LNC Chair candidates debate at LP Indiana convention

On Saturday, April 24, the Indiana Libertarian Party convention held a debate among Ernest Hancock, John Myers, James Oaksun (standing in for George Phillies), and Wayne Root.  As with the debate earlier that day in Kansas, the Hancock campaign has posted videos of the entire debate.

The most direct disagreement in the debate came when Myers said in his opening statement that one reason he’s running is that Hancock “doesn’t believe we need to be a party, doesn’t believe we need to vote.”  Hancock responded that “voting will not make you free”, and said he votes by running for office, and “averages 8% in statewide races”.  (The Hancock election results that IPR has found so far are: 2006 Sec State 3.5%, 2004 Senate 2.6%, 2000 Congress 3%, 1998 Congress 2%, 1996 state rep 4.7%.)

Part 1

  • Root: I’m an evangelist for personal and economic freedom who will expand our base.
  • Oaksun: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.  New Path offers a new plan.
  • Myers: Candidates’ boot camp and web site template. Ernie “doesn’t believe we need to be a party, doesn’t believe we need to vote.”

Part 2

  • Hancock: knows there was Arizona election fraud, because there was no manual validation. Voting will not make you free. “I average 8% in statewide races.”  LP’s problem is “us not telling the Truth”.
  • Hancock: the purpose of government is to defend individual rights.  I’m hardcore no-compromise. When the government is not defending individual rights, it’s your right/duty to alter or abolish. We challenge the cult of the omnipotent state.
  • Myers: the purpose of government is protect life, liberty, and property.  Got into politics to stop the mayor from having the government build a hotel.
  • Oaksun: the purpose of government is to ensure that people keep their hands to themselves and mind their own business. To protect our borders, defend against invasion, enforce contracts.
  • Root: Nevada is most libertarian state: no income taxes, no business taxes, no capital gains taxes, no death taxes, 16th lowest property taxes in America, welcomes guns.

Part 3

  • Root: the key to fundraising is relentlessness. I’m a born salesman who can get people to write checks. Use web site for social networking and videos.
  • Oaksun: we’re spending 40% on overhead, 30% on fundraising, 20% on talking to ourselves, and only 10% on politics. Our stretch goal is 1 million dues-payers by 2016.
  • Myers: we should appeal to both the Left and the Right.  Don’t just target the Right. Wayne could make videos for us today.
  • Hancock: 2004 Badnarik campaign missed the Spaceship One opportunity because it wasn’t considered a fundraising opportunity. “Campaigns will spend tens of millions to give the impression they have a grassroots movement. I do it like that. [snaps fingers] Ever hear of that r3volution thing?”
  • Hancock: the LP is afraid to stand on principle. We need to exhibit courage, or we won’t be supported.

Part 4

  • Myers: The war should be our #1 issue. “1/3 of our budget goes to our foreign policy and these wars.”
  • Oaksun: “Campaign For Liberty, the Ron Paul campaigns — where is the LP, the party that should be at the forefront of this? Nowhere. Ask yourself why.”  Question $141K/yr on office space. Be proud of a pretty undiluted libertarian message.  There are 25M-50M libertarians in America.
  • Root: We should market to Tea Party supporters. We need to target women, mothers, grandmothers, families, become family-friendly. States rights, to bring the power closer to the people.
  • Myers: Ernie just wants to be an activist, but I want to elect people to office to shrink the size of government. I don’t get paid for my libertarian activism. Grass roots will provide ballot access.
  • Oaksun: Our goal is to elect public officials. The 49th/5oth state of ballot access might be too expensive.

Part 5

  • Root: Earned media is the key to winning elections.  I will find a way for us to be active in all 50 states.
  • Hancock: The Party was never set up to elect Libertarians. That language wasn’t added until I think 2002. You won’t elect Libertarians until you have a libertarian culture. If you demonstrate fear, you’re not going to have a libertarian culture. Ballot access is a side-effect of activism.
  • Oaksun: Our New Path marketing plan targets two archetypal customers, Mike and Sara. We’re not getting our money’s worth from the LP’s web site.
  • Myers: Our principles are cool, not scary. The coolest part of the LP is Austrian economics.

Part 6

  • Hancock: We distributed 7000 Obama Deception DVDs at the Searchlight Tea Party alone. We infect viewers’ minds. They watch these, they’re messed up for the rest of their lives. When elected Chair, I will flood D.C. with signs: “Where is the love? LP.org”.  It’s OK to put a banner up on chain link without getting a permit from The Man to give the finger to The Man.
  • Root: In 25 years, I’ll still be younger than Ron Paul is today. Appeal to the youth with energy and humor.  The big issue is the war between government employee unions and the private sector — the graft, the corruption, the pensions.
  • Myers: Goal is to have a county Chair in every county in the U.S.   We should have free candidate web site templates now.

Part 7

  • Hancock: I want a worldwide lovelution.  St. Louis is going to be a defining moment.
  • Root: Polls show this moment is unique in modern political history. Trust in government is at an all-time low.  At the recent D.C. Tea Party, a poll of attendees showed LP is their preferred party.  Independents define themselves 3-1 as “conservative”, but Independents poll as more socially moderate than in any time in modern history.
  • Oaksun: Build a rainy-day reserve fund. Conventions should be fully funded.  Goals is to double members and revenue every year until 2016.

110 thoughts on “LNC Chair candidates debate at LP Indiana convention

  1. Brian Holtz

    Oaksun says: “Campaign For Liberty, the Ron Paul campaigns — where is the LP, the party that should be at the forefront of this? Nowhere. Ask yourself why.” Well, one reason might be that George Phillies called Ron Paul a “homophobic bigot”, and said that the LNC majority who invited Paul to seek the LP nomination “should be expelled from the LNC”. I hate to keep bringing this up, because I like George’s centrist libertarianism and most of his ideas for the LP, but I’ll keep mentioning as long as New Path keeps complaining about alleged “purges and witch hunts”.

    Myers says “1/3 of our budget goes to our foreign policy and these wars”. Go to Table 461 (Federal Outlays by Detailed Function) of the Statistical Abstract. Add up national defense, international affairs, atomic energy, space activities, and veterans spending for 2009. It comes to only 21% of federal outlays, not 33% — and less than the percentage when I made this graphic c. 2007:

  2. John Jay Myers

    What I am referring to is, DOD 782 billion, (2009 mind you)
    Also, keep in mind my numbers come from the budget itself.
    With discretionary, and foreign policy, which as Ron Paul will state on the house floor, or any show you care to put him on, adds up to over $1 trillion a year.
    So being that our budget (2009) was 3.5 tillion and we spend over a trillion on those things, I am going to stand behind my rough estimate of about 1/3 of our spending is on these things.

    Now of course it may be more like 28% or 30% but roughly 1/3. Which may be a huge round up, but I think in the way I say it, it makes sense and isn’t far from whatever the exact number is.

    The reason I make these points is that when Clinton was in office DOD was around 250 Billion, so it is easy to see where the defecits came from ….correct?

    I guess knit pick this but… what did I expect?

  3. Robert Capozzi

    I guess we could take the fact that we’ve got 5 substantial dudes angling for Chair as a sign of the LP’s health and prospects.

  4. Nicholas Sarwark

    Holtz is not endorsing anyone for Chair. Keep that in mind as you read criticism of Phillies, Myers, and Hancock from Holtz. Definitely not endorsing anyone for Chair.

  5. clay

    why are debates like this always so poorly organized. No water? No instruction regarding siting or standing? No explanation of the cue cards? Why give them this stuff to worry about? It’s all I could think of for the first ten minutes.

  6. John Jay Myers

    The closing remarks were classic, it is to bad they are not on there.

    Our choices are not far right Root or far out Hancock…. there are other choices, and if the LP doesn’t choose Hancock it is not the end of us. Hopefully he will understand that… but I worry.

    It is not the defining moment…. I would say it would show that the LP doesn’t want to make 9/11 truth…. one of our defining issues.

    Shrinking the size of government is already one of our defining issues so whether you believe any of that or not with a smaller, constitutionally (at least) restricted government you wont have to worry about something like that occuring.

    I only hope that Ernie will find his place in helping grow he LP no matter how this election goes down.

    Of course I wont hold him to it if Wayne is elected.

    I can’t see the Ernie side working with the Wayne side, but I could see myself (or Phillies) working with either side.

    The defining moment if Ernie is not elected will actually be that the Libertarians want to function as a party…. the line in the sand needs to be that we wont do that at the cost of losing our principles.

  7. Brian Holtz

    Nick, I’d endorse you in a heartbeat for Chair, and you’re still my favorite for the first Libertarian President. And if there’s a Draft Chuck Moulton For Chair movement, sign me up.

    I endorse

    • Hancock’s focus on empowering and highlighting grassroots/netroots activism
    • Root’s energy and focus on broadening the base
    • Hinkle’s vision of the LP as a big-tent service organization for our activists
    • Phillies’ data-driven questioning of our expense structure, and his focus on outreach and support for it
    • Myers’ criticism of Hancock on voting and 9/11, and of Root for rightward-tilted outreach

    I un-dorse

    • Hancock’s positions on voting, LPUS existence/purpose, telling The Truth about conspiracies, predicting violent revolution, endorsing right-wing theocrats as “hardcore libertarians” — and some other stuff that I haven’t even written about yet
    • Root’s Ron-Paul-like rhetoric that libertarianism should rescue conservativism instead of replace it
    • Hinkle’s signing of the Restore04 petition way back before the Platform wars were ended in Denver
    • Phillies’ habit of demonizing anyone who doesn’t agree with his strategies for the LP
    • Myers’ math skills 🙂

    John, please check the link I gave @1. All the spending you’re talking about adds up to $841B in 2009, compared to total outlays of $3998B. And 841/3999 = 21%, even if you use Ron Paul’s calculator. 🙂 And if you want to know what’s bankrupting the U.S. government, see http://libertarianmajority.net/debt.

