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Archive for the ‘Libertarian Party’ Category

Here’s a personal story about my brief involvement in the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts (LPMA). I want to say up front that I value the friendship and good will of my colleagues in the party. The people I worked with were good to me and offered me a lot of encouragement. My remarks in this post don’t take away from that. I do want to make some comments about my experience, to offer encouragement to other people who participate in their state parties.

In fall 2008, I joined the board of my state’s Libertarian party and became the organization’s newsletter editor. Shortly thereafter, in Massachusetts’ November 2008 election, Bob Underwood received over three percent of the vote running as a Libertarian for the U. S. Senate. That made the state’s Libertarian party a major political party in Massachusetts.

Not so surprisingly, Massachusetts’ election laws don’t make it easy for people to get on the ballot, least of all candidates for third parties. The laws are somewhat arcane, and leave some room for interpretation. One interpretation, backed by two decades or more of history, is that being a major third party is a particularly bad place to be if you want to place your candidates on the ballot. To secure the 10,000 signatures you need for your nomination papers, you want to be a Democrat, a Republican, a minor party candidate, or an independent who might choose to run under a political designation.

After Underwood’s good showing, LPMA’s board wanted to avoid the disadvantages of being a major third party in the state. Board members discussed how to make the organization a political action group rather than a political party. Persuasive, experienced members of the board carried the day. I was a quiet member of the skeptics, those who wanted to preserve our status as a political party, whether major or minor. I had no interest in devoting time to a political action group, indistinguishable from thousands of other special interest groups out there. A political party fields candidates, and I wanted to help build the state’s Libertarian party.

The upcoming special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat is a good example of the current situation. Joseph Kennedy (no relation to Ted) wants to run in the special election as a Libertarian. Acting on the LPMA’s advice, however, he won’t seek nomination as a candidate of the Libertarian party. Instead he’ll seek nomination under the political designation Liberty. To get 10,000 signatures for your nomination papers, you need a lot of money to pay an organization to collect them, or a good volunteer organization to do the same. The Democrats have many contributors and volunteers in the state, and have no trouble placing their candidates on the ballot. The Republicans are much weaker, and leave many races uncontested. The Libertarians have virtually no money and no volunteer organization. Therefore a candidate like Joe Kennedy must pay professional signature collectors out of his own bank account.

To make matters worse, an independent candidate can collect signatures from any registered voter, whereas a candidate from a major political party can collect signatures only from independents and people enrolled in that party. So if you run as a major party Libertarian, the pool of people eligible to sign your nominating petition is much more restricted.

Yet it’s confusing for a candidate to run under the Liberty designation, and a mistake to abandon the opportunity offered by as candidate’s success in winning three percent of the vote. If Massachusetts Libertarians achieve major party status while short of money and volunteers, it should use the momentum to strengthen the party and make it competitive. The state badly needs a new opposition party – everyone can see that. Instead, much of the party’s energy went toward renouncing its status as a major political party, in order to work around state requirements that make it highly problematic for third parties to get off the ground!

Nomination procedures required to place your candidate’s name on the ballot are one issue. I haven’t mentioned the organization’s second major concern. By the letter of the law, the state’s oversight of a political organization’s books is more strict for a major political party. One board member said he didn’t want to go to jail because we didn’t keep our books properly. Another member would say to others at the table, do you want to go to jail? The discussion rose to higher levels, but I couldn’t stand it. The question had no answer.

My enthusiasm went way down. Given the party’s weakness, it was bound to revert to minor party status the next time it ran a candidate in a state wide election and received less than three percent of the vote. It had already gone through the minor -> major -> minor cycle when Carla Howell ran for governor about a decade ago. She received over three percent on election day, and the party went through the double change of status without upheaval or undue interference from the secretary of state’s office. I felt we should endure the same transition again. If we focused our energy on party building, we could strengthen the group’s ability to field candidates and win votes. Any organization has to trudge a lot of miles before it becomes successful, and the trudging doesn’t stop even then.

We did some party building, but far more energy went toward a debate about how to make ourselves into something other than a political party. First we had to remove the word party from our name. But if you don’t call yourself a party, what are you? If you’re a group of activists but not a party, exactly what role do you play in the state’s electoral system? When you’re a major third party, you’re playing in the big leagues even if you’re the weakest team. No baseball team would voluntarily switch to the minor leagues, no matter how many games it lost or how much the major league’s rules were stacked against it. To make yourself a political action group rather than a party, you cease to play in any league at all. You become a booster club.

More generally, when an organization changes its name, not to mention its legal status, the people involved become confused and doubtful. Even members, those closest to the group, become unsure about their own organization. What’s going on?, they ask. Why the change? Should I continue to support the new group? You depend on current members to recruit new members, but doubt makes some portion of your current members less willing to act. They’re not solidly loyal anymore. The organization starts to shrink instead of grow.

The state libertarian parties throughout the United States need loyal, enthusiastic support. The Republican party can go the way of the Whigs 160 years ago if a real alternative emerges. To quote a long-time libertarian activist, let’s put the Republican party out of its misery. Let’s keep our state libertarian parties healthy and ready to participate. Let’s make them grow, make them able – as parties – to compete successfully in elections. The potential and promise of success are both there, and we have to seize the chance.

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On March 3, 2009 the Libertarian Party website issued a press release and published a blog clearly stating that earmarks in the 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill were pork, and the politicians responsible for them were not fiscal conservatives, nor libertarians.

LP Press Release – Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Libertarians urge Obama to veto pork-ridden spending bill
Libertarians stand with taxpayers against earmark abuse

LP Blog – March 03, 2009, by Donny Ferguson
Six of the top ten Senate ‘porkers’ are Republican
Taxpayers for Common Sense released a database Monday of the 8,570 earmarks, totaling $7.7 billion, in the FY09 omnibus spending bill.

Ferguson’s March 3 blog post cited the H.R.1105: Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, earmarks data codified by The Taxpayers for Common Sense. The Taxpayers for Common Sense’s latest release of this data is the March 13, 2009 Update, Version 5 (xls file). Here is the listing of the top 10 earmarkers by total dollars in both The Senate and The House from that update:

Senate

  • 1. Thad Cochran(R-MS) – $473,707,775
  • 2. Roger Wicker (R-MS) – $396,012,300
  • 3. Mary Landrieu(D-LA) – $332,099,063
  • 4. Tom Harkin(D-IA) – $292,360,036
  • 5. David Vitter(R-LA) – $249,182,063
  • 6. Kit Bond(R-MO) – $248,160,991
  • 7. Dianne Feinstein(D-CA) – $235,027,932
  • 8. Daniel Inouye(D-HI) – $225,077,157
  • 9. Richard Shelby(R-AL) – $219,398,750
  • 10. Chuck Grassley(R-IA) – $199,144,486

House

  • 1. Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI 2nd) – $139,720,002
  • 2. Rodney Alexander (R-LA 5th) – $128,628,563
  • 3. Chet Edwards (D-TX 17th) – $117,926,271
  • 4. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI 1st) – $111,434,800
  • 5. David R. Obey (D-WI 7th) – $98,802,000
  • 6. Marion Berry (D-AR 1st) – $90,001,643
  • 7. Mike Honda (D-CA 15th) – $87,703,143
  • 8. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) – $80,955,928
  • 9. Ron Paul (R-TX 14th) – $75,175,750
  • 10. James Moran (D-VA 8th) – $74,754,928

Six of the ten biggest Senate earmarkers, and eleven of the twenty listed are from the South. Even more remarkable: Ron Paul is the ninth largest earmarker in the House of Representatives. Is this why the LP has stopped firing away at Congressional earmarks?

Here’s Ron Paul’s rationalization for his rampant earmarking: Earmarks Don’t Add Up, although he doesn’t mention why he publicly grandstands his opposition to funding bills he knows damn well are a shoe-in to pass, while he works like a busy beaver behind the scenes assuring his district gets more than their fair share of his earmarking largesse.

Wake-up Paul Sheeple and smell the abattoir’s entrance straight up ahead…ROTFLMAO

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City-County Councilman Ed Coleman is leaving the Republican Party to become a Libertarian.

Coleman will make his official announcement today during a speech at the Columbia Club, where he will be flanked by members of the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

“This is not a decision I take lightly, nor did I come to it without deep reflection,” Coleman said in a statement released Monday by the Libertarians.

“I have found that the direction of the Republican Party has changed, and it is not the same party I joined many years ago,” he said. “Nor do I believe its current leaders truly represent the ideals that the party markets and advertises to voters.”

Vic Ryckaert, “GOP councilman goes Libertarian“, Indianapolis Star, February 17, 2009

Also covered by Radley Balko at Reason Magazine.

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Ballot Access News:

Alabama Representative Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has agreed to introduce a bill to lower the number of signatures needed for minor parties and non-presidential independent candidates. He has been in the legislature since 2003. Thanks to Steven Gordon for this news.

Posted to IPR by Paulie.

Disclosure: I am a member of the executive committee of the Libertarian Party of Alabama. I have also personally gathered tens of thousands of signatures to get the Libertarian Party of Alabama on the ballot in 1998-2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008, as well as recruited and managed other petitioners. As a result of our work in 1998-2000, LPA was able to overcome the highest retention requirements in the nation (20% in a statewide race) and run 58 candidates for office in 2002. I have also personally lobbied legislators for ballot access reform in our state.

In other news discussed at the LPA exec comm meeting yesterday:

Cam Ward’s bill mentioned above also has a possible sponsor in the Senate, Trip Pittman (R-Baldwin County).

In addition to the ballot access bill, Independent Alabama is working on a proportional representation bill with Rep. Demetrius Newton, (D-Jefferson County). Proportional representation would move the state from a winner-take-all system for electoral votes to a proportional allocation of the statewide presidential vote. Currently, the state has nine electoral votes, so any party or independent presidential candidate that gets one ninth of the statewide vote would get a presidential elector. It would also help the Democrats, since Alabama is currently a solidly reliable Republican state in presidential elections – as well as help the entire state of Alabama, since currently, with the state’s electoral votes being a foregone conclusion, national candidates and national media have little incentive to pay attention to Alabama.

Independent Alabama will meet at 6 PM this Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 2330 Highland Ave. in Birmingham (the LPA headquarters and the law firm of Cleveland and Cleveland building). Directions.

Also this Tuesday, at 7:30 pm, there will be a meeting of the UAB (Birmingham) Students for Liberty. Heritage Hall room 124 at UAB. LPA Vice Chair Mike Rster will be attending (and possibly speaking – I’m not sure on the latter). I will try to attend both meetings if possible.

Also on the LPA legislative agenda, No2REAL ID and no to National Animal Identification System (NAIS). It was reported that Liberty House in Madison, Alabama is working on this issue. We are also hoping that Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), an opponent of “REAL ID,” will address it in his keynote speech to the Alabama Republicans.

The Alabama Homebrewers Association and Free The Hops are working on getting legislation introduced and passed, and have several meetings coming up in different parts of the state.

We also heard from Jesse Adkinson, who is working with Alabamians for Tax Free Food, a new organization that is working to repeal grocery sales taxes in Alabama. Currently, the group only has a web presence on LinkedIn, a social networking site.

Jesse explained that the current bill in the legislature is less than ideal from the group’s perspective, since it offsets cuts in grocery taxes by making federal taxes non-deductible on state income tax forms. The bill has support from the legislature’s Black Caucus. We discussed the possibility of friendly amendments, as well as ideas about working on repealing grocery taxes at the county and city levels, including an effort already being organized in Birmingham. Additionally, we floated the idea of also working to repeal sales taxes on medicine, although no concrete action on that has yet taken place.

Members of the LPA are working with Project HOPE and the Alabama Committee to Abolish the Death Penalty.

We are also helping start a new group, Alabamians for Transparent Government. Among the issues we hope to work on: Putting itemized state and local government expenditures online. An Alabama Right to Know bill is being introduced by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison) that will include:

1) Transparency in government spending. A searchable database of all state expenditures; contracts; legislative grants; and state grants.

2) Requiring electronic filing of campaign contributions and expenditures.

3) Disclosure of all public officials or family members of public officials who are employed by the state, or who have a contract with the state, county or a municipality.

Further innovations could include live web casts of the public’s business so that any citizen could view key legislative budget-writing committees at work, key public boards and commissions, perhaps even the governor’s cabinet meetings.

In the past, Alabama Arise and coalitions of the state’s newspapers have worked on pushing for open meetings and enforcement of state sunshine (open meeting) laws.

We heard from several candidates who are interested in getting on the ballot as Libertarian candidates: Scott Glennon in US House District 5, Jason Granholm in US House District 3, Leo McDermott in US House District 1, and our previous write-in Governor candidate, Loretta Nall, who is planning to run in Alabama House District 81. Loretta reports that current incumbent, Democrat Betty Carol Graham, has not had a challenger for her seat in over a decade. More information about these candidates in a separate upcoming post.

