Mass. LP will put Barr/Root on the ballot

CORRECTION: It was later discovered that this report was inaccurate. Please see the updated story.

There had been some question as to whether the “majority neo-pagan” Libertarian Party of Massachusetts would put Barr/Root on the ballot based on Barr’s past anti-Wiccan activism. A highly placed source says the executive committee has voted unanimously to go forward with the official LP ticket.

Secondarily, there was some hubbub over whether Bob Barr‘s “Republican registration” may have barred him from being on the Massachusetts ballot as a Libertarian. According to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, there is nothing to this fear, since Georgia does not have partisan registration. Winger also notes that people do not actually vote for presidential candidates anyway, but for slates of electors.

UPDATE: State party chairman George Phillies says the above report is false, and no such meeting has taken place. IPR is checking with its source for insight into the mix-up. Thanks to John P. Slevin for calling the mistake to our attention.

36 thoughts on “Mass. LP will put Barr/Root on the ballot

  1. Andy Craig

    Ron Paul claimed to have kept his “Republican registration” when he ran in 2008. But I’ve also seen the letter he wrote in 1987 repudiating Reagan and the entire GOP. So who knows.

    Good to see Mass. LP being reasonable. Any confirmation on NHLP?

  2. Trent Hill

    There are still rumors that the NHLP and AZLP will not follow suit. Should be interesting.

  3. John P Slevin


    Andy Craig wrote: Andy Craig // May 30, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Ron Paul claimed to have kept his “Republican registration” when he ran in 2008 (corrected by Andy to 1988). But I’ve also seen the letter he wrote in 1987 repudiating Reagan and the entire GOP. So who knows.

    Ron Paul would not have gained ballot status in many states if he’d kept his reg as Republican (despite the chance that the LP bylaws allow someone to be an L while registered as an R).

    It’s a mattter of state ballot access law. In California alone, Paul could not be on the ballot without the expectation of a serious ballot access court case had he remained an R.

    That said, all you gotta do is look it up. Paul’s county in Texas has the voter records, it is that simple.

  4. John P Slevin

    That said, there were alot of ranking “Libertarians” in those days who never actually “risked” registering Libertarian, cause they thought it would bring an audit and because, well, they were weasels.

    I don’t for a second think Ron Paul remained an R when he ran for President as an L.

  5. John P Slevin

    And, if you do look up Ron Paul’s registration in Texas at that time, look also to see if a Texan even could register Libertarian at that time…that is a key question.

  6. Shawn Levasseur

    Good to hear that George Phillies is living up to his concession speech, and that Arthur Torry, the Mass. delegate who was the source of all this removal from the ballot talk, is not calling the shots.

    When I first heard of the threats from Torry (who was not shy about telling anyone and everyone) that a special emergency state convention would be held if Barr won the nomination, to keep him off the Mass. ballot, it scared me.

    I had yet to make a decision about the presidential ticket, but knew such actions after the national convention would be an embarrassment. The whole conversation just scared the hell out of me.

    I know that Torry has also said that as an elector for on the Mass. ticket, if Barr won the state, he’d become a faithless elector. I at least hope that he has requested to be replaced as an elector, as unlikely a scenario that would be to play out.

  7. Fred Church Ortiz

    So the executive committee that voted unanimously was majority neo-pagan, or the party itself? Or both?

  8. John P Slevin

    BTW, George Phillies sent me this email since this article on Mass. was posted, and I just saw this email,which I reproduce in it’s entirety:

    Quoting George Phillies:

    “Bears absolute no semblance to reality. It’s not that it’s backwards,
    it’s that our discussion was on different topics.

    For starters, I am aware of no reason to suppose that the body that met

    last night–by the way, we do not have an Executive Committee–controls

    whose name is on the LPMass ballot, and we are waiting to find out
    before taking action, so we did not take action.

    However, WordPress does not like my ISP and browser, so posting direct
    comments does not work.”

  9. G.E. Post author

    John P – Wow, I’m shocked. The person who told me this information is not typically wrong. Thank you for passing on this info from George.

  10. John P Slevin

    I hope IPR will get back to the Mass people, perhaps get to George, and clear this up. I’m assuming George sent me this having seen my comments in the discussion. I have no clue if anyone at IPR actually talked to anyone in Mass, but the fact that Mass apparently has no Exec Committee makes me question the whole article.

  11. G.E. Post author

    The “executive committee” thing was probably my mistake. But the bulk of the story was quoted to me on the phone by someone who is well known and respected by all within the third-party world.

  12. G.E. Post author

    BTW: I’m double-checking with my source right now.

    Reporting the news is harder than it looks!

  13. Fred Church Ortiz

    That’s why the pro’s just take dictation from their executives.

  14. G.E. Post author

    Unfortunately, it is too late to call my source. I’ve emailed him/her and will make a phone call first thing in the morning.

  15. Pingback: So, what happened at the LP of Massachusetts meeting? « Last Free Voice

  16. Andy

    Regardless of the veracity of the item, I don’t understand the mechanics of the LP MA having authority to put or not put Barr/Root on the ballot. Isn’t it a done deal? The state party doesn’t have to ratify what happened at the national convention does it?

  17. LPiberty

    On a blog, how important is it to have 2 sources confirm a report? Or is it preferred to get it out there and let the reader and feedback sort it out?

  18. richardwinger

    There is no state that will keep a presidential or vice-presidential candidate off the November ballot based on how he or she is registered to vote. Anyway, Texas doesn’t even have voter registration by party. George W. Bush is not a registered Republican because there are no registered Republicans in Texas.

    Members of major parties who have been on the ballot in all states as third party or independent candidates include John B. Anderson (who had voted in the March 1980 Illinois primary so was considered under state law to be a Republican), and George Wallace (who had voted in the June 1968 Alabama Democratic primary so who was considered a Democrat). Also Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 was a registered Republican in New York state (he couldn’t register Progressive because it wasn’t a qualified party), Robert La Follette (who continued to list himself as a Republican during 1924 in the Congressional Directory) were on the ballot in all states but one, and the one state for each of them didn’t bar them because of registration.

  19. Pingback: George Phillies refutes IPR report

  20. G.E. Post author

    LPiberty – What do you think? My impression is that in the third-party world, the rumor itself is news.

  21. Jeff Wartman

    LPiberty – What do you think? My impression is that in the third-party world, the rumor itself is news.

    That’s why bloggers have such a bad reputation. One source is not good enough. Not calling the named people in the report prior to publication is a rookie mistake.

    Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into a TPW cesspool.

  22. G.E. Post author

    Jeff – Why are you trying to destroy me, again?

    Rookies make rookie mistakes, and I am a rookie.

  23. Jeff Wartman

    Jeff – Why are you trying to destroy me, again?

    That’s what we do 🙂

    Rookies make rookie mistakes, and I am a rookie.

    Fair enough.

  24. John P Slevin

    Richard Winger wrote:

    “There is no state that will keep a presidential or vice-presidential candidate off the November ballot based on how he or she is registered to vote. Anyway, Texas doesn’t even have voter registration by party. George W. Bush is not a registered Republican because there are no registered Republicans in Texas.”

    I know, that’s why I wrote what I wrote above, about Paul’s Texas reg being checked cause it sounds like some people(I didn’t know if Libs had ever qualified for purposes of registration…thanks for clearing that up).

    Ron Paul ran as a Lib because he became a member of the Party.

    My reference to party affiliation other than L by “weasels” is because there were some high ranking L’s in states where registration IS by party who NEVER were L’s but R’s. John Fund, former Exec Director of the California LP is one example.

    It is WAY past time that the LP grow up and stop hiring R’s to beat the R’s. Still, it goes on, and on, and on.

  25. Arthur Torrey

    This is the same basic message I left on Last Free Voice, I will follow with a comment more specifically on the State Committee meeting. (Which I WAS at…)
    I am the “infamous” Arthur Torrey (note proper spelling of name) I am currently remaining as an elector, with NO current intention of voting for Barr in the unlikely event that he carries Mass. so that I would be called on to serve in the electoral college. This could be changed if Barr chooses, but it would require more from him than just verbal B.S. and weasel worded statements.

    I am NOT the party chair, nor am I the only member of the LPMA State Committee – I can NOT single handedly refuse to place Barr on the ballot, call special state conventions, etc. I am still in favor of such actions to some degree, but if I am outvoted at the SC meeting, it doesn’t happen. Currently as mentioned in some of the earlier comments, we will be having a gathering at George’s home to further discuss the desire for a special convention (see the LPMA website for details) I will be at the party, and urge the attendees to call for a State Convention to express our unhappiness with Barr / Root, and possibly to investigate affiliating with groups other than the LNC.

    I am NOT withdrawing as an elector because doing so would (under Mass. Law) cancel all the petitioning we have done to date, which would have the effect of damaging the Bob Underwood for US Senate campaign. Essentially I have been convinced that there is no viable path to keeping Barr from appearing on the MA ballot, so I am no longer pushing in that direction, much as I would like it. (BTW I spoke with L. Neil Smith in Denver, and he says he would be honored to be placed on the ballot in place of Barr as long as it didn’t cost him money or require him to travel – I will probably write him and Vin S. in on my general election ballot in November, I won’t vote for Barr at any rate…)

    Barr’s ACTIONS regarding Wicca, and attempting to prevent military Pagans from being able to practice on base I find unforgiveably offensive. That I am Pagan myself makes it more personal, but if he had *merely* said he felt my religion wasn’t valid I could forgive it – opinions are like anal openings; everybody has one, myself included! However he went PAST the acceptable point when he decided that the 1st Amendment should only apply to religions he approved of… Given that he has attempted to HARM the Pagan community, the reparation I would require is a public pledge to order the military as CIC to make reasonable accommodations for all faiths, including minority / unpopular religions.

    I have multiple relatives and friends that are gay – I couldn’t look them in the face and tell them I supported the AUTHOR of the “Defense of Marriage Act” – especially when Barr’s response is only to offer to try and repeal the Federal portion, leaving it as a “State’s Rights” issue, just like “separate but (in)equal” prior to Brown vs. Board of Education – Barr apparently has never heard of equality under the law, or full faith and credit… Given his HARM to the GBLT community, I would insist on reparations being a PUBLIC pledge to work for the ENTIRE repeal of DOMA, and to work towards changing “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” to “Don’t Ask, Don’t CARE” (with appropriate changes to the UCMJ)

    Given his funding of Republican Candidates with Libertarian opponents WHILE A SITTING LNC MEMBER, I would expect the corresponding reparation to be very generous donations to the campaigns of Libertarians, along with visible and consistent support of local candidates at any appearances he makes (at least if those local candidates are willing to be seen with him…)

    I could go on down the list of Barr’s problems but I’m running low on space, suffice to say there are plenty, in just about every area I care about he is negative.

    I have been an active LP member for over 26 years, Barr is the FIRST candidate I absolutely can’t support given his current record. I don’t consider this “faithless” – I pledged to support Libertarians, and IMHO Barr doesn’t deserve the title – if he starts BEING a Libertarian I might be persuaded to reconsider…

    Arthur Torrey
    LPMA State Committee
    Potential Presidential Elector (not for Barr)
    Elected Libertarian (Town Meeting, Billerica)

  26. Arthur Torrey

    Second comment as to the meeting itself and a few other items…
    1. The “armed gunman” story – During the second of the “Unofficial Open Presidential Debates” (at which all the candidates except for Barr were present) a person who was [drunk | mentally disturbed | on other substances | more than one of the above] came in and disrupted the debates. This is the same guy that appeared on the main convention stage Saturday morning and got carried offstage. When he came in he ended up sitting directly in front of George – probably coincidence, I don’t know. George and some of the others in the area reported seeing a “suspicious bulge” under his shirt. From where I was in the audience I didn’t see it, but wasn’t in a position where I would have. This caused George and some of the others to feel legitimately concerned given the guy’s obviously impaired state. Imperato (Who did an excellent job of helping to handle the guy BTW) said he did NOT see the bulge, but understood why there was concern. There was NO attack as such, NO direct threat, and we do not KNOW that the drunk was actually armed – I don’t know where the story originated, I do know that I didn’t hear anyone on George’s staff saying anything other than the above.

    2. The meeting – it was a STATE COMMITTEE meeting, not of electors, however most of the SC are electors, and we did discuss whether or not any of the electors would be withdrawing. We do NOT want this to happen as it would require us to restart the entire petition process – possibly endangering Bob Underwood’s US Senate campaign which is on the same petition. I am not withdrawing for this reason. To the best of my knowledge, NONE of the Mass. electors are happy with Barr being chosen, but none are going to withdraw, and all will cooperate with putting Barr’s name on the Mass. ballot. (Whether or not they will vote for him if the LP carries Mass. is a separate issue, I know my plans, but not what others will do)

    Given that there is apparently no workable path to keep Barr off the Mass. ballot, the SC did reluctantly agree to substitute Barr, in order to ensure that Bob Underwood would be on as the LP Senate Candidate (with speculation on how much Barr might give to his Republican opponent…) I regret this, but am going along in order not to harm Bob Underwood’s campaign.

    Given that we decided not to attempt to replace Barr, we debated calling a Special Convention to express our displeasure at Barr’s nomination, and to consider affiliating with some other organization instead of / in addition to LPUS, and I was outvoted in calling a convention AT THIS TIME – instead we will be having an informal gathering at Georges house (chosen because Worcester is approximately the center of the state, thus is equally inconvenient to all :-} ) At this gathering we will be looking for input from a larger number of LPMA members, and based on that will consider further actions.

    Some of the pre-convention pledges for ballot access we received have already been withdrawn, others may be, so it does appear that LPMA will not be able to contribute as much to the cost of our ballot access drive as we had promised to earlier, however given what has already been done for access it would not make fiscal sense for the LNC to attempt a new drive from scratch. (approximately 1/2 the needed sigs have been collected)

    Personally I will continue to do all in my power to discourage support for Barr, and urge my fellow Libertarians to ignore him, and focus their efforts on supporting down-ticket candidates, other Libertarian activities, party-building, and otherwise working to repair the damage that Barr’s candidacy will do to the LP.

    For instance, in Mass. we will have referendum questions to repeal the state income tax, and to decriminalize marijuana possession <1 oz. – I think we should be focusing on supporting these efforts – I spent this afternoon helping the Income Tax repeal folks sort petitions….

    (please note that I am speaking as an individual in these postings, not as an official spokesperson for the LPMA, other than the fact that my position gives me better knowledge of what is going on than people who aren’t even at a meeting.)

  27. John P Slevin

    Arthur Torrey wrote:

    “BTW I spoke with L. Neil Smith in Denver, and he says he would be honored to be placed on the ballot in place of Barr as long as it didn’t cost him money or require him to travel”.

    Far as I know, L. Neil Smith never has been seen by most Colorado Libertarians—NEVER. When I lived there, I asked several. Most didn’t have a clue about whom I was inquiring, and three or four who did, well, they hadn’t any kind words.

    Does the concept self-promoter mean anything to you?

    I ask as one who has been very well entertained by his writings. I sure as hell wouldn’t “follow” the guy…wherever it is he’s at.

    He does nothing for the LP, except, periodically to denounce it.

    He’s a hell of a writer and, if your quote is accurate, the guy’s got one hell of an ego.

  28. Arthur Torrey

    Minor side note – I couldn’t find an offline address to send this to – feel free to remove it from the main thread. There appears to be a bug in the site software –

    I don’t use Micro$oft products, my system runs Gentoo Linux, and KDE, with Opera as my preferred browser. After deciding to comment, I found that while I could register with Opera, I couldn’t get logged in – I kept getting returned to either the login screen or the original story.

    To troubleshoot, I tried KDE’s Konqueror, which I like much less, and found that it did work… Please fix this bug!


  29. Shawn Levasseur


    My apologies for the unhelpful snark about you “not calling the shots” above.

    If there is a moderator reading this, please delete my above comment, and this one.


  30. Arthur Torrey

    [quote]Far as I know, L. Neil Smith never has been seen by most Colorado Libertarians—NEVER. When I lived there, I asked several. Most didn’t have a clue about whom I was inquiring, and three or four who did, well, they hadn’t any kind words.[/quote]

    Well, it was quite possible to meet LNS in Denver – he and Scott Biesser were in the vendor area for most of the convention, at the “Big Head Press” booth. I spoke to him several times, purchased several items, and just wish I’d brought my collection of his books with me as I collect inscribed books, and have an (I think) complete collection of his books – would have loved getting them signed…

    I do self-describe as an “LNS-style Libertarian” as I’ve long believed that Jefferson defined the proper equation for the best government, which equation has a logical solution, but my biggest reason for thinking that LNS would be a good alternative to putting Barr on the ballot is that IMHO it provides the greatest level of contrast between Barr and what a “pure” Libertarian would be… BTW I believe that if you look up the history of the LP, you will find that LNS played a major role, my understanding is that he wrote a fair bit of the Statement of Principles – he denounces the current LP because he feels it has strayed from it’s origins – after Denver I tend to agree…


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