Rex Bell polling at 33% in three-way race

Libertarian candidate for Indiana State House district 54, Rex Bell, is trailing the Republican incumbent by a mere 2% according to a recent poll:

Among Decided Voters
Saunders (R) (I) : 35.4%
Bell (L) : 33.1%
Sadler (D) 31.3%

According to state chair Mark Rutherford:

The Republican incumbent is running from a position of weakness. He is increasingly unpopular because of the Republican governor’s low approval ratings and unpopular actions. He is unpopular because of the way he recently handled matters when his son was involved in an alcohol related hit-and-run fatality.

The Democrat challenger is an attorney in New Castle, where he has some name recognition, but 75-80% of New Castle is in another house district. The Democrat challenger does not have name recognition in most of the district.

If you would like to help Rex get elected, the Libertarian Party of Indiana has setup a donation page for his campaign — an excellent idea that I think other state parties should explore.

Way to go Rex!

Update: I just received this from Mark Rutherford:

Rex is using the [donation] money right now to buy more cable tv advertising, radio advertising and newspaper advertising. There are three cable companies, three major newspapers and many radio stations in which he can advertise.

posted by disinter
  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Wow! That’s awesome! But you didn’t mention how he got to being head to head with the others. The others might be doing well, but that doesn’t explain why people are planning to go libertarian.

    It seems as though he is running a very moderate libertarian campaign. This year’s poll results indicate that the changes in the party, both in positions and leadership, have started to pull the party away from it’s dismal record. Were this taking place, even a year ago, the media establishments could have easily marginalized these candidates by pointing out libertarians want to ban all taxes and public schools.

    If Bell and Smither get elected, I hope the party radicals eat their words about LRC strategy.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Sorry: “the other (candidates) might not be doing well.”

  • disinter

    Nick,

    Yes, I am soo sure his success is due to the LRC. *rolls eyes*

  • Chris in NJ

    “If Bell and Smither get elected, I hope the party radicals eat their words about LRC strategy.”

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

    More likely, they’ll watch everything these elected libertarians do, waiting to pounce on every opportunity to show us all what sell-outs they are.

  • DAP

    If these two get elected, how will the LRC be responsible?

  • Derrick

    DAP: I think Nick is saying that media and opponents can no longer play the “libertarians want to legalize heroin and turn all roads into toll roads” card, ’cause a lot of that stuff has been removed from the national platform. Not sure whether that would have happened to Rex Bell, but I have seen it happen.

  • Lex

    It would sure be nice to have 3 or 4 Libertarians in Congress, to set up the LP as a legitimate threat in the 2008 elections (Congressional and Presidential.)

  • Lex

    As a hardcore libertarian, I don’t consider moderate Libertarian candidates to be sellouts, unless they support the 30% national sales tax idea.

  • DAP

    I hope that the LP takes seats this election, and it seems like a possibility. But, I don’t want to get my hopes up because it seems like I do every election cycle only to be let down.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP. Nick Wilson

    “I think Nick is saying that media and opponents can no longer play the “libertarians want to legalize heroin and turn all roads into toll roads” card, ’cause a lot of that stuff has been removed from the national platform.”

    Exactly. Also, I’m debating the radical belief that big picture libertarianism with a higher chance of political success is less principled than radical libertarianism without political success.

    Bell is running a moderate campaign, and the LRC-initiated disposal of the above-mentioned planks and their ilk now enables candidates to do this without having to deal with the yoke of national party radicalism. Ideological inflexibility has contributed to the failure of the LP, and by creating a more flexible framework, it’s not difficult to see why candidates already have a better shot at election. At the same time, this doesn’t prevent hardliners from running radical campaigns. What’s the deal?

  • Derrick

    I think we need both moderate and radical candidates. And, I agree that the current platform (with the exception of a few remaining planks) leaves room for both.

    Moderate candidates obviously have a better shot at getting elected. Radical candidates are the “conscience” that will keep the LP moving in the right direction as it grows and achieves more electoral success.

    I do think that radical candidates need to be damned good at communicating their messages to the public. I’d rather have one Phil Maymin than twenty candidates who repeat “government IS the problem” or “we need to get government out of the way” ad nauseum during debates.

  • undercover_anarchist

    Forgive my skepticism, but I can’t help but thinking something is not entirely right with this picture. Why is this the first we’ve heard of it? Who did the polling?

  • http://radgeek.com/ Rad Geek

    “I think Nick is saying that media and opponents can no longer play the “libertarians want to legalize heroin and turn all roads into toll roads” card, ’cause a lot of that stuff has been removed from the national platform.”

    But I *DO* want to legalize heroin and turn all roads into toll roads….

  • HoT Reader

    Who did the polling?
    http://lpinscr.blogspot.com/2006/10/35-33-31-and-fight.html

    Results of last night’s poll commissioned by the Libertarian Party of Indiana on Libertarian Rex Bell’s Indiana House District 54 race:

    Among Decided Voters
    Saunders (R) (I) : 35.4%
    Bell (L) : 33.1%
    Sadler (D) 31.3%

  • Timothy West

    it wouldnt matter if libertarians won the White House, control of Congress, and every office in the land. The LRC still would get zero credit and all the blame.

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    Here’s an idea. Let’s not divide everything between the LRC and the Radicals. Can’t we all just be Libertarians, at least every other November?

  • http://www.crazyforliberty.com Doug Craig

    Can I be a Radical LRC member ?When it comes to candidates let the free market sort it out.If you dont like the candidate dont support them.The cream will rise to the top.
    And this had been a great year so far. I think we are just getting better a running campaigns

  • Chris in NJ

    Nigel,

    This is nothing! I’ve heard of Democrats getting into fist fights outside their party meetings in Atlantic City. They’re constantly at each other’s throats.

    I don’t think the radicals or even the kooks are bad people. Their hearts are in the right place. I think most of them would the same thing about most of us most of the time.

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    Hate to burst anyones LRC bubble but Rex was running his campaign this way before they ever proposed raping the platform. He’s also stated in plain english that his Libertarianism includes the ZAP. The LRC and their ilk have zero to do with Rex’s outlook or his campaign. He was a libertarian long before they brought their nonsense to the party.

  • disinter

    Forgive my skepticism, but I can’t help but thinking something is not entirely right with this picture.

    There is nothing you aren’t skeptical about. Poor thang.

    Why is this the first we’ve heard of it?

    Maybe because they just conducted the poll? Hello?

    Who did the polling?

    Try reading, the answer is in front of you.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    This is he first you’re hearing about this poll because the LPIN doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around to spend on decent tracking polls.

    If anyone can point to a successful state LP that can raise the money to do professional polls for their candidates on a weekly basis, please let me know.

  • ianbernard

    Hmm.. Free Talk Live is on the air in his area and he’s polling at 33%? Coincidence? ;)

  • disinter

    #14

    “The survey, conducted by national research firm OpinionFactor”

    http://www.lpin.org/index.php?q=node/57

    Paid for the by the Inidiana LP.

  • paulie

    Thus far I don’t see any sellout planks in this campaign.

    Until I hear differently, sounds like a good solid undeformed libertarian campaign gaining traction *despite* the silliness of the quasi-libs.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Sorry, Ian. But it has been firmly established that the LRC is directly responsible for all successes this year. Unless of course every race turns out to be a failure, in which case it is because of radical anarchists.

  • disinter

    LOL Chris.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Wait, actually I’m with UA – is there a poll not commissioned by the LP-Indiana showing the same results?

    “his Libertarianism includes the ZAP.”

    Whether or not he believes it, he’s not pushing it on his site, where he warmly takes to the label “fiscally conservative and socially tolerant”, is “generally” opposed to zoning and realizes that phasing out property taxes will be a “gradual process.”

    This answers Mr. Craig’s question about if he can be a “radical LRC member.” Of course – but you must recognize when your chances of political success conflicts with your radical values and not advocate biting off more than voters can chew. Compromising your immediate expectations and demands is not the same thing as compromising your values or long-term goals. We have been trying to show radicals that there is not really a conflict here. Once libertarianism wins over average Joe and becomes a dominant power player, then they can afford to be radical. Until then, it’s counterproductive.

  • paulie

    where he warmly takes to the label “fiscally conservative and socially tolerant”,

    It’s as good as any for explaining libertarianism very quickly to people who don’t know what it means.

    is “generally” opposed to zoning

    So am I. I hold it as a general principle.

    and realizes that phasing out property taxes will be a “gradual process.”

    As long as it’s a process that takes place, it’s good.

    What I don’t hear: support for new tax schemes, walls on the border, or foreign occupation.

    So far so good.

  • Get REal

    Good news, especially if he’s not a tin-foil hat conspiracy nutter or a Republican-lite type. If he is this close what will push him over is lots and lots of door to door work. It’s hard but it works. The advertising helps but nothing works like going to the voters and asking them for their support. You’d be surprised how many people will vote for someone just because they were asked to do so.

  • paulie

    GR

    Good point.

    Personal contact does wonders in a local campaign.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “the LRC is directly responsible for all successes this year”

    I wasn’t meaning to imply that by any means. But I think the LRC has at the very least contributed to increasing dialogue in the Libertarian community about political strategy, over whether radicalism is productive towards actually attaining the principles radicals claim to hold in actual political policy, and whether the party wants to be a political party or a protest organization.

    If our candidates do well after a convention and party reform that radicals saw as a disaster for the movement, at the very least it would suggest that our little experiment is worth trying, as a change of pace for the party.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “support for new tax schemes, walls on the border, or foreign occupation.”

    The LRC is in NO WAY calling for the latter two, and are calling for the first only if the new “scheme” will reduce net taxes, be less intrusive than the current system and include a complete repeal of the Income Tax. Also, one should note that while many of us like FairTax, many of us don’t. Some members prefer geolibertarian property taxes or carbon taxes as a replacement for the income tax. Others support progressively and gradually phasing out the income tax, as the BTP does. Others support the flat tax. We don’t have an “official Caucus tax stance” other than that we support moving away from the Income tax and reducing tax levels and government spending. How is that unlibertarian or unprincipled?

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “But I *DO* want to legalize heroin and turn all roads into toll roads”¦”

    Good for you, but it’s impossible to ignore that advocating it as official party policy in the realities of the current environment is political suicide. When you can get a plurality of people to at least consider the idea, then go for it.

    Right now, lets focus on the fights we even have a somewhat remote chance of winning on: government reform, eminent domain, opposing offensive warfare and Presidential War Powers, localizing unconstitutional Federal programs, legalizing marijuana, getting rid of the Patriot Act, electoral reform and cutting taxes, spending and debt.

  • Pavel

    I think the important thing here is that the LRC is here to claim the credit (assuming we win, that is). Never mind that Mr Bell appears to support non-aggression Libertarianism, and that he openly and frequently quotes Henry David Thoreau.

    As a purist, I applaud Bell and Smither’s success thus far. I think it’s a clear signal that the real problem with the LP is not libertarianism after all. Aren’t these guys supposed to get less than 1% of the vote because the word “Libertarian” is so stained with the evils of purist madness that no one will vote for them?

  • Pavel

    I’ll also add that I agree that we need to focus on the winnable issues first. I know there’s no way we’re going to reduce taxation to zero in the 2006 election cycle. But that doesn’t mean we give up on it as a long-term goal, and constantly refer to people who want to “ban taxes” and “ban public schools” even when there’s no reason to.

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    The LRC has nothing to do with what the Indiana LP is doing. This is the road they have been traveling down since well before the LRC crawled out from under their rock. If anything, the LRC has co-opted what the LPIN has been talking about and doing for many years. Any victories this year belong to the LPIN, not the LRC.

  • TerryP

    Holy cow this guy rocks.

    We would be winning elections all over if our candidates could communicate as effectively as he does, at least in his blogs. He brings libertarianism to your front door in a non-threatening way. In fact, most people will be shaking their head in approval of most of his ideas. We need more candidates like him.

  • http://www.lpnm.org Joseph Knight

    THIS is a campaign I could get behind!

    “I won’t support any bill that moves government in a non-libertarian direction, however incrementally.”

    This separates him from Smither, whoses fraudulent-tax scheme would be a move us in the wrong direction.

    “I plan on working to move government in a libertarian direction. I will support any bill that promotes that, however incrementally.”

    A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

    GO REX!

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “The LRC has nothing to do with what the Indiana LP is doing.”

    The LRC has been focusing on the National Party, whose actions and policies impacts all of our candidates and all of our state affiliates. Only now do candidates and state affiliates have real flexibility to try different strategies. If the LPIN has a winning strategy, more power to you.

    If you think what we did to the platform was bad (“Rape”? …Really? Even radicals agreed that the old platform needed work – until it was actually changed, after which it became some sort of lost Libertarian Bible), look at every candidate who was skewered by the media and major parties as a result of selective but accurate mentions of National party’s policies – regardless of what the candidate believed or was advocating them.

    All we wanted when we “crawled out from under our rock” is for libertarians to win and reverse the course of failure and the correlating growth of government that has occurred since the LP was formed.

  • disinter

    Would somebody please give Nick a cookie? If he thinks he and his Libertarian Retard Caucus is responsible, then let him think that. I like looney people anyway.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    Just got off the phone with Rex. While he’s running both TV and radio ads, he’s wanting to do a direct mail piece. It’s basically all set up – all he needs is the obvious: money.

    If you’re waiting to give to a LP campaign that actually has a shot at winning – and has a professional poll to back it up – please don’t wait any longer!

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    Awesome news, Rob!!

  • matt

    This is the single best bit of election news I’ve seen on here so far. Maybe Smither or someone else has a better chance of winning than this guy, but I think this guy could make the biggest difference during his term if he pushes states rights issues as hard as he should.

  • R. E. Lee

    Nick, what is the “average Joe” going to think when the LP suddenly becomes radical? I think once you choose incrementalism, you will always have to move a little bit at a time so you don’t suddenly “betray” your new base.

  • Timothy West

    same old shit.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    People, please don’t give Mike any cookies. If he’s going to stoop to childish namecalling, maybe he needs to spend some time in the corner pondering why he spends more time attacking fellow libertarians than the real enemies, who aren’t in this room.

    Mike, read post #31. I wasn’t implying we are directly responsible – just that we increased dialogue over effective political strategy and reduced the party’s ideological inflexibility which bound candidates to only the most radical interpretation of libertarianism. I can’t claim success for Rex Bell – only he and his campaign can, and I don’t even know him. He may be a hardcore anarchocapitalist, for all I know – in which case I would give him endless credit for exercizing political tact.

