Libertarian Party blog: Now a FOURTH Obama Cabinet nominee faces tax questions

Confirmation hearings for Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis now involve more than her lobbying for an anti-employer organization attempting to change federal law to allow union organizers to more easily coerce workers into joining unions.

Today’s Senate’s Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee was canceled after USA Today reported yesterday her husband, Sam Sayyad, paid about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years.  The committee is looking into the report.

Perhaps Obama should fire his vetting team and hire USA Today.  At least the reports back would be presented in easy-to-read pictographs.

Frankly, it’s a little unfair to hold someone responsible for late tax filings by their spouse’s sole proprietorship.  But with yet another nominee running into tax problems, it does suggest that Obama should take the Libertarian Party’s advice and simplify the nation’s tax code

Not only would hundreds of thousands of Americans no longer run into trouble for inadvertently violating a complex maze of regulations, it would have made it a little easier to get his nominees through the Senate.


Posted at LP.org by Donny Ferguson. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.

33 thoughts on “Libertarian Party blog: Now a FOURTH Obama Cabinet nominee faces tax questions

  1. George Phillies

    Writing on the “Wall” on the “LP” group on Facebook, the New LNC Communications Director writes

    “Donny Ferguson (Washington, DC) wrote
    at 7:42pm yesterday
    The LP has no official stance on whether all abortions should be legal or illegal. There are many pro-life libertarians, like Ron Paul, and many pro-choice libertarians.

    The LP does, however, oppose all forms of government-assisted, government-directed or taxpayer-funded abortion or family planning, which is more than can be said for the Republicans.”

    To which I answer:

    Let me call your attention to our platform:

    “1.4 Abortion
    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

    That’s an explicit stand that abortions should not be made illegal.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    For anyone looking that up, the timestamp on the facebook messages appears to depend on your own timezone, since on my screen that same message is @ 6:42 PM. Thus, if you are on the West Coast, it would be 4:42, etc.

    I also left a message on that wall to give Mr. Ferguson a chance to comment on the discussion boards being taken down on the facebook group, and I’ll give him a few more hours to see if he wants to weigh in before I write about it.

  3. paulie cannoli Post author

    I replied to the abortion comments on LP facebook

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2204805796

    Here is my response, in case it gets deleted…

    —————————————

    Couldn’t resist checking back here, since Dr. Phillies brought up the abortion issue here on IPR.

    “1.4 Abortion
    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

    This is indeed a pro-choice position that the platform takes on abortion. If government passes laws against abortion, it’s certainly not being kept out of the matter.

    Yet, as others have pointed out, there are in fact many pro-life libertarians, as well as libertarians who disagree with other particular platform planks.

    As for Ron Paul, he remains a life member of the Libertarian Party, still speaks at libertarian events, has many supporters among Libertarians, and has endorsed Libertarian candidates at least as recently as 2004 (Badnarik for President). In 2008, he ended up endorsing the Constitution Party candidate mostly due to staff-level discord between some people on the Barr campaign and some at the Campaign for Liberty. However, Ron Paul himself called Barr an “ally” in Congress, and that was even before Bob Barr became more libertarian on several issues after leaving office.

    To say that Ron Paul is a Republican is only giving part of the picture. It is true that he is a Republican congressman and 2008 candidate for the Republican nomination, but that is only because he has not found a way to get elected with any other party yet, and mainstream Republicans loathe Ron Paul and his supporters.

    He’s also not a pure 100% libertarian, but I think he falls well within the libertarian quintile on the Nolan quiz/OPH, and is the most libertarian member of Congress as well as the most libertarian candidate who was allowed on stage with the major party big dogs, arguably along with Mike Gravel.

    Nothing wrong with having Ron Paul Libertarians – but let’s also welcome and recruit more Mike Gravel types (peace loving civil libertarians who are not as strongly libertarian on economic issues, at least yet).

    A big tent is fine, but if it leans too far to the right, it just topples over and leaves little but crushed elephants and clowns.

  4. paulie cannoli Post author

    My other comment yesterday afternoon….
    ————————————————

    I’ve received messages claiming that comments on this group have been closed. This does not appear to be the case. Donny, if you have any comments about that – I’m doing a story for IPR. Give me a call at 415-690-6352; I don’t check back here often enough to see them if you post a comment response here.

    Paulie – Independent Political Report

  5. George Phillies

    Paulie,

    If you compare the Libertarian Party group on Facebook with other Facebook groups, you will find that while the Wall feature on The Libertarian Party is open, the Discussion groups, which permit threaded discussions, are not there.

  6. George Phillies

    On other groups, you can find a discussion board

    “Discussion Board
    Displaying 3 of 52 discussion topics Start New Topic|See All

    Contact list for getting the lp discussion board restored.
    36 posts by 10 people. Updated 17 minutes ago”

    as well as a wall:

    “The Wall
    Displaying 5 of 30 wall posts.See All
    Write something…”

    Dave Williamson (UGA) wrote
    at 4:44pm yesterday
    “uphill battle the entire way that may never be won”

    That being the key phrase there.”

    Also, anyone who reads down the wall posts enough will find

    “Donny Ferguson (Washington, DC) wrote
    at 4:30pm on February 1st, 2009
    The discussion board has been temporarily disabled because there have been complaints of people abusing it to promote non-LP related websites and videos.”

    which is an unambiguous statement by Communications Director Ferguson that he shut the Discussion Group down.

  7. paulie cannoli Post author

    George,

    Thanks for the info. I had several people message and explain that to me in response to the first board post I left.

    I’d still like to give Donny a few more hours to call me in case he would like to give his side.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paulie,

    The LP Facebook page once had over 740 discussion topics. Since the LP has traditionally been an advocate for freedom for the individual, the topics were to me, essential to the message the party needed to convey. And because of the diversity in our base, they covered a wide range of points, from controversial topics on drugs and abortion, to simpler discussions on soda tax and voter fraud.

    While the LP still has a wall, it no longer allows discussion topics, and it is now censoring it’s more active members without giving them any guidance on the new rules. The decision has moved me to stop volunteering as a county POC, and has let me to establish my own board.

    I thank you for taking the time to investigate. I think there is a significant change in direction for the party, and I’m greatly troubled by it.

    -D

    Paulie Cannoli

    February 5 at 4:23pm
    Check out

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/

    If you haven’t already.

    I’m posting all the LP.org blog posts, press releases and polls for public comment, some state news, as well as news from other third parties/independents.

    We get about 1,500 unique vistors a day (now in the off-season; we were up to 3,000 a day in November), and about 4,000 page views (down from 8,000). I expect the numbers will grow again as we get closer to another election.

    We have had over 2,700 stories and over 37,000 reader comments since we got started in May 2008, and we have by far the most google news results for the terms “libertarian” and “libertarian party”

    Hope to see you there and spread the word!

    Thanks for writing and calling,

    -p

    ————


    I was actually getting ready to contact IPR to see if you guys wanted to do a story on this.

    Donny has completely shut down the discussion boards and banned any discussion not LP related. We can’t even discuss anything regarding libertarianism if it doesn’t have to do with the LP. I’ve emailed Redpath and Jim Lark about it, to see what can be done. I’ve emailed Ferguson, but he didn’t respond of course.

    It’s about as embarrassing as it can get. A libertarian group censoring every comment.

    -T

    Paulie Cannoli
    February 5 at 5:00pm

    I’m working on it now, and I wanted to give Ferguson a chance to respond.

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    If those who make the laws and run the government don’t have to live by the laws they impose on others, it seems to me that is incentive for them to pass and enforce harsher laws.

  10. Galileo Galilei

    You can’t follow all the laws and gain power in a real police state. It is almost impossible.

    Ron Paul is the closest thing we have to an exception on that, and even Ron Paul is just one vote of 435 in the House and he gets a few national cable news interviews.

  11. pdsa

    I would think that tax questions would be a positive for libertarians when it comes to Obama nominations.

    Donny Ferguson pitches the pure Republican line when asserting the Solis was “lobbying for an anti-employer organization attempting to change federal law to allow union organizers to more easily coerce workers into joining unions”.

    Why not just call it what it is; Solis supports card checks. Why is union organising considered to be anti-libertarian? Do not workers have a right to belong to any group they damn well please?

    Card checks are no more coercive than an employer who threatens to shut down shop if the workers vote to form a union. Workers have a right to organise, and seek a collective bargaining agreement. The employer should not be forced by the government to agree, but damn well should face the consequences from bad public relations for not agreeing.

    Th LP has become Republican Light.

  12. George Phillies

    Actually, by Hollywood standards, a Republican Heavy. The assertion that labor unions are antiemployer rather than pro-their members is a line many Republicans would reject. “Tax simplification” is another Republican line.

  13. George Phillies

    Note, incidentally, that the lead officer of the Libertarian Party facebook group that just shut down their discussion pages is…Bob Barr. He’s not an LNC member, and signs that those officers were approved by the LNC for a group run by the Meida director are, well, inapparent.

  14. Geoffrey the Liberator

    Good evening all:

    I found the good professors comment #3 above to be rather intriguing, so I enlisted my grandchild to have a quick look around the web and answer some questions for me pertaining to your USLP stand on abortion.

    First thing she did was laugh when she read the good professors verbiage concerning the word “explicit.”

    Grandfather, she said to me, the definition (according to our dictionary perched up here beside me on the bookshelf) of “explicit” is “precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable; leaving nothing to implication” – then she goes on to say “their platform is anything but explicit!”

    I said, good work! Then a little bit more digging on this Donny Ferguson character showed that he was actually on your platform committee, twice, that wrote this! A little further digging shows that your members wanted ‘explicitly” not to state if abortion should be legal or illegal.

    Mr. Professor, clearly English is not your subject. Go back to school.

    Geoffrey

    PS – Regarding your last comment sir, Cong. Barr is clearly labeled “2008 LP Presidential Candidate” – I believe that clarifies that he is not an officer, as does the label for your Mr. Gordon whom is also listed.

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    Geoffrey, again:

    “1.4 Abortion
    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

    This is indeed a pro-choice position that the platform takes on abortion. If government passes laws against abortion, it’s certainly not being kept out of the matter.

    How is this not plain English? It states, very explicitly, that abortion should be up to the conscientious consideration of each person, with government holding no role in the matter – but that we recognize that some people can disagree with our pro-choice position (which the party has had for decades, and which has never been revoked) in good faith.

  16. George Phillies

    I think we have to realize that “Geoffrey” is a bit eccentric.

    Those of you who have gone to “The Libertarian Party” facebook group will indeed find a list of “Officers”. If you know something about Facebook — perhaps his grand-daughter can explain it to him — you will realize that the list of “Officers” found on every facebook group is a list of people with particular powers in that group. Of course, you can be made an officer without your permission, so perhaps some of those people are taken by surprise. However, the reason I refer to Barr as an officer of the group is that the word at the top of the list of names is “Officer”.

    The names by the way are
    “Bob Barr (Atlanta, GA)
    2008 Presidential Nominee
    Donny Ferguson (Washington, DC)
    Director of Communications
    Austin Petersen
    Volunteer Coordinator
    Michael Jingozian
    Vice-Chair
    Aaron Starr (Ventura County, CA)
    Treasurer
    Patrick Dixon
    At-Large Representative
    R. Lee Wrights
    At-Large Representative
    R Anthony Ryan (Sioux Falls, SD)
    Region 1 Representative
    Scott Lieberman
    Region 2 Alternate
    Stewart Flood (Charleston, SC)
    Region 4 Representative
    James Lark (UVA)
    Region 5S Representative
    Hardy Macia (Manchester, NH)
    Region 5N Alternate
    Jake Porter (Des Moines, IA)
    Region 6 Alternate
    Rachel Hawkridge (Seattle, WA)
    Region 7 Representative
    Stephen Gordon (Huntsville / Decatur, AL)
    Chairman, LSLA”
    Perhaps they are unaware of how their name is being used.

    In American English, as Paulie has explained, our platform is entirely explicit.

    By God, though, Geoffrey is right on something! Apparently serving on the platform committee had no effect on Donny’s cognizance of the actual party platform.

    Finally, I would suggest that “Geoffrey” tries working on his English comprehension, which as we see here from the above is sadly deficient. As an approach, try reading out loud to your grand-daughter, Geoffrey, and have her help you with the hard words. Our former President used to read out loud a challenging book. You should try it. I do not know if “My Pet Goat” is available in the United Kingdom.

  17. paulie cannoli Post author

    2004 platform:

    http://libertarianmajority.net/power-platform#toc9

    8. Reproductive Rights and Population

    The Issue: The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition. Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to individuals for their conscientious consideration.

