by Randall Stufflebeam – National Vice-chairman and former Mid-Western Area Chairman
Recently a question was asked of our Party why we were not endorsing Ron Paul for his 2012 Presidential bid. The following is our response written by the State Chairman of the Constitution Party of Indiana, Audrey Queckboerner and our Midwest Regional Chairman, Randy Stufflebeam:
Point One – No amount of help from the Constitution Party will result in the Republican nomination of Ron Paul for president.
I’m unsure how familiar you are with what the Republican Party did to Ron Paul and his supporters in the last primary season. I (Audrey) was not one who was watching from the outside through the glass, but I was personally on the inside as a state delegate for Ron Paul and saw first hand how the Republican Party used every tactic possible to keep Ron from being their nominee. They changed their own state party rules three days before the convention so that we could not nominate from the floor. They disregarded Roberts Rules of Order and were very rude to us. (The complete story of our experience can be found on my page under my notes section). This happened in 14 other states and that doesn’t include the Nevada state convention which they completely shut down by turning off the lights and locking the doors before the convention even began or Missouri where they denied delegates their credentials because they discovered they were on Ron Paul meetup sites and supported his nomination. They stopped at nothing to stop his nomination. Even at the National Convention when Boehner asked if there were any other nominees besides McCain you could clearly hear 2 or 3 delegates call out Ron Paul’s name and Boehner blatantly disregarded the nominations from the floor, banged his gavel and announced McCain as the winner. This is what they had planned all along.
Now what makes you think they will not pull out all the stops once again to stop his nomination? I can tell you right now that the Indiana State Party rules have never been changed back, so delegates are still unable to nominate national delegates in their caucuses.
Even if the Constitution Party went all out to endorse and totally support Ron Paul, the fact remains he is running as a Republican. As demonstrated above, it is those who control the Republican Party who will keep Ron Paul from being nominated.
In 2008, many (probably most) in the Constitution Party endorsed and supported Ron Paul with their time and money. Remember that Ron Paul is running as a Republican and it was the corrupt Republican Party that denied him the nomination and they will be even better equipped to stop him this time around. Although, Ron Paul gave a bland endorsement of Chuck Baldwin for President, it didn’t matter because everyone had spent all their money and time on Ron Paul and had nothing left for Chuck Baldwin. Take Illinois for instance. They have to get 25,000 uncontestable signatures to get on the ballot. They were promised money to help them get ballot access for Chuck Baldwin’s candidacy. However, because of the support of Ron Paul, there was no money in the coffers to help, and Ron Paul sure didn’t release any of the money that Constitution Party members had donated to his campaign. He didn’t even do anything to encourage his supporters to spend their time and money to get Baldwin on state ballots.
Even if the Constitution Party endorsed Ron Paul for President and dumped its entire treasury into Ron Paul’s Campaign and managed to persuade every one of its supporters to throw all their efforts and finances, forgoing ever other candidacy and focused everything on getting the nomination of Ron Paul, at the end of the day, the corrupt Republican Party would still reject Ron Paul.
Point Two – The need for an alternative when Republicans fail to nominate Ron Paul
Wouldn’t you agree that if Ron Paul doesn’t get the nomination there should be a place for all his supporters to go? What happens if the Republicans elect someone who is the antithesis to Ron Paul? Where are Paul’s supporters to go?
If the Constitution Party spends all its time and effort to nominate Ron Paul and he doesn’t win, then what? Just like in 2008, we’ll have nothing left to provide an alternative. In terms of ship building, we wouldn’t even be able to provide a raft for people to go to because we will have failed to get ballot access in crucial states and will have lost ballot access in states where the CP is ballot qualified because we will have not provided a presidential candidate. If there is to be a legitimate alternative to the Republican nominee in the Constitution Party, we have to be putting every resource at our disposal into that effort. Waiting to see if Ron Paul receives the nomination in 2012 would be equally devastating because there are some states that don’t even hold their caucuses until August. By then, it would be too late and the opportunity to get an alternate party candidate will have been lost.
The Constitution Party must be about building a great ship for people to jump to when they discover that corruption has once again reigned supreme in the Republican Party.
Point Three – Ballot Access and a Great Candidate of our own
Unlike the two major parties, third parties have a far greater and in most cases daunting challenge in getting ballot access. Republicans and Democrats take ballot access for granted because it is so easy for them to achieve. In Indiana, it takes over 34,000 signatures to get on the ballot. If we supported Ron Paul and did not concentrate on getting signatures for the Constitution Party, it would be impossible to do so later. In fact, in order to get signatures, we have to declare a presidential candidate. As a Republican, it would be impossible for Ron Paul to sign on as the Constitution Party’s Presidential candidate in Indiana. It would be ludicrous for us to say we are supporting Ron Paul and trying to get another Presidential candidate on the ballot. Of course this conversation would be unnecessary if Ron Paul decided to run as a Constitution Party candidate, but he has made it quite clear he has no intention of running as a Constitution Party or a Libertarian Party candidate.
Further, it is our intention to run a candidate who is every bit as good as Ron Paul or even “constitutionally” better.
Point Four – The Constitution Party is not merely a ideological advocacy group.
The Constitution Party is a Partisan Political Party that NOMINATES candidates for election. Endorsing a candidate for president of another party would seriously damage the credibility of the Constitution Party. So why would we be a political party if all we are going to do is act like a PAC, endorsing candidates from every other party because we can’t find one of our own?
Point Five – Breaking the Two-Party-Duopoly
By supporting Ron Paul, we would be asking our supporters to vote in the Republican Primaries and “declare” themselves as Republicans, or in some states, they would have to register Republican, thereby asking people to betray their political convictions for the sake of expediency. The Constitution Party is NOT about building other parties.
The Constitution Party believes it is time to break the two-party-duopoly. With 52% of the Republicans saying they are willing to vote for third Party candidates and over 45% of the Republicans saying that they are dissatisfied with the presidential choices that have been put forward so far, it’s going to be even more difficult in 2012 than it was in 2008 to elect a principled nominee such as Dr. Paul.
The Republican Party has done much to destroy this nation and cares nothing about Constitutional Government. Ron Paul would do better to understand that and run in a party that supports his Constitutional views.