[CPID Editor’s note: We have had a number of requests for more information regarding the recent National Convention at Salt Lake. The following response to an email inquiry is perhaps as good an explanation of Idaho’s stance as any.]
Subject: Re: Presidential Nominee
Date: 2016-05-31 10:05
Mr. Copeland participated in the Idaho Presidential Primary, March 8, 2016 and received a majority (51.5%) of the 21.3% of the registered base of the Constitution Party of Idaho who turned out to the primary poll.
Mr. J.R. Myers of Alaska was runner up, receiving 28.7% of the turnout of our state party’s registered base at primary. These will be the candidates certified.
In regards to Mr. Castle, he was well aware in late 2014 that CP-Idaho intended to hold a legitimate preference ballot. The motivating reason for doing so was that our state affiliate CP-Idaho no longer is a mere handful of persons. We totaled at the end of 2014 some 2,158 registered voters. As of May 27, 2016 we total 2,346.
The leadership of CP-Idaho did NOT believe that it, and it alone, held an inherent authority or power (to say nothing of the implied ethics and principles to do so) to declare an exclusive fait accompli upon whom the state affiliate preferred for its national candidate. We opened the process, therefore, to primary…a verifiable ballot which is, incidentally, demanded of us procedurally in the national By-Laws.
Meanwhile, Mr. Castle continued throughout 2015 “playing games”. He was a candidate-wasn’t candidate, ad nauseam. Over and over, this exact same game was played by the gentleman throughout 2015 and into 2016, literally up to the opening gavel of the national convention. This despite repeated assurances from the National Chairman, Mr. Frank Fluckiger, that the Castle campaign would declare in 2015. (The gentleman did not even file a FEC Form 2 until after the Salt Lake Convention; I leave a financial account of his campaign to the FEC to forensically decipher.)
This particular individual continued to jerk around with the hokey pokey routine, a routine that is entirely unbecoming of a mature nomination process by what professes itself to be a national political party. He had excuses for doing so, or so it has been claimed. But this behavior is genetic, apparently. It was done before, replicated almost exactly, in the 2012 nomination iteration with the same belated anointment attempt, back when Mr. Virgil Goode ran. And it was, to a degree, also repeated by the same people in 2008.
In 2016, CP-Idaho holds that the process of a national nomination is supposed to be more than just “play acting” at politics. It is a momentous matter; one in which ethics or conflicts of interest should not incur question. But that is not the case here. The entire process demonstrated by this national party has been tainted.
In compliance with state code, and specifically to remove personal preferences being cast by national delegates in lieu of a legitimate representative voice of all registered CP-Idaho voters, we set forth rules and procedures to govern our national delegation. The final copy was adopted September 24, 2015…this after the national executive committee balked at providing the actual balloting method used in national convention.
These rules were set out no less than sixty (60) days prior to the December 9, 2015 filing deadline for the March 2016 presidential primary in Idaho. Plenty of time was allotted for those considering candidacy to review them. (More would have been allotted had the national executive not dallied on providing us with the actual balloting method at national convention.) Nonetheless, these rules were sent to the national executive with a request to forward them to the recalcitrant candidate/non-candidate Castle, who has yet to respond to any email sent from this state party.
In these rules and procedures, it was clearly stated that if a candidate refused to participate and compete in the Idaho Primary, and thus refused to ask (honestly) the registered voters of Idaho for their ballot support, then that candidate who refused to do so, thereby insulting the Idaho electorate, would be deemed as having forfeited consideration on the November General Election ballot in Idaho.
Those were the rules and procedures under which this state party entered into an agreement with the presidential candidates–we had three gentlemen candidates stand at primary–who did file and compete. Apparently, Mr. Castle did not believe he needed to compete for votes. Perhaps it was considered an inherent right of entitlement. Regardless, these Rules & Procedures remain operative. CP-Idaho will not entertain an ex post facto alteration of those rules. Mr. Castle forfeited Idaho, and we believe he did so knowingly and willfully. Whether done by arrogant spite or not, that judgment is up to God to decide. We are moving onward.
The United States Constitution itself is nothing more than a set of societal rules for self government. Too many today choose to ignore those guiding rules…if not ignore any and all other rules and traditions. But as for CP-Idaho, we will not do so.
Mr. Castle knew what the rules were; he refused to contact this state party despite numerous efforts on our part to extend invitations to public events and public debate. All three of the candidates who did stand at primary also stood at debate. This is how legitimate process works. It honors the electorate, providing them with information upon which to make an informed decision.
Apparently, Mr. Castle could care the less…because he knew that he did not need to compete in Idaho. He had internal control over the levers of the Constitution Party establishment, which were operated by insider party apparatchiks. Evidence? He and his ilk did indeed do so by a deliberate censoring of any and all references to other national campaigns seeking the nomination…as the apparatchiks reserved prime and exclusive space on the national website head page for an ongoing promotion of that particular gentleman’s podcasts, for example. The nomination process was flat out corrupted by favoritism, plainly stated. Those “aces up the sleeve” often come in handy. But that is still cheating, nevertheless.
Excluding Idaho, no state delegation supposedly representing their constituents at the national convention, actually possessed any established rules and procedures governing their delegates. We did have them in force. Further, few states if any (other than Idaho) can demonstrate that they performed a valid and verifiable preference ballot, whether by primary or by caucus. They cannot demonstrate they even bothered to ask for the preference of their registered base. The conclusion is that they did not, despite their pretenses.
At some point, when a political organization claims that it “stands on principle,” that organization must actually do so, or it becomes little more than an impotent hypocrite, utterly useless. With that as a foundation, it will not withstand the onslaught of corruption. The national Constitution Party has failed in this regard.
In direct contrast, indeed perhaps in defiance, CP-Idaho shall stand upon principle, even if the national party refuses to do so. The national nomination is not supposed to be reduced to “Version 5.0” of a personality cult program; it is not supposed to be a country club insider brokered elitist procession; it is not supposed to be sheep following the orders of some master, leaving the rank and file base of this party consigned to mournful bleating…so long as it is kept within the fences set up by a clique. Not all shepherds are good. And if they justify doing this in the least of things, the appropriate concern should be “How would they act if they actually did have governmental power?”
We maintain that deliberate actions, like those of the Castle campaign/non-campaign, have consequences. Certainly, customary and minimal protocols exist regarding the relationship between someone seeking elective office and those who elect that person; but the gentleman evidently believed he was above all that. A usurpation of sorts, a coup against caring what any others had to say.
The gentleman is “entitled” to nothing more than what was set forth in the rules. Our conscious here in Idaho is clear. We will not ignore or bend or twist or wink or nod at the rules. We expect them to be followed; and they will be followed this year, this election.
CP-Idaho shall stand upon principle, instead of just incessantly talking about doing so, as the multitudinous “patriot” this or “liberty minded” that are too often wont to do.
Thus, the certified 2016 national ticket in Idaho will be Copeland/Myers.