On Jan. 24-26, 1997, I attended the U.S. Taxpayers Party national committee meeting in Miami, Florida. I was present in order to video tape the six workshops held throughout the day.
The USTP, an independent party founded by former White House staff member, Howard Phillips, succeeded in running candidates for office at different levels throughout the fifty states in November 1996. Howard Phillips has been part of the American political scene for more than 30 years. After twice serving as the Student Council president at Harvard College, he orchestrated a conservative takeover of the Republican Party of Boston, which he chaired for two years. From 1966-68 as the assistant to the chairman of the Republican National Committee, he recruited thousands of young people and minorities to civic activism and public service careers.
Phillips headed up two U.S. government agencies including the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity in the Executive Office of the President. In 1974, he resigned from government to become the Chairman of the Conservative Caucus. His political activities culminated in 1992 in the creation of the U.S. Taxpayers Alliance as a precursor to a full fledged alternative national party.
Howard Phillips and his running mate, vice presidential candidate, Herb Titus (former dean of Regent University Law School) received about 200,000 votes in the presidential election. The actual number of votes cast for Phillips may have been much higher than the “official” count, because “write-in” votes in certain states were not counted.
The USTP’s stated vision is to “Restore America to Constitutional and Biblical Jurisprudence.” Key 1996 Issues for the U.S. Taxpayers Party were:
1. Ending legalized abortion;
2. Cutting the federal government down to Constitutional size;
3. Ending the IRS and oppressive taxation;
4. Withdrawing from United Nations and U.N.-related organizations
Peg Luksik, USTP candidate for governor in Pennsylvania spoke on “Building the State Party Organization Organizing on the District and County Level” and “Using Issues to Organize.”
Other workshops included, “Mechanics of the State Party Organization, Constitution and Bylaws, Compliance with State and FEC Law” by Mark Weaver; and “Fundraising” by Joseph Lutz.
Of special interest was a multi-media presentation on the Internet, “Tools for Communicating the Message” by Ricardo Davis and Bill Lizasoan. On the final day a workshop entitled, “USTP Vision and Ballot Access for 1998 and 2000” was held by Howard Phillips and Herb Titus.
I found the workshops to be valuable to any Christian who is interested in political organization at the local, state and national levels.