Steve G.

Too brilliant not to share.

In Libertarian, Politics on January 22, 2007 at 10:32 am

I think I just read one of the smartest approaches to the Reformer/Radical divide yet. Yeah, Paulie’s a contributor here but that’s not why I’m giving him props. Just read this shit for yourself, cowboy:

The best solution to Republitarians and warmongers in the LP is to out-recruit them. Rather than dropping out of the party, what we should do is engage in tons of activism, outreach and party growth and sign up new members, activists and supporters.

Here are two things that will help

1) Nominate a LP presidential candidate who is not a Republitarian and who appeals to the left-libertarian border. We’ve never done this, yet we can in 2008 – Steve Kubby is running for President. The campaign is in its very early stages, yet he has already spoken to a crowd of 50,000 at a time (how many libertarian candidates have ever done that) and been featured alongside non-libertarian candidates in a “viral video” which has been viewed by tens of thousands, mostly outside the party and movement.

I’m the assistant national volunteer coordinator and we are seeking volunteers in every state.

Even moderate “reform” libertarians, like Chuck Moulton, who I talked to yesterday acknowledge that Kubby is the leading candidate for the LP nomination of those who have so far announced their intent to seek it. Kubby will be on Angela’s show on the 25th – Angela, if you area reading, how can we listen live?

2) We need to hand out massive amounts of info at antiwar rallies about how taxes fund the war machine. This should also be a part of our tax day protests at the post office. Non-LP libertarians can adopt these ideas to whatever organizations they want to promote, or to leaderless resistance.

We need to have an intra-party dialogue about the relationship between radicalism and reform, but ultimately, both sides want the Party to succeed in its goals. And so if the Radical Caucus brings in a ton of people and kicks our asses… well, wonderful! They just brought in a ton of people and helped the party. And if it’s the other way around, well, same thing. I think, though, that it will be competition like this that ultimately does the best for the party, not either side’s ideas in a vacuum.

  1. Paul what is it that volunteers need to be able to do?
    Do have a list? The reason I ask is that I have done this before and each campaign has different ideas as to what volunteers are needed for. The campaigns do overlap, but still it would be nice to know what is expected.

  2. MHW:

    Do you mean for Kubby or for the march?

    For Kubby, basically the campaign will come up with activities for volunteers as the campaign progresses, but I imagine it will be a wide array of activities: getting people in your local area on the Kubby state volunteer groups (we have set them up, but there’s no real content yet), distributing materials once we produce them, getting commercials on local radio and TV once they are made, organizing delegates for the national convention, perhaps arranging events for Steve or campaign representatives to attend, arranging local showings of campaign videos once they are produced, representing the campaign to local affinity groups (peace, immigrants rights, drug peace, environmental, etc) , passing on campaign announcements to various outlets,
    helping produce and suggest ideas for campaign materials, tabling at colleges, farmers markets and other events, and there are many things I haven’t thought of yet.

    The main thing is we need volunteer coordinators at this stage to find and match up future volunteers with projects like the above.

    I’ll see if Ben Todd and Tom Knapp share my views on this.

    For the march, volunteers would basically distribute whatever literature we end up producing, if any, and/or march under a Libertarian banner or carry Libertarians for Peace signs, and perhaps just talk to other (non-libertarian) march participants, one on one or in groups, about libertarianism. If we sign some people up that would be awesome;

    or even just open some minds and get them to start seeing us as allies rather than some far right fragment, it would be a step in the right direction, but we have a lot of unneccessary hostility to overcome.

    I’m open to a wide variety of possibilities and suggestions, and as always will add my own – we have a very bare beginning here.

  3. Historically, the supposed radical-pragmatist dispute has had very little to do with many of our intraparty disagreements. For example in 2000 there was a Presidential debate, and the candidates who showed for the debate found it difficult to identify their differences. This is not to say that there cannot be disagreements. We have had a series of anti-abortion candidates for President (I am rpo-choice). We were on both sides on the War on Iraq (I’m Against). I gather that this time we may have a VP candidate who is mostly a traditional libertarian except that he supports gun control. However, tehse differences were not where the real action was.

    In 2004 there were a long series of candidate debates and joint appearances and other statements, the one that mattered being Nolan’s endorsement of Badnarik in convention mid-vote. I do not believe that Nolan’s endorsement of Badnarik was because of an issues dispute with Russo or a joint issue with Badnarik.

    Some of you may find it interesting to read my book “Funding Liberty” in which I go for more than 400 pages describing the actual serious issues in 2000 and 1996; you will note that I spend virtually no time discussing, e.g., the candidates’ stands on ownership of the Lagrange Points (which was at the time a platform plank).

  4. What’s the difference in joining the LRC when you have to agree with their Statement of Principles, and joining the LP which requires taking the ZAP pledge? More axioms vs. one ? My fear is that the anemic LRC platform will do nothing electorally and just dilute the message only to be plunged amongst the two party reef, forever scattering freedom politics.

    The LRC somehow thinks that ‘tweaking’ a platform will be the winning formula. They hardly consider money, voter base, single plurality districts and ballot access (I’m sure a flood of references will follow that statement if it’s read by Dr. Mildstead). People are ready for a ‘third party’ but they do little to support them. Liberty activists have traditionally lived and breathed outside the box. It’s hard to make that sentiment broad based. Being ‘radical’ allows for some continuity and cohesion throughout time. Try even discussing this with reformers and they will seek to vilify and marginalize you.

    Third party politics will be relegated to pushing ‘issues’ rather than victories as long as single plurality systems driven by presidential electoral politics exist. Changing that will require in power politicians to reform, good luck with that. If you really want to win, raise money for independent candidacies that appeal to the angry middle. You might just get a Ventura on occasion. If you want to oppose illegal wars, drug prohibition and support individual freedoms, join the espirit de corps that is the Libertarian Party. Don’t let it become the amusement vehicle for the likes of Doug Stanhope or Wayne Root.

  5. “Don’t let it become the amusement vehicle for the likes of Doug Stanhope or Wayne Root.”

    From what I’ve seen from Doug Stanhope and Wayne Root thus far, Stanhope seems to be more libertarian. I don’t know if Stanhope is going to get back in the race for the LP presidential nomination or not, but I’ve got no problem with him being in it. Root should stick with the RepubliCONS.

  6. Paul I meant for the campaign. Out here in the backwaters we get request for volunteers, but we seldom get any specifics as to what they need to do. Not to criticize. I have more than once made the same mistake myself.

  7. OK, well, I did give you some specifics…if you want to sign up to head up your state, we’ll definitely give you some suggestions as to what to do as time goes on, but right now we are focusing on getting as many states to at least have a volunteer coordinator as we can.. believe me, we’ll have plenty of suggestions on what you can help with between now and Denver. So would you be interested? Know anyone else who is in any of the states we don’t have yet? Here’s the ones we do, so far:

  8. Of course Steve Kubby is primarily known for his continuing battles with the feds on the marijuana issue, but I had never been exposed to his beliefs on other issues on the political landscape. Having just perused his campaign site, I am EXTREMELY impressed! He appears to be a genuine and unabashed libertarian, just the kind of candidate I’d be happy to get behind.

  9. Robert, are you still in Texas?

    If so…

    Looks like that is one of the states we already have a volunteer coordinator for.

    If you moved since you last updated the website linked withh your name, we might need one in your state.

    Perhaps we can go to having county reps in states where we already have state coordinators. Or, alternatively, just start utilizing our google groups which will be used to coordinate volunteer activity in the future:

    Not much of anything happening on those yet, but that can and will change, hopefully real soon.

    We don’t really have materials to hand out to friends and neighbors too much yet, but if you have any design skills we could use some help with improving what we have so far to the point where we can hand it out, and making more.

    We will definitely have some materials in February.

    We could use more people to forward campaign announcements to whatever sites and lists you are already on.

    Of course, just talking to folks you know about the campaign would be a plus, if nothing else.

    I’m currently working on compiling a list of all the LP state conventions – if anyone knows more or has corrections please post them.

    here’s what I know so far…

    NV Feb 10 Booked

    NH Feb 23-25 Liberty Forum; Phillies

    MD Mar 3 Phillies

    OR Mar 9 Booked

    FL Mar 17-18 Phillies, Chapman

    NJ Mar 25

    TN Mar 30-31 Phillies; Invited

    NM Apr 13 Booked

    NH Apr 15 Invited

    CA Apr 20 Booked
    OH Apr 20-22

    NY Apr 28 Phillies
    NC Last weekend in April
    Invited? (Susan Hogarth)
    MI Apr 28 (source: Jason Gatties)

    MO May 4-5 Invited
    PA May 5 Phillies

    MT May 24-25 ?

    Alabama “May or June”
    2-day, weekend, Mobile

    Also, we could use help from folks to listen, call, and spread the word about upcoming radio appearances:

    Tuesday, 01/23, 4:15 Pacific Time: “The Sloan Ranger Show” with Lloyd Sloan on WGNU 920 AM, St. Louis, Missouri. Tune in your radio, or listen live online!

    Thursday, 01/25, 4:30pm Pacific Time — “Liberated Space” with Angela Keaton on BlogTalkRadio. Listen live online!

    And of course we need people to help hand out “Taxes of Evil”

    If anyone can slap the campaign info on there that would be awesome!

    More ideas welcome, please post them.

  10. Hey, paulie

    Yes, I’m still in TX. Of course, a lot of the buzz around here lately has been Ron Paul’s 2008 exploratory campaign within the Republican Party. Of course, he’s an extreme long shot in that since the GOP establishment hates him, but it will be interesting to see how far he can go with it. Obviously, the advantages of working from within the two-headed beast are compelling, not to mention that fact that he is a sitting congressman.

    In any case, I haven’t seen any proposed candidates within the LP who look any more appealing than Kubby. Hopefully, he’ll get the support he deserves.

  11. If you feel like also working for Ron Paul in the GOP, that’s fine – it shouldn’t preclude you from working with Kubby in the LP.

    I’ve left open the possibility that I might do some work on the Ron Paul campaign too, although there are some issues such as immigration where I have a big difference with him.

    My criteria for whether I will spend any significant effort to help him is whether he will formally introduce impeachment in the House. I consider that to be the moral obligation of any sitting member of Congress and a smart move politically to differentiate himself from the field and get attention. If he does, I’ll do some work on his campaign simultaneously.

    For that matter I might help Rich Whitney some if he goes for the Green nomination, and if I see a decent chance for a fairly libertarian candidate among Democrats I may overcome my oath, going back to my disgust at the result of the 1992 primaries, to never participate in that party again. The closest thing to a libertarian in the Donkey Show Party primaries right now is Bill Richardson, and he’s not really close enough, nor likely to win.

    Bottom line – don’t let interest in other parties primary candidates stop you from getting involved with the Kubby campaign; you can do both.

    It’s highly unlikely that Ron Paul will get the Republican nomination, and it is far from certain that he will seek the Libertarian nomination if (or, far more likely, when) he loses. If he does, we can talk about the relative merits of Kubby and Ron Paul for the LP nomiantion at that point – right now, it’s not worth spending too much time to consider a “what if.”

    Being a sitting Congressman does not guarantee any great success if he does decide to run LP either – after all we ran him in 1988, and did not do any better than normal.

    Also, keep in mind he’s getting along in years and won’t be able to keep up with the grueling campaign schedule near as much as 20 years ago, or to the extent that Kubby can.

    So, supposing he does not decide to seek the LP nomination, (he may endorse the Republican nominee or go with the Constitution Party if he decides on a third party race) , we want the LP nominee to be as strong as possible, right?

    If all the LP folks quit putting time and money into the LP candidates and focus all their energy on the Ron Paul primary run, where will it put the eventual LP candidate organization-wise if/when Ron Paul loses the Republican primaries and either endorses the Republican nominee or decides to go with the Constitution Party?

    I’d say that would put us significantly behind where we need to be.

    I’m going to be working on backup plans.

    After all, it’s not certain that Kubby, or even someone acceptable will get the LP nod; for all we know it might be someone like Boortz.

    So in case that happens, I’ll put at least some energy into the primary candidates I like for the other parties’ nominations.

    I would suggest you and others do the same, particularly if the primary candidate you are backing is a long shot in their party, as Ron Paul certainly is in the GOP.

  12. There certainly are a lot of possible scenarios that could play out and it’s far too early to predict what is likely to happen. I do agree that Ron Paul is an extreme long shot within the GOP and, personally, I would think that his best chance of getting votes would be to ultimately run as an independent, assuming he fails to get the GOP nomination.

    That said, I would be somewhat disappointed if it turns out that the LP runs a candidate and there is another genuinely libertarian candidate, i.e. Ron Paul or someone else, on the ballot either as a Republican or independent. The possibility of this happening may be rather remote, but if it occurred, I would prefer to see the LP choose to not field an opposing candidate. And since there always seems to be the internal debates about the idea of abstaining from running presidential candidates in favor of focusing our limited resources on local/grassroots efforts, I would think doing this wouldn’t be unreasonable.

    Again, I’m just speculating amongst a myriad of possibilities. In the meantime, I’d be happy to lend my (limited) support to Kubby’s campaign.

    – Robert –

  13. Robert, please at least sign up for the Texas Kubby google group, and help out in whatever way you are willing to – suggestions will be on the group list although they are not yet, hopefully soon.

    At the moment, I’ll leave it to others to argue whether the LP should run a presidential candidate if Ron Paul is the Republican nominee, since I think him being the Republican nominee is about as likely as the Libertarian nominee actually being elected President – i.e. for all practical purposes a pipe dream.

    Regarding running as an independent, bear in mind ballot access laws which make it very difficult for independents to get on the ballot in many states. This is why Nader ran as a Green the first couple of times and tried to again, even though he was never a member of the Greens.

    I’ll quote from harry Browne’s post-2000 campaign analysis regarding the idea that we should nominate NOTA for president.


    Given our small vote total, a natural question arises: was the presidential campaign worth the trouble? Was it worth the money donated? Was it worth the time and energy expended by the campaign staff, by the thousands of volunteers, and by me?

    In the December-January issue of Republican Liberty, the newsletter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, editor Thomas D. Walls wrote:

    I hate to say it, but the election further demonstrated the irrelevance of LP Presidential campaigns. . . . when the quixotic LP presidential run consistently gets next to nothing in the popular vote, you’ve got to either mend it or end it. Remember, insanity is repeating the same action expecting a different result. Look, I feel your pain, but it’s a losing strategy, and diverts time, talent and resources.

    Are LP presidential campaigns irrelevant?

    I don’t think so.

    During 2000, I appeared on 53 national television shows and 90 national radio shows — plus 80 local TV shows and 375 local radio shows. I had hundreds of press and Internet interviews, and I gave dozens and dozens of speeches.

    Those appearances told millions of Americans that there was something well beyond the big-government proposals of George Bush and Al Gore. People heard that it was possible to have an America quite unlike anything they had seen in their lifetimes.

    It is an America in which the government stays out of your life — and government is so small that you don’t pay any income tax at all. An America in which you’re completely free from the oppressive and wasteful Social Security tax. An America in which the government doesn’t foster gang warfare and violence through an insane War on Drugs. An America in which government doesn’t interfere in any way with your ability to defend yourself, your family, and your property.

