Libertarian National Congressional Committee Announces Contributions to LP Candidates Nationally

Libertarian National Congressional Committee Announces Contributions to Libertarian Party Candidates Across the Nation

Las Vegas, NV– October 5, 2010– Wayne Allyn Root, Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC), announced today that the LNCC has decided to financially support thirteen deserving Libertarian candidates across the USA. Funding for these candidates was released by the LNCC today.

Root said, “When I originally became chairman of the LNCC three months ago, I recognized that we are truly a start-up. As an entrepreneur, I’ve been involved with founding and running numerous start-ups in the business world. The key is building a foundation. We have begun that with four recent announcements of new Board members. All of those Board members are CEO types who are well equipped to build a successful start-up. More announcements about Board additions and fundraising are on the way. All of this is building towards turning “America’s Third Party” into a political force to be reckoned with for the 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections.

Root continued, “However, we’ve had more initial success fundraising than even I had imagined- including two recent contributions to the LNCC from large PACs. Even though our funds are aimed at building a world-class organization and political fundraising operation for the next election, our Board has made the decision to contribute now to a number of serious and promising Libertarian candidates running for office in races across the country in 2010.”

Root said of the campaign funding, “I am so thankful to the LNCC Board for helping analyze races across the country and choosing a number of Libertarian candidates running serious campaigns. I want to give special kudos to Aaron Starr and Phil Gordon for providing valuable research, analysis of races, and interviewing candidates to determine our final selections. A variety of criteria were used, including the candidate’s ability to campaign full-time, success at raising money, and whether the candidate is offering pragmatic, common sense, Libertarian economic solutions that appeal to mainstream voters. This list being announced today is just a small start and a promising vision of what is to come in 2012 and beyond.”

The LNCC this week is sending funds to the following campaigns and encourages friends of liberty everywhere to support these candidates by making online contributions:

Candidate: Edward Gonzalez
Office: US House of Representatives, California District 16
Edward Gonzalez for Congress
1305 Milton Way
San Jose, CA 95125
www.edwardmgonzalez.com

Candidate: Steve Kubby
Office: South Lake Tahoe City Council
Steve Kubby for South Lake Tahoe City Council 2010
PO Box 13591
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-3591
www.kubby4citycouncil.com

Candidate: Norm Westwell
Office: Huntington Beach City Council
Norm Westwell for Huntington Beach City Council
17171 Englewood Circle
Huntington Beach, CA 92647-5502
http://www.normwestwell4hbcc.com/

Candidate: Rex Bell
Office: Indiana State Representative District 54
Friends of Rex Bell
17059 State Road 38
Hagerstown, IN 47346
www.electrexbell.com

Candidate: Richard Andrew Reid
Office: US House of Representatives, Indiana District 5
Chard Reid for Congress
7221 Hague Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46256
www.chardreid.com

Candidate: Brendan Kelly
Office: New Hampshire State House in Rockingham District 14
Friends of Brendan Kelly
P.O. Box# 631
Seabrook, NH 03874-0631
www.brendankellylpnh.com

Candidate: Jacob Dawson
Office: Ohio State Representative District 86
Jacob Dawson for Ohio
599 Cross Creek Circle
Wilmington, OH 45177
www.dawson4you.com

Candidate: Charlie Earl
Office: Ohio Secretary of State
Earl for Ohio Secretary of State
10232 Middleton Pike
Bowling Green, OH 43402
www.earlforohio.com

Candidate: Bill Yarbrough
Office: Ohio State Senator District 3
Yarbrough for Ohio
6300 Hilltop Trail Dr
New Albany, OH 43054
www.yarbroughforohio.com

Candidate: Tim Mullen
Office: Pennsylvania State Senate
Vote Mullen
193 Riverside Drive
Factoryville, PA 18419
www.votemullen.com

Candidate: Heather Scott
Office: Tennessee State Representative District #57
Heather Scott for State Representative
P. O. Box 314
Mt. Juliet, TN 37121-0314
www.electheatherscott.com

Candidate: Jim Prindle
Office: US Congress, Texas District 4
Prindle for Congress
1312 Sherman Ct
Allen, TX 75013
www.prindleforcongress.com

Candidate: Stuart Bain
Office: US Congress, Virginia District 6
Bain for Congress
PO Box 4533
Roanoke, VA 24015
www.bainforcongress.org

Root commenting on the LNCC’s future: “I am so proud that we are actually ahead of schedule in our game plan and vision for becoming a credible, winnable third party threat to both Democrats and Republicans. We are currently busy building a powerful LNCC Board of Directors with special skills for fundraising, advertising and marketing, and designing a web site that will provide Libertarian candidates in 2012 with state of the art online fundraising capability. This is not your father’s Libertarian Party. I believe we will soon be electing Libertarian candidates to major office. My advice to Republicans and Democrats is to get ready for a serious third party challenge.”

274 thoughts on “Libertarian National Congressional Committee Announces Contributions to LP Candidates Nationally

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Kudos to Wayne for energizing a committee that hadn’t previously done much in the way of either fundraising of candidate support.

    I haven’t been following most races closely this year, but if all the candidates on this list are of the caliber of Steve Kubby (running a strong city council campaign and likely to win it), Rex Bell (has previously polled 20%+ for state legislature in Indiana) and Heather Scott (a multi-term elected county commissioner in Tennessee), it looks like LNCC is serious about building a viable third party “candidate bullpen” that will eventually seriously contest congressional elections.

  2. Mike Kole

    I agree. Great to see this kind of support coming from national, and great choices. I’m especially proud of the selections of Rex Bell and Chard Reid.

    I am County Chair in one of the main counties in the 5th District where Reid is running. He is incredibly solid on economic issues. I’ve been extremely pleased by his campaign, and this boost will only help him in a gerrymandered Republican district, where many voters are unimpressed with/tired of the incumbent.

  3. Daniel Surman

    Where is John Jay Myers on this list? He seems to be running a really agressive campaign in Dallas. Although it is interesting that Myers is a former rival and critic of Root from the LNC Chairman race.

    Nevertheless, this seems like a good effort on the part of the LNCC.

  4. Steve

    It’s great to see Root doing some good work for the party, and great to see we have candidates of this caliber. I’m just curious who those 2 large PACs are that are contributing to the LP. That may be the bigger story if the “smart money” in politics is coming to us instead of buying seats at the table with R’s and D’s.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    NewFederalist,

    You write: “Do we have any idea about the sums of money involved?”

    Unofficially — I have the figure at third hand, not from LNCC itself but through two degrees of separation — I’ve heard that the Kubby campaign will be receiving $500. That’s a sizable chunk of change for a city council campaign and will make a real difference.

  6. Hmmm ...

    The LNCC had announced earlier that they would not be making any contributions until 2012 or 2014. What spurred them to make this sudden late entry into the 2010 campaign?

  7. Steven wilson

    Kelly and Scott are running for re-election. I am waiting to see how real the results will be, but getting people newly elected with this kind of environment would be a powerful message.

    I don’t know if any of these people would be identified as long shots. Is the LNCC playing favorites, in helping their campaigns now, what will Root get later?

    Missouri has some great running. Rick Vandeven to name one. He could use some money, and I am sure a lot of you could name at least on candidate you think has a chance.

    Play the games you know you can win. If it looks elephant…

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steven,

    You write:

    “Is the LNCC playing favorites, in helping their campaigns now, what will Root get later?”

    That’s a fair question.

    Of the 13 candidates, five are from two states (Indiana and Ohio) which were in the tank for Root for chair at the LP’s national convention, and another three are from California where Root has enjoyed significant base of support.

    It may be that that’s just how things fell out in terms of “viability analysis.”

    Or it might be that Root is rewarding his friends, shoring support for allies like, e.g. Kevin Knedler in Ohio by giving them something they can take partial credit for (so that they can remain in key positions and keep their states in the tank for him two years from now if he seeks the presidential nomination), etc.

    I don’t see why it can’t be both, or why the latter should necessarily overshadow the former in terms of credit.

    Rex Bell is a viable candidate and would be whether Indiana had supported Root for chair or not.

    While I don’t have vote tallies in front of me, I don’t recall that the Tennessee LP went for Root in St. Louis (they tend to the radical end of the spectrum), yet Heather Scott got an infusion of money.

    I don’t recall whether or not Kubby in California made a public endorsement for chair in 2010, but I know I would recall it if he had come out big for Root. He didn’t, but he’s running a viable campaign and he’s getting help.

    So, while there may be some bias there, I prefer to see the glass half full rather than half empty.

  9. Jill Pyeatt

    I also see this as a positive development, although I think the ommission of David Nolan, as well as Mr. Myers, is a bit telling.

    However, Tom says “if” Root seeks the presidential nomination…I would be very surprised if he doesn’t.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill,

    If Root is the devil, I’ll continue to play devil’s advocate here.

    No, Nolan isn’t on the contribution list … and neither are any other candidates for US Senate.

    As far as the US House races are concerned, the LNCC seems to be supporting one overt (Gonzalez) and two stealth (Prindle and Bain) Republicans, not Libertarians. That’s certainly an issue that LP members might want to bring up vis a vis the LNC’s recognition of LNCC as an LP entity.

    I have to give you Gonzalez — he’s a Republican candidate, albeit one claiming to have been endorsed (contra the national bylaws requirements) by the California LP.

  11. George Phillies

    @10

    “Kelly is running for re-election…”

    NOT!

    He’s a nice guy, but in 2008 he lost. He did less well than NHLP State Rep candidate Lisa Wilber, who is also running for State Rep. He is a Selectman. Neither of them won, but Lisa on percentage was closer. However, Brendan supported Root at National.
    You can see links to all the NH candidates at
    http://LibertyForAmerica/NHFundraising.htm

    Due to candidate and State Law quirks, Liberty for America is your only path to supporting financially the Blevins campaign, the Federal campaign for 2012 major party access for NH.

    In an NH district, a bunch of people are elected as State Reps from the same district. Here are the 2008 vote totals for the two districts:

    Candidates Votes
    Randolph Holden (R) 5,924
    Neal Kurk (R) 5,868
    Lawrence Emerton (R) 5,711
    Gary Hopper (R) 5,478
    Russell Day (R) 5,272
    John Hikel (R) 5,263
    Kevin Hodges (D) 5,040
    ————————–The above were elected
    The below were not elected:
    Calvin Pratt (R) 4,914
    David Martin (R) 4,836
    Katelyn Karens (D) 4,727
    Stephen Brozowski (D) 4,351
    Becky McMennamin (D) 4,231
    Leigh Douglass (D) 3,981
    Derek Winsor (D) 3,829
    Benjamin Hampton (D) 3,527
    George McMennamin (D) 3,516
    Lisa Wilber (L) 2,242 <—————–

    New Hampshire House of Representatives, Rockingham District 14
    Candidates Votes
    Amy Perkins (R) 3,005
    Lawrence Perkins (R) 2,985
    Albert Weare (R) 2,874
    Mark Preston (D) 2,833
    ——————–The above were elected.
    The below were not elected:
    Morris (R) 2,670
    Thrbodeau (D) 2,626
    Webber (D) 2,327
    Kelly (L) 721 <———————

  12. George Phillies

    @13

    This year, there are only four places where ballot races can improve ballot access, namely New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, and Iowa. To give to a non-Federal candidate in NH, as a PAC, you must be a state-filing organization (LfA is not). I do not know the issues in other states. LfA is targeting NH as the one place where we might make a difference, and can make that difference by supporting the three Federal candidates with “Vote Libertarian” and “Blevens for Senator” ads.

  13. Daniel Surman

    @14, as far as Gonzalez is concerned he did not win the Republican nomination in his race. In addition, he did not decide to seek the Republican nomination until a good time after he had already been running as a Libertarian, when it was apparent the local Republican outfit was not running a candidate in the race.

    When the local Republicans got wind of Gonzalez seeking to use California’s complex fusion laws to win their nomination, they put up their own write-in candidate and bested Gonzalez if I recall.

  14. Gene Berkman

    TK @ 14 – Politics1.com lists Edward Gonzalez as a Libertarian, with no Republican opposing incumbent Dem. Zoe Lofgren.

    Mr Gonzalez wants to close foreign military bases, and describes himself as social liberal and fiscal conservative. I can find no references to a party affiliation on his website – which is common in California politics.

    What evidence do you have that Ed Gonzalez is a Republican?

  15. Gene Berkman

    GP @ 16 – there is one state at least where The Libertarian Party could have kept ballot status, if it ran any candidates for state-wide office.

    Do you know what is happening with the Libertarians in Massachusetts, that they failed to put up a candidate?

  16. Gene Berkman

    Tim Mullen’s website lists him as a candidate for Pennsylvania State Representative, dist. 120. The list in this IPR article claims he is a candidate for State Senate.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m also curious about Gonzalez, Tom. I’m in CA, and this is the first time I’ve heard him called “Republican”.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the update — it appears you are correct. The initial search results I was able to pull up seemed to indicate that Gonzalez had secured the GOP nomination, but it looks like Daniel Sahagun is the GOP candidate.

    So, all three congressional candidates being supported by the LNCC are at least nominally partisan Libertarians.

    Two of them (Gonzalez and Prindle) are in three-way races which they are extraordinarily unlikely to influence the outcome of in any big way.

    Stuart Bain in Virginia is also in a three-way race, but one of his two opponents isn’t a major party candidate (Modern Whig Jeff Vanke).

    My guess is that Bain has a good chance of pulling off a respectable vote total — which would be really cool for the LP, if he was running as a libertarian instead of as “a fiscal conservative and supporter of the FairTax Plan.”

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill,

    Apparently “libertarian” Republicans are getting good at gaming search engine results. The first page or two of results I pulled up for Gonzalez all described him as a Republican.

  20. Marc Montoni

    Hmmm … said:

    The LNCC had announced earlier that they would not be making any contributions until 2012 or 2014. What spurred them to make this sudden late entry into the 2010 campaign?

    Maybe the abyss of irrelevance began to stare the LNCC leadership in the face?

    A couple of weeks ago, Nick Youngers announced the ‘Libertarian Donors Club’:

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/09/nick-youngers-libertarian-donors-club/

    Anyone reading that who knew anything about the history of the LNCC would understand that the Club would have made the LNCC even more irrelevant than it has historically been since it was formed. If this committee has done anything, it certainly has not publicized it. The only past action I personally know of was an LNCC contribution to Morey Straus’ campaign for the NH state legislature — two years ago, in 2008. If there has been much activity since then, it hasn’t been apparent. After the 2010 convention, of course, failed LNC Chair candidate Root was quickly promoted to LNCC instead; and since then there has been a fairly constant stream of LNCC announcements — often about Root accomplices being brought onto the board.

    The sequence and timing of events strongly suggests that LNCC chairman Root realized that the Libertarian Donors Club would have stolen LNCC thunder, so something had to be done, and fast.

    I’m not particularly fond of manipulation. Appointing Root as LNCC chairman is a manipulative act designed to put him in in first place for the 2012 presidential nomination. The LNCC’s flip-flop about not donating to any campaigns until 2012/2014, and then deciding to do so two weeks or so after the announcement of the Libertarian Donors Club, is just one more manipulative act in a long line of them.

    Given that the LNCC has until now been somewhat inactive, I see having some competition in the form of the Libertarian Donors Club has already had the effect of improving the Libertarian candidate-support industry.

    So be it.

    Disclaimer: I served on the LNCC Board the first year it was formed.

  21. Aaron Starr

    Marc @ 26

    That makes no sense and such thinking is foreign to our approach.

    There is a reason why Nick Youngers promotes the LNCC in his writing.

    It’s because we are working with him.

    I had a conversation with Nick Youngers several weeks ago, when I encouraged him to go forward with his idea of a Libertarian Donors Club and put him in touch with a couple of major LNCC donors, George Whitfield being one.

    We’ve also suggested some worthwhile candidates for him, including Warren Redlich, based on Nick’s desire to focus on some candidates who can help the party achieve ballot access.

    The LNCC is in favor of there being many groups and PACs raising money for Libertarian candidates, just as there are for the older political parties.

    If we didn’t want Nick to do well, we wouldn’t be working with him.

    As far as Wayne Root being chair, we made him chair because he’s willing to work his tail off for us. We are quite happy with that decision.

    Aaron Starr
    Treasurer
    Libertarian National Congressional Committee

  22. Steven wilson

    In my opinion, the LNCC should be a fundraising guild. The placement of the money should be up to Mark Hinkle and the state chair of that given state. I don’t see what you people are looking at. Rutherford is from where? Who ran with Root?

    I’m not trying to be difficult, but you can’t be that stupid. Your instincts should tell you something here.

    I don’t see anyone on that list that is open about anarchy or the nightwatchman. Steve Kubby has earned respect for being open and clear. I can’t think of one instance where he was “do as I say and not as I do”.

    Just raise money and let someone else spend it. Mark Hinkle is absentee. I don’t know if there is one, but If not, there needs to be a check on the LNCC. The presidential and chair vote 2012 will be make believe.

  23. Marc Montoni

    But back to the candidates on LNCC’s list. Root said:

    A variety of criteria were used, including the candidate’s ability to campaign full-time, success at raising money, and whether the candidate is offering pragmatic, common sense, Libertarian economic solutions that appeal to mainstream voters.

    There must be some other criteria that are heavily weighted as well, because I know several of these candidates and they are not campaigning full-time and several of them have had very anemic fundraising plans and thus have raised little on their own. Each of them *could* be raising rather substantial funds of their own; they just haven’t done it.

    I also note with interest the phrase “pragmatic, common sense, Libertarian economic solutions that appeal to mainstream voters”. Nothing in there about personal liberties ‘solutions’ (perhaps repealing Drug Prohibition, or ending all government interference in the marriage market, etc).

    But for me, the main issue I see is that out of the entire list of 13 LNCC targeted candidates, at least 7 (possibly 11) of the 13 support new sales taxes or other taxes:

    Y – Edward Gonzalez
    http://www.edwardmgonzalez.com/the-tax-system
    http://www.edwardmgonzalez.com/immigration

    ? – Steve Kubby

    ? – Norm Westwell
    [Don’t know — his website is offline.]

    Y – Rex Bell
    http://electrexbell.com/?p=497

    Y – Richard Andrew Reid
    http://www.chardreid.com/issues.php

    ? – Brendan Kelly

    ? – Jacob Dawson

    Y – Charlie Earl
    [Office doesn’t decide any tax policy; however, he is a supporter of a new national sales tax.]
    http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=137356399621862&id=346872562531

    Y? – Bill Yarbrough
    [NOTE: Actually speaks against repealing the OH state income tax.]
    http://www.yarbroughforohio.com/default.aspx

    Y – Tim Mullen
    http://www.votemullen.com/issues.html

    N – Heather Scott
    http://www.electheatherscott.com/on-the-issues/fiscal-responsibility

    M – Jim Prindle
    [NOTE: Doesn’t actually state what his tax policy goals are. However, he suggests he could support increased funding of government government schools.]
    http://www.prindleforcongress.com/sites/prindleforcongress.netboots.net/files/Texarcana_Gazette_Survey_PRINDLE.pdf

    Y – Stuart Bain
    http://bainforcongress.org/platform/

    —————————————–

    What I earn doesn’t come falling from the sky into my pocket. I have to work hard for it. Does it make sense for me to bust my hump making a buck, only to have it used to promote new taxes?

    Not to me.

    Heather Scott is the only candidate on LNCC’s list who openly states her opposition to a state INCOME TAX and REDUCING SPENDING rather than raising new taxes. Not only that but she actually has a proven history of fighting against the state income tax.

    Fitting a lighter boot on my neck doesn’t interest me so much as abolition of the boot does. Slavery, even “kinder, gentler” slavery, is still an abomination; and taxation is slavery. Either that, or it is theft, and theft is just as wrong as slavery, even if the robber wears a suit, smiles, and shakes your hand as he leaves with the fruits of your labor.

    I’ve made my position known long before this. Libertarians are certainly free to endorse taxes if they want, but I am also free to support the message with which I am most comfortable. If you want to call me “purity police” then do so, that will be your warped interpretation of this statement. The bottom line is it’s my money and I will choose the message I will support with that money.

    I intend to research all of these candidates further, including Heather.

    I encourage all Libertarians to do likewise.

  24. Marc Montoni

    I will admit to some concern at the appearance/condition of the web sites of several of the LNCC’s candidates. If these candidates are to be targeted for contributions, each should have a first-class sites that stands out as exceptional, compared to the other 800 LP candidates running this year.

    Of the LNCC 13, Heather Scott and Stuart Bain have the best-looking sites; Mullen has a fairly information-rich site although it doesn’t look quite as good as Heather’s or Stuart’s.

    The fact that the web site of one of the LNCC-listed candidate’s websites appears to be down altogether suggests that entry should be stricken entirely from the list.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steven,

    Mark Hinkle is the chair of the LNC, not of the LNCC. I believe that under the LNCC’s rules of organization he does sit on its board and have a vote, but he doesn’t head it.

  26. Jeremy Young

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this organization supposed to be contributing to Federal candidates only? There are only four of those on this list.

  27. Aaron Starr

    The Libertarian Party has two national committees: the Libertarian National Committee and the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

    The decisions of the LNCC and the candidates it chooses to support are not subject to approval by the LNC, or the LNC chair.

    The LNCC and LNC are legally separate and independent of each other, much like the NRCC is to the RNC and the DCCC is to the DNC.

    The LNCC is proud to be working with the LNC and to have Mark Hinkle serving on its board. Our board is collegial and we are dedicated. I’m optimistic about the committee’s prospects.

  28. LNCC: Hands Off the GOP!

    The LNCC had announced earlier that they would not be making any contributions until 2012 or 2014.

    IOW, they didn’t want to prevent the GOP’s expected takeover of Congress in 2010.

    One of the LP’s claims for success has long been its ability to throw the election to Democrats in close races, by siphoning off small government votes from the GOP.

    I wonder, has Root or the LNCC done any vigorous campaigning for Libertarians in districts with close races? Races in which an LP candidate might throw the race to the Dems?

    If not, then Root is making a lot of smoke and noise, but is careful not to harm the GOP. Otherwise, he’d no longer be welcome on Fox News to promote himself.

    Root’s plan seems to be to have the LP lie low, and not interfere with a GOP win in 2010.

    Then after November, when it no longer matters, Root will bash the GOP for being the party of “big government.” And all of Root’s toadies will say: “Oh my, he’s so libertarian! People are so unfair to accuse him of shilling for the GOP!”

  29. Aaron Starr

    @34

    The Libertarian Party is neither left nor right.

    The limited polling I’ve seen suggests we attract roughly as many votes that normally go to Democrats as we do votes that normally go to Republicans.

  30. LNCC: Hands Off the GOP!

    @ 35

    Nevertheless, I still wonder: has Root or the LNCC supported any Libertarian candidates in districts with close races?

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    “has Root or the LNCC supported any Libertarian candidates in districts with close races?”

    I don’t know.

    I can’t find any polling on Indiana’s 54th state legislative district.

    In 2008, Rex Bell polled 34% of the vote in a two-way race versus Republican Thomas Saunders.

    This year, it’s Bell versus Saunders with a Democrat in the race.

    Whether or not it’s a “close race” depends on how much of that 34% Bell is able to retain or add to, what kind of support the Democrat has, and whose hide that Democrat’s support comes out of.

    It’s reasonable to suspect that it’s “close” enough that Bell will likely affect the outcome. I’d call winning it a long shot — just as it is for any LP candidate in a partisan election — but possibly the shortest long shot in this year’s partisan elections.

  32. paulie

    Note Marc’s followup at 30, which I found in the “pending comments” file, throws off some subsequent comment number references.

    I am glad to see LNCC supporting candidates, and will leave the nitpicking to others as I don’t have time for it right now.

    Also glad to see the Donors Club make similar efforts.

    I don’t think Steve Kubby supports any new taxes.

    Bruce: I’m not sure why this article is classified as anything else except Libertarian. As far as I can tell it does not reference any other party, unless there was something I missed.

    As I understand it, Non-L/R category is for non-L/R parties that don’t have their own category and 3pG category is for articles that deal with issues that involve all alt parties.

  33. paulie

    Do you know what is happening with the Libertarians in Massachusetts, that they failed to put up a candidate?

    There is a very onerous signature-gathering requirement for small “major” parties in Mass, and no candidate had that kind of money/time/volunteer base.

    Furthermore, having “ballot status” as a small “major” party in Mass is of questionable value. You still have to get just as many signatures to get on the ballot, albeit in your own primary (even if you are the only candidate), but you have to get them when the weather is colder and you can’t get signatures from registered Democrats, Republicans or Greens.

  34. Steven wilson

    If the LNC and the LNCC are separate, then why aren’t they voted on at the convention?

    The LNCC has laws I assume, but the members are not voted on. Root lost the chair so he brings back to life a once forgotten flashlight.

    Hey everybody, look at what the LNC is NOT doing.

    IF the members of the LNCC have the power of fundraising and campaign support, then they should be voted on by the members just like the LNCC.

    The LNCC behaves like the Czars of …

  35. George Phillies

    MA Libertarians: We didn’t have anyone who wanted to spend 15 or 30 thousand dollars of their own money just to get on the ballot for statewide office. State Party support for ballot access for candidates is extremely limited, and national party support to our nonfederal candidates is totally illegal. Joe Kennedy, who ran for Senate in the January special election and got more extensive coverage than almost any other Libertarian candidate in a long time, notes that if he had had to run as a Libertarian under major rules he would not have been on the ballot, or would have been bankrupt. The real Libertarians who have run under these conditions and are still active in politics vigorously encouraged people who might have run as Libertarian to register and run as independent instead, because that way they would get on the ballot.

    However, the problem has now been fixed for 2012, and we will be able to run candidates readily in 2012 as Libertarians except for statewide office, where a tag such as ‘Liberty” will be used so that the major party hazard is assigned to a spin-off.

    In addition, Massachusetts has primaries, and a fine local political tradition is sticker campaigns in the other guy’s primary, to knock them out of the election in September. All you need is to be a major party with a pool of a couple of thousand loyalists who will re-register into the other guy’s party in August, show up and vote, and re-register with you the day after the primary. Major party status is thus a bad thing.

    The Libertarian Association of Massachusetts is gaming our system to take advantage of the way it works, not ramming our head against the wall.

  36. kevin knedler

    I saw my name in the thread. All I know is that it is MY job as the state chair (4th largest LP affiliate by the way, in regards to National sustaining membership) to build the state organization, build the team, build for the future, get the right people into the right slots, and promote my best performers, whether its the LPO management or LP candidates in Ohio. I learned this after being in the corporate world for 30+ years. Afterall, we are all volunteering our time. I push this hard within Ohio and beyond–and will continue to do so. That is why the state of Ohio has nearly 50 candidates in 2010 and in 2008 we had 5 candidates. We have spent the past 5 years building and building and building, never letting off the gas, and along the way had some luck with Federal law suits for ballot access. Once we had a viable, yet still small, organization, it was time to take it to the masses. So maybe the three candidates from Ohio were picked based on old fashion “hard work” and the ability to deliver a message that reasonates with Ohioans.
    There was nothing more to it and no conspiracy.
    I pitched more than those 3 by the way, and I wish I could have nominated all 40+ of our candidates. But, the funds were limited. Small steps forward is all I know. And from what I heard from the troops in the trenches, “you ain’t seen nothing yet from the Ohio LP.” Time will tell, it is up to the members, candidates, and supporters in Ohio if they think we have a viable and relevant “brand”.

  37. George Phillies

    @41

    The LNCC it an entirely separate group from the LNC; it has its own membership list and members. The available information is entirely consistent with the belief that the members of the LNCC, which is an entirely separate group, elected their elected people, as you would expect them to. The last Bylaws I saw, which may be out of date, set the dues at $1000 a year, or one of several alternatives.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    kk: There was nothing more to it and no conspiracy.

    me: I take you at your word, but OTOH, politics is inevitably a “conspiracy.” The LP is a conspiracy to maximize freedom and minimize government.

    Some believe that that means private nukes, sell the county courthouse, and generally abolish all government rapidly if not tomorrow.

    Others take a more gradual approach and are not at all convinced that complete abolition is either practical or even desirable.

    The LNCC is populated by people in the latter camp; no one should be surprised if they don’t provide support to those in the former camp. It would not be acting in a fiduciary manner if they did! At least, not from the lessarchist perspective.

    Perennial malcontents are unlikely to be pleased with ANY outcome, making them easy to disregard. Somehow, that phenomenon is often not grasped by the malcontents.

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    Kevin,

    I’m not sure what you mean by “conspiracy.”

    Root chairs the LNCC, is responsible for bringing its newest board members in, etc. I’d be surprised if LNCC didn’t tend to direct its support to Root’s allies, or if his allies didn’t support the project.

    I don’t see any great moral import, apart from possible truth in advertising considerations, in the fact that LNCC has gone from complete inactivity to being colonized/co-opted as a subsidiary of Root 2012 over the last three months.

  40. Jeremy Young

    No one’s answered my question at #33. But I think it is in fact a problem for the LNCC.

    I’m trying to find an official statement of what the LNCC does. Here’s about as close as I can get with a simple Google search — a blog post at LP.org written by, um, Wayne Allyn Root:

    “Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee, best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian,” and elected member of the Libertarian National Committee (the governing Board of Directors of the Party), has just been elected Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC), the chief national fundraising organization charged with electing Libertarian candidates to federal office.” (bolding mine)

    Is it appropriate for an organization with such a purview to be giving money to people who are running for city council, state legislature, etc.? Have the people who have given money been apprised that the organization is going beyond its stated purview in disbursing that money?

  41. Bill Wood

    History
    The LNCC was created by act of the Libertarian National Committee at its meeting in February 2005. Formal Acts of Incorporation were approved later that year.

    [edit] Current Goals
    The LNCC is modeled after the Democratic and Republican equivalents, the DCCC and the NRCC. The Committee will provide monetary as well as information support to Libertarian candidates and other activities along those lines.

    Although the name includes the word “congressional”, donating to state-level candidates is not prohibited by the law, and the thought was that state legislative races were closer to being within reach of the libertarian community’s limited resources. The stated consensus of the Committee at its inception was to support candidates for state legislature.

    [edit] Financing
    Board members supply almost all of the Committee’s funding.

    Contributions to qualify for membership may be in cash or in-kind (in other words, labor can be expended on behalf of the Committee to satisfy the dues requirement).

    The LNCC’s financial reports are available from the Federal Election Commission website.[1]

    [edit] Website
    As of August 19, 2010, the LNCC.org website is down for overhaul. The current registrant of LNCC.org is Alicia Mattson.[2]

    [edit] Past Officers and Directors
    M Carling, chair
    Bill Redpath, LNC chairman board member
    Bill Hall, director, legal counsel
    Ben Brandon
    Marc Montoni, database manager
    Chuck Moulton, webmaster, secretary
    Bill Redpath, treasurer
    Aaron Starr, treasurer

  42. Michael H. Wilson

    re RC @ 45. Well Robert sometimes you go out on the field and throw a few Hail Mary passes and the game is over but most of us know that it will be a long game in which we grind out the yardage and sometimes have to zig zag to get where we are going. Fortunately we know where the goal posts are and were headed in the right direction.

  43. Aaron Starr

    @ 37

    I don’t know. Frankly, it’s difficult to find a Libertarian who is in a close race.

    One of the better indicators for us of a candidate with potential is whether he or she is currently serving or has served in some other elected capacity.

    Norm Westwell is elected to a school board and is now seeking a city council seat. Heather Scott is elected to a county commission seat and is seeking a seat in the state legislature. Brendan Kelly is an elected official seeking higher office. I believe Charlie Earl once held elected office.

    In some cases, we were sold on a candidate by local party officials who convinced us that they had a very good candidate or that the circumstances were unusual.

    For example, we learned that Tim Mullen is running a very serious campaign with a campaign office. And even though he is in a three-way race, the Democrat incumbent is worried enough about him that she is delivering anti-Tim Mullen literature to the hundreds of people in the district who have Mullen’s campaign signs on their front laws.

  44. George Phillies

    @48

    There are two obvious choices of path, and some other ones: Getting people elected is good. Putting candidates up to the point where they improve ballot access is good. This year there are four state elections that can improve ballot access: NY, NH, IL, and Iowa. Some of those have to target non-Federal candidates, an act whose legality by a Federal PAC depends on the state.

    I am generating support for FaceBook and Google AdWords ads (we could also do radio, but I do not think the cash will be there) to support Ken Blevens, the LPNH Senate candidate, who needs 4% to get LPNH Party Status. Last time he got 3.1%, but he had a large Facebook/Google campaign then, and the situation may be more challenging this year.

  45. Aaron Starr

    @47

    “Is it appropriate for an organization with such a purview to be giving money to people who are running for city council, state legislature, etc.? Have the people who have given money been apprised that the organization is going beyond its stated purview in disbursing that money?”

    Since Root became Chair we asked our members to expand our stated purview to allow us to support most any Libertarian running for office in America. They did. Our donors are aware of this and they are supportive.

  46. Does the FEC Approve?

    Since Root became Chair we asked our members to expand our stated purview to allow us to support most any Libertarian running for office in America. They did. Our donors are aware of this and they are supportive.

    I thought the FEC allowed a party three PACs. One for the party, one for its Senate races, one for its House races. And the LNCC was the LP’s official FEC-approved PAC for House races.

    Is it legal for the LNCC to be spreading money to non-House races?

  47. Robert Capozzi

    MHW: Well Robert sometimes you go out on the field and throw a few Hail Mary passes…

    me: Excellent analogy. Until about 2006, the LP playbook had one play, the Hail Mary. At root, the LP was the stealth Abolitionist Anarchist Party, organized to smash the State. Of course, much of the abolitionism was cloaked.

    Since 06, some additional plays have been added. We’re still a JV HS team, but at least some are getting the idea that 15-year-olds throwing the ball long against NFL opponents is beyond futile. It appears the LNCC is practicing dives, traps, and the occasional sweep.

    This may not be “exciting” to those who can visualize auctioning off the county courthouse next year, but it does seem necessary IF one wants to do politics.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    tk: I’d be surprised if LNCC didn’t tend to direct its support to Root’s allies, or if his allies didn’t support the project.

    me: As Starr notes, one factor in selecting donees was “been elected previously.” People who’ve been elected are — I suspect — more likely to be moderate, non-abolitionist Ls. Since Root is also not an abolitionist and seems more interested in real-world politics than most well-known LP leaders, their being “allies” is slightly offkey. “Like-minded” seems closer to capturing the idea.

    Ls who prefer the Hancock street theater approach are unlikely to get elected using stunts like wearing V masks or playing Lady Godiva. Approach to practicing L politics is a matter of self-selection.

    IMO, of course.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Be careful!

    The problem with constructs is that they’re generally highly personal and therefore not compatible with other constructs to any great level of detail.

    Substantial bleedover between your Matrix and Root’s would likely destroy both, especially given the fact that both Matrices rely substantially on the fantasy that they represent the “real world.”

  50. Robert Capozzi

    tk, great point, thanks!

    In Matrix-speak, it would be the Real World, not the real world. In the Real World, there is no politics, because all there is is love.

    When you, I and Root suffer under the illusion generated by The Matrix, we have differing interpretations of the real world, lower case. I don’t fret about bleedover, since the whole thing is a dream, anyway. We’re all just actors on a stage, as Shakespeare told us long ago. We’re just doing what we can, when we can…whatever’s indicated.

    Near as I can tell, all indications are that our abolitionist brethren are playing the role of Cypher, wanting to go back to their blue-pill existence. The construct of literalistic perception is alluring, even addictive. Sleepwalkers can be in a very precarious state, so we do approach them with maximum compassion.

  51. George Phillies

    @55 National Political Parties are entitled to three political PACs, a National Committee, a National Congressional Committee, and a National Senate Committee. They are co-equal and get to spend their money as they see fit.
    There are Federal legal restrictions, one of which is that you cannot use your Federal status to violate state campaign election law in a state.
    Thus, no Federal PAC can support a non-Federal candidate in Massachusetts; you must start your own state-filing Massachusetts PAC to do that.

    The LNC does not currently raise money to support individual candidates—it says so in their FEC filings. In the past they have done so, in my opinion not always very wisely.

  52. Steven wilson

    With the LNCC having control over money, here in capitalism land, God complex is possible. THusly, mini Roots will take over the game. Through taxation and regulation, the govt plays favorites. The LNCC does the same exact thing.

    It is not going to hurt the LNCC to be checked by another body or person, and it is not going to hurt if someone that believes in anarchy or the nightwatchman to be on that panel or supported by the LNCC.

    Libertarian is about freedom of choice. If everybody acts like Root, what is the difference between us and the elephant?

  53. Robert Capozzi

    sw: It is not going to hurt the LNCC to be checked by another body or person, and it is not going to hurt if someone that believes in anarchy or the nightwatchman to be on that panel or supported by the LNCC.

    me: Hmm, sounds like you’re describing the LNC. The abolitionists “check” the lessarchists, and vice versa. Seems kinda dysfunctional and paralyzed, if you ask me.

    PACs are a means for like-minded people to pool resources for maximum impact. Perhaps you’d prefer there not be PACs, so that each individual could support only those whom he or she agrees with (almost entirely). Might be optimal, but the game’s not played that way.

  54. Aaron Starr

    sw @61

    It is not going to hurt the LNCC to be checked by another body or person, and it is not going to hurt if someone that believes in anarchy or the nightwatchman to be on that panel or supported by the LNCC.

    Wow … Sounds like an argument for a government-like institution to oversee us.

    Or perhaps this is similar to the “fairness doctrine” appeals we hear to control what content broadcasters may put out on the airways.

    This is a typical government mindset, where one feels compelled to control those they disapprove of.

    Rather than arguing for using some mechanism similar to government, have you considered a more anarchistic approach of letting the free market decide? You know, appealing to our customers (i.e. donors) instead of the government?

  55. Michael H. Wilson

    re # 64 Aaron you and I both know that an outside auditor can be useful to check and find problems. If the LNCC grows, which it should and hopefully will, then an outside auditor becomes even more important.

  56. Aaron Starr

    @65

    Michael, problems defined by whom?

    In the libertarian free-market, outside auditors are sometimes engaged to provide limited assurance to investors and creditors that the financial statements prepared by management are accurate and reflect the financial position of the organization.

    In the statist government-sphere, auditors are engaged to assure compliance with regulations promulgated by a governmental body.

    I imagine that those with a more government-mindset here will be relieved to know that we bear the expense of paying an FEC consultant to make sure we comply with the governmental regulations.

    The LNCC chooses to operate using the free-market model. If our donors decide that paying for an audit is worth the cost to decide that we are donor worthy, than that is something we can certainly look at down the road. I have not seen requests from donors for such.

  57. George Phillies

    @64 You are obviously right. Also, given the modest number but enormous generosity of LNCC donors in the current election cycle, it’s not that the challenge of shared responsibility is going to discourage careful supervision of expenditures.

  58. Michael H. Wilson

    Aaron problems that are often not seen by those in the inside since they often are too close to see them or don’t have the experience to see them.

    I have been in the party for a number of years and I have seen a lot of incompetence by so called experienced businessmen.

    And to put it bluntly, “Anyone can make a mistake”.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, and you and I both know there`s a big difference between “auditing” and “governance.” Huge, actually.

  60. Michael H. Wilson

    RC, Steve @ 61 make this comment which I think has some merit. “It is not going to hurt the LNCC to be checked by another body or person,…”.

    While Steve may be suggesting something else or suggesting something for another reason, I do think his comment is valid.

  61. Aaron Starr

    @ 68

    Michael,

    You do not identify a particular problem – actual or potential – requiring correction or investigation. I’m not even clear why this concerns you.

    And it is conceivable that if you did define what YOU perceive to be a problem (e.g. say, the LNCC supporting candidates who you disapprove of), the donors to our organization – of which I am one – may not agree with you.

    I am not stating you belong to the ranks of such individuals – I simply do not know enough about you to draw such a conclusion – but a few comments I have read remind me how some control freaks are not satisfied simply practicing their own religion, but want the power to ban everyone else’s beliefs and drag them kicking and screaming into compliance with their particular form of dogma.

