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National Committee

The leadership of the American Solidarity Party is made up of dedicated volunteers. Men and women who, like many, were searching for a better political party. Hopefully you will join us in building a strong foundation for our party, a foundation that will help us to elect well-qualified men and women to local positions across the country in the next two years. Please feel free to contact any of our candidates or National Committee Members by emailing them at: americansolidaritypartyasp@gmail.com

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Matthew Bartko,
Chairman

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Matthew Bartko grew up as a member of the Baptist Church and remains active in his local church. In college he studied secondary education before switching to sociology. Since then he has worked in sales and customer services. In 2013 he met the love of his life, and married her six months later – a choice that still brings him joy each day.

He has always been fascinated with politics, sociology, anthropology, religion, and psychology, spending most of his spare time in readings and discussions on those subjects. Several years ago he became frustrated with the seeming lack of caring from Republicans, and the sense of amorality from the Democrats. Finding himself politically “homeless” he researched his options and eventually settled on the American Solidarity Party. He now dedicates his time to growing the party and ensuring its future endeavors.

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Desmond Silveira,
Vice-Chair

Desmond is currently working as the American Solidarity Party vice-chair and is helping to set up state chapters and general recruiting for the party. He is a practicing Catholic, professional software engineer, a husband, and a father of seven children. Born in Zambia and of Indian (Goan) descent, he has lived in southern California since he was one-year-old. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in computer science from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Desmond has worked at various companies and organizations including GE, JPL, YellowPages.com, Los Angeles Times, and Disney.

He is socially conservative and fiscally moderate, and had spent his adult life as a Republican until the 2016 election season, when he discovered the American Solidarity Party, and was chosen to be the campaign manager for the Maturen-Muñoz 2016 campaign. Desmond has been involved at different times with various ministries at his parish including CCD, Familia, and Cub Scouts. In his free time, Desmond enjoys playing video games with his kids.

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Jim Cline,
Treasurer

Jim was born and raised in Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1980 and in 1982 both in Political Science from University of Washington. In 1982 he enrolled in a joint degree program at the University of Notre Dame, receiving a Master’s Degree in Economics and a law degree, both in 1986. He has served as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Legislation. Jim has worked as a practicing lawyer since 1986. He has served as a King County Deputy Prosecutor and later entered private practice as a union labor lawyer. In 1994, he started his own law firm now known as Cline and Casillas, which has become one of the leading law firms on the West Coast that specialize in representing Public Safety employees. He has been involved in various federal, state and local political campaigns over the years. In 2001 he was a candidate for Seattle City Attorney. Jim joined the ASP after finding that values based platform provided a new political home for himself as well as millions and millions of Americans who have been marginalized by the two major parties.

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Mike Maturen,
Vice-Treasurer

Mike was raised in the Catholic Church, left to become a Protestant while in college, and returned to the Catholic Church in 2002. He has experienced many forms of Protestantism…making him a CatholiChariBaptiCostal! He feels that this experience allows him to see things from many different faith perspectives. In his political experience, Mike was raised Republican, leaned Democrat while in college, and returned to the Republican party after college. In between, he looked into the Libertarian Party, but could not allow for their libertine views on abortion. While growing in the Catholic faith, Mike felt called to align his political views with the teachings of the Church. This led him to the American Solidarity Party and–eventually to becoming the 2016 candidate for President of the United States.
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Amy Foster-Muñoz,
Secretary

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas; Amy attended Stephen F. Austin State University, where she double majored in Theatre and History, with a minor in Communication. She received her teaching certification in 2008, and has been a teacher since that time. She has taught both high school and middle school, focusing on Theatre Arts and Professional Communications. She and her husband have been married for ten years and have four children. Previously an ardent Democrat, Amy converted to Catholicism in 2010 and slowly realized that important aspects of her faith were not compatible with her voting practices. Still believing in the importance of community and fellowship, she felt distanced from both major parties. Finally, she joined the ASP. In addition to teaching, she volunteers off and on at her local parish, though most of her free time is spent with her children, who range in age from 1 to 9 years old.

