American Third Party report recently submitted interview questions to J.R. Myers, one of the two main candidates currently seeking the Constitution Party’s presidential nomination, which will be decided April 13th-16th in Salt Lake City, Utah. Today, Mr. Myers submitted his responses to us. The interview is below:
1) Before we discuss your presidential campaign, could you provide some background information about yourself?
More can be found at: http://jrmyersforpresident.com/bio
I was born in Great Falls, Montana, January 3, 1963. I am the descendant of pioneers from several Northern & Central European countries, as well as the Cree/Metis people of Canada and Montana.
I graduated from Charles Marion Russell (CMR) High School and while there, was a Peer Counselor, President of the Native American Club and a National Merit Semifinalist. I graduated a semester early and became the youngest Licensed Realtor in Montana. At that time, I was elected by the Great Falls Native American community to serve on the Board of Directors of the Great Falls Native American Association and Health Clinic. I was also a founding member of the Great Falls NAACP along with the late Reverend Philip Caldwell. I was a Reagan Republican and was later elected as a Republican Precinct Committeeman and Served on the Flathead County Republican Central Committee. I earned my B.S. in Liberal Arts, Cum Laude from the University of Great Falls, where I eventually earned both a Master of Human Services and Master of Professional Counseling degrees. My political resume includes affiliation, service and leadership in the Montana Republican, Libertarian and Reform Parties, the last two which I chaired. Since returning to Alaska in 2003, I was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party for seven years, rising to become AIP Vice Chair. In 2010 I founded and continue to Chair the Alaska Constitution Party, which is a formal affiliate of the national Constitution Party.
I have dedicated my life to the service of others, striving to provide hope and healing in the Last Frontier. I am stepping forth in faith to offer my service to the people of The United States of America as their President in 2016.
2) You were a candidate in the Alaskan gubernatorial election in 2014, netting 2.5% of the vote. Do you feel this was a strong finish, and did you view it as a launching pad for your presidential campaign? What compelled you to run for the highest office in the land?
I had truly hoped we would achieve 3%, so that the ACP would have become an established party with ballot access in Alaska. Nonetheless, 2.5% was a strong first time showing, nearly 7,000 votes, and represents the balance of power. We believe that we changed the outcome of the Governor’s race and helped topple Governor Parnell. We helped publicize the ACP and enhance the political dialogue in Alaska.
In retrospect, this could be seen as a launching pad for my presidential campaign, but that was never the intention. My interest to run was spurred by a phone call last summer from Mark Seidenburg of the CA AIP, who asked me to consider running for POTUS. After prayer, thought and discussion, I decided, why not?
3) According to your website, you joined the Constitution Party in 2010 and founded the Alaskan Constitution Party. Who did you support for the Constitution Party’s 2012 presidential nomination? Did you support Virgil Goode, who not so long ago endorsed Donald Trump, in the general election?
I actually became affiliated with the CP in 2003, when I relocated to Alaska, and joined the Alaskan Independence Party. In 2007, I became the official liaison liaison between the AIP and National CP. I supported Darrell Castle. I thought the Goode campaign was lackluster. His loyalties were obviously not with the CP. Donald Trump is not a Constitutionist.
4) Why did you join the Constitution Party as opposed to another third party, such as for example the Libertarian Party?
I had belonged to the Libertarian Party for years in Montana. I helped get it on, and keep it on the ballot there. I was on the Executive Committee and eventually became Chairman. I left due to disagreements about the Life issue and Faith. I then went to the Montana Reform Party, becoming Chairman, and placing Patrick Buchanan on the Montana ballot in 2000.
Since returning to Alaska, the AIP& now the Alaska Constitution Party seem to be the best fit for me.
5) What Constitution Party events have you committed to attend before the Constitution Party’s national convention in April?
I campaigned in Montana last November. I spoke in person to the Florida CP in December. I recently participated in a three candidate debate in Boise, hosted by the ID CP. I also plan on participating in a couple more debates via Skype or telephone. The next will be on Tuesday, March 8 and will be hosted by the TN CP. Then the Missouri CP State Committee Meeting call in Saturday, 3/19/16. Otherwise, I do not plan on physically leaving Alaska for any CP events prior to the Salt Lake City convention.
6) What are the four or five most important issues in your view that you will be campaigning on?
I Support the Seven Principles Of The Constitution Party:
Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death; I oppose euthanasia and clinician assisted suicide.
Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual; Election Reform, Citizen Education and Activism.
Stop the Endless Wars, Including the Drug War and the Prison/Industrial complex.
Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted;
Property: Each individual’s right to own and steward personal property without government burden;
Constitution And Bill Of Rights: interpreted according to the actual intent of the founding fathers; Restore Constitutional balance and the Rule of Law to government. Rescind unlawful executive orders. Expect Congress to exercise it’s proper purvue and scope of authority. Foster the understanding that most government belongs at the state and local level. Promote individual responsibility and accountability.
State’s Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, is reserved to the states or to the people.
American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances. Borders, Secure them all. North, South, East and West.
National Constitution Party Platform: http://constitutionparty.com/OurPrinciples/2012Platform/tabid/127/Default.aspx
7) If you do not secure the Constitution Party’s presidential nomination, will you seek the vice presidential nomination?
I would not rule out that consideration. I will also continue on the CA AIP primary election ballot in June.
8) If you feel comfortable with sharing this information, would you be able to say how much money you’ve raised so far? Also, do you have any campaign staff, paid or volunteer?
I will say that while I have raised some funds, it would be good to raise substantially more. I do have some volunteer campaign staff. I have a campaign Treasure, a Campaign Chaplain and a Mississippi Campaign Coordinator.
9) How would you describe yourself politically: as a paleoconservative, constitutional conservative, or something else?
I would describe myself as a Constitutionist. This would place me more with the paleoconservatives and libertarians.
10) Do you support a noninterventionist foreign policy in line with the Constitution Party’s platform? If you had been in Congress at the time, would have voted, unlike Ron Paul, against the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Afghanistan? Would you have opposed the Iraq war?
Yes, I believe in Defense of America, not foreign imperialist adventurism. I have a nointerventionist foreign policy view in line with the CP platform. As a Congressman, I would have voted against use of force in Afghanistan. I opposed the Iraq wars.
11) How would you describe your economic views? Are you familiar with the Austrian School of Economics, and do you support some of its tenets, or do you favor a policy of economic protectionism?
I believe in regulated free markets. We must guard against crony capitalism/fascism as well as other forms of collectivism such as socialism. Basically, economics should be a vehicle for liberty, not oppression.
12) What are your views on the Israel/ Palestine situation? Do you favor either side in the conflict, or do you believe the U.S. should stay out of the issue completely?
I favor allowing the people of Israel to sort out their own domestic issues without undue international interference in their state sovereignty. The U.S. should maintain peaceful and neutral relationships with the other nations, when possible. Our relationships should be based upon trade and cultural exchange.
13) There are some who say the Constitution Party has theocratic elements within party ranks. Have you noticed anything like this? What are your thoughts on the separation of church and state, and do you believe America is a Christian nation and that Biblical principles are enshrined in America’s founding documents and should play a deciding role in how America is governed?
There is an a general aknowledgement of Christianity within the CP. This does not violate any separation doctrine. I believe America has a distinct Judeo-Christian heritage. I believe the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are founded in large part upon biblical principles. My faith allows me to be tolerant of others who wish to live in peace and harmony in our communities. I believe that we function better as a society when there is a certain core consensus regarding worldview. I do not believe in excluding any citizen of good will from full civic participation regardless of faith oriention.
14)What can the Constitution Party and specifically your campaign do to generate interest among the segment of the youth population that plans on voting?
We can congratulate them on their interest in voting. We can educate them about the impact they can have by being civically involved. We can show them a real alternative to the imploding big box parties. We can demonstrate how they can magnify their voices by joining with CP campaigns across the country. We can offer them leadership positions. We can convince them that together we can reclaim our nation!
15) On February 15th, Tom Hoefling, the America’s Party 2012 presidential candidate, became the latest individual to jump into Constitution Party’s presidential race. What is your opinion of Hoefling, and do you believe he ideologically fits the Constitution Party profile?
Mr. Hoefling is more of a Neo-Conservative. This is why he’s not a good fit for the CP nomination. His past involvement has been damaging. Also, he’s spent the past eight years building a rival organization in opposition to the CP, and was involved in the California controversy with the American Independent Party.
I would like to thank Mr. Myers for granting us the interview. In the next few days, ATPR will reach out to Scott Copeland, the other main candidate for the Constitution Party’s presidential nod, for an interview. – Krzysztof Lesiak