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LP-Texas presidential debate invitations: Johnson, Feldman, McAfee, Petersen, Sterling

From the Libertarian Party of Texas:

Thank You to everyone who participated in the LPTexas Vote With Your Dollars Straw Poll. Not only have you expressed your preference and helped LPTexas make a great and productive Presidential Debate Forum, but you have also helped give LPTexas additional resources to make the entire convention an even bigger showcase for liberty!

Here are the final standings from the straw poll. We will be contacting candidates in the order listed below to confirm their attendance in our debate forum the night of Friday April 8th 2016. Given the size of our stage and the amount of time we have available, we will be limiting participation to the top 5 highest ranked candidates that also confirm their intention to attend the forum.

Thank you once again to all that contributed to this experiment in free-market democracy! We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

About Post Author

Andy Craig


  1. Smart Alex Smart Alex February 12, 2016

    This is just a temper tantrum for Petersen because he couldn’t get his way.

  2. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood February 12, 2016

    There wasn’t any mention in the email I saw regarding why Johnson wouldn’t go. I wasn’t aware that it was the same weekend as your convention. That certainly puts a different spin on it, especially if Petersen and McAfee had already agreed to attend the convention.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Jill Pyeatt February 12, 2016

    Interesting how we all have a different take on this.

    I think it looks like Petersen is just interested in the fame.

  4. Andy Craig Andy Craig February 12, 2016

    Petersen and McAfee were ready to seriously screw over MS/AL on their long-scheduled debate that they and Johnson are all committed to. LP-Miss was raising hell over it, and then Petersen came up with this nonsense about how Johnson supposedly refused to debate him on Stossel. Stossel is welcome to have a debate whenever he wants, including at ISFL on either Fri or Sun, or any other of the many dates between now and Memorial Day that doesn’t conflict with an already-scheduled-and-promoted state LP debate. If Johnson had done to a state LP what Petersen was ready to do, people would be screaming bloody murder over how “Johnson doesn’t give a rats ass about the Libertarian Party; rather, he only cares about himself.” — Damned if you, damned if you don’t, to some.

    Johnson will be at the ISFL conference as a speaker, just not on that Saturday evening. Now Petersen and McAfee have backed down and will be going to Biloxi, like they’d originally agreed to and which those state LPs have already sunk thousands of dollars into, including making sure of a local/state media presence.

  5. Chuck Moulton Chuck Moulton February 12, 2016

    I completely agree, Stewart.

    This is just another example in the long parade of evidence that Johnson doesn’t give a rats ass about the Libertarian Party; rather, he only cares about himself.

    In 2012 at the Students for Liberty conference Johnson took the free media from Stossel, but refused to stop by the LP booth or help convince the thousands of attendees to join the LP.

    Petersen certainly looks like a more serious candidate than Johnson in this instance.

  6. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood February 12, 2016

    I just read an email put out by the Petersen campaign that says Johnson has turned down an invitation from John Stossel to appear on-air at the Students for Liberty conference in a debate against Petersen and McAfee.

    If this is true, Johnson has made a serious mistake. Even though the Fox Business Network is not as large as the other cable venues, having a debate between three of our candidates on it would have been a major step forward.

  7. sparkey sparkey February 11, 2016

    Does anyone have a schedule of debates/forums likely to include Johnson, McAfee, and Petersen? I’ve already seen Kerbel, Feldman, and Perry in the video of the one in Massachusetts, and I’m interested in any more, with all the major candidates.

  8. Rebel Alliance Rebel Alliance February 11, 2016

    Looks like favoritism and corruption is alive and well in LPTX. Selecting the best money-grubbers rather than the active candidates who’ve been getting the most media attention? Ignoring that several candidates have been raising money independently of LPTX’s own little deal? Sterling who has a barely-functional website over someone like Kerbel who’s been campaigning for months? This is a joke.

  9. Shane Shane February 10, 2016

    George, yep I did that. Raised $40k for ballot access for something as simple as rank on a web page.

    Great fundriasing tactic. Good for the LP of Texas in turning the presidential contest to their advantage . . . which is what it’s all about.

    If the LP is going to field a presidential candidate who will certainly lose, we may as well gain from it by increased exposure, increased fundriasing and increased ballot access.

  10. George Phillies George Phillies February 9, 2016

    The 2008 LNC tried a similar scheme to shake down Presidential candidates and their supporters; you paid for position on their web site.

  11. Steven Wilson Steven Wilson February 9, 2016

    The LP used to be the biggest voice opposing ballot access laws. Now, at the state party, the LP does something similar: pay to play. I can appreciate the fundraising aspect, but placing Freedom behind a velvet rope of funds is not Freedom.

    Every candidate should be heard without condition. I do not miss party politic at all.

    Peace in 2016 and beyond.

  12. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos February 9, 2016

    Thank you Marc.

  13. Marc Allan Feldman Marc Allan Feldman February 9, 2016

    According to:
    “Here are the guidelines for presidential candidates that are interested to be included in the debate.
    1. Polling is currently open, and will continue for the next 12 days. Polling will close on February 8th.
    2. The top 5 presidential candidates by “dollars voted” will be given first right of refusal to participate in the LPTexas Presidential Forum.
    3. If any of the top 5 candidates cannot or will not participate, the next highest candidate in terms of dollars will be given the next right of refusal.
    4. Any candidate that receives $0 in total votes will not be invited to the forum.”

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos February 9, 2016

    I would doubt that, and I think there would be objections. People who voted might have voted with their dollars specifically to exclude people, and I think it would not be upfront to do that. And I say this as you know fully wanting Kerbel and Perry there.

  15. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko February 9, 2016

    Do we know if the party will invite the runners up if some of the top 5 decide not to attend? Darryl Perry and Steve Kerbel seem to be actively campaigning. So, I think it would be good for them to be there.

  16. Marc Allan Feldman Marc Allan Feldman February 9, 2016

    @Stewart Flood does not understand my Votes Not For Sale Campaign. The idea is to allow those who can only donate $5 to be among my largest donors. This is a demonstration that I want to represent these people, the unrepresented. I cerrtainly do not discourage significant donations to the Libertarian Party or the affiliates. In fact, I have always had a link to the LP on my donation page:

    “If you wish to do more financially to support peace and liberty, consider the Libertarian Party at:

  17. Stewart Flood Stewart Flood February 9, 2016

    What’s interesting is that one of the first donations was $1,000 for Feldman. I thought that he was actually refusing to accept any donations above $5, so allowing a supporter (or more likely HIMSELF) to donate a grand to a political party to allow him into a debate is…

    …wait for it…

    …here it is…

    …being a HYPOCRITE!

    But to the Texas LP: congratulations on raising a lot of money! Good job!!! (seriously!)

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos February 9, 2016

    Sterling is a surpise

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