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Skylar Covich

Skylar Covich completed his doctorate in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017. Born in New Jersey, he later moved with his family to New York and then the far north of California. He has been totally blind since birth. Covich earned a BA from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2009 with a Major in Politics and a Minor in Religious Studies, and he received an MA in political science from UC Santa Barbara in 2012.

Covich has conducted research and taught undergraduate courses on interest groups in American politics. He is particularly interested in the impact of religious organizations on economic policy and anti-poverty legislation. Before finding the ASP, he had planned to focus his academic career on researching the possibility of whether a socially conservative party with more progressive or moderate views on other issues might be viable in the United States. He will assist the American Solidarity Party with demographic data analysis, local and state organization, and ballot access. Covich has presented his research at numerous conferences, including the American Political Science Association and the Calvin College Symposium on Religion and Public Life.

Covich lives with his wife in Ventura, California. At around the same time he became involved with the American Solidarity Party, he also began another new activity; singing in the choir of his Catholic parish.

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Lillian Vogl

H. Lillian Vogl was born to parents who had recently been involved in establishing a Christian-democratic political action committee in the mid 1970s. Her father worked in media production for Christian international humanitarian organizations, giving her an early passion for justice and human dignity. She studied English Education at Dordt College and then moved to the Washington DC area to pursue a policy-oriented career. After a few years working for educational non-profits she attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a Federalist Society officer who organized public debates on current legal issues. She has focused her subsequent career on tax and financial services, and was a federally registered lobbyist for several years. She spent a decade actively involved in local Republican Party committees in Northern Virginia, volunteering as precinct captain, women’s coalition chair, executive committee member, and ran for State Central Committee. Meanwhile, her study of Catholic social justice principles caused increasing cognitive dissonance with the “party line,” leading to her public resignation from the GOP and joining the American Solidarity Party.

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Ephrem Hugh Bensusan

In addition to serving on the National Committee, Ephrem is also the State Chairman for Kentucky. Originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, he spent much of his youth traveling in Latin America, until, after his parents divorced, he moved to Florida with his mother and brother. He moved to Kentucky in 2006. A lifelong Republican, Ephrem became disaffected with the party during the GWB era, and left the party entirely upon the nomination of Donald Trump to in 2016. He says, “I can say that I have never in my life knowingly voted for a Democrat. However, a combination of things have happened over the years to make me no longer a man of the Christian right, not the least of which was the complete derailment of the GOP into culture war and alt-right fanaticism, and the rise of a new Pope who has made justice and liberation real to me in ways I am still trying to fathom. A great deal of it has been coming to understand that the real teachings of the Christian faith cannot coincide with the individualism, selfishness, and greed that characterize the political elite in both parties. The shift in my thinking over the years has made the gospel of liberation and compassion central to my political vision.”

48 years old, Ephrem lives in Lexington with his wife Angela, and works for Apple, Inc. in the Enterprise Creativity/Productivity Software division. They have two daughters, one a Theology major at Ave Maria University, the other currently in USMC Boot Camp at Parris Island, SC. Ephrem humorously describes himself as a pitchfork-wielding, affluence-hating, Liberation-Theology-spouting Uniate radical. Though technically Melkite Greek Catholic, the Bensusans are members at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington.

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Kemi Ingram

(Lydia) Kemi Ingram is President of Kemi Ingram LLC and is in charge of providing custom qualitative research and digital advocacy support to humanitarian agencies, faith-based organizations and grass-roots initiatives. She is the creator and content curator for Orthodoxy and Culture, a social media channel located at the intersection of Orthodox Christianity and African-American experience(s).

As a new media producer since 2006, Kemi has championed a number of issues and causes…including:

Environmental Stewardship/Creation Care
Prolife Advocacy
School Choice
Religious Freedom

An author and activist, Kemi holds a BS in Public Policy, Management and Planning from the University of Southern California, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary and an MTh in Applied Theology from Oxford University, UK. In 2016, she successfully completed her Year 1 doctoral upgrade examination in religious studies at SOAS, University of London.

Kemi is married with three children. She and her family attend church in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.