Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Knapp’

Knapp address 2012 candidacy on MySpace

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on November 11, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Fellow libertarians,

I initially planned to announce my 2012 candidacy for the presidency of the United States on April 6th, 2009, from the steps of the Old St. Louis Courthouse (history buffs shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring out why), and I still intend to conduct a campaign event of some kind at that time and in that place.

I see, however, that others are already lining up with formal announcements or at least clear indications of their own intent … and when a fight’s brewing, I prefer to get in early.

It is therefore my distinct pleasure to announce that I will seek the 2012 presidential nominations of the Libertarian Party and the Boston Tea Party.

Why run for president — and why, especially, for the presidential nominations of two parties which together usually account for less than one percent of the popular vote in presidential elections?

I could give you lots of reasons, but I’m going to stick with three for the moment: There are some hard truths that need to be told, I’m interested in telling them, and they’re most effectively told from a bully pulpit.

Among those those hard truths are that the political wing of the libertarian movement will never make substantial progress toward its goals so long as it clings to the apron strings of the failed movements and parties of the past, remains in orbit around the present political “center,” or falls prey to cargo-cultish notions of what constitutes “serious” politics.

If we want a libertarian future, we must create that future, not hope that our political opponents drag us along to it. They won’t. They’re not going in the direction we want to go in, they have no desire to go in the direction we want to go in, and to the extent that they’re interested in us at all, they regard us either as fuel to be consumed or ballast to be dumped overboard at the earliest opportunity. I don’t blame them. We haven’t yet given them reason to regard us as a true threat to their power. It’s time to change that.

As my friend and mentor L. Neil Smith once observed, “great men don’t move to the center, they move the center.” It’s a big center, folks. Moving it will require a long lever, with us at the far end. I don’t claim to be a great man … but I hope to be part of a great movement, and to help that movement get further out on the lever and put some weight on it.

Insofar as cargo-cultism and “seriousness” are concerned, rest assured that I have nothing against suits and ties, friendly media interviews and the other requirements of realpolitick. What I do oppose is the absurd notion that waving around “mainstreamism” like some kind of voodoo fetish will magically boost us to competitive stature versus our older, more established opponents. It won’t.

The future of the libertarian movement, if it is has one, requires a principled populist approach rooted in class theory. Not the theory of the socialists (labor versus capital) or of the liberals and conservatives (ad hoc identity politics adjusted to appeal to society’s phobias du jour), but rather the theory of the productive class (those who make their living through work and voluntary exchange and cooperation) versus the political class (those who siphon off as much of that productive activity as they can get away with, using the coercive apparatus of the state, for their own ends).

For these reasons, the first phase of my campaign will largely be internal to the parties and the movement; as we move on, it will become more outwardly focused, of course, but first things first.

My fundamental goal in seeking the nominations of the LP and the BTP is not to achieve those nominations or to be elected President of the United States. It is to help the libertarian movement outfit itself for a journey yet to begin — a journey which that movement has stood stock still at the starting point of for nearly four decades now. If I achieve that goal, the nominations and the election results are of secondary importance, as I’m certain others are at least as qualified as I am to march at the front of the column. If I do not achieve those goals, then the nominations and the election results will resemble John Nance Garner’s description of the importance of the Vice Presidency of the United States: “Not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

I look forward to an exciting campaign, and I humbly request the support of all who value the future of freedom.

Yours in liberty,
Thomas L. Knapp
Knapp2012.Com

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Boston Tea Party convention starts this evening

In Activism, Boston Tea Party, Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Politics, Thomas L. Knapp on October 24, 2008 at 8:39 pm

The Boston Tea Party starts its online convention this evening (Friday, October 24th) at 9pm ET.  The party will be voting in new officers, as well as voting upon various proposals.

The convention continues for 24 hours, and ends on Saturday, October 24th at 8:59pm ET.  If candidates and proposals are not resolved pursuant to their Bylaws, futher polling cycles will start, each running 24 hours, until a final candidate / proposal decision is made.  

I am excited to note that some of our most respected LFV contributors – including George Donnelly and Thomas Knapp – are running for BTP office.  

Tom Knapp is of course also the founder of the Boston Tea Party, and in my opinion showed excellent logic, temperament, and leadership ability in his handling of a controversy which recently resulted in the resignation of multiple BTP officers and officer candidates.  I therefore very highly endorse Tom Knapp, as he has proven his ability to handle any situation which may arise, no matter how delicate or controversial.

