Jill Pyeatt’s Interview with Gary Johnson at the Libertarian Party of CA’s Convention 2016

38 thoughts on “Jill Pyeatt’s Interview with Gary Johnson at the Libertarian Party of CA’s Convention 2016

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Please be nice. We had about 2 minutes to prepare, and I’ve never done an in-person interview before. Just ignore the lady in the corner who’s asking the questions. I do think that Gary’s answers to a couple of my questions are still relevant though, primarily about his vp pick, and the answer about prosecuting Dubya and Cheney. I admit his answer to the latter was a deal-breaker for me.

  2. Bud Fein

    Jill did great. The second clip does not show Johnson or his off camera handler in a good light at all.

  3. George Phillies

    Congratulations to the cameraman for changing the pointing during #2.

    Readers will note how much more high-tech our party is than the other parties. When Trump debated those Republican guiding geniuses, not once did any of them get on the phone and find an answer.
    Of course, it’s possible the Republicans need someone to run their cell phones for them.

  4. steve m

    The question of whether Johnson had filed properly for 2016 was asked here on IPR on March 18th 2016.


    At that point I checked the FEC records and they were not showing him to be a candidate. George Phillies came back and said there apparently was a Glitch probably FEC.

    The FEC “glitch” wasn’t corrected until March 28th, 2016.

    This interview happened during the April 1st through 3rd 2016 convention.

    Entirely possible that this was the first Gary heard about it.

    I would have loved to have heard the latter discussion between Gary and Ron.

  5. steve m


    You asked a legitimate and tough question. No need to apologize.

  6. steve m

    LOL….. looks like I am the one who put you up to asking this question Jill. I am proud of you.

    steve m
    March 19, 2016 at 11:04
    I think that Gary Johnson should be asked at one of the Debates if he has filed officially to be a Presidential Candidate for 2016.

  7. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks, Steve. As much as I’m embarrassed by some of this, I think the interview was quite worthwhile. He answered some questions I hadn’t heard asked before.

    I’m curious about Judge Gray. With so many people announcing they’re running for vice=president, will he?

    Hmmm, maybe I’ll ask him.

  8. Jeremy Siple

    Good interview, Jill! You don’t need to be embarrassed, you asked a legit question about what was really a pretty minor issue, he was unaware (likely too busy campaigning and letting Ron take care of the fine details) and overreacted. I don’t know that it makes him look as bad as some have suggested, but he still should not have put you in that position.

  9. Steven Berson

    Jill – I thought you did excellently and handled all of the questioning very well. There is zero to be embarrassed about on your part – in fact, thank you for placing those questions to him.

  10. Jennifer Werther

    Good job, Jill! Very different questions asked. Thanks for clear honest answers, Gary Johnson.

  11. William Saturn

    Every LNC delegate should be shown the second video. Not only is Johnson’s (over)reaction outrageous, he appears to not have a grasp on what is going on with his campaign. On March 23, the FEC sent out the following letter to Johnson http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/250/201603230300040250/201603230300040250.pdf explaining that because he reported raising and/or spending more than $5,000 he was considered a candidate under the FEC definition and so was required to file a Form 2 or disavow the activity. Despite Johnson’s claim of “bullshit,” the campaign had not filed a Form 2 until five days after the March 23 letter. http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/927/201603290300057927/201603290300057927.pdf The form is dated January 12 but the FEC stamp indicates it did not receive the form until March 29. So there was either a clerical error, a mailing mistake, or it was never sent in the first place. Johnson should have been aware of this fairly important matter. It is up to him to stay abreast of campaign developments. Is there something deficient in his leadership style? What else is he in the dark about? Will he react in the same ridiculous manner in the general election when a mainstream journalist asks about something else of which he is willfully ignorant? The delegates should think about this.

  12. Darcy G Richardson

    William is right. Johnson is far too aloof or disinterested, a complaint heard over and over again during his eight years as governor of New Mexico. But — alas — most Libertarians will once again give him the benefit of the doubt, explaining that he was “too busy” campaigning to pay attention to such trivial matters.

    One has to wonder if he’s even aware that his 2012 campaign currently owes the U.S. Treasury $332,191 in federal matching funds that were misspent by his campaign committee. That repayment was due last week.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

  13. steve m

    William Saturn,

    I have previously documented that the FEC can be very late and inaccurate in their processing of filings.

    Gary did overreact in this video but I can imagine that I would do so also if I had trusted someone to handle some details and they had failed to do so or had failed to inform me that there had been a problem. And the way I found out was by being blindsided during an interview.

    The organization that tracks political donations “Open Secrets” has complained about the FEC not being punctual in processing filings. As a libertarian… I am already chocking on my next words… but given their job the fec might be underfunded. hack hack


    So if we have the potential of a federal agency not doing its work in a time….. do we blame the candidates?

  14. steve m

    Darcy G Richardson

    ” Johnson is far too aloof or disinterested, a complaint heard over and over again during his eight years as governor of New Mexico. ”

    Please provide sources to your claim.

  15. William Saturn

    steve m: “I have previously documented that the FEC can be very late and inaccurate in their processing of filings.”

    Was it ever conclusively shown this was a clerical error by the FEC? The UPS stamp shows it was shipped “next day air” from Salt Lake City on March 28. The FEC stamp on the Form 2 shows it was received the next day.

  16. Darcy G Richardson

    “Please provide sources to your claim.” — Steve M.

    Trust me, Steve. I have come across several comments of that nature which appeared in various New Mexico newspapers during his eight-year tenure as governor. I’ll post a few of them later this week when I have a little more time to dig back through them.

    Several New Mexico journalists complained that Johnson never read any legislation — including the items that he vetoed — and that he often didn’t know what was happening in his own administration. I’m sure reporters and editorial writers weren’t making this up. It may take me a day or two, but I’ll provide the exact quotes and links to a few of the articles.

  17. Stewart Flood

    His reaction is not what I would consider “balistic”. If you look at the form, it indicates that he signed it in January. Whether it was lost, never sent, or just overlooked by the FEC, it is possible that he never knew.

    Should he have been aware of the problem? That is debateable. I think the fact that most of the FEC search pages still list it as a republican campaign, while the actual committee page lists him as a libertarian candidate, shows how incompetent the FEC is.

    And the committee page does show zero debt for 2016.

  18. Darcy G Richardson

    “The UPS stamp shows it was shipped “next day air” from Salt Lake City on March 28. The FEC stamp on the Form 2 shows it was received the next day.” — William Saturn

    Good catch, William. Not that it’s necessarily a big deal, but unless Johnson’s 2016 committee can produce a receipt showing that the filing was sent earlier — that’s something that UPS and other carriers, including the U.S. Postal Service, routinely provide — I think that more or less solves that mystery.

    It was probably just an oversight by Ron Nielson’s crack staff, an organization seemingly only proficient when it comes to receiving and depositing campaign checks and on-line contributions, whether from individual Libertarian Party donors or the U.S. Treasury.

  19. Stewart Flood

    Are you sure it is crack? It seems more likely to be just booze and pills.

    Blame it on the interns.

  20. George Phillies

    The opensecrets claims are strange to bizarre. Electronic filing of donations and disclosures processes more or less instantaneously — certainly within a few minutes. Assertions that the candidate search portal is unavailable for long periods of time do not match my experience at all, and as many of you know, I use the portal a great deal. Their claim that the FEC validates the accuracy of donor statements, as opposed to confirming that an address, occupation, and employer are present,does not appear to be true.

  21. George Phillies

    However, if a reporter asks an obscure question on FEC filings, the safe answer is, calmly, “Gee, I thought I remember that we had done that. Something may have lodged in the cracks of the Federal Bureaucracy. I’ll have to check with my staff and get back to you.”

  22. George Phillies

    The FEC shows a Form 1 for the Campaign Committee in January, Form 3Ps filed in timely ways every month since, a notice in late March that the candidate needed to file a Form TWO, and the Form 2 being filed within a few days. The Committee filings all show the candidate as being a Libertarian.

    People who cannot handle press questions calmly may not be ideal candidates.

  23. George Whitfield

    I think Gary reacted with concern as I would have. He knows the importance of having this FEC paperwork done correctly. I don’t think his actions or words were inappropriate. If you were a candidate for President and you were informed that your campaign had not filed a very basic and vital statement and you just calmly said I don’t know and I don’t care then you would be negligent and not competitive. I applaud George Phillies for keeping track of this documentation but I certainly cannot fault Gary for being active and checking with his campaign manager right away. Also thank you to Jill for bringing it up and helping get the matter clarified. Just after I read about the issue on IPR back in March I sent the Johnson campaign an email informing that there may have been an oversight or an FEC glitch. I didn’t receive a response but maybe it helped get them looking into it.

  24. steve m


    With regards too….

    “The opensecrets claims are strange to bizarre. Electronic filing of donations and disclosures processes more or less instantaneously — certainly within a few minutes. ”

    What is happening is that Congressmen and Senators are gaming the system. They know that all they have to do is file paper reports and that there is a long delay from their filing a report and it becoming electronic. This allows them to collect donations from unpopular sources before an election but not have this publicly known until after the election.

  25. Steven Berson

    Does the OpenSecrets.org staff have a much more extensive sample size than George Phillies does in terms of FEC’s website reporting? I am betting the answer is undoubtedly yes. Beyond that you’ll have to forgive me for extreme cynicism regarding the idea that a Federal bureaucratic agency is in any way efficient, accurate, timely or even competent.

  26. langa

    Good interview, Jill.

    But what happened to the other clip, where Johnson apparently loses his composure (again)?

  27. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Someone from the Petersen campaign found it and was making sport of it on FB, so I deleted the whole clip. I didn’t mean for it to hurt Johnson’s campaign. I felt it was information worth sharing as part of a general picture of Johnson, but I couldn’t bear the thought that the Petersen campaign could benefit from it.

    My timing looked like I put it out there to damage Johnson’s campaign. That was never my intention.

  28. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Someone actually called me in my office late yesterday to thank me for posting it on FB (which I didn’t do) and asked if I had any other dirt on Johnson they could use. He said the clip was starting to go viral. I got him to admit he was from the Petersen campaign. Disgust doesn’t even begin to describe my feeling at that point, and I’m sorry for the whole incident.

  29. steve m

    I believe what opensecrets was saying is that they have statistical evidence that information that should have been available on the web site wasn’t within the time frame that the FEC claimed it should have been.

    This wouldn’t be a technical glitch like a server being down. It would have been a processing problem where paper reports are not being converted to electronic forms and the data then being uploaded to the server.

    As I said before, it looks like senators and congressmen are gaming the fec system.

  30. Andy

    Good interview, Jill? Were you able to interview any other candidates at the convention?

  31. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks, Andy, I thought the interview went well, also, and I think Johnson looks good in it. That was the first and probably only in-person interview I’ve done. It’s not something I was comfortable with.

  32. Andy

    Johnson really denied the campaign debt issue in this interview. I’d be curious to see what Tom Knapp and George Phillies have to say about this, since they have spent more time delving into this topic than the other regular commenters here.

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