Bovard sues Barr campaign

Since the end of former US Representative Bob Barr’s 2008 presidential run on the Libertarian Party ballot line, his campaign committee has listed various outstanding debts on its reports to the Federal Election Commission (see schedule D of the campaign’s Q1 2010 report for details).

Among those debts: $47,000 to libertarian writer James Bovard, described as an “authoring fee.”

This morning Bovard announced, via his blog, that he’s taking the Barr campaign to court for the money.

Bovard contracted with the campaign to ghost write Barr’s campaign book, Lessons in Liberty.

The book was completed, published and put on the market, but appears to be out of print. As of today Amazon.Com lists only one used copy for sale.

Bovard alleges that his agreement with the campaign called for payment in full prior to the book’s publication, but that he has thus far received only $30,000 of $77,000 owed.

Bovard’s announcement includes the text of a complaint to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. The court clerk’s office verified by phone that the complaint has, in fact, been filed.

93 thoughts on “Bovard sues Barr campaign

  1. Robert Capozzi

    I certainly don’t begrudge Bovard’s efforts to recoup what he’s owed, but doing it publicly like this seems kinda creepy and inappropriate to me.

    This: “If you see Barr there, ask him about his authoring experience – and when his campaign is going to pay its debts.”…sound highly unprofessional to me.

    Who in their right mind would ever hire this guy to ghostwrite for them again.

  2. Brad Spangler

    re: “Who in their right mind would ever hire this guy to ghostwrite for them again.”

    Wild guess? Someone who doesn’t plan to shaft the writer of the centerpiece book of his campaign while feathering plenty of other nests.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    “Who in their right mind would ever hire this guy to ghostwrite for them again.”

    Presumably anyone who

    a) thinks he’s a good writer and needs one of those; and

    b) doesn’t plan to leave him more than half unpaid until he’s forced to sue to get his money.

    Public embarrassment is a useful tool in civil litigation. Absent that embarrassment, the defendant might decide to let the thing drag through the courts forever. But if there’s bad PR associated with it, that’s an incentive to get the thing settled ASAP.

  4. Brian Holtz

    The complaint quotes Russ Verney emailing Bovard around election day: “You will be paid and you will be paid in full. I simply do not have any money on hand. I am going to continue fundraising to pay off all of our obligations and you are at the top of the list.” I wonder if there is any evidence that other Barr campaign debts have been paid off ahead of Bovard.

    The complaint also says the draft wasn’t finished until six weeks before election day. This is yet another interesting consideration for the thorny question how early/late the LP nominating convention should fall in the election cycle.

  5. Robert Milnes

    IMO my campaign> nomination would NOT have been this bad & may very well have given the reactionaries one helluva run for their godforsaken money.

  6. Robert Milnes

    You want somebody to hit the road running & to come out swinging? I’M your guy.
    I’ve been laying around broke & depressed for decades waiting for an opportunity.

  7. Robert Milnes

    I’m sick & tired of being sick & tired. I’m sick & tired of the bullshit & nonsense. Aren’t you?
    WTF? An oil spill on our ocean? NOT ON MY WATCH!

  8. Robert Capozzi

    tk: b) doesn’t plan to leave him more than half unpaid until he’s forced to sue to get his money.

    me: Wow! That’s quite a charge. If Barr and Varney “planned” to short Bovard, THAT would be big-time creepy. D’ya have any evidence of this?

    tk: Public embarrassment is a useful tool in civil litigation. Absent that embarrassment, the defendant might decide to let the thing drag through the courts forever. But if there’s bad PR associated with it, that’s an incentive to get the thing settled ASAP.

    me: Yes, but just like the litigious employee becomes radioactive, the litigious contractor can, too. Employers/contractees often lack the patience to wade through the he said/she said stuff.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Brian,

    You write:

    “The complaint also says the draft wasn’t finished until six weeks before election day. This is yet another interesting consideration for the thorny question how early/late the LP nominating convention should fall in the election cycle.”

    Yes, it is.

    Bovard began working with the Barr campaign in June, and I believe he submitted the final draft in August. Two months for a 77,000-word book isn’t slacking off.