    But the moans ring hollow from those who thought that July was the death of the LP because of the LRC. If anything, it seems more vital than ever. It’s hard to deny, regardless of how important or unimportant you regard the LRC’s role in it.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “Nick, what is the “average Joe” going to think when the LP suddenly becomes radical? I think once you choose incrementalism, you will always have to move a little bit at a time so you don’t suddenly “betray” your new base”

    What do you mean? If we got elected and won over the average voter? I mean, wouldn’t that be a good problem to have?

    Maybe a new “radical party” would emerge and take a line more along the old LP. Maybe the LP would continue gradual incrementalism or maybe moderates will somehow become radical. Maybe at some point moderates would jump off and say “cut no more” and join/start a different party. Whatever happens, isn’t all this rather moot at this point?

    Let’s win one federal election first before worrying about what we’re going to do when we control enough of the political dialogue to where radical libertarianism doesn’t seem so remote from political reality.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    By the way, I’m still interested in seeing Bell’s standing a poll not done by the LP (or any of the candidates’ campaigns, for that matter).

  • disinter

    By the way, I’m still interested in seeing Bell’s standing a poll not done by the LP (or any of the candidates’ campaigns, for that matter).

    Then why don’t you pay for one?

  • disinter

    I can’t claim success for Rex Bell – only he and his campaign can

    Bingo!! Even if the Libertarian Retard Caucus never existed, candidates would still run on their own issues.

    There were moderate Libertarian candidates way before the LRC ever existed. Additionally, there are still “radical” candidates – even after the platform was reduced to rubble.

    Nobody reads the stinking platform anyway. The media and voters are concerned about the candidate and his/her platform. If voters really cared about a party’s platform, then they wouldn’t have elected 99% of the Republicans in office today.

  • Rance Muhamitz

    Actually, I imagine there are a few legitimate reasons he’s doing so well.

    - He has plenty of money to spend.
    - He has at least 9 billboards up around his district.
    - He was already a well known and successful business man.
    - He’s working his ass off!

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Carl

    What Nick has attempted to convey is that the LRC has gotten the national LP out of the way of moderate Libertarians like those in Indiana. And no, we didn’t do it alone. The Indiana Libertarians were of a mind to do what the LRC helped to trigger, as were many other factions in the LP.

    The LRC simply provided the extra push to get over the hump.


    Note: it is much easier for a radical to run under the banner of a party that is less radical than it is to run as a moderate under a radical party banner. The gutting of the platform has not stopped people like Barry Hess from running hardcore radical campaigns.

    Amusing stat: Barry Hess’s website is bringing a higher percentage of moderate libertarians to quiz2d than Smither.
    see http://www.quiz2d.com/stats

  • disinter

    Rob,

    Is this a run-off election or plurality?

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    There’s no run-off elections in Indiana. Rex could theoretically win with 34% of the vote.

  • Rance Muhamitz

    Carl:

    Don’t label all Indiana Libertarians the same way! I’m about as hardcore as a Libertarian gets. I am offended to be called a “moderate Libertarian”.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “What Nick has attempted to convey is that the LRC has gotten the national LP out of the way of moderate Libertarians like those in Indiana.”

    I don’t see any evidence that the LRC has done ANYTHING.

    Be specific Carl. Are you claiming the leadership displayed by Shane Cory, Stephen Gordon, and Bill Redpath are less significant than the actions of the LRC?

    Are you claiming that most voter’s distaste for both Rs and Ds has less to do with recent Libertarian success than the gutting of the platform?

    Are you trying to imply that candidates, who have been running before Portland and the formation of the LRC, are achieving success because there is no pledge to sign and no dues to pay?

    The LRC “helped to trigger” very little. Your insistence that it has is a slap to the face of those who have been working towards a more professional LP over the last decade. It is also a slap to the face of the candidates who are out achieving that success.

  • disinter

    Rob,

    Cool. Looks like we have a great opportunity to have at least one elected state rep and one elected US rep this election!

    I’m excited.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “There were moderate Libertarian candidates way before the LRC ever existed.”

    Yes, and they weren’t organized at all.

    “Additionally, there are still “radical” candidates – even after the platform was reduced to rubble.”

    Of course, because now we have a party that enables candidates to be radical or moderate, instead of forcing them to be radical. It’s not reciprocal – while I wish all candidates would at least talk like moderates, a moderate national party won’t kill radical candidates.

    “Nobody reads the stinking platform anyway.”

    Except the major parties, who benefit from us having a radical platform because it makes us easy to marginalize. And the media, whose accurate but selective one-sentence summaries force candidates to distinguish themselves from the party to remain viable.

    “If voters really cared about a party’s platform…”

    That’s not the point – the point is that it is difficult to find viable candidates willing to attach their name to anarchocapitalism.

  • Timothy West

    the new platform doesnt seem to be hurting the party one bit.

    anyone have any examples where it is stopping moderates from being moderate, or radicals from being radical?

    Point it out.

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    Here’s the thing with the platform – it’s not analogous to the platforms of the major parties. People (think they) already know what the Republicans and Democrats stand for, but they’re not so sure on the LP, so they read our platform, and let the nutjob fringe in the major parties make platforms for nobody to read. Believe me, if people actually knew what was in the Texas GOP platform (which is far more radical, in my opinion, than the LPTX one) there would be a lot fewer votes for Republicans in Texas.

  • Timothy West

    Does anyone have any examples of where the new platform has damaged the chances of a single LP candidate in 2006? Please give examples.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Nothing you listed is an “either/or,” Chris. It was the combination of all these things at the same time that led to the current position we are in.

    If you read the actual comment, the point was that the LRC are gradually pushing the national party “OUT OF THE WAY” of candidates and states. This reinforces the success of everything else.

    Portland was a watershed for the party, showing the silent majority is now speaking against the party’s failed strategy – although it wasn’t a complete victory for anyone. There is still a long ways to go to have a reformed LP – we’re trying to up the ante on the LP’s professionalism, Chris, not slap people in the face who have been doing good things for the party. We want to accelerate the success of the salesmen by building a more sellable product.

    By the way, if “no one reads the stinking platform,” why not let us have our fun? If the platform’s not a big deal, why get so up in arms over its supposed “butchering,” “raping” and “gutting”?

  • ZanderC

    Mike Nelson, we’re all on the same team. Please show some tact, and some respect for your fellow libertarians. I personally believe that it’s not going to be in my lifetime that the American Public will accept radical change (barring another Great Depression scenario). That means we’re going to have to do like the pro-lifers and anti-gunners and chip away at the edges. Once enough of the edges are chipped away significantly enough, in time it’ll be possible to knock out the heart out of various anti-liberty things that exist.

    We’ve got to start somewhere. Personally, I’m tired of seeing Libertarians chewed up and spat out by the statist machine, by taking it head on. So let’s start by destroying the machine peripherally. Tearing off a fender might not destroy the machine, but it’s more progress then seeing more of our own continuing to be chewed up.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    This letter ran recently in the Republic, a newspaper in Columbus, Indiana. This was forwarded to me yesterday by the Gividen campaign:

    10/26/2006 7:20:00 AM
    Letter: Web site offers Libertarian insight
    From: Bob Snively

    Why I won’t vote Libertarian.

    Like most of you I have been bombarded with literature on choosing the Libertarian candidates as a “sensible” alternative to voting Republican or Democrat. Knowing little about the Libertarian Party, I went to the Web site at lp.org just to see what the Libertarian Party was all about.

    I would encourage everyone else who is considering pushing the Libertarian candidate’s button to go to that Web site and read their views on abortion, illegal drugs, gay marriage, gays in the military and immigration before the election.

    You may end up deciding the Republicans and Democrats aren’t that bad after all.

  • IanC

    The one thing the LRC has truly accomplished is a creation of focus upon *electoral success* over *moral success.*

    Purist, moderate, et al; we ALL benefit at this time. Smither’s opportunity I think is a freak accident in all reality that cannot be used as a success of the LRC.

    Guthrie? Pierce? Bell? Most of the NH candidates, etc?

    Those are a different story. I look at the LRC’s focus upon the platform of the LP as the sand-kernel at the focus of the pearl; they whipped up the bee’s nest and got EVERYBODY focused *on the game* as it were.

    So long as it remains a friendly rivalry, let the rivalry continue. Eyes on the prize gentlemen; maximal freedom in a stable, non-violent society!

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    The problem with HoT is that there’s too many polarists – people who call each other names and like to engage in personal grudgematches with each other instead of focusing on the issues. I myself have fallen into/been sucked into this trap too often in the past – but the fact is our personal bickering reflects badly for the party and for each other, especially to new recruits. We tell the world, “if you join us, half the party will hate your guts.” This is bad for all libertarians.

    So, I think within the next week or so I’ll set up a private libertarian personal grudgematch forum where all the people who hate each others’ guts can be directed to and can call each other names until the cows come home.

    Then I’d hope that they could return to forums like this after getting their personal ya-yas out and focus on the ISSUES, not how much so and so sucks or is a retard because they disagree with you. We may have differences of opinion, but can we just agree to disagree sometimes?

  • disinter

    Please show some tact, and some respect for your fellow libertarians.

    Sorry. I do not respect those that attempt to take credit from the work of others. If that makes you cry, go cry. I may even offer a tissue.

  • disinter

    Here’s something for the Retard Caucus. A voter in my district sent me the following questions. My responses back to here are in (parenthesis):

    What is his position on the Federal Reserve Bank? (Should be abolished)
    What is his position on 16th amendment? (Should be repealed)
    What is his position on 2nd amendment rights and property rights? (Strongly support)
    What is his position on National Animal ID? (Strongly Against)
    What is his position on Veteran’s benefits for combat vets? (Strongly Support)
    What is his take on border control, sovereignty of US? (Strongly support)

    Her response back:

    Thank you for the quick response. I’d like ot have any other information to pass on to my neighbors in the area in order to encourage them to vote for Mike.
    Sincerely,
    Nancy xxxxxx

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    @#64 (Rob): So…he’s a conservative bigot? We can’t win ‘em all.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Mike: my comment that started this off: “If Bell and Smither get elected, I hope the party radicals eat their words about LRC strategy.”

    This isn’t giving the LRC “credit (for) the work of others.” It simply states that the party is doing better than ever after the reforms, and thus that they can eat their words that the LP “died” in July and that acting “political” is bad for advancing Libertarian “principle.”

    If the LRC has at least changed the dialogue enough to convince people that the LP needs to step up and act like a “political party,” not a “protest organization,” I don’t think we deserve zero credit or negative credit, as you give it. Even if the LRC deserves the most miniscule amount of credit for any 2006 political success, it would be more than can be said for party orthodoxy and the correlating 30 years of big government resulting from a marginalized, ineffective Libertarian Party. Give us 30 years in charge, and let’s keep score as to which strategy works better.

  • Derrick

    Mike, regarding #68:

    Texas is a very different kind of place with a strong libertarian/Constitutionalist tradition. If you publically speak positions like that in the Democrat-dominated welfare state of Maryland, you will get neither votes nor sympathy. You will be run out of town by very angry people with pitchforks. When the media does mention you, it will be with violent opposition. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

    My point is that the political climate is very different from state to state. It makes sense to me to let the state parties set their own strategies and platforms, and for the national platform to allow room for them all.

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

    You know I really dont give two shits about which side of the movement is more correct or not. I am an Independent Libertarian and some views that I hold contradict the “libertarian gods agenda” but I’m not in the movement to become a capuchino-sipping debator, I’m here to WIN elections and change public policy towards freedom and liberty! I want to leave this country in better shape for my children than it was left for me! I don’t agree with the LRC all the time and other fringe movements within the movement. I’ll tell you one thing…I’m consistant in advocating libertarian ideas, even if it is incrimentally. What it boils down to is this….we as libertarians have better ideas to solve many problems than the D’s and R’s…they are the enemies not our fellow libertarians!

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “Here’s something for the Retard Caucus.”

    Ok, what’s the point of that? I mean, what does your responses to questions from a voter who probably already supported you have anything to do with what we’re talking about.

    Furthermore, before calling us names, Mike, how are you polling in your district? And I mean external polls, not your own or the LP’s? Disprove me. Once the radicals start winning by advocating radicalism, I’ll more than happily change my tune, quit the LRC and join the Radical Caucus. Until that time, where’s your pulpit?

    Oh, and way to use petty namecalling to isolate any potential voters in your district who might agree with the LRC, in the same way that SVD isolated the conspiracy theorists who contributed to LibertyMix. Political tact goes a long ways – insulting your customers doesn’t.

  • Timothy West

    What is his position on the Federal Reserve Bank? (Should be abolished)
    What is his position on 16th amendment? (Should be repealed)
    What is his position on 2nd amendment rights and property rights? (Strongly support)
    What is his position on National Animal ID? (Strongly Against)
    What is his position on Veteran’s benefits for combat vets? (Strongly Support)
    What is his take on border control, sovereignty of US? (Strongly support)

    with the exception of number 1 (where I think it has to be phased out to avoid market kaos)

    Mike’s positions and mine are about the same. That funny. :)

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “with the exception of number 1 (where I think it has to be phased out to avoid market kaos) Mike’s positions and mine are about the same. That funny. :)”

    I mean, me too – although I think there are a few good reasons to have a minimal Fed, most prevalently open market operations. That’s what I’ve been saying all along – the conflict here is strategy, and not values/principles/solutions.

  • disinter

    although I think there are a few good reasons to have a minimal Fed, most prevalently open market operations.

    Thus the reason for my disgust with the retard caucus. It is full of quasi-socialists. Taking small steps towards freedom is okay as long as the goal is freedom. Quasi-socialism as an end is not acceptable imo. You may as well be a Dem/Repub.

    Why Watered-Down Libertarianism Won’t Succeed
    http://blog.lewrockwell.com/lewrw/archives/011528.html

  • Peter Borah

    I dislike the hypocricy of minarchism too, but _if_ we accept that political victory is an acceptable goal, we must make alliances until the differences leave the realm of theory and become real issues. What would have happened if the federalists and anti-federalists began fighting _before_ the American Revolution?

    Even though I find his minarchist views on immigration and national security repulsive, I’m proud to have the likes of Phil Maymin in the LP.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    “Retard” Caucus?!?!

    What are we, 9 years old?

