Carl Person: ‘Libertarian Party Doesn’t Need Carpetbaggers’

New York, NY, September 16, 2011. Carl Person, Candidate for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President, made the following statement about the issue of any Republicans or Democrats seeking to capture the Libertarian Party nomination for President:

Every four years the Libertarian Party is provided an opportunity to nominate for President a prominent politician from the Republican or Democratic Party who is unable to obtain the nomination of his/her own party. There are a few problems arising as a result.

In the past, when the Libertarian Party has taken that route, there has been no appreciable increase in Libertarian Party votes, so that the main (or whole) purpose in nominating such candidate failed. Here are the figures:

2008, Bob Barr, former Congressman, 523,686 votes, 0.4% of total votes cast

2004, Michael Badnarick, former radio talk show host, 397,265 votes, .32% of total votes cast

2000, Harry Browne, investment adviser and book author, 384,431 votes, 0.36% of total votes cast

1996, Harry Browne, investment adviser and book author, 485,759 votes, 0.50% of total votes cast

1992, Andre Marrou, LP member of Alaska House and LP VP candidate 1988, 290,087 votes, 0.28% of total votes cast

1988, Ron Paul, Libertarian, Republican Congressman, 431,750 votes, 0.47% of total votes cast

In contrast, when I ran for NYS Attorney General on the Libertarian Party line in November, 2010, I came in third and received 36,488 votes out of the 2,478,659 votes cast for NYS Attorney General (more than any prior Libertarian candidate for the same office), or 1.5% of the total votes cast, and 3 times as much in percentage as Bob Barr got (nationally) in 2008. I did this with absolutely no major media coverage of my candidacy, in contrast to Bob Barr who did get some major media attention. My cost per vote was 3 cents. In this same election, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his reelection campaign spent $174.00/vote ($102 million for 5,850,000 votes). In other words, Bloomberg spent 5,739 times more per received vote than I did in the last election.

The number of votes for the Libertarian Party candidate during these elections ran from 523,686 down to 290,087, for a difference between the two extremes of only 230,000 votes. This should be compared to the prospects for obtaining a million or two votes by reason of the Libertarian Party’s solution for the job-creation issue. Clearly the issue should prevail over a named candidate. In total number of votes, Ron Paul placed only 3rd of 6, although 2nd of 6 as to percentage of votes cast.

Also, any Republican or Democrat who has risen to a high level of success in the Republican or Democratic Party is unable today to demonstrate that his/her activities as a Republican or Democrat was able to anticipate or deal with the nation’s current economic problems, and the Libertarian Party is going to be stuck with a candidate having backed a failed economic policy.

Worse than this, any such Republican or Democrat is today unaware of what needs to be done to get the economy going again. Tax credits to create jobs doesn’t work. Cutting taxes (although desirable) doesn’t solve the jobs problem. The present debating Republican candidates for President (setting aside Ron Paul, because he had no chance in the debate to explain his views) have shown that they have no clue on how to get small business to create jobs, even though everyone (including President Obama) knows that the only way to obtain a net increase in permanent jobs is through small business. President Obama demonstrated during his American Jobs Act speech on September 8th that he and his advisors do not have any plans for creation of new jobs by small business. The Libertarian Party should not be appointing an economic loser (Republican or Democrat) to head up the party.

The Libertarian Party’s strength, as I see it, is that it is able to reach out and obtain ideas from individuals outside of the Republican and Democratic Parties, and offer some of them in the presidential campaign as a replacement for the failed policies. We in the Libertarian Party should be seeking new solutions for the nation’s number one problem, the economy and jobs, and new candidates not associated with the failed policies.

We in the Libertarian Party have an economic program for the creation of millions of jobs, through what I have been advocating, which is the elimination of regulatory obstacles prohibiting small businesses from creating tens of millions of new, high-paying jobs, and we shouldn’t abandon this great opportunity to let voters see a third party alternative with a credible jobs policy. The Libertarian Party can create substantial gains for itself by pushing a workable solution when the Republicans and Democrats have none. The 3 regulatory obstacles to eliminate are: (i) laws prohibiting small business from raising capital through publicity and advertising (which is illegal under the Securities Act of 1933); (ii) payroll withholding, reporting and insurance
requirements as to the first three employees of any business (“The 1st 3 Are Free”), sort of like a headstart program, so that small businesses can get going in their business with up to 3 employees (treated as independent contractors) before having to start complying with the onerous payroll rules applicable to giant corporations; and (iii) elimination of state laws requiring licensing applications, reviews, delays and a year of uncertainty before small business is able to offer multi-skill vocational training programs needed to train people to work for small business (something which increasingly the colleges and community colleges are unable to do).

The Libertarian Party should not destroy its advantage and undermine its purpose by putting a recognized name on the ballot. It hasn’t worked before and would fail once again. The recognition for us already exists in the ISSUE – which is jobs, jobs, jobs. We are the party of jobs, and the others are not. We shouldn’t destroy this difference. With this difference (of being able to create jobs) we can attract many millions of voters. With a recognized name on the ballot we’ll get the usual 500,000 or so votes.

As to Ron Paul, if he sought the Libertarian Party nomination, the Libertarian Party would undoubtedly give it to him immediately, by acclaim, and perhaps without a formal convention, if this were possible to organize. To a great extent the Libertarian Party is the party of Ron Paul and he would probably be able to get the Libertarian Party nomination if he wanted it. Presently, from what I understand, Ron Paul does not want or seek the Libertarian Party nomination. Ron Paul, as everyone knows, is trying to obtain the Republican nomination. Other issues for the Libertarian Party arise, which I’m not addressing, if he should get the Republican nomination AND if he should not get the Republican nomination.

What I do address, however, is the issue of Gary Johnson, former Republican Governor of New Mexico, who is currently seeking the Republican nomination for President. Gary Johnson was never the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate, unlike Ron Paul, and the Libertarian Party has no significant Gary Johnson wing, unlike Ron Paul. At best, it seems to me, Gary Johnson is a carpetbagger and should not be taken seriously as a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination.

As of September 11, 2011, there were 210 persons who had filed a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election
Commission as candidates for President, including 3 Libertarians: Roger V. Gary (Libertarian, filed 5/16/11), Carl E. Person (Libertarian, filed 6/6/11), Roger Lee Wrights (Libertarian, filed 6/7/11), and then there are Ron Paul (Republican, filed 3/12/11, amended 5/13/11), Gary Earl Johnson (Republican, filed 5/2/11).

The Committee to Recruit Gary Johnson, with an address in Houston, Texas (the same city as candidates Wrights and
Gary) mailed a letter on September 7, 2011 to each of the persons who attended the Libertarian Party convention in 2008 and 2010 (including me) asking whether they are interested in supporting him as the Libertarian Party nominee for President. For the reasons set forth above, everyone should say “No.” His Governorship of New Mexico included the suppression of small business through his alliance with higher education, the people who obtain the federal student loan money, which has caused the economy to decline in New Mexico as well as elsewhere in the United States because of failure to permit competition in the field of post-secondary vocational education. The New Mexico Higher Education Department regulates post-secondary vocational training programs and as a result of this regulation there isn’t a single program in New Mexico to train people to go to work for small business. Gary Johnson needs to take full credit for that, and can hardly be the candidate for creation of jobs by small business.

In summary, I believe it would be a mistake for the Libertarian Party and the country to nominate Gary Johnson as its candidate for President 2012. We need someone with new ideas for solving the nation’s serious economic problems.

0 thoughts on “Carl Person: ‘Libertarian Party Doesn’t Need Carpetbaggers’

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    The last two sentences of the abstract below are fairly important. And for the record I once ran for office and came in second. The other guy came in next to last. Hey its all how you look at it.