  8. James Oaksun

    While grateful that Ernie got the event largely recorded, I was bummed as well about missing my close. I will re-create it on YouTube in the near future.

  9. Robert Milnes

    The LP is not capitalizing on the Ron Paul movement because it is a counterrevolutionary movement & will self regulate AWAY from the LP. The LP tried & failed to get Ron Paul & what tuned out to be C4L under their Big Tent. Not gonna happen Thank God.
    Prof. Phillies is RIGHT ON in his evaluation and criticism of Ron Paul. Maybe even too light.

  10. Robert Milnes

    Brain on Hold, UnRadical Root Rooter, 9 was largely directed at your 1.
    Root rails against the radicals and anarchists. I never said he was stupid. He knows his opposition. & The Radicals & George are just about his only opposition. So get with it & ratchet up the opposition rads & TAKEOVER.

  11. Robert Milnes

    The rightists want you to rollover for them & not complain when they stick it in with no lube. Then they under the table hand over your treasury & votes to rightists & GOP.
    Never Again Ron Paul counterrevolution.

  12. John Jay Myers

    Brian my data comes from the OMB, it is also was in regards to our “budgeted” From White House. gov
    So “outlays” is not part of the budget, so if you want to get specific (which I wasn’t) it is 3.5 trillion not 3.999 trillion.

    We apparently have a different definition of the United States Budget, mine clearly defined would be “The 2009 Federal Budget”, as printed and released by the White House.

    I have to admit that my “over a trillion” number comes from Ron Paul, but I assume he knows more than I. And we both know it is darn close.

    So if you got me by 5 to 10% sorry,…. wasn’t it your guy Root who said our national debt was 105 Trillion dollars?
    ; 0

  13. Brian Holtz

    The OMB numbers for 2009 are $782B out of $3518B, which is 22%.

    “Outlays” just means spending. Libertarians should count on-budget spending as well as off-budget spending.

    All Libertarians are “my guys”, and I want them all to be armed with facts. 21%-22% is closer to one fifth than to one third. Root lately is saying “unfunded liabilities”, and I’m glad to see him learn when he makes what could arguably be considered a mistake.

  14. Chuck Moulton

    Brian Holtz wrote (@7):

    Nick, I’d endorse you in a heartbeat for Chair, and you’re still my favorite for the first Libertarian President. And if there’s a Draft Chuck Moulton For Chair movement, sign me up.

    I endorse […]

    I un-dorse […]

    I’m flattered. I won’t be running for LNC this year. I will be running for LNC in 2012. I’ll probably be running for Chair sometime in the future, but unlikely 2012.

    I agree that Nick Sarwark would make an excellent LNC member and an excellent candidate for public office. Right now though he seems to have his hands full defending people’s liberties by keeping them out of jail as a public defender.

    I completely agree with your endorse / un-dorse points.

    It’s a shame the focus is on negativity in the LNC Chair campaign. I have a lot of positive things to say about all the candidates. Balancing out constructive criticism with well deserved compliments keeps activists from getting either discouraged or full of themselves.

    I was thinking about this very issue last night as I read the Root exchanges on David Nolan’s Facebook wall. Root seems to be getting far more vicious negative feedback than encouraging positive feedback. I don’t support Root for Chair; however, I do respect Root greatly and think in the right role he is a huge asset to the Libertarian Party and the libertarian movement. I composed a post for Root’s Facebook wall paying him a bunch of compliments… unfortunately I wasn’t able to post it (maybe due to length?).

  15. John Jay Myers

    Aha, but my statement was Foreign Policy plus DOD, which should include Dept of Energy expenses in regards to Nuclear Weapons and investments. We should also take into account spending on our veterans which is not in DOD.

    So I am going to stick with my around $1 trillion which makes it “about” 1/3 of our spending.

    But you know what? That is not the point, if you go up to the average person and say “what is breaking this country?”

    … it’s pretty easy to break out the OFFICIAL budget and show them difference between Clinton and Bush, and using the most basic of math skills, (which I am sure I at least possess the most basic of those), you can point out the difference between defecit spending and non-defecit spending.

    Using the difference between the Clinton spending and the Bush spending you can actually watch the National Debt magically grow from $5 trillion to $10 trillion dollars (doubling).
    You can almost fill in the difference with DOD spending alone… it’s amazing.

    All of this while only bringing to their attention the official Budget.

    So when you compile all this information, you can easily see that our national debt is growing dramatically because of one GIGANTIC gorilla in the room with a Tee Shirt on that says WAR.

    I can think of no simpler way to explain it, or even an easier way to win people over to the Non-interventionist Libertarian side.

    I think you and I should sit down with the official budget, and look at what comes in and what goes out.
    We bring in money from medicare, medicade social security etc… yes it’s a ponzi scheme that needs to end… but this year… it is funded.

    You know what’s not funded? WAR.
    You know what we need to stop funding? (you guessed it) War.

  16. Jeremy Young

    I am loving the coverage of the LNC Chair’s race. However, I’d like to see more coverage of the other contested races for the LP. In particular, James Oaksun vs. Aaron Starr is probably the second-most important race on the docket. After that would be Carolyn Marbry vs. Mark Rutherford, also very important.

    Can we send questionnaires to these candidates, and also Rob Power and Bob Sullentrup?

  17. James Oaksun

    #19 Jeremy

    When I declared my candidacy in late January I published a lengthy (13 pages, 21 questions) document and challenged all the committee candidates to answer the questions therein. To date, none has.

    My responses are and have been available at
    http://bit.ly/oaksun-qanda

    After my appearance in Indiana on 4/24, discussed in this post, I was inspired to make a more specific challenge to all the non-chair candidates. I issued this challenge on my blog on 4/25, with 10 reasonable, non-gotcha, non-curveball questions. I invited responses. To date, none have been received.

    Tomorrow I will begin posting my responses to those questions (probably in 2 segments). You may read the blog entry and review the questions at
    http://jamesoaksun.com/blog/?p=89

    To date I have posted 26 specific blog entries regarding matters incident to the party and the campaign. In addition, my website http://www.JamesOaksun.com contains links to roughly 25 items I have produced or contributed to in the last several months.

    In addition I was a significant contributor to the NewPathForTheLP.org operating and business plan.

  18. Brian Holtz

    Aha, but my statement was Foreign Policy plus DOD, which should include Dept of Energy expenses in regards to Nuclear Weapons and investments. We should also take into account spending on our veterans which is not in DOD.

    John, I repeat what I wrote @1: Go to Table 461 (Federal Outlays by Detailed Function) of the Statistical Abstract. Add up national defense, international affairs, atomic energy, space activities, and veterans spending for 2009. It comes to only 21% of federal outlays.

    So I am going to stick with my around $1 trillion which makes it “about” 1/3 of our spending.

    It’s around $840B out of $4T, which is about 1/5 of all federal spending. Sorry.

    you can easily see that our national debt is growing dramatically because of one GIGANTIC gorilla in the room with a Tee Shirt on that says WAR

    If you want to insist that 21% of federal spending is causing 100% of federal deficits, then that’s your call. But if you want to deal with actual facts, then these pictures say it all:

  19. Jeremy Young

    James, your entire slate has been very forthcoming on asking and answering questions and providing information. So have Root and John Jay Myers. It’s the others I really want to hear from.

    Actually, the people I’d most like to hear from that we haven’t already heard from are Mark Rutherford and Aaron Starr. Rutherford is of particular importance because Root has said Rutherford is going to run the LNC if the two of them are elected. So in my view Rutherford should be treated as an LNC chair candidate. What does Rutherford plan to do to rein in the factionalism on the LNC? What is his plan to provide infrastructure for building the LP at the state level (since Root’s been clear he’ll be focusing on the media relations part of the job)? How does he plan to return the party to fifty-state ballot access?

    Starr is an odder case because he’s been on the LNC for years, so people should know what he stands for. But I’d like to know, from Starr’s perspective, what distinguishes him from James Oaksun. Opponents of Starr see him as some sort of Prince of Darkness who wants to use the LNC to enlarge his personal power (I may even have said something to that effect from time to time). I don’t expect Starr to address those charges directly — it wouldn’t fit with the kind of above-the-fray candidacy he’s trying to run — but I would like to hear him say why he’s a better treasurer than Oaksun would be. Starr can legitimately claim to be a good and experienced financil officer, but Oaksun has made a similarly convincing claim over the past several months. So what does Starr bring to the table that differentiates him from Oaksun?

  20. John Jay Myers

    The federal budget for 2009 was 3.5 trillion.

    I will bet you $100… (or since I am rounding… lets say, the bet is my 3.5 is closer than your 4 trillion).

    Take the bet?

    You definitely miss the point… see the point in my previous post.

    I am hoping that though you are argueing the smallest details of this …. the actual point is not lost on you.
    Simply put, the difference between non-defecit spending and deficit spending is the war and DOD.

  21. Jose C

    Well, one reason might be that George Phillies called Ron Paul a “homophobic bigot”, and said that the LNC majority who invited Paul to seek the LP nomination “should be expelled from the LNC”.

    The reason George Phillies and some of us were upset is because there were some in the National Committee who were publicly supporting and urging other Libertarians to support Ron Paul, a candidate of another political party. I was in a college style debate and I argued this is wrong, wrong, wrong! I drew parallels to the Populist Party of the early 1900s. I mentioned the Populist Party was very successful. They elected candidates to Congress and state assembly of many states. There were mayors and other city councilmen who were populists. The demise of the Populist Party occurred when they started endorsing Democrats.

  22. John Jay Myers

    As to your chart… let’s think it through:

    SS; Medicare and medicade spending are going up …dramatically… but, they still have money coming in, and if you were to pull up the ACTUAL budget, you would see that during 2009 they are funded by money coming in (money directly allocated to those programs). Regardless of their increase in size.

