Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Libertarian Convention’

Voices from LFV Mailbag: Austrian Economist on the LP Convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics on May 31, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I received the below article, written by Austrian Economist, in the LFV inbox. Please note that the article does not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of LFV or its contributors.


The Poison of Purity: How Steve Kubby’s Loyalty Unraveled the Libertarian Party

(This is not meant to be anything more than an analysis of the LP presidential vote and what COULD have been, or perhaps what SHOULD have been.)

There was a point during the Libertarian Convention on Sunday at which all was not yet lost to Bob Barr and his Republican-lite sympathies.

You may have seen the eccentric pro-Mike Gravel signs encouraging delegates to “Fight Senator with Senator” or comparing Barr’s career accolades with those of Gravel. Signing the Patriot Act or ending the Draft? Defense of Marriage Act or releasing The Pentagon Papers? Hmmmm… Sufficed to say, it was amusing and poignant. Less amusing was proto-fascist and turd-for-hire Stephen Gordon ripping these signs down in the supposed “Free Speech Zone”.

On the first ballot, there were a few surprises. One: how Barr would seemingly flatline around 160-ish votes. Two: Mary Ruwart’s dedicated acolytes, pushing her into a similar vote range. And third, how Wayne Allyn Root had more support than many gave him credit for. But there was still plenty of room to wrangle support scattered throughout the delegation. Or so one would have thought.

Second round, Jingozian and Smith are out. Endorsement to Gravel from Jingozian, no major surprise following his introduction speech for Gravel. So then Kubby is low man on the totem poll. Here’s where things get interesting. Earlier that morning, I have it on good word that Kubby indicated to the Gravel campaign that he wanted the Senator to “be the standard bearer.” Very encouraging news. So where was this sentiment when he gave his concession speech & endorsement for Ruwart? In the end, Kubby chose friendship over principle, which is cute, but ultimately meaningless and irrelevant. THIS was the lynchpin moment of the election, the crux when Libertarians got it so damn wrong.

Let’s examine how things MAY have played out if Kubby made the principled decision of what he knew was best. The following scenario is narrated in the sequence of the convention voting. So, Kubby’s endorsement of Gravel not only rattles his own supporters, but as a long-time voice, icon, and martyr in the party, it bolsters the growing impression of Gravel as the most effective candidate.

Next round. Phillies is now in less of a quandary, and can contribute to the continual Gravel-anche of support. As a centrist himself, this is a major statement that Gravel is the glue to preserve and promote the Libertarian party. That would make THREE endorsements to Gravel, none to anyone else.

Suddenly, Gravel has leapfrogged Root in the votes, putting him in a position of leverage and influence. Root is amenable to Gravel, and recognizes what he brings to the party. Like everyone else, Root wants nothing to do with Barr. He strikes a deal and gentlemanly agreement with Gravel, yielding an enthusiastic endorsement. Gravel will serve as elder statesman of the LP, and Root a promising future voice (with good tutelage, not Barr’s indoctrination).

Given Root’s endorsement, Gravel is suddenly in 2nd place, either behind Ruwart or Barr. Were he behind Ruwart, those previously for Barr would recognize Gravel’s star-power and Libertarian pragmatism, thus shifting his way. Were he behind Barr, any purist would swing Gravel’s way, as would the 100-odd Root supporters. Regardless, he’d muscle out the final vote.

BOTTOM LINE—had he made the final ballot, Gravel would likely have succeeded in securing the nomination. Sadly, the LP fell prey to its worst vice, that of self-importance and self-indulgence. Delegates put themselves in the precarious situation of either nominating a shady Republican-goon or a lackluster, pedantic spokesperson who essentially condoned child pornography in writing. Let’s not forget the prominent article the morning of the vote that dealt with Ruwart and child pornography. Whether or not it came from the Barr camp, the LP would have been OBLITERATED the moment Ruwart received the nomination. Ultimately, could the choices have been any more stupid?

Personally, I voted None of the Above, because either vote would essentially destroy the LP, which it has now gleefully done to itself. Were a gun to my head, I’d probably have voted Barr, since scruples can be forgiven far more readily by the American people than a tolerance for pederasts. I wouldn’t like doing it, but hey, a gun’s to my head, so that’s already a violation of Libertarian principles (har har).

All that said, I congratulate the Libtards for failing to capitalize on the first (and potentially last) great opportunity to come your way. Whether that chance comes again, I know not. But I’d encourage you to aggressively court Jesse Ventura as your 2012 candidate. Otherwise, just go onto the NAMBLA listserves now and save yourselves the trouble.

Gravel was right all along… the LP could continue to be an irrelevant, half-a-percent party. Had they elected Ruwart, this would’ve been the case. At least with Barr, you’ll get national media, albeit inconsistent with your core values. In essence, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t, and screwed every which way but loose. The LP may now be remotely viable, but has compromised any integrity in order to do so.

