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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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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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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 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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Nevada’s Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki was indicted today by a grand jury on four felony counts related to his previous stint as state treasurer: 2 counts of Misappropriation and Falsification of Accounts By Public Officer, and 2 counts of Misappropriation by Treasurer. Krolicki had just last week announced he planned to run against Harry Reid for Senate in 2010, and claims this indictment was a politically motivated conspiracy hatched by Reid and Nevada’s Democratic Attorney General. The main problem with his story is that the indictment is hardly out of the blue. It has its roots back in January 2007, when the State Treasurer who took office after him, asked and received permission for an audit looking into possible improprieties. Krolicki even admits he was informed about a probable grand jury indictment late in November, so he announced his intention to run against Reid knowing it was coming.

The Hill happily pimped Krolick’s claim in an article titled: Top Reid challenger indicted.  In the article The Hill also mentioned that two other Republicans, who were considered possible challengers to Reid in 2010, had their political fortunes greatly decreased by losing their reelection bids last November. One of those was Congressman Jon Porter, and the other was State Senator Joe Heck. From The Hill article:

The two GOP names most often floated as top-notch challengers, however, have had difficult years of their own. Rep. Jon Porter, who represents Southern Nevada’s 3rd district, just lost his bid for a fourth term to state Sen. Dina Titus; and state Sen. Joe Heck lost his seat by fewer than 1,000 votes thanks to a Libertarian candidate.

Thanks to a Libertarian candidate? Not due to Heck’s lack of appeal in his district? The Hill conveniently failed to mention that an IAP candidate was a fourth contender in the field, who performed fairly well.

Candidate Party % vote votes
BREEDEN, SHIRLEY DEM 46.57% 46,420
HECK, JOE REP 45.81% 45,655
HAGAN, TIM LIB 4.77% 4,754
BLANQUE, TONY IAP 2.85% 2,843

Source: Nevada Secretary of State

Given the political views of Independent American Party members, it seems much more likely that Heck lost, “thanks” to the IAP candidate, not the Libertarian.

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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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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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Rasmussen
reports that

Libertarian voters make up 4% of the nation’s likely voters and they favor Barack Obama over John McCain by a 53% to 38% margin. Three percent (3%) would vote for some other candidate and 5% are not sure. These results, from an analysis of 15,000 Likely Voter interviews conducted by Rasmussen Reports, challenges the conventional wisdom which assumes that strong support for a Libertarian candidate would hurt John McCain.

In June, Rasmussen Reports asked 15,000 Likely Voters if they were fiscally conservative, moderate, or liberal and if they were socially conservative, moderate, or liberal. This created a total of 16 possible combinations (not sure was a fourth option for both questions). However, 87% of voters fit into one of seven combinations. Libertarians, defined as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, are the smallest of these seven combinations.

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From Liv Films, an editorial about gay marriage, fat marriage, eating lobsters, and more. Mona of Liv Films was the “Ron Paul Girl,” but most of their recent work has been non-political. LMFAO (laughing my fat ass off)….

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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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This was posted at LP Radicals


Mr. Barr –

My husband and I were delegates to Denver. I spoke to you, outside of the convention floor, where I asked you about the Patriot Act, and DOMA, and you said that you were misled about USAPatriot, and you apologized for DOMA. In your nominating speech, I know that I heard you apologize for DOMA.

After speaking to other people about your work on the LNC and with the ACLU, I felt that I had to give you the benefit of the doubt, and believe that you did have a change of heart.

When I heard (secondhand) that you had changed your position again on DOMA on the Tuesday after convention, I didn’t know what to think.

After reading your position papers yesterday, I believe that I do know what to think. I believe that I’ve been misled.

I am disappointed that I don’t have a principled candidate to vote for this cycle. I don’t find civil rights to be a “States’ rights” issue. I believe that the Constitution protects the civil rights of all people, regardless of race, creed, age, or yes, even sexual orientation. In several different ways, it is spelled out . . .

Article. IV. – The States

Section 1 – Each State to Honor all others

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Six states have passed varying versions of marriage, civil union, and reciprocal beneficiary laws, which would mean that these contracts are recognized, by Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution, in ALL states. Any gay couple that marries in Massachusetts, then moves to Washington still has a valid marriage.

Section 2 – State citizens

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

The federal government has, for decades, given benefits (employee and federal tax exemptions) to married couples and to unmarried heterosexual couples; continuing to deny the same benefits to same sex couples constitutes discrimination.

Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights.

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The Constitution of the United States repeats, over and over, that citizens are equal on varying bases. Those bases were each recognized individually, until the 14th Amendment encompassed all of us . . .

“nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

I am currently running the ballot access drive in Washington. I am committed to having the LP on our ballot. It’s a tough job this year, several of our activists who generally give the most of their Time, Treasure and Sacred Honor to the cause of Liberty are not active this year. They are hurt and disheartened. The LP, where thay have always felt that they were safe from this kind of discrimination, is no longer a safe place.

And I, in order to maintain my integrity, feel that I have to finish the ballot access drive, in order to get the Libertarian Party on our General Election ballot. I remain committed to this goal.

And then, in order to stay in integrity, I must vote for None of the Above.

I am, in Liberty and principle,

Rachel Hawkridge

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

-A. Lincoln

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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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The Moderate Voice, “None of the Above”

March 5, 2008 by Pete Abel

—————————————————————————————————–

“As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.” – H. Rider Haggard

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” – William James

—————————————————————————————————–

So which is it? Am I an aging addict of the detestable habit of thinking, or am I merely rearranging my prejudices? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I do know this much: The libertarian impulses of my youth and the stoic conservatism of my early adult years are gradually giving way to the doubts of middle-age – doubts that are centered on two questions:

(1) Do I really believe smaller government and lower taxes are the cures to what ails us?

(2) When people are hurting and in need, is it appropriate for their government to turn away, claiming, “That’s not our issue; it should be resolved by individuals and the free market”?

Libertarian conservatives don’t doubt the answers to these questions. They respond “yes,” to both, without hesitation, without equivocation.

Twenty years ago, I would have been similarly clear-headed. I’m no longer so sure and, apparently, neither is 13-year Republican Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio. According to a Feb. 19 article at Politico:

… Chabot has earned a 97.5 percent lifetime rating from The American Conservative Union and has largely stuck to the Republican ranks, except to oppose some pork-laden spending bills.

But when foreclosures in his hometown of Cincinnati skyrocketed, Chabot found himself aligned with Democrats — and against his party’s leaders, his conservative colleagues and the White House.

Chabot’s bipartisan dalliance illustrates how tough economic times could erode the Republican conference that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is counting on to blunt Democratic victories running up to the November elections.

So, let me get this straight: When rock-solid conservatives learn that their constituents are suffering, they suddenly decide government should do something about it?

Read the rest of this thought-provoking post by Pete Abel on The Moderate Voice.

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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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Drivers license photo at DMVIn the next six years, Americans born after December 1, 1964 will be required to get more secure driver’s licenses under the Real ID Act. Real ID was passed in 2005, and is supposed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants, and con artists to get government issued identification. Originally the new IDs were supposed to be introduced this year.

States, however, have balked at the idea, believing it to be either unnecessary or unduly expensive. The ACLU has vehemently objected to the sharing of personal data among government agencies, which will occur under Real ID. While the Department of Homeland Security claims that the only way to make sure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government information, the American Civil Liberties Union says it will only make it more likely for identities to be misused or stolen.

Furthermore, the ACLU claims REAL ID will be the “first-ever national identity card system,” which “would irreparably damage the fabric of American life.”

While I’m glad to note that I will be exempt, at least until 2017, it still bothers me. It’s just too much like asking for my “papers”, as far as I’m concerned. On the other hand, at least the government realizes that someone my age (45 now, will be 51 when the law goes into effect) is highly unlikely to be a terrorist, which is what I have been saying all along whenever I get hassled about flying or whatever. I’m one of those people whose kids are out of the house, and now I’m joyfully awaiting the day when I have grandchildren. People like me are not terrorists, except when it comes to our daughters-in-law. ;-)

Under Real ID, the cards will have three layers of security but will not contain microchips; and states will be able to choose which security measures they will put in their cards. Also, the driver’s license photograph would be taken at the beginning of the application instead of at the end, in order to keep the applicant’s photo on file to check for fraud.The government expects all states to start checking the social security numbers and immigration status of license applicants.Most states already check Social Security numbers, and about half already check immigration status. Some states are already using many of the security measures of REAL ID. For example, California expects the only real change in their current procedure will be to take the photo at the beginning of the application rather than at the end.

Once the social security and immigration checks become practice nationwide, Homeland Security will move on to checking with the State Department when people use a passport to get a drivers license (why don’t they already do that?), verifying birth certificates, and checking to make sure the person doesn’t have more than one license.

