Marc Allan Feldman declares candidacy for Libertarian presidential nomination

Marc Allan Feldman, an anesthesiologist who ran for Ohio state treasurer in 2014 and Ohio attorney general in 2010, has officially declared himself a candidate for the 2016 Libertarian presidential nomination. His opening statement explaining his biography and reasons for running can be read on his campaign website under the title “Live Life Without Fear.”

157 thoughts on “Marc Allan Feldman declares candidacy for Libertarian presidential nomination

  1. Jed Ziggler

    “Wait… what?”

    Reminds me of “Who am I? Why am I here?”

    “We have to be different, and we can be. Technology makes it possible. Political campaigning is communication. The cost of mass communication has gone from millions of dollars to almost nothing. The Libertarian Party needed a candidate to run for Ohio Attorney General, and although I am a physician, not an attorney, I agreed to help. I used the opportunity to test campaign technology.”

    In the age of social media & crowd funding, it is much easier to launch a visible campaign than even 10 years ago. Not sure that it will translate into a grassroots minor party or independent candidate being elected to major office in the near future, but it helps.

  2. paulie

    Glad to hear we have some more competition in the race.

    Sorry I published my article so soon after this one, I had actually been working on it on and off for several hours and did not even know this one was in the pipeline.

  3. Austin Cassidy

    “The cost of mass communication has gone from millions of dollars to almost nothing.”

    Uhhh…. not really.

  4. Darcy G Richardson

    In the 1960s, young people were told not to trust anybody over thirty. In Feldman’s case, I would argue that nobody should trust anyone who wasn’t politically involved by the time they were thirty — and that’s being generous.

    While Feldman’s educational background seems rather impressive, I don’t know how young most IPR readers were when they first became politically active — I had already waged several campaigns, including a couple of statewide campaigns, long before I was twenty-five — but the age of fifty seems awfully late in one’s life to suddenly become politically engaged.

    Fifty isn’t exactly coming of age.

    Seriously, how is it possible for somebody not to have heard of the Libertarian Party prior to 2009?

    Even if one truly believed the whole system was corrupt — and it certainly is — why didn’t Feldman look for political alternatives and at least cast an occasional protest vote? We’ve all done that, more times than we care to remember. Moreover, we all lead busy lives, so that’s not a legitimate excuse….and, besides, a lot of people sacrificed a lot to give us that right.

    It’s a cherished right and the only truly constructive way for political minorities of all stripes to express their discontent with the status quo.

    Rocks — even the sedimentary kind — are important in geological formation, but living under one shouldn’t be a qualification for the highest office in the land.

  5. paulie

    I was very politically involved at a very young age, but I can understand the cynicism that leads some people not to be, at any age.

    And I have met plenty of people of all ages who hadn’t heard of us. Although we are better known than a few years ago, that’s still true now.

    I’m not going to hold that against him.

    As an interesting (well, at least to me) side note, I have registered people in their 80s and 90s and at least one person over 100 years old to vote for the very first time in their lives. It’s a lot easier to do that with someone who is younger though. Lifelong non-voters tend to stay that way….the more so the older they get.

  6. Darcy G Richardson

    That’s wonderful, Paulie. It really is, and you’re to be commended for registering them to vote. That’s particularly cool about the centenarian. I’m assuming, of course, that none of those late bloomers that you registered to vote for the first time in their lives suddenly decided they wanted to run for President.

    The cynicism is understandable, but do we really want folks who had never heard of the country’s third largest party until a few years ago suddenly running for President on that party’s ticket? It also begs the question. What else don’t they know?

    If so, please stop the merry-go-round now. I want off… I think I’ve had enough of this carnival.

  7. paulie

    I’m assuming none of those late bloomers that you registered to vote for the first time in their lives suddenly decided they want to run for President.

    Probably not. But if they had, more power to them!

    The cynicism is understandable, but do we really want folks who had never heard of the country’s third largest party until a few years ago suddenly running for President?

    Would they do worse than career politicians, career social climbers, silver spoon types, or for that matter career gadflies like myself? Maybe, maybe not.

    I seriously doubt that winning the presidency in 2016 will become plausible, so I am more interested in how well Dr. Feldman can do in interviews and debates (unlikely that we’ll get into the D/R debates, but we can debates Gs, Cs, etc), how good he’ll be at earning media coverage, how creative he can be in his advertising, to what extent he’ll use his campaign to build the LP at all levels, whether he will share his campaign database with the LP in as real time as possible, how good he will be at getting people to join and become active with the party – those sorts of questions. Should he somehow find himself in a position to actually realistically compete for the presidency, which seems wildly unlikely (sorry for my own cynicism there), I’d be most interested in knowing how good he is at crisis decisionmaking, consensus building, picking a good team of people to surround himself with and managing them well. Those would also be considerations in whether I would end up supporting him for the nomination.

  8. Darcy G. Richardson

    Paulie,

    You’ve always been an open-minded and generously spirited individual, willing to give almost anybody the benefit of the doubt. That’s one of the things I’ve always admired about you.

    Keeping in mind that competition is usually a good thing, if there’s going to be a long-shot challenger to former Gov. Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination next year — and I’m not necessarily saying there should be — I would probably prefer Darryl Perry.

    Darryl started in politics at a fairly early age — he ran for Pennsylvania state treasurer on the Libertarian ticket when he was barely 26 — and has been deeply engaged in the issues ever since. Unlike Feldman, he’s not some sort of Johnny-come-lately to the Libertarian Party or the libertarian movement. He was aware of the party and movement when he was in junior high school, if not earlier. Darryl began his political journey at a pretty young age and has demonstrated an impressive grasp of the issues, as substantive in his analysis of most of the paramount issues facing the country today as almost anybody in the party.

    I suppose we’ll see how Feldman does…

  9. Martin Passoli

    I welcome both Dr. Feldman and Mr. Perry to the competition, and wish them both luck. I hope Gov. Johnson seeks the nomination again as well, but I certainly don’t want him (or anyone else) to get it by default.

  10. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Do many people assume that Gary Johnson will be the LP’s pick for 2016?

  11. Jill Pyeatt

    Interesting concern, Darcy. You might be interested to know that I didn’t become politically active until my 40’s, only about a dozen years ago. I had heard of the Libertarian Party and will never run for President, but my “calling” came after starting a businesss and starting my little family. I also believe that it’s easy for a physician to stay wrapped up in his medical world.

    I wish Dr. Feldman luck, and am looking forward to getting to know him better!

  12. Mark Axinn

    Yes.

    But one never knows what will happen over the next sixteen months.

    Nobody predicted Mr. Badnarick, including himself, until the 2004 Convention.

  13. Martin Passoli

    I think it’s pretty likely that Johnson will run, and if he runs, I think it is pretty likely that he will get the nomination, but I am not assuming either one.

  14. paulie

    BlogTalkRadio

    Join The Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network on Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 7 PM Eastern as they welcome just-announced Libertarian Presidential Candidate Marc Allan Feldman. We’ll also be discussing the new Virginia Ballot Access Bills, the Libertarian Party Lawsuit in New Hampshire, and much, much more! You won’t want to miss a minute of tonight’s show. The call in number is: (347)-994-2949. Please feel free to call in with your thoughts, comments, or questions. You can listen “LIVE” online by clicking on the following link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/olddominionlibertarian/2015/01/06/the-grassroots-presidential-campaign-of-marc-allan-feldman

  15. Austin Cassidy

    This guy didn’t register to vote until he was 50, basically when he decided to run for office. I think Darcy is absolutely right to be somewhat offended by that idea.

    I appreciate that he’s a doctor and has a more credible background than someone employed as a freelance skydiving instructor. Credentials and experience are always helpful when trying to be taken seriously.

    He joined the party and ran a paper campaign for statewide office in Ohio, finishing fourth in a four-way race behind a Constitution Party candidate. Then he tried to run for statewide office again in 2014, but he failed to make it on the ballot.

    Now he’s running for President with promises of a no cost campaign that will reach the masses via this thing he discovered — it’s called the Internet.

    Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Technology has lowered the cost of organizing campaigns and democratized communication in a lot of ways, but posting a video on YouTube is not the same as running a television ad on commercial TV.

    Luckily, I think the Libertarian Party has grown past the point where a guy like this will be taken too seriously. He’ll join the long list of people who announce they’re going to run for President and then just sort of fade away.

  16. Mark Axinn

    >I appreciate that he’s a doctor and has a more credible background than someone employed as a freelance skydiving instructor. Credentials and experience are always helpful when trying to be taken seriously.

    Absolutely, which is why I would take him seriously on matters of medicine about which he knows much more than I do and has devoted years of work and study.

    >I think the Libertarian Party has grown past the point where a guy like this will be taken too seriously. He’ll join the long list of people who announce they’re going to run for President and then just sort of fade away.

    Sorta like, Hi, I am here, so please give me the keys to the store. Not every candidate has to be a member since 1972, but perhaps the ink should be dry on someone’s membership application before we consider him as a potential candidate.

  17. AndyCraig

    In the relatively unlikely event that Johnson doesn’t seek (and easily win) the nomination, I would expect that the eventual nominee will be somebody who enters the race at that point, rather than one of the already-announced anti-Johnsons. Feldman seems like a nice enough guy, and sincere, but this whole thing screams “naive vanity campaign”

  18. AndyCraig

    I also don’t expect delegates to be impressed with a promise to run a YouTube/Facebook campaign at little to no cost, as if that’s a new idea.

  19. paulie

    BlogTalkRadio

    Join The Old Dominion Libertarian Radio Network on Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 7 PM Eastern as they welcome just-announced Libertarian Presidential Candidate Marc Allan Feldman. We’ll also be discussing the new Virginia Ballot Access Bills, the Libertarian Party Lawsuit in New Hampshire, and much, much more! You won’t want to miss a minute of tonight’s show. The call in number is: (347)-994-2949. Please feel free to call in with your thoughts, comments, or questions. You can listen “LIVE” online by clicking on the following link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/olddominionlibertarian/2015/01/06/the-grassroots-presidential-campaign-of-marc-allan-feldman

    Starts in about a minute…

  20. paulie

    At 21 minutes Feldman comes up with a…er, unique…approach to ballot access, and says he wants to try it in Oklahoma. The actual question was whether he would travel around the country to campaign, but he answered about ballot access. He will recruit 8 regional coordinators, who will recruit state coordinators, on down 8 or 10 different levels, and down at the lowest level people will get 5 or 6 signatures each from their immediate neighbors. That will get him on the ballot nationwide. Good luck with that approach. He also says he will not accept donations over $5.

  21. paulie

    Feldman’s tax plan if I understand him correctly: he will keep existing federal taxes at present levels, AND add a flat rate federal sales tax for the purpose of paying down the debt. The new tax will supposedly be done away with after the debt is paid off. I did not hear spending reduction as a part of that discussion, unless I missed it.

  22. AndyCraig

    That will go over about as well as Gravel running as a Libertarian for single-payer. As for ballot access… well, good luck with that. I’ve seen other candidates at the state/district level articulate a similar “I only need X people to get a small number each” plan. It did not end well.

  23. Matt Cholko

    Well, I don’t want to write anyone off without giving them a fair shot. But, if paraphrased correctly by Paulie, that ballot access plan, and the tax stuff……….

  24. paulie

    I was multi-tasking while I listened. If anyone else wants to give it a listen and confirm, correct or add to my impressions, please do so.

  25. Marc Allan Feldman

    Hi guys.
    I was sure somebody would see my website, but I did not expect a summary of the radio show I was invited to participate in just this afternoon.
    I love people, all kinds of people, and especially Libertarians. If you want to have any kind of leadership role with Libertarians, you have to have a thick skin. I don’t think you will find a thicker skinned guy. Feel free to let loose on me, I can take it. Try to be gentler on others and each other.
    I admit I was a non-Voter until age 50. Yes, the first time I registered to vote was because I had to in order to run for office. It was the first time I had a candidate who I trusted. It did not help that I grew up in Washington, DC, and knew several Congressmen and one Senator personally. I was a pre-teen with Viet Nam and Watergate. I never trusted government, for good reason. There is a lot of good facts and quite a bit of misinformation above. I will try to address a few points. below.
    One thing I will tell you – I will see this through to the Convention. I may change many tactics, but I will not compromise my principles. So if you don’t like me already, get used to it.

  26. paulie

    And please get a better pic. You should be able to pull something off VotesNotForSale.com

    I changed it to the one you have there.

  27. paulie

    There is a lot of good facts and quite a bit of misinformation above.

    If any of the misinformation was from my listening to the radio show it was not intentional. Please do correct any and all errors.

  28. Marc Allan Feldman

    The most important error is the suggestion that I would not immediately cut spending. I would immediately cut government spending and delay any government payments going out. You have seen that government debt clock? I would like to see it stop dead. Then start going backwards. It is doable.

  29. paulie

    The most important error is the suggestion that I would not immediately cut spending. I would immediately cut government spending and delay any government payments going out. You have seen that government debt clock? I would like to see it stop dead. Then start going backwards. It is doable.

    Thanks for clearing that up. All I said was that I did not hear you say that as part of your answer to the radio interview. I also said that it is possible you did say it and that I missed it. I have no intention of misrepresenting your positions, and I am glad you favor spending cuts. What level of spending cuts do you think you can realistically shoot for within a presidential term or two?

  30. Matt Cholko

    Marc,

    I have a couple of questions.

    Do you favor adding a national sales tax?

    Is Paulie’s summary of your ballot access plan accurate? If not, please let me know what your plan is, if you have one? (FYI – I would not think any less of you for not having a plan of your own in this regard)

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.

  31. Marc Allan Feldman

    One great power the President has and rarely uses. The power NOT to spend money. The President is the chief executive. Spending is an executive function. Congress authorizes it, but the President spends it, or decides not to. I would balance the budget on Day 1. This might require a partial government shut down, furloughs, delaying payments to contractors, etc. I have an interesting plan to drastically cut taxes and spending simultaneously, I will post on that tomorrow.

  32. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Matt Cholko: I would not “add” any tax. In so far as an added tax means transfering private assets towards government spending. But we do have a national debt problem. The interest on the debt is a significant fraction of the budget, even though interest rates are at historic lows. The debt will be paid in the future, and that means taxes. Once the budget is balanced, I favor the idea of a type of national sales tax if and only if every dollar of the revenue would go toward debt (ie future tax with interest) reduction.
    It has been established that the most important and effective technique is boots on the ground knocking on doors. I believe the new NationBuilder infrastructure platform could facilitate and a pyramidal grassroots organization that could be successful. I am planning to attempt it in Oklahoma because I think it would be a great test case.

  33. Jill Pyeatt

    Dr. Feldman, if you were President, would you continue to give to give money to Israel?

  34. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Jill Pyeatt. Yes I would continue to give money to Israel, and very generously, from my own personal checkbook. Financial assistance to people overseas is very important and I encourage all Americans to do it freely and generously. I think the correct amount for federal government aid to Israel, and all other countries should be reduced to zero.

  35. Rob Banks

    Are you planning to do anything about the federal reserve/bankster cartel manipulation of money supply and debt? If so, what?

  36. Mike Kane

    A new national sales tax, or the “Fair tax” , or the fraud tax, aren’t Libertarian. While I’ve heard good things about Mr. Feldman, and I’ve visited his website, I cannot in good faith support him at this time.

    The LP needs a bold radical candidate who talks about cutting government by 90 percent or more day one (not balancing the budget). It’s the only way the LP will influence politics on the national stage.

    Gary Johnson, Judge Gray, aren’t the right guys. And at this point, unless something changes, Mr. Feldman isn’t the right guy either.

  37. Mike Kane

    ps: Mr. Feldman, if and when the debt issue becomes an issue, it will be monetized. Looking at the numbers, there’s no way the US government ever pays down the national debt without hyperinflation, at least in my lifetime.

  38. langa

    Dr. Feldman, I just happened to run across an article (written by Ron Paul) listing ten policy recommendations for 2015. Even though the article is directed toward Congress, these are issues that any prospective presidential candidate should certainly have an opinion about.

