Controversy over Biloxi debate: Petersen & McAfee accuse Johnson of refusing to ditch state LPs for Stossel episode

via Joe Enroughty at ODLRN:

Libertarian Presidential Candidate Austin Petersen has been making a lot of noise lately because Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson would not attend an event hosted by FOX Business Anchor John Stossel. The event, which was going to be a televised debate between three of the main contenders seeking the nomination for President within the Libertarian Party (Johnson, John McAfee, and Petersen), was going to be held during the International Students For Liberty conference in Washington D.C. February 26-28, 2016.

Gary Johnson had already made a commitment to attend the Mississippi/Alabama joint state convention on February 27th for their own debate. There was no way that he could attend both debates on the same day (Stossel was only offering his debate on the 27th and Petersen has not been invited to the ISFLC on any day other than the 27th). Being a man of his word, Gary refused to back out of his previous commitment. Instead, Gary will speak at the International Students For Liberty Conference on February 28th as their keynote speaker.

 

Read the rest at the Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network, including a response from Tom Mahon, Events Coordinator for the Gary Johnson campaign.

 

211 thoughts on “Controversy over Biloxi debate: Petersen & McAfee accuse Johnson of refusing to ditch state LPs for Stossel episode

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    I just had three copies of Austin’s email about this in my inbox (even though I don’t remember ever subscribing to his campaign email list, I get three copies of everything he sends out), so I was mildly interested in what he could possibly be babbling on about. Thanks for the explanation.

    My only objection would be to the headline:

    The word “controvery” tends to imply some measure of notability, something that people would be inclined to give a shit about.

    The words “Austin Petersen” … well, don’t.

  2. McAfee2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    February 12, 2016
    Lexington, TN- Statement from John McAfee on Proposed Fox Business News Libertarian Presidential Debate

    John McAfee, cybersecurity legend and 2016 Libertarian Presidential Candidate, today issued the following statement regarding a proposed nationally televised Libertarian party presidential debate:

    “This week, the Libertarian Party was offered an opportunity to gain a significant national presence by Fox Business News. John Stossel offered to moderate a debate between myself, Austin Petersen and Gary Johnson. The debate would have been taped live at the International Students For Liberty Conference in Washington, DC.

    This would have raised national awareness of Libertarian principles, and would have promoted the Libertarian Party platform to millions of Americans.

    Mr. Petersen and I both readily agreed to the debate, and both of our campaigns were excited about the potential to swell the Libertarian ranks through this great opportunity.

    Gary Johnson, however, stated that he had “prior obligations” and would not be able to attend. Fox Business News then indicated that a two person debate would not be viable.

    My campaign, as well as the campaign of Mr. Petersen, had the same prior obligation as Gary Johnson: the very worthwhile joint state conventions of the Alabama and Mississippi Libertarian Parties.

    We were both willing to work with all three candidates to make sure that we could not only take advantage of this great media opportunity, but also spend quality time with Libertarian Party delegates in convention.

    Unfortunately, Gary Johnson’s campaign had no such interest.

    I am sad and disappointed that a two-time candidate for President was unable to perceive the benefits available to the Libertarian Party.

    I salute Austin Peterson for his willingness to debate on a national stage, and I applaud the efforts of the Students For Liberty organization.

    I look forward to discussing the principles of the Libertarian Party onstage at the next debate opportunity.”

    John McAfee is a world-famous computer scientist, activist, hacktivist, and the developer of the first commercial anti-virus program. The cybersecurity legand and privacy advocate is running in the 2016 Presidential Election as a member of the Libertarian Party. More information can be found online at http://www.MCAFEE2016.COM.

    ####

    https://mcafee2016.com/2016/02/12/statement-from-john-mcafee-on-proposed-fox-business-news-libertarian-presidential-debate/

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    OK, so NOW it’s controversial.

    Smooth move, McAfee 2016. All you had to do was keep your traps shut and let Austin make himself look like an asshole, but noooooooooooooooooooo, you decided to cover your candidate in that muck too.

    Personally, I am kind of at the point of fuck all y’all.

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    Well, I’m disappointed in McAfee’s tone. This really shouldn’t have become such a brouhaha, but then I guess he isn’t the one who made it so.

  5. Dan Delaney

    Getting a Libertarian debate shown on Fox Business is way more beneficial to the Libertarian Party than going to a state convention. Shame on Gary Johnson.

  6. Andy Craig Post author

    So Gary Johnson, why did you decline to appear on Stossel for a debate with Austin Petersen, and John McAfee? Are you serious about the Libertarian Party gaining traction, or not?
    Like · Reply · 3 · 1 hr

    Gary Johnson: Because there was a prior committeemen to help the LP of MS and AL at their event that afternoon and evening….which conflicted. Need to honor the earlier commitment.
    Like · Reply · 8 · 1 hr ·

    Christopher Guthrie: Yes, but according to Petersen they offered to make it fit your schedule, and he says you declined. Is Austin Petersen lying?
    Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

    Gary Johnson: Christopher Guthrie No it would not have fit the schedule…there is a 2:00 PM speaking event with the MS/AL as well as the debate that night….would not have been able to attend all of those events. We would have had to break our commitment to go to the WDC event.
    Like · Reply · 11 · 1 hr ·

    https://www.facebook.com/govgaryjohnson/posts/10152913160414364

  7. Chuck Moulton

    Wow… I’ve never seen such a bullshit, biased, misleading headline from Andy Craig. This really is a new low in Johnson shilling for him.

    It’s a fact that Johnson canceled state and local events in 2012 to take advantage of national media. Johnson is transparently using a state convention as an excuse to duck a national media opportunity because he thinks it may boast Petersen and/or McAfee. It makes me sick.

    Every move Johnson has made in the past 6 months has lowered my opinion of him. We need a real candidate that will put the Party first and himself second.

  8. Art Olivier

    Why couldn’t Stossel work with the Mississippi and Alabama parties in holding the debate? Odds are that the parties would have allowed Stossel moderate the debate.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    Wow. You’ve put me in the position of defending Johnson here.

    Johnson committed to attending and speaking at a state LP convention. He’s being slagged for not weaseling out of that commitment.

    I suppose we could discuss his motives all day long, but I don’t see any need to.

    The message from the Petersen and McAfee campaigns on this is “fuck the Mississippi LP, they don’t matter.”

    The message from Johnson is “I said I’d be somewhere and I’m going to be there.”

    That’s the way it looks.

    As far as how it is, well, like Stalin asked once, “how many divisions does the Pope have?” How many delegates does Stossel get in Orlando? I don’t remember offhand, but I’m pretty sure the Mississippi LP gets more.

  10. Christopher S. Thrasher

    Mr. Knapp, et al.

    “The message from the Petersen and McAfee campaigns on this is “fuck the Mississippi LP, they don’t matter.”

    Though I cannot speak for Mr. Petersen’s campaign, I can assure you that we had no intention of breaking our commitment to the Libertarian Parties of Alabama and Mississippi. In fact, we tried to work overtime to make both events possible.

    The fact is, one campaign refused to engage, where the others were willing to do whatever was necessary to make sure the Libertarian Party took advantage of a tremendous media opportunity -WITHOUT reneging on prior commitments.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    Let’s be realistic: Stossel isn’t going to fly to the middle of nowhere. He offered to host a debate where he was going to be anyway, and with a live audience of 1,000 libertarians. Maybe Stossel will host a debate in NYC some other weekend with a live audience of 50… probably not.

    Johnson has pissed away a media opportunity for his own ego. Ot would have been far easier to move the MS/AL debate than to move the Stossel debate. So it would cost MS/AL a few thousand dollars? Raise the money to compensate them. The free media from a Fox Business Stossel debate and a debate in front of 1,000 enthusiastic young libertarians is difficult to quantify, but it’s at least an order of magnitude more valuable than $2,000.

    If Johnson whines about not being included in a D/R debate, he’s a fucking hypocrite. He just ducked a debate and squandered a huge opportunity for the LP.

    At this point Johnson’s chances of earning my vote as a delegate dropped to zero. It may go negative in the future. I’m glad at least McAfee and Petersen are running real campaigns and care about the LP.

  12. Andy Craig Post author

    @ Chuck Moulton

    If you don’t like my headlines, you’re more than welcome to sign up to contribute and write your own. The headline is 100% accurate: McAfee and Petersen are attacking Johnson for refusing to ditch a state LP event, that has been planned for months and cost two state parties several thousands of dollars to put on and which will have a substantial media presence in its own right.

    At no point has Johnson said he won’t go on Stossel, or won’t debate McAfee and Petersen on Stossel. The reason he can’t do this proposal, is because he’s already debating them that same day elsewhere! He just couldn’t do it that date (and neither could McAfee and Petersen w/o screwing MS & AL), and in all likelihood Stossel (if he and his producers aren’t too pissed at what Petersen and McAfee have made this into) will still do so on any of the many dates between now and Memorial Day that don’t already have a debate scheduled on the other side of the country. He could even do it the next day at ISFLC, when Gary is already slated to be there, but for whatever reason that didn’t work for FBN.

  13. Andy Craig Post author

    By the way, if it’s really such a huge opportunity both McAfee and Petersen could still go debate each other on Stossel instead of keeping their commitment to debate in Biloxi. That was their plan, up until MS-LP started screaming bloody murder and they suddenly changed their mind and tried to somehow blame the whole thing on Johnson for not buying a private jet and/or time machine.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    It would be one thing if there was a demonstrable PATTERN of Johnson trying to duck debates with other candidates. But I’ve seen no such pattern asserted, let alone demonstrated.

    This seems to be a 100% manufactured “controversy.”

    Petersen seems to be building his campaign on a “constant contact” strategy of pushing out an email to a list every day or two.

    Not a bad idea, but the emails have to be about something, and since there’s no real “there” there for Austin to sell himself with, he either makes shit up or makes shit bigger than it really is — I’M UNDER CYBER ATTACK! GARY JOHNSON IS SCARED OF ME! — to have something to talk about.

    That’s almost certainly not a winning strategy for Petersen or anyone else, but it could very well be a losing strategy for any campaign that lets Petersen sucker it into enabling him. Hopefully this is the last time the McAfee campaign falls for that kind of BS.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    Christopher,

    I posted my last comment before I saw yours.

    When I heard a rumor that you were going to be in the driver’s seat at McAfee 2016, I heaved a sigh of relief that someone who knows what the hell he’s doing is there to whip things into shape. Whether he gets the nomination or not, I’d like to see McAfee get the full benefit of competent campaign staff to help him make his case.

    Throwing in with Petersen’s tantrum was a mistake. I’m not going to argue with you about that, because 1) you’re smart enough to have already realized that it was a mistake and to have resolved not to make that mistake again, but 2) in a position where publicly saying “yeah, we fucked that one up pretty bad” isn’t something you get to do very often in a campaign and I wouldn’t want to try to force you waste one of those on some minor league bullshit like this. I’m happy to move on if you are.

  16. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    @ Chuck Moulton

    If you don’t like my headlines, you’re more than welcome to sign up to contribute and write your own

    Really?! Son, I’ve been signed up as an IPR writer since long before you heard of IPR. Respect your elders.

    I don’t post much because others already do a pretty good job. The model historically has been that people post unbiased headlines.

    Perhaps the landscape has changed. The new model is IPR writers post bullshit, biased, misleading headlines to shill for their pet candidates. Under the new model it’s a race to see who can post first, seizing the messaging for their bias before others do.

    If that is indeed the new model, then I guess I will be forced to start posting a lot more to prevent Andy Craig from spewing more Johnson bullshit while his mouth is surgically attached to Johnson’s ass in a permanent kissing position.

  17. Christopher S. Thrasher

    Mr. Knapp,

    I’ll just say that the view on the ground (and from above for that matter) provides a bit of a different perspective than what you all may be seeing. There are some very troubling facts out there regarding a certain campaign, and little by little these facts will come to light.

    This happening is more a symptom than a separate issue.

    At the end of the day, there was a win here for everyone. Unfortunately, we’re not going to see it.

    That being said, we move on indeed.

  18. Stewart Flood

    Combined MS/AL convention:

    60 people?

    Televised debate:

    a few million people (plus the hundreds in the audience)

    Johnson keeps good will with MS/AL by attending their convention, but loses that many or more delegates from other states for wasting a great opportunity to promote libertarian values to a very large audience.

    Petersen/McAfee tick off MS/AL with the “controversy”, and gain/lose delegates from other states depending on how they view the issue.

    Over all, I’d have to say that I’d rather be the state chair who willingly gave up a speaker to allow him to do a nationally televised debate. Nothing against MS/AL, but if we’re looking at the “big picture” then I would call Johnson and ASK him to go to Stossel’s event.

    Either way, Petersen’s spin on this does end up with him losing points. So Petersen loses, McAfee loses, and Johnson loses. Sounds like Petersen found the perfect lose-lose-lose combination!

    Have to rush…fire alarm just went off…

  19. Jill Pyeatt

    Andy Craig: Chuck Moulton IS signed up as a writer.

    This situation is very clear to me, and I’m stunned anyone can see this any other way. Petersen is a childish whiner who didn’t get his way, so he created drama. McAfee was unfortunate along to go along with it.

    Hopefully McAfee will get to know the other candidates better soon to know who is a better person to take sides with.

    This is going to be a long and obnoxious campaign season. It’s only 2:00 here in CA. Is that too early for a drink?

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    Christopher,

    “Mr. Knapp” is my dad. He didn’t hang out with you in Denver and think it was great that you stuck with the LP after the Gravel campaign. I did. So please, anything besides “Mr.”

    You seem to be alluding to the rumors that Johnson’s fundraising is so flat and that his campaign is raising so little interest and support that he’s already considering pulling the plug. I’ve heard those rumors too. My personal inclination is to want to believe them — remember, I didn’t think he’d declare in the first place — but I’ve learned my lesson on that and will believe it when I see it.

  21. Andy Craig Post author

    “a few million people (plus the hundreds in the audience)”

    I’m afraid that would be vastly overstating Stossel’s ratings on FBN. Tens of thousands, not millions. Not knocking him for that, but it is objectively a fairly small TV audience.

  22. Stewart Flood

    Just a test. But you still have to grab your sh*t and head for shore. I forgot that it is Friday. I’m not usually on the Yorktown this late in the day on a Friday, and they always test the alarm and make everyone leave the ship. Then they tell you it was a test.

  23. Andy Craig Post author

    “Really?! Son, I’ve been signed up as an IPR writer since long before you heard of IPR. Respect your elders.”

    Not when you aren’t respectable, and I find nothing about your petulant whining and childish insults to be something I’m under obligation to look up to. Nothing’s stopping you from posting whatever you want. Forgive me for not keeping a memorized list of every person who’s signed up but never posts.

    You’re quite obviously just pissed because the ridiculous anti-Johnson spin on this didn’t get repeated uncritically, that Johnson supporters dared call this out as the obvious horseshit that it is. But if you want to post “the other side”, go for it. Take McAfee’s, and Petersen’s, press releases and put whatever headline on it you want. You won’t hear me bitching about how you’re ruining IPR with evil bias.

    In short: feel free to pull your head out of your ass at your own convenience.

  24. Stewart Flood

    Ok…so tens of thousands vs 60.

    SIXTY.

    Give or take.

    But I can understand why you would want to have a debate there instead of letting tens of thousands of people and the audience of hundreds at the conference watch a live Libertarian debate.

    We’ll all understand if MS/LA chose to not call Johnson to ask him to attend Stossel instead. (seriously, stupid move, but we’ll understand)

    Please don’t misinterpret my comments as support for Petersen and/or McAfee. I am not supporting any candidate at this point.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    I visited the Yorktown when I was a kid. Then not long after that, there was a TV movie where terrorists set off a nuke in Charleston harbor and flash fried the TV crew that was filming the incident from the fantail.

    I’d like to make it up there again some time. When I was there they had the Yorktown, and a World War II submarine, and the world’s first nuclear merchant ship, the Savannah. Went through all of them.

  26. Stewart Flood

    “This is going to be a long and obnoxious campaign season. It’s only 2:00 here in CA. Is that too early for a drink?”

    Not on a Friday.

  27. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I spoke with the Johnson campaign about this, and am disgusted by Petersen’s abuse of this situation. See Andy Craig’s notes above.

    This is low class.

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Yes Andy Craig, thank you for posting that. This spin by Petersen makes me cringe. Well, cringe more than he already does. IMHO commitment to an affiliate you said yes to is more important. Period.

  29. Stewart Flood

    Tom,

    The Savannah is gone. It literally disappeared one night about a decade ago or so when they towed it away and turned it into a reef in Florida. The Clamagore,, which Admiral Colley served on when he first entered the Navy, is still here.

    Right now I’m upgrading the network to 10Gb throughout the ship. Imagine a WW-II carrier with a 10Gb network. 🙂

  30. Caryn Ann Harlos

    McAfee throwing in with the Petersen drama was a big mistake. Perhaps he is unaware of the large segment of dislike at his tactics and repudiation of the Party. Any candidate who wishes to compete would do well to stay far away from that or NOTA is a serious option.

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    I don’t blame the state LPs for wanting to hold the event they had planned and likely paid significant up-front venue costs and so forth for, sold convention packages on the basis, etc., and that the candidates had committed to, instead of canceling that event in favor of the candidates going off to do a TV show.

    That’s not to say that some compromise COULDN’T have been come up with, but I can’t blame Gary for deciding to keep his commitment instead of break it, whether his underlying motives were pure or not. Which should be an indicator, since I can usually find a way to blame Gary for pretty much anything.

    And while a national TV show would be nice, the math remains the same. Doesn’t matter how famous you are or how much money you have or how much publicity you get “out there.” You either have the support of a majority of delegates in the room in Orlando, or you are not the nominee. Guess which candidate probably just picked up all or most of the delegates from Mississippi and Louisiana? My guess would be the one who kept his word to them in an unforced manner instead of the ones who threw themselves on the floor and held their breath ’til their faces turned blue before finally deciding to do what they’d said they would do.

  32. Andy Craig Post author

    Wasn’t it just the other day the complaint was about how Gary was spending too much time getting on TV, focusing on national media, and not enough at LP events? Enough to give you whiplash.

  33. Jill Pyeatt

    Now I see this crap on Facebook. “Gary Johnson attacks Austin Petersen and John McAfee Steps In…”

    This is the second time in a week Austin has complained about being attacked. He is the most obnoxious, disgusting little brat I’ve ever seen. His handlers need to admit he’s not a serious candidate. If he was, he would MAN UP and stop acting like a crybaby.

  34. Christopher S. Thrasher

    Good Sir Knapp,

    Noted. I assure you, the above salutation is said in the most irreverent of tones.

    Ah the Gravel campaign… I like to tell people I swung so far to the left, I ended up on the right, and then realized the whole thing’s a circle. I must have come home from that convention with 30 books…and an entirely new philosophy to digest. It didn’t take me long to realize I had found a home in the LP.

    What people need to realize is that that kind of conversion isn’t really a conversion at all. I simply found the materials and philosophy that matched my worldview.

    As a young lefty, I was always pissed off about the way things were. It was only when I was exposed to Libertarianism that I started looking at WHY things are the way they are.

    This speaks to the need of the LP to have a Presidential candidate who has the ability to actually spread the message of liberty to an audience who has yet to hear it, and who also has the media credentials to do so.

    This is why I am supporting something different: A John McAfee, LIBERTARIAN, Presidential Campaign.

  35. Chuck Moulton

    Christopher Thrasher wrote:

    The fact is, one campaign refused to engage, where the others were willing to do whatever was necessary to make sure the Libertarian Party took advantage of a tremendous media opportunity -WITHOUT reneging on prior commitments.

    Exactly!

    It seems two campaigns are good at generating and taking advantage of media opportunities; one campaign is good at pissing away media opportunities.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    Do you have any statistics on how much media the candidates have done as candidates so far in this cycle?

    I’m not being disingenuous. I’d really like to know. My impression has been that Johnson is well ahead of the others on that metric lately, although McAfee has a history of showing up on e.g. Fox as an expert or color commentator.

  37. Chuck Moulton

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    Combined MS/AL convention:

    60 people?

    Televised debate:

    a few million people (plus the hundreds in the audience)

    Well said!

    Though I doubt the televised debate would really have a few million. It would be at least a couple hundred thousand.

    Stewart Flood wrote:

    Over all, I’d have to say that I’d rather be the state chair who willingly gave up a speaker to allow him to do a nationally televised debate. Nothing against MS/AL, but if we’re looking at the “big picture” then I would call Johnson and ASK him to go to Stossel’s event.

    Yep.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    I don’t know a damn thing about ships, but turning a hull the size of the Savannah into a reef seems like a giant waste, especially since it would have had to have a reactor removed, etc. first.

    I’m always amazed when I hear that they’ve intentionally scuttled some giant ship like that. So much steel. So much sunk labor cost. You’d think they could just upgrade internal systems and keep the things going for a century more cheaply than they could scrap them and build new ones.

    But like I said, I don’t know a damn thing about ships.

  39. Joe Wendt

    Although it is sad that McAfee is lumped into the same category as Petersen, and I’m also sad that Darryl Perry and Marc Feldman were not invited to this Stossel debate, what the Johnson campaign is doing is an absolute low. He wants people to be Libertarian with him, but won’t bring attention to what looks like a very exciting competition for our party’s Presidential nomination. The Johnson campaign wants to control the narrative and project himself as the only Libertarian running, and refuse to share the stage at a high profile event. And let’s be honest, if Stossel offered and event exclusively to the Johnson campaign, he’s drop the MS/AL convention in a heart beat.

  40. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    You’re quite obviously just pissed because the ridiculous anti-Johnson spin on this didn’t get repeated uncritically, that Johnson supporters dared call this out as the obvious horseshit that it is. But if you want to post “the other side”, go for it. Take McAfee’s, and Petersen’s, press releases and put whatever headline on it you want. You won’t hear me bitching about how you’re ruining IPR with evil bias.

    Again, you feign ignorance of how IPR has worked for many years. The headline is supposed to be unbiased and reflect what is in the content of the story. The article is supposed to be unbiased (unless it is labeled as an editorial). Post authors then leave their opinions in comments — often the first comment.

    Are you ignorant or malicious? Having seen traffic on the IPR email list and read every one of your comments on IPR, I don’t think you’re stupid enough to be ignorant of this longstanding, regularly discussed IPR policy — you seem pretty smart overall. Therefore, I’m forced to assume you’re malicious.

    The press release was not anti-Johnson spin. It pointed out that there was a debate arranged to be moderated by respected libertarian John Stossel in front of 1,000 young libertarians (who we ought to want involved in the LP) and broadcast on Fox Business where it could be watched by everyone who has cable all over the country and promoted by Libertarians to their friends and family on social media to grow the audience for libertarian ideas and Libertarian candidates. One campaign prevented that from happening… and either by sheer coincidence or by design it was the one candidate who is the leading contender for the nomination and would stand to lose the most in our internal race by sharing a stage with two of his opponents. That campaign was the Gary Johnson campaign.

    Is it newsworthy that Gary Johnson pissed away a huge media opportunity? Absolutely. Austin Petersen provided a valuable service bringing this to the delegates’ attention. IPR provided a valuable service reporting it to even more potential delegates. Andy Craig misused his IPR writer position employing doublespeak bullshit trying to inoculate the audience against the truth and pretend that Johnson was the hero here rather than the villain.

  41. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    Do you have any statistics on how much media the candidates have done as candidates so far in this cycle?

    No, I don’t.

    All I can make my assessments of is demonstrable evidence that some candidates are seeking media and other candidates are pissing away media.

  42. Shawn Levasseur

    Y’know, I’m looking on the bright side. That there are enough opportunities for LP candidates out there that conflicts like this arise, I see that as a bit of progress.

    I see this as Gary being smart enough to not take his nomination for granted. Being on Fox Business News would be nice, but state conventions guarantee he’ll be in contact with delegates to the national convention who would get him the nomination. If this was an even AFTER the convention, he’d probably be more apt to change plans.

    That said, good on Stossel for opening up to candidates beyond the big names. Sometimes the benefit of having multiple candidates for the nomination means that there’s more libertarian candidates getting more press for the LP. That won’t happen by all the candidates following the exact same path.

    I’ll neither blame Johnson for his choice, nor the candidates who are choosing to be on Stossel, for their choice of events to attend so long as they are actively campaigning.

  43. George Phillies

    There are these gadgets called airplanes. There are things called schedule rearrangements. If all parties had wanted to, this could probably have been made to work.

    That is not what happened.

  44. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    Wasn’t it just the other day the complaint was about how Gary was spending too much time getting on TV, focusing on national media, and not enough at LP events? Enough to give you whiplash.

    A campaign ought to do both.

    But this comment and others obscures the real issue by lumping all “media” together. Johnson could be forgiven for skipping a fly-by 5 minute guest spot on MS-NBC or CNN or Fox News for a state convention. That’s not what this was. It was a completely different sort of media.

    This was a substantial chunk of time allocated exclusively to the LP, not a 5 minute fly-by throwaway interview to pad time in an hour long show. This was an opportunity for a pre-nomination debate to be aired on a national mainstream media news outlet that has previously only hosted pre-nomination Republican and Democrat debates. This was an opportunity to elevate the LP’s stature closer to the big leagues. And it was pissed away by Gary Johnson.

  45. Andy Craig Post author

    Andy Craig misused his IPR writer position employing doublespeak bullshit trying to inoculate the audience against the truth and pretend that Johnson was the hero here rather than the villain.

    This is not a “position,” it’s a volunteer blog where a rather random collection of contributors post things that catch their interest under a broad general topic, just like it’s always been. Don’t like it, you can either post yourself or go start your own. More opponents of Johnson than supporters have already spoken up to disagree with your complaint, and to say that this headline is more accurate than anything that could be copy-pasted from Peteresen’s campaign (which, again, you can still do yourself.) If you really think my posts here are such awful and unacceptable mortal sins against your notion of IPR’s vaunted journalistic objectivity, you can always ask Warren or the other authors to have me removed. Otherwise, comment on the story itself (or, again, post your own) instead of shooting the messenger.

  46. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    This is not a “position,” it’s a volunteer blog where a rather random collection of contributors post things that catch their interest under a broad general topic, just like it’s always been. Don’t like it, you can either post yourself or go start your own.

    For the benefit of IPR readers here, I will repost portions of the email I just sent to IPR writers.

    Chuck Moulton wrote:

    Andy Craig wrote (11/20/2015):
    > our usual practice on this is to keep
    > the same headline as whoever put out the press release, or if we need to
    > change/shorten it to use an objective neutral summary.

    Has there been a change in IPR policy that allows (or encourages) biased, misleading headlines rather than using the headline from the press release or providing a neutral summary?

    Someone named Andy Craig changed this press release headline:
    Gary Johnson Disappoints the Entire Libertarian Party

    To this IPR headline:
    Controversy over Biloxi debate: Petersen & McAfee accuse Johnson of refusing to ditch state LPs for Stossel episode

    The new headline did not reflect the content of the posted press release, but instead injected commentary from the post author Andy Craig, who is an outspoken promoter of Gary Johnson.

    Apparently Andy Craig was ignorant of the IPR policy referenced by Andy Craig in the email quoted above.

  47. George Phillies

    The Petersen and McAfee campaigns are to be congratulated for seeing a point at which they can whack away at another candidate, and doing so.

    Even if the trio had not been there, the Mississippi/Alabama people would have had most of the credible candidates, plus some other ones.

  48. Ken Moellman

    This was an opportunity for earned TV media. How much earned media has there been for the LP Presidential race so far this year? Yeah, that’s right. We just missed out on the opportunity to infinitely increase that media.

    I’m a former state chair. If I had candidates cancel on my state convention because they had the opportunity to be on TV and sees by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, I’d totally understand.

    It’s a shame, really. I wish that Stossel would have been willing to substitute Johnson for Kerbel or Perry or someone. I mean, if someone doesn’t want to try to make a debate work, then so be it.

    The headline of the article doesn’t change the facts. We — Libertarians — just missed out on MILLIONS OF DOLLARS worth of media.

  49. Caryn Ann Harlos

    You don’t go back on a commitment to an affiliate. Totally with Johnson on this.

    This is just another salvo in the long line of Petersen attacks.

  50. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy’s headline is more fair than the Petesen attack. If it is a political attack I have no problem with editor changes if the original headline is in the article

  51. Ken Moellman

    PS. The real irony: Johnson lawsuit on being excluded from debate on TV network. Then turns down opportunity for debate on TV network.

  52. Andy Craig Post author

    @Some person named Chuck: if you’d read past the headline you would have seen the press release you’re talking about appears nowhere in the post, nor is it quoted anywhere in the post.

    The actual headline that was put on this by its author, at the original source linked to, was “WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE HOLD AUSTIN PETERSEN’S HAND” — would you prefer that headline instead?

  53. Nicholas Sarwark

    I’ll be at the MS/AL event at the beautiful Beau Rivage hotel and casino in Biloxi, MS. That area is served by the Gulfport, MS airport, which does not have a lot of flight options in or out. To make both events would likely have required a charter flight from DC.

    What the costs and logistics of that would have been, I don’t know (I’m taking the red-eye from Phoenix through Atlanta), but it’s not as simple as flying into a hub.

    The convention organizers have prepared what sounds like an excellent debate, inclusive of all of the Libertarian candidates who will attend, and have invited an audience of Libertarians _AND_ non-Libertarians to watch.

    It would be nice to focus on the hard work by one of our state parties and the fact that all of the candidates who said they would attend are going to attend.

  54. George Phillies

    However, with his Libertarian Platform rather than his cyber party platform, McAfee may well be a credible candidate.

  55. AMcCarrick

    Any reason it couldn’t just be Petersen and McAfee? Or are they just looking for the ability to feed off of Johnson’s prior momentum?

  56. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    if you’d read past the headline you would have seen the press release you’re talking about appears nowhere in the post, nor is it quoted anywhere in the post.

    Oh, my mistake…

    Silly me to assume that you went to a primary source and posted the press release, which itself was news and was mentioned by Stewart Flood in an IPR comment in the Texas thread a little over an hour before you posted the article and I had just read from the Petersen campaign in my email.

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/02/lp-texas-presidential-debate-invitations-johnson-feldman-mcafee-petersen-sterling/#comment-1316650

    It didn’t occur to me that you waited until your friend Joe Enroughty (at a website you write for that is in the tank for Gary Johnson) posted about it, so you could link to that article instead of the primary source. This is a website that unanimously endorsed Gary Johnson, with your name listed in the endorsement.

    https://olddominionlibertarian.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/odlrn-why-were-endorsing-gary-johnson/

    “That’s why we here at the Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network- Joe Enroughty, Jeff Kleb, Alex Butler, Jeffry Sanford, and ANDY CRAIG – are unanimously endorsing Gov. Gary Johnson to be the 2016 Libertarian nominee for President of the United States.”

    I’m glad we cleared that up. For the future, if you are shilling for a candidate the key is to hold off on posting about a campaign press release until you can get your friend who endorsed the opposing candidate to post an article criticizing the press release, then post a link to the criticism instead of the actual press release to justify biased reporting.

    That’s grade-A journalism right there.

  57. Andy Craig Post author

    You’ve spent more time pissing and moaning about the fact that I support Johnson (which is no secret, as you note I’ve publicly signed my name to an endorsement of him) than it would have taken you to copy-paste the latest thrice-daily email blast from AP (that goes straight into my spam folder unread) and post it under precisely the headline you want.

  58. Chuck Moulton

    Jill Pyeatt wrote:

    Austin acts like he and Stossell are besties. My guess is that there will be another opportunity to debate on his show.

    Are they besties? Probably not. Does Austin Petersen have a network from his days working at Fox Business that facilitates booking media appearances there easier than the other candidates without such contacts? Probably.

    Will there be another opportunity to debate on Stossel pre-nomination? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Will there be another opportunity to debate on Stossel pre-nomination in front of an audience of 1,000 young libertarians that we want to bring into the LP? No. Not a chance in hell. That ship is sailing away never to be seen again.

  59. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    You’ve spent more time pissing and moaning about the fact that I support Johnson (which is no secret, as you note I’ve publicly signed my name to an endorsement of him) than it would have taken you to copy-paste the latest thrice-daily email blast from AP (that goes straight into my spam folder unread) and post it under precisely the headline you want.

    No, I am not pissing and moaning about the fact that you support Johnson.

    I am pissing and moaning about the lack of journalistic integrity at IPR. If you had posted an unbiased article, then spent the first 10 comments gushing that Johnson is God’s gift to mankind and Austin Petersen is the devil incarnate, I wouldn’t have said a word about it.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Will there be another opportunity to debate on Stossel pre-nomination? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it.”

    I wouldn’t either. If I was Stossel, and I offered to host a debate, and it didn’t work out, and then Austin Petersen used the whole as an opportunity to throw a cheap slimy public temper tantrum over it, he’d never get anywhere near my cameras again.

    This is the dumbest damn “controversy” I’ve seen in the LP since the time Carol Moore accused Aaron Russo of trying to get her to blow him in public. But at least Gary Nolan was smart enough to use a third party for that kind of idiocy. Austin lacks subtlety.

  61. Jill Pyeatt

    Chuck, you’re overlooking a huge fact: Austin Petersen is embarrassing us. His childish antics are bound to be noticed by anyone who chooses to check out the LP. Just as I believe Wayne Allyn Root damaged, our brand, Petersen is doing the same thing.

  62. Jill Pyeatt

    If someone asked me about our candidates for President, the very first thing I would tell them is to ignore Austin Wade Petersen, because he’s not a serious candidate.

    I say that because I truly believe he isn’t a serious candidate. I believe it even more after he answered the interview questions we sent him. Did you perhaps miss that article?

  63. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    Austin Petersen used the whole as an opportunity to throw a cheap slimy public temper tantrum over it

    Petersen is simply informing the delegates that there are two candidates who generate unprecedented media opportunities and one candidate who pisses away unprecedented media opportunities. As a delegate this information is important to me… I am inclined to support the former and inclined to do everything in my power to keep the latter away from our nomination. Mind you, I’m under no illusions that I can do anything to stop this candidate from winning our nomination and continuing to piss away unprecedented media opportunities, but I’m still going to try.

  64. Andy Craig Post author

    In what world does “journalistic integrity” mean blindly re-publish press releases from candidates without even putting an original headline on it? You demand CNN and the New York Times do that for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

    To the degree IPR does that sometimes, it’s because we’re not journalistic and most of our content here isn’t original, it’s linked excerpts or copied announcements.

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    Actually, there are no candidates who generate unprecedented media opportunities. But Johnson has come closest to doing so.

    Any major event involving Petersen isn’t a media opportunity, at least if you mean that in any positive way. If that’s the kind of media we want it would be cheaper and less damaging to the party to just ask Stossel to run some Youtube stuff.

  66. Chuck Moulton

    Jill Pyeatt wrote:

    Chuck, you’re overlooking a huge fact: Austin Petersen is embarrassing us. His childish antics are bound to be noticed by anyone who chooses to check out the LP. Just as I believe Wayne Allyn Root damaged, our brand, Petersen is doing the same thing.

    There are many things about the Petersen campaign I don’t like: chief among them his disrespect of the statement of principles and the pledge* and the way he treats people. That said, there are a lot of things the Petersen campaign is doing right. A sense of humor is a good thing… just don’t be a jerk about it. His media appearances are impressive — especially considering he’s far less well known than Johnson or McAfee. He’s actually calling up delegates on the phone. He is relentless in social media, sending out a fair amount of emails, and putting together a campaign staff. And (setting aside the SoP stuff) the platform he’s running on is pretty good.

    I may end up voting for Petersen. At this point it’s looking like him or McAfee… or maybe Kerbel if I’m particularly impressed with him and his debate performance at the national convention. The ability to get media is a very important criteria for me. If we have the perfect libertarian message but no one hears it, then it’s a waste of a campaign.

    In 2004 I voted for Badnarik every ballot.

    In 2008 I voted for Root until he was eliminated, then Barr. My reason was it looked like Root was best positioned to actually get media. Ruwart was a great writer, yet a very underwhelming speaker. Do I regret my votes in retrospect? Yes, of course. Both Root and Barr went off the reservation. (I supported Kubby over Root for VP.)

    In 2012 I voted for Johnson even though I had profound disagreements with him on the “Fair” tax. Again, my reason was I thought Johnson was better positioned to actually get media. Again, I regretted my vote in retrospect — it turned out he used all his media mainly to shill for the “Fair” tax. (I supported Wrights over Gray for VP.)

    Petersen isn’t a perfect candidate by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn’t write him off just yet. There may be other delegates like me that care about getting media, but think Johnson does far more damage to the LP brand than Petersen does.

    * I don’t think we should have a membership pledge, but that doesn’t mean I disagree with the membership pledge or I think it’s appropriate to have a presidential candidate who disagrees with the membership pledge or I think it’s appropriate to have a presidential candidate who makes fun of people who agree with the membership pledge.

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    You seem to keep regretting your past votes.

    Maybe it’s time to think over who you’re voting for BEFOREHAND instead of regretting it AFTERWARD.

    Saying that Petersen isn’t a perfect candidate is like saying that Andrew Dice Clay isn’t a perfect gentleman. If he tops 5% on any ballot in Orlando, the party should just admit it’s a practical joke and dissolve.

  68. Michael H. Wilson

    I’m with Jill. I don’t see Petersen as a serious candidate. I also find it interesting that he has the funds to do this.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    Michael,

    Interesting point.

    A few days ago he was !!!UNDER CYBER ATTACK!!! and wasn’t going to be able to afford to attend state conventions unless !!!EVERYONE SENDS MONEY NOW!!!

    Then all of a sudden he could afford to charter a private jet from Mississippi to DC.

    I wonder if McAfee was actually picking up the whole tab, or if the whole “we could have chartered a jet” thing was just more shit he made up.

  70. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    You seem to keep regretting your past votes.

    Maybe it’s time to think over who you’re voting for BEFOREHAND instead of regretting it AFTERWARD.

    I don’t disagree.

    But none of these candidates are running a campaign I 100% agree with even if they actually do exactly what they claim they intend to. I need to muddle my way through and figure out the best option. Unfortunately when I last went to the optometrist he was only able to get my prescription up to 20/20 hindsight. My foresight is still quite poor.

    All that said, I’d still prefer making a different mistake to making the same mistake twice.

  71. Michael H. Wilson

    Thanks Tom. There is something strange in Peterson’s campaign that I can’t seem to see.

    If someone really wants to get some media attention they should come out and blast the Bush Administration for the wars as well as Obama and demand that some politicians be put on trial. Make that the center piece of their campaign.

  72. George Dance

    The blog and I just returning to LP politics after obsessing over Rand Paul for a year, have a different sort of perspective on the issue. One of the things that riled Paul supporters was Fox Business’s attempt to decide who was a debate-worthy candidate and who was not. This sounds like the same thing. There are 11 candidates running for the LP presidential nomination, and not one party vote has been cast for any of them: but Fox Business decided to narrow the debate-worthy crowd to 3: Johnson, McAfee, and Petersen. It’s no surprise that McAfee and Petersen support the move, but it’s a slap in the face to the other 8 declared candidates. I’m glad Johnson put the kibosh on it. All 11 will be onstage for the MS/AL debate; that’s how it should be at this point.

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    “All that said, I’d still prefer making a different mistake to making the same mistake twice.”

    I’ve said exactly the same thing.

    I really, really, really hate to be the one defending Johnson here.

    But so far as I can tell, the absolute worst this can be plausibly made out to be vis a vis Johnson is a tempest in a teapot — he had prior commitments and declined to cancel them just because Austin Petersen got all hot and bothered.

    And at worst, it’s an almost entirely manufactured Petersen melodrama. Which is what I’d bet money on if I was betting money on anything here.

  74. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom you are SPOT ON in everything you said here.

    This is just utter bulldadda.

    One may think Johnson made the right decision. And Johnson’s ain’t my guy (though I have sent donations)…. but he has proven he is willing to debate Petersen. He reasons are completely credible and he would have been condemned either way.

    This is a manufactured outrage, and it ticks me off. It is an embarrassment to our Party.

    What fools we are being played for by a vainglorious attention hound campaign.

    Not a proud day for the LP.

  75. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    One may think Johnson made the right decision. And Johnson’s ain’t my guy (though I have sent donations)…. but he has proven he is willing to debate Petersen. He reasons are completely credible and he would have been condemned either way.

    Supporter: But the debate was in public…
    Skeptic: In public? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.
    Supporter: That’s the public department.
    Skeptic: With a flashlight.
    Supporter: Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.
    Skeptic: So had the stairs.
    Supporter: But look, you found the debate, didn’t you?
    Skeptic: Yes… yes I did. It was in public at the bottom of a locked closet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.”

    It really boggles my mind that you people make no distinction whatsoever between a debate in front of 60 people (being charitable) at a state convention and a debate in front of 1,000 young libertarian prospects televised on a national TV network that will be seen by a minimum of tens of thousands of people across America (but more likely hundreds of thousands of people, because we all would promote the bejesus out of it to family and friends on social media).

    Great, Gary Johnson isn’t afraid of debating Austin Petersen when no one is watching. However, he sure seems frightened to death of debating Petersen in front of a national audience — even though such a debate would dramatically help the Libertarian Party expand its outreach and stature.

  76. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Being unwilling to break this commitment does not prove a thing you said. The people he needs to convince are delegates. Delegates are at conventions.

    I am not even a Johnson supporter but his reasons are credible here. And the fact he won’t crawl into the sewer with Austin makes me respect him.

    We have turned into a turd-fest. Embarrassed. Austin’s legacy will be worse than WAR.

  77. Caryn Ann Harlos

    He wil have to debate Austin (to our shame because I think anyone who openly repudiates the SoP should be shown the door with not letting the door hit ’em where the good lord split ’em) at convention. Claiming cowardice is beneath you Chuck, and I think you should be ashamed of such slander.

  78. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Being unwilling to break this commitment does not prove a thing you said. The people he needs to convince are delegates. Delegates are at conventions.

    Perhaps you missed that the Petersen campaign and the McAfee campaign both wanted to negotiate with Stossel and with the MS/AL convention organizers to find a way they could schedule both. Johnson didn’t.

    It’s transparently obvious to anyone who can add 2 + 2 why Johnson ducked the debate and pissed away this unprecedented media opportunity. You all can play dumb and pretend you don’t know how to add 2 and 2 because you hate Petersen, but you’re not going to convince me or others to forget basic arithmetic.

    Btw, for future reference there are hundreds of delegates around the country that have working televisions and cable.

  79. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Since we have decided to share the IPR news editor group email opinions here, I will state I unequivocally supported Andy Craig, and anyone who reads IPR knows that I and Andy clash frequently.

    We are volunteers. If anyone wants to do better, let them.

    If we are obliged to post candidate attack headlines, not interested.

    It is disgusting that Libertarians are even considering these attacks and repudiation of principles.

  80. Andy

    “I may end up voting for Petersen. At this point it’s looking like him or McAfee… or maybe Kerbel”

    The only one out of these three whom I’d consider voting for is Kerbel.

    My LP National Convention votes for President and VP are as follows:

    2000 – I had been a party member for 4 years at that point, but I had only attended on party meeting prior to this, which was in 1999. I did not know anyone in the party, and I did not know how the delegate system worked. I was living within commuting distance at the time of where the convention was being held, so I attended, but I did not vote as a delegate, even though I later found out that I could have been a delegate. If I had voted, I would have voted for Harry Browne and Art Olivier, who ended up winning anyway.

    2008 – I voted for Mary Ruwart on the first couple of ballots for President. When I realized that it was going to go for multiple ballots after this, I decided to vote for Steve Kubby on the third ballot, just to give him a vote for President. I then voted for Mary Ruwart on ballots four and five. I voted for Steve Kubby for Vice President.

    2012 – I was not happy with any of the candidates for the LP presidential nomination, so I cast a write in vote for Ron Paul as a protest vote. I voted for Jim “Libertarian” Burns for Vice President.

    I do not know who I’ll be voting for at the 2016 convention, but NOTA is looking pretty good, and I’m also trying to decide who’d make a good write in protest vote.

  81. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Being unwilling to break this commitment does not prove a thing you said. The people he needs to convince are delegates. Delegates are at conventions.

    Perhaps you missed that the Petersen campaign and the McAfee campaign both wanted to negotiate with Stossel and with the MS/AL convention organizers to find a way they could schedule both. Johnson didn’t.

    It’s transparently obvious to anyone who can add 2 + 2 why Johnson ducked the debate and pissed away this unprecedented media opportunity. You all can play dumb and pretend you don’t know how to add 2 and 2 because you hate Petersen, but you’re not going to convince me or others to forget basic arithmetic.

    Btw, for future reference there are hundreds of delegates around the country that have working televisions and cable.==

    I do dislike Peterson as Libertarian candidate. I don’t personally nor disrespect his talent.

    I have contact with the MS/AL organizers. It is not what you represented so far.

    I am not a Johnson supporter either. I don’t oppose him and do contribute to all candidate I don’t oppose but he isn’t my guy.

  82. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Since we have decided to share the IPR news editor group email opinions here, I will state I unequivocally supported Andy Craig, and anyone who reads IPR knows that I and Andy clash frequently.

    Yeah, I saw. When Andy Craig takes a Kerbel press release or a Perry press release, gets one of his friends to write a hit piece on it, and writes a slanderous article linking to that hit piece, scooping you before you can post the actual news angle as a story, you can come back to this comment to read my “I told you so”.

  83. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Perhaps you missed that the Petersen campaign and the McAfee campaign both wanted to negotiate with Stossel and with the MS/AL convention organizers to find a way they could schedule both. Johnson didn’t.”

    I don’t think anyone missed that.

    Believing Austin Petersen’s version of it is a different story.

    Especially the part where in 24 hours he went from desperately needing an infusion of money to be able to make it to conventions to being able to casually offer to charter a private jet.

    I guess I won’t be surprised if it turns out there was actually a Stossel event on the table. But I won’t be surprised if it turns out to have all been bullshit swamp gas, either.

  84. Rebel Alliance

    So GJ stood by his commitment to attend the convention by two state parties, and is spending time meeting potential delegates, which is what matters most at this point in the campaign cycle. Smart move by Johnson on both counts.

  85. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==eah, I saw. When Andy Craig takes a Kerbel press release or a Perry press release, gets one of his friends to write a hit piece on it, and writes a slanderous article linking to that hit piece, scooping you before you can post the actual news angle as a story, you can come back to this comment to read my “I told you so”.==

    And I wouldn’t complain…. I have never complained about an IPR editor before. There are some who seem to complain all the time.

  86. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==So GJ stood by his commitment to attend the convention by two state parties, and is spending time meeting potential delegates, which is what matters most at this point in the campaign cycle. Smart move by Johnson on both counts.==

    I don’t know whether it was a smart move or not.

    I know it was a *credible* move.

    and I know if he chose otherwise he would be equally skwered.

    and my guys are Kerbel and Perry

  87. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And when Kerbel or Perry writes a completely melodramatic BS title like Petersen does, alert me, and I will reconsider my support of both of them.

  88. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ==Especially the part where in 24 hours he went from desperately needing an infusion of money to be able to make it to conventions to being able to casually offer to charter a private jet.===

    Shhhh, those are inconvenient facts. It contradicts the near teary-eyed narrative of web attacks that were bringing his campaign down.

    Let’s get one thing straight. I believe his site was attacked. And cyber-vandals are scumbags.

  89. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And another thing straight. I support some candidates. I have some favorites. I oppose some. But i thinkt the presidential campaigns are mostly a collossal distraction and waste of time. I contribute money to every candidate I don’t actively oppose as I can.

    I don’t endorse anyone. I haven’t endorsed Kerbel or Perry.

    I might still vote NOTA.

    I am tired of the whole sordid mess. I keep saying at certain points that the honeymoon is over with the LP. Each time I think it is, we sink further into the muck.

  90. langa

    It seems to me the whole thing boils down to whether Johnson made a sincere attempt to work something out, and was unable to do so (in which case he is to be commended for honoring his prior commitment), or whether he simply used the prior engagement as an excuse to blow off an event that he would have rather not attended anyway (in which case he should be criticized for putting his own selfish interests ahead of the interests of the party of which he is asking to be the public representative).

    I honestly don’t know which story to believe. At this point, I have seen enough to make me sufficiently cynical, that my default position is not to trust anything that Johnson or Petersen have to say. (I haven’t seen enough of McAfee to form an opinion about his trustworthiness, one way or the other.)

    Oh, and if this is simply more manufactured drama from Petersen, such whining is nothing new. I have been on plenty of campaign email lists over the years, and the “invent a new crisis every day” strategy is a fairly common, but usually not very effective, campaign tactic.

  91. Jill Pyeatt

    The writers here do have issues with each other once in a while. They don’t usually last very long, but we all know where the rest stand on certain issues. We’re all different, have unique styles of writing, and differing ideas of what’s important. We also have different backgrounds in training in journalism, from me, who has exactly zero formal training, to Thomas Knapp, who, I seem to recall, has quite a bit of training. For the most part, I think our respective contributions have created a fine venue for people interesting in the same things we are. Today’s quarrel was particularly nasty, though.

    Andy Craig does an excellent job, especially when I know how young he is. Caryn does an excellent job, and so does William, Chuck when he posts, Jed, and Paulie and some others who don’t post as often (like Brian Irving.) I’d be happy if Moulton posted more, and I always notice when Jed and Paulie disappear for a while. I’d be happy to have both Jed and Paulie contribute more when they’re able to.

    This is one club I’m proud to be a member of.

  92. Chuck Moulton

    Jill Pyeatt wrote:

    Today’s quarrel was particularly nasty, though.

    I don’t like being disagreeable. But this whole affair baffles me.

    Johnson is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lawsuit hoping to get into presidential debates. I hope he succeeds, but realistically we all know the LP will still be excluded.

    Then Stossel hands a televised debate to our candidates on a silver platter… a debate that would be held in front of a studio audience of literally 1,000 young libertarians (I just checked the stats… it was actually 1,000 in 2012 and 1,400 in 2013, so probably 2,000 is a more accurate figure for 2016). This is a totally unprecedented media opportunity. I don’t think it is in any way an exaggeration to estimate the value of this one media opportunity as equivalent to the entire 2012 and 2008 general election campaigns combined. Those 2,000 students are our target audience for future volunteers and party growth. A debate would energize them. Candidates circulating for an hour afterward could sign up hundreds of new members and direct a new generation of activists to local affiliates. Those hundreds of thousands of people watching their TVs at home are the people we try to reach with sign waving, radio ads, Facebook, etc. Instead we get to reach them for free, making the party look very professional and exciting in the process. So what happens? Johnson flushes the opportunity down the toilet. Petersen and McAfee both confirm this.

    For some reason I cannot fathom, a long parade of people don’t fault Johnson for that. In fact, they seem to respect him for it. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!! I’ve read and re-read all these comments and emails. It still doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. None.

    Maybe I just don’t understand you humans. I admit I’m INTP. I’m logical. I gather some people’s judgement is clouded by emotional attachment to certain people or blind hate for certain other people. But I’d think even the most emotional person could step back and compare the number 60 with the number 2,000 (live) and the number 100,000 (TV), admitting the latter are preferable to the former.

    This whole affair is making me question whether some people really want the LP to fail.

    I care about the Libertarian Party. I am passionate about the Libertarian Party. And it makes me uncontrollably angry when many of my friends work very hard 365 days a year to move the Party forward only to see a campaign take a huge opportunity and flush it down the toilet. This is the “Bob Barr offends Ron Paul” moment of the 2016 campaign (sorry for the PTSD flashbacks for those of you who lived through 2008). This is the huge screw up. We’re watching it unfold live.

    Some people have said I’m overreacting or blowing this out of proportion. Frankly, I’ve been incredibly subdued. I am grossly under-reacting out of respect for my colleagues and due to multitasking.

  93. Darcy G Richardson

    Chuck is absolutely right. As an outside observer, the fact that the Libertarian Party would squander an opportunity for a nationally-televised debate at this early stage of the 2016 presidential campaign is utterly baffling, to put it mildly.

    Passing up a unique opportunity like this — one that is virtually unprecedented in the annals of third-party presidential politics — makes it easier for the mainstream media to justify any future exclusion of alternative candidates while reinforcing the notion that the country’s nationally-organized third parties aren’t ready for prime time. It’s really unbelievable.

  94. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Because honoring prior commitments is important. Because engaging in dirty smear politics is what the other candidates do.

    Whether or not Johnson’s decision was right is debatable. Whether it is credible IS NOT AND THAT IS THE ISSUE with the Petersen attack. We can have our self-congratultirary admiration posts to our own logic and accuse others of being illogical and emotional while refusing to see they these baseless campaigns of insult are incredibly damage but it didn’t change these facts.

  95. Caryn Ann Harlos

    On a phone without my contacts – typos abound but the point made remains clear.

    I agree that the decision can be debated. The personal attack is not debatable IMHO and brings this whole Party into the mud.

    But yay! I guess that makes us like the big boys now!!!

    Congratulations LP.

    Not.

  96. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Llanga summed it up nicely,

    ==It seems to me the whole thing boils down to whether Johnson made a sincere attempt to work something out, and was unable to do so (in which case he is to be commended for honoring his prior commitment), or whether he simply used the prior engagement as an excuse to blow off an event that he would have rather not attended anyway (in which case he should be criticized for putting his own selfish interests ahead of the interests of the party of which he is asking to be the public representative).==

    He has zero reason to blow it off for any other reason. Zero.

    Again that decision can be argued to be wrong. But for anyone to fail to see that the accusations were smear is not logic.

    THAT is my issue.

    There are several things I cannot be accused of.

    1. Not caring about this Party. I said before and I will say again, I will put my time and effort commitment against anyone here with pride. I work. A LOT,

    2. Being an Andy Craig sycophant. He is a fellow Libertarian I work with here and elsewhere that I respect highly but more often than not we are on differing sides.

    3. Not being consistently concerned about respect between libertarians in disagreement.

  97. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    You write:

    “Then Stossel hands a televised debate to our candidates”

    I started wondering about this. Then I re-read the two Petersen releases.

    Maybe Stossel promised a “televised debate.”

    But if so, Petersen didn’t say so.

    What Petersen said is that Stossel offered the candidates the opportunity to appear together on his show, and to debate (moderated by Stossel) in front of the SLF audience.

    The McAfee release alludes to the debate being taped for the show.

    The idea that Stossel’s show was just going to show a full uncut Libertarian presidential candidate debate MIGHT be true, although I kind of doubt it. What it isn’t is something Petersen or McAfee said.

  98. Derik Davis

    Interesting hit piece. I call it as such due to the wording of the headline and article itself and its complete lack of research into what was said by whom. The Petersen and McAfee campaigns reached out to the Johnson campaign to participate in a debate hosted by John Stossel and fly from there to the LP event that they had previously committed to. This would not have deprived anyone from the days events. Johnsons campaign by instead of considering it and offering a valid reason to not participate, instead decided to do a press release attacking not Petersen and McAfee but just the Petersen campaign. Why is this? I won’t speculate but it speaks for itself. I am part of a growing number of previous Johnson voters who are asking, Where is Gary Johnson? The last I saw of him was his announcement that he was indeed running, since then there has been squat. Part of running for office is campaigning, not sitting at home and relying on your voters from last time to do the work for you, all you get from that is what you see here, lack of enthusiasm and loss of respect. It hit me pretty hard shortly after last election to find Johnson was running on a fabricated record when I realized in truth the size of government grew under his term as governor. That would not stop me for voting for him as the nominee this time despite my reservations that his fake record could tarnish our first shot at the spot light and do damage to the LP name. Personally I am supporting Petersen, sure hes not exactly PC but atleast he is running a campaign, willing to debate and doing everything in his power to get the LP national recognition.

  99. Starchild

    Just finished reading the thread up to this point. And I think perhaps the most spot-on comment so far was this from George Dance (February 12, 2016 at 22:06):

    “There are 11 candidates running for the LP presidential nomination, and not one party vote has been cast for any of them: but Fox Business decided to narrow the debate-worthy crowd to 3: Johnson, McAfee, and Petersen. It’s no surprise that McAfee and Petersen support the move, but it’s a slap in the face to the other 8 declared candidates. I’m glad Johnson put the kibosh on it. All 11 will be onstage for the MS/AL debate; that’s how it should be at this point.

    Another salient point related to the above: Chuck Moulton mentions (February 13, 2016 at 03:18) that “(Gary) Johnson is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a lawsuit hoping to get into presidential debates.”

    How do you think it would look for Gary Johnson, at the same time he is pursuing this lawsuit against the Republicans and Democrats over their exclusionary debates, to have participated in an exclusionary debate of his own on Fox with only two of his ten rivals?

    Would it have been nice for John Stossel’s audience to see a full segment devoted to a pre-nomination Libertarian Party presidential debate? Well, maybe, if Austin Petersen didn’t come out and attack the Non-Aggression Principle or the party’s Statement of Principles. The thought of 1,000 young libertarians sitting in the live audience and seeing the youngest candidate on stage attack the heart of libertarian values in the name of moving the Libertarian Party forward is particularly cringe-worthy. But even if Petersen didn’t use his national TV spotlight to betray our core principles, the exclusionary pre-nomination debate itself would have been a betrayal of what we stand for – a willingness to engage in the same kind of anti-democratic behavior that we regularly, and justly, slam the establishment parties for practicing.

    Many Libertarians have shown a weakness when it comes to being seduced by big money, big names, and big media. Chuck, you admit (February 12, 2016 at 21:20) to having supported Wayne Allyn Root after being taken in by his self-hyped potential to attract the latter: “In 2008 I voted for Root until he was eliminated, then Barr. My reason was it looked like Root was best positioned to actually get media… Do I regret my votes in retrospect? Yes, of course.” With all due respect, I think you are making a similar mistake here in thinking it’s more important for Libertarians to have some face time on Fox Business than to uphold the integrity of our nomination process and our critique of the Demopublicans for doing to Libertarians what you would have had Johnson, McAfee, and Petersen do to, among others, candidates like Darryl Perry and Steve Kerbel whose positions on the issues are more libertarian than their own.

  100. Andy Craig Post author

    @TLK is exactly right. This “televised debate” has been made into infinitely more than what was actually on offer, which would have probably been a few pre-recorded minutes cut into one segment during an hour-long show. It would not have been live, it would not have been promoted by FBN like the major-party presidential debates, and as noted, if it was a “real debate” then it would have been a debate that would be prohibited for the same reasons Johnson (and the LNC) are suing the CPD: there was not even the pretense of cherry-picked polling to say that Petersen and McAfee deserve to debate Johnson but none of the other candidates should be allowed on-stage with those three.

    This idea that it was reasonably possible to do both is just so much nonsense. Between the speaking slots and the debate itself, Biloxi is a full day-long event. What actually happened is Petersen (and to a degree McAfee) royally screwed up, had to walk it back, and then scrambled to find a way to blame it on Johnson.

    Chuck’s personal attacks and mudslinging in this thread have been truly pathetic. I’m glad other IPR contributors were welling to call bullshit on that. I think it speaks for itself that he won’t post himself the Petersen email blasts he insists this article should be instead (and that he keeps claiming I changed AP’s desired headline on).

    c/p:
    Joe Hunter [GJ2016]:: Jo, I am violating my rule of not getting involved in these threads, but to your point, suffice it to say that we have talked with Stossel’s folks numerous times in the past 24 hours, they “completely understand” the Governor’s desire to keep his commitment to the MS/AL convention, and graciously acknowledged the “chaos” they inadvertently created. All is good, and there will be ample opportunities for credible Libertarians to carry their message to the Stossel show. We understand the attempts by some to turn this into a much bigger issue than it is, but will not be doing the same.

    While others were flooding the Web with tales of debates, Gov. Johnson was actually DOING something about liberty: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/blogs/politics/gary-johnson-strikes-against-three-strikes-law/article_dfff837c-d1d5-11e5-8aff-d3c6addb8ac1.html

  101. Shane

    Haven’t read all the comments but wanted to say that Johnson, Petersen and McAfee are all right in their actions from a political standpoint.

    Guys you have to be able to read through the BS.

    Johnson should never sit down and put himself on the same level as the other candidates until he has to at convention. He certainly should never do it on a popular television program. It’s comparable to the Broncos scrimmaging the West Bama Seniors Football Team (sponsored by Joe’s Tire Shack). The Broncos will win but lose credibility by simply showing.

    Austin and John are right for calling Johnson out on the move.

    Supporters will take their corners but it’s really a non-issue. Does anyone even watch Stossel aside from Austin, Chuck and the Judge?

  102. Shane

    And Starchild, you’re full of shit as usual. The also-ran/nut case candidates DO NOT deserve a place on stage. You earn a place through a lifetime of work — not by filing papers with FEC and declaring “hey, woo hoo! Imma a presidential candidate! Yeppir!”

    You play this liberal “let’s be fair” game all to often. You believe that everyone deserves the same access and respect regardless of their financial state, intelligence, etc.

    Sorry bud but this is the real world and as a libertarian, I object to your “level the playing field” hippy bullshit. That thinking is what lead to obamaphones, obamacare, Medicaid, SNAP and every other item in the welfare state.

    For a presidential nominee, if you haven’t made a name for yourself before running, then you don’t deserve any respect and handouts in the nomination process.

  103. Chuck Moulton

    Shane wrote:

    Guys you have to be able to read through the BS.

    Johnson should never sit down and put himself on the same level as the other candidates until he has to at convention. He certainly should never do it on a popular television program. It’s comparable to the Broncos scrimmaging the West Bama Seniors Football Team (sponsored by Joe’s Tire Shack). The Broncos will win but lose credibility by simply showing.

    Yes, obviously that’s what’s really happening here.

    Your analogy doesn’t really hold because football is already well-known and wildly popular. A better analogy would be a much less popular sport. If it would be televised and reach a whole new big audience: Should Michael Phelps race a high school swim team? Should Magnus Carlsen hold a public simul against some mid-level chess players? Should David Beckham play soccer with college athletes? That all depends… If the goal is self-promotion, then yes there is little point. If the goal is getting locals and outsiders and an untapped audience more excited about swimming, chess, and soccer, then it would be a squandered opportunity not to participate.

    Shane wrote:

    Supporters will take their corners but it’s really a non-issue. Does anyone even watch Stossel aside from Austin, Chuck and the Judge?

    Does Stossel have a mind-blowingly big audience of millions of people? No.

    Do a fair number of small-L libertarians who are not yet big-L libertarians watch Stossel? Yes.

    Would Stossel have a larger audience than usual if there was a coordinated social media campaign where the Libertarian Party encouraged supporters to advertise this particular show on their Facebook and Twitter and ask friends and relatives to check out one Libertarian debate after having seen umpteen Republican and Democrat debates? Yes.

    Shane wrote:

    And Starchild, you’re full of shit as usual. The also-ran/nut case candidates DO NOT deserve a place on stage.

    I completely agree. If we get a huge media opportunity, I’d rather not have union civil war uniform guy on stage next to our candidates that will actually get delegate votes and can articulate themselves well.

    Andy Craig wrote:

    we have talked with Stossel’s folks numerous times in the past 24 hours, they “completely understand” the Governor’s desire to keep his commitment to the MS/AL convention, and graciously acknowledged the “chaos” they inadvertently created. All is good, and there will be ample opportunities for credible Libertarians to carry their message to the Stossel show.

    Stossel and his producers are polite and gracious? Wow, what a newsflash!! That really has nothing whatsoever to do with what we’re talking about.

    Stossel will have Johnson on in the future? Again, that has nothing whatsoever to do with what we’re talking about.

    It completely baffles me that you all have no comprehension of the distinction between a pre-nomination debate moderated by Stossel in front of 2,000 young libertarians televised on a nationally syndicated cable network on the one hand and a throw-away 5 minute guest segment with no studio audience buried in an hour long show on the other hand.

  104. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    There are 11 candidates running for the LP presidential nomination

    According to KFI-AM’s John and Ken, there are 13 Libertarian presidential candidates on the June primary ballot in California.

    John and Ken were mocking the June primary, and that so many people were running. The Greens have 5 candidates. The American Independent Party has 7 candidates.

    John said he’d like to interview one of the Greens, simply because that particular candidate has such a long and unusual name. John got curious what that candidate with the unusual name was all about.

    John also said that he’s basically a libertarian, but that the people in the party itself tend to be pretty crazy.

  105. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It completely baffles me that you all have no comprehension of the distinction between a pre-nomination debate moderated by Stossel in front of 2,000 young libertarians televised on a nationally syndicated cable network on the one hand and a throw-away 5 minute guest segment with no studio audience buried in an hour long show on the other hand.”

    And it completely baffles me that you haven’t yet figured out that it’s about 99.99999x% likely that it was the latter that was on offer.

  106. Bondurant

    How were Petersen and McAfee determined to be 2 of the top 3 candidates? By what I’ve been reading here it sounds like Kerbel has more support within the LP and its voters that either Petersen and McAfee.

  107. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bondurant,

    It would be a mistake to treat IPR as any kind of objective data gathering ground for support levels.

    I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Kerbel outpolls Petersen in Orlando. But I would be surprised if either of them hit the 10% mark.

  108. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    And it completely baffles me that you haven’t yet figured out that it’s about 99.99999x% likely that it was the latter that was on offer.

    I’ve been to Students for Liberty conferences and sat in the audience of Stossel tapings with a thousand young libertarians (and again, that is an underestimate if anything, not an overestimate). My personal experience tells me those people were not all a mirage.

    Statements from both the Petersen and McAfee campaigns make clear it’s closer to a debate than a 5 minute segment.

    Your intimations that both those facts are full of shit don’t pass the smell test.

  109. Thomas L. Knapp

    Austin,

    OK, so you’ve been to a Stossel taping of an SFL event.

    How many times have seen that the next episode of his show consisted of that event?

    If Stossel had offered to air the debate, Petersen would almost certainly have phrased it that way, instead of artfully separating the two things in his press releases (on the one hand, the debate being taped; on the other hand, the candidates appearing on the show).

    You’re seeing what isn’t there, because it’s what you want to see.

  110. Chuck Moulton

    It’s a question of character. Often the interests of a candidate align with the interests of the Libertarian Party. The real test is how the candidates behave when those interests diverge.

    Johnson – snubbed the LP booth at the 2012 SFL conference, pissed away an opportunity for an unprecedented televised pre-nomination debate

    Petersen – makes fun of anarchists regularly (who are at least 20% of LP activists), didn’t do much of anything for the LP between his time as a LP staffer and his time as a presidential candidate, refused to sign a LP ballot access petition

    Perry – misused LP procedures to give a speech at the 2010 LP national convention encouraging everyone to join the Boston Tea Party instead

    McAfee – no examples yet

    Kerbel – no examples yet

    Feldman – no examples yet

    I hope we have a candidate who puts the LP first and will make it a priority to move the ball down the field growing membership and activism. Ego trip candidates who don’t care about the LP except as a vehicle for their own self-promotion should be closely scrutinized.

  111. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    OK, so you’ve been to a Stossel taping of an SFL event.

    How many times have seen that the next episode of his show consisted of that event?

    Every year. Some years he shoots 2 episodes at the Students for Liberty conference and 2 episodes at Freedom Fest. I think one year he shot 3 episodes at Freedom Fest.

  112. Thomas L. Knapp

    So you have three years of Stossel coming on his show and saying, “ladies and gentlemen, for the next hour, here’s footage of something that happened at ISFLC?”

    OK, I suppose that’s possible. Can you point me at episode dates?

    Or is it, as more likely, that he taped footage at each ISFLC and ran five or ten minutes of that footage in different spots across one or more 40-minute (after subtracting commercials) show?

  113. wolfefan

    There are two issues here. 1) Should/could Johnson have rearranged his schedule to attend the Stossel debate? I express no opinion. 2) Is the headline to this article biased and does it reflect editorializing on the part of the poster? IMO yes. I am surprised that anyone would defend the headline, whatever their position on Johnson, Peterson, or McAfee. “Controversy Over Biloxi LP Debate” would capture the issue in a non-biased way. I am surprised that no one who has the authority has changed the headline, and disappointed that Andy Craig continues to defend it as unbiased.

  114. Stewart Flood

    And Starchild, you’re full of shit as usual. The also-ran/nut case candidates DO NOT deserve a place on stage. You earn a place through a lifetime of work — not by filing papers with FEC and declaring “hey, woo hoo! Imma a presidential candidate! Yapper!”

    Which is exactly why we elected to not hold a debate in South Carolina at our convention in November.

    Speaking of all this “Johnson promised to be at another event” BS, I’m really tempted to go into details about how his campaign screwed (yes, no asterisks this time!) our state party over an event that we had confirmed he was going to attend and that he bailed on for a SMALLER and COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE event elsewhere in the country. We got the Judge, who did a fantastic job, but the audience size was a fraction of what it would have been if Johnson had shown up.

    How do I know? Because earlier in the summer he did a PACKED event at Winthrop for us. Standing room only. I didn’t get a seat, had to stand against the wall with many other people. I believe the capacity was about 200 chairs, maybe as many as 250.

  115. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    So you have three years of Stossel coming on his show and saying, “ladies and gentlemen, for the next hour, here’s footage of something that happened at ISFLC?”

    OK, I suppose that’s possible. Can you point me at episode dates?

    Or is it, as more likely, that he taped footage at each ISFLC and ran five or ten minutes of that footage in different spots across one or more 40-minute (after subtracting commercials) show?

    Wow!! Is that the disconnect here? You all have never seen Stossel?

    He shoots full episodes at events like this. Zero minutes from the episodes come from any other source or from previous conferences.

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4078738854001/stossel-02202015-students-for-liberty/?playlist_id=1794596212001#sp=show-clips

  116. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    The also-ran/nut case candidates DO NOT deserve a place on stage. You earn a place through a lifetime of work

    I’d prefer a debate with all the candidates, so I can decide for myself who are the nutcases, and who earned their place on stage. I don’t want that decided for me beforehand.

    Barr and Root were deemed among the more “respectable” candidates who had impressive career histories — yet they were worse than some of the alleged nutcases.

  117. Chuck Moulton

    Btw, for those of you speculating that Stossel would never dedicate a full episode to a Libertarian Party debate (even conceding he dedicates full episodes to Students for Liberty), see this full episode of Gary Johnson.

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

    Of course he would do a full episode LP debate! … if Gary Johnson hadn’t flushed that opportunity down the toilet.

  118. Green W/O/A

    You know it’s funny when I first saw McAfee’s campaign page it seemed like he was a breath of fresh air for the LP.

    But then you look into his background and recent history and see the guy is a raging narcissist just like other politicians (just a little more unhinged).

    The USA power elite certainly does a good job of convincing its most virtuous citizens to steer clear of politics. MSometimes it seems like the US electoral system has been rigged to be a demonstration that ‘democracy’ doesn’t work and that neo-feudalism would be preferable.

  119. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Is that the disconnect here? You all have never seen Stossel?”

    Well, I used to watch Stossel on ABC when he was on 20/20. These days I don’t watch much television, and as far as I know (I looked when there was a GOP debate I intended to watch), my cable package doesn’t include Fox Business. I’ve seen a couple of clips of his show as one of those “host at a desk, color commentators at a table” kind of things.

    Thanks for posting that episode. Now, even though the Petersen campaign did not ASSERT that there was going to be a televised debate, I can see that it’s POSSIBLE there would have been a televised debate.

  120. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp

    Thanks for posting that episode. Now, even though the Petersen campaign did not ASSERT that there was going to be a televised debate, I can see that it’s POSSIBLE there would have been a televised debate.

    The press release posted a few minutes ago from the Libertarian Party of Mississippi called it a “televised debate”.

  121. NewFederalist

    “I admit I’m INTP. ” – Chuck Moulton

    Please forgive my lack of understanding but what does this mean? Thank you.

  122. Michael H. Wilson

    I am going to stand with Starchild on this. Having been a candidate and given what I know of the party’s history we should treat everyone the same.

    There are a couple of people whom I have little interest in seeing in any debate, but we should let them get in front of the public instead of having some party officials acting in such a manner as to be accused of being in favor of or against anyone. It is about respect. If we want respect we have to give respect.

  123. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The press release posted a few minutes ago from the Libertarian Party of Mississippi called it a ‘televised debate.'”

    And you called it a “televised debate” too. But neither the Libertarian Party of Mississippi nor you have any likely means of knowing what it is/was. I was going with what the source material said, rather than what others decided they wanted it to mean.

  124. Thomas L. Knapp

    Vis a vis inclusion of this or that candidate in this or that event:

    It’s my opinion that the LP/LNC should have a very low bar, if any, for inclusion in the process of choosing a nominee, including debates.

    John Stossel is not the LP/LNC. It’s his show. He gets to decide who he wants to invite, who he wants to leave out, and why.

  125. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    It’s not about enmity.

    It’s about Petersen finding a way to promote himself at Johnson’s expense — and as a lagniappe to trick McAfee into letting Petersen dictate the campaign news cycle. It’s like Keith Russell Judd called up Bernie Sanders and suggested a way for them both to slam Hillary Clinton, and Sanders agreed.

  126. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Ah, OK. I thought you were talking about between the campaigns.

    Libertarians are like any other group of people. We have longstanding personal conflicts and dislikes and so forth, and whenever there’s something even remotely controversial, those conflicts and dislikes tend to come out, and set the contours of the argument at least as much as the actual issues.

    Because when you get right down to it, nobody is really cool, calm and objective about this shit except me.

  127. NewFederalist

    “I was referring to the enmity on this comment thread.” – Robert Capozzi

    Whaaat? There is no enmity here. Just a few misguided individuals who have the audacity to state their opinions which are generally wrong, of course! 🙂

  128. Stewart Flood

    Ahhh…the cool, calm and objective club! Seriously? 🙂

    So from what I see, this “debate” at the MS/AL joint convention will have eleven candidates? Really? We don’t have eleven sane/rational candidates all capable of intelligent debate.

  129. Michael H. Wilson

    Stewart you are probably correct in that “We don’t have eleven sane/rational candidates all capable of intelligent debate.” But we also don’t need some functionary in the party making decisions for us. Let’s leave that to the people.

  130. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Ahhh…the cool, calm and objective club! Seriously?”

    Yep. I’m really the only one around whom you can rely on for a sensible opinion. If you don’t believe it, just ask me and I’ll tell you again.

    My guess is that not all 11 candidates will show up to the MS/AL debate. But apparently those two parties thought it was worthwhile to at least invite all the declared candidates. Maybe your state party will see things differently, and others differently still.

  131. Jill Pyeatt

    NF, the four letters listed by Thomas Knapp are one of 16 personality types spelled out in the Myers Briggs personality type study. I am I an ENFJ, a somewhat uncommon personality type.

    I recall that we had an article about it here, but nothing came up in the search box.

  132. Thomas L. Knapp

    It was Chuck Moulton, not me, who offered up a Myers-Briggs personality type. Personally, I regard the whole Myers-Briggs thing in much the same way as I do sun sign astrology. Or, for that matter, Nordicism.

  133. Jill Pyeatt

    Excuse my error. Yes, it was Chuck, not Thomas, who described himself that way.

    I certainly don’t take this type of thing terribly seriously, but knowing some different personality types can help us to communicate better with one another. I’m a salesperson, and I happen to sell something people can’t see (insurance). This is surprisingly difficult for some people, and I need to explain things a bit differently to that individual than to someone who thinks a little more spatially. It’s kind of like speaking differently to an engineer versus a teacher. It’s not an intelligence thing, just a manner of learning.

    It’s kind of like knowing that I’m not an audio learner. I generally like to see things written down to fully grasp something.

    It’s just one of many tools which might be helpful to people.

  134. Michael H. Wilson

    Jill as someone who has spent years in retail I listen to libertarians and recognize that many of them need to learn to speak to others in a manner so that the people they are speaking to can understand what in the hell the speakers are talking about. I spent 18 plus years at Nordstrom and while I was not in sales there ( my sales experience was elsewhere) I watched some amazing sales people work. Some of the sales people were wonders at closing a sale and doing so politely.

  135. Jill Pyeatt

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with working on communication skills. We are trying to “sell” our idea of a different way to live our lives (freely), so I would think better communication would be a goal for all of us.

  136. Andy

    Chuck Moulton said: “Of course he would do a full episode LP debate! … if Gary Johnson hadn’t flushed that opportunity down the toilet.”

    I agree. A debate hosted by John Stossel in front of 2,000 members of Students for Liberty, and broadcast on national television, should have been a big priority. I imagine that a video of this would have gotten a lot of hits on YouTube as well.

  137. Bjorn Flanagan

    How would have the Stossel debate been a fair representation of the Libertarian Nomination Process with only three candidates? If Johnson had joined the debate, he would have been a hypocrite as it would have been unfair access excluding the other candidates. Plus, current primary debates for the big two has much more allotted time than a Stossel run debate would. Such outrage over something that would have amounted to a farce. Lets get a real debate with all of the Libertarian candidates, there is plenty of time before May to set up something.

  138. Darcy G Richardson

    “I agree. A debate hosted by John Stossel in front of 2,000 members of Students for Liberty, and broadcast on national television, should have been a big priority. I imagine that a video of this would have gotten a lot of hits on YouTube as well.” – Andy

    Exactly. This whole sorry saga is a classic example of a group’s inability to see the forest for the trees — a kind of collective macular degeneration apparently shared by the party’s national chair. It’s a lost opportunity, and not an insignificant one, at that.

    Despite the insistence by his campaign’s staff that there will be other opportunities to present the party’s case to a wider audience, the irony is that Stossel’s invitation to host a pre-convention LP debate on Fox Business News — a network that has already hosted two widely-watched Republican presidential debates during the current election cycle — will probably be the one and only chance Gary Johnson realistically had to appear in any nationally-televised debate in 2016, regardless of the format.

    By the way, will the Alabama/Mississippi debate at least be livestreamed so that in addition to the four or five dozen people in attendance, perhaps six or seven dozen more might be able to also view it?

    Think small. Remain small. Keep looking at those trees. The duopoly thanks you.

  139. Robert Capozzi

    tk: Libertarians are like any other group of people.

    me: Certainly any political grouping will have its infighting. There’s no way to measure the extent of infighting, but this thread leads me to believe that L infighting might be especially pronounced. Attacking GJ over a scheduling conflict when he had a prior engagement with 2 state parties seems particularly petty to me compared with Rs and Ds.

    Burqa bans and FAIR tax seem like way more constructive subjects.

  140. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Yep, that’s how it strikes me, too.

    I could see a case for attacking a candidate who has a POLICY OF AVOIDING media. For example, after his failed gubernatorial campaign in California, Richard Nixon snarled at the press “you won’t have Nixon to kick around any more.” If he had stuck to that — if in 1968, while running for the GOP nomination, he had completely refused all media engagement — his opponents would certainly have had a sound argument that he just wasn’t interested in winning and so on.

    But it would be hard to make the case that that’s what Johnson is doing. He seems to be vigorously pursuing media attention.

    That’s not to say that some slight attack wasn’t a good idea for Petersen in this circumstance. It might have been fun if he’d sent someone in a chicken suit to Johnson’s next public event to taunt him for “being afraid to debate Austin Petersen on TV” or something like that.

    But this seems very over-played to me, because Johnson DID have the “legit” excuse of having already scheduled events.

    The hysteria makes Johnson’s opponents, and Petersen’s supporters, look pretty desperate. Which I’m sure the latter are, but why put the desperation on parade?

    And letting Petersen swindle them into promoting him was a beginner-type mistake on the part of McAfee’s campaign. Never, never, NEVER let one of your opponents set the agenda or control the news cycle if you can help it.

  141. Darcy G. Richardson

    As most regulars at IPR know, I’m not a member of the Libertarian Party and I don’t have a dog in this fight. I really don’t. My comment above is based entirely on a broader alternative party perspective. It pains me to to see any of the country’s nationally-organized parties — particularly the county’s largest third party — squander an opportunity like this.

    The Stossel debate — an unprecedented opportunity coming during the primary season — would have been pretty cool and probably would have attracted a decent-sized audience, reminding voters currently riveted by the Sanders-Clinton race and the multi-candidate fiasco on the Republican side that there will be other alternatives in November. It would’ve been pretty neat to see a televised presidential debate featuring various candidates from one of the country’s minor parties during the primary season. In fact, it would have been a first and, who knows, might have led to even greater mainstream coverage. Surely something could have been worked out.

  142. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom, you have it down.

    And yes that was a rookie mistake by the McAfee campaign. Even if the Petersen campaign were terrifically popular- you set your own agenda. But to be manipulated by a campaign that for some is equally WAR in level of utter dislike is really poor tactics – particularly when those who are opposed are a ripe target and those that simply like the alleged edgy excitement – you gotta give them your own.

  143. Andy Craig Post author

    “unprecedented opportunity”…. except for, you know, the debates that are broadcast to a larger audience every four years live from the LNC, and have been since at least 1992.

    Petersen has tried to somehow make C-SPAN not count, but it has a much bigger audience than FBN. (There’s no Nielsen rating for CSPAN since it’s non-commercial, but by no reasonable estimate are they the smaller viewership of the two channels).

  144. Andy Craig Post author

    copy-paste:

    There are not any official viewing statistics for C-SPAN because the network, which has no commercials or underwriting advertisements, does not use the Nielsen ratings.[46] However, there have been a number of surveys providing estimates:

    A 1994 survey found that 8.6% of the U.S. population regularly watched C-SPAN.[46]

    In 2004 this figure increased to 12% of the U.S. population, according to a Pew Research Center survey, while 31% of the population was categorized as occasional viewers.[13] More than 28 million people said they watched C-SPAN programming each week.[14]

    A March 2009 Hart Research survey found that 20% of homes with cable television watch C-SPAN at least once a week, for an estimated 39 million Americans.[122]

    A 2010 poll conducted by C-SPAN and Penn Schoen Berland estimates that 79 million adults in the U.S. watched C-SPAN at some time from 2009 to 2010.[123]

    In January 2013, Hart Research conducted another survey which showed that 47 million adults, or 24% of adults with access to cable television, watch C-SPAN weekly.[47][124] Of the 47 million regular C-SPAN viewers, 51% are male and 49% female; 26% are liberal, 31% conservative, and 39% moderate. About half are college graduates. 28% of 18-to-49-year-olds report watching at least once a week, as do 19% of 50- to 64-year-olds, and 22% of those over age 65.[124]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-SPAN#Audience

    Per Nielsen, in October 2015 FBN had 102,000 total viewers (the most recent figure I could find). For a long time after their launch they were kind of notorious for rock-bottom ratings. They’ve improved since then, and been on the up-trend, but still not in even the same ballpark as FNC or its main competitors. Granted, it’s not apples to apples on CSPAN vs. FBN because that metric doesn’t exist. But even if those surveys are over-reporting by a factor of ten, it’s still comfortably the larger audience.

    I’m not saying this to trash Stossel or FBN, just pointing out that this “Greatest media exposure opportunity EVER!!!!” narrative is pretty ridiculous.

  145. Chuck Moulton

    Garry Johnson spin machine wrote:

    Per Nielsen, in October 2015 FBN had 102,000 total viewers (the most recent figure I could find). For a long time after their launch they were kind of notorious for rock-bottom ratings. They’ve improved since then, and been on the up-trend, but still not in even the same ballpark as FNC or its main competitors. Granted, it’s not apples to apples on CSPAN vs. FBN because that metric doesn’t exist. But even if those surveys are over-reporting by a factor of ten, it’s still comfortably the larger audience.

    I’m not saying this to trash Stossel or FBN, just pointing out that this “Greatest media exposure opportunity EVER!!!!” narrative is pretty ridiculous.

    1. If a C-SPAN pre-nomination debate can be organized, great. Good luck getting a studio audience of 2,000 young libertarians.

    2. The media opportunity here was not just people channel surfing who would coincidentally wander across it. The media opportunity was a national media platform coupled with a social media campaign where libertarian get their friends and family to check the LP out.

    3. Fox Business Network has run 2 pre-nomination debates for the major parties so far. C-SPAN hasn’t.

    4. The idea that C-SPAN coverage of a debate the night before the presidential nomination at the LP national convention is equivalent or better than a televised debate 3 months beforehand is absurd. The Republicans and Democrats get a significant advantage mobilizing and energizing volunteers, attracting donations, and generating media attention by dragging out their nomination process months with debates. A February debate would allow sufficient lead time for excited viewers to make travel plans to attend the national convention, volunteer for their favored candidate with money and time, and spread word to their friends. A debate the night before the convention vote does not allow enough time for travel, completely prevents candidate support for all but the eventual winner, and just sets the audience up for immediate disappointment and apathy if their preferred candidate loses the next morning. What a joke!!

    Sometimes I’m not sure if Andy Craig is just trolling because his defenses for Gary Johnson pissing away an unprecedented media opportunity don’t pass the laugh test. But I suppose it’s possible he genuinely believes his own bullshit.

  146. Tom Mahon

    Well hello Chris Thrasher!! How ya doin’ old buddy!!! (Not well?)

    I am intrigued by some of your comments…

    “Though I cannot speak for Mr. Petersen’s campaign, I can assure you that we had no intention of breaking our commitment to the Libertarian Parties of Alabama and Mississippi. In fact, we tried to work overtime to make both events possible. ”

    If you had no intention of breaking your commitment to the LP Alabama and Mississippi, why then did you IN FACT initially break your commitment to them? Or did Aaron Barksdale, Mario Barnes and Danny Bedwell each misunderstand you when your campaign uttered words to the effect on Friday of: “Sorry, but we are going to Washington DC now”.
    Only to change your mind after Gary Johnson declined to join your desertion escapade?

    And how does one “TRY” to work overtime? You either do it or you don’t. Do we need to put a time clock in your Campaign Headquarters?
    Perhaps you could “try” to elaborate, with specifics, as to how you were going to make “both events possible” had you been successful in working some overtime. Keeping in mind of course, that there is far more complexity to the events in Biloxi than a simple debate?
    Is Mr. McAfee still planning on attending the Gulf Coast Small Business/Entrepreneur Seminar on Saturday Morning? From 9AM-11AM?
    How about the welcoming speeches at 2PM?
    The Debates at 7:30P?

    I am interested to see how you would squeeze the Stossel Debates, a full time zone away, into that full schedule on Saturday…….Side note—-McAfee might even be eligible for overtime pay for his Saturday in Biloxi.

    Good Seeing Again Chris!!

  147. Andy Craig Post author

    @Austin Petersen’s spin machine aka “some person named” Chuck Moulton

    The only thing being pissed away here is your credibility, by constantly trying to make this somehow personally about me.

    I was responding, to the specific claim that this would be a “televised debate” that would reach an “unprecedented” audience for the LP. I made that clear.

    If this was really such a great opportunity, simple question: why aren’t Petersen and McAfee going to do it? What’s stopping them from skipping out on LP-MS/AL and doing the Stossel debate between the two of them? If there really was an offer to all three candidates to debate, why should they cancel it because one declined?

    How, exactly, does Johnson not going prevent it from happening?

  148. Darcy G. Richardson

    ““unprecedented opportunity”…. except for, you know, the debates that are broadcast to a larger audience every four years live from the LNC, and have been since at least 1992.” – Andy Craig

    Actually, I said “unprecedented opportunity during the primary season.” Everybody knows that C-SPAN routinely airs the LP’s convention debate, but it’s not the same thing. Not by a country mile. If you don’t understand that, then it’s probably not worth trying to explain.

  149. Stewart Flood

    Curiouser and curiouser! The level of intrigue deepens!

    Ok…so…is everyone sick of this topic at this point? As I said much earlier in the thread, Petersen’s campaign found the perfect lose, lose, lose, lose scenario. Everyone loses, no matter what they do at this point.

    And since they are putting all the candidates that can attend on the same stage, they get to watch what will surely go down in the annals of the LP as a debate to rival the great debate of 2008!

    I am so glad that we decided not to have a debate last November…so glad!!!

  150. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    @Austin Petersen’s spin machine aka “some person named” Chuck Moulton

    I don’t know what gave you the impression that I endorse Austin Petersen or am advocating that others vote for him. Just because I agree with Petersen that Gary Johnson flushed an unprecedented media opportunity down the toilet doesn’t make I endorse Petersen.

    Nor am I against Gary Johnson himself. I think Gary Johnson could make a wonderful candidate. I am criticizing Gary Johnson for a series of horrible blunders that make him a terrible choice for the Libertarian Party nomination. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

    If Gary Johnson would campaign on libertarian issues rather than proposing a giant new tax and welfare program, that would be great. If Gary Johnson would run an efficient campaign that makes judicious use of donor money instead of blowing over a million dollars on inflated salaries for cronies then repudiating his obligations to innocent creditors, that would be great. If Gary Johnson would take advantage of media appearances to spread the libertarian message and grow the Libertarian Party rather than pissing away an unprecedented opportunity for a pre-nomination Libertarian Party debate in front of a studio audience of 1,000 – 2,000 young libertarian prospects moderated by respected libertarian journalist John Stossel on national cable news network Fox Business that hosted 2 major party debates, that would be great.

    Unfortunately, Gary Johnson takes great potential (a decades long career governing and speaking out as a libertarian) and manages to squander it to a spectacular degree. Other candidates with far less impressive resumes and far less resources seem to be working hard with what they have and avoiding such colossal blunders.

    Andy Craig wrote:

    The only thing being pissed away here is your credibility, by constantly trying to make this somehow personally about me.

    I would rather make it about Gary Johnson. But Gary Johnson isn’t here himself responding to the controversy and your lips are surgically attached to Gary Johnson’s ass, so this is the best we can do.

    Andy Craig wrote:

    If this was really such a great opportunity, simple question: why aren’t Petersen and McAfee going to do it? What’s stopping them from skipping out on LP-MS/AL and doing the Stossel debate between the two of them? If there really was an offer to all three candidates to debate, why should they cancel it because one declined?

    How, exactly, does Johnson not going prevent it from happening?

    If Stossel will go ahead with the debate without Johnson, let Petersen and McAfee debate each other (perhaps Kerbel too, who seems credible), and announce at the beginning of the debate that Gary Johnson was too scared to debate (perhaps leave an empty podium for Johnson or have someone stand at his podium in a giant chicken suit to remind the audience), that would be great. I strongly suspect Stossel won’t want to hold the debate without the leading candidate though.

  151. Andy Craig

    @Chuck

    Whenever you decide you’re ready to sit at the grown-ups table again, you can do so. Until then: you’re still making an ass of yourself, and your juvenile antics are quite obvious to the several people here who don’t support Johnson but have told you in no uncertain terms than your transparent attempt to smear me in lieu of Johnson is a very sad and desperate little temper-tantrum that nobody appreciates.

  152. Chuck Moulton

    I understand you’ve finally conceded that Johnson’s behavior is indefensible and are looking for an excuse to duck out of the conversation. That’s fine.

  153. langa

    As I stated earlier, I have no dog in this fight, as I wouldn’t trust either Petersen or Johnson as far as I could throw them. However, a couple of things to note:

    First, with regard to the question of why Petersen and McAfee can’t debate without Johnson, according to the McAfee press release from way up the thread (https://mcafee2016.com/2016/02/12/statement-from-john-mcafee-on-proposed-fox-business-news-libertarian-presidential-debate/) — “Gary Johnson, however, stated that he had “prior obligations” and would not be able to attend. Fox Business News then indicated that a two person debate would not be viable.” [emphasis added]

    Second, I find those figures for C-SPAN viewership to be almost comically inflated. I know of virtually no one who watches C-SPAN on anything close to a “regular” basis. Heck, most everyone who knows me considers me to be something of a political junkie (I have a BA in Political Science and completed all the coursework for an MA in Political Theory), and I don’t watch C-SPAN anywhere near once a week — probably closer to once a month. The idea that 25% of the population watches C-SPAN weekly is preposterous. I’d be shocked if the actual number is higher than 5%, at the absolute maximum.

  154. Robert Capozzi

    L: The idea that 25% of the population watches C-SPAN weekly is preposterous.

    me: This is very easy to agree with.

  155. Joe Wendt

    I will admit that McAfee is one of my top three choices (in a three way tie with Darryl Perry & Marc Allan Feldman). However, I’ve noticed some bias towards Gary Johnson in regards to IPR stories. How come there is no mention of the growing trend among the Johnson supporters to promote the horribly ill conceived slogan “Feel the Johnson” (I am serious, this is happening, https://twitter.com/hashtag/feelthejohnson?src=hash). I’m sorry, but having even an unofficial slogan that could be construed as asking someone to feel genitalia should but broadcasted and the campaign should be held accountable.

  156. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joe,

    Let me see if I have this right … you feel that Johnson’s campaign should be “held accountable” not for what it’s doing but for what other people are doing?

  157. Joe Wendt

    @ Knapp,

    For all I know, it could be a very ill conceived astro-turfing effort started by the Johnson campaign. Even if it’s genuine supporters, it would be appropriate for the Johnson campaign to politely ask them to rethink their slogan. Either way, it’s just inappropriate and sounds perv-y.

  158. Andy Craig

    “Fox Business News then indicated that a two person debate would not be viable.”

    In other words, two candidates are throwing a fit that they aren’t newsworthy enough on their own, and so apparently aren’t deemed “viable” by the media unless their opponent drops everything to help get them on TV. An opponent who’s had no difficulty getting on plenty of other shows, (his media appearances in the last month alone easily reached a bigger audience than this hypothetical pre-recorded debate would have, and certainly reached a bigger television audience than the rest of the field combined). He’s also, of the three, the only one I’ve seen actually getting into the news with libertarian issue advocacy, instead of thinking it a good idea to try to make a “scandal” out of a mundane and routine scheduling conflict. As for the idea that this was some huge missed opportunity to reach the students at this conference: which of the other candidates will be speaking to them from the main stage the very next day?

    If FBN didn’t think a Petersen vs. McAfee debate was worth having, or any of the other candidates worth inviting, I don’t blame them, but that’s hardly Johnson’s fault. Having a debate without the frontrunner didn’t seem to be an issue fairly recently, in a party that has more than one “viable” candidate running.

  159. Andy Craig

    [insert another insult from Chuck for daring to point out the flaws in this absurd smear campaign against a Libertarian candidate, because how dare Andy disagree with Honored Elder Chuck Moulton]

  160. Steve Scheetz

    I am going to say this again, because it bears repeating.

    March 19th, Philadelphia Renaissance Hotel by the PHL Airport. I sent invitations to all of the candidates seeking the nomination, INCLUDING Jesse Ventura (who is still on the fence)

    So far, The East Coast Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates’ debate will include, (but is not limited to) Gary Johnson, Steve Kerbel, Darryl Perry, Shawna Sterling, and I have a maybe from the McAffee campaign and from Marc Feldman.

    I have a definite no from Austin Petersen and Cecil Ince due to the fact that their home stat Missouri is hosting its convention that same day. Joy Waymire sent a response regarding issues at her farm as the reason she could not make it, and that is who I have heard from since I started inviting people back in December. I am still waiting to hear from Mr. Reid, Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Smith.

    Anyway, I have invited everyone to attend, AND, since Philadelphia is not “the middle of nowhere” Stossel is MORE THAN WELCOME to attend. If someone wishes to contact Fox Business and make that happen, I will buy him/her a beer at the Montgomery County Hospitality Suite (SHAMELESS plug for the county I grew up in…)

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  161. Andy Craig

    Even if this was some nefarious conspiracy to not give Petersen a platform (because, of course, everything is all about him): if your ostensible concern is the well-being and reputation and future growth of the Libertarian Party, then you should be thanking anybody and everybody who doesn’t help put him in front of a camera as a Libertarian candidate for President of the United States.

    Given how he’s acted so far, I’m not convinced he’d have any semblance of restraint and self-control if he had his opportunity to start screaming and ranting at Johnson on national television as if he’s on Chris Cantwell or his Facebook page or writing up his obnoxious spam blasts. A chance he will no doubt still get, but which it is far from the best interests of the L.P. to enable and promote as if it would help us to have a national audience see more of Austin Petersen (L). I’d rather see Wayne Allyn Root get an hour of primetime on CNN to explain how Reagan Libertarianism leads him to support Donald Trump.

  162. Steve Scheetz

    On a side note, March 19 is NOT the day before, or even the weekend before the convention… I say the more debating goes on, the better for everyone ESPECIALLY the candidates.

    They have all been invited to staff a table where they can solicit donations, solicit for volunteers, etc. (This goes for all candidates,) but it will be free for the candidates who show up to the debate.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I don’t care about who snubbed whom. What I DO care about is who can push the Libertarian brand / message the most effectively during this campaign season. The ONLY way that we will know who can and who cannot, is to see them in action.

    I know that here in PA, we have 41 Delegate Slots. We are also likely to have 41 different opinions, assuming we can motivate 41 people to jump on a plane and head to Orlando. So here is where the candidates’ debate / forum comes in… The better candidates sell themselves, the more likely that delegates will be motivated enough to jump on a plane I, PERSONALLY, would love to have the problem of having too many people wanting to be delegates! However, the ONLY way this happens is if the Candidates can make a strong enough case. Something to think about.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Scheetz

  163. Pingback: The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 66: #AP4TheWeekinStupid - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

  164. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    If this was really such a great opportunity, simple question: why aren’t Petersen and McAfee going to do it? What’s stopping them from skipping out on LP-MS/AL and doing the Stossel debate between the two of them? If there really was an offer to all three candidates to debate, why should they cancel it because one declined?

    langa wrote:

    First, with regard to the question of why Petersen and McAfee can’t debate without Johnson, according to the McAfee press release from way up the thread (https://mcafee2016.com/2016/02/12/statement-from-john-mcafee-on-proposed-fox-business-news-libertarian-presidential-debate/) — “Gary Johnson, however, stated that he had “prior obligations” and would not be able to attend. Fox Business News then indicated that a two person debate would not be viable.” [emphasis added]

    Andy Craig wrote:

    In other words, two candidates are throwing a fit that they aren’t newsworthy enough on their own, and so apparently aren’t deemed “viable” by the media unless their opponent drops everything to help get them on TV.

    No, in other words Andy Craig was full of shit when he said:

    why aren’t Petersen and McAfee going to do it? What’s stopping them from skipping out on LP-MS/AL and doing the Stossel debate between the two of them?

    It’s not like that was a newsflash though. Andy Craig has been full of shit through this whole controversy.

  165. Marc Cohen

    Why would anyone ever get on a stage with Austin Petersen and give him any kind of platform or semblance of legitimacy?

  166. NewFederalist

    “I’d rather see Wayne Allyn Root get an hour of primetime on CNN to explain how Reagan Libertarianism leads him to support Donald Trump.” – Andy Craig

    When is it on? I’d like to see it too!

  167. Thomas L. Knapp

    Damn. This thing does take some strange turns. Now I have to defend Austin Petersen of all people.

    There are certainly similarities between Root and Petersen.

    They are both scammy self-promoters whose campaigns seem to be a lot more about raising their own public profiles and enhancing their job/business prospects than about advancing the goals of the Libertarian Party.

    They were both Republicans right up to the moment they declared for the LP’s presidential nomination and I expect that Petersen will go scuttling back to the GOP even faster than Root did because Petersen won’t get the booby prize of the VP nomination like Root did.

    That said, Petersen’s actual policy stands are about a thousand times better than Root’s were. His weird, irrational take on the non-aggression principle is bizarre and ensures that I won’t be supporting him, but that wouldn’t be part of his public-facing campaign if he was the nominee.

    I’m not any more thrilled to see Petersen appear on TV in association with the LP than I would be to see that guy in the 7th Cavalry uniform. But either one of them would be less damaging to the LP than Root was (and still is, since he loves to flog his past LP VP nomination when promoting his weird-ass ideas).

  168. Jeremy

    Like Darcy and William, I’m an outside observer to the LP. Unlike them, however, I’m inclined to side with Johnson here. As recent history demonstrates, it is more important for third party presidential candidates to unify party activists than for them to get earned media. Wayne Root got lots of media but didn’t do any party building, and the result was decreased vote totals. Jill Stein, on the other hand, focused on party-building activities and dramatically increased Green vote totals. A primary debate on Stossel would be good for the party, but energizing activists at a state convention is good for the party too. Scraps of public exposure don’t make a successful third-party campaign; that can only happen when the party is unified and prepared to capitalize on disaffection from the mainstream parties.

    2016 is an election in which third parties, particularly the LP, stand to benefit greatly from mainstream disaffection. There are millions of Trump supporters who will be looking for somewhere else to go if Rubio wins the nomination (and, more speculatively, even more millions of establishment Republicans looking for an alternative candidate if Trump wins). There will also be some disaffected Sanders supporters who might consider the LP, although the Greens are a better fit for most of them. To capitalize on that disaffection, the LP needs to be unified as a party and it needs to run the most credible possible candidate.

    It goes without saying that a former governor is a more credible candidate than is a man who, despite his famous name, is chiefly known today for having been plausibly accused of murder. (Seriously, I don’t understand why this isn’t a bigger deal in Libertarian circles. My first thought when I saw McAfee was running was, “Oh, it’s that guy who murdered his neighbor, kept drugged-out underage harem girls, and is on the run from Costa Rican legal authorities.”) Similarly, a former governor is a more plausible president than is a young activist who’s not been elected to anything. Missing a debate on Stossel may be a lost opportunity, but failing to nominate a statewide elected official in a year in which the Republicans may nominate an unelected businessman would be one of the biggest unforced errors I can imagine.

  169. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It goes without saying that a former governor is a more credible candidate than is a man who, despite his famous name, is chiefly known today for having been plausibly accused of murder.”

    Well, that cuts both ways.

    On the murder thing, there doesn’t seem to be any plausibility involved. Look up the Dateline piece on the matter. There’s not just reasonable doubt, but rather a very strong case that the whole thing was either an intentional pre-planned frame job or a ham-handed post-hoc version of same — and the back story either way is pretty damn libertarian.

    As far as the former governor is concerned, well, yeah, he’s a former governor. Former governors have records, and those records do not always, under scrutiny, match the self-promotional claims regarding them. Furthermore THIS governor has now proven TWICE IN A ROW that he can’t balance a campaign checkbook. That’s not an attractive attribute in a candidate running on a platform of fiscal responsibility.

  170. Jeremy

    I should clarify that I’m not so much pro-Johnson as I am anti-McAfee. He may be a true-blue libertarian, but he’s temperamentally unqualified for the job of president. If the photos here of a 60-year-old McAfee canoodling with underage girls whom he admits are on drugs at the time aren’t enough to disqualify him, nothing will. http://www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-john-mcafees-last-stand/all/

  171. Jeremy

    And furthermore, why would a party even consider nominating someone with that kind of baggage? If you have to begin every conversation about your candidate by convincing voters that he’s not a murderer and a rapist, you’ve already lost.

  172. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jeremy,

    Since no Libertarian presidential nominee has any chance whatsoever of winning the election in November, whether or not that nominee is “temperamentally qualified for the job of president” is, at most, a tertiary consideration.

    The MAIN consideration is how much POSITIVE ATTENTION the candidate can attract to the party.

    The SECONDARY consideration is to what extent that attention does or does not translate into votes for the presidential slate and attention to / votes for the down-ticket candidates.

    A properly run campaign would leverage things like that WIRED story into more and more positive attention, and multiples of the vote count Johnson got last time out.

  173. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If you have to begin every conversation about your candidate by convincing voters that he’s not a murderer and a rapist, you’ve already lost.”

    Nope.

    The single biggest hurdle any Libertarian candidate has to get over is the question “who the fuck is that guy?”

    The second biggest hurdle any Libertarian candidate has to get over is being interesting enough that voters can be bothered to talk about him.

    Even McAfee suffers from that first problem, of course. Just less so than anyone else in the current LP field.

    On the second problem, he’s the only candidate in the current LP field who who wouldn’t look like a giant walking snooze button to most voters.

  174. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jeremy,

    I agree with the first three words of your previous comment. At least regarding this particular situation. I’m sure you think about other things, though.

  175. Joe Wendt

    @ Jeremy,

    Let’s look at Johnson’s baggage before you continue to criticize an of the other candidates:

    1) Advocates legal marijuana, never pardoned a non-violent drug offender as Governor
    2) Advocates fiscal responsibility, accumulated a massive campaign debt from unsound spending priorities.
    3) Talks about his time as a Governor from 1995-2003, doesn’t mention his disastrous tenure as CEO of Cannabis Sativa (stock prices noise dived under his management).

    From the way it looks, Johnson is the LP equivalent of Hillary. I don’t care if it’s McAfee, Feldman, Perry, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, #AnybodyButJohnson2016

  176. From Der Sidelines

    Jesus H Christ on a popsicle stick! Is everyone stuck in 1988?

    The solution is so fricking obvious.

    Have Stossel and his studio audience in New York. Stossel moderates the debate. The candidates are all at the LP-MS/AL convention with that crowd. Skype it or remote broadcast it. There’s this wonderful technology called simulcast that’s been around for decades that can make it happen rather easily.

    Of course, instead, the circle-jerk that is the LP these days decides to infight over the problem.

    No wonder the LP is basically an inept lost cause.

  177. Stewart Flood

    In response to:

    And furthermore, why would a party even consider nominating someone with that kind of baggage? If you have to begin every conversation about your candidate by convincing voters that he’s not a murderer and a rapist, you’ve already lost.

    Right now McAfee is just seeking our nomination. We have somewhere around a dozen announced candidates that are considered legally eligible (age, citizen, etc) to be our candidate. The Republicans and Democrats have hundreds. Rivers Avenue (most famous recently for a cop shooting an unarmed black man about a mile from here) is littered with campaign signs. not for Clinton or Sanders (or for any republican since this area of town is probably 95% D), but someone named Wilson who is running. Wilson? Never heard of him.

    The point I’m trying to make is that the Ds and Rs ignore their fringe/wacko/double-wacko candidates by not giving stories to the press about all the crazy people running for president and by never — repeat NEVER — asking them or permitting them into the building when they hold debates. Is that ethical? Legal? Moral? Libertarian? You decide. But they do it.

    Libertarians tend to write about and discuss our wacky candidates almost as frequently as we do as the more credible ones. Some states invite all of them to debates. Others, like mine, avoided the issue by cancelling our plans for a debate.

    Many, but certainly not all, would rather see a few of the more credible candidates (based on Stossel’s interpretation of credible!) to be seen on stage on-air in a debate than have a few — sixty? eighty? fifty? — delegates to states that will, at most, have a couple of dozen delegate slots at the convention watch some of the loonies talk about how their tin foil hats have NSA bugs in them!

    Will McAfee get the nomination? Highly unlikely. While Johnson does have legitimate baggage that is frequently discussed here and elsewhere, he is likely to be selected. But Libertarian “electoral math” says that if he fails to get it on the first round he is unlikely to win. Whoever is number two usually wins after a few rounds.

  178. Stewart Flood

    Have Stossel and his studio audience in New York.

    Our understanding is that Stossel usually records his shows. And do we really want ALL of our candidates on his show? Even the ones who talk about their big government plans to fix the country that are clearly not even close to libertarian? (Yes, there are a few — and they don’t even understand why they are not libertarians!)

  179. Stewart Flood

    And that wasn’t meant as a slight against the states involved. Running a convention and getting candidates interested in seeking local/state offices is certainly easier when you have a larger event and have something to draw attendees. A presidential debate certainly helps.

    My worry is that if some of the non-libertarians seeking the office show up we may actually lose people who watch their idiocy. And a few of the crazy candidates won’t help either. If they let that guy wear a federal arm uniform from the 1800s in a convention in the SOUTH…

    And I’ve noticed that we don’t hear anything about Kerbel anymore. Has his campaign imploded after the email and other scandals last month?

  180. Jill Pyeatt

    Kerbel had a third unfortunate occurrence lately that I believe harmed his campaign. His CA campaign manager (or some similar title) created some ugly memes and “videos” against Johnson, and then indicated that Kerbel was the guy to vote for. The videos were amateurish and often contained untrue or highly exaggerated info. He has been removed from that position, but I notice he’s continuing to spam them all over FB.

    I believe Steve is probably just “laying low” a bit until this dies down a bit.

  181. Thomas L. Knapp

    I always find it useful to think these things through in terms of movie scenes.

    My advice to McAfee would be to treat this whole thing like the final diner scene in Pulp Fiction, with himself in the role of Jules, Johnson as Ringo and Petersen as Yolanda.

    Unfortunately, he started off in the role of Ringo, with Petersen as Yolanda talking his dumb ass into trying to pull that shit in the first place.

  182. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck Moulton brings up Myers-Briggs personality types above. Serendipitously, Darryl W Perry and another host (Ian?) discuss the Myers-Briggs test on Free Talk Live last night (concerning a HuffPo story saying the whole thing is bullshit.

    I just took one of the online tests and, as usual, it tells me I’m an ENTJ. I disagree.

  183. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn,

    I doubt that there’s anything about you that ISN’T interesting 😉

    But I just don’t think that Myers-Briggs captures the distinctions that make people interesting, or that it really tells us anything important, even to the extent that the dichotomies it uses to classify are rational or relevant.

  184. Stewart Flood

    GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!!!

    I came over to the ship this morning, by chance wearing an LP polo shirt, to discover that news crews and cops were hanging around. I asked security if someone had jumped off the bridge again, and was told that Ted Cruz is on the ship.

    Why is this good news?

    NO ACTIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF ANY PARTY WHO HAS ATTENDED AN EVENT ON THE YORKTOWN HAS EVER WON THE PRESIDENCY. Statistical fact! This goes back through the entire ~40 years she has been sitting in the Cooper River (sitting, not floating).

    So far this election cycle: Trump, Paul and Cruz have all been onboard for events.

    So hopefully the “curse of the Yorktown” will continue. We’re hoping that Hillary will hold an event here, but she has already cancelled one last fall. (probably heard about the curse)

  185. Pingback: Brief PSA - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

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