Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘debate’

Q&A with Bob Barr at Reason Magazine HQ

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Politics on September 27, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Via Reason Hit and Run

On Friday, September 26 at Reason Magazine’s Washington DC Headquarters, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr participated in the presidential debates with a live studio audience. Here, he makes his closing statement and fields questions from the audience; the moderator is reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch.

Bob Barr blog reports that

We are told that anywhere between 175 to 200 people were in attendance last night, that includes media.

Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr on the ‘debate that wasn’t’

In Barack Obama, John McCain, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press Release on September 27, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Writing in Huffington Post, Bob Barr says

There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Senator McCain and Senator Obama. The viewers of this first presidential “debate” missed the opportunity for a true debate because the viewpoints I represent were not raised.

This was clearly a debate between big government and bigger government. The proposals for spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money for everything from bailing out Wall Street to bailing out Georgia (theirs, not ours) are simply irresponsible.

We, the United States, are living way beyond our means, and in this debate, there was not a single recognition–let alone an alarm cry–for the runaway spending of our government.

Barr denounces the “mad dash” to pass a trillion dollar “bailout” of Wall Street, calls for a Justice Department investigation of fraud and other criminal behavior at financial institutions, and stop the US from acting as the world’s policeman and occupying numerous foreign countries.

He concludes,

The debate tonight convinced me that neither McCain nor Obama want to, or can, change the direction of our country. With roughly 80 percent of all Americans saying our country is headed in the wrong direction, I am the only candidate who embodies their hope for true change.

The Washington establishment doesn’t want to face up to the challenges next administration will inherit. If you’re part of the 55 percent or more of voters who think the debates would be enriched by having me in them, let the news media know your feelings. The establishment will respond if public opinion is strongly in favor of my inclusion in the next two presidential debates.

Bob Barr’s contribution top $1 million

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm

The contribution countdown ticker at BobBarr2008.com has topped $1 million for the first time.

This caps off what deputy campaign manager Shane Cory describes as a wild week

Earlier this week, we received word that our case in Texas — where both John McCain and Barack Obama failed to certify their place on the ballot by the deadline — was denied.

The Texas Supreme Court denied it without comment. The order simply read, “The following petition for Writ of Mandamus is denied.”

The court did not even bother to make an argument as to why it’s acceptable for the two major parties to ignore the law.

If that’s not evidence of a double standard, I’m not sure what is.

Given our limited financial resources and limited time, we cannot appeal the decision at this time.

But here’s some great news!

Earlier this week, we won our substitution case in Massachusetts and will be on the ballot in the Bay State.

The following day, word came out of Baton Rouge that we won our case in Louisiana and will be on the ballot there as well!

We’re now on the ballot in 46 states and are awaiting word and action in Maine, Connecticut and Oklahoma.

Cory goes on to describe the future plans of the campaign:

Today, we’re kicking off our radio campaign in targeted states! Click here to listen to the first ad.

Next week, we begin our national television campaign.

We’re getting a heck of a deal on our radio spots and paying about $2 per spot.

Barr has recently published pieces asking to be included in the bailout discussions, as well as an op-ed in USA today asking to be included in the debates. He has called on the bailout to be rejected and offered to take McCain’s place in a debate with Obama.

If Obama does not accept, Barr will appear tonight in a live “counter-debate” at Reason magazine:

Please join reason, either in person or online, for a live counter-debate on Friday, Sept. 26, with Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, who will respond to John McCain, Barack Obama and moderator Jim Lehrer in real time. We will be live-blogging Barr’s responses at Hit & Run, and videotaping the whole proceedings, which will include a brief post-debate Q&A with reason staffers, bloggers, and other interested parties. The fun begins at 8:00 PM, the debate starts at 9:00 sharp, and the drinks will be provided by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. In a year rich with libertarian politics, the only place you’ll hear a candidate talking libertarian ideas will be in reason’s Washington headquarters.

