Libertarian Party: Letter to Libertarians from Steve Kerbel

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 2.28.17 PMThis IPR editor requested a statement from the Steve Kerbel Campaign regarding recent comments and received the following (grammatical changes made with permission). More information on Steve’s campaign can be found at: http://stevekerbel2016.com

Dear Fellow Libertarians:

As my campaign has gained steam, there are those who wanted to know more about my career and history in business, and the related bumps and bruises that I and most business people have received along their journey.

As most of you know, I have had two run-ins with regulatory authorities in my 30-year insurance career. I suppose that that ratio is pretty good in the over-regulated business climate we deal with every day.

Also, in those years, I have dealt with a fair amount of litigation as well. Lawsuits are filled with accusations in which fact is not determined for the purpose of assailing the reputation of the persons or entities being sued for one main purpose: to use the legal system to extract as much cash as possible from the Defendant.

Libertarians do not want to be affiliated with people who purposefully take advantage of others via force or fraud. I agree with this point. While businesses are comprised of people, and people are far from perfect, and we did make mistakes over the years (it’s pretty hard not to make mistakes when you have written over 150,000 insurance policies), I can assure you that none of my organizations ever in any situation committed purposeful acts of theft or fraud. The system in place today allows and encourages Plaintiffs to assert anything that they want to and believe me… they do. Over the years I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of legal complaints and to be honest, it’s pretty hard to read one without chuckling at the allegations and dramatic verbiage used for the purpose of a cash grab.

Over the years, I have been fortunate. While I have never done anything even close to purposeful fraud or theft, there are those who throw those terms around with impunity. A successful Plaintiff attorney must be a master at painting their opposition in the most negative light. Facts are not always important in the influence of their arguments because they try to feed off the creation of outrage in the finders of fact and the more they can make statements (true or not) that paint their victim as a horrible human being, the better chance they can extract more cash for them and their clients.

All of us that are activists have become activists due to some event that was so outrageous that it spurred us to do something about the situation that caused the event(s). This is true in my case as well. Years and years of witnessing abuses of authority from government is what spurred my outrage. Civil suits that attempt to take financial advantage of this abuse are a byproduct of this situation.

Believe me… I have dealt with my share of civil suits. People are always suing each other for something, mostly because the ability of people to be successful on their own has been severely diminished by the actions of government. As a businessperson, I always look at these in the same light. If I was wrong, I pay what is fair. If I was right, I fight. Where this strategy gets sidetracked is in the fight against government. Once one is on their radar, one cannot win, so the pragmatic way to handle these issues is to fall on the sword and end them so you can move on with your life.

There is nothing more frustrating than defending against false allegations in any situation. Certainly it is natural for people to be interested in the experiences and ethics of a candidate for any office. In today’s world of the Internet, everything is public and unsubstantiated claims such as those I have had to deal with are available to all at the touch of a button. I repeat that none of my companies ever, in any case, committed any purposeful acts of theft or fraud. My mission is to take back the country from the government and give it back to the people. Those who want government growth and control to increase will bring up false accusations over and over again. To me, I take these as learning experiences and remain mindful of the reality of life and business in the USA in 2016.

In order for me to be successful in my endeavor, obviously these matters needed to be addressed.

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

54 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: Letter to Libertarians from Steve Kerbel

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Interesting statement.

    No specifics, just “I didn’t do anything wrong and the people bringing up the allegations are those who want government growth and control to increase.”

    I’m beginning to think there’s probably some there, there.

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    When I reached out and asked for a statement, I specifically requested that the issues of potential fraud be addressed. Of course the Campaign was free to address what it wished, but when I addressed my concerns and in my opinion what Libertarians needed to hear, I focused on that. Additional questions could be posed to the Kerbel campaign, but my concern as a Libertarian is that issue, and I asked for a clear repudiation of any purposeful harm to other people. Other IPR editors could reach out for further comment. I spoke to the Campaign (I spoke to Steve personally) as a supporter and gave my opinion and my concerns.

    I am not neutral, I am a supporter and when I spoke to Steve, I spoke to him as a supporter and what I needed as a supporter to be made crystal clear. And my opinion on what needed to be made clear to all Libertarians.

    To be clear, I support other candidates as well. I support Perry, and I would not oppose Johnson.

  3. 57blake

    “I’m not going to tell you what didn’t happen. I’m just going to say that whatever it was, it didn’t happen!”

