Augustus Invictus: Official Response to the Criticisms of Chairman Wyllie

ASIFrom Facebook:

Fellow Members of the Libertarian Party of Florida,

Many have asked why I have not responded to the quite public accusations of Adrian Wyllie. I have not responded for the same reason I do not respond when conspiracy theorists accuse me of being an agent of the Illuminati. I have not responded for the same reason I did not respond in grade school when little boys would call me “meany face” and “watermelonhead.” I have not responded for the same reason I would not respond if a twelve-year-old tried to pick a fight with me, as Alex Snitker did in Polk County two weeks ago. That reason is simple: It is beneath my dignity to engage in such small-minded stupidity.

I never wanted any part of this fight. I have bigger and better things to do. My family was bankrupted by the DEA a decade ago, and I have been aiming ever since at destroying that Agency. I have come right to the threshold of being able to do real harm to the Federal Government, and I have no desire to bicker with someone like Adrian Wyllie when I am this close to the target. I have not spent the past ten years fighting to get here so that I can be distracted by nonsense like this.

My enemy is the Federal Government, not Adrian Wyllie. I am aiming to destroy the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Reserve, the IRS, and a hundred other departments & agencies; to repeal the income tax, the Controlled Substances Act, Obamacare, and a hundred other instances of unjust legislation; to implement a non-interventionist foreign policy and cut military spending. I simply do not have the time to be distracted by unfounded slander. I have a campaign for United States Senate that requires my constant attention, and I have better things to do than debase myself by engaging in small-ball party politics and bickering with another full-grown man as though we were two old crones at a bingo match.

But alas, there comes a point at which the repetition of falsehoods can no longer be ignored, just as there comes a point at which the tactics of a high school bully can no longer be tolerated. Let it be known that I wanted nothing to do with this: Adrian Wyllie is the one who made an enemy of me, and not vice versa.

I respond:

It has been said that I am a racist and a neo-Nazi. I guarantee you that my Puerto Rican ex-wife, our half-Puerto Rican children, and my half-Colombian step-children – not to mention my string of Latina girlfriends – would be quite shocked to hear of this.

It has been said that I have promoted a “race-based civil war.” I will give one million dollars to the person who finds this in anything I have ever said or written.

It has been said that I support eugenics programs. This claim is based on a paper I wrote in law school, which I have publicly and repeatedly disavowed. It was addressed in my second Fireside Chat: [ https://youtu.be/x-gMxyGlbw0 ]

It has been said that I have supported government-forced abortion. I challenge Adrian Wyllie to name a single instance of this. I am, in fact, against abortion, and I always have been. Perhaps Adrian Wyllie, in the midst of his hysterical witch hunting, missed my statement condemning abortion-on-demand: http://invictusforsenate.com/2015/07/18/u-s-senate-candidate-augustus-invictus-condemns-abortion-on-demand/

It has been said that I refuse to address the concerns of the voters. This is a patent falsehood. I have been publishing Fireside Chats since the beginning of the campaign to explain the conduct of the campaign, respond to criticisms, discuss my platform, and a host of other things. Those files can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsdPzJBJYQlsKigw_3XTqJw

It has been said that I have not clarified my platform. I refer the reader to my website [ http://invictusforsenate.com/focal-points/ ] and to the fourth, fifth, and sixth Fireside Chats [ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB3A-p2PsiMXKcx4cDVDXBZlcWMEbZXnP ]

It has been said that I am an elitist, and that I refuse to dumb down my speeches and writings so that the common man can understand them. This is a deliberate attempt to raise the level of political discourse in this country, which effort I described in my first Fireside Chat: https://youtu.be/0wnNMLpg-_s

It has been said that I am not a “real” Libertarian. A certain faction of the Party has come to believe that the writings of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman are the holy texts of Libertarianism, and I disagree. I believe that the Libertarian movement is and should be more encompassing than the narrow-minded advocacy of economic anarchy. I believe that our environment, our wildlife, and our children – not money – are the reason for our existence. I believe that we must have a reasonable immigration policy and that those who believe in unrestricted immigration have clearly never read a history book. I believe that abortion is a question of protecting the child, not of a woman’s right to privacy. I would hope that Libertarians are at liberty to agree to disagree every now and then. And if I am wrong, if the official platform requires that we must be moral relativists who worship money and convenience above all else, then the official platform must change.

It has been said that I have affected an accent and taken on a persona – whether of Bane or JFK or a Southern gentleman, my critics cannot decide. My family is from the Carolinas and the Midwest. I was born in Ohio. I moved to Florida at three years of age; to New Mexico; back to Florida; and back-and-forth from Chicago to Florida a few times. I have lived in the slums, the suburbs, and the elegant downtown apartments. I have studied Latin, Spanish, French, and Italian. I have been around the world and have picked up many dialects and regional accents. I have not been afraid to implement all things I have learned and to allow my experiences to affect me. God help all of you who have not broken through your local confines, who have not had the drive to become something more than your parents were, who have not had the bravery to incorporate new experiences into your being and the courage to be who you really are. I genuinely pity you.

