Author Archives: disinter

Smither Files for CD-22 Special Election

Smither files for CD-22 Special Election, is only candidate on Special and General Ballots

(AUSTIN) ““ Bob Smither, the Libertarian nominee for Congress from Texas District 22, announced today that he has filed as a candidate for the Special Election to fill the remainder of Tom DeLay’s term. Both the Special Election and the General Election will be held on November 7th.

Democrat Nick Lampson is Smither’s only opponent on the General Election ballot, and has opted against filing in the Special Election. Smither made the following statement:

“The unusual circumstances surrounding Congressional District 22 this year have created an election process that is ripe with confusion and unpredictable turns. When the Governor called the Special Election to coincide with Election Day I asked my campaign team what option would be the least disruptive and least confusing, while simultaneously conveying my commitment to the district.

I decided to file as a Libertarian in the Special Election. The other candidates for both elections have spent weeks maneuvering between different ballot strategies and taking positions that only serve to confuse the voters. The Special Election itself certainly adds to the electoral turmoil. The voters need to have a consistent viable choice for limited government though, and I will provide that choice. I accordingly decided that filing for this election, just as I did for the General, would be the least confusing and most consistent option in an otherwise convoluted process.

Over the past week many voters suggested that I consider filing as a Republican since I have indicated I will caucus with the GOP. I appreciate their support and reiterate that if elected I will be supporting the Republican choice for Speaker of the House. I decided to file as a Libertarian though because it is the party I belong to. A candidate must be honest with the voters, and it is important to me that when the voters see my name on the ballot they will know exactly who I am and what I offer to the residents of CD-22. I first took an interest in politics in 1964 as a Barry Goldwater volunteer, and I am proud to have many Republican supporters who share my commitment to smaller government, lower taxes, and individual freedom. In return I will honor my promise to caucus with the GOP. As a Libertarian I ask CD-22’s voters for their support as the only small government candidate on the ballot and the only viable choice to prevent the election of a liberal Democrat.”

Kevin Tunstall, Vice Chairman of the Texas Libertarian Party, made the following remarks.

“Bob Smither’s decision to file creates a point of consistency and stability in an otherwise tumultuous election. Bob is the only candidate who will appear on both CD 22 ballots, and the only candidate who can beat liberal Democrat Nick Lampson.

As Election Day nears the experts and voters alike are coming to the realization that Bob Smither is the only candidate standing in the way of the Democrats, and possibly even a Nancy Pelosi speakership. Last Week Congressional Quarterlyredesignated CD-22 as a likely Democratic pickup. They gave one caveat: ‘Smither may present a more viable choice to the traditionally conservative voters of our district.’ “

Smither has been endorsed by former GOP Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), who is best known for leading the impeachment of Bill Clinton. His candidacy has gained nationwide media attention as the only viable chance that conservative voters in CD-22 have at defeating liberal Democrat Nick Lampson.

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Tim Ryan vs Bush’s Lies

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Chris Mathews vs Van Taylor

Chris Mathews and Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett tore into pro-war Congressional candidate Van Taylor on Hardball. It looks like the only tool the GOP has left is the “war on terror”. Are you scared yet?

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Smither vs Lampson at Political Forum

Bob Smither will attend a Political Forum sponsored by the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce along with his Democratic challeger Nick Lampson. According to the The Galveston County Daily News:

To get congressional candidates’ opinions on some key local issues, the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce will have a political forum Tuesday.

The forum will be open to the public and will address topics submitted by chamber members. Topics include Texas City port security, area economic development and particularly the deepening and dredging of the port.

Several candidates and officials have been invited. Congressional candidates Nick Lampson, Shane Sklar and Bob Smither have confirmed their attendance.

The forum will take place at 7pm on Tuesday at the Charles T. Doyle Convention Center in Texas City.

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Mr. Smither Goes to Washington?

Will GOP Disarray Send the First Libertarian Party Candidate to Congress?

(Washington, DC) ““ Despite desperate attempts by Republican politicians, events unfolded last week in the hotly contested race for Texas’ 22nd Congressional district, confirming that Libertarian Bob Smither remains a formidable candidate that neither party can afford to ignore.

As both influential local newspapers ““ including The Houston Chronicle and The Austin American-Statesman ““ and national news outlets ““ including The New York Times and National Journal’s “House Race Hotline” ““ have taken note of Libertarian Bob Smither’s indisputable impact on this race, both his Democratic and Republican opponents have made abrupt shifts in campaign strategy as they attempt to stave off Smither’s momentum.

