Steve G.

Barr campaign admits to lying in fundraising plea

In Libertarian on July 30, 2008 at 11:06 am

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Bob Barr’s Libertarian Party bid for the White House needs cash, but is not on the verge of being broke, Barr’s campaign manager said Tuesday. Despite a fund-raising plea he sent out recently that said the campaign’s progress “will stop dead in its tracks” without an immediate cash infusion, Russ Verney told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Barr has enough money to maintain his campaign at present levels.

But that’s not the goal, Verney said.

“We’re able to raise enough money to execute our plan, but we’ve got ambitions and that takes even more money,” Verney said Tuesday.

Those ambitions center around participating in the national debates with Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama. Barr, a former Republican congressman from Cobb County, has said he needs to be at 15 percent in the national polls by mid-September to qualify. He’s yet to come close to that mark, although recent polls have shown him at or near 10 percent in several states, including New Hampshire, Nevada and Arizona.

Money would help that effort by allowing Barr to buy advertising, do direct mail and other staples of national campaigns. Thus far the campaign has mostly been limited to personal appearances from Barr and his vice presidential nominee, Wayne Allen Root, as well using the Internet to raise cash and spread the word through Web videos, blogs and social networks like Facebook.

Read the article in its entirety here.

  1. I’m not a donor…so…whatever…haha.

  2. Really? Lying? Come on, it’s a fundraising letter. Let’s not nitpick at every thing he does just because you don’t like him. This is constant complaining about everything Bob Barr or his campaign does or doesn’t do is getting very old.

    I read the e-mail as a plea for money to run a national campaign (e.g. television ads, direct mail and internal polling). The article says that they have the money they needed to set everything in motion, but we as Libertarians need to step it up if we want a competitive campaign that can actually make a difference, for example the possibly our ticket participating in the presidential and vice-presidential debates. That is what the letter was about.

    The sad thing is you and most of your readers never even gave the guy a chance. That says a lot about the state of our movement and our party.

  3. The sad thing is you and most of your readers never even gave the guy a chance.

    I disagree. Most of us gave him a chance, many of us are still giving him a chance, and even many that support him are here as well. They might even be the silent majority.

    And, yes, that type of (white) lie is commonplace in fundraising letters. That’s why my post about it treated it much more light heartedly.

    On a serious note, however, I think that it is a heavily overused fundraising tactic.

    I think what works better is the straightforward approach:

    Here’s what we have done so far with your money. Thank you! If you send us amount x, we can also now do y. If you send us amount a, we can now do b. Thanks again!

    One of the drawbacks of the “sky is falling” approach is that even if it motivates donors, its non-sustainable. After all you can only cry wolf so many times before your marks…oops, I mean donors, stop taking your professions of imminent doom seriously.

  4. Actually, I have personally given Barr kudos several times recently in LFV articles, and was particularly pleased with his recent Congressional testimony. However, when his fundraising letter told people his campaign progress would “stop dead in its tracks” unless they sent money, it was a lie. Was it a little white lie, or a whopper? Each person must decide that for themselves.

    It would be far more honest (and probably far more lucrative if he wants money from libertarians) for his campaign to say “We need to do A, B, and C before we will have the support necessary to participate in the presidential debates against Obama and McCain, so we need your financial support now more than ever!” Even I might have sent him money for that purpose, and I certainly would post the fundraiser on LFV since his appearance in the presidential debates would benefit libertarians across the country, regardless of how well he performed.

    That being said, I did not blame Barr directly for this less-than-truthful statement. I blamed his campaign, and the newspaper article made it clear that it probably originated with Verney. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that Barr has very little to do with the money side of things, so I do not hold him personally responsible for this deception.

  5. It is a fundraising tactic used to motivate donors. as paulie pointed out. The letter said that progress would stop unless the campaign received $85,000 in the next week.

    Progress is doing things like purchasing airtime and producing television ads and doing direct mail. These are things a campaign needs to do in order to be effective.

    If enough money isn’t coming to do these things, then there is absolutely no harm in sending out this e-mail and it is certainly not a lie, nor is it deceptive.

    Actually, I have personally given Barr kudos several times recently in LFV articles, and was particularly pleased with his recent Congressional testimony.

    The negative written about him far out weighs the positive.

    It would be far more honest (and probably far more lucrative if he wants money from libertarians) for his campaign to say “We need to do A, B, and C before we will have the support necessary to participate in the presidential debates against Obama and McCain, so we need your financial support now more than ever!” Even I might have sent him money for that purpose…

    They’ve done that in previous e-mails.

    I’ve read this site on a daily basis since the convention. This site and Independent Political Report have come across more like anti-Barr blogs, where on occasion you may say something halfway nice about him when he does something like appear in a Congressional hearing.

    I am convinced that there is nothing that the man can say or do to make any one of you happy.

  6. He’s said and done many things that have made me happy, and many others that have made me unhappy. I’ve done my best to point both of those out.

    By the way, we have signed up several writers here who are pro-Barr. For whatever reasons they have not revealed, they have not posted much lately. This is a volunteer gig – we can’t press anyone to contribute more frequently than they feel like it.

    Of course, those who would like to write more pro-Barr articles here are more than welcome to contact ENM and ask to be added as writers.

  7. However, when his fundraising letter told people his campaign would “stop dead in its tracks” unless they sent money, it was a lie.

    Your statement is a lie.

    The letter did not say that the campaign would “stop dead in its tracks”. The fundraising letter stated that the campaign’s progress would “stop dead in its tracks”. Two differnet things.

  8. Again, overly harsh. I don’t think either one was a malicious lie.

  9. You are correct, Chris. But will she retract the claim and offer an apology to Barr and the campaign?

  10. Verney wrote Russ Verney writes, “You see, I have to report that unless we receive and immediate cash infusion of $85,000, our progress will stop dead in its tracks. To be very blunt, I am presently faced with bills equaling our bank account balance, and I know there are many more expenses on the horizon.”

    and also

    And in the AJC he said “Bob Barr’s Libertarian Party bid for the White House needs cash, but is not on the verge of being broke, Barr’s campaign manager said Tuesday. Despite a fund-raising plea he sent out recently that said the campaign’s progress “will stop dead in its tracks” without an immediate cash infusion, Russ Verney told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Barr has enough money to maintain his campaign at present levels.”

    Choose one.

    If Bills=Cash on hand and you have any more expenses on the horizon, then either you get more money or you are broke. The two Verney statements are not consistent.

    Mind you, this is par for the course. Barr’s flip-flops on every issue from DOMA (several times now) to persecution of religious minorities make my former governor look like a model of stolid unchanging consistency.

  11. Elfnino’s mom told the truth, the the exact quote needs editing.

    George, who just got on of the most wonderful birthday presents an American politician can imagine from the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

    http://www.sos.nh.gov/intents-2008.htm

  12. Hit wrong button

    Elfnino’s mom told the truth, though the exact quote needs editing.

    George, who just got one of the most wonderful birthday presents an American politician can imagine from the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

    http://www.sos.nh.gov/intents-2008.htm

  13. Big lie, white lie, minor misrepresentation, grave misrepresentation, overly dramatic, etc, etc, etc.

    True, this IS what all politicians do, but remember . . . Barr IS a politician FIRST, and all other considerations come after. Never mind that it was Verney who “worded” the fundraising letter, or maybe Viguerie. It matters not at all.

    Barr IS A POLITICIAN and not a statesman . . . i.e. a truthful government servant.

    With all due respect to ENM, There is nothing that would make me contribute so much as a clipped fingernail to the Barr campaign. My discarded fingernails have too much value to go to these vermins. They are all snakes in the grass . . . Barr, W.A.R. Corey, Verney, Viguerie et al.

  14. Oh for FSM’s sake, I accidentally left out a word when making a comment, though leaving it out or including it does not in any way change my point. Yet some of you want to paint me as a liar, when it was I who posted the original article from AJC?

    Sheesh. That’s really grasping for straws. If my intent was to misrepresent what Barr’s campaign said, I certainly wouldn’t have posted a newspaper article from Barr’s hometown.

    I’ll fix the comment, but I am not going to apologize to Barr for making an error of that type, anymore than Chris and Mike are going to apologize to me for their lame attempts at character assassination.

    At least what I did was accidental, whereas what they did was quite intentional.

  15. It would be great to learn that the Barr campaign was really on its last legs. Shucks.

  16. I’m not trying to pile on or anything, but the AJC is a long time and well known political adversary of Bob Barr.

  17. Parr for the Libertarian course. In the same league with Perry Willis or Harry Browne.

    I don’t like such letters. But I must admit that my own efforts at writing fundraising letters in the past weren’t all that great. So, maybe it’s a necessary evil. Don’t know.

  18. I’ll fix the comment, but I am not going to apologize to Barr for making an error of that type, anymore than Chris and Mike are going to apologize to me for their lame attempts at character assassination.

    You’re attempting to pick nits for some pretty stupid shit. So I thought I would do the same.

    Saying that progress will stop is completely different from the campaign shutting down. It has nothing to do with you “leaving a word out”.

    Sheesh. That’s really grasping for straws. If my intent was to misrepresent what Barr’s campaign said, I certainly wouldn’t have posted a newspaper article from Barr’s hometown.

    The AJC never claimed that the “Barr campaign admits to lying in fundraising plea.” That is your title. You called the Barr campaign a group of liars, when they in fact did not necessarily lie. What other “intent” am I supposed to get from that?

    There are plenty of things wrong with Barr, but you loose all credibility when you go off the deep end and start attacking make-believe fiction.

    If Bills=Cash on hand and you have any more expenses on the horizon, then either you get more money or you are broke. The two Verney statements are not consistent.

    Verney was stating that if the fundraising numbers do not pick up, then progress will stop. Of course if ZERO funds started coming in, then the entire compaign would shut down. I interpreted his statements to mean that they have enough income to cover their expenses. However, if they want to make more progress, then they need more income. The statements are completely consistent to anyone that is not a distgruntled competitor.

  19. It’s amazing that one word can be the difference between a “gotcha” moment for you and the truth.

    To label someone as a liar is a serious accusation. If anyone here is guilty of character assassination here, it is you. After all, you specifically named Russ Verney and accused him of lying.

    I’ll fix the comment, but I am not going to apologize to Barr for making an error of that type, anymore than Chris and Mike are going to apologize to me for their lame attempts at character assassination.

    Your unwillingness to apologize to Barr or the campaign, or more specifically Russ Verney, is exactly what I am writing about by this blog being anti-Barr.

    An apology from you is more than warranted.

    At least what I did was accidental, whereas what they did was quite intentional.

    You got called on it. Just accept it and move on. Don’t try to make yourself the victim. We would not even be having this discussion if you’d reported this accurately.

  20. Mr. Phillies, you have absolutely no credibility with me. I applauded your concession speech during the convention, but I learned not too long after through your comments at LFV that your words were worthless.

    If you really meant what you said in Denver, you’d end your one-state protest candidacy and let Bob Barr run his campaign as the rightful nominee of the Libertarian Party.

    Just admit it, Mr. Phillies, you never even gave Bob Barr a real chance. He has been a target of your self-important rants since he announced his candidacy.

  21. He’s said and done many things that have made me happy, and many others that have made me unhappy. I’ve done my best to point both of those out.

    I am referring to LFV in general.

    By the way, we have signed up several writers here who are pro-Barr. For whatever reasons they have not revealed, they have not posted much lately.

    I suspect that one reason may be because this blog has become a place to bash their candidate. They may not want their name on it or they may not want to deal with the hassle they’ll get from the anti-Barr contributors or commenters.

    Of course, those who would like to write more pro-Barr articles here are more than welcome to contact ENM and ask to be added as writers.

    Are you admitting that LFV has become an anti-Barr blog? If not, why the need to “write more pro-Barr articles”?
    I am not saying that you need to be 100% behind Bob Barr or not criticize him when he is wrong. I am saying that LFV and IPR have always been hostile to him and many of the contributors at these blogs never gave the guy a legitimate chance.

  22. If you really meant what you said in Denver, you’d end your one-state protest candidacy and let Bob Barr run his campaign as the rightful nominee of the Libertarian Party.

    If Bob Barr does not get on the ballot in NH, it won’t be because George Phillies prevented it.

    If Barr does get on the ballot in NH, it will be in part because George helped collect and pay for signatures.

    If Bob Barr does not get on the ballot in MA, it won’t be because George Phillies prevented it.

    If Bob Barr does get on the ballot in MA, it will be in large part because George paid for many of the signatures, assisted greatly in the logistics of the ballot access drive, took the initiative to find out the substitution procedures, alerted the national party when the SOC unexpectedly reversed all precedent and said substitution would not be allowed, secured legal representation to challenge that ruling, etc.

    I suspect you owe George Phillies an apology, and I say this as someone who did not vote for George on any ballot.

    But, suppose you were correct in everything you said here about Dr. Phillies. How does that invalidate the contradiction between the two quoted statements from Mr. Verney?

  23. I suspect that one reason may be because this blog has become a place to bash their candidate. They may not want their name on it or they may not want to deal with the hassle they’ll get from the anti-Barr contributors or commenters.

    This blog is an open forum for all libertarians. I have gone to some lengths to recruit writers who represent different varieties of libertarian thought, and have to some extent succeeded.

    The extent to which we appear to be pro- or anti-Bob Barr is the extent that A) people have accepted my invitations to sign up to write here and B) the extent to which they have taken advantage of their right to do so once they have signed up.

    If no Barr supporters can be found who can bear to be in the company of Barr critics, that is the fault of the Barr supporters, not that of the critics.

    If Steve Perkins, Jeff Wartman, Brian Holtz, Steve Gordon, Jake Porter, (Stuart Richards? I don’t even know, he hasn’t really been around post nomination) want to post pro-Barr posts here all day, the floor is open.

    If none of them want to, ENM is signing up new contributors.

    And if no one wants to defend Bob Barr except in a forum devoid of critics, so much the worse for Mr. Barr. Hopefully, we’ll hear more from the Barr supporters here. Ball’s in their court.


    Of course, those who would like to write more pro-Barr articles here are more than welcome to contact ENM and ask to be added as writers.

    Are you admitting that LFV has become an anti-Barr blog? If not, why the need to “write more pro-Barr articles”?

    No, we are not, repeat, NOT an anti-Barr blog. We are an open forum for libertarian thought. Who chooses to use that forum is, well, who chooses to use that forum.

    For that matter, we were started by someone who is probably supporting Barr (that is just a guess). ENM only owns LFV because no one else wanted it when it was abandoned.


    I am not saying that you need to be 100% behind Bob Barr or not criticize him when he is wrong. I am saying that LFV and IPR have always been hostile to him and many of the contributors at these blogs never gave the guy a legitimate chance.

    I think if you search the archives you will find that we started out pro-Barr, and have always welcomed that viewpoint.

    As for IPR, those who are enthused with Mr. Barr’s candidacy tended to remain at TPW. Those of us who tended not to be so enthused went to IPR because we felt less than welcome at TPW.

    I made that choice when links to my personal blog, LFV, Tom Knapp’s blog, Chris Bennett’s blog, etc., were removed at TPW. Others did so when their press credentials were revoked (mine initially were as well, but then restored), comments allegedly censored (I did not experience this, but was told about it), posts put on hold for editorial review, and so on.

    For whatever it’s worth, my original plan was to post at both LFV and TPW to help build bridges between the two and continue the dialogue between the two communities with an eye towards reconciliation. GE told me that, as a direct competitor, if I continued writing for TPW I could not write for IPR. That’s his right as the owner of the site. Around that same time, links to me and my friends were removed at TPW, and that made the choice crystal clear.

    I don’t know if GE is interested in adding more pro-Barr bloggers at IPR. If any are interested, they ought to ask him.

    He did issue a general policy against editorializing in posts at IPR. We save that for the comments. The guideline is that opinion pieces should be few and far in between. Yes, we have a viewpoint, as do the folks at TPW. I think we have tried to be fair, but we aren’t perfect.

    I do know for a fact that pro-Barr bloggers as well as commenters are welcome here. Disinter, for one, is firmly convinced that I am one of them. If more pro-Barr voices choose to stay away, that’s their choice. We will express our individual viewpoints. They are welcome to participate as much or as little as they wish.

  24. An apology for what? For pointing out that he is being divisive and is furthering the divide in our party? Please. You’ll need to do better than that.

    I agree with Chris Moore. The statements are consistent to anyone that does not have an anti-Barr bias.

  25. An apology for what?

    For your statement, “If you really meant what you said in Denver, you’d end your one-state protest candidacy and let Bob Barr run his campaign as the rightful nominee of the Libertarian Party.”

    See my response to the validity of that allegation.

  26. ‘The letter did not say that the campaign would “stop dead in its tracks”. The fundraising letter stated that the campaign’s progress would “stop dead in its tracks”. Two different things.’

    Not so.

    ‘Progress’ means, literally or metaphorically, forward motion. To say that something’s progress is stopping is the same as saying the thing itself is stopping.

  27. I can see both sides of that one as possibly valid interpretations.

  28. It is a valid allegation and I did not refer to ballot access issues. I was referring to his sense party unity expressed at the convention in Denver.

    His divisive comments leave the impression that he is pursuing his “candidacy” out of protest.

  29. You know, I heard George Phillies give his concession speech in Denver, and I resent the suggestion that he didn’t mean what he said. What was the bit about Lester Maddox that you didn’t understand, Mike?

    Or did you miss the part where Bob Barr extolled the life and career – the entire career for which we should all thank God – of Jesse Helms, another arch segregationist in the Lester Maddox mold?

    I think George’s run in New Hampshire is the right thing to do. At least people in NH should have the opportunity of voting for a Libertarian Party candidate for president who actually is a libertarian. I have proposed to the Boston Tea Party national committee that we endorse him for his run in that state.

    Which event has, by the way, had the knock-on benefit of lighting a fire under the Charles Jay campaign. They’ve raised money! They are proceeding to fund ballot access in at least one state. They have a huge mailing list now. Yay!

  30. His divisive comments leave the impression that he is pursuing his “candidacy” out of protest.

    George Phillies’ candidacy is in no way preventing Mr. Barr from running anywhere. It is a formality which was exercised to insure that a Libertarian candidate would appear on the ballot in MA and NH.

