Wayne Root confirms he is running for LNC chair

Posted at http://goldamericagroup.com/diary/142/root-announces-for-chair:

In an email forwarded to Liberty for America magazine, Wayne Root has announced he is running for National Chair of the Libertarian Party. He also renews his attacks on Mary Ruwart.
The text of the letter reads:

This matter has been off my radar as I run multiple businesses, do hundreds of media interviews about Obama, Obamacare, and “state of the union”, and run a family of 6. I try to stay out of LP affairs- especially on the state level. This was for California to handle. I just cannot get involved in every intra-party issue.
But now that these results are public, I may very well weigh in.

All I can say without knowing all the facts yet, is this is precisely why I’m going to run for National Chairman.

I’m sure you are well aware of how I felt about the opinions written in a book by a potential LP candidate for President in 2008. Those opinions on the topic of “age of consent” shocked and sickened me. I was the ONLY major LP figure that spoke out loudly.

This decisions sounds even worse.

I will look into it and do whatever I can to fight it, reverse it, and/or prevent it from ever happening again.

But the whole incident highlights the problems and disconnect from reality that have held this party back for 39 years… and why I’m running for National Chair- TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE “business as usual.”

“The incident” refers to a matter now covered on Independent Political Report.


IPR previously reported that Root is running for chair, but previous stories did not have direct unconditional quotes from Root to that effect.

The matter has become controversial because Root is presently slated to speak at a luncheon immediately prior to the election of the chair, which may give him an advantage over the other candidates (presently, George Phillies, Mark Hinkle, Ernest Hancock and possibly Mark Rutherford, and any others that may yet run).

68 thoughts on “Wayne Root confirms he is running for LNC chair

  1. Memory Hole

    is this is precisely why I’m going to run for National Chairman.

    No, he’s running for Chair because he craves more media limelight.

    I’m sure you are well aware of how I felt about the opinions written in a book by a potential LP candidate for President in 2008. [Ruwart] Those opinions on the topic of “age of consent” shocked and sickened me. I was the ONLY major LP figure that spoke out loudly.

    Root is rewriting history, again. He apparently spoke out against Ruwart.

    But when there was backlash from LP members, Root retreated from his statement, claiming that his campaign’s statement was not his own, but was released without his approval by a campaign officer.

    Now that the tide of opinion has turned again, Root wants to reclaim the position that he opposed Ruwart from the beginning.

    Flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, flop …

    (The above was all discussed and documented on ThirdPartyWatch.com, which conveniently no longer exists.)

  2. Bruce Cohen

    Both the actual story and it’s premise are false.

    As is Memory Hole.

    In this press release, Wayne Root doesn’t name Ms. Ruwart.
    Or attack her.

    “I’m sure you are well aware of how I felt about the opinions written in a book by a potential LP candidate for President in 2008. Those opinions on the topic of “age of consent” shocked and sickened me.”

    That’s not an attack, that’s a positional disagreement.

    That’s a disagreement over the age of consent and the legality of child porn.

    So if Wayne Root disagrees with Mary over anything, is that an attack?

  3. Bruce Cohen

    He attacks not Ms. Ruwart, but her positions.

    He is not s&s by Mary, but legal child pornography as a policy position for a Libertarian Party leader.

    I am ‘shocked and sickened’ by the idea of the idea of rape and murder being legal. And if a Libertarian Party leader said so, I would speak up and out, and say I was SNS.

    I think Child Pornography by itself is “SHOCKING”, don’t you?

    It seems to me that Child Prostitution is “SICKENING”, don’t you?

    It seems to me that any and all of the things under discussion here are SNS to some people, very reasonable normal ones and even libertarians, Libertarians and Libertarian Leaders.

    Why are you so SNS that I am SNS about someone in my party taking that position?

    If you want to discuss the age of consent, or some of the unreasonable parts of sex crimes laws, lets do so in a reasonable friendly forum.

    But please, don’t be shocked because I am shocked.

    And don’t attack me for attacking you when I am not.

    I think Wayne is wrong about Iraq.
    Mister Root wants to bring our troops and military operation home.

    I don’t.

    That’s not an attack on Wayne Root.
    I didn’t call him a pacifist or a ‘surrender monkey’ or ‘anti-war’ or some insult.

    I just disagreed.

    The fact is, I like who he is.
    I’m not going to get into a discussion about why here, but I do, and if he says tomato sometimes when I say tomahtoe, so what?

    Let’s be real here.

    If you don’t like Wayne’s position here, viz a viz he would like to keep the age of consent well above zero. And for those under the age of consent, well…

    They CAN’T consent.

    To sex or child porn or whatever.

    I think that sort of backstops Wayne’s position.
    I’m not 100% sure.
    I’m not his spokesman.
    I don’t work for him.
    I wish I was, because I like my opinions.
    I wish I was, because I could use the work.

    Anyway, “Shocked and Sickened” is a reasonable response to someone advocating legalizing these things.

    I am not “Shocked and Sickened” at Mary Ruwart.

    I am SNS by her positions on these matters.
    I am SNS that a Libertarian Party leader would say this publicly.

    I am not SNS by her as a person.
    I have not called for her to be removed from anything or discredited.

    Nor has anyone else called for such.

    Though they have many times called for mine.
    And plenty of others.

    “FOR WHAT?”

  4. paulie Post author

    Since I already received one email about this, let me try to clear up any possible misunderstanding.

    In the article, *I* did not claim that Wayne was attacking,

    I quoted Gold America Group (presumably Phillies), who in turn quoted Wayne.

    The first line of the article says Posted at http://goldamericagroup.com/diary/142/root-announces-for-chair:

    What follows is precisely what is posted at GAG.

    The only part I added is below the line, explaining why it is relevant for us to report that Root is running for chair after we already reported a conditional announcement in one story, and alluded to Root referring to himself as a candidate in another.

    My own opinions as to whether it is indeed an attack are confined to the comments, not the story.

    My opinion is that it is reasonable to refer to the disagreement as an attack. Whether the attack is warranted or not is a separate issue. I happen to think it isn’t, but if you think it is, it is still reasonable to call it an attack.

    My understanding is that Dr. Phillies is also strongly opposed to Dr. Ruwart’s position on this issue. He’s the one who called it an attack.

    I contemplated whether or not to leave that part of the GAG article in when reposting it. In the end I decided to quote them completely.

    However, that is besides the point of the article, which is more about whether the convention speaking schedule is fair to all the candidates for chair.

    If I was a candidate and said that I am “shocked and sickened that Mr. Root supports US government sponsored murder of innocent women and children in Afghanistan,” I think that would legitimately be described as an attack rather than a mere disagreement.

    And, Mr. Root did in fact tell me in person that Mr. Schreiber was acting on his own initiative, without Mr. Root’s approval, in going after Dr. Ruwart.

    In fact he said that he was on the plane and unable to be reached.

    Hope that is sufficient explanation – I have to go off to work now and don’t know if I will be online tonight.

  5. Not a Bruce or Todd Troll

    If the delegates in May choose Root as the Supreme Leader of the LP, then the Party is doomed to FAIL!

  6. Michael H. Wilson

    Is this the complete email from Root and if not could have the complete email posted here.

    Thank you.

  7. Dead - Enslaved - Sad

    Let’s put the rumors to rest here and now. WAR does not support child molestation or porn! He never has and he isn’t now. This proves it.

  8. Starchild

    I agree with Bruce that simply disagreeing with someone’s position, even in vehement terms, is not the same as an attack on the person holding that position.

    However, it does appear that Wayne Allyn Root feels “shocked and sickened” when he sees it as politically convenient to do so.

    How does his present claim of having been “the ONLY major LP figure (to speak) out loudly” square with his action two years ago of having claimed that his campaign’s statement on the matter was not his, and was released without his approval?

    That hardly sounds like “speaking out loudly” to me. Sounds a lot more like opportunism.

  9. Memory Hole

    Starchild: How does [Root’s] present claim of having been “the ONLY major LP figure (to speak) out loudly” square with his action two years ago of having claimed that his campaign’s statement on the matter was not his, and was released without his approval?

    It doesn’t square.

    That hardly sounds like “speaking out loudly” to me. Sounds a lot more like opportunism.

    No, it sounds more like lying.

    Root’s two claims are contradictory, so one of the claims must be untrue.

    Flip, flop, flip, flop
    What does the party
    Flip, flop, flip, flop
    Want to hear today?

  10. Mik Robertson

    @7 “If the delegates in May choose Root as the Supreme Leader of the LP, then the Party is doomed to FAIL!”

    This is as opposed to the roaring success that it has had to date.

    @14 “If WAR becomes chair, I’m leaving the LP. That’s not even a question.”

    Perhaps some perspective is in order. There is plenty of room for improvement in the LP. There is plenty of room for different viewpoints of how to increase liberty.

    I’m sure delegates will be able to listen to Wayne’s presentation and determine if his ideas have potential to improve the LP. Predictions of failure and threats to leave do nothing to evaluate those ideas or promote other ideas.

  11. Erik Geib

    I simply don’t want to be associated with this man more than I already have been (by his being our 2008 VP nominee). It’s bad enough idiots like Glenn Beck through around the word ‘libertarian.’ I sure as Hell don’t want people thinking my beliefs are even in the ballpark of this attention whore.

  12. Mik Robertson

    @16 Do people have the idea that everyone in the LP thinks alike? This may be an opportunity to demonstrate otherwise. Do you thing everyone in the R’s have the same beliefs and viewpoints as Sarah Palin?

  13. Trent Hill

    “GAG Group and their website are virtually unknown.

    To claim a posting on this website by Mister Phillies is somehow ‘news’ is quite a stretch.”

    To claim any internal Party squabbling in the Libertarian Party is real “news” is a stretch, Bruce, but this is a niche news blog that covers such things.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    I agree with Mik. Instead of rejecting Root as a prospective chair without examining his qualifications, examine them. It means a little more work, but why not get it right?

    The chair is the CEO of the party.

    Root has a record as a CEO.

    Look at that record before deciding if you think he’s the right man for the job. Here’s a place to start.

    Selected quotes:

    “The Company has no established ongoing source of revenues sufficient to cover its operating costs and allow it to continue as a going concern.”

    “The Company has no revenues, no assets, and no ability to raise funds.”

    “The Company currently has no means to pay existing debts or fund ongoing obligations. The Company is dependent on loans from its sole officer to pay ongoing expenses such as audit cost. It is unlikely our current officer will be able to continue to pay ongoing costs and the Company may be forced to cease all activity including our SEC reporting obligations and seek bankruptcy protection or just dissolve. It is likely investors in such situation would receive nothing and the stock of the Company would cease to trade on the Bulletin Board or other exchanges or markets.”

