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Boston Tea Party
Thomas L. Knapp, founder
Douglass Gaking, Chair
vacant until next convention
Founded 2006
Membership  (2009) 1,375
Ideology Libertarianism

The Boston Tea Party is an American political party which espouses a libertarian ideology. The party was founded in 2006 by a group of former Libertarian Party (LP) members who criticized the LP for its "abdication of political responsibilities", saying that "Americans deserve and desperately need a pro-freedom party that forcefully advocates libertarian solutions to the issues of today".[1]

On September 11, 2008, the libertarian website posted an article by libertarian economist Walter Block, in which the author proclaimed his preference for the candidates of the Boston Tea Party over those of the LP.[2] Block and other libertarians have expressed discomfort over the "unlibertarian" history of the LP's 2008 presidential candidate, Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman.



The Boston Tea Party's platform clearly expresses the party's philosophy of anti-statism as follows:

The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.


The party's platform is supplemented by a program which advocates, among other things, the withdrawal of all American troops from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East; an immediate and complete end to warrantless searches and seizures, warrantless surveillance, and other practices that encroach on personal freedom; and an audit of the Federal Reserve.[4] The program was deliberately adopted from Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty.[5]

While the largest part of the party’s members accept a libertarian ideology in the classical liberal tradition, others consider themselves anarcho-capitalists, objectivists, voluntaryists and a variety of anarchists.[6]


The party was founded in response to the Libertarian Party eliminating most of the substance of its party platform at their Oregon convention in 2006.[7]

Charles Jay, 47, was the party's presidential nominee for the 2008 general election in which he was on the ballot in Florida, Tennessee and Colorado; those states provided 10% of the popular vote in 2004.[8] Also, he was a write-in candidate in more than 10 other states.[9] Thomas L. Knapp was the party's vice presidential nominee.[10] Knapp was also a candidate for U.S. Congress as a Libertarian Party candidate in the same election.[11] However, alternate running mates included Marilyn Chambers (Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah), Barry Hess (Arizona), Dan Sallis, Jr. (Colorado), John Wayne Smith (Florida) and Thomas J. Marino (Washington).[12][13]

In the 2008 Presidential Election, the Boston Tea Party's candidate Charles Jay received 2,422 votes, putting him in 15th place.[14]


  1. ^ Byrnes, Sholto (2008-10-23). "Bizarre political parties: The Boston Tea Party". New Statesman. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  2. ^ Block, Walter (2008-09-11). "More Sarah Palin". Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  3. ^ "Platform of the Boston Tea Party". The Boston Tea Party. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  4. ^ "Program of the Boston Tea Party". The Boston Tea Party. 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  5. ^ "News". The Boston Tea Party. 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-12-16.  
  6. ^ "As a Boston Tea Party member, what ideology do you most identity with?". 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2009-07-01.  
  7. ^ Knapp, Thomas L. (as Kn@ppster) (2008-06-06). "A brief history of the Boston Tea Party, part one". Last Free Voice. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  8. ^ "Boston Tea Party wraps up convention". Independent Political Report. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  9. ^ Gresko, Jessica (2008-10-31). "In the 2008 election, time to party like it's 1773". The Miami Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  10. ^ Winger, Richard (2008-07-01). "Boston Tea Party". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  11. ^ "Liberty for America, Vol. 1 No. 1" (PDF). George Phillies. June 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  12. ^ "2008-2009 Voter Guide | the Boston Tea Party". 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01.  
  13. ^
  14. ^ "2008 official presidential general election results". FEC. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2009-02-03.  

External links



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