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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Burns’

G.E. live from Denver: Part 2 – Libertarians for Justice

In Daniel Imperato, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby on May 23, 2008 at 5:02 am

I left off last time just as I was about go to to sleep, having had only four total hours the past two days. I did, and woke up four hours later, just in time for the Libertarians for Justice event. I chatted with some nice “Truthers” (I hate that word but don’t know a better one). There is no doubt that there are unanswered questions that need answering.

Anyway, I lost track of time, and when I went into the actual event, Mary Ruwart was speaking. I had missed Jim Burns. Ruwart gave a nice Ron Paulian speech, but the crowd had not warmed up yet.

Next up was Imperato. He was wearing some kind of papal knight accessory. He said he had an office next door to the Twin Towers and that he had friends who jumped out of windows. He said his employees heard bombs go off in the basement, but that he thinks they were planted by the terrorists. The cover up, he says, is to protect the bureaucrats who failed. Plausible enough. Then he goes into how the reason Muslims hate America has to do with Jacob and Esau, and that Christopher Columbe, a Jew, consecrated America as a Judeo-Christian land (no mention of the fact that “Columbe” never set foot on North America). George Washington also took his oath of office on the exact spot of the Twin Towers, according to Imperato, and Muslims attacked out jealousy . . . Jealousy over the Jewish people’s “shrewdness” at “controlling Wall Street.”

I can’t remember who came next, but I’m pretty sure it was Jingzian. Mike Jingozian is a really good speaker, and he did a great job. Seems like a nice guy. Not 100% libertarian, though. Also puts on airs. Presents self as expert on foreign policy and finance and is mildly condescending.

When Gravel came to the stage, there were cheers all over the place. I thought maybe the general audience “Truthers” were fans of his, but in reality, he had packed the crowd. He went on about his Maoist “Direct Democracy” and offered a free signed copy of his book, Citizen Power, to any delegate who agreed to read two chapters. Gravel’s big message was that the Libertarian Party is full of overly principled morons who’ve never accomplished anything, and that he can win if we give him the nomination. We have our heads in the clouds, he argues. Gravel is big on “power” (his word). He says Nixon should have been put in jail, and wants to use subpoena power (presumably on citizens as well as government officials) to get to the bottom of 9/11. When he was done speaking, there was huge applause and then, when he left, so did about 1/3 of the crowd.

This was unfair to Steve Kubby who went on next. Wow, Steve looks a lot better (not to sound Donderian) in real life than in his pictures. He looks very healthy and he is an excellent public speaker. He got the crowd riled up unlike any of the others before him, despite its smaller size. He dealt with the matter at hand, and limited his comments to the demand for an investigation. The crowd liked that.

Then came Alden Link. Yeah. He talked about socialist energy policy — he approves. Bragged about the solar panels he’s having installed on his house. Said the military-industrial complex was a good thing, for it kept us safe. But then talked very libertarianly and knowledgeably about ending the Drug War.

DRAMA ALERT!!!

That was supposed to be it, but then John Finan arrived. He seemed normal enough. He’s a handsome guy (I swear this is not Dondero posting under my name) who would be a believable as a business titan in a movie. His speech was fairly straight forward — although he did say he would get on Oprah, Letterman, and Conan O’Brien if made the nominee. He didn’t really address the issue at hand. Then, when he was finished, Jim Duesning (leader of Libertarians for Justice) stood next to him on the podium and, completely innocently, said (I’m paraphrasing) “I’ve just been informed that John Finan has not signed our pledge calling for an investigation. I have this glossy page right here, and this fancy marker, would you like to sign right now?”

It seemed to be that Duesning was giving Finan a nice little publicity opportunity here, but Finan did NOT take it that way. He took the mic from Duesning, he gladly gave it to him, and said (again, paraphrasing), “What do you think of me being put on the spot to sign this? Should I sign it?” The crowd was, surprisingly mixed. “I WILL NOT BE AMBUSHED! I WILL NOT BE PRESSURED!”

