American Party of Florida
|Former type||political party|
|Founder(s)||Thomas A. Macklin|
|Headquarters||Sebring, Florida, United States|
The American Party of Florida (APF) was a political party in Florida, United States, that had its roots in an incident involving the Avon Park city council in July 2006. The city's mayor, Thomas A. Macklin, drafted the Illegal Immigration Relief Act. The APF website said of the Act, "That measure would have penalized landlords who knowingly rented to illegal aliens, businesses who knowlingly employed illegal aliens and would have made English the official language for municipal business in the city." Virtually all the illegal immigrants in Highlands County were Mexicans; Avon Park is located in Highlands County. The measure attracted national attention for a time and much pressure was put upon the city council, which ultimately narrowly voted against the act.
In September 2006 Macklin resigned as mayor to run as lieutenant governor on the Reform Party ticket. Macklin also founded the APF in September. A kickoff party was held September 8. Opposition to illegal immigration was been part of the APF message and the party attracted the ire of such groups as the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy organization. This group called the APF "a clearinghouse for nativist politicians."
The APF had a number of other ideas it supported. Its website said it supported limited government, term limits and the Bill of Rights. The website also voiced support for the Highlands County Tea Party efforts.
The APF was one of Florida's small parties. As such, the website said it depended on volunteers to operate.
The Florida Division of Elections said the party headquarters was located in Avon Park. It listed Macklin as the party chairperson and treasurer. This information appeared to be somewhat outdated. The APF website as of December 2011 listed Macklin as chairman, but did not mention who was treasurer. It gave the party's address as 134 N. Ridgewood Drive, Suite 16, in downtown Sebring, Florida.
The APF had ceased operations by the end of 2011, and the Division of Elections website no longer lists the APF as a Florida political party. However, as of March 2013 the APF website was still being maintained, although on a scaled-down basis. Only one section, the 'Links' section, contained up-to-date information on organizations, some which had some of the same principles as the APF had. Two of these organizations were still active, the Highlands Tea Party and America Needs Jesus (which is a political rather than a Christian website).
- American Party of Florida website, http://americanpartyofflorida.com/; Southern Poverty Law Center website, http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2008/spring/. The term nativist can refer to opposition to legal and illegal immigration. The APF had only stated opposition to illegal immigration.
- APF website; Florida Division of Elections website, http://election.dos.state.fl.us/committee/ .
- APF website