John Monds was recently interviewed for an article in the AJC. This is also the same newspaper for which former Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr blogs. Some relevant excerpts:
Q: What is a Libertarian?
A: The easiest and shortest definition is someone with a fundamental respect for the rights of individuals.
Q: Wouldn’t Republicans and Democrats make that same claim?
A: Talk is cheap. Time and time again, they have proved that that is not true.
Q: Name one key issue where you would disagree with Republicans.
A: A lot of people look at Libertarians and Republicans as similar. I think Republicans want to control people’s social lives. I just think that is wrong.
Monds also gives a pretty honest answer about his past success.
Q: How did you get 33 percent of the vote in your PSC race against a Republican incumbent?
A: It was the circumstances of the race — I won’t deny that. There was no Democrat running. With President [Barack] Obama’s candidacy, there was a lot of activism on the Democratic side.
I haven’t paid much attention the the Monds campaign, and don’t know much about his positions. However, based on the conversation we had the the LPUS convention, I think he’s a good candidate. He looks and talks like he is a serious contender. Unfortunately, MANY Ls simply don’t come off as legitimate candidates, and the electorate undestandably does not take them seriously. Monds is the opposite.
And here’s another candidate to look at:
Brendan Kelly could be elected to the New Hampshire state house in November:
pc, thanks. It’s very easy for we Ls to adopt a certain perception of voter hot-buttons due to our particular perspective and experience. Process matters (ballot access and election law) represent a large percentage of our resources and energies. Voters probably mostly take these issues for granted, hanging chads aside. (Part of the reasons chads was such a big deal, aside from the obvious affect on the 2000 election, was that it was such an oddity for most. Ls were probably not at all surprised by the issue.)
I’m just as guilty of misreading the electorate. For ex., I thought the Gingrich view of CH would be laughed off the stage as obvious fearmongering. I also thought the case for the Iraq War was exceeding weak and an obvious misdirection by Compound W. Yet, large majorities bought both.
Humbling lessons on the mindset of our fellow citizens.
I worked on the Sophocleus campaign.
I don’t remember making a big deal about the 20%.
If we did, it didn’t work, because we didn’t come close…not even 1% IIRC.
We also did not meet a secondary campaign goal of keeping out Billion Dollar Bob Riley.
John did not consider his run a success.
Apparently it was taken over by an adult website sometime after the campaign.
dwp, I looked but didn’t find anything. As a family member, we might assume your Dad was predisposed to vote L, but my skepticism about the strategy isn’t assuaged by one data point.
20% is high in a 3 way race. A voter paying attention might NOT vote L if they found either the R or D appreciably less bad than his/her opponent. A 5% mark might tilt things the other way, as that’s a plausible stretch goal. Citing 20% could backfire.
@Robert, I wasn’t living in Alabama at that time… I do however remember my dad telling me about the 20% thing and saying that’s why he was voting for Sophocleus.
I’m sure if you are interested, you could find some of his campaign literature online somewhere.
dc, oh, so the narrative might be: The Rs and Ds don’t play fair. They virtually exclude other parties. Vote for me so to help level the playing field in the next election.
Hmm, yes, I could see that moving a small number of voting dials, but, yes, agreed, it doesn’t seem to go too far.
It strikes me that elections are very similar to the sales process. Urgency is involved…buy now. Playing to the NEXT election cycle requires a LOT of patience on the part of the buyer/voter. I’ve not seen evidence that most voters have that sort of patience.
Robert i think you can use it as negative against the other party . To show how they are anti freedom but that only goes so far
dwp, can you expand? Simply because a candidate highlighted he needed 20% doesn’t tell us why those who voted for him did so. And we’d need to understand what “highlight” meant in that case. Was the candidate’s first bullet point: Vote for me so my party gets on the NEXT ballot?
If that’s a strong message, I’m just not seeing it. It’s a strong message for a petitioner to get ON the ballot, to be sure. But something’s not adding up here for me. Help us understand why this appeal is compelling for actual voters.
@2 – yes, some people do vote based on helping a party maintain (or gain) ballot access. The last time the LP appeared on the ballot in Alabama, part of the John Sophocleus campaign was to highlight that he needed 20% for the LP to remain on the ballot.
We are on fire down here. I am so sun burnt from working fairs this weekend and I loved it. We are going to set some records down here.
we are running our campaigns down here like the big boys, TV ads campaign teams working the fairs doing door to door radio interviews newspaper interviews yard signs.
If we had the same kind of money we would be beating them like dogs:)
John Monds is one of my favorite LP candidates. It’ll be interesting to see how his gubernatorial race does throughout the state. The Georgia LP should be especially watchful of his numbers in the 2nd congressional district, where I think his hometown of Cairo is located.
RC nit picks @ 2
rw, is there any empirical or even anecdotal evidence that people vote for a candidate as part of an effort to get the candidate’s party on the ballot in the next election?
It seems a bit far-fetched to me, and might even sound pleading, weak and technical. It might work in tandem with a stronger message would be my guess, but perhaps there are a significant bloc of voters who can be appealed to based on a process matter.
This is a great article, and it is an important victory for the Monds campaign and the Georgia Libertarian Party to have it in Georgia’s biggest newspaper. I just wish the article had said, or that Monds had said, that if he gets 20% of the vote, then the Libertarian Party would have full ballot status and could run candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, something it has never been allowed to do in Georgia (except in special elections). Also the party would be able to run candidates for the state legislature, and partisan county office. The whole Georgia Libertarian Party ought to publicize the importance of the 20% threshold. It is not likely to be obtained but it would give people one more reason to vote for Monds.
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