LP Prez Candidates Now Need ‘Approval’

Carla Howell, LP Executive Director, Tells Sam Sloan All Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates Now Need The Approval Of 5 LNC Members To Be Listed At LP.ORG

From an article at Tom Stevens’ blog, “Liberty Lion”:
There are four published criteria for declared Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates to be listed on the national party’s website at lp.org. These are:

•Filed to run for president with the F.E.C. as a Libertarian
•Seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party exclusively
•Dues-paying member of the National Libertarian Party
•Campaign website is current with contact information

Sam Sloan, a declared Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate who was runner-up for the New York State Libertarian Party’s Gubernatorial Nomination in 2010, has met all four conditions and is still not listed at lp.org. Mr. Sloan filed FEC Form 1 and FEC Form 2 to run for President with his party affiliation being Libertarian. He is seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party exclusively. He has been a dues-paying member of the National Libertarian Party and has been registered to vote as a Libertarian Party member in California for over six years. Finally, he has a campaign website with current contact information.

This information was forwarded to national and after two days passing without his being listed as a Presidential Candidate, Mr. Sloan wrote them an e-mail in which he said:

I am still not listed as a Libertarian Party Candidate for President on the lp.org website.

Kindly explain why I am not listed?

On January 24, 2012, Carla Howell, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, wrote Mr. Sloan back with an explanation, which included new hurdles that have been established to keep only “acceptable” candidates listed on the website. Ms. Howell wrote:

All presidential candidates must obtain the approval of at least five LNC members to be listed at the lp.org web site. I will forward your request to them today to inform them that you are seeking such approval.

If and when we receive five approvals, we will immediately post your name at our web site.

Thank you for your interest.

Sam Sloan was contacted for his reaction to this new listing barrier. He told Liberty Lion:

The Libertarian National Committee has an obligation to be neutral when it comes to party members seeking the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination. It is fine for the webmaster to put up a disclaimer saying the views of the various candidates do not necessarily reflect the views of the party but it is totally inappropriate to list only those candidates who five LNC members believe should be listed. If the LNC unites around Gary Johnson, would it be appropriate to only list his name on the website? Of course not!

It is the delegates who decide who should receive the nomination of the Libertarian Party. All candidates should have the opportunity to be listed on the national party’s website so all Libertarian Party members can read their various positions on the issues and decide for themselves who to support. The LP should not be in the business of only listing “approved” candidates or those with “insider” support.

The Libertarian Party loses the moral high ground when they continue to seek to exclude candidates they don’t like. The LNC first set objective criteria and when I met all their conditions for being listed, they then set up a new subjective barrier no candidate can possibly meet. How will LNC members decide whether I should be listed? Will it be based on my ideological purity? Will it be based on whether I might be an embarrassment to the LP because I support decriminalizing polygamy? Will I not be listed because some think Muslims can’t be Libertarians or because I sued the New York State Libertarian Party for the serious improprieties I observed during the 2010 gubernatorial nominating process?

Well, you get my point. The front runner for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination is Gary Johnson, someone who was excluded from the Republican Presidential Debates for not meeting certain standards and now the Libertarian Party seeks to exclude legitimate, announced candidates for the Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination and to deny them a fair chance to reach LP members. I have also just learned that many state affiliates intend to exclude from upcoming Libertarian Presidential Debates those candidates not listed at lp.org. This is a great injustice to all Libertarian Party members. 

219 thoughts on “LP Prez Candidates Now Need ‘Approval’

  1. Nicholas Sarwark

    Having a fifth, unpublished, criterion for listing on the web site is bad form and precisely the sort of shenanigans Libertarian candidates are subjected to by the establishment parties.

    Is there a roll call vote on this new policy, or is the power to decide what the criteria are vested in the Executive Director?

  2. George Phillies

    The party’s executive director is simply claiming she has the power. This is the sort of irregularity that happened in Massachusetts until we booted her and her cronies out of the state committee.

  3. George Phillies

    The LNC could vote to create criteria, don’t you think? Or do you disagree? Or they could vote to authorize the Executive Director to set criteria, subject to the Bylaws.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    6 gp, I don’t have a position. The criteria seem reasonable, although it may be that the ED should not set them unilaterally.

    Who’s in charge of content? Is there a means to object to content other than complaining?

  5. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Educate U

    Hold on there, CUZ! At least Sloan is for allowing both males and females to engage in polygamy. I am only for MALE polygamy and I’ve been a libertarian longer than Ms Howell and a majority of the NatComm. F^%* this POLICKBURO type cr#% ! Ms Howell can be RELIEVED of her duties within 105 days and a majority of the NatComm also.

    How much progress has the Party done under this NatComm and all other Party committees and employees ? ASK yourself. Figureheads don’t build a political movement. Activist do ! Each of you who want to finally move forward need to start thinking seriously about REPLACING any Party official who has voted screwy or not performed up to par ! The convention will nominate P and VP candidates, but more important it will elect the people who run the Party. Run it forward or to a stop or backwards. The Party needs people in charge who are libertarians (not would be fascists) and want the Party to grow and succeed (not stagger along and fall). Replace all DUDS in Vegas.

    Jump through the hoops in place. When finished, WAIT here’s more hoops, you DON’T qualify. We’ll have it down to “our” choice shortly! Bulls#^% !

    Phillies please inform us more of Ms Howell and some of her exploits. Thank you!

  6. Ad Hoc

    Replacing some people on the nat com may well be a good idea but you still have to think about who you are replacing them with. Would they be even worse?

  7. Ad Hoc

    email from Jim Burns

    522 words approximate reading time 2.5 minutes
    Mr. Hinkle, National Chairman of the Libertarian Party (LP), informed me, because I asked him, who was responsible for the change in the rules for listing the names and links, on the Website of the LP, of those seeking the LP nomination for president. The new rules removed about half of the names that were there before the new rules. See: http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/libertarian-2012-presidential-candidates

    Mr. Hinkle told me that it was the National Committee that passed the new rules. He told me that the reason was to keep the kooks and non-serious people from being associated with the LP: the same reasoning used by the establishment to keep Libertarian candidates out of the debate and contest.
    If the committee was concerned* about association with kooks, they solved that problem with the disclaimer: ttp://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/libertarian-2012-presidential-candidates

    It seems to me that those who voted for this measure must believe and act as if they were elected to Congress not to office in the Libertarian Party. Just as Congress almost always over reaches, so too it is with committees even those that call themselves libertarian. This rule will harms those who want to know more about people seeking the LP nomination, discriminates against the poor, and implies support and gives credence and collaboration to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and adds requirements that even the FEC does not have.

    Libertarians not only believe in free markets but also free minds. Information is necessary for rational choice and having more people on that page gives to members and interested parties more information at no extra cost to the LP. Artificial and arbitrary restrictions harm and give the appearance that the LP has something to hide, the appearance of tyrants.

    The requirement to be a dues-paying member in the national LP discriminates against the poor, violates the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution, and violates the libertarian principle of equal rights under the law.

    The FEC is the enemy!!! The authority for the FEC was unconstitutionally given by congress and the president to form an organization that writes their own rules which are enforced with guns and are designed to keep the incumbents in power. The LP giving aid and comfort to the FEC is repugnant and an abomination: shame. It should be pointed out that this idea was advocated and defeated at the 2008 LP convention. To learn some of the reasons why I have not filed with the FEC take about one minute and read: http://jimburnsforpresident.com/joomla/index.php/pledge-support

    Some in the LP believe that because the LP is a private voluntary organization the LP members and officers are not subject to the ideals of libertarianism when acting on behalf of the LP. They are incorrect. Libertarianism opposes fraud. If anyone acts in an anti-libertarian manner while acting in the name of the LP, they commit fraud.

    You may e-mail the officers of the LP and ask them about this matter. Mr. Hinkle informed me that I was the only person who asked about this issue or showed any concern. If you wish to make a difference you may contact the members of the National Committee of the LP listed below:

    Mark Hinkle, chair@lp.org
    Mark Rutherford, vicechair@lp.org
    Alicia Mattson, secretary@lp.org
    William Redpath, treasurer@lp.org
    Randy Eshelman, Randy.Eshelman@lp.org
    Kevin Knedler, Kevin.Knedler@lp.org
    Wayne Allyn Root, Wayne.Root@lp.org
    Mary Ruwart, Mary.Ruwart@lp.org
    Rebecca Sink-Burris, Rebecca.Sink-Burris@lp.org
    Doug Craig, Doug.Craig@lp.org
    Stewart Flood, Stewart.Flood@lp.org
    Daniel Wiener, Daniel.Wiener@lp.org
    Scott Lieberman, Scott.Lieberman@lp.org
    Guy McLendon, Guy.McLendon@lp.org
    Brad Ploeger, Brad.Ploeger@lp.org
    Vicki Kirkland, Vicki.Kirkland@lp.org
    David Blau, David.Blau@lp.org
    Andy Wolf, Andrew.Wolf@lp.org
    Sam Goldstein, Sam.Goldstein@lp.org
    Norman Olsen, Norman.Olsen@lp.org
    Brett H. Pojunis, Brett.Pojunis@lp.org
    Dr. James W. Lark, III, James.Lark@lp.org
    Marakay Rogers, Marakay.Rogers@lp.org
    Daniel Karlan, Daniel.Karlan@lp.org
    Audrey Capozzi, Audrey.Capozzi@LP.org
    Dianna Visek, Dianna.Visek@lp.org

    Sincerely,

    Jim Burns
    http://www.jimburnsforpresident.com/joomla/
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000094450639
    PO Box 1139
    Beatty, NV 89003
    541-261-4163
    702-722-9494

    * I believe the concerns about kooks and non-serious candidates are not the problem – lack of money is the problem!

  8. Brian Holtz

    Anyone seeking the LP presidential nomination ought to know that the U.S. constitution does not guarantee anyone that they be listed on a web page owned by a private organization like the LP.

    I support the requirement of FEC filing. Our nominee should be planning to raise/spend around three orders of magnitude more than the $5K FEC filing threshold. No matter how much we all disagree with FEC rules, it’s reasonable for the LNC to show no tolerance for anti-FEC martyrdom stunts.

    Wikipedia says: “Sloan was convicted of attempted abduction of [his daughter] Shamema, a felony, for which he spent 18 months in state prison.” Maybe another criterion should be: never having been convicted of a victimful felony.

  9. Brian Holtz

    Obtuse much? I obviously meant the LNC requirement that listees comply with the law, not the requirements imposed by the law itself.

  10. Nicholas Sarwark

    @Brian: So it’s okay for candidates to engage in illegal conduct post-nomination as an act of civil disobedience, but not while seeking the nomination? See, e.g. Badnarik getting himself arrested at the debates.

  11. NewFederalist

    I am not a member of the LP. I have not been a member since 1985. I was a member and activist and candidate for office for over 10 years. This is just the sort of nonsense that drove me away. Why list anybody? For as intelligent as most libertarians seem to be when it comes to common sense… well not so much.

  12. Sebastian Knowlton

    @12,

    Well Brian, then I guess it makes sense that he has a presence out here in California where the LP allows those who have fucked children to serve in positions of power and influence. I wonder if he’s registered in San Bernardino.

  13. Ad Hoc

    Maybe another criterion should be: never having been convicted of a victimful felony.

    Maybe.

    And maybe the LP should have a list of published criteria and stick with it, not add to it (especially without changing the published criteria) every time a new candidate steps forward.

    At least the criterion you suggest would be reasonably objective (although in some borderline cases libertarians may quibble about whether certain crimes have victims or not), as opposed to relying on the judgment of an arbitrary number of LNC members, who are supposed to be neutral but may well not be. Especially when that requirement is not published along with the others.

    FWIW, I’d agree that Sloan is an embarrassing candidate.

  14. Ad Hoc

    So it’s okay for candidates to engage in illegal conduct post-nomination as an act of civil disobedience, but not while seeking the nomination? See, e.g. Badnarik getting himself arrested at the debates.

    That was a “victimful felony”? I don’t think so.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    15 ns: So it’s okay for candidates to engage in illegal conduct post-nomination as an act of civil disobedience….

    me: For me, this line of inquiry meanders IMO from the question at hand, which is a) Should LP.Org list the declared prez candidates? b) If yes, should that list be filtered? c) If yes, should “Filed with the FEC” be a filter?

    I’d answer Yes to all three. Then it becomes a procedural question of what the filters should be and who should establish and police the filters.

    At this time, I don’t think BH’s “victimful felony” should be a filter for this particular exercise. It should be a consideration in convention, however.

  16. Ad Hoc

    Why list anybody?

    It’s a frequently asked question, and few people would know where else to look.

  17. Ad Hoc

    I wonder if he’s registered in San Bernardino.

    He splits his time between NYC and San Francisco.

  18. Nicholas Sarwark

    @20: Not filing with the FEC doesn’t have any victims either.

    @21: Why should FEC filing be a filter? Because it’s the law? It’s the law that smoking marijuana is illegal, but Gary Johnson is listed. There are a myriad of anti-libertarian laws and it doesn’t make sense to me that we would exclude candidates who are engaging in civil disobedience against those laws. There are good reasons not to nominate those candidates, but not to arbitrarily decide that they shouldn’t be listed as seeking the nomination.

  19. Ad Hoc

    Not filing with the FEC doesn’t have any victims either.

    That’s a separate issue. Brian was discussing Sloan’s kidnapping conviction.

  20. George Phillies

    @11 “Mr. Hinkle told me that it was the National Committee that passed the new rules.”

    Hinkle’s claim is contrary to the discussion on the LNC discussion list.

  21. Eric Sundwall

    Sloan offers any organization an interesting libertarian dilemma. On the one hand, a private organization can exclude people it chooses not to associate with (he was booted from the LPNY and the Manhattan LP). On the other, a libertarian outfit ought to be as permissive and welcoming to all sorts as possible. Sam can be a very disturbing and uncomfortable person to many. His question to Bob Barr about the Clinton impeachment being simply about a fellatio at the 2008 LPNY convention might be a good example. There was some nitpicking about him nibbling cupcakes and not paying . . .

    In this case, he has presumably met the criteria set to have his candidacy listed and the LP has moved the goal line now. Continuing to deny him may very well do more harm then by simply listing him. That contention is not a capitulation that threats or fraudulent claims should be legitimized. It’s not clear that is the case yet, but in my estimation it’s quite possible. One of his affidavits to the court claimed I had never attended a national convention, despite being elected to the LNC at Portland four years previous.

    In NY he was denied the LPNY membership list prior to the convention and had a fit. Despite stating that he would not continue to attack Warren at the convention he proceeded to have a meltdown and compelled the party to court on numerous occasions, making very spurious claims about the same process that he seemed to yield to in 2006 when he got one vote, his own, for governor. Once the madam didn’t show, the anti-Redlich faction lead by a certain evil doctor, simply backed Sam. He never had any recourse with the other members from chapters he never visited (ie Hudson Valley, CDLP & Greater Rochester) however doubtful the effect would have had.

    He should have been provided the list (all the CDLP got his letter prior to the convention and also others) by the Chair at the time and a judge agreed. His further claims in court about the convention process were denied repeatedly. He simply didn’t have the votes and invented a wholly new narrative that Roger Stone aped later on. Sam also gave Stone the idea for the sexual predator ad, which was a result of Sam’s obsessive pouring over of Warren’s blog.

    For many in the LP, they may have to accept the occasional uncomfortable candidate for the sake of maintaining principle. Despite what might considered due cause and consideration, I have no problem letting the chips fall where the may in regard to Sam. His candidacy will be meaningless and unsupported. A marvelous train wreck to observe I’m sure. Remember Finan? Pure political poetry. I want the whole show, not a watered down march to the promised land of the five percenters and that 90 mil piece of imaginary fraudulent fruit.

  22. Brian Holtz

    Nick, my suggested FEC filing requirement is completely separate from my suggested no-victimful-felony requirement. FEC non-compliance is of course not a victimful felony.

    The FEC filing requirement is useful in making sure we don’t have to list every random LP member who claims to be running for president. But if needed, the heavy lifting here would be done by a requirement that you have 5%-15% market share in a group like state chairs, life members, recent delegates, LNC members, or donations to the current crop of POTUS candidates. Such a requirement could probably even obviate an LPHQ policy about victimful felons, as we should be able to trust these categories of activists to take such data into account.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    24 ns: Why should FEC filing be a filter? Because it’s the law? It’s the law that smoking marijuana is illegal, but Gary Johnson is listed.

    me: In my judgment, FEC filing is the PERTINENT law. That someone admits to having broken a law in the past is not relevant to his or her running for prez as a L, at least on its face.

    Stare decisis, Counselor. Have not the previous LP prez nominees been FEC filers? Are there not good and prudent reasons for the LP’s nominee to file with the FEC?

    Now, there may well be a case for the LP’s nominee to NOT file with the FEC, before or after the nomination. If there is such a case, I’d certainly like to hear it. The practical considerations of NOT filing would need to be laid out for me to be persuaded, though.

    Finally, some Ls have made a hobby of combing through FEC filings, looking for discrepancies and excesses, e.g., limo line items.

    Do we really want to deprive them of their pastimes? 😉

  24. NewFederalist

    @22… just who is looking? I suspect anyone looking is savvy enough to use a search engine.

  25. Brian Holtz

    I want the whole show

    So in our C-SPAN debate, we should just let anybody in the convention hall walk on stage and join the show?

    I don’t believe you really “want the whole show” — however good it feels to say you do. 🙂

  26. Nicholas Sarwark

    @31: You miss my point. If a candidate for the nomination chooses not to comply with FEC filing as an act of principled civil disobedience, a party that opposes campaign finance laws as a violation of individual rights should not exclude that candidate from being listed.

    If Gary Johnson lights a joint in public in protest of marijuana laws, he should not be excluded from seeking the nomination or listed as doing so.

    Individual party members have different levels of tolerance for civil disobedience. I can think of at least one nominee who became much less civilly disobedient after gaining the nomination.

    All of this stuff sorts itself out at convention.

  27. Nicholas Sarwark

    @30: Wouldn’t a requirement to have raised a certain amount of money suffice to provide the same filter? It could be met by providing evidence to the national office that the money was raised, possibly with an FEC filing, possibly with some type of affidavit for the principled non-filer.

  28. Nicholas Sarwark

    @33: I’ve been to conventions with no filter for debate inclusion and the ones with some filter. No filter at all is much more “interesting,” but not in a way I like.

    However, we already have bylaws in place to deal with that problem. This issue of who is listed on the website is separate and unrelated.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    There are really two different issues here.

    One issue is what, if any, criteria should be used for listing presidential candidates on the web site.

    The other issue is whether or not those criteria should be changeable on they fly any time a candidate whom [insert individual or group here] objects to meets the existing criteria.

    This kind of thing is an ongoing problem with LNC/LPHQ.

    For example, in 2007/2008. presidential candidates were not able to rent the LNC’s mailing list, because, the treasurer said, some new FEC regulation prohibited it.

    Then the treasurer’s favored candidate officially entered the race, asked to rent the list, and mirabile dictu! — that troublesome new FEC regulation turned out not to mean that after all.

    A bylaws corrective might be in order. Perhaps a requirement that all candidates for LNC submit, in advance of election, a binding agreement to let themselves be subjected to simultaneous waterboarding and bastinado if a majority of delegates at the next convention following their elections determine that they acted like fuckheads in office.

  30. Brian Holtz

    We shouldn’t waste lp.org space on a candidate who is planning to waste the election cycle by not raising/spending what a real campaign would.

    And again, all these considerations could be obviated by a market-share criterion — which is what the non-serious candidates are pushing LPHQ toward using.

    All of this stuff sorts itself out at convention.

    Yes, but LPHQ should exercise some judgment between now and then.

  31. Robert Capozzi

    34 ns, it appears you miss my point. Were GJ to do what you say, that has nothing to do with his ability to represent the LP on the ballot as nominee.

    Were X to make FEC non-compliance his or her act of civil disobedience, that would severely restrict his or her ability to represent the LP on the ballot.

    Apples and oranges and granadilla*

    I am open to the possibility that a candidate for the nomination could make a case to the rank-and-file that FEC non-compliance is a tactic that helps to advance the cause of liberty in a particular election cycle. Someone using such a tactic would, I’d think, want to publicize that case carefully and thoroughly.

    On its face, I admit that I find the idea to be a huge non-starter. Of the thousand issues that block the cause of liberty, FEC filings is deep into the 900s, is my sense.

    Protesting the War on Drugs, OTOH, is perhaps in the top 100.

    Tilting at FEC-filing windmill makes Quixote seem rather lucid.
    _________

    * a kind of passion fruit

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@38,

    “We shouldn’t waste lp.org space on a candidate who is planning to waste the election cycle by not raising/spending what a real campaign would.”

    1) How much does a “real campaign” raise and spend? Ralph Nader raised and spent less than the FEC filing minimum (or at least claimed to, and did not file with the FEC) in 1996 (and received more votes than the LP’s candidate).

    2) Raising and spending is not the same thing as reporting.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC@39,

    “Were X to make FEC non-compliance his or her act of civil disobedience, that would severely restrict his or her ability to represent the LP on the ballot.”

    How so?

  34. Robert Capozzi

    37 tk: For example, in 2007/2008. presidential candidates were not able to rent the LNC’s mailing list, because, the treasurer said, some new FEC regulation prohibited it. Then the treasurer’s favored candidate officially entered the race, asked to rent the list, and mirabile dictu! — that troublesome new FEC regulation turned out not to mean that after all.

    me: Ouch. That does sound kinda creepy, if true.

    I’d chalk this current controversy up to a form of growing pains. Maybe yet another rule is necessary, but jeez louise, do we want to codify everything the LP does?

  35. Eric Sundwall

    @BH (33)

    The C-SPAN show I saw in 2008 included a question about the Tragedy of the Commons that a former Senator, Congressman, physics professor, a doctor in chemistry, an Ivy League political science major, marijuana activist & software CEO couldn’t answer. I’m guessing Sam Sloan could. But that’s not the whole show.
    Only a part.

    If the LNC & LP want to set entry standards, fine. I’m not down with 5K or other arbitrary barriers (like issues). Nor am I fine with setting standards and then shifting them to suit needs. In this case the LNC votes for this process should be transparent and known.

    I like the Milnes’, Imperato’s and Vermin Supremes. Otherwise we’re stuck with MSNBC and CNN the whole time. Nobody watches C-SPAN, let alone on Memorial Day weekend. I recall starting an entire kitchen floor and watching W.A.R yell BANG as I almost dropped my wrecking bar and falling to my knee pads in laughter . . . I want the whole show.

  36. Nicholas Sarwark

    Were X to make FEC non-compliance his or her act of civil disobedience, that would severely restrict his or her ability to represent the LP on the ballot.

    Actually, it wouldn’t. The penalties, such as they are, for violating FEC rules are individual penalties that apply to the candidate and the treasurer. None of them would lead to removal from the ballot.

    Hell, even being in prison isn’t a bar to being on the ballot. See, e.g. Eugene Debs.

  37. Nicholas Sarwark

    Yes, but LPHQ should exercise some judgment between now and then.

    Which brings us back to my question of whether this is a power that is vested entirely in the Executive Director to exercise “judgment” by moving the goalposts when an undesirable gets through them?

  38. Robert Capozzi

    41 tk, sorry, I shoulda said “could,” not “would severely restrict….”

    But, OK, I don’t pretend to be a FEC expert (I find the subject supremely boring, actually). Am I incorrect that LP prez candidates have been filing for years now, if not always? I’ve assumed they have, and do so for good and prudent reasons. Am I incorrect?

    As the World’s Most Radical L, I’m surely open to breaking the mold, if doing so seems to provide new and interesting opportunities to advance the cause of liberty. Has someone made a case for this tactic? Point me in that direction, kind sir…

  39. Nicholas Sarwark

    I’d chalk this current controversy up to a form of growing pains. Maybe yet another rule is necessary, but jeez louise, do we want to codify everything the LP does?

    I don’t mind growing pains if we’re growing. What we have here is “same shit, different election cycle.” And oh, by the way, with a smaller party.

  40. Nicholas Sarwark

    @RC: I think you are missing the distinction between the following questions:

    1) Should a party that advocates freedom and against FEC regulations exclude candidates from a list of people seeking its nomination because they have taken a stand against complying with those regulations?

    and

    2) Should the LP nominate someone who is going to make non-filing with the FEC a major campaign issue?

    As for me, my answers are No and No.

  41. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 25

    Sam Sloan defends his actions with respect to his daughter and would do it again to protect her from a Christian Cult who took her from him. He is eager to speak about that conviction as a badge of honor.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    44 ns: The penalties, such as they are, for violating FEC rules are individual penalties that apply to the candidate and the treasurer.

    me: LOL! Really? So, a party that has a nominee who violates FEC rules isn’t itself taking a collective risk by nominating a candidate who violates FEC rules?

    My naive-o-meter is beeping…

  43. Nicholas Sarwark

    LOL! Really? So, a party that has a nominee who violates FEC rules isn’t itself taking a collective risk by nominating a candidate who violates FEC rules?

    See 48. Also, I’m not aware of any penalties that can be imposed on a party for the actions of a candidate/campaign.

    Now the LP could be made fun of and our candidate could be pushed off message. Badnarik didn’t square himself with the IRS because he wanted to, he did it to make sure that wasn’t an issue that could be used to beat him up. Similarly, Romney didn’t release his tax returns because he wanted to, he did it to avoid problems.

    AFAIK, the only principled non-filer (Burns) is actually soliciting pledges and from the statement on his website, looks like he will/would retain a Treasurer and file with the FEC should he be nominated.

  44. Brian Holtz

    Tom, whether Nader in 1996 got more votes than the LP while spending <$5K isn't the right question. The right question is whether Nader in 1996 would have gotten more exposure for his message if he had raised/spent without $5K as his self-imposed limit. Nader was wise enough not to repeat his 1996 no-FEC stunt in 2000, when he happily accepted $700K in matching funds. No conceivable LP nominee has enough name recognition to make such a stunt advisable in 2012 — not even Clint Eastwood. If there's a way to raise/spend >$5K on a POTUS campaign without getting into FEC trouble, I’m all ears.

    Eric, the primary need here is for LPHQ to translate public interest in the POTUS race into the maximum amount of interest in a serious idea (liberty) and its serious proponents. The need to put on a show for your amusement isn’t a priority. You’ll just have to get your Milnes fix somewhere else.

