Unity Party of America

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Unity Party of America
Founder Bill Hammons
Founded 2004 (2004)
Ideology Centrism
Political position Center
International affiliation None
Colors Red, white, and blue
Seats in the Senate
0 / 100
Seats in the House
0 / 435
Governorships
0 / 50
State Upper House Seats
0 / 1,972
State Lower House Seats
0 / 5,411
Other elected offices 0
Website
unityparty.us

The Unity Party of America is a centrist political party founded on November 4, 2004[1] which has a membership in 38 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin) listed on its website.[2]

Origins[edit]

Bill Hammons

The Unity Party began in an online discussion forum in November 2004[3] and grew out of the Unity Runners organization; as the Unity Party website puts it, "The Unity Party of America movement had its beginnings in the concept of running marathons to raise campaign contributions for political candidates."[4] Unity Runners, in turn, had its origins in Runners for Clark, an antecedent organization which supported the Presidential candidacy of General Wesley Clark.[5]

On June 16, 2016, Chairman Hammons used YouTube to disavow any affiliation with Clark, while outlining the transition from Runners for Clark to Unity Runners to the Unity Party of America.[6]

Party founder Bill Hammons has been the party's national chairman since its inception, as well as the party's Colorado state party chairman.[7][8]

History[edit]

Eric Bodenstab is described on the Unity Party website as having been the first Unity Party candidate, declaring in May 2007 for Boulder, Colorado City Council, even though that is a non-partisan election.[9][10] The Unity Party fielded two Congressional candidates in the 2008 election cycle (Bill Hammons in Colorado's 2nd District, who received 2,176 votes or 0.63%, and Terry Ronzio in Pennsylvania's 12th District, who did not qualify for the ballot).[11] Sherman Reickart declared for Brant, New York Town Council with the Unity Party,[12] Bill Hammons declared for Colorado's 2nd District again on June 22, 2009,[13] Energy Drilling Consultant Levi Hancock declared as the first Unity Party candidate for Colorado Governor in 2009,[14][15] and Oilfield Drilling Engineer Mike Nelson declared as a Unity Party candidate for Colorado's 4th Congressional District.[14][16] Hammons and Nelson are both former residents of Odessa, Texas, even though both now live in Colorado.[17][18]

On January 11, 2010, Navy veteran and Pueblo, Colorado resident Ray Roman declared as the Unity Party's first candidate for US Senate, running against incumbent Senator Michael Bennet.[19] That same month, Hammons appeared on Denver 9 News' Your Show to make the case for changing Colorado election law and allowing the Unity Party's more recently affiliated candidates to petition onto the General Election ballot as Unity Party candidates, along with himself.[20] On May 27, 2010, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 10-1271, which will allow Colorado's unaffiliated candidates for public office (including, technically, Unity Party candidates) to run for office if their voter registration has not changed during the year of the election in question, beginning in 2012.[21]

An April 9, 2010 Colorado Statesman article highlighted the fact that the Unity Party of Colorado had fielded twice as many candidates in 2010 as the Green Party of Colorado, and four times as many candidates as the Constitution Party of Colorado.[22]

On July 15, 2010, Hammons announced his withdrawal from the 2nd CD race, citing challenges in obtaining the required number of petition signatures to appear on the ballot a second time.[23] His fellow three Unity Party Colorado candidates had withdrawn as well.[24]

The party was recognized in the state of Colorado from 2008 to 2011 as a Qualified Political Organization[9] as a direct result of the petition of Unity Party Congressional candidate Bill Hammons onto the 2008 General Election ballot with 899 valid signatures.[25] As a QPO, the Unity Party was designated on the Colorado voter registration form as a voter affiliation option,[26] and 179 voters had affiliated with the Unity Party as of October 22, 2008,[27] an increase of 92% over the party's voter registration numbers just three weeks before. 407 Colorado voters had affiliated with the Unity Party as of June 1, 2011,[28] before the party was removed from the state voter registration form as a result of its failure to place a candidate on the general election ballot in the 2010 election cycle.[29]

As outlined below, the Unity Party of Colorado was placed back on the voter registration form three years later (in 2014) and, as of November 2016, has more than twice as many registered Colorado voters than it did before being removed from the state's registration form in 2011.

In June 2010, the Unity Party of Utah launched the first state Unity Party website, unityutah.com, and announced its inintention to petition, as a party, onto Utah's 2012 ballot.[30] As of October 2016, one national, eight state (Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Texas), and two candidate (Roger Nichols for President, Bill Hammons for US Senate) Facebook pages were linked to from the Unity Party national website home page.[31] On April 27, 2011, Jim Pirtle of Colorado Springs declared as the Unity Party's first and only candidate of the 2012 election cycle, for Colorado's 5th Congressional District.[32] He received 22,738 votes, or 7.41%. However, he appeared on the ballot as a Libertarian.

