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March 1, 2021

From MIRS News (Lansing)

Patriot Party Candidates Would Have To Swear Oath To Platform

A proposed Michigan Patriot Party would align "with what the original Republican Party would say" and get back to "the conservative Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence," a west Michigan man seeking to officially form the party says.

Anyone running as a party candidate would need to sign a contract stating they'll "abide by the party platforms, and if they don't, they'll be forced to resign," said party founder and Zeeland resident Brian VanDUSSEN.

A copy of that is provided on the party's website, which has the candidate in question "solemnly swear" to "uphold the dictates of TPP PLATFORM completely, wholeheartedly and unwavering. I will not deviate from these dictates as a candidate, or elected official, of and for TPP," with the TPP referring to the Patriot Party.

Before the candidate were to sign, the oath has the signer affirm that "I understand this Contract is binding on me and is enforceable under law."

VanDussen is working on getting the Patriot Party started in Michigan, which was tentatively slated for Board of State Canvassers (BSC) consideration Thursday, but the paperwork didn't come to fruition in time for the meeting.

VanDussen said he and the party's three-member board are looking to get candidates going in local races so as to "attack at the bottom and then kind of work our way up." He said he doesn't see getting a Patriot Party candidate ready for the 2022 gubernatorial, but if there's a "true patriot" he said they'd have no problem endorsing.

And VanDussen isn't one of the three board members for his new party -- he's keeping himself detached from the party he founded in case he were to run for office, he said.

Starting the party began with just VanDussen, a father of four who also described himself as a Christian conservative. But since he began, "there's been an outpouring of people interested in helping." He said he has people in 20 different counties who want to serve as representatives of the party.

As far as what the Patriot Party is all about, VanDussen said "the biggest thing" is "just getting back to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and having people stand up for what's right, doing what's right when it's needed most."

Among the platform principles listed on the party website include adherents stating their belief "in our Constitution and Bill of Rights as written," as well as "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" and "an America First Policy."

The party advocates for term limits for lawmakers, and that government should have no influence over religion, "but that religion can influence government." The platform also said the government should not allow "BIG TECH" to suppress or censure free speech.

VanDussen said his Facebook page for the party was taken off the site.

Asked how he would distinguish the Patriot Party from the GOP, VanDussen said, "You're going to see more of a . . . patriotism. I mean, (former President Donald) TRUMP brought it back . . . to love America, to love the flag."

According to the Secretary of State (SOS), to gain access to the general election ballot, a new political party must get 42,506 valid petition signatures and at least 100 signatures from each of at least half of the state's congressional districts, and a 180-day circulation period applies. The filing deadline for 2022 is still a work in progress, however, said Aneta KIERSNOWSKI, spokesperson for the SOS.

In January, The Wall Street Journal reported Trump talked with associates about starting a new party he would call the Patriot Party. According to Snopes, the former president hasn't actually done that, and his campaign filed paperwork to say it had no affiliation with a Patriot Party that filed with the Federal Elections Commission.

Asked about Trump floating the Patriot Party, VanDussen said he "doesn't know much about that" but that interest in starting a third party was what he responded to.

"I keep telling people this isn't about Trump. This is about the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence," he said.

VanDussen cut his conservative teeth listening to the now-late Rush LIMBAUGH and nearly considered at one point challenging his congressional representative, U.S. Rep. Bill HUIZENGA (R-Zeeland), but ran out of time to get a run together.

Around this time last year, he became a Republican precinct delegate. After Gov. Gretchen WHITMER shut down the state due to COVID-19, VanDussen said it left him wondering what more he could, including the possibility of running for governor as a Republican.

But after the presidential election and "all the potential fraud that was going on," VanDussen said, "none of the . . . legislative branch here were going to take it on or at least . . . show . . . the possible fraud."

He cited the "big movement with patriotism" that was floating around on as social media as his grounds to start researching how to start a political party, "and so I ran with it."

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