Platform of the Constitution
Party of West Virginia
|Preamble||Government Spending||Racial Harmony|
|Core Beliefs||Health & Medicine||Recreation & Tourism|
|National Platform||Illegal Immigration||Religious Freedom|
|Agriculture||Judicial Reform||Rules of the WVa State Legislature|
|Bring Government Back Home||Labor & Industry||Sanctity of Life|
|Business & the Economy||Law Enforcement||The 2nd Amendment & Personal Defense|
|Community Decency||The Media||Structure of Government|
|Constitutional Amendments||Money & Banking||Suffrage|
|Controlled Substances||Motor Vehicle Laws||Term Limits|
|Education||Patriotism||Transportation & Infrastructure|
|Election Reform||Personal Liberty|
|Energy & the Environment||Property Rights|
Conscious of Providence and solicitous of the blessings of Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ, the Constitution Party of West Virginia embraces and advances the following statement of positions to restore and protect Constitutional government, preserve the continuity of our civilization, and defend the sovereignty of our State thus guarding liberty under law for ourselves and our posterity.
- We affirm the Christian character and heritage(1) of our State, and the Bible as the basis of morality on which the legitimacy of our laws rest.
- We affirm the fundamental principles of American republicanism as originally set forth in the draft version of the Virginia Declaration of Rights(2) and reiterated in the Declaration of Independence, constituting the basis and foundation of government.
- We believe in the sovereignty, freedom and independence of the several States and affirm the principles asserted in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798/1799.(3)
- The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the land;(4) its provisions, along with those of this State, are operative alike in a period of war as in time of peace, and any departure therefrom, or violation thereof, under the plea of necessity, or any other plea, is subversive to good government and tends to anarchy and despotism.(5)
- The government of the United States is a government of enumerated powers, and all powers not delegated to it, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people thereof. Among the powers so reserved to the States is the exclusive regulation of their own internal government and police; and it is the high and solemn duty of constitutional government to guard and protect the people of the several States from all encroachments upon the rights so reserved.(6)
The Constitution Party of West Virginia recognizes the platform of the national Constitution Party(7) as the statement of principles and positions for our candidates for federal office and for areas where a state position has not yet been developed. Where the state and national party platforms differ, the following West Virginia state platform shall take precedence:
Agriculture can and should be an important part of West Virginia’s economy. In a letter to George Washington during the Constitutional Convention, Thomas Jefferson said, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.” And, John Taylor of Caroline believed agriculture “the guardian of liberty, as well as the mother of wealth. So long as the principles of our government are uncorrupted, and the sovereignty of majorities remains, she must occupy the highest political station, and owe to society the most sacred political duty.” However, largely because of government interference, we feel that the full potential of West Virginia’s agricultural resources has not been developed.
The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is a tyrannical system of federal control over the food supply and over the property of our farmers which will impose burdensome reporting requirements, expenses, and fines. We therefore call for an end to West Virginia’s participation in this program as well as an end to the acceptance of any federal money for the purpose of implementing it.
Likewise, farm subsidies have a corrupting influence on the agricultural free market; we thus call for an end to them as well. West Virginia has a long and proud tradition of well managed agribusiness without the need for government intervention. Because of their many commercial uses, the unlimited cultivation of all traditional crops and fuel producing plants should be unregulated and uninfringed. Agriculture is a resilient and adaptive industry. We therefore reject transforming its agenda to meet so called “global challenges” and are opposed to artificial market manipulation via any sort of wage or price controls.
Farmers should be free to sell their products, including meat, milk, and traditionally processed foods, to the public without government involvement. However, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) present a threat to food safety and create the potential for contamination of the gene pool of other agricultural crops and livestock that are grown or raised in proximity. Therefore, we advocate a law that prohibits the cultivation or production of GMO crops, seeds, or livestock. We envision a revitalized agricultural economy for West Virginia supported by local farmers’ markets and organic methods which will allow consumers the opportunity to purchase high-quality natural West Virginia edibles instead of over-processed and less healthy factory-farmed foods.
Finally, conservation easements present potential serious and confusing complications to basic private property rights and are thus viewed by us with caution. We do recognize the problem which deer pose to our state not only in crop damage, but to motorists as well, and thus recommend reducing the nuisance population thereof through expansion of landowner hunting. Venison and other wild game are excellent sources of nutrition for our populace, the harvesting of which should be encouraged.
