|Chairman of the Anne Arundel Council|
December 4, 2017 – December 1, 2018
|Preceded by||John Grasso|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Pruski|
|Member of the Anne Arundel Council|
from the 5th district
December 1, 2014 – December 1, 2018
|Preceded by||Dick Ladd|
|Succeeded by||Amanda Fielder|
Michael Anthony Peroutka
1952 (age 68–69)
|Political party||Constitution (before 2014)|
|Alma mater||Loyola University, Maryland|
University of Baltimore
Michael Anthony Peroutka (born 1952) is a Maryland lawyer, the founder of the Institute on the Constitution. He once held a position in the United States Department of Health and Human Services and was the Constitution Party candidate for president in 2004. He is co-host of The American View radio program.
Peroutka was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a graduate of Loyola College in Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He was the Chairman of the Constitution Party of Maryland and a member of the Executive Committee of the Constitution Party National Committee. In 2014 he became a Republican and won election to the County Council of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, representing District 5.
2004 presidential campaign
In the 2004 United States presidential election, he was the Constitution Party's candidate. His campaign theme was "God, Family, Republic" and he emphasized the Bible, the traditional family, and the need for constitutionally limited government. His running mate was independent Baptist minister Chuck Baldwin. He gained support from many paleoconservatives, and was also endorsed by the America First Party and Alaskan Independence Party. Peroutka was also endorsed by the League of the South and supported by a group called "Southerners for Peroutka". Peroutka accepted the endorsement from the League at their 2004 national convention. Radio host Alex Jones stated he would be voting for Peroutka.
He appeared on the radio show, The Political Cesspool to promote his campaign, describing it as a "Christian/Constitutionalist radio program" and "a great blessing to our cause". Political commentator Pat Buchanan stated on the September 7, 2004 edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, "There is a chance I would vote for Peroutka." The November 8, 2004 issue of The American Conservative contained endorsements by Taki Theodoracopulos and Howard Phillips (the latter having founded the party Peroutka represented.) Peroutka received just over one-tenth of one percent of the national popular vote, finishing fifth nationally with just under 150,000 votes. This was a showing similar to previous Constitution Party candidacies of Howard Phillips – however, it was the only third party to increase its share of the vote in 2004. Kentucky Republican politician Matt Bevin's support for Peroutka's candidacy was used in a 2013 attack ad by opponent Mitch McConnell.
Peroutka emphasizes the Bible and believes that America has a Christian heritage that should be reflected in governance. He opposes abortion without exception. He opposes a Federal Marriage Amendment, believing that civil government (federal/state/local) does not have jurisdiction over marriage. He advocates for free market capitalism. He supports the right to keep and bear arms and strongly opposes the war in Iraq, calling it ungodly, immoral, and unconstitutional. He supports the right to homeschool and believes the federal government should not regulate or fund education.
In an October 2004 Washington Journal interview with Robb Harleston, Peroutka stated that "there is one race and that's the human race". In 2006, he voted in favor of disaffiliating the Independent American Party of Nevada from the Constitution Party due to their allowance for abortion in certain circumstances. In 2012, the Montgomery Advertiser reported that he was the single-biggest donor to Roy Moore's 2012 campaign for the Alabama Supreme Court, having contributed $50,000 of the total $78,000 received by Moore until December 31, 2011.
On December 6, 2012, the Human Rights Campaign called Peroutka an "active white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer" due to links to the League of the South. Peroutka told The Baltimore Sun that he "continues to be a proud member of the League of the South," since it "has a belief that the central government is too large, too spend-thrift and too out-of-control," but he called HRC's characterization of him as a white-supremacist sympathizer "absurd" and "not at all true."
In 2012, a video of Peroutka showed asking a group to stand for the national anthem, then leading them in Dixie. On September 9, 2013, he stated, "all elevation or denigration of individuals or groups based on skin color is immoral and shameful." In October 2014, during his campaign for County Council, Peroutka announced that he had resigned from the board of directors of the League of the South and was no longer a member after having discovered statements made by members that were "contrary to [his] beliefs".
Split from the National Constitution Party
In 2006, the Maryland Constitution Party disaffiliated from the national party along with other state parties following a schism at the national party's 2006 convention, in which it failed to disaffiliate the Nevada party despite its chairman and gubernatorial candidate's support for legal abortion in some cases. Peroutka stated "At this point I could not, in good faith, represent the Constitution Party nor endorse any of its candidates. Unless serious changes occur, I could not run for President in 2008."
In February 2014, Peroutka switched his voter registration from Constitution Party to Republican and filed to run for a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council as well as a seat on the county's Republican Central Committee. Peroutka won the seat on the Central Committee, becoming an official representative of the Republican Party in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Peroutka also won the primary election for county council from District 5 on June 24, defeating a number of other Republican candidates, including the incumbent councilman, Republican Dick Ladd. He won by 38 votes over Maureen Carr-York to become the Republican nominee in the November 2014 general election. Peroutka won in the general election with 53 percent of the vote and a lead of nearly 1,900 votes over his Democratic opponent. Peroutka, along with the rest of the council, was sworn in on December 1, 2014.
Running for reelection from District 5 in June 2018, Peroutka lost the Republican primary to candidate Amanda Fiedler, 53 percent to 47 percent.
In May 2014, Peroutka, acting on behalf of the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka foundation, a small family charity he and his brother Stephen established and named after their mother, donated an Allosaurus skeleton to the Creation Museum, a 70,000-square-foot museum in Petersburg, Kentucky that promotes a young Earth creationist explanation of the origins of the universe based on Biblical literalism.
- Prudente, Tim (5 November 2014). "Controversial candidate Michael Peroutka wins Anne Arundel council seat". The Capital. Annapolis, Maryland. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- Chryson, Mark (March 13, 2004). "Headline News :: Alaska - AIP ELECTS NEW OFFICERS". Freedomwriter.com.
- "Southerners for Peroutka". Spofga.org. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
- "LP: Alex Jones interviews Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka". libertypost.org. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- Holthouse, David. "Racist Memphis Radio Host Celebrated at Council of Conservative Citizens Conference". peroutka2004.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Sept. 7". NBC News. 8 September 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- The Real Deal Archived May 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Constitutionally Correct Peroutka Archived May 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Hohmann, James (12 August 2013). "Kentucky Senate race 2014: Mitch McConnell video goes after Matt Bevin". Politico. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- Video on YouTube
- Peroutka for United States President in 2004 – Constitution Party Nominee Michael A. Peroutka Archived June 8, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
- "Constitution Party Presidential Nominee | Video | C-SPAN.org". C-spanvideo.org. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
- "Nevada Disaffiliation Resolution Roll Call Vote". christianheritageparty.us. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- Lyman, Brian (8 January 2012). "Major Moore donor has extremist affiliations". Montgomery Advertiser. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- Smith, Van. "Baltimore City Paper". Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Southern Poverty Law Center". Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Linskey, Annie. "HRC says an anti-gay marriage group should return $10K check". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Peroutka says he has left League of the South". The Baltimore Sun. 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
- "RWW News: Michael Peroutka Leads Dixie 'National Anthem' At 2012 League of the South Conference". YouTube. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2015-06-15.
- "Policies Based on Skin Color are Sinful and Shameful". The American View. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
- "Policies Based on Skin Color are Sinful and Shameful: Michael Anthony Peroutka". YouTube. 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
- TAMPA I: The Way I See It … Still: An Open Letter to the Executive Committee, National Committee and Membership of the Constitution Party From Michael Anthony Peroutka Archived August 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Georgia Secretary of State website Archived September 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Rahman, Rema (March 12, 2014). "Unexpected candidates file for County Council race". The Capital. Annapolis, Maryland. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- Rahman, Rema (July 9, 2014). "Carr-York concedes District 5 race to Peroutka". The Capital. Annapolis, Maryland.
- Lazarick, Len (December 2, 2014) – "Republican Legislators Take Control of Three County Governments". MarylandReporter.com. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Cook, Chase (June 27, 2018). "Incumbents dealt blow as Peroutka, Smith defeated in Anne Arundel races". The Capital. Annapolis, Maryland. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
- Rahman, Rema; Sauers, Elisha (July 14, 2014). "Peroutka donates $1M dinosaur skeleton to Creation Museum". The Capital. Annapolis, Maryland.