    “We use a new database, the National Establishment Time Series (NETS), to revisit the debate about the role of small businesses in job creation. Birch (e.g., 1987) argued that small firms are the most important source of job creation in the U.S. economy, but Davis et al. (1996a) argued that this conclusion was flawed, and based on improved methods and using data for the manufacturing sector they concluded that there was no relationship between establishment size and net job creation. Using the NETS data, we examine evidence for the overall economy, as well as for different sectors. The results indicate that small establishments and small firms create more jobs, on net, although the difference is much smaller than what is suggested by Birch’s methods. However, the negative relationship between establishment size and job creation is much less clear for the manufacturing sector, which may explain some of the earlier findings contradicting Birch’s conclusions.” http://www.nber.org/papers/w13818

  2. Laura

    I usually don’t respond to posts on here, as I usually don’t have anything intelligent to say. It seems this standard was not followed in this statement, so here toes.

    “In contrast, when I ran for NYS Attorney General on the Libertarian Party line”
    -A state election is DEFINITELY not the same as a national election. That’s like saying “hey look, since folks can easily get elected to the soil & water board, but this guy only got .3% in a national election? plltt.” Apples to oranges.

    “As to Ron Paul, if he sought the Libertarian Party nomination, the Libertarian Party would undoubtedly give it to him immediately, by acclaim, and perhaps without a formal convention, if this were possible to organize.”
    -Over my dead body. I can see no reason to skip a nominating convention; if he’s popular with LP members, he would have no problem getting elected. To toss out the rules just because there’s someone we really-really-REALLY like would undermine the LP even more than putting name brands on the ballot.

    “At best, it seems to me, Gary Johnson is a carpetbagger and should not be taken seriously as a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination.”
    -Actually, at best, he’s not seeking the LP nomination at all. I’m not sure how many times that needs to be reiterated (by himself in interviews and also by official campaign spokespeople), so I’m not going to try very hard. He’s just not.

    I like your discussion of regulatory obstacles to eliminate, that was constructive talk. To get nominated, I think you’ll get far talking about ideas like that.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    Do we have any statisticians here? I don’t see how cost/vote is a meaningful metric when the outcome is ~1%. It might be semi-interesting to see what the cost/vote is for WINNING candidates over time, as that gives a sense of how much it takes to WIN. Otherwise, the stat seems meaningless.

    If it IS meaningFUL, how so?

  4. paulie Post author

    Laura,

    Your comments are very intelligent. You should leave comments more often.

    BTW, can anyone spot an obvious arithmetic error in this release?

  5. paulie Post author

    The Committee to Recruit Gary Johnson, with an address in Houston, Texas (the same city as candidates Wrights and
    Gary)

    While Gary and Wrights do live in Texas, it is not in or near Houston. The Committee’s address is apparently under LNC member Guy McLendon, who is not a supporter of Wrights or Gary. If Person means to imply that Wrights, Gary or someone associated with their campaigns is trying to recruit Johnson into the LP race, he’s way off course.

    Wrights did comment on the prospect; we posted it at IPR earlier. In essence, it was much the same thing Person said, although much shorter. I also emailed Gary (and several other people – Duensing, Burns, Person, Root, RJ Harris) for their reactions. Only Root wrote me back (also published at IPR). This release may be taken as Person’s response. Gary, Harris, Burns and Duensing have yet to comment.

  6. paulie Post author

    Laura @ 6 and Robert @ 7 are both correct.

    On the other hand, the small business job growth plan sounds like a good step in a positive direction.

  7. Darryl W. Perry

    Roger Gary lives in San Antonio and according to his PR Wrights lives in Burnet, Texas – neither city being closer than 3 hours from Houston. Though I guess to a New Yorker anything (outside of NYC) that is in the same State is also the same city.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    10 dwp: Though I guess to a New Yorker anything (outside of NYC) that is in the same State is also the same city.

    me: Stereotype to match stereotype? 😉

  9. Robert Capozzi

    hmm, yes, I see that.

    Not to mention that Nebraska is too far west and there’s no sight of FL!

  10. Gene Berkman

    The most valid point in this article is that Mr Person received a higher percentage of the vote when he ran for New York Attorney-General than any LP candidate for President has received. This is in line with all our experience, where LP candidates for lower office normally get higher – often much higher – percentages than candidates for President.

    Indeed, if the Libertarian Party were to run Gary Johnson for U.S. Senator from New Mexico, he would get a higher percentage than he might receive as an LP candidate for President.

    The main point however is totally invalid. Companies often recruit exec utives from outside the firm. You want to get the best candidate possible, and so far nobody who has been involved in The Libertarian Party for a long time has shown that they have the name recognition or political skills needed to be taken seriously as a candidate for President.

    And it is clearly collectivistic to say that a Democrat or Republican – regardless of their own views or record – shares in the failure of the Democrat or Republican Parties to implement the right policies.

    Each of the big parties includes people with many different viewpoints and policy positions. Ron Paul has proposed reforms that would make job creation easier, and Gary Johnson has a record as Governor of New Mexico that is clearly better than the record of fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    gb, great analogy. CEOs are indeed often recruits. Paul, Barr, and in some ways Browne were recruits. The LP needs to recruit at all levels. “Promoting from within” involves increasingly responsible positions, but with the LP, the highest anyone gets is state legislator.

  12. Andy

    It should be pointed out that a lot of people are more likely to vote for a minor party or independent candidate for an office that they perceive to be a less important office than they are for an office they perceive to be a more important office. These people will think something along the lines of, “I like this Libertarian guy who is running for President, but if I vote for him I’ll just be throwing my vote away because he’s got no chance to win and the office of President is too important for me to throw my vote away.” So they will vote for whom they perceive to be the lesser of two evils between the Democrat or Republican. After this the same voter will look at the other offices that are being contested and will say, “What the heck, this time I’ll vote for whoever the Libertarian Party candidate is for Attorney General or Secretary of State or State Treasurer or _____________ (insert whatever other less important office in the blank) because this office is not as important as President.” The vote for the Libertarian Party candidate for Attorney General or Secretary of State or State Treasurer or __________ (insert name of whatever other less important office here) is more of a protest vote or a vote for the Libertarian Party or philosophy in general than it is for the actual candidate, because in most cases the voter doesn’t even know who the actual candidate is other than some name of the ballot with the Libertarian Party label next to it.

    When looking outside the Libertarian Party membership ranks for a Libertarian Party candidate, I think that one should take into account their record of being a small “l” libertarian activist. If a person has a long record of being involved with the libertarian movement I don’t have a problem with them being considered for nomination as a Libertarian Party candidate. Ron Paul was a Republican but he had a long record of involvement in the libertarian movement before he sought the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination. Harry Browne had been a non-voter for many years before he joined the Libertarian Party in 1994 and campaigned for the Libertarian Party’s 1996 Presidential nomination, but even though he was a non-voter he still had a long record of being active in the libertarian movement.

    What I have a problem with is somebody who does not have a record of being active in the libertarian movement seeking an LP nomination. This is what happened when Bob Barr emerged as a candidate for the LP’s Presidential nomination. Barr’s record as a libertarian activist was flimsy at best.

    Also, when I say libertarian activist I don’t me a person who is libertarian on one issue, or even two or three or four issues. I mean a person who is pretty darn libertarian across the board.

    I’ve noticed a phenomenon among some Libertarian Party members and that is that they seem to be overly enamored with the idea of people who’ve been elected as Republicans or Democrats running as Libertarian Party candidates, as if just because somebody has been elected as a Democrat or a Republican it automatically means that they will have more success than a typical LP candidate, which is not necessarily true. These individuals are so enamored with the idea of former Republicans or Democrats seeking an LP nomination that they are willing to overlook the fact that the candidate in question may not even be that libertarian, and may in fact just be an opportunist who is just using the Libertarian Party but doesn’t really care that much about the Libertarian Party or libertarian movement.

