Judge Gray on Coast to Coast AM: GJ-2016, War on Drugs, CPD Lawsuit, etc. . .

Judge Gray

On Thursday May 22nd Judge James Gray appeared as a guest for three hours on Coast to Coast AM, a late night, national (about 600 radio stations) talk show.

A transcript Judge Gray’s comments about the drug war, the pending lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates, the likelihood of a Gary Johnson 2016 campaign, Obamacare, Edward Snowden’s role as both a hero and a traitor, his and Governor Johnson’s advocacy of the Fair Tax, and other issues is provided below.

FIRST HOUR HIGHLIGHTS

At the beginning of the second hour of the four hour program, Judge Gray was introduced by show host George Noory as, “. . . a Republican candidate for Congress and a Libertarian candidate for the US Senate back in 2004.” No mention of his run as the 2012 LP Vice-Presidential candidate was made in the introduction. At about five minutes in, Judge Gray said:

DRUG WAR

“I would not legalize drugs; I would strictly regulate and control them like we do with cigarettes and with alcohol. But Governor Gary Johnson, and you did not mention that I was the Libertarian candidate for Vice-President in the last election, 2012, along with Governor Gary Johnson from New Mexico. He would say, and he is right, that certainly drug problems are with us but only 10 percent are the drugs themselves. We are not minimizing how harmful they can be, but 90 percent is drug prohibition; is drug money and that is what is really causing us the problems. . . it makes just as much sense to me to have the government be able to control what I, as an adult, put into my body as it does what I put into my mind; it is none of their business. . . You could bulldoze Columbia and Afghanistan for that matter; it would not make any difference because as long as the demand is there, the demand will be met. . . . As long as the money is there people are going to raise this stuff.”

Judge Gray is the author of, “Why our drug laws have failed and what we can do about it” available (from Amazon) HERE.

Judge Gray then discussed the California initiative in 2016 to “treat marijuana like wine” and predicted that by the end of 2016, marijuana prohibition will be a thing of the past nationwide and after that we will look back “aghast” at how the drug war failed.

Noory: “Marijuana; how would you handle that legalization?”

Gray: “Each state should be able to choose how best to serve and protect its people. . . . If I am king of California, I would have a government package store or a private location which is licensed heavily that sells nothing but marijuana. They cannot advertise it under any circumstances. You do not glamorize it. In my world I would put it in brown packaging with an 800 number for people who have drug problems. Sell it by word of mouth . . . regulate it, control it and tax it.”

Noory: “Cocaine?”

Gray: “I would put it under the control of the medical community. . . who could then prescribe it.”

Noory: “Heroin, same thing?”

Gray: “Same thing.”

Noory: “Methamphetamine?”

Gray: “Medical doctors prescribe methamphetamine already.”

Noory: “Ecstasy?”

Gray: “That is a methamphetamine; I’d do the same thing.”

Noory: “Oh is it? Would anybody go to jail for use?”

Gray: “For possession and use as long as they are an adult the answer in my world would be, “No.” You hold people accountable for their actions but not for what they put into their bodies.

Noory: “What about the distributor or the manufacturer?”

Gray: “If they are going to sell to minors, I am going to enforce that rigorously. If they don’t stay within the system or they advertise it, I am going to hold them rigorously accountable.”

Noory: “Could anyone make this if they were properly licensed?”

Gray: “I do not know George; what state are you in? Can you raise your own wine? If the answer is, “yes” then you could grow your own marijuana just like wine. . . Can you make your own bourbon? Yes you can. Can you sell it? No you can’t. Can you give it away to your neighbors? Well, to some degree you can. . . I would treat it like wine.”

. . .

“85 percent of the people who use any kind of illicit substance whatsoever use only marijuana, so the numbers of those using every other kind of drug will not justify this colossal bureaucracy that we have to fight the war on drugs.”

Judge Gray then discussed the experiences of Holland and Portugal in terms of decreases in drug use post-legalization.

He also mentioned how he had played basketball with OJ Simpson when he was a student at USC and how a friend told him that the flecks of blood in the Bronco had preservative in them; which he concluded meant that the LAPD had planted it there. He shared his belief that the verdict was correct in terms of having been found not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (despite his apparent guilt) because of the misdeeds the LAPD had committed. He then briefly discussed the racism inherent in the drug war regarding the higher percentage of people of color who are imprisoned today.

FAIR TAX

Judge Gray promoted the Fair tax saying, “Governor Johnson and I said that we would repeal the 16th Amendment and go to a consumption tax, a Fair Tax, (of) about 23 percent on the things we purchase. . . The three groups against it are the IRS agents, the tax accountants and members of Congress who can vote tax breaks for their wealthy constituents. “

2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Gray: “I am going to try to get Governor Johnson to run in 2016.”

Noory: “Are you going to run with him again?”

Gray: “I told him that if he asks me, I will; but if he can find someone else that can bring in more glamor, or media, or money, to go with that person; I will still support him.”

. . .

Noory: “Both of these major issues that we have talked about so far, drugs and the IRS, not one major candidate from the two major parties addresses these areas.”

Gray: “You’re right.”

Noory: “They don’t talk about it with one little exception, Ron Paul.”

Gray: “I personally believe that there is always a Winston Churchill or a Margaret Thatcher or a Golda Meir around; they’re just not elected, they don’t get into office. Governor Gary Johnson is the person who will help lead our country back to the prosperity and equal opportunity that liberty, and we haven’t talked about that yet, is slipping through our fingers. He is the man of our times and I need to get him elected president, not for our benefit so much but for our children and for our country.”

Noory: “Not a lot of people know him.”

Gray: “They will; get us a part of the debates; they will be talking about him. . . . We will put in a collation government, Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats as long as they understand and agree with our approach of financial responsibility and social acceptance.”

Noory: “Let’s face it; we are in a police state.”

Gray: “As Governor Johnson says, when it comes to our Civil Liberties, we are flaming liberals. We would repeal this so-called “Patriot Act” that allows the NSA seemingly to go into our bank records, telephone, emails. We would repeal the idea that you are going to have drones surveilling people unless they are attached to a judicial warrant with probable cause. President Obama has embraced these things.”

Noory: “He has not decided yet?”

Gray: “He has not decided yet, but I am doing my best.”

Noory: “Is there somebody out there like him?”

Gray: “I like Rand Paul who has a lot of good ideas. . . Ron Paul knew he was not going to be elected so he could take positions that were maybe more extreme.”

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE COMMISSION LAWSUIT

Gray: “We have a case pending that was filed in Los Angeles and is going to be transferred to Washington, DC, where Gary Johnson and I, as well as the Libertarian Party, and we are inviting the Green Party, are suing the Presidential Debates Commission as well as the Republican National Party and the Democratic National Party to make them change their criteria, which is always a kind of moving target. The Presidential Debate Commission is made up today of high-ranking Republicans and Democrats only, and coincidentally they only invite Republicans and Democrats to be part of the debates.”

OBAMACARE

Gray: “I am a functional libertarian; I believe in things that work. If you want to talk about health care or social security or whatever; it is not that we are against Obamacare so much, although we are; it’s that we have alternatives. You have got to have alternatives to show people that we care about them too.”

Noory: “This where I think that people who care about people would understand Obamacare, though it is screwed up and it is a disaster. Everybody should be able to have access to medical attention. Nobody should be turned down because they don’t have money. If somebody needs a new kidney or a liver transplant, why should they be turned down for that? I think this country owes it to take care of people, but we have to do it in a different way.”

Gray: “I agree with one exception; I do not think we owe it to them legally, but I do think that we owe it to them morally because that is who we are. I was in the Peace Corps; I care about people. We can afford it; we should do it, but get the government out of it. I tell people, how many people want to have the department of motor vehicles running health care. Bring back the private sector, it will reduce the price, bring back choices and the good things will happen.”

SECOND HOUR

In the second hour, Judge Gray briefly discussed Edward Snowden, concluding that he had gone too far, to the point of treason and should not have left the country. (A full transcript of this portion of the interview is provided in the comments below at May 28, 2014; 12:11AM.). He then responded to questions about the President Kennedy and Clinton sex scandals, and expressed his support for the conclusions of the Warren Commission. He also proposed a “Privacy Amendment” to counter the advance of technologies such as Google Earth (maps), discussed the state of the US economy with comparisons to the Roman and Soviet empires explaining that, “Politicians do not care about the future; they only care about the next election.”

MORE ON GJ 2016

At the beginning of the second half of the second hour with Judge Gray (the third hour of the program), host George Noory stated:

Noory: “Jim, back in 2012 Governor Johnson pulled in a little less than one percent of the total vote; he’s going to have to be very, very big in order to get elected; why doesn’t he go back as a Republican, if you cannot get into these debates, for example?”

Gray: “That’s going to be up to Governor Gary Johnson; he tells me that he is a Libertarian and will stay a Libertarian. I believe that had the Republicans been smart in 2012 and nominated Gary Johnson that he would have beaten President Obama by ten points. I do not see the Republicans being serious about what Governor Johnson and I would do; they do not want to shrink the size of government; they do want to intrude on our liberties.”

Noory: “If he declares we will have you help get him on and we will chat with him. Ron Paul has come on this program before too.”

MORE ON RAND PAUL

Gray: “Ron Paul is a hero as is his son Rand. By the way with regard to Rand Paul, it is my understanding that his Senate seat in Kentucky is up in 2016 and (he could not run for both Senate and President simultaneously under Kentucky law). He is going to have to choose to either give up his seat in the Senate or stay there; and I think he will probably choose the latter.”

Judge Gray was then asked about Iran and Israel, and then about the top five things that need to change. He responded that his top five are 1) our schools, 2) repeal the tax code and go to the Fair Tax, 3) over regulation, 4) immigration reform with liberal work visas but no welfare, 5) health care (using examples of Lasik and cosmetic surgery as the part of health care with competition and low prices). Judge Gray then related how Governor Johnson created his own business and has now climbed the highest peaks on every continent except Antarctica.

THIRD HOUR

In the third hour show host George Noory asked Judge Gray about his experiences as a judge (Gray: “We should reserve our prisons for people we are afraid of and not for people we are mad at.”) and then opened the show to questions from callers (one of whom reported having voted for Johnson/Gray). In answers to those caller questions Judge Gray expanded on his advocacy of the Fair Tax, concealed carry, ending the Federal Reserve, the need for what Thomas Jefferson called “a second revolution,” a Libertarian collation government, New Zealand as a model of good government, term limits, Cuba, and immigration reform.

At the end of the program, Judge Gray promoted his website, books and “Americans All,” a musical that he has authored, see:

The entire interview as three 40 minute mp3 audio files (20 minutes of each hour are commercials/news/promos, etc, that are not included in the downloads) is available (for a fee) from HERE

62 thoughts on “Judge Gray on Coast to Coast AM: GJ-2016, War on Drugs, CPD Lawsuit, etc. . .

  1. Goddess One

    ” we are inviting the Green Party, are suing the Presidential Debate Commission as well as the Republican National Party and the Democratic National Party …”

    Wow! Once the Green Party accepts the invitation and we win the lawsuits against the Ds and Rs national committees, then the Johnson/Gray (or Johnson/the new “glamorous” one) POTUS ticket breaks the 1% mark and then the flying saucers will take us to the promised land of WINNING the election. They should’ve been on the Republican ticket. Wow!

    LIVE FREE!

    Johnson/Gray 2016 – Make it so, we can’t get past .99% unless we go with their plan again!

    Brilliant! What took everyone so long to figure this out? By 2020 we’ll sue even harder!

    The leaders which were selected for us in the back room deals for all Libertarians are the best! No need for anymore discussion.

    I’m subscribing to the show now so I can hear this over and over again! Ron Paul and Rand Paul – our heros!

  2. Goddess One

    Gary Johnson was so smart by selecting Judge Gray. As he said, he’s the “answer to the two-party system”. And now Gary represents California and several states on the national committee. Our California campaigns will be showing dividends next week on June 3rd. Didn’t you hear the news about the state elections? We’ll beat those LaRoucheon females to a bloody pulp too! Get you guns, Pualie! Knock on the sorority doors first!

  3. Jill Pyeatt

    Goddess One said: “And now Gary represents California and several states on the national committee. Our California campaigns will be showing dividends next week on June 3rd.”

