- Citizens Party of the United States
Citizens Party of the United States Chairman Michael Thompson Senate leader None House leader None Founded November 2, 2004 Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ideology Pragmatism,
International affiliation None Official colors Purple, Gray, Red, White, and Blue Seats in the Senate 0 Seats in the House 0 Website http://www.votecitizens.org Politics of the United States
The Citizens Party of the United States (Citizens Party) is a contemporary political party in the United States. Founded by Michael Thompson in Wayne, Pennsylvania in 2004 as the New American Independent Party (NAIP), the first meeting took place in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania on the day of the general election in 2004. The New American Independent Party officially changed its name to the Citizens Party in January 2011. The full transition to the Citizens Party lasted several months.
The Citizens Party claims to seek a more sustainable, self-reliant America through a platform combination of liberal, moderate, and conservative positions. The Citizens Party focuses heavily on middle class economic issues and government reform. The Citizens Party supports campaign finance reform and does not accept campaign contributions from political action committees (PACs). super PACs, labor unions or registered lobbyists.
The Citizens Party describes itself as the most open and accessible political party in the United States for the average citizen. According to the party website, the average American will have the opportunity to rank the critical issues and help craft the party platform. Citizens can also submit questions and vote on questions through social media that all Citizens Party presidential candidates are required to answer before the convention. Members of the public can suggest potential candidates and draft candidates to run as party candidates. The party claims that it is the first and only political party to require the use of social media in the party's presidential nominating process by requiring their presidential and vice-presidential candidates to achieve a minimum number of online endorsements through social media before qualifying for the nominating convention ballot.
Main Street Platform
The following is from the 2011 Citizens Party platform. The platform is copied verbatim; the numerous instances of inappropriate capitalization that occur below also occur on the website.
- Support fair trade agreements (not free trade agreements)
- Get out of the World Trade Organization, Central American Free Trade Agreement and North American Free Trade Agreement
- Eliminate the U.S. trade deficit
- Stop outsourcing American jobs and technology
- End tax breaks that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas
- Put in place a national manufacturing strategy
- Encourage the purchase of American-made goods
- Rebuild and redesign crumbling national infrastructure
- Keep vital American infrastructure in the hands of American companies
- Invest in research and development
- Secure U.S. ports and borders
- Seek U.S. energy independence through clean, renewable domestic sources
- Pass real financial reform (bring back Glass-Steagall Act and end "too big to fail")
- No more Wall Street bailouts
- Audit the Federal Reserve
- Eliminate the national debt
- Balance Federal, State and Local budgets and end wasteful pork spending
- End corporate special interest/lobbyist influence over elections and the legislative process.
- Create a fiscally sustainable health care system that dramatically cuts health care costs providing for greater access for legal citizens.
- Legalize the use of industrial hemp to boost the agriculture and industrial sectors
- Fight employer hiring policies that discriminate against the long term unemployed
- Get the unemployed back to work (including the long term unemployed - 99ers)
- Protect the family farmer, reduce factory farms
- Increase Veteran Benefits (health, job training, education)
- Use the U.S. military only when it is in the national interest
- Secure the homeland and stop actual terrorist threats
- Give local law enforcement and fire companies the funds they need for security and emergency prevention & response
- Use natural gas as a bridge fuel until renewable energy is more plentiful with regulations to protect from fracking
- Require oil and gas companies to contribute to a special emergency/spill/cleanup fund
- Require environmental impact assessments before approval for drilling for oil and natural gas
- Promote organic agriculture and a safe food supply
- End subsidies that pay farmers not to grow crops
- Support involved foreign policy but oppose isolationist and interventionist foreign policy
- More common sense neutral stance on Israeli/Palestinian conflict
- Seek a stable and sustainable U.S. population
- Enforce illegal immigration laws by punishing employers who hire illegal workers.
- Common sense H1B[clarification needed] and L1[clarification needed] foreign work visa limits to protect jobs in technology and other sectors for Americans
- Limit incentives that encourage unsustainable population growth from the influx of illegal foreign nationals
- Protect the environment (clean water, air, land) and preserve and expand national parks and wildlife preserves
- Uphold the separation between church and state
- Preserve social security
- Fund education, reform education (all students in all neighborhoods deserve a quality education), make higher education more affordable
- Support the right to bear arms
- Harsher penalties for gun and weapons crimes
- Work to remedy inequalities so we can begin phasing out affirmative action programs- instead use empowerment programs for all citizens.
