VACAVILLE, Calif., Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — On August 15, 2020, the Convention of the American Independent Party (AIP), third largest in California with more than 616 thousand registrants, nominated 55 Presidential electors pledged to Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Guerra for President, and Kanye Omari West for Vice-President.
In California, Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates are nominated for placement on the ballot by ballot-qualified parties, such as the American Independent Party. Notice to and permission from candidates are not required.
The American Independent Party unsuccessfully reached out to Kanye West to be its Presidential nominee, but could not reach him. Rocky De La Fuente sought the American Independent Party’s nomination in its Presidential Preference Primary (which is only advisory in nature.
In 2016, the Republican and the American Independent Party both nominated Donald Trump PENCE for President. In 2020, the American Independent Party nominated the first Mexican-American, African-American Presidential ticket in American history!
In 2008, the American Independent Party nominated Dr. Ambassador Alan Keyes, an African-American, for President. Strange picks indeed for a party that the media keeps slanderously labelling as “racist” and anachronously as “segregationist.”
Kanye Omari West, as he appears on the American Independent Party of California Presidential ballot line, objected to appearing as Vice President rather than President and asked his fans, admirers, and supporters to write in his name instead for President. The American Independent Party was happy to accommodate this desire and tweeted the required method of qualifying a write-in Presidential candidacy in California to Ye, but he didn’t follow our advice or contact us.
Therefore, since he failed to submit the required list of 55 elector nominees by the due date of October 15, 2020, he is NOT a qualified Write-in for President in California in 2020. The official list may be found on the California Secretary of State’s website at https://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov//statewide-elections/2020-general/cert-list-writein.pdf.
One of the social media statements that Markham Robinson posted trying to assist Kanye is the following:
“Kanye is not a write-in candidate in California to the best of our knowledge. If he wants to be, he’d better let the California Secretary of State Elections Division know about it and submit 55 Electors by 5:00 PM October 15, 2020, with their names and residence addresses. And also ask for instructions on how voters should fill in the write-in box. I’m the American Independent Party Executive Committee Chairman. I’ll help him. He should call me at AIP HQ. Moreover, we are not deceitful. We have told no lies in the process of getting him on the ballot. You’re welcome BTW Kanye!
Oh and one more thing, Kanye’s California Electoral College electors must be residents of California.”
The unusual nature of this ticket has provoked the media to conduct a number of interviews of our Executive Committee Chairperson, Markham Robinson, focusing on our motives in creating it. As the Chairperson of our State Central Committee at the time of our Convention and an influential participant in the process of selection of candidates, he is an appropriate source for such inquiries.
Markham Robinson is also the Vice Chairman of the American Independent Party of California’s State Central Committee. And to top that off, he is the Chairperson of the national American Independent Party Of These United States (AIPOTUS) whose sole State affiliate so far is the American Independent Party of California.
As is usual in such decisions, there were a number of important goals. We, of course, sought to direct attention to the party’s political philosophy and to increase our party registration. Just as for President Trump, the more folks know about us, the more they either love us or hate us! Informed indifference doesn’t seem to be an option. A quick read of our “Manifesto” at www.aipca.org/manifesto.html will reveal why. Our selection of Kanye as our Vice Presidential nominee has certainly garnered considerable attention, causing online mentions in over 64 articles.
As well as Kanye’s fame and popularity, another motive for picking him for either position on our ticket is his fairly conservative platform, which is prolife and whose planks were justified by Scripture. Ye’s vocally anti-abortion views have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by our party. Also, Rocky’s running mate in other States is a man who is prochoice, a completely disqualifying position for any American Independent Party candidate. Rocky takes no public position on abortion which, while that does not please us, was not sufficient to dissuade us from the pick.
As well as Kanye’s platform, we had the recommendation of Elon Musk, whom Markham Robinson called “one of the smartest people in the world,” as quoted in a Newsweek article.
A motive we did NOT have was an expectation that our ticket might give Trump a plurality in California, so overwhelming is Biden’s likely margin of victory here. Without a doubt, Biden’s popular vote may well be decreased in California, perhaps giving Trump bragging rights if it helps him achieve a popular vote plurality nationwide. The American Independent Party and both our Presidential ticket candidates would not find that displeasing—quite the contrary!
