Steve G.

Archive for the ‘Candidate Endorsement’ Category

The Libertarian Party’s Quest for Ballot Access and The Sin of Onan

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Corruption, Democracy, Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Local Politics, Politics, Republican on February 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Onan… spilled his seed on the earth, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

Ballot access is a major goal of the Libertarian Party, so much so that we seem to be more concerned with keeping or gaining ballot access for whatever election is next rather than with any Libertarian actually winning in whatever election is before us today. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballot_access) Ballot access seems to have become that tail that wags the dog in third-party politics. Yes, it is important to have our candidates on ballots, but doing that should not come at the cost of using our resources, time and efforts to actually get Libertarians elected to higher offices than city councils, county commissioners and Justices of the Peace.

Without actually quoting any specific messages or e-mails to me by others, I will say that when I have asked my state Party Leadership for Party help with my own election, I have been told that, rather than focusing resources on any specific race, they don’t want to show “preference” for any candidates or any particular races because “it wouldn’t be fair”. I was told that “with 193 races, we can’t play favorites”. I say that it is because of attitudes like that which have resulted in NO major or significant election wins in almost 40 years. When election results are tallied, we crow about how significant we are because Libertarian candidates got 5% of the vote here and 7% of the vote there. Getting 5% of the votes in an election is still losing that election.

The reason I used the infamous line about Onan is that what we are doing as a Party is “spilling our seed on the earth” instead of creating any actual elected officials. I have a feeling, in fact, that Libertarians have been telling each other for so long that is it so important to view the percentages of our loses as victories that I think that there will be a lot of anger, resentment and even hatred showered on the first Libertarian to actually win a notable office. In Irving Janis’ ground breaking book on ‘Groupthink’, he tells us this story:

Twelve middle-class American men and women wanted to stop smoking, and attended weekly meetings at a clinic to discuss the problem. Early in the sessions, two people stood up and declared that cigarette smoking was an almost incurable addiction. The group agreed. The, one man stood up and said “I have stopped smoking and, with a little willpower, so can the rest of you.” Immediately, the other group members began to abuse him verbally, and the meeting ended in chaos. The following week, the dissident stood up again and said that he could not both attend all of the required meetings and stop smoking; so he had returned to smoking two packs of cigarettes as day. The other members welcomed him back into the fold with enthusiasm but no one mentioned that the original purpose of the group was to help each other stop [emphasis in original] smoking. Their new aim was maintaining the status quo at any cost.

I think that, deep down in their subconscious minds, the leadership and long term activists in the Party have become so inured to losing elections that they have accepted a cognitive dissonance in which they delude themselves that they are accomplishing great things by simply showing up to the ball, as it were. Ballot access in NOT what we need to be working for; getting Libertarians elected to significant offices IS what we need to be working on. We HAVE to “fertilize some eggs” and then nurture them maturity, so to speak. If we do not and cannot accomplish that, then what the Hell good are we to America, our states and our communities?

Maybe the Libertarian Party’s candidates NEED to be spending time standing in front of the local Wal-Mart and grocery stores collecting signature to get ourselves on ballots. Maybe we need to be holding open meetings to let people who aren’t Libertarians talk to us instead of holding rallies that are only open those who already think like the rally organizers do. Maybe we need to create “Election Coordinators” to be officers on, if not paid staff of, both our state and our national executive committees? Maybe we need to start from the ground up, do the necessary work, and use the necessary resources to get electable candidates INTO office. Maybe we need some humility instead of fancy offices in Washington. We do not need to attract the rich and powerful even though doing so makes us proud of ourselves; we need to make it where everyday people can walk in off of the street and ask us who we are and what we stand for.

Onan spilled his seed on the earth because he did not WANT to make his brother’s widow pregnant with his child because it would then be his brother’s child instead of his own. The Libertarian Party is spilling its seed on the earth and, whether or not we admit that don’t really want “progeny”, that is the reality that comes with distributing our resources far and wide without there being any chance of those resources paying off for us in the end. We throw our seeds on “rocky barren places where they can find no purchase”.

The current Libertarian Party Bylaws state that:

The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by:

(F)unctioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements;

(M)oving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office;

(C)hartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities;

(N)ominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and,

(E)ntering into public information activities.

Notice that the bylaws say that the method authorized by the Party to move public policy is BY getting Libertarians elected to public office. Without getting Libertarians elected we, by our own words, cannot try to move public policy simply by existing as a Party. In addition, the burden of “chartering affiliate parties” falls on the organization itself, NOT upon the people. It is a requirement of our bylaws that the Party itself create (a pre-requisite for chartering, I assume) the affiliate parties. Simply hoping that people will come to US and want to form local Party affiliates is neither effective nor in line with what our bylaws say. As with an elected candidate, the burden is on us, as a Party, to earn the votes / support of the people. It is not THEIR responsibility make things easy for us. By the way, note that maintaining ballot access is NOT one of our stated purposes.

In Texas, the charter for our state Party says that the State Executive Committee will be composed of the elected state Party officers and two representatives from each of our state’s 31 Senatorial districts. That means that there should be 62 district representative members sitting on our state Executive Committee. Instead of 62, there are (according to the available information on the LP of Texas website, http://lptexas.org/content/state-leadership) only 19, with only 6 of the 32 districts being fully represented by two members. This means that only 13 out of 31 districts have ANY representation on the Executive committee at this time and that ALL of the current representatives on the LPTEC are from high population areas of the state. Not a single representative member of the LPTEC speaks for rural area or even moderate population centers.

Like the government of the State of Texas, it seems as if both the National and, at least, the Texas Parties exist simply because they have existed and they function on nothing more than their own small inertia. As one of my political heroes, Pat Paulsen, said;

Vote or get off of the pot.

I have said before that, until we get serious about ACTUALLY being a contributing part of the American political scene, until we actually manage to win some real elections we have become and will remain nothing more than a lunatic fringe wandering in the wilderness telling ourselves that we matter. So, I ask every Libertarian and libertarian who reads this to ask themselves one simple question… “Will I be content to just “spill my seed on the earth” again this year?

Rhys M. Blavier
Romayor, Texas

“Truth, Justice and Honor… but, above all, Honor”

© Copyright 2010 by Rhys M. Blavier

Thank you for reading this article. Please read my other articles and let me know what you think. I am writing them not to preach or to hear myself think but to try to create dialogs, debates and discussions on the nature of our government and how we can build upon and improve it based on what we have seen and learned over the course of the 225+ years of The American Experiment.

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The Laboratory of Democracy — Alternative Voting Methods

In Candidate Endorsement, Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Rights, Democracy, History, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Politics, Local Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, US Government on May 1, 2009 at 9:22 am

“It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Dissenting Opinion: New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932)

The above quote from Justice Brandeis’ famous dissent is the origin of the idea of ‘the laboratory of democracy’. This is an idea with much merit but which we have, unfortunately, not seen utilized within The United States to any kind of a significant degree. Whether through fear of losing power, fear of interference from the federal government, lack of imagination, lack of interest or fear of the unknown, ‘experiments’ with democracy in this country take the shape of trying to impose different sets of laws and rules upon the citizens rather than on the process by which those laws and rules are determined. The idea in this nation is that differences in democracy are measured solely by the end result of the legislative process rather than the process itself.

A large problem with mankind, in general, and Americans, in particular, is our hubris. We think that, because we are as far along as mankind has ever been, we are the end of the road and have to have everything right. What we should keep in mind is that we are just another middle age. As we express shock, disgust, and amusement at the attitudes, beliefs and lack of knowledge of the world of a thousand years ago, so will mankind view us a thousand years hence. We will not fail the future if we don’t have everything right; we will fail them if we don’t try new things to give those who come after us additional data which they can use to get closer to being right than we ever can.

I try to occasionally write articles under the Laboratory of Democracy umbrella to look at different ideas which might be worth experimenting with (if not at a federal level then perhaps at a state or local level) to see how our idea of constitutional government can be improved based on lessons learned from our own 225 years of history conducting the American Experiment. Today’s topic is about how we can change how we conduct voting to better represent the views, needs and desires of ‘we the people.’

The reasons to change the way we vote are numerous. A fundamental reason to change it is that Americans tend to vote AGAINST candidates rather than FOR them. We have shaped the idea of democracy into an expression of our personal fears. We seem to feel stronger about candidate’s who we DON’T want in an office than we do about those we support. Usually this is perfectly understandable, as the candidates we have to choose from are often not that good, so it is often easier to identify candidates who are LEAST in line with what we want than it is to identity ones whom we can wholeheartedly support.

One obvious problem with this method is that when people are primarily voting AGAINST a candidate, they are afraid to ‘waste’ their vote by casting it for someone who they might approve of but who has no actual chance of winning. This fear of ‘wasting my vote’ was intensified after the 1992 Presidential election saw a significant number of votes cast for Ross Perot (who supporters of losing candidate George H. W. Bush blamed for costing him his bid for re-election) and after Al Gore’s narrow loss (or win, whichever you consider it to have been) to George W. Bush in 2000, which was partially blamed on those in Florida who had voted for Ralph Nader. Aside from the fact that no candidate is ever OWED any citizen’s vote (a candidate bears the burden of needing to EARN someone’s vote), those who support a candidate (or, more accurately, who OPPOSE a particular candidate) are afraid to ‘waste’ their vote by casting it for third party candidates who have no chance of winning.

