Boston Tea Party adopts Campaign for Liberty four point program, elects new officers

The Boston Tea Party is having its convention, as IPR previously reported. In the interest of disclosure, two of the at-large candidates (Tom Knapp and Neil Stephenson) also write for IPR.

Here is a press release from party founder Tom Knapp sent to contact.ipr@gmail.com on behalf of the party:

Midway into its second biennial convention — held entirely online — America’s new libertarian political party has chosen a new slate of national officers, adopted the program of “the Ron Paul R3VOLution,” and partially completed work on amendments to its bylaws.

The party elected Jason Gatties of Michigan and Douglass Gaking of Indiana to terms as chair and vice-chair of its national committee. Michelle Luetge of Texas ran unopposed (except for the bylaws-required “None of the Above” option) for a second full term as secretary, beating NOTA handily.

The party’s program is re-written every two years and consists of a maximum of five points. Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of adopting four points, transcribed verbatim from the Campaign For
Liberty’s joint candidate statement, endorsed by Boston Tea Party presidential nominee Charles Jay, as well as Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, independent
candidate Ralph Nader, and Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party. Baldwin, McKinney and Nader appeared at a press conference with US Representative and former Republican presidential nomination candidate
Ron Paul (R-TX) to promote the four-point program. The four points address foreign policy, privacy, the national debt and the Federal Reserve.

The party’s bylaws were also amended to make member appeals of national committee decisions easier; to term-limit national committee officers; and to address conflicts of interest between service on the national committee and working for party campaigns.

Members will continue to consider program points, bylaws amendments, and resolutions over the next 48 hours. Four elections to at-large positions on the national committee will wrap up as other convention business comes to a close.

The party’s one-sentence platform is not up for amendment — the party’s bylaws forbid changing it. It reads: “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.”

The Boston Tea Party’s presidential candidate, Charles Jay of Florida, will appear on voters’ ballots in Colorado, Florida and Tennessee on November 4th. Jay is also a write-in option in some other states.

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

Here is the outgoing speech and preceding convention progress announcements of former chair Jim Davidson:

You have a new chair. Congratulations to Jason Gatties who won the election to be your new chair. Congratulations also to George Donnelly who has the privilege not to be chair! Take it from me, there is just as much to congratulate each of you. Also congratulations to the members of the Boston Tea Party on a successful and peaceful transition of power. The outgoing chair lives! And I thank you all for joining up, for getting involved, and for your courtesy and enthusiasm.

Congratulations to Douglass Gaking your new vice chair. Also thanks to Matty for running a good race, and being involved. Good work!

Congratulations to Michelle, who gets to be secretary for a full term. Hurray!

Please note that balloting for at large seats continues until the convention ends. And a new round of votes, on resolutions has begun, so keep it going.

As things stand now: Trinward 16, Stephenson 18, Perry 30, Newton 16, Martin 6, Knapp 44, Jones 9, Grossman 12. Possession of the fourth seat is tied!

The bylaws have changed. Proposal 1 passed. It now takes 5 to form a poll to reconsider national action. Recruit four buddies and keep things interesting!

The bylaws have changed. Proposal 2 passed. Term limits now apply. Don’t try to hog the power. Pass the ring. (And no Bloomberging the term limits, please.)

The bylaws have changed. Proposal 3 passed. No mixing election campaigns and national committee positions. “Gotta keep ’em separated.”

The four points of the Campaign for Liberty are now the program of the Boston Tea Party. Good work everybody!

Final hour before first ballots end Sundown arrived, and au gratin potato with onion and broccoli was scrumptious, thanks for asking. Here is what I just posted to IPR.

Chair, Gatties 38 votes to Donnelly 12, 6 for none of the above (NOTA), 56 votes all found.

Vice chair, Gaking 28, Grossman 10, 7 NOTA, 45 votes. We’ll see who is more vicious, and who knows more about vice.

Secretary, Luetge 34, NOTA 8, 42 votes.

At this hour, unless a large number of votes are cast before 21:00 eastern time, it looks like the officers are going to be Jason Gatties, Douglass Gaking, and Michelle Luetge.

Trinward 16.
Stephenson 18.
Perry 30.
Newton 15.
Martin 6.
Knapp 44.
Jones 9.
Grossman 12.

At this hour, the national committee at large positions very likely include Thomas Knapp and Darryl Perry. The third position would be filled by Neil Stephenson if the voting ended right now. The fourth position is too close to call, between Steve Trinward and Steve Newton.

Bylaws proposal one, setting the limit for polling the members to overturn an action of the national committee to any 5 members, is winning 37 yes to 7 no.

Bylaws proposal two, term limits, is winning 33 to 10.

Bylaws proposal three, separating campaigns from the national committee members, is winning 29 to 13.

Program proposal one, to bring the troops home and stop fighting wars of occupation, is winning 43 to 4.

Program proposal two, restore privacy and end star chamber, is winning 43 to 1. (One really does wonder about that one voter.)

Program proposal three, emancipate future generations from the burdensome debt, is winning 45 to 1.