There really isn’t much else that can be said. In a democracy, the voice of the people reigns supreme. Gravel readily recognized this is his most humble, accepting words following his defeat. Yet apparently, the democracy of the LP yields sleazy mustaches and utopian anarchists. Neither of which I enjoy, and neither of which I could bring myself to vote for.

Now we see that Kubby is calling for Libertarians to support Barr/Root. Coming from a guy who firestarted the convention with the statement that Barr had yet to “wash the blood from his hands” as a bellicose, anti-medical marijuana czar, that’s an abrupt change of heart. I don’t begrudge this at all… I like Kubby and hope that he can salvage what is now a party ripped asunder. Too bad he is playing smart politics after-the-fact, when he could have made the wise decision when it actually mattered.

Remember—you did this to yourselves, so shame on you all, and better luck next time. The road to irrelevance is a gleefully indulgent path, for sure! Gravel’s words might be well-advised next time around:

“We are Americans first, and Libertarians second.”

Sadly, some didn’t get that memo.

LFV Live!: Final LP Convention wrap-up

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention on May 28, 2008 at 6:11 pm

LFV Live! will be on tonight at 7:30 EST. We will be discussing the convention.

I’d like to have some of our contributors who attended the convention as guests. Anybody up for that?

UPDATE: Paulie Cannoli, GE Smith, Chris Bennett, Brian Miller and Jeff Wartman will be on the show, so we will have viewpoints from all sides of the current controversy.

The call-in number is (646)478-4638, if anyone wants to call in with comments or questions. The show tonight will be one hour long, running from 7:30 to 8:30.

If there are any further updates, I will post them here.

“Live From Court Street” Returns Tonight

In Entertainment, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Music on May 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm

We’ve been on hiatus for a couple of weeks due to injury and political ambitions, but tonight we return for a special Tuesday episode. Join Cilla & myself tonight at 7:30 PM Eastern as we discuss the Libertarian National Convention, the USA vs Mexico soccer friendly, Cilla’s Entertainment Report & our very popular “news” segment.

Please note: Unless we are conducting an interview, we do not take calls during the show.

Visit and bring a friend or two.

Voices from YouTube re Libertarian Convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US on May 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

LNC Election Results

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008 on May 26, 2008 at 10:02 pm

I’m not going to break down all the numbers. If you want to see the round by round results, CLICK HERE.

Chair-Bill Redpath

Vice Chair- Michael Jingozian

Secretary- Bob Sullentrup

Treasurer- Aaron Starr

LNC At-Large

Mary Ruwart

Angela Keaton

Pat Dixon

Lee Wrights

Michael Colley

Not sure who all the regional reps are yet.

Liveblogging LP Convention: C-Span Coverage: Nominating Ballots

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention on May 25, 2008 at 6:24 pm

hey plan to ballot through lunch, but there will be natural breaks where they can take care of needs. Sandwiches available.

I heard the names George Phillies and Christine Smith.

The nominee will be chosen by majority vote. Those who receive the fewest vots and those polling less than 5% are removed from subsequent ballots. Lather, rinse, repeat until someone has a majority.

Something I wonder about with the LP is that the delegates don’t necessarily vote for who their constituents would want. I find that odd, since people are credentialed so they can represent their state, but in the end they represent themselves.

I heard Mike Jingozian’s name, and Christine Smith’s name.

I see PaulieCannoli just kind of wandering around by himself.

Did the Barr supporters actually think it was a good idea to interrupt the speaker by walking through with their signs? That doesn’t seem to be a very good idea, especially given the crowd’s extremely negative reaction. As I said before, I suspect that just lost him the nomination. I wonder whether he was behind that or approved it, and if not what he thinks about it.

They’re showing a guy with some major body modification. He has the giant rings in his earlobes, like you see in some native tribes. I wonder if it hurts to do that? I think they just do it very slowly, a little bit bigger hole each time until it’s the size you want.

They keep showing the same Barr delegate, trying to talk people into supporting him. He seems to be trying to convince either a Ruwart or Smith supporter to vote Barr for Prez, the female for VP, but the supporter shot him down and said she would not run with any candidate she has major problems with, and she has major problems with Barr.

Interesting if they were referring to Ruwart, because a lot of people have said that Barr/Ruwart is their preferred ticket.

Some guy just said “Vote Mike Gravel” into the roaming camera.

Hancock is saying he thinks Americans will wake up. Another guy is talking about the Federal Reserve. Hancock wants to stop the debt.

I need to put a television in my kitchen, because I really need to clean the kitchen but I also want to watch this. I guess the kitchen will have to wait. Argh.

I’ll be back, need to take my pain medication.

I’m back. I feel kind of guilty for spending so much time doing this, when it’s my partner’s only day off this week. I really wish some of the contributors would jump in and give me a hand.

They seem to be adding up votes. Wayne Allyn Root got zero votes from his home state of Nevada, they were shocked by that. That’s not a good sign for him.

I see someone in a “V for Vendetta” mask coming toward the camera.

State by state announcement of results in five minutes. I’ll try to keep up with that, but I’m on a different computer than usual so my fingers on a strange keyboard may not cooperate.

Some woman in a weird hat is talking about her mom watching it on C-Span, but is using a very strange voice in her impersonation. I get the impression she just wants to be on television.

Some guy is telling Gravel that he may have beaten Phillies in the first round.

I forgot to mention earlier, but someone wrote in Ron Paul.

Results in one minute.

Results starting.

By the way, did I mention on LFV that the LP’s Media Director, Andrew Davis, was photographed a couple of years ago carrying an “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” sign? I have it on my computer, if anyone wants to see it.

Results to be alphabetical. They have limited supplies of paper, so they want people to put votes on only a small piece of it. Huh?

New Hampshire: Talking about how great their state is, blah blah. Get on with it already. NOTA 1, Barr 1, Gravel 1, Phillies 3, Ruwart 3

New York: What happened to New Jersey and New Mexico?

New Jersey: Ruwart 3, Root 11

New Mexico: Gravel 1, Kubby 2, Root 1, Ruwart 3, Smith 1, William Colin 1 (Huh?)

New York: Barr 4, Gravel 4, Jingozian 1, Kubby 1, Phillies 0, Root 6, Ruwart 5, Smith 0, NOTA 0

North Carolina: Gravel 1, Barr 2, Ruwart 5

North Dakota: No delegates

Ohio: blah blah blah. Get on with it. Ruwart 3, Root 7

Oklahoma: Ruwart 1, Kubby 3, Barr 3

Oregon: blah blah, blah. Get on with it. That poor guy is so nervous he’s shaking like a leaf. Jingozian 9, Gravel 3, Barr 1, Root 1, Ruwart 1, Smith 1

Pennsylvania: Barr 6, Phillies 4, Gravel 7, Jingozian 1, Ruwart 2, Kubby 1, Penn Jillette also got votes

Rhode Island: Phillies 2

South Carolina: blah, blah. Root 1, Gravel 3, Barr 8

South Dakota: Root 3

Tennessee: blah, blah. Phillies 1, Kubby 1, Root 1, Barr 3, Ruwart 8

Texas: blah, blah. Barr 8, Gravel 4, Kubby 2, Phillies 1, Root 6, Ruwart 14

Utah: blah, blah. Barr 2, Gravel 1, Kubby 2, Ruwart 2

Vermont: Ruwart 1

Virginia: blah, blah. Barr 10, Gravel 1, Jingozian 1, Root 1, Ruwart 3

Washington: blah, blah. Barr 1, Gravel 4, Kubby 1, Phillies 2, Root 3, Ruwart 3

West Virginia: blah, blah. Gravel 1, Ruwart 2

Wisconsin: Gravel 2, Ruwart 4

Wyoming: Ruwart 1, Barr, 1, Gravel 1

Alabama: Gravel 1, Kubby 1, Ruwart 2, Barr 7

Alaska: Barr 1, Ruwart 1, Root 2

Arizona: Ruwart 8, Kubby 3, Barr 2, Gravel 2, Root 1, Phillies 1

Arkansas: blah blah. Imperato 1

California: blah, blah. Ron Paul 1, kubby 6, Gravel 9, Phillies 10, Barr 17, Ruwart 20, Root 38

Colorado: Barr 2, Gravel 2, Jingozian 2, Kubby 2, Phillies 2, Root 9, Ruwart 4, Smith 1, NOTA 1, Ron Paul 3

Connecticut: Ruwart 1, Kubby 2, Gravel 2

Delaware: Ron Paul 1

District of Colombia: Barr 3

Florida: Gravel 2, Phillies 2, Root 1, Ruwart 5, Barr 9

Georgia: Ruwart 2, Barr 33

Hawaii: blah, blah. Kubby 1

Idaho: Barr 1, Gravel 1, Jingozian 1, Kubby 2, Root 1, Ruwart 1

Illinois: blah, blah. Phillies 1, Root 1, Gravel 1, Kubby 2, Jingozian 2, Barr 2, Ruwart 10

Indiana: blah blah. Root 6, Gravel 5, Barr 4, Phillies 3, Jingozian 2, Ruwart 2

Iowa: Phillies 3, Root 2, Ruwart 1, Gravel 1

Kansas: Barr 4, Root 3, Ruwart 2, Jingozian 1

Kentucky: Root 3, Ruwart 1

Louisiana: Smith 1, Ruwart 1, Gravel 1, Barr 2, Root 3

Maine: He is so nervous he can barely speak, but tries to make jokes. Barr 1, Kubby 1, Ruwart 1, Ron Paul 1

Maryland: Barr 2, Phillies 5, Kubby 1, Ruwart 2

Massachusetts: blah blah. Phillies 6

Michigan: blah, blah. Barr 4, Gravel 3, Jingozian 1, Kubby 1, Root 5, Ruwart 12

Minnesota: Phillies 1, Smith 1, Barr 2, Root 2, Ruwart 1

Mississippi: Barr 1, Root 1, Ruwart 2

Missouri: blah blah. Gravel 1, Kubby 3, Barr 5, Root 4, Ruwart 4, Jingozian 2

Montana: Phillies 2, Ruwart 1, Kubby 1

Nebraska: Ruwart 3

Nevada: Ruwart 1, Kubby 1, Smith 1, Gravel 6

Results of first ballot:

Barr 153 votes – 25%

Ruwart 152 votes – 25%

Root 123 votes – 20%

Gravel 71 votes – 11%

Phillies 49

Kubby 41

jingozian 23

Smith 6

Plus ten write-ins

(Sorry, they didn’t keep it up long enough for me to copy all of them.)

Jingozian and Smith excluded from second ballot

He was asked to put the results back up, but he said he can’t do that because the computer is being used for something else. Eventually read out totals.

Jingozian concession speech; not giving up, will be back. Stumps for VP? Not about him, it’s about what’s good for the party. Endorses Gravel again.

Smith concession speech. Disappointed, but is visibly angry about Barr being on top. Bashes conservatives. She’s pissed. Says Barr is not a Libertarian, “we don’t trust you!” She thanks her supporters. Said “put a libertarian on the ballot”, got boo’d. Damn, that is one angry woman. I get the distinct impression that she is extremely pissed at getting only 6 votes. Did she really expect to get more than that?

Being interviewed, Christine Smith says libertarians are selling out. Says people are leaving LP if Barr is chosen. Damn, she’s angry again. Says Barr needs to use the media he brags about to apologize to people who are in prison because of his laws. Says libertarians are selling out by supporting Barr. Says it’s all for nothing if we sell out. Barr is not a libertarian, is wolf in sheep’s clothing, etc.

She kind of has a point, in my opinion, though she goes about expressing that point the wrong way.

No state-by-state ballots this time.

Bob Barr 30%

Ruwart 26%

Root 138

Gravel 73

Phillies 36

Kubby 32

Kubby eliminated from next ballot. Again, they didn’t leave it up long enough for me to get all the numbers. Argh.

They’re reading out the state-by-state, but I’m not even going to try to keep up with that.

Kubby giving concession speech. Endorses Ruwart.

My other half just told me he’s going to make us some steaks for dinner. Yum. I hope this is over by then, or that at least one of the contributors has come by to help. Otherwise, I’m closing up shop. I don’t want to spend my entire holiday weekend stuck inside liveblogging.

Some guy (Joe Johnson) was making a speech, but not about the candidates, so I walked downstairs to talk to my other half for a few minutes. I’m back now, and he’s still talking. Geez.

He finally stopped talking, thank goodness.

Mary Ruwart is talking to a small group of people, she seems to have serious concerns about Bob Barr. She says he will legalize medical marijuana, but not heroin or crack. She says our media is the internet. She also says Ron Paul supporters will not support Barr. Libertarians in the LGBT community are telling her that if Barr is elected, they’re leaving. She thinks Ron Paul might talk about her, but I think that’s doubtful.

However, I absolutely will not support Bob Barr under any circumstances, so she might be right about a defection. I won’t defect, but I also won’t give Barr any positive press.

Total results of third ballot:

Tied for first place between Barr and Ruwart (186), followed by Root, Gravel, and Phillies in last place. Someone wrote in Ron Paul again. They are just reading out the state totals quickly, so again I’m not going to try to keep up with them.

Fourth ballot; Phillies eliminated. That’s a shame, but on the bright side I guess he saved himself the $100,000 he was going to spend on his campaign.

Phillies concession speech. Disappointed that not one person has asked him to endorse someone they wanted to lose. Big laughter over that. Will not speak ill of a fellow Libertarian. Nice guy. Acknowledges Gravel for debating a Libertarian when he was running as a Democrat. Thanks Ruwart and Barr for entering race to do what they think is right for the party. Voting majority of his state is neopagan, he wanted to make that point, undoubtedly directed at Barr. Enemy is Democratic Party and conservatives. We are the party of the future. Nice speech, but I was hoping he would endorse someone.

I want to say this. George Phillies is a really nice guy. I realize some people have a problem with him, but I’m not one of those people. He has always treated both me and LFV with fairness and respect, and even offered to help get GE press credentials when they were denied by LPHQ, so LFV could cover the convention. George is a good man, a dedicated libertarian, and I will always think very well of him.

Barr, Gravel, Ruwart and Root on fourth ballot.

Root people talking about how he needs to take 40 votes from Gravel. That is never going to happen, because anyone who supports Mike Gravel is never going to support Wayne Root.

Gravel talking to someone, says this is a vehicle for him to get out his message, to give power back to the people.

Root walking by with his fake infomercial smile. Talking to Gravel, then someone pointed out the camera.

Barr and Ruwart still tied for first place, Gravel in last place. Gravel will be out of the fifth ballot. He doesn’t seem to be making a speech, though. I wonder why? They show him talking to people, so he is still there. he says it’s a collective decision, and he respects it. He said to that person that he voted for Root out of the three still left. What? Damn, now I’ve lost respect for Gravel. I would have thought that he was supporting NOTA.

