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Posts Tagged ‘LP’

The Primary Base of an LP Campaign

In Libertarian on December 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm

The Primary Base of an LP Campaign

By Donald Meinshausen

An important lesson that we have learned in decades of elections is most of the public, as well as most of the media don’t pay attention to third parties. They only pay attention to Republican and Democratic, not Libertarian Party campaigns. The reasons for this have little do with libertarian theory or the competence of the LP. However the LP’s fortune can change with the emergence of the new media and the coming collapse of the economy, the schools, the wars overseas and the rise of other problems.

But for now we all can learn something from the Ron Paul’s great GOP race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. In terms of libertarian political efforts this race stands out as the most successful in libertarian ideas presented as an election campaign of a presidential candidate. Much of the public and even skeptical media reacted well and in record volume. One reason for this is because he was admitted to the GOP debates and a very large audience. There he got acceptance and publicity with his principles, practicality and presentation. This resulted in more vetting which meant more votes and volunteers and volume of money than all previous LP presidential efforts combined. This also includes Ron Paul’s 1988 bid as the LP presidential candidate.

This is not to detract from other heroic efforts. We have done better in LP races in terms of percentages in state and local campaigns. We have even elected good candidates for local office and should continue to do so. We as libertarians should engage in LP runs for president with a Ron Paul gold standard of purity.

Far from discounting LP results, Ron Paul built up a lot of support from liberty-minded individuals who were recruited in previous LP campaigns for his primary effort. Many are now also involved in the Campaign for Liberty, the newly emergent the tax revolt and other causes. All of this activism has reinforced our role in the drug legalization movement, the anti-war movement, gun rights groups, the truther movement and other outreach opportunities. What I’m talking about here is repeating Ron Paul’s success all over again, state-by-state, in 2010 and further elections, to help the LP. This is what I call our Primary Strategy.

There are now several campaigns all over the country to nominate and elect Ron Paul type Republicans all over the country. The most known is Rand Paul, who is a son of Ron Paul, and is running for US Senate in Kentucky in the primaries as a Republican. He is a doctor like his father, a visionary physician and an ophthalmologist. He is head of a state taxpayer group where he has made several media appearances attacking government waste before running for office.

This is his first run for office. Rand already has raised over a million dollars tying his primary opponent’ money raising efforts. He has done this through a tactic from his father’s campaign of having on-line money-bombs, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in one day. He is publicly shaming his opponent by calling on him to refuse money from senators who supported the bailouts. In on-line polls he is now beating his GOP opponents handily. He is doing especially well among conservative activists.

He is now leading in the official opinion polls.  He has just broken into the lead by 3% over his main rival, Trey Grayson, a former Clinton delegate, who is now the GOP Secretary of State. They are competing for a soon to be vacated seat that will be left by the retirement of Jim Bunning. Senator Bunning is by most accounts a decent conservative who opposed the Bush bailouts. He is unlike and not liked by senior senator, Mitch McConnell, who supported the Bush bailouts and controls the state GOP. This establishment supports Grayson over Paul.

The LP is wisely publicly not endorsing Rand. But many astute LPers are encouraging their friends to register Republican so as to vote for him in the primary. Several are also going to campaign stops, county fairs and GOP events and such to pass out material and do outreach for him. This way we learn how a large grass roots campaign is run. Since Rand has a real chance of winning we don’t have to deal with the “wasted vote” argument. Now we can present our libertarian ideas to a new audience from a position of strength. This makes his campaign a great opportunity to spread our ideas and experiment with our newly acquired strength. This is a first in our history.

There are also similar possibilities here with investment guru Peter Schiff who is running for the GOP nod in the Senate race against Senator Dodd in Connecticut.  Debra Medina’s run as a Ron Paul Republican against Governor Perry for the nod in the Texas GOP primary for governor is another example. And there are other races such as Adam Kokesh in a House race in New Mexico and the AJ Harris race for Congress. More of these may surface soon as the races heat up and the economy tanks. I’m not saying that all those listing themselves as Ron Paul type Republicans will be worthy of support. But getting involved now, especially with our own candidates, promises to be an exciting opportunity to popularize or elect people who speak our language of liberty.

At the very least it’s a way to educate the public about how to diagnose and cure the statist ills brought about by the Democrats and Republicans. Here we can say this in a debate among equals to their face with the public watching. Many libertarians and even Republican conservatives would pay good money to see a big spending Republican or a Democrat get a good tongue-lashing and their comeuppance in such a campaign.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that previous electoral experience; name recognition and party support are no longer so necessary to get a GOP or a Dem nomination. Against a candidate old and tired, cold and mired in scandal and sold and wired to horrible voting records there is much voter resentment. This anger can be a motor to change things. A primary battle where we just get 20%-40% looks a lot better than an election where an LP candidate gets less than 2%. And we can get much more than 40% and even win in many primaries

This process of a one-two punch against powerful incumbents can invoke some real political power. For a hard primary campaign can greatly weaken an incumbent. The attacks on our enemies can hurt their image in their potential base. These attacks will be seen as coming from within his party rather from outside marginalized forces and therefore be seen as much more damaging. It also drains money, respect and other resources that could be spent on the election itself.

A club to aid in batting against Bush league sellouts is the Club for Growth. This free market group is admired for its fund raising ability. It is also known for contributing to campaigns of challengers against big spenders in the GOP. There are other groups that have organized to unseat those Republican congress critters that voted for Cap and Trade and other defective defectors. We should pick interesting winnable races.

We can expect and hope to be “blamed” or credited if these bad Republican candidates loses because of our efforts. There is a need to compile a list of these RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) who were defeated by us in elections where the LP candidate was the margin of difference. These should be displayed as scalps or trophies to be waved in front of those who try to suppress us.  The list should contain a sum of all the monies spent by the RINOs in their losing elections. This is then given to strategists, the large donors and fundraisers for the GOP and to the media as well so that they will no longer ignore us. I know of several US senate seats that were lost because of Libertarian Party efforts that drained GOP votes. This alone means the totals are in the tens of millions of dollars. Some LP candidates put a deliberatively conservative tone to their campaign to attract conservatives and to defeat Republicans.

In areas that are socially liberal such as the northeastern and northwestern US we can recruit this voting bloc that still votes GOP. In Maine we can unite with social conservatives to defeat RINOs such as Republican Senator Olympia Snowe who is bad on economics as well as civil liberties. A libertarian Republican could defeat her. The conservatives will thank and help us for doing so. These remaining liberal Rockefeller Republicans need to be defeated in order for us to assert our power.

This process will help define the complementary roles of the Campaign for Liberty, which raises issues in the public; Liberty Caucus of the Republican Party, which runs candidates and raises issues in the GOP and the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party which run campaigns as a third party. All these groups work with a lot of single issue and other educational or other sympathetic groups.  Many will belong to some or all of these groups and can explain these roles so as to reduce confusion and possible friction. We do not need to publicly acknowledge these roles but we should understand them. Rather than competition there can be a co-operation in punishing bad incumbents or candidates as well as gathering support in helping good candidates and causes.

There are good people who will now not vote Republican because of the Bushes and other RINOs and there are good people who will only vote Republican because they can see no one winning without GOP support. These primary processes can help these types to work together and helps to resolve that argument. The arguments here may or may not be openly acknowledged.

Another tool that we can refer to is the referendum. Placing an initiative on the ballot allows us to define the issues of the campaign. This will require and also mobilize an activist base that will force our positions into the media discussions whether the politicians like it or not. Therefore our issues can become the campaign itself.

What we want is well written ballot questions that will hold up in court challenges and yet be easily understood by voters. They should be on issues that are hot topic, winnable and pro-liberty, as we understand it. There are groups that write and fund these and help put them on the ballot that are not part of the GOP or LP process and work with libertarians, conservatives and others. Recall is a similar effective strategy that also can be employed in states that allow it.

These strategies will also strengthen the libertarian role in gaining Democratic and independent support in elections. We all know of people who are independents or on the anti-war left and drug law reformers who have had kind words for us in the media. Some even supported Ron Paul or even LP candidates. The media in covering the Ron Paul campaign of 2008 has noted this. Many of these people could be recruited to support Rand Paul’s campaign in Kentucky, as well as in other races as a way to show dissatisfaction with the Dems support for the war, continued civil liberties violations and the bankster bailouts. This has happened before in history as the Democrats have routinely sold out their most ideological supporters. Getting Rand Paul nominated or elected would also be seen as a slap in the face of the Republicans who would amBUSH our liberty as well as to the Democrats.

Since we as libertarians are much better in reaching these voters and media that gives us a source of power in the GOP that others involved in primary battles cannot touch.  This new option for the Left would at the same time strengthen their hand within the Democratic Party as well. For this option would give them another reason to support us, in primaries especially and even in elections. The Left would then see other alternatives than being captive handmaidens of the Democratic Party or empowering socially intolerant war making Republicans through Naderite campaigns. This new option exercised by the left Democrats could end up wiping out the right /left spectrum once and for all.

And there is yet another reason for this strategy. Let’s say our candidate loses in the primary and that victor is seen as much worse than the Democrat challenger. We can then hit our target once more with an LP or independent campaign. Sometimes the RINO will negotiate with us for support. This could be a good deal or a moral dilemma. But at this point I’m not counting on any concessions. There is the possibility of getting our defeated candidate in the primary to endorse our LP or independent candidate in the general election. But even if that person demurs we could still get our primary candidate’s lists of good media contacts, volunteers and donors. If the target or incumbent has waged a dirty, false or insulting campaign many of the primary voters will support us so as to punish that person. This makes the LP candidate look more attractive to voters even if our contender in the primary does not endorse us. .

Don’t expect many people to come over the first time we try this. It took the GOP thirty years to change voting patterns in the South. We have less resources and powerful enemies. This, like all successful changes, is a grassroots process. But it needs to started now and measured for effectiveness

Moderate Republicanism or moderate Democratism has been greatly discredited and has so for a long time. These are not grass roots or principled movement. But there are still many congresscritters and state legislators who identify themselves by these labels. Since they are despised by both left and right as well as by us these moderates could also be targets.

Avoiding any label and any philosophy elects many more disgusting candidates. Some get elected on just charisma, family, money and the luck of being less hated. The worst are re-elected by something called “experience” which is based on the bidding of bureaucratic beltway banditry and those who benefit by it.

What we are trying to do is to make as many elections as possible issue oriented on our issues. What is more is that these issues and the solutions we agree on are the ones to be the deciding factor in decision making. Now in this current wave of nationalizations we must frame the label of “No” attached to the GOP by the Dems to mean less government and toward more liberty and therefore a positive. We can’t expect the current GOP to carry this message. So we have to go inside and outside the Republican Party and the conservative movement to get our message out.

We can do this also in the Democratic Party as well. I have worked in successful Democratic campaigns such as the city of Hoboken, NJ mayoral campaign in 1985. I ran the opposition research and coordinated volunteers where we won on the issues of fighting corruption and high taxes. This can happen again even in overwhelmingly Democratic urban areas where voters are repulsed by the economy, the war, violation of civil liberties and corrupt incumbents.

Both parties are losing their moorings and therefore losing identification and support among their traditional supporters.  Respect toward politicians is declining overall as the new media allow people learn more. People are now voting more and paying more attention to politics, war and the economy.

The amount of voters calling themselves and listening to independents is growing into a chorus. They are looking for good conduct and a conductor who knows how to co-ordinate talented players who know the score. Those who participate in such a concerted effort must know and play with all styles as well as the new technology. By making the theme of an election an anti-authoritarian one we can make contending candidates dance to our tune. We can now write this music but need to know how to make it popular. To weed out bad, incompetent productions and performers we need to get our record out. In the new media we expose the bad and promote the good. For we must make hits of our own or suffer the hits of others. If we don’t compose ourselves to play together we will not be heard. If you have any recommendations, let’s hear them.

.  .

LNC Falls Short of Own Policies on Transparency, Due Process

In Libertarian Party-US on September 17, 2008 at 8:45 pm

The Libertarian National Committee (LNC) Policy Manual, 44 pages of rules, responsibilities and procedures for the LNC and LP headquarters, was released this week by Marc Montoni of the Virginia LP. Dated June 26 of this year, a close reading of the manual reveals significant differences between policy and practice in the national Libertarian Party.

I.2.A: Meeting Agendas

At I.2.A, the policy manual states:

The agenda [for LNC meetings] shall also be posted on the LP.Org website at least seven days prior to the meeting.

According to Louise Calise of LP headquarters “agendas are under the tab of Party and LNC Meeting Archives.” However, the latest agenda I found there is for the August 19-20, 2006 meeting. At the time of publication, there was no comment from any LNC members I queried as to whether the September 6-7 meeting’s agenda was distributed in accordance with this policy.

I.2.C: Recordings of Meetings

The Director shall be responsible for recording all LNC meetings on audio or video medium, providing a copy to the Secretary, retaining the recordings for one year at LPHQ, and making copies available to any other member upon request at cost.

I emailed LP member services and was told by LP Director of Operations Robert S. Kraus that “The policy manual has been recently revised and copies of the recordings are for internal use only.”

Decision to Cease LNC Meeting Recordings

At-Large Representative Angela Keaton documented this decision at the September 6-7, 2008 LNC meeting

Sullentrup moves to eliminate the policy that we video tape the meeting. …

Starr than says that all meeting should be recorded by [sic] destroyed after the minutes are approved. …

Kraus: costs of tape, plus staff member is too much. He doesn’t want to be responsible at meetings for tending to this.

Starr, Colley, Karlan, Flood, Dixon, Sink-Burris, Hinkle, Jingozian vote to destroy records as soon as the minutes are approved. It passes.

Region 5 – North Representative Dan Karlan explained his vote as follows:

The point of the minutes is to record what happened. Normally, that should be sufficient, and if that is the case, recordings become superfluous. Retaining them can readily become a filing nightmare, and it is certain that whoever has that task will be routinely called on to make copies of meetings going way back. That isn’t appropriate, as a policy.

Ms Keaton responded to Mr Karlan’s statement:

It’s typical parliamentarian drivel which does not address any of current problems the LNC has with regard to abuse of the Executive Session privilege or how RRON is used to manipulate and distort the interests of the membership.

What does the term “appropriate” mean? What are the actual metrics as to how often people ask for records? As a non practicing lawyer, I find it irresponsible bordering on idiotic that LNC does not keep tapes of the meetings.

Mr Karlan added:

However, I will report that we also had a mail ballot since the meeting, in which the motion was to preserve specifically the tapes of THIS meeting for longer, and I voted for that motion, overriding the POLICY when special circumstances warrant it.

Recordings from the Past Year Never Made

I emailed Mr Kraus again, asking if the policy manual revision applied to recordings of meetings from the past year as well. “We have not recorded meetings for several years. Sorry.” said Mr Kraus.

Mr Kraus confirmed that the Sep 6-7 meeting was the first one taped in years, adding: “We have an excellent secretary whose minutes have been unquestionably accurate.”

According to copies of the LNC Policy Manual dated March 1, 2005 and December 10, 2007, this exact same recording policy was in effect on those dates as well.

Recordings for Executive Sessions not Falling Under Limits

Recordings were also mandated for LNC executive sessions not falling under the limits set in I.2.F.3, saying in I.2.F.5:

With regard to Executive Sessions relating to topics not enumerated above [I.2.F.3, see below], recordings shall be made and minutes shall be taken. Immediately upon return to Open Session, the LNC may either – by majority vote – treat those recordings and minutes consistent with i [I.2.F.3] (destroy them) or to treat those recordings and minutes consistent with ii (to maintain them as non-public records subject to possible future release upon a vote of two-thirds of those LNC members present at a future meeting).

The absence of recordings presumably means that the LNC believes all executive sessions over the past year have fallen under the limits set for them in I.2.F.3, which are:

  1. Legal matters (potential, pending, or past)
  2. Regulatory and compliance matters (potential, pending, or past)
  3. Contractual compliance
  4. Personnel matters (including evaluation, compensation, hiring, or dismissal)
  5. Board self-evaluation
  6. Strategic issues (only those requiring confidentiality)
  7. Negotiations (potential, pending, or past)

However, former LNC Vice-Chair Chuck Moulton, who served on the LNC from 2004-2008, said that executive session is overused. “In my opinion the restrictions are not tight enough.” he added.

I.8: Harassment and Offensive Behavior Prohibition

I.8 details what is considered offensive behavior and how it will be dealt with. At the September 6-7 LNC meeting, Ms Keaton reported that accusations of “sexual violation” were brought against her.

Starr: Motion to direct Angela Keaton to apologize two the sexually violated employees. #

The charges that I violated ExSession and that I sexually violated two employees. Yes, you read that right. #

The Policy Manual states that, among other things, the following conduct could constitute harassment:

  • off-color jokes
  • sexual innuendoes
  • unwelcome comments about a person’s body

And dictates the following course of action to deal with accusations:

In response to every complaint, LNC will take prompt and necessary steps to investigate the matter and will protect the individual’s confidentiality, as much as possible, recognizing the need to thoroughly investigate all complaints.

According to Region 7 Representative Rachel Hawkridge at least a partial investigation was conducted:

There was printed copy of blogged material handed out. When asked if she did it, Angela said “yes”. So, yes there was some investigation. The more telling, and more important point? Did anyone ask the two young staffers involved? Apparently, not until later.

Alleged Sexual Violation Victim “Seemed Flattered”

According to Mr Moulton, who was present at the meeting, one of the victims of Ms Keaton’s alleged “sexual violation” “seemed flattered” and said that “it was no big deal” in response to Ms Keaton calling him “very sexy”.

III.2.A: Position Description of National Secretary

According to III.2.A, minutes for conference calls or “other technology that permits remote access” “shall be mailed or e-mailed to all LNC members not more than 10 days after each meeting.” And III.2.E says that LNC conference call minutes shall be posted “to an archive section on the LP.Org website.”

According to Mr Moulton all conference calls are Executive Committee meetings, the minutes for which are not confidential. The minutes at for the Dec 31 2005 and earlier conference calls support this claim.

But the policy manual has different rules for executive committee minutes, limiting their distribution only to LNC members. From VI.1.C:

Minutes shall be kept of Executive Committee meetings … Executive Committee minutes shall be distributed to all LNC members … within 7 days of such approval.

“I have not seen any evidence the policy manual is not being followed in this area.” said Region 6 Alternate Representative Jake Porter.

At the time of publication, however, there was no comment from LP Secretary Robert Sullentrup and another LNC member I queried. I have not been able to confirm that the Executive Committee minutes are indeed being distributed to LNC members.

In any case, there have been at least nine conference calls since Dec 31, 2005, including:

  • June 1, 2006
  • November 5, 2006
  • May 23, 2007
  • September 30, 2007
  • January 27, 2008
  • April 5, 2008
  • May 4, 2008
  • May 10, 2008
  • July 16, 2008

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

And no minutes for these meetings are available at the archives. I did find minutes for the July 16, 2008 meeting.

Minutes for “other technology that permits remote access”

The LNC Discuss email discussion list qualifies as “technology that permits remote access”, but no minutes are posted for list activities and the archives are closed to the public. At the time of publication, there was no comment from Mr Sullentrup on this issue.

Supporting Materials List from LPHQ

According to III.2.H.:

The Secretary shall assure that LNC agendas, minutes, mail ballots, resolution updates, and other supporting material shall be sent without charge to all LNC members … Any Party member may obtain these materials at his or her own cost. A list of such material shall be available from LPHQ on request …

At the time of publication, there was no comment from LP HQ as to whether this list exists.

V.1.C. Contracts with Independent Contractors

Independent contractors doing business with the LNC are required to sign formal contracts which clearly set forth the parties’ intention that they be treated as independent contractors.

However, according to Paul, a veteran LP petitioner, this policy has not been implemented:

… there were no signed agreements [during the 2008 ballot access drive]. We are independent contractors.

We were contracted by LPHQ in most states. In Mass., I was first contracted 50/50 by the state and national parties, and later by the state party only. …

In IL and AL I was contracted by the national party (subbed through Pickens officially), and the same was true in PA with Mark and Andy.

However, earlier in the year in UT and AZ I dealt with the state/local parties directly. In all other states where I discussed going in, it was all through LPHQ. UT was the only written contract.