Loretta also updated us on legislation. Alabama compassionate care (medical marijuana) legislation will be introduced this term by Jefferson County Democrat Patricia Todd, who Loretta believes will be more proactive in pushing the legislation than the bill’s previous sponsor, Democrat Laura Hall of Madison County.

Our next Compassionate Care meeting will take place on Jan. 31 from 1-3 pm at the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge (same place as last time) located at 4th Ave N and 17 st. This will be our last meeting before the legislative session starts so it is important that y’all be there with as many people as you can round up.

Pass this invite along to everyone you know and I hope to see you on Saturday Jan. 31.

If anyone needs further info I can be reached at 256-625-9599 or lorettanall@gmail.com

Best,
Loretta Nall

The address above is in Birmingham. The meeting will focus on citizen legislative lobbying training.

Among other legislation she has been monitoring, Loretta pointed out HB 59, by Democrat Chris England (District 70 – Tuscaloosa), which would allow for expunging drug arrests from arrestee’s records, a bill to introduce Initiative and Referendum by Republican Mike Ball of Madison County, and a bill to stop police from disarming citizens during emergencies by Democrat Marc Keahey of District 65 (Choctaw, Clarke and Washington counties) as legislation to support.

On the flip side, Loretta recommended that we work to stop Republican Attorney General Troy King‘s crime package, which includes a proposal to mandatorily test all pregnant women in Alabama for illegal drugs, and put them in prison as well as take away their children if they test positive. Additionally, King’s legislative would make parole application more difficult, further worsening the state’s prison overcrowding crisis.

Loretta’s report on King’s package:

All,

Here is the 2009 legislative package of bills that Attorney General Troy King wishes to pass this session. There are some very bad bills here that we need to KILL until they are DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! The ones that need killing the quickest are in bold.

AG King’s 2009 legislative package to fight crime

* Revisions to the Community Notification Act, known as the Adam Walsh Act, sponsored by Representative Ken Guin and Senator Wendell Mitchell.

This bill provides greater protection to the public by providing for more effective monitoring of convicted sex offenders, including their online activities. There would be greater information sharing between all levels of government, so that sex offenders could be more effectively tracked and monitored. The bill adds YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs to those facilities of which a sex offender may not live within 2000 feet. It updates Alabama law to cover technological crimes such as video voyeurism. It makes it a crime for someone else to help a sex offender circumvent the notification and registration law. Numerous additional safeguards and restrictions are included. Most of these changes in this proposed legislation are required by federal law, and noncompliance would cost Alabama loss of certain federal funding.

* Online Solicitation Bill, sponsored by Representative Steve McMillan and Senator Myron Penn.

This bill moves the law forward in two important ways. First, it specifies that attempted solicitation of a child victim is a crime, regardless of whether an actual child is involved. Currently, the law is not clear that a person can be charged with soliciting a child by computer if the person being solicited is, in fact, a law enforcement officer, and not a child. Second, it expands the law to make clear that it is a crime to solicit a child not just by computer, but by any online method to ensure that new technologies are covered. The class B felony of soliciting a child by computer could be charged if a person who is at least three years older than his victim believes he or she is soliciting a child less than 16.

* Chemical Endangerment of an Unborn Child Bill, sponsored by Representative Frank McDaniel and Senator Lowell Barron.

Currently, unborn children whose mothers abuse drugs have no protection of the law. This bill redefines the crime of possession of a controlled substance, to include also the presence of a controlled substance in a person’s body. Therefore, pregnant women who test positive for a controlled substance would be subject to a class B felony. The sentencing judge could suspend the sentence and order a drug treatment program upon a first offense.

* Notoriety Bill, sponsored by Representative Cam Ward and Senator Zeb Little.

This bill also has two primary goals: to provide better opportunities and enforcement of restitution for victims of crime, and to prevent criminals, particularly those on death row, from profiting from the notoriety of their crimes. If felons created artwork or any thing of value and attempted to sell it, the profits would be seized to compensate their victims. The bill would establish mandatory minimum compensation for capital murder at $50 thousand, and for a second or more rape conviction at $10 thousand. The Attorney General could ask a court to seize the offender’s assets to satisfy the restitution order, and prison officials could seize any outgoing mail to search for anything of value that could be used to satisfy restitution to victims.

* DUI Revisions, sponsored by Representatives Marc Keahey and Spencer Collier and Senator Rusty Glover.

This toughens penalties for DUI offenders, especially the very worst, and closes a loophole that kept courts from considering DUI convictions that were older than five years when they were sentencing repeat offenders. Penalties would be increased for all offenders, and those who repeatedly drive while drunk–with four or more convictions–would be sentenced to serve at least six months in jail. Penalties would also be enhanced for the “extremely intoxicated” driver, whose blood alcohol content is more than double the legal limit.

* Nolo Contendere Bill, sponsored by Representative Jamie Ison.

This bill helps keep criminals from hiding their out-of-state criminal records from Alabama Courts. Alabama law currently does not recognize “nolo contendere” or no contest pleas made in other states, where the defendant does not actually plead guilty to the crime but accepts a conviction by not contesting the charge. For example, during the 2005 trial of Jeremy Jones for a brutal rape and murder, prosecutors were barred from informing the jury of his evil past, which included three separate nolo contendere pleas to sexual assault. Attorney General King has named this The Lisa Marie Nichols Justice for Victims Act, in honor of the victim that his office convicted Jones for killing. The proposed law treats allows the State to use the nolo contendere plea to impeach the testimony of a witness, to count as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing for a capital murder, and for enhanced penalties under the Habitual Offender Act.

* Families to be Present at Executions, sponsored by Representative Billy Beasley.

Under current law, only two immediate family members of the victim may be present at an execution. This bill would increase that number to eight immediate family members. It would also allow for the presence of the prosecuting district attorney or his or her representative, and one officer from the arresting branch of law enforcement.

* Concurrent/Consecutive Sentencing and Parole Eligibility Reform, sponsored by Representative Cam Ward and Senator Ted Little.

This law would give real meaning to each consecutive sentence, in determining when an inmate becomes eligible for parole consideration. Currently, the law treats consecutive and concurrent sentences the same if the sentence is more than 30 years. Under Attorney General King’s proposal, each sentence would be measured separately and for each sentence, the inmate could not be considered for parole until he or she had served one-third of the sentence or ten years, whichever is shortest.

* Photo Voter ID, sponsored by Representative Greg Canfield and Senator Larry Dixon.

Voter fraud continues to be a serious problem throughout Alabama, and this bill is designed to stop the fraud and corruption that plague Alabama elections. Any person voting in person or by absentee ballot would have to submit valid photo identification. The photo ID would have to be a driver’s license or state ID card from the Department of Public Safety, passports, or other photo ID cards issued by the federal or state governments.

* Felon Voting Bill, sponsored by Representative Randy Wood.

This legislation would resolve any confusion over which convicted felons are ineligible to vote because their crimes may have involved moral turpitude. Attorney General King proposes the simple remedy that all convicted felons lose their civil and political rights-including the right to vote-and sets aside any question of whether the particular felonies involved moral turpitude. Convicted felons would not be able to vote unless and until they successfully applied to have their rights restored by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. This is a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Alabama, and would have to be ratified by the voters of Alabama.

* Reporting of Gunshot Wounds to Law Enforcement, sponsored by Representative Billy Beasley.

Under existing law, except under limited circumstances, health care providers in Alabama may not initiate reports to law enforcement about gunshot wounds and stabbings without written consent of the patient. This bill would mandate reporting by health care providers, and would supersede any privilege under state law such as doctor/patient privilege.

* Cock fighting Legislation, sponsored by Representative Cam Ward.

Cock fighting is one of the most serious forms of animal cruelty and Alabama law in this area is antiquated and inadequate, providing at most a $50 fine. This bill would make it a class C felony to fight cocks, own, train or keep cocks for fighting, keep a cockpit, or promote cock fighting. There would be a stiff fine of up to $1,000 a day for the owner or operator of the cockpit, or, up to three times the gross receipts derived from cock fighting. Property purchased with profits from cock fighting, or used in connection with cock fighting, would be subject to forfeiture. Furthermore, it would be a class A misdemeanor to be knowingly present at a cock fight.

* Bid Law Reform.

This bill would provide more transparency and accountability in governmental transactions. Current law allows certain municipalities to make purchases from elected officials, employees or board member. As a safeguard, this law adds a requirement that two items be filed with the State Ethics Commission: a written finding that conditions of the law had been followed, and a copy of the contract. Any contract that was in violation of the law would be voided, and any public official who knowingly authorized such a contract would be subject to a class C felony. Current law provides certain exemptions to bid law; if a governmental body entered into a contract without submitting it for bid, it would have to clearly state in writing what exemption was used and the report would be open to public inspection. Additional reforms would help to ensure honesty and integrity in Alabama’s public contracts.

* Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement, sponsored by Representative Spencer Collier and Senator Rusty Glover.

This legislation seeks to reduce the number of individuals who flee from law enforcement, particularly by means of a vehicle. Intentional flight from law enforcement would start as a class B misdemeanor, but it would become a class C felony if a motor vehicle is used, and it would be a class B felony if the flight created a risk of injury or death to bystanders. This bill is a high priority for law enforcement and would keep our streets safer for the citizens of Alabama. Attorney General King has named this bill in honor of Montgomery police officer Keith E. Houts who was shot and killed in 2006 while making a traffic stop.

* Civil recovery for Illegal Gambling, sponsored by Representative Randy Wood.

Under existing law, there is no specific provision for a civil cause of action to recover monetary penalties for illegal gambling devices. In the past, owners and operators and others who profit from illegal gambling activities have considered the payment of criminal fines as a cost of doing business. This law provides a strict liability that would make their costs much higher than the potential profits. These new penalties would be used in conjunction with existing criminal and civil causes of action.

Loretta reported that King has stopped his efforts to put teeth into Alabama’s Sex Toy ban since she sent him a blow up pig. Many LPA members believe that now is the time to get on the offensive and work to repeal the sex toy ban completely. Loretta reports that she has more blow up pigs to send to members of the legislature, and other props ready to go.

One additional issue some LPA members are working on is to help stop and repeal mandatory smoking bans on businesses.

In other business, we approved Leo McDermott as interim District Chair for the Mobile area, which previously seceded from the state party several years ago. A concern was raised that Mr. McDermott disagrees with the Libertarian Party’s official non-interventionist foreign policy position. I asked Mr. McDermott if, as the party’s regional representative, he will be able to separate his personal views on foreign policy issues from those of the party. He said he would. Given his answer, I made a motion to accept Mr. McDermott as the interim Mobile District chair, and it passed unanimously.

Ballot access report from Andy Jacobs:

I recently finished a fundraising letter which I e-mailed to a bunch of Libertarians around the country. George Phillies posted this letter on one of his websites and is going to feature it in the next issue of his newsletter.

We have an agreement with a woman named Christy whom we have worked on campaigns with in the past to help us with our fundraising efforts. Christy moved to Tennessee a few months ago and is also planning to come down to Alabama to gather signatures after the fundraising bears more fruit. Christy is in the midst of a move to another apartment and plans to start working on the fundraising after she gets settled. She also recently ordered one of those Magic Jack internet phones which will help with her fundraising efforts.

Here are some pictures of Christy and me at a third party debate that
was held in Nashville, Tennessee last year. Note that neither of us
supported the views of all of the candidates in the debate, but we
did support the concept of having an open debate with candidates that held a variety of views.

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/10/pictures-from-third-party-debate/

I recently finished organizing a big fundraising list from which Jake,
Christy, and I will be making calls. We have one or two other
people who may join us in the telephone fundraising effort. We may
also put together a fundraising letter to send to potential donors via
regular mail.

Gaining full party status in Alabama is a major undertaking and will
prbably take a while to complete. Keep in mind that in the last
election cycle it took the Libertarian Party of North Carolina 3 1/2
years to gather the 69,000 (and something) valid signatures for them
to regain ballot status. Alabama requires around 40,000 valid
signatures for full party status, but keep in mind North Carolina has
almost double the population of Alabama and that the Libertarian Party
of North Carolina is bigger than the Libertarian Party of Alabama.

Note that we are also trying to raise enough money to get ballot
access efforts going in some of the other states were we can legally
start ballot access petitioning this early. For far too many years
the Libertarian Party has been doing ballot access in an inefficient
manner and we are trying to change this. The way that I see it the
Libertarian Party can either start now and do things in an efficient
and intelligent manner, or the Libertarian Party can put it off and
pay more later and do things in an inefficient and stupid manner
(which is more likely to end in failure).

If anyone here has not done so yet, I encourage you to make a
donation to get ballot access going in your own state. Here’s the link…

http://www.al.lp.org/pages/contribute

Be sure to type ballot access in the box for how you want your
donation to be spent.

If everyone in the Libertarian Party of Alabama could kick in say
$25-$100 each it would help jumpstart the Alabama LP ballot access
drive as it would show Libertarian Party members outside of Alabama
that Alabama Libertarians are serious about getting back on the
ballot. If anyone out there is going through financial hard times
even kicking in just $10 or $20 would help.

Every member of the Alabama LP should also be given copies of the
ballot access petition for 2010 and 2012. Contact Paulie as he has copies of them. Sign the petitions yourself and at the very least get your family and friends to sign them.

Andy

I outlined the framework of a business plan for LPA ballot access and field organizing:

> It will cost $180,000 over 3.5 years for field organizers and fund raisers, plus about $20,000 in overhead such as maintaining the HQ (over 3.5 years). [Total $200,000]

This is far more than we have raised previously; it will get us statewide ballot access for all races in 2010 and 2012.

In addition to getting about 40,000 valid signatures for each year
(about 60,000 raw) we want to:

  • Database contacts and give out thousands of brochures/fliers/business cards for the party.

  • Get thousands of voters to sign postcards to their state
    legislators to improve our state’s ballot access laws, and for the other legislative issues we are pushing.

  • Start county chapters in all 67 counties, or as many as we can.
  • Start campus groups at every college in the state, or as many as we can.
  • Hand out fully informed jury rights information in every county.
  • Register thousands of voters and spread information about restoring ex-felons voting rights to as many people as possible.
  • Help organize and build single issue lobbying groups in every county on issues such as: compassionate care (medical marijuana), No to REAL ID and National Animal Identification Systems (NAIS), Proportional representation, Government transparency, Repealing the grocery sales tax, Free the Hops, ending the death penalty, Ending mandatory smoking bans for businesses, Ending the ban on sex toys, and other issues we identify in the course of field organizing throughout the state.
  • Identify and recruit teams of candidates to run as a slate of Libertarian candidates for local and state office in each and every county.
  • Market the Libertarian Party door to door to small businesses
    throughout every single county in the state.

Let’s take the lemons that the state legislature has handed us in the form of prohibitive ballot access barriers and turn them into lemonade!

Paulie

This business plan needs a lot of work; if anyone reading has experience with writing business plans and would like to help, please let me know how to get a hold of you in the comments.

We would like to turn it into a presentation-quality business plan folder which we will distribute to attendees at the upcoming LSLA/LNC in Charleston, SC, Feb 27-Mar. 1st.

We would also like to send an email fundraising letter based on this plan to the thousands of opt-in subscribers to LPA chair Steve Gordon‘s company, LibertarianLists. We are also interested in finding out more about other lists we can borrow, rent or purchase to raise money for implementing this plan as it progresses.

During the course of the meeting, Steve had to turn the gavel over to Vice Chair Mike Rster because for a portion of the meeting because he was being interviewed by CNN.

After the meeting ended, Steve was just starting to help me with writing the business plan when he had to leave unexpectedly, due to his grandfather having his feeding tube pulled. Condolences and best wishes to Steve Gordon and his family.

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I’ve told bits and pieces of this story in response to comments on various threads in various places. Having done so over and over, I feel the need to go ahead and put it all out there now so that everyone has one place to turn to for my perspective as state chair. I’m going to go over this first in timeline format, then share a few additional facts about WV and the ballot access situation for us and other parties. If something in the timeline is a bit confusing, see the facts section for clarification.

December 2007: Bill Redpath approaches then-chair Kirsten Milligan about assisting WV with national party funds for ballot access. I was secretary of the party at that time. Kirsten discussed it with the executive committee, and the concensus we reached was that since we did not have a gubernatorial candidate for 2008, national party funds would be better spent elsewhere, and that we would pursue ballot access in 2012 when we had a gubernatorial candidate so that we could achieve major party status and never have to petition again.

March 2008: Kirsten Milligan resigns, and I become interim chairman.

April 2008: Russ Verney contacts me about the possibility of the Barr campaign going for ballot access in WV if Barr wins the nomination. He seems enthusiastic, and I am as well. Mr. Verney comes across very well, and I’m genuinely looking forward to working with him on this together at that point.

May 2008: I’m elected chairman for a full term. Tad Britch is elected to replace me as secretary.

May 2008: Several Barr campaign folks speak to me about the possibility of ballot access in WV while I’m in Denver as a delegate, both before and after Barr receives the nomination. Shane Corey and Russ Verney are among them. I ask them to keep in touch moving forward, and state that I’d love to bring out whatever volunteers the state party has available, but that we have very little in the way of funds, and not enough to really pay for petitioners. I state that we would like some training for our volunteers who primarily reside in the north-central area of WV. This is the last time I would be in contact with any Barr campaign staff, however. I mention to Paulie and others that I’d like to have them come petition and party with me in WV if the Barr campaign sends some funds to the state party for ballot access.

June 2008: Towards the very end of June, Jake Witmer contacts me, and says they are petitioning. I mention that I’d like to get some volunteers trained from the state party’s volunteer base. Jake states that he is in Charleston (a few hours south of the north-central area, where we have very few activists and likely no volunteers.) Jake tells me Shane Corey is coming to the Charleston area, and that he’ll be contacting me. I ask if any petitioners are active in northern WV. Jake doesn’t know. Jake sends me some documents including petitions.

July 2008: I’m still in contact with Jake every once in a while. I offer to house petitioners in my home since Morgantown/Fairmont/Clarksburg/Bridgeport is a good area for petitioning. He says he has a friend who might take me up on it if his friend is brought in by the Barr campaign. That never occurs. I also mention that several other members of the state party would likely volunteer couch space or an air-bed. Later on, Jake gives me contact info for Shane who is apparently in Charleston. I am never able to get in contact with Shane, and he never attempts to contact me.

August 2008: The Barr campaign fails to meet its deadlines. Our state party volunteer base was never utilized. Barr also fails to register as a certified write-in candidate, so that write-in votes for Barr would be counted.

September 2008: A state party member calls me, asking about the Barr lawsuit. This is the first I’d heard of it.

Now for some facts. Ballot access is a 2% theshhold of prior-election voters in WV. To achieve major party status (which means you get free ballot access without petitioning) you must have a gubernatorial candidate who receives 1% of the popular vote. After the national convention, the only person who I was ever in contact with regarding the ballot access efforts was Jake Witmer. Jake was not equipped to really do what needed to be done, as a petitioner and not someone with any real authority. In the future, ballot access efforts will be undertaken by the LPWV. I firmly believe this will better serve the interests of LP candidates throughout the state as we move forward.  The Constitution Party achieved ballot access by petition in 2008 for their presidential candidate, as did Ralph Nader as an independent.  The Green Party affiliate, which is called the Mountain Party, had major party status and did not need to petition.

- Matt Harris, LPWV Chair

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I’ve returned from the great adventure I call “LP-SPAN” and here are my thoughts on the technical side of the issue. It is my hope that we can take this and build on it to make the next round of LNC insanity even better in terms of the broadcast quality. All suggestions are definitely appreciated. This is most definitely a work in progress.

The equipment:

I was using a Microsoft LifeCam either attached to a clip on the top of my laptop or on its independent pole. The camera allows pan and zoom IF you use the Microsoft software. However, the Justin.tv feed doesn’t allow that. No idea if Ustream does. I also had trouble with lighting issues in the room, especially the projector screen glare.

For future, I’d recommend a real videocam on a tripod, which should be able to create a better view and video quality. Personal experience suggests a bird-watching scope tripod over a camera tripod for lightness and ease of use. Plus mine has super-high elevation so it could pan over the crowd. Background lighting

The laptop was sitting on a tray table I had brought along since the room didn’t have any tables except for catering or the meeting table. It caused shaking of the cam at times when I tweeted, and the hunchover caused havoc on my back over time. I was hurting badly until Rachel gave me a much-needed back rub. “Bitchin’!” J

I’d recommend not having the camera attached to the laptop or at least set up in a way that it doesn’t shake. That and having a good setup so the laptop is the proper height to the user.

I’d also recommend a good omnidirectional microphone set up where everything can be caught well. The mic built into the webcam also caught my comments and occasional whispers, and a lot of extra noise. At SD the board table was in a cube with an open center, and the mic in there would have been best. I didn’t have that and it would have been a big help.

The testing:

I made sure that I understood how it all tied together and I did some test runs at home to make sure. That made a big difference come show time. However, the differences between my den and the meeting room were vast. I’d recommend testing in the meeting room if at all possible, because of the acoustics and lighting.

I tried the Justin.tv feed with the laptop’s webcam, then the external one recording, then with outside people and trying to embed.

Embedding the live feed was also a challenge. I had Todd Barnett on the phone helping to troubleshoot on his end. It helps to have someone on the receiving end to evaluate the reception. Ditto during the meeting. The justin.tv feed had a chat room built into each feed window, and that made getting the feedback easy, which came in handy when the connection got bad. Justin.tv does NOT work with WordPress well, unless Todd and I just missed something, which is certainly possible. I got it to embed at blogger/blogspot just fine. Other embedding notes are appreciated.

We also encountered a horrible screeching when we were testing, until we figured out that it was caused by the laptop speakers output being picked up by the webcam mic and creating a nasty feedback loop. The solution was to mute the speakers. Wear headphones when adjusting the microphone volume.

The Feed:

First, I was on the hotel’s wireless connection, which at times was very slow. The more people that were logged into the network, the slower it got. If you can, use a wired connection to ensure the connection rate stays consistent.

Second, it is extremely important to have someone on the other end provide feedback on the reception. On my end, the display on the popout window was far different than the one in the main window. Here the chat box was invaluable, and I was lucky to have multiple people giving me feedback.

Third, Justin.tv gave me the option to record as we broadcast. Do it. It saves off the pieces online for later download. I’d suggest stopping and restarting the recording at various spots to break it up into manageable segments instead of one long one. I always made sure to check the bandwidth between recordings because of the wireless, but I don’t think that may be necessary on a wired connection.

The twitter:

It’s a great tool to do this live. Yes, the 140 character limit can be an issue at times. I’d recommend two tweets, both in the gallery rather than on the board, who should focus on what is going on anyway. Plus, it removes any issue about “decorum” or “executive session”, but the tweets should be as neutral as possible. The advantage of two is that one can pick up what the other missed, which is an area I had trouble with at times. I’d also suggest that if you can’t get on a wired connection, then see if the tweet can be done on a Blackberry. The wireless connection problems that plagued the feed connection also slowed down the tweets. It may be advisable to have whomever is tweeting be different from the camera operations.

All in all, my rig was a little crude, but it was something. I don’t see this as too difficult, just taking a little getting used to. If you test beforehand and practice, it goes better.

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So a few of us – namely Paulie, George Donnelly, Mike Seebeck, and myself, along with a few others who have expressed an interest, have been talking a lot about forming an LP Transparency Caucus.  At this point, we’re sure that we’re moving forward with this, so we thought it a good time to start soliciting thoughts and ideas from the community at large instead of just talking amongst ourselves.  We’ve got the internet site stuff set up, and just needs some design/content/etc – anyone interested in helping out, please let us know.

Here’s what we’re thinking so far: The LP Transparency Caucus is completely non-partisan in terms of reformers, radicals, etc.  All we do is try to bring greater openness to the LP.  This includes everything from the LNC (we plan to push for live video from every LNC meeting from now on) to bylaws and platform committees, etc.  We will be putting out reports or pushing to have reports put out in as timely a manner as possible.  We want as much information as feasible to be available to the entirety of the LP membership without in any way compromising the goals of the LP.  Certain things are supposed to be public – and we’ll always be lobbying to make sure they are.

Beyond that, we’ll be sending candidates for internal positions such as the LNC and various committees surveys.  We will publish the results of these surveys, as well as endorse the best candidates.  Once elected, we will help to ensure that these candidates comply with the campaign promises made in terms of transparency and a culture of openness within the given committee.  We believe that this will foster such a culture by encouraging candidates to take up pro-transparency positions as well as stick to them once in office.

So have at it – what other ideas and suggestions do you folks have?  What else can be done?  Keep in mind that bonus points are awarded for doers, not for talkers.  Over the coming months and years, we’ll be putting our boots on the ground to try and achieve the goals we’re working on here.  If you want to help by doing stuff, don’t hesitate to say so!  All are welcome, and we hope you’ll find this idea worthwhile.

Thanks, Matt

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Copied from IPR:

This resolution is going to be brought up at the upcoming LNC meeting in Sandy Eggo, Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7, 2008.  Here’s some more info on that, including the agenda, courtesy of Rachel Hawkridge. The charges are being presented by Stewart Flood, and a summary is attached. Supporting evidence is expected to be made available later in the week.

Resolution of Discipline

Whereas, Angela Keaton has engaged in conduct injurious to the Libertarian Party and
its purposes; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Angela Keaton’s membership in the Libertarian National Committee is
suspended pursuant to Article 8, Section 5 of the Bylaws of the Libertarian Party; and
further be it

RESOLVED, That the aforementioned suspension is hereby rescinded, contingent upon
a determination by the Secretary that Angela Keaton has submitted within seven days of
the adoption of this resolution a letter for publication in LP News including (and limited
to):

· An apology for being in breach of a board member’s fiduciary duty of loyalty to
the Libertarian Party, publicly declaring her disinterest in the party, providing
material support to another political party and seeking to undermine the success
of and attempting to injure the Libertarian Party and its public image. The
contents of the apology to include the following:

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian Party for seeking to undermine the success of and attempting to injure the Libertarian Party
and its public image by posting on her blog in July 2008, “Friends don’t let friends join the LP” and on September 5, 2008, “The LP is hopeless”

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian Party for violating the fiduciary duty of a board member by joining and providing material
support to a competing political party while serving on the board of the Libertarian Party

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire for attempting on August 21, 2008 to sabotage the party’s attempt to win the right to candidate substitution for future elections

o An apology to Wayne Allyn Root and the Libertarian Party for attempting to injure their public images by knowingly publishing on June 13, 2008 false assertions that an indictment on charges of fraud was pending against Mr. Root

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian Party for publicly offering on her blog on June 28, 2008, sexual services in exchange for donations to the Party, and suggesting in Internet interviews on June 20, 2008 and
June 26, 2008 that the Libertarian Party asks her to offer sexual services in exchange for donations to the Party

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian National Committee and to the members of the Libertarian Party for numerous blog posts and
Internet interviews with officers of a competing political party in which the Libertarian Party’s image was harmed with broad-sweeping general
hostility towards the LP, numerous broad insults of her fellow LNC members as being inept, unqualified and not “real” libertarians, and impugning the motives of fellow LNC members for serving on the LNC

o An apology to Bill Redpath for repeatedly asserting in an Internet interview and on blog postings that he has undergone a “lobotomy”

o An apology to Admiral Colley for asserting in an Internet interview on June 20, 2008 that due to his age he is incapable of handling special LNC
projects involving staff management

o An apology to Bob Sullentrup for calling him an “ass” and a “goofball whose activism days were long behind him” in an Internet interview on June 20, 2008

o An apology to Dan Karlan for saying in an Internet interview on June 26, 2008 that he isn’t qualified to be on the LNC

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian Party for asserting in an Internet interview on June 26, 2008, that most LP members who are
concerned about border security are racists

o An apology to the members of the Libertarian Party for misusing donor data to contact major LP donors and falsely telling them that the
Libertarian Party had defrauded them

· An apology for exhibiting a pattern of reckless behavior and poor judgment, potentially exposing the LP to harassment lawsuits, creating an uncomfortable environment for staff and fellow LNC members, and potentially discouraging groups of people from joining the LP. The contents of the apology to include the
following:

o An apology to LP staff member Casey Hansen for violating the LNC Policy Manual Article 1, Section 8.D and risking sexual harassment
accusations by blogging on September 6, 2008, “Nice staff piece of ass, Casey. Dark, young and easy prey for a cougar like myself.”

o An apology to Aaron Starr and the Libertarian National Committee for violating LNC Policy Manual, Article 1, Section 8.D (which prohibits
harassment of LP staff or fellow LNC members with racial epithets and derogatory posters, pictures, cartoons, or drawings) by posting on her blog on June 16, 2008 a photo-shopped image of herself and Mr. Starr portraying him in Darth Vader costume and Hitler moustache and
identifying him as “Darth Herr Vader”

o An apology to the Libertarian National Committee for violating LNC Policy Manual, Article 1, Section 8.D and risking sexual harassment accusations by posting on her blog on September 6, 2008 sexual comments regarding Julie Fox, Heather Scott, Executive Director candidate Donny Ferguson, and Admiral Colley

o An apology to Southerners and Christians for violating LNC Policy Manual Article 1 Section 8.A which states, “All collective deprecation, whether alluding to sex, race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, or any other protected category, must be avoided. Every person is a unique individual, and as the Libertarian Party is the Party of Individual Liberty, this injunction should doubly apply”, for posting on her blog on June 13, 2008 referring to an LP member from the South as a “hillbilly” and further stating, “All those Christian types married to their uncle cousins look the same to me.”

o An apology to the Libertarian National Committee for offering sex to the LNC officers conditional on the performance of our Presidential candidate by stating in an Internet interview on June 26, 2008, “If Bob Barr breaks
1%, the officers of the national party can pass me around like a pu-pu platter.”

· An apology to the Libertarian Party for violating the confidentiality of the September 7, 2008 Executive Session with a blog post on the same date and also for violating the confidentiality of a February 2008 Executive Session with a blog post on June 15, 2008

· An apology to Stewart Flood for threatening by phone on November 6, 2008, “I could have things done to you.”

· A promise not to commit similar offenses in the future while serving as a member of the Libertarian National Committee

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OK, so this is a bit off-topic, but since Paulie graced me with the ability to post here, I figured I might as well use it to promote something good.  And it is good, and free, and once complete, will benefit our movement.  So perhaps it’s not that off-topic after all.

Anyway, George Donnelly and I have started a project to create a set of web-based tools for pro-liberty organizations, with a specific focus on LP state and local affiliates.  It should also be easily portable to the needs of organizations such as pro-liberty PACs, other pro-liberty parties, etc.  This will be based on some existing open source software projects, tie them together neatly (single sign-on via a unified authentication backend and use of the same AAA cookies), create a single frontend for installation and management, and add some additional tools targetted at our specific audience.

What we need specifically are volunteers who can write PHP code, XHTML/Javascript/AJAX/CSS, folks with extensive MySQL development experience, and possibly some additional Perl and Ruby experience.  PHP developers with user interface experience are probably the highest priority, followed by folks who can do front-end user interface coding.  Let me know if you’re interested. If you post here, I’ll reply via email.

You can check out the project over at http://developer.berlios.de/projects/lptools/

Thanks!

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I’ve heard a number of genuine, dyed-in-the-wool Libertarians lately talking about *not* voting for the party’s presidential candidate, Bob Barr.  There are a lot of folks who just don’t think he was a good choice and I can understand that.  That said, it’s important to consider all of the facts before making a decision like this one.  In this case, one important fact is that the number of votes for a presidential candidate impacts the number of delegates that one’s state gets to the LP national conventions.  This means that states with more people who support, and hence vote for, Barr are likely to get more national convention delegates than states with Libertarians who will refuse to vote for Barr on principle.  Think about it! Personally, I want the most principled individuals serving as delegates to the LP national conventions.  Of course, this advice is only what it is.  I’m not necessarily urging anyone to take any specific course of action.  What I am doing is urging everyone to consider all of the facts in this, as in any situation, prior to making a final decision.

I’ll be back later to read comments.  For now, I’m off to go vote for Bob Barr.

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Earlier today, Paulie Cannoli wrote to suggest the rather clever idea that the membership figures were probably stimulated when many states adopted a bundled marketing concept, where joining the state party got you national membership at the same time. Apparently, that deal has gone away, and most states are now collecting membership fees independent of the national party.

Another thought that he mentioned was that the Harry Browne campaign may have been counting as members everyone who contributed at least $25 to the campaign, during those tawdry days of corruption when the national LP headquarters staff was nearly identical in material respects to the Harry Browne campaign staff. See my letters and L. Neil Smith’s editorials on this situation during the relevant period (1996-2001 or so) on ncc-1776.org for details.

Here is a graph derived from figures found on groups.yahoo.com/group/lpradicals in their files area. No doubt the party loyalists among the so-called LP Radicals are going to remove those files in order to prevent any further conversation about the figures. But, we have this lovely graph.

Whether I get it to display, I dunno.

Now, Microsoft Excel is not very good at graphing. The data peaks at 33,017 or so in December 1999 and the data set ends at November 2007 with a value of 14,017. That’s where I get my calculations found at http://bostontea.us/node/304 – in case the graphic doesn’t display here.

Since the end of April, when I joined as member 30 on the current site (the 2006 membership database having been lost due to a server problem), the Boston Tea Party has grown to encompass 417 people. During the last few months, 533 people have joined our group on Facebook, which seems to be a major source of new members, alongside the recent addition of Google ads. Many of those Facebook friends were invited by me with the note that “The Boston Tea Party is the fastest growing libertarian party in America. We are adding state affiliates and endorsing candidates from other parties who agree with our smaller government platform.”

But, you know what? It looks like the Boston Tea Party may be the only growing libertarian party in America. The LP is shrinking.

In the last few months, we’ve endorsed or nominated about 30 candidates, most of whom are either members of the LP and running as BTP candidates, or members of the LP running as LP candidates. Some, such as founder Tom Knapp, are doing both – he’s the BTP vice presidential nominee this year, and he’s running for Congress in Missouri as an LP candidate.

We’ve also had quite a lot of enthusiasm for running favorite son vice presidential candidates in states such as Colorado (Dan Kilo), Florida (John Wayne Smith), Arizona where our write-in registration lists Barry Hess, and Utah where our write-in registration lists Marilyn Chambers, the actress who was Charles Jay’s running mate in 2004 on the Personal Choice Party ticket. I should note that our Voter Guide suggests people in states that forbid write-in voting for president choose to write in Marilyn for vice if they seek to protest this limitation on their political sovereignty.

During this same time, we have added twelve state affiliates. In two of those states, Florida and Colorado, we’re on the ballot. In Florida, we are officially recognised as a party, so people living there may choose to register as Boston Tea Party voters. Finally, thanks to Paulie Cannoli, we were able to collect signatures to put our candidates on the ballot in Tennessee, making three states for our first presidential candidate. (John Hospers, the LP’s first presidential candidate in 1972, was on the ballot in two states. We don’t expect our vice presidential nominee to earn any electoral votes, though.) I’ve also been approached privately about several LP state affiliates which would like to consider affiliating with the Boston Tea Party, as well. It has been a very exciting time, and the growth in our party has been fantastic.

My friend Tom Knapp asked me to help him earlier this year, and I admit that it took me some time to find my feet. No doubt, I was helped enormously by a number of events in the LP, such as the choice of Bob Barr as presidential nominee by a narrow majority on the last ballot in Denver. A number of missteps by Barr and his team, as well as the raging controversy over whether Angela Keaton should be allowed to communicate LNC activities to her constituents, have added vigor to our party.

Most of the recognition and credit for the growing membership of the Boston Tea Party goes to the members who have chosen to join us. Membership is free, so it is never an economic choice. It is a matter of choosing to agree with our platform. Or not. And a great many have chosen to agree. I thank them.

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I’ve previously listed the LP candidates here, here, here and here. Now, George Donnelly has turned this list into its own website with graphics and continuous updating. George explains:

An Effort to List all LP Candidates

We Libertarians need to know how many candidates we’re fielding for office. Which states are fielding full slates? no slates? Who are the candidates, what do they look like, what is their history, what are their positions and motivations?

This is all very basic but, before Libertarian Party Candidates (LPC), you could not find all this information in one place.

It’s important to see how well (or poorly) we Libertarians are doing at challenging the Republicrat duopoly at the ballot box. Hopefully LPC will serve as a measuring stick and as an incentive to run more and better candidates in 2010, 2012 and beyond.

Background

When Paulie pointed out in July of 2008 that LP.org doesn’t list all the Libertarian Party candidates running for office, it piqued my interest. How can we expect people to support and vote for Libertarian candidates if they don’t even know who they are – or even that they exist?

So, after chatting with Paulie, I decided that Libertarians might like a website where they can find all LP candidates in one convenient place.

Thanks to Paulie, the state parties and others that have collected the raw information presented here. All I did was design the site and enter the data.

Future Years

The site was built in a hurry during my spare time in the last couple weeks of July 2008, but I plan to significantly improve it for 2010 and beyond. Your sugestions and comments will help make that a reality.

Please Share your Feedback

Please feel free to contact me, George Donnelly, at me@georgedonnelly.com with any suggestions, ideas, complaints or whatever. I’m open to developing the project in new directions. I’m also interested in other strategies to advance the cause of liberty.

According to the site, the LP is running

* 15 for US Senate
* 109 for US House
* 5 for State Governor
* 4 for State Lt. Governor
* 1 for State Treasurer
* 3 for State Attorney General
* 2 for State Auditor
* 22 for Other State Offices
* 42 for State Senates
* 216 for State Houses
* 3 for Local Executives
* 26 for Local Legislatures
* 6 for Judge
* 12 for Sherriff or Constable
* 78 for Other Local Offices
* 546 Total LP candidates

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originally posted by GE at IPR. Headline by Fred Church in the comments.

In response to House GOP leader John Boehner’s comments to Reason‘s Dave Weigel — that conservatives considering a vote for Bob Barr “might as well vote for Barack Obama” — the LP has issued a press release with harsh words for the GOP and its leadership.

Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis said that Boehner’s comments “reflect the same fallacy of thought that has put America in its current situation, with neither Republicans or Democrats offering the solutions voters want to hear.”

Davis also said Boehner’s comments were “a symptom of the same delusion that cost Republicans control in 2006.”

Read the entire release here.

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Press release posted on the LP Radicals yahoo group. Starchild has had various offices in the San Francisco and California LP, and is one of the spokespeople for this initiative.

The San Francisco Department of Elections announced today that the measure prohibiting city officials from spending money arresting and prosecuting people for prostitution, and mandating equal legal protection for sex workers, has qualified for the November ballot. Of 500 signatures randomly sampled and checked by department personnel, 80 percent were found to be valid. “This is a happy day for San Franciscans who want government to focus on fighting real crimes like homicides and robberies, and are tired of seeing resources wasted in a futile effort to police consensual sex between adults,” said Starchild, a sex worker activist and spokesperson for the campaign. “We’ve cleared the first hurdle.” By the Elections Department’s tally, supporters had turned in 12,745 signatures of registered San Francisco voters on July 7.

The campaign to decriminalize prostitution will hold a kickoff rally and press conference to formally announce the results on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall, with
speakers to likely include Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who was a signer of the petition to put the measure on the ballot along with two of his board colleagues. “It is way past time that the
recommendations of the Board of Supervisors 1996 Prostitution Task Force were implemented,” said the measure’s proponent, Maxine Doogan. “Criminalizing sex workers has been putting workers at risk of violence and discrimination for far too long.”

The prostitution reform measure joins two other voter-submitted measures on the local Nov. 4 ballot, along with eight measures put on the ballot by the mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors, with many others expected to be added in the next several weeks.

Starchild – (415) 621-7932 / (415) 368-8657 / RealReform@…
Maxine Doogan – (415) 265-3302 / MistressMax@…

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In this essay, LP radical and LPNY state chair Eric Sundwall advocates that radical libertarians avoid the BTP and stay in the LP. It is entitled Party Like It’s 1973, an apparent ironic reference to Party like it’s 1773 by BTP interim chair Jim Davidson.

I was somewhat intrigued when popular Libertarian blogger Tom Knapp started the Boston Tea Party soon after the 2006 Portland massacre. An online political party that hearkened to the radical sensibility with a savvy for the political seemed an interesting notion without any real threat to LP work and activities. A place where members could vent and fume within their own diaries and entries and perhaps still effect meaningful activism within the libertarian community in general. Fine. Sometimes a great notion . . .

The current self-flagellation from its members and current standard bearers for office is a greater reflection of petty narcissistic traits and ambitions that one finds within splinters of a small movement, than any real grassroots or political effort. To be sure, most of the current brouhaha is based on the success of reform elements within the LP and the eventual nomination of Bob Barr. But there has also been a disproportionate coverage of their activities within the small third party blogosphere and even some mention in the higher echelons of typical political coverage. I’m beginning to think about getting sixteen of my buddies together to form the American Anarchist Party so as not to be left out. At least there would be no compromise on real principles.

In my estimation the BTP became untenable, less credible and utterly ridiculous when the New York affiliate formed without my knowledge or possible input. I expressed my discontent about this to founder Tom Knapp and got a reply that membership wasn’t tracked on geographical basis and thus any notification about formation of an affiliate wouldn’t be forthcoming to members unless they kept abreast of the website and those postings. At the time I thought I had kept a current feed from BTP in my aggregator (Bloglines) and it was only another entry at the time that serendipitously showed up that brought me back to the site for a quick re-reference. It was at that time that I became knowledgeable of the NY affiliate startup.

Of course the elements forming that start up were no more radical in spirit than in truth ambitious for titles and accolades. In fact some of the players were in dispute with the LPNY about one of their affiliates and a factional shoot off from it in another arena wasn’t all that surprising. Having also expressed some insider concern to Knapp about this, he just shrugged it off and said something about long ropes and the like.

In the course of 2007 one saw a gradual decline of the website and eventually spam took it over and the case for neglect made itself very obvious if one visited the site. Again Knapp was shrugging it off as not his baby anymore since the formation of a national committee and control being handed over to the new principles. Any other misgivings about Knapp and his organizational abilities were already being sent to me through my association of other notable activists and to some extent LNC connections. After he was almost completely rejected for the Platform Committee in Pittsburgh that summer I figured any possible radical ally in this figure was improbable. At the time he was flailing for Kubby as the official or non-official this or that and it was obvious where his pre-occupation was at. Once he started running Ron Paul up the racist flagpole based on a Suicide Girls post, I was done. After the Sean Haugh attack after Vegas, I was disgusted, despite reassurances from Angela Keaton and Paulie that he wasn’t the drama queen I might have marked him as.

Enter the Independent Political Report. They started covering the mini-convention of the BTP in Denver and it seems like new life was born from it. Apparently that long rope came back to bite BTP and Knapp put the kibosh on any usurpation of his baby. Utilizing an administrative override on the former national vice-chair and asserting a violation of by-laws and original intent, he summarily dismissed the usurpers and rallied his original cabal and pressed ahead with their own convention online. I’m sure if I’m wrong about this and on any radar as such, I’ll be corrected on a dozen counts by TK or the like.

But my general point is this. The BTP is an operational and philosophical mess. Great, a one line platform states that they want to reduce government on all counts. So what?! While it’s not the contorted twistings of the Reformista’s tired ruminations and redefinitions, its just annoying at this point. When some kiddie script hacker represents some percentage of the actual vote of their convention and all former users are told to sign up again because their database got trashed, you don’t have to wonder. You just don’t take it seriously. Radicals ought to stay in the LP and exert what influence they can in a franchise which has stood the test of time for at least thirty years. Getting all huffy over one candidate in an impossible race to win is not the solution. There is plenty of room for spirited protest candidacies and meaningful activism.

So don’t get your panties in a wad because Brian Holtz won the platform or that Bob Barr said something about Fannie Mae on TV. Easy ballot access in Colorado and Louisiana may get you on the ballot there and might put you on a temporary pedestal amongst chortling colleagues, but seriously, get a life (or a sound card). Do what you can, where you can. Stop fantasizing about a greater liberty movement or party. Stay real. Stay radical. Stay LP.

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Nothing new since the last time I posted this; just keeping up my commitment to keep it on the front page since I will be posting more articles today. I still haven’t been able to figure out how to make it work properly. Help would be appreciated.


Well, I figured out how to put it in the sidebar – but not how to put my site code. Help on that would be appreciated.

Blogosphere of the Libertarian Leftgm
Ring Owner: Thomas Knapp Site: Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left
Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet
Get Your Free Web Ring
by Bravenet.com

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Candidate Endorsement: Chris Bennett for Vice President

Chris Bennett[NOTE: Originally posted on Last Free Voice]

As you are hopefully all by now aware, longtime LFV contributor Chris Bennett is seeking the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination. While he would have my support simply for being an LFV contributor and a great guy, there is so much more to his candidacy that I have decided to formally endorse his bid for the LP Vice Presidential nomination.

Chris is 35 years old (will be 36 on August 30th) and lives in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado. As an interesting aside, Chris was classmates with Matt Stone, co-creator of “South Park”.

Chris has been married to Evonne Bennett for eight years, and they have two children, Brandon (age 7) and Charity (age 9). He will graduate in May from the University of Illinois at Springfield, with a degree in Political Studies, and a minor in Economics. As such, there should be no question that he has the education to back up his candidacy, especially when compared with other LP candidates (including many of those seeking the LP’s Presidential nomination).

Chris also has the actual experience to back him up. As a libertarian activist for the last 16 years, he has volunteered on four presidential campaigns, three of them Libertarians. He was Scheduling Coordinator for the late Aaron Russo during his 2004 presidential campaign, and was also heavily involved in the Marrou and Badnarik presidential campaigns. He is currently the Legislative Chair for the Libertarian Party of Illinois, where he has fought for better ballot access for third parties in one of the most difficult ballot access states in the country.

Chris announced his candidacy right here on Last Free Voice last year, and his platform is as follows:

I will not make promises I can not keep. I do not have 200,000 dollars in future contributions and I am not endorsed by a famous dead person. However there are some promises I will keep:

I am strongly against the invasion and the “police action” in Iraq and will help push for an anti-war resolution at the Denver Convention.

I am against a fair tax and I will continue to fight to decrease the tax burden for all Americans.

I will continue to fight to restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights and fight to eliminate the Patriot Act, the Real ID Act, the Military Commissions Act and the North American Union.

As an African-American, I will use my candidacy to recruit more minorities and women into the libertarian movement.

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I will continue to convince younger voters and non-voters that the Libertarian Party is the future not the two “boot on your neck” parties and use my candidacy to re-energize libertarian college campus and local organizations across the country.

If I am nominated, I will help/assist state parties on getting our presidential ticket on their respective state ballots.

If I am nominated, I will assist serious Libertarian candidates running for office in all facets of their campaign across the country.

The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over. Our VP candidate should be as active as our Presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our Presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.

Chris has been working hard to spread the word about his candidacy, and in fact he is one of the few Libertarian candidates to get attention from the mainstream press. Even better, he received FRONT PAGE attention in a major newspaper, the Springfield State Journal-Register.

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG
POLITICAL WRITER

Published Monday, October 15, 2007

At 6-foot-9, Chris Bennett is hard to miss. And his political aspirations match his height.

Bennett, 35, a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is hoping to become the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.

“The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over,” said Bennett in a news release announcing his quest last week. “Our VP candidate should be as active as our presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.”

Bennett was soft-spoken as he explained in an interview how he realized, after working on Bill Clinton’s primary campaign in 1992, that he didn’t really believe in Clinton’s platform.

“I just didn’t like how he wanted more government in more stuff,” Bennett said. “I didn’t like government having more control over the health-care situation, as Hillary tried to do and she’s proposing to do now.”

So, Bennett said, “I went soul searching.”

“The Republicans didn’t feel right,” he said. “They never really do reach out to minorities or a lot of women. And the Democrats, it just seems like they were taking the black vote for granted. So I decided ‘I’m going to search for another party.’”

Bennett had seen a Libertarian Party convention on C-SPAN. The convention included an African-American candidate for the presidential nomination, Richard Boddie.

“He was saying stuff that I really agreed with,” said Bennett, who is black.

Bennett now has been a Libertarian activist for more than 15 years, including working as scheduling coordinator during the late Aaron Russo’s 2004 attempt to be the Libertarian nominee for president.

“For the longest time, I used to carry a Constitution in my back pocket,” Bennett said, “so if anybody wanted to get in a philosophical, constitutional argument, I could whip out my Constitution.”

Bennett doesn’t think the country’s leaders are adhering to the Constitution, including going to war in Iraq without a formal declaration of war. Among his platform planks are “restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights,” including elimination of the Patriot Act and a proposed federal “Real ID” identification card. He said both invade people’s privacy.

He’d like to see lower taxes, with eventual elimination of the Internal Revenue Service.

Bennett frequently posts on Web sites, including one called

lastfreevoice.com, often in strong language.

“Jesse Jackson has taken up the anti-gun issue only because he failed as a ‘civil rights’ leader and pushes his new agenda to re-invent himself,” Bennett claims in one entry. “Just remember Hitler forced his people to give up their guns and look what happened; millions died in concentration camps. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; I’ll defend those values with my gun to protect my right to bear arms.”

Bennett said he actually doesn’t own a gun, but believes in the right to own one.

He’s also taken off on television preachers who get rich through their appeals.

“TV evangelists are the scum of the Christian community,” he said, writing about recent allegations of misspending by Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts. “Isn’t it immoral to steal from your contributors for your own lavish lifestyles …? Who do they think they are — the GOVERNMENT?”

And in an essay chastising Democrats for not doing more to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, he refers to the president as “Fuhrer Bush.”

Bennett is pro-life on abortion, which goes against the Libertarian platform. But he thinks other Libertarians may be coming around. He also thinks steps should be taken to legalize drugs.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bennett moved to Littleton, Colo., at age 9. He’s been married to his wife, Evonne, for 71/2 years, and they have two children. He moved to Springfield in 2005 to attend UIS.

While he said rural or suburban Libertarians might not be keyed into the issue of race relations, those from urban areas are, and he thinks the party is good for African-Americans.

In addition to ending discriminatory drug laws, which he blames for too many blacks being in prison, the Libertarians’ anti-tax sentiment would also help, Bennett said.

“If we lower taxes, people would be more able to get the house that they want or be able to contribute to their church or their social organization a little bit more,” he said. People could also “save for a rainy day.”

“I know a lot of people who would like to start their own IRA account, but they can’t because they’re taxed so much,” Bennett said.

Clearly, Chris interacts well with the media, and is able to get across his point intelligently, but also in a way that the average person can easily understand.

For the above reasons, I endorse Chris Bennett, without reservation, for the Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential candidacy.

This brings me to another point. Chris is in desperate need of donations, to help him get to the Libertarian Party Convention in Denver. As a family man working his way through college, with a wife and two children, he is far from wealthy. Not only will he need the funds for travel and hotel, plus incidentals such as food and beverage, he will also need the funds to print brochures, to hand out to the delegates in order to get the votes he needs.

We all give money to other candidates, whether Ron Paul or Steve Kubby or George Phillies, or someone else. We need to start giving money for Chris’s campaign, because unless he can afford to get to Denver, he will be unable to continue his campaign. It would be a travesty if a qualified candidate such as Chris was not seriously considered for the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination, solely because he lacks the funds to attend the convention. We can do much better than that, especially with a candidate who has proven his worth. If we all pitch in, we can get Chris to Denver.

You can make donations to Chris’s campaign by clicking here, or you can click directly on the “donate” link on his website, which will take you to the same place. You can donate by credit card, debit card, or by setting up other payment arrangements via PayPal.

While I normally would never ask anyone to donate to a specific campaign, I’m making an exception in this case. Chris is “one of us”, a valuable and respected member of the blogosphere, a valuable and respected contributor to Last Free Voice, and a valuable and respected member of the libertarian movement, who has given freely not only of his time and expertise on other campaigns, but also has managed to engage in hands-on activism while in college and trying to raise a family.

Chris is not just another libertarian on the internet, waxing philosophical about libertarianism, who suddenly decides he should be nominated to represent the LP in a lofty position; nor is is a Johnny-Come-Lately to the LP who suddenly decided he should be nominated for for the Vice Presidency; he has actually made many years of sacrifices which benefit us all, and he has the experience and education to back up his campaign for the Vice Presidency.

Unlike many candidates, Chris is not looking to raise millions. He has set a goal of $3000 to attend the LP Convention, and since I used to live in Denver, I can assure you that it’s a very reasonable goal, especially since it will also cover the costs of his campaign brochures.

I have made a commitment to donate $100 to Chris’s campaign, to help him get to Denver. If only 29 more people match that commitment (and I know there are many others who can afford to do so), Chris will have met his goal. However, even if you can only spare $10, or $20, or $50 – or if you can give the legal maximum of $2300 per person, or $4600 per married couple – you can rest easy with that donation, knowing Chris is a tried and proven libertarian, and a candidate who has actually earned that donation through his many years of activism on behalf of libertarians everywhere.

Please, help spread the word. Let’s raise the funds necessary to get Chris to Denver!

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Kn@ppsterI found this entry on Thomas Knapp’s blog, Kn@ppster, and found it quite interesting. Here is an excerpt; you can read it in its entry in its entirety at the link:

I’m not one for silver bullets—no one thing will put third party candidates into contention for the presidency—but some changes just make sense. One of those changes is nominating earlier. My recollection is that the Libertarian Party used to nominate its presidential candidates the year before the election. Andre Marrou was nominated for president in 1991. Ron Paul was nominated in 1987. And so on, and so forth. It was only in 1996 that the LP moved its nominating convention into the year of the election itself.

Late nominating conventions handicap third parties. We can’t expect the kind of pre-nomination media coverage that “major party” candidates get. The sooner a party positions itself behind a nominee, the sooner that nominee has access to the party’s full pool of presidential contributors and can get to work reaching beyond the party to the American public. It’s all well and good to hope that a pre-nomination third party candidate will “break out” and catch the mainstream media eye … but it seldom works out that way.

I think Tom Knapp makes a very good point. As far as I can see, the only downside to nominating earlier is that third parties won’t get any media attention at all during the primaries. Right now they don’t get much, but it does get them at least mentioned in many newspapers.

Then again, can the third parties overcome that negative, and list their presidential nominee on the primary ballot, as just one candidate for that office? I’m honestly not sure. If so, it would look in the press as if that one candidate has a great deal of support within the party, rather than as it is now when it appears to the public that each candidate receives a little support here, and a little support there. Making third party candidates appear to have overwhelming support during the primaries can only be a good thing.

On the other hand, many third party voters wouldn’t even bother to vote during the primaries, if they knew their candidate had already been chosen, so there may be no reason to mention them at all in the mainstream media.

It’s a complicated issue, and one which should be thoroughly explored.

_________________________________

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

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Alden Link is a Libertarian candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination. He’s an older gentleman, and his main emphasis seems to be on nuclear power. He claims that nuclear power plants can produce enough gasoline to end our dependence upon foreign oil.

I’m no scientist, but I don’t understand how nuclear power plants can produce gasoline. Perhaps someone reading this can explain if the following is possible:

A nuclear power plant has the energy to produce about 15 thousand barrels of gasoline a day.

Given the following equivalents:
• 1 watt equals 3.4 british thermal units (BTU)
• 1 nuclear power plant produces 1,000,000,000 watts
• 1 barrel of gasoline contains 42 gallons
• 1 gallon of gasoline is equal to 125,000 btu
• 1 day has 24 hours

1) 1,000,000,000 watts / hour x 3.4 btu = 3,400,000,000 btu/hour
2) 3,400,000,000 btu/hour divided by 125,000 btu/gallon =27,200 gallons per hour
3) 27,200 gals./hour divided by 42 gallons per barrel = 647 barrels/hour
4) 647 barrels per hour x 24 hours = 15,542 barrels of gasoline per day

The raw materials needed for this process are carbon from recycled atmospheric carbon dioxide and hydrogen from water. This process is therefore non polluting and actually cleans the air

The United States imports about 13,000,000 barrels of oil per day. Some of it is used to run electric generating facilities. Most is used as motor fuels.

If the US builds 900 nuclear power plants for converting energy to fuel we would be energy independent. and not need ANY imported oil. More power plants than that and we could export petroleum products.

____________________________

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan 

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Libertarian Party logoWHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures and;

WHEREAS the armed forces of the United States have invaded Iraq, a foreign nation that neither directly attacked nor imminently threatened to attack the United States and;

WHEREAS the injustice and imprudence of this invasion cannot be undone by the continued presence of the armed forces of the United States in Iraq and;

WHEREAS the stability and security of Iraq lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States without undue delay.

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

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Daniel ImperatoThere has been a discussion over at Third Party Watch, regarding whether Daniel Imperato should be listed as a Libertarian on the official Libertarian Party website. Among other statements by Stephen Gordon, owner of TPW, he didn’t call the media to cover a Libertarian presidential candidate debate, due to the participation of Mr. Imperato.Just as some brief background, Mr. Imperato is either a liar of unimaginable proportions, or insane. I haven’t decided yet, mostly because I honestly don’t care one way or the other about his candidacy since he will never in a zillion years become President, or even the Libertarian Party’s nominee. Yet his wackiness also isn’t interesting enough to keep my attention for more than a minute or two.I started to respond on that blog, then decided to do so here instead, so my thoughts on this issue aren’t buried in the comments section of someone else’s blog. I am so disgusted with the Libertarian Party and its powers-that-be that I don’t care if they know it. What follows is that response.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If it were not for “Liberty Decides“, Imperato would still be just the butt of jokes among those of us who follow the lunatic fringe in politics. Without “Liberty Decides”, he would have forever remained an obscure Independent candidate whose only supporters were the voices in his head.

The Libertarian Party, however, recognized Imperato as a fully qualified Libertarian presidential candidate on their website, in “Liberty Decides”, which is nothing more or less than a moneymaking scheme for the LP since it does not stop candidates from buying their way to the top; and there is absolutely no accountability regarding the dates, amounts, or identities of contributors. Yet Imperato is not even a Libertarian candidate, even by his own admission, since he filed with the FEC as an Independent.

It is pathetic that no one invited the media just because Imperato was there, since it robbed the legitimate Libertarian candidates of much-needed exposure (especially true when it cost them $500 to participate, not to mention travel and lodging costs). Wackjob or not, I think Imperato would only have made the other candidates look even better, so perhaps you should have invited the media anyway. It’s not like it’s going to be shown on the evening news, after all. The only people who would be interested at all are libertarians, and insomniacs.

However, since you decided not to alert the media due to Imperato’s participation, someone in authority at that event should have alerted the media themselves (again, because they charged the candidates $500 each for the opportunity to participate). If they and you both thought Imperato was just too far out in left field to invite the media, you could have simply said, “We’re sorry, Mr. Imperato, but you’re registered with the FEC as an Independent, and thus you are not qualified to participate in this debate as a Libertarian. Here is a refund of your participation fee”.

How hard is that?

In my opinion, the LP has made a mockery of the party’s entire presidential candidate process. Not only did they ignore their own candidates in order to support a candidate from another party who repeatedly said he was not interested in becoming the LP’s nominee, but they also rolled out the red carpet for a wackjob who isn’t even registered with the FEC as a Libertarian candidate (and did the same for a lot of candidates who aren’t filed with the FEC at all).

The entire situation is an embarrassing mess, but it didn’t need to happen at all. Nevertheless, no matter how I view it, the LP is entirely to blame by lending Imperato credibility where he otherwise would have none.

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

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Libertarian Party logoLibertarianism is growing the world over, and is no longer a singularly American ideal. As of January 1st, even the United Kingdom has started a Libertarian Party.

Unlike the politicians at Westminster, the Libertarian Party looks at the world in the same way that most people do. Libertarians understand that you, and your family, should be the focus of all political policy—government should exist to serve you, not the other way around.

Over the coming weeks, this website will be regularly updated and expanded. Here, you will be able to discover a new perspective on politics, read about our common-sense approach to dealing with the issues that face us all in the real world today, and find out how you can help change our society for the better.

Libertarians are largely apolitical—we don’t carry around the huge burden of ideological baggage which bedevils the other parties, and which stops them from taking the sensible decisions that our country so desperately needs. In fact, libertarian thought can largely be boiled down to one simple phrase:

YOU OWN YOURSELF

We believe that everyone in society has certain rights, and that the role of government is to protect those rights. Of course, if you hold these rights—the right to equality before a just law, the right to make your own decisions as to how best to live your life—then you must respect the equally held rights of others.

Other parties pay lip-service to this idea; on the one hand claiming to protect our rights and interests whilst, on the other, passing more and more legislation that curtails our hard won freedoms. Only libertarians truly trust each individual to know what is in their own best interests, and that of their families. Only libertarians want to put people back in charge of their own lives, and call a halt to the endless gravy-train of political corruption in our country.

The Libertarian Party exists as a voice for all who cry “Enough!”, but find their words go unheard. Our aim—and we will succeed, with your help—is to put government back in its rightful place; as a servant of our people, rather than our master.

Hat tip Jason Gatties

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan 

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Libertarian Party logoThe new website for the Libertarian Party of Southwest Michigan, launched January 1st, is well worth a look. My good friend Jason Gatties is on the Executive Committee, and his beautiful and very talented wife Priscilla is their webmaster. She’s done a great job on the website, and I’m sure Jason will do a real bang-up job as well!

The Libertarian Party of Southwest Michigan is an affiliate of Libertarian Party of Michigan and the National Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party of Southwest Michigan represents Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties.

The Libertarian Party of Southwest Michigan meets the first Wednesday of each month (unless otherwise noted). The public is always welcome! The business meeting will take place at the Benton Harbor IHOP and the General Discussion portion of the meeting will take place at The Livery in Benton Harbor.

International House of Pancakes
1981 Pipestone Rd
Benton Harbor, Mi 49022

The Livery
190 5th Street
Benton Harbor, Mi 49022

The Business Meeting begins at 6:00 PM at IHOP and the General Discussion Meeting begins at 7:15 at The Livery. For more information, please contact one of the Executive Committee members listed above.

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan 

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George PhilliesPosted by Rob Power on Outright Libertarians blog:Thursday, January 17, 2008

I recently saw a message from Log Cabin Republicans entitled “Who Can Log Cabin Endorse for President?” The article described how this may be the first brokered GOP convention in 60 years, and that Log Cabin would be working to see that the lesser of evils with respect to gay rights would win the GOP nomination.In contrast, we at Outright Libertarians have had an embarrassment of riches this year, with three of our candidates getting a perfect score on our scorecard, and the one who differed with us on marriage at least matching Clinton and Obama (and surpassing all of the Republicans) by supporting civil unions. We had a serious debate in our Executive Committee as to whether we ought to make any endorsement at all prior to the LP nominating convention in Denver.But in the final analysis, there was only one Libertarian with a perfect score on our scorecard who was actively campaigning (for himself, not for some major-party candidate), who had a truly national campaign, who was receiving media attention (including magazines and television), and who has continued to receive FEC-reportable campaign contributions that are better than any Libertarian candidate in recent history.For these reasons, the Executive Committee of Outright Libertarians voted on January 16 to endorse George Phillies for the 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination.

From his interview in The Advocate magazine, to his one-liner response to a marriage equality question at a debate in socially conservative Fresno, California — “We’ve already solved that problem in Massachusetts” — we can tell that Dr. Phillies would never try to rationalize anti-LGBT bigotry as a way to “grow” the Libertarian Party. He recognizes that Liberty is impossible so long as the boot of big government remains on the neck of any disfavored minority group.

Outright Libertarians proudly supports George Phillies and calls on all of our members and allies to attend the Libertarian National Convention in Denver this May and cast their nominating vote for Dr. Phillies.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2008 elections, Federal Election Commission (FEC), George Phillies, Libertarian Online Community, POTUS ’08, People in the news, activism, candidate endorsement, elections, libertarian, politics

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H/T Jason Gatties.

Leonard Schwartz has announced he is seeking the Vice Presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party.

He is the political director of the Michigan LP, ran for Senate in 2006, and a couple of other offices previously.

He has been an LP member since 1980, and is a retired professor of business law and economics.
You can contact him at Leonard@LeonardSchwartz.us or 248-546-3569.

Additional details on page 7 of the February 2008 Michigan LP Newsletter:

http://mi.lp.org/Past%20Newsletters/Michigan%20Libertarian%20Jan%20Feb%202008.pdf

Schwartz joins Chris Bennett as the only
announced
VP candidate I am aware of in the LP.

Unconfirmed candidates include Karen Kwiatkowski, whom the LPNH is already collecting signatures for as VP nominee. Kwiatkowski discussed her possible candidacy at Lew Rockwell.com, but has more recently indicated that she is not interested.

Another one who is rumored to be running is poker player Greg Raymer, but there has been no official statement either way from Raymer.

UPDATE Leonard Schwartz and Chris Bennett will be on Liberated Space with Angela Keaton today (TH 1/10) at 7:30 Eastern, 4:30 Pacific time.

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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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Christine Smith put out a
somewhat controversial
essay which said that, unlike some other libertarians, she would not compromise principle.

The first time I saw it was on the LP Radicals yahoo group, and given that I have recently volunteered to help the caucus members make more informed decisions about the various LP Presidential candidates, I thought of a few questions to ask.

They have been up for several days, and I also since posted them on several other yahoo groups on which Christine Smith posted the same message. I am hoping that the candidate sees the questions and responds to them. Several people have said that she is not very good about getting back to people, but this is the first time I have personally tried to get a hold of her, so for now I will keep an open mind.

I’m guessing she’s just been busy, so I hope maybe posting them here will help bring these questions to her attention.

OK, here they are:

I have gathered there are no issues on which you think the 2004
platform was too extreme. Is my understanding correct? If not, what do
you think may have been too extreme?

Are there any issues on which you think the 2004 platform was not
libertarian enough? If so, what issues, and what was inadequate about
them?

Do you think the platform should be about the length of the 2004
platform or that of the 2006 platform? Somewhere in between? Longer
than both? Shorter than both?

What issues, if any, do you think are the most glaring omissions?

When did you join the Libertarian Party?

Prior to running for President, in what ways were you involved in the
Libertarian Party or libertarian movement? What other libertarian
movement groups have you been involved with, and what was the extent
of your involvement?

In what ways do you plan to be involved if you do not get the
Presidential nomination?

If you lose the Presidential nomination and are offered the VP
nomination, would you consider it?

Have you ever run for office with another party or as an independent
candidate? If so, where and when, and for what office?

Have your views changed during this campaign? If so, on what issues
and why?

Do you plan to share all contacts your campaign generates with the
national party? Would you characterize your present working
relationship with LPHQ and/or LNC to be friendly or somewhat adversarial?

Do you have any significant involvement in issue organizations or
political coalitions which intersect with libertarianism but also
include significant numbers of non-libertarians? (for instance, Steve
Kubby has been active in medical marijuana legalization and the drug
policy reform movement; George Phillies is active with his local ACLU
chapter; Wayne Root claims he can reach out to internet gamblers on a
large scale).

Steve Gordon has criticized your position on the middle east wars,
claiming that you said that you would evacuate the troops and leave
their equipment behind. Is that an accurate description of your position?

Do you believe the national party platform (past or present) would be
adequate to serve as your campaign platform, or do you plan to have a
separate campaign platform if you are nominated?

Are there any innovative ways in which you hope your campaign will
work to surpass all previous LP Presidential results, and what do you
think your chances are of doing that?

How much of an emphasis do you plan to put on working with local
candidates and building state and local LPs? Ballot access? Youth and
college outreach?

Have you spoken to large crowds not just of
libertarians? (For example, Steve Kubby spoke at Hempfest, estimated
attendance 50,000, and I believe George Phillies said he spoke at
MassCann, which is also a large legalization event).

Also: have you played a significant role in passing any legislation
that actually made people more free? (Steve Kubby helped write and
pass prop 215, California’s medical marijuana law).

UPDATE:

As I mentioned, Steve Gordon also has
some questions
for Ms. Smith which he has been trying to get her to answer through several phone and email attempts for several days.

Steve Kubby has some concerns, too.

Hopefully we’ll hear back!

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According to this network’s website:

New England Cable News (NECN) is the largest regional news network in the country, serving more than 3.6 million homes in over a thousand cities and towns throughout New England.

Launched on March 2, 1992, NECN is a partnership between the Hearst Corporation and Comcast Corporation. NECN is available exclusively to New England cable subscribers, providing 24-hour access to breaking news, sports, weather, and traffic. The network’s original programming includes NewsNight, an in-depth news analysis program with Jim Braude; The Chet Curtis Report, a review of the day’s tops stories; Sports LateNight, a sports news and daily wrap-up program; New England Dream House, a home improvement program; and TV Diner, a restaurant review program with Billy Costa. NECN also airs three business-targeted programs—CEO Corner, New England Business Day, and This Week in Business. The news channel is the only station in the region to regularly produce its own documentaries.

NECN serves a six-state area encompassing Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The network broadcasts from its studios in Newton, Mass, and additionally maintains bureaus in Manchester, New Hampshire; Hartford, Connecticut; Worcester, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; and Burlington, Vermont.

NECN is distinguished as a leader in the industry, having received several awards for broadcast journalism excellence including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia Journalism Award and the Scripps Howard Foundation Award. The news channel was twice named News Station of the Year by the Associated Press, and for two consecutive years was named Television Station of the Year by the Gabriel Awards.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/09/07

CONTACT:
Thomas L. Knapp
kubby.communications@gmail.com
314-705-3042

TRAGEDY ON KUBBY VIDEO SET: CAMPAIGN RELEASES “DEATH OF DENNY” FOOTAGE

FORT BRAGG, CA — In a stunning turn of events, Libertarian presidential candidate Steve Kubby’s campaign organization has announced that it will release previously unseen shocking footage of an on-set death — the murder of the South Park, Colorado medical marijuana patient known to friends and loved ones as “Denny” by none other than Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.

The footage is included in a “Director’s Cut” of The Kubby Chronicles, Episode One, which was released today on YouTube.com. The circumstances of Denny’s death are still under investigation by California authorities, but the footage clearly implicates Giuliani. The former mayor of New York — known for his rabid opposition to medical marijuana and for his city’s record-setting marijuana arrest rates, while he was mayor — apparently made an unauthorized entry, accompanied by fellow drug warrior and presidential candidate John McCain, to the cannabis dispensary where the video was being shot. There, he assaulted Denny during a break in filming, while the young patient was receiving his medical marijuana via IV. Denny was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Capitalizing on this senseless tragedy wasn’t in the playbook” says director Doug Scribner. “We just wanted the actors from our 1998 South Park commercial back together again for a screen reunion. But Denny’s grieving parents convinced us that publicizing it may help America stop Giuliani from killing again.” Friends say the young actor, who had been battling cancer for the past two years, had just gone into remission.

Kubby was unavailable for comment and rumored to be accompanying Denny’s body back to Colorado for burial but, says Scribner, “he approved the message before he left.”

Giuliani’s whereabouts are unknown. Local authorities have warned citizens not to approach Giuliani, as he is considered prone to bizarre, and it now seems violent, behavior.

-30-
about 290 words

The Kubby Chronicles, Episode One — The Director’s Cut:
http://www.kubby2008.com/cartoon

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Jason GattiesFrom Jason Gatties blog:

This website was being developed for my 2008 plans, but sometimes plans change quickly. I had flirted with the idea of running for St.Joseph City Council earlier this year, but I decided to make a bid for Pokagon Tribal Council instead. I failed to win that election, but I did better than I had thought and learned from the experience. So I began to prepare for 2008 but then I saw a unique opportunity unfold.

There are 3 city council spots open for this November’s General Election. 3 incumbent city commissioners filed and would appear on the ballot. The top 2 would receive a 4 year term, while the 3rd place finisher would receive a 2 year term. Commissioner Chad Mandarino, who’s name will still appear on the November ballot, has stepped down from the Council and has asked St.Joseph voters to not vote for him. So, that leaves 2 names on the ballot and 3 positions open and I’m asking St.Joseph citizens to WRITE-IN my name, Jason Gatties. I’m going to file the proper paperwork this week to become an official write-in candidate for St.Joseph City Council.

With less than 2 months before the General Election, I’m going to spend much time on the campaign trail, trying to convince the voters why a vote for me would be a step in the right direction for this city. This website will be updated on a regular basis. I’m sure I’m still a long shot as I’m sure I will not be the only write-in candidate. However, miracles do happen and it is my hope that I can convince enough people to vote for me so I can secure a 3rd place finish and my dream of becoming a public servant will become a reality.

In the coming days, you will get to check out the issues I feel are important to our great city. You will also get info on how you can help us out as well as info on how to place a write-in vote for me. If you love freedom and liberty, I am you best choice.

It will be an honor to serve the citizen’s of St.Joseph, I simply ask for an opportunity to prove that limited government can work. This November, I ask for your WRITE-IN vote, it could be the best decision you could ever make. I will represent YOUR INTERESTS, not those of big government.

Jason’s campaign site will go live this afternoon.

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Sorry folks, been too busy to post. But I thought I’d post this since no one else has yet. Our own Michelle Shinghal on Tucker Carlson, thanks to posts by our fellow blogger Steve Gordon.

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Since Kent and I are very good online friends, and talk every day (sometimes several times per day) via IM and email but have never met or spoken in “real life”, this was a very big treat for me. After you watch this, you’ll see why I’m proud to call Kent my friend, and why we became friends in the first place. He’s just one helluva nice guy, very intelligent, and extremely personable.

Hat tip to one of my other online friends, Jake Porter.

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George PhilliesWe Don’t Attack Our Allies

share_data={max_recipients:20}

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Phillies: We Don’t Invade Our Allies

“It’s very simple. Invading a foreign country is an act of war,” Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies said in answer to fellow candidate Barack Obama. “I am shocked that an allegedly serious Presidential candidate would call for invading Pakistan. Not only is Pakistan an ally, but it is a nuclear power.”

Under pressure from Republican opponents and fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton that he appeared too soft on terrorism, on August 1 Senator Obama said* that the United States might invade Pakistan to pursue Al Qaeda members. Obama said “I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear…If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Phillies strongly disagrees. “Thank goodness Obama is not our President. It has always been understood that when you invade a foreign country you are potentially at war with them. President of Musharaf of Pakistan is honor-bound to defend his country. He cannot afford to look weak. Apparently these issues are beyond Senator Obama’s understanding of foreign affairs.” Phillies asks Mr. Obama, ‘What is your working plan if the Pakistanis respond to our act of war with their own acts of war? They might arm the guerrillas now fighting our forces in Iraq. They might send their army to deny us bases in Afghanistan. Worse, Pakistan knows that their nuclear arsenal is not secure against an American strike. Any militarist can start a war. Stopping one is far more challenging.’

In a recent statement on pursuing Al Qaeda, Professor Phillies said that the United States needs to stop fighting “the last war,” and update its tactics. “Finding Mr. Bin Laden is a job for spies, not a job for tank divisions. The Afghan people have been governing themselves for a very long time. They will not long tolerate foreign occupation, even ours. Only a Libertarian President will give the Bin Laden problem to the right people.”

*For the text of Senator Obama’s speech: http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/remarks_of_senator_obama_the_w_1.php To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://phillies2008.org/donation.

Contact Information:
Carolyn Marbry,Press Director
pressdirector@phillies2008.org
(510) 276-3216
http://phillies2008.org

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I’d like some help with setting up an internet forum of some sort to hook people up with shared rides, group rooms, camping, hostels, cheap motels, and other ways of getting to the Denver LP National Convention affordably.

A lot of what happened in Portland may have had to do with the fact that it was a long drive for most people, and one of the more expensive places to fly to, and partially as a result of that, the lowest attended LP national convention since the early 1970s. Furthermore, the people who are unable to afford these things are more likely to be radical and left-libertarians, although that is far from universally true.

Anyway, if anyone wants to help with setting this up, please let me know in the comments.

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Here is an organization I hope everyone will get more active in supporting…I received a notice
from its chairman, Mark Rutherford, through facebook.

July 23rd I’ll be flying to Atlanta and having dinner with current Libertarian Party of Alabama Chairman Stephen Gorden, Deborah Gordon and a very influential national political figure. Stephen and I will be introducing Atlas!PAC to this influential person. Please invite fellow libertarians to join Atlas!PAC. Although we just started, we’ve already sent four Libertarians for campaign training to Washington, D.C. and our sponsorship of the Region Three Convention will enable several student libertarians to receive fund raising training free of charge.

Spread the word! Atlas!PAC is finally helping libertarians do the practical things needed to get elected.

Remember, I’d rather have Libertarians on the inside then the outside. You can changes things easier from the inside.

Mark W. Rutherford
Chairman
Atlas!PAC

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The following links are permanent, because they are based on the candidate’s FEC registration number, so those interested in such things may want to bookmark them (or bookmark this page, whichever is easier). Each candidate page lists links to contributions, reports, and all kinds of interesting things.

What I found most interesting of all, though, is that the much-touted Wayne Allyn Root is not even registered with the FEC as a candidate, libertarian or otherwise. Dondero isn’t registered with the FEC for his alleged run against Ron Paul, either.

George Phillies: One contributor has donated over $1000. It appears that Dr. Phillies has donated much more to his own campaign than what I originally thought. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s interesting if his own contributions are being counted in overall contributions for the quarter for comparison purposes with other LP candidates.

Steve Kubby: Three contributors have donated over $1000 each; two of them have given $2000. Kubby has not contributed any funds to his own campaign, and that’s okay too.

Christine Smith: One person has contributed $2000. Ms. Smith also received an individual contribution from someone who works for the Oregon LP. She has not contributed to her own campaign.

Mike Jingozian: Jingozian has received no contributions.

Alden Link: Link is registered with the FEC as a Republican presidential candidate. He has received no contributions.

Bob Jackson: Jackson has received no contributions.

Daniel Imperato: Imperato is registered with the FEC as an Independent. He has received no contributions.

Barry Hess: Not registered with FEC

Wayne Allyn Root: Not registered with FEC

Robert Milnes: Not registered with FEC

Dave Hollist: Not registered with FEC

John Finan: Not registered with FEC

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George PhilliesGood News from Phillies 2008
July 22, 2007

For second quarter, Phillies 2008 raised $11,700. Counting checks in hand, we are already over $10,000 for third quarter. In the same quarter, the Smith campaign raised $2264, while the Kubby campaign raised $568.

The week featured two extended radio interviews and a trip to New Jersey. Check out the debate with Daniel Imperato at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/asher . Listen to the interview with Chuck Gooch at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thehawgpen

Advertising: Phillies 2008 Radio ads will start airing in the next few weeks. One ad an hour, 6 days a week, for 13 weeks. This is a live broadcast plus podcast on a show heard from sea to sea by many libertarian Republicans. The contract has been approved, and the check is being written.

More advertising: Another web page milestone was passed: The front page has had 150,000 downloads. The Google Adwords Campaign is now well over two million impressions. The click-through rate for the core campaign has tripled, comparing first half of July with first half of June. A major newsletter and fundraising mailing should start hitting libertarian mail boxes this week.

Staff News:

Please welcome Carolyn Marbry of San Francisco as Press Director. She will be preparing several press releases a week, circulating widely to bring our issues to all Americans.

Nevada State Coordinator (and LP of Nevada Vice Chair) Debra Dedmon has taken over materials distribution, sending printed matter to state coordinators and others.

Jake Porter received the additional position of Associate Chief of Staff, reflecting his major role in campaign operations. He continues as National Mobilization Facilitator, in charge of all volunteer operations.

Volunteer operations are now so large that Jake Porter needs assistants. Press Director Carolyn Marbry will be Assistant National Mobilization Facilitator for Electronic Operations, in charge of recruiting volunteers for all the net outlets and in charge of classical media operations. An Assistant National Mobilization Facilitator for Volunteer Operations to be named will support recruiting and assisting state and affinity group coordinators.

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Robert Milnes

First I’d like to say that by far the most important development in the libertarian race thus far is “The Libertarian Vote” study published by The Cato Institute. See: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6735 Briefly, 20% of voters are libertarian leaning at the beginning of the election cycle (Gallup Governance Survey). 13% are reliably libertarian. 1% wind up actually voting Libertarian. My own conclusion is that 7% of the 20% are leftists. Further, I estimate the leftist vote as 27% which leaves 20% left, 20% right i.e. 40% possible progressive vote. If you understand this study, you understand a lot about the Progressive Alliance Strategy and what is happening with Ron Paul. Paul has tapped into this initial cycle 20%. It represents a kind of “glass ceiling” which no Libertarian can penetrate. This is why I believe it cannot last and Ron Paul cannot get the GOP nomination. Now, I believe, and I have read others about this, that Ron Paul’ s positions actually fit best in the Constitution Party. Kubby correctly describes Paul as a “right-wing libertarian” & I enjoyed his description of the Libertarian Party as like a plane with only a right wing. Kubby wants to reach out to leftists but he wants their vote and support but offers them little compared to an actual agreement (alliance).The Progressive Alliance Strategy calls for a left-libertarian presidential candidate OR a Green. Briefly, this strategy calls for cooperation between the inclusive Green and Libertarian Parties in order to garner the 40% progressive vote. One Green OR Libertarian on EVERY ballot, so as not to split the vote; first come, first served. The executive ticket is more complicated but the most simple strategy would be for the Green Party to endorse the Libertarian ticket as it will probably garner more ballot access. Clearly in all this Paul’s candidacy is an anomaly and an unfortunate complication. He is drawing libertarian support from the libertarians to the GOP. If we further assume a working hypothesis that there are about 50% right and left libertarians, Paul is getting most right and many left libertarian support (70%). I am convinced the LibertarianLists poll is fairly accurate. See: http://www.libertarianlists.com/surveyresult1 In all of this in my opinion Kubby’s endorsement of Ron Paul’s candidacy is a huge strategic blunder. He should call for, as I do, for libertarians to cease their support for Ron Paul. He is diverting libertarian support to the GOP. He is not a good progressive alliance candidate.In fact, if he gets the LP and/or the Constitution Party nomination, he could ruin (spoiler) a Progressive Alliance attempt at victory.”All Together Now” should mean all the LP candidates call for libertarians to cease support for Ron Paul. Kubby wants his cake & eat it too. He endorses Ron Paul yet says”I’m still running for president”. Also that if Paul wins the GOP nomination, he “…will withdraw, ask the party to nominate “None of the Above”… and work as a volunteer on Paul’s…campaign.” If not, he will”…continue preparing to give the LP the best presidential campaign I can…”. I, on the other hand, will not endorse Ron Paul and continue to offer all progressives the reasonable chance of election victory. For further information about my candidacy, See; http://www.robertmilnes.net
WE ARE IN TO WIN.

That’s all well and good, and his point is just as valid as anyone else’s on this topic, but this is as good a time as any to say that voters have a right to know about Robert Milnes’ very serious criminal record (which he doesn’t try to hide, to his credit, but it’s the nature of the crime about which voters have a right – and may even have a need – to be informed since he is running for President). Milnes spent about four years in federal prison. Here’s his description of what happened, from his biography page on http://www.robertmilnes4president:

But then I got tripped up by the FBI. They arrested me on charges related to several fan letters I had written to a local Philadelphia TV anchorwoman, Deborah Knapp. She had married present day Congressman Henry Bonilla, R-Texas. Of course I suspected this was a colateral attack on me by the FBI for political reasons, but I could not articulate that or convince my court appointed federal defender. He convinced me to plead guilty to one count. This was a big mistake. I was sent to FCI Butner, N.C. in 1985. I actually read “The Age of Surveillance” in prison! Eventually I got “maxed out” on mandatory parole in 1989

The 1 count I pleaded guilty to was 18 USC Section 876. Later I filed a pro se motion to withdraw guilty plea pursuant to 28 USC Section 2255 and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 32 (d). The federal defender was not authorized to assist me after probation violation & was ineffective anyway. This was denied through the US Supreme Court. My petitions for parole were all denied.

The crime with which he was charged, 18 USC 876, deals with threatening communications through the United States Mail. Here is the law, so you can read it for yourself:

Mailing threatening communications

(a) Whoever knowingly deposits in any post office or authorized
depository for mail matter, to be sent or delivered by the Postal
Service or knowingly causes to be delivered by the Postal Service
according to the direction thereon, any communication, with or
without a name or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to
any other person, and containing any demand or request for ransom
or reward for the release of any kidnapped person, shall be fined
under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

(b) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person any money or
other thing of value, so deposits, or causes to be delivered, as
aforesaid, any communication containing any threat to kidnap any
person or any threat to injure the person of the addressee or of
another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more
than twenty years, or both.

(c) Whoever knowingly so deposits or causes to be delivered as
aforesaid, any communication with or without a name or designating
mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other person and
containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure
the person of the addressee or of another, shall be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If such
a communication is addressed to a United States judge, a Federal
law enforcement officer, or an official who is covered by section
1114, the individual shall be fined under this title, imprisoned
not more than 10 years, or both.

(d) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person any money or
other thing of value, knowingly so deposits or causes to be
delivered, as aforesaid, any communication, with or without a name
or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other
person and containing any threat to injure the property or
reputation of the addressee or of another, or the reputation of a
deceased person, or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other
person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
not more than two years, or both. If such a communication is
addressed to a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement
officer, or an official who is covered by section 1114, the
individual shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more
than 10 years, or both.

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What follows is an excerpt from Jingozian’s extensive website.

Mike JingozianObservations on the Campaign Trail – Libertarians can be Environmentalists Too

The very first Libertarian event at which I spoke was at the Oregon State Convention in early March 2007. I spoke about the six areas of sustainability. Following my speech, a group of people formed around me, and through the crowd, a man approached. When he made his way to the front, I noticed that veins were pulsating in his forehead. He pointed right at me and said, “YOU SOUND LIKE A GREEN!”

I believe global warming is occurring. I know that this opinion is out of favor with some Libertarians. During the candidates’ forum at the Libertarian Party California Convention, held in April 2007, I was the only candidate (out of five) who publicly recognized that global warming exists. (Although to his defense, Steve Kubby did acknowledge that “something is going on with the environment.”)

However, far more Libertarians are concerned with Environmental Sustainability than those who are not. In fact, between 77 and 83% of Americans believe global warming poses a serious problem. The majority of Libertarians are no different. Certainly, there are some who question the data. If that is how you feel, so be it – we don’t harbor any hard feelings. We still live in a free country (that is, unless that Bush Administration gets its way).

Nevertheless, we find that most Libertarians embrace our principles. Regularly, I am approached at events, receive emails and phone calls from Libertarians who support our message. Even many “Purists” like our message as it reminds them of Harry Browns’ position on compromising to achieve political ends. These comments may not be from the more vocal segment of the party, but they are, nevertheless, the majority.

However – and I say this with the utmost respect and sincerity – I will not represent a party where the majority does not believe that global warming exists or who are not willing to compromise on this issue for the greater good.

Building the Libertarian and Green Parties Together

If we have any chance to even start addressing these issues, then we must destroy the 2-parties as quickly as possible. Viable solutions to solve these problems exist today. But, frightfully, these solutions will not be viable for much longer and these problems are growing in money and getting worse.

As a people, we must support only Independent and 3rd party candidates. We must band together during this next election and say: “Enough is enough!” We must elect an Independent Congress and an Independent President and we must do it in 2008! The two political parties that I support are the Libertarians and the Greens.

I am attracted to the Libertarians for its positions on personal accountability, small government, and maintaining and even bolstering freedom and democracy.

I am attracted to the Greens for its concern for the environment and our health and well-being.

The Libertarians and Greens are not in competition; rather, they complement each other in many areas.

Sharing Common Goals… What the 3rd parties have in Common

Each election brings forth Independent and 3rd party candidates. Many of these candidates promote their own agendas or those of their respective parties. The chart depicts our view on the areas of interest among the four major 3rd parties and Independent candidates.

As shown, the Libertarian Party generally addresses issues regarding the Economy, International Diplomacy, and Democracy & Freedom while the Green Party tends to focus more on Environmental, Health & Well-being, and Societal issues. The Reform Party, Working Families Party, and Independents vary in their focuses.

We admit this is a major simplification of the policy issues important to each party. Furthermore, we are not suggesting that Libertarians are not concerned with well-being or that the Green Party is not concerned with economic issues. The chart merely shows how the major 3rd parties relate to the six areas of Sustainability. (more…)

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