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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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A bit of background about the term, “Liberaltarian”. In December 2006, Brink Lindsey, Cato Institute’s vice president for research, penned an essay in which he posited that Contemporary Conservatism had betrayed its own roots, and no longer truly represented a libertarian worldview. Lindsey went on to muse that liberals had at least, and probably more affinity to true libertarian precepts than the travesty that passes for conservatism presently in America. His essay began with:

The conservative movement–and, with it, the GOP–is in disarray. Specifically, the movement’s “fusionist” alliance between traditionalists and libertarians appears, at long last, to be falling apart. To understand what’s happening, look at the Democratic gains made in previously Republican strongholds on Election Day. In “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, both House seats–as well as control of both houses of the state legislature–flipped from the GOP to the Democratic column. Out in the interior West, Jon Tester squeaked past Conrad Burns in the Montana Senate race, while other Democrats picked up a House seat in Colorado (along with the governorship) and two more in Arizona. These parts of the country are all known for their individualism and suspicion of officialdom–in short, for their libertarian sympathies.

Libertarian disaffection should come as no surprise. Despite the GOP’s rhetorical commitment to limited government, the actual record of unified Republican rule in Washington has been an unmitigated disaster from a libertarian perspective: runaway federal spending at a clip unmatched since Lyndon Johnson; the creation of a massive new prescription-drug entitlement with hardly any thought as to how to pay for it; expansion of federal control over education through the No Child Left Behind Act; a big run-up in farm subsidies; extremist assertions of executive power under cover of fighting terrorism; and, to top it all off, an atrociously bungled war in Iraq.

This woeful record cannot simply be blamed on politicians failing to live up to their conservative principles. Conservatism itself has changed markedly in recent years, forsaking the old fusionist synthesis in favor of a new and altogether unattractive species of populism. The old formulation defined conservatism as the desire to protect traditional values from the intrusion of big government; the new one seeks to promote traditional values through the intrusion of big government. Just look at the causes that have been generating the real energy in the conservative movement of late: building walls to keep out immigrants, amending the Constitution to keep gays from marrying, and imposing sectarian beliefs on medical researchers and families struggling with end-of-life decisions.

Brink Lindsey, “Liberaltarians” Cato Institute reprint of an article first published by The New Republic, December 4, 2006

This started up a dialog within some of the libertarian movement; notably at the Volokh Conspiracy, and Reason Magazine. Much of the dialog died down, although Reason Magazine has continued publishing articles. Some of the younger libertarian thinkers also published their thoughts about Liberaltarianism. Will Wilkerson and Julian Sanchez are two fine examples.

Dialog about Liberaltarianism was largely left on the back-burner for close to two years, until recently, when National Review’s Jonah Goldberg started it up again, followed by NRO’s John Hood:

That Jonah Goldberg is considered to be a conservative pundit is direct evidence of contemporary conservatism’s continuing plunge into the dark well of moral relevancy. That the CaponHawk Goldberg has the audacity to pretend he is able to speak for libertarians is personally defamatory to me. At least Goldberg’s inanity started up new dialog about Liberaltarianism. The following are a few links, listed alphabetically, by date:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Third-party candidates take to the Web
They don’t have a chance in hell, but they’ve got awesome MySpace pagesBy Helen A.S. Popkin & Guest Avatar Ree Hines
MSNBC contributorsUpdated: 6:56 p.m. ET June 21, 2007What Third Party candidates lack in funds, MySpace friends and a snow ball’s chance in Hades, they more than make up for in heart on their MySpace profiles. Well, not really.You’re welcome to vote for a third party candidate, but as “Simpsons” space alien Kang quipped “Go ahead, throw your vote away!”
Still, from the Green Party and the Libertarians to the Vampires, Witches, and Pagan Party, outside candidates understand the importance of a good MySpace profile, even if they don’t all manage to make one.

Here’s their review of the Libertarian candidates on MySpace:

George PhilliesGeorge Phillies (Libertarian)
“George Phillies, Libertarian Candidate for President”
Age: 59
Star sign: Leo
Friend count: 791 (Including “Jack Tripper, and Green Day!)
Comments: 57

Best comment: “Thanks for the add!” – Mike Gravel

Interests: Books: (“I’ve written eight … ) and heroes (Josiah Willard Gibbs)

Other social network memberships:
Facebook
Yahoo Groups

This free MySpace page, with its default layout with obligatory American flag graphics, was “paid for by Phillies 2008.” In yet another blatant abuse of the “interest” fields, George includes videos, debate audios and a plug for his books. The site previously featured a lively a cappella Libertarian anthem, “Get Out.” But last time we checked, it was “deleted by the artist.”

Helen: What’s with George’s Grandpa glamour shot? The big plastic glasses are endearing, but the off-white windbreaker is too much. Put on a tie for criminy’s sake! You’re running for president!

Ree: Under the “children” field he’s written “someday.” Dude! You’re 59! And you ain’t no Tony Randall. Further, the only personal tidbit we get is his hero, Josiah Willard Gibbs, a theoretical physicist and chemist. George is out for the brainiac vote.

Steve KubbySteve Kubby (Libertarian Party)
“Let Freedom Grow!”
Age: 60
Star sign: Capricorn
Friend count: 4,564
Comments: 168

Best comment: Tokin’, drinkin’ pot leaf graphic that says: “Just stopped by to say high” — Rev. Cannabis Connoisseur

Interests: Books about pot.

Other social network memberships:
None

Possibly even more garish than Elaine Brown’s MySpace page, Steve Kubby’s profile also suffers from an intense background (this one blue) and a non-sequiturous array of changing font sizes and colors. Seriously, stare at this site for one minute and look away. You’ll still be seeing it three days later. Bob Marley’s “One Love” loads with the site.

Helen: Dang, who built this site? Jeff Spicoli? P.S. Steve’s “Daily Show” clip is totally handicammed straight from the TV screen, bootleg-movie style.

Ree: Steve’s statement that, “This is no more about marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about tea” is somewhat compromised by the photo of a big hairy bud that follows it. Not to mention that photo of Steve in the universally understood “take a toke” pose. And the Bob Marley music. You know, I’m beginning to suspect this is entirely about pot.

Wayne Allen RootWayne Allen Root (Libertarian Party)
“Root for America 2008″
Age: 43
Star sign: Cancer
Friend count: 64
Comments: 4

Best comment: We don’t know as we can’t read them.

Interests: None listed.

Other social network memberships:
None

Perhaps misunderstanding the statement, “transparent candidate,” Wayne Allen Root’s profile challenges the optical nerve of the American with an image of Old Glory bleeding over his entire content. This includes portrait, videos and red text boxes with white font.

Helen: Is it me, or does this dude look just like Marjoe Gortner?

Ree: All I know is that Wayne’s “W.A.R. Story” (get it?) states that he is not only “the most prolific and recognized sports oddsmaker/prognosticator in American television history,” he “has morphed into high profile CEO and entrepreneur, self-made millionaire, best-selling author, TV celebrity, and Libertarian Presidential candidate.” With all that juice, why not hook up a better MySpace profile?

If you want to see their smartass comments about other third party candidates (and some of them are pretty funny, I’ll admit) here’s the article in its entirety.

Hat tip Jake Porter

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

Hmmm …… well, they sure do look alike.

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

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

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

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

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

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