LP Strategy to run double the candidates in 2014

Members of the Libertarian Party have a lot to be happy about. While their 2012 nominee Gary Johnson didn’t win the election, he did get third place and received more votes then all other third party candidates combined. Johnson doubled the votes from 2008 and many Libertarian candidates across the country have been doing better in their respective races as compared to previous election cycles. This results in more exposure with the media, and gains in both contributions and membership.

In response to all the positive growth, the Libertarian Party has started a two year plan to have a bigger impact in the 2014 midterm election with a goal of running over a thousand candidates, double from 2012.

Mark Wachtler of The Examiner had this to say:

One humorous observation by this column is that Republicans have big wallets. Democrats have big tents. Greens have big hearts. Socialists have big ideas. And Nationalists have big guns. But Libertarians have big brains. From their policies and positions to the problems and issues of the day, Libertarians are some of the most educated and well-thought voters in America. The party demonstrates that attribute with its strategy for the next two years.

and continued with

The party’s two-year strategy includes the following items (from Thursday’s email to supporters):

  • Candidate training from experienced, skilled Libertarian Party experts.
  • Campaign training from proven, seasoned Libertarian Party campaign experts.
  • Libertarian solutions, not just positions.
  • Fundraising training.
  • How to recruit, train, motivate, and nurture dozens of volunteers for your Libertarian Party campaign.
  • Door-to-door campaigning.
  • One-time seminars, one-time training is not enough.

As Libertarian Party officials explain, the party will be bigger, stronger and more prepared than ever next time. “In over 30,000 elective offices in the United States,” an LP official states, “a Libertarian Party candidate can be elected with less than 1,000 votes.” And if the party’s strategy is successful, those candidates “will be better-funded, better-trained, better-equipped”.

As there are so few elected Libertarians, and none at the national level, there will be virtually no support from within the politically connected. However, with both Republican and Democratic membership on the decline, and increases in both the Libertarian Party and registered Independents, the Libertarian Party is intending to make some real strides in the next election.

Read more on the Libertarian Party’s new strategy at the Examiner: Libertarian Party strategy to run double the candidates in 2014

58 thoughts on “LP Strategy to run double the candidates in 2014

  1. paulie

    That’s true, but not relevant here. If you did not read the article they are talking about doubling the candidates from 500-something to 1,000 plus.

  2. Marc Allan Feldman

    Before we look at the plan for a drive to double the LP candidates, how about a review of the results of the “double the LP” membership drive?

  3. Mike Kane

    the LP should tread lightly here. Putting candidates who are LINO, really just republican lite or democrat lite, will serve only to marginalize the LP’s message and intentions.

    I see no, or negative value, of running candidates who aren’t really libertarians

  4. Jeremy C. Young

    It strikes me that they are not trying to run LINOs, but to provide the infrastructure that would allow more real Libertarians to run for office.

  5. Michael H. Wilson

    I hope the LP fixes the literature material and the web site so that the candidates have some up to date material to hand out and to refer people to.

  6. Oregon Libertarian

    The whole thing smacks as bad as those ‘Get rich quick’ schemes that fill up my SPAM box. You know, some system that you “buy into” that is suppose to teach you how to be some great Internet Marketer and make untold riches….

    So, any ‘National Organization” would have to sell their candidate training program off the backs of the State Parties who would promote it. And of course someone will have to pay for the training…either the candidate or the State Party has to pony up the cash for this.

    My own observations is that candidates and prospective candidates are reluctant to “buy” any training but will come to “free” training event. Typically these are put on by the State Parties where they have access to cheap if not free locations to put these events on, and all volunteer teachers.

    Oregon put on a training session for free. Here is the link to the training: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGysEZsZzCQ

    The “Gold Diggers” who are infesting the National Party should be told to move on. They are not helping anyone but themselves.

    As for the National Party providing candidate training documents as they do and have done for over 30 years…Just continue to make them available online.

  7. Nicholas Sarwark

    I’m happy to report that Colorado can’t double the number of LP candidates in 2014, since we contested more than 50% of the races this last election cycle.

    However, we will try to get to 100%.

  8. paulie

    Before we look at the plan for a drive to double the LP candidates, how about a review of the results of the “double the LP” membership drive?

    The double the LP membership drive is ongoing, and will be for the foreseeable future. It’s one of several privately run efforts to increase LP membership which will all be happening concurrently and on a continual basis.

    The success, or lack of success, of these ventures, most of which are just starting or haven’t started yet, is a separate project from increasing our number of candidates, which should happen regardless.

  9. paulie

    Putting candidates who are LINO, really just republican lite or democrat lite, will serve only to marginalize the LP’s message and intentions.

    I see no, or negative value, of running candidates who aren’t really libertarians

    I don’t why you would jump to the conclusion that we are trying to run candidates who aren’t libertarians.