- Create a sensible tax policy with a simplified tax code
- Cut taxes through cutting spending - but, no tax cuts during wartime and no tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy
- Oppose any attempts to amend U.S. constitution to ban gay marriage
- Support an individual's right to same-sex marriage
- Support gay rights in anti-discrimination laws such as equal housing laws
- Oppose anti-choice legislation, this includes both abortion and end of life issues, i.e., assisted suicide
- Post all proposed congressional legislation on the internet for at least 10 days prior to a vote to allow public viewing and input.
Several Citizens Party candidates have already announced for the 2012 elections, including:
- James Pirtle for the U.S. Congress (Colorado)
- Max Riekse for U.S. President
- Mark B. Graham for U.S. President
- Keith John Ferguson for U.S. President
- Charles Earl Harvey for U.S. President
- JL Mealer for U.S. President
The Citizens Party encourages members to start draft campaigns to convince qualified individuals to run for office as Citizens Party candidates. Citizens Party members have started over two dozen 2012 draft campaigns so far including Dylan Ratigan (President), Frank McEnulty (President), Ralph Nader (U.S. Senate), Hillary Clinton (President), Dawn Stensland (U.S. Congress), Charlie Crist (President), Pat Choate (President), Lou Dobbs (President), David Walker (former U.S. Comptroller General)(President)), Richard Lamm (President), Paul Craig Roberts (President) and John Medaille (U.S. Senate) among others.
The Citizens Party requires all of their declared Presidential candidates to answer a set of "Citizens Questions" at least 30 days before the 2012 Citizens Party National Convention. The "Citizens Questions" are selected from questions submitted by Citizens Party members via the party website or Youtube. The party states that the responses to the "Citizens Questions" will be posted on the internet for the public to view.
Previous candidates (2006-2010)
In 2006, Michael Thompson ran as the party's first candidate when he ran for State Representative in Pennsylvania and received 4% of the vote.
In March 2008, the New American Independent Party nominated Frank McEnulty as its first presidential candidate. In July, McEnulty also became the vice-presidential nominee of the Reform Party. He continued his campaign as the NAIP presidential nominee in states where the Reform Party was unable to obtain ballot status. McEnulty received 828 votes (placing 15th of 23 ballot-qualified Presidential tickets nationwide) as the New American Independent Party nominee and 481 votes on the Reform Party ticket (placing 22nd out of 23 ballot-qualified Presidential tickets nationwide).
In 2010, the NAIP endorsed Jana Kemp, an Independent candidate running for Governor of Idaho.
In 2011, the Citizens Party announced that the party would no longer endorse independent candidates or candidates of other political parties.
- ^ "Party Changes Name", http://www.ballot-access.org, March 4, 2011
- ^ "Great Progress in Transition to Citizens Party", http://citizensparty.wordpress.com, March 4, 2011
- ^ "Main Street Platform", http://www.votecitizens.org
- ^ "James Pirtle is the First Declared Citizens Party Congressional Candidate for 2012", www.independentpoliticalreport.com, July 10, 2011
- ^ "Interview With Max Riekse: the First Declared Presidential Candidate of the Citizens Party", www.independentpoliticalreport.com, July 19, 2011
- ^ "2012 Presidential Hopefuls", http://www.thegreenpapers.com
- ^ "Draft Groups", http://www.votecitizens.org
- ^ "Citizens Questions", http://www.votecitizens.org
- ^ "The New American Independent Party Nominates Frank McEnulty for President", www.frankforpresident.org, March 12, 2008
- ^ "Dallas Reform Party Meeting", www.ballot-access.org, July 7, 2008
- ^ Frank McEnulty for President:News update, www.frankforpresident.org
- ^ "Updated Presidential Vote Totals", www.ballot-access.org, December 6, 2008
- ^ "New American Independent Party members endorse Jana Kemp for Governor of Idaho", www.newamericanindependent.wordpress.com, July 28, 2010
- VoteCitizens.Org, Citizens Party Official Social Network
- Platform, Citizens Party Main Street Platform
- 2012 Convention, Citizens Party 2012 National Convention
- Citizens Party facebook Page
- Citizens Party twitter Page
- Citizens Party LinkedIn Group
- Citizens Party tumblr Blog
- Citizens Party Myspace Page
- Citizens Party News on digg
- Citizen Uprising, Blog site for the Citizens Party
- (old) New American Independent Party web site
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