Under the headline "Taxpayers Party urges Christians to prepare to bolt GOP," the July 6 Washington Post picked up the July/August Freedom Writer's front-page story. In that issue, The Freedom Writer announced Howard Phillips' plans to meet with Focus on the Family head James Dobson to discuss ways to get Phillips' U.S. Taxpayers Party on the ballot in all 50 states in time for the 1996 elections.
As a result of the Dobson/Phillips meeting, Phillips will probably make guest appearances on Dobson's radio show, which is aired on more than 1,500 Christian radio stations.
Under Phillips' plan, the U.S. Taxpayers Party would nominate two candidates of its own if the Republicans fail to nominate anti-abortion presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The Taxpayers' convention, also in San Diego, is scheduled to begin a day after the Republican convention ends.
Paul Hetrick, vice president of Focus on the Family, admitted to The Washington Post that "there may very well be a third party that emerges when the dust has settled." He said that religious conservatives "care far more deeply about pro-life issues than they do about Republican politics."
Gary Bauer, who heads Family Research Council, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, said he was pleased with the Republican Party at the present time, but conceded that options need to be available "in case the party goes off the rails."
Originally, Phillips indicated that he supported commentator Pat Buchanan for president, and either Congressman Robert Dornan or talk-show host Alan Keyes for vice-president. Since that time, the Keyes campaign has suffered serious financial losses from within the campaign committee. Also, some Christian conservatives have written off Keyes as arrogant and demanding.