Libertarian Party Builds Big War Chest for 2012

 

WASHINGTON – In its most recent FEC report, for the period ending March 31, 2011, the Libertarian Party reported $284,882.95 in cash with $0 in debt. At the same point four years ago, the party reported $21,962.37 in cash with $31,589.74 in debt.

Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle said, “Four years ago, we were $10,000 in the red. Now we’re almost $300,000 in the black. That’s a big step forward for the LP, and should help us a lot going into the 2012 campaign.

“If our candidates, volunteers, and donors keep it up, 2012 may be one of the biggest years ever for the Libertarian Party.

“Libertarian candidates deliver a huge bang for the buck. Dollar for dollar, our candidates get more votes than Republicans or Democrats. Libertarian candidates change the debate, swing the outcomes of races, and sometimes win.

“If you don’t believe me, ask the Democratic Party operatives who sent mailers in several congressional districts last fall, telling voters that our candidates would shrink government more than the Republicans.”

Hinkle added, “A lot of our war chest is going to be used for ballot access. Many people are unaware that the Republican and Democratic parties have free access to the ballot, but the Libertarian Party has to struggle through massive petition drives.”

The Libertarian National Committee recently set a goal of getting 200 Libertarian candidates on the ballot for U.S. House in 2012.

Libertarian percentages in three-way races for U.S. House have been on an upward trend: in 2004, they got an average of 2.30%; in 2006, 2.74%; in 2008, 2.97%; in 2010, 3.40%. (That only includes races where the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian together got at least 99.9% of the vote.)

Every four years since 1988, the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee has been on the ballot in at least 44 states. Except for the Republicans and Democrats, no other political party has come close to that track record.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

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0 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Builds Big War Chest for 2012

  1. George Whitfield

    Thank you to all the contributers and party officials who helped achieve this favorable status.

  2. Kimberly Wilder

    Is anyone going to write about Ron Paul entering the race? Is he irrelevant to us all, because he is running as a Republican?

    I hate the major party politics, too. But, somehow, Ron Paul running seems like news to third party folks…

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I thought about posting one, Kimberly, but there’s so much out today I thought I’d post something over the weekend.

    I definitely think it’s of interest to third parties because many people in the Libertarian Party, at least, have discussed not running a candidate if Ron Paul gets the GOP spot.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    good news, although I wonder if the building fund is included in the $285k figure…

  5. Matt Cholko

    Just pointing out a small milestone – this is the 3500th LP post on IPR.

    Reading those posts and associated threads has probably cost me several hundred hours of otherwise valuable time, but hey, I’d like to thank all of the posters anyway!

  6. JT

    Tom: “Ron Paul’s been running for five years now. Is the fact that he mentioned it on a morning talk show really “news?””

    Of course it is. An official announcement is always news. And “Good Morning America” isn’t just another “morning talk show,” as I’m sure you realize.

  7. Matt Cholko

    MHW – I’m not certain, but I figure that if I had spent all of my IPR time on marketing my business (www.totalhomeserv.com), it would have put a few more dollars in my pocket. After all, there is always something more that can be done…….

  8. Robert Capozzi

    RP’s announcement is news here because he’s a former LP candidate. I personally was uncertain whether he’d run this time, and in fact I was somewhat surprised he announced his exploratory committtee. That he’s made it formal is not surprising at all.

    I noticed Stephanopolous asked about states legalizing heroin. That RP is taking this stand means virtually 100% he won’t get the nomination, vs. 95% had he not made that explicit, is my guess. He’s doing this to advance his ideas only, is my guess, which I admire.

    Also, he addressed why he doesn’t run as a I on GMA. That’s of interest here.

    Not sure what this’ll mean for the LP in 2012. More $ in the coffers at this point seems helpful, but handling the RP (and GJ) factor this time should be an interesting challenge. It probably stalls the LP again unless somehow the LP can feed off the Revolution while at the same time distancing it from the darker sides of the Paul brand.

  9. Kimberly Wilder

    Jill,

    Standing by for you to write an article this weekend. I think you would have better background to do so. But, if nothing is up by Sunday evening, maybe I will just slap something up.

