Five Questions With Kenneth Kaplan

Kenneth Kaplan is running for governor of New Jersey as a Libertarian. Here are answers to five questions asked in an interview on

1) Why are you running for Governor, and why would someone vote for you rather than Chris Christie or Jon Corzine?

I am running for Governor because I represent an ideological position in favor of individual liberty and limited government, which is diametrically opposed to what Corzine and Christie stand for. Anyone who believes they can make better choices than a Governor in Trenton about what is best for themselves and their families should vote for me.

2) What would be your top priorities (two or three is fine) if you happen to win?

I want deep cuts in state spending and reductions in the rate of the state income tax in tandem with reductions in spending, hopefully, eliminating the state income tax entirely within my first term. I would push the legislature to legalize marijuana, and whether or not they do so, I would pardon and release from prison all those who have been convicted of non-violent drug-related crimes. That would reunite families, return people to productive lives, and leave room in prisons for the violent criminals who belong there. I would call for the immediate enactment of a marriage equality law so that all New Jerseyans, regardless of sexual orientation, would be legally able to marry. This is a civil rights issue. Finally, I will not tolerate corruption in government.

3) What do you hope to accomplish with your candidacy (other than winning)? In other words, can you not win the election and still have won in some other way?

I can make a strong showing, forcing whomever is elected, along with the legislature, to consider Libertarian views and deal with the issues I raise in a manner favoring individual liberty and diminishing the role of government in our lives. Some of these issues were mentioned in my answer to question #2.

4) What has been the most difficult thing about running for Governor?

I am an average citizen, not a multimillionaire, and have had to continue with my regular job as a commercial real estate broker rather than run a full-time campaign.

5) If you could change one thing about our electoral system, what would it be?

I’d like to see an even playing field. Title 19 of New Jersey Statutes, the election law, is blatantly discriminatory in favor of the Democrats and Republicans. They are guaranteed lines A and B on the ballot. They are allowed to hold primaries at taxpayer expense that 3rd parties are barred from. They have manipulated the rules regarding fund-raising to make it much more difficult for emerging parties and their candidates to raise funds at a competitive level. In short, the system is rigged in favor of those already in power.

14 thoughts on “Five Questions With Kenneth Kaplan

  1. Richard Winger

    This comment is completely off the subject, but there was a huge victory for minor parties and independent candidates today in Connecticut. The public funding scheme was struck down because it so overwhelmingly discriminates against minor party and independent candidates. BAN has a link to a news story that itself has a link to the opinion, which is 138 pages long.

  2. Robert Milnes

    Good man, Richard. Hijack a thread anytime as far as I am concerned./// Kenneth Kaplan, question: You do not have a Green competitor. Why don’t you pursue the Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy & call for progressives to support you & particularly vote for you. Agree that Libertarians should vote for Greens when there is no competitor on the ballot. This is what I would do had I received the LPNJ nomination as I requested. You complain that since you are not a multimillionaire [a reference to Governor Corzine I presume] you cannot run a full time campaign but have to maintain your commercial real estate business. Well I am unemployed so with modest support I COULD HAVE run a full time campaign. If you can get Green endorsement/support perhaps the environmentalists would abandon their support for Dagget a republican running as Independent and switch their support to you. If you would like further campaign advice please feel free to contact me. As I said I am unemployed with a lot of free time.

  3. W is a 911 terrorist

    “If you would like further campaign advice please feel free to contact me. As I said I am unemployed with a lot of free time.”

    It would be worth every penny you don’t pay for it.

  4. Solomon Drek

    The NJLP is a joke. They had their chance to become a significant political force in New Jersey 12 years ago when their candidate Murray Sabrin qualified for public financing and participation in debates. Instead Murray campaigned like a Pat Buchanan conservative to the right of Christie Whitman and wound up with little more than four percent of the vote. And though he raised over a million dollars, more than half was spent on administrative expenses including consultants, managers and advisors (among them, btw, was neo-nazi blogger Hal Turner recently arrested for threatening lives of federal judges). Libertarians complain about government inefficiency but judging by Sabrin’s campaign, financed with tax dollars, they are hardly role models for private sector efficiency. And to top it off Murray became a Republican and this year endorsed GOP candidate Chris Christie for Governor.

    It just went from bad to worse for the NJLP. In 2001 their gubernatorial candidate imploded into a psychotic frenzy. Not only did he fail to qualify for public funding and debates, but he alienated so many NJLP members to the point that some of them disavowed their support.

    In 2005 their candidate had to loan himself enough money to participate in the debates, but it hardly made any difference as he ended up with the usual less than one percent.

    This year I doubt Kaplan will get even one-quarter of one percent. I predict independent Jason Cullen, who is running as a Steve Lonegan reactionary, will get more votes than Kaplan.

    I’m going to write-in Robert Milnes for Governor and whoever he reccommends for Lieutenant-Governor.

  5. LandShark Beer

    So Solomon, why don’t you join the Libertarian Party and help the Party in New Jersey.

  6. Solomon Drek

    “So Solomon, why don’t you join the Libertarian Party and help the Party in New Jersey.”

    I did until I realized that banging my head against a wall would be more productive use of my time. I’ve seen lots of good people join and then drop out in disgust because, like myself, they realize life is too short and time too precious to waste on meaningless nothingness.

    The sad fact is the NJLP has become nothing more than a glorified debating society/social club and nothing is ever going to change that. Besides, aside from a few social issues like gay marriage, Ken Kaplan isn’t saying anything different than Republicans like Steve Lonegan, Ron Paul and Murray Sabrin.

  7. Catholic Trotskyist

    Write in Catholic Trotskyist for lieutenant governor. I was born in New Jersey, though I’m not a resident now. Milnes and I disagree a lot, but I agree with him that Kaplan should endorse the Strategy. As Solomon pointed out, he’s going to lose anyway, so there’s nothing to lose by trying that. It would get some media attention.

    Milnes-Carter 2012 for President.

  8. Thane Eichenauer

    @2, Robert Milnes,

    I offer one suggestion and one comment.

    1) If you are to have a proposal, make a definitive page for it and goto and make a domain for it (no fees involved)

    2) I’ve read of your recommendation of “Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy” but I can’t really see why it is any better than a Republican Libertarian Alliance Strategy or a Democrat Libertarian Alliance Strategy or a Independent Republican Green Alliance Strategy. In the end it sounds like compromising Libertarian ideas by bringing in Green candidates in your recommended fusion campaign. It ends up as tarnishing Libertarians and our ideals in the end (in my opinion).

    There is a reason why L/libertarians don’t generally engage in campaigns with Green candidates – 1) they are most often silent on gun rights, 2) they are often closet fans of government regulation (control). If I were running a Libertarian campaign I certainly wouldn’t ally myself with a Green candidate (and I have a number of Green Party activists I work with on single issue coalitions) as that would tarnish my public commitment to those two issues.

    I was very impressed that Ron Paul managed with his Unity Platform (also known as Ralph Nader “We Agree” statement).

    I say let the Greens/Naderites sign on to Libertarian positions rather than have us sign on to what I see as amorphous positions (and from them candidates) that the Green Party/Naderites support.

  9. Bill Wood

    So, Solomon, you will work with Republicans who in the end will grow the Government, increase the debt and screw you over just like the democrats do. Sadly it is the old damn if you do, damn if you don’t. I for one got tired of working hard for the Republican Party and then getting screwed. Oh well best of luck.

  10. Robert Milnes

    Thane Eichenauer, thank you for the suggestion and comment.
    The libertarians simply do not have enough votes or available/potential blocs to win. The Greens MIGHT. I refer to 1972 Allende Chile election. Evidently a coalition of leftist parties & perhaps others (nonleftist) won with a plurality in a three way race of less than 2%. THAT IS CLOSE! And we can see in an analysis of what the 3 way was. Leftist(Green equivalent) 36.6%, National unity(Constitution party equivalent)35.3%, Christian Democratic(centrist/Dems & reps)28.1%. Considering these results I have changed my conclusion that the Constitution PartyU.S. cannot possibly win. The political scene was extremely polarized. The situation comparitively in the USA I do not see getting that polarized. Unless there is protracted economic collapse. The Strategy is one of vote coordination, not compromise between the GP & LP. Once elected however, hardball politics would ensue & compromise, like it or not, is part of hardball politics. You do not see the dems or reps reach out to libs (or greens) for vote coordination to win. They win enough as things are. No need to get libs elected in exchange for getting a few more dems or reps elected. Yes, the “We agree” statement is very important & telling that greens & libs can agree. Gun control-I believe I am quite typical. I started out being very alienated from guns & my rights. In favor of controls etc. However in time & with education & exposure to gun rights advocates & esp. the recent SCOTUS decision affirming the right to bear arms My views have modified. & also taking into consideration self defense generally including possible government oppression/persecution/foreign invasion. So, let the GP & LP enable each other to actually get elected for a change. Then let the hardball politics work it out. OK?

  11. Jake

    Kaplan’s major problem, to me, isn’t that he part of the NJLP. That party seems to have one “celebrity” or candidate in Sabrin and his time has run out.

    The major issue is that anybody, the avg voter, wants to throw their “fit” against the two party system they are most likely voting for Dagget, because he will be apart of the debates, has raised(with public funding) over a million dollars, and seems to campaigning through out the state.

    Also, Kaplan comes off kinda boring… anybody else agree? The LP has the correct platform to do decent in NJ, but they need to spice it up a bit. If I was Kaplan, or even Daggett for this matter, I would hire some of the Gravel/Nader people to make some funny/interesting internet or TV advertisements.

    Daggett easily has the money to do that.

  12. Solomon Drek

    “So, Solomon, you will work with Republicans who in the end will grow the Government, increase the debt and screw you over just like the democrats do.”

    I never said I would work with Republicans. I simply made the observation that the NJLP has become “little sir echo” to reactionary Republicans like Steve Lonegan, Ron Paul and Murray Sabrin, and Kaplan’s comments exemplify that trend.

    I voting Robert Milnes for Governor and Catholic Trotskyist for Lieutenant-Governor.

  13. Guy de Lusignan

    I really do like the way Jason Cullen hits the issues. Kaplan’s plan to enforce laws to add to Government regulation of marriage, opposed to deregulating marriage, is a sign that he might add to their size and power to stay in office… if he should even get voted into it.

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