Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Mike Gravel’

Liveblog: LP Convention on C-Span: Presidential Debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: What philosopher most closely represents your views?

Barr: Ayn Rand. (Yeah, right.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

War on Drugs question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, I had to take a break.

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

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

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

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

Jingozian: Deregulate.

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

How will your campaign help the LP?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Will Gravel get to speak at Denver?

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

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

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

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

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

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).

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”.

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.

Becky Isais’ substantiation of Gravel compensation claims

In Courts and Justice System, Democrats, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 8, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Covered before on this blog, the Becky Isais claims for compensation from the Mike Gravel for President campaign appears to be more and more credible, though at first even I discounted them as possible dirty tricks from another campaign (after all, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone posted a negative comment on a blog about an opposing candidate, and as a result all hell broke loose).

After reading the many emails Becky sent to me, substantiating her claim, I can come to only one conclusion: she was indeed supposed to be paid for her work on the Gravel campaign, several people in the campaign knew it because it was discussed multiple times, and some of those emails were forwarded to Senator Gravel so there can be no doubt that he was aware of it as well. In fact, one of those emails states that the promise of “compensation” was made by Senator Gravel, in their presence.

The Gravel campaign, of course, previously released a statement saying that Becky was a volunteer, and therefore not entitled to any payment.

I leave it to each reader to reach their own conclusions about what happened, and why.

Don’t miss the special edition of LFV Live! at 6:00pm EST today. We will be talking live with Becky Isais, and she has some voicemails as well, proving her claim that she is supposed to be paid for her work on the campaign. Representatives of the Gravel campaign are, as I have previously informed the campaign by telephone earlier today, welcome to call in at (646) 478-4638, so they can give their side as well.

In the meantime, here are some of the emails she sent me, in chronological order. As you will see, these emails were exchanged with regard to this specific matter within the campaign; anything not directly related has either been redacted, or simply not included. I also have not included full email addresses, for the protection of the parties (from spam, if nothing else). However, it is important to note that these emails were being exchanged between official campaign email addresses.

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

Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 20:50:59 -0800
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick
Subject: URGENT!!
CC: beckynevada; senator.gravel

CHRIS,
Please see Becky’s email below and [redacted]

And, please get BEcky Paid-she is tireless committed and Mike made the promise face to face in front of me.

Thanks
Stacy

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Becky Isais
Date: Dec 11, 2007 1:10 AM
Subject: ???
To: Stacy standley

Hey Stacy

[redacted]
Stacy I have to constantaly nag to get anything done with the camapaign.
Honestly I am done, I will do my best till you get back but after that it’s all you.
I haven’t even been paid for last month.
[redacted]
I am at my wits end Stacy for real.

*********************
From: Becky Isais
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 4:32 PM
To: April Shapley
Subject: RE: weekend of jan 12

I’m stepping down April.
[redacted]
I have to beg to be paid my tiny 500 a month & that isn’t cool.
I have been sacrificing with nothing in return except excuses.
[redacted] lives here in Vegas you should contact him to keep things going here.

*********************
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 23:28:05 -0800
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick
Subject: Re: Becky from Nevada
CC: whitney; beckynevada

Chris,
Can you update me on the status of BEcky getting paid?
I have asked Rob to try and come up with an effective appeal to raise funds.
Have you heard back from him yet?

On Dec 20, 2007 8:06 AM, Becky Isais wrote:

Dear Chris,

I still haven’t been paid nor have I received a response to my begging to be paid. If you aren’t going to pay me at least have the couth to tell me so. I have sacrificed allot for the campaign. Please be professional with me & let me know if you don’t plan on paying me. I REALLY feel that I’ve been taken advantage of. It’s very sad to see how this campaign has been run.

*********************
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 21:59:54 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Re: Becky from Nevada

Hi Becky,
You will get paid and you should cash the check-I am unpaid and that is my choice and my ability to contribute, but you, chris and several others came on board with a promise of compensation-so it will happen and you are entitled to it.

*********************
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 09:29:55 -0800
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick; senator.gravel
Subject: Becky [redacted] for Mike, and are we getting closer to paying her?

Chris,
Becky sent me the following. [redacted]

And, really importantly, Becky is still hanging out there with NO funds. Everyone is promising to get her paid, but nada.

Can we get this done-please?

Thanks
Stacy

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Becky Isais
Date: Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM
Subject: RE: [redacted]
To: Stacy standley

Hey Stacy,
Am I going to get paid any time soon? We are really really in need of it.
Thanks, Becky

*********************
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:47:57 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Chris is going to get $500 for you ASAP

HI Becky,
Chris and I have discussed getting you some funds.
He says he can send you $500 ASAP, which I said will help a lot.
Does he have your address?

