Badnarik Wasting Libertarian Money?

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Austin Cassidy over at Third Party Watch did a little investigative reporting on the Badnarik campaign. First, he took notice of something rather encouraging for a libertarian campaign: he raised buckets of money. $125,000. Going on that alone, there is absolutely no reason that Badnarik’s campaign isn’t a winnable one.

However, it looks like the majority of that has been spent on dinners out, cruise tickets, and other crap. Almost none of it’s going towards actual advertising or outreach. I’ll just blockquote Cassidy here:

The campaign spends about $2,400 a month on renting an office and quite a bit on consulting and staff. Those seem to be the main expenses; lots and lots of consulting.

There were several hundred dollars worth of car rental charges, several hundred dollars worth of meals at local restaurants, and some other office-related expenses like phone phone and internet access.

They also appear to have ordered 100 T-shirts and purchased an ad in at least one local newspaper. Also an ad in LP News.

Quite a bit of travel for Badnarik and his staff, most of it to and from locations outside his district: Las Vegas, Phoenix, and California. About $1,100 or so went to Royal Caribbean International, presumably for Badnarik to attend the California State LP Convention which was held on a cruise ship.

Amusingly, the candidate himself seems to have paid $4.95 on February 25th for the cost of 2 ginger ales from Royal Caribbean. The item is recorded as “Campaign Event: 2 Ginger Ale: “Michael”.

The folks working on this campaign seem to be expensing quite a few meals out at restaurants. Outback Steakhouse, Luby’s, Marie Callendar’s, and on and on. There must be a couple dozen meals on here. Since last July they’ve spent more eating out at restaurants than most any other Libertarian Congressional campaign will raise or spend at all this year.

Other items include a little less than $1,000 for an Acer notebook computer and $415 for a fridge for the office.

All in all, it looks like pretty normal spending for a major party candidate in a race he’s expected to win. However, I’m not really sure if this campaign qualifies as being in that situation.

Our Presidential candidate is a celebrity of sorts in Libertarian circles, and if there’s ever a real reason to run a candidate for that, this seems to be that reason: we have a good shot at plunking him in the Senate or the House afterwards, since his fundraising capabilities are on par with the majors. But we need people that will use our money responsibly, not squander it.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Ok everyone, take a deep breath and lay off the hyperbole for a minute lest we end up with petty name-calling and shooting Badnarik’s campaign down in a hail of friendly fire. I know our mantra here at Hammer of Truth is to take our own party to task from time to time so I’ve followed up via an open letter to campaign manager Allen Hacker to get his side of the story on why $130K+ has been spent so quickly. I know some of you might have a personal axe to grind here but it’s only fair that we hear Hacker out.

posted by Stuart Richards
  • http://www.LPWI.org Rolf

    someone might want to check on the cost of hosting fundraising parties.

    A lot of this stuff sounds like what might be spent at a shindig where contributors show up.

    I’ve done alot of fundraising for Ed Thompson. Another way to fundraise is to invite contributors to have a private dinner with Badnarik and have the campaign pay the food bill

    I’m not convinced this is bad spending.

  • Dennis Anthony Porto

    I agree with Rolf, it is very likely that all this spending is legitimate.

  • http://www.JamesBabb.com James Babb

    “The campaign spends about $2,400 a month on renting an office and quite a bit on consulting and staff. Those seem to be the main expenses”

    So what’s the problem? These are the kinds of things I expect a campaign to spend money on. I’ve seen how frugally Michael Badnarik lives on the campaign trail. Anybody who accuses him of living extravagantly on campaign donations is delusional.

    Of course he’s fundraising outside of his district. He’s leveraging is national celebrity status to raise money. Duh!

    I consider my Badnarik campaign donations well invested.

  • Dennis Anthony Porto

    In light of this article, I think I’m going to donate more to the Badnarik campaign.

  • http://21cr.blogspot.com DaveT

    Ok let’s say a certain amount is wasted (we think maybe). How much is clearly not wasted? What’s the real picture here?

  • Stephen VanDyke

    I hope this is nothing, but blowing through money at this pace is really disconcerting. I’ll give Badnarik the benefit of the doubt since he’s not managing the campaign himself.

    On the other hand, there’s all sorts of consultant types who will leech off any candidate who has fundraising potential. I’m not going to be sour grapes about not getting the web strategy portion of this campaign (this was July of last year), but I’m beginning to wonder just what the consulting money is being spent consulting on.

    Anyways, I hope Mike gets his house in order. He has a good chance to win and it would be a shame to hit the donor brick wall a couple months before November.

  • Sandra K

    I am biased: I was on the cruise, too, as a delegate to the convention. Badnarik and his (paid) campaign manager (another delegate) worked the convention attendees for more funds.
    I’ve met his campaign manager several times, and have heard some of their plans. Right now, they’re laying the groundwork for the most professional campaign I have ever contributed to. I’m excited. These guys are serious.
    They seem to be working all day, every day to get their dominoes in a row, and the plan calls for a sizeable volunteer corps. (Many volunteers will work for food.)
    Ginger Ale was shown by NASA (with the help of the Coast Guard) to cure seasickness better than Dramamine, without the unacceptable-in-space side-effects.
    On the whole, I’m not worried my money is being wasted. I think we’ll have two Libertarians in congress next year.

  • http://www.lpgeorgia.com Trevor Southerland

    A Libertarian campaign run professionally?

    Oh, please God, no!

  • http://ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Sandra, I sure hope you’re right. The few run-ins I’ve had with Allen Hacker have not impressed me.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I hope all of this spending is for foundation building for a strong, winning campaign. But I fear like Stephen that the donor brick wall is coming fast.

    I can’t send the campaign anymore money until I’m sure that it will be put to good use. High profile Libertarian campaigns have always had a habit of selling pie in the sky. And I’ve been suckered too many times.

    If Mr. Badnarik wins (and I hope he does) or even does very well (within a few percentage points of winning), then I will be the first to send a personal letter of apology to Mr. Hacker for my doubts.

  • http://www.thirdpartywatch.com Austin Cassidy

    Look over the report and see for yourself… the meals on there are for the same 4, 5, or 6 staffers.

    Fundraising is fantastic… but at least some of the money that is raise should be stockpiled for the actual business of campaigning, wouldn’t you agree? Not just raising more funds and maintaining a paid staff in an office. Billboards, yard signs, television and radio advertising are what will win him votes.

    They’re raised a TON of money by Libertarian standards and at the conclusion of the last reporting period they actually had more debt than cash on hand. That doesn’t seem like responsible spending to me.

    “Anybody who accuses him of living extravagantly on campaign donations is delusional.”

    It’s not the candidate himself that I was mostly concerned with. His campaign consultants seem to be consuming the majority of the cash that’s been raised.

    Go to FEC.gov and look up the report for yourself… scan through it and come to your own conclusions.

  • http://strangeland.blogdrive.com stranger

    i’m disappointed to see a post like this, pointing fingers at a very viable LP campaign, on HoT. i read it three times and still can’t see where the complaint is. have you ever campaigned? you’re worried they’re eating at restaurants? have you ever had to travel all over the place and, i don’t know, gotten hungry? nevermind the possibility that they might be taking out donors, THEY HAVE TO EAT when they’re on the road! and… they’re paying their rent? oh for shame!!!

    it’s really disconcerting that this post would go up with seemingly no concern for the effect that it might have on the badnarik campaign – a campaign which i am sure is being run very professionally. considering how much traffic this blog receives, you might put a bit more thought into what you’re saying and ensure that it’s justified before you do. posts like this only serve to weaken the position of the lp, and it’s candidates for office – i had come to expect more responsible reporting from HoT.

  • Stuart Richards

    Look; we’re not a party organ here; as it says in the “about” section, we take our party to task from time to time.

    I’ve met Michael Badnarik, and he’s a great, affable guy. I’m sure he’s not responsible for these things, but nonetheless they do appear to at least a few of us to be problematic. Besides, there’s a difference, when you’re on the road, between McDonalds and Applebees. As for the office, everyone needs an office, but not everyone needs to work out of Watergate.

    Trust me, I do sincerely hope I’m wrong about this, and I hope Badnarik wins his race in a landslide, and I await the day I get to eat this post right up. But… until then, it’s news, fairly well-researched news, that has a direct impact on libertarian politics. How can you expect us NOT to report it? A good journalist covers every side of the story, not just the side that makes his party look good. An independent media will keep our party honest.

  • Chris Moore

    Stranger, what’s wrong with someone looking at an FEC report and asking why the campaign is spending so much money on “consulting”.

    Are you suggesting everyone should just throw money at the Badnarik campaign without any concern for how it’s being spent.

    Maybe this post will get the campaign to address these issues and set some of our minds at ease, which could very well lead to more donations.

  • Stephen VanDyke

    Stranger: My heart actually sank a bit too when I saw this, however I’ll stand behind the post as it’s our obligation to hold our own candidates to the same standards as our competitors and to report on it as well. On the other hand, I don’t think we should simply bash away without knowing the full details.

    I invite Allen Hacker to let us know what’s up with the rate of spending (~$15K/mo since July 2005). If a ton of money is being spent on ads that will run later, I could totally see this not being a problem, but if the majority is just consulting and payroll items with very little to show, then perhaps they may want to reevaluate their approach.

  • Dennis Anthony Porto

    I agree that it was good to report on this, and am glad that the title was changed from an assertion to a question. And, the idea that HoT should not criticize the LP is faulty, although I believe that this particular criticism is off base.

    “Besides, there’s a difference, when you’re on the road, between McDonalds and Applebees.”

    The meals at Outback Steakhouse, Luby’s, etc, likely involved other people not spending campaign money. Say for example he was meeting supporters or a media representative. Surely you would not want him to then meet at a McDonalds. This example demonstrates why context is crucial in all journalism, and it is lacking in this post. Until some REAL research is done on this issue, it is impossible for you to claim that Michael is wasting campaign money.

  • http://www.lpgeorgia.com Trevor Southerland

    Billboards, yard signs, television and radio advertising are what will win him votes.
    ————————————–

    None of those things win votes.

    None of them. They’re nice to have, but they don’t win votes.

    Talking to people, becomming a friend of the people, getting to know the people one on one, going door to door… being able to communicate with the people… that wins votes.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    :-)

    I realize that B4C operates from a picture that not everyone can see. No biggie. The problem is with the wasted vote / can’t-win syndrome–not “out there”, but right here among ourselves.

    I’ve elected 34 people against the odds. When I sell, it’s at a closing ratio of over 80%. I salvage companies and executives no one else will touch.

    I don’t do those things by living the definition of insanity: I do everything differently. I don’t expect everyone to get it. But I do expect people who don’t get much more done than sniping to stay out of the way, to stop undermining our fundraising.

    Accuse me of malfeasance; I accuse you of sabotage.

    I’ll not be battered into submitting to loser-think: the strategy and details remain confidential.

    That’s the real issue, isn’t it?

    If this article is journalism it’s yellow, and its author’s opinion is worth about as much to me as he’s EVER contributed to Badnarik: absolutely nothing.

    No candy for you!

    -0-

  • Raw Numbers

    Allen Hacker
    10/04 – 500.00
    10/04 – 500.00
    10/05 – 500.00
    10/22 – 1250.00
    10/31 – 1250.00
    10/31 – 2500.00
    11/07 – 1000.00
    11/22 – 1000.00
    11/27 – 1000.00
    11/29 – 1000.00
    12/09 – 500.00
    12/31 – 2500.00
    01/06 – 1000.00
    01/07 – 1000.00
    01/09 – 1000.00
    01/10 – 1000.00
    01/11 – 1000.00
    01/14 – 1000.00
    01/30 – 2000.00
    02/13 – 1000.00
    02/27 – 1500.00
    03/04 – 500.00
    03/04 – 500.00

    TOTAL: $25,000.00

  • Raw Numbers

    Susan Rarick
    10/13 – 500.00
    10/21 – 5300.00
    11/08 – 1500.00
    11/18 – 700.00
    12/05 – 470.45
    12/14 – 1000.00
    01/04 – 1000.00
    01/18 – 383.15
    01/19 – 850.00
    02/07 – 280.75
    02/13 – 500.00
    02/27 – 800.00

    TOTAL: $13,283.90

  • Raw Numbers

    Complete Campaigns (email database, fundraising gateway)
    10/03 – 47.00
    10/04 – 500.00
    10/07 – 500.00
    10/15 – 122.80
    10/17 – 351.20
    10/20 – 14.25
    10/21 – 127.20
    10/31 – 140.00
    11/01 – 500.00
    11/07 – 30.00
    11/07 – 9.45
    11/15 – 122.90
    11/15 – 101.25
    12/05 – 100.00
    12/05 – 500.00
    12/09 – 90.00
    12/16 – 121.70
    12/21 – 11.25
    01/03 – 4.00
    01/05 – 500.00
    01/05 – 128.00
    01/13 – 67.75
    01/17 – 43.50
    01/27 – 163.50
    02/03 – 500.00
    02/06 – 134.75
    02/24 – 50.75
    03/03 – 33.50

    TOTAL: $5,014.75

  • Raw Numbers

    This is all YE 2005 and YTD 2006 (pre convention) at http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00414615

  • Brian

    I could have told you it was a waste a long time ago. Libertarian party candidates have no chance of winning and are just a waste of money. Keep running on the hampster wheel like they want you to.

    Even if Badnarik somehow won, it wouldn’t be a good thing. He’s a weirdo, unless you are one of those people that believe that because of some obscure laws we don’t have to have a driver’s license or pay taxes.

    He’s no Ron Paul or Harry Browne anyways. Maybe the LP should just run that Druid guy for President and the guy with blue skin could be the VP.

  • Devious David

    I love it when people who have never campaigned for anyone suddenly decide that they are experts on the matter. It is a political campaign… aspects of it are under wraps for now. I am quite sure that Allen Hacker isn’t going to let his reputation take a permanent tumble by squandering money left and right. There must surely be a method to the madness and frankly there seems to be little if any madness to report upon.

    More money is on the way. And I don’t even expect Mike to win. I think a 33% showing would be strong and pave the way for future success. I beleive he would have to win by at least a 17% margin, as that is the approximate amount the RNC has demonstrated it is able to “shift” the results by. Of course, they might very well be willing to do substantially more. I think they could get away will perhaps a full third, without raising eyebrows. And so what if they did raise eyebrows anyway?

  • Rance Muhamitz

    Aren’t there better things to blog about? I’m sure there is some strategy to this spending. Have you used the chicken to measure it?

  • http://www.cmlc.org George Phillies

    I ran for Congress. I went through $10,000, including $3000 to get on the ballot. I spent thousands on radio ads–well, my opponents were closing in on a million.

    Badnarik is wasting money left, right, and center, as shown above. He’s gone through more money than most Libertarians ever have.

    Congressional Districts have hundreds of thousands of voters. Anyone who thinks you can can win a Congressional campaign — other than one that is very evenly balanced to start out with — by going to door is out of touch with reality.

    The most important reason why libertarians should put their money elsewhere is Mr. Badnarik’s ideas, for example that the Federal Reserve is privately owned, that you don’t need a driver’s license,…are totally out of touch with the real world, in which the Federal Reserve is the Federal Government’s central bank, it is illegal in Texas to drive without an Operator’s license,…

    He debates, he gets ridiculed, if his opponents care.

  • Chris Moore

    Allen,

    If you get Mr. Badnarik elected, I will be the first in line to apologize and proclaim you a libertarian hero. And I will be first to pony up plenty of dough for your next campaign.

    But you must have known that running a “secretive” campaign would have SOME effect on your ability to fundraise.

    Here’s your pitch: “Give me money so I can elect a libertarian. I won’t tell you how I’m going to do it. I won’t tell you what the money will be spent on. And if you question me, I’ll call you names and acuse you of sabotaging the campaign. And most importantly, don’t post public FEC records that show me spending like a drunken sailor.”

    For such a good salesman, your sales pitch just doesn’t do it for me.

  • http://idic.pitas.com Thane Eichenauer

    (I have donated to the Badnarik for Congress campaign)

    As this all involves money donated voluntarily it will all work out in the end.

    Why can’t someone like Stuart Richard can’t post a critical note on the campaign without being slurred as a sabotuer is beyond me.

    Much of what people don’t want is self-dealing, self-serving projects (whether that project is a government project or a government campaign).

    I have no objection to secrecy but if I am to have confidence in a campaign it certaintly should not need to disparage others from stating their honest opinions (AKA truth telling). The {world,the US and/or political system} needs to tolerate even those with unpopular or unwelcome information.

    If the Badnarik campaign can’t withstand truth telling before the campaign, I shudder to think what can be expected should he granted government power if his campaign cannot endure honest criticism now.

  • http://www.cmlc.org George Phillies

    All those restaurants are on the FEC reports, with addresses. Most are within a short drive, a mile or two, of the campaign HQ. (I found on that is farther away.)

    On the road is not the explanation.

  • disinter

    Talking to people, becomming a friend of the people, getting to know the people one on one, going door to door… being able to communicate with the people… that wins votes.