    We are not seeking someone to protect us from our own decisions with our own money, especially from someone who has no stake in our decision making.

    Others with a government-mindset might invite or submit to such intrusions from outside regulators and meddling busybodies.

    We do not; it would be anathema to our libertarian values.

  62. Tom Blanton

    How odd that the Libertarian National Congressional Committee chooses to support only four congressional candidates out of the 13 candidates it is supporting.

    Sounds like a great way to dilute the effectiveness of the LNCC to promote federal candidates.

    Worse, the four candidates it chose to support are Fair Taxers who seem to be rather shallow in the issues department. Apparently, they have no desire to promote libertarian ideas. I’m assuming they are trying to appeal to Tea Party conservatives, judging by the rhetoric found on their websites.

    I’m wondering if the LP partisans applauding Root and the LNCC for the crumbs thrown at the four LP candidates running as conservatives will continue to applaud after election day.

    Will the LP support of conservatives continue after the Tea Party votes GOP, LP membership drops off, and the LP candidates vanish without exposing the electorate to anything more libertarian than Dick Armey’s talking points?

    Unfortunately, I’m guessing the answer is yes. You would think that after a decade of strategically moving to the right, LP members would figure out that the fear and loathing of Democrats far exceeds the embrace of libertarian ideas by conservatives. Conservatives will always vote for the GOP candidate.

  63. Aaron Starr

    @72

    Constructive suggestions are fine for specific situations, especially if the advice is being sought out. This is why we are developing a board of directors and eventually a board of advisors.

    Most everyone has an opinion they want to share, and almost all think very highly of their own point of view, but the ones to whom I tend to give more credence are from those who have relevant demonstrable expertise in the field, are willing to write a large check or do a heck of a lot of real work to help us out.

  64. Aaron Starr

    @73

    tb: I’m wondering if the LP partisans applauding Root and the LNCC for the crumbs thrown at the four LP candidates running as conservatives will continue to applaud after election day.

    What is really useful about critics is that you can often count on them to be critics; and this self-identification facilitates completely disregarding their point of view.

    One thing I have learned in business is that there are some customers not worth pursuing, where the potential revenue – which is sometimes equal to zero – is far exceeded by the likely cost and nuisance of trying to cater to them.

    There is almost no value created when attempting to satisfy critics who have never been and will almost never become paying customers, and they are certainly not worth having if they did become customers.

    In contrast, formerly paying customers are often worth listening to. You can sometimes learn something from them and perhaps apply those lessons to future and existing customers, though it’s marginal at best to attempt converting dissatisfied former customers into current customers, which would be nearly as futile as trying to win back the heart of a former disgruntled lover.

    The LNCC is focused on satisfying its donors (i.e. paying customers) by supporting Libertarian candidates they are likely to appreciate, so that they will continue donating in the future.

  65. Tom Blanton

    The LNCC is focused on satisfying its donors (i.e. paying customers) by supporting Libertarian candidates they are likely to appreciate, so that they will continue donating in the future.

    This makes perfect sense. I suppose it is fair to assume the donors are likely to appreciate candidates that advocate the Fair Tax and don’t advocate the end to perpetual war or to the drug war.

    This is the same winning strategy that has been so successful for “supporters” of the LP for quite some time now.

  66. HumbleTravis

    Is there currently any “Project 51”-type ballot access fund that people can contribute to for the LP?

  67. Oversight Is Not Statism

    Aaron Starr: Wow … Sounds like an argument for a government-like institution to oversee us. … Rather than arguing for using some mechanism similar to government, have you considered a more anarchistic approach of letting the free market decide?

    Nice try, Aaron, but libertarians have long advocated private oversight.

    Whenever libertarians are asked what will happen if government no longer licenses doctors and other professions, libertarians respond that private watchdog certification companies will do the job.

    Aaron Starr is either ignorant of fundamental libertarian theory, or is simply being disingenuous — especially since he himself has said that anarchists are not libertarians.

  68. Thomas L. Knapp

    @79,

    “Oversight” by whom?

    There seems to be a notion in the air that the LNCC is, or should be, “accountable” to someone other than its members/donors.

    I disagree. The LNCC should do what it damn well pleases.

    On the other hand, given the fact that the LNCC’s mission has changed significantly since it was recognized/sanctioned by the LNC, that recognition/sanction is certainly fair game for reconsideration.

  69. Sane LP member

    When I see words like “libertarian theory” I recall this: The LP is a Political Party of the “Big L” and not the “small L”. Wishing for some utopia or polyanna of Libertarianism is great but won’t happen in our lifetime. In fact, the more we wish for this, the less likely. “All or noting” will not resonate with average voter. Therefore, I will vote for a candidate that is 75% or more inline with the theory, especially if they are a Libertarian candidate. If they are a D or an R it is still far more doubtful I would vote for them, because it is that two-party duopoly that is in large part, responsible for the bankruptcy of the country.

  70. Oversight Is Not Statism

    I’m not saying the LNCC should or shouldn’t be subject to oversight.

    I’m only pointing out Aaron Starr’s disingenuous argument against oversight.

    Starr has long said that anarchists are not libertarians. For him to now advocate an “anarchistic approach of letting the free market decide” is dishonest and hypocritical.

    Let’s see Starr advocate a lot more “anarchistic” approaches to other issues. He won’t. He only uses those terms (which he himself doesn’t believe) when it suits him to sound “pure.”

  71. Robert Capozzi

    Hmm, I’m the first to be flexible when it comes to word usage, and maybe I’m really missing some key fact, but the LNCC HAS a board, yes? Therefore, it HAS governance, yes? Therefore, it HAS oversight, yes?

  72. Steven wilson

    People, the point I was trying to make has missed almost everyone.

    Why in the world would an anarchist or minarchist suggest a government watchdog?

    I NEVER wanted government to watch over anything. I am suggesting that if the LNCC takes in the money, another group, headed up by Mark Hinkle and maybe a union of State chairs, would be in charge of the distribution of the funds.

    Root has the power to invest in people who will vote for him in 2012. He is manufacturing a victory through the LNCC. IF you can’t see that or your instincts don’t warn you not to step in it, then just ignore this post. You can’t understand me anyway.

    He surrounds himself with people like him. Is there an anarchist/nightwatchman person on that board?

    Then how is the entire LP represented on the LNCC? Out of common courtesy and language game, change it to RNCC. THe Root national congressional committee.

  73. Robert Capozzi

    tb: I suppose it is fair to assume the donors are likely to appreciate candidates that advocate the Fair Tax and don’t advocate the end to perpetual war or to the drug war.

    me: Why assume that? Root, last I checked, is himself a flat tax proponent. Sounds like the LNCC is pluralistic.

    You may not agree with the LNCC’s standard for supporting candidates; they seem reasonable to me, although I’m sure they’ve not been optimized. It sounds like you’d want donees to hold high abolitionist positions in order to garner support. That would be easy, though. A paper L candidate could put up a website calling for immediate heroin legalization; immediate abolition of INS, Border Patrol, Homeland Security; immediate abolition of DoD, except the Coast Guard, which would have a 5 year transition plan; immediate abolition of the Patent Office; immediate federal debt repudiation; a five-year transition plan to close all federal courts; immediate auctioning off all federal lands and parks; a five-year phase out of SS benefits; etc.

    This abolitionist agenda may excite perhaps a third of the LP base, say, 5,000 true believers. I would bet BIG money that such a candidate would not garner interest beyond that very, very narrow base, except, perhaps, as a curiousity, like the Blue Man.

    No amount of financial support would change that outcome, IMO, since such an agenda ensures dismissal, discreditation, and disrespect in the public square. Were I an abolitionist, I might not care what the public perception of my views is, I would know that I am “right” and “principled.” I might be inclined to go agorist, though, waiting for the day when the “sheep” are ready for my truth.

    IMO, that wait is highly likely to be eternal.

  74. Robert Capozzi

    sw, I think people ARE getting your point.

    Why not have an oversight group of state chairs to oversee the LNC? Why not have the LNC oversee the state LPs?

    And then why not have an oversight organization of Ls to oversee the overseers?

    And on and on.

    Analysis paralysis is the reason not to.

  75. George Phillies

    The LNCC is an organization legally independent of the LNC and its state affiliates. Its members elect its leadership group, however titled; its members as of the last FEC report gave the LNCC essentially all of its money. The chosen candidates have particular libertarian political positions that can be examined.

    In defense of the LNCC, it is exceedingly difficult to find collections of information about Libertarian political candidates, even limiting yourself to Federal candidates, and to the State candidates who set districts for the Congressional candidates.

    If you want to complain about an organization needing oversight, you might start with the LNC, which burns $120,000 a year on an office and has substantially though not completely ceased being able to deliver even a newsletter to its members.

  76. George Phillies

    @78

    Ballot access for this year, putting candidates on the ballot, is over. There are four states in which elections can have a positive effect on ballot access: Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, and New York. I will list deactivated URLs to dodge the IDP spam controller.

    The Illinois candidate most likely to be able to succeed in Illinois is Julie Fox, who is running for Comptroller. foxforcomptroller DOT com

    To have an effect in Iowa, the candidate for Governor is Eric Cooper; his running mate is Nick Weltha coopersmallergovernment DOT com

    The only candidate who can change ballot access in New York is Warren Redlich. He needs 50,000 votes, an absolute number. wredlich DOT com/ny/ gets you there.

    The only candidates who can affect Ballot access in New Hampshire are John Babiarz (Governor) and Ken Blevens (U.S. Senator). In 2008, Blevens ran for Senate and got 3.1 % of the vote; 4% is needed. New Hampshire is the smallest of the states in question, and has had an influx of potential LP voters thanks to the Free State Project.

    To support Ken Blevens, your one* available path at this point is to support the Liberty for America Political Action Committee libertyforamerica.com/NHFundraising.htm

    We are running Facebook ads, and will expand to AdWords ads if the money arrives (We would expand further to radio ads, but don’t see that the money will be available).

    For general ballot access in future years, consider supporting Freedom Ballot Access FreedomBallotAccess DOT org .

    *one path? The LNC is not supporting single Federal candidates; the LPNH is not FEC-filing and cannot support Federal candidates. But we can, and we have almost no overhead.

  77. Sane LP Member

    39 years of not winning the big ones. Enough of that. Time to win one. The country can’t wait any longer for a viable 3rd party. No more debate club mentality.
    Get someone that is 80% libertarian in office and make some changes now. We don’t have another 39 years. Wake up.

  78. Oversight Is Not Statism

    Steve Wilson: “I NEVER wanted government to watch over anything.”

    I got that.

    Which is one reason I’m calling Aaron Starr disingenuous (indeed, dishonest) for trying to make oversight sound statist.

  79. SteveCase Against Third Parties

    @ 89

    “39 years of not winning the big ones. Enough of that. Time to win one. The country can’t wait any longer for a viable 3rd party.”

    You inadvertently make a strong argument for ditching third parties, and working within the major parties.

    “Get someone that is 80% libertarian in office and make some changes now.”

    Ron Paul is easily 80% libertarian. Yet he’s not had much effect.

    That being so, it’s doubtful that even if the LP won one race, that person could “make some changes now.”

  80. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 71 Aaron writes; “I am not stating you belong to the ranks of such individuals – I simply do not know enough about you to draw such a conclusion – but a few comments I have read remind me how some control freaks are not satisfied simply practicing their own religion, but want the power to ban everyone else’s beliefs and drag them kicking and screaming into compliance with their particular form of dogma. ‘

    Aaron if you need to know anything about me call your friend Richard Burke in Oregon. He and I battled for years.

    As for making a suggestion, my experience in life is that no one is perfect and with the LNCC we have a combination of imperfect humans, campaign law, and money. It might be wise to have an outsider take a look at how the group functions and do they have the right tools in place to address problems.

  81. Steve's Case Against Third Parties

    @91 is supposed to be “Steve’s Case Against Third Parties.”

  82. George Phillies

    Meanwhile, the LNC has rejected an anti-war-on-drugs resolution. For more on the LNC’s antics, read Liberty for America magazine, the October Issue:

    Courtesy of Liberty for America’s usual sources: It’s a fairly bland resolution, too. Voting largely closed on Wed, Aug 4, 2010.

    Voting against the resolution were Flood, Knedler, Mattson, Root, Rutherford, Wolf.

    Voting for the Resolution were Craig, Eshelman, Hawkridge, Oaksun, Olsen, Redpath, Ruwart, and Wiener.

    That’s an 8-6 vote, but 3/4 in favor was required under LNC rules.

    Sponsor: Chairman Mark Hinkle

    Motion: Whereas, the Libertarian Party Platform calls for the “repeal of all laws creating ‘crimes’ without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes,”

    And, whereas, the Libertarian Party supports an end to Drug Prohibition, both domestically and abroad,

    And, whereas, the Libertarian Party is very concerned that such drug prohibitions have helped spread HIV and AIDS by preventing or inhibiting needle exchange programs,

    And, whereas, the XVIII International AIDS Conference, meeting in Vienna, Austria, created a Vienna Declaration document calling “…for an acknowledgment of the limits and harms of drug prohibition, and for drug policy reform to remove barriers to effective HIV prevention, treatment, and
    care,”

    And, whereas, the Vienna Declaration further declares “The evidence that law enforcement has failed to prevent the availability of illegal drugs, in communities where there is demand, is now unambiguous.”

    Therefore, the Libertarian National Committee endorses the above aspects of the Vienna Declaration and the implementation of its recommendations with private, as opposed to government, funding.”

  83. Aaron Starr

    I would have also voted no on the motion presented to the LNC.

    Endorsement of the Vienna Declaration would have put the LNC on record as supporting increases in taxation to support various HIV interventions spelled out in the WHO, UNODC and UNAIDS Target Setting Guide – all of which perhaps no one on the LNC has ever read.

    In short, its passage would have violated our platform.

  84. Aaron Starr

    And by the way, I am aware of some of the exculpatory language in the resolution. The authors of the Vienna Declaration would have simply listed us as supporters of their resolution and not disclosed our reservations about it. It would have appeared to the world that the LNC was on record as being in favor of increasing the size and scope of the United Nations.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    with Rome burning, taking steps to put out the fire seems the best use of limited resources. focusing on sideshows. even ones with merit, indicate poor judgment, IMO. this resolution is like redecorating the living room in Tuscany.

  86. Aaron Starr

    @ 82

    Starr has long said that anarchists are not libertarians. For him to now advocate an “anarchistic approach of letting the free market decide” is dishonest and hypocritical.

    You know, if you’re going to quote me, at least do so in a way that doesn’t intentionally mislead people.

    I wrote:

    Rather than arguing for using some mechanism similar to government, have you considered a more anarchistic approach of letting the free market decide? You know, appealing to our customers (i.e. donors) instead of the government?

    To state that an approach is more anarchistic is to state that it has features that are less characteristic of a government-like approach.

    My use of this in a sentence is a proper way of describing an alternative approach to the government-mindset being promoted by some here.

  87. Aaron Starr

    @82

    Incidentally, I don’t know where you get your information about my beliefs, but to clear up any misunderstandings you might have, I’ll just state my beliefs here.

    I believe that as libertarians our goal should be minimize to the greatest extent possible the degree to which coercion exists in human relationships. I believe that such a state of affairs is most likely to take place under a limited, constitutional republic that is established only to respect and defend individual rights.

    I respect that there are those who sincerely believe that anarchy will accomplish this goal of minimizing coercion, but I believe that anarchy quickly devolves into tyranny under an oligarchy, which ultimately increases the amount of coercion.

    It is possible that anarchists are right and I’m wrong. I do not care to invest much emotional energy and time debating the subject. I’d rather maintain my friendships with these people with whom I disagree. It’s largely not productive to engage in debates and I do not believe we will be presented with the option of limited government versus no government during our lifetimes.

    For those who are interested in viewing a well made video on the subject of limited government versus all other forms of government and non-government, I encourage you to watch this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE

  88. LibertarianGirl

    an anti drug war resolution would have been awesome , but I have to agree why go into the whole Vienna thing, it’s silly . Couldnt we have written one w/o that in it?

  89. Hmmm ...

    @99

    It seems to me that the minarchist/anarchist debate is about as useful as two soldiers debating what to do with Hitler’s collection of art …

    … while they are taking heavy fire on the beach at Normandy.

    We all need to get back to the business of electing our candidates and hope that someday we will need to have a minarchist vs. anarchist debate to deal with the last 1% of the government.

  90. Aaron Starr

    @100

    LG is precisely right!

    There was no point getting tied down with all the baggage in the Vienna Declaration.

    And our platform already clearly states our stand on the WOD.

    I could understand the LNC coming out with a resolution endorsing California’s Proposition 19 to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, though I doubt that it would affect the outcome of the vote.

    But I never understood what the point would be of adding our name to the list of supporters of the Vienna Resolution.

    Perhaps there are some who will want to paint a picture that the LNC’s rejection of the motion was a departure from the party’s view on the WOD, but that would be an overly simplistic caricature of reality.

  91. Tom Blanton

    @85

    me: Why assume that? Root, last I checked, is himself a flat tax proponent. Sounds like the LNCC is pluralistic.

    Why assume that? I’ll tell you why, Bubby. If you go to the websites of the 4 LP candidates for U.S. House, you will find mentions of the Fair Tax on all four and you will not find unequivocal calls to end the wars on Islam or drugs.

    Therefore, I suppose it is fair to assume the donors to Root’s PAC (the LNCC) are likely to appreciate candidates that advocate the Fair Tax and don’t advocate the end to perpetual war or to the drug war.

    You may not agree with the LNCC’s standard for supporting candidates; they seem reasonable to me, although I’m sure they’ve not been optimized. It sounds like you’d want donees to hold high abolitionist positions in order to garner support.

    I thought I made it clear that I thought recipients of LNCC funds should be Congressional Candidates. That’s commonly known as truth in advertising. Instead, what the LP has is funding to 9 local and state candidates by the “Libertarian National Congressional Committee” (the operative word being “congressional” – in case raging moderate extremists get confused).

    So, Bubby, I can understand why a moderate absolutist is happy with the selection of the 4 LP candidates made by the LNCC for cash, in all fairness maybe the wild, crazy, radical, fringe, hyper anarchist David Nolan could have gotten $15 or $20 from the LNCC. Or even that extremist nutball, John Jay Myers could have used $5 or $10 from the Root PAC.

    I thought even the most hardcore moderate extremists liked to give the appearance of having a fair process. I guess whenever Root is involved, myopia descends upon the moderates.

  92. Tom Blanton

    Moderate Newspeak Soundbite translation for Capozzi:

    Last I checked, “congress” meant the U.S. House or Senate. It would seem that payments to candidates for local or state offices would be contra-indicated.

  93. Aaron Starr

    @83

    Robert Capozzi gets it!

    The LNCC has a board answerable to its members. We believe in self-governance.

  94. Steven wilson

    A union of state chairs could let everyone else know who is running and the kind of campaign. Mark Hinkle could then get the money from Root and the LNCC, and give it where the state chairs think it could do the most good.

    To check the LNCC would remove any hint of Root playing favorites. He wants to lead, fine, lead everyone. Not just the right side of liberty.

    LNCC should be promoting not just capitalist candidates sounding off on economic device, they should be promoting personal freedom candidates legalizing maryjane, lowering the drinking age, definitions of family, etc.

    Here in Missouri we have had assaults on smoking, strip clubs, red light cameras, and the humane society attacking farmers. The state chair could help Mark Hinkle understand the candidates and what the people need.

    A union of state chairs could benefit us from looking like donkey and elephant.

    An open website with votes, open ledger for distributions, our own liberty style facebook intranet, a youtube channel for introductions, video of meetings.

    Americans want transparency. Give it to them and ask nothing in return.

    Illustrate how a libertarian would work. No book club.

  95. George Phillies

    @106 “…Mark Hinkle could then get the money from Root…” NOT.

    On one hand, the LNCC and the LNC are legally independent. Cash transfers between them are seriously restricted.

    On the other hand, the LNC budget is 100 times the LNCC budget, give or take. If Mark Hinkle and his LNC want to support candidates for a change, they can perfectly well take their own money to do it. After all, the LNC has more money that every other Libertarian political organization in the United States, by a lot.

