Larry Sharpe Breaks 50K – Ballot Access for Libertarians in New York

Larry Sharpe

Libertarian NY Governor candidate Larry Sharpe broke the 50K vote barrier in New York State handily. At this writing he has nearly 86,000 votes with 95% of precincts reporting so he could break 90K. He’s running about 1.6% of the vote, not far behind Howie Hawkins of the Green Party who is at 1.66% with 90,000 votes at this writing. Sharpe is just barely ahead of “Blank”, which is for voters who did not vote for any Governor candidate.

50,000 votes is the ballot access threshold in NY so this will make campaigns easier for Libertarians for the next four years. Sharpe’s total is well above any previous Libertarian candidate for Governor. This author fell just short of 50,000 in 2010. The 2014 candidate got about 17,000 votes.

Sharpe did well in Western NY, particularly high in both Schuyler and Steuben County with nearly 10% in each. He did poorly downstate where he is from. This seems to fit with his campaign strategy of going to every county. Those visits would have a larger impact in smaller counties.

If there’s a negative it’s that Sharpe did not get a lot of votes considering the amount of money spent. The campaign will have spent in the ballpark of $500,000, and this works out to more than $5 per vote. This author spent less than 50 cents a vote. But regardless, Sharpe crushed the 50K threshold and deserves tremendous credit for that.

There are many rumors that Sharpe will be on the Libertarian ticket in 2020. This result will not hurt his chances.

80 thoughts on “Larry Sharpe Breaks 50K – Ballot Access for Libertarians in New York

  1. Gene Berkman

    Larry Sharpe is running ahead of the vote for the Independence Party, and ahead of Stephanie Miner, who is at more than 50,000 votes for the Serve America Movement. Howie Hawkins of the Green Party is just ahead of Larry, with about 94,000 votes so far. It looks like the Conservative Party will claim Row C again, ahead of the Working Families Party, Row D. If he fails to overtake Howie Hawkins, Larry Sharpe will claim Row F, with SAM @ Row G.

    Libertarian candidates in the next four years can say “Vote Row F for Freedom!”

    It looks like the Reform Party and the Women’s Equality Party will probably lose ballot status, and likely go out of existence.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    Congratulations and thanks to Larry for finally tearing down the ballot access wall in New York — 12 years after Bill Weld probably could have if he hadn’t turned out to be a lying faithless weasel.

  3. robert capozzi

    HT to Larry. Well played. He’s probably unelectable in NY for federal office, but I do wonder whether an innovative, articulate L could mount a serious congressional race somewhere.

  4. Anthony Dlugos

    “…12 years after Bill Weld probably could have if he hadn’t turned out to be a lying faithless weasel.”

    Probably could have?

    Easily could have.

    Don’t make it personal, its just business.

    Weld could get 10 times the number of votes Sharpe got without breaking a sweat.

  5. Tony From Long Island

    TK: ” . . . . . “…12 years after Bill Weld probably could have if he hadn’t turned out to be a lying faithless weasel.” . . . |

    Is that any way to speak about the next LP POTUS candidate? 😛

  6. Tony From Long Island

    I am genuinely happy for the LPNY. I thought that convoluted ballot was going to hinder them yesterday but I’m glad we finally broke the wall in New York

  7. robert capozzi

    WW’s staff, at least, wanted the LP to change the platform between when he was first approached to run as a L and his nomination. Obviously, he didn’t realize how extremist the LP is. (I take some blame for this, since I didn’t alert him when we approached him.)

    He certainly understands NAPism, and has been able to rationalize the extremism.

  8. Krzysztof Lesiak

    robert capozzi
    November 7, 2018 at 08:23
    HT to Larry. Well played. He’s probably unelectable in NY for federal office, but I do wonder whether an innovative, articulate L could mount a serious congressional race somewhere

    Well, if the LP can’t win a single seat in any state legislature, I tend to doubt the LP has a shot at any congressional race any time in the next 50 years unless one of the major parties collapses and/or the duopoly candidate pulls a Roy Moore – or the LP’er has a warchest of at least $10 million or something like that.

    Brian Luke received 27.6% in WA-2nd in a two-way race with an incumbent, which is quite decent, but still short of Joel Balam’s 31.5% record in Kansas in 2012. I could be wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the highest result for an LP congressional candidate.

    Senate would of course be even more of an impossibility: Gary Johnson beat the Republican in San Miguel County, 14.36% to 14.05%, a margin of 28 votes. Aleppo won an impressive 24.38% in De Baca County – which is what he was polling statewide until the usual dip in polling third party candidates receive right before the election.

  9. robert capozzi

    KL,

    Sorry, yes, the first step would be to cleanse the LP of NAPism. Step 2 would ne to strategically recruit and fund a strong candidate in a winnable district.

  10. Derek Gorman

    Congratulations to Sharpe! I think the LP should focus on those one party states, districts and counties and build from there… State legislature seats need to be our main focus and try not to run in every congressional district… We can do it, although both LP state legislators didnt get re elected! 🙁

  11. paulie

    Great job Larry Sharpe, better than I expected. I was cautiously optimistic about 50k plus but thought it would be close. The NY media market having more LP candidates will be huge for us. The Reform and Women’s Equality parties were mostly extra ballot lines for Democrats and Republicans, so I am not sad they lost ballot status. Serve America will probably be yet another useless ballot line, and if the upstate ballot design has the same kinks as this time could pose a threat to the LP in 2022. Hopefully LPNY will have another strong candidate for Governor then.

  12. wredlich Post author

    “He certainly understands NAPism, and has been able to rationalize the extremism.”

    Because non-aggression seems extreme to someone who believes in government coercion.

  13. wredlich Post author

    “The NY media market having more LP candidates will be huge for us.”

    Or the major parties will use fusion voting to co-opt the line, rendering “libertarian” even more meaningless than it is now when party stalwarts refer to the non-aggression principle as an extremist view that needs to be purged.

    Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. 🙂

  14. Anthony Dlugos

    Because non-aggression seems extreme to someone who believes in government coercion.

    Which is what…99.5% of the public?

  15. Eric Sundwall

    We knew the day would come. Great job Sharpe campaign.

    Figure a middle aged anarchist doesn’t have much need for a State approved Party now. Happy to have been part of the fight over the years. However . . . Beware the colonization about to come. Continue to make the case for Protest and Principle.

    Weld weaseled, welched, wasted our time . . . nothing to do with NAP. That’s stoopid. Turn that damn loop off already. Geeesh

  16. paulie

    Well, if the LP can’t win a single seat in any state legislature,

    Came within a hair in Wyoming. Also 15% for Governor in Alaska, which is a new national record. I’m not sure how small-l libertarian that candidate is (they have run some decidely unlibertarian Libertarians up there not too long ago) but it’s still a big L record. Particularly impressive in a year when the Ds and Rs spent a record amount of time, money and effort and whipped up mass hysteria to increase their nationwide turnout.

    I tend to doubt the LP has a shot at any congressional race any time in the next 50 years

    It’s extremely foolish to forecast that far ahead.

    Senate would of course be even more of an impossibility: Gary Johnson

    Got 15% statewide if my source was not mistaken. 15% for Governor in one state and 15% for US Senate in another state in the same year is a first for the LP and a sign of growth for the LP. Alaska has also given LP 29% for US Senate and 11% for President in the past. There could be potential for wins in big races there and some other small population states in the near future. LP voter registration keeps rising, and most other indicators are rising as well over time.

    Ballot Access News reports: http://ballot-access.org/2018/11/07/comparing-qualified-party-status-for-libertarian-and-green-parties-relative-to-four-years-ago/

    Libertarian Party: compared to the day after the November 2014 election, has gained qualified status in D.C., Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Oklahoma. Compared to November 2014, it has lost status in Alaska, Maryland, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

    So, I think this is the best we have ever come out of a midterm in terms of ballot access? The states where we gained ballot access vs 2014 are I think higher in combined population than where we lost it. I think Richard may be wrong about Alaska, as far as I know they have been retaining ballot access thru voter registration.

    Comparatively the Green Party is worse off than at this point 4 years ago: gained in MO and NC, lost in AZ, OH, WI and TX.

    Constitution Party is slightly better off: gained NC, lost NM; NC is a higher population state.

  17. Anthony Dlugos

    Plus, Greens/Constitution parties do not have the upside potential of a libertarian party, given those two parties position on the flanks of the traditional left-right spectrum.

    Only the LP can scramble that spectrum permanently.

  18. robert capozzi

    wr: Because non-aggression seems extreme to someone who believes in government coercion.

    me: It’s easy to believe in government coercion since we can observe it globally and throughout history. I can’t say the same for NAPism, which is not observable anywhere and throughout time.

  19. Anthony Dlugos

    “Weld weaseled, welched, wasted our time…”

    Chris Rock: A man is only as faithful as his options.

  20. robert capozzi

    pf: You have a final solution?

    me: No, only part one: delete NAPism. Notice that I didn’t say “NAPists.” They can, of course, maintain their ideology in a caucus, watching grainy Rothbard videos and laying around listening to Long elaborate on the implications of statelessness. 😉

  21. paulie

    No, only part one: delete NAPism. Notice that I didn’t say “NAPists.”

    You only thought this part of the way through then. You can’t permanently delete NAPism otherwise. And you don’t even have to justify it as preventive or retaliatory force, so that makes it that much easier.

  22. paulie

    Richard was correct about Alaska losing ballot status, but they are not that far off in voter registrations and will do a reg drive like they have done several times in the past.

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    Derek Gorman writes:

    “I think the LP should focus on those one party states, districts and counties and build from there… State legislature seats need to be our main focus and try not to run in every congressional district”

    That makes a good deal of sense on its face. But there are some problems with it.

    One of them is that the party doesn’t decide strategy. Candidates and donors do. Some donors don’t care about Soil and Water Commission but will donate $2500 to a presidential campaign. Others ignore national politics and put their time and money into city council races. Those candidates don’t change the offices they run for, nor do those donors change what kinds of campaigns they’re willing to write checks to, just because some central planner announced an optimal strategy.

    Just as an example: When I ran for city council in my town in 1997, there was a local Libertarian who donated to every LP congressional candidate in the state, bought the max package at every national convention, made the maximum contribution to the presidential campaign every four years, etc. So naturally I thought he’d be good for a nice donation to my campaign. Nope. He was a local small businessman and had to deal with the city council all the time. He was not, under any circumstances, going to donate to a candidate for one of those positions, because doing so could mean he wouldn’t get the next permit or zoning variance he asked for.

    Secondly, a party is a brand. While there are certainly decisions to be made about which campaigns should get party support and which ones are cranks with no chance of winning who make the party look bad, promoting the brand means running as many candidates as possible, in as many races as possible, and at the highest level possible. It’s nice when my wife gets elected city marshal or I get appointed to the draft board. And it’s also something that’s a very, very small part of the brand-building mix compared to a gubernatorial or senatorial candidate who gets into a televised debate, secures ballot access, maybe draws blame/credit for “spoiling” the race, etc.

    Thirdly, politics is not exactly a ladder that there’s one way to climb. Most congresscritters, let alone most presidents, didn’t work their way up from Soil and Water Commission. While you do try to “promote” your candidates from lower to higher positions, you’re also going to have people come in with the resume to run for Congress and no interest at all in a position on the local zoning board first.

    Is there some magic optimum? Maybe. But it’s not obvious what that optimum is or how the cats could be herded to it.

  24. robert capozzi

    pf: You only thought this part of the way through then. You can’t permanently delete NAPism otherwise. And you don’t even have to justify it as preventive or retaliatory force, so that makes it that much easier.

    Me: Have you been taking cryptic lessons from Prof. Phillies? 😉 I have no idea what you mean here, and that’s a rare thing when it comes to PF posts.

  25. paulie

    I have no idea what you mean here,

    I thought it was clear. Let me try one more time.

    If you delete NAP but not “NAPists” the NAP could come back. And, once you delete the NAP, it’s easier to delete “NAPists” because you no longer have to come up with an explanation for why your use of force in such a case would be defensive or responsive since eliminating the NAP eliminates the needs for providing such explanations.

  26. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, I suppose that’s all true in some constructs where force is not recognized as ubiquitous.

    (According to the NAPist construct, everyone — including NAPists — are at risk, with no “check” on aggression. This is a histrionic view, since there in fact are MANY checks on at least some forms of aggression.)

    What I advocate is deleting NAPism from the foundational docs so that NAPists and other lessarchists can co-exist as equals. This is not the case when NAPism is protected by 7/8th-vote depth charges. Whenever a non-NAPist lessarchist offers a change in path toward liberty, the NAPists pull out the rulebooks in order to discipline and/or stifle heretics.

    The setup is NAPists = High Holy Wo/men. The rest of humanity (99.9%) are prospects, souls to be saved.

  27. Richard Winger

    The Democratic national party and Florida state party together are challenging the Florida law on ballot format (which candidate is listed first). The Democratic Party has the financial resources to hire statisticians and win the Florida case. That will be a breakthrough for suing other states that don’t provide an equal chance for any ballot-listed-candidate to be first on the ballot. Eventually the whole New York ballot system could be thrown out. If Libertarians and Greens were sometimes listed first on the New York ballot, that would make a very big difference.

    But even without changing the NY ballot, the LP won’t need to put up with sharing a line with another party, now that it is a qualified party in the sixth row.

  28. dL

    cleanse the LP of NAPism.

    Purge the LP of those who have an afternoon snooze fetish?

    Well before you can purge them, you must be able to identify them. Luckily, napism.org provides an invaluable resource for spotting napists.

    There are ways of identifying Napists among your circle of family and friends. Their use of the Napist lingo, Napist terms, and references to Napist culture is usually a good clue; below is a partial list:

    1) Using the proper descriptive name for various kinds of naps
    Amateurs and dabblers in the art will say “I think I’ll take a little nap”; Napists will say, “Y’know, I think this is the perfect setting for a ‘Cowboy Nap.’” They’ll claim a “Nothing-Else-To-Do-While-You’re-Cooking-Dinner Nap” or a “Proper-Preparation-For-Cocktail-Hour Nap.” They’ll say “Man, was that ever a Runaway Nap!”, or “When should I schedule my ‘Holiday Nap?’”, or “Y’know, I think it’s a bit too humid for a Hat-Over-The-Face Nap”, etc., etc., ad infinitum (or, as some critics have been known to say, ad nauseum.)

    2) Using euphemisms, for the benefit of those with weak Nap-fu, to explain naps
    Example: “No, Dear, my sweet, delicate prairie flower. Despite appearances I am NOT about to nap: I am actively engaged in a ’planning session’. I soon shall be in a period of such intense meditation, such intense intellectual activity that all of my highly-focused and productive energy will be concentrated in my brain thereby rendering my body motionless, almost paralyzed. So, stand clear! Don’t bother me; go away.”

    3) Unusually through knowledge of classical lullabies
    There have been some notable creative works created or inspired by Napists, often taking the form of the berceuse, which is in triple metre or in a compound metre such as 6/8. There’s Chopin’s Opus 57, British composer Nicholas Maw’s orchestral nocturne The World in the Evening, and American composer Michael Glenn Williams’ Berceuse for Solo Piano (recorded by pianist Roberto Prosseda) which uses an ostinato similar to Chopin’s but in a 21st century harmonic context. And let’s not forget George Gershwin’s Lullabye for a String Quartet!

    Music is widely considered the universal language, and the Napist influence surfaces in virtually all of the world’s cultures. From the Sudanese Cing cang keeling; to the Japanese Edo, Itsuki, Takeda, and Shimabara ; to the famous French Frère Jacques and the fabulous Benjamin Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn; to the Italian Nana Bobo (with Balkan and Byzantine influences evident in the structure of the song) and Fai la Nanna, Mio Simone (which has an initial exuberant tone followed by the sweeter pace of a calm cradle song): the presence, strength, and human culture underpinnings of Napism cannot be denied.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    paulie,

    re: delete the NAP.

    I’m gonna try to move the ball forward here a little and put this into concrete terms.

    I preface this by admitting I am not a platform wording/process expert, but I don’t that’s necessary here.

    As far as I know, the NAP isn’t in the platform. I know what I’ve been arguing, and I think what my fellow traveler RCapozzi is talking about, is deleting its influence, because dogmatic adherence to the NAP is the single biggest factor THAT WE CAN CHANGE that is holding the party back, both in direct terms, (vis a vi the platform), and indirect terms (vis a vi party messaging and candidate policy ideas that are constrained either implicitly or explicitly by some level of adherence to the NAP).

    You and I agree regarding the baleful influence of right-wing thinking on the LP, and how it has to be expunged. But how? Nearest I can remember, you’ve indicated that its gonna take a lot of hard work, but you’ve not been more specific than that.

    I argued on previous occasions that its adherence to the philosophical construct of the NAP and dogmatism in general that inadvertently draws in dogmatics of all stripes, and redounds to the benefit of the very people/influence you and I both want out of the party.

    So, for example, the platform has a decent plank on abortion, but one that could be better, IMHO. I spitballed recently and suggested a change to read something along the lines of, “we oppose any targeted reduction in state-provided health care funding that particularly impacts women and minorities in a negative manner.” Or some such wording.

    I don’t think such an example is in contradiction to an inspirational interpretation of the NAP (policy can always reduce state funding/involvement in health care in a fashion that does not particularly impact women and the underclass first), but it surely is in contradiction with a more dogmatic interpretation.

    But its that dogmatic interpretation that prevents us from positioning the platform (and by extension, our candidate messaging) in a way that demonstrates we are not gonna leave behind or ignore the very people who were left behind by previous state aggression. But that requires leaving behind ivory tower philosophically pure proclamations that have no relevance in the real world.

    The NAP is a nice aspiration. But when applied to real world policy, it has a disparate impact on the poor, minorities and the oppressed. I’d suggest to you that the most unsavory elements of the libertarian movement and party know this and use it to their advantage. I.E., a latently homophobic right-winger can leverage dogmatic adherence to the NAP by selecting…of all the innumerable state aggressions they could select…the Bake the Cake issue and make us defend it. Defend it, then you’re gonna wonder why we can shake the right wing influence?

    I look at differently…if you can’t properly triage the situation, you’re either of no help to the LP, or you’re not really interested in reducing the size and scope of government. You want us to hop to it NOW because a Christian is being forced to bake a cake? I don’t think so. Where were these people when LGBT rights were being trampled? Probably nowhere to be found. But now we are supposed to be upset about state aggression?

    I don’t know how you intend to counter this without demonstrating to the hard right and alt-reich in the party that we are not going to hamstring ourselves in such a way that leaves those factions with the undue influence they have now. Near as I can tell, your (albeit earnest) position is that we just need to explain better how a utopian NAP world would redound to the benefit of the less powerful. Yet all such doubling down does is signal to the people who like the current power structures that we’ll run interference for them to keep those structures intact.

    There are innumerable other ways the platform…and again, by extension party messaging…can be improved to expunge the unfortunate moniker of “republicans who want to smoke pot,” (I also pointed out the very right wing sentiment of the segment of the Government Finance and Spending plank that says we support the abolishment of ANY tax, another gift of the NAP that is not helping) but its gonna have to be a lot more upsetting to our NAP sensibilities than just a more dogged defense of that axiom, or a trickster policy stance that leaves open the possibility of a stateless society that 99% of the populace can sniff out and want no part of.

    There is a ton of philosophical ground that we can secure between the platform as is exists now and a reincarnation of the Reform Party that will dispose of what we want disposed of and STILL be able to present a message of smaller government and greater individual liberty.

  30. Derek Gorman

    Now that the LP has ballot access in NY, I think its time to use an electoral strategy I favor: time to cover all the bases by recruiting libertarian minded candidates in the duopoly.

    My idea would be to have the LP choose their own candidates while having freedom democrats and liberty republicans contesting the Democratic and Republican nominations. I dont think its hard to find libertarian republicans and libertarian democrats. Then we can have an all out competition of libertarian ideas. The LP would nominate a LP member only if the libertarians in the other two parties dont win their nomination. If a libertarian republican or democrat wins, then the LP can nominate that candidate instead.

  31. Libertydave

    So Anthony Dlugos and Robert Capozzi want to hijack another thread to talk about NAP.

    You both claim that NAP doesn’t work in the real world. So I will ask this question again. In what case is it OK to force, harm, or steal from innocent people to accomplish whatever it is you want to do?

  32. robert capozzi

    LD,

    Compared with what?

    Is “OK” an absolute standard, or a relative one? On an absolute level, I advocate for Nonarchy Pods, so that those who object to ALL state coercion can opt out. On a relative level, I advocate for less state coercion tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

  33. robert capozzi

    ad: As far as I know, the NAP isn’t in the platform.

    me: iirc, the Bylaws require that the Platform conform with the SoP. The SoP is NAPist.

  34. Anthony Dlugos

    “In what case is it OK to force, harm, or steal from innocent people to accomplish whatever it is you want to do?”

    Not only does no one in the country (other than the already converted) ruminate over such a question, but its actually answered in the affirmative by the voters every time they step into a voting booth.

    Merely asking the question tells me the arena of electoral politics is not for you.

    Its like a vegetarian taking a management position at a slaughterhouse in order to debate the ethics of eating meat.

  35. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Excellent analogy, except I submit it’d work better if the vegetarian merely applied for the job and puts on the cover letter a long screed against meat-eating and then gets pissed off that s/he didn’t even get the interview, raving the day long what an idiot the hiring manager and carnivores are.

  36. ATBAFT

    ” the Bylaws require that the Platform conform with the SoP. ”

    Can’t 51% of the delegates adopt a Platform plank that isn’t in conformity with SofP? Seems like a way to circumvent 7/8 NAP rules…if at least 51% of the delegates actually wish to do so.

  37. Jim

    I don’t see any basis for assuming that millions or tens of millions of voters have read the LP Platform and rejected voting for the party for its contents. I think it is much more reasonable to assume that voters base their decisions based on candidates – ours and theirs. The platform isn’t preventing electoral success.

    Reading the party platform is something people do when they are interested in more closely associating with the LP. Like, maybe, before changing their voter registration to Libertarian. But LP voter registration has had a double digit rate of growth for the last 5 consecutive 2 year periods.

  38. robert capozzi

    Around,

    iirc, yes, that can happen. But then the High Holy NAPists can bring any plumbline-violating plank to the Judicial Committee to be struck down.

    J,

    Right, I agree. How it works goes something like this:

    The 88 20-something + Hospers founded the LP on the NAP. They put in several booby-trapped depth charges to preserve the NAP. This has severely hampered the LP to evolve. While the idea of a 3rd party devoted to peace and liberty has much merit, it’s stuck in a stage of arrested development.

    This means that the steps it could have been taken to evolve the message — both intellectually and rhetorically — have been stunted. Indeed, many of those who might have refined the message were driven away or never joined, once they got closer and saw the NAPist dysfunction up close. Sometimes, NAPists themselves wake-up to the flaws of NAPism. So, the tens of millions are often treated to a construct-driven extremism that is unappealing to all except the True Believers. For them, the thrill seems to be that they can chant, “Taxation is theft! Legalize all drugs tomorrow! Open the borders completely! Abortion on demand until birth!” For them, it’s not politics, it’s street theater, albeit on a nearly empty street.

  39. Anthony Dlugos

    “I don’t see any basis for assuming that millions or tens of millions of voters have read the LP Platform and rejected voting for the party for its contents. I think it is much more reasonable to assume that voters base their decisions based on candidates – ours and theirs. The platform isn’t preventing electoral success.”

    Fair enough, Jim, but all the action is at the margins.

    An LP that demonstrates its not going to be bound by dogmatism might draw in more legitimate politicians, who might draw in some heavyweight donors, and this might actually start having an effect.

    Imagine if that process of divergence from dogma started 40 years ago? Who knows where this party might be now in terms of actually effecting change?

  40. Anthony Dlugos

    “This means that the steps it could have been taken to evolve the message — both intellectually and rhetorically — have been stunted. Indeed, many of those who might have refined the message were driven away or never joined, once they got closer and saw the NAPist dysfunction up close.”

    Bingo, R.C.

    Then again, what you and I see as a weakness…an invariant, uniform message across time and space is seen as a strength by the NAPists…regardless of the lack of success. Regardless of all evidence to the contrary in the sphere of electoral politics that that is not what works.

    Who knows what creative policy packages skilled politicians might have created if not constrained by dogma? Packages that might have worked to pique interest? Interest that might have directed us as a party (via the “price” function, a.k.a., votes) down the most productive avenues to secure public office.

    We’ll never know.

  41. Chuck Moulton

    Great job, Larry Sharpe and his campaign team! Congratulations to LPNY for securing ballot access!

    Onward and upward. I hope LPNY runs a lot more candidates in the coming years. If it were my decision, I would advise sending out surveys to R & D candidates for possible cross-endorsements, but being very careful about fusion nominations (i.e., actual libertarians only on a wide range of issues spanning left & right, not just lesser of two evils).

  42. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    You might want to listen to Caryn Ann Harlos’s “Big L” podcast for what actually happened with the Statement of Principles.

    Short version: The original “7/8ths requirement to amend” did not kick in for four years. The convention between its passage and it kicking in was able to amend it — AND amend the requirement — with the usual 2/3 vote.

    It was, in fact, amended at that next convention. By more, not fewer, delegates than at the previous convention. Who chose to make it more, not less, “NAPist” and to allow the 7/8ths requirement to actuate.

    As far as the magical success-creating qualities of letting go of dogmatism are concerned, we’ve seen from the experience of other parties — the Reform Party, for example — that that’s not even close to being a silver bullet.

    The founding delegates of the party asked and answered “what is this party going to be about?” and then answered the question. Then the party grew, and a larger party affirmed that yes, this party was going to be about this thing and that it was important that it be kept so.

    Might that have been a dead end, or a mistake? Sure, although the jury is definitely still out on the matter and the LP has proven more durable and for the most part more successful than other “third parties.”

    Were the people who created something within their legitimate rights to dictate what the thing they created was going to be about? Absolutely.

    People who want a party that’s about a different thing should stop moaning about it and either start one or go looking for one instead of trying to hijack infrastructure built over decades to turn it away from the purposes dictated by its creators and agreed to by its subsequent builders/maintainers.

  43. robert capozzi

    TK,

    The history of the 70s is uninteresting to me. What 88 or 300 youthful zealots did decades ago strikes me as not illuminating. I trust you and CAH can accept a difference of opinion on what is relevant and what isn’t. It’s not a question of “rights,” but rather wisdom, which you seem to grant.

    I agree the Reform Party is a cautionary tale. I can imagine, though, that a de-dogma-fied, more flexible, peace and liberty-oriented L party would have made far more progress that the current incarnation. I accept your contrary opinion on the matter. We shall never know for sure.

    I don’t feel I’m “moaning,” but rather sharing a perspective. Sorry if it comes across that way to you. I suspect it will remain as it is — largely electorally inconsequential. This saddens me, as the risks to liberty are escalating, in my view.

  44. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    The LP is what it is.

    It was intentionally built to be highly resistant to being re-made into something other than what it is.

    That resistance has been held firm multiple times over 47 years and was actually strengthened this year.

    You want that to not be the case.

    You want a party built to different specifications.

    The LP is not going to be re-built to those specifications.

    All your wishing — I’m taking it a step back from moaning, see — is not going to change that.

    That might or might not be a bad thing, but it is a fact.

    The fact that I like the LP’s specifications as opposed to yours is not especially relevant to those facts, except to the extent that I see your attitude as akin to wanting to go to Los Angeles by car-jacking someone who’s driving to Toronto and using their car, the one they bought, the one they paid for, the one they filled up with gas, the one they purchased the insurance for, etc. for your purposes instead of for their purposes — and wishing that it didn’t have a LoJack system in it that stops you from doing so. And I find that attitude pretty silly and slightly offensive.

    Instead of continuing to fruitlessly wish for something that is never, ever, ever going to happen, why not either look for another party that is built to your specifications or can be re-built to them, or build one from scratch?

  45. ATBAFT

    “iirc, yes, that can happen. But then the High Holy NAPists can bring any plumbline-violating plank to the Judicial Committee to be struck down.”
    RC, I’m sure they will. But what if the majority of the Judicial Committee is made up of anti-NAPsters?
    Anti-NAPsters apparently are content to bitch about 7/8 rules instead of trying to convince 51% of the delegates that ditching NAP is the way forward for growth, etc. So perhaps the answer is to take Mr. Knapp’s advice: “why not either look for another party that is built to your specifications or can be re-built to them, or build one from scratch?”

  46. robert capozzi

    TK,

    As a former NAPist myself, it’s possible that current NAPists will see how unworkable their construct is, and they will — with eyes wide open — cast it aside for flexible lessarchism. Many, including AD and I, have. A massive consciousness-raising CAN happen. Indeed, you would be an excellent candidate to lead your fellow NAPists back from the barren NAP wilderness. 😉 I see you as a potential anti-Cantwell, who went from NAPist to alt-rightist. Certainly the move from NAPist to lessarchist would be far more positive than Cantwell’s journey.

    As I’ve indicated before, I am not a good candidate for creating a lessarchist party. And the L brand is owned by the LNC, and while the brand has warts, it also has a certain cache. My role is to call BS on NAPism. Where that leads is probably nowhere, but if it can be a small part in chipping away at the NAPist edifice, I’d say it’s a worthwhile effort.

    Around,

    Again, the hurdle is 7/8ths, not 51%.

  47. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    I think the 51% ATBAFT was referring to was the Judicial Committee — basically attempt to corrupt it so that it can’t be brought in to enforce SoP adherence on the platform or whatever.

    You just seem to be up against the problem of turning a 1966 Chevy Impala into a 2010 Dodge Ram. It’s not a question of which one is the better vehicle. They’re built from different parts. They have different engines. They have different transmissions. Pulling one part — the NAP relay — out of the Impala and replacing it with something from the Ram isn’t going to turn it into a Ram. It’s just going to make the car inoperable.

  48. paulie

    But its that dogmatic interpretation that prevents us from positioning the platform (and by extension, our candidate messaging)

    That’s an extension I have not seen correspond to reality. You’re building a bridge too far just so you can blow it up.

  49. paulie

    Near as I can tell, your (albeit earnest) position is that we just need to explain better how a utopian NAP world would redound to the benefit of the less powerful. Yet all such doubling down does is signal to the people who like the current power structures that we’ll run interference for them to keep those structures intact.

    Not utopian and no, it doesn’t. If it did, wouldn’t they have already implemented it, or put serious funding behind us trying to, or something?

  50. paulie

    Can’t 51% of the delegates adopt a Platform plank that isn’t in conformity with SofP?

    It would be subject to judicial committee review. If we had one.

  51. paulie

    I don’t see any basis for assuming that millions or tens of millions of voters have read the LP Platform and rejected voting for the party for its contents. I think it is much more reasonable to assume that voters base their decisions based on candidates – ours and theirs. The platform isn’t preventing electoral success.

    Reading the party platform is something people do when they are interested in more closely associating with the LP. Like, maybe, before changing their voter registration to Libertarian. But LP voter registration has had a double digit rate of growth for the last 5 consecutive 2 year periods.

    Correct on both points.

  52. paulie

    Imagine if that process of divergence from dogma started 40 years ago? Who knows where this party might be now in terms of actually effecting change?

    Why, *we* could have been the party that ran Trump, Clinton or Sanders and won the presidency. Imagine how awesome we would be.

  53. paulie

    Onward and upward. I hope LPNY runs a lot more candidates in the coming years.

    Agreed.

    If it were my decision, I would advise sending out surveys to R & D candidates for possible cross-endorsements, but being very careful about fusion nominations (i.e., actual libertarians only on a wide range of issues spanning left & right, not just lesser of two evils).

    That’s a difficult path to tread. Political machines in NY are used to packing conventions and trying to take every available ballot line for their candidates. Party switching is common, including for that purpose. So LPNY will have a hard fight to remain independent as it is.

  54. paulie

    People who want a party that’s about a different thing should stop moaning about it and either start one or go looking for one instead of trying to hijack infrastructure built over decades to turn it away from the purposes dictated by its creators and agreed to by its subsequent builders/maintainers.

    Exactly.

  55. paulie

    And the L brand is owned by the LNC

    Nope. State parties can use that name and the LNC can choose to disaffiliate from them but they could still be on the ballot. In most states another party with Libertarian as part of its name could qualify for the ballot. In some states any voter can choose to register as LP and run in the primary, and if that’s who the other voters who choose to register as LP pick, there’s nothing the LNC or any state committee can do about it. In some states any candidate can choose any ballot label they want, LP included. Candidates can and do run against the platform all the time, most of them not bothering to point out that they are doing so. The LNC has a relatively small impact on the LP brand.

    Around,

    Again, the hurdle is 7/8ths, not 51%.

    I’m going to disagree. ATBAFT has a point. If delegates want to pass planks that contradict the SOP and elect a judicial committee that agrees with them, what’s anyone going to do about it…go to a government court? I rather doubt they would care.

  56. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Good point. If there was a cabal of non-NAPists who changed the Platform AND the JC with the understanding that they would remake the LP’s public face, that could happen with 51%. That would take a LOT of coordination to overcome the embedded NAPism. And, of course, the convention can nominate non-NAPist candidates like GJ which also minimizes the embedded NAPism publicly. (Although, it should be noted, GJ sometimes referred to the NAP as his North Star, in effect.)

    I cede your point about the state committees from a technical perspective, but, again, from the public’s perspective, the LP “brand” is the takeaways from its candidates and platform. Those are the purview of the LNC, as I understand the institution. Don’t you see it that way? Now, of course, Sharpe has put bridge-naming into the public consciousness as well, and most find it clever (including me), but I suspect the L brand is mostly still set by GJ, the platform a bit. (Thankfully, the “private nukes” clause remains gone!)

  57. paulie

    I cede your point about the state committees from a technical perspective, but, again, from the public’s perspective, the LP “brand” is the takeaways from its candidates and platform.

    Candidates way more than platform.

    Those are the purview of the LNC, as I understand the institution. Don’t you see it that way?

    Not really. The platform is decided in convention. The LNC only appoints part of the platform committee, but some of them are appointed by the states and the recommendations of the committee can be amended or rejected by the convention. In theory, there can also be proposals from the floor which were never consider by platcom, although that doesn’t seem to actually happen. Some states also have their own platforms.

    The candidates are mostly selected by state party conventions or primaries, or in a few cases state party committees filling vacancies. The presidential ticket is chosen by the national convention, and can in theory be repudiated by the LNC but that also never happens.

    So the role of the LNC is pretty limited, actually. In recent years social media volunteers may have had as much or more to do with the party brand as party employees.

  58. paulie

    LPUS? But even if you include the national convention, social media volunteers, and HQ staff as “LNC” I still think the candidates, state and county parties, and all the candidates nominated by state parties and primaries have more to do with the LP brand than the “LNC” even most broadly defined. It would be a real stretch to call the presidential campaign part of the LNC in any way, even though the ticket is nominated by the national convention and could in theory be repudiated by the LNC (and if such a repudiation did occur, the repudiated ticket would still be on the ballot in many states, more and more as the election gets closer, and all at some point).

    But even if you include the presidential campaign, the LNC itself, the HQ staff, the national party social media teams and the national convention under an extremely overly broad definition of “LNC,” I would still guess that all the state and county parties, all their social media teams and all the candidates they nominate have more to do with the LP brand than your LNC too broadly defined.

    Like it or not, all the past LP campaigns, national, state and county party statements, and social media posts have a lot to do with the LP brand. And as far as how non-libertarians and potential libertarians view the LP brand, it also has to do with their interactions with individual LP members as well as anyone and everyone who calls themselves “libertarians” or gets called that by media. Regular people don’t know the difference between small l and big L.

    So, I’m going to continue to posit that no matter how broadly you define “LNC” it still does not come close to controlling the LP brand as a whole.

  59. Anthony Dlugos

    The main purpose of attempting to change the platform in a lessarchist direction/dispensing with the SoP/NAP influences is not to actually succeed, but as a demonstration of strength to legitimately electable, classically liberal politicians and heavyweight donors that they won’t be sticking their necks out for a totally hopeless utopian organization.

    After that, the platform can “More honor’d in the breach than the observance.”

    This isn’t meant to be deliberately confrontational for confrontation’s sake. Its meant to try and start effecting real change, even if it stops sort of libertopia.

    Because one thing is for sure: a J-W administration would not be setting up tent cities to house asylum seekers indefinitely, or be talking about ending birthright citizenship, or dragging its feet on marijuana reform.

    And if the NAP can’t effect changes like those, there is no point in venerating it.

  60. robert capozzi

    AD,

    Great points. The first lines up with Hayek’s notion of how ideas are spread, from intellectuals to popularizers to the masses. When the masses stumbled upon the old deeply NAPist LP platform, they probably didn’t grasp that “We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe,” included ALL weapons, even WMD.

    This is obviously a non-starter on many levels, and intellectuals and some popularizers would see that this was a party that was not serious. Most donors tend to be more educated as well, and they can smell nonsense from a mile away.

    Lessarchist pols in office might start out stopping a lot of bad ideas rather than advancing good ones. There is a LOT of work to be done! J/W wanted to cut the federal budget by 20%, iirc. They’d have been lucky to freeze it had they won.

    Actually, I think a serious conversation could be had about birthright citizenship. Frankly, I’m a bit ambivalent about it. Surely, J/W would not be talking about stopping it though executive order, which strikes me as perniciously wrong-headed.

  61. William T. Forrest

    People all over the political map are showing a preference for boldness and refreshing bluntness that at least seems honest.

  62. robert capozzi

    WTF,

    Agreed. There is, however, a difference between boldness and psychotic extremism, I suspect.

  63. Anthony Dlugos

    RC,

    Speaking of donors…or maybe candidates…The LP did send out an e-mail on 11/9 inviting members to a dinner in Salt Lake City January 12 with Patrick Byrne, Founder/CEO of Overstock.

    I’m quite sure he’s not doing that for sh*ts and giggles.

  64. robert capozzi

    AD,

    I prefer Mackey. Byrne got a bit wild on naked shorting a few years back. My impression is he can be a bit erratic, not McAfee erratic, but still I prefer a more poised figure. Certainly a better choice than NAPists like Kokesh and Vohra.

  65. Anthony Dlugos

    I agree 100% with that.

    Nonetheless, it’s good that the party is drawing such interest. Blazes the trail for others.

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