Lee Wrights comments on possible entry of Gary Johnson into LP Presidential race

Lee Wrights, a candidate for the Libertarian Party 2012 Presidential nomination, comments on the possible switch by current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Gary Johnson into the Libertarian race:

— In lpradicals@yahoogroups.com, “R. Lee Wrights” wrote:
>
> Is this still the “radicals” group? There is nothing radical about
> Libertarians trying to nominate high-profile Republicans. Been there, done
> that. How did it work for you?
>
>
> Lee Wrights, real Libertarian for President

Note: According to Chuck Moulton, several Johnson staffers have publicly denied that Johnson is planning to switch. I’ve been unable to track down a copy of this; if anyone has one, please send it to contact.ipr@gmail.com or post a link in the comments here.

If any other current candidates for the LP nomination would like to comment about this, please also contact us through contact.ipr@gmail.com or post a link in the comments here.

107 thoughts on “Lee Wrights comments on possible entry of Gary Johnson into LP Presidential race

  1. Robert Mayer

    Not sure what Johnson’s thoughts are on this matter, but I do know there has begun a concerted effort to recruit him as a candidate. I recently assisted with the compilation of an LP member mailing list which is being used specifically for this purpose.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    Did it work? is an excellent question. Depends, of course, on what one means by “work”? Has it worked when the LP nominates thin-resumed, “internal” candidates for prez?

    Whomever is nominated will be the collective judgment of which candidate is the optimal option at the time.

  3. Jeff Sexton

    Two things here:

    1) Gov Johnson would be the LP’s single best bet in 2012 and would give us a legitimacy we have NEVER had before, not even with Bob Barr.

    2) Lee Wrights is a joke and an embarrassment to this Party. I met the man at LP-Georgia’s convention this year, where he showed up in a tshirt, jeans, leather jacket, and with his hair looking like it was barely, if at all, combed. We need serious candidates if we are going to win elections, and serious candidates know to look the part at all times. That means if you’re a POTUS candidate, you’ve got to look your absolute best no matter what you’re doing, because you are going to meet people no matter what you are doing. Gary Johnson knows this. Lee Wrights clearly does not.

    Jeff Sexton
    2x Leesburg Ga City Council Candidate
    former Region 1 Representative, LP-Georgia Executive Committee
    Legislative Director, LP-Georgia

  4. Robert Capozzi

    3 js, I can’t say I’d advise RLW to make that sartorial decision, but perhaps he’s going for a “rebel with a cause” pose. Sounds like that doesn’t work for you.

  5. Thomas Hill

    Jeff,

    Thanks for the really constructive criticism. I am sorry my candidate failed to cross the bar you set, judging him by his appearance after finishing a road trip to check in the hotel the day before he was scheduled to speak.

    I realize it is no excuse that Lee works long hours each day, with little to no sleep, on behalf of Liberty. He is pretty foolish I guess, valuing and defending Liberty at the expense of his prosperity, health and pursuit of happiness.

    Sorry to embarrass you, Mr. Sexton.

    Thomas Hill
    Campaign Manager, Wrights 2012

  6. Jeff Sexton

    Mr. Hill:

    Honestly, I didn’t have a clue who Lee was before he showed up in the hotel lobby and had some drinks with us. He could have VERY easily simply walked up to his room, cleaned up a bit, and come back down and glad-handed the very people he NEEDS to have a ground game in Georgia.

    Instead, he showed up looking like someone who didn’t even want to be on City Council, much less in the White House. If he makes such a basic mistake early with friends, I’m LOATHE to see how he would do late in a POTUS race with real shots being fired at him.

  7. Austin Cassidy

    If the LP doesn’t essentially clear the path for Gary Johnson, then it is more hopeless than I ever thought.

  8. Thomas Hill

    I’ll pass your advice to Mr. Wrights. Too bad you didn’t tell him in person if it was so important to you. I sure he won’t notice the joke and embarrassment remarks.

    “Friends” and fellow LP activists put down each other in public forums all the time. It looks like the LP is getting more and more like the two major parties in how they treat long time activists.

    Jeff, your advice to all candidates to look their best is well founded. Acting and looking professional in public is a two way street.

    I’ll leave it to others to judge how professional your original post was…

  9. George Phillies

    @7

    Evidence that Johnson is actually interested, as opposed to an unauthorized high official being hopeful, is and will naturally for a while remain a bit thin on the ground.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    AC@7,

    “If the LP doesn’t essentially clear the path for Gary Johnson, then it is more hopeless than I ever thought.”

    Because the hallmark of a successful political party is not just nominating another party’s also-ran, but going out of the way to make sure that said also-ran doesn’t have to, you know, work for it or anything.

  11. Jeff Sexton

    Mr. Knapp:

    Name a more qualified candidate currently either announced or rumored for the LP nomination? Whether you like it or not, the facts speak for themselves: Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party’s single best bet to win the White House in 2012, and the only other realistic option I’ve yet heard of is a DISTANT second.

  12. Steven Wilson

    I just got a letter from a committee to recruit Johnson. A survey about possible activity by me on his behalf.

    I also have contact with the volunteer director for his campaign. These individuals are mostly RLC soldiers. They might bridge to the LP, but softly and never in open sight. IF there is a republican in the race, by law, the RLC cannot support the Libertarian.

    Johnson has said to his staff, he doesn’t want to be a perpetual candidate. He told his staff this is all or nothing. As a republican.

    If you want Johnson at all, it sounds like you better contact everyone you know in New Hampshire.

  13. George Phillies

    @11

    The legitimate list is limited to candidates who (1) are seeking the Libertarian nomination, and I am becoming a bit more convinced that Johnson will not, and (2) who actually take libertarian stands on key issues.

  14. Jeff Sexton

    Mr. Phillies:

    About the only positions Johnson has taken that is clearly not in line with Libertarian thought is that he applauded Bin Laden’s execution and would keep Gitmo open. My 90% friend is not my 100% enemy, particularly when said 90% friend is a twice elected executive already running a campaign for executive office.

    From the names I have seen (and associated bios) the ONLY announced candidate REMOTELY qualified would be RJ Harris of Oklahoma.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jeff @ 12,

    You seem to be missing a key fact: Gary Johnson isn’t a candidate for the LP’s 2012 presidential nomination.

    If Johnson becomes a candidate for the LP’s 2012 presidential nomination, I have little doubt that he’ll win that nomination.

    And if so, he’ll likely do about as well as any other nominee would — i.e. he will probably receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2 of 1% of the national popular vote, plus or minus 2/10ths of 1%.

    The point I was making was not that Johnson should not be the LP’s 2012 presidential nominee. It was that it doesn’t do much for the LP’s reputation to be seen running around like a chicken with its head cut off, screaming that what it really needs to succeed, its silver bullet, is the guy who’s polling at 2% for another party’s nomination.

  16. Jeff Sexton

    Mr. Knapp:

    And my point is simply that like it or not, he is the single most qualified person currently running under a platform VERY similar (though not quite identical) to our own.

    The CLOSEST we have currently running is a career Army National Guard officer who ran a losing campaign for another party’s nomination for Congress.

    And we have a National Committee that essentially BRAGS that our highest elected official is a City Councilman. The sad fact is that said City Councilman has more public elected experience than any of the currently announceds’ whose bios I have read so far.

  17. Alan Pyeatt

    Frankly, I would take either Lee Wrights OR Gary Johnson in a heartbeat over our last nominee, and over an unnamed potential candidate who is expected to run.

    I expect others to throw their hats in the ring before the convention, but if it came down to Wrights vs. Johnson, that’s really not a difference in candidates, it’s a difference in strategy. Do we try to get Republican voters to cross over to our side by nominating someone on the right wing of libertarianism, or do we try to move the ball forward by nominating a candidate who is more of a pure libertarian, but not as well known to the general public?

    We’ve tried both strategies in the past, with less than stellar results. So whoever shows up in Las Vegas looking for the nomination needs to have a good plan for reaching out to non-LP voters.

    It would help if the LP could do some polling to test the effectiveness of various strategies. Unfortunately, we’re still shooting in the dark.

  18. George Phillies

    @16

    @16 Actually, if Johnson switches parties, then he will be seeking our party’s nomination, won’t he.

    Johnson also said that everyone at Guantanamo Bay should get due process, which leads to Guantanamo closing.

    Shooting Bin Laden ranks as an intelligence disaster, but then a ‘warrior-mentality’ military ‘kill him on sight’ is a disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or later, warriors end up fighting soldiers and warriors are what soldiers use for target practice.

  19. George Phillies

    @16 ran-as-a-Republican Harris has a stand on a key Libertarian issue that lines him up with the “libertarian” who wanted to have all drug dealers shot.

    He claims abortion is unconstitutional.

    Readers will recall my opinion of Barr as a candidate.

    Barr, run number two, would be better than Harris.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Sexton,

    I comment fairly frequently here on IPR, and I don’t recall ever commenting on whether or not Johnson would make a good LP nominee.

    I was specifically responding to Austin Cassidy’s notion that the LP ought to preemptively reject all other actual or potential suitors, lie down on the bed, slip its panties off, and start moaning his name, all without even knowing if he’s even in the building or planning be in the building, or if he’s left his wife or is even considering doing so.

    That just doesn’t seem very much like the kind of thing that a political party should do if it wants to be taken seriously as a political party in its own right, rather than being thought of as just the brainless, slutty little sister of another political party.

  21. Michael H. Wilson

    Tom wrote; “I was specifically responding to Austin Cassidy’s notion that the LP ought to preemptively reject all other actual or potential suitors, lie down on the bed, slip its panties off, and start moaning his name”

    Tom that is not a pretty sight! but pretty funny to think about. 🙂

  22. Jeff Sexton

    Mr. Knapp,

    On that, we can most certainly agree.

    Mr. Phillies,

    I’ve yet to say that I agree with Harris on any issues whatsoever – indeed, I haven’t looked at him at that level yet. I’m simply noting that he is by FAR in the best position of the currently announceds to actually run a cohesive national campaign. To say the others are embarrassing is to be both gentle and kind. COULD some of the others POSSIBLY be made better? Perhaps, if they will remember one key axiom of political science: “Image. Is. Everything.” Is it possible I would even agree with some of these others on the issues moreso that Harris or even Johnson? Incredibly possible – but I won’t get that far unless and until they present a more professional image, and I’m a somewhat known and influential (perhaps not as much as you or Mr. Knapp, but I certainly have my following as well) Libertarian candidate, officer, and activist. If even *I* am that way, how much moreso do you think a non-politically active soccer mom will be?

  23. Kleptocracy and You

    Mr. Johnson is a R. No matter how much some Ls might want him on the L ticket he still is a self-proclaimed R and I have seen NO credible evidence to show he has ANY interest in the LP. Other than he will gladly accept all CA$H the Ls will send his way for his R campaign !

    Gary Johnson 2012: Cup of Liberty – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYeFDWeBr9A

    Who is Gary Johnson? – http://www.youtube.com/user/govgaryjohnson#p/u/13/XmzKH3iivYU

    You guys are supposed to be smarter than your ave. duck, don’t be gullible and fall for another “silver bullet” solution !

    I like Johnson, but the Establishment has totally made him a NONE factor by having their MSMedia to ignore him and keep him out of the debates. Bob Barr prob’ had more name ID in ’08 than Johnson in ’11-’12. How does that equal a successful LP POTUS Campaign in ’12 ?!?

    As stated above fans of Johnson need to help him in NH because that’s his ONLY hope. He actually would prob’ be a good POTUS if elected, but the Powers That Be aren’t going to allow him to be heard. His only hope is to end run around them and reach enough ppl in NH and place high in the R primary !!!

    As for the LP, always remember you can’t fly with just one wing. The 2012 LP Ticket needs to be BALANCED ! The LP always needs to be a LARGE umbrella not a one armed rain-slicker. Don’t EAT your own PLEASE, let all wings of the Party be heard and campaign…

    9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

    Please don’t be a mushroom and allow the overpaid LACKEY major media to pick your candidate ! RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH !!!
    All but GARY JOHNSON! GOP candidates unpopular at home
    We’ve done polls in Massachusetts and Minnesota over the last couple weeks and found that Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Michele Bachmann are all unpopular in their home states. That’s par for the course with this GOP Presidential field- we’ve polled on 9 of the candidates or potential candidates in their home states and only one of them is well liked- Gary Johnson in New Mexico.

    That’s probably not a good sign for any of these candidates. If the voters who know them best don’t care for them, why would others around the country? Certainly you don’t have to be popular in your home state to get elected President but it would be a good sign if you were.

    Here’s how they stack up from most popular to least popular:

    Candidate (State)
    Favorability
    Net

    Gary Johnson (New Mexico)
    44/32
    +12

    Newt Gingrich (Georgia)
    39/47
    -8

    Herman Cain (Georgia)
    28/36
    -8

    Rick Perry (Texas)
    42/50
    -8

    Rick Santorum (Pennsylvania)
    37/47
    -10

    Mitt Romney (Massachusetts)
    40/52
    -12

    Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota)
    40/53
    -13

    Sarah Palin (Alaska)
    33/58
    -25

    Michele Bachmann (Minnesota)
    33/59
    -26

    David W Macchia said ;
    If given the opportunity again I would vote for Gary Johnson for Governor today.

    (ME- Will you agree with me that this should be relayed to the masses by the major media as a RELATIVE point about the R candidates? Johnson would/could/SHOULD be a good and even liked POTUS ! The “controlled” media cannot relay the info widespread to help the voters because Johnson isn’t a puppet candidate for the Military-Med/Pharma-Industrial-Complex like some others.)

    Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson tonight reinforced his reputation and credentials as the most fiscally conservative governor in modern times, including his unmatched record of vetoing 750 bills. Johnson, governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States in April from the New Hampshire State House.

    Johnson said, “Tonight was a great opportunity to take on the political status quo that has given us trillion dollar deficits and put millions out of work. Our objective is to inject some common sense into the conversation among Republicans at a time when business-as-usual simply won’t work.” He continued, “It is clear from the reaction to our campaign so far that our message is resonating. I look forward to continuing to take this message to all Americans, and showing them that I can be as successful running the country as I was running the state of New Mexico.”

    During his tenure as governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson eliminated that state’s budget deficit and cut the rate of state government growth in half while reducing the state workforce by over 10% without laying off a single qualified state worker. He earned the nickname “Governor Veto” for vetoing 750 pieces of unnecessary legislation, and used the line-item veto to save millions of dollars.

    Please contact Sue Winchester or Lizz Renda at media@garyjohnson2012.com or 801.303.7924 to schedule an interview with Gary Johnson. For more information, please visit vvvvvv.garyjohnson2012.com.

  24. NewFederalist

    I doubt Gary Johnson can be persuaded to seek the LP nomination. Even if he won it what good is it? When was the last time the LP nominee actually had 50 state plus DC ballot access? So many people in the LP would find fault with him that it is pointless. Nominate a no name candidate that believes in the statement of principles and the old platform. That way everybody is happy.

  25. Jeff Sexton

    @27:

    I for one won’t be happy until we get a candidate that at least LOOKS like he could win. We had that in 2008 (minus WAR, and even he was great on the *look* part), and so far we have it in just 1 of 9 potentials in 2012.

  26. Kleptocracy and You

    Now NF you know better than that good Buddy !!! You normally make great posts ! You know VERY WELL “everybody” wouldn’t be happy !

    Run a BALANCED Ticket for once ! Say a Jessie V./Ron Paul . Reach to different sections of the Nolan Chart Quads not just two R Lites !

  27. Jeff Sexton

    If the LP runs a conspiracy theorist like Jessie V, I’ll be writing in someone for POTUS next year – and never working with the Party again.

    We are (or at least SHOULD be) the Party of Reason – not the Party of Insanity. (We already have – at least – two of those in this nation.)

  28. Jeremy C. Young

    I fail to see why Johnson wouldn’t be a good fit for the LP, or why he’s necessarily on the “right wing” of the party. A guy who wants due process at Gitmo, and whose number one issue is the drug war, strikes me as a center-libertarian, not a right-libertarian. Compare him with someone like Wayne Root — big difference.

    I do agree with Tom Knapp that Johnson shouldn’t just be handed the nomination. He should be treated the way Mike Gravel was — welcomed into the party, but not given any special treatment — rather than the way Barr was. But thanks to the LP’s awesome elimination system of nomination, failing to clear the field for Johnson isn’t going to hurt his chances. People who are Wrights first, Johnson second can feel free to vote for Wrights in the first round, then switch to Johnson in the later rounds.

    Frankly, I think the only announced or rumored candidate who can beat Johnson is Wayne Root. And if the LP makes that particular devil’s bargain, I’ll agree with Austin Cassidy’s comments above.

  29. Kleptocracy and You

    Sexton you need to WAKE UP son. Take the red pill buddy – LOL !!!

    Don’t waste a life eating their Bull $#@&. The SuperRich run the world Lad, and don’t ever forget it !!!

    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” – Gutle Schnaper, wife of Mayer Amschel Rothschild

    War is a Racket- http://warisaracket.com/

    “In Haig’s presence, (Henry) Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as ‘dumb, stupid animals to be used’ as pawns for foreign policy.” – Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein in their book The Final Days

    “Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths…I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” – Barbara Bush

    Bill Hicks on Politics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXpdJLJqG9U&feature=related

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” – Carroll Quigley -(Bill Clinton said Quigley was his mentor during 1993 Inaugural Address), speaking of the (CFR) Globalists’ American political strategy since the early twentieth century.

    ” When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence. ” – Gary Lloyd

    Explaining the left-right paradigm to a co worker!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kw7j4lbDB4

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” – Noam Chomsky

    “One party has totally dominated American politics for at least a century: the Socialist War Party. No matter who wins the elections, America gets endless socialism and endless war.” Doug Newman.

    George Carlin Rated X(language)-“Who Really Controls America”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

  30. Robert Capozzi

    31: I fail to see why Johnson wouldn’t be a good fit for the LP, or why he’s necessarily on the “right wing” of the party.

    me: I think the pushback on Johnson isn’t so much that he’s a right L, but that he’s a moderate, centrist L. He may not embrace the nuance of the NAP, for ex. He doesn’t talk in constructs, e.g., “In a L society, x, y or z.”

  31. paulie Post author

    Thanks for the really constructive criticism. I am sorry my candidate failed to cross the bar you set, judging him by his appearance after finishing a road trip to check in the hotel the day before he was scheduled to speak.

    Mr. Sexton’s criticism may not have been polite, but being judged on your appearance while being exhausted is an unfortunate fact of running for office. Whoever our candidate ends up being, I hope he or she gets good at it; if at all possible, before the nomination. That does not mean that style should triumph over substance, but style should not be ignored.

    George Phillies got significantly better on the stump as time went on while running for the nomination. I hope other candidates will not be too proud to do that same kind of work on their presentation, and that someone will be available and willing to help them with it.

  32. paulie Post author

    “Friends” and fellow LP activists put down each other in public forums all the time. It looks like the LP is getting more and more like the two major parties in how they treat long time activists.

    The LP seems worse in this regard than the duopolists. We should be more civil to each other.

  33. paulie Post author

    Evidence that Johnson is actually interested, as opposed to an unauthorized high official being hopeful, is and will naturally for a while remain a bit thin on the ground.

    If he is actually interested, it would not be wise for him to say so at this stage.

    I am still interested in seeing the denials from his staffers, if someone has a copy or if any of them read this.

  34. paulie Post author

    Name a more qualified candidate currently either announced or rumored for the LP nomination?

    That depends on what you consider to be proper qualifications for an LP nominee. There is some debate about that.

    Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party’s single best bet to win the White House in 2012, and the only other realistic option I’ve yet heard of is a DISTANT second.

    Your definition of realistic must be different than mine. Under my definition, the odds against either of them moving in to the White House in 2013 are astronomical.

    Unless something very drastic and unexpected happens, all plausible LP candidates have basically the same chance of winning the presidential election: virtually zero.

    For those who accept that as true, the question is what an LP presidential candidate can actually hope to accomplish. The answer to that is needed before we can determine who out of the available choices best fits those ends.

  35. Jeff Sexton

    Paulie:

    My qualifications test is simple: Can they stand up to the D and R nominees *and win*. Johnson or Harris can pull that off – it would be a fight to be sure, but a winnable one. The others? Not so sure.

    My def of realistic is along the same lines. If we nominate a guy who walks into a crowd looking like he just got off shift at the local Jiffy Lube, WE LOSE. PERIOD. But if we nominate a guy who can at least look the part and put together some semblance of a cohesive campaign, we MIGHT actually pull something out of our asses other than shit. It is sad that my standard in this area has to be so low, but hey, what do you expect when your National Committee brags about a City Councilman being your highest elected official?

  36. paulie Post author

    About the only positions Johnson has taken that is clearly not in line with Libertarian thought

    Some of us are unhappy with his support for the Boortz-Linder tax plan, although Barr also may have supported it (albeit he was vague).

    My 90% friend is not my 100% enemy, particularly when said 90% friend is a twice elected executive already running a campaign for executive office.

    I agree.

    However, we have to be careful.

    The nature of government is such that if you run on making 9 aspects of government smaller and 1 larger, the one is much more likely to get enacted than the nine.

    While the Boortz-Linder plan on its face is supposed to replace the existing federal taxes, in reality – after going through compromises to be enacted – there is a good chance we will end up with a federal sales tax on top of existing taxes. After all, the feds are deep in debt and ambitious to expand the size and scope of government further; they need to get their hands on the revenue somehow. And, it may provide the excuse some have been looking for for tracking all purchases and getting rid of paper money and coins in favor of a government-issued credit/debit card or microchip.

    It would be really unfortunate if the practical result of Libertarians becoming more relevant in the political debate ended up being to push Republicans and Democrats into passing such a plan.

  37. paulie Post author

    If Johnson becomes a candidate for the LP’s 2012 presidential nomination, I have little doubt that he’ll win that nomination.

    And if so, he’ll likely do about as well as any other nominee would — i.e. he will probably receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2 of 1% of the national popular vote, plus or minus 2/10ths of 1%.

    Probably correct. I’ll be cautiously optimistic and say that an Ed Clark level result is plausible. A Nader 2000 level result would be wildly optimistic. Anything beyond that is more in the realm of fantasy than anything else. A Barr 2008 result would not surprise me, although I hope for at least slightly better.

  38. paulie Post author

    I would take either Lee Wrights OR Gary Johnson in a heartbeat over our last nominee,

    Johnson’s actual record in office, and policy statements over the years, are certainly more defensible than Barr’s. Barr did say he changed his views on some of those issues, but he mostly tried to sweep them under the rug, and many people were not aware of the changes (or skeptical that he meant it), both in and out of the LP. Actions speak louder than words.

    Do we try to get Republican voters to cross over to our side by nominating someone on the right wing of libertarianism, or do we try to move the ball forward by nominating a candidate who is more of a pure libertarian, but not as well known to the general public?

    My advice (worth every penny you paid for it) for whoever ends up being the eventual nominee:

    Do as Ed Clark did and speak at every college he can cram into his schedule. Emphasize those liberal parts of our agenda (peace and civil liberties). Go to every Ron Paul meetup he can make and sell himself as a “plan B” if Ron Paul does not get the Republican nomination. Make youtube videos designed to appeal to young voters. On issues where our views can be considered rightist – economics, environment, etc – frame them in such a way that demonstrates we care about the goals progressives claim to strive for through their policies, and explain why we think laissez faire policies are more likely to actually move us toward those goals than big government.

    People under 30 are much more – perhaps 10 times more – likely to not have a party, or be willing to actually switch their party if they have one – than people over 30. People over 30 are much more likely to express their dissatisfaction with their party but never actually switch. The biggest cluster out of Nolan Chart responders in the under 30 age group is left-center-libertarian, and they know and care more about peace and civil liberties issues than older voters. That means that they already agree with us on the issues that matter most to them. We need to know how to reach them and make the effort of doing so. Ron Paul has already proven it can be done, despite being more conservative than the LP on some social issues.

    It would help if the LP could do some polling to test the effectiveness of various strategies. Unfortunately, we’re still shooting in the dark.

    I’ve done some polling; tens of thousands of data points collected over several years at hundreds of college campuses and a few other places (including Earth Day, street fairs, sidewalks and gun shows).

    Granted, my data was limited to those willing to talk to me for at least a minute or two, but the same is true of telephone polling as well.

  39. paulie Post author

    Shooting Bin Laden ranks as an intelligence disaster

    I agree.

    It also sets a very bad precedent regarding our commitment to due process and the rule of law.

    “First they came for Bin Ladin…”

  40. paulie Post author

    I was specifically responding to Austin Cassidy’s notion that the LP ought to preemptively reject all other actual or potential suitors, lie down on the bed, slip its panties off, and start moaning his name, all without even knowing if he’s even in the building or planning be in the building, or if he’s left his wife or is even considering doing so.

    That just doesn’t seem very much like the kind of thing that a political party should do if it wants to be taken seriously as a political party in its own right, rather than being thought of as just the brainless, slutty little sister of another political party.

    Disturbing, funny and accurate all at once.

  41. paulie Post author

    You guys are supposed to be smarter than your ave. duck, don’t be gullible and fall for another “silver bullet” solution !

    I like Johnson, but the Establishment has totally made him a NONE factor by having their MSMedia to ignore him and keep him out of the debates. Bob Barr prob’ had more name ID in ’08 than Johnson in ’11-’12. How does that equal a successful LP POTUS Campaign in ’12 ?!?

    As stated above fans of Johnson need to help him in NH because that’s his ONLY hope. He actually would prob’ be a good POTUS if elected, but the Powers That Be aren’t going to allow him to be heard. His only hope is to end run around them and reach enough ppl in NH and place high in the R primary !!!

    As for the LP, always remember you can’t fly with just one wing. The 2012 LP Ticket needs to be BALANCED ! The LP always needs to be a LARGE umbrella not a one armed rain-slicker. Don’t EAT your own PLEASE, let all wings of the Party be heard and campaign…

    Good points.

  42. paulie Post author

    Here’s how they stack up from most popular to least popular:

    Candidate (State)
    Favorability
    Net

    Gary Johnson (New Mexico)
    44/32
    +12

    Newt Gingrich (Georgia)
    39/47
    -8

    Herman Cain (Georgia)
    28/36
    -8

    Rick Perry (Texas)
    42/50
    -8

    Rick Santorum (Pennsylvania)
    37/47
    -10

    Mitt Romney (Massachusetts)
    40/52
    -12

    Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota)
    40/53
    -13

    Sarah Palin (Alaska)
    33/58
    -25

    Michele Bachmann (Minnesota)
    33/59
    -26

    Interesting numbers. I wonder why Ron Paul was not included?

  43. paulie Post author

    I doubt Gary Johnson can be persuaded to seek the LP nomination. Even if he won it what good is it? When was the last time the LP nominee actually had 50 state plus DC ballot access?

    The LP has had ballot access in enough states to theoretically win the presidency since 1980 (possibly 1976 as well, although I’m not sure about that) – every election.

    1996 was the last election where the same LP candidate was on the ballot in every state. Voters in every state had a Libertarian candidate on the ballot in 2000. Badnarik missed OK and NH in 2004, although I don’t think Marrou’s 50 states plus DC in 1992 put him in a substantially better position than Badnarik.

    Barr missed several states in 2008 (I’ll bite my tongue on the specifics, although my opinions are freely available in the archives here and elsewhere). Nevertheless, he was still on the ballot for well over 90% of US voters – high 90s, I think. In terms of state count, he was one behind Nader that year, but Nader was missing larger population states vis a vis Barr.

    This cycle, the LP is in a better position to possibly get 50 states plus DC than in the last two (certainly better than 2008). At this stage I would certainly not rule it out.

    But, if Johnson does miss a state or two, would that really hurt him THAT much in your view? Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big ballot access advocate, and not just because I do it for a living. But even if Johnson misses as many states as Barr, which I don’t think he will, I don’t believe that will make a huge difference in his media coverage or vote totals.

    Nominate a no name candidate that believes in the statement of principles and the old platform. That way everybody is happy.

    Making everyone in the LP happy is one thing that you can’t do no matter what you do (or don’t do).

  44. paulie Post author

    I fail to see why Johnson wouldn’t be a good fit for the LP, or why he’s necessarily on the “right wing” of the party. A guy who wants due process at Gitmo, and whose number one issue is the drug war, strikes me as a center-libertarian, not a right-libertarian

    I also get a more left-friendly vibe from Johnson than from Barr or Root. I think the biggest reason he is characterized by some as a rightist may be his current party affiliation.

    I do agree with Tom Knapp that Johnson shouldn’t just be handed the nomination. He should be treated the way Mike Gravel was — welcomed into the party, but not given any special treatment — rather than the way Barr was. But thanks to the LP’s awesome elimination system of nomination, failing to clear the field for Johnson isn’t going to hurt his chances. People who are Wrights first, Johnson second can feel free to vote for Wrights in the first round, then switch to Johnson in the later rounds.

    Agreed on all points in the above paragraph.

    Frankly, I think the only announced or rumored candidate who can beat Johnson is Wayne Root.

    I don’t believe Root can beat Johnson for the nomination. I also don’t believe he would try. If he does try, assuming Johnson runs (a big assumption at this point), I think his real goal would be to get the VP slot again.

  45. paulie Post author

    I think the pushback on Johnson isn’t so much that he’s a right L, but that he’s a moderate, centrist L.

    Not quite true – I’ve seen several people criticize Johnson as a rightist. Like you and Jeremy, I don’t quite see him that way. I tend to agree with you that he is more centrist than rightist.

  46. Sane LP Member

    WHY NOT NOTA for the LP convention?
    Why endorse any of those jokers?
    Why waste our time?

    Why not find a few higher profile candidates for US Congress?
    How about same for State Assemblies.
    The troops could rally around someone that is actually in the hunt to get elected.
    LP NOT ready for prime time yet in major elections. May never be.
    Takes $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  47. paulie Post author

    My qualifications test is simple: Can they stand up to the D and R nominees *and win*. Johnson or Harris can pull that off – it would be a fight to be sure, but a winnable one.

    That seems to be highly unlikely to say the very least.

    Looking the part gets a Libertarian into the oval office by 2013….much in the same way as a block of wood in the shape of a refrigerator or TV, without any of the working parts, keeps your food cold and brings in your favorite TV shows.

    I would suggest that we accept that we are extremely unlikely to win the actual presidential election, and think of what some other goals we may want to achieve by running for it may be.

  48. Jeff Sexton

    Paulie: Johnson or Harris could at least win the field on a particular debate night – even though the war would more than likely be a very different tale.

    Can even Mr. Hill tell me with a straight face that Lee Wrights could go toe to toe with Barack Obama and either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry and come out looking like he even belonged in the same arena?

  49. paulie Post author

    Johnson or Harris could at least win the field on a particular debate night – even though the war would more than likely be a very different tale.

    Do you believe there is any significant chance of Wrights, Harris or Johnson getting invited to any general election presidential debates?

    The only reason we are even discussing Johnson in this context at all is that he can’t even get invited to a debate with eight candidates, which includes such luminaries as Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman – who all poll in the 1-2% range among primary voters in their own party.

    The general election presidential debates next year will feature Obama, the Republican nominee, and perhaps the Americans Elect candidate.

    The Libertarian candidate, if so inclined, will get to debate the Green and Constitution Party nominees and/or get arrested for protesting outside while Obama and the other 1-2 mentioned above debate. This will not change if we nominate Johnson. It probably wouldn’t even change if we could nominate Ron Paul (although then it would at least be remotely plausible), but I don’t think we will get that chance.

  50. Steven R Linnabary

    The general election presidential debates next year will feature Obama, the Republican nominee, and perhaps the Americans Elect candidate.

    Actually, I think the republican party will nominate somebody else, but I’m not sure why.

    🙂

    PEACE

  51. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @40,

    I agree that a Clark-like performance from Johnson is not unthinkable, but I’d rate it as not highly likely.

    From what I’ve seen of Johnson so far, Wrights would out-perform him in a debate with Obama and Perry or Romney, but Johnson would probably do slightly better at the polls on election day.

    My guess is that Wrights would pull 350k-500k votes, Johnson 400-600k.

  52. paulie Post author

    Wrights would out-perform him in a debate with Obama and Perry or Romney,

    Of the times that I’ve heard Wrights speak, I would say he does better in print than on the stump. I don’t mean to be harsh; I am better in print too, and Wrights is a better speaker than I am. But the bar should be higher than that. Having not yet seen Johnson in a debate, I defer judgment, but I did see a youtube of him speaking off the cuff and he was not very smooth in that either. I think it was from CPAC.

    Of course, as I already said, Johnson has about as much chance of getting into the big league debate next year as Wrights does – that is, for any real purposes, none.

  53. Austin Battenberg

    Most Presidents have been former vice-presidents or former governors. I think only one president was a congressman before being elected. So while Bob Barr was known as being a former congressman, and has experience in government, that is a LOT different than a former governor with actual executive experience.

  54. paulie Post author

    So while Bob Barr was known as being a former congressman, and has experience in government, that is a LOT different than a former governor with actual executive experience.

    Having been governor of a small state a decade earlier does not get you very much. For evidence, see the fact that Johnson is being shut out of the debates as well as establishment media right now.

  55. Austin Battenberg

    Paulie,

    I think he is getting shut out more for his positions than because of when he served as governor. I think the fact that he is pro-choice, anti-war, and in favor of liberal immigration laws make him an anethma to the Republican Party…more so than Paul because Paul is still a social conservative despite his preference of leaving those decisions to the states.

    I think the Republican Party can only tolerate one libertarian leaning Republican. If Paul wasn’t in the race, my guess is that Johnson would be in the debates. Paul is just sucking out all of the oxygen from a potential Johnson candidacy. He has all the momentum.

  56. paulie Post author

    @62 In addition to the GOP snubs…

    You will also notice the lack of donations and the lack of media attention.

    Add to that the fact that the LP has received 0.4% +/- 0.1% for potus every single time since 1984, and the media, would-be donors, etc have little reason to pay a great deal of attention to Johnson just because long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away he was governor of a low-population state that many Americans don’t even know is in the US at all.

    He may or may not do better than Barr.

    I seriously doubt he would do better than Ed Clark.

  57. Steven Wilson

    @George Phillies

    My point was to indicate the rules of the RLC and the people who apparently make up Johnson support staff presently.

    The RLC rules are clear. IF a republican is present on the ballot, they Cannot/will not endorse a Libertarian on the same ballot.

    THat is the rule.

    It occurs to me that the people who make up his staff are predominantly RLC leaning libertarians who do not support Ron Paul.

    If Johnson leaves the Republican Party for the Libertarian, the RLC cannot have any thing to do with him in regards to sponsorships or endorsements.

    The staff has been told that this is a one shot deal…for now. Johnson told the staff, the staff member in Missouri told it to the facebook group.

    I am in Missouri. I do not work for Johnson. I belong to the RLC facebook group.

    That is the sequence.

    Speaking for myself. I support Wrights if he is against current LP candidates. If Johnson becomes and runs as a Libertarian candidate, I pick Johnson over Wrights.

    That is the sequence.

    There is a group on facebook that promote Republican-Libertarian existence while promoting Republican candidates. In my opinion, this appears to be a hybrid of the RLC. This group is the RLC without the rules. But at this point, I have no empirical data to prove that they promote Libertarian candidates.

  58. R. Lee Wrights

    RE #52:

    Mr. Sexton asks: “Can even Mr. Hill tell me with a straight face that Lee Wrights could go toe to toe with Barack Obama and either Mitt Romney or Rick Perry and come out looking like he even belonged in the same arena?”

    I think Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney, and especially Mr. Perry could learn alot from me. They are welcome to look over everything I have had to say on the issues at http://www.wrights2012.com. I’ll debate the issues and give Libertarian responses with anyone that cares to do so.

  59. George Phillies

    My state association is having a Presidential debate at our State convention this October. I will moderate and ask the questions.

    The audience is invited to submit written questions.

    As discussed in our last StateComm meeting, questions about ‘what is your strategy for getting into the debates’ will be deepsixed, because they are a total waste of the audience’s time. Questions about ‘how will you exploit the duopoly party debate’ are a horse of a different color.

  60. Sane LP Member

    @51. But some of the stronger states would survive if they continue to run statewide candidates.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    65 rlw: I think Mr. Obama, Mr. Romney, and especially Mr. Perry could learn alot from me.

    me: Why “especially” Perry?

  62. Robert Capozzi

    60 p: Having been governor of a small state a decade earlier does not get you very much.

    me: Not quite a decade, depending on how you count it. Reagan was “out” for 5 years. Nearly a decade, small state, and way out of step with the base seems to be a tri-fecta.

  63. Sane LP Member

    @ 60 P: Having been elected to nothing or not much more than dog catcher also does not get you very much.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    On the other hand, in September of 1991, Bill Clinton (“the failed governor of a small southern state”) was at 3% in Democratic primary polling.

    And in October of 1975, Jimmy Carter was at 1%.

    And in September of 1979, Reagan hadn’t even declared his candidacy.

  65. NewFederalist

    “Now NF you know better than that good Buddy !!! You normally make great posts ! You know VERY WELL “everybody” wouldn’t be happy !”

    KaY… sorry to disappoint you but I lived in New Mexico for both of Johnson’s terms as governor and it would make me very sad to see what the “purists” would do to him if he won the nomination. Was he a “pure” libertarian? No but he was so much better than probably any governor before or since in ANY state that to see him roasted by folks who in many cases have never done anything but accumulate academic credentials would just sadden me. He vetoed somthing like 800 bills in 8 years and I don’t recall if any were overridden. Hence my previous post about nominating a no name.

  66. paulie Post author

    But some of the stronger states would survive if they continue to run statewide candidates.

    We need to do better than just survive. If you haven’t read what Browne wrote that has been linked above, please read it.

    Not quite a decade, depending on how you count it. Reagan was “out” for 5 years. Nearly a decade, small state, and way out of step with the base seems to be a tri-fecta.

    Reagan stepped down as governor of California in 1974 and was elected president in 1980. California is a big state. Johnson stepped down as governor of NM in 2002; the election will be in 2012 and NM is small in terms of population. I believe that 2002-2012 is a decade and that small (population) state vs. big state is a big difference. I agree with you about the trifecta, but it does not seem to me that Johnson as the candidate of a party that habitually gets about 0.4% for president magically elevates that percentage just by virtue of having been governor of a small population state under another party’s banner a decade ago.

    If he had been governor of California 5 years ago, I think a far better case could be made that he would make a big impact on the election as a Libertarian candidate.

    Having been elected to nothing or not much more than dog catcher also does not get you very much.

    Correct. That is why we have to have an organic, relentless building process. Again, please see Browne linked above as to some of the specifics of how the presidential race fits into that, even acknowledging that we can’t win that office any time soon if ever.

  67. paulie Post author

    On the other hand, in September of 1991, Bill Clinton (“the failed governor of a small southern state”) was at 3% in Democratic primary polling.

    Clinton was a sitting governor, which makes a difference. He had also been chair of the National Governors Association and of the Democratic Leadership Caucus, and had given the opening speech at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Many other Democrats did not run in 1992 because Bush was polling so high a year earlier, opening up the way for Clinton. I do not believe that was analogous to Johnson.

    Say Clinton took 10 years off from politics after being Governor, then ran for his party’s presidential nomination, got 1-2% in the polls and was excluded from most debates, and then switched to the Green Party….that would be a closer parallel, although still not perfect.

    And in October of 1975, Jimmy Carter was at 1%.

    And in September of 1979, Reagan hadn’t even declared his candidacy.

    True, the campaign season has grown a lot longer and more front-loaded since then.

    Carter is probably the closest parallel out of your examples, but again: siting governor, relatively more prominent state.

    Reagan had already run in 1976 and had been governor of a very prominent state; I would not draw that comparison.

    Now, if Reagan had been governor of, say Idaho, then waited a decade and ran as a Libertarian, I would call that a closer comparison.

  68. paulie Post author

    it would make me very sad to see what the “purists” would do to him if he won the nomination.

    What would purists do to Johnson? Was something bad done to Bob Barr?

  69. Robert Capozzi

    72 rlw: Because he (Perry) lives closest to me.

    me: Interesting. Guess my cosmotarian worldview can’t relate to proximity being a factor in how much I might disagree with another’s views…

  70. Robert Capozzi

    74 p: I agree with you about the trifecta, but it does not seem to me that Johnson as the candidate of a party that habitually gets about 0.4% for president magically elevates that percentage just by virtue of having been governor of a small population state under another party’s banner a decade ago.

    me: Agreed. Johnson is not as articulate as I’d like him to be. If he spoke more like Gingrich or Obama or Cheney or even Bill Richardson, he’d be more compelling. His story is relatively interesting, he seems earnest if somewhat shifty-eyed. He needs grooming and handling, IMO, but then so does RP.

    Barr is almost as articulate as the aforementioned, but too lawyerly. He needed to tone that down.

    GJ’s athleticism and contemporary (Zen) attitudes are big strengths, in my book. His track record is def. a plus.

    I’d like to see him do this, or be #2 to RP, all things considered. I don’t think he’d be a break-out candidate, but could represent an inflection point for the cause of liberty.

  71. JT

    I feel confident saying that if Gary Johnson ran for the Libertarian nomination for President, he’d win it hands down. So would Ron Paul.

    This will probably sound harsh, but I don’t want the party to nominate a candidate who has nothing going for him except that he’s been a libertarian activist and is a nice guy. I think that’s embarrassing.

    Gary Johnson is at least as good a speaker, is at least as professional-looking, and has at least as organized and well-funded a campaign as any of the announced candidates for the nomination so far. He also doesn’t have a public history as a socially conservative leader like Bob Barr does. That being the case, his background as a Governor and his obvious libertarian-leanings would cause me to vote for him in a heartbeat.

    None of this is to say he’d get into debates with Obama & the Republican nominee; he won’t. It’s also not to say that Johnson would get millions of votes; I don’t think that would happen either. But it does mean the LP would have a top-of-ticket candidate who brings something to the table that no other Libertarian candidate for any other office does, which I think the nominee for President should.

  72. Gene Berkman

    Sane @ 49 – I agree that the Libertarian Party would do better to stay out of the race for President, since we can’t compete in resources or volunteers.

    However, most LP activists believe in running a candidate for President, because they believe, without reason, that free publicity will be available. We got free publicity when the Clark campaign spent millions to get it, but not much.

    And it is hard to get a majority of delegates to attend a national convention for the purpose of voting against running a candidate.

    I have been involved with the Libertarian Party since Denver in 1972, and a Libertarian candidate for President has far more opportunity to embarrass us than to get free publicity for libertarian ideas.

    Gary Johnson might say some things that embarrass libertarians, but not as many as Mr Wrights has already. And having some credentials as a former elected official gives us a little more credibility than if we run someone who has never held public office, and, with no record, asks us to take him on faith.

  73. Gene Berkman

    Paulie @ 51 – it would probably help the libertarian movement if the national party did close down. The libertarians in the various states would then have to work to build up Libertarian Parties at the state level, or figure other ways to promote freedom through political action.

    In America the strongest third parties have always been statewide parties with at most loose national connections. The Minnesota Farmer Labor Party was a force from 1922 to 1943; the Wisconsin Progressive Party and the American Labor Party in New York were active in the 1930s and 1940s.

    The strongest third parties today are the Minnesota Independence Party, the New York Conservative Party and the Vermont Progressive Party, each limited to one state.

    Libertarians can do better if they work on building local and state-wide political organizations and get rid of the expense and factionalism that comes with a national party.

  74. Gene Berkman

    Austin @ 62 – you are right that Gary Johnson is being kept out of the debates because he is too far out of what is now the Republican mainstream.

    When Ronald Reagan ran in 1980, he advocated a more liberal immigration policy, and while he was anti-abortion, there remained many pro-choice Republicans involved in the party and holding elective office.

    Now, Ron Paul can remain in the fringes of the Republican Party because he balances his antiwar and anti-drug war stands with more conservative stated positions on abortion and immigration.

    Gary Johnson, antiwar, pro-legalization, is a fiscal conservative, but in the current Republican Party that is not enough. Gary Johnson’s more liberal stands on immigration and abortion are closer to the Libertarian Party line than the Republican line.

  75. Michael H. Wilson

    Gene to piggyback on your comments @ 81 for a moment, it has been suggested on here that we have a congress of state chairs. I think Steve Wilson suggested that idea. That to me would be a big step in the right direction. Abolish the LNC and let the state chairs be responsible for the action of the national party and then maybe the national party will put some effort into working with the states.

    Now I am not suggesting that Wes and his team are not doing a good job, I am just looking at past history in prior years.

  76. Jeff Sexton

    Mr. Wrights:

    I will admit that my own skills do not even compare to that of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Rick Perry – and yet I would put them LEAGUES above your own. Do you REALLY want to go toe to toe with even ME in a general election? I’m not talking LP activists, libertarian activists, or even activists in general. I’m talking an outright public election where we are the only two candidates.

    Here’s a tip: If you take that challenge, you’re an even worse fool than the two GA Governor candidates I had a hand in taking down last year.

  77. Gene Berkman

    Steven Wilson – you are correct that RLC has by-laws that prohibit it from supporting candidates outside the Republican Party.

    But RLC has polled its members after elections, and normally up 80% of RLC members admit voting for the Libertarian candidate for President.

    As individuals, RLC members can be involved in campaigns of LP candidates, or Constitution Party candidates. And RLC can refrain from endorsing Republicans that are too pro-government.

  78. paulie Post author

    LP activists believe in running a candidate for President, because they believe, without reason, that free publicity will be available. We got free publicity when the Clark campaign spent millions to get it, but not much.

    We get some free publicity every time. Hate to sound like a broken record, but I refer everyone to the Browne links posted by myself and Klep above.

    Gary Johnson might say some things that embarrass libertarians, but not as many as Mr Wrights has already.

    What in particular?

    it would probably help the libertarian movement if the national party did close down. The libertarians in the various states would then have to work to build up Libertarian Parties at the state level, or figure other ways to promote freedom through political action.

    I don’t see that working in practice. After UMP ended and states received less support from national, most did not step up – they withered. The time in my experience when state and local parties were doing the most on their own was when they were also getting the most help from national.

    Most state and local LPs can’t even maintain a database, much less do things like pres releases.

  79. paulie Post author

    Another example.

    The Green Party national committee has apparently gone down the drain. Is that making Green Parties at the state and local level explode in growth? Not from anything I have seen.

  80. Brian Holtz

    Paulie @86 is right. Because of economies of scale, dispersed knowledge , and differences in activists’ utility functions, there can’t be a “most important level” among the national, state, and county parties. Each level has a role to play, dysfunction can happen at any level, and the resources that each level attracts should not be assumed to naturally “belong” to some other level.

    The greatest obstacle imposed on the LP from without is the Wasted Vote Syndrome. The greatest obstacle imposed on the LP from within is the Wasted Activism Syndrom. The WAS says: “Libertarian political activists would be vastly more effective if they did activism they way I say they should, so my activism is focused on improving the activism of other Libertarians.”

    And yes, diagnosing WAS can be considered a symptom of WAS, so I’d prefer not to discuss it further. 🙂

  81. Gene Berkman

    Paulie @ 86 – Mr Wrights does not know how to frame his often valid criticism of US foreign policy.

    I along with most libertarians oppose US government involvement in the Libya crisis – because it is imprudent and Libya does not pose a threat to US security. But Mr Wrights made it sound like he thought President Obama is more evil than Muammar Qaddafi. That may not be what he meant to say, but that is how I read it.

    Mr Wrights criticized the take-down of Osama bin Laden, proposing instead that we should have “arrested” him and put him on trial. In principle I agree, but such a goal was behind the Afghan invasion, and we are stuck in Afghanistan 10 years later. We are not occupying Pakistan after taking Osama out.

    I just don’t find Mr Wrights to be effective in communicating the libertarian message, and often an embarrassment.

  82. paulie Post author

    get rid of the expense and factionalism that comes with a national party.

    There’s certainly no shortage of factionalism at the state and local level.

  83. Gene Berkman

    Paulie @ 86 & Brian @ 88 – I don’t oppose the existence of a national office for The Libertarian Party. I just don’t see the national office of the party doing anything effective since maybe 2000.

    The national office does not put out issue papers, and other recruiting materials seem to be scarce and rarely available to activists. All the time the national officers have seems to be taken up with preparing for national conventions where we choose someone who will do so badly in the Presidential race we stop talking about them the day after the election.

    A national office that prepared issue papers and other recruitment materials, and otherwise aided local and state-wide organizing is something we can all agree on. I just don’t see it happening.

  84. paulie Post author

    GB 91

    They do help local parties with database management and issue press releases. Not issue papers so much, but it’s something. They have started putting out videos, although hopefully they will get better at it. The presidential candidates do some media. Yes, national could and should do better.

    I believe we need field organizers and an attempt to database and help put to use members volunteer talents and time, just as much as to ask them for money. There should definitely be training heavily promoted to local and state parties. I have already said what I believe the presidential candidates should be doing, to which I would add share names with LPHQ and local parties.

    I also believe we need heavily promoted attempts to get members involved with making videos, flyers and other outreach materials in an open source/interactive fashion. Some attempts in that direction have been made, but they were never promoted enough to become effective.

    Closing the national office and stopping running presidential candidates will not make local and state parties more active. My prediction is that most of them would fold up completely if we do that.

  85. Austin Battenberg

    I remember watching the speech that Badnarik gave bashing Libertarians for arguing 95% of the time on the 5% of issues they disagree on. One thing he said that I thought was interesting is that with all the anti Obamacare people, the Tea Parties, the Ron Paul supporters, campaign for liberty, and other liberty organizations…the Libertarian Party could be a party that brings all those groups and organizations together. But instead we seem to push them away and stay a minor party.

  86. paulie Post author

    Mostly true, but the Tea Parties have gone mostly neocon-theocon, so I’m not sure there’s much of anything to be salvaged there.

  87. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 94 Austin writes I remember watching the speech that Badnarik gave bashing Libertarians for arguing 95% of the time on the 5% of issues they disagree on.” I’ll assume he is talking about wasted time.

    Maybe if people asked the members to do something such as writing brochures and white papers as Gene suggested there would be a lot less of that. Much of this is an issue that has been ignored by management at the upper level.

  88. Brian Holtz

    I too agree with Paulie @92, except to say: leave policy analysis to the think tanks, and focus on crowd-sourcing outreach materials.

    National has given us a wiki at lpedia.org, and it is woefully underutilized. If people think that national is ignoring bottom-up contributions of outreach materials, they should roll up their sleeves, collect/create outreach materials there, and encourage others to do so as well. Who needs LP headquarters to tell us what outreach materials are best? Collect any of them that seem good enough, and let activists decide for themselves which to use.

  89. RJ

    Remember that at our 2002 national convention (Indiana), Gary Johnson spoke and I thought he had some good things to say. We had the chance recently to broadcast this speech on public access television, along with Steve Dillon of Norml, who after his speech introduced Mr Johnson.

  90. Tom Blanton

    I met the man at LP-Georgia’s convention this year, where he showed up in a tshirt, jeans, leather jacket, and with his hair looking like it was barely, if at all, combed.

    Wow, sounds like he’s a regular person. Perhaps a candidate that dressed like this all the time might inspire millions of people who never vote to go out and cast a vote for someone who they could trust and identify with.

    Besides sociopathic politicians, con men, war criminals, used car salesmen, mafia hitmen, religious charlatans, insurance salesmen, government bureaucrats, crooked lawyers, IRS agents and TV news readers all wear suits and ties. They also usually engage in excessive grooming. Some appear to shave 3 or 4 times a day.

    I know one thing. If a creepy looking jerk like Mitt Romney or Wayne Root was knocking on my door, I sure as hell wouldn’t open the door. I would be overwhelmed with fear and loathing. If a guy in t-shirt and jeans was knocking, I’d open the door to see what he wanted.

    Could the LP do any worse by targeting young people and disenfranchised people who aren’t impressed with people who look like made-for-TV politicians?

    Vast numbers of hard-working independent-minded people don’t like and don’t trust “suits” and are often openly hostile to them. Many of them are natural libertarians. They wear sport coats and ties to weddings and funerals. As soon as the ceremony is over, they lose the tie. They don’t vote for “suits”, they avoid “suits.”

  91. Sane LP Member

    If not the LP, there WILL be a third party rise up and compete head to head with the two old parties.
    Do we want it to be the LP or someone else?
    Push the clowns out of the room and get serious.

  92. paulie Post author

    National has given us a wiki at lpedia.org, and it is woefully underutilized. If people think that national is ignoring bottom-up contributions of outreach materials, they should roll up their sleeves, collect/create outreach materials there, and encourage others to do so as well. Who needs LP headquarters to tell us what outreach materials are best? Collect any of them that seem good enough, and let activists decide for themselves which to use.

    It’s good that things like lpedia and the tools on your site exist, but they need to be a lot more heavily promoted through prominent placement on the website, emails and blog posts, promotion at national and state conventions, lp facebook and twitter, and so on, to reach a critical mass of users. Instead, lpedia withered due to inactivity and the link was removed from LP.org altogether because of all the outdated stuff on there.

  93. paulie Post author

    If not the LP, there WILL be a third party rise up and compete head to head with the two old parties.

    That’s going to happen with or without the LP. It’s called Americans Elect.

  94. paulie Post author

    Could the LP do any worse by targeting young people and disenfranchised people who aren’t impressed with people who look like made-for-TV politicians?

    Vast numbers of hard-working independent-minded people don’t like and don’t trust “suits” and are often openly hostile to them. Many of them are natural libertarians. They wear sport coats and ties to weddings and funerals. As soon as the ceremony is over, they lose the tie. They don’t vote for “suits”, they avoid “suits.”

    This is true.

    Paradoxically, what it would take to get the LP nomination is different from what it takes to break out of our usual rut in the “real world.” So maybe treat the LP nomination as a funeral – wear a suit and tie all the time in public until nominated. Then lose the tie the minute the vote totals on the final ballot are announced 🙂

  95. Tom Blanton

    If I show up to Vegas, I’ll be wearing the red velvet smoking jacket and the ruffled tuxedo shirt open to my naval with a really hip gold zodiac medallion.

    Hit me up if you’re a swinging broad with a blonde wig who can handle her booze. I’ll be playing the nickel slots listening to Louis Prima tapes on my walkman.

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