Facebook users vote to call members of Colorado’s Unity Party ‘Uniters’

Author: Ernest Luning - September 12, 2017 - Updated: September 12, 2017

Unity Party founder Bill Hammons (Photo courtesy Hammons via Facebook)Unity Party founder Bill Hammons (Photo courtesy Hammons via Facebook)

Members of Colorado’s newest official political party have a new nickname.

Henceforth, members of the Unity Party of America shall be known as Uniters.

That was the overwhelming winner in a Facebook poll conducted last week by Bill Hammons, the party’s founder and national and state chairman, beating out Unis and UPAs — “that one sounds like we’re at a Greek wedding,” quipped Facebook user Paul Lewis, who suggested the winning moniker.

“Uniters could also be a verb — not only what we are but what we are trying to do,” Lewis proposed.

Colorado’s 1,055 Uniters join the Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Libertarians having a colloquial name for themselves. (Those belonging to the state’s fifth legally sanctioned political party, the American Constitution Party — there are 12,333 of them, according to the most recent figures compiled by the secretary of state — don’t appear to call themselves anything other than members of the American Constitution Party.)

The Unity Party of Colorado became a recognized minor party — the Democrats and Republicans are the state’s major parties — in June once its roster topped 1,000 members.

Founded the day after the 2004 presidential election, the party — motto: “Not Right, Not Left, But Forward” — boasts Uniters in 37 states and the District of Columbia but is only legally recognized as a political party in Colorado. Before it passed the threshold, its Colorado manifestation was known as a “qualified political organization.” The new status means it can nominate candidates directly to the ballot rather than having to secure spots by petition.

Hammons is also running for governor on the ticket in next year’s election, and he’s hoping he’ll have at least one Uniter running against him. If he does, the party’s primary ballot will be mailed to every unaffiliated voter in the state in accordance with Proposition 108.

“I’m open to challengers — I think it’ll be healthy for the party,” he told Colorado Politics in July after the party adopted its bylaws. “I think it would be great if we had contested primaries up and down the ballot.”

The national Unity Party’s platform includes support for a balanced budget amendment, lowering the voting age to 16 and term limits for elected officials and judges.  The platform also includes a plank calling for elimination of the federal income tax, which would be replaced by a tax “based on the carbon content of fossil fuels” to balance the budget, fight global warming and encourage development of alternative energy sources.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.