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Gary Johnson’s campaign to date – The CNN Townhall

25 Jun
Libertarians seem unhappy with Gary Johnson’s Town Hall performance.  

(I have to confess I fell asleep in front of a TV from a day of overwork, planning on attending a debate watch party, and awoke with only 15 minutes of it left.  What I saw did not make me prioritize watching the rest.)

 Two trends in libertarian commentaries, like those by readers at reason, where editor at large Matt Welch summed up Gary’s performance as “nice guys finish third,” are that Gary was a bit of a choke artist – perhaps Romney is thinking of endorsing Gov. Johnson because they share the same debate coach – and that the ticket should be reversed, with Weld for President and Johnson for Vice president.

Of course, libertarians would not be happy with that either.  Johnson is probably more libertarian on issues than is Weld.  And they have been running very much as a team anyway, as one might expect given that they are both two term Governors, but Weld from a larger state.

Dr. Ross Levatter, a long time libertarian activist who worked on the 1980 Clark campaign summed up Johnson’s refusal to go negative thus: “I get that Gary Johnson wants to be positive, but if he felt compelled to say Hillary Clinton was good at something, I wish instead of ‘public servant’ he had gone with ‘commodity trader’.”

Another Clark campaign activist sent her former colleagues a long rant on Johnson:

I suppose you all watched the town hall last night. Johnson needs help.  He needs a coach – a team of coaches. He’s not good on his feet. Is anybody working with him on how to be a strong clear minded confident articulate candidate who knows how to field the questions and be clear about his program and the libertarian solutions to the problems? It would appear not. 

Weld should have been the presidential nominee. Johnson vice President. 

It was clear in the convention debates that Johnson was not the best of the candidates at articulating his approach, but the fact that he is a former elected governor made him the best choice. Hopefully he’s teachable.

Besides a coach, the campaign needs money, and I’m sure volunteers, and experts in marketing, media, public relations, etc. 

Who is working with the campaign to set these things up? Does anybody know? The campaign headquarters doesn’t even have a voicemail.

What can we be doing to make this happen? Are any of you involved? Would you please let us know?

I hope to hear back with some good feedback. Or, is it s lost cause?


The reason readers have a third commentary trend:  many mentions that even though they found Gary’s performance cringe worthy, their non-libertarian spouses all thought he sounded like a reasonable person for whom they could vote.

Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders – Progress?

24 Sep

Back in 1980 there was also a junior varsity table at the presidential debates, not within the GOP primary, but for the “third” parties.  Barry Commoner, presidential candidate for the Citizens’ Party (precursor to the Greens), debated Ed Clark, the Libertarian.

I was something like 19 and I attended.  I believe it was in Madison, Wisconsin. (I worked on the Clark campaign).  But there is no internet evidence (there was no internet then).  (If anyone has video I’d love to upload it.)  The high point was when Clark, an ARCO lawyer, accidentally said something about reducing the military budget and abolishing regulatory agencies so “America could be a prosperous company again.”  To which Commoner said “Thank you Dr. Freud.”

Barry Commoner

Today there is a petition to have an update of this event with Republican Rand Paul and now Democrat Bernie Sanders.  From Ben Swann’s TruthInMedia website:

I’d tune in for this!  Petition!

“As debates for the 2016 presidential election ramp up, one question on the minds of many liberty lovers is this: what would a Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul debate look like?


It was just two weeks ago at a meeting of the Kentucky Republican Party that Sen. Rand Paul reportedly told activist Donald Meinshausen that he was willing to debate Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders “anytime, anyplace.”


Discussions are bubbling up across the Internet about getting Sanders and Paul on stage together for what many expect would be a lively discussion on topics ranging from NSA mass surveillance to the drug war, health care to net neutrality.


We at Truth In Media have tuned into these discussions and hear you loud and clear. That’s why we’ve taken matters into our own hands to prepare what could be the most influential dialogue of the 2016 presidential election— a town hall event this fall in an important battleground state, New Hampshire, with these two candidates.


We are actively in dialogue with both candidates, but we need your help to make this happen.”


Want to see it happen too?!  Sign the petition 


And then share the link! For Liberty!

Libertarian women’s history month: Leslie Graves

31 Mar

Leslie Graves (195? – )  started in Libertarian Party and anti-draft activism and gradually moved to behind the scenes activism in tax and term limitation initiatives and then freedom of information issues.  Many libertarians are not familiar with Ms. Graves, who has never been well profiled on the Internet or in any libertarian publication.
Originally from Spring Green, Wisconsin, her father served in the Korean War.

Leslie matriculated at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland in 1972.  A “Great Books” school, St. John’s requires that students read original sources and texts, even in maths and sciences, from Plato to Freud, Leslie’s college years overlapped with another well known (and now long term) libertarian activist studying at St. John’s College, Tom Palmer, with whom she would later work on the 1980 Ed Clark for President campaign, though apparently they never met as undergraduates.   Years later, after raising children and working in the Libertarian Party,  Graves did graduate work in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She co-authored “Is indeterminism the source of the statistical character of evolutionary theory?” in the Philosophy of Science and wrote “Transgressive traditions and art definitions” for the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.   


But in college, Leslie married another “Johnnie,” as St. John’s students are called, Steve Key, and had a daughter, Sara Key.  The marriage dissolved amicably while Sara was an infant, and Leslie moved for a year to Washington, D.C., where she worked with the Ed Crane wing of the libertarian movement that was running Ed Clark’s 1980 Presidential campaign (for which David Koch served as an angel donor and the Vice Presidential candidate).  In 1980, Leslie and Sara became roommates with a libertarian gay couple working for the Clark campaign and the Libertarian Party in the Glover Park neighborhood near the Libertarian Party national headquarters (at that time on Wisconsin Avenue just above Georgetown, over what is now, of course, a Starbucks.)  Leslie was tasked with working as a representative to the Coalition Against Registration and the Draft‘s national board, popularly referred to as the CARD Board.  The anti-draft movement of the time was contentious, as for the first time marxists and socialist front groups, along with honestly socialist parties, had to contend with multiple libertarian groups, including the Libertarian Party, the Young Libertarian Alliance, the Association of Libertarian Feminists, and the Society for Individual Liberty, all finding a Washington, D.C. member and appointing them to represent them and vote for them on the CARD Board.  Leslie was also the state chair for a time of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party,

While in D.C., Leslie met another mid-Westerner, Eric O’Keefe, a handsome Detroit factory worker who had saved money and invested shrewdly in the stock market, and then quit his auto industry job to take the position of Executive Director of the Libertarian Party.  Eric O’Keefe  has since gone on to work for a number of tax and term limitation groups, is on the board of directors of the Cato Institute, and has worked in support of the campaigns of governor Scott Walker.  They married and remain married today, and have had several children who are now adults working in the liberty movement.  In March of 2015 the O’Keefes attended the 35th anniversary of the Ed Clark for President campaign in New Orleans (Eric O’Keefe, pictured right foreground, with David Boaz, Howie Rich, and Andrea Millen Rich; photo credit: F.M. Strandfeldt).  Leslie and Eric were both part of the group of libertarians who ran the Clark campaign and who sought, unsuccessfully, to have Georgetown University international relations professor Earl Ravenal nominated as the 1984 Libertarian Party presidential candidate.  Leslie was dubbed the “Madame LaFarge” of the libertarian movement by Murray Rothbard, then somewhat cranky in his dotage. Amusingly, Rothbard was at best 5’8″ while Graves was, as she liked to minimize, “5’11 and a half.” (One of Graves’s sisters is an Olympic rower, and in the late 90s the four Graves’s sisters competed in a Nike sponsored rowing event.) Unhappy that his advice about campaigns and elections was often not heeded, Murray exiled Leslie to the Rothbard list of people to be banned from the libertarian movement, for being nefariously associated with the Koch brothers and/or Ed Crane (leftovers are truly second handers – even Koch derangement syndrome was started by a libertarian!)  Like most of the others in this group, Leslie left Libertarian Party activism for good for other political activities, and the Libertarian Party shrank, not matching the Ed Clark/David Koch vote total until the 2012 race of Governor Gary Johnson.

Today, Leslie is the publisher of Balletopedia, which covers elections and campaigns as a specialized wikipedia, as a project of the Lucy Burns Institute, which says its mission is “to connect people and politics,” which she founded in 2006 and until recently served as president.  The Institute also has three other projects, a WikiFOIA, Policypedia, and Judgepedia, which attempt to provide more transparency in government machinations.  In 2012, Graves authored a guidebook titled Local Ballot Initiatives: How citizens change laws with clipboards, conversations, and campaigns.

Graves’ political analysis has been included in the Wall Street JournalReutersBloomberg NewsCampaigns and Elections, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

(Libertarian) Women’s History month: Tonie Nathan

5 Mar

Tonie Nathan, R.I.P. (The First Woman to Receive an Electoral Vote for Vice President)

Tonie Nathan was the first woman and the first Jewish American to receive an Electoral College vote, decades before Geraldine Ferraro or Joseph Leiberman, when she was the (first) Vice Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party in 1972.  (I met her in 2012 at the Libertarian Party nominating convention, less than two years before she passed away in March last year.)

Dates: February 9, 1923 – March 20, 2014
Known for: First woman to receive an electoral vote (in a United States presidential election) — Libertarian Party candidate for vice president in 1972, with John Hospers
Occupation: political candidate, public relations consultant, freelance writer, insurance agent, music publisher, business manager, radio and television talk show host
Also known as: Theodora Nathalia Nathan
Education
  • University of Oregon; B.A., Journalism, 1971
  • some graduate work
Marriage:
  • husband: Charles (Chuck) Nathan (composer)
About Tonie Nathan:
Tonie Nathan was born in New York, lived for a time in California, and moved to Oregon.
She ran several businesses and was a talk show host on KVAL-TV and several radio programs.
In 1972, Tonie Nathan was nominated by the Libertarian Party, which she had helped found, as candidate for vice president, with John Hospers nominated for president. The Libertarian Party was on the ballot in two states and received about 3,000 votes total. Roger L. MacBride, a Republican elector, cast his electoral vote for Hospers and Nathan rather than for the Nixon and Agnew ticket.
In 1976, Tonie Nathan ran for Congress as an independent and in 1980 she ran for the Senate as a Libertarian.
In 1977, Bella Abzug appointed Tonie Nathan as a delegate-at-large to the National Conference of Women.
Tonie Nathan remained politically active and worked as a public relations consultant and writer, including promoting her husband’s musicals.  Later she and her family owned a company that sold custom blinds and shutters
Organizations: Libertarian Party, Association of Libertarian Feminists


Pictured:  1972 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Tonie Nathan with 1980 Presidential candidate Ed Clark and wife Alicia Clark

More Madcow sloppy research

1 Jul
David Koch’s got a dime for you

I worked on David Koch’s campaign as a college intern and I am pretty sure these were minted by independent hard money supporters, not the campaign.

But then, La (?) Madcow once reported that I live in Maine, when I’ve been there once, for a weekend, in my whole life.

I contacted one of the communications staff in the Clark/Koch campaigns’ national head quarters (who I happened to be pre-civilly unioned with at the time) just to check my memory and got this response:
It definitely was not the campaign or David Koch.  Zero chance.

Sent from my iPhone


As usual: facts 2, Rachel 0.
Like when she claimed in a published interview to be the only out gay person in her undegrad years at Stanford in the 80s.   Roflmao.