Today’s Throwback Thursday (yes, I know it’s Friday) article is the first article I ever wrote for the Independent Political Report (IPR). It was published on December 31st, 2012:
On December 1, 2012, the Constitution Party held their National Committee Meeting in Saint Louis, Missouri. One of the invited guest speakers was Robby Wells, who back in November announced his 2016 presidential candidacy as an independent. Wells had run for the Constitution Party’s presidential nomination this year in April, but came in 3rd place, with 58 votes, or 14.6%.
Wells was introduced by CP National Vice-Chairman Randy Stufflebeam, who said he had received many inquiries from people as to what Robby Wells was up to. Stufflebeam decided that the best way to set the record straight was to invite Wells to speak to the National Committee meeting.
Wells mostly used his 15 minute speech to promote himself and his campaign, throwing out nifty campaign slogans like “we are not the left wing or the right ring but the bird that sits in the middle.” He also mentioned that he was a national spokesman for the Clarion Call to Unite Committee (CCTUC), headed by Nevada CP activist Cody Quirk, which seeks to unite various constitutionalist parties like the America First Party and Independent American Party and bring them into the Constitution Party fold. He explained that running as an independent was a strategic plan designed to appeal to members of these parties so as to eventually unite them with the CP.
At the end of his speech, Wells took two questions from the audience. The first person inquired about his affiliation with the Reform Party and his support for Virgil Goode. Wells said he did support Goode and stated that he has always been listed as an independent. Earlier, in reference to Goode, Wells noted that “Virgil was so good that I stole his cousin to be my campaign manager.” Aaron Lyles, the present campaign manager for the Robby Wells 2016 campaign, is Goode’s first cousin.
The second individual, noticeably irritated with Wells, asked him if he had paid the $100+ fee that CP members paid to attend the meeting. Wells, after being pressed, admitted that he had not, and the CP member told him that since he had come to campaign, he should “support our group”. He elaborated that what Wells was doing did not feel right with him. Wells, unshaken and still smiling, said that he would cut him a check. After that, there were no more questions, and Wells left, saying he had to catch a flight.
Kristen Meghan, the Chicago press secretary for Wells’s campaign, issued a statement on this last question:
I just want to clarify one of the questions that was asked at the end of the speech. The Robby Wells Restoration team funded their own way to the event, we were invited and the fee one man referred to covered room/food/drinks, which we did not utilize.
Peter Gemma, a member of the CP’s National Executive Committee, attended the meeting. He had the following observations:
Wells was not well received…Outside of his entourage…there was only a smattering of polite applause. He left lots of questions and derisive talk in his wake.
CP leaders and grass roots activists at the CP mtg. couldn’t remember anything he said or did to support Virgil Goode. When asked points blank, there was an excruciating 10 second pause before he said, he, um, supported the CP ticket; he offered no specifics and said he was in a rush to catch a plane. Now that he’s running full steam as an independent (since the day after the election), inquiring minds want to know: so, how’s the “continuing to be active in the CP party” thing working out?
In response to Peter Gemma, Robby Wells said this:
I was invited by the Vice Chair of the CP. Did anyone in the CP donate to my campaign when I was traveling around the country helping the CP with ballot access? There were several promises broken by CP members, but I have let that rest. You see, I believe that trivial differences and being small minded is what keeps things from growing. As far as Virgil is concerned, I put out a statement congratulating him. He and I spoke after the National Convention, and I offered to campaign with him. He had my phone number, but I did not receive a call.
Trent Hill, IPR contributor, responded to Wells by writing this comment:
You left the Reform Party, got crushed in the CP convention (And swore you’d stay in the party), decided to try to run as a Republican and win Ron Paul delegates (and won zero), and then decided to run as an Independent. All in about a 10 month period. That’s the definition of inconsistent and opportunistic.
When asked by this reporter if he was seeking the CP nod in 2016, Wells said that his goal was to bring all “Constitutional Conservative Parties” back together and unite them with the Constitution Party to gain traction and produce winning campaigns.
Whatever Wells ultimately decides to do, and regardless of what people think of him, one thing is for sure: this is not the last time that we’ll be hearing from this football coach turned presidential candidate.
A video of Wells speaking to the CP meeting is available below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmlp1jWL72k