Program proposal four, ending arbitrary money issue power, is winning 43 to 2.

After this round of voting closes, resolutions from the convention members are to come up for votes. Two resolutions have been moved and seconded at this hour.

There is also time for additional bylaws proposals from convention members.

The convention continues for at least another 24 hours. But the polling on the above matters appears very likely to close on the first ballot – a majority being obtained in the relevant races, and no ties for at large rep.

See:
http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2008/10/boston-tea-party-conve…

Early evening update at the top. C’mon sundown! I’m hungry.

Race for chair: 37 Gatties 12 Donnelly, 5 NOTA.
Vice chair: 28 Gaking 10 Grossman, 7 NOTA.
Secretary: 34 Luetge, 8 NOTA.

Please note that some unpleasant comments about her narrow minded views regarding age as a qualification for party office were placed before the public at Last Free Voice. I am utterly contemptuous of such bigotry. For a candidate to withdraw, I believe that withdrawal has to be signified on the nominations page.

At large:
Trinward 16
Stephenson 18
Perry 29
Newton 15
Martin 6
Knapp 43
Jones 9
Grossman 12

Since these aren’t in numeric order, the leaders at this hour are Knapp, Perry, Stephenson, and Trinward.

Good luck to all the candidates and best wishes to the members of the party. I’m sure you’ll choose wisely, or find out soon enough.

————

Dear Friends,

I’m up early this morning. So far things look reasonably quiet on the site. No urgent messages.

Thirty-nine votes have been cast for chair. Jason has received 24, George 9, and none of the above (NOTA) 6.

In the race for vice chair, Douglass is leading with 18 votes to Matty’s 10 and 7 for NOTA. So far, 35 votes there.

The race for secretary is going for Michelle with 24 votes and 7 for NOTA.

A majority exists in each race for the leading candidate, at this time. These races are traditional voting.

We use approval voting in the selection of at large members of the national committee. Here we have a bit more work to figure out the leaders. (Friends, voting “dash” on any candidate doesn’t change anything. It’s just an artifact of DruPal – we use it to make approval voting possible in this edition of the software.)

Here is the list in order as it appears on my convention space page.

Steve Trinward has 13 votes in favor, 3 signifying nothing (S0).

Neil has 13 votes in favor, 2 S0

Darryl has 22 votes in favor, 2 S0

Steve Newton has 13 in favor, 3 S0

Andrew has 4 in favor, 4 S0

Thomas has 33 yes, 3 S0

Bill Jones has 8 yes, 4 S0

Matty shows 6 yes, 5 S0

What this means is, if the polling ended right now, the tie amongst the Steves and Neil would have to be settled by some tie breaking process. The polls are not closed!

Note that the founder of our party has 36 voters interested in his race, substantially more than the field of candidates. However, not more than the other races I’ve looked at, such as chair. I’ve reviewed the actual votes, and it does appear that there are some voters who are more interested in voting for chair and for the party’s founder to sit on the national committee. These seem unremarkable facts. I detect no pattern of abuse at this time.

Bylaws proposal one, setting the limit for polling the members to overturn an action of the national committee to any 5 members, is winning 27 yes to 5 no.

Bylaws proposal two, term limits, is winning 25 to 5.

Bylaws proposal three, separating campaigns from the national committee members, is winning 18 to 12. It is a horse race! Yes is winning by half a length.

Program proposal one, to bring the troops home and stop fighting wars of occupation, is winning 32 to 3.

Program proposal two, restore privacy and end star chamber, is winning 32 to 1.

Program proposal three, emancipate future generations from the burdensome debt, is winning 33 to 0.

Program proposal four, ending arbitrary money issue power, is winning 31 to 2.

Yes, the software allows me to see who voted for what. It is well, then, that I am not voting. No, I won’t tell you who voted for you candidates. No, I won’t tell anyone who favors star chamber. After all, there is enough wording and style at issue to give nearly everyone a reason to vote against anything written. I think it should be regarded as a tradition for the chair and the web site administrator not to divulge information on votes.

Unless the site went to a different software system, secret voting is not available. Even then, it would be somewhat difficult to be able to track voting irregularities without access to the raw vote info.

I do not recommend a bylaw against it. You’d never be sure if some future chair were secretly disclosing who voted for whom. And, in the event of vote anomalies, it would be important to be able to disclose what was discovered.

The argument for secret ballots is that no one should be held to excessive criticism for voting for or against a particular candidate. Under this argument, the evil candidates could punish those who voted them out of office.

The argument against secret ballots is part of the whole agency argument against voting in general. If you choose a representative, have a contract. Then the rep knows who he works for. Specify performance, so the agent can represent you thoroughly. In the case of secret ballots, we cannot know who the candidate was chosen by. So, if a particularly heinous result is obtained, you can’t go back and figure out who put this evil doer in office. Whether that is good or not is up for grabs – it seems like a way of shirking responsibility for delegated force.

Nevertheless, I think you should not ask me who voted for you. I won’t tell you. Not because it is a sacred trust or anything, not because I actually respect the voting process, but because it is a hassle. And likely to be much more of a cluster-hassle if I were to relent, even a little bit, in this area.

So, there’s a report on the convention as it seems to be right now. Best fishes.

Following up on his keynote speech, outgoing vice chair Todd Andrew Barnett delivered another address:

Good evening my fellow Boston Tea’ers!

On this glorious second and final day of the Boston Tea National Convention, it has been, it is, and it shall always be the best convention in the history of this Party. The national Boston Tea Party, its recent ups and downs notwithstanding, is the libertarian party of the future. Not the LP, not the LNC, not the LP Headquarters staff, and certainly not the Bruce Cohens, Aaron Starrs, Eric Dondero Rittbergs, and the Wayne Allyn Roots of the world. That honor belongs to the BTP, and, as far as I’m concerned, rightfully so.

The Libertarian Party once did deserve that distinction, from the time of its inception until when it began to water down, and then subsequently, eviscerate its ideologically pure principles that made it stand out from the Republican and Democratic Parties. But, as soon as the LP’s disastrous Portland convention took place, its reputation as the Party of Principle no longer applied. The repeal of more than 80 percent of that party’s platform and subsequent Republicanesque principles and positions on the issue infecting and dominating its heart and soul show that the LP no longer deserves that spot. It no longer has the right to call itself the Party of Principle, because it has entirely rejected that paradigm. It has jettisoned the ideological purity of its principles and the libertarian philosophy that it purports to believe in now.

It is one of the reasons why I’m no longer a capital L libertarian or even a lower case (l) libertarian. It is the reason why I reject that label, because of Bob Barr and his McCainesque ideals and positions as well as the Republicanesque stooges who have become the heart of his campaign. They can call themselves libertarian all they want, but they have neither the right nor any business to use that term. But they use it anyway, much to the peril of the liberty movement and to the activists who not only work in it, but also support it. The true libertarians — and that’s everyone who supports small government, real free markets, not the kind of capitalism that Republicans want — are the ones who rightfully guard, protect, and nurture the values, beliefs, and ideals that encompass the very heart and soul of liberty. Not only that, they encompass the very fabric and soul of the Constitution, despite the flaws that were created by the once-great Founders of this country.

The statists, the collectivists, the social engineers, the central planners, and the religionists, cheerleaders, and worshippers of the cult of the state see democracy as a living, breathing institution that must be protected. Their values tell them that the majority must rule over the minority. That’s what democracy is and has been for thousands of centuries. That’s their religion. And, because of that coercive religion that they have been foisting upon us, it’s what they would like to call the Church of Democracy. Their view, in the language of civics, is that the state is their god, and their beloved and precious democracy is the Church where they worship that god. Socialism, communism, populism, and fascism ae all part of that Church’s bible. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s how they proselytize their religion to others.

Free marketeers (such as Yours Truly), individualists, propertarians, libertarans, voluntaryists, and all lovers of liberty see the individual — including themselves — as the living, breathing person that must be protected from the likes of those religionists, cheerleaders, and worshippers of the cult of the state. As those freedom-loving individuals, we worship ourselves, not the state. Yes, we do help those who need the help, but not out of some altruistic, utopian idealism. We do it because we’re generous, we DO care about them, and we want to help them to succeed. We want to help them succeed, without the state and its cultists standing in the way.

The Republicans claim to be the Party of Limited Government, National Defense, Freedom, Free Markets, and the Law of Rule. They play a good game about the virtues of civil society and the vices of political society and the need to do away with the latter. They rhapsodize about the need for limited government, the evils of costly government regulations, and their goals to cut taxes, regulations, and spending. They even promise, in a shameless manner, to reform health care by keeping government out of it (whichever that means in their language) by furnishing tax credits to the insured so that they can purchase medical insurance under the phony guise of free markets. Oh, and if Senator McCain gets his way should he be the President-elect, that credit would be “refundable.” It is nothing more than a ploy to coerce people into believing that, if they pay an income tax liability of, say, $10,000, their bill is surely and simply pared down to $5,000. The other part of that lie is, if someone has no income tax liability, that credit would not apply.

But, in the real world within the realm of the state, nothing is ever simple. Someone who has a zero tax liabilty would find that the credit IS “refundable.” It is NOT a refund, but a cash hand out. It is a machination of the welfare state. It is a form of weath redistribution — that is, a transference of wealth from those who reap the fruits of their labor to those who don’t, even if it’s for the good of society. How is that reconciled with the principles and platitudes of limited government, things that are often shared by conservatives in the GOP?

Republicans are not just hypocrites in that area. They are also hypocrites when they claim to be for free markets. The recent $850 billion bailout that the BTP denounced in its unanimously-passed resolution of which I am the proud author epitomizes that. McCain and his Republican allies want the government to purchase risky mortgages in which the owed amounts surpass the present value of the homes. The banks would receive payments for the face value of the mortgages and then the state would refinance them at a lower principal and interest rate. The taxpayers would be given the short end of the stick. That is nothing short of redistribution.

That is economic fascism. There’s nothing inherently good about this. This is the swindle of the 21st century. And our futures are now mortgaged because of the bailouts and the never-ending war in Iraq. Thanks to those vile Republicans, our country will never be the same.

This is the reason why the Republicans will lose this election and why Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats will be the victors. When the smoke clears, they will assume command of this economy and this country.

The Republicans are to blame for all this, even for eight years of one economic failure after another. They have tainted the system of free markets by blending socialism and free markets into one system — capitalism. Sure, regulations do cost the economy money, and so they are right on that account. But they, along with their corporate lobbyists and supporters comprising of Big Business and Corporate America itself, would love to reduce regulations, but not the subsidies, privileges, and guarantees that come with the package. That’s what fascism is. And Republicans are crazy for associating themselves with the term “capitalism,” as it IS a term coined by Karl Marx and his minions. It is a system that favors protected business interests in THE NAME OF capital.

Libertarians are guilty of this too. Kevin Carson was correct when those libertarians who claim to be for free markets and economic liberty but support the corporate status quo are nothing but vulgar libertarians. They ARE vulgar libertarians. Libertarians are guilty for associating with them because of that. I share that guilt too, and I reject that term completely. I believe in free markets, not capitalism of any kind. Marrying the terms “free market” and “capitalism” as a unified term is like marrying the terms “Satanist” and “Christians” as a unified term. You can’t be both. You are either for free markets or you’re for capitalism.

And that is why the Democrats have an advantage over us on that ground. They pound on us because we have a habit of saying “deregulation is the answer” as if that’s the be-all and end-all as a magic bullet to the economic crisis with which we have been hit. Yes, the Democrats are socialists. Yes, they are for expansive government. Yes, they are not for free markets. Oh, and yes, they are for wars too. But that’s because a lot of this is the fault of conservatives and libertarians who used to ally themselves to one another in their quest to get rid of Bill Clinton at the end of his legacy term in 2000.

Free markets are not about “deregulating business,” although that is a small part of it. Yes, deregulation occurred to an extent in the 1980s and 1990s (but not during the Bush II years). Free markets are all about getting the government out of the way completely, entirely, and permanently. It is also about ending subsidies, privileges, and guarantees. If you only deregulate (or even partially deregulate) but keep the subsidies, privileges, and guarantees in place, you are not moving toward any free market. You are moving towards a corporatocracy a.k.a. economic fascism at its worst.

The Democrats are for bigger government, more expansive government, higher taxes, higher spending, and wars from which they would benefit. They can spend all evening griping about how we must tax and regulate the economy to death, how we need to protect jobs, how we need to cut ourselves off from the world economy, how important unions are, and how crucial universal health care (socialized medicine) is. But they are naive to think that this is the cure for the slowdown of the economy. Government cannot produce things; it merely steals from those who DO produce. It cannot create jobs; it merely destroys those jobs that businesses and individuals create due to the demands of their consumers. Health care and education are not “rights” and are not “free.” No one has any moral, ethical, and philosophical right to anyone’s labor in health care and education. No one has any moral, ethical, and philosophical right to the health care and educational services that people desire. Certainly, individual Americans should have access to them, but if a free market were called into existence (and, under the present system, it doesn’t exist), there’s no telling what can come of this.

The Boston Tea Party understands these differences. Its members understands them as well. And liberty must be defended and guarded, no matter the cost. We cannot submit to the state. There are no excuses for this. As the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) said, while giving his speech, to the delegates of the GOP Convention in 1964, “Extremism for the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation for the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Those words are true today, as they were then. And thus they remain true for posterity.

The Boston Tea Party is the future of liberty. It is my future. It is your future. The Democrats, the Libertarians, and the Republicans are not our future. We are the future. And let’s make the future of liberty a positive, rewarding, and happy one.

Thank you all, and good night.

57 thoughts on “Boston Tea Party adopts Campaign for Liberty four point program, elects new officers

  1. JimDavidson

    Here is my speech on the end of the convention – which has not ended yet.
    http://bostontea.us/node/405

    Please be aware that the Florida government says 51 people registered Boston Tea Party in Florida as of 6 October.

    We are voting on two resolutions in the convention now, and getting bylaws proposals from the general membership.

  2. JimDavidson

    Incomplete might be a better term.

    I’m curious why there is no headline “Outgoing chair of Boston Tea Party calls for civil unrest and misbehavior”? -grin-

  3. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m curious why there is no headline “Outgoing chair of Boston Tea Party calls for civil unrest and misbehavior”? -grin-

    I can’t do too many BTP stories and be fair to the other parties. As it is, we’re covering it way more than its size dictates, probably because several of us who write here are members.

  4. Trent Hill

    Jason,

    Far more retarded. Ron Paul in Louisiana could score several percentage points, furthermore–we did not establish a new party or split off from any other group (that had already split off).

    The BTP is a party, split from a party, that split from another party. It has 500 members…all of whom will likely meld back into the LP when the radical caucus takes back control.