Gravel says this is the end of his political career. He would not have done anything differently. He is not going to make a speech. He is going to push the National Initiative until the day he dies. He says this is all politics as usual, that representative government is broken, and libertarians have chosen not to fix it.

He says he would vote for Barr before he’d vote for Ruwart, if it comes down to the two of them.

Fifth ballot totals: Ruwart 229, Barr 223, Root 165, NOTA 6

Root is out of the sixth ballot. I have a feeling the Root supporters will support Barr, not Ruwart, based upon her statements about child porn; remember, it was Root who raised a big stink about that. If Ruwart wins, I will be very surprised.

Root making concession speech. It’s not over, he wants to be Barr’s VP. No surprise there. Says he has been respectful to all candidates, but that’s not true because he was not respectful to Mary Ruwart. He keeps raising his fist into the air and saying ‘Bang!” What a retard.

Sixth ballot is Barr vs Ruwart vs NOTA. It will be interesting to see how many votes NOTA gets this time.

Root and Barr are embracing. Root’s daughter is there, he’s talking about her running for president again. Boring. Root’s baby is on TV, cute kid. Root was asked why he didn’t endorse Barr. Root never actually answered the question, but says he and Barr can change the face of the country. Yawn. If it’s a Barr/Root ticket, I will no longer support the LP, because that will be proof that it has been taken over by conservatives. I have never supported a conservative candidate, and I’m not about to start now.

People are walking around with Ruwart signs. Some woman is telling people to vote Barr/Root, talking about the next 12 years. If that’s the ticket, the LP will be unrecognizable long before then.

Some guy is talking about VP voting, says Ruwart’s people will want her, but Ruwart will not accept running with Barr. You can hear people chanting “Barr/Root! Barr/Root!” Other people are chanting “Mary! Mary!”

If the winner of this round does not win by a majority, will they still have to go up against NOTA? That would be interesting, LOL.

Results of sixth ballot: Barr 324, Ruwart 276, NOTA 4

Ruwart speaking. Thanks supporters and campaign team. She thanked LFV’s own Jason Seagraves right after her husband. Jason, you’re supposed to clap for the other people she’s introducing, LOL. Then again, Nancy Neal clapped for herself, and that’s a bigger faux pas. She says it’s time to get on with the business of the party. She says nothing about being interested in becoming the Vice Presidential nominee.

Barr will address delegates about the Vice Presidential nominee. Called Redpath the greatest political leader in the US. Um, yeah. Talked about seeing people in a Barr administration cabinet. Um, yeah. Talks about his son, thanks him. Derek is his son’s name. Introduces his wife, Geri Barr (not sure of spelling, I just guessed). Russ Verney on staff. Gawd, this man is boring. Says it will be historic and positive campaign that will succeed, not in race to make a point, or to send message, is “campaign that will win”. Um, yeah. Introduces Steve Gordon and Shane Corey. The man is either lying or delusional, because there is no way he can win the general election.

Taking recess until 4:15, which should be 7:15pm EST.

C-Span did not pick up the VP nominations after all, but Root won.

The LP ballot for the 08 election is Barr/Root.

It looks like Barr has a live stream at, and I’m really sick of liveblogging (and even sicker of watching this crap on television), so I’m signing out.  (Thanks to Jacqueline Passey for the link!)

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.

Will Gravel get to speak at Denver?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 23, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I’m writing notes on the Bylaws debates in another thread, but this was interesting enough to warrant a separate thread. About an hour ago, one of the Gravel guys made a motion to expand the amount of time for Bylaws debates until later on in the evening. I raised an eyebrow, but that motion failed and I didn’t think any more of it.

However, we’re running close to the end of the session, and now the Gravel folks are scrambling around like crazy (Gravel himself’s on the floor)… and made a motion to skip directly to a proposal for changing the threshold for Presidential candidates being entitled to give nominating speeches and/or enter the debates. From the chatter I’m overhearing from his volunteers, they don’t yet have enough delegate tokens to get in the debate under current rules.

They still have time to gather more, but they better hustle… their motion failed, so they’ll have to work with the rules as they currently stand.

**UPDATE** As laid out in the comments by G.E. and myself below, the actual text of this proposal would have raised the required threshold of tokens. I’m not sure if that camp was hoping to defeat it and then offer more favorable amendments (as is the parliamentary procedure), or if things just got really mixed up.

Jacqueline Passey: Credentials fight at LP Convention?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 23, 2008 at 10:11 pm

This article is reproduced with permission of the author, Jacqueline Passey.

Delegates: Robert Stacy McCain reports that delegates are being seated for states other than their home states, noting that Libertarian Party convention rules allow for this.

Note: This is pretty significant. Most state LPs do not fill all of their delegate slots for the national convention prior to the convention. This means they have extra slots to give away at the convention, if they so choose. If a candidate can convince one or more existing state delegations (or just their chairs?) to seat additional delegates, the candidate can effectively stuff the ballot box with extra voting delegates who favor that candidate. This news, combined with a pre-convention report of Bob Barr’s campaign recruiting supporters to make a day trip to the convention for the nomination vote, suggests to me that Barr and his supporters have indeed found an effective strategy to “take over” the convention and win the Presidential nomination as some have feared.

I predict a credentials fight on Sunday.


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”.

Be sure to bookmark this link to to her political posts, and check back often for her continuing convention gossip updates.

Tucker Carlson NOT seeking LP presidential nomination

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics on May 23, 2008 at 6:56 pm

From ABC News:

In any case, Carlson tells me he was never running.

He’s right now with his family in Maine rather than in Denver with the Marijuana Policy Project and the like.

“I probably should have done it,” Tucker emails me.” Imagine the bus trip.”

Voices from LFV comments: Steve Perkins at LP convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Wayne Allen Root on May 23, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Things are turning out to be a lot more murky and less clear-cut than I was expecting (not that I really knew what to expect). I stopped by a get together of Barr supporters, and was pretty surprised by the number of hardline anarchists who turned out. It seems that some delegates reason that hardline downticket candidates could have a better opportunity to spread their message with Barr at the top of the ticket than they would be able to at the top of the ticket themselves. I thought it was notable that the Barr camp is stressing strict neutrality on platform and bylaws debates.

On the flipside of the coin, the Ruwart ranks are starting to turn out. I’ve heard secondhand reports that at the David Nolan speaking event there was a “vocal straw poll” of sorts, and Ruwart drew the loudest response… followed by Barr, followed by Root. Of course that WAS a Nolan event, so I’m not shocked… but there were more “I (heart) Mary” lapel stickers in the lobby when I headed back upstairs. I’m seeing more Gravel signs as well, and the Root folks have been hyper-aggressive so far. I don’t have any sense yet as to who people’s second picks are, if and when the race goes to multiple rounds and their first-pick falls out. Tomorrow should be interesting.

One last thought before I head to bed… I don’t know WHAT the chatter is all about with Tucker Carlson. No sign of that whatsoever here in Denver.

Jim Casarjian-Perry: LP Convention Update version 1.0

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm

The following was written by LFV contributor Jim Casarjian-Perry, and originally posted on his blog. It is reproduced here, as he was kind enough to send the link to me via email.

Good morning everyone!

I’m writing to let you know how the convention is going thus far. We haven’t had our opening session yet so no business has been discussed.

There is quite a buzz about the Bob Barr campaign both for and against him and it seems there isn’t a single delegate here without an opinion on Barr. As you all know, I am actively campaigning for George Phillies and against Bob Barr.

Things are going well for George and we’re hoping to have enough “tokens” to get him into the debate and to speak on the floor.

The Massachusetts delegation is going to hold a delegation meeting shortly and will discuss the issues at hand. The delegates are Mr. Phillies of Worcester, Mr. Torrey of Billerica, Dr. Santos of Charlton, Mr. Blau of Brookline, Ms. McMahon of Munson, and myself. All MA delegates have endorsed Mr. Phillies for President.

I’ll update again just before Shabbat, MDT.

LP Deathblog Update

In Daniel Imperato, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby on May 23, 2008 at 2:58 pm

In case any of you have been wondering, I am not really actually dead.

Just extremely sleep deprived and without a laptop, or money for the Sheraton business center. Just found a free cybercafe by the exhibitor booths. Standing room only, unfortunately. Anyone with a laptop I can borrow, come see me or give me a call. My number is on my facebook.

Floorspace to crash always appreciated. Thanks to several of you who offered, but I lost y’all. when the time came. I was not supposed to be allowed to sleep where I got my two hours, so I won’t say where, but thanks.

In answer to a question on my last deathblog, best dressed at the masquerade: my award goes to Mr. and Mrs. Pimperato. Dannyboy was sporting a white ice cream suit with an open collar shirt straight out of Scarface, and Mrs. Imp had on all-black leather zippered get-up with a gold chain and Carmela Soprano hairdo. It reminded me of partying on Long Island in the 1980s. Speaking of which, anyone know if there is any snow left in the Rockies this time of year? I haven’t been outside much. Let me know.

Skipping ahead around 36 hours, I tried to go for a run with Michelle this morning and lasted about a block and a half. Reminded me why I’m no longer in crime for a living. Outrunning cops is pretty much not going to happen. I’ll fill you all in later on the 36 hours or so. Someone please fix my spelling, I do not have my glasses on.

Oh yeah, come see me if you want Kubby buttons and signs or if you want to give a token to the tokin’ candidate.

And thanks to GE for saying I’m cool. Actually I used to be a lot cooler, I’m kinda lame now. But I appreciate the compliment.

G.E. in Denver III: Gravel vs. Starchild (and Andy)

In Economics, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 23, 2008 at 5:28 am

Next was Q&A. One of the first questions was asked by Starchild. I don’t know the proper pronoun to use here, and I don’t want to be offensive, so I’ll say SC. SC asked the candidates, [note: please assume all quotes are paraphrased], “Do you believe the core of libertarianism is that you should be able to do what you want with your own body, life, and property, so long as you infringe on no one else?” They (Link, Mary Ruwart, Kubby, Gravel and Jingo all raised their hands). “Okay, then how can some of you support coercive taxation to fund education.” It was targeted to Gravel, of course.

I’ll skip the blow by blow and tell you that Gravel and Starchild had a rather length exchange. Stardchild kept SC’s cool, but dismissively (and deservedly) shook SC’s head and smiled at some of Gravel’s outlandishly statist propositions, but Gravel got fuming mad, shouting down SC. Gravel said you can’t have liberty without education and that without government schools, everyone would be dumb. And of course, we are too dumb now precisely because government schools are too decentralized. SC pointed out Gravel’s many contradictions which made the old man rage. “What do you want?” he asked, “voluntary education?” YES!, the crowd roared. “Show me where that has worked,” Gravel demanded.

At this point, Andy got into the act. “Right here in this country,” he said. Gravel disagreed. Andy set him straight. “FINE!” Gravel barked. “You want to go back to the 18th century, go right ahead.” Andy rejoined: “It’s not going back to the 18th century, it’s going back to freedom.” (That was a direct quote). The crowd erupted in cheers while the Maoist Gravel cohort sat on their hands.

Finally, Jim Duesning made Gravel shut up and let Steve Kubby speak. “There’s never a justification for using force to achieve goals,” he said. Short and sweet. Jingo said the same thing (he may have said it before Kubby, actually), and I waned to ask him how he saw protectionism as non-coercive.

There were a lot of questions on which Gravel’s anti-libertarian colors were exposed. At one point, he literally ridiculed libertarians for never getting anything done. Mary Ruwart pointed out that libertarians have changed people’s attitudes. This did not register with Gravel, who thinks change can only come through coercion.

A gentleman asked a question about the Fed and central banking. Link had disappeared by now and no one noticed. Jingo recalled a conversation with the Liberty Dollar founder (Bernand something) and agreed with him that a competing currency would destroy the Fed in a less tumultuous manner than an outright abolition. Jingo pointed out that saying “let’s allow competing currencies” seems completely logical to average voters.

Kubby and Ruwart gave predictably sound answers. Kubby pointed out that the dollar’s value, when compared to the loony, has halved. Ruwart blamed regulations for gold-standard-era depressions.

Gravel’s answer was thoroughly statist. He said gold and silver were dumb because Russia and South Africa had all the gold and silver (as if that matters). He then lionized that great libertarian, Abe Lincoln, as the pioneer of fiat money, with his government-issued greenbacks. Gravel thought it was great that these helped fund the War Against Southern Independence. He wants more authority for the government over money.

Oh, and I should mention that Jim Duesning said, “I wish George Phillies were here to answer this question.” Phillies, of course, supports the Fed’s monetary fascism. It was the second potshot at Phillies. Earlier, someone asked, “Where’s Bob Barr?” Duesning said all candidates had been invited and that anyone who did not think 9/11 needed an investigation, who trusted the government, was not a libertarian. He specifically mentioned the names Phillies, Root, and Barr (although allowed for as how they may have had legitimate commitments to other events).

Andy asked the next question: What do you think of the Fair Tax and the NAU. No one really talked about NAU, but a FairTax debate erupted, with Gravel supporting it strongly. Kubby made a whole new set of arguments against the FairTax that I had not even considered — as if that even needed to be done! Mary Ruwart said, “the only FairTax is NO TAX.” The crowd liked that. Gravel rambled on about how the LP was a “half-percent party” because of things like this. He is Dear Leader, and if we only follow him, we will win. What a hollow victory that would be.

There was some other mild drama, although I don’t remember when. A weird guy tried to take the stage, and Jim Duesning had to have him thrown out. “Don’t make me come off this stage!” he yelled at the dude. I felt bad for Duesning. He put on a good event.

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.


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.


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)

Voices from LFV Comments: Steve Perkins convention update

In Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Wayne Allen Root on May 23, 2008 at 2:12 am

Just got back from dinner, to change clothes and take a break before seeing what’s happing with hospitality suites. Other candidates are starting to show a presence… Root in particular has been wandering around working the floor pretty hard. I just met Gravel, and it’s kinda funny… usually with make-up and lighting and so forth, people look better on TV than they do in real life. Gravel, however, looks about 10-20 years younger and healthier in person than he does on TV. He also has a booth running now that’s about as large and professional-looking as Barr’s.

The approximate order in which I’m seeing buttons and signs is: Barr, Imperato (?), Root, Gravel, Ruwart, and Phillies. I’m not sure who’s running against Dixon for LNC, but it seems like three-quarters of the delegates are wearing Dixon stickers.

It seemed like almost all the volunteers and workers with the Barr camp are either: (1) Ron Paul activists who moved over, or (2) Stephen Gordon.

It’s really strange running into people that I only know from the blogosphere, and noting the difference between that and the real world. I’ve argued a ton with Knapp online, but met him in person and found him to be really cool guy.

I found out about an hour after I checked in that my state affiliate could have gotten my press credentials if I’d thought to ask (oh well).

Tucker Carlson to announce last-minute LP presidential candidacy?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 23, 2008 at 1:58 am

A number of sites, including Reason Hit and Run, are reporting that delegates have received calls from a polling firm today, and the LP options they were offered included Tucker Carlson as a presidential candidate.

Is Tucker going to throw his hat in the ring for the LP presidential nomination?  If so, why did he wait until the convention to do so?

I have criticized Bob Barr for announcing a last-minute candidacy, and I cannot help but also wonder why Tucker would also wait until the last minute to announce, if in fact that is what he is doing.

Can he walk away with the LP presidential nomination?  Given the fighting between factions and Tucker’s name recognition, I think he could.

What do you think?

Voices from LFV Comments: Steve Perkins at the LP Convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on May 23, 2008 at 12:10 am

I just finished getting credentials downstairs, and am settling into my room from the travel out here. The vendor/candidate area downstairs is just ridiculous. Barr has a huge oversized booth staffed by attractive girls collecting delegate tokens and giving out Bob Barr cowboy hats. It has video projectors, an array of buttons / stickers / signs, and Barr himself is roaming the floor flanked by two or three camera crews filming him. On the table is a list of pledged delegates that’s starting to run into multiple pages.

All the other candidates’ booths are either completely unmanned, or have one person standing there twiddling their thumbs. Granted, it’s Thursday and people are still traveling… but sheesh. I’m almost worried that the Barr presence is “too much” and might alienate people. I’m a supporter and it still gave me a weird vibe. Then again, maybe a true professional campaign DOES look a bit out of place at an LP convention.

I bumped into Root in the elevator. Came across nice, but obviously had a ton on his mind.

My “Anyone who doesn’t buy me a beer isn’t a ‘REAL Libertarian’” t-shirt has not earned me a single beer since my arrival. There’s no principle left in this Party, I suppose.

G.E. live from Denver: Part 1

In Daniel Imperato, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 22, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Arrived in Denver 9:00 a.m. local time. Found a dude waving a “Libertarian Party” sign and figured he was a fellow LPer. Instead, he was trying to round up Libertarians for the 45-minute shuttle trek from the airport to downtown Denver. I saw one guy walking around that I was sure was a libertarian, but the sign-waver was covering another area. Sure enough, he joined in a few minutes to wait for the shuttle. Come to find out, he was (is) a friend of Austin Cassidy and hopes to run with him on the multi-seat Soil and Water board.

Anyway, joining us in the shuttle six other Libertarian — three of them women. Taking shotgun was none other than Susan Hogarth. Susan heartily endorsed Ruth Bennett for chair. One of our shuttlemates, a guy named Scott who does ballot-access work for the LP, says a change would be disastrous to the LP’s ballot-access program. Maybe he has a point. But my vote goes against the current regime.

When I got to the hotel, the first thing I saw gave me chills: Allan Hacker and Daniel Imperato walking hand in hand. Is there a new conspiracy in the works? How do thetans relate to the Knights of Malta? Regardless, Austin’s friend and I got turned around in the hotel, and Allan Hacker lent us a helping hand. A little later, Daniel Imperato approached me — seeming totally normal and nice — trying to get my debate token. When I told him “I have to think about it,” he was totally cool with it.

No hardcore bad blood so far. But rumor has it that the former owner of TPW (and not the one now affiliated with IPR) wants to initiate force against my face. I guess I have become a scapegoat for everyone who sees this certain someone as part of a plot — call it a neocon plot. To the best of my knowledge, I have never called him a neocon, and if I have, I shouldn’t have.

Had lunch with Paulie, Angela Keaton, and Michelle Shinghall (sp). All of these people are way cooler in real life than they seem online, and they seem pretty cool online. Angela in particular has been very helpful to me and to the bloggers who were stripped of press creds following the Viguerie coup. I was invited by Angela to blog the LNC meeting, but my laptop was in my room which is like a mile away. I got here and decided to write this blog instead, and then I’m going to sleep. (I’ve had a combined total of four hours in the past 48).

Anonymous source: The radicals have, at best, 15 percent strength and either Barr or Root is going to be the nominee. This multi-person source supports Kubby/Ruwart. He/she/they all agree that the role for radicals will be to be kingmaker — who will do less damage to the LP: Barr or Root?

Not-so-anonymous source (Susan Hogarth): “I think Ruwart will take it.”

More to come.

CSpan Convention Coverage Schedule

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics on May 22, 2008 at 7:41 pm

According to Independent Political Report, the Libertarian National Convention will be covered on C-Span as follows (all times are Eastern time, so adjust accordingly for your time zone):

Saturday –  Coverage begins at 9:00pm and continues until midnight or later

Sunday – Coverage will begin at 10:30am and continue for the reminder of the day