FACTOID # 10: The total number of state executions in 2005 was 60: 19 in Texas and 41 elsewhere. The racial split was 19 Black and 41 White.
 
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Encyclopedia > Southern Party
The original Southern Party logo bore the third Confederate States national flag in the form of a shield with the 15 Southern states depicted in the white field, between the canton and red vertical stripe.
The original Southern Party logo bore the third Confederate States national flag in the form of a shield with the 15 Southern states depicted in the white field, between the canton and red vertical stripe.

The Southern Party (SP) is a center-right, regionalist American political party organized in 1999 and briefly affiliated with the League of the South ("LOS"), an organization that advocates greater regional sovereignty for the Southern states of the American federal union. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Political Parties redirects here. ... The League of the South is a Southern nationalist organization whose ultimate goal is a free and independent Southern republic. ...

Contents

History

The merits of a political party representing the regional interests of the Southern United States and border states were first discussed in December 1998 by James Langcuster (who has since left the Southern movement entirely), George Kalas and Michael Hill at a League of the South conference held in Monroe, Louisiana. The League authorized the formation of a Southern Party Exploratory Committee (SPEC), which subsequently was formally organized at a meeting in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in January 1999. During this meeting George Kalas was elected to chair the committee. The Southern Party had its first electoral victory when Wayne Willingham was elected Mayor of West Point, Alabama, on August 22, 2000 [1]. Historic Southern United States. ... The city of Monroe is the parish seat of Ouachita Parish, in the US state of Louisiana. ... Tuscaloosa is a city in west central Alabama in the southern United States. ...


Break with the League of the South

The SPEC operated until May of 1999 when internal disagreements over ideology and strategy, exacerbated by personal animosities among some members of the committee, led to the fracture of the SPEC into two competing factions. One faction, which continued to operate under the name SPEC, remained loosely affiliated with the League, while the other faction, led by Kalas, Jerry Baxley, and Thomas Reed, among others, formed the Southern National Committee (SNC), whose purpose was to launch the SP as soon as possible. Continued disagreements between the SNC-led faction and the League of the South prompted the SNC to vote for a formal break with the League in May 1999.


While the decision to break with the League stemmed from several causes, the leadership of the SNC faction also had become increasingly concerned about the League of the South's apparent unwillingness to purge elements from its ranks that had become more vocal and seemingly more influential within the previous few months.


For this reason, many within the SNC faction viewed the break positively - as a new foundation on which the nascent Southern movement could begin constructing a fresh, updated vision of regionalism.


The SPEC and SNC factions continued to compete for the allegiance of Southern political activists throughout the spring and summer of 1999. Even so, while the SPEC faction continued to enjoy the official support of the League of the South, it appeared to gain little political traction as the SNC-sponsored Asheville launch approached. Following the successful conclusion of the Asheville launch in August 1999, the SNC-led faction, in the view of many in the Southern movement, appeared be the better positioned to spearhead a Southern political effort.


Launch

The official launch was attended by approximately 200 party supporters and a bevy of reporters from national and international media, including ABC News, NPR, Voice of America and the BBC. The highlight of the event was the presentation of flags of the Southern States and the reading and signing of The Asheville Declaration which articulated the SP's paleoconservative founding philosophy. The party launch received substantial and, in the view of most SP organizers, largely positive, media coverage, which, in turn, sparked a significant number of inquiries from across the South and from around the world. In the years following the Asheville launch, as interest in Southern nationalist movement has waned for lack of progress, the event has been characterized by many Southern regionalists and nationalists as the high-water mark of the Southern movement. Even some of the most implacable SP critics have characterized the launch as a notable achievement, garnering substantial media attention and, in the process, increasing public awareness of the nascent Southern regionalist/nationalist movement. ABC News logo ABC News Special Report ident, circa 2006 ABC News is a division of American television and radio network ABC, owned by The Walt Disney Company. ... NPR logo For other meanings of NPR see NPR (disambiguation) National Public Radio (NPR) is a private, not-for-profit corporation that sells programming to member radio stations; together they are a loosely organized public radio network in the United States. ... Voice of America logo Voice of America (VOA), is the official external radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal government. ... The term paleoconservative (sometimes shortened to paleo or paleocon when the context is clear) refers to an American branch of conservative Old Right thought that is frequently at odds with the current of conservative thought as espoused by the Republican Party elite. ...


Secession Ploy

Although in its public statements and literature the party advocated peaceful secession of the Southern States from the American union and the restoration of an independent Southern nation, the organizers of the SP did not believe that secession was actually an achievable short-term goal. The organizers' real goal was working to achieve devolution of political power from the federal government back to the state governments. For other uses, see Secession (disambiguation). ...


Although party organizers did believe that secession remained a constitutional right of the states, the party's advocacy of secession was mainly a ploy designed to gain media attention and a tactical move intended to differentiate the SP from other minor parties within the crowded U.S. political landscape. The SP's founders believed that their controversial advocacy of peaceful secession via the ballot box would give the party a louder voice by garnering more media attention than they otherwise would have received.


Party organizers also noted that the nationalist Parti Québécois ("PQ") had successfully capitalized on the secessionist strategy, using it to win substantial regional autonomy for the province from the Canadian federal government, reflected in the two secessionist referendums it had managed in the previous two decades. The Parti Québécois [PQ] (translation: Quebecker Party) is a separatist political party that advocates national sovereignty for the Canadian province of Quebec and secession from Canada, as well as social democratic policies and has traditionally had support from the labour movement. ...


Southern Party leaders hoped to emulate the PQ's success by also posturing as an avowedly secessionist party. In time, SP organizers hoped, this strategy would force federal policymakers to devolve power back to the states. However, SP leaders understood this was achievable only if the party ultimately became politically competitive. While they never expected to become a major political force, SP leaders believed that it was conceivable that a respectable showing at the polls over a period of time would maneuver one or both of the major U.S. political parties into coopting some elements of the SP's devolutionary agenda, thereyby advancing the cause of regionalism.


Factionism

Despite its initial media success at Flat Rock, North Carolina, the SP soon squandered its momentum, falling to the same type of internal squabbling that resulted in the earlier rift within SPEC ranks. The rift was sparked by disagreement over a proposed increase in SNC dues for state party organizations. While seemingly a mundane administrative matter, it soon escalated out of control, culminating in a deep and ultimately irreconcilable split of the SNC into two factions - one led by party Chairman George Kalas, the other by party Vice-Chairman Jerry Baxley. A protracted power struggle ensued for control of the party's Web site, treasury and state-party organizational affiliations. In December 1999, SNC chairman George Kalas tried to end the bickering by voluntarily resigning his post. The SNC reluctantly accepted the resignation, though voting to recognize Kalas as "Chairman Emeritus" of the Southern Party in recognition of past services. Mike Crane, a Georgia activist and SNC member, whose immediate goal was to head the rift, subsequently was elected interim chairman. Even so, the conflict continued into the early months of 2000, sowing additional disillusioment and leading to a rapid outflow of dues-paying members from the state party organizations. Flat Rock is the name of some places in the U.S. state of North Carolina: Flat Rock, Henderson County, North Carolina Flat Rock, Surry County, North Carolina This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Realizing that the feud had undermined the party's viability, the Baxley faction finally agreed to a truce proposed by Crane. The factions began negotiating to reunite the SP, successfully concluding these talks in March 2000. New elections also were scheduled to elect a fresh slate of officers to lead the Southern National Committee. However, the subsequent election resulted in the surprise selection of Jerry Baxley by a narrow margin as the new national SNC chairman. Substantial voting irregularities, which, in the view of many, were orchestrated by the Baxley faction, produced additional disaffection within party ranks. This dissatisfaction was further exascerbated by what many viewed as Baxley's abrasive, erratic and unpopular leadership style. The party reunion was short-lived and Baxley soon found himself presiding over a rapidly shrinking party organization as other SNC members resigned and state party organizations began disaffiliating from the SNC as their recognized national party organ. The steady departure of established state party organizations ultimately led to the final dissolution of the SNC in 2002.


Dissolution

In the aftermath of the SNC's collapse one faction formed the Federation of States and various state-based Southern Independence Parties (SIPs). Other state SPs simply disaffiliated from the SNC and became wholly independent, refusing to recognize any national/regional authority. Two of these were the Southern Party of Georgia and the Southern Party of North Carolina. Many of the other remaining state SPs were, in reality, only "paper parties" led by a few officers and lacking substantial numbers of dues-paying members. These parties soon proved untenable and ultimately collapsed due to their inability to recruit party members and raise operating funds.


Reunion

In the Spring of 2003 the League of the South attempted to re-establish its influence in the Southern Party by volunteering to serve as an honest broker to coordinate the reunion of all SP supporters (excluding the now-discredited Baxley faction) under one aegis. The League invited all anti-Baxley factions of the SP to a meeting in North Carolina for the purpose of realigning all of the invited state parties into a loose confederation with no centralized governing body. This approach was publicly endorsed by all of the original founders of the Southern Party with the exception of the Baxley faction, which was not invited to the meeting. Although the North Carolina meeting marked the end of the SP's internal wars, it did not result in a substantial increase in public interest in the SP. By 2003 the Southern Party had lost credibility with many of its erstwhile supporters and had squandered what little political capital it had ever had as a result of its seemingly endless internal squabbles.


Cause

The widespread factionalism that derailed the Southern Party's seemingly promising prospects has sometimes been characterized by former supporters as the result of a wide-ranging ideological struggle between "centralizers" versus "decentralizers."


