The information below is reprinted with the authorization of its author, Susan Hogarth.
Did anyone else notice that the recent LP HQ email came from Barr and asked for money for ballot access – but asked for people to donate directly the the Barr campaign?
I’m wondering about the pros/cons of that approach. I suppose it makes the LP in general look stronger if our pres nominee is visibly bringing in more money (which is one reason I wish they’d ditch the
web-counter until and unless they start getting some pretty enthusiastic fundraising to build on).
The email (‘from the desk of Bob Barr’) includes these two bullet points:
• I just talked with Chairman Bill Redpath: by his analysis, we’ll need more than $200,000 to petition and secure ballot access in 48 states.
• In order to move forward with full, 50 state ballot access, we’ll need to begin to petition immediately in Oklahoma and West Virginia and raise at least $300,000 more to pay petitioners.
It’s not clear to me whether he means the LP needs 200K for 48 states PLUS another 300K for OK and WVA, or only an additional 100K for OK and WVA. But in any case, this actually won’t give the LP ‘ballot access’ in OK, as I understand it. The best than can be accomplished is getting Barr on the OK ballot as an independent. I’m not sure I want to pour money into an effort to get Barr on the OK ballot *as an independent*, which apparently is what they’re working on:
I’m don’t care for this strategy because I don’t see it as the best use of funds after the LP already poured tons of money into OK, then gave up on it. Also, while it may get more votes for Barr, it won’t really help other LP candidates (or, more importantly, Libertarian voters) as far as I can tell, and apparently Barr will be listed as an “Independent”. Even this would be OK with me except that I’m not convinced they can actually get it done – at least not without seriously hampering their efforts in other states.
Back-of-the-envelop: they’ll need 60K sigs in about 40 days, which is 1,500 signatures per day, which will take about $2-3K or more per day. Doable, certainly, but at the rate Barr is fundraising that’s committing a major chunk of what he is bringing in.
Frankly, I am not sure why more people aren’t making an issue of this. Tying Barr to the national LP for *LP* ballot access is certainly a reasonable strategy, but asking people from the LP mailing list to send Barr’s campaign for money to get “full, 50 state ballot access” when in fact the LP *won’t* be getting that seems just a little bit dodgy to me.
My preference would be for the LP to concentrate on raising money itself or in tandem with the Barr campaign for the original 48-state plan, and let Barr (and the OK LP, if they wish) pitch separately for
the OK effort.
I wonder if there has been discussion on the LNC about this strategy and the LP’s support of it.