Whereas the democratic process is a cornerstone to our Republic, the Constitution Party of West Virginia is committed to fair and honest elections of our government representatives. So as to provide the greatest degree of integrity and participation in this important civic activity, we propose the following modifications to the Mountain State’s electoral system:
First and foremost, all ballots must be cast on paper and hand counted by individual poll workers. There is a preponderance of evidence indicating that electronic voting equipment is susceptible to a wide variety of nefarious security breaches. Whereas a notorious dictator famously said “It is not the people who vote that count, rather it is the people who count the votes that matter,” secretly written computer tallying programs have no place in a free and honest electoral process. Most other countries around the world count their ballots by hand with accurate results delivered within less than a day. Expediency and convenience at the expense of accuracy are anathema to our American principles.
For similar reasons, we are opposed to mail-in and online voting schemes which complicate the election process and pose security risks. Voting is a responsibility, not just a right. So called “no excuses” absentee voting undermines the dynamics of political campaigns. Absentee voting should be done in person at the county courthouse via a notarized letter explaining the reason for not being available on Election Day. We support current law which requires employers to provide flexible work schedules without penalty on Election Day so as to allow their employees to have sufficient time to access the polls.
Given that politicians are currently able to vote themselves their own pay raises, it is absurd that filing fees are based on the salary of the office sought. A better method would be to base candidate filing fees on the number of counties involved in the election for that office. We suggest a $20 per county flat rate fee with no filing fees for write-in candidates. Additionally, every county must adhere to the complete letter of the election laws for proper posting of official write-in candidates and all write-in votes must be counted, tabulated, and reported regardless of any opinion of significance. Ballot qualification for political parties should be reduced to ½% of the vote and extended to any statewide candidate, not just gubernatorial.
Since single delegate districts provide enhanced responsiveness to constituent needs and provide the greatest level of accountability, the House of Delegates must be reconfigured to one hundred single member districts. In the meantime, ballot access petition signature requirements for multiple delegate districts must be divided by the number of delegates in that district. Furthermore, we urge our national congressional delegation to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and return the accountability of the United States Senate to our state legislature. Until such time as this amendment is repealed, our U.S. Senators should be elected by the majority vote of the popular vote winners of each of our seventeen state senate districts. The overlapping 8th and 17th State Senate Districts of Kanawha County must be separated. The nine-county 15th District must be reduced in size.
Similarly, we advocate a district election for presidential electors as is currently used in Maine and Nebraska. And, because it is the Electoral College which actually votes for president, West Virginia should return to placing the individual elector names on the ballot rather than the party nominee or an un-named slate. Because the Electoral College was designed to be a deliberative body of capable decision making persons, elector pledge laws need to be abolished. The above reforms will result in reduced campaign expenditures, greater discourse of pertinent issues, more localized and vibrant elections, and fewer demagogues in the White House.
We advocate ballot position by random selection rather than presidential victory or voter registration figures. So as to encourage an informed electorate, the archaic straight ticket mechanism of voting should be abolished – as has already been done in most other of the several states. This includes eliminating the use of arbitrary party symbols. In fact, since people vote for the individual candidate, all references to political parties should be removed from general election ballots. Because there are no conditions placed upon voter registration party affiliation, candidates wishing to obtain ballot access through an established party primary should be required to petition for their access. We suggest this be in a manner similar to those of minor party and independent candidates, but at half their signature requirement since party ballot access is a recognized achievement.
Since we have four types of public servants, national, State, county and city, the short ballot in which contests for their offices are held in sequential years rather than combined in general elections would have a wholesome influence on reducing voter confusion. Initiative, referendum and recall are incongruent with our republican form of government and should have no place on these simplified ballots. The resultant un-crowded ballot thus becomes much easier to both use in paper form and hand count as outlined above. Ultimately, and because of the tremendous additional cost of primary elections to our state, we feel that primaries should be replaced with simple Iowa-style caucuses all on a designated day and time, spread out throughout the counties in various school gymnasiums, and at the complete expense of the respective political parties. The above measures would simplify to the point of efficiency and effectiveness the vote cast by West Virginia electors.