    What the heck are you talking about?

  4. paulie

    It’s James Ogle with his fantasies again. Next time just please erase it and mark it as spam rather than responding to it.

  5. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I’m going to delete all the comments so far, will mark Goddess One as spam as soon as I log in.

  6. William Saturn

    Why? Others could do that but chose not to. What harm are the comments causing now?

  7. William Saturn

    Deleting the comments at this point would amount to censorship. The comments are critical of Johnson/Gray. Would you be so willing to delete the comments if they praised Johnson/Gray?

  8. paulie

    Please do not delete comments that have received responses, unless those responses were yours and there was no further discussion.

    Please do delete Ogle any time you recognize his crap in the future because whenever he tests the waters and does not get shut down right away he starts in with his usual crap not long after that.

    It has absolutely nothing at all with whether his semi-coherent babbling is critical of or praising any particular person or persons. That actually had never even crossed my mind at all.

  9. William Saturn

    Wasn’t Ogle banned for spamming about US Parliament? The “Goddess One” comments above do not do that. Even if it is “semi-coherent babbling” should we delete-on-sight even though the posts are not similar to those that caused Ogle to be banned?

  10. paulie

    Yes. It balloons quickly. There were already some parliament posts in the spam. And please stop arguing about it, it is clearly him.

  11. Joseph Buchman Post author

    >>Would you be so willing to delete the comments if they praised Johnson/Gray?<< Yes. I tend to follow Paulie's lead on this. Spent about 5 hours putting that article together -- listening to the show, typing the transcript, trying to be objective/include the most interesting portions regardless of whatever bias I might have from having worked on the campaign, having left OAI about 14 months ago, and having had nothing to do with them since. I am a bit disappointed by the comments so far (to say the least); and was wondering if it was something that IPR readers aren't all that interested in (I thought it was fairly content-rich). I suppose for full disclosure I should also report that I have been a guest on C2CAM twice -- first in 2007 with Rollye James as host; and again in November 2008 with Noory, so there are multiple biases here that I am attempting to neutralize; but to delete Goddess One or not to delete Goddess One had nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of the GJ related content. Also worthy of note, I posted my intention and then waited for feedback here before considering doing anything . . . Hope that helps, Joe

  12. paulie

    Joe, I have been slammed busy. I will try to read the article fully and think about it when I get a chance.

  13. William Saturn

    I did not mean to demean your article in any way with my comments. I apologize for that. This article is a great summary of the show and I appreciate your work on it. I wish more articles like this would be published.

    I will comment on Judge Gray’s statement about civil liberties.

    He says:

    When it comes to our Civil Liberties, we are flaming liberals. We would repeal this so-called “Patriot Act” that allows the NSA seemingly to go into our bank records, telephone, emails.

    But then Gray accuses Edward Snowden of treason.

    First of all, the only reason we know about the depth of the NSA spying controversy is because of Edward Snowden. Second, treason requires either going to war against the nation or giving aid to an enemy of the nation. Snowden obviously is not at war with the United States, so that leaves the latter. In my view, Snowden’s acts mostly aided and benefited the American people being spied on unjustly. Therefore, Snowden’s acts can be considered treason only if you admit that the American people are the enemy. I don’t think this is what Gray intends.

  14. Joseph Buchman Post author

    WIlliam,

    Thanks; it’s all understandable, so it’s all good.

    Here’s the full context of the Snowden reference:

    (20 seconds into the second hour of the interview (third hour of the show)).

    Noory: “Jim, Edward Snowden; hero, traitor?”

    Gray: “Yes.”

    Noory (LAUGHTER). “Both?”

    Gray: “Well, yes. I think that he showed us what our government has been doing; we are shocked by it and we are appreciative of that. However he also left the country. I think if somebody is going to be involved in civil disobedience or doing these things, you should have the courage to stand up and say that this is what I did and for that reason. I am prepared to take the consequences.”

    Noory: “I’ll fight it right here.”

    Gray: “Plus he showed a lot of other stuff that should not have been disclosed and that was virtually treasonous, from my standpoint . . .”

    Noory: “He went too far, didn’t he?”

    Gray: “Yes sir.”

    Noory: “First of all, does he have an obligation to reveal illegal acts of government?”

    Gray: “Let me answer it this way, I believe that if Governor Gary Johnson were to be elected president, the first day after his inauguration he would give a public discussion to people that work for the federal government and would say, ‘Look, you are going to do it right; you are going to do the right thing for the right reason; you’re going to make sure you follow the law. If you see anyone that is above you that is not following the law, you call them on it and you tell me.” We are going to do this.

    “I was a federal prosecutor as you said. I ended up heading a unit prosecuting frauds against the government; FHA, VA, that sort of thing. I prosecuted a lot of bank vice-presidents. We believe in responsibility at all levels of society and that starts with us. The higher rank you are, the more accountable you should be. That is what our country needs; people will thrive on that. As they see that we hold bank executives and other people responsible, then they will be prepared to accept responsibility themselves. We have lost that; we must regain it.”

    Noory: “What do you think the mood is right now, judge, of people in general?”

    . . .

    (02:15)

  15. Joseph Buchman Post author

    paulie @ May 27, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    LOL. I wish there were 10,000+ people reading, thinking and commenting here!! No need to apologize, my friend. Although you do carry the posting equivalent of about 5,000 other folks!

    🙂

    Hopefully someone else (or a few others) will download and listen to the entire show; review what I have posted, correct any mistakes and add anything they see as missing.

    I am trying to look into what constitutes fair use in terms of transcribing an audio broadcast. I am relatively confident that anything less than 10 percent is perfectly safe; but I don’t want to risk going into risky levels of quoting/transcribing. Let me know when you can if you have any insights/citations to references regarding that.

    Joe

  16. Andy

    “Gray: ‘Well, yes. I think that he showed us what our government has been doing; we are shocked by it and we are appreciative of that. However he also left the country. I think if somebody is going to be involved in civil disobedience or doing these things, you should have the courage to stand up and say that this is what I did and for that reason. I am prepared to take the consequences.'”

    Wow, what a foolish statement from Jim Gray. Edward Snowden left the country, because if he had remained here he’d be in prison, or maybe dead. It is really easy for Gray to say this when it was not his rear end on the line.

