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Brian Holtz: ‘Hancock on the virtue of extremism in freedom outreach’

Posted by Brian Holtz at Libertarian Intelligence, and combined with another post there. Reproduced here for the purpose of discussion. Although Brian also writes for IPR, IPR as a blog/website takes no position on LNC races, 9/11 truth, etc. And while I (Paulie) do take positions on all of the above, they often differ from Brian’s.

I’ve been releasing a  a series of reports trying to answer 10 questions posted on IPR for Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock.  In researching those reports, I’ve discovered material that I hadn’t yet found when I composed those questions. This new material invites delegates to consider Hancock’s judgment in what he thinks constitutes good outreach for the freedom movement.

The article [appended to] this one examined Hancock’s endorsement of the character of Pastor Steven Anderson.  In his church (where he says “only men speak”), Anderson preaches that God should strike down President Obama for (among other sins) promoting a “sodomite” agenda.  Hancock embraces Anderson for resisting an unjustified search of his vehicle at a highway checkpoint.

The next video focuses on some guns-rights street theater that Hancock cleverly staged on Aug. 17 outside an Obama town hall meeting in Phoenix. In an Aug. 18 interview about it on CNN, Hancock without prompting brought up his involvement in the “Viper Militia” case of 1996. On Aug. 19, MSNBC aired a story about Hancock and the Viper Militia, which below is interleaved with various Hancock comments about revolutionary violence and the importance of being “at least a little uncomfortable” with how radical your positions are:

Note that Hancock’s AR-15-toting friend Chris later went on the Alex Jones radio show to say that he “proudly” attends Pastor Anderson’s church, which he calls “the best church in the world”.

Hancock himself is a big fan of the Alex Jones DVD Obama Deception, of which he has distributed tens of thousands of free copies as part of his outreach work. For anyone who hasn’t seen the whole thing, the following seven minutes might be the parts that make Libertarians “a least a little uncomfortable”:

My question is simple: if Hancock is elected Chair, will Pastor Anderson and the Viper Militia and Obama Deception‘s conspiracy theories become part of the LP’s outreach strategy?

LNC Chair candidate Hancock endorsed character of death-to-Obama preacher

The video below interleaves excerpts from 1) Hancock video and radio shows about Pastor Steven Anderson and 2) a YouTube exposé about Anderson. It asks you to consider Hancock’s judgment in what he thinks constitutes good outreach opportunities for freedom-oriented activism.

Update: below are comments I sent to a writer at IPR who considers the above video not to be fair.

My question is simple: with Hancock as Chair, is there a chance that Pastor Anderson is going to show up on as a poster child for Fourth Amendment rights?

IPR reporters need to ask themselves: is this not a legitimate and fair question to ask in the Chair race?
If the LP were the ACLU, I would of course say that the LP/ACLU should defend Anderson in court.  That’s hardly the same thing as saying that this is the case around which the LP should build its public Fourth Amendment advocacy — as Hancock demonstrably does.

Hancock has at least twice run 10-minute video/radio pieces promoting Anderson as a Fourth Amendment poster child, without a single word describing why Anderson is controversial — even as he says he gave his audience “a little bit of the background of the type of person” Anderson is.

My video forthrightly quotes Hancock’s summary of why Anderson is his Fourth Amendment poster child, and then tells you the things about Anderson that Hancock apparently doesn’t want you to know.

My video is not reporting, it’s advocacy. That’s why I posted it on my blog, and not as an IPR news article. Before delegates give Hancock the authority to put Anderson on as a Fourth Amendment poster child, I think they deserve to know the whole story about Anderson. IPR will have to decide if they disagree.

If IPR reports on my advocacy, it is of course free to fill in any context that they think is missing from my blog article.

If you don’t think the delegates and IPR readers should know about both 1) Hancock’s promotion of Anderson’s story and 2) Anderson’s controversial background, then I guess we just disagree.

If you do agree they should know about it, then I’m agnostic about how that information reaches them.

One way to provide context would be to also include the entire Hancock interview of Anderson (at, and show how Hancock spends 10 minutes talking about Anderson’s “character” without mentioning the elephant in the room.


  1. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry May 15, 2010

    “The Hancock wing of the party has threatened to walk out if Root is elected chairman.”

    The Boston Tea Party will welcome the “Hancock Wing of the LP” with open arms if they agree with the one 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.”

  2. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp May 15, 2010


    I wasn’t doubting your claim. I was just interested in the specifics. Thanks.

    Tom Knapp

  3. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson May 15, 2010

    If this idea depends on any one person then we are up shits creek without a paddle.

    The Roots and the Hancocks will come and go as will the rest of us. The battle for liberty will continue.

  4. Don Wills Don Wills May 15, 2010

    Thomas K. questions my statement “The Hancock wing of the party has threatened to walk out if Root is elected chairman.”

    I was told that in person. (It’s amazing how the old fashioned methods of communication actually still work in the age of Twitter and a bazillion blogs!) If you don’t believe me, ask some of Ernie’s more strident supporters.

  5. LP is in transition? LP is in transition? May 14, 2010

    Hancock will be the media nightmare we don’t need.
    Phillies– oh my goodness that is creepy

    So that leaves milktoast Hinkle, JJ who is not ready for prime time, and WAR.

    Anyone else running.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp May 14, 2010

    “The Hancock wing of the party has threatened to walk out if Root is elected chairman.”

    Really? When and where?

  7. paulie paulie May 14, 2010

    By saying I agree with Wills, I meant that I would rank Hinkle and Myers ahead of Root and Hancock. I don’t agree with the alarmism, though.

    Chances are that, even if the worst fears about Root or Hancock were borne out, the rest of the LNC would find ways to work around the chair and – if absolutely necessary, I think there is a process of removal for cause.

  8. Brian Holtz Brian Holtz May 14, 2010

    If the LP (or its brand) could be destroyed by a Hancock or a Root (or a Ruwart or a Barr), then it wouldn’t be worth defending in the first place. I’m skeptical of Chair candidates who claim that the wrong choice of Chair will put the LP at existential risk. I’m more sympathetic to arguments that the wrong choice could cause enormous opportunity cost at the time of Ron Paul and the Tea Parties.

    What will we think when we look back in twenty years at the LP’s choices in 2010? Will we say 2010 was the time we should have played defense around a flickering LP candle? Or will we say that 2010 was the time we should have boldly taken Lady Liberty’s unquenchable torch and set fire to as many hearts as would listen to us?

  9. paulie paulie May 14, 2010

    Surprisingly, I largely agree with Wills’ conclusion, if not the (IMO overdramatized) way he reaches it.

    My preference at this time is Hinkle first, Myers second.

  10. Don Wills Don Wills May 14, 2010

    CNN and MSNBC will crucify the LP if Hancock is elected chairman. And not just about these videos. The LP will be identified with Truthers, with the motto “Still Voting”, and with all manner of Hancock’s anarchism-preaching audio and video.

    The Hancock wing of the party has threatened to walk out if Root is elected chairman.

    The election of either Hancock or Root will destroy the party.

    Delegates – If you care about the future of the LP, you need to put Hinkle, Myers and Phillies, in whatever order you prefer, above Root and Hancock on your ballots. If the final two is Root vs. Hancock, you might as well pack your bags and go home, ’cause the fat lady will be singin’.

  11. paulie paulie May 14, 2010

    @5 I’m guessing Brian may have meant 2008?

  12. David F. Nolan David F. Nolan May 14, 2010

    “2010 Senate 2.6%” – how so? The 2010 elections have not yet occurred. And as the most-likely LP candidate for U.S. Senate in AZ this year, I hope to do better than 2.6% – hopefully as much as 5%.

  13. Brian Holtz Brian Holtz May 14, 2010

    Whoops, the first video was still marked private. Fixed.

  14. paulie paulie May 14, 2010

    First video is not playing here, the other two are. Same for others?

  15. Vaughn Vaughn May 14, 2010

    I’m sure there is a better little old lady who was searched unnecessarily out there.

  16. Brian Holtz Brian Holtz May 14, 2010

    These are the last of the significant revelations I’ve culled from the small fraction of Hancock’s media archives that I’ve reviewed. I’m letting Hancock slide on tidbits like his March 2003 prediction that Iraqis would be better off due to the U.S. invasion, or his agnosticism about creationism, or his claim that he averages 8% in Arizona elections. (2010 Senate 2.6%, 2006 Sec State 3.5%, 2004 Senate 3%, 2000 Congress 3%, 1998 Congress 2%, 1996 state rep 4.7%) If there are any more skeletons in Hancock’s closet, somebody else is going to have to find them. I trust that the information we already have will be sufficient for delegates to evaluate Hancock’s candidacy.

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