Here is a press release from party founder Tom Knapp sent to firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of the party:
Midway into its second biennial convention — held entirely online — America’s new libertarian political party has chosen a new slate of national officers, adopted the program of “the Ron Paul R3VOLution,” and partially completed work on amendments to its bylaws.
The party elected Jason Gatties of Michigan and Douglass Gaking of Indiana to terms as chair and vice-chair of its national committee. Michelle Luetge of Texas ran unopposed (except for the bylaws-required “None of the Above” option) for a second full term as secretary, beating NOTA handily.
The party’s program is re-written every two years and consists of a maximum of five points. Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of adopting four points, transcribed verbatim from the Campaign For
Liberty’s joint candidate statement, endorsed by Boston Tea Party presidential nominee Charles Jay, as well as Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, independent
candidate Ralph Nader, and Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party. Baldwin, McKinney and Nader appeared at a press conference with US Representative and former Republican presidential nomination candidate
Ron Paul (R-TX) to promote the four-point program. The four points address foreign policy, privacy, the national debt and the Federal Reserve.
The party’s bylaws were also amended to make member appeals of national committee decisions easier; to term-limit national committee officers; and to address conflicts of interest between service on the national committee and working for party campaigns.
Members will continue to consider program points, bylaws amendments, and resolutions over the next 48 hours. Four elections to at-large positions on the national committee will wrap up as other convention business comes to a close.
The party’s one-sentence platform is not up for amendment — the party’s bylaws forbid changing it. It reads: “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all
levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.”
The Boston Tea Party’s presidential candidate, Charles Jay of Florida, will appear on voters’ ballots in Colorado, Florida and Tennessee on November 4th. Jay is also a write-in option in some other states.
Boston Tea Party web site: http://www.bostontea.us
Here is the outgoing speech and preceding convention progress announcements of former chair Jim Davidson:
You have a new chair. Congratulations to Jason Gatties who won the election to be your new chair. Congratulations also to George Donnelly who has the privilege not to be chair! Take it from me, there is just as much to congratulate each of you. Also congratulations to the members of the Boston Tea Party on a successful and peaceful transition of power. The outgoing chair lives! And I thank you all for joining up, for getting involved, and for your courtesy and enthusiasm.
Congratulations to Douglass Gaking your new vice chair. Also thanks to Matty for running a good race, and being involved. Good work!
Congratulations to Michelle, who gets to be secretary for a full term. Hurray!
Please note that balloting for at large seats continues until the convention ends. And a new round of votes, on resolutions has begun, so keep it going.
As things stand now: Trinward 16, Stephenson 18, Perry 30, Newton 16, Martin 6, Knapp 44, Jones 9, Grossman 12. Possession of the fourth seat is tied!
The bylaws have changed. Proposal 1 passed. It now takes 5 to form a poll to reconsider national action. Recruit four buddies and keep things interesting!
The bylaws have changed. Proposal 2 passed. Term limits now apply. Don’t try to hog the power. Pass the ring. (And no Bloomberging the term limits, please.)
The bylaws have changed. Proposal 3 passed. No mixing election campaigns and national committee positions. “Gotta keep ’em separated.”
The four points of the Campaign for Liberty are now the program of the Boston Tea Party. Good work everybody!
Final hour before first ballots end Sundown arrived, and au gratin potato with onion and broccoli was scrumptious, thanks for asking. Here is what I just posted to IPR.
Chair, Gatties 38 votes to Donnelly 12, 6 for none of the above (NOTA), 56 votes all found.
Vice chair, Gaking 28, Grossman 10, 7 NOTA, 45 votes. We’ll see who is more vicious, and who knows more about vice.
Secretary, Luetge 34, NOTA 8, 42 votes.
At this hour, unless a large number of votes are cast before 21:00 eastern time, it looks like the officers are going to be Jason Gatties, Douglass Gaking, and Michelle Luetge.
At this hour, the national committee at large positions very likely include Thomas Knapp and Darryl Perry. The third position would be filled by Neil Stephenson if the voting ended right now. The fourth position is too close to call, between Steve Trinward and Steve Newton.
Bylaws proposal one, setting the limit for polling the members to overturn an action of the national committee to any 5 members, is winning 37 yes to 7 no.
Bylaws proposal two, term limits, is winning 33 to 10.
Bylaws proposal three, separating campaigns from the national committee members, is winning 29 to 13.
Program proposal one, to bring the troops home and stop fighting wars of occupation, is winning 43 to 4.
Program proposal two, restore privacy and end star chamber, is winning 43 to 1. (One really does wonder about that one voter.)
Program proposal three, emancipate future generations from the burdensome debt, is winning 45 to 1.
Program proposal four, ending arbitrary money issue power, is winning 43 to 2.
After this round of voting closes, resolutions from the convention members are to come up for votes. Two resolutions have been moved and seconded at this hour.
There is also time for additional bylaws proposals from convention members.
The convention continues for at least another 24 hours. But the polling on the above matters appears very likely to close on the first ballot – a majority being obtained in the relevant races, and no ties for at large rep.
Early evening update at the top. C’mon sundown! I’m hungry.
Race for chair: 37 Gatties 12 Donnelly, 5 NOTA.
Vice chair: 28 Gaking 10 Grossman, 7 NOTA.
Secretary: 34 Luetge, 8 NOTA.
Please note that some unpleasant comments about her narrow minded views regarding age as a qualification for party office were placed before the public at Last Free Voice. I am utterly contemptuous of such bigotry. For a candidate to withdraw, I believe that withdrawal has to be signified on the nominations page.
Since these aren’t in numeric order, the leaders at this hour are Knapp, Perry, Stephenson, and Trinward.
Good luck to all the candidates and best wishes to the members of the party. I’m sure you’ll choose wisely, or find out soon enough.
I’m up early this morning. So far things look reasonably quiet on the site. No urgent messages.
Thirty-nine votes have been cast for chair. Jason has received 24, George 9, and none of the above (NOTA) 6.
In the race for vice chair, Douglass is leading with 18 votes to Matty’s 10 and 7 for NOTA. So far, 35 votes there.
The race for secretary is going for Michelle with 24 votes and 7 for NOTA.
A majority exists in each race for the leading candidate, at this time. These races are traditional voting.
We use approval voting in the selection of at large members of the national committee. Here we have a bit more work to figure out the leaders. (Friends, voting “dash” on any candidate doesn’t change anything. It’s just an artifact of DruPal – we use it to make approval voting possible in this edition of the software.)
Here is the list in order as it appears on my convention space page.
Steve Trinward has 13 votes in favor, 3 signifying nothing (S0).
Neil has 13 votes in favor, 2 S0
Darryl has 22 votes in favor, 2 S0
Steve Newton has 13 in favor, 3 S0
Andrew has 4 in favor, 4 S0
Thomas has 33 yes, 3 S0
Bill Jones has 8 yes, 4 S0
Matty shows 6 yes, 5 S0
What this means is, if the polling ended right now, the tie amongst the Steves and Neil would have to be settled by some tie breaking process. The polls are not closed!
Note that the founder of our party has 36 voters interested in his race, substantially more than the field of candidates. However, not more than the other races I’ve looked at, such as chair. I’ve reviewed the actual votes, and it does appear that there are some voters who are more interested in voting for chair and for the party’s founder to sit on the national committee. These seem unremarkable facts. I detect no pattern of abuse at this time.
Bylaws proposal one, setting the limit for polling the members to overturn an action of the national committee to any 5 members, is winning 27 yes to 5 no.
Bylaws proposal two, term limits, is winning 25 to 5.
Bylaws proposal three, separating campaigns from the national committee members, is winning 18 to 12. It is a horse race! Yes is winning by half a length.
Program proposal one, to bring the troops home and stop fighting wars of occupation, is winning 32 to 3.
Program proposal two, restore privacy and end star chamber, is winning 32 to 1.
Program proposal three, emancipate future generations from the burdensome debt, is winning 33 to 0.
Program proposal four, ending arbitrary money issue power, is winning 31 to 2.
Yes, the software allows me to see who voted for what. It is well, then, that I am not voting. No, I won’t tell you who voted for you candidates. No, I won’t tell anyone who favors star chamber. After all, there is enough wording and style at issue to give nearly everyone a reason to vote against anything written. I think it should be regarded as a tradition for the chair and the web site administrator not to divulge information on votes.
Unless the site went to a different software system, secret voting is not available. Even then, it would be somewhat difficult to be able to track voting irregularities without access to the raw vote info.
I do not recommend a bylaw against it. You’d never be sure if some future chair were secretly disclosing who voted for whom. And, in the event of vote anomalies, it would be important to be able to disclose what was discovered.
The argument for secret ballots is that no one should be held to excessive criticism for voting for or against a particular candidate. Under this argument, the evil candidates could punish those who voted them out of office.
The argument against secret ballots is part of the whole agency argument against voting in general. If you choose a representative, have a contract. Then the rep knows who he works for. Specify performance, so the agent can represent you thoroughly. In the case of secret ballots, we cannot know who the candidate was chosen by. So, if a particularly heinous result is obtained, you can’t go back and figure out who put this evil doer in office. Whether that is good or not is up for grabs – it seems like a way of shirking responsibility for delegated force.
Nevertheless, I think you should not ask me who voted for you. I won’t tell you. Not because it is a sacred trust or anything, not because I actually respect the voting process, but because it is a hassle. And likely to be much more of a cluster-hassle if I were to relent, even a little bit, in this area.
So, there’s a report on the convention as it seems to be right now. Best fishes.
Good evening my fellow Boston Tea’ers!
On this glorious second and final day of the Boston Tea National Convention, it has been, it is, and it shall always be the best convention in the history of this Party. The national Boston Tea Party, its recent ups and downs notwithstanding, is the libertarian party of the future. Not the LP, not the LNC, not the LP Headquarters staff, and certainly not the Bruce Cohens, Aaron Starrs, Eric Dondero Rittbergs, and the Wayne Allyn Roots of the world. That honor belongs to the BTP, and, as far as I’m concerned, rightfully so.
The Libertarian Party once did deserve that distinction, from the time of its inception until when it began to water down, and then subsequently, eviscerate its ideologically pure principles that made it stand out from the Republican and Democratic Parties. But, as soon as the LP’s disastrous Portland convention took place, its reputation as the Party of Principle no longer applied. The repeal of more than 80 percent of that party’s platform and subsequent Republicanesque principles and positions on the issue infecting and dominating its heart and soul show that the LP no longer deserves that spot. It no longer has the right to call itself the Party of Principle, because it has entirely rejected that paradigm. It has jettisoned the ideological purity of its principles and the libertarian philosophy that it purports to believe in now.
It is one of the reasons why I’m no longer a capital L libertarian or even a lower case (l) libertarian. It is the reason why I reject that label, because of Bob Barr and his McCainesque ideals and positions as well as the Republicanesque stooges who have become the heart of his campaign. They can call themselves libertarian all they want, but they have neither the right nor any business to use that term. But they use it anyway, much to the peril of the liberty movement and to the activists who not only work in it, but also support it. The true libertarians — and that’s everyone who supports small government, real free markets, not the kind of capitalism that Republicans want — are the ones who rightfully guard, protect, and nurture the values, beliefs, and ideals that encompass the very heart and soul of liberty. Not only that, they encompass the very fabric and soul of the Constitution, despite the flaws that were created by the once-great Founders of this country.
The statists, the collectivists, the social engineers, the central planners, and the religionists, cheerleaders, and worshippers of the cult of the state see democracy as a living, breathing institution that must be protected. Their values tell them that the majority must rule over the minority. That’s what democracy is and has been for thousands of centuries. That’s their religion. And, because of that coercive religion that they have been foisting upon us, it’s what they would like to call the Church of Democracy. Their view, in the language of civics, is that the state is their god, and their beloved and precious democracy is the Church where they worship that god. Socialism, communism, populism, and fascism ae all part of that Church’s bible. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s how they proselytize their religion to others.
Free marketeers (such as Yours Truly), individualists, propertarians, libertarans, voluntaryists, and all lovers of liberty see the individual — including themselves — as the living, breathing person that must be protected from the likes of those religionists, cheerleaders, and worshippers of the cult of the state. As those freedom-loving individuals, we worship ourselves, not the state. Yes, we do help those who need the help, but not out of some altruistic, utopian idealism. We do it because we’re generous, we DO care about them, and we want to help them to succeed. We want to help them succeed, without the state and its cultists standing in the way.
The Republicans claim to be the Party of Limited Government, National Defense, Freedom, Free Markets, and the Law of Rule. They play a good game about the virtues of civil society and the vices of political society and the need to do away with the latter. They rhapsodize about the need for limited government, the evils of costly government regulations, and their goals to cut taxes, regulations, and spending. They even promise, in a shameless manner, to reform health care by keeping government out of it (whichever that means in their language) by furnishing tax credits to the insured so that they can purchase medical insurance under the phony guise of free markets. Oh, and if Senator McCain gets his way should he be the President-elect, that credit would be “refundable.” It is nothing more than a ploy to coerce people into believing that, if they pay an income tax liability of, say, $10,000, their bill is surely and simply pared down to $5,000. The other part of that lie is, if someone has no income tax liability, that credit would not apply.
But, in the real world within the realm of the state, nothing is ever simple. Someone who has a zero tax liabilty would find that the credit IS “refundable.” It is NOT a refund, but a cash hand out. It is a machination of the welfare state. It is a form of weath redistribution — that is, a transference of wealth from those who reap the fruits of their labor to those who don’t, even if it’s for the good of society. How is that reconciled with the principles and platitudes of limited government, things that are often shared by conservatives in the GOP?
Republicans are not just hypocrites in that area. They are also hypocrites when they claim to be for free markets. The recent $850 billion bailout that the BTP denounced in its unanimously-passed resolution of which I am the proud author epitomizes that. McCain and his Republican allies want the government to purchase risky mortgages in which the owed amounts surpass the present value of the homes. The banks would receive payments for the face value of the mortgages and then the state would refinance them at a lower principal and interest rate. The taxpayers would be given the short end of the stick. That is nothing short of redistribution.
That is economic fascism. There’s nothing inherently good about this. This is the swindle of the 21st century. And our futures are now mortgaged because of the bailouts and the never-ending war in Iraq. Thanks to those vile Republicans, our country will never be the same.
This is the reason why the Republicans will lose this election and why Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats will be the victors. When the smoke clears, they will assume command of this economy and this country.
The Republicans are to blame for all this, even for eight years of one economic failure after another. They have tainted the system of free markets by blending socialism and free markets into one system — capitalism. Sure, regulations do cost the economy money, and so they are right on that account. But they, along with their corporate lobbyists and supporters comprising of Big Business and Corporate America itself, would love to reduce regulations, but not the subsidies, privileges, and guarantees that come with the package. That’s what fascism is. And Republicans are crazy for associating themselves with the term “capitalism,” as it IS a term coined by Karl Marx and his minions. It is a system that favors protected business interests in THE NAME OF capital.
Libertarians are guilty of this too. Kevin Carson was correct when those libertarians who claim to be for free markets and economic liberty but support the corporate status quo are nothing but vulgar libertarians. They ARE vulgar libertarians. Libertarians are guilty for associating with them because of that. I share that guilt too, and I reject that term completely. I believe in free markets, not capitalism of any kind. Marrying the terms “free market” and “capitalism” as a unified term is like marrying the terms “Satanist” and “Christians” as a unified term. You can’t be both. You are either for free markets or you’re for capitalism.
And that is why the Democrats have an advantage over us on that ground. They pound on us because we have a habit of saying “deregulation is the answer” as if that’s the be-all and end-all as a magic bullet to the economic crisis with which we have been hit. Yes, the Democrats are socialists. Yes, they are for expansive government. Yes, they are not for free markets. Oh, and yes, they are for wars too. But that’s because a lot of this is the fault of conservatives and libertarians who used to ally themselves to one another in their quest to get rid of Bill Clinton at the end of his legacy term in 2000.
Free markets are not about “deregulating business,” although that is a small part of it. Yes, deregulation occurred to an extent in the 1980s and 1990s (but not during the Bush II years). Free markets are all about getting the government out of the way completely, entirely, and permanently. It is also about ending subsidies, privileges, and guarantees. If you only deregulate (or even partially deregulate) but keep the subsidies, privileges, and guarantees in place, you are not moving toward any free market. You are moving towards a corporatocracy a.k.a. economic fascism at its worst.
The Democrats are for bigger government, more expansive government, higher taxes, higher spending, and wars from which they would benefit. They can spend all evening griping about how we must tax and regulate the economy to death, how we need to protect jobs, how we need to cut ourselves off from the world economy, how important unions are, and how crucial universal health care (socialized medicine) is. But they are naive to think that this is the cure for the slowdown of the economy. Government cannot produce things; it merely steals from those who DO produce. It cannot create jobs; it merely destroys those jobs that businesses and individuals create due to the demands of their consumers. Health care and education are not “rights” and are not “free.” No one has any moral, ethical, and philosophical right to anyone’s labor in health care and education. No one has any moral, ethical, and philosophical right to the health care and educational services that people desire. Certainly, individual Americans should have access to them, but if a free market were called into existence (and, under the present system, it doesn’t exist), there’s no telling what can come of this.
The Boston Tea Party understands these differences. Its members understands them as well. And liberty must be defended and guarded, no matter the cost. We cannot submit to the state. There are no excuses for this. As the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) said, while giving his speech, to the delegates of the GOP Convention in 1964, “Extremism for the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation for the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Those words are true today, as they were then. And thus they remain true for posterity.
The Boston Tea Party is the future of liberty. It is my future. It is your future. The Democrats, the Libertarians, and the Republicans are not our future. We are the future. And let’s make the future of liberty a positive, rewarding, and happy one.
Thank you all, and good night.