Johnson’s Oregon Campaign Director Burke Pays for Anti-Obama Radio Ads

There is a radio ad running in Oregon which points out that the Communist Party supports Obama, and it appears the ads are being paid for by Richard D. Burke, who is Gary Johnson’s campaign state director for that state.  Have a listen:


44 thoughts on “Johnson’s Oregon Campaign Director Burke Pays for Anti-Obama Radio Ads

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    No, I didn’t but my source is certain of this. Also, it says at the very end of the ad “Paid for by Richard P. Burke”.

  2. Kyle Kneale

    ‘Tis not a bright spot for the campaign, and methinks Burke won’t be rehired in 2016.

  3. Sad Dick Fails To Rise To The Occasion

    What makes this situation even more sad is how this was run on KPAM, a right win radio station. Not only was this spectacle of public masturbation embarrassing (which appears to have failed to even climax), but there was no hope of it changing a single vote.

    Rumor I heard was that Mr. Burke told the Johnson campaign he had a republican donor lined up for this. Funny thing is that Richard’s friend, Burnett, who is the treasurer for the Reeve’s group, is/was a radio ad sales person by trade. (Previously employed by KPAM)

    I suspect that the financials of this whole arrangement are really … special.

  4. George Phillies

    On the bright side, Johnson’s name is not mentioned. On the other side, this is the intellectual leader of the Oregon faction our LNC — except its Judicial Committee — has supported.

    Let me point out that the current LNC has been in office for half a year. They have had plenty of time to repudiate the stands of the prior LNC, stands attacking the position of our Party Bylaws that Wes Wagner is the legitimate Oregon State Chair. They have failed to repudiate those positions.

    What message is the LNC sending? Is there really something new here? Or are they the same old, same old, with a minority of good people?

  5. just news

    The lede on this is that noted third party, the Communist Party has endorsed Barack Obama. Had this been covered by IPR before, or is Richard P Burke breaking it for you?

  6. FAN of Dr. STAN

    What’s the problem? Is there any FRAUD in the ad? Not to my knowledge? So-called communist have MURDERED 100s of millions of human beings in LESS than 100 years (See former Libertarian Presidential candidate’s Jim Burn’s website if you doubt it). Did the communist named in the ad endorse Obama ? YES he did ! Communism as practiced is the sworn and most DEADLY enemy to liberty in the world. You who seem to be appalled at this ad, would surely be some of the first to take a bullet to the back of the head, if you were under communist rule. Sometimes I just don’t understand some reasoning …

    New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism-

    Every Cent You Make (I’ll be taxing you) –

    Bringing you the Story behind the Story, the News behind the News. Hoping to convince you that reality is usually scoffed at and illusion is usually king, but in the battle for the survival of Western civilization it will be reality and not illusion or delusion that will determine what the future will bring.

    Listen on the web at:
    Radio Liberty
    it is hosted by Dr. Stanley Monteith.
    Radio Liberty Archives-

  7. concerned

    Pro – nothing about Johnson
    Con – people may turn off from Obama, but they won’ t turn on to Johnson.

    Not sure why this was a good idea…

    This state should have been much stronger for Gary, and if it doesn’t make a strong showing, it is due to his inability to deliver results for Gary in favor of a republican. His ban should be sought from the LPO for failing to due duty by Gary while supporting the GOP.

  8. Steve M

    My concern is about coordination.

    If this add was not payed for by the Johnson Campaign but was payed for by an individual who is the Johnson coordinator for Oregon do we have a possible violation of FEC regulations?

  9. Joe Buchman

    Paulie may ask Ron about this in our interview tomorrow.

    My understanding is that the Johnson campaign had zero involvement with this, and zero knowledge of it until brought to our attention by Wes yesterday.

    It is true, however, that those seeking our contact in Oregon are directed to go to:

    where they will find, upon clicking on Oregon:

    State Director:
    Richard Burke
    (503) 970-1876

    I’d recommend your contacting him directly with your concerns and/or praise.

    I cannot speak for others associated with the campaign, but, as regards this ad, none of the latter will be provided by me.


  10. Thane Eichenauer

    If a question about this commercial did come up I can only imagine that the answer would point out how government regulation has made perfectly peaceful behavior a matter for regulation by the government.

    As I recall the difficulty of addressing FEC regulations was the reason Libertarian comic Doug Stanhope discontinued his bid for President in 2008. No problem though for Stephen Colbert who gladly paid to have his FEC papers filed.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I just think it’s a weird thing for someone so associated with Johnson’s campaign to do. I would prefer to think his energies would be going to Johnson.

  12. Thane Eichenauer

    Lesser of evils explains it in my opinion. I can easily understand how a person could believe that a commercial such as this would advance the Johnson/Libertarian movement by causing some Obama-sympathetic residents of Oregon to look elsewhere for a political home (or hostel).

  13. Be Rational

    More Accurate Headline:

    Richard Burke, Leader of Oregon’s Cabal against the LP Reveals True Colors as Republican Stalking Horse

  14. Oranje Mike

    Hmmm…I could only listen to half the ad before it crapped out but I would like to think Mr. Burke is treating this race as a duel between Obama and Johnson. From what I heard there was nothing wrong with the ad. His criticism of Obama is just.

  15. paulie

    . I can easily understand how a person could believe that a commercial such as this would advance the Johnson/Libertarian movement by causing some Obama-sympathetic residents of Oregon to look elsewhere for a political home (or hostel).

    Unlikely. It’s obviously a way to whip up further already raging hysteria among conservatives about horrible things that will supposedly happen if the president gets re-elected, thus they must vote for Romney no matter how much he also sucks or how much better an alternative candidate might be.

    This is clearly not what the Johnson campaign wants, but at the same time I don’t think being a volunteer state director for the campaign means someone no longer has freedom of speech…although, the campaign is free to dissociate itself from someone based on how they choose to use that freedom.

    As for the CPUSA endorsement, IPR did report it. I don’t have time to find the link now but might later tonight or more likely tomorrow if someone else doesn’t post it first. It is actually not all that newsworthy – the CPUSA has turned into a Democratic Party front and has been routinely endorsing Democrats for the last few decades.

  16. Libertarian against Communism

    @9 — what makes you think the ad was supporting the GOP ticket? I heard no such thing. Maybe you heard the voices on your head?

    This is an ad attacking the nominee of the Democrat and Communist parties, Barack Obama. Last I checked, Obama was an opponent of the Libertarian nominee. Of course he should be attacked.

    The idea that you must vote Romney if you are against Obama is GOP propaganda. “Concerned” should be cited for spreading GOP propaganda.

  17. Losty

    Johnson is not willing Oregon.

    If you start with that base assumption, This is an ad that attacks the Democratic Candidate (Insanely in my opinion.. But for Right Wingers it may have some resonance.. Then again Some Right Wingers Don’t know what rape is (See Akin, Todd and Mourdock, Richard.)

    The Political Problem is, If you start with the assumption that Johnson is not winning Oregon, then this will scare the crazy minority to vote…. For Romney, as the only Non-Obama candidate that can win Oregon.

    Now, I am not sure this is what the Johnson Campaign, The Libertarian Party of Oregon, or the State Director of the Johnson Campaign wants. That would be a question for the Johnson Campaign, The Libertarian Party of Oregon’s State Chairman, Mr. Burke, and Mr. Johnson.

    And Someone does need to ask Mr. Johnson this, Today.

  18. Oregon Libertarian

    As far as I know the radio ad is only playing on KPAM, a pro-republican radio station in the Greater Portland Metro area.

    I agree with Paulie that the ad is only designed to ” whip up further already raging hysteria” and is played during the Victoria Taft Show, a host host is known for “raging hysteria” about Obama and the DNC.

    Richard Burke is the Oregon State Director for the Gary Johnson Campaign. It is known that the campaign was approached to endorse this commercial and they turned it down citing it was not a direction they wanted to go. Richard Burke then went ahead and ran it under his own name.

    Being a “State Director” does mean you are the ambassador for the candidate and anything you do in the political field will reflect on the candidate and the campaign. Did we not just go though an issue with Wayne Root with two-faced politics?

    As far as I am concerned, Richard Burke has betrayed the Gary Johnson campaign and compromised the integrity and message. Why the Gary Johnson campaign retains such a traitor is beyond me.

  19. Losty


    It’s 5 days out, Would he have anyone else to finish?

    I think I would, but with limited resources, it’s harder than some cases (Though Mr. Burke has some resources, if he actually placed a Pro-Johnson instead of a.. I really don’t know what to call that.. )

    And, Was there any coordination between that Ad, The Johnson Campaign, the LP of Oregon? the National LP?? These questions need to come up..

  20. Wes Wagner

    I can state absolutely for the record that the Libertarian Party of Oregon was not consulted.

    Although our board has not taken a position on this, I would be confident in saying that the general response after the immediate abject confusion of what they just bore witness could be summarized, “WTF dood?!” — though the actual language would be more elegant.

    Wes Wagner
    Chairperson, Libertarian Party of Oregon

  21. Oregon Libertarian


    Oregon may end up as a “toss-up” state in this election. Both of the major party campaigns are very active here now. The current radio ad in question only goes to help the GOP base solidify its lock on Romney.

    Americans for Prosperity, another group that Richard Burke has in the past and may be currently working for as a paid agent, has stated that, “Libertarians are a problem in tightly contested races”.

    Richard Burkes actions in past where at nominating conventions he pushed the issue to not nominate Libertarians but rather Republicans, and his current legal challenge to take over the State Party where his group, “the Reeves group” nominated Republicans is very revealing as to his “true colors”. The documents of the legal challenge are on IPR…perhaps someone provide the link to them.

  22. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I don’t have time this AM to link to the 45 plus articles here having to do with the leadership struggles re: the Oregon LP. I’m sure at least a dozen of them contain court documents. An interested reader can put “Oregon LP” in the search box, and read all day.

  23. Steve

    In unrelated Democrat/socialist 3rd parties news, my local Democrats just ran an ad citing the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s website.

  24. Ron Boozell

    lol George! I’ve heard Burke called many things over the years, but, “intellectual leader” is not one of them! HA… Methinks that the money Burke spent on this ad would have been better spent paying back the LPO for all the money he has stolen. I know him better as “thief and liar”.

  25. George Phillies

    Obama is a Communist? This is Republican whacko nonsense, up there with the Republican belief that raped women cannot become pregnant. It certainly shows where Johnson and his campaign are located, if they have not disassociated themselves from the advocate of this nonsense.

  26. Wes Wagner

    GP @29

    That is “legitimate rape” … you know you can’t be a full blown misogynist without having delusional fantasy that “she wanted it”

    I guess this explains their behavior towards voters too…. hmmmm…..

  27. Joe

    Everyone @ 1 to 31,

    Just went over this thread with “unnamed senior sources within the campaign” (who expect to be interviewed by Paulie later today). The ad is awful. The GJ campaign had nothing to do with it. Every State Director, Campus Director, Region Director, even “Campaign Research and Development Director,” etc position will be re-evaluated after the campaign.

    In the meantime we are ALL very grateful for those Libertarians out there who remain focused on maximizing the number of votes for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former California Judge Jim Gray.

    That’s what we’re all focused on this weekend and through Tuesday.

    How about joining together in that through then?

    I can assure you those re-evaluations will begin on Wednesday morning November 7th. (We have a meeting scheduled that morning in Albuquerque with the Judge, the Governor, Ron, and the other campaign staff.)

    Joe (PS — I’ll be as transparent here about that meeting as possible if all you alls will just please get to GOTV efforts, sign waves, social media sharing, personal persuasion, watch parties for the two upcoming debates (Nader on Sunday; Free and Equal on Monday . . . BTW it looks like Nader’s organization has failed to solicit live broadcast coverage; Free and Equal will be on and perhaps elsewhere as streaming video)

    PPS I thought this would be over November 6th. Now I find I have an early morning meeting November 7th?!?! I feel a bit like this:

  28. Michael H. Wilson

    Joe thanks for all you hard work and thanks to all the crew though out the nation. Tell the Governor and the Judge we offer our thanks to them and their willingness to continue this effort.

    I have to go see the county commissioners on Tuesday and then a post election meeting on Wednesday and a pre legislative meeting on Sunday. It ain’t gonna quit. The wheels go round and round.

  29. Gene Berkman

    The ad does not say that Obama is a Communist, just that the Communist Party supports him – thus asserting that he is acceptable to the Communist Party.

    As I have pointed out, The Communist Party always supports the Democrat nominee for President, since 1956. The CP lost a lot of influence in labor unions when they put up Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party in the 1948 elections, and they don’t want to repeat that kind of fiasco.

    So implying that a Democrat who is backed by the Communist Party is pro-Communist is like asserting that a Republican backed by the Republican Liberty Caucus is pro-Libertarian. It is true in some cases, but not likely in general.

  30. Scott

    Okay I didn’t listen to that ad and Richard, you can say what you want but I respectfully disagree and the Democratic Party is a good party, sometimes making mistakes just like the Republican Party but the Democratic Party has no connection to Communism and that’s not right to say that.

  31. Thane Eichenauer

    Whether or not a given Oregon voter is afflicted with “the hysteria” then this ad will be one more push to encourage voters to not vote for Mr. Obama. This ad provides factual information. What people do with that information is up to them.

    Ideas and endorsement have consequences. Should voters be oblivious to the endorsements of the Communist Party?

    I would think that ads like this would be a rather good reason for the Communist Party to stop endorsing candidates but who am I to advocate for that? The people who operate the Communist Party have free will and I am not about to advocate that their free speech be curtailed.

    The ad only provides negative information about Mr. Obama and does not mention the Republican party nor Mr. Romney. Americans for Prosperity does not (positively) endorse candidates and neither does this ad. Given the electoral system used in the United States “Libertarians are a problem in tightly contested races” is a factually true statement.

    Mr. Phillies comments, “Obama is a Communist?” The ad clearly states “I am not saying that Barack Obama is a Communist.”

  32. wolfefan

    Hello – @7 – this was covered on IPR previously, probably about a year ago when it occurred. I can’t find the article in the archives right now, but I think Red posted it.

    Thane @36 – I think Dr. Phillies is referring to the silly poster @19, not the ad itself.

  33. From Der Sidelines

    The real issue is not the ad itself but who is paying for it and his ties. Yes, that can easily fall into guilt-by-association.

    It’s pretty clear that this ad was independent of any part of the LP or the Johnson campaign, was poorly done, and that reflects more on Mr. Burke’s decision-making than anything else. It does him no favors.

    Whether Obama is a communist or not or whether they support him or not is besides the point. Burke simply made yet another bad decision.

  34. just anti-Communist

    The truthfulness of the ad has every bearing on whether it was a good decision.

    Since it contains factual information condemning the Democrat nominee, it was a great decision.

    It is only a bad decision if you are a pro-Communist or a Democrat. But I repeat myself.

  35. Richard P. Burke


    I did the ad of my own accord. I did not speak of Johnson in the ad because I was speaking for myself. My objectives, discussed below, were independent of those of the Johnson campaign, but not in conflict with them. I also suspected that if I mentioned Johnson, FEC issues could arise (for me, the Johnson campaign, or both) and I wanted to avoid that.

    As it is, I did not say to vote for anyone or against anyone in the ad – I simply pointed out that the Communist Party supported Obama and asked the listener whether or not they also supported him. This also was also carefully designed to avoid FEC issues.

    I did inform the Johnson campaign that I was running the ad (I clearly owed them that) but did not ask them for permission or coordinate with them in any way. If they felt it necessary, they could have fired me or distanced the campaign from me. They did not. It is also worth reminding folks that I worked for Johnson as a volunteer, not a paid employee.

    In doing the ad, I had two goals. First, I hoped that some of the people who might be dissuaded from voting for Obama would vote for Johnson. Perhaps this happened, perhaps it did not. The ad ran on KUIK, KXL (statewide), and KPAM. These are conservative stations, but liberals listen too. I tried to get time on the liberal KPOJ station, but they would not sell me time (they were planning to change their format, and they recently did).

    Second, I thought it was important to let people know that the Communist party supports Obama and wanted to remind people (of all ideologies) what communism is responsible for. I know that the Communist Party has supported Democratic candidates for a while, but I do not think this diminishes the significance of their endorsement this year.

    The ad was a private personal project; something I wanted to do and a personal expression of my personal first amendment rights. It was not part of the Johnson campaign, but did not conflict with the Johnson campaign. People who don’t like the way I did the ad are free to produce and finance their own radio ads.

    My thanks to those who seemed to understand what I was trying to do, how I chose to do it, and why I chose to do it. Thank you.

    Richard P. Burke

    Richard P. Burke

  36. paulie

    First, I hoped that some of the people who might be dissuaded from voting for Obama would vote for Johnson. Perhaps this happened, perhaps it did not. The ad ran on KUIK, KXL (statewide), and KPAM. These are conservative stations, but liberals listen too. I tried to get time on the liberal KPOJ station, but they would not sell me time (they were planning to change their format, and they recently did).

    It seems far more likely that you persuaded more conservative-libertarians that considered voting for Johnson to vote for Romney because they are alarmed about Obama and his supposed ties to the Communists. I know you snuck the little disclaimer in there, but people who understand how advertising works know that not everyone is sitting there listening raptly to every word and that the main message is “Obama … Communist” and that’s what people absorb.

    If you wanted to persuade liberals to vote for Johnson, I can’t believe that you could find no liberal outlets anywhere in the state that would sell you ad time. And, you would have been a lot smarter to go with a message that attacked Obama for his Bush-like record on the wars, domestic surveillance, many social issues and corporate-government collusion in contrast to Gary Johnson. If that was in fact your intent, which I have a hard time believing it was.

    Second, I thought it was important to let people know that the Communist party supports Obama and wanted to remind people (of all ideologies) what communism is responsible for. I know that the Communist Party has supported Democratic candidates for a while, but I do not think this diminishes the significance of their endorsement this year.

    Well if you don’t think so, why was that not mentioned in the ad? I think you, I and anyone else still reading this can figure out the answer to that.

  37. Be Rational

    In a race between Obama and Romney, attacking Obama because an insignificant group that few would know still exists as a political party in the US and few would care about may have endorsed Obama would come across as out of touch, a non sequitur to the issues of the campaign, and just plain nuts.

    However, it does help to showcase the fact that the ad’s sponsor has no political skills, no leadership skills, is irresponsible, wastes money foolishly and is a total wack job.

  38. paulie

    There was a lot of bloviating on conservative talk radio about how Obama is a “communist” around that time. It was used to herd conservatives into line to vote for Romney because they were all so scared of Obama, even though Romney sucked. This ad just played into that theme, nothing else.

    Whether it demonstrates political skills or lack thereof depends on whether you believe the sponsor of the ad as to its intent.

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