Party summit rallies for Constitution, God; Bundy, Sheriff Mack featured; STGnews Videocast

(L-R) Sheriff Richard Mark, Cliven Bundy, and Wayne Hill. Mack and Bundy spoke at the Independent American Party's summit in St. George at the Lexington Hotel. Hill is the party's candidate for Utah's 2nd Congressional District, St. George, Utah, Aug. 2, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Why vote for one of two evils? This was a question posed at the National Independent American Party’s summit Saturday as speakers and candidates stressed there is an alternative to the so-called two-party political system. Two featured speakers – Arizona’s former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy – capped off the event, held at the Lexington Hotel & Conference Center in St. George.

“We need a second true political party,” said Gary Van Horn, the party candidate for Utah House District 58.

The Democrats and Republicans are wings on the same buzzard,” he said.

While a call for an alternative to main stream political parties was a prominent topic at the summit, so was discussion over a need to save the Constitution from being trampled over by a seemingly corrupted federal government. Reliance on God was also a prime topic.

“Unless the Lord fight the battle, they that fight do so in vain,” IAP National Chairman Kelly Gneiting said, paraphrasing scripture. In other words, he said, if God isn’t a focus of the party, what its members hope to accomplish won’t matter much.

“American society from top to bottom was founded on religion,” said Zack Strong, IAP candidate for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” he said.

(report continues below)

Videocast by Samantha Tommer, St. George News

Formed in Utah in 1998, the Independent American Party was inspired by a speech given by late U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson titled “The Proper Role of Government.” Benson is also well known to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served as the president of the church from 1985 till his death in 1994.

We are a nonparty party,” Gneiting said, emphasizing that no one in the party should be caught up in “the spirit of party,” which he described as being self-serving. That spirit, he said, is evident in members of congress who belong to the two major parties.

The IAP is always asking people to join the party and add their numbers to the fight to save the country and the Constitution.

“We are very, very serious about saving the Constitution,” Gneiting said. “We are a drop of water in a river of patriots. Now we need to gather that river … because it’s going to take a river of patriots.”

IAP candidates of note

While each of the candidates can be found on the Independent American Party website, Southern Utah voters will be able to vote for the following party candidates on the ballot this November.

Bill Wayne, a co-founder of the IAP, is running for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. He said his opponent, Republican Chris Stewart, has a poor voting record when it comes to favoring the Constitution. Wayne, who has run for public office before, said he will vote for the Constitution 100 percent of the time if elected.

If there was any piece of legislation he could undo, Wayne said it would be the establishment of the IRS and the 17th Amendment, which ushered in the direct election of senators to congress in 1913. Before then, senators were selected by their state legislatures.

He said he would also do away with the Federal Reserve, often referencing the book “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by G. Edward Griffin.

Nihla Judd is also running on the IAP ticket. She will be running against Republican incumbent Don Ipson and Democratic challenger Cheryl Hawker for Utah House District 75, representing the St. George area.

As a candidate, Judd said she receives many emails that, in general, ask her position on state funding of social programs. What those emails told her, she said, was that many people want her to redistribute wealth, or taxpayer money, via such programs which she described as act of “legal plunder.”

“This is one of the great issues we deal with,” she said.

Read more on Judd here: Residents meet with district, education officials over Common Core, SAGE testing

To prospective voters, Judd asks they not walk into a voting booth and vote for someone they don’t know, or simply because of the letter after the candidate’s name. Rather, actually get to know who you are sending to represent you in the legislature and congress and see if they truly do uphold the principles and values you believe in.

To this effect, the IAP is pushing an initiative called “PEOPL,” or “People Electing Only Principled Leaders.” It is a grass roots effort to find and support candidates who lack “the spirit of party” and uphold Constitutional principles.

Highlights: Mack and Bundy speak

Attendance at the summit ran between 20-40 people in the morning, though swelled to over 100 as people came to hear Sheriff Richard Mack and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy speak. Their speeches capped off the daylong gathering as both men touched on points surrounding the Bundy Ranch standoff with the Bureau of Land Management-Nevada and what they saw as examples of government overstepping its constitutionally-established limits.

