Constitution Party 2024 Presidential Nominating Convention

and Spring National Committee Meeting

Wednesday April 24 – Saturday, April  27, 2024

DoubleTree by Hilton at Salt Lake City Airport

Salt Lake City, UT


                                                                                                      Photos courtesy: Brandenburg News Network


TRANSCRIPT OF ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES

MAN ON A MISSION
(ema 04/28/24, updated 05/05/24) Delegates at the Constitution Party's convention in Salt Lake City on Saturday selected anti-abortion activist Randall Terry as the party's presidential nominee, and confirmed Terry's choice of Dallas pastor Stephen Broden for vice president.

Terry, 65, plans to emphasize his anti-abortion message and run an aggressive, graphic ad campaign focused on defeating Biden, whom he describes as "evil."  Terry argues that his "incendiary" campaign will put the Constitution Party on the map.  "We're going to create a living hell for the Democrats and make the Republicans exceedingly uncomfortable," Terry declared in his acceptance speech.

A February press release from the campaign said the ads would "challenge viewers to confront the reality of abortion and inspire them not to vote for 'Biden the Baby Killer' or any Democrat."  In his acceptance speech, Terry outlined an ambitious but "achievable" goal wherein the campaign's ads would cause Biden to lose Wisconsin and Michigan and thereby lose him the White House.  Terry addressed concerns of some delegates, stating, "I am not a single issue candidate."  He listed issues such as the border, the Second Amendment, and same sex marriage, and said, "I am perfectly content, capable and willing to talk about these issues, not just on the campaign trail, but when I am on various television shows, various radio shows, etc."  Terry peppered his acceptance speech with humorous remarks and imitations of figures including Bill Clinton and President Biden, not all of which connected with the audience. 

With his big frizzy hair and alligator skin boots, Terry cuts a charismatic and distinctive figure.  He is best known as the founder, in 1986, of Operation Rescue, which he calls "the largest peaceful civil disobedience movement in American history."  Terry headed the group until 1992.  He was arrested dozens of times, while at the same time gaining extensive media and fundraising experience.  A Washington Post article described Terry as the "shock jock of the anti-abortion movement," and NPR's Terry Gross termed him the "star of the militant wing of the anti-abortion movement."  Terry has also long espoused a strong stance against homosexuality, although his late adopted son came out as gay.  Critics argue that Terry's use of inflammatory and intolerant language can promote violence, for example against clinic doctors and staff and their families.  

Broden, 72, has ministered in inner city Dallas for more than three decades.  In his remarks, he showed himself to be an effective communicator, channelling 2008 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan by referencing 3-7-12—the party has three pillars, seven principles, and 12 key issues.  Broden is poised to bring the campaign's message in particular to black voters, who are being heavily targeted this cycle.
 
In the roll call vote, Terry defeated Joel Skousen by 144 votes to 80 followed by Paul Venable (32), Dan Cummings (4), Samm Tittle (2), Brandon McIntyre (2).  All told 264 votes from 19 states were tallied.  By comparison, in 2020 representatives of 25 states participated the roll call vote and in 2016 representatives of 29 states were represented. 

The Constitution Party currently has ballot access in 12 states with a total of 113 electoral votes; these include the battleground states of MI, WI and NV, and the party is working to gain ballot status in additional states. 

The Constitution Party was founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party.  According to its platform, "The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries."  The first platform plank addresses the sanctity of life, affirming "the God-given legal personhood of all human beings from fertilization to natural death without exception.  Among Constitution Party members are a fair number of former Republicans who have found the Republican Party is not conservative enough.  The Constitution Party is recognized by the Federal Election as a national party committee (>), but from Jan. 1, 2023 to Mar. 31, 2024 the national committee reported just $114,520 in total receipts. 

During its three decades (including as the USTP), the party has had little electoral success.  At the time of the 2024 convention, its website showed elected officials in seven states, mostly at the township level.  The party's best showing in a presidential race, 0.19%, occurred in 1996.  The 2020 Constitution Party presidential ticket of former coal executive Don Blankenship and William Mohr produced the party's worst national showing since its inaugural 1992 campaign, tallying a bit more than 60,000 votes nationally or 0.04% of the vote.  Blankenship seemed a weak candidate, chosen for his personal wealth, lacking a clear strategy, and preoccupied by trying to clear his name after his 2016 conviction "for conspiracy to willfully violate mine health standards." 

In these early stages of the 2024 race, coming off the convention, Terry and Broden are showing more energy, focus and and ambition than the 2020 ticket.  In his acceptance speech, Terry declared, "We will raise at least one and a half million dollars; we might raise two and a half million."  He pledged to recruit candidates.  At the center of the campaign, however, is the strategy of running graphic anti-abortion ads.  That may well generate controversy and news, but whether it will it persuade people not to vote for Biden or just turn people off from Terry-Broden is debatable.



Roll Call Vote

Terry
Skousen
Venable
Cummings
Tittle
McIntyre

AZ

10




10
CO

18




18
FL*







GA
10





10
IL
7





7
MD
5





5
MI
19

8



27
MN
7

2


1
10
MO

10
11



21
NV

15




15
NH

3




3
NC
23





23
PA
11


2
1

14
SC


11



11
TN
9





9
UT

18




18
WV

5




5
WI
19





19
WY

1

2
1
1
5
FL
34





34

144
80
32
4
2
2
264
Florida was initially not present, and was the last state to cast its votes.
Needed to win: 133.


In response to an email query, Constitution Party National Chairman Jim Clymer stated, "Our bylaws provide the formula which determines the number of delegates to which each state is entitled. Each state affiliate gets a minimum of two delegate votes.  Additional delegate votes are awarded for performance in such things as ballot access, attendance at national committee meetings and payment of the annual assessment."

_______



RESOURCES:
Randall Terry for President  |  RandallTerry.com  |  @randallterry 
Stephen Broden facebook page

A couple of communications from the  Terry campaign.

Constitution Party

Bernard Nathanson.  "Operation Rescue: Domestic Terrorism or Legitimate Civil Rights Protest?"  Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. 1989.

Randall Terry.  "Founder of Operation Rescue Randall Terry" by Terry Gross.  WHYY Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  July 20, 1993.  See also: Rob Schenck.  "Once Militantly Anti-Abortion, Evangelical Minister Now Lives 'With Regret.'" by Terry Gross.  WHYY Fresh Air with Terry Gross, July 11, 2018.

Lili Levy.  "The FCC, Indecency, and Anti-Abortion Political Advertising." 
3 Vill. Sports & Ent. L.J. 85 (1996). via University of Miami School of Law Institutional Repository.

Lynn Vincent.  “Appalling Appeal?” World, June 14, 2003.

Jamiel Terry.  "A Rising Son."  Out, May 2004

Randall Terry.  "He's Bringing Great Sadness to Our Home."  BeliefNet, April 2004.
 
Nick Hopkins, Suzanne Zeedyk, Fiona Raitt.  "Visualising abortion: emotion discourse and fetal imagery in a contemporary abortion debate."  Social Scence & Medicine, Vol. 61, Issue 2, July 2005, Pages 393-403.  warning: jargon alert!

Simcha Fisher.  "Eight Reasons Not to Use Graphic Abortion Images at the March for Life."  National Catholic Register, Jan. 23, 2013.

Past Showings of Constitution Party / USTP Presidential Candidates
2020
Don Blankenship/William Mohr
60,124
0.04
2016
Darrell Castle/Scott Bradley
203,107
0.15
2012
Virgil Goode, Jr./James Clymer
122,417
0.09
2008
Charles Baldwin/Darrell Castle
199,880
0.15
2004
Michael Peroutka/Charles Baldwin
144,650
0.12
2000
Howard Phillips/J. Curtis Frazier
98,027
0.09
1996
Howard Phillips/Herb Titus
184,820
0.19
1992
Howard Phillips/Albion Knight, Jr.
43,400
0.04