Libertarian Candidate Wins in Alaska

Ketchikan may have a bridge to nowhere, but Juneau now has a bridge between the people and the government.

I usually don’t post entire articles, but this one comes from a registration required site and I’ve tried to register several times with different names, on different browsers, etc. and it just isn’t working. Since I do have an e-mail version of the article, I’ll cut and paste it until I’m able to log onto the JuneauEmpire site. Here it is:

After several days of uncertainty, District 2 candidate Sara Chambers won more absentee- and questioned-ballot votes from Tuesday’s city election than Jean Christian to earn a seat on the Juneau Assembly.

Chambers had a 67-vote lead before the counting of the 1,420 ballots on Friday afternoon by the Ballot Review Board at City Hall. As votes were tabulated, Chambers’ lead slowly grew for an unofficial victory of 3,587 to 3,356. The results become official after the Canvass Review Board certifies the election on Tuesday.

Chambers said it is a relief to have an answer to the race after waiting several days for the absentee and questioned ballots to be verified and counted. “I’m prepared to get going – to roll up my sleeves and do what I said I was going to do,” Chambers said.

Christian said she feels a little disappointed she didn’t win but is glad she had the opportunity to be a part of the election.

“It was a great race,” she said. “I’ve learned so much. It was exciting. It was a very, very good experience for me.”

It also was a memorable experience, Christian said.

“It was really great talking with people – talking with people about the issues, getting to know people, hearing what they think, hearing what they have to say,” she said. “I really enjoyed that a lot.”

Chambers said she is glad to have the contest portion out of the way so she can focus on constituents’ needs.

“I feel confident in my ability to stay on message with the things that the people of Juneau say are important to them,” she said. Finding solutions for the affordable housing crisis, lowering taxes and making sure the city is spending tax dollars wisely are what she ran on and what she will deliver, Chambers said.

Although nervous about the outcome, Chambers said she was confident the absentee ballots would go her way. After Tuesday’s election Chambers said she suspected there was a slice of the population that support her and voted absentee because of work and family obligations.

“I knew on Tuesday that the Mendenhall Valley districts overwhelmingly voted in support of me as their representative and that’s really what ultimately mattered to me because those will be the people that I’ve been selected to represent,” Chambers said.

The outcome of the other races remained the same after the counting of the absentee and questioned ballots on Friday.

Incumbent Mayor Bruce Botelho increased his margin of victory with 4,612 votes to challenger Brad Fluetsch’s 2,922.

Incumbent David Stone unofficially beat Mark Stopha 4,063 votes to 2,878 to hold on to the District 1 Assembly seat.

For the three School Board seats, incumbent Andi Story ended up with 4,651 votes, Mark Choate with 4,110 votes, and incumbent President Phyllis Carlson with 3,631 votes. Chris Thomas, who did not win a School Board seat, received 3,297 votes.

Proposition 1 to extend the 3 percent sales tax passed 4,840 to 2,808. Proposition 2 to reword the city’s Charter to redirect bond earning was approved 4,131 to 3,272.

BTW, Chambers was candidate number 5 on Candidate Tracker and the first candidate tracker candidate to be voted on before the typical November 7 election date. Congratulations to both the Chambers and the citizens of Juneau, Alaska.

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    This is huge!

    A hearty congratulations to the Alaska Libertarian Party and to the National Libertarian Party. My understanding is that the Alaska LP is now under new leadership. The new ALP Chairman (young guy, sorry I forgot his name) Jake Whittmer and others in the “new” Alaska Libertarian Party deserve a great deal of credit. And Bill Redpath, Shane Cory, Chuck Moulton, and other National Libertarian Party leaders deserve credit, as well, for creating a climate in the LP that focuses on election victories, and not jabbering about tiny details of philosophy.

    I’ve been to Juneau, (ironically, campaigning as Travel Aide to Libertarian Presidential candidate Ron Paul in 1988). Great town. Great beer! It’s the heart of Alaska’s wild and crazy politics. This victory WILL get noticed.

    And why should we be surprised? Alaska is about to elect a friend of the Libertarian Party as Governor – Sarah Palin of Wasilla, home to GOP Libertarian State Legislator Vic Kohring.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    A bit off topic, but given this victory perhaps relevent.

    I saw a kick-ass movie last night – The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner. It was all about the Coast Guard in Kodiak, Alaska. Best movie of the year, easy.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Sara has just been officially added to the List of Elected Libertarians under the Alaska column.

    Check it out at: http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com.

    As always, please let us know of any other elected libertarians that are not included or any updates to the list.

  • http://www.mikekole.com Mike Kole

    Excellent news! Congratulations, Sara!!!

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

    Wss this a nonpartisan race? I don’t see the word Libertarian anywhere in the article or on her campaign site for that matter.

  • http://www.lp.org/candidates/ Sean Haugh

    It was indeed a partisan race. Sara beat a Democrat in the most liberal district in a rather liberal town. Sara raised about $1.80 per voter ($18k/10,000). Besides running a classically good campaign, Sara had a very strong record of public service before she ran for office, which I’m sure was a factor in her receiving several high powered endorsements, especially from local labor unions.

    Sara also had what has to be my favorite campaign appearance by a Libertarian so far this year. She sang the national anthem at the home opener of the defending state champion HS football team. I would say one’s chances of election are high if you are already in good with the local high school football team.

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    Congrats to Sara Chambers!

    As always, please let us know of any other elected libertarians that are not included or any updates to the list.

    That’s why I’m quite fond of the wiki model. Then no one would have to let the gatekeeper know; they could just go to somewhere like Libertarian Wiki and make the change themselves.

    Alas, not many other people see the potential for wikis before it’s realized (everyone thinks Wikipedia’s nifty, now that it has a trillion users) so it’s hard to build the community that it takes to maintain a specifically libertarian wiki.

  • undercover_anarchist

    hahahahahaahhahaha… Dondero liked that movie the Guardian. Wow, that’s some insight. I just saw the review on Ebert & Roeper. They said it was the most cliche movie of all time. An unintentional parody of Top Gun, and a new version of An Officer and a Gentleman for “people who don’t like to think.” In other words, for conservatives and brown shirts like Dondero. Then again, like many of his GOP friends, Dondero is probably interested in the movie for any shirtless scenes of Ashton Kutcher. No wonder Dondero defended his child molesting idol Foley when the story first broke out. Hey Dondero, I would also like your opinion on Rocky IV. Don’t you think it’s the best of the series?

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    Now now, Dondero makes me mad sometimes too, but i’m glad that he’s one of the lone voices among the proto-fascists in that party.

  • Adamson

    “for creating a climate in the LP that focuses on election victories, and not jabbering about tiny details of philosophy”

    Yeah, god forbid we actually have a consistent philosophy other than posing as “republican-lite” just to get elected.

    One example – here in Oregon, we have a “Libertarian” candidate for Governor who says on his web site that he won’t even support lifting the ban on self-serve gas! Yeah, it’s still illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon because it’s a “fire hazard” – never mind that the residents of 48 other states somehow manage to fill their own tanks without setting themselves ablaze (I think NJ still has a ban?).

    To think that a “Libertarian” can’t even see the way clear to lift a ban on self-serve gas is galling… and I won’t even start on his proposal for a state sales tax!

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    Both focusing on election victories and jabbering about philosophy are important, but to my understanding Libertarians have tended to sacrifice the former for the latter.

    Distinguishing the essentials from the non-essentials isn’t “posing as ‘republican-lite.'” Undermining one’s own campaign by touching a political third rail isn’t always the wisest course of action, but you do have to determine how much incrementalism you’re willing to tolerate. I’m surprised that self-serve gas in OR is such a touchy issue (yes, NJ still has the ban) but I certainly wouldn’t make phasing out Social Security a major part of a hypothetical campaign, even though I believe it would be best in the long run.

    You can strategically finesse some issues by espousing a long-term vision of X but accepting that the public is only willing to meet you at Y for now. That’s not treachery against the idea of X, just a recognition that Y is still a step toward liberty.

  • George Whitfield

    Congratulations to Sarah Chambers. Her election validates the Candidate Tracker.

  • arthur dibianca

    Sean Haugh, I must dispute that this was a partisan election. The sample ballot here has no party labels:
    http://www.juneau.org/clerk/elections/2006/Sample_Ballot_Oct-3-2006-Regular_CBJ_Election.pdf

    Neither do the election results.

  • http://www.wrenbeck.net Drew

    If you have ever read “The Tipping Point” this news becomes more and more exciting.

  • disinter

    I am not sure how the Candidate Tracker is very useful considering it is rarely updated….

  • Stuart Richards

    That’s awesome. Congrats!

  • http://www.lp.org/candidates/ Sean Haugh

    Arthur, I stand corrected. Mike, I update the site most every day. Of course, if candidates like yourself actually gave me more info, it would be updated more often. George, thanks for your kind comments and for always being positive.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Undercover Anarchist,

    The Guardian was about the Coast Guard. I know you hate the Military. But even in a libertarian society we’d still have a Coast Guard and a National Guard. Do you not support those two entities? Wish to abolish them, as well?

    Yeah, the movie was a bit cliche’. But the action scenes were extremely riveting. And it had a hard Alaska angle, specifically Kodiak. I’ve not been to Kodiak, but nearby to the Kenai.

    We have many Libertarians in Kodiak and the Kenai.

  • undercover_anarchist

    You probably expect me to come back with, “No, I don’t hate the military,” but I won’t. Yes, I do. I stand with those slave rapists who founded our country but nevertheless had some good ideas. They believed that a standing army was a threat to liberty, and it has certainly proved to be. Philosophically, I believe only in voluntary confederations. Realistically, sure I support the existence of the national guard and coast guard. But I don’t support them being used in imperialist crusades like you do. Nor do I support them being stationed along an imaginary line, that was determined by theft and conquest, in order to stop the free flow of capital and labor – unlike the GOP Marxists like you.

  • paulie

    Best movie of the year, easy.

    My vote is for _V for Vendetta_ in the fiction category and America: From Freedom to Fascism in nonfiction.

    Yeah, it’s still illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon because it’s a “fire hazard”

    It’s actually just a jobs program.

    and I won’t even start on his proposal for a state sales tax!

    Goes along nicely with many LPers’ proposal for a new national sales tax.

    even in a libertarian society we’d still have a Coast Guard and a National Guard.

    No, we would not. We would have a competitive climate among security and protection companies and cooperatives.

    http://www.mises.org/store/Myth-of-National-Defense-The-P171C0.aspx?AFID=1

    http://www.mises.org/web/2716

    http://www.mises.org/store/Costs-of-War-P80C0.aspx?AFID=1

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Paulie, what you are describing is an anarchist society not a libertarian society.

    Last I checked even extremist libertarians supported 3 functions of government: adequate Military for defense against foreign invaders, adequate police force, and adequate judicial system. And 99% of all libertarians are not in favor of selling off Yellowstone, the Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore, either.

    Why do you shy away from the anarchist label?

  • IanC

    Eric — he has admitted precisely that he is an anarchist, on this forum (not this thread) with me before.

    To paulie, only anarchism *IS* libertarianism. He’ll throw words of denial here, but that’s the absolute truth.

    And it’s irrelevant that his chosen ideology probably wouldn’t result in the maximum increase of *individual* personal freedom, either.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Now, Eric, you should know better than that – when did I shy away from the Anarchist label? I wear it proudly. Ian is correct that, strictly speaking, non-anarchists are not pure libertarians, but I would say that true minarchists (which would NOT include warmongers like you) are close enough to be reasonably described as libertarians.

    My standard for definition of the term libertarian is the non-initiation of force principle. Strictly speaking, any entity which would use force to prevent others from competing to offer the services it provides (protection and justice included) is in violation of that principle. Furthermore, if it must extract its means of survival by force or the threat of force, it is doubly in violation.

    I do not believe that, having been around the LP and libertarian movement as long as you have, that you’ve never heard of libertarian anarchists. Your 99% figure is inaccurate; the only estimate I’ve seen is that 13% of self-identified libertarians are …

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    …true libertarians (anarchists).

    And I disagree with Ian; I do believe my chosen ideology probably would in fact result in the maximum increase of *individual* personal freedom.

    Furthermore, I’m all for strategic alliances, such as those represented by the candidacies of Mr. Murphy and Mr. Zeese.
    Neither I nor they say that they are libertarians, but they are cross-endorsed by the LP, which is fine by me. I strongly support some interim measures, such as medical marijuana and citizen initiative.

    However, I would not have any alliance with warmongers, nor cross-endorse them, much less accept them as fellow libertarians. I would never vote for them or send them a penny, and if a warmonger gets the LP presidential nomination I wouldn’t even contract with the LP.

    Some interim measures I see as counterproductive, such as school vouchers or a national sales tax.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Sara Chambers final vote tally – She won by 231 votes.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    What’s up with Jake Witmer’s minarchy vs. anarchy rant on the front page of http://lpalaska.org/ ?

    Not really an issue that belongs in the general voter guide.

    It mentions that Chambers authored a different description which was actually used. I hope it was a better one. Is it online anywhere?

    The new ALP Chairman (young guy, sorry I forgot his name

    Jason Dowell according to that same website. If the website has been updated.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Paulie, Jake called me last night. I had the pleasure of informing him that Sara had won. Needless to say, HE WAS EXTREMELY HAPPY!

    Yes, the new ALP Chair is a fantastic guy. They are really getting their act together up in Alaska. Now if they can only elect a state legislator or two, like they used to have with Dick Randolph, Ken Fanning and Andre Marrou.

  • IanC

    Paulie — anarchism is not libertarianism. The two are distinctly separate breeds which happen to today fall in the same direction of the political spectrum.

    As I have discussed ad nauseum/ad infinitum; a true anarchy state based on the NIFP would be nothing short of a miserable, decidedly UNFREE society.

  • undercover_anarchist

    In a stateless society, individuals would form voluntary confederations that would take the place of states. Yes, some of these confeds would be aggressive and non-voluntary, and try to impose their will upon others. It can only be hoped that enough people would band together to prevent this from happening.

    At root, this is what governments are. The difference is that current governments are geographic in nature and large. Confderations would be non-contiguous and smaller. Inevitably, some confederations would band together to “control” an area, similar to a nation-state. Only the widely held PHILOSOPHY of anarchism or libertarianism would prevent the eventual rise of oppressive states… In my view.

    I would like to know how Paulie disagrees with my analysis. My view is that of the philosophical anarchist, but I think that states are inevitable. They should be as small and unintrusive as possible, and indivudlas should resist them as best they can. But they are destined to exist.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Paulie ”” anarchism is not libertarianism. The two are distinctly separate breeds which happen to today fall in the same direction of the political spectrum.

    Incorrect.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian

    http://isil.org/resources/introduction.swf

    As I have discussed ad nauseum/ad infinitum; a true anarchy state based on the NIFP would be nothing short of a miserable, decidedly UNFREE society.

    Wrong again.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe5.html

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    I don’t believe states are destined to exist.

    In fact, I believe they are destined to cease existing, like chattel slavery.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Paulie, Jake called me last night. I had the pleasure of informing him that Sara had won. Needless to say, HE WAS EXTREMELY HAPPY!

    That’s nice. But why is there a minarchy vs. anarchy rant on the ALP page – why did Jake want to put that into the state’s voter guide – what did Sara Chambers write instead, and is it available online?

  • undercover_anarchist

    That doesn’t refute my analysis, but oh well.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    I’m not sure what I have to refute. You say:

    Only the widely held PHILOSOPHY of anarchism or libertarianism would prevent the eventual rise of oppressive states

    I agree.

    Then you say

    My view is that of the philosophical anarchist, but I think that states are inevitable.

    Which indicates you believe that the pre-conditions in the top quote will not take place.

    You didn’t say why you believe that; I simply said that I believe they will.

    If you want to connect the dots as to why you think this will never happen, perhaps I will understand what I need to address.

  • http://www.myspace.com/undercover_anarchist undercover_anarchist

    If everyone thinks like us, then sure, everything will be perfect.

    That is unrealisic, and potentially undesirable.

    Only the widely held philosophy of liberty can prevent the emergeene of the state. Are we to impose this philosophy as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao did? If not, what I say would happen WOULD happen. The state would emerge as a coalition of voluntary confederations merged in the name of self-defense.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Are we to impose this philosophy as Lenin, Stalin, and Mao did?

    Of course not.

    If not, what I say would happen WOULD happen.

    Why do you believe this to be the case?

  • http://www.myspace.com/undercover_anarchist undercover_anarchist

    Because this is how the world has worked throughout human history. Original man formed tribes that were for mutual defense, eventually banding together with other tribes to form clans, and eventually driving out enemies to establish a geogrpahic home which became a state. Reset the world, and anarchism would last for a little while. Maybe 120 years or maybe 120 minutes. Regardless, barring mass anarchism consciousness, I fail to see how things would play out any differently.

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    Because this is how the world has worked throughout human history.

    That doesn’t prove what will happen in the future.

    Regardless, barring mass anarchism consciousness, I fail to see how things would play out any differently.

    And that is precisely the consciousness I believe is part of the next step in human evolution.

  • Sara Chambers

    Hi, everyone! Thank you for your enthusiasm about my election. I am excited to get started working for smaller government in a big government town. Just a couple of quick comments:

    1) Yes, this was nonpartisan, but the newspaper made a huge deal of my voter reg so everyone knows I am a Lib;

    2) I’m looking forward to writing about the race and my experiences with practical application of LP issues in local government–topics like infill sewer usually don’t make it into Lib discussions but they are important at the local level.

    It will be interesting to learn firsthand the good, bad and ugly of local governance–and how to most effectively influence change.

    Someone here posted my favorite LP phrase: “relentless incrementalism.” The fiscal conservatives are taking this approach in Juneau, to win lower taxes and more affordable cost of living (within a free market) for the all-but-forgotten working class.

    3) I will post my voter guide submission if it will fit.

  • Sara Chambers

    The voter guide submission will not fit, but most of it came from the national LP site, plus some of Jake’s comments, plus info about our candidates in Alaska.

    I just put together something more understandable and marketable to the voters. I’ve taken hits from Libertarians for doing that in the past, and I stand ready to take more hits for doing so in the future.

    We don’t win elections (and thus change government) by using phrases like “the cult of the omnipotent state.” We do it by being our authentic selves (singing the national anthem, joining Chamber of Commerce, volunteering for charities we care about–all this being more Roark than Keating if it’s truly who you are) and talking the talk/walking the walk of small government along the way.

    I also recommend that Libertarian candidates take regular showers and own/borrow at least one suit, but that’s another post for another day….

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Here, here…

    Sara, YOU ARE A HERO TO THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT. Forget those clowns that diss you. My only hope is that I get to meet you some day. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do for the cause of liberty.

  • http://c4ss.org/ paulie cannoli

    Nothing wrong with marketing, so long as what you’re selling is worth buying.

  • Sara Chambers

    You’e right, Paulie. Though it’s nice in a free society to find the bliss in the marketing bombardment: making fun of the silly things for sale and the fredom to choose–or not to. My hope is to always offer the best choice.

    Thanks to Eric for the very encouraging words. Two weeks before the election, my husband assaulted me (yes, I called the police, you can find the front-page newspaper coverage at http://www.juneauempire.com, the same top-of-the-fold headline spot as the article listed above, two days later), and I have been through a pretty rough time. Though I am certain I am not a hero, it feels pretty good to hear those words. Hopefully I will at least be a hero to my son.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Juneau Empire requires registration.

    I hope you’re doing OK.