What: Bob Barr debates the presidential debaters

When: Friday, September 26, 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Where: Reason HQ, 1747 Connecticut Avenue NW (near S Street)

RSVPs: A must. Send e-mail to events@reason.com, or call 310.391.2245.

Libertarian Mike Munger in historic WUNC-TV gubernatorial debate

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Media, Politics on September 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm

RALEIGH (Sept. 26) — For the first time in modern North Carolina history, a gubernatorial debate included a third party candidate. Libertarian Mike Munger appeared last night with Republican Pat McCrory on WUNC-TV.

The third candidate in the race, Democrat Beverly Perdue, declined to participate.

Munger thanked both WUNC-TV and McCrory for making this event possible. “A simple respect for the democratic process requires that all views to be heard,” he said. “The fact that we are both here tonight shows that neither one of us is afraid of making sure all views are presented to the public.

The debate was friendly, even when the candidates disagreed, and peppered with Munger’s usual quips.

Munger called the calls for off-shore drilling “a gimmick” that will only produce a “drop in the ocean of oil.”

He characterized as “economic prostitution” incentives used to lure businesses to North Carolina . “A business that comes to North Carolina for money will leave North Carolina for money,” he said.

In addressing construction of large, new buildings for schools and other public facilities, Munger said “I’m a political scientist; I know the technical term for this: BSOs – Big Shiny Objects.”

Both he and McCrory hit hard at the secrecy and corruption rampant in state government. “We have a play-to-pay system. We sell legislation and auction off public policy,” Munger said. He pledged to bring openness to government saying “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

When asked about the problems with the mental health system overhaul, Munger quipped, “It didn’t look like an overhaul to me. It looked more like a frat party. There was no unaccountability and no oversight.”

The use of the governor’s veto power is “like spanking your child: It means you’re a bad parent, that you haven’t successfully used all of the things that should come before that. Now maybe it sometimes still happens, but it really means it’s a failure for you, and it’s a failure for the child.”

Even though Perdue was absent, her name did come up during the debate, particularly during the discussion on education.

“Bev said she did not want to have all the same paradigms but she also said the governor is responsible for education,” Munger pointed out. “Why aren’t parents responsible for education?”

The sharpest difference between Munger and McCrory came on the issue of the death penalty. Munger said unequivocally he would commute the sentences of all prisoners on death row to life in prison without parole.

“I don’t think we have any business with the government killing our citizens,” he said. Munger believes the death penalty is administered unfairly. “Punishment shouldn’t depend on the color of your skin or how much money you have to pay a lawyer,” he said.

McCrory would immediately resume executions because “it was the people who said this person tragically deserves death as a result of the horrendous crime they committed …”

In closing, Munger addressed the myth that voting for a third party is a wasted vote. One vote does not decide an election, but it can send a signal, he said.

“Unless you have Jedi powers, you’re not going to be able to control the way other people vote,” he said. “You have one precious vote. Your decision on how to cast it will send a signal to our leaders in Raleigh.”

WUNC-TV will air a second gubernatorial debate Oct. 8. Perdue has also declined to participate in this event. Munger will participate in the final debate Oct. 15. It is sponsored WSOC-TV, WTVI CHARLOTTE and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg League of Women Voters. Perdue has accepted this invitation.

-30-
___________________________________________________________________________________________
LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF NORTH CAROLINA
PO Box 28141 Raleigh NC 27611 * 877.843.5762 * http://www.LPNC.org

Brian Irving, Communications Director, 919.538.4548

Bob Barr to sue church, while lying about polling at 6%. Quick, what’s wrong with that picture?

In Libertarian on August 15, 2008 at 6:28 pm

According to pollster.com, Bob Barr is actually polling nationally at an average of 2.3%, which is only about a third of what he claims to be polling, and only 15.3% of the nationwide 15% support he needs to show in order to participate in the debates.  That same provably false assertion was made yesterday as well, by LP Media Director Andrew Davis.

Yet Barr is going to sue a church, for not including him in a debate for which he is not even close to being minimally qualified, and which is being held on private church property.

I’m sure Saddleback Church is shaking in their pews right about now.  From laughter.

**********************************************************************************************************

Dear Friend,

Going for the GoldI would not ask for your help if the circumstances were not so dire.

No, those are not my words; those are the words of John McCain in a letter he sent to supporters this week, despite having raised $27 million in July.

If Sen. McCain thinks his situation is dire, he would not get out of bed in the morning if he were dealing with our situation.

– We’ve raised less than $1 million
– We’re blocked from upcoming debates
– We’re polling at 6% nationally

No, John McCain could not handle our situation.

But our man, Bob Barr, isn’t slowing down and now he’s fighting mad.

This Saturday, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will take the national stage for their first combined national event.

It will take place at Saddleback Church in Orange County, California.

For the past several weeks, we have put in requests and phone calls to the church’s pastor, Rick Warren, who was quoted this week in Time Magazine as saying, “I want what’s good for everybody, not just what’s good for me. Who’s the best for the nation right now?”

Unfortunately, Pastor Rick Warren doesn’t care to know the true answer to that question as he has willingly excluded Bob Barr and other candidates from his forum on Saturday.

After weeks of negotiations and calls to Saddleback Church from leaders from every corner of the political spectrum supporting Bob Bar’s inclusion, we’ve been left out in the cold.

The only people getting into the event are Obama, McCain and those who reportedly paid $500 to $2,000 to the church to sit in the audience.

Yesterday, I reported to former Congressman Barr that we’ve exhausted every avenue.  I told him, “We’ve had calls placed to Pastor Warren from very powerful leaders from the left and the right, we sent in our personal request, and placed numerous phone calls that have not been returned.  You are not going to be included.

“Our only option left is to threaten to file an temporary injunction as our attorney’s believe they are in violation of the law.”

Bob responded by saying, “No, don’t threaten to do that . . .  Just do it.”

As you read this, our attorneys are filing an injunction against Saddleback Church to include Bob Barr in their forum this Saturday.

You are the first to hear about this.

The complaint is based upon a violation of McCain/Feingold campaign finance legislation.

While we’re no fans of that legislation.  However, we don’t write the rules, we’re just forced to play by them.  In this case, we’re using McCain/Feingold to our advantage.

The reason I am disclosing so much to you is because this is just the beginning.

At every way you look at it, we’re at a disadvantage.

–    We are being blocked from the national stage by the media, debate commissions and now even groups like Saddleback Church.
–    Both the campaign and our party have put most of its manpower and money into getting on the ballot in every state.
–    And we have our hands tied behind our backs by laws like McCain Feingold that benefit the two major parties.

But none of that matters.

We have a candidate who is worth fighting for and that’s is exactly what we’re going to do.

One way or another, Bob is going to get his message of liberty out to our nation.

We now have lawsuits active in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Massachusetts and now California to challenge the obstacles thrown in our way by the two-party system.

We’re also waging media battles as Bob continues his Midwest tour in Chicago and St. Louis this weekend that will be interrupted by a trip to Orange County, California.

And we’re not slowing down.

The only way to break through the two-party strangle hold is to fight them at every opportunity.

I need your help to continue our efforts.

Our ballot access battles have left our coffers nearly dry and I need you to make a donation today.

Please make a donation right now and help us continue our efforts and fight with every step that we take until Election Day.

Please make your most generous donation today and give as much as you can up to the maximum limit of $2,300.

Thank you for your loyalty, your generosity and for your commitment to liberty.
Sincerely,

Russell Verney
Campaign Manager

P.S.  According to campaign finance law, our campaign is still in “primary election” season and donations made before the Republican Convention will be counted against the primary limit of $2,300.  You can give another $2,300 for the general election.  If you can, try your best to reach or get close to the $2,300 limit today or at least before the Republican Convention. If you want to know how close you are to the limit, please call us right now by dialing 1-800-Bob-Barr.

Liveblog: LP Convention on C-Span: Presidential Debate

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 25, 2008 at 1:02 am

For those of you who don’t get C-Span, or for some reason want to feel like you’re not watching alone, we present the LFV liveblog. I’m ElfNinosMom (ENM) and I will be joined by TitaniumGirl (Tigirl); others may join in as well.

