Parks registered twice with American Independent Party, but party’s chairman says 1/3rd of members may have have joined mistakenly.
Below are documents confirming that Bernard Parks did, indeed, register with the American Indepedent Party in both 1992 and 1996.
Bernard Parks, Jr., told me his father did this at the direction of the Registrars office, was clearly attempting to register only as an independent, and the elder Parks had never even heard of the American Independent Party until last Friday.
According to the 1992 voter registration form filled out by Parks, he checked off “American Independent Party” as his new affiliation, and noted he’d previously voted as a Democrat. On the form from 1996, Parks does check off “American Independent Party,” but below it writes in that he’d previously voted as “Independent.”*
Parks, Jr. says it would have “made no sense” for the elder Parks to join the AIP – his intent to become unaffilated during his run to become Chief of Police was because he believed the post should be non-partisan and serve all people.
The campaign for competitor for County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, isn’t taking full advantage of the situation, sending out an email dismissing these excuses and asking:
What motivated Bernard Parks to register in an extreme right-wing party and continue to be a member of that party for ten years? Only Parks knows the answer to that question.
If this was a mistake, it wouldn’t be the only time someone registered for the American Independent Party accidentally. Markham Robinson, they party’s chairman, told me that in a recent survey of registered members about 1/3rd said they weren’t aware of their affiliation. (Robinson also said he was unfamiliar with Bernard Parks name, but said he’d look and see if Parks may have been affiliated in any way).
Earlier this year Jennifer Siebel, then fiance of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, was found to have been a member, even thought she declares herself an independent. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Siebel “checked the American Independent box thinking that was what independent voters were supposed to do.”
Documents below. Complete email from the Ridley-Thomas campaign after the jump.
Bernard Parks voter registration forms, 1992 and 1996 (pdf).
*Correction: I’d originally had the years backwards regarding the contents of these documents.