The Boston Tea Party was formed in 2006 by former Libertarian Party members dissatisfied with the LP’s “abdication of political responsibilities.” “Americans deserve and desperately need a pro-freedom party,” the BTP’s founders stated, one “that forcefully advocates libertarian solutions to the issues of today”. Among their objections to the mainstream Libertarian Party was its nomination of Bob Barr as its 2008 Presidential candidate, and the general feeling that the Libertarians had watered down their platform. BTP Chair Darryl W. Perry is an author and activist who has appeared on several alternative media outlets outlining his party’s more radically pure libertarian vision. He graciously responded to our questions with the answers below.
POLITICALCONTEXT.ORG: Is your party running candidates in the 2012 elections?
DARRYL W. PERRY: The BTP will hold a Presidential nominating convention on December 21, 2011. Hopefully, some of the State affiliates will field candidates in 2012 in addition to the Presidential ticket.
PC: What’s the process for choosing and nominating your candidates? Do you have a general convention? Where and when will it be held?
DWP: The Presidential ticket will be chosen during a Presidential Nominating Convention. Each State affiliate has its own rules for choosing candidates.
PC: What are the demographics of your existing base?
DWP: We do not keep track of that data.
PC: In your opinion, what are the chief barriers to the viability and success of third parties in the United States?
DWP: Ballot access is a major hurdle, if a party is unable to place its candidates before the voters, it will not be able to get its message to the people.
PC: Does your party make the opening of space to alternative candidates a major part of your public message? Do you have a strategy for the opening of political space which you have laid out for voters and activists?
DWP: The BTP has endorsed members of other parties, including Libertarians, Republicans and independent candidates.
PC: Do you work in solidarity with other political parties? If so, which ones? If not, why not?
DWP: The BTP is willing to work with any party on issues that both parties agree upon. As Chair, I recently signed on to the “Come Home America” letter along with members of the LP, Green, Socialist & Peace and Freedom Parties.
PC: How do you raise funds for your operations? What methods of fundraising have proven to be most successful for your party in the past?
DWP: BTP bylaws prohibit the national party from accepting funds.
PC: A broad, philosophical question: Why does your party exist?
DWP: Party founder Tom Knapp explains, “I wanted to give disappointed LP members a place to go to rethink the platform … and hopefully a place they could come back from to fight for a better one.” I like to think of the BTP as both a compliment and competition to the Libertarian Party.
PC: May we have a copy of your most recent national platform–either as a word document, or the link to where it can be found on the web?
DWP: “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.”
PC: What else would you like our readers to know about your party?
DWP: The Boston Tea Party was founded in 2006 with a one sentence platform, that can never be changed. In October 2008, the party’s National Convention adopted the four point program of the Campaign for Liberty. Their program calls for an end to overseas occupation, a restoration of privacy and other liberties, no increase in the national debt, and a thorough review of the Federal Reserve. During the 2010 convention the Party adopted a new program to End the Wars of Aggression, End the Fed, End the War on Drugs, End the Abuses of Liberty, End the Immigration Fiasco.
PC: May we have a brief bio from the person answering these questions? May we also have bios for the current Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, and Executive Director of your party?
DWP: Chair — Darryl W. Perry: Activist, Author, Poet & Statesman. Darryl writes a weekly article for the Mountaineer Jeffersonian, a monthly article for The Sovereign and has appeared on various alternative media talking about his books, political career and goals. Darryl is the Owner/Managing Editor of Free Patriot Press & Founder of LAVA, the Libertarian, Agorist, Voluntryist & Anarch Authors & Publishers Association.
Vice Chair — Dan Kilo: Small business owner and political activist from Colorado. Dan was a “favorite son” VP candidate in Colorado in 2008 and sought the LP nomination for Colorado Governor in 2010.
Secretary –Brandi Duncan
PC: In what city and state is the national party headquarters located?
DWP: Currently there is no “headquarters.”
PC: What year was the party founded?
PC: Who were the leaders that founded the party?
DWP: Tom Knapp is credited as the founder of the BTP.
PC: Any significant “firsts” for the party–Who was your first candidate on a ballot, who (if any) was your first candidate elected to office?
DWP: Charles Jay was the first Presidential candidate in 2008. BTP endorsed candidates surpassed 1 million votes in 2010.
The Context2012 project is designed to build public awareness of all third parties in the United States, to raise consciousness of the alternatives to what Ralph Nader has called the “two party elected dictatorship.” Recently, we sent out questionnaires to over thirty of these parties, from the Freedom Socialist Party to the Constitution Party, from the Libertarians to the Whigs. Responses are coming in with impressive speed, and we will run new interviews every day for as long as we continue to receive them.