  96. Aaron Starr

    @84

    Steve Wilson writes:

    I NEVER wanted government to watch over anything. I am suggesting that if the LNCC takes in the money, another group, headed up by Mark Hinkle and maybe a union of State chairs, would be in charge of the distribution of the funds.

    Root has the power to invest in people who will vote for him in 2012. He is manufacturing a victory through the LNCC. IF you can’t see that or your instincts don’t warn you not to step in it, then just ignore this post. You can’t understand me anyway.

    Perhaps I DON’T understand you.

    The way I read the above, you appear to advocate usurping the right of the LNCC’s members to govern its own affairs and want to grant such authority to some other person or group because you are uncomfortable with or dislike the leadership chosen by its membership.

    If my understanding is correct, it seems to me that your point of view reflects a government mindset – that is, one where you wish to control others because you do not approve of the decisions they voluntarily make.

    However, I might very well be wrong.

    Perhaps instead you are simply stating that the LNCC’s members – of which I am one and you are not – who voluntarily fund the LNCC should voluntarily surrender our right to decide how to run the organization we are funding and voluntarily relinquish any say as to which candidates are worthy of support with our own money, because you benevolently believe you can identify someone more worthy of making those decisions for us.

    Which of the above is the correct understanding?

  97. LibertarianGirl

    SW_”To check the LNCC would remove any hint of Root playing favorites. He wants to lead, fine, lead everyone. Not just the right side of liberty.”

    me_Did I miss something? Isn’t Kubby getting money , he isnt the “right” side of liberty and he also has been a Root opponent.

  98. Notta Moocher

    Steve in 106 wrote: “Mark Hinkle could then get the money from Root and the LNCC, and give it where the state chairs think it could do the most good. To check the LNCC would remove any hint of Root playing favorites. ”

    And who would keep Hinkle from playing favorites? And who would keep the state chairs from playing favorites? You are not arguing a design theory. You are arguing your personal bias.

    And why do you use words like “our” regarding the LNCC? #108 says you’re not a member of it. What is the basis for your ownership claim? You sound like a moocher who likes to claim ownership of things others have built.

  99. George Phillies

    The notion that the LNCC is not doing very much exactly what its members want — allowing that they are good libertarians and therefore are not in absolute complete agreement about anything — is more than a little unlikely. Their financial statement makes very clear how many members they have (except for the one person who may have paid for several memberships, and any member through other paths people); they would be a small committee.

  100. Aaron Starr

    @ 109

    Bingo! Once again, LG gets it!

    Blanton @ 76 might attempt to paint all candidates the LNCC supports with a broad brush, but he must really underestimate the intelligence of readers here if he believes he can without challenge to his credibility claim that our candidate Steve Kubby is someone who does not “advocate the end to perpetual war or to the drug war?”

    There are a variety of candidates the LNCC supports, some of whom have positions and emphases that differ from Wayne Root. Each LNCC supported candidate advocates for reducing the size and scope of government. The issues they choose to focus on vary depending on their customers (i.e. voters).

    I believe Robert Capozzi described us best. We are pluralistic.

    Blanton @ 103 might find it more esthetically pleasing perhaps if we limited our support to those running for Congress, but all of our donors – and Blanton is not a donor! – are told that we support candidates up and down from Congress down to the lowest levels.

    In fact, it was our members who overwhelmingly told us to amend our rules so that we could expand our scope to include campaigns up and down the ticket.

    Are they folks who Blanton might voice support for?

    Well, let me be uncharacteristically blunt.

    See my comments @ 75 for my philosophy on worthy customers.

    I have never seen Blanton’s name show up on a campaign finance report supporting any Libertarian candidate or political organization.

    So, if Blanton’s stamp of endorsement does not translate into significant dollars that help Libertarian candidates pay for their campaigns, than his standard for approval has no bearing on the decisions we make.

  101. Aaron Starr

    Paulie,

    It would be really cool if you could embed the linked video @ 99. I don’t have the authorization to do that.

  102. Robert Milnes

    Once again Aaron & rightist faulty logic.
    If Blanton is not a donor or LP member, that does not necessarily describe his cred. or dedication to lib or LIB.
    Maybe he sees that the rightists dominate & misuse wherewithall & divert to rightists.
    Maybe there are a lot of Blantons.
    Purge the rightists!

  103. Tom Blanton

    Blanton @ 76 might attempt to paint all candidates the LNCC supports with a broad brush, but he must really underestimate the intelligence of readers here if he believes he can without challenge to his credibility claim that our candidate Steve Kubby is someone who does not “advocate the end to perpetual war or to the drug war?”

    Hey Starr, has Kubby dropped out of the Lake Tahoe City Council and become a Congressional Candidate?

    Perhaps the Libertarian National Congressional Committee should change its name. The words “national” and “congressional” are misleading.

    Root PAC would be good.

  104. Tom Blanton

    Frankly, Starr, it’s been a few years since the NLP or any LP candidate has seen any of my money. The last national candidate I supported was Badnarik.

    I’m looking to support libertarian causes, not “true conservative” lost causes.

    I can even get behind some minarchists, but since even the word minarchism has been redefined to include people like Dick Armey or any other jackass that will reduce the size of government by 1%, there is precious little to support when it comes to libertarian electoral politics.

    Fair Tax libertarian is an oxymoron. I wouldn’t give 2 cents to such a candidate – I would strongly urge libertarians to not vote for any Fair Tax “libertarian”.

  105. Tom Blanton

    It dawns on me that Starr’s credibility is next to zero if he thinks it matters one iota what position a city council candidate has regarding perpetual war or the drug war.

    Besides, I was clearly referring to the four candidates actually running for U.S. Congress that the LNCC chose to support. I guess Mr. Starr has reading comprehension problems like his little buddy, Holtz.

  106. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tom B,

    Actually, Kubby’s citiy council campaign DOES matter with respect to the drug war.

    One reason he decided to run was that South Lake Tahoe was hassling, and edging toward local regulation of (in contravention of the standards established by Prop 215), medical marijuana dispensaries.

    As several people keep pointing out, though, this whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

    The LNCC has members/donors, and those members/donors decide where and how the money is spent. That’s exactly how it should be.

    If there’s a “problem,” the nature of that problem is with the LNC continuing to give public credibility to the myth that the LNCC is a party congressional committee rather than a Root 2012 PAC.

  107. Steven wilson

    I really like and believe in Steve Kubby, but what state is Lake Tahoe in?

    A check on power is not oversight.

    Mark Hinkle WON the chair, Root took the LNCC and brought it back to life. There was a reason it died.

    A union of state chairs working in a glass house would make us different than the donkey or elephant. We would not need to explain transparency, it would be obvious.

    State chairs should be the best source of information about each state and their candidates.

    The LNCC shouldn’t exist if the LNC did this naturally. To call parallel a tangent is foolish. To use the RNC and DNC as examples of format makes no sense for us.

    Cisse Spragins is just one of many state chairs who are extremely intelligent and could help the LNC direct it’s small funding. Mark Hinkle could show strength if he did it through the state chairs, not the LNCC.

    Root lost the vote and now he is in the house through the back door. He did this in front of everybody. There is no honesty in him except when he talks about home school.

  108. Be Rational

    The LNCC raises money from its members. Then the LNCC donates that money to the candidates they choose. The members can demand whatever oversight they want.

    It’s hard to understand the whiners on the outside. If you want to impact the candidates choices of the LNCC, you should join the LNCC. Join and help decide.

    If you don’t like the LNCC or the candidates it chooses, you can donate your own money to the candidates of your choice outside the LNCC.

    The LNCC has properly donated to the LP candidates its members have chosen. There is really nothing more an outsider can ask of them.

    There are whiners and there are doers.

    The doers are the ones that make things happen. Like it or not, agree with his choices or not, Root is a doer. He is trying to change America and make it better. I don’t agree with him some of the time, but I respect what he’s doing.

    If you want to impact the direction of politics in America, you have to stop whining and do something.

  109. Dan Wiener

    It’s kind of amusing to read over the above comments and observe all of the kvetching. Lots of people have all kinds of pet theories as to how the LNCC should be organized and which candidates should get the money and who should make the decisions and who should have oversight authority. Plus they have all kinds of conspiracy theories as to what ideological filters are being applied and to what extent this is just a front for Wayne Root’s ambitions.

    Of course these people have a very simple alternative: Bypass the LNCC and contribute money to whomever they prefer. That’s what George Phillies is doing with his Liberty for America PAC (although off hand I have no idea how much it’s actually raised and donated to candidates). That’s what Nick Youngers (who is working cooperatively with the LNCC) is doing with his Libertarian Donors Club. It would be great if we had a dozen more such efforts and a dozen times as much money (for a start).

    Instead the complainers will sit on the sidelines and tell the rest of us how much better off we’d be if we paid attention to their criticisms and did it their way. And the rest of us will continue to be amused, and the LNCC will continue to pretty much ignore them.

  110. Steven wilson

    Nevermind.

    There is a reason Ron Paul took off and we did not. The voters want another choice and will go with strength and clarity.

    As I believe in accountability, you make the bed, you sleep in it. What he does for 2012 and beyond is on the members. Enjoy your trophy.

  111. Michael H. Wilson

    re 126 Dan I have contributed to whom I wish and I will continue to do just that.

    My comment was based on the history of some people’s work habit that I have seen in the LP. Other than that I don’t give a rat’s ass what the LNCC does.

  112. Starchild

    I’m no fan of Wayne Allyn Root, but his activities on the Libertarian National Congressional Committee don’t concern me that much. All the committee does, really, is raise and hand out money. Yes it is a shame, given Root’s presidential ambitions and what a disaster his candidacy would be for the LP, that they do it under the name of the Libertarian Party and thus afford him a platform for grandstanding, but compared to many of the LP’s other problems, this is small potatoes.

    The best response, in my view, is simply not to give money to the LNCC, at least for as long as Root and Aaron Starr hold sway on the committee. Research Libertarian candidates yourself, and send money to the ones who you think will deliver the best bang for the buck in terms of promoting libertarianism. If you don’t have time to do the research, ask a Libertarian you trust which candidates he or she recommends supporting. The LNCC is only as relevant as donors make it.

    Hopefully most Libertarians will not be so easily misled as to think that rounding up some wealthy buddies to sit on a committee with a big name and hand out a few checks to mostly moderate candidates makes W.A.R. a good choice to be the LP’s presidential nominee.

    Hopefully we have learned a lesson from the mistake of nominating Barr and Root in 2008 and won’t be so hungry in 2012 for a big-name candidate or one full of big promises and possessed of a big ego to match, that we overlook his lack of solid commitment to libertarianism, his eagerness to elevate winning over principles, his idolization of Ronald Reagan, his Republicanesque focus on demonizing Obama, his smarmy TV-pitchman vibe, his dubious business ethics (listed as a “scamdicapper” by some in the sports betting industry), etc.

  113. Robert Capozzi

    tb103: If you go to the websites of the 4 LP candidates for U.S. House, you will find mentions of the Fair Tax on all four and you will not find unequivocal calls to end the wars on Islam or drugs. Therefore, I suppose it is fair to assume the donors to Root’s PAC (the LNCC) are likely to appreciate candidates that advocate the Fair Tax and don’t advocate the end to perpetual war or to the drug war.

    me: Tom, now you’re scaring me. In your right mind, I’m sure you realize that a few datapoints don’t amount to a complete characterization. So, no, it’s not fair at all. In fact, it’s highly misleading, given that Root himself isn’t a FairTaxer.

    It’s seem I’ve read enough of your stuff to conclude that you are — consciously or unconsciously — a Rothbardian. As a former one myself, I recall Rothbard at his most passionate railing against “right wing opportunists.” These RWOs, in MNR’s mind, were Satanic, to be shunned, stunned and expunged from the LP and LM.

    Root fits the profile. He’s even GOOD at it. My guess is your Rothbardian programming triggers all sort of fear thoughts in your head when Root comes up. He must be stopped, your Inner Murray shouts, by any means necessary…borrowing from the MNR-approved black activist, Malcolm X. (X was angry; MLK, nonviolent. Interesting choice!)

    Or, not. Maybe you just really believe 4 data points, and the absence of other datapoints, is sufficient to draw a conclusion. Hard for me to imagine, but possible.

  114. Thomas L. Knapp

    Here’s Root on the “Fair” Tax in 2008:

    The so-called “Fair Tax” is not an advance for freedom; it is a prescription for tyranny and will relegate our descendents to being little more than welfare-dependent wards of the government.

    Advocating a “Fair Tax” is bad for our party and bad for America, and we believe that having our party’s nominee advocate this would tarnish the Libertarian Party’s brand.

    Unless he’s changed his mind (if he has, I haven’t heard about it), that seems to indicate that the four congressional candidates on the list were selected in spite of, not because of, their pro-“Fair”-Tax positions (assuming that Root’s opinion carried decisive weight in the selection, which it may not have).

    My guess is that Root’s opinion did carry decisive, or at least very heavy, weight in the selections, and that he felt that the four congressional candidates were worth supporting in spite of, not because of, their support for the “Fair” Tax.

  115. Robert Capozzi

    as: We are pluralistic.

    me: Yes, I stand by my assessment of the LNCC. But I’d say reasonably pluralistic. I spose you could have a quota system, supporting various strains of L candidates. Abolitionists. Constitutionalists. Georgists. etc.

    Even though I somewhat agree with MNR’s concerns about the dreaded RWOs, it’s very difficult for Ls to not sound rightwing, since politics tends to mostly be about economics.

    I wish there were an easy solution for this. None seem indicated.

  116. Aaron Starr

    I was figuring someone else would have brought this up and I’m surprised it hasn’t been.

    Tom Blanton’s claim that all four congressional candidates support the Fair Tax is not even true.

    Go to Congressional candidate Jim Prindle’s website (http://www.prindleforcongress.com/) and then type in the words “Fair Tax” in the search box in the upper right.

    You’ll find no mention about it whatsoever.

  117. Robert Capozzi

    as, thanks for the research. In my experience, Rothbardians have a propensity to invent facts when real ones aren’t available.

    I’m grateful to Brother Blanton for reminding us of this particular dysfunction.

    Zealots generally — not just Rothbardians — often do this. They assume others won’t replicate their research, but the Internet is making this form of delusion/purposeful misdirection far more difficult to pull off.

    It seems indicated to at once have compassion for zealots but, at the same time, heightened skepticism for their (very often) hidden agendas.

  118. Robert Capozzi

    …more…

    In my experience with Rothbardian zealots, when they are caught in a falsehood, they generally stonewall. They don’t respond. They don’t correct themselves. They don’t even acknowledge the falsehood. They generally either misdirect or hide for a while.

    Perhaps the best example of this was during the NewsletterGate episode. Rockwell, widely “credited” with spewing hate under Ron Paul’s name, went mum, leaving Dr. Paul holding the bag and looking like a fool.

    SOP.

  119. Be Rational

    It’s good to see the LNCC making contributions to Libertarian Party candidates. Of course they contribute to candidates that they like for some reason or another. So do we all I’d guess.

    Individuals who prefer other candidates can donate through another group or on their own.

    As to being misled, it’s doubtful anyone who has donated to the LNCC since last summer has been misled. If so, who? How many donors are there, how much did they give, and how much did the LNCC give each candidate? George Phillies seems to know, so I’m sure we’ll see that information posted here eventually.

    The LNCC and the LP are separate, independent, voluntary associations of individuals working toward common goals. We won’t agree all the time, but we should understand that fact and be respectful of the honest efforts of others who are working hard, in the best way they see, for Liberty.

  120. Change here

    I notice now this site has awaiting moderations. So does this mean they will select what they want on this site?

  121. Thomas L. Knapp

    Change here @137:

    Unless there’s been some kind of policy change at IPR that I haven’t heard about, any “moderation” is of the automatic variety, and anything that’s not obviously spam gets approved, i.e. there is no banning for political content and such.

  122. I guess limited on the Muslim posting

    There was a posting tried on the Muslim women site and it said the posting is under moderation.

  123. George Phillies

    @136

    It’s in their monthly FEC reports. You will need to wait a bit for the ‘how much’; that will only appear with a future report. The donors are in past reports.

  124. paulie

    137/9: And there has been no change. We have had the automated filter for as long as the site has been around.

    There have been large numbers of spam comments filtered out every day since comment registration was turned off in Jan 2009, a few legit comments getting caught by mistake and a few spam comments getting through by mistake every few days, but mostly it works fine.

    I’ve looked at all the settings and don’t know why it makes mistakes sometimes, nor do I see any way to correct or adjust the filters. It catches some of my comments by mistake sometimes as well.

    If your comment does not appear, write contact.ipr@gmail.com and if you are lucky someone will notice your email and take the time to fish your comment out of spam.

    It is indicative of your paranoia, amply demonstrated in many ways elsewhere, that you jumped to the unwarranted conclusion that someone is preapproving comments. I assure you that no one has that kind of time.

  125. paulie

    Is there currently any “Project 51?-type ballot access fund that people can contribute to for the LP?

    http://freedomballotaccess.org/

    Is supposed to be that, but the website needs improvement, and other attempts to do this would be welcome. I’d work with people if they want to set something up and want my help.

  126. paulie

    “Oversight” by whom?

    There seems to be a notion in the air that the LNCC is, or should be, “accountable” to someone other than its members/donors.

    I disagree. The LNCC should do what it damn well pleases.

    I agree. The people who donate to them should determine whether they want oversight.

    I haven’t read further to see if this has been asked and answered:

    Starr has long said that anarchists are not libertarians.

    When and where?

  127. paulie

    Aaron,

    I believe that as libertarians our goal should be minimize to the greatest extent possible the degree to which coercion exists in human relationships. I believe that such a state of affairs is most likely to take place under a limited, constitutional republic that is established only to respect and defend individual rights.

    I respect that there are those who sincerely believe that anarchy will accomplish this goal of minimizing coercion, but I believe that anarchy quickly devolves into tyranny under an oligarchy, which ultimately increases the amount of coercion.

    It is possible that anarchists are right and I’m wrong. I do not care to invest much emotional energy and time debating the subject. I’d rather maintain my friendships with these people with whom I disagree. It’s largely not productive to engage in debates and I do not believe we will be presented with the option of limited government versus no government during our lifetimes.

    I agree with most of that, except
    1) I’m on the anarchy side of that divide and
    2) I do believe we may be presented with such an option in our lifetimes;

    However, I substantively agree with you that it is not what we should focus on now; it is far more urgent to stop the ball from rolling in the wrong direction and get it rolling in the correct direction.

    And I agree about maintaining friendships, the possibility of being wrong, etc.

    Unless I missed something, it does not sound like you are saying that no anarchists are libertarians (or that no libertarians are anarchists).

  128. paulie

    It seems to me that the minarchist/anarchist debate is about as useful as two soldiers debating what to do with Hitler’s collection of art …

    … while they are taking heavy fire on the beach at Normandy.

    We all need to get back to the business of electing our candidates and hope that someday we will need to have a minarchist vs. anarchist debate to deal with the last 1% of the government.

    Good point.

  129. paulie

    Mr. Wilson,

    A union of state chairs could let everyone else know who is running and the kind of campaign. Mark Hinkle could then get the money from Root and the LNCC, and give it where the state chairs think it could do the most good.

    To check the LNCC would remove any hint of Root playing favorites. He wants to lead, fine, lead everyone. Not just the right side of liberty.

    LNCC should be promoting not just capitalist candidates sounding off on economic device, they should be promoting personal freedom candidates legalizing maryjane, lowering the drinking age, definitions of family, etc.

    Here in Missouri we have had assaults on smoking, strip clubs, red light cameras, and the humane society attacking farmers. The state chair could help Mark Hinkle understand the candidates and what the people need.

    A union of state chairs could benefit us from looking like donkey and elephant.

    An open website with votes, open ledger for distributions, our own liberty style facebook intranet, a youtube channel for introductions, video of meetings.

    Americans want transparency. Give it to them and ask nothing in return.

    Illustrate how a libertarian would work. No book club.

    It sounds like you wants some action from the LSLA or a new group – possibly one you help create – not the LNCC.

