The California Libertarian Party held its annual state convention in San Ramon, California, April 20-22. On Saturday evening, five candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination addressed the attendees. Each of the five was given 30 minutes. A random procedure dictated the order. The five candidates, in the order in which they spoke, were Steve Kubby, Dave Hollist, Mike Jingozian, Daniel Imperato, and Wayne Allyn Root. Candidate Christine Smith had been expected, but she did not appear. George Phillies did not appear, but campaign literature on his behalf was circulated. Also, campaign literature was circulated, urging that Karen Kwiatkowski (who says she only wants the vice-presidential nomination) be drafted for president.
Steve Kubby, speaking first, displayed skill as an orator. He also allowed time for questions. Kubby, of course, has been a member of the Libertarian Party for at least a decade, and was the California party’s gubernatorial candidate in 1998. He responded to a question about immigration policy by saying he favors open borders. He introduced his campaign treasurer, who was in the audience. He stressed that long-time Libertarian Party activist Tom Knapp is acting as his campaign manager, even though Knapp doesn’t use that title.
paul) Tom, I know you at least were using the title…is that no longer the case? Not that I care that much about titles, just slightly curious.
Dave Hollist, a California Libertarian who has sought the party’s presidential nomination twice before, started to use his 30 minutes by showing a video of himself making a speech. The sound quality was poor. After ten minutes, state party chair Aaron Starr interrupted the video presentation and persuaded Hollist that the video was a bad idea, so Hollist then spoke for himself for ten minutes more. He criticized the other presidential candidates for not proposing an immediate end to taxation, and suggested that his idea for contract insurance could replace the lost tax revenue.
Mike Jingozian spoke next. He is an Oregon businessman who is fairly new to the Libertarian Party. His presentation was devoted almost entirely to an attack on the failed policies of the Republican and Democratic Parties. He had circulated copies of his campaign literature which labels him an “independent candidate for president”. He took questions. Asked about the label, he said he is a Libertarian but that the “independent” label is designed to draw the attention of voters who might not be as interested if he didn’t use that label. His answers probably didn’t dispel a feeling among the audience that he may not be sufficiently in sync with party core beliefs.
Daniel Imperato spoke next. He is a Florida businessman who is very new to the Libertarian Party. He said that he will be elected president in 2008, or, if not then, in an election in the future. He stressed his familiarity with people all over the world and said his company has offices in 70 nations. He spoke a smattering of Arabic. He answered questions. As in the case of Jingozian, he probably didn’t dispel a feeling among the audience that he may not be a match for the party. He said that he would have U.S. military forces stop fighting in Iraq, but remain there, and that he would demand that Iraq repay the U.S. for the costs of U.S. military expenditures so far.
Wayne Allyn Root spoke last. He lives in Las Vegas, is CEO of a company that gives advice to people who bet on sports outcomes, and hosts the Fox TV network show The Winning Edge. Like Kubby, he displayed impressive oratorical skills. He gave more information about his past political life than the other candidates had done. He said his father had helped establish the New York Conservative Party. He said that his own personal heroes are Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. He is also new to the Libertarian Party. He emphasized his skills with television, and revealed that a cameraman who had been filming all day long is working for him, and that the filming is for a proposed Reality TV Show about his quest for the Libertarian nomination. He didn’t take questions, since his presentation consumed his full allotment of 30 minutes.