ELECTION WATCH:

Marylander Campaigns to be Constitution Party's Presidential Candidate

INFORMATION SOURCE: The Charleston Voice

On December 15, 2003, Michael Peroutka announced his candidacy for the Constitution Party presidential nomination.

During an interview on Radio Liberty hosted by Dr. Stan Monteith, Peroutka identified the need to restore loyalty to the Constitution as a key reason for his presidential campaign. "I really believe that none of [the major party candidates] give the slightest fig...about being loyal, and being faithful, to the Constitution of the United States, and I believe that someone needs to do that."

Responding to a question about recent expansions in federal funding of education and the Medicare program, Peroutka asserted that federal involvement has exceeded Constitutional limits. "Article I, Section 8 lays out those programs for which Congress may tax and spend money, and education just is not listed there," he said. "Education may in fact be a good thing, but the federal government has no business being there. If you have no authority to be there, if you can't do it constitutionally, you are not going to do it right."

He later said, "The Constitution is a big stop sign that says, 'Federal government, here is where you stop.' That's the way that began, and that's what we, frankly, need to return to."

Monteith and Peroutka also discussed the work of the Institute on the Constitution, a non-partisan organization that educates the electorate on the founding documents of the US government, along with their historical and philosophical premises.

Peroutka has already gained the endorsement of Howard Phillips, the Constitution Party nominee in 2000. With this backing, he expressed confidence that he will be named the party's candidate during their convention, to be held in June.

Concluding his remarks, Mr. Peroutka said, "America needs to return to an American understanding of law and government. That is to say, the purpose of government is to protect and secure God-given rights, and until we return to that understanding, we're going to be in trouble, and I believe that the Constitution Party and my hopeful candidacy will stand exactly for those principles."

Peroutka, an attorney and organizer of educational resource organizations, served in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Reagan administration. He is chairman of the Constitution Party of Maryland and president of the Institute on the Constitution.


An audio file of this interview is available from Radio Liberty.

For additional information, visit constitutionparty.com, radioliberty.com, and iotconline.com.


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This story was published on January 26, 2004.