Additionally, a couple of other BTP candidates are also well known to LFV readers, including Jason Gatties (a longtime contributor who took a break to work on his local political campaign) and Steve Newton (“Delaware Libertarian”, whose writing has regularly appeared on LFV with his permission).

The current Chair is not running for reelection, and the Vice Chair recently resigned along with multiple At-Large Representatives.  Interestingly, as a result, the only incumbent is Michelle Luetge for Secretary.

Both Chair candidates have BTP blogs, which you can read to get a feel for both candidates.

You can read Jason Gatties’ BTP blog.

Here is George Donnelly’s BTP blog.

I was especially impressed to see that Jason Gatties actually nominated George Donnelly to run against him, in the belief that competition will only make the party stronger.  What a great attitude!  Either Jason or George would be excellent as Chair, in my opinion, so the BTP is lucky to have them as candidates. 

In the meantime, here is the election information from the BTP website, which (thanks to Tom Knapp!) LFV readers are the very first to see.

Per the bylaws, each member may vote for one candidate for each office; polls repeat as necessary until either one candidate, or NOTA, receives a majority. Each polling cycle runs 24 hours, beginning at 9pm Eastern, October 24th, 2008. Human candidates listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Chair
George Donnelly
Jason Gatties
None of the Above

Vice-Chair
Douglass Gaking
Matty Grossman
None of the Above

Secretary
Michelle Luetge
None of the Above

Election of At-Large National Committee Members

Per the bylaws, at-large national committee members are elected by “approval voting.” Each member may cast one vote for each candidate whom that member supports; the four candidates who receive the most votes are elected. Because of technical issues (no “approval voting” module available for this version of the site’s software), each candidate appears in a separate poll. YOU MUST VOTE IN A SEPARATE POLL FOR EACH CANDIDATE WHOM YOU SUPPORT IF YOU WANT THAT SUPPORT TO COUNT. These polls remain open for the duration of the convention. Human candidates listed in reverse alphabetical order by last name.

Candidates
Steve Trinward
Neil Kiernan Stephenson
Darryl W. Perry
Steve Newton
Andrew Martin
Thomas L. Knapp
Bill Jones
Matty Grossman

Bylaws Proposals (from committee)

This space will link to bylaws amendments recommended by the national committee/bylaws committee for polling. Each member may cast one vote (“yes” or “no”) on adoption of each proposal. Per the bylaws, polling on these proposals will last 24 hours, beginning at the opening of the convention, with with 2/3 or more of voting members’ support required to adopt an amendment.

Committee Bylaws Proposal #1

The Bylaws Committee proposes a change to Article 9, Section h, which states,

“Any action of the National Committee may be appealed by Party members comprising 5% or more of the membership, said appeal to be transmitted or called to the attention of both the Chair and the Secretary. In the case of such appeal, the appeal shall be published to the Party’s web site and the Party’s membership shall be polled on the question of whether to sustain or uphold the Committee’s action to suspend. The poll shall open within 10 days of the appeal’s publication, and shall remain open for 10 days. The National Committee’s action shall be overturned by a vote of 2/3 or more among voting members.”

The change would be the section which says “5% or more of the membership” to “5 or more party members,” so that the complete section will be as follows:

“Any action of the National Committee may be appealed by Party members comprising 5 or more party members, said appeal to be transmitted or called to the attention of both the Chair and the Secretary. In the case of such appeal, the appeal shall be published to the Party’s web site and the Party’s membership shall be polled on the question of whether to sustain or uphold the Committee’s action to suspend. The poll shall open within 10 days of the appeal’s publication, and shall remain open for 10 days. The National Committee’s action shall be overturned by a vote of 2/3 or more among voting members.”

(the changed section is in bold)

Committee Bylaws Proposal #2

The Bylaws Committee proposes the addition of Article 8, Section i:

“Officers of the National Committee may serve no more than two consecutive terms in the same national party office.”

Committee Bylaws Proposal #3

The Bylaws Committee proposes the addition of Article 9, Section i:

“National Committee members, under any circumstances, are strictly prohibited from working for the party’s nominated Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidates in a public, official capacity while serving their terms on the National Committee. Officers who wish to engage in such activity shall either resign their seats from the National Committee or recuse themselves from an official public and political capacity while serving on the Board.

“1) Official capacity is defined as any campaign officer, manager or coordinator of campaign activities, any person listed in campaign web sites or documents as member of the campaign, and anyone otherwise involved with the national campaign in a paid or voluntary capacity.