    Now… War may have gone down as a percentage of GDP but it has certainly gone up over all, when it comes to be an unfunded liability.

    So yes, I will state clearly that the unfunded liability of our DOD and foreign policy is what is increasing our National Debt.

  23. Brian Holtz

    I’ll bet you $10,000 that total federal spending in 2009 was closer to my $4T figure than to your $3.5T figure.

    And I’ll also bet you that LP delegates think federal spending is just as objectionable — if not more so — when it’s “off-budget”.

    If you don’t know about how Social Security was “off-budget” before 1968, “on-budget” until 1993, and “off-budget” afterwards, then please read http://www.ssa.gov/history/BudgetTreatment.html.

    I want the next LNC Chair to be somebody who counts federal spending as federal spending, even when it’s “off-budget”. And who doesn’t consider half a trillion dollars of taxpayer money to be “the smallest details”.

    Simply put: all national-security-related spending is 21% of all federal spending. Period.

  24. Brian Holtz

    Sure, if you take mine.

    The bottom line here is that you can define military-related spending as any fraction of federal spending you want if you give yourself permission to ignore whatever amount of non-war spending you want.

    Just like you can arbitrarily say that your least-favorite 21% of all federal spending causes 100% of all federal deficits.

    There may be American voters you can fool that way, but I bet there won’t be many delegates in St. Louis who would fall for it.

  25. paulie

    I’ve posted this link before. ..

    http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=5827

    And for those who don’t follow links (with apologies to those who do) it says:


    Defense Spending Is Much Greater than You Think

    By Robert Higgs

    When President Obama presented his budget recently for fiscal year 2011, he proposed that the Pentagon’s outlays be increased by about 4.5 percent beyond its estimated outlays in fiscal 2010, to a total of almost $719 billion. Although many Americans regard this enormous sum as excessive, few appreciate that the total amount of all defense-related spending greatly exceeds the amount budgeted for the Department of Defense.

    In fiscal year 2009, which ended last September, the Pentagon spent $636.5 billion. Lodged elsewhere in the budget, however, other lines identify funding that serves defense purposes just as surely as—sometimes even more surely than—the money allocated to the Department of Defense. On occasion, commentators take note of some of these additional defense-related budget items, such as the Department of Energy’s nuclear-weapons program, but many such items, including some extremely large ones, remain generally unrecognized.

    Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, many observers probably would agree that its budget ought to be included in any complete accounting of defense costs. After all, the homeland is what most of us want the government to defend in the first place.

    Other agencies also spend money in pursuit of homeland security. The Justice Department, for example, includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which devotes substantial resources to an anti-terrorist program. The Department of the Treasury claims to have “worked closely with the Departments of State and Justice and the intelligence community to disrupt targets related to al Qaeda, Hizballah, Jemaah Islamiyah, as well as to disrupt state sponsorship of terror.”

    Much, if not all, of the budget for the Department of State and for international assistance programs ought to be classified as defense-related, too. In this case, the money serves to buy off potential enemies and to reward friendly governments who assist U.S. efforts to abate perceived threats. About $5 billion of annual U.S. foreign aid currently takes the form of “foreign military financing,” and even funds placed under the rubric of economic development may serve defense-related purposes indirectly. Money is fungible, and the receipt of foreign assistance for economic-development projects allows allied governments to divert other funds to police, intelligence, and military purposes.

    Two big budget items represent the current cost of defense goods and services obtained in the past. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is authorized to spend about $124 billion in the current fiscal year, falls in this category. Likewise, a great deal of the government’s interest expense on publicly held debt represents the current cost of defense outlays financed in the past by borrowing from the public.

    To estimate the size of the entire de facto defense budget, I gathered data for fiscal 2009, the most recently completed fiscal year, for which data on actual outlays are now available. In that year, the Department of Defense itself spent $636.5 billion. Defense-related parts of the Department of Energy budget added $16.7 billion. The Department of Homeland Security spent $51.7 billion. The Department of State and international assistance programs laid out $36.3 billion for activities arguably related to defense purposes either directly or indirectly. The Department of Veterans Affairs had outlays of $95.5 billion. The Department of the Treasury, which funds the lion’s share of military retirement costs through its support of the little-known Military Retirement Fund, added $54.9 billion. A large part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s outlays ought to be regarded as defense-related, if only indirectly so. When all of these other parts of the budget are added to the budget for the Pentagon itself, they increase the fiscal 2009 total by nearly half again, to $901.5 billion.

    Finding out how much of the government’s net interest payments on the publicly held national debt ought to be attributed to past debt-funded defense spending requires a considerable amount of calculation. I added up all past deficits (minus surpluses) since 1916 (when the debt was nearly zero), prorated according to each year’s ratio of narrowly defined national security spending—military, veterans, and international affairs—to total federal spending, expressing everything in dollars of constant purchasing power. This sum is equal to 67.6 percent of the value of the national debt held by the public at the end of 2009. Therefore, I attribute that same percentage of the government’s net interest outlays in that year to past debt-financed defense spending. The total amount so attributed comes to $126.3 billion.

    Adding this interest component to the previous all-agency total, the grand total comes to $1,027.8 billion, which is 61.5 percent greater than the Pentagon’s outlays alone.

    In similar analyses I conducted previously for fiscal 2002 and for fiscal 2006, total defense-related spending was even greater relative to Pentagon spending alone – it was 73 percent greater in fiscal 2002 and 87 percent greater in fiscal 2006. In fiscal 2009, the ratio was held down in large part by the reduced cost of servicing the government’s debt, owing to the extremely low interest rates that prevailed on government securities. This situation cannot last much longer. As interest rates on the Treasury’s securities rise, so will the government’s cost of servicing the debt attributable to past debt-financed defense outlays.

    For fiscal 2010, which is still in progress, the president’s budget estimates that the Pentagon’s spending will run more than $50 billion above the previous year’s total. Any supplemental appropriations made before September 30 will push the total for fiscal 2010 even farther above the trillion-dollar mark.

    Although I have arrived at my conclusions honestly and carefully, I may have left out items that should have been included—the federal budget is a gargantuan, complex, and confusing collection of documents. If I have done so, however, the left-out items are not likely to be relatively large ones. (I have deliberately ignored some minor items, such as outlays for the Selective Service System, the National Defense Stockpile, and the anti-terrorist activities conducted by the FBI and the Treasury.

    For now, however, the conclusion seems inescapable: the government is currently spending at a rate well in excess of $1 trillion per year for all defense-related purposes. Owing to the financial debacle and the ongoing recession, millions are out of work, millions are losing their homes, and private earnings remain well below their previous peak, but in the military-industrial complex, the gravy train speeds along the track faster and faster.

    National Security Outlays in Fiscal Year 2009
    (billions of dollars)
    Department of Defense 636.5
    Department of Energy (nuclear weapons & environ. cleanup) 16.7
    Department of State (plus intern. assistance) 36.3
    Department of Veterans Affairs 95.5
    Department of Homeland Security 51.7
    Department of the Treasury (for Military Retirement Fund) 54.9
    National Aeronautics & Space Administration (1/2 of total) 9.6
    Net interest attributable to past debt-financed defense outlays 126.3
    Total 1,027.5
    Source: Author’s classifications and calculations; basic data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2011 and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.

  26. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, using Higgs’ numbers to test John’s claim that “the wars” are 1/3 of spending, we deduct spending on past wars — interest, Veterans, and the Military Retirement Fund — then we get $751 out of $3998B, which is 18.8%. I’ll generously round that up to 20%, for the portion of interest and veterans and retirees that is due to earlier parts of the current wars.

    If we add the interest and benefits for past wars — which we will owe no matter what, even if we cancel “the wars” tomorrow, unless Myers wants to repudiate the national debt and cancel all veterans/retirees’ benefits — then we get $1027B out of $3998B, or 25.7%.

  27. John Jay Myers

    I didn’t make points based on your bet, so I am not going to take it. But you can mail my check to 4440 Lawnview Ave Dallas Tx 75227, just make it John Jay Myers for Congress, and we will call it a campaign donation.

    The reason I made this into a bet is simply to get the terminology in simple terms so I don’t have to play… “whack-a-mole debt chart” with you to nail it down.

    I am talking about terms like National Debt (which is not 105 trillion) Federal Budget which for 2009 was 3.518 trillion. And defecit spending under Clinton compared to Bush.

    I would argue that anyone interested in funded vs unfunded could easily see the correlation, betweeen non-defecit and defecit spending in terms of the amount spent on the war.

    I will also agree that though 1 trillion is not 33% of 3.5 trillion. It’s close enough for the analogy I used it in.
    Knit picking the numbers simply avoids the entire point of the analogy.

    In closing, I am sure Paulie, is using information the RP uses when I quote the over $1 trillion spending… sorry that I didn’t back it up, but I figured when a sitting congressman quotes it and goes unquestioned it’s alright to use it.

    I didn’t want to say that, because it makes it as if I am playing whack-a-mole data sets.

    Finally, not trying to make your head explode, I have gotten a feel for what kind of guy you are, so I now realize that saying “about” or “around” are buzz words that make your eyes light up, and neck start to swivel. As you cross check data for the easiest way to say “gotcha”…. I get it.

    Why don’t you do that with Wayne when he claims that 2 months after Barack Obama was elected his friends had to shutter their shops?
    (to which I asked him “why?” he said “because BO is a communist, socialist.” lol.)

    So I will try to be more right on the money when addressing you in the future. You know however, that really nailing down any Federal Government spending to its exact amount, is enough to make anyones head explode.

    Good info Paulie, thanks for posting. Brian will agree somewhere on the lines of 25.7% of all spending is war related. Fine, at this conservative estimate I am 7.6 percent off …. I can live with that.

    Which means for every $1 you give the government one fourth of it goes to War and being the worlds police. That means that the average person works a month each year to pay for their share?
    Coming up with new analogies on the fly…. Brian check my math ; 0

  28. Brian Holtz

    Yes, one fourth of all federal spending is related to past and present defense and wars.

