Unprincipled Politics in the Constitution Party? Leaked Emails Detail Possible Unethical Conduct & Bias during the CP’s 2016 Presidential Nomination Contest

2016-05-23-1464039221-8865758-DarrylCastle.jpg

Darrell Castle

by Cody Quirk

The current flashpoint between the Idaho Constitution Party and its national affiliate over the fallout from the CP’s recent national convention in Salt Lake City Utah continues, as this author received several forwarded emails from the State Chairman of the Idaho affiliate of the CP- Floyd W. Whitley -over the controversies in the matter of how Darrell Castle was selected & won the presidential nomination of the national Constitution Party, as well as the manner in which the national convention itself was conducted, and alluded too by the leadership of the Idaho CP, current constitutionalist (and former CP presidential) candidate, J.R. Myers, and several other individual CP activists.

In fact this flash point has become contentious enough that the Idaho affiliate has officially placed the winner of their presidential Primary, Scott Copeland, on their ballot line instead of Darrell Castle; which now robs the CP’s standard bearer in the 2016 presidential election of ballot access in the Gem State. It is unknown if any other ballot-qualified CP state affiliate would follow in placing Copeland, or any other presidential candidate, on their state ballots as this time; however it has been confirmed that Scott Copeland is still running for president.

Scott Copeland

Below are the emails* that this author received in their full length, with introductions to each email as given by the individual that sent them to me. Please note that the only things I have edited are the email addresses themselves; for the sake of privacy to each of the individuals involved in these dialogues, and also Mr. Whitley’s introductions to, and each email, along with some of the lettering within -are highlighted in italic bold, while my introductions and notes are in regular bold.

(Author’s Note: The paragraph/sentence structure might appear messy and some icon images may not show up in the email dialogues below)

I thought I would began these series of emails with a serious one, in which Mr. Whitley calls out the highly biased coverage and attention the CP gave to Darrell Castle verses the other CP presidential candidates vying for the nomination, as well as possible legal discrepancies made with the FEC-


From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: ####@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 1:03 PM
Subject: FW: Presidential Candidates
What was going on…a blackout of reporting on anyone other than Castle.
=====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2015 7:56 PM
To: ‘##########@constitutionparty.com’; ‘Frank Fluckiger’; ‘Jeff Becker’; ‘######@######.com’; ‘######@charter.net’; ‘Darrell Castle’
Cc: ‘Dave Hartigan’
Subject: RE: Presidential Candidates
Mrs. Murray and all,
At this point, to be honest, I am perhaps enraged by the suggestions made here.  To my view they are something of a mixture between hubris and hypocrisy.  While I should not write in an animated state, sometimes that must be done to get to the truth.
Regardless, let me first say thank you for the information you provided, Mrs. Murray, and for the “candidate” list Mr. Becker has worked upon.  This list, while it may be “informational,” is not in fact an official candidate list.  Further, errors of reasoning and judgment, some of which are egregious, are plainly evident in the opinion you express.
Foremost—at this point, given that the FEC Form 2 is updated and current NLT every 48 hours, there are only four possible individuals who might legally be called Constitution Party presidential candidates…two of whom (as my earlier email pointed out) are questionable as to whether they are in fact affiliated with the Constitution Party.  Thus, a clarification must be obtained from the FEC as to their affiliate status, and the affiliation criteria the FEC intends to apply going forward. 
It is my understanding that that is being pursued under the auspices of our National Secretary.
The FEC Form 2 site, I want to be as emphatic as possible here, is the ONLY place where one may properly go to discover whether a presidential candidate is, or is not, “legitimate”.
 
In no uncertain terms.  The Constitution Party lacks, and certainly its Communication Director lacks, the authority to do what your opinion and suggestions seek to do—to wit: command or control who is, or who is not, considered to be a presidential candidate.  You cannot do that.  Seems to me, I recall something called the Voting Rights Act, to mention but one.
Nevertheless, if you believe that you do have such an authority, please provide:
(1) the specific Constitution Party National By-Laws section and line which grants you this authority;
(2) please provide the attendant federal election code which allegedly grants such authority; and
(3) please provide the respective state elections codes which grant you such supersession authority.
Mrs. Murray, what you suggest (regardless of its merits, or lack thereof) is not only unlawful but, if it were applied, it very well could lead to a series of disastrous class action lawsuits.  Do you not understand that?
For my part, while it may not seem so, I do understand the party’s interest (or more correctly, its desire) “to vet” a candidate.  Believe me we know this in Idaho of all places after 2014.  But that presidential “vetting” can be done in only two ways.
First, it stands to reason, the principal method is by state primary, state caucus and national convention delegate ballot.
Second, and more to the point, any such “vetting” can already easily be done simply by referral to the FEC Form 2!
Put another way, “if they ain’t on that FEC Form 2 list, they ain’t candidates.”   Thus, at this point, like it or not, there ARE TWO known Constitution Party presidential candidates.  Copeland and Elgar.
Refer to: http://www.fec.gov/press/resources/2016presidential_form2nm.shtml which is current, CLOSE OF BUSINESS TODAY, July 7, 2015.
(Authors Note: The above url link has since long been updated after the date of this email)
Now, Mr. Myers of Alaska has beyond any doubt declared his intent to seek the national nomination.  No question about that.  Procedurally, he now has 15 days to file his FEC Form 2 given the fact that he has declared his intent, and is permitting others to say as much and has an operational campaign website, facebook reference, is soliciting funds, etc.
But, it would be a very serious mistake to assume that one need not announce until a $5,000 contribution threshold is hit.
All that $5,000 limit is, to the FEC, is an absolute no questions must-meet requirement point to file the Form 2.  But as my previous email pointed out, there are other triggers that exist, and they are not financial.  Those triggers can indeed force someone to file Form 2.  Mr. Myers of Alaska will now beyond any shadow of doubt HAVE to file within the specifications of a 15 day grace.
I will tell you and all to whom this reply may be addressed that, irrespective of wants and desires, whether yours or mine, if an FEC Form 2 is filed, and (once we insist on correct affiliation with the Constitution Party) if the FEC has accepted that Form 2 as a “legitimate” Constitution Party presidential candidate…there is absolutely nothing this party can do to “remove” or to “restrict” that legitimate Form 2 applicant.  If you attempt to do so, I can guarantee you that you would ruin the party; it won’t have, at the end of the litigations, a single red cent.
Look, I am not arguing that maybe some, perhaps many, of those with current and active Form 2’s may not be who you, the party, or the party establishment, prefers.  But unless you can tolerate the litigation potential, personally, I believe it to be lunacy to follow your suggestions.  With my whole heart and soul, do I believe this.
Which brings me to a point.  I am not known to beat around the bush regarding rights and wrongs.  Doubtless, that is what so endears me to some.
But apparently, Mrs. Murray, there was already an unauthorized “vetting” in effect.  It took place by your willful choice to ignore one of our real and actual FEC Form 2 Constitution Party candidates, Mr. Copeland.  I will tell you, point blank, that was wrong what you did.  Intellectually wrong, morally wrong, politically wrong, strategically wrong and legally wrong.  And this clear and evident wrong which was done by youunder the auspices of an official national office in this party (as a member of the national Executive Committee no less), demonstrates clearly why what you propose is an absolute danger, a knife edge. That is not the trail we should think about walking upon.
Despite your knowledge of important newspaper coverage of a serious campaign tour this spring, despite the actual links provided to you and the copies of the daily newspaper articles, under your control as Director of Communications you would not allow, by willful choice, so much as one single word to appear in the national Constitution Party online media regarding a viable candidate, Mr. Copeland, who, to my knowledge epitomizes the values that we in the Constitution Party say we hold.
You apparently “vetted” the gentleman out….based on…who knows what criteria.  That sort of demonstrable bias is absolutely unacceptable.  Period.  There is no excuse and no justification for it.  I therefore do not believe that you should be given leave to do any more of it.  Besides, you do not have the authority to do it, in any case.
I do not play “winks and nods”.
Scriptures tell me to avoid that.  And I do so with the utmost strength that God Almighty’s Grace has given me possession of, being merely a mortal man and a sinful one at that.  But, I will not play “winks and nods”.
Whilst you may believe that I am “in the Copeland camp,” any such assumption or rather presumption on your part, is flat out wrong there as well.  I am for whomever the people of Idaho, registered with the Constitution Party, say is to be their preference at the statewide primary.  Period.  I do not get to pick and choose.  And if that candidate is Ms. Elgar, so be it.  If that candidate be Peter Pan, so be it.  So be it, because I am duty and oath bound, Mrs. Murray, to represent the people of CP-Idaho, all of them.  Thy will be done.  Not my will be done.
I gave my solemn vow to be impartial, to be fair and objective before the assembled Idaho State Convention of the Constitution Party.  I do not get to pick and choose the obligations and duties they may lay upon me.  I cannot therefore accept what you propose.  If these words seem too harsh, then so be that as well.  They are at least honest.  No winks.  No nods.
I repeat, if you want to vet the presidential candidates, then at least do it legally.  Use the FEC Form 2.
 
Cc: Dave Hartigan, CP-Idaho Vice Chairman; records Mr. Hartigan..
 
Out.
Floyd Whitley
CP-Idaho
 ====================================
From: ##########@constitutionparty.com [mailto:##########@constitutionparty.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 07, 2015 3:46 PM
To: Frank Fluckiger; Jeff Becker; ########@######.com; ######@charter.net; #####@#####.net; Darrell Castle
Subject: Presidential Candidates
Gentleman and Lady Redburn,
I’ve attached a list of all known presidential candidates gathered by Jeff Becker of West Virginia and myself over the past few weeks.
Frank brought up in an earlier email about my putting them on the website.  I think we need to determine some basic requirements for giving a candidate the publicity and tacit approval by posting them on our national website.
  • In the attached document I’ve included some columns of possible vetting categories, which I came up with after conversations with several people, and experience in the last presidential election.
  • I don’t think we need to publish every thing put out by these potential nominees at this point.  I think, once we have a list of those we think we want to promote, that we can include a picture, and a link to their website, with maybe a short one paragraph bio.  
  • We can include news stories that mention them and the Constitution Party on the website page we have for CP in the News.
  • After a nominee is chosen, he or she will have their own featured page on the website but most of the information about them will be found via a link to their campaign website.
In the notes, you will se that I mentioned a letter sent to presidential candidates.  I came up with this letter after conversations with Cynthia Davis, Bob Peck, and others about what a potential candidate would need to know, with the idea that it would also function as a self-weeding process.   It was not to discourage, but rather to let them know the reality of what is expected of them and what they can expect from us.
It would be nice if someone could finish the vetting process (fill in the empty columns). 
In my opinion and experience with candidates at all levels,  not all people are qualified to be our candidate for various reasons.  We should set a basic criteria, like the categories in the attached document. Oops, I forgot to add natural citizen to the list. If they meet all those to our satisfaction, we can put them on the website.  If not, we should not give them the publicity.
We should be seen to have candidates that are not only constitutionally-qualified, but also interested in the Constitution Party and its principles, not in self-promotion.  They should also not be criminals or have other background issues that might compromise them and thereby, us.
People are looking to us for standard.  I am out here in the trenches on a daily basis, answering emails, answering Facebook questions.   I hear them thank us for holding fast to the standard.   When they perceive us falter, they are quick to criticize.  We have to be seen as the party with high principles and strong backs to stand against the wind.  Any candidates we put on our website must meet a basic standard.
Like I said, just my opinion.
Karen Murray
=====================================
This one is a follow up of the email dialogue above, in which Mr. Whitley emphasizes CP Ex-Officio/National Finance Committee Chairman Peter Gemma’s denial of the subject that was discussed in the previous emails-
From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: #######@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:44 PM
Subject: FW: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
Gemma’s denial…
 ====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2015 2:28 PM
To: ‘Peter Gemma’
Cc: ‘######@#####.org’; ‘Jeff Becker’; ‘Dave Hartigan’; ‘Bob Peck’; ‘Karen Murray’; ‘Frank Fluckiger’; ‘MO Cindy Redburn’; ‘Jim Clymer’; ‘######@#####.net’; ‘TN Darrell Castle’; ‘Phil Hudok’; ‘Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell’; ‘Denzil Sloan’; ‘brendacpwv’; ‘Randall Stufflebeam’
Subject: RE: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
Whatever, Gemma.  That is exactly and precisely what you said. 
And I say corruption, apparently, leads to more corruption.
Regardless, with your spiffy rejoinder, you do but prove your own sophomoric incapacities.
Floyd Whitley
CP-Idaho
=====================================
From: Peter Gemma [mailto:#########@##.com]
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2015 2:06 PM
To: Floyd W. Whitley
Cc: #########@######.org; Jeff Becker; Dave Hartigan; Bob Peck; Karen Murray; Frank Fluckiger; MO Cindy Redburn; Jim Clymer; ########@#####.net; TN Darrell Castle; Phil Hudok; Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell; Denzil Sloan; brendacpwv; Randall Stufflebeam
Subject: Re: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
I don’t remember meeting you, and that’s certainly not the kind of thing I would say ((then or now), but if you are in Albuquerque we can meet for sure. I will search you out: in my experience I can usually spot someone like you – red faced, waving a sheaf of papers, and talking loudly.

I’m going back to work. See ya in the Land of Enchantment!

Sent from my iPhone

=====================================
On Jul 10, 2015, at 4:30 PM, Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net> wrote:
To what language do you refer, Mr. Gemma?  Bastardization?  I was not aware that that word was inappropriate.  Webster’s is a dictionary, after all, for reference.
In conversation with me in Pittsburgh, Mr. Gemma, you told me in the presence of Mr. Writz I believe, that, and I quote, “Darrel Castle WOULD be the nominee.”  This of course before any decision at all.

=====================================

Discussion of the Constitution Party’s ‘blackout’ of Scott Copeland and other candidates vying for the CP presidential nomination-
From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: #######@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:42 PM
Subject: FW: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
This is an partial email string dating to last summer.  This string (incomplete) dates to early July 2015.   It pertains to the unethical and deliberate exclusion of even any news whatsoever of Candidate Copeland by officers of the National Executive Committee of the Constitution Party.  Mr. Gemma attempted to defend the corruption of process, the censoring of any mention at all other than the non-stop promotion of Castle.
=====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2015 2:08 PM
To: ‘Peter Gemma’; ‘Scott Copeland’
Cc: ‘#########@#######.org’; ‘Jeff Becker’; ‘Dave Hartigan’; ‘Bob Peck’; ‘Karen Murray’; ‘Frank Fluckiger’; ‘MO Cindy Redburn’; ‘Jim Clymer’; ‘#######@#####.net’; ‘TN Darrell Castle’; ‘Phil Hudok’; ‘Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell’; ‘Denzil Sloan’; ‘brendacpwv’; ‘Randall Stufflebeam’
Subject: RE: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
To the email Cc list:
Far be from me to ask, but can you please find for me in this message string discussion the campaign email Cc for Mr. Copeland, whom evidently you even now exclude, after all of this?  
Cc: ‘#########@#####.org’; ‘Jeff Becker’; ‘Dave Hartigan’; ‘Bob Peck’; ‘Karen Murray’; ‘Frank Fluckiger’; ‘MO Cindy Redburn’; ‘Jim Clymer’; ‘########@#####.net’; ‘TN Darrell Castle’; ‘Phil Hudok’; ‘Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell’; ‘Denzil Sloan’; ‘brendacpwv’; ‘Randall Stufflebeam’
It’s not there?  No?
And does that not say it all?  Unbecoming?  Indeed.  Why do you do these things?  Either the Constitution Party does, or it does not, operate under a higher standard.  Absolute openness.
There is nothing covered that will not be uncovered.   I believe Scriptures reported those previous words as God’s own.  So trying to cover up the transgression in this matter is a waste of time.  I have the courage to weigh fairly.  Here, I will do what none of you seem to have the courage to do.  I will stand upon principle. Cc:  Copeland
Maybe you can, in open forum, explain his continued exclusion here.  Don’t know.  Maybe you figure he does not have a vested interest, or maybe you figure he has no standing.  But, it will be sure be interesting to hear your explanations.   
And maybe we can even get an accounting of those explanations regarding the apparent process of presidential selection within this national party into a couple Idaho daily newspapers.  D.C. has a couple dailies as well, or so I hear.  And I am absolutely certain the public has an interest too.  After all, they will be voting at primary in Idaho on March 8, 2016.
What has been done by certain members who should know better (and I wager they do know better) is flat out wrong.  I will tell you, if it is not corrected, the People will know too.  No more games.
FWW
=====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2015 1:30 PM
To: ‘Peter Gemma’
Cc: ‘#######@#####.org’; ‘Jeff Becker’; ‘Dave Hartigan’; ‘Bob Peck’; ‘Karen Murray’; ‘Frank Fluckiger’; ‘MO Cindy Redburn’; ‘Jim Clymer’; ‘jim.clymer@clymer.net’; ‘TN Darrell Castle’; ‘Phil Hudok’; ‘Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell’; ‘Denzil Sloan’; ‘brendacpwv’; ‘Randall Stufflebeam’
Subject: RE: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
To what language do you refer, Mr. Gemma?  Bastardization?  I was not aware that that word was inappropriate.  Webster’s is a dictionary, after all, for reference.
In conversation with me in Pittsburgh, Mr. Gemma, you told me in the presence of Mr. Writz I believe, that, and I quote, “Darrel Castle WOULD be the nominee.”  This of course before any decision at all.
You further dismissed me for following what should be standard procedures in a political body…that is the PEOPLE get to decide.  You suggested otherwise, in Pittsburgh.  Further, you dismissively stated that “the party is not ready for a primary in Idaho.”  And by that you slandered the rank and file of over 2,200 fellow CP-Idahoans.
Tell me again what is out of line.  Idaho will have a statewide primary.  Those candidates that want to be on the ballot under the Constitution Party of Idaho, at general, will either compete or they will not be.
It seems to me, Mr. Gemma, if an apology is required, it be from you, and your apparent acceptance of corruption.  Which part of recuse escapes you?  Again, Webster’s does have a dictionary.
Let me further ask, place this under a class action, and a demand to produce.  And tell me whether the exclusion of the Copeland effort will not be found irregular given the participation of two (or perhaps more) executives on that facebook page.
Incidentally, I did not know of the existence of that page until Mr. Becker pointed it out.  Add that into the abuse of a party member with a Form 2, and it certainly does add up…but not to what you claim.
I make no apologies for the math.  I stand upon my statements.  They spoke truth.  Do as you will.  It is corruption, sir.  And the same question applies to you too, Mr. Gemma.  Would YOU qualify for that jury?
Floyd Whitley
CP-Idaho
=====================================
From: Peter Gemma [mailto:########@##.com]
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2015 1:00 PM
To: Floyd W. Whitley
Cc: ##########@######.org; Jeff Becker; Dave Hartigan; Bob Peck; Karen Murray; Frank Fluckiger; MO Cindy Redburn; Jim Clymer;######@#####.net; TN Darrell Castle; Phil Hudok; Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell; Denzil Sloan; brendacpwv; Randall Stufflebeam
Subject: Re: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS
This is waaaay out of line and unbecoming of a CP leader – or a rank-and-file member. Karen and I have worked together very closely since I’ve come aboard, and while we have some political and tactical disagreements, I stand by her loyalty, hard work, and integrity. I know some people and issues get her pretty upset and even angry, but she’s too much a lady to use such language – you should take a lesson from her and be a Constitution Party gentleman.

An apology – to all of us – is in order.

Sent from my iPhone

=====================================
On Jul 10, 2015, at 3:02 PM, Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net> wrote:
Mrs. Murray,
 
You say this: 
As a member of the Executive Committee and as Communications Director (whose job is to make sure that what we post and when we post, is in the best interests of the party), both of which give me the authority to question and ask for clarification and make suggestions from my own opinion…”
You take upon yourself an assumption of authority, which I find nowhere in the By-Laws.  My point is, and has always been, that both you and Mr. Peck and many others in position of “authority” besides, have abused your positions; frankly stated as totalitarians.  If this is done in the least of things, what will be done if actual power were yielded unto you?
 
I submit that, because of the vocal and visible advocacy positions that both you and Mr. Peck took on the facebook page, Draft Darrell Castle, over a year ago, that your news blackout of the Copeland effort is highly suspect.  Your restrictions apparently are based only upon your opinion.  You have no such authority.  And professionalism would have required that you recuse yourself. 
 
Grave questions should be asked as to whether you and Mr. Peck have not demonstrated a classic case of a conflict of interest and favoritism.  And from that conflict of interest, you corrupted the presidential selection process of the entire Constitution Party.  You certainly have caused legitimate questions as to whether this party ever intends to be objective, fair, even-handed in the nomination process.
 
Mrs. Murray, for the record, even the DEMOCRATS are attempting to correct this SAME corruption issue in their selection process.  See:
 
What you and Mr. Peck have done by your clear and evident conflict of interest is to reduce the Constitution Party to the level of establishment party boss rule!  That rule and that corruption is in no significant or meaningful way ANY different than what the Democrats have, or what the Republicans have.  Sure, “best interests of the party”…wink, wink…and all that.
 
So long as you continue to insist that you do have such self-assumed authority and control, you will continue to defy the requirements of your office; so will Mr. Peck, and so will any other state or national officer in this party.  Yet, you continue to attempt to justify your wrongs.
 
Mrs. Murray, what ought to happen is a censure should be motioned in National Committee at Albuquerque, drawing attention to the clear and present conflict of interest and the breach of trust, and upon censure a call for removal under petition, pursuant to Article II, Section 2.4, A. lines 9-14, page 6 of the National By-Laws.
 
The question I would ask you, Mrs. Murray, and any other, is this: 
 
Based upon your own conflicts of interest and your own biases and your own favoritism, and your own consideration of status, would you, in a court of law upon sworn affidavit to God Almighty, quality as a jury member?
 
Let me be more specific. 
 
Would you trust your life, if it hung in the balance of the decision, and the exclusionary “ethics” which you have demonstrated in this case were those of the rest of jury?  Would you trust your life to those self-assumed “ethics”? 
 
You have in absolutely NO manner whatsoever demonstrated impartiality.  By your exclusion and withholding of “evidence,” you have bastardized the law.  Your have subverted honesty, and worse, you have attempted to hide these things in a deliberate coverup which you did indeed orchestrate in collusion with others.
 
And this, somehow, is to be the model of good governance? 
 
Even the Democrats, Mrs. Murray, even the Democrats!…are attempting to put a halt to this very same kind of establishment corruption within that despicable party.  Why then is the Constitution Party (under your self-assumed authority) running to embrace such corruption?  And it is corruption, Mrs. Murray, let there be no doubt.  An email, or a million emails, will not ever alter that fact. 
 
Consider your life, Mrs. Murray…in the hands of someone who makes a decision on their scale just exactly in the manner that you have done in this case.  Are you so certain that you would be found innocent and be spared?
 
What you did was wrong.  Flat out wrong.  Do the right thing, Mrs. Murray.
 
Floyd Whitley
CP-Idaho 
=====================================
From: Communications Director [mailto:########@######.org]
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2015 9:14 AM
To: Jeff Becker; Dave Hartigan
Cc: Floyd W. Whitley; Bob Peck; Karen Murray; Frank Fluckiger; MO Cindy Redburn; Jim Clymer; #######@#####.net; TN Darrell Castle; Phil Hudok; Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell; Denzil Sloan; brendacpwv; FL Peter Gemma; Randall Stufflebeam
Subject: Re: FEC 2 forms & ELECTION DYNAMICS

I whole-heartedly agree with Jeff’s suggestion that a written policy be developed by the Executive Committee as soon as possible, either by teleconference or in Albuquerque.  My purpose in sending out the original email (which spawned this series of emails on the topic), was to start the conversation. As a member of the Executive Committee and as Communications Director (whose job is to make sure that what we post and when we post, is in the best interests of the party), both of which give me the authority to question and ask for clarification and make suggestions from my own opinion, subject to the review of both the Chairman and the EC as a whole.  Jeff Becker has ably taken a calm and reasoned approach even before this conversation started on behalf of his state party, and as co-chairman of Eastern States Area, which makes him a member of the EC as well.

I too request that the Executive Committee come up with a written policy.  We’ve not had a such a policy that I am aware of since my first experience with a CP presidential campaign in 2008.   I know in 2012, when I was both a member of the EC and Communications Director, we did not have one.  I could be wrong, but I don’t remember one, even though we had several people announcing their candidacies.  The questions are, from my point of view:

  1. Do we, the national party, post and promote potential presidential nominees on our website, our newsletter, and in social media before they are officially nominated?
  2. If yes, then what are the criteria that we set for choosing who we promote?
    • FEC-2 filing
    • Other
    • None?
  1. Who has the authority to give final say to a specific candidate being on the list of promoted?  In my opinion, that would be the national chairman after reviewing the policy and consulting with the Executive Committee, if necessary.
  2. Should an Elections Committee be formed to study, create a policy, and review it every four years once the Executive Committee decides the issue in 2016?  That committee could also be responsible for refining the letter and creating the questionnaire Jeff has suggested, for future use?
Karen Murray
National Communications Director
Executive Committee Member
=====================================
On 7/10/2015 8:32 AM, Jeff Becker wrote:
The bottom line is that all of these people have apparently expressed interest in the CP nomination in some way shape or form.  IMO, whether or not any of these folks are an ultimate fit for our party, it is the variety which adds to the DYNAMICS of our presidential nominating process.  Having a few buffoons like Donald Trump in the mix seeking our support early on IS GOOD because it provides public opportunity for serious candidates as well as our members and supporters to straighten them out.
Will some put their tail between their legs and leave?  Well, we apparently have already seen that with the case of Mr. Jennings who filed his FEC paperwork as an Independent on June 23, made on appearance on a CPWVa conference call on June 25 (where he got called out for being pro abortion, pro UN, and a felon), and then amended his FEC paperwork as a Democrat on June 28: http://www.fec.gov/fecviewer/CandidateCommitteeDetail.do?candidateCommitteeId=P60008299&tabIndex=3
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  I say, bring on the next one.  The old saying is “that which does not kill me makes me stronger.”  Candidates who can run our gauntlet are the ones we want, right?  An experience we had a year and a half ago at our Mountain State Forest Festival with the giant 8-foot paper mache smoke-blowing Obama Head bears consideration:  One person was vocally upset about it.  She began yelling, whereby candidate/Chair Phil Hudok calmly responded.  A crowd quickly gathered… to a rather substantial size and when folks heard us speaking facts with civility, there was a rush to sign Phil’s ballot access petition and learn more about our party.  People were happy that we were taking a Christian-based stand on the issues.  Had there not been any “dynamics,” would they have been so motivated?
As far as the FEC forms are concerned, I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one, so I am unfamiliar with the deadline rules.  However, since so many of these folks have not filed theirs, I would suggest that the CP Exec Committee come up with some sort of written position on this for us.  In the meantime, since the CPWVa is already in email contact with these folks, I am letting you know that we will just send them an informational email with a link to the FEC site and let them figure it out for themselves.  I suspect that because most of these folks are political neophytes, they are unaware of the federal requirements.  Darrell hasn’t declared and Mr. Lineaweaver is pursuing another party, so they will not be included in the email.
Looking forward to hearing from you all.  Thanks!
– Jeff
PS: Praying for you, Randy!  Wishing you a speedy recovery from your motorcycle accident.  When you are interested in getting back on the horse, check out Dean Segovis’ “Hackaweek” site.  He does weekly videos on motorcycle repair/restoration/modification projects and then sells them.  He’s currently working on a vintage Honda CB750: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KKJiFzCObw
=====================================
 
On Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 12:22 AM, Dave Hartigan <##############@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Jeff,
the Politics1 website,
 I just do not believe that we should use his list as the official list as his does not match up with the FEC Form 2 list of officially recognized candidates.
 Here is his list bounced off of the FEC list:
Aranjo, no FEC Form 2.
Bowhall, yes FEC Form 2, Independent.
Castle, no FEC Form 2.
Copeland, yes FEC Form 2, Constitution.
Elgar, yes FEC Form 2, Constitution.
Koppie, no FEC Form 2
Lineaweaver, no FEC Form 2, also listed on the site as an Independent
Merriel, no FEC Form 2
Myers, no FEC Form 2
Obern, no FEC Form 2
Rondeau, yes FEC Form 2, Independent
Rovics, no FEC Form 2
Shuler, no FEC Form 2
Woolsey, no FEC Form 2.
I hope this helps,
David W. Hartigan, Vice Chairman, CP-Idaho
=====================================
Here is another that discusses the subject of ‘questionable participation’, which Mr. Whitley describes here-
From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: #########@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:57 PM
Subject: FW: Draft Castle page
Background on the questionable participation of national officer’s from 2013 to April 2016 on the Castle promotion.
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 7:11 PM
To: ‘Jeff Becker’
Subject: RE: Draft Castle page
Jeff,
Understanding that Castle may indeed be their personal preference, still, they both have obligations to be impartial due to expectations under Robert’s Rules, for example.
Roughly, Robert’s Rules, Article XI, Section 66 pertains to elections and duties of chairs.  Not much there directly; however, the chair does not put a candidate slate forward under these rules.  In effect, that is what Peck is doing.  It is the custom to be impartial in elections from the chair in most parliamentary bodies, as the article referring to the Democrat party on politico suggests. 
Regardless, Robert’s Rules bind the Constitution Party, at Article V, By-Laws.  Under Robert’s Rules, Article X, Section 58, the expectation of impartiality is assumed, or at least extrapolated, since:  he “who expects to take an active part in debate should never accept the chair” By “taking a position,” pro or con, upon a candidate being debated (and subsequently voted), Peck is in fact is an active part.  And technically, under Robert’s Rule, it is required that said chairman step down.  And that person cannot resume the chair until the decision is decided.  Meaning:  April 17, 2016…after the National Convention.
Even so, it is the custom that chairman do not express their support or opposition due to the assumption of impartiality.  The politico article showed this lack of impartiality, and called the Democrat Party Executives out.
Murray, an executive committee member, should be called out as well.  If she wants to support Mr. Castle, I have no problem with that. She just cannot issue public statements of support, and still be the National Communications Director.  That amounts to a breach of trust, and a conflict of interest.
Floyd
=====================================
From: Jeff Becker [mailto:########@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 6:46 PM
To: Floyd W. Whitley
Cc: Frank Fluckiger
Subject: Re: Draft Castle page
I scrolled down the page as far back as I could until it stopped at September 10, 2013.  Interesting find there where Randy Constitutional Evangelist Stufflebeam makes the following posts:
(Author’s note: must be logged into facebook to view the full dialogue)**
=====================================
On Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 9:31 PM, Jeff Becker <########@gmail.com> wrote:
Floyd,
How do you know that this is a Karen Murray/Bob Peck effort?  If they are doing it in their individual capacity without the use of national party funds, I think that is their own business – or at worst, the concern of voters registered CP in Washington. Remember, it is the state affiliates which send delegates to the nominating convention, not the national Committee.  In fact, the convention establishes its own rules and the national Committee only really has advisory capacity.
And really, if you go to that facebook page, it only has 261 likes and hasn’t had a post outside of the clique since May 29 – and even that one wasn’t very favorable: https://www.facebook.com/DarrellCastle2016?fref=ts .
Also, you made some comments about controversy surrounding Rev. Copeland’s campaign.  I was not aware of that, but again, IMHO, it is up to the individual candidates to reach out to the several state affiliates to attract their delegates.  I really don’t think any single or couple of people can sideline a strong well organized campaign.  An organized national campaign is a sign of good leadership ability.  FWIW, Rev. Copeland has been on at least three of our CPWVa conference calls, corresponds with us on social media, and is planning to travel to our state next month and in October to campaign with us at our state fair and Forest festival, so personally I think he is on the right track.
Good hearing from you on all of this.  Appreciate your wisdom.
– Jeff
=====================================
On Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 8:51 PM, Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net> wrote:
Jeff,
Here, I do not respond to the list, but to you and the National Chairman alone.  I forward a link from politico, which I ask that you read and put into perspective of the now undeniable favoritism within the Constitution Party from members of its executive staff.   http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/impartial-dnc-finance-chief-helps-hillary-clinton-118558.html?cmpid=sf#ixzz3bzbJY3jc
Impartiality and fairness is impossible from Peck and Murray given their participation or shilling on the Draft Darrell Castle page at https://www.facebook.com/DarrellCastle2016?fref=ts
This conduct by Peck (a state chairman) and Murray (a national party officer), I submit, is wrong.  Put another way, they could not qualify for jury duty.  And that is sad.
When the Constitution Party is okay with a lack of impartiality, and is okay with a lack of even-handedness in the national candidate process, whereas the Democrats seek to enforce these principles (as the article on Hillary suggests), then the Constitution Party has clearly lost its way, if not lost its soul.
Floyd Whitley
CP-Idaho
=====================================
From: Jeff Becker [mailto:########@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 3:29 PM
To: Floyd W. Whitley; Bob Peck; Karen Murray; Frank Fluckiger; MO Cindy Redburn; Jim Clymer; #########@####.net; TN Darrell Castle
Cc: Phil Hudok; Jeffrey-Frank.. Jarrell; Denzil Sloan; brendacpwv
Subject: Re: Promotion of Presidential Candidates Seeking the CP Nomination
My $0.02 cents worth:
1) I agree with Karen in that I think it would be a good idea for the national Exec Committee to at least send letters to each person who has expressed an interest in our party’s presidential nomination and include a brief questionnaire with return envelope to find out their true intentions.  I think some of these folks may just be declaring for the fun of it – hence they only have facebook pages.  Let’s then see who is really serious.  The jokers won’t want to waste a postage stamp.  Plenty of Republican nominees in the past haven’t actually been registered with their local GOP (some states don’t register voters by party) and as we are seeing this year, Bernie Sanders is not a registered Democrat even though he is seeking that party’s nomination.  Because the CP does not have voter registration, ballot access, or even active parties in many states, it would be difficult for us to make this a requirement.
2) Such letters should be sent certified signature receipt so that we can verify which candidates actually received them. We have either valid email addresses or postal addresses from their FEC filings for most of them.  Others we are in contact with on social media.  Even if some of these people are known to have issues, if they filed with the FEC or expressed interest, we should at least send them the letter so all are legally treated the same.  The questionnaire should have a reasonable deadline to it.  I wouldn’t get too carried away with the vetting at this point other to inquire about their local CP involvement, past political activity, relevant experience, occupation, and direct them to their regional area chairman for more info.  Again, this is work for them so those who aren’t serious will not respond.  With less than twenty potential candidates so far, this is a minor expense – a few hundred dollars at most.
3) We need to be careful about providing legal campaign advice to candidates, but we can at least explain to them the delegate formula (as outlined in our national bylaws), and give them info on past nominating conventions.  The Wiki link is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution Party_National_Convention – let these folks know that our nominating conventions are growing ever more competitive and that to succeed, they are going to need to understand how they work early and begin planning for that.    They are going to need to campaign state-to-state to secure delegates, so will need to be assembling a competent campaign team for this purpose.  Again, more work, so those who realize this will likely not respond to our questionnaire.
4) THIS IS WHAT WE WANT. We want on the ground activity to generate attention to our party.  It doesn’t matter if some of these candidates are not “as good as” others in someone’s opinion.  Just look at all the jokers and division in the current GOP field. This is nothing new.  In our case, the cream will rise to the top! I think Bob has it exactly right when he said that “before the nomination, candidates exist to promote the party, declare our cause and rally people to that cause for the purpose of folding them into the Constitution Party and support for whoever becomes our nominee. After the nomination, the party exists to rally support for the nominee as the chief spokesman for, and rallying point for, our cause.” I feel that the proper role of our national party is to make sure that our state affiliates have all the pertinent information in this regard.  Our state affiliates should be reaching out to declared candidates and vice versa without wasting time on those who aren’t really serious.
5) Just because a candidate may or may not have filed an FEC Form 2 at this point should not be an issue, IMO, although I do not know the specific campaign rules in this regard.  I think this is more about fundraising campaign finance reporting than anything else.  Again, we need to be careful about not providing legal advice, but I think we can at least tell potential candidates about the FEC website and that they need to investigate it themselves with their campaign team.  As Floyd mentioned, candidates can apparently refile for this office.
6) As far as posting their information on the national website and “publicity,” I still say no, but we can quietly forward the contact information of those who signed for our certified letter and returned the questionnaire to our state affiliates.  With this contact info, the active state affiliates will be able to focus their attention only on the really serious candidates and apprise them of their local activities. Candidates who the states determine could do harm to us could simply be ignored by them thus leaving the national CP completely out if that issue.
7) RE: self-weeding – As we have seen recently in the CPWVa with four different candidates participating on our weekly state party conference calls, when these candidates begin to talk about issues espousing positions that are incongruous with our core principles, they quickly get a lesson. We were in no way being impolite, just pointing out the obvious.  The more these potential nominees have an opportunity to speak in person to various state activists, the sooner they will discover whether or not they are really a fit for our party’s highest candidacy.. Only those who have the fortitude to engage in public discussion will last.  If they don’t want to talk to us, they will end up fading away.  On the other hand, some will hopefully recognize their weaknesses and take up a study plan.
Karen, missing from your list are:
Darrell Castle (Tennessee)
James Dennis Criveau (Virginia)
Corey James Molinelli (Texas)
-not sure how interested these folks really are:  There is a Draft Darrell Castle page at https://www.facebook.com/DarrellCastle2016?fref=ts. Criveau’s website is for the “Constitutionist” Party (http://www.theconstitutionistparty.com/) and Tom Lineaweaver’s is for the Freedom USA party (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freedom-USA-Party/358338451009726)
FYI and looking forward to hearing back from y’all.
– Jeff
 ====================================
On Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net> wrote:
Mr. Peck,
This email puts me at great risk.  To compensate, if that is possible here, I therefore will apologize in advance for any “firm” language used in this rebuttal.
But, the Hell you say, sir.  You couldn’t be any more wrong if you tried.  A lot of words from you, Mr. Peck.  I will match them, stride for stride.  All your words (if their logic is extended) lead to one inescapable conclusion—to wit: you do indeed seek to control and apply unequal privilege.  The question is:  “Where is the fount of your authority?
At this point, you offer too little too late by way of obviously nuanced excuses, now that Mr. Copeland’s candidacy can no longer be ignored by you and Mrs. Murray.  That was done in secret.  It now lies exposed.  Regardless, let me be plain, the Copeland candidacy merely serves as a comparative example by way of an ardent discussion upon this subject.  I do not “promote” it, as you have styled things, Mr. Peck.
To start, none of what you say now, Mr. Peck, in any way justifies your deliberate choice to ostracize Mr. Copeland, who was in the West campaigning, and was at that time the only authentic national candidate this party had in early May 2015.
If truth be told, you evidently sought to damage him by denying him welcome.  You sought to silence him and any others who might have the cheek to suggest that they hold equal footing in this party.  Unfortunately, you admit, in your vision of the Constitution Party, that there is no such equality.  To you, there are classes, and cliques, and winks and nods.  And of course, those ever present egalitarian words which spew forth like an artesian well at the foot of the Himalayas…none of which, apparently, are you yourself willing to put into practice to irrigate the growth of this party.  “Those?  Ah, well.  Those words are for others to obey.  Not us.  Not the privileged.  Not the special class.”
This is easily demonstrable in your own words, Mr. Peck.  If what you say is to be the procedure, and if you are not applying procedures capriciously (which you obviously are), then the national party must pull down the Castle Report, and do so immediately.  “Foul!” you cry?  “Too dear!” you say?  You want to have your cake, and yet belly it too it seems.
You are wrong to say: “The Constitution Party is not obligated to acknowledge” candidates.  How foolish can a political executive be?  Besides, you essentially contradict your own words, and imply that: “Yes, such obligations do apply, but…only for some.”  Only some?
I was unaware, Mr. Peck, that the Constitution Party had deteriorated to the status of a country club with tiered membership.  The rank and file is to go through the domestic entrance.  Is that it?  The “real” members get a seat at the table, but no others.  Is that it?  If so, you need to reread the national By-Laws.  What you propose is no different than the Republicans, sir, which is why I stated in my response to Mrs. Murray that her opinions are an admixture of hubris and hypocrisy.  I was being polite.  I will not be so polite with this email, sir.
Obsidian glass.  Let me demonstrate its use.  Here is the jugular vein of your hypocrisy, sir…
You state:  “We have no rules for determining which contenders to acknowledge or associate with”… and apparently with that premise you justify your deliberate news blackout of a CP national campaign which travelled across two states.  Actually three state, Mr. Peck, because Mr. Copeland was also in Washington…but your sanctimonious snobbishness refused to even send a single CP-Washington person to at least welcome this candidate to your own state.  No problem, you say.  After all, so long as we have “no rules,” you get to do as you will, right Mr. Peck?
Where is common courtesy?  Is that not a rule?  Where is professionalism? Is that not a rule?  What of Christian principles?  Are they not rules?  “Ah, but Lord, have we not cast out demons in Your name?  Yeah, but go away.  I never knew you….or, you Me.”
Let me ask you directly, Mr. Peck.  Would your same sanctimonious denial to associate also apply should Mr. and Mrs. Castle arrive at Spokane International in Washington?  Of course not.  You would stumble over your own feet to rush out an greet them upon their arrival!  Far be it from me to suggest this, but if your “rules” (or lack thereof) do not apply equally to all, then you are a hypocrite.  That much is obvious and plainly stated.  This assessment is clear, and it is exposed by your own words.
Obsidian glass.  Let’s demonstrate the technique…and reveal the blood of self evident hypocrisy.
 You say:  “I don’t believe the party should deprive itself of the use of such a person’s articles or commentaries, which have long been used to articulate our views to the public, just because they choose to seek our nomination.”  Your own words therefore condemn you, Mr. Peck. Here is some more blood from that opened jugular of hypocrisy: “Some candidates might enjoy some extra name recognition within the party.”
Is it even possible to pack more hypocrisy into a single email, sir?  I don’t know.  But I must compliment you, sir.  You have done a masterful job of it.  You acknowledge promoting SOME “approved” candidates.  Just not the riff raff.  Just not the plebiscite, right?  Your suggestion is repugnant.  And it is wrong to do.  You weigh with your thumb clearly and unmistakably pressed down upon your scales.  You then exclaim, “See! It measures thus!
I’ve got a book of Scriptures right here at my desk about that kind of measurement; and if you want to read it, Mr. Peck, I would be more than happy to direct you to it.  Look up what God hates most.  And in that short list you will find someone who hypocritically measures just exactly like you do.  I do not care whether I am expelled from this party for saying it.  I will speak the truth as I know it.
Regardless, you and Mrs. Murray attempt a non sequitur argument.  That rhetorical “style” may deceive the uninitiated and the ill-prepared, perhaps.  But logically, it fails.  You introduce fringe candidates who are not in fact affiliated (not under a proper current FEC Form 2).  And with that introduction, you use that as your excuse to justify continued exclusionary conduct.  In short, you fear-monger, using an illogical construction that has no relevance beyond its service to you as a fig leaf of pretense by which to attempt to cover your own naked hypocrisy.
 Apparently, or at least the evidence thus far seems to indicate, both you and Mrs. Murray class(ed) Mr. Copeland in that group of personas non gratis, those “unclean” candidates…or better said, you clearly did class him that way, as demonstrated by your mistreatment of him in May.  You seek to grant yourself leave to decide for the national party what is news, and what is not.  Who’s in.  Who’s out.  And based on your thumb pressing the scale, you will of course each and every time always exclude most of the rank and file CP citizens.
Let me ask you rhetorically, Mr. Peck.  How is that political party system any different than what is in place in America now?  The answer is…it isn’t.  This party is dying on the vine because of people making “rules” (or “non-rules”) measurements like you do, Mr. Peck.  Why should anyone invest time and treasure into a political party that is no different than what the big-boxes have now?  That answer is plain.  They won’t.
By what do you distinguish yourself?
More than anything else in this world, the common voter in America is crying out unto to gates of God’s Throne itself for someone in this land to be upright, just, principled, fair, impartial, to have integrity, to be genuine.  The whole of what you have written here does not meet those criteria, Mr. Peck.  Truth will out.  It has a way of doing that.
I will repeat, as of close of business yesterday, there are two Constitution Party candidates…with one additional candidate in-process, contingent upon his duly filed FEC Form 2.  Said form is now required following his public declaration of intent.  But as to that official list and its respective merits, your non sequitur argument is corrupted, Mr. Peck.  And unless you call for an immediate and total blackout of all candidate news, and all candidates or potential candidates being provided with “in-kind” online podium space, then you have only hubris and hypocrisy as your currency.  That counterfeit will not build a national party.  To the contrary.  It will collapse it, once the people seek to cashier it.
Incidentally, do not mistake me.  I am not suggesting such a blackout.  To the contrary.  What I suggest is transparency.  I suggest opening the process to those who seek nomination.  What are you afraid of, Mr. Peck?  Ideas?  Candidates who demonstrate in the forge of the public that they do not merit our consideration will sieve out.  Be certain of that, and faithful.  Why?…because the truth will always out.  Therefore, seek truth.  It liberates.
To conclude, what you apparently demand, Mr. Peck, is an Executive, top-down command body…the very antithesis of a grassroots organization, which the Constitution Party advertises itself to be.
Again, I encourage you to read the national By-Laws, firstly.  And secondly, if that is truly what you want, then by all means I encourage you to affiliate yourself with the Republican Party instead.  They already have what you apparently desire.  It’s well funded, well-travelled, well-paved with lots and lots of such privileged clubs…the whole of it leading to perdition.
Floyd Whitley
Cp-Idaho
Rem valde bene gerere
=====================================
From: Bob Peck [mailto:########@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 3:16 AM
To: Floyd Whitley; Fluckiger, Frank
Cc: Cindy Redburn; Karen Murray (Google Drive); Jim Clymer; Jeff Becker; Darrell Castle
Subject: Promotion of Presidential Candidates Seeking the CP Nomination
Dear Floyd,
I’ve been catching pieces of this conversation, and concerns related to it, through various communications over the past several days. Maybe it’s time I weigh in with some of my thoughts on the matter. I received a copy of your comments to Karen Murray yesterday, so will include the people who were copied on that message.
I believe the crux of the matter is the question of acknowledgment and promotion of persons known to be seeking the Constitution Party Presidential nomination. Should we acknowledge them and/or promote their activities and events on our website, in our newsletter, Facebook page, etc, and on what basis?
In past election cycles, I don’t recall any national party acknowledging or promoting of candidates – either a single candidate or the entire field – until after the nomination. I believe the unspoken principle of how it works is that before the nomination, candidates exist to promote the party, declare our cause and rally people to that cause for the purpose of folding them into the Constitution Party and support for whoever becomes our nominee. After the nomination, the party exists to rally support for the nominee as the chief spokesman for, and rallying point for, our cause.
Having multiple people seeking our nomination does bring more awareness to our party and can create some hype. It has been suggested in the past that many party members should campaign for President – that maybe we should have regional candidates who can travel and campaign in their corner of the country, create awareness, maybe get some news coverage and generally bring awareness to our cause. That might be a good idea. However, the question of the national party acknowledging or in some way associating with those candidates is another matter that brings a lot of complications and considerations.
We know that anyone can say that they are running for President. Anyone can file with the FEC – and we’re not trying to stop them. However, the minute we include people on a list of Constitution Party Presidential contenders that we publish on our website, or mention in our newsletter, or start posting announcements for on our Facebook page, the party connects itself to the candidate, and thus, stakes a piece of our reputation on them.
There will be announced, and even FEC filed, candidates who do not uphold our platform, or have criminal records, are registered sex offenders, hold communist views, or are just plain kooks and crack-pots. One of the people who is already filed with the FEC is a mentally troubled person who I have received communications from in the past and is incapable of constructing a coherent sentence. I’m not being mean or critical, but if we list that person on our website as one of the Constitution Party Presidential contenders, or forward one of their announcements to be published on our Facebook page, we will throw away whatever precious little credibility we might currently have.
The Constitution Party is not obligated to acknowledge or promote any candidate unless and until they receive our nomination. Granted, there are candidates, like Mr. Copeland, and no doubt others to come, whose candidacy brings positive awareness to our party. It would be nice to make mention of those campaigns and show our party supporters how many people want our nomination. But what about those whose association with our party would be a negative? One of the duties of our party leaders is to protect our party and its reputation from being associated with such people. This is why no one is to be treated as our “candidate” until the delegates have bestowed that honor at our convention.
This brings me back to Karen’s comments about some sort of vetting process or criteria for being acknowledged as a contender for our nomination. Karen was by no means suggesting that we can control who files with the FEC, runs in a state primary election or travels around the country saying they’re running as “CP.” However, we can and do control who is listed on our website, mentioned in our newsletter and promoted on our Facebook page and I consider it the duty of our chairman, and the communications director under him, to jealously guard access to these and make sure we are not in anyway associating ourselves with, or risking our reputation on, anyone whose views or actions might do our reputation harm. Right now, our reputation is all we have.
I agree with Karen that if we start to cover the candidates who are seeking our nomination, list them on our website, announce their campaign events and activities, etc, we would need some sort of criteria for determining whose campaigns the national party is willing to recognize, forward event announcements for, etc. I think a good minimum requirement would be that the person has paid membership dues in their state Constitution Party affiliate and is filed with the FEC. However, I believe the mentally trouble person who I referred to earlier, and who is filed with the FEC, once sent a membership payment to our state party, so we obviously need a higher hurdle than that.
We have no rules for determining which contenders to acknowledge or associate with, so it would have to be up to the chairman to set the criteria and make the determination as to which candidate and what activities qualify. Ideally, if this were to be done, a committee should be appointed which reviews the contenders and makes their determination on the basis of criteria established by the national committee.
Even if we did all of this, there would be the question of how much coverage to give to candidates. Should we forward to our Facebook page every event announcement of every approved candidate? A candidate could game the system by holding a public event every day of the week and make his campaign look like a raging success, even though only two people are showing up at each event – the candidate and his wife. Meanwhile, another candidate might be holding one event per month with a hundred people showing up, yet be getting less coverage by the party. It could be argued that party supporters would be given the perception that the candidate with two supporters is the front runner and the candidate with a hundred isn’t very popular. To be really fair and unbiased, we would need a committee that monitors coverage of the candidates, determines how many announcements per week are allotted to each, etc. But we’re short on volunteers as it is, so who wants to serve on another committee?
I believe that the best answer is to just let everyone run who wants to run (which is exactly how it is now and no one is suggesting otherwise) and not involve the national party in covering the campaigns, passing on announcements, etc. I believe it is the job of the candidates to drum up support, earn a following, and if they are truly committed to our party and its cause, bring that following along to the Constitution Party and to the support of whoever our nominee turns out to be.
In truth, especially at this time in our party, Presidential candidates are a party building tool. The party doesn’t exist to support them, rather, they run to promote the party and its principles in the public forum. If a candidate isn’t willing to do that for our party, then they don’t deserve our nomination, which is precisely why some who were merely seeking a platform have quit us over the years.
Some candidates might enjoy some extra name recognition within the party because they have served in the party, or regularly write articles articulating the party’s views, etc. I don’t believe the party should deprive itself of the use of such a person’s articles or commentaries, which have long been used to articulate our views to the public, just because they choose to seek our nomination. For instance, Cynthia Davis writes a weekly newsletter and records a podcast that the party has long promoted on its Facebook page and which we’ve treated as a tool for promoting the party and our principles. If Cynthia were to seek the nomination, she would enjoy more name recognition and I expect we would continue to post her new podcast episodes on our Facebook page unless she started using her podcast to mention and directly promote her campaign.
I would not view that as favoritism, but as simply the result of someone having committed to the party several years and having devoted much time and effort to speaking for and representing our cause and making themselves useful to the cause. I don’t believe we should deprive ourselves of the benefit of using a certain person as an ongoing spokesman for our cause just because they decide to seek our nomination. On the other hand, I don’t believe the party is obligated to start publishing someone’s writings just because they’ve announced their candidacy.
Yes, there is a certain benefit to being an established long time party leader and spokesman for our cause, but no one is being denied that advantage if they are willing to spend the years earning it.
I invite everyone to weigh in and share with us any plans they might have for how we can determine which candidates to acknowledge and which campaign news and activities to post on our site while still protecting our reputation and keeping the system fair and evenly balanced for all candidates. I think I’ve exhausted my insights and ideas on the matter.
Bob
Robert W. Peck
National Committeeman: Constitution Party
Website Admin and Technical Assistance: The Castle Report
Website Admin and Technical Assistance: Home Front with Cynthia Davis
=====================================
This one further deals with the subjects of Peter Gemma and Scott Copeland’s candidacy-
From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: #######@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 1:39 PM
Subject: FW: Candidate Scott Copeland’s campaigning
This email was devastating to Gemma; it sent him and his other coup d’ etat officers running for cover. It finally forced a parsimonious reporting on the national website of even mentioning the existence of the Copeland campaign…which by that time had been campaigning actively and in person in a number of states.
 
At this point, the excuses for willfully censoring any information of the existence of the Copeland campaign had no foundation.  And so, these junta insiders went underground, and only came out a week prior to the Salt Lake Coronation.
=====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2015 5:03 PM
To: ‘Peter Gemma’; ‘Bill Wayland’
Cc: ‘#####@aol.com’; ‘Lois McLain’; ‘Graham Judd’
Subject: RE: Candidate Scott Copeland’s campaigning
I know of no party that is providing PR for candidates. None
Says you.
The advice you proffer, sir, is (euphemistically stated) “most unwise”.  Furthermore, it is not true.
I am certain we will now be entertained by creative obfuscations; you didn’t mean this or that; what you meant to say was this, or you meant to say that…
I will call your hand here.  Your advice is toxic.
To prove that you are wrong, I attach a clip of the current GOP website head page, found currently at https://www.gop.com/ .  I will also repeat, there is a difference be “support” and “report”.  Just because the communications Office cannot make this distinction, does not make it go away.
The advice not to report on any candidate campaigns until AFTER the National Convention is outright political insanity.  And this is especially true for a third party with limited funds.
Of course parties report their campaigns!  And the evidence is HERE in the clips below…at the GOP website.  But, hey, why stop there?  How about the Democrat Party?  Oh, well, in that case see:  https://www.democrats.org/ And see the clip below the clip…so on and so forth.
I am not buying into your explanations.
Your recommendations and frankly excuses and cover up for unethical actions by the Communications Office, amount to suggesting that this party (1) shoot itself in the footy, (2) shoot itself in the forearm AND the head, and (3) then pre6tend that now everything’s fair.  That advice is stupid, and…obviously wrong based on the evidence.
Floyd Whitley
CP-Idaho
=====================================
From: Peter Gemma [mailto:########@###.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 9:47 AM
To: Bill Wayland
Cc: #####@aol.com; Lois McLain; Graham Judd; #####@####.net
Subject: Re: Candidate Scott Copeland’s campaigning

I know of no party that is providing PR for candidates. None. Candidates garner support inside and out of the party structure. A good campaign plan should be centered on how to win the nomination – not simply getting listed in the newsletter among the many who are running and hoping people will come to you. Knowing leaders and power centers are not given service, they are ascertained by a candidate’s team and built into a strategic campaign plan.

Sent from my iPhone

=====================================
Here is an additional one discussing briefly, the relationship between Peter Gemma & Randy Stufflebeam-
 
From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: ########@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 1:29 PM
Subject: FW: Why I don’t trust the guy…
As for Gemma, my comments immediately following the Salt Lake Sellout pertained to this promotion of the gentleman by the National Execuitves.
=====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2015 8:44 PM
Subject: Why I don’t trust the guy…
This is what Stufflebeam said of Gemma, late 2012 I believe it was.   
“I am much encouraged in our prospects as we have what I perceive to be tremendous leadership in raising money through Peter Gemma. Peter was involved in the Ron Paul endeavors and has helped the Republican Party raise a lot of money in the past and he is now fully on board with the Constitution Party. He has presented some short term and long term goals that once implemented,I believe, will put the Party on the path of financial recovery.”
The reality three years later?…none of this glowing financial acumen of the gentleman has evidenced itself.
Meanwhile, the Siamese establishment twins remain conjoined at the hip…Stufflebeam and Castle, Stufflebeam and Castle, Stufflebeam and Castle…as shown here: http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/?s=Stufflebeam 
Objective?  Uh, no.  So, reform is still necessary; it must be relentlessly pursued all the way to Albuquerque; and chased to the ground in Salt Lake.
FWW
=====================================
This brief one points out Darrell Castle’s ‘hypocrisy’ on the matters of the ‘Lois Lerner Operation’ and the internal strife within the Constitution party’s ranks, or, the ‘Castle Operation’, as he calls it-
From: Floyd W. Whitley <#####@#####.net>
To: ########@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 1:07 PM
Subject: FW: For comparison: the Castle operation vs. the Lois Lerner operation
=====================================
From: Floyd W. Whitley [mailto:#####@#####.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2015 9:58 AM
To: ‘Dave Hartigan’
Subject: For comparison: the Castle operation vs. the Lois Lerner operation
Essentially, the “ethics” used to justify the internal CP secret clique Castle group among party executives are no different than what Lois Lerner and the Democrats have done via the IRS.  Both are abuses of office and collusions of influence peddling…or worse.
This party under the Castle clan now has ZERO to say in complaining about IRS abuse by Lerner et al.  They are doing the same thing in the CP presidential selection process in this party.  They are using the exact same set of “ethics”.  Few distinctions between them.
Forward the link below, if you wish, to Jeff Becker under your email by-line.  These guys still don’t get that what was done was wrong.   
Getting ready to head to Moscow.
–FWW
=====================================
This is what has been divulged to this author so far, and while some of these dialogues and evidences of corruption within the ranks of the CP might appear to be based on he-said-she-said jargon; however other bits -like the treatment of Darrell Castle’s rivals competing for the CP nomination and Mr. Gemma’s conduct, as well as the conduct of other officers of the CP’s Executive Committee; are serious allegations that do appear to have merit, judging by the nature of these emails and the rebuking outrage of Mr. Whitley himself that is stated in detail.
In conclusion, it appears that not all is well inside the Constitution Party these days; the public image of Mr. Castle being a genuinely humble, honest-john alternative to the candidates of the major parties and even the presidential tickets of the Libertarian & Green Parties could very well be nothing but a facade built on perjury and unethical behavior in order to create such an appearance to the general voting population.
Regardless of the truth, this author may, or will do any follow up articles on this serious matter; should any additional evidence or news updates relating to this subject come up in the near future -as the above email dialogue just might indicate something that could very well be the tip of the iceberg, who knows?

*For any requests of actual copies of the unedited emails themselves, this author is more then willing to provide such to anyone, per request at my email, which is: cqiap@yahoo.com   

**Being that there could be a possibility that the said 2013 dialogue about Castle’s candidacy could end up being deleted; this author made a screen shot of such, and would be willing to email copies to any inquiring individuals on such if contacted via email.

2 responses to “Unprincipled Politics in the Constitution Party? Leaked Emails Detail Possible Unethical Conduct & Bias during the CP’s 2016 Presidential Nomination Contest

  1. Apologies for the length that this article takes up on this page; haven’t figured out how to use the cutoff option on the WP dahsboard yet :/

    Like

  2. Pingback: Idaho Constitution Party: Our explanation of National Convention Brouhaha | American Third Party Report

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