By: Randy Edwards Re: Bushwacked! The USTP and the Far Right Copyright 1995, Planned Feder

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

By: Randy Edwards Re: Bushwacked! The USTP and the Far Right Copyright 1995, Planned Federation of America - Public Policy Institute _FRONTLINES RESEARCH In Defense of Reproductive Health, Education, and Democracy_, Volume 1, Number 3, November 1994 BACORR had asked that this be put on-line. This is without the footnotes. _______________________________________________ ** BUSHWACKED! The USTP & THE FAR RIGHT ** by Sandi DuBowski and John Goetz The U.S. Taxpayers Party is the new political home to a growing and unusual convergence of militant anti-abortion leaders, elements of the violent and racist right, the John Birch Society, and far-right politicians. The U.S. Taxpayers Party (USTP) platform is a mix of radical libertarianism, conspiracy theories, obscure constitutional interpretations and the most militant anti-abortion plank of any political party in the country. The USTP would abolish most non-military functions of the federal government: notably the IRS, the FEC, welfare, and the Federal Reserve System. There is also a theocratic strain. Randall Terry for example, says that the party believes all civic law should emerge from biblical law. The party platform further claims, The U.S. Constitution established a republic under God, not a democracy and Rights come from God, not the State! You Are Above the Law! the USTP advises. And, according to USTP any juror can nullify bad laws and decide not only the facts placed in evidence but also the validity or applicability of every law. HOWARD PHILLIPS -- BUSHWACKED! Howard Phillips ability to forge a political party out of previously fractious factions arises from his history in politics. Phillips briefly headed the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) under President Nixon in 1973. During his tenure Phillips led a nationally publicized drive to terminate the agency and its programs. After he left OEO, in 1974, Phillips founded The Conservative Caucus -- his organizational base ever since. Phillips, along with Paul Weyrich, Richard Viguerie, William Rusher, and other leaders of what was then called the "New Right," sought to get Ronald Reagan to run as an independent in 1976 against then-President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. When Reagan refused, they sought a merger with the American Independent Party (AIP), which ran Alabama Gov. George Wallace for President in 1968, winning five states against Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. AIP, which has historically included elements of the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birch Society, also refused. Phillips radical right resume also includes creating the Moral Majority in 1979, with Paul Weyrich and Rev. Jerry Falwell, and co-founding the Council for National Policy in 1982. In the 1980s, the Conservative Caucus started the drum beat to Defund the Left, a campaign to end federal funds to such groups as Planned Parenthood and the National Council of Churches. However by the late 1980's the Caucus had drifted away from more mainstream conservatism publicly worrying about Trotskyists in the Reagan White House. Phillips also openly supported apartheid in South Africa, opposing for example, efforts by the Bush administration to negotiate free elections in Namibia. Phillips graduated from Harvard as a protege of William S. Gill, who was a featured speaker at the USTP- related U.S. Taxpayers Alliance (USTA) national Issues Conference in July. Gill is a member of the Populist Action Committee, a political arm of Liberty Lobby, which, according to the Anti-Defamation League is the nation's leading anti- Semitic propaganda organization. Phillips founded USTA in 1990, and USTP in 1992 as an alternative for those who felt betrayed, (or Bushwacked as they are fond of saying) by the GOP of the Reagan and Bush years. Phillips' dream merger with AIP was finally consummated at the USTP National Convention in New Orleans in 1992. Phillips was nominated for President and Brig. Gen. Albion Knight (Ret.) for Vice President. The party qualified for the ballot in 21 states in 1992, and in 1994 is running 68 candidates in 8 states. THE ANTI ABORTION RIGHT The USTP is a 100% pro-life party -- meaning they oppose abortion in all cases. Thus the partisans and leaders of USTP include some of the most militant anti-abortion activists in the country: * Rev. Michael Bray -- A signer of Paul Hill's Defensive Action statement, which argues that the murder of abortion doctors is justified. Bray served four years in federal prison for conspiring to bomb 10 abortion clinics in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. in 1984. Bray has said Just as there is a time to separate from apostate churches, so there is a time to separate from renegade political parties. We need a new one. Work to build the U.S. Taxpayers Party. * Randall Terry -- The founder of Operation Rescue (OR) stumps the country for USTP. This I can promise you, he declared last summer, you will never, ever see a pro-death, pro-sodomite moderate in the U.S. Taxpayers Party. * Joseph Slovenec -- USTP candidate for U.S. Senate from Ohio, Slovenec is a former leader of OR. Longtime OR activist Wendy Wright is Slovenec's campaign spokesperson. * David Shedlock -- USTP National Committee, Iowa. Shedlock, communications director for OR of Iowa, has frequently been arrested in connection with his anti-abortion activities. * Lowell Patterson -- USTP National Committee, New Jersey. Patterson is the director of ABBA Pregnancy Crisis Center in Cinnaminson, NJ. * Julie Makimaa -- National Secretary, and USTP National Committee, Florida. Makimaa is the founder of Fortress International which fights for the rights of unborn babies conceived in sexual assault. * George Grant -- Author of False Choices: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood was a featured speaker at the USTP founding convention in 1992. According to USTP literature, he chairs the Taxpayers Party of Tennessee. Grant recently co-signed An Open Letter to Pro-Life Republicans attacking Planned Parenthood and the Republican Party as evil. We are supporting the U.S. Taxpayers Party they declared, because it's right. (Emphasis in the original) No wavering, no waffling, no mumbling, no juggling, no mixed signals, just the truth. USTP and the GOP Although the USTP seems to have attracted few Republicans so far, its very existence pressures the GOP to toe a conservative, and anti-abortion line. While Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition is basically aligned with the GOP, Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed, says that people of faith might form a third party, if the GOP changes its anti-abortion position. The USTP hopes that day will come and is preparing. New Right fund-raising specialist Richard Viguerie has joined the USTA National Committee and such prominent Republicans as Pat Buchanan and former Members of Congress William Dannemayer (R-CA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) have spoken at USTP events. Reed's outburst echoes a history of similar threats. Christian Right leaders Gary Jarmin and Robert Grant in 1988 threatened to lead the Christian Right out of the GOP if George Bush did not stop "Christian bashing" Pat Robertson. The USTP gives some credence to Reed's threat, suggesting that the Christian Right has a place to which to bolt. Meanwhile, the USTP has another message for the GOP. Joe Slovenec as the USTP candidate for U.S. Senate from Ohio, says that if his campaign causes Democrat Joel Hyatt to win over Republican Michael DeWine, that would send a message to the GOP not to run "weak," candidates. USTP: Little Big Tent While the GOP struggles to keep itself together under the big tent theory, the upstart USTP has managed to erect a small, but spacious tent of its own. The USTP is home even to the armed, the racist, and the anti-Semitic: * Rev. Matthew Trewhella --USTP National Committee, Wisconsin. A signer of Paul Hill's Defensive Action statement, Trewhella leads the anti-abortion group Missionaries to the Pre-Born. At the USTP Wisconsin state convention, he called for the formation of armed militias, such as the one he leads through his church. Newsweek reports that one member of the Missionaries (who lived in Trewhella's basement for five months in 1990) kept a journal which included apparent plans for a guerrilla campaign of clinic bombings and assassinations of doctors. What's more, a 100 page guerrilla army manual was sold by the USTP of Wisconsin at their May convention. Among the manual's justifications for armed resistance to the federal government is legalized abortion. * William K. Shearer -- Member, USTP National Committee, California. Was a member of the National Executive Committee of the Populist Party, in 1984 when the group was dominated by Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan leaders. * Dr. Curtis Caine -- USTP National Committee, Mississippi. He embarrassed the Southern Baptist Convention's Christian Life Commission in 1989, when he defended apartheid in South Africa and called Martin Luther King a fraud. Caine