  5. Trent Hill

    Oh–and we were never told Ron Paul opposed us putting him on the ballot. He opposed being placed on the ballot in MT because it took Baldwin off–but we never recieved any such request.

  6. inDglass

    The BTP is a party, split from a party, that split from another party. It has 500 members…all of whom will likely meld back into the LP when the radical caucus takes back control.

    It looks to me like the BTP’s new national committee intends to build this party to being a real national contender for elections. The words “50 state ballot access” and “2016” have been floating around this week. As the newly elected vice chair, I intend to work with our new chair and the rest of the committee on getting us halfway there by the end of our term in 2010.

  7. P.I.A.

    Trent, you said it perfectly.

    The amusing this is that these people have no clue how irrelevant they really are. It’s sad.

  8. Catholic Trotskyist

    The Catholic Trotskyist Party of America is proud that the Boston Tea Party has had a successful convention. We attribute it to our requests for prayers to the pope, which initiated God’s favor on the BTP. We also pray for Charles Jay to regain his lead over Criminal Nader in the IPR poll. Though we are happy that Revolutionary General Obama is leading Trogledyte McCain. The Catholic Trotskyist Party of America has attempted to vote more than once, for both Obama and Jay, but sadly, the site’s security has prevented this. Good job.

  9. Eternaverse

    To those who are attacking the BTP:
    All the third party presidential candidates combined are likely to top 1 percent of the vote this year, so ALL third parties are irrelevant by your standards. But we here at the Boston Tea Party are trying to build a real party that will have a real influence on US policy. We are building a real libertarian movement.

    So you can attack us all you want but you think third parties are irrelevant I don’t know why you are on a third party news site. You all are being just as bigoted as the Repubicrats.

  10. Ross Levin

    Like I’ve said before, I personally think the BTP can be something that is far from stupid. It can be a party that, even though it has few people in it, can put a lot of people up for election. If they play their cards right, they might get a decent amount elected, in part because of the clever name.

    My suggestion: run as many people as possible in state house/ state senate races where there is either no one running or a single party is unnopposed. This also applies to other local candidates, obviously.

  11. Trent Hill

    “The words “50 state ballot access” and “2016″ have been floating around this week”

    Barr claimed he was going raise 40 million dollars and get in the debates by polling 15%.
    This means nothing.

    The BTP is pointless. The LP already serves as the masthead of the libertarian-third party-movement. The larger libertarian movement takes place in the Republican Party or in both the Republican Party and Libertarian Party.

  12. Ross Levin

    I don’t think the LP is pointless. I think that they could become a decent local force in some areas, and maybe even elect a good number of people to state legislatures and the like.

    They should just focus on things like open seats or seats where only one candidate is running and things like that. Even Congress is probably out of their league at this point, and it’s a waste of resources to run candidates for Congress.

  13. Trent Hill

    Ross,

    This is the paradox of third parties. They can’t run noone for presidential or governor’s races because they must maintain ballot access–but they SHOULD be running their best candidates for state legislature.
    Think if Chuck Baldwin could’ve raised 200k for a State Senate race in Florida. Think if Aaron Russo and Gary Nolan had each spent 500k on State legislative races–etc.

  14. JimDavidson

    As long as Trent Hill is a registered Republican and is not a member of the Boston Tea Party, who cares what he thinks the Boston Tea Party should do or could be? Talk about pointless.

    The Boston Tea Party has rather more than 500 members, today. We have 566 on our site, and 638 on our largest social networking page. We’ve supported many candidates and endorsed some. We’ve nominated only a few candidates.

    What we choose to do with our time is none of your business. It has nothing to do with you if you aren’t a member. It is our time. It is not your time. So, if you don’t think we’re relevant, go to hell. I won’t pretend to care what you think.

  15. JimDavidson

    Paulie, you can do whatever you please. In fairness to the other parties, they aren’t currently having a party convention. We are. Report the news where it is.

    Attempts to report the news fairly, or in a balancing act, don’t seem to have gone well for others. E.g., Fox News.

  16. Trent Hill

    “The Boston Tea Party has rather more than 500 members, today. We have 566 on our site, and 638 on our largest social networking page.”

    It is a joke that you register support by how many people are in your facebook group. Talk about a waste of time. The fact that you can’t have a physical convention,even if it were to be in conjunction with some other event, shows what a joke the BTP is. It is seriously a parody. I have immense respect for Tom Knapp–but this is a bad idea.

    As for what I should do Jim–I’m welcome to comment on your party as much as I like,especially if I feel it is a good use of my time. Nor should we be reporting on your “convention” so much–it is not much more important than Alan Keyes’ online “convention”.

  17. JimDavidson

    Well, Trent, you are so knowledgeable about freedom that you now live in a country entirely void of tyranny. So, why not continue to school us – it’s so much fun. You’ve been making headlines, again, with your personal efforts for liberty.

    What would you say the membership of our Facebook group measures, if it does not register support?