    The particulars of the two states are different; in NH, the LP has failed to achieve ballot access in 2004 and 2006, and LPNH wanted to make sure there would be no chance of that in 2008. Everyone knew substitution would not be allowed.

    MA, on the other hand, is a pretty standard placeholder candidate case, which turned non-standard when the state suddenly changed the established rules in the middle of the game. I don’t see how Dr. Phillies role there can be characterized as anything other than helping Mr. Barr’s candidacy.

    George’s comments on blogs are just like yours and mine: the private opinions of a party member and activist. They have no connection to his placeholder candidacy, and they certainly don’t prevent Mr. Barr from running a campaign.

    If Bob Barr does get on the ballot in NH, and Dr. Phillies continues to actively campaign against him, you can start making those sorts of statements. Until and unless that happens, your statement is quite unfair to George.

  31. I always looked at LFV as being a Libertarian OPINION BLOG. If the OPINION is that Barr is a piece of crap, that’s the OPINION of said author.

    You’re very free to start a Bob Barr Ass Licking Society Blog if you so choose. But stop bitching about “anti Barr” comments here.

  32. You’re very free to start a Bob Barr Ass Licking Society Blog

    How would it compete with TPW?

  33. Every single person who contributes to LFV is welcome to share their viewpoint, and it doesn’t matter what that viewpoint may be. If they think Barr is the Second Coming, they can post that. If they think Barr is the Anti-Christ, they can post that too. I do not in any way censor the contributors, so they are free to write what they want and send it right through to the blog. They all know that. They knew exactly what they were getting into when they agreed to contribute, so the suggestion that they aren’t posting positive things about Barr because this is viewed as an anti-Barr blog is, frankly, an uninformed argument.

    We also post guest articles on a pretty regular basis. In fact, I have a very liberal policy for guest posts, in that I post pretty much whatever I get as long as it is pertinent to libertarianism, the writer is at least marginally intelligent, and it comes from a valid IP address. Whether I agree with those articles is irrelevant, as long as it isn’t attacking LFV or its contributors.

    So, Mike, put up or shut up. Write 1000 words of glowing recommendation about the Barr campaign, and send it to me as a guest article. You seem to think the lack of positive Barr coverage here is a serious problem, so become part of the solution. Or do you really prefer to just argue on blogs?

  34. I just saw Mike’s comment prior to the one I just made.

    I don’t owe anyone an apology, and I’ll be goddamned if I will issue one just because someone using an anonymizer, who has never even commented on this blog before and is obviously just a Barr sock puppet, demands it.

    I also didn’t play the victim, and that’s just another pathetic attempt by you to make me look like the bad guy, and so transparent that it is not even worthy of response.

    Either way, I have neither the time nor the patience to play your bullshit little game. So let me put this in a way that even you can understand: Do not speak to me again. If you do, you’re just wasting your time because I will neither read it, nor will I respond.

  35. By the way, we have signed up several writers here who are pro-Barr. For whatever reasons they have not revealed, they have not posted much lately.

    Sigh… I want no part of this, and probably wouldn’t even have SEEN this thread had not a few people emailed me about it. However, since the insinuation above is that I’m “ducking” out of embarrassment over Barr or something, I suppose I should respond…

    (1) I am “pro Barr” to the extent that I am not “anti Barr”. I have concerns about operational efficiency in spending. I was outraged over leasing office space in Georgia that required a $19K air conditioner. I thought the Helms press release was a gaffe. However, I believed in Denver, and continue to believe today, that Barr is by far and away the best option our Party had for the Presidential nomination. He will enable our message to reach more ears than any other candidate could have dreamed about, and the level of votes he’ll pull in will lower our ballot access costs in future campaigns by hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

    Still, because I don’t passionately hate the man and equate him with Satan, my position is boiled down and pigeonholed as “Barr drone”. Agree with me or disagree with me on any particular point, but I think I’m one of the more fair-minded people lurking on these blogs. The fact that I’m critical of “anti-Barr drones” does not make me a drone in turn.

    (2) While I am occasionally embarrassed to be a blog poster, I’m not embarrassed by past or present support of Barr. I am, however, living with a clock that only features 24 hours per day. I am at the midpoint of pursuing a law degree as an evening student… and during the Summer I work my full-time job, a part-time legal internship, and take an overloaded night class schedule. In my spare time, I have a wife and family for whom I’ve been an absentee husband. I pop in once a week or so to poke fun at Seagraves for his latest over-the-top hyperbole (in which he mostly uses Barr for a prop in his personal grudge with TPW)… but the other 6.9 days out of the week, I simply have shit to do. See you guys more regularly in the Fall.

    (3) Last but not least, I’m pretty up-front about the fact that I don’t take this blogging thing very seriously. Nothing about LFV, TPW, or IPR has anything to do with educational outreach or Party building. They’re just forums for Party insiders to shoot the shit and bitch with each other. If any non-libertarians actually did wander in here, they would probably just change their mind about being Libertarian.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to take the high road and say that I’m “above all that” myself. However, I also don’t pretend that I’m changing the world by playing my Nintendo DS. These are just hobbies I engage in for fun to relax when I have a spare moment. It’s like getting together for beer and debate with your buddies at the pub on Friday night… you have to hope that they’re actually out saving the world on the other 6 nights of the week.

    When I think about “libertarian activism” I’m involved with, I think about things I do here in Georgia with the state Party. I have no delusions that trading snark back and forth with radicals here means anything. As the old southern expression goes, you can’t win a wrestling match with a pig… you’ll just get muddy, and the pig likes it. Again, the whole thing can be fun, but it’s not something that I place high priority on during busy times when my leisure time is limited.

  36. Sigh… I want no part of this, and probably wouldn’t even have SEEN this thread had not a few people emailed me about it. However, since the insinuation above is that I’m “ducking” out of embarrassment over Barr or something, I suppose I should respond…

    Steve, I meant no such insinuation, and I’m sorry you took it that way.

    My point to Mike was that we have no control over how much or how little the pro-Barr (roughly speaking, I don’t want to mischaracterize anyone’s position) bloggers here post. I also did not mean anything by reasons said persons “have not revealed”. It can be anything from being busy with work, to health problems, getting a new love interest, finding a more interesting hobby, preferring different websites – it really doesn’t matter, and that was not my point.

    I’ve gone long periods of time without posting anything as well.

    No sweat whatsoever.

    Have not revealed means simply that: I don’t know what the reasons are. It’s not my job or hobby to know.

    The opportunity is here. Who all chooses to use it, and how much, is up to them.

    I’ve been doing my part in trying to recruit most of the people here, and many others who have (at least so far) said no or not responded.

    That includes many of the “pro-Barr” people, as well as many of the anti.

  37. And, I’m no more a pro- or anti-Barr drone than you are.

    But, since I have people on both sides accusing me of being one or the other, I guess I’m doing OK.

  38. Just to be clear, though, I do think George Phillies is planning to run an active campaign in New Hampshire. He has my complete support in so doing. In fact, I have asked The Boston Tea Party’s national committee to consider endorsing his candidacy there, and in Massachusetts.

  39. Steve, your contributions to LFV during the convention were invaluable. I very much value you as a contributor, even if you can only contribute from time to time. I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks about it, either, nor should you.

    I do absolutely agree with you that some people take blogs way too seriously. Like you, I have a lot of other responsibilities, including of course a family and a career which both require a great deal of attention. I simply don’t have the time or the patience to deal with people here who just want to argue, when I have so many other things on my plate which rate far higher in importance.

    The bottom line is that those who contribute on LFV can’t just sit around all day arguing, unlike the few commenting here who seem to have nothing better to do. As far as I’m concerned, those people are nothing but trolls, and as such they should simply be ignored.

  40. ‘I have no delusions that trading snark back and forth with radicals here means anything. As the old southern expression goes, you can’t win a wrestling match with a pig . . .’

    Are LP radicals ever going to wake up and realize what a waste of time it is to try to work as allies with people who despise them?

  41. I guess my point was, counter people who oppose Barr with some thought. All I ever see is “You hate Barr, You’re an idiot”. But rarely do I see anyone counter with hard facts.

    That’s all I ask.

    And not everyone who opposes Barr is a “radical”. I have never considered myself a radical & the Barr campaign hasn’t come close to impressing me yet.

  42. ‘I have no delusions that trading snark back and forth with radicals here means anything. As the old southern expression goes, you can’t win a wrestling match with a pig . . .’

    Are LP radicals ever going to wake up and realize what a waste of time it is to try to work as allies with people who despise them?

    I don’t think Steve meant it that way. I could have said the same thing. It’s not a radicals vs, reformers thing. More of just an internet snarkfest thing. His point was that virtual mud wrestling here isn’t activism and outreach. I could just as easily be snarking with fellow radicals, as I often do on the radical yahoo group – same idea. Or with Democrats on DU, or whatever….I may very well like them as individuals, it’s not a matter of despising anyone.

  43. @TPW # Bill Crain Says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Question: How is the money being spent?

    We’ve been through campaigns before where the campaign itself was nothing more than a fund-raising engine and the actual expenditures (beyond office and staff) were primarily directed at more fund-raising.

    The operation of the candidate’s Leadership PAC, while apparently both within legal limits and even business-as-usual for members of Congress, has to raise some concerns.

    So far it’s been free media, right? Is there substance on the way?

  44. Paulie seems to understand what I’m trying to say more so than others. If anyone can read a whopper of a post like that, pick one needle out of the haystack that is a metaphorical proverb, and say “AH HA! He despises us!”… then he hasn’t really read a word I wrote, and likely never will.

    I do hear where Gatties is coming from, and I do try to pop in and give a reasoned defense when someone posts something WAY off the deep end. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

    Number one, the Barr-haters are simply a lot more passionate about this sort of thing… for much the same reasons why Southerners still do Civil War battle re-enactments while the North could care less. Few people have the motivation to spend 12 a day on these insider blogs responding to every piece of bile thrown out there, especially when most of it just seems to be “pay attention to ME!!!” kind of stuff.

    Number two, I don’t always HAVE a thoroughly detailed explanation for why Bob Barr is the immaculately perfect second coming of Christ. You want to talk about how he “smeared” and lead “conspiracy theories” against Dr. Ruwart? I pipe in to point out that you’re a silly goof. Someone points out that he’s inefficient with money and has too many friends/family on the payroll? Here, I don’t particularly disagree. However, I never argued that he’s the immaculately perfect second coming of Christ in the first place, either. I just said he was a far better option than anyone else in the field this year, and I firmly stand behind that.

    Number three, I don’t focus on these debates more than I do because it seems like a waste of time. I’ve never seen a single mind ever changed out here. Most of this stuff is a matter of “identity politics” and belonging to a group… I have about as much chance of turning a Barr-hater around as a Yankees fan winning over a Red Sox fan.

    It’s fine and well to spend 3 years dissecting the previous campaign and airing your beefs toward the future… but it seems a bit suicidal to tear a current campaign apart three months before the election, with non-libertarians and potential libertarians watching. I’m not interested in turning the haters around, any more than Barack Obama is interested in winning over Jesse Jackson. That’s a lost cause, with energy better directed toward the public.

    If there is any resentment or negative feelings on my part, it’s from this notion that non-radicals should fall in line heart-n-soul the moment a Badnarik is nominated… whereas if a non-radical is nominated, it’s his obligation to spend the next six months kissing ass and winning the radicals over. Had Ruwart or Kubby won the nomination, I’d be behind them 100% today. The fact that this repect is one-way only, and that the Barr-haters can’t do so much as postpone their years of bitching by 3 months for the sake of the Party, does in fact irk me.

  45. Barr is a racist, sexist, anti-gay, anti-pagan bigot with a hard on for government intervention in everything from Fannie Mae to other people’s countries. He’s not just a bad candidate, he’s a crazy loon. He is one small step removed from Sonny Landham. He wants to continue the drug war on the state level. He’s scum, and he’s apparently your scum, so if you don’t like the heat, don’t bring explosives into the kitchen.

    Radicals didn’t all fall in line when Badnarik was nominated, you sour grapes goof. Charles Jay bolted the party and organised the Personal Choice Party in 2004, in case you weren’t watching. A bunch of us bolted in 1996 and 1998 over the crap with the Harry Browne campaign corrupting everything in sight, notably Perry Willis.

    Let me be clear, as a prominent Barr hater and a national LP corruption opponent, and perhaps as radical an anarcho-capitalist as you’ll soon meet (it is narrow at the pinnacle of the Nolan chart, but I have thousands of friends here): I do not want you to support Ruwart or Kubby with any percentage beyond what you actually believe about them and their views. I want you to be true to your beliefs. If they don’t represent your views, don’t have respect for them beyond those areas where you agree. Tell them they are wrong, and tell us we’re wrong for supporting them.

    I don’t want your pretense that Kubby or Ruwart are okay with you. I don’t want a sham of support. I want to know what you really think.

    I’m not a part of your party, because your party is messed up. Your party has corruption in high places, and people like you have failed, deliberately in some cases and after much effort in others, to root it out. Your party has a bad structure, where an insider clique rules and even elected members of your party’s national committee are powerless. Your party abuses the trust of its members and gives them no voice to over-rule the actions of the national staff and national committee. Even when someone resigns in disgrace, your party pays him five figures from its slush fund.

    So, for the sake of your party, which has proven unworthy of my support, you want me to shut up about Bob Barr? No. I won’t. Bob Barr is a filthy tyrant who put people like me in prison for victimless crimes of possession of things like guns, drugs, and information. There are men and women in prison now because of his work for the drug war and for the injustice department. I won’t shut up about it, and you have no claim against me for party loyalty.

    I not only want it to irk you, I want it to shame you. I want you to be overwhelmed with frustration. You think Barr is the best hope for this year? Good. I want to see your hopes ruined, your dreams dashed, and the American people told the truth about your candidate the moment he looks to have significant support anywhere.

    And by everything that is holy, I want you to do the same for every candidate in my party. Show me the scandals about Charles Jay, how he prosecuted people, how he voted for the war in Iraq, how he violated his oath of office to uphold the constitution and voted for the USAPATRIOTACT – if any of those things were true about him. They aren’t, though. They are true about your candidate, not mine. But, do tell. Find the mote in my eye, if you can. I don’t mind.

    Because in a contest where the truth is told, only those who have some ugly truths to hide want some of us to shut up. Party loyalty is the penultimate refuge of scoundrels. Patriotism is the last refuge.

    Your government is out of control. Your national debt is trillions of dollars, and the unfunded obligations tens of trillions more. Your country is headed toward death camps for dissidents. And you dare to speak of party loyalty? Arbeit macht frei, m#th#rF#CK#R!!!

    The only way to fix this country is to tell the truth. The truth is the most effective tool we have. And if you demand that I stop telling the truth about Bob Barr, if YOU CAN’T HANDLE the truth about Bob Barr, then too bad. Because like it or loathe it, I have free speech.

    And I want to use it to piss you off.

  46. Oh, and as a Southerner, I resent your use of the term “Civil War.” It was the War for Southern Independence. It was never for control of the USA government, and you, Lincoln, and everyone involved ought to be clear on that point. Nobody in the South re-enacts “Civil War” battles. They re-enact battles in the war of Northern aggression, you carpet bagger scalawag.

  47. I respect the hell out of Steve Perkins and he has always provided a great insight and proper argument. I would just like to see others (on both sides), do the same.

  48. I don’t speak for George. I do consider him a far better choice than Barr, however there are many areas where I disagree with him, mostly because he sees more possible areas for government than I do.

    I also think there are places where he has not made the best choices in how to express his opinions – as in lack of diplomacy…

    I supported George as during the early stages he was definitely a better choice than the alternatives – not a visible nut-case, no glaring skeletons in the closet, not tied at the hip to a single issue, etc.

    Having made that commitment, I kept it until he was eliminated in Denver, at which point I went with Mary – a candidate I liked, but also had some concerns about, including her late entry.

    I believe George is planning to run an active campaign in NH, because many people in the LPNH *WANT* him to! It is worth noting that George had most of his signatures gathered by volunteer efforts, while Barr is using paid petitioners and out of state money. I know there is an effort on the part of some LPNH members to get an official LPNH endorsement of George over Barr… While I can see a possibility that George being in competition with Barr for the LP vote in NH may hurt Barr’s totals, I also suspect that there being two LP candidates on the ballot (assuming Barr makes it) will potentially attract media attention and increase the TOTAL LP vote thereby.

    In Mass., as Paulie noted earlier, George was planning to do substitution if he didn’t get the nomination, until the Secretary of State changed the rules on us. Assuming that any forthcoming litigation does get substitution, the Barr campaign will owe George a LARGE round of thanks…

    We had pledges from several of the Presidential candidates to help fund our ballot drive. The LPMA put in $3,000 of its own money and money raised from donors.

    The other candidates did NOT keep their pledges after Denver.

    George DID – to the tune of at least $4,000, mostly paid AFTER Denver, with the expectation that we would be substituting him off the ballot….

    So if Barr gets on the ballot in Mass, it is largely due to George’s efforts…

    ART

  49. Jim, the Personal Choice Party was organized prior to Jay being asked to serve as a Presidential nominee. They were already running candidates in Utah.

    I understand your argument, the facts are just off a bit.

  50. Jim, stop this milquetoastish vacillating and say what you really believe.
    🙂

  51. The Personal Choice Party first ran candidates in 2004, but the party dates back to 1997, long before Charles got involved.

    To put that in current terms, the Boston Tea Party was formed in 2006 but it will probably be 2010 before the BTP runs many candidates under the BTP banner.

  52. I don’t want your pretense that Kubby or Ruwart are okay with you. I don’t want a sham of support. I want to know what you really think.

    Okay, fair enough. Allow me to translate your post to reflect what I really think.

    I really, really, really, really enjoy attention. I like to argue, and find it fun. If you don’t occupy my own exactly precise GPS coordinates on the Nolan chart, then we’re arch enemies… but that’s okay, because I don’t want you to agree with me. I prefer arguing. In fact, I will start my own political party so you’ll be motivated to argue and pay attention to me. However, I’ll continue lurking in the LP also, in case you aren’t arguing or paying attention to me. Maybe if you came around and agreed with me on every single microscopic point, we could be allies. Nah, just kidding… I’d invent something else to argue with you about, because I need the attention. Please, please, whatever you do, don’t show respect for me in any way… because I then have to work harder to generate argument and attract attention. Thank you very much… err, wait… I mean fuck you… and please pay attention to me.

    Hey, you asked. No worries, though… I’m happy to give you what you’re looking for from time to time. However, I may disappoint you in that you’re not something I’ll ever be emotionally invested in.

  53. Steve Perkins:

    ‘. . . he hasn’t really read a word I wrote, and likely never will.’

    I read your ‘whopper of a post’. You flatter yourself imagining it contained anything of substance.

  54. Jason, my point was that people like Charles Jay bolted in 2004. The argument that all the radicals demanded Steve stand by Michael Badnarik sounds like a bunch of crap to me.

    Some radicals, like Susan Hogarth perhaps, may have done so. I have heard her make idiotic party loyalty arguments in her effort to chase me off the lpradicals list. I certainly don’t plan to darken her door with any ideas on how to repair what’s wrong with the LP. Funny that she then wanted the endorsement of the Boston Tea Party. So, not exactly a clarion cry for party loyalty.

    But, the point I’m making is that Steve is whining like a schoolboy with a skinned knee about having to support Badnarik in 2004 because his favorite nationalist socialist candidate didn’t get the nomination that year. Would that have been Aaron Russo, the Lincoln lover? Steve did not have to support Badarik in 2004, and if he didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to tell the Badnarik people to cram it, so what? If he chose to support Badnarik in 2004, that’s nothing to me. There is no quid pro quo for Barr in 2008, because I wasn’t involved in Steve’s agreement. If he chose to support Badnarik, thinking there was an agreement forever more that all radicals would always support whatever racist lunatic running for office on the LP ticket (Landham, Barr, etc.) then it seems fair and just that he be informed that no such agreement was reached.

    L. Neil Smith made this very point in a recent essay in The Libertarian Enterprise. You put a non-libertarian at the top of the party’s ticket, and real libertarians are going to make your life a living hell by telling the truth about what it means to be a libertarian. It is my promise to you all.

    That nasty dirty cretinous tyrant scum bag prosecutor enemy of freedom Bob Barr is a slaver. He wants to put men and women like us in prison. He wears the boots that stomp the human faces forever. I will not shut up about it, and if it irks Steve, good. If it horrifies Steve, good. If it makes him go screaming out of the room, good.

    Paulie, to be candid, there is nothing I’m afraid to say to these authoritarian jerks. To hell with them and their compromises with evil. Let them drink the hemlock.

  55. Steve, I don’t care what you’re invested in. You support evil. You are one of the hateful turncoat filth who is supporting an arch villain for president. You are a turd, a churl, a scum bag, a jerk, a Judenrat.

    You are at the train station with the other Jews, it is Germany, 1942. You are Jewish, one of the Judenrat. You are carefully marking the luggage of each “passenger” and telling them that their luggage will be returned when they get to the camps. All is well, you assure them. Then when the last box car is about to be shut, the Nazi guards push you inside, and lock the door.

    At the camps, your reward for helping the militarists, the nationalists, the socialists, the camp guards, is to be just another body herded into the showers for treatment with Zyklon B. You get to die with all the others. In perdition, though, there is a very special place reserved for you to be tortured through eternity.

    I get to die too, and I shall spend eternity laughing at your torment. Because you suck.

  56. The Nolan Chart is no kind of global positioning system, and to call it GPS coordinates is nutty. Making a 3-D chart of the Nolan and Pournelle charts might be interesting, but still represents an approximation, a projection into 3-space of a multidimensional space.

    But, yes, let’s be clear what it means to answer “maybe” or “disagree” on even one quiz question. It means that you are mistaken, egregiously, about some fundamental human freedom. You are wrong, we are right, and if you don’t like it, go to hell.

    Here they are. Identify which freedom you hate:

    Government should not censor speech, press, media or Internet. Military service should be voluntary. There should be no draft. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs. There should be no National ID card. End “corporate welfare.” No government handouts to business. End government barriers to international free trade. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security. Replace government welfare with private charity. Cut taxes and government spending by 50% or more.

    Where do you disagree? That’s where you suck.

    These are not matters for the law and order crowd to discuss in a reasoned way. These are matters for which they are willing to kill me, enslave me, torture me.

    Yes, as long as you are unwilling to assent to my absolute freedom, I’m against you. You are an opponent of my liberty, my property, my sovereignty, and I will use whatever force I regard as necessary to defend my life, liberty, property, and sovereignty, when, as and how I see fit.

    As to making an argument on a blog, I really don’t mind, Steve. You can characterise my argument any way you like, filth, and it doesn’t bother me a bit. It is just more taunts from the camp guards. Sticks and stones have broken my bones – ask the cops in Houston – but names don’t hurt me.

    Oh, the schoolboy called me a naughty name. He must be having a tantrum. Aww. Terminally cute. Send him to the theater of dental cruelty, see how he likes it.

  57. There are clearly things wrong with the LP. Reformers demand that everyone ignore these problems and press on for the good of the party. Radicals say, no, let’s fix these problems, because it is not good for the party to ignore them.

    The LP national could get swallowed up in a sinkhole and descend to the darkest depths of the Earth, and I wouldn’t mind. But people in the LP, such as this Judenrat Steve Perkins, might want to consider what is going on with their party, what people like me complain about because: the LP continues to lose members.

    Members pay membership dues. With renewals down by as much as 50% since 2000, the market is speaking. It is saying, “Hey, jackasses, fix your problems.”

    Fix the national party corruption scandals with people like Perry Willis abusing their offices. Fix the mis-use of funds. Make the officers and staff responsible to the national committee, or fire them. Put policies in place for greater openness, like Angela Keaton’s efforts to share LNC deliberations. Stop trying to hide the processes from the members.

    It is amusing to suppose that it is only me, and that my complaints represent a problem with me. It is easy to dismiss me, because, after all, I’m just this guy. Wealthy. Well-connected. Activist. Hard working. Ethical. But, really, just a guy. And if all the complaints originated from me, you could write me off like another Robert Milnes.

    But it isn’t just me. The LP is really in trouble. It is in trouble financially. It is unable to meet its financial obligations. It is very nearly broke. Its processes are broken. Its members are dissatisfied. They aren’t sending money. They are upset.

    Attacking me is easy, Steve. Kill the messenger for delivering bad news. But the truth is the LP was the party I searched for my whole life, it was supposed to be this shining example. And filthy scoundrels like you have ruined it. And now it sucks, as do you.

    Which is why when I ask for volunteers over at The Boston Tea Party, my inbox overflows. I have all your most active members, and I’m recruiting more all the time. People respond well to our openness, our lack of a secret clique running things from the inside, our earnestness, our determination, our hard working volunteers, our progress in finding good candidates to endorse. Some people are deliberately leaving your party to join mine, and some are members of both.

    In the end, the LP is going to change because it won’t have any choice. Why not stop whining about your injured feelings, and get on with fixing the problems with your party?

  58. I’d like to point out to Jim that there are many in the BTP who are still supporting Bob Barr. Lisa Leeds, who you have recently endorsed, comes to mind.

    Not sure how I would feel about my National Chairman thinking of fellow BTP members as being “one of the hateful turncoat filth who is supporting an arch villain for president. You are a turd, a churl, a scum bag, a jerk, a Judenrat.”

  59. “Judenrat Steve Perkins” ?

    Did you really just call this man such a vile, ethnic slur?

    Of course you did . . . your MO is to wreak havoc with verbal aggression of the worst kind . . .

  60. Mike
    “Really? Lying? Come on, it’s a fundraising letter. Let’s not nitpick at every thing he does just because you don’t like him. This is constant complaining about everything Bob Barr or his campaign does or doesn’t do is getting very old.

    The sad thing is you and most of your readers never even gave the guy a chance. That says a lot about the state of our movement and our party.”

    Mr. Barr and his staff made the decision before the convention to declare as late as possible, so that he could appear at state convention after state convention as a speaker, without needing to debate opponents. Mary Ruwart did close to the same thing, entering with a couple of months to go, and would have suffered about the same consequences as Barr is, had she won the nomination.

    He and his staff did not give Libertarians a chance to hear his positions debated at multiple events with his opponents, a step he needed to get the nomination, and they are now getting the secondary consequences of their strategy, namely many Libertarians are not giving him a chance after the convention. This was an obvious and predicable outcome. Barr supporters get to live with their caniddate’s unfortunate strategic decision, one which can not be taken back.

    Those of you who watched me on television–though not the folks at the convention, most of them, got to hear my evaluation to fellow libertarians, as opposed to my evaluation to my fellow Americans.

    My evaluation to my fellow Americans was that the enemies of America were not in this room, they were in the racist cesspit that is modern conservatism (and similar words about liberals). My evaluation to libertarians, while I was on TV talking to my state chair, was that we now had a train wreck incoming.

