Tag Archives: Libertarian Party

GOP adds ‘Protecting Internet Freedom’ to platform

Last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida, the GOP proudly unveiled a new addition to their platform:

Protecting Internet Freedom

The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet offers a communications system uniquely free from government intervention. We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile delivery of voice video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem. We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector.

Most interestingly, the Libertarian Party has handily beat Republicans to the punch by more than two decades, having tackled the internet freedom message way back in 1991:

Stop Internet Censorship

Politicians are trying to take away your right to read what you want, and to say what you want.

The Internet is making it possible for new voices to be heard — the voices of people who simply could not afford to publish their ideas or display their artistic talents to a wide audience using older technologies. Established interests of both the left and the right fear new voices, and are trying to control what appears on the Internet through new laws and regulations.

America’s Founders couldn’t foresee the Internet, but they knew that government control of information was not only a violation of personal liberty — it was a threat to their hopes for a nation based on the principles of self-government. So they gave us the First Amendment.

The Libertarian Party carries on today in the tradition of the Founders:

  • The Libertarian Party didn’t wait for the Internet to become popular to stand up for principle: The LP has always supported freedom of speech and the press, and has had language specifically supporting freedom of online communication in its Platform since 1991.
  • The Libertarian Party joined with thousands of concerned Internet users in “turning its web pages black” in protest of President Clinton’s signing the unconstitutional “Communications Decency Act” in 1995.
  • The Libertarian Party continues to speak out today against the attempts by Democrats and Republicans to find loop-holes in the First Amendment, so they can turn the Internet into a government-controlled medium.

Think about it: while the GOP has just given birth to a messy and still-diapered internet freedom policy, the LP’s plank is all grown up, growing a beard, and is old enough to drink.

Even for a totally empty rhetorical gesture, I suppose it’s better late than never.

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Gary Johnson: “I have two words for Ron Paul. Thank you.”

The Tampa P.A.U.L. Festival was incredibly receptive to Gary Johnson, who hoped to woo Ron Paul’s Revolution in a fiery speech given at the ad hoc parallel libertarian events going on in Tampa, Florida this week.

In my strategist-tinted opinion, Johnson has easily been the most polished and electable candidate Libertarians have nominated since at least the days of Harry Brown. The fact that he’s been too busy climbing Mount Everest and other peaks when he wasn’t running successful and morally-intact businesses or fixing New Mexico’s government to even amass a closet of skeletons (you know the political vices where they climb some other peaks and ruin government) — well, it’s a nice added bonus to be the only remaining viable candidate talking about ending the military interventionist policies.

For a glimpse of how popular Johnson is becoming, stealthily and without media help, his book “Seven Principles of Good Government” was released at the end of July and has already run out of stock. The Kindle version is of course still available for a jaw-dropping $9.99, but I guess Johnson has to fund a campaign however he can given that most libertarians probably tapped out their political budgets on Ron Paul.

UPDATE: Check out Gary Johnson’s tribute video/commercial to Ron Paul. It would be nice to see Ron Paul give him a pat on the back somewhere along the line after the convention winds have calmed.

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Gary Johnson’s underdog narrative

In a most recent web video/ad entitled “Job Boom” Gary Johnson once again personally delivers another spoken dialogue imploring Americans to vote for him before the two-party system completely mucks everything up. I’m happy to finally see a Libertarian Party presidential candidate doing a substantial job of taking control of their own narrative and talking directly to people about the real economic and liberty issues. But at the end of the day I’ll admit he needs to go a lot further to win that superficial gay female vote.

Booyah.

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Gary Johnson’s latest ad pitch

Fraught with source-less public opinion numbers, Gary Johnson’s latest ad is positive affirmation that he’s 100% on your side of the composite voter survey. With that kind of message, it can’t hurt that the video style leans towards Apple, but with awkwardly obvious b-roll clips (is that Dick Cheney sipping wine and gazing into the sea?).

Johnson will need to turn all that issue agreeing into impressive crowd mojo and increased fundraising if he’s going to claim the media spotlight as the non-duopoly contender.

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Gary Johnson hits $1M Vegas jackpot

An unnamed donor had it announced on his behalf that a million dollars will be donated to a yet unnamed SuperPAC the Freedom and Liberty PAC. Strangely, the windfall news broke at a Wayne Allyn Root poolside dinner:

Judge Jim Gray, at the Gary Johnson fundraiser held at former VP Nominee and current LNC member Wayne Allyn Root’s home, before a crowd of about 80 donors gathered around the outdoor pool on an unusually cool and humid Las Vegas evening, announced that a generous Libertarian supporter had recently donated $1,000,000 to a super pac supporting the Gary Johnson 2012 campaign to “keep us going.”

