Presidential nomination candidate Tom Knapp announces ‘Libertarian Shadow Cabinet,’ appoints three

Posted at Kn@ppster and emailed to Posted to IPR by Paulie.

POC Thomas L. Knapp

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 23 — As President Barack Obama completes his administration’s move into the White House and his cabinet appointees take their posts, the libertarian opposition gave American life today to a longstanding British tradition — the “shadow cabinet.”

“In the United Kingdom, the political party not in power normally appoints ’shadow ministers’ to speak to issues of public policy,” says Thomas L. Knapp, a candidate for the 2012 presidential nominations of two US libertarian parties. “Shadow cabinets serve two useful purposes — they show the public how the opposition would govern, and they prepare that opposition to eventually administer the offices they’ve shadowed.”

Knapp named the first three appointees, all long-time libertarian activists with experience in the relevant policy areas, to the Libertarian Shadow Cabinet today:

Secretary of Defense: Captain Charles Wilhoit (USN-Ret) of Tennessee. Captain Wilhoit’s naval career spanned WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He graduated the US Naval Academy in June of 1945 (Class of ‘46, for which he served as Corresponding Secretary for 38 years) and awaited deployment in the Pacific as of V-J Day. Over the course of his career he commanded various surface ships and a destroyer squadron. He has also served as Deputy Executive Director of the Naval Reserve Association and a national trustee of the US Naval Academy Alumni Association.

Secretary of the Treasury: Joe Cobb of Arizona. Cobb served as President Ronald Reagan’s Deputy Director, Office of Policy Information; Economic Advisor to the US State Department’s US Mission to the Organization of American States; Staff Director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee; and Chief Economist for the US Senate Republican Policy Committee; Past President, National Association of Business Economists, National Capital Chapter; and John M. Olin Senior Fellow in Economics at The Heritage Foundation.

Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy: Steve Kubby of California. A three-decade survivor of a normally terminal form of cancer, Kubby is both a living testament to the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana and a long-time activist for an end to the federal government’s unconstitutional and unconscionable “war on drugs.” He’s the author of two books on drug policy reform, a co-author of the nation’s first “medical marijuana” law, California’s Proposition 215, and national director of the American Medical Marijuana Association.

While creating the Libertarian Shadow Cabinet in his capacity as a candidate for the presidency, Knapp emphasized that he expects it to outlive his own campaign. “The Shadow Cabinet is a tool for the libertarian movement to show America what’s possible if they make the right choices,” he says. “I welcome the advice, support and participation of other libertarians and libertarian presidential candidates in composing the cabinet, and intend to spin it off of my own campaign and to fully independent status as soon as possible.”

Libertarian Shadow Cabinet:

27 thoughts on “Presidential nomination candidate Tom Knapp announces ‘Libertarian Shadow Cabinet,’ appoints three

  1. Steve

    I think reviving the Libertarian shadow cabinent is a great idea, and I look forward to hearing more of this. And also seeing who else agrees to be part of it. Maybe Bernard von Nothaus as chair of the Federal Reserve? : )

  2. Prospective Advertiser

    I think von NotHaus would be good as chairman of the Federal Reserve, or if he’s dedicated to being retired, you can ask G. Edward Griffin.

    You should ask Jim Davidson to be NASA Administrator, in the same spirit that Kubby is director of drug control policy.

  3. paulie cannoli Post author

    You should ask Jim Davidson to be NASA Administrator, in the same spirit that Kubby is director of drug control policy.

    I can see it now: flame war with space aliens!


  4. paulie cannoli Post author

    There are plenty of defense contractor companies with corruptly allocated NASA contracts to flame.

    That should be fun. You should write it up as a short story: “Jim Davidson’s first week as NASA admin”

  5. kevin

    The libertian party stole this idea from the costitution party founder! He had the same idea at the convention!

  6. paulie cannoli Post author

    Rather unlikely. The Libertarian Party used to have shadow cabinets before the US Taxpayers Party ever existed.

    I don’t know for sure, but it’s likely the idea existed even well before that, as well.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    It seems obvious that L. Neil Smith should be Tom’s shadow Secretary of Transportation, as Smith is strong on who should walk into traffic 😉

  8. Robert Milnes

    Speaking of walking into traffic, Carl proposed this about 2 years ago and I tried but failed to get it going. I’m glad Tom is succeeding. But Tom, with all your success then to plan to abandon your efforts only makes my case that if you had joined my campaign as manager & pursuaded Mary vp, we could have won 2008. Even after losing the lp nomination we could have made a great run as independent fusion ticket probably getting a lot more ballots for BTP. But nooooooooo. If Nader had picked a woman lib vp instead of Gonzales, I may very well have endorsed him, esp. if offered a special advisor position. If lp had nominated Gravel instead of barf & then Mary vp, well, there you go; fusion ticket. Mary does seem the obstinate sort of radical though.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    Eric brings up a good point. However, with the web, it might be neat to have a Shadow Cabinet now.

    What’s not clear to me is under what aegis this Shadow Cabinet functions…under Knapp for President? BTP? LP?

    Sporadically, NatComm issues Resolutions. LPHQ issues press releases and blogs. It all feels a bit scattershot to me.

    The idea of actual L experts diagnosing and offering alternatives has some appeal. Whether this attempt is the appropriate venue and whether these are the optimal choices remains to be seen.

  10. Robert Capozzi


    You write:

    “What’s not clear to me is under what aegis this Shadow Cabinet functions…under Knapp for President? BTP? LP?”

    I offered the web domain to LPHQ/LNC last February. They never got around to saying yes or no.

    I haven’t heard from any BTP members that they want to operate the thing — since BTP doesn’t have paid staff it would have to be a self-organized volunteer effort.

    Right now, it’s “paid for by Knapp 2012,” but I’d like to get into a status independent of my campaign ASAP.

    As far as where I got the idea, it wasn’t a flash of inspiration or anything. The shadow cabinet is a long-time fixture of UK politics. I noticed that because I frequently have occasion to read UK political news. I saw (when Googling) that the LP had at one time operated a US shadow cabinet. Seemed like an idea worth pursuing.

  11. Libertarian Joseph

    Can I get my own shadow cabinet? I am shadow President. My mom is shadow vice-President. hmm My uncle is shadow Secretary of State. My grandfather is shadow SoD…you get the picture

    here’s a list of EO in my fantasy world of statism

    immediately take over Cuba. Make Iraq & Afghanistan join the US, take advice on better as states or as us territories. eliminate the federal income tax. If I cannot without congress, then I just cut, cut, cut. No stmulus checks. “Go Green” with military. Modernize military. Deregulate spacee industry, but fund NASA 100% anything they ask for, they get. Deregulate the healthcare industry. Get rid of FCC, DoE, blah blah blah if I cannot, then just refuse to make appointments, defund them, anything I can do to hurt them.

    Cut spending DRAMATICALLY. Secure the borders, but allow free trade. pro-choice. No death penalties. Secure military secrets.

    Last, but not least, use the army to make an missile strike on a joint session of congress. Replace them with only members of the LP. Ban all other political parties. Say FU to factional governments.

    ok ha. My statist wet dream goo goo gah gah. I still heart Somalia 🙂

  12. Catholic Trotskyist

    The Catholic Trotskyist Party will be posting its list of shadow cabinet appointments on Monday on its website. All of them are expected to refuse their appointments, however.

  13. Jake Witmer

    Joe Cobb in charge of money? You mean the guy who promised pay for AZ Libertarian registrations at one rate to Andy, and then changed the terms of the deal when he got into the state? …While simultaneously offering a higher rate of pay to non-Libertarian mercenaries, with fewer restrictions? LOL!! What a prick!!! …You mean Joe Cobb, the guy who blacklisted me from returning to work in AZ even though I had done work noone else wanted in 2003, and 2005 that remains on the books to this day? You mean the same Joe Cobb who yelled and screamed at Andy that I was trying to “bully him”, by asking Bill Redpath to intervene and simply ASK them why they were dishonoring their word to me by putting me on a blacklist while hiring mercenary petitioners? (…From a strategy point of view, this is insane. It burns through party resources, and doesn’t build the party at all.) You mean the Joe Cobb who was an official in the Reagan Administration? The Republitarian crony who’s either a Republican plant or an alzheimer’s riddled elderly asshole with severe dishonesty problems? The one who’s a good friend of Bruce “if you don’t support Israel, you’re not a libertarian” Cohen?

    Man, Fuck Joe Cobb. He’s one of maybe two people (Eric Dondero being the other) I would spit on if I saw him in public. He’s a worthless enemy of individual freedom, and in no way a libertarian.

    But of course, anyone who hasn’t done effective organizational work for the LP doesn’t know this. To all those people who know nothing about political organization, he’s a credentialed Libertarian, and something to be proud of. …LOL.

    And this is why Libertarians will never amount to any kind of serious political force. They piss on the people doing their work for them, alternately rewarding them and punishing them without logic of any kind. Their ballot access policy appears to be: “Hier ist kein ‘warum’!”

    It’s all right though. The USA doesn’t need to have an organized pro-freedom political party in all states, just in one. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s possible in theory. …Too bad that people like Joe Cobb and George Squyres ensure it won’t be Arizona.

  14. Sludge Puppy

    Cheezus Jake look at the timing on your post. This is an old thread. Dontcha ya think it might have something to do with your gettin’ things in on time?

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