The Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) will hold its first statewide convention in a decade on Saturday, Oct. 17, with the aim of revitalizing Alaska’s third largest political party.
Scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mat-Su Resort in Wasilla, the face-mask-optional gathering aims to chart a new direction for the party, which claims nearly 18,000 members.
Acting AIP Chairman Bob Bird is hoping to rejuvenate the AIP, which was first recognized as a political party in Alaska in 1984.
The AIP advocates for states’ rights, individual rights, property rights and full compliance with the U.S. and Alaska Constitutions. The party has languished in recent years, but Bird said the AIP is now growing again and currently is about 25% of the size of the Alaska Democratic Party.
In May, long-time activist and AIP Chairman Lynette Clarke died and leadership of the party passed to Bird, a U.S. Senate candidate in 1990 and 2008.
The upcoming convention will feature two-time U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller, Dr. Nick Begich, current AIP U.S. Senate candidate John Wayne Howe, AIP State Senate candidate Greg Madden, and 2012 Alaska Republican Party Chairman Elect & 2014 Republican primary gubernatorial candidate Russ Millette.
At its most recent convention in 2010 the party platform called for the following:
- A constitutional amendment abolishing and prohibiting all property taxes.
- Repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska in conformance with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, and the 10th Amendment of the federal constitution.
- Protect the Alaska Permanent Fund, Permanent fund earnings, earnings reserve fund and individual Permanent Fund Dividends.
- Establish the direct popular election of the attorney general, all judges, and magistrates.
- Affirm every possible right-of-way established under R.S. 2477 of July 26, 1866, before its repeal by the Federal Land Management Policy Act of October 21, 1976.
- Support the right of the individual to keep and bear arms.
- Support the rights of parents to privately or home school their children.
- Support the privatization of government services.
- Oppose the government borrowing money for any purpose other than capital improvements.
- Strengthen the traditional family and support individual accountability without government interference or regulation.
- The repeal of Roe v. Wade and other unconstitutional decisions of the U.S. and Alaskan supreme courts.
One of the more unique aspects of the party is its claim that Alaska’s statehood placed it on unequal terms with her sister states and needs to be remedied in many ways.
Primarily, the AIP believes that the 1945 U.N. Charter and Treaty ought to have compelled the federal government to offer Alaska the same options as other former colonies, identified as “Non-Self-Governing Territories.” This included the options of continued territorial status, statehood, commonwealth or independence. The U.N. included Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Guam, Dutch East Indies, French West Africa, British Guyana and many more.
For 2020 the AIP has four candidates running for office: John Wayne Howe for U.S. Senate, Greg Madden for Alaska Senate District P, David Nees for Alaska House District 22, and Timothy Huit for Alaska House District 23.
In addition to presentations by invited speakers, the Oct. 17 convention will include updates to the party’s platform and election of party officers. Registration for the event is $50 for AIP members and $20 for non-member commentary privileges. Non-AIP members may re-register their party affiliation (or lack thereof) at the door, while non-members may comment when recognized by the chairman but will have no vote. Rooms are available at the Mat-Su Resort.