Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘PAC’

Atlanta newspaper (finally) looks into Bob Barr’s PAC

In Congress, Corruption, Fraud, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican on May 19, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Barr writes (or wrote) a column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but that didn’t stop the paper from doing a little digging into his PAC now that he has declared for president.

Here’s the story (which was previously covered by Last Free Voice):

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/05/19/barrpac_0518.html

Barr’s group is a so-called “leadership fund,” a type of political action committee used by current and aspiring party leaders to collect money and disperse it to candidates and committees. …Barr’s use of donations for fund-raising and his own expenses is unlike most leadership funds, said Sarah Dufendach, chief of legislative affairs for Common Cause, the Washington-based nonpartisan public-interest advocacy group.

“It’s not supposed to be for the benefit of that particular person,” she said. “The leadership PACs are supposed to be for the support of other candidates. He is just sustaining himself. …

In the last five years the fund has given $125,200 — about three cents of every dollar raised — to federal candidates and other campaign committees, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has found in a review of reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Another $81,875 went to state and local campaigns.

On April 1, former Congressman Bob Barr wrote to rally conservatives across the country to stop liberals from solidifying control of Congress.“If we don’t act fast – I’m afraid conservatives may well lose out again!” he implored in a letter sent by his political action committee. …

The letter made no mention of Barr’s recent campaign for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president, in which he has criticized many Republicans in Congress. Libertarians will choose their candidate at a convention this week in Denver.

Barr, a former federal prosecutor, defended the fund’s solicitations and expenditures in a telephone interview. He declined to answer questions about individual donations and the letter’s characterization of their importance.

“I won’t be cross-examined” about the fund’s finances, he said.

In an e-mail, the fund’s treasurer, Paul Kilgore of Athens, wrote that the letter was “in production well before the decision to form an exploratory committee was reached. … [T]here is certainly no requirement that we mention anything specifically in our letters.”

The story has also been picked up by other news outlets.

You can read LFV’s exclusives on Bob Barr at the following links:

Barr still “exploring”, with convention just 18 days away. Why?

Bob Barr’s “emotional distress”

Jim Casarjian-Perry: Bob Barr hits home

Bob Barr: An Enemy of Libertarians

How will Bob Barr spend your money?

What positions does Bob Barr support?

Bob Barr proves he’s a Republican.  Again.

______________________________

Hat tip Susan Hogarth

What positions does Bob Barr support?

In Congress, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Torture, War on May 14, 2008 at 8:10 pm

In politics, you can tell a lot about a candidate based upon the positions they champion. This is true whether they support the positions directly, or indirectly.

Bob Barr’s PAC raises money under his signature, and he supported a number of Republican Congressmen and Senators during the current election cycle. Supporting the campaign is the same as supporting the positions the Congressman or Senator takes, obviously.

The fact of the matter is that nine of ten Congressman Bob Barr supported oppose leaving Iraq, and support military kangaroo courts. Eight out of ten Congressmen he supported want Uncle Sam in your hospital bed, a’la Ms. Schiavo. Eight of ten Congressman he supported are in support of warrantless wiretaps, and want to ban flag burning. A majority support torture.

Here is a listing of ten Congressmen Barr has supported during the current election cycle, after Barr joined the LP. The numbers beside their names indicate their extremely unlibertarian votes in Congress; specifics are below.

CONGRESSMEN
Gingrey Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Ros-Lehtinen Florida 1 2 3 5 6
Jeff Flake Arizona 1 2 3 4
Robin Hayes North Carolina 2 3 4 5 6
Jeb Hensarling Texas 1 2 3 4 5 6
Jack Kingston Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Pryce for Congress Ohio 1 2 3 5 6
Rehberg for Congress Montana 1 2 3 4 5 6
Walter Jones North Carolina 5 6
Christopher Shays for Congress Connecticut 1 2 3

(1) Vote 836: S 1927: The bill gives U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States.

(2) 7/12/07 Vote 624: H R 2956: This bill would require the president to begin reducing the number of U.S. troops serving in Iraq 120 days after its enactment and would require most troops to be withdrawn by April 1, 2008.

(3) 9/29/06 Vote 508: S 3930: Military Commissions Act

(4) 12/14/05 Vote 630: H R 2863: Supported a ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held by U.S. forces

(5) 6/22/05 Vote 296: H J RES 10: This vote approved the proposal of a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag.

(6) 3/21/05 Vote 90: S 686: Gave federal courts jurisdiction in the Terri Schiavo dispute.

Since 2007, Barr’s PAC supported nine U.S. Senators. Every one of the Senators he supported has voted to allow warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of virtually every form of communication in America; and every one of them voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act when it expired. Eight of nine voted for war funding. Seven of nine voted against an antiwar withdrawal motion. Every one of them voted for a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning. Six of nine voted to advance a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Again, supporting the Senator is showing agreement with the positions the Senator takes. How can Bob Barr claim to be a libertarian, when he supports so many Senators who vote for such incredibly un-libertarian stances?

SENATORS
Saxby Chambliss Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Arlen Specter 1 2 3 4 6
Norm Coleman Minnesota 1 3 4 5 6
Larry Craig Idaho 1 2 3 4 5 6
Lindsey Graham South Carolina 1 2 3 4 5 6
Hagel for Senate 1 2 4 6
Jeff Sessions Alabama 1 2 3 4 5 6
Gordon Smith for US Senate Committee 1 2 4 5 6
Team Sununu New Hampshire 1 2 3 4 6

(1) Vote 309: S 1927: This amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 passed 60-28 on August 3. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States.

(2) 5/24/07 Vote 181: On the Motion: Fund the war. This $120 billion dollar package was passed in the Senate by an 80-14 vote on May 24.

(3) 3/29/07 Vote 126: H R 1591: This $122 billion war spending bill calls for combat troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq this summer.

(4) 6/27/06 Vote 189: S J RES 12: This vote would have given Senate approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the authority to ban “desecration of the American flag”.

(5) 6/7/06 Vote 163: On the Cloture Motion: A Senate cloture vote on the gay marriage amendment failed, effectively killing the amendment.

(6) 3/2/06 Vote 29: H R 3199: Reauthorized a slightly modified version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act.

With the above in mind it is completely reasonable – based upon Barr’s own record in Congress and his continuing support of Congressmen and Senators who take those positions – to assume Bob Barr would vote in the same manner if he were still in Congress, despite his claim to have converted to libertarianism. After all, he has been supporting people making extremely un-libertarian decisions, even as he sat on the LNC and pondered seeking the LP’s presidential nomination. To believe otherwise would be to close one’s eyes to the painfully obvious truth, which is that we can put a hat on this Republican pig and call him Tillie, but that still won’t make him a Libertarian.

Phillies responds to revelation about Barr contributions

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 13, 2008 at 12:50 am

A polite difference with a fellow candidate

We’re Libertarians. There is no issue we all agree upon, except perhaps how we spell our party’s name.

It’s not surprising, then, that sometimes some members of our party will support an isolated Democrat. Or a lone Republican.

If you are an LNC member, your burden is more severe. You made a commitment to your fellow Libertarians. You ran for our office so you could leverage your time and energy to build a stronger Libertarian Party. If you instead spent your time building an opposing party, you are not doing what you implicitly promised.

I’m state chair of LPMass, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts. I’ve worked vigorously to revive my state’s Libertarian Party. Our State Committee is now meeting monthly. Our State newsletter is now appearing monthly. We’ve revived fundraising. I’ve committed thousands of dollars of my own money for our Presidential ballot access campaign.

You may rest assured, I haven’t given a Democrat or a Republican a dime or a minute.

And I’m a Presidential candidate. When I identify my political beliefs, I say I’m a *Libertarian*.

Here we come to one of my differences with LNC member Bob Barr, who I view as a friend.

While on the LNC, Bob Barr has also been the champion of the Bob Barr Leadership PAC. Since the start of 2007, his PAC has raised more than a million dollars. That’s very impressive. Now, raising that money was expensive. Much of it went to general expenses.

But when Bob Barr PAC money went since the start of 2007 to individual political candidates, it largely went to Republicans. And that means?

If I’m your nominee this Summer, that means I hope to be in Georgia to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Allen Buckley. His opponent Saxby Chambliss received $3,500 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in New Hampshire to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Ken Blevens. His opponent John Sununu received $3,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Virginia to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Bill Redpath. The Gilmore for Senate campaign received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in North Carolina to campaign with Libertarian Congressional Candidate Thomas Hill. His opponent Robin Hayes received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Texas to campaign with Libertarian Congressional Candidate Ken Ashby. His opponent Jeb Hensarling received $3,500 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Idaho to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Kent Marmon. His erstwhile opponent, Larry Craig, dropped out, but not before he received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

That’s Republicans who have a Libertarian opponent. Bob Barr supported a longer list of Republicans who don’t yet face Libertarian opposition.

The longer list matters, too.

When you donate to a candidate, your money counts twice. It counts once for that candidate. It counts again for the candidate’s party. When I invest money in my campaign, I am building our Libertarian Party. And when Bob Barr through his PAC invested in Republican candidates, he was
building up the Republican Party.

And that leads to the question. What do we want and expect from a Presidential candidate?

I urge you to consider: We only get one Presidential campaign every four years. It’s your decision.

How will Bob Barr spend your money?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm

On his website, Bob Barr explains the planned use of campaign donations. The first $12,000 was for a poll. The next $30,000 went to his staff. The next $33,000 will cover a “professional office”. Tens of thousands of dollars later, he covers “Office setup”. That’s closing in on $100,000, without doing anything except getting ready to be a candidate. He has only raised $56,000 as of this writing, not even enough to start setting up his office according to his own estimates.

Perhaps someday he’ll have enough money to start “doing politics”.

Bob Barr has the “Bob Barr Leadship Fund” PAC, which files reports with the FEC. If you want to know how Bob Barr actually spends donor money, that’s a great place to start.

His PAC raises between $235,000 and $305,000 per quarter. He only spends 10%, 5%, or 1% of that amount on financially supporting candidates. Over 90% has been spent on operating expenses for every quarter since January 2007. On average, he has spent less than 5% of his PAC’s operating expenses on supporting candidates.

If Barr spends the same way on his campaign as he does on his PAC, for every dollar he raises, you’ll see a dime, a nickel, or a penny of real politics.

Below is a reporting of how he has spent his PAC’s money for the last year.

“Federal Operating Expenditures” are salaries, fundraising mailings, and The Georgian Club.

“Spent on FEC-reporters” is money to Federal candidates and other PACs.

“Other political gifts” is donations to CATO, state candidates, etc.

2008: First Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 235,924
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 12,800
Other political gifts $ 2,350

2007: Fourth Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 285,224
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 10,000
Other political gifts $ 4,100

2007: Third Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 304,591
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 4,000
Other political gifts $ 4,000

2007: Second Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 262,002
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 22,250
Other political gifts $ 17,850

2007: First Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 267,862
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 2,000
Other political gifts $ 2,894

Total Operating Expenditures since January 1, 2007: $ 1,355,603

Total donations to federal candidates and PACs: $ 50,800

Total donations to CATO, state candidates etc: $ 31,194