Adrian Wyllie Responds To Accusations From Some Libertarian Party of Florida Members

Adrian Wyllie, former Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) chairman and 2014 gubernatorial candidate

From LP Radical Caucus Facebook group, August 22, 2013:

There are several accusations leveled at me that I find perplexing and amusing. A very small, but very vocal, minority of LPF members seem determined to discredit me. I’d like to take this opportunity to dispel some of those unfounded accusations.

ACCUSATION: Adrian is a Libertarian newcomer or a “right-wing Republican” as mentioned in the meme above.

RESPONSE: I have been a registered Libertarian since I was around 21 years old. I started to become politically active in the LP in 1998, when I ran for my local city council as a Libertarian. My beliefs and platform are 100% consistent with the LPF platform. However, I do reach out to Republicans, Democrats, and NPAs alike. I try to educate them and switch them to the LP.

ACCUSATION: Adrian shouldn’t say that he wants to win the election. He should say that he only wants to influence the discussion.

RESPONSE: I find that to be very self-defeating. I plan to win. I do believe that we have a chance to make history and win the election. So far, with 15 months left to go in the election, I am already polling at 9% statewide. Our campaign has over 600 active volunteers getting petitions signed and working hard on my campaign. We have well over 10,000 petitions signed already. I am beginning to get significant and positive media coverage. There are over a dozen other third-party and NPA candidates in this race, and we have raised many times more money than all of them combined. In fact, we have raised more money than most of the GOP and Dem candidates in this race as well. My staff, volunteers and I are running the largest, most active, and most organized Libertarian statewide campaign in Florida’s history.

ACCUSATION: Adrian is trying to transform the LP into the new GOP.

RESPONSE: That is absolutely false. However, I am trying to build the LPF into a party that is equal in success to the Dems or GOP. So far, it’s beginning to work. The LPF has grown dramatically in size and influence in Florida. And, we have not compromised on a single Libertarian position to attract these thousands of new members. We just learned how to market our ideas better. I want the LP/LPF to be an effective and viable party, capable of getting candidates elected who will implement our platform. We are very close to achieving that goal. For those of you who want the LP to be an intellectual-elite debate club, I’m not your guy.

ACCUSATION: Adrian is not radical enough.

RESPONSE: I’m not sure what my detractors’ definition of “radical” is. However, I consider myself to be pretty radical. For example, I’ve been ‘driving’ for two years without a license, because I believe Real ID is a violation of my 4th Amendment rights. I told the U.S. Department of Commerce “screw you” live on the radio, and dared them to fine me for refusing to fill out the American Community Survey. I crash press conferences and debates when the media refuses to include Libertarian candidates. I organize gun shows in front of police gun buyback locations. I directly challenge government officials and expose corruption in Florida’s government. If you’d like to see more evidence of my activism, please visit my YouTube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=adrian+wyllie

50 thoughts on “Adrian Wyllie Responds To Accusations From Some Libertarian Party of Florida Members

  1. Steve LaBianca

    “I directly challenge government officials and expose corruption in Florida’s government.”

    The problem IS government, not corruption in it.

    The problem is the areas that government is involved in, not the corruption in how it undertakes in administering its alleged authority.

  2. Steve LaBianca

    EVERY Republican and Democrat is against corruption in government! What is different in with what Mr. Wyllie believes, and what every Democrat or Republican believes?

    Libertarians ought to differentiate themselves from every other politician . . . and guess what . . . the libertarian philosophy IS all that is needed!

  3. Richard Winger

    I would like to know more about his petition drive. The only purpose must be to avoid paying the filing fee. But I wonder if the petitioning is costing more than the filing fee would be?

  4. Steve LaBianca

    From what I’ve heard, Wyllie and/or his campaign staff believes that he can get 112,000 or so valid petition signatures, with 600 volunteers that he (allegedly) has on board.

    I’ve also heard his supporters indicate that the petition drive to get these 112,000 signatures is a great campaigning tool.

    In my experience in gathering petition signatures (first in New York, in 1988 for Ron Paul’s Libertarian presidential campaign), the LAST thing to do is to use the petitioning process to campaign. Volume of signatures, especially in attempting to get 112,000 precludes the time consuming distractions of campaigning.

  5. Steve LaBianca

    “The LPF has grown dramatically in size and influence in Florida.”

    Not exactly certain what this report means (however, there IS NO report to the Florida elections authority) but $1500 in donations for the 7 months of 2013 and $1946 in expenditures HARDLY indicates much activity or influence for the LPF in 2013!

  6. Steve LaBianca

    Here is the link – http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00482372/886461/

    for my previously mentioned revenues and expenditures for the LPF in 2013;

    I can’t count how many LP’ers in the last 20 years I’ve heard boast about great strides, but have nothing or nearly nothing to prove it.

    Plus I’ll parrot “New Federalist” above, the CP can say this stuff that Mr. Wyllie says, but what about “libertarian” positions and solutions?

  7. George Whitfield

    In a former entry, Steve LaBianca suggests that Adrian Wyllie is disingenuous for stating that Wyllie as the LP candidate could be elected Governor. In contrast, Steve said that he would aim for breaking 1% of the vote as the LP nominee. (I am an oldbie LP member having been registered as a Libertarian in Florida since about 1991.) Frankly, this contrast is another reason why I am supporting Adrian Wyllie and have gladly donated to his campaign.

  8. Joe Wendt

    In Steve LaBianca’s defense, if Gary Johnson couldn’t win 1% in the state of Florida (winning only .53%, about 45000 votes), why the hell would any statewide candidate expect to exceed 1% in a mid-term election. If a big name former governor couldn’t get 1%, why should some schmuck expect any different. At least LaBianca is being realistic.

  9. George Whitfield

    Adrian Wyllie is at 9% in a recent statewide poll. Steve LaBianca wants to aim for 1%. Adrian is aiming for 34%. I like Adrian’s positive attitude and find Steve’s attitude negative and demoralizing. One of Harry Browne’s many memorable statements was that he aimed for the stars and ended on top of the world. I like that approach.

  10. GA Tea party rally

    Adrian spoke at our event in GA. We are the Tea Party Patriots.

    We appreciate his involvement.

  11. Steve LaBianca

    Gary Johnson was at 7% … or so we were told.

    To correct George Whitfield, Harry Browne NEVER predicted he or any other LP candidate would win; he WAS positive, and even went so far as to say that even if some amount of liberty was secured for the next 50 years, that would be a good thing, but never predicted a win.

    I only predict that a properly run, principled campaign has the potential for the MOST impact on the political discussion.

    And ALSO to correct George, I never said I “aim” for 1%, only that it is a 50 – 50 proposition to get in and around 1% of the vote.

  12. Steve LaBianca

    Mr. Wyllie says, “we have not compromised on a single Libertarian position to attract these thousands of new members. We just learned how to market our ideas better.”

    I’m all for better marketing, but I’d much prefer to market “libertarian” ideas better!

    Secondly, I am hard pressed to believe that there are “thousands” of new LPF members! Can you explain why you only have, or claim to have 600 volunteers, when there are thousands of new members, and where were they for the LPF convention in Naples?

  13. Steve LaBianca

    My recollection is that there were about 55 to 60 delegates at the LPF convention in Naples, this past May.

  14. Marc Montoni

    George, while I admire Adrian’s enthusiasm, having been the guy who tries to encourage volunteers to stay in the field year after year, I have to say that the kind of talk he is employing has been used by LP candidates for all of the thirty years I have been involved, and I have watched the end result of such talk every time: It creates unrealistic expectations and makes people walk away from the Libertarian Party.

    Adrian knows very well that third-party polling numbers **always** evaporate as the election draws near. This is because our market is essentially people who already realize both of the other candidates are walking, talking disasters — and when it gets down to brass tacks they pull the lever for the least-bad disaster.

    I would much rather see LP candidates set realistic goals for their campaign. Every candidate who is running at the state or federal level needs to remember that his campaign this year ain’t about him, and it ain’t about this election.

    It’s about the NEXT election.