    There was no way for it to be much earlier than that.

    Barr didn’t formally announce his candidacy until May 12th, and even his exploratory committee dated from early April. Even assuming that the exploratory committee was pro forma and that he knew damn well he’d be running at that point, that’s the earliest he could really have started the wheels turning on a campaign book.

    I know that those wheels were in fact turning before the convention, because I was one of the writers who got an “are you interested?” call.

    I doubt that ANY ghost writer was going to turn out a book of that size MUCH quicker than Bovard did. Even if the writer had been found in April and taken the same amount of time as Bovard, that would put the final draft in June and the publishing date in August, less than three months ahead of the election.

    On the other hand, a lot of candidates get in a race early instead of late, and put their campaign books out before they are their party’s nominees.

    George W. Bush’s A Charge to Keep was published in November, 1999, a full year before the 2000 presidential election — before the Iowa caucus and before any of the primaries.

    Howard Dean’s two campaign books, Winning Back America and You Have the Power were published in December, 2003 and January, 2004.

    It’s hard to figure for John McCain — he had first-person and third-person campaign books coming out at a machine gun rate for 10 years.

    Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope was out by July of 2008; a third person campaign book, Change We Can Believe In, hit the shelves in early September. Dreams from my Father was arguably a campaign “cred” book, and it was out in early 2007.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Mr. Semprini,

    That commenter may or may not actually be Robert Milnes.

    Even if it is, there’s at least a 50/50 chance that nobody is going to be able to figure out what he’s talking about.

    But, if it is really Robert Milnes, and if the material is in the 50% of his verbiage that’s reasonably coherent, what he’s talking about is how the Libertarian Party and the Green Party could magically win the presidency if they would abandon their principles for unity under a bizarre platform including eugenics, “compensated expatriation” of blacks, perpetual war in the Middle East, and a “virtual” Berlin wall on the Mexican border, and nominate a broke, disabled, unemployed, formerly institutionalized New Jersey man for president, with a female running mate.

    Is that all clear now?

  11. Mr. Semprini

    Mr. Knapp,
    I lurked here on IPR during the last Pres. campaign and seem to remember one guy who posted almost hourly, and based on your description, Milnes was that guy. I remember some story about a house, inheritance, lawsuits, and also a mix of policy goals i couldn’t begin to decipher. Not to mention that we should stop everything and vote for him for President…

    I will do my best not to feed the trolls. Woops!

    Thanks

  12. Not me

    @18 Knapp you are hilarious.

    @11
    “I’ve been laying around broke & depressed for decades waiting for an opportunity.”

    I am thinking about using this as a campaign slogan. Can I borrow it?

  13. Robert Capozzi

    tk, I think bh’s point was not a critique of Bovard’s speed, but rather that our nominating convention was too late in the year for the LP candidate to gear up. With our resources being as thin as they are, it makes sense to me for us to move our presidential election year convention to be earlier…there was talk of President’s Day weekend, which may a LOT more sense to me.

  14. Don Lake

    Brian Holtz // May 7, 2010:
    “The complaint quotes Russ Verney …”

    [Lake: would be Machaveli and on going political thug, from the self destructive deform farty daze, ‘I told ya so, I told ya so!’ ]

  15. Mr. Semprini

    I’ll answer for myself – I “lurked” – which is to say that I read IPR without contributing in the comment section. Trolling, in my opinion, would be commenting on posts to intentionally stir up controversy/spam info.

  16. Robert Milnes

    Unfortunately since I’m tapped out & struggling to pay bills & figuring out my next meal & my websites are all down, it is difficult for me to defend my proposals. How did a peace proposal that was similar but better than Biden’s for Iraq, an emmigration subsidy to make room for Native Americans which could be deftly taken advantage of to address the issues of poverty, political instability, AIDS & AIDS orphans in Africa & a smart fence & a strategy to win by the LP & GP based on the BEST in 100 years try by an Independent or third party-the progressive party TR in 1912, get wrung & spun into what you wrote in 18? It is not easy to confuse things that much.