    Edward Snowden is a hero, and he did the right and smart thing by leaving the country. I just hope that one day he is able to return to a hero’s welcome.

  17. William Saturn

    Thank you for the full context Joseph.

    I agree with Andy. You can’t fault Snowden for avoiding the same fate as Bradley Manning.

  18. Jill Pyeatt

    I think leaving the country was part of Snowden’s statement. He would indeed have been crazy to stay here and end up like Chelsea Manning.

    Judge Gray has the same inconsistent view as Rand Paul regarding Snowden: they appreciate the information he provided, yet think he should go to prison for it. I simply can’t reconcile those beliefs as working together.

  19. Jill Pyeatt

    Joe, many IPR readers became disillusioned with Judge Gray over his article about policemen being noble servants. I don’t know if you were around IPR when we had that discussion with him over the course of several threads (I’ll post links after this comment). Even though he’s a judge and made his living enforcing laws, his lack of ability to recognize the brutality of some policemen was disturbing to many of us, myself included. I would pass on having him as a Presidential candidate over this very issue.

  20. Joseph Buchman Post author

    The day Edward Snowden returns to a hero’s welcome in the USA, which I hope is the same day that Chelsea Manning is freed (and receives restitution), will be the day I stop living in fear here.

    I don’t think that day is coming anytime soon; but I am sure that history will judge the USA ever more harshly for each hour that passes by without that happening.

  21. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Jill Pyeatt @ May 28, 2014 at 1:06 am

    >>his article about policemen being noble servants<< I missed it at the time; read it recently (skimmed it, I had a hard time seeing through the red color that washed over my screen), and tried not to let that influence my reporting of what he said on C2CAM. I've also started sharing more and more CopBlock.org memes on my Facebook page to wash myself clean from that noble cop article. That said, there are a few good cops left, in my experience of them. However they, and I, are sure that their days are numbered. The local "peace officers" who like to drive the tanks and play SWAT no-knock warriors are/have pushed them aside.

  22. William Saturn

    I will say this about Judge Gray:

    Unlike Larry Pressler, Judge Gray is very open with citizen journalists and willing to do interviews. That’s something I appreciate.

  23. langa

    Spent about 5 hours putting that article together — listening to the show, typing the transcript, trying to be objective/include the most interesting portions regardless of whatever bias I might have from having worked on the campaign, having left OAI about 14 months ago, and having had nothing to do with them since. I am a bit disappointed by the comments so far (to say the least); and was wondering if it was something that IPR readers aren’t all that interested in (I thought it was fairly content-rich).

    I thought you did a great job with the article, and I’m also surprised it hasn’t gotten more comments. Maybe it would have if you had mentioned Riley Hood or the Oregon mess!

    Anyway, I found many of Gray’s responses to be quite poor. For example, in talking about the Drug War (supposedly his strong suit), he says, “… it makes just as much sense to me to have the government be able to control what I, as an adult, put into my body as it does what I put into my mind. It is none of their business …”, which is all well and good.

    However, just a few sentences above, he was quoted as saying, “I would not legalize drugs; I would strictly regulate and control them like we do with cigarettes and with alcohol.” But by his own admission, this is a power that government should not have, regardless of the particular substances involved.

    Another cringe-inducing moment came when he said: “I personally believe that there is always a Winston Churchill or a Margaret Thatcher or a Golda Meir around; they’re just not elected, they don’t get into office. Governor Gary Johnson is the person who will help lead our country back to the prosperity and equal opportunity that liberty, and we haven’t talked about that yet, is slipping through our fingers. He is the man of our times and I need to get him elected president, not for our benefit so much but for our children and for our country.”

    It seems Gray continues to demonstrate the reverence for dictators that he displayed earlier when he praised men like John Adams and Theodore Roosevelt as being “great patriots”!

    Finally, Snowden is a hero who deserves a medal, and the same is true of Manning. The idea that either of them is a traitor is so preposterous it boggles the mind, and could only be espoused by someone who has no concept of what it really means to be a libertarian!

    There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I would vote for any ticket that includes Jim Gray.

  24. Andy

    Jim Gray seems like a pleasant fellow, but I don’t think that he should be a candidate for the party again.

  25. NewFederalist

    “There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that I would vote for any ticket that includes Jim Gray.”

    It is SO difficult to take issue with langa’s statement until the “lesser of three evils” argument kicks in. That is the dilemma.

  26. George Phillies

    Joe,

    I saw the on-screen part, noted that it was a radio show and instructions for downloading hours of audio, and went to something else.

    Perhaps a repost without the picture, making clear in the first sentence that you have a partial transcript, would get many more readers. “Sentence 2 says Snowden is a traitor or close…calls for drug regulation…supports the fair tax…etc” would work better.”

  27. Joe

    George Phillies @ May 28, 2014 at 7:53 am wrote:

    “hours of audio, and went to something else.”

    It also costs $$$ to download so I think you've explicated the problem with how I organized the article. THANKS for the feedback. You are a keen editor/proofreader/reviewer. I can’t change the headline (easily), but I have made a few minor changes to the original article along the lines that you have suggested, including moving the link to the mp3 audio files to the very end.

    Thanks again,

    Joe

  28. Joseph Buchman Post author

    langa @ May 28, 2014 at 2:20 am

    “mentioned . . . the Oregon mess.”

    LOL!

    There is no mess in Oregon! Wes Wagner has it perfectly, smoothly, liberty-organized like clockwork.

    🙂

    Joe (ducking for cover . . . )

    For full disclosure, I will be having dinner with Wes in Portland tomorrow (Thursday) night; it’ll be the first time I’ve met him in person, and I’ll be fulfilling on my long-standing promise to thank him in-person for keeping his word to me (and the campaign) to put Gary Johnson’s name on the Oregon ballot (I was tasked with ensuring that would happen back in late June 2012; while others (apparently) kept the Burke faction happy (or at least listed as the State Director on the campaign website — which he still is, see: Rich.Burke@ouramericainitiative.com, at https://www.ouramericainitiative.com/oregon.html).)

  29. Wes Wagner

    We will be setting a new record for # of partisan candidates again this year.

  30. Mark Axinn

    Let make sure I get this right.

    We do OPH booths, get people to take the quiz, they score say 60/60 or 70/70 and we say, “Guess what? You’re a Libertarian!”. Somehow, we don’t limit our prospects to only those who score 100/100.

    Jim Gray does about 8,000,000 more useful work for the LP than most everyone else, disagrees with some of us on the cops, and now he’s no longer worthy of being called a Libertarian.

    I don’t like cops and think Ed Snowden should get the Medal of Honor, but that does not stop me from appreciating the fine work Jim has done and hoping that he will do more; let’s stop eating our own and thank the Jim Grays in the Party. I wish we had 100 more like him.

  31. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Mark,

    “he’s no longer worthy of being called a Libertarian”

    I do not think that is the objection. It’s one thing to be a Libertarian, and Judge Gray surely is; it should be (IMO) another thing to be the Libertarian VPOTUS or POTUS candidate for the party.

    The question here is, is Johnson/Gray the best we have to offer?

    Is our brand really “former Republicans who want to smoke pot (or let others)?” (Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Gary Johnson), or can we do better?

    BTW That is NOT how I see our brand, but it is the blowback I get from many friends who disparage the LP with that kind of remark / classic “repositioning” strategy.

    Joe

  32. Andy

    “Mark Axinn May 28, 2014 at 3:36 pm
    Let make sure I get this right.

    We do OPH booths, get people to take the quiz, they score say 60/60 or 70/70 and we say, ‘Guess what? You’re a Libertarian!’. Somehow, we don’t limit our prospects to only those who score 100/100.”

    First off, I don’t tell people who score that low that they are libertarians, I tell them that they scored in the libertarian quadrant of the quiz, and yes, there is a difference.

    Second of all, I give those people a pamphlet or flier and/or a link to a website where they can read more information, and I hope that if they do take the time to read more, that they will re-examine the issues and score higher (on the libertarian quadrant) on the quiz.

    Finally, I would not consider anyone who is 60/60 or 70/70 on The World’s Smallest Political Quiz to be candidate material for the Libertarian Party, and I don’t care who they are, even if they wealthy or well known.

    I’m not saying that only purists or 100% anarcho-capitalists/voluntaryist should be candidates for the LP, but if they are not, then they need to be pretty hardcore small government minarchists.

    “Jim Gray does about 8,000,000 more useful work for the LP than most everyone else, disagrees with some of us on the cops, and now he’s no longer worthy of being called a Libertarian.”

    I did not say that Jim Gray should leave the Libertarian Party, I just said that he should not be a candidate for the Libertarian Party again. He’s made a lot of remarks that make most libertarians cringe, especially his police worshipping, which is something that would turn off a lot of the pubic who would be open to the Libertarian Party. People who really believe that the police are wonderful are less likely to be good prospects for the Libertarian Party than people who realize that many cops are corrupt and are control freaks who do not care about personal freedom. I’d actually be afraid that some people might hear some of these non-libertarian comments from Jim Gray and it would turn them away from wanting to join the party or vote for Libertarian candidates.

  33. Mark Axinn

    Jim Gray is the son of a Republican US District Judge, a former JAG and a California Superior Court Judge.

    Now, he writes and speaks against the drug war and espouses libertarian principles 98% of the time. He gets on radio and TV, and tells people to vote Libertarian.

    I too hated his piece on the cops, but I am willing to give him a lot of slack considering his background and all that he has done for the movement in the last twenty years.

    Should he be our candidate for VP in 2016? Too soon to tell, especially as a lot of other people may come forth over the next two years. But if he is nominated, I will urge everyone to vote for him and not take some hard line because he wasn’t pure enough. Heck, I campaigned damn hard for Barr after voting for Mary Ruwart on all six ballots in Denver.

    Is Johnson/Gray the best we can do in 2016? Again, I don’t know although I do know that ticket got a lot more votes than any other in the last 42 years. Former Republicans who want to smoke pot (or let others)? Johnson’s a health freak and Gray never smoked, so they fit into the parenthetical, but realistically aren’t most LP members former R’s or D’s? I voted for Jimmy Carter before I saw the light and I bet most LP members over 30 started someplace else as well.

  34. Andy

    “Mark Axinn May 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm
    Jim Gray is the son of a Republican US District Judge, a former JAG and a California Superior Court Judge. ”

    So what? Titles don’t impress me. Are you bringing up these titles to make him sound impressive, or are you providing these titles as way to explain why he makes a lot of statist sounding comments?

    “Now, he writes and speaks against the drug war and espouses libertarian principles 98% of the time. He gets on radio and TV, and tells people to vote Libertarian.

    I too hated his piece on the cops, but I am willing to give him a lot of slack considering his background and all that he has done for the movement in the last twenty years.”

    There is a lot more wrong than just him worshipping the police.

    He also opposes fully informing juries of their right to judge not only the facts of a case, but the validity of the law itself, and that if they believe that a law is unjust, that they should be able to vote not guilty even if a person is guilty of the so called offense. Jury nullification is a very important issue, and Jim Grey is not in favor of it.

    He also has played into the whole, “Edward Snowden is a traitor and he should have remained in the USA.” mantra. He apparently admires Teddy Roosevelt (which ironically puts him in league with Robert Milnes of all people), John Adams (who signed the Alien and Sedition Act), Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Golda Meir, none of whom were libertarians.

    Oh, and on top of this, he apparently support the Fair Tax.

    “Should he be our candidate for VP in 2016? Too soon to tell, especially as a lot of other people may come forth over the next two years.”

    It is not too early for me to tell. I say no. Somebody better needs to come along.

    “But if he is nominated, I will urge everyone to vote for him and not take some hard line because he wasn’t pure enough. Heck, I campaigned damn hard for Barr after voting for Mary Ruwart on all six ballots in Denver.”

    Even though I was critical of the Johnson/Gray ticket, I actually did do a little bit of volunteer work for them, and I also gave them what I’d call a mild or passive endorsement, as in I did not strongly urge anyone to vote for them, but I did say, “If you are going to vote in the Presidential election this year, then you might as well vote for Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, because they are better than any other ticket that is on the ballot.”

    I would have done a lot more for the LP Presidential ticket in 2012 such as donating money, and a lot more volunteer work, if I had more passionately supported the ticket.

