Alan Hayman at The Random Spoon: The Libertarian Party’s Donald Trump: The Truth About Austin Petersen

petersen_cram_it_2The original article can be read at The Random Spoon here.

Some of us “party insiders” have been saying for a while that Austin Petersen is not good for the Libertarian Party. I put “party insiders” in quotes as a bit of a joke, because anyone that actually involves themselves in what we do on a day-to-day basis understands that there pretty much are no “insiders” in our party.

In reality, all it takes to be an “insider” is run for the board of your state or county affiliate, which anyone can do as long as they are a registered Libertarian. Just know that if you disagree with Austin’s tactics, you would automatically be part of the “great conspiracy” to keep him out.

This article is not intended to be a hit piece on Austin Petersen. I don’t want Johnson supporters to share this just because it happens to attack Austin. Likewise, I don’t want Petersen supporters to assume that I’m taking a cheap shot at their guy. I care deeply about this party and this movement, and much of what I describe here is certainly not limited to Austin or his supporters.

That being said, Austin does have a role to play. Only he can decide if he wants to be remembered as a valuable piece in a much bigger puzzle, or as the troublemaker that only seemed to upset people and cause discord.

Libertarian in-fighting is an artifact of our ideology and will always be around, but if we can’t learn to disagree agreeably, then our ideas are not useful to anyone. That is why I’m writing this.

If I do nothing else here and you, beloved reader, take nothing else away from it, let it be successfully setting the record straight. I know many people personally that took a liking to Petersen, based on a few debate performances. But they usually drop their support, once they discover what he’s really been doing to the party.

It’s not like I don’t think he’s capable of being a genuine voice for Liberty if he wants to be. Clearly he can. He served as Outreach Director of the party, and was a creative force behind bringing a key Libertarian voice to television. He’s also very charming and likable when he wants to be. He’d done his homework, and knows the philosophy well. I don’t overlook any of this stuff.

But having said that, we cannot let the man off the hook. His terrible treatment of activists in the movement is disgusting, and the party is more divided than ever because of the enmity he creates.

To that end, I want to clear up a lot of misinformation surrounding this guy. And boy, there’s a lot go through. Everyday, he lies about something new.

Most recently, he lied about Gary Johnson’s campaign supposedly buying up all the hotel rooms for the National Convention, and that John McAfee’s campaign manager quit. Both of these claims are provably false, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you wish to support Austin Petersen at the end of this, be my guest. All I can do is report the facts, give you my personal opinion, and let you decide the rest.

This is important, because the message of Liberty applies to everyone, and it matters who we choose to communicate that message.

There will be millions of soon-to-be disenfranchised, non-Libertarian voters looking for another option, and what will they think if they turn to us and see that we nominated a 35 year old Trump?

petersen_spindly


petersen_shtick


He’s also made several disparaging remarks about our female activists. There are plenty to choose from, but this one was enough to be included in an article written by the same person:

austin_pretty_girls


In others, he refers to women as “butter face,” and suggests that breasts are helpful distractions for ugly women. I wish I was making this stuff up.

Those should give you a good idea of the sort of individual we’re dealing with, but here is one more. This one is a particular favorite of mine:

petersen_kerbel_endorsement


That is my favorite, because of all the figures that I would associate as “sleazy”, Kerbel is probably the last person I would think of.

Being that he’s from Colorado, I’ve spoken with Kerbel a number of times. He is one of the sharpest, nicest, most consistently Libertarian guys I know. I would not have been at all upset if he was our nominee. I still think Johnson is better because of experience and name-recognition and all that jazz, but Kerbel is one legit dude.

But if you’re Austin, who cares? Most of his supporters associate Colorado as that place that banned him from debating (a fact that he misinformed his supporters about, which I’ll discuss in a moment). So most of them probably believed that Kerbel really was sleazy, even though Austin offers absolutely no evidence for saying so (something he does repeatedly).

Again, this is not supposed to be a hit piece, but this stuff matters. Many smart, rational people are tentatively supporting him on the basis that he is a sharp, professional candidate that speaks our values well. I believe many will be aghast to learn that he is engaging in these things.

But we’re just getting started.

The truth, as if it needs to be stated, is that all of our candidates would be exceptional alternatives, but only one of them is an internet troll masquerading as a presidential candidate. And I wish I could take credit for being the first to point it out, but clearly I’m not.

Lately, he is starting to take some outlandish actions, and to call them “missteps” would reflect a misunderstanding of the very nature of the campaign he is running.

Many viewers watched the Stossel debate and took a liking to Austin. It’s not hard to see why. He seemed like a pretty ideologically consistent Libertarian that spoke well and genuinely seemed to love Liberty. His attack on Johnson’s position on anti-discrimination laws did not come off sounding like an adolescent sibling rivalry, but more like a real candidate with a legitimate point to make.

It shifted a lot of energy away from Johnson and onto him, too, which means it was an effective attack. It showed that he is capable of going on the offensive without resorting to ridicule, mockery, or outright lying.

But if you are one of those viewers that took a liking to Petersen because of his better-than-usual performance in that debate, let me try and paint a more complete picture of Austin Petersen (as if I haven’t already).

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Johnson supporter. I was also one of the board members in Colorado that voted to direct the Convention Committee not to extend an invite to Austin Petersen to attend our debate.

I can’t speak for the board, and I won’t go into any of the details of that decision. But I can tell you why I personally supported that decision.

At that point in time, Austin Petersen had already publicly expressed his disinterest in and repudiation of the Statement of Principles of the Libertarian Party. He also continues to ridicule anyone that uses the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as a means to communicate, simply, what Libertarianism is all about.

petersen_NAP


If that was it, maybe there would have been less support for not inviting such a character to our debate. If someone has a rational argument to make for no longer using the NAP as a tool for communicating the ideas of Liberty because it over-simplifies things and infantilizes our ideology, then let’s hear it. Our membership will decide (unfavorably, I’d expect) whether it agrees or not.

I am not a Libertarian purist by any stretch of the imagination. My last post should have made that abundantly clear. So if that was the case, I would have loved to hear his argument.

But that was not the case. And the more Austin used social media as a mud-slinging device, the more I realized that he is not interested in rational discussion at all. In fact, he admits that he is not interested in this. He actually seems to enjoy being an agitator.

It was evident then in many ways, like the aforementioned demeaning of members who do prefer the NAP and use it often. He had taken a few swipes at his fellow candidates as well (referring to Gary Johnson as Gary “Flaccid” Johnson, for example), and they were enough to convince me that this man was not fit to run an outreach booth, much less lead the nation.

The most alarmingly unprofessional statement to me at the time was what he said in his interview (if you can call it that) with Cantwell, whom very few people in the Liberty movement can even stand. The interview is like watching two Donald Trumps argue with each other about who has the largest banana in their pocket.

More specifically, the part where Austin said this, in response to Cantwell saying he gets laid more often than people think:

“I’ll bet you do, you tubby piece of s***. You couldn’t even approach the pyramid pile of p**** that I swim in on a regular basis. And it’s because I have class, mother f*****!”

Yes, he said that.

It’s not that I think that these sorts of statements should always bar a Libertarian from ever getting to run for office. Most of us have said things like this at a time when we never thought we’d ever be running for office. Us regular citizens have that luxury. We don’t have to worry about the morality police combing through every recorded word we’ve ever said or written.

Having said that, though, it might be the only time I’ve ever heard a pro-life candidate talk about how he is swimming in p**** on a regular basis. Plus, none of these statements were friendly. He was not poking fun at Cantwell, he was viciously attacking him. Not that I’m a fan of Cantwell, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

In fact, this interview is probably the most honest depiction of Austin Petersen that actually exists on the internet. Again, I can’t speak for the board, but to me, this was actually the dealbreaker.

According to the bylaws of our party, his opposition to our Statement of Principles alone would have justified the decision we made. In fact, the National Party could technically dis-affiliate any state that chose to endorse a candidate that did so. Not that this was ever likely, but it is a fact.

Again, if a candidate wanted to persuade me that those rules are too strict, I would love to hear his case. But for me, I was not merely following rules. I actually think those particular rules exist for guys like Austin Petersen. They exist for anyone that wishes to use our party for cheap ballot access, and for those who wish to portray a very incorrect image of Libertarianism.

His dismissal of our most basic principles reflects a deeper problem that doesn’t just rub the purists in the wrong way. His behavior is also a bit of a subjective thing to measure, but when he begins to tell lies, it is no longer subjective. It is a problem that we all need to recognize.

The first time I actually observed his campaign’s willingness to spread lies was actually regarding our board decision. He told his followers that we excluded and banned him from attending, which was never true.

Once he reached out to us, it was settled that he was attending. There was no more debate on the matter on our end, because we never voted to exclude him. None of us freaked out, and there were no emergency meetings. We did not change our votes or backpedal. In fact, he was even offered a free meal by our Convention Committee Chair, which he arrived too late to receive.

In spite of all this, he sent out a mailer that said, “Petersen Campaign Triumphant After Attack From Party Establishment Insiders.”

There is simply too much fail in that headline to unpack.

He also told his followers that our board members were gagged because of a second vote we took regarding communications with Petersen’s campaign. A clear violation of free speech!

Well, this was not true either. Board members were always free to interact with Petersen and his campaign, just not in an official LPCO capacity. This was a reasonable expectation, given the willingness of Petersen’s campaign to spread misinformation.

