Darcy Richardson will seek the Reform Party’s presidential nomination

darcy_richardson

Darcy Richardson

Originally published at American Third Party Report:

IPR contributor and commentator Darcy G. Richardson will be seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination at the party’s national convention in Bohemia, New York, which will be held  next week from July 29th-31st, this ATPR/IPR editor has learned.

In an an email sent today to this editor, Richardson said:

I’ll be seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination next weekend in Long Island.  The party… seems like a good match and is certainly worth preserving.

Each of us, I suppose, must bear witness for the times in which we live.  In the irrational age of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — with the country’s leading nationally-organized third party playing the role of apologist for the presumptive Democratic nominee while trying to gain the Establishment’s blessing — a Reform Party candidacy begins to make some sense.

Richardson, a 60-year old historian and writer specializing in third party political history, has authored at least sixteen books, including a series chronicling the history of third parties, Others, which emphasizes progressive and socialist parties. The first volume in the series, Others: Third-Party Politics From the Nation’s Founding to the Rise and Fall of the Greenback-Labor Party, received an award from Choice Magazine  a year after it was published in 2005. Richardson’s most recent book, 229 pages long and titled Battling the Duopoly: A Short History of the Reform Party’s Struggle to Save America’s Middle Class, was aptly published on July 4th, 2016. Richardson, who also penned a book about Bernie Sanders in late 2015, is planning on releasing his latest book on September 5th; his new work will critically cover Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdogs. 

Richardson has not only observed and written about politics from the sidelines; he’s also been a seasoned activist. In 1980, Richardson, a Philadelphia native, was recruited to run for Pennsylvania State Auditor on the Consumer Party line. He received 48,783 votes, or 1.18%, in the election. In 1988, Richardson again ran as the Consumer Party candidate, this time for U.S. Senate, ultimately earning 25,273 votes, or 0.58%, in the general election. In addition to his own race, that same year Richardson served as the campaign manager for former Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign, who ran as the Consumer Party nominee after unsuccessfully starting out in the Democratic primaries.

More than two decades later, in the 2010 gubernatorial election in Florida, Richardson ran for lieutenant governor jointly with gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari, an Iranian born economist and entrepreneur. The ticket accumulated 7,487 votes, or 0.14%.

On October 21st, 2011, Richardson’s political ambitions reached a new height. On that day, the longtime progressive declared his intention to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 Democratic presidential primaries. Richardson appeared on the ballot in New Hampshire, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, earning 41,730 votes in an election in which Obama faced no major intra-party opposition.

However, in April 2012, Richardson suspended his quest within the duopoly and endorsed Buddy Roemer, a former Louisiana governor who had recently switched from running in the GOP primaries to seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination. At the end of May, Roemer ended his presidential bid entirely, prompting Richardson to himself enter the Reform Party’s presidential nomination race. Richardson ultimately dropped his bid within the Reform Party, and chose not to attend the party’s convention in Philadelphia, likening the gathering to attendance at a funeral. IPR reported that Richardson decided to channel his efforts to ensuring the creation of a Florida chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party to place Roseanne Barr and Cindy Sheehan on the state’s ballot in November.

Darcy2016

Darcy Richardson 2016 banner (Darcy2016.com)

Fast forward to 2016: next week, on Long Island, Richardson will face perhaps the most interesting test of his political career. Seasoned and a familiar with the Reform Party internal processes, Richardson will be facing off against fellow contenders Dr. Lynn Kahn, a clinical psychologist from New York, activist Ken Cross of Arkansas, longtime Reform Party member Ed Chlapowski, a chemical processing facilitator living in Texas, and Rocky De La Fuente, a former 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. In just a few short days, the world will find out if Richardson can convince just enough of the Reform Party’s delegates that he’s the best choice to reverse the course of a party that has dwindled in size since the heyday of the Ross Perot era and lead the populist, protectionist and hard-line anti-corruption political force into a renewed time of growth and relevance on the national stage as its 2016 standard bearer.

Richardson’s campaign website is Darcy2016.com.

49 thoughts on “Darcy Richardson will seek the Reform Party’s presidential nomination

  1. Thomas Knapp

    Go, Darcy!

