time to stop playing by their rules and start getting nasty with the Fascist liberal establishment. When they take away your voice in the political process, then it IS time to nourish the tree of liberty again, just as our founding fathers did with the British.

  6. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Bob Haran: It seems that the establishment doesn’t want third parties or people for enforcement of our immigration laws to have any political influence.

    What “influence” has the AIP ever had over the past, say, 40 years?

    If the AIP had its act together, it would regard the Times piece as a golden opportunity. For the first time in — how many years? — the AIP has received major media attention. The AIP would use this attention to inundate radio talk shows and other media outlets with spokespeople.

    The media is actually interested in the AIP.

    KFI-AM’s Shannon Farren was registered with the AIP: http://kfiam640.iheart.com/onair/gary-and-shannon-56930/

    When Shannon learned that the AIP was a right-wing party, founded to elect George Wallace, she was shocked. She had no idea. She’d thought she was registering unaffiliated.

    All her KFI colleagues, especially John and Ken, have joked on the air about “Shannon’s segregationist party.” They’ve been talking up the AIP.

    I’m sure several of the KFI-AM talk radio shows would love to talk with AIP representatives. Especially John and Ken: http://kfiam640.iheart.com/onair/john-and-ken-37487/

    Do you think the AIP is up to the challenge? Or will they most likely stay inside their hole, oblivious to the outside world. My guess is that latter.

    The AIP is the Robert Milnes of the third party world. Indeed, Robert Milnes has a greater online presence than does the AIP.

  7. Greg Jones

    “The entire party seems to be six or seven people who meet in a “convention” every few years. The primary goal of these conventions is to further purge the AIP ranks, keeping the party as tiny as possible, so as not to risk this insiders’ control.”

    This sounds to me like the future of the Libertarian Party, if the extremist/purist faction gets its way.

  8. Andy

    “Greg,” I would say that this scenario would be far more likely if the Republican Lite faction of the LP gets its way.

  9. Greg Jones


    But, it’s your faction that wants to limit the party to those who are libertarian on every single issue, which is a much smaller group than those who are in the libertarian quadrant, including the moderate libertarians. It’s you who relentlessly makes newcomers feel unwelcome and questions whether they are government infiltrators. It’s you who questions anyone’s right to an opinion if you don’t personally know them and/or if they aren’t already a party activist who goes to meetings. It’s you who insist that candidates need to toe the party line with very little or no exception. That sounds a lot like the path to the Independent Party’s inner committee model of operations, if extrapolated over time. The only difference would be that you don’t have a party name that will keep you on the ballot through voter registration carelessness or error the way they do.

  10. Don J. Grundmann, D.C.

    Bob Haran – While the AIP presents a fake surface of being conservative, pro-life, etc. the reality is that it has been taken over by the Republican Establishment, a literally criminal act which I document at TheCorruptionofAlanKeyes.BlogSpot.com, and is controlled at the very top by people who believe the exact opposite; i.e.; Neo-Cons ( Trotskyites ) who are pro-war, pro-abortion, pro-sodomy and pro-sodomite marriage, etc. In short everything they CLAIM to oppose. Why? To fulfill one of the 2 reasons for which they attacked the party – to change it into a political ” fly trap ” where well meaning citizens can join and then, too late, find their energies dissipated by a criminal leadership which has no intention of challenging their controlling Republican Masters. The other attack reason was to destroy the growing 3rd party conservative/patriot movement which is/was getting sick of an ever compromising Republican Party that had/has no intention of challenging the Plantation Master controllers of the nation.
    Hence ” doing nothing ” is doing exactly what the literal criminals who attacked the party intend to do. They do nothing while stopping the AIP from having any possibility of being a force for positive change; i.e.; their original intention which does something by doing nothing.
    If those people who truly joined the AIP thinking it was a conservative 3rd party knew how utterly criminal, corrupt, and monstrous the ” leadership ” is even they would abandon the party and reduce it to virtually zero except for a few aspiring fellow criminals/liars who support the criminal control of Mark Robinson and Mark Seidenberg; the original ” Crime Syndicate ” which filed fake documents with the SOS office to seize control of the party.

  11. Bob Haran

    Does a group of citizens have a right to peacefully assemble and, regardless of ideology, form a political party? And does that political party have a right to identify itself by whatever name it wants? Do you really think that the LA Times would have blasted the AIP if it was pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-amnesty for illegal aliens, and far left? I’m not defending the AIP, I’m defending it’s right to participate in the political process.