“Our attorney has asked me to not make any comments about these petitioners for publication. Sorry.” said LP Politicial Director Sean Haugh, in response to inquiries.

At the time of publication, there was no comment from Scott Kohlhaas, who reportedly also played a role in managing the LP 2008 ballot access drive.

LNC Member Fundraising

According to the leadership page:

Perhaps one of the most important task [sic] that is expected from a board member of the Libertarian National Committee is to raise funds for the organization through a combination of personal contributions and funds raised through personal solicitations.

However, there is no mention of this responsibility in either the bylaws or the policy manual.

“It appears to have been added after the new website was launched. I do not know who added it, but in the past I have requested it be removed.” said Mr Porter.

At the time of publication, there was no comment from any other LNC members I queried on this issue. LP HQ staff replied that they had forwarded the question to Mr Sullentrup. At the time of publication, there was no comment from him, either.

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The Starr Resolution

In Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Wayne Allen Root on September 16, 2008 at 7:53 pm

The following is the letter Aaron Starr proposed the LNC send to Ron Paul, offered in response to the letter of apology suggested by Rachel Hawkridge.

September 13, 2008

The Honorable Ron Paul
Committee to Re-Elect Ron Paul
837 W. Plantation
Clute, TX 71531

Dear Dr. Paul:

The Libertarian National Committee is disappointed to learn that you have recently urged those in the freedom movement to vote for the likes of Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin, none of whom truly grasp the meaning of Liberty.

More than before, we remain committed to our nominees for President and Vice President, Bob Barr and Wayne Root. We believe both of them boldly present the ideals of limited government, lower taxes, lower spending, and more freedom to the American people.

We invite you to restore your commitment to Liberty by supporting the only candidates on the ballot this year who understand the Constitution and are prepared to restore our republic to what the Founders believe

Toward Liberty,

The Libertarian National Committee:

Angela Keaton: Day 2 LNC meeting liveblog

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics on September 7, 2008 at 10:03 am

This is Day Two of LNC member Angela Keaton’s liveblog of LNC meeting. You can see Day One here.

Same disclaimer applies as yesterday. If you want a goddamn transcription, make it yourself.

These are my words and mine alone. –Keaton

8:10am Agenda

Carling on Audit
Boring monotone. Explains the audit co purpose. They are happy with …/Wilcock (sp?)

Asked Kraus to negotiate K. Saved 1k. Reviewed by staff.

Starr: What is cost per year? 11k for 2008 plus 2k for midyear review.

Redpath: Any sort of mang report w/ comments, will there be one issued?

Carling: yes. Unlike last audit, “big thumbs up.”

Report from Barr/Root Campaign

Carling: Obv media is doing great for Campaign. Barr is getting more and better and root is getting better than our past Pres. Fund Raising is sig better than past campaigns, but not nearly as good as the media coverage. Several people have vol to make calls including Root, Carling. Promised by Shane Cory a list of names. Did not get it. Told by Cory that Carling was not needed since they had “plenty of money.” (Carling quoting Cory.) Claims that Root, Bruce Cohen and others received similar treatment.

Redpath: That is contrary to what Cory said.

Flood: That’s not what Russ (Verney) told me.

Starr: Is there any particular agreement with the Barr/Root campaign and us?

Redpath: There is not. Spoken to Cory several times. Better with me to talk to Shane. There seems to be no interest in such.

Lark: Seemed to remember in Denver such was agreed upon. Need to flesh out.
Was this an “F-U”?

Carling: It was polite.

Redpath: if we explore it further, we have to go Ex Sess

Wrights: I want to hear it.

Lark: not subject guests to ExSess again until later

Jingozian: Why is there is no mention of Libertarian party on signs, bump sticks, website, carries more
recogn than the name Barr. Link it to something to some clout.

Carling:would have to get back to you.

Redpath: Wants answer to that question ASAP.
Asks Carling to call Cory.

Sullentrup: my sign says both Barr and Lib.

Wrights: It is a concern for website but not as important stickers/signs.
Everyone knows Obama is a dem. If we are running the campaign to mirror big two…

Starr: Agreement with Wrights.
Typically pols will put on signs and website that which get them votes.
Will focus on name and party where party will not help.

Jingozian: Now most americans don’t like two parties, they would find LP a pleasant alt.

Starr: The premise is that they would be more happy with us.

Redpath: Verney wanted to run campaign that would appeal to independents. We can stand to benefit by appealing to independents. 3% to retain ba status. If we get 3% we would get ba in many places.


Ruwart: LNC vote for law suit.
First heard of it when Phillies told me about it. Haugh reported it to last term but not new. Should we be voting for entering lawsuits? Always potential for backlash. I would like opp to discuss any lawsuit in any case where I am a plaintiff.

Dixon: The co should vote unless it is urgent and EC then can vote on it. Aware in Tx that
Obama/McCain lawsuit over missed deadline.

Starr: 2 issues. Question of size. If it is the equiv of small claims, no reason. Budget line item,
do I use cts to change public policy? (Starr’s voice like Carling’s is lower than usual. Can barely hear.)

Lark: Tech speak
Policy manual that the very requirement of budget and spending is part of the Co. LNC should vote.
Anytime LP takes legal action, at least EC.

Dixon: How many lawsuits per year? Do we need to stream line?

Kraus: report from Hall.

Hall: We pay for some law suits where we are not the plaintiff (LP Ohio, example)

Dixon: how many?
Hall: 2 suits.

Starr: Should Lark work on resolution for next meeting on law suits?
(This is quite manipulative–AK)

Jingozian: Wait, Wrights is waiting to say something.

Wrights: The issue is not money. My butt is on the line. Trying to help, but there is anticipated suit. I had to get this info from a member while I sit on the board. What does our name go on?

Redpath: I want to apologize to anyone who did not know and if I contributed to it. I deal with it everyday. I apologize for any problems that caused. It is controversial for some people but not for me. There is one ticket for the LP coast to coast. I would do the same if it were Mary Ruwart or Daniel Imperato.

Is there is a move to extend for 5?

Starr: bring it back to next meeting.

Open LNC list.

Can’t type this b/c it is my issue.

Starr, Karlin and Flood don’t want it.

Dixon wants to know if list can be divided b/t that is ExSess and other discuss.

Starr thinks that people won’t use the list b/c years ago someone used to forward the list.
No one will keep open discussion.

Wrights: we have two lists in NC. Read only one list. Everything on EC list is read only for any
member who wants it. Chair uses other list for confidential.

Karlin: everything should be treated confidential b/c accidents with scroll down lines one too many.

Hawkridge: blogs, members would be friendlier if they knew what was going on. It is a meeting.

Dixon: Does everyone use NC exclusive list because…?

Haugh: I have resentment b/c secret list was were my overthrow as NCED was plotted.

Hinkle: Basic problem. Perception of closeness and not enough information. If there is a perception
by members, we need each LNC member to solve that one on one to let members know what is going on. Solution in search of a problem. Two lists will not solve.

Starr: Would like to move on to next item of business.

Dixon/Hawkridge objection.

Move to extend.

Lark: Torn. I try to keep everyone informed. been both at large and regional. Too easy to make accidents. List is really for biz. Not sure how large a problem.

Dixon: Hinkle has it right. Self regulating. Regions can remove non-open members. At Large should not be reelected.

Starr: No win. We either don’t disclose or members don’t really understand the issues so you spend all your time justifying. People just bash you.

Folks, you are not going to get an open list. Your only solution is to stop reelecting the same people to the LNC. You elected these people. You are responsible.–AK

Flood: someone started meet up list to communicate with regions. These meeting would be much longer if we did not have the ability

Kraus: This would be an absolute burden for staff. You would have to pay to have someone do this. Who would stay in that job for more than a week?

Wrights: to Kraus, you are making something more complicated than it needs to be.

Tom Stevens.

Hawkridge: T.S. Member of Jud. Co. Stevens wants to funnel votes. He has no party loyalty. Was member of BTP. Hawkridge explains Stevens camp history.
Would like to ask him to resign?

(I don’t care about this issue. Some old kook is party hopping to from one fake party to another including this one. It’s just the LP, folks. Just the LP.–AK)

Starr has RR objection. Two types of offenses. One in meeting, one out of meeting.
In order to discipline, you have to give notice, have them show up….this motion out of order.

Debate b/t Wrights and Redpath over whether Carling can speak on the narrow parl issue.

Wrights make heroic stance by demanding that RR quotes come WITH citations.
Someone asks if the LNC even can remove someone from Jud. Co.

Starr suddenly decides that asking someone to resign is a big deal (unless you are me of course. These people are movement bottom feeders.)

Lark says it makes him queasy. Take it up in December.

Wrights: Jud. Co is indy committee which is elected by delegates. We have no ability other than ask (Hall nods head.)

Redpath: Why make a decision when we can punt? (That’s leadership, boys.)

Sullentrup: Send him a letter to find if he is a member of another party.

Postponed. Starr is beginning to run rough shod over Redpath.

End of tape.


Starr wrote a “shut Keaton up” motion. It’s not actually going as far as he thought. Wrights and I don’t want any part of it.

Dixon, Hinkle, Fox, Jingozian, Hawkridge, Sink-Burris think it is either a.) overbroad, 2.) already addressed in RR, 3.) other ways of handling this.


Bylaws Results

latham, karlan, moulton, h. scott, redpath, sarwark, oates, starr, bennett, hawkridge and manske


Kafka? Oh for the love of G-d! I’m about to be censured for blogging about the accusations against me.

I’ve been kicked out of the room b/c I blogged about the Cory accusations against me.

Oh, Afghanistan Res passed easily! While I sat in exile along in the hallway, the Admiral took his bags to the airport. “Hang in there,” he smiled.


I was allowed back into make a brief defense. They are now going to vote to ask me to resign.


Angela Keaton’s report from Rally for the Republic

In Activism, Civil Liberties, Iraq War, Law Enforcement, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Police State, Politics, Protest, War on September 5, 2008 at 10:28 am

The following was written by LNC member and Development Director Angela Keaton, and was provided to LFV by the author.  Thanks, Angela!

While stationed for at an alternative to the GOP’s convention, I stayed at the Hotel Saloon, Minneapolis’ only gay motel. I highly recommend it and both the Saloon Bar and Pi, the lesbian bar. Didn’t make it to the Gay 90s a few blocks down but some Ron Paul supporters received some acceptable adult gay entertainment there.

The butch who owned Pi said it is acceptable to support Ron Paul just as long as you call him Ron Paul and not “Dr. Paul, cuz that’s creepy.”

The police and secret service were in full force. Pumped up on Starbucks, I foolishly challenged two police officers and two secret service agents much to the amusement of former Outright ex com member Mike Nelson. They were complaining about the presence of “anarchists” in their fair city. I asked if they had ever met an anarchist. “You just did, here’s my card.”

The LP had a presence there but unlike some of the published pictures, it was mostly staffed by two volunteers (Rich Paul and another man whose name I did not get.) The Barr workers and LP staff were nowhere to be found save when I bumped into too attractive to be a libertarian Austin Petersen.

Frankly, the booth was unremarkable bordering on unprofessional. The fact that the LP paid twice the price that paid for such a sloppy display is why it was the right thing for me to discontinue raising money for the LNC.

People noticed the lack of quality and it reflected poorly. Image does matter. The bags were nice though.

An donor was also staying at the Hotel Saloon for the Ron Paul event. He’s a Catholic lay leader and rebukes religious people who would vote for a mass murderer just to avoid gay marriage. Something that those who attended the “other” event should reflect upon.

Keaton, an anarchist, no hyphen

Press Release: LP Delaware Congressional candidate energized by Ron Paul, concerned about debt and globalization

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Press Release on August 28, 2008 at 10:43 am

For Immediate Release

Libertarian Party of Delaware Congressional candidate energized by Ron Paul, concerned about debt and globalization

For further information, contact LPD State Chair Jim Rash

Mark Anthony Parks thinks a lot about systems, what makes them work and what fouls them up. He has to: the 34-year-old Bear resident is a helicopter mechanic. But Parks is also running as the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s candidate for the US House of Representatives, and in that effort he’s thinking about systems as well.

“Throughout history,” Parks says, “the free market has been the best system for distributing goods, services, and resources, and assuring the best standard of living for the most people.” American politicians’ failing to recognize this basic truth, he insists, has led to a staggering national debt, rising food and energy costs, and cascading failures in the banking system.

Parks speaks deliberately, as if wrestling with the concepts each time he addresses his subject. He admits to having been apolitical until invigorated by Ron Paul’s campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination. “Ron Paul taught me about the Federal Reserve, foreign policy, and the dangers of globalization,” Parks says.

“It was a political education, too, watching the media closing him out of the New Hampshire debate after he had done well enough in Iowa to earn a place on stage,” he continues. Disenchantment with the major parties and a growing commitment to protecting individual liberty from continually encroaching government led him to the Libertarian Party.

For Parks, and for a growing number of Americans across Delaware and the nation, the Libertarian message of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government resonates strongly. He says, “Look at the two big parties, and they’re competing to buy your with giveaways to keep their power. It doesn’t really matter which one wins; nothing changes except that the power of the government keeps increasing.”

After that revelation, filing a challenge to Delaware’s long-standing Representative Mike Castle was a decision made fairly quickly. Parks understands the odds involved opposing Castle’s electoral juggernaut, and is realistic about what he can achieve. “I’ll wage as vigorous a campaign as possible with the resources I can muster,” he says. “The important thing is not me, but the issues. If people start talking seriously about the issues, I’m doing my part.”

Signature issues for Mark Anthony Parks include the national debt, international trade agreements, American foreign policy, and the war on drugs.

On the debt, he asks, “How do we justify putting the wealth and liberty of future generations up for sale to China and countries in the Middle East?” He sees multilateral trade agreements like NAFTA and participation in the World Trade Organization as eroding American sovereignty.

As for foreign policy, Parks’ prescription is simple: “Freedom should be spread by example, not by the barrel of a gun. Free trade with all, entangling alliances with none.”

The Federal war on drugs, he notes, has never worked and cannot succeed: “The fallacy of criminalization is that it has exponentially increase the value of the product to make it worth killing and destroying for.”

Mark Anthony Parks’ campaign may be contacted at

High Times on libertarians: “Libertarians hate the government, and love a good fight. They are absolutely the best friends you can have”

In Drug War, Entertainment, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Medical Marijuana, Politics on August 15, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Did you know that Cheech Marin (of “Cheech and Chong” fame) was Steve Kubby’s college housemate?  Me either.

Following is the High Times article about Steve Kubby (in pdf format).  Written by Alexander Zaitchik as part of the “High Times Interview” series, it’s a definite must-read.

Kubby in High Times page 1

Kubby In High Times page 2

Kubby in High Times page 3

Kubby photo in High Times

Many thanks to Steve Kubby for passing this along to LFV!

LPKY repudiates Landham again

In Activism, Celebrities, Crazy Claims, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Middle East, Minorities, People in the news, Police State, Politics, Protest, Terrorism, War on August 5, 2008 at 2:36 am

PolitickerKY reports that Sonny Landham, the controversial Kentucky candidate who advocates economic nationalization, culture wars, and the use of a tax-funded military to conduct a war of genocide so that the US can appropriate other people’s oil, has been repudiated by the LP a second time. It appears that Sonny Landham will not be on the ballot at all this year.

For anyone who is not familiar with this story, Independent Political Report previously covered it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Many of the same Landham stories, and a few others, received additional comments at Last Free Voice:

Worst candidate actually on the ballot this year?

Todd Andrew Barnett condemns LP Senate candidate Sonny Landham for anti-Arab remarks

Letters from LFV mailbag: Gene Trosper on Sonny Landham

Lance Brown launches petition re Sonny Landham’s racist remarks

LPKY: Landham “not on the ballot yet, and we control ballot access”

Press Release: Todd Andrew Barnett condemns Sonny Landham for genocide statements, praises Libertarians Against Landham petition

Libertarians drop Sonny Landham

Sonny Landham: the floater that just won’t stay flushed

LPKY withdraws support from Landham

Landham: back on the LP ballot line?

The PolitickerKY story:

An effort to re-nominate former actor Sonny Landham as the Libertarian Party of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidate was rejected by a vote of the party’s executive committee, chairman Ken Moellman told today.

“The motion to put Sonny back on failed,” said Moellman. “At this point, it appears he will not be our candidate.”

After a month as the prospective Libertarian candidate, Landham was stripped of the party’s support after he made a string of anti-Arab comments topped by what could be interpretted as advocacy for a potential Arab genocide.

The Party’s executive committee initially voted unanimously to withdraw Landham’s nomination on July 28, after earlier launching a petitioning campaign to gain ballot access for both Landham and Libertarian presidential nominee and former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, of Georgia. That campaign gained 7,700 signatures, according to Moellman, which is more than required for ballot access.

After losing the nomination, Landham said he would continue as an independent candidate, but it became clear he would have to collect 5,000 “original” petition signatures for ballot access – a task deemed “impossible” by Moellman, given the limited time window.

The vote to re-nominate Landham as a Libertarian came about because Moellman said it was not the party’s goal to kick Landham off the ballot entirely when removing their nomination.

“There are other factors involved here. It’s more for the third party and independent movement in general,” said Moellman during an appearance last week on the Weekly Filibuster radio program. “While that is not directly related to the LP, we have some concerns in that regard.”

Still, the Party’s executive committee ultimately did not embrace those factors, rejecting the efforts to renew Landham’s ballot slot.

Moellman said the second vote came after the party received comments about Landham’s candidacy from across the country after his controversial remarks about Arabs. A “majority” of the feedback was received from outside of the state, and Moellman said “100 percent” of that communication was opposed to Landham.

From within the state, Moellman indicated responses were “pretty minimal,” noting 60 percent of them were against Landham’s continued candidacy as a Libertarian, with 40 percent supporting Landham. Moellman noted that those Kentuckians contacting the party were largely not Libertarian Party members.

With petitions for ballot access due in to the Secretary of State’s office by August 12, the Libertarians are armed with signatures but no Senate candidate.

Moellman said the party was investigating their legal options and the possibility of replacing Landham, though early indications from the Secretary of State’s office were that the signatures could not be applied to another candidate.

Landham did not return requests for comment.

LibertarianPartyCandidates.US tracks races all over the country

In Libertarian Party-US on August 5, 2008 at 1:40 am

I’ve previously listed the LP candidates here, here, here and here. Now, George Donnelly has turned this list into its own website with graphics and continuous updating. George explains:

An Effort to List all LP Candidates

We Libertarians need to know how many candidates we’re fielding for office. Which states are fielding full slates? no slates? Who are the candidates, what do they look like, what is their history, what are their positions and motivations?

This is all very basic but, before Libertarian Party Candidates (LPC), you could not find all this information in one place.

It’s important to see how well (or poorly) we Libertarians are doing at challenging the Republicrat duopoly at the ballot box. Hopefully LPC will serve as a measuring stick and as an incentive to run more and better candidates in 2010, 2012 and beyond.


When Paulie pointed out in July of 2008 that doesn’t list all the Libertarian Party candidates running for office, it piqued my interest. How can we expect people to support and vote for Libertarian candidates if they don’t even know who they are – or even that they exist?

So, after chatting with Paulie, I decided that Libertarians might like a website where they can find all LP candidates in one convenient place.

Thanks to Paulie, the state parties and others that have collected the raw information presented here. All I did was design the site and enter the data.

Future Years

The site was built in a hurry during my spare time in the last couple weeks of July 2008, but I plan to significantly improve it for 2010 and beyond. Your sugestions and comments will help make that a reality.

Please Share your Feedback

Please feel free to contact me, George Donnelly, at with any suggestions, ideas, complaints or whatever. I’m open to developing the project in new directions. I’m also interested in other strategies to advance the cause of liberty.

According to the site, the LP is running

* 15 for US Senate
* 109 for US House
* 5 for State Governor
* 4 for State Lt. Governor
* 1 for State Treasurer
* 3 for State Attorney General
* 2 for State Auditor
* 22 for Other State Offices
* 42 for State Senates
* 216 for State Houses
* 3 for Local Executives
* 26 for Local Legislatures
* 6 for Judge
* 12 for Sherriff or Constable
* 78 for Other Local Offices
* 546 Total LP candidates

West Virginia Libertarian petition reportedly fails

In Green Party, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on August 1, 2008 at 2:28 am

According to a field report by one of the Libertarian petitioners on the ground in West Virginia, as of tonight’s final turn-in of signatures by petitioners to the campaign, the LP gathered only around 12,000 raw signatures, falling short of the 15,118 required by state law. While additional signatures would be required to survive a challenge, the bare minimum required by law would have been enough if there was no challenge.

Richard Winger reports in Ballot Access News, “No other state is like Illinois, where even a petition with a number of signatures below the legal minimum is sufficient if no one challenges”.

If this field report is accurate, it would mean that Bob Barr can be on the ballot in at most 48 states, unless he wins his lawsuit in Oklahoma.

The Nader and Constitution Party petitions appear to have enough signatures, and the Green Party is on the ballot through its affiliate, the Mountain Party.

In another post at BAN, Richard Winger writes:

West Virginia and North Carolina are tied for having the nation’s second-highest presidential petition requirements (each requires a petition of 2% of the last vote in a presidential election year). Only Oklahoma is worse, at 3% of the last presidential vote.

Both the Libertarian and Constitution Parties are making a massive effort to finish their West Virginia petitions, which are due August 1. This newspaper story about the Libertarian petition says 40 to 50 circulators are working in the state. The story doesn’t feature the Constitution Party, but it also has many circulators in the state this week.

West Virginia was one of 4 states in which Ron Paul didn’t get on the ballot in 1988, when he was the Libertarian nominee. The Constitution Party has never been on the West Virginia ballot for president, but the party has more organizational strength now than it has ever had. In 2000, its presidential nominee, Howard Phillips, was only credited with 23 write-ins in West Virginia, but its 2004 presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, was credited with 82 write-ins in West Virginia.

Nader did his West Virginia 2008 petition earlier in the year, collecting 30,000 signatures, double the requirement. The Green Party’s affiliate in West Virginia, the Mountain Party, has been ballot-qualified starting in 2000.

I’m a whore and a glory hole slut

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Crime, Economics, Entertainment, First Amendment, Green Party, Humor, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, US Government on August 1, 2008 at 12:24 am

— In, “Rachel Hawkridge” wrote:

Last nite, I was reading one of the blogs, and someone called paulie a whore for helping to get Barr on the ballot, when he’s not a supporter of the nominee.

I roared with laughter . . . paulie gets paid. I did it for free.

Guess that makes me . . . a slut? ;o)

BTW, paulie said “Thank you.”

p] Actually, I’m both a slut and a whore. For instance, I got Barr on the ballot in Arkansas for free. To make matters even worse, I didn’t even know it was for Barr at the time, since he wasn’t nominated yet and hadn’t even announced, so I guess that makes me a glory hole slut to boot, in addition to being a whore.

Also, I’m a pimp, in addition to being a slut and a whore, because I make part of my living collecting overrides for managing crews of petition gatherers sometimes. And I am in no ways faithful to the Libertarians. Right now I’m doing a three-way, and negotiating to add one or two more clients at the same time. And I’m not using a condom with any of them! I guess that makes me a dirty whore.

Not only that, but I kiss and tell: I offered to write either pro- or anti- Barr polemics to the highest bidder. I’m thinking of selling my vote, too, although I guess the buyer would just have to trust me that I stayed bought.

If this sort of thing turns you on, read all about it at

Landham: back on the LP ballot line?

In Celebrities, Crazy Claims, First Amendment, Immigration, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Middle East, Military, Minorities, People in the news, Politics, Second Amendment, Terrorism, War on July 30, 2008 at 5:48 pm


The Libertarian Party of Kentucky will reconsider its endorsement of Senate candidate Sonny Landham Wednesday evening, just days after initially disassociating their party from his bid. This news comes after the office of Kentucky’s secretary of state announced yesterday that Landham would need 5,000 new petition signatures to secure ballot access to run as an independent.

“We’re really stuck,” said Libertarian Party chair Ken Moellman. “We don’t necessarily want to kick him off the ballot.”

The requisite signatures for Landham’s ballot access were already reportedly obtained by Libertarian canvassers, but – without the Libertarian endorsement – Landham would need original signatures for an independent candidacy.

With an August 12 deadline for petition submissions, Moellman has said obtaining 5,000 new signatures in that window would be “impossible.”

Landham was initially stripped of the Libertarian Party’s endorsement in a unanimous 9-0 vote of their executive committee on Monday night. That vote came after Landham made a series of anti-Arab comments that culminated in his advocacy for a potential Arab genocide.

“When you are in a war, you kill every thing that moves,” responded Landham, when asked if he supported such a dramatic position.

Libertarian Party leaders initially sought to distance themselves from Landham’s comments, with Moellman noting they were not in line with the Party’s philosophy.

With his candidacy in the balance now, Moellman says Kentucky’s difficult ballot access process has the Party reevaluating its decision.

“Now, he will have one of two options,” said Moellman. “A – he runs as a Libertarian or, B he doesn’t run.”

“Our goal was not to kick him out,” added Moellman. “We are in a tough spot.”

Moellman said the ten-person state Libertarian Party Executive Committee will use an “online” voting system tonight to determine whether to reinstate Landham’s endorsement.

“We’re trying to work it out,” added Moellman.

Moellman said their dilemma would not exist if Kentucky’s ballot access procedures did not require 5,000 signatures for “third-party” candidates.

“I wish ballot access was a heck of a lot easier,” said Moellman, who said the number of signatures required for Democratic and Republican candidates was two – a far easier number for Landham to obtain as an independent candidate.

Delaware Libertarian
, Steve Newton explains why this is of national significance:

A Secondhand Conjecture is not a Libertarian blog, although it certainly displays some pretty consistent libertarian leanings.

As I read this post analyzing the Sonny Landham flap and the Libertarian Party of Kentucky, I think Lee hits it right on the money:

Looks like the Libertarian Party of Kentucky has dumped Sonny Landham, previously their clinically insane pick for US Senate. Good for them. Even if given the psychopathic nature of Landham’s views, I feel a little like I’m congratulating them for breathing.

While the Obama campaign might like to think that the LP could pose a serious threat to John McCain in Georgia, the Landham misadventure only reminds me yet again of the extraordinary amateurishness that seems to characterize almost all Libertarian Party political campaigns. There’s simply no excuse for failing to properly vet a candidate you intend to challenge for the seat held by the Senate Minority Leader.

As a former Hollywood actor and convicted criminal, it wouldn’t have been particularly difficult to uncover Landham’s violent imagination or deplorable associations with rightwing hate groups. A simple YouTube and Google search might have sufficed in fact.

I recently quoted a representative of the Libertarian Party of Texas noting that we need fewer paper candidates, and more people out there actually campaigning. True. But we also have to stop feeling so needy that we open our arms to accept people who are not only not Libertarians, but whose calls for bombing other countries over trade issues make us look like total losers.

Reminder: there’s still a
for the LPKY to not give its ballot line to Sonny Landham.

This is a limited time offer. Operators are standing by….

In Economics, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on July 30, 2008 at 3:11 am

Via disinter

Susan Davis reports:

In perhaps the most desperate sounding e-mail solicitation yet this election cycle, third party Libertarian candidate Bob Barr’s campaign manager sent out a plea today to supporters to raise $15,000 each day this week—or else.

Under the subject line, “Have I said or done something to offend you?” Russ Verney writes, “You see, I have to report that unless we receive and immediate cash infusion of $85,000, our progress will stop dead in its tracks. To be very blunt, I am presently faced with bills equaling our bank account balance, and I know there are many more expenses on the horizon.”

According to the latest report with the Federal Election Commission, Barr’s campaign had just $69,000 cash on hand at the end of June, and he raised just under $200,000 last month.

If you donate in the next 15 seconds, you can get a Bob Barr bumpersticker at no charge!

Bob Barr recants position on Wiccans in the military

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, First Amendment, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Military, Minorities, Nanny State, Politics on July 30, 2008 at 1:41 am

From Nate Uncensored (excerpt):

Apparently someone did get around to asking Bob Barr some substantive questions when he made an appearance at Netroots Nation. Ed Brayton (Dispatches from the Culture Wars) asked Barr if he would now, as Libertarian candidate, repudiate his 1999 attempt to prohibit the practice of Wicca, a neo-Pagan religion, on military bases. Barr said that he has changed his mind, citing “reports” that the practice of Wicca was causing problems that are apparently not an issue now. Brayton writes:

I did ask him for any specific problems that were reported to him back in 1999 by these military leaders, but he said he didn’t want to get into specifics. I’m sure that’s because there are no specific incidents and those military leaders who complained to him did so out of bigotry, or because the problems it caused were really caused by bigotry against Wiccans. He likened it to his stance on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for gays, which he previously supported but now that it’s clear that allowing gays to serve doesn’t really cause any problems with unit cohesion and good order, he thinks it should be repealed and they should be allowed to serve openly.

Sonny Landham: the floater that just won’t stay flushed

In Celebrities, Crazy Claims, Libertarian Party-US, Minorities on July 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Posted at
Ballot Access News

Unfortunately, on July 29, the Kentucky Secretary of State retracted his ruling that the Libertarian Party of Kentucky could choose to have Sonny Landham on the November ballot as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate instead of as a Libertarian. Now the choices are either: (1) the party can submit its petition in early August and have Landham listed as a Libertarian; (2) the party can submit its petition in the middle of August, which will mean that the petition will only be valid for president and vice-president, but not U.S. Senator (the deadline for the presidential and vice-presidential candidate is in early September, but the deadline for all other office is in early August). In that case Landham won’t be on the ballot at all.

Barr polls double digits in NH, closing in on getting ballot access

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, People in the news, Presidential Candidates, Republican on July 24, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Reported in the Manchester, NH Union Leader newspaper:

Although he’s yet to secure a spot on the New Hampshire presidential ballot, Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr visited Manchester yesterday, drawing attention and, possibly votes, away from Republican John McCain.

Barr visited Murphy’s Tap Room in downtown Manchester, where about 90 people listened to his calls for small government and personal freedom, and nodded agreement to his notion that the country’s two major political parties are headed in the same direction.

“Americans have this sense about them — that we can take advantage of in this election cycle — that the system is not serving them well,” said Barr, a former four-term congressman from Georgia.

His New Hampshire visit comes the same day that John McCain visited the Granite State, which McCain has twice won in hard-fought Republican Party primaries.

McCain said he’s not discounting Barr’s potential impact on the November election.

“You take everything seriously, and it means I’ve got to campaign hard,” McCain said early yesterday. McCain said New Hampshire voters have a very independent streak.

But for Barr to do damage, he has to get on the New Hampshire ballot. He needs the signatures of 1,500 registered voters from each of the state’s two congressional districts, and state GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen said he’s yet to hear any reports of people gathering signatures for Barr.

But Rich Tomasso, media director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, said Barr has about 3,500 signatures in New Hampshire so far. He is shooting for a goal of 5,000 signatures before the petition period closes in two weeks, he said.

Barr said he had no idea McCain would be in New Hampshire the same day he was. He and Tomasso said Barr visited the state after scoring 10 percent of the New Hampshire vote in an Internet poll recently conducted by Zogby International. It was the highest percentage in the country for Barr, who has the Libertarian Party endorsement for president..

Another Libertarian, Massachusetts resident George Phillies, appears to be the closest to being certified for the New Hampshire ballot. The Secretary of State’s office said Phillies needs about 130 more signatures from the 2nd Congressional District to qualify.

Full article here.

DC 2nd Amendment plaintiff Dick Heller running for US House Delegate as a Libertarian

In Activism, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Media, People in the news, Politics, Second Amendment on July 24, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Posted at
Ballot Access News

Dick Anthony Heller, the plaintiff in last month’s famous U.S. Supreme Court decision that said the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a gun, is petitioning as the Libertarian nominee for Delegate to the U.S. House from the District of Columbia. He needs 3,000 signatures.

If he gets 7,500 votes (or if Bob Barr gets 7,500 votes for president within D.C.), the D.C. Libertarian Party will be a ballot-qualified party for the first time. The last time the D.C. Libertarian Party made a push to win 7,500 votes for any partisan office (other than just president) was in 2000. In that year, it ran Robert Kampia for Delegate. He polled 4,594 votes.

The advantages of being a qualified party include obtaining a tally of how many registered members that party has, as well as a presidential primary, plus a primary for other office. The only other nationally-organized minor parties that have ever been qualified in the District are the Statehood Green Party currently, and the Socialist Workers Party, and the U.S. Labor Party, which had that status 1976 through 1978.

Candidate Endorsement: Susan Hogarth for LNC

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

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

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

Her goals, from her website, are as follows:

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

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

Help form coalitions among various freedom-oriented individuals and groups

Constantly reduce the size and scope of government when elected

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

Better develop myself as a critical thinker and clear speaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Barr Announce At The Heartland Conference?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, People in the news, Politics on April 1, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Bob BarrFrom Fox News:

Barr told FOX News on Tuesday that he should know in the next few days whether he is going to go for it.

If he does decide to make an announcement in the next few days, Barr said it “would not be in either Washington or Atlanta.

Another source told FOX News that the announcement should happen this weekend, probably on April 5. That is the day Barr is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Heartland Libertarian Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Click here to read full article

I wonder if Mr. Barr will end his Republican PAC and call for the repeal of DOMA if he is the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nominee. Of course, when he announces (if he announces) these questions will almost certainly be asked by his 14+ Libertarian opponents.

Candidate Endorsement: Chris Bennett for Vice President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Published Monday, October 15, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bennett frequently posts on Web sites, including one called, often in strong language.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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