Libertarian Party Recognizes Two More Presidential Candidates; They Respond to IPR’s Candidates Questionnaire

milnes shannon

The Libertarian Party has recognized two new candidates seeking its 2016 presidential nomination.  Four time presidential candidate Robert Milnes of New Jersey and 2006 Congressional candidate Mike Shannon of Michigan were added to the list of candidates at LP.org.

Ahead of IPR’s Libertarian Party presidential preference poll, which will begin tomorrow, the two candidates were asked to answer the same questions asked in IPR’s recent Libertarian Party presidential candidates questionnaire.

Below are their responses:

  1. Do you consider political correctness a problem in the United States today? Why or why not?

Robert Milnes: Yes. But it is a social problem and should be addressed socially.

Mike Shannon: I am familiar with the Independent Political Report. If one reads the comments section as I have, it becomes immediately clear that free speech is 100% alive and well – as it should be. The first amendment protects free speech, and so do I with every ounce of belief that I have.

However, the first amendment does not guarantee the degree to which our free speech positively influences others outside of what is an insular, intellectual, and irrelevant political Party.

I believe that Libertarians are, and tend to want to demonstrate that they are, smarter than most other people. We must ask ourselves: if we make other people feel like we are smarter than they are, how smart is that?

We cannot purport to believe in the free market and then at the same time disregard the very clear message that the free market has been sending Libertarians for 44 years – as long as I have been alive. When we only get 1% of the vote, we are not a political party. At best, we’re a think tank or a lobbying group or a family or a church – but not a political party.

My message: “the two-party system is broken,” is designed to reach common ground with the overwhelming majority of Americans who would otherwise fear the Libertarian Party as too radical.

  1. What are your thoughts on jury nullification?

Milnes: Support.

Shannon: Libertarians tend to be very adept at intricate policy details and policy debates but tone deaf to politics. Our party has too many secret handshakes that make it more like an exclusive club rather than an inclusive, open-door political party. There are hundreds of millions of people just like me who would join the Libertarian Party if we didn’t accost them with such intricacies and inquiries of policy debate.

Honestly, no one cares what Libertarians think of jury nullification or what pastries a bakery should bake or what bathrooms transgender folks should use, if any. As Libertarians, we cannot influence policy without influence.

Step one is creating a political party that suburban families in middle America can see themselves joining.

  1. Should immigration to the US be unfettered even if those entering the country are inclined to “vote away” fundamental rights?

Milnes: Immigration to the U.S. should not be unfettered.

Shannon: When I ran for Congress ten years ago, I predicted that the U.S. Congress was unprepared to address the immigration issue. This is what I wrote in 2006 and it still applies:

“I promise you that the U.S. House of Representatives will not reach a compromise/solution on this issue. Consistent with my hypothesis that the two-party electoral system is broken, I believe that the constructive dialogue necessary to address the immigration issue is counter to the rhetoric necessary to actually get elected in almost all legislative districts.

The immigration debate has gone down a familiar road as other major strategic challenges (long-term structural deficits, U.S. relationship with the larger Arab/Muslim world, etc.). Each party has distracted the electorate by focusing attention on each other, continually demonizing. Each party has condensed the entire discussion into a concise catch-phrase. Rather thanhaving the issue discussed for the benefit of Americans, each party hijacks the issue for the purpose of capturing/retaining power in the next election. And nothing gets accomplished. Best system in the world?

My interest regarding immigration is a thriving US economy, more parity between economic opportunities outside America vs. inside (in places like Mexico), and a protection against our national borders being compromised by those who would do us harm.”

  1. What individuals would you nominate to the Supreme Court and/or what will you look for in an individual before nominating anyone to the Supreme Court?

Milnes: My Supreme Court nominees would be screened from those recommended by my consultants as qualified.. I would be inclined to select the most radical, probably a radical progressive first, libertarian second.

Shannon:  I would appoint a former Assistant US Attorney, prosecutor, author, and law professor to vet potential candidates. My interest is to examine the relationship between existing Supreme Court mandates and the way Republicans and Democrats collude with one another to draw legislative districts to protect each other in “safe” seats in the U.S. Congress.

  1. How will you appeal to the #NeverTrump voters?

Milnes: The same way I would try to appeal to all other voters. A general appeal. I have insufficient information to determine whether targeting certain voters might be more effective. That could change with research.

Shannon: I almost lost my wife to Donald Trump sixteen years ago – and I am just as determined not to lose my country to him.

First, let’s differentiate: my grandfather didn’t run a brothel in New York, he worked in a factory on the Mississippi River. My father didn’t give me $100 million loan to play with when I turned 18 years old. He gave me an invoice for rent due at the end of the month to live in his house. It was the same invoice his father had given him. I have been in real fistfights – not made-for-TV pretend fights for wrestle-mania. I digress…

For over a decade, I have been a tireless fiscal conservative and campaigner against the two-party system and its inability to address a public debt crisis that younger/future generations are facing. Donald Trump is not a fiscal conservative by any stretch of the imagination.

Trump has also promised to expand the U.S. military and spend “whatever it takes” to dominate the world militarily. Such cavalier spending will only exacerbate the debt burden that will smother younger Americans with a debt burden they cannot service. It would also enflame the failing relationship between the Western/free world and the Arab/Muslim world.

Incidentally, I would also attract former Bernie Sanders supporters, as I am the only candidate in any political party who has never accepted a campaign donation in my life from anyone.

  1. If you do not receive the nomination, will you remain in the Libertarian Party and support its candidates including its 2016 presidential nominee?

Milnes: Yes. I did not NOT support Johnson/Gray and did in fact vote for them. However as I have publicly stated I was so disgusted by Barr/Root that I did vote for McCain/Palin in protest. I almost voted for McKinney/Clemente.

Shannon: Yes, but unlike most Libertarians, I speak the language of voters. It is a language that the Libertarian Party has struggled with for its entire existence. The other candidates, their slogans, and campaigns translate to crazy-talk in that language of voters. I will support the eventual nominee, but Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen would each get approximately 1% of the vote (again).

  1. Do you ever read the Independent Political Report website?  If so, how often do you read it?

Milnes: Yes, I read IPR quite often. I visit that website somewhere around 10X/day.

Shannon: Yes, a friend of mine turned me onto it some time ago. I do not read it often, because I have a full-time job, I have a wife and family, I own a small business, and I’m running for President of the United States.

Fun questions

  1. What is your favorite song?

Milnes: I like Oldies but Goodies. Imagine, Woodstock, Give Peace a Chance top 3.

Dunham: “Spartacus”

  1. What is your favorite movie?

Milnes: I mentioned this at the debate in Swarthmore in 2011. Slaughter-House Five.

Shannon: “Rudy,” “Hoosiers,” “Breaking Away,” – I like the underdogs.

  1. What is your reaction to this video?

Milnes: It reminds me of what happens when you shake a soda can then open it.

Shannon: Hilarious –this is exactly the type of candidate that scares suburban parents away from joining a political party/movement and renders good-intentioned political movements to be impotent – like sails with no wind.

If you ever get a chance to hear me speak, I don’t refer back to notes for every sentence like this candidate. My message is authentic – not read from some piece of paper that I typed up the night before.

27 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Recognizes Two More Presidential Candidates; They Respond to IPR’s Candidates Questionnaire

  1. Bondurant

    Reading these responses, Shannon appears to have a bit of a messiah complex. Perhaps he comes across better in person.

  2. Stewart Flood

    Did I sleep through the rest of the year and it is April 1 again?

    Two completely batshit crazy candidates. Why? Why are we recognizing them on the party’s website? This is completely irresponsible and the LNC should be held accountable for this complete lack of leadership in upholding even the slightest of standards: that the candidate actually be a libertarian.

  3. Austin Cassidy

    Jesus Christ. Good move… just as thousands of new voters start to take a look at the party.

    This is like taking a bath in New Voter Repellent.

  4. Joe Wendt

    Now that Milnes is in the race, hopefully the LP is ready for Milnes-Bentivolio 2016.

  5. Kareem Caliente

    Perhaps Bentivolio will check out Milnes’ website and read all about TV Surveillance, the Kate Upton Jerk off challenge, and the ZOG!

  6. steve m

    Ah think….

    since Paulie isn’t around much…. we should unite and draft him as our candidate for President.

  7. DJH2036

    As a potential new Libertarian- these guys really don’t bother me. Every party has its crazies. The only question is how close will these guys get to the nomination?
    Obviously- they shouldn’t get anywhere close.

  8. Kareem Caliente

    You probably should visit Milnes’ website and see if the antisemitism, pro-Nazism, and Internet masturbation shows bother you.

  9. DJH2036

    Believe it or not- I’ve seen the same on many candidate sites. And in my high school. And all over pro-Trump Twitter.
    It just doesn’t bother me.

  10. Kareem Caliente

    What other candidates talk about holding masturbation shows on the dark web and talk about masturbating to news reporters because the news reporters are spying on them through their television?

  11. Stewart Flood

    I don’t know anything about the other guy, but Milnes should not be recognized by any party.

    Just being on the same press release with Milnes makes me write off Shannon. Of course getting into the race less than a month from the convention is a deal killer anyway. Same goes for these last minute veep candidates. Too little, too late!

  12. Jill Pyeatt

    I agree with Stewart. I won’t support anyone who has announced in the last three months. I also won’t support anyone without a proven past history of activism in the LP.

  13. Mike Shannon

    Hey folks – Mike Shannon here.

    I have been a libertarian my entire life, but I never joined the party, because it’s…not a political party.

    It’s fantasy football for policy wonks. I’m sorry to be so candid, but I am a candidate.

    Don’t take my word for it. Check the voter results in which 99% of voters have NOT voted Libertarian over the past 44 years. We cannot purport to believe in the free market and then disregard the very clear message the free market has been sending us for as long as I have been alive.

    I want to make this into a political party by:

    a) speaking the language of voters
    b) measuring liberty through a lens of inter-generational equity
    c) challenging the legitimacy of legislative maps – by which the Dems/GOP gain leverage and power to squeeze us out.

    – Nowhere on the Nolan Chart is geography – where Democrats push outward from Urban centers and Republicans push in from Rural areas. Purist ideologues represent only about… 1% of the population.

    – The suburbs are the sweet spot for Libertarians. That’s where fiscally conservative but socially liberal families like mine live, but we are invariably drawn into a “safe seat” for either a Democrat or a Republican.

    – When I ran for Congress ten years ago with “the two party system is broken,” what I meant was that I hate going into a voting booth and knowing the outcome before I vote. 90%+ of legislative districts in the country are drawn with a predetermined outcome.

    – The irony is that Democrats and Republicans are dependent upon each other for their respective safe seats in Congress.

    – As much of a long-shot as I am to win the LP nomination. As much as an even greater long-shot as I am to win the Presidency…I have a better chance today at being elected President of the United States than I did being elected to Congress ten years ago. That is what’s wrong with America. That’s why the two-party system is broken. That’s why Congress is locked in perpetual gridlock as the clock runs out on the liberty of younger/future generations.

    – Americans understand that the overwhelming majority of our elections are rigged for incumbents to win everytime, but there’s no party or candidate through which they can voice their discontent.

    – Ask yourselves this: how can the U.S. Congress have an approval rating in the single-digits but yet 95% of them get re-elected every two years. Because they have figured out how to lock themselves in to job security, and the people have no say about it. But eventually, the people will find a way – whether through the Libertarian Party or not, we will find a way to break this duopoly.

    -Mike Shannon
    “The two-party system is broken.”

  14. Bondurant

    People don’t vote for Libertarians because the media is a controlled interest that will not offer the same coverage to Libertarian candidates and Libertarians are often excluded from televised debates. Debate inclusion alone would boost LP election results. Failure has little to do with the actual Libertarian Party or it’s candidates. It’s very hard to navigate a rigged game.

    All you’ve done is shit upon the hard work of many. Including the people that have worked tirelessly for ballot access that you want to take advantage of.

    The two party system is broken? Tell us something we don’t know. It’s why the LP was founded decades ago.

  15. steve m

    if you are not a party member then you can not be the Libertarian Party Candidate for President.

    from the LP bylaws

    6. Only sustaining members shall be counted for delegate apportionment and National
    Committee representation. Only sustaining members shall be eligible to hold National
    Party office or be a candidate for President or Vice-President.

  16. Mike Shannon

    Let me say that I think Libertarians are patriots.

    I am a member of the party – joined recently. Didn’t join earlier, because it was pointless. Until now.

    Now is the time. Now is the year. 80% of Americans agree with, “the two-party system is broken.”

    That’s all we should say. Don’t have to say anything else. We should not say anything else.

    I agree the game is rigged.

    I wrote this in a 2006 campaign for the U.S. congress:

    “My candidacy is an act of civil dissent. 90% of Congressional districts are drawn with a predetermined outcome. They’re fixed/rigged for incumbents to win. As a result, the politicians that emerge are increasingly polarized and incapable of working together to solve problems. My hypothesis: our democracy may not be equipped to address long-term, strategic challenges of a new magnitude.”

    People don’t vote Libertarian, because they think Libertarians are weird. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this.

    This is an actual reply from a buddy of mine – when I asked if anyone wanted to attend the Indiana State Convention (libertarian).

    “Only if I can wear my space pants.”

    We just address the image problem head on, and we must transform the perception of the party in the eyes of voters – from radical to relevant…from silly to sane.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    It’s an interesting tactic to come in, new to the party, and introduce yourself to us by insulting us.

    You might wish to ask Derrick Michael Reid how well that has worked out for him.

  18. Mike Shannon

    I’m not insulting you.

    My college buddy insulted you. I’m telling you what people think. Whether we want to hear the message is another matter.

    Yes, of course, we all know that the two-party system is broken, but that is the language of voters.

    This is how voters hear the other slogans (in the language of voters):

    “Be Libertarian with me” = “Let’s smoke weed together.”

    “Taking over the government (with 1% of the vote), to leave everyone else alone” = “Still crazy after all these years – even younger Libertarians are mentally unfit to serve.”

    “The most interesting candidate in the world” = “Plagiarism”

    “The two-party system is broken” = “Relevant, timely, sane – I’d better take a second look.”

    You’ve only got one shot at this. One shot. Do you want to be a political party or…not be a political party.

    Do you want to win an election or lose an election?

    Do you want to be relevant or….

  19. Mike Shannon

    I have a vision of a new party that families in the suburbs can see themselves joining.

    That’s the sweet spot for the party – the suburbs.

    Democrat = Downtown

    Republican = Rural

    You’ve been going after the same rural markets as Republicans for decades. That market is saturated.

  20. Stewart Flood

    My first impression is that you are probably not in the batshit crazy candidate category. But you are unrealistic to expect that anyone will support a candidate who just joined the party and has no history. Jill is absolutely correct in her position, and most delegates in Orlando will agree.

    But at this point you lose nothing in trying. Just don’t be too surprised if you fail to get any support. The other candidates have been really pushing to get their delegates out, so the number of “undecided” delegates is probably very low.

    I’m hoping we have an IPR “hangout” while there. Has IPR purchased a booth? 🙂

  21. Mike Shannon

    What you’re saying is that you’ve been trying to push a rock up a hill for decades, and because I come along and say, “you know what, there’s no benefit in getting that rock to the top of the hill. What’s important is that we all get to the top of the hill – not the rock. We should let the rock fall down the hill. Forget the rock.”

    And your response is, “you have no business telling us that. You just joined this effort to get the rock up the hill. Some of us have been here for decades, trying to get this rock up this hill.”

    I do acknowledge the work of the people who have come before me to setup the mechanics of a political party. The problem is that they/you have their own language. It’s Libertarianese – with secret handshakes and exclusivity and an intellectual book club mentality. I have read Ayn Rand, but I’m not a disciple.

    I speak a different language: the language of voters. You should try it – just once. You’ll be amazed at the results. Donald Trump speaks the language of voters with “Make America great again.”

    Try “the two-party system is broken” out with people who are not Libertarians. You’ll be amazed.

    I have a vision of a new party that can have actual influence in American politics. We cannot influence policy without influence. Step one is forming a party that parents/families can see themselves joining.

    -Mike Shannon
    “The two-party system is broken.”
    http://www.unrepublican.com

  22. Arnold Spencer

    Dear concerned citizen,

    “Wasn’t he born in Mongolia?”

    According to his biography, Berdsk, Novosibirsk, Russia, then part of the USSR. Some of his ancestors are Mongols, some Russians, some of many various nationalities of Europe and Asia, but the largest portion were Jews. Much like Barack Obama, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, he is not eligible to be President. Only US Citizens born on US soil of two parents who were themselves born on US soil are eligible. In the general election, the Republicans will not have an eligible candidate, making the election a contest between Hillary Clinton and various third party candidates.

  23. William Saturn Post author

    Arnold Spencer: “Only US Citizens born on US soil of two parents who were themselves born on US soil are eligible”

    Nobody has ever made this argument. The actual argument is that to be a natural born citizen, one must be born in the United States to parents who are both U.S. citizens at the time of one’s birth. This disqualifies Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio since Cruz was born in Canada and Rubio’s parents were not U.S. citizens. But it does not disqualify Donald Trump, whose mother was born in Scotland but had become a U.S. Citizen by the time of Donald Trump’s birth.

  24. Kareem Caliente

    Someone named Marty Markowitz gave some good advice to surging Libertarian presidential candidate Robert Milnes:

    “It’s down to the wire. Maybe you should announce a running mate like Feldman did. He picked Kanye but for you I’m thinking someone else from the family. How about Caitlin Jenner? Even though he’s female he doesn’t have all the normal emotional baggage that comes with actual women. Plus reports say he’s about to transition back into being Bruce so you have to act fast. Make the announcement. Milnes-Jenner ’16 PLAS!!”

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