Will Johnson Slide Below 5 Percent Nationally?

five-percent-gold-4317717Harry Eten a senior political writer and analyst for the website FiveThirtyEight.com published an article titled, “What Went Wrong For Gary Johnson?” earlier today.  The article explicates several reasons for Johnson’s consistent polling slide. (About .5 percent per week – from a high above 9 percent six weeks ago to a current 5.6 percent.)  Among those reasons – missing the CPD debates, policy-related gaffes, the traditional protest-vote pre-election fade, Sanders’ supporters following Sanders’ admonitions to vote for HRC, McMullin’s impact on voting behavior in Utah and other LDS (Mormon) communities, etc.

Eten concludes:

“The only real question for the rest of Johnson’s campaign is how much more ground, if any, will he lose? As long as Johnson doesn’t dip below 5 percent, he’ll qualify the Libertarian Party for federal funding in 2020. That still looks like it’s probably going to happen. And while that might not be the most glorious ending, it’s still a better ending nationally than any other third-party candidate for president since 1996.”

The full article can be read HERE.

145 thoughts on “Will Johnson Slide Below 5 Percent Nationally?

  1. Thomas Knapp

    The slide is no mystery, and it is not, for the most part, Johnson’s fault.

    As Election Day approaches every four years, the “wasted vote” and “only A or B can win, you must choose the lesser evil” arguments start hitting hard, and they ARE effective.

    The slide isn’t going to stabilize and it isn’t going to get better. It’s going to accelerate.

    To an extent, that’s a good thing — the federal funding that comes with 5% can only have one of two results. One is to completely destroy the Libertarian Party. The other is to make the Libertarian Party so ineffectual that the movement would have been better off if it HAD been destroyed.

    I do honestly hope that Gary gets better than the 2-3% I expect. I’d love to see the LP get 4.99999999%. That result would be a hundred times better than any result greater than 5% but less than a win.

  2. Joseph Buchman Post author

    Perhaps we could create a 2-week out betting pool here.

    I’m going with the excruciating 4.97 percent I first predicted some months ago.

    Joe

  3. ATBAFT

    3 million votes and a third place finish.
    I think it demonstrates the electorate is not ready for a tepid Libertarian message. Also, that a “pure” Libertarian message would be lucky to attract 1 million votes.

  4. Chuck Moulton

    I’m betting under 10% nationally for Gary Johnson. Any amount of money. I’ll bet with anyone I am confident will pay up when he/she loses. So far I only have one bite for $100 from a longtime Pennsylvania activist.

  5. Thomas Knapp

    Chuck,

    You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to take candy from babies. Anyone who would take that bet should be committed to the care of a guardian because he or she is obviously not competent to handle basic life tasks like tying shoes, crossing the street, etc.

  6. Steve Kerbel

    The polls have never been a good indicator, since the ability to choose Johnson in a poll was difficult and sometimes impossible. The key is the millennials, and will they turn out to vote. If they do, a finish in excess of 10% is more than likely. The more accurate predictor of voting intent is to take polling results and double them. We will see in 2 weeks, but I would not be surprised to see a much higher tally than anyone is currently predicting. There is still the possibility of winning a few states. Optimistic? Yes. Still possible? Yes.

  7. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    10%? No way I take that action, unless you give me 500-1 odds.

    I was as surprised as you are that he took that bet with no odds. I am a fan of free money and there are a lot of Gary Johnson supporters with wildly unrealistic expectations, so obviously I would like to cash in.

    Rest assured, the money I make off the shiny badge caucus will be donated to other libertarians running realistic and principled (simultaneously, not separately) campaigns.

  8. Chuck Moulton

    Steve Kerbel wrote:

    a finish in excess of 10% is more than likely.

    Steve,

    Would you care to bet $100 on 10% (or more… you choose the amount)? I will take the under, you can take the over.

    P.S. Please ignore my comment of 7:37 pm. Thank you.

  9. Anthony Dlugos

    Well, it was a voluntary exchange, so enjoy your winnings.

    However, I’d spend the money on yourself, not some “principled” campaign…unless its your own.

  10. Steve Kerbel

    Chuck- You did leave out a rather important caveat in your quote of what I said… I am pretty sure I prefaced my comment by stating that beating 10% is likely if millennial turnout is good… Millennial turnout has not historically been very good. Hopefully they are engaged enough in this messy year that they vote…

  11. Chuck Moulton

    Steve,

    What is the probability that millennial turnout is good? That can help us set odds.

    Or perhaps you would agree to an 8% bet with even money.

    I am open to negotiation. Let’s make this work.

  12. Steve Kerbel

    Chuck.. I am a betting man.. but my limit no matter what is $1… I will take the over at 8%… Now to the government that is monitoring this discussion because they are seeking someone to bust rather than to protect our liberties…. $1 is secret code for property to be determined that can legally be wagered across state lines according to all applicable laws and regulations… So there.

  13. Chuck Moulton

    Can we make your $1 bet 100 times?

    Also I am willing to bet my $10,000 to your $100 that Gary Johnson’s vote total in 2016 will not directly result in permanent nationwide ballot access for libertarian candidates.

  14. AMcCarrick

    I find it ironic that this website is probably the most anti-LP website on the internet. Even Cenk Uygur from the Young Turks has been moderate on Johnson. It’s only the few people within the LP that frequent this website that are overly critical. It really makes me wonder if you’re all really not anti-LP, knowing that this crap you post will keep the party small, but you try to act like you’re just purists. Seems like a lot of you would actually fit in quite well in the American Freedom Party when you actually read between the lines. The people here are the most authoritarian libertarians I have ever seen. The frequenters of this website always push a “my way, or no way” mentality…. that is by it’s very nature authoritarian.

  15. Anthony Dlugos

    AMcCarrick,

    Its a bizzaro world, and I love it.

    I just heard Governor Johnson on one of the cable channels today, and the host said she’d be following his campaign, and described him as “strongly free market and for smaller government.”

    Wow! Who knew?!?! Reading the posts here, and I thought he was just another statist.

  16. Richard Winger

    Chuck Moulton, I am surprised you mentioned the concept of Gary’s vote resulting in “nationwide” ballot access for the LP. I thought you knew that there are quite a few states in which a presidential vote total has no connection to getting qualified status. You formerly lived in Pennsylvania where the only way a party gets qualified status is by having 15% of the state’s voters enroll in the party. Other states in which a party’s presidential vote has no connection to whether it keeps or gains qualified status are Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming. And then aside from all that, because Gary doesn’t have the “Libertarian” label in Ohio, Tennessee, and Alabama, his vote can’t help the party with qualified status there either.

  17. Don Wills

    I offered to take the under on 5% a week ago. Nobody was willing to take the other side of that bet. I think Anthony Dlugos has set the current line – 1.85%. I’m hesitant to take the under on that, but I’m tempted.

  18. George Phillies

    From the Late October issue of Liberty for America: (and why is Chuck mentioning the 5% claim? Because the Johnson campaign is pushing it for fundraising purposes:

    The Source Caught!

    A false rumor is stalking our Republic. The meritless claim is that if the Libertarian Presidential campaign gets 5% of the vote, our 2020 candidate will have nationwide ballot access. The claim is completely false. For a chart of places where the Presidential vote in a particular state can have some effect, not a good effect in every case, see the latest LP News.

    Thanks to a correspondent, we have finally uncovered a source for these rumors. It may not be the original source, but it is the source that vast numbers of Libertarians will read and believe.

    The Source is the Johnson Campaign. We quote from their latest fundraising message:

    “We need you to chip in right now to make sure we have the resources to change the course of history.

    Why?

    Because getting just 5% of the popular vote will bring about the most devastating blow to the two-party duopoly that protects the Republican and Democratic parties from real competition.

    How?

    If we get 5% of the popular vote, the Libertarian Party will have automatic ballot placement for future elections, we will get substantial federal funding, and the establishment on both sides will have to face a real competition from day 1 of the election cycle.”

    Remember, the candidates for President and Vice President are both former governors. They held elective office. They can hardly not know how ballot access works in their own states.

