Steve G.

Phillies responds to revelation about Barr contributions

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 13, 2008 at 12:50 am

A polite difference with a fellow candidate

We’re Libertarians. There is no issue we all agree upon, except perhaps how we spell our party’s name.

It’s not surprising, then, that sometimes some members of our party will support an isolated Democrat. Or a lone Republican.

If you are an LNC member, your burden is more severe. You made a commitment to your fellow Libertarians. You ran for our office so you could leverage your time and energy to build a stronger Libertarian Party. If you instead spent your time building an opposing party, you are not doing what you implicitly promised.

I’m state chair of LPMass, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts. I’ve worked vigorously to revive my state’s Libertarian Party. Our State Committee is now meeting monthly. Our State newsletter is now appearing monthly. We’ve revived fundraising. I’ve committed thousands of dollars of my own money for our Presidential ballot access campaign.

You may rest assured, I haven’t given a Democrat or a Republican a dime or a minute.

And I’m a Presidential candidate. When I identify my political beliefs, I say I’m a *Libertarian*.

Here we come to one of my differences with LNC member Bob Barr, who I view as a friend.

While on the LNC, Bob Barr has also been the champion of the Bob Barr Leadership PAC. Since the start of 2007, his PAC has raised more than a million dollars. That’s very impressive. Now, raising that money was expensive. Much of it went to general expenses.

But when Bob Barr PAC money went since the start of 2007 to individual political candidates, it largely went to Republicans. And that means?

If I’m your nominee this Summer, that means I hope to be in Georgia to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Allen Buckley. His opponent Saxby Chambliss received $3,500 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in New Hampshire to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Ken Blevens. His opponent John Sununu received $3,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Virginia to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Bill Redpath. The Gilmore for Senate campaign received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in North Carolina to campaign with Libertarian Congressional Candidate Thomas Hill. His opponent Robin Hayes received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Texas to campaign with Libertarian Congressional Candidate Ken Ashby. His opponent Jeb Hensarling received $3,500 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Idaho to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Kent Marmon. His erstwhile opponent, Larry Craig, dropped out, but not before he received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

That’s Republicans who have a Libertarian opponent. Bob Barr supported a longer list of Republicans who don’t yet face Libertarian opposition.

The longer list matters, too.

When you donate to a candidate, your money counts twice. It counts once for that candidate. It counts again for the candidate’s party. When I invest money in my campaign, I am building our Libertarian Party. And when Bob Barr through his PAC invested in Republican candidates, he was
building up the Republican Party.

And that leads to the question. What do we want and expect from a Presidential candidate?

I urge you to consider: We only get one Presidential campaign every four years. It’s your decision.

  1. — In, “Dick Clark” wrote:
    > Okay, this is absolutely awful:
    > *…Mr. Barr said he still opposes abortion and the legalization or
    > decriminalization of drugs, just as he did as a federal prosecutor during
    > the Reagan administration and as a Republican in the U.S. House.*
    > *Some Libertarians hold the opposite view…*
    > *********
    > Article published May 13, 2008
    > Barr to woo Libertarian base for funds


  2. I like what George has to say here. And I agree that when you step up in an organization you have a duty to help/assist candidates that are running under that organizations name, not their rivals.

    Now as far as your comment Paulie, I don’t support the War on Drugs but I am a pro-life. And I know libertarians run the gamut from being pro life to pro death – I don’t think being pro life has anything to do with party affiliation or platform – it’s a moral belief.

    I hate to say this because he’s not on the LP Ticket but Ron Paul just keeps sounding better and better.

    Bottom line is: I don’t care about national media exposure if that compromises libertarian principles. I don’t like the “unFair Tax” and I don’t want libertarians to water down their message just to reach the masses. Once it is watered down, it will be hard to recover.

    I do want the national media coverage if the core values of libertarian philosophy are there – non intervention, free market, rugged individualism, minimal government!

    When people are ready they will understand and relate to the message, it’s been proven that it can be done. Look at Ron Paul!!

  3. TG

    The pro-life part was not nearly as much of a problem as saying “he still opposes … the legalization or decriminalization of drugs, just as he did as a federal prosecutor during the Reagan administration and as a Republican in the U.S. House.”

    That’s the part that really took me aback – there are quite a few pro-life libertarians and have been for many years. But pro-drug war?

  4. Ok, Paulie – that makes sense. I thought that you found them both equally problematic.

  5. […] George Phillies, one of the former LP presidential candidates, sees financial support for Republicans with Libertarian challengers as a betrayal. Indeed, Phillies–who is on the […]

  6. Paulie, instead of taking a second hand quote from notoriously error prone reporters who misquote people all the time to fit their needs. Let’s look at to see what Bob Barr has actually said:

    “As president, I would completely reorient federal law enforcement priorities, that currently are skewed far too much against marijuana possession, and would consider all — and I do mean all — options.”

    “I, over the years, have taken a very strong stand on drug issues, but in light of the tremendous growth of government power since 9/11, it has forced me and other conservatives to go back and take a renewed look at how big and powerful we want the government to be in people’s lives,” Barr said.

    Barr brings a “great deal of credibility, particularly among people on the Republican side of the aisle,” MPP government relations director Aaron Houston told The Politico. “He certainly would not have been the first person I would have expected to sign off to us, but I’m very pleased that he has,” Houston said. “I’m very pleased that he has come around, and I hope he serves as an example to his former colleagues.”

    As a newly christened MPP lobbyist, Barr is already talking the talk. There might be “legitimate medical uses of marijuana and we ought not have this knee-jerk reaction against it, and people ought to be allowed to explore,” he said.

    “Bob Barr lobbied for us on medical marijuana on the Hill last year, particularly on repealing his own amendment and Hinchey-Rohrabacher,” said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Prior to losing his seat in Georgia, he was a civil libertarian with some notable exceptions, the drug war being the major one, but that has changed. When people come over from the dark side, they should be welcomed,” he added.

    “Regarding the drug war, I’ve been there, done that, and know firsthand our current strategy is not working. Continuing to have the federal government run roughshod over the states, even if the citizens of a state decide they wish to legalize medicinal marijuana, for example, is wrong. ”

    It’s very rare to find someone who’s willing to change their position and then be so public about it. [Barr has] definitely increased the credibility of the Marijuana Policy Project. People have to take us seriously when we walk through the door with Bob Barr. -Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project, May 2008

    “I do not think that the American people are ready to embrace the notion that there ought to be across-the board legalization of drugs. But I do think we need to begin rolling back the massive government power structure that has been built up pursuant to the war on drugs, which has not proved to be a success, certainly. Therefore, I think we need to certainly respect states rights and decisions by the people in an area such as medicinal marijuana. If the people of California, for example, decide that there is an appropriate place for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and they pass a law to that affect, that ought to be respected by the federal government. In other words, I think we can start this process of vesting the power to decide what people want to do with their own lives as long as they don’t endanger anyone else by at least beginning to devolve power from the federal government to the states. That would be an important first step. ”

  7. Old news. I asked Steve Gordon about this and he showed me the original statement, and claimed Barr was misquoted. In fact, if the sole basis for the reporter’s characterization was that statement from Barr, he was in fact misquoted. The comment is from some time ago (May 13).

    Many more detailed questions about Barr’s current stance on drug policy issues remain to be answered.

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