    For God and country,
    Bob Haran,

  12. Don J. Grundmann, D.C.

    Bob – Since the Republican Establishment now controls the AIP they don’t need to broadcast it as in fact their purposes are served by hiding their control behind the current fake front of the AIP. Their main objective has been to neutralize the AIP as part of the Constitution Party so as to cripple its ability to provide an alternative to the always compromising Republicans. I am one of the few people who know the true beliefs of the AIP controllers whom I refer to as the ” Robinson Crime Syndicate.” The LA Times attack actually aids the fake cover story of the Neo-Con controllers ( Robinson and Seidenberg ) as it reinforces the idea that they are ” conservative ” when nothing could be further from the truth.

    The AIP certainly has a right to participate in the electoral process but they have NO intention of doing so. You have to understand that doing nothing is EXACTLY what they have wanted to do since they filed fake papers to take over the party.

    You need to understand Machiavelli and Sun Tzu ( The Art of War ) to get a better perspective on the ” head fake ” which you are seeing.

    Think of it this way – if you had Democratic Party operatives take over the highest levels of the Republican Party they would have no need to broadcast it. They would simply neutralize the Republican Party from being any opposition to the Democrats. Result – they ” win ” by doing nothing.

  13. Andy

    The main reason that the American Independent Party is not more successful is due to their lack of activism. Even in left leaning California, there are still lots of people who’d agree with their platform if they knew what the party was and that it existed.

    During all the time I spent working on petition drives, or going to various political meetings and events, and just observing California politics, I saw little activity out of the American Independent Party.

    I would on rare occasions run into somebody from the American Independent Party. I knew a couple of people who were involved in it at one time (I don’t think either are active in it anymore though). I recall back around 2006 the AIP had a guy who I think was the founder of the Minute Men border patrol run for US House in Orange County. That got some publicity, I also recall Chelene Nightingale running for Governor on the AIP line in 2010 getting some publicity. I don’t know if he is still involved or not (probably not), but at one point former IRS agent turned tax “protester,” Joe Bannister, got involved with the AIP.

    The problem with the AIP has been their overall lack of activity, internal dysfunction, and just sitting back and coasting for too long on their voter registrations, a large percentage of which are due to people thinking that by checking their box that they are registering as independents.

    The Libertarian Party and the Green Party have had some of the same problems in regard to lack of activism, and internal dysfunction, but these problems are even more prevalent in the American Independent Party.

    I have long suspected that all of the minor parties are infiltrated and internally sabotaged, and in addition to this, they are also held back by election laws and mainstream media bias, but in spite of these factors, there are a lot of things that they could do to make themselves more successful, but they do not do them either out of laziness or apathy.

    The American Independent Party is a text book case of how to NOT run a political organization if you want to be successful.

  14. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Back in the 2000s, I was a speaker at several mainstream venues (e.g., college classes) wherein the professor or event organizer had invited speakers from all the third parties. The Greens and Libertarians were always represented. Sometimes the Peace & Freedom Party. But never anyone from the AIP.

    One college professor told me that she’d tried to find an AIP spokesperson, but the AIP never returned her emails or phone calls.

    The AIP gives the impression of being a black hole. You know it’s there. You see them listed on the voter registration forms. But as with a black hole, nothing ever emerges from it. No candidates, no campaigns, no talk radio callers. No signs of life at all.

  15. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    The AIP knew in the 70s their constituency did not know what they stood for. The fellow, his name evades me after these many years said they stopped doing outreach to their registrants when they realized a lot of them were Black. Sort of a ‘never mind’ moment.

  16. Andy

    There are black people out there who would agree with their current platform, so that is a pretty stupid reason for not doing outreach.

  17. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    Given the apparent age of the guy who expressed that to me around 1975 giving him that advice would not be practical, if that is your intention. I did not endorse what he said, I merely passed it on an an amusing story from the distant past. I did wonder briefly where the LP would be after some time had passed and if we would succeed in relocalizing power to communities by providing practical, workable solutions. That has not happened yet – but I never say never.

  18. Trent Hill

    Since the Alan Keyes takeover, actually slightly before, the California AIP has been a non-factor. The takeover of the party briefly revitalized the real activists (see Chelene Nightingale’s 2010 run), but in truth since 2006 when Jim Gilchrist ran, the party there has been defunct.

    Funny part is, they nearly elected a US Congressmen. People don’t realize how close Gilchrist came to being a US Congressman and the Constitution Party would’ve had this incredible platform to grow from. Instead, it’s been in free-fall ever since.

  19. Andy

    Root’s Teeth Are Awesome may have given himself away above. I know somebody who was in the Libertarian Party of California who was going around to colleges and other venues in the early 2000’s giving speeches about the Libertarian Party. This person also had a warped enough sense of humor to come up with the screen name Root’s Teeth Are Awesome.

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