Will Larry Sharpe Break 50K in New York?

Warren Redlich was the 2010 Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York. He occasionally drops in with articles like this that don’t really fit with IPR’s usual approach but he gets away with it because he owns IPR.

Larry Sharpe

A recent article in Newsday mentioned NY Libertarian Governor candidate Larry Sharpe:

Sharpe, a businessman, consultant and former Marine who lives in New York City, points to fundraising (he’s raised more than $100,000) and the 2016 election, in which Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson got 176,000 votes in New York, as reasons for optimism.

The thing about spending is it matters where the money goes. A review of Sharpe’s July campaign finance filings shows that he only had about $23,000 left. It doesn’t seem that any of the reported spending went to petitioning to get on the ballot, and he hopes to get 30,000 signatures. Most likely he will get on the ballot. That still leaves the push to reach voters in the last weeks of October and first week of November, right before the election.

In NY, a third party candidate for Governor hopes to get at least 50,000 votes. This helps greatly with ballot access for the party for the following four years.

In 2010 my campaign saved our money and spent what we had on radio and TV in two markets shortly before the election. It worked. We saw a bump in votes in those areas. Though of course we did fall just short of the 50K goal.

Sharpe is taking a different approach. Campaign finance records show he’s spent around $25,000 on Facebook ads. In 2010 when I ran the Facebook ad system did not have great targeting options. I tried it and found it ineffective. It is much better now so hopefully Sharpe is targeting his ads effectively (i.e. focused on voters in New York State).

His campaign Facebook page is doing very well. He has over 55,000 “Likes” on his page. One problem with that is we can’t tell how many of his Likes are from New York voters. It could be that he has reached a large national libertarian audience, but still doesn’t have a following among non-libertarian mainstream NY voters. That’s hard to tell. On the bright side his page has more likes than Democratic candidate Cynthia Nixon (45,000 Likes) and a lot more than Republican candidate Molinaro (20,000 Likes).

Sharpe’s Facebook videos have reached a large audience. The page has posted well over 100 videos since the start of 2018 and several have tens of thousands of views. This is very impressive and a very good sign for the campaign. His CBS interview from 2017 has over 200,000 views, for example.

It looks like they have neglected the campaign YouTube channel. They barely have 1000 subscribers and less than 40,000 total video views. Only one video has more than 5000 views and that’s 2 years old. For some reason they’re not uploading the Facebook videos to the YouTube channel. This seems like a failure to execute. Once you have the video, it costs essentially nothing to upload it to YouTube. YouTube is widely considered the second largest search engine so ignoring it seems unwise. On the bright side he had a lengthy interview on The Rubin Report channel that has over 70,000 views.

The records also show substantial spending on consultants and campaign staff including Zac Mac Creative Group ($23,000), Wilson Digital ($6000), Lauren McKinnon ($10,000), Brian Waddell ($10,000) and Jennifer Gray ($20,000). This is potentially troubling. From my perspective our campaign spent nothing on consultants or campaign staff. Money spent on that is, in my view, money not spent on reaching voters.

I reached out to the campaign and spoke to Brian Waddell, who identified himself as the campaign manager. He pointed to Wilson Digital in particular as very effective spending on “small dollar fundraising.” It’s hard to tell from the documents whether money spent on fundraising raises much more than is spent on fundraising, but Waddell clearly believes it does.

Waddell also told me that the campaign has set aside a substantial amount of money for TV and radio advertising leading up to Election Day. He painted a very optimistic picture of the campaign strategy and he may have persuaded me.

On the downside I don’t see a core message that resonates with voters, something we did have in 2010 (“Stop Wasting Money”). When voters walk into the voting booth and see Sharpe’s name, will it mean something to them? Without that resonating message it may not. He’s had a lot of time to find that message and hasn’t done so yet. Like so many libertarians he probably isn’t interested in finding one.

With that said, considering the amount of time Sharpe has put into the campaign and particularly the amount of engagement he’s gotten on Facebook, I’m cautiously optimistic that he will finally break the 50,000 vote threshold and get ballot status for the LP in New York. And he may do much better than that. We’ll find out soon.

50 thoughts on “Will Larry Sharpe Break 50K in New York?

  1. Jim

    The way to figure out his national support vs New York support is to look at where the donors are coming from. The in-state vs out-of-state dollar amount doesn’t matter, just the count of unique donor addresses.

  2. Brian Waddell

    You’ve neglected to mention that our polling numbers suggest we are closer to 250K votes as a floor. Even at half that, your cautious optimism underestimates us.

    Thanks for living up to the libertarian creed of always being our own worst enemy. I answered every question you had on the phone because I thought maybe you would try to promote a fellow libertarian. My mistake. You failed to get 50K. Why would we do it your way? We are running a real campaign and building for the future. All of our paid people are on our campaign because they work hard and believe in what we’re doing. There is no way to raise money outside of ones own Rolodex without spending it. We’re edging up on $300K now and I don’t intend to spend more than a dollar per vote. You can do that math.

    I wish you all the best.

  3. Jonathan Makeley

    From my sense of how the New York 2018 Governor’s race is going, I’ say that there is a fair chance that he could get 50,000 votes.

  4. THAT Libertarian

    Warren,
    If you spent as much time looking through Larry Sharpe’s contribution reports and writing this article in 2010 campaigning for Governor, we would have gotten 50,000 votes.
    Yes, Larry will get 50,000 votes. The question is, will you help in a more ambitious battle, cheer from the sidelines, or be left behind?

  5. Andy

    I will be surprised if Larry Sharpe does not get more than 50,000 votes in this race. I think that he’s got the potential to get a lot more than 50,000 votes. I don’t think he can win, or even come close to winning, but I think that he’s got a good chance of getting significantly more than 50,000 votes.

  6. wredlich Post author

    Brian Waddell: Thanks for living up to the libertarian creed of thinking every other libertarian is attacking you. Did you even read the end of my article? I said “I’m cautiously optimistic that he will finally break the 50,000 vote threshold and get ballot status for the LP in New York. And he may do much better than that.”

    Don’t fall for your own polling numbers. One poll in 2010 had me at 8%. I got 1%. I asked you for the cross-tabs from your poll. You said you’d send them but you didn’t. Maybe you’re afraid of what I would have found?

    Yes I failed to get 50K. However I got triple the votes of the previous and subsequent governor candidates, so maybe I was on the right track. I hope Larry is on a better track. We’ll see in November. Despite your insane paranoid response, I’m still rooting for Larry. I want you guys to prove me wrong.

  7. Fred Stein

    here we go with endless begathons going to politcal consultants. There are ways to get free publicity. You must treat campaigns with publicity stunts. An example go to governor office with measuring equipment and curtains . Since you ( the candidate ) will be moving in next year. Invite the media for this fun show, Another example have a couple of people dress like like a Zombie with a sign that will read Taxed To Death.
    You have to have a campaign of FUN not boring talk about the founding fathers, the constitution, federal reserve, etc……. Get Hip it is a new day.

  8. Paul

    I love how anyone who’s not over optimistic gets attacked for taking a well-grounded, albeit hopeful, position.

  9. Chuck Moulton

    I am open to wagers on the 2018 Larry Sharpe for governor race. I am taking the under at 250,000 votes. Anyone who wants to take the over at even money, please contact me.

    I wish Larry the best and hope he gets hundreds of thousands of votes, but I stand ready to profit off the usual crowd who delusionally believe the poll numbers will hold, thinking “this time is different… because… reasons”. Rest assured: I pour all the money I win from suckers back into the LP.

  10. wredlich Post author

    Interesting wager Chuck. I think 50K is the real over-under number that should be the bet, but I know why you chose 250K. 🙂

    I’m torn on this campaign. Larry is clearly working hard. He has put in a lot more time than I did. Waddell worked on the 2016 Merced Senate race that went pretty well so that’s a good sign. They’re spending money and some of it is going to reach voters. Not as much as I’d like, but certainly more than I was able to spend.

    With all of that I think he’s a lock on 50K. But …

    We don’t know if the spending is targeted well to NY voters. I’ve seen Facebook ads for his campaign and I’m in Florida.

    And … there’s no clear message. I believe that you need a short and strong message that resonates with voters, repeated with frequency. They’re not doing that. Of course I could be wrong (it happens – a lot).

    Go to the campaign website and the first thing you see is: “RETHINKING GOVERNMENT. EMPOWERING PEOPLE.”

    The other tag line I see is “A NEW NY”

    Really? They don’t carry any meaning at all. They don’t resonate with anyone.

    Everyone knows I’m obsessed with my own “Stop Wasting Money” tag line. I’m actually wearing the t-shirt today. 🙂

    It worked. Triple the votes of the guys before and after me. It fits the libertarian message. It resonates. I’m not claiming any trademark. Why don’t other candidates run with it? Or come up with something else that works. Something short and punchy. “Lock her up!” “Build the Wall!” “Tear Down the Wall!” “Free Porn!”

    With all that said I still think they’ll break 50K. They put so much more time in than I did and spent so much more money. I’m hoping they prove me wrong.

    But if you wanted to bet 20 bucks on the 50K over-under, I’d take the bet on either side just for the fun of it.

  11. George Phillies

    “I’ve seen Facebook ads for his campaign and I’m in Florida. ”

    Facebook remembers you were a New Yorker.

    Your comment on YouTube ads is well made.

    Hopefully Larry will tell his campaign manager to stay off facebook.

  12. Kevin Wilson

    Hi Warren. Owner of Wilson Digital here. Let’s talk about this:

    “From my perspective our campaign spent nothing on consultants or campaign staff. Money spent on that is, in my view, money not spent on reaching voters…He pointed to Wilson Digital in particular as very effective spending on “small dollar fundraising.” It’s hard to tell from the documents whether money spent on fundraising raises much more than is spent on fundraising, but Waddell clearly believes it does.”

    The implication here, as well as your innuendo about all paid staffers throughout the article, is unnecessary and rude. What’s with the hostility?

    Addressing what I do, it doesn’t take much research to figure out that the Sharpe campaign is getting a pretty good ROI on small dollar fundraising. Look at the campaign filings again. You managed to point out our cash on hand, but not the amount we raised ($132K between January and July). I can’t take credit for all of it, but the strategies I’ve implemented in the last 8 months helped to raise a whole lot of that for only a $6,000 investment.

    I did volunteer originally, but Larry wanted more time from me to raise money for the campaign. I just wasn’t able to give that as a volunteer. I need to eat. I’m a professional and this is how I earn my living. I’m sure you can appreciate that. If I wasn’t providing far greater value than what I’m being paid, I would be out of a job. This is capitalism at work.

    And that’s case for everyone who is getting paid by the campaign. They’re here because they provide a valuable service. The thing is, money spent on consultants, when done well, *is* money spent reaching voters.

    Having someone like a Communications Director on campaign payroll who understands the media landscape and who can respond rapidly to press requests is huge. We’ve had a ton of earned media that’s gotten Larry Sharpe’s message to tens of thousands of voters that we wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Having someone to make high quality videos that help Larry speak directly to voters and convey his message effectively has brought us countless followers. I hope you get the point.

    Good candidates like Larry understand that investing in professional expertise is often necessary to build a winning campaign. It’s a way to bring dedicated time and talent to a team that you can’t always get out of a volunteer trying to hold down a full time job. I think your attitude about consultants is common, but it’s something holds a lot of Libertarian Party candidates back. I hope you reconsider your perspective on this.

  13. Andy

    Warren, it is great to see you pop up here with any original editorial. I have four articles that have been stuck in pending for a month or so. I have several other articles that I intended to post here, but I have not done so, since I have four articles that have been stuck in pending for around a month.

  14. wredlich Post author

    Hi Kevin.

    “The implication here, as well as your innuendo about all paid staffers throughout the article, is unnecessary and rude. What’s with the hostility?”

    It’s funny that you see hostility when I (and most others) see objective questioning. If you’re going to work on political campaigns, and in particular live off the donations of people, then you need to develop a thicker skin fast.

    The big question is whether spending all this money on consultants translates into votes. I hope you guys get 300,000 votes and prove me wrong.

    “Having someone like a Communications Director on campaign payroll who understands the media landscape and who can respond rapidly to press requests is huge.”

    Do you think we didn’t have that in 2010? We did that fine without paying anyone. The one consultant I spent money on was a communications whiz who helped prep me for the debate. It was worth every penny.

    You talk about the fundraising as if it’s only the $6000 spent on you, but the filings show plenty of other related spending that went to fundraising – Airlines, Expedia, hotels, Double Diamond Wellness, Birch Hill Catering, etc. Just from the filing expense code for fundraising it’s $52K. That doesn’t include what was spent on Waddell or others that may have been partially for fundraising purposes. It doesn’t even include you, because the money paid to you was listed under TVADS.

    And if the money on professionals is worth it, where’s the clear message that resonates with voters?

    “Having someone to make high quality videos that help Larry speak directly to voters and convey his message effectively has brought us countless followers.”

    I think that’s something the campaign is doing well, as I noted in the article. With that said I don’t know if it has brought followers. I don’t know how effective that is. Are the videos reaching NY mainstream voters or are they reaching a national libertarian audience to build Larry up for a future presidential run?

    And why the failure to post videos on YouTube? If you’re going to call yourselves professionals then do a professional job. There’s no good reason why most of those videos didn’t go up on YouTube.

    “I think your attitude about consultants is common, but it’s something holds a lot of Libertarian Party candidates back. I hope you reconsider your perspective on this.”

    I’m open on this and as I said before, I hope you prove yourselves. Get a lot of votes and that will get you a lot of believers.

    With that said, I got triple the votes of the 2006 and 2014 candidates and that didn’t generate many believers in my strategy either. Libertarians are pretty hard to persuade.

    Anyway, no matter how angry you get at me, I’m still rooting for Larry to do well in the election. Go get 300K and show me up. I’ll applaud the success and speak well of all of you. I’ll do that even if you only get 50,001 votes by the way. Go. Get votes. Make us all proud.

  15. Marc Montoni

    I wish him well — and I hope he breaks all records.

    That said…

    I think this is another campaign that suffers from staffers, volunteers, and supporters who have the usual Libertarian Unrealistic Expectation Syndrome (the acronym for which rhymes with “LOSE”.

    I think Larry is on track to get the 50k for ballot status.

    I do not think he will get to Chuck’s over/under amount.

    As for percentages, I think he will land in exactly the same “LP Candidate Zone” that every other LP candidate has landed in (with a few exceptions of course) since 1971:

    < 7 % in a D/R/L race.

    < 3% in a D/R/L/G/C etc race.

    I'm not an investor in his campaign because he doesn't appeal to me as a candidate at all. Besides, the "second coming of Christ" nonsense surrounding him is off putting.

    I'll be pleased as punch if Sharpe wins ballot status for the NYLP.

    I don't really care about percentages because he doesn't have enough fundraising and volunteer support to get us into the 50% territory where that will really matter.

    My litmus test for a well-run race is whether a candidate:

    a) wears out existing volunteers and donors and broadcasts pie-in-the-sky projections of "success", or,

    b) regardless of the number of votes, enrolls as new donors dozens or hundreds of new people to donate, run for office, or volunteer in the *NEXT* campaign the following year.

    So far, from everything I've seen, Sharpe's campaign is being run under the former model, rather than the latter.

    People considering investing in a Libertarian campaign should always ask themselves if they would prefer to see their next local LP meeting to double or triple in size while getting a mediocre percentage, or a fantastic percentage of the vote and a bunch of burned-out activists and a local meeting that shrinks ordies altogether.

  16. Brian Waddell

    Don’t know what you’re watching, Marc.

    Here are the facts: over 200 volunteers actually on the field team in New York State. More than 80% of them are new to campaigns, and more than 60% have never been involved with the LPNY or LP before. Let me know if you need anything else regarding our volunteers.

    As far as donors go we are creeping up on 1,700 in-state donations (a state party with about 600ish paid members) with an average give of $65. That doesn’t seem like we’re wearing out any usual donors to me. Or wearing out any donors, much less the LP pool. Overall we have about 3400 donors with an average give of about $80. So, a little below half of our donors are in-state and half out. Considering the campaign had to get money from somewhere early on, yes, we do get money from the usual suspects, but they are edging further and further to the sidelines as in-state donors start to take over. We spend very little time with Larry on phones. He is in front of voters as much as possible.

    I want to make something very clear. We’re an open book. I’m very accessible. When you tell me your concerns on a call, I will gladly listen and discuss. When you make a public post it is no longer constructive criticism, it’s just nay-saying. Nay-saying has never helped the party get better or stronger.

    The irony is we are doing exactly what you seem to want, Marc. We are building a campaign that brings more campaigners and donors to Libertarian campaigns. That’s our goal as much as is a win. The second-coming stuff is certainly not infecting our director level, but we’re happy to let it persist wherever else it grows. Being well regarded rarely hurts a politician. I’m running this thing, in part, because I don’t buy into the overhype, but still believe in Larry as a candidate.

  17. wredlich Post author

    Brian, you should be careful about the claims you make that can be checked against campaign finance filings.

    “As far as donors go we are creeping up on 1,700 in-state donations … with an average give of $65.”

    I ran the numbers through a spreadsheet. I count 211 contributions from inside NY with an average contribution of $342. The average is thrown off by a $10K contribution from Georgia Sharpe, $2000 from Larry, and three contributions totalling $15,000 from “NA”.

  18. wredlich Post author

    Also by my count roughly 40 of the contributions are repeats from the same person (i.e. same person contributed two or more times) so that reduces the total number of NY contributors to somewhere around 175.

  19. NewFederalist

    BTW, why does Larry Sharpe wear a miniature Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal as a lapel pin? I am retired Navy myself and that is not a particularly high award in the order of precedence. Not trying to be a pain in the ass just asking.

  20. Eric Sundwall

    I could of got paid to be the campaign manager in 2010? Hotels, bars? Awesome. All those media contacts in my Rolodex, damn . . . Oh well, we had a lot of fun, ask me about the rent is too high guy some time .

    Let’s get to some brass tacks . . .

    1.). BW: “Let me know if you need anything else regarding our volunteers”. Signatures, we need more from the volunteers. If there’s any year for a statewide challenge, this could be it. Save money for lawyers. We collected 34K sigs in 2010. Hope we are close to that this year

    2. Political, Media, social media landscapes have transformed in eight years. We could have done a Reason TV interview in 2010, but Warren had a law firm and family stuff. Dave Rubin was an interview I made it half way through, gratz. Albany and NY media will focus on the two big players. Deal with it, work around it. The Ocasio-Cortez effect will be hard to gauge ( I talk to a lot of Bernie folks on the sig trail), watch Nixon Primary results. Make news, don’t just talk issues. Warren was on a national and local outlet because they liked the videos (Library – Fox Business, Lebron James video, local Spectrum, Albany.)

    3. The Debate – GOP will insist no rabble on the stage to take on Mario Jr., PREDICTION: Cuomo will balk and agree at the final calling. One debate. IF TRUE: its something the LS campaign can’t really control, but it will affect them. LS needs to bare some serious fangs in a NY knockdown and throw ’em campaign if he is going to get any imagination or traction in the media narrative. Not just the rainbow unicorn moderate stuff (which I beat up Warren a bit with about Stop Wasting Money – I suggested the Stop sign as the graphic however – he was right in the end). Warren zinged both Paladino and Cuomo in 2010. I’ve never seen him so pumped as that night. Good luck Larry. Work with Howie Hawkins on the debates, we did.

    4. Voters – If Cuomo is weakened at first by Nixon, then Stephanie Miner (not on ballot yet, but still Democrat flavor), Molinaro has a chance. He’s a good extemporaneous speaker that makes the average Republican feel better about being a socialist. The average gun toting conservative upstate votes for him without question. Papa Cuomo was beat by a nice guy from the HUdson Valley on his third try too. He’s not nuts like Paladino. Don’t count your fifty thousand eggs yet.

    5. Polls – I hope the Sharpe campaign or the LPNY convince Steve Greenburg of the Sienna Polling to include Sharpe. He won’t even consider it until after he’s on the ballot and certified, usually after Labor Day. Yes, let’s see the poll and cross tabs on anything recent. Zogby is always sympathetic to Libertarians and should be contacted in their Utica office. Quinnipiac should be contacted also, got luck with CBS or Fox.

    6. X-Factors: In 2010, ours was Roger Stone. We thought we had him beat after the LPNY convention and debate and you saw what he did. The LPNY made a critical mistake nominating a convicted air plane hijacker for US Senate in 2018, most delegate didn’t even know about it. I’m as easy going as anybody when it comes to redemption stories etc. Be prepared for this one. Optics and impressions can’t be pulled back. This could be the single most damaging aspect to the campaign, be prepared for it.

    Well, one more weekend of petitioning and I’m done. Hope we don’t come up one vote short. Good luck all.

  21. Jim

    https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article181216371.html

    Aaron Commey

    Boarded a plane with a gun at JFK in 2000, demanded the passengers get off and the pilots fly him to Antarctica so that he could fight a secret organization called the Cabal, who were trying to take over the world through mass destruction.

    Found not guilty by reason of insanity. Was in a mental institution until 2015 when it was determined he was not a threat to the public. Says he cured himself without medication and is committed to nonviolence. Ran for NYC Mayor in 2017 as a libertarian and is now the NY US Senate libertarian candidate.

  22. Andy

    “Aaron Commey

    Boarded a plane with a gun at JFK in 2000, demanded the passengers get off and the pilots fly him to Antarctica so that he could fight a secret organization called the Cabal, who were trying to take over the world through mass destruction.

    Found not guilty by reason of insanity. Was in a mental institution until 2015 when it was determined he was not a threat to the public. Says he cured himself without medication and is committed to nonviolence. Ran for NYC Mayor in 2017 as a libertarian and is now the NY US Senate libertarian candidate.”

    This is the LP of New York’s candidate for US Senate?!?!?!?!? Baaahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wow, LP of NY really has some screw ups in its nominations of candidates. There was the Bill Weld debacle in 2006, and the Howard Stern debacle back in 1994, and now this. LOL!!!

  23. Jim

    Commey seems to be running on a solidly libertarian platform

    https://www.votecommey.com/platform

    The guy had some mental health problems, but they appear to be in the past. People may not vote for him, but most people might have some compassion for that. And it’s not like he’s actively pushing whacked conspiracy theories about faking school shootings to justify gun control.

  24. Steve m

    Warren,

    Ah think iah am already in to the tune of a hundred bucks…

    Ah was going to ignore the latest Sharp request… But for you ah will pony up another hundred…

  25. Andy

    Jim, this guy’s past of committing a violent crime, and being locked up in a outhouse, could easily come back to haunt him.

    Your comment about pointing out inconsistencies in official government stories about mass shooting incidents is absurd, because all of this can be backed up with documented facts, and if I, or anyone else who has spent a lot of time researching these incidents, and who is capable of handling themselves in a debate, were challenged on issues surrounding this, it is the other side who’d be made to look stupid. Also, surveys have indicated that a majority of New Yorkers do not believe the official government story about 9/11 (some think the government made it happen on purpose, some think they let it happen on purpose, and some think they lied to cover up for incompetence), and there have been other surveys that have said that a majority of Americans do not believe the official government story about tge JFK assassination, which, it should now be blatantly apparent was an inside job.

  26. Andy

    Jim, why don’t you tell us a little bit anout yourself. Which LP affiliate are you a member of?

  27. Jim

    1996 – 2003 libertarianish Republican leaning independent. Wasn’t really into politics.

    2004 – 2006 Joined the Republican party and promptly became increasingly disillusioned due to the disconnect between limited government rhetoric and big government action

    2007 – 2008 Extremely active in Ron Paul’s 2007-08 campaign in Connecticut – from spamming message boards to sign waves to letters to the editor to door knocking to spamming people’s cars with slim jims. I even gave the speech on behalf of Ron Paul at the Connecticut Republican state straw poll. Was an anarcho-capitalist by the end.

    2009 – 2010 Changed voter registration to Libertarian and signed the pledge. Did a lot of outreach to Glenn Beck 9/12ers and the state Independence Caucus, successfully introducing a lot of them to libertarianism. Attended a lot of state LP SCC meetings. Did some light campaigning for Peter Schiff.

    2011 – 2012 Worked as the Director of Research for Peter Schiff’s short lived PAC. Did some light campaigning for Ron Paul in 2012. Almost ran for state legislature, but instead ended up as the Connecticut state co-director for Gary Johnson, along with Joshua Katz. Did everything from petitioning to sign waves to writing letters to the editor to speeches on Johnson’s behalf to special interest groups. Took notes and between the 2008 Paul campaign, the 2012 Johnson campaign, and researching candidates for Schiff’s PAC, I learned a lot about campaigning, but have never worked on another one.

    2013 – 2014 Moved to rural Virginia and tried pushing libertarianism through the newly formed local tea party, but when the founder dropped out it ended up going full Republican and then disbanding, as every political initiative does in this area. Started putting together a database of historical libertarian election data.

    2015 – present Finished database, put a lot of it on LPedia, and began playing with the data, turning some of it into charts, which you can see here: https://imgur.com/a/YsovX

  28. Andy

    “and being locked up in a outhouse.”

    This should read, “and being locked up in a nuthouse…”

    Given what he did, locking him up in an outhouse would have been appropriate as well.

  29. Andy

    I would think that Anthony Dlugos is going to have a field day with this US Senate candidate that the LP of NY nominated.

  30. wredlich Post author

    Thanks Steven. There’s no Stephen Meier in the data. There is a Stephen Mejer:

    MEJER, STEPHEN 935 S 29TH5TH PL FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003
    250.00
    30-DEC-17

    So you’re spelling Sharpe’s name wrong, he’s spelling your name wrong, and he reported your $100 contribution as $250. And fitting the conversation, you do not appear to be a NY voter. All very interesting.

    I appreciate you supporting Sharpe’s campaign. Give him another $250.

  31. Chuck Moulton

    Warren Redlich wrote:

    Interesting wager Chuck. I think 50K is the real over-under number that should be the bet, but I know why you chose 250K.

    […]

    But if you wanted to bet 20 bucks on the 50K over-under, I’d take the bet on either side just for the fun of it.

    Warren,

    I decline a 50k vote wager.

    I’m not a gambler. I don’t wager money because I like some rush of uncertainty. I wager money because I know I will win (or am over 90% likely to win) and like taking money from suckers. A fool and his money are soon parted. If I don’t get it, then someone else will, so it might as well be me.

    I’ve also found that unrealistic expectations and crazy theories proliferate when there is no cost of being wrong. As a trained economist, I know that profits and losses enforce discipline in the marketplace. When people are constantly losing money, they notice it and are likely to re-evaluate their opinions to be less crazy.

    It’s also possible that some of the people peddling crazy expectations don’t buy the shit they are selling. I think it is useful to the audience to see that the people saying Larry Sharpe will get over 250,000 votes are not willing to bet on it.

    My ultimate hope is that candidates — as well as their staff, volunteers, and supporters — will set realistic expectations and not burn out activists drinking the Kool-Aid that were conditioned to see 55,000 votes with ballot status as a humiliating loss rather than a wonderful result.

  32. Chuck Moulton

    Marc Montoni wrote:

    I think this is another campaign that suffers from staffers, volunteers, and supporters who have the usual Libertarian Unrealistic Expectation Syndrome (the acronym for which rhymes with “LOSE”.

    I completely agree.

  33. steve m

    I see libertarian candidates as opportunities to annoy the major parties. So i would rather donate 20 bucks then bet on results.

    If a candidate gets some media coverage that is a win. If a statewide candidate gets a few vote percentage points that is a win. If a candidate gets the party ballot access with reduced pettition requirements that is a major win. If a candidate gets the state legislature to look at some sort ranked choice or rated choice instant runoff that is a major win.

    As such I look for articulate candidates that make serious efforts to build organizations, raise money and help build the party.

  34. wredlich Post author

    “I look for articulate candidates that make serious efforts to build organizations, raise money and help build the party.”

    Maybe I should have been more clear in the post. I like Larry. I think he speaks well. He’s far more libertarian than Gary Johnson and he presents those arguments well to my libertarian ears. I think he’s likeable to the general public (and better at that than me), and that matters a lot.

    But with that said, I am very concerned by the lack of a clear, concise message. And I worry that donors like Steve M will feel let down by a candidate who took their money and then spent it ineffectively and didn’t get the votes he claimed he’d get.

    And you have misleading statements from the campaign staff (see thread above) and from the candidate himself, like this:

    –Sharpe said it was “a joke” to talk about his chances of garnering at least 50,000 votes. “I already have a base of [176,000] people who vote for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in 2016,” he said. “I’ll get that easily.”– (from a Politico article)

    Johnson-Weld got 119K votes on the Independence Party line, and only 57K votes on the Libertarian line. That was also a presidential year with higher turnout and two deeply unpopular major party candidates. Larry isn’t going to get the Independence Party votes. Cuomo has that line. Why are they lying about things that are so easy to refute?

    That should trouble anyone.

    Keep in mind Larry’s prediction that there will be only 4 million votes. In 2014 there were only 3.7 million votes (4.6 million in 2010). I think it may decline to 3.5 million votes. That means he needs 1.4% of the vote. McDermott got only 0.4% in 2014. Chris Edes got 0.3% in 2006. I got 1.05% in 2010. Larry has to do substantially better than I did and keep in mind that I did a lot better than the guy before me and the guy after me.

    Of course with all that said, I still hope they break 50K. 100K would be spectacular. I’d love to seem them get 250K or 300K. First let’s hope they get on the ballot.

  35. Steve m

    Warren,

    Now we are down to things that can be measured. So for New York.

    1) Larry Sharpe has to be on the ballot.
    A lot of Larry’s public appearances are petitioning.

    2) we can google “larry Sharpe” and select News and sort by date. I am seeing maybe 4 articles per week.

    3) public appearances…
    3 or 4 a day every day. Again a fair number are petitioning.

    4) votes…. See in early november. But if 50K is a reasonable approximation for a ballot access win then we have a metric for a good win.

    Now if you don’t mind from your historical knowledge… When do lp NY gubernatorial canditates typically finish petitioning? When is the deadline?

    As far as being disappointed… I take a perspective that the money I put in is gone…. But still fun to watch.

    Have fun…

  36. wredlich Post author

    I just heard good news from a reliable source on petitions so let’s not worry about that.

    –2) we can google “larry Sharpe” and select News and sort by date. I am seeing maybe 4 articles per week.–

    That seems a bit rosy but it seems like he’s doing better than I did. It’s hard to measure. I had several good radio appearances on PYX 106 in Albany and with Gary Nolan in Syracuse. Those don’t show up on a Google search.

    Kind of interesting to see how he’s doing on Google Trends:
    https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=larry%20sharpe&geo=US

    He’s way behind Cynthia Nixon, but doing better than Howie Hawkins.

  37. Jonathan Makeley

    Well Larry Sharpe and Stephanie Miner filed their petitions today to get on the ballot. Miner submitted around 40,000 signatures. I currently can’t find a signature number for Sharpe. But comparing the reported number of pages submitted to the state board of elections, it seems like he might have submitted around 50,000.

  38. Andy

    The signature requirement in NY is 15,000 valid, so I would say that it should be a slam dunk that Sharpe is going to be on the ballot.

  39. Eric Sundwall

    If GOP challenges they view LS as a threat. They spend money to do so. They risk exposure and backlash.
    If they don’t challenge they’re unconcerned.

    Interesting that Stephanie Miner got 40K. Will Cuomo operatives challenge?
    They have three days to file “general objections”.

    They might wait until the last minute on Friday to avoid the news cycle.

    Good luck LPNY.

  40. Andy

    The validity on the petition would have to be below 50% to knock Sharpe off the ballot. The petition drive would have to have been conducted in an incompetent manner for the validity to be that low. Assuming that the petition drive was not conducted in a completely incompetent manner, it would probably be a waste of time for the Republicans to file a challenge.

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