Reason: Johnson Files Complaints, No Plans as Libertarian

http://reason.com/blog/2011/11/15/johnson-files-complaint-with-the-fec-and

Gary Johnson Files Complaint With the FEC and FCC, Has No Plans to Run as a Libertarian

Lucy Steigerwald | November 15, 2011

Former Gov. Gary Johnson, the guy having the world’s most frustrating presidential campaign, is joining Congressman Ron Paul in rejecting calls to run on the Libertarian Party ticket. Johnson hopes to find some campaign steam in New Hampshire and he doesn’t want to think about any third party steps, even though the idea of a libertarian-friendly independent/third party candidate makes some Republicans very nervous, because it could tip 2012 to Obama’s favor.

The rest of the article at Reason Magazine

http://reason.com/blog/2011/11/15/johnson-files-complaint-with-the-fec-and

58 thoughts on “Reason: Johnson Files Complaints, No Plans as Libertarian

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    The idea of Johnson becoming active in the LP is certainly interesting, but what does the LP have to offer other than ballot access?

    The LP has done a poor job of promoting the ideas behind its philosophy.

    The state affiliates are not in the best of shape and the membership has seriously declined.

    It looks to me that Johnson would be a bigger benefit to the party than the party would be to him.

    And it doesn’t look to me as if there is any desire to improve.

  2. Don Lake, leaving a paper trail

    # 3 Michael H. Wilson // Nov 27, 2011

    LP has done a poor job of promoting the ideas behind its philosophy.

    The state affiliates are not in the best of shape and the membership has seriously declined.

    …… doesn’t look to me as if there is any desire to improve.

    [My mouth. Over here. Put the words back!]

  3. Tom Blanton

    LP has done a poor job of promoting the ideas behind its philosophy.

    Well now Michael, everyone knows that Serious people who are pragmatic have shown that the job of the LP is not to promote ideas or educate, but rather to win elections. And who can argue with that?

    These Serious people have demonstrated that they know how to win elections. Just look at the thousands of LP office-holders. While the LP is on a winning streak, it just makes no sense to spend one moment on promoting ideas.

  4. Mario Conde

    Gary would be good for the LP. But i’m still hoping to see a Ron Paul/Jon Huntsman GOP Ticket for 2012.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    mhw and tb, it appears y’all have set up an either/or in this thread. Promoting ideas AND getting elected would allow one to promote and advance MORE ideas, a virtuous circle. Promoting ideas just to promote ideas seems a poor way for a politician to promote ideas.

    The soapbox lunatic “promotes” ideas to the few who hear his or her rants. Dunno know about y’all, but I generally keep moving when I see the LaRouchies….

  6. Tom Blanton

    mhw and tb, it appears y’all have set up an either/or in this thread.

    The pragmatic reformers of all things libertarian beat us to it a long time ago when they set up the meme that the sole purpose of the LP was to win elections.

    Not only did they set up an “either/or”, they added an “or else” to it.

    I was merely mocking their meme, but you are only pretending not to know that, Bubby.

    There’s also the issue of promoting bad ideas and/or the ideas of other political parties.

    LaRouchies only exist in the imagination – their spaceship came for them 20 years ago. But I do enjoy a good soapbox lunatic rant. For some reason soapbox lunatics often perform outside the courthouse that I frequent, so I have been treated to a number of excellent performances. Generally, these rants deal with more surreal topics than libertarian ideas.

  7. Robert Capozzi

    11 tb, I missed these “pragmatic reformers” taking such a stance at all, much less their positioning their view as an “or else.” Source?

    Funny, I saw a LaRouche table within the last month…

    And, yes, a loon can be amusing in a certain way. YOU may be able to differentiate from the certifiable and an L holding high the banner. The uninitiated, however, are likely to dismiss all far-outside-the-mainstream political speech as in the same, wacko bucket.

  8. Michael H. Wilson

    Robert I would have thought that the LP would be interested in three things; getting across the ideas, recruiting members and winning elections.

    Most of the issues section of the web site is out of date, membership has been declining and a few people have been elected to office, but not enough to make much of a difference.

    So it would appear to me that success has been somewhat avoiding us.

    To be blunt our model is not working. Of course others might think otherwise.

    BTW a convention with 30 people is not a success.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    13 mhw: To be blunt our model is not working.

    me: I don’t disagree, although I happen to think it’s less the “model” and more the foundation…the mission statement, if you will.

    Way back in the day, SNL did a skit about the “Scotch Tape Store.” It mocked the trend at the time of highly specialized boutiques in malls. The Scotch Tape Store was far too narrow to be a viable business, even those they had fine merchandizing, customer service, and pricing.

    On a foundation of the “cult of the omnipotent state,” and “Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals,” is it ANY surprise that the LP remains pretty much a flatline operation?

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@14,

    So, once again, I’m at the point of wondering why you choose to remain associated with an institution which is, in your opinion, foundationally FUBAR.

    I can understand why someone would want to remain associated with an organization even if he objects to what it does on occasion.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would want to remain associated with an organization when he objects to what it is and always has been.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    15 tk: I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would want to remain associated with an organization when he objects to what it is and always has been.

    me: Despite the errors and severe miscalculation embedded in the SoP, I’m interested in advancing liberty. Were there a viable Liberty Party, I might join that, but there isn’t.

    If I can’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream, I settle for chocolate or mint. You?

    And, as you know, I once bought into the Randian/Rothbardian roots of the LP. I share my ideas and why I don’t think atomistic, absolutism works on ANY level, but especially not in politics. I suspect many in the LP sense that something is “off,” so I simply offer my interpretation. I trust you respect my sincerity in this regard.

    16 mhw: So the mission statement has stopped people from updating the issues section of the web site all these years.

    me: Interesting conclusion. My answer would be no. Keeping issues updated would be in the re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic direction, though. Or the foundation on sand parable might be apropos here as well…

    17 gp: He’s a troll.

    me: Hah! Thanks, Professor. Ya know, that thought has crossed my mind, too. However, I’ve never felt the impulse to narc on the LP to the FEC, so there’s that saving grace! 😉

  12. Michael H. Wilson

    RC @ 18 Interesting conclusion. My answer would be no. Keeping issues updated would be in the re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic direction, though. Or the foundation on sand parable might be apropos here as well…

    So if you were in retail would probably have last year’s display still in the windows. That’s a good model. Don’t waste time bring anything up to date.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    To bring this back in the direction of being on point, I saw there was some concern on a Facebook group about GJ that he’d once not only been pro-death penalty, but he’d apparently supported lowering the penalty to include some minors.

    Ouch!

    Thankfully, GJ changed his view.

    (Contrast this with the SoP, which is extremely difficult to change or delete.)

    I applaud positive change and error correction. Silly me! 😉

  14. Robert Capozzi

    19 mhw, please respect that I don’t assume what YOU think. Please return the courtesy.

    In the meantime, before the SoP and other things can be righted, I of course think it’s helpful to update things as best we can. Delete as much extremism as possible. Update other materials as is practicable.

  15. Richard Winger

    If the United States had proportional representation, the Libertarian Party certainly would be putting office-holders into important office, such as Congress. Just look at the recent New Zealand election, where Greens now have over 10% of the membership of parliament thanks to proportional representation. More libertarians ought to be working for proportional representation.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @18,

    Your response to what you consider foundational dysfunctionalities in the LP doesn’t strike me as like accepting chocolate or mint because chocolate mint isn’t available.

    It strikes me as more like standing around Bill’s Liver and Onions emporium for 20 years bitching that they’ve never had ice cream on the menu … when there’s a whole street full of other restaurants, as well as vacant buildings in which you could build an ice cream parlor if you wanted to, right outside the door.

    At some point, I have to conclude that you like bitching about the absence of ice cream better than you like ice cream.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    23 TK, sorry you’ve gotten that impression. Do you doubt that the LP — despite the youthful exuberant overstatement by the founders — is not in my estimation my best option? I’m even down with the NAP, so long as it’s not used hyper-technically and literally, but rather as a general concept. I call myself an asymptotic anarchist, fer crissake!

    I do note that you exited the LP, which is certainly your right. But I have to wonder why you care about my motives. I’m nobody, after all!

  18. Kleptocracy And You

    @18 Finally – PROOF !!!

    I knew something was definitely wrong, now that we see you ruin perfectly GREAT ice cream by mixing mint, it is proof POSITIVE your wires are misaligned and you need professional help…

    Can we get a fund started to help, I oppose all gov’t program help as it MUST NOT impose force on anyone or thing…………

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@24,

    I don’t doubt that the LP is, in your estimation, the best option.

    However, given your stated orientations versus the LP’s stated orientations, I do doubt the accuracy of your estimation.

    I care about your motives for the same reason that I pay attention to one of my cats when it gets its head stuck inside a tin can: I feel sorry for it, I’d like to help it get loose if I can, and the racket it makes running all over the place and running into things is impossible to ignore even if I wanted to.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    26 tk, what you say might make sense if the SoP’s extremism is in fact “the LP’s stated orientations.” It isn’t in any meaningful sense. Rather, it was the opinion of the founders and a few others who somehow thought they’d FOUND IT…unambiguous, everlasting Truth, and then built an impenetrable (7/8ths) Keep to ensure their handiwork was the Taj Mahal of political thought.

    Sanity almost prevailed in Portland in 06; in 08 most of the extremism was purged from the platform.

    In truth, the mere existence of the SoP is of less concern to me than the (absolutist) thinking behind it. I’m more interested in developing and sharing alternatives to A=A L-ism and its ilk, as it’s a sure means to stay irrelevant and on the fringes.

    Keep your pity.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@27,

    Sorry, it’s just strange.

    If I want to start a church, I’ll look for like-minded people to start it with, not go to a casino and spend 30 years trying to convince the owner to move the blackjack tables out and install pews, all the while telling myself that I’m halfway there already because I hear an occasional “goddammit!” or “Jesus Christ!” from those tables.

    Then again, maybe we’re laboring in the same vineyard and the only real difference is that you kept your membership card while I’m now formally “outside.”

    And hell, you’re only trying to depose 40 years of foolishness — I’m trying to overturn Hobbes. So I guess I can’t fault you for biting off more than you can chew.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    28 tk: If I want to start a church…

    me: I witnessed a debate in 1980 between Clark and Commoner in which Clark used the word “company” when he meant “country.” Commoner retorted, “Thank you, Dr. Freud.”

    So do I. The LP and L-ism are not a religion, and should not be anything like one. I consider most Ls to be like minded with me. Heck, I often agree with you! I tend to be more moderate in my policy prescriptions than you are, but we are very often in the same direction.

    But, OK, let’s use the religion thing. The Bible was codified in the first few hundred years after Jesus is reported to’ve walked the Earth. There were other gospels that didn’t make the cut…just because, apparently. The Pope and elders back then found things like the Gospel of Thomas to be inconsistent with the narrow doctrine they wanted to instill in the flock. These “other” gospels were suppressed, only dug up in recent decades.

    There are other libertarian gospels besides Randian/Rothbardianism, e.g., George, Friedman, and others.

    Think of me as an ecumenical L. I’m not per se trying to “overturn” anything…I simply offer a different perspective. I don’t do that win/lose thing. Odds are high that I will die with far more government than I’d prefer. Odds are high that the LP will limp along as an inconsequential, fringe entity.

    OTOH, a LOT of Ls would love to see RP or GJ as our prez candidate. My guess is the vast majority do, which tells me that Ls would like to become at least more relevant than in the past. I encourage and support such a shift.

    I can understand why those who want a more pedantic approach, skooling the sheep on the NAP or whatever. I don’t agree that that approach is optimal.

  23. JT

    Wilson: “The idea of Johnson becoming active in the LP is certainly interesting, but what does the LP have to offer other than ballot access?”

    Ballot access in every state–or almost every state–is a huge offering.

    Wilson: “The state affiliates are not in the best of shape and the membership has seriously declined.”

    True, but the LP still has a widespread volunteer base for any candidate for President.
    Also, the Libertarian nominee can still get on a lot of TV & radio shows.

    Wilson: “It looks to me that Johnson would be a bigger benefit to the party than the party would be to him.”

    If Johnson would only be running as a Libertarian to win the election, then yes. If he had other goals, then not necessarily.

  24. just asking

    Is A=Z really a platform worth campaigning for?

    You could always start the 1984 Party and campaign on 2 + 2 = 5

  25. just asking

    Is A=Z really a platform worth campaigning for?

    You might want to start the 1984 Party and campaign on 2 + 2 = 5

  26. Robert Capozzi

    31 ja, for me, A=Z, A=A, 2+2 =4 or 2+2 = 5 are all not appropriate for political thinking or action. Letters and numbers and words and which base system one uses in mathematics are matters of convention. In politics, it’s generally wise to be conventional but to justify breaks with convention where the status quo is broken or breaking.

  27. Gary Odom

    I just realized none of you probably even know who that is. I have never heard of a Libertarian who was a sports fan, but maybe I am wrong.

  28. OldAntifederalist

    No NewFederalist, you are wrong, as almost always. NewFederalism is a bankrupt ideology. Only by breaking up the US into completely autonomous states like in the Articles of Confederation, can the spirit of OldAntifederalism be restored and the bankrupt ideology of NewFederalism be defeated. Sports fans, by the way, are by definition not libertarians, because most of the popular sports today require enforced conformity and teamwork, and are too aggressive to be libertarian anyway. But NewFederalist, at least you’re a good writer and not boring like robert Capozi.

  29. Robert Capozzi

    38 old, yes, I sometimes bore myself! 😉

    You do seem very confused about sports and Ls, though. There’s nothing unL about teamwork and private, voluntary, consensual aggressiveness that sport exhibits.

  30. JT

    Odom: “And Urban Myer absolutely will NOT take the job of Head Coach of Ohio State, either.”

    Looks like you’re wrong on more than one count. Read the news lately?

  31. Kleptocracy And You

    Been a sports fan longer than a card carrying LPer. Good luck with Meyer we (the SEC) kinda got his nerves SHOOK – LOL

    Shellshocks don’t make very good college HCs or much else…

    Now pedophiles are another………

  32. Deran

    On the otherhand, today via ABC Johnson is publically saying her is considering running for the LP nomination.

    But his repeated campaign failures in NH, and ABC’s report doesn’t make hay of them, don’t really indicate Johnson as a prime campaigner?

    I’m not criticizing Johnson, I’m just wondering outloud if he would be any better at campaigning than Barr was?

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/11/gary-johnson-drops-out-in-n-h-considers-run-as-third-party-candidate/

  33. NewFederalist

    Ballot Access News has just put up a story that indicates Gov. Johnson has all but given up his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Article referenced says Johnson is interested in the Libertarian nomination.

  34. Pingback: Reason: Johnson Files Complaints, No Plans as Libertarian | ThirdPartyPolitics.us

  35. johncjackson

    So now Hinkle is saying he expects Johnson to leave GOP for LP before NH primary and run for LP.

  36. Jose C

    I’m not criticizing Johnson, I’m just wondering out loud if he would be any better at campaigning than Barr was?

    He would not. As George Phillies has stated in other posts we have tried his type of candidate before. Ron Paul, Harry Browne, Bob Barr (Bob Barr did the best among these three), etc. And the key point is these candidates did not do well. Yet there are many suggesting Ron Paul or Gary Johnson should be our nominee for President.

    What is different now that suggests Ron Paul will do better than the last time he ran and was the nominee of the Libertarian Party? What is different now that suggests Gary Johnson will do better than Ron Paul did when he was our nominee? What is different now that suggests any of those Republican names floated by some in the Party as a possible Libertarian candidate for President will do better than Ron Paul, Harry Browne, or Bob Barr did when they ran for President. What has changed?

    Is there anything to suggest that Ron Paul or Garry Johnson will do better than Ed Clark? Is there anything to suggest they will do better than John Hospers (he did receive an electoral vote after all)? The answer . . . nothing is different. Nothing has changed.

    Those who want to continue on this course explain to George, I, and the rest of us what has changed that suggests Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or any other Republican (libertarian) will do better than Ed Clark or John Hospers did? I am not buying it!

  37. JT

    Yes, what course would you like to take, Jose? Do you think any of the other announced Libertarian candidates will do better? If so, why?

  38. Robert Capozzi

    50 jc: What is different now that suggests Ron Paul will do better than the last time he ran and was the nominee of the Libertarian Party?

    me: Ron Paul is now a sure-enough national figure. He wasn’t in 1988.

  39. Andy

    “Ron Paul, Harry Browne, Bob Barr (Bob Barr did the best among these three), etc.”

    Going by what percent of the vote each candidate received, Harry Browne in 1996 did the best of the 3 mentioned above, with Ron Paul coming in next and then Bob Barr.

  40. Kleptocracy And You

    @50 Jose, I must correct one thing Barr did not do better than Ron Paul. Paul finish 3rd with a higher % of the vote,

    As for what has changed, the world and the U.S. is staring ECONOMIC Armageddon in the eye and it ain’t blinking……

    A recession is when your neighbor loses their job and home. A depression is when YOU lose your job and home………

    “The technetronic (sic?) era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.” – Zbigniew Brzezinski, Obama’s chief foreign policy advisor

    The final minute roughly of this vid is scary stuff!
    Zbigniew Brzezinski on your future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKzEpQc-yo8

  41. Jay Edgar

    I’m not criticizing Johnson, I’m just wondering out loud if he would be any better at campaigning than Barr was?

    Who knows? The bigger question is will he make a better candidate than those who are currently in the running? There just are not enough candidates seeking the LP nod. Johnson would be a welcome addition to the fray. If he wants the nomination he will have to earn it. I’d like to see him try. Let the contenders duke it out and may the best candidate win our nomination. I’d like to see a good debate between him and our current list of contenders.

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