Bill Clinton’s first nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Lani Guinier, supported a change in how we cast votes for political candidates in this country. Termed ‘Cumulative Voting’, the method which she supported was that each voter would get one vote for each candidate for a particular office and that they could spread those votes among the candidates and give any candidates as many of their available votes as they wanted. For example, if there were four candidates running for President, then each voter would get four votes to cast for President, any one of those candidates getting any or all of those votes, and multiple candidates being able to be given votes by each voter. While she was on the right road, I believe, she was headed in the wrong direction.

Academic studies and theories on Alternative Voting Methods go back at least several hundred years. In 1770, Jean-Charles de Borda proposed the Borda Count as a method for selecting members of the French Academy of Science. The last 30 years has seen an increase in such studies and research, in large part through the various researches which have been done in Game Theory. There are also MANY historical examples of the effectiveness of quite a few different methods of conducting and totaling votes. The Republic of Venice, for example, thrived for over 1,000 and developed a VERY complex but very effective form of Approval Voting for selecting the Doge which survived almost unchanged for over 500 years, until the Republic was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797. Many articles with additional information about Alternative Voting Methods, including Approval Voting, are available on-line. Some of these include:

http://bcn.boulder.co.us/government/approvalvote/altvote.html

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-winner_voting_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_systems#Multiple-winner_methods

As with most of the alternative voting systems I have heard of (equal & even; weighted ballots; fractional ballots; instant run-off; etc.) none of them truly address the idea that most people, at least in America, seem to cast their votes, at least for higher offices, against candidates rather than for them. This means that they see ANY method of spreading their voting strength around as weakening their opposition to a candidate they oppose. For example, under cumulative voting, say you have four votes you can use to vote for a particular office and you do NOT want Candidate A to win. You know that everyone else who is voting for that office will also have four votes to allocate and you fear that those who support Candidate A (or who oppose Candidate B) will each cast ALL of their four votes for Candidate A. Will you then be willing to risk the election of Candidate B by only giving him three of your votes while you ‘waste’ your fourth vote on Candidate D?

So, when we explore the idea of alternative voting methods, we MUST consider realistic human nature (and human fears) when we think about the problem. To do otherwise, to pretend that man will make his choices based on the greater good rather than base self-interest, or that he will willingly and comfortably accept the idea of his candidate losing because it is ‘the will of the majority’ and put aside his personal animosities after an election is unrealistic, at best. Therefore, the question is, how can we change voting into a positive process where people vote FOR candidates because there is NO NEED to vote AGAINST any candidates.

One possible solution is simply to allow a voter to vote equally for EVERY candidate that they think would be worthwhile to support. This method of voting is termed ‘Approval Voting’. To use the Approval Voting method, as an example, say that there are five candidates (A, B, C, D, and E). You personally support candidate C; candidate A is a major party candidate who you do NOT want to see in office; candidate B is a major party candidate who you have no real objections to and see as a better alternative to candidate A; candidate D is an independent candidate who you think could be interesting but who has no realistic chance to win; and candidate E is the local homeless wino transvestite who somehow manages to get on the ballot for EVERY election.

Under this scenario, you can not only cast your vote for candidate B (to help oppose the candidate you don’t want to win) you can ALSO cast an equal vote for candidates C (your preferred candidate) and for candidate D (the one you think is interesting and have no objections to). In such a case, you have accomplished all of your positive voting goals, you have shown your opposition to the candidates you do NOT want to see in office (A and E) by not voting for them, you supported your preferred candidate (C) and you gave support to the other candidates that you had no objections to. In this scenario, none of the votes you cast weakened your personal voting power in any way while, at the same time, made it more likely that candidates other than those from the major parties could win because EVERYONE else who liked candidates C and D could also vote for them but, maybe instead of voting also for candidate B, they voted for candidate A. In a very real way, the candidate who had the most REAL support, who was APPROVED by the most voters, would win the election because all votes cast for any and all candidates would count equally to their totals. In this system you can vote for any one of the candidates, any possible combinations of the candidates, or all of the candidates for that office… you can vote FOR candidates rather than AGAINST them.

Now, are there potential problems with a system such as this? Of course there are. A primary one, obviously, is how to prevent ballots being stuffed because the total votes cast for an office can (and would) be greater than the voting population as a whole and not by a predictable percentage (as if every voter HAD to vote for three candidates, no more or less, which would result in a vote total that was three times the number of voters). Another obvious one is to ask if the winning candidate would have to get a majority of ALL votes cast, or just a higher total number of votes than any other candidate. The first of these two possibilities could lead to either a need for a run-off election or a ‘None of the Above’ result. THAT, however, is where the Laboratory of Democracy comes into play. Let’s encourage some cities and/or counties to experiment with it (or, in fact, with ANY of the other alternative voting methods) before any states try it, and then let some states experiment with it. The is the beauty of the Laboratory of Democracy idea, not every location has to use the same processes and, by allowing and encouraging them to experiment with different process, we can gather data about which process variations work well, work partially but need more tinkering with, and don’t work at all.

Too many people in this nation think that trying different ideas of government means having different laws (like using the Ten Commandments as the basis of their laws, for example). They miss the point that democracy is not the RESULTS of the democratic process but the PROCESS itself.

Thank you for reading this article. Please read my other articles and let me know what you think. I am writing them not to preach or to hear myself think but to try to create dialogs, debates and discussions on the nature of our constitutional government and how we can improve it by building upon what we have seen and learned over the course of the 225 years of The American Experiment.

Rhys M. Blavier
Romayor, Texas

“Truth, Justice and Honor… but, above all Honor”

© copyright 2008 by Rhys M. Blavier

A Short on the Sundwall Campaign

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Congress, Economics, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Politics on March 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Yesterday a friend sent me a link from the LP site about the challenge brought against Sundwall’s campaign.  She, like me, missed this news in the flood of news that seems to come through everyday.  Also, it was on the LP site, does anyone even go there anymore?  My immediate thoughts were, “I wonder who brought that challenge forward?  I wonder if any past candidates there have been removed for technicalities before?  I wonder if any of the past elected candidates were elected with technical problems?

When I’m in Dutchess County, NY sometimes I’ll I listen to WHUD. I hear them mentioning the names of the candidates to fill Gillibrand’s seat I get excited hearing them mention Eric’s.  It makes me smile.  I knew he was probably going to fight this, but I didn’t really see it being successful.  Talking Points Memo asks, “Qui Bono?” and they fill us in on details of who brought the complaint:

The complaint was brought by two voters who were registered with New York’s Republican and Conservative parties.* As such, some Democrats believe this was really engineered by the GOP side. As one Dem source told us: “The only reason the Republicans fought to keep Eric Sundwall off the ballot is because they knew he was stealing from their flawed candidate’s fading support.”

Thinking on it some more, the Eric Sundwall election brings up for me the same problems that the Ron Paul election did.  Perhaps even more.  Leaving aside issues of justice and ethics for the most part (as libertarians will argue over the problems of non-aggression and politics), I’m thinking about it in terms of economics.  Frequently, it would be asked by libertarian supporters of Ron Paul when they spoke among themselves, “just what could Paul do in office?”  We knew when thinking in context that he’d have to fight against political reality even if he became POTUS, a reality that had been shaped by powerful forces with mutual interest in maintaining their power.  From the state governments to the federal government, from the house to the senate, from big business to big education, from wealthy individuals to the labor unions, interlocking power had reasons to fight a Paul presidency and support one another while they individually had a go against the White House.  Still, Paul had the veto pen, the power of pardon, the power to appoint justices to the SCOTUS, nearly unilateral control over executive branch policy.  The hopeful assumed that those abilities might be enough to permanently change the US from an empire to a “normal” country if not a republic as imagined by 18th century liberals.

On the other hand Eric in NY would be a lot like Paul in the house, a lone voice crying into a near void, a Cassandra among rubes.  He would be running for congress, and not president.  Knowing this, would it have been worth it to support the Sundwall campaign?  It might give me a kick to know that someone I pretty much totally agree with was in office somewhere near me, but unless we had something like virtual cantons I don’t see it doing me much good.  The economic problem brought up by anti-political libertarians with regards to electoral politics is this.  Economics is about the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses.  We use the word “trade-off” to describe the choice of one use of scarce resources over others.  One of our scarce resources is time.  Our ultimate goal, as we all ostensibly agree, is a free society.  Is it a better use of our scarce resources to support and get elected candidates who will participate in the political process of majoritarianism and logrolling, or are there other alternatives that will help us achieve our goals?  Perhaps the time, money, energy, and will, used in supporting candidates can be put toward actually making a free society rather than hoping that our one candidates will prevail.  Agorists, at least, propose exactly this.

I have nothing against Eric Sundwall, in fact I wish him all the best.  If he had won I would’ve been glad.  This goes for all other libertarians that are going the political route.  It looks like Eric got too close to becoming a swing vote and had to be knocked out.  If he cannot receive the majority of the votes that would’ve gone to him then it seems like a wasted effort.  I ask other libertarians out there, about the larger point: Is the very idea of state politics a folly?  Should we continue these indirect efforts for liberation, or should we engage in direct action?  I have my answer, but I’m willing to listen to an argument for other points of view.

