Mark Meckler

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Mark Meckler during a 2010 Tea Party Rally

Mark Meckler is a Californian businessman, attorney, political activist, interim president of social media app Parler, and the co-founder of the Convention of States Foundation, Convention of States Action, CSG Action, and Tea Party Patriots.

News and Controversies

Mark Meckler and Parler

Named Among Defendants in Parler Lawsuit

In March 2021, John Matze, the founder of social media website Parler, alleged in a lawsuit that "wealthy philanthropist Rebekah Mercer, website associates Jeffrey Wernick and Mark Meckler, and podcaster and television analyst Dan Bongino conspired to steal his 40% company share, leaving him with $3." The lawsuit alleges that Mercer, who supplied the founding finances for the website, did not seek to "grow Parler as a free expression platform, but instead to redirect it into [the] ‘tip of the conservative spear’ for a brand of conservatism in keeping with Mercer’s preferences."[1]

Became Parler's Interim CEO Following Relaunch

After the January 6, 2021 capitol riots, the social media website Parler was banned from the app stores of Amazon, Apple, and Google. Parler relaunched in February 2021 with Meckler as its interim CEO.[2]

Described Parler Reopening as "War" for Free Speech and Free Expression

In leaked recordings of internal Parler meetings, Meckler called the company's leadership "warriors", saying "love it or not, you're all bound together in a fight... that is actually existential. Parler is a critical component in the fight to save, not just the country, frankly, not just the Constitution, but this concept of free speech is at the root of what it means to be free human beings. The ability to think freely and express yourself freely... this is a war, and you're in the war..."[3]

Video Blog Comments on Black Lives Matter, Transgender Identity, Protestors

In a June 2020 video blog, Meckler said "Black Lives Matter as an organization is evil. It is anti-American, it is anti-nuclear family; they say this on their website. It is pro-transgender– it's a mental illness by the way, you can't be pro-mental illness– it's a terrible thing."[4]

Meckler also told viewers that there is a danger in labeling Antifa or BLM terrorist organizations because "most business insurance policies have an exception, in other words they don't cover terrorist incidents. And so that would mean if a business gets burned down and they've been declared a terrorist organization, no insurance coverage, so we've got to watch out for what we ask for."[5]

In response to Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. in July 2020, he said, "I'm sick of these thugs and these hooligans, whatever you want to call them, criminals, radical elements in society, Marxists, whatever you want to call them, running wild in our society, running rampant in our society."[6]

Meckler's Convention of States Action Aided COVID-19 Reopen Protests

In April of 2020, Meckler's organization Convention of States Action helped coordinate protests against COVID-19 lockdowns.[7] COS launched the website Open The States which allows users to organize on online forums and petition state and federal officials. According to Politico, Meckler told viewers in a Convention of States Facebook livestream that "Facebook [is] literally working with the governors to find out what the policy is and they're trying to shut [us] down... So what we're trying to do is we're trying to create other ways to communicate with people about what we're doing."[8]

Agreed Constitutional Convention Intended to "Reverse 115 Years of Progressivism"

Meckler has written, "runaway courts do not provide the ‘rule of law,’ and they are not the ‘checks and balances’ our Founders envisioned."[9] He heads multiple organizations, including Convention of States Foundation, Convention of States Action, and CSG Action, that support an Article V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution and severely restrict federal power.[10][11] After 200 labor, environmental, civil rights and other organizations signed a letter opposing a Convention of the States, Meckler responded, saying "[In the letter] they actually said something truthful... They said, ‘This is intended to reverse 115 years of progressivism,’ and we say, ‘Yes, it is.’”[12]

As described by the Center for Media and Democracy, "[Meckler's] vision of constitutional revision is one in which states can defy Supreme Court rulings they believe stray from the Constitution’s original intent. The upshot is that, if a right-wing constitutional convention is held, voting rights, the Civil Rights Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal minimum wage, abortion rights, marriage equality, and many other rights could be placed at risk."[10]

Meckler has claimed he does not "propose, support, or oppose, any particular amendments,” and that the Convention of States Foundation “doesn’t have a particular agenda.” As described by the Center for Media and Democracy, however, "a 2016 Convention of States mock convention passed amendments on the rightwing’s bucket list, such as easing the process to repeal federal regulations, requiring approval to increase the national debt, imposing congressional term limits, repealing the 16th Amendment’s authorization for an income tax, limiting the Commerce Clause, and requiring a supermajority to impose federal taxes."[10]

History of "Creating Organizations to Mobilize Far-Right Activists"

Center for Media and Democracy has highlighted Meckler's history of founding right-wing organizations. Meckler "co-founded the Tea Party Patriots in 2009, but resigned in 2012, two months after he was charged with a felony for attempting to board a plane with a semiautomatic handgun and ammunition... [Meckler] went on to found Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG), now the Convention of States Foundation, a right-wing nonprofit that manages the Convention of States project, with the Koch-connected Eric O’Keefe."[11]

Ties to the Council for National Policy

As of September 2020, Mark Meckler was a "Gold Circle" member of the Council for National Policy.

Council for National Policy

The Council for National Policy (CNP) is a secretive, Christian Right organization of funders and activists founded in 1981 by activist Morton Blackwell, commentator Paul Weyrich, direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie, right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye. Anne Nelson's book about CNP, Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, describes how the organization connects "the manpower and media of the Christian right with the finances of Western plutocrats and the strategy of right-wing Republican political operatives.”

CNP membership as of September 2020 is available here.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

In 2014, Center for Media and Democracy reported that the American Legislative Exchange Council "has published a 'how-to' manual for an Article V constitutional amendment, and at its last two meetings hosted workshops on amendment strategy from the group Citizens for Self Governance [now called Convention of States Foundation], led by Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler..."[13]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Education

Taken from:[14]

  • B.A. in English from San Diego State University
  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1988)

Professional Life

As of April 2021:[15]

Personal Life

Mark Meckler is from Northern California and organized the first Tea Party gathering in 2009 at the Sacramento state capitol.[16] He is registered as an independent voter.[14][16]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch

External Articles

References

  1. Rachel Lerman, "Ousted Parler CEO sues company, alleges stake was taken", Washington Post, March 23, 2021, accessed April 12, 2021.
  2. Megan Sheets, "Parler announces its relaunch with Mark Meckler named as interim CEO a month after being shut down in the wake of the Capitol riots", Daily Mail, February 15, 2021, accessed April 12, 2021.
  3. William Turton, "Mercer-Backed Parler Casts Its Reboot as Fight for Free Speech", Bloomberg News, March 16, 2021, accessed April 12, 2021.
  4. Convention of States, The BattleCry: Article V on the March in Michigan, The BattleCry with Mark Meckler, June 28, 2020. (quote starting at 31:52)
  5. Convention of States, The BattleCry: Article V on the March in Michigan, The BattleCry with Mark Meckler, June 28, 2020. (quote starting at 31:00)
  6. Convention of States, The BattleCry: Positively Pissed Off at 'Peaceful Protests'The BattleCry with Mark Meckler, July 26, 2020 (quote starting at 00:15)
  7. Alex Kotch, Groups Aligned with Right-Wing Megadonors Are Promoting Coronavirus Protests, Exposed by CMD, April 22, 2020
  8. Tina Nguyen, How a tea party-linked group plans to turbocharge lockdown protests, Politico, April 24, 2020
  9. Mark Meckler, "9th Circuit's Decision: Not Checks and Balances, But an Act of Judicial Supremacy", CNS News, February 10, 2017, accessed April 12, 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 David Armiak, "Radical Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Rewrite Passes Wisconsin Assembly", Exposed by CMD, February 25, 2020, accessed April 12, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Alex Kotch, "Parler Is Now in the Hands of a Right-Wing Activist Seeking a Radical Rewrite of the Constitution", Exposed by CMD, February 15, 2021, accessed April 12, 2021.
  12. Peter Montgomery, "Convention Of States Leader Says Goal Is ‘To Reverse 115 Years of Progressivism’", Right Wing Watch, August 23, 2018, accessed April 12, 2021.
  13. Brendan Fischer, "Wisconsin Moving to Advance ALEC Constitutional Convention Scheme", PR Watch, February 10, 2014, Accessed April 14, 2021.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Aspen Institute, Mark Meckler, organizational website, accessed April 12, 2021.
  15. Little Sis, Mark Meckler, organizational website, accessed April 12, 2021.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Mark Meckler, "About Mark Meckler", Across the Fence with Mark Meckler, 2012. Archived July 20, 2012, accessed April 12, 2021.