Illegal immigration is a clear and present serious and growing danger which is threatening American culture with balkanization and civil unrest. Whereas massive illegal immigration is de facto invasion, and whereas Article IV, § 4 of the United States Constitution clearly states that it is the function of the government to protect us from such, the State of West Virginia and the people thereof, pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, have the sovereign right and duty to take measures to protect its citizens. We look to the April 2010 Arizona immigration enforcement bill as an example of the proper response of a state legislature to this problem.
We support the vigorous enforcement of current immigration laws and are opposed to amnesty for illegals in any form. We support the strengthening of employment laws that require employers to verify the legal status of their employees and propose stiff fines and higher penalties for those who knowingly hire undocumented persons in any capacity. Furthermore, we call for state and local police forces to aggressively pursue such crimes and turn discovered persons over to federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement demanding immediate deportation to their country of origin. We oppose so-called “city of refuge” sanctuary ordinances and strongly denounce municipalities which promote them.
Because speaking and comprehending our common language is a basic precondition of good citizenship, we support the passage of “English Only” legislation making English the official and exclusive language for all governmental business by our State. We oppose bilingual ballots and strongly contest Executive Order 13166 which federally mandates them. Additionally, we are against the granting of any government benefit, including public education, to any illegal alien and support the passage of local ordinances, such as those of Hazelton, Pennsylvania in 2006 which permit residents to refuse services to illegals.
We believe that the peoples of the world are a single family and have a common origin. One possibility, offered in Scripture, is the story of the tower of Babel whereby, because of their disobedience to God’s command to be fruitful and populate the land, the congregated people had their one language “confounded” and were scattered over all the earth. This then created genetic isolation which is perhaps the real cause for the origin of modern races of people. We thus vehemently reject Darwinism, evolutionary theories, and their bigoted derivatives, accepting instead that “All men are created equal” and in His image.
The CPWV appreciates the wisdom of Booker T. Washington who proposed to a biracial audience in his 1895 Atlanta Compromise address, “In all things purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” We profess that racism is properly defined as “a form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals.” As such, we find nothing wrong with state celebrations and Dixie Decrees in remembrance of Confederate history, its honorable heroes, veterans and their family heritage. America was founded by unique and rugged pioneers. It was perseverant nonconformists of daring and optimistic mind-set who built our Republic, not huddled masses of inert complainers.
The corporate media has made much ado about our founders as slave owners, yet little has been said of their emphatic opposition to it. Having been introduced to America some two centuries prior, slavery was not the product of any of their actions. Instead, one of the driving forces for separation from Britain was that every attempt among the Colonies to end slavery had been thwarted or reversed by the Crown. Richard Henry Lee made the pretense of this clear when he explained, “Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us who profess the same religion practice its precepts… by agreeing to this duty.” In fact, in the years following America’s separation from Great Britain, the majority of the Founding Fathers who had owned slaves released them. John Adams never owned any slaves. And George Washington said, “I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery].” His wish was almost granted when Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence included an entire paragraph decrying slavery as both an “execrable commerce” and an “assemblage of horrors.” Other Founders outspoken about slavery were John Dickinson, William Livingston, Luther Martin, John Randolph, Caesar Rodney, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, and George Wythe.
In 1774, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first antislavery society. John Jay, stating “that men should pray and fight for their own freedom and yet keep others in slavery is certainly acting a very inconsistent as well as unjust and perhaps impious part,” was president of a similar society in New York. Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members of societies for ending slavery included James Madison, James Monroe, John Marshall and William Livingston. Franklin also advanced the idea that slaves needed to be educated in order to become contributing members of a free society. Based in part on the efforts of these men, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804. Thus it was the founders who were responsible for planting and nurturing the first seeds for the recognition of black equality and for the eventual end of slavery. This fact is made clear by Richard Allen, a freed Christian slave from Pennsylvania who became the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. In an early address titled To the People of Color, Allen said, “Many of the white people [who] have been instruments in the hands of God for our good, even such as have held us in captivity, are now pleading our cause with earnestness and zeal.”