also heads the Jackson chapter of the John Birch Society. Convention in May 1994, Dale led sessions on The Problem with Our Debt Money System and Alternatives to the Debt Money System. Dale was in the early 1980's a confidant of Posse Comitatus leader Gordon Kahl, according to the Bismarck Tribune. The Posse was an anti-tax, anti-government organization that swept the Farm Belt in the 1970's and 1980's. Gordon Kahl, killed two federal marshals in a shoot-out in Medina, North Dakota. Dale told federal marshals that he would hide Kahl, if he appeared, and threatened to fight foreclosure on his ranch by shooting as many of the sons of bitches as he could. At one USTP event, Dale sold The Revelator, a publication that rails against Anti-Christ Banksters (sic) whose basic strategy is to instigate war and finance both sides, especially if it involves Christians killing Christians. * Jeffrey Baker -- Chair, USTP of Florida, declared at the Wisconsin USTP convention, Abortionists should be put to death. They are murderers. Baker was identified as a speaker on a recent conference program, as representing, 10th Amendment Militia, Church Status. Leading theocrats called Christian Reconstructionists are also prominent in USTP. For example, R.J. Rushdoony, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement addressed the USTP's founding convention. Reconstructionists believe that the modern world should be governed by Old Testament Biblical Law. Randall Terry, for example, has been deeply influenced by Reconstructionism. USTP is also home to anti-gay organizing. A notable example is the Western States Area Chairman, Dan Hansen, and his sister, Janine Hansen Hawkins who represent Nevada on the USTP National Committee. At a July USTA meeting, Howard Phillips held up Janine Hansen's publication The Independent American, headlined: Homosexual Agenda Exposed. The Hansens, along with Lucille Lusk, head of Las Vegas Coalition for Concerned Citizens, directed Nevada's failed anti-gay ballot initiative. CONSPIRACIES R US One unifying element among the seemingly disparate factions is a strong belief in vast conspiracies taking over the country. Many are obsessed with what they call the New World Order. At USTP events, there is talk of invasions of the United States by United Nations troops, and black helicopters harassing American citizens. The black helicopters have become a unifying symbol of conspiratorial government control over the American population. Jeffrey Baker sees the plot best expressed as a star of David, where the dark forces of the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission have united to destroy the U.S. Baker also believes that much of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto has become law in the United States. He is not alone in such a view. Joe Slovenec for example, believes that both the Republican and Democratic parties are socialist. Whatever the USTP's electoral future, it's significance lies not so much in its current numbers, but in the new political configuration it represents, especially as the new political home to some of the most militant members of the anti-abortion movement. Sidebar: A Pro-Life IRA? Back in March, Paul Hill, the leading proponent of the murder of doctors who perform abortions, said to a reporter, I could envision a covert organization developing- something like a pro-life IRA, referring to the Irish Republican Army. Could USTP be what he had in mind? The IRA was closely linked to the above ground political party Sinn Fein. Indeed, it was the head of Sinn Fein, that recently negotiated a cease fire on behalf of the IRA. Imprisoned members of the IRA, or martyrs, had outside support networks. This has structural parallels to USTP - a legal political party, with ties to paramilitary organizations, notably USTP National Committee member Matthew Trewhella's church militia. Trewhella's, anti-abortion group Missionaries to the Pre-born also sponsors a project called Prisoners of Christ, to provide material and financial support to people convicted of anti-abortion violence, and to their families. Among the Prisoners of Christ, are Shelly Shannon, who shot Dr. George Tiller, convicted murderer Michael Griffin, and convicted arsonist John Brockhoeft. _________________________________________________________________ _FRONTLINES RESEARCH_ is published six times per year by Planned Parenthood Federation of America - Public Policy Institute Subscription Information: $35 per year ($18 low income) FLR 14th Floor 810 7th Avenue New York, New York 10019 (212) 261-4721


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank