Former fundraiser sues Johnson over campaign debts

Via Courthouse News Service:

A fund raiser claims former New Mexico Gov. and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson owes him more $100,000 in commissions and fees.

Jonathan Bydlak has filed suit in federal court against Johnson, Johnson’s campaign committee, Johnson’s “Our America Initiative” PAC, and other defendants, seeking damages for fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

A Google search indicates the plaintiff was Republican presidential aspirant Ron Paul‘s fundraising director in 2008, and later director of development at Citizens in Charge, an advocacy organization which counts two former Libertarian Party national directors (Paul Jacob and Eric O’Keefe) and one former Libertarian National Committee chair / current LNC member (Bill Redpath) as members of its board. He also appears to have been affiliated with Paul’s Campaign For Liberty at least as recently as 2010.

Addendum: It turns out that my source got this story from … comments at IPR! Hat tip to Steven Wilson!

102 thoughts on “Former fundraiser sues Johnson over campaign debts

  1. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    I seem to recall that one George Phillies predicted Johnson’s campaign debt might become an issue.

    Johnson’s campaign committee is one of the defendants in the suit. If Bydlak wins, Johnson’s contributors will have contributed to Bydlak’s pay, not the coming LP presidential campaign.

  2. George Phillies

    As reported in the February issue of Liberty for America, Johnson 2012′s reported debts at the end of 2011 were:

    EH2 Consulting of Denver, Colorado: more than $91,000 for Fundraising.

    Political Advisors of 731 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah: $51,158 for Operating Expenses.

    Jonathan M Bydlak of Alexandria, Virginia 22301: More than $50,000 for Fundraising.

    Hackstaff Law Group of Denver CO: $8166 for Legal Services.

    Daines Goodwin and Co PC, Salt Lake City, Utah, $301 for Accounting and Bookkeeping Services.

  3. Robert Capozzi

    GP, does the GJ P&L have a line item for “limo services” or other extravagances?

    Actually, this is somewhat of a cause for concern. Now we have a sense of what’s at stake. I would note that raw FEC filings and a suit may or may not present a complete picture.

    I wonder: Do some Ls believe that these sorts of services should be pre-paid? Are these “debts” or are these “accounts payable”?

    Let’s say, though, that TK is correct. The first dollars contributed to GJ 12 go to Bydlak. That wouldn’t especially trouble me.

    GJ is a much better candidate in some ways for the LP because he’s been in the R field. He’s better known because of it. His brand has been elevated somewhat.

  4. ATBAFT

    Anyone who gets involved in campaigns without upfront money is an investor not a contractor and should have every expectation he may never get paid. So when the “company” goes under, you lose. Isn’t GJ’s LP campaign a new entity and why would it have to pay for GJ’s GOP campaign??

  5. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    “does the GJ P&L have a line item for ‘limo services’ or other extravagances?”

    No way to know, since Johnson keeps the detail of most of his campaign expenditures hidden by funneling them through NSON.

    ATBAFT@7,

    “Isn’t GJ’s LP campaign a new entity”

    Nope. Same committee, just amended its statement of organization with the FEC.

  6. George Phillies

    @6

    All Johnson expenses are being run through a series of unitary black boxes. The experience in Massachusetts, not with Libertarians, is that this arrangement makes skimming much easier.

    @7

    When you are being paid a per cent of the money you raise, the money is always there to pay you. And if you made that deal with me, and I did not pay you, my opponents would rightfully say that I am a thieving liar.

    Isn’t GJ’s LP Campaign a new entity?

    NO.

  7. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    RC@10,

    Putting an opaque box around one’s campaign finances makes all kinds of fuckery easier.

    The particular type of fuckery that Phillies mentions in that context is “skimming,” by which I assume he means Johnson or some other campaign principal taking money for services not rendered.

    There are, of course, other possibilities, some entirely innocent, some not.

    The most innocent possibility is that NSON told Johnson “if you run most of your campaign expenses through us, you have less bookkeeping to worry about, and we’ve got good contacts to get you the best prices on all your campaign needs. So instead of having 50 different FEC report entries for yard signs to mess with, 300 travel vouchers to keep straight, etc. you make lump sum payments to NSON, and we take care of the details for you.”

    A less innocent, but not criminal, reason would be that some of the people the campaign pays for certain things might be politically problematic (see, for example, the Browne 1996 campaign paying Perry Willis through a third party; while I can’t prove it, I’m pretty sure that he was also paid significant moneys through a different third party in the 2000 campaign).

  8. Steve

    Without looking it up, I seem to recall Johnson has raised about 600K to date. If 150K of that has gone for fundraising, that doesn’t seem like a good ROI. Anyone have an idea what a standard figure is for fundraising as a percentage of campaign expenditures?

  9. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Steve@13,

    I’ve seen varying figures, but the average cost of fundraising seems to be in the 20% range.

    Given the competition for funds in the Republican primaries, with Johnson probably getting the very short end of the “libertarian dollars” stick versus Paul, 25% ($150k out of $600k) probably isn’t bad at all.

  10. Steve

    Tom @13 Thanks for the education.

    Robert @17 – NSON is the consulting firm run by Ronald Nielson that Johnson uses. From what I understand, they are the people who got him elected in New Mexico and he trusts them completely.

    http://nsoninfo.com/

  11. George Phillies

    @17 NS0N third character is a zero.

    They are a polling firm that says they do not generally do direct campaign things, sort of. They have a very nice web site. Take a look, tell us what you think.

    Johnson has money going other places, too.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    RC@17,

    Oops, misspelling. NS0N Opinion Strategy is a Salt Lake City campaign firm, through which Johnson runs most of his campaign expenditures (for some reason his year-end report refers to them as “Political Advisors” rather than as “NS0N,” but the address is the same (731 East South Temple, Salt Lake City).

  13. John Jay Myers

    This is my question to Gary Johnson:

    In a recent town hall, when questioned about the conflict in Syria, Johnson gave the perfect answer, “not our business”, “there are problems all over the world and we can’t solve them all”, “it’s a civil war, how do we pick the winners” GREAT ANSWER.

    However when distinguishing himself as “Not Ron Paul” he says “I do believe that Israel is an important ally and will remain so in the future” how does Gary’s believing Israel is an important Ally manifest itself, are the people of Israel different than the people in Syria because of their religion? The color of their skin? The amount of donations that are contributed in their name? How does he feel that Ron Paul doesn’t believe Israel is an important ally?

    What is this special bond that Gary has with Israel and how will it play out? Since his answer on the Syria problem was dead on, you get the impression that Gary has a perfect libertarian foreign policy, but when he keeps distinguishing this difference between himself and Ron Paul it makes you wonder if there are not other countries that Gary feels should be treated much differently, what about Australia? Are they not an ally? Or Uzbekistan? Do we need to make a long list of countries where Gary Johnson changes his libertarian foreign policy or is this long list of countries going to consist of only 1?

    How does Gary Johnson justify singling out this one country in every interview? I am sure he is making France and Turkey feel Jealous.

    .

  14. Robert Capozzi

    Israel was created in response to generations of pogroms, the last being the Holocaust.

    Personally, I think the creation of Israel illustrates why constructs so often don’t work out when implemented.

    Why bring this up on this thread?

  15. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    RW@23,

    Israel may have had free elections prior to 1988. Since then, at least two political parties (Kach and Kahane Chai) have been banned by Israeli law from the country’s elections.

  16. John Jay Myers

    So Israel is the only country in the world that has free and honest elections? How about that. What an enigma.

    And if you really believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. There are many things un-American about the way Israel runs its state, but we ignore those things. Why? I don’t know. It looks like Gary Johnson might know.

    I guess it’s like Wayne Allyn Root told me, “John if you continue to talk bad about Israel you will never get on the news”. I didn’t know the quantifier for getting on “the news” was if you were willing to not speak your mind.

  17. Richard Winger

    To put it more strongly, Israel has never been a dictatorship, but practically every other nation in that part of the world has been a dictatorship (including some absolute monarchs) for most of the last 60 years. The only other countries in Asia that have had free elections continuously over the last 60 years, without any military dictatorship or other kind of dictatorship, are..Japan, India…I can’t think of any others.

  18. paulie

    Without looking it up, I seem to recall Johnson has raised about 600K to date. If 150K of that has gone for fundraising, that doesn’t seem like a good ROI. Anyone have an idea what a standard figure is for fundraising as a percentage of campaign expenditures?

    25% is not unusual.

    Kohlhaas charges 40% (plus) for LP ballot access fundraising, for comparison.

  19. paulie

    I seem to recall Johnson has raised about 600K to date.

    I seem to recall seeing lower figures, but maybe they were for a shorter time period?

  20. paulie

    Anyone who gets involved in campaigns without upfront money is an investor not a contractor and should have every expectation he may never get paid.

    Um…what?

    If any entity promises payment for services or goods, it owes them, unless the up front agreement is “we’ll try to pay you if we have enough money.”

    Campaigns rarely have up front money.

  21. Steven Berson

    GJ campaigns’ figures as reported by http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/candidate.php?id=N00033226 as of 12/31/2011 ->

    Total Raised: $578,125
    Total Spent: $560,112
    Cash on Hand: $18,013
    Debts: $203,761

    I believe this does not include at least $55000 that I’m aware of him raising online since he made his announcement of entering the LP race on 12/28/2011.

    GJ’s personal finance report filed in 7/8/2011 ->
    http://pfds.opensecrets.org/N00033226_2010_pres.pdf

  22. Gene Berkman

    And this is why the political printer I knew in Texas had a sign over his counter that said:
    “All printing must be paid for in advance. Cash only, no checks.”

  23. Gene Berkman

    JJM: “So Israel is the only country in the world that has free and honest elections?”

    Richard Winger did not say “in the world.” He said “in complete contrast to all its neighbors.”

    Yes, Israeli elections are not perfect, but if Israel had not banned Kach and Kahane Chai, both of whom favored annexation of the occupied territories, their presence in the election would be brought up by people who want to criticize Israel.

    Libertarians certainly can make a civil libertarian critique of Israel, and even criticize the excessive role of the state in Israel’s economy. But in both cases, Israel is less repressive and less statist than any other country in the Middle East, with the possible exception of Lebanon.

    Israel is actually a symbolic issue – opposing Israel, and singling it out for criticism in world filled with states that oppress, is the one thing that united Communists, Nazis and the other totalitarian factions. I really don’t think Libertarians belong in that company.

  24. Be Rational

    There are vendors across the US that are still owed very large sums of money from the various campaigns of RFK and JFK.

  25. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    GB@36,

    ” if Israel had not banned Kach and Kahane Chai, both of whom favored annexation of the occupied territories, their presence in the election would be brought up by people who want to criticize Israel.”

    Yeah, because nobody ever brings up Likud or anything.

  26. rabbit

    every four years we have to put up with conspiracy theories from phillies about candidates running for president. i’m starting to believe he is a plant from the constitution party with the goal of bringing down the lp.

  27. 24/7 the T-Rex of Talk Radio

    @37 There are people who have been dead 100 years who were owed by political campaigns. As a libertarian (not just playing one on TV) I cannot agree to FRAUD especially hanging over a LP POTUS candidate exposed PRE-convention. Pay your debts or DON’T play!

    Johnson needs to man up and sale some of his hotel holdings and pay off ALL debts from his pre-LP move. Start FRESH ! I was trying hard to warm up to the guy. If he doesn’t plan to and perform the act of making good on his debts I must withdraw my support. Expecting LP members to bail him out is poor reasoning on his part, if he is indeed thinking this way!

    While checking the figures on GJ I checked Barr’s figures from ’08. Nothing to rejoice over. If Johnson doubled Barr’s figures he could pay his debts, but would need to run his entire campaign from his backyard to the closest TV uplink in NM. That cost and staff would eat up all the little copper pennys left.

    Gary Johnson 2012: Federal Reserve – http://www.youtube.com/user/govgaryjohnson?feature=BF#p/u/13/VuBpc6_o-5g

  28. Chaz

    I think they plan on seeking matching funds which would likely cover all the red ink and put them in the black, but dunno for sure. Has any LP PotUS candidate managed to hit the matching funds threshold before in the primary season or the GE?

  29. NewFederalist

    @39… the Constitution Party? Really? Professor Phillies? Why would you think that? I don’t see him having very much in common with the CP.

  30. John Jay Myers

    Back to the point of this story, I would be hard pressed to donate to Johnson’s campaign so that he could pay off 200k in bad debts from his Republican run.
    That needs to be addressed pretty quickly.

  31. Brian Holtz

    No LP POTUS candidate has ever qualified for matching funds. Johnson keeps saying “the Libertarian Party gets $90 million in federal matching funds if the Libertarian candidate gets over 5 percent.” But after Perot got 8% in 1996, the Reform Part was eligible only for $12.6M in 2000. At http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/pubfund.shtml it says that the maximum matching funds in 2012 is $91.2M, but I can’t find the formula they apparently use to pro-rate that number down to a minor party’s previous-cycle performance.

    Should the LP even accept matching funds if it qualified? Note that POTUS matching funds come from a $3 voluntary checkoff, but not checking it doesn’t let you keep the $3.

    One could argue that LP matching funds are reparations for all the ballot-access expenses that have been unfairly forced on the LP over its lifetime.

    Another option would be to take the matching funds and then hand them out to voters. In my 2004 race for Congress I offered voters $5 not to vote for me. (It turns out it’s not against federal law to pay people not to vote.)

  32. Pingback: Denninger Hits Johnson on Campaign Debt | Independent Political Report

  33. Just Wondering

    And people wonder why we are called Losertarians. Looks like were assembling another circular firing squad.

  34. George Phillies

    @39 I’m sorry, you think being sued for fraud is a conspiracy theory? That’s unusually silly for the internut.

    @46 Well, if you are not concerned that your Presidential candidate may have interesting press coverage on the libertarian stand on fraud, that’s your problem.

    Most of the other Presidential campaigns of Libertarians, are in the black.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Is more media necessarily better media?

    The top candidate-specific headline on Google News for a search on “Lee Wrights” and “Libertarian” is “Presidential Candidate Brings Anti-War Message on the Road.”

    There were no first-page candidate-specific headlines on Google News for “RJ Harris” / Libertarian” or “Bill Still” / “Libertarian.”

    The top candidate-specific headline on Google News for “Gary Johnson” / Libertarian” is “Fund Raiser Sues Gary Johnson, Top Staff.”

  36. Thane Eichenauer

    @46 Why should LP members (or the operators or commenters at IPR) refrain from examining the negative attributes of candidates that seek our nomination? Allowing candidates to pursue the LP nomination without examination or criticism seems like a certain path to having nominees that are likely to disappoint.

  37. George Phillies

    From FEC Regulations:

    “Minor party candidates and new party candidates may become eligible for partial public funding of their general election campaigns. (A minor party candidate is the nominee of a party whose candidate received between 5 and 25 percent of the total popular vote in the preceding Presidential election. A new party candidate is the nominee of a party that is neither a major party nor a minor party.) The amount of public funding to which a minor party candidate is entitled is based on the ratio of the party’s popular vote in the preceding Presidential election to the average popular vote of the two major party candidates in that election. A new party candidate receives partial public funding after the election if he/she receives 5 percent or more of the vote. The entitlement is based on the ratio of the new party candidate’s popular vote in the current election to the average popular vote of the two major party candidates in the election.”

    These are the current regulations. You need 5% of the vote or you get no money. And you get paid *after the election is over*. That is, if you start your general election campaign in debt, these funds will not help you until it is very late indeed.

  38. Brian Holtz

    There are two kinds of matching funds: general-election funds you get if your party got 5% of the POTUS vote last cyle, and pre-nomination matching funds you get if you raise more than $5,000 in matchable contributions in each of at least 20 states.

    Browne apparently would have qualified for pre-nomination matching funds in 1996 and 2000, but the FEC wouldn’t certify him: In AO 1996-7, Harry Browne, a candidate for the Libertarian party’s 1996 Presidential nomination, asked the Commission if he could be certified as being eligible to receive matching funds without actually accepting the money. The Commission determined it could not certify Mr. Browne as eligible because he would not have signed the required candidate agreements or agreed to the post-election audits.

    @51 Ah, so if Johnson got 5% and the incumbent parties split the 95%, then the LP in 2016 would only be eligible for about $10M in matching funds, not the full $90M that Johnson has been quoting.

  39. Brian Holtz

    Is more media necessarily better media?

    Not in all possible universes. But in this universe, I’ll take Gary Johnson’s media footprint over that of Lee Wrights. Google News archive search has 76 times as many results for “Gary Johnson” libertarian” as it does for “Lee Wrights” libertarian.

  40. Steve M

    I can’t help but think that fundraisers that suing their candidate cant be good for future employment.

    Also, is it possible that the fundraiser as a Republican decided to do damage to Gary Johnson’s campaign for fear of loosing votes in the fall?

  41. Chuck Moulton

    I met Jonathan Bydlak for the first time on Sunday night (the night before this news broke) at a gathering of DC area small-L libertarians. He didn’t mention this lawsuit.

    I asked him why he left the Johnson campaign. Bydlak told me he didn’t agree with the Libertarian Party strategy (he’s a libertarian, but thinks going Republican is the only way to win) and thought the campaign staff was orders of magnitude more incompetent / dysfunctional than the Ron Paul 2008 office (in which he also worked). He said he still likes Gary Johnson himself and will probably vote for him in November.

    I don’t think he’s trying to hurt Johnson or the LP. In my opinion (as an outside observer — I did not hear this from him) he just wants to get compensated for his time and he feels his best chance of getting paid back is suing while the campaign still has some money (before it is over). Also he probably has the best leverage for settling the lawsuit and working out a payment plan while the campaign has something to lose (embarrassment that could hurt Johnson’s chances of getting the LP nomination).

  42. matt cholko

    Chuck’s explanation makes sense to me. And, frankly, the lawsuit doesn’t change anything about the GJ campaign in my mind. This is not new debt, it is part of the $200k that we already knew about.

    With that said, the $200k IS a legitimate issue. Considering that the debt comes from a GOP race for president, it really doesn’t seem like much money. But, when it is on the books of a LP campaign, pre-nomination, it strikes me as pretty significant.

  43. paulie

    I can’t help but think that fundraisers that suing their candidate cant be good for future employment.

    If you let clients rip you off, it can’t be good either, as future clients may find out they can do the same without any consequences.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    @53,

    —–
    Google News archive search has 76 times as many results for “Gary Johnson” libertarian” as it does for “Lee Wrights” libertarian.
    —–

    Hmmm. When I ran my search, it showed 122 results for Johnson and 22 results for Wrights — closer to six times as many than 76 times as many.

    Of course, I used Libertarian rather than libertarian, which might have made some difference.

    But if you say that 76 times as many people know that Gary Johnson doesn’t pay his bills as know that Lee Wrights is anti-war, okay, I’ll take your word for it.

  45. Brian Holtz

    I said “Google news archive search”. Clicking the “archives” link on the left extends your search from the default 30 days to indefinite.

    if you say that 76 times as many people know that Gary Johnson doesn’t pay his bills as know that Lee Wrights is anti-war

    Thanks for the snark. Now for some facts. Johnson’s bill isn’t even the top Johnson result on Google News any more. Now it’s: “Why Gary Johnson Should Terrify the Democrats”.

    Oh, and that one GN result about the bill? It was from HammerOfTruth, a liberty-movement blog whose Alexa traffic is so miniscule it doesn’t even show up when graphed against that of IPR or LP.org.

    Scanning through the current GN results for Wrights, the only significant media hit I see is a an Orlando Sentinel article about the LP nominating race. Johnson was the main focus of the article, and was probably the reason it even ran: “Johnson’s participation in the debates may serve to boost the party’s profile.” The single paragraph about Wrights was mostly about his opinion of Johnson’s candidacy.

  46. Cheech

    All the Israel-bashers should go worship the guy who hates Israel more than any other, Mr. Ron “I can’t win a state” Paul.

  47. Darryl W. Perry

    @Paulie – the “Ron Paul hates Israel” claim comes from the fact that Ron Paul wants to ends ALL foreign aid – even to Israel. Hence, since he doesn’t want to give taxpayer-money to Israel, he must hate Israel.

  48. Bill Wood

    To my way of thinking, Gary should contact the people he owes and work out a payment plan. ASAP! get crap like this out of the way.

  49. Richard Winger

    #52, Brian Holtz, your comment misstates the general election funding formula. If Gary Johnson got 5%, his presidential campaign committee would get $11,000,000, not $5,000,000, immediately after the election. The formula is Johnson’s percentage of the vote, divided by the average share of the vote of the Dem and Rep Parties. If Johnson got 5% and “others” also got 5%, then that would leave 90% for the two major parties. So Johnson’s 5% would be divided by 45%, and he would get about 11% of the $100,000,000 that the major parties get.

  50. Brian Holtz

    In @52 I said “about $10M”, not $5M. And as I said @44, the 2012 denominator is $91.2M. One ninth of $91.2M is about $10M.

    Johnson wouldn’t get the $10M this cycle. That money is available to the party’s nominee in the next cycle. Perhaps you’re thinking that the LP would fall into the “new party” category:

    The amount of public funding to which a minor party candidate is entitled is based on the ratio of the party’s popular vote in the preceding Presidential election to the average popular vote of the two major party candidates in that election. A new party candidate receives partial public funding after the election if he/she receives 5 percent or more of the vote.

    http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/pubfund.shtml

  51. Richard Winger

    You did say $10,000,000. I misread what you wrote.

    However, the $11,000,000 would come this cycle. When John Anderson got over 5% in November 1980, he got the money in December 1980, and he was also eligible for another big check in 1984 if he had run again in 1984, this time with the money coming before the election. Meeting the 5% test gets a double payout.

  52. Brian Holtz

    Anderson wasn’t running as the nominee of an existing minor party. The italicized text above from the FEC makes it pretty clear that the Anderson case is not analogous.

  53. George Phillies

    “When John Anderson got over 5% in November 1980, he got the money in December 1980,”

    December is next-cycle, the election being in November. The campaign *might* get money in December, but it has to rack up huge debts during the election campaign in order to do so.

  54. Richard Winger

    The FEC public funding law gives more perks to political parties than to independent presidential candidates. There is no doubt at all that a minor party that gets 5% for the first time in a presidential race then gets the money as soon as the election is over. That is the same cycle because it goes to pay debts that the party ran up.

    The fact that John Anderson was treated the same way was the FEC bending over backwards to be fair to John Anderson and to independent presidential candidates. If John Anderson had organized a party in 1980 and got the same 6.7%, that party certainly would have got the money in December 1980 and again in 1984. There is no ambiguity about it at all. If one reads the US Supreme Court decision that upheld the system, the ability for a new party to get public funds immediately after the election is one of the reasons the US Supreme Court upheld it. Buckley v Valeo, 424 US 1 (1976).

  55. paulie

    the “Ron Paul hates Israel” claim comes from the fact that Ron Paul wants to ends ALL foreign aid – even to Israel. Hence, since he doesn’t want to give taxpayer-money to Israel, he must hate Israel.

    Well, jeez, I must hate a lot of people and various collectives of people, ’cause I haven’t sent them any money. And to think of all the people and countries that must hate me…

  56. paulie

    Gary should contact the people he owes and work out a payment plan. ASAP! get crap like this out of the way.

    How does a campaign work out a payment plan when we don’t know for sure whether it will last through May or through November and how much it will raise?

  57. paulie

    Johnson wouldn’t get the $10M this cycle. That money is available to the party’s nominee in the next cycle.

    If I understand it right that’s how it worked with the Reform Party. Perot ran as an independent in ’92, so that did not count. He got over 5% in 1996, so the Reform Party got federal millions in 2000, not in 1996.

    Is that not correct?

  58. paulie

    Anderson wasn’t running as the nominee of an existing minor party. The italicized text above from the FEC makes it pretty clear that the Anderson case is not analogous.

    I thought Anderson ran independent? Did he have a party label, or is there a different similar provision for independents?

  59. paulie

    If one reads the US Supreme Court decision that upheld the system, the ability for a new party to get public funds immediately after the election is one of the reasons the US Supreme Court upheld it. Buckley v Valeo, 424 US 1 (1976).

    But the LP is not new. Would it be treated as new for this purpose?

    Not that I think Johnson will get near 5%, but since we’re what-ifing…

  60. Richard Winger

    Ross Perot did not seek either primary season matching funds in 1996, nor general election funds immediately after the election. He is a billionaire and he had campaigned against the national debt, and he made a personal decision not to make the national debt worse by claiming either type of money. But he was entitled to it.

    The Libertarian Party presidential campaign committee would qualify for $11,000,000 in December 2012 if the nominee polled over 5% in November 2012, and it would also qualify for another big check for its general election presidential campaign in 2016, before the election.

  61. Richard Winger

    Furthermore, Perot would also have been entitled to a huge check in December 1992 if he had wanted it, based on the Anderson precedent from 1980. He didn’t ask for that either.

  62. Steven Wilson

    I believe if any third party candidate gets a percentage that high it will be due to a protest vote against Romney.

    1. Roseanne Barr will suffer from Nader syndrome of mathematics.

    2. Ron Paul will likely endorse Virgil Goode if/when he gets the CP nomination.

    3. A Mittens/Rickster ticket would last one night.

    Gary Johnson, if he does get the nomination, will only get voters whom would have never voted in the first place, so the additional vote total will have been negated by the increase in aggregate total number of voters.

  63. paulie

    I believe if any third party candidate gets a percentage that high it will be due to a protest vote against Romney.

    I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that it will be Romney just yet, although that’s probably the most likely outcome.

    Ron Paul will likely endorse Virgil Goode if/when he gets the CP nomination.

    I have no idea why you think so.

    Goode and Paul disagree on foreign policy, which is a primary issue for Paul.

    Between Goode and Johnson, I think it’s most likely that Paul would either endorse Johnson or neither, not Goode.

  64. paulie

    I believe if any third party candidate gets a percentage that high it will be due to a protest vote against Romney.

    Americans Elect will almost certainly be above 5%, probably above 15%, and may actually win.

    With Goode and Johnson both likely to be in the race, and either Jill Stein or Roseanne Barr, plus AE, I doubt any of the others will be even close to 5% by November, or anywhere close to 15% in September, particularly with AE in the race.

  65. Robert Capozzi

    80 p: …particularly with AE in the race.

    me: It’s conceivable that a “strong” AE ticket liberates all voters such that someone like GJ could exceed 5%. AE could, in a sense, create a “jump ball” situation.

    The lineup could make a big difference. Obama, Santorum, Bloomberg, Johnson could be very interesting for GJ.

  66. Steven Wilson

    Ron Paul supporters have started Ron Paul or no one else. I have no idea how successful it will be, but you must take into consideration the social media of facebook and the persona of most Ron Paul supporters.

    These customers will need a substitute product in order to remain shopping in November.

    Speaking for myself, If Ron Paul nor Lee Wrights makes it to the final ballot, I am not sure I would vote for anyone.

    Gary Johnson is getting a credibility problem started and he needs to finish it out rather quickly.

  67. George Phillies

    Paulie,

    In my opinion Romney’s chances do not appear to be too bright at the moment. However, these are Republicans, so ask me again in a couple hours and I will check on who is the candidate of the minute.

    George

  68. paulie

    It’s conceivable that a “strong” AE ticket liberates all voters such that someone like GJ could exceed 5%. AE could, in a sense, create a “jump ball” situation.

    The lineup could make a big difference. Obama, Santorum, Bloomberg, Johnson could be very interesting for GJ.

    That’s possible.

    However, it’s more likely that Johnson would find himself in a second tier with Goode and R. Barr/Stein than up with the other three in a first tier.

    He’s obviously more willing than B. Barr was to debate LP contenders who are relatively less popular than he appears to be and don’t have his political resume, so hopefully he won’t shy away from debating the Constitution and Green candidates even if he can’t debate the big two or three.

  69. June Genis

    I was thinking that a good money bomb ought to clear up GJ’s debt pretty quick but then I saw that the last one, just after the LP switch, appears to have raised less than 50K. Then I also stated thinking: would I contribute to it given his remarks about our “close relationship” with Israel?

    Clearly Johnson is more restrained in this regard than others I have heard in the LP but it still worries me. It sounds like he just doesn’t get non-interventionism and it’s making me rethink my support for him.

  70. zapper

    @ 80 Paulie. The A/E Party and Cabal will need a big name and big money to get beyond 1% …

    … so, since you are convinced they will break 5% and probably be above 15%, you must know who this secretly pre-chosen candidate is …

    Care to spill the beans.

  71. June Genis

    Speaking of Americans Elect, when I checked just now Ron Paul was the leading draftee. He has almost twice the trackers that he would need to support him to be an official candidate. Apparently they aren’t posting the numbers for supporters by state yet.

    Their requirement about comparable experience to need a lower supporter threshold is rather interesting. Presumably anyone elected as a Senator should qualify as that’s all the experience Obama had before being elected POTUS. Can’t recall offhand if any CongressCritter has made it to the top spot without going through the Senate but plenty of Governors have.

    Johnson doesn’t look like he even has enough trackers so far. Interesting to me was that my match to both Paul and Johnson only diverged by .09 from each other.

  72. Cathy Haris

    As Mr. Johnson’s continues on his pre-approved annointment to the Libertarian Crown at the Convention in May, is the LNC HOPING the Rs and Ds won’t immediately attack after the coronation? Mr. Johnson needs to pull his name from consideration, immediately.

  73. paulie

    The A/E Party and Cabal will need a big name and big money to get beyond 1% …

    Um, yeah.

    Big money? Check. They already have contributed multi millions, and with all the big money people on the board of directors alone (to speak nothing of the secret donors) it is pretty obvious that they can get all the money they need.

    I also think it’s pretty unlikely that all these mega-rich people are spending all this money with no outcome ind mind.

    Now, it is true that Americans Elect has said it will not spend money on behalf of the candidate when he or she is chosen.

    However, those very same rich people can

    …be the candidate (Bloomberg and Trump are two of the possibilities, but not the only ones).

    …be the VP candidate (any of them can do that, even ones with no media profile and no interest in active campaigning)

    …Create a separate superpac or other entity to spend megabucks on behalf of the candidate

    ….Recruit someone who is not necessarily megarich, but has a lot of potential to attract media coverage, such as General Patraeus, perhaps (but not necessarily) teaming that person up with a megarich VP candidate e.g. Bloomberg.

    I’ll also hazard a guess that with all these Wall Street and other rich and prominent people on the board, they are also pretty well connected with media corporate owners and decision makers and can raise the candidate’s profile if and when they wish.

    I can know all that without knowing who the candidates will be, which I don’t.

    The only way that I see them not doing this – given that they have the means – is if AE is just a contingency to be used only in case something else happens – for example, only if Santorum or Gingrich beat Romney, or only if Ron Paul goes LP. Then if Romney gets the GOP nomination and Paul does not break off, they may run a lesser known candidate with less support from the big money people – say Roemer.

    Even then, I think they still want to get at least 5% to get matching funds and ballot access for the future.

  74. paulie

    Apparently they aren’t posting the numbers for supporters by state yet.

    They are, but I don’t have time to pull it up right now. Check the Americans Elect tag archives at IrregularTimes.com

    It doesn’t matter much who is most supported right now.

    The key question with AE is which candidates will end up pursuing the nomination and actively recruiting people to draft them as the deadline gets close.

  75. Johnson hides finances

    Gary Johnson is running for President.
    He has a declared campaign committee.
    It has raised more than $100,000.

    It is now 2012, the election year.

    That committee is now legally required to file monthly.

    The report covering January was due…
    yesterday

    And as of this typing it has not been filed.

    What is the Johnson campaign not discussing?

    …George Phillies

  76. George Phillies

    Why ill will? Just because once again we have a Republican carpetbagger, a lover of the fraud tax and defender of the Guantanamo gulag, trying to take our Presidential nomination, why should there be ill will?

    We saw this matter of hidden finances in 2000, when Browne 2000 postponed filing with the FEC — using a definition of ‘candidate’ that is since been invalidated — until well into 2000, thus hiding its actual financial situation from the membership.

  77. Scott Keller

    Doesn’t really matter what his finances are at this point. His stances on economic issues are based in the same faulty assumptions as all of the R’s, D’s, G’s, and L’s with the exception of Bill Still and myself. The fundamentals are completely wrong. If a candidate has no clue about where the nation’s money comes from, the nature of the national debt, the reasons for depressions and recessions, etc, then all the rantings about “I’m a libertarian” mean nothing as the end result will be the same as having elected Obama or one of the R’s. The people will flock to the LP only when the LP candidates and leadership can present logically government free solutions to the problems the nation faces and that can only be done if there’s a solid understanding of the root causes of those problems. Johnson is no different than the rest of the “popular” field in being clueless in this regard. That doesn’t mean he can’t have it explained to him, but right now he just doesn’t understand.

  78. paulie

    Doesn’t really matter what his finances are at this point.

    Yes, it does to those people reading this comment thread, since that is what it’s about.

    If you want to discuss your ideas about money, it may be better to do so in the open thread.

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