  17. Mr. Semprini

    Be sensible – work on your bills and your next meal, man. That should be common sense…

  18. Mr. Semprini

    “no link = no balls.” You are too funny. I don’t want to fill the comments with responses to your ridiculousness.
    “Robert Milnes // May 7, 2010 at 10:49 am

    You want somebody to hit the road running & to come out swinging? I’M your guy.
    I’ve been laying around broke & depressed for decades waiting for an opportunity.” How is one supposed to be taken seriously with comments like that?

  19. Robert Milnes

    Tom, your problem is you want anarchy now=no fence/no border. That’s just not going to happen without a lot of consequential violence. Or didn’t you think that far ahead?

  20. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    You write:

    “I think bh’s point was not a critique of Bovard’s speed, but rather that our nominating convention was too late in the year for the LP candidate to gear up. With our resources being as thin as they are, it makes sense to me for us to move our presidential election year convention to be earlier…there was talk of President’s Day weekend, which may a LOT more sense to me.”

    That WAS Brian’s point, and I agree with it.

    I’ve been on record for years in favor of moving the presidential nominating convention back to the fall of the year before the election. That’s where it used to be. Ed Clark and Ron Paul (to name two) each had more than a year to campaign AS THE PARTY’S NOMINEE.

    Keep in mind that while the Republicans and Democrats have their conventions after we do, their nominees are usually known well in advance of their conventions, e.g. with the outcome “Super Tuesday” in March. Their nominee is campaigning as the known nominee months before the nomination is formally bestowed. The LP goes into every convention with at least some doubt as to the outcome.

    Also keep in mind that serious pre-nomination Republican and Democratic candidates have PR and recognition assets that even post-nomination LP candidates usually don’t have. They’re usually already in high-level public office. They usually are pushing campaign books out the door months, even years before they’re actually their party’s nominees.

    The LEAST we can do is move our nomination process back so that the candidate is spending as much time as possible representing the party to the public instead of representing himself to the party.

    That said, it remains a fact that Barr could have jumped into the race in 2007 or even 2006 instead of commencing “exploration” less than two months before the convention and declaring less than three weeks before the convention. He could have released a campaign book in 2007 or at the very latest early 2008. You don’t have to wait until you’re the nominee to start acting like the obvious pick for nominee.

    I disagree with Wayne Allyn Root on a lot of things; it should be obvious to everyone that I’m not one of his supporters. But look at what he did: He put out a campaign book for 2012 in 2009. Smart move.

    At that time he was openly declaring his intent to run in 2012. He’s backed off from that while running for chair, but I bet that if he does run for president again, he’ll have another campaign book out in 2011.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    You write:

    “Tom, your problem is you want anarchy now=no fence/no border.”

    While it’s true that’s what I “want,” that’s irrelevant.

    What I’ll settle for is not going in the opposite direction.

    I’ll support a candidate with whom I otherwise agree and who proposes incremental moves in favor of immigration freedom.

    I might even support a candidate with whom I otherwise agree but who isn’t inclined to emphasize tinkering with the immigration status quo.

    Never again, however, will I support a candidate who proposes to augment, rather than curtail, the anti-freedom aspects of US immigration policy.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    Mr. Semprini has it pretty much correct.

    A “lurker” is someone who reads a blog, discussion list, forum, whatever but doesn’t make much noise on it. He reads, but he seldom writes.

    A “troll” is someone who participates in the discussion with purely vexatious intent. He’s not interested in illuminating a point or persuading anyone to his side of an issue — he just wants a fight for the fun of having a fight.

  23. Mr. Semprini

    Thanks Tom, spot on.

    And Milnes – obviously the comments section will not be filled beyond capacity if I comment, but I think anyone with reading comprehension would understand that I was trying to convey that I do not wish to fill the comment sections with unrelated, trivial, or petty comments, which is what I have done by responding to you. damn it…

    But seriously, if you are in such a bad personal situation, take care of your job/bills/food situation instead of commenting on a blog all day.

  24. Robert Milnes

    Tom, “Never again…” Who are you referring to? Barr?
    I’ve put a lot of thought into this stuff. Did you know that in order to stop a serious bleed/hemmorage you have to apply pressure & cut off the flow of blood(tourniquet)FIRST? My point is sometimes the solution to a problem is not a straight line. You start abolishing laws & programs & leaving the keys to the tanks where they are & go you are not necessarily going about it the right way. You think if we started granting Native Americans all kinds of rights & lands & ended the negative consequences of borders without thinking it through we’d get much more than chaos & violence? Progressivism=slow revolution. That’s why I favor it. Not because I think TR was the greatest, etc.These things are RADICAL. That means we have to be careful & prudent. Not rush to the supposed solution.

  25. Robert Milnes

    Well, I just found out from lawyer that miracle too little too late inheritance will probably take till the end ofv the year.Now I’m REALLY screwed.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, Barr could have started earlier, but I don’t believe he intended to run in 08 until late in the game. He was instrumental in the draft Paul efforts earlier in the year, back when they were on friendlier terms. He may have vaguely been thinking about 2012 for a run, if the stars aligned.

    If he had it to do over again, my guess is he would not have run. He was still in the process of detaching from his old R thought system, which he continues to do, e.g., his views on DOMA.

    Shaking off old, dysfunctional ideas is easier said than done. Heck, I still sometimes find myself thinking absolutist or even abolitionist thoughts from my Randian/Rothbardian days!

  27. Robert Milnes

    Tom, Russo & Bad’n had immigration positions you disagreed with? & that earns them a NEVER AGAIN! I’m sorry, to me never again is only invoked if it is pretty serious.

  28. Robert Milnes

    Robert capozzi, what if Barr was/is a government proxy? In that case his running was always on the table as an option to use against us/LP.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    First of all, I didn’t say I wouldn’t support a candidate whose immigration position I “disagreed with.” I said I wouldn’t support a candidate whose immigration position was to “augment, rather than curtail, the anti-freedom aspects of US immigration policy.”

    I could support a candidate who wanted to move more slowly/incrementally on immigration policy than I’d like to.

    I could support a candidate who wanted to leave the issue alone for the most part because he doesn’t think it’s a good issue for that particular campaign.

    I could support a candidate whose preferred end-state wasn’t as radically open borders as mine.

    Those are three types of candidates whose immigration position I’d “disagree with,” but which would not be the kind of position that would prevent me from supporting the candidate, especially post-nomination (pre-nomination, I’d be more inclined to find a candidate whose position on immigration, as on other issues, is as close to mine as possible).

    Secondly, I should have been more specific and not just used the word “support.” That’s my bad. When I mention Russo and Badnarik, I’m talking about candidates for whom I worked, and moreover for whom I wrote position/policy papers, arguments, etc. on immigration which I personally found repugnant.

    I’m not going to do that again.

    I’m sure as hell not going to support a candidate who calls for an idiotic “border fence,” be it chain-link or “virtual.” There’s simply nothing redeeming about the proposal. It’s the kind of proposal that shouldn’t be made, that doesn’t work, and that would be bad news if it did work.

  30. Robert Milnes

    Tom, it is not idiotic. It is quite comparable to The Emancipation Proclaimation with respect to a government policy that has been ongoing historically that has been decided to not continue. Via Executive Order/Action if necessary. In that case it is slavery that will not be allowed anymore by introducing an Order that disrupts it’s continuance. In the case of the border smart fence, it is the usurpation of control of its borders by Native American tribal nation-states. They lacked defined borders, a federation (which Pontiac tried to address) & enforcement capability. Do you think The Cheyenne & Sioux etc. would have allowed a steady stream of immigrants? What was needed was a representative N.A. government & agreement with the U.S. on immigration. That never happened. But as a starting point NOW, the first thing to do would be to seal the borders & negotiate a new Agreement. If it was agreed that the U.S. policy spoke for both, then go from there. But don’t you think such an agreement would include having as many further prevented from coming in & reversing what has past as possible? You see, I’m introducing a whole new situation. Are you in favor of renegotiating the situation with Native Americans or not?

  31. Jeremy Young

    Tom @17, your list of Obama books is a bit off. The Audacity of Hope was released in October of 2006 — which is when I bought and read it. (That was when I realized I didn’t really like Obama.) Dreams From my Father was contracted when Obama had just won the editorship of the Harvard Law Review, way back in 1995. I don’t know about the other books, which were clearly campaign books and not written by Obama himself.

  32. Robert Milnes

    Mr. Semprini @16, “I’m new here…”
    Mr. Semprini @19, “I lurked here on IPR during the last Pres. campaign…”
    Contradictory?

  33. Robert Milnes

    Tom, I do support an immigration policy whose end state is as radical as yours. I’m just looking to get straight with Ntive Americans first. That’s all. Presently many have defined borders on reservations but no federation or enforcement & rely on U.S. immigration policy. How can they be sovereign?

  34. Robert Milnes

    Jeremy Young, do you think I might be correct in my Obama Hypothesis that Obama’s presidency is a result of liberal democrats realizing they could get a liberal in office if it were a certain type of black man & progressive vote manipulted to support him?

  35. Concerned Citizen

    Mr Semprini, do you remember the other great so-called troll of the 2008 presidential election, Catholic Trotskyist? It is rumored he will be returning soon.

    I am a strong supporter of PLAS. However, I also have very limited financial resources.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    “Are you in favor of renegotiating the situation with Native Americans or not?”

    Not in any way which further institutionalizes/empowers organized crime syndicates (“states”) and their illegitimate turf monopoly claims.

  37. SmashTheState

    I wasn’t a fan of Barr for Pres in ’08, but even if that was not the case, unpaid campaign debt is awful. Bovard has every right to sue if his contract was not fulfilled, I’d only hope that Barr settles the dispute without it reflecting on the LP as a whole.

    Not a good time for litigation over finances when the LP is trying to present policies regarding fiscal responsibility to a public who is mostly ignorant of the LP platform.

  38. Robert Milnes

    Tom @52, man, you are difficult! Are you advocating Native Americans be ordered to be anarchists, or stateless or resigned to their fate within the U.S. regardless or what? I don’t follow your logic.

  39. Jeremy Young

    Robert, no, I don’t agree with that. I think Hillary Clinton would have beaten McCain too, though the margin wouldn’t have been as big.

  40. paulie

    The complaint also says the draft wasn’t finished until six weeks before election day. This is yet another interesting consideration for the thorny question how early/late the LP nominating convention should fall in the election cycle.

    Good point.

    And, if the conventions continue to be as late as they are (for that matter, even if they are not) I will continue to be far more inclined to support candidates who announce their intent to seek, and actively campaign for, the nomination well ahead of time.

  41. paulie

    I certainly don’t begrudge Bovard’s efforts to recoup what he’s owed, but doing it publicly like this seems kinda creepy and inappropriate to me.

    Given how long it has been, it is neither creepy nor inappropriate.

    It may well be that the campaign simply does not have the money to fulfill its debts, and selling/renting the list is not bringing in anything to retire it. I haven’t studied how much or how little its other creditors have been paid in the last year or so.

    If that is the case, it may be appropriate for Mr. Barr to personally pay the people who contributed to his campaign, and himself become the campaign’s sole remaining creditor.

  42. paulie

    I wonder if there is any evidence that other Barr campaign debts have been paid off ahead of Bovard.

    Interesting question.

  43. Alexander S. Peak

    I like Mr. Knapp’s response at #36.

    Mr. Holtz writes, “This is yet another interesting consideration for the thorny question how early/late the LP nominating convention should fall in the election cycle.”

    I’m all in favour of moving the convention back to give our candidates more time. I wouldn’t even mind seeing the convention moved back to odd-numbered years rather than even-numbered years.

    Let’s face it, only C-SPAN will cover the LP nominating convention anyway. The boom that Republican and Democratic candidates receive resulting from their conventions simply isn’t open to LP candidates, so I fail to see exactly what we gain by having our conventions so close to the election. What we lose is obvious: valuable campaigning time.

