Robert Peck: The Constitution Party: Unifying Constitutionists Since 1992

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
Email: chairman@constitutionpartyofwa.com
Blog: bobpeck.wordpress.com
Video: vimeo.com/channels/constitutionparty
Website: www.constitutionpartyofwa.com

40 thoughts on “Robert Peck: The Constitution Party: Unifying Constitutionists Since 1992

  1. Jeremy C. Young

    Mr. Peck, if you’re not going to attempt a merger with the AIP, how exactly are you planning to regain ballot access in California? How are you going to address the fact that the CP could not even field ballot access in states with 270 electoral votes last cycle? How can they survive without California?

  2. Mark Seidenberg

    Robert Peck

    Please understand what is going on in California.
    I was informed by Frank in January that Nathan
    Johnson of San Diego County (a former Chairman of the AIP of California was elected
    chairman at a convention in Bakersfield, CA.

    I thought Dr. Don Grundmann was replaced by
    Mr. Johnson as Chairman of the “Constitution
    Party of California”. In 2010 that political body
    was formed with 72 electors in California (some
    of that number were electors from the old “Constitution Party” that ran General Douglas McArthur for POTUS in 1952. By February 10, 2013 the number went up to 304
    California Electors. It takes 103,004 electors
    to get on the ballot. That mean 102,700 more
    elector’s need.

    What does Don Grundmann do!? He changes the
    name of the political body to just the “Constitution Party”. This move should reduce the number of electors the “Constitution
    Party”, because some county election official will not count in its total persons registered in the “Constitution Party of California”. In other
    words Dr. Grundmann caused the numbers to
    fall by its current registration of 304 California
    Electors.

    The American Independent Party was formed
    in Bakersfield, CA in 1967. AIP party registration is just under 477,000 California Electors on February 10, 2013.

    What is the CP registration currently in WA State?

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman.
    American Independent Party of California.
    & Chairman, Orange County Central Committee.
    American Independent Party

  3. Cody Quirk

    I will Chris.

    I will say first that it’s disappointing that Mr. Peck didn’t not refute my links and evidence of the CP’s flaws, especially on the activity and commentary of the Wisconsin CP itself.

  4. Pingback: Cody Quirk: A response from the Constitution Party on an Independent American | Independent Political Report: Third Party News

  5. Robert Peck

    As stated in the article, I’m not looking to rebut, refute, or have a debate, as that kind of thing never produces anything useful, never wins anyone over to the other’s side and generally just produces ill will. Nevertheless, everyone is welcome to their opinion and now I’ve stated mine.

    As for Mr. Seidenberg’s concern for how the Constitution Party will obtain ballot access in California – if the AIP is genuinely concerned about the CP’s ballot access, then the AIP is always welcome to apply to reaffiliate with the CP. If the AIP is unwilling to affiliate with the CP, then I don’t see why they would be interested in a so called merger or any other form of unification and thus I fail to see why the AIP would care whether the CP has ballot access in California or not – unless that is, the AIP really doesn’t care about the CP obtaining ballot access but only cares about getting the CP over a barrel and convincing the CP to strike some sort of ballot access-merger deal that would result in giving the AIP power over the CP.

  6. paulie

    Over the years, the party and its Presidential candidate have achieved ballot access in a minimum of 21 states and as many as 41.

    This number is likely to go down substantially. I am tempted to tell you why, but it will likely lead to subject matter that is supposed to be quarantined in the petition controversies thread.

    I’ll just briefly mention that they now believe they can get most of their ballot access with volunteers because it worked in Wyoming. However, I’ve seen it fail all over the country for many parties and organizations, so good luck.

    I’ll also say that, due to a reason unrelated to ideology, I will not be helping them get on the ballot again. They got on the ballot in several states, over several different elections, thanks to my help and that of my friends. We are usually happy to help political parties, even ones we don’t agree with, get on the ballot, but due to non-ideological factors I (and most likely my friends) will not work with them again.

    415-690-6352 if anyone wants the details on this.

  7. Peter Gemma

    Bob:

    While your piece is well-written and an excellent summary of the fledgling CCTUC, I wonder if we are only empowering them by giving much more attention than they deserve. Other than to annoy the CP enough to require its Nat’l Comm to issue a formal statement disavowing any cooperation with CCTUC, what has that group done? They have certainly posted accusatory, antagonistic, and angry statements – baiting CPers to respond – but not much else.

