TPM: Gary Johnson Says He Might Run As Libertarian

Johnson might run as a Libertarian

Article: Talking Points Memo dot com

80 thoughts on “TPM: Gary Johnson Says He Might Run As Libertarian

  1. George Phillies

    Let me suggest that the comment should be read as a calibrated threat, probably backed by a bluff. He wants more attention, and if he does not get it from his opponents he has alternatives.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    5 gp, if true, that’s pathetic! GJ is no threat to anyone, nor is the LP.

    Who would he possibly be threatening? Directed toward whom? Reince Priebus?

  3. Robert Capozzi

    9 tk, GJ’s complaint seems dramatically different than GP’s narc to the FEC. GJ is attempting to compete in a contest. GP was — how’d go — informational, I guess. GP had already lost the contest and didn’t dispute the validity of the outcome of the contest.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@10,

    I agree that the complaints are dramatically different. GP’s complaint was clearly in service to his party. GJ’s complaint is clearly in service to GJ.

  5. CT Debate to Be Televised

    And Gary Johnson is now being subject to attack emails.

    I just got one. Of course,

    Editor@mysapolitics.com

    isn’t a human name when he wrote the message below. However, there is a fundamental difference between human and the purist numbskull who did the attack mailing on me in 2010, and may yet go down as the purist numbskull who destroyed our party.

    Chris Barber had the gonadal fortitude to sign his name to his letter. Editor@ did not.

    Funny part in next letter. Read the attack first:

    As you may be aware, some Libertarians in the party many who are ex-Republicans are trying to recruit Gary Johnson. This email is for informational purposes only and is just a preview of his past. There is more information coming in daily that is verifiable including some very distressed ex-Employees on record. This is a courtesy warning to those that try to recruit Gary Johnson. You will be ridiculed for not vetting the guy. The reason the mainstream media did not find all this info is because he was not a top contender. Guess what they are going to do to him once he threatens an Obama defeat. They are going to rip him apart. The second round of information is going to be even more distressing with the results of the open records requests. Furthermore, Gary Johnson reveals information that makes him a phony Libertarian. Financial information is in the process of being revealed that will threaten the Johnson Campaign’s credibility with voters. Learn more about Gary Johnson 20
    12 Secret Truths at the website below.

    http://www.DropGary.com

    I@DropGary.com

    This message is being forwarded to you.

    Editor,
    My Sapolitics

  6. George Phillies

    Yes I wrote the prior message and forgot to change the header. Me bad. Sorry.

    And now the funny part. Here are the full headers for the letter from Editor@

    The giveaway is much of the way down the page.

    I bolded it. That’s the line that reads

    X-Source-Auth: info@rjharris2012.com

    I’ll let the Internet gurus work on the rest, but now I have another lead headline for the next Liberty for America, something that I suspect may resemble “Harris Campaign tries to circulate anonymous attack email against Johnson, neglects to make it anonymous”

    Harris gets to defend himself.
    ——– Original Message ——–
    From: – Wed Nov 16 18:04:55 2011
    X-Account-Key: account1
    X-UIDL: 0000fc50638205c30000003900001072
    X-Mozilla-Status: 0001
    X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
    X-Mozilla-Keys:
    Return-Path:
    Received: from p02c11m094.mxlogic.net (208.65.144.245) by compaq13 (Axigen) with (DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA encrypted) ESMTPS id 180AD4; Wed, 16 Nov 2011 18:04:06 -0500
    Received: from unknown [67.222.39.59] (HELO fproxy5-pub.bluehost.com) by p02c11m094.mxlogic.net(mxl_mta-6.12.0-1) with SMTP id 26144ce4.0.262190.00-2349.427025.p02c11m094.mxlogic.net (envelope-from ); Wed, 16 Nov 2011 16:04:04 -0700 (MST)
    Received: (qmail 16741 invoked by uid 0); 16 Nov 2011 23:04:02 -0000
    Received: from unknown (HELO box545.bluehost.com) (74.220.219.145) by cpfproxy3.bluehost.com with SMTP; 16 Nov 2011 23:04:02 -0000
    Received: from [67.18.137.87] (helo=gateway.websitewelcome.com) by box545.bluehost.com with esmtp (Exim 4.76) (envelope-from ) id 1RQoWP-00057F-T5 for contactform@lpmass.org; Wed, 16 Nov 2011 16:04:02 -0700
    Received: by gateway.websitewelcome.com (Postfix, from userid 5007) id 880CC44E316C3; Wed, 16 Nov 2011 17:04:00 -0600 (CST)
    Received: from gator542.hostgator.com (gator542.hostgator.com [74.54.187.114]) by gateway.websitewelcome.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 7CA2D44E31683 for ; Wed, 16 Nov 2011 17:04:00 -0600 (CST)
    Received: from [72.179.128.243] (port=57749 helo=HOME-PC) by gator542.hostgator.com with esmtpa (Exim 4.69) (envelope-from ) id 1RQoWO-00076n-B8 for contactform@lpmass.org; Wed, 16 Nov 2011 17:04:00 -0600
    From: My Sapolitics
    To: contactform@lpmass.org
    Subject: Gary Johnson Damaged Goods
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
    Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 17:03:13 -0600
    X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
    X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname – gator542.hostgator.com
    X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain – lpmass.org
    X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID – [47 12] / [47 12]
    X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain – mysapolitics.com
    X-BWhitelist: no
    X-Source:
    X-Source-Args:
    X-Source-Dir:
    X-Source-Sender: cpe-72-179-128-243.satx.res.rr.com (HOME-PC) [72.179.128.243]:57749

    X-Source-Auth: info@rjharris2012.com

    X-Email-Count: 16
    X-Source-Cap: dml2YXJpbjt2aXZhcmluO2dhdG9yNTQyLmhvc3RnYXRvci5jb20=
    Message-Id:
    X-Identified-User: {5734:box545.bluehost.com:lpmassor:lpmass.org} {sentby:forwarder}
    X-Spam: [F=0.2000000000; B=0.500(0); spf=0.500; STSI=0.500(10); STSM=0.500(10); CM=0.500; MH=0.500(2011111627); S=0.200(2010122901); SC=none]
    X-MAIL-FROM:
    X-SOURCE-IP: [67.222.39.59]
    X-AnalysisOut: [v=1.0 c=1 a=1BYRFrHMMZMA:10 a=R8sLrmEp538A:10 a=jPJDawAOAc]
    X-AnalysisOut: [8A:10 a=BLceEmwcHowA:10 a=8nJEP1OIZ-IA:10 a=hvb76kp280apWU]
    X-AnalysisOut: [jmXbIPsg==:17 a=iCuMozloAAAA:8 a=7DMgJoTTdBEfExOEdTYA:9 a=]
    X-AnalysisOut: [oNfTuEnvfo0VcTpVapAA:7 a=wPNLvfGTeEIA:10 a=eshrSZE6nhIA:10]
    X-AnalysisOut: [ a=fONBeMm1gS4A:10 a=sh6PArqQtYdngLzxv5aEQJAsMbE=:19]

    As you may be aware, some Libertarians in the party many who are ex-Republicans are trying to recruit Gary Johnson. This email is for informational purposes only and is just a preview of his past. There is more information coming in daily that is verifiable including some very distressed ex-Employees on record. This is a courtesy warning to those that try to recruit Gary Johnson. You will be ridiculed for not vetting the guy. The reason the mainstream media did not find all this info is because he was not a top contender. Guess what they are going to do to him once he threatens an Obama defeat. They are going to rip him apart. The second round of information is going to be even more distressing with the results of the open records requests. Furthermore, Gary Johnson reveals information that makes him a phony Libertarian. Financial information is in the process of being revealed that will threaten the Johnson Campaign’s credibility with voters. Learn more about Gary Johnson 20
    12 Secret Truths at the website below.

    http://www.DropGary.com

    I@DropGary.com

    This message is being forwarded to you.

    Editor,
    My Sapolitics

  7. Tom Blanton

    If Johnson’s complaint results in squelching Santorum, I might consider sending Johnson a donation of one dollar – but only if he sends me an envelope where no postage is required.

  8. George Phillies

    Having said that, if there are actually Libertarians in the Party trying to recruit Johnson or that southern white conspiracy-chumming evolution-denying numbskull, you are traitors to our party trying to stab our legitimate candidates, even Milnes and Harris, in the back.

    I would love to be able to report who you morans are, but the guys who are helping me have missed this one so far.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    That’s some pretty interesting oppo research on Johnson.

    Kudos to the campaign that is bringing it out.

    But you might want to be more careful with your email headers if you don’t want to take credit or responsibility for it.

  10. Stewart Flood

    @18,

    I will accept that modification to my statement.

    From my seat on the sideline, I don’t see how anyone call say that the identity of people who say they are recruiting Johnson is a big secret.

    There are at least three or four people who’ve said that they are doing this, many of whom wrote about it here on IPR!

    Are they actually talking to Johnson, or are they just saying that they are talking to Johnson? I will leave it to the readers to scope out. Your one and only hint: it isn’t me! 🙂

  11. Stewart Flood

    Sorry for the typos. Long day…messy Quick Books update for a client and another client where I’m designing OSPF multi-failover routing configuration that is trying to fight me.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    @19,

    “Are they actually talking to Johnson, or are they just saying that they are talking to Johnson?”

    I doubt that it matters much. The rooster only thinks that its crowing makes the sun come up. Johnson’s gonna do what Johnson’s gonna do.

    I hadn’t really bothered looking at Johnson until the last day or so, on the assumption that he wouldn’t bother with the LP. Now that I am looking at him … well, just wow. Talk about desperation. I have trouble believing that anyone would put him before NOTA.

  13. Bruce Cohen Post author

    Gary Johnson is a likeable, straightforward guy.

    He was against the War on Drugs before it was popular or even acceptable to do so.

    Steve Kubby is a big supporter and fan of Gary’s, by the way.

    And it wasn’t me who asked him, I have zero to do with it, just reporting what crosses my path.

  14. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote (@14):

    And now the funny part. Here are the full headers for the letter from Editor@

    The giveaway is much of the way down the page.

    I bolded it. That’s the line that reads

    X-Source-Auth: info@rjharris2012.com

    I’ll let the Internet gurus work on the rest, but now I have another lead headline for the next Liberty for America, something that I suspect may resemble “Harris Campaign tries to circulate anonymous attack email against Johnson, neglects to make it anonymous”

    Thanks for the source investigation, George.

    I watched the video. It has a few legitimate points, but mostly seems to be misleading editing and a sleezy hit job. Johnson isn’t perfect; I already knew about several of these flaws. Looking at the entire Johnson package he’s pretty good though.

    I can see why the Harris campaign wanted this negative campaigning to remain anonymous. The negative campaigning makes me lose a lot of respect for Harris, the anonymity makes me lose even more respect for Harris, and the intentionally misleading editing of the video clips makes me lose still more respect for Harris. R.J. Harris now has exactly zero chance at ever getting my vote for any office. I’m pretty sure my many LP friends who are fans of Gary Johnson will have similar reactions.

  15. Tom Blanton

    He was against the War on Drugs before it was popular or even acceptable to do so.

    CORRECTION:

    He was against the War on Drugs before it was popular or even acceptable to do so in the Republican Party.

    NORML was founded in 1970. I guess it is possible that Gary Johnson, as a 15 year old stoner, may have been for legalization then but nobody was paying any attention to him then. Not much has changed in that respect.

  16. Tom Blanton

    As you may be aware, some Libertarians in the party many who are ex-Republicans are trying to recruit Gary Johnson.

    I’m confused. I thought Harris was an ex-Republican. I guess he is still a Republican and he’s miffed that some libertarians trying to recruit Johnson have quit the GOP.

    Harris is creeping me out.

    I’m wondering what his position is on having sex with dead animals. I hope it’s not the missionary position.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    I watched the smear video and was underwhelmed. It’s tremendously non-effective and, if it’s from Harris, it makes Harris look very small. Jeez.

  18. Pingback: TPM: Gary Johnson Says He Might Run As Libertarian | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  19. Robert Capozzi

    11 tk: I agree that the complaints are dramatically different. GP’s complaint was clearly in service to his party. GJ’s complaint is clearly in service to GJ.

    me: Yes, agreed on GJ’s move. Seems appropriate to me. Also does not seem to jeopardize his current team in a significant financial way.

    And, yes, I suppose it’s possible that GP was playing the martyr when he narced to the FEC. Someone needed to investigate these suspicious entries in the raw FEC filings, perhaps he thought. Perhaps he was high-minded about his efforts. Perhaps GP did not file his complaint hastily, in anger and vengeance.

    That is possible. I would also suggest that his act was reckless, since the dollar amounts in question were small and the potential damage to the LP non-trivial, devastating even.

  20. Lavra

    @25 “I’m pretty sure my many LP friends who are fans of Gary Johnson will have similar reactions.”

    Agreed. I knew nothing about RJ Harris before this week, clean slate. After this, I don’t need to know anything else.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    The video wasn’t that damaging, but it did move me to start taking a closer look at Johnson.

    One of Johnson’s campaign promises is that as president he would pardon all non-violent federal drug prisoners.

    That’s a promise that can be weighed against past performance.

    The pardon powers of the governor of New Mexico are not unlimited, but they are substantial, and certainly broad enough that he could have pardoned all non-violent drug prisoners who were in stir pursuant to state law.

    So, did he do that? He was governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003.

    The only statistic I’ve found for that period is that there were 110 pardons from 1995-2002.

    Anyone know if there was a huge list of pardons on the day before he left office in 2003, or anything like that?

    I strongly suspect that more than 110 non-violent drug offenders were sentenced to, or already in, prison during his governorship.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@30,

    “I would also suggest that his act was reckless, since the dollar amounts in question were small and the potential damage to the LP non-trivial, devastating even.”

    The potential damage to the LNC and the Barr campaign (neither of which is the LP) is that one or both would need to amend a report to correct a discrepancy.

    That doesn’t even compare to the actual damage to the web of trust relationships which constitutes the national LP done by the response to the initial request for information — abusing executive session for the purpose of interrogating and berating a regional representative who’d had the gall and temerity to request information.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    35 tk, one of the first things one learns in economics is that all costs are opportunity costs. As I understood it, GP’s reckless act chewed up other people’s time. Risk is also a cost, and filing complaints likely increases the risks of future FEC compliance. The LP/LNC should stay below the radar screen, like most small enterprises endeavor to do with their regulators.

    Whether any “berating” went on, I can’t say…I wasn’t there. (My fourth-hand understanding is the person in question had displayed some imbalanced behavior, so my skepticism is up on that one.)

    Regardless, I continue to adhere to the idea that two wrongs don’t make a right.

    You may feel otherwise.

  24. Jay Edgar

    I noticed that the same line for R. J. Harris is in the email I got as well. I also noted that the R. J. Harris website, the mysapolitics.com, and the dropgary.com whois both show them to be using the same naming server (NS1083.hostgator.com) Hostgator has many name servers. I doubt this is a random thing. See http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/mysapolitics.com and substitute each website. Its sad, this this just as I was beginning to like Harris!

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@36,

    “As I understood it, GP’s reckless act”

    If you understood it to be a reckless act, you didn’t understand it at all.

    Whether you agree with it or not, it was precisely the opposite of reckless — it was coldly and calculatedly taken as a tertiary measure after other, lesser measures failed to produce the desired result, not in some fit of unconcern.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    39 tk, which “desired result”? And, if memory serves, GP’s complaint was later made public and that led to his losing much support in his bid for Chair. Do I misrecall? If not, was his intent to self-sabotage?

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@39,

    “which ‘desired result?'”

    That the books of whichever organization was in error be corrected, so that the LP’s members could know how their money had been, or had not been, spent.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    41 tk, so, are you saying GP fell on his sword to expose a minor accounting error? Interesting sense of proportionality…

  29. James Clifton

    This comes after he said he wouldn’t run. So, what’s different about THIS politician?

  30. Snoop

    I’m wondering what his position is on having sex with dead animals. I hope it’s not the missionary position.

    Doggy style?

  31. Alan Pyeatt

    At least 1 member of the California LP Executive Committee has been openly working to recruit Gary Johnson.

    I have to agree with Chuck and Jill about the video. It seems like there is plenty of ammunition to use against him without resorting to “hatchet job” tactics, but there seemed to be plenty of them in there.

    If RJ Harris is really behind this, then that is a terrible lapse of judgement. All of this could have been brought out openly and honestly. Instead, this video raises issues of trustworthiness that go beyond Gary Johnson and implicate the video-maker.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@42,

    “so, are you saying GP fell on his sword to expose a minor accounting error?”

    He didn’t fall on his sword. He noted a discrepancy, sought an explanation as to whether it was an accounting error or something else, and took the minimum reasonable actions to get that explanation, starting with asking nicely.

  33. Jack Gannon

    This is ‘great news’ for Libertarians!!!

    As the Libertarian Party’s U.S. Presidential nominee, Gary “Governor Veto” Johnson would give us a ‘realistic chance’ to build on and pass the 523,686 votes that Bob Barr received in 2008, which is the 2nd highest total in our history! Better yet, maybe we could even pass our highest total, which is 921,128 votes that Ed Clark got in 1980!!!

    This would be another ‘rare and wonderful’ opportunity to frequently present our Big Tent Party to the Nation!

  34. Barr/Root -- 4th Highest in LP History

    build on and pass the 523,686 votes that Bob Barr received in 2008, which is the 2nd highest total in our history!

    Barr/Root was the LP’s fourth highest finish in terms of percentage of votes rather than raw number of votes.

    The U.S. population is increasing, and pretty quickly. Thus, percentage, rather than raw number is the proper way to measure a party’s rising, or declining, popularity.

  35. Robert Capozzi

    46 tk: He didn’t fall on his sword. He noted a discrepancy, sought an explanation as to whether it was an accounting error or something else, and took the minimum reasonable actions to get that explanation, starting with asking nicely.

    me: This illustrates nicely why being “objective” is impossible. We all selectively perceive, filtering out what we find to be relevant and important, and what not. Yes, those facts don’t appear to me to be falling on a sword. What happened AFTER that does…to me. Filing a complaint with the FEC might not per se be a self-inflicted wound. However, in context, it hurt the LP and amounted to much ado about nothing. It became known in the LP that GP had done this, and, again in MY perception, he damaged his own cred.

    I could be wrong. I wasn’t there, and even if I were there, my perceptions are limited, just as yours are. It might be that the LP absolutely loves and admires GP. Perhaps there’ll be a GP appreciation event in Vegas next year. Speeches singing his praises. A plaque with the FEC complaint laminated on it. Maybe GP will even get the LP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

    That’s the thing with The Matrix: Just when you think you’ve got things figgered out, Mr. Smith pops up with a new surprise. 😉

  36. Robert Capozzi

    ns, yes, although in this case it was TK who brought it up…I’m simply responding as best I can. I do think NarcGate was a great teachable moment, that’s true, for Ls right up there with WaterGate’s teachable moment: The cover up is worse than the crime.

    You may well have known about the Narc Event 4 years ago, but the wider world I think has only known it for 2 years

    MHW, the Matrix is a wonderful metaphor in the uber search for truth over illusion. Each and every moment is a choice between the red or blue pill.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m not sure how effective Harris’s oppo research on Johnson really is, but it does point up that looking into a candidate’s actual record instead of just taking whatever he says at face value is a smart thing to do.

    Case in point: Harris himself.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    54 tk, nice find. Living in a glass house throwing stones much? Looks like he’s denying it, so let’s be fair. Everyone has their share of skeletons, but running for prez, I think ya’d want to not have this sorta track record.

    Gary Hart was born Hartpence, but that seems a bit different…

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@55,

    Harris doesn’t deny the name change; he denies that he changed his name for the reasons the article gives. His story regarding the name change is that he learned he was adopted and apparently went back to the name on his original birth certificate.

    I have not personally verified the business failures, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, multiple home foreclosures, etc. asserted in the article, so for all I know the Okie Pundit story could be complete bunk. I plan to do a little more digging.

    As sensationalist reporters like to say, “developing …”

  40. Robert Capozzi

    56tk right. A name change is not disqualifying. Past financial difficulties are not, either. A pattern might be. Misrepresentation likely is.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@57,

    Over time, I’ve learned that within the LP, very little is “disqualifying.”

    For some reason, LP convention delegates seem to be rather gullible and credulous when it comes to claims of things like “celebrity” and “success.”

    As an example — but it is NOT the only one — during the 2008 presidential campaign, I strongly suspect that at least one candidate (George Phillies) had a higher net worth than Wayne Allyn Root, and that at least one other (Steve Kubby) would have easily outperformed Root in a national name recognition poll (I’m excluding last-minute entrants, because I’m talking about the two-year campaign cycle, not the last couple of months).

    Yet Root fairly easily positioned himself as the “successful celebrity” candidate in that race.

    Once again, that is not the only example.

    Harry Browne was virtually unknown outside libertarian and gold-bug investment circles, but in the 1996 campaign most Libertarians seemed to accept that he was something on the order of Donald Trump in terms of celebrity and business success.

    In 2004, a B-List celebrity (Hollywood producer Aaron Russo) and a D-List celebrity (talk radio host Gary Nolan) played the celebrity cards heavily, and LPers seemed to buy both stories — but they sort of canceled each other out.

  42. JT

    Chuck: “I watched the video. It has a few legitimate points, but mostly seems to be misleading editing and a sleezy hit job. Johnson isn’t perfect; I already knew about several of these flaws. Looking at the entire Johnson package he’s pretty good though.

    “I can see why the Harris campaign wanted this negative campaigning to remain anonymous. The negative campaigning makes me lose a lot of respect for Harris, the anonymity makes me lose even more respect for Harris, and the intentionally misleading editing of the video clips makes me lose still more respect for Harris. R.J. Harris now has exactly zero chance at ever getting my vote for any office. I’m pretty sure my many LP friends who are fans of Gary Johnson will have similar reactions.”

    I couldn’t have said it better.

  43. JT

    Knapp: “For some reason, LP convention delegates seem to be rather gullible and credulous when it comes to claims of things like “celebrity” and “success.””

    I don’t know how many delegates considered any of the men you mentioned “celebrities.” I think most Libertarians want the party to nominate a candidate for President who has had some kind of professional achievement beyond the average person. To varying degrees, Harry Browne, Aaron Russo, Gary Nolan, Wayne Root, and Bob Barr do fall into that category–even though they clearly weren’t or aren’t household names.

    I suspect that most Libertarians don’t especially want a candidate for President who has been an LP activist but has an average job and no other professional distinction. I personally don’t care a great deal about that as far as other offices (there are a few other qualities I think are more important). But given that the Libertarian candidate for President is the leading representative of 50–or nearly 50–individual state parties, I tend to agree in this case.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 60,

    “I don’t know how many delegates considered any of the men you mentioned ‘celebrities.'”

    I don’t either … but I know that I had people telling me in 1996 that Harry Browne was “famous.”

    IMO, the closest the LP has ever had to a “famous” presidential candidate is Bob Barr, and even that’s a bit of a stretch. He got his 15 minutes during the 1990s, but he wasn’t exactly a household name in 2008.

    I’d call Ron Paul “famous” now, but he wasn’t “famous” in 1988.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    Agree with JT. I suspect Ls – like most – make an all-things -considered calc in such contests.

    Some Ls seem to want to select the MOST ideologically “L” person for prez candidate. Such an approach might result in the selection of, say, Carol Moore over Mike Munger.

    I’d offer that that would be the sub-optimal selection.

  46. ATBAFT

    It is kind of weird, though, that two people who sought the LP nomination in the past probably had more public face recognition (at the time) than Gary Johnson has today. I’m talking about Russell Means and Michael Moriarity.

  47. ATBAFT

    Moriarity sought the nomination in 1992 while he was starring on Law & Order. Actually came to a LNC meeting and made his pitch. As I recall, he was somewhat underwhelmed by the
    ground organization and financial support that the LP could provide, and the LNC was underwhelmed by his libertarian bonafides.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    This isn’t a surprise. Very few pols have “celebrity” status. Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Sam Waterston, and Kim Kardasian are each likely better known that all US pols except the Obamas, maybe Pelosi and Boehner, Palin, McCain, maybe Romney, probably Cain, maybe Bachmann, Bill and Hillary, perhaps a few more. Such are the times that we live in….

  49. Matt Cholko

    I hope Johnson seeks the LP nomination. I absolutely detest his constant trumpeting of the (un)Fair Tax, but otherwise feel pretty good about him. Given the incredibly weak field of declared candidates, I can find a lot of reasons to support him.

  50. Robert Capozzi

    67 es, I didn’t know John Hall, so thanks, now I do. Yes, becoming a celebrity first is a good way to becoming a successful pol. Reagan and Schwarzenegger would be great ex.s, too.

    Notice that the first 2 on my list were not elected pols at all…they were my swing at currently famous activists.

    It’s kinda interesting that the Tea Party and OWS have not created famous activists that I’m aware of. We are entering the era of networks over individual leaders, perhaps. No more 15 minutes of fame, even?

  51. Robert Capozzi

    more…

    es, I note that your list only includes one current officeholder: Franken. I’d long hoped Eastwood would have continued on the political path after serving as Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea. (Or not, since he’s made some GREAT flicks since then.)

    Odds are high that he isn’t steeped in the vagaries of NIOF-isms or axiomatic praxeological tautologies. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I found him of interest. 😉

    I do see in his bio that he leans green, which likely puts him on some enemies list in Auburn. Heretic!

  52. Tom Blanton

    Russo also leaned green. However, he didn’t claim to be a celebrity so much as he claimed to know a lot of celebrities – and he actually did know a lot of celebrities.

    Aside from his many projects in film and music, the classic Trading Places alone puts him in a league all his own among libertarians.

  53. George Whitfield

    Tom Knapp @54

    RJ Harris Has Responded to your looking into his record. The following was posted to his Facebook page:

    Fight for Liberty or be Cowered into Silence; I Choose to Fight and I Hope You Will Too! By RJ Harris on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8:31am.

    Of course my life has not all been wine and roses. Like most people, I have failed as much or more than I have succeeded. But what defines us is not just what we achieve in success but also how we conduct ourselves when facing inevitable failure; for they are both things we must all experience.

    I did not come from a wealthy family and as a child I knew both poverty and plenty at times. Still my mom and stepdad did the best they could and I love them dearly for instilling in me the resilience and tenacity for which we Americans are so famous around the world. After Army Basic Combat Training I began my adult life with my new bride Jennifer and what I could fit into two Army duffle bags as I shipped out to the Persian Gulf for Desert Shield/Storm.

    Since then certainly I have enjoyed an outstanding career of service to this Republic both as a National Guard Officer and FAA Controller; however, my small business, the ownership of which is the dream of so many Americans, did not survive the vicious economic downturn which accompanied the 911 attacks. As a result I suffered a bankruptcy and lost my home. But I picked myself up, was deployed a third time, went back to work in the FAA for a few years and bought another home. Having rebuilt my credit and acquired what appeared to be massive equity in my new home I decided to sell it and move back to my home state of Oklahoma and finish my education at OU.

    Alas the bottom dropping out of the housing market when the socialist created housing bubble burst, which has devastated millions of home owners since 06, had other plans. Then, after struggling for a year to hold on as best I could I lost my second home. But like most Americans that suffer such setbacks the Harris family has stayed resilient and faced down adversity with renewed determination. I graduated from The University of Oklahoma in 2008 with Distinction and was accepted to George Washington Law but I turned it down in favor of my Alma Mater; OU. I entered OU Law because like every Oklahoman knows there is only ONE Oklahoma!

    Truth be told the real reason I stayed at OU was to continue being near my dad and the Kiowa People from whom both I had been separated as a child. Marriages often fail and children are caught in the middle. My mom, dad and step-dad made the best decisions they could at the time but looking back I decided that the loss of my name and heritage was too great a price for my father, me and my children to bear for the now little slights of the past. I didn’t learn all this until 2005, THREE YEARS AFTER the loss of my business, and having sorted it all out I decided that I would reclaim my birth name and heritage and move home to be near my dad and the Kiowa People. I hold no grudge for what was done and love all three of my parents very much. However, without regard to the emotional damage caused to my entire family, political opponents have attempted to use my name-RESTORATION to my birth name–and I have the birth certificate to prove that–and reversed adoption as a political football. Believe it or not there are those out there that value political power so much that they would turn the life-tragedy of a boy growing up not knowing his birth father or Native Heritage into a conspiracy theory for little more than half a point on election day; but I digress;)

    While in school at OU and serving now in the Oklahoma National Guard I discovered Ron Paul and the Philosophy of Liberty. I began reading the Constitution almost daily and learning about the catastrophic toll socialism had been taking on our nation and economy. When the Congress voted for the TARP bailouts I knew that people like me, who had been so devastated by these policies, had a responsibility to do more than complain. So I threw my hat into the ring and challenged one of these bailout-voters. Despite incredible disadvantages of name recognition, money and experience the Harris campaign excited the Liberty Base in Oklahoma and acquitted itself well for a grass-roots campaign fighting uphill against the establishment every step of the way. Having been personally ravaged by the bad turns debt and socialism can cause, I made a point to run my 2010 Congressional Campaign completely in the black even though that meant getting outspent nearly 10-1.

    Now I have spent the last year in Afghanistan away from my lovely wife and children and my third year of law school at OU is finally underway after a year delayed. It has been one adventure after another and through it all Jennifer has ever been with me now for the last twenty years; we two in love like it was still the first year. My children grow and prosper but I see clearly the socialism which threatens their future and their Liberty just as it devastated mine and I will not sit idly by while another round of professional politicians adds fuel to that fire even if there are those who would charge that only the perfectly successful in life may serve.

    With nearly four out of five start-up businesses failing in the first five years and with millions of Americans suffering under unemployment not seen since the last great depression and with a renewed understanding that all of this is being CA– USED by socialistic manipulations of the markets and of our economic Liberty, truly I believe that there are many more reading this now willing to identify with me over my political interlocutors who have had both the money and power to either game the system or withstand the bubbles. The rest of us just have to weather these economic storms unaided and pick ourselves up when we fall.

    So while herein I freely admit that I have taken some horrendous lumps in life, I hope that you will read further on my website and social networks to discover what I have learned about the Constitution and the Philosophy of Liberty and how I intend to apply that knowledge and my life experiences to win support for our joint cause of restoring Freedom, Liberty the Constitution and the Republic.

    For Liberty,

    RJ Harris
    Presidential Candidate
    http://www.rjharris2012.com

  54. Thomas L. Knapp

    @76,

    I have no reason to doubt Mr. Harris’s motives, or his account of affairs relating to his name change, etc. I particularly applaud his decision to run a debt-free campaign.

    But let’s unpack this a bit.

    The first thing to remember is that LP candidates are increasingly subject to the same type of oppo research colonoscopies as “major party” candidates.

    Do good things get twisted into bad things, and minor bad things get blown up into scandals? Yes. If you want to run with the big dogs, that’s part of the price.

    Secondly, Mr. Harris is apparently a full-time air traffic controller, a full-time law student, and a part-time soldier who is subject to call-up for active duty (something that happens a lot these days, and that I’m familiar with — I was a Marine reservist called up for Desert Shield and Desert Storm).

    Is that situation, especially in the context of having to claw one’s way up from bankruptcy and home losses, a good situation — for either the candidate or the party — from which to launch an effective campaign for the presidency of the United States?

    If the OU law program is a typical three-year law program, and if he intends to practice law as his profession, Harris will be boning up for finals and filing his applications for employment at a law firm (or trying to figure out the logistics of setting up his own law office) next spring, then skull-sweating the bar exam right about the time of the LP’s nominating convention.

    He’s juggling a lot of balls — existing career, military commitment, professional aspirations … and keeping all those balls AND a presidential campaign in the air seems a little much to expect.

    Finally, a worst-case scenario: Harris is nominated in early May, then gets orders to report for another Afghanistan deployment on June 1st, taking him out of the country — and off the campaign trail — until after the election.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    tk, or, just when does this dude sleep?

    He could get called up, and try to play it into a Muhammad Ali situation…. Might be interesting. Presidential candidate gets drafted into an undeclared war.

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@79,

    Harris has already deployed to Afghanistan previously without declaring as a conscientious objector, and he’s a volunteer rather than draftee, so it wouldn’t be a very direct analog.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    tk 80, yes, not the same. The narrative might go something like: I am being called up for this unconstitutional war to silence me and the LP, and to silence liberty in our great nation.

    Or something….

  58. Dennis

    http://populistapproach.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/a-third-party-centerpiece/

    A Third Party Centerpiece
    Posted on November 22, 2011
    By Dennis “DJ” Mikolay

    This Thanksgiving, Americans have a lot to reflect upon. The past few months have been strenuous, characterized by widespread protests, increased disillusionment with the existing political apparatus, and increased ineffectiveness on the behalf of politicians.

    One must wonder, given the obvious inability of the Republican and Democratic lawmakers to actually cope with the economic and social tribulations presented to them, why the public continues to invest so much faith in their efforts?

    Even as the Republican Primaries near, the field of potential contenders remains dominated by the same familiar faces that have haunted the American psyche for decades: career politicians and neo-conservatives whose woefully misguided policies have weakened the once-great United States.

    However, among this field of unimpressive chameleons, there stands two principled voices of fiscal sanity. Governors Gary Johnson (NM) and Buddy Roemer (LA), courageous men who can boast illustrious and unrivaled political careers, are very likely the only two contenders who would present a formidable threat to President Obama during the 2012 election…and yet, they both seem poised to abandon the GOP.

    Over the past several weeks, both Governors have hinted that they no longer feel welcome within the Republican Party, and that the time for a third party candidacy may be at hand. Both have been neglected by the political establishment, barred from the televised debates and excluded from public opinion polls. And thus, the web has become abuzz with rumors. It is rumored that Johnson will seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination, while Roemer recently appeared at an Americans Elect (an independent ballot access drive) event.

    The time may be ripe for either candidate to launch a third party presidential bid. Jacob Zychick, the Chairman of the Reform Party of New Jersey, has followed Gary Johnson’s campaign since last year’s CPAC Conference. He agrees that the time is right for Governor Johnson to jump ship.

    “The Republican establishment has completely tuned out a candidate who stands with the majority of Americans on most issues,” said Zychick. “Gary Johnson could make a real mark in history if he were to abandon the GOP, a move that would leave him free to promote the message that the Republicans have long sought to silence.”

    While the likelihood of a major party candidate damning his party mid-race seems minimal at best, if Johnson were to abandon the GOP, the move wouldn’t be without precedent.

    During the 1980 presidential election, little-known Congressman John B. Anderson, whose fledgling campaign had failed to gain any traction within the Republican Primaries, announced that he would run for president as an independent.

    After he shed his party label, Anderson’s popularity sky-rocketed. His campaign achieved the media coverage and respectability he had long hoped for. The traction ultimately landed him a spot in the televised debate, albeit incumbent Jimmy Carter refused to attend, fearful his presence would grant legitimacy to the independent’s candidacy.

    John B. Anderson eventually became a media darling, the face of America’s opposition to the status quo. He defied political norms and chose a former Democratic Governor as his running mate, thus further broadening his appeal. That November, he earned a respectable six percent of the vote, an impressive feat for a third party candidate.

    But could Gary Johnson or Buddy Roemer replicate this success in 2012? With the proper infrastructure, it seems very likely. If Roemer secures the Americans Elect ballot line, he can position himself as a formidable contender for the presidency. He is already polling favorably within the organization, making him a near shoe-in for their nomination.

    If Gary Johnson seeks the Libertarian nomination, however, his up-hill battle would not be over. Many Libertarians are wary of Republicans, still reeling from what they felt was a betrayal of their principles with the nomination of Bob Barr in 2008.

    Johnson would have to win over the party’s delegates, a daunting task considering the fact he publicly criticized the Libertarian Party’s validity as a vehicle for electoral success. That November, Johnson would have to continue to fight the stigma of the Libertarian Party’s reputation, one that is widely viewed as too radical for mainstream voters.

    One cannot rule out the possibility that Johnson would run as an independent or target a smaller third party (Reform Party USA or the Modern Whig Party) as a means of continuing his candidacy. Zychick feels this may be the route for Johnson to go.

    “In terms of media coverage I think Johnson could do better than Anderson did,” said Zychick. “If he is in the right party.”

    Whatever the case, one thing is clear. America needs a third party presidential candidate, one who can take on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee. Both Johnson and Roemer could rock the political establishment…if they have the weapons to do so.

Leave a Reply

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