Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Ron Paul’

Still think people ‘don’t care’ about the Federal Reserve?

In Libertarian on September 2, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Then I guess you aren’t watching the Rally for the Republic today, where mentioning its abolition has provoked unmatched levels of enthusiasm several times.

The first time the Fed was mentioned, there was a long standing ovation and chants of “end the Fed!” The same thing has happened virtually every other time the subject has come up, and guess what: The Rally for the Republic has drawn a crowd around twenty times the size of the pitiful “Libertarian” National Convention, whose delegates were so stupid and unprincipled as to nominate a CIA operative drug warrior. The Rally for the Republic libertarians are about 1000 times smarter and more dedicated than the 49% in Denver who sold out to Barr.

For the Libertarians who, for whatever reason, want to believe the Fed issue is not a popular one; you’re wrong. For those who don’t think it’s important, watch Thomas Woods’s speech. I’ll post it here as soon as it’s up on YouTube.

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Delaware LP holds state convention, nominates three candidates

In Activism, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Local Politics, Politics, Press Release, Republican on August 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm

For Immediate Release

Libertarian Party of Delaware holds state convention, nominates three candidates

For further information, contact LPD State Chair Jim Rash
jim@rashteam.com

“It’s time for government to stop regulating the American people,” said attorney Tyler Nixon, accepting the Libertarian Party of Delaware’s fusion nomination in the 4th House District (Wilmington), “and time for the American people to start regulating their government.” Nixon, already the Republican candidate for the seat, was one of three individuals nominated by the Libertarians at their annual convention on Saturday in Newark. He identified government transparency, eminent domain abuse, and renewable energy as key campaign themes.

Fusion nominations, legal in Delaware despite an attempt to kill the practice last year, allow candidates to accept the endorsement of two or more parties in the same race.

Nearly two dozen delegates also voted to nominate Mark Anthony Parks of New Castle County as the Libertarian candidate for the US House of Representatives. “Ron Paul’s candidacy energized me,” he said. “His campaign convinced me that people would respond to the message of personal freedom.” Delegate Brad Thomas called Parks “a man who thinks carefully about the government’s impact on the lives and freedoms of everyday citizens.”

“I’m going to wage as vigorous a campaign as my resources will allow,” Parks promised.

Jesse Priester, the GOP candidate in the 23rd House District in Newark also received a fusion nomination from the LPD. “The Libertarian ideal is personal freedom,” Preister said, “and that’s my ideal as well.” He cautioned that effective politicians must work with the system as they find it, however, not as they would like it to be. “That’s why I’m making the establishment of Sunday bus service into Newark one of my issues.”

The convention elected Jim Rash of Milford as State Chair, Paul Thompson of Pike Creek as Vice Chair, and re-elected Brad Thomas of Newark as Secretary-Treasurer.

“We’ve built a strong foundation today for communicating our message of personal freedom and limited government,” Rash told delegates. “From this point forward we need to be a strong presence in policy debates at every level.”

In May, Vice Chair Thompson represented Delaware at the national Libertarian Party convention in Denver, where the party nominated former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr for President. Barr, who broke ranks with the GOP several years ago, has become an advocate of curtailing government intrusions against individual civil liberties and a critic of Bush administration foreign policy.

Criticizing both major party candidates for not protecting the freedoms of American citizens, Barr is polling 3% nationwide, but scores 5-11% in ten “battleground” states, where only a slim margin separates Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Pointing to Ron Paul’s internet-based fundraising, “Libertarians across the state and across the nation will have to depend heavily on new media,” said Steve Newton, publisher of the Delaware Libertarian blog.. “Libertarians in North Carolina and Texas are proving the power of blogs and meet-ups to challenge the major parties.”

Convention delegates also chose Rash, Thompson, and Brian Shields of Seaford as presidential electors.

Established in 1970, the Libertarian Party is the nation’s third-largest political party.

Thomas Woods at the Revolution March

In Libertarian on July 16, 2008 at 7:00 am

A very inspiring speech!

Should libertarians support Chuck Baldwin? Part II

In Immigration, Politics on July 7, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Back on May 27, I wrote a piece for Independent Political Report entitled, “Should libertarians consider Chuck Baldwin?” Unfortunately, it made a couple of incorrect assumptions.

For one, Chuck Baldwin does in fact support the Defense of Marriage Act. Secondly, he also supports an extra-constitutional federal abortion ban.

I recently interviewed Baldwin over the phone, and when asked to make his pitch to libertarians, here is what he said:

I understand that some libertarians do not share my conviction that life begins at conception and that we need to protect it. I understand that some don’t share our concerns on the moral issues, but I’ll say this to all the Libertarians and independents: If you believe that a secure border is critical to our nation’s survival, then I’m the only candidate for president in 2008 you can vote for… I’m also the guy that has historically stood against the Patriot Act, from the beginning. I will never allow eavesdropping on private citizens without a court order. I’m going to stop the New World Order, the NAFTA Superhighway. I really believe that NAFTA and GATT and WTO and all those so-called free trade deals have torn our country apart.

Baldwin was confused by the notion that “all” peaceable immigrants who wanted to work in America be allowed to, and said that the current immigration process is very “generous” and very “fair.”

He also said that he was on the same page with unilateral free trader Ron Paul, and that “maybe some libertarians don’t understand” Ron Paul’s position. Baldwin says he supports a 10% universal tariff to replace the income tax.

You can read the full report on the interview here. I will try to post the audio later today.

Chip-in for Kent Snyder

In Politics, Republican on July 3, 2008 at 8:43 pm
Kent Snyder

As many of you are probably aware, Ron Paul’s longtime friend and campaign chairman, Kent Snyder, recently passed away after a two-month battle with pneumonia at the all-too-young age of 49.  He was a mild-mannered, yet determined and tireless advocate for the cause of liberty who had a profound influence on everyone working alongside him.  He will be dearly missed.

Compounding the tragedy of this event, his family has been saddled with some $400K of medical bills in his passing.  While this may seem like an enormous sum of money, especially amidst our current economic climate, those of us who have been involved with Ron Paul’s presidential campaign over the past 1-1/2 years understand completely the power of numbers.  Tens of thousands of ordinary people making modest contributions twice propelled Ron’s campaign to record-breaking fund-raising days.

Please consider visiting the site linked below and making your own modest donation to this worthy cause and then passing the message on to other liberty-minded folks.

http://kentsnyder.blogspot.com/

Starchild, Gatties, Newton laud Scotty Boman’s U.S. Senate candidacy

In Libertarian Party-US on June 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan, Scotty Boman, is attempting to mount one of the more active statewide campaigns of 2008, and prominent libertarians — both in and outside of Michigan — are taking notice.

