California Libertarians produce anti-Prop 14 ad

The California Libertarian Party has produced — and, with the financial assistance of the Libertarian National Committee, intends to run — a one-minute radio ad against passage of Proposition 14 (the “top two” proposal that would keep third party candidates off the state’s November ballots).

Click here to listen to the ad.

The ad features the voice 2008 Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root, who also just released an op-ed opposing Proposition 14:

Prop 14 supporters claim this new “Top Two” system would take away power from the 2 big parties because of the non-partisan “open primary” nature of the system. In reality Prop 14 eliminates choice on the ballot in November. Independent candidates and third parties (with less money to spend to reach voters) will literally cease to exist. Independent candidates (Libertarian, Conservative, Tea Party, Green, etc) could not survive the open primary system, thereby guaranteeing only candidates from the 2 major parties on the ballot each November. Do you want your free speech and choice violated or eliminated? If so, you’ll love Prop 14. But is this the American way?

62 thoughts on “California Libertarians produce anti-Prop 14 ad

  1. George Phillies

    One might ask why Libertarians across America were not on top of this issue when it started, more than a year ago. There are some good answers to that, and they speak to whom you should trust for advice on ballot access issues.

  2. Stewart Flood

    George,

    I don’t know the answer to that question, but I asked if I could help and I’ve done what I could.

    Everyone should have been paying attention to this.

  3. Doug craig

    we still need help beating this please sign up at http://www.libertymanager.com to make calls aginst this .
    I believe ony about 40 people have signed up to help we should have a thousnd people signed up. If you can only make a few calls thats ok but if we can get 1000’s of Libertarians calling it will make a difference.
    You cant ask for much more you can sit in your living room in nothing but your underwear while eating cheetos and making calls. This is perfect way to help the party with out of a lot of effort.
    also guys if you like campaigns or calling old members this system could be used for that. It is a kick ass website that is perfect for us

  4. George Phillies

    Stewart,

    You have done a good job with your available resources. We do what we can; hopefully it will have a positive outcome.

    I will only claim to have run facebook ads, targeting everyone in California who is over 18. I got 800,000+ impressions for a modest cash outlay.

    George

  5. Stewart Flood

    Doug,

    We don’t need a thousand volunteers. We need a hundred that will actually do the job. We have about 50 or so at this point, but only about 10 of them are actually making more than a token number of calls.

  6. Donny Ferguson

    I hope they’re focusing more of their resources on direct mail and phones. It allows you to make direct contact with targeted voters for the minimal price.

    Right now I’m watching poll numbers completely flip over the span of just days in races where I’m running mail and phone programs.

  7. George Phillies

    Stewart,

    The ad was primarily written to general voters ‘please vote against this’ but it may have generated over a hundred clickthroughs (sorry, but I somehow deleted the statistics on the larger ad group that I ran). My main objective was impressions on the 10+ million facebook adult readers in CA, urging them to vote no.

    Incidentally, if any of you can write at Daily Kos or matching rightwing groups, there are some large California-voting audiences there who might not like the thought that yes, the November vote is between the top two and, no, the two candidates on the ballot belong to the *other* party.

    George

  8. Michael Seebeck

    Direct mail is so last-century, and for California, is cost prohibitive. Besides most of those go directly into the trash upon arrival these days.

    We targeted drivetime radio for a lot of reasons: nobody else against Prop 14 was doing it; you can’t skip radio commercials like you can with a TiVo; huge audiences stuck in traffic; lowest production rates (we produced this one for FREE); best rate of buy costs per reachable audience; and we can hit all 4 major markets at once.

    And we did it all in 48 hours around airplane flights on text, email, and cell phones.

  9. Stewart Flood

    Ummm…actually it was 92 hours. 🙂 Remember, we started this Thursday evening and finished it off Tuesday. I think that’s 92 hours…maybe a few more.

    The important part is that we put the team together and accomplished the goal. Having to do it while at the convention made it a much more difficult challenge, but the California party came through. Kevin, Michael, Gale, Beau and all the rest of the gang deserve credit for getting the job done!

  10. Trent Hill

    Congrats guys and girls. I hope it pays off. Increased turnout amongst Tea Party types, if they are informed on the issue, should help. Higher third party turnout should help too.

  11. Donny Ferguson

    Michael, I can show you tracking poll after tracking poll where one line plunges and the other shoots upward when the mail hits.

    I do radio when we have money left over because there some use, but only after mail and phones are paid for. You can somewhat target, like buying during Limbaugh, but usually half the audience isn’t registered to vote, and half of what’s left doesn’t show up. You’re spending 100% of your money to advertise to only 25% of the audience. I usually do it to reinforce the mail and phone message, or when the opposition runs an especially idiotic radio ad (you always respond in the same medium.)

    With mail you can select only those specific voters who you know will show up (my selects weeks before the election match the exact election day voter roll with 90%+ accuracy,) target them on the specific issue that one voter cares about and can even get them to cast their ballot early before the opposition’s program hits.

    All for about 40 cents each.

  12. Stewart Flood

    Donny,

    Friday morning quarterbacking last Sunday’s game doesn’t cut it. We had a limited amount of time to organize what we did and second-guessing the LPCA’s decision on how to best use their resources is a waste of time and counter-productive.

  13. Doug craig

    I dont think he was arm chair quaterbacking Actually the new politics magazine has an article about direct this month. It works. but this about time restraints also mail out work when you have a good list which I dont think we do.But we need to be building one.
    I am just fired up because we are doing something plus people are getting to see http://www.libertymanager.com at work.
    Also we need to see where we call and where we ran the ads after the election and try to pull data from there if possible

  14. Stewart Flood

    We will certainly be looking at the data once this is over. I’ve already gotten a list of requests from other campaigns a mile long (ok…so maybe a hundred yards long) but I’m thinking that maybe I should prioritize them based on how many people in their state help California out this weekend.

    Sound good to you Doug? (Georgia has been sending volunteers, but they COULD send more)

  15. Jill Pyeatt

    We’re getting some help from surprising sources. A non-political friend was so disgusted with the false claims of the propositions that he did his own research, contacting me for some input. I spent some time with him, primarily on Prop 14. He wrote such a long letter to the editor that the local paper had him trim it, but published it as a “Point of View”, so that it could be longer than a letter.

    Here’s the link, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailybulletin.com%2Feditorial%2Fci_15214688%3Fsource%3Demail&h=43956:

  16. LP Pragmatist

    I am impressed because the LP “Beast” is alive and drawing a line in the sand. I have been wanting to see a “fire in the belly” from the LP and there are signs of it.

  17. June

    I would really like to know where this ad is going to run. By now most of the big money Yes on 14 campaign has bought up most of the good time slots. Also, since this ad features Root and is designed to appeal specifically to the tea party crowd it would not make a lot of sense to run in the SF area although I could see in in Riverside or Orange.

    Personally I think it is the wrong kind of ad to try to produce and run this late in the game. 15 second spots calling the opponents the liars that they are, are the way to go at this point.

    As has already been asked, why did it take so long for any advertising to get going? Again, personally, I think that if the LPC had been actively participating in the coalition spearheaded by Free&Equal and CfER we’d have gotten in the game a lot sooner. The LPC really needs to learn the art of coalitions.

  18. Trent Hill

    Direct Mail couldn’t have been organized so late in the game, Donny, but you’re right that it’s far more effective. Radio and TV ads can be done quickly.

    Free&Equal hasn’t bought ads June, as far as I know. That’s a real shame considering they’ve brought in $123,000 in donations over the last year. Although they’ve done a lot of traveling, letter writing, debate organizing, and speaking–I’d hope that 6 figures would pay for Anti-Prop 14 ads.

  19. Doctor Doom

    I would have called it censorship which it is and screamed the word months ago.

  20. Michael Seebeck

    Donny, direct junk mail doesn’t work at a statewide level in CA–simply WAY too many people. When you understand that, you’ll get one of the reasons why we didn’t do it. We’re in the most populous state in the union, and the calculus for a direct mail here is far different than anywhere else.

    June, it’s running in all four major markets through election day. You can uselessly disagree with the approach all you want, but frankly, your 15-second spots in radio time are a blip, and your criticism of LPCA is not based in the facts at hand. (Besides, the major stations we talked to don’t DO 15-second slots!) We picked the spot that wasn’t being covered and put a quality production out there on short notice. All I heard from you were complaints about what we were doing and “Coalition! Coalition!” like a broken record. Meanwhile, Stewart and Kevin were getting things lined up to do this while I rode herd on our delegation, then after the convention we got it done and out.

    Frankly, after the way things went in the convention, the F&E coalition has its own issues.

  21. Stewart Flood

    Ok Seebeck…

    Enough of our mutual admiration society. Get back to whipping the volunteers up and getting them on the PHONES!!!

    VOLUNTEERS.

    Whether you think it will or whether you still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy: the reality is that this will spread faster than fire in a dry forest. This must stop in California.

    Get on the phones. Get your friends on the phones. Get your friends’ friends on the phones.

    Not tomorrow. Not the day after tomorrow. NOW!

  22. Michael Seebeck

    Stewart, I just spent the past 4 hours on KNBC-LA, Twitter Bomb on props with Lidia, Paul Darr, Kelly Barnes, and Richard Winger. Working all angles, man.

  23. Second Attempt ......... Don Lake

    Michael Seebeck // Jun 4, 2010:

    “direct junk mail doesn’t work at a statewide level in CA–simply WAY too many people. When you understand that, you’ll get one of the reasons why we didn’t do it. We’re in the most populous state in the union, and the calculus for a direct mail here is far different than anywhere else ………”

    [Every word is true, but y0u did not tack on the appropriate Post Script: Absentee ballots!]

    [The personal pay off, being superior to the folks in business class, er, ah, em, in line at the physical polling spot AND snickering at the *wasted* expensive ads that pour in after YOU have voted!]

    [There are down sides (as in every thing) but it is the wave of the future and the Tivo / television vision remote control scourge of enfranchisement propaganda!]

  24. How about all the people/members

    get contacted by the LP to help make calls from all the 50 states libertarians to get a hold of more people. I am not saying this to be done all the time, but when necessary. Calling to all libertarians, lets all work together.

    I did. I sent emails to everyone I know who know lots of people to vote NO on 14, and I don’t live in CA.

  25. Trent Hill

    “Donny, direct junk mail doesn’t work at a statewide level in CA–simply WAY too many people. When you understand that, you’ll get one of the reasons why we didn’t do it.”

    This isn’t entirely accurate. I doubt Donny thinks the LPCA/LNC has the resources to do a direct mail campaign to all of CA’s voters. But he’s probably right that $25,000 could fund a direct mail effort to quite a few supervoters (people who have voted in the last 3-5 elections). I suspect one could send out…50,000 postcards or so for 25k. These postcards are far more likely to be reach the intended audience, and supervoters will receive all of them, no waste on non-voters, sometimes-voters, or members of other parties. It’s simply a better use.

  26. Second Attempt ......... Don Lake

    29 responses so far ?

    * 1 George Phillies // Jun 4, 2010:
    “…………. Libertarians across America were not on top of this issue when it started, more than a year ago. There are some good answers to that, and they speak to whom you should trust for advice on ballot access issues …….”

    * 2 Stewart Flood // Jun 4, 2010:
    “Everyone should have been paying attention to this ………”

    [Not only were Libs (including vaulted Richard ‘Ballot Access’ Winger) exhibiting ‘alternative’ voting schemes, such as IRV, but no screaming AGAINST

  27. Doctor Doom

    Mr. Hill @31 it could possible be done for about a quarter of that with a decent crew of volunteers.

  28. Second Attempt ......... Don Lake

    ‘Top Two’ by ‘alternative’ political types.

    (Failed links, failed erasings, unplanned jumps and postings; any one else having these problems with their postings ?????????)

    (Think I can get a refund from that portable booth at the swap meet ????????????)

  29. Trent Hill

    Doctor Doom,

    I was trying to minimize my estimate, but yes–I’d guess it could be done for much less than 25k (or many more could be done for 25k).

  30. Michael Seebeck

    I forgot to mention I’m useless for calling because this sore throat I’m nursing has killed my voice.

    Let StopTopTwo do the direct mail, if they think they can get it done in time. I doubt it.

  31. Second Attempt ......... Don Lake

    #31 Trent Hill // June 4 2010:

    “……. post cards are far more likely to be reach the intended audience, and super voters will receive all of them, no waste on non-voters, sometimes-voters, or members of other parties. It’s simply a better use ……….”

    UNLESS THEY HAVE ALREADY VOTED ABSENTEE, as ‘super voters’ would be want to do!

    Absentee voting, as an expansive trend, includes tons of folks voting as early as the first day —– weeks ahead of the *dwindling* so called ‘crowd’!

    And as voting officials like the expanded time to count ballots, they are also promoting this ‘wave of the future’!

  32. Trent Hill

    “Let StopTopTwo do the direct mail, if they think they can get it done in time. I doubt it.”

    As far as I know, Free&Equal/StopTopTwo hasn’t spend a dime on ads. They’ve done lots of press conferences and protests with 15 people showing up. They sure have gotten a lot of Letters to the Editor printed and they’ve met with a lot of editorial boards–but with the $120,000+ they’ve raised over the last year, I’d think they’d spend some money on ads. They haven’t.

  33. paulie

    Lake @ 34

    I’ve been too busy to scour the spam filter. Will take a look for anything of yours.

    I don’t know what you mean by ‘failed erasings’. As far as I know, you can’t erase your comments (although I can, but don’t).

    If you have specific comments of yours you want removed, just ask. We’ll do it if we are not too busy.

    As far as a refund, if you send me a receipt, $10 for shipping and handling and a $19.99 processing fee, I will promptly issue you a refund for the full monetary cost that it took you to join IPR. This does not include your internet service, computer purchase price, electricity bill, etc.

  34. paulie

    There are over 1700 comments currently in the spam filter (vast majority are actual spam). Search of spam for “lake” found only actual spam.

  35. Second Attempt ......... Don Lake

    We have met the enemy and they are us ……….

    Sorry to hear, but thx for the follow up:

    Trent Hill // Jun 4, 2010:
    ……Let StopTopTwo do the direct mail, if they think they can get it done in time………..

    Hill’s Reply: “As far as I know, Free&Equal/StopTopTwo hasn’t spend a dime on ads. They’ve done lots of press conferences and protests ……….”

  36. Matt Cholko

    Taking Mr. Phillies’ lead, I’ve purchased a bunch of advertising through myAds (FOX) and Yahoo Search Marketing.

    I found promo codes for myAds that should fund more than half of the campaign through Tuesday’s election, so I won’t have to spend much at all.

    If you’re so inclined, you can probably find some promo codes/credits for several online ad services and get a bunch of ads for very little money.

  37. Trent Hill

    The LPCA should definetly encourage all activists to go out and work the polls against Prop 14 too, this can have a really big effect.

  38. Alan Pyeatt

    I think there are a lot of ways that we need to improve our party’s performance. We certainly DO need to be better at building coalitions, and that means working with the left as well as the right. I like to think of this as the “Huge Tent” concept. : )

    We also need to improve on our response to issues, and the experience gained from this exercise will help do that. OTOH, as Mike pointed out, there are constraints that have to be recognized. I think they did a great job with the ad.

    But the real problem is what LP Pragmatist @19 alluded to: sometimes it seems like the hardest thing to do is get libertarians out from behind our computers, off our back sides, and in the trenches. (That’s not just in California, either.) I don’t see any reason why we SHOULDN’T have 1,000 volunteers – or more – working on this.

    At the same time, it’s not like we’ve been sitting on our thumbs. At the state level, Kevin, Beau, and several others have been working hard to get volunteers on the phone banks. (BTW, the Liberty Manager software is GREAT.) And at the county level (at least in L.A. County) Bruce has us all e-mailing registered Libertarians. Plus, a lot of people have posted information on Facebook, etc.

    I think it’s great that we’re using several conduits to get the message out. The radio ads in particular will help to give our message credence and will let non-LP members know that our party is serious about being effective. Assuming we survive Prop 14, that will be good for us in the long term.

  39. Alan Pyeatt

    Correction: I should have said “on the phones” instead of “on the phone banks.” I should know that after making a couple hundred calls myself.

    Oh well, it’s tired and I’m late.

  40. Week End Down Memory Lane......... Don Lake

    Alan Pyeatt // Jun 5, 2010:
    “…………… We (Libs) certainly DO need to be better at building coalitions, and that means working with the left as well as the right ………..”

    On the other hand *personal experience* many left of center groups * do not want to deal with you! I have been involved with coalition building at UCSD, San Diego South Bay, and the annual anti Iraq / Afghanistan military debacle protest at San Diego Zoo / Balboa Park week end in March.