    We had a physical convention, in Denver, in May. Try to keep up.

    Trent you can do what you like. But you can’t get me to like you.

  18. Trent Hill

    Like you? lol. This is reminiscient of your party–childish antics.

    While officer of the party I saw you berrating high school students on facebook. If the chair of the LP, CP, or any other party with more than just a facebook account did that—they’d be unseated.

    Face it,the BTP isn’t an electoral party–it’s a wine and cheese social gathering once a year, plus an online election video games you guys can play when you get beat in the LP.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Trent,

    You write:

    “The fact that you can’t have a physical convention,even if it were to be in conjunction with some other event, shows what a joke the BTP is.”

    Actually, it shows that the BTP is an authentically populist (in terms of organization) party that actually lets its members, instead of only self-designated elites who can afford to take weeks off work, travel hundreds of miles and stay in expensive hotels on a frequent basis, run it.

    The LP held its 2006 convention in a city that was exceptionally expensive to travel to. The California LP once held a state convention, and the LNC has seriously discussed holding a national convention, on board a cruise ship off the coast of the US, to reduce participation as much as possible.

    We’re different. The LP milks its members; we trust ours.

    The BTP has already had one “meatspace” event, and I suspect it will have many more in the future. However, it will do its official business in the manner most accessible, and least expensive, to its members. If you think that’s a bad thing, I think you’re wrong.

  20. JimDavidson

    Berating high school students? How droll. Which ones?

    You seem to think that responding directly to high school students isn’t appropriate. No doubt you also don’t take them seriously enough to let them run for party offices. Do you also deprive them of weapons, free expression, and other aspects of their liberty and dignity? If high school students are to be dumbed down and enslaved, when do you plan to emancipate anyone?

    I respond to people as I please. I’m not responsible to you. If you don’t like how I treat high schoolers, then grow up and stop being one.

  21. Trent Hill

    Jim,

    I am 20 years old and was involved in both the LP and CP at 18.
    As far as “responding” to people. You weren’t responding politely or with respect, as I said–you were berating them.

    As for who is grown up–by the content of our comments here, I’ll let each reader determine for themselves who is grown up, if anyone.

    Nonetheless, you can waste your time however you please. I’m simply pointing out the inherant frivolity of getting involved with the BTP.

  22. Trent Hill

    Tom,

    I’ll not argue with you about accessibility–you are right about it. But reshaping the LP to be more accessible is easier (and more electorally effective) than creating a new party that occupies the same ideological space.

  23. Trent Hill

    If this were done with another party, all of these BTP people would see it the same way. If a bunch of Green activists started the Green Conservation Party because they felt the Greens were moving too far from environmentalism–and this party was chocked full of nothing but disgruntled Greens who could only achieve ballot access in a few states, raise no money, and hold conventions online—they would be laughed at.

  24. Trent Hill

    Point being: It is just like libertarians to scatter away like cockroaches in every direction. Some in the RP, some in the LP, some in the DP, very few in the BTP.

  25. Trent Hill

    Im quite open minded, GE has even been able to convert me more fully to Free Market libertarianism (though reading everything from Mencken and Nock to Rothbard and Friedman helped).

    I suspect my outlook will not change on fracticious parties though. Still, I do respect many of the people involved in the BTP–like you (Jason) and Tom Knapp.

  26. JimDavidson

    Trent, did they earn my respect or my courtesy? These are mine. They aren’t yours. You have no reason to expect them from me, any more than anyone else. Respect isn’t a gift. If I gave it away to every non compos mentis, it wouldn’t have any value. Courtesy isn’t free, either. It often vexes me to offer it to those who are unworthy of my respect.

    Your eagerness to heap scorn and derision on us is of no consequence. You don’t matter that much. Your respect isn’t what I was going for when I got involved with this party.

    Yes, please laugh. I’ll laugh too. Laughter is fun all by itself. Laughter is a good thing.

    I’ll be laughing when I chop off a tyrant’s head.

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    Trent,

    You write:

    “I’ll not argue with you about accessibility–you are right about it. But reshaping the LP to be more accessible is easier (and more electorally effective) than creating a new party that occupies the same ideological space.”

    I don’t think it is. Since well before I joined in 1996, the LP has, so far as I can tell, been well-ossified into a top-down structure — a national politburo with regional commissars.

    One perennial candidate for chair — Ernie Hancock — promoted the approach that the BTP is now taking, and was routinely rejected in his campaigns.

    Another perennial candidate for chair — George Phillies — went at least halfway toward the BTP paradigm, with a strategy of local organization as opposed to national conformity, and was also routinely rejected.

    The LP, at the national level, is a top-down elitist structure. It’s an old skin that the new wine of grassroots, decentralist, activist-powered political work won’t fit into, and all attempts to recondition that skin to hold the new wine have failed.

    The BTP may or may not be the new skin that’s needed, but a new skin is needed unless the LP proves capable of reforming itself in a way that it has never previously been able to.

    More on all that here.

  28. Trent Hill

    Jim,

    You think awfully high of yourself eh? People aren’t worth respecting and they don’t deserve courtesy? Even if they are showing the same to you? Wow.

  29. Trent Hill

    “George Phillies — went at least halfway toward the BTP paradigm, with a strategy of local organization as opposed to national conformity,”

    This is the way it ought to be attempted. Make your local or state affilliate run as an accessible vehicle for liberty. If it works, the method will spread to other states and so on.

    “The LP, at the national level, is a top-down elitist structure. It’s an old skin that the new wine of grassroots, decentralist, activist-powered political work won’t fit into, and all attempts to recondition that skin to hold the new wine have failed.”

    That–we agree on. We don’t agree that the BTP is the new skin or even that the new skin will look like or be in effect. Still, thanks for addressing me with respect Tom. =)

  30. paulie cannoli Post author

    Jim,

    Three article is one weekend on the internet-only convention of a party with several hundred non-dues paying members is very generous coverage.

    However, I like the BTP (I’m one of those several hundred, as you know), and will continue to cover the convention. I just took a look at the BTP page and the convention is apparently still going on, but I did not find where it says when it ends. I’m sure it must there, but I just didn’t see it.

  31. HS

    I have a lot of respect for the idea of the BTP.

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think the trend for potentially viable third parties is moving toward taking an established but somewhat maligned ideology like the LP and retooling and refashioning. This is what I see in the BTP. The Modern Whigs are in a sense doing the same thing in regard to traditional Dem and GOP ideology. Obviously, these organizations go about things differently, and I do not want to get into an argument into who’s better, but this seems to be a promising and unique trend beyond the well-financed, high-profile Reform Party endeavors (Ventura, Perot versions) of the 1990s.

    I honestly am hoping for some BTP success as we work to build our own organization. I do fear that the BTP may be decentralized to a fault, but as someone with no affiliation with them, by observation comes from afar.

    (I also have found reading these comments to be somewhat addicting 🙂

  32. JimDavidson

    Trent, respect is earned. No one automatically gets respect just because they bring bone headed ides to my attention. Nobody automatically earns courtesy, either. Trust, confidence, respect, courtesy, all must be earned. If you throw away your confidence and trust on those unworthy of it, don’t be surprised when they disappoint you.

    Yes, I do think highly of myself, Trent. Many others do, as well. Actions speak louder than words. How is your recruiting work for RLC going?

  33. JimDavidson

    “This is the way it ought to be attempted. Make your local or state affilliate run as an accessible vehicle for liberty. If it works, the method will spread to other states and so on.”

    Try it. Others have tried it. Don’t expect good results. Recent experiences in many states where state affiliates are run as accessible vehicles for liberty under the LP banner have brought down fire and vengeance from the national LP. Try talking to some of the people in Delaware, Tennessee, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts about how things have gone for them. Or look at Arizona in 2000.

    You want to fix the LP? Good! Go fix it.

    There are a great many people who want to see it fixed. Many of us have spent time, money, recruited our friends, and tried all sorts of things. What you are saying is nothing new. Others have tried it. But, it is probably the case that you are the one. Only you can fix the LP. Of course, you revile the LP because you regard it as a split off the GOP, right?

  34. JimDavidson

    Paulie, go where the action is. If you have a lot of other action to cover, go cover it. No big deal.

    The convention ends when it ends. I think there were a number of potential inputs to the convention process which could have caused it to run longer, such as proposals for member generated program points.

    Unless I’m mistaken about the process, the convention ends in 90 minutes, at 21:00 eastern time, tonight. Tom Knapp would be more likely to have an authoritative view on this point, since he wrote the bylaws.

  35. JimDavidson

    HS, I am glad you find them amusing. That’s the only reason I’m here.

    The Boston Tea Party is a grassroots party, so it is whatever the people involved make of it. My expectation is that the members have many different visions. Sometimes those ideas are going to coalesce into action. Many times, not.

    Centralisation has been tried. It has severe deficits. It has some benefits. Two brains may be better than one, but it only takes one brain to come up with a unique new idea. Two brains come with two mouths to feed and two piles of sewage every day.

    L. Neil Smith’s axiom on the sizes of committees makes a lot of sense. The effective intelligence of a committee, where X is the intelligence of the smartest person on the committee, is X times one over two to the exponent n, where n is the number of members of the committee.

  36. Trent Hill

    “Yes, I do think highly of myself, Trent. Many others do, as well. Actions speak louder than words. How is your recruiting work for RLC going?”

    Im not a member or a recruiter for the RLC. You obviosuly know nothing of me, stop guessing.

    “Yes, I do think highly of myself, Trent. Many others do, as well.”

    Good for you pumpkin.

    “Of course, you revile the LP because you regard it as a split off the GOP, right?”

    You can take the distate I have for the BTP and find the square root–that is how much I dislike the LP. Find the square root of that for how much I dislike working through the Republican Party.
    Nonethless,there is nothing absurd about the LP–or at least there is far less that is absurd. They have national offices, millions in fundraising, hundreds of candidates, 800 elected officials (mostly local), etc. The BTP has one Town Meeting Member…and he was grandfathered in…a website, and 500 members.

  37. Trent Hill

    Sure it didnt. It was also stepping into a field where libertarianism had no representation as far as parties go. It also experienced quite a bit of success in the first four years,elected legislators, millionaire contributors,etc.

    The BTP has been in existence for 2 full years and has 500 members and an online existence.

  38. JimDavidson

    So, out of curiosity Trent, you know so much, tell us, how many members did the LP have when it ran its first presidential candidate? How many ballots were they on? How many members did they have after two full years?

  39. JimDavidson

    By the way, we have a public official in Massachusetts who is a Boston Tea Party member. See our voter’s guide.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Trent,

    “The BTP has been in existence for 2 full years and has 500 members and an online existence.”

    Incorrect. Or, rather, incomplete.

    Yes, the BTP has an online existence. It also has a meatspace existence — registered voters, petition signatures, officeholders, etc.

    Are we as far along as the LP? No — but that shouldn’t be surprising. They have a 36-year head start on us, and we’re competing with them for a political market niche that they had no competition for when they were established.

    Are we as far along as we’d like to be? Not by a damn sight … but we’re up, active, moving and will continue to be so.

    In 2009, I expect us to elect our first public officeholders who weren’t already in office when the party was formed. Yes, that will almost certainly happen entirely or almost entirely in putatively “non-partisan” races — just as continues to be the case with the LP.

    In 2010, I expect that some of our state affiliates in “tougher” states will run ballot access drives — and that that trend will pick up more steam in 2012.

    You can pretend that the BTP is “just a blog or something” all day long if you like. The Secretaries of State of Colorado, Florida and Tennessee know better. Forty-seven to go.

    We’ll do what we can, and we’ll do it as fast as we can. Just how fast that is may surprise you. Or not.

  41. JimDavidson

    It is a small number, to be sure, but there are 51 actual voters who are actually affiliated with Boston Tea party on their voter registrations in Florida, right now. That’s kind of cool, I think.

  42. kombayn

    I actually have to disagree with Trent on this one. (Who I post with over at ronpaulforums.com) Charles Jay has been on FOX News quite a few times and that’s impressive for such a small party with an online following. I actually like this site a lot and visit everyday.

    Thomas Knapp is a very motivated person and should be on the ballot in Louisiana too. They have 4 years to earn more state ballot-access. A lot of things can happen in 4 years, the internet is a new age of communication. Look in the last 5 years of what we’ve gotten… Blogging, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube…

    Which 50 years in history will be looked at as a dawning of a new age in communication. The Boston Tea Party has my support, I want them to get big enough to make the Libertarian Party wise-up to what’s going on.

    Nominating Bob Barr/Wayne A. Root was the worst idea in the LP’s history. If they would’ve nominated Ruwart/Kubby, I think they could’ve raised more money with-in the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul grassroot movement.

    Overall, I think it does no good to criticize what the Boston Tea Party is doing. But they do need to build up locally, not nationally I think. Win a few offices and still run people for President but try to win some races with the BTP branding and they should start looking into alliances with other State parties looking for a National Party affiliate. It’s the smart thing to do.

    Getting Charles Jay on FOX News a few times shows me that the BTP is at least very smart in getting out the name.

  43. JimDavidson

    Paulie is the reason for the voter registrations in Leon County, Florida.

    Kombayn is correct. And with Kombayn’s help, we will work on building up at least in Kombayn’s area.

    What is it about cat2303’s URL that makes me not want to click? Oh, yeah, the non-crazy in me.

  44. Trent Hill

    “We’ll do what we can, and we’ll do it as fast as we can. Just how fast that is may surprise you. Or not.”

    10/4. Work hard and prove me wrong–Id love to see it,honestly.

  45. paulie cannoli Post author

    Interesting blog on this:
    http://blogs.news.sky.com/foreignmatters/Post:5eca6e5f-7a1c-4715-9c26-b92a4d9f588d#comment

    Yes.

    One minor quibble: Marilyn Chambers’ career did not end in the 70s. She was active in the industry in the 90s, and I think still is now.

    Nominating Bob Barr/Wayne A. Root was the worst idea in the LP’s history. If they would’ve nominated Ruwart/Kubby, I think they could’ve raised more money with-in the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul grassroot movement.

    True.

    Paulie is the reason for the voter registrations in Leon County, Florida.

    Andy too.

  46. JimDavidson

    Yeah, but I don’t like Andy.

    Marilyn had stunning success in the 1970s when she was still stunning.

    If the LP had nominated Ruwart, the BTP very likely would have endorsed her candidacy rather than running our own.

    I’m not lifting a finger to prove anything to Trent.

  47. Trent Hill

    “I’m not lifting a finger to prove anything to Trent.”

    That’s why I didn’t ask you pumpkin. See, your respect is far too pricey, your “courtesy” far too expensive for me to bother with. Better to leave it on the shelf and let it collect dust.

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