  45. Brian Holtz

    Nick, what you call moving the goalposts, others might call fixing a mistake.

    Should a party that advocates freedom and against FEC regulations exclude candidates from a list of people seeking its nomination because they have taken a stand against complying with those regulations?

    If that stand guarantees that the LP would spend a presidential election cycle fighting with one hand tied behind its back, then hell yes.

  46. Robert Capozzi

    47 ns: I don’t mind growing pains if we’re growing.

    me: In truth, I had to think about using the term “growing pains,” as many Ls are highly literalistic in their language usage. (I’m not.) My sense is that while the LP has been and continues to be small, the word L is becoming an accepted, commonly used word in the public square, far more than it was when I first became a L in 1980. Not a week goes by, it seems, when RP is not speculated about running third party, with the LP often being named.

    The idea of L and liberty is on the march, although the LP as an institution is not…yet. Making the optimal moves to attract many-fold more into the LP, to vote L, etc., requires patience and some good luck, for lack of a better term. WAY inside LP baseball about who gets on the LP’s website doesn’t strike me as consequential.

    48 ns: 1) Should a party that advocates freedom and against FEC regulations exclude candidates from a list of people seeking its nomination because they have taken a stand against complying with those regulations?

    me: Like I said, IF this is the cornerstone of one of the excludeds campaigns, it would be prudent for them to make the case carefully and thoroughly, with nice lead times for the L community to consider and assess their (perhaps obscure) position.

    Could it be a mistake for LPHQ to exclude someone for that reason? Yes, I agree with you in that sense.

    Is that a BIG mistake, one that ensures the LP is left on the fringes, of no influence on the nation’s direction? Highly, highly unlikely, IMO. This is definitely a molehill, as I see it…

  47. Nicholas Sarwark

    Nick, what you call moving the goalposts, others might call fixing a mistake.

    It doesn’t really matter what they call it, when you publish criteria, then pull an extra criterion out of thin air, it’s moving goalposts.

  48. George Phillies

    Growing pains? These are shrinking pains. Our legitimate candidates raise far less money than they did in 2008, let alone 2004 or 2000. Party membership is down. State and local organizations fade from sight. And the LNC? It’s busy passing a resolution calling its Judicial Committee names.

  49. JT

    Eric: “I like the Milnes’, Imperato’s and Vermin Supremes. Otherwise we’re stuck with MSNBC and CNN the whole time.”

    You think people like Milnes, Imperato, and Vermin Supreme are the only alternatives to MSNBC and CNN? What an odd thing to say.

    Eric: “I recall starting an entire kitchen floor and watching W.A.R yell BANG as I almost dropped my wrecking bar and falling to my knee pads in laughter . . . I want the whole show.”

    I remember that, and it was funny. Not in a good way though, IMO.

  50. Nicholas Sarwark

    If the goalposts were at the 10 yard line, they need to be moved.

    Translation: If Sam Sloan can make it past, they need to be moved.

    Our party has been down the path of LPHQ picking winners and losers before. There are supposedly now clear guidelines in place to prevent that.

    And yet, here we are, with the ED deciding to add an extra criterion that excludes a particular disfavored candidate.

  51. Robert Capozzi

    51 ns: Also, I’m not aware of any penalties that can be imposed on a party for the actions of a candidate/campaign.

    me: Again, this is highly literalistic. Poking at a hornet’s nest is generally not a good idea. The poker might get stung, but so might innocent bystanders. It’s naive, IMO, to not see that. Getting on the shit list is a bad idea.

    Since we Ls would love to see at least most of the government go away, we of course open ourselves up collectively to the Empire striking back. That comes with the territory. Provoking the FEC over filing seems like a waste of “bullets.” (Please note the use of the word “bullets” is quoted to indicate a reference to a metaphor about armed conflict in which the army has few resources, not a literal call to arms.)

  52. Nicholas Sarwark

    Seriously Robert, it’s like you can only read half of my comments. I’ve repeatedly addressed the issue of whether it’s a good idea to run candidates that are actively breaking the law. That’s unrelated to the question of whether we should let them seek the nomination on an equal playing field. And unrelated still to the question of whether the party can incur penalties for the acts of a candidate.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    62 ns, I’m in favor of an level playing field for candidates. I’ve indicated @ 55 that you may be correct that an FEC filing requirement COULD be a mistake, though I don’t think it is, in my judgment at the moment. If it IS a mistake, it appears we agree it’s a small one in the grand scheme of things.

  54. Eric Sundwall

    Almost missed this one on the re-read . . .

    ” Eric, the primary need here is for LPHQ to translate public interest in the POTUS race into the maximum amount of interest in a serious idea (liberty) and its serious proponents. The need to put on a show for your amusement isn’t a priority. You’ll just have to get your Milnes fix somewhere else.”

    That fist sentence is who’s ? Yours. Maybe that’s your need, but it’s not mine. I pay a good twenty five bucks a year and want to know everyone running. I don’t need the LP site for that.

    My commit to open debates and process is true and realistic. I helped Warren Redlich develop an effective media strategy calling for open debates in 2010. He appeared on radio, television and held a well attended press conference with Green candidate Howie Hawkins. Ill save the back channel maneuverings for a memoir or a beer if you’re buying.

    Of course this also meant that I was one of the few people actually willing to go near Jimmy McMillan before he became really famous hours later. I taped the debate he invited John Clifton to in 2006. We hung out and talked about martial arts before the ‘Rent is too Damn High’ became the ‘show’ at the Hofstra debate.

  55. Robert Capozzi

    57 gp: Party membership is down.

    me: Yep, slightly from a low base. Could be a lot of reasons for that…like a lot of people are financially busted.

    gp: State and local organizations fade from sight.

    me: Is this a new phenomenon? Seems like it’s been an issue for decades….

    gp: And the LNC? It’s busy passing a resolution calling its Judicial Committee names.

    me: Not sure that’s quite accurate, but a national governing body of a private organization does have fiduciary responsibilities to maintain institutional integrity, yes?

    I am curious, Dr. Phillies, what you would do if the LP nominated a candidate who refused to file with the FEC? No limo-lines to expose. No ability to file complaints. A dark, stark prospect for you?

  56. Brian Holtz

    Not “if Sam Sloan”. More like: “if someone with disqualifying attribute X that we hadn’t anticipated would be relevant when we started fixing our first broken criterion of anybody with a pulse”.

    But again: LPHQ should go by a market share, similar to the standing seconds or tokens that we use in convention.

  57. Brian Holtz

    OK, so Eric is apparently on record as being in favor of letting just anybody in the convention hall walk onto our C-SPAN debate stage. Good luck with that Bylaws change.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@52,

    “If there’s a way to raise/spend >$5K on a POTUS campaign without getting into FEC trouble, I’m all ears.”

    In 2001, an LP POTUS campaign publicly announced its intention to raise and spend $5k+ without filing FEC reports, notified the FEC by letter of that intent, and proceeded to do so.

    It was called the Ad Hoc Conspiracy to Draft L. Neil Smith. I was its treasurer. Never a fucking peep from the FEC.

  59. Eric Sundwall

    @67 (BH)

    Brian that is incorrect. I said they could set standards if they like and I outlined some of the thinking I disagree with. I gave some real world examples as to why I am a proponent for open debates. I made no mention of bylaws in defense or in need of change.

    Please do not ‘project’ and read my words.

  60. Brian Holtz

    Tom, I’m not sure the FEC considers an “Ad Hoc Conspiracy” the same thing as a POTUS campaign. If you’re vouching that your letter-writing skills can enable the next LP presidential nominee to ignore FEC rules, then I’m happy for that to be the last word between us on that topic.

    Eric, I tried twice to get you to say whether you favor letting just anybody in the convention hall walk onto our C-SPAN debate stage. Readers can decide for themselves whether you’re dodging a reductio because it undercuts your position on letting just anybody walk onto our web stage.

  61. Brian Holtz

    @70 Yes, those 4 criteria were mistakenly too inclusive. It sounds like you think that the fixing of this mistake was motivated by some kind of personal animosity towards Sloan, rather than by some objective attributes about him (and other potential/actual candidates) that would reflect poorly on the LP’s ideas.

  62. Nicholas Sarwark

    @72: No, I get why the ED doesn’t want to list Sloan. But I don’t think that’s a decision that the ED should get to make, given what our party stands for, what kind of shenanigans get pulled on our candidates where “objective” criteria get changed as soon as we meet them, and given the history of LP National trying to pick winners and losers in the presidential race.

    The token/threshold of support system for the televised debates makes sense. This is different because (a) the token system was implemented through a bylaw and (b) a link on a website is not a debate stage.

  63. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Educate U

    I have an “inside baseball” question I wish someone would please answer. Where does one go to find the info on the number of delegates each state gets alloted this year? Yes all 50 and DC. I guess Guam, etc doesn’t participate.

    I can’t find that info on the LP website. Would appreciate any help. Thank You in advance.

  64. Aaron Starr

    Tom Knapp writes @ 37

    “For example, in 2007/2008. presidential candidates were not able to rent the LNC’s mailing list, because, the treasurer said, some new FEC regulation prohibited it.

    Then the treasurer’s favored candidate officially entered the race, asked to rent the list, and mirabile dictu! — that troublesome new FEC regulation turned out not to mean that after all.”

    Excuse me! Tom, I was Treasurer at that time and your statement is absolutely 100% nonsense.

    I have never said what you attribute to me.

    Long before I became Treasurer, the LNC sought an advisory opinion from the FEC on this very matter. You can look it up. It’s AO 2002-14. The result was that the LNC got a ruling that they could legally rent its mailing list under limited conditions.

    As far as whether the LNC should rent its mailing list, not long after I became Treasurer in November 2006 (when Geoffrey Neale resigned without notice), I suggested to the ED that the mailing list should not be rented to anyone.

    The last time the list was rented out was in January 2007.

  65. Brian Holtz

    @73 I have no problem with the process here. If staff messes up lp.org, the ED should fix it. If the ED messes up lp.org, the Chair should fix it. If the Chair messes up lp.org, the LNC should fix it. If the LNC messes up lp.org, the convention should elect a better LNC.

  66. Steven R Linnabary

    …rather than by some objective attributes about him (and other potential/actual candidates) that would reflect poorly on the LP’s ideas.

    Huh?

    Last time I checked support for new taxes, continued welfare payments to countries with large lobbying efforts and torture are NOT “Libertarian” ideas.

    Seems to me that the only criteria for LP debate inclusion should be support for the LP Platform.

    PEACE

  67. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Educate U

    This has turned into Canadian football, not only moving goalposts, they’re adding yardage to the the field everyday-LOL

    Two additional qualifications will take effect as follows:

    •As reported at the web site of the Federal Elections Commission, candidates must have raised and reported donations of a minimum of $2,500 raised through February 29, 2012. Donations may not include those made by candidate or his/her immediately family members.

    •As reported at the web site of the Federal Elections Commission, candidates must have raised and reported donations of a minimum of $5,000 raised through March 31, 2012. Donations may not include those made by candidate or his/her immediately family members.
    Please send corrections or additions to campaigns@lp.org.

    Still would like help on #74 Thanks.

  68. Marc Montoni

    @ 74, 78:

    I have an “inside baseball” question I wish someone would please answer. Where does one go to find the info on the number of delegates each state gets alloted this year? Yes all 50 and DC. I guess Guam, etc doesn’t participate… I can’t find that info on the LP website. Would appreciate any help. Thank You in advance.

    I am certain something will be up about that shortly. The delegate counts are probably going to be similar to that of 2010, adjusting for membership totals. You can find all sorts of neat info in the 2010 Delegation Chair’s manual, which you can download here.

  69. Marc Montoni

    It is so predictable how certain individuals are going to come down on these sorts of issues. It is almost entertaining watching them trying to row around their argument with only one oar in the water — while trying to come off as anything less than a partisan hack.

    I was at the 1987 convention in Seattle where the “singing cowboy” got a chunk of our hard-earned TV time. He wasn’t a serious candidate; it was a publicity stunt for him and a joke on the LP. He made us look stupid. After that experience, I never wanted to see such individuals thieving our national TV time ever again. Unfortunately, despite attempts to make it more difficult for non-serious candidates to latch on to our nomination process, they occasionally still do (Imperato, Sloan… Barr).

    I am therefore sympathetic to wanting to filter out the non-serious candidates. However, the fact that we’re now filtering out James Libertarian Burns is a mistake. He may not have much support, but by golly he’s paid his dues in the LP and he deserves a listen. Burns has been fighting the good libertarian fight for decades.

    This is definitely a hot potato issue; but more importantly it is a distraction. The LP has serious issues right now, foremost among them a rather intractable decline in membership. The majority on the LNC still doesn’t seem to grasp the magnitude of the problem. Actions like filtering ‘undesireable’ candidates from LP.org are unnecessarily divisive at a time when we need things to bring us together.

    Herewith, I propose a solution: Get LP.org out of the business of filtering or not filtering, and instead refer searches for presidential candidates to IPR.

    IPR can establish a “no comments” page reviewing all announced candidates, providing a two or three-paragraph bio on each candidate, and maybe 5-10 links per candidate with their official campaign website at the top.

    This will take the potato off the LNC’s plate altogether and leave national to deal with improving its fundraising and membership recruitment.