  130. paulie

    LG, glad to see you back on here. Missed ya girl! Give me a call when you can….

    You ask:

    SW_”To check the LNCC would remove any hint of Root playing favorites. He wants to lead, fine, lead everyone. Not just the right side of liberty.”

    me_Did I miss something? Isn’t Kubby getting money , he isnt the “right” side of liberty and he also has been a Root opponent.

    Steve and Wayne are personal friends, and Wayne devotes a chapter to Steve in his book.

    Also, Steve’s current campaign may be viable; IE, he might actually get elected, which is rare among LP campaigns.

  131. paulie

    Paulie,

    It would be really cool if you could embed the linked video @ 99. I don’t have the authorization to do that.

    Coming right up, although once again I’m not sure why you direct that to me alone.

    See http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/about/

    All of the following can do the same thing:

    Trent Hill — Editor-in-Chief

    Contributors:
    Paulie
    Fred Church Ortiz
    Ross Levin
    Tom Knapp
    Darcy G. Richardson
    Kimberly Wilder
    Morgan Brykein
    Brian Holtz
    Daniel Surman
    Dave Schwab
    Damon Eris
    Bruce Cohen
    Red Phillips
    Mike Theodore
    Chuck Moulton

    You may or may not notice that I haven’t posted articles in a couple of weeks, and that during that time my commenting has been a lot less than usual (until today).

    This is because my internet access has been very limited.

  132. paulie

    Here is the video Mr. Starr asked me to post. I have not seen it yet, but here it is:

    BTW — I would be happy to add you as an IPR contributor, which would let you post videos as well as articles.

    You don’t have to post articles frequently. Some of the list of people above hardly ever post articles.

    Articles can be reposts from LP.org, Wayne, etc.

    You can post news or other people’s editorials but not your own.

    Let me know if interested.

  133. The Clarifier

    Steven Wilson: As I understand, it would be illegal for the chair of the LNC to direct the activities of the LNCC.

  134. realpolitik anarchist

    Only four out of 13 candidates supported by the Congressional Candidates’ Committee are Congressional candidates?

    Smells like fraud…

  135. realpolitik anarchist

    re 130 –

    There are “only” four datapoints because there are only four Congressional candidates.

    4 / 4 = 100 %

    It seems remedial math class may be indicated.

  136. LP Pragmatist

    all this worry about who did this and who did that. Jezz, get busy helping your local LP affiliate, your state affiliate, and helping some LP candidates.

  137. The Clarifier

    “Only four out of 13 candidates supported by the Congressional Candidates’ Committee are Congressional candidates? Smells like fraud…”

    This is what I love about Libertarian message boards. A baseless accusation is made. It is immediately and easily disproven. The accusers continue to fling it as though they weren’t just shot down.

    Is Carol Moore hitting the road and teaching a class on this now?

  138. Robert Capozzi

    realpolitick, actually, it turned out to be 3/4. More importantly, statistics requires more observations than 4 to begin to draw any conclusions.

    But you knew that, right? You wouldn`t draw a conclusion about a marathon race based on the first 100 yards, I trust.

    If you don`t get the basics, remedial education may well be indicated 😉

  139. George Phillies

    @157

    Your analysis is completely wrong.

    The quotes numbers are *not* a random sampling, they are a full data set. Statistical validity has nothing to do with the issue.

  140. George Phillies

    @126

    The current NH campaign has generated 1.16 million facebook impressions, more for Ken Blevens, but a fair number for “Vote Libertarian”. At a guess we will be over 2 million impressions before election day.

    We have the promise from a major emailing libertarian house of a fund raising email letter distribution, which may raise the money for an AdWords ad campaign and perhaps even a radio campaign, though I am not betting on the latter.

    At this point, a specific donor picked up the costs of the direct mail fundraising for that –always nice to have donors who cover your admin costs — so every dollar raised will end up going to Facebook and etc. by election day.

    George

  141. Aaron Starr

    @ 157

    RC, you are absolutely correct!

    And to further illustrate the point, let’s say that the LNCC supported only one candidate this year named John Smith, who is a California candidate for Congress and wants to, say, pass a Federal law legalizing the ownership of ferrets.

    Sure, it’s a 100% data set of the immediate past election cycle.

    Now, can someone logically draw the conclusion that the LNCC’s policy is to only support California candidates or people with the last name of Smith or who have a signature issue of ferret legalization?

  142. Aaron Starr

    @152

    Steven Wilson: As I understand, it would be illegal for the chair of the LNC to direct the activities of the LNCC.

    I’m not certain that this would be prohibited, but it might have the effect of causing the FEC to treat both entities as one unifed committee for purposes of determining contribution limitations.

    In other words, separately a donor can give up $30,400 to either the LNC or the LNCC, with an aggregate limit of I believe $45,600, meaning that a donor could give the maximum to one and still be able to give $15,200 to the other.

    But if they were deemed by the FEC to be one entity because they were not truly independent of eachother, the agency could impose an aggregate limit of only $30,400 for the two entities combined.

    We have not yet come across a situation where a living donor wants to donate more than $30,400 in a year to the national LP, but we will do our best to create such an issue. It would certainly be a nice challenge to have to deal with.

  143. Robert Capozzi

    gp159, you may disagree, but, sorry, no, I’m not “wrong.” We’ve in the past talked about your uncommon extrapolation methods, and I guess we’ve never found common ground.

    Perhaps this is illustrative. @ 85, I pointed out that Blanton had cherry-picked his standard for assessing candidates, measured the 4 LNCC donees against his standard, and then Brother Blanton proceeded to wildly extrapolate. Blanton can use such an approach, but I strongly suggest he’s missing the forest for the trees.

    By way of analogy, we all might assume, based on ONE observation, that if you believe the LNC or LNCC has misappropriated one dime and your concerns are not addressed, you George will narc to the FEC.

    That may not actually be a bad assumption, since you never did provide a plausible explanation for that most unfortunate event. Instead, the “lame excuse meter” was set off for folks paying attention.

    But, in truth, I personally don’t assume that. My guess is you learned your lesson, but you’re too ashamed to take responsibility for your mistake. I admit I’m just guessing, but we all have that Inner Child reaction to being caught with our hand in the cookie jar. Some learn to overcome the tendency to project guilt.

    (As an aside, I suspect that’s why Oliver North became such a sensation in the 80s. He seemed forthright when he testified, “yep, I did it, I took the cookies.” He appeared to take responsibility, a refreshing thing, regardless of what we think about his actions.)

  144. JT

    Robert: “In my experience with Rothbardian zealots, when they are caught in a falsehood, they generally stonewall.”

    How many data points do you have of “Rothbardian zealots” doing this? Who and how?

  145. George Phillies

    @162 I believe you are correct on the core issue, though this also cuts the other way. If you and your friends and friends of friends who are very generously funding the LNCC do not agree with the LNC as to which candidates to fund, and certainly funding a farm team of lower candidates is a standard tactic, you can go ahead and use your best judgement, rather than having the LNC bring you to a stop.

  146. Robert Capozzi

    jt, I haven’t kept count over these 30 years of observation. NewsletterGate was the most pronouncedly dysfunctional stonewall I’ve seen from Rothbardians — the most helpful teachable moment to illustrate their SOP.

  147. Tom Blanton

    I have followed the Jim Prindle campaign to a small extent since I saw him do a brief interview at the 2010 LP national convention. This is because I consider him to be the poster child of what is wrong with too many libertarian candidates.

    I may be mistaken, but I believe at some point he said he favored the Fair Tax. If I am wrong, let me quote Steve Martin and say “Excuse me!”

    Prindle is what he is. Check out his positions at Project Vote Smart and judge for yourself if he is a good libertarian candidate or merely another disgruntled Republican. There is a reason Dondero and Root think he is a great guy, and here’s why:

    votesmart (dot) org/npat.php?can_id=123925

  148. Robert Capozzi

    more to jt, you might do some research and read MNR’s original (unedited) “strategy memo,” where he laid out his Leninist approach to revolution. For me, that kind of zealotry leads to justifying all sorts of mendacity, misdirection and character assassination as a means to advance a particular POV in an almost cult-like manner.

    Thankfully, for me, I was turned off to Rothbardianism in my youth because of this behavior, which I found to be highly dysfunctional if not out right delusional. It’s no wonder to me that MNR convinced himself of such bizarre conclusions like fetuses as parasites and justifying baby selling.

    More thankfully, the Rothbardians never turned violent.

  149. Robert Capozzi

    tb, thanks for the link. Without other information, my gut reaction would be to not support Prindle were I on the LNCC. (There may be errors or other considerations I’m not aware of.)

    I accept your apology on the specific point.

    It’s completely within bounds to critique Prindle on his positions, and within bounds to critique the LNCC for supporting him. It’s certainly within bounds to express concern that some elements are turning too hard to the right, especially since I agree! 😉

    Just be fair and accurate about it, I’d suggest. It helps your case in the long run, and feels better in the short run to be a fair dealer in information.

    IMO.

  150. Tom Blanton

    I try to be accurate and fair.

    I do wish those who are so concerned about accuracy and fairness when it comes to blog posts would be as concerned about it when it comes to the LNCC and some of the “leaders” (and candidates) in the LP.

    Regardless of what candidates get funded by the LNCC, is there really any valid argument that the name “Libertarian National Congressional Committee” is misleading when it donates to more local and state candidates than it donates to congressional candidates?

    Hopefully, members of the LP will discover through articles like the one above (and the discussion herein) that perhaps their money would be better spent at the corner bar than with the LNCC. Maybe they already know this considering the paltry amount of cash the LNCC has raised and the way it is diluted by funding non-congressional candidates.

    They may also discover they would be serving the cause better by spending their time at the corner bar rather than bothering to vote for candidates like Prindle.

    Of course, Prindle might just be their cup of tea. If that is so, they might consider just voting Republican in order to create a more “libertarian” society. Dick Armey and GOP mega-donors like the Koch boys would probably agree.

  151. Robert Capozzi

    tb, LNCC is a legacy name. They’ve shifted their focus, and perhaps they should rebrand themselves. I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill on the organization’s name. They were a dormant startup and they’ve now been infused with some life and leadership. They may not always pick the best candidates from MY perspective, but I see no reason to believe they’ve not done a good job in their first try. Overall, I give them a B+.

    As I said, Prindle’s apparent answers to VoteSmart’s survey don’t sound like someone I personally would financially support, were I in a position to. I also wouldn’t financially support abolitionist Ls, either. I might vote for either, depending on a range of factors. My strong bias is to always vote L.

    Prindle may well be an effective exponent for liberty, despite some of his survey answers. Like so many of these simplistic surveys, I find I sometimes could answer “undecided” on them, since the question is framed in ways that require more elaboration to accurately reflect my view.

    Personally, I don’t find litmus tests useful in assessing who is worthy of support. You may.

    It’s all good.

  152. Thomas L. Knapp

    “More thankfully, the Rothbardians never turned violent.”

    Au contraire — at least one prominent Rothbardian (Bill Evers) was actually a consultant to the US government in the occupation of Iraq!

    For the record, I was unable to find any evidence that Prindle supports the “Fair” Tax. He seems (rightly) more focused on cutting taxes than on recombobulating how they’re assessed.

  153. Dan Wiener

    @170: Much as I would like the Koch brothers to contribute additional money to the Libertarian Party and its candidates, it’s pretty hard to complain if they choose to spend their money elsewhere. Charles and David Koch together have already donated at least a million dollars, and probably two or three million in total (I don’t recall the numbers more precisely), which is about an order of magnitude more than anyone else ever has. So for that I’m very grateful.

  154. Robert Capozzi

    tk, ha HA. Yes, Brother Williamson went very native, although I’m not sure he’s a Rothbardian any longer. He told me he broke with MNR when MNR and Rockwell went paleo.

    And I’m not sure Evers is in any shape to do physical violence. He’s no Tim McVeigh.

  155. Tom Blanton

    He seems (rightly) more focused on cutting taxes than on recombobulating how they’re assessed.

    Actually, Prindle seems very focused on increasing spending on those things that matter to him – defense and intelligence.

    Personally, I don’t find litmus tests useful in assessing who is worthy of support.

    I find where candidates stand on issues to be far more important than brightness of teeth or the amount of hair product used. But that’s just me.

    Charles and David Koch together have already donated at least a million dollars, and probably two or three million in total (I don’t recall the numbers more precisely), which is about an order of magnitude more than anyone else ever has.

    How many orders of magnitude greater than donations to libertarians have the Koch boys spent to buy influence with the Republicans?

    In my book, people who consistently give millions of dollars, year after year, to Republicans and Democrats are no friends of liberty. There is more to freedom than political favors to Koch Industries.

    It would seem that if liberty is what the Kochs sought to purchase with their millions, they may be the biggest suckers in all of history. Of course, maybe they never were concerned about liberty for anyone other than Koch Industries. In that case, their investments appear to have paid off quite well.

  156. Pingback: Libertarian Donors Club Update | Independent Political Report

  157. Robert Capozzi

    tb: I find where candidates stand on issues to be far more important than brightness of teeth or the amount of hair product used. But that’s just me.

    me: Yes, me too. Have I suggested otherwise?

    It seems unavoidable that we intuitively all net-out what we think about a candidate (or anything else). There are issues that we might agree to overlook our disagreement with a candidate because ON BALANCE we think the candidate reflects our values generally.

    And HOW “the issues” are framed makes a huge difference. For ex., if you ask me “should military spending be increased or decreased?,” I’d answer decreased. If you then asked me, what about counter-terrorism intelligence, should that be increased or decreased? I don’t have a position, but I’m open to increasing counter-terrorism spending certainly as a percentage of military spending, possibly in absolute dollars.

    Simplistic answers to those questions are not captured by such surveys. As a matter of shorthand, I might answer the military intel question “greatly increase.” Shorthand bumperstickers can be as vacuous as hair styles…worse, actually, since it seems couched as “substance,” but it really isn’t.

    Generally, the abolitionist answer is always, “taxation is theft, that program should be abolished immediately or very soon.”

    I can’t say I’ve seen that as an option for an answer on such surveys, have you?

  158. Steve

    I’d still like to know what those PAC contributions are that the LNCC is getting. Are there people running large libertarian PACs or has Root found a way to tap into that money or is he just exaggerating $500 contributions from the few libertarian PACs that exist?

  159. George Phillies

    You have but to wait for the FEC reports for the period, and the truth will be learned.

    Mind you, the notion that there are large PACs that are actually libertarian is suspect. However, raising money from Democratic or Republican PACs for races in which our candidate may have a favorable effect on the outcome is not unknown.

    George

  160. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Generally, the abolitionist answer is always, ‘taxation is theft, that program should be abolished immediately or very soon.'”

    In your imagination, perhaps. In the real world, seldom.

  161. Robert Capozzi

    tk, OK, what IS the more common abolitionist position?

    On second thought, I do stand somewhat corrected. Abolitionists don’t usu. articulate this position in a campaign context. My observation is that that’s the standard abolitionist view, but that most abolitionists realize that to actually say those words in a campaign might be, um, misunderstood.

    I do seem to recall that Phillies posted private LNC correspondence in which Hinkle articulated the “taxation is theft” bumpersticker slogan.

    I’m curiously reminded of the Glenn Close character in FATAL ATTRACTION. 😉 Some bad ideas just won’t die. 😉

  162. Tom Blanton

    The phrase “taxation is theft” is certainly meaningless to those indoctrinated to believe in the superiority of the prevailing statist system, but is not as absurd as the mantra of moderates that “taxation is the price one pays to live in a civilized society.”

    Taxation is actually the price one is forced to pay to live in totalitarian states, authoritarian states, surveillance states, police states, welfare states and warfare states.

    In varying degrees, America is all of those things. Of course, indoctrinated moderates don’t want to hear any of that either.

  163. Robert Capozzi

    tb: Taxation is actually the price one is forced to pay to live in totalitarian states, authoritarian states, surveillance states, police states, welfare states and warfare states.

    me: Agree. Taxation is done by force. Death is usually not done by force, but can be. Both are unpleasant; both are inevitable in some form.

    It’s charming to think that taxes are NOT inevitable.

    Back on Planet Earth, it seems more useful to think about ways to keep the unpleasant minimized. To find multitudes who agree.

    And maybe some day, who knows, maybe the “theft” can be banished. Maybe death can, too!

  164. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “OK, what IS the more common abolitionist position?”

    The more common abolitionist position is “taxation is theft, that program should be abolished.”

    Your “immediately or very soon” addendum is just a variant of the standard anti-abolitionist canard that anyone who calls for anything more substantial than minor reductions in the speed of government growth in the near term is demanding “anarchy next week.”

  165. Robert Capozzi

    tk, thanks. The point’s feeling unfinished, then. If, say, Social Security or SAC should be abolished, I’d think the responsible, articulate abolitionist would give prospects a sense of timing.

    Or is the abolitionist’s goal to provoke thought without any interest in making change?

    I seem to recall MNR using the “transition plan” placeholder, but even when I was under his sway, that seemed insufficient to me.

  166. Robert Capozzi

    There are, perhaps unfortunately, those who believe the case has been proven that “property is theft.” It is also a bumpersticker slogan.

    The clash of the bumpersticker slogans reveals some heat on the fringes, but no light that I can see.

  167. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    The essential element of “abolitionism” is “abolition.” Abolitionists are a set classified by desired end state — preferred or advocated means, timetables and such to achieve that end state vary from abolitionist to abolitionist.

    So far this iteration of the discussion is analogous to:

    BC: Generally, convenience store clerks are Mormons.

    TLK: If you live in Utah, maybe. Anywhere else, not so much.

    BC: OK, what IS the more common convenience store clerk religion?

    TLK: Well, some of them are Methodists and some are Catholics and some are Cubs fans. It varies, really.

    BC: The point’s unfinished then.

    TLK: Well, no, because you see, the essential shared characteristic of convenience store clerks is that they work at convenience stores, not that they’re Scientologists or Baptists or Nestoreans or Taoists.

  168. JT

    Robert: “more to jt, you might do some research and read MNR’s original (unedited) “strategy memo,” where he laid out his Leninist approach to revolution. For me, that kind of zealotry leads to justifying all sorts of mendacity, misdirection and character assassination as a means to advance a particular POV in an almost cult-like manner.”

    You made a general accusation of stonewalling, so I was honestly curious how many data points you had of that and any other instances you were referring to. In response, you just said you’ve been around libertarians for 30 years and repeated your example of the Paul newsletters. I guess I’m not getting any more examples to support that. A strategy memo–which I’ve already read a while ago–doesn’t address that idea, regardless of whether or not you think it’s zealous or cultish. An accusation of zealousness (which I’m sure some other people would call intensity or fervency or hardcore activism) is different than an accusation of stonewalling or inventing facts.

  169. Steve

    @ 179 – Thank you Dr. Phillies, I’ll be interested to see that report when it comes out, I was just wondering if anyone here had any insight on it.

    PACs by their nature generally support D’s and R’s and are usually biased towards incumbents who have a record of voting for the PACs goals. So its a major story that the LP is getting large PAC donations as it shows that either: 1. Libertarians themselves are starting PACs and are raising substantial amounts of money or 2. Single issue PACs are seeing the LP as a better investment for their issue than the major parties or 3. Root got a hundred bucks from a Libertarian PAC somewhere and is exaggerating his fundraising ability.

  170. Steve

    And Dr. Phillies, I know that you have a PAC and I’m sure there are a few others, but I’m guessing its not you giving “major” donations to Root.

  171. Michael H. Wilson

    Early on in this page it was about the flat tax but after taking some time to look thru the issues for the candidates for Congress it looks to me like they could use some clarity on the deployment of U.S. troops abroad. If I am reading these sites right only Gonzalez is clear about bringing any of the troops home.

  172. Tom Blanton

    Or is the abolitionist’s goal to provoke thought without any interest in making change?

    Bubby, this question makes no sense. Obviously, those who you call abolitionists want change. Perhaps the idea is to provoke thought in hopes of changing minds, which will lead to a change in society.

    It seems absurd to me that the moderate absolutist thinks political change can be made by telling people what they already believe in hopes of winning elections against an entrenched duopoly of political cults that are firmly based on lies and propaganda that most partisans have internalized.