    I did not do any volunteer work for, nor did I donate any money to, nor did I encourage anyone to vote for, the Barr/Root ticket in 2008.

    It would sure be nice if the LP had a Presidential ticket that I could really get behind in 2016. The election season is more fun if you feel like you’ve got a ticket that you can really get behind.

    “Is Johnson/Gray the best we can do in 2016? Again, I don’t know although I do know that ticket got a lot more votes than any other in the last 42 years.”

    I hope that party can do better next time. I’m going to be disappointed if the party does not come up with a better ticket in 2016.

    The ticket got the most votes in terms of raw numbers, but not in terms of the most important criteria, which is the percent of the vote they received, as they received a lower percent of the vote than Ed Clark and David Koch got in 1980 (when the population of the USA was about 2/3 of what it is today).

    Also, as I have pointed out, the Johnson Gray ticket had the advantage of running in an election where there were no higher profile minor party or independent candidates in the race, such as John Anderson, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan, all of whom siphoned a lot of attention and votes away from past LP Presidential tickets.

  35. paulie

    It would sure be nice if the LP had a Presidential ticket that I could really get behind in 2016.

    Jesse Ventura/Alex Jones?

    Texe Marrs/Mark Dice?

    🙂

  36. Mark Axinn

    >“If you are going to vote in the Presidential election this year, then you might as well vote for Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, because they are better than any other ticket that is on the ballot.”

    Andy, that’s not an endorsement of any kind. It’s actually a bit of a back-handed insult.

    >So what? Titles don’t impress me. Are you bringing up these titles to make him sound impressive, or are you providing these titles as way to explain why he makes a lot of statist sounding comments?

    Just to explain where he’s coming from. His parents weren’t hippies or exactly on the fringe. He grew up in a statist land, surrounded by statist principles, and broke free of most of them.

    Also, titles do matter to some people. I supported Jim Burns for VP, who was one of the most principled men I knew in the Party, but he did not have any gravitas at all and could never garner any real support. It’s not necessary for you, but it helps when dealing with the great voting public. Governor Johnson means more than Mr. Wrights did in 2012.

    >…they received a lower percent of the vote than Ed Clark and David Koch got in 1980 (when the population of the USA was about 2/3 of what it is today).

    I knew someone was going to bring that up. Yes, David Koch bought many more votes than Gary Johnson could. He also has his name on a prominent hospital eight blocks from where I live and on a major theater in Lincoln Center where I went to the ballet recently. Money can buy all sorts of things.

    So here’s the bottom line, as I know that my activism and “libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party” credentials are beyond reproach: I welcome as many people into the Party as possible, don’t expect them all to agree with me about everything, encourage them to run for office (we a political party, right?) and then work as hard as I can for the candidates who get nominated without walking away because my first choice didn’t get the nod. And I admire and welcome former Governors, Admirals, Judges and other members of the statist world who are willing to join us and preach freedom for a change, even if they don’t score 100/100 like I do.

    That’s Lesson 101 in how to be a State Chair.

  37. Jill Pyeatt

    I faithfully posted each of Judge Gray’s weekly columns here on IPR. I believe there were around 40 of them. As time went on, I saw them becoming less and less what I would expect a Libertarian to write. I’m talking about the Police As Noble Servants article, but also the three in a row where he discussed his heros. I recall that they included John Adams and Teddy Roosevelt. Perhaps it was because he was running out of topics to write about, and didn’t throughly think through his ideas. In any case, I decided that I couldn’t support him as a candidate anymore. He didn’t seem willing to take a strong stand in areas that required one. An example is the trilogy of articles about police., The middle article (which I linked to above) was a series of IPR readers disagreeing with his article. And then when his rebuttal to our rebuttal came along, he said “With one exception, I believe that all of the comments you forwarded to me are consistent with my column” That was too lukewarm for me. He should have stood his ground, or else really listened to our arguments and discussed them.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t care for him, or that I don’t think he’s Libertarian. I simply think he had his chance as a candidate, and I’m hoping someone who speaks a bit more
    firmly about our principles would run.

    Unfortunately, there is no one I’d suggest at this point. I’m sure we’ll have several candidates come forward, however.

  38. langa

    Andy is exactly right on this. The problems with Gray go far beyond what he said about cops (as bad as that was). He has said a number of non-libertarian things that, while each one might not be a huge deal by itself, taken together clearly demonstrate that his commitment to libertarian principles is weak, at best. He might be “libertarian lite”, but that’s about it.

    That doesn’t mean he can’t be a member of the LP, but it does mean that he has no business representing the LP. If he does, he will continue to be an embarrassment, just like Root was.

    I’ll repeat what I said earlier. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell I would vote for any ticket that included Gray. And as for this stuff about how many votes they got, who cares? Being able to brag about getting an extra 0.3% of the vote (or whatever) is worthless. The whole point of the Presidential campaign is to create more philosophical libertarians, and the message that Gray is spewing is counterproductive to that goal, just like Root’s message was.

    Speaking of Root, I made the mistake of voting for he and Barr, even though I had serious reservations about both of them. That’s a mistake I won’t make again. Until the LP goes back to nominating actual libertarians, I will be staying home on Election Day.

  39. Andy

    “paulie May 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    It would sure be nice if the LP had a Presidential ticket that I could really get behind in 2016.

    Jesse Ventura/Alex Jones?

    Texe Marrs/Mark Dice?”

    Jesse Ventura has got similar issue/philosophy problems like Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, so he would not be my first choice, however, if the party is going to once again nominate a candidate who is not a hardcore libertarian, then Jesse Ventura would bring a lot of fame and charisma to the ticket. Actually, how about this, replace Jim Gray for Vice President and have the ticket be Gary Johnson for President and Jesse Ventura for Vice President?

    I think that Alex Jones could make a great candidate for President, but I don’t think that he’s got any interest in running (if he did, an Alex Jones / Jesse Ventura ticket would be interesting).

    Texe Marrs is kind of an obscure reference for a lot of people. I don’t know if he could qualify as being a libertarian or not, but then again, this is the party that nominated Barr/Root in 2008, and Texe Marrs is probably more libertarian than Barr, and maybe Root as well. This is too obscure a name and I don’t think that he’d bring anything to the ticket, plus he probably has no interest in running for President on any ticket.

    Mark Dice puts out some really cool YouTube videos, and could be an entertaining candidate for office. I know that he supported Ron Paul for President, but I’m not sure exactly how libertarian Mark Dice is on all of the issues. Might have some potential as a candidate for some kind of office judging from his YouTube videos, but I can’t see him bringing anything to an LP Presidential ticket right now, and he’s probably not interested anyway.

    Some people I’d really like to see run:

    Andrew Napolitano (He’s probably my top choice right now.)

    Glenn Jacobs (aka-WWE wrestler “Kane.” I’m not sure if he can run for President or not given that he was born on an American Air Force base in Spain, but then again, John McCain was supposed to have been born on an American Navy base in Panama, and he was still able to run for President. Glenn Jacobs would be an awesome candidate. He’s kind of like Jesse Ventura, only with more solid libertarian credentials.)

    Chris Rufer (He’s not really a celebrity, but he is a very wealthy Libertarian, possibly the wealthiest current LP member, and he is probably known in the business world from his Morning Star tomato company. I’m not overly familiar with him, but he sounds like a pretty solid Libertarian, and I know that he has donated money to several Libertarian and small “l” libertarian causes and campaigns. He also helped make a pretty good video about libertarianism (which is posted on YouTube) with the help of some people from Reason Magazine.)

    Doug Casey (A wealthy libertarian investor. Good public speaker and writer, although his cynicism could be a draw back as a candidate. I doubt that he has any interest in running though.)

    There are probably some others out there who’d make good candidates, some may be famous, or semi-famous, and others could be people that are not well known.

    The question remains if anyone good will step up and seek the LP nomination for President in 2016. I hope so.

  40. George Phillies

    I spoke at the LP Florida State Convention as a breakfast keynote speaker. I opened with a toast, a breakfast toast of Florida’s finest. The toast went first to the LP of Florida but closed with

    and finally, to the man who took the step before which Socrates quailed, the man who abandoned his country in order to save it, the greatest living American Patriot, Edward Snowden.

  41. Andy

    Mark Axinn said: “And I admire and welcome former Governors, Admirals, Judges and other members of the statist world who are willing to join us and preach freedom for a change, even if they don’t score 100/100 like I do.

    That’s Lesson 101 in how to be a State Chair.”

    This was already tried with former Congressman Bob Barr. Remember, a lot of people said the same stuff about him, as in we should forgive him for his past transgressions against liberty, and that that we should forgive him if he’s not a 100/100 Libertarian, and that he was “trending” Libertarian, and that if we embrace him that he’ll become more Libertarian.

    The thing with Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party did not work out too well in my opinion, and I don’t think that there are many people in the LP who’d disagree with me on this one, as many Libertarians admit that Barr was a dreadful candidate for the LP.

    Now I will say that I think that pretty much anyone who says that they agree with the party’s principles, and who signs the party oath, and donates at least the minimum party dues of $25 should be able to join the party, but this does NOT mean that they are all candidate material, and it most definitely does not mean that they are Presidential candidate material. The Libertarian Party candidate for President is the party’s stand bearer/”flag” bearer on the national scene. So being that the LP candidate for President tends to get more publicity than LP candidates for any other office, that candidate ought to be a pretty solid Libertarian. I’m not saying that they have to run on an anarcho-capitalist platform, but they should at least be very high up on the small government monarchist libertarian scale.

    I’m surprised at the number of people in the Libertarian Party who are overly enamored with superficial things like titles. I’m more concerned with things like a commitment to libertarian principles, ability to do outreach, and personal integrity than I am with titles.

  42. Andy

    Mark Axinn said: ‘If you are going to vote in the Presidential election this year, then you might as well vote for Gary Johnson and Jim Gray, because they are better than any other ticket that is on the ballot.’

    Andy, that’s not an endorsement of any kind. It’s actually a bit of a back-handed insult.”

    I did not really intend for that to have been an insult. It was more along the lines of, “I wish that the LP had a better ticket this year, but it does not, however, they have not disgusted me as much as the Barr/Root ticket did in 2008, so if people are going to vote, they might as well vote for Johnson/Gray, because they are better than the other Presidential tickets that are on the ballot.”

    Even though I’ve been critical of the Johnson/Gray ticket, if anyone has followed my comments here about their campaign, I DID give them credit for some of the good things that their campaign did (I even made a list of 6 things that they their campaign did that were good), and I do not consider their campaign to have been a disaster for the party like the Barr/Root campaign was.

    Also, like I said above, even though I did not donate any money to their campaign, and even though I was not completely happy with it, I did actually do some volunteer work for them. I handed out lots of their campaign materials when I gathered petition signatures to place them on the ballot in Alabama. I also gave out some of their campaign materials to other petition circulators to hand out to interested members of the public. I did not have to do this. I also posted several of their campaign videos (several of which were really good, which is one of the things I gave them credit for doing well, as in their online videos) to multiple message boards, plus I forwarded them in emails to a bunch of people.

    This is a lot more than I did for the Barr/Root ticket.

    I was just a lot more enthusiastic about the Presidential campaigns of Harry Browne in 1996 and 2000, and Michael Badnarik in 2004, as well as Ron Paul’s runs for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008 and 2012, and therefore I did more for those campaigns.

    “Just to explain where he’s coming from. His parents weren’t hippies or exactly on the fringe. He grew up in a statist land, surrounded by statist principles, and broke free of most of them.”

    I did not grow up with any libertarians in my family either, and neither did most of the libertarians I know. I actually spent some of my best years as a youngster living on a military base. This does not make me a “Ra! Ra!” pro-military person though, and I recognize that the US military engages in a lot of unconstitutional activity, and is fraught with waste, and that it is funded through taxation, which to me means that it is funded with stolen money, which makes it illegitimate from a libertarian purist perspective.

    So I don’t buy growing up in a statist environment as an excuse.

    “Also, titles do matter to some people.”

    Titles matter to people who are statists.

    “I supported Jim Burns for VP, who was one of the most principled men I knew in the Party, but he did not have any gravitas at all and could never garner any real support.”

    I met Jim Burns, and he seemed like a good guy, and this is what I’ve heard from everyone who knew him. I think that he was a solid Libertarian, and a good fellow, but he was not very good at putting a campaign together, at least not a campaign for President or Vice President. I don’t think that this had anything to do with him not having a title next to his name. The late Harry Browne did not have a title next to his name either, and he put together a much better than campaign than most LP candidates for President have.

    “It’s not necessary for you, but it helps when dealing with the great voting public.”

    Titles are important to the general voting public who are not likely to vote for Libertarians no matter who the Libertarian Party runs, as in the people who are most impressed with titles are also more likely to be people who will vote Democrat or Republican no matter what.

    I first found out what the Libertarian Party was from the Harry Browne campaign in 1996. I was impressed by the content of Harry Browne’s message, and I also liked his delivery of that message as well. I did not care one bit that he did not have a title next to his name.

    “Governor Johnson means more than Mr. Wrights did in 2012.”

    Wrights was not a good candidate either, for some of the reasons that Burns wasn’t, as in lack of campaign building skills. He also has some personality issues that make him a poor choice to be a candidate (enough said).

  43. Andy

    ” and he put together a much better than campaign than most LP candidates for President have. ”

    Should read, “and he put together a much better campaign than most LP candidates for President have…”

  44. Andy

    ” but they should at least be very high up on the small government monarchist libertarian scale. ”

    Whoops. Should read, “but they should at least be very high up on the small government minarchist libertarian scale…”

  45. paulie

    ” but they should at least be very high up on the small government monarchist libertarian scale. ”

    Whoops. Should read, “but they should at least be very high up on the small government minarchist libertarian scale…”

    I thought it was a Rockwell/Hoppean statement.

    See http://mises.org/daily/4068

  46. paulie

    Via wikipedia:

    Hoppe argues that monarchy would preserve individual liberty more effectively than democracy.[20]

  47. Mark Axinn

    Andy–I did not mean to start a fight and we agree in basic principles. I was a Browne delegate at DC Convention in ’96 and thought he was terrific. He looked and acted Presidential, and was a true Libertarian.

    It’s way too soon to know who will be running in 2016, although I suspect Gary Johnson will be the front-runner for Pres. and Jim Gray for VP. We have two years to see who else is interested (in 2008 there were several candidates), but right now we have more immediate concerns: I have to turn my attention to getting 50,000 votes for Mike McDermott for Governor so New York can achieve automatic ballot status for the first time. And first I need 25-30000 sigs to get him on the ballot.

    Hope to see you at the petitioning seminar Paulie and I are giving on June 26 at LSLA Conference; your perspective will no doubt be spot-on.

    Peace.

  48. Mark Axinn

    >Hoppe argues that monarchy would preserve individual liberty more effectively than democracy.

    Just like another great libertarian hero, Benedict Arnold, did as well. Better to have one tyrant 3000 miles away than 3000 tyrants one mile away, etc. etc.

  49. Andy

    “paulie May 29, 2014 at 5:46 am

    ‘ but they should at least be very high up on the small government monarchist libertarian scale.

    Whoops. Should read, “but they should at least be very high up on the small government minarchist libertarian scale…’

    I thought it was a Rockwell/Hoppean statement.

    See http://mises.org/daily/4068

    “paulie May 29, 2014 at 5:49 am
    Via wikipedia:

    Hoppe argues that monarchy would preserve individual liberty more effectively than democracy.[20]”

    Yeah, I’ve read where Hans-Harmann Hoppe makes this argument. I’m not a fan of monarchies at all, so I can’t say that I agree with him on this one.

    I’m not aware of Lew Rockwell being on that band wagon.

  50. Andy

    Mark Axinn said: “Hope to see you at the petitioning seminar Paulie and I are giving on June 26 at LSLA Conference; your perspective will no doubt be spot-on.”

    I will try to be there and would definitely be interested in taking part in that.

  51. paulie

    I told Alicia I’m good with starting before 1 PM. Not sure if she got that message. Mark and Bill didn’t want to start any earlier but my portion could go first unless there is a conflict with the LNC meeting.

  52. Mark Axinn

    Paulie–I listen in on LSLA conference calls.

    We’re on at 1pm. No change.

  53. Joe

    No comments on Gray’s musical? Anyone (besides me) watch the Youtube video?

  54. Jill Pyeatt

    I just watched it, Joe. It looks like the musical might work. Do you know if it was ever performed?

    As unLibertarian as this may be to some people, I agree that music is very useful in public schools, much more than many people realize. There is a clear correlation between good grades and higher functioning on tests for music students. If my tax dollars are going to be used for public education, I’d rather they fund music or art before sports, although, of course, there’s no way I can influence that.

  55. Mark Axinn

    Jim Gray told me it was performed when first written in 2012, although fairly amateur productions. But I think he wants it for kids in school and not real actors.

  56. Jill Pyeatt

    From what I can tell, it was an excellent first production. I’m always amazed when someone who is really smart or talented in one area has another area with exceptional talent (kind of like John Lennon). I wonder if Jim Gray had any musical training in his younger days.

    I, on the other hand, have had musical trainling all through high school and am from a family of very talented musicians.(My brother Mark’s high school band is one of the best in the US–really; he just broke some record in Ohio). The result? It was best summed up by my son when he was 4 years old, listening to me singing in the car: “Mommy, don’t sing! It hurts my ears!”

  57. Joe

    We did 1776 my senior year of High School (1976). I wish I had tried out for a part. It’s still the best production of that play I’ve seen (and I’ve seen several). I did get in the next two plays of my senior year because I regretted being to afraid to try out for 1776.

    “Listen to the chirp, chirp, chirp of an Eaglet being born . . .”

    “To the right, forever to the right; but never to the left . . .

    “Let our creed, be never to exceed, reeeegulated speed . . .”

    Not sure it’s up to that standard, but I only saw the brief Youtube clip.

    Joe (still, frankly, amazed that Richard Burke is the Oregon OAI Director. I wish him well in that role, but wonder what exactly OAI has done these past two years, here in Oregon (where I am tonight) or anywhere. . .)

  58. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Watching “Americans All” above (to test the new server for working links), I realize I’d really rather that say “Earthlings All” or maybe “Tellurians All”

    But that’s just me . . .

    Joe

  59. Pingback: Johnson CPD Lawsuit Fundraising Goal: $30K in February, $200K in June | Independent Political Report

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