Sean Haugh: “I Intend to Run for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian in North Carolina in 2016”

Sean Haugh

From 2014 Libertarian Senate candidate Sean Haugh’s Tumblr page:

*sigh* I guess it’s that time again. Here’s my first take at a campaign bio. I’m sure my next campaign manager will make me change it, just like my last one did.

I am incredibly lazy person, utterly lacking any ambition. Seriously, I would like nothing more than to hang out with friends and family, seek beauty, listen to music, consume fine food and drink, maybe read a few books, and plot fantasy football domination. A life of constant, simple pleasures. I haven’t started campaigning yet because while it’s fun once it gets going, I still really don’t want to do this. I’d rather have all that time to stop and smell the flowers.

Some people find me confusing, but really I am very simple to understand. I am a super nice guy. I like pretty much everybody, and while I don’t wish to sound arrogant, with very few exceptions if you dislike me, there must be something wrong with you.

It’s just that I have had more than a lifetime’s worth of everyone’s nonsense. People believe all kinds of crazy stuff and I ain’t having none of it. I have died inside too many times because I have remained silent in the face of lies, or worse. No more.

I might could leave it be when people’s nonsense only affects their own lives. You are welcome to believe any harmless foolishness you want, and are even on pretty solid ground if you want to tell me some of what I believe is also foolishness.

But, people, we’ve got some lies and nonsense going on these days that’s piling up dead bodies and threatening to tear the world apart. War and legal plunder are increasing to obviously unsustainable levels. War is no longer something that happens “over there.” People are dying in our own streets because of our various wars. Everyone is affected. No one is safe.

I cannot just sit back and go about life doing nothing about this ever increasing mayhem with a clear conscience. I must speak out. That’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate.

*

Was that an official announcement? I’m in the same place I’ve been for months. I intend to run for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian in North Carolina in 2016. But I haven’t raised money, or hired a campaign manager and a treasurer, or even updated my tumbleweed of a website. It’s officially official when I start doing some or all of these things.

36 thoughts on “Sean Haugh: “I Intend to Run for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian in North Carolina in 2016”

  1. Andy

    Sean Haugh, Libertarian for Obamacare?

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/sean-haugh-libertarian-obamacare_817745.html?page=2

    “On fiscal policy, Haugh says that we need to stop spending money we don’t have and theoretically wants to transition out of entitlement programs in the distant future. But he supports Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and is critical of education ‘cuts’ carried out by the North Carolina legislature.

    ‘The teachers didn’t get a raise for five years,’ Haugh said. ‘I don’t think this is something that either side can be proud of. I think Hagan is vulnerable because when she was serving in the general assembly, in order to balance the budget she cut a lot of areas of education.'”

  2. Mark Axinn

    I agree with Chuck.

    Sean did very well in the debates last time. I especially liked his answer to what government program he would stop first: War.

  3. Andy

    How about his answers about expanding Medicaid and giving pay raises to public school teachers? Those are real libertarian positions….not.

  4. Andy Craig

    For those who want to hear the actual nuances of his position on Medicaid, and not the “Libertarian for Obamacare!!!” distortion that the GOP smear machine whipped up when they went into anti-spoiler attack mode.

  5. Chuck Moulton

    Mark Axinn wrote:

    Next time, he should lose the beer in his messaging and photos.

    Jed Ziggler wrote:

    Why? It worked.

    Yeah, I agree.

    I don’t drink alcohol myself, but most people do. Sean played up that he was a folksy regular guy by having beer in his messaging and emphasizing that he was a part time politician, full time pizza delivery guy.

  6. One Way Ticket to Bob

    and while I don’t wish to sound arrogant, with very few exceptions if you dislike me, there must be something wrong with you.

    Epic fail. Haugh is a complete nutjob, and a total asshole (google his record as “political director” for the LP on this site, in the year 2008). As even the Huffington Post reported, (and Andy notes above) Haugh’s grasp of libertarianism is flimsy. How should I say this? …Of all the libertarians I’ve met, he’s the least right with Bob.

    Of course, Haugh does provide one useful service: he’s an object lesson in the fact that the LP has no business running anyone but an inoffensive party platform reader for offices like Senate, as paper candidates. In such a case, that person should make no personal comments about themselves, and put maybe one or two clean-shaven pix of themselves online (whether they’re a man, woman, or “decline to state,” they should lose the moustache), and then, simply put out a platform statement that mirrors the platform as closely as possible. (This wouldn’t be my counsel for a “libertarian party/group” full of people who had common sense regarding strategy, but it’s my counsel for the current collection of asocial “libertarian” autistic computer programmers calling itself the LP.)

    In any case, the LP has no business of any kind running serious candidates for offices higher than State Legislature and Sheriff. Those, my fine rocking-back-and-forth friends, are the offices which it is possible for you to win.

    Running jerks like Haugh for the highest office up for election in a Statewide race sends a strong message to the general public: Libertarians are idiots! Libertarians don’t know what the public will vote for. Libertarians are not serious about using elections to restore liberty. Libertarians are enemies of freedom. (You get the gist: there are a lot of bad signals sent by running someone like Haugh for office.)

    Great news! Good luck, Sean!

    Yep, it’s starting to look like Chuck Moulton is a purposeful force against the LP ever achieving success of any kind. That’s the conclusion that I must draw, because I don’t think he’s an idiot.

  7. Andy

    “Andy Craig

    October 7, 2015 at 11:57 am

    For those who want to hear the actual nuances of his position on Medicaid, and not the “Libertarian for Obamacare!!!” distortion that the GOP smear machine whipped up when they went into anti-spoiler attack mode.”

    The article I posted was from Reason Magazine. Is Reason Magazine part of the GOP smear machine?

  8. Mark Axinn

    >but most people do. Sean played up that he was a folksy regular guy by having beer in his messaging and emphasizing that he was a part time politician, full time pizza delivery guy.

    I like the folksy guy angle, but he’s running in a state with lots of evangelicals who will find the prominent alcohol off-putting. No reason to alienate a portion of your voters. Sean can enjoy a beer with people who don’t mind, but there’s nothing gained by having it front and center in his marketing. People like me who do drink won’t think less of a candidate who does not have booze in his advertising, but people who do object to it will automatically turn against him just because it’s there.

    I have debated Libertarian politics with evangelicals and they are with us on so many points that I would hate to lose any of them on something superficial.

    Remember, when we are trying to win hearts and minds (and votes), we don’t just go after people who score 100/100 on the Nolan chart.

  9. Andy Craig

    “Is Reason Magazine part of the GOP smear machine?”

    It’s been known to happen on occasion, but in this case they were just picking up and repeating a story that originated elsewhere, with the Weekly Standard et al. Five days before the election, of course.

  10. Andy

    One Way Ticket to Bob

    October 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm “Running jerks like Haugh for the highest office up for election in a Statewide race sends a strong message to the general public: Libertarians are idiots!”

    Yes. It seems like it has been flushed down the memory hole that Sean Haugh as Political Director for the LNC directly caused the Libertarian Party to fail to make the ballot in several states in 2008, and also caused several district office candidates to fail to qualify for the ballot in Pennsylvania in 2008.

    The Libertarian Party had its worst ballot access in 2008 since either 1984 or 1988, depending on the criteria you want to use, when Sean Haugh was the Political Director for the LNC (a job he was canned from after the 2008 election was over), and he played a big role in causing these failures.

    Another thing that seems to have been flushed down the memory hole is Haugh’s time as Candidate Tracker for the LNC, which was basically an unnecessary job that was created to funnel money into his pocket. Haugh got paid $1,200 per month to “track” Libertarian Party candidates, yet the candidates had to contact him with their information to be included on Candidate Tracker, and there were very few candidates on it (since most people saw little value in what he was doing). I remember one blog writer blew the whistle on it by pointing out that there were on 6 candidates on Candidate Tracker, so Haugh was getting paid $200 per candidate by the LNC, and all he was doing was plugging in information that they emailed him. This was something that could have been done by a volunteer high school student. What a waste of money!

    If Candidate Tracker was such a valuable job, why was it discontinued after Sean Haugh moved up to Political Director? Was it really worth it for the LNC to pay him $1,200 per month for this for a period of 2 years?

    Oh, and who can forget his stint at Free And Equal, which ended after him causing multiple problems and getting fired from that as well.

    I am really astounded that there are Libertarians out there who think that a guy who is personally responsible for SQUANDERING who knows how many thousands of dollars in LP donor money should be a candidate for the party.

    So a guy who WASTED LP donor money, and caused LP candidates to not qualify for the ballot in multiple places, should be regarded as some kind of hero. If there are LP members out there who really believe this, then it is no wonder that the party is in such poor shape right now.

    He really did not do anything great in that Senate race in North Carolina either. There was a lot of disgust for the Democrat and the Republican in the race, and due to North Carolina’s very difficult ballot access laws, he was the only other candidate on the ballot. He was also aided by a Super PAC connected to the Koch brothers which ran TV ads on his behalf which emphasized left libertarian issues, and was meant to draw votes away from the Democrat so the Republican could get elected.

  11. JT

    It’s just like Sean said:

    “Some people find me confusing, but really I am very simple to understand. I am a super nice guy. I like pretty much everybody, and while I don’t wish to sound arrogant, with very few exceptions if you dislike me, there must be something wrong with you.”

    Andy Jacobs is a great example of this. There must be something very, very wrong with Andy.

  12. Andy

    “In any case, the LP has no business of any kind running serious candidates for offices higher than State Legislature and Sheriff. Those, my fine rocking-back-and-forth friends, are the offices which it is possible for you to win.”

    I am all for running serious LP candidates for State Legislature and Sheriff, but there is also great value in running non-paper candidates for US Senate and Governor and President. Why? Because these are the races to which the highest percentage of the public actually pay attention. This means that these are the offices in which Libertarian Party candidates can reach the most people. Reaching more people means building the party and the movement.

    Also, top of the ticket offices like President and Governor can win the LP ballot access in several states that have a vote test for ballot retention.

    So it is not a good strategy at all to not run for these offices, or to only run paper candidates for these offices.

    The Libertarian Party should most definitely target a few, or even just one, district to mount serious campaigns for State Legislature and/or Sheriff. This could actually be combined with a candidate for Governor or Senate or even President by having the higher level office candidate campaign in the district or county where the serious candidate for State Legislature or Sheriff is running.

  13. Andy

    How about ask him to return all of the thousands of dollars in LP donor money that he caused to be wasted?

  14. Andy

    “Mark Axinn

    October 7, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I think of them as more like Republican-lite.”

    And you consider calling for higher pay for government school teachers and expanding Medicaid to be hardcore libertarian positions?

  15. Mark Axinn

    Of course not.

    We work with what we got.

    Sean did a good job in 2014 getting out a far more libertarian message than the two statists he ran against.

    For that matter, the owner of this website ran a terrific campaign in 2010 even though he too does not have hardcore Libertarain positions.

    Maybe we should only run people who score 100/100 on the quiz. I could run as that is my score, but I don’t want to. Same with most anarchists. That will leave a lot less work for Paulie and you, never mind the mercenaries, as we won’t have nearly as many people trying to get on the ballot any more.

    Andy, when Johnson comes out with some sort of modified fair tax which you and I both oppose, will you turn down petitioning work for him? What if Jim Gray is his VP choice again?

  16. George Phillies

    If you hire people, you should pay them a reasonable salary. If you treat them like garbage, with n pay increases over a half-decade, you should not complain if you wish that they were more motivated.

  17. Mark Axinn

    >If you hire people, you should pay them a reasonable salary. If you treat them like garbage, with n pay increases over a half-decade, you should not complain if you wish that they were more motivated.

    Sorry George, I am not sure of the reference.

    Is this to Haugh and if so, was he the employer or the employee. I know he has some baggage (who doesn’t?) with F&E and perhaps also with National LP.

  18. Chuck Moulton

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    Great news! Good luck, Sean!

    Jake Witmer wrote:

    Yep, it’s starting to look like Chuck Moulton is a purposeful force against the LP ever achieving success of any kind. That’s the conclusion that I must draw, because I don’t think he’s an idiot.

    I think it’s great news because he ran a pretty good campaign before. He got a lot of media, was much better on issues than the Republican and Democrat, and was solidly libertarian on most issues.

    I wish him good luck because he’s a friend. I’ve been friends with Sean for many years. I used to read all his columns on LNC meetings and geeked out with him about internal party gossip at national conventions we saw each other in person. When I moved from Pennsylvania to Alabama in very late 2006 I hoped to meet with Libertarians along the way for lunch or dinner, but Sean was the only one who responded so we had lunch. Sean joined Facebook at my urging and has thanked me repeatedly for encouraging him to do so.

    Just because I’m friends with Sean and think he was a good candidate / will be a good candidate doesn’t mean I agree with his actions on some other matters over the years. I don’t start blood feuds over disagreements like that though. I’d definitely have pause hiring him for a future position at the national office… that’s not the opportunity he’s seeking now though, so it’s somewhat moot.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Sean ran a good campaign last time, and I expect he’ll run a good campaign this time.

    I don’t agree with him on everything. I don’t agree with anything else on everything, either. But the issues he tried to concentrate on, he put a good solid libertarian spin on.

    Personally, I like the beer angle. I doubt that it really hurts him with evangelicals. The evangelicals I know who are at all amenable to libertarian positions aren’t going to blow a gasket over the candidate being a beer enthusiast.

  20. Andy

    Some of you people obviously have pretty low standards for what constitutes being a good candidate and running a good campaign.

    Some of you obviously also do not believe in holding people accountable for their actions, and you certainly don’t seem to give a damn if a party official causes your donor dollars to be squandered.

    Speaking for myself, I believe that people should be held accountable for their actions. Sean Haugh’s actions as a former party employee should make him unfit to be a candidate.

    I personally get angry if I donate money to something, only to find out later that my donation was squandered. Money that was spent to pay Sean Haugh $1,200 a month for 2 years for Candidate Tracker was WASTED money. Money that was donated to petition drives that Sean Haugh played a direct role in causing to fail (like Connecticut in 2008) was WASTED money.

    I had a conversation with Richard Schwartz of the LP of Philadelphia back in 2008 where he told me that he called Sean Haugh up and told him that the Bonner petition crew in Philadelphia was turning in (I quote) “garbage” validity (note that 66% of the population of Philadelphia is registered to vote, yet their validity rate was BELOW 50%). Richard said that (I quote), “Sean Haugh acted like he did not give a shit and he paid them in full anyway.” He said that Sean Haugh knew that this crew refused to work outside of Philly, even though they were asked to get signatures in some other parts of the state so they could help qualify candidates for district offices, and that Haugh did not give a shit about that either.

    If anyone here thinks that this is acceptable, and that a person who engaged in such actions should later be rewarded by being nominated as a candidate for the party, well, you and I do not have very much in common when it comes to how an organization should be run.

  21. Chuck Moulton

    I don’t see how being a candidate is a “reward”. Candidates work their asses off and are not paid. If he squanders donor dollars, then don’t donate to him. If you think someone can do better, then encourage that person to run against him in convention.

    There are times when NOTA is better than running a candidate. Augustus Invictus is an example of that. I think the LP is far better off with Sean Haugh running an active campaign for U.S. Senate than no one at all.

  22. Andy

    “George Phillies

    October 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    If you hire people, you should pay them a reasonable salary. If you treat them like garbage, with n pay increases over a half-decade, you should not complain if you wish that they were more motivated.”

    Government school teachers, and government employees in general, are already overpaid. The government school system, or more accurately, the government indoctrination system, is actually one of the most destructive things in our society. The government school system was designed to create a compliant population that believes in the authority myth.

    Now I do not mean to imply that everyone who works in the government school system is a horrible person (although some of them are), and I do not mean to imply that all government school teachers are bad (although a lot of them are), but I do mean that it is a bad system that does more harm than good, and that ought to be eliminated.

    So I can’t say that I agree with a Libertarian Party candidate advocating for pay raises for government employees. Paying them to quit their job and then shutting the agency which they work for down is something that I could get behind, but not giving them a pay raise and keeping things going as they are (which is not good).

  23. Mark Axinn

    >Money that was spent to pay Sean Haugh $1,200 a month for 2 years for Candidate Tracker was WASTED money. Money that was donated to petition drives that Sean Haugh played a direct role in causing to fail (like Connecticut in 2008) was WASTED money.

    Andy, those are excellent reasons not to employ Sean Haugh in LPHQ any more. Oops, he isn’t, so not an issue.

    >LP of Philadelphia back in 2008 where he told me that he called Sean Haugh up and told him that the Bonner petition crew in Philadelphia was turning in (I quote) “garbage” validity (note that 66% of the population of Philadelphia is registered to vote, yet their validity rate was BELOW 50%). Richard said that (I quote), “Sean Haugh acted like he did not give a shit and he paid them in full anyway.”

    Andy, your distasteful jihad against Darryl notwithstanding, those are excellent reasons not to employ Sean Haugh in charge of deciding who gets paid in an LP petition campaign. Oops again, he isn’t so also not an issue.

    We are talking about whether he should be the candidate of LPNC for Senator, nothing else. You have objected, although neither of us is a member of LPNC so we are not really qualified to decide, because of your disagreement with Sean on, e.g..Medicaid. That’s a legitimate gripe, but complaints about his wasteful activities in petiton campaigns elsewhere are less relevant to wherther he would make a good candidate for Senate.

    In fact he did last time and will once again, if only to keep articulating a more libertarian, perhaps not perfect but few are, voice than the statists put up.

  24. Mark Axinn

    >Government school teachers, and government employees in general, are already overpaid.

    That’s a pittance. Big firm lawyers are overpaid. (Starting salary of $160,000.) Investment bankers are overpaid. Movie stars are overpaid. Baseball players are overpaid.

    We all agree that there are many things the government should not be doing like running schools, but teacher salaries are a pittance compared to what real overpaid people earn.

  25. Wang Tang-Fu

    Only a market can determine if people are overpaid or underpaid. Trying to calculate that politically is a fool’s errand.

  26. Wang Tang-Fu

    Pretty sure anyone who objects to a guy having a beer is not going to vote for the LP anyway.

  27. George Phillies

    Sean is clearly better than NOTA. Florida Libertarians should find the money to run Invictus as a Republican, where he would have to suffer from being attacked as a moderate.

  28. Mark Axinn

    >Only a market can determine if people are overpaid or underpaid. Trying to calculate that politically is a fool’s errand.

    Good point. I often object to paying some guy with a sixth-grade education $10,000,000 to hit a ball over a fence, and my colleagues (Yankees fans, curently in mourning) all respond by asking me if I could do it. Because so few can and people will pay to watch it happen, the jock gets 10MM. Market-driven.

    I still think a ton of lawyers and investment bankers I know are grossly overpaid. Usually what happens is that they get fired after a few years and then bitch how they are now being underpaid for their true worth!

  29. Mark Axinn

    >Pretty sure anyone who objects to a guy having a beer is not going to vote for the LP anyway

    I disagree. Many of them may not, but we are as foolish to discount potential voters from conservative backgrounds as we would be to discount those from pinko, liberal ones like George or me. 🙂

    I have spent quite a bit of time with devout Christians and while we disagree on superficial things like alcohol-consumption and important issues like abortion rights, we agree on getting the government (especially the Feds.) out of our lives. They are not all of one mindset. I know devout anarchist Christians who want nothing to do with supporting the State in any manner whatsoever.

    Why insult any demographic from the start by making beer front and center in your messaging? What p.r. guru came up with that bright idea? Kinda looks like the candidate is doing his own marketing; not always the wisest course of action.

  30. Wang Tang-Fu

    I know fundamentalist Christians. Some even that are libertarians. I have a beer from time to time with some of them. I even know a few that are tee totalers. They are not offended by me having a beer right in front of them. I have known one or two people that would never be OK with me or anyone else having a beer. These people unlike the other people I am referring to would never in a million years vote for the LP either. They love the war on drugs and want to bring back alcohol prohibition and crack down on drugs even more, and they think the LP is a bunch of drugged out hippies and weirdos because we want drugs to be legal. If we lose any votes at all because we have a candidate who is not ashamed to enjoy beer we will more than make up for them from the beer afficianados who appreciate a candidate who comes off like a regular guy who likes beer.

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