  • disinter

    You may be 9 years old, and a little insecure, if it offends you.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    It doesn’t offend me, just wondering why you have to resort to such sophomoric tactics to get your point across.

  • disinter

    Because it causes Nick to get his panties in a wad, and it entertains me… to be quite honest.

    Yes, it defies logic. But hey, when you start out claiming that the LRC is responsible for Rex Bell’s success, the conversation has pretty much degraded into logical fallacies anyway.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    Okay, well, have fun.

    I guess I’ll just stick to attacking the D’s and R’s…

  • ZanderC

    Mike: Why are you so threatened by “the retards”?

  • disinter

    I guess I’ll just stick to attacking the D’s and R’s”¦

    I will stick to fighting the socialists as well.

  • disinter

    Mike: Why are you so threatened by “the retards”?

    ZanderC: Why are you so threatened by the word “retard”?

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Let me repeat: I don’t see any evidence that the LRC has done ANYTHING.

    Carl made this claim: “The Indiana Libertarians were of a mind to do what the LRC helped to trigger.”

    Carl and many other LRC members continue to set-up the false dichotomy between radicalism vs. pragmatism. My beef with the LRC is that they support compromise as a principle, and that a lot of what they propose is not incrementalism, but outright compromise before even stepping up to the bargaining table.

    Strategy is different. Most Libertarians understand that you accent the issues that people care about, and you present your policy positions in an accessible manner. Good candidates have been doing this since LONG before the LRC, both radical and moderate.

    Suggesting that gutting of the platform and elimination of the pledge did ANYTHING is extreme speculation at best.

    Rex Bell and others will be successful because of THEIR work. Stop implying that the LRC had anything to do with their success.

  • IanC

    Mike — honestly, you’re not looking too “hot to trot” right now. I respect you elsewise, man. I’ve liked your posts; agreed with my share. Please keep that in mind as I make the following statement:

    Right now your behavior is non-constructive.

    I know you have my e-mail. If you care to respond; be it name-calling, be it castigating, be it honest discourse, please feel free to respond to me via e-mail. (If you lost it somehow; iconrad01@cox.net)

    And remember; the enemy of my enemy can be my friend.

  • Timothy West

    Still havent gotten one example of where the ‘gutting and raping’ of the platform has had a single bad effect on the party or it’s candidates in 2006. Any examples?

  • disinter

    Mike ”” honestly, you’re not looking too “hot to trot” right now.

    Oh gee. How horrible. I must do better to impress the IanC!

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “Still havent gotten one example of where the ”˜gutting and raping’ of the platform has had a single bad effect on the party or it’s candidates in 2006. Any examples?”

    Carl is the one suggesting that the LRC “helped to trigger” current LP successes. Any specific examples?

    I personally never claimed that “gutting and raping” the platform would lead to bad effects. I was always of the opinion that it would matter absolutely ZERO, and that the fight was a waste of time with NO realizable benefit.

    Notice that this post was about Rex Bell and HIS success. It was Nick Wilson who attempted to imply Bell’s success was a LRC success.

    Let me repeat: I don’t see any evidence that the LRC has done ANYTHING. Point to one single action that the LRC as a group has initiated that has led to any significant political “success” outside of LP internal politics.

  • http://UnCivilDefence.blogspot.com MRJarrell

    Bottom line is that Rex could use some well earned funds and a few warm bodies on election day.
    The LRC has nothing to do with his successes, nor those of any candidate anywhere. Indiana was doing this long before the LRC reared its head. If the LRC wants to have a hand in a Rex Bell victory they should pony up some cash in their name…that speaks a lot louder than their divisive glory grabbing.

    Rex has been a viable and outstanding candidate from day one and is a source of pride for everyone in Indiana.

  • http://radgeek.com/ Rad Geek

    Nick Wilson: Good for you, but it’s impossible to ignore that advocating it as official party policy in the realities of the current environment is political suicide. When you can get a plurality of people to at least consider the idea, then go for it.

    So in the meantime, you suggest dissembling my views in the name of political expediency?

    Right now, lets focus on the fights we even have a somewhat remote chance of winning on: ….

    I don’t think that single-minded focus on “winnable” goals is always the wisest strategy for social change, but anyway you’re changing the subject here. It may be perfectly sensible to pick carefully the battles that I invest time and resources in. But I object to concealing or misrepresenting my views on the “unwinnable” issues I’m not pushing on right now, to pander to the majority’s prejudices. That’s different, and dishonest.

  • http://www.hammeroftruth.com/about Stuart Richards

    Mike, grow the fuck up. :)

    Now, I think we’re all missing the point here, except for Chris Bennett. There’s a candidate that needs our help. Let’s help him!

  • http://lpradicals.org/ Susan Hogarth

    Carl says (in comment #52):

    …it is much easier for a radical to run under the banner of a party that is less radical than it is to run as a moderate under a radical party banner.

    Right. Then why don’t libertarians who want to get elected without the added hassle of having to explain libertarianism just run as radical Republicans or Democrats? Why go to all that work to make the Libertarian Party (seem) more moderate when the American political system just -doesn’t- often allow for the rise of ‘third’ parties and the work will be hampered by R/D protectionism/gerrymandering anyway?

    If the Libertarian Party is ‘less radical’, then it will still be a Third Party with the politically crippling implications that carries in American politics. The difference is then that there will have to be another radical freedom party. The LP has a real name as a radical party, and I’d hate to see it marginalized as a powerless *and* ideologically bankrupt entity.

  • http://libertarian.meetup.com/33 Jeff Schulman

    Anyone working towards more liberty and less government is my ally. Whether it be someone using a method of “relentless incramentalism,” or someone who advocates immediate, radical change,

    Libertarians have the tendancy spend so much time bickering and infighting about some of the most unimportant things, when we need to be focusing on the core issue: More freedom, less government.

    There are 2 kinds of political change: evolutionary and revolutionary. Realistically, the only way to create change in the United States is going to be a slow, peiced together process. Anything else will not attract the voter base. In most races in this country, you need a majority vote to win a seat. This is impossible if you don’t appeal to the majority of voters. And the majority of voters don’t want their lives significantly disrupted.

  • http://www.MikeKole.com Rob

    You guys must all be coasting to easy election victories if you can afford to spend all this time on back-and-forth internal squabbling. Unfortunately, not all of us have that luxury 11 days before an election…

  • TerryP

    This whole post pretty much describes why the LP party has gotten knowhere in the last thirty years. Way to much bickering within the party instead of trying to forge ahead for more freedom.

    Good luck Rex! I have looked at your website and I love the way you communicate down to a level that the average voter can understand and agree with you. Even on issues where someone disagrees with you, you seem to have a way of not making it into an arguement. Many people on this website could learn a thing or two from you about effective communication.

  • http://darianworden.tripod.com D Worden

    Y’know what? Screw all you guys…I’m taking credit for this! Ever since I started commenting at HoT, the LP just keeps doing better! ;)

  • http://allencountylp.blogspot.com/ Mike Sylvester

    I am an active Libertarian in Indiana and this thread goes a long ways to explaining some of the problems the LP has had getting people elected. Rex Bell is doing so well because:

    1. He is a good communicator.
    2. He is running a moderate libertarian campaign in rural
    Indiana.
    3. He runs a successful small business in the District.
    4. He has a large family in the District.
    5. His wife is an elected Libertarian judge in the
    District.
    6. He is working very hard at getting elected.