    By way of candidate comparison:

    In 2012, Darcy Richardson received 41,730 votes running against a popular sitting president in the New Hampshire, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas Democratic primaries.

    That’s more than three times as many votes as multi-millionaire Rocky de la Fuente received in the same states this year, running against one of the most despised figures in American politics.

    Richardson spent about $10,000 on his 2012 campaign. Fuente spent more than $6 million, although it was spent on more than just the five states in question.

    After the Libertarian Party debacle in Orlando, I despaired of finding a presidential candidate I could vote for in good conscience, let alone actively support or campaign for. No more. I’m proud to endorse my long-time friend (and frequent political supporter!) Darcy Richardson for the Reform Party’s presidential nomination and for the presidency of the United States.

  2. robert capozzi

    Good luck, DGR.

    I live in central LI, and I might even crash this one.

  3. Darcy G Richardson

    “Another user who can’t decide to which Party he belongs.” — Rev. James Clifton

    That’s not entirely true. In my lifetime — I’ve been a registered voter for 42 years — I’ve only been registered in three different parties. Admittedly, I’ve also spent a short part of my life as an unaffiliated voter. That’s probably typical of most Americans my age.

    Free thinking individuals frequently change their party loyalty — and, given our current choices, the Reform Party is the right party for me. More people should make the switch.

    Unlike a couple of the candidates seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination this year, I have a history of working with and contributing to the party, maxing out for at least one of the party’s U.S. Senate candidates in 2000 while making a number of financial contributions to several other Reform Party candidates across the country over the years.

    I also actively participated in the party’s mail-in referendums in the 1996 campaign — a year when former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm challenged Ross Perot for the party’s presidential nomination — and again four years later.

    I was also privileged to be involved in the party’s presidential nominating process in 2004, participating in the party’s conference calls that eventually led to Ralph Nader’s nomination. Four candidates sought the party’s presidential nomination that year, including the Constitution Party’s Michael Peroutka and Miami Beach journalist John Buchanan, the latter of whom had waged a spirited antiwar campaign against President George W. Bush in the New Hampshire Republican primary a few months earlier.

    I’ve also donated to the Reform Party National Committee, including one fairly sizeable contribution that was presented as evidence in the Florida Supreme Court case in 2004 when the state’s highest court rejected the Democratic Party’s attempt to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot, arguing that the Reform Party wasn’t a viable national party.

    I’m not sure what your point is, Rev. Clifton, but you ought to stick to preaching instead of delving into things you know little about.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Wait- Rocky is running on the Reform ticket?! Since When?”

    He announced a few days ago.

    Problem: He is also running for US Senate in Florida as a Democrat, and Florida only allows a candidate to be on the ballot for one office. If he won the Reform Party nomination, he would have to decide which office/ballot line he wants to pursue, because he can’t have both. And if he decided on the Senate, that would then deprive the Reform Party of the ability to run a presidential candidate in Florida (one of a handful of states in which the Reform Party has ballot access this year).

    Reform Party delegates who prefer Fuente should probably demand a firm and public commitment from him to drop out of the Senate race if he wants their support.

  5. Darcy G Richardson

    “Good luck, DGR.
    I live in central LI, and I might even crash this one.” — Robert Capozzi

    I hope you can make it, Bob. The more the merrier. It’ll be great to meet in person.

    The convention will be held at the Merrell Institute, 1461 Lakeland Avenue, in Bohemia. I’ll be stopping in the Philadelphia suburbs to see my 87-year-old mother and my older brother, who’s suffering from an aggressive form of melanoma — really scary stuff, but he’ll be starting the same experimental intravenous treatment that Jimmy Carter recently received — a few days before the convention.

    I’ll most likely be driving up from Philly, but I would absolutely love to meet you while I’m there. Maybe we could have a beer or late dinner.

  6. Darcy G Richardson

    It’s sort of odd, given his twin presidential and U.S. Senate candidacies, that Rocky de la Fuente isn’t also simultaneously running for an office in San Diego, where he actually resides — or in Mexico City, where he owns several businesses and spent most of his time as a youth and where he later attended college.

    This is one very strange election cycle.

  7. Joe Wendt

    @ Darcy Richardson,

    If you win the Reform Party nomination, who will you name as your running-mate?

  8. Andy

    Roque “Rocky” de la Fuente is petitioning for ballot access as an independent candidate for President in several states.

  9. Curt Boyd

    The Reform Party, at last check, was on as many ballots as the Prohibition Party. Are there measures in place to make sure the “renegade” ballot lines (Louisiana, Mississippi) carry the national party nominees, and what is the Reform Party doing to get more ballot access?

  10. Darcy G. Richardson

    “If you win the Reform Party nomination, who will you name as your running-mate?” — Joe Wendt

    Thanks for asking, Joe. My short list includes only one name at this point, but in the event that I’m fortunate enough to win the party’s nomination it’ll ultimately be up to the delegates in Bohemia.

    My friend Tom Knapp, publisher of Rational Review and owner and founder of the increasingly influential Garrison Center, is my preferred choice. He’s an original thinker, something that’s in really short supply in American politics these days. If nominated, Tom would not only provide some philosophical balance to the ticket, but he would be the only genuine libertarian to appear on a national ticket in November.

    Unlike William Weld — or goofy Gary, for that matter — he’s not afraid to criticize Hillary Clinton.

  11. Darcy G. Richardson

    “…and what is the Reform Party doing to get more ballot access?”

    We’re not so worried about ballot access — that’s playing into the rigged system — as long as voters still know how to use a pen or pencil.

    Risking their lives, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, five of whom were brutally tortured as traitors by the British, used a similar instrument in founding this nation, so casting a write-in vote isn’t really asking too much of the American people in 2016.

  12. Krzysztof Lesiak Post author

    It’s unfortunate that Dave Leip’s Election Atlas does not compile the results of presidential primaries that feature incumbent presidents. According to this article, Darcy did in fact beat De La Fuente by a significant margin – he received 109,764 votes. That’s well over twice the number mentioned on his Wikipedia page.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries,_2012

    I did quickly glance at the five states Darcy was on the ballot in and it appears that that the 41,730 number is correct. According to the Election Atlas, De La Fuente received over 67,000 votes. However, Rocky was running in a year with many, many times the 2012 voter turnout and he was on ballot in 29 states, with write-in access in another 8. When that $6 million figure is added to the woodwork, it can be seen that in every way, including percentage of the vote earned, besides raw vote total Darcy did indeed beat De La Fuente, and unlike Rocky, actually got his money’s worth.

    Good lucky, Darcy – it’s more than overdue for IPR to have one of its own as a presidential candidate!

  13. Curt Boyd

    To play Devil’s Advocate for a second, are you saying that the work that the Libertarian Party is doing to get their candidate Governor Johnson on the ballot in all 50 states (plus DC) is playing into the rigged system?

    It’s hard to get write ins counted in some states, and not possible to cast write ins in others. The average voter is going to look for a name on a ballot to cast, rather than take time to write someone in.

    I think the Reform Party (and other third parties) would be well served to announce their tickets early in the year, or even the year before, and do their best to get on as many ballots as possible.

    That said, I wish you well at the convention. I had family members that supported your runs in PA with the Consumer Party, but I was much too young to vote then.

  14. Dave

    Mr. Richardson, If nominated, would you challenge any of the other third party candidates to a debate? I get the feeling you’d like to debate Johnson.

    Also, while I don’t want to take anything away from Mr. Richardson for his campaign in 2012, I should note that convicted felon Keith Judd was able to get over 40% of the vote against President Obama in West Virginia. There were areas of the country where a sizable protest vote against Obama existed. He was not popular everywhere.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    Krzysztof,

    As I noted, Richardson outpolled Fuente in the states where they were both on the ballot, and probably did so at a cost per vote a couple of orders of magnitude lower. To credit Rocky, he stayed in the race through the later primaries, so he did rack up more votes total, if Wikipedia is correct.

    If I was a Reform Party delegate, it might be a tough choice between the two of them. But as I mention above, Fuente supporters should make damn sure he’s willing to give up the Senate race so as to not cost the Reform Party its presidential ballot line in Florida if they’re going to nominate him.