You know, like telling them we were all gagged. Why would we vote to do that? It makes no sense at all, but Petersen’s supporters believed every word of it.

In any event, Petersen came, was warmly welcomed, and the debate occurred without incident. Taking a principled position to not formally invite him actually turned into positive publicity for Colorado and for the party. Many other Affiliates applauded us, as did many of our members.

Those members in Colorado that were angry with us were precisely those members that received the bad information I just referred to. When it became clear to our members that, not only was he not excluded but was expected to appear (and was even included on our marketing materials for the event), they largely agreed with our decision.

A big reason why this misinformation existed in the first place was a poorly-sourced article on alibertarianfuture.com, which contained much of these falsehoods. But Austin is not the sort of person that is going to follow up on it and verify if it’s true. It benefits him more to have a dragon to slay, and he raised quite a bit of money trying to slay LPCO.

It also bears noting that, although he attempted to involve himself in the affairs of an affiliate by urging all of his supporters to vote LPCO’s entire board out of office, none of that came to pass. All of the board members that sought re-election at our Convention were re-elected without objection. There was not a single member of our delegation that even mentioned our decision, or any other issue, as being cause for concern for the board’s integrity. You would think that Austin’s sabre-rattling would have led to at least one member voicing dissent.

If I could go back and do anything differently, the only thing I would have changed is that I would have suggested the disinviting to include ALL candidates that have repudiated our party’s principles.

It would have changed nothing in reality because Austin was and still is the only one who has, but it would have driven home the point a bit more clearly that we are not just picking on Austin. Austin is doing it to himself. If you don’t support our party’s principles, fine. But find another party.

That’s the real point here. Austin oscillates between proud agitator and victimized outsider, and people are calling him out on it.

Gary Johnson called him out on it in Texas, and for the first time, everyone got to see it. He had the gall to say that Gary Johnson — a successful businessman, two-term Governor, and plaintiff in a suit against the Debate Commission — was a defeatist. The nazi cakes was one thing, but this is just silly. It was the height of hubris. (watch video here; exchange begins at 1:28:30)

He is treating this race like a personal vendetta, but against whom we can never be entirely sure. His narcissism has gone beyond even Trump, because at least Trump doesn’t act like he speaks for the party or for any movement.

Austin has repeated the famous Isaac Newton quote, “If I can see farther, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” But does he actually believe this? His actions seem to suggest otherwise.

He is not above throwing heavy-lifting advocates of Liberty under the bus whenever it suits him. He picks fights with them instead, which is the least Libertarian thing you can do.

One of the best examples of him picking a fight with the strangest of enemies is the time he whined about losing to “Uncommitted” in Missouri.

Because of a technicality, Gary Johnson was not on the ballot in this state, which holds a Primary instead of the more traditional (for a third party, anyway) Caucus. As a result, Gary Johnson supporters chose “Uncommitted” instead. But when the LP National’s Facebook page reported (factually) that Austin Petersen came in second behind “Uncommitted” and he felt snubbed, how did Austin choose to respond?

By accusing the LP National Facebook page of shady practices (with zero evidence), and by posting the cell phone number of Nick Sarwark, the LNC Chair, and encouraging his supporters to go and harass him.

Now I know Nick personally, too, because he’s also from Colorado. He’s a big boy, and he can handle this sort of treatment. He’s been dealing with it since day one, in fact. But who else gives out the cell phone number of people he doesn’t like, and encourages his followers to harass them?

That’s right. Donald Trump.

Austin has a massive messiah complex. He thinks he’s white-knighting for Liberty, and that means he’s never wrong. Many of his supporters would rather quibble over details than admit that this is not healthy, presidential behavior. It certainly doesn’t help the movement.

He says things like, “a prophet is never welcomed in his own land.” He says that because he thinks he’s the Libertarian savior coming to rescue us from ourselves. Have you ever heard of a more anti-Libertarian ethos than that?

Libertarians do not need saving, least of all from an insecure self-promoter like him. When he speaks, it is not the suffering of a man that spent three days in the belly of a whale, but the jilted bitterness of a troll that spent three minutes in a chat room.

Any criticism is simply perceived as persecution by Austin, even when he is the one throwing the sharpest objects and seeing what does the most damage.

But here’s the good news.

The more sharp objects that Austin Petersen throws, the sloppier he’s going to get. His attack of Gary in Texas is evidence of that. He has gotten so sloppy that even his own supporters are starting to turn on him. One of his supporters just posted this on the very website that Austin Petersen founded:

“To be clear, I like Petersen. But his personal behavior and his attacks against the other Libertarian presidential candidates have made me switch my support. I liked his willingness to criticize Johnson. But the attacks have gone too far.”

This actually gives me hope for the party.

It means that its members are smart enough to spot a charlatan when they see one. They know that he doesn’t care if the Libertarian Party grows, especially when he’s posting stuff like this:

petersen_mississippi


This time, it’s not about Libertarian purity, it’s about something else.

If Austin wants to step up and be the better man for a change, he might actually get my vote. I want to see more of that side of Austin that many already respect and admire. I don’t think his young age has to count against him, on that I agree with him. I want to see the best Austin Petersen that he can be.

And if you remain an advocate of this man, feel free to persuade me.

I’m not kidding. I will listen.

I will gladly change my opinion if Austin changes his attitude and his behavior. I had hoped he was willing to do this, based on the professionalism he displayed at our debate in Colorado. It’s proof that he CAN do it if he wants to, but he’s choosing not to.

But whether he wises up to any of this, I cannot predict. Regardless, we can all learn from it. The great thing about our community is that we do not put up with this sort of thing for very long. It’s not what we’re about.

We’re about respecting each other, and building each other up through voluntary exchange. Criticism and competition are wonderful things, because they help us arrive at the best solution. But if we cannot show the world how to do this in a healthy way, then we are wasting our time.

Convince me that his divisive rhetoric and negative campaigning is good for the party and for the movement. I don’t think you can, because cutting people down for your own benefit is in the nature of behavior that runs counter to the NAP. I would criticize anyone who thinks likewise.

But then again, Austin is not a believer in the NAP anyway.

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party and tagged , on by .

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.

139 thoughts on “Alan Hayman at The Random Spoon: The Libertarian Party’s Donald Trump: The Truth About Austin Petersen

  1. Thomas Knapp

    “Most recently, he lied about Gary Johnson’s campaign supposedly buying up all the hotel rooms for the National Convention, and that John McAfee’s campaign manager quit. Both of these claims are provably false”

    Somebody forgot to tell McAfee that the latter claim is false. He seems to be under the impression that his campaign manager quit and that he has a new campaign manager. At least that’s what he said on a podcast I listened to yesterday.

  2. Stewart Flood

    Kevin is his campaign manager? If that’s factual, that is a very interesting change. Kevin would not be likely to sign on to a campaign he didn’t think could win the nomination or with a candidate he didn’t think could do the job.

    Very interesting.

  3. George Phillies

    “Most recently, he lied about Gary Johnson’s campaign supposedly buying up all the hotel rooms for the National Convention,”

    Exactly what did he say? I have been provided with vaguely similar information, namely that there are no rooms left in the conference hotel (that’s from the National Chair), that few nearby rooms are left (possibly related to the large SF convention next door at the same time), and that ” Gary Johnson’s campaign [bought] up all the hotel rooms” (from another campaign).

    “and that John McAfee’s campaign manager quit. Both of these claims are provably false”

    The McAfee-Weiss campaign reorganized. There is indeed a new campaign manager. I have that from the candidate. I have been in touch with her. It is my understanding that the old manager is still advising, but has a positive new commitment elsewhere.

    If there is a liar here, it is Hayman. The more charitable assumption is that the world is complex and can be oversimplified.

  4. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    April 15, 2016 at 08:37
    Took me a few minutes to dredge up the name of McAfee’s new campaign manager (according to McAfee): Kevin Takenaga of California.”

    Why is Chris Thrasher no longer McAfee’s campaign manager?

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Why is Chris Thrasher no longer McAfee’s campaign manager?”

    I suspect that depends on who you ask, but McAfee offers one answer in the link above. All that starts around the 33 minute mark if you aren’t interested in half an hour of non-McAfee Stoner Jesus first.

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    George, I don’t know a thing about the hotel room thing other than they were sold out several weeks ago, and way before that, I was told that they were selling out. IE, there was plenty of notice, they have been on sale for a while, and it seems that the conspiracy mongering is rampant. In fact, when I heard there were only 5 rooms left, I got in touch with a friend of mine, who happens to be a paid member of the Gary Johnson Campaign, and reminded him to get his room… so much for this Johnson conspiracy, he immediately went and booked his room from the ones remaining. Apparently he wasn’t given the nod, nod, wink, wink memo from the Campaign that they have bought them all, not to worry.

    re: McAfee…. the claim by AP was of this doom and gloom, wink, wink, his Campaign Manager quit OMG. He didn’t quit– the spin was absolutely false– and the spin is what has been the pervasive problem. Judd Weiss I think gave it good perspective:

    We’ve got some exciting news. The McAfee/Weiss campaign is now ramping up to a higher level. The rumors are true, but the spin wasn’t. We have a new campaign manager: the incredible Tiffany Madison is now on board with us. She was on the ground floor organizing the Liberty.me launch. She’s since been organizing D10e, Coin Congress, and other large liberty related conferences, coordinating teams, managing all the moving parts, and dealing with all the personalities with grace. We are so lucky to have her.

    Christopher Thrasher is absolutely still on the campaign team. And he remains a crucial vital part. His energy will now solely be focused on our critical delegate contest. Since I’ve come on board to the McAfee campaign 2 weeks ago, I’ve been given the flexibility to make some severe changes. And more changes are going to continue happening (next is the website). When I’ve run businesses in the past, I always focus on the strengths of each team member, placing them in positions where they thrive. Because of Chris’ extensive experience with the Libertarian Party, we NEED him to focus all of his time and energy on delegates right now. Our ability to continue our campaign past the LP Convention vote in Orlando at the end of May depends entirely on our delegate vote. Managing all the other day to day operations of the campaign was distracting Chris and bogging him down, and right now I can’t have anything distracting him away from focusing on the delegate contest. This is too important.

  7. George Dance

    “Most recently, he lied about Gary Johnson’s campaign supposedly buying up all the hotel rooms for the National Convention, and that John McAfee’s campaign manager quit. Both of these claims are provably false”

    Alan Hayman is referring to this story:

    “Next up, the McAfee campaign crisis:
    [FB post from “Austin Wade”: “McAfee’s campaign manager just quit. They are teetering but we need their support. We must present a united front against the Johnsonites. United we stand! The R3VOLUTION continues!”]
    [[FB post from “Austin Wade”: “McAfee’s campaign manager quit in part because Johnson apparently just received an enormous donation from a special interest”]
    “Here Austin is growing a tinfoil hat by saying this grand Gary Johnson conspiracy is about getting John McAfee’s campaign chair to quit due to some mystery donor. It doesn’t really matter, but Austin spread some grossly wrong rumor that McAfee’s chairman quit the campaign and now is saying that he’s going to wish McAfee the best so they can fight off Gary.
    “Problem? It’s total BS. We contacted the VP of the campaign directly and found McAfee’s chairman is having a role change, but is still an active supporter of McAfee and 100% on the staff.”

    Charles Peralo, “Austin Petersen Sounds False Alarms On Johnson & McAfee Campaigns,” Being Libertarian, April 13, 2016 https://beinglibertarian.com/austin-petersen-sounds-false-alarms-on-johnson-mcafee-campaigns/

  8. George Dance

    George Phillies: “Exactly what did he say?”

    From the article cited above:

    [FB post from “Austin Wade”: “Johnson’s campaign bought every spare hotel room in the convention center to deny us access. If you have not gotten accommodations, you must do so nearby. The clock is ticking and the future of the liberty movement now depends on your diligence.”]

    “I began asking around and found Austin’s claim to be not only untrue, but laughably so. People involved or just following the campaign heavily felt no seriousness in the comments made by Austin and felt that even the notion that a small campaign would spend so much money doing this to be a ridiculous enough reason to discard it.”

    Let me ask you in return:

    Which campaign told you that “Gary Johnson’s campaign [bought] up all the hotel rooms”?

  9. George Dance

    I should add that “Austin Wade” is a facebook account I’d never heard of until I read Mr. Peralo’s article. The main account he’s been using for campaign news is under the name “Austin Petersen”, which is the one I’ve been following. “Austin Wade” looks like a more private one for the stories he wants to keep off the “Austin Petersen” page. Having found this one, I wonder if there are others.

  10. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    George it is his personal account… he often cross-posts and it is pretty wide open for friends unless you are a known opponent.

  11. George Phillies

    Jill Sorry. I forgot that nonfen would miss the abbreviation.

    SF = science fiction. Right next to the hotel is a huge science fiction convention at the same time.

    All: There are two Georges here.

  12. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    More on the hotel room thing… It was common and well-advertised knowledge the the rooms were organically selling out. It was stated openly on the PUBLIC LNC-VOTES LIST (but they are in on teh conspiracy dontchaknow?)

    Gary did a really terrible job of buying them all when he left enough for a notice go out that they are selling out….

    And more on a just capitalist note. If a group has the money, there is absolutely nothing keeping anyone from buying the rooms. If I had a ton of money, and if I wanted to do that, I could freely do that on the market.

    Also…. no money is required for reservations. The AWP campaign or any could have had plenty of people reserve rooms if they chose, and not a thing wrong with that.

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    The accusation that Johnson is also “bussing in delegates” is also alive and well. Not from Austin BTW – at least not that I have ever saw but I have heard it nonetheless. This seems to be the regular LP convention boogeyman.

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    ==Thanks, George. “SF” to me is State Farm.===

    Jake sounds hideous.

  15. Jill Pyeatt

    I also don’t see buying up all the rooms as a terrible thing. Is it possible that Pojunis did it? I can see him getting his people to reserve them.

    I really don’t have major issues with Brett, but he’s not my choice for chair. He is planning to take a lot of the open spots from the CA delegation, though. I don’t think there’s anything we can do about that.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    OK, So:

    Judd Weiss says that Tiffany Madison is John McAfee’s new campaign manager.

    And John McAfee says that Kevin Takenaga is John McAfee’s new campaign manager.

    Does anyone know if John McAfee has a new campaign manager and if so who that campaign manager might be? Because apparently either McAfee or Weiss, or both of them, don’t know who McAfee’s campaign manager is.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    “He is planning to take a lot of the open spots from the CA delegation, though. I don’t think there’s anything we can do about that.”

    How does a Libertarian from Nevada take another state party’s delegation seats in a way that that state party can do nothing about?

  18. Christopher S. Thrasher

    Just an FYI, I posted the following on my facebook page:

    “For those who have inquired: Due to some exciting developments with The Wagon Works Group, LLC, I will be transitioning from my role as full-time National Director for the John McAfee: Libertarian for President campaign to a part-time advisory position.

    I am proud of the work that has been accomplished along with a dedicated group of volunteers over the past few months. We have succeeded in doing in a short amount of time what most campaigns take six months to a year to accomplish. My transition allows the campaign greater flexibility to adapt to the needs of this ever-evolving race.

    While I will no longer oversee the day-to-day affairs of the campaign, I continue to believe that John McAfee is the best possible choice for the Libertarian Party, and I look forward to continuing to help him secure the nomination in an advisory capacity.

    Thanks to all of you for your support and kind words.

    See you in Orlando!”

    To add a bit of background, I have an opportunity to work on a project very near and dear to my heart, and there was no way that I would be able to continue the full-time effort I have been putting in for the campaign. Between administrative tasks, constant travel (I slept in my own bed the other night for the first time since March 8th), and dealing with the ever-ringing phone, I knew that something had to give. I am very pleased with the developments that have followed, with Judd taking a lead and bringing in the right people to take the campaign to a new phase.

    I will still be advising John and the campaign, as well as working to help him secure the nomination in Orlando. I am proud of the work I have done to get the ball rolling, but now that it is speedily making its way down the hill, I am happy to step back and leave the campaign in capable hands.

    For those who are curious about my next project, I shall leave you with a bit of reading from the Mises institute. https://mises.org/library/endless-sufferings-cairo-illinois

  19. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    ==How does a Libertarian from Nevada take another state party’s delegation seats in a way that that state party can do nothing about?===

    And this is why CO does not seat out-of-state people and why I completely support our Bylaws in that regard. No one looks at us like a juicy plum.

    Though we are quite delicious.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    OK, so now:

    Judd Weiss says that Christopher Thrasher has stepped aside as campaign manager so that he can spend all of his time working on the delegate procurement op.

    Christopher Thrasher says that Christopher Thrasher has stepped aside as campaign manager because his company has an important opportunity he can’t pass up.

    Now I’m up to two questions:

    1) Who knows who John McAfee’s campaign manager is — John McAfee or Judd Weiss?

    2) Who knows what Christopher Thrasher is up to and why — Christopher Thrasher or Judd Weiss?

  21. Christopher S. Thrasher

    “Now I’m up to two questions:

    1) Who knows who John McAfee’s campaign manager is — John McAfee or Judd Weiss?

    2) Who knows what Christopher Thrasher is up to and why — Christopher Thrasher or Judd Weiss?”

    The answer to both question is, well, both.

    Kevin Takanaga stepped up on an interim basis. He has been a tremendous help, and will continue to be, but he has full time commitments elsewhere. Tiffany Madison will be officially starting on Monday.

    I do indeed have an important opportunity I can’t pass up, but I will also be able to work on the delegate procurement as well. It’s amazing how much free time one can have on their hands when not on the phone for 8 hours a day!

  22. Thomas L. Knapp

    Thanks for clarifying those things, Christopher. I’m an information junkie and it freaks me out when I have multiple, seemingly mutually exclusive plausible claims, all from people who seem to be qualified to make those claims.

    Good luck on the delegate procurement front. That was one thing the Johnson people seemed to get an early start on and that Petersen seems to have hit pretty hard as well — but I suspect that Johnson commitments are evaporating quickly as he keeps publicly falling apart, and that Petersen has a hard ceiling.

    The horse race is fun to watch and speculate on from outside, but good pre-convention delegate work and convention floor work are far less visible and far more important.

  23. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    AP put out a response video claiming that McAfee called him personally and said Thrasher quit. I am quite willing to accept that at face value, and to that extent. I would say that one claim in the article is not correct.

    However, AP also falsely claimed in his response video that I wrote this article. What is unclear about the headline that gives the source as all IPR articles do? And he went full insult about “pink-haired crazies” as well… when I didn’t write it. I wonder if he will post a retraction to that?

  24. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Austin’s threats against his own Party to those who dare oppose him

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Anthony it amazes me that he would make such a sloppy mistake. I wonder if he thinks I also wrote the article a few days ago by Hayman that was critical of me?

