Darcy Richardson: “The Johnson-Weld Libertarian Ticket: The Duopoly Gains an Ally”

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Darcy G. Richardson is an IPR contributor, historian, author and activist. On July 22nd, 2016, he announced that he will be seeking the Reform Party’s presidential nomination, which will be decided July 29th-31st in Bohemia, New York. The following article was published on his campaign website:

As Alice famously said, things are getting “curiouser and curiouser.”

In a year of the “outsider,” it’s rather peculiar that the Libertarian Party — the country’s only nationally-organized third party expected to be on the ballot in all fifty states this autumn — is fielding a ticket comprised of two former Republican governors, neither of whom  has had a negative word to say about presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

While ex-New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, an embarrassingly shallow and poorly-informed austerity monger and brazen political deadbeat who ran up a massive campaign debt of more than $1.5 million during his 2012 bid for the presidency and currently owes the U.S. Treasury — American taxpayers, to put it more precisely — a staggering $332,191 in misspent federal matching funds stemming from that failed effort, and his ruddy-faced vice presidential running mate William Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts-turned-lobbyist, haven’t been the least bit shy in their attacks on Donald Trump’s insurgent candidacy, both men have lavished praise on the former Secretary of State.

The former New Mexico governor recently described Hillary Clinton as “a wonderful public servant” while his much more articulate and quotable running mate has been equally effusive in his praise of the presumptive Democratic nominee and establishment darling.

It’s quite another story, however, when it comes to the Republican nominee.

Johnson, who hasn’t won an election in nearly twenty years, claims the real estate mogul is a “racist” and a “pussy” while his vice-presidential co-star — a man who can reasonably be described as a “Rockefeller Republican” — recently called the Republican nominee a “huckster.”  Looking for headlines, Johnson’s vice-presidential running mate, evoking images of Nazi terror, had earlier likened the Republican nominee’s immigration plan to “the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna” — a preposterous analogy by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s almost as though the Libertarian Party, a once-principled organization engaged in a 45-year fistfight with the Establishment, has suddenly become a groveling apologist of sorts for the ruling elite, those on Wall Street responsible for the recent “Great Recession” and who, by and large, are now flocking to the Clinton candidacy.

That said, it’s kind of strange to see the Libertarian ticket holding its fire when it comes to a war-mongering, Wall Street-funded creature like Hillary Clinton.

These are strange times, indeed.

It’s no coincidence, of course, that Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and Secretary of Treasury during George W. Bush’s administration — the chief architect of the highly-unpopular Wall Street bailout — recently endorsed the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Nor is it just a matter of mere happenstance that Gary Gensler, a wealthy Goldman Sachs partner who, as a high-ranking Treasury Department official during the Clinton administration, played an instrumental role in assuring that credit default swaps — the instruments at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis — were exempted from the Commodity Futures Modernization Act — is currently serving as the chief financial officer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Donald Trump wasn’t wrong when he suggested that Hillary’s campaign was being funded by “Wall Street fat cats.”  That’s been true throughout her political career.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, four Wall Street firms — Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — were among her top seven donors prior to her current campaign.  And everybody knows about her lucrative speaking fees paid by the financial services industry.

In any case, it’s beyond pathetic that the nation’s leading minor party — the Libertarian Party — long a beacon for freedom-loving anti-establishmentarians of various political stripes,  is now carrying water for the financial oligarchy.  And that’s really what it amounts to, if we’re perfectly honest about it.

Can you imagine Ron Paul, the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 1988, or the late Harry Browne — or any of the party’s previous presidential nominees, for that matter — singing the praises of one of their major-party rivals? And why now, especially in a year when an unprecedented number of Americans are desperately clamoring for a viable alternative to both major parties?

From Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose candidacy in 1912 and the half-dozen presidential campaigns fearlessly waged by the Socialist Party’s urbane and dignified Norman M. Thomas, the avuncular “conscience of the country” who never hesitated to criticize Franklin D. Roosevelt when it was warranted, to the Reform Party’s Ross Perot and feisty consumer activist Ralph Nader — a national treasure if there ever was one — candidates running outside the entrenched duopoly have traditionally attacked their Democratic and Republican foes with equal zeal.

Not so with Gary Johnson and William Weld, both of whom have left many of their own party’s longtime activists — those who really believe in liberty and smaller government —  scratching their heads and wondering what’s really happening.  “Oh dear,” they might be saying to themselves, paraphrasing the young girl in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, “what is this nonsense they’re talking?”

In gaining an unexpected partner in this year’s paradoxically perplexing, if not completely baffling, Libertarian ticket — an uninspiring, largely untested, and deeply-flawed Establishment pairing that makes Donald Trump perversely appear as the true “outsider” in the race — the duopoly has suddenly become a kind of political triumvirate designed to protect the rich and powerful.

The Libertarian faithful have been duped.  Big time.

With this kind of opposition, moreover, the tyrannical Queen and her cunningly clever husband, the widely-discredited King — the man most responsible for NAFTA and the decline of America’s middle class who later repealed the Glass-Steagall Act while deliberately deregulating over-the-counter derivatives through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, both of which led directly to the 2008 financial meltdown of Wall Street’s making — have nothing to fear.

The American people deserve an alternative willing to hold both major parties accountable for the nation’s tragic economic decline, not a couple of washed-up Republican politicians who consistently applaud Wall Street’s approved candidate, hoping against hope that they might get noticed by the same powers-that-be responsible for deliberately destroying this country’s productive economy — a manufacturing marvel that only thirty years ago was still the envy of virtually every nation on Earth.

(Via American Third Party Report)

27 thoughts on “Darcy Richardson: “The Johnson-Weld Libertarian Ticket: The Duopoly Gains an Ally”

  1. wolfefan

    I look forward to Mr. Richardson saying why I should vote FOR him as opposed to against someone else.

  2. Bondurant

    I would like to see an IPR Q&A with Richardson. I emphatically agree with this post but would like to see where he stands on the issues. There’s not much info on the site linked above as of yet.

  3. Andy

    Darcy may not be a libertarian, but he made a lot of excellent points above in his critique of the current Libertarian Party presidential ticket.

  4. Nicholas Hensley


    Darcy is fairly consistent on the main Reform Party views. If you want to see what we are about, you can find a three part interview with me on IPR dated from only a few weeks ago.

    Nicholas Hensley
    Reform Party National Committee

  5. dL

    “The Libertarian faithful have been duped. Big time.”

    No..not really. The libertarian movement is not the Libertarian Party. There is some overlap, but they are not the same thing. The Libertarian Party is a confluence of different factions, including some principled libertarians but also including factions operating with ulterior motives. Whatever those sundry motives may be, it is apparent that “respectability politics” is a universally viewed as means to them. It doesn’t help that the majority of the money endowed libertarian advocacy organs operate primarily through the Overton Window of respectability politics. If there is any duping going on, this is the primary marketing source of it.

    Johnson/Weld are not running as libertarians. Their website doesn’t mention the word. There is no LP branding at all. If media commentators didn’t bring it up, they wouldn’t bother to bring it up. They are running as TeamGov. Essentially, the LP is selling no money down 50 state ballot access to republican resellers. In the business world, a “reseller” has a specific contractual meaning. Usually you pay for the privilege, but it contractually entails some entity B getting a ready made product P from some entity A, and B sells P as if it were its own product under its own brand. Here the product P==50 state ballot access with a ready to go marketing team, Reason magazine and The Cato Institute, working on their behalf. Entity B does not have to demonstrate any marketing budget on their own. They do, however, have to demonstrate some proclivity for getting earned media time.

    Although TeamGov promised at the LP convention to run a real campaign with serious fundraising bona fides, they, in fact, have not done anything of the sort. The campaign primarily consists of TeamGov making media rounds to: (i) offer themselves as the sane GOP alternative (ii) whine about polling methodology (iii) issue press releases when some GOP has-been endorses them.The big whales are a Romney endorsement and a Bush endorsement.

    William Weld has stated he can raise an advertising budget when he has a product to sell. The salable product is TeamGov as a viable vehicle for Mitt Romney. Accordingly, Chief Marketing strategist David Boaz will evolve the branding, from “Libertarianism for Grown-ups”, to “A kinder, gentler Libertarianism,” to finally, “A kinder, gentler Mitt Romney.”

    Note: I’m not being facetious. What I wrote above is exactly what it is. The sad expropriation, so easily accomplished, is why most libertarians(or at least the rational ones) place no confidence in electoral politics.

  6. Deran

    While I have really enjoyed, and learned a lot from, Mr Richardson’s books I am slightly befuddled by Mr Richardson jumping into the Presidential race st such a late date with no apparent interest in actually appearing on state ballot lines. I agree the elections in the US are rigged. So why run for President at all? Does he hope to build the Reform Party – in the sameway he built a Florida branch of the Peace and Freedom Party in 2012?

    From this article from his campaign website it seems he is mostly concerned with criticizing the Johnson/Weld campaign. And while Mr. Richardson is an excellent historian, he is not a Libertarian. It is something like me, a socialist, running for POTUS as s socialist and critiquing the internal workings of the Libertarian Party and having that critique being a central part of my campaign.

    If I were the Reform Party I would have a care – the Peace and Freedom Party has yet to recover from the Roseanne Barr debacle.

    Personally, I wish Mr Richardson would write more history books – I’m still waiting for a book on the Anderson campaign of 1980. And the McCarthy campaign of 1976.

    If Mr Richardson were serious he should have started raising money and working on ballot access months ago. Instead of this gadfly nominal candidacy. Imo.

  7. Andy Craig

    I agree w/ Deran: running a paper candidacy for the sole purpose of attacking another third-party candidacy is pretty ridiculous.

    The notion that Johnson “never” criticizes Clinton is demonstrably false. He criticizes her for precisely libertarian reasons: that she’s for bigger government and that she’s a war hawk, and that she is the establishment status quo.

    “And I think Hillary has also been the architect, one of the premier, primary architects of our foreign policy that has made the world less safe, not more safe.” – PBS interview

    “HIATT: And [Gov. Johnson] what’s your objection to Hillary Clinton?

    JOHNSON: I think it’s very establishment. I think it’s very status quo. I think that her answer to everything is “free,” that government will grow under Hillary Clinton, that taxes will go up…” – Washington Post interview

    “Is there anybody Hillary hasn’t promised everything to? And the spending that goes along with that?” – Larry King interview

  8. wolfefan

    Thanks, Andy Craig, for doing the research that I was too lazy to do. I had a sense that Darcy’s criticism was factually wrong, but hadn’t taken the time to check it out.

  9. langa

    …running a paper candidacy for the sole purpose of attacking another third-party candidacy is pretty ridiculous.

    It’s almost as ridiculous as forming a group for the purpose of opposing conspiracy theories, while working to promote a ticket with close ties to an infamous conspiracy theorist. Not quite, but almost.

  10. robert capozzi

    ac: The notion that Johnson “never” criticizes Clinton is demonstrably false.

    me: So when DGR and others say this, and you present irrefutable evidence, they should be willing to admit to their hyperbole as a way to correct the record.

    Since I’ve not heard such an admission from them, I assume that the J/W detractors are acting in bad faith.

    Or is there another interpretation?

  11. robert capozzi

    Langa: It’s almost as ridiculous as forming a group for the purpose of opposing conspiracy theories,

    me: A reference to AC’s L Skeptical Network caucus?

    L: while working to promote a ticket with close ties to an infamous conspiracy theorist.

    me: Too cryptic here. Are you referring to Roger Stone? He’s moved on this cycle to DJT. Someone else?

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I look forward to Mr. Richardson saying why I should vote FOR him as opposed to against someone else.”

    His campaign web site, darcy2016.com, is under construction, but if you have a look at the set of links near the top, you’ll see that one thing he is FOR is the the Mobilization for Incremental Tax Exemption. That notation links directly to the MITE’s web site. Unsurprising since Mr. Richardson is one of the proposal’s authors and serves on its steering committee.

    Two other links lead to “under construction” pages at the moment, but give some clues as to what he’s FOR:

    “Protecting Working-Class & Middle Income Americans”


    “Long Overdue: A Wall Street Sales Tax”

    If I had to guess, I’d guess that the first link, when completed, will describe his proposals vis a vis Social Security, Medicare and other “safety net”/”entitlement” programs.

    I don’t have to really guess about the second link. It’s fairly self-explanatory and not at all out of the “progressive” mainstream (it’s also right up the Reform Party’s alley. Former US Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and US Representative Pete DeFazio perennially proposed a “financial transaction tax” on the sale of stocks and bonds, I could be wrong but I believe US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and perhaps others (maybe even Bernie Sanders) have continued to carry the torch for something of the kind.

    For obvious reasons, this is not a proposal I support (I’m a libertarian; I oppose raising, or creating new, taxes on principle), but as such proposals go it’s nothing wild or radical, and in fact would probably find a lot more support on Wall Street than my own proposal for reducing the ever-increasing (and increasingly economically damaging) tendency to treat the stock market like a casino (I’d put an end to the state grant of “limited liability” that artificially externalizes shareholder risk).

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Another thing that Darcy’s campaign site reveals he’s FOR, right up at the top:

    “Reviving Ross Perot’s Reform Party”

    That’s an interesting proposal, especially in light of Darryl W. Perry’s analysis (in his “concession” speech at the Libertarian National Convention) of what wrecked that party. While that analysis is incomplete, there’s a lot of truth to it and it’s distinctly possible that the LP is on the same path at the moment (e.g. Johnson/Weld get just enough votes this year to attract carrion eaters in 2020, intent on eating the government welfare check meat off the LP’s bones).

    Is it possible that, 16 years after the Reform Party’s collapse under those pressures, a party renaissance is possible?

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth “Deran” —

    “Does he hope to build the Reform Party — in the same way he built a Florida branch of the Peace and Freedom Party in 2012? … If I were the Reform Party I would have a care — the Peace and Freedom Party has yet to recover from the Roseanne Barr debacle.”

    My assumption is that no, he doesn’t want to build the Reform Party “in the same way” he built the Peace and Freedom Party, except to the extent that in both cases what he will be doing is facilitating opportunity.

    P&FP, while THEORETICALLY nationally organized, is usually on the ballot in California. They were on in California and Iowa in 2008. In 2004, California only. Apparently no ticket in 2000. In 1996, California only. In 1992, their nominee was on several state ballots, but under other party lines.

    In 2012 they were on the ballot in Calfifornia as usual. And in Florida, probably almost entirely because Darcy Richardson decided to assist them in getting on the ballot in Florida. And, I’m just speculating here, but I suspect that they were on in Colorado because Darcy decided to make sure they got on the ballot there as well.

    But one person can only do so much.

    The P&FP’s presidential ticket didn’t campaign much if at all — and not because Darcy didn’t beg them to.

    The P&FP doesn’t seem to have made any effort whatsoever, independent of Darcy’s own exertions, to build a post-presidential-campaign activist base or a permanent party organization in Florida or Colorado.

    Presumably as the Reform Party’s presidential nominee, Darcy will bust his ass to build the Reform Party between now and November … and expect the Reform Party to do something with the opportunities he creates on its behalf. The difference is that the Reform Party might actually seize the opportunity.

  15. Be Rational

    “From Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose candidacy in 1912 and the half-dozen presidential campaigns fearlessly waged by the Socialist Party’s urbane and dignified Norman M. Thomas, the avuncular “conscience of the country” who never hesitated to criticize Franklin D. Roosevelt when it was warranted, to the Reform Party’s Ross Perot and feisty consumer activist Ralph Nader — a national treasure if there ever was one — candidates running outside the entrenched duopoly have traditionally attacked their Democratic and Republican foes with equal zeal.” – Darcy G. Richardson


    Having the chance to wag one’s tongue at the towers of power from a soapbox in the wilderness may be satisfying to the chosen one, and music to the ears of a listening circle of followers, but it does little more to promote change than does the pizza, beer and good night’s sleep method employed by armchair complainers across America.

    This “rant and roll” style campaign used by third party and independent POTUS candidates has a tried and true record of failure to actually win an election.

    Not doing it again is perhaps a better path to victory.

  16. Darcy G Richardson

    “If I were the Reform Party I would have a care – the Peace and Freedom Party has yet to recover from the Roseanne Barr debacle.” — Deran

    Just for the record, I agreed to organize the Peace & Freedom Party as a qualified political party in Florida and place its presidential ticket on the ballot here long before Roseanne Barr announced her candidacy for the P&FP nomination in 2012. I would have done the same if, say, Rocky Anderson or someone else, had emerged as the party’s presidential nominee that year.

  17. Nicholas Hensley

    Darcy Richardson is one of the most honest men I know. He is one of the most principled men I know. I have spent the last decade in politics, and learned that the path to political success is paved with causalities. The other thing I learned was how to survive, and how trusting someone that you shouldn’t makes you one of those casualties.

    Knowing that, there are few politicos that I truly trust. Darcy Richardson is one of them.

    The reason that Darcy Richardson entered the Reform Party race late, was that we, the Reform Party, needed at least one candidate that knew how to run a campaign with the goal of using it to spread the Reform Party message. We are not in this one to win it. We know it. What we need is a candidate that understands he/she is running a “rebuilding campaign”, and is using his/her campaign as a vehicle for the Reform Party message.

    I personally asked Mr. Richardson to run on the Reform Party line. Both him and I can release those communications if the Johnson campaign wishes. The Reform Party needed an alternative that was not using the Reform Party as a vehicle for their own personal gain. He has agreed to work with us to spread the Reform Party message, and not push his own agenda down the throats of the membership. That is what we needed.

    So my question to you Mr. Andy Craig is how much of your attack upon my friend is about personal principle and belief? How much of it is about progressing your libertarian agenda and furthering the Libertarian Party?

    How much of this is really about Andy Craig defending Gary Johnson because he is a paid staffer for his organization?

    In my years fighting for minor parties in numerous ways, I have used my position, communication and proxies to protect many of the anti-establishment politicians when I could. I supported numerous independents, and worked across party lines with several minor party activists and candidates to accomplish tasks and policy change.

    I have also seen a lot of minor parties fall or become flash in the pan parties.

    One of the things that I learned was that the only thing a minor party has is its principles. When it builds on its principles and does well, it can never sell them out or it will falter. There are numerous examples of this. Chairman Pat Choate sold out the Reform Party’s principles when he recruited Pat Buchanan. The Peace and Freedom Party sold out its principles with Rosanne Barr, and did less then half as well then 2008 than the previous year. The Constitution Party had a lower vote count when former Congressman Virgil Goode ran on their line.

    The Libertarians can boast that Bob Barr and Gary Johnson were their two highest vote geters. That would be true. But did these guys really represent the same Libertarian Principles of John Hospers, Ed Clark, and Michael Badnarik? No. Will their followers stick around the next time the Libertarians nominate Presidential candidate like John Hospers, Ed Clark or Michael Badnarik? No.

    In the short term the Gary Johnson candidacy will make the Libertarian Party look good, but it will do nothing to build long term success for the party.

  18. Thomas Knapp

    “Having the chance to wag one’s tongue at the towers of power from a soapbox in the wilderness”

    Yes, because the third and fourth most populous states are the wilderness.

    “This ‘rant and roll’ style campaign used by third party and independent POTUS candidates has a tried and true record of failure to actually win an election.”

    So does every other style campaign used by third party and independent POTUS candidates. It is therefore not obvious that the style is the problem; and if the style is the problem, nobody else seems to have discovered a style that isn’t the problem yet.

    All that said, this present angst seems to be entirely about a single blog post, on a not yet fully constructed site, written by a candidate who does in fact need to differentiate himself from other claimants to the status of third party alternative to the duopoly, among whom Gary Johnson is by pretty much every metric I’ve ever seen proposed, the pack leader at this time.

  19. George Phillies

    “Not doing it again is perhaps a better path to victory.”

    Somehow, not running for President seems unlikely to be a pathway to winning the election.

    But perhaps BR meant that we were not responsive to his shilling for his particular industry.

  20. Nicholas Hensley

    One reason that I like Independent Political Report is the wealth of knowledge, and experience on the site. A lot of the commentators, authors and editors have been in the political arena for close to their entire lives. I, myself, have been running communications in political arena since the dawn of social media.

    Your inexperience is showing here Andy Craig. You are picking a fight you already lost. What Darcy is trying to do is get a boost by picking up Libertarian voters that already decided they won’t vote for Gary Johnson. Those voters have already made up their minds, and it will be difficult for them to change it now. Rather then trying to pickup disaffiliated Libertarians, you’d be better off spending your time trying to pick up disaffiliated Republicans and Democrats. Go for the Bernie Sanders and Kasich voters. Go for Modern Whigs that don’t have a Presidential candidate this year. Many of those people haven’t made up their minds, and it will be easier to sway them.

  21. From Der Sidelines

    All I see here is a pile of sour grapes clueless losers save Andy, which is unusual by itself.

    Darcy’s Farce-y is the so-called Reform Party is the real joke here.

  22. Darcy Who?

    The headline of this one should have been: “Unknown Candidate for dead party attacks growing party, call it ‘dying'”

  23. langa

    How much of this is really about Andy Craig defending Gary Johnson because he is a paid staffer for his organization?

    Ding-Ding-Ding! We have a winner!!!

  24. TheFatController

    Darcy is all bark, no bite. He really needs to stop embarrassing himself.

  25. Be Rational

    “TheFatController” … July 25, 2016 at 23:37


    Ringo, is that you?


    “No, no, no, no I don’t smoke it no more …”

    But, it seems that you still do.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    It’s one thing to suggest that someone should be embarrassed. That may or may not be accurate but at least it reflects some kind of considered judgment.

    To assert that someone is “embarrassing himself,” on the other hand, is a bizarre claim of psychic abilities that reveals more about the maker of the claim than about the claim’s subject.

    It might even reveal as much as does the choice of “TheFatController” as a pseudonym.

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