    Yeah, it seems like it matches here. Even if just because he once ran as a Libertarian.

    I wasn’t sure how sensitive folks were here to people who now run on major party lines. Different people have different levels of frustration with people who abandon the third party ballot line. -KW

  10. Here's a radical idea

    Maybe the Third parties should focus on viable third party Senate and US House candidates. Those candidates could be the leader in the news instead of a minor party Presidential candidate that nobody has ever heard of outside of the coffee house.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    13, hmm, do you think MORE people hear about 3rd party MC and Senate candidates than prez candidates?

    I doubt it. The most people pay attention to the presidential races and the candidates. Prez candidates can plausibly raise money from a larger pool.

  12. Melty

    Robert sez: I noticed Stephanopolous asked about states legalizing heroin. That RP is taking this stand means virtually 100% he won’t get the nomination, vs. 95% had he not made that explicit, is my guess.

    I say you’re wrong, Robert. Paul has the balls to stand for something and say what may sound wild just to drive home a point. That’s respected. What he sed was strong n did not hurt his chances. Paul has an outside shot for the nomination, n not a long shot like last time n stefnapolus knows it. Only Romney n Huckabee have any better chance at it. If nominated Paul has the best chance of any Rebuplican for the white white house. That’s what’s so refreshing. It’s balls out no second guessing. To be the lone straight shooter may be a winning strategy.

  13. Melty

    To not get caught up in prez election stuff I’ve an observation. This “war chest” talk aint helpin. Words have power and we’re noninterventionists. Drop the battle analogy!

  14. Robert Capozzi

    Melty, it’s hard to know what Paul’s chances are. My take on the R base, primary voter is that taking the pro-legalize-heroin will gain him no points with that crowd. It might conceivably cause new people to register R to vote in the primaries, although even there, I’m skeptical that large numbers will do so.

    I agree that forthrightness is attractive, if that’s your point.

  15. JT

    Robert: “That RP is taking this stand means virtually 100% he won’t get the nomination, vs. 95% had he not made that explicit, is my guess.”

    Even if this were accurate–and I don’t think so–I don’t think the difference matters much. 0% chance vs. 5% chance? The same chance of pulling a black pen out of a hat full of 5 black pens and 95 blue ones doesn’t get my hopes up.

    I just want a strong showing from RP in the Republican state primaries. A few second-place finishes and a first-place finish by the end of Super Tuesday would make me feel good. He didn’t come anywhere near that in 2008.

  16. Michael H. Wilson

    Legalize heroin. Maybe if it was rephrased Mr. Capozzi

    If you are a conservative and want to reduce crime then we need to legalize drugs. We know that a lot of petty crime, the kind that eats up a lot of police manpower and court time, is because we have low level drug users stealing small items to sell in order to feed their drug habits.

    We should legalize heroin and other drugs so that addiction can be treated as a medical issue. That will eliminate a lot of petty crime; shoplifting, auto smash and grabs, petty assaults and burglary, etc.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    Mhw 20, yes, the phrasing could be done in a way that might not alienate R primary voters.

  18. paulie

    I have some comments to make on this post but I probably should shouldn’t make them as they would quickly devolve into territory that is segregated into the petitioner open thread. I do wish to discuss my concerns with LNC members and other interested people by phone. My number is 415-690-6352 and operator is standing by.

    Just very briefly I will say that with this surplus of cash on hand there is no reason why some of it can’t be used for ballot access.

    Instead what they are doing is contracting out to a fundraiser who charges 40% commission and uses “his own list” which is pretty much just the LP membership database anyway, which he was not supposed to keep for repeated use but did anyway. Other people have offered to work for lower commission but are not allowed to even try.

    There is much more to this story but it gets into petitioner issues and thus is not appropriate for other IPR threads such as this one, and I don’t have a lot of time on the computer anyway, but I hope to hear from some people by phone, especially LNC members.

    I will not be able to read replies to this any time soon, so if you want to discuss it with me, call me.

  19. JT

    LG: “in Nevada he won , and then they shut the convention down and roberts ruled themselves into stealing it from him”

    No, he didn’t. Romney won the Jan. 18 primary with 55% of the vote. Paul had 14% (though technically that was second place, 1% above McCain). However, when party leaders saw that Paul supporters were swamping the convention and their preferred slate of delegates was threatened, they (corruptly) shut it down and then picked the slate themselves.

    I want RP to at least win 1 actual primary election and have a much stronger 2nd-place showing in a few states in the first few weeks. I wouldn’t be disappointed with that.

  20. LibertarianGirl

    no JT , Ron Paul won clearly , but they didnt officialy have the votes all counted. Sue Lowden , Chairwoman alng with Chuck Muth , moved to close the convention early. The RP faction moved to extend to count the votes. he chair ruled the motion out of order and the convention was closed. That allowed for the republican central committee to choose the candidate an they chose , guess who? Ron Paul won , everyone knows it and they were simply out maneuvered. Ther has been many a lawsuit over the action and I know what Im talking about:) my point even if RP wins , they wont let him win:(

  21. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    KW, if you find something on RP to publish, please do. I have a very sick doggie at home, and I don’t know how my weekend will go.

    Having said that, Paulie, I’m interested in your thoughts about the LP’s national money and ballot access. I’ll try to give you a call tomorrow on it.

  22. LibertarianGirl

    JT , i aologize , we basically said the same thing , but i only read your 1st line and started rebuffing:) LOL its a classic example of shoulda read the entire post 1st

  23. NewFederalist

    How about a thread devoted to how when the Ron Paul GOP thing falls on its ass there is an alternative? I am thinking coalition of libertarians and constitutionalists and other like minded folks here. Let’s face it, love him or not Ron Paul is pissing into the wind once again.

  24. JT

    No problem, LG 🙂

    That state convention was a fraud, definitely. But I’m referring to winning a Republican state primary election, not a vote of state convention attendees. In that regard, Romney won Nevada in a landslide in Jan. 2008. Nobody else was even close.

  25. Robert Capozzi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBbV7mURP0I

    This performance burnishes my view that RP is un-nominate-able in the GOP. I love the guy, and while I might quibble with his words here and there, but this is just not a prime-time performance. He mostly digs himself deeper into a hole, IMO, clumsily evading at times, making grandiose-sounding statement other times.

  26. Kevin Knedler

    Once again, LP needs to avoid that giant “sucking sound” of people leaving to vote in GOP primaries in 2012. It hurts the LP in multiple ways:
    It reduces LP party registration numbers in states that have such a system. Could affect ballot access. Market other reasons to stay the course and vote in the LP primary, if the state has one. IE: Other candidates, Central Committee, etc.
    It reduces pool of available people that could hold state LP management positions. At least in Ohio it does, per state laws and LPO bylaws.

  27. Kevin Knedler

    Paulie,you have my attention.
    Hope to see you in Columbus, Ohio in August.
    I guess I will be there. LOL

  28. Robert Capozzi

    31 kk, yes, that seems likely. I seem to recall Redpath writing something on the subject in the 07-08 timeframe.

    I’d say candor is in order. Some Ls are going to do so. Some can be convinced not to do so. An adult conversation seems to be in order.

    Off the top of my head, it strikes me that the case can be made that one primary vote is not worth registering R in one state. If you feel moved to support RP, do so in other ways. Why damage one’s standing in the LP?

  29. Bruce Cohen

    The LP Press Release is misleading at best.

    This money was there before the current group was elected.

    They have had little or no successful fundraising since they have ‘taken over’, and with this, are tryiny to take credit for the hard work the previous LNC did.

    THIS MONEY WAS ALREADY THERE!!!

    LOL

  30. LibertarianGirl

    I agree with Kevin , I would never have dreamed of registering GOP for RP as I was an excom member of Clark County , but since my County Party was de-effiliated , fuck it , im Registering GOP Tuesday night

  31. Robert Capozzi

    34 bc, unpack your assertion. Are you saying they get to these numbers by lowering expenditures while maintaining revenue rate trajectories?

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    LG @ 35,

    That would be a bad idea.

    Your county’s LP is still your county’s LP.

    If you were a member of its executive committee before its disaffiliation, you remain one after disaffiliation.

    The only thing that has really changed for your county party is that it now no longer owes a dysfunctional/vestigial state executive committee $10 per year in member dues.

    Disaffiliation is not the same thing as dissolution, even if the latter was the aim of the dysfunctional/vestigial state executive committee’s actions.

    Your county executive committee’s members changing their voter registration to GOP, however, would look a lot like dissolution. Do you really want to give Silvestri/Root what they’re trying to get?

  33. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Mr. Cohen never backs up what he says, since very often the nasty comments he throws out are made up. Bruce is a fiction writer.

  34. paulie

    Paulie,you have my attention.
    Hope to see you in Columbus, Ohio in August.

    I usually go to LNC meetings if they are in a state which is close to where I happen to be at the time and/or if I have a ride or it is on my way to somewhere. I don’t fly due to TSA so I don’t go to LNC meetings that are geographically far from where I am when they happen. If I am working in a neighboring state I will go. If I am on the other side of the country, I won’t. I don’t know where I’ll be ahead of time so no way to predict now whether I can make it to Columbus.

    I still do need to limit my internet time (in fact i only saw your response because you addressed me by name in it) but I have unlimited phone minutes. At the moment I am in an area with spotty phone reception, but I’ll try to give you a call later if I don’t hear from you first.

    Thanks for paying attention! Hope to hear from other LNC members as well at 415-690-6352.

    -p

  35. JT

    Knapp: “The only thing that has really changed for your county party is that it now no longer owes a dysfunctional/vestigial state executive committee $10 per year in member dues.”

    So you’re saying that a state committee or the national committee can never revoke the Libertarian Party name from any affiliate? Obviously it can’t order the group to disband, but it seems to me like revoking affiliation has more import than “you don’t have to pay us.” It means “this state or local group may no longer represent itself as an organization affiliated with the Libertarian Party,” doesn’t it?

  36. JT

    Kevin: “Once again, LP needs to avoid that giant “sucking sound” of people leaving to vote in GOP primaries in 2012. It hurts the LP in multiple ways:
    It reduces LP party registration numbers in states that have such a system. Could affect ballot access.”

    I don’t know the number of states in which ballot access for Libertarians depends at all on the number of voters registered with the LP, but my understanding is that it isn’t most of them.

    Kevin: “It reduces pool of available people that could hold state LP management positions. At least in Ohio it does, per state laws and LPO bylaws.”

    Most Libertarians don’t want to hold a state party management position, just like most Republicans or Democrats don’t.

  37. Kevin Knedler

    JT. “most libertarians don’t . . .”

    With that mindset, then they shouldn’t complain with the direction of this country. Sitting on the couch is no longer an answer. I was one of those guys sitting on the couch until I joined the LP in 2005. Common everyday citizens are being energized to get involved, because the so-called professional politicians have bankrupted this country.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 41,

    You write:

    “So you’re saying that a state committee or the national committee can never revoke the Libertarian Party name from any affiliate?”

    That’s actually at least 52 different questions.

    The national committee certainly has no such power. It does not own the name “Libertarian Party” (its frivolous attempt to claim trademark on that name earlier in this decade notwithstanding), nor are political parties in the US organized in such a manner as to provide for it to exercise control over that name.

    Political parties are organized under election laws that vary from state to state. For example, in Missouri, the state party structure arises from the precinct/township level such that the state committee is a creation of “lower” committees, not vice versa (and the state executive committee is an extra-statutory creation of the state committee) — so the idea of the state excomm “disaffiliating a county party” in Missouri is ass-backward and absurd.

    I am not an expert in Nevada election law. I’ve only spent a few minutes reading it, and haven’t found any clear answers, but it’s not obvious that Nevada law provides for state committees to dissolve county parties, nor is it intuitive that it would do so.

  39. LibertarianGirl

    Tim,
    As I stated in my announcement to the entire LPCC business list, the
    action taken by the LPNevada Excomm on May 5 effectively disbanded the
    LPCC. As the outgoing Chair, I directed the outgoing Treasurer to close
    all accounts and forward all funds to the LPNevada Treasurer. I saw that
    as the last remaining appropriate action for a dissolved affiliate to
    take.

    That is not debatable, Tim. If a LPNevada bylaw is unclear, than it is up
    to the LPNevada to interpret its own bylaws (see Robert’s Rules page 570)
    and not us. The relevant section of the LPNevada bylaws regarding the
    revoked affiliation status is as follows:

    b. REVOCATION OF AFFILIATE STATUS
    i. The Executive Committee shall have the power to revoke affiliate status
    if two-thirds of the Executive Committee shall so vote. Members voting to
    revoke affiliate status must state their reasons in writing.
    c. AFFILIATE DEFINED
    i. An Affiliate is a creation of the LPN over some territory in Nevada and
    exists at the discretion of the LPN and subject to the other provisions
    and protections of these bylaws.

    So maybe I’m not sure what other advice or direction you’re looking for,
    or who you’re trying to get it from, especially after the LPCC Excomm
    voted to give the Chair the ability to allocate any LPCC funds to the
    State LP for outreach and fundraising.

    Thanks for your service, as always Tim. I look forward to continuing to
    work toward liberty with you.

    Sincerely,
    Kris McKinster

    me_but Kris McKinster says Robert says he can just check page 54 .lol

  40. Eddie

    You guys have to commit to win at the local and state level first! Stop putting resources into congressional seats and senate seats. Always run candidates at the national level, but put most resources into the truly contested races. This is the strategy the Green Party has been advocating. Don’t run the races from the top down. Do it from the bottom up!

  41. Robert Capozzi

    44 tk, are you suggesting that a county party calling itself the “LP” and the state party calling itself the “LP” could run candidates for the same office on the same name?

  42. JT

    Kevin: “With that mindset, then they shouldn’t complain with the direction of this country. Sitting on the couch is no longer an answer.”

    Just because most Libertarians don’t want to hold state party management positions doesn’t mean they want to “sit on the couch.” They may still be candidates or activists or major donors, despite not being interested in holding an intra-party office.

    Knapp: “The national committee certainly has no such power. It does not own the name “Libertarian Party” (its frivolous attempt to claim trademark on that name earlier in this decade notwithstanding), nor are political parties in the US organized in such a manner as to provide for it to exercise control over that name.”

    ARTICLE 6: AFFILIATE PARTIES in the bylaws deals with this. You’re saying that entire section is meaningless? Why would Libertarians adopt it if it doesn’t matter?

    Can nothing be done about it if a group of Nazis wants to represent itself as the Libertarian Party?

    Knapp: “I am not an expert in Nevada election law. I’ve only spent a few minutes reading it, and haven’t found any clear answers, but it’s not obvious that Nevada law provides for state committees to dissolve county parties, nor is it intuitive that it would do so.”

    What’s the point of having this in the state party bylaws under the section VII. AFFILIATES?

  43. David Colborne

    Nevada law is far more lax for “minor political parties” like the LP than it is for the major parties, which are bound to far more onerous requirements. The pertinent statutes can be found here:
    http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-293.html#NRS293Sec171

    Long story short, “minor political parties” can basically organize themselves however they want in Nevada provided they keep the Secretary of State updated on their bylaws and officers whenever they change and don’t start submitting several partisan candidates for the same race. Major parties (those that have 10%+ registered as that party in their voter registration), on the other hand, are legally required to hold county conventions, precinct meetings, and several other things.

    Another interesting side note is that major parties are not allowed to charge dues, or at least aren’t allowed to use dues as a determination of who gets to vote in precinct and county conventions. They are, however, allowed to charge door fees. See NRS 293.161. Personally, I’d prefer the LP to adopt this model for convention funding, over the “dues plus door” model used in California, among other places.

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