I should also mention that, while Finan’s speech seemed normal enough, after the following events, some of his gestures and facial expressions took on a Mussolinian context.

Duesning snatched the mic back from him and was like, “I’m giving you a chance to sign this or not.” Finan tried to grab the mic, but Duesning wouldn’t let him have it. Finan screamed in a booming voice, “I DON’T NEED A MICROPHONE! I WILL NOT BE PRESSURED!” And then made was looked like a Nazi salute and walked off stage, still carrying the apparently precious silver marker. “Give back the marker,” Duesning demanded. “I’m keeping the marker!” Finan declared.

Wow.

Eventually, a little lady in a red shirt stormed across the room saying she had paid for this event and the marker and demanded it! Finan passed it to a guy sitting down, who gave it to the lady. He was then escorted out of the conference hall.

And that wasn’t the end of the drama… (to be continued)

Unofficial All-Inclusive “Great Debates” in Denver

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 20, 2008 at 10:27 pm

The Non-Official
All-Inclusive
Great Debates

Who: All candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination for President who wish to engage in debates under rules agreed to by them. All delegates and alternate delegates to the Libertarian Party Convention, the public, and the media are welcome to view the event (this means you are welcome).

When: Thursday, May 22, 2008, 9pm – 11pm.

Friday, May 23, 2008, 8pm – 10pm.

Where: Sheraton Hotel Denver, Tower Building, Terrace Level, Columbine Room. Seats 150, first come first seats, plus standing room. Employees at the front desk (a short distance from the Columbine Room) and all Sheraton employees will be happy to give you directions.

Why: For the first time, each delegate when they register for the convention will receive two tokens: One to be given to the Presidential Candidate and one for the Vice-Presidential Candidate of their choice. The Candidates must receive enough tokens in order to be given time to address the convention. These tokens may also affect who will participate in the “official debate” Saturday evening.

You and your tokens are important. If you do not see and hear the candidates in action, how can you make an intelligent and informed decision? So, don’t give away your tokens until you have seen the Great Debates!

This Event is Hosted by The Libertarian Party of Kentucky.

This Event is Sponsored by: George Phillies and Jim Burns, plus Alden Link

Jacqueline Passey: Endorsements

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOOD CANDIDATES

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

Wayne_new2Wayne Allyn Root:

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

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

StevekubbySteve Kubby:

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

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

Marypicture1Mary Ruwart:

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

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

George_philliesGeorge Phillies:

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

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

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

MEDIOCRE CANDIDATES:

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

Christinesmith_2 Christine Smith:

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

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

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

MikejingozianMichael Jingozian:

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

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

LinkAlden Link:

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

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

Jim_burnsJim Burns:

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

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

BAD CANDIDATES:

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

BobbarrBob Barr:

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

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

MikegravelMike Gravel:

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

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

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

Imperato2008Daniel Imperato:

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

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

PLATFORM:

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

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

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

________________________________

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

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

“None of the Above” gets five votes in Indiana straw poll

In Barry Hess, Christine Smith, Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby on April 28, 2008 at 12:07 am

While George Phillies and Bob Barr tied for first place in the Indiana State LP Convention straw poll, five people still voted for “none of the above”.  The NOTA vote is especially interesting, given that the convention is less than a month away.

All told, 48 people voted up to three times each.  Phillies and Barr each got 22 votes, Gravel got 20, Ruwart 19, Jingozian 16, and Root 16.

Imperato, Hess, Smith, and Kubby got single digit totals, but still polled lower than “None of the Above”.  Others – Link, Finan, Burns, Hollist, Milnes – received no votes.  At this point, many if not all of those candidates should drop out of the race and endorse one of the frontrunners, since it seems quite clear that they have no chance of becoming the LP nominee.

I cannot help but wonder if the NOTA votes are holding out for Ron Paul to run on a third party ticket (which seems extremely unlikely at best) or if they simply don’t like any of the candidates who have declared.

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.