If California voters vote for Rocky because he is Hispanic or Kanye because he is African-American, the availability of our ticket as a choice could help dislodge many voters from their habit of voting Democratic. Such voting patterns have never served either group well, especially not African-Americans.
Another motive was, as a public service, allowing Never-Trumpers who don’t really like Biden either, a place to put their vote. Even Progressives could vote for our ticket, because Rocky’s health care platform plank is single payer, even more Socialistic than Biden’s government option! [The American Independent Party is adamantly and vocally opposed to any such Socialistic measures.]
Also, Democrats who are dissatisfied with Biden compared to Bernie, for instance, could vote for our ticket to register their displeasure, without voting for Trump.
Moreover, any notoriety our party may achieve, even if negative, will, in our opinion, only serve to increase our registration. As an example, the LA Times in 2016 sponsored an unprofessionally conducted poll and claimed that 3/4ths of our registrants were not aware that they had registered with a party.
As of September 4, 2020, our California registration grew to 616,584 American Independent Party voters, at an annual rate of about 6.7%. Our registration is now at 2.9% of the total and was 2.75% of the total before the LA Times attacked us.
Because that attack failed, despairing of their “public education campaign,” the California legislature was induced by Bernie supporters to try to outlaw the use of the word “independent” and any of its forms in a party name. The alternative they gave us was to change our name or lose all of our party registration.
The California Legislature passed that freedom-of-speech and association-destroying bill by a veto–proof majority, which our liberal Governor, Gavin Newsome, vetoed anyway, because the measure was Unconstitutional, which indeed it was! The California Legislature wisely chose not to override his veto.
The media coverage of Kanye West’s Vice Presidential nomination was, as usual, inaccurate and incomplete, and revealed their rampant and pervasive biases. For instance NewSweek [sic] called us the American Independence Party. They couldn’t even get our name right! (And we seem to be having a little problem with theirs. LOL) Moreover, Newsweek quoted Robinson as saying that the American Independent Party wanted to “steal votes from Biden.” “Steal?!” You can only “steal” something which is owned by somebody else.
This betrays the Democratic Party’s arrogant presumption that they own those votes, particularly those of African-American and Hispanic voters. It occurs to us that they perhaps even think they own those voters who evidently need a writ of manumission to get them off the Democratic Plantation! To confute that arrogant and repulsive notion is indeed one of our motives in nominating the Presidential ticket that we did!
Markham Robinson says that there were some doubts expressed at the August 15, 2020, Convention about putting “Rocky” on the Presidential ticket, namely his fairly liberal views, not truly consistent with the American Independent Party of California’s “brand.” Moreover, even Ye’s much more conservative views were not an exact fit. The decisive factor in the ticket choice was that with Kanye’s wild popularity among 18-25 year old African-American males, the party could break the pattern of voting for major party candidates by the Hispanic, African-American, and youth demographics.
The offensive characterization of our Presidential Ticket as designed to steal votes from the Democratic Party nominees was moreover parroted by HIPHOPdx, the Los Angeles Sentinel, and the Sacramento Observer. Of course, every ticket takes votes from all the other Presidential tickets, since you can only vote for one!
Other mistakes in coverage include an ancient canard that our party is anti-immigration. This is simply untrue. Our platform is favorable to immigration, speaking eloquently about inviting “the best of the world to join us in freedom.” Another common mistake made due to journalistic incompetence is the assertion that our registration is a little less than 500 thousand when in fact it is over 616 thousand. Where are the fact-checkers when you need them?!
Kanye West missed deadlines to file in 28 States, including California. So in the view of the American Independent Party and our candidate for President, Rocky De La Fuente, he should thank us rather than issuing a call for write-ins. That action, of course, should not be characterized as “deceitful,” since no statement we have issued on the matter is untrue. Assumptions about assumptions that might be made by the public from the facts of the matter seem tenuous grounds for levelling such a charge.
The number of ways all but five of California’s 58 Counties have messed up their Presidential ballot is truly impressive. It’s way too late to correct those mistakes now, so California may join the list of States with contested outcomes. Stay tuned for a Press Release on that topic.
Markham Robinson, Executive Committee Chairman
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SOURCE American Independent Party of California