Christopher Thrasher: Response to allegations made by Judd Weiss

Response by Christopher Thrasher to allegations made by Judd Weiss in various fora, most recently here:

Keeping up with Judd’s slanders is a full time job… Here is my response from the first time he was given a platform to spew this nonsense:

To Whom It May Concern:

In a recent video, several unfounded accusations and slanders were thrown towards me regarding the 2016 Libertarian Presidential campaign. At first, I dismissed these as nothing more than sour grapes.

Unfortunately, these slanders have continued unabated, and I now have no choice but to respond.

During the first quarter of 2016, I served as the campaign manager for John McAfee’s bid for the Libertarian Presidential nomination. When I came onboard after an aborted independent run, there was no campaign team, no infrastructure, nor was there much in the way of resources available. Even still, as a political professional, I knew that there was a narrow path to victory. I began to set the campaign on track for a legitimate chance to clench the nomination, crafting a new platform, and engineering several earned media narratives that dominated the national news cycle for a time. The campaign took off and began to succeed.

In seeking supporters for McAfee, I approached Judd Weiss through mutual acquaintances with the idea of holding a fundraiser for the campaign. Weiss immediately inserted himself into the conversation for Vice Presidential running mate.

I was vehemently opposed to Judd Weiss’ candidacy for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was his 2012 arrest for Felony Sexual Assault, which culminated in his pleading no contest to a felony.

It was immediately clear that Weiss had no intention of engaging in any of the necessary legwork to actually win the nomination. In fact, were it not for my own (literally) last minute nomination at the California Libertarian Convention, Weiss would not have even been a delegate to the national convention.

Instead of engaging in the immediate crucial and time sensitive task at hand – appealing to delegates and focusing on the internal Libertarian campaign – Weiss chose to focus on marketing to a “movement” using online videos with dubious copyright status. While such a marketing campaign may have been effective in the general election, it did nothing towards the task of winning the Libertarian Party nomination.

Around this same time, I also began to notice that Mr. McAfee’s priorities had shifted. There are many factors that may have contributed to this. Mr. McAfee is an extremely intelligent man, and I believe he may have seen the writing on the wall. Now, Mr. McAfee is once again making money as the head of successful technology firm. I certainly hold no ill will towards him for possibly making a calculated decision that was arguably in his best interest.

With Weiss’ constant interference, and the continued de-emphasis on campaigning to delegates, I came to the realization that there was no longer a reason for me to continue with the campaign.

There was no doubt in my mind at that time that due to Weiss’ involvement, and to a lesser extent Mr. McAfee’s shift in priorities, the narrow path to victory had ceased to exist.

I attempted to leave quietly and cordially. When Mr. McAfee contacted Austin Petersen about my departure, Petersen’s team posted articles about my departure. I did not make any public comment until after the story was published. My intention was to simply transition out, quietly and professionally.

Weiss makes a claim of sabotage surrounding convention of the Libertarian Party of Louisiana. This was the week following my official departure, and yet I was still trying to assist the campaign during the transition. In fact, Mr. McAfee had committed to this convention quite early in the cycle, before other priorities came into view. I know where John was that weekend. John knows where he was that weekend. I am certain Weiss to this day has no idea. After getting no response from the supposed new campaign manager all week, I then contacted Weiss.

Thus began a continual narrative from the new campaign; making me the scapegoat for practically anything and everything that went wrong after my departure.

Weiss then goes on to make the ridiculous claim that I was “Paid Off” by the Johnson campaign.

Let me be clear: the reason I left the McAfee campaign was due to the detrimental change in philosophy and lack of cohesive political strategy that accompanied Weiss’ inserting himself into the campaign.

After sitting out several weeks, I was offered and accepted the position of Floor Director for the Johnson campaign’s convention efforts.

Make no mistake, despite Weiss’ dubious and unsubstantiated claims of impropriety, what won the nominations was superior organization and convention floor work. A plan of action, successfully conceived and executed by Apollo Pazell, myself, and others, won the day for our candidates.

Upon our successful convention victory, I chose to continue working on the campaign in a capacity where I would have a tangible goal, and be in the best position to further the Libertarian Party’s future.

As the Director of Ballot Access for the Johnson/Weld campaign, I successfully coordinated the effort to achieve ballot access in all 50 states. It was the first successful 50 State + DC ballot access drive for an Independent or Third-Party candidate in more than two decades.

Weiss makes the outrageous and untrue claim that the compensation I received for these efforts was a “Payoff” from the Johnson campaign. This is nothing more than a vicious slander from a failed candidate.

As a political professional, I am no stranger to baseless attacks. However, my professional reputation in politics also relies on preserving my name and accomplishments. It is for these reasons I have written this response, in an attempt to end the nonsense and rumors that have been so irresponsibly disseminated. -CT

10 thoughts on “Christopher Thrasher: Response to allegations made by Judd Weiss

  1. Great ideas

    A lot of what Thrasher says may be true, but he is taking vastly exaggerated credit for 50 state ballot access. From what I have read he did help in a few states, but most of it was handled primarily by the LNC and secondarily by the state parties. Additionally, there were many states where the party already had ballot access or did not need very many signatures. Thrasher makes it sound like the campaign did it all and went from 0 to 50 in a few short months after the nomination, which is not even remotely true.

  2. Better ideas

    Ballot access was a cooperative project between the LNC and the state parties and the campaign (as is always the case), and all played a big role and can share in the credit for it. I don’t think any of the people on the LNC side who were involved would downplay or deny Chris’s efforts and involvement, nor he theirs. “help in a few states”? — well, yes…. going around to the make sure we get the hardest states, or the ones we’re closest to failing in, is how you get to all 50, and what’s so difficult about it. A handful of states are the biggest hurdles to get over. So “a few states” if by that you mean some of the hardest ones that we needed the most effort and resources to get and that are always the big obstacle to getting to all-50.

    I also don’t think anybody in the LP who would be reading this, is so unfamiliar with the realities of ballot access and how it works as to think Chris was saying the party wasn’t also heavily involved; or didn’t have ballot access in a lot of states already; or that he somehow did it all by himself. It’s also true the party hadn’t got its nominee on the ballot in all 50 states in twenty years (indeed no third party had), and it was not nearly so guaranteed this year as many assumed (and were able to continue assuming because it was successfully done). He’s quite right to take it as a point of pride that he helped get it done in 2016.

    All Chris claimed is that he “successfully coordinated” it for the campaign– which is entirely true and if anything on the modest side. Whenever there was any state having some crisis or at risk of not making it; he was there on the ground doing the difficult and highly stressful job of making sure it didn’t fail. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration in the slightest to say that without him and his efforts we would not have gotten to all 50. There are states that would have failed but-for him traveling there and getting more petitioners and getting it done; spending weeks working out of motel rooms and jetting all over the country. He probably spent more time on the road for the campaign than anybody other than the candidates themselves and those who traveled with them; and perhaps some of the full-time professional petitioners.

    Besides; he didn’t even bring it up to deny or downplay anybody else’s involvement in it and that’s not what he said. He brought it up to make the point that it’s what he was paid to do on the campaign; and to refute the baseless accusation that it wasn’t. Chris was also far from the only person who worked on the McAfee campaign and then also worked on the Johnson campaign (some Petersen folks too)— are we to take it that Judd would have preferred they been blacklisted? That the only possible reason that could happen is because they were al getting paid off for past sabotage and grand conspiracies?

    Frankly, in terms of things to take credit for, even if Chris only deserves a tenth of the credit you think he’s claiming here, it’s still a hell of a lot more than Judd Weiss has ever done for the LP. It’s also a lot less demanding-thanks-and-praise than Judd’s constant whinging about what an awesome and underappreciated Artiste he was; with his ability to slap YouTube voiceovers over clips stolen from major studio films. As if any real campaign could do that and not get the pants sued off them.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    “he is taking vastly exaggerated credit for 50 state ballot access”

    If you read what he actually wrote, he takes minimal credit. As ballot access director for the campaign, and he takes credit for having “coordinated” — “br[ought] the different elements of (a complex activity or organization) into a relationship that will ensure efficiency or harmony” — that project. Presumably other involved organizations also had “coordinators” who can take similar credit for the “coordination” that did, in fact, achieve its goal.

    I have no opinion on the truth or falsehood of Judd Weiss’s claims as to the details of Thrashers’ switch from the McAfee campaign to the Johnson campaign, but after that switch, Thrasher seems to have been one of only a handful of noticeably competent people trying to keep that fucking train wreck on the rails. Let him have the credit due him for that.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    BI,

    Setting aside the truth or falsehood of Judd’s claims regarding Chris’s actions, motivations, and ethics — admittedly an important issue and one I find vexing because I personally like BOTH of them — I hope you’ll reconsider the gratuitous slams.

    My understanding is that he’s done a good deal of e.g. hosting fundraisers and so forth for the LP proper and for its candidates. And whatever you think about his video productions (which do admittedly seem to often be DMCA takedown bait), his photography is top-notch and he’s done a lot in that area to make the LP, LP events, and individual Libertarians — including me, a herculean task! — look good.

    In my opinion, the LP is a better party with both of them than it would be without either of them.

  5. paulie Post author

    Ballot access was a cooperative project between the LNC and the state parties and the campaign (as is always the case), and all played a big role and can share in the credit for it. I don’t think any of the people on the LNC side who were involved would downplay or deny Chris’s efforts and involvement, nor he theirs.

    That is correct. There are states where we would have absolutely failed otherwise.

  6. Duff MacMeister

    Judd mentioned some emails where the issue of pay-offs came up directly. You haven’t addressed this evidence at all – probably because it’s very damning. Moreover, you attack Judd’s personal history which isn’t completely relevant. Third, if you were paid off, then obviously you’d be lying through your teeth even now, which makes everything in your response inconsequential.

    Ultimately, your lack of addressing the key evidence, in addition to your deviation from relevant points (such as you being dissatisfied with McAfee’s direction) by attacking people’s history and commitment, counts as a preponderance of evidence from my perspective that the “slanders” are probably true.

  7. Jeff 4 Justice

    Thank you for speaking up Christopher Thrasher. How does one find you on Twitter?

    When I asked Weiss about the LA Weekly reports on his sexual assault allegations, he later contacted me about it. His friend Christina Tobin of Free & Equal badgered me on Facebook to take the vid down for months thereafter. I confronted both of them at Politicon a few years later. Weiss ranted at me for promoting my vid calling me childish names and Tobin ran away screaming and seemed to have me kicked out. When he was the VP candidate in 2016 I tried to inform libertarian media venues such as thelibertarianrepublic of the attempt to in-effect censor me about this and was shunned by so-called reporters who opted to be gatekeepers to media access rather than report what happened. Founder Austin Petersen was informed but I never received a reply from him.

    I never accused Weiss of anything regarding the sexual assault allegations and I have no opinion on the likelihood of his guilt or innocence. I merely asked him about it since it’s one of the first search results that comes up about him. Any self-respecting reporter would ask about it especially had he gotten the LP nomination. If he’s indeed innocent, it’s unfortunate that the LA Weekly story is out there forever. However that does not mean Weiss and his friends should expect reporters in the indie media community to ignore it. His handling of that situation only made it worse. I lost respect for him and Tobin after that. They both should apologize and accept as public figures they’re subject to scrutiny. Did he really think no one was gonna bring that up if he ran for VP?

  8. CHRISTOPHER THRASHER

    Jeff 4 Justice,

    It’s funny to come back to this a year later and see not only your comment, but also the “esteemed” Mr. MacMiester’s as well…

    In the year that has passed, I have distanced myself from the Libertarian Party, moving away from it’s terrible messaging and leaving its membership. Perhaps it is more accurate to say the Libertarian Party has left me, along with most American voters, and has made a mockery out of those professionals who worked tirelessly to see candidates actually elected.

    It is no surprise to me see Christina Tobin and Judd Weiss running in the same circles, as I have unfortunately been on the receiving end of each one’s pathological narcissism before.

    I’ve stated the truth of the matters in question countless times before, so if you don’t mind I’ll just skip to my point:

    A new direction is needed in Independent American politics. A direction led by do-ers, not role playing dilettantes who have no idea how to create anything other than drama.

    As a political professional, and as a citizen, I remain committed to changing the paradigm of American politics the only way it is possible -by electing an Independent Candidate as President of the United States.

    I am not active on twitter at the moment (although that may soon change), but please feel free to contact via my website or e-mail anytime. Cheers! -CT

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