Video of Chad Koppie’s full speech and an edited, condensed version of the audience Q&A that followed (Recorded by ATPR).
On August 20th, 2016, Chad Koppie, the Constitution Party’s U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois, delivered a speech to a meeting of the Illinois Center Right Coalition (ICRC) held in Niles Public Library. Koppie, who briefly sought the Constitution Party’s 2016 presidential nomination before withdrawing from the race in September of 2015, is running as a write-in candidate due to being removed from the ballot along with his party’s presidential nominee, Darrell Castle, after a challenge was filed to both candidates’ petitions. Koppie previously ran as the Constitution Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2008, and in that race his name appeared on the ballot, enabling him to receive 24,059 votes (0.45%).
Koppie began his speech by reading an article written by commentator Ben Stein regarding some reasons why America “needs a new Ronald Reagan” due to its being a nation in decline in many aspects, such as literacy and illegal immigration.
Further in his speech, starting at the 6:45 minute mark in the above video, Koppie talked about how Darrell Castle is “by far, way above any other candidates out there” and said that in fact, Castle is the presidential candidate in the race who is like Ronald Reagan. He mentioned that Castle is not widely known because “he is held in abeyance” by “the powers that be” and said that if Castle was able to be heard, he probably would be included in the presidential debates and “possibly even could win the debates because of his intelligence and because of his knowledge of the issues.” He added that Castle is “on top of every issue that is pertinent to this country’s problems. Koppie concluded his speech by stating that Constitution Party activists are working to secure official write-in access for Castle to ensure that every vote for the Tennessee attorney is accurately tallied, and punctuated his speech with the words, “God help us.”
Koppie then proceeded to answer questions from the audience. One of the attendees who vetted him was James Marter, a software consultant who garnered over 388,000 votes, or 29% of the vote, as the lone challenger to liberal Senator Mark Kirk in the GOP primary this past March. Marter wanted to know whether or not the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade was constitutional. Koppie said that the 1973 ruling, which codified abortion as legal in the United States, was a “fabrication of the Supreme Court” and compared it to the Dred v. Scott decision in 1857 which denied black people citizenship and legal rights. Koppie made the allusion to abortion by saying that just as black people were deemed “not to be human beings” because either they or their ancestors had been enslaved, the Supreme Court denied just over 40 years ago that fetuses have personhood and negated the basic principle that human beings have the right to life from “conception until natural death.”
Religion was another subject the Senate candidate touched on. This ATPR editor asked Koppie, a Roman Catholic, how he would respond to allegations from some left-libertarians that the Constitution Party is of a “theocratic nature” and what his view is on the separation of church and state. Koppie replied that “there is no legal separation between church and state” in the U.S. In response to a follow-up question, Koppie said that the “Constitution is subservient to the Bible” and added “if it says it in the Bible, that’s the way it is.” Koppie continued: “if it’s in the Bible, Old Testament, New Testament- that’s the law, that is the law.”
His convictions are consistent with a statement he made through a trusted representative of his short-lived presidential campaign last year in response to someone’s inquiry on his Facebook page asking, “What is your stance on the separation between church and state?”:
The Constitution doesn’t mention that. If I become president, I want to obey the Constitution. If someone wants to say a prayer in school, that school board should decide it. If a state or city government wants to post the 10 Commandants, that’s okay. I’m against government interference in religion.
The candidate’s views on social issues and religion stood in contrast with his Libertarian opponent in the Senate race, Kent McMillen, who preceded Koppie in addressing the ICRC and labeled himself as being “socially accepting”-saying that people can do whatever they want as long as they don’t cross over into someone else’s life- and indicating that he is okay with the Roe v. Wade decision, McMillen said he supported a “woman’s right to choose,” though he did add that he would like to see abortions reduced to zero, believing education, rather than the state, to be the best means of achieving something like this.
Koppie, a farmer from Gilberts and a retired jumbo jet pilot, is seeking to speak to other conservative groups during the course of his campaign. He is hoping to be among the candidates endorsed by the Illinois Center Right Coalition. The ICRC will likely announce its endorsees in the 2016 election next month. Timothy Goodcase, the Constitution Party’s 2014 candidate for Illinois comptroller, was present at the meeting as well and may also seek the ICRC’s official backing for his current county-level write-in candidacy in DuPage County, as might write-in congressional candidates David Earl Williams III and Joe Kopsick, who both delivered well received addresses to the group.
Koppie’s official website is ChadKoppie.com, and his campaign also simultaneously maintains a Facebook page and a Facebook group. It is not known at this time if Darrell Castle has plans to visit Illinois and hold a joint event with the state Constitution Party’s unanimously approved Senate contender, but all the same, his dedicated supporters -including Koppie himself – will no doubt continue to enthusiastically spread the word about the candidate they believe has the principles, convictions, ideas and resume to, as the enticing campaign brochures sitting on the table during the meeting signaled, “chart America’s course as a Free and Independent Nation.”