Darcy Richardson, Tom Knapp Now Running Roseanne Barr/Cindy Sheehan/Peace and Freedom Party Presidential Campaign

Via email, from someone in a good position to know:

A little bird tells me that two IPR folks just signed on to the
Roseanne Barr/Cindy Sheehan/Peace and Freedom Party presidential
campaign — Darcy Richardson as campaign manager and Tom Knapp as
press secretary.

Some discussion of this has already been taking place in comments on this unrelated thread on IPR.

Richardson and Knapp are both still signed up to write at IPR, although neither has done so recently. However, they still participate in comments and are welcome to post articles if and when they wish.

24 thoughts on “Darcy Richardson, Tom Knapp Now Running Roseanne Barr/Cindy Sheehan/Peace and Freedom Party Presidential Campaign

  1. JD

    Not to criticize Knapp but isnt this a bit of a leap? The PFP bears no resemblence to the LP or BTP. Is he being paid to do this? Is he trying to Rothbard the PFP?

  2. paulie Post author

    Previous reply from Knapp

    “Knapp must be hard up for money.”

    Nope. I haven’t been offered a great deal of money, and I’m not sure I’ll accept the amount offered. I may just donate the work.

    I’m a huge fan of Roseanne Barr, and a huge fan of Cindy Sheehan, for two reasons:

    1) Both of them have significant libertarian accomplishments, direct and indirect, under their belts.

    The Roseanne episode “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” probably did more for social tolerance of gay men and lesbians than the combined total of all Libertarian Party action on the issue (especially considering that some LP action on the issue has been negative). Joss Whedon got his start on Roseanne, which makes her at least partially responsible for, among other things, the libertarian-themed Firefly. Sheehan put a face on the human costs of the war in Iraq.

    2) They’re the only two post-nomination candidates in this election cycle who couldn’t be better marketed as insomnia cures. There are parts of their platform that I wouldn’t vote for (if I voted), but I am sick and tired of watching paint dry in fall of an election year. Time for some goddamn monkeywrenching.

  3. Deran

    I just regret that Barr thought the Greens were worth her efforts and she didn’t seek the P&FP nod sooner, and seek ballot access in many states.

  4. paulie Post author

    She still had time to seek ballot access in more states when she switched to P and F.

    She also probably would have had the Green nomination if she did her media blitz and campaign ads while she was running for that.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp


    “Not to criticize Knapp but isnt this a bit of a leap?”

    When I ended my personal investment in electoral politics as a strategy, I made it clear — publicly and multiple times, including IPR — that I would continue to do political work, and that ideology would have nothing to do with it. Rather the two incentives I would consider in accepting jobs was:

    1) Doing things with or for good friends; and

    2) Working for cash on the barrelhead.

    In this case, (1) is definitely in play. Darcy Richardson is a friend of mine, going back several years.

    (2) is less in play. Some money has been mentioned, but it isn’t huge money and I may not accept it. Darcy has made significant financial contributions to past projects of mine including but not limited to Libertarian Party campaigns. As far as I’m concerned, I owe him, and to the extent that I can help him out with something that’s important to him, I’m all over it.

    A third point comes into play this year: While I no longer view electoral politics as a useful strategy for pursuing freedom on a “run to win” basis, performance art and monkey-wrenching are always fun and this election cycle is so goddamn boring that they are very much needed.

    To the extent that I am involved, I will do my best to bring the most libertarian elements of the Barr/Sheehan campaign to the fore — anti-war, pro-marriage-freedom, etc.

    “The PFP bears no resemblence to the LP or BTP.”

    Little resemblance, true. No resemblance, false.

    I support the following Peace and Freedom platform planks:

    – No prison labor for private profit. Living wage and full union rights for any prison labor.

    – Defend workers’ rights to organize, form union caucuses, strike, and boycott.

    – The U.S. to renounce nuclear first strike, and take the initiative toward global disarmament by eliminating all of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

    – No U.S. intervention anywhere. End all support and aid to repressive regimes and all military and police training aid everywhere. End efforts to destabilize foreign governments. End U.S.-directed economic warfare against other countries. Abolish the CIA, NSA, AID and other agencies for interference inother countries’ internal affairs. Withdraw all U.S. troops and weapons from all other countries.

    – Dissolve all military pacts.

    – Abolish the Selective Service System.

    – No forced abortions or sterilizations.

    – End violence against women.

    – Prosecute and punish police and prison officials who brutalize and murder.

    – We call for open borders.

    – We demand an end to deportations of immigrants.

    – Honor treaty obligations with Native American nations and recognize California tribes.

    – Stop the theft of natural resources located on reservation lands.

    – Honor Native American water, hunting and fishing rights.

    – Free the prisoners of the FBI/BIA war against Native Americans, end all harassment.

    – Stop destruction of sacred burial sites.

    – Equal treatment and benefits under the law for all families. Guarantee equal child custody, adoption, visitation privileges, and foster parenthood rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    – Equal treatment for all people in the military regardless of sexual orientation.

    – The right to gay marriage and partners’ benefits.

    – No patenting of life forms.

    – An end to subsidies and tax breaks for corporations.

    – No school voucher schemes.

    – Stop state-sponsored spying on and violence against progressive organizations.

    – Abolish the death penalty.

    – Repeal the Three Strikes law.

    – Stop trials and imprisonment of juveniles as adults.

    – Treatment of prisoners as human beings; rehabilitation, not vengeance.

    – Decriminalize victimless activities including drug use and consensual sex. Legalize marijuana. End the “war on drugs,” which is primarily directed against poor and working-class people.

    – Stop unwarranted searches and seizures of persons and property. Restore constitutional rights.

    – Freedom for all political prisoners.

    – No private patents on drugs developed through publicly-funded research.

    – Repeal the sales tax.

    – We demand strict separation of religious and government institutions and activities.

    There are some other planks that are open to interpretation but that I would support SOME interpretation of.

    “Is he trying to Rothbard the PFP?”

    I’ve never tried to Rothbard anything, and have no intention of starting now. I am not and never have been a Rothbardian. I’m also working for a particular campaign, not for the PFP.

  6. Matt Cholko

    Since when did a man have to agree with everything an organization does, in order to work for them?

    If that were the case, I couldn’t even work for the company I own. (We hold state-issued licenses, though I personally think businesses should just say F.U. to the state conduct business as they see fit.)

  7. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    @3: The PFP bears no resemblence to the LP or BTP.

    A Los Angeles LP officer told me several years ago that, before he was a libertarian (since the early 1990s), he was involved with the PFP. He was even a delegate at their first convention (in the 1970s, I think).

    Back then, he said, the PFP opposed gun control, because Black Panthers had educated the PFP people on how gun control was used by police to disarm blacks.

    I don’t know what is the PFP’s current position on gun control.

  8. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    @ 9: Equal treatment and benefits under the law for all families. Guarantee equal child custody, adoption, visitation privileges, and foster parenthood rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and heterosexual men.

    I added the boldface.

    The PFP is avowedly feminist, so it’s unlikely they’d want to extend child custody equality to heterosexual fathers, a group that remains highly discriminated against in family courts.

  9. RedPhillips

    How does the average P&FP activist/member differ from the average Green Party activist/member? Not being on the left, all these divisions on the left baffle me.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp


    I’m not especially knowledgeable on the subject, but here’s my take:

    For most of its 44-year existence, the PFP has been a California-centric party. I think they had a New York presence early on, but other than that they’ve only been trying to “go national” since 2008.

    The Greens, on the other hand, have been trying to be a national presence as an electoral political party since the mid-1990s.

    So I’d say the MAIN difference between the average PFP activist and the average Green activist is that the average PFP activist is from California and the average Green activist may not be.

    I’d classify them both as “ecumenical/catholic left” parties rather than instances of the “ideological splinter” parties that create that perception of “all these divisions on the left.” Although to the extent that I’ve interacted with the Greens over the years, they tend to careen toward the latter at times as well.

  11. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    How does the average P&FP activist/member differ from the average Green Party activist/member?

    A Green Party member explained the difference to me as follows:

    The PFP is socialist, in that they want to ban large private property ownership. No big corporations. Public ownership of major industries.

    The GP allows for private ownership of large businesses, but wants strict regulations and high, progressive taxation, for the public good.

  12. paulie Post author

    I don’t think either one is Marxist or plans to eventually do away with the price system or have a workers dictatorship lead to an anarcho-syndicalist utopia, nor do I know of either party being revolutionist, although individual members of both are all those things. PFP does however support direct government ownership of major means of production. They’re probably more democratic socialist than communist. Greens range from Marxists to a fair number of libertarian-greens, although most are neither, but rather not very different ideologically from the progressive wing of the Democratic party.

  13. Gene Berkman

    Actually, in 1968 The Peace & Freedom Party did attempt a national presence. PFP groups qualified for the ballot in Michigan, New Jersey and probably 7 or 8 other states. PFP nominted Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Party leader known for justifying rape as a weapon of racial revenge.

    Cleaver was only 33 and not qualified to be President, which affected ballot access. In California the Secretary of State listed PFP on the ballot with “No Qualified Candidate” for President – you could vote for NQC and it would be counted for the PFP electors.

    In New York the party ran several candidates for Congress, including David McReynolds.

    After 1968 the PFP movement petered out in most states, but a second try for a national campaign was made in 1972. California PFP allied with the Human Rights Party in Michigan and the New Party created by Marc Raskin, to form the People’s Party, which nominated Benjamin Spock for President.

    The 1972 effort made little impact because antiwar voters naturally supported George McGovern, and only very rabid left-wing radicals remained.

    In recent years the most active groups in PFP have been aligned with the Party of Socialism & Liberation, the Freedom Socialist Party and the Committees of Correspondence, a breakaway from the Communist Party.

  14. RedPhillips

    Could someone answer my question that got lost at the bottom of the other thread? When Barr first announced it seemed very much like a gag/publicity stunt. That is one reason that I think people initially had a hard time taking her seriously. They thought she was running for President the same way Colbert was running for President. Was this a gag that turned serious? Was the original not really a gag?

  15. paulie Post author

    It’s not as clear cut as it was with Colbert. Her application letter to the Green Party seemed very serious, but some of her off the cuff remarks made it seem like a comedy routine. At times she seems completely serious, but then you would have to wonder why she did not really pursue ballot access, or why her media blitz (assuming it happens) is just going to start now rather than when she first got the PFP nomination, or why she isn’t spending any serious money on ads.

  16. paulie Post author

    PFP is going to have to increase their registrations quite a bit to not get knocked off in California by 2016. I helped them with that about 10 years ago, not sure what their plans are now.

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