“2) Other activities such as assisting with ballot access in a voluntary capacity, donating personally to a campaign, and promoting the campaign as an individual supporter are acceptable.

“3) Members of the National Committee may run for the party’s nomination for President or Vice President. While running for the party’s nomination, National Committee members must recuse themselves from all voting in any National Committee decisions until after the nomination is complete. If nominated to run for national office, a member of the National Committee must resign from the committee.”

Bylaws Proposals (from the membership)

After the adoption or rejection of the national committee/bylaws committee’s proposals, bylaws proposals shall be solicited from the membership in a post linked to from this space. Proposals shall be submitted via the appended comment form, and polls shall be linked to from this space. Each proposal moved and seconded in this manner, within 24 hours of the solicitation posting, shall be considered concurrently with all others, with proposal polls open for 24 hours. Each proposal receives the support of 2/3 or more of the voting members shall be deemed adopted.

Program Proposals (from committee)

This space will link to program points recommended by the national committee/program committee for polling. Each member may cast one vote (“yes” or “no”) on adoption of each point. Per the bylaws, polling on these points will last 24 hours, beginning at the opening of the convention, with 2/3 or more of voting members’ support required to adopt a program point. If fewer than five program points are adopted, the floor will be open for member proposal of additional points.

Committee Point Proposal #1

Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

Committee Point Proposal #2

Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, elimination of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

Committee Point Proposal #3

The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

Committee Point Proposal #4

The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.

Program Proposals (from the membership)

In the event that fewer than five committee-proposed program points are adopted above, this space will link to a member proposal space and polls on proposed points. Points will be polled in the order proposed and seconded, with no more polls running than would cause the program to exceed five points if all were adopted. Each proposal will be polled for 12 hours, with 2/3 or more of voting members’ support required to adopt a program point.

Resolutions

At the opening of the convention, this space will link to a resolution solicitation post. All members may move resolutions (statements of the party exclusive of its platform, program or bylaws). All resolutions moved and seconded within 24 hours of the opening of solicitation space will be polled. Polls will run for 24 hours; resolutions supported by 2/3 or more of voting members will be adopted.

LFV readers, what do you think of the candidates and proposals? Please note your endorsements, as well as any concerns, in the comments section.

Like Oktoberfest, only with tea

In Boston Tea Party, Charles Jay, Libertarian, Presidential Candidates, Thomas L. Knapp on September 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Posted at Boston Tea Party website by Tom Knapp

Y’all,

The time period between now and the November 4th election is prime time for growing the party. Let’s give America some October surprises!

This week, our presidential candidate, Charles Jay, “got official” in two more states — Arizona and Montana. Not full ballot access, but write-in status. The activists in Arizona who decided to make that happen got it done in two days! “Favorite son” Barry Hess is the veep pick there. Expect to see some more write-in filings soon.

The presidential campaign also just invested in an advertising buy through Google ads, expressly aimed at party-building via an intro page on this site.

You can link to that intro page, too, of course, and we hope you will. For that matter, nobody’s going to stop you from throwing a little money into ad campaigns of your own to flog it!

Other upcoming stuff:

– I’ll be on-site (or, rather, as close as the Secret Service will let me get) in St. Louis, Missouri for the October 2nd “major party” vice-presidential debate. One of the party’s strongest supporters just sent me four marvelous “JAY-KNAPP — VOTE BOSTON TEA PARTY” signs to wave. They’re nice, big signs, too. We’re going to have a visible presence … if you’d like to be part of it, just show up and look for those signs!

Charles Jay debates all the other presidential candidates who aren’t chicken on October 6th at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

– More media coming soon — I’ll get times, channels, etc. up as soon as they’re firm.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Founder and 2008 Vice-Presidential Nominee
Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea Party Presidential candidate Charles Jay answers Obama-McCain debate questions

In Barack Obama, Boston Tea Party, Charles Jay, John McCain, Libertarian, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Thomas L. Knapp on September 27, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Posted at cj08.com

(I wasn’t invited to Friday night’s presidential debate, but you knew I was going to weigh in anyway. My “participation” comes in the way of interspersing my responses into the actual text of the debate, which you will see below. All of those responses to the questions asked by moderator Jim Lehrer are in bold type. We ditched the rules for this one, and I used remarks in the rebuttal process as I felt were necessary; for the most part, since I had the advantage of being the last to answer, so to speak, I did single responses. This transcript is so long that it is being divided into two parts – the first is the part of the debate that explored financial issues, namely the bailout, which running mate Tom Knapp probably more accurately calls the “Ripoff”. The part that explores Iraq and foreign policy will come later on )

LEHRER: Good evening from the Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. I’m Jim Lehrer of the NewsHour on PBS, and I welcome you to the first of the 2008 presidential debates between the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, and the Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

(And the Boston Tea Party nominee, Charles Jay)

The Commission on Presidential Debates is the sponsor of this event and the three other presidential and vice presidential debates coming in October.