    But even if we did, the average voter wouldn’t know it. All they would know is that they see a lot of Libertarians on the ballot, which makes them more likely to vote for LP candidates at any level, consider joining the party themselves and so on.

  10. paulie

    It strikes me that they are not trying to run LINOs, but to provide the infrastructure that would allow more real Libertarians to run for office.

    Exactly. One problem with organizing the LP is that any time we make any attempt to grow the party in any way there are people within the LP who immediately assume we want to make the party less libertarian. And any time we try to make the party more solidly libertarian there are people who jump to the conclusion that our goal is to shrink the party.

    While there may be some theoretical point where we can’t expand the LP any further without watering down the message, we are a long, long, long way from that point right now. Right now we can still greatly expand the LP by putting forward hardcore libertarianism. And in the process of doing so we may also indirectly expand the market for a softcore libertarianism that we are not delivering, as well. That process can continue for a long time and quite possibly lead to us making real changes in this country much as the Socialist and Prohibition parties once did.

  11. paulie

    I hope the LP fixes the literature material and the web site so that the candidates have some up to date material to hand out and to refer people to.

    So do I. I’ve been told some of that will be happening. I’m not sure in what timeframe.

  12. paulie

    I’m happy to report that Colorado can’t double the number of LP candidates in 2014, since we contested more than 50% of the races this last election cycle.

    However, we will try to get to 100%.

    You must mean only the partisan races, right?

    I find it hard to believe Colorado contested over half of the thousands of local elected offices at every level and in all branches of government (most of them being nonpartisan in most states, however).

  13. PeterO

    My point is that instead of focusing on getting more dubious candidates to contest more races and lose, the LP should seek out fewer, but more credible, candidates. For every Andrew Horning or Jim Gray, it seems like there’s a dozen conspiracy freaks.

  14. Oregon Libertarian

    Recruiting Republicans to campaign as Libertarians rarely works well and tends to only piss off the hardcore Libertarian base.

    Republicans who cannot get the nod from their, own party, and then seek a ‘third party solution’ for ballot access tend to like our fiscal policy but when it comes to our ‘end the wars’, our ‘drug policy’ and ‘open boarders’ they wobble badly and embarrass themselves and the party.

    The only reason anyone would try and “whore out the party to Republicans’ is for money – thus the training fees and buying services.

    It would be far better to recruit candidates who come up though the Libertarian ranks and help them present themselves to the voters.

    Sorry Paulie, I think that whatever the schemers at National are cooking up is only about money for themselves.

  15. Nicholas Sarwark

    You must mean only the partisan races, right?

    I find it hard to believe Colorado contested over half of the thousands of local elected offices at every level and in all branches of government (most of them being nonpartisan in most states, however).

    Mostly partisan, though there were a few non-partisan. Most of the low-level races like city council are off-year elections (2013) and state offices come up in 2014.

    So, hard to believe or not, it’s true.

  16. paulie

    Mostly partisan, though there were a few non-partisan. Most of the low-level races like city council are off-year elections (2013) and state offices come up in 2014.

    What about county offices, various boards, school districts, etc?

  17. Thane Eichenauer

    I see nothing in the article that says that the LP is going to be recruiting Republicans. However not every person who finds the Libertarian Party was originally registered that way. Those folks who want to increase the number for former Democrats or former Independents are welcome to do so. People start out each day being a human being and choose political labels for lesser or greater reasons. In the end all human being bleed red regardless of what political label they happen to choose (or skip choosing) any given day.

    As for presuming that “the schemers at National are cooking up is only about money for themselves.” there is nothing preventing people from supporting non-official channels to support the Libertarian Party efforts to promote the applied libertarian political effort if they so presume.

  18. Nicholas Sarwark

    What about county offices, various boards, school districts, etc?

    Some counties had commissioner races this year, we ran candidates in some, but not all of them.

    Boards are mostly appointed positions, but we have people working on getting Libertarians to apply.

    School boards are elected in off-year elections.

  19. paulie

    Recruiting Republicans to campaign as Libertarians rarely works well and tends to only piss off the hardcore Libertarian base.

    And where did you get the idea that this has anything to do with that?

    The only reason anyone would try and “whore out the party to Republicans’ is for money – thus the training fees and buying services.

    Uh what? We’re raising money from Libertarians for the national party to help provide training to Libertarian candidates. Not charging fees to Republicans to run as Libertarians. How do you get the latter out of the former?

    It would be far better to recruit candidates who come up though the Libertarian ranks and help them present themselves to the voters.

    That’s exactly what we are trying to do here.