    To the extent that this is even possible, is it honest to sell one set of ideas to the public only to deliver a completely different agenda if elected?

    It seems obvious to many that no libertarian will ever be elected to office until there are a sufficient number of libertarian voters, unless the libertarian candidate dishonestly runs on some other agenda. It also seems obvious that a sufficient number of libertarian voters will not materialize in the absence of libertarian ideas.

    This goes beyond the so-called anarchy VS minarchy debate as many LP candidates of the moderate & conservative persuasions can hardly be called minarchists.

    It’s time for the LP to piss or get off the pot. Pretending that elections can be won by mimicking centrists or conservatives serves no purpose.

  173. paulie

    The LNCC raises money from its members. Then the LNCC donates that money to the candidates they choose. The members can demand whatever oversight they want.

    It’s hard to understand the whiners on the outside. If you want to impact the candidates choices of the LNCC, you should join the LNCC. Join and help decide.

    If you don’t like the LNCC or the candidates it chooses, you can donate your own money to the candidates of your choice outside the LNCC.

    The LNCC has properly donated to the LP candidates its members have chosen. There is really nothing more an outsider can ask of them.

    There are whiners and there are doers.

    The doers are the ones that make things happen. Like it or not, agree with his choices or not, Root is a doer. He is trying to change America and make it better. I don’t agree with him some of the time, but I respect what he’s doing.

    If you want to impact the direction of politics in America, you have to stop whining and do something.

    Agreed.

  174. paulie

    Of course these people have a very simple alternative: Bypass the LNCC and contribute money to whomever they prefer. That’s what George Phillies is doing with his Liberty for America PAC (although off hand I have no idea how much it’s actually raised and donated to candidates). That’s what Nick Youngers (who is working cooperatively with the LNCC) is doing with his Libertarian Donors Club. It would be great if we had a dozen more such efforts and a dozen times as much money (for a start).

    Instead the complainers will sit on the sidelines and tell the rest of us how much better off we’d be if we paid attention to their criticisms and did it their way. And the rest of us will continue to be amused, and the LNCC will continue to pretty much ignore them.

    Exactly.

  175. paulie

    The so-called “Fair Tax” is not an advance for freedom; it is a prescription for tyranny and will relegate our descendents to being little more than welfare-dependent wards of the government.

    Advocating a “Fair Tax” is bad for our party and bad for America, and we believe that having our party’s nominee advocate this would tarnish the Libertarian Party’s brand.

    I agree.

    Nevertheless, efforts by the LNCC, Donors Club, and other groups to coordinate support for candidates is welcome.

  176. paulie

    it’s very difficult for Ls to not sound rightwing, since politics tends to mostly be about economics.

    I don’t think politics is mostly about economics, and it is possible for Libertarians not to sound right wing on economics.

  177. Robert Capozzi

    jt, I’d think it’d be obvious that an ideology that believes that fetuses are parasites, baby-selling is aOK, and has a founder of the ideology that models his approach after Lenin’s would be prone to such zealousness that employing tactics like stonewalling and other dishonest ways of relating to others would be predictable and expected. I don’t keep score, though, on the innumerable times I’ve had opaque dealings with Rothbardians, or other zealots. There’s really no meaningful communication with them, in my experience.

  178. Robert Capozzi

    tb: It seems absurd to me that the moderate absolutist thinks political change can be made by telling people what they already believe in hopes of winning elections against an entrenched duopoly of political cults that are firmly based on lies and propaganda that most partisans have internalized.

    To the extent that this is even possible, is it honest to sell one set of ideas to the public only to deliver a completely different agenda if elected?

    me: You misunderstand my view, then. A political party that stood for fiscal conservatism, social liberalism and war aversion could be popular today. There’s no need to change minds and paradigms. I don’t see the need to shock people with taxation (or property) is theft when tax and budget cuts, gay marriage, and exiting Iraq, for ex., appeals to broad swaths of the population NOW.

    Holding high high theory in the public square is to me a poor use of time. Applying a lessarchist approach to today’s issues in ways that are relevant and not esoteric could tap into the increasingly disenchanted independent voter.

    Or, we can wait a few centuries. Or wait for a Soviet-like crumbling of the current configuration and try to get a moment on the soapbox to argue for the “morality” of private defense agencies.

  179. Robert Capozzi

    pc: I don’t think politics is mostly about economics, and it is possible for Libertarians not to sound right wing on economics.

    me: My observation is that most elections turn on economic issues. There probably are exceptions, but off hand I can’t think of one.

  180. paulie

    There probably are exceptions, but off hand I can’t think of one.

    There are so many exceptions that I don’t think it is even a rule at all, but I’ll start with the Democratic Party winning control of Congress in 2006 as the first example that springs to mind.

    I don’t think the overriding factor in that was economic issues.

  181. paulie

    As an aside, I suspect that’s why Oliver North became such a sensation in the 80s. He seemed forthright when he testified, “yep, I did it, I took the cookies.”

    As a tangent to a tangent: he may have seemed to have been forthright, but in fact he was mostly covering for those above him.

    Don’t ask me how I know 🙂

  182. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 198 Cappozi writes; “I’d think it’d be obvious that an ideology that believes that fetuses are parasites, baby-selling is aOK, and has a founder of the ideology that models his approach after Lenin’s would be prone to such zealousness that employing tactics like stonewalling and other dishonest ways of relating to others would be predictable and expected.”
    I think it is fair to assume you are talking about Rothbard here. Given that a couple of comments are in order.

    From what I can find the word libertarian was first used in 1789. In 1883 we have reference to the libertarian doctrine being taught.

    I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination can you accurately describe Rothbard as the “founder of the ideology”. It has been around a long time and lots of people were writing on the subject before Rothbard came along.

    If your only exposure to Libertarian thought has been Rand and Rothbard you live in a pretty isolated world. You might want to look at life outside the silo you are in Robert. There’s a world out there.

  183. Robert Capozzi

    pc, hmm, interesting choice. It seemed to me 06 was mostly Bush weariness, incumbent weariness, arrogance weariness, perhaps war-weariness. Interestingly, my impression (and recollection) is that the Ds weren’t especially anti-war then or now.

    06 was George Allen’s demise, for ex., for uttering a racial slur.

  184. paulie

    Interestingly, my impression (and recollection) is that the Ds weren’t especially anti-war then or now.

    True, but they were perceived to be antiwar relative to the Republicans, and voters cast ballots based on perceptions.

    Come to think of it, the economy was not bad in 1994, either (‘Republican Revolution’).

  185. Robert Capozzi

    OK, here’s a theory…Carville may not have been exactly right, it may not be exclusively “the economy, stupid.”

    People’s voting tendency is a pendulum swinging from “outright economic fear” to “country’s on the wrong track.” Both of these are negative reasons, which is why negative, attack ads work. 94 and 06 were not driven by outright economic fear, but rather a sense of doom about the unbalanced current state of affairs. I seem to recall the Rs making a big deal about HillaryCare in 93, and that got people worried. In 06, the war wasn’t going well, Compound W was heavily bunkered, corporate scandals were fresh in the air, and the Rs were paid back for their arrogance. I saw little late-Vietnam disgust with that war. It was more of a sense of a pebble in our collective shoe…can’t we just stop, sit down, take the shoe off, and get rid of this thing already? It’s a mistake IMO to confuse strong anti-war sentiments with war weariness.

    In a sense, we are still a nation with PTSD. Unlike actual PTSD, it’s under the surface, not an overt condition for most individuals. You’d think we’d be over it, but the Ground Zero Mosque tells me that those who know how to manipulate the collective psyche can still get a rise out of the masses by invoking the national trauma of 9/11.

    With the exception of the Donderos of the world, most Ls are relatively immune to this PTSD, so we have a hard time relating to those who suffer from it. Living near the Pentagon, I personally was for perhaps a week concerned for my physical safety. For about a month, I was considering my options to exact revenge on whoever executed the attacks. But I (consciously, at least) got over it pretty quickly.

    Since the human condition is mostly about coping with fear and acting in a defensive manner, it’s no surprise that most pols are adept at manipulating fear. We Ls, I submit, are about raising people’s consciousness to rise above the fear.

    Unfortunately, we Ls also have a tendency to not recognize just how paranoid most people are (below the surface). We tend to get angry about this sorry state of affairs, and then we get angry at ourselves for not being able to wake people up. In turn, we project our anger onto voters and mainstream pols and intellectuals, dismissing them all as a bunch of sheep.

    This stance is unlikely to win many people over.

  186. Michael H. Wilson

    re: RC @ 200 for once I have to agree with you most elections are about economic issues at least since the Depression. Remember Reagan’s “are you better off today than…”

  187. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, hmm, I do believe we’ve agreed before, but great. Seems like presidential campaigns are more about economics and , I guess, attitude. Social and fp matters are background issues, generally.

  188. paulie

    RC @ 200 for once I have to agree with you most elections are about economic issues at least since the Depression. Remember Reagan’s “are you better off today than…”

    That wasn’t all about economics. The Iranian hostage crisis, perceived military weakness in the cold war, and “Moral Majority” social issues were all key to Reagan’s coalition. Much of his strategy depended on the Southern vote, which went mostly for Carter in ’76 and Nixon in ’72 – in neither case based primarily on economic issues. Even when elections are in large part about economics, such as in 2008, other factors such as the foreign wars are also important.

    The idea that social and foreign policy issues are secondary is IMO wrong. It is especially wrong for Libertarians because 90% of Americans don’t switch parties after age 30, and college-age people have a plurality of left-center-libertarians who know and care more about social and foreign policy issues than economic issues and tend to agree with libertarians on social and foreign policy issues while being unsure/confused/persuadable on economics. I’ve explained this time and time again…we are shooting ourselves in the foot by not selling ourselves effectively to our most available audiences, most especially young people.

  189. Michael H. Wilson

    I dunno paulie. The news clipping I have in front of me has an inflation rate of 14.76% in March of 1980.

    Ya the hostage crisis was important but unemployment and inflation were more so as I recall.

    See this below from Lew Rockwell.

    “This scenario got me thinking about the last time there was a panicked run-up in commodities: The stagflation of the 1970’s in the United States, specifically the period 1979–1983. Oil nearly doubled in price, gold and silver went hyperbolic. Gas shortages were rampant – the situation almost got to the point where the government considered rationing gasoline. In fact, ration cards were printed – that’s how bad things got.

    Because of the Oil Shock, the inflation index rose to a peak of 15% – yet unemployment also exploded, reaching almost 11%. This combination of unemployment and inflation was what gave the period its name – stagflation: ‘Stagnant inflation.’ “

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/lira4.1.1.html

  190. paulie

    Ya the hostage crisis was important but unemployment and inflation were more so as I recall.

    No argument from me. When the economy is in dire straits, it becomes the top issue. But other issues are more important at other times, and are important secondary issues even when the economy is at the top of most people’s concerns.

    Robert’s original point was that the LP comes off as right wing because the economy is always the primary issue and our position on economic issues is right wing.

    One part of my answer got no answer in return: our views on economic issues are not necessarily right wing; it’s all a matter of how we explain them.

    Another has been the subject of much back and forth since then: that the economy isn’t always primary. I maintain it is only primary in some election cycles, not others, and that even when it is primary, social and foreign policy issues are still important to many voters.

    More importantly specifically for the LP, social and foreign policy issues are much more important to the most persuadable demographic groups than they are to the general public as a whole….and they already tend to agree with libertarians on those issues.

    When you’re twenty years old, freedom to have it your own way with sex, drugs, and entertainment/expression are more important to most people than when you are 50. You and/or your peers are the ones most likely to be on the front lines if there is a war. The economy may well be a distant issue, especially if you are in college or living with your parents. Even if you live on your own and work for a living, you’re a lot less likely to know or care as much about economic issues as someone who is planning for retirement and/or putting kids through college.

    Couple this with the fact that lifelong voting patterns are mostly formed at this age…again, literally 90% of Americans don’t change parties after age 30…and it should be blindingly obvious why we should focus on this demographic and emphasize the social and foreign policy aspects of libertarianism.

  191. Michael H. Wilson

    p. writes: “One part of my answer got no answer in return: our views on economic issues are not necessarily right wing; it’s all a matter of how we explain them.”

    Yes, yes, yes! I was talking to a state rep this afternoon about improving healthcare without raising taxes. Just an amazing idea to a lot of people that a free and open market provides more choices for more people. Especially important concept for those on the lower end of the economic ladder.

    I’ll buy the rest of your point except for the over 50 point. Sex, drugs and rock and roll at any age!

  192. Robert Capozzi

    pc: It is especially wrong for Libertarians because 90% of Americans don’t switch parties after age 30, …

    me: I wonder how current this data is. My understanding is that the ranks of independents is increasing dramatically. Switching from R or D to independent is a switch.

    pc: “One part of my answer got no answer in return: our views on economic issues are not necessarily right wing; it’s all a matter of how we explain them.”

    me: I dunno HOW that’s possible. If Ls are for lower taxes and spending, that’s widely viewed as right wing. Higher taxes and spending is left wing.

    Where we CAN differentiate is where we cut from first. Military and corporate welfare cuts makes us different kind of right wingers on economics, and of course we actually would like to enact real cuts.

    Some of us would like to enact 100% cuts, which is right wing on steroids.

  193. paulie

    me: I wonder how current this data is. My understanding is that the ranks of independents is increasing dramatically. Switching from R or D to independent is a switch.

    I believe the survey I saw that in was in the last year or two. I’d like to find it again, but don’t feel like searching this second. I’d like to find it again before too long though, as it’s a key talking point.

    Independents are growing, but not that dramatically:

    Given that some people are dying, others becoming old enough to vote, etc, I see no inconsistency here with the 90% number.

  194. Robert Capozzi

    pc, thanks for the chart. Prospecting for students is probably a great LT “investment,” and it sounds great, and should be done, etc. However, students are least likely to be donors in the here and now.

    I suspect the biggest payoff is to prospect for independent adults and L-leaning Rs and Ds (if there are any in any number), people who — if attracted — can help to finance the next leg of growth.

    The student prospect population needs to be subsidized, all things considered.

  195. paulie

    I dunno HOW that’s possible. If Ls are for lower taxes and spending, that’s widely viewed as right wing. Higher taxes and spending is left wing.

    Cutting corporate welfare can be considered “left wing.” Ditto military-industrial and police-prison-industrial complexes. Removing occupational licensing barriers which prevent poor people from getting jobs may be “left wing,” stopping eminent domain abuse by government on behalf of corporations…possibly left wing? Ending corporate personhood and non-consensual limited liability: both libertarian and left wing. Those are just a few examples.

    High taxes and high spending are only “left-wing” because they are widely perceived as equalizing the economic playing field. What defines them as left wing is that they supposedly serve that goal. Libertarians’ job is to argue that the opposite is the case: high taxes and high spending tilt the economic playing field towards the established players with money to buy government favors – those “too big to fail” – and restrict opportunities away from those stuck at the bottom.

    This redefines our position as more genuinely leftist than the big government position on economics. While this may seem like a departure, in fact in the long view of history, the opposite is the case: it is the modern tendency to view big government as an equalizer, and economic freedom as something that exacerbates economic disparity, that is the departure from historic norms — as well as from economic reality.

    In truth, it is economic liberty – not big government- which best serves every liberal goal: equality of economic opportunity, availability of health care and educational opportunities for all, good conditions for workers, safe products for consumers, a healthy environment, and so on. In fact, big government is in fact detrimental to each and every one of these goals.

    It is when – and only when – libertarians start to make this case that we start to really become politically relevant.

  196. paulie

    However, students are least likely to be donors in the here and now.

    Not necessarily true, I know that many have money to party with and can donate it to causes if they are motivated. Beyond that, they can persuade other people to donate.

    But young people are just one of several groups that are strongly motivated by the pro-liberty side of peace and civil liberties issues. Gay people, recent immigrants, artists and creative people of all types…there are many groups of people that a liberal-libertarian message can appeal to. And yes, many of them have plenty of money, but fear the “christian coalition/moral majority” influence in politics, migrant-bashers, religious and racial bigotry more than they worry about taxes.

    Many of them may also support high taxes because they consider it to be more compassionate. Libertarians need to demonstrate, first, that we care about the poor, the environment, etc., and, second, that economic liberty is more compassionate than big government.

  197. paulie

    I’ll buy the rest of your point except for the over 50 point. Sex, drugs and rock and roll at any age!

    I wasn’t saying they lose importance all together, just that they become less important vis-a-vis economic issues for most people as they age. I realize there are exceptions.

  198. paulie

    Where we CAN differentiate is where we cut from first. Military and corporate welfare cuts makes us different kind of right wingers on economics

    I maintain that we are not right wingers at all. And the sooner we realize this, and make other people realize it, the sooner we start seeing real political success.

    Some of us would like to enact 100% cuts, which is right wing on steroids.

    Depends on what prism you see it through, and how you define right wing and left wing. So, let’s define terms.

    Historically, right and left wing are determined by goals. Right wing goals are the maintenance of existing social and economic privilege, traditional social and religious values, and existing social and economic hierarchies. They also frequently include degrees of cultural, social and national chauvinism. Left wing goals are to level the playing field for the underdogs, break down barriers of privilege, and in general the opposite of the right wing goals as outlined above.

    Libertarianism is a philosophy of acceptable means. Radical libertarians believe in completely outlawing initiation of force, while moderate libertarians seek to minimize initiation of force while maintaining that a functional society is impossible without some initiation of force.

    Big government is the opposing philosophy of means – that is, whatever your goals are, they are best achieved by a powerful state.

    So, the assumption above – one shared by most people in America today – is that big government is what serves to achieve leftist goals, and small government leads to rightist results. But, I believe that in fact the opposite is the case, and that the more prevalent view throughout most of history – that big government naturally goes hand in hand with big institutions and static hierarchies in all other fields of life – is the correct one.

    Seen through this prism, and with this definition of left and right, 100% cuts are actually left wing “on steroids” — not that I like the “steroid” analogy, mind you.

    Again, I think our job should be to de-link the means of big government from leftist goals. When we make a critical mass of people realize that leftist goals are best served by libertarian means, we start making real headway.

  199. Michael H. Wilson

    You’re right paulie but how do you get that thru the thick heads of some in the LP?

    With all of the computer jocks around this group maybe we have to use another analogy. The Republicans and Democrats are like IBM and Microsoft.

    We should be thinking like Apple. Come out with a bunch of new ideas and watch out stock go from $4 a share to $300.

  200. paulie

    You’re right paulie but how do you get that thru the thick heads of some in the LP?

    Jeez, I don’t know. Get some new heads in the LP, I reckon.

  201. Pingback: Luzerne County Controller Backs Tim Mullen For PA Senate | Independent Political Report

  202. Robert Capozzi

    pc: I think our job should be to de-link the means of big government from leftist goals.

    me: That may be a job for the LM, not the LP, IMO. In a soundbite universe, explaining to people that “left” is actually not “big government” but actually small government with an eye toward equity. I’m for the LP fielding candidates who can make the case for shrinking government is good for the “little” guy/gal. I’m for outside-the-Rothbard-box approach, like neo-Georgist citizens dividends funded by pollution taxes.

    The premise “taxation is theft” that undergirds so much L thinking, however, is a right wing counterbalance to “property is theft.” But, yes, ultimately these sorts of labels are inaccurate, simplistic and misrepresentative — agreed. They are political shorthand.

    If a L candidate has the LEAST right-wing-sounding economic message breaks through and does fabulously well in the polls, perhaps other Ls will take another look. However, IMO Ls use the notion of “principle” to mask a deep sense of denial. What works — for most Ls I know — matters not. What is moral is all.

    I don’t happen to believe that that’s the optimal rule for decisionmaking.

    http://freeliberal.com/archives/003726.php

  203. paulie

    p1: I think our job should be to de-link the means of big government from leftist goals.

    bc: That may be a job for the LM, not the LP, IMO. In a soundbite universe, explaining to people that “left” is actually not “big government” but actually small government with an eye toward equity. I’m for the LP fielding candidates who can make the case for shrinking government is good for the “little” guy/gal. I’m for outside-the-Rothbard-box approach, like neo-Georgist citizens dividends funded by pollution taxes.

    p2: The job of the LP is a subset of the job of the LM. The basic job is the same. And yes, there are ways to find to do it in a soundbite universe. As you said, I’m for the LP fielding candidates who can make the case for shrinking government is good for the “little” guy/gal. I don’t agree with citizens dividends funded by pollution taxes, but we agree on the simpler premise.

    bc: The premise “taxation is theft” that undergirds so much L thinking, however, is a right wing counterbalance to “property is theft.”

    p2: Again…it is only right wing if you accept the common notion that taxes generally act to take from the haves and give to the have nots. In reality, taxes act mainly to redistribute wealth and opportunity upwards and to make economic mobility more difficult, not less. Unless your definition of left and right is different from mine, in a universe where taxes do that, “taxation is theft” is a left wing soundbite. If you’d like to offer a different definition of what defines left and right, please do so.

    As for “property is theft,” as long as scarce resources exist – even if they are only locally scarce, such as a particular piece of land, building, or item – someone has to have the decision on who gets to use it, how much, when, and in what ways. That could be an individual, a family, a corporation, a government committee, a meeting of the whole town, a lottery, a court or arbitration agency, or a fist or gunfight. Taxes can be done away with completely, even though you may think the results would be bad. Property, in one form or another, can’t be.

    bc: But, yes, ultimately these sorts of labels are inaccurate, simplistic and misrepresentative — agreed.

    p2: I don’t disagree that taxation is theft. Well, more accurately, extortion, at least when it is not a hidden tax.

    bc: If a L candidate has the LEAST right-wing-sounding economic message breaks through and does fabulously well in the polls, perhaps other Ls will take another look.

    p2: Perhaps. However, I don’t think one candidate can necessarily overcome the whole tone that the party and movement as a whole have been setting for decades (which is still going on). Even if they could, finding that candidate and getting them to the point where they would want to run as a Libertarian is not a trivial task by any means.

    bc: What works — for most Ls I know — matters not. What is moral is all.

    p2: I’m not one of those. I’m interested in both what works and what is moral. However, I share your sense that what works for the LP has a lot to do with macro-strategy. You believe that what is holding the LP back is radicalism in the SoP and other fundamental documents; I believe it is rightward tilt in the culture of the party and movement.

    A particular candidate may choose to ignore such factors, but they still impact what they can achieve. Anyone they talk to, get to read LP sites or discussion online, attend a libertarian meeting, or participate in other ways will come across other Libertarians and other people’s perceptions of what libertarians are and are not. Campaigns don’t function in a vacuum.

  204. Michael H. Wilson

    Hmmm! Addressing the issues around poverty is generally considered fairly leftist. It is pretty easy to point out that an free and open market offers low income people more choices than the presently especially in the area of transportation, healthcare, housing and a number of other areas.

    The fact is that an open market will solve some of these problems and we should take credit and point that out.

    “If you care about people then why burden them with higher housing costs, lack of access to transportation, healthcare and job opportunities? Why make the lives of people who are struggling in the first place more difficult?”

  205. Robert Capozzi

    pc, it’s not “radicalism” in the SoP, it’s the absolutism. I consider myself, for ex., for more radical in the sense of wanting to get to the root than those Ls who pose as “radicals.” Radical inquiry allows for any possibility, theoretically even that absolutism is the way! Radicals are comfortable with paradoxes.

    I find the schism in the LP to be between abolitionists and lessarchists, not anarchists and minarchists. One can be an asymptotic anarchist AND a lessarchist, for ex.

    Yes, I agree the LP’s culture tends to be rightist. There have not been too many prominent Ls who are truly leftist culturally. Some put forth Ruwart, but I just don’t see it. I see her as an affable Rothbardian, but Rothbardianism is a rightist POV, (despite the historical left/right def. having been twisted). It should be no surprise that MNR himself went paleo; that the LRC crowd is generally pro-life, pro King beating, plays footsie with Stormfront, and on and on.

  206. paulie

    Addressing the issues around poverty is generally considered fairly leftist. It is pretty easy to point out that an free and open market offers low income people more choices than the presently especially in the area of transportation, healthcare, housing and a number of other areas.

    The fact is that an open market will solve some of these problems and we should take credit and point that out.

    “If you care about people then why burden them with higher housing costs, lack of access to transportation, healthcare and job opportunities? Why make the lives of people who are struggling in the first place more difficult?”

    Thanks, good point.

  207. paulie

    pc, it’s not “radicalism” in the SoP, it’s the absolutism. I consider myself, for ex., for more radical in the sense of wanting to get to the root than those Ls who pose as “radicals.” Radical inquiry allows for any possibility, theoretically even that absolutism is the way! Radicals are comfortable with paradoxes.

    Sorry for the non-pc use of “radical”. I meant extremist. I pretty much realized you would go off on this tangent after I posted that, and was just too lazy to go back and fix it. So, mea culpa. My larger point still stands: Candidates don’t run in a vacuum, finding that candidate and getting them to the point where they would want to run as a Libertarian is not a trivial task by any means, etc.

    But as long as we’re down this path, I’d say I’m pretty radical in both senses 🙂

    I find the schism in the LP to be between abolitionists and lessarchists, not anarchists and minarchists. One can be an asymptotic anarchist AND a lessarchist, for ex.

    Yeah, I think that would be me. BTW, in your taxonomy, can non-anarchists also be abolitionists as well?

    Yes, I agree the LP’s culture tends to be rightist. There have not been too many prominent Ls who are truly leftist culturally. Some put forth Ruwart, but I just don’t see it.

    Have you read Healing Our World?

    I see her as an affable Rothbardian, but Rothbardianism is a rightist POV, (despite the historical left/right def. having been twisted). It should be no surprise that MNR himself went paleo; that the LRC crowd is generally pro-life, pro King beating, plays footsie with Stormfront, and on and on.

    Rothbardianism is not necessarily a leftist or rightist POV. There are left-Rothbradians and right-Rothbardians. Rothbard changed alliances based on what he found to make the most sense at a given point in time. In the Late 60s, that meant an alliance with the New Left. In the late 80s/early 90s, it led to the partial birth abortion euphemistically known as “paleolibertarianism,” whose less savory aspects you refer to.

    You’ve also pointed out that at least at one point in his life, Rothbard was extremely pro-abortion rights.

    In recent years, Rothbardians have turned away from the paleo alliance. Criticism of police brutality is prominent at LRC and associated sites these days. If there’s still any footsie playing with Stormfront, it is a lot less noticeable, and the footsie playing with various leftists is a lot more prominent.

    Anyway, I don’t think Mary is opposed to legal abortion, and even if she is, I would be even more surprised if she condones the King beating or anything even remotely having to do with Stormfront. So, I’m not sure what that guilt by association line leads to. I’d say she is pretty good at talking to people coming at libertarianism from the left, and we need a lot more of that.

  208. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I find the schism in the LP to be between abolitionists and lessarchists, not anarchists and minarchists.”

    There are any number of schisms in the LP. If there’s an over-arching schism, it’s probably the one that Rothbard borrowed descriptors from the Marxists for — “right opportunism” versus “left sectarianism.”

    “Lessarchism” as preached by you seems to be an Augustinian degeneration/deformation of right opportunism — “give me less government … but not just yet!”

  209. Robert Capozzi

    pc, yes, The Nolan would be an ex. of a non-anarchist abolitionist. If I recall his view, it’s something like you’ve not a L unless you hold high the banner for 50% spending cuts, yet he doesn’t advocate no State.

    Abolitionist is my euphemism for what the general public would call extremist. An abolitionist L takes positions designed to provoke more than to market. (They’d saying provocation IS marketing, which is true, but I’d say it’s POOR marketing generally.) Abolitionist is an attitude more than a precise label.

    tk, as for right opportunism and left sectarianism, that’s not a bad description, either. I’d say there are PLENTY of right sects, though. Constitutionalists, for ex. And left opportunists: Ls that pose about legalizing drugs and pacificism while never mentioning economic matters other than to cost of wars and drug wars.

    I have a lot of self-labels, but in this context, I’ll cop to center opportunist…advocate popular, centrist positions that move the ball toward liberty.

  210. Michael H. Wilson

    I think it was Rothbard who used this Garrison in his book.

    “Urge immediate abolition as earnestly as we may, it will, alas! Be gradual abolition in the end. We have never said that slavery would be overthrown by a single blow; that it ought to be, we shall always contend.”

  211. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    It’s true that “opportunism” and “sectarianism” both play on both the left and the right.

    My assumption has always been that at the time Rothbard was writing about them, he saw the former as dominant on the right and the latter as dominant on the left.

    In my view, they also tend to lead into each other. The opportunist gravy trains on the sect, or the sectarian is introduced to his obsession by the opportunist, or whatever. Chicken or egg?

    My retrospective view of the national LP for the 14 years I was involved with it is that it was weakened enough by conflicting sectarianisms that it generally got rolled by opportunism (three of four presidential nominations) — and that that hasn’t changed. If there’s ever a Wayne Allyn Root biopic, the soundtrack for the portion concerning his involvement with the LP will be Aaron Tippin’s “You’ve Got to Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything.”

  212. Robert Capozzi

    tk, and the Tom Knapp Story might be introduced by the Stones`s YOU CAN`T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT. 😉

    Mine would have to be STRAWBERRY FIELDS.

  213. Robert Capozzi

    mhw, sounds right. After Lenin, MNR modeled his strategic views on Garrison`s. Interesting choice, that, as abolitionism didn`t work out too well on one issue. Abolishing the entire state on “moral grounds” is asking a lot of skeptics, as it requires that one build a range of unprecedented institutions to maintain the peace. Couple that with MNR`s insensitive theories about life and death and child protection matters, and it should no wonder that his work has largely not been taken seriously. Quixote may have been charming from afar, but quixotic ideas are easily dismissed.

  214. paulie

    abolitionism didn`t work out too well on one issue.

    Slavery was outlawed in numerous countries, and the vast majority did it peacefully. So I’d say abolitionism worked out pretty well.

    Various forms of legal and illegal slavery still exist, so, the struggle continues.

  215. Robert Capozzi

    pc, abolitionism as a negotiating tactic did not work out too well in the US. As a general matter, taking a most extreme position — away from the market center — will not necessarily move the market toward the extreme.

    I’d say it CAN work…it kinda worked for Marx, several generations after his death. His ideas moved the debate toward his views over time.

    What one believes in theory is one thing; how one APPLIES theory could be another. I suggest it should be another, since my counsel is to always be cool, i.e., appropriate.

    MNR believed that the State was evil and unnecessary in theory. He advocated abolishing it in practice. He may well be proven “right” in several generations. However, his ideas have done nothing to stop the State’s growth during his lifetime and 15 years later. So far, this experiment has failed.

  216. Thomas L. Knapp

    “[Rothbard’s] ideas have done nothing to stop the State’s growth during his lifetime and 15 years later.”

    That’s demonstrably false. I’m aware of one state (the city government of Greendale Missouri) which was slowed in its growth through implementation (by me) of one of Rothbard’s ideas (“defensive voting”) on at least two separate occasions.

  217. Robert Capozzi

    tk, I said “stop” the State’s growth, not “slowed.”

    I don’t recall the concept of defensive voting, and my quick research elicited no hits…what is it?

    If the Greendale, MO (pop. 722) state is smaller today than it was when you heroically instituted this Rothbardian tactic, hats off to you. (Assuming defensive voting is the prime reason for the state shrinking in this case. Measurement, cause and effect are imprecise instruments, as you know.)

    Still, if the Greendale Experiment worked, then I’d like to see it replicated nationwide. Perhaps a tiny aspect of Rothbardianism has utility…I hope so.

  218. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I believe you’ll find Rothbard’s “defensive voting” argument in his response to SEK3’s New Libertarian Manifesto.

    You’re correct — you said “stopped” and that was also the word I intended to use in response.

    But then you try to change it to the state being “smaller” — stopping growth doesn’t shrink the state, it just keeps it the same size.

  219. paulie

    abolitionism as a negotiating tactic did not work out too well in the US.

    In a sense it did. Chattel slavery was eventually legally outlawed. Had abolitionists not been doing their thing for several decades, Lincoln would not (and could not) have used it as an excuse for the war.

    The war would still have happened, because of the underlying conflicts – the south wanted to sell cotton to Europe without trade barriers, while the north wanted protection for its factories; both wanted control of the western territories and their eventual votes in congress.
    Not even Lincoln’s offer to enshrine slavery permanently in the Constitution kept the southern states from seceding, after all.

    However, there would have been no moral high ground for the north to seize so as to rally to, or justify, victory. And, it’s likely that European powers would have intervened on behalf of the south had the southern plantocracy not stubbornly hung on to slavery (which would have been doomed anyway without the fugitive slave laws).

    Had the abolitionist movement not had a moral impact, Europe would not have been so constrained. In which case, the south would have most likely won. So, even in the US, abolitionism did work as a tactic, albeit far from perfectly.

    Now, suppose you dispute this narrative, and claim that the war was solely about slavery from the start. Did abolitionism work as a tactic then? Again, in a sense, yes, because slavery was eventually outlawed.

    Doing so peacefully may have been a secondary goal of at least some abolitionists, but consider that many northern abolitionists had spent decades advocating secession for the north. Not all of them were completely averse to war to achieve their aim. I don’t think John Brown was a peacenik, for example.

    And, while we’re at it, why confine our analysis of whether abolitionism works as a tactic to the US?

    MNR believed that the State was evil and unnecessary in theory. He advocated abolishing it in practice. He may well be proven “right” in several generations.

    Or in this generation. Many big changes take place rapidly and unpredictedly, as punctuated equilibria. Since I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t know when it will happen, although what I know about theories regarding the singularity and related subjects lead me to hypothesize it may happen soon.

    However, his ideas have done nothing to stop the State’s growth during his lifetime and 15 years later.

    Sometimes ideas take time to percolate, as you pointed out was the case with Marx. And who knows how much worse the state could have already been by now? For all we know, those ideas may well be already having a bigger impact than is readily apparent.

  220. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, slowed helps; stopped helps more; reduced helps more still; abolished? Unknowable. Could be great. Could be blood in the streets.

    What happened in Greendale?

  221. Robert Capozzi

    pc, we simply cannot know what would have happened had the anti-slavery forces approached the dysfunction differently. There were, of course, a range of anti-slavery positions.

    The hard-core abolitionists may have forced the Confederate Insurrectionists hand, precipitating their extra-legal break with the Union, attempting to enshrine chattel slavery for perpetuity. Perhaps a less hardline approach may have been MORE effective in that the Insurrection might never have been started.

    I don’t know, nor do you. Too many variables and too much speculation.

    Staking out an extreme position can work, yes. Most of the time, it doesn’t, near as I can tell. Milnes would be Exhibit A. 😉

    I prefer to play the percentages.

  222. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    In the first part of the 19th century, the single most dysfunctional condition in the US was chattel slavery.

    Currently, IMO, the single most dysfunctional condition in the world is the stockpiles of WMD. In concept, abolishing WMD has a lot of appeal, but the practical considerations for doing so are not obvious. One could, for ex., take the view that unilateral disarmament is the way to go, but critics make VERY valid points against that approach. International treaties have been somewhat effective to stem proliferation, but as we can see the nuclear club has nevertheless gotten larger in recent decades.

    We might agree that a situation is dysfunctional — “evil” even — yet the solution to the dysfunction is often not a black-and-white, linear, simplistic one. Sometimes — often — it seems prudent to accept the current state of affairs…it is what it is.

    Cities declaring themselves nuclear-free zones might feel like a positive step, for ex., or it just might look quaint and sanctimonious, and have no consequence in the big picture. They call it the looney left for a reason!

    Sometimes, we need to have — for lack of a better word — faith that there will be an answer when the time is ripe. Sometimes, like a wound, the best thing is to do nothing but let the body repair itself. Picking at the wound makes it worse!

  223. paulie

    The hard-core abolitionists may have forced the Confederate Insurrectionists hand,

    But then, wouldn’t Lincoln offering to pass a Constitutional amendment permanently enshrining the “right” to slavery in the US Constitution, as he did, have unforced it?

    precipitating their extra-legal break with the Union

    The constitution doesn’t mention secession, but it does say “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Several states included reservations about their right to withdraw from the Union when they voted to join it, including some of the states that ended up seceding.

    Finally, while the Declaration of Independence holds no legal weight, it was written and approved by the same people that wrote and approved the Constitution, and it makes a case for justifying secession – whether the southern states had such a case is a different question.

    The constitution does say “The Congress shall have Power To…provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions,” but States withdrawing from the Union did not count as an “insurrection,” since states formed the union as a voluntary compact, and some explicitly stated their right to withdraw when doing so.

    Applying the insurrection clause to secession by states ignores the role they had at the time as sovereign states within a constitutional compact. Notice that there is a separate section called “Powers prohibited of States” which says nothing about secession.

    Again, this analysis has nothing to do with whether the southern states were justified in their secession, only with the question of whether it was “legal”.

    attempting to enshrine chattel slavery for perpetuity.

    Since the attempt was unsuccessful (and doomed to failure even the secession had been successful, sans fugitive slave laws), that means that abolitionists were ultimately successful. Again, maintaining peace was not their primary goal – abolishing slavery was.

    Perhaps a less hardline approach may have been MORE effective in that the Insurrection might never have been started.

    I don’t think so, as I said earlier: The war would still have happened, because of the underlying conflicts – the south wanted to sell cotton to Europe without trade barriers, while the north wanted protection for its factories; both wanted control of the western territories and their eventual votes in congress.

    But I notice that you once again sidestep the fact that chattel slavery was legally outlawed without any war in quite a few countries – the vast majority, in fact. So why confine our analysis to the US?

  224. Robert Capozzi

    pc, yes, chattel slavery was outlawed through peaceful means in other nations…all else equal, that would have been the preferred outcome in the US. I’m not sidestepping anything…it supports my point! We can’t know, but I suspect most US abolitionists would have preferred that outcome, too. Sometimes, the road to hell IS paved with good intentions.

    The Insurrection started prior to Lincoln’s taking office, so the (wrongminded) deal he attempted to strike may have been too late; the horse was already out of the barn. The slaver Confederate Elites should be viewed as crazy people, as they lacked the resources to maintain their insurrection and they, after all, wanted to keep human beings as slaves.

    What we don’t know is what MIGHT have happened had the virtuous “end slavery” forces in the US had taken a different approach. It’s unknowable.

    What constitutes a secession was a matter for Congress to decide, by law. They invoked that clause to put down “Johnny Reb,” who acted precipitously and violently based on an untested and unagreed to interpretation of the Constitution. JR’s motive was clearly not virtuous and in many cases explicitly done to enshrine slavery. The slaves were certainly not consulted, and in the case of SC, the slave population was 50% of the pop.

    I just don’t buy that the Insurrection would have happened were there not slavery. Neither of us can prove the case.

    As to whether the US Constitution was/is a “compact” of sovereign states, I’d say that was gray then and is a lot less gray now. Some of the language in the founding documents imply a kind of confederation, other section don’t.

    As a practical matter, the Feds have the resources to maintain Union, and fighting THAT battle is IMO certainly not ripe. I don’t think the cause of liberty or L-ism is advanced by positioning ourselves as in league with haters and separatists.

    It’s one nation until it’s not. In the meantime, I’d like to see the government’s role in our lives reduced peacefully and through legal means.

  225. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “What happened in Greendale?”

    I’ve written about it elsewhere, but the short version is defeat (twice) of a bad bill that would have “enhanced revenue” through more (but less accountable) “code enforcement,” and election (once) of a Libertarian city marshal.

  226. paulie

    pc, yes, chattel slavery was outlawed through peaceful means in other nations…all else equal, that would have been the preferred outcome in the US. I’m not sidestepping anything…it supports my point!

    How does it support your point? I thought your point was that abolitionism always, or almost always, or at least usually, has bad results. In reality, a bunch of countries ended legal chattel slavery peacefully, and a few ended it through war (US and Haiti are the only ones I can think of). But either way, they ended it.

    We can’t know, but I suspect most US abolitionists would have preferred that outcome, too.