Here is what nationally known libertarian activist Starchild said in endorsing Scotty Boman:

As a fellow libertarian activist and Ron Paul supporter I’m proud to endorse Scotty for U.S. Senate. The people of Michigan are lucky to have the opportunity to vote for a candidate this committed to restoring the Bill of Rights and helping keep the country from moving further down the road toward a police state. Like Ron Paul, he is clearly someone who is in this for the long haul and will not sell out your freedom for money and power.

Jason Gatties, a fellow Michigander, said this:

It gives me great pleasure to offer my endorsement of Scotty Boman for U.S. Senate. Carl Levin is an enemy of Liberty. Scotty Boman will help return real freedom to this country.

Steve Newton went beyond an endorsement and wrote a full-length article at his blog, Delaware Libertarian:

I keep trying to make the point here that there are credible Libertarian candidates out there doing the heavy lifting of trying to turn this into a real political party.

Another one is Scotty Boman, running for US Senate against Carl Levin in Michigan.

Boman is a long-time Libertarian activist, seeking to build on Ron Paul’s momentum, and his positions are strongly in favor of human liberty: get out of Iraq, non-interventionist foreign policy, end the war on drugs, end domestic surveillance, and get the government out of the marriage business.

Read the rest.

Other Boman endorsers LFV readers may be familiar with include Jake Porter and Darcy G. Richardson.

Boman has also won the endorsements of several Michigan county coordinators for the Ron Paul for President campaign, as well as the Ron Paul’s statewide coordinator for Michigan, Leslie Roszman.

Disclosure: I am working with and supporting Scotty Boman for U.S. Senate.

New Ron Paul conspiracy theory

In Politics on June 15, 2008 at 6:12 am

Apparently, some incredibly insane Ron Paul fans believe that he hasn’t really bowed out of the presidential race, that his Web site has been hacked, and that everyone has fallen for a big hoax.

Says Lew Rockwell:

A few people are refusing to accept the fact that Ron has dropped out of the presidential race, and are writing me about it. They claim I’ve fallen for an MSM lie, that the ex-campaign website — with its beautiful thank-you message and photo of Ron — has been been hacked, that Ron’s new Campaign for Liberty is not the successor and replacement for his presidential effort. Folks, the presidential campaign office has been closed, the staff let go, the phones, etc. transferred, and the FEC forms filed. The presidential effort is over, through, done, kaput. There is, of course, much exciting work to do for peace, civil liberties, free markets, and sound money, now and in the future. But no more electoral politics!

When the MSM implied that some Ron Paul fans were loony, I thought I knew what they meant.

This “theory” takes the cake as the most ludicrous in the history of human thought.

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)

Candidate Endorsement: Mary Ruwart will continue the Ron Paul rEVOLution

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

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

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

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

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

A review of Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto

In Libertarian on May 2, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Dr. Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto is a concise (167 pages) and convincing argument for a return to America’s libertarian principles. During his campaign for president, Dr. Paul established a very diverse following: Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and “even some anarchists,” he would joke. In truth, many people were drawn to him due his obvious sincerity — a breath of fresh air! — even if they did not fully agree with or understand his ideology. Now they will understand and become Austro-Jeffersonians, one and all!

The first chapter, “The False Choices of American Politics,” demonstrates why those Ron Paul supporters who do understand his message cannot bring themselves to vote for either McCain or Hillary/Obama, or even to really care who among them wins: There is very little (if any) substantive difference between them. They may disagree about when and where to use foreign intervention, but never over whether it should be used at all. They may disagree over how fast interest rates should be cut by the Fed, but never over whether the Fed should exist. You get the idea.

Chapters 2 and 3 are titled “The Foreign Policy of the Founding Fathers” and “The Constitution,” respectively. Here Dr. Paul challenges his neocon and liberal opponents to openly condemn the wisdom of the founding fathers, which they do with their actions, or else follow it. The framers of the Constitution were far from unanimous — there were bitter disputes among so-called “Federalists” (Hamiltonian nationalists) and “republicans” (Jeffersonian decentralists) — but today’s neocon/liberals reject the wisdom of both parties, taking an expansive view of their powers that even Hamilton himself would have seen as excessive.

Chapter 4, “Economic Freedom,” may be an eye-opening one for many readers. First, there are the liberals who were attracted to Dr. Paul’s campaign, who may for the first time be presented with a contrast between the true Austro-Jeffersonian libertarian brand of capitalism and the inflationist, Kudlow & Company / Forbes magazine variety. Secondly there are many “paleoconservatives” I met who supported Dr. Paul but were under the mistaken impression that he was against free trade — nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, as Dr. Paul points out here, he is 100% in favor of unilateral, unconditional free trade and 100% against quotas, sanctions, embargoes, duties, and protective tariffs. He does oppose phony “free-trade” deals like NAFTA and the WTO (joining many liberal Democrats in doing so, but for different reasons) not because they “steal American jobs” (they don’t), but because they limit trade too greatly. Furthermore, they erode constitutional sovereignty and work for the benefit of politically connected elites, something with which libertarians, paleocons, and liberals can all agree.

All three constituencies will also cheer Chapter 5, “Civil Liberties and Personal Freedom.” Here the contrast between Jeffersonian libertarianism (once considered “liberalism” before that philosophy was given a bad name in the early twentieth century) and the so-called “conservatism” of the neocons and post-WWII New Rightists is perhaps at its greatest. Ron Paul supports the Constitution and the limits it places on government — which makes him a “blame America” leftist among the neocon punditry, all apologists for the liberal Wilson/FDR/Truman/LBJ foreign policy, by the way.

But the best and most important chapter, without a doubt, is Chapter 6, “Money: The Forbidden Issue in American Politics.” Here Dr. Paul expertly details the operations of the Federal Reserve System in stunning clarity — no conspiracy theories or half-truths that often further obfuscate discussion of the secretive monetary authority. The Austrian (and true) perspective on the Fed is not to be horrified that the Fed isn’t a government agency (it is, even if indirectly), but to be outraged that all banks are essentially arms of the government. We don’t need the government to have even more control over the money supply, we need it to have no control whatsoever (the exact opposite of what sources like Freedom 2 Fascism seem to suggest). What’s more, Dr. Paul doesn’t spread the myth that the Fed somehow profits as an entity when it creates money (its profits go to the Treasury), but instead, politically connected individuals and businesses profit at the expense of working-class and poor families. You see, the effects of inflation are not uniform — the Fed System works as a wealth redistribution system from poor and middle-class to the rich and politically connected. How so? Buy this book and find out!

Finally, the book ends with the self-titled seventh chapter in which Dr. Paul lays out a moderate and realistic course that could be accomplished over one or two presidential terms. I’m tempted to share this blueprint for you here but I don’t want to discourage anyone from buying the book. Instead, I’ll use the last few words of this review to lament the fact that this blueprint will certainly not be implemented by the next president. Perhaps a young man or woman who volunteered for Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008 will work his or her way up through the political establishment and be swept into office, with a like-minded Paulian Congress, sixteen years from now (just as Reagan followed sixteen years after Goldwater — not that either of these two are to be looked at as heroes. . .). We can only hope that the Republic can endure that long!

P.S. If you like my review, please go to Amazon and give it a “helpful” ranking. It is currently one of the featured reviews.

LP Presidential Candidate, Senator Mike Gravel, Interviewed By Newsweek

In Barack Obama, Censorship, Democracy, Democrats, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, US Government, War on April 1, 2008 at 12:11 am

Senator Mike GravelSenator Mike GravelLP Presidential candidates normally don’t get this level of media exposure, ever. Senator Mike Gravel’s switch to the Libertarian Party is causing a great deal of positive mainstream media attention. Below is an excerpt from the Newsweek interview, posted today. I will note that Last Free voice beat Newsweek to the punch, interviewing Senator Gravel within 48 hours of his decision to run as an LP candidate.

After the crowded presidential primary shrunk from eight Democrats and 11 Republicans to only three viable candidates between the two parties, what’s a spurned presidential hopeful to do? Well, if you’re Ron Paul, you ignore John McCain‘s inevitability and keep running anyway. If you’re former U.S. senator Mike Gravel, you switch parties.

Last Monday, the former Democrat swung by the Libertarian Party‘s national headquarters and defected. “We handed him a [membership] card on the spot,” says Shane Cory, the party’s executive director. Two days later, Gravel formally announced he would run to be the Libertarian candidate for president, joining a field of 15 others. Cory wouldn’t comment on Gravel’s chances at the convention, which will take start in Denver on May 22, but he did say that Gravel’s party swap has garnered some much-appreciated exposure for the Libertarians.

Gravel spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Sarah Elkins about the 2008 race and why he’s still running. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: You’ve been a Democrat for your entire political career. Was it a tough decision to switch parties?
Mike Gravel:
It had been eating at me–believe me–ever since I was a senator [he served from 1969 to 1981]. When I was in the Senate, I was a maverick and, at the end of my term, I was not particularly happy with my progress in terms of partisanship with the Democrats and Republicans. So when I left office, I stayed away from partisan politics altogether. But when I decided to get back in the game and to get my message out to the American people about the National Initiative [a political movement that would allow ballot initiatives at the federal level], I had to pick a party that would allow me to get into the debates … But of all the parties I was probably closest to the Libertarians.

It sounds like you’ve been interested in leaving the Democratic Party for some time. Why didn’t you make the move sooner?
It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility up until General Electric [which owns NBC] along with the Democratic Party leadership, said they would get me out of the debates. And they did. GE said I did not meet their criteria for participating in the debates. I think it’s very interesting that a defense contractor said I had to meet their criteria in order to participate in the MSNBC debates. We’ve really come down in democracy when a defense contractor can decide what the American people hear from a candidate. It was a [Democratic National Committee] sanctioned debate, so we complained to the DNC and found out that Howard Dean had agreed to it and that not a single one of the other Democratic nominees raised a finger in protest, meaning that they were totally tone deaf to the censorship of the military-industrial complex.

So you didn’t consider running as a Libertarian from the get-go?
I would have preferred to run as an independent or Libertarian or Green Party, but I knew that none of those candidates would have gotten any traction. So I used my position as a legitimate Democratic candidate to get my name out there.

You still have to win the Libertarian primary in order to run as the party’s candidate.
I am probably the most well known and certainly the most experienced in terms of running for president and as a government official. I have 16 years of experience in elected office and have been a senator, and I have a great deal of foreign-policy experience.

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You can read the very interesting three-page interview excerpt with Newsweek here.

A Conversation With Mike Gravel

In Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Democracy, Democrats, Drug War, Global Warming, History, Iraq War, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Medical Marijuana, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Second Amendment, Taxation, US Government on March 28, 2008 at 1:21 am

Mike GravelEarlier today, I had an opportunity to speak by telephone with Senator Mike Gravel, a presidential candidate who has switched from the Democratic Party to the Libertarian Party. Senator Gravel welcomed my questions, and I had a very positive impression of him. He is extremely well spoken, and quite passionate about many of the issues near and dear to the Libertarian Party.

My purpose, of course, was to ascertain why he decided to switch parties, and whether he truly holds Libertarian views as opposed to only conveniently holding libertarian views in order to get the LP nomination. I quickly discovered that his most basic belief, which he has provably held for over 30 years, is thoroughly libertarian: the right of the American people to bypass and even overturn Congress and the President, when those elected officials act in contradiction to the will of the people.

Senator Gravel believes that “the American people are not empowered to do anything, and this is wrong.” He therefore believes Americans should have the ability to directly make laws through federal ballot initiatives. At present, many states allow citizens to present laws directly through initiatives which, if supported widely enough, will be placed on the ballot to potentially become law; an example of this is Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California. Senator Gravel believes citizens should be able to do the same thing on the federal level, under his National Initiative For Democracy.

The government is a tool, the people can use it. But if the people have the direct power to use it, then you’re going to see the government as a real tool, not the tool you have when the special interests determine how the tool of government is handled, by the lobbyists, who pay for the campaigns, who manipulate you to vote for them. That’s the process that has to change.

When he says that the government has the duty to release information to the public, so they can make sound decisions, he is not blowing smoke, nor is he promoting something he hasn’t already done himself. During the Vietnam War, Senator Gravel released the Pentagon Papers, reading thousands of pages into the Congressional Record, so that Americans would finally know the truth behind that war; and his defiance, by informing Americans of information which was previously viewed as classified, was a pivotal moment in American history.

Under his National Initiative For Democracy we, as citizens, could end the war, end the federal income tax, or pass a federal law allowing Americans to carry guns openly; we could make any law we want, as long as there is sufficient citizen support for it. Senator Gravel says that “the real power in this country does not lie with the leadership, with Congress or with the President; it lies with you, the American citizen”. This program would in fact become an important part of the checks and balances system, which Senator Gravel believes should have been in force from the beginning, so citizens could more easily keep Congress and the President in check.

Of course, when he was running for President in the Democratic Party, the Democrats weren’t very happy with that idea. I asked the Senator whether they oppose it because it threatens their power, or if they oppose it because they believe the average American is unable to make sound legislative decisions. He immediately replied, “Both.” He went on to explain that “the average person in Congress believes they are more intelligent than the average American, and there are a few in Congress who are very intelligent; but at the same time the average American is smarter than the average Congressman, and perfectly capable of making sound decisions.”

His suspicion of the leading presidential candidates was made clear when he said, “Don’t trust anyone who says they have all the answers. Nobody has all the answers; I don’t have all the answers. But the American public knows what is best for them, and I trust them to make those decisions.”

Talking war with Senator Gravel, for someone my age who lived during Vietnam, is like getting into a time machine, and going back to the last destructive war this country faced, when he forced a filibuster to end the draft, and thus end the Vietnam war. Senator Gravel was a maverick, and he defied Congress again and again.

