Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Candidate Interview’

Scott Boman – on the next “Vortex of Freedom” Radio Show

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on June 24, 2008 at 9:55 pm

“Vortex of Freedom” Radio Show – Saturday

6:00PM Eastern

Scott Boman – Candidate for U.S. Senate

Scott Boman, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate from Michigan is the guest. Topics to be discussed include his campaign and issues affecting Michigan.

Call-in Number: (347) 215-7969

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Bob Barr proves he’s a Republican. Again.

In Congress, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, US Government on May 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm

On the Keith Larson Show on WBT in Charlotte, NC (Tuesday, May 13, 2008), Bob Barr explained why Republicans should vote for him.

… so in a sense, the Republicans ought to embrace my effort, because we’re going to be pulling people out to vote who otherwise wouldn’t be voting and some of them might vote for Republican candidates on the down-ballot.

The entire interview can be found on iTunes in Keith Larson’s collection. It is in the 10 am segment, and the interview (about ten minutes long) is right after the 10 am news break.

Here is the audio link, for those who wish to hear the statement for themselves.

Barr does not mention supporting Libertarian candidates, and of course that is because he actively supports pro-war, pro-torture, pro-wiretapping Republican candidates, even while sitting on the Libertarian National Committee.

Barr clearly has no interest in promoting the Libertarian Party; it is just a vehicle for him. His true interest lies solely in repairing his own damaged reputation as a “conservative values” Republican, after he was thoroughly humiliated when seamy details of his personal life were revealed following the Clinton impeachment.

You can read more about Bob Barr’s strange Libertarian candidacy at the following LFV links.

Barr still “exploring”, with convention just 18 days away. Why?

Bob Barr’s “emotional distress”

Jim Casarjian-Perry: Bob Barr hits home

Bob Barr: An Enemy of Libertarians

How will Bob Barr spend your money?

What positions does Bob Barr support?

________________________________

Source: Susan Hogarth blog

George Phillies answers Marc Montoni’s questions

In Congress, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, Terrorism, US Government, War on April 23, 2008 at 10:09 pm

This past week, our very own PaulieCannoli posted “Marc Montoni has questions for Bob Barr. How about you?” on Third Party Watch.

George PhilliesWhile to my knowledge Barr has not answered those questions, his opponent Dr. George Phillies has answered them. Below is Dr. Phillies’ response.

12 Questions by Marc Montoni

Marc offers a baker’s dozen of questions. Of course, I’m not Bob Barr, so my answers are not the same.

1. Mr. Barr, while a congressman, you supported a lot of pork, including federal cash for Gwinnett, Bartow, and Cherokee airports and transportation projects. You also steered business to Lockheed-Martin’s Marietta, GA plant for the C-130 cargo plane and the gold-plated F-22 Raptor fighter. How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

Phillies: I’ve called for huge reductions in every part of the Federal budget. Those pork barrel contracts and corporate welfare schemes will face vetos in a Phillies administration.

2. Mr. Barr, you supported Bush’s military tribunals for Iraqis captured during the war (“Barr Stands Behind President on Tribunal Procedures” 3/21/2002). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? And given that the Constitution doesn’t say its protections are only for citizens, how does your support of depriving individuals of their rights encourage government to properly respect the rights of people who are citizens?

George Bush claimed that as President he had the right to try terrorists before military tribunals. Of course, this is complete nonsense, because our Constitution guarantees the right of trial by jury. (Prisoners of War are not tried; they are detained.) George Bush made this claim this because he’s not loyal to the Constitution. As President, I will replace Federal officers who try to ignore the Constitution with loyal, patriotic civil servants who love our country, love our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and are willing to make sacrifices to defend them.

3. Mr. Barr, you supported federal interference in assisted suicide (“Barr Praises Administration Stance Against Suicide Doctors”, 11/8/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? And have you ever sat at a patient’s bedside while he was writhing in agonizing pain for weeks on end, waiting to die, and explained to him why he couldn’t choose a dignified manner of death as the sole owner of his own body?

Two years ago, my mother died in bed, in her own living room, with my brother and I by her side. Fortunately, she was in no pain. Others are much less lucky as death approaches. I strongly support laws protecting compassionate care and laws that permit mentally competent persons facing imminent and painful death to choose the moment of their demise. Government should have no role in this matter of decisions made by mentally competent adults.

4. Mr. Barr, you supported federal meddling in contracts between HMO’s and their customers (“Barr Hails Passage of HMO Reform Legislation”, 8/2/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? What does abrogating the terms of contracts have to do with freedom?

I support the validity of non-fraudulent contracts freely entered into by knowing and consenting adults. I have called for interstate competition in the provision of health insurance, so that people have a wider range of choices in their medical care arrangements. I also call for putting all medical care costs on the same tax basis, to eliminate the Federal corporate welfare subsidy of some health insurance arrangements.

5. Mr. Barr, you supported giving money to religious organizations for charitable programs (“Barr Hails Passage of President’s Faith-Based Initiative”, 7/19/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller
government?

Phillies: I am entirely opposed to giving government money to religious organizations, when the charitable organization’s religious and charitable activities are irretrievably commingled. There should be an iron wall of separation ensuring that our tax money is not spent for the benefit of particular religious organizations.

6. Mr. Barr, you supported a wholesale expansion of the fed into schools with your cosponsorship of H.R. 1 in 2001—“The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” (“Barr Cosponsors Bush Education Bill”, 3/22/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

Phillies: I call for the immediate repeal of No Child Left Behind.

7. Mr. Barr, you supported a discriminatory ban on Wiccan expression in the military (“Barr Demands End To Taxpayer-funded Witchcraft On American Military Bases, May 18, 1999). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

Phillies: I have condemned Republican efforts to organize army persecution of Wiccans. Should soldiers should be allowed, on their own time and using their own resources, to conduct religious services at the base where they were stationed? Of course they should. The people in question did not even ask the army to construct a religious building for them, only to use an otherwise vacant field for worship.

And, while I am at it, I also condemn Republican efforts to revive school prayer. That was an issue in the 2007 Kentucky republican gubernatorial primary. One of the autodial tapes attacking Republican Anne Northrop, for having voted for school prayer only thirteen times out of fourteen, was according to recorded by… Bob Barr. While he was a sitting member of the LNC.

8. Mr. Barr, you supported summarily evicting students from school for bringing a gun onto school property — seemingly forgetting that millions of young Americans did this right into the seventies — regardless of whether they were simply going hunting after school or not. You apparently wanted to forget that the Constitution doesn’t just protect the rights of adults, but children too (“Testimony of U.S. Representative Bob Barr on The Child Safety and Protection Act of 1999, Before The House Committee on Rules”, June 14, 1999). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

I condemn this Federal intervention into the conduct of local schools. The only way to avoid this question is to work, as I do, for separation of school and state. When children are private or home schooled, the Federal question vanished, because it is purely a matter of parental and contractual discretion.