Update: Eric has released a statement of his intent to end his candidacy.  He fingers the Tedisco campaign for playing dirty politics.  I’m inclined to agree.  This merely highlights one of the main problems of putting hopes into electoral solutions for liberty. The powers that be want to remain the powers, and playing their games or following their rules simply seems like a fool’s game to me.

Boston Tea Party convention starts this evening

In Activism, Boston Tea Party, Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Politics, Thomas L. Knapp on October 24, 2008 at 8:39 pm

The Boston Tea Party starts its online convention this evening (Friday, October 24th) at 9pm ET.  The party will be voting in new officers, as well as voting upon various proposals.

The convention continues for 24 hours, and ends on Saturday, October 24th at 8:59pm ET.  If candidates and proposals are not resolved pursuant to their Bylaws, futher polling cycles will start, each running 24 hours, until a final candidate / proposal decision is made.  

I am excited to note that some of our most respected LFV contributors – including George Donnelly and Thomas Knapp – are running for BTP office.  

Tom Knapp is of course also the founder of the Boston Tea Party, and in my opinion showed excellent logic, temperament, and leadership ability in his handling of a controversy which recently resulted in the resignation of multiple BTP officers and officer candidates.  I therefore very highly endorse Tom Knapp, as he has proven his ability to handle any situation which may arise, no matter how delicate or controversial.

Additionally, a couple of other BTP candidates are also well known to LFV readers, including Jason Gatties (a longtime contributor who took a break to work on his local political campaign) and Steve Newton (“Delaware Libertarian”, whose writing has regularly appeared on LFV with his permission).

The current Chair is not running for reelection, and the Vice Chair recently resigned along with multiple At-Large Representatives.  Interestingly, as a result, the only incumbent is Michelle Luetge for Secretary.

Both Chair candidates have BTP blogs, which you can read to get a feel for both candidates.

You can read Jason Gatties’ BTP blog.

Here is George Donnelly’s BTP blog.

I was especially impressed to see that Jason Gatties actually nominated George Donnelly to run against him, in the belief that competition will only make the party stronger.  What a great attitude!  Either Jason or George would be excellent as Chair, in my opinion, so the BTP is lucky to have them as candidates. 

In the meantime, here is the election information from the BTP website, which (thanks to Tom Knapp!) LFV readers are the very first to see.

Per the bylaws, each member may vote for one candidate for each office; polls repeat as necessary until either one candidate, or NOTA, receives a majority. Each polling cycle runs 24 hours, beginning at 9pm Eastern, October 24th, 2008. Human candidates listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Chair
George Donnelly
Jason Gatties
None of the Above

Vice-Chair
Douglass Gaking
Matty Grossman
None of the Above

Secretary
Michelle Luetge
None of the Above

Election of At-Large National Committee Members

Per the bylaws, at-large national committee members are elected by “approval voting.” Each member may cast one vote for each candidate whom that member supports; the four candidates who receive the most votes are elected. Because of technical issues (no “approval voting” module available for this version of the site’s software), each candidate appears in a separate poll. YOU MUST VOTE IN A SEPARATE POLL FOR EACH CANDIDATE WHOM YOU SUPPORT IF YOU WANT THAT SUPPORT TO COUNT. These polls remain open for the duration of the convention. Human candidates listed in reverse alphabetical order by last name.

Candidates
Steve Trinward
Neil Kiernan Stephenson
Darryl W. Perry
Steve Newton
Andrew Martin
Thomas L. Knapp
Bill Jones
Matty Grossman

Bylaws Proposals (from committee)

This space will link to bylaws amendments recommended by the national committee/bylaws committee for polling. Each member may cast one vote (“yes” or “no”) on adoption of each proposal. Per the bylaws, polling on these proposals will last 24 hours, beginning at the opening of the convention, with with 2/3 or more of voting members’ support required to adopt an amendment.

Committee Bylaws Proposal #1

The Bylaws Committee proposes a change to Article 9, Section h, which states,

“Any action of the National Committee may be appealed by Party members comprising 5% or more of the membership, said appeal to be transmitted or called to the attention of both the Chair and the Secretary. In the case of such appeal, the appeal shall be published to the Party’s web site and the Party’s membership shall be polled on the question of whether to sustain or uphold the Committee’s action to suspend. The poll shall open within 10 days of the appeal’s publication, and shall remain open for 10 days. The National Committee’s action shall be overturned by a vote of 2/3 or more among voting members.”

The change would be the section which says “5% or more of the membership” to “5 or more party members,” so that the complete section will be as follows:

“Any action of the National Committee may be appealed by Party members comprising 5 or more party members, said appeal to be transmitted or called to the attention of both the Chair and the Secretary. In the case of such appeal, the appeal shall be published to the Party’s web site and the Party’s membership shall be polled on the question of whether to sustain or uphold the Committee’s action to suspend. The poll shall open within 10 days of the appeal’s publication, and shall remain open for 10 days. The National Committee’s action shall be overturned by a vote of 2/3 or more among voting members.”

(the changed section is in bold)

Committee Bylaws Proposal #2

The Bylaws Committee proposes the addition of Article 8, Section i:

“Officers of the National Committee may serve no more than two consecutive terms in the same national party office.”

Committee Bylaws Proposal #3

The Bylaws Committee proposes the addition of Article 9, Section i:

“National Committee members, under any circumstances, are strictly prohibited from working for the party’s nominated Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidates in a public, official capacity while serving their terms on the National Committee. Officers who wish to engage in such activity shall either resign their seats from the National Committee or recuse themselves from an official public and political capacity while serving on the Board.

“1) Official capacity is defined as any campaign officer, manager or coordinator of campaign activities, any person listed in campaign web sites or documents as member of the campaign, and anyone otherwise involved with the national campaign in a paid or voluntary capacity.

“2) Other activities such as assisting with ballot access in a voluntary capacity, donating personally to a campaign, and promoting the campaign as an individual supporter are acceptable.

“3) Members of the National Committee may run for the party’s nomination for President or Vice President. While running for the party’s nomination, National Committee members must recuse themselves from all voting in any National Committee decisions until after the nomination is complete. If nominated to run for national office, a member of the National Committee must resign from the committee.”

Bylaws Proposals (from the membership)

After the adoption or rejection of the national committee/bylaws committee’s proposals, bylaws proposals shall be solicited from the membership in a post linked to from this space. Proposals shall be submitted via the appended comment form, and polls shall be linked to from this space. Each proposal moved and seconded in this manner, within 24 hours of the solicitation posting, shall be considered concurrently with all others, with proposal polls open for 24 hours. Each proposal receives the support of 2/3 or more of the voting members shall be deemed adopted.

Program Proposals (from committee)

This space will link to program points recommended by the national committee/program committee for polling. Each member may cast one vote (“yes” or “no”) on adoption of each point. Per the bylaws, polling on these points will last 24 hours, beginning at the opening of the convention, with 2/3 or more of voting members’ support required to adopt a program point. If fewer than five program points are adopted, the floor will be open for member proposal of additional points.

Committee Point Proposal #1

Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

Committee Point Proposal #2

Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, elimination of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

Committee Point Proposal #3

The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

Committee Point Proposal #4

The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.

Program Proposals (from the membership)

In the event that fewer than five committee-proposed program points are adopted above, this space will link to a member proposal space and polls on proposed points. Points will be polled in the order proposed and seconded, with no more polls running than would cause the program to exceed five points if all were adopted. Each proposal will be polled for 12 hours, with 2/3 or more of voting members’ support required to adopt a program point.

Resolutions

At the opening of the convention, this space will link to a resolution solicitation post. All members may move resolutions (statements of the party exclusive of its platform, program or bylaws). All resolutions moved and seconded within 24 hours of the opening of solicitation space will be polled. Polls will run for 24 hours; resolutions supported by 2/3 or more of voting members will be adopted.

LFV readers, what do you think of the candidates and proposals? Please note your endorsements, as well as any concerns, in the comments section.

Scotty Boman on Ron Paul Endorsing Chuck Baldwin

In Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Ron Paul on September 27, 2008 at 11:55 pm

From the Miller Politics interview with Scotty Boman, the 2008 Libertarian candidate for Michigan US Senate.

Question: You say you are “running to further the Ron Paul/Libertarian ideals of Peace, Liberty, and Prosperity.” Recently the Libertarian presidential candidate, Bob Barr, has had a falling out with Rep. Paul and Paul has now endorsed Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party for President. What is your response to Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin over Barr?

Answer: My reflex reaction to this question was “No comment.”

I am a Libertarian Party candidate who has been a Ron Paul supporter since 1988. I am also a Libertarian candidate for United States Senate that has earned the support of many Chuck Baldwin supporters. So any answer I give could cost me supporters.

Nonetheless, I must comment; I didn’t get into politics to play it safe and avoid offending people. That’s what mainstream Democrats and Republicans do; stand for nothing to attract supporters who fall for anything.

I got into politics to support what I believe is the right kind of government, and to give people who share my political beliefs, a chance to vote their conscience. At the core of my philosophy of government, is the recognition that the initiation of force is a fundamental social evil born of irrationality. By “initiation of force” I am referring to acts and threats of violence or fraud that exceed what is necessary to protect oneself from the same.

