Johnson: The NOTA Choice?

An article titled: “Frustrated with Mainstream Politics, Some Young Voters Turn to Libertarians” by Jessica Iannetta, a newspaper journalism and political science major at Syracuse University, and published at the NextGen Journal at:

http://nextgenjournal.com/2012/07/young-voters-libertarians-gary-johnson-201/

includes the following quote attributed to John Zogby:

The battle over the young vote is going to take place on college campuses, and isn’t going to be Obama vs. Romney. It’s going to be Obama vs. Johnson.

The author concludes:

America’s young people are increasingly turning to a third option: none of the above. Hoping to fill that “none of the above” option for young voters is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. For young people, the Libertarian party’s tolerant social attitude, small government philosophy and distrust of mainstream politics are a welcome change from the two mainstream parties.

 

 

40 thoughts on “Johnson: The NOTA Choice?

  1. Steve M

    Traditionally, one generation tries to raise the living style of the next generation. We do this by improvements in transportation, roads, education, healthcare and environment as well as through music and arts…..

    Starting with the great depression, we have turned this up side down. We have put the burden of one generations retirement and elderly health care upon the next generation.

    After the second world war we instituted inexpensive college education and reaped the benefit of having a sizable educated workforce.

    In the last couple of decades, with a declining birth rate, the burden of retirement and elderly health care has increasingly punished the next generation.

    We have also withdrawn support for education from the next generation so that they not only have to carry the burden of our generations retirement and healthcare costs but they have to pay their own education costs as well.

    With the invent of Romny/Obama health care we are adding the expense of those of us who haven’t retired to the burden that the following generations must bear.

    Is the promise of leaving a better place with higher exceptions been broken by the joint policies of the Republican and Democratic parties?

    I claim it has! I fully understand why my kids are so anti-political.

    I claim, that the message of the Libertarian Movement, of self responsibility offers them a better chance then what we have now!

  2. Steve M

    Richard,

    thank you. I have high regards for your opinion and so such a compliment is valued. As with any writer of a thought, I read it and cringe and want to correct a few things.

  3. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    We have also withdrawn support for education from the next generation so that they not only have to carry the burden of our generations retirement and healthcare costs but they have to pay their own education costs as well.

    That’s hardly true. The first 12 years of education is entirely free.

    After that, it’s heavily subsidized, especially if you go to a community or state college.

    I wonder how many young GP supporters also want debt forgiveness on their student loans? How many of them want guaranteed free college and graduate school for all?

    Most Americans are “libertarian” to the extent that they want to be free to do as the please and not pay taxes. But they also want government benefits, be it student loans, Medicare, or free health care for everyone in their family.

  4. Steve M

    @6 You do realize that there is a difference between withdrawn and eliminated. You would prefer reduced over withdrawn?

    I also object to your concept of free. It implies that the time of the students has no value. If I make you dig ditches for me and pay a guard to watch you do it was your effort for free? Was I subsidizing your digging of ditches by paying a guard to make you do it? Even though you obviously benefit from the physical exercise?

  5. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I also object to your concept of free. It implies that the time of the students has no value.

    Are you saying that an 8-year-old’s time would be better spent staying at home and … playing video games? Working on the farm? Working in a factory?

    The overwhelming majority of Americans believe their children benefit from formal schooling, and want others’ tax money spent on their public schools.

    Many Americans believe their schools should get more tax money. Very few believe in eliminating “free” public education.

    I don’t even know what point you’re trying to make, but it sounds like something that would turn off most Americans to the LP.

    Yes, most Americans — and most young people — want “free” education.

  6. Steve M

    “Are you saying that an 8-year-old’s time would be better spent staying at home and … playing video games? Working on the farm? Working in a factory?”

    No those are your words. I am saying that no education is free. It involves hard work by the student who isn’t being payed directly for their time.

  7. Steve M

    “I don’t even know what point you’re trying to make, but it sounds like something that would turn off most Americans to the LP. ”

    The condensed version is that under the democrats/republicans we have loaded tremendous burdens of our generation upon the next generation while increasing the cost of their getting the skills that they would need in-order to shoulder those burdens.

    No wonder they are turned off from both major political parties and looking for something different.

  8. paulie

    What was explained to me was that the only money that goes to pay the debt
    is government matching funds, which can only be legally used to pay debt,
    and thus 100% of those go to that purpose.

    Nielson thus gets paid by matching funds…actual donation go to other
    things.

    At least that’s the way I remember what was explained at the LNC meeting –
    can’t remember now whether that was in the meeting itself, hallway outside,
    or what.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Do high-profile campaigns ever run on a pay-as-you-go basis?

    Or is the word “debt” so ingrained in the L psyche as a negative concept that the mere mention of it sends chills up and down the L spine?

