Gary Johnson considering former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate

Govs. Gary Johnson and William Weld (Getty Images)

Gary Johnson and William Weld (Getty Images)

Via American Third Party Report:

Drew Johnson at DailyCaller.com, May 17th, 2016 (h/t to Ballot Access News for the link):

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has emerged atop the shortlist of potential running mates for likely Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson.

Weld served as a libertarian-leaning Republican governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. Before that, President Ronald Reagan appointed Weld United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. He was later selected to head the Department of Justice Criminal Division.

A source close to the Johnson campaign who wished to remain anonymous confirmed that Weld is considered the “likely choice at this point” for the VP slot, but admitted that “vetting is ongoing.”

Read the rest of the article here.

According to Ballot Access News:

Weld has a history with the Libertarian Party. In 2006 he was a candidate for Governor of New York. He accepted the Libertarian Party nomination for that office, but he was also seeking the Republican nomination. When he failed to get the Republican nomination for Governor, he then withdrew entirely from the race, and the Libertarian Party had to find a new nominee.

Harry McGuire Jr., a Gary Johnson supporter, reacted to the news about Weld in a Facebook group called “Libertarians against Donald Trump“:

Today it was reported in the Boston Herald, and confirmed by the campaign, that Gov. Johnson is seriously considering selecting former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld to be his choice for Vice President. For those who don’t know, here’s a little bit about the Governor:

After completing his education at Harvard at Oxford, Weld started his career as a counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of Richard Nixon, working alongside, among others, Bruce Fein and a young Hillary Rodham.

He was appointed United State Attorney for Massachusetts by Ronald Reagan, where he brought down the corrupt political machine surrounding Boston’s four-term mayor. He was then promoted to head of the Criminal Division for the Department of Justice, where he resigned in protest over the corruption of the Attorney General, whistle-blowing in testimony to Congress and causing the A.G. to resign.

In 1990, he was elected Governor of Massachusetts as the first Republican in decades. Four years later, he was re-elected with 71% of the vote in the largest landslide in Massachusetts history.

During his governorship, Weld ended the state’s borrowing, controlled Medicaid spending, reduced property taxes, and balanced seven budgets in a row (in a state where a balanced budget is constitutionally mandated but haphazardly enforced) while passing 19 tax cuts and never raising taxes. The business community reacted strongly to Weld’s leadership. In a 1994 survey of chief executives conducted by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, 83% of those polled rated the state’s business climate as good or excellent—up from only 33% at the beginning of his term. He received an “A” grade for fiscal policy from the libertarian Cato Institute.

In 1992, he was booed during his speech at the Republican National Convention for making the statement that “I want the government out of your pocketbook and your bedroom.”

In 1997 near the end of his second term, he was appointed by Bill Clinton to be Ambassador to Mexico, only to have the nomination blocked by notoriously conservative Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), who objected that Weld was pro-choice and supported gay rights and medical marijuana.

In 2006, Weld was nominated by the Libertarian Party of New York to be Governor of that state, but was defeated in a simultaneous bid to become the Republican nominee.

What do you think: does Johnson/Weld 2016 sound like an election-winning ticket? Two popular and successful two-term Governors, both alienated from the GOP because it had no room for combining social tolerance and classical liberalism with free markets and smaller government…

 

80 thoughts on “Gary Johnson considering former Massachusetts Governor William Weld as his running mate

  1. Richard Winger

    It seems to me that if the Libertarian ticket is Gary Johnson-William Weld, then the ballot-qualified United Independent Party of Massachusetts might nominate that ticket. The United Independent Party values its qualified status and has been trying to keep it by getting its registration up to about 45,000, but they are having a tough time doing that.

    But the UIP could keep its ballot status if it had a presidential nominee who polled 3%, so they might be attracted to the idea. And the Massachusetts Libertarian Party leadership is dead-set against having the LP become a qualified party again, so the Massachusetts LP might be happy not to do the petition and run the risk that Johnson would get over 3% and make the party ballot-qualified. In 2008 the LP did not get 3% for Bob Barr in Massachusetts, but it did get over 3% for US Senate in Massachusetts, which put it back into qualified status.

  2. mARS

    Johnson/Weld sounds like a fantastic ticket. Much better than Johnson/Dearn or Johnson/Bentivolio.

  3. George Phillies

    If you want a gun control advocate, some locals were enthusiastic.

  4. George Phillies

    Others thought Weld was not at all a good choice based on his record.

  5. George Phillies

    In my opinion, Weld sends the message that our party is a wing of the Republicans.

  6. robert capozzi

    many challenges with this option, but it would be hard to ignore.

    Weld is definitely the smartest in the room pretty much any place he goes. He could perhaps coach GJ on presentation, too.

  7. robert capozzi

    I wonder if WW would sign up for challenging the cult of the omnipotent state.

    While this would be a ticket of 2 former R guvs, both were kind of renegades in the GOP, mostly for their social liberalism. The contrast with Trump and Clinton would be quite interesting.

    It’s noteworthy in the Daily Caller article that Weld has remained in the fundraising mix. He still runs in the big-money circles in ways GJ never did.

    It could be a game-changer.

    Weld’s backing out of the L guv nomination in NY could not sit well with the cult-challenging set.

  8. Jay Wildwood

    “Johnson/Weld sounds like a fantastic ticket.”

    It’s too bad Weld isn’t at the top of the ticket.

  9. Joe Wendt

    Bill Weld is not an appropriate candidate for any office as a Libertarian.  His support for gun control, affirmative action, increased government pay (he did sign a 55% pay increase for the Massachusetts Legislature), and large increases in government spending by the end of his term as governor just make him unacceptable.  Bill Weld makes Bob Barr look like an Anarchist poster boy.  It’s just inappropriate to have him on the ticket as a representative of our party.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Weld’s backing out of the L guv nomination in NY could not sit well with the cult-challenging set.”

    It won’t sit well with anyone who dislikes liars who take advantage of organizations and then leave them in the lurch.

    Weld actively sought the LP nomination for governor of New York.

    If I am not mistaken, he even publicly committed to accepting that nomination AND RUNNING THRU THE GENERAL ELECTION on the LP ticket even if he didn’t get the GOP nomination.

    Then he didn’t get the GOP nomination and he dropped out and left the LP holding the bag for finding another nominee.

    He’s unreliable.

    Is he going to accept the LP’s vice-presidential nomination, then drop out if Trump picks a running mate he likes? Who knows … but we do know it doesn’t bother him to pull shit like that.

  11. Trent Hill

    I know anarchists and NAP libertarians won’t like this.

    But the truth is that if Johnson/Weld is your ticket, more people than ever will hear about the Libertarian Party. More people than ever will get involved. I think that’s a very fair prediction, based on the current climate.

    It also means more people than ever will come into contact with your particular brand of libertarianism in a positive way. Yeah, it does mean that the LP as a whole won’t be espousing anarchism, but it hasn’t done that in quite awhile anyway. Do you want the LP to be more anarchist or do you want more people to be libertarian? This is the quintessential question–more people moving towards your position is better than a fewer number of people actually taking up your position.

    For myself, I’d vote for Johnson/Weld in a heart-beat. It’s a great ticket and I think the LP would be crazy not to nominate him. And that’s with the understanding that I disagree with some of Weld’s policy moves as Governor of a deep blue state, I disagree with some of the things Johnson has said, I understand he left his campaign in debt, etc. Even with all those factors involved, this is the absolute best chance to move the needle in a libertarianish direction.

  12. Jean Kutzer

    Once the LP gains political power more factions can break off and form other parties. Now is not the time. Therefore Weld is a good choice. Maybe the Koch brothers will take notice and cough up some change.

  13. George Phillies

    If we want to show our support for Weld, we should delete the gun control plank from our platform.

    Needless to say, I do not advocate deleting the gun control plank.

  14. Andy

    People said the same thing about Bob Barr and that did not work out so well.

    Even with the Johnson / Gray ticket it did not result in a big spike in Libertarian Party membership numbers.

    It is amazing how many Libertarians have authority worship so ingrained in their minds that they will give their party’s nominations away to virtually anybody who shows up in the party who is a former elected Republican, with little to no scrutiny, and even if they pop up in the party two weeks before our nominating convention.

  15. Andy

    So Weld has a bad record on gun rights, yet there are Libertarians out there who are ready to bend over and hand him our party’s vice presidential nomination even though we are less than two weeks away from the nominating convention, and even though the guy has zero track record with the party, and even though he has not held office in a long time (so it is not like he is even a big current name).

    UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE.

  16. robert capozzi

    aj, are you referring to TH’s comment about moving the needle in an L-ish direction?

    16 seems substantially different than 08 and 12. Maybe it won’t be, but what is clear is DJT and HRC are looking like much, much weaker candidates than BHO, JMc and MR. Arguably DJT IS a 3rd party, and for many (including me), he’s a laughingstock, a dangerous one.

    Do you disagree?

  17. Greg Jones

    “People said the same thing about Bob Barr and that did not work out so well.”

    Two former Republican Governors in a year when an opportunist party/ideology hopping charlatan has captured the Republican nomination > one former Republican US House member running with a VP candidate with no history of elective office or similar level executive experience, running against a Republican war hero Senator and an allegedly libertarian Republican sitting Governor VP pick. I would say Johnson/Weld 2016 would have a lot more potential than Barr/Root 2008. And I had to look up Root just now, as I didn’t know or forgot who Barr had run with him.

    Perhaps Barr could have done better with a Tea Party independent run, no LP platform or history of past LP candidates, and without Palin on the Republican ticket, but he may not have come close to correctly assessing the cost in support and votes from conservatives that comes with the ballot access savings that you get with a LP nomination. Or maybe the McCain nomination didn’t disturb nearly as many Republicans as the Trump nomination has – I don’t recall a “Never McCain” movement.

  18. Greg Jones

    “16 seems substantially different than 08 and 12. Maybe it won’t be, but what is clear is DJT and HRC are looking like much, much weaker candidates than BHO, JMc and MR. Arguably DJT IS a 3rd party, and for many (including me), he’s a laughingstock, a dangerous one.”

    He certainly *should* be a laughing stock, and was at first. At this point I am no longer laughing. I fully agree with the “dangerous” assessment. Sadly, I trust the thoroughly corrupt and downright criminal Hillary Clinton more with her finger on the nuclear button than I would Donald Trump.

  19. robert capozzi

    gj: I would say Johnson/Weld 2016 would have a lot more potential than Barr/Root 2008.

    me: Well scoped. But, if you are not familiar with the NAPster mindset, they would say something like: “Potential? Yes. Potential to damage the L brand with multiple doctrinal violations, confusing L with something other than anarchism or something very close to it.”