9. Mr. Barr, you voted with the majority to further socialize medicine by voting for H.R. 4680, the Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2000 (June 28, 2000). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

America is flat-out broke. We don’t have the money for this program. We simply can’t afford it. It mostly has to go. Unsurprisingly, the Republican Congress failed to investigate effectively the cost of the program before voting for it.

10. Mr. Barr, you supported flag-waving nationalistic fervor by voting several times in favor of a constitutional amendment to prohibit the physical desecration of the United States Flag; in 2000 it was HJ Resolution 33 (June 24, 1999). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? What does the flag-worship cult have to do with liberty?

I am 100% in support of freedom of speech. Nonetheless, the flag-burning amendment is a farce. If passed and put into effect, which I certainly hope will not take place, it invites opponents of the current Republican War Party leadership to burn objects that are look more and more like flags, without being flags.

11. Will you or have you openly, publicly, and clearly repudiated all of these previous nanny-state actions of yours?

See above.

12. Why did you wait until you’re no longer in congress to repudiate them? Shouldn’t you have thought about all of that Leviathan-state-building you were doing while you were in congress and it actually mattered?

I haven’t had to flip flop on issues. I have had people suggest to me ways of making my message more effective, generally by stressing the positive, good-news part of the discussion. The hope of the shining libertarian city on the sunlit hill of liberty is sometimes a more effective lure than other alternatives.

13. Oh, yes, that last question: “How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?”

I organized a Federal PAC and a Massachusetts State PAC. They’ve had to be inactive during my campaign, for legal reasons, but they will be back. I helped organize a libertarian 527 organization, Freedom Ballot Access, that raised more than $18,000 for Mike Badnarik’s ballot access. My organizations fund Libertarian candidates, not Republican candidates running against Libertarians.

I’ve written two books on our party’s tactics and history. My newsletters Libertarian Strategy Gazette and Let Freedom Ring! have brought Libertarian Party news across America. I’ve distributed the Libertarian Candidate Campaign Support disk, assembled by Bonnie Scott and I, for free to hundreds of fellow libertarian candidates. And I’m currently state chair of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts.

That’s how I’ve worked for smaller government.

Submit Your Questions!

In Congress, Democrats, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, US Government on April 23, 2008 at 12:50 am

On May 3rd, I will be conducting an interview with J.Skyler McKinley for my Blog Talk Radio Show, “Live From Court Street”. Skyler is the National Press Secretary for the Mike Gravel for President Campaign. Elfninosmom conducted a great interview with Mike Gravel himself a few weeks ago here at Last Free Voice, where we learned a lot about the latest libertarian convert.

Now that a few weeks have passed, I wanted to find out what direction the campaign is heading as we inch closer to Denver. Will Bob Barr’s eventual “official” announcement cause any concern for the Gravel team? Has Mike faced any hostility from libertarians who have spent years pouring their hearts and souls into the cause of freedom, while on the campaign trail? Does the Senator have plans to remain active with the party should he fail to gain the nomination? I know these are questions I would like to see answered. How about you, the readers? Is there a question you would like the National Press Secretary to answer?

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. I’ll select a few. Since this is a live show, you can also call in and ask your question directly. The show begins at 7:30pm Eastern on May 3rd and the interview with Skyler will be at 8pm. If you would like to interact during the segment, you may do so at 646-200-0234.

To listen live on the 3rd (or any Saturday), visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/livefromcourtstreet.

Online access to Heartland Libertarian Convention

In Christine Smith, Democrats, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, War, Wayne Allen Root on April 5, 2008 at 6:17 am

The Heartland Libertarian Conference has provided audio of a meet’n’greet with the candidates today.

They will also offer a live broadcast of today’s debates, starting at 11:00 am EST; since it is on blogtalk radio, interested parties will be able to listen to it afterward, if necessary or desirable.

Here is the notice (with thanks to Steve Gordon at Third Party Watch)

Friday and Saturday Night we will broadcasting live from the Heartland Libertarian Convention in Kansas City, MO.

Friday night show is from 6:30 Pm till 8:30 Pm. We will be interviewing Local, State,and National Libertarian Candidates. Saturday 10:00 AM till 12:00 PM we will be broadcasting live the Libertarian Presidential Debates. Concluding with speeches from Bill Redpath, National L.P. Chairman and Our Keynote Speech from Former U.S. Representative Bob Barr. Tune in from 1:30 till 3:30 PM [on Saturday] to see if Rep. Barr will enter the Presidential race.

Thank You,

Teddy Fleck
www.blogtalkradio.com/showmelibertarians

The Mike Gravel campaign will be videotaping the debates for public distribution, according to Skyler McKinley of the Gravel campaign. As soon as we have access to those videos, we will post them here.

The candidates participating in tomorrow’s debates are Mike Gravel, George Phillies, Wayne Allyn Root, Christine Smith, Mike Jingozian, and Mary Ruwart. This will be the first debate for Senator Gravel since he announced that he was leaving the Democrats behind to seek the Libertarian Party nomination; as well as the first debate for Dr. Mary Ruwart since she announced her candidacy.

LP Presidential Candidate, Senator Mike Gravel, Interviewed By Newsweek

In Barack Obama, Censorship, Democracy, Democrats, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, US Government, War on April 1, 2008 at 12:11 am

Senator Mike GravelSenator Mike GravelLP Presidential candidates normally don’t get this level of media exposure, ever. Senator Mike Gravel’s switch to the Libertarian Party is causing a great deal of positive mainstream media attention. Below is an excerpt from the Newsweek interview, posted today. I will note that Last Free voice beat Newsweek to the punch, interviewing Senator Gravel within 48 hours of his decision to run as an LP candidate.

After the crowded presidential primary shrunk from eight Democrats and 11 Republicans to only three viable candidates between the two parties, what’s a spurned presidential hopeful to do? Well, if you’re Ron Paul, you ignore John McCain‘s inevitability and keep running anyway. If you’re former U.S. senator Mike Gravel, you switch parties.

Last Monday, the former Democrat swung by the Libertarian Party‘s national headquarters and defected. “We handed him a [membership] card on the spot,” says Shane Cory, the party’s executive director. Two days later, Gravel formally announced he would run to be the Libertarian candidate for president, joining a field of 15 others. Cory wouldn’t comment on Gravel’s chances at the convention, which will take start in Denver on May 22, but he did say that Gravel’s party swap has garnered some much-appreciated exposure for the Libertarians.

Gravel spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Sarah Elkins about the 2008 race and why he’s still running. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: You’ve been a Democrat for your entire political career. Was it a tough decision to switch parties?
Mike Gravel:
It had been eating at me–believe me–ever since I was a senator [he served from 1969 to 1981]. When I was in the Senate, I was a maverick and, at the end of my term, I was not particularly happy with my progress in terms of partisanship with the Democrats and Republicans. So when I left office, I stayed away from partisan politics altogether. But when I decided to get back in the game and to get my message out to the American people about the National Initiative [a political movement that would allow ballot initiatives at the federal level], I had to pick a party that would allow me to get into the debates … But of all the parties I was probably closest to the Libertarians.

It sounds like you’ve been interested in leaving the Democratic Party for some time. Why didn’t you make the move sooner?
It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility up until General Electric [which owns NBC] along with the Democratic Party leadership, said they would get me out of the debates. And they did. GE said I did not meet their criteria for participating in the debates. I think it’s very interesting that a defense contractor said I had to meet their criteria in order to participate in the MSNBC debates. We’ve really come down in democracy when a defense contractor can decide what the American people hear from a candidate. It was a [Democratic National Committee] sanctioned debate, so we complained to the DNC and found out that Howard Dean had agreed to it and that not a single one of the other Democratic nominees raised a finger in protest, meaning that they were totally tone deaf to the censorship of the military-industrial complex.

So you didn’t consider running as a Libertarian from the get-go?
I would have preferred to run as an independent or Libertarian or Green Party, but I knew that none of those candidates would have gotten any traction. So I used my position as a legitimate Democratic candidate to get my name out there.

You still have to win the Libertarian primary in order to run as the party’s candidate.
I am probably the most well known and certainly the most experienced in terms of running for president and as a government official. I have 16 years of experience in elected office and have been a senator, and I have a great deal of foreign-policy experience.

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You can read the very interesting three-page interview excerpt with Newsweek here.

A Conversation With Mike Gravel

In Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Democracy, Democrats, Drug War, Global Warming, History, Iraq War, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Medical Marijuana, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Second Amendment, Taxation, US Government on March 28, 2008 at 1:21 am

Mike GravelEarlier today, I had an opportunity to speak by telephone with Senator Mike Gravel, a presidential candidate who has switched from the Democratic Party to the Libertarian Party. Senator Gravel welcomed my questions, and I had a very positive impression of him. He is extremely well spoken, and quite passionate about many of the issues near and dear to the Libertarian Party.

My purpose, of course, was to ascertain why he decided to switch parties, and whether he truly holds Libertarian views as opposed to only conveniently holding libertarian views in order to get the LP nomination. I quickly discovered that his most basic belief, which he has provably held for over 30 years, is thoroughly libertarian: the right of the American people to bypass and even overturn Congress and the President, when those elected officials act in contradiction to the will of the people.

Senator Gravel believes that “the American people are not empowered to do anything, and this is wrong.” He therefore believes Americans should have the ability to directly make laws through federal ballot initiatives. At present, many states allow citizens to present laws directly through initiatives which, if supported widely enough, will be placed on the ballot to potentially become law; an example of this is Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California. Senator Gravel believes citizens should be able to do the same thing on the federal level, under his National Initiative For Democracy.

The government is a tool, the people can use it. But if the people have the direct power to use it, then you’re going to see the government as a real tool, not the tool you have when the special interests determine how the tool of government is handled, by the lobbyists, who pay for the campaigns, who manipulate you to vote for them. That’s the process that has to change.

When he says that the government has the duty to release information to the public, so they can make sound decisions, he is not blowing smoke, nor is he promoting something he hasn’t already done himself. During the Vietnam War, Senator Gravel released the Pentagon Papers, reading thousands of pages into the Congressional Record, so that Americans would finally know the truth behind that war; and his defiance, by informing Americans of information which was previously viewed as classified, was a pivotal moment in American history.

Under his National Initiative For Democracy we, as citizens, could end the war, end the federal income tax, or pass a federal law allowing Americans to carry guns openly; we could make any law we want, as long as there is sufficient citizen support for it. Senator Gravel says that “the real power in this country does not lie with the leadership, with Congress or with the President; it lies with you, the American citizen”. This program would in fact become an important part of the checks and balances system, which Senator Gravel believes should have been in force from the beginning, so citizens could more easily keep Congress and the President in check.

Of course, when he was running for President in the Democratic Party, the Democrats weren’t very happy with that idea. I asked the Senator whether they oppose it because it threatens their power, or if they oppose it because they believe the average American is unable to make sound legislative decisions. He immediately replied, “Both.” He went on to explain that “the average person in Congress believes they are more intelligent than the average American, and there are a few in Congress who are very intelligent; but at the same time the average American is smarter than the average Congressman, and perfectly capable of making sound decisions.”

His suspicion of the leading presidential candidates was made clear when he said, “Don’t trust anyone who says they have all the answers. Nobody has all the answers; I don’t have all the answers. But the American public knows what is best for them, and I trust them to make those decisions.”

Talking war with Senator Gravel, for someone my age who lived during Vietnam, is like getting into a time machine, and going back to the last destructive war this country faced, when he forced a filibuster to end the draft, and thus end the Vietnam war. Senator Gravel was a maverick, and he defied Congress again and again.

As you may recall, even before we sent troops to Iraq, he warned the American public that there were no WMDs in Iraq. I asked him why, in his opinion, President Bush lied about the presence of WMDs. “Oil. He wanted to get control of the oil, and it’s all just more American imperialism and the military-industrial complex.” He went a step further, and agreed that Bush and Cheney should not only be impeached, but that they should face trial for war crimes. “Americans must stop thinking we’re above the law,” he stated. He believes that the United States should stop getting involved in foreign conflicts altogether, and “stop being the world’s policeman”.

Senator Gravel is completely against the War on Drugs, which he categorizes as a failure. “We spend 50 to 85 billion dollars a year on a drug war that does no good to anybody other than criminalizing people who shouldn’t be criminals. We have 2.3 million people in jail right now, and half of them shouldn’t even be in jail …. if you want marijuana, why not go to a package store? A fifth of gin will do more damage to you, to your health, than will a pack of marijuana. As for the rest of the drugs, why not legalize them and regulate them? We put addicts in jail when they aren’t criminals, but there they learn to be better criminals, to steal and commit crime to feed their habit. It’s a public health problem, and we need to solve it as a public health problem, and save all this money we’re spending to keep people in jail for drugs, $30,000 a year for each of them.”

He is therefore in support of decriminalizing and regulating all drugs. “If you need to get some coke, go to a doctor and get a prescription. If you’re an addict, you’ll have to register so we can help you. But the way we do it now, we catch you with drugs, we throw you in jail, and you don’t get any help.”

With regard to whether legalizing all drugs would increase addiction, he states, “That’s what they told us about alcohol, during Prohibition. Alcohol is more addictive than marijuana. Should you go to jail for having marijuana, when you don’t go to jail for having whiskey and alcohol? It’s a stupid policy, it’s gutless, and it’s damaging our inner cities. Seventy percent of the people in jail are African-Americans, and most of it is for drugs. It’s gutless on the part of our leaders to not solve this, to not treat it as a public health problem rather than a criminal problem ….. For those who say we have a drug problem, yeah, we have a problem, and it’s with stupidity at the highest levels of our government.”

As for those in prison for drug offenses, he would educate nonviolent drug offenders – whether it’s a college degree or technical training – then grant them a full pardon so they can not only be released from prison, but also have the tools they need to immediately become fully productive members of society.

He is for Second Amendment rights, saying “I have a weapon, and I’ll fight to keep it.” Insofar as how openly Americans should be able to carry weapons, he referred me back to the federal ballot initiative, saying that the American people should decide that issue.

When I asked him about reducing the size of government as well as its spending, he agreed that it has gotten completely out of hand, and that severe cutbacks should be made. The first steps would be dismantling the IRS (which would no longer be needed with his national sales tax program), and the “War On Drugs” arm of the DEA (since all drugs would be legalized). He also believes that “if we empower the people to make laws, they will shrink the government.”

I could actually hear the thrill in his voice when one question pointed out that libertarians are, by and large, for open borders. He believes that we have so many illegal immigrants here because our own laws caused them to not have work available in their own country; he states that 1.3 million farming jobs were lost in Mexico when NAFTA was passed. For that reason, he believes repealing NAFTA would cure most of the illegal immigration, as more jobs are created in their home countries. As for those who are already here and don’t want to leave, he wants to simply “put them on the path to citizenship.” He believes that we should create completely open borders, similar to what is in place in Europe, whereby citizens could cross into or from Canada or Mexico, with no questions asked.

It is undeniable that the federal government is deeply in debt, and must raise revenue. Senator Gravel, however, is opposed to the income tax, since it over-taxes the poor and middle-class, and grossly undertaxes the wealthy. He therefore proposes dismantling the IRS altogether. He would replace the income tax with a 23% sales tax, and give a rebate each month to every American family to pay for necessities. Senator Gravel believes that this would allow the poor and middle class, who spend mostly on necessities such as food and housing, to have far more disposable income. He believes this program will create the same amount of federal revenue, but in a manner which is far more fair to the poor and working class.

“I don’t know whether it’s a step to end taxation, but at this point it is a good way to fund needed revenue. Right now we tax income and investments, and investment income is taxed at a lower rate than income. We don’t tax the wealthy, and that’s what’s wrong with our system.” He again reiterated that the American people could make the final decision regarding whether federal taxation should eventually end, through his ballot initiative program.

Senator Gravel believes that Social Security funds should be left alone, rather than used by the government for other purposes as is now the norm. At this point, most Americans have already paid into Social Security. He wants everyone’s Social Security funds invested in the free market, and he wants everyone to get an accounting of their money and interest earned, just as if they had invested it with a bank; and if they die before spending what they have invested and earned, he believes that the surplus in their Social Security account should go to their heirs.

As for private investments, he believes his sales tax program with refunds for necessities will give the average American the additional funds needed to save in an IRA or other investment vehicle, as additional retirement savings to supplement what they have already put into Social Security.

He is aware that many libertarians are against Universal Health Care, but believes his plan will meet libertarian standards. He came up with the idea of a Healthcare Security System 30 years ago. Senator Gravel pointed out that he knows the healthcare system “up front and personal”. One year, he ended up with over $150,000 in healthcare costs, and went bankrupt as a result.

He believes the Democratic health care plan, wherein businesses are forced to provide health insurance for their employees, is “the wrong way to go, because it is not the responsibility of businesses to provide healthcare; their job is to be competitive in the global marketplace.” So instead, he wants to enact a Universal Single Payor Voucher plan, similar to the plan which the Veterans Administration has in place. Every American would be given a health care voucher. The vouchers would have a very modest co-pay, and a very modest deductible. Americans would have their choice of hospitals, their choice of doctors, and a choice of five or six plans. There would be no exclusions for preexisting conditions.

He doesn’t think we need to raise taxes in order to provide health care for all Americans; we just need to make our healthcare system considerably more efficient than it is at present. He believes that if we computerize healthcare records, it will streamline the system, because he says 30% of healthcare cost is in paperwork. He intends to provide every American with basic healthcare services, and if they want more or different coverage, they can choose to buy additional or supplemental plans in the free market.

He is aware of Ron Paul’s belief that the Federal Reserve is responsible for the inflationary effects which are harmful to poor and middle-class Americans. Senator Gravel wants to reexamine the Federal Reserve, and study the gold standard with an eye toward a global monetary system, which will better protect the value of our money in a global marketplace.

Senator Gravel was pivotal in shepherding the Alaska Pipeline though Congress, but at this point he would oppose any effort to drill for oil in the Alaskan Wildlife Preserve. He states that instead, he wants us to end our dependence upon oil within five years. His goal would be to replace oil with alternative energy sources.

I asked Senator Gravel if there was any one moment – a light bulb moment, if you will – in which he realized that he was a libertarian. He stated, “Not really. It’s an awareness that goes back 30, 40 years, that the best way to to change things was from inside, within the power structure. Now, it’s time for a change. I am joining the Libertarian Party to become its presidential nominee. I can take the Libertarian Party to a level they’ve never been before. I am against war, I am against taxing income, I am against the war on drugs. I am for smaller government, open borders, and the ability of the American people to self-govern. I am a libertarian. I scored seven out of seven on Reason’s “Seven Ways To Win Votes” – I am for internet gambling, for medical marijuana (but I go much further than that, by decriminalizing all drugs) …. so I’m more libertarian than Ron Paul, because he scored lower. And I will work very hard as the Libertarian Party’s candidate, I will get the libertarians the national playing field they need to grow. And not just libertarians, either. I will raise the playing field for all third parties.”

All in all, Senator Gravel impressed me as sincere, intelligent, and passionate about libertarian issues. I did not at all get the impression that he is a pseudo-libertarian; I think he’s the real deal, because his actions even decades ago indicated that he is a libertarian. He left the Democratic Party because he realized that they are not receptive to his ballot initiative plan, and are not in agreement with his healthcare plan, his opposition to the War on Drugs, and many other issues. He has the presence, he has the speaking ability and dynamic personality, and he has the name recognition and contacts to place us on a more even playing field.

The Democrats’ loss may very well be our gain.

Senator Gravel suggested that those interested in more information about his views read his book “Citizen Power: A Mandate For Change”, which can be ordered online here. It is also available on Amazon.com, but their new book price is actually several dollars higher than the price on his website. Amazon’s description of the book is as follows.