    It is an America of charity hospitals, free clinics, doctors who make house calls, low-cost health insurance accessible to almost everyone, and hospital stays that don’t bankrupt you — in short, the kind of health-care system we once had before the government systematically destroyed it with Medicare and Medicaid.

    If there had been no Libertarian presidential candidate, how many times would Americans have heard ideas like that on television and radio?

    That’s right: not once. No one else was describing possibilities that go beyond the narrow, depressingly pessimistic choices offered by Democrats and Republicans.

    No one else was on TV and radio across the country proposing to reduce government dramatically. No one else was giving specific examples of government failing to achieve what it promises, or explaining Libertarian proposals to large audiences.

    Having a Libertarian candidate lets millions of Americans know that there’s a large number of people who think as they do — who want to get government out of their lives, who want them to be free to live as they think best, not as George Bush or Al Gore thinks they should. Such a campaign gives hope — no matter how faint — to people who had long since given up on the idea that anything would ever change or that government could ever be cut down to size.

    It’s true that LP officials appear on TV and radio outside of presidential campaigns (and so do I). But those appearances are very rare compared to those generated by a presidential campaign. More important, a non-campaign appearance is linked almost always to a specific issue of the day — and usually an issue in which the Libertarian has to argue against a change in the status quo. During the presidential campaign, most of the time I was able to raise the issues I wanted, I was able to talk about a better world that would come from positive change toward truly smaller government, and I was able to draw people to our website where they could learn more about libertarian ideas.

    In addition to the media appearances, a presidential campaign contributes to the growth of the libertarian movement in other ways.

    We had over 1.5 million different visitors to the website — people who learned that there’s a better life possible than what the Republicans or Democrats are offering. Many of them came back over and over to become new members of the LP or the libertarian movement.

    And then there were the many speeches and media appearances that our vice-presidential candidate Art Olivier made. He represented our ideas articulately, persuasively, and passionately.

    Lastly, we should recognize the help that all this coverage gave to local LP candidates.

    The more coverage the presidential ticket generates, the more votes accrue to down-ticket Libertarian candidates. Many people hear of Libertarians only through the presidential campaign, and they are persuaded by libertarian ideas. But they have learned to detest one or both of the two major presidential candidates. And they feel constrained to vote for the major candidate they detest the least, in order to keep out of the White House the one they detest the most.

    In most cases they have no such strong feelings about Congressional, state, or local candidates. In fact, I think most voters have never even heard of any of the candidates for most lower offices. So they have no emotional urge to defeat any particular person. They are perfectly free to vote Libertarian in these races if they’ve become convinced that Libertarian ideas are the closest to what they want. The more visible and persuasive the Presidential candidate is, the better local Libertarians do.

    Here is one of many similar emails I received after the campaign:

    I voted Libertarian everywhere I could this year except for President, as I was more afraid of Gore’s agenda than Bush’s. I did vote for Harry in the 1996 election as I felt the offerings were essentially equal. . . . I just believe under Gore that we would move away from a possibility that we could have a constitutionally limited Republic in the future.

    We should recognize that no local LP candidate is going to be invited to appear on Hannity & Colmes, Meet the Press, National Public Radio, or Politically Incorrect. And yet it is the national TV and radio shows that give an aura of respectability and plausibility to our ideas — that in an unspoken way tell the voter that our ideas are not beyond the fringe.

    Happily, local Libertarian candidates reached a new record in votes received. I don’t think those kind of vote totals could be achieved without a presidential campaign.

  14. Saturday, January 27, 2007
    Five by five for Kubby
    posted at

    Disclosure: I work for Steve Kubby’s presidential campaign as a volunteer in the position of communications director. This post is not a paid ad, nor am I receiving financial compensation/restitution for contributions to the campaign which may result from it. To the extent that it may be regarded as an “in-kind” contribution to the campaign on my part, I value it, in line with recent “pay per post” blogging I’ve done, at $10.

    Steve Kubby’s response to the State of the Union address
    went up on his campaign web site
    before George W. Bush had left the Capitol building, and while US Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) was still delivering the Democratic response.

    The “response to the response” brought our web server down as thousands of Digg readers hit the site at the same time to hear what Steve had to say. We logged more than 5,000 unique visitors in the timeframe immediately around the crash — we don’t know how many got turned away during the outage.

    We’d planned on launching our first “public” fundraiser shortly, but events have pushed it up. Here’s the real thing,
    to which I hope you’ll respond, but I’ll cover the high points right here, and stick in the clickables, too.

    Bottom line: Steve Kubby’s proving, every day, that he’s a “serious candidate.” Now we get to find out how serious you are. The people who follow these things estimate that the “major party” candidates will each spend about $500 million or more on the 2008 election. Call it a million dollars a day between now and November, 2008.

    We’re not asking for a million dollars a day for 500 days. We’re asking for for five days. That’s not a drop in the bucket to Republicans or Democrats, but it’s enough to ratchet the Kubby campaign up to the next level of activity.

    I’ve already told you about the tremendous response to the State of the Union piece. We need a better web server, because that’s going to keep happening.

    The campaign’s first two radio commercials have been recorded and are in post-production. Some time in the next few days, we’ll be making them available to Libertarian candidates to use in their own campaigns … and we want to air them ourselves, too.

    Steve announced his candidacy in front of a crowd of 50,000 in Seattle, and campaigned in Washington for LP Senate candidate Bruce Guthrie. He spent several days in Colorado in November, campaigning for Amendment 44. He’s been attending Libertarian Party and non-LP public events all over California. He’s already confirmed that he’ll be attending LP conventions in Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico and California in February, March and April. That’s just the beginning. We have plans to send him all over the country … but plane tickets don’t buy themselves.

    Steve’s made three radio appearances in the past week. More requests are already coming in and we’re proactively seeking more such opportunities. By this time next month, we’d like to have him giving three radio, television or newspaper interviews a day, and then up from there. While these affairs don’t have built-in costs, they do have overhead. Specifically, the travel described above. It’s a lot easier to get Steve on the air in Boise or Baltimore if we can tell the media that he’s going to be in Boise or Baltimore.

    Over the years, I’ve heard lots of Libertarians say (sometimes in the comments of this very blog) that we need a $10 million presidential campaign. I agree. That’s a bare minimum to be really effective.

    So, how do we get to $10 million?

    We get there $10 and $50 and $100 and $2,100 at a time.

    And where do those $10, $50, $100 and $2,100 contributions come from?

    Well, from you, of course. What, did you think there was a campaign fairy?

    This next $5,000 will let us do the things we need to do to raise the $10,000 after that. That $10,000 will let us do the things we need to do to raise the next $50,000. And so on, and so forth. But it starts here, and it starts with you … if it starts at all.

    Here’s the skinny:

    Contributions or gifts to Kubby for President (FEC #C00428698) are not tax deductible. Business, corporate or individual contributions are welcome. Contributions are limited to $2,100 per person, or $4,200 per couple, for the primary election, and again for the general election. A husband and wife may make a contribution from a joint checking account in an amount of up to $4,200 if both spouses sign the check Credit card contributions are permitted up to $2,100 from the credit card holder.

    Contributing Online

    Via PayPal

    or Credit Card

    Contributing By Mail

    Make checks out to “Kubby for President.” Per FEC regulations, we ask that you note your employer/occupation on the memo line or let us know about it in a separate note. Here’s the mailing address:

    Kubby for President
    17415 Ocean Drive
    Fort Bragg, CA 95437

  15. Bush is forever saying that democracies do not invade other countries and start wars. Well, he did just that. He invaded Iraq, started a war, and killed people. What do you think? Is killing thousands of innocent civilians okay when you are doing a little government makeover?
    Our country is in debt until forever, we don’t have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
    We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

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