    So, I was wondering if you could take a couple of minutes to read the article, and tell us if there are any issues where you disagree, and if so, give a brief explanation as to why you disagree. I think this would help us to get a handle on where you stand on what I (and probably a lot of other LP members) consider to be some of the more important issues in the upcoming year.

    The article is here: http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/january/04/ten-new-year-s-resolutions-for-congress/

  39. Andy Craig Post author

    “””One great power the President has and rarely uses. The power NOT to spend money. The President is the chief executive. Spending is an executive function. Congress authorizes it, but the President spends it, or decides not to. I would balance the budget on Day 1.”””

    That is not how that works. There are some areas where Congress has delegated such discretion to the executive in the form of fact-finding determinations, but as a general matter the President can’t refuse to spend money Congress has told him to spend. If, for example, Congress passes a law that says I get $1000 from the the treasury, and the President refuses to give me that money, I can sue, and will promptly win, because you’re depriving me of something I’m clearly entitled to under the law. At which point our hypothetical President just lost the shortest and silliest constitutional crisis ever provoked.

  40. Marc Allan Feldman

    @langa:
    Thank you for the nice short Ron Paul article. He suggests Congress should act to:
    1) Bring the troops home.
    2) Pass the Audit the Fed bill
    3) Repeal the PATRIOT Act and rein in the National Security Agency
    4) Shut down the Transportation Security Administration
    5) End all corporate welfare
    6) Repeal and Replace Obamacare
    7) End police militarization
    8) Shut down the Department of Education
    9) Allow individuals to opt out
    10) Allow state governments to opt out

    My only disagreement is that I would not wait for Congress to act.

  41. Marc Allan Feldman

    @andy craig, You are right that the issue is not so simple. It is the concept of “Presidential impoundment” and it has been an issue since President Jefferson. Clearly legislative functions are reserved for Congress. The President does not have the power to pick and choose which programs to fund. However, the President has “the power to limit expenditures to accommodate total money available” “Controlling inherent Presidential Power: Providing a Framework for Judicial Review”. “In the past (but no longer), the president was able to impound funds
    as he saw fit. The power was available to all presidents and was regarded as a power inherent to the office. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 was passed in response to large-scale power exercises by President Nixon. ”
    The power of the president to limit overall expenditures at a time of severe economic urgency has not been tested, and is far from the “silliest constitutional crisis”. The President is also charged with special authority over urgent National Security issues. When the nations debt is recognized as the number one threat to national security, it is not unreasonable to expect the President to act, while Congress considers approval of the Presidential Budget proposal.
    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65432

  42. Joe Wendt

    I like some of the things Mr Feldman is saying, and IMHO would be an improvement over Johnson and Gray. If Moulton or Phillies do not run, I can find Feldman as an attractive alternative to them for the nomination, although I do prefer Darryl Perry’s stances on the issues.

  43. Marc Allan Feldman

    @AndyCraig: The article on my blog referred to in your intro above has been edited. The new title is “Live Life Without Fear”. I would appreciate it if you would update.

  44. Andy Craig Post author

    Thanks for updating as necessary, paulie.

    @Marc Allan Feldman. I don’t dislike what I’m hearing, and though I think ultimately there’s a good and more solid argument for the President not having that power, at least you seem aware of the complications and history with the “I’ll balance the budget on Day 1” pledge.

    Others have mentioned the comparison, but I’ll ask the question directly: I’m somebody strongly leaning towards supporting Gov. Johnson for the ’16 nomination. What do you offer, in terms of either message or strategy, that could convince myself and other supporters of Johnson (who were and likely still are a majority), to repudiate him in favor of yourself? What would you do differently, and what would you say differently, in a general election campaign? How you define yourself relative to the presumptive front-runner seems like the obvious question at this point for anybody wanting to be the 2016 nominee, and unless I missed it you haven’t directly addressed that.

    At the risk of over-generalization, it seems there are roughly two main complaints you hear about Johnson from those who want another nominee- either that he isn’t radically/consistently libertarian enough, and/or that he isn’t an effective campaigner. I don’t agree with either, but I don’t see how your candidacy really addresses either of those complaints.

  45. Rob Banks

    Any plans to jail the Wall Street criminals who stole trillions and wrecked the economy? Or to bring publicity to the issue?

    Will you use your campaign to highlight civil asset forfeiture? fully informed juries? If elected how would you deal with such issues?

    Do you have a plan to bring in people who have traditionally been under-represented in the LP through various demographic characteristics, or just ignore such issues as irrelevant?

  46. Joshua Katz

    Rob – I think your last point (traditionally under-represented groups in the LP) should be a tremendous priority, regardless of nominee. Another name for under-represented group is “opportunity.” It is very important that we do a better job of messaging the fact that liberty is best for everyone, and that only liberty will help those who are promised the most, and harmed the most, by proponents of big government.

  47. Marc Allan Feldman

    @AndyCraig. Gary Johnson deserves our appreciation for being one of the best Presidential candidates the LP ever had. I do not ask anyone to repudiate him. I am a supporter of Gary and up until January 1, I agreed to serve as the Ohio director of the Our America Initiative. If Gary wins the LP nomination, he will have my full support.
    On the other hand, I was very disappointed by the result of the last election. Although Gary was the best candidate running, he received only 1% of the vote, and his campaign did not lead to a significant increase in the number of members or the financial contributions to the Libertarian Party. Unfortunately, I do not see evidence that 2016 would be different.
    In many ways, Gary is a traditional candidate and he runs a traditional campaign. He raised two million dollars, half from large donors and half from small donors. He put together coalitions of special interest groups Marriage Equality, Cannabis users, gun enthusiasts, etc. These groups have affinity for the Libertarian perspective, and I certainly agree with having them in a coalition. But it is still playing the partisan game of getting the campaign money from special interests while promising to help them get the goods they want after the elections.
    I am a non-traditional candidate, and I refuse to play the partisan special interest game. I accept no campaign funds from corporations, PACs, or special interests. The maximum donation I accept from anybody is $5. My campaign website is not Feldman for President, it is Votes Not For Sale. This really is not about me. I am just a guy not afraid to step up.
    The Democrats and the Republicans will never be afraid of Gary Johnson or even Rand Paul. They know how to beat them. Tney can outspend them, out-advertise, and show that they are more credible with more government executive experience.
    But if I win it is a different story. If I win it means raising money from special interests is a liability. If I win it means government experience in the corrupt two-party system is a liability. If I win they would be fighting me at a new game, integrity, principles, and dedication to making the hard decisions to put our country back on track. If the election is about fundraising, government experience, or traditional campaigning, we don’t have a snowballs chance in Hell. If we can change the game so the the election is about integrity, sacrifice, humility, courage, and dedication to principles, then we really could win. Stranger things have happened.

  48. Andy Craig Post author

    “People will flock to me because they admire how upstanding and righteous I am for not taking contributions or spending money.” has *never* worked. Not once, for Libertarians and non-Libertarians alike, and plenty of both have tried it before. It doesn’t make you uniquely courageous and principled, it makes you the same as the other 330 million Americans who won’t be elected President. Ballot access alone will be a major expense, and no matter how you slice it there is no way to get on the ballot in the 20 more states we need for free or near-free. Unless we’re supposed to be content with missing a dozen or more states in 2016.

    From what it sounds like, and correct me if I’m wrong here, you’re saying that if you win the nomination you wouldn’t travel away from your home state to campaign, at least not much. Which means state and local affiliates would not got the significant boost of hosting the Presidential nominee at an event in their state/city, nor would state LP conventions be able to do the same to attract potential new members. It kind of sounds like your plan is just to ride whatever minimal earned media comes your way be virtue of being the Libertarian nominee, while doing very little to build on that. Which just doesn’t strike me as a recipe for success.

    I also disagree that Johnson didn’t bring in “significant” new support to the party. Aside from Ron Paul, whose star is fading, Johnson is the main influence named by new people coming to the party, at least in my experience. Among the rank-and-file members of the party, more-so than the semi-professional LP activist cohort, he’s still very popular. His vote total might not have been as high as we wanted, but it was still over twice the usual baseline, and the party in 2014 had the best mid-term showing of any third party in 100 years, and easily the best in LP history. I think the fact that he actively works with other groups and tries to build a coalition centered around libertarian policy is a good thing, not something to be spurned as an example of being too “traditional” or politics-as-usual. And I think complaints that he didn’t do enough to grow the party, ignore that he’s done more along those lines (including after the election) than any of our other nominees, with the possible partial exception of Harry Browne (our other two-time nominee). I don’t think this can all be chalked up to him being an ex-Governor, either, though that does bring important value added. Other third parties ran an ex-Congressman and a former major-city mayor in 2012, neither got more than a tenth of a percent of the vote or even 270+EV ballot access.

    Sorry if this seems a bit harsh, that’s not my intention, but I think it’s a safe assumption that the same criticisms would be voiced by many in Orlando if it looked like you might possibly win the nomination.

  49. Matt Cholko

    What is the point of not taking contributions greater than $5?

    I can’t see you raising more than $50,000 that way, which is totally useless in POTUS campaign terms. I strongly suggest that you reconsider this idea, as it is a sure fire way to not accomplish anything.

  50. Martin Passoli

    Marc Feldman’s website linked above says Charlie Earl is the first of his regional coordinators, for Region 3 (the districts correspond with LNC regions).

  51. Gene Berkman

    ” He put together coalitions of special interest groups Marriage Equality, Cannabis users, gun enthusiasts, etc. These groups have affinity for the Libertarian perspective, and I certainly agree with having them in a coalition. But it is still playing the partisan game of getting the campaign money from special interests while promising to help them get the goods they want after the elections>”

    Of course the reason anyone supports a candidate is to “get what they want” after the election. The important difference is that the “special interest” groups mentioned that Gary Johnson made an outreach too want freedom as the result of their support for the Libertarian candidate. Freedom constitutes “the goods they want after the election.” Why is that a problem?

  52. Marc Allan Feldman

    There is a difference between voting for a candidate because you think it is in the best *general* interest of the country, and voting for a candidate because he or she supports a *special* interest of yours that is at the expense of the interests of your fellow citizens. I believe we all have to make sacrifices to get this country back on track. Everybody. That is the kind of candidate I want to vote for. Since there wasn’t one, I am running.

  53. paulie

    I don’t see how any of the examples above amount to Gary Johnson supporting “a *special* interest of yours that is at the expense of the interests of your fellow citizens.” At whose expense in which cases mentioned?

  54. Marc Allan Feldman

    A new Marijuana tax to support massive intrusive government spending is not an increase in freedom.
    New special tax and other benefits for same-sex married couples, at the expense of single people is not an increase in freedom.
    Getting 5% of the vote so that he can qualify to feed at the Federal Matching Fund trough is not an increase in freedom.
    Gary is a great candidate. If he wins the Libertarian nomination, I will support him and vote for him.
    But, I think we can do better. That’s my opinion.

  55. paulie

    Regarding marijuana, see discussion in comments at https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/12/judge-gray-addresses-jim-webb-speculation/ … was repeal of alcohol prohibition an increase in freedom even though it is still taxed and regulated? I would say so. If you disagree, would you favor outlawing alcohol? Caffeine? Tobacco? Milk? After all that would mean less taxes from their sales tax revenue. But wait, what about all the property confiscation, fines, and forced labor that government collects when these are outlawed? What about all the debt it piles on in part by scaring people with drug war propaganda into supporting prohibitionist spending at all levels of government?

    Regarding marriage, was Loving v. Virginia a step forward for freedom? This was the 1967 US Supreme Court case that ended state laws outlawing so-called interracial marriage. Some states still had those laws that recently. I’d say it was a step forward for freedom. If you disagree, do you want to appoint justices who would reverse this ruling?

    BTW Gary told me he has learned his lesson as far as matching funds go and favor the Harry Browne approach on that now.

  56. Gene Berkman

    I seriously doubt that enough can be collected from taxing marijuana to fund “massive intrusive government spending.” Part of the revenue will go to funding the regulatory apparatus, and hopefully the rest can be used to cover existing deficits or fund tax cuts.

    While libertarians would like to see deregulated marijuana, most people will not accept such a situation. Proposing legalization with regulation similar to beer and wine is the best we can hope for, and it is better than facing arrest, fines, prison and asset forfeiture.

    My experience of many years in The Libertarian Party is that people who think they would be good candidates, but lack the stature, experience and assets of a better known candidate, try to appear more “radical” or more “principled.” Sometimes they are more radical, less often they are more principled, but people sometimes confuse the two.

    If you want to show that being “radical” or being “principled” is a successful strategy for libertarian political action, please show some success in a more local race before you offer the Libertarian Party the chance to go down in flames backing you as a candidate.

  57. Martin Passoli

    I would still like to hear more details of the tax/spending/debt and ballot access plans. Can you provide more details than you have so far?

  58. Marc Allan Feldman

    @AndyCraig Thank you for your ringing endorsement, although I know you did not mean it that way. When you say I am not “uniquely courageous and principled” but that I am “the same as the other 330 million Americans who won’t be elected President.” that is exactly the message that I am trying to get across. And if enough people believe it, believe in themselves, and believe in me, I will be the next President.

  59. Rob Banks

    I think the questions you are choosing to not answer so far say a lot, especially if you don’t end up answering them.

  60. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Rob Banks. I try to think about issues before talking about them. There are many issues that I can rattle on about right off the cuff, because I have already had hours of discussions with many people about them. Other things I have to take more time with. You ask good questions, and you seem very interested, so I will try to catch up.
    “Are you planning to do anything about the federal reserve/bankster cartel manipulation of money supply and debt? If so, what?”
    I am learning more about money. My current understanding is that the money supply is actually very difficult to control centrally, because of credit cards, interbank loans, etc. I think it is important to stabilize and support our currency, whether by basing it on commodities, or through fiscal policy, or both, and I need to investigate more. I am just starting to read a book Money: the Unauthorized Biography. I like this comment:

    “‘Money is often held to have arisen as a solution to the shortcomings of barter: traders needed a universally acceptable ‘medium of exchange.’ In this lively history-cum-polemic, Martin says that the theory is ‘entirely false,’ and that the essence of monetary exchange is not ‘the swapping of goods and services for this commodity medium’ but a ‘system of credit accounts and their clearing.'”

    Our debt is the greatest threat to our national security. If elected President, the first day I would submit a balanced budget to Congress. Because of the nature of the urgent situation, I would not wait. Via executive order I would implement across-the-board spending cuts to
    match incoming revenue. Once those protections are in place, I would look carefully at options to pay down our debt, to include:
    1. A new fee (value-added tax, consumption tax, national sales tax, or Fair tax), the least damaging tax possible. As I understand it, this is not really a tax, any more than paying off your credit card balance is an expense. When government borrows money and spends it, it has already taxed the People. We already have a share in that debt.
    2. Declare it invalid, essentially confiscating the funds from those who lent them to us. This may be reasonable in certain circumstances where the lenders were fraudulent or have already stolen from the U.S.
    3. Print more money to pay it off, devaluing the currency and essentially stealing the funds from everyone with currency-based assets.
    4. Selling real government assets, transferring them from public control to some
    private interests. Again this may be appropriate in some circumstances where the assets may be much more valuable in private than in public hands.

    None of these options are necessarily pleasant, but I would leave them all on the table to consider for decision-making.

  61. Marc Allan Feldman

    “Any plans to jail the Wall Street criminals who stole trillions and wrecked the economy? Or to bring publicity to the issue?”

    I try to keep an open mind, but as you have probably figured out, I am not a fan of our current criminal “justice” system. What you suggest sounds like a great way to put a lower level financial functionary in minimal security prison (Club Fed), while channeling millions of dollars to the attorneys on both sides. And the real perpetrators will still get off. This is one case where I hope I am proven wrong.

  62. Marc Allan Feldman

    “Will you use your campaign to highlight civil asset forfeiture? fully informed juries? If elected how would you deal with such issues?”
    Yes and yes. I consider the American people to be the 4th branch of government, and a critically important check and balance. The Jury system is one example.

    I would deal with these and other issues through a continuous program of “integrity testing” also known as “stings”. Stings used against private citizens often amount to incitement to crime and entrapment. But used against public officials is very appropriate for motivation and information gathering and continuous systematic quality improvement.

  63. Marc Allan Feldman

    “Do you have a plan to bring in people who have traditionally been under-represented in the LP through various demographic characteristics, or just ignore such issues as irrelevant?”

    Absolutely. One example is a group who should be our natural partners, the formerly incarcerated. Who understands better the corruption in centralized power and control? The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. America’s prisons are the new plantations. Shouldn’t they be Libertarians?

    Another group are the inner city residents. They see everyday the decay of their community resources and their environment. Although they have been solidly liberal and Democrat in the past, where has that gotten them?

  64. paulie

    I’d like to start a thread for yourself (Marc), Darryl Perry and Keenan Wallace Dunham, all announced candidates for the nomination, to talk to each other as well as the rest of us. Marc, and Darryl and Keenan if you see this, are you up for it? (I’ll email whoever doesn’t answer within a day or two).

  65. paulie

    And thank you for continuing to answer the questions here… Mr. Dunham seems to have abandoned his thread, at least he hasn’t replied there for quite a while.

  66. Andy Craig Post author

    Again, I repeat: “People will flock to me because they admire me for not taking/spending any money or running and/or traditional campaign and/or being an average citizen.” is not a new idea. A lot of people have had the exact same idea, and tried to run with it. In a local district race, the amount of money that could be raised might be so small anyway that it makes some sense, but at the nation-wide (or even statewide) level it’s absurd. Forget advertising- travel expenses alone run into the tens of thousands of dollars for anybody actively campaigning for the Presidency of the United States.

    At least a half-dozen candidates try it in different parties (or as independents) every four years. And it has worked exactly zero times. It’s the anybody-can-do-it theory of Presidential campaigns, and that’s just not how that works. Millions of dollars don’t get spent on Presidential campaigns because everybody is suffering from some mass delusion that causes them to waste all the money. Millions of dollars get spent because that’s what it takes to have any hope of reaching millions of voters.

    My point was that you might as well not even be running, if that’s your grand strategic plan. It makes you “the same as the other 330 million Americans” in that the voters won’t know who you are, won’t hear your message, and because of that won’t vote for you in any substantive numbers. If previous nominees and candidates for other offices had taken that strategy, there wouldn’t be a Libertarian Party for you to seek the nomination of, certainly not one that has automatic ballot access in 30 states.

  67. Marc Allan Feldman

    “I’d like to start a thread for yourself (Marc), Darryl Perry and Keenan Wallace Dunham, all announced candidates for the nomination, to talk to each other as well as the rest of us.” I believe that another candidate has announced his intention to run, a Mr. Gary Johnson. I would not feel right participating unless he also was invited.

  68. Rob Banks

    Gov. Johnson has not declared himself to be a candidate. He said he would “like to” run again, not that he is doing so. That’s an important distinction between himself on the other hand, and you, Darryl Perry and Keenan Wallace Dunham on the other.

  69. Martin Passoli

    Supposing Gary Johnson is to be considered a candidate (he may or may not be), are you also going to avoid any pre-nomination debates that he is not in? If you get the nomination, will you debate, e.g., the Green and Constitution Party candidates if you are not able to get into debates with the Democratic and Republican nominees? Will you extend that principle in both directions – that is, not agree to debate the Democrats and Republicans unless the also include the Green and/or Constitution Parties, or not agree to debate Gov. Johnson unless he also agrees to debate candidates such as Mr. Perry and Mr. Dunham at the same time?

  70. paulie

    I’ve asked Gary for an interview before, but he doesn’t think we are a big enough news outlet for that to be a good use of his time. Hopefully he’ll change his mind, and hopefully presently declared candidates will not hinge their participation on the participation of potential candidates who have not yet declared (or even the participation of all declared candidates, because realistically they will not always all be available at each debate). Gary does do open-participation chats at reddit and google hangout, for those who want to ask him questions. He also has many in person appearances all over the country with plenty of opportunities for Q and A – public as well as one on one (to a more limited degree, as there are many people trying to have their pictures taken with him and so on).

  71. Marc Allan Feldman

    @AndyCraig No need to repeat yourself, I read it the first time. The most important part of your comment you left out ” I’m somebody strongly leaning towards supporting Gov. Johnson for the ’16 nomination.” I get it. If there was a question for me anywhere in there, I did not see it.

  72. paulie

    If you receive the nomination, will you campaign with local LP candidates, frequently mention the party in your interviews, campaign materials and public appearances, and share any inquiries/volunteers/contacts/donor info with the LP in as real time as possible?

  73. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Rob Banks I did not say that Gary “declared himself to be a candidate”. I said he announced his “intention” to run.

    @Martin Passoli I like to debate. It is fun. I think I have a different point of view from most people, and I think I can be very entertaining. Sometimes I can even be funny. If I get popular, that might even be a more successful way of getting invited to debate than filing lawsuits. I will talk to anybody and debate anybody, as long as iti s not merely a strategy to defame me or make me look bad. If we are inviting people who said that they want to run for the Libertarian nomination, I just dont understand why Gary would not be invited. Especially since Andy Craig said ” I’m somebody strongly leaning towards supporting Gov. Johnson for the ’16 nomination.” I did not say Gary needed to accept. That should be up to him. He probably would not, but I would like to give him the opportunity.

  74. paulie

    He already has a standing invitation. I’ve asked him several times and so far he has said no. He knows who I am, we’ve hung out. He says he likes me. Of course, he might be blowing smoke up my ass, I don’t know. Anyway, I’m inviting declared candidates. Are you in?

  75. Marc Allan Feldman

    I am happy to participate. In return, I will ask for help via your feedback. I don’t mind at all if it is mixed in with less helpful comments from Johnson supporters like @AndyCraig. One of the characteristics that have helped me have the success I have had so far with the LP is a willingness to listen and a pachydermatous resistance to personal attacks.

    I was asked what I thought should be America’s response to recent terrorist attacks. I made the following remark:

    “Live life without fear. This is how to fight terrorism. Terror is their only effective weapon. Take away our fear and they aren’t terrorists anymore. They are just a bunch of extremist religious, militant ideologues, killing people but not achieving anything but making themselves look bad. In other words, Republicans.”

    In this comment, I am trying to be a little shocking, entertaining, and honest. I know it was kind of pushing the envelope. I do not want to be outright offensive or appear mean-spirited. Nor do I want to seem like I am exploiting terror for political gains. Too over-the-top? What do you think?

  76. AndyCraig

    I’m not trying to be “unhelpful” or personal, nor do my points have anything to do with my preference for Johnson. I’m just trying to be realistic about what having a Presidential nominee who effectively doesn’t fund-raise or campaign in-person would mean for the party.

  77. Pingback: Debate/Discussion Thread with declared candidates for the 2016 Libertarian Presidential nomination | Independent Political Report

  78. AndyCraig

    I’ll post this here, since I don’t want to put commentary in the start of the debate thread, but I’ll say this much: of the three declared candidates participating in our debate, I would vote to nominate Feldman in a heartbeat. Sorry if I came across as overly-critical, I was just digging into the one thing I found objectionable. I don’t think, on the substance, that Dr. Feldman would be a bad nominee. We’ve certainly done worse. He does a decent job of explaining what we stand for, and does have that bit of (dare I say it…) gravitas that seems lacking in his two opponents. I hope he reconsiders that effectively-no-contributions part of his campaign.

  79. paulie

    I’d give Dr. Feldman the edge on career achievement and looking presidential. So far Darryl Perry is my favorite writer/ideas man of the three.

  80. Thomas L. Knapp

    If I had to pick from announced or likely candidates, I’d go with Darryl Perry.

    But for now I am still stuck on NOTA. Darryl gives it a run for the money, but my assessment of attitudes within the party is that in a two-way race v. Gary Johnson, NOTA would outpoll Perry and also send a clearer message.

  81. Joshua Katz

    I’m with Paulie. Feldman comes off as more Presidential and I am more convinced that he could be effective in office and an effective campaigner, while Perry seems to me to have fresher and clearer ideas and philosophy. I still advocate NOTA – which is not a knock against those candidates as it’s based more on other factors than who the candidates are.

    I agree with Tom above that NOTA would perform better head to head against Johnson than Perry. I suspect Feldman would as well, but I’m less sure of that. I also suspect NOTA would outpoll Feldman head to head against Johnson, but again, I’m less sure of that.

  82. Andy

    Unless these candidates raise money and run something that resembles a real campaign, none of them will go anywhere.

  83. Joshua Katz

    Jill – I also have concerns about Feldman’s foreign policy answers and how they’d play out when translated into action. I was speaking about ability to pass policies, not whether I necessarily agree with them, above. In the end, I would rather have a President I agree with 50%, and who can get that 50% done, than one I agree with 100% who can get 0% of that done. If they’re also going to do harmful things, as compared to our current circumstances, that’s another question.

    Of course, the focus should probably be on a more effective campaign for freedom, rather than actions in office, when we’re talking about the Presidency. I still give Feldman a slight edge there because, like it or not, a candidate is taken more seriously when they appear more Presidential.

  84. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Jill Pyeatt
    “Feldman lost me with his foreign policy answer. I’m supporting Perry so far.”

    Jill, this is something I want to look into a bit. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the following is the only discussion of a foreign policy issue that you raised:

    …………………………………..
    Jill Pyeatt
    January 5, 2015 at 10:47 pm
    Dr. Feldman, if you were President, would you continue to give to give money to Israel?

    Marc Allan Feldman
    January 5, 2015 at 10:56 pm
    @Jill Pyeatt. Yes I would continue to give money to Israel, and very generously, from my own personal checkbook. Financial assistance to people overseas is very important and I encourage all Americans to do it freely and generously. I think the correct amount for federal government aid to Israel, and all other countries should be reduced to zero.
    ………………………………..

    I believe my answer was honest, correct, and radically Libertarian. Reduce Government foreign aid to zero. People have a right to spend their money where they want. If I choose to support the people of Israel with my own private funds, that is my right.

    There is a perception that Libertarians are tolerant to racism and prejudice. That is one reason we do so poorly recruiting many minority members. The fallacy is that just because we do not want the Government to police and prosecute something, that thing is “OK”. I want to go on record, as a Libertarian, that prejudice is not OK.

    Jill, you seem to have no problem with individuals spending their own hard-earned money to Catholic states, or to Muslim states, but to send my own money to the only Jewish state is enough to lose your support.

    Please explain your position so that I do not get the idea that you have a problem of irrational prejudice against Jewish people supporting what they see as their ancestral homeland and haven against world antisemitism.

  85. Jill Pyeatt

    I thought your answer about Israel was excellent. My issue was actually on the other thread re: taking too long to end our warfare state. I’d like to see our troops pulled out immediately from most areas.

    My only issue with Israel is that I think we should treat them like every other country, and stop giving them money. And that definitely means not giving money to any other countries.

    And seriously, I have no ideas where this came from: “Jill, you seem to have no problem with individuals spending their own hard-earned money to Catholic states, or to Muslim states”.

    I think the best way is for this country to stop taxing us to death. Then, individuals will have money to give to their favorite charities. I’ve said here before that mine would most likely go to animal charities, but I have no problem with you supporting Israel, Cody supporting the Morman church, or anyone supporting Catholic countries. My comment about foreign policy honestly had nothing to do with Israel.

  86. Joshua Katz

    I don’t really want to go too far into this rabbit hole, but do we really believe that I can do anything I want with my money, period, other than buying immoral things like, say, paying a hitman?

    Suppose I give money to a serial killer, not to hire him to kill someone, but knowing that giving him the money enables him to continue killing. Heck, maybe it’s a kickstarter campaign or something, clearly advertised as “I need money to continue killing.” I’m not asking him to kill anyone in particular. Is that alright as far as libertarianism is concerned?

  87. Jill Pyeatt

    Whatever one does with their personal money is not my business. I’d be embarrassed if any of you knew how much money I spend on clothes, actually, but it’s my money and my own business.

  88. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m still astonished at Dr. Feldman’s accusation of anti-Semitism above. Here is a comment I made earlier on the debate thread:

    ” Jill Pyeatt
    January 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm
    Wow, excellent answers from both Dr. Feldman and Mr. Perry so far!”

    Note that this was made AFTER your answer to my Israel question.

    AS far as personal contributions, I made several last-minute donations on New Year’s Eve, as probably several of you did. One of them that I made a donation to was a Jewish charity.

    I was so upset that I initially put this comment on the wrong thread. Sorry.

  89. paulie

    NOTA would outpoll Perry and also send a clearer message.

    The first part, probably. As for clearer message…it will be rather muddled, as your reasons for supporting NOTA are different from those who don’t want us to “spoil it” for a Republican (especially one not likely to be their actual nominee, which would be apparent to most people except them by that point).

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    There are different points of message clarity.

    The level I am looking at is:

    … a reasonably high percentage of delegates believe that NO candidate is a better choice than THIS candidate …

    is more clear than

    … a reasonably high percentage of delegates believe that THIS candidate is a better choice than THAT candidate …

    As to the various reasons why those delegates might believe the first proposition, that’s a different point of clarity.

  91. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Jill, the only difference is that you say you “like to see our troops pulled out immediately from most areas”, and I say I’d like to see our troops pulled out immediately from ALL areas. You want to hear my exit strategy? We marched right in, we can march right out. The other thread question was not about moving combat troops, but about closing military bases. I also want to do that, but being realistic, base closures take months to years, troop withdrawals can be done in days to weeks. I will make a friendly suggestion that if you are not talking only about Israel, you might want to formulate your question as “if you were President, would you continue to give to give money to Israel *and other foreign nations*.”

  92. Joshua Katz

    So I take it that your answer to the hypothetical I posed is that there’s no libertarian objection to funding a Kickstarter for the purpose of enabling a serial killer to go on a killing spree? I understand that position, but I’d disagree. Here’s one we can agree on, I think: Even though what I do with my money is no one else’s business, my hiring a hitman would raise libertarian objections. I’m not just talking about the murder carried out by the hitman, but the hiring of a hitman itself. Do you agree?

  93. paulie

    … a reasonably high percentage of delegates believe that NO candidate is a better choice than THIS candidate …

    …At this time.

    Some people who had no objection to Johnson in 2012 and may not have one in 2020 might have one in 2016 if they hold delusions about Rand Paul becoming president in 2016, for example.

  94. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Joshua Katz. It always amazes me when LIbertarians say things that are so un-Libertarian.

    “Heck, maybe it’s a kickstarter campaign or something, clearly advertised as “I need money to continue killing.” I’m not asking him to kill anyone in particular. Is that alright as far as libertarianism is concerned?”

    This needs repeating:
    The Government has jobs to do. Running our Judiciary, safeguarding our rights, and protecting our borders. Feeding and clothing people is not against the law, and should not be. People should not feed, clothe, give medicine, or whatever to help serial killers. Just because we think it is none of the governments business does not make it right or moral or OK or pretty or anything. What will stop people, if not government? How about their friends, coworkers, clergy, family, or maybe their own sense of personal responsibility?

  95. Marc Allan Feldman

    @Jill Pyeatt. You really disappoint me. I will tell you why. I hear all the time (from a small group of people) that the Libertarian Party has a significant antisemitism problem that it refuses to address. Similarly with racism, and occasionally homophobia (?!?). I am very sensitive to prejudice in general and antisemitism in particular. I am hoping to find somebody in the Libertarian Party who has an antisemitism problem, so I can bring it to light and show how we deal with it. Unfortunately, the only people who even sound antisemitic, in my experience, are from a radical fringe who do not have an antisemitism problem, they have a reality problem. And I also believe that even they can be an asset as hard-working committed people who keep their ears to the ground, even if they are hearing things.
    I apologize if I gave the impression that I was judging you prematurely, I sincerely just wanted more information.
    In any event, it seems to me that you do not have any prejudice problem. At times I am sure I disagree with you, but that is just because you are wrong, not prejudiced.

  96. Marc Allan Feldman

    There are two kinds of NOTA.
    1. NOTA, because I think we need to find somebody better to run, and I am sure we can do that.
    2. NOTA, because I don’t think this position should be filled by anybody right now, and we should just leave the spot empty.
    I think it is too early to be discussing #1, especially since people views, campaign styles, etc. can mature over the next 500 days.
    Number 2 is much more interesting and something I would like to discuss.

  97. Andy Craig Post author

    I don’t think the total anti-Johnson vote will be any larger in 2016 than it was in 2012. And most of the increase, if there is any, will be from a rump Rand Paul faction refusing to accept that he’s already lost the GOP nomination (which I think will be painfully obvious, and probably already official by Rand’s own say-so, by the time of our convention.)

    If NOTA gets a substantive number of votes (which I doubt), it will be primarily because the not-Johnson folks fail to find a single, credible alternative candidate to rally around. (this is all assuming Johnson runs again, of course).

  98. Marc Allan Feldman

    For the vast majority of Americans, there are Democrats and Republicans. That is all they have known, and thats the way it is.
    For them, a vote for a LIbertarian President is a NOTA vote, because it is going against the entire two-party system they have known.
    I did not come to the Libertarian Party because I loved freedom and the N.A.P. I was a philosophy major, and I am sure we could argue for hours and hours about it. I came to the LP because I thought who runs our Government is important, and both the Democrats and the Republicans are terrible. Rand Paul is a Republican. As far as I am concerned, he is the best-tasting poison out there. But he is no better for us than the rotten tasting poison.
    I understand the decision not to support a candidate. I did not register to vote until I was 50. It was not because I was under a rock or not informed. It was because I believed the system was corrupt and not worth my support.
    I remember when I was little, the JFK and MLK assassinations. This was also a time that McCarthyism was not a distant memory. I grew up in Washington DC, and Richard M. Nixon and Watergate were my local news. As far as I was concerned, being a politician was not an honorable thing to do.
    I was so sick of the Democrats and Republicans in 2009, I spoke with friends criticizing the Libertarian party for not running a full slate of candidates. I was forced to put up or shut up when I got the call that the LPO did have a full slate of candidates, except for Attorney General – would I be that candidate?
    “But, I am not a lawyer.”
    The Ohio Constitution says you don’t have to be.
    I spent nearly no money and made only a few statewide campaign stops with the rest of the statewide candidates to very poorly attended events. Nevertheless, I got nearly 3% of the vote, over 100,000. This is when I began to realize that money is not that important any more.
    I have a national budget plan and an approach to taxes and solving the national debt problem. I have a new information-technology approach to grassroots ballot access issues. The chance of it working is not great by any means, but If it does work, I will be well on my way to the Libertarian nomination.

  99. Joshua Katz

    @Joshua Katz. It always amazes me when LIbertarians say things that are so un-Libertarian.

    That would amaze me too. Fortunately, all I did was ask a question, and not about government, but about libertarian ethics. I’m of the thick-libertarian school that holds that libertarianism is about all rights violations, not only those by governments.

    But, as I said, this isn’t the place for philosophy, so I won’t pursue this any further; I’ll leave this kind of debate to the philosophers at Mises (and myself, when I write for Mises.)

  100. Joshua Katz

    >I am hoping to find somebody in the Libertarian Party who has an antisemitism problem, so I >can bring it to light and show how we deal with it.

    I won’t do it in public, but if you contact me off list, I can provide you with a name.

  101. Joshua Katz

    Dr. Feldman, I agree with the points you raise about NOTA. In particular, 1 would be premature and is not my position (also, it would be a terrible reason, even at the convention, to vote NOTA because of differences between how NOTA works for nomination for public office and how it works for party office.) My position is accurately summed up by 2, and I agree, it is the more interesting question of the two.

    I also appreciate your point that getting a person to step outside their comfort zone and vote LP is equivalent to voting NOTA – in their mind, it is giving up the ability to control the outcome (of course, that control is an illusion, and we can win, so that’s wrong in two ways, but it’s still their perception.) I think that reflects part of my views – I’m asking people in the LP to step outside their comfort zone of nominating a candidate and vote NOTA.

  102. Marc Allan Feldman

    I am here mainly to talk about Libertarian politics, not libertarian philosophy. The philosophy is also relevant, but the discussions get very long and complicated. I was not suggesting you said anything against libertarian philosophy, just the way you asked the question whether it was “alright” sounds to me like when people accuse Libertarians as believing drugs, pornography, automatic weapons, and abortion are all “alright” just because we think it is wrong for the government to ban them.
    The first time I ran for an LNC at-large position, nobody on the LNC voted for me, but two members came to me afterwards and said they thought I was the best candidate, but they had to vote for the other guy, because everyone new either the other guy or Hinkle was going to win, and the other guy was the “lesser of two evils.” C’mon.

  103. Joshua Katz

    I agree, that’s why I started out by saying I didn’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole, then stopped when I realized I was getting too far down the rabbit hole. I’ll gladly discuss it some time over drinks; stop by my hospitality suite in Las Vegas if you’re going to LSLA or we can have a drink in Phoenix.

    I’m often less careful here than in other contexts about fine points of libertarian philosophy, such as the meaning of ‘alright,’ because I assume some common understandings. Perhaps I am less careful than I should be at times.

    There will often be differences between our approach to a voluntary organization, such as the LP, and our approach to government, but I agree, that’s rather silly. Of course, that’s the intent of the new voting method for at-large and JC, although it’s an open question as to how well it will work – as a mathematician I can’t do much more than shrug – my field causes me to use Arrow’s Theorem but not to get into the fine points of which criteria should be satisfied in which circumstances. We do have some experts on that question who supported ranked voting, so I generally defer.

  104. paulie

    The first time I ran for an LNC at-large position, nobody on the LNC voted for me, but two members came to me afterwards and said they thought I was the best candidate, but they had to vote for the other guy, because everyone new either the other guy or Hinkle was going to win, and the other guy was the “lesser of two evils.

    I got one vote (not even my own – I was voting on behalf of my region and they instructed me to vote for Hinkle), but no one told me they secretly wanted to vote for me afterwards. And on the LNC survey, 7 of 14 people (not named) said they would not even consider me under any circumstances. So I guess sending up that exploratory balloon let me know where I stood with the LNC 🙂

  105. paulie

    I’m probably on the wrong thread to ask this and it may have been answered before, but is there room in the bylaws/Roberts for the LNC to nominate a breathing candidate if the convention votes for NOTA? I know the LNC can’t overrule the convention but at the same time the LNC can replace a presidential candidate (or appoint one if there isn’t one?)… Since there is an ambiguity as to what NOTA votes mean, whether it is rejecting particular breathing individuals that get nominated then and there or whether it means rejecting categorically the idea of any breathing biped as a nominee.

  106. Thomas L. Knapp

    Article 11, Section 8:

    “Should a majority of the votes be cast for ‘None of the Above’ in the Presidential or Vice-Presidential balloting, no candidate shall be nominated for that office. Should ‘None of the Above’ be selected for any Party office, that position shall be declared vacant and none of the losing candidates for that position may be selected to fill the vacancy for that term of office.”

  107. paulie

    Thanks, but that still leaves an ambiguity. If the sentence “Should a majority of the votes be cast for ‘None of the Above’ in the Presidential or Vice-Presidential balloting, no candidate shall be nominated for that office” is read to include being filled by the LNC later, why is the second sentence even there at all? If no one can be selected to fill the vacancy, that obviously includes the losing candidates.

    One alternative reading of those two sentences could be

    “Should a majority of the votes be cast for ‘None of the Above’ in the Presidential or Vice-Presidential balloting, no candidate shall be nominated for that office.” <-- IE, the convention does not get to start over with fresh nominations as is the case in the balloting for chair, etc. "Should ‘None of the Above’ be selected for any Party office, that position shall be declared vacant and none of the losing candidates for that position may be selected to fill the vacancy for that term of office." <--- The position is deemed vacant, and the LNC is allowed to retroactively fill a vacancy, but may not pick any of the losing candidates. If that's not the case, I would have either left the second sentence out altogether, or said "no candidates" rather than "none of the losing candidates for that position" to avoid this ambiguity.

  108. paulie

    Ah…thanks. Party office in the second sentence, as I was neglecting to pay attention to. But still…is selecting a replacement or filling a vacancy the same as nominating in convention? IE, if the LNC replaces a presidential candidate is it nominating?

  109. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    I don’t consider any of it ambiguous, but I can see the possibility of it being contested by this or that clique with a flair for interpreting the bylaws to mean they get to do whatever the hell they happen to feel like doing.

    I suspect that that particular situation would be not only self-correcting but self-correcting in such a way as to highlight the intent of the convention:

    If the convention was to vote for NOTA for the presidential nomination, and the LNC tried to reverse that by just picking a “replacement candidate” on the basis of a claimed ambiguity, it seems to me that the state parties whose delegates had just selected NOTA would, at least for the most part, respond with “we have no obligation to put a candidate on our ballot line when we specifically chose at the national convention to not nominate a candidate.”

    It also seems to me that such a situation would result in a larger second wave of media attention for NOTA and to why NOTA was nominated, thus working directly against the goals of those trying to replace NOTA.

    Disclaimer: I don’t think that NOTA stands much of a chance of being nominated in 2016 or any other year. But I do hope that the specter of a large, possibly even majority, NOTA vote improves the process and discourages the party factions which trot out Republican retreads every four years from continuing to do so.

  110. Joshua Katz

    I’m not a PRP, or even an RP, just a lowly NAP member. However, I don’t see an ambiguity. First, the bylaw quoted says no candidate shall be nominated. If the LNC fills a ‘vacancy in nomination’ that is an act of nomination, or rather an act designed to cause 51 nominations (hopefully. Further, from Article 8, sections 6 and 7:

    6. A National Committee member who fails to attend two consecutive regular sessions of the
    National Committee shall be deemed to have vacated his or her seat. The appointing body shall
    be free to reappoint the member who vacated the seat.
    7. The National Committee shall appoint new officers and members-at-large if vacancies occur,
    such officers and members-at-large to complete the term of the office vacated.

    There is a general principle of bylaw interpretation (XVIII, 56, p. 588 in RONR, 11th) that a bylaw giving permission to do something implies a prohibition on all other actions in the same class. Here, the LNC is empowered to fill vacancies, which I would interpret as prohibiting it from filling any vacancies not listed. Remember that all powers of boards are delegations of power by the bylaws or specific instructions from the assembly.

  111. Jill Pyeatt

    Paulie answered: “It was supposed to be concurrent with the CA/NV convention but apparently that is in limbo now.”

    That’s actually why I asked. I know the CA convention is in limbo now, but I don’t know if it’s Ca or the Nevada/LSLA people with the issues.

  112. Joshua Katz

    Jill, not that I know of. I haven’t heard much lately about it. Last I asked they said they were still firming up the dates.

  113. paulie

    LSLA is just piggybacking, so unless something changes they will still be when and wherever CA/NV will be. They have a hard time even getting quorum of 3 of 5 LSLA board members for a phone meeting, so I really doubt they are in the drivers seat for anything. In fact, the LSLA chair is my state LP chair and my fellow co-deputy director in OAI south region, so I do get to talk to him about this sometimes…and I am very reasonably sure they are just piggybacking.

    Apparently the whole idea was originally we were going to have it in Birmingham, or at least New Orleans, but then Aimee (LPA vice chair and LSLA treasurer) decided she’d rather have a vacation in Vegas. Which pretty much means I’m highly unlikely to be there, since I travel by ground and it’s way on the other side of the country.

  114. Joshua Katz

    I like going to Vegas, so I’m excited for LSLA. I’ve offered to teach a class there and there seems to be interest. I’d like to do things like buy tickets, though. The last time I called in to a board meeting there was no quorum.

    I will say that my enthusiasm for Las Vegas has been reduced by two recent events: becoming a vegetarian takes a lot away from the buffets, and my favorite business in the area closed. Such is life.

    The buffets are a big deal to me. I typically only eat once a day, and when I’m in Vegas, it works out perfectly. I just eat dinner, and pay less for food per day than most people do on vacations. The obvious solution to this issue is to have a breakfast buffet, since breakfast has many more vegetarian options, but if I eat breakfast, I end up tired all day…not sure why.

    My personal rankings: Wicked Spoon is amazing (in Cosmopolitan), followed closely by Paris. Then there’s the Bellagio, followed by the Venetian. I’ve never eaten at the Aria but I’ve heard good things. I also never tried the Rio seafood buffet, even though I always intended to at some point. All the rest fall into “typical buffet” territory for me – as in fine at home, not exciting in Vegas.

    But going to Tixs for Tonight and getting cheap show tickets is just amazing. All of Cirque is awesome, especially Zoomanity. I saw Criss Angel for $30; currently tickets for his show in CT are selling for more than $400 on StubHub. I saw Holly Madison in Peepshow; it’s too bad that show is gone.

  115. paulie

    Would anyone be up for going thru this thread and the other/past candidates’ individual threads and finding if any questions that applicable to more than one candidate that have been asked in these threads can be posed in the joint candidate debate/discussion thread?

  116. paulie

    I don’t see that on your site but I’ll take your word for it. I guess if it was important to me I’d check the FEC site.

  117. paulie

    Excellent!

    How many state conventions do you plan (or would want to) go to this year? I guess that should be on the common thread also….

  118. Marc Allan Feldman

    I travel light, I enjoy talking, and I really like Libertarians. I would want to go to every single convention that invites me and puts me on the agenda. Not all states have conventions in 2015, and some are concurrent. We will see.

  119. paulie

    Speaking from experience: a few of the conventions will invite presidential aspirants, but with most of them, you have to take the initiative and contact them….sometimes more than once.

  120. paulie

    Nice article by J Clifford. I’m not sure how it criticizes IPR. What we do and what Irregular Times does are a little different. I may repost it, though.

  121. Marc Allan Feldman

    Unlike IPR, J Clifford went to some effort to review material from my past campaigns and recent Facebook activity and put it together well in a very short period of time. Not just asking generic questions. His criticisms were very helpful, and I hope I did well addressing them in the comment section.

  122. Thomas L. Knapp

    IPR generally puts out news shorts with links to more in-depth material elsewhere. So yes, the other site will be “unlike IPR,” just like Google News is “unlike Mother Jones.”

  123. Marc Allan Feldman

    @paulie,
    “Speaking from experience: a few of the conventions will invite presidential aspirants, but with most of them, you have to take the initiative and contact them….sometimes more than once.”

    If invited, I am interested in going. If I have to ask, then the interest is not there, and I would be acheiving nothing but wasting my time and theirs.

  124. paulie

    You’ll probably be missing out on a lot of them then, at least this year. Most of them view the candidates seeking the presidential nomination as people who need to come to them, not the other way around. In 2016 it’s more likely that more of them will be putting together things like debates among the candidates seeking the nomination and approaching you – maybe. At this point, I would not even assume that the people planning 2015 state conventions even know who you are or that you are running for the nomination in many, likely most, cases.

  125. Marc Allan Feldman

    My Response to Obama’s State of the Union:
    I did not want to watch the State of the Union but you have to do what you have to do. I wish there was a question and answer period.

    Obama says the state of the union is strong. Our government has put the economy on the right track, magically creating jobs and opportunity.
    Q: If the economy is good, and we are bringing our troops home, why is the government still spending so much, even more than it is bringing in?

    Obama discussed his views of limited government
    The government needs a larger role in child care.
    The government needs a larger role in education.
    The government needs a larger role in employment and wages.
    The government needs a larger role in health care.
    The government needs a larger role in retirement.
    The government needs a larger role in other countries.
    The government needs a larger role on our whole planet.
    The government needs a larger role on other planets, too.
    Q: Where do you think the government is going to get the power and resources to do all this? What gives you the right?

    Q: As Commander-in-Chief, why did you ignore what has been recognized as our number one national security threat: Our debt.
    Q: What about the role of individuals, families, neighbors, communities, churches, and charitable organizations that have always had the primary role in child care, education, employment, health care, and retirement, and do it better than any government agency?
    Q: How do we put a stop to this and take our country back from the Federal Government and the big money special interests who finance, own, and control it?

  126. paulie

    Haven’t checked my email yet. If you haven’t submitted that as a separate article yet let me know if you would like to.

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