Benedict: ‘Stop the bleeding’ inside LP

A blog entry on the Austin American-Statesman’s website this afternoon, headlined “Benedict To Run National Libertarian Party”, covers the selection to Wes Benedict to “take the helm of the national party with the aim of reversing its fortunes. In 2000, the national party had $3 million in revenue with 30,000 dues-paying members; now, it is bringing in about half that much, Benedict said.” Benedict said he “would hope to position the national party to take advantage of the discontent” with both major parties. The “first task, however, is to ‘stop the bleeding,’ Benedict said, and get the organization back in shape.”

14 thoughts on “Benedict: ‘Stop the bleeding’ inside LP

  1. Michael Seebeck

    Well, here’s hoping he can do some of that. The real question is how much the Starr Chamber will cooperate in the endeavor.

    Place your bets here.

  2. Donald Raymond Lake

    I’m rooting for it! Libertarians have a great philosophy and in the 21st Century’s era of run away big government it should be taking off like a rocket.

    Here’s to Liberty as a real political movement instead of a petty, childish debating society!

  3. NewFederalist

    Good Luck, Wes! It will be tough but at least you don’t start the job with any particular faction hating your guts and you already know the terrain. Let’s hope everybody plays nice for once.

  4. libertariangirl

    I think Wes will do a great job!

    Seebeck , your comment is stupid . taking bets on whether the ‘Starr Chamber’ will allow Wes to do well for the LP. so your assuming they wont?
    why the hell would A.Starr not want the LP to make more money and bring in more people?
    for gods sake the mans been an LP activist for almost 30 friggin years , im pretty sure he wants us to do well.

  5. Landshark

    There was some talk a couple years ago about the number of dues paying LP Members in 2000, about 32,000. The story was anybody that donated money to the Harry Browne campaign was listed as a Member of the LP. I know it dropped to about 10,000, and last I heard it was over 18,000.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp


    In 1996, the LP implemented something called the “P Transaction,” which counted a contribution of $25 or more to the presidential campaign as dues for LP membership.

    I don’t recall when (or if) the “P Transaction” went away, but neither do I recall that it was the main factor in the LP’s substantial membership growth. The big growth factor was direct mail recruitment, usually referred to under the title “Project Archimedes.”

  7. Trent Hill

    @Donald Raymond Lake,

    Wow. That was the first time I’v read a completely coherant statement from you! Welcome to IPR!

  8. George Phillies

    For full details on the P Transaction as applied, not to mention Project Archimedes, you can read my book Funding Liberty, available from, or in draft form on the web web site.

    At the time I wrote the book, it was not recognized that the P Transaction had been used to create not only year members but also life members who had never given a dime to the party for that membership.

  9. Michael Seebeck

    Not stupid at all, LG, even if you stupidly think it is.

    For his ilk it’s not about growing the Party or doing the right things–it’s about being the biggest fish in the pond no matter what. Just look at his LPCA record to see the evidence, not to mention his national record. He pissed away a lot of cash and pissed off a lot of people in CA before he was forced out by popular demand (he knew he didn’t have a prayer in 2007 of getting re-elected chair, so he never bothered to run).

    I don’t give a damn if he’s been an activist for 30 years or 30 seconds. His results speak themselves, and frankly, they suck.

  10. Sean Scallon

    Congratulations to Mr. Benedict for becoming the LP’s National Chair. He has his work cut out for him. He has to figure out how to reunited a badly divided party, erase the party’s debt and build up membership again after the wasted opportunity of Barr campaign.

    Perhaps given this state of affairs it would be best for Benedict and the LP to realize that to be effective, the LP needs to to stop trying to compete with the majors nationally, building up local and state parties to complete locally, doing so by recruiting new members through libertarian cultures and creating libertarian communities throughout the country that will work its way up to influence national politics.

    It’s got to work a lot more than trying to elect a president anyway.

  11. Gene Trosper

    @4 Those of us in California may have a much different perspective on Starr than you do. many of us have had to deal with the ineptitude and the fallout. It wasn’t pretty at all.

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