Press "Enter" to skip to content

Florida Libertarian Party will host Johnson event

Per The Florida Indpendent:

The Libertarian Party of Florida will host a campaign stop for Republican presidential hopeful Gary Johnson. The partnership is leading many to speculate that Johnson, a two-term New Mexico governor, may drop out of the GOP to run as a Libertarian. Florida Libertarians, for their part, say they would welcome the “anti-war, limited-government candidate” with open arms.

Full story.

97 Comments

  1. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry December 5, 2011

    This is the same Florida Libertarian Party that basically said “good riddance” to Alex Snitker after he decided to help the Paul campaign. I guess the question is: if Johnson doesn’t seek the LP nomination, will the members of the Florida LP hold the leadership accountable for their actions/hypocrisy?

  2. George Phillies George Phillies December 5, 2011

    Is this related to the FLorida Party whose platform committee chair attacked libertarians for being atheists?

  3. Andy Andy December 5, 2011

    I thought that Gary Johnson already dropped out of the Republican primary race. Why is he still campaigning if he dropped out of the race?

  4. Alex Snitker Alex Snitker December 5, 2011

    Why on earth would we not want to recruit a candidate like Gary Johnson over to the LP? He will have to compete like everyone else. We have also offered this same invitation to the Libertarian candidates for President as well. They are free to accept and the ball is in their court.

  5. George Phillies George Phillies December 5, 2011

    @6 Start with his support for the Guantanamo Gulag. He’s also a Republican. Making our party be seen as the party of Republican rejects is bad branding.

  6. Kleptocracy And You Kleptocracy And You December 6, 2011

    Money equal hope. No Money, No Breakthough. Welcome Johnson, but give him the nom and he not having mucho funds and NO friendly major media means another disappointment. Competition is good in economic and in politics. However no money, no movement. Don’t be delusional.

    If getting GJ into the LP and have him win the POTUS nom is your all in all and you don’t think in the long term to actual results you aren’t helping the LP. Another Barr/War type effort won’t help. Has GJ shown any ability to stir people (in mass) to donate or work for his campaign. From what I can gather, NOT MUCH ! Will a GJ LP campaign help the LP to grow, prosper and begin to change things for the better?

    I don’t like to sound negative, but the LP needs to grow and prosper until it can begin to reach enough people to change the future to a better more just society. How much did the Barr/War ticket do for that sonario? How will a Johnson/? ? ? ticket with little money and a media blackout do ? I dare say little better than a Wrights, Harris, Gary or even the animal lover (or abuser?!) !

    Start thinking about what can help grow the LP the fastest and that should always be the goal.

  7. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 6, 2011

    7 gp: Making our party be seen as the party of Republican rejects is bad branding.

    me: Compared with what? Unknown, unqualified Ls? D rejects? BTW, GJ’s view of Gitmo is not “support,” that I’ve seen. It’s a complex situation.

  8. Alex Snitker Alex Snitker December 6, 2011

    The people that are required to grow the party have to come from somewhere. Some of these people will be independents, Democrats and yes Republicans.

    Not everyone is a complete Libertarian like you George but it is a process and if a person is willing to do the most difficult part (becoming a registered Libertarian) then we can help them along the rest of the way.

    I hear that we should grow the party and then when a person wants to come over we spend time and energy tearing them down. Then you wonder why the party does not grow.

  9. Jason Gatties Jason Gatties December 6, 2011

    Your argument will fall on deaf ears with Phillies, Alex. I’m a longtime LP member and I happen to agree with you.

    Not only do I hope Johnson runs, I hope he gets the nomination.

  10. Here's a radical idea Here's a radical idea December 6, 2011

    @ 9
    OK, we get the concerns.
    Where is your plan to address it and fix it.

    Easy to complain or point out problems. It is sign of a good leader to also come up with alternative plan.

  11. George Phillies George Phillies December 6, 2011

    Most readers will have the good sense to recognize

    (i) it is one thing to welcome new members to the Congregation, and another thing to have them start off as President of the Congregation.

    (ii) Recruiting people by making them our Presidential candidate is good for one new member every four years, which is even less scalable than the Badnarik one heart at a time strategy.

    (iii) We have done this at least twice that comes to mind, namely in 1988 and 2008, and the people recruited that way promptly went back to being Republicans. Nor did the people leave us larger than we were before. Indeed, the 1988 and 2008 candidates were (I am relying on Mr Montoni wrto ’88) the two candidates who did not share their donor lists with the national party. The strategy *does not work*.

  12. ATBAFT ATBAFT December 6, 2011

    #15 RP did finally share his 1988 donor list with the LP and it helped grow the LP from under 7,000 at start of 1989 to more than 10,000 by end of 1990.

    The LP needs to insist that presidential nominees run on the Party’s presidential platform, not their own personal rendition of what they think the LP is all about. Their job is to best articulate that platform to get people listening and it is the local parties that need to round up the new activists, etc.

  13. George Phillies George Phillies December 6, 2011

    @15 I will let you and several other people fight out this claim on shared lists. I used to believe what you are claiming but on this list have now had several people who were associated with the main office in the right time frame tell me that I am mistaken.

    I do not believe your position on the Presidential campaign is right.

  14. Nicholas Sarwark Nicholas Sarwark December 6, 2011

    @8, that’s just a reprint of an article in the Santa Fe New Mexican that says he’s considering dropping out of the GOP race, not confirmation that he has.

    My guess is that he at least contests the GOP primary in NH, since that’s where he’s spent the most time and money. When he does poorly in that primary (defined as a low enough percentage that he doesn’t have a sharp acceleration of donors and volunteers), he will probably drop out and seek the LP nod.

    That will give him enough time to visit state LP conventions to seek delegate support, though just barely. As I’ve said before, he had best have a solid cadre of long-time LP activists advising his campaign or be prepared for a knock-down drag-out nomination fight.

  15. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 6, 2011

    At 11 Alex Snitker writes; “The people that are required to grow the party have to come from somewhere.”

    I have to disagree with your comment. Those of us in the party today are the ones needed to grow it. We have everything we need. We just have to work at it and we have not been doing that.

    Take a look at the issues section of the web site. Other than the Foreign Policy section most of it is seriously out of date. That is unacceptable.

    We should have half a dozen brochures available on the web site that can be downloaded and used at local events.

    There should be an outreach effort at the state level in all the states that have voter registration by party. I have not heard of that happening in any state.

    Much more could be done, but instead the national committee gets involved with things that it should stay out of.

  16. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 6, 2011

    14 gp: The strategy *does not work*.

    me: For you. For me, at least, no strategy has “worked” in the sense that the government keeps getting bigger. Paul and Barr were not “strategies,” they were “opportunities.” Neither posted stellar numbers, that’s true. That GJ would even consider the LP is a datapoint for me, in that the “wacko” factor has not made the LP radioactive to him. If he say the savaging Barr especially has taken, I’m impressed by GJ’s courage!

    And, then, there’s the phenomenon of Paul 2012. Would he be the pol he is today were it not for 88? Dunno. I’d say it helped him to grow into the force he is today. That he’s pulled off what he has thus far is pretty damn impressive, despite my disagreements with him on some issues….

  17. Jose C Jose C December 6, 2011

    me: Compared with what? Unknown, unqualified Ls?

    You mean like Ed Clark?

    Checkmate.

  18. JT JT December 6, 2011

    Wilson: “At 11 Alex Snitker writes; “The people that are required to grow the party have to come from somewhere.”
    I have to disagree with your comment.”

    I don’t think that’s what Snitker meant. I think he meant that new party members (one measure of party growth) have to come from somewhere. Many may be former Republicans or Democrats.

  19. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 6, 2011

    20 jc: You mean like Ed Clark?

    me: Hmm, I’da thunk that Ls paying attention would recognize that Clark was a special case. Credibility and recognition can be bought and groomed.

    A year or so ago, I was advocating a ticket of Penny/Cuban to further test the big-checkbook-VP approach with a qualified prez nominee, former D MC, to boot. That concept did not materialize.

  20. ATBAFT ATBAFT December 6, 2011

    “several people who were associated with the main office in the right time frame tell me that I am mistaken.”

    Was one of them Nick Dunbar? Nick would know positively.

    “I do not believe your position on the Presidential campaign is right.”

    Do you mean conceptually? Obviously it isn’t
    what the current practice is.

  21. George Phillies George Phillies December 6, 2011

    @23 The person on this list who has corrected me, when I made your claim, is Mr. Montoni.

  22. John Jay Myers John Jay Myers December 6, 2011

    It is my hope (possibly just a dream) that Ron Paul leaves the GOP and we have a ticket of Ron Paul for President, Gary Johnson for VP.
    Having a former Governer and a sitting Congressman as your candidates would certainly help the LP.
    However… let Ron Paul handle the Foreign Policy debate for god’s sake.

    Now, if that doesn’t happen, then I am still leaning Wrights.

  23. Thane Eichenauer Thane Eichenauer December 6, 2011

    If former Democrat Mike Gravel can pursue the nomination for the Libertarian Party I don’t see why Gary Johnson is any different. The fact that Republicans manage to figure out the drawbacks of their party and leave at a higher rate than Democrats is no reason we should discriminate against former Republicans.

    ATBAFT@15,
    I find your suggestion that the candidate have a position mandated upon him (or her) to be [in my personal opinion] rather a pipe dream. Each person has their own beliefs and their own way of expressing them. If you (or anybody else) wishes to compare or contrast his positions with the official LP platform you can buy a copy of his book or you can visit him and interview him in person.

  24. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 6, 2011

    25 jjm, the prez nominee basically calls all the shots, so Paul/Johnson would be mostly Paulistic.

  25. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 6, 2011

    I am thinking, that of all the candidates running, Gary Johnson combines most of my views, (I am not pro-gitmo and don’t know Gary’s position, rhetoric or documented actions on it) and has experience running a state government.

    Unless a major flaw is exposed, I would support Gary’s switch to the Libertarian Party and would make significant donations to help him win both the nomination and to help him be competitive in the General election.

    Ron Paul on the other hand is not acceptable to me he has taken a pledge to pass federal legislation to criminalize abortion. To return us to the pre-1970’s when the wealthy could get the medical treatments they wanted while all others were left to make use of back alley coat hanger abortionists.

    You don’t create a free society by starting off with creating a more intrusive and invasive government!

  26. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry December 6, 2011

    “Ron Paul on the other hand is not acceptable to me he has taken a pledge to pass federal legislation to criminalize abortion. “

    Evidence? According to his campaign website http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/abortion/ he doesn’t think abortion should be a federal issue. He also wants to remove federal funding for abortions.

