Mark Rutherford Announces He Is Running for Chairman of the Libertarian Party

Krzysztof Lesiak provides more information at AMThirdParty .

44 thoughts on “Mark Rutherford Announces He Is Running for Chairman of the Libertarian Party

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’ve always found Mark to be a congenial guy.

    But yeah, he fell in with Root and with the SCM cabal, for whatever reason, and can therefore be assumed to be opposed to the best interests of the LP.

    I’m surprised they’d run him again after he lost to NOTA in 2012.

  2. Robert capozzi

    TK, curious, is there ANYTHING MR could say to repudiate or otherwise distance himself from these past associations to your satisfaction?

    Separately, are you still betting Kasich for the Rs? I thought a bold, interesting call at the time.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Not that my satisfaction is especially at issue here, but yes, there are things Mark could do or say that would satisfy me vis a vis the affiliation. One thing would be to actually put that affiliation in the past (IIRC, he is still chair of the LNCC, which has been a SCM front pretty much since its beginning). Another would be to say something along the lines of “wow, that was a big mistake that I’ve stopped making and will do my best never to make again, sorry about that.”

    But like I said, this is not about my satisfaction. It’s more about me wondering what the angle is here. It seems unlikely to me that someone comes back to win the chairmanship after losing to NOTA four years earlier. And therefore it seems to me that there might be some purpose involved other than winning the chairmanship (like helping someone else do so).

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I never placed any bets on the GOP nomination, but Kasich would have been my bet at any point up to New Hampshire. Kasich/Rubio would have been a very strong ticket. No ticket with Trump, Rubio or Cruz in the top slot makes much general election sense.

    My mistake, as usual, was letting myself believe that Republican primary voters give a shit about winning elections.

  5. NewFederalist

    I wonder if Sarwark has anything to be concerned about? He seems like a very well spoken and photogenic mouthpiece for the party. He appears to me to project a haughty almost William Buckley-esque persona which I actually view as a positive. But then again as was said over 160 years ago I Know Nothing!

  6. Robert capozzi

    TK, ever interesting. LNC Chair probably could matter in a Trump v Clinton election in the sense that they are each such poor candidates. Your choice of NOTA, however, would make the LP even more irrelevant.

    A reasonably good candidate backed by a competent Chair might make some compelling noise.

  7. George Phillies

    Tom,

    Form the available data, the Republican voters seem to view Trump as their most electable candidate. On the other hand polling data at this point…not reliable…says Sanders is much more electable than Clinton.

    It was, however, Gary Johnson who advocated for electing Wayne Root, not Mark Rutherford, to the LNC. Successfully.

    George

  8. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    February 26, 2016 at 07:06

    I’ve always found Mark to be a congenial guy.

    But yeah, he fell in with Root and with the SCM cabal,”

    What is the SCM cabal?

  9. Stewart Flood

    Mark was the vice chair during my last term on the LNC. He was so lock-step with Starr’s people that you could almost hear the military band in the background as they goose-stepped around the room.

    If it was an idea that didn’t come from Starr, he opposed it. He tried to get rid of the affiliate support committee.

    Delegates voted him down. He was asked to step aside for the good of the party and he refused. Sseriously, has anyone else running for chair ever lost to NOTA in a two way race?

  10. Wes Wagner

    The SCM cabal is responsible for the issues in Oregon, and Rutherford was completely involved and fully supported it, the hiring of the GOP lawyer assist in such matters to attempt to replace this affiliate with a republican vassalage.

    He is the epitome of anti-libertarian scum.

  11. Shane

    TK,

    Kasich? Really? You just showed that you have no clue when it comes to electoral politics.

    It’s a telling reason why your opinion on the LNC chair is meaningless. The party needs someone who wants to win an election and has a modicum of knowledge on how to get to that point.

    Sarwark is a good guy but not boat rocker and can’t stand up to his incompetent board. He also has no clear vision.

    Rutherford is a great guy and even though he’s an anarchist, he shows that he knows how to set aside the differences within the party and just focus on getting work done.

  12. Bondurant

    @ Shane

    I was at the convention in Vegas. I witnessed Sarwark rock the boat just fine. You either have no clue or choose to ignore reality. Aiming for a GOP takeover of the LP is not “getting work done”.

  13. George Phillies

    Sarwark has indeed been standing up to thefew members of his board. Observe the motion of censure against him over the letter to Rand Paul. Oh, right, you didn’t see it, did you. Observe Board action over Oregon. Oh, right, the board sustained by its silence Sarwark’s decision.

    However, the delegates did give Sarwark a poor board. Note the “Ballot Access Committee” report, which was no such thing, in that the committee had not seen let alone approved the report. The Board did nothing to correct this act of dishonesty, falsely claiming that the document was a report from the committee. Note also the ExComm election a year and a half ago.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    “You just showed that you have no clue when it comes to electoral politics.”

    In 2012, I made predictions as to which presidential candidate would win in 48 states. And I was correct in all 48 states.