Tonight’s will primarily be about foreign policy and national security, which, by definition, includes the global financial crisis. It will be divided roughly into nine-minute segments.

Direct exchanges between the candidates and moderator follow-ups are permitted after each candidate has two minutes to answer the lead question in an order determined by a coin toss.

The specific subjects and questions were chosen by me. They have not been shared or cleared with anyone.

The audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent, no cheers, no applause, no noise of any kind, except right now, as we welcome Senators Obama and McCain.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me begin with something General Eisenhower said in his 1952 presidential campaign. Quote, “We must achieve both security and solvency. In fact, the foundation of military strength is economic strength,” end quote.

With that in mind, the first lead question.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Barr is closed, the W.A.R. is over

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on September 13, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Unless some major uproar takes place between now and 51 days from now — and in Libertarian politics it seems there has been a major uproar every 20 minutes or so for the past week and a half — I do not plan to comment publicly any further on the LP’s Bob Barr/Wayne Allyn Root ticket until at least Election Day. I have made up my mind about the ticket, and to engage in further carping would be counterproductive. This is not to say the efforts of those in the LP who are working to replace Barr are “carping”; just that since I have no official role, my own input will not help anyone much.

For those who wish to see Barr off the ballot and a more palatable candidate inserted, I wish you luck. For those who have decided to continue to back Barr despite all the hullaballoo, I wish you luck as well. In the end, this presidential campaign is about expanding the libertarian cause, and I hope any sincere effort at doing so will be fruitful.

Despite my fears last weekend that I might not be long for the LP, I have actually become more committed to it over the past few days. I see a lot of good folks trying their best to deal with difficult realities, and to work through genuine differences on approach and philosophy. So I will be sticking around, and after the election is over, I hope to help re-establish the LP of the District of Columbia. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I am not a leader — I’ve discovered throughout my career that I’m bad at running the show, though I am a fine lieutenant. I again offer my help to any credible libertarian effort that could use it.

While I am sticking with the LP, I also have worked through my concerns about the Boston Tea Party and gotten involved with it as well. (I expect to vote for the BTP’s Charles Jay/Thomas Knapp ticket in November, though I always reserve the right to change my mind right up until I cast my wasted vote.) I do not see the LP and BTP as competitors but as complements. I do not feel the need to restrict myself to one favorite food, favorite film, or even favorite religion, so why should I feel bound to support only one political party? The goal is the expansion of freedom, not the triumph of a faction. I am favorably disposed to Dr. George Phillies‘s new Liberty For America organization as well.

I admit to early skepticism about the BTP. When I thought about it, the only reasons were that it was tiny and new, and the LP was long established. But those who first heard about the “Livingroom Party” in December 1971 must have found it tiny and new as well, and I expect more than a few felt sheepish about casting their votes for John Hospers, on the ballot in two states. Is that much different from Charles Jay in 2008, on the ballot in at least four?

It was perhaps fate that led me to start reading “Radicals For Capitalism” by Brian Doherty (a.k.a. Mr. Angela Keaton) this week. As a reasonably bright fellow who has a hard time getting his head around theory and philosophy, I am finding it very helpful in understanding the philosophical roots of what we, and I, believe. So until the election, I will stick to my studies (and to my IPR reporting and LFV commenting), and leave the LP political battles to the warriors.

Boston Tea Party completes Tennessee ballot drive

In Boston Tea Party, Charles Jay, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press Release, Thomas L. Knapp on August 23, 2008 at 12:23 am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08/21/08
POC Thomas L. Knapp
media@bostontea. us
314-750-6993

BOSTON TEA PARTY COMPLETES TENNESSEE BALLOT DRIVE

Nashville, TN – America’s new libertarian alternative wrapped up its first-ever ballot access petition drive today as Boston Tea Party representatives turned in petition signatures and other paperwork to state election officials.

Once the signatures are certified by Tennessee’s Secretary of State, presidential candidate Charles Jay and vice-presidential candidate Thomas L. Knapp will be set to appear on Tennessee ballots in November. The petitioners turned in more than 400 signatures just before today’s deadline. Tennessee law requires 275 valid signatures.