[...] Prior to Judge Gray’s announcement the Root family hosted a perfectly executed dinner party in their spacious Henderson NV home. BBQ Ribs, alcohol, fine desserts and all the extras flowed abundantly. LNC member Brett Pojunis introduced the first speaker who related a story of fishing in Alaska with a friend who was so (either fatigued, or inspired by) hearing stories about Gary Johnson that he eventually donated $2,500.00. Wayne was next, mentioning that he had never been fishing, but in what may have been his most adamant and passionate endorsement of the Johnson/Gray campaign urged everyone present to “give till it hurts” and to support the campaign because “while the Democrats are driving over the cliff at 180 mph, the Republicans are driving at that same cliff at 120 mph” and “we’re heading over the cliff either way” and “we can’t let that happen.” Wayne urged everyone present to support Gary Johnson.

[...] Brett then thanked everyone for coming. Wayne reminded everyone that this is Las Vegas, and there were “really people with baseball bats” and again asked everyone present to support the campaign. He also introduced a professional photographer who was present to take photos of anyone who wanted one with the Governor, Judge or anyone else.

In this reporter’s experience the event was perfectly executed, very well attended and an apparent unqualified success. The crowd seemed energized and was reluctant to leave. Several small buses were used to transport attendees from Freedom Fest to Wayne’s home and back. The bus ride back was, at least for the bus this reporter was on, highly energized with expressions of gratitude to the Roots, the million dollar donor and for the very real possibility that Gary Johnson and Judge Gray could actually be in the debates.

I doubt it’s mere coincidence to announce this kind of thing with scant details of where the money is going — at Root’s home (who’s basically endorsed Romney on multiple online comments) — so it’s probably best that Johnson’s business and political experience has prepared him to swim with party sharks.

And that baseball bats joke? Yeesh, we’re not the mafia, guys. We’re the ones who fight to end rackets of power-drunk republicans and democrats. But apparently politics is politics so Libertarian Party lordship rings are smartly being kissed in the process.

A just 9% peak polling and a stagnant economy wearing down small donors, Gary Johnson’s campaign desperately needed the financial support. More than that, Johnson’s team couldn’t hurt themselves by scouting out some Vegas-experienced publicists (even the ones with sharpened teeth). It’s no doubt he’ll have a lot to smile about this week.

Update: The name of the SuperPAC has been confirmed as the Freedom and Liberty PAC, a Johnson-specific PAC which had one other donation of $100K on June 28th.

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Joe Scarborough on why he voted for Ron Paul

If the Libertarian Party doesn’t capitalize on this, oh my gosh I’ll be disappoint:

It was the first “protest” vote I’ve ever cast, and it felt … well, it felt good. Suddenly I understood a bit better why the Ross Perot or the Pat Buchanan or the Ralph Nader voters did what they did.

They thought the system was so broken that they couldn’t sit out but also couldn’t stomach voting for a conventional candidate at a time of unconventional problems.

Do I think a Ron Paul presidency is ever possible? No, I don’t. But I do want some of the Pauline virtues of candor and non-poll-tested conviction to play a larger role in our politics.

So now I’ve cast my protest vote. It felt good.

What I really want, though, is a party and a politics that’s commensurate with the problems and possibilities of the country. We’ll get there one day — and then we can focus on progress, not protest.

With Ron Paul semi-officially out of contention, the only credible third party or independent candidate left is going to be Gary Johnson. The only question is if everyone on the fence will once again wait until it’s too late to breathe life into his “brand awareness” campaign either financially or in-kind volunteering.

The tsunamis of voter discontent with the two-party system have been slamming higher and higher into public life on a regular basis every four years since Perot proved it could almost be done (you still need ridiculous amounts of money to be a threat to the party establishment). Around the world this is playing out with regularity as the masses discard their old political parties.

Maybe this is the year the tsunami of discontent topples a U.S. presidential election.

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Gary Johnson ad: “Be Libertarian with me” one election

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson released a very well done web ad this week which has a distinctly Anonymous influence in its delivery and content, minus the usual voice synthesis. In the ad, he implores everyone with a pair of eyes smart enough to see the craptastic view of America as it is today to switch from the two major parties, but for just one election. And if it doesn’t work out, phooey on all of it you can have your tyranny back.

Here’s a transcript of the megaphone driven audio:

My name is Gary Johnson. Today I reach out to you: members of all political parties.

I reach out to everyone with a vote and an axe to grind.

From the Tea Party to the Constitution Party, Green and Libertarian Parties: I call out to all of you. Including the disaffected and disillusioned among the Republicans and Democrats.

Today, there’s a handful of people in Washington ruining America for three hundred and thirty million of us. They’ve kept our nation in a state of perpetual war; and increasing, unsustainable debt. This small group has presided over the elimination of our Bill of Rights, and the systematic dismantling of our freedoms guaranteed us under our constitution.

It is them we should be fighting, not each other. We the people will never agree on the small things, but let’s agree on the big things.

Our leaders have blown it. if we don’t get control of this ship together, and fix it together, we all go down with it together. see more…

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Bydlak v. Gary Johnson, et al. case dismissed in federal court

Back in February GOP turn LP presidential candidate Gary Johnson and several top members of his campaign staff were named defendants in a hefty $105K legal suit filed in Alexandria, Virginia Federal Court by Jonathan M. Bydlak, their former fundraiser. On Tuesday April 24th, Judge Liam O’Grady dismissed the case citing a lack of jurisdiction over several of the defendants. In addition, O’Grady noted that no single defendant was being sued in excess of $75,000, the court’s threshold.

Bydlak v. Gary Johnson (4/24/2012) [scribd]

Hammer of Truth obtained the documents from Johnson campaign spokesman Joe Hunter, who puts it bluntly, “It pretty much speaks for itself, so no, we don’t have an additional comment.”

We sought a legal analyst (who did not want to be named in this interview) who was more forthcoming on the implications of the ruling, explaining “it was dismissed on a jurisdictional technicality (lack of jurisdiction over the both the defendant AND the matter).” He looked at Burnham & Gorokhov and concluded, “These guys seem a bit young. They don’t really appear to do civil law much … focusing on criminal and white collar law. Every lawyer has his ‘weak area’”.

“The mistake they made on totaling up the dispute for jurisdictional amount is not the stupidest thing ever done. But every lawyer knows that Federal Court is a different beast than state court and that you really have to get your form as well as your content right. If they’d merely consulted with either a book about civil procedure or a practice guide for Federal Court, the first things everybody knows is to work really hard in preparation so that you don’t get bounced out of court on a technicality.”

“The best hurdle to clear is beating ‘summary judgment’. These guys didn’t even get close to that far before they got dismissed.”

The summary judgement noted in the brief factored in two key areas where jurisdiction came into play: a $75,000 minimum for at least one defendant; OAI, GJ2012 and Gary Johnson (personally) were subject to the court’s jurisdiction, but the other defendants were not.

Our legal expert summed it up, “They sued in Federal Court without, apparently, understanding how that’s supposed to work.”

Bydlak may yet still pursue his legal gambit by resubmitting in the correct venue, as we’re pretty he’ll do if he’s still miffed about that $105K he claims he’s owed.

Request for comments from Bydlak or his legal representatives at Burnham & Gorokhov, PLLC were not returned.

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Who wants Libertarian drama in 2012? All of us!

Easter and Passover weekend got hella interesting over in the libertarian internet drama sphere at IPR (Independent Political Report, political relationship status: it’s complicated).

IPR picked up on a recording of Wayne Allyn Root, infrequent subject of Hammer of Truth bashings and guy who holds a lot of titles in the LP political machinery, giving Mitt Romney more of that “inevitability” propaganda that we’ve all heard about a million times before:

I think the important thing now is to make sure Obama is not elected,and that means in my mind, I would love for a libertarian like Gary Johnson the two term governor of New Mexico would actually get elected President, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen so therefore it’s got to be Romney there is no choice.

That’s the quote that started this whole libertarian brouhaha. see more…

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LP “Platform Committee” asks Libertarians to participate

The Libertarian Party Platform Committee recently put out an online survey (proudly powered by PHPQuestionaire and apparently not important enough to be even slightly themed beyond utilitarian needs, selah). Committee Chair Alicia Mattson explains the purpose of this survey along with a condensed history of the previous two platform edits:

Four years ago, based on survey feedback by thousands of you, the 2008 Platform Committee learned what type of platform you wanted. This critically important feedback helped us construct proposals to successfully rebuild our party platform in a new style – short, bold and outwardly focused, yet still in keeping with our core values.

Thanks to your input, the 2008 convention delegates were able to accomplish an amazing feat, getting the 2/3rds agreement necessary to rebuild a complete platform in a single convention day.

Then in 2010 the Platform Committee focused on editorial cleanup, as the 2008 platform was rebuilt with cut-and-paste passages from past platforms, which left some subject matter holes and some readability shortcomings.

With the 2012 convention just around the corner, our convention delegates will soon be voting on improvements to the platform. Again, this year’s Platform Committee focused on polishing existing language and filling in subject matter holes to address current issues not previously covered.

The 2012 Platform Committee met in December and adopted a series of 16 recommendations. Each is presented here with a note from the committee chair describing the purpose. By completing this survey you will be able to share with us your thoughts on our recommendations, many of which were inspired by written comments received on the 2008 and 2010 surveys. see more…

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