It has been said that I associate with neo-Nazis and skinheads. You’re goddamn right I do. I am a criminal defense lawyer, and I am proud of the work I have done for the American Front. When the FBI raided the group, I was in Egypt. But the day I returned to the States, I went to the jail to interview two of the members. Fourteen people had been arrested for “paramilitary training” and marked as terrorists because they were shooting weapons on their own property. Every single one of those fourteen “neo-Nazis” was innocent – and their media crucifixion was only possible because of people who believe everything they read on the Internet, or who are too cowardly to stand up for the accused. Every Libertarian in America should be supporting them as victims of an overreaching Government, and for the record, I am proud to call them my friends.

It has been said that I have violated the Non-Aggression Principle. I would recommend reading Wes Benedict’s book, *Introduction to the Libertarian Party*, if you want to understand what the NAP actually is, rather than what my critics *say* it is. And I would point out that if anyone has demonstrated aggression, it is Adrian Wyllie, who has privately and publicly declared that if I do not drop out of the Senate race, he will use all his power to destroy me; it is his sidekick, Alexander Snitker, who drove two hours to my speech in Polk County to harass me and yell out that “[I] will never speak in Tampa”; it is their clique, which has attempted to censor and blacklist me at every opportunity.

It has been said that I am a totalitarian. Take note that this is being said by a man who has done all he can to ostracize me because of my religious beliefs. This claim is being made by a man who tried to force me out of the Senate race and who has resorted to making things up to attack me now that making fun of my accent and my poetry and my religion has clearly failed.

In fact, I would appreciate it being noted that many of these “criticisms” being circulated have been made up by Adrian Wyllie himself. I challenge him to point to any writing or speech of mine that supports a race-based civil war or government-forced abortion. These are pure fabrications by Adrian Wyllie that the members of the LPF are accepting blindly.

Furthermore, I have publicly disavowed my eugenics paper from law school, and Adrian Wyllie is fully aware of that. His insistence on incessantly repeating this attack demonstrates both his disingenuousness and his desperation. Having failed to bully me out of the race by threatening me, he must now resort to smear tactics, innuendo, and baseless propaganda to maintain control of the LPF and scare away the supporters of someone he considers a threat.

I approached Adrian Wyllie in friendship, following Carla Howell’s advice, and he spat in my face. I approached him at the Convention to shake hands and congratulate him on his victory, and he spat in my face again. He went so far as to say to my friend afterward, “How could you support that piece-of-shit Invictus? He just told me he wants to murder every last man, woman, and child on the planet.” Of course my friend knew this was not true; but it hardly excuses the slander.

As I said, I never wanted any part of this fight. This entire situation has been created by Adrian Wyllie, and I find it revolting that such a considerable portion of the LPF has gone along with it. If you want to see the problem with America, do not look to the Republicans and the Democrats: look to the Libertarians. We profess to be dedicated to changing this country, and yet we spend 95% of our time with ridiculous infighting like this.

My next Fireside Chat is scheduled for Sunday September 13th. If you have further concerns that you want clarified, email them to info@invictusforsenate.com, and I will address them at that time. I will not, under any circumstance, resort to bickering in the comment thread beneath this post.

In the meantime, I ask that you keep an open mind, hear what I have to say, and judge what I am saying for yourselves with a skeptical and discerning mind, rather than blindly believing in every tabloid article and every straw man my critics can manufacture. In the words of Timothy Leary:

Think for yourself. Question authority.

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, Colorado State Coordinator for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, as well as Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LPCO, LPRC, or LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann’s goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

70 thoughts on “Augustus Invictus: Official Response to the Criticisms of Chairman Wyllie

  1. Andy Craig

    It’s been copy-pasted elsewhere on comments here, but for reference here’s Adrian’s original post. I considered doing them together as a combined post but didn’t get around to it:::

    Several members have approached me with concerns about a very small, but extremely troubling trend in the LPF.

    Over the past few weeks, we have seen a handful of new members with very disturbing backgrounds, including those with current affiliations with known white supremacist and neo Nazi groups. Some of these new members have recently and publicly expressed support for extremely violent actions, such as the initiation of a race-based civil war in the U.S., and government-forced abortion and sterilization of those they deem genetically inferior.

    These policies, beliefs, and affiliations are repugnant to Libertarians, and are in clear violation of both our party platform and the Non-Aggression Principle.

    Let me stress that these individuals currently represent a minuscule, insignificant fraction of total LPF membership. However, we must remain ever vigilant against those who would use the LPF as cover for their violent and totalitarian agendas. If we are to remain true to our principles, then we must stand publicly against this potential infiltration.

    Rest assured, the LPF leadership is closely monitoring this potential threat, and is prepared to take swift and decisive action to defend the integrity and the core principles of the Libertarian Party of Florida.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LibertarianPartyOfFlorida/permalink/10153635475522375/

  2. Austin Cassidy

    Every time I read something he’s written, I feel compelled to do it the goofy accent that he uses.

  3. Andy

    “Austin Cassidy

    September 7, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Every time I read something he’s written, I feel compelled to do it the goofy accent that he uses.”

    Same here. LOL!

  4. William Saturn

    I too read this with the accent in mind, but it is a good release overall. He should emphasize the work he does as a criminal defense attorney. That profession combats the State for freedom more directly perhaps than any other.

    Nevertheless, I’m not sure if he is effectively approaching the eugenics article issue. What prompted him to write the article in the first place? And what convinced him to disavow it?

    Lastly, this isn’t substantive, but I question why he calls his campaign addresses “Fireside Chats.” All this does is invoke FDR and his “chats” in which he tried to convince listeners to support the New Deal and the war effort.

  5. 35 big-L Long Years of Infighting, Time-Wasting, Backstabbing...

    Meh. Invictus can’t do any worse than the LP has done for 35 long years since Dick Randolph and friends showed us all what a serious libertarian party would do. This fellow hates the DEA, IRS, and FDA and thinks he can work against them? Good.

    …Sure, he’s probably delusional for running for US Senate, but I wish him well.

    He’s also right about one thing: Libertarians shouldn’t infight with each other.

    The last five minutes of his first link is actually upbeat and motivational, and the kind of thing that non-coward libertarians often say.

    If I’m a resident of Florida and he’s on the ballot, I’ll vote for him. In fact, he’ll probably do better than a lot of LP candidates, just ’cause he’s bold and speaks his mind. He also didn’t say anything anti-libertarian, just a few nutty things.

    Big deal. Trump is nuts, and people are taking him seriously.

  6. Joe Wendt

    @ Saturn,

    The Question shouldn’t be “if he is effectively approaching the eugenics article issue,” but rather should that even be a factor supporting. Ron Paul got into hot water numerous times for racist content in his newsletters, and never really gave an appropriate response (let’s face it, blaming someone else when Ron Paul had to approve what’s printed is a sorry excuse), but many Libertarians would defend him. Yet some of the people who defended Ron Paul are also some of the harshest critics of Augustus. Could Augustus explain why he wrote it, yes; but the same could be said of Ron Paul and why he allowed those comments to be printed.

  7. paulie

    Well, all BS aside, he acknowledges that he is friends with neo-nazis and is proud of that. I had a sneaking suspicion he may be involved when I read Adrian’s note about several of them joining the LP recently. The part about renouncing racism and eugenics is BS since he has repeated such statements more than once just in the last month or two. BTW, what is he reaching for in his overalls?

  8. Caryn Ann Harlos

    A friend was watching/reading his stuff and the verdict was “This guy’s a Nazi!”

    I concur. With a good dash of “born nobility” twaddle.

  9. Mark Axinn

    Andy C:

    Thanks for reprinting Adrian’s initial comments which helps to provide useful context to the article in chief.

    Frankl;y, I don’t understand how Invictus took humbrage. Andrian’s comments were highly appropriate and circumspect. Exactly what a prudent State Chair should say.

    Notice he did not name anyone, and put the good of the LPF ahead of all else. Exactly the right tone and substance.

  10. Mike K

    Augustus, I’ve given it a lot of thought. I haven’t commented on this yet because I have mixed feelings, but I feel now is the time.

    You seemed like a very good candidate over the phone. You seemed eager to learn, ready to work, ready to learn, and ready to help build the party. You spoke like most everyone else I’ve spoken with over the phone. I gave you the same advice I give to ALL Libertarian candidates, and words of encouragement.

    Since our conversation, you’ve posted things that I wholeheartedly disagree with. Some of the things, for me, are dealbreakers.

    Should the LPF field a candidate for U.S. Senate, it should be one that is able to A. promote radical, libertarian ideas in a clear and concise way (libertarian solutions) AND B. grow the party in a positive direction by setting proper expectations (in terms of new donors, new activists, new volunteers, more dues paying national members), without causing anyone to leave afterwards.

    At this time, I don’t think that your campaign for Senate is or will do either A or B, let alone both.

    Do yourself a favor…. Step back from this campaign.. See how you can help your local affiliate grow. Re-visit this next time around.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    Seems like he knocks down a bunch of strawmen, doesn’t address the real criticisms (like the crazy stuff he published in the past 2 months), and hopes if he talks at length without really saying anything then people will be fooled into thinking he bested all the critics.

    I can understand not wanting to get into a flame war in comments, but he really ought to agree to an IPR interview, answering burning questions about his campaign shortly and directly so he can’t obfuscate and dodge.

  12. Mike K

    In other news…

    Bill Wohlsifer writes:

    Earlier this week I resigned from my seat as LPF Region 3 representative. I am disappointed in what little support I got from LPF leadership during my Attorney General campaign and how current LPF leadership does not support my post-campaign activities. Tonight I un-joined (in Facebook terms) the “Libertarian Solutions” FB Page and the “Libertarian Party of Florida” FB Page. Yesterday I un-joined the LPF Executive Committee FB Page.