“Our ambition is to give freedom-lovers in the Volunteer State a libertarian alternative to John McCain and Barack Obama,” said Jay, 47, of Hollywood Florida. “Our petitioners, the voters who stepped forward to put us on the ballot, and the electors who agreed to cast their Electoral College votes for us should we carry the state made that possible today, and they have my heartfelt thanks.”

Jay and Knapp were nominated in June by the party’s national membership, which conducts its operations entirely online. The party was founded in 2006 and campaigns on a single-sentence platform: “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.” In addition to Tennessee, the party’s presidential slate will appear on the ballot in Colorado, Florida and Louisiana. A volunteer petition drive is ongoing in Alabama and the party may seek ballot access in other states as well.

Boston Tea Party web site:
http://www.bostontea.us

Latest Boston Tea Party endorsements, organizational news

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

Latest affiliates and endorsements from the Boston Tea Party

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

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

Invite your friends to join the party today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Knapp posts campaign position on immigration

In Congress, Immigration, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on June 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Tom Knapp, Libertarian candidate for Congress (and Boston Tea Party Vice Presidential candidate) has posted a position on immigration on his campaign site. Here is an excerpt:

“Know-Nothingism” is a perennial trend in American politics. It’s a convenient tool for drumming up baseless fears and turning those fears into money and votes. Unfortunately, even a few Libertarian candidates for public office have yielded to the temptation to exploit it.

Unlike my opponent, US Representative Todd Akin, I decline to cater to the politics of fear. I support the most “open border” policy possible. Peaceful individuals should be able to cross the border “through the front door” at any port of entry with no more scrutiny than you or I receive when we board a bus or enter a bank (which, if you think about it, is considerable scrutiny — surveillance cameras are endemic to American society now and facial recognition software linked to databases of known criminal suspects is becoming more and more common).

The facts are indisputable. Let’s talk about the things the fearmongers don’t want you to know.

Click here to read his entire issue statement.

Six plank suggestions for the Boston Tea Party

In Constitutional Rights, Libertarian Party-US on June 5, 2008 at 12:14 am

The Boston Tea Party seems to have found its ticket — Charles Jay and Tom Knapp — and it is working on a platform. I recently joined the BTP and offered six suggestions on constitutional and monetary issues. Your feedback is appreciated.

  1. The Boston Tea Party acknowledges that the 14th amendment was never properly ratified, is illegitimate, and all ensuing legislation based upon the 14th amendment, including the Supreme Court’s “incorporation doctrine,” is null and void.
  2. The Boston Tea Party calls for the repeal of the 16th amendment, and a new amendment to the Constitution limiting the scope of Congress’s powers of taxation to proportioned taxes assessed to the states.
  3. The Boston Tea Party calls for the repeal of the 17th amendment, which gave us the direct election of senators. U.S. Senators should be elected by their state legislatures in order to best represent the interests of the individual states versus the federal government, as the framers intended.
  4. The Boston Tea Party calls for a Free Trade Amendment to the Constitution, revoking Congress’s powers to assess tariffs, duties, or other taxes on imports, and barring embargoes, sanctions, quotas, and other restrictions on free trade absent a formal declaration of war against the named country. This amendment would render all current trade agreements null and void and prohibit the negotiation of new ones, henceforth.
  5. The Boston Tea Party calls for the abolition of the Federal Reserve, and the liquidation of the Federal Reserve System and all federal-government assets, excluding those few necessary for legitimate constitutional functions, for the purpose of paying off the national debt and redeeming all outstanding Federal Reserve Notes, pro-rata.
  6. The Boston Tea Party calls for the full legalization of competing currencies and the abolition of unconstitutional legal-tender laws. Under the Constitution, only the states may declare legal tender, and they are limited to choices of gold and silver.

Note: Membership in the Boston Tea Party in no way excludes someone from membership in the LP, nor does it preclude support of the LP presidential ticket. I do like having the BTP as a back-up option for a write-in vote that will be counted, though. And I think it will be fun to help fashion a truly libertarian platform, without the statist “reformers” raining on our parade.

Endorsement: Tom Knapp for LP Judicial Committee

In Candidate Endorsement, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics on May 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm

I would normally write an endorsement, but in this particular case my endorsement is based more on the person and their principles, than on my knowledge of the office sought.  For that reason, I will let the candidate tell you why he should have your support.  From an email written by Tom Knapp:

I’ve served on the party’s Judicial Committee once (from 2002-2004). This year, I’m seeking election to that committee once again. I request your support and your vote.

I understand if you’re not excited. The Judicial Committee elections are almost an afterthought, coming after the “exciting stuff” — presidential and vice-presidential nominations and LNC elections. We dispensed with electing a Judicial Committee altogether in 2000 after a quorum call and sine die adjournment of the convention in Anaheim. The world did not end.

And, frankly, I can’t remember the last time the Judicial Committee had to swing into action — I’m pretty sure it was in the late 1980s, before I joined the party. The Judicial Committee is an appellate body. It acts only when an action of the National Committee or the national convention is sent to it for review under specific rules (which you can find out more about in the bylaws).

So, if you’re still reading, you probably have two questions: Why is this committee important, and why should I vote for Tom Knapp to sit on it?

The Judicial Committee is important because it functions as the LP’s “Supreme Court.” Its job is to review actions of the national committee on appeal by a percentage of the party’s membership (for regular actions), or by suspended committee members or disaffiliated state parties. It may also be called upon to review actions of the national convention as they relate to the Statement of Principles (and can be overruled by that convention in its findings). It’s to the party’s credit that the Judicial Committee is so seldom called into action — but it’s a necessary party institution.

As to why I am qualified, well, I meet the bylaws qualifications (I’m a party member). Beyond that, I pledge that if a matter is brought before the committee for review, I will adhere to a “strict constructionist” interpretation of the bylaws: They say what they mean and they mean what they say. If overwhelming evidence that an “original intent” trumps my own “strict construction,” I’ll give that evidence due consideration. I will vote in accordance with that “strict construction,” as possibly modified by evidence of “original intent,” and I will do so without regard to whether or not my vote gores anyone’s ideological ox — my own included. Finally, I will recuse myself from any appeal to the Judicial Committee which represents a personal conflict of interest.

I believe that service on the Judicial Committee requires personal honesty, respect for truth and fact, and a willingness to apply the party’s rules impartially. I leave it to you to judge whether or not I possess those qualities in sufficient measure to properly discharge the duties I’m asking to be given.

New TPW owner revokes libertarian contributors’ convention press credentials

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Obituaries, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican on May 20, 2008 at 12:29 am

The following was posted on Third Party Watch today:

Over the weekend, Third Party Watch was acquired from Stephen Gordon by Richard Viguerie.

[snip]

Richard Viguerie, is known as the “funding father” of the modern conservative movement and is the co-author of America’s Right Turn and, more recently, author of Conservatives Betrayed.

Also today, Stephen Gordon received an email from Andrew Davis, saying that Viguerie had requested that Libertarian Convention press credentials be revoked for three libertarian writers, who coincidentally all dared to speak out against Bob Barr: Tom Knapp, PaulieCannoli, and Michelle Shinghal.

Welcome to my world, guys.

Paulie and Miche are also LFV Contributors, of course, and they were caught completely unaware; they didn’t even know that TPW was for sale, much less that it had been sold. One would think that Steve Gordon would have mentioned that to them, but apparently he didn’t, and they didn’t know anything about it until after the deal was done, and their press credentials had already been revoked by the new owner.

From: Andrew Davis [mailto:[email address redacted]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 9:19 AM
To: Stephen Gordon
Cc: Shane Cory
Subject: Press Credential Removal

At the request of the new owners of Third Party Watch, I am removing three writers from your credentials request:

[snip]

Because the original request for credentials came from you, I am leaving it as your responsibility to notify [the contributors] as to their removal from the credentials list.

Thank you.
_________________________
Andrew Davis
National Media Coordinator
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
[email address redacted]
Office: [redacted]
Cell: [redacted]

Incidentally, notice that Andrew’s cell phone number was in that message, but I redacted it.  He’s lucky he’s dealing with a principled libertarian, and not a fellow “radical Republican”, since they would not give him that consideration if they had the same valid complaint about him that I have.

At any rate, I can only just shake my head in amazement, not only that Vigueria revoked their press credentials so quickly, but also that Steve didn’t even let the contributors know the site was for sale, or even that it had been sold.  I have a lot of respect for Steve Gordon, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt in this situation.  I’m not especially inclined to do that with Vigueria, though.

As if all that is not bad enough, Vigueria is already deleting articles which are not supportive of Bob Barr.  Though Steve Gordon is on Barr’s staff, he never deleted others’ articles, even if they were critical of his candidate; and that action by Vigueria shows that he refuses to cover the convention and its candidates in a fair and impartial manner.  That being the case, why does TPW even still have press credentials at all?  I cannot help but wonder why their credentials were not revoked as soon as Steve Gordon sold the site.

I was told today that Andrew Davis is just trying to keep his job, and that is why he refused to give LFV convention press credentials; after all, we are highly critical of Bob Barr, and Bob Barr sits on the LNC.  Of course, if Andrew Davis were really a libertarian, or if he even had principles, he would do the right thing in this situation no matter what the personal consequences.  Instead, he allows a site which is now nothing but another Bob Barr campaign site to retain its credentials, while refusing credentials for a site which actually earned those credentials by doing real journalism, even beating the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the disclosure of the very serious problems with Bob Barr’s PAC.  For all anyone really knows, given that LFV is in the top ten Google hits for “libertarian convention”, the AC-J actually got that information initially from LFV.

But, I digress.

Obviously, Miche and Paulie are more than welcome back home here at LFV, and displaced libertarian writers (and readers) from TPW are, of course, more than welcome to make LFV their new home.

Candidate Endorsement: Thomas Knapp for Congress

In Activism, Candidate Endorsement, Congress, Drug War, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Medical Marijuana, Politics, US Government on March 30, 2008 at 2:12 am

Thomas KnappThomas Knapp (to some better known as Kn@ppster) a longtime participant at Last Free Voice, has announced that he is running for the US House of Representatives in Missouri. Below is his “About” statement from his website; I would strongly suggest that others visit and read his issues sections (and bookmark it, since it’s still under construction).

Instead of one of those dry third-person candidate biographies, I’m just going to ramble a bit about who I am, where I’m from and why I deserve your support this November.

I was born on 10 November, 1966 (the 191st birthday of the United States Marine Corps) in Memphis, Tennessee. I spent most of my formative years in southwest Missouri, graduating from Lebanon High School in 1985 and living in the Lebanon and Springfield areas until 2000, when I moved to the St. Louis area.

I joined the US Marine Corps Reserve immediately out of high school and served as an infantry NCO in Southwest Asia in the 1991 Gulf War with my unit, Weapons Co., 3rd Bn, 24th Marines (the battalion is headquartered here in St. Louis). I left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant with an honorable discharge in 1995.

In civilian life, I worked at various factory and construction jobs until 2000, when I became a full-time writer, editor and political activist. I live in Greendale with my wife, Tamara, and our sons Daniel (9) and Liam (6). I also have a daughter, Caitlin (17), who lives with her mother in the Kansas City area.

I serve as the St. Louis County Libertarian Party’s Normandy Township committeeman, and as a federal appointee to my local Selective Service System board.

Why am I running for Congress in a district I don’t even live in?

The easy answer is that I stepped in to offer the 2nd District’s voters a Libertarian alternative when another candidate was unable to file his candidate paperwork due to a family emergency.

But I’d like to offer you a better answer than that.

I believe in America.

I believe in the values of individual freedom and unlimited opportunity that made this country great.

I believe that the Republican and Democratic parties have betrayed those values, and that in so doing they have failed in their duty to the American people and to the American Dream.

I believe that those values, and that dream, can be restored.

And I believe, as did Thomas Paine — author of the pamphlet which launched the American Revolution — that “those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”

My candidacy is an attempt to make good on that obligation — and in November, I ask that you cast your vote with that same obligation in mind.

Yours in Liberty,
Tom Knapp
Libertarian for US House of Representatives

Though it is no secret that Tom and I have butted heads more than once, I have a great deal of respect for him, and I believe him to be a principled libertarian who understands how the political system works. Furthermore, Tom is very well known in the libertarian community as an activist and campaign organizer, and he is passionate about the issues. Last but certainly not least, he is an extraordinarily good writer and an excellent communicator, who is able to clearly explain libertarian principles even to the uninitiated.

I honestly believe that Tom Knapp will never act in contradiction to what he believes to be right, regardless of the consequences. I therefore believe that he will represent his constituents – and the Libertarian Party – with honor.

For those reasons, I offer my full endorsement of Thomas Knapp for US House of Representatives, Missouri Second District.

Tom Knapp Attacks The Fair Tax

In Congress, Economics, Republican, Taxation on March 29, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Tom Knapp (L) is running for United States House in Missouri’s 2nd district and he has already started to go after his Republican opponent, Todd Akin, for co-sponsoring Fair Tax legislation.