    But if you ended “the wars” — and eliminated all spending for U.S. national security — you would still only eliminate one fifth of all federal spending. (Agreed?)

    Saying that one third of all federal spending is on “the wars” would be misleading. It’s like when Ron Paul talks about how much revenue we would have left without the income tax, without mentioning payroll taxes.

    I’m curious, John, what you would cut that $1T down to? If you completely disarm the U.S. at the federal level, and close all the embassies and border checkpoints, but keep promises to our veterans and military retirees and creditors, then your $1T is only cut to $276B. Would you cancel any of those promises? And besides those obligations for past defense/wars, how much would you spend on current defense? $1B? $100B?

  29. John Jay Myers

    You started this conversation off at 20%, I started off at around 33% if taken absolutely literally.
    We met somewhere in the middle so would both of us “libertarian leaders” be misleading?

    Anyway…. my point is that if you look the budget and knock out SS medicare, medicaid and “mandatory spending”. There are very few things looking at you with “cut me” written across them.

    Now you could say we need to start reducing SS medicare etc… I agree. But again, they are funded, at least they have been of late. (not for long)
    Surely some things in Mandatory… aren’t mandatory.
    But… DOD and Foreign Relations are giant ripe fruit that need to be downsized.

    After all 1/3 of all our….ooops 25% of all our spending (by conservative estimates) is war related.
    Also, if you look over the budgets as I mentioned you will notice the gorilla in the room that is increasing debt…. is war. You would have to be crazy to not see that.

    If you really think that Libertarian Leaders should lead instead of mis-lead (and I agree) you might want to be a little harder on Wayne.

    It would make you seem much less biased.

    For instance:
    “tea party nation the shot heard around the world” A tribute to Scott Brown.
    “friends shuttering their businesses” How a man becoming President ran my friends out of business prior to him passing a bill.
    “105 trillion dollar national debt” One giant leap for…

    I have been kidding about with you on this blog… so I hope that it doesn’t come across like I am angry. If I didn’t have a little fun while I do this, I would go insane.

  30. Brian Holtz

    All of our current “wars” — and all of our current national defense — adds up to barely 20% of federal spending.

    If you don’t want to say how much of the $276B/yr in obligations for past defense/wars you would cut, I can’t make you.

    If you don’t want to say how much America’s current defense should cost each year, I can’t make you.

    But when you say “the wars” cost $1T/yr in the future, you’ll just be lying. You have no excuse now — just like Root has no more excuse for saying “$100T national debt”.

    Yes, current SS and Medicare “are funded”, just like Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme was “funded” until the day he was arrested.

    At http://libertarianmajority.net/debt I document how entitlements are at least two thirds of America’s public debts and unfunded liabilities. If “the wars” are a gorilla, then entitlements are King Kong.

    If Obama passed a war tax to pay for his wars, would you say “oh well, at least the wars are funded”?

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If we add the interest and benefits for past wars — which we will owe no matter what”

    Actually, “we” don’t owe it at all, and never did.

    The fact that a politician enters into a debt doesn’t create an obligation on my part to pay that debt off.

  32. LP pragmatist

    all this talk about LNC chair. What about At-Large candidates for LNC. Who are they?
    Slates? Some strategies going on?

    How big is the LP delegation for St. Louis. How do the states stack up ?

  33. John Jay Myers

    To answer your question, China spends ROUGHLY 100 Billion a year. So I would spend, 100 Billion and $1 dollar, maximum.

    Add in the 276 Billion and you have a total of $376 billion and $1 dollar.
    I wouldn’t be happy about it, but given inflation from what Clinton was spending, I guess that is about the maximum. But alot of what Clinton was spending could go as well.
    So that saves us at least 634 billion a year… it’s nice start.

    We spend way too much money on everything, we need to start shutting some things down now.

    Did you ever answer my question, are you a pro-war/police the world guy?

    @ LPpragmatist I would like to see more about the other candidates as well.
    This is a forum where you can post your own articles, someone should put one together.

    There are some great people running against other great people, it’s sad to have to pick one.
    But we need to start getting the whole scoop on some of these other folks.

    I have one question for them::: Do you believe that we are a party that is going to work to get people elected to office?

    If the answer is no, then I have no further questions.

  34. Eric Dondero

    BREAKING NEWS FROM ABC NEWS…

    NYC Times Square Bomber a “Pakistani”

    Federal authorities are closing in on the man they say is a person of interest in the Times Square car bomb attempt this weekend, who is described as a naturalized American citizen who hails from Pakistan and just returned after spending five months there.

    Police release video of possible suspect seen near site of failed attack.There is growing evidence the bomber did not act alone and had ties to radical elements overseas, with one senior official telling ABC News there are several individuals believed to be connected with the bombing and that at least one of them is a Pakistani-American.

  35. Eric Dondero

    Awww, isn’t this a shame. Score one against the 9/11 Truthers yet again. Turns out it wasn’t a “white male Republican George Bush fan” after all. But rather, the FBI has centered in on a “Pakistani,” as the most likely suspect for the Terror Bombing in Times Square over the weekend.

    How will the Truthers spin this now?

    Maybe Bush directed the Pakistani Terrorist Cell from his Ranch at Crawford?

  36. paulie

    James, your entire slate has been very forthcoming on asking and answering questions and providing information. So have Root and John Jay Myers. It’s the others I really want to hear from.

    Actually, the people I’d most like to hear from that we haven’t already heard from are Mark Rutherford and Aaron Starr.

    Aaron comments at IPR with some regularity, and occassionally answers questions/comments.

    If Mark Rutherford has posted here, it is either very rarely or under a pseudonym. It may be that he has never posted anything here.

    We have published announcements for multiple LNC candidates for various offices and articles they have sent us.

    If anyone has specific sets of questions for any LNC candidates, we’ll do our best to make sure they receive them.

    If we receive any answers, we’ll post them here.

  37. Brian Holtz

    John, my views on foreign policy are described at http://knowinghumans.net/2008/08/vote-smart-cheat-sheet.html.

    I couldn’t agree with anybody who said that a monstrous nanny-state program like Social Security or Medicare should be a lower priority for cutting just because nanny-state politicians specially designate some of the money they steal as “funding” for those programs. I would hope that you are “anti-war” enough that it wouldn’t matter one iota to you whether the wars were “funded” by some special tax that covered their costs.

    If the data graphed @21 doesn’t convince you, then here is some more:

  38. John Jay Myers

    I always say we must phase out SS medicaid and medicare over 20 years…because they are unsustainable…. but it does need to happen over time. I like the idea on your list of possibly transfering the responsibility to the states until it is ended.

    Right now they are covered (self funded). What is not covered and what is doubling our debt is our foreign policy and DOD.
    You can show me a thousand predictions of the future. But maybe looking at the right now might be a more effective use of your time.

    I can point to the nose on your face, and tell you it is your nose. Some people may be to far gone to see this nose object on their face.

    That is our foreign policy and these wars. They are breaking us right now….. not by year 2049.
    It is shocking that someone with your fondness for graphs can’t see this.

    I feel like a broken record telling you to compare non-defecit to defecit spending during Bush and then doing the obvious which is track the doubling of the debt.
    It’s easy to do.
    Now if you want me to blame it on SS etc… fantastic, but unfortunately for your scenario where you say I ignore this other spending… then let me point out the fact that you completely disregard RECEIPTS the fact is they have been self funded the entire time that the debt has been growing.

    I can’t make it any simpler.
    So yes, we all see that SS etc is unsustainable coming down the pipe. But you may want to consider what is unsustainable right now.

  39. Brian Holtz

    John, it’s taken a while, but I now see where we disagree.

    1) You say we’re spending about $634B/yr too much on “foreign policy and these wars”, and that this 16% of federal spending accounts for 100% of the deficit.

    2) You say that Social Security and Medicare are “self-funding”, and so aren’t a priority for spending cuts.

    I can make this simpler for you. In 2009, my wife and I paid a combined $63,868 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. I don’t know which senior citizens got that money, but you can be sure that their benefits weren’t “self-funded”. We’re only going to get back pennies on the dollar for our “contributions” to these programs that you call “self-funded”.

    You say you want the LP to stand up for “principle”. Well, you can start standing up for principle by calling SS/Medicare “theft-funded” instead of “self-funded”. There are already plenty of nanny-state politicians willing to tell voters that entitlements are “self-funded”, and most of those politicians have a “D” after their name. Why do we need Libertarians to parrot their rhetoric? Why shouldn’t your “self-funding” language be classified as “Democrat lite”?

  40. Robert Capozzi

    bh, powerful charts, thanks. I find comparing spending to a %GDP esp. useful.

    While we’ve clearly GOT to find another way on SS/Medicare, I do wonder whether Ls can be effective in differentiating on this issue. As a matter of positioning, I prefer to focus on the excesses of corporate welfare and military spending because they get more directly to the idea that the State takes our money and doles it out to cronies, or just wastes it.

    We can’t be taken seriously if we don’t address SS/Medicare, of course. But the universality of SS benefits troubles me less than the bailouts and military bases across the globe. And some of the financial reg “reforms,” which will likely lead to less robust capital markets.

    As a practical — realpolitick — matter, the supply siders are correct that economic growth solves a lot of fiscal problems. Capital is the lifeblood of growth, so crimping its flow is contra-indicated.

    One of the liberating aspects of NOT being “at the table” is that we are free to make points without having to actually legislate. Paradoxically, Ls love to talk “substance,” when in fact everything we say is rhetoric unless and until we actually elect people. So, calibrating our rhetoric to achieve maximum political attractiveness IS indicated.

    If more and more people start thinking in terms of liberty vs. statism, the more likely that is going to influence those who are AT the table. And if Ls start garnering larger vote percentages, that only serves to amplify the liberty counterweight at the table.

    That is, unless the Alex Jones’s of the world are correct, and that the “One-World Global Government” cabal take is correct. These oligarchs may well be immune to the marketplace of ideas. If Jones is right, pass the opium pipe! Or perhaps let’s find a cave and stock it with freeze-dried food and muskets.

    Suffice it to say that Jones and the conspiracy theorists haven’t persuaded me.

  41. Nate

    Brian, you write:

    “If you completely disarm the U.S. at the federal level, and close all the embassies and border checkpoints, but keep promises to our veterans and military retirees and creditors, then your $1T is only cut to $276B. Would you cancel any of those promises?”

    Why are those “promises” and yet Social Security, etc are “theft-funded”? What is the difference between promises to military retirees and promises to non-military retirees?

    I might be reading too much into what you wrote, so I’ll ask you point blank: Is it somehow ok to steal in order to give to veterans?

    Are the promises our grandparents made to the soldiers back then (when we couldn’t vote) somehow worth more than the promises they made to the civilians?

  42. John Jay Myers

    The problem is Brian, you want to consider one thing wrong and not the other, and though as I keep repeatedly saying “yes ss is a ponzi scheme” you keep avoiding this very simple fact:

    If you ended SS and medicare and medicaid in 2001. Ended means of course you no longer bring in receipts as well.

    Then it would be a wash, meaning it would be $0 going in, $0 going out.

    If that was the case… our defecits would be about the same, our Debt would have doubled, and we would still be on the road to bankruptcy.

    Now considering Clinton didn’t run a defecit …. what added to the debt?

    If I have to make it any simpler I think I will pull my hair out.

    In summary:
    Long term entitlement spending unsustainable ….will break this country eventually.

    Military Spending… unsustainable is breaking this country…. right now.

    Also.. don’t put words in my mouth, I do not claim that military spending makes up 100% of the deficit…. but even someone with such limited math skills (like me) knows that it is a giant chunk of it, and without cutting it… You can’t possibly balance the budget.

  43. Nicholas Sarwark

    I appreciate the vote of confidence from Mssrs. Holtz and Moulton. At this time, I am not seeking any position at the national level other than a return to the Judicial Committee, primarily due to the time commitments of my job that Chuck mentioned above.

  44. John Jay Myers

    Let me add one more thing, from a Libertarian “Party ” perspective, Robert Capozzi has nailed it.

    Most of America knows that entitlement spending is out of control. It has to end. But as a party it will be easy for us to for us to garner support if we focus on military spending and corporate welfare, before cutting off Grannies social security.

    Not because we are ignoring the issue, everyone sees it, but these other two issues can be stopped right now, we can say enough. Where as with the others we just need to phase them out over time.

  45. Brian Holtz

    John, what I still hear you saying is that what’s wrong with these wars is just that they don’t have their own tax.

    Maybe you just don’t care if my wife and I get taxed $63,868/yr so that “grannies” can continue to enjoy their entitlement windfalls. So I’ll try one more time to find your sense of justice, from the other side. The very first SS recipient was Ida May Fuller. She “contributed” $49.50 over three years, and then retired and collected a total of $22,888.92 from SS before she died. Is that your idea of “self-funding”?

    The reason to oppose deficit spending now is that it piles obligations onto our children. Well, what do you think the SS and Medicare ponzi schemes are doing? The unfunded entitlement liabilities are about $43 trillion. Even if you assume that “the wars” are entirely deficit-financed, then their final cost through 2017 is estimated by CBO to total $2.4T. Do the math.

    The Libertarian goal isn’t merely to end deficits. There are already two nanny-state parties who say that the nanny-state should not be deficit-financed. No, the Libertarian goal is to limit government spending to just restitution and protecting individual rights, rather than rent-seeking and policing the world. Is it too much to ask for a Chair principled enough to stand firmly against both rent-seeking and policing the world?

  46. Brian Holtz

    Bob, I don’t like the smear of “Republican lite”, so I’m saddened when a self-proclaimed Austrian Libertarian opens himself up to a charge of “Democrat lite”. But there is a kernel of potentially valid complaint inside such smears, which I will now codify as the Libertarian Twelfth Commandment.

    11th Commandment: When speaking of a fellow self-described lover of liberty, thou shalt ascribe the best possible motives that are consistent with the evidence.

    12th Commandment: In outreach to non-libertarians, thou shalt not say only what could be heard from a Republican, Democrat, Green, or Constitution Partier.

    This commandment encapsulates what I’ve always said about emphasizing our core brand as the only electoral choice that is neither Left nor Right.

    Root violates this on a regular basis, and I’ve repeatedly criticized him for it. Myers violates it when he says “the wars” cause our federal fiscal problems because entitlements are “self-funded”. I want a Chair who doesn’t sound merely like a Reagan Republican or a Kucinich Democrat. I want a Chair who is obsessed with differentiating the Libertarian brand as neither liberal nor conservative. I want a Chair who won’t cater to his inner Republican or inner Democrat, but instead will cater to the 13%-20% of Americans who polls show want both more economic liberty and more personal liberty.

    John says “But as a party it will be easy for us to for us to garner support if we focus on…” John, if you’re ever going to begin a sentence like that, then it’s hypocritical for you to criticize Root for doing the same sort of thing. Both of you need to find your inner Libertarian, and not listen so much to your inner Republican or Democrat. 🙂

  47. Brian Holtz

    Nate, there is an immense moral difference between 1) continuing the windfall of an Ida May Fuller and 2) honoring a contract to compensate somebody for services previously rendered or money previously loaned/contributed. Here again is my proposal for unwinding entitlements:

    Any entitlement that is purportedly financed by past payroll “contributions” should be capped at the lifetime sum of all the beneficiary’s (and their employers’) “contributions” plus real interest plus inflation. For Social Security old-age and survivor benefits this is straightforward to calculate for each participant, and any individual should be allowed to opt out and take any unused accumulated contributions in the form of long-term Treasury bonds. For SS disability insurance and for Medicare the benefits for an age cohort should be capped at the “contributions” of the age cohort plus interest plus inflation. Where individuals or a cohort are currently receiving more than what they’ve contributed, the excess benefits should be means-tested and reduced to zero over N years, and the affected beneficiaries may resort to whatever safety net exists for Americans under 65. I’d set N at about 20.

    The federal government is bankrupt: its promises and liabilities far exceed its assets and its ability to generate revenue. In bankruptcy, you try to be equitable in how you parcel out victimhood. The government’s bankruptcy should not be liquidated on the backs of any special classes of victims: present high-earners, present or future taxpayers generally, present recipients of earned benefits, or present creditors. However, recipients of unearned benefits have no claim to victimhood whatsoever. People who are getting back more than their lifetime contributions are simply recipients of stolen property. Ditto for any veteran or military retiree to the extent that their benefit package was increased near or after the time they reached retirement age.

  48. Robert Capozzi

    bh, my inner L is informed by my green tendencies, and it tells me that SS/Medicare taxes should be replaced with pollution taxes. He also tells me the programs SHOULD be wound down, at which point pollution taxes would replace the income tax, while most of the rest of the FedGov would be wound down.

    Broad strokes.

    Of course, politics is played cycle by cycle, so I might change my mind, depending on how things flow in the future. Still, a green tax shift while cutting spending in both the short and long term is a potentially highly popular stance. Someone could even get ELECTED on such a stance.

  49. John Jay Myers

    Brian…
    google john jay myers and War

    You are putting up chart after chart for fiscal discussion and then diss me for not talking about how terribly wrong it is for us to be involved in these wars.
    Read my home page… the first topic is the war. I make it pretty clear.
    It seems like your goal is to just try to attack me. To try to find one nuanced line so you can say “gotcha”…. stop doing that, it’s annoying and makes you seem petty.

    Wayne shouldn’t say “we need to appeal to Christian women” because there is no Libertarian ideal in that….that is just pandering against our principles.

    Where appealing to people who dont’ want to interfere in other countries or people who want to end corporatism makes perfect sense with the Libertarian philosophy. ; 0

    We all get your points about SS it’s like preaching to the choir, but what do you want us as a party to do right now?

    The biggest problem we face is trying to figure out how to get from where we are right now…. to where someone like Mary Ruwart wants us to be.

    There has to be a bridge. So if you don’t have a plan step out of the way.

    Also, if you and your wife did pay $63,868 into SS, please make that check out to John Jay Myers for Congress, for the maximum donation limit which is $2400. ; )

  50. paulie

    Brian, re: 43

    1) I agree with you that entitlements are a very serious problem as their growth becomes unmanageable, particularly as baby boomers retire

    2) I’m not sure I understand your second graphic. How or why does it project spending to go down between now and 2022 before picking back up?

    3) The third graphic is not displaying here. Tried reloading a couple of times.

  51. Robert Capozzi

    bh, I suspect you agree that the R (or D) lite charge is a canard. People tend to assess things they like — inc. candidates and parties — by the entire package, not one issue. (Yes, there are some single-issue voters, but they are fairly rare.)

    Ls sometimes sound conservative and sometimes sound liberal. Personally, I don’t think an L candidate has to always sound like an EXTREME conservative or liberal on every single issue, as our abolitionist brothers and sisters seem to.

    If we do, I’m still waiting for why positioning ourselves WAY outside the mainstream is imperative.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    pc, note that the vertical axis is as a percentage of GDP. During this recession, spending has spiked AND GDP actually decline. Those charts assume GDP growth resumes (as it has been) and stimulus is a one-off.

  53. Brian Holtz

    John, why are you allowed to criticize Root for sounding “Republican lite”, but I can’t criticize you for sounding “Democrat lite”? You’re the Chair candidate who says you specifically got into the race to dish out criticism like this to Root.

    diss me for not talking about how terribly wrong it is for us to be involved in these wars.

    You must have misread something, or I mistyped something, because my whole point here is that your antiwar rhetoric 1) says “one third of spending” when you admit you really mean 15% and 2) isn’t anything I couldn’t hear from a Kucinich Democrat.

    Again: In outreach to non-libertarians, thou shalt not say only what could be heard from a Republican, Democrat, Green, or Constitution Partier.

    Are you saying that libertarian principles can’t appeal to Christian women? I have no problem with Root targeting conservatives for outreach, or you targeting antiwar types for outreach. My problem is when either of you give them only a message that they can already hear from the D/R/G/CP.

  54. John Jay Myers

    Brian, it’s like whack a mole with you.
    Let me end this:
    There is something inherently libertarian about ending the wars, and ending corporatism and ending entitlements. As a matter of fact, some people who want to end these things may be Christian women.

    What is inherently libertarian about Christian Women?

  55. Brian Holtz

    John, what Root said in this debate is that when he speaks through the media, he presents libertarianism in a way designed to not scare off someone like his wife — a Christian woman. How is that “just pandering against our principles”? And aren’t you guilty of the crime you’re charging Root with, when you say “But as a party it will be easy for us to for us to garner support if we focus on…”? When you say that entitlements are “self-funded” and “a wash” and we should defer talk of “cutting off granny’s Social Security”, how is that not “just pandering against our principles”?

    My wife and I would love to send the maximum $2400 donation to your congressional campaign, but darn the luck, the $2400 we had earmarked for you was part of the $63,868 that the government took from us last year as part of the entitlement programs that you call “self-funded”. So when we get all of that $63,868 back, the last $2400 will go to you. Since you say that entitlement programs are “a wash” right now, I’m sure that our $63,868 will be returned into our mailbox sometime this fiscal year.

    You can whack all the moles you want; I stand by every statement I’ve made here. Any time you say “33% of our budget goes to our foreign policy and these wars”, I will point out that you really meant “We should cut the 15% of federal spending that goes to our foreign policy and these wars”.

  56. John Jay Myers

    There is something inherently libertarian about ending the wars, and ending corporatism and ending entitlements. As a matter of fact, some people who want to end these things may be Christian women.

    What is inherently libertarian about Christian Women?

  57. Brian Holtz

    Nobody here has said there is anything “inherently libertarian about Christian women”. All that Root said about Christian women is that it’s better to present libertarianism in a way that doesn’t scare them, compared to scaring them.

    My two cents on Christian women is: 13%-20% probably lean libertarian, the rest don’t. If I could get half of the libertarian-leaners to vote Libertarian, I would be ecstatic — even if I somehow scared the rest.

    Now, is there something inherently libertarian about deferring cuts in a government program just because it’s funded with its own special tax? Is there something inherently libertarian about calling entitlements “self-funded” because men with guns are able to fund it by taking $63,868/yr from people like my wife and me?

  58. John Jay Myers

    Okay to the point… that’s not what Wayne was saying, or has been saying.
    He is saying that is our target audience. I don’t think it is. I think our target audience is the 80% of people that think our government is horrible.

    By adding religion into the mix, you do what so many others do… divide. We can not afford to divide not by religion and not by left/right.

    Now… as to this whole War thing and its cost… a bunch of posts up I think I mentioned to you that if we remove Ss, medicare and medicaid from the equation, we would still have doubled our debt under Bush.

    I think I will just rest on that. Maybe one day you will get it.

    Of course you will change the topic, or try to pull up a chart that tells me how bad things will be one day… but that wont change the fact that our national debt doubled under George Bush.
    With or without your entitlement spending.

    And that’s called DOD Foreign policy and other war related spending.

    Thank you …. good night! (done in a 80’s rock voice)

  59. Brian Holtz

    BH: All that Root said about Christian women is that it’s better to present libertarianism in a way that doesn’t scare them, compared to scaring them.

    JM: that’s not what Wayne was saying

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. Here are Root’s exact words: “I try to aim everything I do, when I go on Fox TV or Larry King on CNN, at that woman, my wife that I love, who raises those four children. We need to go after women. We need to go after mothers. We need to go after grandmothers. And we need to go after families. And we need to become a family-friendly party. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, I dare say it: we have got to go after Christians in a nation that is majority Christian. We scare people. We frighten my wife.”

    Now, you can either explain how that is ““just pandering against our principles”, or you can’t. I’m guessing: can’t.

    Yes, I’ve heard you repeat over and over about how entitlements have special taxes set up for them by the nanny-state politicians, and that this magically means they don’t contribute to the deficit. Well, I’m glad to hear that my family’s $63,868/yr is making entitlements “self-funding”, so that you can rationalize the way you blame the 100% increase in the federal debt on the 15% of federal spending that you want to eliminate.

    I’ve asked you repeatedly if “the wars” would be OK with you if they were funded with their own tax. Maybe we could bill the households like the Myers $63K/yr for the wars, and poof, the wars wouldn’t be adding to the national debt.

    If you want to talk about Bush adding to the liabilities of future generations, don’t talk only about the $1T that CBO says has been spent so far on Bush’s wars. Talk also about the $15.6T in unfunded liabilities that Bush created via Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefits).

    Whether you’re talking about debt or unfunded liabilities, each dollar of them will have to be paid for with new taxes on my kids. If you think unfunded liabilities won’t have to be paid for with real money, than can my kids send their share of the bill to your kids?

  60. John Jay Myers

    Wayne is saying that we need to appeal to the same people that the GOP appeals to most. By what manner do you believe he intends to appeal to these people?

    That is the problem. Now you can read it a hundred ways, but we know what he is saying. He wants us to be the Tea Party. I want us to be the Libertarian Party… (it’s kind of why I joined).

    In regards to entitlements I keep saying you are basically right, except my plan is to end them over time… what is yours?

    There is a difference between debt and unfunded liabilities, see the paragraph above, I still haven’t come up with a way to phase out our Debt. (now that would be a trick)

    My wife and I haven’t paid Social Security in years, so you can handle your own problems. Start with a good accountant.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Wayne is saying that we need to appeal to the same people that the GOP appeals to most.”

    And a new Pew poll says he has that bass-ackwards. Democrats and Independents are more likely to view libertarianism positively than Republicans are.

  62. Brian Holtz

    Myers to Americans who don’t like financing wars: your concern should be the LP’s top priority.

    Myers to Americans who don’t like financing benefit programs for seniors: “you can handle your own problems”; those programs are “a wash”.

    Do you see how easy it is to complain that a Chair candidate isn’t balanced in his outreach? Heck, I can even do it by quoting you.

    It’s no big mystery how Root plans to appeal to people. He’s been under continuous scrutiny by LP insiders for nearly three years. We have watched him speak, examined his book, read his blog and press releases, and listened to many of the hundreds of hours of his media appearances.

    If you have a problem with his outreach, why not just quote the statements of his that concern you? When Root’s detractors criticize him and characterize his views without quoting him, it’s a sure sign they’re overstating their case. I just want to know: who snuck in and broke the quotes key off the keyboards of all these Root critics?

    You, on the other hand, seem to be an unknown quantity outside Texas. I’ve paid close attention to the LPUS/LNC for years, but I never heard of you before the Austin Chairs conference. I’ve now seen maybe 30 minutes of you speaking, and I worry that your outreach would be as unbalanced as people claim Root’s is. In describing what you say should be the LP’s top issue, you say “33%” when referring to what turns out to be the 15% of federal spending that you would cut. And when pressed on the topic, you excuse entitlements from America’s fiscal crisis because entitlements have their own special taxes.

    FDR saw you coming. Before you were ever born, he talked about you. He bragged about how the payroll taxes in his ponzi scheme create a “political right to collect their pension benefits. With those taxes in there, no politician can ever scrap my social security program.”

    Seventy years later, John Jay Myers is saying that because of FDR’s payroll taxes, cutting entitlement giveaways is not a priority. Sigh.

    @53 I gave my plan for unwinding entitlements. I have a simple question for you. If a SS retirement beneficiary has already gotten back all their lifetime contributions plus inflation and real interest, and would be above the poverty line if left to rely on the income of themselves and/or their non-poor children, then is there any excuse for not ending their benefits tomorrow?

  63. John Jay Myers

    Brian thank you for the time and energy in this debate, I look forward to having further debate over a beer in St. Louis.

    In closing:
    War and Empire are bad for financial as well as many other reaons.
    Corporate welfare is the devil.
    Entitlement spending is unsustainable.
    We are all on the same team.

    See you in St. Louis.

  64. Brian Holtz

    Wayne is saying that we need to appeal to the same people that the GOP appeals to most.

    If you want to report what Wayne is saying, why not just quote him? Here’s what Root actually said in Part 7 above: “Two weeks ago they had the giant Tea Party rally in D.C., and quite a few of my friends were there. Do you know they polled the audience, and asked them which political party is closest to their beliefs? And they answered: Libertarian.”

    John, entitlement spending would be wrong even if it were sustainable. It’s not wrong because it’s unsustainable. It’s wrong for a reason stated clearly in the LP Statement of Principles: “People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others.”

    There is already a party that champions sustainable entitlement spending. It’s called the Democrats. We need to distinguish our brand from theirs just as much as from the GOP.

  65. John Jay Myers

    I also literally meant that Corporate Welfare is the devil…. As in Satan… I am surprised you didn’t catch that.

    “John, Satan is not just Corporate Welfare, he has many different faces, and by saying that “he is corporate welfare” you ignoring the many faces of Satan that he may appear in.”

    gee whiz.

  66. Brian Holtz

    Gee whiz, indeed. As I said back @7, I generally endorse your criticism of Root for rightward-tilted outreach. It’s OK for LP leaders to give or receive criticism about Left/Right balance in outreach, but only if it’s fact-based and constructive.

  67. George Phillies

    The next section of the New Path plan is up at GoldAmericaGroup.com for those of you who want to read it. It has also been sent to contact.ipr and will doubtless be appearing here in a bit.

  68. Nicholas Sarwark

    It’s no big mystery how Root plans to appeal to people. He’s been under continuous scrutiny by LP insiders for nearly three years. We have watched him speak, examined his book, read his blog and press releases, and listened to many of the hundreds of hours of his media appearances.

    When should we expect a measurable increase in LP members, inquiries, or fundraising? He’s been blogging, wrote a book, and done hundreds of media appearances. For three years he has been publicly on message with the outreach strategy he wants to use if he is elected Chair. And to what measurable effect on the fortunes of the Libertarian Party?

    If the delegates elect Mr. Root as Chair in St. Louis, his message won’t change. His personality won’t change. His outreach strategy won’t change. The only difference will be his title, which will go from ’08 VP Nominee to Chair.

    Is not having the title the only thing that has prevented Mr. Root’s outreach efforts over the last three years from having discernible success?

    Nothing will change ab

  69. Tom Blanton

    Always anxious to take the Wayne Root phenomenon to ever increasing levels of absurdity, I am disappointed that the rumor I started about Root’s addiction to ibogaine has not resonated with, or has even been understood by, most people.

    However, I am hoping the new rumor started by internet journalist and libertarian gadfly Brian Holtz that Root’s wife is frightened by him (see #65 above) will spread among the LP.

    There is an interesting psychological element to this rumor, that being Root’s mother and wife apparently share the same name: Mrs. Root. Perhaps Holtz can do some research and find out if Root’s mother is frightened by him.

    I should disclose that I am also frightened by Root. I fear that his intense Svengali-like eyes could cast a hypnotic spell over me, sucking me deep into the vortex of helpless submission. I’ve witnessed too many souls consumed by Root. It is no wonder his wife is frightened by him.

  70. LP Pramatist

    So why is it getting personal about a fellow citizen’s family? Low-life Big party people do this and now we have it on this site with the small fish who are legends in their own mind.

  71. Tom Blanton

    So why is it getting personal about a fellow citizen’s family?

    Simple, LP Pramatist, because if you want to harness the power of the state like the low-life Big party people, you must emulate the low-life Big party people. That’s called “doing politics”.

    Even Root acknowledges that it is all about winning elections and nothing else matters. Why do you want the LP to lose elections?

    Besides that, when low-life politicians drag their families into the spotlight, the families become targets. They become fair game in the sport of power politics where rules of common decency, truth, and principles have no proper place – that is if you want to win elections. Just ask the big fish who are legends in the minds of rubes.

    Just ask W.A.R. who’s doing a bang-up job of helping the GOP, er uh LP.

  72. Mattc

    “And a new Pew poll says he has that bass-ackwards. Democrats and Independents are more likely to view libertarianism positively than Republicans are.”

    Could you give us a link to that poll?

  73. Nate

    Brian @53,

    thanks for the detailed plan. You’ve obviously put some thought into it and it seems like a pretty balanced approach. I do have some minor qualms though:

    Firstly, your solution decreases government income drastically while increasing expenditures in the short term (although obviously decreasing these drastically in the long term). While basically you state we should admit bankruptcy and divvy up the remaining assets as fairly as possible, you repeatedly claim that we must deal with social security first, even though that means a reduction in assets. Not sure I quite see the logic behind that. (To be honest, your logic seems to be a mixture of “for the love of God, think of my children” and “my wife and I pay too much social security.” Fair points, but not necessarily convincing to anyone outside the Holtz family.)

    Secondly, I still fail to understand your differentiating between civilian and military contracts. In both cases if the person fulfilled his side, the government is bound in precisely the same manner to honor theirs. You and I might disagree on how much a veteran should get for his work and how much a retiree should get for his financial contributions, but the fact remains that they entered into a contract (freely or by force) that explicitly stated how much.

    Finally, leave Ida May out of it. Seriously, that ship has sailed. Unless you feel like digging her up and rummaging through her pockets… You make a good case for traveling back in time and dismantling social security before it started, but mentioning Ida May has absolutely no effect on social security today. She was at the top of the pyramid, of course she made off with a bundle. But right now we’re all near the bottom, barely getting back more than we are forced to put in. Someone has to lose, and you seem to be saying “not me!” It’s not any worse than senior citizens saying the same, but it’s not any better either.

    Peace.

  74. LP Pramatist

    #80 So by emulating the Big Parties, how does that make you a Libertarian? If it applies to Root, then it applies to you. You in the LP?
    What’s good for you, should then be good for Root.

  75. LP Pramatist

    Root is only one person. Who else is running for LP LNC roles?
    Vice Chair Rutherford ?
    Secretary
    Treasurer Starr ?
    At-Large P Dixon ?

  76. George Phillies

    Vice Chair — Carolyn Marbry
    Secretary — Rob Power
    Treasurer — James Oaksun

    At-Large:
    Lee Wrights
    Charles Wilhoit
    Mary Ruwart
    Thomas B Hill

    and by rumor several others.

  77. paulie

    It has also been sent to contact.ipr and will doubtless be appearing here in a bit.

    Busy at the moment. Hopefully someone gets to it before me.

  78. JT

    Nicholas: “When should we expect a measurable increase in LP members, inquiries, or fundraising? He’s been blogging, wrote a book, and done hundreds of media appearances. For three years he has been publicly on message with the outreach strategy he wants to use if he is elected Chair. And to what measurable effect on the fortunes of the Libertarian Party?”

    That’s a great question and a topic I’ve talked about on this site before. Root does get a lot of media exposure, there’s no denying that. But in how many of his appearances does he push the Libertarian Party itself? In how many does he mention that the LP is the third-largest in the country with many hundreds of candidates every cycle? In how many does he encourage viewers to become LP members? In how many does he send plug the to Web site or give the phone number?

    Talking about how Obama and members of Congress suck, making funny quips, and promoting yourself as a hardcore advocate of slashing taxes and spending is fine as far as it goes. But those things don’t help the Libertarian Party grow. What helps the party actually grow is actually pitching the party itself in speeches and interviews along with your ideas and directing people to the party. A national chair, or someone vying to be, needs to grasp that and do it.

  79. JT

    That last sentence in the first paragraph should say: In how many does he plug the Web site or give the phone number?

  80. LP Pramatist

    OK, thank you for input.
    7 candidates for 5 at-large LP candidate posts.
    2 running for Treasurer
    2 running for Vice-Chair
    1 running for Secretary unnapposed.

    Thank you.

  81. LP Pramatist

    Mr. Nolan, if Mr. Phillies left you off, were there others left off? On purpose? I guess that “new path” is the slate.

  82. Nicholas Sarwark

    Mr. Nolan, if Mr. Phillies left you off, were there others left off? On purpose? I guess that “new path” is the slate.

    I think Phillies only posted those candidates who are part of his slate, leaving it to the others to list the opposing candidates.

  83. LP Pramatist

    Thank you Mr. Sarwark.
    I wish there was a more organized approach to know who was doing what for which office. Some organizations require nominations and announcements 30 days prior to the convention. Makes for easier decisions by the voting delegations.

  84. George Phillies

    @94

    Depending on which part of the rumor mill you believe, there are a lot of At-Large candidates.

    For example, I have seen Mr Nolan say he would run for At-Large, or perhaps Judicial Committee, on a list from which I promised not to quote. So I didn’t.

    I am aware of two other strong candidates who *might* run for At-Large, but I have not heard that they have as yet committed.

    Other rumored candidates:

    M Carling
    Rebecca Sink-Burris
    Pat Dixon
    David Nolan
    Alicia Mattson
    Dan Karlan (is surely also running for Regional)
    Bill Redpath

    I do not recall that any of the Chair candidates are also running for At-Large or Judicial Committee, but I could have missed it.

  85. LP Pramatist

    Thank you Mr. Phillies. I remember somebody telling me that someone else from the Midwest might be running for At-large. But the name escapes me. Doesn’t matter, you have helped.

  86. George Phillies

    @98. Absolutely.

    In addition, elections are conducted one after the next (for At-Large, there is one ballot ‘vote for up to five’) , so one person can run for all four Offices, At-Large, and finally or Judicial Committee, so long as that person loses every election.

  87. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Holtz writes,

    “This commandment encapsulates what I’ve always said about emphasizing our core brand as the only electoral choice that is neither Left nor Right.

    “Root violates this on a regular basis, and I’ve repeatedly criticized him for it. Myers violates it when he says ‘the wars’ cause our federal fiscal problems because entitlements are ‘self-funded’. I want a Chair who doesn’t sound merely like a Reagan Republican or a Kucinich Democrat. I want a Chair who is obsessed with differentiating the Libertarian brand as neither liberal nor conservative. I want a Chair who won’t cater to his inner Republican or inner Democrat, but instead will cater to the 13%-20% of Americans who polls show want both more economic liberty and more personal liberty.”

    While I have elsewhere noted that, technically speaking, libertarianism in on the left wing of the classical political spectrum (where right-wing means support for the ancien regime), when we use the silly political spectrum that most Americans use, Mr. Holtz is correct that we are neither left nor right.

    So, I am 100% in agreement with Mr. Holtz on this.

    This is why I liked Harry Browne so much. It’s also why I would not, at this time, feel comfortable supporting Mr. Root.

    Browne would say things like, “We are the people who want you to be free—free to live your life as you want to live it, not as Al Gore or George Bush thinks is best for you”—both party’s are attacked equally.

    Or this: “A society governed by individual liberty and personal responsibility—rather than by the likes of Bill Clinton, Trent Lott, Al Gore, George W. Bush, and Teddy Kennedy”—Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Republican, Democrat.

    He would often mention stereotypically-“leftist” and stereotypically-“rightist” matters around the same time. So, he might say something like, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Only a Libertarian will drastically cut your taxes, free you from Social Security, and end the insane war on drugs.”

    This is the sort of approach I would like to see from our candidates and national committee.

    Best,
    Alex Peak

  88. Brian Holtz

    Yes, Root needs to balance his outreach, like when he says this: “Only one party allows voters to be both conservative on economic issues and tolerant on personal issues. Only one party allows voters to rebel against Big Brother in all areas of our lives. Only one party stands for both economic and personal freedom. Only one party stands for personal responsibility and individuality. Only one party believes, as the Constitution clearly demands, that power belongs to the people, not to the politicians and career bureaucrats. That party is the Libertarian Party.”

    And this:

  89. Alexander S. Peak

    Mr. Holtz,

    (1) Your comment leaves out that term I’ve said I find so offensive. Do you know the one of which I am thinking?

    (2) I cannot see your video, again. Try posting a YouTube video instead.

    (3) Quoath Root, Libertarians are “conservative on economic issues and tolerant on personal issues.”

    It seems there are two ways to handle this.

    One. The speaker could say that libertarians are conservative on economic issues and liberal on personal issues; this way, the speaker doesn’t favour one side over the other. And, considering that 59% of American voters consider themselves fiscally conservative and socially liberal, this is the approach I would recommend.

    Two. Or, if the speaker feels uncomfortable using the term “liberal,” she or he could say that libertarians are socially tolerant and fiscally responsible.

    Perhaps this is a petty matter—and I would certainly say that there are worse phrases to use than “conservative on economic issues and tolerant on personal issues”—but the matter may go beyond this phrase. I must note that I have not read Root’s most recent book, and therefore I do not want to pass any final judgements upon it until I have, but assuming that Ruwart’s review is correct, that Root uses the term “conservative” with positive connotations while only ever using the term “liberal” with negative connotations—I cannot help but to worry about that strategy.

    I think you and I share the same main goal, despite what disagreements we may have: to convert as many people to libertarianism as possible. While the minarchist/anarchist debate is certainly important, all things being the same, I’d rather see all of the statists converted to your minarchism than to see them stay as they are, just as I’m sure you’d rather see all of the statists converted to my anarchism than to see them stay as they are. In short, our goal is simple: increase the libertarian movement by converting people away from the “cult of the omnipotent state,” by converting people to libertarianism. Right? This is our shared goal, to convert as many people as possible?

    It is my sincere impression that Mr. Root has something holding him back: he doesn’t know how so-called “liberals” think. I know how they think because I used to be one. And, I have a similar problem: I really don’t know how conservatives think. Root knows how they think because he used to be one.

    This isn’t to say that, with time, I wouldn’t be able to improve, or that Mr. Root wouldn’t be able to improve. But it is to say that I believe I would be a lousy spokesman for the party at this point in my life, and for the same reason I believe Mr. Root would be at this point in his life. And when I say this, I do not mean to imply that Root should not run as a candidate for political office; in fact, given his ideological growth over the past couple years, I think he’d probably make an excellent Libertarian candidate for the U. S. Senate in a red state (unless the comments Mr. Blanton has made about RootCare are accurate). What I’m not convinced is that he sufficiently understands the so-called “liberal” mindset in order to represent the LP as its chairman or its presidential candidate at this time. And neither would I, because I do not sufficiently understand the conservative mindset.

    None of this is meant to imply that I do not like Root, of course. I’m actually very favourable to him, because he appears to have come a long way ideologically in a short period of time. He seems to be more open to new ideas than either Barr or Gravel, for example, which isn’t intended to be an insult to either man, but rather merely an observation. Root has read at least one anarcho-libertarian book, and while it obviously didn’t convert him to anarchism (it didn’t convert me to anarchism, either, when I read it—I didn’t become an anarchist until a year later), that shows he’s genuinely interested in exposing himself to new considerations. I absolutely respect that. And maybe I’ll change my mind if/when I get around to reading his book, but I’m currently inclined to say, given his ideological development over these past couple years, that the man genuinely is a libertarian (albeit of the non-anarchist variety). But as a matter of presentation, I do not believe he is prepared for either of the positions for which he is running, just as I would not be prepared for either of those positions. Given his apparent ability to rapidly grow, perhaps he will have honed his ability to outreach equally to “liberals” and conservatives by 2012, in which case great! But…

    In the meantime, I’m worried about his ability to do this, especially after reading Ruwart’s review of his book. Your inclusion of longer quotes from his book has done little to dissuade me from my worry. Perhaps if/when I read it in full, I will be dissuaded (or, perhaps the opposite, I’ll no longer call him a libertarian—who’s really to say how I’ll react?), but in the meantime, with Ruwart’s review to go by, I cannot help but to be worried. I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing wrong with my being worried, and I hope you’ll agree that my motive in expressing this worry is purely well-intentioned, rather than some calculated ploy to run Root out of the party or something.

    Sincerely yours,
    Alex Peak

  90. Michael H. Wilson

    Alex if one says fiscally conservative or fiscally responsible they are ignoring the fact that there are numerous laws, regulations, codes and ordinances on the books that restrict a person freedom to provide for themselves and others.

    You cannot own an urban transit business, build a house, open a flower shop, or act as a direct entry midwife in most states unless you have a permit from the government.

  91. Guy Smith

    Being a marketing strategist by trade, I tend to view most problems as marketing problems. LP success is no different. It is from this viewpoint that I am backing Root.

    The LP’s primary mission – to get LP candidates elected – is in perpetual failure mode. At this current moment of history, when the LP should be drawing-in every Tea Party member and registered independent, we are not and the reasons have been measured.

    I led a positioning survey to see where the LP stands in my region (San Francisco bay area, which is more LP friendly than most). The single largest problem the LP faces is a lack of brand awareness/recognition among voters. No other progress can be made until this is corrected and the media Rep/Dem duality is killed.

    Wayne is the only candidate who can make this happen. He has the drive, media skills, money management and youth appeal to start the process. The other candidates are fine people, but can’t bring brand awareness to the masses. Since there can be no brand preference without brand awareness, we need Wayne to take us to that next step.

  92. Robert Capozzi

    gs, there’s no doubt Root has the ability to get more media than the rest of the pack. To use a marketing term, he generates “gross impressions.”

    Our abolitionist brothers and sisters are concerned, however, the Root generates gross impressions that are gross in the negative sense. I would hope that the abolitionists would recognize that everyone in a leadership role will say SOMETHING they disagree with. My sense is they believe he says too many things that they find misrepresents the brand (such as it is) and actually damages it.

    It’s a valid concern. For me, Phillies is probably closer to my political views than Root is, but Phillies has a history of attacking people, sometimes personally, sometimes wildly, groundlessly, or disproportionately.

    Unfortunately, I can’t be in St. Louis, so I can remain neutral. I have more concerns that Hancock will damage the brand by many orders of magnitude than Root. And I appreciate that Root has been honing his messaging over the past year or so in ways that make me less and less concerned about his brand-destroying prospects. I certainly admire his commitment and tenacity.

    Hinkle and Myers seem to be the risk-averse choices, near as I can tell, Hinkle the least risky but arguably the candidate least likely to grow the party in a substantial way. Here, I kind of like Phillies and the New Path’s thinking on growth, but I wonder how credible they are in leading the LP to the next level.

  93. "Multiple Liar[s] ??????" .......... Lake

    Guy Smith // May 9, 2010:

    …….. the LP should be drawing-in every Tea Party member ………. we are not and the reasons have been measured……. [In the Northern California Bay Area, all eight or nine of the TEA Party partisans ……….]

    …… a positioning survey to see where the LP stands in my region (San Francisco bay area, which is more LP friendly than most)……….. [yeah, right, sure]

    ……. the LP faces …….. a lack of brand awareness/recognition among voters. [and the on going perception that LP is waaaaaaaay too conservative, waaaaaaaay too anti peace, waaaaaaaaaay too anti poor people, waaaaaaay too argumentative ………]

    No other progress can be made until this is corrected and the media Rep/Dem duality is killed. [yeah, right, sure]

    we need Wayne to take us to that next step. [The Northern California Bay area would chew up W. A. R. up alive and then spit him out on the nearest side walk ……….]

    [all together class: ‘steer manure’]

  94. Thomas L. Knapp

    Guy,

    You write:

    “The single largest problem the LP faces is a lack of brand awareness/recognition among voters. No other progress can be made until this is corrected and the media Rep/Dem duality is killed.”

    That’s a reasonable assessment.

    “Wayne is the only candidate who can make this happen. He has the drive, media skills, money management and youth appeal to start the process.”

    He certainly has the drive.

    While I consider it unlikely that he has any significant youth appeal at all, or the potential to develop it, I’m willing to leave that judgment to others.

    Money management? Um … you’re kidding, right?

    13 years ago, Root published a book on the subject of how all of his previous business failures had positioned him for success.

    Apparently he was unduly optimistic — last year his flagship company filed its final SEC paperwork, reporting nearly $30 million in accumulated deficits, nearly $1 million in negative stockholder equity, and numerous defaults on debt.

    That leaves his media skills, which are indeed formidable, at least by LP standards.

    I’m interested in precisely how making him the CEO of the party would enhance those skills, open new doors for the deployment of those skills, or leverage those skills to the party’s benefit.

    It seems like the opposite would be true.

    He’d have to spend more time on administrivia and less on marketing.

    He’d be ethically bound to present a vision constrained by the party’s platform rather than whatever his ideas are.

    And instead of being a gadfly/pundit, i.e. welcome anywhere there’s a “talking head” segment that needs another mouth for a few minutes, he’d competing with Tim Kaine and Michael Steele for face time.

  95. George Phillies

    With respect to the Chair campaign:

    I am *not* going to run for President again in 2012. I will not campaign for the nomination, I will decline an honest draft not that there is such a thing, and that’s the end of things on that topic.

    If elected Chair, I will ensure that the LNC and its staff treat all candidates for our nomination in a fair and even manner.

    Furthermore, anyone who appears likely to be running in 2012 should not be elected Chair.

    I will, however, *not* fault anyone who has promised friends to run for chair if he keeps those promises and continues to run.

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