    I did not expect blind support, but I cannot accept blind opposition. My contributions to the party as an EC member and statewide candidate have been graciously recognized, but my ambitions are stronger, more unfettering, and continuing.

    I left the Republican Party when Ron Paul concluded his obligation to that Party and I hoped to plant my libertarian principles in the LPF. (This is kind of a heavy statement because I took a lot of krap during my tenure on Republican Executive Committees trying to convince other Republicans to be the party of Ron Paul). However, what I found in the LPF was the same go-along-to-get-along mentality that pervades the two major parties. That is why I am leaving the LPF and continuing my political ambitions under what our Florida Division of Elections refers to on its Voter Registration Form as the check the box for “None.”

    I invite anyone who really wants to drive libertarian principles forward and not be held back by partisan agendas to join me on the “No Party Affiliation” side of the political movement.

  13. Jill Pyeatt

    My offer to interview Mr. Invictus is still open, and I’m sure many other IPR writers would also be interested. Joe Wendt, do you think he’d respond to a personal email from me? I haven’t heard from him.

  14. Andy Craig

    “Notice he did not name anyone, and put the good of the LPF ahead of all else. Exactly the right tone and substance.”

    In fairness, he did confirm in the comments that he was referring specifically to A.S.I. But still, I agree it was entirely appropriate and justified and, if anything, restrained. If I was the state chair of a party with A.S.I running, I’d be telling every reporter and media outlet who’d listen that he’s not ours and we completely disavow and denounce him and request that he stop associating himself with the LP.

    ” the same could be said of Ron Paul and why he allowed those comments to be printed.”

    Sure, if Ron Paul had published the newsletters on his campaign website during the 2008 campaign. I’m not somebody who defends the newsletters at all (I think Ron has nobody to blame but himself for them and the damage they did)- but the situation isn’t even remotely in the same ballpark.

    I know you’re just going to keep repeating this B.S. claim, but for those who haven’t seen it, the comment I linked to above from Chuck Moulton (also in response to Joe Wendt) lays bare in devastating fashion, the lie that A.S.I.’s advocacy of racism and eugenics and saying bizarre things was just some “Oh I was in college and wrote a single paper!” or “They’re just attacking my religion!” like he tries to claim.

    It’s stuff he has said and published *on his website as part of his current campaign*.

  15. Andy

    Augustus should stick to practicing socery and dancing naked in the wilderness and forget about running for political office.

  16. paulie

    In all fairness, he can also stick to taking LSD, taking his girlfriend to strip clubs and hanging out with nazi bonehead skins.

  17. paulie

    If the only things about Invictus as a candidate that was unusual was that he likes to dance naked in the woods I would have no problem supporting him as a candidate. Unfortunately he has much more serious problems with his candidacy.

  18. Andy

    Which of these is the truth about Augustus Invictus?

    A) He’s mentally ill.

    B) He’s abusing hard drugs.

    C) He is a plant who is intentionally trying to sabotage the Libertarian Party.

  19. Andy

    Augustus Sol Invictus: Ezra Pound, “Salutation the Third”

    Published on Nov 30, 2013

    “It is my distinct pleasure to have stumbled upon this poem of my fellow American Fascist at the age of 30; and my distincter pleasure to upload this recording on the 66th anniversary of the death of Aleister Crowley.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNuw1ITVjzc

  20. Andy Craig

    It’s certainly possible that he’s being put up to it, by whatever enemy of the LP you want to posit, but I think more likely he’s just sincerely crazy. The point about abusing hard drugs also strikes me as probable.

  21. Andy

    “Andy Craig

    September 8, 2015 at 12:06 am

    It’s certainly possible that he’s being put up to it, by whatever enemy of the LP you want to posit, but I think more likely he’s just sincerely crazy. The point about abusing hard drugs also strikes me as probable.”

    Maybe it is a combination of all three possibilities, or perhaps a combination of two of them.

  22. Andy Craig

    There is something in his (rapid) transition from explicit Fascist to “Libertarian” that I’ve seen elsewhere in more traditional populist-conservatives, and also some from the far-left, which is a train of thought that goes like “I have a lot of complaints about the government and the establishment. Libertarians are the ‘anti-government’ and/or ‘anti-establishment’ party. Ergo I’m a Libertarian [or can pass myself off as one]”

    The sad spectacle of a “Libertarian” candidate listing the lack of support for eugenics and insufficient suppression of the Jews as among the “failings” of the government, is an extreme but demonstrative example of the phenomenon.

  23. Darcy G Richardson

    I’m not suggesting that a bizarre character like Augustus Invictus is necessarily an agent provocateur, but when one considers that his most likely opponent for the Libertarian nomination is none other than Roger Stone — a longtime GOP operative and dirty trickster extraordinaire who’s strangely still plumping for Donald Trump almost a month after the two supposedly parted ways — it makes one wonder.

    Given Adrian Wyllie’s solid 223,000-vote performance in last year’s gubernatorial race, an admirable showing in which Adrian polled nearly four times the difference between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, it’s kind of strange that these two — shall we say, colorful — characters would suddenly be interested in running for the U.S. Senate on the Libertarian ticket.