    The concerns that I have about Gary Johnson are:

    1) Just how libertarian is he? He has gone on record as saying that he is not in favor or pardoning non-violent drug offenders or for pardoning anyone who has been convicted for anything that is against the “law” (which means that he does not advocate pardoning anyone for any victimless “crimes”), and he also supports the Fair Tax plan as promoted by Neal Boortz and John Linder which I believe to be a Trojan Horse issue that libertarians ought to avoid like the plague.

    2) Just how popular is he? Gary Johnson was the Governor of a low population state 9 years ago. He hasn’t done much of anything in the political world since then. His following really isn’t that big and his campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination is doing poorly.

    I’m not saying that Gary Johnson is necessarily a bad guy or anything like that, I’m just saying that I think that some Libertarian Party members are overestimating his impact as a Libertarian Party candidate.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    GJ may not be a plumb liner, but the term “carpetbagger” seems silly to me. Carpetbaggers came to town to take advantage; were GJ to run as a L, he’d surely know that he could not win as a L. He’d do it for the idea of liberty, of moving the public square toward L ideas.

    Cashing in on L ideas doesn’t have much (any) track record that I can see.

  14. paulie Post author

    The most valid point in this article is that Mr Person received a higher percentage of the vote when he ran for New York Attorney-General than any LP candidate for President has received. This is in line with all our experience, where LP candidates for lower office normally get higher – often much higher – percentages than candidates for President.

    That is in fact a valid point. It’s also a valid point that the work Libertarian presidential candidates do helps those lower level candidates get votes, even when those votes don’t go to those same LP presidential candidates.

    Indeed, if the Libertarian Party were to run Gary Johnson for U.S. Senator from New Mexico, he would get a higher percentage than he might receive as an LP candidate for President.

    I do not believe Johnson would be interested in that. If he wanted to run for Senate, he would have a much higher chance of getting the Republican nomination – he has proven he can get elected and re-elected in NM before, after all. As a Republican candidate, he would be much more likely to actually get elected than as an LP candidate. I think he is running for president because he wants a national stage for his ideas.

    If he is interested in the LP at all, which at this point is not at all clear, it would only be to run for president.

    The main point however is totally invalid. Companies often recruit executives from outside the firm. You want to get the best candidate possible, and so far nobody who has been involved in The Libertarian Party for a long time has shown that they have the name recognition or political skills needed to be taken seriously as a candidate for President.

    They do not need to be taken seriously as candidates for president, since everyone including themselves knows they will not win that office. What they do need to be good at is promoting the LP. Out of recent candidates, I would say Harry Browne did the best job with that. They also need to be someone that shares the contacts they gather during the campaign with the LP. Some recent candidates, such as Barr, have not done that, thus greatly decreasing the value to the LP of running them. They should also be mentioning the LP website and 800 number frequently in interviews. Browne did; Barr, I believe, did not.

    And it is clearly collectivistic to say that a Democrat or Republican – regardless of their own views or record – shares in the failure of the Democrat or Republican Parties to implement the right policies.

    I agree. I’m not overly concerned with whether a candidate has been involved with the D/R-oid parties in the past, or even recently. I’m more interested in whether they are ideologically libertarian, presentable in the media, a hard worker, reliable, willing to make a significant time commitment, not likely to jump ship or pull some other stunt like that, whether they will promote the LP, whether they have any significant amounts of money or proven track record of raising money, and whether they will share contacts.

    If they have a past as an elected official, I would be looking to see whether their record in office is libertarian. If it is not, I would be curious as to whether they would emphasize their change of heart when campaigning or whether they would try to sweep it under the rug.

  15. paulie Post author

    GJ may not be a plumb liner, but the term “carpetbagger” seems silly to me.

    I agree, though not for the reason you give below. Johnson did join the LP in 1993, and his record as Governor was very libertarian compared to other Governors that have actually been elected in recent decades. Thus, he is not a total carpetbagger. The points Andy raises above are nevertheless valid, however.

    Carpetbaggers came to town to take advantage; were GJ to run as a L, he’d surely know that he could not win as a L. He’d do it for the idea of liberty, of moving the public square toward L ideas.

    That makes it sound like it would be impossible for any D/R-oid seeking the LP nomination to be a carpetbagger, just because they know they can’t be elected president. That is not the case. There could certainly be other reasons: vanity, list building, building name recognition for a future D/R-oid run a la Ron Paul, and so on.

    That does not mean that is what Johnson would be doing if he were seeking an LP nomination, but these are things to look out for when D/R-oids come knocking.

  16. NewFederalist

    As I have said before I hope Johnson stays very far away from the LP. The party is not yet ready for someone who has proven how to do things in the real world. Perhaps the party never will be ready.

  17. Gene Berkman

    Paulie @ 21 – my point about Gary Johnson getting a better percentage as an LP candiate for Senate was illustrative of the point, not a suggestion that it will happen.

    In 1978, Ed Clark received 5.5% as a candidate for Governor, and then just 1.2% as a candidate for President. In fact, he received 377,000 votes for Governor of California, then two years later he received 148,000 votes in California when he ran for President.

  18. Gene Berkman

    “They do not need to be taken seriously as candidates for president…What they do need to be good at is promoting the LP.”

    If they are not taken seriously as candidates, it detracts from their ability to promote The Libertarian Party. The amount of free publicity available to Libertarian candidates for President has been in decline for years – news outlets that used to feel a need to at least include a pro-forma article on The Libertarian Party candidate have often stopped doing so.

    Harry Browne got most of his publicity on talk radio, and most of his listeners went ahead and voted Republican.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    26 gb, yes, it’s a virtuous circle. Credibility leads to good promotion, not the other way around!

  20. paulie Post author

    my point about Gary Johnson getting a better percentage as an LP candiate for Senate was illustrative of the point, not a suggestion that it will happen.

    Fair enough.

    If they are not taken seriously as candidates, it detracts from their ability to promote The Libertarian Party.

    True.

    However, there are different levels of serious.

    On paper, Barr was a more credible candidate than the ones the LP has had in most elections; on paper, Badnarik was terrible. Nevertheless, Badnarik did a fair amount to turn lemons into lemonade…and the Barr campaign (not entirely due to Barr himself, although he bears the ultimate responsibility for his hiring choices) did a fair amount to turn lemonade into lemons (a la Pat Buchanan’s 2000 Reform Party campaign).

    The amount of free publicity available to Libertarian candidates for President has been in decline for years – news outlets that used to feel a need to at least include a pro-forma article on The Libertarian Party candidate have often stopped doing so.

    Some of that depends on what the LP does in that campaign, and some of it depends on what the LP does in between presidential campaigns and in other campaigns during the presidential year. That has been on the decline post-Browne era.

    A candidate who does everything he can to promote the party, and shares his lists with the party (especially in real time), does a lot more for the LP’s coverage after his or her campaign is over. That includes recruiting the people who go on to run for local office 2, 4, 6…20 or 40 years later.

    Harry Browne got most of his publicity on talk radio, and most of his listeners went ahead and voted Republican.

    He also got many print articles, some TV, etc. You can find the details on his website, which is still up.

    And again, even some of those listeners that voted Republican nevertheless voted Libertarian somewhere downticket.

    As you may have noticed, I’ve also advocated that an LP candidate should try to campaign in ways that reach young people and others who are more likely to vote Democrat or Green or not vote at all if they don’t vote for the LP. I happen to think that they are a more reachable audience than older talk radio conservative audiences if we speak to them in their language and actually make the effort of appealing to them. I also think that, vis a vis conservative/libertarians, the “low hanging fruit” has not been already picked among liberal/libertarians.

    Nevertheless, even a Libertarian ticket that campaigns suboptimally is better than not having one at all.