There was ideological diversity within SP ranks, reflected in the public statements of many of the key Southern Party players after the dissolution of the SNC. Kalas, the principal founder of the SP, was a committed paleoconservative whose interest in Southern heritage and regionalism tended to constitute more a reflection than a foundation of his core beliefs. On the other hand, Langcuster, the author of the Asheville Declaration, was a moderate-conservative Republican in many respects who nonetheless harbored strong regionalist sympathies -- a fact subsequently reflected in later writings. Mike Crane, who succeeded Kalas for a brief time, was far more the stereotypical Southern nationalist --- a longstanding Southern heritage activist and nationalist with strong libertarian convictions. Many others within the SP rank and file mirrored these differences. The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ...


Still, despite significant differences in political convictions, the major players in the various SP factions nevertheless professed a strong allegiance to the Southern tradition of decentralized government and localized control. The party infighting was actually driven more by personal conflicts between competing party leaders than by genuinely substantive disagreements over party ideology. As one prominent supporter once humorously described the problem: "Organizing Southerners is harder than herding cats!" This factionalist trait was not lost on outside observers, more than one of whom noted the irony that a party advocating secession found itself undone by multiple secessions within its own ranks.


Today

Today, there is little evidence of any regionally coordinated political effort by the Southern Party - a lack often attributed to a longstanding reluctance among Southern movement activists to empower a "national" coordinating body. Even so, some activity continues at the state level.


One persistent problem is the fact that many of the party's initial organizers, particularly Langcuster and Kalas, have left the Southern movement entirely stemming from concerns about the direction of the League of the South, which, for better or worse, remains the largest Southern nationalist organization.


Sometime after their departure from the Southern Party and from the League of the South-led Southern movement, Langcuster and Kalas experimented with a concept known as Home Rule for Dixie, the purpose of which was to provide a forum through which a more mainstream, center-right, racially inclusive movement could be developed. One hallmark of this nascent movement was its emphasis on the abandonment of Confederate restorationist symbolism and ideology. For a time, the movement garnered significant attention and sparked intense debate within Southern movement ranks. However, the Home Rule concept and Web site were abandoned in 2003 after Langcuster and Kalas concluded that the factionalized Southern movement was beyond repair.


The most successful remnant of the original Southern Party is the Southern Party of Georgia which remains the strongest and most active state party organization. The Georgia SP fielded multiple candidates for local and state offices in the 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections and was an enduring presence in the statewide political struggle over the redesign of the Georgia State Flag. North Carolina also has an active Southern Party which has been continually active since 1999. Both the Southern Party of Georgia and the Southern Party of North Carolina are actively recruiting candidates for the 2008 elections and continue to assist Southern nationalists in others states who have expressed interest in expanding the Southern Party's reach in the region. The current flag of Georgia was adopted on May 8, 2003 after years of controversy. ...


The party has yet to run a presidential candidate, but Texan Gene Champman was seeking the nomination in 2007 as well as that of the LP and CP. The Libertarian Party is an American political party founded on December 11, 1971. ... The Constitution Party is a conservative United States political party. ...


External links

State party organizations

  • Southern Party of Georgia
  • Southern Party of North Carolina

News media articles

  • "South Wants Devolution from U.S.", The Independent, (London, UK), August 9, 1999
  • "A Regional Party of the South," World Net Daily, September 2, 1999

Southern Party public positions

  • "The Southern Party position on hate groups" Free Republic, November 26, 1999

  Results from FactBites:
 
Constitution of the Southern Party (4001 words)
The Committee shall be limited to a total of five (5) committee members, selected from the several state parties, one (1) committee member selected from the Southern Party Executive Committee, and several advisors, the number of whom to be determined by the Committee Chairman, to serve in a non-voting capacity.
Paragraph 5: No member of the Southern Party Executive Committee may concurrently serve on both the Southern Party Executive Committee and on the Southern National Committee, and upon such a member’s election to the Southern National Committee his or her resignation as a state delegate is implied, stipulated and accepted.
Paragraph 1: The Southern Party Executive Committeeshall be responsible for proposing and voting on national-level decisions concerning the Southern Party, within the limitations and with the exceptions set forth in the subsequent paragraphs of this section.
Southern Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1718 words)
The Southern Party (SP) is a right-of-center, minor American political party organized in 1999 by members of the League of the South (LoS), an organization advocating greater regional sovereignty for the Southern states of the American federal union.
Party organizers were also inspired to adopt the secessionist stance by the example of Quebec's secessionist Parti Quebecois (PQ), which had won vast regional autonomy for Quebec from Canada's central government as a result of two secession referendums it pushed forward during the 1980's and 90's.
In the Spring of 2003 the League of the South attempted to re-establish its influence in the Southern Party by volunteering to serve as an honest broker to coordinate the reunion of all SP supporters (excluding the now-discredited Baxley faction) under one aegis.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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