George Phillies — author of a number of books on Libertarian Party topics, as well as a long-time party activist and past candidate for the presidency of the United States and the chairmanship of the Libertarian National Committee — recently published his latest work on Libertarian Party campaign finance, titled Surely We Can Do Better? The book is available in various dead tree and electronic formats via Amazon and Smashwords, starting at the eminently reasonable price of 99 cents.
As the title implies, this book examines the finances of two past Libertarian Party presidential campaigns and finds those campaigns lacking in various virtues and values. Surely We Can Do Better? is organized in a sort of “nested” manner, moving from simply phrased claims about the finances of the Barr 2008 and Johnson 2012 presidential campaigns to more detailed information and finally to excruciatingly detailed analysis of campaign finance disclosures. This excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter II and consists simply of the “bullet point” version of the book’s main claims:
- Lack of Timely Disclosure: Our 2012 National Convention delegates were misled as to the state of Johnson 2012’s campaign finances.
- Johnson’s Republican Campaign: Johnson’s 2011 campaign spent six dollars out of seven on staff and one dollar out of seven on outreach.
- Presidential Matching Funds: Counting a debt to the U.S. Treasury, Johnson 2012 lost money by taking Federal matching funds.
- Abandoning Its Debt: The Johnson 2012 campaign finished its run 1.5 million dollars in debt. It offered some creditors nothing, and other creditors an object that it admitted was worth much less than claimed.
- A Historical Sequence: How the truth came out, a small bit at a time.
- What Did We Get for Our Money? How were campaign donations spent?
- Barr 2008: Barr 2008 gave us a campaign that spent even less money on outreach than Johnson 2012 did.
Dr. Phillies has graciously given me permission to excerpt as much of the book as I want to, up to and including just publishing the whole thing here. I prefer not to give away his store, especially when you can buy it for less than a buck. The content of further excerpts will be driven by comments on this excerpt — in other words, I’ll try to deliver material that covers what IPR’s readers find interesting and want more information about.