By Mark Wachtler
November 27, 2014. Norfolk, VA. (ONN) Whiteout Press readers and subscribers know that we are passionate advocates for our nation’s military veterans. It’s long been your author’s opinion that no demographic has been screwed over since the earliest days of our nation more than the country’s veterans. While the two establishment political parties continue to ignore them, vets have taken it upon themselves to launch their own political party. And after an influx of tens of thousands of eager members, the Veterans Party of American is in need of local leaders in every state in the country.
The Veterans Party of America is looking for local leaders and local candidates. Image courtesy of the Veterans Party of America.
The below article was published two days ago by Whiteout Press’ sister publication Opposition News. Since veterans make up such a large percentage of our readers, we thought it was important to share the information. We also consider the VPA a good friend and strongly encourage any vets, or non-vets (you don’t have to be a veteran to join the Veterans Party) who want to get involved, to contact the Veterans Party of America.
Veterans Party announces Strategy
Yesterday, the Veterans Party of America released its official plan for the immediate future. For the 2014 General Election, the Party didn’t have any official candidates running under the VPA ballot line. But Veterans Party leaders promise to change that for the coming 2015 and 2016 Election cycles. The strategy is one that we at Opposition News have touted for years, and not surprising for military veterans, one right out of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.
For over a decade, there have been a handful of attempts to launch a political party for US military veterans, their families and their supporters. But it was only recently that the idea has gained traction, with thousands of veterans stepping forward to get involved in the new Party. It’s been your author’s passionate position for 25 years that no American demographic has been continuously wronged throughout American history more than our nation's veterans. And after a generation of perpetual war, there are millions of them out there.
Read the April Opposition News article, ‘2 New Political Parties - Veterans and After Party’ for additional details.
“We Have A Plan”
That was the title of yesterday’s announcement from the VPA. ‘The Veterans Party of America has studied the success and failures of other Third Parties throughout the history of the United States,’ the statement began, ‘What we learned has become the basis of a strategic plan with a multi-directional approach to guarantee not only our success, but in attaining full and equal Party recognition.’
Your author can’t take credit for influencing the Veterans Party’s new strategy. But I can say that Opposition News has corresponded at great lengths with VPA National Chair Mark Wilder about a host of issues in the past. The Party’s new plan of attack mirrors your author’s passionate editorials in two fairly recent Opposition News articles, ‘Stats reveal Major Flaw in Third Party Election Strategies’ and ‘Write-In Candidates by-passing the System and Winning’.
When the Veterans Party was officially launched earlier this year, it was too late to circulate petitions to place any candidates on the ballot. But as the Party’s website boasts, ‘At the end of our first month, the Veterans Party Of America Page had over 14,000 Facebook followers, 43 states with an activated State Party, the EIN received from the IRS, an approved and posted 527 status as a National Political Party, a full Executive Committee formed, and the Party Constitution and Party By Laws passed without opposition by the National Executive Committee.’
America’s veterans didn’t sit out this Election either. The VPA fielded a half dozen candidates made up of a combination of write-ins and new Veterans Party converts officially listed on the ballot as ‘independents’. One of those candidates was Blaine Richardson, independent candidate for US Congress from Maine. The VPA-endorsed independent candidate received 11% of the vote in a three-way race. That’s more than double the typical total of an independent or third party candidate in most Elections. Read the Opposition News article, ‘Veterans Party supports Indy Richardson in ME CD 2’ for more information.
Running candidates locally
According to yesterday’s announcement from the Veterans Party, the first step in their overall strategy is to recruit as many candidates as they can to run for local office. Step two is to appoint a team of Party members across the country to monitor candidate filings just prior to each election. Their idea includes charging all the Party’s ‘Vice’ leaders, like Vice State Chair, Vice County Chair, etc., with the task of analyzing all the races in their jurisdiction and choosing the most winnable.
‘The first step is to garner as many candidates as possible, across as many different cities, counties, and districts as possible,’ the VPA announcement explains, “The Candidate Team will analyze every candidate and have recorded which districts, in what races, he or she belongs. As we build up our candidate pool, the Candidate Team, consisting of all the Vice Chairs in the party, at every level, will follow the coming races and determine which races will either go unopposed, or without any candidates at all. We can then plug our ready-to-campaign candidates directly into those races.’
The statement goes on to explain, ‘By filing for the local offices which have no candidates filed by the cut-off date, we will be able to automatically fill those positions in an uncontested race, and be able to show the voters what a party of leaders can accomplish.’
The Veterans Party announcement also includes a brief explanation of what the Party is and how it intends to operate, ‘Our elected officials, upon accepting their status as a VPA candidate, understand that their loyalty must lie first and foremost with the Constitution of the United States of America, then to the constituents - ALL of the constituents, not just to the ones that voted for the candidate or donated to the campaign. The Veterans Party of America is only here to facilitate the connection between the voters and the candidates, not to effect policy and the decision making of those in office.’
The Party has rules for its candidates which most voters would likely see as a welcome change from America’s current election system. ‘Our rules for our candidates are simple,’ the Veterans Party explains, ‘Run a clean, smear free campaign and try to remain as grassroots as possible. By not stooping to the level of the current politicians, we gain respect. By staying grassroots, we build our team up of individuals and the voters can meet our candidates in person. By supplying candidates that really care and are part of the solution, we are planning to bring back the disgruntled voters who have left the democratic election process and quit due to a lack of candidates worthy of their vote.’
As Veterans Party members often remind supporters, you don’t have to be a veteran to be a member of the Veterans Party. And right now, the VPA says it needs leaders to step forward and harness the political power created by the thousands of volunteers in nearly every state that have joined the young Party this year.
‘What we need is Leaders,’ the Veterans Party statement concludes, ‘We need people to step forward and take on leadership roles at state and county levels. This is imperative to our success. Some states even have laws that require a new party to have every county party activated (Maine) and others require new parties have a male and female co-chair in every county (Texas and Washington). If you are interested in being a leader, use the ‘Contact’ tab to send us a message. Please include your state of voter registration. No political experience - Preferred.’
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