  21. Chuck Moulton

    I understand that candidates who see Johnson as a potential rival for the LP presidential nomination feel the need to articulate reasons why LP delegates should nominate them instead of Johnson. As a 2012 convention delegate though, I caution those candidates that ad hominem attacks, non sequitors, and the circular firing squad are a turn offs for me.

    Carl Person wrote:

    The Libertarian Party has no significant Gary Johnson wing

    I disagree.

    There is a significant c0ntingent of Libertarian Party members who want a credible presidential candidate with a solid libertarian platform and relevant experience. Gary Johnson has strongly advocated marijuana legalization as a centerpiece of his campaign and is better than Ron Paul on immigration, gay rights, and abortion, which makes him very attractive to libertarians who are center or left leaning rather than right leaning. His 43% spending cut plan and his solid fiscal record as a 2 term governor appeals to libertarians that emphasize economic issues. I strongly suspect the survey results will reveal a large base of support for Johnson within the LP.

    I am part of the Gary Johnson wing of the Libertarian Party.

    Carl Person wrote:

    Gary Johnson is a carpetbagger and should not be taken seriously as a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination.

    Gary Johnson was a LP member 1993-1994.

    What year did Carl Person join the LP?

  22. Robert Capozzi

    29 cm: I’m not inclined to support a candidate who can’t divide 102 by 6.

    me: Math errors are what they are. Analysis errors seem more problematic to me. Comparing with Bloomberg seems silly. Hadn’t Mayor Mike changed the law to allow for a third term? Hadn’t he changed his affiliation from R to Independent? These were extraordinary things. If I were him, I’d spend all I could to ensure that I’d be re-elected, knowing that what he was doing was out on a limb as it was.

    And win he did. He wanted to remain a “player,” and he is.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    30 cm: I strongly suspect the survey results will reveal a large base of support for Johnson within the LP.

    me: Yes, but GJ is more centrist and moderate than the identifiable “wings” in the LP. The sort of support that gets a “wing” in the LP requires a certain extreme viewpoint, I’d say. There’s probably a RP constitutionalist wing. A fusionist wing, with Root probably occupying that space. Then there might be a Rothbardian wing, where the anarchists like to play.

    There may well be a silent majority in the LP, people who might ID with someone like GJ…credible, “L enough,” not all that focused on obscure theories. The LP and LM have developed a tradition of radical-ness for radicalism’s sake, posturing for posturings sake.

    A lot of Ls may like GJ, but it’s certainly not as intense as the identifiable wings that cling to their thought systems. Our wings want red meat. GJ offers tofu.

    Tofu might be better for us, but carnivores might be unsatisfied with it.

  24. NewFederalist

    “So the LP was not ready for Barr?”

    I think the results rather speak for themselves. From the Perot campaign manager on it didn’t appear to me to have worked out very well.

  25. paulie Post author

    I’m not sure what you mean.

    Johnson should avoid the LP because if he goes LP he will start making bad choices all over the places, such as his campaign staff?

  26. JT

    First, comparing 1.5% of the vote for NY Attorney General vs. .5% of the vote for US President is silly to me. The 2 races aren’t analogous, as others have pointed out above, and both results are insignificant, IMO.

    Second, why isn’t Milnes going on and on about how Gary Johnson is a right-wing counterrevolutionary? This is a golden opportunity for you, Bob. Wake up!

  27. paulie Post author

    No, I just believe he won’t be appreciated for the good choices he has already made.

    Seems to me that the red carpet was rolled out for Barr, and would be for Johnson if he becomes interested.

    Granted, that is not unanimous, but then nothing ever is in the LP.

  28. paulie Post author

    Second, why isn’t Milnes going on and on about how Gary Johnson is a right-wing counterrevolutionary? This is a golden opportunity for you, Bob. Wake up!

    He is. Check his website.

    He has been removed from IPR – he seems to be sure it was by me, although it was actually by an anonymous IPR writer/editor – because he repeatedly ignored, and said plainly that he would continue to ignore, the quarantining of PLAS in separate threads after numerous people had complained about continuous threadjacking and the IPR writers had agreed as a group to deal with the problem that way.

    In his final comment to IPR, which was removed, he apparently said something along the lines that he had all day to post his PLAS rants all over every thread at IPR and that the IPR writer/editor who he believed was me would not be able to keep up with him by removing those comments fast enough.

    This comment was placed in the spam folder, and the spam folder has since been cleared, so it is permanently erased now.

    Milnes has turned his site into a running commentary of what he would be saying on IPR if he was still allowed to post here, so any of you who are interested in keeping up with that can go to http://www.robertwmilnesforpresident.com/ where you can also read about how believes TV news anchor women are watching him masturbate to them through his TV set with the help of the FBI or some similar agency.

  29. Gene Berkman

    “…better than Ron Paul on immigration, gay rights, and abortion, which makes him very attractive to libertarians who are center or left leaning rather than right leaning…”

    He is better on those issues than Ron Paul, and those issues make him a better fit with The Libertarian Party than with the Republican Party.

    In the past there were many pro-choice Republican officeholders – including Barry Goldwater.

    Also in the past, prominent Republicans supported liberal immigration policies – includin Ronald Reagan and Rep Phil Crane.

    I suspect there remain millions of small business owners and small government conservatives who are looking for candidates that don’t demagog the immigration issue, and oppose restricting the reproductive rights of women.

  30. Gene Berkman

    To correct an issue in the original column, Mike Bloomberg was re-elected in 2009 with 585,000 votes, so his cost was about $174 a vote.

    Only 7 million people live in New York, including children and resident non-citizens, so the original reference to Bloomberg’s vote total becomes the myth of the 6 million.

  31. Jake Witmer

    The libertarian movement and LP are not serious about individual liberty. They are mostly comprised of very comfortable people, who dabble in politics. I say this, because they are strategically a non-entity. Strategy is equal in importance to philosophy, yet there is nowhere near the consensus on strategy that there is on philosophy, and even in areas of philosophy, there is no conscious thought about playing the game for keeps. Are not both domains amenable to a real-world analysis? They are.

    However, most libertarians have absolutely zero comprehension about how even so elemental a process as ballot access works. They have no idea at all about how power might be shifted from Ds and Rs to Ls, and little or no interest in finding out. This means that they are a philosophy supper club, and not to be taken seriously.

    When it comes to strategy, they are –generally speaking– backstabbers, conformists, and bureaucrats. If you don’t believe me, then go to a libertarian party meeting and try to get something done. There will often be one agent provacateur in charge of the group, who has a commanding grasp of Robert’s Rules of Order (and nothing else). He will be deferred to by most of the others, with the others all championing their pet projects, and attempting to tug the group in the direction of supporting their pet projects. The RROR expert will pit the “People’s Front Of Judea” camp against the “Judean People’s Front” camp, and sit back to enjoy the fireworks.

    Nowhere will you see any cogent discussion of how best to move the party toward effectuating a greater level of individual freedom, or winning election for its candidates. Nowhere will you see a realistic, gracefully-decaying plan (a plan with incremental benchmarks for re-evaluation) for outreach, party-building, or media access. Where you do see these things, they are rapidly hooted down by the naysayers and obstructionists, who have the secret agenda of proving SEK3 correct.

    This is why GJ didn’t take the LP seriously, when he joined the LP, in 1993. There were no pragmatic libertarians who wanted to draw up a realistic plan, at that time. I have encountered a few in my travels since 2001, but they are few and far between.

    Also, if you desire to grow the LP, the political operatives who are tending the LP, and actively preventing its success will target you, successfully, since your fellow libertarians will not come to your defense. In fact, they will not even comprehend the attacks against you. Moreover, they will be happy to be taken seriously by the agents provocateurs, since they are only involved in the LP for matters of ego, anyway.

    This makes electoral politics a small part of the solution, at best. Still, it’s a part of any viable strategy, and what I say here won’t be acknowledged or heeded, so enjoy your toboggan ride to tyranny! I’ll see you in the re-education camps. …Hopefully they’ll allow us to play chess there.

    BTW, JT, you should call me. You seem to have changed your number, and I have a new 312 number. You can get it from Paul, or by emailing me. Thanks.

  32. Andy

    Chuck Moulton said: “There is a significant c0ntingent of Libertarian Party members who want a credible presidential candidate with a solid libertarian platform and relevant experience. Gary Johnson has strongly advocated marijuana legalization as a centerpiece of his campaign and is better than Ron Paul on immigration, gay rights, and abortion, which makes him very attractive to libertarians who are center or left leaning rather than right leaning.”

    I don’t see how Gary Johnson has a solid libertarian platform, or would appeal to leftist with libertarian leanings when he takes stands such as:

    1) He wants to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison open.

    2) He does not take a clear non-interventionist approach to foreign policy.

    3) He has said that he only favors decriminalizing marijuana, and that he does not favor decriminalizing other drugs.

    4) He does not favor pardoning non-violent drug “offenders” or anyone else who has been convicted under any other “law” (which includes anyone who was convicted for any victimless “crime”).

    He also favors the Fair Tax as proposed by Neal Boortz and John Linder which is an absolutely horrible plan that at best is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, and would most likely result in making the Titanic sink faster if anything (as in it would probably be worse than the current income tax system).

    I also think that some people are engaging in wishful thinking and are overestimating Johnson’s “celebrity” status.

  33. Catholic Trotskyist

    Paulie is a good man, but I advocate bringing Milnes and Ogle back to IPR. PLAS and US Parliament are great strategies which are relevent to American independent politics and to humanity as a whole.
    And Gary Johnson will not seek the Libertarian nomination. I think RJ Harris is the best LP candidate announced so far.

  34. Robert Capozzi

    40 a: I also think that some people are engaging in wishful thinking and are overestimating Johnson’s “celebrity” status.

    me: I’ve seen no estimates of the prospects of GJ as ticket topper, so you’ll need to expand.

    GJ is a former guv who is pro markets, pro civil liberties, and tends to be pro non-intervention. He’s no plumb liner. If anything, he’s made too much out of the drug issue, IMO, certainly in the GOP, and arguably in positioning himself. He’s the “drug” candidate, and that’s not something that will get him anywhere near the WH.

    His view on Gitmo is more nuanced than you summarize it. Some may find Gitmo to be a black and white issue, though I don’t.

    He is pro choice, for gay rights. He does want to cut government substantially. He is against the wars.

    That may well not be “good enough” for some Ls. That’s fair enough. Personally, I’d vote for him. My guess is he’d do somewhere between Barr and Clark, possibly better.

    On a ticket with RP, they might do 10% if everything breaks right. If there’s a “real” AE challenger, all bets are off, although winning seems incomprehensible. Qualitatively, however, that could lead to an ideological shift that could represent an inflection point.

    Any candidate represents a question of risk and reward. Those in an ideological cocoon tend to be risk averse, dreaming of a day when Robocops from competing firms vie for collaring the petty thief caught on the private boulevard.

    I can see why they’d find the GJ risk too high.

    I don’t.

  35. Sane LP Member

    Gary Johnson, as LP candidate, would beat the present slate for POTUS like a drum. He is close enough on LP issues overall. Nobody is perfect. If you want perfect, go read a philosophy book in the library.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    46 sane: Gary Johnson, as LP candidate, would beat the present slate for POTUS like a drum.

    me: Overstating for effect? Barring a miracle, GJ and his resume is still likely to be an also ran, as I see it. Explicitly liberty-minded folk are not all that numerous as yet, and Obama is an A-1 disaster. Perry might be scary. Romney might be plastic. Those on the fence will be forced to choose.

    GJ is a good man, but does he have transcendant skills? I’m not seeing that as yet….

  37. paulie Post author

    I advocate bringing Milnes and Ogle back to IPR. PLAS and US Parliament are great strategies which are relevent to American independent politics and to humanity as a whole.

    Please confine any further discussion of IPR commenting policies to debate on debate parameters. If anyone wants to actually still talk about plas or usp you can find the appropriate threads under https://independentpoliticalreport.com/category/open-threads/

    Don’t do so here or in other unrelated IPR threads.

  38. paulie Post author

    @30, 43

    Both Paul and Johnson have some areas where they are better than the other. These generally mirror the Rockwell/Rothbard vs. Cato/Reason split. Both sides of that are essentially correct in pointing the other’s shortcomings, although they tend to exaggerate them.

  39. paulie Post author

    does he have transcendant skills? I’m not seeing that as yet….

    From reading his wikipedia page, he beat long odds to win his first primary for Governor. And getting re-elected after making some very controversial statements and decisions must take some skill.

    In the Republican race for potus this year, not so much.

    I guess we’ll see if and when we get to run the experiment.

  40. Robert Capozzi

    50 p, to be clear, my assessment is that GJ is skilled. I’ve seen no evidence that he’s the Michael Jordan of politics. Scottie Pippin? Maybe.

    For a L to breakthrough, he/she’d need to be on the level of Reagan, Clinton or Obama…off the hook charisma. Even then, the obstacles are massive.

    Short of that, I’d like to see the LP nominate the best plowman possible.

  41. paulie Post author

    BTW, JT, you should call me. You seem to have changed your number, and I have a new 312 number. You can get it from Paul, or by emailing me. Thanks.

    I’ve only been in touch with JT through IPR comments. We may have met at some of his state’s LP conventions that I attended, or perhaps national, but it’s hard to say.

  42. Sane LP Member

    My point in # 46 was that GJ would beat all other “LP” candidates for the nomination. To beat a R or D would be an entirely different story of course.

  43. JT

    Jake: “BTW, JT, you should call me. You seem to have changed your number, and I have a new 312 number. You can get it from Paul, or by emailing me. Thanks.”

    You’ve got me mixed up with someone else, Jake. No worries.

    Anyway, I for one don’t view GJ as having a great deal of celebrity power. I don’t even view him as someone who’d probably get millions of votes as a Libertarian candidate (it’s certainly possible, but I wouldn’t bet money on it).

    I view GJ as a guy who’s polished and articulate, who has a lot of media experience, who can raise a lot of money relative to other Libertarian candidates, who has a credible background of accomplishment, who wants to greatly reduce government spending, who’s socially liberal on a variety of issues, and who’d have a realistic chance to get more votes than any Libertarian candidate for President has so far.

    Good enough for me.

  44. Tom Blanton

    …TV news anchor women are watching him masturbate to them through his TV set with the help of the FBI…

    Oh, Shit! You mean they can see me…er, him?

  45. history ----- on the current system .... Lake

    Oh, darn, you mean they can see me, us ah, er, um him?

    On a more serious note, just like privatizing USPS, SS, veterans homes, where is the Lib imput on [NASA]

    “vitally needs new private spaceships, vehicles capable of carrying U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), in order to maintain the future health of the massive orbiting laboratory.

    And they need them soon, agency officials said Friday (Sept. 16) in an industry forum.

    “Every year we do not have a commercial crew capability, the ISS is at risk,” Philip McAlister………..”

    [too busy with internal squabbles ????????]

  46. Here's a radical idea

    Why don’t some of these so-called LP POTUS candidates get some experience running for a state assembly or US Congress first? Heck, even run for dog-catcher.
    Or have a major market radio or television show for some sort of exposure. Or own a business which can profile your talents (ie: Herman Cain).

  47. JT

    He’s not a Libertarian candidate, but Gary Johnson owned a business before he was elected Governor. He started a business that became a large, successful construction company in New Mexico.

  48. paulie Post author

    Why don’t some of these so-called LP POTUS candidates get some experience running for a state assembly or US Congress first?

    Carl Person ran for NY Attorney General. He has owned businesses and claims to have started the paralegal field.