In August 2014, the Unity Party was placed back on Colorado's voter registration form as the option "Unity," as a result of Hammons's successful petition onto the ballot for the 2014 Colorado U.S. Senate election.[33][34] (In the general election, Hammons came sixth out of six candidates, with 0.3% of the vote [6,427 votes].) As of November 1, 2014, 142 Colorado voters had affiliated with the party, an increase of over 200% over the previous month.[35][36] As of November 1, 2016, 857 Colorado voters had affiliated with the party, an increase of 34% in total Unity Party of Colorado voters over the previous month alone.[37]

On November 4, 2015 the United National Committee registered with the Federal Election Commission, with Reid Strouss-Tallman listed as Treasurer and Galen Woodson Bercaw as Assistant Treasurer, though Bill Hammons is listed as the Chairman and Custodian of Records, and "W.R. Hammons" is listed on the submission envelope's return address.[38] On November 15, Hammons was mentioned by the Longmont Times-Call as a Unity Party candidate in the 2016 Colorado US Senate race.[39]

As of July 21, 2016 Hammons was listed as an official "Unity Party of Colorado" candidate to appear on the November General Election ballot and, at least as of the end of July, was the only Colorado US Senate candidate to successfully petition onto the General Election ballot, out of four candidates who attempted to do so. [40] [41]

At the end of August 2016, Hammons was profiled in the Colorado Independent as "Mr. Middle" and an "alternative to the alternatives."[42]

Hammons came in fifth out of seven candidates in the 2016 Colorado U.S. Senate race, with 8,408 votes in the November general election.[43][44]

Logos[edit]

U-check Logo

In September 2016, the Unity Party apparently changed its logo to the "U-check" symbol (the U-check appeared alongside Hammons's image during a candidate forum aired on Rocky Mountain PBS), then changed it back to the Tripartite Triangle.[45]

Bill Hammons[edit]

The novel Alternity by W.R. Hammons

Unity Party founder Bill Hammons was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany in 1974 to a career Army officer and moved to the United States when he was three. He was raised in Odessa, Texas from the age of five, graduated from Permian High School of Friday Night Lights fame in 1993, and graduated from New York University's College of Arts and Science in 1997 with a degree English and American Literature (where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity - the Unity Party's triangle symbol has a resemblance to the fraternity's pledge pin[46]) before working in management at Newsweek Magazine for seven years.[47] [48] [49]

In 2006, Hammons self-published a novel titled "Alternity" under "W.R. Hammons" about a West Point instructor and US Army officer who travels back in time to 1918 and Germany to murder and take the place of Adolf Hitler, just after the end of World War I and years before Hitler becomes dictator of Germany. On page 62 of the novel, the antagonist unveils a triangle symbol used on a flag with a phoenix before taking over post-war Germany. Used copies of the novel have been listed for sale on Amazon for well over $100 USD per copy. [50] [51]

Hammons's campaign site has a link to his Tinder dating web profile (a profile that in turn lists his campaign site web address), because "some people think it significant that Bill, who is single, has a dating profile."[52][53]

Unity Party of Colorado[edit]

The Unity Party of Colorado is currently a Qualified Political Organization in that state (i.e., it's an official option as "Unity" on the state's voter registration form, but its candidates still have to petition onto the general election ballot). As of November 1, 2016, the party has 857 affiliated Colorado voters, and will achieve minor party status in the state once it accrues 1,000 affiliated voters (i.e., it will be able to place its candidates directly onto the General Election ballot by primary, petition or assembly).[54] [55]

Platform[edit]

As of its April 2016 national convention in Colorado, the Unity Party platform lists 18 positions:[56]

  • A Balanced Budget Amendment, with a call for an Article V Convention to pass it and other Constitutional Amendments
  • An affirmation of the Second Amendment
  • An affirmation of the Fourth Amendment
  • Replacing Federal income taxes with a carbon tax as a means of "balancing the budget, combating global warming, and encouraging the development of alternative energy sources"
  • A full tax deduction for the health care costs of all Americans "forced" to pay for their own health coverage
  • A "Tithe Pool" to guarantee entitlement programs on a year-by-year basis
  • Support for "all" efforts to get the U.S. military better healthcare and retirement benefits, as well as making it easier for veterans to get access to the benefits they need, "no question asked"
  • Support of global free trade with provisions for a Global Minimum Wage and carbon tariffs
  • Term limits of two terms for US Senators and four terms for US Representatives
  • Term limits of 12 years for Federal Judges, including US Supreme Court Justices
  • The enhancement of electoral security with paper receipts for all individual votes in Federal elections
  • Outlawing the drawing of legislative districts along partisan lines (i.e., outlawing Gerrymandering)
  • A repeal of Citizens United v. FEC
  • A Resign to run proposal forcing Federal officeholders to resign immediately upon filing for a primary election for a higher office, to "allow for the holding of replacement elections in a seamless and efficient manner"
  • Raising the US political donation age to 16 and lowering the voting age to 16
  • Support of a "focused, efficient and aggressive" US space program to "provide us with the 'life jacket' Humankind might need"
  • Support for District of Columbia Statehood "with appropriate provisions for Federal property"
  • Support for the "right of self-determination for all Peoples, including their right to establish new States"

The party's motto is "Not right, not left, but forward."[9]

United National Committee[edit]

The United National Committee, the governing body of the Unity Party of America per the Unity Party Constitution[57] adopted on April 17, 2010, was formed on the same day. As of November 2016, the UNC consists of 25 members.[58]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Unity Party of America: Third Way & New Day in American Politics". Unityparty.us. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Running for America – The Unity Party of America's Unity Runners". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ Peterson, Eric S. "Salt Lake City News – News Articles: Unity Party of Utah". Cityweekly.net. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Unity Party's Hammons Disavows Wes Clark". youtube.com/user/BoulderBill. Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  7. ^ "The United National Committee of the Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Colorado's Unity Party: Third Way & New Day in American Politics". Unityparty.us. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c "Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived August 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Terry Ronzio – Walking for Troops". Electronzio.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Unity Party Candidate Sherman Reickart for Brant NY Town Council". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ [2] Archived June 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ a b "Online Guide to Colorado Politics". Politics1. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Elect Levi". Retrieved January 30, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Mike Nelson for Congress - Home". Archived from the original on November 11, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado – The Author's Story". Wrhammons.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Mike Nelson for Congress - About me and my point of view". Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Unity Party Welcome from Unity Party of America Chairman". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Unity Party of America – Not Right, Not Left, But Forward". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Colorado General Assembly". Leg.state.co.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Third party candidates take root...". Colorado Statesman. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Unity Party candidate Bill Hammons drops out of 2nd CD race – Boulder Daily Camera". Dailycamera.com. July 7, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Online Guide to Colorado Politics". Politics1. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Third-party candidate enters fray". SummitDaily.com. June 30, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Elections & Voting" (PDF). Elections.colorado.gov. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Elections & Voting" (PDF). Elections.colorado.gov. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Total Registered Voters By Party Affiliation and Status" (PDF). Sos.state.co.us. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2016-01-30. 
  29. ^ "Political Party Information". Sos.state.co.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Unity Party aims for a place on Utah ballot". Deseret News. June 29, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Unity Party of America Home Page". unityparty.us. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  32. ^ Zubeck, Pam (April 27, 2011). "Pirtle to the rescue? | IndyBlog". Csindy.com. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  33. ^ "2014 General Election Candidate Petition List". Sos.state.co.us. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Colorado Voter Registration Form" (PDF). Sos.state.co.us. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Total Registered Voters by Party Affiliation and Status" (PDF). Sos.state.co.us. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Total Registered Voters by Party Affiliation and Status" (PDF). Sos.state.co.us. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Total Registered Voters by Party Affiliation and Status" (PDF). Sos.state.co.us. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  38. ^ "United National Committee Statement of Organization" (PDF). fec.gov. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Boulder County Republican, Democratic party chiefs prepare for 2016 election battles". timescall.com. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  40. ^ "2016 General Election Candidate List". sos.state.co.us. Retrieved July 31, 2016. 
  41. ^ "2016 General Election Petition Candidates". sos.state.co.us. Retrieved July 31, 2016. 
  42. ^ "Meet Mr. Middle, the Unity Party's nominee for U.S. Senate in Colorado". coloradoindependent.com. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  43. ^ "Colorado U.S. Senate Results:Michael Bennet Wins". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
  44. ^ "U.S. Senate - Results: Elections". The Denver Post. Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
  45. ^ "Colorado Votes: Race for the Senate". Rocky Mountain PBS. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  46. ^ "ΔKE Pledge Pin - The Greek Marketplace". The Greek Marketplace. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Bill Hammons - NYU Arts and Science Alumni Blog". nyu.edu. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  48. ^ "The Attentive Eye: Selected Journalism - Helen Dudar - Google Books". Xlibris Corporation. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  49. ^ "Bill Hammons (U-CO-Senate)". teapartycheer.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  50. ^ "ALTERNITY (9781425736095): WR Hammons: Books". amazon.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  51. ^ "Alternity: A Novel - W. R. Hammons - Google Books". Google Books. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  52. ^ "Bill Hammons Personal Page - Colorado US Senate Candidate's Bio". billisrunning.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  53. ^ "Bill". gotinder.com. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  54. ^ "Political Party Directory". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  55. ^ "Minor Parties and Qualified Political Organizations FAQs". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 
  56. ^ "Balanced Budget Amendment & Term Limits - Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  57. ^ "Unity Party Constitution: Constitution of Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  58. ^ "The United National Committee of the Unity Party of America". Unityparty.us. Retrieved November 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]