As you may recall, even before we sent troops to Iraq, he warned the American public that there were no WMDs in Iraq. I asked him why, in his opinion, President Bush lied about the presence of WMDs. “Oil. He wanted to get control of the oil, and it’s all just more American imperialism and the military-industrial complex.” He went a step further, and agreed that Bush and Cheney should not only be impeached, but that they should face trial for war crimes. “Americans must stop thinking we’re above the law,” he stated. He believes that the United States should stop getting involved in foreign conflicts altogether, and “stop being the world’s policeman”.

Senator Gravel is completely against the War on Drugs, which he categorizes as a failure. “We spend 50 to 85 billion dollars a year on a drug war that does no good to anybody other than criminalizing people who shouldn’t be criminals. We have 2.3 million people in jail right now, and half of them shouldn’t even be in jail …. if you want marijuana, why not go to a package store? A fifth of gin will do more damage to you, to your health, than will a pack of marijuana. As for the rest of the drugs, why not legalize them and regulate them? We put addicts in jail when they aren’t criminals, but there they learn to be better criminals, to steal and commit crime to feed their habit. It’s a public health problem, and we need to solve it as a public health problem, and save all this money we’re spending to keep people in jail for drugs, $30,000 a year for each of them.”

He is therefore in support of decriminalizing and regulating all drugs. “If you need to get some coke, go to a doctor and get a prescription. If you’re an addict, you’ll have to register so we can help you. But the way we do it now, we catch you with drugs, we throw you in jail, and you don’t get any help.”

With regard to whether legalizing all drugs would increase addiction, he states, “That’s what they told us about alcohol, during Prohibition. Alcohol is more addictive than marijuana. Should you go to jail for having marijuana, when you don’t go to jail for having whiskey and alcohol? It’s a stupid policy, it’s gutless, and it’s damaging our inner cities. Seventy percent of the people in jail are African-Americans, and most of it is for drugs. It’s gutless on the part of our leaders to not solve this, to not treat it as a public health problem rather than a criminal problem ….. For those who say we have a drug problem, yeah, we have a problem, and it’s with stupidity at the highest levels of our government.”

As for those in prison for drug offenses, he would educate nonviolent drug offenders – whether it’s a college degree or technical training – then grant them a full pardon so they can not only be released from prison, but also have the tools they need to immediately become fully productive members of society.

He is for Second Amendment rights, saying “I have a weapon, and I’ll fight to keep it.” Insofar as how openly Americans should be able to carry weapons, he referred me back to the federal ballot initiative, saying that the American people should decide that issue.

When I asked him about reducing the size of government as well as its spending, he agreed that it has gotten completely out of hand, and that severe cutbacks should be made. The first steps would be dismantling the IRS (which would no longer be needed with his national sales tax program), and the “War On Drugs” arm of the DEA (since all drugs would be legalized). He also believes that “if we empower the people to make laws, they will shrink the government.”

I could actually hear the thrill in his voice when one question pointed out that libertarians are, by and large, for open borders. He believes that we have so many illegal immigrants here because our own laws caused them to not have work available in their own country; he states that 1.3 million farming jobs were lost in Mexico when NAFTA was passed. For that reason, he believes repealing NAFTA would cure most of the illegal immigration, as more jobs are created in their home countries. As for those who are already here and don’t want to leave, he wants to simply “put them on the path to citizenship.” He believes that we should create completely open borders, similar to what is in place in Europe, whereby citizens could cross into or from Canada or Mexico, with no questions asked.

It is undeniable that the federal government is deeply in debt, and must raise revenue. Senator Gravel, however, is opposed to the income tax, since it over-taxes the poor and middle-class, and grossly undertaxes the wealthy. He therefore proposes dismantling the IRS altogether. He would replace the income tax with a 23% sales tax, and give a rebate each month to every American family to pay for necessities. Senator Gravel believes that this would allow the poor and middle class, who spend mostly on necessities such as food and housing, to have far more disposable income. He believes this program will create the same amount of federal revenue, but in a manner which is far more fair to the poor and working class.

“I don’t know whether it’s a step to end taxation, but at this point it is a good way to fund needed revenue. Right now we tax income and investments, and investment income is taxed at a lower rate than income. We don’t tax the wealthy, and that’s what’s wrong with our system.” He again reiterated that the American people could make the final decision regarding whether federal taxation should eventually end, through his ballot initiative program.

Senator Gravel believes that Social Security funds should be left alone, rather than used by the government for other purposes as is now the norm. At this point, most Americans have already paid into Social Security. He wants everyone’s Social Security funds invested in the free market, and he wants everyone to get an accounting of their money and interest earned, just as if they had invested it with a bank; and if they die before spending what they have invested and earned, he believes that the surplus in their Social Security account should go to their heirs.

As for private investments, he believes his sales tax program with refunds for necessities will give the average American the additional funds needed to save in an IRA or other investment vehicle, as additional retirement savings to supplement what they have already put into Social Security.

He is aware that many libertarians are against Universal Health Care, but believes his plan will meet libertarian standards. He came up with the idea of a Healthcare Security System 30 years ago. Senator Gravel pointed out that he knows the healthcare system “up front and personal”. One year, he ended up with over $150,000 in healthcare costs, and went bankrupt as a result.

He believes the Democratic health care plan, wherein businesses are forced to provide health insurance for their employees, is “the wrong way to go, because it is not the responsibility of businesses to provide healthcare; their job is to be competitive in the global marketplace.” So instead, he wants to enact a Universal Single Payor Voucher plan, similar to the plan which the Veterans Administration has in place. Every American would be given a health care voucher. The vouchers would have a very modest co-pay, and a very modest deductible. Americans would have their choice of hospitals, their choice of doctors, and a choice of five or six plans. There would be no exclusions for preexisting conditions.

He doesn’t think we need to raise taxes in order to provide health care for all Americans; we just need to make our healthcare system considerably more efficient than it is at present. He believes that if we computerize healthcare records, it will streamline the system, because he says 30% of healthcare cost is in paperwork. He intends to provide every American with basic healthcare services, and if they want more or different coverage, they can choose to buy additional or supplemental plans in the free market.

He is aware of Ron Paul’s belief that the Federal Reserve is responsible for the inflationary effects which are harmful to poor and middle-class Americans. Senator Gravel wants to reexamine the Federal Reserve, and study the gold standard with an eye toward a global monetary system, which will better protect the value of our money in a global marketplace.

Senator Gravel was pivotal in shepherding the Alaska Pipeline though Congress, but at this point he would oppose any effort to drill for oil in the Alaskan Wildlife Preserve. He states that instead, he wants us to end our dependence upon oil within five years. His goal would be to replace oil with alternative energy sources.

I asked Senator Gravel if there was any one moment – a light bulb moment, if you will – in which he realized that he was a libertarian. He stated, “Not really. It’s an awareness that goes back 30, 40 years, that the best way to to change things was from inside, within the power structure. Now, it’s time for a change. I am joining the Libertarian Party to become its presidential nominee. I can take the Libertarian Party to a level they’ve never been before. I am against war, I am against taxing income, I am against the war on drugs. I am for smaller government, open borders, and the ability of the American people to self-govern. I am a libertarian. I scored seven out of seven on Reason’s “Seven Ways To Win Votes” – I am for internet gambling, for medical marijuana (but I go much further than that, by decriminalizing all drugs) …. so I’m more libertarian than Ron Paul, because he scored lower. And I will work very hard as the Libertarian Party’s candidate, I will get the libertarians the national playing field they need to grow. And not just libertarians, either. I will raise the playing field for all third parties.”

All in all, Senator Gravel impressed me as sincere, intelligent, and passionate about libertarian issues. I did not at all get the impression that he is a pseudo-libertarian; I think he’s the real deal, because his actions even decades ago indicated that he is a libertarian. He left the Democratic Party because he realized that they are not receptive to his ballot initiative plan, and are not in agreement with his healthcare plan, his opposition to the War on Drugs, and many other issues. He has the presence, he has the speaking ability and dynamic personality, and he has the name recognition and contacts to place us on a more even playing field.

The Democrats’ loss may very well be our gain.

Senator Gravel suggested that those interested in more information about his views read his book “Citizen Power: A Mandate For Change”, which can be ordered online here. It is also available on Amazon.com, but their new book price is actually several dollars higher than the price on his website. Amazon’s description of the book is as follows.

As author of Citizen Power in 1971, Senator Mike Gravel determined that much of what he wrote then is apropos in America today; hence, the release of Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change that reflects the accuracy of his evaluation of problems then, his current position on a number of issues facing America now, and the process that Americans can undertake to become empowered as lawmakers in partnership with their elected officials. Most chapters of Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change present material from the original book, as well as new information and revised positions. The exceptions are Chapter 2: The National Initiative, and Chapter 7: The War on Drugs. All other chapters cover similar topics in both books, but with the senator’s fresh insights for today’s world. Each chapter ends with how the National Initiative, once enacted, could help solve the problems presented in that chapter. The Table of Contents is as follows: Chapter 1 – Now It’s the Citizen’s Turn Chapter 2 – The National Initiative Chapter 3 – America’s Failure in Education Chapter 4 – Tax Reform – The Fair Tax Chapter 5 – The Health Security System Chapter 6 – National Environmental & Energy Policy Chapter 7 – The War on Drugs Chapter 8 – Crime & Punishment Chapter 9 – The Shroud of Secrecy Chapter 10 – American Imperialism Chapter 11 – Global Governance Chapter 12 – Who Stole the American Dream?

All three customer reviews give the book five stars. There is a “look inside the book” feature, and based on that material and given that it was originally written in 1971, then updated recently, I don’t think there is any real question whether Senator Gravel is a libertarian. Based upon his statements in that book, it appears that he was a libertarian even before there was a Libertarian Party.

Here are the reviews:

It’s all about lawmaking!,

February 25, 2008
By Goodrich (Dearborn, MI USA) – See all my reviews

Those who still want Mike Gravel’s original Citizen Power, but can’t afford to pay over $200 for the few rare copies that are available, will be pleased with the new Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change. In some chapters, Senator Gravel has incorporated substantial excerpts from his original book and then updated his thoughts on each issue, often admitting that his position on a certain issue in the 1970s was naive and that he now views that issue with a mature mind. This is a refreshingly candid look at a presidential candidate’s positions on key issues facing the American people today. Most importantly, however, is Chapter 2 and supplemental appendices about the National Initiative, which Senator Gravel and some of the nation’s top constitutional scholars crafted to empower citizens as lawmakers; after all, lawmaking is the cornerstone of democracy. All subsequent chapters address how the National Initiative for Democracy (NI4D)would work to alleviate problems, such as healthcare and education.

From ending the war on drugs to restructuring the UN,

March 8, 2008

Senator Gravel has produced an engaging book! He presents complex and difficult issues facing the US and the world in understandable prose and proposes solutions that call for transformational change. In response to a legislative process controlled by corporations and special interests Gravel proposes the National Initiative on Democracy that would empower the people to legislate through direct democracy in national referendums on issues. In response to ineffective global governance Gravel calls for a restructuring of the UN including an end to veto powers for the permanent members of the Security Council. I was delighted to see his position on American exceptionalism. Granted that we are #1 in the world in the numbers of people in our prisons, on many key measures such as education, healthcare we are far from being the best in the world. I was most pleased by the optimism of Mike Gravel’s vision for the future of America in the world. He sees solutions to problems such as global warming, energy, and national security through greater cooperation with other countries. The beginning of his space policy statement on page 59 is particularly encouraging: “SPACE REPRESENTS A LIMITLESS FRONTIER for humankind. Laws modeled on the Law of the Sea need to be agreed upon to make energy, natural resources, and knowledge available in a manner that fosters greater cooperation, rather than greater competition, among all nations. In keeping with this spirit, space must not be militarized.”

Gravel’s Populist Manifesto,

March 19, 2008
By D. Douglas (California) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

An eloquent and lucid political manifesto by an increasingly refreshing, honest and prudent politician.
Citizen Power showcases a myriad of power-to-the-people proposals, and sways from your politics as usual demagoguery, while Gravel’s prose is filled with solemnity and earnestness, contrary to his political opponents.
The book’s motif is the National Initiative for Democracy, a populist program that will enable ordinary citizens to become legislatures, moreover eliminating large bureaucracies and big government lapdogs.
An emphasis is brought upon the military-industrial complex and its draconian, unproductive results. Suggesting the ultimate disintegration of the latter, if not grave consequences will ensue
Gravel’s proposals on education is most interesting, and offer an ingenious subsidiary, if utilized in orthodoxy, to our failing educational system.
The War on Drugs chapter was dismaying at least, and produced a sharp contempt for the activities our government continues to perpetuate.

I have probably forgotten important topics of this book, and my review is ultimately asymmetrical and lackluster. I can only recommend this fine book, so you can make your own judgments and discoveries.

Senator Gravel was kind enough to state that, if any of our readers have additional questions, I can phone him again to get those answers. Therefore, if you have any questions which aren’t answered here, post them and in about a week I will give him another call to get your answers for you.

Candidate Endorsement: Chris Bennett for Vice President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By BERNARD SCHOENBURG
POLITICAL WRITER

Published Monday, October 15, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bennett frequently posts on Web sites, including one called

lastfreevoice.com, often in strong language.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nolan Chart chooses Jesse Ventura as Ron Paul’s successor

In Barack Obama, Candidate Endorsement, Celebrities, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Medical Marijuana, Politics, Republican on March 13, 2008 at 12:46 am

Could Jesse Ventura win the White House as a Libertarian nominee? I’d say no way, but Jeff Wrobel at Nolan Chart believes he can.

In the spirit of Dr. Paul’s request, it is time to choose his successor. It’s time to choose a candidate who can avoid the pitfalls of the Ron Paul candidacy. As discussed in a previous NolanChart article, Paul’s followers should sponsor a moderate libertarian celebrity for president. In the following mathematical model, I will prove that if Paul’s supporters place Jesse Ventura on the ballot, he will be the next president of the United States.

First: an introduction for those unfamiliar with Jesse Ventura. He’s 56 years old and is a former Navy Seal. He became famous as Jesse “The Body” Ventura in the World Wrestling Federation. He used his success there to become an actor. His most famous role was as a member of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s crack commando team in the movie Predator, where he uttered his most memorable line: “I ain’t got time to bleed.” In 1998 he ran (as Jesse “The Mind” Ventura) against very well-known candidates, Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Hubert Humphrey III, for governor of Minnesota — and Ventura won!

Jesse Ventura could be placed at about the center of the Libertarian quadrant of the Nolan Chart. He describes himself as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal”. Like most libertarians he supports a smaller government in general, lower taxes, gay rights, medicinal marijuana, instant-runoff voting, opposes helmet and seatbelt laws, opposes the use of the National Guard overseas, and opposed the teachers union. In a few areas he disagrees with pure libertarians; for instance, he approves of well-funded government-run lower education and government-run public transportation.

Ventura can avoid most of the troubles that befell Ron Paul. First, Ventura is taken somewhat seriously by the media since he has actually served in a high public executive office (as both a mayor and governor) and has considerable media experience with his own radio and TV talk shows. Second, and most importantly, he is not as radical a libertarian as Ron Paul, so he’ll appeal more to liberals, centrists, and conservatives. Third, he is not nearly as old as Ron Paul, has an imposing 6′ 4″ frame, and (no disrespect to the very honorable Dr. Paul) has a fair deal of charisma.

You can read the entire article, including his mathematical predictions, here.

Will Ron Paul presidential campaign cause him to lose his seat in Congress?

In Congress, Democracy, Libertarian, Local Politics, Media, Politics, Republican on February 14, 2008 at 8:34 am

From the Galveston County Daily News (letters to the Editor):

District Needs A Better Man To Represent Us

Are we really getting the most effective representation with Ron Paul as our congressman?

The presidential debates have exposed stubbornness and inability to compromise that is at odds with the intentions of the Founding Fathers.

Democracy requires negotiation and compromise to reach a consensus.

We negotiate and compromise in our daily life, at work and at home. Paul’s inability to reach consensus on vital issues makes him ineffective as our congressman.

He is a self-described Libertarian; if he is so enamored with Libertarian philosophy, why is he running in the Republican primary for Congress?

I welcome his participation in the political process and respect the views of his supporters as honest and sincere.

The question is, does he truly represent the values and priorities of the Republican voters in this district or is he using the Republican Party’s structure and established appeal just to get elected because he can’t get elected as a Libertarian?

If the latter is true, it is intellectually dishonest.

We need a Republican of conviction representing us in the U.S. Congress, not a Republican of convenience.

I urge readers to look at the sterling qualifications, impeccable character and genuine passion and sincerity of Chris Peden as our Republican candidate for Congress.

Peden is a pro-life, pro-family, conservative Christian who is a CPA and the mayor pro tem in Friendswood. He has a proven track record of not only fighting for our conservative principles, but of achieving conservative results. Paul is long on words, but a little short on results.

Just a few days ago, on the Michael Berry radio program, Paul said that being a congressman was his “plan B.” I don’t know about other readers but I don’t want to be anybody’s second choice.

The catchword for this year’s presidential election is “change.” It’s time for real change in congressional District 14 also. Paul is the past — Peden is the future. Let’s put someone in Congress who represents all of us, not just the Libertarians.

Letty Packard
La Marque

Project Vote Smart

In Barack Obama, Christine Smith, Congress, Democrats, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics, Republican on February 14, 2008 at 8:02 am

Project Vote SmartI just ran across a website called “Project Vote Smart“. This site gathers information from various candidates for office, so you can view it all in one place, and even very easily compare the candidates if you open them up in side-by-side tabs on your browser.

It is very interesting to see the “political courage test”, which pins the candidates down on the issues. Unfortunately, it appears that most mainstream candidates (including all of the presidential frontrunners from both major parties, and including Ron Paul) have refused to complete the quiz portion. However, Barack Obama did complete the questionnaire when he was running for the Senate, which gives a good insight into how he views the issues; while Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul both refused to complete it even when they were running for Congress. There is no older questionnaire information for any of the other frontrunners.

I think it’s obvious why candidates wouldn’t want to complete it, since it can later easily be used against them. Accordingly, I think any candidate which refuses to answer those questions should be viewed with suspicion.

Some third party presidential candidates did complete the “courage test” though, including libertarians. I was quite surprised to see that I disagree with some libertarian candidates on a few issues I thought we’d agree upon. For example, I was extremely surprised to see that neither Phillies nor Kubby have chosen to eliminate inheritance taxes (Phillies wants to slightly decrease them, while Kubby wants to greatly decrease them). Yet why should the government get any of it, since it’s a gift from one person to another? Christine Smith is the only libertarian candidate to propose eliminating that tax.

On the other hand, Kubby wants to greatly decrease gasoline taxes and certain “sin” taxes (alcohol, cigarettes, etc) while Phillies and Smith want to eliminate those taxes altogether. On those tax issues, I agree with Phillies. I would agree with Smith, but she wants to eliminate ALL federal taxes (including income taxes); and while that’s an idea I’d love to get behind, I don’t think it is realistic, at least not at this time.

I will have to study the candidates’ responses a lot more closely, and I strongly suggest others do the same. While it won’t help much with regard to mainstream candidates who have refused to answer the questionnaire (and personally, I hold that against them because it is to my mind proof that they plan to say one thing to get elected, and do another once they are in office), it does give quite a bit of insight into third party presidential candidates.

Originally posted on Adventures in Frickintardistan

UPDATE:  I received the following comment from Tom Knapp, Steve Kubby’s Communications Director:

I worked with Steve on filling out the Political Courage Test, and “eliminate” was not offered as an option on the document we got from VoteSmart. I sent them an email when I saw that it appeared on other candidates’ answers, but haven’t ever heard back from them.

Without going over the PCT line by line, I can’t say offhand that EVERY “greatly decrease” would actually have been “eliminate” had that option been visible, the inheritance tax would absolutely have been an “eliminate” item.

Thanks for that info, Tom!

Ongoing Interview with Juliet Annerino, Creator of “Hotties for Ron Paul”

In Libertarian, Presidential Candidates on January 4, 2008 at 3:03 am


DIGG

I am in the process of interviewing Juliet Annerino, who put together the Hotties 4 Ron Paul calendar. Juliet is also Ms. July.

REDDIT

julietjulysm.jpg

I previously wrote about the calendar
here
and here.

If anyone has any questions you think should be asked please ask in the comments, and I will be
updating the entry. Some questions have already been answered at the H4RP site.

UPDATE Jan. 5 We now have some Q & A but you can still add questions in the comments. I’ll see if I can get Juliet and/or some of the other calendar participants to stop by and answer if I get some questions.

Are you affiliated with the Ron Paul campaign?
No, Hotties4RonPaul is not directly involved with the campaign. H4RP was created by concerned freedom loving citizens, just like you.

I want a Hotties4RonPaul Calendar! How do I order?
Ne simplified ordering instructions are in the purchase section above.


Do I still have to donate directly to the Ron Paul Campaign like before?

No, we are donating 40% of our proceeds to the campaign ourselves now. That is entirely included in the purchase price at this time!

I’ve already max’d out my donations to the Ron Paul Campaign? Can I still get a calendar?
Yes! You may simply buy a calendar by going to our Purchase page.

If you like, you may also contribute “Hotties4RonPaul” 2008 calendars to our vets of the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” and “Homes for Our Troops” oganisations, by simply clicking on the “Chip-in” button on our Purchase page and donating an amount of $8 or more to the cause.

Can I buy a calendar if I’m not a US citizen and live overseas?
Yes, you can! Just send us an e-mail with your full address to Hotties4RonPaul@Hotmail.com and we will let you know our cost for shipping and then bill you accordingly, before sending out your calendar(s).


What happens to the money collected on the Chip-in?

Two charities will be first; the “Paralyzed Veterans of America” (http://www.pva.org) and “Homes for Our Troops” (http://www.homesforourtroops.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage ) Our goal is to send 300 calendars to these veterans by raising $4,200. (If this amount is not reached we will simply donate as many calendars as we have donations for.) Thank you for your generous contribution to this worthy cause!

Can I order more than one calendar? Yes! Just drop us a quick message at Hotties4RonPaul@Hotmail.com and let us know how many you would like. WE’ll take it from there to get your shipping costs right etc.



Note: Discounts are available for orders of 10 or more!

PC) How is this project different from other Ron Paul items like T-shirts, Slim Jims, bumper stickers, etc?

JA) This project has the unique potential to reach people at the office, garage, shop or other work place or home, who might never have heard of Ron Paul, without the aid of some one even talking about him, or even actually indicating that they are a Ron Paul supporter. In this way. it’s kind of an “innocent” way to promote Dr. Paul and his message of Freedom!

It works on it’s own merit, first as a conversation piece or simply a pretty thing to look at. Then it inspires curiosity and further investigation of Ron Paul and the movement by virtue of the Ron Paul quotes on each page with the matching quotes from great statesmen, authors and other great thinkers all echoing Dr. Paul’s philosophy. This makes the calendar a uniquely accessible, even “friendly” way to effectively reach many people who would otherwise not want to learn more about Dr. Paul!

These quotes, by the way, were chosen by me not just because they work well together, complimenting the words of Ron Paul with the words of visionaries like Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. , but because they also (for the most part), match the sentiment of the personal messages of the girls on each page, either in life experiences or personal philosophies.

As an artist, myself (composer, singer, writer, director) I see how powerful the arts – here demonstrated in the beauty of the photos and the poetry of the text – are, and always have been in shaping the way people, even whole civilizations, feel, respond, reason and form belief systems. Historically speaking, art creates change.

Behind every great socio-political movement has been a corresponding movement in art, literature, theatre (now, including television, movies and video) and of course music. The popularity of Dr. Paul on YouTube, arguably another art forum (as every video is a personal creation) in its own right, marks a profound zeitgeist or “spirit of the times”! At the vanguard of every socio-political movement have been and always will be the artists, because it is always the artist who feels the common human sentiment, the unspoken truths, the wave of change, most sensitively and most strongly. And it is always the artist who feels this sentiment, this truth, this wave of change to be absolutely unbearable unless expressed in a poetic form to as many other souls as humanly possible. It is this drive to feel and to then share that defines a person as an artist. And therefore the artist has and always will be an integral element of any profound socio-political movement.

PC) How did you come up with this idea?

JA) OK, I’ll lighten it up a bit here – hah! I was on one of my MeetUp pages and I was corresponding with some of my new friends there, seeing who was new, etc. I thought to myself, “Wow, we sure have some great looking people here supporting Ron Paul!” Then I thought that it would be cool for other people to see what a great group we had of not just beauty but brains…that maybe they might see that there are some really terrific Ron Paul supporters, beauties inside and out. I figured first off, that this might make them want to check out who these beauties were and just why were they supporting this 72 yr. old Doctor running for the presidency! Everyone likes to be in “good company”, after all…

PC) Have you been politically active long, and how did you get involved with the Ron Paul campaign?

JA) I was always a Libertarian at heart, since reading the Fountainhead in High school, but I was never political to the degree of supporting a political candidate or even voting for that matter. I just never thought my high ideals would ever find a place in the corrupt system I saw. Seeing Dr. Paul changed that for me.

I first heard of Ron Paul on Bill Maher’s show. Here was a true cynic, a sarcastic comic, respectfully calling some man I’d never heard of, his “new hero”. After hearing the reasons why Bill Maher liked Dr. Paul so much, that Dr. Paul wanted us to examine what our “enemies” were saying as reasons they attacked us, the scales fell from my eyes. Here was a man who was telling it like it is, who wasn’t afraid to state simple truths.

From that moment on, I began to watch 6 -12 Ron Paul videos a day on YouTube to learn more about him. I felt charged up and moved by his message. (Sometimes they made me weep!)

I was in the studio working on some new songs at the time and I decided to write some material addressing issues of freedom, including Ron Paul quotes, anti-war sentiments, etc. I would stay up all night reading more interviews with Dr. Paul, going through MySpace to find other supporters, leaving comments on the Ron Paul forums, everything! I was truly inspired. I joined 5 MeetUp Groups in 2 days. I bought a Ron Paul T-shirt to wear for every day of the week. I made iron-on shirts with Ron Paul slogans for everyone in my family! I made signs, I went to rallies, on marches, spoke to newspaper reporters and TV reporters. (I made the front page of the LA times and FOX News!) I hung posters over freeways late at night with my new guerrilla friends, canvassed and attended demonstrations. What a blast!

PC) How did you find the models for the calendar, and can you tell us more about any of them?

JA) Some of the models were girls I’d heard about , like Mona “Liv” Gillen, the Ron Paul Girl, and Michelle Shinghal, who I’d seen on the Tucker Carlson show. Other girls were suggested to me from guys on the forums who directed me to their MySpace pages. I found “Constance Strickland” through an ad I posted on Craigslist. She wrote to me the day after I posted and she was the only reply I got through that! Some of the girls, like “Gina Dumania” and “Courtney Carlisle” I found in my own MeetUp groups. I missed some obvious girls like Erin of Ron Paul Revolution Radio, and Christie “Psycho Bitch”, just because I didn’t know about them yet! Katharine is also working for Trevor Lyman and the Blimp, which is interesting. Krista, our February girl, is the one girl I actually never even spoke with, which was strange considering how close I became with some of the girls, Like Gina and Michelle. Krista’s boyfriend suggested her, sent in her info, pics and it just worked out great! Lisa Kelly is the founder of Redheads4RonPaul.com. All the girls are really activists, which I love!

PC) What do you think of how it turned out?

JA) I’m really happy with how it turned out, though it is not without a couple typos! I was not sleeping more than 4 hours a night for weeks working on it, contacting girls, writing, editing, art directing, photo-shopping (7 of the photos were done right here in my apartment, with my friend, and photographer, Fred Braham).

PC) How many calendars do you have, how many have you sold and how many do you have left?

JA) I had 500 printed. I just took a chance that this was a boss idea and put it all on a charge card! I sold about 50 in person at the Tea Party here in LA and about 300 on line. I’m bringing some to our next event, “Rock 4 Ron Paul” because we have girls coming in from other states for that event. If you want to know more about that, you can go to Safari-sams.com and/or H4RP

PC) Besides the Ron Paul campaign, the calendar is raising money for a couple of veterans charities. Can you tell us more about these?

JA) “Homes for Our Troops” is a great charity with an excellent reputation, suggested to me by Michelle Shinghal. They help to build special accommodations for our men and women who have served who are handicapped and need special facilities to function comfortably in their living arrangements. The Paralyzed Veterans of America is one of my personal favorites. I have been donating to them for many years now. They help our paralyzed vets and are always so grateful for any donations. They always have my heart.

PC) Some people have asked about a less G-rated version. Are there any plans you know of to put anything like that together?

JA) No! Sorry about that…I personally have no issues with nudity or sexiness, but I wanted to present this in a way that would maximize public exposure (no pun intended!) in order to reach as many people as possible.

PC) Who did the photoshoots, editing, etc.?

JA) We already talked about that pertaining to the girls here in LA, but the other 6 photos were taken by photographers/friends (of the girls in the other states)… boyfriends, girlfriends and other pros. Some really amazingly great shots!

PC) What have you learned from working on this project, and do you have other new campaign project you will be working on?

JA) I learned that there really are some great people who will do amazing things if motivated by a powerful cause! My next project is “Rock 4 Ron Paul” a multi-media event on Wednseday, Jan 16th in Hollywood at Safari Sam’s, 5214 W. Sunset Blvd. There will be live music, Dj’s, video shorts, comedy, full bar, full food menu, surprise special guests, calendars for sale…and cover charge is $10 with ALL of the proceeds going to the Call 4 Paul” Project.

PC) What other projects besides the campaign are you involved in which you would like to tell us about?

JA) Keep in mind, Paulie, I don’t work directly with the Ron Paul campaign, but am a volunteer. This means that I am not paid or endorsed by the official Ron Paul Campaign!

Apart from my political activities, I’m recording my next music album to be called “Lit!” independently. I’m also planning to do some touring to support the new record. I was playing some shows in Amsterdam and Paris this past June/July, so I will probably go back there, and might tour the Middle East and even India. A label in Goa, India has expressed interest.

PC) Besides hotties4ronpaul.com and the myspace page, are there any other resources you recommend for people who want to know more?

JA) I love Ron Paul Radio and Ron Paul Revolution Radio! And of course I still love YouTube!


Walt Thiessen also wrote a great review. It includes the pages for:

Melanie Ranza, Ms. November

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Lisa Kelly, Ms. January

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Another article about it is at
Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever
, as well as
this one
at Steve Gordon Unleashed and even this coverage in The LA Times. Girl in Short Shorts has the following:

Ms. August, Gina Dumania

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Ms. December, Constance Strickland

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Our own Michelle is featured in the calendar; here is a small version:

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The calendar also has a myspace page.

Some of the women in the calendar can also be seen at Chicks and Politics which also has a
myspace page
as well. Another page of interest is
Musicians and Hotties for Ron Paul
.

Besides Michelle, the most famous woman in the calendar is Mona Gillen of Liv Films, known as the “Ron Paul Girl” for videos such as this one which promoted the Nov. 5 money bomb:

Great Moments in US History

Liv’s page from the calendar:

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Front Cover:

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Back Cover:

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Another project Juliet is working on:

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Ron Paul not included in FAUX Republican debate

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2008 at 10:40 pm

aaanofaux.jpgConservative President ‘08 has reported that Republican Congressman and 2008 presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul will not be included in Sunday’s Republican Presidential Debate on FOX. This debate is being held only days before the important New Hampshire primary.

I’m frankly stunned by this. While I’m not a rabid Ron Paul supporter (I haven’t decided who I support yet, and while I agree with Dr. Paul’s stance on the war, I disagree with some of Dr. Paul’s other views and I am, generally speaking, an opponent of the Republican Party), he is hardly a far fringe candidate who cannot be taken seriously. He is very popular, and his fundraising ability is undeniable. He is also a member of Congress, and should be afforded the respect a sitting member of Congress seeking the presidency deserves.

If Dr. Paul is not included in the debate, then the debate is a farce, pure and simple. Worse, it appears to be an attempt on the part of FOX to manipulate the election.

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

Ron Paul roundup

In Libertarian, Media, Republican on May 19, 2007 at 2:35 am

Homeboy’s got a fuckton of press these days. He’s the boy hero of the libertarian blogosphere. So here’s all the interesting shit about him that I found.

Saul Anuzis, the asshat from Michigan that tried to get Ron Paul barred from the debates, just took back what he said. Already neocon twits are taking back what they said, unasked, without Ron Paul taking back his common sense when Giuliani demanded him to. Fascism loses, kids. But that doesn’t stop this dumbass from Real Clear Politics arguing that Ron Paul should be ejected not because of what he said, but because he’s a libertarian. (Small-l, even; Paul’s views, not his LP membership, are this douche’s problem.)

Oh yeah, and while the MSM’s chugging down the Haterade, they completely bashed Ron Paul. Their reasoning? “Just please stop e-mailing us. Thanks.” Arrogant establishment SOBs ought to be made to eat shit when we inaugurate President Paul.

LewRockwell.com had a video of three of the hostesses of The View taking up Ron Paul’s banner against the remaining one, who seems to be voting for President of 9/11 (srsly, her argument was basically “But… TERRORISTS!”). Odd having Rosie O’Donnell in my corner for once, but whatev.

What’s left to be taken seriously of the social conservative movement has just told Giuliani to get fucked. Unfortunately, this means the bulk of them will probably rally around Romney, not Paul… although a lot of the pro-life hardcores probably will defect to us anyway simply because Paul’s a dedicated champion of the pro-life cause.

Even if Paul doesn’t win, it’s likely that his merely being there will stir shit up within the GOP for years to come anyway.