LP VP Judge Gray Announces $1,000,000 Donation

Judge Jim Gray, at the Gary Johnson fundraiser held at former VP Nominee and current LNC member Wayne Allyn Root’s home, before a crowd of about 80 donors gathered around the outdoor pool on an unusually cool and humid Las Vegas evening, announced that a generous Libertarian supporter had recently donated $1,000,000 to a super pac supporting the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign to “keep us going.”

Judge Gray then repeated his statement that he accepted Governor Johnson’s invitation to become his VP running mate on the condition that the Governor run the race to win it.  Judge Gray then outlined what he sees as a strategy to win — fighting “tooth and nail” to get into the debates, providing a message that Americans are “craving,” and running national advertising reminding voters that the hundreds of millions spent by Obama and Romney represent dollars that they owe others for political favors, while a vote for Johnson/Gray is a vote to represent real people, not special interests.   He also encouraged everyone present to urge their friends not to hang up on polling companies, and to tell them they were supporting Governor Johnson . . . at least long enough to make the 15 percent polling hurdle for being in the debates.

Prior to Judge Gray’s announcement the Root family hosted a perfectly executed dinner party in their spacious Henderson NV home.  BBQ Ribs, alcohol, fine desserts and all the extras flowed abundantly.  LNC member Brett Pojunis introduced the first speaker who related a story of fishing in Alaska with a friend who was so (either fatigued, or inspired by) hearing stories about Gary Johnson that he eventually donated $2,500.00.  Wayne was next, mentioning that he had never been fishing, but in what may have been his most adamant and passionate endorsement of the Johnson/Gray campaign urged everyone present to “give till it hurts” and to support the campaign because “while the Democrats are driving over the cliff at 180 mph, the Republicans are driving at that same cliff at 120 mph” and “we’re heading over the cliff either way” and “we can’t let that happen.”   Wayne urged everyone present to support Gary Johnson.

Gary then gave an impassioned appeal for support declaring his intention to win and relating how he was also given zero chance of being elected Governor of New Mexico.  His success there was due to running cutting edge videos and catching the support of both disaffected Republicans and Democrats.  He described himself not as a “third choice” but as the ONLY choice given the similar positions of Romney and Obama on wars, taxes, health care, social tolerance, domestic spying, the police state and liberty verses massive government intervention into all areas of American life.

Judge Gray made remarks as summarized above and then introduced long-time Republican political operative Roger Stone.  Stone related his conversion to Libertarianism following work on 8 Republican national elections and declared that he “plays the odds” and that the odds are moving strongly in a libertarian direction.  He described Johnson/Gray as the most qualified, most articulate candidates in the race, clearly credible and missing only the cash (or “mother’s milk of politics”) needed to break through for a win.   He encouraged everyone present to give the maximum of $2,500 per individual or more through the PAC identified by Judge Gray.  He mentioned, to laughter, that there were people with baseball bats at the doors waiting for those who failed to give as much as they can.

Brett then thanked everyone for coming.  Wayne reminded everyone that this is Las Vegas, and there were “really people with baseball bats” and again asked everyone present to support the campaign.  He also introduced a professional photographer who was present to take photos of anyone who wanted one with the Governor, Judge or anyone else.

In this reporter’s experience the event was perfectly executed, very well attended and an apparent unqualified success.   The crowd seemed energized and was reluctant to leave.  Several small buses were used to transport attendees from Freedom Fest to Wayne’s home and back. The bus ride back was, at least for the bus this reporter was on, highly energized with expressions of gratitude to the Roots, the million dollar donor and for the very real possibility that Gary Johnson and Judge Gray could actually be in the debates.


60 thoughts on “LP VP Judge Gray Announces $1,000,000 Donation

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Excellent news about the Johnson/Gray campaign, and a very excellent article! Thank you to Wayne and his family for what sounds like a very successful event.

  2. Austin Cassidy

    This would be hugely exciting, except the million-dollar donor is not identified in this article, and Wayne Allen Root is apparently heavily involved.

  3. Austin Battenberg

    Do we know who the donor is? My guess is that is Peter Theiel, considering he donating millions to a Ron Paul super pac and is a devout libertarian.

    Here is a great example of why I am glad to have Wayne Allyn Root in the party. When he makes mistakes, he makes really bad ones. But when he comes through, he does so really well.

    We need to keep pushing him to continue to talk like this, rather than his more Republican persona that he brings out in front of conservatives. Just go out and promote Johnson, and stop promoting Romney.

    And of course, I have to give a shout out to Judge Gray, whom I think is totally awesome, and I believe is more articulate then Johnson. Hopefully I can hear him in more interviews.

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    As much as I criticize Root, I try to notice and comment when he does things right. It appears that tonight was one of the times when he has been right.

  5. Be Rational

    Agreed with @6 and 5:

    It would be helpful to know which superPAC is the recipient of the $1,000,000 donation.

    It would also be useful to clarify whether this is an actual cash donation and not a future promise, in-kind, personal services or debt forgivness form of donation.

    It might also be inspirational to know the name of the donor, but some donors, for a myriad of reasons, desire to maintain their annonymity which is their right, perfectly proper, legally allowed, reasonable and quite understandable.

  6. Raymond Agnew

    Outstanding This Will Buck Up The GJ/JG/LP2012 Ground Troops 20 years in the LP, This Just AWESOME!!! ” NOT THE THIRD CHOICE BUT THE ONLY CHOICE! ” ” IN IT TO WIN IT ! ” WOW!!!

  7. George Whitfield

    This is fantastic news. Thank you to the generous and dedicated patriot donor. Your contribution is deeply appreciated by all of us working to restore peace, liberty, prosperity and the Constitution to America.

  8. wolfefan

    It seems like an intentional decision on the part of the writer not to identify the PAC. Look at the summary of Stone’s remarks – “He encouraged everyone present to give the maximum of $2,500 per individual or more through the PAC identified by Judge Gray.” Has IPR identified SuperPacs as part of a campaign’s solicitation in other articles?

  9. Oranje Mike

    #2, this report was obviously written by someone in attendance and not an “official report” of events. The writer was wise not to mention too many names.

  10. Mark


  11. Joe Buchman

    George @ 15,

    Contributions to my newspaper reporting education may be sent to:

    Joseph G. Buchman PhD
    Newspaper Reporting Scholarship Fund
    175 Paradise Road
    Park City, UT 84098

    Or you may begin your education of me directly here on IPR. However, so long as I’m a volunteer here, rather than a paid professional, I’ll not promise to attend to those remarks. That is unless your contributions to the scholarship fund mentioned above are significant and continuing.

    Austin Cassidy @2 wrote:

    “This would be hugely exciting, except the million-dollar donor is not identified in this article, and Wayne Allen Root is apparently heavily involved.”

    1) The fundraising event was held at Mr. Root’s home. He and his wife Debra greeted each guest at the door. I would say they did so warmly and graciously, but I wasn’t present when the first bus arrived, nor did I observe every interaction when the third bus arrived, nor am I sure other people did not arrive at other times. I believe I did witness this warm and gracious welcome for everyone on the third bus. For the next several hours they were also quite involved in being sure everyone was having a good time. Well, that’s what they appeared to be doing. Perhaps they had an ulterior motive, or if you or others had been there you would have found the need for them to have had formal remedial hospitality education. By then I had probably had too much to drink to have noticed. The Cabernet was quite good, but then I’ve had only a single 2-hour, community college-based sommelier course. I did overhear one other guest, however, remark favorably on the quality of the Cabernet. I certainly had more than one glass as the sommeliers present kept it and a Chardonnay flowing generously.

    So, yes, Wayne Allyn Root was heavily involved. I suppose a better reporter would have been able to avoid that somehow. Unfortunately it was beyond the horizon of my training and experience especially as the event was held in his home.

    2) Judge Gray also did not identify the million dollar donor by name. At least not that I heard. Nor have I engaged in even a second investigative reporting from that point last night through this point this morning. Nor am I psychic. Well, for full disclosure I have attended the International Remove Viewing Conference here in Las Vegas three out of the past four years.


    And Colonel John Alexander and other members of that board (likewise not named by me here and now) are dear friends. And I have had some psychic experiences there and at other times in my life which have left me open to the possibility of extra-ordinary, extrasensory perception.

    I suppose I could ask today who that donor is, and then report about it here, but I wouldn’t want to risk screwing something up by doing that without further professional newspaper training.

    3) Oh, one other point for you @ 15, and wolfefan @ 11 — as Oranje Mike @ 12 correctly discerned, I went last night as if I was going to a party. I failed to bring even a pen and pad to take notes. I do wish I had had an audio recording device with me as I would have liked to have transcribed Wayne Allyn Root’s remarks verbatim. I asked him later if he knew if anyone had video or audio of the event (he did not — excuse me, he reported to me that he did not), as I thought (unobjectively here) Wayne hit every note perfectly through the entire evening, especially in his remarks by the pool.

    If he spoke like that every time, in every media outlet, as I told him when thanking him for his and his family’s generosity and hospitality on the way out (how many of us would invite 2,000 freedom fest attendees to our home (invitations were on EVERY chair in the big hall, or how many of us would actually like to have 80+ Libertarians in our living room?) . . . if he could be that way in every media appearance, I’d be a fan.

    So, yes, I’m no objective reporter here. I’d not have even posted the article above if Bill Redpath’s plane hadn’t been delayed an hour. I chose to spend that hour waiting for Bill writing the article above, after the party, without notes and slightly inebriated. However for full disclosure, despite having about as much wine as I’ve ever had, I don’t feel at all hungover today.

    4) I do hope George that reading my comments here has left you feeling you’ve just wasted as much of your time as my reading your comment @ 15 has left me feeling I wasted mine reading yours.

    With gratitude to nearly everyone else posting here.


    Joe (who is now off to attempt to find a good seat and BLOG LIVE as best he can, Governor Johnson’s remarks here at Freedom Fest (scheduled to begin at 10:30AM))

  12. Joseph

    @ 5 and 7 Looking a gift horse in the mouth are you? However, if this is so upsetting to you I suggest you each drop a mil on the campaign and disclose whatever you wish about yourselves. I won’t care and GJ will appreciate the money.

  13. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m quite impressed at the quality of Joe’s writing. He manages to inject his personality without actually being editorial. Have any of the other writers on IPR had formal training? I certainly haven’t, but you all know that because I’ve said it several times. I’m frantically trying to learn as I go.

    I’m looking forward to reading Joe’s blogging of GJ’s speech, but I won’t be able to read it live because I’m scheduled to attend the a meeting of Los Angeles County’s Cherokee group, Tsa-La-Gi, where I’m also trying to learn some Native American ways from my husband’s relatives. Oh, and it will be in a town made famous this week by passing an ordinance that people can’t smoke in their own homes–yes, Satan Monica.

  14. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m sure there will be pictures of the event somewhere today. If anyone finds them, please post a link. Maybe we can spot the rich guy in the crowd! 😉

  15. Be Rational

    A follow up question to Joe Buchman – not to cast aspersions on your reporting, but in the interest in the fact itself:

    Do you know which superPAC the donation was or will be made to?

    Apparently Gary Johnson has a superPAC of some kind, and there is another one in TX which reported a $100,000 donation previously. It could be either of these or some other one.

    It could be $1.1 million now in TX. It could be added to the Johnson PAC that also carries the large overhanging debt. It could be some other. In any case, a large donation could inspire others to follow. But, it depends on which PAC and what their plans are.

    PACs such as these cannot legally coordinate their activities directly with the campaign. This gives the advantage of an indendent strategy which may appeal to other donors – if the strategy is known. It can also be more effective in focusing on advertising alone, for example, where a campaign has a greater range of functions and duties. Of course it has the disadvantage of not being able to coordinate and meld its activities and goals with the actual campaign.

    It often seems that the people inside this and other campaigns, and inside the LNC, and in schools, classrooms, bureaucracies, the government … People in charge don’t like to answer inconvenient questions.

    As an auditor I was always able to find fraud and embezzlement because facts, the lack of facts, curiosities and puzzles led to questions which I can never dismiss without an answer.

    Perhaps I should forget my questions: I could drink a lot, do some drugs and worship my American political royalty and be a Democrat; I could get a lobotomy and be a Republican.

    It’s damn annoying to be a Libertarian.

    So, I still have to ask questions:

    1) Which PAC will get the money?
    2) Can we get contact info to find out more about this PAC: plans, goals, strategy?
    3) If the debt overhanging the Johnson campaign is not a problem, then why doesn’t the Johnson campaign set up a guaranteed advertising fund where donors can donate funds that will be used 100% to buy airtime for targeted network Broadcast TV advertising?

    PS: You cannot use the argument that you don’t have enough money now, but if you have enough you will advertise later. You see, the money you don’t have is money you will never have because you are not advertising. You have to advertise to raise money and promise that the money you raise will be used to advertise more.

    Well produced ads will bring in more supporters, donors, voters and polling supporters toward the 15% we all seek.

    As you build your number of supporters, donors and voters, you will build the number of individuals from which you can solicit other general purpose funds.

    We must do party building first.

    For a POTUS campaign and the LNC that means major network Broadcast TV advertising. Because of limited funds, it means targeting small markets and small states first.

    For state and local LPs and other campaigns, it can mean a variety of appropriate outlets.

    Overhead costs that are excessive for the size of our organizations are sapping our funds and strength.

    Which brings up:

    4) Claims made above indicate that the Johnson campaign is not paying debt, but is just bringing in enough funds to cover operations.


    Oh why, oh why oh why?

    Why set up huge operations that exceed the ability of the donor base to support them?

    Why do you NOT cut these operational costs – ie. eliminate most paid staff – use volunteers, cut the pay of remaining workers to minimum levels?

    Advertise first.

    Overhead is useless when outreach is minimal or nonexistant.

    Sorry. Drinking coffee and thinking. My mistake.

  16. Mark Hilgenberg

    This is great news; I really appreciate Wayne doing this for the campaign and the party.

    I would really like to help him present our message a little clearer, especially with points like this.

    “while the Democrats are driving over the cliff at 180 mph, the Republicans are driving at that same cliff at 120 mph” and “we’re heading over the cliff either way”.

    I am sure he may be thinking in economic terms but in many ways with corporatism and unfair business protections, it may be the opposite.

    Plus regarding social issues it may be the opposite also, especially if you are not in the “preferred” race, sexual orientation or social class.

    We need to help him reword this to be inclusive enough for his target audience while still calling them out on their inconsistencies, without playing into “the right is a little better” false dichotomy. This will help us to show the independent and liberal leaning youth that we are not right wingers.

    How about something like “While both Democrats and Republicans are driving us off the cliff at 180 MPH in some ways, they save face with their core by only driving off the cliff at 120 MPH in other ways”.

  17. Be Rational

    @23 How about we just forget the MPH reference altogether:

    The Democrats and Republicans are both driving us over the cliff: Both parties are stepping hard on the gas. Both parties are fighting over who gets to hold the wheel. Neither is looking and neither cares where we are headed …

    And they are both driving us over the cliff.

    With either party or both together, the outcome will be the same.

  18. George Phillies

    @15 and therefore why people should not complain too hard that when amateurs do reporting they miss bits. It’s not a big deal.

    A reporter might have said “Libertarian Presidential candidate James Gray claimed that an unnamed donor had transferred one million dollars to an unspecified organization that intends to provide political support for the Libertarian Presidential Campaign.”

  19. Mark Hilgenberg

    @24 BE,

    That would be best but you need to sell Root on that one.

    @25 George,

    You know I think you do great work but you need to focus on the positives a little more. 🙂

  20. Joe Buchman Post author

    I’ve been told by another member of the volunteer campaign staff that the million dollar donation has been made to — Our American Initiative.

    “Libertarian Presidential candidate James Gray claimed that an unnamed donor had transferred one million dollars to an unspecified organization that intends to provide political support for the Libertarian Presidential Campaign”

    Actually George I would NOT have said that.

