Montana CP Gains Strength

The is a really good article from the Big Fork Eagle that details some of the Montana Constitution Party’s plans for the future as theyre coming out of their annual convention. The Rick Jore situation is mentioned numerous times…

Rick Jore of Ronan wants to put all the hoopla about the last election behind him and concentrate on the Legislative race coming up in 2006.

“I’ve explained the situation so often, but there’s no way to go into all the details,” Jore said after coming home from the Constitution Party of Montana’s annual convention in Great Falls this weekend. He spoke to a crowd of about 90 supporters gathered in a motel meeting room there, urging the faithful party members to move forward.

“The media gets it confused,” he added, “and some folks want me to fight it. But I have no inclination to take any action. I’m not inclined to do that. It’s over.”

What Jore is always being hounded about these days, of course, is his response to having an election he may have won by a vote or two—and affirmed by the outgoing governor—taken away from him by the court and given to his Democratic opponent.

The House District 12 seat is now his to win back, he said, and that’s where the focus should be.

As for the party, members are gearing up early to make a strong showing at the ballot box next year.

“We are looking at fielding 50 candidates,” said Montana Constitution Party President Jonathan Martin of Great Falls.

Last year, the party fielded 13 legislative candidates and another two who ran for county offices.

There is Jore, who nearly won the District 12 seat—a seat he held for three terms as a Republican—and Renn Bodeker running for District 13 covering the Thompson Falls and Plains areas.

Timothy Martin of Kalispell made a shot at the House District 7 seat, and Kurtis Oliverson of Big Arm took aim at Senate District 6, but to no avail.

But as the party’s leaders said Monday, the goal is not just to win seats. It’s a given that third party candidates rarely succeed in a two-party system. The goal is to raise awareness.

“Our goal is bigger than getting elected. That’s a step along the way,” Jore, party vice chairman, said. “Our goal is to restore our freedoms.”

Constitutionalists assert that property rights, for example, are all but gone. Individual rights are all but non-existent. People just seem to let government take over their lives.

“We are creating an awareness,” Jonathan Martin, party chairman said. “We are making people aware that they do have a choice when it comes to an election.”

“We just continue to elect people with the same philosophies,” Jore said. “Does anything really change whether it’s a Republican or Democrat in office?”

People are becoming “frustrated,” Jore added, and the Constitution Party of Montana “has some good folks” who are willing to make a difference.

The party has a good foothold in Northwestern Montana, Jonathan Martin said, and if it is weak anywhere in the state, it’s in Missoula. And that’s one area party members said they will work on in the coming years.

Now, they are concentrating on gathering 5,000 signatures across the state so that they can get candidates listed on ballots in 2006. The signature drive for ballot access will cumulate this spring as the party begins announcing their candidates. After 2006, they’ll aim for 2008 and the presidential election.

This year’s convention was also attended by Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka. Past meetings have been attended by special guests such as former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, more widely known as the “10 commandments judge.”

You can never run out of things to write about the Constitution Party, Timothy Martin—Jonathan Martin’s brother—of Kalispell said Tuesday morning. One story leads to another. It’s a party of action, he added.

“Whether you are talking about Jore or my brother, there’s always another story in itself that needs to be told,” he said.

It may seem ultra-conservative, and it is—but the Constitution Party also identifies with liberal personal freedoms on some stances taken by the national Democratic party.

It’s a party that’s pro-life and pro-marriage; yet adamantly opposed to the Patriot Act and other laws intruding on personal liberties. Members support Social Security but want people to have choices in participating in it. They also want localities and states to retain rights.

“We have prostituted our state sovereignty to the federal government,” Jore commented. “We have been deceived. We are tired of the game of politics.”

“You are not an American because you were born here,” Jonathan Martin pointed out. “You are an American because of what you believe.”

Constitution Party members believe that:

• Abortion is murder and the duty of government is to safeguard and protect the unborn, even in matters of rape and incest. Euthanasia and suicide also should be illegal. RICO and FACE Acts are unconstitutional expansions of federal power.

• The Patriot Act, installed by Republicans, is unconstitutional and illegal.

• Individual rights and state’s rights are being unconstitutionally eroded by the federal government.

• Congress has become overpaid, overstaffed and self-serving; unresponsive and irresponsible; and arrogant in placing themselves above the laws they enact and beyond the control of citizens they have sworn to represent and serve. Congressional pensions and federal pay for members of Congress should be abolished, and the per diem allowances should be restored.

• Crime should mostly be dealt with by state and local governments. States and localities have the right to execute criminals who have committed capital crimes.

• The Presidential assumption of authority to deploy American troops into combat without the consent of Congress should be condemned. Under no circumstances should U.S. forces serve under a foreign flag or command.

• Well-regulated state and community militias should be restored.

• States and localities can restrict access to drugs and legislation to stop the flow of drugs from foreign sources is supported.

• Searches without probable cause without due process must be prohibited and the presumption of innocence must be preserved.

• The federal government should stay out of public education.

• The Voting Rights and Federal Election Campaign Acts should be repealed. The Federal Election Commission should be abolished.

The Constitution Party of Montana’s platform begins with a preamble that reads in part:

• The Lord God is Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of this Nation; and we appeal to Him for guidance as we work to restore this Nation as a government of the People, by the People, and for the People.

• The U.S. Constitution established a Republic under God, rather than a democracy; rooted in Biblical law.

• Each individual is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are rights to Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of personal interests.

• That the legitimate function of government is to secure these rights; maintain a strong national defense, and promote equal justice for all.

The Constitution Party has been criticized by the Montana Human Rights Network for its resemblance to militia groups in ideology.

“The connections are not surprising since the Constitutional Party’s rhetoric is similar to that of militias,” a 2000 MHRN article states. “Its Web site contains the rationale used by groups like MoM (Militia of Montana) to legitimize unorganized militias.”

One Response to “Montana CP Gains Strength”

  1. Tenzin Says:

    Rick Jore and two other Constitution Party members visited my school and gave a presentation. Wow was it interesting. One member even brought in a plastic fetus and demonstrated how small it would be when the fetus would get aborted. Jore did not clearly state his party’s platforms though education was one talked about subject. The fact that he is chair of the House Education Committee makes it all even more interesting.