  10. Steven Wilson

    Most campaigns I have associated with use it as a bade of honor.

    “The debt just proves I spent X amount to spread the message of Y”

    Most Libertarians pride themselves with a total understanding of Finance or Economics. The reality is that Libertarians can get just as goofy with OPM just like anybody else.

    Our office in DC is the proof of our ignorance of money value and market persona.

    Just a note: Our lady of Clinton informed the world she is close to paying her debt.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    sw, is it a “badge of honor” or is it a function of the reality that campaigns are run in short windows of time, making them highly opportunistic?

    I don’t get your analogy about the office, since the party is in an ongoing enterprise, not a short-lived campaign. On its face, having a high-rent office doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, either, but running serviceable accounts payable for short-lived campaigns does make sense.

    It strikes me that campaigns running accounts payable is less about OPM and more about paying staff and vendors late or less than what was agreed to. That seems to be the nature of the beast, in line with finance and economics, where the practitioners all know that the unspoken bargain is less than the spoken one.

  12. Humongous Fungus

    I don’t really see the problem. Nielson is the one owed the debt, it’s his problem not anyone else’s, and none of your contributions go to pay it – only government matching funds. Other than that…Bydlak may still be owed; I haven’t checked, maybe they have settled. We knew that before the nomination about the Bydlak debt. Knowing about the Nielson debt, in context, it would not have impacted my vote at all.

  13. paulie

    Are you assuming that none of the debt can be forgiven, or how much in matching funds might come in in the course of the campaign?

    I and the whole LNC were told by Ron Nielson that none of the contributions are going to debt, only matching funds, and matching funds are 100% going to debt.

    I was told a little more than that privately but I think I may have been asked not to repeat it.

  14. zapper

    @14 What you are reporting doesn’t sound completely correct about campaign debt.

    If a campaign has primary debt, they can use some non-restricted funds raised after the primary to pay the debt. So all debts incurred and remaining from before the nomination currently hang over the general election donors and could be deducted from current funds raised. There are restrictions of $2500 (is that the current legal max?) for the primary and $2500 for the general, so donor funds are restricted accordingly.

    Of course, Nielson could promise not to take any funds raised after the nomination, but he cannot make a donation greater than $2500 either, although perhaps he could treat these debts as volunteer labor.

    Is there actually a rule that requires that an amount equal to or greater than the matching amount paid from the government must have been not only raised, but spent during the primary?

    In any case, it is legal, if a campaign is wise and runs a surplus, to carry funds forward from the primary to the general.

    In practical terms, for the Johnson campaign, since the debt is greater than the Primary matching funds, the total of the matching funds will be used toward the debt.

    However, if there were no debt, the campaign could have had funds to carry forward.

    And since not all the primary debt has been paid, some subsequent donations can be used to pay off the remaining debt.

    Many campaign items are required to be paid with cash so that there can be no debt for these itrems, such as media or printing purchases for example: So TV, radio, cable and print advertising and materials must be prepaid. No accounts payable items are allowed in these areas. This is meant to prevent debt forgiveness as a back door donation that would exceed the legal limit or would create a loophole to allow backdoor corporate donations which are banned in Federal campaigns.

  15. paulie

    If a campaign has primary debt, they can use some non-restricted funds raised after the primary to pay the debt.

    Yes, they can.

    What I have been told is that they are choosing not to.

    They are choosing to ONLY apply matching funds to the debt which is owed to the campaign manager’s company, which is almost all of it (except Bydlak, if that is still hanging out there).

    They are choosing to apply 0% of the contributions to this debt. Only matching funds.

    The same people running the campaign are the ones that are owed the debt, so that’s their choice.

    I hope that is clear now if it wasn’t earlier.

  16. George Phillies

    @22 I am indeed assuming that there will not be illegal corporate campaign donations.

    The issue is that the debt — assuming it is fully reported has come down by over two hundred thousand relative to the testimony in the Bydlak case, and the Federal aid has so far been $130,000.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    p, it does make sense that “lower” candidates get more votes cumulatively than the prez, where the wasted vote syndrome could be at its most pronounced.

    The question is: Was Browne’s strategy more effective in generating downticket interest than other campaigns? Was that the intent and did it work? I can’t tell, since I can’t tell if that year there were more LP candidates, if there was something about those candidates that made them better (without Browne) than previous candidates, etc.

    It’s all good, though, and I understand you are busy. At least you tried, unlike Zapper, who simply declares things, and seems to want everyone to fall in line based on his (pseudonymous) declarations. In the end, even that is all good!

  18. paulie

    There are restrictions of $2500 (is that the current legal max?) for the primary and $2500 for the general, so donor funds are restricted accordingly.

    So long as the debt still exists on paper, people can still donate to both the primary and general election funds, which doubles what individuals can legally give the campaign right now, if I understood what I was told correctly.

    Of course, Nielson could promise not to take any funds raised after the nomination, but he cannot make a donation greater than $2500 either, although perhaps he could treat these debts as volunteer labor.

    He can’t make any promises. That could be interpreted as an attempt to skirt contribution limit laws.

    After the fact, he could choose to write off the debt as uncolectable, or let it go by not actively pursuing it, or pay it through a larger and more well funded continuous campaign for 2016 over the next four years – there may be a number of legal ways for it not to be an illegal campaign contribution.

    But I would say making any promise to write it off right now, even if that is his intent, would be quite possibly violating the law.

  19. paulie

    RC 26 – crossed threads there, I erased it and put it in the thread where your previous reply was. I have seen numbers of candidates and cumulative votes nationwide before and they were indeed higher that year and a few years before and after, since then they have fallen again.

    It was the intent – at least people told me so at the time, and I think it maybe part of the report – and I think the evidence shows it did work.

  20. paulie

    Is there actually a rule that requires that an amount equal to or greater than the matching amount paid from the government must have been not only raised, but spent during the primary?

    Money for the primary is still being raised, and spent, now, which does not affect general election contribution limits.

    There has also been more than one round of matching funds already iirc. I think it is more than the 130k – maybe 130k plus the initial 100k, or maybe another round occurred later than George’s numbers included dates?

  21. zapper

    I don’t believe that it is possible to raise money now and treat it as if it were raised during the primary for reporting purposes.

    AFIK, you cannot donate legally for reporting purposes for the primary after the nomination.

    You cannot max out after the nomination for the general election and then also contribute retroactively to the primary.

    However, money could be raised now and used to cover debt from the primary even though it would be a general election donation.

    It is also not possible or legal to somehow spend money for the primary after the nomination, although you could pay bills from the primary after the nomination.

    And again, many items must be prepaid and cannot legally be billed to the campaign and treated as accounts payable.

  22. paulie

    I don’t believe that it is possible to raise money now and treat it as if it were raised during the primary for reporting purposes.

    AFIK, you cannot donate legally for reporting purposes for the primary after the nomination.

    You cannot max out after the nomination for the general election and then also contribute retroactively to the primary.

    If I understood them correctly, the campaign is claiming they can do this and are not touching general election funds. I have made no independent attempts to verify it can be done, but I would have thought someone on the LNC would have known better if it was a false claim by the campaign.

    It is also not possible or legal to somehow spend money for the primary after the nomination, although you could pay bills from the primary after the nomination.

    That’s what paying debt is, paying bills. So they can raise money, and get matching funds, to pay primary debt, while separately also raising money for the general election, and one account does not touch the other. That’s how I understood what they explained.

    And again, many items must be prepaid and cannot legally be billed to the campaign and treated as accounts payable.

    They don’t owe any debt for those, by definition, and they are saying none of the money being raised for those now is going to debt.

    I’ve explained it as well as I know how.

  23. Steven Wilson

    In the times I have petitioned over the years, I know about thirty percent of the petitioners don’t get paid or get paid a percentage of the contracted amount.

    What do you do? The person lost and you work for a politician wanna be?

    Consultants get shafted when “crunch time” comes in October. One more radio spot, one more yard sign. I know staffers that go from salary into volunteer when the purse becomes empty.

    The experience I have had is that a campaign is a battle. And what you do for that campaign is your badge of honor.

    Phone Bank

    Door to door

    Meet n greets

    All have expenses

    Opportunity costs become forgotten when OPM is the ease of use.

    What does the LNC care about the office in DC? OPM makes it forgotten. You talk about finances but when it is not your money how hard is not to close the strings?

    Work a few campaigns or maybe you have. My experience is with Libertarian and Republican. Same is same. One has just smaller amounts to waste.

  24. George Phillies

    OPM? There are 61 OPMs in one acronym list, and none of them appear to match well.

    For the reason you need an office with a fair number of people in it, please see the LNC Treasurer’s latest report.

  25. George Phillies

    An adequate reason that the LNC needs an office is that for legal and fiduciary responsibility reasons there need to be at least three people in the office handling the money at different stages, and a separate FEC reporting person who could be someplace else.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    33 sw, most enterprises involve OPM, not just political ops. Most ops have checks and balances. What is fiduciary and best practices is sometimes controversial.

  27. JT

    RTAA: “That’s hardly true. The first 12 years of education is entirely free.”

    What? K-12 education is hardly “free”…it’s paid for with money from taxpayers. People pay for schooling regardless–even if they don’t have kids.

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