  26. Stewart Flood

    Not sure why all the mystery and drama, but what Chris said fits with McAfee saying he resigned as campaign manager. And I was wondering how Kevin could take on the role and still have a day job, so that’s been answered.

    As to the “invasion” of the California delegation, members of the Nevada party were at their convention and actually JOINED the LPCA. Some states don’t care who is a member of their state party. Others, like mine, are required by state law to ONLY allow voters who are registered in our state to be a member of the state party. That is, of course, the logical way things should be done. You should only be allowed to be a member of one state party.

    But that isn’t the way we do it, so there’s no need to debate it. 🙂

    I was told that the CHAIRMAN of the Nevada party actually joined the California party along with others from his state. I wasn’t there, so I can’t verify it, but that really sounds fishy to me. But he is a McAfee supporter, so we have data to support the takeover theory…

  27. George Dance

    Mr. Petersen has replied to this article, on Facebook, and responded to a clarifying question from me. Since it’s germane to the discussion, I’ll copy that in.

    Austin Wade: Well this article us full of lies. [sic]
    George Dance: Indeed? What lies are those?
    Austin Wade: Well it’s lies top to bottom, as to be expected from the losertarian caucus. You’ll all be out on the streets after my victory in Orlando, rest assured.

    https://www.facebook.com/todd.andrew.barnett/posts/10156749394685705

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Petersen’s claim was that he quit and for a specific reason. That reason is not supported, and Petersen provided no evidence. Further the intent seemed clearly to make it seem like he quit entirely, he didn’t.

  29. Anthony

    Caryn,

    Does he care about being sloppy? I think not.

    It appears publicity is his main goal.

    His reputation in the party can’t be any lower.

  30. George Dance

    Anthony: “It appears publicity is his main goal.”

    Indeed it does. Turns out the reason he won’t back up his story that the Johnson campaign bought every spare room in the hotel, on Facebook, is because he’s ” Working with a major news mag on the scoop.”

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    I am not a Petersen supporter, and I frankly thought Caryn was wrong when she posited that he’s running a strong campaign.

    She was right and I was wrong.

    He’s been running a real ground game, reaching out to delegates (I ran into several a month or more ago who were planning to vote for him because he made the effort to ASK them to).

    He actually hit ME up a few minutes ago. He knows I’m with Perry and then likely McAfee if Perry is eliminated, but he made a reasonably good pitch for himself as my second choice. And I don’t think he would have bothered contacting me if he hadn’t already talked to every uncommitted and loosely committed delegate he could get in touch with.

    I still don’t think he’ll win the nomination, but I’m not laughing at the possibility any more.

    I’d say his chances get better if Johnson drops out before the convention and leaves delegates available to pitch to — unless Thrasher REALLY gets on top of the McAfee operation to do that.

    On the other hand, if Johnson holds out until Orlando before cratering, advantage McAfee for two reasons: 1) There’s a possibility that Austin will be eliminated before Johnson and 2) McAfee is probably going to be more appealing to undecideds and/or former Johnson people cut loose by his crash, as many of them will be bigger on the “is he famous? Is he rich?” stuff, unless Petersen gets to them FIRST.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    The word I got from Austin was that what he’s working with a big magazine (very big for libertarians, so I’m sure you can figure out which one) is not just Johnson buying hotel rooms, but Johnson spending money on something else that smacks of “bribing delegates.”

    I don’t know what it is, of course. And I don’t know if it’s true. If it is, bad move on Johnson’s part, IMO. There’s no particular reason for bought delegates to STAY bought.

  33. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom, it very well could be true. That is a different claim than the article addresses however, and AP is good at deflecting.

    I am not a GJ supporter so it matters little to me.

  34. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am glad you see what I have been saying Tom. I think he is a terrible candidate, but he is running a strong campaign and has been doing so for a while. Ultimately though… presidential campaigns are not my primary focus, but rather the strengthening of CO. Who the nominee is will be largely irrelevant to the work I do.

  35. Jill Pyeatt

    Austin may be running a good campaign, but I think we would have seen him winning at least some of the straw polls/debate polls by now if there was any chance he’d be our candidate. I still don’t see that much chance of that happening.

    As far as dirty deeds from the Johnson campaign, I heard a strong rumor that he’s paying McAfee’s staffers to come over to his campaign, and, if they refuse, he’s offering them money to simply stop working for McAfee. This is just a rumor, though.

  36. Anthony

    All of Austin’s antics, boorish behavior, his republican carpetbagging ways, and his total lack of experience and the LP delegates are going to support him simply because he asked them to?

    I didn’t know Libertarians were so easily swayed.

  37. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Anthony, personal contact if powerful. And the other candidates are fools for not following that strategy.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    There’s an old saying in retail politics:

    If you ask for a vote, you might not get it. If you don’t ask for it, you definitely won’t get it.

    So far as I can tell, Austin — and to at least some degree Perry — have been talking to INDIVIDUAL LIKELY DELEGATES and asking those delegates for their support.

    Sure, a number of people are already committed to Johnson or McAfee based on publicity and showmanship. Maybe more than Petersen or Perry will be able to recruit by doing retail sales pitches. It may be that neither Petersen nor Perry can win with the retail approach. But it’s a definite fact that neither of them can win without it.

    Since I am a nuts and bolts political junkie, my ears perk up when I hear candidates — even candidates most people think are marginal — making the noises that for-real candidates make.

  39. Anthony

    Personal contact is powerful. Exactly why Austin will push away at least as delegates than he sways to his side.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    My recollection is that it was Tip O’Neill who spoke of losing an early race for local office by one vote. The next day he and his neighbor were talking, and the neighbor shook his head sadly and said “yeah, the wife and I probably should have gotten out to vote for you.”

    O’Neill asked “well, why the hell didn’t you?”

    “Because you never asked us to.”

  41. Caryn Ann Harlos

    No presidential candidate has directly asked me or my husband yet.

    Will Coley has asked me,

  42. Anthony

    Tip O’Neil wasn’t a collosal ass. At least he didn’t act that way in public.

    I’m not trying to be purposively argumentative. I’m just trying to remind everyone of who we are talking about here.

    He’s no Tip O’Neil.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, his combative fuck-you personality reduces his chances greatly. I don’t expect him to win the nomination. I’m just saying he’s running a much better campaign than I expected him to.

  44. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    An AWP supporter when I asked for proof that Johnson “bought all of the rooms” in the face of contrary proof that he did not, actually said to me that the burden of proof is on the accused not on the accuser.

    He then made up stuff to say that I said ” “It’s not an opinion, Todd. It is a fact.” in relation to this subject… when actually… I said that in an entirely different thread. One in which he accused A Libertarian Future of posting a hit piece on Petersen when the site he was trying to refer to was Being Libertarian.

    What is with these people? Is truth that hard?

    Screenshot for posterity:

  45. George Dance

    Ms. Pyeatt: “As far as dirty deeds from the Johnson campaign, I heard a strong rumor that he’s paying McAfee’s staffers to come over to his campaign, and, if they refuse, he’s offering them money to simply stop working for McAfee. This is just a rumor, though.”

    Interesting; that helps me make sense of one FB post that Being Libertarian quoted from “Austin Wade”:

    “McAfee’s campaign manager quit in part because Johnson apparently just received an enormous donation from a special interest.”

    Of course that’s no proof that Austin is starting these rumors; if he’s just heard them I’m sure he believes them, as he’s probably convinced Johnson is Evil Incarnate. Either way, he’d probably do the same thing

    If he didn’t, who did? Well, Austin’s already said he was told the campaign manager quit by McAfee, who called him up and told him. So one of them made that story up. He didn’t say he got the big donor part from McAfee; Maybe, maybe not. It would actually make sense for McAfee to be using Austin to smear Johnson, but beyond the phone call story that’s just speculation.

    The third possibility, of course, is that the rumors are true, in which case they’re coming from someone on Johnson’s campaign. To me that makes the least sense: it’s been looking to me as if Johnson could coast his way to the nomination, and his Stossel performance makes me think he thinks so, too – but it’s not impossible, and there may be more evidence pointing that way if Reason is investigating. (Tom Knapp’s hints about Johnson dropping out before the convention or ‘cratering’ at it also make me think there’s more to that theory than I’d normally believe.)

    So: the only conclusion is that one of the “front-runners” is the bad guy here, and it’s possible any of them could be.

    (I probably shouldn’t read IPR right after watching “Murder, She Wrote 🙂

  46. Thomas Knapp

    “it’s been looking to me as if Johnson could coast his way to the nomination”

    My best guess right now is that if the convention was this weekend, Johnson would get 30-35% on the first ballot and that if it went beyond one ballot (in other words, if McAfee is not yet at 50%) his support would rapidly disintegrate.

  47. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom, if McAfee doesn’t do the ground game that Petersen is (and I have always given him major props on that) he doesn’t have a chance.

  48. Jill Pyeatt

    LOL, GD said: (I probably shouldn’t read IPR right after watching “Murder, She Wrote 🙂

    Hey, I’m a true crime fan, and know more about serial killers than anyone involved in politics should know–

  49. Jill Pyeatt

    Thomas, way back up to your question why a state party can’t prevent a deluge of delegates from another state taking their unused delegate spots, I just mean that with the current state bylaws and the Ex Com in place, there’s not much I can do about it.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Jill,

    Oh, OK, sorry — I read it to mean that there was some situation that the PARTY, or the EC, couldn’t do anything about, not that you in particular felt you lacked influence over. Which would concern me as a dues-paying California LP member 😀

  51. Aria DiMezzo

    Funnily enough, he took umbrage to the fact that I called him a conservative. This despite the fact that he is pulling in supporters from Marco Rubio… And the fact that I can substantiate my claim that he’s just a conservative wearing a libertarian hat. As I told him–I don’t care about his statements, whether he says he’s anti-conservative and libertarian. I care about his policies, and where they fall on the political spectra. I care about his policies, not his expressed associations. And his policies land him firmly in the Republican camp. If he doesn’t like that, then he needs to change his policies.

  52. Stewart Flood

    If you look back through other threads on IPR, you will find that I mentioned the fact that Petersen was calling individual delegates more than a month ago. He came through South Carolina and I know he picked off several of Johnson’s supporters in our delegation. They told me they were changing their choice.

    That is called ground game. He has it. Johnson does as well to a certain extent, but he is relying on image and the prior nomination more. McAfee’s camp is probably also contacting delegates, but I haven’t heard from anyone that he is. Same goes for Perry.

    I don’t believe anyone is buying out the hotel. The rooms on Wednesday night have been filled up for months, and emails went out from HQ weeks ago about the reserved block running low. The problem with a convention less than 30 days after the last state conventions is that there will probably be a shortage of rooms. That does not mean that something nefarious is going on.

  53. Thomas L. Knapp

    The rumor mill version of it that I’m getting is not that the Johnson campaign bought up a bunch of rooms per se, but rather that they have been buying plane tickets and renting rooms for committed delegates. I have no idea whether or not it’s true. I suspect it’s not at all unusual in GOP and Democrat campaigns, and I know it’s not unheard of in the LP (in 2000, a campaign, or at least a proxy for a campaign, bought me a plane ticket).

  54. Jill Pyeatt

    From Judd’s FB page, and hour ago:

    Damn. I guess I was delusional. I thought that among libertarian allies we could have a positive civil presidential campaign. I promised I would be candid about what goes on behind the scenes. But I wanted to avoid this.

    After John McAfee publicly posted that he would never support Gary Johnson, and nothing can change his mind, I’ve been flooded with questions of whether I would support Gary Johnson if he becomes the nominee. Of course. Gary is certainly a much better option to support than Trump or Hillary. Despite disputes over technicalities, Gary Johnson is a public champion of the liberty cause. But McAfee’s comments had nothing to do with that. He was very disturbed by some seriously shady behavior from the Gary Johnson campaign. I was too, but I had no intention to discuss it publicly, fighting just creates an embarrassing mess for our party, I have so many other things going on I’m very excited about, I don’t want stupid shit like this to be a distraction to what I’m trying to accomplish here. But I don’t blame McAfee, he had legit reasons to be disturbed.

    I might as well explain it, as McAfee has already made the spat public. And people are confused and wondering what’s going on. Gary Johnson’s campaign team offered money to people on our team to come over to their team. When that wasn’t accepted, Johnson’s campaign team suggested there’s money for people on our team just to simply quit on us and relax at home. Yeah. Seriously. Also, not only has Gary Johnson’s campaign team purchased a ton of flights and hotel rooms for delegates willing to commit to Gary Johnson at the National LP Convention in Orlando, they’ve also purchased all the rest of the available rooms at the convention hotel, that might remain empty, but only on the dates before the presidential vote is held. After the presidential vote, there are plenty of hotel rooms available.

    When I came on board this campaign 2 weeks ago, John McAfee had a positive attitude towards Gary Johnson. When I told him we should remain cordial and even complimentary towards Gary Johnson, McAfee was all for it. Gary Johnson has just made an immediate personal enemy out of John McAfee. A major loss for Gary Johnson into the future, and a foolish screw-up from the Johnson campaign team. That’s what this is all about.

    I want to give Gary Johnson the full benefit of the doubt here, and ask him to rein in some of the vicious behavior from his campaign team. Gary Johnson left the Republican Party to join the Libertarian Party, because his heart is with us. Unfortunately, it’s well known that the Republican Party political campaign environment is a cesspool of scheming viciousness. Republican candidates don’t often have a sense of common cause, they’re out to fuck each other up. My optimistic guess is that elements of Gary Johnson’s campaign team grew up in that awful environment, and are bringing that shadiness to the Libertarian Party.

    I honestly don’t understand. Reputation in politics is critical. Do they think their behavior won’t affect their reputation? One of the biggest reason I would like to avoid fighting with Gary Johnson’s campaign is because I have so many friends throughout the liberty scene, and I have good friends that are committed Gary Johnson supporters, and I understand their reasons, and I respect them. They’re working hard for Gary Johnson right now, I don’t want them to take things personally, and I have no desire to see us all turn on each other. There might be some retaliatory attacks on me because I’m being so candid here. I really don’t care. Let them have their fun, if they must. But I would prefer constructive dialogue. Let’s knock this shit off, and simply compete for the hearts and minds of delegate voters.

    Anyway, none of this really concerned me, because we didn’t lose people on our campaign team. And I just don’t care if Johnson’s campaign buys up a bunch of empty hotel rooms. Please, go to Gary Johnson’s site, click donate, and help pay for an empty hotel room at the National Convention. That’s not going to stop us at all. Even if those rooms remained available, it’s still cheaper to help arrange and organize Airbnb House Parties!! Let Gary Johnson spend his donations to buy all the expensive empty hotel rooms he wants. House parties are so much more fun than hotel rooms, and we can come together and save everyone a lot of money, and sleep a ton more people. Frankly, this move by Johnson’s campaign to block other delegates from coming to the convention is very unfair to Gary Johnson supporters who paid their own way. Now every single Gary Johnson supporter at the convention that stays at the hotel is suddenly suspect as being bought.

    I told McAfee this is good news, right now our campaign is flying, I guess the explosive bomb dropped by our first campaign video seriously threatened them, I don’t care about their pettiness, and we have more interesting things to focus on. But John clearly isn’t one to keep silent and smile politely. My god, you really don’t want to fuck with him. Seriously.

    Looks like Austin Petersen has been positioning this public spat as some sort of “de facto endorsement of Austin Petersen” (see image in comment below). Please take anything Austin says about McAfee as probable spin. But otherwise we’re not having any problems with Austin and his campaign. Austin was right about Johnson’s campaign buying hotel rooms, and he deserves an apology for claims that he was lying. Austin has actually been extremely friendly towards McAfee. I think he has a man crush on McAfee wink emoticon
    I don’t blame Austin. I too am a huge fan of this brilliant eloquent badass that is John McAfee. I am truly grateful to him for giving me this opportunity, and trusting me so much. I hope this dispute doesn’t continue to be a distraction, and that going forward I can just focus on creating some beautiful inspiring stuff for the liberty movement. My god, I’m so excited about the 2nd video we’re working on now, much higher level than the first one. Don’t interrupt me, I don’t want to get sucked into a fight with anyone.

  55. Andy

    Tom, can you divulge who bought you a plane ticket in 2000, and for whom it was they were acting as a proxy?

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Sure. A week or so before the 2000 Libertarian National Convention in Anaheim, the late John Famularo called me up and asked me why I wasn’t going and what it would take to get me to go. I told him I wasn’t going because I couldn’t afford it, and that what it would take to get me to go was a plane ticket. He said one would be in the mail by the end of the day, and it was.

    As for who he was acting as a proxy for, I actually have trouble remembering, because we both supported Don Gorman for the presidential nomination and we both supported George Phillies for national chair (and the associated “Clean Slate” of other LNC candidates). I don’t recall if Famularo’s interest in having me there was specific to Gorman, specific to Phillies, or more general. I THINK it was mainly about getting another delegate for Gorman out there and working the floor, but I could be wrong.

  57. Andy

    I was at the 2000 convention in Anaheim and i have no recollection of George Phillies running for Chair at that convention.

  58. Andy

    I had been in the party for 4 years by the time the Anaheim convention came around, but I rarely attended meetings, and I did not follow internal party functions much back then.

  59. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    That rumour would be significantly different from what Austin claimed and thus would make what he said false. I don’t know if Johnson has done any of that – he could have for all I know. The logic and evidence is fairly strong and certain that Austin’s specific claim is false.

    I should go dig up the LNC Votes email where it was open knowledge there were only 8 rooms left (I mistakenly said 5 earlier). I think I will go dig that up. There were still rooms left hours after that announcement was made.

    Let’s remember this was the claim:

    As of the date of the LNC Votes email, this WAS UNTRUE. There were 8 rooms left. I alerted a friend who reserved one later that same day meaning there were still rooms available. So that leaves, presuming my friend was the first one to grab one of the 8, that there were 7 left. Is the grand conspiracy that the GJ campaign reserved 7 rooms? Just a few weeks ago, with plenty of time for AP supporters to already have rooms? READ HIS SPECIFIC CLAIM AGAIN. CAREFULLY.

    This does not pass the smell or credibility test.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I was at the 2000 convention in Anaheim and i have no recollection of George Phillies running for Chair at that convention.”

    Well, he did. And a number of other people ran with him as the “Clean Slate.” Here’s his announcement of his candidacy, and here’s the book he put out in support of the Clean Slate’s plans for the direction of the party.

    My recollection is that either one or two members of the Clean Slate were elected as at-large members of the LNC. Lois Kaneshiki was elected. And I think there may have been one other. I sought a regional rep seat and lost (but became a “second alternate,” next in line if either the regional rep or alternate left), and was planning to run for Judicial Committee, but there were no Judicial Committee elections because the convention failed a quorum call and adjourned sine die.

  61. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Judd is not addressing Austin’s specific claim.

    He says, “Austin was right about Johnson’s campaign buying hotel rooms, and he deserves an apology for claims that he was lying. ”

    THAT WAS NOT AUSTIN’S CLAIM. Let’s revisit Austin’s claim.

    Austin’s claim is that the GJ boughs every vacant room in order to deny him access. Of course, set aside the hubris that Austin is the center of the world, and if denial of access was the goal, why just him and not McAfee? But the fact is, a few weeks ago, the LNC publicized that there were 8 rooms left. I had personal contact with a friend who was procrastinating about getting a room and reminded him he better do it and it might be too late. He called and got a room. Ergo, all the rooms were not bought up, unless this claim is that (absolute best case scenario for Austin’s claim) that my friend was the ONLY one who heeded that email, got one of the 8 rooms, leaving 7, and that this grand conspiracy of denial of access is GJ’s campaign buying 7 rooms MONTHS AFTER ROOMS HAVE BEEN OPENLY AVAILABLE TO ALL???

  62. Thomas L. Knapp

    How does Weiss’s claim:

    “Also, not only has Gary Johnson’s campaign team purchased a ton of flights and hotel rooms for delegates willing to commit to Gary Johnson at the National LP Convention in Orlando, they’ve also purchased all the rest of the available rooms at the convention hotel, that might remain empty, but only on the dates before the presidential vote is held. After the presidential vote, there are plenty of hotel rooms available.”

    Differ in substance from Austin’s claim?

  63. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom I detailed out how it is very substantively different. And Judd’s claim makes no sense…. what day is the Presidential vote? Sunday. Wow, some conspiracy! After the last substantive day of the convention, rooms are available!!! I was warned months ago that most delegates leave after the Presidential vote and I was encouraged to stay through Monday since the JC elections would be Monday.

    Whether he has bought rooms at all or plane tickets, I have no idea. That wasn’t Austin’s claim.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp

    I was under the impression that not just the Judicial Committee, but the LNC, elections will be on Monday. That will almost certainly be the case if the presidential nomination drags out for several ballots.

    You ASSERTED that Weiss’s claim is substantively different from Petersen’s claim. I don’t see any basis for the assertion, though, which is why I asked.

  65. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom, in reading another line of Weiss’ assertion you are correct- in the line I was quoting it was different, but you quoted a different place. In another place it was substantially the same, and it is (to ever bit of information I can get other than blanket claims) wrong. It fails the logic and evidence test.

  66. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Let’s look at some LNC emails, shall we?

    As of 4/1/16 – umm, 6 months after rooms put on sale???? 10 rooms were available. Doug Craig got one. Boy Johnson really sucks at snatching those rooms up.

  67. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m trying to remember the context in which I came to believe that the LNC elections were scheduled for Monday. It may have been on the supposition that the presidential and vice-presidential nominations may take up too much time for the other business to get done.

    At this point, it really seems to me to be a question of how many ballots it takes McAfee to get to 50%+1. If the damn thing goes five, six, seven ballots orders of the day will stop the clock and any remaining business after the VP nomination will be put off.

  68. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    FACT: The idea that there is evidence of some conspiracy because rooms are available after Sunday is sheer horse hockey.

    FACT: The LNC stated on a public list that ten rooms were available on the morning of 4/1/16. Doug Craig grabbed at least one, leaving 9.

    I can account – with screenshots – for members grabbing three more – and this is just within my circle of friends that I was paying attention to. Leaving at least 6. And the chances that I saw the ONLY ones grabbing rooms is next to nill.

    So where is the room for this Johnson conspiracy? There isn’t room for it. No matter what other claims there are, the FACT is that Austin’s claim is unproven. BEST case scenario AFTER ROOM SCARCITY was advertised, and AFTER HAVING BEEN ON SALE FOR MONTHS, Johnson’s campaign grabbed a couple of rooms.

    Really? Come on.

  69. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    And posted on FB by Craig:

    Seriously, if people really think that Johnson bought out all the hotel rooms, you’re insane. There is our Convention at Rosen as well as MegaCon and a National Volley ball Championship right across the street. Not to mention it’s a freaking tourist destination on Memorial Day Weekend with Disney World, Sea World, and Universal right by.

    Use your brains people!

    And here’s the events page for just the Convention Center. Who knows what hotels are hosting?

    https://www.occc.net/iEBMS/coe/coe_p1_all.aspx?cc=coemain&oc=10

  70. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Now… did Johnson buy a bunch of hotel rooms before 4/1/6? No evidence of that, but perhaps he did. That was not the claim made however.

    I am a stickler for details, and the details of the claim here do not have any evidence of being true and much evidence for being false.

    As to the other claims in Judd’s email, I have zero opinion as I have no knowledge.

  71. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I really should write up this documentation on the falsity of the “buying up all the hotel rooms” claim into a separate post.

    Any editor interested in posting it if I do?

  72. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I really should ”

    No, you really shouldn’t.

    Or, rather, you really should if spending a bunch of time on trivial bullshit that will have blown over before the sun comes up is your thing. But otherwise, no, you really shouldn’t.

  73. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    April 15, 2016 at 21:49
    ‘I was at the 2000 convention in Anaheim and i have no recollection of George Phillies running for Chair at that convention.’

    Well, he did. And a number of other people ran with him as the ‘Clean Slate.’ Here’s his announcement of his candidacy, and here’s the book he put out in support of the Clean Slate’s plans for the direction of the party.”

    Tom, like I said above, I’d been in the LP for 4 years by that point, but I did not attend that many meetings, and I did not follow the internal party operations that much back then. I was so “green” (in terms of internal party functions) that I did not even know that I could have been a voting delegate at that convention. I remember paying something in advance, and then checking in and getting a name badge at the convention, but I did not know anything about the delegate process. I did not stay at the hotel, as I lived within commuting distance of Anaheim at the time.

    I used to follow the emails from the national and state party, and I read LP News and the LP of California newsletter, and I would periodically check up on the national and state party website, but I had only attended one LP meeting before going to the 2000 national convention, and I did not really know anybody in the party.

    If I would have voted at that convention, I was really only interested in the presidential and vice presidential votes, and the two candidates for whom I would have cast my votes, Harry Browne and Art Olivier, ended up winning anyway. I was not familiar with anyone who was running for any of the internal party offices, so I did not feel like I was informed enough to have voted in those races.

    It was kind of exciting going to that convention even though I was not a delegate. I had never been to a political convention before, and this was my first big Libertarian Party convention, and the 2nd LP event/meeting that I had ever attended. I had been following the Harry Browne campaign since 1996, and it was Harry Browne that got me to join the party, plus I followed the other candidates for the nomination prior to the convention.

    I think that convention I attended in Anaheim in 2000 was also the biggest LP convention I have attended, the other national conventions I attended being Denver in 2008, St. Louis in 2010, Las Vegas in 2012, and Columbus in 2014.

  74. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yeah, Anaheim was my first national convention too. I also attended Indianapolis in 2002, Atlanta in 2004, Denver in 2008 and St. Louis in 2010. I don’t know if Anaheim or Atlanta was the bigger one, but Denver definitely felt smaller than either.

  75. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    April 15, 2016 at 23:48
    Yeah, Anaheim was my first national convention too. I also attended Indianapolis in 2002, Atlanta in 2004, Denver in 2008 and St. Louis in 2010. I don’t know if Anaheim or Atlanta was the bigger one, but Denver definitely felt smaller than either.”

    Funny how since Anaheim in 2000 I have met quite a few people who were at that convention – both in person and online – that I had no idea were at that convention, and have no recollection of even seeing them at that convention.

    I did see some familiar faces at that convention, and I did talk to people while I was there, I’m just surprised at the number of people whom I later met that were there that I have no recollection of them having been there.

  76. David Van Horn

    I think Austin Peterson is being a total dick by attacking other candidates this way, but that doesn’t mean his values are anti-libertarian. I don’t think you can associate an attitude with the ideology in this case. As far as I can tell, he has Libertarian values, he’s just spreading them through a harmful and negative outlet. That said, I won’t be voting for Peterson or any other candidates. I think this would be a better country if there was no presidential position. But that’s my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

  77. Stewart Flood

    Paying for hotel rooms and travel for delegates is no longer legal under current campaign law. There are ways to get around it, but if any campaign or candidate pays for it there is a really big problem.

  78. Thomas L. Knapp

    That’s one restriction I can’t see holding up under even the weakest attack.

    “Yes, your honor, they were delegates coming to the national convention to vote for me, but that was really secondary. They were also CAMPAIGN STAFF — every last one of them was a volunteer precinct captain, and it seemed like the best time and place to train them in their jobs was all together in one fell swoop. So the campaign flew them there and put them up.”

  79. Stewart Flood

    Still illegal. It does not matter that they are also volunteers or staff, if they vote you bribed them.

  80. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Too late Tom I am going to. This hotel room thing is the snide quip that is inserted into every single Johnson discussion and it’s absurd.

  81. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn,

    Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at AWP’s eery ability to temporarily derange people and send them off on weird vision quests any more. At least not since Chuck M had his “OMG! it’s the WORST thing EVAH that Johnson decided to keep his commitments instead of chasing an Austin Petersen rainbow!” seizure series, anyway.

  82. George Dance

    Tom Knapp: “The word I got from Austin was that what he’s working with a big magazine (very big for libertarians, so I’m sure you can figure out which one) is not just Johnson buying hotel rooms, but Johnson spending money on something else that smacks of ‘bribing delegates.'”

    I hope it’s Reason, and not the Libertarian Republic. Reason is just about the only libertarian media outlet I’d trust; they have too much at stake to go with a story based just on rumour.

    I’m still sceptical, though. With all due respect to Mr. Weiss, he hasn’t said anyone in the Johnson campaign has offered him money. I’m not going to grill him, because as he said he was going out on a limb writing what he did tell us; but it sounds to me as if he’s repeating something he’s been told. Which isn’t corroboration of Austin’s claims, since Austin says he was also told all that by the McAfee campaign.

    The fact the Petersen and McAfee campaigns are both saying the same, anti-Johnson thing, means nothing to me. Yes, Judd tells us John “respected” Gary a month ago, but you and I know they’ve been doing the same thing since the Biloxi debate and the first cancelled Stossel one.
    It’ s normal, and understandable, that they’d work together (they each want to benefit when the other is off the ballot), and that they’d gang up on the perceived front-runner; but because that’s normal politics, it discredits them as a source of unbiased truth.

    If it is true someone in the Johnson campaign is paying workers from other campaigns, just to quit, then the only reasonable damage control I can see them doing is firing the person behind it now, before it hits the media.

    OTOH, if it turns out to be just a nasty rumour, I’m going to try to put the blame on the person responsible. Which is not Austin. It looks to me more and more as if Austin’s just the patsy, and the real beneficiary is the guy who’s setting the agenda while publicly saying as little as possible, managing to come out of this looking like he’s above it all.

  83. George Robert Whitfield

    Alan Hayman’s actual article is well-written and spot-on. After reading all the following discussion I think it is clear that Austin Petersen and John McAfee are getting desperate and that Gary Johnson is the person we should nominate. The Vice Presidential running mate choice is of much more interest to me than all this trivial discussion of hotel rooms and McAfee staff shuffles.

  84. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Well, my guess is that it IS just a nasty rumor. But nasty rumors don’t always get started with malice aforethought.

    The last few weeks of a hotly contested political campaign tend to turn into the silly season. Candidates and their supporters start getting paranoid and more and more willing to believe any bad thing they’re told. Everyone feels beset by the smallest things (e.g. Caryn going berserk for coming up on 24 hours now on what’s at best a 30-second smirk piece in the bigger scheme of things). That’s just how it goes.

  85. George Dance

    I see I missed the newer story, about the Johnson campaign paying for delegates’ airfare & hotel rooms. My reaction is the same as above.

  86. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I will indeed seizure away. And it isn’t a small thing. It is the ONE thing that actually could have been critically examined and wasn’t. The rest simply didn’t lend itself to examination – one would believe who one would believe.

    Of course they both could be being fed the same source. That is likely. But presidential candidates need to be able to critically examine claims. The skill of withholding is just as telling.

  87. Caryn Ann Harlos

    George, that is another thing I know nothing nothing about. He could be paying for rooms and airfare – that isn’t the claim that was made initially, and it is that initial claim that is the only one that screamed BS so loudly no one should have repeated it.

  88. Stewart Flood

    I would hope that they didn’t do this. There was a big news report on CNN a few days ago about how the GOP has PACs paying for things like golf outings, lavish meals, etc. They pointed out that the organizations that are separate from the campaigns are somehow able to do this, but that if a campaign or a candidate paid for any of it they would be breaking the law.

    Seems like a stupid system to me. Make a shadow campaign in the form of a PAC, put your friends in charge, let them bribe delegates.

    Of course that is VERY RNC/DNC-ish!

  89. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Stewart, it wouldn’t surprise me. Let us not forget that just two weeks ago people were accusing the Petersen campaign of “bribing” people with Regional Directorships of his campaign or other such nonsense. I said that claim was full of DERP as well.

  90. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    George Robert Whitfield, sorry your comment got caught in the filter… any future comments should go straight through.

  91. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I think it is clear that Austin Petersen and John McAfee are getting desperate and that Gary Johnson is the person we should nominate.”

    If that was ever the case — and it wasn’t — it stopped being the case some time ago.

    Neither Petersen nor McAfee have defrauded the LP of its nomination in the past by lying about the size of their campaign debts.

    Neither Petersen nor McAfee have run past campaigns $1.5 million into debt, left that debt unpaid for four years, and been hit up by the FEC with 30 days to reimburse more than $300k in welfare checks that they spent on non-allowed stuff.

    Neither Petersen nor McAfee come spittle-flecked un-fucking-glued in public when confronted with the facts about what they have said and done.

    I never thought that I’d say even Petersen would be a better nominee than Johnson, but at this point I’d almost go for Derrick Michael Reid before Johnson. At least Reid sometimes mixes some funny with his unhingedness.

  92. George Phillies

    What is the exact legal issue with respect to delegate contributions?

    Contributions to an individual delegate are not subject to any per delegate limit. 110.1(m)(1); 110.14(d)(1). Note that contributions to a delegate from the committee of a Presidential candidate receiving public funds count against the candidate’s expenditure limits. 4 110.14(d)(2)

  93. George Phillies

    smile.amazon.com/Surely-We-Can-Do-Better-ebook/dp/B01E9QPWM6

    Surely We Can Do Better? Financial history of the Barr and Johnson FEC filings. Where their money went.

    99 cents.

  94. ATBAFT

    This is getting so absurd that I’m beginning to wonder if any of these candidates deserves the LP nomination. I also wonder how many other Libertarians are just sitting on their wallets waiting to see who gets the nomination and if that person is worthy of any monetary support. See we can tear our party apart just like the GOP and Dems are doing!

  95. Pingback: Caryn Ann Harlos: Room-Gate Examined | Independent Political Report

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  97. Antirevolutionary

    I’m happy to announce that the Constitution Party convention open thread finally passed up this current LP drama thread in number of comments.

  98. Prefer Not To Say

    I think McAfee is the only candidate who can’t be bought or manipulated into doing wrong. Of the other remaining candidates, I think Perry is the most honorable, though I’d respect John’s wishes to nominate Judd Weiss as VP, if he sticks to that. Perry should run for State Legislator or Sheriff and win if he wants to be respected as a candidate or “libertarian messenger” (because the general public prioritizes strategy over philosophy, and libertarians prioritize philosophy over strategy).

    A real libertarian winner needs to prioritize both strategy and philosophy, and not see them as mutually-exclusive. McAfee has been learning at a rapid pace about the cesspool that is American politics. He’s gone through two campaign managers, and a VP candidate. I think he’s “ramping up” and doing what’s necessary to get to the point where he can beat Trump and Hillary.

    I also think Johnson or Petersen COULD beat Trump or Hillary, but I don’t think they would. I don’t think they would because I don’t think they want the outcome of freedom enough. I think their runs for office are largely self-serving. (Nothing inherently wrong with this, but it is usually manifested as wrong, because it’s a lot of work to align one’s interests with what is optimal.) This is just my profile of them, based on the pattern-recognition abilities of my brain. I don’t think they’re up to the task. If they were, they’d have behaved differently when they had media access, and gubernatorial power.

    If you’re governor, you get to pardon the non-criminals. You get to smash the state. Johnson couldn’t be bothered to return libertarians’ phone calls in 2003. He had to be roughly cast from the GOP to have any interest whatsoever in the LP. Since then, he’s repeatedly “golly shucks”-style disagreed with many libertarians, even when those libertarians were clearly in the right.

    That said, Johnson wasn’t the anti-libertarian nightmare that Barr/Verney were. I also respect the work Johnson was doing with “Our America Initiative” …and I think that work should continue, along with his marijuana work. Like I said, Johnson isn’t a bad guy, but he’s not a great messenger for freedom either. He seems to have a vague preference for freedom.

    Johnson is a good-enough guy, but he’s not a Thoreau or Spooner. McAfee is the closest we have to that, this election cycle. …He has the intellect of a Spooner. He also understands adversarial networks (that’s what “cyber-science” or “cybernetics” is all about).

    I also don’t like “repeat” campaigns. They make us look like a cult of personality, and allow repetitious mistakes to go unpunished (or unnoticed). McAfee promises, at very least, a different set of mistakes. He also brings the computer literate to the table in an interesting way, at a time when information science dominates the news cycle.

    Weiss, Thrasher, et al. have thus far been the most open and transparent of the campaign teams.

    I didn’t know anything about Judd Weiss before this election cycle. McAfee’s choice of him brought him and his work to my attention. This work makes me think he’s a good guy. …A positive, constructive force.

    I also like that McAfee isn’t a pompous piece of shit who acts like libertarian solutions “won’t work” (paging Bob Barr!). …There’s been FAR too much of this in the past. I truly believe that McAfee sees the current US police state for the creaking pile of waste it is. …Unlike Johnson and Barr, who still seem to want to “tinker around the edges.”

    Although I don’t like repeat candidacies because they make us look like a “cult of personality,” I make a slight exception for Harry Browne, who was a good candidate, all around. That said, he lacked a tenth of the charisma of McAfee, and also lacked the media and network connections of McAfee.

    Libertarianism is a bold, radical ideology. Gary Johnson doesn’t phrase it like that. Johnson talks like he’s favorably comparing two similar models of car to one another: “…but with libertarianism, they throw in the spoiler for free!” It’s going to take a hell of a lot more passion than that to get Ds and Rs excited about restoring the Bill of Rights!

    Tyranny is unacceptable. McAfee sees that, and, so far, he doesn’t take oppression lying down.

    My .02

  99. Thomas L. Knapp

    Prefer Not To Say,

    Why is it that Perry needs to run for lower office and win before running for the presidency, but McAfee doesn’t?

    I’m starting to wonder if there’s any “there” there with McAfee. His only campaign activity as reported to the FEC so far is that he keeps changing his committee’s statement of organization. There’s an original statement, then an “oh, we decided to change the name” amendment, then an “oh, after six months we suddenly decided to move our web site” amendment.

    Austin Petersen, on the other hand, reports raising more than $40k so far.

    One of these things is “ramping up.” The other is fucking around.

  100. Andy

    None of these candidates for the LP presidential nomination stand any chance of winning the general election.

  101. Andy

    The average Democrat and Republican will never get excited about restoring the Bill of Rights. Basing a campaign on trying to appeal to average Democrats and Republicans is a losing strategy, and a waste of time. Independents and non-voters are much more fertile grounds for Libertarians.

    This is not to say that we could not get a few Democrats or Republicans to switch to our side, because we can get a very small percentage of them, but acting like we can get large numbers of Democrats and Republicans to get excited about liberty strikes me as delusional. Democrats and Republicans are the problem.

  102. Andy

    How many new people has John McAfee brought into the Libertarian Party?

    Harry Browne had brought lots of new people into the LP by this point in 1996 and 2000.

    Ok, McAfee had not been seeking the LP nomination that long, but even so, where are the John McAfee Libertarians?

    Now in all fairness, I do not think that any of the candidates for the LP’s presidential nomination have done much of anything to grow the party during this campaign cycle, and this is a part of the problem.

  103. Aria DiMezzo

    Well, Andy, that simplifies things, then. Fuck it, then. Abandon the cause of liberty. It’s futile–resistance is futile. Time to resign ourselves to statism and let the glories of totalitarianism wash over us. Thank the State we can stop trying.

    Or we can recognize that popularity is the key aspect of American elections and that a Libertarian candidate WON’T win the general as long as people think that the candidate isn’t popular, so the most likely way to get a Libertarian candidate elected is to stop saying it can’t happen and start saying that it WILL. The average person thinks their vote is wasted if their candidate doesn’t win. So convince them that the candidate can win, and is likely to win. American elections are constant self-fulfilling prophecies, so stop prophesying defeat please. You’re directly hurting the chances of getting a candidate elected by doing so.

  104. Thomas L. Knapp

    I guess there’s something to be said for “fake it ’til you make it.”

    But there’s also something to be said for not making batshit insane claims like “a Libertarian can win this presidential election.”

    Andy isn’t hurting the candidate’s chances of getting elected because the candidate, whoever he is, has no chance of getting elected — or at least no chance that he, or we, can create.

    That doesn’t mean a presidential campaign can’t serve some useful purposes. But the first step in having it do so is to start operating in accordance with the facts of reality instead of pretending that fairy tale fantasies are real.

  105. Andy

    How popular is John McAfee? I would be willing to bet that most of the public does not know who he is.

    Most of the public does not know who Gary Johnson is either, and he is a former two time Governor of New Mexico.

    I remember all of the people in the LP who said to vote for Bars/Root because they were “famous”, and this did not get us anywhere.

  106. Andy

    If John McAfee were a multi-billionaire who was willing to pump a bunch of his own money in the race, he might stand a very tiny chance of being elected (even then there is vote rigging, and the fact that a close presidential election gets decided by the US House of Representatives).

    However, reality is that McAfee is not, and has never been, a billionaire. His peak wealth was $100 million, but he has lost the majority of that and is now worth maybe $4, probably less than that. This is not enough money to have a real impact on a presidential race.

  107. Thomas L. Knapp

    “So McAfee is basically broke, or living on borrowed money?”

    Those are two of the three possibilities.

    The third is that he has some kind of income stream or streams sufficient to live on and maybe more than that, but not a lot in the way of assets versus debt (he could be contesting or re-negotiating that debt).

    In fairness, I don’t recall McAfee or any of his supporters ever playing the “he’s rich” card.

  108. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I’ve heard some Libertarians mistakenly assume he is rich.”

    True. I was just pointing out that that’s not something he or his campaign have been claiming, and now he’s specifically put the kibosh on it.

    Some past candidates have either bragged about being wealthy when that was not especially true (cough … “Millionaire Republican” … cough) or been a bit ambiguous about what their level of wealth was and happy to let people believe it was substantial (Aaron Russo — to this day I have no idea how much money he actually had, but I worked nearly full time for him and I don’t recall that I ever got a dime from him; if I did it was gas money for travel or something like that).

  109. Andy

    Was there an agreement in place for you to have been hired by the Aaron Russo campaign in a paid capacity, with an agreed upon rate of pay, or were you understood to be an unpaid volunteer?

    I am not sure what Aaron Russo’s net worth was when he ran for the LP’s presidential nomination, but he could have been worth a few million. I recall hearing that he owned a house in an expensive part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. I also recall hearing that he had been nailed for something like $500,000 by the IRS a few years prior to running for the nomination. I think he was largely self funding his campaign, and I recall that prior to the nomination vote at the convention, he had already paid for some radio and TV ads.

    There are different levels of being rich, so a person could be rich, but not nearly rich enough to impact a presidential race. Russo was likely in that category.

    A person really has to be worth hundreds of millions of dollais, or be a billionaire, and be willing to put a significant amount of their own money into the race, to be able person to really have an impact on a presidential race.

  110. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Was there an agreement in place for you to have been hired by the Aaron Russo campaign in a paid capacity, with an agreed upon rate of pay, or were you understood to be an unpaid volunteer?”

    I started out as an unpaid volunteer on the tacit understanding that once there was money in the campaign, I would start getting paid — and Aaron, when actually asked, did go so far as to say that no, he would not be backing his campaign with significant funds from his own personal wealth. But he seemed happy to let people think that wealth was significant, without ever going into detail.

    It’s not something I have a case of redass over or anything. If I had been promised pay and hadn’t gotten it, I would have quit, or at least remonstrated with Aaron.

  111. Andy

    I recall that Aaron Russo was mostly using his own money for the pre-nomination campaign, but that if he had won the nomination, he was planning to get more aggressive about fundraising, and that he allegedly had wealthy contacts that he was going to hit up for donations if he had been nominated.

  112. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, I assume he was mostly using his own money for the pre-nomination campaign — and that that did not extend to paid staff. So far as I know, his campaign manager (Steve Gordon) was not getting a salary. I was communications director, essentially the guy immediately below Gordon, and I wasn’t getting paid.

    I do think that Aaron helped out a volunteer or two with expenses to proxy for him at conventions he couldn’t make it to and so forth, and I have a dim memory that there may have been two particular supporters (a husband and wife) who sent their regrets that they couldn’t make it to Atlanta and got a surprise gift of airplane tickets and/or a hotel room.

    But we’re getting pretty far afield from my point, which was that while some people were SPECULATING about McAfee being wildly wealthy and able to self-finance a presidential campaign, he never said that, or hinted at that, and now he has specifically said that’s not the case. Which is an admission against self-interest to the extent that letting people think he’s loaded might have got him some support not otherwise available to him.

    The only reason I brought up Root and Russo were to show two other approaches — Root pretended to be wealthy and a “business mogul” (until that myth collapesed and he decided to be a “small businessman” instead), Aaron just let people think what they wanted to think unless pressed on it, and then didn’t reveal the extent of his wealth but made it clear he wasn’t going to carry the whole load himself.

  113. Thomas L. Knapp

    As far as allegedly having wealthy contacts, etc., you may be thinking about the eventual VP nominee, Richard Campagna, who claimed to have $250k in pledged donations. Turned out he didn’t, but the lie got him the nomination.

  114. Andy

    I know about the Campanga story, and this is not what I was referencing.

    Aaron Russo allegedly had some wealthy contacts from his days as a manager of music acts, and a promoter, and from his TV and movie producer days, that were allegedly going to kick in donations if Russo had won the nomination.

  115. Andy

    I remember talking to LP delegates in 2008 who thought that Wayne Root was a super-rich guy that flew around in his own jet airplane and was driven around in limosines. These people thought that Root could self finance a campaign for President.

    Reality was that Root was probably a millionaire, but he was worth maybe around $2 million, and this included his house, vehicles, etc… If he was worth more it was not a tremendous amount more.

    The bottom line was that Root did not have anywhere close to the kind of money it would take to impact a presidential race, yet there were people in the LP who mistakenly believed that he did.

  116. Thomas Knapp

    Yep. Root is a good example of the “fake it ’til you make it” self-promotion strategy. In fact, I’m pretty sure that one of his self-help books was more or less right up that alley. He held himself out as rich and famous when he wasn’t either (at least not on any significant scale). I won’t say he EXACTLY lied, but he went out of his way to make sure people believed it whether he actually said it or not.

    It helped him get the LP’s vice-presidential nomination, and it since seems to have helped him cultivate a fairly low-echelon “opinion leader” role with e.g. Newsmax and so forth.

  117. Andy

    Root put put a book called, Millionaire Republican, that featured a picture of himself standing next to a Hummer (I think that is what it was). This added to some people’s impression that he was really rich.

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