*********************
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 16:19:04 -0800
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick
Subject: Fwd: BEcky’s address

Chris,
Below is Becky Isais’ address to make it easy for you.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Becky Isais
Date: Feb 15, 2008 3:37 PM
Subject: RE: Chris is going to get $500 for you ASAP
To: Stacy standley

I’ve given it to him twice but just in case. [redacted].
Thanks Stacy.

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 11:47:57 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Chris is going to get $500 for you ASAP

HI Becky,
Chris and I have discussed getting you some funds.
He says he can send you $500 ASAP, which I said will help a lot.
Does he have your address?

*********************
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 07:49:09 -0800
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick
Subject: Becky has not received the check?

Hi Chris,
Becky still has not received the check you told me would go out over a week ago. What’s up?

And, as I am sure you see from emails, she is still hard at work keeping our name in front of the NV delegation, in fact today-SAT. she is at the dem convention where we are airing Mike’s video at noon.

Please confirm that the check has gone out.

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

Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 10:16:37 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Check and [redacted]

Hi Becky,
I confirmed that the check is in the mail-no fooling-wait til Thursday to see it I am told.

*********************
Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 11:16:33 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Re: Check and [redacted]

HI Becky,

I did call Chris, and he swears that the order for your check has been given to [redacted], which is Mike’s personal bank-so just hang a bit longer-I really don’t think their is a deception going on, just slow banking.

On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 6:31 PM, Becky Isais wrote:

Still no check Stacy.
If I’m not going to be paid just tell Chris to be straight up with me.
If I’m not going to be paid it would be better to just be honest instead of stringing me along…..for 3 months.

Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 10:16:37 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Check and [redacted]

Hi Becky,
I confirmed that the check is in the mail-no fooling-wait til Thursday to see it I am told.

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

Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 11:48:38 -0800
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick
Subject: Still NO Check for Becky

Chris,
I am embarrassed now. Becky has not received her check, and now I am looking the guy who makes promises and doesn’t keep them;
What is going on?

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

Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 09:22:48 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Re: [redacted] fundraising

Hi Becky,
My last email to Chris got Mike’s attention, he called me last night and explained the problem-simply there is no money in the bank.

When Chris said he authorized payment-he did, but the bank will only issue checks if there is sufficient funds-and there weren’t.

Mike, swears that you will be paid, he is doing paid speaking engagements and book signings to raise funds.

On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 7:41 PM, Becky Isais wrote:

I still don’t have the check.

Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 09:07:20 -0800
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: [redacted] fundraising

PS. did you get your check?-

*********************
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 10:23:25 -0700
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick; mgrant
Subject: Becky has reached the breaking point

Mike/Chris,
Please see the attached.

And, Please communicate with Becky and cc; me.

Becky Isais wrote:

From: Becky Isais
To: Stacy Standley
Subject:
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 09:31:58 -0700

Hey Stacy,
I hate to bother you with this unpleasant news.
I need to be paid & I feel I have no other route to go but to file a small claims suit.
It’s nothing personal it’s just business.
My family is in a very bad situation & I have been more than patient.
The campaign should’ve NEVER asked me to work for them if they couldn’t pay me.
I don’t know what else to do, I’ve got to think of my family right now.
Very Sorry, Becky

*********************
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 10:25:19 -0700
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Fwd: see what you can do about this.

Becky,
I sent this last week to Mike after he called me.
I really am at a loss as are you as to what more I can do.
I have forwarded your email of today to Mike and Chris.
I know you are hurting.
Stacy

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Stacy standley
Date: Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 10:35 AM
Subject: Good to catch up, and see what you can do about this.
To: mg

Mike,
I explained to Becky the funding situation and told her she was high on the list.

Here problem is, and I feel for her, Jose, her husband got laid off this week. So they are seriously in the dumps. If she can be a priority to get paid the $500 you will have really helped out someone who deserves it.

She is still on the front line with us here in Nevada.

*********************
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 08:31:43 -0700
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: Mike will call you today

BEcky,
I talked with Mike last night. I explained the situation you are in, and asked that he try and come up with a way of paying you. He understands, and is working on it. There is no money in the campaign, so that is not an option, but he is going to try another route and he said he would give you a call.

He does want to honor his commitment and to help you out.
So hang in there.

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

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 08:49:50 -0700
From: SStandley
To: cpetherick; senator.gravel
Subject: Becky has contacted me, and still has not been paid-any update?

Mike/Chris,

Becky got in touch with me today. She has not received anything, though the promises kept coming.
What is the status of her getting paid? She was promised, and did perform. I have no knowledge of the current status of the campaign, so I cannot enlighten her at all.

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

Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 11:29:23 -0700
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: getting paid

Becky,
Mike returned my call on Sat. He is still committed to paying you, but there is no money. The office is shut down, no paid staff, and the phones are shut off due to non-payment. So he isn’t BSing when he says there is no money.

But, he remains optimistic that he is going to get federal funds and then he will get people caught up. Just so you don’t think you are the only one hanging, Mindi paid her own way to WDC and her hotel room to give a speech for Mike-she is owed alot for that and she is out of pocket.

All I can say is be patient, which is not easy when you need money, I know. I will stay on top of the campaign to ensure you get paid when the funds come in.

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

Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 18:17:38 -0700
From: SStandley
To: beckynevada
Subject: follow up to try and get you paid

Becky,
I am trying to get you paid, Mike has his priorities, and obviously staying on the campaign trail is his. Though this is not necessarily what you think he should focus on with limited resources.

What is the amount that you figure you are owed? I will try another tact at getting you paid and see what I can do.

Did the Gravel campaign fail to compensate campaign worker? Gravel responds “No”

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 6, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Today, a comment appeared on Third Party Watch from someone who used the name “Becky”, claiming that she was owed money by the Gravel campaign. The statement, linked here, is as follows:

If Mike is answering a call it’s not mine cuz he owes me $1000.00 for work done on his campaign. It’s been 6 months of begging & I’m fed up. ASK Mike Gravel why he thinks he can still fly around the country & claim he can’t pay his debts because he is broke. Mike Gravel has stolen from my family & I think the public needs to know he’s not the kind compassionate man he plays on T.V.

Clearly, this is a very serious allegation. Did Mike Gravel engage someone to perform work on his campaign, then plead poverty when payment was due?

I did as Becky suggested, and asked Mike Gravel by sending her comment to Skyler McKinley of the Gravel campaign, and requesting a statement. The campaign issued the following in response to Becky’s allegations (you can view the actual document by clicking isais-52608)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

J. Skyler McKinley
Mike Gravel for President 2008
703.652.4698
smckinley@gravel2008.us
http://www.gravel2008.us

Becky Isais worked tirelessly on behalf of Senator Gravel and this campaign as a volunteer operating within the state of Nevada. She helped coordinate effective events for Senator Gravel, and graciously offered help whenever the campaign visited Nevada.

As with all of our volunteers, Becky was told that, should the campaign have money beyond necessary operating expenses, she would receive some compensation for her efforts. However, no formal contract or sum was drawn up or agreed upon, nor was the campaign in a surplus of funds such that it could pay volunteers beyond expectations.

Becky Isais has already received $500.00 from the Gravel campaign for her work and expenses as a volunteer. As this campaign will continually have operating costs, and Becky has already been paid an adequate sum, her additional $1000.00 claim is not realistic, nor was it formally established at any juncture of Becky’s tenure with us. We encourage Mrs. Isais use the Nevada legal system if she feels she is owed money from our campaign.

While we understand Mrs. Isais’s situation, every campaign, be it national, state, or local, will have disgruntled volunteers. Becky Isais never signed a formal contract with the Mike Gravel for President 2008 campaign, nor was she ever considered a paid employee.

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.

First Episode of “Last Free Voice Live”

In Christine Smith, Entertainment, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, War, Wayne Allen Root on May 4, 2008 at 2:15 am

The first (test) episode of Last Free Voice Live is now available online. It’s 30 minutes long, and it’s just me jabbering about our new website, my opinions on the LP Presidential candidates and the resignation of Shane Corey, among other things including the fact that I felt like I had the Ebola Virus while recording it, LOL.  I’m happy to say It went well, with no major technical glitches.  I just winged the entire thing and didn’t bother to use my “interview voice”, since it was only a test episode to make sure the blogtalk account works.

Yeah, I probably should have used my interview voice, since I do sometimes talk rather fast in “real life”, but I felt like reconstituted hell and just wanted to get the test episode done so I could crash on the sofa again, LOL.

Now that I have a pretty good feel for how it works, and have confidence that it will work reliably, I’ll start scheduling real shows with predetermined schedules, specific topics and interesting guests; of course, regular episodes will be longer than 30 minutes.  I will post a description of each episode (including date and time) right here on the blog, as well as on our blogtalk page.  If you have a blogtalk account of your own (you don’t have to do shows to have an account, that’s an additional process) make sure to add LFV Live to your “friends” list.  Also, with an account you can subscribe to the episodes, and even schedule email or text message reminders, so I would suggest we all get one.

We were discussing in another thread what days and times are best for people to listen in (since there will be a call-in opportunity as well, so listeners can ask questions of our guests).  I’d still like to have some input on that issue from everyone, so we can come up with a regular day and time each week for the main “Last Free Voice Live” show.

In addition to the main show (which will not necessarily always be hosted by me, since I am open to other contributors taking their shot at hosting it as well), each of the LFV contributors can host their own LFV Live episodes at other times during the week; you can discuss pretty much whatever you want, content is up to you and all you need to do is contact me so I can set it up for you.  Or, if you’d prefer to be a guest (or can recommend a good guest), by all means, let me know.  🙂

The Lonely Libertarian on the Gravel Factor

In Activism, Barack Obama, Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Protest, Republican, Terrorism, War on April 25, 2008 at 7:34 pm

From The Lonely Libertarian:

Mike GravelOne more X-factor in the general election- the possibility that the Libertarian party could actually be a factor. Particularly interesting is the candidacy of former Democrat Senator Mike Gravel, who, along with former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, is contending for the Libertarian nomination. In an election where even the Democrats seem basically unwilling to talk about the war, I think the libertarians could siphon off anti-war votes from both the left and the right and I think John McCain’s candidacy could open the door for Republican voters who care more about limited government than the war on terror.

Submit Your Questions!

In Congress, Democrats, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, US Government on April 23, 2008 at 12:50 am

On May 3rd, I will be conducting an interview with J.Skyler McKinley for my Blog Talk Radio Show, “Live From Court Street”. Skyler is the National Press Secretary for the Mike Gravel for President Campaign. Elfninosmom conducted a great interview with Mike Gravel himself a few weeks ago here at Last Free Voice, where we learned a lot about the latest libertarian convert.

Now that a few weeks have passed, I wanted to find out what direction the campaign is heading as we inch closer to Denver. Will Bob Barr’s eventual “official” announcement cause any concern for the Gravel team? Has Mike faced any hostility from libertarians who have spent years pouring their hearts and souls into the cause of freedom, while on the campaign trail? Does the Senator have plans to remain active with the party should he fail to gain the nomination? I know these are questions I would like to see answered. How about you, the readers? Is there a question you would like the National Press Secretary to answer?

If you have any questions, please leave a comment. I’ll select a few. Since this is a live show, you can also call in and ask your question directly. The show begins at 7:30pm Eastern on May 3rd and the interview with Skyler will be at 8pm. If you would like to interact during the segment, you may do so at 646-200-0234.

To listen live on the 3rd (or any Saturday), visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/livefromcourtstreet.

“The Little Party That Could”

In Civil Liberties, Democrats, George Bush, Green Party, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican on April 20, 2008 at 5:47 pm

From TownHall.com:

I like alluding to the classics. When I’m not referencing the great poets and novelists, I try to sneak in books I’m certain actually to have read. Like “The Little Engine That Could.”

Great story. Inspiring. A lesson for all time. Can a day go by when one does not think of that engine chugging “I think I can I think I can I think I can”?



U.S. Presidential Democratic Party candidate Mike Gravel smiles during remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute public policy conference in Washington October 3, 2007. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)

I especially think of that story when the subject of the Libertarian Party comes up.

No political organization in America persists against all odds and all principalities and powers to . . . survive.

The party never quite gets up that hill, chugging as it does (note: allude to Sisyphus’s rock), but it never gives up.

You might think that a political party is there to elect people to office. And the Libertarian Party has elected a few people here and there. But, well, though in general LPers are not exactly the most “spiritual” of folk — they are not as apt as an incense salesman is to spout homilies like “it’s the journey that counts” — they do keep running candidates that, for the most part, get no more than 3 percent, 5 percent, or (occasionally) 10 percent of the vote.

The Democrats and Republicans, on the other hand, elect candidates every election day. Since the LP was formed in 1972, Republicans re-elected their glorious contender (Nixon) and elected three more: Reagan, Bush the Elder, and Bush the Younger. After LP candidate Prof. John Hospers (heavy-duty philosopher) and Mrs. Tonie Nathan (professional media person) received one renegade Electoral College vote for their first-time-out effort, the Democrats have elected two presidents: Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The Libertarians, however, have never even garnered a million votes for one of their candidates.

I mention all this merely to say that I prefer to think of the persistence of the Libertarian Party as charming, not pathetic. Everything is stacked against them. The two parties in charge have made sure that it is very hard for “minor parties” to challenge them. Just getting on the ballot is no picnic. The Libertarians have spent millions and millions of dollars and massive quantities of man-hours maintaining ballot status in the forty-odd states they have maintained it, over the years.

And now that persistence has paid off. In a way. The party has become a magnet — a magnet for disgruntled major-party players.

You can read this article in its entirety here.

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.