Boston Tea Party nominates Jay/Knapp ticket

The Boston Tea Party has its presidential ticket: Charles Jay and Thomas Knapp.

Jay, who ran for president in 2004 under the Personal Choice Party banner, won the BTP’s presidential nomination with 76% of the vote. None of the Above finished second with 24%, and Robert Milnes finished third with 14%. The reason the percentages total more than 100% is because the BTP used “approval voting,” which allows electors to vote for as many candidates as they like. In all, 37 people voted in the presidential contest.

Thomas Knapp, who founded the Boston Tea Party in 2006 and is running for Congress as a Libertarian this November, won the VP nomination with 65% of the vote. Todd Andrew Barnett finished second, with 32%, and Chris Bennett and None of the Above tied with 18%. Thirty-four people voted in the VP race.

30 thoughts on “Boston Tea Party nominates Jay/Knapp ticket

  1. Robert Milnes

    The best use of BTP ballot access would have been to support my Progressive Alliance independent candidacy. But the radicals have something else on the agenda.

  2. Jason_Gatties

    I was happy to see Knapp win. I do wish Chris would have received more votes, as I like him a lot as well.

    Charles Jay is the perfect presidential nominee for the BTP.

  3. inDglass

    Mr. Milnes, I was really impressed with you in the debate. My only concern was that on some issues you didn’t seem in line with the BTP’s platform. I kept thinking you sounded like Green candidate. Perhaps that means you will have a good time in Chicago.

    I wonder why you didn’t decide to run for Congress as a Green or independent candidate. It seems like your resources and your political views could form a successful campaign at that level this year. That would also give you a foundation to build a national campaign in the future.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Overstreet,

    I don’t see any reason why this should be the occasion for disunity.

    I’m still a Libertarian Party member.

    I’m still a Libertarian Party congressional candidate.

    I spent last Saturday manning a Libertarian Party outreach booth.

    I intend to support and campaign for Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root in my state (where the Boston Tea Party isn’t on the ballot) this year (matter of fact, I’ll be helping set up a fundraiser for Root’s trip through Missouri next month), and to vote a straight LP ticket in November.

    To the extent that I campaign as the BTP’s vice-presidential nominee, I have no intention of campaigning against the LP’s ticket — there are much fatter and more deserving targets out there.

    This election year makes for some nice experiments.

    The “reform” element in the LP got its test lab, where it can prove or fail to prove that running a “well-known, mainstream” presidential candidate produces results. The BTP seems like a reasonable control indicator for that experiment.

  5. Robert Milnes

    inDglass, thank you. yes, i thought i did well in the debate also. Do you know if the recording is hosted on the web anywhere? I didn’t run for Congress as a Green or Independent because as I explained on my website, I had burnout since the 70’s. It took me years to figure out much of the Progressive Alliance strategy then get up the wherewithall to try it. I figured a lone wolf at the Congressional level wouldn’t do well, which was proven to my satisfaction by Zeese. A successful presidential ticket could pull up Congressional & other downtickets via coattail phenomenon.

  6. Robert Milnes

    Tom, I don’t consider Barr/Root a reform ticket. I think they just glommed on to that word to cover their interloper status. The true reformers (LRC) just fell for it. I repeat what I said elsewhere: the best use of BTP ballot access would have been to help me with my independent run. But evidently the radicals have another agenda. I didn’t get involved in BTP from the start because I saw it as a mistake that would only further split the progressive vote. I am seeking to unify the progressive vote into a possibly winning plurality. But go ahead & experiment if you will with your multiple tickets progressives (LP,CP, GP, BTP, Nader, socialists, etc.) & continue to lose & perpetuate the D & R duopoly.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    “Tom, I don’t consider Barr/Root a reform ticket. I think they just glommed on to that word to cover their interloper status. ”

    Most radicals tend to think that the word “reformer” in the LP context is DEFINED as “a word to cover interloper status.”

    And let’s face it … you don’t have much standing to criticize others on the basis of perceived party-shopping. You sought the nominations of both the Libertarian and Green parties, with no apparent previous involvement in either of them, and on a campaign platform repugnant to both of them.

    “The true reformers (LRC) just fell for it. I repeat what I said elsewhere: the best use of BTP ballot access would have been to help me with my independent run. ”

    “Help” implies that there’s an actual “run” in place to help with. Calling yourself a candidate and waiting for everyone else to make your dream come true for you isn’t a run, it’s an attempt to hitchhike.

    “I am seeking to unify the progressive vote into a possibly winning plurality.”

    Step number one: Present a platform that unifies the progressive vote on something other than opposition to said platform.

    While some people reject the notion of a “progressive alliance” out of hand, I don’t.

    However, I do reject the notion that Greens and Libertarians can be expected to unite behind a candidate who promises to perpetuate the war on Iraq, put up a “virtual” border fence, offer Americans of African descent money to go “back” to Africa, and genetically engineer us all into American Indians. You should probably revisit the drawing board.

  8. Robert Milnes

    Tom, Tom, Tom, I’ve been to the drawing board & done that. Would you call Carl, who the radicals drove crazy with frustration so that he LEFT the LP “voluntarily” an “interloper”? Must the rads shoot themselves in the foot at every step? I have “party shopped” because there is no Progressive Party anymore. Evidently because its wide inclusiveness was too wide. The tendency is to evolve into parties of one. & I must say you have spinned my positions so much even I hardly recognize your description. How does unilateral cease-fire and negotiate a peace agreement while withdrawing troops from defensive positions = to perpetuate the war? You think if U.S. troops unilaterally immediately withdrew that =the war is over? How does surrogate motherhood for Indians make us all genetically engineered Indians? & if you recognize for real Indian sovereignty, what do you think they would do about people coming to America by the millions for the past 500 years? Maybe they would say what I would: Not only seal the borders immediately, you all get out too! The emmigration subsidy is along that line of thought. I specified a recommended scenario for Afro-Americans to address the issues of poverty & political instability and AIDS orphans in Africa, that’s all. Shame on me for thinking that far ahead! No, why don’t you revisit my drawing board & lose the purist attitude & take off the tunnel vision shades?

  9. seventy-one

    I’m extremely glad the BTP used approval voting method, maybe in the future they can switch to full on range voting.

  10. Nexus

    I was referring to the LP and BTP nominations Mr. Milnes, not the ’08 election.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp

    seventy-one,

    A change to range voting requires a change in the bylaws — join up as a voting member and help make that happen! Range voting advocate Jan Kok is a BTP member.

    I’m looking for software that will handle range voting AND interface with the BTP’s membership database (a mysql database with Drupal running on top of it) right now, in case such a decision is made. Our current software handles approval voting, instant runoff and Borda count, but not regular range.

    I’m not sold on range voting myself just yet — I like our system of approval voting PLUS a requirement of votes from a majority of members — but I’m certainly willing to hear the arguments.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “How does unilateral cease-fire and negotiate a peace agreement while withdrawing troops from defensive positions = to perpetuate the war?”

    I assume you mean “to” defensive positions … and we’ve been through this before. In order for a cease fire to be negotiated, the parties to the war have to want to stop fighting. So far as I can tell, none of them do. So withdrawing to defensive positions and attempting to “negotiate” something nobody seems to want is essentially saying “keep the war going, and hit us as hard as you like for as long as you like.”

    Tom

  13. Robert Milnes

    Tom, no, we know who the adversaries are. The present government, which we installed & the previous government, which we overthrew. & we know what they both want: ALL of Iraq. Until these 2 are brought to peace negotiations & Iraq partitioned, the war will continue, whether we are there or not. That should be able to be arranged by the USA what with it’s many & huge carrots & sticks. This administration can’t do it because it, once again, can’t admit a mistake. Now, you don’t understand this while you perform near miracles with a computer & are Spin Meister par excellance, because…? You got me there.

  14. Morgan Wick

    “I have “party shopped” because there is no Progressive Party anymore. Evidently because its wide inclusiveness was too wide. The tendency is to evolve into parties of one.”

    I have a feeling that your attempt to bring together so many disparate parties, which are farther apart than you think, would create a strange bedfellows situation that would tear itself apart. Greens are seen in some corners as a more radical Democratic Party; Constitution-ites as a more radical Republican Party. Libertarians see themselves as “above” the left-right continuum but they keep drawing membership from the Republican Party; I can see your frustration with the LRC, which was founded from Carl Milsted’s left-libertarian ideas, falling for ex-righty Bob Barr, but I suspect that the advances they made this year could pave the way for a leftward movement in 2010 and 2012. (The 2010 Libertarian convention in particular will be very interesting to watch!) In any event, neither the Libs (as presently conceived) nor the Cons could work well with the Greens, and though they could work well with each other, the Libs (among other differences) want to open the border while the Cons want to crack down on illegal immigrants, and both Libs and Greens would object to the Cons’ “semi-protectionist” policies (quoting Wikipedia). Just look at Wikipedia’s comparison, especially the “specific issues” section.

    Socialists are pretty much sworn enemies of both libertarians (especially those who lionize unrestrained free-market capitalism as the cure for all our ills) and, to some extent, the right-wing forces of the Cons. Ron Paul is pro-life and wants the states to develop their own policies on abortion, distancing him from Greens. All you can find in common between all these parties is opposition to the Iraq war (even the Republicans hate the war at this point), some extent of legalization for drugs, and policies they would all benefit from simply by making it easier for third parties to operate.

    (Tom, what exactly is the difference between the BTP and the Libs? Is it just a refuge for ex-Libertarian radicals who feel cast aside by the reform and pro-Barr elements in the Libs? Certainly the announcement of its formation as it appeared on the “old” TPW suggests so, and there would certainly be a demand for a candidate to appeal to the radicals to contrast with Barr, and I would certainly support such an effort if only to free up the Libs to actually get people to listen to their message and become more than a lobbying group. Unless there’s no chance for them to move left to counterbalance the Barr element, that is. But you don’t seem to be interested in that, only to hop right back on the Libertarian bandwagon and restore its non-vote-getting status quo after 2008 – which means you, like other radical libs, don’t realize that most of the American people just find you anarchist.)

    In any case, if you really were to attempt to “unify” all those disparate parties, which I agree could theoretically be possible, I really doubt the best way to go about that was to go on an ego-trip, self-gratifying, “party-shopping” presidential run with basically no support beyond yourself, but to work behind the scenes of all the parties, lending your support behind the ticket you think would be most acceptable to the others, and trying to get the candidates and nominees of the other parties to drop out and support that candidate. Preferably one with some actual qualifications to be president. Perhaps you could form a “Progressive Alliance Caucus” a la the Libertarian Reform Caucus in the three major third parties, and the BTP and socialists as well. Or hold a conference or convention with leaders of the largest third parties to find out if some sort of alliance would be possible, and if so to start negotiation on a platform acceptable to the various parties and, hopefully, the American people.

    (Without your “progressive alliance”, the non-Democratic and Republican vote will be lucky to top 10% this year, most of it Barr and Nader. It seems to be a slight delusion of grandeur that unification alone, especially from so many disparate ideologies, could bump that up to 34% AND garner enough electoral votes to be a factor or even enough to send the race to the House of Representatives. For any third party, local races, county races, state legislatures, and the US House are more realistic concrete goals than the Presidency, and I think most third party efforts, especially outside the Big Three and including Nader, socialists, the BTP, and you, have a misguided myopic focus on the Presidency alone. Even if you were to get the Presidency, without anyone in Congress you would just create two to four years of gridlock, which we can’t afford with our planet in peril, an issue only the Greens are really focusing on among third parties. It’s worth noting that the web site of your hero, Carl Milsted, suggests possibly not running a presidential candidate at all until you’ve actually won some substantial races.)

    (And I’m only twenty years old with no experience in political activism, so take what I say with the entire Dead Sea.)

    “I assume you mean “to” defensive positions … and we’ve been through this before. In order for a cease fire to be negotiated, the parties to the war have to want to stop fighting. So far as I can tell, none of them do. So withdrawing to defensive positions and attempting to “negotiate” something nobody seems to want is essentially saying “keep the war going, and hit us as hard as you like for as long as you like.””

    And the alternative is? Don’t tell me you want to just yank our troops out of a dangerous potential (if not actual) civil war that could further destabilize the region and is already serving as a breeding ground for terror? Shouldn’t we establish at least some semblance of security and peace and a semi-stable government so the Iraqi people can live some semblance of a normal life?

    “Tom, no, we know who the adversaries are. The present government, which we installed & the previous government, which we overthrew. & we know what they both want: ALL of Iraq. Until these 2 are brought to peace negotiations & Iraq partitioned, the war will continue, whether we are there or not.”

    WTF? Who other than you is included in “we”? Is anyone else proposing splitting up Iraq other than creating Kurdistan? Is there any sane way to split up Iraq that doesn’t create a situation similar to Korea or Vietnam, even on non-Kurd ethnic or religious grounds? Both of you have some weird misconceptions about the war. It’s WAY oversimplifying to call this a war between the ex-Baathists and backers of the American-backed government. (You have seen news stories reporting that the Americans have actually employed ex-Baathists in some cases, right?) In fact this battle is arguably one with three or more sides, between the Sunnis, Shiites, American forces, and (possibly, in some places) the Kurds. And I don’t know if al-Qaeda is on the side of any of those or if it’s just using Iraq as a way to kill more Americans and embarrass the United States.

  15. Mike Theodore

    Right on, Morgan. There is no way for these parties to unite.
    The people in the green party were too left for the Democratic Party.
    The people in the Libertarian Party were too right for the democratic party, and too left of the Republican party.
    The people of the Constitution Party were too right for the Republican Party.
    God only knows where the Boston Tea Party folks are 🙂

    and you expect all these people to forget their differences and unite?

    (I understand my comparison goes against Nolan Chart senses, but just in Left-Right terminology)

  16. Robert Milnes

    Morgan Wick, very astute for a whippersnapper! Actually I do not think unifying or cooperation between all these parties/independents is possible either. I restrict it to the GP & LP. Then elements of the others can join in the subsequent vote coordination. As I recall Senator Biden had an Iraq partition confederacy proposal. More specifics on my proposal are on my website. I believe I proposed Kurdistan independence & Kuwait federation with Sunni-Iraq(central & western). & optional Shia-Iraq (southern)federation with Iran. If Iran invaded & annexed Shia-Iraq, that would make that academic. I supported 1. Milnes/Ruwart, 2. Gravel/Ruwart. However Gravel’s spokesperson, Skyler, was patronizing & snotty to me, so I lost my enthusiasm for supporting him. If Barr had adopted the progressive alliance strategy I could have supported Barr/Ruwart. Although Barr is certainly no Teddy Roosevelt either. I was asked in an interview whether I would support the eventual LP nominee. I said yes. That was an incomplete response. I should have said yes, any LP ticket that attempts the progressive alliance strategy.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “Tom, no, we know who the adversaries are. The present government, which we installed & the previous government, which we overthrew. ”

    Ah, I see … you just established that you DON’T know who the adversaries are. There are at LEAST eight:

    – The US.

    – The new, US-installed, Shiite-dominated national government, which is favorably disposed toward Iran but attempting to put together a federal system under US auspices.

    – The remnants of the former Ba’athist regime.

    – The radical Shiite factions, exemplified by Moqtada Al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army militia.

    – The radical Sunni factions, exemplied by Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    – The Kurdish faction, which for the moment is largely cooperating with the US and the existing government, but which clearly has designs on independence for northern Iraq as part of a Greater Kurdistan including parts of Iran, Turkey and Syria.

    – The Turks, who have repeatedly invaded northern Iran to suppress Kurdish activity pursuant to the previous item.

    – The Iranians, who shift back and forth between detente with the existing government and using the radical Shiite factions to inflict damage on the US and position themselves for absorption of southern and central Iraq into a Greater Iran.

    There are others but these are, roughly defined, the “major players” — and only the first two have a clear-cut interest in a cease fire that would stabilize the current situation. The rest of them have compelling reasons for preferring to see the fighting continue.

    Your foreign policy views are as unrealistic as your political strategy.

  18. seventy-one

    Thomas,
    I was thinking of joining, and I may just do that.

    I understand the technical issues regarding range voting. As for the ideological ones, seeing as how you already adopted approval voting, it would appear that you have a little range voting blood in you. Approval is seen as the little brother of range voting, since it is a range vote, just with a smaller range (0 to 1, as opposed to 0-9 or whatever).

  19. Morgan Wick

    Okay, let’s look at the prospects of unifying the LP and GP into a “progressive alliance”, again from Wikipedia:

    *On economic issues, the Greens are “communitarian”, the Libs are “individualist”.
    *The Greens are pacifists, while the Libs are “non-interventionist”, which I take to mean they at least accept the need for self-defense. But pacifism is one of the Greens’ core values. Maybe you could lure some of the more moderate Greens that still don’t accept the Dems into the Libertarian Party… (Incidentially, your hero Carl M says, “I also think the Libertarian Party goes too far in foreign policy by calling for no intervention unless the U.S. is attacked. If genocide or extreme tyranny is occurring in a small country, which the U.S. military can easily overpower, war might be the most merciful option.”)
    *The Libs support unrestrained free trade; the Greens in a doctrine of fair trade.
    *Would the Greens accept the Libs’ “let the states decide” position on abortion? Would the more radical Libs be willing to compromise a position rooted in the core values of libertarianism in order to facilitate a merger? Then consider your hero Carl M’s position: “On the question of abortion, I side with the Religious Right. An embryo is well below the age of consent, so forgiveness by the victim is not an option.” (Not that he actually calls for prohibiting it, but it could still make the Greens uneasy.)
    *The Greens support universal health care, the Libs “strongly oppose” it. Ditto gun control.
    *The Greens, according to Wikipedia, favor increased taxation. The Libs can hardly say “taxes” without barfing.
    *The Greens support amnesty, the Libs a guest worker program (again, according to Wikipedia).

    In some cases, Carl M’s ideas might serve to bring them together. But what about cases, some of them described above, where Libs and Greens agree, but not with your hero? Both Libs and Greens support gay marriage. Carl seems to support neither banning nor sanctioning it but notes that “The Religious Right’s objection to gay marriage is also supported by” the Bible. (This also suggests Carl supports a different kind of individualism on cultural issues as the Libs and Greens.)

    It’s not impossible – the Libs and Greens do agree on legalizing drugs and abolishing the death penalty (although the Libs’ position on the latter is tagged “citation needed”) – but the Libs and Greens are not as close as you’d like to think and have some core philosophical differences. Wikipedia describes the Libs as following “liberalism” and the Dems AND Greens as following “progressivism”, implying it’s easier to get the Greens into the Democratic Party than it is to lure them to the Libs. Your hero Carl M all but calls the Greens socialist (even as he admits not to have much experience with them). And then there are some of your positions, like building a smart fence with CANADA…

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    Morgan,

    Sorry to take so long to respond, but I wanted to ruminate a bit. Two responses, one to a question you asked of me, the other not. You write:

    “Socialists are pretty much sworn enemies of both libertarians (especially those who lionize unrestrained free-market capitalism as the cure for all our ills) ”

    I know a number of socialists, but only one Socialist — and he happens to be the biggest contributor so far to my congressional campaign.

    Believe it or not, there IS a point where (political) libertarianism, socialism and populism all fit together quite well: Rightly understood, they’re all built on a foundation of class theory. Libertarianism sits atop Comte and Dunoyer’s theory of “the productive class” versus “the political class.” Socialism rests on Marx’s theory of “labor” versus “capital.” And populism pits “the people” against “the power elites.”

    Naturally, I believe the socialists got off on the wrong track economically, but they have (or at least used to have) the right instinct there. The populists, too. The missing ingredient, which I believe libertarianism provides, is realization that the state is the nexus of power for the class that must be overthrown. It is the well from which “capital” (in a state-capitalist system, which is nothing like a free market) or the “power elite” draws its privilege.

    Any anti-state/anti-aggression philosophy is a form of libertarianism. Modes of economic self-organization in a free society are a subsidiary, not defining, issue. And yes, Virginia, there are indeed libertarian socialists.

    “(Tom, what exactly is the difference between the BTP and the Libs?”

    There are many differences.

    The LP is organized along reasonably typical lines (dues-based membership, representative meatspace conventions, etc.) The BTP is an Internet-based mass-participation party in which every member has a direct voice in most party decisions, and the ability to easily appeal decisions he or she does not have a direct initial vote in to the whole membership.

    The LP reconsiders its platform every two years, usually producing a document thousands of words in length. The BTP’s platform is one sentence long and unmodifiable; its program, which is reframed every two years, consists of no more than five brief points. In theory, at least, this will reduce the internal wrestling energy expenditure and force a focus on the most important, in terms of timeliness, issues.

    “you, like other radical libs, don’t realize that most of the American people just find you anarchist.)”

    Dude … I AM an anarchist. Of course, in terms of “real politics,” that has about as much bearing as being a golfer or a stamp collector (no, I’m not either of those). When I run for office (or agitate for LP platform items, or whatever), I do so within the context of the existing system, not in the context of my utopian daydreams.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  21. Fred Church Ortiz

    Bitchin’ analysis of class theory, Tom. I guess it’s just tough to organize against a common enemy when you hate it for such different reasons. But maybe there’s a future in getting together against the state and sorting out our own issues later.

  22. Morgan Wick

    Tom (can I call you Tom?), you didn’t give me any substantive POLICY differences between the BTP and the Libs. If third parties are splitting from each other on matters of procedure and how long the platform should be, they have no chance.

    And “anarchist” has been such a dirty word for so long to Americans, possibly even dirtier than “communist”, that you will never stand a chance to get even the Libs’ percentage of the vote with it unless and until the country starts moving significantly in the libertarian-anarchist direction. Of course, you seem to realize this. But my point is that there actually are common people who will recoil in horror when you say “Let’s tear down the state!” and they do so on purely theoretical grounds.

    It’s odd that even the Democrats, which paint themselves to the American people as populists and contain the most mainstream socialists, haven’t gotten a majority of the popular vote since the 60s. They needed Perot to get Clinton elected and Carter didn’t get a majority of the popular vote either.

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