AMERICA FIRST PARTY – The America First Party was founded in 2002 by a large group of arch-conservative “Buchanan Brigade” defectors who splintered away from the declining Reform Party to form this uncompromisingly social conservative and fair trade party (with a strong foundation in the Religious Right movement). The AFP vows to “protect our people and our sovereignty … promote economic growth and independence … encourage the traditional values of faith, family, and responsibility … ensure equality before the law in protecting those rights granted by the Creator … [and] to clean up our corrupted political system.” Within months of the AFP’s founding, the AFP fielded a few candidates and established affiliates in nearly 20 states — and they hoped to be organized in nearly all 50 states by the end of 2003. Within a year, however, those hopes were dashed. The AFP’s national leaders all resigned in mid-2003 after a radical group affiliated with ultra-right militia movement leader Bo Gritz purportedly grabbed control of key party elements for a short while. In addition to Gritz, pre-existing financial problems and personality divisions within the party also contributed to the AFP’s rapid collapse. The party failed to nominate any candidates in 2004, and has been almost totally inactive since then. New AFP leadership vowed in 2006 to start rebuild the party. However, the AFP has shown little activity — beyond issuing press releases — since then.