Bob Smither is well known in Texas 22 for his long history of community service as co-founder the Laura Recovery Center for missing children. Shortly after election officials confirmed that only Libertarian Smither’s name would face the Democratic former Congressman Nick Lampson on November’s ballot, Lampson went on the air with commercials that seek to associate his name with those very same issues.

At an informal gathering of precinct chairs Thursday night, Tom DeLay, the scandal-tarred former Majority Whip who resigned in disgrace from representing this district earlier this year, felt the need to address local Republicans to counter support voiced by some Republican leaders for Bob Smither. The online community newspaper “Fort Bend Now” reported that DeLay told precinct leaders that Libertarian Smither is “a Lampson plant,” insisting that Bob Smither’s campaign is a stalking horse for the Democrat Lampson.

In fact, despite Tom DeLay’s insinuation, Bob Smither and Nick Lampson have met only briefly in public when the two men were working as advocates for missing children. The fact that Libertarian Bob Smither has sought to coalesce support behind his candidacy for a head-to-head run against Lampson only further refutes DeLay’s scurrilous innuendo.

“Fort Bend Now” reports that Smither responded to DeLay’s accusation with “I am telling you that is a vicious lie,” a point which he confirmed to national Libertarian Party officials in a teleconference earlier today. Smither also expressed his appreciation for the “multiple precinct chairs that have contacted me indicating some support,” as well as thanking “those precinct chairs that chose to ignore Mr. DeLay’s lie.”

Republicans are trying to present a picture of unification following the “nomination” of Republican Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, however this hyperlinked Associated Press photograph belies their claim. With a minimum of two Republican write-in campaigns and some Republicans clearly supporting Smither, local GOP unity is far from certain. An additional factor to be considered is the potential negative impact of being associated with or implicitly endorsed by Tom DeLay, who only received 60% of the Republican primary vote before his forced resignation.

In addition to Sekula-Gibbs, Republican David Wallace has also been confirmed as a write-in candidate in the race. The Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster recently raised questions about Wallace’s investment practices. While correctly entering Wallace’s name on the eSlate electronic voting equipment will provide a minor challenge to elderly and handicapped voters, the task may prove close to impossible for Sekula-Gibbs’ supporters.

The DeLay factor combined with the complexities of multiple disorganized write-in campaigns isn’t likely to encourage much support from out-of-state fundraising sources or inspire voter turnout on Election Day. Despite his current financial advantage, Lampson will face a monumental battle in a district which election analyst Charlie Cook handicaps at R +15 (Republican base performance plus 15%).

Thanks to the uniquely favorable dynamics of this race, Bob Smither starts this campaign with a double-digit support base, an unusual position for a Libertarian candidate. Based on the analysis of political experts, the winner of this race may well win with only a plurality of the vote. This could add up to a virtual “perfect storm” which just might send Mr. Smither to Washington.

[NOTE: The preceding is a press release, reproduced in it's entirety, from the Libertarian Party]

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Teen Gets ‘Two Years for One Joint’

Mitchell Lawrence is serving a two year prison sentence for the heinous crime of not only selling pot (Gasp!), but doing it within 1,000 feet of a school (Double Gasp!!). The government will spend close to $100,000 to incarcerate this horrible criminal for a non-violent, victimless act. Meanwhile, your friendly police continue to get away with committing violent crimes against innocent civilians. Apparently the only individuals they “Serve and Protect” are those profiting from the illegality of certain drugs.

The Drug Policy Alliance released a movie about the situation:

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Smither Gets Blogged

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

In addition to the MSM coverage Bob Smither has been getting (see this and this), he is also getting some attention in the blogosphere. Here’s a brief summary:

The good:

The bad:

UPDATE: Capitol Annex was feeling lonely, so I added another one to the “bad” list after some searching. Let me know if I missed any.

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Bob Smither News Coverage Continues

The Washington Times published “Libertarians see shot at DeLay seat” by By Robert Stacy McCain.

Reason Online published “Smither, Eh? Ex-cellent!” by Shawn Macomber as well as a blog post titled “Hello. Smither. You’re. Quite. Good. At. Turning. Me. On.” by David Weigel.

Macomber brings to light the need to donate to Smither’s campaign either financially or by making phone calls, or both.

Meanwhile the GOP is squabling over who will get the honor of being their write-in candidate(s).

This could very well be the Perfect Storm that puts the first Libertarian in Congress.