    By the way, Nick Sarwark, the LP needs you on the LNC.

  70. Brian Holtz

    Yes, a plank-by-plank quiz about support for the LP Platform would be a good requirement for candidates.

    Re: torture, it would indeed be nice if all our candidates echoed Gary Johnson’s position: “No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.”

    The (LNC’s?) new criteria @78 are too narrow. At a minimum, candidates should also be able to qualify by fundraising/donating for LP ballot access.

    Burns’ web site says that the reason he’s not filed with the FEC is that he doesn’t have “enough resources (in both money and knowledge) to protect the treasurer” from the danger of Burns not complying with FEC rules.

    If Burns would take off his training wheels, I’d have no problem with him being listed on lp.org.

  71. Nicholas Sarwark

    By the way, Nick Sarwark, the LP needs you on the LNC.

    @79: 1 kid, 1 more on the way, a busy job keeping poor people out of prison, Vice Chair of LP Colorado, and I can’t be on the LNC without resigning from the Judicial Committee.

  72. George Phillies

    As a supplement to Marc Montoni’s entirely sound suggestion, I remind everyone of the excellent http://politics1.com web site, form which this list of candidates could be drawn.

    @82 Let me suggest that the people who passed the resolution calling the Judical Committee names are going to be coming after the Judicial Committee to replace its members with sound parliamentarian thinkers.

    We had an opportunity in 2010 to install a group of people who had a set of proposals for reversing trends within the party. For the most part, we chose not to take advantage of the opportunity.

  73. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 81 BH writes Yes, a plank-by-plank quiz about support for the LP Platform would be a good requirement for candidates.

    Why? Anyone who does would be supporting a position on health care that never existed in this nation. To be blunt we have never had a free market in healthcare so it would be damn near a miracle to revive and restore such a thing.

    But what the hell health care is only a minor issue that our candidates don’t need to have any answers on.

  74. Brian Holtz

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable for lp.org to define serious candidates as those who have figured out whether they’re going to be able to comply with the FEC’s rules.

    Hasn’t Burns run for the LP nomination every cycle since 1992 or so? Why can’t he complete his FEC training on a race for something less than POTUS?

  75. Nicholas Sarwark

    @74: Delegate allocations for the 2012 Convention are as follows:
    AL – 13
    AK – 5
    AZ – 24
    AR – 8
    CA – 138
    CO – 29
    CT – 10
    DE – 4
    DC – 3
    FL – 52
    GA – 39
    HI – 5
    ID – 6
    IL – 38
    IN -34
    IA – 10
    KS – 13
    KY – 10
    LA – 7
    ME – 6
    MD – 20
    MA – 21
    MI – 39
    MN – 18
    MS – 6
    MO – 20
    MT – 4
    NE – 7
    NV – 14
    NH – 10
    NJ – 23
    NM – 8
    NY – 43
    NC – 33
    ND – 3
    OH – 44
    OK – 6
    OR – 15
    PA – 39
    RI – 3
    SC – 14
    SD – 4
    TN – 18
    TX – 78
    UT – 9
    VT – 3
    VA – 35
    WA – 27
    WV – 4
    WI – 17
    WY – 3

    Note: Most delegations do not fill, though the rules vary by state for who they will allow into their delegations.

  76. Brian Holtz

    Present and selected past contenders for the LP presidential nomination, scored by the number of hits in Google News Archives when their name is searched in conjunction with “libertarian”:

    === PAST ===
    12700 Ron Paul
    3680 Bob Barr
    2400 Harry Browne
    1440 Andre Marrou
    1230 Michael Badnarik
    322 Wayne Root
    283 Mike Gravel
    179 Steve Kubby
    170 Russell Means
    157 Gary Nolan
    141 Aaron Russo
    134 George Phillies
    79 Mary Ruwart
    60 L. Neil Smith

    === PRESENT ===
    839 Gary Johnson
    24 Roger Gary
    24 Dean Tucker
    11 Lee Wrights
    11 James Ogle
    10 R.J. Harris
    8 Carl Person
    8 Scott Keller
    7 Robert Milnes
    6 Bill Still
    5 Dave Redick
    4 Sam Sloan
    3 Joy Waymire
    0 Mosheh Thezian
    0 Leroy Saunders
    0 Ralph Beach

    It’s early in this nomination cycle, but don’t bet on most of the present contenders picking up many more mentions. Aside from Johnson, the 2012 field has very little media throw-weight. To wit: I’m a nobody, but 3 more media hits would put me in 2nd place behind GJ.

  77. Robert Capozzi

    47 ns: What we have here is “same shit, different election cycle.”

    me: This is a deeper point. Are you suggesting yet another indictment of SCMH? Or is it something deeper still, perhaps a function of collective action? As soon as there’s an organization, someone is not going to be happy with SOMETHING the group does, maybe?

  78. Melty

    @49
    Wow! Is that true? What a story!

    I say stick to the original criteria, and aim for a complete list on the site. Let candidates get vetted in the nomination process.
    If you wanna change criteria, do so next cycle.

  79. Eric Sundwall

    @(71) BH

    “Eric, I tried twice to get you to say whether you favor letting just anybody in the convention hall walk onto our C-SPAN debate stage. Readers can decide for themselves whether you’re dodging a reductio because it undercuts your position on letting just anybody walk onto our web stage.”

    Brian the issue at hand is the website and that was what I set out to comment upon here. I indicated that I was fine with the reality that the LNC and convention sets certain criteria. You brought up the C-SPAN debate and I outlined the ultimate insignificance of it in terms of the ‘whole show’, which it is not.

    If candidates meet the four criteria to be listed on the website, they now have a fifth, because in your estimation a mistake was made. Apparently we also need LNC gate keepers. My argument isn’t being undermined by an obvious bias and purpose as yours is dependent on. Yes, the readers can draw their own unapproved conclusions about my response.

  80. Eric Sundwall

    @71 (again)

    Brian is equating the standards for inclusion for the C-SPAN debate and a listing on a website. Whatever value the whole token process has, it doesn’t follow that the process or standards should be the same. Even in reductio (I’ll ad absurdem).

    Sloan met the standard for the website and was then excluded due to a new criteria. Presumably if he gets five LNC members to sign off on him, he’s on. This does not mean that he’s earned a seat at the debate by current standards. It does mean that he is given a better chance to persuade potential delegates in the debate process.

    The notion about walking on the ‘webstage’ is a fanciful projection based on an underlying bias about ‘seriousness’.

  81. Eric Sundwall

    I’ll take advantage of ten minutes before the kids go and the fact that Brian is probably hittn the snooze button in Cali.

    I was immediately critical of Cory when the infamous memo went out in 2008 when I was on the LNC. His exclusion bias and behavior was reproachable and I let him have it.

    As a result, many of the ‘unwashed’ candidates were in fact listed and featured in the new LP News, including Kent McManigal whom the disparing remarks seemed centered. Kent didn’t have the wherewithal to complete the FEC paperwork and I felt the process was saddened as a result. He might have made a decent contribution to the discussion.

    Some interests of justice and fairness ought to be attributed to our process beyond the seemingly Machiavellian desire to top 1 percent in the general. It’s OK if we have a process that invites everyone to make the best case for liberty. That is a very serious outlook.

  82. Starchild

    Nick Sarwark makes some excellent observations at @34, @48, and @73.

    To summarize what I think are some of the key points presented by Nick, Tom Knapp, and others:

    • The national LP (Libertarian National Committee and staff) should not be picking winners and losers in the presidential race. There have been problems in the past with certain candidates being favored over others by national LP officials (e.g. the Perry Willis affair, Ron Paul being asked to run as a Libertarian, etc.).

    • Rules for being listed on the party’s website LP.org should be clearly established in advance. Adding new criteria during the process is the equivalent of moving the goalposts during the game. I would add that there appears to be a troubling lack of transparency about what the rules even are, or who is responsible for changing them and how.

    • Civil disobedience by a candidate refusing to file with the FEC should not be reason to keep anyone from being listed as a candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination. Libertarians should celebrate and encourage civil disobedience toward unjust laws.

    • Making FEC filing a requirement in any way for those seeking office as Libertarians goes against our own principles and undermines our opposition to campaign finance laws.

    • Raising and spending money is not the same thing as reporting to the FEC. History (e.g. the Ad Hoc Conspiracy to Draft L. Neil Smith) shows that a campaign will not necessarily be prevented from raising and spending more than $5000 just because he or she does not file.

    • Any legal penalties for not filing with the FEC would fall on a campaign and not on the Libertarian Party.

    • History shows that a candidate can run a strong campaign without raising and spending more than $5000 (e.g. Ralph Nader in 1996 getting more votes than the Libertarian candidates Harry Browne that year)

    • The issue of whether a candidate would make an acceptable Libertarian Party nominee is a separate question from whether a candidate should be allowed to participate in our process on a level footing with other candidates according to fair and objective standards established in advance.

  83. Starchild

    T-Rex @93 – Yes, I’m curious to know where we can find the delegate allocation information too. (Re: Nick Sarwark’s helpful post @90)

  84. Starchild

    Brian @81 – “A plank-by-plank quiz about support for the LP Platform would be a good requirement for candidates.

    I agree, it would! For *all* Libertarian candidates, not just candidates for president.

    Such a quiz should give candidates an opportunity to comment and explain their specific views or take on each plank.

    In the case of planks that a candidate opposes, he/she should be asked specifically whether that opposition is based on considering the plank too libertarian/extreme or not libertarian/extreme enough The importance of that distinction cannot be understated!

    I would also like to see each Libertarian candidate asked whether he or she supports the Non-Aggression Principle, and if the answer is “no”, to explain that answer.

  85. ATBAFT

    Two concerns that I’ve heard over the years:
    How does the LP keep out those who wish to embarass the Party – say racists, commies, UFO fans, etc. And, how does one keep those with big egos from hogging all the debate time at the convention, getting their face on C-span?

  86. Marc Montoni

    Starchild said:

    History shows that a candidate can run a strong campaign without raising and spending more than $5000 (e.g. Ralph Nader in 1996 getting more votes than the Libertarian candidates Harry Browne that year)

    You can’t compare a charlatan and fraud like Nader with anyone else. Nader has a vast history of “do as I say, not as I do”, and his campaign in 1996 was a perfect example of it. Nader simply hid his campaign spending behind the same wall of magical mirrors as he does everything else regarding his financial affairs.

    During the 1996 campaign, Nader traveled more — and more expensively — than Browne did. Where Browne went coach most of the time, Nader always went first class. Nader simply made his “campaign appearances” into for-pay speaking engagements. I witnessed how this scam worked locally right after the 2000 campaign: a JMU student who was a Nader acolyte convinced the student activities committee to pay Nader $20,000 to make a 40-minute speech at the University. Even more annoying was the fact that Nader was supposedly speaking to celebrate James Madison’s 250th birthday. That Nader was seen as a valid choice to speak in honor of the birthday of the man who wrote the Bill of Rights speaks volumes about the state of education at JMU.

  87. paulie

    New criteria:

    Obtained the approval of five members of the Libertarian National Committee. Until February 3, 2012, exception is granted to candidates who met prior approval requirements and were posted at this web site. After this date, all listed candidates must have obtained the approval of five LNC members.
    Two additional qualifications will take effect as follows:

    As reported at the web site of the Federal Elections Commission, candidates must have raised and reported donations of a minimum of $2,500 raised through February 29, 2012. Donations may not include those made by candidate or his/her immediately family members.

    As reported at the web site of the Federal Elections Commission, candidates must have raised and reported donations of a minimum of $5,000 raised through March 31, 2012. Donations may not include those made by candidate or his/her immediately family members.

  88. Brian Holtz

    Translating Eric @96: I’m “fine with” rules against C-SPAN debate walk-ons even though everything I’ve said about “open debate” is an argument against such rules. Our C-SPAN debate is “insignificant”, but a list of candidates buried in the lp.org blog and not linked from the front page is a critical to having an “open debate” that “makes the best case for liberty”.

    Eric is doing a good enough job arguing with himself, so I’ll just recap some of the “cases for liberty” that Eric frets are being excluded:

    One of the de-listed candidates advocates free education and free health insurance for all Americans and a moratorium on all debt collection.

    Another says it very important that all men vote for a female for President while all women vote for a male.

    Another has a campaign site that talks about stigmata that appeared on the candidate’s hands in the 1980s.

    Another discusses on his own campaign site his conviction for stalking a female news anchor, his theory that the FBI framed him for his political views, his history of mental illness, his SSI disability, and his efforts to avoid homelessness.

    Another considers it so important that you know how many words (and minutes of reading time) are used by what he writes that on his campaign site front page the very first sentence is about word count and reading time, and this topic accounts for ~25% of the text on that front page. For 20 years he’s been been running for president (and promoting a strategy that the LP nominee should campaign almost exclusively in New Hampshire), but he still hasn’t learned enough about FEC rules to risk telling the FEC that he’s running.

  89. Brian Holtz

    Starchild, there is no libertarian principle that says we should tie one of our hands behind our back in the one race where we can expect to raise and spend three orders of magnitude more than the $5K FEC threshold. LPHQ of course has no general policy against listing non-FEC-filers. I’ve run for Congress 3 times without filing with the FEC, and this was never a barrier for listing my candidacy on lp.org.

    Glad you agree about a Platform quiz. There’s no need to quiz candidates about any particular version of the NAP; it’s covered by our Statement of Principles, which is the cornerstone of the Platform.

    That Nader earned more votes than Browne without filing with the FEC only proves the advantages of 1) name recognition, 2) advocacy of rent-seeking and socialism, and 3) dishonesty about one’s campaign finances. The Starchild I know is not a big fan of any of these three things. The case you need to make is that an LP POTUS campaign could do more to advance liberty by declining to raise/spend the million or so dollars that such campaigns typically would.

  90. George Phillies

    @113 indeed, one of our Massachusetts Congressional candidates was recently in touch with the national office, and they were urging him not to file with the FEC, via the lawful expedient of not raising or spending more than $5000.

  91. Nicholas Sarwark

    @110 – Move the goalposts some more and announce that they’ll be moving again next week. Delightful.

    @Brian – Why doesn’t the ED just decide which candidates are acceptable and which are unacceptable, rather than shifting the objective criteria around until only the right people fit?

    This is some bullshit, which makes my original question of whether this is the ED, the Chair, or the LNC acting even more important.

  92. Ad Hoc

    “Until February 3, 2012, exception is granted to candidates who met prior approval requirements and were posted at this web site. ”

    Sloan now claims that this means he should be listed between now and Feb 3, since he was briefly listed on the site before and meets the four criteria that are posted as applying before Feb 3.

  93. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@113,

    “The case you need to make is that an LP POTUS campaign could do more to advance liberty by declining to raise/spend the million or so dollars that such campaigns typically would.”

    Um, no. The case YOU need to make is that candidates should be blocked from making the above case to people who visit lp.org.

  94. Marc Montoni

    Like I said, take the football off of LP.org.

    Referring everyone to Politics1 is a great idea. An additional advantage of referring people to them is that they also show the “fringe” candidates for the D’s and R’s, among others — which removes the “stigma” from the LP for having its own.

    The LNC should be worrying about more important things.

  95. George Phillies

    @115 The goalposts don’t seem to be staying put on a week time sale. Actually “day” time scale is already problematic. Indeed, @116 casts in doubt ‘day” time scale.

    wrto your original question, the answer appears to be ‘yes”.

  96. Starchild

    Brian @113 – You say there is no libertarian principle that says we must nominate presidential candidates who do not plan to file with the FEC, and I agree.

    We are not talking here about who should be nominated, only about who should be allowed to compete for the nomination on an equal basis under party rules.

    I refer you back to the last and arguably most important bullet point on my list @99:

    “The issue of whether a candidate would make an acceptable Libertarian Party nominee is a separate question from whether a candidate should be allowed to participate in our process on a level footing with other candidates according to fair and objective standards established in advance.”

    If two Libertarian candidates for president were identical in other respects, I would certainly vote for the one who expressed a willingness to raise and spend a lot of money over the one who did not.

    Although the day may yet come when the refusal to raise and spend huge sums of money on a campaign is more attractive to more voters than the willingness and ability to do so, I don’t think we are there yet.

    But being willing to raise and spend lots of money is only one of many important factors that Libertarian delegates would do well to consider when selecting a presidential candidate. Others considerations, some of them I would argue of far greater importance, include:

    • How libertarian are a candidate’s views overall?

    • How libertarian are a candidate’s views on his or her main issues of focus and on the main issues expected to come up during the campaign?

    • Is a candidate honest and trustworthy?

    • Does a candidate support the Non-Aggression Principle and understand that opposition to aggression is the heart of the libertarian message?

    • Does a candidate have the strength of character to stand up to the temptations of money, power, and popular sentiment, and to say and do the right thing even when it is not politically expedient?

    • Which issues does a candidate plan to focus on, and will those issues enable a candidate to help balance the Libertarian Party’s appeal to people on the right and left sides of the conventional political spectrum?

    • Does a candidate have a strong ability to connect with young people in spreading the message of freedom?

    • How hard is a candidate able and willing to work in the course of a campaign, and what resources does he or she bring to the table?

    • Does a candidate have good, committed people around him or her who will help produce a strong campaign?

    • Is a candidate a good speaker and debater?

    • Does a candidate come across as authentic and personable, and not driven by ego or ambition?

    • Is a candidate passionate about the libertarian message and capable of inspiring people?

    • Is a candidate committed to using his or her campaign to strengthen the libertarian movement and build the party?

    • Does a candidate have a solid track record of working for freedom and living by libertarian values or a compelling personal story of having recently found libertarianism?

    Would you want a candidate for the LP’s presidential nomination who measured better than his or her rivals on most of the above criteria to be disadvantaged by party rules during the nomination process, simply because he or she chose not to file some government paperwork?

    I think we would be foolish to set up rules that could allow that to occur.

  97. Brian Holtz

    BH: The case you need to make is that an LP POTUS campaign could do more to advance liberty by declining to raise/spend the million or so dollars that such campaigns typically would.

    TK: The case YOU need to make is that candidates should be blocked from making the above case to people who visit lp.org.

    Um, no. Such a candidate needs to make the case that his non-FEC campaign would do more to advance liberty without the million bucks. But right now, we don’t have any reason to believe that any candidate could make such a case.

    It’s not the job of lp.org to provide a stage on which candidates try to convince LP members that a campaign can be financed through alchemy or perpetual motion devices or pyramid power or off-the-FEC-books donations.

    And again: no candidate is even trying to make such a case. Burns himself says this is about training wheels — which means it’s not about anti-FEC principle or the practicality of stealth campaign finance. He says flat-out that he just hasn’t finished his FEC homework.

    Of course, the FEC filing issue would be doubly moot if listing were a threshold of market share among LP officers/delegates/donors. This is probably where lp.org policy will end up, to try to calm this teapot tempest.

    In Vegas in May, how many LNC candidates are going to run on a platform that includes complaints about the recent de-listing? If any do, I predict 100% correlation with losing.

  98. Nicholas Sarwark

    In Vegas in May, how many LNC candidates are going to run on a platform that includes complaints about the recent de-listing? If any do, I predict 100% correlation with losing.

    Well, if they accept your framing of the issue, you may be right.

    Running on a platform of transparency, an end to favoritism, and treating all party members fairly has a much higher chance of success.

    This latest shenanigan is a symptom, not the underlying disease.

  99. Brian Holtz

    Starchild, all your listed considerations would be handled by my market-share proposal. And I’m confident that a candidate couldn’t achieve threshold market share if he said his campaign would leave on the table the million dollars that a nominee can be expected to raise.

    LP officers/delegates/donors are smart enough to reject a candidate who says he wants to fight tyranny by tying one hand behind his back.

  100. Brian Holtz

    Nick, I’m not framing, I’m predicting. I predict that in the LNC elections, any complaint about the recent de-listing will correlate 100% with losing. It won’t matter how the complaint is framed, because the stigmata and free-health-insurance rejoinder reduces any frame to splinters.

  101. Marc Montoni

    You know, this debate sounds like the constant debate about the Commerce Clause.

    As libertarians should know, the Constitution authorizes only certain very limited activities. But our opponents prefer to think that the government can do whatever is not specifically prohibited; and can do things that are prohibited any time there is ‘necessity’ such as various undefined or loosely-defined ‘national emergencies’ or war.

    They also claim because the Founders couldn’t have anticipated .50 caliber guns, “cop killer” bullets, and nukes; nor could they anticipate the internet or other new forms of free speech — and therefore it is OK to regulate them.

    Most of us would say all of those interpretations are wrong.

    But then, here we are with our LP Bylaws, which set forth the rules for LP presidential nominees. They’re not hard to understand — read them under the “Convention Rules” section. Rule 7 part 1 says nominatioins will be made by delegates at the convention — not before! Therefore, no one is a nominee until we get to the convention floor.

    There is absolutely nothing in there that gives any authority to the LNC to decide who the valid candidates for the nomination are. There is nothing in there that says the LNC is to play kingmaker; there is nothing in there that says the LNC is empowered to hamstring new campaigns by preventing them from getting any face time on an equal footing on the Party’s website.

    There are so many pressing problems in the party’s operations — let’s divest this distraction and concentrate on more important issues.

  102. Brian Holtz

    Nick @115, there is credible evidence that the ED is not fine-tuning the goalposts like you suggest she is.

    One of the listed candidates builds his campaign on a Prosperity Plan in which the LP picks a town of ~10K residents, goes door-to-door building an email list of the residents, and then revitalizes the town’s economy through a combination of spam and free vocational education. The Prosperity Plan would work so well that the town would turn Libertarian, and nearby towns would follow suit as they demand to get in on it. Soon, the whole state would be majority Libertarian.

  103. Brian Holtz

    Bylaw 8.1: The National Committee shall have control and management of all the affairs, properties and funds of the Party consistent with these Bylaws.

    Bylaw 8.13: Upon appeal by ten percent of the delegates credentialed at the most recent Regular Convention or one percent of the Party sustaining members the Judicial Committee shall consider the question of whether or not a decision of the National Committee contravenes specified sections of the Bylaws. If the decision is vetoed by the Judicial Committee, it shall be declared null and void.

  104. paulie

    @127

    Never fear, the new criteria for previously listed candidates kicks in on 2/3/12, unless other criteria are discovered in the meantime.

  105. Nicholas Sarwark

    Nick @115, there is credible evidence that the ED is not fine-tuning the goalposts like you suggest she is.

    Care to share this credible evidence? Because what is publicly available is clearly moving criteria around to eliminate the undesirables. And your focus on candidate’s positions rather than the procedural shenanigans looks like deflecting to me.

  106. JT

    Marc: “There are so many pressing problems in the party’s operations — let’s divest this distraction and concentrate on more important issues.”

    Agreed. The LP should list anyone on the website who meets its published criteria, and at the top of the page provide the list of criteria and a statement that the LP lists anyone who meets that criteria on its site. Then move on.

  107. Ad Hoc

    Petri Douche: A place/location where a lot of douchebags are known to congregate.

    A place that attracts and seemingly breeds chavs/douchebags/jackwagons/etc etc.

    Oh hell no I’m not going to Wetherspoons, that place is a petri douche!

    Or: urgh why would you want to go to Las Vegas, that place is such a petri douche.

  108. Brian Holtz

    Nick, either the candidate described @127 somehow doesn’t rate as undesirable, or the criteria aren’t (competently) being moved around to eliminate the undesirables.

    Marc @126, it might be a syntax error to claim that the LNC has violated the LP’s Convention Rules four months before the convention has convened. I suspect that any JudCom would treat pre-convention lp.org favoritism under a doctrine like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_questions, where the remedy would be to elect a different LNC.

  109. Ad Hoc

    JT,

    Thanks to a party of outcasts who can’t get a seat at the big kids table for acting towards folks like Jim Burns in the same way the Big Two treat the LP.

    Sorry for any typos as I am a bit drunk right now.

  110. Ad Hoc

    At least when news organizations and Republican state parties were excluding Gary Johnson from debates (or Ron Paul 4 years ago) they pretended to be objective.

    For once I would like to see them say something as honest as Brian @134 “either the candidate … somehow doesn’t rate as undesirable, or the criteria aren’t (competently) being moved around to eliminate the undesirables.”

    Now you know what we’ll hear if an LP candidate for president in the general election ever polls 15%.

    Right?

    Maybe that’s what the Secretary of State or the legislature should say when it comes to ballot access laws?

    Or maybe those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  111. Nicholas Sarwark

    If you take a look at the Libertarian National Committee Policy Manual (the latest I could find is from 2008 here: http://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/files/2008/09/policymanual2008-06-26.pdf ), Article VIII – Campaigns, Section 3 – Limitations on Party Support for Public Office, it reads:

    Party resources shall not be used to provide information or services for any candidate for public office prior to the nomination unless: (a) such information or services are available and announced on an equal basis to all Libertarians who have declared they are seeking that nomination, (b) such information or services are generally available and announced to all party members, or (c) the service or candidate has been approved by the state chair.

    So, to be exact, Brian’s right at 134 that the LP isn’t in violation of the Convention Rules, but it does look like there’s a violation of the Policy Manual.

    Note: If there’s a newer policy manual that allows the LNC to favor one or more candidates over another pre-nomination, I’m interested to see it.

  112. Ad Hoc

    The Republicans Party is a voluntary club too. How about their debate rules?

    The Commission on Presidential Debates might be a voluntary club; I haven’t checked.

    Also:

    The Republicans, Libertarians and others pick the candidates that then compete to run the state, so the voluntary club thing only goes so far.

  113. Ad Hoc

    How about listing all the candidates and then having a list of checkmarks….which ones have filed with FEC, which ones paid LP dues, which ones are running for LP only, and so on?

  114. Brian Holtz

    I hope our rules don’t mean that the LP has to mention any homeless stigmata’d socialist with $25 and a presidential dream everywhere that we mention, say, Lee Wrights and Gary Johnson. I hope our rules just mean that Wrights and Johnson are held to any standard applied to any other candidate.

    @141, I’ve issued no complaints about how the Donkeys and Elephants run their club’s debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates has a rule of 15% share in only one kind of market, while the rule I’ve been recommending is 5%-15% in any of about five markets.

  115. Ad Hoc

    @143 And if the standards aren’t good enough, just change them. Gotcha.

    BTW Maybe Wrights won’t get approval from 5 LNC members either?

    Or maybe he will get approval from exactly 5, which is why it’s 5 and not 6?

  116. Marc Montoni

    JT said:

    Marc: “There are so many pressing problems in the party’s operations ­ let’s divest this distraction and concentrate on more important issues.”

    Agreed. The LP should list anyone on the website who meets its published criteria, and at the top of the page provide the list of criteria and a statement that the LP lists anyone who meets that criteria on its site. Then move on.

    See? Perfect example. Neither side is willing to compromise. Both demand unconditional surrender of The Other.

    The only way out of this that saves face for all is to not list any pre-nomination candidates at all and point those interested in doing their own research to Politics1.

    But none of you will accept that.

    I’m going to go process a few memberships I have on my desk today, and finish off a mailer designed to get people IN the damn door.

    Keyboard commandos take note: there is so much work to be done and there are damn few willing to actually do it, rather than debate-clubbing.

  117. Marc Montoni

    Ad Hoc @ 145 said:

    @143 And if the standards aren’t good enough, just change them. Gotcha… BTW Maybe Wrights won’t get approval from 5 LNC members either? … Or maybe he will get approval from exactly 5, which is why it’s 5 and not 6?

    No, I think it’s 5 because they pulled a number out of thin air. Despite the fact that I don’t support his Wrights’ campaign, my estimation of the man is that he’s way above accepting such a paradigm even if it benefited him. I have little doubt that if Wrights was asked, he’d say “be fair and list everyone”. I could certainly be wrong about him, but in matters like this I do not believe he would adopt an unethical stance.

    I suspect that if the majority on the LNC thought they could get away with it, they would tighten up the standards to eliminate Roger and Lee also.

  118. Ad Hoc

    I don’t think Wrights is on board with it, or that he was asked. It’s more likely that the number 5 was suggested by someone – Hinkle or Howell – who knows that at least 5 members would include all of what they consider to be the serious candidate and none of what they consider to be the non-serious candidates.

    Another possibility is that only 4 LNC members would want to list Wrights and Gary, and the number is five because the powers that be want Johnson to be the only one listed.

    Am I being too cynical?

    I guess we’ll see on 2/3/12.

  119. Brian Holtz

    If our culture requires that nobody ever lose face, then it’s not hard to predict that people will obstruct anything they don’t like by defining it as face-losing. Libertarians are supposed to be the ones who understand how incentives shape behavior.

    LP.org gets a significant amount of traffic, and we have some fine candidates who will be working hard for liberty for the next four months. The real scandals here are 1) none of our candidates are listed on our home page during the presidential election season, and 2) for a while we were including stigmata and free-healthcare and stalking-convict candidates etc. in a list of our real candidates. Where is the outrage over this from Libertarians who care about real-world politics?

    Liberty Decides was on the right track. 5 LNC approvers is too high a threshold and only taps one market, but the basic idea is right: support/approval thresholds in markets of LP officers/delegates/members/donors.

    But no, instead of showing how spontaneous order and crowd-sourcing and market forces can make the right decision, let’s lobotomize our web site at exactly the point in American history where the libertarian brand has reached a high-water-mark in presidential politics. At least none of the fish in our pond will lose face.

  120. JT

    Marc: “See? Perfect example. Neither side is willing to compromise. Both demand unconditional surrender of The Other.”

    Well, I thought I was agreeing with you, but your response indicates otherwise.

    I don’t know what “compromise” there can be when one side simply wants objective rules that had been set to be followed while the other wants rules to subjectively be changed ad hoc.

    My idea was to list anyone who satisfies the criteria that had already been set beforehand, but to make it clear what that criteria is on the site. Most people who see that will know it’s not a high bar and that all of those people listed don’t have significant support. An additional statement that LP rules that were already set requires that anyone who meets that criteria be listed on the site makes that even clearer.

  121. Brian Holtz

    @135, I don’t know if Person will be dropped or not. If I were on the LNC, I would only give my approval to Johnson, Wrights, Harris, and Gary. I was on the fence about Still, but in 60 seconds on his web site I found him bragging that his 1990 book was the first about “how blood-oath secret societies have worked for hundreds of years to eliminate nation states and consolidate political, economic, and military power at the world level”.

    At least Still didn’t talk about this stuff in the one debate intro that I’ve watched, whereas Person dives right into his Prosperity Plan built on the LP spamming email addresses collected door-to-door.

  122. Brian Holtz

    Liberty Decides allowed self-funding. Self-funding should only count if donated for LP ballot access, and should be discounted compared to funds raised from donors.

  123. paulie

    Imperato could afford it.

    He (allegedly) ran a boiler room shaking down at least a couple of million dollars from investors by portraying empty shell companies as having tangible capital assets.

    The money he donated to the LP freed up money for ballot access, even if he didn’t target his donation for that. However, other than the fact that he had what appears to have been ill gotten money, he was around the Milnes level on the embarrass-o-meter.

  124. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    @151 There you go again Holtz. It’s amazing to me someone such as yourself can honestly believe that the SUPER-RICH of this world “never” talk to each other (conspire) about world affairs and how they might “influence” things to “help” themselves improve their wealth and/or power. You honestly think political events just randomly occur! Sir, for a grown man you are very naive. Has anyone here seen the first Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law? It touches on the edges of what Mr. Still wrote about. Mr. Holtzs you need to avoid it as you undoubtably wouldn’t enjoy it.

    Mr.Still wrote
    “In 1990, I wrote my first book – the first anti-New-World-Order book, entitled “New World Order: the Ancient Plan of Secret Societies.” It showed how blood-oath secret societies have worked for hundreds of years to eliminate nation states and consolidate political, economic, and military power at the world level. It heralded the virtues of the sovereign nation state and warned against ceding power to any transnational group only with great caution.

    The overall message was very hopeful; people love their national sovereignty and give it up with the greatest reluctance. I decided early on that for my children’s sake, I would never write anything with a hopeless message. This book sold well – lifetime sales of 250,000.”

    Mr.Holtz, This man has written 20 books, produced, written and directed AWARD WINNING documentaries. Created, published and edited a successful newspaper, and on and on. My way of thinking he has accomplished quite a bit more in his lifetime than you have in your life. How many books have you written that has sold a quarter million copies? Oh, I know you have been successful in taking a CHAINSAW to the LP Platform, but Sir if I’m not mistaken since you and your ideas have become prominant within the LP, that overall membership has fallen EACH and EVERY year. Your surefire POTUS candidate Mr. Barr fizzled just as surely as anyone of the others, who you so berated at times. Your plan, Sir just AIN’T working either, so why not be a little more TOLERANT of others and their ideas!

    Yes you deserve your opinion, but I must remind you opinions are like Assh%)#@ everyone has one. And I know no one has every informed you before, but contrary to what you think yours STINKS just like everyone elses. Yes Mr. Holtz your poop STINKS. If you would take Mr. Montoni’s advice -: [“Keyboard commandos take note: there is so much work to be done and there are damn few willing to actually do it, rather than debate-clubbing”]; yes work in your local area and SUCCEED there before trying to run the national agenda and also stop running down other Libertarians with ideas of which you disapprove, I think you would be much more respected within the Party and by me.

    I leave you with quotes from David Rockefeller’s Memoirs Book.

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” – David Rockefeller

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” – David Rockefeller

    “For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” – David Rockefeller …in his memoirs…

    A little harsh ? Yes I guess, but Mr. Holtz’ writing have always (most of the time anyway) left me thinking he is like the Ted Knight caracter in CaddyShack and Romney, especially when debating. You may have noticed how when debating Romney will look down his nose at another candidate (watch tonight if you get a chance) and you know what he is thinking “And who invited you to “MY” club anyway (you lowlifes aren’t members, aren’t welcome and surely DON’T belong in my presense!) !?! Romney’s poop don’t STINK, but it does.

  125. Brian Holtz

    The super-rich — and lots of other people — do indeed coordinate in their rent-seeking activities. I don’t need to believe that “blood-oath secret societies have worked for hundreds of years” to diagnose this; it happens quite openly.

    I try not to indulge in debunking conspiracy theories; been there, done that. However, when a conspiracy theorist is running for our presidential nomination (or for Chair), I help him let our delegates know all about it. (Ernie Hancock, you’re welcome.)

    I didn’t take a “chainsaw” to the Platform. I helped fix it in 2008 after the Portland delegates gutted it in 2006. (The Reform Caucus site identified 15 planks that our members voted to replace or delete, but the delegates deleted more than 3X as many planks as that. In the 2006 plank retention voting I only voted against ~10 of the 62 planks.)

    Your surefire POTUS candidate Mr. Barr

    I voted for Phillies on the first ballot, and only voted for Barr on the last ballot when the alternative was an anarchist who opposed laws against you-know-what while saying the LP needed “a candidate that really can explain to the American people what we truly are all about”.

    work in your local area and SUCCEED there

    Been there, doing that: http://libertarianmajority.net/bh-lp-activism

    stop running down other Libertarians with ideas of which you disapprove

    I favor a healthy and substantive debate about libertarian ideas, but my primary goal in LP-internal advocacy has always been to make the LP officially more ecumenical toward the ideas of the broader libertarian movement.

    Holtz’ writing have always (most of the time anyway) left me thinking he he is like the Ted Knight caracter in CaddyShack

    Shoot, I was going more for Brian Doyle-Murray’s character.

  126. Eric Sundwall

    @111 (BH)

    Oh Brian . . . really?

    Ugh. Ok, I’ll engage once more. You’re such an odd distorter . . . wish I had a term for it.

    I like open debates in the process. I’m not going to pitch a bitch about the token setup. I’ve got better things to do. Doesn’t mean I agree with the setup. I can live with it. Shrug.

    Did I say the listing was critical? No. But the act of excluding those who have made the effort to comply is wrong.

    As far as your idiosyncratic list of beefs with the unwashed candidates, that’s certainly your bias in full bloom. I’m still advocating the best case for liberty, I ain’t say’n anyone’s doing it very well.

    Let the liberty market be free, to fail or succeed.

  127. Pooper Scooper

    I don’t know if the misinformation came from Mark Hinkle or from Jim Burns, but two LNC members I have talked to say the LNC has not voted to create – or even really advocated – these particular web site rules for listing candidates.

    Apparently the ED asked the LNC about it, and the answer was that the Chair and ED are responsible for web content.

    So it is Hinkle/Howell deciding what candidates are listed.

    I am also told that several LNC members are advising that the LP web site should not be mentioning any prez candidates at all before the convention.

    And I learned there’s another new Hinkle/Howell rule, that no LNC member’s name can appear in either the title or even the article text on the LP blog…except for Chairman Hinkle. Isn’t that special?

  128. paulie

    And I learned there’s another new Hinkle/Howell rule, that no LNC member’s name can appear in either the title or even the article text on the LP blog…except for Chairman Hinkle.

    If that’s a rule, it hasn’t gone into effect. Current LP blog headlines:

    JAN 26
    FoxNews.com Celebrates “National School Choice Week” with Commentary From Libertarian Wayne Root
    JAN 23
    LP Monday Message: Cruelest Cuts in Government Spending – the Democrat and Republican Scare Tactic
    JAN 19
    Libertarian Candidate Lee Wrights Attracts International Attention
    JAN 18
    Wayne Root in Forbes
    JAN 17
    A Lesson in Capitalism for Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry
    JAN 16
    Regulate Marijuana like Wine
    JAN 12
    Libertarian Wayne Root Adds His “ROOT RANT” Video Commentaries to Personal Liberty
    JAN 11
    Libertarian Wayne Root Joins Forbes.com as Columnist
    JAN 9
    LP Monday Message: Mitt Romney = Big Government
    JAN 4
    Wayne Root is the Busiest Libertarian in USA for Holiday Season

  129. Brian Holtz

    I’ve got better things to do

    than to acknowledge the implications of your arguments? 🙂 Again, it seems like you’re saying you would after all prefer that any candidate could walk onto our C-SPAN debate stage, but that this preference is an extremely low priority for you. That’s fine, but you don’t get to stipulate that you care so little that it’s somehow unfair for me to point out that this is indeed your preference (as I did @67, prompting your immediate objection).

    I don’t see how I’m a “distorter” because I ask you to defend the apparent implications of your position. That’s part of the “open debate” that you favor, right?

    the act of excluding those who have made the effort to comply is wrong

    If that comment is aimed at me, then that itself is a distortion of the position I’m defending. What I defend is a threshold-of-support criterion as measured in various markets, and I welcome adjustments to the criteria that move in that direction.

    I never said that my evaluation of the candidates is objective. The whole point of my proposal is to crowd-source this subjective job to our officers/delegates/members/donors. When I shine a spotlight on how kooky some of our candidates are, it’s not to claim I have a kookiness meter. It’s to make people (like you) face the implications of their hyper-inclusiveness.

    Let the liberty market be free, to fail or succeed.

    LP.org isn’t a market, it’s a resource. We can impose on it a tragedy of the commons, or we can use the power of support markets to get the best possible use out of it.

  130. Pooper Scooper

    RE: #160, they said it was new. Apparently it is not being enforced retroactively.

  131. paulie

    Must be very new. This one is from today:

    JAN 26
    FoxNews.com Celebrates “National School Choice Week” with Commentary From Libertarian Wayne Root

  132. Shawn Levasseur

    Seriously, all of this… over a list of names on a webpage?

    C’mon man, we may have made bigger mountains out of other molehill controversies, but rarely has the molehill be so small to begin with as this one.

  133. George Phillies

    @164 We have here a Party resource, and the question is whether or not it is being used to support some of our Presidential candidates over others. We are seeing the front part of this question. At some point between now and the National Convention, there might be an issue of our national newsletter. IT will be interesting to see if that newsletter continues to treat evenly all candidates, or whether it will again be used corruptly as it was in 2008 to advantage some candidates over others.

  134. Darryl W. Perry

    George, I could always send a questionnaire to all of the candidates and put together another “special edition” of the Free Patriot Press newsletter, as I did in 2010 for the Chair election.
    However, I do not believe I’ll be able to attend the convention this year, so I would need someone to print and distribute the newsletter.

  135. Starchild

    “Ad Hoc” – I think your suggestion @142 (“How about listing all the candidates and then having a list of checkmarks….which ones have filed with FEC, which ones paid LP dues, which ones are running for LP only, and so on?”) is on the right track.

    Marc Montoni @126 compares the chair’s current legislating-on-the-fly approach for which candidates are listed at LP.org, to the federal government’s handling of the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause, and the comparison seems not entirely unjust.

    While our party’s rules may not unambiguously prohibit the party chair, executive director, or Libertarian National Committee from advantaging some candidates for the LP presidential nomination over others, neither do they offer firm support to those who say the LNC — let alone the chair or executive director acting unilaterally — has the authority to arbitrarily exclude candidates they deem “not serious” from being listed on LP.org.

    Bylaw 8.1, as quoted by Brian Holtz @128, states that “The National Committee shall have control and management of all the affairs, properties and funds of the Party consistent with these Bylaws.”

    But it seems rather a stretch to assume that party leaders giving some candidates for president a clear boost over others prior to the convention is “consistent with these Bylaws”, when the bylaws clearly set forth nomination requirements for presidential and vice-presidential candidates in Article 14 which do not refer to any LNC role in this process prior to our convention.

    I believe the spirit, though apparently not the letter, of our bylaws dictates that party leaders must remain strictly neutral in the LP presidential race until the party has is a nominee, and that listing some candidates on the party’s website but not others is a violation of that neutrality. Even defenders of this approach explicitly state that it is purposely designed to favor some candidates over others.

    However I think the LNC could remain effectively neutral while still providing tools on the website that allow people looking at candidates listed there to do their own filtering, as long as such filtering tools were designed as neutrally as possible.

    “Ad Hoc’s” suggestion mentioned above (listing all candidates along with checkmarks indicating which ones have met various criteria) is one simple method by which visitors to LP.org could be empowered to exercise their own filters.

    A slightly more developed and to my mind preferable version of this approach could feature, under the heading “2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidates”, a menu with multiple check boxes such as:

    • List candidates who are seeking the Libertarian Party presidential nomination exclusively

    • List candidates who have filed with the Federal Elections Commission to run as Libertarians

    • List candidates with current websites including contact information

    • List candidates who are dues-paying members of the Libertarian Party

    • List candidates who have signed a statement of support of the Non-Aggression Principle

    • List candidates who have signed a statement of support for the current Libertarian Party platform

    • List candidates who have raised and reported no less than $2500 in donations, not counting self-donated money or donations from immediate family members

    • List candidates who have raised and reported no less than $5000 in donations, not counting self-donated money or donations from immediate family members

    • List all candidates who have declared an interest in seeking the Libertarian Party’s current presidential nomination

    By checking as many or as few of these boxes as desired, each website visitor could choose his or her own preferred filters before viewing the list of presidential candidates, thus avoiding seeing the listings of any candidates who did not meet his or her chosen criteria.

    I believe this approach, relying on bottom-up choice rather than top-down control to filter candidates, would avoid or at least minimize the appearance of going against the spirit of our bylaws, and preserve LNC neutrality in the presidential nominee selection process.

    If you think this is a good idea, please call or email Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle, Executive Director Carla Howell, and members of the LNC, and let them know. Their contact info can be found at the links below:

    http://www.lp.org/leadership
    http://www.lp.org/staff

  136. Brian Holtz

    And we all know how the RNC has the same problems the LNC has in terms of getting public recognition and attention for the leading contenders for its nomination…

  137. Brian Holtz

    Sharchild, Libertarians of all people should know that it’s not the point of rules to turn every ill-advised behavior into a rule violation. If Libertarians don’t think that LP.org is being used to promote liberty as well as it could be, should they A) update the Bylaws to micromanage content on LP.org, or B) elect a different LNC?

    By the way, your list is incomplete. How about checkboxes for all all candidates whose campaign site:

    • talks about the stigmata that once appeared on her palms
    • advocates free health insurance and free eeducation for all
    • discusses his conviction for stalking a female news anchor, his theory that the FBI framed him for his political views, his history of mental illness, his SSI disability, and his efforts to avoid homelessness
    • says it’s very important that all men vote for a female for President while all women vote for a male
    • doesn’t disclose his felony conviction for attempted kidnapping
    • has a plan for LP electoral success built on spam and free vocational education
    • says he’s still learning campaign finance rules in this, his 5th consecutive presidential race

    Meanwhile, LP.org remains one of the top Google search results for “libertarian presidential candidates”, but its front page doesn’t list any of our hard-working serious candidates.

    Bravo, circular firing squad!

  138. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@176,

    “And we all know how the RNC has the same problems the LNC has in terms of getting public recognition and attention to the leading contenders for its nomination…”

    Precisely.

    There are a lot of reasons why that’s the case. Perhaps one of them is that unlike the LNC, the RNC doesn’t think it’s the fucking Politburo.

  139. Brian Holtz

    Yes, perhaps one of the reasons why the LP hasn’t had the success of the party of social intolerance and crony capitalism is that it has been de-listing from its web site all its stigmata and stalker and kidnapper candidates.

  140. Brian Holtz

    Added to the Knapptionary:

    politburo n. 1. the chief policymaking body of a Communist party. 2. any party’s chief policymaking body that tries to use the party’s resources in service of the party’s goals.

    George, it’s “useful politics” to list on LP.org our serious candidates (remember Joe Kennedy?) without equating them to our stigmata and stalker candidates. This thread is the feedback that LPHQ gets when it tries to do “useful politics”.

  141. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    iirc Brian Doyle-Murray’s character BLEW the place up in the end, small varmint hunting (Romney’s hunting choice-lol)

    I’m glad you weren’t the one who took a CHAINSAW to the LP Platform. IMO that is one reason the LP is catching so many of these kooks! The further you get away from principle, the more open you are to “un”principle !

    So you are a Phillies disciple, glad to know where you stand. Then a WAR disciple if push come to shove and only Barr in last resort to block those nasty Anarks from taking over the “club”. My MISTAKES, I stand corrected…….. (that’s my apology btw)……..

    Vote Different – Vote Libertarian – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxO6i0khqhk&feature=player_embedded

    politic1 links to the LP.org site so to stop possible bias I agree with not listing any POTUS candidates, but link to the
    http://politics1.com web site and/or http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/candidates.phtml

    I have no problem with any candidate being required to be a paid member. If you can’t afford $25 membership, you can’t afford to be a candidate for any office and shouldn’t embarass yourself attempting it. (You can, but you shouldn’t)

    A website? It’s reasonable in 2012. If the candidate doesn’t have a website, what does it really matter if they are listed on LP.org or not ?! (they may never know anyway!)

    Not seeking another Party’s nom. is also reasonable, but as someone brought up, if Ron Paul requested to be nominated but also requested to be allowed to continue his R run, who would block him ?

    A truly “serious” POTUS candidate is someone who (has or) can raise enough funds to be serious. Ron Paul is the ONLY one (anywhere near L) who has done that. Sadly he may remain the only one.

    To Review:

    Jim LIBERTARIAN Burns stated:

    “…The FEC is the enemy!!! The authority for the FEC was unconstitutionally given by congress and the president to form an organization that writes their own rules which are enforced with guns and are designed to keep the incumbents in power. The LP giving aid and comfort to the FEC is repugnant and an abomination: shame. It should be pointed out that this idea was advocated and defeated at the 2008 LP convention….”

    I can’t agree with the FEC “requirement”. The Party could require other records to show the candidate has raised enough money to meet their standard however!

  142. Brian Holtz

    You’re thinking of Bill Murray. His brother Brian’s character was the grownup who kept the unruly caddies in line and who resolutely continued to umpire the golf match even as chaos broke out all around him. 🙂

    I’m not a “disciple” of anybody, but the thinker with whom I have the least disagreement is probably Fred Foldvary.

    I voted for Phillies because he says almost exactly the right things when pitching the LP to those outside it. I voted for Root because I believe the seeds of libertarianism are hardy enough to survive how far and how energetically he sows them.

  143. George Phillies

    Quoting Paulie, showing the rule

    “And I learned there’s another new Hinkle/Howell rule, that no LNC member’s name can appear in either the title or even the article text on the LP blog…except for Chairman Hinkle.”

    Now, why would such a rule be put into effect?

    We need go no fartehr than the hiring process that was used to find Ms. Howell. In a normally run organization, before you hire the #1 staff person under the CEO, there is some discussion of what qualities are needed, an announcement is drafted and appropriately circulated, resumes are collected so you know what is out there, and then there is a search analysis leading to interviews of candidate finalists. The LNC had 90 days to do this.

    There was no advertisement. There was no search. There was no competition. The LNC now has an ED who owes everything to the current LNC Chair, who is known to be running in a contested election. And now we have this rule, that turns LP.org into a propaganda site billing the desired candidate.

    Readers may wish to consider that while Howell and her clique were wandering through Massachusetts, they pulled exactly the same stunts with the Massachusetts newsletter.

  144. Brian Holtz

    I’m assuming Hinkle will run for re-election, and that he won’t be unopposed, but have there been any announcements in this area? Phillies has run for Chair every convention since at least 2002 (except 2008 when he ran for President), and Hancock has run for Chair every convention since 2004.

  145. JT

    Holtz: “Phillies has run for Chair every convention since at least 2002 (except 2008 when he ran for President), and Hancock has run for Chair every convention since 2004.”

    I hope Dr. Phillies will run for Chair again. I like watching him try to be an effective communicator. One more failure to add to the other ones.

  146. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@187,

    Phillies also ran for chair in 2000. I don’t think he did so before that. 1998 was Bergland v. Cisewski, followed by the only actual successful purge I’ve ever seen in the LP, of the latter.

  147. paulie

    Quoting Paulie, showing the rule

    “And I learned there’s another new Hinkle/Howell rule, that no LNC member’s name can appear in either the title or even the article text on the LP blog…except for Chairman Hinkle.”

    If I said that, it was only quoting someone else. The person who posted did so under a pseudonym and I don’t know who it was.

    I have no other source that such a rule exists.

    I did notice Wayne Root’s name got taken out of a post that was posted yesterday. However, it was not taken out of the text or out of the previous posts as of the last time I checked.

  148. paulie

    It is my understanding that Mark Rutherford plans to run for chair. Bill Redpath, I am told, does not plan to run for Chair or Treasurer.

    Heard both of those things from more than one source as well.

  149. paulie

    Now, why would such a rule be put into effect?

    Wild guess is because about every other post has Wayne Root’s name in it. I am just guessing though.

  150. Brian Holtz

    I like watching [Phillies] try to be an effective communicator. One more failure to add to the other ones.

    Phillies is a good communicator and tenaciously marshals an impressive array of resources for his causes. Can’t Libertarians set a better example than poisonous comments like this?

  151. Robert Capozzi

    194 bh, yes, this sounds like a personal attack, which is unwarranted. I agree that GP can be quite effective.

    He does seem to personally attack others with great regularity. Have you ever engaged him on the issue of global climate change? iirc, anyone who doesn’t agree with him is branded an “idiot,” or some such.

    In recent weeks I’ve noted that he has some history with ED Howell, yet another in a long line on his apparent enemies list.

    So, this while this personal attack on GP is not justified, he does seem to be the poster child for the universal truth: What goes around, comes around.

  152. Darryl W. Perry

    @167 & 168

    If I do a special edition of the FPP newsletter it will be online.

    If I’m able to get an advertiser or two, I can provide funding to have a couple hundred (in 2010 I printed 600) printed up.

  153. JT

    Holtz: “Phillies is a good communicator and tenaciously marshals an impressive array of resources for his causes.”

    You honestly think Dr. Phillies is a good communicator? Well, nobody can accuse you of setting your bar too high.

    Holtz: “Can’t Libertarians set a better example than poisonous comments like this?”

    Hey, a guy (Phillies) who spits poison at LNC volunteers at every possible opportunity can take some in his direction as well.

  154. JT

    Capozzi: “So, this while this personal attack on GP is not justified…”

    If implying that someone is a poor communicator is a “personal attack,” then guilty as charged.

    Capozzi: “…he does seem to be the poster child for the universal truth: What goes around, comes around.”

    Right. Which is what makes it justified.

  155. George Phillies

    Observe how I am said to be a poor communicator until JT describes my messages as ‘spitting poison’. Of course, when you are a self-confessed — if I recall that message correctly, and perhaps I do not — conservative, self-consistency will never be your strong point.

  156. paulie

    Of course, when you are a self-confessed — if I recall that message correctly, and perhaps I do not — conservative,

    That doesn’t jibe with what I seem to remember JT saying about left/right balance.

    I’d prefer less vociferosity (is that a word?) on all sides, even in retaliation, but that’s just me. I admit that I don’t always live up to my own standards.

  157. Robert Capozzi

    Yes, P, less ferocity would be productive, and, yes, me too on falling short of my standards.

    But, yes, I recall JT being a balanced sort, too.

  158. Starchild

    Brian @176 complains that “LP.org remains one of the top Google search results for ‘libertarian presidential candidates’, but its front page doesn’t list any of our hard-working serious candidates.”

    That problem could be easily remedied if party leaders were less bent on strictly controlling the information flow in order to keep site visitors from being exposed to candidates or content they see as undesirable!

    I’d like to see LP.org be run more like IPR is run. Despite its huge natural advantage of being the U.S. Libertarian Party’s official website, having a much simpler URL, and having been around much longer, LP.org is barely beating this site in traffic (Alexa.com currently ranks LP.org #93,628 in the world, and IPR #99,620 in the world).

    So why is IndependentPoliticalReport.com doing so well relative to LP.org? I believe it is because IPR relies on its users for content and has a format that is user-friendly. Everybody can easily post here, anonymously if desired, and everyone from W.A.R. to myself can readily become a contributor (if the bar is low enough to allow me to be added without even trying, when I rarely post articles, it’s not set very high).

    Meanwhile at LP.org, content is almost entirely generated in-house and most site visitors have very little ability to post anything.

  159. Starchild

    The alleged new rule (mentioned @158) prohibiting any name other than that of the party chair from appearing in either the title or text of articles on the LP.org blog is a perfect example of this kind of counter-productive, control-oriented approach.

  160. JT

    Phillies: “Observe how I am said to be a poor communicator until JT describes my messages as ‘spitting poison’. Of course, when you are a self-confessed — if I recall that message correctly, and perhaps I do not — conservative, self-consistency will never be your strong point.”

    First, you don’t recall that, because I’ve never said it. I’m a self-confessed libertarian who, as Paulie indicated, would like a left-right balance (roughly) in Libertarian candidates, especially one for President. If I were a conservative, I wouldn’t care much about the LP. I don’t know why you’d think that.

    Second, there’s no contradiction in saying someone is a poor communicator and that they spit poison sometimes. I don’t know why you’d think that either.

    Third, I can’t fathom how someone could interpret what I’ve said as being ferocious or the like. I don’t resort to cursing, name-calling (e.g., idiot), or otherwise threatening or abusive language. But some people are more thin-skinned than others, I suppose. It’s okay with me.

  161. paulie

    Alexa is a really bad ranking system. It relies heavily on who all has installed the Alexa toolbar.

    Even if we are ranked similarly to LP.org, one thing to keep in mind is that we cover a lot more than just the LP.

    Also, Wayne is not signed up here, although I see no reason he couldn’t be if he wanted to. His articles get posted by other people. If Wayne did sign up to write at IPR, he would still have to ask other people to post his editorials, and he would have to post something else, per IPR rules.

    The LP leadership is concerned that letting people post whatever they want at LP,org would lead to outside observers mistaking people’s personal opinions for LP official views. I do hope they find more ways to get people involved along the lines of http://www.lp.org/LPsolutions .

  162. Starchild

    Paulie @206 – If you have a recommendation for a better Internet ranking site, please share it.

    LP.org covers a lot more than just the Libertarian Party too — the site is regularly used by party leadership to comment about current events such as Obama’s State of the Union address. But it is nowhere near as user-driven as IPR.

    I don’t think the rationalization that “letting people post whatever they want at LP.org would lead to outside observers mistaking people’s personal opinions for LP official views” holds water. It would be a simple matter to post prominent disclaimers letting people know that postings don’t necessarily reflect party positions.

    Besides, the possibility of people’s personal views being mistaken for those of the LP doesn’t stop party leaders from allowing W.A.R. or other members of the leadership to post views that a lot of Libertarians feel represent the party poorly.

    The video contest you refer to at http://www.lp.org/LPsolutions is a fine idea, as far as it goes, but it’s talking about having entries submitted and screened in advance by a panel of judges for the convention. What I’m talking about is allowing more grassroots, user-generated content on the party website and reducing efforts to control information from the top down.

  163. paulie

    It would be a simple matter to post prominent disclaimers letting people know that postings don’t necessarily reflect party positions.

    They tried that and apparently people still didn’t understand that.

    Besides, the possibility of people’s personal views being mistaken for those of the LP doesn’t stop party leaders from allowing W.A.R. or other members of the leadership to post views that a lot of Libertarians feel represent the party poorly.

    WAR and other members of the leadership were elected by the delegates.

    Keep in mind that I’m more on your side and would like a more user-driven site. I’m just giving you the counter-argument because no one else has.

    The video contest you refer to at http://www.lp.org/LPsolutions is a fine idea, as far as it goes, but it’s talking about having entries submitted and screened in advance by a panel of judges for the convention.

    It’s at least a step in the right direction.

  164. zapper

    To me, LP.org should not be open as an internet soapbox for just anyone who wants to stand as an LP POTUS candidate. There must be some rules to weed out the cranks and self-promoters.

    Since the LNC is elected by the party membership, we have to trust them to make some reasonable management decisions and exercise some judgement in managing the party’s affairs between conventions.

    And since LP.org is the mouthpiece of the LNC representing that membership, it makes sense that the LNC would exercise some editorial judgement over its outreach publications – in print and online.

    The actual nomination process should, of course, remain open to all, but LP.org should not include thoese who would embarrass the party – as determined by those charged with managing the party, the LNC.

    So, the first three requirements: a website, party membership and LP only campaigns – seems perfectly fine. Requiring FEC registration seems a practical necessity, but maybe it shouldn’t be required in all cases.

    However, to make the best decision in the end requires a human element – and it’s better to just be honest and clear about it.

    So, I would propose that the final and 4th requirement for listing would be to obtain the recorced vote of at least 3 LNC members or their alternates to a resolution to list each potential candidate or campaign requesting inclusion. This would show that at least 3 individuals elected to represent the LP at a national convention sees this person as being serious enough, sane enough, principled enough, etc to represent the party on the party’s primary internet outreach organ.

    So, that would be clear and honest. If you can’t get at least three members of the LNC who were elected to represent their party at a national convention to support your inclusion as a candidate on LP.org, then you won’t be listed.

    It might not be fair to every candidate, but listing every crazy publicity seeker who might be an embarrassment to the party on LP.org wouldn’t be fair to the members of the party. And as disfunctional as it often seems, the LNC, the party and LP.org should belong to, represent and work for the members.

  165. Brian Holtz

    Zapper is exactly right. We’re the party not just of Freedom, but also of Responsibility. The LNC is responsible for LP.org.

    The reason that LP.org doesn’t host user content/comments like IPR should be obvious just from reading LP-related threads on IPR.

    IPR gets a lot of eyeballs, but so do freeway pileups. Given the nature of the LP web commentariat, it’s clear that 1) unmoderated user comments on LP.org would expose passersby to the firehose of LP-internal venom, and 2) moderating such comments would just increase the amount of venom dammed up behind the moderation wall.

  166. Starchild

    zapper @210 – What you propose (three LNC members required to approve a candidate listing rather than five, not filing with the FEC allowed in some cases) would be a milder form of top-down control than what some others are proposing, but you’re still essentially talking about elevating the “rule of man” over the “rule of law”.

    You write that “to make the best decision in the end requires a human element”.

    The “human element” is already present when Libertarian Party bylaws and rules are written and voted on. It shouldn’t be inserted later in the process so that some candidates can be arbitrarily favored over others.

    I maintain that imposing any rules restricting which Libertarian candidates for president can be listed on LP.org also goes against the spirit of our bylaws, which set forth a procedure for the nomination that does not include any such role for the Libertarian National Committee.

    Some people, including some LNC members, favor not listing any candidates on the website at all. That would be preferable to arbitrarily listing some and not others, but still represents the control-oriented approach I criticized @203 that limits traffic to LP.org.

  167. Starchild

    Brian @211 – Freedom is priority #1; responsibility is #2 or #3 at best. Like safety it is important, but like safety it has a dangerous potential to be used as a club against those who want to exercise their freedom.

    But that’s all rather abstract for the discussion at hand. I could just as readily cite “responsibility” as an argument for listing all Libertarian presidential candidates at LP.org as would seem to be most in keeping with our bylaws, instead of allowing the decision to be ruled by whims, prejudices, and fears.

    You write that “IPR gets a lot of eyeballs, but so do freeway pileups.”

    When it comes to websites, more traffic is better. That axiom really shouldn’t need defending! Besides, if you think people who use IPR are the equivalent of rubberneckers, what are you doing here?

    Disagreements within the Libertarian Party (“the firehose of internal-LP venom” as you less kindly put it) are even more visible to “passersby” when they are played out at an external site like IPR which is used by many non-libertarians. If the goal is to keep such bickering as internal to the LP as possible, it makes sense to design the party’s site to attract more of that discussion by loosening leadership’s grip on the flow of information.

  168. Marc Montoni

    I am absolutely opposed to open comments on LP.org. Starchild and I have been round-and-round about this for years and he keeps bringing it up. Fortunately, in a rare moment of collective wisdom, the LNC has not listened to him.

    The main reasons I object to having user comments on LP.org was 1) the three years of reformers using the blog comments areas to screech like monkeys about how evil people like me are; and 2) the negative image such commentary would have on anyone who was new to the LP.

    Neither the D’s nor the R’s have a user comment-enabled blog.

    Gee, I wonder why.

  169. Brian Holtz

    Starchild, IPR passers-by are not the same kind of audience as LP.org passersby. If as a casual political shopper you ask Google to tell you about “libertarian”, LP.org is the #1 result, but IPR isn’t even in the first 10 pages of results. The kind of LP-internal debate we get on IPR is not suitable for the casual political shoppers we are far more likely to get at LP.org than at IPR.

    There is nothing in the spirit of the Bylaws that says LPHQ has to turn its brain off when deciding how to use its resources to promote the goals of our party.

    I would love it if we had an LPHQ bold and energetic enough to do the moderation work that would be required to run a constructive and civil public-comments space. However, they know that on day one they’d have to make decisions like whether it’s OK to accuse fellow Libertarians of “screeching like monkeys”…

  170. Thomas L. Knapp

    Starchild @ 213,

    “Freedom is priority #1; responsibility is #2 or #3 at best.”

    For libertarians, presumably.

    For inherently authoritarian institutions like political parties, nope, not even close.

    That’s one reason why cramming the former kind of people into the latter kind of organization means failure for both.

  171. Rob Banks

    I don’t think having flamewars at LP.org is a good idea. However, a link to a site like this one may be OK; they used to have a link to TPW when LP blog stopped allowing comments.

    As for the original topic, Starchild #172 had the best proposed solution.

  172. Ad Hoc

    Page updated yesterday. FEC and money raising thresholds taken out; no candidates deleted or added.

    It currently reads as follows:

    =========================

    2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidates
    posted by Staff on Sep 23, 2011

    [Updated January 31, 2012]
    Disclaimer: The Libertarian Party does not necessarily endorse or agree with the candidates or the contents of their web pages listed below.
    Roger Gary
    R. J. Harris
    Gary Johnson
    Carl Person
    Bill Still
    Lee Wrights
    The Libertarian Party nominee will be chosen by delegates to the 2012 Libertarian National Convention which will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 4-6, 2012.

    The above candidates have met the following criteria as presidential candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination:

    Seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party exclusively
    Dues-paying member of the National Libertarian Party
    Campaign website is current with contact information
    Obtained the approval of at least five members of the 18-member Libertarian National Committee.

    Please send corrections or additions to campaigns@lp.org.

  173. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    Just thinking – What if the 18 NatComm members had already had their candidate in mind and say to themselves “why should I allow anyone else onto the site to compete with my candidate”?

    Still macks of POTLICKINBURO cr#% to me. TRASH CAN this fascist “asking permission” of the “leaders” bull! The Disclaimer gets the LP off the hook for kooks like Holtz! Er I meant IMperato ! (Or did I – LOL); And does it in a libertarian manner!

    Party loyalty, membership and a website isn’t too much to ask. Let BIG Jim LIBERTARIAN Burns back on the page ! Semper Fi !

    Why Libertarian? – Helen Whalen-Cohen – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REUntTf01iY&feature=related

    Libertarians say Obama’s Afghanistan policy is a failure
    https://www.lp.org/contribute

    There is Hope for Your Family
    There is a political party that believes the family budget is more important than the Federal budget. A political party that is working to restore the hopes and dreams of every hard-working American family. The Libertarian Party. -Visit http://www.lp.org/

    “Libertarians have quietly become America’s best organized and most significant third party. Unlike flash-in-the-pan parties organized around cults of personality like Ross Perot’s and Ralph Nader’s, Libertarians have organized at the grass roots for the long haul. They are fast approaching the point where they may force the major parties to reckon with Libertarian ideas.” – Bob Ewegen, The Denver Post,
    http://www.lp.org/

  174. Brian Holtz

    What if the 18 NatComm members had already had their candidate in mind

    For any hypothetical question of the form “What if N LNC members do bad thing X?”, the generic answer is: “Vote them out, or appeal to JudCom if X is a Bylaws violation.”

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