    As others have suggested, if he was really serious, Stone could easily run in the Republican primary — a party in which he’s devoted almost his entire life and whose current frontrunners for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination lack statewide name recognition. Think about it.

    The LPF should tread carefully.

  24. Andy

    “Darcy G Richardson

    September 8, 2015 at 4:47 am

    I’m not suggesting that a bizarre character like Augustus Invictus is necessarily an agent provocateur, but when one considers that his most likely opponent for the Libertarian nomination is none other than Roger Stone — a longtime GOP operative and dirty trickster extraordinaire who’s strangely still plumping for Donald Trump almost a month after the two supposedly parted ways — it makes one wonder.

    Given Adrian Wyllie’s solid 223,000-vote performance in last year’s gubernatorial race, an admirable showing in which Adrian polled nearly four times the difference between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, it’s kind of strange that these two — shall we say, colorful — characters would suddenly be interested in running for the U.S. Senate on the Libertarian ticket.”

    The Democrat and Republican establishment are afraid of Libertarians. They don’t want our ideas to ever become too popular, because if they do, it will be “game over” for them, and their whole empire will come crashing down.

    So “they” work to suppress us, make no mistake about it.

    Keep in mind that there is a Top Two Primary ballot initiative filed in Florida right now, and also keep in mind that the group behind it was paying for petition signatures earlier this year. I’m not sure if they are paying for signatures right now, but they might be.

    The Libertarian Party has been on the rise in Florida, but if Top Two Primary passes, it will be a major set back for the Libertarian Party of Florida, and it will hurt the party nationally as well, especially since Florida is a high population state (I heard that it recently surpassed New York in population, and is now the 3rd most populated state). Top Two Primary would lead to far fewer Libertarian candidates on the ballot in Florida. Far fewer candidates on the ballot in Florida means that less people in Florida will bother becoming involved in the Libertarian Party in that state. Less Libertarians in Florida will means less people from Florida will bother donating money to the Libertarian National Committee, and to the Libertarian candidate for President.

    Would “they” recruit somebody who is a nut, or who is pretending to be a nut, to run for the Libertarian Party nomination for US Senate, in order to make the party look bad? Why would this Roger Stone guy all of a sudden be interested in running for the Libertarian Party nomination for US Senate, when he was just recently working for Donald Trump, and when he tried to sabotage the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of New York 5 years ago?

    This whole thing seems fishy, and bizarre.

  25. Joe Wendt

    Disclaimer, this is my Personal Opinion, not to be viewed as fact.

    I believe the LPF leadership doesn’t want a US Senate candidate at all, and plans to use their PAC to back (to the detriment of the actual party) a major party candidate in an effort to make themselves appear to be politically relevant. Let’s face it, if the LPF leadership wanted a “more appropriate” Libertarian candidate, they would’ve done so by now. All they would have to do is recruit someone who doesn’t necessarily have the resources to run for themselves , raise the money to get that candidate on the ballot (through their PAC), and promote that candidate. The most probable reason why they haven’t done so is because there’s nothing in it for them. How can they benefit from recruiting a “more appropriate;” they can’t gain financially and it wouldn’t increase their “prestige” as politicos, plus they’d actually have to do the heavy lifting to get the guy on the ballot. They would prefer the idea of “affecting the election” by endorsing a major party candidate and claim they “helped” him win, just to massage their egos without actually doing anything beyond mass emails and social media posts.

    That could explain why the LPF leadership seem to embrace Stone (who’s clearly not going to run), and hate Augustus (who is running, and at least trying to reach out to the membership)

  26. Joe Wendt

    I do hope Augustus ends up on the ballot as a Libertarian. He understands the ideology, although he’s still on the journey of fully embracing the ideology. He’s actually traveling across the State, like an actual candidate, and gives very energetic speeches. Does he have faults, yeah; however his openness to discuss those issues makes them irrelevant and fairly minor. He has the ingredients to be an excellent candidate, and (after meeting him and having lunch with him several times) he’s actually a very good & cool guy. I would vote for him regardless of office or party affiliation, and I hope he does very well on election day.

  27. Jill Pyeatt

    I heard from Mr. Invictus this morning that he WILL allow me to interview him. I will be putting an article up shortly asking for questions, which I’ll probably keep open a few days. I’ll ask him 6 to 10 questions to be answered in a subsequent article.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    Invictus’s sole strong point, so far as I’m concerned, remains the fact that he’s not Roger Stone.

    That’s not enough.

    I cannot see myself donating to, promoting, organizing or attending an event for, campaigning with (if I run for office myself) or even casting a vote for, either Invictus or Stone.

    Florida Libertarians need Mike Kane for US Senate.

  29. Joe Wendt

    @ Knapp,

    Why don’t you run against Augustus? It would be an interesting debate between you two.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joe,

    I’m not really interested in running for US Senate, for several reasons.

    If the Florida LP runs a US Senate candidate, they will want that to be their “marquee” race for 2016. The party will want (and deserves) a candidate who raises significant money, engages in lots of statewide travel and appearances, etc. My choice at this time for such a candidate is Mark Kane.

    I plan to run a low-budget campaign as a write-in candidate, traveling my district on my bicycle (hopefully pulling a trailer with very visible signage) and interfacing directly with voters as much as possible. While Sidney Johnston Catts and Lawton Chiles managed to win statewide elections in Florida doing “retail politics,” when you add in the write-in factor and the fact that the LP is not as strong as the Democrats were in the Chiles era for purposes of candidate support, I think a US House campaign makes more sense for that strategy.

    My hope is to bring some new support to the LP and a libertarian political platform in an area where it hasn’t done terribly well recently, rather than asking the party for organizational support for a typical and expensive “showing of the flag.”

  31. Alexander Snitker

    “I believe the LPF leadership doesn’t want a US Senate candidate at all, and plans to use their PAC to back (to the detriment of the actual party) a major party candidate in an effort to make themselves appear to be politically relevant.”

    The Florida Libertarian PAC is a political action committee that is specifically set up to help local and state Libertarian candidates running for office. The way this PAC is set up is forbidden by law to get involved in federal races. Any PAC that would be involved in federal races would have also had to file with the federal election commission. The Florida Libertarian PAC has not and does not intend to at any time.

    The PAC is also completely seperate from the Libertarian Party of Florida and was set up to be able to help candidates. It is 100% a venture of mine. I hold no position on the LPF EC and do not coordinate any of the PAC’s activities with the party. We are completely autonomous from each other.

    As of now the EC of the LPF is not allowed to get involved in local races with out the approval of the county affiliate in that area. Any suggestion that the LPF should donate to campaigns or pay for mailers is met with resistance and has been for years. While it is good for the party to stay out of these races, I found it to the detriment of candidates. When my term was over with the LPF EC I decided to personally start an organization the could help them without the confines of the party bureaucracy.

    The Florida Libertarian PAC will never endorse or support Republican or Democrat candidates. We are only supporting Libertarian candidates. If Wendt had looked at our paperwork we filed with the state of Florida it was very clearly stated on there.

    Wendt can give you all the lies he wants but the simple understanding of the kind of PAC that was formed would show him that it was not even possible.

    “Let’s face it, if the LPF leadership wanted a “more appropriate” Libertarian candidate, they would’ve done so by now. All they would have to do is recruit someone who doesn’t necessarily have the resources to run for themselves , raise the money to get that candidate on the ballot (through their PAC), and promote that candidate. ”

    Again, the PAC can do nothing for a federal seat and it has no control over what the party does. I am not a member of the EC because I did not want there to be any conflict of interest between the PAC and the Party. No one in leadership within the LPF is in any way associated with the PAC.

  32. paulie

    Why don’t you run against Augustus? It would be an interesting debate between you two.

    Invictus could have an interesting debate with himself…

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Why as a write-in?”

    A number of reasons.

    In order to get on the ballot, I’d have to pay a filing fee of $7-10k, or collect signatures. The best place to collect signatures, because it’s where population is concentrated, would be Gainesville, but there are three problems with that:

    1) Gainesville is a college town with lots of people who aren’t from, or registered to vote, in the area;

    2) Gainesville is split between two congressional districts — it’s the tail end of two gerrymanders; and

    3) The Florida legislature still hasn’t finished redistricting from the 2010 census (there have been several court fights) and there’s no telling where the boundaries will be when they do.

    So getting signatures and counting on those signatures to be valid would be a difficult and expensive proposition. I’d expect it to be at least as expensive as buying the ballot access.

    There are cases in which getting on the ballot is itself a worthwhile campaign activity. I don’t think this is one of those cases. I don’t know that I’ll be raising and spending $7-10k in any case, but what money I do raise and spend I intend to raise and spend on activities that actually put my message in front of people and hopefully persuade them that my name is worth remembering and writing down.

  34. George Phillies

    ” Any PAC that would be involved in federal races would have also had to file with the federal election commission. ” The clean way to do this is to have separate state and Federal PACs. You might look carefully at whether you can have a merged state and Federal PAC; in my state, you cannot, because the donation limits are different. And if we hit the point where we must use Levin funds (the law may have changed, so that this is not mandatory any more) we would need a third entirely separate Levin Fund account.

  35. Joe Wendt

    The very fact that that baboon chose to attack me for voicing an opinion (which was disclaimed as such) and not provide any proof to the contrary does give my theory validity.

  36. Andy

    Tom, if you are going to run for office, why don’t you run for a lower level office where you have a better chance of actually getting on the ballot?

    Write in votes are not taken seriously by most people, including most people who’d be open to voting for a minor party or independent candidate.

    I’d bet that you’d be able to reach more people by getting on the ballot for State Senate or State House or Sheriff or County Commission or City/Town Council or some other lower office than you would by being a write in candidate for US House.