    If that is the case, then this campaign is screwed. I have met Badnarik 3 times as an ardent supporter. All 3 times I left thinking the guy was a jerk. He has ABSOLUTELY NO people skills. And then we have his psychotic campaign manager… There is no way in hell Badnarik will win.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    First, I want to keep it clear that none of my comments were directed toward or about, Austin Cassidy or his article. He’s a straight-up fellow who looks for facts and askes legitimate questions. Thane, you’ll note Austin doesn’t say things like “dinners out, cruise tickets, and other crap,” or, “we need people that will use our money responsibly, not squander it,” without having any idea of the details.

    Of course, we do need people who won’t squander money, but more than that, we need people who aren’t afraid of money either.

    And we don’t need people who say “our money” when none of it is theirs.

    Please, let’s not confuse Stuart’s attitude and hubris with truth-telling. That’s an insult to Austin.

    Anyone who wants to raise intelligent questions in a civil tone is welcome to my house for dinner. Anybody else, I learned early on what the scruff of the neck is for.

    No, I’m not always nice, and never PC. But I’m effective, and in the end, that’s what you want.

    -0-

  • Chris Moore

    Allen, I’m hoping you are effective. Good luck with the campaign.

    I hope you understand that I don’t question your integrity or your intelligence. I just have questions about the campaign that you can’t and/or won’t answer. I’m concerned about the spending. So I can’t help the campaign with donations. My choice. Others are free to do what they wish with their money.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    You’re right, George, “on the road” is not the only explanation.

    Working 12-16-hour days is much of the explanation. I’m not about to “supersize” my crew. If feeding them instead of paying them everything they are worth offends anyone, I’d just have to say that they just don’t understand business.

    As for Michael not being in touch with the mainstream, you couldn’t be more wrong. People who touch Michael vote for him. And when he tells them it’s wrong to have to get a license to get married (a religious sacrament) or to go to the store for food (a basic freedom, of travel), they acknowledge that he’s right.

    They worry about how it will work, but it’s our job to devise the alternatives, not theirs. Too bad that instead, libertarians spend all day playing oneupmanship instead.

    Anyway, if you care so much about fitting into the mainstsream, why are you here?

    We’re here to change it, not buy into it. And we are changing it. If you were here working, you’d know.

    -0-

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Mike Nelson?!

    He’s another guy who tried to tell us how to run the campaign without asking any questions first. He got miffed that we wouldn’t run our strategy by him, so he went out and started telling stories and exaggerating things about which he didn’t know enough to spit at.

    He’s still smarting from the bringing-up I gave him here when he took his turn at trying to undermine us.

    Talk about disparaging people. Psychotic? Now he’s pretending to be a doctor! You know, aside from the slander of it, being called names by Mike Nelson is a compliment.

    Folks, just ignore all this noise. Come to Austin and watch Michael work. He has yet to offend a voter. Of course, the voters don’t come in like little gods trying to direct a show for which they’ve never seen the script, so they get a little more friendliness than….

    Okay, everybody, I have to get back to work now. Two hours yet to go tonight, it’s 10:30-something, and 7:30 AM comes around far too soon.

    -0-

  • Stuart Richards

    If this article is journalism it’s yellow, and its author’s opinion is worth about as much to me as he’s EVER contributed to Badnarik: absolutely nothing.

    You know what? I’ve donated to Badnarik’s presidential campaign, thank you very much. He was the first Libertarian I ever donated to.

    Anyway, maybe you’ll have a right to expect people not to charge misconduct when you don’t LOOK like you’re guilty of it. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

    Granted, I could be totally wrong and this may be some brilliant unheard-of strategy, but with all innovations the burden of proof lies squarely on you.

    I still hope you succeed in getting Badnarik elected, and if I can see some results from this strategy, I may even donate. But you can’t rationally expect me to send you money when it looks like all it’s doing is buying you dinner.

    If you can offer up a rational explanation for all this, or show results, I’ll eat my words… and not a moment before.

  • disinter

    Hacker wrote:

    Thane, you’ll note Austin doesn’t say things like “dinners out, cruise tickets, and other crap,” or, “we need people that will use our money responsibly, not squander it,” without having any idea of the details.

    Oh Really? Perhaps you should read this post:

    Badnarik Fundraising Numbers…

    or this one:

    “…send us every penny you can afford…”

  • disinter

    Hacker rants:

    He got miffed that we wouldn’t run our strategy by him, so he went out and started telling stories and exaggerating things about which he didn’t know enough to spit at.

    Did you forget your pills? What exactly have I “exaggerated”?

    He’s still smarting from the bringing-up I gave him here when he took his turn at trying to undermine us.

    Huh? Please give more details. This is news to me.

    Folks, just ignore all this noise. Come to Austin and watch Michael work. He has yet to offend a voter.

    I think Badnarik will get a lot more support once you resign.

  • disinter

    Hacker,

    Maybe you should follow the adivce given by jchristophm on this post after you insulted him like you do other supports:

    Sorry to ruffle your feathers, but like a good capitalist I expect results for my dollar. I wasn’t criticizing, just letting you know that when I start seeing results you’ll start seeing more checks. I don’t need to know your plans, I just need to see something tangible.

    With all of your experience, you should know that being condesending and sarcastic to donors (especially those who could be persuaded to give the maximum allowed by federal law) is not wise.

  • Stephen VanDyke

    THE FOLLOWING IS AN OPEN LETTER:

    Hi Allen,

    First of all I want to thank you for responding in the comments. I don’t think Stuart is trying to trash your management skills, however I think some valid issues were brought up. I want to go ahead and ask some of the hard questions that are being raised now and do a follow-up post that will hopefully clear the air and give everyone some assurance that the campaign is headed in the right direction.

    I think the sticking point is that so much money was raised and is now gone ($132K). Kudos on fundraising, as I know it’s not a simple task. But people are going to wonder where that money has gone. I know you have staff, travel and regular campaign overhead, but would it be possible to say where else it has gone (advertising, future television and billboard spots that haven’t run yet, etc etc).

    I know you are keeping your strategy under wraps, but unfortunately libertarians tend to be more of “show me results” types of people. Can you assess how things currently stand as far as polling and such? What kind of tangible media coverage has there been? How much more will the campaign need in order to run the strategy you have kept under wraps? How would you compare web outreach and fundraising versus in-person? These are all questions I think our readers are curious about and feel free to expand on the issue of fundraising and possible hurdles in that district.

    Thanks for your time,
    Stephen VanDyke
    Publisher, Hammer of Truth

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  • http://chrisbennettfromillinois.blogspot.com/ Chris Bennett

    Is it safe to laugh now? I am totally in agreement with Stuart Richards and Mike Nelson. Keep up the good work guys! Expose the Badnarik campaign for what it is really worth!

  • ianbernard

    I’m watching this with interest.

    I don’t understand why with over $100k that you’d have to go into debt.

  • Devious David

    I utterly fail to understand how any of this could be productive… we have a Libertarian candidate that has a shot and is making progress and all you folks can do is whine, complain, question and slam the campaign. And the donations are totally voluntary!!! SHAME ON YOU! You’d think it was a frigging compulsory government program.

    I think it’s time to take a hint from the Republicans on this one. And I’m not ashamed to say it. You see how they are willing to shut up and be united come election time, unconditionally? Try just a little tiny drop of that. I’m not saying be unified unconditionally, but be supportive and constructive or just shut up instead of damaging the cause. Badnarik is a principled Libertarian for god’s sake! Oh, wait you are just angry cause he isn’t some phony sell-out candidate with full disclosure of his campaign, rendering it less effective?? You people need to become conservatives with all that pretention.

  • http://www.lpgeorgia.com Trevor Southerland

    Yes, please… our party isn’t split enough… lets attack the one guy who has a shot of winning a major race… lets rip him apart!

    How dare a Libertarian try to be successful.

  • http://libertarianyouth.blogspot.com Nigel Watt

    Unlike, apparently, many of y’all, I do like what I see of Badnarik.

    But.

    Secretive campaigns are creepy. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for stuff that’s kept secret from them, and donors shouldn’t have to pay for campaigns where they’re not even told what their money is going towards. I, and I think a lot of others, would appreciate knowing what’s useful about where this money is going, because “Trust me. I know how to do this” doesn’t work for government, and it doesn’t work for B4C.

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  • http://thatsridonkulous.blogspot.com/ Rob D.

    I think Stuart was justified in holding the campaigns feet to the fire, but he ends this post with the presumption of guilt. Here’s where I think Stuart went wrong.

    “we have a good shot at plunking him in the Senate or the House afterwards, since his fundraising capabilities are on par with the majors. But we need people that will use our money responsibly, not squander it.”

    Report on it, like Austin Cassidy did, and offer up some questions for the reader to ponder. But that’s about it.

    Like some others mentioned on here, we need MORE party unity. And no, not blind faith, but we need to stop shouting at each other and understand that we’re all in this together.

    It’s just like fighting with your significant other, you can come out of the situation stronger or worse off. You can use language that’s non-confrontational as to illicit a true response, or you can vent and throw stones and put the person on the defensive.

  • Terry

    Personally I don’t think that there would be a whole lot of mudslinging if it weren’t for Mr. Hacker’s obvious disdain for people that question what he is doing. If he would be a little more cordial in his responses and actually answer a few questions most people will quiet down on the subject. He has to understand that he is running a libertarian campaign and libertarians always question things.

  • Michelle Shinghal

    I just sent some cash to the B4C campaign. I want them to spend it as they see fit. The end of the campaign- win or lose- is the point I think an accounting is necessary. Find out what worked and didn’t. If the manager performed poorly and wasted money the stigma will follow him and perhaps keep him out of future campaigns. I thought we cared about competition-I thought we cared about results. Let’s practice what we preach and let the man succeed or fail without having to dance around avoiding grenades hurled by his own team.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Hi Terry,

    Check Rob D.’s comments. The difference in “sides” here is a simple one. It’s between those who understand the difference between questioning and accusing. Stuart went over the line, and I objected. So any disdain I’ve shown is for that, not for anyone who has questioned me. I ask that you try to discern the difference.

    Tell me, why is it bad behavior for me to talk back but not for a critic to unfairly accuse? Isn’t that a value reversal?

    I’m can’t deal with the 1000-character limit here. I’ve posted something a bit more philosophical to Chris over at ThirdPartyWatch.com, and later I’ll post something further on my own blog, allenhacker.blogspot.com, after I get some real work done. I will post a notice here.

    Everyone, you might note that getting out to the voters, doing surveys, precinct walking and other public contact activities aren’t covered in FEC reports.

    -0-

  • Ian C

    I continue to be amazed at the culture of confrontation that has developed within the Libertarian party… despite it seeming an almost inevitable result.

    There is an “ideal” of rugged individualism that continues to thrive in our sub-culture. It’s not that bad a thing, really, but we see the negative effects here.

    Mr. Badnarik has a “real” chance of winning. If he’s being effective, raising a great deal of funds, and getting into the minds of the populace… what does it matter how he does it so long as he doesn’t violate the principles that make him — or us — L(l)ibertarians? If he wants to spend the money wastefully and fail, then isn’t that *his* choice to make?

    Isn’t that the very right that we’re all fighting for as an organization and culture? The right to do as you please with your own time and self? And let’s face it — we’re talking about a difference of *approaches* here.

    On that note, I’m out.

  • Nicholas Sarwark

    It’s not Allen Hacker’s fault that Libertarians have been burnt in the past by campaigns that accomplished little but lining the pockets of those who worked on them. However, they have and he needs to show us that this campaign is different. I contributed quite a bit to the Presidential campaign and was less than thrilled with the outcome. I need to see why this campaign is going to be different/better before I pony up. The high burn rate with little other information doesn’t help.

  • Dennis Anthony Porto

    “The difference in “sides” here is a simple one. It’s between those who understand the difference between questioning and accusing.” – Allen Hacker

    I agree with Allen Hacker that this is the crux of the debate that we have had here. Stuart Richards did not question the campaign spending, instead he blatantly asserted that “Badnarik’s wasting libertarian money.” Moreover, Stuart then claimed that this unfounded accusation made him a “good journalist,” although his post is little more than a block quote. If Stuart really was striving to be a good journalist, he should have investigated the allegations before claiming them as fact. Fortunately Stephen VanDyke came to Stuart’s rescue with his open letter, but this should have been done before the article was posted in the first place.

    I’ve come to expect higher quality journalism from Hammer of Truth rather than this reactionary garbage.

  • http://WWW.GetBruce.Com Bruce Cohen

    As another Libertarian Congressional Candidate, and as a an elected leader on the California Board of Directors, I’m dissapointed by the animosity some Libertarians have towards any successful Libertarian.

    Let’s stop finding the cloud surrounding the Silver Lining!

    The people at the Badnarik Campaign, live, breathe, eat and sleep Libertarian Politics. They go to bed talking politics and they wake up talking politics. They don’t take time to relax or have personal lives, but go out to eat so they can keep working together.

    How do I know?
    I went to the Campaign and spent over two days with them.

    They are constantly on the phone, fundraising, coalition building and working their collective asses off. They would all be making a big pile of money if they did this kind of work in the ‘real world’.

    Every penny is plowed back into the effort.
    Even the Cruise attendance was totally about building support and raising money. Michael spent the whole time on PR. Out of words…

  • http://www.badnarik.org Jon Airheart

    Quick reminder. When the presidential campaign was over, the campaign had no debt and our money spent per vote was around $2.50. http://badnarik.org/supporters/blog/2004/11/08/updated-vote-totals-399202/#comments.

    Most of you know very little about Allen and have never actually met him. He’s one of a kind and smart as hell – kind of like Michael. I am proud and excited to be working on this campaign. You may not know things before they happen but they should speak for themselves with earned media and attention when they do happen. Check our blog for updates. If you don’t agree with what we’re doing, find another libertarian campaign to support. The important thing is to do SOMETHING. And now. Thank you.

    P.S.
    Lunch today was chicken tenders that cost $6.50. I hope no one is offended.

  • http://www.winliberty.com John P Slevin

    I hope those were free range chicken tenders.

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  • Andy

    It’s really easy for people to sit on the sidelines and play armchair quarterback. Michael Badnarik is actually doing something and getting good results which is more than most Libertarians do.

  • paulie cannoli

    Besides, there’s a difference, when you’re on the road, between McDonalds and Applebees.

    You’re right, there most certainly is.

  • paulie cannoli

    TOTAL: $25,000.00

    Comment by Raw Numbers

    From March through October? Sounds pretty damn low unless you’re a greeter at MalWart with regime-provided health insurance.

  • paulie cannoli

    Suggested campaign issues for Badnarik and other campaigns…

    Judicial Accountability Initiative Law

    Forfeiture Endangers American Rights and Citizens Fighting Eminent Domain Abuse.

    Tie these issues together.

    Repeal National ID, “Patriot Act” and Stop Domestic Spying

    Stop Torture and secret detentions.

    Support the troops, bring them home…

    …And do it now!

    Oh yeah, it’s past high time that we got a Libertarian Impeach Bush resolution. Badnarik would be a great choice to write one. We should be riding the crest of this growing wave, not trailing behind!

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  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    My tendency is to give Michael Badnarik a lot of rope.

    I didn’t think he could win the presidential nomination and he did. I didn’t think he’d have time to develop a credible campaign after winning that nomination and he did. My knee-jerk reaction on the congressional race is to say that even if he raises a million he can’t win … but hell, he’s already proven me wrong twice before.

    Here’s the thing: If this is a scampaign, we’ll know in November. If Michael gets the usual 2-5%, then the money was wasted. BUT: Michael has a record of doing better than people think he can (unlike some past campaigns that have painted rosy pictures of the future with no past record to make their promises credible).

    Yeah, I blinked at the FEC reports and the Outback dinners. I have some strategic questions, too (i.e. where’s the media push?). But Michael hasn’t screwed us before. He’s done better than we reasonably could have expected. I’ll trust him until I have real reason not to.

    Tom Knapp

  • Andy

    Michael Badnarik is like “The Little Engine That Could” of the Libertarian Party.

  • George Whitfield

    I was pleased to help Michael Badnarik start laying a campaign foundation. In April, when the legal contribution limits allow, I will again be happy to throw in to the max and help him win. He and his team are doing a great job and I appreciate it. I want to see a Libertarian in Congress and Michael has the best shot at winning.

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  • Justin

    Drama. Avoid it.

  • http://www.JamesBabb.com James Babb

    Would you rather support a candidate with an all amateur staff, living on cheetos and sitting on boxes in the basement?

    Stuart and his small minded ilk should go sing cum-bah-yah at a Green Party pot-luck dinner.

    Jim

  • Steve Spencer

    May I suggest that we simply back off this debate for now.It will all come out in the wash. Mike and Allen have, in reality, promised us victory. We are the ones talking about a certain % being a good show or moral victoy. Simply wait until November. If he is victorious, then all doubters need to admit they were wrong and keep the contributions coming in to keep Mike in Congress. If he looses, with this type of financial support, then realize that Mike cannot win period. Then the party just needs to move on from him.