As author of Citizen Power in 1971, Senator Mike Gravel determined that much of what he wrote then is apropos in America today; hence, the release of Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change that reflects the accuracy of his evaluation of problems then, his current position on a number of issues facing America now, and the process that Americans can undertake to become empowered as lawmakers in partnership with their elected officials. Most chapters of Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change present material from the original book, as well as new information and revised positions. The exceptions are Chapter 2: The National Initiative, and Chapter 7: The War on Drugs. All other chapters cover similar topics in both books, but with the senator’s fresh insights for today’s world. Each chapter ends with how the National Initiative, once enacted, could help solve the problems presented in that chapter. The Table of Contents is as follows: Chapter 1 – Now It’s the Citizen’s Turn Chapter 2 – The National Initiative Chapter 3 – America’s Failure in Education Chapter 4 – Tax Reform – The Fair Tax Chapter 5 – The Health Security System Chapter 6 – National Environmental & Energy Policy Chapter 7 – The War on Drugs Chapter 8 – Crime & Punishment Chapter 9 – The Shroud of Secrecy Chapter 10 – American Imperialism Chapter 11 – Global Governance Chapter 12 – Who Stole the American Dream?

All three customer reviews give the book five stars. There is a “look inside the book” feature, and based on that material and given that it was originally written in 1971, then updated recently, I don’t think there is any real question whether Senator Gravel is a libertarian. Based upon his statements in that book, it appears that he was a libertarian even before there was a Libertarian Party.

Here are the reviews:

It’s all about lawmaking!,

February 25, 2008
By Goodrich (Dearborn, MI USA) – See all my reviews

Those who still want Mike Gravel’s original Citizen Power, but can’t afford to pay over $200 for the few rare copies that are available, will be pleased with the new Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change. In some chapters, Senator Gravel has incorporated substantial excerpts from his original book and then updated his thoughts on each issue, often admitting that his position on a certain issue in the 1970s was naive and that he now views that issue with a mature mind. This is a refreshingly candid look at a presidential candidate’s positions on key issues facing the American people today. Most importantly, however, is Chapter 2 and supplemental appendices about the National Initiative, which Senator Gravel and some of the nation’s top constitutional scholars crafted to empower citizens as lawmakers; after all, lawmaking is the cornerstone of democracy. All subsequent chapters address how the National Initiative for Democracy (NI4D)would work to alleviate problems, such as healthcare and education.

From ending the war on drugs to restructuring the UN,

March 8, 2008

Senator Gravel has produced an engaging book! He presents complex and difficult issues facing the US and the world in understandable prose and proposes solutions that call for transformational change. In response to a legislative process controlled by corporations and special interests Gravel proposes the National Initiative on Democracy that would empower the people to legislate through direct democracy in national referendums on issues. In response to ineffective global governance Gravel calls for a restructuring of the UN including an end to veto powers for the permanent members of the Security Council. I was delighted to see his position on American exceptionalism. Granted that we are #1 in the world in the numbers of people in our prisons, on many key measures such as education, healthcare we are far from being the best in the world. I was most pleased by the optimism of Mike Gravel’s vision for the future of America in the world. He sees solutions to problems such as global warming, energy, and national security through greater cooperation with other countries. The beginning of his space policy statement on page 59 is particularly encouraging: “SPACE REPRESENTS A LIMITLESS FRONTIER for humankind. Laws modeled on the Law of the Sea need to be agreed upon to make energy, natural resources, and knowledge available in a manner that fosters greater cooperation, rather than greater competition, among all nations. In keeping with this spirit, space must not be militarized.”

Gravel’s Populist Manifesto,

March 19, 2008
By D. Douglas (California) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

An eloquent and lucid political manifesto by an increasingly refreshing, honest and prudent politician.
Citizen Power showcases a myriad of power-to-the-people proposals, and sways from your politics as usual demagoguery, while Gravel’s prose is filled with solemnity and earnestness, contrary to his political opponents.
The book’s motif is the National Initiative for Democracy, a populist program that will enable ordinary citizens to become legislatures, moreover eliminating large bureaucracies and big government lapdogs.
An emphasis is brought upon the military-industrial complex and its draconian, unproductive results. Suggesting the ultimate disintegration of the latter, if not grave consequences will ensue
Gravel’s proposals on education is most interesting, and offer an ingenious subsidiary, if utilized in orthodoxy, to our failing educational system.
The War on Drugs chapter was dismaying at least, and produced a sharp contempt for the activities our government continues to perpetuate.

I have probably forgotten important topics of this book, and my review is ultimately asymmetrical and lackluster. I can only recommend this fine book, so you can make your own judgments and discoveries.

Senator Gravel was kind enough to state that, if any of our readers have additional questions, I can phone him again to get those answers. Therefore, if you have any questions which aren’t answered here, post them and in about a week I will give him another call to get your answers for you.

Christine Smith openly insults male LP opponents during radio interview

In Barry Hess, Christine Smith, Crazy Claims, Fraud, George Phillies, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Politics, Shine on you crazy diamond, Steve Kubby on March 15, 2008 at 3:02 am

Christine Smith looking presidential, LOLI will readily admit that I am not a fan of Christine Smith; in fact, I have been quite harsh in my criticisms of her and her campaign. Honestly, I felt a little bad about it …. until now. I realize now that I probably wasn’t harsh enough.

She was recently interviewed by WTAN-AM1340. Here is a short excerpt from Third Party Watch:

I’ll highlight the portions which might be controversial, debatable or otherwise of interest.

“I’m the leading candidate by all the ways we can measure it.”

I’ll note that winning one non-binding primary (but losing others) doesn’t mean all that much—especially when losing to someone who isn’t even on the ballot. Here is one measurable standard which indicates that Smith is currently in 4th place among convention delegates—if one doesn’t count NOTA, which is currently outpolling Smith, too.

“These are people who are seeking the LP nomination, but the majority are far from being libertarian.” […]“Almost everyone running, with just probably a couple of exceptions, are not libertarian. They are men doing it, I guess, for their egos.”

I’m not sure what definition of libertarian she’s using, but most of the candidates certainly have libertarian and/or Libertarian credentials. Among the list of 14 LP presidential candidates, there are certainly some whose libertarian / Libertarian credentials could be questioned. However, if there are only “a couple” of libertarians running, I wondering which of these people she’s accusing of being non-libertarian: Steve Kubby, George Phillies, Bob Jackson, Jim Burns, Barry Hess, Daniel Williams.

Stephen Gordon at Third Party Watch summed up the interview this way:

Smith was quick thinking, quick talking and well spoken throughout the interview. She displayed a fair amount of confidence—but I’m sure some listeners will suggest that her level of confidence borders on hype.

You can read the entire article on Third Party Watch here.

You can listen to the interview for yourself here.

When I read that she thinks libertarian men are running to feed their egos, I thought, wow. Just, wow. That is incredibly insulting, especially when she is running against men whose libertarian credentials cannot be seriously questioned, and those men include more than “a couple” of candidates who are well-educated and have a great deal of libertarian activism experience. As far as I can tell, Christine doesn’t even have any formal education beyond high school, she has never run for any public office or even an internal LP office, and she is brand-new to the libertarian movement.  Her views have changed even since she announced her candidacy, and are likely to change even more since she is new to the movement.