    The Principle: The American people are not a collective national resource. Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on the basis of gender, age, dependency, or location. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for other people’s abortions, nor should any government or individual force a woman to have an abortion. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births.

    Solutions: We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization or any other form of birth control. Specifically we condemn the practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients, or of individuals with diminished mental or physical capacity. We support the voluntary exchange of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or related medical or biological technologies. We oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion. We oppose all coercive measures for population control.

    Transitional Action: We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing built into our present laws, including welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. We would eliminate special tax burdens on single people and couples with few or no children.

    The 2008 platform was sold to the delegates as a simplification of the verbiage on this issue, not a change in overall policy – which has long been, and continues to be, no government prohibition of abortion, despite all the caveats listed.

  18. paulie cannoli Post author

    Similarly, some people have misread the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution

    “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ”

    As saying that only those people in a well-regulated militia should have the right to keep and bear arms, and that this regulation refers to government regulation as we now understand it – and that the National Guard is that militia.

    Of course, this is absurd – why would the government need a constitutional provision that the government has the right to keep and bear arms?

    Likewise, if anyone wants to suggest that the “matter” on which each individual should have their own conscience is whether they support government prohibiting abortions for other people who wish to have them – this is absurd, since it would be far simpler to simply not have a plank on this issue at all if that was the case.

    It appears that Geoffrey, and perhaps Donny, is reading this:

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    as:

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that our party should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to the government for their conscientious consideration.

    Notwithstanding that this is clearly not what it says, why would such a statement even need to be made in the political platform of any party – wouldn’t it be more verbally economic not to have a plank, since the party would then not be taking any position at all?

  19. John Famularo

    “How is this not plain English? It states, very explicitly, that abortion should be up to the conscientious consideration of each person, …”

    It does not define “abortion”. I know everybody thinks they know what the word means, but it is not self-explanatory. There is a difference between “pregnancy termination” and “life termination”. What or who is a “person” or “person born” is a complex question; partly scientific and partly political”. “Human life” and “legal person” are not identical. What if someone thinks that a human infant outside the womb is not a “person” until myelinization of the brain is complete?

  20. pdsa

    John Famularo, you are playing a dialectic games, with an anti-semantic strategy.

    You falsely portray the complexities inherent within the definition of “human” as being a dichotomy: “partly scientific and partly political”; yet throw a pitch with a ball doctored with philosophy/religion.

    You threw another false dichotomy with: “‘pregnancy termination’ and ‘life termination'”.

    There is no complexity to “person born”. This is the standard stated in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If you disagree, then you are free to attempt to institute a Constitutional Amendment redefining “lawful person”. Any legislation short of a Constitutional Amendment is itself an unconstitutional tyranny.

  21. John Famularo

    “There is no complexity to “person born”. This is the standard stated in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

    There are many things “stated” in the Constitution that are and have been complexly argued before the Supreme Court and decided on a 5-4 vote. Hardly a consensus.

    My real point is that the LP should not have a detailed platform. The LP members are not competent to define how everything should be in arrogant detail. The LP should stick to a simple, clear, unambiguous mission statement. Let the individual candidates state what they intend to accomplish if nominated and elected.

  22. paulie cannoli Post author

    It does not define “abortion”. I know everybody thinks they know what the word means, but it is not self-explanatory. There is a difference between “pregnancy termination” and “life termination”.

    Life termination is called death, or killing if it is induced (murder if intentional and unjustified).

    Abortion is pregnancy termination. In political terms, induced pregnancy termination – miscarriages are not the issue here.

    I know of no one who has attempted to define killing people after they are born as an abortion, except jokingly.


    What or who is a “person” or “person born” is a complex question; partly scientific and partly political”. “Human life” and “legal person” are not identical.

    The LP platform plank does not attempt to answer those questions.


    What if someone thinks that a human infant outside the womb is not a “person” until myelinization of the brain is complete?

    What if a cow jumps over the moon? The issue here is that there is plain language in the current platform.

    That position may or may not be correct, and it may or may not remain the party’s position in the future.

    If someone wants to make the case for legal infanticide, they can do so, but it isn’t abortion, isn’t the topic of the LP plank, and doesn’t mean there is any doubt about what the term abortion means as used in that plank.

Leave a Reply

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