  61. Yeah, I have no idea what to say now. I belong to 2 political parties. In one, we had a guy rip middle eastern folks. In the other, our national chairman just typed the word “Judenrat”

    This is just nuts. I really hope Jim didn’t mean that how it came out.

  62. Come on, Rachel and Jason. In his defense… as an Irish redhead, I get bored by people attacking me with the N-word. At least he’s original.

  63. Given my family background, just a bit touchy with me.

    Steve…tell me you’re a Fighting Irish fan like me!

  64. The “Fighting Irish” mascot is a hateful stereotype, and deeply offensive to my heritage.

    Other than that… yeah, of course.

  65. George Phillies said”

    “Mr. Barr and his staff made the decision before the convention to declare as late as possible, so that he could appear at state convention after state convention as a speaker, without needing to debate opponents. Mary Ruwart did close to the same thing, entering with a couple of months to go, and would have suffered about the same consequences as Barr is, had she won the nomination.”

    I will admit that it seems logical that Barr purposely avoided debating at the stat conventions, as he continued this strategy by thumbing his nose at the delegates when he was the ONLY candidate to not debate at the “unofficial” debate, Friday evening, May 23rd in Denver (unless you count John Finan not participating, but her was the most marginal candidate of all!).

    However, George you are absolutely wrong by saying that Mary Ruwart was following this same strategy as Barr, by getting into the LP nominating process late!

    Mary was wholly supporting Ron Paul, and when it became obvious that Paul was not going to be competitive for the GOP nomination, she began putting a team and strategy together. This didn’t begin until sometime in February . . . probably late in the month. She formally announced on Good Friday, March 21st, but was booking appearances nearly two weeks beforehand.

    So George, please check your facts before you say such things.

  66. Yes, Rachel, I did. I did not start with the hurling of insults. But I’m quite willing to go further than others.

    Yes, I do think Steve Perkins is exactly the kind of person who would help others get on the trains to the camps.

    I don’t really care if you like it.

    But let’s be very clear, it isn’t an ethnic slur. It refers to a group of people who helped the Nazis exterminate their fellow men, women, and children. It is a term like Quisling. Next I suppose all the Finnish persons are going to be alarmed about me typing the word Quisling.

    You and Jason and Steve don’t like the term. Good. I’m not writing to make you happy. I am writing to encourage you to think.

    Jason, I’m not running for election as the Boston Tea Party chair. I don’t have to be inoffensive and quaintly politically correct. I don’t have to impress you as a moderate or as a candidate. I am, actually, unwilling to represent you in any capacity. I don’t consent to be governed, and I don’t consent govern you. I don’t want the job of wiping your…feet or changing your diaper or whatever else you think needs to be done for you by someone else.

    Govern yourself, Jason. Rule your own life. Don’t look to me for leadership. I put the leader principle right in there with the rest of the crap spewed by Hitler in Mein Kampf.

    Which is the whole point of a smaller government. That government is best which governs not at all. The problem with all you people who want me to be ashamed of thinking for myself and writing what I feel is: you think I want to be governed, or to govern. I want neither.

  67. The term is German for Jewish Councilor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judenrat

    “They were forced by the Nazis to provide Jews for use as slave labor, and to assist in the deportation of Jews to extermination camps during the Holocaust. Those who refused to follow Nazi orders or were unable to cooperate fully were frequently rounded up and shot or deported to the extermination camps themselves. In other cases, Judenrats collaborated with the Nazis, on the basis that cooperation might save the lives of the ghetto inhabitants.”

  68. Historical footnote:

    Charles Jay did not bolt the LP over the nomination of Badnarik in 2004. Jay was a candidate for the LP’s vice-presidential nomination that year, but dropped out to accept the Personal Choice Party’s presidential nomination before the LP held its national convention, i.e. at a time when most people considered it very unlikely that Michael Badnarik would be the LP’s presidential nominee.

    I’ve also never really understood why so many people view Badnarik as a “purist” in any case. He’s always struck me as more of a conservative/constitutionalist in the Ron Paul vein.

    The battle lines in Atlanta weren’t really drawn on “pragmatist/purist” grounds in any real way. More they were drawn on non-ideological factional lines. Gary Nolan’s backing came primarily from the Bergland/Browne/Cloud support base, which was ideologically pretty damn “pure.” Much of Russo’s backing came from LP members who wanted to shatter that faction’s control of the party over non-ideological grievances (the Willis affair, the purge — and everyone knows I don’t use that term lightly, it was accomplished through frivolous/malicious litigation via the state — of Gene Cisewski, etc.).

    A lot of the pragmatists who initially supported Nolan went to Badnarik because of his recommendations and because of the bad blood between the Nolan and Russo campaigns. A lot of the purists who settled on Badnarik did so not over ideology, but because of ten years of bad blood over plain ethics versus Bergland/Browne/Cloud.

    Badnarik was everyone’s second choice.

    Oil on water attempt:

    I popped in here because I got a note from someone on Jim’s “Judenrat” comment. Once again, those who know me know how nauseating I find racism and anti-semitism, and how prone I am to reject “context, context” excuses … but Jim needs no excuses on that count. It was clearly not a racist or anti-semitic comment.

    Whether or not the comparison is valid with respect to Mr. Perkins is another question entirely, of course, and not one I intend to dive into. Suffice it to say that when Mr. Davidson decides someone is a bad egg, he is not shy about saying so, or about explaining in very specific terms why he believes that to be the case.

    There are far worse things than a brutal and sometimes discomfiting honesty about one’s conclusions. On the positive side, it’s difficult to harbor doubts about where Jim stands. When I asked Jim to take over as interim chair of the BTP, he made it clear that he wasn’t going to stop being who he is while serving in that capacity. Fair enough, and since he almost single-handedly resurrected the party and got it into action at a time when it was badly needed, I figure it was a pretty damn good deal.

  69. Jim – philosophically I agree with most of what you say when talking about political ideas. I also want neither to rule others nor to be ruled…

    However if you are in a position of leadership, (not rulership for certain, I like the openness of the BTP) then part of what goes with the job is that even speaking personally, one is presumed to be an example of what the group stands for…

    IMHO, and something I try to follow, though I will admit I’m far from perfect at it, is to maintain a certain level of politeness in public forums, and TRY to avoid grossly insulting behavior. When you stoop to the level of the persons insulting you, you make yourself look less effective, and them more so….

    It also leaves a bad impression on those considering whether they want to be a part of your organization – as in “Do I really want to be associated with someone that has such “anger-management” issues?”

    If you stay on a high plain and either ignore them, or possibly if you have to, respond in a mostly polite manner, you look better, and it makes them look like the dorks…

    Obviously you are a free agent, but IMHO your response to Mr. Perkins (who I am NOT defending!) made you look like a bigger jerk than he is, and caused me to have a lot less respect for you, and by association the BTP – Judging by Jason’s comments, I don’t think I’m the only one…

    Just my opinion, but I really do think you’d do better to keep things more even tempered…

    ART

  70. I’ve also never really understood why so many people view Badnarik as a “purist” in any case. He’s always struck me as more of a conservative/constitutionalist in the Ron Paul vein.

    Same here.

  71. In what ways did Badnarik deviate from plumb-line libertarianism in his 2004 campaign?

  72. GE,

    I guess that depends on whose plumb-line libertarianism he deviated from … and on exactly what point in time you’re thinking of. The easiest example to cite is abortion.

    PRIOR TO the 2004 national convention, Badnarik was pro-life, on the premise that since he believed in self-ownership and since nobody knew when self-ownership might become operant, the only safe thing to assume is that it becomes operant at conception.

    AT the 2004 national convention, the latest print edition of The Free Liberal featured an interview with Badnarik which had been conducted in March or April. In that interview, he had changed his mind and decided that abortion was okay up to the point of detectible electrical brain activity.

    AFTER the national convention, he simultaneously had his position paper re-written (it was the only re-write I declined to do) to toe the LP’s platform line, while in person he laid out a Ron Paul / Harry Browne “repeal Roe and leave it to the states” line.

    Which one of the above, if any, is the plumb-line position?

  73. “I’ve also never really understood why so many people view Badnarik as a “purist” in any case. He’s always struck me as more of a conservative/constitutionalist in the Ron Paul vein.”

    The way I see it (as one looking back at what he did not see), he didn’t have that much opposition after wards. He defined Libertarianism in a pretty steady stance. Now I’m not sure how divided y’all were back then. I heard that Russo was criticized for wanting to go after the Republican vote, but that might be loose hearsay.

  74. On Knapp’s point, abortion is the thing that I really give wiggle room on. I’m not gonna freak out on someone for not being comfortable with it. I could even stomach a Paul states right deal. But running in, wanting to overturn Roe V. Wade for “moral justice” is the only real thing I could find myself working against.
    Everyone’s gonna disagree on this at some point. Dragging it out and saying “this is what the whole party supports, and if you don’t like it you can’t join” might not work. Just saying.

  75. Thank you for your comments Art and Tom.

    With particular regard to the Judenrat as an historical group of “community councilors” in, e.g., the Warsaw Ghetto, it may be illustrative to consider the words of one of the victims of the occupation of Poland: “The Community Council – the Judenrat, in the language of the Occupying Power – is an abomination in the eyes of the Warsaw Community…” — Chaim A. Kaplan, 23rd April 1941.

    So, perhaps in future people who don’t speak German and can’t be bothered to consult with basic sources of information can suggest that I use a word in their lexicon such as “abomination.”

    I tell you what, though, Art, much as your comments make sense, and probably appeal to others, they don’t feel right to me. I am passionate about freedom. I am emotional about freedom. I am upset when my freedom is attacked. I am, quite obviously, quick to anger. I am, in short, extremely irritable.

    Which is, I believe, why we now have 245 or so members of The Boston Tea Party on Facebook, ten state affiliates, active discussion lists on Yahoo, Google, Freople, Ning, MySpace, Xanga, and other networks, have anarchists petitioning on our behalf in Alabama, have 50+ members of our North Carolina affiliate, have 15 candidates endorsed on our site, have our candidate on the ballot in Florida and Colorado, soon in Tennessee. It is because I am pissed off, it is because I am angry, it is because I am passionate, that I have gone to a great deal of trouble in the last two calendar months to stir the pot.

    I have stirred things up. I have called Bob Barr names. I have raised the black flag and pointed the proverbial cannon and said, “Let’s dump some tea. Let’s get rowdy, let’s poke the rulers in the eye and tell them we don’t like them.” In short, I have called upon the public, the members of our new party, and the members of your party to say I AM MAD AS HELL AND I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE!

    Why? Because we aren’t just dispassionate logical creatures. We aren’t simply Vulcan automatons living and breathing pure logic to celebrate infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We’re human beings. Emotion is a part of our lives. Passion is a driving force. Anger is a factor.

    And we ought to be angry. We’ve been cheated of our heritage. We’ve been kicked and beaten. I have quite literally been kicked in the face and chest by Houston cops while being completely obedient to their orders to stop, lay down, and surrender. I have eleven broken bones in my body including ten ribs. I have a busted left lung. I pissed blood for a week. I have call to be angry.

    We all have call to be angry. We’re members of an oppressed minority – humans who want to be free. Of course we’re touchy. Of course we’re irritable. And from time to time the compromisers and the reformistas and the scum who want to turn a blind eye to corruption and putrescence piss me off.

    They piss me off for the same reason that Chaim Kaplan called the “community councilors” an abomination. They piss me off because they have sinned a great sin. They have chosen complacency and expedience instead of principle and decency. They have chosen to cooperate with our would-be masters. They have, in short, betrayed the cause of liberty. They are the Summer soldiers and the sunshine libertarians, the Nerf libertarians of whom Neil Smith wrote who want to make everything soft and cushion all the blows against the feelings of those who represent authoritarianism.

    I don’t. I’m a mean, nasty, bitter, jaded old man, and I am a towering thunderhead of rage and vengeance. If each and every jack booted thug ends up eviscerated and hanging by his entrails from a highway overpass, it won’t be a bit less than they deserve.

    Sure, I could play the super mature guy who doesn’t let the insults stick. But that isn’t me. I’m not that guy. I’m not going to pretend to be someone I’m not. It is not in my nature to let it go. It is in my nature to fight. It is, quite frankly, my nature to go berserk. The tradition of berserkergang is part of my heritage, as it is part of the heritage of everyone who comes from the cold countries where the Norse rampaged and raped and looted. It is a tradition of rage and fury, based on a trance-like state which is itself transcendent.

    No, it doesn’t comport well with the patient, more in sadness than in anger, karma goodness of the Zen Buddhists. It is not something many people are comfortable with, because rage is regarded as ugly, and hatred is regarded as damaging. Yet, I’m told that there were traditional fighters in Hindu culture, and I’m well aware of Shaolin traditions of martial arts. Not everyone in the Far East was willing to lay down and be trodden on when the emperor demanded they kowtow.

    I don’t ask that you make it your way. I don’t ask that you follow my lead. I don’t seek to govern you, and I don’t seek to lead you. I am who I am, and I’m not ashamed. I have done things when others have done nothing, I have stood for freedom when others cowered, and I have learned what happens when I choose to submit. I don’t submit any longer.

    Freedom is a path, and I cannot walk the path for you. Freedom is out the door, and I can show you the door, I can turn the knob, I can hold it open, but I cannot walk through the door for you. I can show you ideas, but I cannot make you think. I can, and I’m quite prepared, to stand next to the door and shriek at you until you run out the door just to get away from the maniac. I don’t mind if I do.

  76. Maybe after the election, the BTP can focus on attacking the other violators of freedom (Democrats & Republicans) with as much vigor as they have attacked Bob Barr.

    I’m not a Barr supporter, but we can make even more noise if we attack those other 2 dirty words as much as we’ve attacked Bob Barr. Seems like the focus of many BTP members has been strictly on Bob Barr (notice I said MANY, Not just Jim).

  77. By the way, I think it is a source of great etymological amusement that the German word for “politician” or “councilor” is the English word for a rodent vermin. There are some Anglo Saxon wits somewhere in history chortling about this facet of language down through the ages.

  78. Mike,

    I don’t have an opinion on what the “purist” or “plumb line” libertarian position on abortion is or should be (I’ve reached my own conclusions and consider them open to constant reconsideration based on better evidence or new arguments).

    I just trotted it out because it was the most obvious example of a tendency toward wild swings in position on Badnarik’s part that tend to militate against the conclusion that he’s a “purist” in the sense that the term is normally used.

  79. Good points, Jason. I should point out that I am less upset that the Demolishers chose Obama and the Repugnants chose McCain, because I don’t expect better of them.

    But, here’s a proposal. Please start a thread on this site about Obama, or McCain, or either major party. I’ll happily comment on it with towering rage about their sins against humanity. Mmmkay?

  80. Knapp,

    I wasn’t directing at you, you just brought up abortion and I mused on it. I’m just recommending that we not have an “exact position or your out” mentality in respects to abortion.

  81. I’m not a contributor here. Aren’t you though or was that a guest deal?

  82. Yes, I am a contributor. Okay, let’s work together. You write what you have to say about Obama, McCain, the Demolishers or the Repugnants, and I’ll post it here, together with my commentary.

    You want my commentary inline or after your bit?

  83. In more important news, Jim, you’ve got mail.

    I’m running for office and trying to find Charles Jay electors in Michigan and working 40 hours per week. I’ll fit you in with Obama talk when I get a chance. I was speaking more as an organization. Haven’t seen many BTP press releases regarding McCain or Obama. Might be a good thing to see, thats all I’m saying

  84. Jason’s got a point. All BTP releases do is bitch about Barr and Lp National. I don’t see the whole country reading that in their daily paper.

  85. Mike,

    You write:

    “All BTP releases do is bitch about Barr and Lp National.”

    The Boston Tea Party has issued six releases since June 17th. They’re available here:

    http://pressroom.prlog.org/bostonteaparty/

    None of them mention Barr at all, let alone bitch about him, and none of them mention the LP in anything resembling a negative manner. The mentions of the LP include:

    – The BTP joining the LP as a partner organization of the Coalition for Free and Open Elections.

    – The BTP endorsing assorted LP candidates for office.

    – The BTP’s Florida chair having been a long-time LP activist.

  86. He might be thinking about the releases by some of its members.

  87. Actually, I might have been wrong to make that suggestion, I double checked what I was thinking of and it was less belligerent than I remembered. My bad.

  88. I think I might have been talking about Jay releases…

    What in the hell was I talking about anyways?

  89. It’s okay, Mike, you don’t have to be talking about anything. Just smile some times.

    I think Todd sent out at least one press release on Sonny Landham. I’m pretty sure that I wrote several essays about Barr.

    But, look, one of the fertile grounds for recruiting principled libertarians is among LP members, and recently former members, who are upset about Barr. I won’t say it is where we got all our members, but a good number.

  90. Badnarik claimed monopoly government was a good thing as long as it stays bound by the Constitution.

    It would be a less bad thing, but it still would not be a good thing.

    I don’t recall Harry Browne make any errors of that magnitude. On the other hand Barr says much worse, so it’s all relative.

  91. LaBianca quotes me ” Mary Ruwart did close to the same thing, entering with a couple of months to go, and would have suffered about the same consequences as Barr is, had she won the nomination.”

    For those of you weak on English grammar, the intermediate clause “entering with a couple of months to go” specified what the “same” is.

    Thank you, Mr. LaBianca, for noting that I had my fact straight.

    In fact, Ruwart had an additional worse problem than Bob Barr does, namely that she was an allegedly active rather than a pro forma Ron Paul supporter. As a result, in addition to needing to repudiate large parts of her Q&A book, the worst parts of which had not been discussed in detail before the convention, she would also have had to deal with her support for Ron Paul, the man who unambiguous supported DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell without any flipping or flopping, and many other things as well.

  92. I think Mary Ruwart would have been fully prepared to dissociate herself from specific views of Ron Paul’s she does not agree with.

    But George is right: had Mary been the nominee, a certain element in the party would have kept up their “child porn,” “anarchy,” and other attacks.

    On the other hand, had Kubby been in a better position to capture the nomination, a certain chapter in his book would have probably become an issue as well.

    And if George was nominated, Ron Paul supporters (a majority of the party whether one likes it or not), global warming skeptics, pro life libertarians, etc., etc., would be disgruntled right now.

    I can’t think of any ticket that would have united every element in the party perfectly, although a more balanced ticket – Barr-Kubby, Root-Kubby or Kubby-Root, for instance – would have certainly helped somewhat. (I mention Kubby and not Ruwart because she was disinterested in any such compromises, or Barr-Ruwart would have been a done deal).

  93. “a certain chapter in his book would have probably become an issue as well. ”

    Oh? I have Why “Marijuana Should Be Legal” just a few feet away. Is it that one, or the other?

  94. I think it’s the other one.

  95. Mike,

    The Politics of Consciousness is a wonderfully controversial book.

    Interestingly, historical/archeological researchers in Israel have recently published papers agreeing with Kubby’s theory that the “manna” eaten by the Hebrews while they wandered in the desert was probably the psilocybin mushroom. That is probably the specific reason why a documentary filmmaker came looking for an option on the book awhile back.

    If I had to guess what “controversial” chapter Paulie is referring to, I’d guess that it’s the chapter in which Kubby describes the Native American tradition of the “vision quest,” and tells the story of sharing an entheogenic substance with his son when that son reached an age where he decided he was ready for said experience.

    I’m probably not qualified to judge just how controversial that would really be, since I personally find neither those particular kinds of substances, nor the idea of using them in a “coming of age” ritual to be controversial at all.

  96. I believe there was a section in one of Kubby’s books where he talks about sharing a drug experience with his son… I don’t personally have a huge problem with the idea, and probably most Libertarians wouldn’t, but I certainly could see it being played BIG TIME by his major party opponents. Kubby’s pot use is defensible, as a medical necessity, but “giving drugs to a kid” (even if it’s your own) is much less so…

    I could also see legitimate concerns raised about the wisdom of entrusting our country’s “Little black bag” of atomic weapons codes to someone smoking 1-2oz / day of marijuana – Not arguing the concern is valid, but I can certainly understand a person having it.

    Even so, I’d have been quite happy to have supported Kubby if he’d gotten the nomination.

    For Ruwart, (even with the kiddy porn issue allegations, which at worst were a “politically incorrect opinion” about how to handle the question, not anything saying she thought it was “good” or that she in any way was involved in it) I think there were fewer really blatant grounds to seriously attack her.

    I somewhat disagree with George – I don’t think Mary would have done that much damage if she had gotten the nod… Some folks wouldn’t have been thrilled, but I don’t think you would have seen the massive non-support and opposition that Barr is getting, as I don’t think many people question the idea that Mary is a definite libertarian, that she’s “paid her dues” in the party and so on… There might be a few people that would walk, but I’d be inclined to suspect they’d be the ones that are today’s enthusiastic, non-nose-holding, Barr supporters, IOW, not a great loss to the LP….

    I think Mary would have made a good candidate in terms of dealing with the MSM as well. She is reasonably photogenic, an excellent speaker, familiar with a large number of issues, etc… With Billary getting out of the race, she would have been in a reasonably good position to play the “female card” etc…

    ART

  97. Arthur,

    You raise some valid points … ones which I have actually wanted to discuss more.

    Kubby’s as good an example as any, since his use of marijuana would, as you put it, be a “legitimate concern” vis a vis the nuclear “football.” I think that it is an easily ADDRESSED concern, but I can see why it would be brought up.

    Does the expression “as long as they spell our name right?” ring any bells?

    Controversy is the best thing one can hope for in politicics.

    If you’re not controversial, then you’re being ignored. It’s one or the other.

    Part of the burden of being both right and principled is that when you’re right you shouldn’t hide it or try to equivocate about it.

    The whole idea of “sneaking the fact that we’re right past the voters and hoping they’ll elect us because they think we’re something other than what we are” is not only repugnant, it’s fucking silly.

    If we haven’t convinced the voters that we’re right yet, we should be working on convincing the voters that we’re right, not trying to figure out ways of tricking them. And until we do convince them, we can pretty much expect that if we’re not being ignored, we’re going to be under attack. I’d rather have the latter than the former all day long.

    So, on Kubby …

    We’re right when we say that marijuana should be legal, and Kubby is a great poster child for that argument. It’s one of our strong issues, and leading with it is a great idea. It can’t be the ONLY thing we talk about, but to the extent that more and more of America agrees with us on it, why NOT emphasize it?

    Kubby in particular is also a great poster child for “using marijuana or other drugs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an addled stoner.” I’ve spent many hours in conversation with the guy, and frankly he has intellect and energy to spare all the time. I’ve talked with him and been around him when he’s been smoking (easy to do, since that’s very, very frequently), and he’s never come off as “stoned” to me. That’s an artifact of his disease. If he wasn’t smoking pot, his adrenaline glands would be making his heart explode. Even as much pot as he smokes, he has energy to spare and the stuff doesn’t seem to negatively impact his brain function either.

    I’d have loved to see Kubby as a nominee taking questions on his marijuana use and/or his health as a campaign issue. Lincoln used an insanity-producing prescription that included mercury to treat his depression. You never saw JFK not under the influence of a cocktail of pain-killers that should have been enough to kill a horse. Probably every president from Nixon on has spent considerable time under the influence of Halcyon, a sedative used to control sleep (for those jet-lagging Air Force One junkets) that has as a side effect the production of states ranging from irritability to uncontrollable, berserk rages.

    Even if we assume that Kubby’s mental state is impacted by marijuana, it’s probably impacted away from, rather than toward, a predisposition to open up the briefcase and push the button, unlike the predispositions caused by the drugs used by probably every president since at least 1961.

    I think that would be a great public debate. I think it would increase our vote share. I think it would make people stop and think, and take part in the argument, and give us a chance to make our case.

    As far as kids and drug experiences go, I wouldn’t trust a guy who didn’t have the good judgment to let his 14- or 16-year-old try a glass of wine when that 14- or 16-year-old indicated an interest/curiosity … and frankly I consider LSD and marijuana to be FAR less potentially harmful than booze. Would Americans rather have their kids trying these things WITHOUT the supportive supervision of a loving parent?

    Controversial? Hell, yes — and controversy is what gets the discussion started.

  98. I actually supported Kubby over Ruwart. They are pretty much on the same page ideologically, so little ol’ Mike looks at other things.
    She speaks better to small groups individually. G.E. claimed that that’s the kind of groups you see if your running for president. But not if your going after a large amount of votes. If your running around, reassuring libertarians, ok. Everyone claims you’d have to see her talk in person to be a big fan, but most of us didn’t have that pleasure. Maybe that’s why I never really “got” why everyone was head over heels over Ruwart.
    Kubby is good with crowds. He pretty much won the debate. He announced to thousands of people at (hempfest?). You need to speak to big crowds while running for president, if not, you won’t go far. If not, only a limited amount of people will see you.
    Now Kubby wanted to spread around libertarianism. From what I was seeing, Ruwart’s endgame was to keep it in to the purists, and that’s that.

    Remember, this is all because I never got why everyone loved Ruwart to the max. Maybe because I never saw her speaking to a small crowd, which apparently is the great way of libertarianism.

  99. To be honest, my first exposure to Steve Kubby was “The Politics of Consciousness”. I will be even more honest, and say that I was shocked about the LSD experimentation with his son. Even Elf was shocked by it, so I suspect the average voter would be shocked to the core, and I’m not sure that they would be able to overcome that initial sense of shock.

    That being said, as I have had far more exposure to Steve since then, I have come to recognize that he is a complex individual, highly intelligent, extremely honest, and certainly not at all what I expected.

    In fact, I have come to like and respect Steve very much, to the point that I am somewhat ashamed that I initially misjudged him; and I have found his contributions to LFV to be both interesting and thought-provoking. Steve Kubby is, quite simply stated, one of my favorite libertarians. And while I think that his drug usage may be a legitimate concern for the presidency, I also think he is the least likely person I can think of to push the button and start a war.

  100. Don’t get me wrong – I think Steve is a good guy, and is absolutely right in the stands he takes… If he had won the nomination (or if he gets it in the future) I’d be happy to support him, or Mary equally.

    However I try to look at a candidate from a larger viewpoint… Last time around, I really liked Badnarik best from a philosophical standpoint, but I didn’t think he was the best choice for the nomination because his “Teach Constitution Course” strategy did not scale… He probably could do a pretty good job convincing any small group, but you aren’t going to get elected to a national office talking to small groups…

    I know that Steve can talk intelligently and coherently on other issues, but, his record and a lot of his past campaign messages have him buttonholed, rightly or wrongly, as a single issue candidate. Doing a hemp leaf campaign logo may be good for recognition, but contributes to that image. (Not to mention boost it gives the people that regard the LP as a party of “Republicans that smoke pot”)

    For all of Steve’s positive values, and I agree with most of them, I am afraid that he is so solidly attached to the image of “Pot smoker that gives drugs to his kid” that it would be hard to get people to pay attention to him long enough to have them hear the other good things he has to say… For instance, how many MSM articles would there be that didn’t make mention of it in the first few lines?

    Thus my issue is not with anything directly about Steve, but more with how I see him being perceived by the non-Libertarian voters…

    ART

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