Steve G.

LP Acting ED Robert Kraus responds to criticism of Barr non-attendance at Ron Paul event

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Politics, Republican on September 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm

The following is a statement posted on the LP website, signed by LP Acting Executive Director Robert Kraus.  Despite his claim that people need to rely on facts and not blogs, the LP and the Barr campaign are still ignoring the extremely significant fact – pointed out only on blogs at this point – that neither Bob Barr nor Wayne Allyn Root have any authority whatsoever to ask Ron Paul to replace Wayne Allyn Root as the LP Vice Presidential nominee.

For those unfamiliar with the LP nomination process, the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates are chosen separately by the delegates.  As such, unlike in major parties, Barr has absolutely no right to replace Root with Ron Paul, or anyone else.  Furthermore the LNC, which may have the authority to make that substitution, was not apprised of that offer to Ron Paul prior to it being publicized today.

To our supporters and volunteers
posted by Andrew Davis on Sep 10, 2008

I have been hearing a lot from many LP Members about concerns over Bob Barr not attending Ron Paul’s press conference.

However, before you form an opinion, perhaps you may want to consider the facts and not rely on blogs for your news.

First, the Barr campaign met with Ron Paul’s staffers yesterday afternoon to deliver the offer of the LP’s VP slot to Ron Paul and to discuss the details of the event that Bob Barr was invited to attend. More details were to be submitted to the Barr campaign but did not arrive until nearly 3 a.m. the morning of the event. At 9 a.m. Barr’s campaign manager, Russell Verney, informed the Paul campaign that Bob would not be attending however he would still give his backing of the four principles highlighted by Dr. Paul.

Second, read the press release by the Barr Campaign you will see why Bob’s own press conference (attended by many members of the press) was so significant:

Third, as CNN and others reported, Ron Paul’s press conference was more about him not endorsing McCain and less about Dr. Paul’s non-sanctioning of other candidates running for president.

The Barr campaign chose not to attend in order to make a very valid point, which was expressed, in their following press conference. Bold leadership is needed right now! Scattering support for the liberty agenda to the four winds as Dr. Paul is proposing will not serve liberty.

Ron Paul deserves respect and credit for what he has done over the last year in rejuvenating so many people across this nation, however either him or possibly his staff have made the bland decision to remain ambiguous with their intent and direction for liberty.

Personally, I will say that I do not appreciate the treatment that LP personnel received today by Ron Paul’s staff and the games they have attempted to play over the past year. This morning, our volunteer coordinator was rudely ejected from the press conference before it even started. This was followed by Ron Paul staffers and supporters close to the staff disrupting Barr’s press conference.

This pattern is something that we never wanted to disclose but holds true to previous treatment where staff members for Paul’s campaign tried on more than one occasion to have Bob Barr uninvited from events, including Bob’s gracious introduction of Ron Paul at last year’s CPAC conference.

I do doubt that Dr. Paul was aware of these antics.

I hope this answers some of your concerns and questions. Our staff, volunteers and the Barr/Root campaign are totally psyched up and ready to work very hard for all Libertarians through November and beyond – including ballot access, in as many states as possible, which will benefit all Libertarian Candidates!

We hope you too will continue to support those candidates that support your views, even if just on a local or state level. Please fill out the volunteer form here if you are: and please do not forget to donate so we can continue to “send a message” between now and November:

In Liberty!

Robert Kraus
Acting Executive Director

  1. Mr. Kraus,

    I appreciate your position: You are an employee of LNC/LPHQ and thus are required to fully support the LP’s presidential nominee. Thank you for attempting to do so. Glad it’s your job and not mine at this particular moment.

    I do urge you, however, to reconsider the following statement:

    However, before you form an opinion, perhaps you may want to consider the facts and not rely on blogs for your news.

    Blogs per se are no more prone than the “mainstream media” — or LPHQ, or the Barr campaign — to get the facts wrong. As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s exactly the other way around.

    While I understand that being employed by the LNC requires a degree of support for its culture of secrecy and spin, there’s no need to extend that support to pretending that blogs are at fault for not doing likewise.

  2. Better yet, if you are acting ED, then focus entirely on LP issues and leave the canddiates to their own spokespeople. YOUR job is to build the party and work on the nuts and bolts of party operations, not shill for candidates. They can do that themselves, as we saw to disastrous effect today in Barr.

  3. Okay, Mr Acting Executive Director: Thanks for trying to placate those of us who are mortified by Barr’s actions today, but it won’t work with me. I am embarrassed at his antics and further convinced that he never intended to further the Libertarian party. We need immediate Damage Control. Personally, I vote we start a process to remove Barr as our candidate.

    Judicial Committee, are you out there? Oh, yeah, WAR’s $1,000,000 challenge was awful as well. Where are the Party members who vowed to keep them on track?

  4. It only takes two LNC members to initiate a vote to remove Barr/Root.

    Let’s have it, people!

    Obviously, the people have spoken and they want to get rid of Barr/Root. Do your jobs as representatives and give us a motion and a second!

  5. ED: isn’t that “Electile Dysfunction”?

  6. I don’t support removing the candidates. Just withdraw your support and let their campaign die a natural death. vengeance may seem like fun, but it only begets poison.

  7. Bob Barr has ruined the LP brand with the biggest Freedom Movement of the past 150 years.

    The only way that brand can be salvaged is if it severs all ties with Bob Barr at once in the harshest possible terms.

  8. Mr. Kraus if you happen to be reading this this long time Libertarian activist doesn’t give a rat’s ass how Ron Paul’s people acted what I care about is how our people acted, or those acting in the name of our organization acted or failed to act and what I have read about today tells me that they acted poorly. That is unacceptable! No excuses! No covering it up!

    As a Chief Bo’sun used to tell me “People who don’t shine the backs of their shoes don’t wipe their ass either.”


  9. The Libertarian Party should reasonably expect its staff to represent correctly at least the straightforward parts of the party Bylaws.

    When Robert Kraus said that Barr offered Paul the Vice Presidential nomination, it was incumbent on him to note that the nomination is not Barr’s to give. It belongs to the Party and its National Committee.

  10. Gotta ask, how did your chief boatswain know about them wiping their asses? Was his tongue really long?

  11. George,

    All due respect, but, no, it’s not “incumbent” on the acting ED to describe all the legalities and rules involved in a proposed change to the ticket. Kraus stated facts to clear the record; he should be applauded for that.

    Paul may not be interested in the slot, so Root would stay on the ticket. No need to put speculative, untriggered information out in such a statement. If and when Paul expresses an interest in the VP slot, THEN the Party should discuss procedure.

    Personally, I’d have preferred Kraus not have discussed the ejections in his message. It seems off the mark to me. We don’t know all the circumstances, and it seems immaterial to the thrust of this development.

    Separately, George, please cooperate with the move to put Barr/Root (or Barr/Paul) on the ballot and take your name off the ballot. Your explanations of your “obligations to the people of MA and NH” that I’ve read are simply not credible.

    While I don’t always agree with Barr, Root, Paul or you — who agrees 100% of the time? — in the name of liberty and fair-play, COOPERATE. Never before has the LP had the opportunity like we do in 2008 to make a difference in this election.

    Obstructionism and legalistic proceduralism gets us nowhere.


  12. I wonder whether or not this POS of a press release was cleared by the oversight committee. Here we go again. The absence of professionalism is completely obvious. Robert, if you were the ED, would you have approved the releasing of this?

  13. Putting aside the question of whether the Barr/Root ticket did offer an unprecedented opportunity for the LP, I wonder if even Barr’s supporters can really say it still does. After the lower-than-predicted fundraising, the ballot access issues, and Ron Paul’s unwillingness to endorse Barr and Barr alone, does the Barr campaign still expect Barr to poll significant numbers in November?

    At this point — and especially with conservatives who might have voted for Barr as an alternative to McCain now returning to the Palin-enriched GOP ticket — I really wonder if Barr will even break 1,000,000 votes.

  14. 10 John Amendall ask:
    “Gotta ask, how did your chief boatswain know about them wiping their asses? Was his tongue really long?”

    Gee John I do believe that he was making a point about people’s work habits, but that apparently went whizzzing right by you.


  15. Just to be clear John the one thing that has been missing in this campaign is some decent work habits. It has been quite obvious from the beginning.


  16. jre,

    short answer: would have cleared it first. would have lost the ‘graph on the ejections.

  17. Orvetti: …I really wonder if Barr will even break 1,000,000 votes.

    Me: Most voters will be unaware of the machinations of recent days. It may play out to Barr’s advantage or disadvantage in terms of numbers of votes, it’s hard to say.

    So, based on current trends, Barr is likely to exceed 1M. I agree that for some conservative voters who were alienated by McCain and open to voting for Barr, Palin dampens that element of upside potential, though. Of course, Palin might alienate another whole set of fiscal cons, perhaps even further.

    I’m rooting for things to break in our direction, but the next 2 months could be quite a ride — not just for the LP, but for the nation. An October surprise seems to be in the air.

  18. An October surprise seems to be in the air.

    If by ‘October surprise’, you mean ‘a shitload of airstrikes on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and maybe a few ‘incidents’ with Iran’, I think you’re right.

    Those poor people.

  19. I agree with Robert in # 17. We should expect catastrophic bloodspread soon. God help us.

  20. susan and jill,

    yes, some “event” in October that is suspicious seems to be in the wind. my guess is it’d be something we’re not thinking of now, a curveball.

    do hope i’m wrong! just a gut feeling at this point.

  21. Susan seems to be forgetting that God created heathens specifically so that Christian nations could scatter their lives and bodies in order to win policy points and elections at home. Why do you hate America? And Jesus?

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