California Libertarian Voter Registration Surges Upward

California Libertarian Party:

Now’s a great time for voter registration drives.

According to the latest Report of Registration from California’s Secretary of State, 1,135 voters registered Libertarian just in the past five months. But compared to the May 2010 Report of Registration, our voting ranks have swelled by an amazing 5,571 Libertarians in only nine months!

The table below shows year-over-year increases in Libertarian voter registration in California. The Reports of Registration for this February and for the month of May since 2008 show not just growth, but a strong surge since May 2010.

Date of Report Registered Libertarians Increase

% Increase

May 2008 78711

May 2009

83363

4652

5.58%

May 2010

86675

3312

3.82%

February 2011

92246

5571

6.04%

Graph showing rapid growth of registered Libertarians in CaliforniaThis trend makes 2011 a great time to push the trend even farther upward and surpass that 100K mark even sooner. Local Libertarian Parties can mount their own voter registration drives and increase not only our registered voter numbers, but their Party visibility as well.

Have you registered someone to vote Libertarian? Tell us your success story, then contact your local Party to get involved in their voter registration drive and help push our rate of increase even higher. If you need contact information for your county Party, contact the state Party’s office at (818) 782-8400, or office@ca.lp.org.Voter Registration table in Ventura

138 thoughts on “California Libertarian Voter Registration Surges Upward

  1. FKC

    This is a good trend.

    Hopefully it will not get reversed when a lot of libertarians register Republican in the next year so they can vote for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson in the Republican Primary.

  2. Bill Wood

    I have noticed over the last year or so the libertarian movement has seemed to be doing better, at least inside the Republican Party. While the number of members in the Libertarian Party has been going down. I find it interesting that Judge Napolitano on Freedom Watch is always asking his guest what will the “Tea Party” Congressman and Senators do when they realize that the Republican Leadership will not reduce the budget, etc. Never a mention about them joining the LP, but them forming another party.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    Since the national convention in 08, CA LP membership is up 17%. The numbers are still tiny, but that seems significant to me. Isn’t it?

    bw, for the LP to attract the disaffected in a substantial way, it strikes me that we’d need to drop the obscure fetishes and absolutist stances that resonate with few. A L party of consequence seems ripe. This LP…dunno.

  4. Bill Wood

    Robert, I have been talking to former LP Members and why they left I find their reasons very interesting. Top of the list seems to be the “Purity Police”(if you disagree with libertarians on one issue, you aren’t a libertarian).

  5. Robert Capozzi

    bw, that understates the dysfunction, IMO. By what authority can the “purity police” claim that they have stumbled upon the One True Way? For all the bluster and misdirection, self-appointed purity police people have not and — IMO — cannot answer the question. Frankly, it’s shocking that these Popes of “Purity” continue to claim they are, in effect, Ideological Oracles.

    Emperor. No Clothes. Any questions? 😉

  6. Marc Montoni

    I have noticed over the last year or so the libertarian movement has seemed to be doing better, at least inside the Republican Party.

    Depends on whether you mean they’re advancing liberty. For example, people keep telling me Tea Party candidates have done well. But then we hear that almost the entire cohort of Tea Party-supported candidates who won in November voted for the extension of the Patriot Act, voted in favor of the recent budget stopgap measure even though it was loaded with pork, piled on more debt, etc.

    While the number of members in the Libertarian Party has been going down.

    It actually has been fairly level since the end of the Barr campaign.

    We’re in the same state party, Bill. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the only person in the entire state who makes a point of recruiting new & renewal members. You saw me walk out of a meeting a few weeks ago with a small armload of new or renewal memberships. I sure would welcome someone else doing the same. Or several someones.

  7. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I keep hearing about the “purity police” and I haven’t really run into them much, but then, most of my views are not controversial within the party. Some views we can vary on–abortion, for example–but some we can’t. I’m one of those who doesn’t think you can be Libertarian and vote for interventionist wars. I know there are people who disagree with that, but I really don’t see it.

  8. Here's a radical idea

    I guess Wayne Root and others (some on the LNC) wouldn’t pass the “Purity Police” “smell test”. lol. So much for the big tent, if they are all purged.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    jp: Some views we can vary on–abortion, for example–but some we can’t.

    me: Excellent example of purity policing, although perhaps unintended. It seems plain to me that Ls have a range of views on a range of issues.

    It’s a party, not the Borg.

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    Marc has a good point. Get active locally. Too many officers at the state and local level are expecting the national office to do it all for us. That’s not going to work.

  11. Wayne Root

    For 40 years now “the LP purity police” and radical views from a few very loud Libertarians that frighten mainstream voters (on a few issues) have scared away millions of potential LP voters…and chased off the big money donors that every political party desperately needs to survive…and thrive.

    That’s a fact.

    Compare LP to Tea Party. Amazing, remarkable, magical, magnificent, miraculous success and growth in only one year versus stagnation of LP for 40 years.

    All because Tea Party stressed pragmatic, popular fiscal conservative views and stayed away from radical, fringe, frightening extreme views…fringe issues that appeal to tiny numbers of voters but frighten away millions of mainstream voters…and divisive social issues.

    Tea Party sticks to the following issues:

    Smaller and more limited government, cut spending by govt, lower entitlements, lower taxes, lower deficit and debt, fight govt. employee unions and their insane pensions, support and follow the U.S. Constitution, no bailouts or stimulus, legal guns, school choice, and secure the borders.

    I am a policy wonk. I study dozens of polls on hundreds of issues. Every one of those are fantastic issues and popular views–supported by a majority of mainstream voters. A large majority. Brilliant strategy.

    LP needs to adopt same strategy.

    And on other issues be more moderate and pragmatic.

    For instance I support medical marijuana. IOt cannot be explained as LP being “pro drug.” It can be won as States Rights’ issue…and by framing it as “If your mom or child were sick and in pain and doctors agreed that medical marijuana would cure their illness or relieve the pain, would you allow your mom or child to die in horrible pain.” That’s how you win on issues like this. Moderate, pragmatic, appeal to mainstream voters.

    I support social issues as States Rights’ issues- keep the fed govt out.

    I am becoming more anti war every day. But I’m not a pacifist who is against all wars. It should be explained to mainstream voters as a spending issue. We cannot afford Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya. They are used as distractions to keep voters from seeing the truth about our economy and debt.

    All of this above can be sold…and can attract millions of voters…and big donors.

  12. Richard Winger

    Prop. 14 will result in the party being removed from the ballot in November 2014, unless the party registration by then is up to 1% of the number of people who vote in November 2014. We can’t know what that number will be, of course. 1% of the November 2010 vote is 103,004, so the party is still short of that. Even if the party does retain its ballot status, it won’t have candidates for Congress or state office after the June primaries, so getting the registrations up does not solve all the problems that Prop. 14 brought about.

  13. paulie

    My biggest comments on why people leave is the watering down of the platform and the dysfunctional local party groups.

    This is what I have heard a lot of too, as well as people who did not believe that Bob Barr’s conversion to libertarianism was genuine.

  14. paulie

    Since the national convention in 08, CA LP membership is up 17%.

    Voter registration =/= membership. I don’t know if any effort has been made there to convert registered Libertarians to party members, or if it has, whether it has been successful in any way.

  15. paulie

    So much for the big tent, if they are all purged.

    I have yet to see anyone actually purged from the LP. The people that leave on their own because they don’t like other people in the LP or what other people say are not being purged – they’re are purging themselves. This includes both those who feel the party is too moderate as well as those who feel it is too extreme.

  16. paulie

    Marc has a good point. Get active locally. Too many officers at the state and local level are expecting the national office to do it all for us. That’s not going to work.

    Exactly.

  17. paulie

    Prop. 14 will result in the party being removed from the ballot in November 2014, unless the party registration by then is up to 1% of the number of people who vote in November 2014. We can’t know what that number will be, of course. 1% of the November 2010 vote is 103,004, so the party is still short of that. Even if the party does retain its ballot status, it won’t have candidates for Congress or state office after the June primaries, so getting the registrations up does not solve all the problems that Prop. 14 brought about.

    This is true. It will be an even bigger problem if the courts refuse to overturn Prop 14/88 and if the new bill to outlaw paying for people to collect voter registrations passes.

  18. Robert Milnes

    No, Wayne. You have it backwards.
    The Tea Party represents a counterrevolutionary movement. Within the GOP. The LP represents a potential revolutionary movement. The LP radicals have been stalwart in maintaining the LP i.e. not simply allow it to be absorbed by the GOP. But they have failed to reach out to their revolutionary counterparts on the left. there is a vast pool of voters & donors which presently the democrats tap. Tea party people merely compromise the revolutionary message of the LP then donate & vote GOP.
    The LP needs to be radical and pure & bring back the alienated radicals. While modify their purity to reach out to the vast left & take it away from the democrats.
    The LP needs to distance itself from the TP-and its loudmouths like you.

  19. Ted Brown

    @13 and @18 – Oddly, Prop. 14 may help raise Libertarian registration, since voters will no longer be limited to Libertarian primary ballots. This happened in the late 90s, when there was a version of the open primary in effect for 2 election cycles. The down side is that these new Libertarians will have fewer Libertarians to vote for, since (a) it will be more expensive to get on the primary ballot; and (b) it will be unlikely that very many Libertarians will qualify for the November ballot by being one of the “top two” in the primary.

    The California LP should be contacting new registered Libertarians (as we did long ago) and asking them to join as members, make contributions, attend events, etc.

  20. Marc Montoni

    Since the national convention in 08, CA LP membership is up 17%.

    No it isn’t. If one is paying attention, one could see that the article is about the number of voters who are registered Libertarian — not the number of members.

    The numbers are still tiny, but that seems significant to me. Isn’t it?

    Depends on to what you’re comparing it.

    The number of registered Libertarians in CA has been bumping around pretty consistently between ~60k and ~100k since the California LP first became a qualified party by registering 75k (as I recall) Libertarian voters in the late seventies (might have been early 80’s, but if memory serves me correctly it was 1979).

    As recently as October 2002, there were 90,495 voters registered L in CA.

    I’m glad to see the California party has regained most of the ground it lost in registration numbers since 2000.

    Registration totals are much easier to increase than paid memberships. To get people to register L, all that is needed is a consistent, concerted registration effort going on constantly. Politics 101 stuff that even the D’s and R’s have to do. Tables at the beach, in front of the DMV, at festivals, etc. People will register L just because the L was the one who was out there to hand them the form! I know because I registered a number of L voters while petitioning in North Carolina a few years ago; several individuals stated they were registering Libertarian because “you guys are the ones out here doing the work, and I really appreciate your effort.” That’s an actual quote from one person I registered.

    In that sense, a 17% increase in registrations means little, other than the fact that the California LP has once again emphasized actually making some effort to register more Libertarians. For a few years, the state party leadership was spending its time planning cruise ship conventions, and meanwhile neglected the basics of party building — like its registration program — to the point where just three or four years ago, the California LP was in some danger of losing ballot status for the first time in a couple of decades. As Richard said here, the recent law change will do what the Lp almost did to itself.

    So much for registration numbers.

    Let’s talk about the number of donors/members.

    If we’re talking national LP members, the number of LP members in CA has leveled off from a long-term downward trend since a peak of 6396 in December 1999.

    Nov 07 1961
    April 08 1959
    Nov 08 2094
    Jan 09 1977
    Mar 1883
    May 09 1908
    Jul 09 1800
    Sep 09 1710
    Nov 09 1757
    Jan 10 1840
    Mar 10 1842
    May 10 1873
    Jul 10 1933
    Oct 10 1960
    Dec 10 1942
    Jan 11 1893

    In my opinion, it is Wes Benedict who is largely responsible for the LP retaining as many members as it has. I believe without him, the LP would have continued on the path of long-term, chronic decline in the number of donors/members, continued evaporation of candidates running as L’s, and continued dropoff in fundraising.

    Since 2003 or so, the LP’s ability to generate excitement largely disappeared. Long-term consistent Libertarians, many of them monthly pledgers and long-term generous donors, felt that the LP had become outright hostile to their philosophy, and left. I have copies of a message in my archives from one such generous, long-term LP member who left the LP in 2008 after Barr was nominated. His message was treated with scorn and derision; in essence, he was told “don’t let the screen door smack you on the way out.”

    His message is not the only one in my archives like it, either.

    In essence, consistent Libertarians are told, we can donate our money, time, and loyalty, but our only reward is to be treated like dogs and remain shut out of having a say in how the party is run.

    bw, for the LP to attract the disaffected in a substantial way, it strikes me that we’d need to drop the obscure fetishes and absolutist stances that resonate with few. A L party of consequence seems ripe. This LP…dunno.

    Gee, after 2006 and 2008 conventions, I would have thought Bob would be happy with the platform he and some western midge wrote.

    I see now that officer Bob now demands that even less be said.

    Tell you what, Bob.

    I’m going to continue to advocate for those positions you tell me I shouldn’t. In my letters to the editor, op-eds, at the LP meetings I organize, and so on. If I run for office again, I will be sure to say the very things you demand that I don’t. If I run for local office, I’m going to call for abolition of whatever programs I can. If I run for state office, I’m going to call for the abolition of the state income tax (oops, a bunch of Tuesday Morning Group Republican Party officeholders beat me to it); and I’m going to continue to advocate that the Commonwealth of Virginia repeal all of its prohibitions on private consensual behavior (oops, a half-dozen D state House members have been calling for that for years). If I run for federal office, I’m going to call for the abolition of the federal income tax, and about 95% of everything else. I might even mention that UN Moon Treaty that some get so obsessively foamy about. I’ll be sure to make it a point to justify every one of these things by pointing to the current platform.

    Oh, and I’m also going to continue to tell LP candidates who think I should contribute to their campaigns while they advocate new taxes, or gun control, or other “exceptions” that my money is my own and I’m not going to contribute to a message of increased government in any way. I know by saying all of this, you and others will refer to me as being the “purity police”, but it is YOU who want those of us who find being a) honest about our philosophy and b) consistent about it, to shut up and go away. You’ve made your point — ad nauseam.

    What you do is the very definition of “projection”.

  21. Robert Capozzi

    mm, thanks for clarifying…registered vs. members is an important distinction. I’d think both going up would be desirable.

    Most unfortunate if someone is treated in an uncivil manner.

    And, yes, projection > perception > action for everyone.

    But, no, purity police refers to some Ls judging other Ls as NOT L. I applaud your desire to be honest and consistent about your philosophy. I’d like to think I’m honest and consistent about my philosophy. I’ve never suggested that anyone shut up and go away that I recall.

    OTOH, I certainly understood why Lew Rockwell, as I understand it, banished Bob Wallace from LRC. A political enterprise should build in as much tolerance as possible, it seems, but I suspect you agree that the enterprise cannot allow for too much 0ff-reservation wandering. At some point, the wandering injures the entire effort. Where that point is, can’t say, really. Might be like pornography…I’ll know it when I see it.

  22. Marc Montoni

    For 40 years now “the LP purity police” and radical views from a few very loud Libertarians that frighten mainstream voters (on a few issues) have scared away millions of potential LP voters…and chased off the big money donors that every political party desperately needs to survive…and thrive.

    While I admire your energy, Wayne, your constant beration of other LP members who don’t toe *your* version of purity is rather off-putting.

    Compare LP to Tea Party. Amazing, remarkable, magical, magnificent, miraculous success and growth in only one year versus stagnation of LP for 40 years.

    Are we talking about the Tea Party whose elected members just voted overwhelmingly to renew the Patriot Act and for a huge, lard-laden, budget-busting stopgap spending measure? And who have voted the fat-government party line on dozens of other bills already?

    All because Tea Party stressed pragmatic, popular fiscal conservative views and stayed away from radical, fringe, frightening extreme views…fringe issues that appeal to tiny numbers of voters but frighten away millions of mainstream voters…and divisive social issues… Tea Party sticks to the following issues: Smaller and more limited government, cut spending by govt, lower entitlements, lower taxes, lower deficit and debt, fight govt. employee unions and their insane pensions, support and follow the U.S. Constitution, no bailouts or stimulus, legal guns, school choice, and secure the borders.

    So you’re saying we should never mention ending the uncostitutonal Prohibition on drugs? We should never speak of repealing the prohibition against contractual sex? We should never talk about ending the government’s prohibition against non-lottery gambling? We should never advocate getting government out of the marriage licensure business, and never say that gays should have the right to be married if they so choose? We should never say that religious groups have the right to open a church, mosque, synagogue, or pagan altar wherever they want as long as they do so in a voluntary manner and with their own money?

    LP needs to adopt same strategy…. And on other issues be more moderate and pragmatic…. For instance I support medical marijuana. It cannot be explained as LP being “pro drug.”

    You might want to get out a bit more. There have been dozens of state initiative campaigns (Paulie has probably done mercenary petitioning for a few) to legalize medicinal marijuana. I’d be willing to bet if you spoke to one of the organizers of those efforts, they could rattle off dozens of examples of people saying exactly that. I’ve watched numerous debates on the subject, including some debate in committee in the Virginia state legislature, and that is *exactly* what comes up: “Medicinal marijuana advocates just want to get their foot in the door to legalize all drugs.”

    We’re never going to make our opponents happy. Heck, Wisconsin is roiling over some “tinkering around the edges” reform legislation that might result — ultimately — in reducing state government spending by just a few percentage points. Various union members are itching for a chance to catch the governor in a back alley with no witnesses around. They have murder in their eyes over a change of five or ten percentage points!

    In what way will we *ever* make those people happy?

    All of this above can be sold…and can attract millions of voters…and big donors.

    If that is true, and since that is the message *you* are broadcasting now, then when can we expect those big donors to show up? They should have come to us by now. Has anyone yet out-donated Bill Redpath or Jim Lark?

  23. Obama Libertarian

    Robert: “seems plain to me that Ls have a range of views on a range of issues.”

    Really? What it someone said, “I’m an Obama libertarian. I believe in Obamacare, more taxes for government pensions, and an extension of the Patriot Act. But I’m a libertarian on gay marriage.”

    Would the Republican Lites welcome such a Democrat Lite into the Big Tent, and say, “Welcome, Obama libertarian!”

  24. Robert Capozzi

    ol24, if your theoretical “Obama L,” said that to me, I’d say I’m pleased we agree on same-gender marriage. I might volunteer to him/her that I disagree with his/her other positions. I would not support him/her for nominations for office or party positions.

    Paraphrasing The Sheen, What do the R Lites have to do with me? 😉 The R Lites can do what they do.

    If it seemed appropriate, I might have a conversation with the Obama L about the virtues of liberty as the default position on an across the board basis. Privately, I might go so far as to suggest that having only one issue of commonality with the center of gravity in L thought, the Obama L might consider the Ds to be his/her more appropriate home.

    Or, I could harangue him/her, explaining with absolute certainty the Aristotelian perfection and flawless deductive reasoning of the NAP… 😉

  25. Steven R Linnabary

    For 40 years now “the LP purity police” and radical views from a few very loud Libertarians that frighten mainstream voters (on a few issues) have scared away millions of potential LP voters…

    I doubt that it has been “very loud Libertarians” scaring potential voters with “radical views”. In most cases, the LP isn’t even allowed on the ballot in a consistent manner for this to even be a factor.

    These “radical views” such as abolishing the Fed, legalizing gay marriage or legalizing marijuana are rather mainstream ideas. The LP might have been the impetus that made these issues mainstream, but if the LP isn’t allowed on the ballot these issues become joke fodder for the democrats and republicans.

    It has taken somebody like Ron Paul to take these “radical views” and make them seem mainstream. And as Andy pointed out (and was my experience with the RP campaign in Fla & Ohio) in a another thread, Ron Paul’s support came mainly from former Libertarians and other antiwar folks. Way down the list of RP supporters were republicans.

    Can you give an example of loud Libertarians that are scaring away mainstream voters?

    PEACE

  26. JT

    Everything Marc Montoni said is dead on. I’ve long noted the difference between LP REGISTRANTS and LP MEMBERS.

    LP registration numbers going up dramatically is good, I suppose. But what happens as a result of that? Does the LP get a lot more money? Does it get a lot more volunteers? Does it get a lot more candidates?

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see what the big deal is about more people just registering Libertarian on a form if hardly anything comes of that.

    LP membership going up dramatically, by contrast, means a lot more $ for a party that desperately needs it and probably a lot more volunteers and candidates–all of which means a lot more votes.

  27. Marc Montoni

    But, no, purity police refers to some Ls judging other Ls as NOT L.

    Being creative with the truth, are we? ‘Purity police’ refers to those who criticize those who do not toe their idea of perfection. That can and certainly does go both ways.

    You and Wayne want all other members of the LP to sell what *you* think of as ‘libertarian’. You both obsess about those who have a different point of view. Wayne in particular has difficulty admitting that those of us who are consistent libertarians are, actually libertarians at all.

    In your case, your fallback pejorative is to refer to anyone who disagrees with you as being on some Rothbardian kick (some of those you so accuse have never read Word One of Rothbard, FYI), even though Rothbard is what *you* obsess about.

    I applaud your desire to be honest and consistent about your philosophy. I’d like to think I’m honest and consistent about my philosophy.

    I would expect that you would think so.

    I’ve never suggested that anyone shut up and go away that I recall.

    I’m not so sure about that.

    Myself, I don’t suggest anyone shut up and go away. However, I will always contend that before one opiones at length about things, one should actually deign to do the work that would prove or disprove those opinions.

    Someone who wants to pontificate about why people join, don’t join, leave, or don’t leave, should perhaps first spend a few years recruiting a few hundred or so memberships for the LP, as I have. Before one pontificates on why LP candidates fail, or succeed, one might spend a few years getting deeply involved in both winning and losing campaigns for the other parties, and for ours — and thus figure out what one’s beliefs in that regard have to do with reality on the ground. Before one pontificates about why LP fundraising is down, one might spend a couple of years learning how to raise money. Before one pontificates about why the LP hasn’t grown much larger than it is — in fact has shrunk precipitously since 2000 — one might spend a few years learning how other organizations such as ACLU and others have grown precipitously in the same period. Before one pontificates about why new inquiries do or don’t ultimately join the LP, one could spend a couple of years greeting those newcomers in person and listening to their concerns and questions.

    A political enterprise should build in as much tolerance as possible, it seems, but I suspect you agree that the enterprise cannot allow for too much 0ff-reservation wandering. At some point, the wandering injures the entire effort.

    Ummm… Bob, that is exactly what consistent Libertarians have said all along. Why is it OK for *you* to dismiss a wanderer as unhelpful or even detrimental — but if some think it is *you* who is the wanderer, then it’s not OK?

    I’m not necessarily saying I believe you *are* far enough off the reservation that you are detrimental — just that you (above) claim the right to judge others’ libertarian-ness, but then you argue against others likewise having the right to judge *yours*.

    At the same time, I would argue that your activities are detrimental in that you’re willing to criticize others but you’re unavailable to become a precinct captain in your own precinct.

  28. paulie

    Milnes

    The LP needs to…

    Interesting advice from a supposed progressive who does not claim to be a libertarian ideologically and is not an LP member. We’ll take that into account.

  29. paulie

    The California LP should be contacting new registered Libertarians (as we did long ago) and asking them to join as members, make contributions, attend events, etc.

    Good idea. I was trying to express the same thing earlier, but I think you phrased it better than I did.

  30. paulie

    Oddly, Prop. 14 may help raise Libertarian registration, since voters will no longer be limited to Libertarian primary ballots. This happened in the late 90s, when there was a version of the open primary in effect for 2 election cycles.

    I don’t think prop 14/88 would have the same effect. Without Libertarians on the ballot the message will not be getting out nearly as much.

  31. Robert Capozzi

    mm, thanks for the feedback. I’d like to think I don’t “obsess” over Rothbard. I do happen to think his ideas are a burden on the LM to this day because I don’t think they work. I think Rothbard was doing his best, but his absolutism limits the ability for the ideas of liberty to grow beyond a small segment of the pop. Just my opinion.

    Actually, it IS ok if others view me as off the reservation. It’s all good! I simply encourage the institution to allow for pluralism within reasonable bounds. One of the bounds I suggest is haters. Again, just my opinion. How to set and police the bounds is above my paygrade.

    Whom we support for nominations to represent the LP will vary. What issues we think may be useful in positioning the ideas of liberty in the marketplace will also vary. The amplitude of what we advocate on issues of the day will also vary. UNLESS the LM and LP are the Borg, in which case, I ain’t interested in getting implanted.

  32. Marc Montoni

    LP registration numbers going up dramatically is good, I suppose. But what happens as a result of that? Does the LP get a lot more money? Does it get a lot more volunteers? Does it get a lot more candidates? … I’m sorry, but I don’t see what the big deal is about more people just registering Libertarian on a form if hardly anything comes of that.

    I did want to mention here that registered Libertarians are particularly beneficial to the LP in one major respect: lists of registered Libertarians are typically — and by a huge margin — the most productive recruiting grounds for LP *membership* recruitment efforts.

    While some people registered L did so for arguably spurious reasons — like the example I mentioned above — some register L because they really are libertarians.

    When the LP was still running Project Archimedes, it was mail to registered Libertarians that resulted in outsized “conversion” (from prospect to donor) rates relative to lists of prospects from all other sources (like Reason Magazine).

  33. paulie

    LP registration numbers going up dramatically is good, I suppose. But what happens as a result of that? Does the LP get a lot more money? Does it get a lot more volunteers? Does it get a lot more candidates?

    In the case of California in particular, it means the LP may have a reasonable chance of having its 2016 presidential candidate on the ballot as a Libertarian, instead of having to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures to get him or her on as an independent, and quite possibly not making it. Richard Winger explained exactly how that works earlier.

  34. paulie

    I did want to mention here that registered Libertarians are particularly beneficial to the LP in one major respect: lists of registered Libertarians are typically — and by a huge margin — the most productive recruiting grounds for LP *membership* recruitment efforts.

    Hopefully the California LP, and the 20-something states that have registered Libertarians, will do something about that.

  35. Gains

    In California there is the opportunity in some counties to do their own registrations. Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside all have large enough active groups to do a drive in their own neck of the woods. I am sure some of the other counties up north could also as there are several that have grown significantly over the last few years.

    Does anyone offer any advice to counties that are large enough to do their own activism, how to start. I am sure that each of those counties has their own ideas, but the more liquid the marketplace of ideas, the larger the economy of potential registrations I figure.

  36. Don Lake, FYI, not necessarily a unilateral endorcement

    paulie // Mar 20, 2011:

    ” Marc has a good point. Get active locally ………”

    As told (so called) reformers, ya don’t need a national organization to reform /strike back / document on the local level. I also said (to moans and groans) if the Reform does not serve the society / culture / community then it does not deserve to exist!

    Kansas City blows a quarter of a mil on a high school ‘art fence’ ………..

    San Diego blows millions on TWO pedestrian ‘art bridges’ (UCSD and Convention Center)

    At least KCMO mayor Funkhouser is on the way out …………

    Richard Winger, can we alternative types ever thank him enuf?

  37. John Jay Myers

    I get confused though, if we make this our platform:

    “Smaller and more limited government, cut spending by govt, lower entitlements, lower taxes, lower deficit and debt, fight govt. employee unions and their insane pensions, support and follow the U.S. Constitution, no bailouts or stimulus, legal guns, school choice, and secure the borders.”

    What will the Republicans run on?

    And considering that is exactly what they are running on… why would anyone vote for us?

    I just don’t see how that scenario plays out. If I wanted that list to be our major issues, and all we talk about, I wouldn’t be here, I would be a Republican.

    If the Libertarian Party wants to grow it should have four basic issues:

    1. Bring our troops home from around the world.
    2. End the welfare state sooner rather than later.
    3. End corruption in government by limiting government, auditing the fed, getting the government out of business, (cash for clunkers, healthcare, energy etc).
    4. Live your life as you see fit, smoke, sleep with, marry, eat whatever you like. As long as you don’t harm someone else.

    I think it’s a simple set of issues, that a huge cross section of America understands, it is not extraordinarily controversial. And it keeps us in good favor with the one demographic we need on our side….. libertarians.

    I honestly want to understand that other line of thinking.

    Believe it or not… people are ready for extreme. The Tea Parties success came rom people wanting anything but the other two parties, their derailment is coming from the fact that they were hijacked by the Republican Party and their message became less about fiscal issues.

    Ron Pauls success came from the fact that he was willing to take on these issues and be principled where everyone else was playing politics, it’s time for us to stop playing politics and tell it like it is.

    If we dont separate ourselves from the D’s and R’s, no one will vote for us.

  38. MarcMontoni

    JJM said:

    If the Libertarian Party wants to grow it should have four basic issues:

    1. Bring our troops home from around the world.
    2. End the welfare state sooner rather than later.
    3. End corruption in government by limiting government, auditing the fed, getting the government out of business, (cash for clunkers, healthcare, energy etc).
    4. Live your life as you see fit, smoke, sleep with, marry, eat whatever you like. As long as you don’t harm someone else.

    I think it’s a simple set of issues, that a huge cross section of America understands, it is not extraordinarily controversial. And it keeps us in good favor with the one demographic we need on our side… libertarians.

    I do agree that generally speaking, LP candidates should pick three or so issues to focus on for their campaign. However, I believe the Party should have a fairly comprehensive set of positions.

  39. John Jay Myers

    I am sure I agree Mark, I am just contrasting it to Wayne’s set, the contrast is that you could see someone who leans left or leans right actually saying… “oh that appeals to me”.
    Instead of the only 2 possible answers the average voter would have to that original set of issues:
    1. I hate these issues.
    2. I love these issues, that is why I am Republican.

    See what I mean?

    I do think, my way is a simple way to introduce people to libertarian ideas, in the form of things they easily understand… issues.

    As opposed to saying, “have I ever told you my 30 minute theory on the philosophy of liberty?”, which works like a charm on .1% of the population.

    Of course the issues would be crazy if you were running for City Council or State Rep.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    jjm38: Ron Pauls success came from the fact that he was willing to take on these issues and be principled where everyone else was playing politics, it’s time for us to stop playing politics and tell it like it is. If we dont separate ourselves from the D’s and R’s, no one will vote for us.

    me: Near as I can tell, Ron Paul has not yet been successful in outcomes. During his tenure, the State has gotten nothing but bigger. He has been painting on a bigger canvas since 08, to be sure, getting a bit more attention. The LP has definitely (for the most part) been QUITE different from the Rs and Ds, and that, too, has amounted to not much. We remain WAY under the radar by all measures.

  41. Gains

    JJM @38: “Ron Pauls success came from the fact that he was willing to take on these issues and be principled where everyone else was playing politics, it’s time for us to stop playing politics and tell it like it is.”

    I agree with you but I would also like to point out that his success is also based on 30 years of activism and networking. He earned the trust of a lot of different people over the years. Some of them are groups that would have had nothing else to do with each other outside of his circle.

    Ron Paul spent 30+ years learning and growing coalition and that was his success. Telling it like it is is a requisite part of his schtik. It is brilliant; it is perfect; it is honest; it is fresh; and it works. Telling the truth, being contraversial, being libertarian and running for office are not mutually exclusive things. They are just burdensome; but we knew that when we took the job, didn’t we?

  42. JT

    Paulie: “In the case of California in particular, it means the LP may have a reasonable chance of having its 2016 presidential candidate on the ballot as a Libertarian, instead of having to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures to get him or her on as an independent, and quite possibly not making it.”

    That’s good. Is this the case in many other states as well?

  43. John Jay Myers

    @43, one problem was that as Ron Paul’s message and coverage grew, in popularity, we were busy picking candidates going in the other direction.

    Which turned off a lot of people, and made a lot of people who would have easily got on board believe we were not worth the time. We need to earn those people back.

  44. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 12 Wayne writes; “For 40 years now “the LP purity police” and radical views from a few very loud Libertarians that frighten mainstream voters (on a few issues) have scared away millions of potential LP voters…and chased off the big money donors that every political party desperately needs to survive…and thrive.

    That’s a fact.”
    Where did you get that fact from?

    “I am a policy wonk.”
    Then how did you make that error the other day regarding the lack of oil drilling and the comment about no new refineries in the U.S?

    The reason for the success of the Tea Party is certainly questionable at this point.

  45. Wayne Root

    John Jay,

    We seem to be miscommunicating.

    Not sure what planet you’re on…but I’m a fan of Ron Paul. You call his ideas radical? I call them pure fiscal conservatism. Ron Paul is repeating Barry Goldwater-= exactly as I am.

    I’ve read every word ever written about Goldwater. Like me he was conservative, but supported gay rights and his wife founded Planned Parenthood. My guess is he’d be for medical marijuana today.

    Ron Paul is a classic conservative on every issue but war.

    Last I checked he falls off the radical LP view on immigration and gay marriage.

    So let me get this straight…

    I’m a fan and friend of Ron Paul. He;’s been my guest on my radio shows perhaps 6 or 8 times in the last year. We agree on virtually everything…including getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Libya)…as well as cutting defense spending dramatically, cutting foreign aid dramatically, cutting military bases dramatically.

    Ron and I agree on securing the border (which means both of us disagree with you).

    and on the subject of abortion and gay marriage, I’m more Libertarian than Ron.

    Yet you praise him 24/7…and denigrate me 24/7.

    Does anyone think this makes sense?

    I think perhaps you’re operating on old assumptions about me and my views.

    I’ll have my national radio interview with Bill Cunningham available within 24 hours (from tonight). I spent 40 minutes on the air with Bill on 400+ Premiere Radio stations.

    And I spent 40 minutes bashing wars, bashing Obama’s decision to go to war in Libya, bashing both Republicans and Democrats…and Bill loved it.

    I think you’ll love it too.

  46. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Wow, what a wonderful surprise to come in from a cold rainy day of pushing around musical instruments to find a good discussion on my post from last night. This writing on IPR thing might be kind of fun!

  47. Eddie

    I am a Green Party member and am always telling people, if you want to grow a powerful political movement, you have to market the issues that matter most. You have to stop being purely an “ideological purist.” No oen wants to join a political party that is strict and doesn’t allow the freedom to disagree.

  48. Andy

    Wayne Root said: “Compare LP to Tea Party. Amazing, remarkable, magical, magnificent, miraculous success and growth in only one year versus stagnation of LP for 40 years.

    All because Tea Party stressed pragmatic, popular fiscal conservative views and stayed away from radical, fringe, frightening extreme views…fringe issues that appeal to tiny numbers of voters but frighten away millions of mainstream voters…and divisive social issues.”

    I can’t say that I agree with this analysis.

    The TEA Party movement was started by Libertarians (both big “L” Libertarians and small “l” libertarians, many of whom were motivated to activism by the Ron Paul campaign of 2007-2008). The TEA Party movement scared the heck out of the establishment. It scared them so much that they decided to co-opt it to steer it away from real libertarians & constitutionalists. The last thing that the establishment wanted was to have an effective, popular uprising that was being lead by hardcore libertarians & constitutionalists. They wanted to steer the new people who were being drawn to the TEA Party movement back to the establishment’s “plantation” (so to speak). So, they sent in paid operatives to gain influence in the TEA Party, and they also had their big media mouthpiece shills like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, etc…, pretend like they really supported the original purpose of the TEA Party and to promote it (even though these media shills are the enemy of real libertarians and constitutionalists). This worked out quite well for the establishment as their co-opting of the TEA Party has made the TEA Party far less effective (from a pro-liberty standpoint) than it would be otherwise. They haven’t pulled the wool over the eyes of everyone in the TEA Party movement, but they’ve been able to steer enough of the TEA Party “slaves” back to the “plantation” of the establishment controlled Republican Party that the TEA Party has turned into something that is mostly useless.

    This is what happens when the wrong people gain too much influence in an organization/movement. They steer the naive, the less informed, and the less intelligent away from the original intent of the organization/movement.

    The nuetering of the TEA Party movement is the same thing that has happened to movements which have been hijacked by the establishment left, like the anti-war movement.

    A prime example of how useless the TEA Party has become is the special US Sentate election in Massachusetts in 2010. Some people point to that as a great success of the TEA Party due to Republican Scott Brown being elected over the favored to win, Democrat Martha Coakley. I don’t see this as a success for the TEA Party, I see this as a failure for the TEA Party. Why? Because there was a Libertarian candidate in the race named Joe Kennedy who actually supported the original purpose of the TEA Party (that is wanting big cuts in taxes and government spending) and the TEA Party could have gotten behind him. It was a well known fact that he was in the race and his views were not a secret, yet the TEA Party chose to support Scott Brown over him, even though Scott Brown’s record in the legislature was the opposite of the principles for which the TEA Party is supposed to stand (less taxes and less government). Scott Brown was a fraud and Joe Kennedy was the real deal, yet the TEA Party chose the fraud and ignored the real deal.

    If the TEA Party had gotten behind Joe Kennedy he was still not likely to win, but maybe he could have received an impressive vote total for a minor party candidate and really shaken things up. Some people will say, “Well then Martha Coakley would have won.” I say, who cares? It’s not like electing Scott Brown has accomplished anything. The only thing that it has done is illustrate that Republicans are still doing a good job at conning people who say they want less government.

    If the Libertarian Party becomes too watered down like the TEA Party has then it will be just as worthless. A bunch of naive fools who really believe the in the likes of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh isn’t going to accomplish jack squat.

  49. Gains

    E @53:

    I would say that you are 100% correct about marketing. I would also say that that is only part of the picture, that education is key for long term success and I, myself, value everyone’s time and effort whether it be a campaign marketing the most palatable for the win or someone running an educational program for philosophic grounding.

    When there is a large enough scale that there is competition in the third parties for seats, then that pressure will naturally lend itself to straightening who will run, the watered down messenger or the firebrand ideologue. May the best man (or woman) win.

    In terms of activism or recruiting it is the same. Let one person cast their net wide and the other narrow, let the best fisherperson win.

    I simply cannot in a coalition environment pretend that what I think someone should do, will have any bearing on what they actually will do. On that note I also know that I have no real authority to say that “so and so” over there is limiting me by being who they are or because they are not playing ball my way.

  50. John Jay Myers

    Wayne I look forward to seeing any time that you put out a more positive libertarian message. I can think of three times in the not to distant past where you and Ron Paul strongly differed.

    I am glad to see you coming around. I am glad to see anyone coming around.

    Ron never let’s the GOP off the hook. He will take any conversation and about spending and turn into a conversation about the wars. Every time. I like that. The Democrats are BAD we all know that, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. I think most people who vote for Democrats know their bad they just can’t stand Republicans. I would like to give them an option.

    I am anti-war guy, that’s just me. You have called Ron radical before, and you have said he is not before. I like to think that you are coming around.

    If I had any advice for you it would be the advice I always give, the two parties are the same, there is no difference, Obama is Bush, Bush is Obama.

    I think if you reread my comment you will see the meat of the matter is where we differ on how we need to separate ourselves from the R’s and D’s.

    And how I explained that I didn’t see your list of issues making someone spring into action in our favor.
    Just my opinion. I made a video while hanging out this weekend in regards to it, I think this is a strong set of talking points…. it could be elaborated on, why don’t you write up something in sound bites in regards to how the two parties are the same and I will make a video out of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOji-ZIv4Vs

    (in other words a series of separate statements that can be read by the average person in under 10 seconds)

  51. Gains

    RW @13 brought up an interesting point. The number of registrants is great. It is the percentage of the electorate that we need though.

    How does that graph figure for percentage of all voters?

  52. Robert Milnes

    paulie@40, who are you arrogantly presuming to collectively speak for? IPR, the radicals, the LP, BTP?, rightists?, Zionists? Crazy Losers’ Club?

  53. John Jay Myers

    Apparently I can’t sleep, maybe it’s that I feel I need to correct this:

    “We agree on virtually everything…including getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Libya)”

    Me—-You guys aren’t exactly that close because Ron would say “We need to bring our troops home from everywhere… now” (not just Afghanistan, Iraq etc).

    ” cutting foreign aid dramatically, cutting military bases dramatically.”
    Me– Again, I think dramatically can be a code word for what amounts to be the difference between the Republican budget and the Democrat’s budget (not that dramatic). Ron would says end all foreign aid… and bring our troops home….now.

    Ron has a nuanced political opinion on the border but if you were just going to say “secure our border” with no other stipulations, I would say that we all three agree, I only believe we should have a check point, so we know who comes in and that’s about it. Allow people to work, not full on open borders. Some would argue that is secure.

    But that’s the thing…. I have a big tent, it just has some key tent poles. And a strong stance on our foreign policy that jolts people to the conclusion that this is NOT the Republican Party is the biggest pole.

    To me, you can’t just argue that our wars are too expensive, you have to explain that they are wrong constitutionally and even that they are hypocritical… and even more morally wrong… because they are.

    And even more that if someone tries to make the argument that the wars keep us safe… that you quickly retort, they make us less safe… because they do.

    Our foreign policy is a disaster. It is one nightmare after another, and we are just now waking up to how bad it is (has been)… ie Mubarak etal.

    Now maybe I can go back to sleep.

  54. George Whitfield

    This has been a very good discussion thread. And kudos to the California LP for building its voter registration numbers. One thing I have observed in business and in building organizations, if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t get done consistently or effectively.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    jjm61: And a strong stance on our foreign policy that jolts people to the conclusion that this is NOT the Republican Party is the biggest pole.

    me: This is my strong preference as well. Not only do I consider myself to be a peacenik, a strong bias against war is a popular idea. Plugging into a popular idea seems like good politics to me. People know in their gut that wars are expensive and have contributed to the nation’s current economic challenges.

    The range might be: LP is for peace to LP is for a stateless society in which there is no military. Where are the Ls to be positioned in this continuum? Do we wish to appear to the voice of reason or to be wild-eyed zealots? Something else?

  56. JT

    John Jay: “I think most people who vote for Democrats know [they’re] bad, they just can’t stand Republicans.”

    I think the reverse is true also. Fear and disgust are powerful motivators.

  57. JT

    John Jay: “Ron has a nuanced political opinion on the border…”

    I’m a big fan of Paul, but I don’t know how “nuanced” his opinion on immigration is. True, he said he only voted in favor of a bill to build a fence along the U.S. southern border in order to prevent amnesty, which was also in the bill. But his overall position on immigration appears to be exactly what you’d expect from someone who’s considerably less than libertarian on immigration:

    http://www.ronpaulforcongress.com/html/bordersecurity.html

    He also has been rated highly favorably by FAIR and USBC, two organizations that promote stricter immigration controls.

  58. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    JJM @ 61: “To me, you can’t just argue that our wars are too expensive, you have to explain that they are wrong constitutionally and even that they are hypocritical… and even more morally wrong… because they are. ”

    Thanks!

  59. Gigi Bowman

    @Wayne Allyn Root. The Tea Party also endorsed 122 candidates who VOTED FOR THE PATRIOT ACT!

    Libertarians don’t need to compromise because they have conviction.

    If you have no conviction Wayne…go and join the RLC and go play war and peace over there with or Liberty –compromise your 10%/90% bs somewhere else and leave the Libertarians to their liberty.

  60. Robert Capozzi

    gigi, hmm, at this point, 10%’s looking awfully good to me!

    Interesting that your name links to a page that highlights Rand Paul. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased he’s in the Senate. But by linking as you do, one has to wonder whether your tolerance for “compromise” is selective. Perhaps you can clarify….

  61. paulie

    John Jay: “I think most people who vote for Democrats know [they’re] bad, they just can’t stand Republicans.”

    I think the reverse is true also. Fear and disgust are powerful motivators.

    Tru dat…

  62. paulie

    Milnes,

    When you start asking questions without incorrect assumptions built in, I might consider answering them.

  63. paulie

    “To me, you can’t just argue that our wars are too expensive, you have to explain that they are wrong constitutionally and even that they are hypocritical… and even more morally wrong… because they are. ”

    Use any and all arguments that work…just end the wars.

  64. John Jay Myers

    One thing is for sure… this is the time for the LP to strike.. and we have two unbelievable issues.

    There is the the 3.7 trillion vs 3.8 trillion dollar budget issue and the absolute call to end all wars and bring our troops home issue.
    Both need to be played correctly, and we need to be out hammering these things home, and tattooing our names all over them.

    Everyone needs to be putting out press releases and associating them with the party.

    These things are hot and we have the right take on the issue. We need to be hitting this hard.

  65. Robert Capozzi

    p, when you can give the same answer to David Gregory as your bestest L friend, you’ll know when…. 😉

  66. Steven Wilson

    With top two, the nature of it’s sequence, by 2016 the LP will be a vinyl record compared to the downloadable votes of the remaining two.

    Top two has only objective. The california LP can fight all they want, but top two is mathematical Darwinism.

    Checkmate

  67. Most Foreign Aid Is for Israel

    Root: I’m a fan and friend of Ron Paul. … We agree on … cutting foreign aid dramatically…

    You cannot “dramatically” cut foreign aid without cutting aid to Israel.

    2/3 of all foreign aid goes to Israel or Egypt. (Mostly to Israel — the U.S. is obligated by the Camp David Accords to match their economic aid, though not their military aid — so Israel gets the same economic aid as Egypt, plus additional military aid.)

    And even the aid to Egypt is for Israel’s benefit — a bribe to Egypt for making peace with Israel.

    You cannot dramatically cut foreign aid without cutting aid to Israel — and it’s my impression that Root exempts Israel.

    So unless Root wants to cut aid to Israel, he lies when he says he wants to “dramatically” cut foreign aid.

  68. Marc Montoni

    My source for the 2/3 of all going to Israel and Egypt is Antiwar Radio…

    Any time this bromide is repeated, it can be chalked up to leftist & CAIR propagandizing. Among the reasons I don’t donate to AntiWar.com is that they have swallowed the “lets single out just one recipient of aid” hobby horse.

    If you want to look at the real numbers in “foreign aid”, get a clue and look at the government’s actual accounting:

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/foreign_commerce_aid/foreign_aid.html

    This shows that aid dumped into Afghanistan and Iraq dwarfs that given to Israel. That has been true since 2001. So much for the lie that Israel is the recipient of 2/3 of US “aid”.

    Now…

    First of all, official figures about US generosity overseas are understated by a factor of 100 or more.

    If we’re going to do an honest accounting of US aid, we have to acknowledge one truth: the figures in the Census tallies do not include “off-the-books” aid, which amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Various military spending analyses suggest that about 70% of US defense spending, for example, actually goes to subsidize the defense of Europe, South Korea, and Japan, and a few other allies. This represents a direct subsidy to the protected nations.

    It is “aid”, any way you slice it.

    What do you call all of the entangling alliances, such as NATO, that the US is involved in? The Falklands war — which came up in the news again a few months ago. What do you call all of the US military support to the Brits during that dust-up? That was “aid”, and Britain is a developed country.

    By various estimates, about $100 billion a year is being dumped from American taxpayers’ wallets into Iraqi and Afghan hands every year — perhaps more.

    Do the math. One year of “building” one country has cost the US taxpayer more than a lifetime of credits and loans to Israel.

    All US aid should be abolished, period — without regard to which countries “deserve” aid, or “get an unfair share of it now”.

    Another question that must be asked in concert with the foreign aid question, is should people be allowed to pay trillions of dollars for oil stolen from the original developers/owners by tin-pot 8th-century tyrants?

    Tyrants who turn around and use that money to support radical schools that are training a generation of young people to commit racial, sexual, and religious atrocities?

    Allowing those tyrants to sell oil they stole from others is “aid” also.

  69. Marc Montoni

    If one counts whole dollars dumped into the economy of a nation, whether or not it is called “aid”, Iraq is the single largest cumulative recipient of American treasure for the previous fifty years. The US government dumped a few billion on it here and there in the seventies and eighties; wholesale dumping began, oh, a few weeks after US soldiers reached the heart of Baghdad. Afghanistan isn’t far behind. Israel is now far down the list.

    Vast sums of American wealth — including military aid — has been given to various Middle East nations. Besides the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been directly transferred into the Iraqi economy since the invasion, the US government has sprinkled cash throughout the Middle East. Pakistan alone has received over $18 billion since 2001, for example.

    Anyone who thinks the US government is meddling over there “to protect Israel” such as by bribing Egypt and Jordan to *not* attack Israel, is naive. Foreign aid is dispensed in order to maintain the military “ring of fire” bases that currently hem in Russia and China.

    Don’t focus on the distraction; focus on the real neocon aim: hamstringing the commies. Afghanistan & Iraq weren’t about oil — they were military warnings pointed at China and Russia. The dual invasions were intended to demonstrate 1) that the US military could beat any army and topple any regime it wanted in a matter of weeks, if not days; and 2) to establish bases to complete the encirclement of Russia & China.

    All US aid should be ended, regardless of who is getting it. All US interventions, military occupations, police actions, and peacekeeping duties should be ended, without regard to who they are supporting or where they are.

  70. FKC

    @84-85, mostly good points, although I still consider Antiwar.com to be a good cause regardless.

    As for allowing tyrants to sell oil, does this mean you would use the force of law to prevent companies from buying oil from them?

    And where do you draw the line for tyrants…what about trade with China? Vietnam?

    Finally, as to your last point: the US invasions in the middle east and central asia serve more than a single purpose.

  71. Marc Montoni

    As for allowing tyrants to sell oil, does this mean you would use the force of law to prevent companies from buying oil from them?

    I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it for some time, and there really isn’t a good answer. As things stand now, if you buy a stolen TV set, the authoritahs can take it from you and charge you with receiving stolen merchandise. I’m not sure there’s another way to handle stolen goods.

    As far as I’m concerned, the person (or corporation) who goes to the trouble and expense of finding and extracting the oil on land that was honestly acquired through rent or purchase, is the entity that owns the oil. Middle Eastern nations, in a fit of socialist wealth seizure, nationalized (stole) all of the oil fields and the infrastructure built to extract it between 1920 and 1950.

    So do those governments have the right to sell that oil and profit from them?

    I think not.

    And where do you draw the line for tyrants…what about trade with China? Vietnam?

    Depends. To the extent that products are not borne of slave labor, well, I’d say it’s probably correct to allow trade in those products. If a product is, however, borne of slave labor, does anyone have the right to buy those goods? They represent labor stolen from human beings. If we buy them regardless of origin, do we not hold one of the whips by so doing?

    Finally, as to your last point: the US invasions in the middle east and central asia serve more than a single purpose.

    Certainly, I agree. However, some things are obvious, like the smell of rotten milk. In the case at hand, the main aim of US meddling in the Middle East has always been about screwing around with the commies. It has been ever since our intervention in the war against those crook Bolsheviks. Not much has changed in the nearly 100 years since then.

  72. Andy

    “Don’t focus on the distraction; focus on the real neocon aim: hamstringing the commies.”

    The neo-cons are controlled by the same people who control the commies. Communism was funded by the big bankers from the beginning.

  73. Eddie

    Does anyone have any Green Party numbers for California?

    If any of you guys live in the San Fernando Valley, expect some big event in the upcoming months where the main attraction will be the coming togethe rof third parties to go up against the two-party duopolies. This includes you guys, too.

  74. Eddie

    I don’t know if any of you know, but California Greens have launched a massive campaign to register 100,000 new people with the Green Party in the next 2 years. Sounds like a challenge, and I hope we get at least 100,000 new Greens.

    I find it sort of funny that I don’t hear much about the Libertarians working together with the Greens, say at tabling. Although we disagree on some issues, the similarities on some issues should be enough to convince us to work together more often. Just doing these irrelevant “election time debates” will definitely not cut it.

  75. paulie

    Eddie,

    I totally agree.

    I think Libertarians and Greens should work together more.

    There are many issues of agreement.

  76. Andy

    “Eddie // Mar 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I don’t know if any of you know, but California Greens have launched a massive campaign to register 100,000 new people with the Green Party in the next 2 years. Sounds like a challenge, and I hope we get at least 100,000 new Greens.”

    I remember back when there were a lot of big protests going on over the War in Iraq the Green Party of California was registering a lot of people to vote under the Green Party banner. Prior to this I’m pretty sure that the Libertarian Party of California actually had more registered voters than the Green Party of California. I really thought that the Libertarian Party dropped the ball by not doing more outreach to the anti-war crowd.

  77. Mark Seidenberg

    The above figures are very misleading. The registration of the California Libertarian Party on October 18, 2010 was 91,111 and on February 10, 2011 it was 92,246. This mean the
    increase was 1,135 or an increase of 1.24573%
    since October 18, 2010.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg

  78. Mark Seidenberg

    Paulie

    The goal is to have by September 5, 2011 a total
    of 1o3,oo4 registered in the party for the figures
    to be useful. The LP needs 10,758 additional
    registered electors between February 10. 2011 and this September.

    Look at the Constitution Party, they have a total
    of 157 down from 167 for the same period. They
    are in more need of the 103,004 total electors than the LP but is still important.

    In California since 1959 we have had no fusion
    by the California Election Code. What do you
    think will happen to the LP numbers when Dr.
    Ron Paul runs as a Republican and the LP
    elector wants to vote for him. Answer they will
    re-register Republican to vote for Ron Paul.

    I can see the re-registration as so large it could
    bring the LP out of the qualified political party
    field, because it could drop below the registration minimum.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg

  79. JT

    Mark: “The above figures are very misleading.”

    LMAO! Mark, you’re the LAST person who should talk about party registration numbers being very misleading.

    It’s very well-documented that a huge percentage of Californians only register with the AIP because they mistakenly believe they’re registering Independent (I read that even the liberal wife of current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom mistakenly registered with the AIP!). Despite this obvious fact, at every opportunity you and others in the AIP spout off about the number of registered voters there are in California, despite the fact that a great many of them would NEVER vote for AIP candidates.

    It’s really too bad your party wasn’t honestly named the Conservative Christian Party or somesuch, because then we’d have an accurate count of registered voters who support you. So just spare us your opinion about other party registration numbers being very misleading.

  80. paulie

    The goal is to have by September 5, 2011 a total
    of 1o3,oo4 registered in the party for the figures
    to be useful. The LP needs 10,758 additional
    registered electors between February 10. 2011 and this September.

    I’ve seen you allege this before. However, I find Richard Winger to be a more credible source than you, and he says that is not true.

    He says the LP needs a similar number by September 2015. The exact number will depend on how many people vote in 2014.

    Richard Winger has a much better track record than you, so I’ll go with his interpretation.

    In California since 1959 we have had no fusion
    by the California Election Code.

    Technically not correct either (again according to Richard Winger), but yes, fusion is very difficult under California law.

    What do you
    think will happen to the LP numbers when Dr.
    Ron Paul runs as a Republican

    I don’t think it’s nearly as much of a foregone conclusion as you apparently do. What happened last time Ron Paul ran? Put it into perspective of prevailing trends prior to that.

    Ultimately: I guess we’ll see.

  81. Michael Seebeck, SVC, LPCA

    Ted Brown @20:

    “The California LP should be contacting new registered Libertarians (as we did long ago) and asking them to join as members, make contributions, attend events, etc.”

    What do you think we’ve been doing, anyway? The counties get the monthly data dumps and new inquiries as they arrive daily, and if they aren’t following up on new registrations and inquiries, then that’s their problem and per the dues-sharing agreement, against their best interests. if they counties aren’t pulling their administrative weight, then they suffer for it.

    Marc @21:

    “just three or four years ago, the California LP was in some danger of losing ballot status for the first time in a couple of decades.”

    Nope. We haven’t been in danger of losing ballot status for the past decade at least. We have had to pull 2% in at least one statewide race every four years, and we have done that going back through all of the 1990s.

    Wes Benedict is not responsible for LPCA’s flattening out of registration and membership losses. That is the credit of the current leadership that has spent the past four years cleaning up the previous regime’s mess, most of which has been done quietly and behind the scenes by people who actually do the damn job. That includes me.

    Steven Wilson @79:

    ‘The california LP can fight all they want, but top two is mathematical Darwinism.”

    Not necessarily. The current mess that is unfolding in CA between the budget battle disenfranchising rank-and-file Republicans over ending redevelopment agencies (which the GOP blocked!), potential tax increases on the ballot that nobody wants or can afford, plus the growing redistricting scandal (which the LPCA predicted would happen!) is brewing more of a problem for the GOP than the LPCA.

    Furthermore, we are currently examining ways to internally work around Prop 14, and we also see it as the impetus to be doing the local and grassroots stuff we should have been doing for the past 40 years to build a viable political party.

    Eddie @91:

    “I find it sort of funny that I don’t hear much about the Libertarians working together with the Greens, say at tabling. Although we disagree on some issues, the similarities on some issues should be enough to convince us to work together more often.”

    The only area the LP and the GP agrees on is ending the War on Drugs. On everything else the GP wants more government regulation and suppression, while the LP wants much less.

    Frankly, if the Greens would abandon their misguided fetish for Big Government and embraced free-market approaches to alternative energy and other “green” causes, they would get somewhere.

    As for the numbers, Seidenberg is wrong and Winger is right. We’ve known this since long before Prop 14 passed (which is why we worked against it solo while the GOP, DP, GP, PFP, and both factions of the AIPs did zilch!), with the only question being what the final number would be, and how redistricting would affect it. We now know the former, and are still waiting on the latter, but that may take a while.

    Frankly, the increase is a good start but we are just getting started.

    So sez this part of the LPCA leadership.

  82. paulie

    The only area the LP and the GP agrees on is ending the War on Drugs.

    What an uninformed statement for a member of LP leadership to make, especially in his official capacity.

    Some other issues (not a comprehensive list):

    1. Bringing the troops home from around the world and cutting down the military-industrial complex.

    2. Ending immigration quotas and allowing much greater freedom of movement across the border.

    3. Human rights for sex workers.

    4. Repealing the “patriot act” and homeland security state.

    5. Reversing the growing trend of police paramilitarization, SWAT team abuse, and the prison-industrial complex.

    6. Opposing corporate bailouts and corporate welfare.

    7. Opposing eminent domain abuse, especially on behalf of corporations.

    8. Supporting separation of religion and state.

    9. Defending the right of free expression.

    10. Opposing state subsidies and waivers of immunity to polluters.

    11. Opposing the use of the US military on behalf of corporate interests abroad.

    12. Human rights of those caught up within the “justice” system.

    13. Allowing for the potential uses of industrial hemp.

    14. Opposition to torture, secret prisons, indefinite detentions, etc.

    15. Opposing regime intervention against alternative medicine.

    16. Opposing government subsidies to sprawl, including transportation boondoggles, among other things.

    17. Opposing “real ID.”

    18. Youth rights

    19. LGBT rights, including marriage equality.

    20. Ending US foreign aid to dictators abroad.

    21. Privacy rights.

    22. Opposition to racial profiling.

    23. Exposing government pollution, especially by the military.

    24. Government transparency; access to public records.

    25. Right to protest and petition; opposition to limiting speech to “free speech zones”.

    26. Ballot access, exposing black box voting, paper trails for voting. Oversight of electronic vote counting.

    27. Opposition to excessive abuse of copyright claims.

    28. The issue of black collar crime (abuse of the law by judges).

    29. US War crimes.

    30. War tax resistance.

    31. Auditing/ending the federal reserve…

    …and that’s just a start.

  83. paulie

    The counties get the monthly data dumps and new inquiries as they arrive daily, and if they aren’t following up on new registrations and inquiries, then that’s their problem and per the dues-sharing agreement, against their best interests. if they counties aren’t pulling their administrative weight, then they suffer for it.

    Sure, counties could do something. So could the state. Saying counties could be doing something is not the same thing as actually doing something.

  84. paulie

    Wes Benedict is not responsible for LPCA’s flattening out of registration and membership losses. That is the credit of the current leadership that has spent the past four years cleaning up the previous regime’s mess, most of which has been done quietly and behind the scenes by people who actually do the damn job.

    How have California’s dues paying LP membership number trends compared with other states during the same time?

    I don’t know off hand, but I do know that part of the seating formula for national conventions is relative growth rates for state parties, and I seem to remember California being towards the back of the hall this past time.

    For that matter, I suspect voter registration trends have had a lot more to do with Ron Paul’s increased prominence and public identification as a “libertarian” than with anything the current or former state or national LP leadership has done or not done.

    I could be wrong.

    If someone has similar data for the same time frame for other states that have Libertarian registration as an option available for comparison we may be able to make more informed comparisons.

  85. paulie

    We’ve known this since long before Prop 14 passed (which is why we worked against it solo while the GOP, DP, GP, PFP, and both factions of the AIPs did zilch!),

    IPR posted numerous examples of different parties working against prop 14/88.

  86. Mark Seidenberg

    paulie

    First, it has been more then ten days, since the
    hearing on March 11, 2011 in KING v. ROBINSON. No request for reconsideration
    was filed by KING so all KING can do now is
    appeal.

    Second, You do not have to believe me the
    California Libertarian Party is way down in
    registration. I do not believe you that Richard
    Winger told you that the SOS could not remove
    the LP from the ballot in 2012. Read CA section Election Code section 5101and then reply.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg

  87. paulie

    Paragraph one has what to do with this exactly?

    Paragraph two: I don’t care what you believe. Ask him yourself. That is exactly what he told me. He usually answers email and his phone number is on his website as well.

  88. Andy

    “It’s very well-documented that a huge percentage of Californians only register with the AIP because they mistakenly believe they’re registering Independent (I read that even the liberal wife of current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom mistakenly registered with the AIP!).”

    This is true. I’ve registered thousands of people to vote in California. I did this while I was gathering signatures on petitions for initiative, referenda, and recalls. A person can fill out a voter registration form and then sign a petition the same day and have their signature counted on the petition if you print the code unique number from the voter registration on the petition next to the person’s signature.

    After registering thousands of people to vote in California, I never had one person who registered under the American Independent Party banner on purpose (as in they knew what the party was and wanted to register under that party’s banner). Every person that I ever had who checked the American Independent Party box on their voter registration thought that they meant that they were registering as independents (as in with no party). If one wants to register as an independent in California, they are supposed to check the Decline To State A Political Party box. When I told the people who checked the American Independent Party box that it was a political party, not independent for which you are supposed to check the Decline To State A Political Party box, they either said something like, “The heck with it, I’m in a hurry.” and they kept it that way, or they requested another voter registration form so they could start over and check the Decline To State A Political Party box. I had plenty of people who knowingly registered as Democrats, Republicans, and Decline To State A Political Party. I had a few people who knowingly registered as Libertarians and Greens. I even had a few knowingly register under the Peace and Freedom Party banner (although I suspect that most of these were just because they liked the name of the party, not that they knew anything about it). I just never ran into one person who knew what the American Independent Party was and wanted to register to vote under that party banner. Now I did run into a few people who were already registered to vote under the American Independent Party banner and who did know what that party was, so they do have some support, but the overwellming majority of people who are registered to vote under the American Independent Party banner in California have no clue what that party stands for or even that it is a political party at all.

    The majority of people who are registered under the Libertarian Party banner and the Green Party banner in California do know what those parties are. They all may not be activists, and they all may not always vote for those parties, but at least they know that they are political parties and they’ve got at least some idea about the issues for which these parties stand. The “support” for the American Independent Party in California is wildly inflated.

    A similiar situation exsists in Nevada with the Independent American Party and in Nebraska with the Nebraska Party, both of which are also affiliated with the Constitution Party. I never ran into one person in Nevada who identified themselves as being supporters of the Independent American Party (note that I did run into plenty of people who said that they were Democrat or Republicans and I also ran into some who said that they were Libertarians and Greens). When I was in Nebraska I did not have one person register to vote under the Nebraska Party banner who knew what that party was. I asked one person who checked the Nebraska Party box why they checked it and they said, “Because I like Nebraska football.” Another person in Nebraska who checked that box told me they check it because they were “born and raised in Nebraska.”

    “Despite this obvious fact, at every opportunity you and others in the AIP spout off about the number of registered voters there are in California, despite the fact that a great many of them would NEVER vote for AIP candidates.”

    I suspect that some of the votes for the American Independent Party in California come from people who think that they are voting for independents, as in they consider themselves to be independents and they want to vote for independent candidates. I’m not saying that there aren’t other parties who don’t get votes from people who don’t know what the party is that they are voting for, I’m just saying that I suspect that there is a higher percentage of that with the American Independent Party than with other parties.

  89. paulie

    Andy @109,

    That was pretty much my experience as well – I’ve actually registered over 10,000 people to vote in California, so I had a very tiny handful that actually knew what the AIP was, but the vast majority who checked that box initially did not.

    Like Andy said, some of them didn’t care either way and said they were busy, while others filled out a new form when this got pointed out to them.

  90. Mark Seidenberg

    Andy and Paulie

    The American Independent Party is now at 417,567 electors as of February 10, 2011. On
    October 18, 2010 it was at 413,032 electors.

    The LP registration for the same dates was 92,246 and 91.111.

    The goal is to have a minium of 103,004 electors
    by September 5, 2011. That is the whole point of
    these number. Bottom line is the LP numbers are way down and need to move on.

    The AIP has just been through a WAR by a large
    minority of officers in its party. The LP should
    be able to understand that, since they too went
    through a hijacking attempt in Arizona. The
    hijacker did three lawsuit since the summer of
    2008 and lost all three. It never got down to
    issues, because the hijacker to save a buck, hired foreign lawyers to do the unauthorize practice of law in California, prior to April 21,
    2010. The last case ended, because Jim King’s lawyer did not comply local rule 3.09 of the Superior Court of California, County of Solano.

    The ten day period past for reconsideration, by
    the court. Now the only thing Jim King could
    due is start lawsuit number four or appeal the
    ruling of Judge Mattie of March 11, 2011.

    The Constitution Party hijacker behind the straw
    man Jim King with some Republican activist were behind the lawsuit. In fact it was the same
    cabal of hijackers that tried to take hijack the
    Los Angeles County Republican Party Central
    Committee from Jane Barnett it Chairperson.

    Currently, the Constitution Party is trying to
    qualify in California and get the 103,004 electors by September 5, 2011, like the LP is
    trying to do. The CP under its Chairmanship
    of Dr. Don Grundmann is going in the wrong
    direction in party recruitment. On October 18,
    2011, the CP of Don and Ida (Don Grundmann’s
    mom) registration went down from 167 in 22
    of the 58 counties of California to 157 in 18 counties of the 58 counties in California.

    Like the LP the AIP have both bin doing poorly
    in getting the vote. We both have elected some
    local office holders, viz., water district boards
    and school boards for AIP. With Prop. 14 and
    SB 6 it has all changed for the worst to third
    party movements in California.

    Richard Winger thinks the LP can hold out until
    2015 wiith its poor showing on voter registration, I have my concern it will not happen in light of the will be no nominees with
    2 % of the vote in the 2014 general elections
    if the removal of the LP from the primary ballot
    does not happen first under California Election Code section 5001. I think the LP needs to prepare for a court battle with the California
    Secretary of State in Sacramento County when
    she acts under CA Election Code Section 5001.

    The LP only has ten days from the time the Secretary of State declares that the LP has
    forfitted their rights to be in the next primary
    election. It has happened to the Peace & Freedom, Natural Law, and Reform parties.

    I still see that Dr. Ron Paul can remove a
    number of LP electors to the Republican
    Party very quickly. My guess the LP leadership
    need to prepare for the Secretary of State of California acting under 5001 of the election code
    and closing the LP down.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party

  91. Mark Seidenberg

    I made one date error in the above statement.
    The date was October 11, 2010 and not October 11, 2011. Sorry for the date error.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party

  92. Mark Seidenberg

    Sorry for the second time, I made the date error
    again. It should state October 18, 2010 and not
    either October 11, 2010 or October 11, 2011.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party.

  93. paulie

    The goal is to have a minium of 103,004 electors
    by September 5, 2011.

    Already addressed this previously above.

    Bottom line is the LP numbers are way down

    They’re way up since 2008, and so far at least that trend continues.

    Currently, the Constitution Party is trying to
    qualify in California and get the 103,004 electors by September 5, 2011, like the LP is
    trying to do.

    Apples and oranges. The CP is not already on the ballot in California, the LP is. As of the 2010 election, the LP still had statewide candidates that received over 2%, thus qualifying it through 2014. If prop 14/88 is not overturned by 2014, the LP will no longer be able to win ballot retention that way, thus it will need approximately 100k voter regs by 2015 to avoid having to petition to put its 2016 presidential candidate on the ballot.

    Since the CP did not retain ballot status in 2010 by 2% statewide candidate vote, it does have to gather that number of regs by 2011. That seems highly unlikely, so practically speaking their most likely way to get on the ballot is to prevail in court against you.

  94. JT

    Mark: “The American Independent Party is now at 417,567 electors as of February 10, 2011. On
    October 18, 2010 it was at 413,032 electors.”

    You have a lot of people who were tricked into registering with the AIP thinking they were registering Independent. I don’t even know how the state lets that continue.

    Paulie: “Since the CP did not retain ballot status in 2010 by 2% statewide candidate vote, it does have to gather that number of regs by 2011. That seems highly unlikely, so practically speaking their most likely way to get on the ballot is to prevail in court against you.”

    Doesn’t look very good for you guys, Mark.

  95. Gains

    MS @100: “What do you think we’ve been doing, anyway? The counties get the monthly data dumps and new inquiries as they arrive daily, and if they aren’t following up on new registrations and inquiries, then that’s their problem and per the dues-sharing agreement, against their best interests. if they counties aren’t pulling their administrative weight, then they suffer for it.”

    As a member living in Southern California. I have to say that my experiences and those that our Southern Vice Chair express are almost upside down. The largest, fastest growing, most registration getting, and IM(NS)HO best county down here has little or nothing to do with the states plans. Contact with the state party and its leadership is almost always painful and destructive.

    Out of what feels like pettiness and control, the state has not provided any inquiries list, has sent state officers to disrupt the meetings (no serious… outbursts and yelling schizophrenic break style), and dues are still not well accounted for and late though they are doing much MUCH better than they used to right after UMP ended.

    It pains me to no end for leadership in the CA party to publicly address membership as a whole in such a derogatory manner. It is about par for the course now a days though.

    I pray for better interpersonal and intracounty communication and cooperation one day for the California Party. For us, locally, concentrating on those aspects of community first, really paid off.

  96. Gains

    Eddie @91: “I find it sort of funny that I don’t hear much about the Libertarians working together with the Greens, say at tabling.”

    Hey down here on the street we are!!!

    One really good example was the Prop 19 campaign in California (something state leadership ignored while the rest of the party mobilized despite them). Since it was eschewed by the Democrats, it was black flag flying LP and Greens running the show. We had a GREAT TIME working together, and despite the Dems topedoing the effort the best they could we almost WON that bad boy!

  97. Andy

    “You have a lot of people who were tricked into registering with the AIP thinking they were registering Independent. I don’t even know how the state lets that continue.”

    I don’t think that it is fair to say that these people were “tricked” into registering under the American Independent Party banner. I think that it is more a case of people ASSUMING that the word Independent in between the words American and Party meant that they were registering as independents. If these individuals had been more careful when they looked at the different choices when they were filling out their voter registration they would have noticed a box that says Decline To State A Political Party. This is what they are supposed to check if they want to be registered as independents, and this is what most people who want to register as independents do in fact check, it is just that there are a lot of people who who checked the American Indpendent Party label by mistake (which is how the AIP got most of their registrations in California).

  98. Andy

    “Currently, the Constitution Party is trying to
    qualify in California and get the 103,004 electors by September 5, 2011, like the LP is
    trying to do.”

    Good luck trying to get 103,004 people to register under the Constitution Party banner, especially by September 5th of this year.

    The only way I could see the Constitution Party getting ballot access like this in California is if they paid people to go out and register people under the Constitution Party banner, and this could cost a LOT of money. I could easily see it costing between $700,000-$1 million plus (probably more than $1 million). Maybe you might luck out and be able to do it a little bit cheaper than this, but not much, however, if you wanted it finished this year I think that it would cost $1 million or more to make it happen.

    By the way, there’s a space on the registration form in California where a person can write in the name of a political party which is not one of the current choices (the parties which currently have ballot status in California are the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the American Independent Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Peace and Freedom Party). So in order to qualify the Constitution Party for the ballot in California via the voter registration process the party would have to get 103,004 people to print Constitution Party on that space on the voter registration forms, plus I think that they’d need some padding on top of that in case some of those registrations get disqualified or if people register and then move right away and their mail bounces or immediately switch their registration to being under some other party banner.

  99. Andy

    I think that the Constitution Party’s best bet in California is to work to recapture control of the American Independent Party.

  100. Mark Seidenberg

    Andy

    Why do you think it is the best bet interest of the
    Constitution Party to recapture control of the American Independent Party? When did the Constitution Party ever control the American Independent Party as a captive? On February 10,
    2011 the CP had a registration of 157 down from
    167 on October 18, 2010. How can 157 electors
    control 417,567 electors? That would mean that
    each elector in the Constitution Party would have
    to control either 2,659 or 2,670 electors in the
    American Independent Party? Or would be a majority of that party that voted? Bottom line
    is please explain how the CP can control the AIP?

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman,
    American Independent Party

  101. JT

    Andy: “I don’t think that it is fair to say that these people were “tricked” into registering under the American Independent Party banner.”

    I do. The reason is that the AIP name itself is highly misleading, and the party won’t change it to something that accurately reflects its views. Why not? Christian Conservative Party is an informative label, and one I think would result in a much smaller number of people registered with that party in California. And the despite the fact that a great many people register to vote AIP by mistake, party officials still tout that number as if all of those people agree with the party’s platform.

    Andy: “I think that it is more a case of people ASSUMING that the word Independent in between the words American and Party meant that they were registering as independents. If these individuals had been more careful when they looked at the different choices when they were filling out their voter registration they would have noticed a box that says Decline To State A Political Party.”

    Yes, those people are indeed making a false assumption–but one I think is reasonable. There are Independent parties in U.S. states that don’t have an ultra-conservative platform.

    Andy: “This is what they are supposed to check if they want to be registered as independents, and this is what most people who want to register as independents do in fact check, it is just that there are a lot of people who who checked the American Independent Party label by mistake (which is how the AIP got most of their registrations in California).”

    Agreed.

  102. Andy

    Mark Seidenberg // Mar 25, 2011 at 6:15 am

    “Andy

    Why do you think it is the best bet interest of the
    Constitution Party to recapture control of the American Independent Party?”

    Because it is really difficult to get statewide ballot access in California.

    “When did the Constitution Party ever control the American Independent Party as a captive?”

    There didn’t appear to be a problem before the 2008 Presidential election. The AIP was supposed to put Chuck Baldwin on the ballot but they put Alan Keyes on instead. Now, apparently the pro-Alan Keyes faction is locking the Constitution Party faction out. Sounds like a problem to me.

  103. Andy

    “I do. The reason is that the AIP name itself is highly misleading, and the party won’t change it to something that accurately reflects its views.”

    They can call their party whatever they want to call it. They just happened to chose a name that is popular with a lot of people even though most of those people don’t know what that party is.

    It is not as though they are intentionally lying to people or engaging in some type of fraud.

  104. paulie

    Seidenberg @121 A masterpiece of misdirection 🙂

    You know what Andy meant and so does everyone else.

    Andy @124 “Now, apparently the pro-Alan Keyes faction is locking the Constitution Party faction out. Sounds like a problem to me.”

    This is where Seidenberg tells you that there are no factions in the AIP, and that 400,000+ AIP members support Keyes and the people that supported him, and that the CP people are not a faction in the AIP because they are not in the AIP at all.

    And even if Seidenberg acknowledged that there are factions, he would not consider it a problem, since he supports Keyes and wants the Constitution Party to be separate from the AIP.

    Regardless, you are correct that the Constitution Party’s best bet to be on the ballot in California in 2012 is to win a lawsuit against the people that currently control the AIP and, yes, recapture control of the ballot line.

    Thus, it is reasonable to expect that there will be more lawsuits. We have no way of knowing whether they will eventually succeed. Either outcome is entirely possible.

  105. JT

    Andy: “They can call their party whatever they want to call it.”

    Legally they obviously CAN do that and they do. I don’t think they SHOULD do that.

    Andy: “It is not as though they are intentionally lying to people or engaging in some type of fraud.”

    Well, I personally think that if a party gives itself and keeps a name that causes confusion among a majority of the registrants who reasonably believe the name represents something fundamentally different, then the party is being deceptive. If that party gains ballot status only because of that, then I think it’s a type of fraud. The idea is that reasonable people who register with a particular party have some conception–even if it’s just a vague one–of what they’re doing (of course, that’s only in the context of the electoral system that exists in California). And I think it’s more deceptive for officials in that party to tout that number as though all of those registrants believe in what you represent.

  106. Andy

    “Well, I personally think that if a party gives itself and keeps a name that causes confusion among a majority of the registrants who reasonably believe the name represents something fundamentally different, then the party is being deceptive. If that party gains ballot status only because of that, then I think it’s a type of fraud.”

    Look at the names Democratic Party and Republican Party. The Democrats don’t really believe in democracy, and the Republicans don’t really believe in the republic, so both of these parties have names that are fraudulent as well, far more so than the American Independent Party.

  107. Andy

    “And I think it’s more deceptive for officials in that party to tout that number as though all of those registrants believe in what you represent.”

    I agree with this. The number of registered voters with the American Inpendent Party in California, the Independent American Party in Nevada, and the Nebraska Party in Nebraska are all wildly inflated beyond what the real support level for these parties is. Most of the people who are registered under these party banners have no clue what the party is.

  108. JT

    Andy: “Look at the names Democratic Party and Republican Party. The Democrats don’t really believe in democracy, and the Republicans don’t really believe in the republic, so both of these parties have names that are fraudulent as well, far more so than the American Independent Party.”

    No, because “American Independent” as the party’s name causes most people who register with that party to mistakenly think they’re registering as Independents. There’s no correlative proper noun label for “Democratic” or “Republican.”

    Moreover, most people have at least some hazy notion about Democrats and Republicans where they live. By contrast, most people registering as “American Independent” have absolutely NO clue what they’re affiliating themselves with, as you stated above. And I suspect AIP officers in California like it that way.

  109. Andy

    “By contrast, most people registering as ‘American Independent’ have absolutely NO clue what they’re affiliating themselves with, as you stated above. And I suspect AIP officers in California like it that way.”

    Yes, but this is thier own stupidity. If they take the time to actually look over the choices on the voter registration form they will see that there is a box that says Decline To State A Political Party. Most of the people who want to register as independents (ie-with no party) do in fact check that box, which is the correct one to check for that classification. The people who are stupid, lazy, or in too big of a hurry to pay attention are the ones who check the American Independent Party box by mistake. Yes, the AIP has benifited from this, but it is not like they are out there intentionally lying to people.

  110. Andy

    “And I suspect AIP officers in California like it that way.”

    I imagine that the AIP officers would like it if everyone who check their party box on the voter registrations did so because they really believe in that party and will vote for and become activists for their party. Reality is that out of the over 400,000 people that have checked the American Independent Party box on their California voter registration that only a small percentage of them know that it is a political party and what the beliefs of that political party are. I’d be suprised if 50,000 out of the 400,000 and something know this. It is probably less than that. Maybe 25,000 or 30,000 actually know what it is.

  111. paulie

    They chose that name because they know it would have that effect. So, they are not intentionally lying, they’re just intentionally benefiting from people not being careful.

  112. JT

    Andy: “I imagine that the AIP officers would like it if everyone who check their party box on the voter registrations did so because they really believe in that party and will vote for and become activists for their party.”

    I imagine that’s what they’d like the most by far, as any party would. But otherwise, they like this too.

    The idea behind the state’s requirement is that people who register with a particular party have some clue of what the party is. That’s the whole purpose of it–to show broad support for that party among California residents (that’s not to say I endorse that state’s specific requirement). But the purpose isn’t to amass people who make easy mistakes thinking they’re registering as something completely different. Is that technically the error of those registrants in this case? Yes. Is that one that many rational people can easily make for good reason–and do? Yes.

    AIP officers know that. Yet they won’t correct it. They just continue to use it for ballot access contrary to the whole point of the requirement, which I think is very deceptive.

    In addition, I’d think that an alternative party that’s proud of what it stands for would want a name that reflects that. So people in the AIP should wear the name “Christian Ultra-Right Party” or somesuch as a badge of honor–and let the California voter registrant chips fall where they may.

  113. Bruce Cohen

    I doubt that the efforts of the Libertarian Party of CA had much to do with the uptick in Registrations.

    While it’s good news, credit where it’s due and no credit where it’s not.

    The LPCA has no organized Registration Drive that I or anyone I know has heard of. There doesn’t seem to be any push by phone or tabling or door knocking to get folks to sign up with the ROV as a Libertarian.

    One propellerhead in Nor CA had, what sounded to me like, a great idea on how to identify super high propensity potential Libertarians using the ROV’s registration list and cross referencing it to the different lists the LPCA had.

    Said propellerhead approached the LPCA ‘leadership’ about this and ended up going nowhere with it.

    Hey, I’m fully stoked CA registration is up for the LP. But it’s because of things like Ron Paul and Glenn Beck and Judge Napolitano.

    No so much about the LPCA, if at all.

  114. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Ah, Mr. Cohen finally weighs in! And here I posted this article just for you.

  115. Andy

    “AIP officers know that. Yet they won’t correct it”

    I don’t think that they can “correct” it at this point even if they wanted to do this. Why? Because the party named was chosen a long time ago. The American Independent Party goes back to the 1960’s. I think that George Wallace was their presidential candidate. That party went defunct in all of or most of the rest of the nation. However, it remained on the ballot in California. The Constitution Party formed in 1992, actually, it was called the US Tax Payers Party back then. When the US Tax Payers Party formed in 1992 the American Independent Party became their California affiliate, and then when the US Tax Payers Party changed its name to the Constitution Party in 1996 (although they are still called the US Tax Payers Party in Michigan), the American Independent Party remained affiliated with it. The American Independent Party can’t change its name unless they conduct a voter registration drive or a petition drive to form a new political party. Given the difficulty of getting on the ballot under a new name, the American Indpendent Party is “stuck” with that name.

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