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Bill Peirce Owns MySpace

Bill Peirce’s MySpace.

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Perfect Storm: Potential for Libertarian Party Victory in Tom DeLay’s Old Seat

Bob Smither has a Strong Chance to Make History as the First Libertarian Elected to Congress

(Washington, DC) ““ “With the departure of Tom DeLay, it is important to do everything we can to ensure the 22d District continues to be represented by a conservative. Bob Smither is that conservative. Bob is a genuine fiscal conservative with a firm desire to see a return to constitutionally-limited government as intended by our Founding Fathers. Write-in campaigns rarely succeed, and that is also why I ask that you join me in supporting Bob Smither as the only candidate who can defeat the liberal Nick Lampson.” ““ former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, GA

Due to the fallout from recent political scandals, Congressman Tom DeLay will not be on the ballot in Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. No other Republican name will appear on the ballot in this heavily Republican district. The two names which will appear on the ballot are those of Libertarian Bob Smither and Democrat Nick Lampson.

Smither’s background highlights include being a married fifth generation Texan who received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He has worked for Incorporated Circuit Concepts, Inc., taught as an adjunct professor and worked as a consultant. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Armand Bayou Nature Center and co-founded the Laura Recovery Center for missing children in Friendswood with his wife Gay. Smither currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Regional Amber Plan – a community notification system that has saved the lives of abducted children. He attends Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Friendswood, TX.

Currently, there are several local Republicans hoping to obtain local support for an organized write-in campaign. Local GOP leaders are scheduled to meet Thursday evening in hopes of consolidating local efforts behind one write-in candidate. As difficult as it is to mount any successful write-in campaign, any GOP write-in campaign will be further complicated by the eSlate electronic voting equipment used in the district.

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I Did Not Speak Up And Now I Wish I Had

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George Galloway vs Sky News

Anti-war British MP George Galloway isn’t shy when he testifies before Congress and he certainly isn’t shy when confronted with snooty reporters. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, this is a must-see:

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George Bush Impersonation

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It’s “Time for Sime”

Arin Sime’s Libertarian campaign for the Virginia State Senate is one to keep an eye on. The election isn’t until 2007, but he already has an impressive campaign staff, great website and has raised over $11,000. Charlottesville’s newspaper, The Hook, published an article about Sime’s campaign where Arin had this to say about his three-term Republican opponent, Emmett Hanger:

“He hasn’t had a strong challenge,” explains Sime. “We’re starting a lot earlier, we’re better organized. It’s a conservative district, and I think it’s a vulnerable seat.”

The article continues:

He’s hitting parades. He’s talking to Republicans. And he has a sticker: “Time for Sime.”

“Our issue is name recognition,” he says. “It’s a big district, and we want to get out there knocking on doors. We’re raising good money, and we’re going to be on par with [Hanger].”

For more information, visit Arin Sime for State Senate 2007.

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“I Was a Republican Until They Lost Their Minds”

Retired basketball star Charles Barkley is again contemplating a bid for Alabama Governor, only this time he will be wearing a blue jersey:

Barkley continued to identify himself as a Republican until recently, when he switched parties. “I was a Republican until they lost their minds,” he said earlier this month.

Earth to Chuck: There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

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Lady Liberty Interviews Michael Badnarik

Enter Stage Right brings us Lady Liberty’s interview with Michael Badnarik. It is a good read, touching on issues such as immigration, campaign strategy, what he will do once elected etc. He even got in what appears to be a jab at HoT:

There are Libertarians out on the various ‘blogs who are upset because we are not running our campaign the way they think I should. And my response to them is, “Well, if you think you’ve got a better way, then you run your own campaign! Get off the couch, put your name on a piece of paper, and run for Congress! You spend 18 hours a day reading mail, making phone calls, writing fund raising letters, and you can run your campaign any way you want.”

After seeing results like this and this, I personally think they are doing a great job on the campaign.

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LP.org: Ineffective Eyesore

Suppose you wanted to market your organization as a large, growing, robust and effective organization that appealed to newcomers. How would you want your marketing material (website) to look? Would you want it to appear as though it was thrown together by an amateur in a short period of time — basically telling the reader that you really don’t care much about them or what they think? Or would you want it to be simple, appealing, informative, well thought-out and easy-to-use? The former may sound a bit silly but that is exactly the image the Libertarian Party is portraying.

On the other hand, there are some third parties that appear to have grasped at least the basics of marketing:

The LP’s website is visually unattractive, boring, unorganized, cluttered, outdated and filled with irrelevant information. No, the LP didn’t become the third-largest party with a fancy website. However, there are a lot of people dissatisfied with the Democratic and Republican parties right now and we really don’t need to give them another reason to dismiss us.

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IRS Pays Homage to Patriot’s Day

Due to the 15th falling on a weekend, those that were fortunate enough to live in certain states were granted an extra day to file their taxes this year. The reason? Patriot’s Day – the holiday dedicated to celebrating the beginning of the Revolutionary War; more specifically, the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

The irony in all this is rather amusing considering the Revolutionary War was fought, in part, because of taxes. It’s a shame we have become worse than what we fought so hard to free ourselves from more than 200 years ago. For a little perspective on how bad things have become, check out this tidbit of information found in the comments of a recent Government Bytes post:

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Badnarik Billboard #2

Another impressive billboard by the Badnarik campaign:

According to campaign manager Allen Hacker:

This one’s more rural, out near the center of the district. It’s on the major connector between Brenham and Somerville (both in the district). All traffic coming from Somerville or home from the lake to Brenham will see this one clearly for at least 200 yards. Daily traffic is 6100 cars, and the cost through the election was $3950.

Additionally, there is supposed to be a third billboard on the way that will be located between Houston and Austin.

I am getting excited about Badnarik’s probability of success. Regardless of whether he wins or loses, donations to this campaign are money well spent for the publicity factor alone.

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Deep Thoughts, by Alexander Tyler

About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous gifts) from the public treasury.

From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilization has been two hundred years. These nations have
progressed through this sequence.

1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage

Courtesy of John Shuey.

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V for Vendetta

There are few movies that get me excited enough to tell others about. The last one to fit into this category was Aaron Russo’s documentary “America: From Freedom to Fascim“. Well, it has been trumped. “V for Vendetta” is a libertarian masterpiece, to say the least. As Butler Shaffer puts it:

My wife and I just got back from watching “V for Vendetta.” WOW!! Not only is this the greatest anti-state movie I have ever seen – nothing else comes close in my mind – but one of the best films (regardless of content) I have seen. The acting is superb (especially that of the heroine); the production, script, and direction are marvelous. Even if this film had been about anti-vivisectionism it would be a great film.

This film far, far exceeded my expectations. It explores the dynamics of tyranny; how we are ruled by our own fears; and, . . . well, go see it for yourselves!

I couldn’t have said it any better. This movie is a must see.

UPDATE: You know it has got to be a good movie when the religious wackos are labeling it:

a vile, pro-terrorist piece of neo-Marxist, left-wing propaganda filled with radical sexual politics and nasty attacks on religion and Christianity.

UPDATE 2: Butler Shaffer has a more thorough review of the movie here.

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Around the Web

From around the web:

  • Religious extremist and Bush regime top domestic policy advisor has been charged with felony theft. Evidently the Bush regime knew about this for over a month and attempted to cover it up by lying. Surprised? This is the same guy that Bush attempted to make a federal judge for life.
  • The movie “Valley of the Wolves” looks interesting:

    Created from well-known accounts of real events, the principal scene in “Valley of the Wolves” shows ruthless U.S. soldiers shooting up a wedding party in Iraq, butchering women and children, and then reveling in it, like they were slaughtering beings whom they regarded as less than human. Wonder where that idea came from?

  • This is why democracy is bad. (update: satire alert)
  • US media: No One Knows How Many Iraqis Have Died via More Liberty. Foreign media: Over 250,000 Slaughtered.
  • Ron Paul warns of International Taxes imposd by the U.N.
  • Patriot Act now used for futile war on drugs.
  • Almost like they were following step-by-step instructions in a procedure manual, the Bush regime is touting war with Iran.
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Illegal Iraq War Costing $6 Billion Per Month

The Iraq war is costing the U.S. taxpayer nearly $6 billion per month. That’s billion with a big fat “B”. That’s a 6 followed by no less than 9 zeros. That’s a LOT of money.

Let’s attempt to put $6 billion into perspective. Assuming a 30 day month, $6 billion is:

  • 200 million (200,000,000) dollars per day
  • Over 8 million (8,333,333) dollars per hour
  • Over 138 thousand (138,000) dollars per minute

Of course these numbers don’t put a dollar figure on human casualties.

But hey, we are spreading freedom and democracy around the world so it’s all good.

Bring’em on

UPDATE: Catch a glimpse of what you get for the money.

UPDATE 2: They all knew it’s an illegal war

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