Given her complete lack of qualifications to represent the Libertarian Party (much less to run the entire country), what makes her think she should be president, if not her own overinflated ego?

My impression is that Christine thinks she is far more popular and important than she really is, which is not at all surprising since she seems to live in a world that the rest of us can’t see. Between her “Peace Prize”, which is in reality nothing but a weirdly-worded certificate given to women from other women, and her “Outstanding American Award” which came from a known con man who was convicted of committing a massive $39 million fraud (and who seems to still be defrauding people, since a gentleman repeatedly discussed on my blog that the same man had stolen 125K from him, and that there is a criminal investigation into the matter), I have to laugh.

It’s a nervous laugh though, because if she gets the LP nomination (which is a serious long shot given that “None Of The Above” regularly polls better than she does), she will prove to be a complete embarrassment to libertarians everywhere, once the mainstream media starts checking into her various lofty claims and comparing them to the reality.

Yes, it may seem that I’m being very hard on her, and I am. The woman is running for President of the United States, not local dog catcher. Since she is female, she has largely escaped the level of criticism the male candidates have faced. However, if we aren’t diligent in investigating and exposing our own presidential candidates prior to the convention, we will almost certainly end up utterly humiliated when the mainstream media does that for us after the convention.

Project Vote Smart

In Barack Obama, Christine Smith, Congress, Democrats, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Republican on February 14, 2008 at 8:02 am

Project Vote SmartI just ran across a website called “Project Vote Smart“. This site gathers information from various candidates for office, so you can view it all in one place, and even very easily compare the candidates if you open them up in side-by-side tabs on your browser.

It is very interesting to see the “political courage test”, which pins the candidates down on the issues. Unfortunately, it appears that most mainstream candidates (including all of the presidential frontrunners from both major parties, and including Ron Paul) have refused to complete the quiz portion. However, Barack Obama did complete the questionnaire when he was running for the Senate, which gives a good insight into how he views the issues; while Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul both refused to complete it even when they were running for Congress. There is no older questionnaire information for any of the other frontrunners.

I think it’s obvious why candidates wouldn’t want to complete it, since it can later easily be used against them. Accordingly, I think any candidate which refuses to answer those questions should be viewed with suspicion.

Some third party presidential candidates did complete the “courage test” though, including libertarians. I was quite surprised to see that I disagree with some libertarian candidates on a few issues I thought we’d agree upon. For example, I was extremely surprised to see that neither Phillies nor Kubby have chosen to eliminate inheritance taxes (Phillies wants to slightly decrease them, while Kubby wants to greatly decrease them). Yet why should the government get any of it, since it’s a gift from one person to another? Christine Smith is the only libertarian candidate to propose eliminating that tax.

On the other hand, Kubby wants to greatly decrease gasoline taxes and certain “sin” taxes (alcohol, cigarettes, etc) while Phillies and Smith want to eliminate those taxes altogether. On those tax issues, I agree with Phillies. I would agree with Smith, but she wants to eliminate ALL federal taxes (including income taxes); and while that’s an idea I’d love to get behind, I don’t think it is realistic, at least not at this time.

I will have to study the candidates’ responses a lot more closely, and I strongly suggest others do the same. While it won’t help much with regard to mainstream candidates who have refused to answer the questionnaire (and personally, I hold that against them because it is to my mind proof that they plan to say one thing to get elected, and do another once they are in office), it does give quite a bit of insight into third party presidential candidates.

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

UPDATE:  I received the following comment from Tom Knapp, Steve Kubby’s Communications Director:

I worked with Steve on filling out the Political Courage Test, and “eliminate” was not offered as an option on the document we got from VoteSmart. I sent them an email when I saw that it appeared on other candidates’ answers, but haven’t ever heard back from them.

Without going over the PCT line by line, I can’t say offhand that EVERY “greatly decrease” would actually have been “eliminate” had that option been visible, the inheritance tax would absolutely have been an “eliminate” item.

Thanks for that info, Tom!

Kent McManigal interviewed by Eric Sundwall

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US on August 24, 2007 at 11:49 am

Since Kent and I are very good online friends, and talk every day (sometimes several times per day) via IM and email but have never met or spoken in “real life”, this was a very big treat for me. After you watch this, you’ll see why I’m proud to call Kent my friend, and why we became friends in the first place. He’s just one helluva nice guy, very intelligent, and extremely personable.

Hat tip to one of my other online friends, Jake Porter.

So, Do You Know Bob Jackson?

In Libertarian Party-US on August 16, 2007 at 8:22 pm

If you answered that question with a “yes”, then you are in the minority. I know Bob Jackson very well and perhaps I can help bridge the gap a bit for those of you who have no idea who this guy is. I was chatting with Bob last night at our local Executive Committee meeting and every time we talk, I find him more and more interesting. Personally I wish he would run for Congress or State Rep, but his goals are pretty set at this point.

So, since I’ve been invited to contribute here at Last Free Voice, I figured my first contribution would be an interview with Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Bob Jackson. The only problem is, I’ve asked him all the questions I care to ask him. I’m out of material at this point. So I’m asking for your help. Email your questions to JasonGatties@Gmail.com or leave a comment here and I’m sure Bob would be more than happy to answer your questions. I’ll take questions until next Wednesday & I’ll have the interview up in a week or so.

If you would like more info, visit BobJackson.org.

Paulie Cannoli Interviews LP Presidential Candidate Steve Kubby

In Libertarian Party-US, Politics on July 19, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Steve KubbyPAULIE CANNOLI: I’ll cut right to the chase. You’re giving this interview to announce your support for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Why?

STEVE KUBBY: Well, let me get the endorsement in first! I support Ron Paul for the GOP’s presidential nomination, and for the presidency. I’m asking my fellow freedom activists to do so as well. If Dr. Paul wins the Republican presidential nomination, I’ll withdraw my candidacy for the LP’s nomination, ask the LP to nominate “None of the Above” at its national convention next year, and go to work as a volunteer on Dr. Paul’s general election campaign. And I’m urging my fellow Libertarians to approach this in the same way. But at the same time, I’ll continue preparing to give the LP the best presidential campaign I can give it if that doesn’t work out.

Now … why? Believe me, this was a tough decision. I am not, and have never been, a Republican. For me, the Libertarian Party has always been, and remains, our last best hope for achieving freedom through the American political process. And until recently my position was that the Libertarian Party needed to stick to its own guns, stake out its own territory. But sometimes a special situation comes along. And this is a VERY special situation.

PC: What makes it special. Or rather, what makes it more special now than it was a week ago or a month ago?

SK: I declared my candidacy for the LP’s nomination last August. Ron Paul declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination in March. According to the 2nd quarter FEC reports that came out this week, he’s raised more money each and every day since then than I have over the entire course of my campaign.