    I understand they’ve had a few meetings via phone with fringe and impotent “third party” functionaries, including professional trouble maker Tom Hoefling of Alan Keyes fame, the kooks and crooks who stole the CA AIP, “leaders” of “parties” that exist in their own minds, and that ol’ Robby Wells fella, who is still trying to get noticed by some party, any party, so his presidential candidacy can be taken seriously. For the past few months, CCTUC has been working hard on a “statement” of some sort, something that befits their Clarion Call moniker, but beyond that I see nothing that warrants any more attention than a political gnat. Leave them be to come up with something positive, creative – and above all else noticeably concrete – and reactions might be warranted. Leave them squirming and shaking their fists and they’ll soon become less than the sum total of their parts.

  8. Cody Quirk

    No, we’re actually still pursuing our goals, but without including the CP in them, and for reasons listed in my rebuttal.

    Keep up the attitude, Peter; like your Wisconsin affiliate, you guys are only alienating yourselves more in this manner.

  9. Peter Gemma

    @ 10
    “Alienated?” LOL -that’s the point Cody: we WANT to be alienated from you and CCTUC. That’s why the CP resolution not to cooperate or associate with CCTUC was passed unanimously – by the ExCom and the NatCom – with no discussion or dissent since the reasons given were quite clear. Yes sir, the CP wants to be alienated, unhelpful, separated, unaffiliated, estranged, disconnected, and otherwise divorced from CCTUC and its players.

  10. Trent Hill

    “No, we’re actually still pursuing our goals, but without including the CP in them, and for reasons listed in my rebuttal.”

    Lol. so you’re looking to combine a half dozen parties with a combined activist base of like 25 people?

  11. Cody Quirk

    Which are ballot-qualified, have a half million registered voters combined (with the AIP), and actually have a bigger activist base, combined.

  12. paulie

    and actually have a bigger activist base, combined.

    I’m a bit skeptical about that last part. How are you measuring this?

  13. Don J. Grundmann, D.C.

    Trent – What the Twerp is alluding to is what I was going to write about later ( and I will give some greater clarification later ) but the key is that he, and this is what he is alluding to, will betray the CP by joining his new IAP to the AIP; you know, the one that is controlled by the Robinson Crime Syndicate, the one which is controlled by the ADL and SPLC, the one that they committed a criminal act of fraud to gain control of.

    So the guy who supposedly wanted ” unity ” will join with the biggest betrayers of the conservative/constitutionalist/patriot movement to form what he, and they, will then refer to as the 3rd largest party in the country.

    Bottom Line – Yet again I am demonstrated to be ” spot on ” in my statement that this was ALL about Cody Quirk and his glorification from the very beginning. He will betray anyone and everyone and stab his grandmother in the back as long as he is glorified – which is just what Seidenberg and Robinson will do.

    They know how valuable it is to find an apprentice fellow betrayer like Twerp although in fact they know him to be ( and view him as ), just as I do, a chump who is really just like Robinson – all about his own glory.

    They know that he is just like Ed Noonan – a useful fool who is so vain and attention seeking that he can be twisted like a pretzel to support any and all of their criminality and especially their attack against their assigned ( by their SPLC controllers ) target of the CP.

    They will appoint him a ” National Officer ” of their Frankenstein creation; a position which he would, and will ( soul wise ) die for as it will allow him a permanent platform to be the greatest pompous a–hole that he can, and naturally is, be.

    Hence their permanent campaign to destroy the CP perfectly matches Quirks permanent campaign to do the same thing.

    It will be just as I predicted – Quirk, parading both as ” Mr. Unity ” and ” Bambi ” ( as he is sooooo picked upon by all of the big meanies ) will continuously and permanently attack the CP.

    I am so glad that, via Divine Intervention, I was able to expose this complete liar/fraud/traitor/backstabber/coward now. It is so much better to cleanse his poison from the party now as he will now betray us from the outside as compared to doing the same thing from the inside.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. flushing out the Twerp@#$% from the Constitution Party

  14. Cody Quirk

    Don- a heads up; the SLPD are keeping an eye on you now.

    If you keep making violent threats, then you will end up behind bars… Or in a straightjacket

  15. Trent Hill

    “Which are ballot-qualified, have a half million registered voters combined (with the AIP), and actually have a bigger activist base, combined.”

    In some cases, some of them are ballot qualified. As far as I can tell, the IAP is qualified in New Mexico (but unlikely to stay so, since it was soon-to-be CP activists that got them there), the AIP is qualified in California (duh), and the Oregon Constitution Party (which has the name CP…) is qualified in Oregon. That’s three states. These parties combined (along with the others, like the Tolda fellow from NY) might be able to get ballot access in…7-8 states? Including California and Florida, of course, but still. Very weak.

    The combined base of activists might be about…10 from the AIP? 5 from the IAP? and maybe 10 from the OR-CP. So maybe you throw in another 10 for Robby Wells, Mr. Tolda, and the other few–and you’ve got around 35 people. None of whom are moneyed or respected in politics.

  16. paulie

    I don’t think Mr. Tolda has ballot access, or any way to achieve it, in NY. Also, it seems like a rather odd combination of parties: as I understand it, the Oregon group split from the CP because they find the CP to be too religiously tolerant, while Cody and others have the opposite problem with the CP; the Keyes people have a completely different foreign policy than the rest; etc.

    On the other hand, the CP might meet them on the way down, especially if it sticks with its new attitude on petitioning.

  17. Steven Wilson

    I think Jeremy Young still has the most powerful post here.

    What is the Utility of constitutional parties if they can’t recruit Presidential candidates?

    Who is going to run seriously without ballot access for the electoral college?

    I admire people in motion, but 2012 for the CP was a disaster.

  18. paulie

    They are going to be on in fewer states if they continue doing what they are doing. If Nevada pulls out and joins AIP/IAP they will lose most of their remaining registered voters, too. Neither party looks likely to have ballot access in very many states any time soon.

  19. Don J. Grundmann, D.C.

    Quirk/Twerp – You continue to mention ” violent threats ” and use the term to polish your ” Bambi ” image but I have yet to see you confess that it was you who made the first threat to myself by threatening to send your lawyer friends after me.

    I haven’t heard from the San Leandro Police Department yet and it has now been over a month. Why the delay? Probably because they realize what a fool you are and will not waste any of their precious time aiding you in your ego fantasy of glorifying how important you are.

    With that being said you should, just for the sake of general principle, have the snot knocked out of you BUT while that would be only too appropriate there is thankfully something even more appropriate coming down the line for you.

    Now it might take some time – who knows, 70? 80? years – but Divine Intervention; i.e.; the Creator – will allow a buffoon/fool like yourself to find the justice which your pomposity deserves. Your betrayal of everyone to build up your own glorification will quite justly come back to eat you alive – and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving fool.

    Of course in your arrogance you will dismiss this comment ( which you could take as a warning and hence mend your evil ways before you are struck down ) and go on your merry sociopathic way.

    Just remember – when it comes don’t whine like you ALWAYS do. For your fate is and will be sealed by yourself and NO ONE ELSE. No excuses.

    You will experience the fate of the fool.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. the guy who gave The Twerp a warning of the fate which his betrayal would lead him to.

  20. Don J. Grundmann, D.C.

    Quirk/Twerp – I should have added to #23 above that you will find the same fate – both here and eternally – as Robinson and Seidenberg, your fellow betrayers.

    That is one extra reason that you are in harmony with them as you all recognize the evil in each other.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. confronting demons, both professionals and aspiring, and ( via Divine Intervention ) kicking their posteriors every day

  21. Real Green Party

    Moderated comment. Can be read via http://rot13.com

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  22. William Saturn

    @25

    When I first read the above (before the rot13) I thought the last string of letters actually were in rot13. I was disappointed to see that they were not.

  23. Peter Gemma

    @22
    if you mean NV IAP, the CP affiliate, they have no intention of leaving the CP. Cody has no standing with NV IAP, and has left that party for the Nat’l IAP (which is not related to the NV IAP) … I think i understand what I just wrote

  24. paulie

    Well, I’m glad that makes one of us. I thought he was a relative and/or tenant of one of their lead organizers, so how did leaving the Nevada IAP work, if indeed he did? And the Nevada IAP has nothing to do with the national IAP? That is indeed very confusing.

  25. Robert Peck

    paulie – The Independent American Party of Nevada was formed as a state party in 1967. The IAP of Nevada was one of the founding state affiliates that helped bring the Constitution Party into being in 1992. Meanwhile, the national Independent American Party is a completely separate entity that was formed in 1998. Unfortunately, the national IAP chose to take the same name as the pre-existing Nevada affiliate of the CP. You can find the full history of each on Wikipedia.

    Meanwhile, for those expressing concern that the Constitution Party cannot obtain sufficient ballot access through volunteer efforts alone, I would agree. Due to ballot access requirements in certain states, it will take money, and lots of it, to achieve the level of ballot access ultimately desired. When the Constitution Party has the funds necessary, I am confident our leadership will choose to augment our volunteer ballot access efforts with the paid petitioners necessary to get the job done. Meanwhile, those expressing concern for Constitution Party ballot access, or criticizing it for not having sufficient ballot access, need to be offering their assistance in recruiting members and raising the funds necessary to ultimately achieve ballot access in all 50 states.

  26. Cody Quirk

    You are correct on the first part Robert. Yet they want to work with our state party, and many in the Nevada IAP want to work with them too (me included).
    So yes, we will be working with them anyways.

  27. Cody Quirk

    Wow Peter, you are super naive!

    I am still the Carson City Chair & the State Youth Chair; I have NOT resigned my positions at all, and neither has the leadership of the NVIAP forced me to resign either.

    And you are very wrong about the members of our state affiliate being CP loyalists. Janine might stil be loyal, but a good number of us have a lot of resentment against the CP, for various reasons.

    Oh and things change; me and Jack Brown of the Oregon CP are good buddies and they understand now that our former State Chair (Chris Hansen) said a lot of BS and other things that were not true back then.

    Plus, they do support the CCTUC too, and are friendly to the National IAP as well.

  28. Jeremy C. Young

    Mr. Peck @29, I regret that I can’t actively help the CP regain its lost ballot status, because I’m 1) quite poor at the moment, 2) not a CP member (or ideologically aligned with the CP at all). I am, however, a third party enthusiast; I think the national debate is far better with a large number of political voices on the national stage, not simply the two main parties. Accordingly, I want the CP to succeed. I want it to gain ballot access in all 50 states, and I want it to win elections. I’m asking, as a friend to third parties: what is the CP’s strategy for getting back that ballot access in California and elsewhere? The CP has apparently decided that Robinson, Seidenberg, Quirk, Wells, et al. are so toxic that giving them power in the Party, even if that power comes with ballot access, is out of the question. So, fine — what is the plan then? In the absence of enormous sums of money to pay for a petition drive, how is the Party’s 2016 candidate going to get on the California ballot or the ballots of other states? Is the party really prepared to relegate itself to the likes of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Socialist Workers Party, et al. — parties so small and inconsequential that their candidates are not even invited to participate in national third-party debates?

    Again, what is the plan for regaining that ballot access?

  29. paulie

    Jeremy,

    Far from gaining more ballot access, the CP national chair told Andy that he wants to emulate the Wyoming CP and getting on the ballot with all or almost all volunteers nationwide. As I said, good luck. I don’t want to get into quarantined thread territory here, but I might if no one objects, or just call me for details. I’ll just say that the CP is well on its way to getting itself a bad reputation as a client in the professional petitioning community and leave it at that. If they keep that up, even getting a big influx of money may not do them any good. 415-690-6352 for more info on this.

  30. paulie

    The Independent American Party of Nevada was formed as a state party in 1967. The IAP of Nevada was one of the founding state affiliates that helped bring the Constitution Party into being in 1992. Meanwhile, the national Independent American Party is a completely separate entity that was formed in 1998. Unfortunately, the national IAP chose to take the same name as the pre-existing Nevada affiliate of the CP. You can find the full history of each on Wikipedia.

    Thanks for the info.

  31. paulie

    Meanwhile, for those expressing concern that the Constitution Party cannot obtain sufficient ballot access through volunteer efforts alone

    I’m not concerned about it, although if I was a member or supporter of your party I would be. As a professional petitioner and big supporter of more choices on the ballot I was happy to work with you all in the past, and played a big role in getting you on several state ballots in several election cycles. Due to the screw job at the end of this last season, I’m no longer interested in working with you all again, and I believe I speak for others as well. The petitioner world is pretty small BTW, and news on clients to avoid travels fast.

    That’s a quarantined subject on IPR, so if anyone wants details call me at 415-690-6352.

    I would agree. Due to ballot access requirements in certain states, it will take money, and lots of it, to achieve the level of ballot access ultimately desired.

    You may want to start by convincing your national chair of this, and perhaps other members of your national committee. And also consider that if you develop a reputation for not paying the people you hire for work that was done, even if you get a lot of money it may not do you much good. Once bitten, twice shy, etc.

    When the Constitution Party has the funds necessary, I am confident our leadership will choose to augment our volunteer ballot access efforts with the paid petitioners necessary to get the job done.

    Don’t be too confident. Good help is hard to find.

    Meanwhile, those expressing concern for Constitution Party ballot access, or criticizing it for not having sufficient ballot access, need to be offering their assistance in recruiting members and raising the funds necessary to ultimately achieve ballot access in all 50 states.

    I don’t need to do anything. Other than get the money that is still owed from work done in 2012, that is. Again, I would rather not get into details on IPR, it’s best to call me if anyone wants to know more about this.

  32. Cody Quirk

    You know Paulie, while the National IAP’s finances are in the black, we unfortunately don’t have enough to pay you to do such things, at the moment, but would appreciate you and your associates help on such matters, if you are willing to offer it to us on a volunteer basis, perhaps?

  33. Mark Seidenberg

    Jeremy C. Young at post 32

    You asseverated that “The CP has decided that
    …Seidenberg, et al, are so toxic that giving them
    power in the party, even if that power comes with ballot access is out of the question.”

    I spoke to several persons I know in CP leadership. This statement was news to them.

    Please post your source for that comment?

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