As if getting a drivers license and dealing with the DMV bureaucracy isn’t already a major pain in the ass, it will get worse. And it will be easier for people to steal your identity. Hmmmm ….. this sounds like a very, very bad idea to me. Just get states to do what they should already be doing (check social security numbers, check immigration status, check to make sure they’re who they claim to be when they use a passport to get a drivers license, require that lost or stolen licenses be reported within a certain period of time) and everything should be fine.

Law-abiding American citizens should not get an even bigger hassle in dealing with government red tape, just because a few people are assholes. And I will always be wondering whether the jerk clerk at the DMV is stealing my identity more thoroughly than any thief ever could, thus encouraging widespread paranoia and the attendant reliance upon the government which comes with it.
Of course, that’s what the government wants. They want us to depend upon them for everything, because that gives them power over us. God forbid that everyone simply be responsible for themselves.

_______________________________

Source: CNN “US Unveils New Driver’s License Rules”

Originally posted by ElfNinosMom 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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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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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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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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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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Jason Gatties

Hours Away…Well now there is literally nothing more for me to do but sit and wait. I’ve met many fine people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of this campaign. Tomorrow I will find out if I touched any of them with my words, vision and actions. I didn’t think I would be nervous about this but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. I’ll probably travel to Dowagiac on Sunday or Monday to get the results. I’m going to try to put it out of my mind until then and attempt to enjoy the Krasl Art Fair in St.Joseph with my wife.Many people deserve a huge “thank you” from me.

Libertarians- Thank you for the kind emails

Stuart, Paulie & “Elfninosmom” @ LastFreeVoice.com- Thank you for the campaign coverage and the Letters to the Editor. I know Paulie’s got published.

Family Members- Thank you for allowing me to annoy you with my passion for politics. Hopefully some of you voted for me but just allowing me to vent from time to time is a big help.

Cilla & Dylan- My two biggest supporters and the two most important people in my life. I love you both from the bottom of my heart.

Dan H. & Bill Parker- My boss Dan gave me alot of valuable advice and Bill was there to listen and lend his support. Thank you both.

Dan Grow & Bill Bradley- Two of my local partners in this freedom struggle. You are both inspirations to me in different ways.

Pokagon Tribal Members- Thank you for the kind emails. Even those of you who disagree with me, I thank you, because I need to be challenged in order to push myself even harder.

I know I’ve left some people off, but if you sent me a supportive email, a supportive phone call, a negative email, a negative phone call….I thank you all. Change is a struggle, but I plan to continue the struggle and fight the good fight for years to come.

If you haven’t done so already, get out to Dowagiac tomorrow and vote. My name appears 2nd on the ballot.

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Sorry, I’m behind on the campaign updates. Catching up…

Steve Kubby wraps up the weekly podcast series and discusses future plans:

Subscribe Free  Add to my PageLatest campaign newsletter update after the jump.

(more…)

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Thanks to Google, LFV links to a site which reports only negative things about candidates, including Ron Paul. Here’s a taste, with some dirt on Rudy Giuliani:

Keeps priest accused of rape

Giuliani’s consulting firm continues to employ a priest — Msgr. Alan Placa — who has been accused of rape by multiple former students. Newsday gave the update on 6/23/07:

In 2002, after Newsday reported accusatons he had molested students decades earlier, the Diocese of Rockville Centre placed Placa on administrative leave. In 2003, a Suffolk County grand jury report cited the accusations by three of his former students and found Placa used his position as diocese vice chancellor to stifle other priest-abuse complaints.

But even after being pressed by survivors’-rights groups, Giuliani still refuses to show Placa the door.

There’s also an ad for a site which sells bumper stickers such as these:

Anti-Rreal ID bumper sticker

Guns Don't Kill People bumper sticker

Libertarian bumper sticker

There are other google ad links to the Cato Institute, an email service for political candidates, a site for US election polls, an offer to get Ann Coulter’s weekly column for free, and a site for an “urgent” Hillary Clinton poll. LOL

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I just wanted to take a moment to thank all the Libertarians out there who have sent me supportive emails over the past few weeks. I also want to thank LastFreeVoice.com for their contributions. Running for Tribal Council was a unique experience in that I had to attempt to reach over 3000 members spread over 2 states. It wasn’t easy and I’ll know after Saturday if our hard work has paid off.

Again, I truly appreciate the support and I know that win or lose, I’m coming out of this feeling like a winner because of all the support I’ve received.


Jason Gatties

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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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In this week’s “radio address,” Steve Kubby appreciates Massachusetts and looks forward to the day when Libertarians can routinely do what Democrats and Republicans rarely do:

It’s not very often that I find good reason to thank Democrats and Republicans for standing up and defending freedom, but I like to seize that opportunity when it presents itself.

It’s also not very often that I find it necessary to condemn grassroots political action, but when such action is taken for the purpose of depriving others of their rights, it is wrong regardless of how popular it is.

So: Congratulations to the Massachusetts legislature, which last week declined to put the right of Massachusettsians to marry up to a public vote; and shame on those who chose to focus their political energy on trying to force such a vote.

Despite enormous pressure from anti-family advocates, who spent a good deal of time and money gathering petition signatures and lobbying their legislators, 144 Democrats and seven Republicans comported themselves in the best Massachusetts tradition. Like the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord, they stood up against organized tyranny and for the freedoms of their fellow citizens.

Tune in for more of the podcast:

Subscribe Free for future posts  Add this player to my Page

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Meanwhile, in Libertarian Party news, Steve Kubby
and Wayne Root debated on Liberated Space.

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Presidential SealAll you have to do is answer 25 questions.

Admittedly the site could be improved, since it lists no LP candidates except Kent McManigal (who’s no longer even running except as a write-in candidate) and references a lot of organizations that I’ve never even heard of (but they expect me to say whether I agree with their platform).

It would be a lot more accurate if, for example, you were given a choice to state you believe the war should be ended immediately. As it is, the only options are setting or not setting a deadline for returning the troops, or neither (and that could mean anything).

That being said, the results still appear to be fairly accurate, since Ron Paul came up as #1, followed by a Democrat (I used to be a Democrat, so that sounds about right even though I’m not familiar with the candidate).  Kent McManigal tied for #3, while the vast majority of Republicans are at the end.  Honestly, I’m not familiar with all the candidates listed, and the lack of specificity with regard to issues such as war could have thrown it way off.  I suspect that, with more specific answer options, the results may be quite different.

It is very strange that Kent McManigal and two Democrats tied for third place, though. LOL

The following is my full ideal candidate list according to that site, based on percentage of agreement and level of importance on the issues:

Ron Paul 72%

Dennis Kucinich 62%

Al Gore 60%

Barack Obama 60%

Kent McManigal 60%

Christopher Dodd 58%

Wesley Clark 53%

Mike Gavel 52%

John Edwards 51%

John McCain 49%

Hillary Clinton 47%

Bill Richardson 47%

Joseph Biden 47%

Alan Auguston 46%

Newt Gingrich 45%

Tommy Thompson 43%

Tom Tancredo 37%

Chuck Hagel 36%

Fred Thompson 36%

Sam Brownback 36%

Mitt Romney 36%

Duncan Hunter 34%

Rudolph Giuliani 34%

Jim Gilmore 29%

Elaine Brown 20%

Mike Huckabee 18%

I’d be interested to know how accurate others believe their results to be, and it might be interesting to take them up on their offer to provide free code for our own candidate survey. I bet it would be a lot more accurate, at any rate.
Hat tip Kent McManigal

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I wrote:

Dear Editor,

I am writing in support of Jason Gatties For Pokagon Tribal Council.

Jason stands for both individual and tribal sovereignty.

He believes that a truly free people can not take money and services from an occupying state and retain its independence and dignity at the same time.

He believes the flow of information, much like the people themselves, ought to be free.

He believes real qualifications, not titles, should matter most.

Virgil Vogel wrote in 1974 in a documentary history of the American Indian:
Montaigne, Rousseau, and Jefferson paid tribute to the Indian capacity to organize human affairs in a libertarian manner. The Iroquois developed a system of confederated government which, according to Benjamin Franklin, served as an example for his Albany Plan of Union, and eventually for the Articles of the Confederation.

Visit http//www.votegatties.org to learn more.

-paul

Could I get you guys to write a “LTE” on my behalf? We are coming up on 1 month until the election and the more LTE’s I can get published, the better. I’m in a unique situation in that our tribe members are basically spread out over a 10 county/ 2 state area, which makes your typical style of campaigning tough. Thats why I’m hoping LTE’s will reach those I’m unable to visit or those who are unable to check out my campaign site.

The LTE info can be found at http://www.mujaji.net/pokagon/involved.html

Pick any of the publications listed. It would be a great help to me and I would return the favor 10 fold in the future.

Jason Gatties

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