Mack is the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and a part of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. He has become a featured speaker in conservative circles after he and other sheriffs sued the Clinton Administration in the 1990s in relation to the Brady Bill.

The states decide what is constitutional, not the federal government,” Mack said.

Mack’s speech was, in part, related to a book he just wrote titled “Are You a David? America’s Last Hope Volume II.” In the book he writes that anyone from public officials and law enforcement to the everyday citizen can be a David to the Goliath of an encroaching federal government. The last chapter details the episode at Bundy Ranch.

“We can talk about all the horrible things that happened at the Bundy Ranch for several days,” he said, “and that’s not including all the horrible things going on in our country.”

Aside from the standoff, Mack also mentioned the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and ever-increasing restrictive gun laws.It’s every American’s right to own a firearm, he said, and it is none of the government’s business to know if he owns one or not.

Read about the Bundy-BLM standoff here: Range war: BLM withdraws from Clark County, cattle released after standoff; Photo gallery

Both Bundy and Mack spoke to the importance of the county sheriff in dealing with the federal government. While Mack said sheriffs have the power to tell federal agencies “no,” Bundy expressed disappointment in Nevada’s Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie. The sheriff could have stopped the Bureau of Land Management from taking the actions it did against himself and his family, Bundy said, but the sheriff didn’t.

“He’s supposed to protect our lives, liberty, and property,” Bundy said of Gillespie and sheriffs in general.

Bundy said the conflict between himself and the BLM that led to the April 12 standoff has a physical, political, legal, and spiritual aspect to it. A person really needs to understand each facet of the issue to get the full picture of what happened. The media he said, primarily covered the physical aspect of what happened that day.

The Nevada rancher shared some spiritual aspects of the standoff and the days following, pausing on occasion to compose himself as he became somewhat emotional. Bundy also gave credit to the Almighty for things ending as peacefully as they did. He said:

If the standoff with the Bundys was wrong, would the Lord have been with us?

Bundy went on to reiterate the belief that the Constitution was also inspired by God and, if that be the case, “then isn’t it scripture?” he said. “Why don’t we live by it then? Isn’t our problem only the fact we don’t follow the Constitution?

Ultimately, Bundy said the American people as a whole – no matter their their politics, religion or ethnicity – need to stand together to keep the federal government in check, and make something like the Bundy Ranch standoff never happens again.

Additional coverage of Bundy’s address to the IAP will be published separately.

Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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  • Red Rocker August 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    We now have a third evil to choose from. At least the other two look better.

  • An actual Independent August 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Independent? A few hundred disgruntled Mormons who chant in unison and who want to claim the U.S. Constitution as scripture? What about the Amendments thereto-one of which specifically prohibits the establishment of a state religion?
    These folks look weirder every time they open their mouths.

    • Gary August 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      I listened to the whole thing as well as reading the entire article. I must have missed where anyone was advocating for a state religion. Maybe you could enlighten me where that was referenced.

      • Blunderful World August 3, 2014 at 11:44 pm

        Are you sure you listened? Are you sure you read the article? Seems to me it was full of useless LDS bull…… It’s hard enough separating church from state around here, WITHOUT these idiots. Are you really that dense?

  • ChickenLittle August 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Bundy is a fool. Soon enough there will be a federal warrant for his arrest, and he will spend the remainder of his angry, redneck, backwoods life in prison. The Feds will freeze his accounts and seize his assets. His legacy will be a one page Wikipedia article, and his family will be on a terrorist watch list for the next 10 generations. The only ones who will care will be a few gun totin cowboys and all the lawyers.

    • The libitarian August 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Praise those who have the courage to question , and stand up for what they believe . Not you chicken allot

  • bob August 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm


  • Char August 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I guess Bundy needs his 15 minutes of fame again, must feel out of the loop. He needs to just back off.