  27. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 6, 2011

    @30 Happy to oblige..

    http://www.sba-list.org/sites/default/files/content/shared/ron_paul_signed_pledge.jpg

    “FOURTH, advance and sign into law a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.”

    If you believe Ron is a man of his word he has pledged to a advance and sign into law a bill to …..

    in 2005, 2007 and 2009 Ron Paul sponsored legislation to strip the federal courts of their power to hear cases involving abortion. This was a blatant attempt to return power to the state governments to criminalize it.

    Ron Paul want’s abortion criminalized. He wants to return the issue to the state level where he knows the conservative legislative bodies will do so.

    The Libertarian Platform states.

    “1.4 Abortion

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.”

    While Ron wants the government to use its coercive power to strip woman of the right to make their own decisions about their bodies.

  28. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry December 6, 2011

    You contradicted your original statement “Ron Paul on the other hand is not acceptable to me he has taken a pledge to .”
    In post 32 “Ron Paul sponsored legislation to strip the federal courts of their power to hear cases involving abortion… He wants to return the issue to the state level…”

    Returning the issue to the State level is NOT the same as “pass[ing] federal legislation to criminalize abortion.”

  29. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 6, 2011

    @33, I am not contradicting myself. I am opposed to the government (Federal, State, County or city) Participating in the issue of reproductive medicine.

    Ron on the other hand has contradicted himself. He says the federal government should have no role in abortion and then signed a pledge to advance a law and sign it which would criminalize abortion.

    Ron Paul is running for President of the United States. As such it would have to be a Federal Law that he has pledged to advance and sign.

  30. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 6, 2011

    Darryl, Come out and state your position. Should abortion be criminalized? Would you support writing laws to prosecute woman and or healthcare providers who perform or have abortions? Would you build jails, hirer investigators and strip people of their freedom because of their involvement in an abortion?

  31. George Phillies George Phillies December 6, 2011

    In the United States, women’s rights to abortion access exist and are protected across America only because we have a Federal Constitution, Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment, and Federal Judiciary.

    When a Republican proposes turning abortion over to the states, whether a Texas Republican or a millionaire Republican, either he knows he is proposing a backdoor abortion ban or he is lying.

  32. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 7, 2011

    Darryl, would you have the government collect taxes from me at gun point to enforce your beliefs on abortion?

  33. Kleptocracy And You Kleptocracy And You December 7, 2011

    I take it you boys won’t be backing Harris as a fall back candidate………

    Again, concerning Johnson I must ask, where’$ the beef? One $ay$ he will $upport financially. I$ that in the $2,400 two time$ range or what? Let’$ $ee, $4,800 goe$ into $48,000,000 ten thou$and time$. Yes, 10,000 Ls could help put on a credible campaign……….

  34. Darryl W. Perry Darryl W. Perry December 7, 2011

    You want my view, here you go: I oppose abortion for moral reasons, however I do not believe it should be illegal.
    I do not believe that any tax-payer funding should go to fund abortion, nor do I believe that any tax-payer money should go to organizations that offer “abortion alternatives” (i.e. organizations that encourage adoption).
    I would like to see more anti-abortion advocates focus on education as a way to reduce the number of babies that are aborted.

  35. Mario Conde Mario Conde December 7, 2011

    @7 George Phillies If Johnson goes to the LP it would be good for the party. You say its “bad branding” but my question is: who of the current LP candidates has a real shot of winning this election. Gary Johnson might not win but will take the party higher than ever. Bob Barr was an obscure candidate and Mr. Johnson has real government experience and libertarian principals. I don’t see this as “bad branding” I see it as brand equity for the Libertarian Party.

  36. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 7, 2011

    Darryl, that I can appreciate. Too bad Ron doesn’t.

  37. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 7, 2011

    I think if Gary Johnson were to switch he would still have to either convince the existing libertarian activists or he would have to bring along enough new activists to win the nomination. Neither of which is a forgone conclusion.

  38. just asking just asking December 7, 2011

    Didn’t Johnson join the LP as a life member several years ago? Or no?

  39. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary December 7, 2011

    Seems to me that we are missing something here. The question to me isn’t whether we should welcome Johnson, or Paul, or even Ventura into the LP.

    The question to me is whether it is proper for the LP or one of it’s affiliates to organize events and provide official support for any candidate before the LP nominating convention.

    PEACE

  40. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 7, 2011

    36 gp: In the United States, women’s rights to abortion access exist and are protected across America only because we have a Federal Constitution, Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment, and Federal Judiciary.

    me: Right. And yet there are other vital rights that use the same things and they do not nationalize the practice. Like the right to keep and bear arms, for ex. And, while I am tepidly pro-choice, I see many things in Roe that are simply inventions by the Supremes. I happen to think they were reasonable inventions (e.g., the trimester rules), but the inventions were inappropriate usurpations, IMO.

    gp: …either he knows he is proposing a backdoor abortion ban or he is lying.

    me: In this case, I suspect Paul recognizes that returning abortion to the states means that SOME states would ban the practice.

    But…either/or…really? You can’t imagine MANY another explanations?

  41. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 7, 2011

    @ # 45. Agreed.
    As a state chair from Ohio , I would feel very uncomfortable staging a party event that is open only to ONE specific candidate instead of others. I may have my own personal preference, but I don’t want to use state party assets and money to promote one specific candidate. Plus, even at this point, we don’t know if somebody else will jump into the race, who is highly qualified to run for POTUS.

  42. ATBAFT ATBAFT December 7, 2011

    Thane #26, interview in person? That’s exactly what I propose – that each candidate appear before the nominating convention and articulate how they would campaign on the four or five “hot” issues that year. Then the delegates could contrast their physical presentation, the substance of their ideas, how they differ on points, and etc. Each candidate should also be required to state how his or her campaign team will deal with local LP leaders, turn over campaign lists of supporters, and etc.

  43. Steve Meier Steve Meier December 7, 2011

    @46 You don’t have to imagine Ron Paul has said so himself.

    from http://www.ronpaul.com//on-the-issues/abortion/

    “The first thing we have to do is get the federal government out of it. We don’t need a federal abortion police. That’s the last thing that we need. There has to be a criminal penalty for the person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist. As for the punishment, I don’t think that should be up to the president to decide.”

    and

    “At the same time, Ron Paul believes that the ninth and tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution do not grant the federal government any authority to legalize or ban abortion. Instead, it is up to the individual states to prohibit abortion.”

  44. George Phillies George Phillies December 7, 2011

    @48 Such a misfortunate list of criteria. One we have used many times before with such great results.

    At the presidential level, organization and the like are everything. The candidate pressing the flesh is almost nothing.

  45. John Jay Myers John Jay Myers December 7, 2011

    At Kevin Knedler, I can’t let your comments at 47 slide, don’t you remember when I showed up as a candidate for LNC chair in Ohio, and you wouldn’t let me in to your events (but Wayne could) you told me, “you might be able to find people in the bar afterwards”, give me a break, you completely had your candidate, and that was the end of it.

    I had to pay to get in to any room you had, AND then I still couldn’t pass out information about myself, which you had your henchmen throw away whenever they found it.

    Seriously. Hypocrite.

  46. George Phillies George Phillies December 7, 2011

    @51 Thank you for reminding us of this issue.

  47. ATBAFT ATBAFT December 7, 2011

    George #50 – the candidate pressing the flesh is almost nothing? So it doesn’t matter who the candidate is as long as that candidate has a skilled organization? I beg to differ – I want a candidate who can best articulate the positions of the LP, not his “take” on those positions.
    I want a candidate whose staff will work closely with state and local leadership and candidates to build the local organizations rather than engrandize the presidential campaign and hoard the contributor lists.

  48. George Phillies George Phillies December 7, 2011

    @54 AT the Presidential level?

    Note that the things you say you want in a candidate have nothing to do with pressing flesh, speaking with voters. Indeed, they line up very well with what I think is good about a Presidential candidate.

  49. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman December 7, 2011

    Steve @ 43 says “The question to me is whether it is proper for the LP or one of it’s affiliates to organize events and provide official support for any candidate before the LP nominating convention.”

    Of course it is proper. Every candidate for the nomination speaks at LP conventions and meetings in the period leading up to the national convention. How else can they recruit support for getting the nomination?

  50. Jose C Jose C December 7, 2011

    Didn’t Johnson join the LP as a life member several years ago? Or no?

    And if he did would it change anything? The important thing to keep in mind is that he is a Republican.

    I have an idea for a Bylaws proposal. No one can receive the nomination for President of the Libertarian Party who within the last year of the nominating convention was a member of or candidate of another political party. This will not apply in those situations where the affiliate Party does not have (did not have) ballot access and the candidate seeking the nomination were or is registered independent, decline to state, or similar designation.

    This will prevent the Libertarian Party, its delegates, and members from being used as a fallback for a candidate’s political aspirations. And it increase the odds that a Libertarian will receive our nomination not a Democrat or Republican.

  51. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman December 7, 2011

    Why are people so worried about people with alien party affiliations moving into the Libertarian Party? How else will it grow?

    In modern American history we have a couple of examples of minor parties becoming significant. In the Midwest after the Civil War, the Democrat Party was an insignificant factor – it was not respectable to support the party of racism and rebellion. FDR’s New Deal recruited many local Republican and third party officeholders, and some went on to become important leaders of the Democrat Party.

    More recently, the Republican Party in the South grew in the 1960s by recruiting Democrat officeholders and others who had failed to get Democrat nominations.

    Of course, Libertarians are very different from New Deal Democrats or Dixiecrats turned Republican, but the method of building a new party includes recruiting experienced candidates and campaign activists who have been involved in other parties.

  52. George Phillies George Phillies December 7, 2011

    @56 The Republican Party welcomed into their ranks the far right religious bigots, and finally the normal Republicans found they were thrown out of their own house by the people they let in.

    The Republican Southern strategy was a suicidal act for traditional Republicanism, so that the modern Republicans bear no semblance to their party of 50 years ago.

    Furthermore, ‘welcome into your ranks as supporters’ is a mite different from’once again, give the Presidential nomination to another Republican conservative’. We may welcome converts, we do not promptly elect them Pope.

  53. Kleptocracy And You Kleptocracy And You December 7, 2011

    Bravo ! I agree 100% Prof.

    “The Republican Southern strategy was a suicidal act for traditional Republicanism, so that the modern Republicans bear no semblance to their party of 50 years ago.”

    This is one reason the LP “catches” so many disgruntled R’s now. The RP has been seriously weaken by southern D influence and allow much too much, gov’t can solve it, into their current thinking.

    R’s are 100 MPH socialists heading toward the cliff, D’s are 200 MPH socialists leading us to the cliff……

  54. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl December 7, 2011

    Im so tired of hearing my own Lp members say things like ” well he is a Republican” or “if he wants the nom he should register LP” and so on

    how many hours have we all spent arguing against the mindset of party loyalty in the 2 mainstream parties. We scoff and moan at those folks who will choose a lesser evil because thats the choice with the same name affiliation.

    We have people far less libertarian in public positions w/in our party and as for me , Ill be voting for the best candidate ( most libertarian ideals not most likely to win , I suffer no wasted vote syndrome) and most likely to restore freedom .

    I welcome him into our party because we need everyhand on deck ….however unless he swore to follow our Platform , he would not recieve my vote….At this point , Lee Wrights is still my guy , unless RP runs with us or as an indy.

  55. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl December 7, 2011

    send us your disgruntled and disillusioned and let the awesome truth we bring change them b4 they change us … AMEN..

  56. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 7, 2011

    gb: Why are people so worried about people with alien party affiliations moving into the Libertarian Party?

    me: I’m sure for various reasons, but paranoia seems like the best one. Many Ls have built up a ideological cocoon in which a simplistic, narrow thought system allows them to protect a constructed identity that provides them a certain comfort. New, high-profile candidates create discomfort.

  57. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary December 7, 2011

    Gene @ 54:

    You are correct, all the candidates should be given the opportunity to address assembled Libertarians.

    IMHO, even the Daniel Imperato’s and Harry Glenn’s should be given the chance as well as the Ventura’s, Paul’s and Johnson’s.

    But the Fla affiliate is organizing for only one particular candidate. I might like him, but it isn’t fair to the rest of the candidates.

    IMHO, the LP and it’s affiliates should officially be impartial, not advocating for one particular candidate.

    PEACE

  58. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman December 7, 2011

    Steve @ 62 – in the past there were numerous occasions where a Libertarian Party affiliate would hold an event and only one candidate was scheduled to speak. Perhaps Mr Wrights or others might want to contact the LPF about holding an even featuring them.

    I know that in 1987 Ron Paul spoke to the Libertarian Party of California convention, and there were no other Presidential candidates present.

    Also it is normal in all parties for local and state organizations to make preferences known before the nominating convention. That is how politics works.

  59. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 7, 2011

    Why worry about whether candidates will help build the party or not? Party building should be going on all the time.

    If you live in a state with voter registration by party then the state party should be doing outreach to those people every month. Get a non profit bulk mail permit and learn how to use it. It does not require a college degree to stuff envelopes and prepare bulk mail.

    Additionally people can drop literature off at their local libraries in most cities. Get a handful of literature from national and leave it at each branch library in your area. Drop off a new batch each month.

    No messiah is going to save this party from itself. It is up to each of us to do something to help build it If you have put in time don’t let that investment go to waste. Build on it.

  60. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman December 7, 2011

    To all: the Libertarian Party is only part of the Libertarian Movement. Electoral politics inherently leads to candidates and spokespeople who are more moderate than the ideological backbone of the party.

    If you want a libertarian utopia, we need to educate people in our views concerning the free market, personal freedom and international peace. I run a book shop and engage in other educational activities, and hope to lay the groundwork for successful political action.

    Expecting the American people to respond to a candidate with no apparent credentials who speaks mostly to other libertarians is a recipe for continuing small protest votes, no matter who our candidate is.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp December 7, 2011

    LG @ 59,

    “how many hours have we all spent arguing against the mindset of party loyalty in the 2 mainstream parties.”

    I’m not sure who “we all” is, but it’s never included me.

    In point of fact, over at a conservative blog I’ve been arguing with some people who think that Newt Gingrich’s endorsement of the Republican candidate, rather than a third party conservative candidate, for Congress in a 2009 special election is some kind of offense.

    Of all the things for Republicans to dislike about Gingrich, the silliest fucking one I can think of is that he endorses other Republicans.

    And when he was polling at 2% last spring he didn’t up and suddenly decide “forget the GOP — all I have to do is use the ‘L’ word a few times and that party will have its clothes off and be waving its ass up in the air for me inside of five seconds.”

  62. Gene Berkman Gene Berkman December 7, 2011

    Tom, of course Newt was not going to dump the Republican Party for the Libertarian Party – he does have enough in common with Libertarians. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson by contrast have a lot to do with libertarians.

    It just seems absurd that one can claim to be a libertarian – believing in individual choice – and support the notion of party loyalty.

    I was a libertarian for years before Dave Nolan got the idea he could start a new party and convince a Republican Congressman to head up the ticket against Nixon. His preference, he told me in Denver, had been H.R. Gross, Congressman from Iowa known for voting against spending measures.

    Anyway, since to me libertarianism is a viewpoint bigger than the Libertarian Party, party loyalty is just not a convincing argument.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp December 7, 2011

    GB @67,

    “It just seems absurd that one can claim to be a libertarian – believing in individual choice – and support the notion of party loyalty.”

    “Individual choice” is not the opposite of keeping voluntarily undertaken commitments, discharging voluntarily accepted duties, etc.

    Ron Paul and Gary Johnson have soooooooooooooo much in common with libertarians that they’ve chosen to remain affiliated with one of the premier anti-libertarian political parties for decades.

    “Let’s hope a dedicated Republican has a hissy fit with the party he’s been with since God was a toddler and decides he wants to be our primary public face for a few months before returning to the GOP” is not a viable campaign strategy.

  64. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 7, 2011

    @ # 49
    There you go again.
    I will repeat, you just show up and expect us to change the schedule. Not even the courtesy of an advance notice. We rely on advance registrations. And as I told you, we had people PAYING their money to be sponsors of events and with the agreement they would have exclusivity to the event with their literature. You missed out as a sponsor for Friday night and you missed out for the Saturday event. You needed to be more organized and plan ahead. You do it with your restaurant, so I know you can do it.

  65. Marc Montoni Marc Montoni December 8, 2011

    That seems a bit rough.

    Were *all* candidates sent notice of how to sponsor an event?

    Frankly, I wouldn’t organize an event and offer “exclusivity” to anyone. There’s just too much room for misunderstanding and hard feelings — as this thread demonstrates.

    There are two parts to an LP convention.

    There is the Business Session, which the organization must provide so its members can make the needed decisions periodically. The Business Session should always be free to attend for any member, as they are performing a service to the group by the act of attending (taking time off work/away from family; gas, lodging, etc). If a member joins the Party and by joining gains the right to vote on internal decisions, there should be no other barrier to entry into the Business Session.

    The other part of a convention are the extra-cost, optional events, such as forums, seminars, classes, entertainment, etc. In other words, NON-BUSINESS sessions. These are not required by the organization’s bylaws, and therefore the organization has no obligation to provide them. The people who want to attend them should pay for them.

    Now, I can understand having an “exclusivity” clause for sponsoring non-business sessions of a convention; since the organization is only required to hold a business session for its members to participate in the group’s official decision-making. But like I said, I wouldn’t organize an event and offer “exclusivity” to anyone.

    What about the Business Session, Kevin? Was JJM allowed to distribute his lit during the business session?

    There is NO WAY a business session should have any sort of exclusivity clause. There’s just too much room for setting up the situation in a biased manner (like, call the preferred candidate before announcing the availability to all the other candidates, etc).

    In Virginia, any time I’ve had any say in the matter, we have *always* permitted access to all candidates to buy ads in the convention program, and to purchase a table for lit — no exclusivity at all (except we had a clearly-noted printing deadline).

    We don’t do any of the “this session sponsored by candidate XYZ” thing. I doubt we’ll get into it for the foreseeable future. Sessions other than the business session are usually all paid for by convention-goers; and only those who have paid the fee for that particular session are allowed access.

    Our business session has *always* been paid for by the state party (members are by rights allowed in at no cost other than their dues), because our bylaws require that the party provides one every two years. I would certainly oppose blocking access to the members attending that session; as that’s where LP members gather to act on the information they’ve been given. If information is withheld, informed/fair decisions are impossible.

  66. Marc Montoni Marc Montoni December 8, 2011

    ATBAFT @ 15 said:

    George #50 ? … I want a candidate who can best articulate the positions of the LP, not his ?take? on those positions. I want a candidate whose staff will work closely with state and local leadership and candidates to build the local organizations rather than engrandize the presidential campaign and hoard the contributor lists.

    I agree.

    These people who want a “known” or “celebrity” candidate and who can’t see past the stars in their eyes are all forgetting one thing: Our presidential candidate is not going to magically get a plurality on Election Day 2012. Ain’t gonna happen.

    The LP presidential nomination should not be viewed as a self-promotion tour. Given that our candidate will NOT win in terms of votes, then we should be using the campaign as a recruiting tool — a vehicle to bring more libertarians into the LP. Period. There is no other more important purpose for having a presidential campaign. All of the activities surrounding a presidential campaign are opportunities to show people we take libertarian ideas seriously and that if they do also, they should join us and help.

    To Hell with personality cults. I want to see new recruits brought to the door of the LP by presidential candidates. Personally, I take the pre-nomination season as the candidates’ “interview” in front of me. The ones who I see bringing in hundreds or thousands of new names every time they open their mouth on TV or radio will be the “serious” candidates in my opinion — and they will have earned my vote at convention time. The ones who don’t — I think of as jokes.

    There is one “prominent” candidate who has been heavily touted by much of the current leadership of the LP. However, I am the primary contact person for new inquiries for Virginia, and in my occasional correspondence or phone conversations with our new inquiries, I can relate the fact that NONE have cited that particular candidate as their inspiration for contacting us. Which begs the question — given that part of his cachet is the fact that he’s gotten thousands of media hits — but if he’s getting so much media, why aren’t our phones ringing off the hook?

    Besides the anecdotal, since the LP’s membership numbers have been on a downward slide for some time, I have yet to see any indication whatsoever that this candidate has brought in any substantial number of new members.

    In contrast, every time Harry Browne appeared on TV or radio, calls and emails would start rolling in. There were literally thousands of people brought into the LP by Harry Browne. Andre Marrou was also very good at generating large numbers of new contacts — I was the guy who followed-up most of the requests for information in 1992.

    Both Marrou and Browne bucked the conventional lamestreamer wisdom, also: they didn’t tiptoe around issues the lamestreamers want us all to remain silent about, such as abolishing taxes, abolishing Prohibition, abolishing government schools, and so on.

    So, yes, ATBAFT is correct: LP presidential candidates should be promoting **the LP’s** positions — not their own.

    I’m not interested in personality cults. I’m interested in getting good, solid, bold, libertarian ideas injected into the political debate — the ONLY kind of marketing that will excite and inspire many of the millions of people who are already basically libertarian, to join us.

  67. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 8, 2011

    @ 70 Marc writes; “The other part of a convention are the extra-cost, optional events, such as forums, seminars, classes, entertainment, etc. In other words, NON-BUSINESS sessions. These are not required by the organization’s bylaws, and therefore the organization has no obligation to provide them. The people who want to attend them should pay for them.”

    It would be interesting to see what the various states charge for attending conventions and how many people they admit. What kind of goals do the states set and how successful are they in making those goals?

    Personally I think the conventions should be as low costs as possible so that the turnout is significant.

    How many states have a 100 people attend a convention?

    These high cost conventions may be on reason our numbers are trending downward. After all if we expect people to pay top dollar to hear a couple of people who want the prez nomination that will leave out a lot of blue collar workers.

  68. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl December 8, 2011

    “all I have to do is use the ‘L’ word a few times and that party will have its clothes off and be waving its ass up in the air for me inside of five seconds.””

    me_ thats alot of ass 🙂

  69. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl December 8, 2011

    “Individual choice” is not the opposite of keeping voluntarily undertaken commitments, discharging voluntarily accepted duties, etc.

    me_And voting outside your party cant erase all the good work and activism you accomplished inside….frankly , Id like to see pro-liberty candidates in every party

  70. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl December 8, 2011

    TK_how many hours have we all spent arguing against the mindset of party loyalty in the 2 mainstream parties.”

    me_ I think my sentence was misleading , what I meant was how often have we , at least me and my fellow activists, worked and manned LP booths of whatever variety??….. without fail when coming across members of the 2 majors , when trying to get our message out and make a recruit perhaps…we would have to tackle the wasted -vote -party-loyalty-lessr-evil brickwall.

  71. George Phillies George Phillies December 8, 2011

    @71 I largely agree with Montoni. I am our Treasurer, and I have not seen anyone come in and mention any Presidential candidate.

    With respect to conventions, our convention cost is entirely marginal. Do we charge attendees $25 a head, or do we set dues where the rate would over the cost of attendance, substantially more than we charge now? I prefer lower dues, but view his alternative as legitimate.

    At one time , my state party went in for high-cost conventions. At the peak, convention admission with multiple named rates was around $75 a head, there were other income sources, all of the money raised ‘to support our candidates’ instead went for convention costs, and the state party still lost close to $10,000 of other money on the event. I was in the group of people who insisted everything had to change. We now run cheap conventions, and every dime we raise at the convention — which slightly better than breaks even — for supporting our candidates will be spent on supporting our candidates.

    And if candidates for President or National Chair or whatever show up, they are viewed as welcomed people making sacrifices for liberty, not as opportunities to be fleeced.

  72. Robert Capozzi Robert Capozzi December 8, 2011

    68 tk: Ron Paul and Gary Johnson have soooooooooooooo much in common with libertarians that they’ve chosen to remain affiliated with one of the premier anti-libertarian political parties for decades.

    me: Tom, really, this argument seems among the weakest I’ve seen from you. Why are RP and GJ currently Rs? To be viable politically. If the LP were viable, they might have stayed with the LP. Why are they Rs and not Ds? They have more in common with R voters. Why associate with a “premier” anti-liberty party? Because the Ds are the OTHER “premier” anti-liberty party.

  73. LibertarianGirl LibertarianGirl December 8, 2011

    And if candidates for President or National Chair or whatever show up, they are viewed as welcomed people making sacrifices for liberty, not as opportunities to be fleeced.”

    me_ well I had no problem with the $500 debate buy-in at the LSLA 08 though…that took alot of work . The LSLA is the 2nd biggest LP gathering , but the planning and set-up was all done by Jim Duensing and LPNevada activists.

    Noone has any idea how much work and time went into that debate. FYI , the use of every camera , every mic , the soundboard, other tech stuff were donated by me ( by me I mean by my BF at the time) …we did all the set up , tear down , lost eqipment , paid the crew in meals , bought the expensive DV tapes ( me and my BF that is ) and another member was the sound guy..

    I still paid the full price for my LSLA ticket and I think the debate price was reasonable for any serious Pres. candidate.

  74. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 8, 2011

    It seems to me that we are pricing the blue collar worker out of this party and then we wonder why the membership numbers are going down.

    Then again maybe no one is really concerned that the membership numbers are going down.

  75. Citizen Citizen December 8, 2011

    Not all citizens are traveling to your event, so why don’t ya’ll at least try to set up some sort of communique? After all, isn’t the internet good for anything?

  76. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 8, 2011

    I guess you run your convention and we will run ours. We are in it to not lose money. And we have not for past few years.
    We had a business session yes and it is free only to those who are members of the national and the state party– via voting in the LP primary.
    We had refreshments and coffee which cost lots of money and we had sponsors on-hand to cover the costs. In return for the sponsorship, they got exclusive rights to have their literature in the room. Meanwhile, everyone else had their literature immediately outside the door in the hallway of the hotel. Everyone had to walk by those tables. Sorry, we may be over organized for libertarians.
    We just keep reloading with leadership.

  77. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 8, 2011

    And yes, Ohio LP bylaws require a convention every other year, per Ohio law also. So we could have a “free ” event. Just rent a back room in a Motel 8 and have a two hour meeting and call it a day. We choose to go a ways beyond that, which costs the extra money. And for past 5 years, we have not dipped into the treasury to fund it. All done with registration fees, vendor fees, and sponsorship fees. It allows our treasury to be used for the normal Federal Court battles about every two years, here in Ohio. Plus of course the everyday operation of the party.

  78. Citizen Citizen December 8, 2011

    @ 81 The internet and voting is free to most voters.

    What I’m writing about, is integrating free information and participation with all the candidates, not just those who pay.

    You don’t see the benefit of providing free information to the citizens when information and voting is free?

  79. Tom Blanton Tom Blanton December 8, 2011

    There is one “prominent” candidate who has been heavily touted by much of the current leadership of the LP. However, I am the primary contact person for new inquiries for Virginia, and in my occasional correspondence or phone conversations with our new inquiries, I can relate the fact that NONE have cited that particular candidate as their inspiration for contacting us. Which begs the question — given that part of his cachet is the fact that he’s gotten thousands of media hits — but if he’s getting so much media, why aren’t our phones ringing off the hook?

    Who the hell is Mr. Montoni talking about here? I thought he might be talking about Wayne Root at first, but we all know that Wayne has brought in thousands and thousands of new LP members, raised millions of dollars for the LP, and has helped hundreds of LP candidates win elections across America.

  80. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 9, 2011

    Kevin as I asked above how many people do you get to attend?

    From what I read and hear the state parties have settled into a comfortable mode of “we made a profit” instead of setting goals that might require some stretching to make.

    A recent thread on IPR left me with the impression that one state where a debate was held between those seeking the presidential nomination had a turn out of roughly 13 people.

    How many states set a goal of getting 100 people to their annual conventions?

    When are we going to find the courage to say we need 1000 people at a state convention?

    It will be very interesting to hear what the numbers are from California this year.

    We get too focused on the short term and ignore the long term.

  81. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 9, 2011

    Since 2006 it averaged 55 to 80 people.
    This year it took a dip to 45 people, due to some planning mishaps.
    At this time, the LPO treasury does not fund the event, the attendees do. Issue of redistribution of funds and we have to keep our powder dry in this state. Everyone should know by now, how “wonderful” Ohio is for ballot access and that we have taken the last three Ohio SOS to Federal Court– and we won.

  82. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 9, 2011

    Thanks Kevin. That is good to know.

    No criticism of your group is intended, but at the state level the LP has not been setting goals for convention attendance and we have been getting comfortable with low numbers which is not helping us grow.

  83. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 10, 2011

    Yes, each state should have a long term and short term strat plan, including targeting specific level of political office races. Ohio LP has retreat meetings every other year for our key leaders and strategists. We do SWOT analysis, set targets, set goals, etc. Full day session with free lunch. Good to keep the group at a managed level, so you can get some real work done.

  84. George Phillies George Phillies December 10, 2011

    @88 I think I would be less impressed with goals for convention attendance, and more impressed with actual stratagems that could be used to increase attendance without incidentally bankrupting the party.

    I have seen at least one goal which in one year would have required half of our members to attend — twice. The other half could have attended only once.

  85. George Phillies George Phillies December 10, 2011

    I do not view ‘we made a profit” as a goal. I do view not losing money as a good idea, because losing money causes members to drop.

  86. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 10, 2011

    Agree with George. Did I say that? LOL.
    Ohio model is to “not lose money” on the state LPO convention. If we break even, that is fine. We just don’t want to tap into our precious treasury reserves that are from loyal contributors. And when I say “break even” that is based on registration fees, sponsors, and vendors only. We have a seperate fundraising event during the conference or convention and that does make us some money.

  87. LNC Rejects Buying Building LNC Rejects Buying Building December 10, 2011

    We have a minimum attendance that gives us breakeven, which we are fairly sure to get, and then pull modestly ahead. We have had a donor who covers our losses if we do not quite make breakeven, which happened twice in the last five years. One loss was trying a somewhat expensive scheme — big mailing — to boost attendance, which rated as a total failure. The people who were going to attend already knew about the event, I guess. We have always viewed exhibitors as outreach rather than as a cash source; the old group that once ran the state party tried to use them as a cash source and was not very successful.

  88. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 10, 2011

    I don’t think the idea of losing money should be on the agenda.

    However, if I get 100 people to attend a convention and the facility costs $900 but we charge $8 a person we are out $100. But while sitting at lunch we hand out monthly contribution forms and get each member to contribute $10 a month which would give us $12,000 income for the year. Now do we say we lost money on the convention or raised money? We have expended money to raise more money. How should we explain a situation like this? Can we justify it?

  89. Michael H. Wilson Michael H. Wilson December 10, 2011

    I’m not trying to be a nit picker, but I think we need to have a different model for fund raising. My goal has been to convince others of the need to get $10 month contributors.

    Someday, somewhere someone will convince 1000 libertarians to give $10 a month. “Dream on” he said.

  90. Kevin Knedler Kevin Knedler December 11, 2011

    Michael, yes the monthly pledges are critically needed. It helps with budgeting, because those are consistent funds coming in. I love the one-time contributions of course, but the more pledges the better. In Ohio, we have it set up that 12 months of pledging at a certain amount, is slightly more than giving a one-time contribution. So, there is an incentive either way and the contributor can determine which is better for them.

  91. Bill Wood Bill Wood December 12, 2011

    Gov. Johnson just told Judge Napolititano he is considering a LP run.

  92. George Phillies George Phillies December 12, 2011

    Oh, good, another Republican carpetbagger.

    That worked so well last time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.