The following are concerns Tom Knapp has mentioned about the Fair Tax:

First and foremost, understand this: The “Fair Tax” is not a tax cut. Its proponents claim that it is “revenue neutral,” i.e. that Americans would pay just as much in taxes through the “Fair Tax” as they did through the taxes it replaced.

Secondly, the “Fair Tax” would put America on the dole. Every man, woman and child in the United States would receive a monthly check from the government. In theory, that check would represent an advance rebate (proponents call it a “prebate”) of part of the tax. In fact, eligibility for the check would be completely unconnected to actual payment of the tax.

Thirdly, while proponents claim that the “Fair Tax” would “eliminate the IRS,” exactly the opposite is true. A federal tax bureaucracy would still be required to administer the “prebate” program, and to police interstate tax fraud and “prebate” fraud … and fifty more bureaucracies would have to be created to assess and collect the tax at the state level.

Fourthly, proponents of the “Fair Tax” are deceptive in describing how large it would be. They characterize it as a 23% sales tax, when in fact it is a 30% tax.

He then goes on to give this opinion of what the Fair Tax could do to the American economy:

Finally, there’s a good chance that the “Fair Tax” would wreck the American economy in transition. The tax is assessed on new, but not used, goods. Care to guess what will happen to our nation’s automotive and homebuilding industries when the price of new cars and homes jumps by 30% and the price of used cars and homes doesn’t? Time and supply/demand will eventually bring the prices of used goods back into proportion with those of new goods … but until we get there, whole sectors of the economy will be, at best, on life support.

Click here to read Tom Knapp’s full post on the Fair Tax

Like Tom, I have many concerns about the Fair Tax. One concern is that those who have saved and invested their money are going to be taxed twice under a consumption tax. For example, if I have a Roth IRA I have already paid taxes on that money. When I spend the money I would once again have to pay taxes on that same money. In my opinion, we would greatly punish people who are being financially responsible.

While I would love to eliminate the IRS, I don’t think it is possible in the short term. I would prefer to cut spending, slowly cut taxes while at the same time paying down the national debt. The reason we cannot quickly cut taxes is that we have to cut spending first which is something the Bush administration failed to understand. The Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress cut taxes, but refused to simultaneously cut spending and because of that we now have a huge deficit. Of course, many think a large surplus would be good, but that would result in less money going back into the economy which would not be good. When there is less money for the American people to spend there is less money to be invested in things such as new businesses which create employment. Instead, I prefer a small surplus each year to pay down the national debt. Until we cut spending and significantly lower taxes and the national debt I see no reason to give politicians any additional methods of collecting money.

Should third parties nominate their presidential candidate much earlier than the major parties?

In Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics on March 15, 2008 at 4:14 am

Kn@ppsterI found this entry on Thomas Knapp’s blog, Kn@ppster, and found it quite interesting. Here is an excerpt; you can read it in its entry in its entirety at the link:

I’m not one for silver bullets—no one thing will put third party candidates into contention for the presidency—but some changes just make sense. One of those changes is nominating earlier. My recollection is that the Libertarian Party used to nominate its presidential candidates the year before the election. Andre Marrou was nominated for president in 1991. Ron Paul was nominated in 1987. And so on, and so forth. It was only in 1996 that the LP moved its nominating convention into the year of the election itself.

Late nominating conventions handicap third parties. We can’t expect the kind of pre-nomination media coverage that “major party” candidates get. The sooner a party positions itself behind a nominee, the sooner that nominee has access to the party’s full pool of presidential contributors and can get to work reaching beyond the party to the American public. It’s all well and good to hope that a pre-nomination third party candidate will “break out” and catch the mainstream media eye … but it seldom works out that way.

I think Tom Knapp makes a very good point. As far as I can see, the only downside to nominating earlier is that third parties won’t get any media attention at all during the primaries. Right now they don’t get much, but it does get them at least mentioned in many newspapers.

Then again, can the third parties overcome that negative, and list their presidential nominee on the primary ballot, as just one candidate for that office? I’m honestly not sure. If so, it would look in the press as if that one candidate has a great deal of support within the party, rather than as it is now when it appears to the public that each candidate receives a little support here, and a little support there. Making third party candidates appear to have overwhelming support during the primaries can only be a good thing.

On the other hand, many third party voters wouldn’t even bother to vote during the primaries, if they knew their candidate had already been chosen, so there may be no reason to mention them at all in the mainstream media.

It’s a complicated issue, and one which should be thoroughly explored.
_____________________________________

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan