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The American Biker Party

Third Party Watch got a little bit of a mention in this article about a new group that calls itself the American Biker Party.

The party’s website:

From the Green Bay Press-Gazette...

Steven Erato earned the nickname “Mad” in the 1970s after writing about the mistreatment of American veterans returning from Vietnam.

Thirty years later, he says he’s still mad.

It’s that indignation toward the system that led Erato of Appleton to help found the Wisconsin-based American Biker Party — a year-old political party whose first convention is drawing national interest and meets today in Stevens Point.

“We have made it very clear that even though it’s called the American Biker Party and it was started by a group of bikers, this is not a biker organization,” said Erato, party co-chairman and co-owner of Eagle Nation Cycle in Neenah. “Everybody’s welcome.”

Inquiries about the one-day convention from as far as Washington State, Texas, Rhode Island and points in between have rolled into the cycle shop, which doubles as party central, said Erato. He said the average American’s disgust with special-interest politics has voters searching for an alternative to the status quo, and he believes the American Biker Party has potential to fill that void.

The party, hoping to mobilize in all 50 states, plans to someday run its own candidates for elected office. In Wisconsin, that move would put it in the company of three other third parties — the Greens, Libertarians and the Constitution Party — qualified to run their candidates in statewide races, according to State Elections Board spokesman Kyle Richmond.

For now, the American Biker Party plans to encourage its members to vote for candidates it supports, which Richmond said would require the group to register with the state Elections Board and file periodic campaign finance reports for “expressed advocacy” of candidates.

Nationwide, about 50 third parties exist in name, but fewer than a dozen are active and viable in more than one or two states, said Austin Cassidy, who runs a Florida-based Web site that tracks third-party politics in America.

“Whether or not a party’s successful usually depends on whether it’s formed around a personality or not,” said Cassidy, citing as examples former Alabama governor George Wallace, who was a 1968 presidential nominee of the American Independent Party, and Texas billionaire Ross Perot, the 1994 presidential nominee of the Reform Party. “Once the personality leaves, the party deflates.”

Some obscure and lesser-known national third parties are likely defunct or “probably exist in the mind of one or two people,” said Cassidy.

“If the American Biker Party is truly organizing at the grass roots and it’s not a single issue or a single person that it’s organizing around, then it might have a longer shelf life,” said Cassidy, adding that some third-parties remain active for multiple decades.

The Bikers formed neither around one issue nor one central figure, said Erato, who co-chairs the party with Frank “Claim Jumper” Rios of Milwaukee. The party is run by a 10-member board, of which some do not own a motorcycle or belong to a biker club.

“We’re telling people that this is a call to action to all freedom-loving citizens,” Erato said.

3 Responses to “The American Biker Party”

  1. Phil Says:

    So if not all of their members are bikers, why do the call themselves the American Biker Party? It certainly turns me off right away, and makes me think they’re only focused on promoting the interests of bikers.

  2. Sean Scallon Says:

    Bikers are a group that I’ve urged the LP to organize as solid base to its party. The founding of the American Biker Party shows that bikers, as a community, are starting to become politically concious. Now is the time for the LP to make inroads into this group.

  3. AShiningCity Says:

    Great website!

    Your free thinking outside the box approach might make you a Liberty Owl.

    Unfamiliar with the noble and courageous Liberty Owl? Check out this description:

    Keep blogging for Liberty from the 2 main parties!~

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