    US House would be OK if you could get on the ballot for it, but since it appears to be that you will not be able to get on the ballot for it, you’d probably be more effective if you ran for something where you actually could get on the ballot.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Tom, if you are going to run for office, why don’t you run for a lower level office where you have a better chance of actually getting on the ballot?”

    From among many reasons, here are two:

    * I’m less qualified for and less interested in lower (and more local) office than for Congress. I’ve got decades of involvement in federal politics under my belt. I’ve only lived where I live for 2 1/2 years.

    * I’m not interested in getting on the ballot. There are some respects in which doing so would be a mere distraction, and other respects in which doing so would be actively contrary to my goals.

    “Write in votes are not taken seriously by most people, including most people who’d be open to voting for a minor party or independent candidate.”

    I’m interested in interacting with the people who give enough of a damn to remember someone’s name and write it down.

    By every angle I’ve looked at things from, there SHOULD be a very active LP in my area. There isn’t.

    That’s certainly not the fault of the state party (which encouraged my desire to start an affiliate), nor is it the fault of recent statewide campaigns (Adrian Wyllie made at least two swings through Gainesville in 2014, and Alex Snitker drove the state like a madman, delivering signs and such for activities).

    But here are the facts:

    At the beginning, a grand total of three identifiable individuals were interested in doing the work to get an affiliate started. I was one of the three. The second was a wonderful and very active lady who represented the LP well at local events. But she hated living in Florida, and was able to move away near the end of the year. The third was a guy who was interim county chair, then got a job out in the boondocks that just didn’t leave him time to do anything.

    I got a meeting room in a nice central location and sent multiple emails to the list of people in the area I got from LPF for an organizational meeting. When it came time for the meeting, I sat alone in the room for an hour waiting for ANYONE to show up. No one did.

    The LPF has not run a congressional candidate in this district since it came into existence; nor, looking at a couple of elections before that, does it seem to have run one in the district in which Gainesville was previously included.

    This part of the state is a black hole for the LP. I propose to change that and THEN maybe it will be worth investing several thousand dollars in for ballot access.

    The first part of changing it is identifying and engaging with people who are very interested in politics and willing to be active players, not passive voters. And in my view an active write-in campaign is the best way to approach that.

    To me, “being effective” is not the difference between getting 500 votes as a write-in or 5,000 votes as a balloted candidate. It’s the difference between turning 100, or even 10, of those 500 write-in voters into LP activists or never hearing again from those 5,000 box-checkers. Ten good activists in this area could up the box-checkers from 5,000 to 25,000 in future elections.

    However, if a candidate does step forward who’s willing to go the traditional route to put an LPF presence on the ballot, I’ll gladly withdraw and support that candidate.

  38. Alexander Snitker

    @George

    “The clean way to do this is to have separate state and Federal PACs. You might look carefully at whether you can have a merged state and Federal PAC; in my state, you cannot, because the donation limits are different. And if we hit the point where we must use Levin funds (the law may have changed, so that this is not mandatory any more) we would need a third entirely separate Levin Fund account.”

    I do not even want to have a federal PAC because we have far too much to do to get local and state Libertarians elected. Someone else can do that part if they want.

  39. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “I’m interested in interacting with the people who give enough of a damn to remember someone’s name and write it down.”

    I agree that Libertarians should do more interacting with the public, which is one of the reasons that I am such a big advocate of actual Libertarians working on Libertarian Party ballot access drives instead of sending non-libertarian mercenaries out to interact with the public.

    “By every angle I’ve looked at things from, there SHOULD be a very active LP in my area. There isn’t.

    That’s certainly not the fault of the state party (which encouraged my desire to start an affiliate), nor is it the fault of recent statewide campaigns (Adrian Wyllie made at least two swings through Gainesville in 2014, and Alex Snitker drove the state like a madman, delivering signs and such for activities).”

    I’ve been to Gainseville. I even staid there for during a couple of ballot access drives (neither were for the LP). I was there for around 3 weeks or so.

    Gainseville seemed like a “happening” place. It is home to the University of Florida, which is a big school that has over 49,000 students. I would imagine that there is probably at least one libertarian club at the University of Florida (Young Americans for Liberty and/or Students for Liberty most likely). If I were trying to start an LP county affiliate there, I’d network with any libertarian groups at the university.

    If you can get an LP county affiliate going there this would be a good thing, so I wish you well.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    UF is one of the reasons it seemed obvious to me that there should be a very active Alachua County LP affiliate. They have a VERY active Students For Liberty chapter, and I have attended that group’s events and talked with student leaders at UF.

    For some reason, they’re not especially interested in doing LP-specific stuff. They had the LPF’s 2014 gubernatorial candidate, Adrian Wyllie, as a speaker at one of their events, but specified that he not “campaign” there (this probably had something to do with their status as a student group and/or non-partisan group).

    I happen to agree with you that ballot access petitioning CAN be great outreach. In fact, I think one reason I was able to poll 20% in 1997 in a three-way race for city council in a city of 100,000, carrying 24 of 77 precincts, was that I spent a lot of time on the pavement collecting more than twice the number of signatures I needed to get on the ballot.

    If LPF runs a credible statewide candidate in 2016 (I’m still hoping they will, but neither Invictus or Stone is that candidate, and Kane has declined to run — I talked with him on the phone last night and he’s running for state representative instead), I’ll almost certainly volunteer to collect signatures in my area. Ditto if there are any statewide marijuana or medical marijuana initiatives.

    But in THIS district, signature collection for a congressional campaign would be a validity nightmare. Like I said, the largest population center is a college town that’s cut in half by congressional district lines. Many of the college kids are registered to vote “back home,” and many of the voters who are registered locally won’t be from my district.

    If being on the ballot was the difference between 3% of the vote and 34% of the vote, I’d make it a priority. But it’s not. It’s almost certainly, based on the numbers I’ve looked at, the difference between 1% of the vote and 3% of the vote AT BEST. If I run a good campaign, it might not even be that. And that 2% difference isn’t what’s driving me.

  41. Andy

    Thomas Knapp said: “I happen to agree with you that ballot access petitioning CAN be great outreach. In fact, I think one reason I was able to poll 20% in 1997 in a three-way race for city council in a city of 100,000, carrying 24 of 77 precincts, was that I spent a lot of time on the pavement collecting more than twice the number of signatures I needed to get on the ballot.”

    BINGO!

    Given this fact, why is it that the LNC just hired a crew of non-libertarian mercenaries in South Dakota that is working on a Top Two Primary petition, which will PREVENT Libertarians from getting on the general election ballot in South Dakota in future elections, at the same time this crew of non-libertarian mercenaries is going to get paid from the LNC?

    Actual Libertarians, both volunteer and paid, should be handling their own ballot access, or at least the majority of it. Ballot access drives should be used as opportunities to grow the party, not to just go out and mindlessly gather signatures. Mindless signature gathering by non-libertarian mercenaries, some of whom misrepresent the party to the public, does little or nothing to grow the party.

    “But in THIS district, signature collection for a congressional campaign would be a validity nightmare. Like I said, the largest population center is a college town that’s cut in half by congressional district lines. Many of the college kids are registered to vote “back home,” and many of the voters who are registered locally won’t be from my district.”

    I know that a candidate for a qualified party in Florida can get on the ballot either by gathering petition signatures, or paying a filing fee. If you extrapolate the filing fee over the number of signatures required, I think it comes out to like $1 per valid signature. The difficulty of gathering that many signatures, or of paying people to get them (and $1 per signature is not a good pay rate anymore, especially for something less lower than a state wide office, and even more so for a district office, which is more difficult since most people do not know which district they are in), most candidates in Florida who run under the banner of a qualified political party just pay the filing fee to get on the ballot.

    Several years ago, there was a Libertarian candidate in Florida who collected their own signatures to get on the ballot for US House, but this person had experience working as a paid petition circulator, and they gathered the signatures instead of paying the filing fee so they could do lots of outreach to the public, and to prove a point.

    I can certainly see why most candidates of ballot qualified parties chose to pay the filing fee instead of getting the petition signatures though.

  42. Joe Wendt

    @ Paulie,

    There were no alleged facts to dispute, clearly stated it was a personal opinion not based off of facts. Moreover, since (in the baboon’s view and words) I am a wackjob, why even dignify such an opinion and accuse the originator of lying. That creates the appearance of validating said opinion and suspicion.

  43. paulie

    The alleged fact was that they could – and you speculated would – use a PAC to influence the US Senate election. The correction was that said PAC can not be used to influence federal races one way or the other no matter what.

    It doesn’t matter who is a “baboon” or who is a “wackjob” here or who thinks who is what. The correction was useful for those of us following the exchange. The name calling isn’t, but then those of us who have been here for a long time have learned to tolerate and/or be amused by it.

  44. Mike Shipley

    re: Abusing hard drugs / I would caution everyone against demonizing users by reflecting the character of this distasteful individual upon them out of conjecture. I am a recovered addict, and though I don’t claim to read minds, I do have a certain expertise in recognizing it when I see it. This person does not appear to be experiencing a chemical dependency, as the volume of his work attests that he spends very little time chasing dope. I wouldn’t doubt recreational use, but I very much doubt addiction. And I feel called to stand up for those who are too distracted in their own illness to speak for themselves. Addicts are a misunderstood and easily demonized minority, and every time a stereotype is perpetuated we are one step farther away from ending the drug war.

    Other than that, I don’t particularly enjoy having him speak publicly in the name of our party, but I can appreciate that it has galvanized a backlash against the influence of David Duke associations and I see that as an incredibly positive development. These personalities are less welcome in the party and more openly repudiated today than they have been in the past, and the distance created is a really important step in putting that legacy behind us. Like it or not, this is a public relations problem that has existed for decades. If he is a plant, it is because this stereotype already exists in the minds of the public for a psy-ops to build on. We can and should address the reality behind the stereotype, regardless of its source.

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