  • elliemae100 August 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Cliven Bundy doesn’t recognize the federal government. Yet he drives on federally funded roads and benefits from all sorts of government programs. Other ranchers pay their grazing fees, yet he’s above the law when it comes to paying fees & taxes with which he disagrees. He makes racist comments and had no problem placing women in the “line of fire” when the government attempted to seize the cattle he’s grazed for 20 years without payment. He is the perfect face of this new political party.

    • The libitarian August 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      The women moved in front of him by choice with many others that have the courage to stand up for what they believe. The roads Bundy drives on he paid taxes for . What has that got to do with cattle grazing .Bundy has the right to question what we get in return for the tax are fee money. I know many ranchers I don’t know a single one that’s a dead beat . but I do know a lot of dead beat politicians …….elliemae do you really believe those women where with Bundy against there will? Are you really a feminist?

      • Flush Him August 4, 2014 at 8:05 am

        The women and children were goaded to the front by their cowardly men.

  • Calfing August 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    The photo of Sheriff Richard Mark, Cliven Bundy and Wayne Hill causes me to think of the three stooges, except the three stooges were honorable men. Bundy also looks like he’s in that final stage of pregnancy and he’s getting ready to calve.

    • The libitarian August 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      You don’t know ranchers, it’s a different culture, they work from day light to dark , they have calluses on there hands . They are close to god . The weather can make are break them. There wife’s work just as hard and will fight along with there husbands. if you been a rancher as long as Bundy has it’s hard for me to believe he’s a dead beat are a stooge. The only stooge is a tax payer that gives his money up without question.
      Politicians are not stooges but Wiley dead beats.

      • Blunderful World August 3, 2014 at 11:46 pm

        Do you spike the kool aid directly into your veins?

        • Lance August 4, 2014 at 7:17 am

          Does eschewing moral codes make you feel better about yourself? Weird.

      • Calfing August 4, 2014 at 12:06 am

        Au contraire! I am quite familiar with farming and ranching. Hard work, yes. Government welfare slug and tax evader mooch like Bundy, no. This guy is disgusting. Do not place him in the same category as honest, hard working, law abiding farmers and ranchers who are proud of their country. Bundy is a horse’s … as are his worshippers and followers.
        Ed. ellipsis.

    • Raul August 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      We all have the right to speak up and speak out when ever we feel like we have been taken advantage of by a government entity or anybody else for that matter. If you don’t believe this or don’t agree, then you have been listening to the wrong people.
      The current administration would like everyone to just be quiet as they run roughshod over all of our rights. If anyone believes that citizens are “stooges” just because they want to speak out , then you are a FOOL.

      • Bender August 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm

        The act of speaking out does not always accompany rational speech. Your deadbeat rancher is a loon.

  • Delong August 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I can’t believe anyone even attended. To even give this guy a platform is disgraceful. Good luck with the FBI Bundy!

  • Red Rocker August 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Oafs like these are becoming too common. We should be grateful to live in abundance and peace.

  • Bailey logue August 4, 2014 at 2:28 am

    This man is full of courage, strength, faith and pride. He is proud of his country and of his forefathers who fought and died for us -we the people- to be free!!
    We aren’t free anymore people WE ARE SLAVES to the government.
    Wake up and realize that without men like this we get walked on day after day.

    • Flush Him August 4, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Give us a break. None of them did anything for this country. They’re just a bunch of free-loaders who contribute nothing to this country, just put their hands out wanting everything. His followers are just like him, unable to separate facts from his fantasies. These people are a disgrace to this country.

    • Flush Him August 4, 2014 at 8:14 am

      I think his followers are slaves to idiocy.

  • JSD August 4, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Just what the country needs, a political party controlled by the LDS church. Now we have three ways to waste our votes.

  • delong August 4, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Since when is it okay to steal, Bundy? Did you make an exemption for yourself at the time you decided you were above the law?

  • Garrett August 6, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Wow! The wolves come out when anyone mentions God, Freedom or the U.S. Constitution! If God is Love some of these folks are Hate!
    Instead of the God of our Forefathers, do they worship the Great God Government? Are they Secular Humanists, worshiping themselves?
    They seem angry, unhappy and calm reasoning is foreign to them.

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