Yet despite all of this, there are still those who charge that in the Constitution, the Founders considered a black to be only three-fifths of a person. This is yet another misportrayal of the truth since the records of the Constitutional Convention make clear that the three-fifths clause was actually an antislavery provision. As Professor Walter Williams explains, “It was slavery’s opponents who succeeded in restricting the political power of the South by allowing them to count only three-fifths of their slave population in determining the number of congressional representatives. The three-fifths of a vote provision applied only to slaves, not to free blacks in either the North or South.” And, the so called Civil War was not about slavery as evidenced by Lincoln’s inaugural speech where he assured Americans that “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Furthermore, when Lincoln broke his promise, his Emancipation Proclamation did not free any of the slaves remaining in the northern states, and was signed almost two years after the unpleasantness began. During various state ratifying conventions for the federal Constitution, secession was one of the key terms in agreeing to it. In fact, right up until the conflict, secession was taught at West Point. We find nothing wrong with the display of any of the various Confederate flags as symbols of heritage, fidelity, and respect.
The CPWV is not a hate group nor are we associated with any white supremacist militias as is wrongfully categorized by MIAC (Missouri Information Analysis Center), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and its ideological twin, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Nor were the Founding Fathers terrorists as BATFE agents have instructed and whistleblowers shown via hidden camera. For these groups, any defense of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights represents “antigovernment extremism.” As evidenced by the growing Tea Party movement, millions of Americans have independently arrived at the conclusion that the federal government is indeed an authoritarian leviathan. Thus it appears that the SPLC, ADL, MIAC and their ilk are engaged in a desperate effort to silence the patriot movement through baseless accusations portraying it as a fringe phenomenon consisting of “dangerous radicals” and “domestic terrorists.” Of course, this is nothing more than propaganda, character assassination, slander, and defamation; blatant hypocrisy which will not work. These, or any other groups that would collectively misrepresent our principles, candidates, and activities, have absolutely zero credibility with us. We hope that the awakening general public recognizes this and feels the same.
Sanctity of Life
We affirm the God-given sanctity of all human beings, born or un-born, without exception, and with full and equal unalienable rights regardless of their station in life. To that end, the Constitutions of the United States and West Virginia were ordained and established for “ourselves and our posterity.” Abortion is a detestable and heinous act against the most innocent of society; no civil government may legalize the taking of the right to life without justification. In those cases where the life of the mother is at risk, every effort should be made by competent medical professionals to preserve the life of both the mother and the child. As to matters of rape and incest, it is unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the real or accused crimes of his or her father.
We implore the West Virginia State Legislature to exercise the Doctrine of Interposition, as has recently South Dakota’s, to assert the illegitimate usurpation of authority by the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade, etc., and declare this poorly decided case for what it is—binding only on the specific parties involved. We seek immediate legislation to criminalize partial birth abortions and enact parental notification and informed consent laws.
Furthermore, we oppose the promotion and use of all abortifacients and defend the employment rights of those who refuse to participate in their distribution. We oppose all elements of bio-research involving human embryonic or pre-embryonic cells as well as all government “legalization” of euthanasia and suicide. We similarly oppose all forms of involuntary human experimentation whether they be on military personnel, prisoners, children or adults via undisclosed vaccine contents, municipal water treatment, aerosol sprays, electromagnetic, radiation, or other diabolical technologies. Whereas our Creator commands us to be fruitful and multiply, all forms of eugenics, selective breeding, cloning, and coercive population control are abominable evils which are contradictory to America’s Christian heritage.
NOTES on approval and adoption: The Preamble, Core Beliefs, and National Platform position were approved and adopted at meeting assembled at Alpine Lake, Terra Alta, W.Va. on September 23, 2006. Original drafts of the Illegal Immigration and Sanctity of Life positions were also adopted at this meeting, and were subsequently updated and revised for style at meeting assembled at Morgantown, W.Va. on April 24, 2010. Agriculture, Election Reform, and Racial Harmony positions were adopted as new on April 24, 2010.
- America’s Christian Heritage Week – www.achw.org
- Virginia Declaration of Rights, draft version – www.lva.virginia.gov/lib-edu/education/bor/draftvdr.htm
- Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798/1799 – avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/virres.asp
- U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Section 2 – www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A6.html
- West Virginia Constitution, Article I, Section 3 – www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/WV_CON.cfm#articleI
- U.S. Constitution, Amendment X – www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am10.html
- Platform of the National Constitution Party – www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.