America First Party (2002)
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|America First Party|
|Chairman||Jonathan M. Hill|
|Founded||April 15, 2002|
|Headquarters||1630 A 30th Street #111 Boulder, CO 80301|
|Political position||Fiscal: Right-wing
|Colors||Red, white, blue|
|Seats in the Senate||0|
|Seats in the House||0|
The party was formed on April 15, 2002 when a group of Pat Buchanan supporters left the Reform Party. The party is pro-life, opposes all gun control, seeks to end affirmative action, racial quotas, and illegal and unlimited immigration. Buchanan himself has never publicly professed any affiliation with the party, though his books are for sale on the party's website "[A]utographed... specially for the Party". The AFP has attracted individuals such as former Boston mayor and ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn and former John Birch Society president John McManus. The party's web page shows recent press releases and articles on current issues which showcase the organization's positions. Until February 2010, the AFP also published a 12-page newspaper which illustrated its policy positions and focused on current problems in government.
Party composition 
The party believes that the federal government's role should be quite limited in domestic matters, limited in foreign affairs in the Washingtonian sense, and they hold that these positions are required by the Constitution. They support enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, and on constitutional and economic grounds, they seek to end U.S. involvement with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO). The America First party opposed the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, and refers to the Iraq war as unconstitutional. On constitutional grounds, the party calls for an end to all foreign aid, without exception.
Smaller federal government 
The party seeks to eliminate several Cabinet departments within the Executive branch of the U.S. federal government, such as the departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education. The party also seeks to eliminate all federal funding for schools, believing that federal government money has led to more federal control over schools—control, the party believes, that should rest in the hands of local governments.
Church/State issues 
The party opposes the idea that the Constitution bars expressions of religious faith in the public square. It supports allowing mandated organized prayer in public places, especially in public schools, as well as allowing displays of religious icons (such as tablets of the Ten Commandments) by the government on public property.
Tax reform 
The party believes that the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified and must be repealed. The income tax would then be replaced by half of Federal revenue coming from excise taxes and tariffs, and the other half coming from usage fees and a National Retail Sales Tax. (They oppose having both an income tax and a sales tax simultaneously.)
Size and scope of the party 
Ballot access 
List of states for which The America First Party achieved ballot access by year of first appearance on ballot:
- New Jersey
Recent candidates and conventions 
The America First Party ran 11 candidates for public office in the U.S. general elections of 2002.
The party's 2003 convention was canceled due to infighting. Alleged white supremacist Bo Gritz was scheduled to speak, much to the dismay of many party members. Ultimately, the party released a press release condemning Bo Gritz saying: "anyone who supports theories that we hoped had died with Adolph Hitler is not welcome in the America First Party."On October 12, 2004, the America First Party endorsed Constitution Party candidate Michael A. Peroutka for President of the United States.
The only AFP candidate that was running in the 2006 general election was Martin Scott McClellan for Brevard County School Board - District 1 in Florida. He lost with 24% of the vote, running second in a three-way race.
For the 2008 Presidential election, the AFP encouraged voters to make up their mind between either Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr or Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. The party also ran Mike Eller for Ypsilanti City Council - District 3 in Michigan. He came in second out of three candidates with 27% of the vote.
See also 
- Conservatism in the United States
- Independent American Party
- Constitution Party
- Third parties in the U.S.
- List of political parties in the United States
- America First Party Store
- "NJ District 3: House of Representatives Results". 2002. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- "Political Parties". Florida Division of Elections. 2010-03-09. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- Winger, Richard. "2006 Petitioning For Statewide Office". Ballot Access News. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-06.