    As far as nuts and bolts are concerned, I’ve actually managed candidates who won elections and got appointed to federal office myself. My recollection of your electoral political experience is that you oversaw the Barr campaigns’ purchase of an air conditioning unit.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    tK: appointed to federal office myself.

    me: Interesting! What office? Were you paid, and did you cash the checks?

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Selective Service — local draft board.

    Unpaid position. I did have a personal internal debate on whether or not it was permissible to help myself to the coffee and Danishes Uncle Sam paid for at our training sessions. I figured they were already bought and would either be eaten by someone else or thrown away, so I ate them. But it made me feel a little non-anarchisty.

  17. NewFederalist

    Prof. Phillies- are you considering running for chair or the Presidential nomination this cycle?

  18. George Phillies

    I am not currently planning on running for National Chair. I am giving people advice. When you reach Orlando you will discover that I have rented the Presidential suite for the entire week, including the bedroom at each end, and Nick Sarwark and family are installed in the other bedroom.

    I have given several Presidential candidates advice and financial support. The ones who have not taken my advice will find that my support moves elsewhere. As a state chair, I have seen some small signs of life at the level of reaching me from a very few of the campaigns, notably McAfee, Kerbel, and Feldman.

    It seems to me we have had substantial involvement on the LNC from Indianans (as they are known in Massachusetts) and Virginians, and some rebalancing might be in order.

    The Libertarian Millennial Caucus has some interesting ideas, but at least one of them (shutting down the paper newsletter) is catastrophically bad. From some of the people on their leadership group, you might reasonably infer, but could be wrong, that they are supporting Pojunis for national chair. I suspect that this will not be a happy decision for them, if they make it.

    I have encouraged them to the idea that if they actually want to put their ideas into place, they need to run folks for more or less the entire LNC, every position. That’s just being realistic, not that I am saying that I want them to put their ideas into place. However, on the LNC being a minority of five would mean that they are completely irrelevant.

    Moving back upwards, I believe that SCM means Starr-Carling-Mattson, as Supply Chain Management does not seen to be an answer.

    The LNC could usefully benefit from some redirection. For example, someone tasked with press relations and outreach might be useful.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Kasich’s 2nd place showing in New Hampshire put him into position to be the “establishment” alternative to Trump and Cruz — if he could replicate it. But Rubio outperformed him in South Carolina and Nevada. Hell, CARSON outperformed him in Nevada. So the establishment endorsements and money are moving to Rubio.

    If Kasich holds on, there’s a slim chance that he could do well enough in e.g. Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and so on to arrive at the convention as part of the “brokered, wtf do we do?” mix, but I don’t see him coming out on top of that dogpile.

  20. George Phillies

    I agree with Tom on this. However, one might propose that the Republican establishment has again put its money on the wrong horse’s ass, namely Rubio, whose chances of doing well in his own state are poor. Christie’s endorsement of Trump may push things a bit more in the Trump direction.

  21. langa

    My mistake, as usual, was letting myself believe that Republican primary voters give a shit about winning elections.

    Well, I would love to see the LP win some elections, but only if they did so by running candidates that share my beliefs. I imagine the same is true for many GOP primary voters. They want to win, but not at all costs.

  22. Stewart Flood

    Think of it this way: if they have enough votes to elect Rutherford, then they can probably get Starr elected as well.

    Mattson is probably electable either way, since she is actually a quite competent party secretary. While she’s certainly in the inner sanctum of the starr chamber, she’s not a significant danger unless her associates are elected along with her. Rutherford is one of them.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    L: I imagine the same is true for many GOP primary voters. They want to win, but not at all costs.

    me: Hmm, looks like they are mostly acting out their frustrations with Trump. It’s not about issues at all; it’s about authenticity. Which is funny, as Trump is highly inauthentic, although in a different way than professional pols. He’s just crude and “skilled” at bullying.

    Is there really THAT MUCH separating the R field on the issues? I’d say No.

    Pluralities are voting for the overt megalomaniac who repeats himself WAY more than Rubio does, employing mostly monosyllabic nonsense. A modern-day Caligula.

    Every way you look at this, you lose.

  24. Losty

    This appears to be our Hindenberg/Hitler election.

    You didn’t want to vote for the senile old man (In our example the slightly crazy woman).
    But the Alternative would simply wreck everything beyond all semblance of recognition.

  25. Losty

    OOPS!

    Sorry to all LNC Chair candidates!

    I was referring to the Presidential General!
    Thought this was going on Open thread!

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    Frankly I have kind of given up on the national scene and try to just focus on local stuff. What happens at the national convention is really not much of a concern to me.

  27. Michael H. Wilson

    I will say I wish Nick the best. I think he has done a decent job under the circumstances.

  28. Rev. James Clifton

    I like Kasich as well, always have. But, I am supporting Gary Johnson. I wish Carla Howell would run for Chair. But, she isn’t. A Johnson -Howell ticket would be good, in my opinion.

  29. Andy

    George Phillies said: “However, the delegates did give Sarwark a poor board. Note the “Ballot Access Committee” report, which was no such thing, in that the committee had not seen let alone approved the report. The Board did nothing to correct this act of dishonesty, falsely claiming that the document was a report from the committee. Note also the ExComm election a year and a half ago.”

    If I were the National Chairman, I’d raise serious hell over this. Heads would roll.

  30. Andy


    “Rev. James Clifton

    February 27, 2016 at 00:01

    I like Kasich as well, always have.”

    I despise Kasich for what his campaign did to keep Libertarian Party candidates off the ballot in Ohio.

  31. langa

    Is there really THAT MUCH separating the R field on the issues? I’d say No.

    It doesn’t really matter whether Trump is actually all that different on the issues. What matters is that he is perceived to be different, and that’s why he is garnering so much support.

    It reminds me a lot of Obama in ’08. At the time, many people (including some libertarians) were saying that he was something new and different. I said at the time that he was very similar to the vast majority of major party presidential candidates in my lifetime. People were just fooled by the new packaging (in both the literal and the figurative sense). That is why many people were enthralled by him. He looked and sounded different. The same is true to a large extent for Trump and Sanders, and to a much lesser extent, for Ron Paul (who was actually different in terms of substance, but gained some support from people who didn’t care too much about his message, but just wanted to support an “anti-establishment” candidate of some sort).

  32. Andy

    George Phillies said: “I have given several Presidential candidates advice and financial support.”

    George, which candidates have you given advice and/or financial support?

  33. Robert Capozzi

    L: What matters is that [Trump] is perceived to be different, and that’s why he is garnering so much support.

    me: I wish I could find it, but I saw a poll that said the R voters rated Trump poorly on the issues, but highly on his authenticity vs the rest of the field. The same could be said for Sanders vs Clinton.

    People like to vote for people they are comfortable with, which is not just about the issues, but also whether they are right for the role and whether they come across, at least, as honest.

    Trump has built his personal brand as being outrageous, so he can pull off outrageous statements that others couldn’t. He’s authentic within his brand, which has been built for decades.

    I’m watching with great interest to see if Rubio’s “con artist” charge works. I think it encapsulates what Trump’s real role is on this particular stage.

    Obama as political product WAS different from Hillary and McCain. He didn’t have HC’s baggage and the Clinton legacy of slickness in an oily way. And he wasn’t batshit crazy like JMc. Policy-wise, they were all within the mainstream, with a few dalliances on some issues toward the edge.

    And this is the point. American politics is played in the middle. Wander too far from the middle, and a candidate is fringe. (Scarily, Sanders is now on the edge, even on economics.)

    Ls seem to want to deny this, or perhaps they enjoy being irrelevant, hoping they can scoop up a workable cadre, per Rothbard’s Leninist strategy. I’ve seen no evidence that approach is workable in an American context, as a democratic republic vs the failing monarchy that Lenin exploited.

  34. Stewart Flood

    All this time passes, and the republicans just start to expose the issues Trump has? Leaving the income tax and the illegal workers aside, he created a fake university and scammed people into giving him money — millions of dollars that was taken through fraud.

    And the response? More republicans endorse the con artist!

    Why do I bring this up? Because the same thing happened with Root. His issues were exposed, and he just got more supporters! And one of his biggest supporters, who in fact RAN WITH HIM IN 2010, was Rutherford. Who knows what would have happened to the party if both of them had won! We’d probably be either a watered down GOP, or we’d have closed our doors by now. But WAR did not become chair.

    Then comes 2012, and Rutherford makes his play to take down the party as Chair. Certainly the closest first and second round ballots we’ve had, and Rutherford was defeated by NOTA. NOTA, the last resort candidate, when NO candidate is worth electing, beat him.

    I will be lobbying my delegation to vote against him (and Pojunis as well if he runs). Hopefully no one in my state will be suckered into voting for the cabal.

    I don’t agree with everything our current chair has done, but I trust him to try to do the right thing. There are a few very good LNC members, but there are a lot that do not belong on the board of any organization.

  35. George Phillies

    Indeed, from the April 2010 Liberty for America
    Root Appoints Rutherford
    as His Running Mate
    Wayne Root has announced that his running mate for Vice Chair of the LNC is Mark Rutherford of Illinois. Rutherford is an Indiana Attorney and former State Chair, who served on the LNC in the period 2000-2006. Rutherford is locally remembered for events at the 2002 National Convention, held in Indianapolis, in which Indianans assisted then-Massachusetts-Chair Eli Israel in packing the Massachusetts delegation with two dozen Indianans, every one of who voted for Israel for National Chair. (Israel was defeated overwhelmingly and soon thereafter left the party.)

    Having said that, I thought in 2008 that Mark would have been a perfectly reasonable VP candidate,, certainly better than our 2004 candidate, or, as it turned out, our 2008 and 2012 candidates.

  36. George Phillies

    Some readers may recall that one of the men who nominated Bob Barr for President in 2008 was …Mark Rutherford. The full list of Barr nominators says the NatCon 2008 minutes was “Nominating Barr were Steve Dasbach, Rob Kampia, Mark Rutherford, and Mike Ferguson, and Bob Barr”.

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