    Would we find ourselves in general agreement with one another on this matter?

    Yours truly,
    Alex Peak

  44. Robert Milnes

    Jeremy Young, agreed, Billary would have beated McCain. But I’m referring to a long term plan by liberals to get a liberal in the White House. A liberal, not a blue dog, getting the nomination.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “Are you advocating Native Americans be ordered to be anarchists, or stateless or resigned to their fate within the U.S. regardless or what?”

    I’m not advocating that American Indians be “ordered” to do anything.

    “I suppose you do not support the 2 state solution for Palestine?”

    Being neither an Israeli nor a stateless Arab from the region, I don’t consider myself entitled to a say in how those two groups work out their differences.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 69,

    I don’t know who’s doing this “expecting,” but unless they can show me the contract I’ve signed to write to their expectations for hire, I’ll “put forth” whatever positions I damn well please.

  47. Robert D

    Does anyone else think this is pointless? It’s not that it has to have a point, but… my thought after not being at this site since the presidential elections and then coming back, and kind of randomly observing this thread…what a waste.

    I seriously doubt candidates who couldn’t even win the LP nomination, were actually going to do better in the general.

    And even if twice as many votes had been garnered how would we know that was a good result? It would have been judged a failure as well.

    I do think there is opportunity. Right now Republicans are busy with the same old/same old, claim Obama is a socialist, take up anti-Obama positions, even if most of Obama’s strategy is a continuation of Bush’s.

    We are taught that ridicule doesn’t work. Wrong. It does work, just not in the way we think. You’ll never change the opinion, of the person you are arguing with, friendly or mean, you can’t. But it works, with your intended audience, the casual reader.

    They take no insult from the display, after all, the ridicule wasn’t directed at them…and if you do a good job of ridiculing they take notice. It helps shape their opinion.

    They get the chance to come to that same realization about the futility of the whole “flip flop back to the party we just kicked out 2 years ago” logic….that we ourselves came to years ago. Stop thinking we are special, we aren’t. We came to a conclusion, not because we are smart, but because circumstances allowed it. Now….create those circumstances for other people…

    Barabasi’s network theory….read it next, forget Libertarian nonsense, learn how the world works, then use that knowledge to change it.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    RD, yes, I agree that circumstances allow person A to open his/her mind up to alternative ideas that person B may not be ready for. But I’d need to understand your view a bit better regarding “ridicule.”

    Ls have long used ridicule — I’d say often hyperbolic ridicule — to attack the ideas of others and (perhaps) to attract those prone to the ideas of liberty.

    I wonder whether an onlooker might view ridicule at repellant, however. Seeing the attacking going on, the onlooker may wonder whether the attacker might turn on him/her next.

    Ridicule seems a better strategy for rallying the troops, to demonize the opposition, for ex. For Ls, however, we are so small in number that we remain ineffectual.

    I prefer to challenge the authority of an advocate of Position X with questions that unravel their view. When the onlooker sees how weak the X Advocate’s position is, my hope is the onlooker will look more deeply at the Advocate’s entire thought system.

  49. David F. Nolan

    For what it’s worth, there is no clear correlation between the time the LP holds its nominating convention and the % of votes our national ticket receives in the general election. If anything, the four candidates we’ve run since going to a same-year nominating convention (Browne, Browne, Badnarik, Barr) have done slightly better, on average, than the three prior candidates (Bergland, Ron Paul, Marrou). The numbers are all too low to make a meaningful comparision, however. Other factors almost certainly played a greater role in shaping the results.

  50. Bruce Cohen

    Note: The Barr Campaign owed Mister Root a lot of money well after the election was over. I don’t know if they have completely cleared it yet, either. Mister Root was never involved with the Barr campaign’s financial decisions, or any other that I am aware of.

  51. Robert Capozzi

    dfn, Clark was the highest of all, and his was a prior year nominating convention.

    Moving the convention back doesn’t necessarily mean to 2011, just an earlier month.

