At their 2016 state convention held in Orofino, Saturday, July 30, the Constitution Party of Idaho certified Scott Copeland of Weatherford , Texas and J.R. Myers of Soldotna, Alaska as the party’s candidates for President and Vice President, respectively, in Idaho.
Convention also certified the names of four Constitution Party of Idaho presidential electors to the Secretary of State—Ray Writz of Coeur d’Alene, Scott Hensler of Coeur d’Alene, Dave Hartigan of Boise and Floyd Whitley of Cottonwood.
With certification of Copeland/Myers now complete, it may bring to an end the internecine strife focused against the Constitution Party of Idaho.
“An orchestrated pressure over the last week prior to the Orofino Convention by national party operatives to bully Idaho has been something,” said former state chairman Floyd Whitley. “Idaho stood its ground against a nominee and a nomination process both of which we view as entirely illegitimate.”
“Idaho is not ‘chopped liver’ in the national Constitution Party tent,’’ said Whitley. “The disrespect of Idaho voters by the national party is inexplicable.”
Idaho is now the fourth or fifth largest state affiliate in the national Constitution Party, depending on how one counts IAP of Nevada and CP-Oregon. CP-Oregon did not place the 2012 national CP candidate on its state ballot, and it refused to list Mr. Castle on the 2008 national ticket as Vice President that year.
Whitley pointed out that CP-Idaho has grown in statewide voter registrations. Without the Idaho affiliate included in the national party’s tally, a net total loss of registrations has occurred for the national party over the past election cycle.
According to Whitley, “By not campaigning in Idaho, or meeting directly with our voters or our state party leaders, the national party’s nominee basically has said, “We don’t care about Idaho’s registered base.”
In 2014, Idaho forwarded concerns to the national party regarding the failure to incorporate rank and file voters directly in the nomination practices, Whitley noted. “Instead of candidates rising upon their own merit with the preference rightfully put to the members, the national party operates a secret selection committee at the executive level, one without apparent rules and one without evident oversight.”
“Indeed, the entire construction is improper according to the party’s own bylaws,” Whitley contends, “The national party is upside down.”
Idaho’s national delegation was the only state affiliate present at Salt Lake in possession of a verifiable preference ballot. Thus, contends Whitley, the national convention had non-equivalent ballots. “They were not like-to-like”.
In any case, Idaho state party rules require national candidates to stand at primary and compete for Idaho’s electorate ballot. Under those rules (which have been in place since September 2015) the state convention was bound to the decision of the primary results because the national nominee in Salt Lake did not file a declaration of candidacy in the mandatory primary.
Idaho Primary winner and runner up, Mr. Copeland and Mr. Myers respectively, will therefore now be on the November ballot in Idaho.
“CP-Idaho voters have been taken for granted for far too long,” says Whitley. “Perhaps next time, national candidates seeking to represent this party will take the nomination process a little more seriously, and a lot more honestly.”