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Archive for the ‘Daniel Imperato’ Category

The Libertarian Party has started a new fundraising campaign called “Liberty Decides ‘08“. Basically, all Libertarian presidential candidates who have met certain guidelines (age-qualified, member of the LP, filed with the FEC, and raise at least $5000 for ballot access) are listed for competition (with one exception, since Dr. George Phillies chose to decline participation). People then “vote” for those candidates by making a donation in that candidate’s name. Each vote equals $1, so the more you contribute, the more votes you get to cast.There is no requirement that the donations/votes come from a registered member of the LP, or even that the voters claim to be a libertarian (many libertarians are not registered with the Libertarian Party, since that would remove their right to vote in many state primaries). The Libertarian Party will keep 60% of the money collected, while the eventual presidential nominee will get the remaining 40%, to be used in promoting the Libertarian Party.

There are a number of glaringly obvious problems with this competition.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that there are candidates listed there who have not raised $5000, period. However, if they left out candidates who hadn’t accomplished that yet, there would only be three candidates listed. I’ll get to those candidates in a moment.

There is no indication how many individual contributions each candidate received, and the competition is not set up to gauge support in that manner. This is important for several reasons, not the least of which is that there is no way to tell if the candidates received contributions from others, or if all their funds came from them. While at first glance it would seem unethical for the candidates to contribute to themselves in a competition, since that normally would be viewed as rigging the results, there is in fact nothing stopping the candidates from using their own funds. The rules quite specifically state, “Donations from the candidates will be counted towards funds raised”.

Given that three of the candidates have a great deal of money (specifically the ones sitting in the top three right now) there is absolutely no way for anyone to tell if those candidates simply contributed to themselves, though it definitely appears that they have done exactly that. Furthermore, allowing candidates to contribute to themselves places the wealthy candidates at an unfair advantage, and explains the current results.

The current frontrunners are Wayne Allyn Root, Mike Jingozian, and Daniel Imperato. However, I have seen no indication whatsoever that those three have any significant following. Quite the contrary, since all three have been subjected to a great deal of negative opinion from libertarians.

Imperato in particular is a candidate who has no discernible support, and his “press releases” are met with a great deal of laughter and derision, including from Yours Truly. Many others across the blogosphere have voiced their concern that Imperato may not be completely sane, though he does have enough money to rig the competition with ease. He is now in third place, undoubtedly due to contributing to himself.

Root is new to the LP, and even still has a website called “Millionaire Republican”; as a result he is viewed with suspicion, and is considered to be a Republican by most. Furthermore, Root is running on what is primarily a pro-gambling platform, since he is a Vegas oddsmaker. While libertarians believe gambling should not be illegal, one cannot run a presidential campaign on that stance alone, and some of his other ideas are hardly libertarian. For example, he is pro-war (and as a matter of fact, regularly uses his initials, which spell “WAR”, in place of his name), whereas libertarians adopt a strict non-interventionist policy. Root is currently in first place, also undoubtedly due to contributing to himself.

Jingozian is simply not very well known. I recall reading his site back when his candidacy first came to my attention, and I got the distinct impression that his views are a cross between the Greens and the Libertarians. Few libertarians will support a fusion candidate. By necessity Green goals require governmental intrusion upon our property rights, whereas libertarians believe the government’s only proper activity is to protect our rights. A successful businessman, Jingozian is in second place, also undoubtedly because he contributed to himself.

That the three wealthiest candidates – who have no chance of actually gaining widespread support among LP members – would appear to be winning was a completely foreseeable situation, given how the competition is designed; and it is inevitable that those candidates will contribute to themselves, then use that poll to falsely state they are a “frontrunner” in the race for the LP nomination. It is equally strange that, based on my own estimate of those candidates’ personal wealth, they are in exactly the order I would expect.

That’s a very serious problem, not only because misrepresentations about their own support among LP members might mislead people who are not already familiar with the candidates, but also because as discussed, those candidates who are winning have some decidedly un-libertarian ideas which will undoubtedly reflect very poorly on the LP as a whole.

This poll may also have a very strange effect on the Libertarian Convention. If delegates vote pursuant to what their constituents want, they cannot in good conscience ignore an official LP poll, especially since they may not realize that the wealthy candidates are contributing to themselves, as that information is not available on the same page as the competition. The actual rules are contained in a PDF file.

As much as I disapprove of the LP keeping the majority of the contributions for itself, and stipulating that the other 40% must be used to the LP’s advantage, that does explain why they are allowing candidates to contribute to themselves since there are three wealthy candidates who would get little if any support otherwise.

Another matter of concern is that, according to the rules, the poll counts funds raised since each candidate announced their campaign, including any funds raised by an exploratory committee. That gives an advantage to candidates who announced early, though as it is that early advantage is canceled out by the wealthier candidates who contribute to themselves. Again, it is impossible to ascertain the amount of actual support each candidate has during the course of the competition, which negates any possible usefulness the competition might otherwise have.

Last but not least, even in a poll where actual money is involved, “None Of The Above” rated fourth (for those of you not familiar with the Libertarian Party, delegates can actually vote for NOTA rather than to nominate a candidate). Quite honestly, I think it’s a very popular choice in this presidential election, and if not for the three wealthy candidates contributing to themselves, it would be ranked firmly in first place. NOTA is almost $2000 ahead of the next most popular candidate, which is “Future candidate”; in other words, those contributing to this competition (not counting the first three who are obviously contributing to themselves) by far prefer none of the candidates. NOTA and FC, if placed into one category as it should be, would be roughly equivalent to the current third-place competitor who contributed to himself, and firmly in first place if the three wealthy candidates were discounted due to contributing to themselves.

That says a lot.

Can the serious LP candidates overcome this negativity, based in a lack of excitement about the announced candidates, and a great deal of excitement about Ron Paul, who is running as a Republican? I honestly don’t know, but I somehow doubt it. The LP may end up not nominating a presidential candidate for 2008.

_______________________

Sources:
Last Free Voice
Libertarian Party
Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

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moneydecides2.jpg

The Libertarian National Party has a new program, Liberty Decides ’08 designed “to promote our pre-nomination presidential candidates as they engage in a competitive process. To participate in the program, candidates must cross three thresholds: meet the LP bylaws requirements; file with the FEC; and raise at least $5,000 for the LP or LP state parties for ballot access.

Once qualified, candidates will be ranked by the funds they have raised for the program and promoted through the Internet, mail and LP publications.”

40% of all donations to this program will be set aside in a special fund to be used for expenditures coordinated with the candidate who does eventually win the LP nomination in convention. The remainder of the funds will be used to help the LP move forward with core issues such as media, ballot access and member recruitment.

One candidate has declined to participate, noting that the money does not go to help the candidates now, when they need help the most, and only 40% will go to the eventual nominee – whoever that may be – not necessarily the candidate that the donors click on to contribute in the name of.

Further controversy ensued when, in an early version of Liberty Decides, this candidate was included without his consent, and a silhouette of Ron Paul was used as a “Future/Unannounced Candidate.” The silhouette was removed, as was the objecting candidate, but in a controversial and widely talked about move, the LNC voted unanimously to invite Ron Paul to seek the LP nomination for President if he does not get the Republican nomination.

Some candidates are more positive about Liberty Decides.

Some other Libertarian activists have criticized Liberty Decides, notably Susan Hogarth, who wrote:

It would be a much more useful tool for Libertarian activists and likely convention delegates (you know, the folks who actually select the LP nominee) with two simple additions, which I mentioned yesterday:

1) some indication of how many individual donors each candidate has (and, ideally, how many of them are Party members).

2) some indication (other than a link to their websites) of positions.

Susan shares her thoughts about Liberty Decides here, here,
here, and
here.

Despite the criticism, the LNC expressed support for Executive Director Shane Cory and Liberty Decides at its recent meeting in Charleston.

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I1connect News: Ralph Nader and Daniel Imperato “More Voices and More Choices”

In what has been one of the busiest weeks for independent political activity, corporate activist and former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, has indicated that he is exploring another run at the White House in 2008.

During a televised interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Nader stated that America needed “More Voices and More Choices.”

Nader has gained some significant media coverage since New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, announced that he is splitting from the Republican Party and declaring himself as an independent. The move was widely seen as a precursor to a 2008 Presidential run.

Thus far, leading the independent charge has been Florida businessman, Daniel Imperato. Imperato has been consistently the most active independent campaigner, and has recently started working with Libertarian Party in an effort to gain ballot access.

Imperato has openly stated that he is interested in working with members of the Green, Libertarian, Constitution, and Reform Party as well as other independents for a 2008 Presidential bid.

Now, with Ralph Nader in the presidential fray, perhaps an Imperato Nader collaboration could be a possibility.

Imperato brings a strong corporate background, and a no-nonsense style of governance, and straight talk that could be very appealing in the upcoming election.

Nader is a corporate whistleblower who brings an activist philosophy to a potential President-Vice Presidential ticket, and already has previous presidential election experience.

Both candidates are grass-roots oriented and rely very heavily upon strong organization.

Also a potential Green and Libertarian Party collaboration would increase the voter base, viability, and ballot access status of any third party presidential ticket.

So with Imperato, Bloomberg, and now, Ralph Nader on the table for the American public, America may now have more voices, and more choices for the 2008 presidential election.

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Okay, let’s start with their physical appearance. No, I have not altered these photos in any way, with the exception of scaling down the Chapman photo to fit the space:
Daniel Imperato Gene Chapman

Hmmm …… well, they sure do look alike.

Both also seem to have a proclivity for shameless self-promotion (almost everything you’ll find on either of them was written by them – Chapman on blogs, and Imperato in self-published “press releases”). Both also seem to exaggerate their accomplishments tremendously, starting with claims about advising Fortune 500 companies.

It gets better (or worse, depending on how you view it). Chapman claims to have been tutored in economics by none other than billionaire investor Warren Buffett who, he claims, he can out-do in the stock market (yet he can’t seem to rise above driving trucks or changing oil for a living; and Buffett says he doesn’t know Chapman but he’d definitely remember if he knew somebody who could out-do him in the stock market …. you do the math). Imperato claims to actually be a multi-millionaire, though there is no evidence that it’s true except his claims in the endless self-published (literally, he owns the website which puts them out) press releases. However, according to the SEC filings for his corporation, Imperiali, Inc., the company had an accumulated deficit of $11,172,386.28 on November 30, 2006, operated on deficit for the quarter (and it appears most of that money went to him), and almost all of the company’s worth appears to be in unsold stock. [Click here to see the SEC documents.]

Imperato, in a self-published press release, boggles the mind with his claim (or is it a claim?) to own (or not to own?) a $5 billion undersea telecommunications cable, and another claim that he somehow suffered (or did he suffer?) a $3 trillion loss when Osama bin Laden caused 9/11, not as a purely terrorist act against America, but so he could short the stock market to his own financial advantage.

Wow. Just, wow. I’ve never heard that 9/11 conspiracy theory before. But, speaking of stocks, I need to buy stock in Goody’s Headache Powders if I’m going to keep following the lunatic fringe candidates.

Chapman states he never got even one donation, and gives that as his reason for dropping out of the presidential race (and while that is a legitimate reason, it appears it wasn’t the real reason given that some very serious anonymous accusations were leveled against him on several blogs less than 24 hours before he dropped out). Imperato doesn’t appear to have received any donations either, although he loans money to his own campaign (which looks more than a little like funds on paper only; for example, according to the FEC, he spent $125,000 in January – money his campaign didn’t have – then loaned his campaign $250,000 in March). Click here to see the FEC documents. (more…)

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