Independent American Party
|Independent American Party|
|Colors||Yellow, blue, white|
|Politics of the United States
The Independent American Party (IAP) officially started in 1998. It began as the Utah Independent American Party. The founders claim to have been inspired by a 1968 speech given by Ezra Taft Benson, former United States Secretary of Agriculture, entitled “The Proper Role of Government”. The initial party platform was based on Benson’s beliefs for the Proper Role of Government. The party name came from the speech itself towards the end when Benson mentions, "As an independent American for constitutional government, I declare that..." and then cites 15 principles, which are found at http://www.independentamericanparty.org/education-center/the-principles-of-liberty/
These 15 principles for the proper role of government, taken from his speech, are held as the IAP’s basis for recruiting.
In 1998 three options were presented, 1) to remain affiliated with the national American Party (AP), 2) to affiliate with the National U.S. Taxpayers Party (later named Constitution Party), or 3) create the National Independent American Party (IAP). On 16 May 1998, the Utah IAP held a straw vote favoring the formation of a National Independent American Party. A committee of six individuals was selected to initiate the organization and by November 7, 1998 the National IAP was recognized by a binding vote of 79%.
In January 1999 the national IAP began holding semi-annual National Conferences. The national chairman attended a number of state and national conventions of other like-minded third parties across the nation to build ties. The IAP web site (launched in September 1998) grew and attracted individual members in about forty states.
In 2001 the IAP grew from one state party (Utah) to three organized state parties (Minnesota, Tennessee and Utah), and twelve prospective state parties. Area Coordinators were assigned to each of four regions of the country. The IAP adopted its first National Platform in August, 2002 and ended the year with three organized and 18 prospective state parties. In 2003 the Party changed the structure of its officer positions from the traditional Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and elected a Chair and 4 Vice-Chairs. Each Vice-Chair was to be a leader over not only a geographical area (Western, Mid-Western, North-Eastern, and South), but were each to lead one of the five Standing Committees (Rules, Events, Membership, Issues, and Media).
By 2004 the party involvement dwindled, and did not have ballot status in any state. However, in 2012 the Party gained ballot access in New Mexico. It ran Jon Barrie for U.S. Senate. He received 28,199 votes, or 3.63%. However, Barrie left the party after the election and joined the Constitution Party.1
In 2013 the Independent American Party adopted the acronym PEOPL, in describing a grassroots voting process. The PEOPL process, which stands for People Electing Only Principled Leaders, describes a way to elect representatives without involving "The Spirit of Party." Independent American Party officers cite George Washington's Farewell Address in which he warns "...in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party," and insist that the few (in political parties) selecting from the many, and then the many (registered voters) selecting from the few, is not correct principle.