Nebraska Libertarian Party Endorses Gary Johnson

According to an email sent out by Dr. Tom Stevens, the Nebraska Libertarian Party becomes the first State Party to formally endorse Gary Johnson for the LP’s 2012 Presidential Nomination. Johnson was also endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

Stevens quotes Nebraska LP chair Gene Siadek as saying

After Governor Johnson’s December 28th announcement that he was going to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of the United States, I called a meeting of the State Central Committee in accordance with our Party bylaws to discuss and vote on endorsing his candidacy.

I am happy to announce today, the Libertarian Party of Nebraska’s Central Committee has voted to endorse Governor Johnson as the Libertarian candidate for President of the United States. I believe we are the first state committee to do so and we are happy to announce our endorsement on Governor Johnson’s birthday.

Governor Johnson brings to the table two-terms of executive-level experience in New Mexico and a proven record of fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. In 2002, Governor Johnson left his term-limited post with New Mexico being one of only four states in the country with a balanced budget. He vetoed 750 bills during his time in office; more than the other 49 Governors combined. He also cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone and cut taxes 14 times while never raising them.

While America suffers under a “government knows best” administration that has utterly failed on its promises of both hope and change, and while our neighbors in Iowa prepare to caucus on big-government Republicans, (minus one non-GOP-supported candidate), we are encouraged to have a strong Libertarian running under the Libertarian banner.

We feel that the red-Republicans and blue-Democrats have essentially become one Purple Party that no longer represents the vast majority of Americans. Further, we agree with Governor Johnson’s statement, “Sadly, neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda [of fiscal conservatism and social tolerance] to the American people. The Republicans talk about cutting spending and taxes but insist on government regulating our personal lives. The Democrats support more liberal social policies but they will tax and spend and borrow us into bankruptcy. America needs a third way.”

We are hopeful that Nebraska Libertarian Party membership and all minimum government, maximum freedom Nebraskans will come out in droves for Governor Johnson’s campaign. We feel he is the only alternative to the Purple Party status quo of wars, inept fiscal stewardship and infringements on individual rights.

Note: The State Central Committee of Nebraska’s vote had one abstention: Mr. Randy Eshelman, Vice Chairman of the Nebraska Libertarian Party abstained due to his position on the Libertarian National Committee.

The quote is posted on Stevens’ blog, Liberty Lion.

44 thoughts on “Nebraska Libertarian Party Endorses Gary Johnson

  1. Mario Conde

    Now let’s see if the LP of Nevada, California and others follow Nebraska’s lead.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    @4,

    If I’m not mistaken, the New Hampshire LP endorses presidential candidates by awarding delegates committed to the candidates who win straw polls at their state conventions.

    Other than that, I don’t recall past presidential endorsements by state LPs. But it may have happened.

  3. Humongous Fungus

    @5 Also, what does Ron Paul responding to racist rumors have to do with the Nebraska LP endorsing Johnson? Is there a connection I missed?

  4. Trent Hill

    This seems to just be an endorsement by a party apparatus–not sure if it actually forces Nebraska delegates to vote for Johnson.

  5. Brian Holtz

    There’s nothing in the LPUS or LPNE bylaws to bind LPNE delegates. However, note that the LPNE bylaws adopt the LPUS Platform by reference, and also say “Libertarian candidates for public office shall swear or affirm; I swear/affirm to adhere to the Party Purpose, support the Party Platform, and oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

  6. George Phillies

    @4 There have been states that have staged debates between candidates, and awarded a delegate afterward, having first found a delegate who agreed that he would represent his convention on the first round vote.

  7. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 5

    I was the Campaign Manager for Carl Person, who came out classifying bestiality as a “victimless crime”. I fowarded his intructions and implemented the strategy he approved. This was his position, not mine.

    Hence the statement posted @5 is defamation and should be removed.

  8. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Is Jack the guy who is into child pornograhy?
    Have you stopped beating your wife?
    Is Jill the gal who loves cocaine?

    You are absolutely correct. A question is not a statement but it still can be libel?

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    @14,

    Sure, it could be libel. But let’s go over that.

    1) It would be pretty difficult to prove to anyone’s satisfaction in this instance that the question was intended falsely or maliciously.

    Given your previous association with Person as his campaign manager, it could be a completely honest mistake in sorting out the people involved.

    Given the fact that you’re continuing to post material on the “issue” of bestiality long after departing Person’s campaign, such an identification mistake is even more plausible.

    2) The framing of the commenter’s statement indicates that he’s probably not from, or in, New York. And even if he was, his comment certainly crossed state lines to end up on IPR’s server. That makes it an interstate, and therefore federal, matter.

    Last time I looked at US District Court rules for defamation suits, the minimum bar for getting a case heard was an allegation of at least $80k in damages. And if you think that comment damaged you to the tune of $80k … well, let’s just say I’m refraining from making potentially libelous statements about your mental health.

    3) There are some pretty strong libertarian arguments against the idea that libel should be considered either a crime or a tort anyway.

  10. Johnson/Ventura '12

    Gary Johnson will get the nomination and I really hope that people are able to convince him and others to get Jesse Ventura to run with him. If they can’t get Ventura then they need to get someone who’s been a mayor, governor or worked in Washington, D.C. as a congressman or congresswoman or worked in the Senate. Get a ticket where people have been successful politicians with real progress. Gary Johnson has that and so does Jesse Ventura. I would love that ticket and it would get my vote.

  11. paulie Post author

    @16 Dunno, did they?

    @17 Don’t count your chickens, etc.

    Even supposing Johnson wins the nomination:

    It’s not at all certain that Ventura or anyone else fitting your criteria will want to do it. And, if they do, they may not be libertarian enough for the delegates.

  12. Johnson/Ventura '12

    If Johnson is able to win the nomination, I will puke if Wayne Root gets the VP nod.

  13. Steven R Linnabary

    It seems inappropriate to me for an affiliate to “endorse” any particular candidate.

    Shouldn’t the parties be impartial, at least officially?

    PEACE

  14. Critique Paul, Get Death Threat

    AS an officer of a relatively successful affiliate, I would view with alarm the suggestion that we should endorse anyone, except as the convention was told ‘there is a delegate who has pledged to cast his first-ballot vote as you direct’ and then had the state convention vote out in the open. If the state committee endorsed someone, all the supporters of the other candidates would wax wroth with us.

  15. paulie Post author

    If Johnson is able to win the nomination, I will puke if Wayne Root gets the VP nod.

    Let me know where you’ll be seating, I would prefer not to get barfed on if I can help it.

  16. paulie Post author

    It seems inappropriate to me for an affiliate to “endorse” any particular candidate.

    Shouldn’t the parties be impartial, at least officially?

    I would think so.

    Why the state endorsements this time? I don’t remember such a trend in past years.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    @28,

    “Why the state endorsements this time? I don’t remember such a trend in past years.”

    Perhaps because some affiliates’ leaders — on their own, or on the basis of communications from others — have concluded that endorsing early will help avoid a six-ballot bloodbath a la 2008?

    If you think your preferred candidate’s chances are not just good, but excellent — and I doubt anyone would disagree that Johnson’s chances are excellent — you don’t just aim for a narrow win after a bruising battle that makes everyone involved look bad.

    Instead, you do your best to enhance the perception of inevitability, and bring about a coronation in which the voting, etc., is mere formality, quickly handled (not necessarily any less genuine, just less contentious.

    That lets the convention become a public celebration and a campaign event instead of a grumpy business meeting.

  18. paulie Post author

    Browne’s chances looked excellent in 2000. In ’96 I was not paying close attention but I think it was the same then too.

    However, I don’t remember state endorsements at that time.

  19. George Phillies

    IT is likely possible to find several states with enough Johnson supporters to do this. Of course, some of them may have state conventions between now and NatCon, and the other Presidential campaigns may line up their supporters to discuss them matter. For example, by trying to replace the state committees in question.

  20. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 28

    To my knowledge no state affiliate endorsed in previous years. However, as long as they do not seek to bind their own delegates, I see no problem.

    In 2008, the Libertarian Party of Queens County endorsed Alden Link for President. This year, with my urging, the Libertarian Party of Northampton County, PA endorsed Gary Johnson seconds after his announcement. Notice of this endorsement went out to all State Chairs.

    I take responsibility for starting this endorsement trend and, as I said, as long as delegates are free to vote as they wish, I see no problem with it.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie@30,

    “Browne’s chances looked excellent in 2000.”

    Not nearly as excellent as Johnson’s do this time. Browne had been under fairly relentless internal attack since the 1996 campaign and at least two relatively popular actual or prospective challengers (Don Gorman and Bumper Hornberger).

    And on the other side of coin, in 2000 the previous convention hadn’t seen a six-ballot brawl before the nomination was decided.

    I’m not condoning endorsements by state affiliate committees, mind you. It’s officious meddling for the purpose of fixing in advance the result the party establishment has decided it wants, and there’s a distinct possibility that it will backfire. But I do understand why they’re doing it.

  22. Brian Holtz

    2008 didn’t feel like a “brawl” to me. We had 6 candidates who polled above 5% on the first ballot, and so it took 5 more unsurprising ballots to grind the list down. The order of the candidates in the voting never varied across the 6 ballots (except momentarily when Ruwart picked up a half-dozen more votes than Barr did upon Gravel’s elimination). Barr was recognizable as a lock on the 2nd ballot, when he and Root shared over 61% of the vote.

    From what I’ve read, the 3-ballot 2004 POTUS nomination has a better claim to being a “brawl”, with Nolan throwing his support to Badnarik and apparently tipping the election from Russo (who finished narrowly 1st in the first two ballots).

  23. Thomas L. Knapp

    BH@35,

    I thought they both looked like brawls. But that’s a pretty subjective adjective. I don’t see any damage from agreeing to disagree on it.

    Here’s the thing:

    A fairly high percentage of LP activists, particularly those who are in leadership positions or attend national conventions as delegates, place a non-trivial degree of importance on a set of values that I’ll shorthand as “appearing mainstream and professional.”

    Part of that set of values is looking at least a little like the major parties do in their nomination process.

    The last brokered Democratic convention was in 1952. The last brokered Republican convention was in 1948. The possibility has arisen since then, but procedures continue to be evolved to prevent it.

    The public’s picture of a “real” national convention for the last half century has been a picture of states reading off their votes one time and a presidential nominee whose victory was known well in advance of that (and who has already, not too long ago, announced his running mate, who will likewise be nominated pro forma) walking onto the stage to a standing ovation — not several hours of jockeying for position over multiple ballots.

    Anything else is tedious, or a brawl, or both, and the LP activists I’m talking about would rather not have it broadcast on CSPAN. They want a clear nominee coming into the convention so that the convention can be a public affirmation, not a documentary on how third party sausage is made.

    I can’t say I particularly blame them, although I placed more importance on other things when I was involved, primarily because my preferred candidates were usually the underdogs, or at least facing a fight, not the clear favorites. A fight is okay, and can even be a plus, if the underdog wins. If the frontrunner wins, the fact that there was a fight makes him look less like a frontrunner.

    Johnson became the clear front-runner for this year’s Libertarian Party presidential nomination the instant he entered the race. Even his opponents have to admit that (if they don’t want to look stupid).

    Johnson also likely has the support of most of the group of LP activists I describe above. They expect him to be nominated, they support his nomination, and they want to see it happen with a minimum of on-camera fussing around and arguing. So, they’re bringing their influence to bear to make that happen.

  24. Brill Blackburn

    I don’t think it’s appropriate for any state party to endorse a candidate before they’ve met him & the other contenders, just because he’s getting a lot of mainstream press. That’s up to the delegates to decide. And I don’t put much credibility in Tom Stevens’s comments either, who loves spamming peoples’ emails repeatedly (and without the legally-required “opt-out” link, I might add) and who gets off on claiming sex with animals is some kind of central issue to libertarians.

  25. Pingback: South Carolina Libertarian Party Endorses Gary Johnson | Independent Political Report

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    @39,

    They certainly played a big part in Barr 2008 and Browne ’96/’00.

    As for the other things, no, the larger group is not identical with, or necessarily even routinely supportive of, the clique you’re talking about, which continually tries to break that larger group to harness.

    That clique will try to gravy-train on Johnson, but it had its own candidate, whom it kept in evasion mode (“I’m the front-runner … but maybe I’m running, maybe I ain’t … hey, everyone look over there while I’m emasculating the LNC and moving all its important prerogatives over to my campai … er, the LNCC”) on standby while it waited to see if something like a Johnson candidacy would happen.

  27. Shawn Levasseur

    I wouldn’t call 2008 a “brawl” but neither was Barr a “recognizable lock” at the 2nd round. I doubt he would have made the deal w/ Root for his endorsement if it was a lock.

    That was the worst part of Christine Smith’s less than gracious exit. Mary Ruwart was very much alive in the race at the time, and Smith’s comments were as much an undeserved slap in Mary’s face as it was the rest of the field.

  28. Brill Blackburn

    Christine Smith never mentioned Ruwart at all, so I don’t think her comments had an effect on the results. But as untasteful as I thought her rant was at the time, and as untactful as she was with her comments, Smith proved to be 100% correct. Barr went on to spurn Ron Paul & his supporters, support Haitian dictator Baby Doc Duvalier’s “message of hope to the world”, and now has endorsed the pro-war anti-gay neocon Newt Gingrich who wants the death penalty for marijuana consumers. Christine Smith was right to distrust Bob Barr! And she deserves credit for not mincing any words. Here’s her speech again, in case you’ve forgotten exactly what she said … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hk2wX9o8XQ

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yup.

    Smith seemed harsh and unreasonable at the time, but subsequent events bore out her characterization.

    That’s always how it goes, and the next time around the usual suspects want you to forget everything that’s happened and believe that this time will be different.

  30. Dr. Tom Stevens

    Re: 37

    I have never claimed sex with animals or even laws criminalizing sex with animals is a central issue to libertarians.

    If you do not wish to receive exclusive news from Liberty Lion about issues relevant to the LP, just click reply and tell me to take you off my e-mail distribution list.

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