    I’m flattered to be on — apparently to be — the short list as the vice-presidential candidate on a Darcy Richardson ticket, and I can’t imagine saying no to my friend, especially after all the support he’s given my own efforts over the years.

    If I am not mistaken, the Reform Party has ballot access in New York and Florida, and might be able to get in under the wire in another state or two. Assuming a mostly Florida-based campaign, I notice (from Florida Secretary of State “heat maps”) that just to the west of my home in Alachua County, Florida, are two counties where Ross Perot held the winning candidate to less than 40% in 1992: Citrus County, which Bill Clinton won, and Levy County, which George Bush won. I don’t know the exact totals, but since the winning candidate had a maximum (to 1/10th of 1%) of 39.9% and the second place candidate to a maximum of 39.8%, Perot racked up a vote total of AT LEAST 20% in each of those counties. They strike me as productive counties to campaign in.

    There’s an identical pairing over on the Atlantic coast (St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties). Given their higher population (about half a million residents in the “Treasure Coast” Port St. Lucie metro), that might be the place to spend any available money on media.

    As historical footnotes go, I’m pretty sure I am the first former Marine to appear on a ballot as a candidate for vice-president of the United States (Larry Sharpe would have been the second if he had prevailed in Orlando). And I’m pretty sure that were I the Reform Party’s vice-presidential candidate this year, I would become the first person to appear on a ballot or ballots as the vice-presidential candidate of different parties in different elections (aside from, possibly, “fusion” situations). Which would be pretty cool historical footnote stuff.

  16. Darcy G. Richardson

    “That said, I wish you well at the convention. I had family members that supported your runs in PA with the Consumer Party, but I was much too young to vote then.” — Curt Boyd

    That’s nice to hear. Thanks, Curt.

    In a way the Libertarian Party is playing into a rigged system, but I don’t fault them at all, particularly if they have the resources and manpower to jump through such hoops and engage in that kind of duopoly-imposed activity.

    It shouldn’t be a problem for the LP. The Johnson campaign, after all, is presumably chipping in some $150,000 for ballot access — as promised prior to the Orlando convention.

    On the other hand, the power of the pen seems like a much more revolutionary — and satisfying — act of protest.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    DGR, are you staying over Sunday night? My best slot would be Sunday evening.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    There are a number of ways of looking at ballot access.

    50-state or nearly 50-state ballot access is a “prestige point” for the Libertarian Party, and there’s a good argument to be made that it conveys more power and more seriousness to the electorate at large than the other parties with fewer state ballot lines can rightfully claim. That prestige may have an upward effect on vote totals beyond the mere fact that people in more states can vote Libertarian.

    On the other hand, Dr. Phillies used to point out (I do not know if this is still his position, but I think I am accurately characterizing his position circa 2000 and his “local organization strategy” run for LNC chair), if a state Libertarian Party is so small and weak that it can’t get ballot access on its own without large infusions of money and assistance from the LNC, that money and assistance might be better put into states with stronger parties where it can have a greater effect. I used to argue this with him, my perspective being that since ballot access requirements vary wildly from state to state, one state party that’s just as big and active as another might have more difficulty getting on the ballot, and the national assistance might be a good investment.

    I certainly don’t see the LP’s ballot access goals as “playing into a rigged system.” Ceteris paribus, being on the ballot is probably a better vote-maximizing strategy than running as a write-in.

    That said, ceteris is not always paribus.

    Incumbent US Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) won re-election as a write-in candidate in 2010 after losing the GOP primary. Strom Thurmond (previously a Dixiecrat, then a Democrat, later a Republican) was elected to the US Senate as a write-in candidate in 1954.

    I suspect that a well-funded national write-in presidential candidate featuring either someone with pre-existing name recognition or someone who could create that name recognition by bootstrapping from advertising to earned media, etc., might be able to have an out-sized influence on the outcome and on the aftermath. It would be hard to argue that the voters for that candidate weren’t engaged/interested and were just voting a party line or whatever.

  19. Darcy G. Richardson

    In all honesty, my goal isn’t to get on as many ballots as the Green and Libertarian nominees — that’s impossible at this late date — but to appear on as many radio and television talk shows as possible, while also speaking at as many events as we can arrange. I already have a couple of speaking engagements lined up on college campuses this autumn.