    The park protest directors are not interested in reaching out to anti war Libs and peace AIP —– and never have been. When I bring it up, their eyes glaze over and their vision focuses on tree branches or road traffic. Sorry!

    *Code Pink, Peace and Freedom, Greens, Veterans For Peace are welcomed with open arms every spring!

  41. paulie

    That’s not always the case everywhere. For example, in Alabama we have been able to cooperate pretty well.

  42. paulie

    Helping. I think he was the one who set up Lew Rockwell to speak at a peace rally. Not sure if he’s done anything on the peace front lately, though. Last time I talked to him he was working on the Tim James campaign.

  43. Alan Pyeatt

    Don Lake @ 47: Maybe if the San Diego LP had more of a history with those people, they would be more receptive. In many cases, the left doesn’t trust us because they don’t know us well enough to see through the negative press directed at us.

    I was able to build some bridges with the left when I ran for Congress in 2008. A lot of that was because I had already spent several Friday afternoons protesting with the Glendale Peace Vigil. Also didn’t hurt that the Dem incumbent had supported Bush’s interventionist legislation, and even wrote the FISA law amendment, so I was the only anti-war candidate. But it would have helped a lot more if we already had a track record with them.

    So if I always attend the anti-war protests wearing something that identifies me as an LP member. They need to know that we’re not all republitarians.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    “BTW, the Liberty Manager software is GREAT”

    Yes, it is. I’ve made about 20 calls using it so far and it makes the whole thing easy. I’m hoping to contribute at least 100 calls.

  45. Trent Hill

    “Last time I talked to him he was working on the Tim James campaign.”

    The “we speak English here” Tim James campaign? WHY?

  46. paulie

    Yep, that one.

    He thinks James will be fiscally conservative, and that no matter what Alabama will be socially repressive.

    His dad (Fob James) did appoint some Libertarians when he was governor.

    And the LP is not on the 2010 ballot.

    Plus, I am guessing James can afford to pay well.

    But, I wouldn’t support James or the rest of them. Chalk me up for a Loretta Nall write-in if I actually vote, which is unlikely.

  47. Stewart Flood

    Only 14 volunteers have made 100 or more calls — although we have one volunteer over 800 and another who just passed 2100 calls.

    If you make 100 calls, you’ll move up into the top 15-20 callers.

    No, no prizes being awarded.

  48. Stewart Flood

    And Knapp is off to the races…already moving up from #38 to #33, may even pass #30 by the end of the evening.

    We need everyone who has been on making ANY amount of calls to get on the phones tomorrow (only about 20 minutes left this evening) and get to above 100 calls!

  49. Stewart Flood

    Meanwhile of course #1 on the list has made ONE THIRD of the phone calls! (Helps to be recovering from a broken leg, and be stuck at home, eh?)

  50. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Stewart,

    I’ll try to reach 100 calls total — I just passed 40 a few minutes ago.

    This is the kind of project the party needs to be doing. Thanks for developing the software to make it possible. I hope the volunteer base necessary to make the most of it turns out for this and future efforts.

  51. Stewart Flood

    That’s the hard part. Technology is easy. (This software is in its 12th year)

    Getting volunteers and keeping them motivated…we need to work on that.

  52. Week End Down Memory Lane......... Don Lake

    Alan Pyeatt // Jun 5, 2010:
    “………….. I always attend the anti-war protests wearing something that identifies me as an LP member. They need to know that we’re not all republitarians. ”

    and, again, developing net works, building relationships, the ‘heavy lifting’ of politics that the Kennedys and the Bush clan knew were so important behind the scenes!

    and, volunteers are so difficult to fire, they tend to quit ……….

  53. paulie

    @ 53-54

    Irregular Times:

    A policy proposal recently added to the Republican Party’s America Speaking Out teeters right on the line between genuine GOP xenophobia and sarcastic tongue-in-cheek mocking of GOP xenophobia. The proposal reads:

    “This is America. Everyone here should be required to speak American. So pass a law that requires all business to be conducted in American (like contracts, legal stuff, advertisements, signs for your company, everything!). Also, anyone who crosses the border must prove that they speak American. If not then you dont get in. If we find someone who doesnt speak ARE language, then they get deported immediately. I think this is legal because we wont be “profiling” anyone based on their color. Well just be looking for people who don not speak the language.”

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