    Roger Gary has owned businesses, run for other office before, and held appointed (I believe) office.

    Jim Duensing has run for Congress – several times, I believe.

    RJ Harris has run for Congress.

    Lee Wrights has probably run for other offices before, although I don’t have that info handy.

    Jim Burns has run for state or local office before. In fact he legally changed his name just so the word Libertarian would appear on the ballot.

    If Root runs, of course he has owned businesses, and he ran for local office as a young Republican in NY, and obviously he gets media exposure.

  49. RobertDupuy

    I didn’t like Person’s rambling style. Look if you are going to write a long article – only intelligent people will read it. The rest can’t be bothered.

    And intelligent people can pick up on the obvious logical errors – as everyone did.

    That guy is a no-go. Hey I don’t follow the board often anymore, but, I was wondering who might be heading the ticket….seems like that’s far from decided, unfortunately.

    One thing Person did point out – inadvertently is just how well Bob Barr actually did.

    He got the highest total vote count – and under difficult circumstances. Paul is moving Libertarian support into the Republican fold – and other 3rd parties are just as organized, if not more so, than the LP.

    Nice job. Look, like always, the Presidential run should be about improving on previous results and recruiting a base of ‘contributing’ members.

    Lets not tell anyone the candidate will win – that burns people out. Lets say from the start – he or she won’t win, but, our goal is to build a large base – and lets keep people around for a while.

  50. paulie Post author

    One thing Person did point out – inadvertently is just how well Bob Barr actually did.

    He got the highest total vote count

    Highest total vote count of what?

    other 3rd parties are just as organized, if not more so, than the LP.

    Simply put, that is not true.

    Nice job. Look, like always, the Presidential run should be about improving on previous results and recruiting a base of ‘contributing’ members.

    Barr did not do well in that regard.

    Lets say from the start – he or she won’t win, but, our goal is to build a large base – and lets keep people around for a while.

    Mostly agreed. However, don’t rule out the possibility of winning – just admit that it is extremely unlikely, and set realistic intermediate goals that can actually be reached.

  51. JT

    Robert: ‘Hey I don’t follow the board often anymore, but, I was wondering who might be heading the ticket….seems like that’s far from decided, unfortunately.”

    Why is that unfortunate? Why is it important to know who the Libertarian nominee is going to be months ahead of the convention?

  52. paulie Post author

    Why is that unfortunate? Why is it important to know who the Libertarian nominee is going to be months ahead of the convention?

    Ramping up a campaign’s volunteer effort, media contacts, candidate coaching, etc, can take months. With a convention in May and an election in November, the campaign may just be starting to hit its stride when the election comes, or not even fully hitting its stride yet.

    My experience is fairly limited – I was a Democrat in the leadup to 1992, although I ended up voting Libertarian after my former party picked a nominee from the post-WW2 generation who would continue the drug war and corporate-government collusion and squander the post-cold war opportunity to curtail the military industrial complex.

    After joining the LP, I’ve seen the LP with a presumptive presidential nominee ahead of time in 1996 and 2000, and without one in 2004 and 2008. I would say the 1996 and 2000 campaigns were better organized and did better in terms of building the party.

    Of course, those were both the same candidate, so perhaps I’m overgeneralizing. Those of you who have been around longer could perhaps tell me if I’m right.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    69 p, agree. Barr, for ex., had not been thinking stuff through for a run, even. If he had, perhaps he would have recognized how some of his old stances needed to be disowned, like DOMA. He’s since come around on the issue.

    L candidates need to work out the kinks, too. All too often, Ls rely on a NAP-compliant handwave viewpoint, rather than develop a relevant narrative designed to attract those who’ve not consumed the Kool Aid.

  54. JT

    Paulie: “Ramping up a campaign’s volunteer effort, media contacts, candidate coaching, etc, can take months. With a convention in May and an election in November, the campaign may just be starting to hit its stride when the election comes, or not even fully hitting its stride yet.”

    True, but candidates for the nomination should start doing those things months before the convention anyway. We don’t have to know who the candidate will be right now for those things to happen. I don’t think it’s “unfortunate” that nobody who has announced is a runaway favorite right now.

    Paulie: “After joining the LP, I’ve seen the LP with a presumptive presidential nominee ahead of time in 1996 and 2000, and without one in 2004 and 2008. I would say the 1996 and 2000 campaigns were better organized and did better in terms of building the party.

    Of course, those were both the same candidate, so perhaps I’m overgeneralizing.”

    Yes, those were both the same candidate–one who was head and shoulders above the others and who made it a point to help build the LP. If a better candidate doesn’t get in the race, I’d go with NOTA.

  55. paulie Post author

    True, but candidates for the nomination should start doing those things months before the convention anyway. We don’t have to know who the candidate will be right now for those things to happen.

    Yes, they should. But as it stands, many of the people that would be helping them with such efforts don’t come on board until after they get the nomination, because they don’t know who the candidate will be or are supporting a different one for the nomination.

    Right now, the pre-nomination campaigns are very shoestring. I worked on one last time; we could not afford things like flyer printing, signs and bumperstickers most of the time. We couldn’t afford to get the candidate to most state conventions. I went to some on his behalf and most of the time I could not get my expenses reimbursed because we just didn’t have the money.

    A couple of other candidates had somewhat better funding – only because they personally paid most of it.

    Barr’s problem was not really money so much as total lack of preparation. He announced for the nomination mere weeks ahead of time. Verney’s campaign plan, much like Hacker’s for Badnarik’s congressional campaign, relied on much larger amounts of money coming in than actually materialized. When the money didn’t come in as expected, there were no contingency plans.

    In 2004, Badnarik raised the money at each stop to get to the next stop and pulled into Atlanta on fumes.

    I’d still like someone(s) who was there to share more about how it worked in 1992 or before. For one thing, back then candidates had over a year after the nomination until the election.

    From reading, I know Bergland, another last minute choice, did relatively poorly. I’ll guess that Clark was probably more prepared. Paul and Marrou were probably somewhere in between.

  56. paulie Post author

    If a better candidate doesn’t get in the race, I’d go with NOTA.

    I think NOTA would be a tremendous mistake. Worse than having a terrible candidate.

    If we go NOTA, I predict state LPs will start falling off the ballot and disappearing left and right.

    I also predict that once we go NOTA, it will be NOTA or cross-endorsing the Republican candidate every election after that, which will not be against the bylaws by then. Of course, the cross-endorsement will be of little value, and in another decade we’ll be about where the Reform Party is now.

  57. paulie Post author

    Consider that we have recovered from lackluster campaigns before.

    Has any party nominated NOTA for president and come back to run presidential candidates, or done well at other levels, after that?

  58. JT

    Paulie: “But as it stands, many of the people that would be helping them with such efforts don’t come on board until after they get the nomination, because they don’t know who the candidate will be or are supporting a different one for the nomination.”

    Do you think it’s an unfortunate situation that in Sept. 2011 we don’t yet know who the Libertarian nominee will be?

    Paulie: “I think NOTA would be a tremendous mistake. Worse than having a terrible candidate.”

    I wouldn’t pick anyoneif I think it would be embarrassing to have any one of them as the top-of-ticket candidate who represents all of the state parties.

    Paulie: “If we go NOTA, I predict state LPs will start falling off the ballot and disappearing left and right.”

    Why?

    Paulie: “I also predict that once we go NOTA, it will be NOTA or cross-endorsing the Republican candidate every election after that, which will not be against the bylaws by then.”

    Why?

    Paulie: “Has any party nominated NOTA for president and come back to run presidential candidates, or done well at other levels, after that?”

    I don’t know. Has any party done that? Anyway, I don’t think any other party in recent history is analogous to the LP.

  59. paulie Post author

    Do you think it’s an unfortunate situation that in Sept. 2011 we don’t yet know who the Libertarian nominee will be?

    Yes.