Also, in the last couple of days, there’s been an interesting move in the establishment Republican blogosphere. All of a sudden Ron Paul’s opponents are predicting that he’ll come in second in next month’s Iowa Straw Poll. They’re predicting that because they’re afraid of it … but they wouldn’t be afraid of it if they didn’t think it was likely.

And last week, Libertarian Lists released the results of a poll they did. The poll’s methodology isn’t perfect, but it looks reasonably honest and representative. That poll says that 70% of LP members support Ron Paul, and that the “front runners” in the LP race — George Phillies, myself, and Wayne Allyn Root — are only pulling 2% to 3% each.

PC: So the odds are stacked against you in a big way?

SK: Well, yes, but that’s not the point.

Look … I don’t mind long odds, okay? When I was working to get Proposition 215 passed in California, I couldn’t even count the number of people — including a lot of long-time friends and some very hardcore libertarians — threw the “long odds” argument at me. This will never happen. If we even suggest it, we look crazy. Let’s put a different foot forward. Let’s run away from medical marijuana and find something that doesn’t put people off.

I’m glad I ignored that talk. I’m glad that Proposition 215 passed and that twelve other states have since adopted essentially the same law. We took a real long shot and turned into a bunch of high-profile victories for freedom. So screw the odds. You do what you have to do.

PC: If it’s not the odds, then what is it? Why this sudden change from telling Libertarians to stay the LP course?

SK: There are two things to think about here.

The first is that if I could have put together the kind of campaign in the LP that Paul is running in the GOP, I wouldn’t have considered endorsing him. But I couldn’t — and he did. More people are lining up to vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries right now than have ever lined up to vote for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee. And that number is going up, not down. He’s already raised three times as much money for his nomination campaign than Michael Badnarik’s 2004 presidential campaign was able to raise and spend in that general election. He’s already received more media coverage as a GOP presidential candidate than any LP presidential candidate ever managed to get, and far more than all of the current candidates for the LP’s 2008 presidential nomination combined.

Now, if I think that Ron Paul is a reasonably solid libertarian — and despite the fact that we disagree on some big issues, I do — then at some point I have to look at what he’s accomplishing and ask myself whether my priority is being the big fish in the small LP pond, or whether my priority is advancing liberty, and act accordingly.

Secondly, I don’t just bow down to majority opinion, but I do respect the views of my fellow Libertarians — and 70% of them say that Ron Paul’s campaign is their choice for advancing liberty, at least in this part of this election cycle. If I was convinced that those Libertarians were wrong, I’d keep trying to convince them otherwise. But every day, the evidence that they are right gets more overwhelming. This is a no-brainer. If they’re right, I should be working with them. If they’re wrong, then I’m wrong with them … but I’m also the guy who was working with them, not the guy standing off to the side quoting the long odds at them.

PC: You say you disagree with Paul on some big issues. What are they?

SK: Immigration. Equal rights for non-heterosexuals. The importance of addressing climate change in public policy. Those are the big three that come to mind, and to me they are important issues.

When I decided to run for president, one of my goals was to help the Libertarian Party appeal to the “left” while sticking to its principles. If we think of the party as an airplane, it’s not too hard to figure out why it’s been taxiing up and down the runway for 35 years without ever taking off — it’s only got a “right” wing! I don’t think we’ll get anywhere as a party until we get a lot better at pulling votes and support from the “left” as well, and I think that 2008 is a year when we have incredible opportunities to do so.

Ron Paul is a “right-wing” libertarian, and that’s one of the reasons I kept on plugging for so long after he announced. To the extent that his campaign is successful, it’s going to overshadow the libertarian movement’s “left” outreach in many ways. On the other hand, he’s picking up a lot of “left” support for his opposition to the war on Iraq. We’re just going to need to find ways external to his campaign to get them to stick with us. Believe me, I’ve been thinking about how to do that. A lot.

I disagree with Paul on some major issues. But as one of my friends likes to tell me, “stick two libertarians in a room with an issue, and they’ll come out with three mutually exclusive opinions on it.” If I never supported or worked with anyone I had disagreements with, I’d be a hermit. When it’s all said and done, Ron Paul is working hard to change the focus of America’s political debate, and he’s doing a far better job of it than I or any of the other Libertarian Party candidates are. And when it comes to freedom, I’d rather follow success than lead failure.

PC: So … does this mean your own campaign is over?

SK: Absolutely not. I’m still running for president. My campaign’s first television commercial will debut shortly. I’m continuing to debate my opponents, attend public events as a candidate, and appear on talk radio to make my case. There are important things that need to be said, and I’m saying them. Dr. Paul and I disagree on some issues that I want to skyline, and I firmly believe that I’m the best candidate to represent the party next November. But when 70% of your own party believes so strongly in a candidate that they’re willing to cross party lines to support him at least until he’s out of the running, you owe it to them to back their play.

When the television commercial is finished, we’ll be releasing it on YouTube and through other Internet channels. We’ll be raising money to air it on broadcast and cable television. I’m hoping to get back “on the road” shortly and start attending LP events. I’m also talking with an “Internet radio” outfit about doing a weekly talk show — I just wrapped up a series of 20 weekly podcasts, and I want to get more interactive, change this thing from a lecture to a discussion.

The big difference this endorsement makes is that when people ask me about Ron Paul, I’m not going to ask them to support me instead of Paul — I’m going to tell them that they should support both of us. If Paul can pull this off, great. I’ll be his biggest cheerleader while he’s trying and if he succeeds I’ll shut down my own campaign and support his to the hilt, in and out of the Libertarian Party. But I’ll also continue preparing myself to carry the LP’s banner into the general election if the Republican Party unwisely chooses someone other than Dr. Paul to represent it.

PC: At least one of your campaign staffers has publicly opposed Paul’s campaign in very strident terms. Will there be a staff shakeup?

SK: You’re talking about Tom Knapp, my communications director. I don’t agree with his take on Ron Paul, and he knows that. Part of our agreement for having him on the campaign staff was that he’d remain his own man when he’s not officially speaking for me. I thought that was an acceptable deal and I still do. I hope he’ll come around concerning Dr. Paul, and I’ll keep talking with him about that, but if he leaves the campaign it will be of his own accord. Unless he claims to be speaking for me, he’s only speaking for himself.

Since we are talking about LP candidates…

In Libertarian Party-US, Republican, Wayne Allen Root on July 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

By some lucky alignment of sun, moon and stars, I will be in Las Vegas this weekend to mingle with the USA Basketball team and see the Wright/Hopkins fight. I will also be having lunch with LP presidential nominee hopeful, Wayne Allyn Root. He has agreed to answer some questions from me and libertarian blog readers.

I’ve read Mr. Root’s position page and understand his stated position on the current situation in Iraq (and war in general). But I, like many of you, have seen Eric Dondero’s blog comments that beat the war drum in Mr. Root’s name. Mr. Dondero, with an air of authority, even pumps Mr. Root’s initials in the blog comments- WAR. Realizing that every candidate has enthusiastic supporters that spout off comments that cannot really be attributed to the candidate, I would like to ask Mr. Root if his position on Iraq has been consistent or if it has changed. I’d like to know the thought process behind the answer he gives.

I’d like to know why his Libertarian for President site URL is http://www.millionairerepublican.com. Was it an already happening site and he thought it prudent to modify it for traffic? Question answered by Jason Gatties. Mr. Root is also @ www.rootforamerica.com. I’m not opposed to a LINO candidate any more than I am a RINO candidate (Ron Paul), but I want to know why Mr. Root thinks he should win the LP nomination.

I need your help to find out. Please send any questions you may have of Mr. Root either to my email address or post them in the comments section here.

I don’t want a “purity” test; we are all supporters of the Libertarian Party, but ensuring liberty should be the primary concern. If Mr. Root thinks he is the man to do it, we should give him an opportunity to explain why.

I know there will be thoughtful questions, so I want to say “thank you” in advance.

George Phillies: “Torture is a crime against civilization”

In George Phillies, Torture on July 16, 2007 at 5:00 pm

George Phillies At the South Carolina debate, Republican candidates were asked if they would torture prisoners. Some of them thought torture was just fine.

What is the libertarian answer to the torture question? It’s the American answer, the answer the American people have already given. Torture is a crime against civilization, reviled by all patriotic Americans.

Let’s take it from the top.

First, there is nothing for a President to decide.

Inside the United States, torture is a felony. If you are anywhere in the United States, and you torture someone, you are committing more crimes than I care to list. There is no exception in those laws for government officials.

If you are an American abroad and torture someone, it’s a felony. If your victim dies, you have earned the death penalty. There is no exception in those laws for government officials.

Second, those laws reflect the wisdom of the American people. Torturers are the filth of the earth, properly grouped with child molesters and mercenaries. We need not ask what the founding fathers and their fellows thought of mercenaries. Their position is enshrined in the third verse of The Star-Spangled Banner:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,”

Third, there are people who get their jollies from snatching people off the streets, hustling them off to remote places, and inflicting great pain and degradation on them. These people have their enablers: television producers and actors who portray torturers as heroes and patriots. Torturers and their advocates are perverts, shunned by decent human beings.

Finally, thoughtful Americans should find it hysterically funny to watch the same gaggle of Republican Presidential candidates first say they would torture a defenseless prisoner, and then pander to the Republican Christian Right. The required depth of hypocrisy surpasses all belief. Read the rest of this entry »

Christine Smith speech for 5/21/07 LP Candidate Forum

In Christine Smith on July 16, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Greetings.Christine Smith

I am Christine Smith, Libertarian candidate for president. Truth is my highest priority.

If elected, I would take the oath of office, swearing to uphold the Constitution, but unlike past presidents I would not only swear to it I would always do it. I will diligently use the executive powers granted me to restore the democratic republic we were established to be.

I will focus on individual liberty because I believe social and economic progress occurs only through liberty. Regardless of your political party affiliation, I invite you to my campaign website LibertarianforPresident.com to read about the only presidential candidate truly dedicated to the U.S. Constitution, fiscal conservatism, and social progress. I am superior to all other presidential candidates regardless of their political party because my priority is the American people. Our peace. Our freedom. Our prosperity. Our equality. Read my platform.

But since this is a debate between Libertarian candidates seeking the presidential candidate nomination, I ask you this question…What do you really want your Libertarian presidential candidate to accomplish? Think about it for a moment. What do you really want them to do?

I’ve asked that question of many Libertarians nationwide. I’ve already attended the San Diego Libertarian Convention, the Oregon LP Convention, the New Mexico LP Convention and the Indiana Libertarian Convention where I asked this question…I also asked many Libertarians nationwide on the phone this question…and without exception everyone tells me they want their Libertarian presidential candidate to reach out to more American people.

This is the most essential quality we must look for in choosing a candidate–the ability to effectively communicate the LP message to millions of non-Libertarians. Of course, that statement coincides with everything else Libertarians tell me…that their spokesperson (which is what our presidential candidate is–a spokesperson for the Libertarian Party) must be knowledgeable, willing to travel the country and address Americans at every opportunity they can, and said candidate must be a true Libertarian. Read the rest of this entry »

Latest Steve Kubby interview

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Steve Kubby

The following interview was conducted by Phil Defer, a French student who has been interviewing US presidential candidates for his forum.

1. Could you introduce yourself in a few sentences ? ‘

I am a leader for medical rights here in the USA and I have written two books on drug policy reform.

2. How was your political engagement born ?

I helped write and pass California’s historic medical marijuana law and then was arrested for passing a law the police did not like.

3. What personal way drove you to compete for the presidency of the United States ?

The sorry legacy of George W. Bush.

4. Can you tell me some key points about your program, the main ideas ?

I am a one issue candidate who believes this is no more about Marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about Tea. Our struggle today is for true liberty from tyrannical governments.

5. How do you view the upcoming campaign, can you give us some elements about what it represents in term of hardships, opportunities… in the US system, and what about your strategy ?

This election is a complete mess with anything as a possible outcome.

6. Political fiction : It’s January, the 20th, 2009. You have just been elected president ! What are your first steps, your priorities ?

My first step, within minutes of being sworn in as President, would be to issue Executive Order 13420 which would immediately defund the DEA and all laws against marijuana.

7. What are America’s biggest internal problems today, and what are your answers ?

America is saddled with an illegal, unconstitutional, power-hungry oligarchy of thugs.

8. Same question for America’s external problems.

Same answer.

9. More specifically, what do you think should be done on Iraq and national security ?

Leave NOW!

10. What about environment ?

Allow private citizens to sue giant corporations when their pollution enters your land or body.

11. What about your political (institutions), social, economic and societal (civil rights, abortion, homosexuality…) positions ?

I support free choice and a policy of non-intervention by the government. Read the rest of this entry »

Ron Paul flip-flops on Ed & Elaine Brown

In Crazy Claims, Media, Politics, Republican on June 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Here, Ron Paul compares Ed and Elaine Brown to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here, Ron Paul claims he never said what we just watched him say.

Ron Paul flip-flops on Ed & Elaine Brown

In Crazy Claims, Media, Politics, Republican on June 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Here, Ron Paul compares Ed and Elaine Brown to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here, Ron Paul claims he never said what we just watched him say.

Ron Paul flip-flops on Ed & Elaine Brown

In Crazy Claims, Media, Politics, Republican on June 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Here, Ron Paul compares Ed and Elaine Brown to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here, Ron Paul claims he never said what we just watched him say.

Ron Paul flip-flops on Ed & Elaine Brown

In Crazy Claims, Media, Politics, Republican on June 27, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Here, Ron Paul compares Ed and Elaine Brown to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here, Ron Paul claims he never said what we just watched him say.