Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ruwart’

’12 Angry Candidates

In Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I’m always amused to see the speculation during the major party conventions regarding their candidates for the next election — which implies they expect to lose this time around.  Since it’s unlikely that the Libertarian Party ticket will win this year, who might be on the LP wannabe list for 2012?  Wayne Allyn Root looks like a certainty.  Would Bob Barr run again?  Mary Ruwart?  Steve Kubby?  What about some of this year’s more prominent candidates like Michael Munger?

Who are your favorites for ’12 — and who do you think has a shot at the nomination?  Anyone want to use this thread to declare?

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The Austrian/Monetarist split as a proxy for the rift within the LP

In Economics, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics on July 8, 2008 at 5:52 pm

From Amateur Economists:

“Libertarians are Republicans who smoke pot.” So goes the saying. And most Americans know little else about the Libertarian Party, America’s third largest, or the libertarian political philosophy. So when former Republican congressman Bob Barr announced his candidacy for the LP’s presidential nomination on May 12, the mainstream media assumed he was a shoo-in. After all, he was a Republican and now lobbies for the Marijuana Policy Project—how could someone better fit the popular definition?

But what the media failed to recognize is that many party members don’t consider libertarianism to be a branch of conservatism but, instead, its diametric opposite. These libertarians refused to embrace Barr and, instead, rallied behind the candidacy of party stalwart Mary Ruwart during the Libertarian National Convention on May 25. It took six ballots before Barr was finally able to win the party’s nomination with just over 51% of the vote, and the rift now between the “reformers” who backed Barr and the “radicals” who supported Ruwart is bitter—and largely economics related.

Read the whole article.

Root/Kubby could have been ‘unity ticket’

In Libertarian, Libertarian Politics, Steve Kubby on May 27, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Yes, a lot of Mary Ruwart backers are quite bitter. Do you imagine it would be any different from the other side, had she won? I was reviewing the round-by-round results earlier today, and the thought struck me: Some pragmatist (not me, I would take a bullet for Mary) should have organized the vast center and engineered a compromise. If Root could have pulled off enough votes to leap over Mary and into second place, then the Mary backers could have been made the kingmakers one insider predicted they would be. We would have chosen Root, of course, but we could have gotten his support for a Kubby VP nomination. Thus, both Barr and Ruwart would be off the ticket, and neither side would have “won.” There would still be hard feelings, but Barr and Mary backers could each take solace in the fact that the other lost, and both would find the Root/Kubby ticket equally agreeable.

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.

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.

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.

DRAMA ALERT!!!

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

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

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

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

Wow.

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

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

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).

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.

Deathblogging the Libertarian Party National Convention

In Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 21, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Deathblogging refers to not-quite-live blogging; not the LP per se.

Trying to stick within my five free minutes, $16/hour after that. Business center

2 PM. Danny Imps is in the house. The lobby of the Denver Sheraton smells like a case of Eau de Palermo fell off the back of a truck in South Boston.

4 PM. Helped unload Laissez Fair Books. Said hello to Mary Ruwart, hubby Ray Carr and campaign staffer Brian Irving getting off the elevator. Headed off to get herbalife uppers from Carol McMahon of the Phillies campaign.

6-7 PM. Said hello to (among other people) VP candidate Daniel Williams (we discussed whether my punk rawk friends from New York were here; the answer is no, they barely leave Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, much less New York); LNC member and Wayne Root staffer Scott Lieberman (we talked about ballot access, especially in regards to Oklahoma); Rob Power from Outright Libertarians; Deb and Steve-O “The Fixer” Gordon; my acting region rep, Stewart Flood, who lobbied heavily for my vote, and told me we had a deal with Texas and Louisiana to become a superregion with two reps; rumored challenger for his position, R. Lee Wrights; John Wayne Smith; The Duensings; Tony and Bette Rose Ryan; and Bob Barr, who seemed to be under the impression that I might not make it here.

Oh yeah, and I finagled a free shower up in Casa Phillies. In what may be a move to get support from Steve Kubby backers, George is passing out Phillies Blunts.

Jacqueline Passey: Endorsements

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOOD CANDIDATES

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

Wayne_new2Wayne Allyn Root:

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

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

StevekubbySteve Kubby:

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

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

Marypicture1Mary Ruwart:

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

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

George_philliesGeorge Phillies:

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

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

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

MEDIOCRE CANDIDATES:

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

Christinesmith_2 Christine Smith:

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

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

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

MikejingozianMichael Jingozian:

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

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

LinkAlden Link:

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

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

Jim_burnsJim Burns:

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

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

BAD CANDIDATES:

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

BobbarrBob Barr:

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

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

MikegravelMike Gravel:

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

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

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

Imperato2008Daniel Imperato:

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

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

PLATFORM:

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

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

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

________________________________

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

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

Candidate Endorsement: Mary Ruwart will continue the Ron Paul rEVOLution

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US on May 19, 2008 at 5:50 pm

As a congressional-district coordinator and office manager for the Ron Paul for President campaign, I came into contact with hundreds of spirited rEVOLutionaries. These people from diverse ideological backgrounds had come together for the common cause of liberty. They were conservatives, liberals, moderates — but very few self-identified libertarians. Ron Paul had given them their first exposure to the Austro-Jeffersonian gospel, and while their hearts and minds had embarked on the road to libertarianism, they had not yet reached the Promised Land. Mary Ruwart can take them there.

Dr. Mary Ruwart is the logical heir to the Ron Paul rEVOLution. Her book, Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression, won the hearty endorsement of Dr. Paul, and he also wrote a letter on her behalf urging President Bush to appoint her to the FDA (which, like Dr. Paul, she would like to see abolished). Dr. Ruwart has a unique talent for articulating libertarian solutions to the problems facing everyday people. She embodies the Principled Populism of Murray Rothbard without rancor or divisiveness. Mary Ruwart will not only unite the Libertarian Party, but she will bring in throngs of new members by proudly carrying the banner of the rEVOLution.

Libertarians have the woefully undeserved reputation of being a party full of angry white men with no concern for others. Through her Principled Populism and velvet touch, Dr. Mary Ruwart can heal our world and grow our party — if only we give her the chance.

Jason D. Seagraves
Saginaw/Bay City/Midland Ron Paul Meetup Organizer
Saginaw County Coordinator, Ron Paul for President
Michigan’s 5th Congressional District Coordinator / Flint Office Manager, Ron Paul for President
Former Green Party candidate for Congress (converted to libertarianism by Dr. Mary Ruwart)

Candidate Endorsement: Mary Ruwart

In Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on May 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm

With less than a week to go until the Libertarian National Convention, I felt it was time to offer up my endorsement. This has been a long process and I must admit, I’ve bounced back and forth between candidates. From George Phillies to Steve Kubby, every time I began to feel comfortable about a candidate, I quickly found something in their platform I just couldn’t agree with.

That is until Mary Ruwart entered the race.

Mary Ruwart was a key figure in my decision to join the Libertarian Party back in 2000. She sold me on libertarian values & I’ve been a determined activist ever since.  I feel Mary represents the core principles the party was built on. I feel she represents not only my voice, but those of the majority of Libertarian Party activists.

We have several great candidates heading to Denver and for the most part, I could see myself voting for any of these candidates when November rolls around. However, there is one candidate who gets me excited. Only one candidate who I will go the extra mile for. Only one candidate who I feel truly represents my voice.

That candidate is Mary Ruwart.

LP candidates’ cash on hand as of 3/31

In Christine Smith, Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

According to the FEC reports, George Phillies is by far best prepared to “hit the ground running” with an LP nomination, based upon cash on hand as of the end of the first quarter of 2008.

This is true even if Barr announces, based upon his website report, since Phillies has over twice as much cash on hand and has his campaign already well underway. Barr’s site, on the other hand, reflects that he barely has enough to pay his staff, and doesn’t yet even have enough to open (much less set up) his office; so it can be reasonably assumed that Barr has the equivalent of no cash on hand, and none in the foreseeable future given his estimated immediate expenses.

Phillies $118,716

Ruwart $6,765

Jingozian $4,002

Smith $1,634

Imperato $695

Kubby $339

Root $37,834

Gravel -$2733*

*Last quarter 2007. FEC warning letters for failure to file Q1 2008 report.

Comparison of FEC candidate reports

In Christine Smith, Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Not to be confused with LNC numbers (in which they include funds sent to their wacky “Liberty Decides” contest, which should not be counted since it’s actually a donation to the LP and not to the candidate), here is information from the Uniform Financial Report, filed with the FEC, for each candidate for the Libertarian Presidential nomination.

Mike Gravel has has not yet made his April filing, so I have included his numbers from December. Also, Daniel imperato appears to have a corrupted computer file, as explained in the notes, so his totals are not given; and Bob Barr had no exploratory committee as of 3/31 so his total for that date is zero. Otherwise, all candidates are compared as of their March 31st FEC filing.

Mike Jingozian
Others $ 13,090
Total $228,525

George Phillies
Others $ 16,727
Total $198,254

Wayne Allyn Root
Others $ 34,409
Total $ 59,410

Christine Smith
Others $ 16,244
Total $ 16,244

Steve Kubby
Others $ 16,219 (inferred from previous filings))
Total $ 16,219

Mary Ruwart
Others $ 5,655
Total $ 10,655

Bob Barr
Others $ 0
Total $ 0

Mike Gravel
Others $447,880
Total $521,396

Daniel Imperato:

Imperato filing appears to have a corrupted computer file. His most recent report claims his receipts for the quarter ($39,574) are larger than his total receipts for the cycle ($12,500), which is impossible.

LP.org reports candidate FEC filings as of today

In Christine Smith, Daniel Imperato, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, Wayne Allen Root on May 6, 2008 at 7:35 pm

LP Candidate FEC Filings

LP Presidential Candidate FEC and Liberty Decides ’08 Filings

Wayne Allyn Root
LD ’08: $15,764.00
Individual: $29,988.00
Candidate: $4,421.90

Daniel Imperato

LD ’08: $10,474.00
Individual: $0.00
Candidate: $0.00

Michael Jingozian

LD ’08: $8,490.00
Individual: $13,090.79
Candidate: $0.00

Mike Gravel*^
LD ’08: $895.00
Individual: $447,378.97
Candidate: $0.00

Steve Kubby**

LD ’08: $1,280.00
Total: $2,951.22

Alden Link

LD ’08: $885.00
Individual: $259.00
Candidate: $4,225.00

George Phillies
LD ’08: n/a
Individual: $16,727.75
Candidate: $81,527.01

Mary Ruwart***

LD ’08: $1,060.00
Individual: n/a
Candidate: n/a

Christine Smith**
LD ’08: $2,460.00
Total: $16,244.00

Bob Barr (still in Presidential exploratory phase):

Total Reported by Candidate Web site: $53,163.64

Most Individual Contributions Raised: Root
Most Personal Money Invested: Phillies

*Numbers reflect previous campaign for President in different political party
**No electronic report available. Only total available is net contributions that do not separate individual contributions and candidate contributions
***No FEC report available
^Candidate had failed to file April Quarterly Report when data was compiled

(LD ’08 totals current as of May 5, 2008. FEC Filing data taken from Election Cycle-To-Date totals from candidates’ April Quarterly filing. This information can be viewed at www.FEC.gov.)

Posted by Andrew Davis at May 6, 2008 12:52 PM

ENM responds:

Perhaps I am somehow confused, but in their wrap-up of “Most Individual Contributions Raised”, they list Root as the winner. Yet, isn’t Gravel’s $447,379 a LOT more than Root’s $29,988?

I still have to respect the heck out of George Phillies for putting so much of his money where his mouth is, so I think he should wear the “Most Personal Money Invested” win as a badge of honor.

I still think “Liberty Decides” is both a rip-off for the candidates, and misleading to voters. I have had to explain over and over again, to people across the net, that LD’08 has no bearing on a candidate’s actual chances of getting the nomination, because it’s nothing but a fundraising tool for the LP; and that if they contribute money to a candidate through LD’08, the candidate they choose doesn’t actually get the money. Argh.

Phillies “Sensible Answers To Tough Questions Part 2: The Environment”

In Environment, George Phillies, Global Warming, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 6, 2008 at 3:29 am

George Phillies for President 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sensible Answers to Tough Questions, part 2: The Environment

Global warming is now widely accepted as a fact within the scientific community. What is not yet accepted is the extent to which the planet will warm and the impact that it will have. What will Libertarians do about this issue?

Ruwart: When our weather reporter’s can’t get tomorrow’s temperature right, it’s difficult to believe that global warming can be predicted, isn’t it? (This sentence should be told lightly, as a joke, to elicit agreement.)

As you mentioned, we really don’t know what the effect of global warming might be. High temperatures and CO2 stimulate crop and other plant growth, so global wamring could actually be good for us. Any action we take has to be based on the facts, and we just don’t have those yet.

In a libertarian society, if a chemical such as CFC caused a problem, victims could sue the manufacturer for damages. The high cost of restitution would be apssed on to CFC consumers, driving up the price. People would turn to cheaper alternatives and CFC production would be automatically curailed.

People could sue before actual harm was done, so long as they could convince a judge or jury that CFCs actually posed a threat.

Phillies: Research on climate and climate change represents an enormous effort by thousands of people. Vast computer facilities exist primarily to study climate change. Billions of dollars are spent to deploy specialized earth satellites and other scientific instruments to study our atmosphere. Polar expeditions set forth, at significant risk to the lives of participants, to examine arctic ice conditions.

What about the question “When our weather reporter’s can’t get tomorrow’s temperature right, it’s difficult to believe that global warming can be predicted, isn’t it?” For almost all academic scientists, the reward of scientific research is almost entirely the personal satisfaction of untangling a scientific puzzle. If there were no hope of predicting climate accurately, wouldn’t real scientists have noticed, and transferred their work elsewhere?

The answer, of course, is that it is actually almost infinitely easier to predict climate than it is to predict the weather. Why? It’s actually very simple. To predict climate, you only need to predict odds accurately, and it’s much easier to predict odds than to predict results. If I roll a quality Las Vegas die, the odds are very exactly one in six that I will roll a “two”. If I roll that die 600 times, I will roll “two” a hundred or so times. If you try to predict whether you will roll a “two” on your very next roll, well, that’s a lot harder, isn’t it? For the same reason, predicting climate is a lot easier than predicting weather.

In dealing with pollution, litigation can make sense if there is a single source that does a lot of damage to specifically identifiable people. If the local power company decides to save money on disposing of clinker ash by dumping ten tons of it on my front lawn, the responsible party is identifiable, the repair costs are identifiable, and the responsible party’s pockets are deep enough to support litigation.

In the global warming case, the responsible parties are everyone mining or using any fossil fuel or any process that vents methane into the air, the persons damaged include almost everyone, and the cost of assessing responsibility is astronomical. You have around the world several billion damaged parties, each with different facts of their cases requiring separate adjudication, against a similar number of differenced defendants. That’s trillions or potential lawsuits. Where do you find the lawyers? Furthermore, for most of the injured parties, money is not the issue. They don’t want money, they want an ozone layer. For this sort of diffuse case, the litigation-restitution approach is completely unworkable.

How do we deal with global pollution? (page 30)

Ruwart: Thankfully, most pollution does more local than international damage, thereby discouraging polluters. For example, governments try to prevent Chernobyl-type accidents because their local population is put at greater risk than the international community. The country that polluted the oceans enough to cause global damage, for example, would destroy its own fishing first. The country that polluted its own air enough to disturb other nations would asphyxiate its own population in the process. Thus, global pollution is a highly unlikely event.

Phillies: While our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and its effects on meteorology has advanced considerably in the last decade, it remains clear that individual countries have created and are creating global atmospheric pollution.

A simple example of global atmospheric pollution is supplied by the chlorofluorocarbons, substances that are nearly inert and harmless on the ground. These safe, harmless materials were once manufactured all around the world. When transported to the stratosphere and brought in contact with stratospheric ice crystals, these substances had a catastrophic effect on the ozone layer near the poles. The effect is only now coming under control, as a result of rigorous planet-wide treaty restrictions on CFC production.

Similarly, there is massive evidence that the current global changes in climate are being driven in considerable part by man-made releases of carbon dioxide and methane. The huge increases in energy consumption in China, India, and Russia lead to matching increases in production of carbon dioxide. Fortunately, there is appreciable evidence that natural law will do what legislative law has not, namely the supplies of oil and coal will be exhausted before atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches levels vastly higher than those now encountered.

In the atmosphere, levels of carbon dioxide and methane are essentially never harmful to local populations. However, rising ocean levels are causing property protection questions along the coast. An increase of a foot or two in sea level is really bad if your home started a foot or two above sea level.

For more information on Phillies and the Environment, please visit www.ChooseGeorge.org.

To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://ChooseGeorge.org/donation today.

To arrange an interview or obtain a short quote from the candidate, contact:

Carolyn Marbry, Press Director pressdirector@phillies2008.org
(510) 276-3216
George Phillies for President 2008 http://ChooseGeorge.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online access to Heartland Libertarian Convention

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You,

Teddy Fleck
www.blogtalkradio.com/showmelibertarians

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

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

Dr. Mary Ruwart announces presidential candidacy

In Barack Obama, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates on March 22, 2008 at 1:53 am

Dr. Mary RuwartFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/21/08

Contact: R. Lee Wrights

lee@votemary2008.com

1-888-412-9903

THE DOCTOR IS IN

Ruwart Enters Presidential Race

Burnet, TX — Two months ahead of its national convention in Denver, the Libertarian Party’s already crowded field of candidates grew by one on Friday as Dr. Mary J. Ruwart announced her candidacy for the LP’s 2008 presidential nomination.

Responding to an informal draft effort conducted by party activists, the author of Amazon.Com #1 bestseller _Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression_ launched her campaign web site and announced plans to begin addressing state party conventions and other political events with the intent of challenging Republican candidate John McCain and the Democratic Party’s as yet unnamed nominee for the support of America’s voters.

“Libertarians have been waiting for a candidate who can change the tone of American politics,” says campaign manager R. Lee Wrights. “Dr. Ruwart is that kind of candidate. She’s a unifier and a motivator who can communicate our message of freedom and be heard.”

Running on a theme of “Healing America,” Ruwart — a Ph.D and former Assistant Professor of Surgery with a background in pharmaceutical research — proposes to withdraw US forces from Iraq, drastically reduce federal taxes and spending, and deregulate health care to increase access and quality.

“Only liberty can heal the rifts that divide and impoverish America,” says Ruwart, 57. “Freedom breeds compassion, tolerance and prosperity. Coercion breeds conflict, fear and poverty.” In _Healing Our World_ and _Short Answers to the Tough Questions_, she propounds a caring, rather than combative, approach to promoting the Libertarian Party’s political agenda.

Ruwart earned a BS in biochemistry and a Ph.D in biophysics from Michigan State University. She has served on the Libertarian National Committee, as well as the boards of the International Society for Individual Liberty, the Fully Informed Jury Association and the Michigan chapter of the Heartland Institute. She lives with her husband, Ray, in Burnet, Texas.

Visit www.votemary2008.com for more information.

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