    What I should have said (and really without sarcasm here — thanks for the correction) —

    ““Libertarian VICE Presidential candidate James Gray claimed that an unnamed donor had transferred one million dollars to an unspecified organization that intends to provide political support for the Libertarian Presidential Campaign”


  21. Bill Wood

    Our American Initiative would be a good guess since it was co-founded by Gary Johnson.

  22. Be Rational

    Our American Initiative is the Gary Johnson founded PAC. The one with the $1.8 million overhanging debt.

  23. JP Quick

    Breaking News:

    Naysayers Say Nay

    Doom @ 11.

    (I should just add this comment to my browser’s auto-complete. It amazes me how good news is treated on this forum.)

  24. Steven Berson

    Possible other PAC’s this cash could have gone to –
    “Libertarian Action Super PAC” – http://www.laspac.org – this was the one founded with $100k by a single donor and being directed by Wes Benedict
    or more likely – “Freedom and Liberty PAC”
    which was set up last year to support GJ but hasn’t really ever received much in the way of funds or done any expenditures to date.

  25. Just an Observation

    Federal law requires Super PAC’s to file monthly or quarterly reports in an election year. If the million dollar donor is legitimate and the contribution was made on or before June 30th, the identity of the contributor should be known sometime next week.

    Call me a skeptic.

  26. Gene Berkman

    Joe – you have not really proven yourself a Libertarian until George Phillies has found a reason to criticize you. Congratulations!

  27. wolfefan

    Joe @28 – thanks for the info – and thanks for the great live blog of the FreedomFest elsewhere!

  28. Pingback: Gary Johnson and Jim Gray Hit The $1,000,000 Jackpot in Las Vegas « Spatial Orientation

  29. George Whitfield

    Thank you Joe for the reports. They have been interesting and encouraging. Have a great time there.

  30. Joe Buchman

    Steven @ 32 — I confirmed with Ron Nielson that you are indeed correct. The campaign official I spoke with earlier – one of our state finance directors was incorrect.

    The $1,000,000 has been promised to the Freedom and Liberty PAC founded by Kelly Cassiady (not sure of the spelling) in Utah.

    I met with Kelly a couple of hours ago and confirmed this.


  31. Joe Buchman

    Just an observation @ 33. I also confirmed this with Ron. The donor wishes to remain anonymous for now, but should be known within a week or so.


  32. Andy

    “Wayne was next, mentioning that he had never been fishing, but in what may have been his most adamant and passionate endorsement of the Johnson/Gray campaign urged everyone present to “give till it hurts” and to support the campaign because “while the Democrats are driving over the cliff at 180 mph, the Republicans are driving at that same cliff at 120 mph” and “we’re heading over the cliff either way” and “we can’t let that happen.””

    I’d say that the Republicans are driving us over a cliff just as quickly as the Democrats are.

  33. Just an Observation

    From my vantage point, it looks like both parties have already driven us over the fiscal cliff…we’re now dealing with the mangled mess down below.

  34. Be Rational

    Freedom and Liberty PAC
    Salt Lake City, Utah treasurer
    Michael D. Edmonds

    Has reported only 1 donation up to now of $100,000 from a single donor apparently in June 2012.

    No reported expenditures.
    No reported debt.

    Cash on hand: $100,000

    The sole purpose of the PAC seems to be the support of Gary Johnson for President.

    The PAC was formed in Sept, 2011 prior to Gary Johnson’s party switch.

    website: http://freedomandlibertypac.com/

  35. Trent Hill

    “Have any of the other writers on IPR had formal training?”

    Yes. But I think I’m the only one, I believe.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    40 A: I’d say that the Republicans are driving us over a cliff just as quickly as the Democrats are.

    me: Or maybe they point the car a slightly different angles of the cliff.

    Actually, the cliff metaphor doesn’t work for me. I’d say the better metaphor is that they are diluting the gasoline, causing the car to ping and stall.

  37. George Phillies

    Johnson is now on a path where money raised in support of his general election campaign will probably set a record for a recent Libertarian Presidential candidate.

  38. Not an R fan

    Under Obama and the Ds, federal spending has gone about $500 billion annually. Under GW Bush and the Rs, it went up $1.4 trillion.

    Who’s driving faster?

  39. zapper

    It appears the Freedom & Liberty PAC has enough money to begin targeting 10 small states with Major Network Broadcast TV ads in late August/early September to make a push for the 15% needed for debate inclusion and free media from advertising:

    They should begin with these States:
    ME, NH, VT
    MT, WY, ID
    ND, SD

    Note to the PAC:

    Your website donation screen doesn’t seem to work.

    I hope you’re open to the Zapper plan (as it’s been called) and I hope you’ll be able to secure additional large donations and fix your site so other donors can join in.

  40. Jill Pyeatt

    TH @ 43 and TK @ 48: Thanks for the reminders. I think I knew that about both of you, and would have noted it if I’d gone to the list of writers and checked.

    What about Holz and Paulie?

    Anyway, I’m thinking there might be some on-line courses available, and I think that would be a great activity for me for the fall, if I ever get through everything I need to get done this summer.

  41. Trent Hill

    I agree with ME, NH, VT, AK, MT, WY, ID, NM. I’d replace ND and SD with Nevada and Georgia.

  42. zapper

    @51 I have no problem with adding NV and even dropping ND and SD to do it.

    GA is far too large in population to start with a $1.1 mil budget, so too expensive. If more large donations come in, who knows?

    However, if more money did come in, I would continue with my original 10, and add NV (as suggested) NE, AZ, UT, CO as money allows.

    Before going further and adding those next 5, I’d be sure to double the coverage and expenditres in each of the original 10. Then add the next 5 states.

    So, who knows. 1.1 mil seems to have come in. Maybe this could be doable up to a larger number of states.

    Start in the small states and advertise enough to show results first.

    Results will show in statewide polls. In small states we can move the polls.

    This will bring in more donors.

  43. Pingback: Gary Johnson hits $1M Vegas jackpot · Hammer of Truth

  44. Joe Buchman Post author

    I was once a radio newscaster — 30+ years ago. But I went to Wayne’s party reluctantly, at the last minute, and without (as Wayne might say) my reporter’s hat on . . . The judge was not releasing the name of the donor (no one is and I’ve asked around now), but the donor’s name should be made public within the next few days. And the judge did not know the name of the superPAC. Neither did Ron when I first asked. He had to text Kelly — who met with us a few minutes later. I gather he was just down the hall at Freedom Fest.

    I’m also a bit rusty at any newsreporting — so really all friendly coaching is welcome — as is most unfriendly coaching too.


  45. Robert Capozzi

    47 Not: [Under Obama, spending has increased] $500 billion annually. Under GW Bush and the Rs, it went up $1.4 trillion.

    me: Not a R fan either, but it looks like you are mixing data here. One is annual, the other cumulative. Distortions like this lead to distorted perceptions….

  46. Pingback: A Gary Johnson-Supporting SuperPAC Said to Have Gotten a Million Buck Donation - Hit & Run : Reason.com

  47. paulie

    Excellent news and thanks for the great reporting, Joe.

    Perfectionist supercritics are welcome to sign up as IPR reporters and show us how it should be up done. Let me know if you are up for it. The pay and benefits double with every article you post!

    What about Holz and Paulie?

    No idea about HolTz. I have no formal training, although I think I have done a fair job of picking it up informally, or so people tell me.

    Zapper –

    I’ve been told that some of the same states you mention are likely targets for advertising, along with Colorado due to its marijuana initiative and proximity
    to some other states being targeted.

    I don’t know the exact list. I don’t know if the plan is a done deal or just likely.

    I don’t know if they understand other aspects of the Zapper Plan. I think there are some people in the campaign loop that read these comments but don’t comment themselves. They may skim them every once in a while or read them regularly – I do not know.

    Something along the lines of your plan is at least being considered, if not already the plan, but I don’t know all the details.

  48. Brian Holtz

    While I have one ISBN to my credit, I have no formal training in writing or journalism beyond the core requirements of a Bachelor’s degree.

    Readers should care as much about a writer’s writing credentials as diners should care about a chef’s cooking credentials.

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