This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Legislators recently received in their mailboxes at the Utah Capitol a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution from the Independent American Party of Utah.
The party hopes the Legislature will pass the so-called Liberty Amendment resolution as a step toward the measure eventually being ratified.
The amendment would repeal the 16th Amendment and do away with federal personal income tax. It would prohibit the United States from engaging in any "business, professional, commercial, financial or industrial enterprise." It specifies that the U.S. or the individual states are not bound by "foreign or domestic agreements." And it would liquidate unconstitutional U.S. government activities like national monuments, perhaps?
That is standard right-wing fare, but a statement of principles that was in the same envelope with the Liberty Amendment gets bizarre. The return address on the envelope is 4270 Normandy Lane, which is the Salt Lake City address the lieutenant governor's office has on file for the Independent American Party.
According to the statement, the party wants to outlaw Islam, calling it a nonreligion, not protected by the First Amendment.
It would outlaw communism and have communists tried for treason. If convicted, they would be publicly executed.
It would label as treason officials who aid and abet U.S. foreign enemies with taxpayer money and weapons of war against the U.S.
Wacky stuff, right?
Here's the rub: Jason Christensen, the Independent American candidate for the Senate District 16 seat in Provo, got 19 percent of the vote against incumbent Republican Curt Bramble.
Christensen was endorsed by GOP gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson until Christensen posted on social media an insensitive remark about a young gay man who committed suicide, saying he sinned twice.
The Independent American Party is Utah's third largest political party with nearly 23,000 registered voters. Its gubernatorial candidate, Superdell Schanze, implied on his candidate profile form that those who didn't vote for him would face God's judgment. He received nearly 17,000 votes. So those Utahns are saved.
The Independent American Party's U.S. Senate candidate, Stoney Fonua, snagged more than 27,000 votes, and its attorney general hopeful, Michael IsBell, received nearly 31,000 votes.
Past literature from the party has proclaimed its legitimacy through supposed Mormon prophecies that the Constitution would hang by a thread and be saved by the righteous.
Whether the statement of principles in the legislators' mailbox is an official party position or just from an individual from that address, I don't know. The party's telephone number given to the lieutenant governor is wrong.
The party's official website has a list of principles that includes the argument that communism is the enemy of the United States and its sympathizers are committing treason. I couldn't find anything about Muslims on the official site.