    In short, my candidacy is designed to remind older folks about the Reform Party’s important role in American politics and to inform younger millennials — those facing a low-paying, if not jobless, future — that there was and is a party that was opposed to NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO and other unfair trade agreements and which is still deeply committed to the Hamiltonian idea of protecting U.S. jobs and industry as we proceed into the 21st Century.

  20. Richard Winger

    Rocky De La Fuente filed for write-in status in Indiana, along with many others, including Jill Stein, Darrell Castle, and Mimi Soltysik. That deadline has now passed and Darcy didn’t file.

  21. mARS

    RIchardson or Kahn would easily be the best choice. However, I believe that De La Fuente will argue that, since he has money and is already on the ballot in several states due to his attempt at founding the “American Delta Party,” meaning that he has a shot. Cross, the 2012 VP nominee, certainly can’t be ruled out. Interestingly, De La Fuente is also seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Florida, a state he moved to after his Democratic presidential campaign ended. Regardless, this will probably be the most interesting Reform Party convention since 2000.

    On a semi-related note, Battling the Duopoly sounds like an interesting book; I may have to check it out.

  22. Karl T. Knight

    Good Luck Mr. Richardson!
    Q: What is the Reform Party doing today to gain young voters?

  23. Scovich

    Darcy, I appreciate your passionate defense of write-in votes. I’m part of a new political party called the American Solidarity Party which advocates Christian Democracy and is running a primarily write-in campaign for President. Although we most likely disagree on some issues, I think we broadly agree on the issues which are most important to your campaign, and we are trying to give a voice to both Democrats and Republicans who also for various reasons don’t feel comfortable with the Libertarians and the other big third parties, especially with the candidates this year. I personally might have considered the Reform Party but I don’t think it would be the right fit for all of our members. Is your Uncovered Politics email address the best way to reach you? I know you are extremely busy with your own campaign, but I think we could benefit from your advice and perspective as we build our new party. Thanks!

  24. Just Some Random Guy

    Darcy G Richardson:

    If you’re running for candidate I assume you have contact with people at the Reform Party. Could you get in touch with someone at the Reform Party over fixing their website? At least on my computer, if I try to go to the donate page:
    http://reformparty.org/about/contribute/

    and then click “ONE TIME DONATION USING PAYPAL” it brings me to a page with a lot of useless gobbledygook. I tried reporting it by e-mail, but both the e-mail listed on the Contact Page on the site (http://reformparty.org/contacts/) AND the webmaster e-mail mentioned in the new post (http://reformparty.org/new-website/) just give me undeliverable e-mails when I try to send things to them, making contact via e-mail impossible! I was on the verge of trying to send a physical letter to report these things, but if you’d be able to report this to the party it would probably be really beneficial to them. I assume they want people to be able to donate to them and contact them!

  25. George Phillies

    From my book Stand Up for liberty! as part of the Clean Slate action program to fix the LNC, back in the 2000 period

    Chapter Six

    Activities for Particular Groups

    This Chapter considers Activities that are suited for federal, state, or local political parties, but not all of them. I begin with activities for the national party, and then work up to state and local groups, because this arrangement gives the clearest discussion. Many of th activities that I discuss are already performed by some groups. Other activities could be performed at a different level than the one that I propose.

    ACTIVITIES FOR THE FEDERAL LEVEL

    We have a national committee and a national party because some actions are readily carried out at the federal level. There are also activities that need to happen in every single state, but some state organizations aren’t ready to perform them, so it is in the interest of Libertarians from elsewhere in the country to see that they happen. State and local groups benefit when corresponding groups in other states become stronger.

    Some activities must be done by the National Committee itself. Other activities need to get done by someone. The National Committee could do them, but other groups could take the National Committee’s place. Finally, there are national activities that the National Committee can nurture, but not perform.

    Activities Which the National Party Itself Must Perform:

    * Cooperation with Other Libertarian Groups. A few simple principles are self- evident. State and Local Libertarian groups should be allies that the National Party actively supports, not competitors that it hinders. Independent libertarian groups such as the Cato Institute should be friends with which we actively collaborate, within the limits of tax and election laws, not hostile forces we resist or ignore. Outreach to the greater Libertarian movement is a necessary task for the National Party.

    * Washington Lobbying and Congressional Testimony: Only the National Party can convincingly represent the Party to Congress. Why should we lobby? Lobbying on strategically chosen issues introduces Libertarians to reporters, columnists, and other lobbyists. Lobbying puts into play Libertarian ideas. Lobbying can reduce the damage done to the Unites States by the duopoly party before the Libertarian Party wins, as witness the DefendYourPrivacy web campaign. One can get carried away and spend too much time lobbying. However, some measures are cheap and effective.

    Lobbying exposes members of other parties to libertarian ideas. The Republican Party has a home industry of proselytizing elected Democrats to convert them from one branch of the duopoly to the other. When the Libertarian Party begins to win elections, we will also grow by converting current public officials to our side. Lobbying, proving that the Libertarian Party is serious about real politics, prepares the ground for converting their elected officials to our party. I am reminded of an anecdote: Recently, a Massachusetts Libertarian Party member testified before the Massachusetts legislature. He began by saying that he represented the Libertarian Party. By report, the committee chair was startled. He said aloud that this marked the Libertarian Party becoming politically active in Massachusetts.

    The National Party Should Make Some Things Happen:

    The following activities are important for the Libertarian Party. They could be performed by the national party or by someone else, but the National Committee needs to make sure that these get done.

    * 50-state ballot access for the Libertarian Presidential ticket. Many of our state parties generate ballot access by themselves. For example, the Massachusetts Libertarian Party chose to seek major party status in 1998, succeeded, and therefore will put our Presidential candidate on the November 2000 ballot without further ado. In other states, local activists choose to get our Presidential candidate on the ballot and can do so by themselves. In a few states, ballot access requirements are extremely onerous. Only by focusing the resources of the entire country’s Libertarians on these few states can the Party have a Presidential candidate on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    The Presidential candidate is the nominee of the national party. The National Committee has the resources, the information, and in some cases the legal standing needed to ensure 50-state ballot access. It is entirely appropriate for the LNC to ensure that our candidate is on the ballot everywhere. Alternatively, the Party could entrust 50-state ballot access to independent groups, but there is a history of financial questions associated with a few elements of this approach. When the Libertarian Party matures, the need for national activity to obtain ballot access will fade.

    * Bolster State and Local Organizations. The National Party is responsible for noticing what its state affiliates and independent allies are doing. If difficulties arise within a state organization, the national party should notice and take appropriate action. Most often the appropriate action is to tell the state’s activists what their problem is, and letting them handle their own challenges. You might think that local people would notice the difficulties they are wading through, but sometimes people do not see the forest for the trees. Sometimes a problem has been solved before, and passing along the solution will save much time and energy. Furthermore, the National Party does have funds of its own. One way to strengthen the Party as a whole is to identify weaker state groups that have enough good activists, and give those activists the material support needed to create a stronger state party.

    * Produce activist training and support material. All across America, individual activists need to know how to solicit signatures, get out the vote, design trifolds, and help Libertarian friends Make Liberty Happen! by becoming activists themselves. Training and demonstrations using traditional (seminars, parallel sessions at conventions) and advanced technical (distance learning, video tapes, internet radio, web pages, streaming video) means can satisfy this need. Either the National Committee or its national competitors could usefully serve the Libertarian Party by developing and distributing training materials beyond those that already exist.

    Activities the National Party Can Support But Not Perform

    * Libertarian Congressional PAC. The Libertarian Party declared an intent to contest a majority of all Congressional seats. I’ll explain in Chapter Chapter 7 why this is a good idea. In 1998, only two dozen of our campaigns filed with the FEC. A half-dozen of our U.S. House candidates raised $10,000 or so each. The rest raised almost no money. Modest fundraising for party-ID cable and radio advertising and bumper stickers in places with local activists ready to distribute them would substantially boost results from this in-place effort. To raise and distribute this money we need a Libertarian Congressional PAC charged with raising funds and supporting Libertarian candidates.

    * Pro-Liberty Special Interest Groups. When Democrats and Republicans run for office, they get support from hordes of special interest groups, each pretending to speak for an issue but in reality working for a political party. I am referring equally to the pro-choice group that endorses pro-life Democrats over pro-choice candidates of other parties and to the pro-Second Amendment action groups that endorse gun-grabbing Republicans over pro-Bill-of-Rights candidates of other parties. Those groups support us on the issues, but they are not our friends and are not on our side. We need to replace them with pro-Liberty interest groups that support Libertarians.

    For political victory, the Libertarian movement needs its own special interest groups, groups that support Libertarian candidates and points of view. If the Microbrewery Trade Association routinely tilts Democratic, we should launch a Samuel Adams Society and Brewers Club to lead members to Libertarian thinking. The National Party can’t be too obvious about setting up special interest groups itself, not if those groups are to be credible. The National Party can find individual Libertarians with the right interests, incite them to create a Libertarian special interest group, and provide nurture and support to get the group off the ground. Special interest groups are so important that I devote Chapter 10 to them.

    * Take Back The Internet. The wags say ‘Libertarians rule the net.’ This is a bit of a a stretch. The *.libertarian news groups are ineffective, swamped with cross-posts, and riddled with trolls. There is a simple technical fix. The technical fix is a *moderated* newsgroup. The activity is intrinsically national. The National Committee could perform the newsgroup group creation action itself, and find (if need be, help fund) moderators, but the Libertarian National Committee is not credible itself as the moderator.

    From the above list, The national party organization has well-defined roles to fill. From forming alliances with other parts of the Libertarian movement and Washington lobbying to taking back the Internet, a range of important tasks are appropriate to all the country’s Libertarians working together, or only need to be done once to aid Libertarians everywhere. Some activities are expensive. For example, 50-state ballot access is reported to have cost $400,000 for the 1996 campaign, and may cost a similar amount for the 2000 A.D. campaign. Subscription fulfillment and membership retention have a calculable marginal cost per member. Nonetheless, the National Party’s budget must be kept proportionate to budgets of other parts of the Libertarian Party, so that money remains available for the most important tasks of the Party, the tasks performed by state and local organizations.

  26. Darcy G Richardson

    “Could you get in touch with someone at the Reform Party over fixing their website?”

    Thanks, JSRG. I’ll definitely bring it to their attention.

  27. langa

    Good luck, Darcy. While we don’t always see eye to eye on specific issues, you seem to be a man of integrity, with a sincere desire to combat the Establishment’s attempts to oppress us, and those qualities alone are sufficient to put you far ahead of most of this year’s Presidential contenders (including, sadly, the one chosen by my own party). Thanks for standing up and offering an alternative to “business as usual” insiders like Clinton, Trump and Johnson.

  28. Pingback: You Know, I Suppose I Should Make This Formal - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

  29. Brad

    I know Dr. Kahn is seeking write-in status in a few states & is e-mailing people to become her electors. Fuente has been campaigning since January at least.

    Wouldn’t this play a role in who is chosen for the Reform Party ticket?

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brad,

    We’re researching write-in status, and recruiting electors, at the moment.

    Mr. Fuente has indeed been campaigning for some time. Just not for the Reform Party’s presidential nomination. First he campaigned for the Democratic Party’s nomination (receiving fewer votes this year than Richardson did in 2012 in the states where they were both on the primary ballot); now he’s campaigning for US Senate from Florida as a Democrat (Florida only allows him one ballot slot, so it’s one race or the other there).

    That’s not to necessarily argue that he’s not the better candidate. But then, I started campaigning LAST SEPTEMBER … for another office under the banner of another party, just like Mr. Fuente. So I’m not sure that length of campaign time is really a good metric to base such a judgment on.

  31. Darcy G Richardson

    “I know Dr. Kahn is seeking write-in status in a few states & is e-mailing people to become her electors. Fuente has been campaigning since January at least.

    Wouldn’t this play a role in who is chosen for the Reform Party ticket?” — Brad

    It probably will, Brad — and the Reform Party will most certainly take those factors into consideration. As Nicholas mentioned earlier, I was approached about entering the contest very recently. I plan to support whatever ticket the party nominates.

  32. Pingback: The KN@PP Stir Podcast, Episode 88: Back to (Reform) School - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brad,

    That’s a very good point, and it’s definitely something the delegates should take into consideration.

    On the other hand, there are other related factors to take into consideration.

    One of those factors is that in the five states that both Mr. Fuente and Mr. Richardson appeared on a Democratic primary ballot in (Richardson in 2012, Fuente in 2016), Richardson outpolled Fuente and did so on a budget two full orders of magnitude smaller, even though Richardson was running against a popular incumbent president and Fuente was running against one of the most hated politicians in America.

    If that Return on Investment calculation holds in the general election for the Reform Party’s ticket, it suggests that that Mr. Fuente would need to spend at least $100 for every $1 Mr. Richardson would have to spend to generate the same vote total.

    How many millions is Mr. Fuente willing to put into his campaign? Does that number come to a million dollars for every $10,000 that Mr. Richardson can raise and spend?

    2012 Reform Party nominee, Andre Barnett reported to the FEC that he raised and spent $2,208 on his presidential campaign (for which he bought fewer than a thousand general election votes). I’m skeptical of that number since the final FEC report was the year-end for 2011, but then the Reform Party itself doesn’t seem to have reported since 2013 and had similarly anemic numbers.

    Let me suggest that with those kinds of numbers and that reporting history, smaller might actually be better for the moment until the party’s campaigns and committees get their act together to raise money well, spend it wisely and report it accurately and in a timely manner.

    There are no guarantees in politics, but I’m reasonably sure that Darcy and I can raise $10,000 for a general election campaign.

    That money would be spent mostly on advertising and perhaps a minimal amount of campaign travel, not on a fancy office or hiring our nephews as campaign staff.

    I’m not going to lie to you:

    I expect that this year’s Reform Party ticket will knock down more than a thousand votes, but probably fewer than 10,000 votes.

    I expect that it will perform in that range if the nominee is Darcy Richardson.

    I expect that it will perform within that range if the nominee is Rocky de la Fuente.

    And I don’t think that it will vary widely within that range based on how many thousands Darcy Richardson spends or how many millions of dollars Rocky de la Fuente spends. Any large variance will be due to some factors we can’t necessarily control (in what order candidates’ names appear on ballots), and on some that we can (good media targeting and smart retail campaigning).

    I do not wish to attack my running mate’s opponent, but let’s look at his political career so far.

    So far as I can tell, this is his first election cycle as a candidate for any office. In his presidential campaign so far he has spent $6.4 million to get 67,000 votes. That’s $95.50 cents per vote.

    I don’t know what Darcy Richardson’s cost per vote record is, but he’s been active in politics since the 1970s as a candidate and campaign manager. I bet he can give you a ballpark figure. And I bet it won’t be nearly $100 per vote.

    I first ran for office in 1997. I received 20.5% of the vote and carried 24 of 77 precincts running for city council in a city of 100,000. I spent about $1.60 per vote. I suspect that’s the most I’ve spent per vote in any of my six campaigns for office so far. In my 2008 run for Congress, I spent less than 20 cents per vote.

    Is money important? Hell, yes, it’s important.

    Is money everything? Nope.

    I trust the delegates to weigh the quality of their options. If that means I’m not spending the next three months running a guerilla campaign to help begin rebuilding a venerable political party which in its prenatal stage as United We Stand America launched my own political career (such as it is), I’ll heave a sigh of relief, offer that party my best wishes for its future success, and go back to doing other things.

  34. Pingback: Dan Phillips: Sanders’ Supporters Should Consider Darcy Richardson | MassCentral, Boston

  35. Pingback: Dan Phillips: Sanders’ Supporters Should Consider Darcy Richardson | MassCentral, Rhode

  36. Thomas Knapp

    UPDATE: I am told that the Reform Party’s delegates in convention today were unable to come to a decision regarding their presidential and vice-presidential nominees before adjourning, and that there will be a vote by email ballot and an announcement Monday. The two “finalists” were Rocky de la Fuente and Darcy Richardson.

  37. Pingback: On the campaign trail in the USA, July 2016 | AB-NewsOnline.com

  38. Pingback: Chronicle of the 2016 Reform Party Presidential Race | Saturn's Repository

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