Seth Cohn speaks out on NH ballot situation and party history

Reposted upon request and with permission of Mr. Seth Cohn:

This is written for those with little or no background in this issue, which includes many LNCers, and perhaps some of the current LPNH Exec Comm. I’m going to highlight important points with *this*.

Let’s start our timeline back a bit, but not too far back: 1997, a mere 11 years ago

Oh, wait, we must mention the Sec of State (SOS), Bill Gardner, in power for over 30 years now.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gardner
We’ll come back to him…

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LXIII/652/652-11.htm
652:11 Party. – “Party” shall mean any political organization which at the preceding state general election received at least 4 percent of the total number of votes cast for any one of the following: the office of governor or the offices of United States Senators. Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979. 1997, 253:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Note that date: in 1997 (effective by 1999), the percentage required was raised from 3 to 4 points. The LPNH lawsuit brought in 2005-06 has more details for those who want them… lots of juicy legalese, and lots of failure to make a dent, by legal means.

In 2000, Don Gorman, of NH, loses the LP nomination with 166 votes (19%) for second place, to a second attempt by Harry Browne at 56% of the convention voters.. The “Browne Cloud” affair ends up being both an ethical and financial sore point for the LP for many years to come. George Phillies, a professor of physics, would be the central force in excising the Emerling (aka Cloud) influence from his own state several years later. (Those wondering why George is the preferred target of certain people still in LP, your question is answered – if you name names and point out the dirty laundry, and those names and those who worked alongside them remain in the org after you’ve done so, they certainly will hold grudges in the future.)

The entire story of this part of this history can be pieced together from lots of googleable posts like this:
http://libertarianhistory.blogspot.com/2007/09/harry-browne-emerling-cloud-willis.html
http://www.carolmoore.net/4secretary/controversies.html
and quite importantly George’s own book,
http://cmlc.org/headerfundingliberty.htm
Those interested in a ebook or paper copy should contact George.)

NH election results – http://www.sos.nh.gov/general2000/index.htm

*Effect in NH: Due to Harry’s failure to campaign in NH (or much of any place else), Ballot Access as a party is lost, when the only qualifying downstream candidate, Governor candidate Babiarz gets no supportive bump from a active Presidential Candidate, in fact, Browne does worse than Babiarz by more than 2 to 1. As a result, party status is lost, and won’t be regained thru 2008, present day. *

2002 – http://www.sos.nh.gov/general2002/index.htm

Babiarz doubles his numbers to over 13K votes, but still short of 4% Senate candidate Blevens does over 9K, but also not enough.

2004 – Badnarik fails to make the ballot at all, due to short petition numbers. Blevens also fails to make the ballot for the other Senate seat, makes 100+ tallied write in votes. *LP National complains, for years later, that Babiarz and others are solely responsible for the ballot failure (which should have ‘easy petition drive’, in part because Babiarz won’t run against Gov. Benson (who has friendly to libertarian causes, like the Free State Project).* Benson loses, as well.

2006 – Gov candidate Kahn fails to make the ballot. Blevens, despite not being the convention nominated candidate for Congress District 2, petitions, and successfully makes the ballot as Libertarian. The ‘official’ LPNH nominee, Lapointe, FAILS to make the ballot. *The question of renaming Blevens from L to Indep is raised. The Sec of State, refuses to do so, saying there is nothing he can do… the petition said Libertarian, so that is what Ken will be listed as.* Ken makes 3K votes.

Post 2006 – In the light of past petition failures, and *National’s insistence that a post Denver convention group of local petitioners, perhaps with some paid help, can make the ballot ‘easily’, the stirring of the current issue are created.*

When I say “National”, I include Shane Cory, Stephen Gordon, Sean Haugh, and others who in various conversations with me, either via email or phone, all either questioned WHY NH failed in 2004 with a eye to blame NH folks like Babiarz, and repeated that NH petitioning wasn’t hard as we claimed, after all it was only 3000 sigs required, far short of states with 10x that amount needed. Oh how little they understood….

To be continued in part 2 (at the least, since this is going to get long and drawn out as we delve into the current mess and find the realities that few want to admit..)

3 thoughts on “Seth Cohn speaks out on NH ballot situation and party history

  1. John P Slevin

    Thank you for the article, Seth Cohen’s comments are informative.

    Seth is correct that New Hampshire is not an easy task…anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    It is not possible to determine if a state has “easy” ballot access requirements simply by looking at total number of signatures. Some of the states in New England have inane requirements aside from the signature collection. And those requirements exist solely to trip up the attempt at ballot access.

    I believe Seth when he says that some of the nitwits at National decided it was easy, and I can just hear them berating the volunteer activists in New Hampshire…funny how the overpaid nitwits at National expect unpaid people to do this very complicated job while they sit in their comfy office chairs.

    Then, of course, the nitwits failed to accomplish the “easy” task themselves, so they sought to grab the ballot slot which certain petition signing New Hampshire voters affirmed in favor of George Phillies.

    As someone who will be voting for Bob Barr this year, I find the saga of the LNC a fascinating, NeverEnding Story. Funny and repulsive at the same time.

    Funny when you meet an LP activist who relies upon the folks at the Watergate for anything. Repulsive when you meet some of the creeps in residence there.

    Thanks for passing along the information from Cohen. He’s on the right track and anyone trying to make the LP work ought to spend some serious time considering what Cohen says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *