Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘New hampshire’

George Phillies: “In Support of Angela Keaton, Part 4”

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Protest on October 17, 2008 at 10:16 pm

The following was written by George Phillies, and is posted with permission of the author.

In Defense of Angela Keaton, Part 4

In a prior post, I reminded readers that the Libertarian National Committee had voted to ask Angela Keaton to resign. They then considered a motion to expel Keaton from the LNC. It is inescapable that Keaton will soon need a coherent defense against the forthcoming motion of expulsion. In this and following messages, I offer such a defense.

In the prior post, I proposed that Keaton’s acts were far less serious than the acts of Bob Barr, who while on the LNC had through his PAC supported Republican Federal candidates.Here I turn to actions of National Chair William Redpath. When Redpath was not penalized for his acts, it is transparently unjust to penalize Keaton.

Acts of William Redpath.

1) Redpath is and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Libertarian National Committee. As such, under LNC Bylaws Article 7, Section 4 “The Chair is the chief executive officer of the Party with full authority to direct its business and affairs…subject to express National Committee policies and directives…”

In accord with its authority Under Article 8 of the Bylaws, the LNC has voted a series of policies. These National Committee policies from the current LNC Policy Manual, are listed in part below as Appendix A. The next several articles will examine what are in my opinion failures to follow these requirements, failures for which Redpath has not been sanctioned, leading to the conclusion that Keaton should not be sanctioned for her less serious actions.

We first turn to Policy Manual

ARTICLE III

B. The Chair serves as chief executive officer of the Party, reporting to the LNC, and in that capacity:

1. is responsible, along with the LNC, for ensuring the direction and management of activities, affairs, properties, and funds of the Party is consistent with the Party Bylaws and LNC policies;…

The most important of these bylaws statements is of course the Statement of Principles, eschewing the use of theft and fraud for political gain.

I begin with what is in my opinion an attempted use of theft and fraud, broadly defined as intended by the original authors of the statement of principles, for political gain, by the LNC, an attempt that in my opinion could not be continuing if Redpath had discharged his duties under B1. However, Redpath has not been sanctioned for what appear to me to be his failures here, so Keaton should also not be sanctioned.

I refer to the LNC lawsuit attempting to steal my ballot status in New Hampshire.

1. In my opinion there can be no reasonable doubt that this is an LNC action, even though the LNC is not yet named as a plaintiff in the suit.

First, the non-local attorney in the suit represented himself to me as having the LNC as his client. Furthermore, I am assured by eyewitnesses at an LPNH meeting after the suit was filed that LPNH state committee members did not know who the non-local attorney was, and, if this is true, it is scarcely credible that he was retained by LPNH. Also, the LPNH vote to adhere to the suit reads

From: Brendan Kelly
Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 2:59 PM
To: Seth Cohn, babiarz@endor.com, “Sandy C. Pierre”, Faith Cook, Avens O’Brien

At about 2:00 PM Aug.27th 2008 I’m calling a meeting of the LPNH E.C. for the purpose of addressing the question of our joining with national LP in their substitution suit. This meeting will be open until 2:00 PM on Aug. 28th 2008 or until an unbeatable up or down vote with a quorum has been reached.All internet response should be sent by reply all.

I Brendan Kelly as chairman call this meeting to order. I’d like to make a motion that the LPNH join the LP substitution law suit to be filed as plaintiff’s. Do I have a second.

That is a motion purely and entirely to join ‘the national LP’ suit. No attorney, presented with this motion, could have added LPNH as a plaintiff, as has been done, unless this was a national LP suit.

2. Point 15 of the LNC suit as filed reads

15: Upon information and belief, anticipating that he might win the nomination but have insufficient time to obtain the 3,000 valid nomination papers required for access to the New Hampshire ballot, Phillies caused the requisite number of nominating papers to be circulated and filed on his behalf prior to the convention.

These claims are false. Presenting them was an act of fraud in the sense of the statement of principles, though perhaps not as a matter of law. The National Chair was not sanctioned for allowing this act of fraud to go forward, and therefore Keaton should not be sanctioned for her alleged acts, which were clearly less serious.

Why are the claims false? In Spring, 2007, LPNH staged a nominating convention. You can read about it in the LPNH newsletter Libertarian Lines, Volume 32, Issue 3

http://www.lpnh.org/LPNH/Libertarian_Lines_files/LibLines_June07.pdf.

I didn’t attend the convention, but my campaign Treasurer Carol McMahon did. Liberty Lines page 1, bottom, “Nominations” says in part “The main item for the convention was candidate nominations for President down to Executive Council. We made nominations for each of these offices…In the end, our final list of nominees were: President: George Phillies,” Having identified me as a candidate, Liberty Lines then twice says “please start collecting petitions for our candidates.”