ENM: The guy doing the introduction is boring. They are going to cover the presidential debates, and then the Chairman debates. They are showing Mike Gravel, and I can see Wayne Root. There’s Phillies and Barr as well.

Jim Pinkerton is moderating. When the person introducing him pointed out that he worked for Bush, he got boo’d. Seems like a lively crowd, to say the least.

The candidates debating are Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, George Phillies, Mike Jingozian, Mary Ruwart, Steve Kubby, and Wayne Allyn Root. The moerator called him “The King of Las Vegas!” as if that’s something that makes him qualified for the presidency. Can you see my eyes rolling?

Each gets a two-minute introduction, then will answer in the order in which they were introduced. Pinkerton wants the delegates to hold applause, booing, etc in order to allow more time to ask questions.

Pinkerton made some really strange jokes, which didn’t really go over very well.

Question: What philosopher most closely represents your views?

Barr: Ayn Rand. (Yeah, right.)

Pinkerton actually screwed up and forgot to let them make their opening statements first. I wondered about that.

Barr says his journey has taken many years to get to libertarianism. He brings up Ayn Rand again. he says he has lived in societies with no freedom, no liberty, and said he was referring to Congress. That joke fell flat, he was the only one who thought it amusing. He said people think he is not charismatic. He did okay, but not great.

Gravel said we’re in a mess, and it’s silly to think the ones who got us here can fix it. Only libertarians can fix it. The Dems and Reps have a monopoly, follow the money to find out what will happen when they are elected. I thought he did well.

Phillies is proud to be a Libertarian, and have the opportunity to spread the message of peace, liberty, and prosperity. Proud to have had many opportunities to serve the party, mentioned his congressional run and his PAC, made a jab at Barr without naming him. Phillies will cover issues the American people care about. He is the centrist who can hold the party together. He actually did very, very well.

Jingozian talks about what we have seen in this country. Does he have pink eye in his left eye? It looks odd for some reason. Hopefully it’s just a shadow, because pinkeye sucks. He sacrificed his own time and money to get us where we need to be.

Ruwart got applause right off the bat. Interesting. Democrats made this “the year of the woman”, then dropped the ball. Her hair looks like it’s plastered, she looks much prettier when it’s more natural. She’s still very attractive for a woman her age. Libertarianism is the passionate choice, decrease crime, slash healthcare costs. Only liberty can deliver those things. She has the experience and the depth of understanding of principles to accomplish it. Big applause at end.

Kubby has good news and bad bews. He has 6 months to live, adrenal cancer. Good news is that this is the 34th year they’ve told him that. Big applause. Medical marijuana is the only treatment which has worked. His campaign is not about marijuana, it’s about liberty. Applause again. Has nearly died and gone to jail for liberty. Most cant define liberty. It’s not freedom, it’s freedom from government. He looks like he has some splotches on his forehead. is he okay? I sure hope so!

Root claims we’re the anti party. Anti this, anti that. He talks like a used car salesman. Claims he’s the first Jewish American to get presidential nomination (not true). SOB, blah, blah. Obama, blah blah. Does he not realize that people are tired of hearing the same crap over and over again from him? I know i am. He’s a SOB, for sure, but the B doesn’t stand for butcher.

Okay, now back to questions about philosopher. Gravel says laws permit us to have the sovereignty. Small applause at first, then big applause. Didn’t catch the name of the philosopher, sorry.

Phillies: Goldwater. He got applause during his answer. Then mentioned Marcus Cicero, wrote “Essay on Duty”, sacrifice for country. Small applause.

Jingozian said (dammit, dog was barking, missed it). He says this is the year we will put LP on map.

Is it just me, or are these guys not really answering the question about philosopher?

Ruwart named Ayn Rand. Judge and be prepared to be judged. Unity of our party being challenged. We need to practice non-judgment and love. Big applause.

Kubby said many, but most influenced by David Nolan, LP founder. Taught him liberty works. Without liberty, everything in jeopardy. Moderate applause.

Root said “Yogi Berra”. What a retard. Who wears a fuschia tie on television? Root, that’s who. Ugly, ugly tie.

Question: any part of the world where you’d send troops?

Gravel: No. Wants to withdraw troops from around the world, close bases around world. Treat everybody as equals. Golden rule is answer to meaningful foreign policy. Huge applause.

Phillies: Cold war is over, bring troops home, close bases. End foreign aid, compete economically. Applause.

Jingozian: Most people in world just want to live in peace, have a good standard of living, hope kids have it a little bit better. It’s the governments at war, not the people. War will not end unless we vote libertarian. big applause.

Ruwart: bring troops home. They’re in a Middle Eastern Vietnam. Were at war with Japan just a few decades ago. Be friends to all, trade with all, offer hand in friendship. Applause.

Kubby: strange feedback sounds. We have competitors, we need to figure out that bombing civilians won’t help. People look to US as leader. Some applause.

Root: Thomas Jefferson is hero. Impoundment. Damn, this guy sounds like a broken record. He has said the same things in other debates. He claims he has come the farthest of everyone in the panel. Cut military budget, give money back to taxpayers.

Barr: Missing emphasis on word defense. It is not defending America to occupy foreign nations. Bring troops home, remove security blanket propping up foreign regime. Conveniently doesn’t say anything about his recent statement about invading Colombia. Applause.

Sorry, missed a question because I had to let my dogs out.

Gravel bashed Barr on energy, LOL, and got some applause. Got big applause at end.

Question: Are you familiar with the tragedy of the commons(?)

Jingozian: I don’t know. Big applause. He’s successful not because he knows all the answers, but knows what questions to ask. We need to work together, need a president who admits he doesn’t know. Learn from other countries. Big applause.

Ruwart: Restitution. Make people clean it up. Mentioned taxes, then corrected herself and called it a “fine”. Her response makes no sense, she’s stumbling over her own words. I get the impression that she’s just making it up as she goes along.

Kubby: US government is biggest polluter on planet. He looks really tired.

Root: Al Gore is 2nd biggest polluter, pollutes more when he gets on his private jet to get a Nobel Peace Prize. What a stupid statement. Ends with “government is a failure”. What a retard.

Barr: He says he has no idea what the question was about, but he keeps talking anyway. Retard.

Gravel: Concept of private property should be honored, let people sue polluters, that’s the answer. Applause. Lobbyists set up barriers to stop citizens from doing this. LP offers freedom. Big applause.

Phillies: Not going to bash people because they are conservatives or liberals, is running for President of all. Scientific truth is that there is global warming. Suing people not the answer. If somebody pollutes, put them in prison.

How would you deal with Patriot Act and Real ID Act?

Ruwart: Abolish them both. Ron Paul. Mentioned herself? That fell completely flat. Liberty gives us the way to choose.

Kubby bashed Barr, got laughter. Set clear limits for government. Big applause.

Root: Patriot Act turned him into libertarian. Get rid of it all.

Barr: Full-body x-ray, fear is driving public policy. Claims he has been working with broad coalition to drive a stake through its heart, burn it, blah blah blah. Methinks he doth protest too much.

Gravel: Ask the American people if they want this stuff gone, brings up his National Initiative for Democracy, let people make their own decisions. Cheering from audience.

Phillies: Accidentally said “Congress” instead of president, put Bush et al into prison. Applause.

Jingozian made crack about how can’t you like the Patriot Act, it has the word “patriot” in it. First joke that actually went over well.

Question about American Indian immigration policy. What an incredibly stupid question.

Root will open borders only if he can be guaranteed that there will be no welfare recipients. Secure borders.

Barr says we have no immigration policy. We should require people to go through checkpoint, provide verifiable identification, and check them for communicable diseases.

Gravel says 6 countries in Europe lowered all barriers. Do they know something we don’t? We’re great because we are an amalgam of people of the world.

Phillies said he will actually answer the question, unlike the other candidates. Indian immigration was a failure. We’ll go broke if we have open borders and a welfare state.

Jingozian says we have a “feel good legislation policy”. Native Americans didn’t have welfare state. We must end welfare state. If he used the same practices in his businesses the government uses, he’d be in prison for life for accounting fraud.

Ruwart says government has limited the number of jobs we have. If we got rid of government, we’d be begging for immigrants. Government too busy at border.

War on Drugs question.

End international drug war on drugs. Legalize all drugs. I can’t get over that ugly ass tie he’s wearing.

Barr says drug war hasn’t worked. Turn it over to states. What a cop-out answer.

Gravel says treat addiction as a public health problem. Got big applause.

Phillies: Prohibition was a failure, never underestimate the power of stupidity. We can’t afford it. Applause.

Jingozian agrees with everybody else. Legalize it and deal with it honestly. Can’t win war on drugs. Property crime comes from drug abuse. Will pardon all nonviolent drug offenders first day in office.

Ruwart: War on drugs kills more people than drugs themselves through AIDS. Says legal drugs are also problem, talked about people who tried to buy unapproved cancer drugs. Big applause.

Kubby is “getting a major buzz right now”. Never imagined he’d see such diverse group all agree that medical marijuana should be legalized. Wrote two books on it. Passed Prop 215. 12 states and 2 countries now copy that law. End the drug war by executive order. Big applause.

Barr is really boring compared to the other candidates. At least he’s wearing a nice tie, unlike Root.

Phillies’ tie is crooked, but at least it’s not fuscia.

Sorry, I had to take a break.

Why is Root always yelling? I feel like I’m on a used car lot. Sheesh.

What involvement should the government have in medical care, including FDA?

Gravel: If you’re not healthy, you’re not free. You don’t have freedom if you have a dumb or unhealthy population. Wants to empower people, they will shrink the government better than anyone else.

Phillies: Will propose answers Americans will support, not a philosophy. Vetern healthcare is government obligation, they paid for it with their arms, legs, etc and their friends’ lives.

Jingozian: Deregulate.

I dislike Root more and more, as he talks and gives his fake smile. I’m getting to the point that I actively dislike both him, and Barr. Root in particular, though, grates my nerves. He makes this debate seem like an infomercial, which cheapens it.

How will your campaign help the LP?

Jingozian: Harry Browne enrolled all Americans, not just libertarians. Focusing on issues all Americans have in common.

Ruwart: Invokes Ron Paul. Says women want to vote for a woman. Huh? I’m a woman, and I’m going to vote for the best candidate regardless of whether they have a penis or a vagina. That’s insulting as hell. I suddenly don’t like her. At all. I hate it when people pander and condescend simply because I am female. I hate it even more when the person doing it is a female, because a female should know better.

Kubby: Too many conservative candidates for LP. Invokes Ron Paul.

Root: Fundraising. Will get small business vote (yeah, right). He needs to stop yelling. Education reform. Online poker enthusiasts who consider him a celebrity. Gee, I thought they considered him a scammer.

Barr: Travels, need change. Can reach voters in way they can understand. I don’t think he realizes how much he is hated by Democrats for Clinton impeachment. Seize Libertarian era.

Gravel: Judge people by actions, not talk. Ended the draft, stopped nuclear testing, Alaska pipeline, risked jail with releasing Pentagon Papers, did all that in four years.

Phillies: Has already reached out, so won’t say what he might do, he’s already done it. He’s got the campaign, the volunteers, etc. Will build stronger party.

Root turns his closing statement into an infomercial, by trying to excite the crowd. Gawd, I despise that man.

My least favorite candidate is Ruwart, she lost any possibility of my support or respect when she made the comment about how women want to vote for a woman. That is almost as annoying as Root’s yelling and ugly fuscia tie. I don’t have a favorite, it wasn’t a very good debate in my opinion. It was almost a waste of time to even watch it, I’m very disappointed.

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.

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.