    If you bust your butt thinking you’re going to win this November, and you end up with 1%, you’re going to leave a lot of battered emotions behind among your volunteers and supporters.

    Instead, advertise your campaign among Libertarians as a way to build the Libertarian Party for next year. If Adrian gets .5% but manages to find 200 new LP donors for next year, you know what — who the hell cares about the .5%?

    Run another campaign next year that recruits twice as many new members and before the decade is out the vote totals will take care of themselves — because we will have grown to the point where we can out-raise and out-volunteer the major parties.

    The LP is not immune to basic organization building. If Adrian is going into this thinking he’s going to win with a donor base 1/100th of the size of the D or R parties in FL, and a volunteer base similarly outmatched, well, guess what. It ain’t gonna happen.

  15. Steve LaBianca

    Mr. Wyllie states, “My beliefs and platform are 100% consistent with the LPF platform.”

    Well . . . the LP national platform calls for the state/government to NOT interfere with people’s choices in education. I have YET to see where you are calling for a complete separation of education and state. Please direct me to where your position on education is consistent with this LP platform plank.

  16. George Whitfield

    Hi Marc, You have a great opportunity in Virginia this year, too, with Robert Sarvis. Best wishes on your campaign there!

  17. Steve LaBianca

    I am certain that this statement, is what Mr. Wyllie agrees with, as part of the LPF platform, regarding education – “We support individual and community based decision-making where people and entities freely decide what is best for their students or children.”

    I disagree with any collective decision making for children/young people; parents of a child, have authority, in conjunction with the child himself or herself, to make these decisions, not some undefinable, unquantifiable collective called the “community”. Community “decision-making” is simply another form of statism, just at a smaller, more local level.

    Frankly, having never read entirely through the LPF platform, I am shocked. I cannot think of anything more anti-libertarian than this statement – it REEKS of Hillary Clinton’s, “It Takes a Village”!

  18. Robert Capozzi

    The “community” is simply the “market” or the “spontaneous order.” Part of the spontaneous order is that mothers choose not to jettison the parasite in their wombs, and parents suspend their financial interests in favor of the hope, at least, that parenting will be more fulfilling for them than the alternative. These parents then sometimes create and maintain institutions to further nurture their children.

    This appears as a community, and there is nothing un- or anti-L about it, just as there is nothing anti-L about the L community itself!

    One could throw a party at one’s home and charge admission, or one could just call it a restaurant!

  19. George Whitfield

    Hi Steve, I suppose I misunderstood what you meant. Would you please state what vote percentage you would aim at if you were the nominee?

  20. Alex Snitker

    While all these keyboard commandos are on here trying to attack Adrian, he is out there travelling the state SPREADING THE MESSAGE. He was in the Panhandle this weekend and the campaign team switched 5 people to Libertarian that day.

    Imagine if everyone on this thread just went to the doors in their neighborhood and switched 5 people to the LP instead of complaining.

    George, Thank you very much for supporting Adrian’s campaign. You are without a doubt one of the best supporters the Libertarian Party of Florida has. Many people might not see it but I do.

    Keep on complaining keyboard commandos or actually do something about it. Want to beat Adrian? Then start by actually filling out the paperwork and get on the ballot. Then try to leave the county you live in and find an event to speak at. You will not spread the message online. You actually have to go out and…. talk to people who are not Libertarians. This would be how you spread the message.

    Next try to schedule 3 speaking engagements per week. You are already spreading the message to the converted here.

    And the petitions are one of the reasons Adrian was able to garner 8.7% in a scientific poll.

    The fact that you cannot understand why Adrian’s campaign is focused on petitions is the reason why you will never understand how to actually grow a political party.

    WE ARE A POLITICAL PARTY. START ACTING LIKE IT OR STOP COMPLAINING WHEN PEOPLE DO TREAT THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY LIKE A POLITICAL PARTY AND NOT A DEBATE CLUB.

  21. Matt Cholko

    Reposted here, as it seems like the more appropriate thread:

    As for being positive vs. negative, I absolutely agree that having a positive message is the best way (only way??) to bring new people to our side. However, making claims about winning elections that are simply un-winnable is not, IMHO, a positive message. It’s akin to a lie. It sets unrealistic expectations in the minds of any new people that are brought into the party through the campaign, which inevitably leads to them heading for the door once they see the election results.

    If there were reason to believe that an LPF governor candidate could receive 30% of the vote, then sure, go ahead and talk about trying to win the election. When election day comes and you get your 30%, you can then reasonably say that “We just came up a little short. Let’s all continue to work to build the LP and do it again in 4 years.” But, if the likely result is more like 1% (and history tells us that is the likely result in FL), and you’ve been setting your supporters up for a win, how do you explain your incredibly bad showing?

    The same thing happened with the GJ campaign to some extent. He talked about winning the election, then, thankfully, dialed it back to getting 5% of the vote. But, even with 5% as the goal, when election day came and he got 1%, he, and many of his supporters, viewed it as a big disappointment. I, on the other hand, saw it for what it was…..a step in the right direction, in terms of vote totals for a LP POTUS candidate. I was energized by the results, not disappointed by them, because my expectations were exceeded. Basic Clinton politics 101…. set expectations low, and exceed them.

  22. Marc Montoni

    Right on, Matt.

    George, yes we have a pretty darn good candidate in Rob Sarvis. I would prefer it if he and his supporters would advertise a realistic goal — like recruiting __x__ new LP members. I said so when we held our endorsement convention to consider his campaign, and I’ve not changed my tune.

    To me, vote % is irrelevant until such time as we have recruited enough people into the LP that we do have a shot at winning.

  23. Adrian Wyllie

    I am shocked by the logical inconsistency of so many of the posts in this thread. For those of you suggesting that my goal should be to achieve 1% of the vote, I’d like to ask you a few questions.

    Would you claim victory at a 1% reduction in foreign aid and offensive wars?

    Would you be happy with 1% less warrantless government wiretapping?

    Would you accept an end to prohibition for 1% of the population?

    I refuse to set my sights low, and be satisfied with steering the discussion. My goal is to win the election and begin implementing Libertarian principles in government.

    My team and I have a realistic plan to do exactly that. I realize that we may not achieve it. But, we will have left all our blood, sweat and tears on the battlefield in an effort to win.

    If we never actually attempt to win elections, we guarantee that we will perpetually fail to do so.

  24. Alex Snitker

    “As for being positive vs. negative, I absolutely agree that having a positive message is the best way (only way??) to bring new people to our side. However, making claims about winning elections that are simply un-winnable is not, IMHO, a positive message.”

    I do not see why. There is always a chance that you can win and this should be the goal of every candidate in every election. Is it going to be hard? Sure. Is there a great chance you will lose? Sure and no matter what in an election there is only one winner. There will be a Republican or Democrat that will lose too.

    This does not mean that winning should not be your goal. Spreading the Libertarian message is a byproduct of an effective and active campaign.

    “It’s akin to a lie.”

    Unless you are a fortune teller it is not a lie. It is setting expectations and this is what brings people into the party and a campaign. I said it when I was running and many of the people who were involved in the 2010 campaign are still in the party working hard.

    “It sets unrealistic expectations in the minds of any new people that are brought into the party through the campaign, which inevitably leads to them heading for the door once they see the election results.”

    Sure there are people who leave after the campaign is over but if you run an active campaign and put in 110% effort the losses will be few. People want to work for positive people who want to win. I would argue that telling people that you do not expect to win will not even get those people you are talking about involved in the first place.

    “If there were reason to believe that an LPF governor candidate could receive 30% of the vote, then sure, go ahead and talk about trying to win the election. When election day comes and you get your 30%, you can then reasonably say that “We just came up a little short. Let’s all continue to work to build the LP and do it again in 4 years.””

    First off, there are elections every year. The mentality of even saying that statement means that you should adjust your focus.

    Second, you have to put in the canvassing work needed to win. There are enough Libertarians to actually accomplish this if the winning mentality started to take hold in the LP.

    I have been canvassing door to door and if you are talking to the people like I am you will see that there is a hunger for a new direction. These people know something is wrong but do not know how to fix it.

    Believe it or not they are looking for us. If we could only get Libertarians en masse to see this and actually do something about it we would be much further along. The only people standing in the way of success in the LP is the Libertarians who think we cannot win. This mentality causes much of this infighting.

    “But, if the likely result is more like 1% (and history tells us that is the likely result in FL), and you’ve been setting your supporters up for a win, how do you explain your incredibly bad showing?”

    These people know how hard the road is. People will understand if the results are not what was expected. Campaigns are also dynamic. Your day to day message changes over the course of a campaign. If you communicate correctly this will not be a problem.

    “The same thing happened with the GJ campaign to some extent. He talked about winning the election, then, thankfully, dialed it back to getting 5% of the vote. But, even with 5% as the goal, when election day came and he got 1%, he, and many of his supporters, viewed it as a big disappointment. I, on the other hand, saw it for what it was…..a step in the right direction,”

    You saw it for what it was. The numbers grew and that is a good thing. It comes down to attitude. If you think you will never win then you will reinforce that mentality and lash out at others who do not share your negative outlook. If you have a positive outlook then you will look for the positives and use that to continue to build.

    This campaign is a great example of this.

    You have a candidate who is charging ahead and going out to bring more people into the party. He announced early to get started. He has amassed hundreds of volunteers and created excitement for the Libertarian Party across the state. He talks about winning and putting in the hard work needed to make it a reality. He has a professional website and a FB page with over 2,200 likes. His memes reach over 68,000 people per week. His volunteers are canvassing across the state.

    Then you have a candidate who was thrown off the ballot in 2010 for the same seat because he did not get the paperwork turned in. He has acted in a rude and overly aggressive manner toward the first candidate right from the start. He has called him a liar, thief and a bastard (and that was in a scheduled debate). He has flown off the handle so much that there is already an LPF county affiliate that does not want him there.

    Then you have another candidate who has not even filled out (or knows how to fill out) the paperwork needed to start his campaign. He tells you right off from the start that he has no plans on winning. He has not gone out to any group to talk about his campaign. He has no staff or volunteers and IMO does not plan putting one together. He is only interested in attacking Adrian with misleading erroneous attacks.

    For anyone to claim that Adrian is not growing the party and somehow the other two are is ignorant to reality. In order to spread the message you actually have to go out and talk to people. Adrian has already met with more groups than the other two will do for their entire campaign (combined).

    “in terms of vote totals for a LP POTUS candidate. I was energized by the results, not disappointed by them, because my expectations were exceeded. Basic Clinton politics 101…. set expectations low, and exceed them.”

    For me this campaign has a greater meaning. It is the election that shows all the debate clubbers that we have moved past you and are becoming a political party focused on winning. Get on board and join us or get out of the way while we make it happen. Either way I do not care. The people like Steve and JWS represent a small minority and in reality will be a non-factor in this race.

    I am so sure about this I am willing to make a bet.

    If Steve or JWS win this race I will leave the Libertarian party forever. If Adrian wins then Steve and JWS should leave forever. If you think that this party is not big enough for all of us then let’s settle this at the ballot box. I am willing to make the bet if Steve is.

    What do you say Steve? Are you willing to put it all on the line? If we win then you leave the LP and never return. If you win then you will get rid of me forever.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp

    @28,

    Yes, winning should always be the goal.

    No, there is not “always a chance” to win.

    In terms of public positioning, a candidate should make it clear, in both word and action, that he is running to win.

    In terms of public positioning, a candidate should not lie to supporters, donors or voters about the chances of winning.

    “I’m running to win — and whether or not I do is up to the voters” is the most optimistic statement a Libertarian candidate for statewide office can make without being dishonest.

  26. World Leader

    @29 Finally, there’s a new way for everyone to win. Watch here for upcoming announcements!

  27. Victor Lazlo

    WOW! Those negative people attacking Adrian Wylie cannot be serious. Are these people for real? Please tell me that this is somebody’s sick idea of a joke. If those people really think this way, no wonder the LP has gone basically nowhere for 40 years.

  28. George Phillies

    This argument seems a bit futile. Is there a “I am running to lose” as the alternative to “I am running to win”?

    I have seen “I am running to win” used as a synonym for “I am running away from my party’s name, and not mentioning it in my literature”. In Massachusetts, this is a Republican campaign ploy. Libertarian candidates who do this are a waste of our money.

    I have also seen the opposite. When Joe Kennedy ran for US Senate here, the party line under his name read “Liberty”, but he said “Libertarian”, the press said ” Libertarian”, and he advanced recognition for our party and its stands.

  29. Richard Winger

    Marc, it is not true that minor party and independent candidates always do worse in the actual election than they do in public opinion polls. In October 1992, Ross Perot was at 7% in the polls, but he ended up with 19% in the election itself. In 2012, Indiana Libertarian US Senate nominee Andrew Horning got 6%, which I believe was higher than any poll had predicted. Also in 2012, Montana Libertarian US Senate nominee Dan Cox got 6.6%, and Missouri Libertarian US Senate nominee Jonathan Dine got 6.1%, and I don’t think polls predicted those results either.

  30. LP Observer

    Post # 27 is interesting. Good comparison to the 1%.
    Think 1970 and race for US Senate in New York.
    Think 1998 and race for Governor in Minnesota.

  31. Alex Snitker

    “This argument seems a bit futile. Is there a “I am running to lose” as the alternative to “I am running to win”?”

    Then you have not read what Steve Labianca has been saying. He is clear that he is not even going to try to win and is insulted if anyone says otherwise.

    “I have seen “I am running to win” used as a synonym for “I am running away from my party’s name, and not mentioning it in my literature”.”

    This is not the case as Adrian is switching people over to Libertarian at his campaign stops. Every article written about him has referenced he is a Libertarian. In interviews he is promoting the party. As a matter of fact, when interviewed by Peter Schiff, he challenged him on the whole GOP / LP issue. I believe that Adrian won that debate.

    “In Massachusetts, this is a Republican campaign ploy. Libertarian candidates who do this are a waste of our money.”

    And this has nothing to do with Adrian.

    “I have also seen the opposite. When Joe Kennedy ran for US Senate here, the party line under his name read “Liberty”, but he said “Libertarian”, the press said ” Libertarian”, and he advanced recognition for our party and its stands.”

    And Joe did a great job. Adrian is also doing a great job and will be the nominee.

  32. George Phillies

    Let me say it again. Almost all candidates are running to win, because there is almost no choice.

    An exception would be a candidate hired by to run and split someone’s vote, in order that a third person would win.

    In other words, “I am running to win” may be a lie, or not, but it is a nonsense statement because it has no content.

    Worse, it may as Richard Nixon perhaps discovered lead your supporters to conclude that winning is the objective, therefore there are no constraints on method, even those that weaken the party at a later date.

    With rare-to-unique exceptions, like the South Carolina state rep candidate in the last election, the insider objectives generally need to be more attached to reality.

  33. Matt Cholko

    Why would anybody want to bet their party membership? If we’re talking about party building here (which it seems we are), then I hope nobody takes that bet.

    On a more serious note, I’d like to point out a few things. I’m not sure that I’ve heard anyone say that Steve LaBianca and JWS are building the party, and Wyllie is not. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone suggest that Mr. Wyllie is doing a bad thing by going around FL and speaking to whatever groups will listen. I’m totally certain that I haven’t heard anyone suggest that Mr. Wyllie should get out of the race. The only thing I’m seeing are criticisms of some parts of his messaging.

    This thread amounts largely to an intra-LP discussion about candidates for a very significant political office. IMHO, it is an appropriate place for this kind of discussion to take place. Further, I do not think that people involved in these campaigns should be so defensive. Certainly, there is something to gain by listening to what other LP members (many of whom have been candidates for office and/or have been intimately involved in campaigns) have to say.

    Mr. Wyllie, I’m not aware of anyone suggesting that you set a goal of 1% of the vote. Personally, I don’t think vote total goals are good at all, regardless of the number. I’d prefer that your campaign set realistic goals that relate to party growth. In your state maybe that’s registered L voters, maybe its members, maybe its first time donors.

    Mr. Snitker, I certainly did not mean to suggest that the FL Governorship will never be winnable for a Libertarian. I thought that was made clear by my specific mention of the 2014 election. There is no realistic chance of it happening next year. Pretending that there is seems counter productive to me.

    I’m sure that Mr. Wyllie wants to win the election. Frankly, I want whoever the LP nominee is to win the election. But, wanting it to happen doesn’t mean it is realistically possible. To incorporate TK’s thoughts from above, let’s consider a message like this.

    “I believe FL needs a Libertarian Governor. I would like to be that Governor. I realize I am not likely to win in 2014, but winning this election is not the only victory to be had. We can bring the people of FL closer seeing liberty in their lifetimes by doing X, Y, and Z (party building or debate changing goals), and that is what I would like this campaign to do.”

    I’m thinking on the fly here, but something like this seems like a more productive position for an LP campaign to take.

  34. George Whitfield

    Very well put Alex and Adrian. I really appreciate what you are doing for the Libertarian Party in Florida. Keep up the good work and I will keep on helping out as best as I can.

  35. Mike Kane

    It should also be noted that Alex Snitker marketed himself as “The REAL Tea Party Candidate” in his 2010 US Senate Race against Marco Rubio

  36. Alex Snitker

    Mike, I did not market myself as that but did say that at the Florida Press Association Press Conference.

    I ran as the Libertarian candidate.

    Your comment is very disingenuous but I would expect nothing less from you.

  37. Starchild

    Over-Reliance on Number-Based Goals
    ————————————————————-

    This is not a comment on any specific candidate or campaign, but reading this thread has helped me clarify my thinking on something I’ve kind of intuitively understood for a while.

    Campaigns — including not just candidates seeking public office, but campaigns to raise money, bring in new members, etc. — often put too much focus on number-based goals, imho.

    Some people seem to feel that unless one sets numerical goal or goals, whether it’s getting 1%, 5%, or 50%+1 of the vote, bringing in some specific number of new members or registrants, or raising some specific amount of money, etc., that one is not “serious”.

    That reasoning just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. In cases where the chances of winning are, in fact, very low — as is often sadly the case when candidates who don’t belong to the dominant two-party cartel seek partisan office in the U.S. — the notion that a candidate who says “I’m running to win” and accordingly sets a goal in terms of number of votes or percentage of the vote to obtain is somehow more serious than one who does not is rather laughable. Anyone doubting this assertion has only to compare such candidate slogans with actual election results.

    The obsession too many Libertarians still have with being “serious” or “being taken seriously” is an albatross of its own, and much more can be said about that (as I have done before and probably will again in another essay). But to the extent that trying to determine the “seriousness” of a political effort is actually a productive inquiry, it seems to me that being aware of reality, and acknowledging reality to oneself and others, are more important criteria for evaluating whether or not a campaign is serious, than whether it has fixed numerical goal(s).

    The reality underlying the fixation that campaigns often have with goals, I think, is that some people simply feel more comfortable fully engaging in an effort when they have a specific numerical goal or benchmark they are aiming for. Nothing wrong with that per se. The problem comes when they mistake this personal psychological preference for a universally applicable truth about how to be more effective.

    If numbers are what makes you tick, by all means set a goal in your head at whatever level you think will be most effective at maximizing your personal efforts, i.e. seek the optimal balance between an insufficiently ambitious low number that might cause you to not try as hard as you would if you were aiming higher, and an unrealistically high number that might also cause you not to try as hard because it seems unachievable, or that could result in depression, burn-out, or a scaling back of future efforts when it doesn’t materialize. Don’t assume however that just because you’ve identified a particular goal that’s optimal for motivating yourself, that making it an official public goal will be optimal for your campaign!

    Of course there are times when trying to reach a specific number does make sense for a campaign as a whole. For instance if you’re trying to buy an item that costs $1,519.25, then that’s the amount of money you need to raise (minus whatever funds you already have available).

    But when numbers are largely arbitrary and/or unrealistic, I think campaigns do themselves a disservice by setting one-size-fits-all numerical goals and then spending time and resources talking about and fixating on those goals.

    Why? Because any time/resources you spend talking about the number(s) you’re trying to reach is time/resources taken away from talking about your message. And time/resources spent measuring your progress toward a goal is time/resources taken away from actually doing the work.

    For those who don’t rely on short-term, measurable goals for their motivation, there is one simple goal which is suitable for just about any circumstance: Do the best that you realistically can.

    Making this the overall goal of your effort and letting the numbers people set their own internal numerical goals can help you avoid the negative consequences that often result from an overly technocratic approach that can waste your time and diminish the effectiveness of your campaign, diminish the energy that will be available for the freedom movement on an ongoing basis after your campaign is over, or both.

  38. Jose C

    Everyone:

    In the California Governor’s election of 1978 Libertarian Ed Clark received 5.6% of the vote. He ran against Governor Jerry Brown and Republican Evel Younger. Ed Clark established vote totals for an alternative party that had not been seen since the (Bull Moose) Progressive Party of the early 1900’s. 1978 the Libertarian Party was not a ballot qualified party in California. That fact makes Ed Clark’s vote total even more significant. Ed Clark did not suggest while campaigning that he would not win or his goal was 1% of the vote. If he had would he have received 5.6%. I do not think so.

    In 1980 Presidential candidate Ed Clark was in a famous television add that had him being asked if he could be elected President. Ed Clark answered, – I am parafrasing – “If everyone seeing this add who agrees with what I am saying votes for me I cannot help but do well.” Should Ed Clark have suggested he had no chance of being elected President? If he had would he have done as well? I do not think so.

    In the election of 1980 Ed Clark’s position on improving education was using tuition tax credits. He said this would give parents a choice in directing the school their children would attend. This would create competition and would force schools to improve which would improve the education children would receive. And this would improve American competitiveness in the world. Was he wrong? Should he have instead talked about abolishing public schools? How receptive would the voters have been to that?

    One can campaign on an anarchist platform of abolishing government in it;s institutions such as the police department, fire department, schools, and libraries but how receptive would the voters be to that. I would say not very.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    45 s, yes, much wisdom in your post. There is probably a sense of balance needed for any activity between discerning an intention, establishing metrics, and doing the activity.

    A L could spend very little time on the first two and decide to spend every day toting his/her soapbox down to a busy street corner where he/she can give a speech decrying the cult of the omnipotent state (which TK tells us DOES exist in the Ba’athist Party, but apparently not in the US, aside from a dead conservative pundit).

    Such an approach may swing too far in one direction. Overthinking and overmeasuring might swing too far in the other direction.

    I do think that MUCH work needs to be done on thinking through intentions, though. If one doesn’t get that straight in one’s head, whatever flows from confusion is unlikely to be something that was a productive use of one’s time. Hence my campaign for a rethink of L-ism(s) and a serviceable L approach to politics.

  40. Marc Montoni

    There have been Libertarian candidates who received some actual PROFESSIONAL coaching on the “can you win” question. You know, coaching by political operatives who had managed actual winning campaigns, and had a clue as to what they were talking about.

    Ed Clark, for instance, had such coaching.

    Adrian and every other candidate would do well to do the same; because this amateurish insistence that we’re going to win while out-funded and out-volunteered by factors of 50 to 1 or 100 to 1 is just plain silliness.

    I’m glad Adrian is willing to take the battle to the statists — but the LP needs his volunteers and donors to stick around to support the candidate in the NEXT election. If you oversell yourself, they won’t stick around.

  41. paulie

    In Steve LaBianca’s defense, if Gary Johnson couldn’t win 1% in the state of Florida (winning only .53%, about 45000 votes), why the hell would any statewide candidate expect to exceed 1% in a mid-term election.

    LP Candidates for Governor usually do significantly better than LP presidential ticket. The further down ticket we go, the better we do on average.

    If a big name former governor couldn’t get 1%, why should some schmuck expect any different.

    Big name? Quick, without a web search: who were Governor(s) of Idaho in 1994-2002?

    If you live or lived in Idaho, pick a different state.

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