    We put the key line in red so you can’t miss it. The Johnson campaign is claiming that 5% of the National vote gets the LP ‘automatic ballot placement’. The only reasonable interpretation of ‘automatic ballot placement’ is that the description applies to the whole country. The claim is complete blatherskite. In most states, the Presidential vote total has no effect on 2020.

    Nor is this the only case in which the Johnson campaign has advanced its claim.

    As supplied to us:

    10/21/2016 GJ fundraising email:
    If we get 5% of the popular vote, the Libertarian Party will have automatic ballot placement for future elections,

    10/24/2016 GJ fundraising email:
    What the two major parties don’t want voters to know, is that for every vote we get over 5% comes major party status for the Libertarian party. It means automatic ballot access for Libertarian candidates.

    One prominent former LNC member, addressing our party leadership, has written “Is there any recourse for LP members concerned our presidential campaign is flat out lying to donors and supporters? This isn’t a matter of opinion… the claim that a 5% vote results in major party status and automatic ballot access is demonstrably false.

    By the time the duped voters and donors realize the campaign intentionally deceived them, Gary Johnson and his conservative Republican staff will be long gone, leaving party officials holding the bag.

    I have to hear about the 5% canard every day… it’s pretty clear where this unfounded rumor is coming from.”

    A current LNC member writes: “The 5% major party status was on the website …. that is false. There are some states in which that is true (Washington) but this was stated as nationwide. I have had people very confused here in [my state].”

  19. Michael H. Wilson

    It would help if the campaign and the LP’s national website had a stronger, more detailed stance on prominent issues. Hell Jill Stein came out against having 700 bases around the world but I don’t see anything about that either on the LP website or the Johnson one. That’s just one of half a dozen issues.

  20. George Phillies

    “Also I am willing to bet my $10,000 to your $100 that Gary Johnson’s vote total in 2016 will not directly result in permanent nationwide ballot access for libertarian candidates.”

    Sucker bet. Moulton has a guaranteed win of $100.

  21. Austin Cassidy

    I think 1.85% is too low. I’d put the over/under to 2.74% — Nader’s showing in 2000.

    I’m leaning towards over, but not absolutely convinced of it. Five percent is possible, and would be fantastic for the party, but it would require him winning about 6.5 million votes.

  22. rj

    If the Libertarian Party got a high enough vote to qualify for federal funding, shouldn’t they refuse it on ideological grounds?

  23. rj

    Here’s the order of third party candidacies since 1900 that made an impact of some sort. “Impact” here defined as “larger than 2%” or earned an electoral vote.

    1. 1912 – Theodore Roosevelt – Progressive – 88 of 531 electoral votes – 27.39% of the vote
    2. 1992 – Ross Perot – Independent – 18.91%
    3. 1924 – Robert La Follette – Progressive – 13 of 531 electoral votes – 16.62%
    4. 1968 – George Wallace – American Independent – 46 of 538 electoral votes – 13.53%
    5. 1996 – Ross Perot – Reform – 8.40%
    6. 1980 – John Anderson – Independent – 6.61%
    7. 1912 – Eugene Debs – Socialist – 5.99%
    8. 1920 – Eugene Debs – Socialist – 3.44%
    9. 1916 – Allan Benson – Socialist – 3.17%
    10. 1904 – Eugene Debs – Socialist – 2.98%
    11. 1908 – Eugene Debs – Socialist – 2.83%
    12. 2000 – Ralph Nader – Green – 2.74%
    13. 1948 – Strom Thurmond – States’ Rights Democratic – 39 of 531 electoral votes – 2.41%
    14. 1948 – Henry Wallace – Progressive – 2.37%
    15. 1932 – Norman Thomas – Socialist – 2.22%

    I think Gary Johnson and the Libertarians should be happy to make it to 8th on this list.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp

    RJ,

    Parties don’t get federal funding. Candidates do. That’s why it attracts the opportunists. From what I’ve heard, once Pat Buchanan had the 2000 Reform Party nomination in hand, the bulk of the $12.5 million in government welfare he got for his campaign made its way, via one channel or another, into his sister’s bank account.

    The way for the LP to refuse federal funding is to require candidates for president to sign legally enforceable contracts saying they won’t accept that funding as a condition of nomination eligibility.

  25. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    As I said before, I think there’s a even chance that Stein will outperform Johnson. Her supporters are mostly hardcore, pro-Stein progressives. Whereas many of Johnson’s supporters see him as a “lesser evil” default candidate, but will return home or stay home come November.

  26. Rev. James Clifton

    This could have been a groundbreaking year for the Libertarian Party and I was very excited, especially since Gary Johnson was the nominee. However, while I agree not making the debates might have hindered his campaign, Johnson is the main reason he is faltering. He doesn’t seem serious. He comes across as goofy during interviews and on some late night talk shows. And, the constant focus on legalizing marijuana continues to give the appearance the LP is singularly focused. Additionally, his and Weld’s ongoing adulation of Hillary Clinton is asinine. Speaking of Weld, and he is someone I have always liked, he was not the best VP nominee as I look back. He is a Republican and has pretty well stated so since being the LP nominee. As much as I hate to admit it, it really looks like changes the LP wants in the American political system, the economy, and in foreign policy will more likely be achieved within the two major parties.

  27. rj

    “The way for the LP to refuse federal funding is to require candidates for president to sign legally enforceable contracts saying they won’t accept that funding as a condition of nomination eligibility.”

    Nice words for a blog. You don’t control the party though.

    “As I said before, I think there’s a even chance that Stein will outperform Johnson.”

    She’s really never taken off. The anti-Trump feelings of the Sanders supporters have overridden the anti-Hillary feelings. She received 0.36% in 2012 and I’d bet she’ll definitely go up from that, but at this point I think success for the Greens is almost tripling to 1%.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    “The way for the LP to refuse federal funding is to require candidates for president to sign legally enforceable contracts saying they won’t accept that funding as a condition of nomination eligibility.”

    Nice words for a blog. You don’t control the party though.
    —–

    On the contrary, I DO control the party. The party is controlled by its national convention delegates. I have been a delegate to six national conventions and expect to be a delegate to the 2018 national convention in New Orleans, where I will certainly back such a bylaws amendment for 2020.

  29. Losty

    Heck, with the tongue interview, the not knowing one leader, and the Samantha bee whatever that was… he actually makes pot look bad.

    Not to mention “What Is Aleppo?” The minute his campaign died.

    RJ (9:55):

    Throw out 1-4 and 13. Those voters belong to Trump this cycle (States Rights My Rear, you LOST).
    Would be great if he finishes 12. Showing that even all these years later, Socialist beats Fake Republican LP.

    Heck, if McMullin takes down Utah it would be hilarious, as the National 50 state full time campaign can’t get any EC votes and a last minute fill in takes down a state.

  30. Anthony Dlugos

    Roots Teeth,

    I’ll bet you any amount of money you want to bet on Stein vs. Johnson. There’s no damn way she outperforms Johnson.

    You’re overestimating the effect of intensity of support, which those of a philosophical bend tend to do.

    What those around here deem as Johnson’s milquetoast defense of liberty is what draws in the typical voters, the sorts of people who shy away from unqualified partisans.

  31. Andy

    “Anthony Dlugos
    October 25, 2016 at 11:51
    Roots Teeth,

    I’ll bet you any amount of money you want to bet on Stein vs. Johnson. There’s no damn way she outperforms Johnson.”

    I doubt that Stein is going to get as many votes as Johnson either, but I do think that Stein could end up outperforming Johnson on a ratio scale (being that she’s on less ballots, and has less money and name recognition). Johnson will probably get more votes than he got last time, just because of the dynamics of this election, but I expect that he will under-perform from what his potential for this election could have been.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    “What those around here deem as Johnson’s milquetoast defense of liberty is what draws in the typical voters”

    Well, except for the part where it never has, and doesn’t seem to be doing, any such thing.

  33. Anthony Dlugos

    rj,

    If the LP should refuse the federal campaign funds on ideological grounds, then we should refuse to participate in the elections themselves, which are conducted using federal funds as well.

    The primary reason many members of the party oppose accepting federal campaign funds has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with the realization that the promise of federal funds will bring in a far higher caliber of candidate than the LP has previously experienced. It’s pure self interest by members of the Small Potatoes Caucus who can’t hope to compete directly with experienced professionals they know would be coming.

    I don’t know if our 2020 candidate will accept federal campaign funds; its possible, although unlikely, that the Small Potatoes Caucus succeeds at pulling a 1984 Convention again. I do know that, even if that happens, it only delays the inevitable. Political parties exist to win election. Whatever attempt Purists make to hamstring future legit candidates will eventually be overrun by pragmatic people who actually want to win elections and move the country in a libertarian direction.

  34. Tony From Long Island

    I made my prediction last week on a different thread. I didn’t write it down, but I will write this one down and see how I do In two weeks:

    Clinton 49
    Drumph 41
    Johnson 7
    Stein 2
    McMuffin & others 1

  35. Anthony Dlugos

    “Well, except for the part where it never has, and doesn’t seem to be doing, any such thing.”

    I worded that poorly. What I meant to say is that voters don’t want ideologues for president. What Purists see as “principled” positions the voters see as ideological inflexibility and it’s nothing they want in a president. Stein’s stridently socialist positions are not a strength, they are a weakness.

    I don’t base this on the results libertarian presidential nominees have obtained. I ignore those almost completely and look at what voters TYPICALLY vote for for president.

    They don’t want an ideologue “running” this country.

  36. Tony From Long Island

    Andy Dandy: ” . . . . Johnson will probably get more votes than he got last time, just because of the dynamics of this election, but I expect that he will under-perform from what his potential for this election could have been. . . . ”

    Probably? Really? Are you serious? Probably?

    While the dynamics of this year surely play a part in the outcome, it is not the only reason Johnson will – at the very least – quintuple his 2012 total.

    btw – Dr. Stein is only on a few less ballots than Johnson – have fun with your ratio math. It won’t turn out the way you’d like.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    You seem to flee in terror at the prospect of facing reality on almost anything political.

    “What Purists see as ‘principled’ positions the voters see as ideological inflexibility and it’s nothing they want in a president.”

    Tell that to Jeb Bush. He was plenty flexible, and got his ass whipped by a guy who starts off inflexible and gets even more so when challenged.

    “The primary reason many members of the party oppose accepting federal campaign funds has nothing to do with ideology”

    Well, it has SOME to do with ideology. But it has more to do with you being 180 degrees complete busted ass wrong on what follows:

    “and everything to do with the realization that the promise of federal funds will bring in a far higher caliber of candidate than the LP has previously experienced.”

    High caliber candidates raise their own money instead of chasing a check that puts a ceiling on their possibilities.

    It costs about a billion bucks to win the presidency these days.

    Third party matching funds are capped at $20 million.

    Major party matching funds are capped at $80 million.

    And if you take them, you are not allowed to raise money from donors or spend more than $50k of your own money.

    Barack Obama didn’t accept federal funding in 2008.

    Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney accepted federal funding in 2012.

    Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton are accepting federal funding in 2016.

    Federal funding is welfare for losers. It serves precisely two practical functions:

    1) Attracting con artists; and

    2) Attracting whackjobs.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Johnson will – at the very least – quintuple his 2012 total”

    Which metric are you using? Do you expect him to knock down at least 6.4 million votes (five times as many votes as he got in 2012)? Or to get at least 4.95% of the vote (five times his 2012 percentage)?

    I’m expecting very high voter turnout, and I also expect that the higher the turnout, the worse third parties will do as a percentage of the vote. People who vote third party are people who vote all the time. The people who lay around on their couches most years but turn out when it’s a circus are probably turning out for Trump this year.

  39. Tony From Long Island

    TK, there are already quite a few of those in the LP. Gotta put your faith in the delegates to not nominate one of them. This year the delegates did the right thing ( go ahead Andy – say your usual verbal diarrhea).

  40. Andy

    Tom, when Jesse Venture got elected Governor, voter turn out was higher than average, and a lot of the people who voted for Jesse did not usually vote and they took advantage of the fact that Minnesota was one of the few states that had election day voter registration.

    I agree with the rest of your points.

  41. Andy

    Gary Johnson is polling higher than average due to the circumstances of this election. We could have run just about anybody and they would be polling higher than average.

  42. Tony From Long island

    Dandy Andy: ” . . . Gary Johnson is polling higher than average due to the circumstances of this election. We could have run just about anybody and they would be polling higher than average. . . . ”

    You can keep saying that over and over but it still remains untrue.

    If you think Darryl Perry would be polling over 1%, you are crazier than I already know you are.

    After hearing Perry speak for more than 10 seconds, voters would make that face you make when you taste a lemon and aren’t ready for it.

    McAfee is even weirder.

    I will concede that Petersen would poll over 1% but not over 2%. Voters would tire of his froth-at-the-mouth bloviating and his right wing positions. The LP nominated the right candidate.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    “After hearing Perry speak for more than 10 seconds, voters”

    See, there’s your problem. You think that significant numbers would hear Perry speak for more than 10 seconds. It’s doubtful that 1 in 100 voters has heard Gary Johnson speak for more than 10 seconds. Thank God.

  44. Anthony Dlugos

    Thomas,

    Of course, you are right in regards to the situation vis a vi federal funds and the major party candidates of late.

    Two things must be noted at this juncture:

    1) the decision of the duopoly candidates to refuse federal funds is PURELY pragmatic. They know with a certainty they can raise more than they would be limited to. We won’t know that, and we certainly won’t know that in 2018, when the Small Potatoes Caucus wants their “legally enforceable contract” signed. I smell duplicity.

    If some billionaire steps forward in 2017 and suggests he would bankroll our 2020 candidate, rest assured we won’t need any bylaw to prevent our candidate from taking LESS money.

    2) the primary reason we don’t want to do anything stupid like a legally enforceable contract in 2018 is that we don’t have to tell any sane, legit candidate to take the larger pile of money behind door #2. Something so dumb is merely a way to signal to good candidates we are still a bush league organization, willing to cut off our nose to spite our face.

    Indicating in 2018 that we are not going to stand in the way of our candidate from doing what is necessary to win is the reason why we’re not going down the road less traveled with the Small Potatoes Caucus and declare some cockamamie ideological, hypocritical stand against fedeal campaign funds.

  45. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Indicating in 2018 that we are not going to stand in the way of our candidate from doing what is necessary to win”

    If our candidate takes federal funds, he has foreclosed any possibility whatsoever of winning.

    I do acknowledge you as an expert on the machinations of the Small Potatoes Caucus based on your obvious obsession with ensuring that neither the Libertarian Party nor its candidates ever, even for a minute, live in the real world or engage in real politics.

  46. Anthony Dlugos

    If our candidate decides to accept federal funds, winning wasn’t an option anyway. At that point, we’d be essentially leveraging the federal funds for better 2024 exposure.

    There’s no damn reason we have to make candidates sign a legally enforceable contract preventing them from doing stupid stuff, like taking less money.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    Let me see if I can explain this using small words so that you will get it:

    Fundraising is about more than raising funds.

    When you raise funds, you build lists for future fundraising. You don’t get those lists by taking a welfare check.

    When you raise funds you are banking votes, not just funds. The very first thing my very first real political mentor taught me is that if you can get a voter to give you money — ANY amount of money, even one dollar — he now considers you a personal investment of his and is about five times as likely to tell his friends about you AND actually get out and vote for you. If you accept the welfare check, you’re forbidden to even ASK him for that dollar.

    When you raise funds, you are in a position to make hay if the sun suddenly starts to shine. Some big event gets you a publicity windfall and you crank out a money bomb. If you take the welfare check, forget that.

    The welfare check is a CEILING. If you take it, you are legally forbidden to have the money required to compete in the election. At present, the MAXIMUM amount you get is about 1/25th of what each of your major party opponents will raise and spend.

    And if Gary is right, the MAXIMUM amount is not in play. What is in play is … well, LESS THAN WHAT HE RAISED AND SPENT THIS YEAR. So if our candidate accepts the welfare check, his acceptance speech should be “sorry I couldn’t give you as much campaign as you got in 2016. That welfare check was just too tempting.”

  48. Tony From Long Island

    TK: ” . . . See, there’s your problem. You think that significant numbers would hear Perry speak for more than 10 seconds. It’s doubtful that 1 in 100 voters has heard Gary Johnson speak for more than 10 seconds. Thank God. . . . ”

    Two things . . you made my point by acknowledging that Perry would get ZERO press coverage.

    Second. didn’t you – in this very thread- state that you are campaigning for Johnson? So it seems odd that you are glad that has not been heard by “1 in 100” voters.

    Additionally, in 2012 the total number of people who voted was 128,556,307. My math is terrible, but 1 in 100 of that is 1.28 million. Considering that Johnson will receive significantly higher than that (he got 1.27 in 2012), I think your ration is a bit off.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    Second. didn’t you – in this very thread- state that you are campaigning for Johnson? So it seems odd that you are glad that has not been heard by “1 in 100” voters.
    —–

    I doubt that he will make 5%, and I am glad of that for reasons that have nothing to do with him as a candidate.

    When I was working the booth this weekend, I tried to portray him as positively as I could. Heck, I even touted Weld as a foreign policy maven when someone questioned Gary’s chops in that area, pointing out that Bill Clinton had nominated him for the ambassadorship to Mexico. This person — a Clinton supporter — and I agreed that if Clinton wins Weld will almost certainly be appointed to some kind of position in her administration. He had entered the tent in a bit of a hostile manner (“what are you trying to do, elect Clinton or elect Trump?”) but I think he went away with a reasonably positive impression.

    I’ve got experience — I had to sell Bob Barr at a Pride festival in 2008. Talk about a tough crowd.

    Anyway, when it comes to maximizing votes, Johnson probably does a lot better at this point when people hear ABOUT him from a supporter than when people hear, um, HIM.

  50. Tony From Long Island

    After campaigning for Bob Barr, you were able to look at yourself in the mirror? I’m impressed 🙂

  51. George Phillies

    “Dandy Andy: ” . . . Gary Johnson is polling higher than average due to the circumstances of this election. We could have run just about anybody and they would be polling higher than average. . . . ”

    You can keep saying that over and over but it still remains untrue.

    If you think Darryl Perry would be polling over 1%, you are crazier than I already know you are.”

    We know Andy is right. We know this for sure because WE RAN JOHNSON IN 2012. That; what Johnson was good for. This time, we know what the two greatest libertarian recruiters in all history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are doing for us.

  52. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tony,

    I gave Barr an honest shot and took him at his word when he apologized for all the bad shit he had done in order to get the nomination. Once he left the convention and went on TV to brag about all that bad shit he had falsely apologized for, I did the minimum that I had to do for the party, and voted for Cynthia McKinney. She wasn’t so great herself but she was the closest thing to a libertarian available to vote for in my state.

  53. Tony From Long Island

    George: ” . . . We know Andy is right. We know this for sure because WE RAN JOHNSON IN 2012. That; what Johnson was good for. This time, we know what the two greatest libertarian recruiters in all history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are doing for us. . . . ”

    First of all, I really have no idea what you are trying to say here. Second, when you start with “Andy was right,” it is assured that what follows is drivel.

  54. rj

    “its possible, although unlikely, that the Small Potatoes Caucus succeeds at pulling a 1984 Convention again.”

    They did in 2004 in my opinion. Badnarik ended up being an absurd candidate.

    “Once he left the convention and went on TV to brag about all that bad shit he had falsely apologized for, I did the minimum that I had to do for the party, and voted for Cynthia McKinney. ”

    I am LMAO here.

  55. Anthony Dlugos

    Why don’t we just leave the decision about whether or not to accept federal campaign funds to the candidate themselves, if it’s purely a pragmatic decision about consenting to the ceiling on donations?

    Are they that stupid that they’d accept a ceiling they know they can do better than?

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    “WE RAN JOHNSON IN 2012. That; what Johnson was good for. This time, we know what the two greatest libertarian recruiters in all history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are doing for us.”

    Well, they’ve certainly helped. But the notion that the only factors in Johnson’s vote difference between 2012 and 2016 are Clinton/Trump is absurd.

    He has had that initial vote/support base to build on.

    He has a different and better-known running mate this year.

    There was a certain amount — not a huge amount, but some — of political activity from him between 2012 and 2016.

    The Ron Paul Revolution is over and some of its dispersing fragments are moving back toward the LP from their flirtation with the GOP.

    The broader libertarian movement has significantly extended its reach into the public mind since 2012. For example, the first International Students For Liberty Conference in 2008 boasted about 100 attendees. The last one I’ve seen numbers for was 2014 — about 14 times as many.

    Trump and Clinton are certainly major factors, but there are others.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Why don’t we just leave the decision about whether or not to accept federal campaign funds to the candidate themselves, if it’s purely a pragmatic decision about consenting to the ceiling on donations?”

    Because we don’t have to leave the choice of whether or not to destroy the party to them. We can prevent them from doing so.

  58. Anthony Dlugos

    I thought you were arguing the decision hinges merely on whether or not the nominated candidate can raise more than the federal funded campaign limit allows?

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I thought you were arguing the decision hinges merely on whether or not the nominated candidate can raise more than the federal funded campaign limit allows?”

    No, I was arguing that that is ONE of the pragmatic reasons to stay the fuck away from the welfare check. There are all kinds of pragmatic reasons not to accept the check, and no pragmatic reasons to accept it. It’s bad politics all around, in every way.

    Among those other pragmatic reasons is that it would likely forever end any possibility of the Libertarian Party ever becoming an effective political organization. So the party has an interest, and it has the ability to have a say in the matter. That say could be exercised preemptively (bylaws provision requiring the candidate to legally bind hirself not to accept the check to be eligible for the nomination) or after the fact (LNC suspending candidate as soon as (s)he applies for the check). Preemptive seems less tumultuous.

  60. Losty

    And now we have to work this into the equation.

    A Non-Concession concession from the VP Candidate.

    Some may say that he now has just become the best candidate the LP has ever had. Knowing he can’t win, he may have just done what is needed to help the Republic.

    “In the final days of this very close race, every citizen must be aware of the power and responsibility of each individual vote. This is not the time to cast a jocular or feel-good vote for a man whom you may have briefly found entertaining. Donald Trump should not, cannot, and must not be elected President of the United States.”
    https://www.johnsonweld.com/statement_by_gov_bill_weld_regarding_the_final_weeks_election

  61. Anthony Dlugos

    “There are all kinds of pragmatic reasons not to accept the check, and no pragmatic reasons to accept it.”

    Wrong. I gave one earlier; there are others. Most of the people I talked to in Orlando thought it obvious from a pragmatic perspective that we should allow our candidate to decide. Of course, I’m sure that means little to you, but I heard numerous arguments as to why we should accept it.

    I do hope the Purists continue to take the “no true Scotsmen…I mean libertarian…can legitimately argue for our candidate accepting the federal funds.” The inquisition attitude makes our job easier.

    “Among those other pragmatic reasons is that it would likely forever end any possibility of the Libertarian Party ever becoming an effective political organization.”

    Obviously not true, since the dinosaur parties once did, and they are still winning elections.

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Obviously not true, since the dinosaur parties once did, and they are still winning elections.”

    Logic fail.

    The dinosaur parties were winning elections, and had reached (mostly) freak-resistant size, long before they started awarding their own candidates welfare checks four times as large as the maximum welfare checks they allow for third party candidates — and even then their candidates stopped accepting those welfare checks because the amount of money required to run a real campaign grew larger than the welfare checks.

    The LP candidate accepting the welfare check is plainly and unambiguously saying “not interested in winning, not interested in running a real campaign, just here for the lulz and the ego stroke.” The LP that is willing to run a candidate who is saying that deserves what it gets, which is permanent political irrelevance.

  63. dL

    “everything to do with the realization that the promise of federal funds will bring in a far higher caliber of candidate than the LP has previously experienced.”

    That’s so laughingly bullshit…unless, of course, one defines “higher caliber” candidate as one who will give Anthony Dlugos a taste…

  64. Anthony Dlugos

    dL,

    No, I mean people with a decent resume and experience in office.

    But you keep believing your fantasyland musings that voters are gonna turn federal offices over to anarchists with no experience and sh*tty resumes just because they read some Rothbard and have the cocksure thought process of the most dogmatically religious.

    All I have is a reading of history which demonstrates conclusively that parties which succeed at becoming major parties draw their professional class (officeholders, party heirarchy, etc) almost exclusively out of defectors from waning parties in the same country.

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    “All I have is a reading of history which demonstrates conclusively that parties which succeed at becoming major parties draw their professional class (officeholders, party heirarchy, etc) almost exclusively out of defectors from waning parties in the same country.”

    Would those be the parties which win elections and whose candidates don’t accept federal funding? Those waning parties there? Or some mythical waning parties whose candidates take the welfare check?

  66. dL

    “But you keep believing your fantasyland musings that voters are gonna turn federal offices over to anarchists with no experience and sh*tty resumes just because they read some Rothbard and have the cocksure thought process of the most dogmatically religious.”

    Oh, I believe a anarchist could beat telephone debt collector in an election…straight up, even.

  67. Just Some Random Guy

    Honestly, if there are worries about taking the matching funds being inconsistent with libertarianism, it seems like the best solution to this would be to accept the “welfare check” but somehow set it up so it only goes to ballot access. If the government’s going to try to make it hard to run candidates, I actually like the idea that the matching funds mean the government is essentially being forced to pay to help people bypass its own dumb ballot laws.

  68. Austin Cassidy

    JSRG —

    Good point. I think that’s what the Johnson campaign means when they’ve pitched 5% as a way to ensure 50 state ballot access for 2020. It means the campaign will have enough cash to fully fund ballot access no matter what.

    What other creative ways could the funds be used? Perhaps hire a team of legal sharks to go after the COPD?

    I’m not sure of the exact rules around the money, but if it’s possible to use it for either ballot access, or as a stunt, that’s what I’d advocate for.

  69. Austin Cassidy

    No clue if this is practical or not, but here’s a crazy idea if the candidate were to get a gov’t check for something like $13 million. (Not necessarily the real number)

    Run a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl or some other major event announcing that the Libertarian Party would like to return $10 million straight to taxpayers. “Go to this website and if you’re one of the first million people to register, we’ll send you a check for $10.”

    When people hit the site, they have to watch a 90-second video explaining what the Libertarian Party is, and a pitch for the 2020 ticket. Then, of course, collect all the info on people who sign up and try to steer them into liking the LP on Facebook, opting into a newsletter, etc.

    Spend $1.5 million on the TV ad and another $1.5 million on hiring some company to collect the data and process the checks.

  70. Thomas L. Knapp

    There are all sorts of creative ways to spend $10 million.

    But the bottom line from a practical standpoint is that if the candidate takes the $10 million, the candidate is not allowed to raise any other money from donors or spend more than $50k of his own money.

    Which means that his absolute maximum spending is $10,050,000.

    In 2012, the major party candidates spent a combined total of about 200 times that amount.

    Taking the check means the candidate is not serious about winning the election.

    Which makes it kind of rich that the “the !!!ONLY!!! purpose of a political party is to !!!WIN ELECTIONS!!!” crowd are 100% behind the idea of taking the check.

  71. rj

    “Run a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl or some other major event announcing that the Libertarian Party would like to return $10 million straight to taxpayers. “Go to this website and if you’re one of the first million people to register, we’ll send you a check for $10.”

    The site would crash due to extreme traffic.

  72. Austin Cassidy

    “The site would crash due to extreme traffic.”

    Good. Even more earned media, before and after the event.

  73. Austin Cassidy

    “But the bottom line from a practical standpoint is that if the candidate takes the $10 million, the candidate is not allowed to raise any other money from donors or spend more than $50k of his own money.”

    I know it does limit a candidate’s personal spending, so if Peter Thiel won the Libertarian nomination, he should obviously not take the money and self-finance.

    As I understand it, taking the money doesn’t limit individual donors from giving, but limits the total amount that the candidate can spend. However, the limit is something like $100 million. I’m not sure the sum total of all Libertarian presidential campaign fundraising over the last 40 years has reached that amount.

    Put another way, if Johnson had gotten 5% in 2012 the only real impact on the 2016 campaign would have been the ticket getting an additional $10 million. Individuals could still donate $2,700, and this year’s campaign hasn’t raised or spent anything close to the limit yet.

  74. Thomas L. Knapp

    “As I understand it, taking the money doesn’t limit individual donors from giving”

    I went back to look and it looks like I was slightly, but not completely, wrong.

    According to the FEC, I was right about the major party candidates. Here’s what they say:

    “The Presidential nominee of each major party may become eligible for a public grant of $20 million (plus a cost-of-living adjustment) for campaigning in the general election. To be eligible to receive the public funds, the candidate must limit spending to the amount of the grant and may not accept private contributions for the campaign. Private contributions may, however, be accepted for a special account maintained exclusively to pay for legal and accounting expenses associated with complying with the campaign finance law. These legal and accounting expenses are not subject to the expenditure limit.”

    The $20 million funding was as of 1996. As of 2016, it is $96.14 million — less than a tenth of the amount likely needed to win.

    “Miinor party” candidates receive an amount based on their predecessor campaign’s percentage of the vote, and are allowed to raise money from private contributors that EITHER (unclear) gets them to no higher than 20% of the spending limit, or 20% above and beyond the welfare check. So, let’s say Gary’s performance entitles the next candidate to $10 million. That candidate would be free to raise either up to $9.2 million in addition to the welfare check or up to $19.2 million in addition to the welfare check.

    Either way, the campaign’s budget in that case would be capped at an absolute possible maximum of less than $30 million.

    Which, as I said, means that taking the welfare check is publicly saying “nah, not serious about actually winning, I just want some money to blow on a new boat for my campaign manager.”

  75. Austin Cassidy

    Tom, I don’t think that’s correct. Maybe Richard Winger can clarify. The way I’m reading that is that the minor party is subject to the same $96 million limit, PLUS an extra 20% to cover fundraising costs that the major party wouldn’t incur.

    If you had a Libertarian candidate so popular that they were raising tens of millions of dollars with ease, I would argue that this is actually a dream scenario for many in the LP. The campaign would then have to funnel that money into a coordinated account with the Libertarian Party.

  76. Anthony Dlugos

    ‘Which, as I said, means that taking the welfare check is publicly saying “nah, not serious about actually winning, I just want some money to blow on a new boat for my campaign manager.”’

    It CAN mean that.

    It also could mean that, at the time the decision has to be made, a candidate who wants to win…or just improve on 2016…estimates that the welfare check will be greater than what he or she can raise.

    The way to handle this is picking a good, wise nominee. Someone who has the background that demonstrates good decision making, then let them make the decision as to the proper course of action.

    But as someone pointed out elsewhere on this website, the Small Potatoes Caucus is marked by an authoritarian streak, and they’re gonna say how our duly nominated candidate is gonna run their campaign.

    Of course, no legitimate candidate with a real chance at growing the party is gonna want the nomination of a party that intends on hamstringing him/her on a whim. But, that’s the intent of the Small Potatoes Caucus, isn’t it?

  77. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    I assume that the intent of your “Small Potatoes Caucus” is to keep the LP small, irrelevant and unsuccessful in perpetuity.

    You’re doing a great job.

  78. Andy

    Don’t forget that Anthony Dlugos said that he would vote for Mitt Romney to be the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President in 2020 if Mitt showed up at the 2020 convention and declared as a candidate for the nomination.

  79. Austin Cassidy

    So if the LP qualifies for a $10 million check, and that limits the candidate to directly spending no more than $120 million on the campaign, should he take it? The party could still raise money and coordinate with the campaign, also.

  80. Andy

    Austin and Just Some Random Guy both presented some good ideas for how to spend federal matching funds, but there are still good arguments against accepting the money.

    Matching funds to do represent real party growth. There are no solid Libertarian donors who are connected to that money. I think there is a very real chance that accepting that money will attract even more con-artists to the party than we already get who will want to line their pockets with that money, and/or use it to promote their own agenda, which could have little or nothing to do with the party and the philosophy.

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    Austin,

    So far as I can tell, you are reading it incorrectly, but even if you aren’t, it still wouldn’t be enough money to be competitive in a presidential election.

    Furthermore, the optics would be hellaciously bad — the Libertarian Party’s candidate being the only one to take a welfare check that even the Democrats turn down. I’m not sure how much that would hurt our credibility, but there’s no doubt it would.

    I’m staying away from the moral case and sticking entirely to practical politics. A Libertarian presidential candidate taking the welfare check is just a dumb idea.

  82. Austin Cassidy

    Look I agree that there’s an optics issue with taking the public money as a Libertarian. It helps that the contributions to the fund are (sort of) voluntary. That’s why I suggested that maybe it could be used as a stunt in some way, or exclusively for lawsuits and ballot access.

    From a practical standpoint, there is no real case to be made UNLESS the Libertarian Party nominates a self-funding millionaire or billionaire. After reading more about it, I am confident that I am correct in that the limits wouldn’t handicap a future candidate in any real way.

    The 2020 ticket would get a nice multi-million dollar check to jump-start the campaign and would be limited to DIRECTLY spending another $100+ million during the general election campaign. That’s 10x what Johnson/Weld will spend.

    Super PACs could still be engaged to run “uncoordinated” TV ads. Even more money could be raised through various tricks of Federal elections law, many of which were employed by John McCain and the RNC back in 2008.

    In a hypothetical situation where a Libertarian candidate in 2020 is raising money hand over fist so that the spending limit becomes an issue, joint committees can be formed to rake in hundreds of millions more. The campaign and the LNC — and various state committees — can coordinate hybrid advertisements paid for from multiple sources.

  83. Thomas Knapp

    “From a practical standpoint, there is no real case to be made for accepting government financing if the goal is doing real politics and winning real elections.”

    Fixed, no charge.

  84. Thomas Knapp

    Austin,

    I’ve re-read it a number of times. I suppose it’s POSSIBLE to torture it into meaning what you think it means.

    But even if it is POSSIBLE to torture it into meaning that, taking the funds is still saying “nope, not interested in winning, and I can prove it by taking this check which makes it legally impossible for me to raise a winning, or even competitive, amount of money.”

    That’s setting aside the practical optics of “Libertarians — the Welfare Queen Party.”

  85. Thomas Knapp

    “How much money is competitive?”

    In 2008, it cost Barack Obama $670 million to win the presidential election.

    In 2012, it cost Barack Obama $775 million to win.

    As of the end of September in this election cycle, Clinton had spent about $400 million and Trump about $190 million.

    That’s not counting party spending and PAC spending — it’s spending by the principal campaign committee. Best guess: By election day, Clinton will have spent at least $600 million and Trump $250 million. Probably more than that for both candidates. The conventional wisdom says that Trump isn’t going to win. And even if he does, he has already spent more than he could have if he had taken federal funding.

    In order for a Libertarian candidate to be competitive, he or she will probably need to raise AT LEAST half again as much money as his or her major party opponents. As Libertarian vote totals increase, cost per additional vote will steeply increase.

    Every party has a base of cheap, nearly free votes — that is, some people are going to vote and they’re going to vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, whatever, no matter what.

    Votes above and beyond that base become more and more costly. The Democrats and Republicans each have a base of 30% of so of the electorate. All they have to do is put out a press release saying “we nominated X for president,” and X will get at least 30% of the vote. The LP base is probably about 1/5th of 1%.

    Which means that the Republican or Democrat only has to pick up half the available non-base vote to have a majority, while the LP has to pick up 3/4 of it to even begin hoping for a plurality. And the Republican and Democrat bases provide a lot more people for ground game, a lot bigger pool to mine for donations, etc. than the LP base does.

  86. Austin Cassidy

    OK, I give up.

    Johnson probably isn’t going to get to 5% anyway, but if he does…

    And if a self-financing candidate comes along, or a nominee emerges who could credibly raise more than $150 million during the few months of the general election campaign, then the candidate should obviously turn down the money.

  87. Thomas Knapp

    The candidate should turn down the money in any case. It isn’t enough to make him competitive in the election, and it puts a ceiling on any chance he might have of making himself competitive in the election.

    But just in case the candidate’s motive ISN’T to win the election, the LP should foreclose the ability of its candidates to take the money, for both pragmatic and ideological reasons. It’s not that there’s no case for taking the money. There are certainly cases for taking the money. There are two of them:

    1) “I want to buy my campaign manager a new bass boat and a new lakeside house with boat slip to park it at;” and

    2) “I am a dilettante who will feel REALLY spessssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhul getting a huge check to use for purposes of masturbating in public.”

    So yes, there are cases for taking the money. There just aren’t any good cases for taking the money.

  88. Anthony Dlugos

    I’m calling bull on someone opposed to a candidate like Johnson…considering who our alternatives were…bringing up the amount of money a Libertarian presidential candidate would need to raise. Something I actually agree with.

    Still no reason to actually try and PROHIBIT future candidates from considering accepting the money.

    Its conceivable the possibility of federal campaign funds could drawn in some kooks and con men. Its also possible that the demonstration that we are not going to hamstring our future candidates will draw in the kind of candidates that CAN raise the sort of money we need to compete. The kind of candidates our Small Potatoes Caucus would fight anyway.

    Its also true we don’t need the allure of federal campaign funds to draw in kooks and con men. Witness Perry, Petersen and McAfee in Orlando, along with several of the v.p candidate kooks.

    In fact, one of the benefits of leaving the decision of accepting federal campaign is attracting the sort of legitimate candidates…people with the resume and experience necessary for the job…that will drive out the kooks.

  89. Thomas Knapp

    “I’m calling bull on someone opposed to a candidate like Johnson…considering who our alternatives were…bringing up the amount of money a Libertarian presidential candidate would need to raise”

    I’m not sure how supporting one candidate who couldn’t raise competitive money as opposed to another candidate who couldn’t raise competitive money disqualifies me from bringing up what competitive money would look like.

    “Still no reason to actually try and PROHIBIT future candidates from considering accepting the money.”

    I’m unaware of anyone who has suggested any such thing. Under my proposal, the candidates would be free to consider it all they like.

    Heck, they would even be free to actually accept it, if they wanted to also accept the consequences (loss of the nomination and its attendant ballot access and such, as well as some kind of bonded/contractual financial penalty they agreed to in order to be eligible for the nomination in the first place).

  90. Anthony Dlugos

    “I’m not sure how supporting one candidate who couldn’t raise competitive money as opposed to another candidate who couldn’t raise competitive money disqualifies me from bringing up what competitive money would look like.”

    We’re all quite aware of the types of candidates and previous experience that CAN raise the necessary kind of money, and it ain’t anarchists. Previously held public office, especially governor, is a pretty damn good idea. Johnson…and especially Johnson-Weld…had a better chance than any other potential combination that existed in Orlando. Heavyweight money donors aren’t interested in ideological purity. In fact, they are generally opposed to it.

    “Heck, they would even be free to actually accept it, if they wanted to also accept the consequences (loss of the nomination and its attendant ballot access and such, as well as some kind of bonded/contractual financial penalty they agreed to in order to be eligible for the nomination in the first place).”

    Just out of curiosity, how do you propose to get a legit candidate to sign such a contract? Why would they? If I am a candidate with any shot at winning the nomination, I ain’t signing anything that hamstrings me. Besides, whatever penalties you propose, you’re gonna need a party willing to enforce it. I don’t see that happening.

  91. Thomas Knapp

    “We’re all quite aware of the types of candidates and previous experience that CAN raise the necessary kind of money, and it ain’t anarchists. Previously held public office, especially governor, is a pretty damn good idea. Johnson…and especially Johnson-Weld…had a better chance than any other potential combination that existed in Orlando.”

    No, they didn’t. Every potential combination that existed in Orlando had exactly the same change of raising that kind of money. That chance was “not a fucking chance in hell.”

    “Just out of curiosity, how do you propose to get a legit candidate to sign such a contract? Why would they?”

    I haven’t been unclear in phrasing it. I want a bylaws amendment that says “if you don’t sign, you are ineligible for the nomination. Any attempt to nominate you will be ruled out of order; any votes for you as the nominee will not be counted.”

    “If I am a candidate with any shot at winning the nomination, I ain’t signing anything that hamstrings me.”

    Then you have no problem, since signing the paperwork to get federal funds would, by definition, hamstring you. When you accept the federal funds, you accept a ceiling on your ability to raise funds, and that ceiling is significantly lower than the amount required to run a competitive campaign. If you’re serious, you won’t accept federal funds. If you won’t accept federal funds, then you would presumably be willing to agree not to do what you weren’t going to do anyway.

    “Besides, whatever penalties you propose, you’re gonna need a party willing to enforce it.”

    Surety bonds have been around since at least as far back as 2750 BC. They’re not new or novel — and in fact they’re a fairly good screening mechanism for serious candidates to the extent that the person seeking the bond is going to have to convince the bond company that he or she is low-risk and/or can bring significant forfeitable collateral.

  92. Anthony Dlugos

    ‘No, they didn’t. Every potential combination that existed in Orlando had exactly the same change of raising that kind of money. That chance was “not a fucking chance in hell.”’

    That’s wrong. I’m not going to suggest Johnson-Weld’s chances were good, they were admittedly remote, they were just above zero. Zero is the chance any other combination had. Its kinda funny that you seem to be aware of the amount of money that is necessary to mount a legitimate presidential campaign, but apparently UNAWARE of the kinds of candidates capable of raising that kind of money.

    “Then you have no problem, since signing the paperwork to get federal funds would, by definition, hamstring you.”

    In the business world, its called leaving your options open. Presumably, this document would have to be signed sometime before the 2020 Convention. No way a legit candidate would sign something that far out. In fact, your proposal would be a good way of determining who is too stupid run a legitimate campaign or be President. A good candidate who can raise substantial funds can later decline them if it appears to be the right decision at the time. No reason to do it 2 years earlier.

    “Surety bonds have been around since at least as far back as 2750 BC.”

    As I said, if I’m a legit candidate, I ain’t signing sh*t. Worst case, I’ll show up at the Convention and deal with it at that time, not 2 years before. Basically, it would be another version of Johnson and the CRA question at the Saturday night debate: I ain’t signing it, and if it causes me to lose, then so be it. The only caveat would be if there was someone at the 2020 Convention who knew WITH CERTAINTY that he/she could raise more money than the federal limit, under which scenario their signature on the contract would be moot.

    Although I am sure such a candidate is someone you would hate.

  93. Andy

    Statistics show that putting people on welfare makes them lazy, and creates dependency on the state. Is this what you want for the Libertarian Party?

    I can see this happening if the party starts accepting federal funding.

    There are too many Libertarians out there who are looking for the easy way out. Why bother building up our own when we can run washed up Republicans who don’t really represent our views? Why do the hard work it takes to take over a local government when we can just put somebody on the ballot for President and that person will make us free? Why do the hard work it takes to build the party so we can raise more money when we can just start accepting welfare checks from the government?

  94. Thomas Knapp

    Andy,

    Good questions.

    “Is this what you want for the Libertarian Party?”

    When it comes to Anthony’s No Potatoes Caucus, yes, that’s exactly what they want. They’re not interested in building a party that can win elections. They’re just interested in the sugar high of temporarily feeling like they are “serious players” without doing the actual work it takes to be the real thing.

  95. Andy

    What’s the point of getting votes if there is not a strong libertarian message behind it? The watered down and non-libertarian crap that Johnson/Weld have been spewing is not going to make us any more free.

    Getting votes for the sake of getting votes is meaningless.

  96. Thomas Knapp

    Andy,

    The No Potatoes Caucus doesn’t really care about actually getting votes. Its members just want to feel like they are (and convince themselves that other people see them as) “serious” people.

    That $10 million or more in federal welfare won’t win elections or get votes. But it will pay for plenty of feel-good, pat-themselves-on-the-back horn tooting and maybe for a few parties where they can all wear power ties and pretend to each other that they are power players. Which is really all it’s about for them.

  97. robert capozzi

    aj: Getting votes for the sake of getting votes is meaningless.

    me: Check out this latest Ted Talk. You might benefit from its wisdom.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmpu58yv8-g

    Getting votes for the sake of getting votes is meaningless IF you find it meaningless. And that would certainly be YOUR truth. It would not, however, be THE truth.

    More votes indicate that more people liked the candidate and what he stood for. I would agree that GJ is not teaching NAPsterism to the unwashed. He is teaching lessarchism to those who previously thought there was only Rs, Ds, and lunatic fringe third parties. GJ has planted seeds of thought about things like regime change and the size and scope of government.

    More seeds were planted about maybe it’s time to legalize weed, and to stop incarcerating people for using illegal drugs.

    It’s a process. The LP can retreat back into the Ivory Tower where pledge-signers can “derive” the moral superiority of non-aggression, or it can build on this lessarchist relative success.

  98. Andy

    I am not really convinced that Johnson/Weld are teaching lessarchism.

    Johnson’s tax plan, the Fair Tax, does not reduce government, as it is revenue neutral, and it may end up making government bigger, as it puts everyone in the nation on welfare with the probate check scheme.

    Weld wants to keep the IRS as is, and just give people the vague notion that their taxes will not go up.

  99. Andy

    Johnson/Weld clearly said that they only want to legalize marijuana so they can tax and regulate it, and they want to continue the war on other drugs.

  100. Be Rational

    Andy that’s just a lie.

    Johnson clearly said that he wants to end the war on drugs and treat all drugs as a medical issue.

  101. robert capozzi

    aj, revenue neutrality doesn’t disturb me as a lessarchist, given that the federal debt stands at around $20T. And lessarchists recognize that a complicated tax system is an unquantifiable additional tax.

  102. Thomas Knapp

    Actual statement:

    “Governors Johnson and Weld do not support the legalization of other recreational drugs that are currently illegal. It is, however, their belief that drug rehabilitation and harm-reduction programs result in a more productive society than incarceration and arrests for drug use.”

    Yes, he does use the phrase “end the war on drugs” here and there. But merely medicalizing it isn’t ending it. Someone involuntarily committed to rehab actually has LESS liberty than someone accused of using drugs as a crime (because guilty beyond a reasonable doubt isn’t the standard for that kind of abduction), and the “diversion” programs (“plea bargain — enter rehab or go to jail”) are just extortion.

    Personally find Andy’s characterization of Johnson’s position SLIGHTLY inaccurate, but a far cry from a lie. And his actual position is 180 degrees opposite the Libertarian Party’s position.

  103. Thomas Knapp

    “revenue neutrality doesn’t disturb me as a lessarchist, given that the federal debt stands at around $20T”

    That doesn’t make sense.

    You’re either a lessarchist or you aren’t.

    Revenue neutrality is not less government, it’s the same amount of government.

    And trying to transfer responsibility for the politicians’ debts to anyone but the politicians is morearchist too.

  104. Andy

    Robert, you do not think that the Fair Tax would create a bunch of new problems?

    Also, what about Bill Weld’s position that we should keep the IRS as is, and just promise people that their taxes will not go up? Do you think this promise will be kept? How does this reduce government?

  105. Be Rational

    Johnson advocates a 20% cut in government spending and a revenue neutral consumption tax.

    Putting both together would be a cut in government.

    The Fair Tax itself, however, is a terrible idea and it isn’t “fair.” Abolishing all other Federal taxes and replacing them with a single tax, a simple, national consumption tax at 10% with no exemptions and no prebate would be a good transition step for a real libertarian campaign trying to practical but proposing real change.

  106. robert capozzi

    tk: Revenue neutrality is not less government, it’s the same amount of government.

    me: Not how I see it. If the government raises $2T and the compliance burden comes out to something like another $100B in year 1, then in year 2 it’s $2T raised and $1B, I’d call that progress. Further, if tax uncertainty is lessened and marginal rates lowered, that helps foster a positive economic environment.

    tk: And trying to transfer responsibility for the politicians’ debts to anyone but the politicians is morearchist too.

    me: Wishful thinking at best. They are not, as a practical matter, “politicians’ debt.” It will be borne by the citizenry in some form.

    aj: you do not think that the Fair Tax would create a bunch of new problems?

    me: Yes. Don’t you recall that I’ve long suggested GJ drop the FAIR tax?

    aj: Also, what about Bill Weld’s position that we should keep the IRS as is, and just promise people that their taxes will not go up? Do you think this promise will be kept? How does this reduce government?

    me: That doesn’t sound like a fair characterization. WW is for a flat tax, IIRC. It would also simplify taxes, and have other side benefits.

  107. Be Rational

    Gary Johnson, meanwhile, has been rattled by his gaffs and fall in the polls. He gets angry now and quotes old, invalid data on the election.

    Gary, you need to get back to the old, likeable Gary, with a clean message. Move on from the mistakes, put them behind you, and don’t let them bog you down anymore. Have some confidence, and forget the mistakes. Study up quick on foreign policy, get a new stump speech, and don’t say “I’m not dumb” cause that sounds dumb.

    Add foreign policy to your stump message. Include Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, North Korea – mention the leaders by name, the issues and problems and about helping ALL the millions of people from Syria and Iraq who have been displaced (including, of course, a single reference to the hundreds of thousands of those from Aleppo in the middle of the foreign policy section of your speech).

  108. Be Rational

    Also, Gary, you shold never say, “dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s anymore. It sounds dumb now. And drop all references to the Fair Tax. Just call for a national sales tax to replace all other taxes and abolish the IRS.

  109. Anthony Dlugos

    “…maybe for a few parties where they can all wear power ties and pretend to each other that they are power players.”

    lol. I don’t wear power ties. I get mine at The Tie Bar online. An incredible selection and all only $18.

  110. Be Rational

    I don’t wear power ties. I get mine at The Tie Bar online. An incredible selection and all only $18.

    Try ebay for ties. Great deals under $10. Millions to choose from. Still new w tags.

  111. Anthony Dlugos

    Cool. Thanks for the tip!

    I can already taste the Hors d’oeuvres and scotch at the federally funded campaign event wearing my $10 power tie!

  112. Andy

    Robert Capozzi said: “‘aj: Also, what about Bill Weld’s position that we should keep the IRS as is, and just promise people that their taxes will not go up? Do you think this promise will be kept? How does this reduce government?’

    me: That doesn’t sound like a fair characterization. WW is for a flat tax, IIRC. It would also simplify taxes, and have other side benefits.”

    During the CNN Town Hall, Bill Weld said that he should keep the IRS as is, and just promise people that their taxes will not go up.

    Again I ask, do you believe that this would work, and how does this reduce government?

  113. Andy

    “said that he should keep the IRS ”

    Should read, “said that we should keep the IRS…”

  114. robert capozzi

    Andy, little snippets said on a TV program is not a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t. My sense is that the IRS ain’t gonna be abolished any time soon. I do think that a flat tax will make taxes simpler, and tax compliance less onerous. My sense is that that’s a fairer characterization of WW’s view, and he makes a lot of sense to me with that position.

  115. Joshua K.

    I understand why some may oppose future LP candidates taking federal campaign money because it would violate libertarian principles.

    However, suppose that Jill Stein was able to get 5% of the vote and thus qualify the Green Party for $10 million+ of federal campaign money in the 2020 election. Taking that money wouldn’t violate Green Party principles; their platform calls for full public financing of federal, state, and local elections.

    Do you think that the 2020 Green Party candidate should or would turn down that money, on the grounds that the donation/spending limit would leave them uncompetitive with the Democrat and Republican?

  116. George Phillies

    Joe, Reason appears to be more than a bit clueless on these matters. “disproportionately underweighted in most public-opinion surveys,” … that’s why you do demographic corrections.

    “For the Libertarian Party, the difference between 4.9 percent and 5.0 percent is huge: … having a much smoother time with the onerous ballot-access requirements ” They are still pushing the nonsense about easier ballot access in some general way at the 5% line.

  117. Thomas L. Knapp

    Joshua,

    Yes, the Green Party differs from the LP on principle and platform.

    But it would be equally un-pragmatic for them to accept “public funding.”

    They want elections to be COMPLETELY “publicly funded.” Taking funding themselves that does not allow them to be competitive with the parties that don’t take public funding and aren’t going to legislate complete public funding per the Green platform gets them no closer to implementing that platform.

  118. Darcy G Richardson

    “‘tk: And trying to transfer responsibility for the politicians’ debts to anyone but the politicians is morearchist too.’

    me: Wishful thinking at best. They are not, as a practical matter, ‘politicians’ debt.’ It will be borne by the citizenry in some form.” — Robert Capozzi

    Well, actually in Gary’s case it is literally a politician’s debt, or did everyone here conveniently forget about the $333,441 that Johnson’s 2012 campaign still owes the U.S. Treasury stemming from the misspent federal matching funds he received four years ago?

    The Johnson campaign, incidentally, was granted a 90-day extension by the Federal Election Commission in August to repay that debt. The payment, with accrued interest beginning on Aug. 12th, is now due on Nov. 10, 2016 — two days after the current election.

    C’mon, Gary, repay the U.S. taxpayers.

  119. robert capozzi

    dgr: in Gary’s case it is literally a politician’s debt, or did everyone here conveniently forget about the $333,441 that Johnson’s 2012 campaign still owes the U.S. Treasury

    me: No expert in electoral minutiae, but is it GJ’s personal debt, or the ’12 campaign’s debt? Regardless, $333K is a drop in the ocean of $20T.

  120. Darcy G Richardson

    “me: No expert in electoral minutiae, but is it GJ’s personal debt, or the ’12 campaign’s debt?” — Robert Capozzi

    Both are ultimately responsible for repaying that debt to the American taxpayers.

  121. Thomas L. Knapp

    Clarification: If Johnson or his campaign does repay the FEC for misspent matching funds, it won’t be paying back “the American taxpayers.” That money was gone as soon as Washington stole it from us, long before it was given to Johnson. We’ll never get one thin dime of it back.

  122. Darcy G Richardson

    “Clarification: If Johnson or his campaign does repay the FEC for misspent matching funds, it won’t be paying back “the American taxpayers.” That money was gone as soon as Washington stole it from us, long before it was given to Johnson. We’ll never get one thin dime of it back.” — Thomas L. Knapp

    That’s true, too, but the money did originate from the taxpayers.

  123. Thomas L. Knapp

    Darcy,

    Yep. We certainly got the bill. I’m just giving Johnson what mitigation seems warranted.

    He isn’t defrauding/stealing from the taxpayers. He’s defrauding/stealing from the thieves who defrauded/stole from the taxpayers. A minor distinction perhaps, and it still makes him more like them than like their victims, but I’m trying to bend over backward to be fair to him 😉

  124. Joshua K.

    @Thomas L. Knapp: Currently, the Jill Stein campaign has raised about $3 million from private donors. (All numbers in this message are hypothetical or estimates, but my points aren’t dependent on them being exact.)

    Let’s say a Green candidate would need to spend at least $200 million to be competitive with the major parties. Not receiving Federal funds for the general election, Jill Stein effectively has no limit on total fundraising/spending, but currently she isn’t anywhere close to raising enough to be competitive.

    If a Green candidate were eligible for and received, say, $10 million in Federal funds in 2020, that would restrict the candidate to raising an additional, say, $90 million, for a total of $100 million. That would still leave the candidate uncompetitive, and if the candidate found that they could have raised the full $200 million and wound up having to turn lots of donations away, they would certainly regret taking the Federal money.

    But it seems unlikely to me that the Greens would be able to increase their fundraising so much that they would hit the limit. They would have to be about thirty times more successful at fundraising than they are now to do so.

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