It was the LPNH State Convention that asked its volunteers to collect signatures for me. The claim that I caused nominating papers to be circulated and filed is a baldfaced lie. However, our National Chair has not been sanctioned for allowing these false claims to go forward, and therefore Angela Keaton should also not be sanctioned for less serious acts.

3. Point 21 of the LNC lawsuit claims “The plaintiffs have sought to substitute the Barr candidacy for the Phillies candidacy and to have Barr listed on the November ballot as the sole Libertarian candidate for President.” Point 22 claims in part “The Secretary of State has refused to permit such substitution…”

These claims are also false. Presenting them was an act of fraud in the sense of the statement of principles. The National Chair was not sanctioned by the LNC for allowing these false claims to go forward, and therefore Keaton should not be sanctioned for her alleged acts, which were clearly less serious.

Why are these claims false? First, Barr is already on the ballot, and therefore the proposed change is not “substitution”; it is my removal from the ballot. Furthermore, at no time prior to the LPNH ExComm vote to join the lawsuit did the LPNH ExComm vote to ask Secretary Gardner for anything of the kind.

4. Point 23 of the LPNH lawsuit claims that failure “to list Barr on the Libertarian ballot as the sole Libertarian Party candidate for President” would “unduly burdens their rights to cast their votes effectively” and “to associate for the advancement of political beliefs”.

The claim that you cannot vote effectively because someone else is on the ballot is absurd on its face. In fact, if this suit were to succeed, the right of attendees of the LPNH State Convention, not to mention my petitioners and supporters, to associate for the advancement of their political beliefs, would be stolen. This taking would be an act of theft in the sense of the statement of principles, if perhaps not in the legal sense. The National Chair was not sanctioned by the LNC for allowing this attempted theft of freedom of association to go forward, and therefore Keaton should not be sanctioned for her alleged acts, which were clearly less serious.

You may correctly assume that I could go on at great length about this suit, but I think I have made my point.

We’ll return in Part 5 to other LNC member acts whose actions were more serious than Ms. Keaton’s.

Appendix A. Segments from the LNC Policy Manual.

I first quote from the Policy Manual as to the duties charged by LNC vote to the LNC Chair:

ARTICLE III. OFFICERS

Section 1: POSITION DESCRIPTION OF NATIONAL CHAIR

A. The Chair serves as the presiding officer of the LNC and of all National Conventions and, in that capacity:

1. guides the deliberations and activities of the LNC according to Party Bylaws, convenes an LNC meeting according to the Party Bylaws, serves as a full voting member of the LNC and serves as a nonvoting member of all committees appointed by the LNC;

2. guides the deliberations and activities of National Conventions according to the Party Bylaws and adopted Convention Rules.

B. The Chair serves as chief executive officer of the Party, reporting to the LNC, and in that capacity:

1. is responsible, along with the LNC, for ensuring the direction and management of activities, affairs, properties, and funds of the Party is consistent with the Party Bylaws and LNC policies;…

C. The Chair represents and serves as the chief spokesman of the Party as appropriate, including: representing the Party to the public, including the business community, media, other political and educational organizations, government agencies, and elected officials;

not to mention

ARTICLE VII. LP NEWS

Section 1: LP NEWS EDITORIAL POLICY

Article VII.1.C.2 The selection of articles, their layout and the graphics for LP News, the relative amount of space assigned to articles, advertisements, Party announcements, and regular features shall be the responsibility of the Chair except as detailed in this Policy Statement.

The exception for the LP News Editor makes clear that the responsibility of the Editor is for production, so that VII.1.A. 2. provides

Final responsibility for the production of LP News must rest with one person: the Editor. It is the responsibility of the Editor to produce the best possible publication within the guidelines of these policies.

Among the LNC policies that the Chair is responsible for carrying out are

Article VIII. Section 3: LIMITATIONS ON PARTY SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC OFFICE

Party resources shall not be used to provide information or services for any candidate for public office prior to the nomination unless: (a) such information or services are available and announced on an equal basis to all Libertarians who have declared they are seeking that nomination, (b) such information or services are generally available and announced to all party members, or (c) the service or candidate has been approved by the state chair.

Article VIII. Section 4: LIMITATIONS ON PARTY SUPPORT FOR PARTY OFFICE

Party resources shall not be used to provide information or services for any candidate for party office unless: (a) such information or services are available and announced on an equal basis to all Libertarians who have declared they are seeking that office, or (b) such information or service(s) are generally available and announced all party members.

and

ARTICLE IV. NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

Section 3: EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

A. Employees are bound by the Bylaws and the policies adopted by the LNC. A statement to this effect shall be included in all employment agreements and contracts between the Party and its employees.