  52. David F. Nolan

    Robert@75 – True, but the Clark campaign was an anomaly; his running mate put up roughly 2/3 of the $3.5 million that the campaign spent. If you include Clark, why not Hospers and MacBride? My point was that there’s no strong evidence to indicate that an earlier convention would produce better results.

    Historically, we’ve always aimed for a date when lots of people can participate. Presidents’ Day Weekend could work, but that would push state conventions back into the prior year. I’m not pushing for any particular date – just noting that earlier conventions have not yielded higher vote totals per se.

  53. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    I support Labor Day weekend of the year before the election.

    Earlier nomination is not a silver bullet, but it does give the candidate more time to raise funds as the nominee, more time to advertise as the nominee, more time to run ads as the nominee, etc.

  54. Michael H. Wilson

    I’ll second Mr. Knapp’s comment and vote for Labor Day weekend.

    One more vote and we got a movement. 😉

  55. David F. Nolan

    Labor Day Weekend of the year before the election offers the pluses that Tom lists above @77 but means that prospective candidates must start their quest for the nomination almost two years before the election. This reduces our chances of landing a “big name” candidate, who might emerge during the Spring primary season and decide to jump to the LP if he fares poorly there. It also makes for a long and grueling schedule for prospective Libertarian nominees.

    Every option (Labor Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day) has its advantages and disadvantages. I’m not staunchly in favor of, or opposed to, any of them.

  56. clay

    Totally off topic, but, Does anyone know when a candidate has to turn 35 to legally become president? Before the general election, or before the electors meet?

  57. George Phillies

    I have been speaking to real party members, especially getting feedback from people not attending. Three day weekends are seen as being the wrong dates: Not much better than other weekends, and causing all sorts of family events timing issues.

  58. Erik G.

    As much as I agree that choosing early partially limits the party’s ability to land a ‘big-name’ ticket, I also think there are few ‘big names’ worth nominating.

    Until we reach a point where there are more mainstream Republicans, I certainly would love to see an earlier convention date. We’d have no more name/paperwork snafus (like MA in ’08), we could potentially fundraise earlier, we could be putting out responses to DNC/GOP primary debates, and we’d have much more time to tour and canvass the country.

    When there are more mainstream libs, however, we could/should hold it in late spring or early summer. Just imagine if we had a lib or two picking up momentum and exposure all through the primaries? Few candidates could ever muster the attention Ron Paul did without a ton of money or support. And this could be argued well before Ron himself had money/support – just look at his explosion of exposure after he called Giuliani out in Columbia, SC (where I was living at the time, I’ll proudly say).

  59. JT

    David: “This reduces our chances of landing a “big name” candidate, who might emerge during the Spring primary season and decide to jump to the LP if he fares poorly there.”

    I respect you and agree with most of what you say. However, the LP isn’t going to land a “big name” candidate who emerges during the Spring primary season anymore than it’s going to get a major celebrity to be its presidential nominee. None of them would be remotely interested in running for president with the relatively meager resources the LP can offer. And what candidate who initially runs for another party’s presidential nomination would possibly agree with all or almost all of the LP platform? Even Ron Paul, the lone exception whom the LNC practically begged to seek its presidential nomination, has repeatedly said “no thanks.” It’s not a realistic option.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, an earlier convention makes it harder to get a “big name.”

    On the other hand, it’s not like big names have exactly been pounding on the door for Memorial Day/July 4th conventions, is it?

    Having earlier conventions would give us the opportunity to shoot for bigger vote totals if our candidates/campaigns used the extra time wisely.

    If we can push up into the 5%+ range — real votes on election day, not polls three months out — on a regular basis, then we become a factor.

    If we become a factor, then we will get more media coverage and our nomination process will be noticed by the public and produce some suspense (“will they nominate someone who hurts the Ds, or someone who hurts the Rs” and such).

    If we get more media coverage and there’s more suspense and excitement about whom we might nominate, then “big names” will be more likely to think of us as a campaign vehicle worth driving.

    And the fact that we had our convention on Labor Day of the year before last time will in no way prevent us from moving it up to Memorial Day of election year next time, if it seems like that makes sense.

    I don’t think that the later convention has cost us a presidential election, or that an earlier convention will magically put us into contention. I just think it’s a good idea based on the party’s current situation.

  61. Jim Davidson

    Barr Barr black sheep have you any dough?
    No Jim, no Jim not for any ghost.
    None for Jim Bovard,
    None for his book.
    None for the Okie who helped his campaign.

    Wasn’t there some scandal about the Barr campaign also owing thousands of dollars to the chair lady of the Oklahoma LP? I seem to recall.

  62. Robert Capozzi

    gp 78, if the LP wants to be taken seriously, planning nominating conventions around “weather trouble” seems a weak argument. If it were held in March, for ex., that’s more in line with peaking political interest. May is generally a lull period, as the Rs and Ds have usu. picked their candidates by then.

    More importantly, 2 extra months would add 50% more time to gearing up our candidate’s campaign. Trade that off against the possibility that, say, the MI delegation arrives late, and I’d say that’s a risk worth taking, all due respect to MIans.

  63. AroundtheblockAFT

    I vote for a presidential nomination convention to be held appx. 12 months before the election.
    When you have several candidates for the nomination, the eventual winner needs time to visit the state parties, build a coherent campaign structure, amass a war chest, etc. Given the party’s resources, lingering disappointment with the choice from a large minority of delegates, and summer sombulence, it makes no sense for Memorial Day conventions when a candidate has to launch his or her campaign shortly thereafter.

  64. Erik G.

    *mainstream Libertarians.

    It should say mainstream Libertarians at 84. No clue how that happened.

  65. David F. Nolan

    I have no axe to grind as far as when we hold our nominating conventions. I only want to caution anyone who thinks that changing the convention date will magically improve our results. Let’s face it, the LP is not even remotely competitive in Presidential elections. Our candidate is a spokesman for the party and a cheerleader for other LP candidates on the ballot around the country – nothing more. We’ve had nominating conventions as early as August of the year before the election, and as late as July of election year. It does not seem to materially affect the results.

  66. Oh come on .......... Lake

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    FERRELL AND ROSS TURNED AWAY AT CSU GRADUATION

    COLUMBUS, GA. It seems as though wearing a campaign t-shirt and name tag are were not allowed Monday night at Columbus State University’s graduation. The event was the annual graduation of CSU students at the Columbus Civic Center in Columbus. The person giving the keynote address that night was Congressman Sanford Bishop. Many students were opposed to Congressman Bishop coming to their graduation during an election year but CSU had to have their man. Among the ones that came were Lee Ferrell and Adam Ross who were asked by a student to attend their graduation. Lee Ferrell is a candidate who has qualified to run against Congressman Bishop in the fall. Ferrell and Ross asked the CSU police officers if it was okay to pass out a few cards and shake some hands in the Civic Center lobby in support of Lee Ferrell. The officers were polite and ensured Ferrell that the Civic Center was not a public building and that they were able to meet people. Ferrell and Ross introduced themselves to the people in the lobby and met with graduates who were graduating. Thirty minutes later the officers came back to Ferrell and said that they could not pass out cards anymore but could still meet people and give them a card if they asked for it. Ferrell and Ross continued by what the officers said. Five minutes later the officers came back yet again and told Ferrell and Ross that they could not wear their “Lee Ferrell for Congress” t-shirt or name badge in the building. The officers said that there was now no campaigning in the civic center because it was a government building. Ferrell and Ross questioned what the rules were that the officers were saying in a polite manner. Ferrell said later that “I am a former police officer. They were saying in the nicest way that they really did not want us there.” It seems as though Congressman Bishop had his opportunity to speak to hundreds of people that night but Lee Ferrell and Adam Ross could not introduce themselves to a few people. Ross was quoted by saying “I felt like my free speech rights were taken away.” Rather than risk an arrest Ferrell and Ross left soon after the graduation started.

    Adam Ross, Campaign Manager
    Lee Ferrell For Congress
    adam@leerferrell.com
    229-457-0756
    http://leerferrell.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *