Earlier today the California ballot-qualified American Independent Party (AIP) nominated Reform Party and Alliance Party presidential nominee Rocky De La Fuente for president and rapper Kanye West for vice president. According to Ballot Access News, the decision was unanimous save for one abstention among twenty delegates. Even though Prohibition Party presidential nominee Phil Collins had won the party’s nonbinding presidential primary in March, De La Fuente, who finished second in the primary, paid AIP vice chairman Mark Seidenberg cash, according to FEC records, which likely improved his chances of winning the nomination.
The AIP reportedly was not able to contact West about the vice presidential nomination but nominated him still. No California law requires individuals to agree to be the presidential or vice presidential nominee of a ballot-qualified party. The nomination of West snubbed Reform Party and Alliance Party vice presidential nominee Darcy Richardson, who has served as De La Fuente’s running mate in all other states in which De La Fuente has qualified for the ballot.
“Please let Rocky know that if he runs with the unstable, bi-polar Trump-loving Kanye West in California that I will withdraw as his vice-presidential running mate nationally,” Richardson declared in a text message to Seidenberg earlier today. “I’ve spent my entire adult life battling the duopoly and certainly DO NOT want my name associated with a candidacy that peripherally includes a Trump/GOP plant like the unhinged rapper….Bill Shearer must be rolling over in his grave.”
Richardson sees the nomination of De La Fuente/West as a non-transparent attempt from Seidenberg “to siphon votes from Joe Biden in the nation’s most populous state” to help President Trump. However, he adds, “Biden will win by 2-3 million votes there, so it really doesn’t matter. A stranger ticket would be hard to imagine, even in California.”
According to Richardson, Seidenberg has been on the De La Fuente payroll for a while, as has Florida Reform Party chairman Joe Wendt, “another avid Trump supporter.” Wendt denies he supports Trump.
“The Alliance Party deserved better than this,” Richardson declared upon hearing news of the nomination.
The AIP usually nominates right wing or right-leaning candidates for office. In 2016, it nominated Donald Trump for president and Mike Pence for vice president.