    Yes, I suspect that most people would rather get their preferred results without having to go to war to get them. Only a few people prefer war for its own sake over peace. But either way they achieved their primary objective, so even in the few cases where it involved a war, abolitionism was still not a failure.

    What constitutes a secession was a matter for Congress to decide, by law.

    No, it was a matter for states to decide. For example, Texas had been an independent nation for several years. It joined the US with the explicit condition that it could leave, otherwise, the Texas Legislature would not have voted to join the Union. Then, 15 years later, it exercised that clause.

    I can’t remember off hand which other states had a similar condition for adopting the Constitution. I seem to recall that Virginia was one of them, and possibly one or two other Confederate States that were among the original colonies. Again, that is not a matter of what was right or what was wrong – that’s a separate question.

    They invoked that clause to put down “Johnny Reb,” who acted precipitously and violently based on an untested and unagreed to interpretation of the Constitution. JR’s motive was clearly not virtuous and in many cases explicitly done to enshrine slavery.

    Yes, the stated causes of war included enshrining slavery, but there were also the matters of protectionism and the secondary issue of control of the west, which pertained to both questions.

    Lincoln made his offer to enshrine slavery even before taking office, but where the Republicans did not compromise or offer to compromise was on the matter of tariffs. Among the first acts of the first Republican Congress was to pass the steepest tariff up to that point in history. Ft Sumter had a customs house which attempted to enforce that tariff.

    On both the slavery and tariff questions, the control over the votes of Western states as they joined the union was the issue that led to increasing conflict in the decades leading up to the war.

    So, the causes of war were mixed: preserving slavery was clearly not virtuous, but it wouldn’t have survived without the fugitive slave acts anyway. The north’s attempt to artificially monopolize the south’s cotton through excessive tariffs was also not virtuous.

    Secession in general is virtuous, although the reasons for secession may not be. Slave rebellions were virtuous, as were efforts to help slaves escape (or “secede”) from the plantations. To the extent that secession in general is virtuous, efforts by certain counties to secede from Confederate states were also virtuous.

    The slaves were certainly not consulted, and in the case of SC, the slave population was 50% of the pop.

    As previously mentioned, any efforts by slaves to rebel or escape were virtuous. That included slaves in the slave owning border states which stayed in the Union and were not included in the emancipation proclamation. That being said, there were in fact slaves who fought on behalf of the confederacy, as well as free blacks. One of the south’s bigger strategic mistakes was not allowing them to carry arms until it was too late.

    Most of those who fought on behalf of the confederacy didn’t own slaves, they saw it is a fight for independence for their homeland, and later as a fight to keep the land where they and their neighbors lived from being invaded and looted.

    I just don’t buy that the Insurrection would have happened were there not slavery. Neither of us can prove the case.

    While I do think that it is likely the war would have happened over tariffs alone, that is not what I said earlier. I said the war would still have happened if it was not for abolitionists, just not necessarily with the same results. If you recall, what led to this tangent was your contention that abolitionism usually backfires.

    As to whether the US Constitution was/is a “compact” of sovereign states, I’d say that was gray then and is a lot less gray now.

    I wouldn’t, but honestly, that is getting too far off topic anyway.

    As a practical matter, the Feds have the resources to maintain Union, and fighting THAT battle is IMO certainly not ripe.

    Debatable. Supposing the feds and a seceding state or states both have nuclear weapons, I’m guessing that both would prefer peace. But, again, we’re getting off topic – the question was whether abolitionism works.

    I don’t think the cause of liberty or L-ism is advanced by positioning ourselves as in league with haters and separatists.

    Separatists are not always haters. There are several secession movements in the US today, as well as in many other parts of the world, and most of them are not haters.

    In the meantime, I’d like to see the government’s role in our lives reduced peacefully and through legal means.

    Well, at least we agree on that much 🙂

  227. Robert Capozzi

    pc, oh, I think I see the misunderstanding. The desire to abolish something that is CLEARLY deeply dysfunctional is something I support.

    When I speak of abolitionism, I refer to using it as a negotiating tactic. Rothbard praised the abolitionists for staking out the extreme position, which tended to trigger intermediate positions. For a fundamental matter like non-enslavement, the original abolitionists were successful in staking out the “moral high ground” and in a sense forcing the issue.

    Making that analogy for a range of issues and calling for abolition of the State is a very different matter, IMO. It sounds to most people like a prescription for chaos, which is — for most — contra-indicated.

    The case against slavery gets about as black and white as it gets. The case for anarchy simply isn’t.

  228. Robert Capozzi

    iow, context matters. Ending slavery in a country where there are few slaves that are mostly used as domestic servants is one thing. Ending slavery in a country where huge growth plantation industries is another. Slavery is dysfunctional in both cases, but the situation may require different approaches to undo the dysfunction.

    Were it 1805, if one believed that anarchy was the optimal social order, one might advocate for an unwinding of the State in one manner. In 2010, the situation may dictate a different approach.

    Assuming, of course, that the advocacy was intended to be consequential. My abolitionist-anarchist L brethren seem more interested in moralizing for reasons only known to them. Being effective seems to not be of interest to them.

  229. paulie

    Ending slavery in a country where there are few slaves that are mostly used as domestic servants is one thing. Ending slavery in a country where huge growth plantation industries is another.

    True. However, there were huge plantations in a bunch of other countries in the Americas which ended slavery peacefully. So, overall, the negotiating tactic worked.

    When abolitionists started, most people did not agree with them. After all, slavery had been practiced all over the world since before recorded history, and was even condoned in the Bible. Over the years, they had an impact.

    “Ending slavery in a country where there are few slaves that are mostly used as domestic servants” may seem like no big deal, but some of those countries still had colonies in the Americas where there were large plantations, and it added – piece by piece – up to a movement that swept the world.

    And, again, if it wasn’t for the impact of abolitionists, Europe would have intervened in the war on the side of the confederacy (they wanted access to the cotton).

    So the bottom line is that abolitionism did work as a negotiating tactic.

    Can it work for anarchists? Is monopoly government morally equivalent to slavery? Those are separate questions.

    However, I still disagree with your original point at 240 which led to this discussion, MNR modeled his strategic views on Garrison`s. Interesting choice, that, as abolitionism didn`t work out too well on one issue.

  230. Robert Capozzi

    I don’t see how you can disagree that it didn’t work out too well, since in the US it led to the Insurrection and 500K dead. It did work out well where slavery ended without bloodshed.

    I’m aware that some European nations considered joining forces with the Insurrection. Whether “the abolitionists” stopped them is news to me.

    Interestingly, “the abolitionists” were a small group, and they had some big internal disagreements. Garrison burned the Constitution; Spooner read the Constitution as an anti-slavery document, despite the explicit recognition of slavery in it!

    Extreme negotiating stances do sometimes work, but they usually don’t, near as I can tell. Pro-lifers could view themselves as modern-day abolitionists, but so far, at least, their position has for the most part not changed anything. Some of them got VERY extreme, bombing clinics and so forth.

    Taking the extreme negotiating stance is risky.

  231. paulie

    I don’t see how you can disagree that it didn’t work out too well, since in the US it led to the Insurrection and 500K dead.

    As opposed to what? What do you think would have happened had there not been an abolitionist movement?

    I’m aware that some European nations considered joining forces with the Insurrection. Whether “the abolitionists” stopped them is news to me.

    Hopefully you can follow the logic this time: the reason why the European nations did not intervene is because they could not in good conscience side with slaveowners. Had the South been willing to give up slavery – which would have been doomed anyway, as I explained – the Europeans would have helped them. Had there been no abolitionist movement, the Europeans would not have been morally constrained.

    The European nations acted against their own economic interest because of moral arguments that had been popularized by abolitionists.

    Otherwise, there would have been no reason for them not to go after the cotton supply while simultaneously breaking up the US and removing an emerging competitor from the world power stage, and possibly even opening up the way to recolonizing parts of the Americas. It was in their interest, and yet the moral arguments of abolitionists prevailed.

    Does that make sense?

    Spooner read the Constitution as an anti-slavery document, despite the explicit recognition of slavery in it!

    Hmmm, I though his whole argument in _Constitution of No Authority_ rested on the Constitution giving legal recognition to slavery?

    Pro-lifers could view themselves as modern-day abolitionists

    Some do.

    I support them in any effort to build a functional underground railroad to help the captive fetuses escape from captivity alive and well 🙂

    But seriously, has for the most part not changed anything (at this time) does not mean much. Sometimes social movements take decades or centuries before they succeed.

    With abortion, I suspect a technological solution will eventually solve most of the problem – IE, the ability to transplant fetuses into other wombs and/or artificial incubators at any stage of pregnancy. I even suspect that this would have already happened if it wasn’t for the retarding effect government intervention into the economy has on innovation.

    Some of them got VERY extreme, bombing clinics and so forth.

    Well, I can see why someone who takes the idea that abortion is murder literally and seriously, not just as a slogan, might do that. After all, I wouldn’t condemn someone for bombing the rail tracks to the death camps.

    Does it have an effect? I think it does, actually…there are a lot of doctors, nurses, etc., who have been intimidated away from working in the abortion field because of the threat of violence, especially late term abortions. I’ve read that it is pretty hard to find a place that offers them in many parts of the country.

    That says nothing about whether the abortion abolitionist are correct or not.

  232. George Phillies

    PAC donations to the LNCC for September include $2500 each from a Poker Players PAC and from the

    OUR COUNTRY DESERVES BETTER PAC – TEAPARTYEXPRESS.ORG PAC.

  233. Robert Capozzi

    pc: As opposed to what? What do you think would have happened had there not been an abolitionist movement?

    me: The idea of abolishing slavery or any obvious profound injustice is indicated. My critique is really about the use of Garrison’s negotiating tactic, the attempt to apply it in a modern context. I have zero idea what would have happened had the fact set changed, as there are far too many variables to even venture a guess. Looking back, we of course view slavery as a horrible facet of human history. Ditto the treatment of women and other oppressed people. There may have been a more peaceful path to ending slavery, but the past is past. The “Abolitionists” were a small group; the range of those who were waking up the idea that slavery was wrong was wide and non-unitary. As I recall, Rothbard points us to the Abolitionists as THE reason the issue of slavery should end, and that taking the extreme position is the most effective tactic. I don’t agree.

    pc: the reason why the European nations did not intervene is because they could not in good conscience side with slaveowners.

    me: Hmm, do you have a source for this? My understanding is the the UK DID support the CSA in kind. They didn’t intervene directly and militarily because they feared an outbreak of a kind of world war, with other European nations picking sides.

  234. paulie

    The idea of abolishing slavery or any obvious profound injustice is indicated. My critique is really about the use of Garrison’s negotiating tactic, the attempt to apply it in a modern context. I have zero idea what would have happened had the fact set changed, as there are far too many variables to even venture a guess. Looking back, we of course view slavery as a horrible facet of human history. Ditto the treatment of women and other oppressed people. There may have been a more peaceful path to ending slavery, but the past is past. The “Abolitionists” were a small group; the range of those who were waking up the idea that slavery was wrong was wide and non-unitary. As I recall, Rothbard points us to the Abolitionists as THE reason the issue of slavery should end, and that taking the extreme position is the most effective tactic. I don’t agree.

    I’m not sure if your definition of abolitionists is different from mine. Mine is that they were people who believed slavery should be outlawed. They seem to have succeeded, at least in a formal sense, so I don’t see why this “shows” that abolitionism is a bad negotiating tactic. At best, you can speculate that without abolitionists, slavery would have ended without a war in the few countries where it ended with a war. I’ve given my reasons for thinking otherwise, and you haven’t even laid out a case that this would have happened – in fact, you’ve said you don’t know what would have happened, so how does that form the basis of thinking that abolitionism is not a successful tactic?

    Hmm, do you have a source for this? My understanding is the the UK DID support the CSA in kind. They didn’t intervene directly and militarily because they feared an outbreak of a kind of world war, with other European nations picking sides.

    Their support would have been more direct if it was not for the issue of slavery, and more countries would have been involved.

    I’ll try to hunt up a source later (been a while since I’ve read that), but in the meantime, why would any country have been on the Yankee side has the Confederates agreed to let go of slavery? The Yankees wanted high tariffs so as to monopolize southern cotton; that would not have benefited any other nation, since they all wanted access to the cotton. Nor would any other nation benefit from having a unified United States threatening to soon become a power to rival them on the world stage; they would all have preferred the USA and CSA as separate countries. Thus, I don’t see a scenario whereby it could have led to a world war with European nations picking side. Who would have gained from a Union victory besides the US?

  235. paulie

    Hunted up a few references for you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_in_the_American_Civil_War#Slavery

    The Confederate States of America came into existence when seven of the 15 slave states protested the election of Republican president Lincoln, because his party had made clear its commitment to the containment of slavery geographically and the weakening of its political power. Republicans typically denounced the Slave Power. However slavery was the cornerstone of the South’s plantation economy; yet it was repugnant to the moral sensibilities of most people in Britain, which had abolished slavery in its Empire in the 1830s. But up to the fall of 1862, the immediate end of slavery was not an issue in the war and in fact, some Union states (Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware) still allowed slavery. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, by making ending slavery an objective of the war, had caused European intervention on the side of the South to be politically unappetizing. Pro-Southern leaders in Britain therefore spoke of mediation looking forward to peace, though they understood that meant the independence of the Confederacy and continuation of slavery.[11]

    11 points to _Howard Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: the Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War, (1999)_

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France_in_the_American_Civil_War

    France remained officially neutral throughout the American Civil War and never recognized the Confederate States of America. However, several major industries in France and the then French leader Louis Napoleon III had economic interests or territorial ambitions which favored dealings with the Confederacy. At the same time, other French political leaders, such as Foreign Minister Edouard Thouvenel, favored the United States.

    Between 1861 and 1865, the Union blockade caused a significant decreasing of the French cotton importation, leading to the “famine du coton”(cotton hunger) : textile industries of Alsace, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Normandy suffered from this shortage of raw material (which doubled in price in 1862) and were forced to dismiss many workers.

    As a result, many French industrialists and politicians were rather favorable to a quick Southern victory. French Emperor Napoléon III was also interested in Central America (trade and plans of transoceanic canal) and wanted to create a new empire in Mexico, where his troops landed in December 1861. A Confederate victory would have likely made this plan easier.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War#Blocking_international_intervention

    In 1862, the British considered mediation—though even such an offer would have risked war with the U.S. Lord Palmerston reportedly read Uncle Tom’s Cabin three times when deciding on this.[155]

    155 points to ^ Stephen B. Oates, The Approaching Fury: Voices of the Storm 1820–1861, p. 125.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War#Victory_and_aftermath

    The Confederate government failed in its attempt to get Europe involved in the war militarily, particularly the United Kingdom and France. Southern leaders needed to get European powers to help break up the blockade the Union had created around the Southern ports and cities. Lincoln’s naval blockade was 95% effective at stopping trade goods; as a result, imports and exports to the South declined significantly. The abundance of European cotton and the United Kingdom’s hostility to the institution of slavery, along with Lincoln’s Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico naval blockades, severely decreased any chance that either the United Kingdom or France would enter the war.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism

    Though anti-slavery sentiments were widespread by the late 18th century, they had little immediate effect on the centers of slavery: the West Indies, South America, and the Southern United States. The Somersett’s case in 1772 that emancipated slaves in England, helped launch the movement to abolish slavery. Pennsylvania passed An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in 1780. Britain banned the importation of African slaves in its colonies in 1807, and the United States followed in 1808. Britain abolished slavery throughout the British Empire with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, the French colonies abolished it 15 years later,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Supremo_Apostolatus

    In Supremo Apostolatus is a papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XVI regarding the institution of slavery. Issued on December 3, 1839 as a result of a broad consultation among the College of Cardinals, the bull resoundingly denounces both the slave trade and the continuance of the institution of slavery.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism#National_abolition_dates

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism#National_abolition_dates

  236. LNCC Gave a Lot of Money

    at least for a Libertarian PAC.

    And this is really George Phillies, and the record from the FEC filings of the LNCC is clear. Here is what they gave:

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  237. George Phillies

    @21

    Your sources are out of touch with reality.

    In 2010, you could run as a Libertarian in Massachusetts.

    In 2012, you will be able to run in Massachusetts as a Libertarian, but it will be less work for you to get on the ballot, whether for Senator, Congressman, State Rep, or whatever.

    Rumors that we will not have access to the ballot in 2012 are completely false. I am sorry you believed them.

  238. Robert Capozzi

    pc263 and 264, your cites show that the Insurrection was complicated, as were the issues of slavery, trade, and European intervention. My point is that there was a range of opinions on the issue of slavery and what to do about slavery.

    My view of social change is rooted in psychology. IF person A stakes out an extreme position, saying that those who don’t take that position are “wrong,” that is likely to alienate. There are exceptions: Highly charismatic, manipulative , strong-willed advocates can sometimes gather support through theatrics…Hitler comes to mind. Demonization and a stoking of an us vs. them mentality creates sharp lines of separation.

    It’s a very rare thing for these lines of separation being the “reality,” or at least reality’s approximation here in the Matrix. I’d say Compound W attempted to take an absolutist stand against “the terrorists,” and as time has gone by, more Americans are waking up to the fact that the terrorists and the conditions that led to terrorism is a far more complicated situation than the one Bush painted.

    The creed of Rothbardian abolitionist L-ism says that government is a gang of thieves — demons. They must be smashed. I can see how those who buy the premise become radicalized and highly motivated. I was, briefly. I am suggesting, however, that such “abolitionism” — staking out an extreme stand in hopes of attracting adherents/cadre — is based on a one-dimensional perspective that dismisses all other considerations. It is based on separation rather than inclusiveness. Yet it’s a model that is based on what hard-core statists have used to gain power. It mixes up means and ends. If one wants peace and liberty as an end, I believe peaceful means are necessary, including non-violent communication insights. NVC is not about making other wrong and oneself right. It seeks to find common ground and to build on it.

    Abolitionism — stripped bare — involves haranguing. That doesn’t work for me, certainly, and doesn’t work generally, and doesn’t work when it conflicts with the end, which is peace.

    IMO.

  239. paulie

    If one wants peace and liberty as an end, I believe peaceful means are necessary, including non-violent communication insights.

    Well, yes. I try to practice that as best I can, too.

    But, if one is convinced that something which is generally accepted is a great evil – whether it’s abortion, slavery, eating meat, monopoly government, or whatever – there’s nothing wrong in speaking out about one’s beliefs.

    Let’s say you hold one of these beliefs and live in a world where most other people do not. You may or may not be right, but it’s your moral duty to make your case as best you can. You may or may not succeed, and if you do succeed, it will probably take a long time.

    It took a long time with abolitionism, but now chattel slavery is internationally outlawed, although still practiced. Others may or may not eventually cause the great majority of people to agree with them as well.

  240. Robert Capozzi

    pc, Homey don’t play “moral duties,” but yes if one feels moved to share a strongly held view, by all means do so, if indicated.

    HOW it is expressed is just as important IMO as WHAT is expressed.

    Often, what is expressed may be a general idea but when the specifics get too eccentric, you might lose allies. I’m a strong believer in the general principle of the right to bear arms, for ex., but I’m not sure that means I can tote machine guns in Manhattan.

  241. paulie

    I’m not sure that means I can tote machine guns in Manhattan.

    You didn’t live in Washington Heights in the 80s then :-X

  242. Hmmm ...

    George Phillies @265 & 266,

    So, the LNCC has donated $7,500 to candidates in 2010 (plus $900 on public relations …)

    How much has your own Liberty for America PAC donated or spent on elections this year? How about the new Libertarian Donors Club? Please give us the whole picture.

  243. Marc Montoni

    The Libertarian Donors Club doesn’t donate directly from one central office. Instead, Nick Youngers seeks suggestions for good campaigns to support and then sends a review of those he thinks are the most worthy to his email list — and then the recipients are encouraged to donate directly to the campaigns.

    The LDC has zero overhead and doesn’t report because it doesn’t make any donations as a group. Its value is in the ‘group consensus’ about deserving races. One of their focuses (focii??) is picking races for which higher support might result in enough votes to obtain/retain ballot status.

  244. Pingback: Libertarians: Left, Right or Neither? | Independent Political Report

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