    I wouldn’t pick anyoneif I think it would be embarrassing to have any one of them as the top-of-ticket candidate who represents all of the state parties.

    It is even more embarrassing to come up with an empty space.

    Why?

    Some of the states directly depend on a presidential ticket for ballot access, although it may be very few. However, presidential campaigns bring in many of the new people that join the party. Membership tends to decline through attrition. Without a presidential race to halt that decline, it will accelerate. As the membership declines, so do all signs of life – fundraising, number of candidates, members in office, registered Libertarians, etc. It turns into a vicious spiral.

    Local candidates get fewer media opportunities, especially to address national issues. Without anyone to tell them they are Libertarians, libertarians will be politically homeless. Some may be drawn to run as or work for “Ron Paul Republicans” and others may be drawn in to be antiwar Democrats, or perhaps they will find another alternative such as the Greens if their primary issue is, say, legalizing marijuana, or the Constitution Party. Basically they will scatter to the four winds.

    Why?

    I know of several parties that have stopped running presidential candidates and have gone way downhill. I know of none that have started back up or have remained relevant in other ways.

    I don’t think any other party in recent history is analogous to the LP.

    I think the same rule applies for the same reason it did to them.

    We have a different ideology, but the mechanics are the same.

  60. paulie Post author

    By the way, I don’t feel like scrolling up, but it may have been in this thread (or not) that Gene Berkman pointed out some state parties that have been strong through cross-endorsement.

    These were all one-state parties, as far as I know. And many (probably most, maybe even all) of them were basically pressure groups on one bigger party or the other, like the Liberal and Conservative parties in NY.

    Is there or has there ever been a national party that does not run presidential candidates, or which cross-endorses, yet runs many of its own candidates for other offices and is active in a variety of states?

  61. JT

    Okay, then we just disagree as far as the “unfortunate” or “embarrassing” situations go.

    Paulie: “Some of the states directly depend on a presidential ticket for ballot access, although it may be very few.”

    Which states do you know of that need to have a candidate for President for its ballot access? That’s a sincere question; I just want to know.

    Paulie: “However, presidential campaigns bring in many of the new people that join the party.”

    Is it the case that Libertarian Party membership gets a significant boost with all campaigns for President (post-nomination)? Again, I don’t know that. I wish I could find online an LP membership chart that spans many years.

    Paulie: “I know of several parties that have stopped running presidential candidates and have gone way downhill. I know of none that have started back up or have remained relevant in other ways.”

    I think you’re making a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

    Paulie: “Is there or has there ever been a national party that does not run presidential candidates, or which cross-endorses, yet runs many of its own candidates for other offices and is active in a variety of states?”

    I don’t know much about the history of most political parties. I think the LP is well-organized enough to run candidates for other offices even if it doesn’t have a candidate for President.

  62. paulie Post author

    Which states do you know of that need to have a candidate for President for its ballot access? That’s a sincere question; I just want to know.

    I don’t remember off the top of my head but I remember reading that there were some.

  63. paulie Post author

    Is it the case that Libertarian Party membership gets a significant boost with all campaigns for President (post-nomination)?

    No, but most presidential races tend to boost membership. Even if it doesn’t, I suspect it would have declined more rapidly without the presidential campaign.

    Even a lackluster campaign such as Bergland’s gets some media, which leads people to investigate the party. NOTA gets zero interviews, airs zero commercials, meets zero people.

  64. paulie Post author

    I don’t know much about the history of most political parties. I think the LP is well-organized enough to run candidates for other offices even if it doesn’t have a candidate for President.

    I don’t think it will stay well-organized enough to do so much longer if that happens.

  65. Gene Berkman

    Paulie @ 72 – “I know Bergland, another last minute choice, did relatively poorly…”

    Dave Bergland was a poor candidate, who did not emphasize issues but always started with some statement to the effect that “everyone is already a libertarian, they just don’t know it.”

    However, he did as bad as he did because the Libertarian Party was completely broke when it nominated him. After the Clark/Koch ticket spent all the money Dave Koch put up – about $2.5 million, and the $900,000 they raised from supporters, they spent another $900,000 that was borrowed.

    After the Koch backed candidate lost for Chair at the 1981 convention, Koch affiliated members of the Libertarian National Committee voted to have the party pay off the Clark campaign debt. That absorbed all the fund-raising from 1981 to the 1983 convention.

    Ron Paul in 1988 brought back the Libertarian Party from the pit that the Bergland campaign had left it in. But the Ron Paul nomination seriously divided the Libertarian Party becauce of Paul’s opposition to abortion, and because Dr Rothbard pushed Paul to try to appeal to Pat Robertson supporters.

    The real reason The Libertarian Party survived that period was the big protest vote for LP candidates in the 1990 elections, as President Bush Sr pushed America into the first Iraq War.

  66. JT

    Paulie: “I don’t remember off the top of my head but I remember reading that there were some.”

    Could be. I know of the ballot access laws for a lot of the states, and all of those have ways to get on the ballot that don’t depend on running a candidate for President. Many of them rely on a percentage of registered voters or votes for Governor as a baseline.

    Paulie: “No, but most presidential races tend to boost membership. Even if it doesn’t, I suspect it would have declined more rapidly without the presidential campaign.”

    All right. That’s your suspicion.

    Paulie: “Even a lackluster campaign such as Bergland’s gets some media, which leads people to investigate the party. NOTA gets zero interviews, airs zero commercials, meets zero people.”

    It also doesn’t hold up a candidate before the country that leads most non-Libertarians to think, “This is who this party nominated for President?!? Geez.”

    Paulie: “I don’t think it will stay well-organized enough to do so much longer if that happens.”

    Okay. I don’t see why not. The post hoc logic isn’t sufficient for me, but it might be for other people.

    Bottom line is that I don’t want to vote for a candidate who I don’t think is a good one.

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT@75,

    “Do you think it’s an unfortunate situation that in Sept. 2011 we don’t yet know who the Libertarian nominee will be?”

    That’s an easily unsolvable problem — all the LP has to do is go back to having its presidential nominating conventions the year before the election.

    Every four years this comes up.

    Every four years opponents fantasize that having the convention in May, or even July, of the election year will produce a vote-total-enhancing media bump.

    And every four years the convention/nomination-related media bump is minor at best.

    Would nominating earlier make a big difference for the LP? I don’t know. But I suspect that there’s more media to be gained by having the nominee campaigning AS THE NOMINEE six months before Super Tuesday than there is selecting the nominee at a point when the major party nominees are already known or all but known and have likely been campaigning as presumptive nominees for months.

  68. paulie Post author

    All right. That’s your suspicion.

    Yes, based on all the other things I said. A non-campaign brings in zero people. A campaign brings in some people, the numbers varying based on how good the campaign is. This is against a baseline where membership is rising or falling for other reasons.

    If national does not run a presidential candidate, I imagine it would have a hard time raising money after that. Keeping LPHQ open just for the sake of keeping it open is not very appealing to many people. Yet, most local parties can’t even maintain a database, much less get media. If national goes downhill, so do they.

    It also doesn’t hold up a candidate before the country that leads most non-Libertarians to think, “This is who this party nominated for President?!? Geez.”

    Most non-Libertarians had that same reaction to our past candidates.

    But it doesn’t take most, or even that many, to grow the party.

    Okay. I don’t see why not. The post hoc logic isn’t sufficient for me, but it might be for other people.

    When you are talking about trying a strategy, the fact that several others have tried it and uniformly failed serves as some indication, I would think.

    Of course, you can also run head first into a wall, if you’ve never done it before. After all, you are not like other people who already have.

    Bottom line is that I don’t want to vote for a candidate who I don’t think is a good one.

    There’s a point where I would agree. Say, for example, the only candidates running were Robert Milnes, Daniel Imperato and that guy in 2004 who yelled at us about how we were abortionist dopeheads. I don’t think we’ve reached quite that level of embarrassing, though I understand that my tolerance level may be different than yours.

  69. paulie Post author

    TLK,

    I agree with you, but I think JT is trying to make the opposite point. He thinks it is perfectly fine to not know who the LP nominee will (or will likely) be until May of the presidential election year, or even not to have one at all.

  70. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 69 Paulie wrote; “Ramping up a campaign’s volunteer effort, media contacts, candidate coaching, etc, can take months.”

    Some of this needs to be developed at the state and local level. There is no reason for 48 out of 50 not to have a media contact list that it will share with the candidate.

    There should also be a on the ground effort to build that volunteer base today until waiting until tomorrow.

    There is no excuse for this not to be happening today.

  71. JT

    Knapp: “That’s an easily unsolvable problem — all the LP has to do is go back to having its presidential nominating conventions the year before the election.”

    Did you mean an easily solvable problem? Anyway, I don’t have a problem with not knowing who the nominee will be seven months in advance of the convention.

    Knapp: “Would nominating earlier make a big difference for the LP? I don’t know. But I suspect that there’s more media to be gained by having the nominee campaigning AS THE NOMINEE six months before Super Tuesday than there is selecting the nominee at a point when the major party nominees are already known or all but known and have likely been campaigning as presumptive nominees for months.”

    I’m not opposed to the idea of nominating earlier, if that’s what most Libertarians want to do. But outside of a party that will nominate an incumbent for a second term, I don’t think major party nominees are known or all but known 6 months prior to Super Tuesday. I don’t know who the Republican nominee will be yet, either Perry or Romney.

    Paulie: “A campaign brings in some people, the numbers varying based on how good the campaign is. This is against a baseline where membership is rising or falling for other reasons.”

    Can the party lose members based on who the candidate is?

    Paulie: “Most non-Libertarians had that same reaction to our past candidates.”

    In the case of Harry Browne, I doubt it. He looked presidential, he sounded presidential, he had a background as a successful author and investor, despite not being a politician.

    Paulie: “When you are talking about trying a strategy, the fact that several others have tried it and uniformly failed serves as some indication, I would think.”

    You’re attributing parties going downhill to their not running a candidate for President. You’re claiming a causal relationship where none may exist.

    Paulie: “I don’t think we’ve reached quite that level of embarrassing, though I understand that my tolerance level may be different than yours.”

    Yes, it is.

  72. Robert Capozzi

    82 gb: But the Ron Paul nomination seriously divided the Libertarian Party becauce of Paul’s opposition to abortion, and because Dr Rothbard pushed Paul to try to appeal to Pat Robertson supporters.

    me: Are you sure about this? I thought MNR didn’t go paleo until the 90s.

  73. paulie Post author

    I’m not opposed to the idea of nominating earlier, if that’s what most Libertarians want to do. But outside of a party that will nominate an incumbent for a second term, I don’t think major party nominees are known or all but known 6 months prior to Super Tuesday. I don’t know who the Republican nominee will be yet, either Perry or Romney.

    Perry, Romney and the other Republicans that are allowed to debate all have much more campaign infrastrucure pre-nomination than LP candidates. Thus, they are much more prepared. Additionally, they get a lot more help from a much larger party once nominated.

    Can the party lose members based on who the candidate is?

    Not only can, but has and will. Numerous people have told me they left over Barr. Some allegedly left over Badnarik’s tax protesting and lack of drivers license. Some even left because they thought Browne was part of a corrupt machine dominating the LP.

    However, I think they all caused more people to join than to leave.

    I’m sure this was true even of Bergland.

    Can the party lose members on net because of who the candidate is?

    I suppose if it was Milnes or Imperato that would happen.

    If it’s, say, Wrights, Gary or Harris, I don’t think it will.

    In the case of Harry Browne, I doubt it. He looked presidential, he sounded presidential, he had a background as a successful author and investor, despite not being a politician.

    Neither his background, nor his party, nor his ideas were what most Americans consider as having a chance in hell of winning the presidency.

    But even if you are correct about Browne, I’m sure numerous people had that reaction to Barr, Badnarik, etc. Not always the same people, of course.

  74. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT @ 89,

    “Did you mean an easily solvable problem?”

    Yes.

    “outside of a party that will nominate an incumbent for a second term, I don’t think major party nominees are known or all but known 6 months prior to Super Tuesday.”

    Not sure what you mean there. What I was referring to is that the major parties generally know who their nominee will be as of Super Tuesday, if not before.

    Sometimes it drags out a little longer, but usually by the end of March, the Republicans and Democrats are sure or pretty sure whom the nominee will be, and that candidate is out there campaigning for the general election as the presumptive nominee.

    In the meantime, the LP is often completely clueless as to whom its nominee will be right up to convention time, which is two months or more after Super Tuesday.

    The major parties, already advantaged in numerous other ways, get to steal a two-month march on the LP.

    The LP can’t afford that. It should be the other way around.

    The LP’s presidential nominee should be out there stumping for general campaign money, volunteers and votes, rather than for convention delegates, in the fall of the year before the election, when the major parties still don’t have their shit together yet.

    At least that’s what I thought when I was in the LP.

  75. JT

    Paulie: “He thinks it is perfectly fine to not know who the LP nominee will (or will likely) be until May of the presidential election year, or even not to have one at all.”

    I don’t think it’s unfortunate NOW. I also don’t think it’s unfortunate not to have one if I don’t think any of the prospective are good ones. Those are my points.

    Paulie: “Can the party lose members on net because of who the candidate is?…If it’s, say, Wrights, Gary or Harris, I don’t think it will.”

    Okay. I don’t think it’s irrational to think either there’s a good chance it will or it won’t.

    Paulie: “Neither his background, nor his party, nor his ideas were what most Americans consider as having a chance in hell of winning the presidency.”

    That’s right. I wasn’t talking about his chance of winning. I was talking about him being a respectable candidate who wouldn’t elicit the incredulous response above.

    Paulie: “But even if you are correct about Browne, I’m sure numerous people had that reaction to Barr, Badnarik, etc. Not always the same people, of course.”

    Probably.

  76. JT

    Knapp: “Not sure what you mean there. What I was referring to is that the major parties generally know who their nominee will be as of Super Tuesday, if not before.”

    Sorry, I read that part of your original comment incorrectly. You’re right.

  77. paulie Post author

    Okay. I don’t think it’s irrational to think either there’s a good chance it will or it won’t.

    I don’t think it’s irrational.

    But I do think that nominating NOTA will essentially crash the party.

    If you really think Wrights, Gary et al are as bad as say, Milnes or Imperato, I can see why you would disagree.

    I was talking about him being a respectable candidate who wouldn’t elicit the incredulous response above.

    I believe anyone who is not a political leader, billionaire businessman or war general would get that reaction from a substantial portion of the public.

    Anyone talking about legalizing drugs, or replacing the income tax with nothing, etc., would certainly get that reaction from some people just on that basis alone.

    On the other hand, a Libertarian candidate falling short of those positions would get that reaction from some other people.

  78. JT

    Paulie: “If you really think Wrights, Gary et al are as bad as say, Milnes or Imperato, I can see why you would disagree.”

    I didn’t say that. I think Milnes and Imperato are lunatics. If either one of them got even 1% of the delegate vote I’d be concerned.

    Paulie: “I believe anyone who is not a political leader, billionaire businessman or war general would get that reaction from a substantial portion of the public.”

    Yes.

    Paulie: “Anyone talking about legalizing drugs, or replacing the income tax with nothing, etc., would certainly get that reaction from some people just on that basis alone.”

    Yes. I didn’t mean ideologically, but I wasn’t clear on that.

  79. JT

    Me: “I also don’t think it’s unfortunate not to have one if I don’t think any of the prospective are good ones.”

    Should say, “any of the prospects.”

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