    1. Recruit candidates
    2. Help them present themselves to the voters

    Yet you somehow with zero evidence presented jump to the conclusion that any effort to do so is …”whore out the party to Republicans’ is for money – thus the training fees and buying services.”

    What training fees and buying services?

    What Republicans?

    What are you talking about?

  20. paulie

    Some counties had commissioner races this year, we ran candidates in some, but not all of them.

    So counting all the county commissioner races, judge races if any are elected, county executive (liquor commissioner, election supervisor etc) if any are elected, the LP still had more than half the races covered? Very impressive if true. I would venture that even if this is true, no or virtually no other state can say the same.

  21. paulie

    My point is that instead of focusing on getting more dubious candidates to contest more races and lose, the LP should seek out fewer, but more credible, candidates. For every Andrew Horning or Jim Gray, it seems like there’s a dozen conspiracy freaks.

    I disagree. A lot of candidates up and down the ballot for all sorts of offices helps the LP tremendously. It helps the credible candidates tremendously. They do better whenever and wherever they are part of a large slate of candidates on the ballot. Very few voters will know or care that many of those candidates are paper candidates or hold various views (conspiracy or otherwise) that they don’t have the time and money to let all but a tiny fraction of voters know they hold. It communicates a lot more to an average voter that they see a lot of Libertarians on the ballot…or not.

  22. paulie

    With the exception of judges, I believe Maryland LP has ran full slates the past three cycles.

    County and city offices? Boards? Full slates of state legislators?

  23. Nicholas Sarwark

    So counting all the county commissioner races, judge races if any are elected, county executive (liquor commissioner, election supervisor etc) if any are elected, the LP still had more than half the races covered? Very impressive if true. I would venture that even if this is true, no or virtually no other state can say the same.

    Judges here are appointed, then have votes for retention, but are not directly elected.

    We don’t have a bunch of elected county officials, and those we do have are elected in off years.

    I think Texas may have had over half their races covered, which is perhaps more impressive, since they appear to elect almost everyone in the same election.

  24. paulie

    The whole thing smacks as bad as those ‘Get rich quick’ schemes that fill up my SPAM box. You know, some system that you “buy into” that is suppose to teach you how to be some great Internet Marketer and make untold riches….

    Silly me. I would have thought that this would be a basic, elementary thing than any political party should be doing for its candidates. But what do I know?

    So, any ‘National Organization” would have to sell their candidate training program off the backs of the State Parties who would promote it. And of course someone will have to pay for the training…either the candidate or the State Party has to pony up the cash for this.

    Or the donors to national who want to help pay for a program like this, which is what the email was about. Or candidates who actually want the training. There are some, you know. But I’ll have to look back in my email to see if there are any fees to candidates. From what I recall, the last time we did this with Success ’99 and Success ’97 there were no fees, it was paid for by national (which means donors to national).

    Typically these are put on by the State Parties where they have access to cheap if not free locations to put these events on, and all volunteer teachers.

    That’s fine, but not every state has experienced people who can do that – my impression is most states don’t. That’s why national is trying to help. If you don’t like this project, there are others to donate to. If you don’t like any national projects then focus on your state party or local party and don’t even worry about national. There are also private ventures at the national level operating outside the national bureaucracy with more set to launch soon.

    The “Gold Diggers” who are infesting the National Party should be told to move on. They are not helping anyone but themselves.

    What gold diggers? Carla Howell, for example, works 70 hours a week on average.

    As for the National Party providing candidate training documents as they do and have done for over 30 years…Just continue to make them available online.

    Not good enough. Many people find in person training to be more beneficial. Also, while there are some materials online, they are not nearly publicized enough. The people wanting this kind of information and training don’t even know it exists.

    If there is demand to create new and hopefully better training materials, or promote teaching the existing materials, etc., that’s a good thing. People who consider this to be unimportant can fund something else.

  25. Mike Kane

    I think you misunderstood my point, and certainly setup a straw man by saying :”I don’t why you would jump to the conclusion that we are trying to run candidates who aren’t libertarians.”

    In my opinion, running someone with an L next to their name who isn’t libertarian isn’t the right thing to do. To be more clear, running candidates who aren’t libertarian just for the sake of running candidates isn’t a good strategy.

    Now, if we can recruit twice as many Libertarian candidates who actually are libertarian and have libertarian ideas, then that’s awesome. Not Republican lite’s who propose new taxes and support FEMA

  26. Mike Kane

    As for Carla Howell, I can say she’s more dedicated as anyone in the LP, and aside from her support for the floor fees, I really like the work she’s done.

    Her 2002 ballot measure to abolish the state income tax in Massachusetts got 45% of the vote, despite being outspent by a ratio of I believe 10:1.

    This is a perfect example of how L candidates/associates should not be soft or scared of the true Libertarian message.

  27. paulie

    Here’s the entire email. I would love how anyone is getting this whole “recruiting Republicans to run as Libertarians” theme out of it. Please explain what is wrong with what is being proposed using the text


    Dear Fellow Libertarian,

    Libertarian activists around the country are ecstatic about this year’s elections results:

    “The best election results I’ve seen in 41 years.”
    “It almost doesn’t get any better than this. Can’t wait for the future.”
    “Freedom is happening all around us.”
    “I’ve spent the last two months inviting Ron Paul people into the LP – and they’re coming!”
    “I’m ready to grow the party!”
    It’s no wonder why these Libertarians are so pumped. 2012 was a great year for Libertarian Party candidates. And a great year for liberty.

    Just look at some of our candidates’ results. Their accomplishments.

    1,255,791 Votes for Gov. Gary Johnson.

    2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidate Sets a New LP Record for Highest-Ever Vote

    Gary Johnson Shattered Ed Clark’s 1980 Vote Record of 921,128 Votes for President of the United States.
    2012 Libertarian Presidential Ticket of Gov. Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray More Than DOUBLED the 2008 Vote Total of Bob Barr and Wayne Root.
    They More Than TRIPLED the 2004 Libertarian Presidential Vote Total of Michael Badnarik and Richard Campagna.
    Item: Republicans Blame Libertarian U.S. Senate Candidates Andrew Horning and Dan Cox for Republican U.S. Senate Losses in Indiana and Montana. Each Libertarian Candidate received more votes than the Republican candidates lost by.

    Item: Republicans Blame Libertarian U.S. Congressional Candidate Dan Fishman for Republican Loss in Massachusetts.

    Item: 2012Libertarian Votes Give LP Ballot Access in 30 States + the District of Columbia. Saves LP over $400,000 in 2016 Petitioning Costs.

    Item: 7 Libertarian Candidates Each Get Over One Million Votes
    Gov. Gary Johnson for President: 1,199,824 votes
    Mark W. Bennett (TX) Court of Criminal Appeals: 1,326,526 votes
    William Bryan Strange (TX) Court of Criminal Appeals: 1,313,746 votes
    RS Roberto Koelsch (TX) Texas Supreme Court: 1,280,886 votes
    Jaime O. Perez (TX) Railroad Commissioner: 1,122,792 votes
    David Staples (GA) Public Service Commission, District 5: 1,082,481 votes
    Tom Oxford (TX) Texas Supreme Court: 1,030,735 votes
    Question: Why are these Libertarian Party campaign results even more spectacular than they look?

    Because an overwhelming onslaught of Money and Media were unleashed against us.

    Money Fact: Republicans and Democrats Spent $2 Billion on the Presidential Campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

    Libertarians raised and spent $3 Million for the Presidential Campaign of Gov. Gary Johnson.

    Romney and Obama Outspent Gary Johnson 667 to 1.

    Media Fact: News Media Showered both the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Campaigns With More Than 1,000 Times the News Coverage that they Devoted to Gov. Gary Johnson and his Libertarian Presidential Campaign.

    With these facts in mind, aren’t our 2012 Libertarian Party Election Results even more amazing?

    Adding to our Libertarian Party progress, voters across the country voted overwhelming in a libertarian direction on ballot initiatives – on taxes, on the ending the insane Marijuana Prohibition, and more.

    America is more ready than ever for liberty.

    Would you like to take advantage of this 2012 campaign momentum NOW? To use it, magnify it, amplify it, multiply it – to recruit, educate, and activate tens of thousands of new members of the Libertarian Party – starting NOW?

    If we begin now, you and I can turn this 2012 momentum into a “snowball effect” for the next four years – and set in motion a freedom avalanche in 2016. A Libertarian Party Too Big to Ignore, Too Big to Exclude.

    What We Can and Must Do Now

    To amplify and magnify the effect of more members and more money, we must provide our Libertarian Party activists and candidates with the right Tools and Training and Coaching to do the job.

    ‘Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, feed him for a lifetime.’ – Proverb

    We want to teach our Libertarian Party candidates and campaign workers ‘how to fish,’ so they can run great LP campaigns time after time, year after year. And so that they can teach other LP candidates ‘how to fish.’

    Candidate Training from Experienced, Skilled Libertarian Party Experts.

    Campaign Training from Proven, Seasoned Libertarian Party Campaign Experts. Libertarian Party campaigns face radically different obstacles and challenges than Republican and Democratic campaigns. We need guidance from those who have successfully navigated them.

    Libertarian Solutions, Not Just Positions. Running for office is like interviewing for a job. What will the candidate DO if she is elected? Our LP candidates need to offer simple, credible libertarian solutions to high taxes, high spending, and Big Government programs and policies – and show voters the huge, immediate, direct benefits to them and their neighbors. This is a master key to being taken seriously.

    Fundraising Training. By the most successful, most effective LP fundraisers.

    How to Recruit, Train, Motivate, and Nurture Dozens of Volunteers for Your Libertarian Party Campaign. Whether it’s a statewide or local campaign, volunteers make the difference.

    Door-to-Door Campaigning. A Libertarian Party candidate can be elected with less than 1,000 votes in over 30,000 elective offices in the United States.

    One-Time Seminars, One-Time Training is NOT enough to make sure our candidates regularly, repeatedly do what they learned. They need practice, practice, practice. We can create online, internet tele-trainings – that our candidates can work with any hour of the day or night.

    Will you help us teach LP candidates ‘how to fish’? Will you help us provide the tools and training now for our 2014 and 2016 LP candidates? Will you help us coach our LP candidates to keep practicing their ‘fishing skills’?

    580 Libertarian Party Candidates ran for office this year. But, if you help now, in 2014 and 2016 we can run over 1,000. And, if you help now, they will be better-funded, better-trained, better-equipped – and together we can elect more and more Libertarians to office.

    We need you. Help us help you get the Libertarian Party elections results in 2014 and 2016 that you got a glimpse of this year.

    If you can donate $5,000 or $2,500 now, will you please do it now?

    If you can give $1,500 or $1,000, or $850 or $500 to this high-leverage, high-payoff project, will you please do it now?

    If you can give $240 or $150, $75 or $50, you will make a huge difference. Whatever you can afford, it helps. Will you please?

    Please either click and donate now or mail your donation to the address below with “I’m on board” in the memo.

    Carla Howell, Executive Director

    Libertarian Party

    P.S. Don’t let this 2012 Libertarian campaign momentum run down, or grand to a halt. Help us harness it and use it to build the Libertarian Party. To recruit, educate, activate tens of thousands of new LP members. To help us provide the LP Tools and Training needed to make more and more Libertarian breakthroughs in 2014 and 2016. Please make your most generous donation of $250 or $150 or $85 today. You’ll love the results.

  28. Oregon Libertarian

    Paulie
    I think there is some infectious idealist mindset happening here.

    Sure, it “sounds good” to create this “National” plan to recruit and train candidates…and you know what…”It sounds too good to be true!”

    A scam is when a business plan is conceived where the operators of the plan have no intention to deliver what they have sold or no actual ability to deliver it.

    The cost to actually create training materials (update old ones), to hire trainers or train state parties to do the training, to publicly seek donations and then to publicly announce the training is going to be very very expensive.

    Why I call this a scam is because I seriously doubt the ability of the National Party (or any side organization) to deliver.

    Unless some very rich donor is going to bankroll this program I would say it is DOA. Just another Libertarian Pipedream.

  29. paulie

    Sure, it “sounds good” to create this “National” plan to recruit and train candidates…and you know what…”It sounds too good to be true!”

    It doesn’t sound too good to be true to me. Why does it sound that way to you?

    A scam is when a business plan is conceived where the operators of the plan have no intention to deliver what they have sold or no actual ability to deliver it.

    Thanks, I already know that, and I don’t believe that applies here. We have every intention to deliver. And the people heading this up have delivered in the past.

    The cost to actually create training materials (update old ones), to hire trainers or train state parties to do the training, to publicly seek donations and then to publicly announce the training is going to be very very expensive.

    I saw no cost figure attached, nor do I have any reason to believe it has to be paid for all up front. As with any project, the normal procedure is to raise some initial money, create some initial materials, show existing and potential donors what their money bought, then try to raise more to produce more materials, publicize them better, etc. The effort can expand over time.

    Why I call this a scam is because I seriously doubt the ability of the National Party (or any side organization) to deliver.

    Why do you seriously doubt it? Based on what figures or metrics?

    Unless some very rich donor is going to bankroll this program I would say it is DOA. Just another Libertarian Pipedream.

    That’s the advantage of a national party with a list of tens of thousands of people. You can have a few large donations and many small donations add up to some initial amount, which gives us a toehold to get started and then that toehold can be showcased to that same list to continually expand in scope.

    Meanwhile there will be other efforts to expand our list.

    I don’t see how pissing all over a worthwhile effort when it is just barely getting started helps anything.

    If this project does not light the fires of your imagination donate to another one that does.

    If nothing at national inspires you, focus your energy at state and local levels.

    Why is that so complicated?

  30. Jeremy C. Young

    What I’m hearing is: the idea may be good in theory, but people don’t trust national to carry it out.

    My response: I think some folks have been in opposition to national for so long that they don’t realize national is now controlled by the “transparency” faction. Certainly there are elements of the old “reform” faction in positions of power, but when LNC delegates went to the trouble of tossing out over half the old LNC and replacing them with more radical members, the least LP members can do is give the new national a chance. So far, I don’t think the new folks have done anything to suggest they aren’t sincere in reforming the LP to make it more effective and transparent. If they fall down on the job, then and only then will it be appropriate to try to “starve the beast” by undermining national programs like this. Until then, what you are doing is hurting a good program aimed at growing the LP in order to spite some national officers who aren’t even in office any more.

  31. paulie

    I think some folks have been in opposition to national for so long that they don’t realize national is now controlled by the “transparency” faction.

    There are a lot of factions which overlap, but the transparency faction is not in control. We get a lot of resistance to any and all efforts towards transparency. However I agree with the larger point that some of the hostility is a holdover from people who are hostile to the last LNC or past LPHQ staff. We’ve made some progress, although much remains to be made.

    Another point you may be missing is that there are LP members who will react with hostility and distrust to ANY initiative from national, regardless of radical or moderate or transparent or opaque, especially if it is growth oriented. We just have it in our DNA, perhaps figuratively and perhaps even literally, to oppose authority, and this includes our own internal leadership for many people. In some ways this is a healthy instinct, but in some ways it hamstrings us.

  32. paulie

    I think the tone put forward by national party communications under Wes and Carla compared to preceding EDs, and by the Johnson-Gray campaign as opposed to the Barr-Root campaign, and the way that the 2012-4 LNC is or will influence our messaging (keep in mind we have had very little impact on that yet), and by Arvin and JJM taking over the facebook page in July….will result in candidates being more libertarian, less republitarian in the next election or several than in the last few.

    Keeping this in mind, I think efforts to have more candidates and better trained candidates are good.

    All of those things put together? Fantastic!

  33. Oregon Libertarian

    paulie
    You know, the National Party acting as the “mothership” really does not work due the the Instability of its leadership and the fickleness of the internal factional warfare that the LNC is engaged in.

    These Information and Research groups that you are proposing are far better as its own thing (a Super PAC) where it can create an alliance with other organization, like the LNC or the State Parties.

    If your mission is to only teach Libertarians how to campaign and be effective in politics then being a Super Pac is the way to go.

  34. paulie

    You know, the National Party acting as the “mothership” really does not work due the the Instability of its leadership and the fickleness of the internal factional warfare that the LNC is engaged in.

    It’s a start. When we have more success we tend to have less infighting. When we have less success we tend to have more. So I see this as part of an effort to get us into a virtuous cycle rather than a vicious one.

    These Information and Research groups that you are proposing are far better as its own thing (a Super PAC) where it can create an alliance with other organization, like the LNC or the State Parties.

    If your mission is to only teach Libertarians how to campaign and be effective in politics then being a Super Pac is the way to go.

    That may be a great parallel effort.

    Nothing prevents anyone from starting it up. I hope it does get started up. I might even help if someone is willing to commit some time, talent, and resources to make it happen.

    LPHQ does have one advantage, which is a fairly extensive list. Another one is being an entity which is already somewhat known to people rather than some new PAC no one has heard of.

    But you are right, it also has some disadvantages.

    So maybe we need both working in tandem.

    And maybe that will happen.

  35. Stuart Simms

    @23 Richie @25 Paulie,
    Richie was clearly referring only to federal races and Governor. There are 188 state legislative races in Maryland in the non Presidential even years.
    Then there are all of the county councils, mayors, school boards, etc.

  36. Let the T-Rex of Talk Radio Entertain U2day

    I’m all for growth and success. However it seems for each knowledgeable articulate candidate there are dozens of in the dark naive mushroom FREAKS who still don’t understand how this world WORKS!

    Purist Libertarian members need to step forward and put their name on the line if they are worried about R lite , then you can give your Libertarian message to the masses. STOP complaining about everything. Lead, follow or GET THE HELL OUTTA THE WAY.

    Can anyone tell us which states and what races in ’13, ’14′ or ’15 can give the LP statewide Ballot Access, such as the NY Governor’s race will, for the ’16 race? These should be TARGET races for the LP where they put up excellent candidates with some financial backing.

    I have NEVER been a backer of paper “lineholder” candidates in partisan races. Just ANOTHER big LOSER for the LP who doesn’t even give any L solutions to the public. Just a SILENT whipped loser! Put up a fight or don’t put up your name !

    Here’s a parting one for you Pete – DARPA Sponsored Company Unveils Drones That Can Fly Through Doors And Windows
    http://www.infowars.com/darpa-sponsored-company-unveils-drones-that-can-fly-through-doors-and-windows/

    They’re in your backyard buddy! Oh you may not have a backyard, oh whatever……..

  37. PeterO

    @27

    Paulie’s right about this one. I worked briefly at LPHQ in 1999-2000, and all the talk of the “Browne Cabal” at that time was bunk. It was an office full of activists working hard for comparatively low pay. I’m sure that’s still true today.

  38. johnO

    Libertarians, Greens, or other 3rd parties should run in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat. Why wait for 2014?

  39. paulie

    @43 Yep.

    @41 Nope.

    I have NEVER been a backer of paper “lineholder” candidates in partisan races. Just ANOTHER big LOSER for the LP who doesn’t even give any L solutions to the public. Just a SILENT whipped loser! Put up a fight or don’t put up your name !

    Paper candidates

    1) Might ensure ballot access. All the candidates (60 0r so) we ran in Alabama in 2002 were thanks to one paper candidate getting us ballot access in 2000.

    2) Can become real candidates – either because they get more committed to a race than they originally planned to when they just agreed to put their name on the ballot…or because a sudden death, scandal etc among the other candidates. One of the LP’s top legislative candidates in 2012, for example, was a paper candidate who almost beat an incumbent who got caught up in scandal.

    3) Get their feet wet, might be more likely to run an active campaign in the future.

    4) Help more active candidates by creating the impression of a larger team of Libertarians on the ballot….vote totals show that when there are more Libertarians running (including paper candidates) the active candidates tend to do better.

  40. NewFederalist

    “I have NEVER been a backer of paper “lineholder” candidates in partisan races. Just ANOTHER big LOSER for the LP who doesn’t even give any L solutions to the public. Just a SILENT whipped loser! Put up a fight or don’t put up your name !”

    As a former county chair I can tell you that “paper nominees” (they cease being candidates once they have won a party’s nomination) can do lots of good. In areas where one of the dominant parties is far more dominant that the other, a “paper nominee” offers the voters a choice… period. It is a way for the smug incumbent to truly measure if he or she is the deity they think they are. I had folks garner well over 25% of the vote in state legislative races by doing virtually nothing. In many cases they brought me the questionnaires they received from the newspapers or civic organizations and I helped them reply. That gained a measure of credibility for their candidacy. One guy actually left town because a TV station wanted him to appear in a debate! He went to his vacation house until the election was over. He still polled over 5% in a three way race with an incumbent D and a very active R! Every “paper nominee” I recruited was a real libertarian and would have been fantastic if elected… shy maybe but fantastic!

  41. Austin Battenberg Post author

    I’m surprised at all the people criticizing this new strategy by national. Regardless I hope it does well.

    I personally would like to run for a local office, but here in California since we have top 2 it almost seems like a waste of time. I would have to be a paper candidate because I don’t have enough free time outside of work to run an effective campaign.

  42. paulie

    I was not my intent to suggest that the presidential candidate should walk door to door. I would think that would be obvious. Lets use our common sense.

    Don’t be surprised. I haven’t seen any initiative for growth by national in any year that doesn’t get criticized. It seems to be in libertarians’ DNA to be cynical. In some ways that’s a good thing, in some ways not so much.

  43. Richard Winger

    Some comments in this thread have concerned running candidates in 2014 that may result in our being on the ballot automatically in 2016. But I haven’t noticed any comment above about the more fruitful idea of asking state legislators to introduce bills in the 2013 sessions of state legislatures, lowering the vote test. Often when bills like that, the act of passing the bill puts us on the ballot automatically the moment the new law goes into effect. Right now, and the next few weeks and months, is the prime time for anyone to ask a state legislator to introduce bills. In the 24 month cycle, we are at the moment to do this right now.

    States in which the LP is on the ballot right now because we got a good bill passed in the past include Arizona, Colorado, Georgia (but we only have status for the statewide offices), Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming. We are crazy if we don’t do more of this work.

  44. Jeremy C. Young

    Richard: this is a great idea, and I just did it here in Indiana. I contacted the chairs of the Elections Committees in both houses and briefly laid out the case for lowering the arduous ballot access requirement. I specifically mentioned that doing so would benefit the Green Party, so hopefully the state legislatures I contacted (both Republicans) will read between the lines and realize that lowering ballot access requirements would help their party, too.

  45. PeterO

    Ok, you’ve convinced me. Many candidates is a good approach. I do think every effort should be made to find GOOD candidates, though — ones who understand that a campaign is about persuasion, not freaking out the squares.

    At a minimum, even “paper” candidates should fill out media questionnaires and answer media queries. And most candidates should be expected to reach out to the media, appear at campaign forums, and have some sort of online/social media presence.

  46. paulie

    @51 Well, yes, they should – but if my only choices are to have them on the ballot and not doing those things or just not have them on the ballot at all, I’d still rather have them on the ballot.

    @49 I’ll try to post an article about that today

  47. NewFederalist

    “@51 Well, yes, they should – but if my only choices are to have them on the ballot and not doing those things or just not have them on the ballot at all, I’d still rather have them on the ballot.”

    Me too! There are times and many places where one of the dominant parties just doesn’t bother to field nominees because they have no chance to win. “Paper nominees” are great in races like that especially ones who really are lending their name as a public service and do not have the time to campaign. I do agree that these people should be given all the help they desire with questionnaires and so forth. Since websites and social media were not around when I was a county chair, I really don’t know how to respond to that aspect.

  48. Eric Johnson

    I was a Libertarian congressional candidate 14 years ago, and when it finally dawned on me how libertarians are incapable of working together on a grand strategy to become a major third party, I quit and am still waiting for the Libertarian Party to get serious about running credible campaigns. Libertarians taking over the Republican party doesn’t make any sense to me. Where will the conservatives go? To the Libertarian Party? This is a libertarian revolution and the Libertarian Party needs to lead it. I foresee a great opportunity for the LP in the next few years similar to how it expanded during Clinton’s last term.
    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, as libertarians like to say about statists. But the Libertarian Party has run the same moldy old campaign strategy since day one: Get on the ballot then expect voters to discover them.
    Libertarians need to take a different and more aggressive approach. Since Republicans accuse Libertarians of stealing their votes, the Libertarian Party needs to leverage that and commit to making the Republican Party irrelevant (which it mostly is anyway) and eventually replacing the Republican Party. Libertarians lose because Republicans take THEIR votes.
    Other things the LP needs to do differently:
    - Run a unified national campaign to end the income tax. People hate the income tax much more than politicians will admit. This is both old parties Achilles heel since both old parties support it. As a start, challenge the irrelevant Republicans to introduce legislation to end income tax withholding and require tax payers to write a check every month to the IRS. Same thing at the state level. Wake the tax slaves up to how much government exploits them. Republicans AND Democrats shouldn’t oppose ending withholding because after all, they will still get our precious money, right?
    - Slavery killed the Whig Party and helped bring about the Republican Party. Tax slavery is the new issue that can kill the Republican Party and turn the Libertarian Party into the new major party. Repeat the term “tax slavery” over and over until it gets personal to every worker in this country.
    - Run candidates for every congressional and statewide race in the nation, and as many state races as possible so every voter has a Libertarian choice. Instead of the bottom up approach the socialists did 100 years ago with city and local elections, use the big campaigns to attract libertarians into to the LP. Use the 2014 for party building for a breakout year in 2016. Emphasize party building, and figure out how to motive libertarians to actually get involved and active. G. Edward Griffin’s Freedom Force International might be a good starting point in persuading libertarians to start defending themselves against the statists.
    - Invite libertarian Republicans to join the LP, since they will be rendered irrelevant in the Republican Party anyway. Rand Paul, Justin Amash and any other libertarian Republicans should be asked to join the party that actually represents their values.
    - Billboards can make national news, like the George Bush “Miss Me Yet?” billboard in Minnesota. Put up a few audacious billboards telling people only the LP seeks to free the tax slaves, or some other hot button issue that makes both parties look bad.
    - Focus on how both old parties are tools of the banks and corporations who own our government. The Libertarian Party is independent of the interests who want to keep Americans over taxed and in perpetual debt.
    Unfortunately there is a cacophony of voices with their opinions: secede, infiltrate the Republican Party, educate, drop out, move to a free state. Organizing libertarians is like herding cats; I am still waiting for the great leader to get the cats moving in once direction, and still trying to decide for myself if engaging in a seemingly Quixotic endeavor is worth it again.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    ej 55, I was largely with ya until you suggest the theme of “tax slavery” as the unified message. I’m not sure a unified, national message could be pulled off, and I’m not sure “tax slavery” is the single message. A large segment of the pop doesn’t pay income taxes, and I’m just not so sure that there’s as much contempt for the income tax per se as you suggest. There might be, although I would wonder whether voters’d wonder what would fund government were the income tax abolished.

    (Note that GJ’s FAIR Tax counter was largely UNpopular in the LP, with good reason.)

    I do think Whig-ifying the GOP is a rich idea.

    Rather than trying to field candidates nationwide, I’ve thrown out the idea of focusing LP/LM resources on getting ONE person elected to Congress in 14. GJ in his home district might be a good test, as he has the credentials, name recognition. There may be better choices, though.

    Getting a sitting MC to bolt also has a LOT of merit. VERRRRRY difficult, I’d think. Untethering from money sources alone seem like an act of (political suicidal) courage. Don’t know enough about Amash, but his recent dissing by Boehner might make him a bit more ripe for such a thing.

  50. LP Observer

    @ 55.
    Ohio LP would be the answer to your question. Cat herding is done. Tremendous growth in the organization and teamwork in past few years.

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