  20. Andy

    Most of the Never Trump Republicans are not supporting Trump for the wrong reasons (namely because he is personally wealthy enough to the point where he does not need special interest money, so they are afraid that he won’t be a controlled puppet). The majority of the Never Trump crowd are not even remotely libertarian.

  21. Greg Jones

    “But, if you are not familiar with the NAPster mindset, they would say something like: “Potential? Yes. Potential to damage the L brand with multiple doctrinal violations, confusing L with something other than anarchism or something very close to it.””

    Fair enough. As I tried to tell them yesterday, I have no intention of telling Libertarians what their goals should be, only offer advice as to how I would think they might hope to maximize their appeal while still advocating for policy change in a libertarian direction IF that is their goal. If they want the mirror on the wall to them who is the most libertarian Libertarian of them all, I will leave them to it.

  22. Trent Hill

    “If we want to show our support for Weld, we should delete the gun control plank from our platform.”

    George Phillies might as well call himself Clark Kent. Because honestly, only Superman could make leaps like that.

    I think the gun control issue is important. Ask him about it at convention and at least seek for him to avoid talking about this, at minimum. But ultimately this is just not an issue. Gun control isnt anywhere near being a relevant policy position anyway. I’m not asking you to give up your plumbline, but I am asking you to not insist everyone else toe the line as well. It’s ridiculous.

  23. George Phillies

    I have a message from Alwin Hopfmann, who is a member of our Massachusetts State Committee and has been active in Massachusetts politics longer than anyone else on our State Committee:

    Unbelievable !!! How can any Libertarian candidate for President consider suggesting William Weld as the Party’s Vice Presidential candidate? Weld is not even close to being a Libertarian. He is an Establishment elitist who has no respect for individual rights or the Constitution. If William Weld is the Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate with any of our Presidential candidates, we will need to change our party’s description of “The Party of Principle” to “The Other Party of Stupid”. I hope that those of you who are Delegates will try to convince Gary Johnson and any of the other viable candidates to have nothing to do with Weld.
    Enjoy the Convention!

    Al Hopfmann

    If any of the delegates whom you might try to dissuade from supporting Weld need more details, you may have them email or call me. I would be happy to enlighten them.
    alhopfmann@mailinator.com

  24. robert capozzi

    GJ, the NAPster set are less interested in direction than they are in destination. They believe that by holding high the banner of absolute liberty, they will attract a cadre of true-believers and fellow travelers who will be prepared to rebuild a L society after the current one collapses.

    To be fair, they do reluctantly accept half measures that advance civil society in the direction of liberty, but aside from perhaps abortion, they have little to no tolerance for inconsistency toward their construct.

  25. Greg Jones

    “Most of the Never Trump Republicans are not supporting Trump for the wrong reasons”

    Well let’s see. Trump:

    Supports mass roundups and deportations of an eight-figure population of immigrants and their American citizen children, which along with his protectionist trade policy would wreck the economy.

    Wants to monitor Muslim Americans, ban Muslims from immigrating to or visiting the US, thinks waterboarding doesn’t go nearly far enough, and would “bomb the shit out of” parts of the middle east and “take their oil.”

    Thinks the Patriot Act and domestic surveillance didn’t go far enough. Wants more control of dissenting journalists, a la Putin.

    Isn’t a fiscal conservative. Shows no sincerity at the times he calls for any kind of tax or spending cuts. From one minute to the next, he is or isn’t calling for minimum wage hikes and supports higher taxes on job creators. Definitely supports penalties on companies that maximize efficiency and lower prices for consumers by outsourcing. Says he wants a bigger and more expensive military than ever before. Opposes entitlement reforms or cuts. Will probably end up calling for massive infrastructure “investments,” “free” college, nationalized healthcare, and/or other policies aimed at peeling Sanders voters away from Clinton, if I’m charting the course of the fall campaign correctly.

    His immigration, trade and domestic surveillance policies will destroy the economy and balloon the debt. They will also lead to increasing tensions with foreign nations. In an effort to raise his sinking popularity and give the economy a quick boost he will almost certainly turn to war. Perhaps his policies towards Muslim Americans and Muslims traveling to America will increase terrorism, which he will use as a pretext for war. Maybe the leaders of Russia, China or some Latin American nation will insult him. The man has the temperament of a tantrum throwing toddler combined with a middle school bully on the playground. How long before he gets into some fights?

    These are the reasons this heretofore “small l libertarian” is considering the Big L Libertarian option this year.

    It’s true that *some* of the Never Trump Republicans also take him at his word, mistakenly by my estimate, that he is a non-interventionist on foreign policy, and oppose him for that reason. Some of them also find his alleged conversion on social issues such as abortion to be insincere, which it may well be. However, I’m far from the only NeverTrumper who was never a social conservative or a foreign interventionist to begin with. My guess would be that his social conservatism is indeed insincere, which would be perfectly fine with me, and that his non-interventionism is likewise insincere or wouldn’t last very long once he is in office, which I find to be worrisome for the reasons stated above.

  26. Robert capozzi

    VPs usually don’t matter much, esp 3rd party candidates. This could be significantly different, as it would give much gravitas to the ticket.

  27. Greg Jones

    “rebuild a L society after the current one collapses.”

    Well, perhaps that explains “Libertarians for Trump.” Maybe they actually WANT him to destroy the economy and start a nuclear war so they can live out their sick Mad Max fantasies.

  28. Andy

    Look at who the Never Trump people are. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, William Kristol, etc…

    These people are far from being champions of individual freedom. They are as bad or worse than Trump.

  29. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . .And the Massachusetts Libertarian Party leadership is dead-set against having the LP become a qualified party again . . . ”

    Why the hell would they NOT want to be a qualified party?

    ” . . . Bill Weld is not an appropriate candidate for any office as a Libertarian. His support for gun control, . . . ” As I always say, I LEFT the LP after 20 years because they refused to acknowledge the words “well regulated” in the 2nd Amendment. An LP candidate who supports what you call “gun control” would make me MORE likely to vote for them.

    Where is that line? How many weapons can I own? What type? Any type? How much ammunition? Enough to destroy a town, county, state? The very vocal Anarchist wing of the LP is what gives the word “libertarian” such a bad connotation with the general public.

  30. sparkey

    I wonder who those who are opposing Weld would consider to be the 2 best governors in the United States in the past 30 years? Because I think I’m looking at them.

    I’ve been rooting for McAfee until now, but Weld >>> Weiss as a VP pick.

  31. Andy

    Well regulated in the context of the 2nd amendment means well trained, as in people who own guns and know how to use them.

  32. Greg Jones

    “These people are far from being champions of individual freedom. They are as bad or worse than Trump.”

    I doubt it. They don’t want trade wars that will cripple the economy, forced roundup and deportations of millions of hard working employees, a ban on Muslims moving to or visiting the US and monitoring of the millions of Muslims already here, torture methods that are much worse than waterboarding, preserving and (perhaps massively) expanding the entire ballooning entitlement state with no reforms, higher taxes on job creators and higher minimum wages that cut the bottom rungs off the ladder of economic opportunity for the poor, nationalized healthcare, etc, etc. Such policies would make the US a pariah nation on the world stage, and plunge the world into economic depression and war.

    At his core, Trump is an opportunist. Right past that, he is an authoritarian-populist nationalist with a strong appeal to dog whistle racism, which is the exact polar opposite of a libertarian. You may disagree, but I think it’s entirely fair to characterize Trump as a fascist in the 20th century European tradition. We already know how such demagogues fare when they assume office and the course that their holds on power tend to take. First come the public works programs, military parades, and soft authoritarian domestic police measures along with plenty of rousing patriotic speeches. Next, rising tensions with foreign powers, escalation in domestic anti-foreign propaganda and cranking up of war industries to give the economy a “sugar high,” followed by war, collapse and ruin. Along the way, the populist demagogue neutralizes opposition in the legislature and courts, among journalists and at the local level by going on radio, or these days TV, to appeal directly to the people, and gradually centralizes power in his own hands. We’ve seen all this before, although never yet with nuclear weapons, but this time we will.

    It’s true that some NeverTrump Republicans are also very far from being libertarians, but Trump is even worse. And many NeverTrumpers are more libertarian than the people you mentioned. We voted Republican up til now because of the fiscal insanity of the Democrats, and despite, not because of, the social conservatives and war hawks in the GOP. Now, with the remaining choices offered by the major parties being a socialist, a fascist, and a corrupt centrist, we’re honestly not sure which is the lesser evil, and considering the LP seriously for the first time, even though it is still too extreme for us.

    I guess some allegedly purist Libertarians find that they have more in common with a populist authoritarian nationalist, i.e. fascist, than they do with moderate libertarians who used to vote Republican out of pragmatic reasons? That seems both counterintuitive and sad, but perhaps not surprisingly, given the sad and ugly history of flirting with and sometimes downright wallowing in racism by so-called “paleo-libertarians,” along with immigrant-bashing xenophobia among some conspiracy-obsessed “anti-globalists” which sometimes gets conflated with libertarianism for reasons that escape me completely.

  33. Greg Jones

    “Where is that line? How many weapons can I own? What type? Any type? How much ammunition? Enough to destroy a town, county, state? The very vocal Anarchist wing of the LP is what gives the word “libertarian” such a bad connotation with the general public.”

    Well said, and I completely agree.

    “I wonder who those who are opposing Weld would consider to be the 2 best governors in the United States in the past 30 years? Because I think I’m looking at them.”

    Good point, and you may very well be correct.

  34. Andy

    I disagree. Most of the Never Trump Republicans are horrible. They are as bad or worse than Trump.

  35. Andy

    So we are supposed to believe that William Kristol, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, etc…., are now so concerned about individual liberty that they are all standing up to the big, bad Donald Trump? Hahahahaha! Give me a freaking break. These people don’t give a rat’s ass about liberty.

  36. George Phillies

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/bill-weld%E2%80%99s-revolution-wasn%E2%80%99t-12372.html

    Weld’s record as Governor.

    The state budget on Election Day was $13.4 billion.

    (Weld did cut it the first year.)

    Quoting the Article: “By January 1992, Weld had abandoned his oft-repeated vow to carve $1 billion from the budget. In his State of the State address that month, he proposed adding $1 billion instead. He boasted of multi-million-dollar “increases in several key programs” in his forthcoming fiscal 1993 spending plan. “As these examples illustrate,” he said, “we’re not against government spending. We don’t wish to dismantle government.”

    “A year later, Weld’s proposed 1994 budget included yet another $1 billion spending hike. “We’re seeing a completely different Bill Weld than we saw a couple of years ago,” exulted James Braude, director of the staunchly liberal Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, which had led the fight against Question 3, the 1990 tax rollback ballot issue. The state’s foremost anti-tax advocate, by contrast, was dismayed. “Spending is out of control,” said Barbara Anderson of Citizens for Limited Taxation, “just like it used to be.””

    On the bright side, Weld wrecked the Massachusetts Republican Party:

    “Instead, he allowed the Republican Party to fall apart. He paid little attention to the GOP’s few officeholders and kept the Republican State Committee powerless. He recruited few candidates to run for office and delivered minimal assistance to those who did. Result: in the 1992 legislative elections, Republican Senate seats shrank from 16 to 9. Weld’s power shrank, too. Democrats could now override his vetoes at will, and often did. In December 1993, Weld suffered a key defeat: over his objection, the Legislature enacted a law intended to prevent privatization.

    “Yet even this loss seemed to teach him nothing. When he ran for reelection in 1994, he again left fellow Republicans to fend for themselves, even as he spent more than $4.5 million on his own campaign against a weak Democratic nominee. As he romped to a second term with 71 percent of the vote, his party gained exactly zero seats on Beacon Hill. In a year of massive GOP pickups around the country, Massachusetts was one of only four states where Republicans gained no ground.

    ““Why didn’t he recruit a slate of 40 Republicans to run for the Senate?” asked one unhappy Republican activist. “I love Bill Weld, but he’s going to be hurt by his failure to do anything to help his party.” Former State Senator Arthur Chase, a Worcester Republican, concluded that Weld “was more concerned about getting the largest possible reelection margin for himself than with electing the largest number of Republicans. I think his objective was to catapult himself onto the national scene.” “

  37. Jay Wildwood

    “I disagree. Most of the Never Trump Republicans are horrible. They are as bad or worse than Trump.”

    Disagreement is fine, but you haven’t given any valid reasons for it. We don’t care that Trump is wealthy. Romney is also very wealthy, for example. The Clintons have also become quite wealthy off their lifetimes of public “service.” Trump routinely lies, including about the extent of his wealth. But few if any of the leading Democratic and Republican contenders will ever have to worry about food on the table, house and car payments, the cost of college tuition or medical care, or anything else ever again in their lives. At least, if they manage their money a bit better than Libertarian nomination contender John McAfee did his, which reportedly at one time was $100 million.

    The real bottom line with Trump is that he is as far as you can possibly get from being a fiscal conservative, as well as being a dangerous authoritarian demagogue and a thin skinned bully…exactly the kind of person least suited for the powers of the presidency. I’m not sure how you conflate purist libertarianism with a domestic police state, mass deportations and travel bans, and wrecking the economy with trade wars, but if that really does seem more libertarian than the status quo, I propose a trade:

    Send the Alex Jones and Lew Rockwell crowds to join the Reagan Democrats, Pat Buchananites, David Duke and the neo-confederates and white nationalists in the Trumped Republican Party, and let them stay there permanently. In exchange, let the reasonable fiscal conservative/socially liberal pragmatic libertarians such as Weld, Johnson, Reason, Cato, and the “Kochtopus” have the Libertarian Party. I think that would be a great trade if we could make it. Can our resident Libertarian extremists accept such a deal? Come on guys…you get to be in a major party for a change…what do you say?

  38. George Phillies

    The most important issue involving the NeverTrump voters is that they don’t exist in large numbers. There are lots of NeverTrump far right conservative bloggers and political consultants, but recent polls show Trump and Clinton each have the support of 85-90% of their voters already, with Clinton and Trump within a few points in recent polls “elections DOT huffingtonpost DOT com/pollster”

  39. Richard Winger

    The reason the Massachusetts Libertarian Party doesn’t want to be ballot-qualified is: (1) Massachusetts has the worst election law in the nation for candidates of small qualified parties to be on their own party’s primary ballot; (2) Massachustts election requires ballot-qualified parties to choose party officers in publicly-adminstered primaries.

    But both policies could be fought. The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1989 in Eu v San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee that the First Amendment’s freedom of association clause does not permit a state to tell parties how to be organized. And as for the horrible primary petitions, we have a new lawsuit recently filed against Arizona on the same issue, and if that wins, it will potentially help the problem in Massachustts. But we must become a ballot-qualified party to have standing to challenge. Also it should be possible to carry on a public relations campaign against the Massachusetts primary laws, which are so horrible, in 2014 Massachusetts was the only state in which a majority of the US House seats had only one candidate (a Dem.) on the November ballot.

  40. robert capozzi

    “Weld also reaped the benefits of the 1990s prosperity, as the state’s unemployment rate fell by more than 3 percentage points during his first term, from 9.6% in 1991 to 6.4% in 1994. As a result, Weld received grades of A in 1992,[11][12] B in 1994,[13][14] and B in 1996[15][16] from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, in their biennial Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors.”

    Cato generally does good work on such matters. Like GJ, WW was guv in a D-dominated state, making maneuvers toward rolling back government spending generally more difficult.

  41. George Phillies

    “” . . . .And the Massachusetts Libertarian Party leadership is dead-set against having the LP become a qualified party again . . . ”

    Why the hell would they NOT want to be a qualified party?”

    Winger is being a jackass.

    Right now, in Massachusetts, you can register Libertarian, and if you put “Libertarian” on your nominating papers and collect enough signatures, exactly the same number of signatures that a Republican or a Democrat needs, the line after your name on the ballot will say “Libertarian”.

    Massachusetts has “Political Parties” (major parties) and “political designations” (minor parties).

    In Massachusetts “Libertarian” is a minor party, meaning (1) any voter can sign our nominating papers, and (2) the papers put you on the general election ballot. If we were a major party (1) Democrats, Republicans, Green-Rainbows, and United Independents could not sign our nominating papers, and (2) the papers would only put you into the September Primary.

    This year, the UIP (major party) had two folks try to run for State Rep. One of them went door to door in some part, had a well to do community where many people know their party registrations, and got on the ballot. The other collected over 400 signatures, had a 30% or so validity rate, and thus missed the 150 needed for ballot access.

    I have skipped over the quaint local custom of lining up people to re-register in a small minor party, or vote in a primary because primaries are open to voters who do not belong to a aprty, and using a sticker campaign to knock the opponent off the ballot.

    As a result, having major party status (which is what Winger means by “qualified”) is bad news. Evan Falchuk, who runs the UIP, has a different perspective on things; we will see how his ideas play out.

    Winger’s other comment ” so the Massachusetts LP might be happy not to do the petition and run the risk that Johnson would get over 3% and make the party ballot-qualified” is simply his usual smear tactics. As this is a very strange election year, anything might happen, but no one here on our Association State Committee has suggested that we should be concerned that our nominee might get any particular vote total.

  42. George Phillies

    In point of fact, LAMA did its first fund drive for ballot access LAST SUMMER. I did more or less all the work. I arranged very early on to find State Committee members who would champion presidential ballot line acquisition efforts. Their working plan is that the nominating papers will be printed and good to go within a couple of days of the nomination. The current step is validating the volunteer electors for their eligibility to be on the papers.

  43. Jay Wildwood

    Good point in the Boston Herald article, sparkey:

    ““They were both liberal Republican governors with libertarian streaks,” Gray conceded. “But Weld is in a league above Johnson, in terms of qualifications to run for president. If he (Weld) was interested in the third-party route, I’d think he’d be interested in the No. 1 spot, not the No. 2 spot.””

    It may be that the Johnson “crack” team took Weld’s trial balloon way too seriously.

    That would be a good reason to give Austin Petersen more serious consideration if true, even though he is younger and not yet as accomplished.

  44. Jay Wildwood

    “The most important issue involving the NeverTrump voters is that they don’t exist in large numbers. There are lots of NeverTrump far right conservative bloggers and political consultants, but recent polls show Trump and Clinton each have the support of 85-90% of their voters already, ”

    Even if true, that could easily mean an order of magnitude or more votes than Libertarians ever had before. It could potentially mean far more significant funding for Libertarians, either in the current cycle, in the future, or both. It could mean ramping up to enough support to be included in the debates, letting many more people than have ever before had a chance to know what the Libertarian option is.

    And who knows how the general election contest will play out? Perhaps a billionaire will fund a pro-Libertarian SuperPAC and put the Libertarians on a competitive financial footing with Democrats and Republicans in campaign spending. Perhaps Libertarians will be interviewed all over major media much more frequently and prominently. Perhaps Trump will expand on his economic “nationalism” further into national socialist territory as a way to appeal to socialist-minded Sanders voters and win a chunk of them away from Clinton. Perhaps the Libertarians will be able to pick up a larger chunk of Republican voters who are for now resigning themselves to Trump, but might no longer do so if these things come to pass. Perhaps the election will go to the House, and perhaps many Republicans will by that point be far more fed up with Trump than they are now, and Clinton may by then be under indictment, after the point where it’s too late to replace them as the nominees.

    Granted, all of these are low probability scenarios and combining enough of them to eke out a highly improbable win is a tall order indeed, but it’s less far fetched than in any previous election, and even in the far likelier scenario that either Clinton or Trump is elected, enough people could end up voting Libertarian to put some real pressure on the Democrats and Republicans to pay at least some attention to the concerns of Libertarian voters, and for many more voters to consider Libertarian candidates seriously in the future than ever did in the past.

    Note, however, that I am neither saying nor implying that more voters considering Libertarian candidates seriously in the future than ever did in the past is a goal your party should adopt, since there seems to be at the very least considerable disagreement about this among your ranks, based on comments I have seen here.

  45. Richard Winger

    I am very happy that the Massachusetts Libertarian Party is getting ready to do the 10,000 signature petition needed to get the Libertarian presidential nominee on the November ballot.

    The Libertarian Party was ballot-qualified in Massachusetts in the period November 1994-November 1996; and November 1998-November 2004; and November 2008-November 2010. During those years, no evil people tried to crash into our party and take it over. During those years the LP was listed as a choice on the voter registration form, and our registration rose to 23,900 as of October 2004. In October 2004, the Massachusetts LP had more registered Libertarians than any other Libertarian state party, except California and Pennsylvania.

    George uses the terms “major party” and “minor party” but those terms are not in the Massachusetts election law. Currently we are a “political designation” in Massachusetts, along with the Prohibition Party, the Pizza Party, and about 30 other groups. A “political designation” is just a group that has asked the state to keep track of our registrations. Because we aren’t listed on the form anymore, our registration in Massachusetts has sunk to 8,352, at a time when in the nation as a whole our registration has never been higher.

  46. Jay Wildwood

    Consider, for example:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/05/mccain-in-deep-trouble-in-gop-primary-trump-clinton-close-in-az.html

    “The Presidential election is pretty competitive in Arizona at this point. Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton just 40-38, with Gary Johnson at 6% and Jill Stein at 2%. There’s a significant ‘Never Trump’ contingent among Arizona Republicans. While Clinton gets 80% of the Democratic vote, Trump is only getting 68% of the GOP vote at this stage. That number tracks with our finding that just 65% of Republicans say they’re comfortable with Trump as their nominee to 22% who say they aren’t. When you narrow the field to just Clinton and Trump though, Trump’s lead goes up to 45/41 because his share of the GOP vote increases to 77%. 15% of Republicans are undecided compared to 8% of Democrats, so if the party really unites around Trump eventually he’ll get close to being up by the kind of margins Republicans are accustomed to in the state but for now it’s tight.

    Bernie Sanders is not going to be the Democratic nominee for President but he leads Trump 42/39 with Johnson at 6% and Stein at 2%, and has a 45/44 advantage over Trump head to head. The difference between how Clinton and Sanders perform continues to come almost entirely among younger voters. Clinton leads Trump 39/32 with voters under 45, but Sanders’ lead with that group goes up to 52/29.

    Picking Jan Brewer as his running mate would not be an asset for Trump in Arizona. She has only a 35% favorability rating in the state to 46% of voters who see her unfavorably. Trump actually does 4 points worse against both Clinton and Sanders in a hypothetical scenario where Brewer is his running mate- he ties Clinton at 43, and his disadvantage against Sanders spikes to 46/41. “

  47. Darcy G Richardson

    It’s hard to believe that Weld would seriously consider playing second fiddle to a political lightweight like Gary Johnson. Good for a couple of headlines, this is sheer fantasy on the part of the unprincipled catch-as-catch-can Johnson campaign.

  48. Greg Jones

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/poll-independent-against-trump-clinton-223319?cmpid=sf

    Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is likely to be elected president in November, but voters are yearning for another option.

    A Clinton presidency is “the most likely scenario,” given the real estate mogul’s problems in key demographics and battleground states, according to the results of a Data Targeting poll released Wednesday.

    Both candidates, however, have high unfavorability ratings — 56 percent for Clinton and 55 percent for Trump, and nearly six in 10 voters surveyed are dissatisfied with the option of choosing between just Clinton and Trump in November.

    Fifty-five percent favor having an independent candidate challenge the Democratic front-runner and presumptive Republican nominee for president. An unprecedented 91 percent of voters 28 or younger favor having an independent on the ballot, and 65 percent of respondents are willing to support a candidate who isn’t Clinton or Trump.

    According to Data Targeting’s ballot test, an independent candidate would start off with 21 percent of the vote.

    The survey of 997 respondents was conducted May 12-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

  49. Bondurant

    This is horrible news. What’s the point of having a Libertarian Party if it’s just going to serve as a spring board for Republicans. Not to mention a gun grabber of all people (a very important issue despite what one GOP apologist has posted in these comments).

    Let us hope this is just a nonsense story that will go nowhere or that the delegates in Orlando will not let it happen if such is true.

  50. Jay Wildwood

    “It’s hard to believe that Weld would seriously consider playing second fiddle to a political lightweight like Gary Johnson. Good for a couple of headlines, this is sheer fantasy on the part of the unprincipled catch-as-catch-can Johnson campaign.”

    If the Johnson campaign was engaging in wishful thinking, got punked, and/or screwed up a deal in the works by making it public prematurely with Gov. Weld, they appear to have also lost out on Rep. Bentivolio in the process. Those of you who will be selecting your nominee should take that into account and vote accordingly. Austin Petersen would appear to be the most obvious beneficiary here, or at least I would have thought so, but then again I also thought it was a given that political parties would want more votes and more members until I read a number of you take the opposite position in the comments on other articles here.

  51. Richard Winger

    The Libertarian Party will never be big enough to win important offices unless many members of other parties abandon their old parties and join the Libertarian Party.

    The Republican Party grew very fast because northern Whigs, like Abraham Lincoln, and members of the Free Soil Party, joined the Republican Party en masse during 1854. So for the Libertarian Party to reject new members just because they were recently members of some other party is a sure-fire way to keep the party from growing.

  52. George Phillies

    Usual Winger nonsense.

    The issue is not “reject new members”, it is “make them our candidates”.

    The local Roman Catholic Church might welcome me as a convert, but for sure I am not going to be elected Pope. The Weld-Johnson ticket is just the opposite; it is exactly the same as the losing Barr-Root approach except the 2012 circumstances were a bit better.

  53. Andy

    There are lots of people who do not vote, or they do vote, but they identify as independents.

    Libertarians stand a much better chance of getting non-voters and independents on our side than we do Democrats and Republicans.

  54. robert capozzi

    WW has always been a bit unpredictable. He supported BHO in 08, but regretted doing so later.

    This demonstrates an open-mindedness on his part, but also the even more important ability to admitting mistakes.

  55. NewFederalist

    Such drama! Let’s review what this thread has taught us. George Phillies and Richard Winger don’t see eye to eye. Robert Capozzi thinks William Weld adds “gravitas” to the ticket. Darcy Richardson can’t believe a retread from a larger state would play second fiddle to a retread from a smaller state. Plus all the usual stuff about 2nd Amendment etc. Did I miss anything?

    This problem could be solved by not nominating Johnson in the first place. Just a thought.

  56. Greg Jones

    Indeed, it would be better to nominate, say, a Weld-Bentivolio ticket, if Rep. Bentivolio could be convinced to change his mind about withdrawing from consideration.

  57. George Phillies

    “http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ea9c644d880c49baaeeee7a360b5b070/libertarian-gary-johnson-secures-running-mate”

    AP claims Johnson and Weld have agreed on a proposed Johnson-Weld ticket, if the delegates buy it.

  58. Dave

    Seems like this all but seals the deal for Johnson then, at least in my estimation. I wonder if Weld’s planning to run in 2020.

  59. Andy

    The delegates ought to reject it in my opinion. Weld has no background with the LP, his libertarian credentials are questionable, and he is jumping in the race at the last minute, plus he was Governor of Massachusetts a long time ago and it is not like he has a big following.

  60. Jay Wildwood

    Unfortunately, the AP story offers nothing new, still being nothing but spin from Johnson. We shall see on Thursday if the Weld announcement actually happens.

  61. Be rational.

    Sadly, fear of this legal hurdle has been a drag on the Massachusetts LP, preventing them from gaining, using and keeping major party status. We shouldn’t use the admittedly difficult barrier as an excuse to avoid the hard work of party building.

    This year, with the Ds and Rs running two nationally hated candidates, the LP has the chance to be the only party running a positive campaign with qualified, sensible, adult candidates. We can raise money, run real advertising – if Gary Johnson will let someone qualified take the helm of his campaign organization (a condition for the nomination – open campain finances with a new manager) – and get some real attention.

    And maybe we can bring in enough new members to flush the negativity out of the MA LP, so that they can organize the state LP, and set up county and local organizations, build a real party structure and become the number 2 party in the state. We have an opportunity to become a serious party in every state in this election. But of course opportunity requires accepting the risk, challenge and hard work needed to succeed.

    To succeed in winning a libertarian society through elections, we have to recruit by being rational and adult, stop chasing away new and interested individuals with the insane requirement that they agree to a pure Rothbardian view on their first day or get out, and then lead, coach and assist all of our members and supporters in learning about all the advantages that pure liberty has to offer. We also have to stop attacking and nitpicking those who are pure libertarians and instead assist some of them with their lack of human understanding, presentation, manners and tact.

    Step by step, it’s a long process … but if we don’t have the courage to take risks in life, don’t have the willingness to put in the work, are unwilling to take our opportunities when they come, don’t accept the differences of our fellow libertarians and churlishly refuse to welcome new people, we will never succeed.

    If we throw this year’s opportunities away, we may as well stop trying.

  62. robert capozzi

    The optics are fantastic, assuming both secure the nomination. As the AP story says, WW is still plugged into very substantial donor networks, many of whom must be in shock and revulsion over Trump v Clinton. The monied Rs often tend toward social liberalism, so while Johnson/Weld won’t win, they will definitely send a message to the haters and social repressives.

    Weld will definitely be the smartest man on the ballot. Read up on him.

    I had the pleasure of meeting with him once, and he is a force of nature.

  63. Andy

    Bill Weld on Gun Control

    Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Bill_Weld_Gun_Control.htm

    “Supports gun control

    Does the strange combination of thorough economic conservatism and social liberalism make Weld a libertarian? Not unless libertarians also support expansive environmental regulations, gun control, and affirmative action.”

  64. Pingback: William Weld as Gary Johnson's Vice Presidential Choice to Be Officially Announced Tomorrow | Michigan Standard

  65. Tony From Long Island

    Andy: ” . . . Well regulated in the context of the 2nd amendment means well trained, as in people who own guns and know how to use them. . . . ”

    I couldn’t disagree more vehemently. But then again, that’s not unusual for this topic. Regulated means regulated. Wherever that regulation comes from it means REGULATED. No citizen needs an assault weapon and I will never be convinced otherwise. You can talk all you want about some fantasy need for rebellion against an oppressive government (that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution), but there is no need for a peaceful society to have incredibly armed citizens. Johnson / Weld 2016!

  66. English Teacher

    Tony from LI: If you’re not going to use the corrcect English meanings of words as they existed when the words were actually written or spoken, then you will just be a babbling fool in the eyes of those who are educated. Trying to make your case by pointing to the word “regulated” actually makes the case for a hands off policy toward all weapons and even private militias.

    The word “regulated” in the Constitution in reference to a militia means “trained, operating in an orderly manner, proficient in the use of weapons, military drill, tactics and the art of war.” A “militia” at the time of writing was a private, voluntary military group at the local and state level. “Regulator” was a brand of clocks.

    You can make a case for limiting the right to bear arms if you like, you can persuade on limits on private militias, and you can argue for amending the constitution to change the 2nd amendment if you like, but no matter how much you howl and holler you cannot change the historical meaning of words.

  67. English Teacher

    Regulator Clocks – Collector Information | Collectors Weekly
    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/clocks/regulator?CachedSimilar

    Antique Regulator Wall Clocks.
    Regulator clocks, sometimes referred to as pendulum clocks, were invented in the late 18th century in a quest for greater timekeeping accuracy.

    The Englishmen Benjamin Vulliamy and James Harrison invented two of the earliest regulators between 1760 and 1780.

  68. George Phillies

    ” No citizen needs an assault weapon and I will never be convinced otherwise. ”

    Which of the following properties of assault weapons bothers you?

    Made of black plastic.
    has a bayonet lug.
    can NOT be fired at full automatic.
    something else

  69. George Phillies

    Mind you, if I had to have a rifle, I would rather have an M16A1, on which I was extensively trained many years ago. Highly reliable. Easy to clean. Has excellent autofire setting…and is therefore NOT an assault rifle.

    George
    formerly SP/5 (rank no longer exists) USAR, honorably discharged

  70. Wes Wagner

    George

    It offends me that you are not allowed to have:

    1) a pistol grip
    2) a flash suppressor
    3) a grenade launcher
    and
    4) a bayonette lug

    all lawfully on the same device, and purchase it with select and full auto fire. This offends me greatly.

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