    “We have no assets and it is likely the investors will not receive any distributions.”

    “The inability to pay ongoing operations may also result in defaults on loans which would result in shares used as security on the loans being received by lenders. ”

    “There are no legal proceedings pending; however, the Company is in default on all note obligations and does not have the funds to pay the notes or other creditors. Accordingly, it is highly likely the Company will be involved in litigation related to these claims.”

  15. WAKE UP YOU PEOPLE

    @ Memory HOLE
    No, he’s running for Chair because he craves more media limelight.

    He doesn’t crave the limelight, HE ALREADY HAS THE LIMELIGHT with his own radio program and spots as a political pundit on cable TV. He also fills in for large audience radio hosts. Wayne already is making a name for himself.

    Wayne ROOT is taking time out for something he shouldn’t have to do, to clean up this MESS. WHY; BECAUSE HE WANTS TO SEE THIS LP PARTY ACTUALLY WIN ELECTIONS ON A NATIONAL BASIS. This is an unusually opportune year for the LP, if it doesn’t screw it up. Unfortunately, it looks like the LP is its own worst enemy. Not only has the LP been unwilling to clean its own house, it has actually built a nice cozy rat’s nest for the vermin.

    If CALP/SB leadership think that the LP has a snowball’s chance in hades of attracting significant numbers of mainstream voters with a tolerant policy position towards predatory monsters, then it is so detacted from the mindset of the average parent in this country as to render themselves permanently irrelevant.

  16. Erik Geib

    Mik @ 17,

    In my dealings with others, most people are so unfamiliar with the term libertarian that, yes, they tend to associate it with the one or two libertarians they’ve met or heard of before.

    I’ve probably ripped out enough hair in frustration from people thinking that means my views are like Glenn Beck’s ( a self-proclaimed ‘libertarian’). Thanks to Beck, I’ve already shyed away from calling myself a libertarian to those I don’t think are familiar with the term (I use terms such as ‘minarchist’ instead). The last thing I need is people thinking my party association means I approve of or am like WAR in any way.

  17. Rob

    Thank you, Mr. Cohen. I do not know anything about Mr. Hinkle. I remember Mr. Phillies from the 2008 campaign for the LP nod and his being on the ballot in NH in the general. I hope this LNC chair battle does not descend into bickering.

  18. Bruce Cohen

    I thought Wayne Root handled the Ruwart thing like a gentleman. Wayne has nothing bad to say about Mary. His statements are not contradictory if you actually listen to what he said, when he said it, in context.

    And that’s not too much to ask, is it?

  19. LibertarianGirl

    ROB_I hope this LNC chair battle does not descend into bickering.

    me__ ROFLMAO , no offense intended Rob , but this is the LP and you can be SURE any battle big or small , important or insignificant will descend into bickering. but thanks for the laugh:)

  20. Memory Hole

    Bruce Cohen: His statements are not contradictory if you actually listen to what he said, when he said it, in context.

    First Root said he condemned Mary’s statements.

    Then Root said, no, it was his campaign manager, speaking without Root’s approval.

    Then Root said, yes, it was he, Root, who said it after all.

    How is that not contradictory, even “in context”?

  21. Rob

    Point taken LibertarianGirl though I think that can be extended to all third party politics in general. The battles are so fierce because the stakes are so low and, of course, absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely.

  22. George Phillies

    @10

    This appears to be the full text.

    I am obliged to say ‘appears’ because under modern conditions there are typographic elements and sometimes whole images that are represented differently on different browsers and mail readers. My mail readers do not show pictures (one never, one ‘not without prodding’).

    On my mail reader in the original message, the text was not in italics, the interparagraph line was present before “But now that”, and the paragraph “But the whole incident highlights the problems and disconnect from reality that have held this party back for 39 years… and why I’m running for National Chair- TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE “business as usual.” ” was in bold face. The words were the same.

    On forwarding the text to AuGeo, the message was cut and pasted onto Rachel Hawkridge’s http://GoldAmericaGroup.com (which currectly has two Admins, three editors, 11 guest bloggers, and between 100 and 1000 registered users.

  23. paulie Post author

    GAG Group and their website are virtually unknown.

    To claim a posting on this website by Mister Phillies is somehow ‘news’ is quite a stretch.

    It doesn’t matter how many hits GAG gets. As I already explained the news is that Root has said in no uncertain terms that he is running. The reason that this needed to be confirmed again is because there is a controversy over the covention speaking schedule.

  24. Mik Robertson

    @25 “I’ve probably ripped out enough hair in frustration from people thinking that means my views are like Glenn Beck’s ( a self-proclaimed ‘libertarian’). Thanks to Beck, I’ve already shyed away from calling myself a libertarian to those I don’t think are familiar with the term (I use terms such as ‘minarchist’ instead). The last thing I need is people thinking my party association means I approve of or am like WAR in any way.”

    Ronald Reagan used to call himself a libertarian, and certainly the word libertarian gets associated with Ron Paul. That doesn’t mean everyone thinks of that when they think of the LP.

    There was an editorial letter in my local paper a couple months ago equating tea partiers and anarchists with libertarians. Rather than leave the LP or avoid the term so as not to be associated with that ilk, I took the opportunity to be informative about the different views held by libertarians and the general thrust to increase the available choices of people.

    People don’t change their views overnight, but the more they look into things, the more I think they will see the appeal and the strength of libertarian thought, the full range of libertarian thought.

    The chair of the LNC will not be dictating policy. It really doesn’t matter what the particular beliefs of the person holding that position are as long as they can address the mundane concerns of the organization. It would of course help if that person could embrace the range of libertarian thinking and articulate a positive message to the public as a representative of the committee.

  25. Michael H. Wilson

    Mik @ 36. How about free market liberal? But for years I have used the phrase open market more often than I have used free market.

  26. Dan Reale

    We must be VERY careful not to turn the LP into Republican-lite. I didn’t like that direction in the Barr campaign at all, but he and Root are different.

    And if it doesn’t work out that way, plenty of state parties will scream loudly about it. After all, this isn’t like the GOP where everything truly is top down.

    But we do need some organization here.

  27. Erik Geib

    Mik @36,

    Thank you for proving my point by naming a bunch of Republicans. I suppose we both could have added Barr to that list as well, if only anyone knew who he was.

    I view WAR as a self-promoting media whore, who looks out for himself far more than the LP. Why should I work hard to make his dreams come true? I have absolutely zero faith he’d live up to anything he says if he ever won any actual office. Forgive me, but I’d rather the leader of my party have been a libertarian long enough to have thought through what that means, not because it’s an opportunity for promotion.

    Also, negative perceptions *do* matter. If people constantly view libertarians as being in the ilk of Beck or Root, it’s a lot harder to reach out to them. Trying to convince someone that a label means something other than their impression of it is a lot harder than explaining a term they’re unfamiliar with. I do not trust Root to give off a positive perception.

  28. Mik Robertson

    @38 The term liberal brings with it another set of ideas that may throw people off. I don’t think a free market liberal or an open market enthusiast should be precluded from seeking the office of LNC Chair. I think it would be silly for people to announce they would leave the party is someone like that would run for chair, though.

  29. Mik Robertson

    @40 “Why should I work hard to make his dreams come true?”

    No one said you had to work for Wayne’s campaign.

    “Also, negative perceptions *do* matter. If people constantly view libertarians as being in the ilk of Beck or Root, it’s a lot harder to reach out to them.”

    Some people don’t see Beck or Root negatively. They may help draw some to the LP, where they can be exposed to other libertarian viewpoints. Some people think libertarians are anarchists, should we reject those who think that is a positive association? Does Mike Gravel seeking the LP Presidential nomination make the LP Democrat-lite?

    Is everyone in the Republican Party like Ron Paul or is everyone there like Sarah Palin? Is everyone in the D’s like Obama or are they like Dennis Kucinich?

  30. Erik

    Mik @ 42,

    MR: “No one said you had to work for Wayne’s campaign. ”

    Response: Working in the LP, if ultimately said work is mainly benefiting WAR more than the party (i.e. he’ll be able to whore himself out more, claim success if we have an uptick in success [correlation does not equal causation], etc.) would make me feel as if such work is for him. Do I have this attitude towards any or all leader(s) I disagree with? Certainly not.

    MR: “Some people don’t see Beck or Root negatively. They may help draw some to the LP, where they can be exposed to other libertarian viewpoints. Some people think libertarians are anarchists, should we reject those who think that is a positive association? Does Mike Gravel seeking the LP Presidential nomination make the LP Democrat-lite?”

    Response: The people who don’t view Beck negatively are people I do everything I can to separate myself from. They’re scary ass cultists, opportunists, and, often, hypocrites.

    Very few people that I’ve met think of libertarians as anarchists. Far more people associate the term ‘libertarian’ with where they hear it most… which nowadays is from political opportunists like Beck or Root, who have a much larger stage to yell from than the anarchist down the street someone may or may not have once spoken to.

    MR: “Does Mike Gravel seeking the LP Presidential nomination make the LP Democrat-lite?”

    Response: Bringing up Gravel is a cheap straw-man tactic that hardly proves your point, btw. There haven’t been nearly enough Democrats run for LP positions of leadership to prove this point. If there were as many Democrats as Republicans and, say, as many Republicans as Democrats, I’m sure people would likely bitch about that too. There are certainly a lot of Greens that do.

    I’m so tired of failed Republicans and Democrats looking at the Greens and Libertarians as their ‘little buddy’ parties. It’s one thing if you always had Libertarian or Green ideologies (such as a Ron Paul’s libertarianism, for example), but it’s a whole ‘nother matter when your viewpoints from just a few years ago radically contradict the platform and heritage of the party you’re trying to lead.

    MR: “Is everyone in the Republican Party like Ron Paul or is everyone there like Sarah Palin? Is everyone in the D’s like Obama or are they like Dennis Kucinich?”

    Response: Certainly not. But you know what? Those parties are large enough, known enough, and storied enough that people accept there are a wide range of people within such parties. Unfamiliar terms like libertarian don’t receive such benefit of the doubt. Especially when the most term is reinforced by right-wingers such as Beck and Root on a daily basis. No amount of letter-writing or personal education can overcome that, unfortunately. I’m not in the position of being on national radio or television enough to counteract such false associations, and nobody else who is has used the chance to show other shades of libertarianism.

    The last thing this party needs is more reinforcement to the idea that we’re “Republican Lite.”

    Mik @41<

    MR: "@38 The term liberal brings with it another set of ideas that may throw people off."

    Response: Did you just inadvertently prove my point? I know you responding to MHW @38, but you seem to acknowledge there is a certain association with the term 'liberal' that is hard to overcome. I'd hate to see 'libertarian' reach the same negative levels of perception.

    MR: "I think it would be silly for people to announce they would leave the party is someone like that would run for chair, though."

    Also, I hope this isn't some back-handed swipe at me, because I only said I'd leave the LP if WAR became chair, not due to him running for it.

  31. Root Is Using the LP

    [Root] doesn’t crave the limelight, HE ALREADY HAS THE LIMELIGHT with his own radio program and spots as a political pundit on cable TV.

    Root only has the limelight as a political pundit because he was the LP’s VP candidate. Before that he was only known as a gambling pundit.

    The media require reasons to put someone on the air to discuss a topic. The speaker needs creds. A book they wrote, a title they hold, etc.

    Root has no political creds. Only after he used the LP to get some creds was he able to get a book deal for a political book, or interviews for his political punditry.

    But 2008 is fading away. Root needs a fresher political title to stay in the political limelight. He hopes to be the LP’s 2012 presidential nominee, but 2012 is too far off. His star may fade by then.

    But if he’s elected LP National Chair in 2010, it’ll give the media a reason to keep interviewing him until he runs for president in 2012.

    And the more they interview Root, spouting rightist talking points, the more he’ll drive away principled libertarians and attract rightists — who’ll then bolt the LP to vote GOP in 2012.

  32. Bruce Cohen

    Root could have sold a lot more books if he used the word ‘conservative’ or ‘Republican’ in the title of the book

    He knew this going in.

    I’d guess it cost him a lot of money, six figures, on the book alone, to be a Libertarian.

    What a bunch of whiners.

    Have any of you even held a copy of his book in your hands?

  33. Root Is Using the LP

    Cohen: Root could have sold a lot more books if he used the word ‘conservative’ or ‘Republican’ in the title of the book

    Without his LP VP nomination, Root would have been a sports pundit, and a political book from him would not have been published, whatever he titled it.

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bruce,

    Yes, I’ve held a copy of his book in my hands. I’ve even read the words.

    I think you’ve got it ass-backward.

    Use of the word “Libertarian” boosted sales of the book in a niche market that’s not very crowded and in which Root enjoys some celebrity.

    Use of the word “conservative” or “Republican” would have been the equivalent of the yacht club’s janitor launching a dinghy into the middle of the club’s annual celebrity regatta. Some people might have noticed it for long enough to sneer at it, but it would fairly quickly have been run over by, or capsized in the wakes of, the big boats.

  35. Mik Robertson

    @44 If you don’t want the LP to turn into something you don’t want, then don’t leave if someone gets elected to a leadership position that you don’t like, that is all I’m saying.

    Wayne Root or Bob Barr doesn’t make the LP more conservative unless those with other viewpoints leave. Participation by those with a conservative background does not make the LP more Republican any more than participation of people like Gravel make it more Democratic.

    I agree you did not say you would leave if Wayne Root ran for office, that would have been silly. By saying you would leave if he was elected, you would bring about exactly what you say you don’t want to happen.

    I happen to think Glenn Beck is funny sometimes, and sometimes he raises good points. Does that make me a sometimes “scary ass cultist”, “hypocrite”, and “opportunist”?

    The LP is what the membership makes it, through their efforts with the grassroots and their interaction with the general public. The elected officers are the administrators of the organization, not the organization itself.

    If anything, if someone you disagree with is elected to an administrative office, that is the time you should redouble your efforts, not the time to leave, if you want to keep building an alternative political party. Of you want a club with a certain specific ideology, then leaving when someone you disagree with gets elected to a party office makes more sense.

  36. Scott Lieberman

    “Root Is Using the LP // Feb 2, 2010 at 1:44 am

    ‘[Root] doesn’t crave the limelight, HE ALREADY HAS THE LIMELIGHT with his own radio program and spots as a political pundit on cable TV. (someone else said this)’

    Root only has the limelight as a political pundit because he was the LP’s VP candidate. Before that he was only known as a gambling pundit.

    The media require reasons to put someone on the air to discuss a topic. The speaker needs creds. A book they wrote, a title they hold, etc.

    Root has no political creds. Only after he used the LP to get some creds was he able to get a book deal for a political book, or interviews for his political punditry.
    Root is Using the LP”

    ***********************************

    When only about five LP members were even in conctact with Mr. Root, he sent me a DVD that had clips of him appearing on Politically Incorrect back when it was on The Comedy Channel. And he also appeared on a few financial shows during that period.

    IOW – Mr. Root had an established side career as a TV commentator years before anyone from the Libertarian Party ever talked to him about becoming an LP member.

    Now I suppose some of you will try to make the case that I was actually watching a robot that was designed to look and sound like Wayne Root, so that wasn’t the real Wayne Root who appeared on those TV programs.

    And I would have to admit – no – I don’t have DNA samples from the person who appeared on those TV clips to prove it really was Wayne Root.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    Root is Using the LP,

    You write:

    “Without his LP VP nomination, Root would have been a sports pundit, and a political book from him would not have been published, whatever he titled it.”

    Root hadn’t been the LP’s VP nominee — or run for any other political office that I know of — at the time Millionaire Republican was published. It was published by a “real” publisher (Tarcher, a Penguin imprint), not a vanity press.

    I suspect that experience may have been key to his decision to niche market this book with a “Libertarian” branding.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  38. Bruce Cohen

    Yeah we WISH branding onesself as a Libertarian would be worth something.
    LOL

    How’s that book by David Nolan coming out?
    #1 I will buy it.
    #2 I won’t leave a nasty review about it.
    #3 I’m curious as to how it sells.

    That in sharp contrast to SOME people on Wayne’s book.

    The names shall remain anonymous to protect the guilty.

  39. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bruce,

    In a competitive market, niche branding IS worth something.

    Unless you’ve got Stephen King or someone like that in harness, it’s impossible to predict that Book X will or will not be a best-seller. Some books take off, some don’t, and the reasons why aren’t always clear.

    But what you can do is evaluate the size and reading interests of various market niches and try to produce a book that will do reasonably well in those niches.

    The Conscience of a Libertarian is aimed at the libertarian niche market which, while not huge, does exist and can presumably be turned out to buy enough copies of a book to make that book profitable.

    It’s also got obvious “crossover” aim to the much large conservative niche. It’s probably selling a few copies over there.

    If it had been marketed as conservative, it probably would have sold in that niche … well, about as well as it’s selling now, but without nearly as many libertarian niche sales.

    You’re hard to satisfy. Now you’re unhappy because I accused Root of being SMART.

  40. Erik Geib

    Mik @ 50,

    MR: “If you want a club with a certain specific ideology, then leaving when someone you disagree with gets elected to a party office makes more sense.”

    Response: Yes, I would like my party to have a specific ideology – a libertarian one. If we’re not going to be principled libertarians, I don’t see the point in having an alternative party.

    A lot of people think that if the LP waters down its message enough and attracts people like Bruce Cohen who think they’re libertarian, that the party will grow enough to be viable with the Republicans and Democrats. I find this to be an illusion.

    In my opinion, until things such as plurality voting, ballot access, debate access, single-member districts, gerrymandering, etc. are addressed, it’s foolish to think the LP will win significant offices. I say that as a proud LP member, and one who’s worked hard to keep the party going. Unfortunately, I find it near impossible to convince my friends not to fall into the trap game of voting against something with their vote rather than for it.

    Thus, I think that watering down the LP will only serve to decrease liberty, not increase it. Sure, more people might identify with the party your way, but they won’t vote for it enough to make a difference. Meanwhile, what’s lost is the principled education that libertarians can espouse with the platform of their campaigns.

    All that being said, I do believe the LP can have a viable future. We must first work on bringing down the barriers that prevent us from being successful, however, while maintaining the LP so that it is ready when opportunity strikes. This is especially relevant out west, where things such as IRV are slowly catching on, and measures like I&R mean issues like those mentioned above (plurality voting, ballot access, etc.) can be voted on by the populace instead of by the Democratic- and Republican-controlled state governments.

  41. Michael H. Wilson

    Regardless of what Root does the Libertarian movement will be here long after he goes on to something else be it a job as a radio personality or the great hereafter.

    What irks me about his efforts is the constant bashing of others whether they are unions or Obama without specifying what Libertarians would do to improve the situation. There is a place for negative advertising but it is not everyday.

  42. Brian Holtz

    I would like to know if Mr. Root disagrees with anything in the following draft St. Louis Accord.

    The Party’s purpose is to implement and give voice to the Statement of Principles by uniting voters who want more personal and economic liberty behind the electoral choices that will most move public policy in a libertarian direction. The Party’s ultimate goal is to banish force initiation and fraud from human relationships. The Party does not claim to know how close our society can come to this ideal, but we are united in our conviction that governments must never add to the amount of aggression in the world. Principled libertarians can disagree about how best to reduce aggression or even about precisely what constitutes aggression, but we are united in defending the full rights of each person to his body, labor, peaceful production, and voluntary exchanges. Principled libertarians can disagree about whether every function of government can be performed by the free market, but we are united in opposing government’s growth beyond the protection of the rights of every individual to her life, liberty and property. Principled libertarians can disagree about how best we may each serve the cause of freedom, but we are determined to build a Party that welcomes and unites all those who want more personal and economic liberty. We defenders of freedom are too few, and the enemies of freedom are too many, for us to indulge in seeking heretics in our midst, rather than awakening allies across this freedom-loving land.

  43. Pingback: Kn@ppster: ‘Buttrick v. Root’ | Independent Political Report

  44. Dennis

    @ 42 Mik Robertson,

    Just because these psuedo-Libertarians enter your party and are exposed to your ideas doesn’t mean they will embrace them. Rather, it may be the opposite. Remember the Buchanan Brigades entrance to the REFORM PARTY? Did they adapt the party’s centrist platform? Nope…

  45. Christina Tobin

    The Free and Equal Elections Foundation (www.freeandequal.org) hosted a successful Vice-Presidential debate in 2008 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV.

    The Barr Campaign forbid Wayne to participate in this debate. Wayne Allyn Root decided to participate anyway. Every local television and newspaper showed up for this debate.

    Wayne Allyn Root is a true believer in ballot access. I do wish him & everyone else running for LNC Chair the best of luck!

    Cheers,
    Christina

  46. Mik Robertson

    @56 “Response: Yes, I would like my party to have a specific ideology – a libertarian one. If we’re not going to be principled libertarians, I don’t see the point in having an alternative party.”

    The thing is there is no one libertarian ideology. We can agree that the goal is to maximize individual liberty and minimize the role of the state, but there are many different lines of thinking on how to best go about that. The point in having this alternative party is that the two big parties don’t want to move toward that goal.

    “A lot of people think that if the LP waters down its message enough and attracts people like Bruce Cohen who think they’re libertarian, that the party will grow enough to be viable with the Republicans and Democrats. I find this to be an illusion.”

    I don’t see proposing non-radical steps toward the goal as watering down the message. Whether the party becomes viable in the sense of winning presidential elections is less important than whether the message gets picked up by people. I think the extreme messages like ‘all taxation is theft’ or that individuals may secede are not received very well.

    “All that being said, I do believe the LP can have a viable future. We must first work on bringing down the barriers that prevent us from being successful, however, while maintaining the LP so that it is ready when opportunity strikes.”

    I would agree. What would you consider to be the most formidable barriers, how should the LP be maintained, and what would count as an opportunity striking?

  47. Mik Robertson

    @60 “Just because these psuedo-Libertarians enter your party and are exposed to your ideas doesn’t mean they will embrace them. Rather, it may be the opposite. Remember the Buchanan Brigades entrance to the REFORM PARTY? Did they adapt the party’s centrist platform? Nope…”

    Not everyone will see things in the same way, certainly. The Reform Party did not have centuries of political thought and philosophy in back of it in the same manner as the LP does, though.

    Even if the LP were to stray philosophically, there is a large movement elsewhere that holds a plumb line on the thinking. It would be much easier for the LP to correct course toward liberty based on that beacon than it would for a Reform Party to try to re-establish what ‘reform’ means.

    A lot of people seem to worry about the LP losing its way, which is not as big of a problem as the LP trying to find its way to influence public policy. That said, it is more likely that people will absorb ideas if exposed to them than if they are not.

  48. Brian Holtz

    Amen to everything Mik said. When a Wayne Root gets more deeply involved with the LP, who should be more afraid of having their ideas modified/supplanted, him or us? When was the last time somebody joined the LP and moved it more toward their principles than it moved him toward the LP’s? As far as I know, it’s only happened once: Murray Rothbard c. 1974. Root has been steadily becoming more libertarian during his involvement with the LP. No offense to Mr. Root, but does anybody seriously think he is capable of pulling a Rothbard?

    As a spokesman for the LP, Root can be the best we’ve got as long as he hammers home our core branding message: We are the only ballot choice that is neither Left nor Right, neither liberal nor conservative, and that instead consistently advocates both economic and personal liberty.

    I don’t mind Root trying to be our missionary to the conservatives, as long as he understands that mission. It’s not to save the conservative movement or the Republican Party. It’s to find or create Libertarians among them.

    It’s nice that Reagan said “the heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism”, but we must demand more of Root. His goal must not be to merely cleanse/reform the temple of conservatism. His goal must be that, in the eyes of “Goldwater/Reagan libertarians”, not one stone of the conservative temple will be left upon another.

  49. Erik Geib

    Brian @ 65,

    With Root, at the helm, I seriously doubt people won’t view as as ‘Right.’ The man caters to the conservative audience, and has hardly taken very strong stands on issues outside of the conservative sphere.

    Mik @ 62,

    MR: “The thing is there is no one libertarian ideology. We can agree that the goal is to maximize individual liberty and minimize the role of the state, but there are many different lines of thinking on how to best go about that. The point in having this alternative party is that the two big parties don’t want to move toward that goal.”

    Response: This rhetoric all sounds well and fine, but where do you draw the line? When does something become un-libertarian? What prevents a fascist from joining the party and declaring himself a libertarian, for example (and trying to bring his fascist friends so they can have our ballot access)? I agree that there is a lot of wiggle room within the ideology of libertarianism, but I also think there are clear lines. The Cohen/Dondero love affair with wars of foreign intervention is one of them, to me.

    I’m not saying we have to all be geolibertarians, anarcho-capitalists, ordolibertarians, etc. But there should still be some lines. *Especially* when it comes to the face of the party.

    I’m not in an uproar about WAR being a party member, and I think the progress he’s made is great. However, I don’t think he should be anything close to resembling the face of the party, which he would be in the role of presidential nominee or party chair. It was only a few years ago this ‘millionaire republican’ was a die-hard hawk. Not to mention his very, very iffy stands on drug legalization and other matters (where he sounds more like a paleoconservative, always quoting ‘states rights’). When it comes to faces of the party, I’d much prefer people who’ve been libertarians long enough for me to trust the strength of their convictions. WAR comes across as someone looking to promote himself while trying to capture / ride the wave of what could be a libertarian moment.

    MR: “I don’t see proposing non-radical steps toward the goal as watering down the message. Whether the party becomes viable in the sense of winning presidential elections is less important than whether the message gets picked up by people. I think the extreme messages like ‘all taxation is theft’ or that individuals may secede are not received very well.”

    Response: I don’t recall saying we had to tow such an extreme ideological line and throw out sayings such as ‘all taxation is theft.’ I’m merely suggesting there are lines that should be drawn at some point. Believe it or not, I’m not one of these people who thinks you’re not a libertarian if you don’t score 100/100 on a WSPQ.

    And when you say, “Whether the party becomes viable in the sense of winning presidential elections is less important than whether the message gets picked up by people,” I completely agree. The message *is* far more important… which is all the more reason we need to fight its watering down at the hand of conservatives. I’m fine with making reforms on some levels, but not to cater to a crowd that isn’t very libertarian. I like the idea of a platform closer to the original (pre-Rothbard), but I’m also very uncomfortable with the conservative love-affair. I don’t believe we have to take a definitive stand on every issue, but there are certain issues (such as non-aggression / war) that are important to draw lines on.

    MR: “What would you consider to be the most formidable barriers, how should the LP be maintained, and what would count as an opportunity striking?”

    Response: I’ll get back to you on that – I have to run for now.

  50. Erik Geib

    Mik @ 62,

    Sorry about that… now I’m back.

    MR: “What would you consider to be the most formidable barriers, how should the LP be maintained, and what would count as an opportunity striking?”

    Response: This first part is cut & pasted from a draft of an article I wrote some time back, and I doubt it doesn’t contain anything you don’t already know. Nevertheless, it shows my assessment of ‘barriers.’


    [pasted segment]

    1. First-past-the-post / plurality voting
    -This is the big one – “I can’t vote for Candidate C, because then Candidate A might beat Candidate B!” The nonsense of plurality voting often traps voters into ‘gaming’ their vote instead of voting their conscience. Exhibit A is the idea that Green votes for Nader in 2000 ‘cost’ Gore the election. This is because plurality voting only requires that whoever has the most votes wins – no 50% majority required. If we did run-offs (or had instant-runoff voting or another system) instead, people wouldn’t fear Candidate A, because he’d have to get 50%. If he was going to get 50% anyway, it doesn’t really matter who you choose between Candidate B & C. In the U.S., 99% of races don’t require a 50% majority to win – only the most votes.

    2. Ballot access
    -Independent candidates and ‘third’ parties are constantly held to a different standard in even getting on the ballot (% thresholds) that generally make them waste a great deal of time and money just getting on the ballot. Of course, voting percentages for third parties are low because of other interdependent factors, such as…

    3. Debate access & polling
    -Independents and third-party candidates are often blocked from debates based on this brutal catch-22: you must be polling at X% to be allowed in the debate, but you can only at X% if you enough people know who you are, which is typically accomplished through… debate access! Since the other interdependent factors shy money away from candidates, candidates struggle to poll a certain % prior to a debate. And, since they aren’t allowed into the debates, they rarely poll a certain % thereafter! Consider also that the Commission on Presidential Debates, for example, was set up by the Republicans and Democrats after the League of Women Voters abandoned hosting the debates because Bush and Dukakis made so many onerous demands. Notably, former Reform/Independence Party Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota was able to win his gubernatorial race after they let him in the debates.

    4. Gerrymandering
    -Republicans and Democrats often divide voting districts in ways that safely protect most of ‘their’ seats. This is done by exploiting demographics that traditionally support one party over the other. Given that plurality voting often means races are a two-way affair (if that), and given that factors such as debate & ballot access restrict other competition, gerrymandering often creates a barrier to voter choice (while creating some odd geographic districts).

    5. Single-member districts
    -Ah, single-member districts. Single-member district voting (as opposed to being mixed with proportional representation or other systems) ensures that only moderates become elected. If your voice isn’t decidedly down the middle (at least, for your district) in your area/state/etc., you stand no chance of being elected. This also means that all the little voices never get heard at all.

    [end pasted segment]

    Now…

    How should the party be maintained, you ask? Well, I believe the party should be maintained as a party with firm principles (as I’ve mentioned before) so as to provide educational opportunities to voters and keep our core strong while we chip away at the aforementioned barriers. I believe that we need to continually keep working to field candidates with this educational message, and view elections with the frame of mind that we’re seeking to open minds more than win.

    Simultaneously, I believe that pragmatic libertarians should work with the Republican Liberty Caucus and the Democratic Freedom Caucus, where certain opinions deferring from Libertarians (such as different war stances, i.e. Cohen/Dondero, ‘states rights’ arguments on drugs instead of full-legalization advocacy, etc.) may be more tolerated, as they are closer to the snail-paced reform Democrats and Republicans often seek to enact.

    If libertarians seek to win in the short term, I don’t think it’s blasphemy to say that they should run as Democrats or Republicans. This doesn’t mean I don’t think there is a role for the LP, however, as I’ve stated before that all we can really do is run educational campaigns and win minor offices (city council seats and whatnot) until various barriers are killed.

    I think these barriers need to be killed by a few different methods:
    1.) Initiative and Referendum: this is particularly doable out west, where state laws are more friendly to I&R.
    2.) Citizen petitioning: We, as citizens should continue to petition both our ‘elected’ officials, newspapers, etc. to make the reforms possible that can provide us with more opportunities and Americans more choices.
    3.) Run as Free Democrats and Liberty Republicans: If libertarians can manage to be elected in this manner, they can certainly fight to make these reforms themselves once in office. In doing so, they may also be able to garner CP/Green support for their candidacies, as such an election would benefit all parties equally.

    Finally, you ask what I constitute as ‘opportunity striking.’ First, in context, I had said, “while maintaining the LP so that it is ready when opportunity strikes. ” Thus, by ‘opportunity’ I had meant the day when the barriers discussed above were broken down. However, I also think there are opportunities for the LP any time we field a candidate. Yes, our current candidacies are (and should be) more educational than win-driven, but any time we go one-on-one with an incumbent (i.e. one of the major parties sits the race out), we always have a chance that something catastrophic happens to the incumbent’s credibility. Look at how Joseph Cao was able to win in LA-2 because of the downfall of William Jefferson. Anything’s possible….not that I think such a scenario would fall in our lap, but that’s one potential ‘opportunity’ to answer in a non-contextual manner.

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