D. Except as otherwise noted in this Policy Manual, no employee of the Party shall:

1. endorse, support, or contribute any money,

2. use his or her title or position, or

3. work as a volunteer, employee, or contractor

to aid (1) any candidate for public office prior to nomination, or (2) any candidate for Party office.

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Latest George Phillies media appearances

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 26, 2008 at 9:09 pm

George Phillies, a Libertarian Presidential candidate currently on the ballot in NH, will be on TV — broadcast is Sunday

http://nhcaptv.com/episode/37

George Phillies interviewed by Todd Andrew Barnett and James Landrith 6PM Friday

http://www.nowlive.com/libertycaptalklive

In the eighty-eighth episode, Todd and Jim asks panelists LP presidential candidate George Phillies, LP activist Lidia Seebeck and her husband blogger Michael Seebeck, and The Liberty Conspiracy talk radio show host Gardner Goldsmith on topics such as Gard’s firing from 107.7 WPTL The Pulse, Bob Barr’s declining candidacy, the fall of the LP, the domestic and worldwide financial crisis (including the bailouts), and the never-ending McCain/Obama saga. In the second half of the second hour, Todd and Jim talk about AP News of the Day.

First State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

In Candidate Endorsement, Chris Bennett, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Local Politics, Politics, Press Release on September 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

STATEMENT BY ARTHUR W. KETCHEN

I want to announce my full and unequivocal support for the candidacy of George Phillies for President of The United States and Christopher Bennett for Vice President of The United States. For this is the only real Libertarian ticket for those offices on the ballot anywhere.

For Bob Barr, the choice of the Libertarian National Convention, is in point of fact anything but a Libertarian. Barr is a state’s rights advocate, where any real Libertarian is an individual rights advocate
who recognizes that “states rights” come a very far distant second, conditional upon how absolutely individual rights are upheld in any given state. Barr favors one religion over others,ignoring the
fundamental truth that if you lay your life on the line for this nation in the United States armed forces you have a right to observe the religion of your choice in those armed forces. An American is an
American, regardless of religious creed! And furthermore, if we are to acheive the ideal of limited government,we must end the nefarious cult of religious “leaders” giving blessing to the state, and the state favoring any one religion. In his inability to recognize the above truths and in his equivocation on questions that should have a clear answer Bob Barr still talks like the Republicrats. Indeed the cause of truth would be better served if Bob Barr ran as the candidate of the Know Nothing Party than the Libertarian Party.

In choosing Barr, or even considering him the Libertarian National Convention majority betrayed the Party Of Principle which I and other members of the first National Convention in Denver founded in 1972. And the 2008 Libertarian National Convention also attempted to deny the American people a choice at the polls.

But in New Hampshire there is a choice. In November citizens can vote for George Phillies for President and Chris Bennett for Vice President. For the Phillies/Bennett ticket stands for clear consistent choice. George Phillies and Chris Bennett know full well that you cannot have economic freedom without civil liberty, that social freedom and a free market are inseparable. That a house divided against itself cannot stand!

If you are a Libertarian and planned on voting Libertarian in any event in November I urge you to vote Phillies/Bennett. Your vote will count for it will send a message to LP National and the state organizations that you want Libertarians running as Libertarians, not the hand me down failures from the Republicrats with their tired theocratic/socialist myths and lies.

If you are not yet a Libertarian this current economic mess should make you one. And if you perceive rightly that voting for the Republican and Democratic candidates is indeed a vote thrown away, then I urge you to vote Phillies/Bennett for that is a vote for the future if America is to have one! We have no where to go but up!

Arthur W. Ketchen
New Hampshire Delegate to the 1972 Libertarian National Convention
First State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire

New Hampshire lawsuit filed, seeks to remove Phillies from ballot

In Libertarian on September 12, 2008 at 8:42 pm

A reporter for the Nashua Telegraph has been calling libertarians today about a lawsuit filed in US District Court.

Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire Executive Committee are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  However, this is not a typical ballot substitution action; instead, it is an action to remove George Phillies from the New Hampshire ballot.  This therefore appears to be the expected lawsuit previously discussed on Last Free Voice.

Bob Barr is the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee.  George Phillies was nominated as presidential nominee at the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire state convention.  Currently, both Barr and Phillies are ballot-qualified in New Hampshire as Libertarian presidential candidates.  The state does not allow substitution of candidates, and the New Hampshire Libertarian Party began collecting signatures for Phillies before Barr announced his candidacy.  Phillies has declined to remove himself from the New Hampshire ballot, citing his belief that he has an ethical obligation to those who signed the petitions to place him on the ballot.

As of this afternoon, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Garner had not yet been served with said lawsuit.

George Phillies continues New Hampshire campaign with signs idea

In Chris Bennett, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Presidential Candidates on September 11, 2008 at 7:48 pm

George Phillies, who is ballot qualified as a Libertarian presidential candidate in New Hampshire, has come up with an idea to use his candidacy to support all Libertarian candidates in that state.  Click below to see his fundraising brochure in PDF format.

phillies-new-hampshire-fundraising-letter

Seth Cohn resigns over LNC’s NH lawsuit

In Courts and Justice System, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Protest on August 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Seth Cohn has resigned in protest from the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire Executive Committee, as a result of the committee’s vote to join the LNC in its lawsuit.

Breaking News: LNC NH lawsuit to be filed in the morning

In Courts and Justice System, George Phillies, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates on August 28, 2008 at 11:39 pm

According to an excellent source, the New Hampshire ballot lawsuit has been authorized by Libertarian National Committee Chair Bill Redpath, and will be filed in the morning (Friday 8/29).

As previously discussed, the lawsuit is expected to seek the removal of George Phillies from the ballot, and the placement of Bob Barr on the ballot. New Hampshire ballot law does not allow for substitution, and George Phillies is currently the LPNH presidential nominee.

Professor Phillies is already ballot-qualified, according to the New Hampshire Secretary of State. However, Professor Phillies says he will not step down, because he feels he has an ethical obligation to those who signed the petitions placing him on the ballot.

LFV will update as more information becomes available.

LNC Smackdown!

In Crazy Claims, Entertainment, George Phillies, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Shine on you crazy diamond on August 23, 2008 at 2:03 am

Sorry, couldn’t resist that headline after LNC Treasurer Aaron Starr (in LFV comments) made a reference to libertarian “bloodsports”. 😉

The following are comments left on the latest LFV exclusive regarding George Phillies having been contacted by an outside attorney, about a potential lawsuit brewing for New Hampshire.

Aaron Starr, LNC Treasurer:

This might be interesting if it were accurate.

However, the LNC has been informed on more than one occasion concerning the potential opportunity for a lawsuit in New Hampshire to establish for our party the permanent right for candidate substitution, so that we will not have this problem again in the future.

No lawsuit has been filed yet.

On May 22nd, during the LNC pre-convention meeting in Denver, staff presented in its report the possibility of our needing to sue in New Hampshire.

The report is included in the minutes. Members of the LNC board members who are purported to not know anything about this received copies of these minutes and voted for their approval.

In addition, in a cursory search of e-mails to the entire LNC, I was able to find a ballot access update dated June 29th that further discussed the legal situation in New Hampshire. There are probably other updates, should I care to look for them.

In the case of Bill Hall, our legal counsel, the LNC has been updated by him as recently as today as to the status of this potential litigation. Of course, attorney-client privilege issues prevent me from sharing the contents of this communique with anyone else.

Aaron Starr
Treasurer
Libertarian National Committee

Professor George Phillies, qualified NH LP presidential candidate and probable defendant in said not-yet-filed lawsuit:

Starr’s claims about the suit are disingenuous. There are indeed representations in the LNC Minutes and other places about discussing litigation as a possible alternative path in New Hampshire. There is no indication that an attorney had been retained or was going to be retained.

That’s entirely different from having an attorney, not Bill Hall, telephone interested parties to make statements rather more positive than discussing alternatives.

As an analogy, as late as 1936 the War Department updated its plans for war with Canada, a fact that Congress could have determined. South Park notwithstanding, telling Congress this minor fact did not constitute asking Congress to approve war with Canada.

There is no representation in those statements to the LNC about actually spending money to pay the attorney in question, seeking the LNC’s approval to spend money or discuss litigation with interested parties, or having the attorney discuss with affected parties while representing himself as the LNC’s attorney, which he assuredly would not have done if he had not been retained, whether for pay or pro bono.

I should point out that the sort of phone call that I heard might or might not already have led other interested parties to retain their own counsel.

As to whether the LNC is paying him for something, well, the most recent LNC FEC filing shows a large sum of money going in his direction, so there is no question that the LNC has already actually spent money, without notifying the LNC itself that that money is actually being spent.

Angela Keaton, LNC At-Large Representative:

A.) What is the proper LNC procedure in the initiation of a lawsuit? Does a mention of the possibility of such in a staff report released between LNC meetings constitute proper notice to the board? Do Haugh and Kraus have the authority to initiate a law suit without putting it to a vote of the entire LNC? If Redpath has the sole authority, what is the fiduciary duty with regard to financial priorities during severe shortfalls?