The political application of this principal is to support laws and policies that maximize individual liberty, and minimize the victimization of people. The greatest potential victimizer is the government. To the extent that government is necessary, it must therefore be restrained. This is the libertarian philosophy.

The libertarian ideal of minimal government provides the best model for a prosperous, free, society: A community wherein people of different cultures, and diverse faiths can coexist. This way, even people who have irreconcilably different theologies, and personal moralities can live next door without the fear of sectarian violence.

On the Federal level, adherence to the Constitution with its Bill of Rights is essential to move in the direction of a free society. Without it I am not a candidate, and Ron Paul is not a Congressman.

I have been a Ron Paul supporter because his message is libertarian; Ron Paul being the messenger, is not the reason I support the message. Now he has endorsed a candidate who has previously endorsed him. Chuck Baldwin’s positions on most Federal issues are the same as those of Ron Paul, the Libertarian Party platform, and myself. Previously Dr. Paul refrained from endorsing any presidential candidate, in part due to his close relationship with the Libertarian Party. In fact, earlier that day Tom Lizardo told me Ron Paul would not endorse ANY candidate who was running against a nominated Republican. According to Paul’s blog, Bob Barr’s Snub tipped the scales. I understand the Congressman’s choice, but I will chose differently.

My November 4th vote only matters because it will be an expression of my beliefs. It will not plausibly choose the next president. By voting Libertarian, I won’t just be choosing a single candidate; I will be voting for the policies of minimal government. I will be voting for the Libertarian Parties Statement of Principles. I will be voting for the fine individuals (myself included) that were nominated to be presidential electors by the Libertarian Party of Michigan.

While our views on Federalism are very close, there are important difference between the Constitution Party (Taxpayers Party in Michigan), and Libertarian Party on the State level. Libertarians support maximizing individual liberty, at all jurisdictional levels: Federal, state, and local. As a federal candidate, I recognize and agree with the tenth amendment limits on the federal government. As a Libertarian, I would support less government intrusion at the state and local level.

In this age of tyranny it is vital that people of all faiths and backgrounds work together for their mutual liberty. The libertarian platform is one that supports religious freedom for all faiths. We wish to keep the tentacles of the state out of your church, temple or mosque.

First State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

In Candidate Endorsement, Chris Bennett, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Local Politics, Politics, Press Release on September 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

STATEMENT BY ARTHUR W. KETCHEN

I want to announce my full and unequivocal support for the candidacy of George Phillies for President of The United States and Christopher Bennett for Vice President of The United States. For this is the only real Libertarian ticket for those offices on the ballot anywhere.

For Bob Barr, the choice of the Libertarian National Convention, is in point of fact anything but a Libertarian. Barr is a state’s rights advocate, where any real Libertarian is an individual rights advocate
who recognizes that “states rights” come a very far distant second, conditional upon how absolutely individual rights are upheld in any given state. Barr favors one religion over others,ignoring the
fundamental truth that if you lay your life on the line for this nation in the United States armed forces you have a right to observe the religion of your choice in those armed forces. An American is an
American, regardless of religious creed! And furthermore, if we are to acheive the ideal of limited government,we must end the nefarious cult of religious “leaders” giving blessing to the state, and the state favoring any one religion. In his inability to recognize the above truths and in his equivocation on questions that should have a clear answer Bob Barr still talks like the Republicrats. Indeed the cause of truth would be better served if Bob Barr ran as the candidate of the Know Nothing Party than the Libertarian Party.

In choosing Barr, or even considering him the Libertarian National Convention majority betrayed the Party Of Principle which I and other members of the first National Convention in Denver founded in 1972. And the 2008 Libertarian National Convention also attempted to deny the American people a choice at the polls.

But in New Hampshire there is a choice. In November citizens can vote for George Phillies for President and Chris Bennett for Vice President. For the Phillies/Bennett ticket stands for clear consistent choice. George Phillies and Chris Bennett know full well that you cannot have economic freedom without civil liberty, that social freedom and a free market are inseparable. That a house divided against itself cannot stand!

If you are a Libertarian and planned on voting Libertarian in any event in November I urge you to vote Phillies/Bennett. Your vote will count for it will send a message to LP National and the state organizations that you want Libertarians running as Libertarians, not the hand me down failures from the Republicrats with their tired theocratic/socialist myths and lies.

If you are not yet a Libertarian this current economic mess should make you one. And if you perceive rightly that voting for the Republican and Democratic candidates is indeed a vote thrown away, then I urge you to vote Phillies/Bennett for that is a vote for the future if America is to have one! We have no where to go but up!

Arthur W. Ketchen
New Hampshire Delegate to the 1972 Libertarian National Convention
First State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

Endorsement: Jason Gatties for Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees

In Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Politics on July 11, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Jason Gatties, a regular on LFV (and former contributor) is running for a nonpartisan seat on the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees.  I hereby offer my wholehearted endorsement.

Jason ‘s platform stresses the importance of personal responsibility, which is of course a basic libertarian ideal.  With regard to fiscal responsibility, he wants the college to run better and more efficiently, but without an increase in taxes or tuition.  Instead, he wants to work within the financial structure as it presently exists, privatizing certain non-academic positions, and limiting the size and growth of administrative postitions. 

Jason also wants to give the students the best college experience possible, including social experiences.  He wants to expand the clubs which students can create and join, by allowing citizens to be volunteer advisors so the students will not be forced to give up a club due to not having a faculty member to advise them.  Alternatively, he argues that since the students are legally adults, they should not need to have an advisor for their clubs at all.

Jason even did a small poll, wherein he tried to find out how much LMC students knew about the Board of Trustees.  He was quite surprised to learn that they were completely unfamiliar with every Board member, with the sole exception of a local radio personality.  He also discovered that there is no contact information for any Trustee on the college website.  Jason wants to change that, and to that end, he plans to be far more communicative, and far more responsive.  In fact, he plans to have a “virtual office” which will allow concerned citizens (including students) easy contact with him.

Clearly, Jason has put a lot of thought into the position he seeks, and he intends to use that position in the way it was intended: as a true public servant and steward of the citizens’ taxes.  My experience with Jason has shown that he is passionate about the issues, and that he always tries to do the right thing, even if it causes him personal discomfort.  As such, I can think of no better person for the elected position he seeks, and I strongly encourage voters in Berrien County, Covert Township, and the South Haven Public School District to support him in his efforts.

Endorsement: Tom Knapp for LP Judicial Committee

In Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics on May 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm

I would normally write an endorsement, but in this particular case my endorsement is based more on the person and their principles, than on my knowledge of the office sought.  For that reason, I will let the candidate tell you why he should have your support.  From an email written by Tom Knapp:

I’ve served on the party’s Judicial Committee once (from 2002-2004). This year, I’m seeking election to that committee once again. I request your support and your vote.

I understand if you’re not excited. The Judicial Committee elections are almost an afterthought, coming after the “exciting stuff” — presidential and vice-presidential nominations and LNC elections. We dispensed with electing a Judicial Committee altogether in 2000 after a quorum call and sine die adjournment of the convention in Anaheim. The world did not end.

And, frankly, I can’t remember the last time the Judicial Committee had to swing into action — I’m pretty sure it was in the late 1980s, before I joined the party. The Judicial Committee is an appellate body. It acts only when an action of the National Committee or the national convention is sent to it for review under specific rules (which you can find out more about in the bylaws).

So, if you’re still reading, you probably have two questions: Why is this committee important, and why should I vote for Tom Knapp to sit on it?

The Judicial Committee is important because it functions as the LP’s “Supreme Court.” Its job is to review actions of the national committee on appeal by a percentage of the party’s membership (for regular actions), or by suspended committee members or disaffiliated state parties. It may also be called upon to review actions of the national convention as they relate to the Statement of Principles (and can be overruled by that convention in its findings). It’s to the party’s credit that the Judicial Committee is so seldom called into action — but it’s a necessary party institution.

As to why I am qualified, well, I meet the bylaws qualifications (I’m a party member). Beyond that, I pledge that if a matter is brought before the committee for review, I will adhere to a “strict constructionist” interpretation of the bylaws: They say what they mean and they mean what they say. If overwhelming evidence that an “original intent” trumps my own “strict construction,” I’ll give that evidence due consideration. I will vote in accordance with that “strict construction,” as possibly modified by evidence of “original intent,” and I will do so without regard to whether or not my vote gores anyone’s ideological ox — my own included. Finally, I will recuse myself from any appeal to the Judicial Committee which represents a personal conflict of interest.

I believe that service on the Judicial Committee requires personal honesty, respect for truth and fact, and a willingness to apply the party’s rules impartially. I leave it to you to judge whether or not I possess those qualities in sufficient measure to properly discharge the duties I’m asking to be given.

Jacqueline Passey: Endorsements

In Candidate Endorsement, Christine Smith, Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 20, 2008 at 7:55 pm

The following is posted with the permission of the author, Jacqueline Passey. You can view the original on her website here.

Endorsements: Wayne Allyn Root, Steve Kubby, Mary Ruwart, or George Phillies for President; adopt the World’s Smallest Political Platform

The Libertarian Party national convention is this weekend in Denver. I won’t be going, but I know at least one delegate reads this blog, so I’m posting my endorsements for candidates and issues in the hopes that they are at least somewhat influential in the delegates’ decisions.

First, to give my endorsements the necessary context, I should explicitly disclose my history, positions, and biases: I’ve been involved in the LP since 2000, including working as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Washington State (2001-2002) and running as a Libertarian candidate for Washington Secretary of State (2004), but I’ve been less active since the 2006 election. I’m a minarchist, but I welcome anyone who supports reducing the size, scope, and power of government as a member of the Libertarian Party and libertarian movement even if they don’t share my exact vision of what Libertopia should be. I think that the Libertarian Party has the greatest chance for success in local races (state legislature and lower) and thus the role of the national party and Presidential candidates should be to first do no harm (do not say or do anything wacky that will hurt local candidates), and second, help recruit and develop a pool of Libertarian activists, donors, and voters that local candidates and organizations can tap into.

To get caught up on the candidates and issues, I read their websites, their Wikipedia biographies, searched YouTube for videos of them speaking, and sought out opinions and gossip from other Libertarians on blogs. I’ve also had personal interactions with George Phillies and Mary Ruwart, and I heard George Phillies and Steve Kubby debate at the LP Nevada convention last year.

GOOD CANDIDATES

Unfortunately, none of the candidates this year really excite me. However, there are a few that I think would help our party grow if they won the nomination:

Wayne_new2Wayne Allyn Root:

Pros: Moderately famous for his gambling TV shows/books and Millionaire Republican personal finance book. He’s a very good speaker and smooth with the media, as shown here. Has raised the second most money of the “good” candidates”.

Cons: He only recently made the switch from the Republican Party and is a little on the conservative side. He also seems to have already alienated a lot of people within the LP, although it’s not clear to me what exactly he did to get their panties in such a bunch.

StevekubbySteve Kubby:

Pros: Relatively famous politically. He was successful in getting California Proposition 215 (Medical Marijuana) passed, so we know he has the connections and resources to get things done. He would probably get media attention for being a convicted felon, but this is a good thing because it would show the stupidity of the Drug War. He’s been campaigning for 2 years. Consistently libertarian positions.

Cons: Most Americans are more concerned about other issues than the Drug War right now, so Kubby’s biggest strength is sort of wasted this year. Despite campaigning for 2 years he hasn’t raised much money.

Marypicture1Mary Ruwart:

Pros: Is an excellent speaker and communicator. Is moderately famous within the libertarian movement. She’s able to explain fairly radical libertarian positions and policies without scaring the crap out of people. Running a woman for President or Vice President this year might win us more media attention than we would otherwise get. She’s been involved with the libertarian movement for a long time so we all know her pretty well by now. Consistently libertarian positions.

Cons: She entered the race pretty late and hasn’t raised much money or probably built much of a campaign yet. She doesn’t seem to know how to dress appropriately for a Presidential candidate. Please, Mary, go get some black or navy suits and wear them to all future events instead of that hideous gray thing.

George_philliesGeorge Phillies:

Pros: George is probably the most sane/mainstream candidate for the nomination — he consistently advocates reducing the size of government, but in incremental ways that are actually politically viable. Has raised the most money of the “good” candidates. He’s a long-time member and activist in the Libertarian Party, so we all know him pretty well by now. He “gets it” that the Presidential campaign should be a recruiting tool for building the party and helping elect local candidates. He’s been campaigning for 2 years.

Cons: I think George might have a touch of Aspergers Syndrome — those of you who have met George know what I’m talking about. He’s not at all notable outside of the party.

I wish that George was working as the campaign manager or strategist for a prettier, more charismatic candidate instead of running for the nomination himself. Regardless of who wins the nomination, I hope that George stays involved in the Presidential campaign, because I think he’s got the right mix of libertarian ideology and strategic pragmatism that we need to run a party-building Presidential campaign.

MEDIOCRE CANDIDATES:

I don’t think these candidates would either help or hurt us that much:

Christinesmith_2 Christine Smith:

Pros: She seems to have consistently libertarian positions on all the issues. She’s a decent public speaker as seen here. Although I generally wish that female candidates would dress more conservatively, she pulls off the red suit look well. Running a woman for President or Vice President this year might win us more media attention than we would otherwise get.

Cons: She’s just not that notable — it’s too bad that she decided to jump into running for President, because she would have made a great candidate for local office if she actually wanted to be elected to something. She desperately needs a web designer to improve the look and feel of her campaign website.

Other: She shares a name with a Playboy Playmate (NSFW Google images search). Inevitably, some people will get the two mixed up — not sure if that will help or hurt her campaign. 🙂

MikejingozianMichael Jingozian:

Pros: Seems comfortable speaking, as shown here. Long-time member (claims he joined the LP in 1980). Founder and CEO of a successful small marketing company. Managed to score a Wall Street Journal blog post about his campaign (“A Small Business Owner for President“). I think his internet-focused campaign strategy is a smart idea given the LP’s lack of resources for conventional campaigning. Has raised the most money of the not-bad candidates. Hasn’t done anything to motivate people to write nasty things about him on blogs.

Cons: That no one is writing nasty things about him on blogs indicates that he’s not campaigning hard enough or being taken seriously as a candidate. Complete lack of notability — again, he should have run for local office instead of President. Campaign literature is way too cluttered and too focused on negative things.

LinkAlden Link:

Pros: Seems innocuous. The positions he describes on his website are fairly consistently libertarian.

Cons: I had never heard of him and didn’t know he was running until I did one last check of the LP’s website to make sure I hadn’t missed anyone. Has he raised any money or spoken anywhere? His website is pretty sad.

Jim_burnsJim Burns:

Pros: Seems to have consistently libertarian positions (although I couldn’t bear to finish slogging through all the text on his website, so there might be something that I missed). Strategically-minded.

Cons: I couldn’t find much about him so he doesn’t seem to be campaigning very much. Seems a bit nutty. His campaign website was difficult to find and is pretty lame. Keeps referring to himself as an “old, bald, fat white guy,” which may be accurate but is not the winning campaign rhetoric we should be looking for. He’s so very earnest that I want to pat him on his little bald head, but I don’t want him representing our party.

BAD CANDIDATES:

I think these candidates would be harmful to our party and I would be very disappointed if any of them were nominated:

BobbarrBob Barr:

Pros: As a former elected Congressman, he’s much more famous than most of the other candidates. His experience in public office gives him credibility, and demonstrates that he is able to run an effective campaign. His campaign website is very professional-looking.

Cons: HE’S NOT A LIBERTARIAN. He’s still really a Republican at heart, and he’s running to get Republicans to vote and help down-ticket Republican candidates (via), not to build the Libertarian Party. He’ll never be accepted by many libertarians due to his support of the Drug War, Defense of Marriage Act, and Patriot Act while he was an elected Congressman — he may give lip service to libertarianism now, but his actual legislative record on libertarian issues is abysmal. He waited until the last minute to officially announce, which seems to me like a slimy tactic to avoid giving Libertarians adequate time to investigate and debate his candidacy before the convention. I don’t trust him or his supposed change of heart (he doesn’t even declare his current positions on drugs or gay rights on the Issues page of his website) — this is a guy that we helped defeat for re-election in 2002, and now he sits on the LNC and is seriously being considered for our nominee for President?! Ron Crickenberger must be spinning in his grave.

MikegravelMike Gravel:

Pros: As a former elected Senator, and as a former candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, he’s much more famous than most of the other candidates. His experience in public office gives him credibility, and demonstrates that he is able to run an effective campaign. His campaign website is very professional-looking.

Cons: HE’S NOT A LIBERTARIAN. The only reason he’s running for the Libertarian Party nomination is because he couldn’t win the Democratic Party nomination. He is campaigning for socialized medicine, which would be a massive increase in government. Need I say more?

Bob Barr and Mike Gravel are examples of one of the worst threats to third parties — major party candidates who can’t get along in their own party and decide to leave and try to co-opt a third party’s ticket. We saw this happen with the Movimiento Libertario in Costa Rica (which was the most successful Libertarian party in the world to date). There, the co-opters were successful, and the Movimiento Libertario doesn’t even call itself “libertarian” anymore. Let the fate of the ML serve as a cautionary tale to US Libertarians — don’t be so excited over the prospect of an experienced and proven “electable” candidate from a mainstream party that you ignore their ideology.

Imperato2008Daniel Imperato:

Pros: He seems to be putting a lot of effort into his campaign.

Cons: He’s not actually a Libertarian, he’s just a slut for third parties — he’s also tried to win the Green Party, Reform Party, and Constitution Party nominations, and seems to just want to be on the ballot regardless of whose ticket he’s on.

PLATFORM:

I support the World’s Smallest Political Platform (click the link to sign the petition):

“The Libertarian Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope or power of government at any level or for any purpose.”

I support it because I know from experience that opponents and media can and do go to the national Libertarian Party website, dig up something wacky from the platform, and use it confront local candidates in potentially winnable races. So while I personally don’t object to much in the current or old platform, I think it is a handicap and not a help for winning elections at the level we can realistically win them at. Let our CANDIDATES define their own platforms individually, based on the issues that THEY want to campaign on, instead of having to fend off questions about issues not related to the office that they’re running for or about positions much more radical than they themselves espouse.

________________________________

Jacqueline Passey is the former Executive Director of the Washington state Libertarian Party, and former LP candidate for Washington Secretary of State. Blog enthusiasts likely remember her from her 2006 blog entry covering the Nevada LP presidential debates, amusingly titled “Two whackjobs, a convicted felon, and George Phillies”. That blog entry set into motion a short-lived “memogate”, in which a memo from then-LP Executive Director Shane Corey, referencing her blog and asking whether the LP can offer better candidates, was leaked into the blogosphere.

Ms. Passey lives in Las Vegas with her husband and dachsunds, and is currently working on her Master’s Degree at UNLV. Her current blog is “Jacqueline Gets Her Geek On”.

Candidate Endorsement: Mary Ruwart

In Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on May 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

With less than a week to go until the Libertarian National Convention, I felt it was time to offer up my endorsement. This has been a long process and I must admit, I’ve bounced back and forth between candidates. From George Phillies to Steve Kubby, every time I began to feel comfortable about a candidate, I quickly found something in their platform I just couldn’t agree with.

That is until Mary Ruwart entered the race.

Mary Ruwart was a key figure in my decision to join the Libertarian Party back in 2000. She sold me on libertarian values & I’ve been a determined activist ever since.  I feel Mary represents the core principles the party was built on. I feel she represents not only my voice, but those of the majority of Libertarian Party activists.

We have several great candidates heading to Denver and for the most part, I could see myself voting for any of these candidates when November rolls around. However, there is one candidate who gets me excited. Only one candidate who I will go the extra mile for. Only one candidate who I feel truly represents my voice.

That candidate is Mary Ruwart.

Candidate Endorsement: Susan Hogarth for LNC

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics on May 17, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Susan Hogarth, a longtime liberarian activist and founding member of the revived LP Radical Caucus, is seeking an At-Large position on the Libertarian National Committee. I hereby endorse her candidacy for the following reasons.

Susan’s libertarian (and Libertarian) bona fides are beyond question. She has worked on ballot access, outreach, and forming issue coalitions. She is currently the Outreach Director for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, and the Chair of the Wake County LP. She has run for public office twice; once for state legislature, and once for county commission. She plans to run for Congress as a Libertarian as well.

Her goals, from her website, are as follows:

Offer voters a chance to vote for their hopes rather than their fears

Shift the political discussion in the direction of freedom and non-aggression

Help form coalitions among various freedom-oriented individuals and groups

Constantly reduce the size and scope of government when elected

Grow the Libertarian party and the freedom movement by stirring an interest in the message of freedom and limited government

Better develop myself as a critical thinker and clear speaker

While Susan and I have not always seen eye to eye, and in fact got off on the wrong foot altogether, she is nothing if not passionate about libertarianism, and the Libertarian Party. Despite our disagreement on some issues, we do agree that “there is never a time when the rights of one person, properly understood, conflict with the rights of another person”. We also agree that the Libertarian Party can best establish itself by maintaining its basic ideology, and by remaining separate and distinct from either of the two major parties.

She and I see eye to eye on many important “insider” issues as well, despite the fact that we come from different sides of the libertarian coin. For that reason, I believe that Susan is capable of bringing together the libertarian factions, through the important common ground issues.

Susan’s immediate goals as a freshman LNC member are as follows (from her website):

Changes to region formation and representation: Regional composition and representation must be stabilized so that regions and their representation aren’t something scrambled together in the heat of a busy convention. Regions should not be constantly shifting, and representatives should be chosen well in advance of the national convention.

Streamlining LNC meetings and strengthening Party management: The LNC should be required to meet more frequently using conferencing, and less frequently using travel. The current travel requirements take large expenses of staff time and Party funds, and discourage the participation of younger, older, and less established activists. Having a rough meeting schedule as part of the bylaws will allow those interested in serving on the LNC to evaluate the requirements of the commitment realistically before campaigning. The LNC should explicitly have – and should use – the power to make resolutions concerning events of the day, rather than allowing the LP’s public policy face to be created by default by staff-prepared press releases.

Advertising and Publications Review Committee: The APRC should be made a standing committee of the LNC, and I would like to see it actively involved in the creation, review, and dissemination of literature and other materials, including the LP News and a detailed legislative agenda to complement the platform. Development and expression of the Party’s message is of paramount importance, and has been handled in a haphazard fashion resulting in outdated and often conflicting materials and releases.

Life Membership – not for sale: The current purchasable ‘life membership’ category should be done away with. I believe that membership in a political party should be an ongoing commitment to activism, not a one-time purchase to be used for party newcomers for campaigning purposes. We should acknowledge committed supporters who have shown sustained and significant support via activism and/or financial contributions for the Party in ways that distinguish them from folks who simply have some extra cash to spread around.

While some may view Susan as somewhat brash, and occasionally I share that viewpoint, the truth is that she has proven her value to the Libertarian Party, she can get things done, and she refuses to set aside her principles regardless of the personal consequences. For those reasons, above all else I respect her even when I disagree with her.

For the above reasons, I hereby respectfully offer my endorsement of Susan Hogarth for LNC At-Large.

Outright Libertarians statement on Barr candidacy

In Candidate Endorsement, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 14, 2008 at 9:21 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Outright Libertarians Executive Committee Comments on Bob Barr’s Declaration of Candidacy for the Libertarian Nomination

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO, SEATTLE, KNOXVILLE, PHILADELPHIA and ATLANTAThis Monday, former Congressman (and recent LNC committee member) Bob Barr announced his candidacy for the Libertarian Nomination for President of the United States.

Many of you are wondering where Outright Libertarians stands on this recent development, and the short answer is this: our position has not changed.

We continue to strongly support Dr. George Phillies as our endorsed candidate. Dr. Phillies has shown the courage, character and commitment that Outright’s membership seeks in a presidential nominee. A longtime Libertarian activist and longtime supporter of equality under the law for all people (including LGBT Americans), Dr. Phillies has established an enviable record of achievement in the fight for liberty.

His platform includes uncompromising support for the rights of LGBT Americans in military service, marriage, immigration, adoption, and tax treatment. He has been an implacable foe of the Defense of Marriage Act and the military’s anti-gay recruitment policy since their inception. Most importantly, he has led important initiatives to fight for us everyday, while bringing the message of the Libertarian Party to LGBT people. We can think of no finer candidate, and are proud to reinforce our support for Dr. Phillies’ candidacy.

Regarding Mr. Barr, we find that though he has shown some welcome evolution on the issues, he has a record that remains notably different from the other Libertarians in the race. Mr. Barr has not completed Outright’s Candidate Survey, but is “on the record” regarding two issues key within the LGBT Libertarian community and the broader LGBT electoral base.

First, while we applaud the former Congressman’s repudiation of the anti-gay military policy that he drafted for the Wall Street Journal, and the evolution that this represents for Mr. Barr, his opinion on this issue simply moved into the Libertarian mainstream — rather than pushing the debate forward. Every Libertarian candidate who has answered our survey — plus Dr. Mary Ruwart (who has not yet answered our survey but is “on the record” on this issue) — shares that view.

On the Defense of Marriage Act — an odious law that Bob Barr co-sponsored as a Congressman — his evolution has been far slower. We have discussed the law with him a number of times, and recently he has telegraphed support for repealing the half of the law that creates a federal definition of marriage. However, he has not consistently campaigned on this point, and seems reluctant to speak of it. (An example of this reluctance may be heard at approximately 16:30 in this linked Atlanta radio interview with Mr. Barr:  http://media.podcastingmanager.com/81570-71406/Media/CFL-20080420-S3-S4.mp3 )

In contrast, Democratic nomination candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has adopted a similar position, yet appears more willing to campaign upon it. Barack Obama has declared that he would repeal the law altogether.

Every Libertarian candidate who has completed our survey, as well as Dr. Ruwart, goes a major step further by calling for repeal of the law.

We believe that the difference between the Democratic and the Libertarian commitments on this issue is that while the two Democrats talk about doing something (despite a multi-year do-nothing record as Senators), Libertarians will fight from day one for us. We are not yet convinced that Mr. Barr would fight vigorously to promote his reluctantly-expressed position, a problem given that his position is the most statist of the serious Libertarian candidates in this race.

We welcome Bob Barr’s engagement with the Libertarian Party, and are always delighted to welcome new Libertarians into the movement. We look forward to continuing to work with him as an LNC member or in any other role he takes within our Party. However, we must hold our presidential candidates to the highest possible standards, for the benefit of both our Party and LGBT Americans. In this regard, we believe that Bob Barr has quite a bit of work to do in order to enter the mainstream on LGBT issues in comparison to the other declared Libertarian candidates in this race. Just as many of us did when we first joined the LP, he needs to “steep in the brine of Liberty” for a while longer before running for nomination as our Party’s standard-bearer.

Further, we note that regardless of who is nominated, the Libertarian Party will perform an invaluable service to the queer community in this election cycle — even if the delegates ignore Outright’s endorsement of George Phillies and instead choose Bob Barr as the Libertarian Party’s nominee, the silver lining for the LGBT community will be that a Barr candidacy will almost certainly spoil any possible victory by John McCain.

In summary, recent news has only reinforced our commitment to Dr. George Phillies, and we encourage Outright members and supporters — as well as all Libertarian Party convention delegates — to support his candidacy in Denver with their votes, their ideas, and every other resource at their disposal.

About Outright: Outright Libertarians is the largest association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Libertarian Party supporters. With hundreds of members across the United States, it is the intellectual and policy hub of the LGBT libertarian movement, serving as the voice for LGBT Americans within the Libertarian Party as well as a voice for Libertarian candidates in the LGBT community. Its web site is http://www.outrightusa.org.

Candidate Endorsement: Thomas Knapp for Congress

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Congress, Drug War, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Medical Marijuana, Politics, US Government on March 30, 2008 at 2:12 am

Thomas KnappThomas Knapp (to some better known as Kn@ppster) a longtime participant at Last Free Voice, has announced that he is running for the US House of Representatives in Missouri. Below is his “About” statement from his website; I would strongly suggest that others visit and read his issues sections (and bookmark it, since it’s still under construction).

Instead of one of those dry third-person candidate biographies, I’m just going to ramble a bit about who I am, where I’m from and why I deserve your support this November.

I was born on 10 November, 1966 (the 191st birthday of the United States Marine Corps) in Memphis, Tennessee. I spent most of my formative years in southwest Missouri, graduating from Lebanon High School in 1985 and living in the Lebanon and Springfield areas until 2000, when I moved to the St. Louis area.

I joined the US Marine Corps Reserve immediately out of high school and served as an infantry NCO in Southwest Asia in the 1991 Gulf War with my unit, Weapons Co., 3rd Bn, 24th Marines (the battalion is headquartered here in St. Louis). I left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant with an honorable discharge in 1995.

In civilian life, I worked at various factory and construction jobs until 2000, when I became a full-time writer, editor and political activist. I live in Greendale with my wife, Tamara, and our sons Daniel (9) and Liam (6). I also have a daughter, Caitlin (17), who lives with her mother in the Kansas City area.

I serve as the St. Louis County Libertarian Party’s Normandy Township committeeman, and as a federal appointee to my local Selective Service System board.

Why am I running for Congress in a district I don’t even live in?

The easy answer is that I stepped in to offer the 2nd District’s voters a Libertarian alternative when another candidate was unable to file his candidate paperwork due to a family emergency.

But I’d like to offer you a better answer than that.

I believe in America.

I believe in the values of individual freedom and unlimited opportunity that made this country great.

I believe that the Republican and Democratic parties have betrayed those values, and that in so doing they have failed in their duty to the American people and to the American Dream.

I believe that those values, and that dream, can be restored.

And I believe, as did Thomas Paine — author of the pamphlet which launched the American Revolution — that “those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

My candidacy is an attempt to make good on that obligation — and in November, I ask that you cast your vote with that same obligation in mind.

Yours in Liberty,
Tom Knapp
Libertarian for US House of Representatives

Though it is no secret that Tom and I have butted heads more than once, I have a great deal of respect for him, and I believe him to be a principled libertarian who understands how the political system works. Furthermore, Tom is very well known in the libertarian community as an activist and campaign organizer, and he is passionate about the issues. Last but certainly not least, he is an extraordinarily good writer and an excellent communicator, who is able to clearly explain libertarian principles even to the uninitiated.

I honestly believe that Tom Knapp will never act in contradiction to what he believes to be right, regardless of the consequences. I therefore believe that he will represent his constituents – and the Libertarian Party – with honor.

For those reasons, I offer my full endorsement of Thomas Knapp for US House of Representatives, Missouri Second District.

Candidate Endorsement: Chris Bennett for Vice President

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Chris Bennett, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Drug War, Economics, First Amendment, George Phillies, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Minorities, Politics, Second Amendment, Steve Kubby, Taxation, US Government, War on March 26, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Chris BennettAs you are hopefully all by now aware, longtime LFV contributor Chris Bennett is seeking the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination. While he would have my support simply for being an LFV contributor and a great guy, there is so much more to his candidacy that I have decided to formally endorse his bid for the LP Vice Presidential nomination.

Chris is 35 years old (will be 36 on August 30th) and lives in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado. As an interesting aside, Chris was classmates with Matt Stone, co-creator of “South Park”.

Chris has been married to Evonne Bennett for eight years, and they have two children, Brandon (age 7) and Charity (age 9). He will graduate in May from the University of Illinois at Springfield, with a degree in Political Studies, and a minor in Economics. As such, there should be no question that he has the education to back up his candidacy, especially when compared with other LP candidates (including many of those seeking the LP’s Presidential nomination).

Chris also has the actual experience to back him up. As a libertarian activist for the last 16 years, he has volunteered on four presidential campaigns, three of them Libertarians. He was Scheduling Coordinator for the late Aaron Russo during his 2004 presidential campaign, and was also heavily involved in the Marrou and Badnarik presidential campaigns. He is currently the Legislative Chair for the Libertarian Party of Illinois, where he has fought for better ballot access for third parties in one of the most difficult ballot access states in the country.

Chris announced his candidacy right here on Last Free Voice last year, and his platform is as follows:

I will not make promises I can not keep. I do not have 200,000 dollars in future contributions and I am not endorsed by a famous dead person. However there are some promises I will keep:

I am strongly against the invasion and the “police action” in Iraq and will help push for an anti-war resolution at the Denver Convention.

I am against a fair tax and I will continue to fight to decrease the tax burden for all Americans.

I will continue to fight to restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights and fight to eliminate the Patriot Act, the Real ID Act, the Military Commissions Act and the North American Union.

As an African-American, I will use my candidacy to recruit more minorities and women into the libertarian movement.

As a soon-to-be college graduate, I will continue to convince younger voters and non-voters that the Libertarian Party is the future not the two “boot on your neck” parties and use my candidacy to re-energize libertarian college campus and local organizations across the country.

If I am nominated, I will help/assist state parties on getting our presidential ticket on their respective state ballots.

If I am nominated, I will assist serious Libertarian candidates running for office in all facets of their campaign across the country.

The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over. Our VP candidate should be as active as our Presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our Presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.

Chris has been working hard to spread the word about his candidacy, and in fact he is one of the few Libertarian candidates to get attention from the mainstream press. Even better, he received FRONT PAGE attention in a major newspaper, the Springfield State Journal-Register.

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG
POLITICAL WRITER

Published Monday, October 15, 2007

At 6-foot-9, Chris Bennett is hard to miss. And his political aspirations match his height.

Bennett, 35, a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is hoping to become the vice presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.

“The days of a dormant Libertarian Party VP candidate are over,” said Bennett in a news release announcing his quest last week. “Our VP candidate should be as active as our presidential candidate and I will proudly work with whoever you choose as our presidential candidate in order to spread our message of liberty and freedom to the American people.”

Bennett was soft-spoken as he explained in an interview how he realized, after working on Bill Clinton’s primary campaign in 1992, that he didn’t really believe in Clinton’s platform.

“I just didn’t like how he wanted more government in more stuff,” Bennett said. “I didn’t like government having more control over the health-care situation, as Hillary tried to do and she’s proposing to do now.”

So, Bennett said, “I went soul searching.”

“The Republicans didn’t feel right,” he said. “They never really do reach out to minorities or a lot of women. And the Democrats, it just seems like they were taking the black vote for granted. So I decided ‘I’m going to search for another party.’”

Bennett had seen a Libertarian Party convention on C-SPAN. The convention included an African-American candidate for the presidential nomination, Richard Boddie.

“He was saying stuff that I really agreed with,” said Bennett, who is black.

Bennett now has been a Libertarian activist for more than 15 years, including working as scheduling coordinator during the late Aaron Russo’s 2004 attempt to be the Libertarian nominee for president.

“For the longest time, I used to carry a Constitution in my back pocket,” Bennett said, “so if anybody wanted to get in a philosophical, constitutional argument, I could whip out my Constitution.”

Bennett doesn’t think the country’s leaders are adhering to the Constitution, including going to war in Iraq without a formal declaration of war. Among his platform planks are “restore our civil liberties and constitutional rights,” including elimination of the Patriot Act and a proposed federal “Real ID” identification card. He said both invade people’s privacy.

He’d like to see lower taxes, with eventual elimination of the Internal Revenue Service.

Bennett frequently posts on Web sites, including one called

lastfreevoice.com, often in strong language.

“Jesse Jackson has taken up the anti-gun issue only because he failed as a ‘civil rights’ leader and pushes his new agenda to re-invent himself,” Bennett claims in one entry. “Just remember Hitler forced his people to give up their guns and look what happened; millions died in concentration camps. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; I’ll defend those values with my gun to protect my right to bear arms.”

Bennett said he actually doesn’t own a gun, but believes in the right to own one.

He’s also taken off on television preachers who get rich through their appeals.

“TV evangelists are the scum of the Christian community,” he said, writing about recent allegations of misspending by Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts. “Isn’t it immoral to steal from your contributors for your own lavish lifestyles …? Who do they think they are — the GOVERNMENT?”

And in an essay chastising Democrats for not doing more to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, he refers to the president as “Fuhrer Bush.”

Bennett is pro-life on abortion, which goes against the Libertarian platform. But he thinks other Libertarians may be coming around. He also thinks steps should be taken to legalize drugs.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Bennett moved to Littleton, Colo., at age 9. He’s been married to his wife, Evonne, for 71/2 years, and they have two children. He moved to Springfield in 2005 to attend UIS.

While he said rural or suburban Libertarians might not be keyed into the issue of race relations, those from urban areas are, and he thinks the party is good for African-Americans.

In addition to ending discriminatory drug laws, which he blames for too many blacks being in prison, the Libertarians’ anti-tax sentiment would also help, Bennett said.

“If we lower taxes, people would be more able to get the house that they want or be able to contribute to their church or their social organization a little bit more,” he said. People could also “save for a rainy day.”

“I know a lot of people who would like to start their own IRA account, but they can’t because they’re taxed so much,” Bennett said.

Clearly, Chris interacts well with the media, and is able to get across his point intelligently, but also in a way that the average person can easily understand.

For the above reasons, I endorse Chris Bennett, without reservation, for the Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential candidacy.

This brings me to another point. Chris is in desperate need of donations, to help him get to the Libertarian Party Convention in Denver. As a family man working his way through college, with a wife and two children, he is far from wealthy. Not only will he need the funds for travel and hotel, plus incidentals such as food and beverage, he will also need the funds to print brochures, to hand out to the delegates in order to get the votes he needs.

We all give money to other candidates, whether Ron Paul or Steve Kubby or George Phillies, or someone else. We need to start giving money for Chris’s campaign, because unless he can afford to get to Denver, he will be unable to continue his campaign. It would be a travesty if a qualified candidate such as Chris was not seriously considered for the LP’s Vice Presidential nomination, solely because he lacks the funds to attend the convention. We can do much better than that, especially with a candidate who has proven his worth. If we all pitch in, we can get Chris to Denver.

You can make donations to Chris’s campaign by clicking here, or you can click directly on the “donate” link on his website, which will take you to the same place. You can donate by credit card, debit card, or by setting up other payment arrangements via PayPal.

While I normally would never ask anyone to donate to a specific campaign, I’m making an exception in this case. Chris is “one of us”, a valuable and respected member of the blogosphere, a valuable and respected contributor to Last Free Voice, and a valuable and respected member of the libertarian movement, who has given freely not only of his time and expertise on other campaigns, but also has managed to engage in hands-on activism while in college and trying to raise a family.

Chris is not just another libertarian on the internet, waxing philosophical about libertarianism, who suddenly decides he should be nominated to represent the LP in a lofty position; nor is is a Johnny-Come-Lately to the LP who suddenly decided he should be nominated for for the Vice Presidency; he has actually made many years of sacrifices which benefit us all, and he has the experience and education to back up his campaign for the Vice Presidency.

Unlike many candidates, Chris is not looking to raise millions. He has set a goal of $3000 to attend the LP Convention, and since I used to live in Denver, I can assure you that it’s a very reasonable goal, especially since it will also cover the costs of his campaign brochures.

I have made a commitment to donate $100 to Chris’s campaign, to help him get to Denver. If only 29 more people match that commitment (and I know there are many others who can afford to do so), Chris will have met his goal. However, even if you can only spare $10, or $20, or $50 – or if you can give the legal maximum of $2300 per person, or $4600 per married couple – you can rest easy with that donation, knowing Chris is a tried and proven libertarian, and a candidate who has actually earned that donation through his many years of activism on behalf of libertarians everywhere.

Please, help spread the word. Let’s raise the funds necessary to get Chris to Denver!

Candidate Endorsement: Jake Porter for LNC At-Large

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics on March 16, 2008 at 2:51 am

Jake PorterThe Libertarian Party will soon be holding elections for seats on the Libertarian National Committee (LNC). After a great deal of thought and research, I have decided to endorse Jake Porter, a challenger for At-Large Representative on the LNC.

Though young, Jake already has more political experience than most people will have in a lifetime. He currently serves as Chief of Staff for the George Phillies presidential campaign. Prior to his current position, Jake served as both National Mobilization Facilitator and Associate Chief of Staff for the Phillies campaign. He has also worked on the Brett Blanchfield campaign for Iowa State Representative District 66, and was Web Content Editor for the Rock Howard for Texas State Senate campaign, among other campaigns. He is also the At-Large Representative for the Libertarian Party of Iowa.

Jake has some great ideas which he would like to see implemented during his tenure on the LNC. He believes in strict accountability of the party to its members, and to that end he strongly supports an honest annual report, containing financial information as well as a comparison of LP candidacies from year to year, to be provided to all party members. He also believes in accountability for LNC members, and believes that LNC members have a strict duty to act in the best interest of the LP, rather than acting in their own interest or in accordance with their own personal preferences.

Jake would like to bring back the Advertising and Publication Review Committee, and also strongly supports creating and maintaining college Libertarian groups. He supports the use of technology to save money for the party, and help its candidates become more competitive with mainstream candidates. He is also interested in bringing back and expanding the online resources designed to help libertarians volunteer, recruit candidates and new party members, engage in activism, and otherwise spread the message of libertarianism.

I find Jake to be honest and trustworthy, personable but not a pushover, highly intelligent, and intensely interested in improving the Libertarian Party so it can better compete in today’s political environment; and as such I feel that he would be an excellent addition to the LNC. For that reason as well as the reasons given above, I hereby offer Jake Porter my unqualified endorsement for the position of At-Large Representative on the Libertarian National Committee.

Nolan Chart chooses Jesse Ventura as Ron Paul’s successor

In Barack Obama, Candidate Endorsement, Celebrities, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Medical Marijuana, Politics, Republican on March 13, 2008 at 12:46 am

Could Jesse Ventura win the White House as a Libertarian nominee? I’d say no way, but Jeff Wrobel at Nolan Chart believes he can.

In the spirit of Dr. Paul’s request, it is time to choose his successor. It’s time to choose a candidate who can avoid the pitfalls of the Ron Paul candidacy. As discussed in a previous NolanChart article, Paul’s followers should sponsor a moderate libertarian celebrity for president. In the following mathematical model, I will prove that if Paul’s supporters place Jesse Ventura on the ballot, he will be the next president of the United States.

First: an introduction for those unfamiliar with Jesse Ventura. He’s 56 years old and is a former Navy Seal. He became famous as Jesse “The Body” Ventura in the World Wrestling Federation. He used his success there to become an actor. His most famous role was as a member of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s crack commando team in the movie Predator, where he uttered his most memorable line: “I ain’t got time to bleed.” In 1998 he ran (as Jesse “The Mind” Ventura) against very well-known candidates, Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Hubert Humphrey III, for governor of Minnesota — and Ventura won!

Jesse Ventura could be placed at about the center of the Libertarian quadrant of the Nolan Chart. He describes himself as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”. Like most libertarians he supports a smaller government in general, lower taxes, gay rights, medicinal marijuana, instant-runoff voting, opposes helmet and seatbelt laws, opposes the use of the National Guard overseas, and opposed the teachers union. In a few areas he disagrees with pure libertarians; for instance, he approves of well-funded government-run lower education and government-run public transportation.

Ventura can avoid most of the troubles that befell Ron Paul. First, Ventura is taken somewhat seriously by the media since he has actually served in a high public executive office (as both a mayor and governor) and has considerable media experience with his own radio and TV talk shows. Second, and most importantly, he is not as radical a libertarian as Ron Paul, so he’ll appeal more to liberals, centrists, and conservatives. Third, he is not nearly as old as Ron Paul, has an imposing 6′ 4″ frame, and (no disrespect to the very honorable Dr. Paul) has a fair deal of charisma.

You can read the entire article, including his mathematical predictions, here.

Outright Libertarians endorses George Phillies

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, George Phillies, Libertarian, People in the news, Politics on January 18, 2008 at 8:12 pm

George PhilliesPosted by Rob Power on Outright Libertarians blog:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I recently saw a message from Log Cabin Republicans entitled “Who Can Log Cabin Endorse for President?” The article described how this may be the first brokered GOP convention in 60 years, and that Log Cabin would be working to see that the lesser of evils with respect to gay rights would win the GOP nomination.In contrast, we at Outright Libertarians have had an embarrassment of riches this year, with three of our candidates getting a perfect score on our scorecard, and the one who differed with us on marriage at least matching Clinton and Obama (and surpassing all of the Republicans) by supporting civil unions. We had a serious debate in our Executive Committee as to whether we ought to make any endorsement at all prior to the LP nominating convention in Denver.But in the final analysis, there was only one Libertarian with a perfect score on our scorecard who was actively campaigning (for himself, not for some major-party candidate), who had a truly national campaign, who was receiving media attention (including magazines and television), and who has continued to receive FEC-reportable campaign contributions that are better than any Libertarian candidate in recent history.For these reasons, the Executive Committee of Outright Libertarians voted on January 16 to endorse George Phillies for the 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination.

From his interview in The Advocate magazine, to his one-liner response to a marriage equality question at a debate in socially conservative Fresno, California — “We’ve already solved that problem in Massachusetts” — we can tell that Dr. Phillies would never try to rationalize anti-LGBT bigotry as a way to “grow” the Libertarian Party. He recognizes that Liberty is impossible so long as the boot of big government remains on the neck of any disfavored minority group.

Outright Libertarians proudly supports George Phillies and calls on all of our members and allies to attend the Libertarian National Convention in Denver this May and cast their nominating vote for Dr. Phillies.