What is going on with this? On Monday, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) posted a notice of organization of the “MAGA Patriot Party National Committee” in San Antonio, Texas. Documents state that the committee will fundraise exclusively for the “Donald J. Trump for President” political action committee (PAC).
The FEC filing lists James Davis of Punta Gorda, Florida as treasurer. The filing, at first glance, looks like the formation of a third party. Supporters of Trump have tossed around the idea of a Patriot Party as a third party option if he decides to run for president again and it has been reported that Trump has spoken about another run in 2024. However, there is no mention of a third party, per se, here but it looks like this is solely a fundraising operation.
This committee collects contributions, pays fundraising expenses and disburses net proceeds for two or more political committees/organizations, none of which is an authorized committee of a federal candidate. Committees Participating in Joint Fundraiser 1. DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC.
When I saw a tweet last night noting “a new conservative political party in the Lone Star State”, it caught my attention. The selection of San Antonio seems odd as its base of operation and the fact that a Florida man is listed as the treasurer raised an eyebrow.
There's a new conservative political party in the Lone Star State.
The Federal Election Commission has posted a notice of organization on behalf of the "MAGA Patriot Party" in San Antonio, Texas.https://t.co/wRzlj3D5pc
— KATU News (@KATUNews) January 25, 2021
There really isn’t much information about this. James Davis, the organizer of the MAGA Patriot Party National Committee, as it turns out is a 57-year-old man who is trying to organize a grassroots movement for those conservatives who feel abandoned by the Republican Party after the November election. He left the Republican Party over the treatment of the president, he says, by “those people who fought against him”, “those who voted to impeach him.” Wasn’t Mitt Romney the only Republican to vote to impeach Trump, though, and on only one of the two articles of impeachment? Anyway, he says there are groups of the MAGA Patriot Party in all 50 states. Texas is the fastest-growing group with 450 members. There are about 12,000 members nationwide.
There is a catch here. Donald Trump, the Trump family, or Trump campaign staff have not endorsed any of this. Davis says he’s reaching out to Trump and his people. He just thinks there are enough people out there to make what will be a “swing party”.
“The people who are joining us, the people who are conservatives, the people who feel like they’re being censored, they want to do something and it’s not all going to rest on one man,” Davis told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf.
Their goals include elevating candidates in local and state campaigns to ultimately earn political leverage as a swing party. Davis said he feels there’s enough defectors from the 74 million plus people who voted for Trump to rapidly grow as a viable party in the years to come.
It almost sounds like the group that Stacey Abrams started in Georgia after she lost the gubernatorial race in 2018. Only this man is trying to do it on a national level and make it into a separate party. Abrams was smart enough to know that third parties aren’t successful in our two-party political system. There are indications that Trump isn’t pursuing a third party option anyway. Maybe Davis is going more of the Ross Perot route.
Davis says it is about trust in the election process and transparency. He’s a former Marine and sees this effort as a calling to defend the constitution.
“Is this trust in the election process?” Wolf asked. “Was this started because you feel the election was stolen from Former President Trump, which are words he has mentioned himself? Or is this more about the treatment of the president, and fellow Republicans who turned their backs on him? Is this movement to reinvigorate those who feel like they’re left out?”
“I think it’s a good mixture of all those things,” Davis replied.
At first, I thought this was a grifter looking for a way to cash in on disaffected Trump voters – like the Lincoln Party after the 2016 election is doing to disaffected Republican voters. But maybe that is too cynical. We’ll have to see where this goes, if anywhere.
Team Trump quickly squashed any attempts to connect them with this effort.
“To be clear: DJTFP has no affiliation with Patriot Party, which is not authorized by Mr. Trump or DJTFP,” Trump’s team said.
“DJTFP is placing this disavowal notice on the public record out of concern for confusion among the public, which may be misled to believe that Patriot Party’s activities have been authorized by Mr. Trump or DJTFP—or that contributions to this unauthorized committee are being made to DJTFP—when that is not true.”
Trump has remained very quiet since he moved back to Florida. He’s been photographed playing golf and did speak briefly to a Washington Examiner reporter on a golf course but not extensively on his future plans.
Meanwhile, the MAGA Patriot Party is planning to be able to accept donations by March 1. They anticipate filing in 13 states, including Texas this week with another 10 by next week. With only 12,000 members out of the 74 million Trump voters, it is hard to imagine anything much coming from this. Organizing a third political party requires a herculean effort and is fraught with legal requirements that can vary from state to state. Without the support of Trump, it is hard to picture the committee will have the resources to get very far.
Trump has established his post-presidency office in Palm Beach County, Florida. It is being called “The Office of the Former President”.
“The Office of the Former President” will manage Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearance and official activities, according to a press release from the office.
“President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the release said.
For now, he is concentrating on his second impeachment trial in the Senate.