  4. Raymond Agnew

    I talked to Steve today myself on the phone as he reached out to me in a facebook PM & asked for my number so I gave it to him & we talked, as I was having a busy day I forgot to talk to him about him having
    his Insurance License revoked & after we talked I fond out other information on this matter that is disturbing to me & another court case is coming up on this matter at the beginning of March & there is another one that is pending at any time soon now, Well I notice that my old LP Sister & fb Friend & IPR Reporter Jill Pyeatt is on this as of yesterday, I love her as she is a bulldog for finding out the truth, I trust her reports & judgment completely, Until I have what other things I’ve found out on this matter comfirmed I will hold my Fire, it would have bin better for Steve Kerbel to go point by point on this matter
    instead of just putting out a campaign statement release, without refuting any details of the case. But that’s his choice on this matter, in the end the truth will come out & be made known to the public, the truth always see the light of day in the end one way or antother.

  5. Steve Kerbel

    Thomas Knapp. Never said that I didn’t do anything wrong.. That statement would be suspect on it’s own. I made mistakes too at times. Perfection is nice to strive towards, but unfortunately reality does get in the way. My point is that the mistakes were not purposeful attempts to defraud others. With the multitude of decisions a person makes in a given day, multiplied by decades of running businesses mistakes are inevitable. There is a big difference between honest mistakes and planned fraudulent behavior. Thomas we have discussed these things in comments several times already. If you would like to have a phone call with me to discuss whatever specifics you want to know, I would welcome a phone conference with you at your convenience.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. Kerbel,

    Talking with me would be a waste of your limited time and resources. As I’ve already said, I’m more than happy, on a personal level, to consider your responses to my questions sincere and truthful.

    Here’s the thing, though: Among those who might be convinced to support you, that’s probably not going to be enough. You’re probably going to have to get a lot more detailed and transparent in a public way with and for them.

    Not with or for me, because I don’t matter — I’m just not in your likely support pool. Not because I have any reason to dislike you, but because I currently support NOTA and consider Darryl Perry my second choice.

    I’m an outlier who’s interested in the process, not a potential supporter who needs to be placated.

  7. Steven Wilson

    Insurance allows for all forms of deception. In the categories of automobile and healthcare most common. It also violates the velocity of currency.

    A customer purchases a service that is timed and conditional. It is deflationary for the purchaser and the issuer is protected as they have already been paid for a service they did not or cannot perform. Either way, the issuer is a master of fraud.

    They offer the illusion of prevention and recovery in the same way a state or government does.

    Insurance is fraud.

  8. Steve Kerbel

    Thomas – I appreciate your response, and while supporters are very important to the success of a campaign, misconceptions of the candidate are a cancer. You do not need to be a supporter of mine for me to want to spend the time disclosing the truth. Unfortunately in the world of politics, people have many motivations to sling mud. Sometimes it is for the purpose of exposing truths, and other times it is for the purpose of damaging the credibility of a competitor. I am seeing both. It is pretty difficult to address issues that are still being sorted out. The activities that caused most of these issues happened about 7 years ago so, I hope you understand my frustration in repeatedly addressing them. The current items I am dealing with all relate to an attempted cash grab from a former partner against my professional liability insurance company, and the attempts of that insurance company to get out of honoring our contract.
    I am trying to make for a better nation, and have put my neck on the chopping block in that endeavor. I am not naive enough to think that these public record items would need to be addressed… I just wish that those who are most vocal realized the realities of the legal world, and stop spreading false information. Recognize that pleadings in a civil suit are not sworn testimony. Recognize that allegations are not facts. I have no problem addressing specifics when possible. Any plaintiff can allege in a pleading that the defendant was from another planet, and we need to recognize that this is not likely to be the case… and to date, there is no penalty to them for making false statements in such documents.

    My goal is to make things better in our nation, grow the cause of Liberty and spread the word. I refuse to let government stop me, because I view them as the problem. Vexatious litigation goes hand in hand with this problem. Unless one of us can move us in the direction of Liberty fast, small business will be impossible due to just these types of events, and the people will have no choice other than to work for government or big business. Not the American dream that I envision.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    Steven,

    Insurance is a hedged bet. You’re unlikely to get in a car wreck, but getting in a car wreck is expensive. So you place a small bet each month that you’ll get in a car wreck. If you “win” the bet by having a car wreck, your winnings cover the damages. If you “lose” the bet by not having a car wreck, the house (the insurance company) makes a profit. And of course the odds are stacked with actuarial odds to make it as sure as reasonably possible that over time the house will win most of the time so that the house doesn’t go broke. Both parties see themselves as better off — the house because it tends to make a profit, you because your ass is covered in the event something very bad and expensive happens.

    That’s not fraudulent.

    I’m talking about real insurance, of course, not pre-paid healthcare incorrectly described as insurance. The falsehood of description does, IMO, constitute a widespread pattern of fraud.

  10. Jill Pyeatt

    Steve Wilson,

    Congratulations! You’ve clearly never had the misfortune of having a house fire or theft, car accident, or serious health issue. If you did, you might have a different opinion of the industry.

    Or, it’s possible you had one of those bad events, and a poor experience with an insurance company. I’m sorry if that’s the case.

    I don’t like to use the gambling analogy, although it comes up a lot. I understand that we all have risks inherent to our lives and lifestyles. The theory of insurance is to pass along some of that risk to another party for a fee. Each person has different opinions as to how much of that risk they wish to keep for themselves, and how much they wish to pay to transfer some of that risk.

    I sincerely believe that my chosen profession has helped many people through very trying times of their lives. Obviously, some people’s mileage will vary.

  11. paulie

    “I’m not going to tell you what didn’t happen. I’m just going to say that whatever it was, it didn’t happen!”

    “I’m not going to tell you who I am or what my beef is. Trust me, there’s something there alright!”

  12. paulie

    TLK @ 20:38, GP @ 20:48, JP @ 20:52

    Agreed. Mr. Wilson is off base. Unlike government, the insurance industry is voluntary and the terms are disclosed.

    I think Steve Kerbel’s explanations of the matter are plausible. I don’t know for a fact that they are true. But he’s putting his name and reputation behind them. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  13. langa

    I’m also willing to give Kerbel the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. Honestly, I would like to hear more details about the most recent case, but I understand that it is sometimes legally inadvisable to talk about such things while more legal action could still be pending.

  14. Stewart Flood

    Voluntary? Insurance is voluntary? What insanity! The government FORCES you to buy health insurance, car insurance, and various other forms of insurance depending on where you live. The insurance industry is one of the most influental industries and owns politicians in every state.

    Nothing about insurance is voluntary, other than your choice of which one to give your money to.

    I read the letter. I see nothing in it that addresses anything properly. It was political pablum. I was not planning on supporting him, and it did not change my opinion.

  15. Marc Allan Feldman

    I am disappointed in Steve’s response. Not in the content of his response, but the fact that he felt any need to respond. Even among Libertarians there are those who pride themselves on collecting “opposition research.” Their goal is to make the candidate look as bad as possible. We are all human beings, so it is always possible. If a candidate runs for the Libertarian nomination because they want to be liked, they are better off buying puppies, because everybody likes someone with puppies.
    Running for office means accepting the fact that people are going to try to make you look bad. If we let them make the election about us, then they can make us look terrible and make us lose. But if it is not about us, if it about what we stand for and our plans to move this country in the right direction, then personal allegations are irrelevant.
    ” I don’t know what I am going to lose after this. It doesn’t matter though, because this ain’t about me. This is about ideas. People who believe in truth..”– Kanye West

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Even among Libertarians there are those who pride themselves on collecting ‘opposition research.’ Their goal is to make the candidate look as bad as possible.”

    No, “making the candidate look as bad as possible” is not the goal of opposition research. At least not always, and certainly not in this case.

    Since I’m not working for a candidate, MY goal in doing “opposition research” is to help the party avoid finding out their prospective presidential candidate is an ax murderer or whatever AFTER it nominates that candidate.

  17. Shane

    Marc, I feel the same way. Coming out with a tail-between-the-legs response was unnecessary and all it did was empower people with too much time on their hands and turn a non-issue into a discussion.

    And Stewart, you made the point on insurance. Government mandates make it fraudulent. Not just in requiring it but killing interstate competition and controlling pricing policy and policy structure.

  18. Stewart Flood

    I agree that it was most likely a non-issue. But he answered the “when did you stop beating your wife” question.

    There was no possible good answer. Even not answering could have been a bad answer. But saying “mistakes” were made is not the way to respond. So now a non-issue becomes an issue to discuss about the candidate.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Whatever it is, it’s not a non-issue.

    If Steve Kerbel was a plausible candidate for the Democratic or Republican presidential nomination, the legal stuff that turns up on a Google search would have been thoroughly dug through by the media and talked about on “Meet the Press” by now, for better or worse.

    The media doesn’t do the Libertarian Party’s pre-nomination colonoscopies for it. We have to do them ourselves. And we should.

    Why?

    Because some day there may be a situation in which the LP’s presidential nominee starts polling well and gets into a position where he or she might, at the very least, affect the outcome of the election.

    When and if that happens, you can bet your last dollar that the media will do the colonoscopy.

    When that happens, if there are cancerous polyps that we COULD have known about if we had bothered to check, but didn’t bother to check, that is on US.

    I hear a lot of people whine that the LP doesn’t do “serious politics.” Well, guess what? Knowing all we can about our candidates is serious politics.

    If you don’t want your life dug through by people who vet presidential candidates, DON’T RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

    If it bothers you that the candidates get their lives dug through prior to the nomination — if that puts you off and makes you feel bad and is just too icky for you — you have no business putting your ass in a delegate chair at the national convention, because you are saying in advance that you’re just not willing to do the job.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    Dr. Feldman,

    You write:

    “Does anyone disagree?”

    Yes. Anyone who thinks about it and who cares about the Libertarian Party disagrees.

    My position is that Libertarian National Convention delegates should know as much as they can reasonably find out about the people seeking their party’s presidential nomination.

    Your position is that they shouldn’t.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    Dr. Feldman,

    Correct.

    This is absolutely the most basic of “oppo research” that most LP national convention delegates should be doing for themselves because it consists entirely of punching the candidate’s name into Google and seeing what comes out.

    It’s what any journalist who covers our candidates will do — and ask about.

    It’s what any VOTER who is considering our candidates will do — and think about.

    Convention delegates who aren’t either doing it for themselves or paying attention to discussions started by the people who are doing it are not doing their jobs.

    People who go to the national convention as delegates bear a huge burden of responsibility. It is their job to thoroughly examine the candidates for the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nomination and choose the best ones, not just jump and scream like teenage girls meeting the Beatles at JFK airport and pick John Lennon as their favorite because he’s the cutest.

    I have been on both the attacking and defending end of candidate controversies in the past. Sometimes it’s not pretty. Sometimes it’s not fun. But knowing our candidates as well as possible is absolutely essential.

  22. George Phillies

    Given his campaign finance plans, his position on conflict of interest, and his choice of running mate, I can see why Feldman would rather delegates not look very hard at their candidates.

    Some delegates would also look very hard on his position on funding foreign militaries. ‘not with our tax dollars’ is certainly libertarian. Which militaries to support might be a more controversial issue in some circles.

  23. paulie

    Voluntary? Insurance is voluntary? What insanity! The government FORCES you to buy health insurance, car insurance, and various other forms of insurance depending on where you live. The insurance industry is one of the most influental industries and owns politicians in every state.

    I agree that there should be no mandatory insurance. But insurance would still exist as a marketplace even if there were no monopoly government mandates to buy it, or no government monopoly regulation of insurance, or for that matter no monopoly government at all. In fact, many libertarians have theorized that in the absence of a monopoly state, insurance companies would take over many functions that the state currently tries to take on and does a very poor job of fulfilling, and that insurance companies would be somewhat better at because they would have to compete for customers.

    No one has tried to force me to buy health insurance yet, and I have no plans to buy any. I don’t have a car, so I don’t have car insurance. When I did have a car, I didn’t have insurance for that then either. The only medical insurance I ever had in my life was through my parents, and that was a long time ago. I’ve never paid for any kind of insurance for anything ever in my life; thus, I do believe it is voluntary, even if it’s not perfectly voluntary in any and all circumstances as currently practiced. But I have yet to have any regime agents point a gun at me and threaten to take me to jail for being completely uninsured in all aspects of my life for the last 20 or so years and in most aspects before that as well. I haven’t so much as received a letter in the mail warning me to buy insurance or have the government steal money out of my bank account, so far, as far as I know, although it is true I often do not get my snail mail. I’m pretty confident they haven’t called or emailed me about it unless it was on a number or email address I no longer use either.

    Nothing about insurance is voluntary, other than your choice of which one to give your money to.

    I don’t give my money to any of them. So far, none of them have paid either the regime, or private thugs, or anyone to come lock me up, break my kneecaps or shake money loose from my pockets. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.

  24. paulie

    And Stewart, you made the point on insurance. Government mandates make it fraudulent. Not just in requiring it but killing interstate competition and controlling pricing policy and policy structure.

    They certainly move in that direction, but Steven Wilson’s statements were a lot more categoric, and would still apply to insurance even in an ideal free market. With that I clearly don’t agree. I also don’t think insurance is entirely fraudulent now, even though government intervention in the insurance market and government mandates to buy insurance move it in that direction.

  25. paulie

    My position is that Libertarian National Convention delegates should know as much as they can reasonably find out about the people seeking their party’s presidential nomination.

    And I agree.

  26. Jill Pyeatt

    This will probably surprise people, but sometimes mandatory insurance isn’t desired by insurance companies. For example, California has a “take all comers” rule which is very hard to live with. We must insure someone who is a “CA Good Driver” which is one incident or less. Sometimes these are not desirable people to insure for a variety of reasons, such as other exposures in the household, and being told what we have to do keeps rates higher than they should be in some areas.

    Many of the drivers in CA are really, really bad drivers. No one wants to insure them, but being told we have to can be and is problematic.

  27. paulie

    Marc Feldman quoting Kanye West:

    ” I don’t know what I am going to lose after this. It doesn’t matter though, because this ain’t about me. This is about ideas. People who believe in truth..”– Kanye West

    Do you know what Kanye West’s political ideas even are, or for that matter care? If he is, as most online accounts I have found so far indicate, a progressive or “liberal” in the modern US sense, does that have any impact on your desire to have a man you have never talked to run with you on the ticket of a party he has never supported and has shown no ideological propensity to support?

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Well, there are two major areas to examine candidates in.

    One of those areas relates to the candidate’s platform and issues positions, his public pronouncements as to how he intends to run his campaign effectively, etc. Everyone seems to consider that fair game, and like all of us, I vigorously participate in that side of things

    The other side has to do with closets and skeletons. Is there something in a candidate’s background to make me — or, more importantly, voters — throw up hands and yell “dear God, who the hell chose THAT GUY?”

    When it comes to Dr. Feldman, I’ve done as much Googling, etc. on him as on Mr. Kerbel, and here’s what I’ve found:

    Dr. Marc Allan Feldman is a respected practitioner in his field — anesthesiology, starting with neurosurgery but now with a heavy specialty on the ophthalmology side. He’s written papers that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. He’s been publicly commended and cited for his work by his peers. I’ve come across no malpractice complaints, board actions, etc. He’s also run two past campaigns for public office as a Libertarian, and so far as I can tell there was nothing in those campaigns that the party found embarrassing. That’s my oppo research file on Dr. Feldman so far.

    If I was working for a candidate and if I considered Dr. Feldman, Mr. Kerbel et. al to be likely major players, I’d ask the campaign I was working for to spring for some deeper background checks, etc. Since I’m not working for a candidate, I keep my research basic (and mostly free) and raise red flags to other Libertarians if I see things that make me wonder if we have a potential PR problem.

    I consider this to be very basic essential work to be conducted by and among the people who want to choose the party’s nominees. It’s our job to know who we’re nominating beforehand, rather than finding out after we’ve done so.

  29. paulie

    you think this is not not not a non-issue

    I agree that it’s not not not a non-issue and disagree that it’s not not a non-issue. I hope that is clear.

    I think that it should have been addressed, and has been addressed in a plausible way that I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to.

  30. PACER

    I’m willing to be convinced by an explanation. This is not an explanation, it’s just a blanket denial. He says it’s just business as usual in his industry. Is there anybody else who works in car insurance who can look at his record and agree with that? Is it business as usual to:
    -be ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution to defrauded investors?
    -have a state license revoked for life?
    -issue thousands of policies to people who didn’t qualify for them?
    -be accused by former business partners of serious fraud?
    -have your Better Business Bureau accreditation revoked for cause?
    -fail to properly disclose those things to new clients?

    If this is extremely common and a fact of life in the industry, what other lawsuits or allegations have been filed or are pending? Note that none of these are from somebody disputing the payout on their fender-bender, or any other dispute you’d expect as normal in car insurance. It’s not coming from disgruntled customers, it’s business partners and investors and the authorities.

    Is there anything Libertarians would have to be concerned about if, for example, a copy of the BBB Board of Directors decision came out, or another lawsuit, or another past legal penalty? Is there anything else that should maybe be disclosed now, instead of waiting and hoping nobody finds it, or leaving it to Karl Rove to find out this fall? This letter strongly implies there’s more, if the particulars we know about are that unremarkable.

    And more importantly: even if he has a satisfactory explanation for these things, half of them happened in the past year while he was running for President! Can you even imagine the heyday the media would have with this if it was a Republican or Democrat? What does it say about his political acumen that he apparently thought nobody would find out, or question it? And when it is noticed by someone, he attacks them for “wanting government growth and control to increase”?

    This response was amateur hour. I was hoping for a reasonable explanation that would allow this to be dismissed as nothing, but it looks like we won’t be getting that. At least McAfee disputes the allegations against him that a Google search returns.

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    In thinking about oppo research, and how campaigns should respond to potentially damaging matters, I keep finding myself going back to the 2004 convention. To put it bluntly, the two nomination races since then have been pretty much softball.

    In 2004, it was Aaron Russo versus Gary Nolan versus “dark horse” Michael Badnarik.

    I was Aaron Russo’s chief attack dog, and the guy who had to defend him when HE was attacked. I worked for his campaign.

    Gary Nolan’s chief attack dog, although not formally affiliated with his campaign, was Carol Moore. She did a great job — far better than Nolan’s own people, whose main way of going after Russo was to conduct bizarre “whisper campaigns.” She dug hard for facts and when she found something she considered damaging to Russo she put it right out there. You can see her analysis of the campaign from beginning to end here.

    What I want to concentrate on here is how a campaign should RESPOND to potentially damaging revelations. Here’s a letter I wrote for Aaron Russo’s signature and then distributed within the party in response to one of Carol’s fact-finding missions and big questions:

    Dear fellow Libertarians,

    My name is Aaron Russo. I am a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s
    2004 presidential nomination.

    I am also a producer of films, television programs and stage shows.
    I’ve been successful in that career, both by my own reckoning and by
    that of the industry, which has recognized my efforts with an Emmy
    and a Tony and my films with six Oscar nominations.

    I believe that my experience in the entertainment industry,
    particularly marketing films, is a considerable asset to me as a
    candidate and to a political party which, for years, has needed and
    sought such skills in its candidates.

    By having said as much, I’ve put my career on the table. It’s there to
    examine, and I would never discourage anyone from examining it.
    Libertarians should determine for themselves if the claims I make are
    true, and whether the skill set that I offer as a candidate is unique
    and worthy of their support versus what my opponents have to offer.

    At least one activist within the Libertarian Party, based on her
    reading of an article in an industry magazine, has questioned my
    claims of performance as a producer. Her question deserves an answer.

    I have claimed that every project I’ve produced has been delivered on
    time and on budget. I stand by that claim.

    Some years ago, I produced three films for HBO. Each of those films
    was delivered on time. Each of those films was delivered on budget.
    HBO did not choose to accept all of those films for release in the
    United States, but the films were delivered as promised and saw
    overseas releases.

    Subsequent to the completion of these films, litigation occurred
    between HBO, investors in one of its partner companies called Cinema
    Plus, and a completion bond company called Film Finance. In that
    litigation, two of my films were cited in claims by HBO against Film
    Finance. Litigation against myself and my company, Aaron Russo
    Productions, was filed and then withdrawn — precisely because I had,
    in fact, delivered the films on time and on budget. There is no
    question as to whether I performed the terms of the contracts, nor is
    there, so far as I know, any outstanding claim to the contrary.

    It is always healthy to question the claims of candidates, and I thank
    the Libertarian in question for raising the issue, but I stand by my
    words. Every film I’ve made has been delivered on time and on budget,
    a claim that only a handful of producers can make.

    To my fellow Libertarians, thank you for the time and care you’re
    taking in choosing our party’s presidential nominee, and thank you
    for your willingness to consider all sides of claims that may be made
    by, or about, the candidates for the nomination. I look forward to
    working with all of you to make this the most successful election
    year in the Libertarian Party’s history.

    Yours in liberty,
    Aaron Russo
    Libertarian for President

    In response to one of my inquiries regarding Mr. Kerbel’s litigation history, he gave me a response not entirely unlike the above. That is, he went into reasonable detail about the accusations, why the allegations were not true, and why he chose to settle rather than fight. But this was in the context of a small crowd on a Facebook page. Now there’s a wider audience, and his response to THAT audience … well …

  32. Jake Leonard

    Marc, I thought you were very reasonable at the beginning, but this Kanye West publicity BS, it’s made you equally as bat$hit crazy as the candidates who are getting little to no support at this time.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp

    Asking Kanye West to be one’s running mate is far from the craziest thing I’ve seen in LP campaigns. I’d even say it was kind of cute.

    Remember, in 2004 the vice-presidential nominee put out a press release claiming that Gandhi had endorsed him.

  34. George Phillies

    Tom,

    You write: “George,

    Well, there are two major areas to examine candidates in.

    One of those areas relates to the candidate’s platform and issues positions, his public pronouncements as to how he intends to run his campaign effectively, etc. Everyone seems to consider that fair game, and like all of us, I vigorously participate in that side of things The other side has to do with closets and skeletons. Is there something in a candidate’s background to make me — or, more importantly, voters — throw up hands and yell “dear God, who the hell chose THAT GUY?” ”

    Of course, we both have key issues that will make a candidate unacceptable or unpleasant. You appear to view open borders as a major issue. I view abortion — anti-abortionists in my opinion are unacceptable — as a defining issue.

    However, I would add a third element to your list. That’s campaign organization and spending. Also, I put that item at the top of my list. Readers who want to see this more clearly should read my book Funding Liberty and back issues of Let Freedom Ring and Liberty for America. We will see at the end of the month what can be said for the current candidates — little, I fear — and, of course, the faux candidate.

    Johnson claims he is running. He has not filed a 2016 declaration of candidacy, though his 2012 statement may be applicable. He is currently trying to ditch his 2012 campaign committee by screwing over everyone to whom he owed money from his 2012 campaign, including not only political firms that expect this sort of thing but also conventional companies for which these are real losses. However, note on his attempted termination filing the political house which notes they have never before had a client stiff them.

  35. Stewart Flood

    If these “not not” comments are actually from Feldman, and not from someone pretending to be him, then he’s once again showing that he’s nuts.

    Feldman,

    If that actually is you posting, then you need to learn the use of “is”. Say this “is” an issue. Use plain English. Stop playing comedy relief politician. If you believe the issue is serious — as many of us do — then research it and present the facts behind the myth. It isn’t my job or Knapp’s or Paulie’s to do opposition research.

    I’m betting that Petersen’s campaign is already researching this.

  36. NewFederalist

    Gee… this is fun! Plausible implausibility. Undeniable deniability. Improbable probability. Goofy stuff this…

  37. Steven Wilson

    Life insurance or any kind of insurance is not a hedge bet. It is fraud.

    Over the past decade, the median cost of an adult funeral in the United States has increased 28.6 percent. This is similar to the 2000-2009 period when the median cost of a funeral increased by 26.6 percent. The percent increase during the 1980s (1980-1989) was significantly higher (87 percent), reflecting the significantly higher inflation rates during that decade.

    Inflation by itself, makes life insurance mathematically a scam.

    Define fraud: wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

    I have never known an insurance firm to be non-profit. It is irrational to believe that they operate with a indifference to the margin of their own firm and that of their industry.

    Insurance as an apparatus makes fraud easier as a gun makes murder easier than strangulation. Forcing people or voluntary entry is irrelevant.

    Insurance companies intend to make a profit, therefore, the forecasting models they use guarantee a profit. The family will get the payout upon the customers death, but as an aggregate pool of money, the insurance company will always make money. Even in the case where a customer overpaid the market value of their policy. No insurance company is going to hand over the extra funds.

    Insurance inflate the price of a funeral as the funeral industry knows how much the insurance companies are setting their policies value.

    No car dealer sets their prices blindly. They know NADA, Kelley Blue book, and the others. But they know what local bankers will lend at 3,4,5 years respectively before they put the vehicle on the lot. And for those even more evolved, most car dealers now have their own finance arm to “help” their customers buy the right car for them. The mathematical trick used in automobile is interest rate. The rate is lower on paper, but the purchase price of the vehicle still meets the dealerships margin of profit per car.

    The deception is clear and accepted by the customer. So, it is not really deception: it is subjugation.

    A person with discipline could save a portion of each pay check for emergency needs like a car accident, medical surgery, dental surgery, or an accidental death. But insurance companies inflate the market price of all of those things by charging for the market actions of those things I just listed plus their own profit margin.

    It is not idle that the federal government has a tax ceiling set for life insurance policies (which is seen as a reward for buying insurance), while they punish people who save and have discipline by forcing them to pay more income tax as their savings increases. Those increases would’ve covered any emergencies that could hit the customer.

    I don’t blame people that work in insurance that believe that they are angels or saints or even that they help their customers, but the simple truth is the service provided by the insurance company could be done at a cheaper rate by the customer under all market conditions.

    Steve Kerbel is an insurance agent. Steve Kerbel is betting you won’t care enough to vote for someone else. For a party of principle, it appears 2016 is just another exercise in looking the other way.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    That Missouri matter was actually the one I brought up with Mr. Kerbel initially.

    One part of the complaint — that Kerbel did not possess a particular piece of paper with a particular bureaucrat’s signature on it, permitting him to do business — doesn’t seem to me like anything libertarians should have a problem with.

    Mr. Kerbel responded to the two things that Libertarians SHOULD be concerned about — misuse of escrowed funds and withholding of monies owed for unreasonable periods of time — in a way that I found satisfactorily detailed, to the effect that in the settlement talks, all parties agreed that no, he had done neither of those things, which is why the state was willing to settle on just a consent order that had him no longer doing what the state claimed he was not properly licensed to do.

  39. George Phillies

    WTF does the cost of a funeral have to do with your crazy claim that life insurance is a fraud?

    Absolutely nothing.

    The point of life insurance in the real world is that you have young people who drop dead, and leave young family behind them, so that there is a single dad or mom who may or may not have an income to take care of the family. In one local case I knew, both parents died, separately, leaving the two living grandparents to raise the children.

  40. Jill Pyeatt

    George said, about Steven Wilson’s previous comment: ” WTF does the cost of a funeral have to do with your crazy claim that life insurance is a fraud?”

    This was an odd statement from Mr. Wislon. The vast majority of people who die have little or no life insurance. Funerals are extremely expensive whether anyone has coverage or not.

    I’ve told my family I’d prefer to be cremated and not have an expensive service. This is reminding me that I should put it in writing somewhere.

  41. George Phillies

    Jill, if he had attacked funeral insurance I would have bitten my tongue. The cost of a funeral depends a great deal on what happens, someplace between tall marble monument, massive coffin, large funeral procession of vehicles rented for guests, body publicly displayed, ..to corpse cremated, ashes returned to family, or body donated to local medical school, no outside event.

  42. langa

    At its core, insurance is simply a form of gambling, and is no more inherently fraudulent than a game of blackjack or craps. Sure, the game is designed to ensure that the house wins in the long run, but so what? Everyone knows that, and if they still choose to play, that’s their decision.

    Of course, government mandating that people buy some particular kind of insurance is just as illegitimate as government mandating that people buy any other product or service. But that has nothing to do with the insurance itself, just the government mandate, which is what libertarians (and the LP) should oppose.

  43. Bonnie S

    I have to agree with these statements:

    “I read the letter. I see nothing in it that addresses anything properly. It was political pablum. I was not planning on supporting him, and it did not change my opinion.”

    “I’m willing to be convinced by an explanation. This is not an explanation, it’s just a blanket denial.”

    For someone who had NOT yet heard about these issues, Steve’s note in the OP just makes it sound like there IS something there. Otherwise, why couldn’t he say what it actually was that he was talking about? Thank you, Thomas Knapp, for at least trying to fill in the mysterious and suspicious blanks for the readers.

  44. Jill Pyeatt

    I will not be supporting Mr. Kerbel. There’s just too much going on in a short period of time, and he hasn’t explained it away, in my view.

    Perhaps I could handle his issues if they were years ago, but they’re not. They’re quite recent.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate his responding to our concerns, and I recognize that he might not be able to be more specific in the latest situation because it may not be over with.

  45. The Fact Finder

    As part of your due diligence on Kerbel, ask him why Mountain States Insurance Company, who was majority owner in a Colorado agency named Rocky Mountain to which Kerbel was a minority owner, fired Kerbel and gave him $50,000 to get lost? If he says it was because he was fudging the numbers and openly flaunting an affair with an employee and that employee’s husband came to the business and chased Kerbel around the parking lot with a baseball bat, he’s telling you the truth. If not, he’s conning you. The excuses and stories of a con artist eventually unravel if they stay put for too long. While you’re at it, ask him what excuses he has for having a girlfriend on the side while married and with kids at home? My sources tell me her name was, appropriately enough, “Candy”. As for the $800,000 plus he scammed from his investor victims, I suspect this may be his last hurrah. But hey, if he is elected President, problem solved. After all, a little thing like scamming $800K shouldn’t get in the way of saving the country, right? After all, the fundamentals of playing the Ponzi game require that you have another sucker lined up to pay the previous suckers. It seems the well may soon be dry of suckers for candidate Kerbel to bilk. So while he uses the money he scammed to live on and to create an illusion that he’s a success, it apparently buys him time for to come up with his next scheme. And why not shoot big, a Presidential website with a Donate button.

    In closing, “Let the buyer beware” of this dude who only cares about himself, lives off the hard earned money of others, is delusional about being President and serious about the next free ride. Good luck.

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