    In short, he is a good candidate and he is campaigning hard.

    Please help his campaign in any way you can. Please donate some money to help him advertise!

    Spend your time and treasure supporting Rex Bell rather then debating each other!

    Mike Sylvester
    Fort Wayne Libertarian

  • disinter

    Well thank god Stuart came in to save the day and let all of us poor souls know what the point is…

    Susan – well said.

  • Tom Bryant

    Basic political lesson for the day:

    All party infighting should cease until November 8th. On November 8th, party infighting should continue.

    1. We are a team. Our team is on the field and we all have to play our positions to the best of our ability. Teamwork is the only way to achieve victory.

    2. We are all individuals with different ideas. These ideas should, rather must, be discussed in order to direct our political strategy. Political infighting is a very positive force when used in the proper time and place.

  • disinter

    I think the flying spaghetti monster is responsible for Rex Bell’s success… personally.

    Oh and the flying spaghetti monster is the reason for all the bickering and fighting too.

  • disinter

    From the Rex Bell campaign:

    In this small district, that 2% translates to a tiny 360 vote difference at the polls. Every bit of support will make a significant impact on November 7th.

    He can win this thing… donations needed. Let’s help him not only win, but win with a wide margin!

  • disinter

    I just donated $100 to Rex Bell’s campaign.

    http://www.lpin.org/index.php?q=node/58

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    Mike, Chris M.: why don’t you actually read my posts instead of blindly repeating yourself? I very clearly stated I’m not trying to take credit for the success of Rex Bell’s campaign – only for the way the LRC helped change the political dialogue in the party towards real world politics and is creating a broader base from which to attract viable candidates (i.e. non-anarchists, and there are a lot of those). I recognize these campaigns were going long before July, but my response is that this year I haven’t seen the media talking about how the LP wants to ban public schools and taxes much at all – giving candidates the freedom to be as radical or as moderate as they want.

    “I’d hate to see it marginalized as a powerless *and* ideologically bankrupt entity.”

    It’s ideologically bankrupt to insist on remaining in the margins of the political spectrum while the forces of statism are growing every year and libertarian goals – whether miniarchist or anarchist – become even more remote.

  • http://www.rockhoward.org Rock Howard

    I have been on the streets campaigning a lot this cycle. When I ran for Texas State House in 2000 and 2002 I got a lot of resistance when I mentioned that I was running as a Libertarian.

    This time around I am getting practically no pushback at all when I mention that I am on the Libertarian line. In addition I am getting a lot of positive responses when I mention my party label! I have never experienced anything like it.

    I have had too many election night disappointments over the years to get my hopes up, but I have to admit that it is looking to me like we are about to pull some record vote totals (at least here in Austin.)

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    “So in the meantime, you suggest dissembling my views in the name of political expediency?”

    No, I’m suggesting that you realize turning roads into toll roads and legalizing heroin are not accomplishable political goals at this moment in time. I support some pretty radical ideas too, including one of the two you mentioned, but you won’t hear me start to talk about them until we actually have the average voter’s attention and trust. Let’s first show them that legalizing marijuana won’t cause the social structure of America to collapse.

    “Carl and many other LRC members continue to set-up the false dichotomy between radicalism vs. pragmatism.”

    First of all, that dichtomy has existed since the start -strategically there is a big divide, and ideologically, there is also, but doesn’t necessarily prevent us from working together. After 30 years, the silent moderate majority decided to quit taking the “statist” jibes and purity tests and get our act together.

  • disinter

    Rock Howard – good job and good luck!!

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    Look, everybody: Regardless of your belief whether or not the LRC has had any role whatsoever in the current campaign season’s progress, does any one still believe that Portland was the death of the party, as so many claimed? If the LRC did have an impact (and I believe it did), than the radicals were wrong in calling the LRC’s strategy both “ineffective” and “ideologically bankrupt.” If the LRC-initiated platform reform had absolutely nothing to do with the successes of the campaign cycle, it certainly didn’t hurt us – so let us have our fun and live in a fantasy world.

    Some people conflictingly claim that the platform is both important and unimportant at the same time. A platform is not merely a document to make you feel good about how principled you are – it supposed to be the outline of attainable party strategy. As a third party, the platform is one of a few ways people will learn what we believe. Unless you prefer they get that information from our good friends, the media?

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    Yes, ditto, Rock.

    By the way, Mike, I’m still waiting for poll results someone besides the LP showing Bell has a similar standing.

    I’m also interested to know how your campaign is doing. Let’s quit fighting and start trying to find which strategies really work. If you have found a good strategy or a perfect niche to market your beliefs to that will give you political success, more power to you. The LRC was never about “hating radicals,” it was about getting the LP to be successful and to quit repeating “tried and truly failed” political strategies.

  • disinter

    By the way, Mike, I’m still waiting for poll results someone besides the LP showing Bell has a similar standing.

    Good for you. Would you like a cookie?

    Again, if you are soo interested, then why don’t you pay for a poll?

  • Chuck

    I love you all

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    “Good for you. Would you like a cookie? Again, if you are soo interested, then why don’t you pay for a poll?”

    Sure, I’ll take a cookie while I wait for you to prove that you have real answers instead of verbal insults. I’m not stooping to your immature, personal level of debating, because I have nothing to gain from it, nor does the party. You’re a libertarian, and I’m a libertarian – and we disagree. No shock there.

    If you treat people who are in the same political spectrum as you this hatefully, I wonder how you are treating the potential voters in your district who aren’t in your spectrum. Candidates aren’t supposed to act like this, Mike, which renders even your most valid points on party strategy relatively moot.

    If you show me a non-LP-initiated poll demonstrating the same numbers (like of a mainstream media establishment), I’d gladly reach into my shallow pockets and send money. I couldn’t find a poll on Google, so I’m wondering if he actually IS this close to winning.

  • Chuck

    Nick – Just from my personal knowldege, isn’t it incredibly difficult to find polls conducted by the mainstream media of random state house races?

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    Hmm…I’m not sure. It seems pretty likely the newspaper in his district might have done some sort of a poll.

    At the very least I’d like to see the poll/questions and the methodology for myself. I want more objective reinforcement that my money would be going to a candidate actually within several percentage points of victory. Frankly, there’s always the skeptical view that this might be a last minute ploy to solicit money and attention dishonestly.

    This link gives a little more background: http://www.lpin.org/index.php?q=node/57

    The fact that it was contracted out to OpinionFactor, a nat’l polling company, raises my confidence. But I still want to see the poll, or even better, other results showing this data.

  • http://www.lalumo.com/ Mike

    Good job, Rex. Glad to see some energy on the state level. Too much emphasis is placed on the Presidential election. It’s a tacit endorsement of the growth of federal and executive power. Our power rests with the states and the people. It’s up to the residents Indiana to elect Rex and reap the reward of liberty.

  • http://radgeek.com/ Rad Geek

    Me: “So in the meantime, you suggest dissembling my views in the name of political expediency?”

    Nick:
    “No, I’m suggesting that you realize turning roads into toll roads and legalizing heroin are not accomplishable political goals at this moment in time. I support some pretty radical ideas too, including one of the two you mentioned, but you won’t hear me start to talk about them until we actually have the average voter’s attention and trust. Let’s first show them that legalizing marijuana won’t cause the social structure of America to collapse.”

    But Nick, how is what you’re suggesting here different from the way I characterized it? You’re recommending that libertarian candidates conceal their real views from voters in order to curry political favor. Isn’t that dissembling?

  • http://www.lpinscr.blogspot.com Mark Rutherford

    Howey Political Report is calling the Indiana House District 54 race a toss-up and started to do so before the poll was taken. Go to its sister site on breaking news at http://www.indianaonmessage.com/ and look at the Howey Political Report Indiana legislative calls on the upper right hand side below the banner.

    Howey writes a political newsletter on Indiana politics. He doesn’t give much “love” to Indiana Libertarians. But he certainly likes it when a race goes as he calls it.

  • http://www.lpinscr.blogspot.com Mark Rutherford

    Indiana Legislative Insight is another political newsletter in Indiana. It’s web site is called Indiana Daily Insight at http://www.ingrouponline.com/indiana_daily_insight.htm. It reported about the poll last Thursday morning.

    Last Friday morning on WXNT 1430 AM’s morning show, the Indianapolis Star’s Matt Tully talked about the poll and the benefits to Indiana of having a Libertarian in the Indiana General Asssembly.

    WXNT was reporting on the poll in its news at 5 pm last evening.

  • http://radgeek.com/ Rad Geek

    Nick,

    Here’s a hypothetical. Suppose I believe that all drug laws should be completely repealed (so I believe in legalizing heroin), but I want to run a Sensible Moderate campaign so I’ve focused on legalizing marijuana and I haven’t said one mumbling word about repealing all drug laws or legalizing “hard drugs” in particular.

    It’s not crazy to think that my opponent, or perhaps some other concerned citizen, won’t be too dense to put two and two together. One thing that often happens in controversial campaigns is that the advocate gets asked to clarify just how far she’d go. So suppose that at the debate my opponent asks me point-blank whether I’m for legalize heroin, too.

    Now I see only three options for my answer. I could:

    1. Admit that I do support legalizing heroin, thus committing “political suicide” and abandoning my Sensible Moderate approach;
    2. Lie about my views to avoid 1; or
    3. Evade the question or obfuscate the issue to avoid both 1 and 2.

    What do you suggest I do?

  • http://www.lpinscr.blogspot.com Mark Rutherford

    The support from Hammer of Truth readers has been fantastic and is helping the Bell campaign do lots more.

    Rex has all but maxed out radio buys on Richmond radio stations. He is running cable ads on six different channels. And Monday the campaign is buying radio spots on the most popular FM radio station in New Castle (a very strong regional station).

    Support is coming from many sources – and combined the sources are allowing the Bell campaign to realistically considering a direct mail piece to the 25,000 registered voters most likely to consider voting for Rex.

    Tomorrow, once again Rex and his campaign team will be going door-to-door in the district.

    Again – thanks!, thanks!, thanks!

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Rad Geek: Whether you SUPPORT it or not does not mean you have to ADVOCATE it.

  • Timothy West

    Your premise is incorrect. it would have been far more likely ( by a factor of many ) that your opponnt would have simply looked up the old party platform and attacked you on the drug issue using that, as that was the simplest way to do that at the time.

    You also underestimate combining radical agendas with moderate control mechanisms. When I ran for office in 2000, I made it clear that I though all drugs should be legalized. The way I stated my position is that I thought all drugs should be treated the same – with prescriptions wrote out by doctors and given out by pharmacys. I got a applause every time I used that line, bar none. People were much more willing to accept my position when I combined it with safe control mechanisms they understood.

    It’s my opinion that no one from the other side has ever attempted to even begin to understand the political nuances that makes a position work in the political marketplace. Thats becuase they hate politics.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Rad Geek: Whether you SUPPORT it or not does not mean you have to ADVOCATE it as immediate policy. Say: I advocate the legalization of medical marijuana, give states the ability to decide whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana, and the end to the wasteful and failed Federal war on drugs. If the candidates pry even further and put policies in your mouth that you are not publicly saying, you can say “I am not advocating reaching beyond these goals during my next term of office.”

    If you want to be more open, say “while I think legalizing all drugs would be the ideal way to shrink the criminal underworld and get drug abuse treated as a medical problem, I recognize that America isn’t ready for full legalization at this time.” You look smart, imply your eventual goal, but also draw a line so the voters are clear that if they vote for you, there won’t be a heroin vending machine next to their kid’s preschool in two years.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “that dichtomy has existed since the start -strategically there is a big divide, and ideologically, there is also, but doesn’t necessarily prevent us from working together”

    Once again YOU miss the point. A person can be radical AND practical at THE SAME TIME. The LRC does not hold a monopoly on practical politics. You don’t have to support the FairTax to be practical.

    “only for the way the LRC helped change the political dialogue in the party towards real world politics and is creating a broader base from which to attract viable candidates”

    And I keep saying that many in the LP were doing this LONG BEFORE the LRC existed. You keep failing to show any evidence that the LRC has done anything, yet you continue to make the outrageous claim the the LRC has changed the political culture in the LP.

  • TerryP

    It seems to me that so many people are missing the point about the LRC. Chris is right that many in the LP were doing what the LRC was pushing long before the LRC existed. If they weren’t the LRC never would have been formed. What I believe the LRC most likely did was organize moderates. Once organized they were more able to push their thoughts and ideas and other people are more apt to listen. The LRC likely did nothing more than organize a bunch people who had similar thoughts and ideas. While libertarians have run more moderate campaigns in the past, they have not got much “love” from the media or from many other libertarians. Now because a more moderate version of libertarianism has organized and many people are seeing their more moderate viewpoints as more legitimized within the party it is becoming much easier to run a moderate libertarian campaign. We are now seeing the effects of that as it seems many are polling very well with the average voter unlike in the past.

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Carl

    TerryP: you are correct. I would not have been part of launching the LRC had I not witnessed the sentiments of prior LNCs. The LRC was created to accomplish what the SPT put in the Strategic Plan.

    For those who wish to blast at the LRC and say the LRC didn’t have anything to do with Rex Bell, etc., I would point out that Rex Bell is a member of the LRC. He joined in May of 2005 — an early member. The LRC is Rex Bell and people like him.

    Rad Geek: Your concern has been addressed in these two articles:

    http://reformthelp.org/rights/moderation/incrementalating101.php

    http://reformthelp.org/selling/humor/incrementalating102.php

    (articles which actually predate the formation of the LRC)

  • Timothy West

    somethings happened. I would never make the claim that the LRC is responsible by itself, but to claim that it had nothing to do with anything seems a wee bit strange.

    And if it truly has had no effect, then why the fighting? Things that make no difference tend to be ignored. The LRC has not been ignored by anyone.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “A person can be radical AND practical at THE SAME TIME. The LRC does not hold a monopoly on practical politics. You don’t have to support the FairTax to be practical”

    Of course not. But I’d also like to point out that we have radicals and anarchists in the LRC, as well as many, many people who don’t support the FairTax.

  • disinter

    If you show me a non-LP-initiated poll demonstrating the same numbers (like of a mainstream media establishment), I’d gladly reach into my shallow pockets and send money. I couldn’t find a poll on Google, so I’m wondering if he actually IS this close to winning.

    I don’t have to show your nellie ass shit.

    Earth to Nicky: I don’t work for the campaign. And I certainly don’t give a rat’s arse what you are “wondering”.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Sorry – to clarify: of course people can be radical and practical at the same time. Of course the LRC doesn’t hold a “monopoly on practical politics.” And of course, one doesn’t have to support the FairTax to be practical.

    I support the FairTax because it is better than the Income Tax, which brings in the Right, and it’s more progressive, which brings in the Left. I think it’s practical, but I don’t think one must support it to be practical. The Boston Tea Party takes a very practical approach to politics and they are also radical, so I support them too.

    Notice how even the radicals are trying to show that they, too, are pragmatic. What a fast change. LRC had no effect? I think not.

    “For those who wish to blast at the LRC and say the LRC didn’t have anything to do with Rex Bell, etc., I would point out that Rex Bell is a member of the LRC. He joined in May of 2005 ”” an early member. The LRC is Rex Bell and people like him.”

    (dull thud.) Mike? Mike! You ok, man?

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Mike, you’re obviously getting very frustrated with the fact that you are running out of productive and accurate things to say. What happened to you, man? I used to enjoy your posts, but it seems like there’s been some real personal issues coming out in you over the past few weeks.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Thanks for the link, Mark (#118). That helped my confidence in his chances.

    To put money where my mouth is, I just donated. I hope others follow suit. Go Rex!

  • disinter

    somethings happened. I would never make the claim that the LRC is responsible by itself, but to claim that it had nothing to do with anything seems a wee bit strange.

    Enter the flying spaghetti monster.

  • http://www.hammeroftruth.com/about Stuart Richards

    I don’t have to show your nellie ass shit.

    Earth to Nicky: I don’t work for the campaign. And I certainly don’t give a rat’s arse what you are “wondering”.

    And they say I’M the vulgar one…

  • http://wesbenedictforlnc.blogspot.com/ Executive Detractor

    Know it alls,

    Before your chickens hatch, put your reputation on the line and predict the exact percentage outcome of your favorite race. That way we can know who to trust in the future.

    What’s a matter? Chicken?

  • http://www.sundwall4congress.org Eric Sundwall

    Could it just be the GOP and Dems are getting so bad, people are desperate and find the LP the only other lever ? Having actually been there for the last thirty years, in large
    measure due to persistance of those before, radical or otherwise ? If the Greens score big too, that might be a better explanation of the general reaction.

    Think ballot access whatever flavor liberty you are. This part of political and education go together. Relax. Everything is going to basically stay the same. The Dems and GOP will dominate. Ours will be much smaller realities and ambitions.

  • disinter

    Sundwall – nah, couldn’t be the obvious… it must be due to the LRC because they said so.

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

    Texas is a very different kind of place with a strong libertarian/Constitutionalist tradition. If you publically speak positions like that in the Democrat-dominated welfare state of Maryland, you will get neither votes nor sympathy. You will be run out of town by very angry people with pitchforks. When the media does mention you, it will be with violent opposition. Trust me, I’ve tried it.

    In Maryland, emphasize the positions that the jackass fascist who wrote to the newspaper (quoted in post 64) hates us for. I think they’ll like you better.

    BTW we might be there next month.

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

    So, I think within the next week or so I’ll set up a private libertarian personal grudgematch forum where all the people who hate each others’ guts can be directed to and can call each other names until the cows come home.

    LOL Nick, how many discussion sites have you seen on the net? Whether its about politics (of any sort), sports, business, or you name it (any conceivable topic) it always gets like this – in many places much worse. HoT is relatively civil.

    This is why I don’t post under my full name anymore, I don’t care for people who disagree with me on a debate site trying to make trouble for me in real life, or even googling my name and finding a bunch of flame war bullshit.

    Wouldn’t look good if a potential client or girlfriend decides to find out more about me in such a manner.

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

    What is his position on the Federal Reserve Bank? (Should be abolished)
    What is his position on 16th amendment? (Should be repealed)
    What is his position on 2nd amendment rights and property rights? (Strongly support)
    What is his position on National Animal ID? (Strongly Against)
    What is his position on Veteran’s benefits for combat vets? (Strongly Support)
    What is his take on border control, sovereignty of US? (Strongly support)

    paul) I disagree on the last one.

    I’m for individual sovereignty, and the only borders I care for are private property lines.

    On the next-to-last point, yes as long as we still have coercive taxation, but ultimately, no.

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

    personally believe that it’s not going to be in my lifetime that the American Public will accept radical change (barring another Great Depression scenario). That means we’re going to have to do like the pro-lifers and anti-gunners and chip away at the edges. Once enough of the edges are chipped away significantly enough, in time it’ll be possible to knock out the heart out of various anti-liberty things that exist.

    I personally disagree.

    1) With life extension technological possibilities on the horizon, “our lifetime” may be many orders of magnitude longer than people think of as “our lifetime”.

    2) Drastic change can happen very unexpectedly. For example, the way the USSR collapsed.

    3) Attempts to decrease government gradually are less successful than building it gradually, because the nature of government is always to grow.

    Coercive government is like malignant cancer; you have to get rid of all of it to get rid of it at all, or it will grow til it kills ya

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

    I dislike the hypocricy of minarchism too, but _if_ we accept that political victory is an acceptable goal, we must make alliances until the differences leave the realm of theory and become real issues.

    This is what I used to think too. Actually still do, but the question is *which* alliances – my current analysis is that any alliance with the fascist monstrosity that the American Right is under King George IV Dubai-ya and the NSGOP, real or perceived, do far more harm than good.

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

    Chris # 86:

    Bingo!

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

    “Still havent gotten one example of where the ”˜gutting and raping’ of the platform has had a single bad effect on the party or it’s candidates in 2006. Any examples?”

    I don’t think we actually said it would hurt the candidates.

    More that it would result in some LP candidates who are not really worth voting for and thus make the LP label meaningless.

    However, to really see whether it hurt candidates or not you would have to go back in time, have the convention come out differently, and repeat the rest of this whole year.

    Since we can’t do that, it’s not really a controlled experiment; too many other factors to give an answer either way.

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

    Susan # 94

    Bingo, again!

    BTW what’s new with the lawsuit and the prospects of getting NC ballot access started back up?

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

    We are a team.

    Bah, humbug.

    There is no “team” in I :-)

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

    does any one still believe that Portland was the death of the party, as so many claimed?

    The party will unquestioningly limp on, in one form or another. Whether I will continue to support it or not is an open question, too early to tell. Then again, same thing for many in the deform caucus — seems some of the main actors plan on starting a new party, unless they have changed their mind yet again.

    Personally I would prefer they be the ones to start the new party, but I’m fine either way.

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

    Some people conflictingly claim that the platform is both important and unimportant at the same time.

    It’s largely irrelevant, except as internal tool for the party to retain some ideological cohesion and keep from turning into a re-run of what happened to the Reform Party (albeit a little more gradually).

    As far as the non-party members, I’d say maybe one in several hundred who look into the LP will ever bother to read it.

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

    It’s ideologically bankrupt to insist on remaining in the margins of the political spectrum while the forces of statism are growing every year and libertarian goals – whether miniarchist or anarchist – become even more remote.

    All the more reason to offer a real alternative. If the mainstream becomes increasingly totalitarian, and you become increasingly appeasing to be more mainstream, where do you end up?