B.) Is the suit a political payback stemming from a confrontation between Carling/Karlan/Sundwall and Macia and Phillies/McMahon at the LPNY ‘07 convention? Did that confrontation result as of Carling overstepping what was agreed upon by members of the LNC? Is it a relevant fact that M Carling proposed to strip George Phillies of his life membership at the July ‘07 LNC meeting? Is it a relevant fact that Aaron Starr proposed an affiliate agreement which singled out LPNH for a daunting level of control by the LNC? (Starr lated withdrew after I made the case that it would lead to infighting and bitterness. Who knew?) What does the ExCom of LPNH want?

C.) What is the responsibility of the Barr/Root campaign for handling ballot access? Is it a mis characterization to state that LPNH has no ballot access when the drop dead date was August 6th and the signature validity is known? A mis characterization that there is no LP ballot access if Phillies/Bennett ticket has made the ballot? Does it matter if both are on the ballot? Does it make any difference who is on the ballot as long as the libertarian label is on it?

Get back to me via email (angela at angelakeaton com) if any of you have serious answers so I don’t have to wade through this most worthless thread.

Angela Keaton
At Large Rep
Libertarian National Committee

I have to respectfully disagree with Ms. Keaton. The thread covered everything any redblooded libertarian could ever want to discuss …. from whether state parties overrule the national party on ballot access issues, to whether a qualified candidate must bow out for the nominee in a state which does not allow substitution, to necrophiliac fellatio, and everything in between. We even had self-described “Libertarian Republican” Eric Dondero calling out to his preferred diety, during a profanity-filled rant in which he threatened to come through the computer and rip LFV Contributor GE Smith’s head off. Now, ripping off heads is what I call a “bloodsport”, though of course making threats on LFV is never, ever acceptable, nor is it ever tolerated.

What do you think, folks? Anyone want to have a little weekend fun, and lay some bets on any of the players? Starr vs Phillies? Keaton vs Starr? Hogarth vs Phillies? Dondero vs GE? ElfNinosMom vs Dondero? Place your bets here!

Latest Boston Tea Party endorsements, organizational news

In Chris Bennett, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Politics on August 13, 2008 at 11:43 am

Latest affiliates and endorsements from the Boston Tea Party

New news at the top 12 August 2008 The Boston Tea Party’s national committee has voted to endorse Tom Knapp for Congress in Missouri. Tom represents the Libertarian Party in that race. Our Indiana affiliate has voted to endorse Rex Bell in Indiana.

10 August 2008 Our ranks continue to swell. We now have 222 members on this site, 276 on our main Facebook group. We added a Kansas group to our set of affiliate groups on Facebook. http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=27131827190

Invite your friends to join the party today!

8 August 2007 The Boston Tea Party national committee has unanimously endorsed George Phillies for president of the United States and Chris Bennett for vice president in the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where the two are on the ballot representing the Libertarian Party. The vote was six in favor with one not voting (Chris Bennett is an at-large member of the Boston Tea Party’s national committee and chose not to vote given his conflict of interest in the result).

Commenting on the news, Boston Tea Party chair Jim Davidson said, “We nominated Charles Jay and Tom Knapp for the offices of president and vice president of the United States because we did not find the nominees of the Libertarian Party to be suitable. We did not do so because we have any essential objection to the Libertarian Party, nor to many of the fine people working within it. We did so because we wanted a libertarian candidate to be on the ballot. Obviously, we don’t have time to get our candidates on the ballot in every state. So, we were especially gratified to learn that actual libertarians who favor smaller government on all issues and at all levels are on the ballot in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts.”

Charles Jay may qualify as a write-in candidate in either state for those Boston Tea Party enthusiasts for whom there are no substitutes. New Hampshire has officially declared that George Phillies will be on its ballot, and unless a lawsuit brought by the ACLU changes things in Massachusetts, George and Chris are also on the ballot there. While it is clear that neither Charles nor George is going to be president at the beginning of next year, it is essential that there be presidential candidates to carry the message of libertarian values to the American people in this election year. The national committee of the Boston Tea Party regards it as excellent news that there happen to be two presidential candidates qualified to carry that message this year.

7 August 2008 BTP at-large representative Chris Bennett has accepted the request of George Phillies to be his running mate in New Hampshire. The national committee is considering an endorsement for the two in NH and Massachusetts, where they’ll be on the ballot.

29 July 2008 Good news everybody! We’re officially a party in Florida, so members there can register to vote as Boston Tea Party-goers. We have a team in Florida putting together electors for the ballot application there. The same is true in Tennessee and in Louisiana. The Jay campaign is raising funds for ballot access work in other states – visit CJ08.com for details.

We have affiliates forming in several states. If your state isn’t listed on our contact page, please contact the chairman for help in forming one! We now have over 200 members on this site and nearly 250 members on our Facebook group.

Barr misses Maine deadline

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on August 12, 2008 at 11:17 am

Also posted at Independent Political Report

Hot on the heels of the failure in West Virginia (additional discussion at Ballot Access News and Last Free Voice), Ballot Access News reports:

On the deadline date of August 8, Bob Barr submitted a total of 3,200 signatures to various town and city clerks in Maine. State law requires 4,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Over the weekend, petitioners obtained another 2,000 signatures, which they had hoped to turn in to the clerks on Monday. The signatures are not due at the Secretary of State’s office until Aug. 15. If the local clerks choose to take the late signatures, Barr could still qualify, since the additional signatures would potentially give him 5,200 total.

If the officials fail to accept and certify the late signatures, LP officials plan to go to court.

Maine joins Oklahoma, Massachusetts and West Virginia among states which the Barr campaign is suing to be on the ballot. The Barr campaign also raced to the deadline in Connecticut, as well as in New Hampshire, where the LP failed to qualify in 2004 and 2006 and where George Phillies will be on the ballot either alongside or instead of Bob Barr as a Libertarian Presidential candidate. The results of the last-minute pushes in Connecticut and New Hampshire are forthcoming.

Another possible concern for the campaign is the District of Columbia, which pre-nomination LP ballot access plans had written off (along with West Virginia and Oklahoma). According to the chart at Ballot Access News, with a week left to go, DC reports only 300 signatures gathered for Barr. Although the District requires only 3,883 valid signatures, petitioning in the district is made more difficult than in other places because non-DC residents make up a substantial portion of the DC workforce and nightlife, and because of the high prevalence of tourists, people who are disqualified (or believe they are disqualified) from voting by reason of a criminal record, and those who are not (or believe they are not) allowed to sign petitions because of their government job.

The LP has been on the ballot in 48 states or more plus DC in every election since 1992.

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

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

Reported in the Manchester, NH Union Leader newspaper:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full article here.

Cirino “Reno” Gonzalez faces retrial on both acquitted counts

In Activism, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Law, Law Enforcement, People in the news, Politics, Shine on you crazy diamond, Taxation, US Government on April 22, 2008 at 11:57 pm

From Bombs, Taxes, and Red Crayons:

Earlier this month, the jury in New Hampshire found Reno guilty on two counts, but could not reach an agreement on two other counts, resulting in a mistrial on those two undecided charges.

The government will retry those two unresolved counts on June 23, 2008, according to a recent filing in the Bob Wollfe’s docket.  The prosecutors have asked the judge to delay Wolffe’s sentencing until Reno’s trial is over, because Wolffe is expected to testify against Reno as a condition of his plea agreement.

In case anyone has forgotten, Reno provided security for Ed and Elaine Brown during their standoff against the US Marshals.  He was found guilty of two counts, and his two co-defendants were found guilty on all counts.  To catch up on the case, merely search for “Reno” on this blog.

Brown supporters’ trial ended today

In Courts and Justice System, Crime, Law, People in the news, Second Amendment, Taxation, US Government on April 5, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Bombs, Taxes and Red Crayons has covered today’s cross-examination of Reno Gonzalez, as well as the closing statements in the trial of the Brown supporters.

Here are some excerpts:

When Reno first heard about the Ed Brown standoff, he says he didn’t know it was about tax issues.  All he knew is that Ed had holed himself up his home.  Reno had been “researching” the incidents at Ruby Ridge and Waco at the time.

Reno:  I didn’t think [the standoff] would last too long.  They would just go in and kill them.

Reno (later): The US Marshals don’t ask questions … I thought this would be another Ruby Ridge.

According to Reno, all three defendants were there to take advantage of Ed’s press.  Jason went to the Browns “because there was a cruise missile that hit the Pentagon” and “he was there to defend the Browns … the only thing else he did was drink beer.”  Riley was there “because he took a military oath” to defend the Constitution and his research had told him that the income tax laws were unlawful.

Prosecutor:  Don’t you care about Ed and Elaine Brown?

Reno:  Ed Brown is kind of a jerk… I’m a realist, not a hero.

Prosecutor:  Did you tell Jason to arm himself?

Reno:  No, I wouldn’t tell a pacifist to buy a gun.

Prosecutor:  Jason Gerhard is a pacifist?

Reno: Jason Gerhard is a good man.

When Ed brought him a sample zip gun and asked if he could make more, Reno said that he was “for firearms, but against mines.  The spring gun had the capability of being used as a mine.”

The most amusing part of today’s blog:

He [the prosecutor] described Jason as someone who was spoiling for a fight and who was very … interested … in his gun.

From an email Jason sent:

I choose to enjoy porn while fondling my gun at Ed Brown’s house.  Try it one day.  It’s the best of all possible worlds.

Is “my gun” what he calls Little Jason, or is he literally fondling a gun while watching porn?  Forget I asked that, I really don’t want to know.  LOL

Jason Gerhard and Danny Riley are not going to testify in their own defense.  Except for the jury’s instructions and deliberations, which will start Monday morning, the trial is over.

What I find sad is that the Brown supporters, and even Ed and Elaine themselves, have abandoned these men when they most need the support.  Their defense witnesses either took the Fifth or else failed to materialize.  Even Elaine took the Fifth, rather than testify on behalf of the men who gave up their own lives to protect hers.  None of the Brown supporters even attended the trial as a spectator, according to JJ; the only spectators were Jason’s mother and (usually) Danny’s brother.

I can’t help but wonder …. had these three men realized that Ed and Elaine would leave them hanging like this,  would they have still made the decision to become involved?

Old Buck feared Ed Brown would murder Elaine

In Courts and Justice System, Crime, Law, Law Enforcement, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Taxation, US Government on April 3, 2008 at 1:10 am

As previously stated on this blog, the trial of the Ed and Elaine Brown supporters – Cirino “Reno” Gonzalez, Robert Wolffe, and Jason Gerhard – is being covered by a friend of mine, JJ MacNab, who is actually at the trial. I’ve been watching the comments on her trial blog, Bombs, Taxes, and Red Crayons, and it’s quite Illuminati illuminating.

What follows is the conversation in question. Jim Hobbs is “Old Buck”, who stayed at the Brown home in his RV for months. Bob “woffle” (Wolffe) is one of the men currently on trial. “Admin” is JJ.

ADMIN: You ever hear Ed’s plan to kill Elaine and blame the evil feds, Old Buck?

BUCK: Not quite like that but yes I feared he may do such a thing as kill elaine and I told the marshals that the night I left.

BUCK: I also told Bob woffle in an email I had that concern.

ADMIN: Can you describe what you heard of Ed’s plan in an email, if you don’t mind. I have four different versions now and there are odd discrepancies with what we’re seeing in trial (the bunker set up, for example.)

BUCK: No I will not as there is nothing to that whole story as it was all smoke and mirrors. while I did not agree with alot of what ed said and did, I believe the tax laws are being misapplied and ed and elaine were railroad. These men are being charged because the marshals were made to look like fool for 9mts. Its shameful how our stystem works.

ADMIN: If there’s nothing to the story, why did you call the Marshals and warn Wolffe?

BUCK: I called and left a message with the marshals telling them of my concern also warned woffle about ed and my concerns for elaines saftey. ed and I had been going round and round for a few days and I was very concerned . The bunker and tunnels wer the made up part. the hit list is ed bullshit.

BUCK: I came to believe ed got himself in so deep the only out he saw was sucide by cop. I sincerly believed that and Bob wolfe agreed 100%. The problem was what the hell could I do about it. so I got out.

So, according to someone who was undeniably very close to Ed Brown and Elaine Brown, and actually lived on the Browns’ property for a prolonged period of time during the standoff, Ed was possibly planning to murder Elaine; and this supporter was concerned enough for Elaine’s life at Ed’s hands that he actually broke away, and alerted the US Marshals that she was in danger.

WOW.

I wonder if Elaine, or her children, realized that she was in far more danger from Ed, than from the government?

Would Ed have murdered Elaine? I have to take Buck’s words and actions for that, and say yes. I honestly do not believe that this man, who stood by Ed and Elaine’s side for so long, staying on the property to protect them, would ever have gone out of his way to call the Marshals and give them that information, unless he absolutely believed that Elaine was in serious danger of being murdered by Ed. It’s a good thing the Marshals came in when they did. They may actually have saved Elaine’s life. Old Buck may have saved Elaine’s life, by alerting the Marshals.

In another update, Ed and Elaine have taken the Fifth Amendment, refusing to testify on behalf of the men who are on trial for trying to protect them. They’ve hung these men out to dry.

While this may come as a surprise to some, it’s not a surprise to me. As previously stated on LFV, I have never trusted Ed Brown. Too bad his supporters didn’t listen to me. If they had, they’d be at home with their families right now, instead of on trial and looking at spending decades in prison.

The moral of the story: It does no good to protect someone based upon principle, when you are protecting someone who is completely unprincipled.

Ed & Elaine Brown supporters on trial

In Courts and Justice System, Crime, Law, Law Enforcement, Military, Taxation, US Government on April 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Cirino The trial of the Ed and Elaine Brown supporters is being covered by my friend JJ MacNab, who is attending the trial; her daily blogs on the trial can be seen at Bombs, Taxes, and Red Crayons.

For those unfamiliar with the case, on trial are Cirino “Reno” Gonzalez, Daniel Riley, and Jason Gerhard; each of the men potentially faces decades in prison if convicted. The men are accused of providing material support to Ed and Elaine Brown, providing them with, among other things, weapons and explosives. The Browns had been convicted of multiple counts including tax evasion and structuring transactions, and were fugitives when the alleged crimes occurred.

Here’s an excerpt from the latest entry, wherein former co-defendant Robert Wolffe rats them all out pursuant to the terms of his plea agreement:

Witness Robert Wolffe

Bob Wolffe was the fourth defendant in this case. He signed a proffer letter just a few days after the September 12, 2007 indictment and arrest, and signed a plea agreement in January, 2008. Wolffe was wearing an orange prison t-shirt, jacket, and pants, but otherwise looked tidy, composed, and very serious about his situation and testimony.

Wolffe lives in Randolph, VT and first heard of Ed Brown when the Browns were on trial in January 2007 for tax evasion and structuring financial transactions. Over the next eight months, he visited the Brown house roughly 25 to 30 times. He said that he understood that they had been convicted on multiple felony counts and that they were evading arrest.

Wolffe conducted counter-surveillance by following US Marshals when they were following Jim Hobbs (the man who posts comments on this blog), and provided armed security for the Browns by wearing weapons at their home. He also did some target shooting on Ed Brown’s range next to the home. He identified a number of weapons he’d seen others carrying at the home.

Wolffe has been charged with three felony counts in this case, and no counts were dropped as part of his plea agreement. He not only wasn’t promised any leniency by the prosecutors, but he was warned repeatedly that if he lied on the stand, he would be prosecuted for perjury.

Wolffe testified on a number of important issues:

1) He saw Reno and Ed carrying rifles while patrolling the property

2) On another occasion, he saw Ed, Jason, and Danny with rifles again patrolling the property

3) He saw Reno wearing a semi-automatic pistol in a holster and said that Reno told him that he was a security specialist in the military who was there to provide the Browns with security

4) Reno had brought a .50 caliber rifles to the Browns’ home

5) He first met Danny in late April, and Danny was involved in internet dealing with Shaun Kranish of www.makethestand.com

6) He saw Danny and Ed trying to detonate Tannerite using different caliber ammunition and later Ed showed Wolffe the Tannerite baggies in the trees

7) He saw the zip guns in Ed’s garage and Ed and Danny told him about their plan to place blanks in them and set them up as booby traps around the property to act as an early warning system

8 ) Wolffe met Jason in mid-June and said that Jason took care of things around the Brown house

9) Jason had been purchasing weapons for Ed Brown, but the local dealer had decided not to sell him any more

10) Jason told Wolffe that he was joining the military to learn more about military tactics and explosives

11) Wolffe is still a tax denier, but said that Ed and Elaine were convicted felons, so protecting them was a crime

12) Wolffe lied to Keith Champagne in various letters by not telling him about his proffer in September 2007

13) Wolffe was not a Constitution Ranger until the Brown standoff and didn’t know the Browns

14) One of the main reasons Wolffe pled guilty was to protect his wife from weapons charges

15) Wolffe acted as a mail center for various Brown supplies

16) Wolffe provided roughly 6 to 8 pieces of pipe that were later turned into zip guns

17) Wolffe had been in Ed Brown’s bedroom but not his closet (sometimes you have to wonder about the defense attorneys’ questions…)

18) He saw Lauren Canario at the home three or four times, but was unfamiliar with several other names

19) He said that Jim Hobbs lived at the Brown house for several weeks after Reno left

20) Wolffe said that Ed Brown had a “secret hit list” but Wolffe thought that that was between Ed and his God

21) Wolffe said that Ed had asked him to purchase a gun for Elaine, but that he’d refused. “I didn’t want to get involved in the standoff in that way.”

Wolffe didn’t spend that long on the stand but his information was quite forthright and direct. Unlike the other defendants in this case, it would appear that he has a much better grasp of the reality of the situation.

There is much, much more there, so if you are interested in this trial or the subject matter in general, you might want to check out the blog, which is updated daily.

Decriminalization of marijuana continues

In Courts and Justice System, Crime, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Drug War, Health, Law, Law Enforcement, Local Politics, Medical Marijuana, Politics on March 22, 2008 at 3:53 am

MarijuanaFrom Reason Magazine Hit and Run:

Yesterday I noted that the New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to decriminalize possession of up to a quarter ounce of marijuana. (You can read more about that bill at the website of the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy.) NORML notes that the Vermont Senate approved a similar bill last month, with a one-ounce limit. If those bills succeed, New Hampshire and Vermont would join the 12 states that already have made possessing small quantities of marijuana a noncriminal violation, typically punishable by a modest fine.