GOLDEN VALLEY - For those fed up with the status quo in the political arena, there's an alternative on the horizon.
A political movement started in 1992 as the Taxpayers' Party to protest the apparent illegality and unconstitutionality of the federal income tax. Now, some 15 years later, the movement has evolved into the Constitution Party.
"In mid-2005, I saw something about the Constitution party that caught my interest," said Gordon Hoover of Golden Valley. "I logged onto the national Web site, looked for the section listing state party affiliates, and I found Arizona."
According to information supplied by the Constitution Party, a coalition of independent state parties united in 1992 to form the U.S. Taxpayers Party. That organization's goal was to limit the federal government to its constitutional boundaries and to restore civil government, the principles on which this nation was founded.
The Constitution Party gained Federal Election Commission recognition as the nation's third legitimate national political party in 1995, although it didn't formally adopt the name until five years later.
"The Constitution Party strongly champions the principles of government laid down by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, principles which have been abandoned by our political establishment," the informational brochure states. "Unlike other political organizations, we do not believe these principles are outdated. We recognize that the Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the land and must be enforced.
"The Constitution Party is the only party which is completely pro-life, pro-gun, pro-American sovereignty and independence, and in favor of strong national defense," the information continues. "It is also the only party that is anti-globalist, anti-free trade, anti-de-industrialization and anti-unchecked immigration. We also oppose special rights for homosexuals and the constantly increasing expansion of unlawful police laws, and both foreign aid and military interventionism."
Estimates of voters registered with the party make it the third-largest political party in the nation.
Hoover said he initially called the Phoenix contact number and received no answer and no response to his messages.
"Then, my wife told me she had heard the guy I was trying to contact, talking on the radio. He had quit and joined the Republican Party," Hoover said. "I contacted the Western states chair, who had no idea the guy had just walked away from his job. She asked me if I wanted to become the Arizona chair."
Hoover turned down the offer but agreed to become the Web site contact.
"I handle the e-mail and phone calls," he said. "I build the database and turn the information over to the national office."
Prior to becoming active in the Constitution Party, Hoover's last political involvement was in the 1960s, when Goldwater was running for office and Hoover was protesting the bombings in Vietnam.
One of his projects with the Constitution Party involved the Canamex Highway. Hoover said Whitman and Surprise rezoned without public notice to stall property improvements and keep real estate values down when those communities learned the federal government wanted to take property in that area for the proposed highway.
"It was a nice tie-in for the Constitution Party," Hoover said. "We got 2,000 people involved."
As more people became active in the party, two individuals were named chairman and treasurer, and Hoover agreed to be the secretary.
"So we started working on setting up a strong committee to try to organize the Constitution Party of Arizona," he said. "I started going to gun shows under the guise of registering people to vote, with the Constitution Party banner at the booth."
In January, the party began the process of preparing bylaws in preparation of filing as a legitimate third-party alternative with the state government. The Constitution Party plans to file for that status in March.
"Then, we'll become a ballot party," Hoover said, and cited a precedent.
"In the mid-19th century, nine men met around a table in Michigan, opposed to the way the South was operating and being treated. Out of that meeting a new political party formed and just six years later, they elected Abraham Lincoln as president. It was the beginning of the Republican Party."
Hoover said a new party that supports the Constitution, the foundation of this nation, is badly needed.
"Political corruption is so bad on every level, and the apathy among the American people is mind boggling," he said. "Most believe something is drastically wrong, but they don't believe anything can be done about it."
One of the Constitution Party's primary platforms is the apparent unconstitutionality of the federal income tax.
"If it isn't in the Constitution, we want no part of it," Hoover said.
The Constitution Party has issued its own Declaration of Independence - from the two-party political system. It states:
"Whereas the Constitution, which limits power with specific roles for each of the three branches of the Federal Government, has for decades been largely ignored by those in the two-party system within these branches who have sworn by their oath of office to protect and defend it; and
"Whereas the Sovereignty of the U.S. is being threatened by a president who has unconstitutionally bypassed the treaty process and has unilaterally made agreements with the presidents of Mexico and the prime minister of Canada, for example the Security and Prosperity Partnership, North American Union, and the North American Free Trade Agreement Super Highway, without first submitting proposals through Congress,
"There resolved, we the people do declare our independence from the two-party system and have joined together in a third party, the Constitution Party, for the purpose of returning our nation to its roots of greatness, back to monetary soundness, back to the status of an independent sovereign nation, with liberty and justice for all."
The party has taken a strong stance against illegal immigration, and plans to propose legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and replace the current tax system with an approach based on the original concept by the framers of the Constitution.
For more information, contact the Constitution Party at (800) 2-VETO-IRS, or visit the national Web site at www.constitutionparty.com.